Chapter 556 - Resounding Slap

Shentu Ren was going to make preparations at Vientaine Group’s hotel in Haizhu, after Shentu Tianyin and Xia Lei returned to Haizhu for their wedding ceremony and signed the papers, but Shentu Tianyin refused this plan in the end. 

Haizhu was a small place after all, and Jingdu was the capital of China. The political and business friends she and Xia Lei had were all in Jingdu, so having a ceremony in Jingdu was a must, for the convenience of these people. 

The venue of the wedding ceremony was Jingdu’s International Convention and Exhibition Centre, and Shentu Tianyin booked the entire place. 

A celebrity couple had held a wedding ceremony in a convention centre in Shanghai years ago, and that wedding had cost 200,000,000. The wedding had caused a sensation nation-wide, and made countless people envious. 

The cost of the wedding of the Father of Rifles and the wealthiest woman in China was 1,000,000,000, and it was far more luxurious and closely-followed by others than the wedding of the celebrity couple. These two were also among the guests at this amazing wedding of Xia Lei and Shentu Tianyin. 

There weren’t just celebrities either. Well-known people from the business world were in attendance too. These people were usually the focus of the media, but they were now playing supporting roles to Xia Lei and Shentu Tianyin.

A celebrity husband-and-wife were hand-in-hand as they walked down the red carpet towards the wedding venue. 

Camera lights flashed. 

“Isn’t that Huang Bo, the Mainland king of movies? He’s come to attend this wedding too,” said a junior reporter in surprise. He was standing to the side of the red carpet. 

“This is Shentu Tianyin’s wedding, you know. Vientaine Group has its own company in the entertainment circles too, and investment. The celebrities are falling over themselves to attend Shentu Tianyin’s wedding. It’s easy to get actors, but only those few companies have the power to fund big movies. Know this, and you’ll see that it’s not strange why so many celebrities have come to attend her wedding,” said a reporter who looked like the junior’s senior. 

“But why is it that it’s only Shentu Tianyin’s guests coming, and there’s no one from the groom’s side?”

“This, I don’t know. Maybe Xia Lei is a man who keeps a low profile, and his friends and family too.” 

Similar conversations were taking place, not just at that spot, but all over. It wasn’t just the reporters either — several guests were also whispering about it. The bride’s side had a star-studded attendance occupying the limelight but the groom’s side’s guest attendance was so low it was pitiable. Those who had come were also Xia Lei’s subordinates, like Qin Xiang, Guan Lingshan, and higher management like Zhou Xiaohong. As for celebrities, business friends… there were none in sight. 

This awkward situation was not confined to the red carpet either — it extended to the wedding venue. The right side of the venue where the bride’s guests sat were full of people, each a person of reknown, talking and laughing. On the groom’s side, on the left, there were only a few dozens of people, and most were Xia Lei’s subordinates. One side was full of celebrities, and a gathering of people with status, while the other was empty in comparison, and gathering of normal people. The groom’s side was rather lacking when one compared the two sides.  

The only thing bolstering the groom’s image was the shining wall of gold bricks on his side of the venue. The wall was worth 1,000,000,000, and was very eye-catching indeed. 

However, this mighty wall of the groom’s also drew gossip. 

“Why is the groom’s side so empty? Isn’t that embarrassing? Is that wall of gold real?” said a celebrity. 

“What distinguished friends can a guy who worked at construction sites have? The groom surely has good friends, but they are probably his construction worker buddies. Would those people be able to come to this sort of venue? So what I think, is that the groom would rather have fewer people than invite his buddies over.” 

“Ay, a man from the construction sites was actually able to marry our goddess. This is a joke. I still don’t get why Tianyin would marry Xia Lei,” said another celebrity. 

“That Xia Lei does have some ability, but his foundations are only of that level, so he can’t go very much higher. There must be some feeling of inferiority when he’s with Shentu Tianyin. Plus, people who made it big from an environment have some weirdly strong self-esteem, and are very sensitive. I dare bet that this is one such example. The groom made a wall out of gold bricks worth 1,000,000,000 because he doesn’t want others to look down on him, but he forgot about the low status of his guests, and that so few would attend. From what I see, that wall of gold is not protecting his pride, but proving his sense of inferiority,” said a real estate boss. 

“Heh heh, that makes a lot of sense, Director Wang.” 

These discussions were all taking place on the bride’s side of the venue, and covered various topics.  

Xia Lei had been given the title of “Father of Rifles” and become the hero of millions of Chinese, but these millions did not include these elite characters. In this realistic society, however, a vast majority of the people who would be willing to give everything in times of danger and care for the fate of the nation were the common folk. The great rise of China in the past 30 years was also due to the blood and sweat the common folk had put into the building of the nation. Xia Lei was a hero in the eyes of the common folk, but this did not mean that everyone acknowledged his accomplishments. 

Society had its hierarchy from ancient times. 

Xia Lei had started off from the construction-site-worker level, and he was the idol of those workers, the hero of the common folk. However, to these celebrities, and to these wealthy folk, he was an outsider. In the world of these people, what he got was not praise but doubt, and even mockery. 

There were two people on the bride’s side who were neither celebrities nor big businessmen. These two guests were Ren Wenqiang, and Xu Lang. Ren Wenqiang was able to attend as someone accompanying the real estate boss surnamed Wang, since he was currently his assistant. Xu Lang was able to attend because of Xu Zhengyi, who had some business with Shentu Ren, and had received an invitation from Shentu Ren as a result. Xu Lang had come with Xu Zhengyi. 

And in this vicious gossiping about the groom, the two old enemies of Xia Lei met.

“Heh. Isn’t this Xu Bro?” Ren Wenqiang greeted him first. He was dressed in a well-cut suit, and as handsome and at ease with himself as always.  

“Heh heh, what a coincidence, Ren Bro. I hear you’re doing well in Director Wang’s company. You’re like the personification of that old saying — Gold shines wherever it goes,” said Xu Lang with a smile. 

“Gold? Hehe, have you seen the gold wall Xia Lei built here? That’s the real gold.” Ren Wenqiang’s gaze went to the wall of gold, and his smile turned into one of distaste though he was fairly green with envy.

“Humph. So what?” Xu Lang said in discontent, “He’s just an upstart social climber even if he can build a mountain of gold. He is no match for Shentu Tianyin at all. Have you seen the groom’s guests? They are all people from Thunder Horse Group. Xia Lei doesn’t even have one friend of high social standing. How embarrassing.”   

“Hehe, yeah, some things can’t be bought with money. I feel like this wedding is one between a queen and a landowner of the same land. Xia Lei is rich now, true, but he had always been one of lowly status. He has no blue blood at all.” 

“Ay, I really don’t get why Shentu Tianyin would want to marry him. Isn’t this like putting a flower on cow dung?” 

“Hehe, there’s another saying too, and it goes something like ‘the pig took the cabbage’.”

“Hahaha…” Xu Lang laughed jovially. 

At that moment, a group of Arabs in white robes and headscarves came walking down the red carpet.

The Master of Ceremonies suddenly announced, “The Prince of the United Arab Emirates, Prince Khalifa Muhammad Azte, and his wife, Al’fari Imushali.” 

Guests from the Middle East! The announcement made everyone in the bride’s side of the venue freeze. Many had been trying to guess whose guests these prestigious guests were. 

“When did Tianyin make friends like these?” came Xu Lang’s voice.  

“It must be some sort of investment Vientaine Group did in the Middle East. It can’t be that punk’s guests, right? That’s a prince,” said Ren Wenqiang. 

Then their host appeared.

Shentu Tianyin had been receiving the guests on the bride’s side, and he had stood to one side like an accessory. He now stepped out of his role as accessory. 

Under everyone’s watchful gaze, Xia Lei very calmly and smilingly welcomed his guests, and said in Arabic, “Your Majesty, Prince Khalifa, welcome.” 

“Ah, my friend, please, dispense with courtesy. Congratulations.” Prince Khalifa gave Xia Lei a hug, and patted him familiarly on the shoulder. He then introduced his wife. 

Xia Lei nodded, and did not even look at Al’fari Imushali. He only said warmly, “Peace be upon you.” 

“Peace be upon you, too, and may the Lord bless you and your wife,” said Al’fari Imushali. 

The Arabs were like this. People of the same gender could hug, and even kiss each other’s cheeks, but there could be no interaction between those of the opposite gender. Even a glance was disrespectful. 

Prince Khalifa and his wife, Al’fari Imushali had just entered the groom’s side of the venue to seat themselves when the Master of Ceremonies spoke again. “Venezuelan Ambassador, Rocio Riggs, and his wife, Kanaiman.”  

Xia Lei stepped forward with a smile. 

There was not one peep from the bride’s side of the venue. 

But this was just the beginning. 

“Argentinian Ambassador, Demian and his wife.” 

“Brazilian Ambassador, Mr Alberto and Mr Neymar.” 

“Colombian General…” 

Esteemed guests arrived, one by one, and their blessings filled the venue. Everyone watching Xia Lei receive these guests were usually in the spotlight but they were now background characters. Even Shentu Tianyin was overshadowed. 

The guests on the bride’s side, the celebrities and the businessmen, had looked down on Xia Lei. They had felt like they had higher social status than Xia Lei, and had so-called ‘blue blood’, and also thought that they brought honour to Shentu Tianyin, making the venue more high-class. However, the guests’ arrival on the groom’s side had given these people a resounding slap on their faces! 

And their so-called status, and so-called blue blood were like heaven and earth when compared to these honoured guests. 

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