Flickering candlelight, wine as red as cherries, and Adele’s new song “Hello” — all romantic things. However, these romantic things did not tinge the atmosphere here with romance or warmth. Adele’s husky voice affected the man and woman sitting face to face with each other, and a faint sadness spread between the two.
“Gu Kewen called me.” Xia Lei broke the silence between them.
“What did she say?” Shentu Tianyin reacted calmly, as if she had already expected Gu Kewen to contact Xia Lei.
“She said she will spit out the Vientiane Group shares she ate as long as I satisfy her conditions. She probably has some pieces of evidence in her hands too. She won’t hand them over.”
“What was your answer?”
Xia Lei sighed. “I told her I need some time to consider this. The deadline she gave was tomorrow morning, before 0930 hrs.”
“The same time when she captured me.” A strange smile appeared in the corners of Shentu Tian Yin’s lips. “She really knows how to pick the time. She must be thinking about what it would look like when I get taken away by the police. She must be happy.”
“Tianyin, don’t be like this.”
Shentu Tianyin shook his head. “No, I know her very well. She can threaten you with me once, so she can threaten you twice... Unless you kill her.”
“She will die. I won’t give her another chance to hurt you.”
“Let’s have a drink.” Shentu Tian Yin raised her wine glass and looked meaningfully at Xia Lei.
Xia Lei raised his wine glass and touched it to hers. He drank the red wine in the glass.
“Tianyin, why don’t you ask me what deal Gu Kewen wanted to make with me?” asked Xia.
“I’ve never asked you about your matters. I don’t want to know what deal she made with you, but I am certain that she won’t be getting anything this time. I don’t know what benefits she promised to the large buyers of Vientiane Group stocks, but none of them can escape this time. Do they think that these were all there was of the Vientiane Group stocks? They’re far from the truth. They will be left high and dry, and beg me to take the stocks from their hands.”
“Tianyin, you...” Xia Lei suddenly felt like the woman he was most familiar with had transformed into another woman. The confidence she exuded, and her icy-cold gaze made him shiver.
A faint sneer appeared on Shentu Tianyin’s lips. “Are you baffled by my confidence? Your company is not listed on the market so it’s normal for you to not pay attention to the stock market. The stock market has been falling since the end of last year, falling from 5,000 points to around 2,000 points. How many companies do you think were spared? This is a stock market crash, I tell you. No one can be spared. Do you know how much Vientiane Group’s market value had shrunk by while you were in Germany? A quarter. By a whole quarter! Problems with Vientiane Group’s liquidity had cropped up during that time.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
Shentu Tianyin laughed bitterly. “What’s the use in telling you? You have only over one billion in cash in your account. It won’t even make a splash if I threw that money in. It’ll be a waste to throw it in too.”
This was a huge thing, but she didn’t even tell him about it. Xia Lei felt like his heart had been pricked by a needle, and it stung.
“But a month ago, I discovered a lot of people had been going against the stock market and buying up Vientiane Group stocks. It was done secretively, but I still found out. I found that they had huge appetites. They frequently invested tens of millions to over a hundred million in capital during that period of time. However, no warning flags were triggered because the large accounts were all scattered. I knew then that someone was targeting me.”
“So you knew already?” Xia Lei’s shock couldn’t be described with words anymore.
Shentu Tianyin nodded lightly. “Yes. I already knew about it when you were still in Germany.”
“Then why… Why did you sell the stocks you had?”
“Why wouldn’t I sell it? With a stock market crash looming, no stock will be spared. Of course I’ll sell when someone is scrambling to buy, and at a pretty penny too. If I didn’t sell it then, how would I have so much capital to build warehouses now?”
Xia Lei stared at Shentu Tianyin, dumbstruck.
“I consistently released good news on top of selling the stock during that period of time. The news included things like Thunder Horse Group and Vientiane Group merging into one company in the future, and Thunder Horse Group and Vientiane Group looking to cooperate on a national-level project, and so on. During that period, our stock prices were going against the stock market and rising. I released favourable news while letting go of the stock I held. I had others verify that the news was fake afterwards, and the market prices returned to normal. Vientiane Group stocks dropped with the stock index.”
“Aren’t you afraid of Gu Kewen or her agents getting control of Vientiane Group?”
Disdain crept into Shentu Tianyin’s voice, “Her? She is only worthy of being my assistant. She wants to fight me? Do you think she would be my opponent? The flourishing Gu Family couldn’t do anything about me when Gu Dingshan and Gu Kewu were still around, much less a stray dog like Gu Kewen.”
A horror grew in Xia Lei. He felt like he didn’t recognise Shentu Tianyin anymore — maybe he’d never truly known her at all.
“I will be arrested tomorrow. The value of Vientiane Group stocks will fall more sharply then. It will be like the plague; no one would want to touch it. My guess is the limit down for the stock prices will drop by at least five points. When that happens I will announce a suspension in listing, and release news of the capital increase and share expansion. Would the dogs following Gu Kewen’s heels still be able to sit still then? They have the money to buy my stocks, but I have the power to turn the stocks in their hands into garbage. The final result would be them begging me to buy the stocks back. All I need to do is to offer them the sweet scent of victory. I’m estimating that I’ll be able to take control of 70% of Vientaine Group’s stocks when this fight is over. When all this is over, I will regroup and strike. I will strike hard, and I will revive the stock price of Vientaine Group. There shall be a victor in this battle, and that victor shall be me.” Tears shone in Shentu Tianyin’s eyes as she spoke, and Xia Lei did not know if it was from happiness, or sadness. There was a little tremble in her voice too.
“You planned everything out already, yet here I am, still worrying for you, and trying to plead on your behalf. You fooled not just your opponents, but me too. I am your husband, Tianyin.” Xia Lei’s heart was breaking.
“Hubby, I’m sorry…” Tears rushed from Shentu Tianyin’s eyes.
“Why?” Xia Lei wanted to cry too, but he fought to hold it in, and won.
Shentu Tianyin choked with sobs. “Vientiane Group is my life. I can’t lose it. I can’t just watch as all of the effort my father and I put into it collapse due to this market crash. I am willing to do anything for it.”
This was the real Shentu Tianyin. She was Vientiane Group’s queen and Vientiane Group was her kingdom. She ruled every part of this kingdom, and fought for it. She would sacrifice everything for Vientaine Group, including her marriage!
Xia Lei laughed bitterly. “Please forgive my stupidity. You planned everything out, and it has been going smoothly so far but how are you going to face the special investigation team? You said all that, but I didn’t hear you mention anything about the lawsuit the prosecutor’s office has against you.”
“I won’t go to prison.”
“I’ve made it clear to you. I tried my best, but the higher-ups want you to hand over the state-owned assets you took, plus double the fine and a five-year prison term. Are you still not going to admit defeat?”
“I won’t go to prison.” She was firm.
Xia Lei abruptly blanked out. He instantly realised something, and understood. “You…”
“Yes, I transferred those assets to Thunder Horse Group’s name while you were in Germany. That’s why I won’t be going to jail,” said Shentu Tianyin.
Xia Lei stared at her in silence, unmoving.
A minute later.
“Hahaha…” Xia Lei seemed to have been struck in a laughing acupressure point, and he guffawed.
Shentu Tianyin watched Xia Lei as he laughed, tears falling unchecked from her eyes. She had won the war, but lost her love.
Xia Lei laughed so hard that tears spilled from his eyes. “You. Heh, heh… Heh heh heh… Tell me, how did you... heh, heh, heh... How did you do it?”
Shentu Tianyin could not stop her tears. “You’re a genius, but a genius with machinery only. You might be an outstanding warrior but you are definitely not an outstanding businessman. A girl named Guan Lingshan is in charge of your base of operations in Haizhu. A person named Zhou Xiaohong is in charge of your base of operations in Sichuan. The former is a bit better — she’s a university graduate, at least. The latter is just a middle school graduate. What does she know? And you have another person named Qin Xiang, in charge of your base of operations in Jingdu. He was a hairstylist. Tell me — with these three supervisors you appointed... What was off the table for me?”
“How can the three of them be your match when even Gu Kewen was dancing in the palm of your hand? Plus, you’re my wife. The three of them wouldn’t even think of being on guard around you.”
“That’s right. You wouldn’t have known either if I didn’t tell you.”
“Then why did you choose to tell me this, at this time? You can just use me to reach a more advantageous agreement between yourself and Gu Kewen.” Xia Lei’s heart hurt with every word he spoke.
“No! I won’t let anyone hurt you! I love you. Don’t you understand? I don’t want to leave you!”
“You think you didn’t hurt me with all the things you’ve done?”
“What can those higher-ups do to you when I’ve transferred the assets to be under your name? Will they sentence you to death by shooting? Will they arrest and imprison you? They won’t. Your value, Thunder Horse Military Factory’s value to them — the only punishment you will face is criticism, probably. Me? I would have to give hundreds of millions in fines, go to prison, and lose Vientiane Group. They’re killing me. Can you bear to see me die?” Shentu Tianyin was losing it.
Xia Lei was silent for a while before he said, “Don’t say that you love me anymore. I now know that what you love is not me, but my capabilities and my ability to protect you. Am I right?”
Shentu Tianyin’s tears flowed faster. “How can you say that about me? What do you want me to do? Dig my heart out for you?”
Xia Lei laughed bitterly. “Enough. You must have some long-prepared document for me to sign, huh? Bring it out. We are a married couple, so I won’t just watch as you lose everything, much less see you die. I will help you for the last time. Bring it all out. I will sign, and we will go our separate ways.”
The glass slipped from Shentu Tianyin’s hand, and smashed into pieces on the floor. She looked at Xia Lei in shock. She stared blankly for a while before she said in a trembling voice, “You… You… You want to divorce me?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter