Fan Fan’s hypothesis shone a sliver of hope onto the Alloy X Project. Xia Lei wasn’t against Fan Fan researching how his brain functioned, because he wanted to unravel the secret of AE and the alloy more than anyone.
The person who was studying him was also his woman, Fan Fan. She would change the numbers if there were any problems in this process, and change the results to avoid bringing him any trouble.
However, it was only a hypothesis to begin with. It was impossible to get results within a day or two even if research was done.
On the next day, Xia Lei left all his work behind and drove to the capital. He visited an antiques shop first, and bought authentic Buddhist prayer beads for 50,000 for Tang Yunhai. He then departed for the Sheraton Hotel.
Those who practiced martial arts liked things such as prayer beads, so 50,000 yuan for prayer beads was a gift he found reasonable.
He received a call from Tang Yuyan on the way there and chatted with her for a bit. She was already waiting for him in the lobby when he arrived at the Sheraton Hotel.
She wore a navy blue cheongsam dress which outlined her nearly perfect S-shaped curves. The black, embroidered cloth high heels and black lace lent her beautiful legs an exquisite sexiness. Tang Yuyan’s sex appeal oozed with a dignified, classic aesthetic which stood out from the crowd. However, under her classic beauty, class and sexiness hid the heart of a vixen.
Tang Yuyan walked up to him welcome, bringing the enchanting smell of her perfume with her. She wore a sweet smile on her beautiful face. “Why did you need to buy a gift for the birthday celebration? You could have just come empty-handed.”
Xia Lei laughed. “If I came empty-handed for Grandfather Tang’s 70th birthday, then I’d be anything but sensible.”
Tang Yuyan took the embroidered box containing the Buddhist prayer beads, and opened it. Her smile grew even sweeter. “My, my. How beautiful. Grandfather will certainly have the wildest of thoughts when he discovers that you bought him prayer beads worth 50,000.”
“Wild thoughts?” Xia Lei was confused. “Why?”
Tang Yuyan held onto Xia Lei’s arm. “He’d definitely think that you’re trying to steal his precious granddaughter.”
Xia Lei was speechless.
People needed to steal THIS thing? He was fine as long she didn’t come to steal him.
He and Shentu Tianyin were divorced. Given their social standing, and benefits to his career, it would be best if he and Tang Yuyan were married. Tang Yuyan seemed to think so, as well as the Tang Family. But his heart had already been walled off, and hidden deep inside. A woman would need to break through the many layers around his heart to be married to him, and that would be a fairly difficult thing to do.
And these walls were not something Xia Lei could sense himself.
Tang Yuyan bought Xia Lei to the hotel’s teahouse before the banquet began. The entire facility was reserved, and customers in the teahouse were the people who had come to celebrate Tang Yunhai’s birthday. They were prominent in government and business; none of them were ordinary people.
Xia Lei exchanged greetings with familiar faces from the Equipment Department, and exchanged a few pleasantries. Tang Tianlong was naturally amongst them and he couldn’t help but smile when he saw his daughter holding intimately onto Xia Lei’s arm like they were a couple.
It was a normal reaction to have. No matter his career or his qualities, Xia Lei could conquer nearly any girl’s parents in the world with his current profile.
“Yuyan, bring Lei to see the old man. He shouted about seeing Lei last night. It’s getting annoying,” said Tang Tianlong with a smile.
He had obviously wanted Xia Lei to know how much the Tang Sect’s patriarch liked him.
Xia Lei simply smiled and followed Tang Yuyan to a private room.
Just then, the buzz of pleasantries being exchanged came from the doorway. Xia Lei looked back to see Ling Han, who had just entered the teahouse, and some people from the military. Those people from the military were familiar too. They had given him some measure of help back when he had had a fight with Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun.
Xia Lei then saw Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun.
Xia Lei was struck by a thought. “What are these two doing here?”
What he was actually more concerned about was that Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun had come together with Ling Han to Tang Yunhai’s celebration. Ling Han had stood by his side and given him great help back when he had fought with Mu Jianfeng and Ye Kun, but the three were together now. What kind of situation was this?
Ling Han looked over as well, and flashed a smile at Xia Lei when their eyes met.
Xia Lei smiled too, and greeted him from afar. “Brother Ling, I’m going to see Old Master Tang now. I’ll chat with you when I come back.”
Ling Han smiled. “Of course, of course.”
The smile had disappeared from Xia Lei’s face when he turned around.
Tang Yuyan nudged Xia Lei in the waist with her elbow. “I heard that something went wrong with your loan. Is that true?” she whispered.
Xia Lei paused. “How did you know?”
“When I passed by my father’s study last night, he was taking a call and I overheard a little,” explained Tang Yuyan.
Xia Lei furrowed his brow, not because she found out, but because of the time she did. Tang Yuyan had actually learned that there was a problem with Thunder Horse Group’s loans before he did.
“What did your father say?”
Tang Yuyan was a little nervous. “Don’t misunderstand. This has nothing to do with my father. He’s part of the Equipment Department, but his position isn’t as high as you think it is.”
Xia Lei smiled. “What did I misunderstand? I was just asking, but it’s fine if you’d rather not say.”
Tang Yuyan suddenly reached out and pinched the flesh on Xia Lei’s waist. She also playfully rolled her eyes. “Why would I mention it if I didn’t want to tell you? I only heard him speaking, so I don’t know who called. But based on the content of their conversation, I suppose someone is deliberately trying to give you a tough time by getting the loan refused.”
“I don’t know. My father was pleading on your behalf, but it was no use,” said Tang Yuyan.
Xia Lei was in a terrible mood.
Tang Yunhai’s voice came from the private room. “What are the two of you muttering about out there? Come inside.”
Tang Yuyan then led Xia Lei into the private room.
Inside, Tang Yunhai sat drinking tea at the table by the window. Tang Yuyan’s mother, Zhang Yumei, was making Gongfu tea for Tang Yunhai. She smiled when she saw Xia Lei come in and said, “Lei, have a seat. Come sample my tea-brewing skills.”
Xia Lei politely replied, “Thank you, Auntie.”
“Kid, you haven't come to see me in quite some time. Are the doorsteps to my household that high?” Tang Yunhai glared at Xia Lei. He had an angry look on his face but his eyes betrayed a fondness for him.
Xia Lei laughed and said, “I wanted to see you a long time ago but I have been very busy with work, Old Master Tang. Ah, right. I brought these Buddhist prayer beads for you, but I’m not sure if you’d like them.”
Tang Yuyan delivered the embroidered box containing the beads to her grandfather, as she said, “Grandfather, I took a peek and these prayer beads are simply beautiful. The tiger stripe patterns on the beads match, and their sheen is good. You can tell that this is a high-quality antique at first glance.”
“What would you know? Step aside.” Tang Yunhai glared at Tang Yuyan. “A woman is born to leave her family. You’re helping to speak up for this youngster now?”
“Grandfather!” Tang Yuyan acted petulant.
Tang Yunhai picked up the prayer beads, and put them on his wrist after counting them. In that instant, he suddenly stood up and launched a punch at Xia Lei’s chest.
Xia Lei’s reaction was almost instantaneous, and there was no hesitation at all. The moment Tang Yunhai made his punch, Xia Lei moved too, and stepped into the inside of Tang Yunhai’s arm, then knocked the outer side of his wrist against Tang Yunhai’s wrist. It was the Wing Chun Broken Bridge, a simple move. Used well, however, and even the head of the Tang Sect would not be able to think of defeating him.
Bang, bang, bang…
The two exchanged punches and kicks. The dull thuds echoed throughout the tea room.
Both fighters were swift, but had only a few steps’ worth of space to move. Their battle was a sight to behold.
After only a minute of fighting, Tang Yunhai retreated and ended the fight. He laughed. “You’re good! Stronger than before. Wing Chun is powerful, as expected.”
“I’d lose to you if we’d kept fighting, Old Master Tang,” said Xia Lei.
Tang Yunhai glared at Xia Lei. “Stop trying to butter me up, Kid. How can the fist of the old vie with the fist of the young? I’m old. I can’t win against you. I’d believe you if you said so when I was 30 years younger, but I’m already 70. I get flustered and gasp for breath just by moving. How am I a worthy opponent for you? If we kept going, I’d be hooked up to an oxygen mask at the hospital afterwards.”
Zhang Yumei had a worried look on her face. “Whenever the two of meet, you fight. If you lived together in the future, wouldn’t you tear the house apart? Honestly...”
“Hehehe…” Tang Yunhai just laughed.
Tang Yuyan glanced at Xia Lei out of the corner of her eye.
Zhang Yumei’s words were obviously hinting at something. There was no way Xia Lei wouldn’t have picked it up by now. The three people from the Tang Sect were all planning the same thing. He couldn’t help but wonder — Was he at a banquet or a blind date?
The Tang Sect was renowned for hundreds of years, with an extensive history and accompanying prestige. A hint like this was the most they would do, no matter how much the Tang Family liked Xia Lei. They wouldn’t forcibly shove Tang Yuyan onto Xia Lei’s bed.
Just then, Tang Tianlong walked in and said, “Lei, someone wants to see you. Follow me.”
Xia Lei casually asked, “Who wants to see me?”
Tang Tianlong’s expression was a little odd. “My boss, Yu Shanhe.”
It was the first time Xia Lei heard the name, but he could easily guess Yu Shanhe’s identity. Tang Tianlong called him ‘boss’, and this was a very obvious introduction. He figured that this Yu Shanhe was most likely the one whom Tang Yuyan had heard Tang Tianlong talking on the phone with.
Tang Tianlong sighed softly for some reason.
‘Could Old Master Tang have known about this already? Is this why he’s sighing? Funny how I’m the last one to find out,’ thought Xia Lei.
“Do you want me to go with you?” asked Tang Yuyan.
Xia Lei put away his thoughts and smiled. “There’s no need. I’ll go with you, Uncle Tang.”
Shortly after Tang Tianlong left with Xia Lei, Tang Yuyan decided to ask, “Grandfather, why don’t you speak on Lei’s behalf? If you made an appearance, those people would at least have to act respectfully.“
“You really want to marry that youngster?” asked Tang Yunhai.
“Grandfather! I’m talking to you about a serious matter!” Tang Yuyan was embarrassed and angry.
“I know it’s a serious matter.” Tang Yunhai sighed. “But I’ve already retired. Who would take a retired old man seriously? What Xia Lei has is too tempting to begin with. Everyone wants a bite. He built it all up from nothing, all by himself and with much hardship. He’s just one man, after all. If he’s smart, he’d become part of the Tang Sect so it wouldn’t be just him against everyone else.”
Tang Yuyan rolled her eyes at her grandfather. “You’re wasting your breath. He needs time after his divorce with Shentu Tianyin.”
“I know what you want to say, but you need to know that the Tang Sect is the Tang Sect. We can’t break the rules that we’ve had for hundreds of years. We have our own reputation to protect. For all these hundreds of years, when had a woman of the Tang Sect had to take the initiative with a man?”
Tang Yuyan’s head drooped.Previous Chapter Next Chapter