An hour later, Xia Lei returned to the resort.
The banquet had already ended but a few guests had remained. Some of them were sipping tea in the teahouse while some were busy with a game of cards. The atmosphere was still as lively as ever.
Noticing Xia Lei’s return, Tang Yuyan beamed. She quickly strode forward to wrap her arms around his elbow and led him towards the teahouse.
“You’re back so soon?” Tang Yuyan attempted to pry. “Is Shentu Tianyin alright?”
Xia Lei returned a smile. “She’s fine, perfectly healthy even.”
“Perfectly healthy?” Tang Yuyan continued, “I saw this coming. Of course, I could guess what she was thinking. I’m sure she’s trying to stop us from getting together by suggesting that you marry her again, right?”
“That’s not it. She just wanted to talk to me.”
Tang Yuyan smirked wryly. “Don’t try to lie to me. You’re defending her.”
“No, I swear. She… She even gave us her blessings,” answered Xia Lei.
Tang Yuyan was shocked. Within the next second, she was beaming with glee and joy. She didn’t care about Shentu Tianyin’s blessing, she was overjoyed by Xia Lei’s response. His reply just now was essentially an agreement. Initially, she was worried that Xia Lei wouldn’t give in so easily. How could she not be excited now that her dreams were about to come true?
Entering the teahouse, the guests watched the display of Tang Yuyan and Xia Lei walking hand in hand. A round of hushed discussion soon erupted.
“It looks like the Tang girl and Xia Lei are a thing now, right?”
“Yeah, I guess so. The Tang family sure is amazing, able to have Xia Lei submit to them like that. Their future developments will be way beyond our imagination.”
“Yeah, who wouldn’t want to marry their daughters to Xia Lei now? A few days ago, a friend of mine even asked if I knew Xia Lei because he wanted to invite him to his party. My friend so happened to have a daughter suitable for marriage. I heard that she was a Harvard graduate. Too bad I’m not close to Xia Lei…”
“Jeez, I’m so envious that the Tang family got ahold of something so good.”
“Who’s not? Xia Lei is a national treasure full of potential. Anyone who marries him will enjoy the same potential for their own development.”
“Let’s not forget about the limitless wealth he’d bring. Xia Lei’s current net worth is a few billion and this is just the mere beginning.”
“Shh… Quiet down. If the Tangs hear this, they’d be very upset…”
Amidst such discussion and gossip, Tang Yuyan brought Xia Lei over to where her family was seated.
“Is Shentu Tianyin alright?” Zhang Yumei looked concerned.
Xia Lei answered, “She’s alright.”
Hearing that, Zhang Yumei smiled. “Oh dear, the whole situation really scared me earlier. I’m just glad she’s alright. You’re a busy man. Just have Tang Yuyan solve matters like that next time. There’s no need for you to attend to it yourself. Women understand women best.”
Xia Lei smiled and said nothing else.
“Lei Zi, come sit, sit.” Tang Tianlong gestured for Xia Lei to be seated then swiftly called over a waiter to make Xia Lei some tea.
Weirdly, Tang Yuyan refused to take a seat and remained standing beside Xia Lei. Her dainty features were overflowing with happiness.
Seeing her daughter in that state was pleasing to Zhang Yumei’s eye. With a smile, she said, “Silly girl, what are you standing there for? Come, take a seat.”
Tang Yuyan went straight for the handle of Xia Lei’s rattan chair. She smiled and replied, “There you go, aren’t I sitting now?” Her buttocks were mushed against Xia Lei’s elbow. She didn’t mind the gazes from the people around them.
Xia Lei was smiling too, seemingly unfazed by the action.
Xia Changhe, who was seated on the same table, chuckled. “Well, isn’t that settled? Hehe.”
Before this, he was rather worried about Xia Lei’s decision. Now that his son had seemed like he was willing to marry Tang Yuyan, Xia Changhe felt relieved.
Zhang Yumei beamed. “I just knew that Xia Lei and our Yuyan was a match made in heaven.” She turned to stare at Xia Lei affectionately. “Lei Zi, we had a little discussion with your father after you left. We’re planning to pick a good date for your banquet, what do you think about that?”
“Sure, no problem” Xia Lei continued with a grin. “I’ll go along with all your arrangements, Aunty.”
Tang Yuyan nudged Xia Lei with the tip of her elbow. She whispered harshly, “Why are you still calling her aunty? It’s about time for you to change it.”
“Uh…” Xia Lei smiled sheepishly. “Right, I should call you… Mom.”
“Oh, you’re such a good boy.” Zhang Yumei was positively over the moon. She was thrilled!
Shi Boren laughed happily. “Today is a good day, I’m so happy. Lei Zi. I didn’t have the chance to drink our hearts out together this afternoon. Tonight, we must drink more! This calls for a celebration!”
Before Xia Lei could even respond, Tang Yuyan warned, “Godfather, I’m not about to let you make him drunk.”
Shi Boren cackled. “Jeez, silly girl. You’re already siding with him before you’re even married to Lei Zi! There’s nothing wrong with a few cups of alcohol. Tonight is not even your wedding night. Even if it was your wedding night, I’d still make him drunk!”
“Godfather!” Tang Yuyan rolled her eyes at Shi Boren, face flushed like a tomato.
Shi Boren’s lewd words triggered a round of laughter. Everyone was an adult and they were soon to be a family, a joke like this was no harm.
In the middle of their conversation, Shi Boren received a call.
“Yeah… Yeah…?” Shi Boren hurriedly left his seat to travel towards the window on the far side of the room. “I’ll handle all the arrangements. Yeah, she’s alright with this…”
Those words attracted Xia Lei’s attention. The man quickly locked his vision onto Shi Boren.
“Yes, she’ll be transferred away. Well, there are ways around that. Her resume and accomplishments are way superior to Yuyan’s. Yeah, I think it’s better for her to assume a new position that is much higher than the one she’s holding now. Yeah, I’ll figure how to deal with her…” Shi Boren rambled on.
Though there wasn’t a single mention of Long Bing, Xia Lei knew what Shi Boren was talking about. Along with that, he had gotten his truth behind Long Bing’s impossible secret task too.
The soon to be retired Shi Boren was bound to pick his successor among the internal members of Bureau 101. Long Bing’s resume and performance were way above Tang Yuyan’s. In order for Tang Yuyan to take over smoothly, Bureau 101 would have to execute a clean-up and its unfortunate victim was Long Bing. With Long Bing around, it would seem unfair for Tang Yuyan to succeed Shi Boren. It would be a blatant act of injustice. Soon, there would be accusations that would undoubtedly damage the bureau’s reputation and transparency. These were situations that Shi Boren and Tang Yuyan hoped to not encounter.
The truth clenched Xia Lei’s heart painfully. In his heart, Long Bing was truly the best candidate to take after Shi Boren’s position. The woman was passionate about serving the country. She loved the country and she loved her job. Long Bing had offered countless contributions, you could even say that she exchanged her badges of honour with her life. Sadly, this was the outcome she was about to face.
But the worst thing was that Xia Lei couldn’t find a fault in Shi Boren and Tang Yuyan for doing so. Sadly, these scenarios were far too common in society. This was a battle for power.
Capabilities and fairness meant nothing here.
Originally, Xia Lei had planned to question Shi Boren at a more suitable timing but that was no longer needed anymore.
“It looks like Long Bing’s time at Bureau 101 is numbered. Even if she does manage to get the case solved, Shi Boren would still transfer her to another department. What should I do to help her? Perhaps I should talk to her and understand her opinions on this.” Xia Lei thought to himself, he was starting to feel down.
“What are you thinking about?” Tang Yuyan seemed to have noticed that something was amiss.
“No, nothing,” Xia Lei hurriedly replied.
“Here, open up. Have an apple.” Tang Yuyan stabbed a slice of apple with a toothpick and brought it to his lips.
Xia Lei took a bite off the apple, all while forcing himself to smile.
“Hehe.” Tang Yuyan was smiling so happily. “Feed me apples every day next time, alright?”
Xia Lei smiled and nodded despite his heart feeling like it was stabbed by a thousand needles. It pained him. Tang Yuyan obviously knew the truth. There was no way she would reveal it to Long Bing even if they were close friends. She was the prized daughter of the Tang family while Long Bing had no one to turn to. There was no way Long Bing could win against her. Long Bing was about to become Tang Yuyan’s sacrifice to the throne too. Tang Yuyan could smile so radiantly because she was loved and was about to enjoy success in her work. But what about Long Bing? Who was there to take her feelings into account? Who was there to comfort her through all these pain and torment?
“Oh dear, we’ve spoiled you too much.” Zhang Yumei feigned a stern expression. “Your engagement to Lei Zi means that you can be considered as his wife. You should take care of his daily needs, wash his laundry and cook for him. I don’t want to see you miss any of those chores. You must change for the better or else I’d have to hit you.”
“Ugh, got it.” Tang Yuyan pouted pitifully. “All of you are bullying me and siding him. My life soon must be awful.”
“Haha, I can tell that you’re wishing for it,” teased Tang Bochuan.
Tang Yuyan glared at her brother. “I’ll have my future children call you idiot instead of uncle.”
The Tang family laughed.
Abruptly, a bunch of people entered through the entrance of the lobby. They were all dressed in sleek dark suits and had on a red badge on their chest. The aura they radiated was intense, about twenty to thirty of them had appeared in a formation.
Each of them was voided of any expression, they looked solemn.
The leader of the formation was a middle-aged man who was in his early fifties. The man had a sharp face and an equally sharp gaze. He looked untouchable and majestic.
“Aren’t they from that organization…” There were people who recognized them but for some reason, they silenced themselves.
Their presence sent the teahouse hall from autumn straight to the depths of winter. The atmosphere was chilly and uncomfortable.
Shi Boren, Tang Tianlong and Tang Yunhai froze as they caught sight of the newcomers. Their postures were slightly tensed, starting to feel a little jittery.
“Boren, did you invite them?” After a brief moment of surprised silence, Tang Yunhai asked in a hushed tone.
Shi Boren answered, “No, I didn’t. I’m not prominent enough to invite people like them.”
“Then why are they…” Tang Tianlong stopped himself from finishing his sentence.
As the three continued to talk, the bunch seemed to have found the person they’re looking for.
Shi Boren quickly stood up and greeted them. “Officer Zhou…”
Damn, the person was someone Shi Boren had to refer to as an officer. That was an indication that the man was of a much higher position.
The middle-aged man leading the bunch halted him. “No need to greet us. We’re here for Xia Lei.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
have a nice day!