Someone Beat His Face
When Fu Chuan-Fu said he was the butler of the Shentu clan, Xia Lei guessed right away that the equipment on the cargo bed was from Shentu Tian-Yin. He was ordering equipment on Alibaba but the ones Shentu Tian-Yin had sent were the latest CNC lathes which cost a fair amount – equipment that Thunder Horse Workshop needed very much. If he accepted the equipment from Shentu Tian-Yin, he could still cancel the order and get his money back, then use it on other things, like buying a better car. However, he decided on something different.
“Thank you, Mr Fu. Please convey my thanks to Miss Shentu but I cannot accept these things. Please take them back,” said Xia Lei.
“May I ask why?” Fu Chuan-Fu looked at Xia Lei in bafflement. He had not expected Xia Lei to refuse.
“There’s no particular reason,” said Xia Lei.
Men should have manly integrity – he’ll not accept this donation-like offer!
“Ah, I recall now. You said that if our lady would like to repay you, she should donate a million to any old folks’ home or orphanage. Don’t worry, we have already done that.” Fu Chuan-Fu smiled, then produced a receipt and handed it to Xia Lei. “This is the receipt for the donation of a million yuan in your name.”
Xia Lei held the receipt in his hands and his name, ‘Xia Lei’ was written as benefactor. He felt at a loss.
“Our lady has honoured her promise. The equipment on the lorry is just a token of our lady’s appreciation. Please accept it, Mr Xia.” Fu Chuan-Fu was very sincere.
Xia Lei shook his head still, “I’ll accept this donation receipt as a souvenir. You should take back the equipment on the lorry. I won’t accept.”
“Mr Xia, you…” Fu Chuan-Fu looked troubled but he was not one bit upset.
Ren Wen-Qiang sneered, “Senior Fu, these sort of people are natural-born miserable wretches. He refuses good meat when you offer it to him and prefers to scavenge in rubbish heaps. Just forget it.”
Fu Chuan-Fu suddenly lifted his head and fixed Ren Wen-Qiang with a glare, “What is this blabbing, you? How dare you speak to Mr Xia like that!”
“I…” Ren Wen-Qiang was hit with the realisation that he had made a blunder. He could not understand it – he was obviously helping Fu Chuan-Fu speak out but he suddenly flared up at him without sparing him any dignity!
Xia Lei laughed then, “Mr Fu, you heard it. I’m just a rubbish heap scavenger, a beggar. How can I accept the expensive gifts of a noble lady like Miss Shentu? It’s better if you take them back.”
“Please do not be mistaken, Mr Xia. Our lady would never look down on anyone. She has no intention whatsoever of disrespect towards you.”
Xia Lei shrugged, “Mr Fu, there’s no need to say more. I’ve made it clear – I do not want the things on the lorry. Please take them back.”
Fu Chuan-Fu looked at Ren Wen-Qiang again, “What are you standing there for? Apologise to Mr Xia, now!”
“I…” Ren Wen-Qiang couldn’t say it. His face turned green, then red, and he was extremely humiliated. He had just described Xia Lei as a beggar digging through rubbish heaps and was now being reprimanded for it – he had to apologise to the beggar!
Xia Lei was still thinking of how to refuse the equipment Shentu Tian-Yin had sent when Ma Xiao-An intercepted, “Dear sir, this guy here lacks proper teaching and was being very arrogant. If you make him apologise to us, we will accept the equipment outside.”
Xia Lei was going to stop Ma Xiao-An but Ma Xiao-An’s mouth was quick and his words were thrown out in a flash.
Fu Chuan-Fu seemed to see an opportunity for an exchange. He said to Ren Wen-Qiang, “ Wen-Qiang, you heard. Apologise to Mr Xia, now!”
Ren Wen-Qiang flushed red. He opened his mouth but no words came out for quite a while.
Ma Xiao-An added fuel to the flames, “I think some people think they are number one under the sky and didn’t expect to have to do something so terrifying. Hahaha! Interesting, interesting.”
“You-” Ren Wen-Qiang glared at Ma Xiao-An. If Fu Chuan-Fu were not around, he would have sent a kick his way.
“You wanna fight? Come on!” Ma Xiao-An tried to stir up trouble deliberately.
“Stop it, Xiao-An,” said Xia Lei.
Ma Xiao-An quieted down. He wouldn’t listen to others but he did listen to Xia Lei.
Fu Chuan-Fu’s face was getting stormier, “Ren Wen-Qiang. Do you want me to go back and tell the lady that Mr Xia refused her gift because of you?”
When he heard that, Ren Wen-Qiang turned white as a sheet. He looked at Xia Lei and though he was extremely unwilling, he could only bow his head and say formally, “Mr Xia, I apologise. I was wrong earlier and I beg your forgiveness.”
Xia Lei spoke indifferently, “You’ll have to learn some manners in the future. It’s one of the basic ways of being human.”
Ren Wen-Qiang gritted his teeth and spoke bitterly, “Understood.”
“What about me?” said Ma Xiao-An, “He hasn’t apologised to me.”
Ren Wen-Qiang’s eyes were so icy they could kill.
“Ren Wen-Qiang, quick!” said Fu Chuan-Fu.
Ren Wen-Qiang faced Ma Xiao-An and spoke coldly, “Sorry!”
“Hahaha!” Ma Xiao-An laughed happily.
Ren Wen-Qiang then faced Zhou Xiao-Hong and said, “Miss, I’m sorry about earlier. I apologise. Please forgive me.”
Zhou Xiao-Hong hurriedly said, “No, no, it’s fine… No need to say that you’re sorry.”
Fu Chuan-Fu spoke, “Is this satisfactory, Mr Xia? I’ll ask the crane driver to unload the goods now.”
“Mr Fu, I really don’t…”
Fu Chuan-Fu cut him off mid-sentence, “I have done what you have requested. Our lady does not like one who cannot carry out his duties. Would you have me return to our lady with my task incomplete?”
“This…” Xia Lei was at a loss.
Fu Chuan-Fu walked out the door and said loudly to the crane driver, “Unload!” He was afraid that Xia Lei would find some further excuse to refuse. If that happened, he really would have to return to Shentu Tian-Yin with his task incomplete.
The crane moved the equipment from the lorry bed and the whole process took just a few minutes. The unloaded pieces of equipment were placed on the empty ground in front of Thunder Horse Workshop. They were brand new, and the latest equipment; the total value was almost a million yuan.
Xia Lei did not bear to spend his money on these brand new equipment when he was browsing Alibaba but Shentu Tian-Yin had delivered them to him just like that. A million yuan was a huge sum to Xia Lei and fairly important but to a person like Shentu Tian-Yin, a million yuan probably meant a watch, or tailor-made clothes, or just some easily-spent pocket-change. Xia Lei helped her avoid an assassination attempt, so she gifted him a few pieces of equipment – it was a matter of course.
“That is it, Mr Xia. Goodbye.” Fu Chuan-Fu said his parting words and did not waste a second more in reporting back to his lady. Other than making Ren Wen-Qiang apologise to the three of them, Fu Chuan-Fu had not spoken to him, up until he left.
Fu Chuan-Fu was the butler of Shentu clan and had served three generations of Shentu family heads. He had long become a member of the household and Ren Wen-Qiang was nothing in his eyes. There was no need to greet him.
“Ning Jing, are you still staying here?” The warm look was gone from Ren Wen-Qiang’s face. His dignity had been used to wipe the floors and he could only get some back if he managed to take Ning Jing away.
“I…” Ning Jing spoke, then hesitated. She looked at Xia Lei out of the corner of her eyes, as if looking for him to ask her to stay.
Xia Lei did not ask her to stay but he said, “Big Sister Ning, if you want to stay, nobody can make you leave forcefully.”
This line was for Ren Wen-Qiang’s ears.
If the earlier incident had not happened, Ren Wen-Qiang would not have been bothered by words like these but it was different now. He dared not offend Xia Lei before he could be sure of what sort of relationship Xia Lei had with Shentu Tian-Yin. However, he had a way to force Ning Jing into a corner. He took out his mobile phone and said, “Ning Jing, I’ll call Uncle right now and let him counsel you.”
“I, Isn’t it enough if I go with you?” Tears dripped from Ning Jing’s eyes.
A faint smile appeared on Ren Wen-Qiang’s lips. He reached out a hand to pull Ning Jing’s hand but she avoided his grasp and went out the door in a huff.
Ren Wen-Qiang smiled, “Bye, you three.”
Ma Xiao-An spat, “I’ve never seen anyone with skin as thick as yours.”
Ren Wen-Qiang pretended not to hear. He turned and walked out of Thunder Horse Workshop.
With Fu Chuan-Fu, Ning Jing and Ren Wen-Qiang gone, the workshop was quiet. Xia Lei looked blankly at the equipment in the doorway. Ma Xiao-An and Zhou Xiao-Hong looked blankly at Xia Lei, their gazes looking as though it was their first time seeing Xia Lei.
After a long bout of staring blankly, Xia Lei muttered to himself, “So overbearing. Who forcefully gives gifts like this?”
“Bro, if you don’t want it you can give it to me,” Ma Xiao-An added, “I’ll sell these and get myself a wife.”
Xia Lei came back to his senses then. He laughed, “Get out of here. If you hadn’t intercepted, I would have rejected the equipment. It was all because you spoke up that I accepted the equipment.”
Ma Xiao-An looked gloomy, “Lei, what’s going on? When did you get to know a woman from the Shentu clan? How come I didn’t know about it? What happened between you that she would send such an extravagant gift? What confounds me even more is that you didn’t even want it. How are you such a fool?”
Zhou Xiao-Hong also added, “Yeah, Big Brother Lei, why didn’t you want it? Don’t we need such equipment?”
Xia Lei smiled wryly and shook his head but had no explanation. There were some things which could not be explained because he could not tell Ma Xiao-An and Zhou Xiao-Hong how he had seen the assassin place the bomb. He could not tell them either that he had decided not to accept the gifts so that he would not be taken lightly by a woman such as Shentu Tian-Yin. The second reason was, in the eyes of regular people, foolish.
“Come on, say it. What’s going on?” Ma Xiao-An pushed. He was very curious.
“It’s nothing. I’ll tell you guys another time. Let’s first bring these pieces of equipment in and set them up,” said Xia Lei.
“I can guess even if you don’t say it. That Shentu woman borrowed some seeds from you, didn’t she?” said Ma Xiao-An in dissatisfaction.
Xia Lei kicked him. “Borrowed, my foot! Get to work!”
“Yeah, yeah. Work.” Ma Xiao-An walked outside, grumbling to himself.
Zhou Xiao-Hong followed him out, her apple-face blushing. She talked to herself as she walked, “Big Brother Lei’s seeds are so expensive. City women are willing to spend so much…”
Xia Lei was speechless.