When a man is trying to win a woman’s heart, he has to be bold, sensitive, yet thick-skinned. Most important of all, he needs to know his place. Although everyone knows the principles and theory, there are few who can achieve this. Some people are naturally gifted, while others have to work very hard. Yet there are some who don’t even have the guts to try.
However, these principles did not apply to a woman like Lin Su. What she needed was someone who could share and understand her thoughts and emotions. Those principles were secondary. In this light, Qing Sheng already had an edge over her other suitors. What was required after this would be for him to keep in contact with her frequently. A successful and independent woman would not like to be pestered all the time.
Therefore, Lin Su immediately knew what Qin Sheng was getting at when he sent her a stalk of white rose once he returned to Shanghai.
Qin Sheng spent his entire morning reading. As the ancient Chinese saying goes that one could find riches and beauty in books. Books could be the easiest way to help us make wise choices in life. However, most people had neglected this easiest solution but choose to tread the more difficult path.
It was only when noon approached that Qin Sheng put away his book “The Political Resurgence Between Two Dynasties”. There were in fact, four volumes to this book. Qin Sheng was only reading the first volume, which talked about the events surrounding the two emperors of the Song Dynasty. The events, great and small, were recorded chronologically and made for material for research on the early history of the song dynasty.
Apart from professional topics, books talking about philosophy, history, and sociology were of most importance to him because he could learn a lot from them. However, these genres were usually not very well received by most people. They were mostly loved by the very successful in society.
By the time he took the public bus to Baoli Square, it was just past noontime. Qin Sheng gave Lin Su a call to tell her that he would wait for her downstairs and Lin Su replied by saying she would come down in a while after she settled some businesses.
The weather in Shanghai today was just so-so. In fact, the forecast had said that it would rain and snow a little. Qin Sheng had brought along an umbrella just in case, and as expected, it started to drizzle and snow a little. Coupled with the North-west wind, Qin Sheng wanted to cry out that it was very cold. Winter here was much colder than that in Xi’an. It was no wonder that there were only a handful of people who were out on the Baoli Square. The only people who were not deterred by the harsh weather were the deliveryman for takeaways. They indeed had a tough life.
While Qin Sheng was deep in thought, thinking to bring Xin Xin out shopping for more thick clothes and makeup sets, a voice called out his name, “Qin Sheng.” He was still thinking about how every girl wants to look pretty, but he knew Xin Xin would not bear to spend money on herself. Qin Sheng was stingy on himself, but he was most willing to spend on this sister whom he doted upon.
Qin Sheng woke from his deep thoughts when he heard Lin Su’s voice. He spotted Lin Su walking towards him without even carrying an umbrella. The cold wind blowing on her was making her hair dance in the air. Even the coat and scarf she was wearing were not sufficient to keep out the cold, so Qin Sheng hurried over to her.
“Why did you come out without carrying an umbrella?” Qin Sheng chided.
Lin Su casually bundles up her hair and said, “I didn’t expect it to rain today, given that it’s so cold outside. Sorry if I’ve made you wait!”
“Don’t worry, we are old friends,” said Qin Sheng, not bothered at all, just like the majority of men.
“Then are you targeting to pursue this old friend?” Lin Su teased.
Qin Sheng burst out laughing out of embarrassment and said, “This is called taking advantage of my position to get close to you.”
“Enough, you haven’t changed a bit, still so full of your nonsense theory. Let’s go, I’m famished. You still owe me the hotpot meal, so don’t try to drag time,” Lin Su said coyly, pulling her coat tighter around her.
Given that the two of them were sharing one umbrella, the proximity had resulted in some body contact. Qin Sheng tried to make sure that the umbrella was mostly sheltering Lin Su. This looked especially romantic in the cold winter of Shanghai. Qin Sheng had always admired the scene in movies when a couple walked together in the rain sharing one umbrella.
Unfortunately, they were soon stopped by a man who was calling out, “Lin Su!”
Lin Su lifted her said and saw who it was. She did not expect him to come back here. All of a sudden, the atmosphere felt awkward and tense. Lin Su’s eyebrows locked as she said, “Chao Song, how are you here?”
“Why didn’t you pick up my call?” said Yan Chao Song, looking displeased, especially when he saw Qin Sheng with her. He made a quick assessment of Qin Sheng, and then totally ignored him. To Yan Chao Song, none of Lin Su’s suitors could compete with him. To ignore them was the greatest humiliation he could give to them.
Lin Su was in a lousy mood precisely because of her relationship with Yan Chaosong. When her grandmother came to Shanghai a few days ago, the purpose of the trip was to discuss her marriage into the Yan family. The fact that her grandmother had personally come to talk to her had made her feel exceptionally pressurized. However, Lin Su was forthcoming with her grandmother and had expressed that she had no special feelings for Yan Chaosong other than treating him as a friend. Her grandmother tried to persuade her by saying that such emotions could be nurtured over time. “Grandfather and I, your parents, we all went through the same thing, and our relationship turned out to be great.”
The eventual outcome was that her grandmother took a step back. She said that if Lin Su managed to find someone better, whom the Lin family was also agreeable to, then they could forget about the marriage engagement with Yan Chaosong. Grandmother said she would then have a word with Old Master Yan, who was a reasonable man who did not really care much about these things concerning his grandson.
The problem now, however, was that while Lin Su did not have any interest and feelings towards Yan Chaosong, Yan Chaosong were very fond of her. In fact, he was starting to treat her as his wife. For this reason, most of Lin Su’s suitor had begun to keep their distance, except a few ignorant ones, who also left her alone once they found out about Yan Chaosong.
With a straight face and a calm voice, Lin Su said, “I was busy and it wasn’t convenient for me to answer your call.”
“This is what you’re busy about?” asked Yan Chaosong, fixing his eyes on Qin Sheng as he continued with a cold voice, “I think you’re trying to avoid me.”
“This is my personal affair and it has nothing to do with you, Yan Chaosong. You’re not my guardian, at least for now. Do I have to report everything I do to you?” responded Lin Su, sounding frustrated. She was already in a bad mood, and Yan Chaosong remained unawares.
Suddenly, Yan Chaosong came to the realization that he had said something wrong and quickly said, “That wasn’t what I mean.”
Qin Sheng pulled a straight face while he sized Yan Chaosong up. His name sounded familiar, but Qin Sheng also realized that this man was not someone he could match up. Qin Sheng also spotted a Bently parked nearby and assumed it belonged to Yan Chaosong because the two men standing by the car were staring at them.
“I’m busy with some other matters. You can contact me again later,” Lin Su said, as she purposely put her arm around Qin Sheng’s arm and walked away, not wanting to be further entangled in a conversation with Yan Chaosong.
Qin Sheng felt helpless in this matter. He quietly said to himself that he was getting into trouble. This Yan Chaosong would definitely treat him as his archenemy from now on. Lin Su had definitely got him in trouble this time.
Immediately there was malice in Yan Chaosong’s eyes. He glared at both of them as they walked off. It appeared to him that Qin Su and this strange man were acting like a couple, with intimate gestures. When had Master Yan ever become a backdrop? There was no such thing as a woman’s heart that Master Yan was unable to conquer.
Yan Chaosong returned to his car, squinting, as he said to his chauffeur, “Xiong Wei, check on this man’s background. I want to know who is this guy who dared to snatch Yan Chaosong’s woman from me!”
At the usual place where they flagged for a taxi, Qin Sheng managed to flag down one and once they went into the taxi, they headed towards the crossing between Middle Huaihai Road and Xizang South Road. Lin Su kept very quiet during the trip as she looked out of the window into Pudong in a daze.
“Sigh, looks like I’m in trouble,” Qin Sheng said with a sigh. He had to say something to lighten the tense atmosphere.
Without turning around to look at Qin Sheng, Lin Su replied saying, “I thought you are planning to pursue me. In that case, it’s a matter of time that you meet him. Just that we have bumped into him earlier than expected.”
“Is he the number one guardian to you?” asked Qin Sheng.
Slowly, Lin Su explained to him saying, “My grandmother came to Shanghai to look for me a few days ago. The purpose of the visit was also to discuss my marriage engagement with his grandfather. What do you think?”
Just as Lin Su had mentioned that if Qin Sheng was serious about coming after her, he would have to deal with Yan Chaosong. Any man would be dwarfed when compared to Yan Chaosong, even those rich, handsome, talented young man would pale in comparison with him. Moreover, everyone working in Shanghai would know how influential the Yan family was. Not many could withstand that power.
Now that Qin Sheng had seen Yan Chaosong and he more or less got the idea. This was also a way of telling Qin Sheng that he would be faced with great pressure and difficulties. Perhaps Qin Sheng would back off on his own.
“No wonder. Alright, go ahead and give me all the information I, as a rival in love, ought to know, so that I can be prepared for this long battle,” Qin Sheng said spontaneously.
Lin Su pondered for a moment as she contemplated how she should introduce Yan Chaosong to him. Finally, after a long pause, she said, “If you want to know Yan Chaosong, you need to know more about the Yan family in the Bund of Shanghai. Our families were friends from generations ago. The Yan family had planted their roots in Shanghai and had flourished. While my family had always been in Ningbo although we had quite a lot of business in Shanghai. The two families had numerous interactions so many of our uncles and aunties hoped that we would end up together. To them, this would be the best choice.”
“Yan family… no wonder his name sounded so familiar,” Qin Sheng finally understood. However, he was also shocked to learn that he was going against Master Yan. He would be a tough rival. After all, the gap between their social standing was vast.
Surprised, Lin Su asked, “So you know about the Yan family?”
“Who in Shanghai does not know the Yan family? I always hear my clients talking about them,” Qin Sheng said casually. How could he not know the Yan family, given that he was the one who killed Zhou Wenwu, one of the most important henchmen of the family?
At this juncture, Lin Su looked intently at Qin Sheng and asked, “What are you afraid of?”
“I guess you wouldn’t believe me if I say I’m not afraid of the Yan family. I supposed the young Master Yan would have started to do some investigation on me. Soon, he will look for me to have a chat. If his attempt at dissuading me fails, he would resort to bribing and threatening, then some wicked scheme. How would I not be afraid?” Qin Sheng said matter-of-factly.
Lin Su let out a helpless chuckle and said, “So are you still going to pursue me?”
“Of course, why not?” Qin Sheng replied, sounding determined. If a man could even give up on pursuing a woman he loves, what else could he not forsake? Qin Sheng would never do that.
Puzzled, Lin Su asked, “Didn’t you say you were afraid? Then why are you not giving up?”
“Am I going to back off just because he is the son of the Yan family? Do you think I will give up because of fear? Since I’ve made up my mind to go after you, I’ve already thought about all the challenges that would come my way. Unless one day you outright rejected me. At that time, I would give up,” Qin Sheng said, enunciating his words.
Not many men were able to say such words at such a time. At least Lin Su had not met any man like Qin Sheng. When faced with such a situation, all her suitors were defeated by this external pressure and gave up on their own.
Lin Su fixed her gaze on Qin Sheng for a long time in silence.
After this long pause, Lin Su suddenly said, “Qin Sheng, are you up to something crazy?”