The real recluse camouflages himself in the city. Hao Lei was convinced this time. He had not expected Chang Baji, who worked at this kind of place, was actually such a powerful man. Why would he stoop here?
To Hao Lei, Chang Baji was a talent who would flourish wherever he went. Perhaps such a person as Chang Baji had a mental state of another dimension. It was impossible to comprehend such people using common sense alone.
Chang Baji had, after all, convinced him through defeating him. Hao Lei, being a straight forward person was direct and honest with his dealings with people. Once he approved of someone, he would treat him as a true friend. This was the reason he was so close to Qin Sheng.
After getting into his car, Hao Lei gave Qin Sheng a call to tell him everything that had happened, including how he met the old saint, how the old saint had sent for his disciple to go to Shanghai, how his disciple was a man called Chang Baji who worked at Congress Seven, who was so talented that he defeated Hao Lei.
Qin Sheng did not know whether to laugh or cry, but could only respond with, “You must have suffered,” to comfort him.
“Let’s not talk about this anymore. It’s a lesson learned,” Hao Lei laughed and got ready to leave Xi’an for Shanghai. In fact, Hao Lei was so looking forward to accomplishing something great in Shanghai.
Before hanging up, Qin Sheng gave his last instruction to Hao Lei, saying, “I will not come personally to pick you up tomorrow, but will arrange for a driver to do so and bring you to me. Let’s talk when you get here.”
After hanging up, Qin Sheng breathed a sigh of relief. From Hao Lei’s description of Chang Baji, Qin Sheng knew he was definitely a skillful and talented strong man. After all, he was nurtured by the old saintly master.
He had some faint memories of meeting this old man twice when he was young. He really looked forward to meeting this exceptional man, Chang Baji.
In the quiet of the night, the lights from Pudong were getting dimmer. Qin Sheng was on the sofa, half-closing his eyes. He could not really fall into a deep sleep as he was afraid of people sneaking into the house.
All of a sudden, the light in the living room was switched on. Qin Sheng’s eyes could hardly adapt so quickly to the glaring light. When he finally opened his eyes again, he realized that it was Han Bing coming out from her bedroom.
“Why are you up?” Qin Sheng asked, puzzled.
Han Bing was clad in grey silk pajamas, exposing her snow-white neck and thighs. She moved slowly towards the sofa and sat down. “I can’t sleep anymore, I miss my father.”
Qin Sheng was at a lost how to comfort her. After all, she had grown up under Han Guoping’s protective wings all these years.
“There’s something I would like to talk to you about. Although it doesn’t seem to be the right time to talk about it, I find it necessary to do so,” Qin Sheng forced the words out of his mouth.
Han Bing did not think she was inappropriately dressed, perhaps it was because she trusted Qin Sheng very deeply.
“Please just say it,” Han Bing said as she looked at Qin Sheng with tenderness.
Qin Sheng got up to get Han Bing a cup of water. When he returned, he did not sit down by stood by and said, “You must know what state we are in right now, Han Bing. Why are there people who wanted to take your life? Regardless of whether it is the group of elders who are your father’s buddies or his enemies. Their fundamental objective is what your father had left behind. Although no one is handling his inheritance right now, it is like a piece of fatty meat. Everyone has their eyes on this piece of fatty meat and you are the sole beneficiary of his wealth. As long as you are still around, they would not be able to lay hands on your father’s wealth.”
“I am aware of this, Qin Sheng. Just tell me directly what you want to say because I understood all that you’ve just said,” Han Bing had after all graduated from both Cambridge University in the UK and the Royal Academy of Arts. She was definitely very intelligent. Despite not having any experience in her father’s business dealings, she had seen and heard much from Han Guoping.
Qin Sheng turned to Han Bing, looked her in the eyes and said, “Now you have two options. The first option is that you take over Uncle Han’s businesses, both the good and bad ones, and continue running them. However, not only will we be facing many competitors, there will be people getting hurt. Like Old Wu and Chen Beiming who had even sacrificed their lives, your life may be in danger too. The second option is that you give up everything, and as the inheritor of the company, announce its bankruptcy and restructuring, then you exit from this circle. Let the people who are fighting for the company do what they want. Which option would you choose?”
“Which do you think I will choose, or which would you suggest I choose?” Han Bing asked, not showing any emotion.
Qin Sheng shook his head, smiled and said, “Han Bing, you should decide base on your own thoughts. Some people are willing to live a simpler life, while others choose to live a tougher life. Do not make your life miserable, especially now that nobody feels sorry for you. Regardless of your choice, I will support you without any hesitation. If you choose the first option, I will protect you against all the storms that come your way. Whoever tries to hurt you, I will kill him. However, if you choose the second option, I will help you settle everything so that you can move on to live a peaceful by stable life.”
“Why are you so kind to me, Qin Sheng?” Han Bing asked Qin Sheng tenderly instead of answering his question. Han Bing was deeply touched by Qin Sheng’s words.
Qin Sheng was caught off-guard by her question and could not speak for a few seconds. When he came to, he said, “It’s not that. I want to keep you safe after Uncle Han died because this was what I promised him to do. There is no way I am going to sit around and do nothing.”
“I choose the first option, yet I can’t be contented with it,” Han Bing said, sounding disappointed. She knew Qin Sheng was speaking the truth. Although she also knew she was very pretty, Qin Sheng had this charm about him that would attract many beautiful women. He would not fall in love with her so easily.
Qin Sheng could empathize with why Han Bing chose the first option. She was not an ambitious and bold person so she would not want to lead the kind of life that required her to make sacrifices and give up many things. In fact, she would be exhausted living in that manner… but what did she mean by not contented?”
“Why wouldn’t you be totally contented?” asked Qin Sheng.
With tears her eyes, Han Bing said, “I am discontented not because I couldn’t preserve my father’s hard-earned family inheritance. The inheritance does not mean anything to me. I am discontented because if Grandfather Wu and Beiming were dead, I have no means to take revenge for them. After all, they would have sacrificed their lives for me.”
She was sobbing uncontrollably by the time she finished her sentence.
Qin Sheng came up to her, wiping away her tears, he slowly said, “Silly girl, if you can’t take revenge for them, I will on your behalf.”
After their conversation, Qin Sheng persuaded Han Bing to return to her sleep. Qin Sheng was rather sleepy himself, so he simply laid down on the sofa and fell asleep until the next morning.
Initially Han Bing was supposed to go to the office for a directors’ meeting, however, Qin Sheng had delayed the time to the afternoon. He wanted to wait for Hao Lei and Chang Baji to arrive at Shanghai first before letting her go for the meeting.
Han Bing had to answer numerous phone calls in the morning. They included calls from Han Guoping’s henchmen as well as calls from her own design company. At this time, Qin Sheng was in the living room, reading.
They ordered delivery for lunch and surprisingly, Han Bing did not complain that the food was junkies. It seemed that she had matured overnight and her childish willfulness had vanished.
Qin Sheng finally let Han Bing leave the house with him after the driver had picked up Hao Lei and Chang Baji. First, they went back to Tomson Golf Villa where it was in total chaos in Han Bing’s absence.
Hao Lei and Chang Baji finally arrived after another half an hour.
Upon arrival, Hao Lei called out Qin Sheng’s name and gave him a tight embrace. The rush to get them here, the extensive villa in Pudong, where land was so expensive, as well as this beauty standing next to Qin Sheng… all of this was a lot to take in for to Hao Lei, who was filled with questions.
After greeting Hao Lei, Qin Sheng came up to Chang Baji and greeted him politely, saying, “Brother Chang, welcome to Shanghai.”
Chang Baji had begun assessing the surrounding and sizing the people since he stepped into the room. Eventually, he rested his attention on Qin Sheng and Han Bing. He chuckled and said, “The last time I saw you, you were only in secondary school. Time really flies! You are already a grown man!”
“I’m surprised that Brother Chang still remembers me!” Qin Sheng said. Nevertheless, this would make their communication much easier.
“I have a superb memory,” Chang Baji replied cheerfully. Hao Lei was taken aback by Chang Baji’s cheerful attitude because since last night, Chang Baji had been rather hostile towards him.
Qin Sheng pulled Han Bing towards him and started introducing her to Chang Baji. “This is my friend, Han Bing. She’s the eldest daughter of the Hans.” To Han Bing, he said, “This is Hao Lei and Brother Chang.”
Han Bing held up her hand to shake Hao Lei and Chang Baji’s hands consecutively. She was aware they were Qin Sheng’s friends whom Qin Sheng had invited to come to help them so they were not just commoners but some powerful people.
“Han Bing, why don’t you go change and get ready while I discuss some matters with Brother Chang and Hao Lei,” said Qin Sheng. Han Bing immediately understood Qin Sheng’s intention and left the men alone.
When the rest of the people in the room had left, Qin Sheng invited Chang Baji and Hao Lei into the living room and served them some tea. Finally, Qin Sheng sighed and said, “Brother Chang, I would not have alerted the old master if I am not at my wit’s end. A few days ago, I made a trip to Tian Shui and almost didn’t make it back. In fact, two of my friends didn’t make it back.”
Because Qin Sheng and Hao Lei were best buddies, Qin Sheng did not have any reservations asking help from Hao Lei. Moreover, he had more or less told Hao Lei what happened on the phone, and Hao Lei had his own reasons coming to Shanghai. As for Chang Baji, it was a different matter altogether.
“I know Master had his reasons for sending me over to you and I would have obeyed him anyways. You didn’t have to explain further, just tell me what you need and what you want me to do,” Chang Baji did not like small talks. He always said that trivial conversations were useless, just go straight to the point when talking.
Qin Sheng nodded in agreement, saying, “Alright, we can take time to explain the rest. What is most critical now is to protect Han Bing.”
Chang Baji and Hao Lei looked at each other and nodded knowingly.
Following that, Qin Sheng gave instructions to Chang Baji and Hao Lei regarding their assigned missions. For this day onwards, Hao Lei would be Han Bing’s designated chauffeur and both he and Chang Baji would be Han Bing’s bodyguards. In addition, Chang Baji would help Qin Sheng whenever he needed him.
After making sure everything had been set up accordingly, Qin Sheng called for Han Bing to come downstairs and they set off for the office. This was the beginning of infighting…