Chapter 1040 – A Distinct Status
The sight of a long queue of flowing vehicles on the wide road was like a dragon—a display of the capital’s elegance and prosperity. Riding on a BMW sedan, a smile was cast on Tang Xiu’s handsome face, whereas Tian Xiaomeng was sitting in the co-pilot seat, still unable to fully cast away the lingering fear and yet able to fully calm down.
“Do you want me to send you to the airport or to the hotel?”
After a long while, as Tian Xiaomeng’s face turned a bit rosy, Tang Xiu asked with a smile.
“Where are you going?” asked Tian Xiaomeng hurriedly.
“Me? I’m going home!” answered Tang Xiu.
“Isn’t your home in Star City?” asked Tian Xiaomeng, looking confused.
“My family does live in Star City, but I also have a home in the capital!” said Tang Xiu with a smile. “There’s no law that forbids someone from having a house both in Star City and Beijing, is there?”
Tian Xiaomeng quickly realized as she recalled Tang Xiu’s identity and his ability to make money. Let alone buying a house in the capital, even buying several big villas wouldn’t be a problem for him. She was still afraid that the department would be looking for her for being accountable, so she said with a restless face, “I’m going with you wherever you go.”
At her statement, Tang Xiu was at a loss whether he had to cry or laugh. While looking at her, he said, “Are you afraid that they will find trouble with you again?”
“I’m not afraid as long as I’m with you,” replied Tian Xiaomeng plausibly.
Tang Xiu was stunned. ‘This lass should have the nerve and boldness, no? Why does she sound like she’s relying on me?’ After thinking about it, he positively replied, “Tian Xiaomeng, those people before are all special people who are responsible for the stability of the country. I brought you out, so they won’t find you again as long as you stop reporting that kind of news. If you’re worried, of course, you can follow me to my home. I can take you back with me when I return to Star City.”
“Then I’m going with you to your home,” said Tian Xiaomeng without thinking.
Secretly feeling helpless inside, Tang Xiu still nodded and said, “Alright then! It just happens that today is the 80th birthday of my grandpa, so you’ll follow me to join the party! However, you’re not allowed to perform any live broadcasts for these two days, and neither can you expose my private information.”
“I promise you. I absolutely won’t do that,” replied Tian Xiaomeng while making a vowing gesture.
In the alleys surrounding the Tang Family’s ancestral home, several soldiers had been standing guard, while numerous others in plain clothes patrolled the vicinity to prevent any unforeseen event and anyone who could cause trouble for the 80th birthday of Senior Tang.
Despite so, however, many people were still coming from all over the country to celebrate and congratulate him. All of them brought invitations they received in advance and had prepared a variety of gifts, causing the surrounding alleys to be livelier than ever. Tang Guosheng himself wasn’t concerned about these gifts since he had spoken that he wouldn’t especially hold a big celebration. He was no longer holding any public office seat whatsoever, so didn’t need to worry about anything affecting him. Further, the Tang Family had unofficially become the strongest prominent family in Beijing, so no one would attack them because of such a minor matter that even the top leaders would turn a blind eye to.
As the white BMW sedan stopped at the outer alley, Tang Xiu took Tian Xiaomeng off the car and casually threw the key to a young man who came over half-running.
“Is this your home, Tang Xiu?”
Just like a curious baby, Tian Xiaomeng glanced around and asked while pressing her voice. She had seen the soldiers who were standing guard on both sides of the alley, while some men in casual clothes were seen patrolling the vicinity and looked to be bodyguards.
“That’s correct,” said Tang Xiu smilingly.
Noticing that many eyes were on her, Tian Xiaomeng suddenly grabbed Tang Xiu and nervously said, “What does your family do, though? How can you have soldiers serve your family as guards? Also, looking at those around you, they are like those who caught me before… a bit fearsome…”
Tang Xiu couldn’t help but laugh. It was indeed like people said: once bitten twice shy. This girl was just apprehended by people of the Security Department previously, leaving her with trauma and shadows.
“Don’t worry! They are all good people. You’ll see,” replied Tang Xiu with a vague smile. Suddenly, he remembered something and curiously asked, “Anyways, that reminds me of something. I forgot to ask you, why did you come to the capital at this time?”
Tian Xiaomeng looked blank for a moment, then she immediately patted her forehead and answered, “Aargh, I’m done! No, I’m dead! A TV station invited me to Beijing to participate in their program. The session of the program will be recorded this afternoon.”
“Ehh? What program?” asked Tang Xiu.
“It’s a talk show,” answered Tian Xiaomeng. “It was because the number of my subscribers dramatically increased recently, and I got hundreds of thousands of viewers watching every time I went live. Sometimes my viewers surpassed a million, hence why I got invited.”
“I didn’t expect you to become such a big star, though.” Tang Xiu smilingly said, “Anyways, we’ll attend my grandpa’s birthday banquet first. If I got some time to go out in the afternoon, I’ll send you to attend the program myself, else I’ll tell someone to send you there if there’s no time.”
“But still, I gotta contact the TV station first,” said Tian Xiaomeng with some hesitation.
While talking with her, Tang Xiu soon entered the end-point of the alley. Tens of guests were being checked by security personnel there and most of them were people Tang Xiu never got acquainted with, although he had seen some familiar faces from the news programs of some TV stations.
“Hey, Dude. Can I borrow a lighter?”
When the duo arrived behind these people, a handsome young man in his 23-odd-years turned and greeted him, accompanied by a middle-aged man in his 40s.
“You also got addicted to smoking, eh?” Tang Xiu took out a lighter and smilingly asked.
“Well, it’s not like I got
addicted to smoking. Either that or because of my old man who always sermons me—’Don’t make trouble! Be polite’. Well, things that kinda make me vexed, you know. Frankly speaking, if it wasn’t for my old man forcing me to come, I really wouldn’t have come to this occasion, though.”
“My thoughts exactly,” said Tang Xiu smilingly. “I don’t like these kinds of occasions either, though I had no choice but to come.”
The young man nodded in agreement and handed over a cigarette as he asked, “What’s your name, Brother? Mine is Qin Ling from the Wu City of the Beihu Province. My old man is the second man in command there.”
The second man in command of Beihu Province?
Tang Xiu understood in a flash. Instead of igniting the cigarette, he smilingly said, “My name is Tang Xiu, Star City’s local. Anyways, we’re going forward. Let’s chat again later.”
Qin Ling stared blankly before bursting into laughter. “Hahaha, are you joking me, dude? I’ve been lining up for a few minutes here. I guess I still have to wait for 10 minutes more to get in. You came later than us, how can you just go in? Let’s just smoke here. We’re of the same age as well. Rather than stay idle, let’s just chat here!”
“I really can’t stop here for long, though. So, I’ll be waiting for you inside,” said Tang Xiu with a smile.
Having said that, he led Tian Xiaomeng toward the people in charge of security inspection. He nodded at them and went straight inside.
“… Eh… he passed just like that? The security didn’t even inspect him?”
Those in the queue behind, including Qin Ling, were all stunned and wore looks of incredulity. Everyone knew that this place belonged to the Tang Family! The super-powerful prominent family of Beijing! Yet that young man just went inside with his female companion?
After Tang Xiu entered, he walked along the other alley for dozens of meters before he saw Tang Wei standing outside the courtyard of the Tang Family’s residence, along with his uncles, Tang Yunpeng and Tang Yunqing, to receive the guests.
“You’re back, Xiu’er?”
Tang Yunpeng, who was greeting several guests, called out to Tang Xiu while smiling. However, his eyes were that of curiosity, as they glanced at Tian Xiaomeng a few times.
“I just tended to some issues and hurried back, First Uncle.” Tang Xiu smiled and said, “Let me introduce you to a friend of mine. She’s Tian Xiaomeng. Xiaomeng, this is Uncle Yunqing, and that kid over there is my brother, Tang Wei.”
After seeing Tang Yunpeng, a nervous look was cast on Tian Xiaomeng’s face. She was shocked since she knew who Tang Yunpeng was. She had seen him in the news more than once. This… man… was a big figure in the country!
Tang Wei came over and looked highly spirited. He squeezed his eyes and cast a meaningful glance at Tang Xiu. “Tang Xiu, Wanying came early in the morning, and she’s chatting with and keeping Grandma accompany!”
“Well, then I’m going inside to see her and the rest. I’ve been too busy recently, so I haven’t seen her for a long time,” replied Tang Xiu with a smile. “Anyways, First Uncle, Uncle Yunqing, I’ll take my leave first.”
“Go inside, kid! But we got quite a lot of guests today so remember to come over and greet the guests after you meet your Grandpa and Wanying, got it?” said Tang Yunpeng smilingly.
Tang Xiu replied and entered the front door of the courtyard with Tian Xiaomeng, whose nervous face looked evident. On the contrary, Tang Wei’s face, who followed them, was full of curiosity.
“Tang Xiu, is this the new sis-in-law? Tell me, how many wives do you have now?” Tang Wei was smiling, and his eyes kept glancing at Tian Xiaomeng secretly.
“Haven’t you got beaten up recently, Brat? I heard you just stirred up trouble again, no?” Tang Xiu berated him. “I tell you, Tian Xiaomeng is my friend, not my girlfriend. Just be careful to run all baloney off your mouth again, else I’ll pack you up later, got it?”
Tang Wei shrunk and touched his bottom without realizing it. Then, he forced a wry smile and said, “Goddammit. The good news goes on crutches and bad news does travel on wings. To think that even a busy man like you heard about it. Okay, okay. I’ll just move my ass to find Chu Yi and the rest then!”
“Hey, wait up!” Tang Xiu called out and said, “There are things that will make me busy soon, so take Xiaomeng with you. Do take care of her and don’t bully her, alright!”
Tang Wei looked black for a second before immediately nodding and saying, “Well then, follow me, beauty! I’ll introduce a few friends to you.”
Tian Xiaomeng shot a nervous look at Tang Xiu and whispered, “I… can I go with you? I… I’m a bit… scared…”
“Don’t be afraid. This place is my home, no one dares to bully you here,” said Tang Xiu with a smile. “Besides, this Tang Wei fella is a devilish superhero, he’ll guarantee that nobody dares to bully you. I’ll look for you after I’m done with some things.”
Tian Xiaomeng hesitated for a moment and then nodded wordlessly.