No one stopped Xia Lei when he entered the lobby but security guards blocked him off when he tried to enter the lift area, asking him for the relevant employee pass or written invitation for a visit.
Xia Lei did not say much to the security guards. He took out his phone to call Shentu Tian-Yin. Just then, a group of people walked over and one of them greeted him from afar.
"Isn't this Mr Xia?" Ahn Suhyeong came strolling over with a group of bodyguards, a smile on his face.
He was dressed in a white suit and shiny leather shoes. Not a hair on his head was out of place and with his handsome face, Ahn Suhyeong could be said to be quite a dandy. The bodyguards with him were all in black and provided a stark contrast to him, accentuating his classiness and emphasising his status.
Xia Lei just glanced at him and did not respond.
Ahn Suhyeong dropped all pretence when he got snubbed and said sarcastically, "You've sold all those artifacts you stole from my home already, haven't you, Mr Xia? Congratulations. You've made a fortune again."
"What did you say?" said Xia Lei icily.
"Hah!" Ahn Suhyeong snorted. "I said you sold all the artifacts you stole from me. I think you must have sold them, and you couldn't wait so you came running here to tell Shentu Tian-Yin that you made a pile of money again, huh? You want her to praise you for doing business well, am I right?"
"Hahaha…" Ahn Suhyeong's bodyguards laughed.
A faint smile appeared in the corners of Xia Lei's mouth too. "You seem to think this is South Korea, huh? You have weight in Korea but what are you in China? Don't piss me off, Ahn Suhyeong. This is my last warning to you."
"What did you say? You Chinese clown!" A bodyguard shouted at Xia Lei in Korean, "Do you know who you're talking to?"
Another bodyguard waved a threatening hand. "Fool! Be careful or I'll beat you up!"
Yet another bodyguard spoke arrogantly, "Do we Koreans still need to be polite in China? Bastard!"
"Enough, enough." Ahn Suhyeong waved his hand. "Don't argue with a little thief. This is China. He thinks he is some big deal in China so let's humour him."
"Pah!" A bodyguard spat on the ground in front of Xia Lei.
The spit with a bit of yellow phlegm in it landed right on Xia Lei's shoe.
"Hahaha!" The bodyguard who had spat laughed. He had not an ounce of respect for Xia Lei.
Many people in the lobby were looking over at them and whispering in low voices.
"Let's go. Let this fool climb the stairs." Ahn Suhyeong was in high spirits. He didn't expect that Xia Lei would be so easy to bully - he hadn't even said a word of retort.
Just as Ahn Suhyeong and his bodyguards were about to enter the lift, Xia Lei reached out a hand and blocked his way.
Ahn Suhyeong wrinkled his brows. "You want to fight?"
Ahn Suhyeong's bodyguards surged forward without him telling them to and surrounded Xia Lei. The atmosphere was such that they would pummel him into the ground at any time!
Xia Lei did not even spare the bodyguards a glance. He said, "Ahn Suhyeong, I will now give you two options. Option one - tell your bodyguard to kneel and lick my shoe clean. Option two - you kneel yourself and lick my shoe clean."
"What did you say? You bastard!" Ahn Suhyeong was enraged.
"Ahn Suhyeong, do you think that I won't dare to touch you because your father is a political figure in South Korea and could possibly be President? Or do you think that it's because you're worth billions?"
Ahn Suhyeong raised an eyebrow. "Just you try and touch me."
Xia Lei let a slap fly as soon as the words left his mouth and it landed squarely on Ahn Suhyeong's right cheek. He was quick - so quick that Ahn Suhyeong didn't even have the time to think of a reaction, much less avoid or block it.
PAH! Xia Lei drew his hand back and another slap landed on Ahn Suhyeong's left cheek. He did not hold back, and Ahn Suhyeong's handsome face started to swell.
The two slaps had taken less than two seconds. The bodyguards only realised it after the slaps were complete and they sprang at Xia Lei in a jumble of fists.
Xia Lei sent Ahn Suhyeong flying with one kick, and used the rebound-momentum from Ahn Suhyeong's body to jump up higher and smash his foot down onto the head of a bodyguard who had was trying to sneak up on him from behind. Thonk! A dull thunk sounded and that bodyguard was thrown to the ground by that kick.
Xia Lei was right in the middle of the bodyguards when his feet touched the floor.
"B-Beat him!" Ahn Suhyeong held his burning cheeks, so mad he was going mad.
When had a young master of an elite Korean clan been beaten like this before?!
It was a mistake to think that Xia Lei would be beaten if surrounded by a group. Ahn Suhyeong's bodyguards were beaten to a pulp in the blink of an eye. Some had bruising noses and swollen faces, while some couldn't get up after they'd fallen.
"What are you doing?! Stop!" A member of the building management came charging over with a group of security guards to become a barrier between Xia Lei and Ahn Suhyeong's group.
"Bunch of useless trash! Beat him!" screamed Ahn Suhyeong angrily.
A bodyguard who'd been punched in both eyes sneakily took out a small combat knife and hid it in his hand. He took advantage of the security blocking Xia Lei and moved quietly to Xia Lei's back.
"What do you take this place for?" The building management staff said angrily, "If you have a feud, then take it outside or I'll call the police."
"Don't you know who I am? Look at me! Bastard!" cried Ahn Suhyeong. He pointed at Xia Lei and shouted, "He has to kneel and apologise to me!"
"M,Mr Ahn, I'm sorry, I apologise." The management staff recognised Ahn Suhyeong and his attitude changed. It was no wonder he had not recognised him at first - Ahn Suhyeong's face had 'fattened' quite a bit.
"Then get out of the way!" shouted Ahn Suhyeong angrily.
Just then, the bodyguard with the knife hidden in his hand charged at Xia Lei's back, aiming for his torso.
Xia Lei seemed to have eyes behind his head. He moved one step aside and avoided the knife, and he jabbed his right elbow violently backwards at the same time, striking that bodyguard in the chest.
Clang! The knife in the bodyguard's hand clattered to the floor. He grasped his chest as he keeled towards the ground.
Before he could hit the ground, however, Xia Lei's right elbow jabbed backwards again, smashing into his nose. His nose fountained blood immediately.
There were no eyes on the back of Xia Lei's head and he definitely did not have the skill of echolocation - his left eye had seen a reflection off a gold pillar 20 metres away. He had already noticed him when he was sneaking up on him, so there was no taking him by surprise!
After felling the bodyguard who had tried to ambush him, Xia Lei dashed forward and kicked Ahn Suhyeong in the chest.
Ahn Suhyeong let out a scream and fell heavily to the floor.
He was the amateur fencing champion in South Korea but how could a rich-boy like him compare to Xia Lei, who had tempered his body through numerous battles? The so-called swordplay of his was as laughable as a child's game to Xia Lei.
Xia Lei put one foot on Ahn Suhyeong's chest, stepping on him and looking down at him from a higher position.
"Y,You'll regret this!" Ahn Suhyeong was both surprised and mad, and fear which he did not want to acknowledge bloomed in his heart!
"Regret?" A scornful smile appeared in the corners of Xia Lei's mouth. "I'm stepping on you now. Going to bite me?"
"You…" Ahn Suhyeong was so angry he could not speak. People would come running to apologise profusely if they so much as stepped accidentally on his foot in South Korea, but he was actually suffering such humiliation here in China!
"Arrh!" A bodyguard who was still standing suddenly let out a shout and charged towards Xia Lei. He had the combat knife which had been dropped on the floor in his hand.
Xia Lei twisted aside to avoid it, and let loose a punch at the bodyguard's ribs.
Ribs broke and that bodyguard collapsed to the floor with a scream, wailing such that the onlookers couldn't help but frown.
Ahn Suhyeong wanted to get to his feet but Xia Lei's foot was on his chest again in the next second, pressing him down.
"Bastard! How dare you treat me like this!" Ahn Suhyeong looked ready to foam at the mouth in rage.
Xia Lei sneered, "I've made it clear. Either your bodyguard kneels and licks my shoe clean or you. If you're not going to pick an option then I'll assume you want the second option."
Ahn Suhyeong clenched his teeth. He wouldn't kneel to lick Xia Lei's shoe, not even on pain of death. But having his underling do it on his behalf was also a great humiliation to someone like him; it was unacceptable!
"Looks like it's option two." Xia Lei stretched out his shoe with the spittle on it to Ahn Suhyeong's cheek.
"Damn you! I'll kill you!" Ahn Suhyeong had lost it.
"Please, Sir. Calm down." The building management staff member came running over to hold Xia Lei's leg back.
Ahn Suhyeong took that opportunity to roll out from under Xia Lei's foot, and crawl off somewhere further in flight. The group of injured bodyguards also gathered around Ahn Suhyeong, using their bodies as a barricade.
Xia Lei made to go over but the staff said quietly to him, "Mr Xia, our Chairman asked us to invite you up. Please don't cause any trouble for us, I beg you. Please forget it, on behalf of all of here, all the security guards who still need their rice-bowls."
Xia Lei calmed at that, and he nodded.
The staff then used a tissue to clean off the spit on Xia Lei's shoe.
"Thank you." Xia Lei turned and walked towards the lifts.
The security guard who had blocked his way earlier had run off, far far away, afraid that Xia Lei would recognise him.
"Xia Lei! This isn't over!" shouted Ahn Suhyeong.
Xia Lei took one step out of the lift and he had not taken a second step before Ahn Suhyeong started running out of the building. The injured bodyguards started to tremble in fear and the most cowardly of them even fell to the ground in nervousness.
Xia Lei laughed. "Don't make a fool of yourself here, Ahn Suhyeong. Go back to South Korea." After a pause, he added, "Another word of warning - don't piss me off in China or I'll beat you whenever I see you!"
The entire lobby was struck dumb at those words.
The lift doors closed and Xia Lei disappeared from the view of the audience.
Xia Lei had not held back and been heavy-handed this time because he still held a grudge from the time in Korea. Thinking of the scene when Ahn Suhyeong brought policemen and his family bodyguards to the cafe in South Korea made Xia Lei's blood boil!
This was China. Ahn Suhyeong was just asking to die by not recognising that this was not his turf.
As the onlookers dispersed, Gu Ke-Wen walked out from a small corridor to the side of the main lobby. A thoughtful smile appeared on her lips as she watched Ahn Suhyeong make his dishevelled departure. "Ooh, how fierce. Looks like the show's about to begin, huh? I'm looking forward to it."