Chapter 38: Master Xiong and Young Master He
Before we left for the party, Chu Yuan Jiang dragged me to the mirror.
“I look handsome enough already.” I said idly, while he carefully moved his hands over my suit to smoothen the wrinkles. We were both wearing all white today, ordered to tailor in Paris by him.
Eventually, he was done. “Nice,” he said, patting my chest.
As usual for when we went out together, I was the driver. Soon we arrived at the gate of Master Xiong’s palace of a mansion.
Chu Yuan Jiang lowered the window flashing the invitation card to the guard. The man smiled at us. “Master Chu. It is fine to just go straight inside in the future. We recognize your car.”
We drove in, and parked the car among the rows upon rows of Porsches, Bentleys and Maybachs shining in the sunset on the grass.
I opened the door, helped him out, and we both stepped onto the soft green of the yard.
I looked around. Many people had arrived for the party already. As soon as they saw us, they streamed towards up to greet Chu Yuan Jiang.
“Greetings Mr. Chu, what is the plan tonight?”
“Young Master Chu, is today’s live performance by the band you mentioned the last time? They are good.”
“Young Master Chu, why don’t you introduce this gentleman to us.”
Chu Yuan Jiang smiled, “this is Owen, my roommate.”
I nodded and greeted them with a polite smile.
I left him to greet all those people and went through the garden, finding Master Xiong and Young Master He on the terrace behind a water fountain.
Looking back down the stairs I just climbed, I could see multiple layers of bushes trimmed into various geometric shapes, with narrow paths meandering in between, like the decorations on a huge oil painting. The water sprayed around the fountain in the center, giving the mansion dreamy aura, making it a wonderland in the sunset.
They both sat at the high up. Master Xiong, as always with this cheerful and approachable appearance of his, seemed to be gazing at the scenery of his kingdom below him. Master He, on the other hand, was as cold as ever as he studiedscanning across my face with an icy gaze, his face all sharp angles and cool detachment that betrayed nothing of his emotions.
“Master Xiong, Young Master He.”
Master Xiong waved and smiled at me in his chair. “Jiang Jun! What a rare guest.”
As he greeted me, he handed me a cup of champagne from the tray held by the waiter next to him. “What have you been up to?”
“Nothing really. Just pursuing an odd hobby or two.”
“You are being humble.” Master Xiong, all smile, looked at Master He, “I may not know what you are exactly capable of, but someone else knows it all too well.”
Young Master He’s cold and sharp face remained unfazed by this. “Peter and I are cooperating on a project involving the mines in the west. Are you interested?”
I laughed, “These days I’m a good-for-nothing that depends on Yuan Jiang for sustenance.”
Master Chu patted me on the shoulder. “Jiang Jun, I’m hurt. That’s something you would say to strangers. How can you tell Master He and me the same thing?”
Master He just gave me another one of his cold stares. “Just help us keep an eye on the operations. You don’t need to worry about the finances, and the goods will be shipped to Danshui directly. Is such a simple task beyond you as well?”
I didn’t answer.
Master Xiong laughed seeing my expression. “Do consider it, okay?”
Some of the guests came up to greet them, at that moment, allowing me to stand up and offer my seat to the new arrivals. I bowed before two Masters slightly. “Master Xiong, Young Master He, enjoy your night.”
By the time I walked down the stairs, the light had seeped away from the sky allowing the artfully positioned lights to lit up the garden, and the laughing, cheering faces in the crowd.
Chu Yuan Jiang sat in the center of attention, people crowding around him. The illumination, and the white suit, made him look like a jade sculpture.
The hidden gloom and sophistication added more charm to his eyes. His long legs were crossed, and there was a superstar smile on his face. From time to time, he exchanged a word or two with the gaggle of people vying for attention, but all those sycophants only emphasized his robust body and professional attitude.
I sighed. To be honest, maybe it’s worth it, as long as he was happy.
I avoided that crowd and set my feet towards the less lit parts of the courtyard.
Suddenly, I noticed someone was following me. I turned around. It was Young Master He with his customary cold stare.
I gave him a polite smile. “Master He, may I help you?”