Chapter 8 – The Problem With a Big Ches
“Who’s that?” The manager had just asked the people responsible for accomodations in Ning Village when someone dashed out of the crowd and greeted Guo Xiang with a broad grin.
“Young Master Guo, what gives us the pleasure to have you here in person?” The oncoming greeter was a man in his thirties. His hair, which was nearly yellow from all the grease stuck to it, peppered the shoulder portion of his decrepit grey suit with a thin layer of dandruff. He rushed toward Guo Xiang with utmost excitement, but worries about the cleanliness of his own hands stopped him from extending it in the latter’s direction. Instead, he rubbed his hands against his pants in visible abashedness.
“This is Guo Xiang, the crown prince of Yunlong Construction Group. They are trying to build a vacation resort in the village, so they used their connections and sent someone from the city to negotiate with us. However, the negotiations failed since the villagers didn’t agree to sell their ancestral lands. Why is he back here now?” The official in charge whispered an explanation to the floor manager.
“Is it going to affect the filming?” The manager voiced his sole concern.
“Ah, of course not. The filming is very important, as much for the city as it is for us.”
Guo Xiang looked at the villager in front of him and enjoyed the reverential reception he received. Guo Xiang had chosen to attend the Teachers’ College because the student body was rumored to be full of beauties. As for becoming a teacher, there was no bigger joke. For the likes of him, the only thing a teacher was good for was perhaps for some kind of uniform fetish. Being bored out of his mind after graduating, he traveled around with a group of friends, and, recently, had come to the village with a group of amateurs in body art photography. A model remarked about the beauty of the village in his bed, and, in a moment of impulsive ostentatiousness, he promised her that he would offer the village to her as a gift. ‘Don’t all these bully CEOs want to buy fish ponds? I’ll buy an entire village to show them who’s boss.’ 1
After throwing up the big promise, Guo Xiang considered it more carefully and was impressed by the quality of his own impetuous idea. Seeing some hope for success, he quickly motivated himself into realizing his plan. Guo Tai, upon seeing that his indulging son had finally woken up, and, also upon realizing that it was not just a naive fantasy, was ecstatic and quickly gave his unreserved support.
The man with a displeasing appearance standing in front of him was called Lei San’er, a ruffian from the Ning village. In his youth, he had a gambling addiction and eventually sold his family’s land to fuel his obsession. His parents died shortly after, with some saying that it was due to the fury caused by his actions. He went out of the village with other people for a few loose jobs, but he was unable to handle the roughness of such jobs and returned home after a few days. Since then, he stayed in the village, living in a constant state of semi-hunger and misery. Nearly all the villagers resented him, but if there was one thing Lei San’er was good at, it was to stir trouble. Therefore, everyone tried as hard as they can to stay away from him.
Guo Xiang noticed his presence the first time he visited the village for negotiations. His wretched appearance was enough to convince Guo Tai that he was the subordinate he was looking for, the kind of dog that would lash out at anyone if enough meat was given. The cooperation was nearly instantaneous between the pair, and, after promising Lei San’er a position as the security manager at the new resort, Lei San’er became Guo Xiang’s full-fledged representative in Ning Village for land acquisition.
Guo Xiang thought the execution of plan to be smooth and without obstacles, but little did he expect that the villagers would love the land on which they had lived for generations, the farmland which fed them, to such an extent. No one was willing to sell land, and this infuriated Guo Xiang. Just as Guo Xiang was facing the predicament of disappointing his promise, the beautiful model he slept with, and his own father, he had heard from Lei San’er that Fang Shui’er was coming to film a video at Ning village. ‘Holy shit, that’s Fang Shui’er, the woman in many of my wet dreams.This is an opportunity I can’t miss. What if she’s impressed by my sincerity…? Not enough sincerity? If one million is not enough, then two will be. If two is not enough, then four will be. I have plenty of sincerity, and well, it’s good for a field-trip to the actual location of investment.’
“How’s the progression?” Guo Xiang asked Lei San’er. ‘No need to hurry about Fang Shui’er. By the looks of it, she won’t run away. I’m a business magnate in real-estate development, time to start acting like one.’
“Ah… We’re almost there. The people in the village don’t know how good young Master Guo is. I’m sure that they would come running once they know. Everyone’s looking to get rich with you.” Lei San’er ingratiated Guo Xiang with compliments. He sought an opportunity to showcase the progress, yet although everyone seemed to let him have it his way normally, when it came to the ancestral farmland, all of them were so stubborn as to not back an inch.
“Can’t you hurry? I’m wasting a few hundred thousands every minute. I don’t have time to waste on you. The faster we get the plot, the faster we can start the construction, and the faster you’ll be able to become my new security manager.”
“Yes, yes. You’re right. I’ll hurry up.”
“So, where’s Fang Shui’er?” Guo Xiang looked around and, when he failed to spot his target, asked in a purported nonchalant voice.
“In the home of the Lei widow, I think she’s putting make-up and changing her clothes right now. The widow rented her home to the production crew.”
“Lead the way. I’ll go see my new friends.” Guo Xiang gestured with his typical cockiness and followed Lei San’er, who led the way with a slow jog. A team of bodyguards in black suits followed him closely.
The village spanned no more than a few hundred meters, so the group quickly arrived to their destination. By pure coincidence, Xiao Hei was just heading out of the house after having finished delivering instructions to Fang Shui’er. The two bumped into each other right outside of the house.
“This is director Zheng.” Lei San’er promptly introduced Xiao Hei to Guo Xiang. He was very aware of Guo Xiang’s motives, so he had investigated the filming crew beforehand, although he still had some difficulty understanding the difference between a musical video and a movie.
“Oh, director Zheng? I’ve been looking forward to meet you. Please allow me to humbly introduce myself. I’m the owner of the vacation resort in Ning Village, Guo Xiang from the Yunlong Construction Group. I hope to call upon your services for the future promotional video of my resort.” Guo Xiang introduced himself with a smile.
“You’re being too kind.” Xiao Hei was a little surprised by what Guo Xiang had said. ‘A vacation resort, here in Ning Village? How come I’ve never heard of it?’ But it was good manners to not offend someone who had approached him so nicely, and, judging by the amounts of followers behind Guo Xiang, he was indeed no ordinary person. After exchanging a few formalities and their business cards, Xiao Hei quickly left for filming. Fang Shui’er was a rather busy personality, and every minute wasted with her standing there was to his own detriment.
“Could you please tell Miss Fang Shui’er that Guo Xiang from Yunlong Construction Group is here to see her?” After Xiao Hei’s departure, Guo Xiang said to Fang Shui’er’s two bodyguards in his typical self-aggrandizing tone. The two bodyguards, stood tall at the entrance, ignored him completely and did not move an inch. Guo Xiang was about to lose his temper once again due to their negligence when a voice came from inside.
“Hello Mr. Guo,” A voice was heard before the door was pushed open. Zeng Qian emerged from behind it with her professional smile. “I’m Shui’er’s assistant. She is busy preparing for the video shooting right now. Could we ask you to wait for another time?”
“Oh, of course, of course. I just happened to have received news that Shui’er is filming a video at my vacation resort, so I came to see if everything was alright. Of course I’ll avoid disturbing her work. Let’s meet on another time, another time. I want to invite you to a gala in Jing City once the filming is over to thank Shui’er for her support of the tourism at Ning Village.”
“Oh? Mr. Guo owns a resort here?” Zeng Qian was surprised. She had done her research and did not find any such things here.
“You haven’t told the filming crew?” Guo Tai pretended to be surprised while signaling at Lei San’er with his eyes.
“I haven’t had the time.” Lei San’er immediately answered.
“Ah, it’s perfectly normal that you haven’t heard about it.” Guo Xiang gestured for Lei San’er to retreat to the side. “We’ve barely completed the blueprints, and construction has yet to start. I wouldn’t expect anyone to know about it, and I prefer it this way, since I am a low-profile person. But, I would like to know if there’s a possibility to invite Shui’er to be the spokesperson for the resort once construction is finished? It’s a five-A grade resort after all, and it will not tarnish Shui’er’s reputation.” Guo Xiang suddenly came up with a brilliant idea, and he had to stop himself from crying out with joy. ‘If Fang Shui’er agrees to become the spokesperson, then who knows how many birds killed with one stone. If nothing else, the one closest to her…
“Spokesperson?” Zeng Qian frowned, and she quickly assessed the situation. “I’ll have to talk about it with Shui’er in person.”
‘It might work!’ Guo Xiang burst with joy. “Then I shall await Miss Shui’er arrival at hotel Yunda tonight?”
“The filming is set to start soon, could we…” Zeng Qian equivocated. Her aptitude at dealing with these kind of situations had been trained to perfection by years on the job.
“Perfect.” Guo Xiang thoughts ran wild at the thought of an acceptance. “I’ll go reserve the seats right away. Please carry on with your work. Please. I find the most admirable thing on Earth to be a girl focused in her work. It’s such a rare sight to see a celebrity with such outstanding work ethics.” Guo Xiang threw a compliment as a farewell and left with a broad smile on his face and his team of bodyguards trailing behind him. ‘I need to find a way to get that land from the village now.’
Seeing that Guo Xiang is leaving, Zeng Qian beckoned to the guard in front of the door. He read her intimation and quickly left the scene.
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Xiao Hei returned to his work and quickly commenced the shooting. Time was of the essence, so he tried to squeeze in as many segments as he could. The extras were very excited by this rare opportunity to participate in something new, and, fortunately, this was exactly the kind of mood Xiao Hei was seeking. Xiao Hei sighed in relief at the smooth progress of the project: his biggest fear was for the performance of the extras, since he had very little control over them. Unlike professional staff, they were also poor at repeating multiple segments to select for the best one, and very prone to entering a state of despondency once the initial sense of novelty faded away.
Xiao Hei furrowed his brows when he saw at Liu Meng and Li Yiming through the camera. He was quite satisfied with Li Yiming, since he had exactly the demeanor of goodness mixed with a little bit of naivete he was looking for. But Liu Meng… She was wild, but a little too sensual… ‘Why haven’t I thought of this before? Her breasts are too prominent on her form. What about the other actress… Not any better. Ugh, I guess even those blessed by nature have their own share of troubles.’
“Yiming, can you move a little forward? Liu Meng, turn a little more to the side,” Xiao Hei said into the megaphone as he looked at the couple on the camera’s screen. “Camera number two, a little bit to the left. A little higher. Alright.” Xiao Hei let out a sigh: he finally managed to hide it from sight. He intended this scene to depict the coziness and the beauty of life in the countryside, not to highlight a pair of sensual breasts.
“Yiming? Liu Meng?” Guo Xiang, who was making his way through the crowd heard Xiao Hei’s voice and lifted his head.
“Ha, old friends…” Guo Xiang smiled capriciously.
1. The author is jokingly referring to a TV drama with a “bully CEO” stereotype character who buys a pond for the female MC to impress her.