"Boss, you are a lot more energetic these days. How's your contact with that favorite BL author of yours? You've planned a formal dinner with him?" Shi Qiang asked as she put Xiaojun's morning coffee to the table.
Xiaojun giggled, "Hehe, yep! We've planned it well, but he wants to meet me win a small restaurant near a station. I wanted to ask him whether he wants to go on a date with me to one of Michelin restaurants I had invested in before. But that would blow my cover as Feng Xiaojun, right?"
"Yes, if you said that, he will definitely suspect that you are not a simple person. Remember, until you are truly close to him, you cannot disclose your identity as Feng Xiaojun," Shi Qiang warned.
"I know, I know," Xiaojun shrugged, "Don't worry, I'm not that careless."
"Anyway, today is 14 February. It's valentine day!" Xiaojun said excitedly, "Since I have no meeting today and have no date, I will just use this to chill and read some BL—"
"Who said you don't have a meeting?" Shi Qiang had a mischievous expression on her face as she put a paper on the table, "I've set the urgent meeting with Master Long, the patriarch of Long Family. You know, the big mafia family that has been making trouble with one of your projects?"
"Ohhh, that one!" Xiaojun suddenly remembered what the contractor said about someone named Long Shan, the patriarch of Long Family.
'That reminds me of Liling. Liling's family name is also Long…" Xiaojun pondered. But he decided to just shrug it off. There were plenty of Longs in the country, after all. It couldn't coincide that much.
"Eh… can I just… not go?" Xiaojun sighed, "I don't want to spend my valentine with a sixty-something bald old man."
"Why did you say that?" Shi Qiang frowned. Based on the information she gathered, although Long Shan never showed his face in public, it was rumored that he was relatively young to take the mantle as the Master of Long Family.
"I mean, we all know that those mafias are not the same mafia in novel or tv show. They are perverted and crude. The master is usually perverted old man, sigh…"
"You said the same thing about CEO, and you meet Jinxing," Shi Qiang reminded.
"Well, that one is an exception! But this one is no exception, I bet Long Shan is a balding old man who is also perverted!" Xiaojun concluded. "What if that Long Shan wants to get in my pants and sexually harassed me?"
'Not everyone wants to get in your pants, boss,' Shi Qiang rolled her eyes, "Well, you have to meet him, and you cannot delay this any longer. His men might start attacking the construction worker."
"You will go with me, right?" Xiaojun asked.
"You always ask me to go when it's all dangerous," Shi Qiang peered, "But it is part of my job. Let's go then."
Mr. Feng's car entered a gold dragon gate that opened the path to a vast garden. Xiaojun was awed by the vast garden that was well maintained. Even during winter, there were plenty of winter flowers planted around. Which showed that the master of this residence really appreciate gardening.
"Maybe Long Shan is a very old man, who has nothing to do than gardening," Xiaojun said to Shi Qiang. Shi Qiang herself had no idea what awaited them. She just wished that his boss wouldn't bring her trouble.
The car stopped in front of the smaller gate, and two ladies wearing traditional blue hanfu bowed respectfully to Xiaojun, "Honorable guest, Mr. Feng Xiaojun, Master Long has been waiting in his courtyard. Please follow us."
Xiaojun and Shi Qiang followed the ladies to Long Shan's courtyard. The house was huge and traditional. It may look old-fashioned, but if one saw clearly, every wood plank used to build this house came from costly and polished trees.
Xiaojun concluded something.
'The house is made of mahogany and cedar. His vast garden has many rare trees and flowers, this old Long Shan has a traditional but expensive taste. I bet he cut some bonsai with his wrinkly hand.' he whispered to Shi Qiang.
Shi Qiang glared at her boss. Afraid that Long Shan's subordinates might hear him.
The two ladies stopped in front of a courtyard. They turned back to face Xiaojun and Shi Qiang, "Honorable guest, Master Long dislikes when a guest brings a woman inside his courtyard. There have been many instances when his guests tried to bring women to seduce Master Long."
"Please understand, I shall guide this young miss to esteemed guest's waiting yard," one lady said, "Please follow me, Miss."
Shi Qiang glanced at Xiaojun and shrugged. She followed another lady and left Xiaojun alone.
"This way, sir," the lady guided Xiaojun further until he stopped in front of a plain courtyard. There was no decoration nor flashy color, but it still looked expensive nonetheless.
However, what surprised Xiaojun was not that. He was surprised by the number of colorful winter flowers arranged neatly in the courtyard. It felt like he was stepping into a spring courtyard.
They paced through the courtyard until they stopped in front of a simple wooden, sliding door. There was a small poem carved in a wooden sign and painted golden;
I pluck chrysanthemums under the eastern fence.
And serenely, I gaze at the southern mountains.
'Eh… isn't that a snippet of a Chinese garden poem? Uhm… I forgot the title, but it's from Tao Yuanming. I read that when I was seven…' Xiaojun pondered. He prepared himself to face an old, bald, and stubborn grandpa.
"Master Long, Sir Feng Xiaojun from Feng Group has arrived," the lady said.
"Hm… yes," the heavy voice from inside answered. Xiaojun frowned as he seemed to have heard this voice before, not sure from where, though.
The lady opened the door.
Xiaojun and Long Shan finally met formally for the first time. The moment they saw each other's faces, their eyes widened in unison. They pointed at each other and yelled at the same time, "YOU?!"