There was only this thought left in his head, but his legs were as heavy as lead. His whole body was stiff and his heart was beating so fast in his chest, as if it was about to explode.
He had imagined countless scenarios of their next encounter, thinking he would act with enough calm, but when it came to it, all the mental preparation he had worked so hard to obtain collapsed in an instant. The world suddenly turned into a sticky paste, wrapping around him in a suffocating embrace.
One second, two seconds. Time was distorted and stretched into slow-motion frames.
One step, two steps. Shiny handmade leather shoes stepped on the thick carpet, coming towards him, getting closer and closer.
Five meters, three meters, one meter…
Every fibre of his being was screaming to escape, but his stiff body had lost the ability to react. Like a person about to drown whose mouth and nose were blocked by the ingress of sea water he was suffocated to the point of losing consciousness.
Then… he walked past him.
All his senses seemed to return to normal in an instant, and his brain resumed its thinking function after being blank for a moment.
He hadn’t recognized him.
A-Zhou tightened his uncontrollably shaking hands. He clenched them into fists by his side, lowered his head, and let the burgundy bangs cover his eyes.
That’s right, he was just a most common waiter at Lihao and customers would take no notice of him. As long as he did his job properly, he would not attract any attention. Besides, some of the attendants stationed here were often sent to perform tasks outside, so there were many opportunities to slip away.
Sure enough, as soon as the group of six stepped into the private room, Deputy General Manager Cao Kun hurried over with a group of supervisors, bowed and said, “Young Master Chen, I didn’t know you were coming and didn’t go downstairs to greet you. That was very rude of me.”
“It’s okay, I rarely have the time to come and play.” The young man sat down in the middle of the leather sofa, crossed his legs, and casually flipped through the wine list in his hand. The people who had followed him in stood quietly behind him. Even a needle dropped to the ground would be clearly heard in the quiet room. Sensing the tense atmosphere, a thin layer of sweat covered Cao Kun’s forehead. Maintaining a respectful posture, he secretly observed the sitting person up close.
Black hair, black pupils, defined features, a figure dressed in a plain Chinese Tang suit, very much like a scholar. The thin lips seemed to be curved in a light smile, but the eyes were cold, like a cold star in a winter night, overlooking all living beings from above. They were like the mythical weapon that could kill without shedding blood, so sharp they could easily penetrate people’s hearts. He sat there quietly, but calmly controlled everyone present. The unyielding sense of oppression made everyone unconsciously straighten their backs.
He was the adopted son of Chu Yu, the former president of the Golden Eagle Group, the newly succeeded Patriarch of the Chu family in charge of the financial resources of the Golden Eagle Group, and the new leader of the Black Hawk Club – Chu Yichen.
The sudden arrival of the big boss made Cao Kun very nervous. He instantly wondered if there was something wrong with Lihao’s management, that made the boss come in person to deal with. After all, the new owner was not a person who leisurely came to the nightclub to play. Although he had only met Chu Yichen a couple of times when accompanying Yang Lin, he knew from these few encounters that Chu Yichen had surpassed his teacher, just like rumored outside, and was more difficult to deal with than his father Chu Yu, so he had to be very careful. But today, General Manager Yang Lin was not there…
“Mr. Yang might have fallen asleep, I can’t reach him. Here are the company’s accounts for the past few months. Please have a look.” Cao Kun handed over the account book in his hands, and the man in a black suit standing by the sofa reached out to take it, flipped through the book carefully, and handed it to Chu Yichen.
“No, as I said, I’m here for fun.” The slender finger tapped on a red wine on the list. “A bottle of wine. Hei Yu will arrange the rest.”
“Yes,” the man in the black suit replied and said a few words to Cao Kun. Soon, wine and snacks were delivered, and Cao Kun personally opened the bottle. The wine poured in the transparent decanter had a bright red color. The lights were dimmed, and a few people with musical instruments walked in, playing and singing, all quiet songs.
Sure enough, he still didn’t like excitement.
In the corner, A-Zhou silently looked at the man leaning on the sofa. The panic just now finally dispersed. The darkness was a natural protective film, allowing him to spy from the shadows. It seemed that his disguise was successful, at least the other party did not recognize him. Imagining Chu Yichen’s expression if he knew that the person he had been looking for was so near, he had to suppress a laughter.
“I’ll go to the bathroom,” he whispered to Da Hua, and walked slowly to the door. He just opened it a crack. Seeing the person standing outside, he immediately lowered his head and retracted.
Damn it! He couldn’t help but curse inwardly. Just now he was thinking about how Chu Yichen had only brought Hei Yu, but it turned out that Bai Xiao was guarding outside the door. These two people were Chu Yichen’s deputies and the two directors of the Black Hawk Club. One was in charge of personnel, the other in charge of finance; one was fierce, and the other – cold. They were called “the black and the white demon”, their characters both ruthless. Compared to Hei Yu, who was cold, the smiling Bai Xiao was more difficult to deal with, and he would definitely get exposed if he confronted him.
It seemed he couldn’t escape, and had no choice but to stay where he was.
“Didn’t you want to go to the bathroom? Why didn’t you?” Da Hua asked when he came back.
“Not in a hurry…” He smiled bitterly.
In the private room, Cao Kun carefully poured wine in Chu Yichen’s glass. He didn’t do this kind of thing very often, and now he was clumsy and spilled some wine.
“You don’t need to do it yourself. Let the waiter come over,” Chu Yichen said.
“Ah, good.” Cao Kun was relieved and gestured to the two waiters, “Come here!”
Shock filled A-Zhou’s mind, and his whole body turned stiff. Seeing that he did not move, Da Hua, who was standing next to him, tugged at him. He had no other choice but to step forward with his head lowered and bend over to wipe the wine spilled on the table.
“Young Master Chen, do you want to call a few girls to cheer up?” Cao Kun asked.
“No. I’ve been very busy recently and want to relax, but there are many people who get in the way.”
“Then shall I ask the masseur to come and give you a massage?”
“Just him. Knead my legs.” Chu Yichen put his long legs on the coffee table.
A-Zhou, who kept his head down, was still wondering who this “him” was referring to, when he heard Cao Kun call his name. His heart sank abruptly.
Given the current situation, he could not retreat. The more unnatural he acted, the easier it was to get exposed, so he could only bite the bullet. Although the light was dim, he was too close. He didn’t dare to risk looking at the other person, so he could only lower his body as much as possible. The only convenient position was squatting or kneeling. He lowered his head, knelt down on one knee, and felt his hands tremble slightly when he touched the other’s pants.
A-Zhou kneaded again and again. Sweat was oozing from his back and his forehead, but his palms were cold. He felt like he had been put into a big pot and fried. Every minute was horribly long. In addition to the silent prayer “Don’t recognize me”, his severely scolded Chu Yichen one hundred and eighty times in his heart, Bastard, you actually ordered Lao Zi to kneel and knead your legs!
After about three songs, the man spoke again, “Why did you choose this name?”
He shivered, and the movement of his hands paused.
Was he just trying to strike-up a conversation or… had he been recognized? He forced himself to calm down quickly, deliberately lowered his voice and said, “I chose it randomly.”
“A-Zhou.” The man took a sip of wine and said, “Very good.”
“…Thank you, Boss.” As soon as he uttered these words, he heard the other party slowly add the second half of the sentence.
“It sounds better than Chu Yunhan.”
His pupils suddenly shrank and he froze in place.
The world turned upside down.