Title: 谁把谁当真 (Winner Takes All)
Translator: 月野 見事 (TsukinoMigoto)
Protagonists ：黎朔 (LiShuo), 赵锦辛 (ZhaoJinXin)
The Weibo that Wen Xiaohui posted actually became popular on the Internet, and it was accompanied by various “Chinese-Americans, Rich and Handsome” tags and spread to various websites, even Li Chengxiu who rarely surfs the Internet called to tease Li Shuo. Even his parents in the United States knew about it.
Li Shuo checked the various interesting messages on the Internet and another day had passed.
After staying in Sanya for a week, the object of his talks about cooperation had arrived. This person is a friend of his father and a prominent figure in the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in New York. His surname is Cui. He is rumored to be a good person, but quite a womanizer.
Li Shuo thought that this man was an elder after all and since he was free, he drove to the airport to pick him up.
But when he got to the airport, Li Shuo was a little dumbfounded. Mr. Cui was not there alone. He brought with him two young persons, a man and a woman. The woman was enchanting and sexy. She is half a head taller than Mr. Cui while the man was so good-looking and appears to be of mixed race.
The man seems to be about twenty-five or twenty-six years old. He was tall, with profound features but not sharp, his pupils were light brown and he always has a smile on his face. He seems to be a gentleman and extremely charming.
“Xiao Li.” Mr. Cui shook hands with Li Shuo enthusiastically, “I saw you as a student before, now you are much mature.”
Li Shuo smiled and said, “Mr Cui hasn’t changed much, he is still so energetic.”
Mr. Cui laughed heartily: “Come, let me introduce you. This is Sisi, my goddaughter. And this is the son of my friend and one of the heirs of Hongyun Capital, Zhou Jinxing. Be good to him. This is Mr. Li, who I mentioned to you before.”
Zhou Jinxing smiled and stretched out his hand: “Mr. Li, hello.”
“Hello, hello, it’s nice meeting you.”
Hongyun Capital is the major shareholder of this project. Cui always has good connections. Li Shuo will occupy the smallest share. After all, it is a seven-star hotel with an estimated investment of more than 1 billion. It is more difficult for him to take all the profits alone.
Li Shuo said embarrassedly: “Mr. Cui, I didn’t expect you to bring more people. I rented a sports car and there’s not enough seats.”
“It’s okay, let’s take a taxi. Let’s go together. Which hotel you stay in? We will be staying in which hotel?”
“Okay.” Li Shuo made a ‘please’ gesture towards Zhou Jinxing, “Mr. Zhou, you can come with me.”
Zhou Jinxing smiled elegantly and followed.
“Sanya is so hot.” Zhou Jinxing wiped the sweat from his forehead and said with a smile.
“Yes, so I hardly go out during the day.” Li Shuo turned on the air conditioner and casually said, “Is Mr. Zhou mixed race?”
“Yes, my mother is Swiss.”
Li Shuo smiled and nodded. Hongyun Capital is one of the best established investment companies in China. The family was seriously bad in the past two years and there was a lot of trouble over the inheritance of the descendants and grandchildren. The drama of this rich family became a gossip in the business world for a while. Li Shuo had a little impression of this mixed heir. He seemed to be an illegitimate child. The eldest son died unexpectedly, and he just entered the house.
“I’m sorry, I’ll make a call.” Zhou Jinxing leaned over and said in a low voice, “Well, I’m here, the child didn’t make trouble? Well, I have to work hard for you these days.” He has a gentle tone when he was speaking with the person on the phone and he is always smiling.
When he hung up the phone, Li Shuo chatted with him: “How old is your child?”
“Two years old. A boy.” Zhou Jinxing smiled, “He’s a little skinny.”
“Your wife must be working hard at home.”
Zhou Jinxing was startled but then smiled: “Haha, yeah, yeah.”
“Look over there, Mr. Zhou.” Li Shuo pointed to the distant coastline, “Do you see that place with light? That is the place we fancy. It is not far from the city. I have visited it several times during the day. The sea view and the quality of the sand are also great.”
“Oh, great, let’s take a look tomorrow. Our company attaches great importance to this project and wants to build it into a sailing hotel in China.”
“I don’t think that will be a problem.”
The two chatted about the hotel’s planning speculatively. At first, Li Shuo felt that Zhou Jinxing gave him a sense of distance. After all, the Zhou’s family has been paid attention to by the media for a long time and is regarded as a public figure, but after a few conversations, he found that this is a reliable person. As a partner, easy communication is very important. For this reason, Li Shuo felt very pleased.
Two cars arrived at the hotel at the same time. Mr. Cui himself and his ‘daughter’ rented the villa next door to Li Shuo while Zhou Jinxing stayed with him. The three agreed to visit the land early tomorrow morning.
At night, Li Shuo was lying on the sofa in the living room reading a book. As he was looking at it, the text sank toward the center, and he began to be unable to concentrate again. The next second, like every day in the past, Zhao Jinxin’s face popped out of his mind.
He felt irritable and forced himself to concentrate on the book, but it was dull.
Suddenly, his mobile phone rang. It was Wen Xiaohui who called and wanted to video chat with him.
Li Shuo breathed a sigh of relief, feeling that the phone call rescued him. He shook his head and tried to focus on the phone: “What is this video chat for?”
“Show you my new color.” Wen Xiaohui said triumphantly.
Li Shuo smiled and clicked on the video, but he saw two huge nostrils.
Li Shuo was taken aback.
Wen Xiaohui laughed, and then moved the phone away from his face, and then fiddled with his hair: “How about my hair color?”
Wen Xiaohui dyed his hair gray-blue and he also wore contact lens of the same color. With sharp ears, he would have looked like an elf, beautiful and foreign.
“Good-looking, really fashionable.” Li Shuo praised.
“Yes, I also think it looks good. I adjusted the color myself and I’ve been adjusting it all afternoon.” Wen Xiaohui pouted, “but Luo Yi doesn’t like it.”
Li Shuo smiled: “The more he dislikes, the more you have to keep it for a few days, and then change it back, let him experience a little ups and downs in his heart, he will be very happy.”
Wen Xiaohui laughed and said: “I learned another trick, I’ll listen to you…What the-!” Wen Xiaohui’s eyes stared.
Li Shuo was startled, and subconsciously sat up from the sofa: “What’s the matter?”
“Behind you, behind you!”
Li Shuo’s heart was pounding. His first thought was that something spooky happened. But as soon as he turned his head, he saw Zhou Jinxing wearing a racer vest and beach pants, standing awkwardly behind him, as if he was petrified.
“Uh, what’s wrong? I just came to pour water.”
Li Shuo almost laughed: “It’s nothing. I am video chatting with my friend, I’m sorry to scare you.”
Zhou Jinxing smiled: “It’s alright, good night.”
“Good night.” Li Shuo picked up the phone and ran to the balcony. Then he laughed and said, “Xiaohui, why are you so surprised?”
“A mixed-race male model suddenly appeared behind you. How can I not be surprised?” Wen Xiaohui looked around, then leaned close to the screen, winking his eyebrows, and said in a low voice, “How did you meet? Huh?”
“It’s not what you think, he’s just a possible business partner.” Li Shuo smiled.
“Who are you kidding? You’re staying in the same room.”
“I rented a villa with four bedrooms.” Li Shuo said helplessly, “I’m not lying to you if I said there’s nothing going on. It’s really not like that and he is married.”
Wen Xiaohui was disappointed and said: “It’s a pity. He would’ve been suitable for you.”
“Is he suitable for me? He is not the type I like. I don’t like guys taller than me…” Li Shuo paused when he was halfway talking. What he liked before was really just the weak and unreliable type like Han Feiye and Li Chengxiu. Before this, he would never believe that he would be fall for the likes of Zhao Jinxin.
How can it be so ironic that a person who is not the type that he likes would approach him with the purpose of deception. He also happens to be the cousin of the person he hates the most. He should be kicked out of the game decisively by him no matter what, but in the end, he had already deeply plunged into his heart. There seemed to be a hand fiddling around on the chessboard, breaking the chess game, messing up the rules, making him lost in the game and making him feel at a loss.
Until now, he couldn’t fathom wether is it because Zhao Jinxin is special that he likes him or is it because he likes him that Zhao Jinxin becomes that special.
Wen Xiaohui was also silent. Obviously, he thought of the same person as Li Shuo. He immediately said, “I know, you like this type of people.” Wen Xiaohui pulled off his nightgown and stared at Li Shuo.
Li Shuo couldn’t stop laughing.
Suddenly, there was a sound of the door opening from Wen Xiaohui’s end and the camera became pitch black. Only Wen Xiaohui’s yelling can be heard, “I like this hair color!”
Luo Yi’s petting voice can then be heard: “Okay, as long as you like it.”
Wen Xiaohui lowered his voice: “Brother Li, bye.” After speaking, he quickly hung up the phone.
Li Shuo smiled and shook his head. He was just about to put down the phone when he saw Zhao Jinxin’s name appear on the caller ID. He stopped breathing, adjusted his emotions, and answered the phone: “Hello.”
Zhao Jinxin’s voice was very calm: “Did you go to Sanya?”
“How did you know?”
“Your assistant told me.”
“What’s up with it?”
“You previously agreed to go to Sanya together with me.” Zhao Jinxin paused, “I am also interested in that hotel project.”
“There’s enough investors already.” Li Shuo said, “Zhao Jinxin, don’t call me unless it’s official business.”
“…It is official business.”
Zhao Jinxin asked some financial questions and Li Shuo calmly answered him.
The two people’s tone was strangely like two strangers. Li Shuo thought so as he gripped the iron railing of the balcony.
After Li Shuo finished answering, Zhao Jinxin did not talk about the business anymore, but abruptly asked: “Sanya’s ‘entertainment industry’ is particularly well-developed. Have you tried it?”
Li Shuo narrowed his eyes: “Thank you for reminding me, I will check it out tomorrow.”
Zhao Jinxin was silent for a few seconds before hanging up the phone rudely.
Li Shuo was stunned and threw down his phone irritably.
In the afternoon of the next day, the relevant person in charge of the government department took them to see the land. They introduced them to the details of the land and the overall planning of the surrounding area.
Mr. Cui usually looks unreliable, and when he encounters business matters, he becomes a veteran. They watched and communicated, and they collided with many ideas in the morning.
After going around for a while, the sky was getting dark. President Cui invited them to a meal and to drink some wine. When the meal was over, Mr. Cui enthusiastically said that he would take them ‘to play’.
Li Shuo and Zhou Jinxing both looked at each other. Both saw a hint of embarrassment in each other’s eyes.
Zhou Jinxing quickly responded politely: “Okay, I’ll listen to Mr. Cui.”
When it comes to doing business in China, Li Shuo is most afraid of encountering this situation. He is gay and has no interested in women, but if he does not go, it will inevitably be rude to the inviting party. Moreover, he instantly remembered what Zhao Jinxin said last night. With a provocative tone, it made him feel uncomfortable.
Have I tried it? Okay, why not try it? He thought angrily.
Li Shuo smiled and said: “Yes, let’s listen to Mr. Cui.”
“Hahaha, let’s look around.”
A few people went straight to a nightclub. Cui Zong, however, introduced a secretive club to them in the car, saying that this nightclub is very safe and thoughtful. When he mentioned that it was thoughtful, he winked at Li Shuo, but Li Shuo didn’t understand his meaning yet.
When he got to the place, Li Shuo understood that this nightclub not only provides normal services to male customers, but also provides services to male customers with “non-mainstream orientation”.
Li Shuo’s sexuality is not a big secret in the Chinese circle. Although he has not publicized it, he is a little open about it with his parents and more or less people know about it. Li Shuo just didn’t expect Mr. Cui to be ‘thoughtful’ here. To a degree where he really called in a bunch of male escorts.
Li Shuo looked at a dozen young boys lined up, feeling embarrassed.
Mr. Cui is always kind. At this time, he still looked at him with dazzling eyes. He feels helpless so he could only pick the one that was most pleasing to the eye.
Zhou Jinxing smiled calmly on the sidelines, without opening his mouth, and asked Mr. Cui to pick him a fair girl.
“Brother.” It was a tall and well-behaved boy. As soon as he sat down, he hugged Li Shuo’s arm, with undisguised joy and admiration in his eyes, “Thank you for choosing me, brother.”
Li Shuo smiled: “You’re welcome, what’s your name?” He asked as he took a sip of lemonade.
Li Shuo almost squirted out the water from his mouth.
“Brother, are you okay?” The boy patted his back eagerly.
“I’m okay.” Li Shuo poured him a glass of wine and said a few perfunctory words before leaning over and chatting with his neighbor Zhou Jinxing about the project. Zhou Jinxing was obviously also lacking in interest in the beauty next to him, and the two of them were talking enthusiastically. The loud music also insists on them to chat.
After a few glasses of wine, Li Shuo got up to go to the bathroom.
The ‘Leon’ by his side immediately stood up as well, “Brother, I will accompany you.”
“It’s okay, I will go by myself.” Li Shuo knew what this boy wanted to do and refused without hesitation.
“Brother, let me accompany you.”
Li Shuo patted his arm and patiently said: “I can go to the toilet by myself, and then you can just accompany me out to get some air. Is this okay?”
The boy nodded in disappointment.
Li Shuo entered the bathroom and smiled bitterly at himself in the mirror.
This is a very common English name, but it has become a mark of shame that he will never forget in his life. He still remembered sticking petals one by one to the wall. The petals was very fragile and it would break if the hands held them a little bit stronger. The glue was all over his hands, and he rubbed his skin all over to wash it off. When he arranged the suite, he always had the illusion that he wanted to propose marriage for Zhao Jinxin. After all, such an unrealistic behavior was neither suitable for his age and was too much of a fanfare. It was more suitable for a once-in-a-lifetime ritual. It’s unlike just a birthday surprise prepared in a few days in a temporary suite.
He poured out 100% of his enthusiasm and love in exchange for Zhao Jinxin’s words and betrayal, which made him feel bloody and lost his dignity.
In his whole life, he didn’t want to see the four letters of L-E-O-N ever again but today, it was as if he was slapped in the face.
He adjusted his mood and walked out of the room. Mr. Cui was smoking in the room that it had become too foggy. He had to go out to catch his breath.
The boy followed suit, insisting on holding his arm.
Li Shuo was never a scandalous type of person, even though he didn’t like it in his heart, he didn’t refuse. He still chatted with him gently.
The two walked all the way through the corridor and the lobby. When they passed by the sofa in the lobby, Li Shuo was stunned. He glanced at a familiar figure. He slowly turned his head sideways and saw that it was Zhao Jinxin sitting on the sofa…
Next to Zhao Jinxin, a handsome man was seated. They were talking and laughing together.
Zhao Jinxin also turned his head slightly, looked at Li Shuo, curled his lips and smiled: “What a coincidence.”
Next update: 2021/9/6
*Translator’s Note: I’m not sure if Zhou Jinxing is another character from another novel by ShuiQianCheng or not because spoiler alert… his ‘wife’ that he mentions is a man after all. I think I’ve read all of her works but I’m not sure if I have missed this guy. If you guys know, please share with me, yeah? Thanks!