The Truth Revealed
Xia Lei pulled Xu Lang off the floor but did not release his arm. "I don't know either," he said.
Xu Zheng-Wen, Hu Hou and Shentu Tian-Yin had also walked over.
Xu Zheng-Wen had a dark expression and he looked at Xia Lei, his voice cold as he asked, "Mr Xia, what is going on?"
He had the instinct of a police officer. It was not only Xu Zheng-Wen who suspected foul play; everyone had the same suspicion. This was a high-class event and all the attendees were names and players in society. Ren Wen-Qiang and Xu Lang both had high statuses so how could they behave worse than beasts? Even if they wanted to play with women, they could go to a hotel and get a room. Why would they choose to do something like this out in the open, in front of all the guests in the great hall?
"I said it just now. I don't know," said Xia Lei.
Xu Zheng-Wen looked at the three wine-glasses with dregs of red wine in their bottoms on the table and sneered, "The three of you drank wine and only the two of them had something happen to them while you're fine. Can you claim to not know what's going on?"
Xia Lei was calm, "Director Xu, what do you mean by that? Are you suspecting me?"
At that moment, two security guards walked over and took Xu Lang off Xia Lei's hands.
Ning Yuan-Shan looked angrily at Xia Lei, "Xia Lei, I've treated you well. I said nothing when you stole the China Industrial Group business from East Wind Heavy Industries. Count it as me not being able to see your true nature. How dare you run wild here and do something to Mr Ren and Mr Xu's drinks?"
One of the worst feelings to man is being wronged.
Flames lit in Xia Lei's heart and he smiled in his anger, "Chairman Ning, Director Xu, you accuse me of doing something to their drinks without even distinguishing between right and wrong. Do you know what happened? Do you have evidence?"
"You dare claim you have nothing suspicious on you?" Ning Yuan-Shan was already unhappy about Xia Lei stealing the China Industrial Group business from him and something like this happening gave him a chance to vent.
Xia Lei sneered, "So you're saying you think I am the one who did something to the wine?"
Xu Zheng-Wen spoke to a security guard, "You, search him."
The security guard nodded, then walked towards Xia Lei, prepared to search him.
"Hold on." Shentu Tian-Yin suddenly spoke, "Mr Xia is an invited guest. It is not proper to search him when there is no evidence to support the action."
At Shentu Tian-Yin's words, the security guard who had been about to search Xia Lei stopped in his tracks and looked back at Xu Zheng-Wen.
"Miss Shentu, is it not obvious? From how Mr Ren and Xu Lang acted, they were drugged with something hallucinatory. Xia Lei drank with them and only the two of them had something happen to them while he is unscathed. It can't be Xu Lang or Mr Ren who did it to themselves, can it?" said Xu Zheng-Wen.
Shentu Tian-Yin wrinkled her brows. That's true. Who would drug himself?
"Miss Shentu, if Xia Lei is innocent then there's no harm in letting someone search him. I'll apologise to him myself if he is innocent," said Ning Yuan-Shan.
Practically everyone was sure that Xia Lei had spiked the wine and the people looking on pointed at Xia Lei and whispered amongst themselves. Their eyes were full of contempt and disgust. It was as if a beggar dressed in rags had suddenly encroached upon their exclusive, elegant aristocratic party.
Seeing Shentu Tian-Yin keep quiet, Xu Zheng-Wen said to the security guard who had stopped, "Go, search him."
The security guard walked to Xia Lei and said in a harsh tone, "Excuse me, I'll be searching you." So saying, he reached for Xia Lei.
Xia Lei blocked his hand and said coldly, "What right have you to search me?"
"You must be feeling guilty, then!" Ning Yuan-Shan pointed at Xia Lei.
Ning Jing finally stood up, looking nervous, "Uncle, Xia Lei is not that sort of person. He would never, never put drugs in the wine."
Ning Yuan-Shan glared at Ning Jing, "This doesn't involve you. What nonsense are you spouting?"
Ning Jing pressed on, "Xia Lei wasn't originally at this table. It was Ren Wen-Qiang who'd invited him over. I invited Xia Lei over to sit with us and Ren Wen-Qiang poured wine for Xia Lei and Xu Lang poured wine for Ren Wen-Qiang, then... Then this happened. I don't know how it happened either."
The female guest who had been assaulted by Xu Lang also stepped forward and said angrily, "This Mr Xia here didn't pour wine for anyone. The three glasses of wine he drank were all poured by Ren Wen-Qiang. Who knows what else this bastard would have done if Mr Xia had not stopped him!"
The bastard she was talking about was Xu Lang.
Xu Zheng-Wen's face darkened and he glared at the woman who'd spoken up for Xia Lei, "Miss, you'd better be more respectful."
"Respectful?" She pointed at Xu Lang, who was still being restrained by two security guards, and cried, "Look at what he's done! Are you blind? Respect for a person like that? I won't just let this matter rest - I'll sue him!"
"You..." Xu Zheng-Wen was so angry that he could not speak.
If this matter blew up, Xu Lang's future would be ruined.
"You can search me if you want but it's not fair to search just me. You have to search Xu Lang and Ren Wen-Qiang too. And there's cameras too. Won't you know what happened if you take a look at the surveillance footage?" said Xia Lei.
"I agree," said Shentu Tian-Yin.
Xu Zheng-Wen and Ning Yuan-Shan had nothing further to say after Shentu Tian-Yin expressed her approval. Someone quickly went to fetch the surveillance footage and the security guards brought the confused Ren Wen-Qiang and Xu Lang before Xia Lei to search all three of the persons involved.
"Please cooperate," said a security guard to Xia Lei.
Xia Lei raised his arms.
The security guard was soon done with his search. He had removed everything from his pockets - mobile phone, wallet and the like, and found nothing suspicious.
"Nothing." The security guard was done searching Xia Lei.
"You're sure there's nothing?" Xu Zheng-Wen was dissatisfied with the result.
The security guard shook his head, "Nothing. I did a very thorough search."
Xu Zheng-Wen's face darkened again. If Xia Lei had nothing suspicious on him, then either Xu Lang or Ren Wen-Qiang would have something suspicious. He hesitated - should the search continue?
Xia Lei looked at the security guard who did the body search and said, "What are you standing there for? We'd agreed that all three should be searched. You searched me but not the other two. What's the meaning of this?"
"I..." The security guard looked at Xu Zheng-Wen again, waiting for instructions.
Xu Zheng-Wen kept quiet.
The female guest who'd been assaulted by Xu Lang shouted, "That's right, why aren't you searching the other two? They must be guilty!"
The surrounding guests also added their cries, "Search them! If you want to do a search you have to search all of them!"
"Director Xu?" Shentu Tian-Yin looked at Xu Zheng-Wen, her eyes full of doubt.
Xu Zheng-Wen bit the bullet and said, "Search them both."
The security guard doing body searches went to Xu Lang and quickly removed the items in his pockets - mobile phone, wallet and two condoms.
"Why did that guy even bring those?" said a guest.
"I heard that guy is a police officer and has some higher rank. So a police officer always carries that sort of thing around with him, huh. Is it so he can handle a case at any time?" someone joked.
"I don't know how someone like that can be a police officer. What a disgrace," said someone.
These words made Xu Zheng-Wen feel very embarrassed.
The security guard finished searching Xu Lang's body and said, "Nothing."
Xu Zheng-Wen let out a sigh of relief, "Search Ren Wen-Qiang next."
The security guard went to search Ren Wen-Qiang.
"The result will be the same whether we search him or not. I believe Mr Ren is not that sort of person," said Ning Yuan-Shan. He looked at Ning Jing as he spoke. He had to speak for Ren Wen-Qiang because he had put in work to make the contract between Vientaine Group and East Wind Heavy Industries happen. More importantly, Ren Wen-Qiang was the golden candidate for the Ning family's future son-in-law so he as the uncle had to say something in defence of his future in-law.
However, just as Ning Yuan-Shan was done speaking, the security guard took out a small glass bottle from Ren Wen-Qiang's pocket. There was about a third of the brown liquid left in it. The bottle's label had Indian writing on it and pictures of men and women intertwined. There was no need for a professional interpretation - anyone with experience could see what the item was supposed to be used for.
The surrounding guests were in uproar at the appearance of the Kamsutram Oil.
"Isn't that the Kamsutram Oil that's trending now? I saw it on the internet. Its effects are even stronger than hallucinogens. No matter male or female, one sip would make one heat up and go out of control," said a man in the crowd. When other people looked over at where the voice had come from, he quickly shut his mouth and pretended to not have said it.
Ning Yuan-Shan suddenly pointed at Xia Lei and said, "Xia Lei, it must be you who spiked the wine, then planted the drug bottle on Mr Ren! You did it, didn't you!"
Xia Lei was furious and spoke angrily, "Ning Yuan-Shan! Watch your words! I am still being polite to you because I respect you as an elder but you are not being reasonable! I let slide you accusing me but now that something suspicious has been found on Ren Wen-Qiang, you still blame me. Are you blind?"
"You, you..." Ning Yuan-Shan pointed straight at Xia Lei, too angry for words. Nobody had dared to speak to him like that - Xia Lei was the first, and in front of so many influential people, no less!
Xu Zheng-Wen interrupted, "The item may have been found on Ren Wen-Qiang but he wouldn't be so stupid to drug himself, yet you're completely fine, right?"
The crowd started whispering again, buzzing with everything they could think of.
Rationally, nobody would drug himself with that item and in this sort of venue too.
"You can check the fingerprints on the bottle. There definitely won't be mine on it. And didn't someone go to fetch the surveillance footage? Where is it?"
At that moment, one of Shentu Tian-Yin's bodyguards brought a notebook computer over.
"Lady, I have copied the surveillance footage on this computer. Please have a look." The bodyguard unlocked the computer screen and held the computer out with both hands for Shentu Tian-Yin to inspect it.
Shentu Tian-Yin leaned in close to the screen and Xu Zheng-Wen and Ning Yuan-Shan also moved closer.
In the video, Ren Wen-Qiang and Xu Lang whispered in each others' ears and the two of them looked at Xia Lei. Ren Wen-Qiang then said something to Ning Jing and she stood up and walked towards Xia Lei. Ren Wen-Qiang took a small bottle out from his pocket and poured its contents into a bottle of red wine...
The truth was revealed.
"How... How is this possible?" Ning Yuan-Shan's face flamed red.
Xu Zheng-Wen, too, could not figure out why Ren Wen-Qiang had drugged himself and Xu Lang, but left Xia Lei unscathed.
The video continued playing. Ning Jing brought Xia Lei to the table and Ren Wen-Qiang bade him sit. After a chatting for a bit, Xia Lei reached for his phone, seemingly to make a call but the phone fell to the floor. After Xia Lei picked it up, Ren Wen-Qiang poured wine for Xia Lei and when he reached to pour wine for Ren Wen-Qiang after drinking, Ren Wen-Qiang did not hand over the bottle. Instead, Xu Lang poured a glass for Ren Wen-Qiang, then one for himself. The three of them chatted for a bit, and raised their glasses to drink together...
The video had no audio but Xia Lei had not touched the bottles at all during the whole process. Anyone who wasn't blind could see that he was innocent and it was Ren Wen-Qiang and Xu Lang who had planned to do something to Xia Lei from the start and spiked the wine!
"You..." Xu Zheng-Wen glared at Xia Lei, red with anger, "You already knew! You pretended to drop your phone and switched the bottles! You did, didn't you!"
Xia Lei made a face of sudden realisation and laughed as he said, "Oh, sorry, I just remembered. I accidentally knocked a bottle of wine when I was picking my phone up. Lucky thing I caught it in time and it didn't break. I put it nicely straight up again. Who knew... I must have put it back in the wrong place, huh?"
"So you did already know about it!" Xu Zheng-Wen said angrily, "Why didn't you stop them!"
Xia Lei stretched both hands out helplessly, "Sorry, Director Xu. I was wrong. I didn't know what they were planning. I just accidentally knocked over a bottle of wine. You can arrest me if this is an offence."
"You..." Xu Zheng-Wen was once again so angry he could not speak.
Xia Lei continued, "I really didn't know that they had spiked the wine. If I'd known I would drink all the wine they spiked. It's just a small matter if I make a fool of myself but it's different for your nephew, isn't it?" He turned his gaze to Ning Yuan-Shan and said, "And you, Chairman Ning, Ren Wen-Qiang is your favoured future in-law and also holds a high position in Vientaine Group. His future and status is far above a small fry like me. You need to notify me first, maybe give me a hint. Just let me know that they want to drug me and I'll drink the drug directly. Why make such an embarrassing scene?"
Xu Zheng-Wen and Ning Yuan-Shan were speechless and the two of them had faces as dark as thunderclouds.
"Have a good celebration. This sort of gathering doesn't suit me and I don't fancy attending a dinner party with wretched people who would drug me!" So saying, Xia Lei turned and walked off.
Shentu Tian-Yin looked at Xia Lei's back and a faint smile appeared in the corners of her lips. The ice was melting.