Li Du did not know how powerful the Tussenberg family was, and he also did not ask. However, Elson called Bradley, a leader of the national branch of the world’s top luxury products company, a “decent worker.”
Furthermore, Elson used a very casual tone when he said that, just like saying, “Let’s eat steak tonight.” Evidently, Bradley was not an important person in Elson’s eyes.
Both Li Du and Steve got along very well and had chit-chatted the entire night.
After the showcase had ended, Cole walked over.
When he saw Li Du and Steve together, he was briefly stunned before very quickly smiling. “Mr. Tussenberg, Li, seems like you guys are having a great time chit-chatting. Earlier, I was worried that you might feel uncomfortable here.”
Steve nodded and said, “You are too kind, Mr. Winston. I did not know that Li is also a shareholder of your company. We are old friends. If I had known beforehand that he would be attending the showcase this time, I would have been very happy to come over.”
“Old friend?” Cole smiled before walking in front of Li Du and whispering, “I did not know that you had such a powerful old friend.”
Li Du also smiled. As he did not know Steve’s true identity, he did not respond to Cole and would ask about Steve later.
Li Du initially thought that Cole had walked over to look for him. Now, from the looks of it, Cole seemed to be here for Steve. Seeing this, Li Du was considerate and left.
After having just walked a few steps, someone walked over to Li Du and extended his hand. “Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, I’m Cao Fan. Nice to meet you, Mr. Li.”
Li Du turned his head to look at the person. The person greeting him was also a Chinese man who looked to be approximately 30-something years old and spoke clear, fluent Mandarin.
Li Du shook his hand and asked, “Have we met before? Mr. Winston gave me an introduction. So sorry, I’m not very good at socializing and hence, did not go over to talk to you.”
Cao Fan smiled and said in an easygoing manner, “You are too kind, Mr. Li. I have been wanting to meet you. However, as you and Mr. Tussenberg were chit-chatting, I did not want to bother you.”
Even though it was evident that Cao Fan also knew who Steve was, Li Du could not ask him.
Li Du suspected that Steve had something to do with Cao Fan coming over to him. If he were to take the initiative and ask about Steve’s identity, the other party would know that he knew nothing and would not take him seriously.
He could be low key in this type of socializing event, since being low key would gain the respect of others. However, he might also be taken lightly by others.
Changing the topic, Li Du asked, “From what I remember of Mr. Winston’s introduction, you are currently in charge of the American branch?”
Cao Fan nodded. “Yes, my family migrated to San Francisco during my grandfather’s generation. As China was successfully reformed and became more open when I was young, my grandfather sent me back to live in China. As such, my accent and the education that I have received should be very similar to yours.”
After a brief chit-chat, Cao Fan asked, “Brother Li, do you have any plans for tonight?”
Li Du shook his head. Cao Fan said, “There are quite a few Chinese at the showcase this time around. It so happens that we are having a small Chinese gathering tonight. Could you do me a favor and join us?”
Hearing his question, Li Du smiled. “You are too kind, I would very much like to join. However, you don’t have to say that it’s a ‘favor.’ I can’t accept that.”
Cao Fan smiled, patted Li Du on his shoulders, and said, “Let’s go, my car is at the entrance.”
The gathering was not being held at the Four Seasons Hotel. After informing Sophie, Li Du boarded Cao Fan’s car with Brother Wolf.
Cao Fan’s car, which was a silver Maybach, had a broad and sturdy body, was extravagantly decorated inside, and had two rows of seats that faced each other.
After Cao Fan opened the car door for Li Du to sit in the back row, he pressed a button and the front row seats slowly folded in. All of a sudden, the inside of the car became a lot more spacious.
When Li Du sat down, an automatic leg rest extended out while the seat began gradually tilting until he felt comfortable.
In the middle of the front row of seats was an 18.5-inch screen. When Cao Fan entered the car, the screen lit up and displayed information regarding the outside environment such as temperature, humidity, and purity of the air.
After Brother Wolf sat in the front passenger seat of the car, the car started. The stability of the car was so good that Li Du would not have been able to tell that the car had started moving if he had not looked outside.
The Maybach was much bigger than most sedans. This was became even more obvious when the car started driving on the road. Compared to a normal sedan, the car was nearly two times longer.
Cao Fan opened a bottle of red wine, handed a half-filled glass to Li Du, and said, “Drink some first to warm up. As all of us have very high alcohol tolerances, tell us beforehand if you don’t want to drink or are not able to.”
Li Du understood the drinking culture of his fellow Chinese people. Although such a culture was considered to be of no value, it was still reasonable. Chinese people loved discussing matters over alcohol and felt that alcohol was able to bring out people’s true nature since it could get people’s blood pumping.
As the little bug was able to absorb alcohol and convert it into energy, Li Du was not afraid of such gatherings. After hearing Cao Fan’s words, Li Du laughed and said, “It’s ok. How could I not drink with my fellow countrymen? Isn’t that being arrogant?”
Cao Fan burst into laughter before patting Li Du on his shoulder and saying, “Haha, well said. I have a feeling that everyone will be very fond of you. Your personality is very compatible with ours.”
After driving for more than half an hour, the Maybach parked at the door of an antique-looking Chinese restaurant.
As it was already close to midnight, the restaurant was no longer open to the public. Despite that, the inside of the restaurant was brightly lit, and there were several people chit-chatting loudly.
Having spotted Cao Fan entering with Li Du, someone shouted, “Yo, Hong Men’s Master Fan Er Gou, Master Gou is here!”
Li Du took a glance around the restaurant. There were both men and women at the gathering. As most of the men were 30 years old and older, Li Du was considered to be the youngest. On the other hand, the women at the gathering were 20 years old and younger. Compared to them, Li Du was considered the oldest.
Except for the few who were more outgoing, most of the men were relatively solemn.
After Cao Fan greeted everyone with a smile on his face, someone said, “You guys are late. Come come come, time to drink as punishment.”
While laughing, a man walked over with two large bottles of distilled spirit in hand. Without saying a word, Li Du took a bottle, raised his head, and speedily drank the spirit.
There was at least half a liter of spirit in one bottle. After Li Du finished one bottle’s worth of spirit in one breath, everyone was taken aback. No one was making jokes anymore, and everyone looked at him in awe.
Shocked, Cao Fan said, “F*ck, Brother Li, what are you doing? They were just joking. You actually drank it?”
Li Du asked in a surprised manner, “It was just a joke?”
The man who brought over the spirits swallowed, clapped, and said, “A young hero. Young man, you are very bold. Who said it was a joke? It’s not a joke, Er Gou. This young man has already drunk his. It’s up to you now.”
Helpless, Cao Fan glared at him before pointing at him and saying, “Wang Shen, don’t get cocky. I don’t believe you will never be late for future gatherings.”
After speaking, Cao Fan took a bottle of spirit and drank it.
All of a sudden, applause could be heard.