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Chapter 1: Tears of Hope
The Claudia Reese Group was located in the city center in downtown, which had another landmark—the Laurel Mansion. Hanfei easily found the entrance to the building.
However, it seemed like a number of world-renowned figures in China were invited to this exhibition. This set off an uproar in the country, resulting in many unrelated people gathering at the entrance. Hanfei couldn’t even get in.
“Excuse me,” said Zheng Hanfei politely. “I was invited to this exhibition. I’m sorry, but you’re in my way.”
“Who the hell are you?” The man was very angry. He looked Hanfei with disdain and said, “Are you kidding me? You look too shabby to get into this exhibition.”
Hanfei was speechless. Although he and Bo were wearing suits to this exhibition, compared with those famous figures, they did seem a bit shabby. No wonder why people didn’t believe what he said.
Hanfei thought about showing the man his invitation so he’d let him through, but then he thought that these kinds of people would harass him even if Hanfei showed his invitation, not to mention that the guy might’ve never even seen the invitation before.
“Hello, are you Mr. Zheng Hanfei?” As Hanfei was wondering what to do, a gentle female voice was ringing in his ears.
Hanfei saw a blond woman with blue eyes standing beside him. She was wearing a professional office suit and looked tall and slim. She was definitely a beauty.
“Are you Mr. Zheng Hanfei?” Seeing that Hanfei didn’t respond, the beauty stared at him in confusion and asked again.
“Oh! I am!” Hanfei blushed and answered. He was ashamed that he’d lost his mind while looking at the beauty.
Speaking of shame, Hanfei inadvertently glanced at the man behind him. His eyes and mouth were wide open, and his saliva dropped to the ground. He was definitely a “gentleman.”
“My willpower seems to be pretty good.” Hanfei started comforting himself.
“Great! I thought it was the wrong person! My name is Linda.” Linda reached out with her right hand and enthusiastically introduced herself. “The person that invited you sent me here; he knew that you would probably have a problem coming in.”
“Hello!” Zheng Hanfei shook hands with her. “I’ve also brought another person to attend. I hope this won’t cause you any inconvenience.”
“Not at all!” Linda shook her head, then made an inviting gesture. “The manager may still be waiting. Please come with me.”
Hanfei nodded and glanced at the man who had a look of surprise. Hanfei smiled with pride and followed Linda into the building.
“Hello!” Hanfei looked at the tall Chinese-like man in the black tuxedo. He recognized that the man was the famous manager at Claudia Reese–Sterling. Hanfei reached out his hand.
“Hello!” Sterling smiled. He held Hanfei’s hand and said, “Zheng Hanfei, you look just like your father. The first time I saw you, I thought you were him!”
“Mr. Sterling, do you know where my dad is?” Hanfei was trembling. Bo could see a few tears glistening in his eyes.
“Your father hasn’t come back?”
Hanfei was disappointed. After hearing the manager’s response, he knew that Sterling didn’t have any clues on his father’s whereabouts either. Suddenly, he felt very frustrated. He spent ten years, yet had not found even a single trace of a useful clue. Even if he found a clue, would he even be able to meet his parents? Hanfei couldn’t even imagine it.
“Don’t worry!” Sterling knew that he said something wrong and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll send someone to look for your father’s whereabouts. As long as there’s a message, I’ll let you know.”
“That’s true, sir!” Bo also tried to comfort Hanfei, “Everything’s going to be fine; worrying is useless. Let’s see if Mr. Sterling wants to tell us anything.”
“Alright!” Hanfei exhaled, then stared at Sterling with the look of a detective. “So Mr. Sterling, what exactly is your ‘important thing’?”
“…Linda, bring me that thing!”
A few minutes later, Linda came back with an envelope in her hands.
“I wanted you to look at this and hear your opinion.” Sterling took the envelope and handed it to Hanfei with a worried look.
Hanfei first examined the envelope cover to make sure that it was just a normal envelope. Then, he opened it and took out the yellow card which contained the words:
Those without happiness do not deserve “Tears of Hope”. On April 5 at 8 p.m., I will personally take it away so that you can feel pain. If you mortals want to stop me, I recommend that you stop living in pain!
– The Wizard from Acheron
“Is this letter a threat …?!”
“Yes.” Sterling nodded. “Two days ago, Linda found the letter in my office. She told me the contents of the letter, so I quickly came back from England.”
“So, the celebration for your child’s birthday was just a lie?”
“No! Today really is my child’s birthday, but I just used it as an excuse.” Sterling was frustrated. “I’m too busy, and if it wasn’t a threat, I might’ve still been in the United Kingdom.”
“That isn’t an excuse.” Hanfei put the card back into the envelope and returned it to Linda. He said, “For your work, you even ignored your family. Mr. Sterling, it seems like you’re a joyless person, just like the letter stated.”
“Master ……” Bo warned on the side, “be careful of your image.”
“Bo, you don’t have to do this!” Sterling said, his eyes fixed on Hanfei with admiration. “What he just said was completely correct. You’re just like your father. Child, I’m impressed by you!”
“Let’s leave that aside first.” Hanfei contemplated for a moment, and then asked, “In the letter, the ‘Tears of Hope’ is……”
“Oh, it’s this!” Sterling quickly took out a charming little box from his pocket, placed it on the table and opened it. There was a finger-sized emerald in it—clear, bright and shaped like a drop of water. The green surface resembled life in the spring. In the middle of the stone were blue and green seed shaped spots, but they didn’t affect the beauty of this emerald; in fact, they looked brilliant on the emerald.
“This is so beautiful!” Hanfei couldn’t help but clap. Although he wasn’t an expert in gems, the appearance of the gem—he had to say—was the best he’d ever seen in his life.
“The name of this gem is ‘Tears of Hope,’ weighing 50.3 karats. It was formed after a long time of grinding. Because it’s shaped like drops of water and the emerald blue and green seeds symbolize hope, it was named the ‘Tears of Hope’.”
“Since they also symbolize life, why not call it ‘Tears of Life’?”
“I heard that whoever obtained this gem would get out of any difficult situation, so it was called ‘Tears of Hope’.”
“Well!” Hanfei nodded and smiled, “Acheron seems to from ancient Greek mythology, the river of sorrow, right? However, the emerald’s story is one of happiness. For the wizards of the rivers of sorrow to want to take away the stone of happiness…that’s really interesting! ”
“It’s okay.” Hanfei interrupted Bo, then turned to Sterling and said, “What time does the exhibition begin?”
“7 p.m., because 8 p.m. is the perfect time to unveil the ‘Tears of Hope’.”
“Well!” Hanfei looked at the time, “It’s 6:30 p.m. right now. Mr. Sterling, do you mind if we take a look at the place where you are going to exhibit the Tears of Hope?”
“Of course not! Let’s go!” Sterling laughed, then took Hanfei to the exhibition with Bo and Linda.
“Acheron wizards?” Hanfei felt a little bit of excitement. “Let’s see how you can take away the gem of hope under the eyes of a detective. Don’t let me down!”
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