Amir and Hae-won were standing beside each other.
Hae-Won did a quick bow and said, "Hello, I'm terribly sorry for being late. There was an emergency and I had to deal with it right away."
"No problem. It's fine," said the others and they began to greet her one by one in the form of a hug.
However, Aena refused to hug her and just said hi.
Nathan, on the other hand, just stood there as he stared at Hae-Won and waited for his turn, completely mesmerized.
Hae-Won was 28 years old, 5'7" tall, long black hair, a slim figure, small face, v-shaped jaw, small lips, straight eyebrows, fair and flawless skin, and beautiful brown eyes.
As of her nationality…
'So this is Hae-won...'
The funny thing about Asians is that if the general trend is that white and black people are racists against each other, Asians, on the other hand, are racists with each other.
Yeppun is a country where the main religion is Renasitur.
It's also a country where beauty is something highly regarded in their culture and it wasn't common for them to go for extremes just to attain the high beauty standards imposed in their society.
As for the racism part, there are Asian countries where people generally have lighter skin and other Asian countries with darker skin -- Yeppunians and Xudonians are of the former, while Muwinians is of the latter.
In the Yeppunian's case, due to their extreme beauty standards, they have a low opinion when it comes to Muwinians and other Asian countries with people that generally have darker skin.
But of course, not all Yeppunians share this opinion, especially the ones who have traveled and lived abroad. Some of them are genuinely friendly and kind people who view everyone equally.
What about Xudonia?
Given that it's the most powerful country among the Asian countries and even to many countries outside of Asia, they naturally have this sense of superiority.
As a Muwinian, Nathan used to dislike all Xudonians as well.
However, while he was studying in a Xudonian Language School back at the northern region of Muwin for a few months and also meeting some Xudonians there, he found out that they were just like every other people -- some of them could be good and kind people, while others could be assholes.
But despite that experience, Nathan still had some doubts. Those Xudonians he met were in Muwinian soil. So for all he knows, they could just be pretending to be nice because they didn't have the homecourt advantage.
'Heh~ I can't believe Amir is associating himself with these racist Yeppunians. Womania is a really weird country. I wonder how many people are just pretending to get along.'
'Hmm… Is she a celebrity or something?'
Regardless of Nathan's racist views, Hae-won was no doubt beautiful. And given his biased Asian preference when it comes to beauty, he was undeniably smitten by her.
The others were finally done greeting Hae-won.
"Hi, it's nice to meet you," Hae-won said and hugged him.
'Heh~ She dares to hug me?' Nathan thought as he flashed a very friendly smile and hugged her back. "It's nice to meet you as well."
The smell of her shampoo and cologne gently tickled his nose.
After Nathan and Hae-won finished hugging, Brie asked a question.
"Hae-Won, are you in the entertainment industry?"
This was Brie's first time meeting Hae-won.
"No, I'm a doctor at Saint Holy Child Hospital."
"Oh, but have you done any theatre work or something?"
"Well, when I was still a teen I did some modeling here and there back in Yeppun."
"Are you interested in working in the entertainment industry? I'm a movie producer."
"I'm sorry, but I don't have any talent in that. And plus, my passion is in the medical field."
"Forget about it, Brie. Many have already tried to recruit her," Amir said with a smile.
"I'm not the type who backs down easily," Brie said with a smile.
Hae-won smiled as well.
Over the years, she got used to such questions and invitations.
Some of them were even indecent. And others were just downright creepy to the point where she even had to fear for her life.
The group resumed their conversation from earlier.
'Heh~ She's a doctor?' Nathan secretly glanced at her.
Over the course of the 3 months he lived with Amir, he had seen at least 15 women that Amir brought over at the apartment but never has he seen her.
And as for the woman Amir brought over, they weren't just your typical beautiful women. They were extremely hot, just like Ida.
Nathan glanced at Hae-won's fair and flawless skin.
'Hmm… If I lick her, would she taste like milk?'
There is a stereotype that a number of Asians are crazy about white people -- strictly in terms of beauty. The economic aspect is a topic for another time.
Whether this is true or not, in Nathan's personal opinion, it's true but at the same time it's also not true.
As an Asian man, Nathan doesn't care whether his own skin is dark, brown or light.
Perhaps if it was job-related, like being an actor or a model, he would care about it because whether he would deny it or not, having white skin is considered beautiful in most Asian media.
As for the women, this is where things get complicated -- well, at least from Nathan's own perspective.
First of all, Nathan doesn't have a specific preference for an Asian woman's skin tone -- a beautiful face will always be a beautiful face.
The skin tone of Asians is versatile. And just for the sake to make things simple, let's just say brown is the default color. We'll also ignore the people who are mixed.
With the brown skin, they can either lighten it up or darken it.
Getting it dark is easy. Just stay under the sun and you'll be dark brown in no time.
Meanwhile, getting your skin white is harder. With all the products and beauty regimen one must take and do, Nathan couldn't help but appreciate the effort.
It also shows that the woman cares about her beauty, though beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Moreover, from an Asian society's perspective, it also signals that that person has the time and money to invest in skin whitening products, which to be frank can be quite expensive -- unless you decide to use those cheap products which can be very dangerous.
Now for the stereotype that Asians are crazy about Caucasians because of their skin color.
Nathan can't speak for other Asian people's preferences, but at least for him, he isn't because Caucasians are white by default.
In his mind, appreciating a Caucasian's white skin is like appreciating a person with a very fast metabolism for having a slim figure.
If it was a person who has a normal or slow metabolism and is able to maintain a slim figure, then that for him is worthy of appreciation.
Basically, from Nathan's perspective, if he was going to appreciate something, it must have a sense of struggle or effort in order to achieve it.
"Nathan, about the question earlier," said Brie.
"The one if you ever experienced any racism."
'Goddammit. Why can't this crazy-looking bitch just drop it? Okay, what would be a good generic story that goes in line with their political beliefs…'
"Umm… One time, I went to this pub to meet someone and it was full of white people. And umm… I didn't feel welcomed because of the way they were looking at me. I probably did something wrong that I wasn't aware of. But I didn't really take it as an offense because I'm still new here in Womania and I'm still learning about the culture and all."
'I think that was a good story.'
"Still, that's no reason to treat you that way," said Brie.
"Do you know the name of the pub? We have to warn the people about that place," said Moanna.
'Eh? Seriously?' Nathan thought. "Umm... I can't remember the name. All I know it was near downtown."
"Nathan honey bear, on behalf of all white people, I would like to say sorry. I feel so ashamed that such a place could even exist here in Cram city," said Alexandre.
"I'm so sorry too," said Brie.
"Wait a minute… Was it a pub for straight people?" said Moanna.
'Eh? There's something like that here?' Nathan thought. "I'm not sure. But I guess?"
"Why am I not surprised? Alex, Brie you guys are safe. This is why straight white males are just trash," said Moanna.
"Facts," said Alex, Brie and Aena.
'What…?' Nathan was dumbfounded.
Meanwhile, Amir and Hae-won were just listening to the conversation.
Brie then looked at Hae-won and said, "What about you?"
"Me?" said Hae-won.
"Yeah, have you ever experienced any discrimination or racism here in Womania?"
"No. So far my experience has been good."
"Oh, how long have you been here?" said Brie.
"About 4 years," said Hae-won.
"4 years and you never experienced any racism here in Womania? REALLY?" said Aena.
Hae-won didn't really want to share her experience because most of it was related to her beauty -- all those indecent and creepy experiences she had really frightened her.
"Come on, guys. Let's talk about something else. Something fun like --" said Amir.
"Brother, why are you so protective of her?" said Aena.
"Why you cheeky brat~" Amir pinched her cheeks.
"Stop! Oh my God! Stop! Get away from me! You're embarrassing me!" Aena cried out.
When Amir let go of Aena's cheeks, he discreetly looked at Nathan, signaling him with his eyes.
'Heh~ You seem like you're doing well. You don't need my help,' Nathan thought.
Seeing Nathan's indifference, Amir felt helpless.
"Well, I guess there are people like Hae-won who are lucky that they haven't experienced any racism here in Womania," said Alexandre.
"Not as lucky as that immigrant who was gunned down last week," said Moanna.
"It was really disgusting what they did to that man."
"Wait. Who are you guys talking about?" said Amir.
"Big brother, all you think about is chasing women," said Aena.
Amir stared at Aena and acted like he was about to pinch her cheeks again.
"Noooo…." Aena said and hid behind Moanna.
"So, Amir, when are you going to settle down?" Ida said all of a sudden.
Everyone looked at Ida, including Nathan.
Ida stared at Hae-won.
"Is she the one?"
'Wow… Machine Gun Mouth is going for the kill?' Nathan thought.
"Excuse me?" said Hae-won.
"Is she the one, Amir?" said Ida.
Nathan took a sip from his glass as he watched the drama unfolding right in front of him and began chanting inside his head.
'Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!'
Amir flashed a very warm and friendly smile that could disarm most people.
"Just like any guy out there, I want to settle down with the person I love. But the person I'm in love with isn't ready yet and I don't want to force her in any way. At the moment, all I can do is to patiently wait for her."
Nathan almost spat out his drink.
'What?! Even a fuckboi won't say such script!'
Ida stared at Amir for a moment before making her way to Hae-won.
Ida and Hae-won didn't say a word.
They just stared at each other.
Everyone waited in anticipation.
After 5 seconds, Ida looked away and held her gaze on Amir.
"Call me when you're done with her."
Moanna, who was standing on the side, didn't look so well.
Although she had feelings for Amir and have already accepted the fact that he only sees her as nothing more than a friend, hearing him say that he was waiting for someone else really crushed her heart.
"Moanna…" Aena said as she placed her hand on Moanna's shoulder.
"I'm okay. Don't worry."
Aena bit her lip.
The reason why she hated Hae-won was because she wanted Amir and Moanna to end up together.
'Eh~ Just like that? No sexy catfight? So boring…' Nathan thought.
He checked his watch.
'Sigh… 16 minutes more and then I can leave.'
All of a sudden, someone slapped his back.
"Nathan my boy!"
A few drops of champagne spilled from his glass.
"Who the --" said Nathan.
When he turned to look at who slapped him, he saw that is was Kaab.
Kaab flashed a quick smirk on him before setting his eyes on the others.
Seeing what just happened, the others frowned as well.
"So what are you guys talking about? I got caught up because I was talking with my dad and uncle about some important high-profile business matters."
He turned his eyes to Hae-won.
"Hello, I believe we haven't met yet. I'm Kaab. Amir's cousin," he said with a smile and extended his hand.
Hae-won shook his hand and said, "Hae-won. Nice to meet you."
When they parted hands, Kaab noticed that Amir and Hae-won didn't have a drink.
He turned to Nathan.
"Nathan my boy, go get us a drink."
Aena, Alexandre, Brie, Moanna and Hae-won's eyes looked at Nathan.
Nathan clenched his jaw.
And as for Amir, he frowned and said, "Kaab, what are you doing?"
Kaab looked at Amir and waved his hand nonchalantly.
"He works for me."
"Your father is the CEO, not you."
"What difference does it make? I will own the company one day."
Kaab turned to Nathan and said, "What are you waiting for? Go, we're thirsty."
"You know what, I don't feel like drinking so I don't need one. And plus, if I need something, I can get it by myself. I don't need a man or anyone to do it for me," Hae-won said snappily.
"I'm going to pass as well," said Amir.
"Oh well, I guess only me is here to have a great time."
He turned to Nathan again.
"Nathan my boy --"
Amir, who was already so annoyed, reached out to grab Kaab and said, "Listen --"
"It's okay. I'm going to get it," said Nathan.
"Good boy," Kaab said and sneered.
"Nathan --" said Amir.
But Nathan raised his hand and just walked away.
As he was walking...
He gritted his teeth.
'I'm definitely leaving after this!'
Nathan arrived at the table where drinks were being served.
He put down his glass and grabbed another glass of champagne. But before heading back, he spat on it.
When he was about a couple of feet away from the group, he saw that Kaab already had a drink on his hand.
Unfortunately for Nathan, when he left, a waiter carrying drinks passed by.
Nathan decided to finally leave.
And as he was about to make his way to the exit, Kaab noticed him and called him.
"Nathan my boy, come over here!"
Nathan ignored him and continued walking.
Kaab immediately followed him.
"Hey! Are you listening to me?"
Kaab finally got close to Nathan and pulled his arm, causing him to stop.
"Did you fucking hear me, FOB?"
Nathan crushed the glass of champagne on his right hand.
He turned around and grabbed Kaab on the neck with his left hand and threatened to stab him with the broken glass on his right.
"I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOUR FUCKING PROBLEM IS WITH ME AND I DON'T FUCKING CARE WHY! BUT IF YOU DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS AGAIN, I'LL GUT YOU LIKE A FUCKING PIG!" Nathan said in Muwinian.
Everyone in the room stopped and looked at Nathan and Kaab.
Kaab's eyes widened and his knees grew weak.
He could see the blood dripping from Nathan's hand.
And from the look of Nathan's eyes, he could see that he was dead serious in stabbing him.
He didn't dare to utter a word.
"What's going on here?!" said Kaaf.
"Nathaniel!" said Uncle Abbas.
Nathan turned his head to them.
He continued speaking Muwinian, "SHUT THE FUCK UP! I'M GETTING TIRED OF THIS BULLSHIT! I DON'T EVEN KNOW OR CARE ABOUT MOST OF THE PEOPLE HERE!"
Amir arrived next to Abbas and Kaaf and said, "Father, uncle, please. Let me explain. It was Kaab's fault. He was being disrespectful not only to Nathan but also to the other guests."
Abbas looked at Amir and then to Nathan and Kaab.
Kaaf did the same as well.
Kaab's face was pale and there was a puddle of water underneath his feet.
He wet himself.
'What a shameless son!' Kaaf thought. "Nathan, please release --"
But before he could finish his sentence, Nathan pulled Kaab closer to his face and whispered coldly in Muwinian, "Remember what I said."
He pushed Kaab away and left.
Abbas looked at Kaad with sharp eyes.
And with a cold voice he said, "Kaaf, we're brothers. But remember, I was the one who helped you start your business and I treat Nathaniel like a son. If I hear again that you're mistreating him, you can forget about whatever family ties we share."
Nathan was walking down the corridors.
'Fuck this shit!'
He pulled out a handkerchief and wiped the blood on his hand.
He flicked the handkerchief a couple of times to make sure there weren't any shards stuck on it before wrapping it on his hand.
He let out a deep sigh.
'I need a smoke.'
He looked around his surroundings.
'Now where the fuck is the smoking area?'
Another cultural rule he learned here in Womania, especially in Cram city, is that most people here have a strong dislike towards cigarettes but don't mind if it's weed or vape.
And no, he would rather die than do vaping because it feels like sucking a mini-dildo.
Even if it's cocaine or whatever illegal drug it is, they too wouldn't mind.
But if it's a cigarette, they would look at you as if you just killed their pet or something.
He never understood the reason behind it, which is why it's so hard to find a smoking area here within Cram city.
But right now, he really wanted a cigarette to calm down his nerves.
He saw a person coming his way.
It was one of the employees of the hotel.
"Yes, sir? How may I help you?"
"I'm looking for the smoking area."
"I'm very sorry, sir. We don't have a public smoking area here. You will have to rent a room if you want to smoke."
"I'm very sorry, sir. Would you like to rent a room, sir? I can arrange it for you."
The employee then noticed Nathan's right hand.
"Sir, do you need medical --"
Nathan left the employee.
"Nathan!" someone called out his name.
It was Amir.
"Cuz, wait up!"
He ignored him.
He continued walking and head to an elevator.
He decided to get out of the building and find some alley where he can smoke a stick or two.
The doors of the elevator opened and he stepped in.
Amir caught up and entered the elevator as well.
Nathan pressed the 1st floor.
"Cuz, let me see your hand."
"Don't bother. I'm fine."
"Cuz, about what happened --"
Nathan raised his right hand.
"I'm not in the mood so just drop it."
Amir stared at Nathan for a moment and then said, "Okay."
They stood inside the elevator without saying a word, patiently waiting as it reached the first floor.
The elevator arrived on the 1st floor and its doors opened.
Waiting outside of the elevator was a very beautiful half Asian and half Caucasian woman with black hair in a red dress.
Something about her demeanor made her so attractive and she exuded so much confidence.
She took a quick glance at Amir's handsome face and then to Nathan's right hand that was wrapped with a bloodied handkerchief.
Amir glanced at her and checked her out.
Beside the woman were two men in suits happily chatting with each other, oblivious to their surroundings.
They looked like they were either her brothers or cousins.
One had an average body size, while the other was chubby.
There was also a group of five scary-looking men in suits behind them that seems to be their bodyguards looking at Amir and Nathan, especially at Nathan because of his right hand.
One of them was a black man about 6'7" tall. And despite his suit, you could tell that he had thick muscles underneath.
Nathan paid no attention to them because his head was swirling with so many negative emotions at the moment and exited the elevator right away.
Amir followed behind.
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