"I believe many people here might be shocked by the announcement I just made. Honestly, when I found out about this news, I was equally shocked."
Song Menghwa was already in his twilight years, and he had lived a full life. At the end of his life, he no longer cared about rumours and those talking behind his back. Now, he only cared about people around him, so this decision was one he had been planning for a long time.
Su Zhinian was his son, even though one born out of wedlock. This was to be frowned upon normally, but Song Menghwa was at a stage that was beyond caring. The reason he announced this news at Song Empire's anniversary was because he wanted to let the whole world know that, while Su Zhinian was his estranged son, he was ultimately his beloved son.
Switching from his official demeanour, Song Menghwa started to get a bit emotional. "However, when the shock wore off, I felt happy and glad. Glad that while the heavens had taken one son away from me, he had allowed me the chance of reconciling with another. I would love to think that this is the work of my eldest son, Song Cheng.
"The fault lies with me and not my son. Whether their surname is Song or Su, they are my most precious boys."
The disordered crowd started to quiet down again. After about ten seconds, another round of thunderous applause started again. Amid the applause, the hostess raised the microphone to her lips to welcome Su Zhinian to the stage.
Su Zhinian wasn't clued into this sudden decision by Song Menghwa. However, he was at ease dealing with such surprises. Heading onto the stage, he accepted the microphone and, in a calm and collected manner, said, "Good evening, I am Su Zhinian. From today onwards, I will be the new chairperson of Song Empire. I hope you'll continue to support the company."
Next to take the stage was Song Empire's current CEO, Zheng Hao, who gave a brief description of Song Empire's future projects. Then, it was the most quintessential part of any celebration, time to bring out the champagne.
Normally, it was Song Menghwa and his wife or Song Cheng and Fang Rou who hosted this ceremony. However, since Mrs. Song and Song Cheng were no longer with them, the pair who hosted this ceremony this year consisted of Song Menghwa's children, Song Qingchun and Su Zhinian.
"Now let us welcome Mr. Su Zhinian and Miss Song Qingchun to the stage to help us open the champagne" Following the hostess' announcement, the applause began again. After that, it curtailed into the music that drifted out from the hall's speakers.
Song Qingchun and Su Zhinian walked toward the tower of champagne flutes. The waiter pushed a trolley that was full of various champagne bottles slowly toward them.
Two MCs stood beside Song Qingchun and Su Zhinian, one each to help them with the ceremony. With the streams of congratulatory words from the hostess, they opened the bottles.
After the hostess finished, the two MCs carried the bottles to the centre of the stage with a wide smile on their faces. They placed the bottles down, and each carried a flute of champagne for Song Qingchun and Su Zhinian.
Before they accepted the flutes, the mellifluous background music ended, and it was replaced by the sound of white noise.
Even the trained MCs were made slightly flustered by this sudden change.
The hostess frowned as she moved the microphone away from her lips and turned to ask the stagehand, "What's happening?"
Then she turned back to calm the situation. "I'm so sorry, perhaps there's a little mistake with the audio systemI'm sure it'll be fixed in"