“How thoughtful,” Yao Tang commented as she took a sip of her milk tea. “Is that why you’re at this party?” A small, amused smile appeared on her lips.
“Are you very close with Sheng Ting?”
When she heard this, she turned around and narrowed her eyes at Cheng Yan.
He was peering at her quietly, his eyes filled with unmistakable hunger.
The two locked gazes for one tense moment.
Then, something occurred to Yao Tang, and she cocked her head to the side and smirked.
“Are you jealous of him?”
She looked like a cunning fox who was about to secure its prey.
Cheng Yan cleared his throat, struggling to keep his desires in check.
“Haven’t I made it clear enough yet?” he countered softly.
“Really?” Yao Tangraised an eyebrow. “Over a nobody from the countryside?”
“Maybe I just prefer girls from the countryside.”
They fell into silence, the air around them charged with a new and nameless tension.
Even so, their familiarity was undeniable to the other guests. If anything, they appeared to be a well-suited pair.
Qin Hao strode to a quiet corner of the auction house to take a call.
“Okay. Yes, I understand. I’ll be right there!”
There was an unexpected problem back at the company, and he had been asked to go and deal with it.
The thing was, he still needed to pay for the items they had bought.
Finding himself in a pinch, Qin Haowas suddenly at a loss for what to do.
Just then, a man walked past him. It was one of the company’s shareholders, Wang Cai.
He was a short, pudgy man, but he had enough wealth to keep any criticisms about his appearance at bay. In fact, he was considered by high society as part of the nouveau riche.
Wang Cai sported a chunky, golden chain around his neck that made him look like a pimp.
This was thankfully evened out by the wide smile on his face, which lent him an air of amiability.
Qin Hao reached for the man and pulled him aside. He went straight to the point. “Hello, Mr. Wang. My name isQin Haoand I need you to do something for me. You see, I received a call just now that I am urgently needed at the company.”
“Oh, Vice President Qin,” Wang Cai sputtered. “Of course, of course! I am entirely at the service of President Cheng’s right-hand man. Please, feel free to give me instructions, and I will see to it that they are fulfilled.”
The fat man was shaking slightly out of trepidation. He might be a shareholder, but the power over the business was ultimately in Cheng Yan’s hands.
In the grand scheme of things, he was practically a part-time worker at the company.
He didn’t have much to show for himself, either, aside from owning several minor stocks here and there. Even his flashy get-up was just for show.
Qin Hao nodded in relief, then leaned close to relay the directives to Wang Cai down in careful detail.
Wang Cai nodded along as he listened, all meek and obedient.
At the backstage of the auction hall.
A group of people stood in a single file, waiting for their turn to pay their bills and retrieve their purchases.
They all looked rich and powerful.
A beautiful woman in an elegant cheongsam walked up to the front of the line and made an announcement.
“To the gentleman who bought the item featured as the grand finale on the catalog, please follow me so that we can process your payment!”
As the buyer of the most valuable piece in the auction, this man naturally had the privilege to be accommodated before everyone else.
Yao Ran had just changed out of her dress and happened to be walking backstage.
At this time, the woman in the cheongsam called out again. “Please, we request the valued client who has purchased the treasured watch under Miss Yao Tang’s name to come forward!”
Yao Ran froze upon hearingYao Tang’s name. Her eyes flashed with envy as she scoured through the faces in the line.
In the end, the woman in the cheongsam had to repeat her announcement three more times before a man rushed forward.
It was Wang Cai, standing at about 1.6 meters tall, his belly bulging beneath his tacky dress shirt.
“It’s me!” he said in between short, labored breaths. “I’m the one — I’ll be paying for that last piece in the collection!”
Yao Ran narrowed her eyes and looked Wang Cai up and down, sizing him up.
Then, she took out her phone and pretended to take a selfie. She reached out her hand as far as she could, and after making sure that the short, round man was well within the shot, she pressed the record button.
“Ah, you’re the one who bought the item for Miss Yao Tang, correct?” the woman in the cheongsam asked with a bright smile.
She gestured Wang Cai toward the VIP room further in the back. “I’m sure the lady will be very happy with your gift.”
He nodded and followed her through another door.
Yao Ran stopped recording and saved the video file. The corners of her lips curled up into a sinister smile, her eyes glinting with malice.
Yao Tang’s name was mentioned loud and clear in the recording. The appearance of that fat guy was pretty obvious, too, as well as how he fit into the scenario.
He certainly looked rich, albeit more on the unattractive side. It wasn’t difficult to put two and two together and come up with an explanation for Yao Tang’s involvement with such a man.
It seemed that Yao Tang had always been a kept woman, after all.
Yao Ran was eager to see whetherMeng Yangwould still choose to stand byYao Tang’s side after seeing this video, or if he was finally going to do the sensible thing and cut her off from his life.