“Who is she, anyway?”
“Judging by the way she speaks, she doesn’t seem like a fraud to me. Maybe she really does know the CEO of the Jiangdong Group…”
“No, I don’t think that’s possible. If she’s truly acquainted with CEO Jiang, then why is she only bringing that up now, when she’s being chased out?”
“You have a point there. To think that someone so young could be so ambitious…”
The remarks came from a handful of middle-aged men, who had huddled together, discussing as though they were the only ones in the room. They would glance at Yao Tang from time to time, their faces filled with content.
The younger men, on the other hand, could only sigh and shake their heads in disapproval.
Everyone was enjoying the show, eager to know how the next scene would unfold. Naturally, nobody bothered to step forward and defend Yao Tang.
“Ha!” Cheng Wei cried out. “Did you all hear that? This arrogant Miss Yao said she was going to send me out!” Her voice was so loud that no one could have missed a single word she said.
She didn’t believe Yao Tang knew CEO Jiang, of course. Or anyone else with the same social standing, for that matter.
If anything, she was convinced that the girl was only bluffing, trying to intimidate her way into this exclusive circle by dropping names.
“Look!” someone exclaimed, catching everybody’s attention. “Professor Yu Jing is taking the stage.”
Cheng Wei whirled around in surprise towards the direction of the stage.
Sure enough, Yu Jing was at the sidelines, whispering last-minute instructions to the staff before heading to the center, microphone in hand.
He had a big smile on his face.
As it happened, not only was he the special guest speaker for the occasion, but he had also been asked to deliver the opening speech for the conference.
Yu Jing glanced at his cue cards and opened his mouth to speak, only to notice a small crowd of people gathered in a circle below. Even with the distance, he could tell that a crisis was afoot.
He squinted at the sight before him, and finally spotted Yao Tang in the middle of the commotion.
Standing opposite her was his former pupil, Cheng Wei. Hadn’t he expelled the brat already?
Around them, the crowd sported a mix of expressions ranging from amusement to disdain.
Yu Jing scowled and put the microphone down.
Had something happened that he wasn’t made aware of? Could his master be involved in this whole debacle?
If so, then he seemed to have a mess to clean up. He couldn’t let his master suffer any insult.
Yu Jing slowly walked down the steps of the stage and strode over.
No sooner had he done so than whispers started to make rounds among the guests again.
“Oh no, this is going to be bad. That girl has done it this time. Dr. Yu Jing is never going to let this matter slide.”
“Serves her right, if you ask me. She doesn’t even have an invitation, and look! Isn’t she just a high school student? I have no idea how she even got in, in the first place.”
“She’s probably here to scout out a target. Trying to climb up the social ladder, if you know what I mean.”
“Absolutely. Everyone present here today is a renowned expert in his own right. She would only need to cozy up to one of us, and she’ll be set for life.”
“Young girls are getting more and more devious these days, aren’t they? Why can’t they just keep to their studies and make a decent living after graduation?”
Yu Jing’s scowl deepened with every word he overheard. If, by some disastrous twist of fate, these people were indeed talking about his master, then he had definitely failed as her pupil.
He quickened his pace, each of his steps heavier than the last.
Cheng Wei instinctively shrank back as he approached, the color draining from her face. Her master’s words rang in her head, telling her that she was disowned and expelled from the sect, instructing her to never mention his name in public again.
She held on to the hope that Yu Jing wouldn’t be so cruel to her, at least not in such an important setting.
Surely, the Cheng family name still accounted for something. He wouldn’t offend her family by calling her out here now, right? Especially not for a nobody like Yao Tang.
After reassuring herself, Cheng Wei squared her shoulders and stepped forward. “Master!” she greeted with a wide smile. “You’re here!”
Since the beginning of their encounter, Yao Tang had only ever kept her gold gaze at Cheng Wei. As Yu Jing drew closer, however, she shifted her piercing eyes to the old man.
She glared at him and said nothing.
Yu Jing understood her meaning, though. He knew how much she detested taking apprentices in, and this entire fiasco only proved her point.
The man sighed to himself. He used to hold Cheng Wei in high regard. Not only was she promising, but she seemed kind and obedient, too. Now, he only saw her as a shallow, inept, and reckless rascal. He deeply regretted even knowing her!
Sadly, he could never say his sentiments out loud. Yu Jing returned Yao Tang’s pointed gaze with his own, and a silent message passed between them.