191 Deaf or Dumb? 2 in 1
Honestly, when Ye Shuang saw her date was actually Zhou Yue, she also had nothing good to say. Where was the supposed family friend and childhood friend‽
It looked like the Zhou family and Ye family were bound to be mortal enemies. In the older generation, Father Zhou and Father Ye were love rivals, and for the younger generation, the few encounters between Zhou Yue and Ye Shuang could not be considered friendly.
However, as shocked as Ye Shuang was, when she saw the expression on Zhou Yue's face like he had just been struck by lightning, for some reason, her surprise practically disappeared. What remained was a small trace of surprise and a rather wicked sense of interest. In Zhou Yue's shocked gaze that appeared like he had seen a ghost, she revealed a gentle and graceful smile. After Ye Shuang transformed into a presentable young lady, she faked a shy reaction like this was the first time they had met, and with the demureness that was unique to females, she said in a soft and girlish tone, "Nice to meet you."
Nice to meet you? F*ck me!
Zhou Yue's face twisted as new offense and old revenge surfaced in his heart. His breath traveled to his diaphragm, and he was about to roar angrily, but he was one step slower than Father Ye. "Why aren't you answering Xiao Shuang? Are you deaf or dumb‽"
The presence of a successful man instantly transformed into that of an old gang member.
Mother Ye was immensely calm. Her hand did not even shake as she flipped through the list of drinks. Obviously, she was already used to Father Zhou's personality. Even after so many years, the man's attitude was still the same as it had been when he was young.
However, Ye Shuang looked at the father and son duo with some degree of surprise. Then she accepted it readily—she could see why they were father and son.
Zhou Yue choked, and he glared at Ye Shuang as he tried to suppress his raging anger. Pouting his lips, he walked over to the table and sat down heavily next to Father Ye, and with a stiff expression on his face, he greeted Mother Ye, "Nice to meet you, Auntie."
Ye Shuang did not mind. After all, she was not the kind that required others to greet her. With the graceful smile still hanging on her face, she turned to Father Zhou to change the topic of conversation. "Uncle Zhou, I understand that you are old friends with my mother. I've heard about how you built your career from the ground up. I feel so embarrassed for taking so long to get to finally meet you."
Father Zhou had a different expression when he faced Ye Shuang. He smiled so kindly that one would think Ye Shuang was his own daughter. "No, no. I am busy with work, or else I would have paid the Ye family a visit to see Xiao Shuang and Xiao Feng earlier."
Then, he turned to his son, and his face dropped as he roared, "Well, what about the thing that I told you to do‽"
Zhou Yue's face looked like he had just accidentally swallowed a fly. Ye Shuang processed the information for a while and then turned to Zhou Yue with pure curiosity on her face. Zhou Yue was one thousand percent unwilling, but before his father, he had no choice but to place an exquisitely looking box on the table. With an annoyed tone, he huffed, "Present!"
"Just what kind of attitude is that‽" Father Zhou roared with dissatisfaction. He aimed accurately at the back of Zhou Yue's head and swiped at it. The clap rang loud throughout the restaurant, and he turned back to Ye Shuang, transforming into the mode of a kind senior. "Xiao Shuang, please forgive my son. He's just dumb sometimes, don't mind him… This is the first time we have met. Previously, during the holidays, I didn't give you or Xiao Sheng any presents or red packets. I'm not familiar with the type of presents young girls like, so this is just something small for you to wear."
Ye Shuang pretended to be too embarrassed to accept the gift. With shyness coloring her face, she opened the box, and naturally, it was the Rhodon bracelet. The price tag had already been removed; this probably was Father Zhou's idea as well. Therefore, Mother Ye did not think too much of it. She thought it was something just over one thousand. Even though the occasion did not really call for a present, it was still within the acceptable price range.
Therefore, the words of thank you and you're welcome came back and forth. While the two adults were happily engrossed in their conversation, Ye Shuang could not help but toy with Zhou Yue. The bracelet tingled crisply on her wrist, and she turned to flash Zhou Yue a proud expression.
F*ck, I cannot stand this anymore!
Zhou Yue's heart was chilled to the core during this dinner, but Ye Shuang was having the time of her life. She would try her best to endear herself to Father Zhou, and when she had the chance, she would join in the conversation with the adults to try to brighten the atmosphere.
Zhou Yue looked at this with cold, detached eyes. He looked down on Ye Shuang's groveling toward his father. This tigress sure knows how to act!
Finally, after surviving the hour-long dinner, Mother Ye mentioned it was time to leave. Zhou Yue then let out a great long sigh, thinking the torture was finally over. To his surprise, Father Zhou was not yet done. Before they left, he took out two movie tickets and said with a smile, "Xiao Shuang, these are tickets to a movie. I hear the review is not bad. Since the night is still young, why don't you young kids go watch the movie‽"
Zhou Yue's fire was ignited almost instantly. Ye Shuang glanced at the man and smiled lightly. "Sure."
Father Zhou was very happy, and Mother Ye thought there was a chance, so the two adults left the restaurant with a meaningful smile on their faces. When their shadows disappeared out the door, Zhou Yue finally lost his patience. He slammed his fist on the table and demanded, "What is the meaning of this‽"
"Hey, watch your tone." Ye Shuang rubbed her face. The muscle power that she needed to maintain the graceful young lady mode had tired her greatly. She glanced at Zhou Yue and grinned wickedly. "So, you also have a weakness‽"
Ye Shuang had already diagnosed the whole situation throughout the dinner. Her initial gracefulness was because of required politeness toward adults, but the later gracefulness was solely because she wanted to see that convoluted expression Zhou Yue's face. Earlier, Ye Shuang had pretended before Father Zhou for so long, but Zhou Yue not only did not expose her but tried his best to suppress his anger. This was more than the sudden realization that he needed to give face to Ye Shuang because she was a girl. The biggest possibility was Zhou Yue was very filial to his father and so would follow the arrangements and orders of his father without comment. He truly did not do or say anything that might have made the dinner arranged by his father awkward.
It was impossible for someone to be so perfect that he had no flaws. Similarly, even the worst criminal would have some redeeming qualities. As annoying as Zhou Yue was, as arrogant as he was, at least from what she observed that night, he was very kind and loyal to his family.
Zhou Yue was stumped by Ye Shuang's words; he wanted to scream already. Ye Shuang smiled and raised her chin to signal for Zhou Yue to pay attention to where they were. "I've already told you to watch your tone. My mother is your father's childhood friend, aren't you afraid I might complain to her‽"
Zhou Yue tried his best to practice patience, he tried and tried, but he failed. Where is your backbone‽ How can you be this shameless‽
This woman borrowed his father's presence to suppress him. Just now, during dinner, she did not miss out on any chance to make him look bad. Then again, there was technically nothing that she did not wrong; all she did was promote herself with the most silent method. The talent, the knowledge, the skill… In any case, it appeared like no matter the topic of conversation, she would be able to talk about it. She accepted the topic and had points to her words; it fully exemplified her air of knowledge and her performance of humility and peace.
Naturally, his father gave his approval immediately. The adoration in his eyes was so overflowing that it felt like he could not wait to drag Ye Shuang home with him to be his daughter. The most horrible thing was whenever he praised Ye Shuang, he would turn to berate him. Compared to Ye Shuang's knowledge and acting, be it in terms of presence, attitude, mannerisms, and politeness, Zhou Yue was the losing party. Several times, Zhou Yue had the urge to expose Ye Shuang for who she was. How could this woman be a graceful young lady‽ That New Year's Eve, she almost sent him to heaven to have tea with God!
"Don't think you'll be able to trick me after you tricked my father!" Zhou Yue burst out with a claim. "Your real identity will one day be exposed!"
"It's fine. As long as I can keep up the pretext before your father, it'll be fine." Ye Shuang grinned. "My intention is to see how long you can take this anyway. Don't tell me you think I'll keep this up for life? Furthermore, will you believe me if I say that even if I reveal my real identity, your father will still compliment me for my naturalness and liveliness‽"
Of course, the daughter of the first love was naturally different from any girls that were picked up from the street. Even though the feeling from back then had already disappeared, the period of first love was the most memorable time period for any man.
Looking at the gloating expression on Ye Shuang's face, Zhou Yue had a grievance that he could not voice—he really did believe that!
His father was the kind that would value 'Xiao Qin's daughter' more than his own son.
After the unhappy dinner… Or to be more precise, after the date, Zhou Yue left feeling down, but Ye Shuang had quite a great time. Initially, his power had already been silenced, and then underhanded tactics were sealed. Ye Shuang had confirmed Zhou Yue could not do anything to her or her family anymore, but she did not envision this fatal strike coming. After the childhood friendship between her mother and Father Zhou surfaced, Zhou Yue, who already could not do anything to Ye Shuang, now confirmed that there was no chance of a comeback.
Going to the movie together was naturally impossible. The parents were already not there, so why would Zhou Yue accompany Ye Shuang for the rest of the supposed date‽ Therefore, Ye Shuang was given the benefit of that two movie tickets. Little Brother Ye was called out with a phone call. With the reason that he had to go out to meet his school mates, the pair of brother and sister used the pair of movie tickets.
After that, Mother Ye urged Ye Shuang to go on more dates with Zhou Yue. Ye Shuang promised on the surface. She wandered out to go walking alone before coming back home to complete her mission. The adults would not have thought to follow their children, so naturally, they assumed that the relationship between the two was not bad and that they were slowly getting closer to one another. Ye Shuang felt like it was better for her mother to have this misunderstanding than to have her breathe down her neck every other day to remind her of the date. On Zhou Yue's side, he probably did not want to face his father's roar anymore, so he mimicked what Ye Shuang did. Therefore, the two adults were thus kept in the dark.
After spending time at home for about ten days, Anthony had returned from Beijing to report for work. Ye Shuang looked at her schedule and realized it was time to throw herself back into work. The first thing to do was update and visit the talents. Therefore, for the sake of convenience of her work and to avoid the neighborhood that had returned to its state of liveliness after the families were sent away, Ye Shuang calculated the time and felt it was about time to move back to her little apartment.
"I also want to move there!" When she revealed that intention during breakfast, Little Brother Ye was the first one to raise his hand, stating his intention to move in with his sister. "School is starting soon, and if I move over to sis' place, I can ask Tony to help give me English tuition. That way, I'll be able to survive English this semester."
Mother Ye denied it adamantly. "No way! You are to stay home and study to prepare for the replacement tests, and your father will watch over you. Don't think you can move there to play games throughout the night."
Did the little kid really think his family would not know what he was thinking‽
Ye Shuang bowed out of this war and kept herself busy serving breakfast to herself and Father Ye. She pretended she did not hear anything. Little Brother Ye glanced her way with resentment in his eyes as if accusing her for her lack of camaraderie. Therefore, he struggled and fought alone. "I promise to study hard, and it's a lot quieter at sis' place…"
"Are you trying to imply that I am being too noisy‽" Mother Ye glared at him.
F*ck! Little Brother Ye shrunk his head back, raising the white flag. Father Ye could not bear watching this anymore, so he cleared his throat and said, "Xiao Feng needs to focus on his study. Plus, isn't your big sister going to leave for work in a while‽ If you move there, you would not even have the energy to eat proper meals, much less study. Wait until your replacement tests are over. You can do whatever you want after that."
Ye Shuang giggled. In the end, I did not have to say anything.
Father Ye did not give her the chance to be a good person as he shot her a glance. Ye Shuang coughed and immediately said in the tone of an older sister, "That's right, Xiao Feng. You have to focus on your study so that one day you can fulfil the goal of Four Modernization set by the country…"
"The Four Modernization has been in effect for a long time already," Father Ye added in an airy note.
"Then, Five Modernization!" Ye Shuang waved her arms. "Don't ask me about which five, just focus on your studying. You can come over to my place after you're done with the replacement tests. Be a good kid, okay!"
Little Brother Ye had never been as shameless as his big sister, so he could only accept this result silently—three votes against one. In any case, he had no chance to taste freedom before the winter holiday arrived, so what else could he do but stay silent‽
After having breakfast, Ye Shuang started to pack her luggage. She only needed to bring some clothes with her to prepare for the change in season, so she was done packing in the blink of an eye. After packing, she carried her stuff downstairs to her car. After the New Year was over, the neighborhood came alive with activity. Some came out to walk; some were on the way to work; some had just came back from the market. They all greeted Ye Shuang when they saw her.
They were already close since they stayed in the same neighborhood, but after hearing the news during the New Year that the Ye family's daughter had made it big, with the pride that came from the idea of 'This is our neighborhood's daughter', they were all kind to Ye Shuang. It was not that obvious among the younger generation, but the older generation was so kind and welcoming to her.
Her popularity continued to rise as she walked to the parking lot. She drove back to her apartment. Since it was still early, after she unpacked, Ye Shuang lay down for a nap. She slept until it was almost dinner time. When she stayed at home, Ye Shuang missed the freedom of living alone. Even though there was warmth from living with family, life was busy. Every day, there was someone who came over to pay a visit, and when she transformed into her male form, she needed to leave to avoid prying eyes. Then, she was expected to help Mother Ye in the kitchen or play chess with Father Ye. The workload was no less than an office worker's.
She rolled twice in bed to work some temperature into her limbs. After the drowsiness from just waking up dissipated, Ye Shuang scratched her stomach and rolled out of bed to put on her clothes to prepare dinner. However, before she even started chopping the ingredients that she had taken out from the fridge, her phone rang.
Ye Shuang held the cleaver as she answered the phone, and Yao Zhixing's voice came from the other side. "Have you had dinner?"
"…Just preparing to cook it."
"Then, this is perfect!" Yao Zhixing had always cut to the point when he was in a conversation. "Now that New Year is finally over, everyone is free again. They suggested having a meeting tonight, would you like to come with?"
Who was this 'they'? Of course, they could only be the group of people from the racing crowd. Other than that fireworks party at the spring, for the rest of the New Year, everyone was busy dealing with their own families and friends; no one was free to come out for a gathering.
However, now that the holiday was over, those who had gone off to pay visit to their relatives had returned to the city, and things back at home had almost been completed. Thus, everyone could not resist the urge to come out for a gathering already. Ye Shuang looked at the clock on the wall. "Where are we going? Is there going to be any activity after the dinner‽"
"There won't be any racing tonight. Everyone plans to drink tonight, so no driving." Yao Zhixing laughed. "It's just a normal dinner. We might move the party to a nightclub after that. If you want, you can leave after the dinner."
Ye Shuang also laughed. "You make it sound like you people didn't drink and drive before this. It's so rude to leave after dinner. Never mind, since I have nothing better to do, I'll join you."
"That's different, when we need to drive, at most we'll only drink three glasses, and that would have been cleansed from our system after two hours of driving." Yao Zhixing tried to explain before providing Ye Shuang with the address. The place was not far from Ye Shuang's home, so it would take only about ten minutes by car.
Since there was someone who was going to treat, after Ye Shuang hung up the phone, she moved the ingredients back into the fridge, grabbed the car key, and left. Probably because it was winter, there were few people on the road; most of them either stayed at home or walked around the malls where there were heaters. No one wanted to come out to suffer the winter winds. This was convenient for Ye Shuang because it meant that she reached her destination without running into any traffic.
The parking lot for the location where Yao Zhixing's group was having the dinner was already full. Ye Shuang was initially confused, but the reason soon came to her—the bunch of people might not be racing, but it did not mean that they did not drive. They were already racers, so they probably drove there in their car, and the real drinking would begin at the nightclub.
The whole gang of racers came over, and combined with the cars of the others normal customers, it was natural that Ye Shuang did not have a place to park. With no other option, she had to find another place to park the car and then walked to the restaurant. She had just arrived at the entrance of the restaurant when Ye Shuang stopped due to the two groups of people who were butting heads inside the room.
Ye Shuang stood to the side and observed for a while. She knew both parties very well. One was Yao Zhixing's group, who should have been inside the restaurant already. The other party was also familiar; it was Zhou Yue, whom she had met through their parents. It looked like the man had also selected this place to have his gathering.
The two already had bad history between them. Zhou Yue's friends and Yao Zhixing's racers were also not on friendly terms. It was unclear which party was the one who started the argument, but it had escalated to a full-on fight where even Yao Zhixing and Zhou Yue were dragged into the fray. Of course, the two did not entangle themselves in the physical fight; the ones in the fight were mainly the lackeys. However, looking at how things were going, if one of them could not resist the urge to throw a punch, the chance of this escalating into a full-on brawl was not impossible.
"Looks like this is going to be a brawl!" Ye Shuang walked over with a smile.
Yao Zhixing turned and laughed when he saw Ye Shuang. "Why do you always have the best timing‽"
"You can call it good luck." Ye Shuang gave a random answer. She walked over to stand beside Yao Zhixing, and instantly, the morale rose.
"Madam Boss is finally here!"
Ye Shuang's name had already spread among the upper society. Even though it was not broadcasted, it had become an open secret. With the support from the racers, the 'couple' had already found its root in the heart of many people. Normally, everyone knew she did not like to be referred as much, but since they were in the middle of a fight, with adrenaline pumping through their blood, the terms just slipped out of their lips. Yao Zhixing had already gotten used to this and pretended like he did not hear anything. Instead, he turned his head to lift his chin at Zhou Yue. He narrowed his eyes and asked with impatience, "We're in the hurry to get to our booking, just say what you want and be done with it."
To his surprise, Zhou Yue was not even looking at him. Instead, since Ye Shuang walked into the room, the man started to frown and kept his eyes on her. Then, after a very long struggle in his mind, Zhou Yue turned and walked away. "Let's go!"
His group of lackeys was stunned and silent. Zhou Yue walked for two steps, and when he realized no one was following him, he turned his head around to roar, "Are you people deaf‽"
Similar to how Yao Zhixing used his influence and power to become the leader of the racers, Zhou Yue was the leader of his group, albeit the thing that he used was money. No one in his group dared to make an enemy of Zhou Yue, afraid that they might be made a target of his unreasonable assault.
Therefore, with a roar from Zhou Yue, as unsatisfied as they were, they quickly moved to follow their leader. Then, Yao Zhixing's people watched as the group of enemies retreated.
Just what had happened‽
Even Yao Zhixing himself had trouble understanding the situation. He could not give a response instantly. It was not until Zhou Yue's group had disappeared from his sight that he recovered to ask, "…What just happened‽"
"Was he afraid of Madam Boss‽" someone who had witnessed the bludgeoning on New Year's Eve whispered softly. Yao Zhixing frowned when he heard that, but he instantly shook his head to deny it. "That's impossible!"
He thought about it and explained, "That Zhou Yue is no different from a mad dog. Even though he was beaten up, he would not have left so easily, abandoning his face. I feel like something else is playing a huge factor here."
Then, the man who supplied the speculation earlier added, "Before the man left, he was eyeing Sister Shuang!"
"He must be planning something bad against Sister Shuang!"
"Yes, some horrible plan!"
"Yup, that's right!"
Therefore, the conclusion was that everyone believed Zhou Yue was planning something big.
…As the only party who knew the truth, Ye Shuang looked at the group of people with impossible imagination in disbelief, and she did not know what to say. Yao Zhixing noticed this and felt like Ye Shuang knew something, so he asked directly, "Xiao Shuang, what do you think?"
Ye Shuang coughed, and the discussion stopped instantly as their attention turned to her. Facing the giant pressure, with an awkward expression on her face, Ye Shuang explained, "It's like this. Brother Yao knows that I was asked to go on a date not long ago. My date was actually with Zhou Yue."