261 Qin Chu 2 in 1
"If we really have to say it, this young lady of the Yan family sure is spoiled. Look at this birthday party; it is held every year, and every year it is different. Children from other families would not have done something as complicated and as big as this. The last time that I had a birthday celebration of this scale was when I reached the age of twenty and became an adult. For other birthdays, at most, I only have close friends and family over," one of the socialites said as she raised the glass to cover her lips and smiled. On the surface, it sounded like she was merely talking about the scale of the host's party, but upon a closer inspection, there were many meanings that were left unsaid.
This so-called 'children from other families' naturally referred to the peers from the same circle. Others did not treat such events so seriously, so with this comparison, was it because everyone's family was too stingy or because this family was too generous?
The young lady of Yan family did not appear like she was that popular because once the socialite finished giving her observation, everyone else nodded in apparent agreement. Another socialite also took a sip of the wine and continued in a mocking tone. "Comparison will only lead to nasty things. Furthermore, not only can we not compare to her, even her own biological big brother is unable to survive the comparison. Just think about it, when was the last time that the young master from Yan family had a birthday celebrity? I think it was almost three years ago since I last saw the Yan young master at a public function."
"Oh…" The group of socialites shared a look and smiled to themselves. Some of them shook their heads slightly while others clinked their glasses and winked at each other, like they were connected by a public secret that they would not name out loud. "You said that it was three years ago? That is understandable…"
Only Ye Shuang had no idea what they were talking about.
Her arms leaning against the stage behind her, Ye Shuang twirled the glass of wine lightly and scanned the crowd. "That sounds interesting. Everybody else is seen to value their son, but this Yan family appears to focus on cultivating their daughter to inherit the family business, huh?"
"Ye Shuang sure is right about that," someone in the group agreed. "But this actually is to be expected because…"
Before she could finish, a female company that she had brought along nudged her arm light.
"Oh, by the way, have you seen the latest model of this year's golden Cardia Trinity?" The girl who was nudged changed the topic forcefully, and the other members of the group also helped her smooth out the transition.
Ye Shuang smiled and listened to their conversation for a while before chiming in after taking a sip of the wine. "The rings and earrings are not bad. I remember at Jing Hu City's Li family's private party, I saw quite a number of socialites wearing them. But the trend in Shanghai seems to be different. Actually, the design concept of this year's jewelry is different compared to the set from 2010…"
Most of the young socialites at this party actually were not familiar with Ye Shuang. Even though they had been chatting with each other for about half an hour already, until now, most of them still did not know much about Ye Shuang's identity. They only knew her name.
Her family background? Her identity? Her societal status? Her education background?
These details about Ye Shuang were a mystery to the rest. But then again, that was basically how communication at a formal event was. If the person did not actively introduce themselves or have someone make the introduction, during normal conversation, people would not be so rude as to directly ask for someone's personal information.
People's assessment of a newbie was from the person's mannerisms, way of speech, and how they carried themselves in a public setting. After a while, Ye Shuang noticed Su Zheng had already returned, and she was waving at her from the corner. Therefore, Ye Shuang bade her farewell with a smile and retreated gracefully.
Su Zheng's ability to analyze gossip was not as powerful as Ye Shuang's, but she was far more experienced at doing these types of illicit activities. When the guests of the party talked about the house, they were speaking about the family affairs of the Yan family as well, and this was not only limited to the group that Ye Shuang had infiltrated earlier. Places like the toilet, powder room, the breakroom, or even the balcony… there would be small groups who separated from the rest. They thought that no one was around, so they started to gossip among themselves.
After all, people would be mindful of their image at public locations, and they had to be careful of saying the wrong words and thus making enemies. However, if only familiar people were present, those topics that were hard to discuss in public would be brought up to the surface.
Therefore, because of this, Su Zheng, who was an expert at hiding her presence, managed to collect quite a lot of firsthand gossip.
"Sister Shuang, you have no idea how complicated this family's member relationship is." Su Zheng sighed and shared the gossip that she had collected and heard over the course of the party. Even though she had the appearance of justice and vindication like she could not believe the things that she had heard, it did nothing to cover up the excitement that was shining in her eyes, the excitement from gathering and sharing such juicy gossip. "The man of this family has four women in his life. One was the first wife, who has already passed away; then there are two mistresses who are outside and his current wife…
"The male host could be said to have depended on his first wife's family to get a head start in his business. In fact, even today, there are many deals that are still going on between the man's family and his first wife's family. In other words, the first wife has a powerful presence in this family. Unfortunately, the first wife had a bad physical condition, and she passed away before she was able to give the family a child…"
Su Zheng's saliva flew all over the place as she revealed the gossip. She swiped the glass of wine from Ye Shuang and tossed it down with one gulp. Then, she wiped her lips, lost the glass, grabbed Ye Shuang by her arm, and continued. "Then the man focused his attention on building up his career. In a way, he was showing respect to his first wife's family. Even though he had two mistresses, he did not marry again.
"In the following three years, the two mistresses got pregnant one after another, and the children who were born are the Yan family's current young master and young lady. The young master's mother thought that it was finally her time. She would be able to gain an official name through the advent of her son.
"Unfortunately, the man had a business marriage with the youngest daughter of a small company, and that woman became his current wife instead. The current wife also suffers from the same condition of the first wife in the sense that her body is too weak to get pregnant. I heard they have tried for a long time, but there's no news. In the end, the two b*stard children were taken into the family, and the group of them formed this unique family structure."
At this point, the development was still to be expected. At most, people would comment and say how ridiculous the happenings in a rich family was. However, the real events that turned this family drama into a palatial drama had yet to come.
The young master's mother thought that she could finally get some recognition, but later, the position was usurped by someone else instead. She thought that she had wasted her time with the man, but then the situation had a sudden turn once more. The current wife was checked and diagnosed that she had birthing problem. It had something to do with the eggs and the tube… in any case, she was unable to get pregnant.
This meant that the two b*stard children regained the chance to inherit the company; the mother of the son had her hope reignited. She directly given up the fight for the queen slot but planned to use her son to help her cut her way into the family. Originally, she had the most upper hand. After all, in the traditional mindset, the family would first consider the son to have him take over the family business.
Even though the young mistress was praised by people around her to be clever and business-savvy, and the Yan family's young master would often pale in comparison, the master of the Yan family had already silently confirmed that the first inheritor was still the son. He valued her daughter, but ultimately, the daughter was someone who was to be married out of the family.
Unfortunately, the mother of the son had underestimated the enemy. She forgot that current society was not as traditional as the years she was born, and the society did not value the son over the daughter as obviously anymore. The young master was spoiled by his mother, and he became quite a horrendous character. Perhaps he did this accidentally, or maybe he was plotted against by some other party, but he finally committed a big mistake three years ago. Then, it was a trip to the court, being interviewed, being exposed online, and so on. The information of his whole family was revealed on the internet, and even when he went out, he would enjoy no less infamy than what was accorded an A-list celebrity.
After the master of the house spent some money to hire a lawyer, to fight the case at court, to have a proposition of silencing the event out of court, to prevent the incident from having any continuing effect, the young master was forcibly sent overseas by his father. Even though his mother was unwilling, there was nothing else that she could do. She could only console herself that once the things settled down, her son had the chance to return and start again.
However, in these three years, the situation within the Yan family had a tectonic change again—the mother of the Yan family daughter reached out to the current wife, who had decided to stay out of the war. She promised to marry her daughter to the wife's nephew, and with that, she managed to persuade the current wife to join the war. The original war between two families became a three-sided war. Even though the mother of the daughter and the current wife were using each other, at least on the surface, they were standing on the same side, similar to how Wu and Su had cooperated to defeat Chao in the Romance of Three Kingdoms.
Ye Shuang was also impressed by the exciting fight for the inheritance in the Yan family. Even the palatial dramas on TV were not as exciting as this.
During the break in the story, she wandered over to the buffet table to grab a plate of snacks. Ye Shuang chewed on them before saying, "Originally, the mistress who gave birth to the son had the most advantages. Of her two enemies, one could not give birth to a child, and the other only had a daughter. However, she did not expect the two to work together, and with that, the situation completely changed.
"From the perspective of the current wife, she cannot give birth on her own, but if her original family's nephew gets married with her husband's family's daughter, when the young couple inherits the company, technically, it will still be within her family. The two needed what the other had. One had a good daughter, and the other had the legality and support from her original family.
"In the future, as long as, they come up with an agreement like having one of the Yan family's young lady's son follow the name of the mother, then this would continue the lineage of the Yan name. If he depended on the son, he would be worried about the useless son ruining the family name."
"In other words, the inside war in the Yan family is actually quite serious." Su Zheng grinned and held her chin. "To let the son inherit the family is to follow the tradition; to let the daughter inherit the family will be handing the company over to capable hands, but it is rather unconventional. Based on how much the Yan family values the young lady, the chance of her getting the inheritance is still bigger, but this does not mean that the young master has no chance at all. After all, he has the natural advantage of being a man."
Ye Shuang lowered her head to think, and suddenly, the topic jumped. "Then, based on your observation, the most possible candidate who went after the safe is who?"
"This is really hard to say." Su Zheng blinked. "Theoretically speaking, both sides have an equal chance of doing that. After all, the current master of the Yan family has not decided who will be inheriting the family business. If it is the daughter, he needs to wait until she's married and ensure that her son has the surname Yan first, right? Therefore, this will take quite some time to be fulfilled. Perhaps some people want to rush that process."
However, viewed from the current situation, the camp of the young master was the weaker party. It was quite reasonable if they wanted to do something to usurp the spot. In any case, neither of the son nor the daughter was a harmless individual. The fight for the inheritance was reaching its height, and no matter whom the culprit was revealed to be, it would not have been weird or out of place.
The two women gossiped for a while, and then they analyzed the possibility of Yan family becoming a potential customer. Unfortunately, the Yan family's people all had some secrets to hide. If they really needed special talent, it would be for something that was illegal and under the table… Ye Shuang could just imagine the mess that she would be getting into if she accepted a case from the Yan family, so after some time, Ye Shuang thought about it and decided to stay away from this family.
"Xiao Shuang." Sister Yu walked toward them holding the arm of a gentleman. She smiled brightly and reminded her, "The birthday girl is going to arrive in a minute—have you found your dance partner yet?"
"Most of the men at the party has already been taken. I definitely won't be able to steal someone for the first dance, so I think I shall just dance with Xiao Su." Then, Ye Shuang turned around to ask Su Zheng with a smile, "You know how to do the male-side of the dance, right?"
"Cough! Cough! Cough!" The cake that Su Zheng was munching on went down the wrong pipe. Her large pair of eyes quickly watered. "You want me to be the male with my height and size?"
Su Zheng was of average female build. She was about 162 centimeters tall, and standing next to Ye Shuang, she was about half a head too short. Ye Shuang looked at her down gown and the suit that Su Zheng was wearing. "Well, you can't expect me to lead the dance in the dress that I'm wearing."
Su Zheng openly glanced at Ye Shuang, and Ye Shuang glanced back at her.
Sister Yu smiled. She pulled a man to sit down across from the girls. She opened her lips to pull back the attention of the pair. "Actually, you can sit down from the dance, but it will be quite obvious… If you don't mind, Xiao Shuang, Charlie's boss is also here, and he's lacking a female dance partner, so why don't you dance with him?"
Charlie was naturally Sister Yu's sugar daddy, the man who was sitting across from them. Since this was Charlie's boss, then he should be someone from Huan Chen who had an important position at the main company in Xiang Jiang.
Ye Shuang thought about it and inquired with a smile, "He's not over 40, right?"
It would not work if he was too old. Even though she wanted to build a good relationship with the man to draw him in as a client, she did not want to use something as meaningful as the first dance to get to know the man. If he was mature but not old, then it would have been fine—at least people could say they were quite a match for each other. However, if the age difference was too big, perhaps some unsavory rumors might start to spread among the circle.
Of course, Sister Yu had considered the possibility of that as well. She heard Ye Shuang and smiled. "Even though Mr. Qin is over 30, he's at the prime of his life. He's quite famous among the socialites at Xiang Jiang…"
Whether that was true or not, it did not really matter. After all, with his position, Ye Shuang was sure that many people would do anything to flatter him. As long as the age difference between them was not too big for people to misunderstand, Ye Shuang was fine with it.
Ye Shuang picked up a napkin to wipe off the butter cream that was stuck to the corner of her lips. She stood up and said with a smile, "Then, I'll need to trouble Sister Yu to make the introduction."
Su Zheng was abandoned yet again. Ye Shuang was led to the other corner of the room and shown to a man who was standing in the corner.
Sister Yu and Charlie shared a cooperative and mutually symbiotic relationship, so their conversation was casual and light; there was no sense of hierarchy between them. However, before this man, Sister Yu and Charlie's attitude became much more reserved and respectful. This went to show the difference in standing between the two parties. The two would not have spoken like an equal before the man.
The man though did not have a domineering presence; however, there was a leadership and prominence that was etched within his eyes. This was a habit that had been cultivated from years of being someone at the top.
"Miss Ye." When the man saw Sister Yu bring Ye Shuang over, he stood up to welcome her with a smile. Just this action from the man had shocked both Sister Yu and Charlie; they felt like the man should not have this kind of attitude toward Ye Shuang.
Ye Shuang extended her hand to the man. They shook hands, and a perfectly-calculated smile appeared on ye Shuang's lips. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Qin."
After that, the man signaled for Ye Shuang to sit and then he also took the seat and sat down again. Then he added, "Looks like Miss Ye has been paying attention to me. Do you don't mind me ask a question that is rather rude, I wonder, Miss Ye, are you here on behalf of Tian Wang or Tian Mo?"
What the f*ck‽
Ye Shuang appeared gentle and calm on the surface, but her heart was already in turmoil. This man was completely different from Lin Yu, the explosive type. She had approached Lin Yu several times and already retreated when she realized that the client had almost reached for the hook. Until now, Lin Yu probably did not know that he had been approached for a reason.
Whereas the first thing out of this man's mouth was to call out her relationship with Tian Mo…
Even though the information that he had might not be complete, it did show that he had been paying attention to Ye Shuang's movement and had even predicted that Ye Shuang had been looking for an opportunity to contact Huan Chen.
The man saw how unfazed Ye Shuang was, and he looked at her with some interest. Then he glanced at Charlie and Sister Yu, who were still confused at what was happening. He pulled back his gaze and then spoke again. "With Charlie's current power, I'm afraid he is not someone whom you will have use for; I believed that you might be more interested in seeing me in person, so I came without announcement. I hope you don't mind, Miss Ye."
Sister Yu hesitated before prompting, "Xiao Shuang?"
Ye Shuang smiled at Sister Yu in consolation. Then she changed her seating position and nodded at the man. " Mr. Qin, it looks like already know why I'm here."
"I have some speculation, but I cannot confirm your real thoughts." The man was silent for a while. "I believe we should stop trying to guess the other person's bottom line. Honestly, Miss Ye, when you helped Tian Mo sign the group of scriptwriters, Huan Chen had already begun paying attention to you. Even though Miao Yi's nose is not that sensitive, I personally do not think all the things that happened were a coincidence. It felt more like a planned incident… Tian Mo managed to rise from certain death. Miao Yi thought that they were lucky, but I don't think so. I'm sure Miss Ye actually played a huge part in that."
"Oh." Ye Shuang nodded. She looked at the man but did not say anything.
The man chuckled as he shook his head. "Never mind, I've already said that we should stop trying to guess the other person's bottom line. In that case, we should just get down to it… Charlie, why don't you go mingle with the other guests as Huan Chen's representative?"
Charlie knew that the man was asking him to leave, so he quickly led Sister Yu away
After the coast was clear, the man arranged his thought before continuing. "Huan Chen has no interest in swallowing the whole Chinese market. In today's society, no one has the ability to completely dominate the entire field. However, it is also undeniable that even though we will not push too far unless necessary, we will try to grab every chance available to make sure that we stay in an advantageous position. I'm sure you will understand something like that, so I won't go into detail. Actually, other than the issue with the scriptwriters, the second time that I noticed Miss Ye was when you interacted with Lin Yu."
Ye Shuang sighed silently. She titled her head and asked in confusion, "Now, I'm actually quite curious. With an opponent like Mr. Qin, how did Lin family manage to maintain an equal competition with Huan Chen for so many years?"
"Miss Ye, you flatter me." The man smiled. "You only got to know Lin Yu, the youngest of the Lin family's sons. Many times, his attitude is quite loud, but Lin Chen is far more experienced than Lin Yu. I have no confidence in saying that I would be able to snatch any advantage away from Lin Chen."
Ye Shuang thought about it and realized that the man had a point. Lin Yu did not realize her intention, but Lin Yu was not the shot-caller at Tian Wang Media, so it was understandable that he was slightly inexperienced.
Mr. Qin, or Qin Chu, was different. For one, he had been keeping his eye on Ye Shuang due to the scriptwriters incident with Miao Yi. Then, when Ye Shuang approached Lin Yu, naturally, he would be extra guarded. Other than that, the higher ups had already decided that Qin Chu was going to take over Huan Chen. Since he was the soon-to-be boss, his level was naturally similar to Lin Chen, and Lin Yu was a level lower than the two…
"Mr. Qin, why are you so sure that I'm here to seek cooperation with you?" Ye Shuang asked.
Qin Chu shook his head. "I'm not sure about that, but at least I'm certain about one thing—you wish to meet me."
"Even though that is a rather confident way to put it, Mr. Qin, you have guessed that correctly." Ye Shuang was speechless. "In that case, I'll be open and forthright. Mr. Qin, you probably think that I have an ally relationship with Tian Mo or Tian Wang, right?"
Qin Chu raised his brow and made an expression that said, "Am I wrong?"
Ye Shuang smiled and turned around to wave at Su Zheng, who was looking at them from afar. While she waved for her to come over, Ye Shuang turned back to smile. "Actually, my stance is neutral. Helping Tian Mo with the scriptwriters was because we had a cooperative relationship, and interacting with Lin Yu is because I wish to develop a cooperative relationship. I have some information here that might interest Mr. Qin. Perhaps it might even influence the coming of a new era in Xiang Jiang. If there's a possibility, I also wish to cooperate with Mr. Qin as well."
Su Zheng jogged over and acted like their original plan. "Sister Shuang, you…"
Ye Shuang interrupted Su Zheng. "There's no need to carry on with the act; give the information to Mr. Qin directly. He already knew that we want to meet him."
Su Zheng's face of innocence turned into one of shock. She looked at the calm Qin Chu with a conflicted expression and finally handed over the suitcase that she was holding.
Qin Chu accepted it with a smile. He opened it but did not pull out all the document. He scanned through them briefly before putting them back. "Miss Ye, if you don't mind, I wish to study these documents closer. How about I treat both you ladies to lunch tomorrow? "
Thus, the plan to meet Huan Chen's boss was completed. Even though the plan had strayed so far from the predicted process, at the least the ending was quite successful. Without needing to rely on tricks, Ye Shuang and Su Zheng started to relax at the birthday party.
After having the first dance with Qin Chu, Ye Shuang followed Su Zheng to take a tour of the buffet table. Then she joined the group of socialites to collect all the information that she could find.
After the party was half over, since she had been eating and drinking nonstop, Ye Shuang had to excuse herself to use the bathroom. After telling Su Zheng, Ye Shuang went up the stairs. Once she opened the door, she saw a man holding a knife over his wrist…