296 Cracked Eggs
Edward was a supporter that Xia Cheng had purposely called over. Purposely was a bit of a stretch, but since the man was in France and had a personal relationship with James, and Edward was the famed 'plotter' within the organization, then with a mutual benefit for both, begging for the man's help for this once was not something that was particularly difficult.
"A man‽" Edward looked quite unassuming, and his large body lay lazily on the chair. He looked like someone common on the street, a middle-aged man who was pressured by life. "You want to ruin him?"
Xia Cheng knew that kind of demand was a bit over the line, but the problem was mainly that the target was a bit difficult for him to handle. Because there was the time constraint, the practically non-existent relationship between him and Edward, and then on top of that, the disparity of their statuses in the organization… After thinking about it, Xia Cheng smiled endearingly. "There's no need to go so far. I only need him to leave some bad impression before the crowd… Er, I need to get close to a girl near him, but you should understand this, Mr. Edward, when a woman has an attractive-enough candidate by her side, she won't have time for other males…"
Edward glanced at Xia Cheng coolly. He lowered his head and picked up the spoon to stir the tea, very much unlike a true gentleman. He used his other fat hand to grab four cubes of sugar and dropped them into the cup. "Have you really dropped to the point where you need to rely on a woman?"
"This… it is mainly because the company that I focused on earlier turned too suddenly on me," Xia Cheng explained.
He also wanted to walk the path of the elite, the man who used his talent and power to steal a company away. He did not want to be like those uncultured ruffians who relied on dirty tricks to win—that would be an insult to his intelligence. Yet, life was not kind to him. Everything had been going so well, but suddenly, the world turned on him. Lin Chen struck him when he least expected it.
Xia Cheng was a loyal person, and he only focused on working his magic at Tian Wang Media. Naturally, he did not have the time to go mess with other companies. Now, everything was perfect—all the eggs that he had placed in one basket had shattered, and he felt as great as cracked eggs.
As Su Zheng and Ye Shuang had said, Xia Cheng did not have many trump cards left. He had been blacklisted in the entertainment world, and it would be very difficult for him to make a comeback. If he jumped to another field, the resources and money that it required would be massive. Now, Xia Cheng could only hope to recover with the cards that he still held in his hands.
One was Karen, and the other was Rong Su. If these two women could not help him, then it was truly over for Xia Cheng.
"Mr. Edward, you should know I don't have many resources left with me. If I return just like that, even if I'm not punished, in the future, I can only work as a low-class worker… For God's sake, haven't you worked with Mr. James before, Mr. Edward?"
"James is a very talented person, but he is a bit too serious." Edward had a few nice words for the director. Bad guys often were not one hundred percent bad. Perhaps they might have an extreme desire for something that caused them to forgo their morality, but this did not mean that they did not have enjoyment for life.
Edward thought about his old friend James. He sighed and then turned to tell Xia Cheng, "My cooperation with James was limited to a movie. If he was better at controlling his temper, we might have been closer friends… I don't want to owe him a favor, and he might not even listen to me to fire a talent—however, if the man is really like you described…"
After giving it some thought, Edward scoffed with derision. "A man with both looks and talent? Looks might be gifted by the heavens, but talent is not. The mastery of each talent needs a long and tedious time of studying. As talented as he might be, without effort, that talent will only be buried… What is the motivation for effort? The more brilliant someone is, the greater the person's ambition to obtain something.
"Fame, power, status, and women… That's all a man could ever ask for."
Taking a sip of the sickly sweet tea, Edward wiped at his lips. "He rejected Edward's offer, so he is obviously not after the first three things. So, it is for women?"
Xia Cheng knew that he was not that clever, so he could only help by analyzing some of the data. "The man is good at martial arts, and he once saved Rong Su during a movie shoot. Other than that, he is multi-talented. Good at French, wine-tasting, and very professional at movie-making and make-up… In any case, so far, I can't detect anything that he is bad at."
The more he thought about it, the angrier he became. This kind of man should be destroyed; his existence was too much of a threat to other males.
"Those who have mastered many skills are normally very strict toward themselves." Edward shook his head. "Normally, they are arrogant and conceited because they think highly of themselves. Because of that, they are cautious of maintaining their image—the chance of people like these to make a mistake in everyday life is not high… The data you gave me is not enough, and France is not our main stage. It is impossible to set up any intricate traps."
"Just do something simple." Xia Cheng quickly interrupted. "There is no need to hit him hard; it is not my intention to pin a crime on the man, just some misunderstanding."
Whether it was authentic or not… it was useless to explain it later. The bad impression had already been made. Even if it was cleaned, there would be a history. Furthermore, if it was not a criminal act, after enough time had passed, who would have the time and energy to settle the score with you?
"Something simple? Then why did you come to me?" Edward was dissatisfied, thinking that Xia Cheng had come to him with such a 'small problem' was an insult to his intelligence. The cup in his hand landed heavily, and Edward said with derision, "If you just want to ruin the man's name, then go and find a hooker to entangle the man with. I'm sure that's the kind of trap that you want, right?"
"Such a brilliant idea!" Xia Cheng clapped in approval. This made Edward even angrier—this was something so crude, but it was approved by Xia Cheng‽
No matter what Edward thought, Xia Cheng departed to start setting up the 'plan'. He left in such a hurry that he did not notice how dark Edward's face was. Edward sat there and continued to drink his tea. He made the decision to make a report to the organization. The chess piece Xia Cheng had been ruined, and the man's intelligence had suffered a blow. It was time to abandon this pawn, or he might harm the organization.
"I'm sorry, sir, but do you mind sharing the table with another guest? We do not have any more seats available." Edward had not finished his cake when the sunny waitress came to ask. Edward was dining al fresco. He was enjoying the sun while enjoying the tea and cake.
This kind of location was free and casual. There was a distance between the seats that were under the parasol. When they chatted, they did not worry to be overheard by other guests.
Too high-end restaurants were too restrictive, and outside eateries were too dirty. Edward preferred this kind of café. It was just nice especially when the weather was permissible. It allowed him to watch the crowd. Of course, the negative point was that it was easy for places like this to be full. Since the customers were easy-going, when the place was full, the chance of sharing tables was high.
"Go and look at other tables, I don't…" Edward raised his face with displeasure. He was not in the mood to entertain another guest. To his surprise, it was an Eastern girl wearing a cap that entered his gaze. Her skin was clear like porcelain, and even though her face did not stand out much, she carried a soft beauty about her, like a painting that one would learn to appreciate the more one studied it.
The waitress apologized, "I'm really sorry sir, but you have the only available seat… Plus, the lady is carrying many bags."
Edward moved his eyes to look. The girl had around six shopping bags around her feet, and they were filled with clothes and local products. She looked like a tourist visiting France who had bought some presents for her friends back home.
Edward thought about it and silently took back his rejection because it was a female. Even though he did not say anything, he moved his cup and plate away, clearing out a space for the girl to occupy.
"Thank you!" Ye Shuang sighed in relief and sat down happily. Even though the bags were not heavy for her, it was quite embarrassing to wander around the streets with them.
After she sat down, she made a few orders from the waitress before turning to the fat foreigner next to her in interest. "Good afternoon, sir. My name is Ye Shuang, and I came from China. What is your name?"
"Oh?" Edward did not answer but lifted his eyes lazily to scan Ye Shuang. "I heard Eastern women are more reserved. Is that a misunderstanding?"
"Of course not," Ye Shuang admitted, like she did not hear the sarcastic tone in the man's voice. "I am greeting you now with much reservation."
Then she used an intrigued glow in her eyes to scan Edward from the top of his head to the bottom of his toes.
"…" Edward suddenly felt that this encounter was quite interesting.