Chapter 19: A Game of Prestige [18.2]

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

----- THIS TRANSLATION BELONGS TO konila.com -----

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

Qi Qiuyu had always held her stake in the Qi Group securely ever since it rose to become a business empire. Even as she was treated to the usual daily workplace gossip about some member of the staff involved in illicit relationships or how they could be embattled by the advent of a love child out of the woodwork, such sordid news never once eroded her confidence in Qi Wang. He had only the deepest love and loyalty to her and there was hardly even the slightest blemish of a scandal about him.

It not for love, how else had Qi Wang lived like a chaste monk for so long?

Even during the turmoil of their divorce, Qi Wang said not a word of anger. He willingly relinquished all duties and powers tied to his office as President of the Group, and left without any complaints. He did not pester her for anything even following his departure. In fact, when he thought of coming up with a new venture, he even came knocking on her door bearing gifts – although she had been too foolishly blind then.

That made Qi Qiuyu believe that she remained important as ever to Qi Wang. An unmovable rock that rested deep inside his mind and that made her positively certain that he would agree to mend their fences and reunite as a couple once more.

And if she could remarry him, the Hope Apex Technologies would be hers.

Qi Qiuyu originally agreed to marry Bai Qiujiang, and they had planned to reveal Qi Ze’s true parentage to him once he has solidified his position at the helm of the company. But now that things have begun to turn awry, Qi Qiuyu decided that she needed to first get ahold of Qi Wang’s new and obviously-lucrative venture.

Bai Qiujiang had been patient enough to wait for so many years and another one year or two would not hurt. In fact, she could just as easily pull off another divorce just as long as Hope Apex Technologies in her bag.

Qi Qiuyu spent a great deal of effort assuaging Qi Ze before she saw Bai Qiujiang out the door.

“Qiuyu, are you sure of this? You really want to reignite things with Qi Wang?”

Bai Qiujiang could not believe this was happening and he just needed to hear her say it again, his face spasming with pain.

Qi Qiuyu looked no happier than he was. She wrapped her arms around him and said softly, “Don’t blame me, Qiujiang. You know I have no choice. Qi Ze’s on a steep learning curve and you know best of all how bumpy his ride had been... I would not have to come to this if there is another way…”

Her voice broke at the end. She felt Bai Qiujiang’s body turning stiff and she let go. She took two steps back and said to him, “I need to help Qi Ze, and I’m sorry it has to be like this.”

Bai Qiujiang held her in a long, morose stare before he pivoted around and walked to his car with a heavy heart and drove off.

Qi Qiuyu was a strong-willed woman with a mind of her own. It took him almost twenty years to finally convince her to divorce Qi Wang and now that she has made up her mind to reconcile with him, he knew nothing he said would make any difference.

***

Qi Wang submitted his latest research treatises and decided to take a few days off to relax.

He sat down and thought, immediately getting the reason why Qi Qiuyu wanted to meet him. He did not expect it to be this early; he had always thought her to be patient and even-tempered.

“All right, I know a place. Bring Qi Ze with you. We can have a good talk.”

He had been preparing for this showdown for a long time, and the notion that he would be there to see the faces of the mother and son squirm and writhe with horror filled him with thrill and anticipation.

Qi Wang did nothing to hide the appointment from the Special Security Division, although Zhang Liang and his men were nowhere near please to hear that Qi Wang had agreed to meet Qi Qiuyu and Qi Ze.

The acts and behavior of Qi Qiuyu and her son were distasteful, to say the least. Worse could be expected from them if Qi Wang would become soft enough for them to latch themselves on him like leeches. Qi Wang was just too kind and Zhang Liang knew they would never let go of him.

“He’s just too kind, that Mr. Qi. We should do something to keep him safe.”

“We need to always remind him of what Qi Qiuyu had done to him before.”

“Agree.”

“That’s right. We cannot let Mr. Qi continue to be pushed around by that two scum.”

From that day onwards until the day of Qi Wang’s appointment with his ex-wife, the members of the Special Security Division all wore dark-green fatigues. Some of the younger officers even sported green caps.

That left Qi Wang in a state of bewilderment when he saw them.

Have I grown so old now that I no longer understand the tastes of young people these days?! Since when is green the new black!? Green caps too?! How unusual!

But caps and uniforms were not the best the members of the SSD could come up with. The car that the SSD used to ferry Qi Wang around had been painted with a fresh coat of paint: green, and he suddenly remembered how Zhang Liang came looking for him not long ago, citing that his cell phone needed a new cover and he brought him a new one: an apple-green cell phone cover.

The car door swung open and to his shock and amazement, the cushion and upholstery had all been changed into green too. It took him a second to digest that before he lowered himself into the vehicle.

Heavens, and they seem to make it an art to be able to match the color of green with so many other things and colors… How refreshing, to say the least…

He was just thinking this when Zhang Liang fired up his phone and the AI of his phone, also a Lovely, appeared over his screen. Only this Lovely had obviously been customized into green instead of the usual blue Smurf!

“What do you think of this color, Mr. Qi? Soothing for the eyes, no?”

Qi Wang was speechless.

Since when is Lovely customizable?! And Zhang Liang changed his into green!?

He would be a fool if he could still not understand what Zhang Liang and his team were trying to tell him.

But is this how they think of me? A person who’d forgive a woman who had been nothing but disloyal to me for decades?

Do I look like a fool to them?!

To answer Qi Wang’s question, Zhang Liang and the rest of the SSD never once thought Qi Wang a fool. If anything, they found him too kind and gentle a person, and they were worried that he might yield if Qi Qiuyu managed to cajole him and twirl him between her fingers like a toy. They were only concerned that he might fall back into the same old trap he had only just freed himself from.

The green car sped along the tarmac at quick speeds and finally arrived at its destination a half-hour later. To ensure Qi Wang’s safety, Zhang Liang booked the whole restaurant and the establishment would be receiving no other patrons except Qi Wang for the day.

Chamber of Vibrant Emerald, a restaurant with furnishing mostly bedecked with green ornaments and indoor decorative plants that Qi Wang could have sworn even his face looked green when he saw a mirror when he was walking in.

“We’d be just next door, Mr. Qi. Just call if you need us and we’ll be here at once.”

With that final reminder and a conspicuous wave of his cell phone to show Qi Wang his green Lovely, Zhang Liang finally reluctantly took his leave and strode to the VIP room next door.

They have done all they could and now, they could only hope that Qi Wang would be able enough to ward off the ensnaring tendrils of Qi Qiuyu and Qi Ze.

Qi Qiuyu and Qi Ze were late. Qi Wang sat alone inside his VIP room for almost another half-hour before they finally came.

To make sure she could once again win him back, Qi Qiuyu had taken a great effort to dress herself up and had specially chosen a dress she had once worn before when Qi Wang and her were still madly in love with each other. She needed to be able to enrapture him today.

Already an attractive woman, a fully-groomed Qi Qiuyu looked ravishing and the entire room seemed to lit up the moment she stepped through the threshold.

She was sure she would triumph.

Qi Wang looked up immediately when he noticed the door swinging open and when he saw Qi Qiuyu dressed in a dress that reminded him oddly of a peacock with greenish feathers, he frowned.

What is it with green today?! Is it the most popular color of the year?!

“You’re late – for thirty-five minutes.”

It was the last thing Qi Qiuyu expected to hear from Qi Wang. Instead of praises and flattery, Qi Wang’s remark froze the smile on her face although she managed to recollect herself in a jiffy.

“I wish to put on my best for you. I hope you won’t mind that.”

Qi Qiuyu said coquettishly, her waist swaying as she approached Qi Wang with Qi Ze shadowing behind as quietly as a wraith.

Qi Wang ignored the remark and did not respond. It was plain as day that this so-called tête-à-tête was nothing but a sham, but the effort and skill in this spurious burlesque were so clearly lamentable and pathetic if not outright poor and lacking. Is she really taking me for a fool, or a monkey waiting for a banana?

Meanwhile, Qi Qiuyu immediately picked up the awkwardness that followed after Qi Wang’s disregard for what she said and a foreboding dread began emerging in her mind.

What is going on? Qi Wang loves me! He must still be! But what is this cold shoulder?! Is he blaming me?! Never! Never! This must be a facade! He’d never abandon me, much less blame me!

 Qi Qiuyu bit on her lip and tugged at Qi Ze’s hand, urging him to take the seat right in front of Qi Wang.

“It’s been so long, Qi Wang,” she purred, “You look nothing different at all, still lovely as ever.”

Those words hit another wall; Qi Wang ignored her yet again. Sheepishly, an embarrassed Qi Qiuyu quickly struck up more conversation about something else, hoping that she would be able to steer it back towards reconciling things.

It was all going contrary to her plan! She thought Qi Wang would be excited to meet her and they would talk and talk to no end where he would admit his still-lingering feelings for her and all it would take was for her to demurely hint at a chance of getting back together and Qi Wang would do the rest.

But Qi Wang’s spurning of her gestures only indicated otherwise and things seemed to have spiraled beyond her expectations and control.

“Very long indeed,” observed Qi Wang brusquely. Placidly, he asked, “So what’s the purpose of this meeting?”

Qi Qiuyu could not help furrowing her brows with dismay. Her face squirmed with a tinge of resentment. “Are that anger and discontent?! I’ve tried to stop thinking of you since our divorce, Qi Wang. I thought I had no more feelings for you. But only now do I realize I still miss you. I love you, Qi Wang, and I now know that I have always loved only you. I cannot lose you. Please come back.”

“You want me to come back?”

That rather surprised Qi Wang.

He had to admit, he had underestimated Qi Qiuyu.

He did not expect her to come to such lengths. He thought that she would only want him to return to the Qi Group at most, while biding time for the opportunity to rein in Hope Apex Technologies to be part of Qi Group’s conglomerate of companies.

So I’m to marry her, surrender to her Hope Apex Technologies on a silver platter, and spent the rest of my life wallowing in the self-delusional fantasy of returning to become President of the Qi Group? Who and why made her think that I’d agree, Qi Wang thought. What makes her think that her plan would succeed without a hitch?

Ah, Qi Wang realized suddenly. It’s my – or rather, Original 1’s own fault – that Qi Qiuyu has such hubris.

Qi Wang made no indication of his disgust. Instead, his gaze panned to Qi Ze, whose face only screamed loathing and shame as he struggled to settle in the chair beside Qi Qiuyu’s.

“Your mother wishes that we reconcile, Qi Ze. What do you think about that?”

Qi Ze had been doing nothing but willing himself to shrink as much as possible but to no avail. Qi Wang’s question came like a bolt of lightning out of the blue.

He’s trying to embarrass me. That’s it. Embarrass me.

Qi Ze balled up his hands into tightly-clenched fists, his face distorting with intense hatred as he struggled to say the words, “That’s between you and mother. You don’t have to ask me.”

On the other hand, Qi Wang was rather amused by Qi Ze’s bitter and spiteful behavior.

He’s more like his mother than his father, I suppose, he thought. At the very least he did not inherit his father’s penchant for flagrant shamefulness. If he were here, he would do anything to achieve his purpose, even if it means him admitting defeat.


Author's Notes:

Thank you all for your support! I'll be sure to keep on going!

New update! Do stay tuned if you like this story! Thank you!

Scribbles of TheBrokenPen:

Was delayed by some work on the weekend. Very sorry. My home was struck by a sudden voltage overload and I’ve lost a lot of electrical appliances in the mishap. >.<

Here’s to hoping that everyone’s safe and well.

I appreciate feedback of all kinds, and monetary donations go a long way in encouraging our journey together into this story!

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----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

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