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Part (2/3) – 2,1k words
Bing Shi stepped out of the taxi, arriving at the famous Fondue Street, renowned for its exclusive brands, designer fashion, fine jewels, art, and antiques.
“…” Bing Shi read the high-end boutique signs of the world’s most prestigious retailers. She didn’t know which one she should visit first, she knew nothing about these brands besides the fact that they were expensive and popular. And the things Silika wore, she couldn’t help but view them as some basic pieces with a random logo plastered on them.
“…” Chuckling at her ‘high enthusiasm’ Lu Kai described to her the history behind the few popular brands, how they came to life and how they did their business. Though he had no interest in fashion and social media, he still needed to study the marketplace and the trends of this world, so he could make appropriate investments. “Eskada is less recognizable than Alaviere. The lack of advertising and PR is causing Eskada to be less popular. Though Eskada raises their own cows, has better quality, and designs, it’s also less ‘obvious’ and more pricey.”
Bing Shi examined the outfits inside the window displays when something suddenly caught her eyes. Aoi Hong was walking towards Alaviere alone. She lifted her head and blinked at Lu Kai cutely, “I’m going to train my deception and concealment skills.”
Lu Kai as if reading her expression, raised his eyebrow, “You are going to leave me alone?”
She nodded her head childishly, “Wanna be my audience?”
Lu Kai motioned towards the nearby coffee and took off her school backpack that contained his tablet, “You have an hour before I pick you up.”
Catching her flying kiss, he went inside the coffee while going through the tattoo’s information, occasionally checking the situation through Aoi Hong’s system. A lingering smile never left his face.
- · ─── · ⊱❈⊰· ─── · ·
Aoi Hong just entered the store and there was already someone looking for trouble.
This previous high-school Queenbee was clothed in full designer items. Back in the days, Aoi Hong was terrorized by this bully and her lackeys, not because of her background but because of boys taking notice of her beauty. During that time, she was saved by the female lead (Su Min). The old Aoi Hong promised to repay the female lead, becoming her loyal sidekick. There was another girl besides the QueenBee, but Aoi Hong couldn’t recognize her.
“Wow! The poor student who couldn’t even afford a piece of bread dares to walk in here?” the QueenBee hid a wicked smile behind her palm. Now that Min Su’s family went bankrupt, she decided to bring life to her old grudges, “Aoi Hong, don’t tell me you are here to apply for a job. Or do you plan to steal something?”
Aoi Hong who showed up in her worn-out clothes turned her head towards the female’s voice, “Continue, and I’ll sue you for slander.”
“…” The Queenbee showed a bit of uncertainty, not daring to retort, she harrumphed arrogantly.
If suing was that easy, the tabloids wouldn’t print the junk they do without being sued into bankruptcy. It’s a long costly process.
“Silika?” The Queenbee’s companion noticed the new arrival and walked towards her ex-classmate, “Silika, you look so beautiful today! I almost couldn’t recognize you! Let me introduce you to my sister…” Seeing no labels on Bing Shi, she exclaimed in surprise, “Silika, what are you wearing?”
“Oh, a jealous witch poured her coffee on my newest Alaviere jacket and dress. I threw them away and decided to buy new ones,” Bing Shi came up with a stupid story on the spot and lifted her sleeve towards her ex-classmate, whose name she already forgot. Ah, she missed Kuro so much, “There was nothing nearby, and I ended up buying this cheap junk. The fabric is pretty good, try to touch it.”
“…” Lu Kai almost spit out his coffee when he saw his Shinobi wife in action. Training her deception and concealment skills, huh? She was just trolling around!
The girl touched the fabric, opening her mouth in understanding, showing her abnormal concern that was a notorious part of nowadays society, “You suddenly disappeared after finishing high school. What do you do now?”
“Ah?” The big white lotus Bing Shi looked at the small white lotus as she came up with another nonsense, which was a truth in a way, “After declining an acting role and firing my agent? I plan to travel around the world. And you?”
The QueenBee doubted that Silika’s father got richer for Silika to throw away her clothes and buy new ones. She was a more experienced socialite, and nothing about Silika’s clothes screamed branded. Though Silika had a beautiful doll-like face, it wasn’t irking like Aoi Hong’s natural beauty! Having another person on her side, her confidence returned. “Hmpf! Once a country bumpkin, always a country bumpkin. I only wanted to see what you can afford!”
“Who said I’m buying anything? I want to have a look first,” Aoi Hong walked around confidently, “Do you own this place? Chase me out. If not, mind your own business!”
“You!” The Queenbee had no idea how to retort Aoi Hong’s sharp mouth, continuing to glare at Aoi Hong, she grabbed her younger sister towards the counter to pay for their items.
“Sis, you can pay yourself,” the girl protested, “I want to go back to Silika.”
“I’m glad that we bumped into each other,” Bing Shi hurriedly pulled out her phone, giving the ex-classmate her contact, “I can see you’re busy. Here’s my number.’
“We’re leaving!” After paying, the QueenBee grabbed her shopping bags and left the shop in a bad mood.
The same day, the gossip loving XiaoPu received a new chatting buddy. He got to know that there were other ways of gaining private information besides hacking and stalking.
- · ─── · ⊱❈⊰· ─── · ·
The shop assistant’s expression turned a little ugly, “The dress miss is holding costs 4000 dollars.”
Ah, here it goes…
“You sound like you had a hard day.” Bing Shi put the dress back and continued to go through the rack of clothes in silence, unaffected by the rude shop assistant, whose behavior changed for the better. It seemed like they still practiced this old marketing method. The ruder the sales staff, the better the sales. It only worked on highly sought after luxury brands.
The snobbish people who were treated poorly would buy two dresses instead of one to show their might. Even those who couldn’t afford it would scram every penny just to put the staff in their place. It was also a good intimidating tool, to make an unprofitable customer feel out of place so they wouldn’t delay the traffic. There were too many people who only went here to try on many clothes, take a picture for their social media and leave with empty hands and a mess for the staff to clean up.
It was worse for people that didn’t ‘look the part’ like Aoi Hong, who fell for this practice completely. Because she thought everyone took her for a beggar, she wanted to teach the staff a lesson ‘don’t judge a person by their look’. She decided to try on the red dress from the window display.
“Miss… I think Miss should try a dress of different price categories first,” another staff ‘advised’ with an unhappy scowl. With luxury brands, the stock was extremely limited. There were literally 2 dresses like these in the entire country. She was not going to let this person who looked like a country pumpkin rip the zipper out of a $45,000 dress because she wanted to try it on “for fun”. Part of her job was to protect the merchandise. If Aoi Hong ripped that dress, it meant the store just lost 45k, and she wouldn’t be able to sell it to someone else.
“Give it to her,” Quin Yu’s cold voice resonated within the bouquet. Staring at the staff, his deep black eyes looked even more desirable. No normal person would dare to disobey.
A male associate quickly ran towards the sales assistant and whispered something to her eyes.
Suddenly, both of them made a ninety-degree bow, “Apologies to Mr. Quin, we’ll give you the dress immediately.”
- · ─── · ⊱❈⊰· ─── · ·
In the another part of the store, inside the changing room…
After the staff used a steamer to iron and disinfect Bing Shi’s purchase, she put on a satin pink, bodycon mini dress with sheer long sleeves. It hugged her just right at her chest and booty area. The brand’s monograms were sewed to the hem of the short skirt and sleeves, adding additional value to the dress.
The off-shoulder style showcased her collarbone and a bit of chest area, well enough to catch a man’s eye.
Bing Shi: A black cardholder?
Lu Kai: The annoying pest.
Bing Shi: Oh. Do you have one too?
Lu Kai: I use it only for emergencies in case I want to buy a new baby. For everything else, I use non-impressive cards and cash.
Answered Lu Kai. He kept the ‘black card’ for situations where it’s required but he didn’t bother with it and no, he didn’t care about credit card rewards. There’s a point of wealth where you no longer want people to know you have money.
Lu Kai: Do you want my black card?
Bing Shi: No. How many do you have, and why do you call them babies?
Bing Shi asked in adoration. Why did she find him so cute? A man who put so much emphasis on privacy and anonymity would also indulge in such a flamboyant hobby.
Lu Kai: Only one.
Lu Kai sent her a picture of his black hypercar.
Lu Kai: They are very high maintenance… like babies.
Bing Shi’s heart fluttered. How could she resist this adorable cinnamon roll?
“Excuse me, miss, an important client arrived. We have to close the store,” informed the sales assistant, giving Bing Shi her old clothes wrapped neatly inside the bag.
“Hm?” Bing Shi looked at her sales assistant and nodded, accepting the bag. Holding her phone, she walked outside the changing room in her new four-inch high heels, realizing that it was more than a decade since she wore one.
Noticing the lone man in the room, Quin Yu seemed to be waiting for Aoi Hong to change into a new dress. Bing Shi gave him a coquettish smile that she learned from Lyras.
Don’t fall. Don’t fall. Don’t fall. Don’t fall.
All the women Quin Yu bedded before were the ones who had to make an effort to impress him. But when it came to Ugly duckling, he was the one who had to initiate things. When he said that he didn’t sign contracts with virgins, Aoi Hong decided to lose her virginity with the next man she met?! He didn’t know why but he was so enraged that he tied her up and went out for a drink with Lu Kai.
Quin Yu gave the alluring woman before him a quick glance. This mature and sēxy body would be exactly his type if it wasn’t for the duckling’s appearance.
Don’t fall. Don’t fall. Don’t fall. Don’t fall.
Before an accident could occur, where one would suddenly pump into a human wall, Bing Shi decided to intentionally fall before the couch where Quin Yu had been sitting.
“Ahh…ouch.” Holding her ankle, Bing Shi looked up, blinking her eyes, she tried to drop a few tears unsuccessfully while faking her pain, “I… It’s my first time wearing high heels.”
Quin Yu usually liked confident and assertive women, but somehow he didn’t find them interesting anymore, just like the one who dropped before his legs. She tried to get close to him, acting all coy and shy, like every other woman in his life. Her, clearly showing off her womanly assets showed her dirty intentions.
Inspired by the number one Lyra, Bing Shi gave him a wronged pout, rubbing her ankle seductively, she showed off her pink fake nails that were as fake as her poor acting skills, “Mister… I think my ankle is sprained. Would… would you mind taking a look at it?
“You have one minute to disappear from my sight.” His oppressive voice and bloodthirsty aura could kick everyone’s instincts into submission.
“Ah…yes.” Bing Shi retreated with a trembling voice. She hid her indifferent expression as his murderous aura felt like a feather falling upon a floor. She limped to the side on all fours as she leaned against the couch. Head tilted down, she switched on her phone to call a taxi. Not a minute passed by, and instead of a taxi driver, another handsome man appeared.
╔════ Author’s note ═════╗
No contemporary romance novel would be complete without a shopping scene, don’t you agree? They were one of my favorites. 🤣
Synopsis: The online game <