It didn’t take long before Chen Meile arrived at the restaurant.
She was dressed in business attire with a matching pair of bright red stilettos, and she gave off a dominant yet alluring aura as she slowly strode over like a graceful fluttering butterfly to Lan Jinyao’s table.
“Meimei, you actually won an award with your acting skills? Could it be that those judges are blind?” As soon as Chen Meile sat down, she started to taunt Lan Jinyao. However, the latter had long become used to her sharp tongue.
Lan Jinyao knew that Chen Meile was only willing to tease those whom she had a close relationship with. In fact, she already felt very fortunate that Chen Meile didn’t hold a grudge against her for occupying her sister, Chen Meimei’s body.
However, it seemed that Qingqing hadn’t quite grasped Chen Meile’s character, so the moment she’d heard those words, she instantly smirked.
“Exactly! I wonder if those judges were bribed or not. In fact, this award was supposedly awarded to another actress, but for some reason, the judges suddenly changed their minds in the middle of the event and, finally, they announced Chen Meimei as the winner instead!”
Hearing this, Lan Jinyao merely chanced a glance at Qingqing without saying a word.
Instead, Chen Meile was the one who cast a sidelong glance at Qingqing and asked, “Something like that actually happened?”
Qingqing hurriedly nodded and added, “Yep, this couldn't be truer! Doyenne, you might not know this, but the entertainment industry is a filthy place! Even before this, I…wait no, I meant even right now, I don’t want to get involved with anything related to this industry.”
Lan Jinyao inwardly snorted at this. How high-sounding! Did she hit her head somewhere? Back then, who was the one who’d racked her brains to enter the entertainment industry and blamed others for blocking her path? In fact, she’d done a lot of dirty work herself! Yet, now she was unexpectedly looking down on others from the same industry? Even Chen Meimei herself might not necessarily belittle the industry in this manner…
Lan Jinyao had initially thought that based on Chen Meile’s temperament, the latter would undoubtedly take this opportunity to berate Qingqing. However, Chen Meile’s next words surprised everyone, who in turn glanced in her direction.
Chen Meile, who was gently swirling the wine glass in her hand, suddenly froze. She then abruptly shifted her gaze to Qingqing and asked, “What did you just call me?”
Hearing this question, everyone thought that Qingqing had touched Chen Meile’s sore point. However, shortly after, Lan Jinyao and Fu Bainian noticed that something seemed a bit off. The two looked at each other understandingly before shifting their gaze back to Chen Meile.
Qingqing, on the other hand, beamed a smile at Chen Meile. She extended her hand and hooked it around Chen Meile’s neck as she affectionately asked, “Dear Doyenne, you really don’t recognise me?”
At this instant, Lan Jinyao distinctly sensed something fishy about those words, but she couldn’t stop Qingqing from talking because she didn’t know much about Chen Meimei to begin with. In fact, she had no idea what kind of little secrets Chen Meimei had shared with Chen Meile and vice versa. Could it be that they’d called each other by nicknames?
She suspected that ‘Doyenne’ must be a nickname that only the two sisters knew about, which was why Chen Meile was so surprised at the mention of that.
Chen Meile’s eyes widened and her gaze fixed on Qingqing. Her voice started trembling a bit as she asked, “You…what’s your name?”
Qingqing unabashedly smiled. “My name is Qingqing; ‘Qing’ meaning evergreen.”
“Qingqing…” Chen Meile quietly murmured this name under her breath while unshed tears stung her eyes.
“How about your parents, are they still around?”
It was then that Chen Meile noticed that her question was slightly rude, so she pulled up her smile and added, “I’m sorry for being so rude; I just find you very similar to a friend of mine, so I took the liberty of asking about your parents. But, you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to. We can just talk about something else.”
“My mum has left this world long ago…my old man, on the other hand, is still quite healthy. He’s a collector, so our home is furnished with treasures from all over the world. Others would secretly call him a local wealthy landlord, but he didn’t mind that one bit…” Qingqing paused for a second before continuing, “I also have a sister, but, unfortunately, she doesn’t recognise me anymore.”
As Qingqing spoke, her gaze remained fixed on the wine glass in front of her, and her voice was laden with grief.
However, Lan Jinyao’s gaze was fixed on her this entire time. She knew that Qingqing didn’t dare look Chen Meile in the eyes due to her poor acting skills. If they were to stare into each other’s eyes, Qingqing would certainly reveal her true colours. Since Chen Meile was a very sharp and intelligent woman, she’d certainly notice at a glance whether she was lying to her or not.
“Your sister…why can’t she recognise you?” Chen Meile’s voice lightly trembled as she asked.
In the private room, it seemed like Qingqing and Chen Meile were the only ones present with everyone’s gazes fixed on them.
Qingqing remained silent for a while before slowly responding, “That’s because my face…my face doesn’t look like how it used to be.”
What she said was implicit, but Chen Meile appeared to be struck by lightning, freezing on the spot.
“What did you say?” It took her a while to come to her senses.
Upon noticing the bad turn of events, Lan Jinyao dry coughed twice and said, “Come on, let’s have a drink together; let’s not talk about that and talk about something happy instead! Sis, an astute person like you shouldn’t go out of control like this!”
Her words conveyed clear hints and, under the table, she lightly gave Chen Meile a kick to calm her down.
Only then did Chen Meile withdraw her gaze and turn to stare at Lan Jinyao.
“What’s going on? How did you guys get to know Qingqing?”
Before Lan Jinyao could reply, Qingqing hurriedly went ahead and answered, “We met at the Award Ceremony. At that time, I was sitting next to President Fu. Am I right, President Fu? The two of us hit it off right away.”
Even though Qingqing was evidently depressed a few minutes ago, her mood had instantly brightened at the mention of Fu Bainian. Her reaction this time indeed resembled the way Chen Meimei would have reacted if she were here.
“Really? President Fu already belongs to someone. Could it be that President Fu is your cup of tea?”
Qingqing shook her head. “No, it’s not that. I’ve only ever liked one person, and that person is very similar to President Fu.”
On the other side, sweat started trickling down Xiaolin’s face as she quietly listened to their conversation. Li Qi quickly stepped in and interrupted them by saying with a smile on his face, “The food is getting cold, so let’s quickly dig in! We’re here today to celebrate Meimei winning an award, so don’t simply hold onto the wine glass in your hands. Let’s make a toast to Meimei!”
At this moment, Fu Bainian also followed along and said, “In this lifetime, I’ve only ever loved one person, and that’s our Meimei here. Presumably, the man who Qingqing likes will also devote his heart to solely one person in his life. If so, then it will be your good fortune if you manage to pursue him.”
Hearing this, Qingqing smiled insincerely and replied. “Yes, to gain it is my good luck, to lose it is my fate.”
The atmosphere in the room had once again dulled because of this one sentence.
Lan Jinyao then suddenly felt someone kicking her foot under the table. She quickly looked over and saw Lan Xin looking at her suspiciously.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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