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“Are you sure about this?” Shao Xian became little hesitant once she arrived at the main hall after meandering through a segment of extravagantly decorated hallways. The hall consisted of three segments of walls ornamented in their own unique styles. The left wall was painted pure black, whereas the right one was decorated with classical woodwork.
Shao Xian was still curious as ever about the infamous Xie’s Clothing, which produced clothing that wealth alone could not acquire, and yet it was such a surreal experience that it instilled some doubt in her as to whether Sai Gao really possessed such wealth and connections.
“Sir, madam, do you need help with anything?” A man wearing a white shirt greeted them. His appearance was well maintained, consisting of a goatee, a pair of frameless glasses, and a roll of tape-ruler over his neck.
“Please pick an outfit for her. She’s going to perform at the musical festival, Divine Voice Materialized, I’m sure you’ve heard of it. I don’t think we have time to make one from scratch though.” Sai Gao said while examining a one-piece put in display in a glass case.
“As you wish, sir.” The tailor nodded with a smile and walked away.
“Sai Gao, I don’t think I can live without you anymore.” Shao Xian jumped into Sai Gao’s arm like a spoiled little sister. She now thought of Sai Gao as her best friend and had long forgotten that he was, in fact, a man. Over the last few days, she had absorbed a tremendous amount of savoir-faire from the latter, from make-up to life habits.
“Now, now. We need to hurry up and get the clothing done before we head to manicure. Look at the skin on your hand, it’s so dry! Also, how long has it been since you’ve changed your hairstyle?” Sai Gao gently pushed Shao Xian away and leaned against a wall lazily.
“Fine, fine. But don’t you think it’s expensive here?” Shao Xian nodded and whispered to Sai Gao in a discreet voice.
“It’s not as if you’re short on money, are you? You’ll be able to leverage this outfit and make much more than what it costs you.” Sai Gao rolled his eyes — it was not unusual for an artist to have a surge in popularity simply due to the fact that their outfit was made in the prestigious shop.
“Sorry for making you wait. What do you think about this?” The tailor came back shortly. Now wearing a pair of white gloves, he held a cloth hanger on which there was a black and white one-piece resembling a Taoist robe.
“This…” Shao Xian’s eyes lit up, as she knew that this was the perfect robe for her show. The article had been adjusted to satisfy modern needs, the waist area made tighter to accentuate the body curves of the wearer. More prominently was the color design, which projected an illusion as to which color was the background. It was both black on a background of snow-white, and white on a background of darkness.
“Hand-woven linen, organic dye. The buttons are made of carved rosewood. Do you like it? The shoulder section might need some adjustments…” The tailor said as he rotated the hanger to allow Shao Xian and Sai Gao to have a better look.
“Perfect!” Shao Xian was about to reach out for the robe when she was interrupted by a voice which came from behind.
“I’m buying that.” A cold, authoritative voice froze Shao Xian in place.
“Oh?” Sai Gao turned around and saw a woman seemed aloof and proud, but also extremely sensual and attractive.
“Madam…” The tailor did not know how to handle the situation since it never occurred to him to have to deal with more than one customer at once.
“I’ll pay double.” Ying Mei glanced at Sai Gao, and then began staring at Shao Xian to exert pressure on her.
“I…” Shao Xian panicked and looked at Sai Gao, desperate for help.
“I didn’t know you could buy everything with money here.” Another voice came from the entrance.
‘Fang Shui’er?’ Shao Xian was ecstatic at meeting her idol in real life. Even if she was not able to buy the robe in the end, she considered the trip to be already worth it. However, her mind blanked the next moment when she saw the man around which Fang Shui’er had wrapped her arm. ‘...Li Yiming?’
“You’re smoking cigars now? What took you so long?” Sai Gao sat down on the couch and expressed his dissatisfaction without even paying attention to Fang Shui’er.
“You’re one to speak. They didn’t even allow me in here.” Li Yiming answered, but his thoughts began racing as soon as he saw Ying Mei. ‘Is she here for me… or for Shao Xian?’
“You mean, you’re not a member here?” Sai Gao was surprised at first, but then he saw Li Yiming’s athletic outfit and rolled his eyes.
“Ms. Fang.” The tailor nodded respectfully as if he knew her personally.
“Sorry madam, this robe was picked by this guest over here first. Surely, as one of our respected customers, you understand the rules...” Fang Shui’er’s intervention seemed to have given the tailor the courage to speak out.
“Rules are made to be bent, aren’t they? We’ll see who gets the robe.” Ying Mei frowned and found a place to sit down.
“Madam…” Dissatisfaction flashed past the tailor’s countenance as he smiled bitterly.
“Good pick. This will fit your performance.” Fang Shui’er complimented while approaching Shao Xian. ‘So she really is a normal person… Who’s behind all of this? Li Yiming?’
“You like it?” Li Yiming smiled and expressed his support for Shao Xian.
Shao Xian nodded.
“Then you should go try it.”
“But…” Shao Xian was still a little intimidated by Ying Mei’s presence.
“Please follow me. The dressing room is over here.” The tailor gestured. Ying Mei sat in a corner silently and watched the scene, confident she was going to have the last laugh.
“Do you need help?” Sai Gao whispered to Shao Xian, but she shook her head and walked toward the changing room.
Li Yiming finally had time to look around after Shao Xian left the main hall.
“What is this?” Li Yiming’s attention was attracted by one of the four display cases in the center of the room. Aside from an empty one, the other three contained a dress, a suit, and a traditional dress. Li Yiming remembered seeing the last item worn by Stargaze back in Lianyun City. The left sleeve, which he had cut during his combat with her, was covered by an embroidered graft. ‘As I thought… This is a shop for guardians…’
“Fang Shui’er, do you know what you’re doing?” Ying Mei said coldly.
“You can worry about yourself.” Fang Shui’er smiled and sat down in front of Sai Gao, nodding toward him as a friendly greeting.
‘Who is this guy?’ Fang Shui’er could tell that Sai Gao possessed a quite imposing level of strength. However, she did not recall seeing him anywhere before, despite his particular air that made him rather hard to forget even if one wished.
“You’re sowing the seeds of your own demise.” Ying Mei could not understand Fang Shui’er, especially after hearing the rumors of her losing her sister to Li Yiming.
“Mrs. Guo, I presume?” Li Yiming finally turned her attention toward Ying Mei.
“You can call me Ying Mei.”
“A rather appropriate name.” Li Yiming smiled as he remembered Ying Mei’s shadow teleportation technique. He approached her slowly. “I just want to inform you that you’ve lost your bet. My friend will wear that outfit for her performance in three days.”
“Oh, quite the confident kind, aren’t you?” Ying Mei looked up with a sunken expression.
“You will let her have it.”
“And why should I?” Ying Mei did not give an inch.
“Because,” Li Yiming bent forward and pressed Ying Mei’s wrists against the couch, “You’re not so eager to die, are you?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter