The man from the couple that had just walked across the entrance was none other than Guo Xiang. He had a black v-neck T-shirt, and his hair molded into large locks with wax. The bloodstone jade pendant that hung from his neck was prominently put on display, and the gold watch around his wrist shone in all of its luxurious splendor. His arrival had surprised most of Li Yiming’s friends. ‘This guy, he’s not a camouflager, is he?’
Guo Xiang had another pretty-looking girl in his arms. He was also surprised at first when he saw Li Yiming’s gang. After escaping the attack at the restaurant, he had a moment of guilt from pushing Ji Xiaoqin toward danger, but later convinced himself that it was simply a natural reaction, and therefore he should not be blamed for it. He thought about seeking Ji Xiaoqin’s forgiveness, but his calls were all left unanswered. In an attempt to “revitalize” his low mood, Guo Xiang went to a club the night before and had a crazy one-night-stand with a girl he just met. She worked as a sales representative at a car dealership, and although both her looks and figure were barely above average, her perfected technique had a unique charm. This morning, he had bragged to her that he would go buy a car in the dealership where she worked to help improve her sales figure, which was a rather convenient favor to offer since he needed a car for his short stay in Shangbei. However, he did not expect to meet Li Yiming at the dealership. The latter was the last person he wanted to meet, since the stark contrast between his fleeing and Li Yiming’s fighting to defend Ji Xiaoqin irritated him quite a lot. 1
Fang Shui’er hid her features behind large sunglasses with dark-tinted lenses and a cap. She stood quietly on the side without saying anything, since it would be a nuisance for her to be recognized. Qing Qiaoqiao tried her best to mend her mistake of offending Zeng Qian by supporting her as the latter closed her eyes and focused on controlling the bugs she had sent out. Qing Linglong looked at Guo Xiang, a little surprised, but quickly turned her head around and ignored him.
Lu Yiyi looked at the woman in Guo Xiang’s arms with disdain and disgust. She was called Bai Kaini. Although she powdered her face with makeup and wore revealing clothing, she was nothing out of the ordinary. However, Lu Yiyi knew that the biggest asset she had was her boundless promiscuity. She disliked people like her, who had no bottom lines in terms of what they were willing to do in order to increase their sales number . Now, with her evidently having found someone who was both dumb and rich enough, Lu Yiyi felt the urge to frustrate her efforts, so she immediately forgot about the minivan parked at the entrance and asked Li Yiming in the softest voice and with the sweetest smile she could produce. “Sir, are you sure that you want this car?”
“What? He’s buying that car? You can’t, I already sold it!” Bai Kaini’s countenance shifted when she heard what Lu Yiyi said. She dragged Guo Xiang forward just quickly enough so he could intervene and said, “Master Guo, this is the car I’m talking about.” She had been working hard the entire night to try to sell the car, and there was no way she was going to let that shorty snatch the fruit of her victory.
“This car is sold?” Li Yiming looked at Guo Xiang impassively and then at Lu Yiyi.
“That’s impossible.” Lu Yiyi glared at Jin Kaini angrily. ‘How can she be so shameless? This car doesn’t even belong to our shop, so selling it is something incredibly complicated, and I just heard management talking about returning the car to where it was next week! It’s impossible that it was sold without them knowing!’
“Well then, we arrived first, did we not? Can we hurry up and get the procedures done?” Li Yiming said calmly. He was now truly endowed with the air of someone like Li Huaibei, who had been through mountains of corpses and tempests of blood and transcended above these obstacles.
“Alright, I’ll call the manager right away.” This was Lu Yiyi’s challenge to Bai Kaini. ‘Who said that you needed to find your biggest customers on a bed? Look at the one I found, he’s not even asking for the price tag!’
“Wait, master Guo~” Bai Kaini tightened her grip around Guo Xiang like an octopus around its prey. She rubbed his arm against her chest and said in a feigned voice that could give goosebumps.
Guo Xiang looked at Li Yiming, whom he could barely recognize, and at the beautiful women standing right next to him. His frustration and shame quickly turned into anger. ‘You! You ridiculed me, and you’re here to cause me trouble again? I might not be able to take a knife to the back, but I don’t think you can beat my wallet!’
“Well then, if the procedures aren’t done yet, then it surely means that the car hasn’t been sold yet. It’s only fair competition then, right?” Guo Xiang looked at Qing Linglong and smiled coldly. ‘I remember this woman! Beautiful, but a little old. She’s the one who paid for Li Yiming at the restaurant, I didn’t know he was that skillful at obtaining her favor, this car isn’t that cheap.’
“Yes, fair competition.” Bai Kaini smiled with satisfaction. She stared at Guo Xiang, making it very clear what her reward for his efforts were going to be.
The whole scene was under the close scrutiny of the manager of the dealership, who, in reality, had a hard time restraining the involuntary peeks in Li Yiming’s direction, especially when rare beauties like Qing Linglong were present. However, since Lu Yiyi had already gone to meet them, it would be inappropriate for him to step in; not everyone in the industry was as shameless as Bai Kaini. However, seeing that a fight was about to erupt over that car, on which he had no authority, he quickly called for the owner of the dealership, who luckily happened to be in the shop for the day. It did not take long before the latter arrived to the scene in a slow jog.
“Ahh, thank you for gracing my shop with your presence. My name is Fang Yuanpeng, and I should apologize for not coming to greet you sooner.” The owner of the dealership was a chubby man of short stature. He had a loud voice and a warm smile: the stereotypical look of a clever merchant. Of course, to be able to grant such a reputation to a second-level reseller was no trivial task.
“He’s the owner of the dealership.” Bai Kaini explained to Guo Xiang when she saw Fang Yuanpeng arrive. She also profited from the occasion to throw a few glances at Fang Yuanpeng, which possibly suggested at something out of the ordinary between the two.
“So you’re the owner here?” Guo Xiang lifted his chin in his usual condescending manner. “I want this car, just say the price.”
“Boss, I believe that mister over here arrived first.” When Lu Yiyi noticed Fang Yuanpeng’s arriving, her tone dwindled a little; everyone in the dealership knew about the “special” relationship between the latter and Bai Kaini.
“Well, this is a problem…” Fang Yuanpeng played for time to observe Guo Xiang and Li Yiming. ‘One of them flaunts at every given opportunity whereas the other one seemed more reserved. Same age, but drastically different manners and airs. Well, if one thing’s certain, it’s that they’re not from ordinary upbringings. The one who likes to show off, that has to be some kind of habit developed since a young age, some very rich second-generation I suppose. The other one though, he looked composed, but there’s something dangerous about him, could he be from the military?’
“What problem? It’s just about making money right? Just tell me what the price for the car is.” Guo Xiang pinched Bai Kaini’s buttocks without any consideration for appropriateness and firmed his resolution of making Li Yiming embarrassed.
“One million six hundred thousand yuan.” Fang Yuanpeng, who had still yet to decide about which side to favor, offered a number that would allow him to better assess the situation.
“One million seven hundred thousand for me.” Guo Xiang spelled out a number proudly. Bai Kaini looked at him as if he was her idol.
“Two million.” Li Yiming spat out in a glacial voice. He had just been thinking about what happened to Ji Xiaoqin after the incident, but, more than anything, he was worried about Liu Meng.
“You…” Guo Xiang had barely begun to enjoy showing off his wealth when Li Yiming made him choke on his own complacency. “Two million one hundred thousand.” Guo Xiang said while gritting his teeth. ‘You, you’re fighting me with the money you sold yourself for?’
“Three million,” Li Yiming said, still in a calm voice. Qing Linglong had retreated to the side with the others and looked at the confrontation as if they had nothing to do with it. All of them knew that Li Yiming had a complicated relationship with Guo Xiang, and they chose to give Li Yiming the opportunity to play around a bit with that NPC.
The sudden jump in price scared Fang Yuanpeng himself. ‘Wow, this is almost double the initial price!’
“Li Yiming? You dare?” Guo Xiang’s face reddened. Li Yiming glanced at him coldly, as if he was nothing more than a rock.
‘They know each other?’ Fang Yuanpeng caught the message. ‘Great, that means that the price ceiling for this car is endless!’
“Alright, Li Yiming, let’s see how high you can go. Three million one hundred thousand.” Guo Xiang seemed angrier than ever, but it was not enough to make him lose his reason completely. To buy something at more than a million over the original price seemed completely stupid, but Guo Xiang was in fact seeking a sense of satisfaction, which, to him, was well worth the price. Based on the way Li Yiming called his price before, his next offer should be four million. He was curious as to whether that rich woman would give Li Yiming four million just so he could have it his way. If she was unwilling, then it would be his turn to put up a show.
“Mr. Li.” Zeng Qian, who until then stood spiritlessly, suddenly called out. The countenance of Li Yiming’s team changed: it was not a warning about Li Yiming’s careless squandering of money, but rather about something important being found by the bugs she had sent out.
Li Yiming expression suddenly changed and he darted for the exit of the dealership. ‘He’s running away?’ Guo Xiang was baffled, but the panic he saw in Li Yiming eyes was enough to bring an immense feeling of satisfaction to his entire being. ‘One sentence from that woman is enough to make him run? But wait, who exactly is paying him? Is he being paid by all of them? In that case I’d have to say that he’s quite lucky.’
“Well, why pretend if you don’t have the money? Mr. Fang, would you mind starting the procedure for us?” Guo Xiang swept his eyes around the women on Li Yiming’s team with lewdness and contentment. He also squeezed Bai Kaini’s butt vigorously enough to sent a shiver down her limbs.
Fang Yuanpeng himself was also astonished when he saw Li Yiming run toward the exit. However, when he saw that the countenance of Qing Linglong remained largely unchanged, he knew that the matter was not as simple as it seemed, and so he stayed quiet and pretended not hearing Guo Xiang’s exhortation.
Li Yiming dove into the backseat of the small van parked at the entrance and pulled out two large suitcases from it. The objects were actually stored in his bracelet, but he required the camouflage of the vehicle since he did not want to perform “magic” within the dealership.
Fang Yuanpeng squinted his eyes in satisfaction at his own judgment when he saw Li Yiming return with the two suitcases. Even Lu Yiyi, who became dejected after seeing Li Yiming flee, started to regain hope.
“There should be more than four million in here. Just ask someone to count it.” Li Yiming opened one of the suitcases and spilled its content onto the floor: it was full of bank notes.
‘I was right.’ Fang Yuanpeng’s eyes lit up when he saw the small mountain of cash. Four million was but an abstract number, something worth a lot. However, when four million yuan worth of bank notes was actually put in front of him, it was quite a shock even to someone like Fang Yuanpeng, needless to say for Lu Yiyi and Bai Kaini.
‘Cash? Is this fake?’ Guo Xiang was no less shocked than the others, and his first reaction was that the bills had to be forged. ‘Who wanders the streets with four million yuan worth of bank notes cash?’
1.Note: the original statement here is “lose all face”. The concept of “face” in China is something worthy of a lengthy discussion, but for now, you can interpret the emotion as a mixture of shame/anger.
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