Chapter 89: Let’s Play a Game
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
All the love they shared in the previous life had vanished into nothingness. What she saw was how heartless he could be.
Xia Ling bit her lip, her hands and feet icy cold.
Pei Ziheng added on to her nervousness. “Why, are you afraid? If you’re going to tell us your throat hasn’t been well these few days and so you can’t sing, then save it, nobody’s going to believe such a lame excuse.”
He had left her with no escape, intentionally embarrassing her.
“How do you know Xiao Ling’s throat isn’t well?” Li Lei smiled all of a sudden. “Boss Pei, that’s really too much of a coincidence. A few days ago, Xia Ling had just been framed by some moron, and her vocal cord now is slightly damaged and isn’t in a good enough condition to talk, much less sing. If you want to hear her singing, we’ve got to set another day. Today we shall compete on something else.”
Pei Ziheng’s eyes were cold. “Damaged? I say she’s afraid.”
Their sarcastic exchange had excited the surrounding audience. One of the ladies told her spouse, “I don’t think Ye Xingling is really afraid, she sings better than Xia Yu.”
“Who knows?” her spouse replied. “Xia Yu is very popular now. Maybe everyone thinks that Xia Yu is a better singer, so Ye Xingling dares not compete with her.”
The commotion was getting louder, but Li Lei remained composed as ever. “Boss Pei won’t stoop so low as to force an unwell girl to sing, right? Even if you win, it would not be a glorious victory. How about this, if you’re really confident of Xia Yu’s ability, we’ll let them compete with their voice another day. Xia Ling’s vocal cord is really unwell today, we have to compete on something else.”
Pei Ziheng said, “One month from now, Xiao Yu will sing the theme song for a brand she endorses, the Ideal C Perfume launch. I know Miss Ye is endorsing a few small brands as well and plans to sing the theme songs for their launches. Let’s launch the brands at the same time and have them sing in an arena. If Miss Ye loses, she’ll kneel before Xia Ling’s grave to apologize!”
Though he had agreed to only keep within the boundaries of ice-cream today, there was no way he could keep his cool when it involved Xia Ling.
Li Lei squinted his eyes in a threatening expression. Pei Ziheng was being overbearing. One month? He was sure Xiao Ling could not recover within a month! But…
Li Lei’s lips curled into a wry smile. “Fine, one month it is.”
Imperial thought they were sure to win? Not necessarily!
Xia Ling looked at Li Lei, stunned. Her vocal cord was still damaged, how could he agree to the competition one month from now? Yet, from an unknown point in time, she had developed a kind of inexplicable trust towards him. If he said one month was fine, he definitely would not let her down.
With that thought, she was relieved.
“But,” Li Lei spoke slowly, maintaining his smile. “You want Xiao Ling to kneel before Xia Ling’s grave and apologize? But if Xiao Ling wins, Skyart doesn’t have a grave for Xia Yu to kneel before.”
“If Ye Xingling wins,” said Xia Yu. “I will kneel before her and apologize on the spot!”
“Wow, Miss Xia is pretty good at this.” Li Lei scoffed.
The deceased is king. If Xiao Ling was to kneel before Xia Ling’s grave, Imperial Entertainment would not be criticized given that Xia Ling was a deceased anyway. But if Xiao Ling won the battle and Xia Yu was the one kneeling, it would be a completely different matter. Xia Yu’s weak composition and her being decked with illnesses were her “selling points” for gaining sympathy. If she kneeled before Xiao Ling, it would appear as if Xiao Ling was unreasonable and coercive and hence taint her reputation.
Li Lei had thought out the details clearly and would not agree to the conditions. “Our Xiao Ling doesn’t have the hobby of forcing others to kneel. If you lose, you’ll personally write a ten-thousand-word reflection and publish it on various print media as an apology to Xiao Ling.”
“Sure.” Xia Yu agreed.
What a joke, how could she possibly lose? She heard Chu Chen say clearly, Pei Ziheng has already damaged Ye Xingling’s vocal cords almost irreversibly. There’s no way she would recover in a month. Ye Xingling, we’ll see how you embarrass yourself!
Li Lei nodded in satisfaction after she had agreed. “Now can we talk about the ice-cream? Really, it takes so much just to eat an ice-cream.” He turned towards the emcee and smiled. “Could you think of a game for us? Mr. Pei and Miss Xia decided on the competition and the singing complement, I can’t have them call all the shots. I’m afraid I won’t be able to bear with all the tricks they could pull.”
Laughter reverberated in the restaurant but stopped soon with Pei Ziheng’s somber look.
The emcee thought: He’s right. If I don’t moderate the situation, who knows how far these two are going to go. She hurriedly said, “In that case, we’ll have the restaurant decide on how the game shall go then—”
Some employees brought a box of cards, with each card describing a mini-game suitable for two to four players.
The female emcee picked a card randomly and revealed it while announcing. “Now, let’s have the two men hold a kiss with their female partners. The pair who holds the kiss for the longer period of time will win the round!”
She felt relief the moment the instruction was announced, that was simple enough and should not bring about any conflict.
What she did not notice was Pei Ziheng’s face getting even more somber.
Although the men naturally had nothing to lose in this case, Pei Ziheng did not readily accept it. If it was any other lady there would not have been any hesitation, but this girl was Xia Ling’s sister, the sister she loved and cared for above all else. He would not let anyone hurt her.
She was already gone, but he would respect and abide by all her wishes.
Xia Yu gazed at Pei Ziheng expectantly.
She was so grateful for the emcee for having picked such a thrilling game. Sharing a kiss with Brother Ziheng was something she had not done before, would today be the day she fulfilled her wish?
To her surprise, Pei Ziheng coldly posed a question. “Can we have another game instead?”
Xia Yu was stunned.
Did Brother Ziheng want to change the game rather than kiss her? Was she so detestable? Tears filled Xia Yu’s eyes as she felt her heart being ripped into a million pieces.
The emcee was baffled as well. “C-Change the game?”
“Pei Ziheng, you really are full of demands.” Li Lei was more than happy at this point, one look and he could tell that Pei Ziheng was unwilling to kiss Xia Yu, unlike Li Lei who was more than willing towards Xiao Ling — Well, whether Xiao Ling was willing or not was a separate matter. In any case, he had a much better chance of winning in this game.
“Just think about how many demands you’ve made so far, don’t act all wishy-washy like a woman.” Li Lei went hard on him. “You think it’s up to you to decide whether to change the game? Then what’s the point of competing? You might as well ask for the ice-cream directly instead.”
Li Lei’s harsh words got the emcee thinking. That’s right, if the game was to be changed so easily, wouldn’t there be no end to this? No, it cannot be this way. “I’m sorry, Mr. Pei, once the game is picked it cannot be changed.” She tried her best to avoid looking at Pei Ziheng’s stern expression as she cautiously made her call.
Li Lei grinned unreservedly, gently holding his girl by his side.
As Xia Ling was being pulled into his chest in front of everyone else, shock struck her first before her face turned a bright red. She wanted to push him away instinctively, but he gently held her hands.