While Xuan Hui and Qin Fei were talking, Lily Qin was already on her way to one of the top jewelry stores in Scarlet City.
Scarlet City was the number one shopping mall in Hong Kong. The high-class mall was able to attract some of the world's most stylish and popular boutiques and housed Hong Kong's most iconic and exclusive shops. However, three years ago, Scarlet City, owned by the elusive Mu Family of Mainland China, almost went bankrupt due to some internal conflict. Rumor has it that they were saved by one of the richest man in Hong Kong: Zhou Jingren, the owner of Zhou Capital.
Who was Zhou Jingren? He was a legend in the business world in Hong Kong but no one knew much about him. This was because he was even more elusive than the Mu Family. There were no images of him online, nor any articles written about him and his lifestyle. Moreover, Mr. Zhou had never accepted any interviews, be it from magazines or news media outlets. Everyone concluded that he had used his influence to keep his identity a secret.
This man swept the Hong Kong market six years ago and single-handedly raised the economy of the country, a first in the history of Hong Kong.
Lily remembered that her late grandmother, Facci, had once told her to look out for this man if she ever wanted to branch out in the East. However, at that time, Lily had been busy trying to establish a foothold in Europe, so she felt that it wasn't the right time to think about branching out in the East, especially not in the country of her birth.
Hence, she hadn't given that man any further thought until today.
"Yang Mi, find someone reliable to investigate the owner of Zhou Capital," she calmly said while heading towards the third floor of the mall. If she wanted to establish her company in the East, then she would need the support of someone powerful, like the owner of Zhou Capital. "Also, how is the Qin Enterprises? Did you get ahold of their current standing in the stock market?"
"President, the Qin Enterprises seemed to have been suffering for years now. Their stock prices had not shown any improvements for the last five years. Their business is slowly dwindling down. The biggest share in the company is still held by the current Patriarch of the Qin family. According to my research, Qin Enterprises will continue to perform poorly for a long time," Yang Mi explained. "They must have offended someone really influential. Otherwise they would not suffer like this."
"Who holds the second biggest share in Qin Enterprises?" she asked.
"It's the Zhou Capital. Qin family's Patriarch owns 32 percent of the shares in Qin Enterprises while Zhou Capital owns 25 percent. Our sources said that sooner or later, Zhou Capital will seize ownership of this company."
Lily furrowed her brows in response. She really needed to be acquainted with the owner of Zhou Capital. "I want you to check if there are any upcoming galas or charities that have invited the President of the Zhou Capital as a guest. Then, secure an invitation for me," she instructed before stepping inside GC Jewels; a famous jewelry brand in Europe that had a store in Scarlet City.
"Lily darling!" Lily turned her head towards the source of the voice.
"Fernando!" She smiled at the man who was in his early thirties. Fernando, who was wearing a dark grain one button men's suit had a brilliant smile on his face.
"Welcome!" Fernando kissed Lily's cheek and took off her camel colored trench coat, revealing her sophisticated red flare dress. The man raised an eyebrow while looking at Lily's outfit before he gestured for his assistant to take care of Lily's coat.
"Beautiful as ever!" Fernando's lips hooked into an enchanting smile before he looped his arms around Lily's. "Let me take you to the VIP area. I have some new items that will surely look good on a dashing woman like you."
Yang Mi shook her head as she followed the duo into the VIP room of the store. Fernando was known to be one of Lily's good friends from Europe. He had been working as a manager in GC Jewels for years now. But most people did not know that the man was also the lead designer in GC Jewels and was responsible for designing some of the most iconic and expensive pieces of jewelry for the company. As a lead designer, instead of working at the headquarters, he had chosen to work in the shop because he wanted to see the reaction of the people who purchased the jewelry he designed.
Seeing Fernando's dedication to the company, the owner of GC Jewels was touched and made a surprising decision by appointing Fernando his sole successor and heir. As the owner was a single man and did not have any children to pass on the business to and follow in his footsteps, making Fernando as his heir was a logical decision for him. He was convinced that business would continue to thrive in Fernando's hands.
Of course, Yang Mi only came to know about this because Fernando was considered one of the President's best friends.
"Hmmm… this pea sized gem is one of the rarest pearls in the world." Fernando gave Lily a display box made of glass. Inside the box was a pair of tangerine colored earrings. "Since there was no way to cultivate this kind of pearl, this piece of gem right here is completely natural! Try it!"
Fernando enthusiastically opened the box and gave the earrings to Lily. Then he ushered her to a mirror that was placed in the middle of the table that they were sitting at. "See? I know this will look good on you!"
"Because of its rarity, only three pairs of these earrings with this precious pearl were made. I especially designed this one for you. This was supposed to be for your birthday but…"
"Fernando… my next birthday is next year." Lily rolled her eyes at her melodramatic friend. Of course, Lily knew that the latter was just talking nonsense. "I like this. How much is it?"
"Hmmm… having you wear one of our items would already be enough to pay for it. But… since I know that you will insist on paying for it, I will sell this to you at half of its original market price."
Lily raised an eyebrow. Fernando was the biggest profiteer among all of her close friends. There was no way that he would let go of such a beautiful pearl for a cheap price. However, she also knew that this man would be willing to catch a bullet for her.
"Two million," Fernando said, "Hong Kong dollars."
"Alright." Lily smiled. However, before she could tell him to wrap it up for her, they were interrupted by a knock on the door.
"Manager, the madam of Qin Enterprises is here to take a look at our jewelry." A woman's voice was heard. "She said she wanted to see our exclusive collections." Lily instantly grinned.
As expected, enemies always meet on a narrow road.