Mu Qingling stared at the photo that Lily gave her. She bit her lips as her hands started to shake. "This is…"
"Mu Huang's brother and his wife, and that infant is their daughter," Lily answered. "Do you think the man looks familiar?"
"I… I look like him?" Mu Qingling said as she shifted her gaze towards Lily, her eyes full of wariness. "Is he… Am I… adopted?"
"Let me tell you a story, Miss Mu," Lily shifted as she sat on the edge of the small hotel bed as she smiled at Mu Qingling. "Let me start with the classics. Once upon a time, there was a dysfunctional family in Mainland China. As with most influential families, theirs was also full of poisonous mistresses and bastard children. One day, the patriarch of the family met a beautiful young woman who instantly caught his attention. It was love at first sight and well… that woman quickly fell pregnant."
"The patriarch loved this woman so much that he bought a mansion abroad just to keep this woman safe from his…legal wife. He also stopped seeing his other mistresses and gave all of his attention to this pregnant woman. Nine months later, the woman gave birth to a beautiful boy."
"The patriarch was ecstatic! The boy looked a lot like him! He instantly changed his will and gave this boy his company and many of his finest properties. He even named the child after him. See?The man in the photo was that much loved little boy. After the patriarch's death, that boy went to Mainland China to claim his tremendous inheritance. But… this is not a fairytale. The man died. According to the news, he died along with his wife and his infant daughter."."
"However… the baby in that picture survived. You see where I am going with this?" Lily raised an eyebrow. At this point, Mu Qingling was already a mess. Her tears were flowing down her cheeks like an unstoppable stream. She stared at the photo then looked at Lily, her gaze full of undisguised pain and sadness. "That child is you, Miss Mu, and your father was the sole owner with a staggering 35% ownership of Mu Group shares.This is based on the will written by your grandfather before he died."
"They… adopted me?" Mu Qingling stuttered. "How… why should I believe you? Are you trying to manipulate me as well?"
"I see you have gotten a little smarter," Lily gave a joyless laugh. "DNA test, of course. I took the liberty of stealing Mu Lihua's hair and compared it to yours. Take a look in the envelope. Inside you'll see DNA results that prove you are cousins, not siblings." In response, Mu Qingling examined the results before studying the photo once again.
The man in the photo looked a lot like Mu Huang. No one would be able to deny that they are brothers. However… the woman who was holding the child… the woman's eyes was obviously a copy of what Mu Qingling have. Her tears continue to fall as she remembered how her childhood was nothing like the fairytale that everyone thought it would be. Was such treatment because she was only their adopted daughter?
She thought about how Mu Lihua never fail to show off how smart she was in front of her. Mu Qingling could never forget how… she had always felt like an outsider. The dumb one, the ugly duckling. Her mother, He Xinlan, favored Mu Lihua and would always give her the cold shoulder.
As a child, all she remembered was Mu Lihua giving her things, second-hand toys and even clothes. She remembered how her sister was the only one who supported and protected her. Mu Lihua supported her love of dance over practical knowledge.
Mu Qingling used to think that it was she who was the evil one for being jealous of her sister. She was a jealous person who wanted what her sister have. Mu Lihua did nothing but support her, yet all she seemed to do was compete with her. However,this all changed when she realized that all she ever learned was the exact opposite of what Mu Lihua was being taught. She learned arts instead of science. She learned how to dance instead of how to manage their company.
When she asked her father to at least hire her as an assistant, he would never agree and would always use the reason that she lacked the knowledge to become one. Of course, she lacked the knowledge! She never even had an interest in learning this as she was so focused on her dancing!
"Mu Lihua… she…" Mu Qingling was unable to continue speaking as she recalled how Mu Lihua helped her kept this hobby a secret from her parents. She was also the one who gave her cash so she could take dancing classes. She even helped her register for competitions abroad!
She used to think that Mu Lihua was being generous in helping her, but now… she felt that this was all a scheme! A deep scheme to keep her useless and uninformed when it comes to company matters. How could a small child even think of something like this? How could she even think that her sister- the person that she considered her only ally before would be capable of doing such a thing at such an early age?
"Calm yourself." Mu Qingling heard Lily's voice. She instantly shifted her gaze towards Lily.
"You want to use me against the Mu Family," Mu Qingling realized.
Lily's slow clap reached Mu Qingling's ears and before she could even say anything, Lily acknowledge her words. "You are correct," Lily nodded.
"I would love to use you to destroy your sister. However, I am not here because of that," Lily said as she handed a small recorder to Mu Qingling. "I always have one of these on hand whenever I go out. This contains Mu Lihua's confession of how she already knew that you are not her sister. Tomorrow… or maybe in the coming days, she will reveal this fact to the public and would sell out her mother and father for killing your family."
"She will say that she just discovered this fact and will act righteous in front of everyone. This will make the investors kick My Huang out of the company while they applaud Mu Lihua's bravery. Mu Lihua is smart. She is planning to turn the table and make herself look good. She will then attempt to reconcile with you and will let the world watch as you insult her, the one woman who did not hesitate to turn her parents in for the wrongs they committed against you."
"By then… people will label you as ungrateful while they will applaud Mu Lihua's righteous ways," Lily added as a smile bloomed on her face. "See, I would offer to help you destroy Mu Lihua. In return… you make her suffer and give her what she deserves."
"If you hate Mu Lihua so much… why not just destroy her on your own? I am… useless. I don't have money or influence. Why are you still planning to help me? I can't give you anything," Mu Qingling was truly reluctant as she is scared - very scared of Lily and Zhuo Jingren.
"I am lazy. I would rather sit and watch than do it on myself," Lily shrugged. "You have one minute to think about it," she declared as she checked the time on her phone.
Mu Qingling stared at the smiling woman in front of her. She was elegantly sitting on the bed while waiting for her answer. Mu Qingling opened her mouth in an attempt to answer but ended up closing it again. She looked at the photo in her shaking hands as another stream of tears tumbled down her cheeks. "I'll take it," she said.