Not many people knew what Zhuo Jingren looked like.
To some people, he was just a name, someone who helped boost Hong Kong's economy. Some heard that he was smart and cunning, while others squealed at his good looks. Regardless of those speculations there is one thing you can be sure of: Zhuo Jingren is just another devious businessman in Asia.
Unlike Lily, Zhuo Jingren's scheming was less complicated. He doesn't like to spin a web of complications because he prefers to strike directly. Most of the time, his enemies immediately know that he is attacking them.
Zhuo Jingren is the type of person who would rather stab his enemies up front rather than give them the chance to strike back at him. He would act quickly, not out of laziness or stupidity but because he would rather use his brain to grow his business instead of wasting it on such trivial things.
However, Lily's case was always the exception. When Lily disappeared years ago, Zhuo Jingren made Qin Mo and his family suffer not because he enjoyed it, but because deep down he had always believed that they deserved it. He always suspected the Qin Family was behind Lily's disappearance and he felt that making them suffer until their last breath would be the only thing that would satisfy his thirst for revenge.
Together with Bei Tian, Zhuo Jingren had schemed against the Qin family for absolute ages. The pair dabbled in everything from sabotaging Qin Industries to planting spies to monitor each and every move that Qin Mo and Tang Lingyun made. However, these attacks stopped after he found Lily. Zhuo Jingren was not unreasonable. He knew that Lily had her own plans when she arrived. He could sense it from the way she smiled at the mere mention of her family.
This made him take a step back. He assisted Lily in completing her plans by supporting her from behind closed doors. He knew that she had come prepared and he was always willing to give her the stage, but… tonight? Tonight was different.
Zhuo Jingren and Lily's unborn child was a different matter. He would not just stand there and act like a bystander while watching his own wife deal with the people who had caused her misfortune. Tonight, Zhuo Jingren decided that it was time for him to step up. Not to outshine his wife, but to amplify the effects of her plans.
Meanwhile, Zhuo Jingren was not the only person who was thinking about the past at that time of night.
Mu Qingling was doing the exact same thing as she stared at Mu Lihua who had just fainted in front of her like a lightweight. She clenched her jaw as she balled her hands into fists. She was oblivious as a tear rolled down her cheek. She watched as the people whom Mr. B had given her put Mu Lihua back on a chair and tied her bloodied arms and legs securely.
"How does it feel?" She heard a cold voice echoing through the room, almost making her jump out of her seat. She immediately turned around and saw the woman Mu Lihua was speaking with earlier, however Mu Qingling chose not to respond to the woman. How does she feel? To be honest… she doesn't know. She looked down and studied her own bloodied hands. Mu Lihua was not dead, yet. Is this the reason why she doesn't feel a thing right now?
"I know the feeling," the woman said. Her languid tone made Mu Qingling look at her once again. "Lily saved me once too."
Still, Mu Qingling chose not to answer. Lily is… someone that she fears. Until now, she was not sure if Lily saved her, or if Lily is just one more person trying to manipulate her and profit from her life. Again. Lily and Zhuo Jingren are two people who she never wants to cross paths with ever again in life.
"I understand that you are afraid of her," the woman continued. "To be honest… I was scared of her, too. Until now." She flashed her a smile. Mu Qingling instantly let out a sigh. The woman in front of her was confident. She was beautiful and her smile made her look like a gentle woman. However, Mu Qingling was sure that this was all a façade. This woman was working with Lily Zhuo. She is probably as devious as her boss.
"Why are you here?" Mu Qingling managed to ask after a few minutes of uncomfortable silence.
"To let you know that He Xinlan was watching as you tortured her daughter… and please, call me Cecile," she answered.
"He Xinlan?" Mu Qingling was obviously very surprised by this. When Mr. B told her that he would help her get everything that was hers, she never thought that she would have the chance to touch even a strand of Mu Lihua's hair. She thought the best that she could do was ruin Mu Lihua's reputation using the internet.
However, all of this changed last night when Mr. B told her that she could do whatever she wanted to Mu Lihua. She felt that this would be a very good opportunity to satisfy her need for revenge, a need that she never thought would be met. But… she never expected that He Xinlan would be watching as she did it. Bonus! Wasn't this just the absolute best torture for He Xinlan?
The torture for He Xinlan was making her watch as the person whom she'd robbed, ignored, and neglected while growing up slowly and methodically hurt her daughter. Mu Qingling lifted her gaze and stared at Cecile intently. This only proves how evil Lily is.
"Lily has always believed that staying alive while wishing to be dead is the greatest punishment that could be given to someone," Cecile explained when she saw Mu Qingling's expression. She took a step towards Mu Qingling, "Don't think too much about it. Lily is not helping you out of compassion."
"Oh…" Mu Qingling nodded in understanding. Cecile was right. Why would Lily help someone like her? She even tried to snatch her husband once. Now… she was nothing but an orphan. She is worthless and an embarrassment. How could anyone like her…?
"And before you start telling yourself how pitiful you are… here," Cecile handed her a card . "If you need someone to talk to, call me. I work with an agency abroad that helps women get back on their feet again after… falling into a pit of misery."
Mu Qingling looked at the card. It had Cecile's name on it with a logo that she did not recognize.
"It was founded by Lily and her grandmother years ago. We exist to help women who have been raped, abused, and psychologically mistreated. So far we only have ten branches in ten different countries around the world, but Lily's funded a lot of women's aid charities and helped thousands of women." Cecile gave Mu Qingling another beautiful smile. "I've already arranged for a lawyer who will build a firm case so that you can legally take back what is rightfully yours from Mu Huang and his daughter. However… you still need to heal."
Mu Qingling lowered her head and looked at her bloodied hands once more. Then she felt tears starting to fall down her cheeks. Lily might not have met her or spared her another glance after informing her about her devastating past, but she… Mu Qingling was sure that this was all part of Lily's grand scheme.
"You can call me once you've made a decision," Cecile turned her back on Mu Qingling. However, before she could walk out of the room, Mu Qingling's voice interrupted her.
"Thank you," Mu Qingling uttered.
"Please… Don't thank me. Thank her," Cecile said as she turned to face Mu Qingling again. "Lily and I… neither of us could be considered one of the good guys. But I can tell you with confidence that we are good at helping people rebuild their lives. You can't expect and you don't need another person to fix your life. You are the only person who can do that."
"I…" Mu Qingling was speechless as she felt truly grateful right now. If Lily did not decide to do this then who knows if Mu Qingling would survive another month with Mu Huang after her? She bit her lip in an attempt to control her emotions. "Please give Lily my thanks," she said. "I don't think… I don't think I deserve to see her again."
"Look at you… looking down on yourself like a dirty rug. When Lily found me… she told me something that I will never forget. 'You are only broken, not dead. Live and fix yourself,' Cecile quoted. "You are lucky that she decided to help you. Right now, you truly look like crap… Go and wipe those tears and snot off your face. Raise your head a little, my girl. This is the start of your new journey."