Lily was pouting.
She looked at her reflection in the mirror as she practiced pouting once again. She was really bad at it, she concluded. Maybe it was because she had been cold-hearted for so long that acting cute didn't suit her at all. Lily narrowed her eyes and smirked at her reflection.
"See?" she said out loud. Being evil suited her best, she thought as she nodded in appreciation. Micro expressions that gave off a cold aura suited her best, while pouting suggested a weakness that was the exact opposite of what she wanted to convey.
"Are you okay?" Zhuo Jingren asked as he wrapped the towel around his hips. He had just finished taking a bath when he noticed that Lily was standing before the double vanity sink, holding a toothbrush while staring at herself in the mirror. "Are you sick?" he asked as he put his palm on Lily's forehead.
"I'm good," she replied as she started brushing her teeth. Her eyes were fixed on her husband who was holding his toothbrush as he prepared to brush his teeth at the vanity sink next to hers. "I was wondering why you don't find me cute when I pout."
"Hmm?" Zhuo Jingren raised his eyebrow at Lily as he shook his head. He wondered why Lily's way of thinking was always so... peculiar.
"Don't you think I'm cute?" Lily asked again when she finished brushing her teeth. Lily turned towards Zhuo Jingren and visually savoured his abs while she asked idly, "Do you think I'm ugly?"
"Why are you being so silly?" he countered after he finished brushing his teeth. "We both know that you are not 'cute'. Being cute does not suit you. You are beautiful… and there is a difference," he said as he turned to her and wrapped his large hands around her tiny waist.
"Are you saying that because you know those are the words that I want to hear?" Lily asked as she narrowed her eyes. Zhuo Jingren responded with a laugh. He couldn't say that she was cute because she would start saying that cute was an adjective best used to describe babies and dogs. He also couldn't say that she was even more beautiful than the Goddess of Beauty, Aphrodite herself, or she would say that he was just saying it to make her happy.
Zhuo Jingren also couldn't say that his wife was ugly or his lovely wife wouldn't let him set foot in the house. Every possible answer would surely receive another round of witty comebacks from Lily. With this in mind, Zhuo Jingren laughed affectionately before kissing her lips.
It was better to remain silent and just kiss her, he concluded as he kissed her again.
"Let's sleep," Zhuo Jingren suggested lightly. "We had a rough day today and we were chased by some very dangerous people, yet your main concern is whether I find you cute or not. I think your priorities lie elsewhere, my dear wife."
Lily chose not to respond to her husband's words. Instead, she kissed him back. For some reason she thought that meeting Zhuo Jingren had actually changed her priorities a lot. Of course, she wasn't going to let him know that. "Did they find Zhang Chen's location?" she asked.
"Zhang Chen's and Qin Wuyang's," he replied as he carried Lily out of the bathroom. "They already got Qin Wuyang. As for Zhang Chen…. I chose to hold him and his daughter hostage. If you want Zhang Yifei to experience what it feels like to be controlled, then this is the best option. I also… "
"You also what?"
"I asked Bei Tian to get Qin Mimi. Since Qin Hao spent a lot of time and effort on using you and Qin Yuanfeng to control your father… I thought why not do the same to him?" Zhuo Jingren explained as he laid Lily on the bed.
"Meaning?" Lily asked.
"Qin Hao took Zhang Yifei's family while Zhang Yifei took his only family," he said as he laid down next to her. "Since they love to manipulate people so much, why don't we let them experience being manipulated for themselves?"
Lily silently absorbed her husband's suggestion. It was so devious and direct that it was a wonder that Lily hadn't come up with this plan herself. It hadn't even crossed her mind. Lily initially thought that her plan to make them suffer was good enough. She wouldn't say that she had miscalculated as that would not be entirely true, but Zhuo Jingren's plan to avoid collateral damage by simply letting them fight each other actually sounded more exciting.
With that in mind, Lily gave a Zhuo Jingren a sweet little smile. She was enjoying the game so much that she'd actually forgotten about the inherent risks of involving innocents and dealing with the ramifications of her game. She knew that revenge made people blind. She also knew that her plan would hurt other people, but in the end she didn't care about any of that.
She was honestly too selfish to think about how her plans were so dangerous that they even made her husband worried. Lily had actually forgotten that she was not alone anymore. She'd forgotten that she has him.
"Alright, let's go to sleep," Lily smiled as she felt him lean in for another kiss. She trusted him and she knew that whatever his plan was, Zhuo Jingren would always consider both her opinion and her emotions. Lily also knew that Zhuo Jingren would never act without telling her his plans in advance to ensure that she approved of everything he planned to do. After all… this was their fight. Maybe compromising her plans wasn't so bad after all, she thought before closing her eyes.
Qin Mansion, Shanghai China
Zhang Yifei paled as she listened to the person reporting to her over the phone. Her expression became even more sour the longer she listened to the reports. Without saying anything, Zhang Yifei ended the call before glancing at the clock on her bedside table.
Although it was a quarter past three in the morning , Zhang Yifeing was still wide awake. She slowly sat up in bed as her hands clenched into fists. She exhaled sharply before hurling the phone at the wall in frustration. She wanted to scream. She wanted to curse and break everything in the room, but she couldn't. She needed to control her emotions, be logical, and make some rational decisions.
Her brother's base had been discovered. She wasn't sure if it was the work of Lily or Zhuo Jingren - or even Qin Hao. All she knew was that those people burned everything that her brother owned. His house, the warehouse... everything he owned had been burned to the ground! Hatred instantly coursed through her veins as she thought of her missing brother.
Lily was the only person who'd done any research on this. Only Lily was ruthless enough to burn everything to the ground! With that in mind, Zhang Yifei rose from her seat and walked out of her room. She headed towards Qin Hao's study and was about to knock when an attendant stopped her.
"Madam… The second master said that he wants to be alone for a while," the attendant said respectfully.
"I'm sorry?" she asked. Did Qin Hao just refuse to see her?
"The Second Master said not to let anyone in as he has some important business to attend to," the attendant answered.
"At this hour?" Zhang Yifei asked as suspicion clouded her vision. What sort of business could be more important than her? Zhang Yifei turned around and walked back to her room with her eyes narrowed. Was it possible that Qin Hao may have discovered some information about her?