Table For Two Chapter 197
Qing Qing was trying to get a read on Xiu Ling but she did it surreptitiously, out of the corner of her eyes. She did not want to be obvious about it because it was her intention to present herself in a manner that was as harmless as possible. After all, the innocent and ditzy facade had worked wonders for her before. People had allowed her into their inner circles because they underestimated her and didn't think she was much of a threat. Some even invited her into the fold because they wanted to protect her.
The white dress that Qing Qing wore that day lent her an air of innocence and purity. That was accentuated by the way she acted. The way she moved, she walked, even the way she stood was soft and reserved like she was trying to be as insignificant as possible. There was an air-headedness about the young woman that seemed to suggest that she needed help to survive from day to day.
Xiu Ling though was a complete contrast. She was seated at the table and even though she was not adorned in expensive outfit, there was a sense of stability about her. She had a wealth of self-assurance. Even if the sky would fall then, Xiu Ling probably wouldn't have batted an eye.
This formed an obvious power discrepancy which was exactly what Qing Qing wanted. She wanted to be seen as the weaker party because that would help mask her real intention. People would let their guard down around her and that was when she would deliver the critical strike. Qing Qing's plan was working so well that even Yi Nian worried about her before he closed the door. Even though he knew his Madam Boss wasn't a bully, he still couldn't help himself from showing concerns towards Qing Qing. It felt like he was sending a sheep into a tiger's den and he felt so sorry about it. He wished that there was something he could have done for Qing Qing.
However, Qing Qing's acting did not fool Xiu Ling. She already knew the young woman's real identity so she had been on a careful lookout. Xiu Ling did not miss the pair of calculative eyes that were hidden behind the young woman's long bangs. Qing Qing thought she appear like a harmless sheep but in Xiu Ling's eyes, she was more like a patient viper biding for her time to strike.
It was Xiu Ling who broke the silence first, "Miss Qing Qing, please take a seat." She pointed at the chair across from her.
"O-okay." Qing Qing stuttered as she moved to oblige.
Xiu Ling narrowed her eyes at the young woman as she sat down. Qing Qing appeared like she was flustered or starstruck in Xiu Ling's presence but the latter saw through her acting easily.
Just as Xiu Ling was about to comment on it, the meeting room door was pushed open and Yi Nian walked in with a cup of coffee. "Miss Qing Qing, here. Maybe this can calm your nerves." He placed the cup of fragrant coffee before Qing Qing.
Qing Qing looked up at him with smiling eyes. "Thank you, Brother Yi Nian. You're so considerate."
Yi Nian blushed and said, "You're too kind with your compliment. This is what I'm supposed to do." However to Xiu Ling's knowledge, this was the first time Yi Nian had done something like this. He normally wouldn't barge into the meeting room without being asked.
Xiu Ling observed the exchange between two and she understood why her best friend had been fooled by Qing Qing for so long. Yi Nian had at most 30 minutes of interaction with Qing Qing but he had been put under her spell already. The young woman's technique couldn't be underestimated.
Xiu Ling cleared her throat and she said, "Yi Nian, thank you for showing such consideration for our guest. You may leave now."
"Yes, Miss Xiu Ling." Yi Nian straightened up and left the room but not before turning back to glance at Qing Qing with worry in his eyes.
"Sister Xiu Ling..." Qing Qing began in a soft voice, "Why have you called for me? Is it because of something I've done, in that case, I apologize. But Sister Xiu Ling, please understand that I bear you no ill intention. If anything, Sister Xiu Ling is my role model in life and there's no greater wish in my life than to be given a chance to learn from Sister Xiu Ling."
Qing Qing would have gesticulated before Xiu Ling if it could help plead her case. Powerful individuals, be it male or female, liked to be flattered and Qing Qing knew the exact words to say. Incidentally, this was how Qing Qing managed to get so close to Joann. On top of being her friend, Qing Qing showed a servile admiration towards Joann.
Unfortunately, Xiu Ling was not Joann and the same tactic did not work on her.
"Miss Qing Qing, please cut the act," Xiu Ling replied with a clear voice. "Let's not waste our time with smoke and mirrors. I believe you know perfectly well why I've asked to see you."
Qing Qing froze after Xiu Ling said that. It was as if her brain had shut down temporarily and she needed some time to process the information. After enough time had passed, Qing Qing picked up the cup of coffee from the table and took a sip with a smirk. "I should have known this was a trap. Well, what do you want? Are you going to take revenge on your friend's behalf?
"Xiu Ling, is it? I'll have you know, even though you're richer than I am, it does not mean that I'll allow you to step all over me. If you dare to threaten me in any way, I have my finger on my phone's emergency button and it's connected to the police hotline."
Qing Qing scoffed, "I despise women like yourself who think they can do anything they want simply because the man you f*ck happens to be a powerful one."