Table For Two Chapter 199
Qing Qing's voice was shaking with righteous fury and vindication, one would think she was taken over by the Holy Spirit itself. This was an argument plied by the deeply religious against homosexuality. Validity of the claim aside, it did seem like Qing Qing believed in every words that left her lips. It was as if she embodied the spirit and soul of a religious zealot.
Xiu Ling looked at the young woman without giving any comment. Like Joann, she too was impressed by Qing Qing's acting ability, not anyone would be able to enter the character as quick and as natural as she did. If she put her skill to good use, it would only be a matter of time until she caught her big break. Alas, like most people these days, hard work was deemed overrated and everyone just wanted to go searching for shortcuts.
"You're lying to me," Xiu Ling began in a straightforward manner. Just as she said so, Qing Qing started to retort but Xiu Ling did not give her the opportunity because she continued without missing a beat, "God teaches us to love and not to hate. Furthermore, you don't come across as a particularly religious person to me because you have done plenty of things that God wouldn't have approved either."
Xiu Ling paused to allow the weight of her accusation fall on the young woman's shoulders. However, Xiu Ling knew that wouldn't be enough to make the girl reflect on her mistakes so she picked up the thread of conversation, "If you only intend to warn them from the life of perceived sin, then why would you coerce them into doing your bidding? It's obvious that you have your own agenda that you were trying to pursue."
Qing Qing was quiet because she had no further explanation.
By then, she had realized Xiu Ling was not someone she could easily fool. In a case like this, Qing Qing knew the best solution was to keep her mouth shut. The more she talked, the easier the opponent would be able exploit her words. Silence was indeed golden.
Xiu Ling waited for Qing Qing to offer her counter-argument. When she realized the young woman was not going to defend her stance, Xiu Ling realized she had underestimated Qing Qing.
Admittedly, she was quite flustered at the beginning but now that she had found her footing, Qing Qing selected the most efficient way to deal with the conundrum that she was facing. Her brain worked fast and she could come up with the most suitable solution based on the situation post-haste.
Qing Qing had allowed Xiu Ling to run the conservation because she did not expect Xiu Ling would have so much dirt on her. It unsettled the young woman. However, given enough time, Qing Qing managed to recover and she knew she had to be on her very best around Xiu Ling. This wasn't someone that she could brush off willy-nilly. In terms of brilliance and guile, this woman who sat before her was her equal.
In other words, initially, Qing Qing thought she could delude Xiu Ling with her words so the conversation went back and forth but now that she knew better, Qing Qing had a new appreciation for reticence as a virtue.
As a sign of respect for Xiu Ling's capability, Qing Qing put up her best guard.
However, ultimately, Qing Qing had overestimated herself. She saw herself as an equal to Xiu Ling but in reality, her every move was still within Xiu Ling's calculation. Admittedly, the silence treatment that Qing Qing adopted had surprised her but it would not have mattered in the end. Xiu Ling had Qing Qing within her grasp and all the young woman had done was mindless struggle. Her ending was already written on the walls.
"It's fine even if you don't want to talk because I've already known everything that I need to know," Xiu Ling added ominously with a knowing smile. It made Qing Qing's heart quiver. She felt weirdly exposed. However, she held onto her plan. She was not going to say anything, eventually, the woman would get the idea and she would need to let her go. She couldn't possibly detain her against her will forever.
Since Qing Qing was not speaking, Xiu Ling took it upon herself to continue the conversation. "Actually, my man wasn't lying when he told you, the reason I've invited you here is to help you."
This earned a scoff from Qing Qing. She even added in an eye-roll to stress her disbelief.
Xiu Ling ignored her and continued, "I'm offering you this help not because of you but because of someone related to you. Someone that you might know very well. Someone from..." Xiu Ling paused for effect. "Western Jiujiang's Lin Guan Village."
Hearing that name, Qing Qing panicked for the first time. "How did you know that name?! What have you done to my father!" She demanded. "If you dare to lay a finger on him, I swear I'll fight to the death with you!"
"Calm down..." Xiu Ling said. "I did not do anything to the kind gentleman. In fact, I have a message from him that he wished for me to relay to you."
When they realized Qing Qing was the blackmailer, Xiu Ling asked Lin Kang to look into the young woman's life. Like Qing Qing, Xiu Ling also knew the importance of gathering pre-war information but her preparation was on a larger and grander scale than Qing Qing's.
Lin Kang's man unearthed the woman's history, jobs that she had applied for, friends that she had made, her place of birth etc. In today's age where most private information was carelessly shared online, many information about a particular someone could be easily gathered if you knew where to look.
Lin Kang's men noticed an anomaly in Qing Qing's postal records. Records showed that she had been sending correspondence to someone at Lin Guan Village consistently for every month since she arrived at the city.