Published at 4th of January 2019 10:09:30 PM
Chapter 109

December 29, 20XX (Saturday)

Sheng Garden Roof Top Restaurant

Mei Li did not want to believe in the power of money but seeing the Zhao family members entering the restaurant and all eyes where on them; Mei Li was forced to concede that money would at least bring you a little influence .

The restaurant's staff treated them like the royal family, which Mother Zhao is, and by extension Yang and Yue too . Mei Li was tempted to hide behind Yang's large back because of the eyes that were glancing her way . These people must be wondering who she is; Mei Li helplessly thought, 'Poor orphan here, please don't stare . '

Arriving in a room for their private use, Mei Li saw five people . Her eyes zoomed to the tired yet still softly smiling Hao Chen, the only person she recognized among the five people .

Mei Li watched with curious eyes when the older man and older woman among the five people greeted Grandpa Zhao and Grandma Zhao first then the three members followed . Mei Li's eyebrow raises and her eyes meet with Yang's in curiosity when Hao Chen greeted them last . Wasn't the heir the next person to greet the elders after their parents? Is this the Hao family's way of telling the Zhaos that they will change the heir and go against them? Was the Haos stupid or what? Don't they know that going against a Zhao especially with Mother Zhao's influence is like signing your death certificate?

"It has been a while," Hao Ren said, interrupting Mei Li's horrified thoughts . Mei Li looked at Yang to gauge his reaction . The youngest CEO in the room just smiled that annoying fake one that Mei Li hated

"Not long enough . . . " Yue muttered, but it was loud enough that everyone heard . Mei Li saw the two woman beside Hao Ren's side stiffen awkwardly .

"How are you, Master Zhao?" The older woman started a small talk as she leads them to the table .

"Fine," Grandpa Zhao replied in courtesy .

Mei Li realized how Grandpa Zhao was more reserved than he is usually and Grandma Zhao was smiling like Yang usually does . Now, Mei Li knows where Yang takes his fake smile idea to intimidate people; it came from his grandmother .

"Oh, hello! You look beautiful, Madam Zhao . "

As if they practiced, Mother Zhao, Aunt Qinyang, and Grandma Zhao turned to reply in unison, "Which Madam Zhao are you referring?"

Mother Zhao turned to Father Hao and said, "You should teach your second wife manners and proper etiquette . Everyone knows that we prefer our maiden names when gathered like this . "

"Of course," Father Hao bowed slowly by bending his waist down, and apologized, "Pardon her, Madam Xing . "

Mei Li felt as if the atmosphere of the room becomes heavier than ever . The weight of having the male Zhaos, the last female, and only Xing, and a member of the Xue family loaded a heavy burden on Father Hao's shoulder . Mei Li pitied him a little .

"Pardon me, Madam Xing . " the second wife told Mother Zhao and bowing a little and stood up soon after .

"Your bow is short . " Mother Zhao said .

The second wife looked at her husband and then watched and then at the floor . She knew her husband was not capable of helping her, so the second wife bowed again; this time slower and more in-depth . Yue snickering seemed to taunt the second wife and Ye Lan .

The Haos was surprised when Madam Zhao laughed with her hands covering her mouth before she said, "I was joking . You take me too seriously . "

Mei Li saw the second wife clenching her hands tightly . What Mother Zhao did was a big blow to anyone's pride . Even she feels a little guilty about it, but Mother Zhao is not a person that does unnecessary things . There must be a reason as to why she treats Father Hao's second wife this way .

The two families sat down on the larger than life roundtable with a lazy Susan . Mei Li wrist was dragged by Yang to sit on his left while Yue sat next to her on her left too . Mei Li nodded her head to Hao Chen before sitting entirely on the chair that Yang was carefully holding steady for her . Mei Li wanted to snort out loud; it's not as if the chair would crumble with her weight .

"You brought an outsider, " the second wife smiled at Mother Zhao while glancing at Mei Li, acting all innocent as if the women on the table could not understand her jibe . 'If she wants to appear subtle, she's doing it all wrong . ' Mei Li rolled her eyes inwardly .

"Well, " Aunt Qinyang returned the second wife's smile with a dazzling version of her own, and continued while staring at Ye Lan, "You've brought garbage . "

Yue almost spat the water she had drunk, and Yang grin widens . Ye Lan was still smiling, but Mei Li know she was boiling with anger inside .

Aunt Qinyang then shifted her gaze straight into the second wife's eyes and repeated her words, "and you brought an outsider, too . "

Mei Li wanted to pat Aunt Qinyang on the back; this was the woman with the most poisonous tongue! Forget Mother Zhao's overbearing presence and blunt personality; Aunt Qinyang is the Queen of Savagery!

Mei Li's observed these two family gathering with eagle eyes; Grandpa Zhao and Grandma Zhao were staying silent even the two Zhao sons let their wives do the socializing . Mei Li rolled her eyes at this; Zhao Men seems to always depend on their women to talk . Mei Li glared at Yang causing the man to grow confused, what did he do now?

Yue cleared her throat to break the awkward silence and ask Ye Lan and Hao Ren, "So how did you find life abroad?"

"It was magnificent! We went to different places and ate great food . " Ye Lan enthusiastically replied .

"Really? I'm happy for you for traveling and enjoying life! That must be the reason why you are blooming!" Yue started praising Ye Lan making Mei Li's eyebrow raise . Yue did not like Ye Lan, so Mei Li knew this was going somewhere . "My big brother only knows how to work; managing five businesses, starting his own international IT company, acquiring an old tech company, and becoming one of the youngest billionaires in China!"

Yue drank a couple of gulps of water to pause a little for more drama before continuing, "Ever since you and Hao Ren had gone abroad, Big Brother had the most successful days! You two must be our good luck! If you're happy elsewhere, then we're happier here!"

Mei Li inwardly sigh . Yue was always dramatic, but this takes her drama a level higher- like a villain as the main character . The Zhao family have the most poisonous tongues; is that an inherited thing?

Ye Lan put on an angry expression and said, "Are you calling me bad luck?"

"Of course not! You must have gone deaf when traveling because I said good luck . . . " Yue trailed while vertically standing the menu on her hands to hide her scrunched up face directed to Mei Li .

"What do you want to order?" Yang whispered to Mei Li and moved the menu closer to her so they can share it . His left hand begun to point at the dishes that were mostly red meat .

Mei Li slapped Yang's annoying hand so she could read the names of the dishes . Yang's fake smile turned helpless, and as he waited for Mei Li to read everything, his eyes remained glued to Mei Li's side profile . His right hand still held the menu for Mei Li .

Yang was horrified when Mei Li pointed to him two different vegetable stir-fry and one beef stir-fry . Yang opposed, "You can eat those three dishes? I won't . "

Mei Li smirked and insistently pointed at the stir-fry picture on the side of the menu . She knew he would give in soon .

Unknowingly to the two of them, Everyone at the table noticed their subtle pink atmosphere . Yue observed with malicious glee how envious Ye Lan watched . Yue knew how her big brother was utterly different in his treatment between his former girlfriend and Mei Li . Of course, Ye Lan was the one who chased after him while Mei Li was being pursued- completely different circumstances . Ye Lan was eager to spread her legs to everyone that have money while Mei Li kept her legs closed even when her brother was trying to pry them open . Yue snickered silently to herself at her thoughts .

When the food came, Yang could not believe that in front of him had the smallest portion of meat with majority vegetables of every color . Mei Li grinned at him and her right hand patted his left thigh in consolation .

"You can drink wine if you want," Mei Li whispered to him while looking at the wine glass on Father Zhao's hand .

Yang brightened up and quickly called the waiter to order the same wine his father is drinking . Yang took Mei Li's right hand on his thigh with his left, hand and bringing it to his lips to plant a soft kiss on her knuckles before saying, "Thank You . "

Two women turned red because of Yang's actions; Mei Li because of shyness, and Ye Lan because of anger and a little envy .

Clouded by envy, Ye Lan asked Mei Li without thought, "Are you his new girlfriend; was this the reason why you become best friends with Yue? Really, Yue, for an heiress you don't know how to make proper friends . "

Everyone in the room stiffened . Yang's fake smiled slowly turning into a growl . Mother Zhao and Aunt Qinyang looked as if they were going to slap someone . Yue was the only one grinning .

"Yes, " Mei Li's immediate affirmation surprised everyone . Mei Li chewed the food on her mouth as she turned to Yue and then glancing back to Ye Lan while she continued to answer after swallowing, "You should try Yue and I's plot . I didn't have to follow Yang everywhere nor did I have to work for anything . I did not have to spread my legs to anybody too . All I did was make friends with Yue, courted his family, and relax as they paired us up . "

Mei Li then nodded towards every member of the Zhao family and said to Ye Lan, "I hear that Mr . Hao Ren have a close friend abroad? I should advise that if you are going to go after his friend like before, I would first make friends with his sister . Does he have one? If not then you should get on his mother's good side . Since it worked for me, it might work for you too . "

Yue's subtle snickers turned into giggles . Yang hid his smile on the glass of wine he was drinking .

Mei Li smirked after; people can degrade her all they want, but when people start to involve her friendship with Yue, Mei Li will come at them with all necessary force . She can be very petty especially when someone crosses her bottom line; and this time, she will wreak havoc .