While Hong Chi and Li Chanying were devising plans to gently coerce Li Nuxie into spilling her secret, the person at the center of it was clutching a pillow; her blank stare was drilling a hole in the ivory wall.
Li Nuxie knew that CEO Li does not say things without doing them. She was not afraid that Li Jiayie will do it. She was afraid of her grandma's choice. If that person really led the Li Textile, Li Nuxie's only choice was to bring the company down. Even if it was her grandmother's legacy. With lips stretched into a thin line, she squeezed the pillow's edge tightly.
On that Monday afternoon, the business world was thrown into pandemonium when the Li Textile announced the CEO's successor. The successor was neither the Young Master Li nor Young Miss Li. It was the famous architect behind the Octagon Hotel, Liu Lanzhi.
The Business Channel has been covering the event since it got hold of a tip about the change in the successor. The reporter was in front of the Li Headquarters, giving a live coverage.
"We are here outside the Li Headquarters wherein CEO Li just announced that her successor won't be the Young Master Li," the reporter paused.
"The successor was none other than Liu Lanzhi, the architect behind the famous Octagon Hotel," the reporter's eyes widened, clearly in awe. Suddenly, a commotion in front of the Li Headquarters broke out.
The reporter turned her head to the entrance. As she strode towards it, she was also glancing at the camera. "Okay, Miss Liu has gone out of the building. Let's ask her a few questions."
The cameraman waded thru the reporters who were also trying to get an answer from the new successor.
"Miss Liu, how do you feel that you were chosen as the successor of CEO Li?"
Liu Lanzhi paused in her steps. With chin up, she stared directly at the camera. "Of course, I'm happy. At the same time, I'm overwhelmed of the support I've got from the board," she smiled. "Rest assured that even if I'm new in the business world, I will learn fast. I hope my seniors would be kind enough to teach me."
With that, she resumed walking but this time, her bodyguards blocked their bodies against the reporters who were trying to reach her. Liu Lanzhi boarded a black Chevrolet that zoomed away from the premises.
At the Hong Ancestral House in Pavilion, Hong Chi had just clicked the off button on the remote control when Li Nuxie's voice flooded her ears. She lowered her head, hoping that Li Nuxie will not open the television.
"Are you okay, Chi? You looked pale," Li Nuxie dropped herself on the stacks of pillow that were scattered on the floor.
Hong Chi raised her head, her dimples were showing. "Of course, I'm just a little bit tired."
Li Nuxie tilted her head; her two hands on the side were supporting her upper body. "The HongLi Fashion is still months away. What's keeping you busy?"
"Business. What else would there be?" Scoffing, Hong Chi crossed her arms.
Li Nuxie rolled her eyes. "What about love life?"
Hong Chi twisted her lips. It seemed that Li Nuxie will reveal her secret right away, ah. "You dare ask about my love life when you don't even spill something important to us?" She raised an eyebrow.
Li Nuxie choked as she stared back at Hong Chi. How did she know about it? "I-I"
Hong Chi raised her hand. "If you're going to lie, then don't bother to tell me."
Li Nuxie looked away. It was not that she does not want to tell her friends about it. It was more about confronting her feelings and thoughts.
Hong Chi sighed. She was not in the mood to gather information. Her main priority was to make sure Li Nuxie would not get hold of the news.
"Tell us when you're ready then," she stood up. "Let's have coffee?" She extended her hand towards Li Nuxie.
Li Nuxie stared at her hand before her gaze settled on Hong Chi's face. She shrugged her shoulders as she clasped Hong Chi's hand to pull herself up.
In the kitchen, the two friends were enjoying their cups of brewed coffee when Hong Chi's phone rang. Glancing at the caller ID, her mouth displayed a tight-lipped smile.
"Why aren't you answering your phone?"
Hong Chi didn't answer. Her grim expression did not escape from Li Nuxie's observant eyes. She swiped the call accept button and placed it near her ear. "Yes?"
"Are you with Xiexie right now?" Li Chanying's voice was a notch higher that even Li Nuxie who was at the edge of the table heard it. Li Chanying had been calling her cousin for the last ten minutes and she did not even pick up.
Li Nuxie raised her left hand. Her other hand was twirling the teaspoon in her coffee. "Yes, dear cousin, I'm here. What can I do for you?"
Hong Chi doesn't have a choice but to turn on the loudspeaker of her phone. Putting it on the table, she leaned back on her chair; her arms were crossed in front of her. Obviously, her efforts were futile. She totally forgot that Li Chanying was the personal informant of Li Nuxie.
"Xiexie! Omg, have you read the news? I know you don't watch TV."
Her eyebrows drew together as the question lingered in her mind. She straightened her back as her cold stare was directed at the phone. "What news?"
Hong Chi's shoulders were hunched. She badly wanted to go out of the kitchen but she cannot just leave Li Nuxie without arousing suspicion. Thus, she remained glued to her chair and held her breath.
"Liu Lanzhi is grandma's successor!"
Li Nuxie's ears were ringing. Her sight suddenly became blurred. Slightly trembling, her hand let go of the teaspoon as her eyes became hot. Her grandmother really had done it. Despite hoping for the better, her wish was ignored and rejected. She closed her eyes while taking a deep breath. After a while, she spoke. Her voice was somewhat raspy.
"Grandma just declared a war. Who am I to decline the invitation?" She curled her lips as she stood up. "Time to reconstruct our plan."
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