Yang Chen pouted coyly. “I’m not telling you. But you can bet that mentioning her ‘father figure’ here would terrify her.”
“Father figure? As in her parents?” Lin Ruoxi was baffled. “Why would that terrify her?”
Yang Chen however casually shrugged as he brushed it off. “Babe, I assure you that there are some things better left unknown. There are things... filthy things which plague this world…”
“Acting all mysterious, fine keep your secrets…”
And at that moment, the crowd faded into silence.
The Cranberries and Lu Yao took the center stage, as the lights dimmed and focused onto them.
The music started playing. It was their well-known classic ‘Dreams’...
Dolores, the main vocalist of the Cranberries, was undeniably an inspiration to many global superstars. Many would try to imitate her style.
“Oh, my life is changing every day. In every possible way...”
The melody of the song left some people frozen in awe. Even some of the older fans started humming along.
And right when Dolores brought the first verse to a close, the comparatively silent Lu Yao harmonically picked up where she left.
Lu Yao’s pitch was a little scruffy, which was exactly what had brought Yang Chen to criticize that her voice wasn’t clear. But it was that husky voice that brought an entirely authentic take to the long-time classic.
Lin Ruoxi brought herself close to Yang Chen’s ear as she whispered, “I think she’s pretty good. You shouldn’t have been so quick to diss her.”
Yang Chen murmured in response. “All I said was that she wasn’t as good as Hui Lin. I never said she was bad. Besides, if Hui Lin was on that stage right now, I’m pretty sure she’ll do better.”
Lin Ruoxi was dumbfounded. “You talk as if she’s your own sister but you never call her. You never bother to check up on her well being.”
“Is that so?” Yang Chen scruffled the back of his head, a long pause ensued before he gave a belated reply, “It just never occurred to me. But I heard that she will be in Zhonghai this month for her tour right? I’ll take her around more often then.”
Lin Ruoxi sighed lightly. “You really think so? She’s a megastar now. Do you know how many people religiously follow her these days? Her official website has ten million visits every single day. There’s no doubt she’ll be recognised the moment she steps out of the house.”
The idea of that slipped past Yang Chen as he grumbled. “Well then she has to start cross dressing to avoid getting recognized on the streets.”
Lin Ruoxi reactively knocked her husband with her elbow. “What exactly goes in your head?!”
Yang Chen, however, was proudly smiling at his own wacky idea.
Moments after, Lu Yao’s joint performance with the Cranberries had come to a successful close. The crowd went wild with cheers and claps. Even the staff members couldn’t help but appraise this bewildering collaboration.
Dolores was in full praise as she hovered over the mic. “Ms Lu Yao sure stands by the title as China’s very own queen of pop. You sure have a captivating voice.”
Lu Yao by her side smiled broadly as she humbly brushed it off. “All I had was the passion to perform with someone I admire very much, and I’m genuinely grateful for your acknowledgement.”
The crowd was not keen on calling it a day as they applauded and demanded.
“Ms Dolores, I’m a huge fan! Can we have more?”
“C’mon Ms Lu Yao, how about an encore?”
The Cranberries were left in a dilemma. They were worried at this rate that they would have to perform their entire concert right there.
Lu Yao, on the other hand, shifted her focus towards Yang Chen and Lin Ruoxi, before she snarkily declared, “President Lin is our main host for this evening. For someone this strikingly beautiful, I’m sure her voice is also just as captivating. Why don’t we invite her onto the stage and perform a song of her choice?”
As soon as her sentence ended, the crowd applauded in unison.
Many were still at awe at her enthralling entrance earlier that day, but as the main host of the event, they were uncomfortable keeping their gaze glued on her.
The proposition of Lin Ruoxi singing on stage left the crowd in major anticipation. Despite the full comprehension that singing was not her greatest strength, nobody could resist the thought of her returning to stage once again!
And with that request, many people turned their heads in anticipation.
But the idea had left Lin Ruoxi petrified!
SINGING?! she thought.
Lin Ruoxi caught herself in the nick of time before her body gave in from shock!
Nervously clenching onto Yang Chen’s arm, Lin Ruoxi was running through all possible options to keep her cool. Her hands were running with sweat.
Yang Chen quickly frowned at the sight. It was obviously a nasty revenge scheme from Lu Yao. Even though it was not known to the public that Lin Ruoxi could not keep the notes at the right keys, but a follow-up gig after the likes of a Lu Yao-Cranberries collaboration was undeniably a deathtrap!
The stark difference between preceding and superseding performers would instantly be a massive killjoy to the audience!
Notwithstanding the fact that labeling Lin Ruoxi’s singing as ‘bad’ would be a gross understatement!
God was always fair when creating mankind. With every point he placed into her business acumen, he took away an equal share from her musical prowess.
Lu Yao knew that if she were to go head-on with Yang Chen, all outcomes were bound for her demise. It would serve her better if she instead focused her attacks on the vulnerable people close to him.
Lin Ruoxi was terror-stricken, as she helplessly stared at Yang Chen, pleading with those pitiful eyes.
Yang Chen pouted as he offered, “How about… I sing in your stead?”
Even if he was no more than an amateur when it comes to singing, he was heaps better at it than Lin Ruoxi was. Plus, this act was a no brainer for him. He had to stand up for his wife.
Lin Ruoxi stared at her lifesaver as she vigorously nodded.
If she could have prevented that in any way she would have already done it, but the entire audience was filled to the brim with VIPs and highly ranked officials. As host, the least she could do was to curb her fear and end the night on a high note. If she were to leave the situation awkward, not only would it be a huge blow on her pride, her reputation would sink into the dirt.
That was why there was no reason for her to opt-out of doing this.
Yang Chen cleared his throat before he proclaimed, “Why don’t I stand-in for my wife tonight? My wife isn’t feeling too well tonight, as evidenced by the prompt speech earlier. Would all of you be so kind as to accept the ‘offer’?”
Following Yang Chen’s words closely, the majority of the guests knew it couldn’t be pressured, especially when Lin Ruoxi did not look at all pleasant. They decided to let it go this time.
Nonetheless, there were still many with vast anticipation to see Lin Ruoxi back on stage and were in strong denial of this substitution.
Li Jianhe and Shen Yaxin amidst the crowd were seen with smirks. As close friends at one point of Lin Ruoxi’s younger years, especially Shen Yaxin who was her classmate, they were quick to realize the problem.
Yang Chen noticed the situation turning for the worse and was plotting to create a diversion from the fiasco on stage. But what was holding him back was the aftermath of a commotion towards the future of Yu Lei Entertainment.
And right at that moment, a sweet, rejuvenating voice resonated from the back.
“My brother-in-law isn't the best of singers, why don’t I come on instead?”
She might still be shielded by the curtains, but that voice kept many turning to the backstage with anticipation.
What followed was a slim, young woman, dressed in a white laced one-piece dress, making her way from the backstage.
“Isn’t that Ms Lin Hui?”
“It’s she, isn’t it? She looks way prettier in person!”
“Oh my god, my wife and I listen to her music every single day!”
“So that’s why Ms Lin Hui signed with Yu Lei Entertainment. Turns out she’s the CEO’s sister? Now that you told me, they look kind of similar…”
“Ms Lin Hui, I love you!!”
The crowd went wild as they quickly recognized Hui Lin!
Yang Chen and Lin Ruoxi were both caught off guard. They never expected Hui Lin to have returned to Zhonghai this quickly!
“When did this kid come over?” Yang Chen took to ask.
At that point, Lin Ruoxi had completely forgotten about the anxiety she felt just minutes ago. “I’m sure she came back early to avoid the media from stalking her whereabouts. Look, these people all know Hui Lin. Just a simple proof of how famous she is.”
Hui Lin stood confidently at the center stage. Her face was still sweet and endearing, but this time with the experience, maturity, and elegance of her time away.
Resembling a naive child leaving home for the first time, her return as a blinding superstar adored by millions made it even more triumphant.