Yang Chen licked his lips as he proclaimed, “Wifey, look at that kid Hui Lin. The last time we met in Beijing, she was more akin to a college girl. But now, she seems more like the elder sister than you!”
Lin Ruoxi instantly raised her guard. “Don’t even think about it, or else you’re done!”
Yang Chen cringed as he slapped himself on his face. “I wouldn’t dare to touch her even if I’ve ever thought about it.”
“What?! You’ve actually thought about it?!” Lin Ruoxi shot him a soul-piercing gaze.
“It’s just an expression...” Yang Chen was as stiff as a rock as he frantically denied any involvement. “Let’s just pay attention to her performance.”
Lin Ruoxi sniffled with the remainder of her fury, as they both turned towards the stage in anticipation of Hui Lin’s performance.
Hui Lin gave the audience a quick bow and gave a friendly nod to Lu Yao who was making her way off stage. Lu Yao felt slightly awkward at her sudden appearance but nonetheless gave her a brief acknowledgment.
Face to face with Dolores of the Cranberries, Hui Lin was rather nervous, but with decent English, she mumbled, “Ms Dolores, I’ve been a big fan of yours and the band since I was a child. Would you mind if I stand in for my sister for your next collaborative performance?”
Dolores was rather baffled to know that there was a young woman in her early twenties who had grown up with her music. They had debuted in the early nineties.
“Sure. Looking at everyone’s response, I’m guessing you’ve made a name for yourself in China, haven’t you? Now tell me, what song should we perform?”
Hui Lin lightly bit on her lower lip as she murmured, “My favorite song ‘Ode To My Family’.”
Dolores was caught off-guard that Hui Lin would choose that song. “This song can be pretty hard to maneuver, especially in a live setting. Plus, wouldn’t it be a little depressing for an event like this one?”
What she was trying to hint was to dissuade Hui Lin from biting more than she could chew. After all, even the original singer of the song knew it was difficult to perform.
Lu Yao on the sidelines quickly added fuel to the fire. “Ms Dolores, well you might not know this, but Ms Lin Hui was deemed one of the best singers of her generation. I’m sure she would nail it.”
Even though Hui Lin’s music was released all across the planet, she was still new to the game. With Lu Yao’s convincing at play, however, Dolores made up her mind and nodded without further questions.
Hui Lin, however, was rather awkward as she murmured, “Actually… I… only know the lyrics to this song. I’m not too familiar with the others. Please forgive me.”
Dolores instead gave her an encouraging smile, before she quickly set the tempo with the rest of the band.
The crowd quickly fell back into silence, all with a certain anticipation of Lin Hui’s live performance.
Hui Lin retrieved the microphone from Dolores like a baton and turned towards the anticipating crowd. She cracked a broad smile before turning towards Lin Ruoxi and Yang Chen with a longing gaze.
As the music started playing, Hui Lin sealed her bright pupils, as she immersed herself in the rhythm...
“Du du du du… Du du du du...”
“Understand the things I say… Don’t turn away from me… Cause I spent half my life out there...”
The lyrics of the song brought about a set of emotions as every word hinted towards the waves of perception. It never once failed to pull the heartstrings of the mesmerized audiences.
Naturally high octaved, Dolores took multiple transformations in her pitch before she could express the emotions of the song. But Hui Lin brought a whole other experience to the song!
Hui Lin decided to go against unnecessary glamor but her own crystal-clear pitch, and every note she hit was from the most genuine of emotions.
It was a magical moment for every single person immersed in the flow, for it was no longer a stagnant enunciation of lyrics, but a spiritual connection as one with the audience.
Every single person who was caught up in anticipation and curiosity had gradually been brought to a realm, away from the performers, away from who and where they were.
Scenes of families, past and present flashed through their minds as they reminisced about their lives.
As the music ultimately came to an end, and the lights went back up, not a single person clapped.
As the crowd stared blankly at Hui Lin, their minds were still off somewhere in their dreams. It took about ten seconds before the first person shouted his praise, which erupted into a wave of cheers and applause!
Although there were only a few hundred people present, It felt like the roar of thousands!
The reporters handpicked by Lin Ruoxi manically ramped on their clicks, in hopes to capture the clearest shot of the main event of the night!
Dolores was genuinely moved as she enthusiastically approached Hui Lin. “Ms Lin Hui, I know this might sound a little sudden, but I feel obliged to make this request. Can you please be our performing guest at our upcoming concert? It would be highly acceptable if you would like us to play at your concert as well.
“But what I wish for the most is for us to collaborate on a new song! Your voice has stood out as the best I have heard in a while! I personally never fail to give credit where it’s due, notably to the ones that utilize their voice to narrate life’s beauty through music!”
At that moment, many fans were simultaneously showering her with praises. Even the corporate leaders couldn’t help but compliment Hui Lin’s angelic voice.
Director Yu Shuo stared affectionately as if he had found the answer to his prayers.
At the corner of the stage stood Lu Yao, her face pale as a sheet. She did not expect the situation to derail so far off course and ruin her plans!
Nobody that night would remember her performance. Hui Lin had snatched the limelight from the palms of her hands and she single-handedly gifted her the stepping stone to international glory!
From that point onwards, Christen would no longer be the only international superstar to be affiliated with Hui Lin!
What’s worse, she could tell, however reluctantly, that Hui Lin was indeed far superior in the vocal department!
With no intention to stand idly by any longer, she shunned out the confused stares from the crowd as she rushed off stage and straight towards her dressing room via the backdoor!
Noticing that scene, Lin Ruoxi frowned as she leaned towards Zhao Hongyan by her side. “Hongyan, I need you to check on Ms Lu Yao. See if she’s feeling alright. I don’t think she’s in a pleasant mood at the moment.”
Zhao Hongyan nodded in agreement before she promptly departed the banquet hall.
Lu Yao might have lost her shine tonight, but she was nonetheless still an A-lister in her own right. Lin Ruoxi had to ensure that she left with a decent experience.
Back in the banquet hall, Hui Lin was caught between decision-making as she had no clue as to how she should reply to Dolores’ generous offer. It was only until her manager rushed onto the stage was she finally ‘rescued’ from the awkward situation she was in.
After bidding a good appreciating farewell with the most passionate of fans and guests alike, Hui Lin finally made her long-awaited stride towards Lin Ruoxi and Yang Chen.
Reunited with Lin Ruoxi after a long separation, Hui Lin instantly came up and embraced her. Her tears were rolling in those bubbly eyes of hers. “Sis, I’ve missed you so much.”
Lin Ruoxi carressed her on her silky smooth cheeks. They were as close as blood sisters despite not actually being so. “I’m always calling, aren’t I? Why does it feel like you’ve never seen me for years.”
“But it’s clearly different talking through the phone,” Hui Lin coyly rebuked.
Yang Chen faked a cough or two before he responded, “Hui Lin, I’m sure you know that I might be the solicitor of your great music career, so how about you give your patron his hug too?”
Hui Lin instantly changed her tone as she confronted him. “Brother Yang never even bothered to call despite your promise.”
Yang Chen scruffled himself on the chin as he murmured under his breath, “Erm… did I promise her that? I had too much to handle these past few months. Oh yeah, who’s that new manager of yours? Didn’t I exclusively arrange an international team in your service? Were you not satisfied?”
Hui Lin quickly shook her head in denial. “No, it’s not like that. I just thought everyone was being held back by myself, so I sent them back to Europe last month. I can handle it on my own now. My current team is more than adequate to assist me. They are plenty helpful and caring.”
Yang Chen did not care as long as it suited Hui Lin’s preferences, but something else instead perked his interest. “Have you just arrived? Why would you come here?”
Hui Lin awkwardly replied, “I was worried that the reporters would catch up to me at the airport. I also wanted to stay home for a few more days, so I came back early. Besides, I heard of the news of the Cranberries’ concert here in Zhonghai, so I stopped by to catch the heat… Nothing wrong with this right?”
“Of course not, I couldn’t wish for anything more but for you to be here. My god, I was terrified,” answered Lin Ruoxi, relieved.
Hui Lin nodded with an enchanting smile, glad that she made it back in the nick of time.
Just when everyone was in a jolly mood discussing Hui Lin’s divine performance, Zhao Hongyan, who was originally sent to check on Lu Yao, came frantically running from a distance!
“President Lin! President Lin! Bad news!”
Visibly shaken by witnessing certain terror, Zhao Hongyan was seen frantically running on her heels. She looked like a crazed woman but did not seem to care about her appearance.