“Hey, stop zoning out. Tell me, why were you late to the competition?” Ye Lanyu poked Ye Lang’s forehead gently, bringing him back to earth.

“If it wasn’t for this fatty, we wouldn’t have been this late. Women really are fussy, they take way too long to get ready,” mumbled Ye Lang, casting a sharp glance to the girl standing beside them.

“Fatty?”

Ye Lanyu followed his gaze and observed the girl carefully. Fatty? How? Where?

The girl that stood in front of them was far from what one would call a “fatty”. She was dressed in a tight black top, paired with a matching short skirt, perfectly showcasing her lean figure to the world. The only flesh Lanyu could see was at her ample hips and bosom that gave her a perfect hourglass shape. How could Ye Lang call this girl a “fatty” when she had the perfect figure that any woman would kill for?

Her body shape was simply perfect! Her waist was tiny, long legs lean and firm. She looked like a cover girl straight out of a magazine!

It wasn’t only her figure. Her flawless alabaster skin and rosy cheeks were adorned with delicate features, her silky dark hair even glistened under the lights! Anyone in the world would fall for this raving beauty!

Her hairstyle was also very chic, something Ye Lanyu hadn’t seen before but had piqued Lanyu’s interest in donning a similar style. Her hair was gathered into an intricate up-do decorated with some white feathers, while the hair left out to frame her face was straight with a natural curl towards the end.

Her appearance had given her the air of an elegant but playful, cute young princess.

“Hmph, if you had prepared my outfit for me earlier, we wouldn’t have been late for this!” scoffed the girl in protest to Ye Lang’s accusations.

“Oh, come on now. I’ve done my preparation long before this. I just didn’t expect your chest to shrink this much…” replied Ye Lang

The girl flushed a pretty pink, evidently flustered by Ye Lang’s words.

“Hey! I’ve already told you many times that the outfit was way too big for me, it’s not just my chest!”

“Isn’t that just the same?” drawled Ye Lang.

“No!”

“It is for me!”

“No, don’t jumble up facts! This is very different!”

The heated argument between Ye Lang and the girl had gone on for a while. Despite that, everyone was still confused listening to them go at it as no one knew the context. One thing was for sure though, they were debating about chest sizes…

“Hey, stop it you two! Brother, who is this cute princess you’ve brought over? She looks amazing, though not as amazing as me, but she is on par with the seventh princess!” interrupted Ye Lanyu with a compliment to the girl.

“Hey, hey, hey! I think you meant not as amazing as me, but on par with you!” corrected the seventh princess, taking offence to Ye Lanyu’s words.

“Her, a princess?! You both must be blind! What part of her looks like royalty and how on earth is THIS cute?!” gestured Ye Lang to the girl. The two girls hadn’t grasped the idea behind his design. Ye Lang specifically designed her to be the hottest seductress in the kingdom, not the cute princess they were referring to. She was meant to steal hearts, not heal hearts!

A plan was a plan, but when it came to execution, Ye Lang was admittedly lacking. On the bright side, the outcome was pretty decent.

“Alright, we should start performing our act. It’s all on you now, fatty,” said Ye Lang. That brought everyone back to the main event today.

“You’re still competing? Zhen Xiaoyan is still nowhere to be seen though,” said Ye Lanyu. She wasn’t the only one finding the absence of Xiaoyan weird.

“What do you mean? She was here the whole time,” said Ye Lang as he pointed to the girl beside him. The girl gave a sheepish smile in confirmation.

No one in the audience bought it, it’s impossible! Even Liu Feiyan who was with them three days prior was sceptical at the scene unfolding right before her.

“Enough with the lies, you little bastard!” Ye Lanyu furiously gave Ye Lang’s crown a few knocks.

“Ye Lang, this is too much. Stop abusing your status as a member of the Ye Family! How dare you use a substitute in place of Zhen Xiaoyan!”

“Forgive me, Your Majesty, but you’ve mentioned that you’ll preserve the competition’s integrity. Are you really going to let him off like that?

A ruckus ensued in the venue. Everyone was angered at the thought that Ye Lang had used a substitute in place of Zhen Xiaoyan to compete. No one could believe that the beautiful girl in front of them was that fat, ugly Zhen Xiaoyan!

Impossible!

People were angry, protesting against Ye Lang’s lowly acts. Despite that, deep down, everyone wanted to see the performance of this so-called, “Xiaoyan”.

“Ye Lang, although I placed a bet for Zhen Xiaoyan in support of you, you really shouldn’t do such a thing to force your way through to win. Look, you angered everyone,” smiled the emperor bitterly.

“Son, you should win fair and square!” shouted Ye Chengtian, his words displaying his disbelief in regards to the identity of the girl beside Ye Lang.

“I’m not playing any tricks here! The Xiaoyan now doesn’t need that to win!” replied Ye Lang, not yet realizing the wrath of the audience. His cluelessness made both the seventh princess and Ye Lanyu heave a big sigh.

What a dumb boy. 

One of the judges had enough. He stood up from his seat and roared.

“If she really is Zhen Xiaoyan, you wouldn’t need to play tricks at all! But the problem now is that she really isn’t who you said she was, you hired her for this! You’re mocking the intelligence of the emperor and us!”

“If you proceed with this, we’re withdrawing from this competition!”

“Your Majesty, you shouldn’t protect him any longer!”

Roars and yells filled the entire venue. The angriest of the bunch were the relatives of the other contestants, which made up the judging panel. Everyone was screaming slogans, even bringing the emperor into the chaos.

Xiaoyan had yet to introduce herself to the crowd. Perhaps this was why everyone was so suspicious about her identity.

Zhen Xiaoyan gave the audience a gentle bow before she spoke in her sweet melodious voice,

“Hello everyone, I’m Zhen Xiaoyan!”

...

Such elegance was suffocating. At that moment, everyone forgot to breathe, allowing the venue to calm down.

A second later, another round of chaos erupted throughout the venue.

“What the fuck?! I’d rather die than believe that she’s Zhen Xiaoyan!”

“It would’ve been nice if you could find a closer substitute. There’s too big of a difference! We’re not stupid.”

“Ye Lang, you’re so shameless, but… I support you!”

“I support you too!”

“???”

As the heated shouts were thrown at Ye Lang, some supportive screams could be heard amidst the angry protesting. It was odd as the supportive screams were rather out of place amongst the angry yells. Soon though, more had begun to join in the supportive screams.

The whole atmosphere was eerily peculiar...