The plane had been in the air for quite some time, and the heat on Wu Qingluan’s face had only just subsided.
She settled herself into the spacious seat, opened the front-facing camera on her phone, and surreptitiously examined herself.
Her lips were a deep shade of red, appearing slightly swollen. Her eyes seemed misty, giving her the look of someone who had just been taken advantage of.
Wu Qingluan lifted her chin, and sure enough, there were two very noticeable love marks on her fair, slender neck.
That darn Yu Xuanwei, he had done it deliberately!
Wu Qingluan tried to cover them up, tugging at her collar, but the love bites were right in the center of her neck, impossible to hide no matter what.
She raised her middle finger and took a picture, sending it to Yu Xuanwei.
This old Taoist really had ulterior motives, daring to kiss her shamelessly in broad daylight in front of her three children!
Wu Qingluan scolded herself for being weak, completely indulging in the passionate and lingering kiss until Yu Xuanwei gently pushed her away. She then realized she was already in the airport waiting lounge.
She had no recollection of how she had gotten there, and there was no way she could turn back to give Yu Xuanwei a piece of her mind.
After sending the photo, Wu Qingluan covered her eyes with her hand, feeling like she had been enchanted. Why hadn’t she resisted? She let him kiss her until her legs turned weak and her heart melted. Wu Qingluan, oh Wu Qingluan, were you really that starved for a man?
Her phone vibrated, and Wu Qingluan reluctantly checked it. Yu Xuanwei had replied, “Don’t drink too much. See you tonight.”
Wu Qingluan stared at her phone, utterly bewildered. What did he mean by “see you tonight”? Did he think he could follow her to Qiongzhou? Ha, she had no intention of meeting him!
Wu Qingluan wanted to scold him but felt that losing her temper would be beneath her dignity. After some thought, she decisively blocked Yu Xuanwei on WeChat and her phone, intending to settle the score later.
Upon landing, Wu Qingluan first went to a store to buy a choker that was a couple of inches wide and wore it around her neck to at least cover the ambiguous marks. Then, she headed to the hotel.
Wu Qingluan met Brother Guo and Xiao Ma at the hotel’s entrance, and the three of them chatted affectionately for a while before entering.
She looked at the luxurious hotel lobby and took a deep breath. ” Brother Guo, is there something significant happening? Do I hold such an important position in the conglomerate that they are sending me off in such an extravagant place?”
Brother Guo nudged her with his elbow. “You are really something, Wu Qingluan. Even in a place like this, you’re still pretending? They arranged this grand farewell for you, the daughter-in-law of the chairman with a net worth of hundreds of billions.”
“Huh?” Wu Qingluan was utterly confused. “What are you talking about?”
Brother Guo raised his eyebrows and was about to gossip when he suddenly noticed a few people who had just walked in. He quickly went over to greet them. “Oh my, Young Master Yu, Mr. Zhong, you both honored us with your presence!”
Yu… Wu Qingluan was now sensitive to that surname. She also turned her gaze towards the newcomers.
It’s no wonder Guo Ge was so eager to please. The newcomers included the young heir of the Giant Star Group, Yu Weiping, a 20-something billion-dollar movie star known as the “White Moonlight Noble,” and the prince of the movie industry, Zhong Qi, who could make people scream and faint with just his looks.
Wu Qingluan was shocked. She wondered what incredible merit she had done to have these two prominent figures attend her farewell banquet.
To be honest, while they were all artists under the Giant Star banner, Wu Qingluan, a relatively unknown and aging female star, had little personal interaction with these two celebrities. They had only cooperated once in the second part of the “High Mountains and Flowing Waters” film series, where she played a minor supporting role, primarily used to advance their epic romance.
Yu Weiping was always reserved and maintained a certain distance in his interactions with others. Wu Qingluan couldn’t fathom why he was here.
She greeted them, saying, “Young Master Yu, Mr. Zhong.”
Brother Guo was excited, his face flushed with delight, and he attempted to shake hands with Yu Weiping, but was promptly blocked by Zhong Qi, who didn’t mince his words.
Brother Guo didn’t seem the least bit embarrassed. “Both of you gracing us with your presence, and since we’re among family here, let’s have a great time together. If you need anything, just call me, Little Guo.”
Wu Qingluan couldn’t help but admire Brother Guo’s audacity. He really could say anything. He treated everyone as if they were all one big family.
Yu Weiping looked at Wu Qingluan, his expression unusually subtle. “Congratulations.”
Wu Qingluan responded with a polite and respectful tone. “Thank you, Mr. Yu. Please rest a while with Mr. Zhong. I’ll join you for a drink later in the evening.”
“Farewell,” Yu Weiping nodded reservedly and walked towards the hotel.
After Yu Weiping had gone quite a distance, he couldn’t help but turn around to look at Wu Qingluan.
Zhong Qi’s face turned as dark as the bottom of a pot. “Is she pretty?”
Yu Weiping sighed and said, “Stop making a fuss; it’s not for me.”
Zhong Qi retorted, “Then what’s it for? I’m your husband, there’s nothing you can’t tell me!”
“Really, I can’t tell you.”
The two of them continued their quiet argument as they walked away.
Wu Qingluan was left in contemplation, feeling strangely puzzled. However, she didn’t have much time to dwell on it further. More and more guests were arriving, and as the star of the evening, Wu Qingluan had her hands full.
After the makeup team and the dress fittings, arranged by Xiao Ma, had arrived, Wu Qingluan was ushered into the dressing room.
Once everything was in place, Wu Qingluan stood up gracefully in front of Xiao Ma, who looked at her with starry eyes. “Sis, you look absolutely stunning. I can hardly breathe!”
“Thank you, dear.” Wu Qingluan lightly patted Xiao Ma’s cheek, lifted her gown, sucked in her stomach, and walked with grace and elegance towards the banquet hall.
The banquet hall was filled with guests, including several high-ranking members of the Giant Star Group, making the farewell event’s scale unprecedented.
Despite her inner doubts, Wu Qingluan couldn’t afford to show any signs of weakness. She gracefully descended a spiral staircase and stood on the dazzling stage.
Hosted by Mr. Yang, after delivering a long string of gratitude, Wu Qingluan officially opened the banquet.
She changed into an elegant off-the-shoulder gown and, accompanied by Mr. Yang and Brother Guo, they proceeded to toast the guests one by one.
Wu Qingluan paid attention, but the crowd was overwhelming, and she quickly became a bit tipsy. Fortunately, she had good alcohol tolerance. After making the rounds, she found an excuse to slip away to a secluded balcony to get some fresh air and sober up.
The European-style balcony was adorned with fresh, fragrant flowers, and a gentle breeze carried the mist from a nearby fountain, which lightly sprinkled over Wu Qingluan.
It felt quite refreshing, and Wu Qingluan couldn’t help but sneeze.
A strong arm reached out, tightly embracing her and pulling her into a sturdy chest.
“Sis, you’re absolutely radiant tonight,” a fresh, masculine voice murmured in Wu Qingluan’s ear.
“Xiao Yan?” Wu Qingluan tried to break free but found herself held even tighter.
“Sis, you promised me that you’d spend tonight with me.” Yan Xiaoyu lightly kissed her cheek. “You look stunning today. I wish I could devour you right now.”
“Xiao Yan, please let me go.” Wu Qingluan continued to evade him, preventing him from kissing her further.
“I won’t let go. Tonight, you’re mine!” Yan Xiaoyu, despite his slim build, was quite sturdy. He playfully whispered in her ear, “Sis, I really like you. No one has ever been as kind to me as you…”
Yan Xiaoyu shared the same agent as Wu Qingluan, and when he first entered the entertainment industry, she had taken good care of him. He had been wanting to “repay her kindness” for a while now.
If it weren’t for that kiss from Yu Xuanwei before he left, Wu Qingluan might have considered trying something with Yan Xiaoyu. At her age, encountering someone who likes her, enjoying it a bit wouldn’t be unreasonable. Otherwise, constantly drooling over a Taoist priest was quite unbecoming!
“I’m sorry, Xiaoyu. I’m not in the mood…”
But Yan Xiaoyu wasn’t willing to let her go. He had been fantasizing about this beauty for so long, and now that she was in his arms, he was determined to win her over!
Yan Xiaoyu had made a name for himself in the industry and never engaged in romantic relationships. However, he couldn’t forget Wu Qingluan. She was probably the only person who had been kind to him without ulterior motives.
“I’m sorry to interrupt,” a clear and elegant voice sounded. At the same time, Yan Xiaoyu was forcefully pulled away.
“What’s going on?” Yan Xiaoyu was irritated, but when he saw who the newcomer was, he was rendered speechless. “…Yu, Mr. Yu?”
Yu Weiping stood between Yan Xiaoyu and Wu Qingluan. “I need to talk to Sister Qing.”
Yan Xiaoyu wasn’t giving up yet and called out, “Sister…”
Wu Qingluan cut him off impatiently. “Leave, there’s no chance tonight!”
Yan Xiaoyu sniffled and left, unwillingly.
Wu Qingluan felt extremely embarrassed and thanked Yu Weiping.
“It’s what I should do,” Yu Weiping replied warmly, handing her the shawl draped over his arm. “It’s windy here. Put this on.”
Wu Qingluan accepted the shawl. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” Yu Weiping said, but then there was silence between them. They stood face to face, caught in an awkward moment.
Unable to bear the silence, Wu Qingluan finally spoke up. “Mr. Yu, may I ask why you came here and why you’re taking care of me like this?”
Yu Weiping fell silent for a moment. “My older brother’s orders, I dare not disobey.”
“Your brother’s orders?” Wu Qingluan raised an eyebrow, puzzled.
Suddenly, there was a commotion in the living room, followed by an abrupt hush falling over the lively hall.
Yu Weiping sighed in relief. “Let’s go check it out.”
Brother Guo rushed over excitedly. “Qingluan, come quick! Look who’s here!”