949 Perplexed and Smitten 9
At this very moment, a pair of friends also entered the salon for a facial session. They seemed to have a strong camaraderie and were in the midst of an enthusiastic conversation. The topic of their conversation went from their respective boyfriends to each of their favorite male celebrities.
Woman A said, "My boyfriend feels like an eyesore to me now. He's worlds apart from my favorite Jing Yang."
Fang Erlan said in her head, "That's because you haven't seen his true colors yet."
Woman B then said, "I prefer mature men like Yan Ge. He's so dashing and masculine."
Woman A then criticized, "I read on the news that Jing Yang was rumored to be in a relationship with Fang Erlan. That Fang Erlan was such a hypocrite, she even clarified on her Weibo page that she has nothing to do with Jing Yang at all. She made it seem as if Jing Yang was desperate to be affiliated with her. She's just a newbie who popped up out of nowhere, yet she still has the cheek to use my Jing Yang for a publicity stunt. She even got to star alongside Yan Ge. Could it be that she has a wealthy person to back her up and pull connections?"
"Isn't she the artiste whom An Xiaoning had pushed to fame? Well, I've been following all the updates about their television series because I've been paying attention to Yan Ge. An Xiaoning invested in that television series. It's not surprising that she would make Fang Erlan the female lead, is it?"
"Are An Xiaoning's brains fried? There are so many famous actresses who possess great acting skills, why must she insist on supporting a newbie instead?"
"Who knows?" Woman B sighed and continued, "It must be hard on my Yan Ge to have to film some kissing scenes with her. That woman really got lucky. Their filming location happens to be nearby, right? Shall we go observe the filming together?"
"I want to go shopping instead. I don't want to watch them film. Jing Yang is not there anyway…"
Fang Erlan pursed her lips in disgruntlement. I was the one who had to make a sacrifice, alright?
When the serum mask on her face dried up, she sat up straight and removed the dried pieces from her face. She then looked at the two women beside her and sneered while smiling, "Gorgeous ladies, enjoy your facial session."
The two women, who were initially in a great mood, immediately looked at each other in shock and dismay as their eyes widened in astonishment. They were at a complete loss for words.
Was there anything more awkward than being caught red-handed while badmouthing someone?
He Yi arrived at Wei Ni Estate as agreed upon earlier.
It was ten o'clock in the morning.
Jin Qingyan had already left for the office. Thus, An Xiaoning was the one who welcomed him into the house.
Recalling the events at the gathering the night before, she smiled and asked, "Did Ms. Wen give you a call after you left last night?"
He Yi smiled and said, "I understand her very well. She won't call me. It doesn't matter anyway. I've never bothered wasting time on people I'm not interested in. Ms. An, when did you go to V Nation?"
"A while back. I even saw humans who were starkly different from us," said An Xiaoning, crossing one leg over the other and placing both hands on her knee.
"You mean the blood-sucking tribes, right?"
"Pardon me for my bluntness, but those people do not seem any different from us on the surface, and I wouldn't have been able to tell the difference if I hadn't seen them feeding on blood with my very own eyes. It was a tough feat for you to have made it back alive despite having witnessed them in the grotesque act. I almost died in their hands, and I've had several close shaves with death. It still terrifies me whenever I think about it now."
"Could you tell me how you managed to escape? I did find out more in detail from an insider after having an encounter with them," she asked with a grin.
"The first time I visited V Nation was several years ago. I decided to go there, simply because I felt like I was brave and well equipped enough, especially since I am trained in combat defense. I thought that nothing too dangerous would happen if I travel there alone since I'm a man. That was the first time I had an encounter with them too. As soon as I realized how different they were, I decided to abort my plan to go against them and fled instead. Thankfully, my car was parked at a short distance away and I managed to escape successfully. Later on, I found out by accident that they fed on blood. Hence, I investigated that in secret for a long time. Even until today, I still find them to be intimidating and relentless beings. It would also take a great ton of effort to kill them."
"Well… do you know who their chieftain is?" An Xiaoning asked.
Shaking his head, He Yi answered, "I don't. He seems to be a very mysterious person. This has become a burning question in my mind, though I have no plans to resolve it. Think about it, those people are already formidable. Just how menacing and brilliant would their chieftain have to be in order to lead them? I still have that bit of self-awareness that I would follow, unless I'm tired of living."
"Will you still continue investigating this?"
"That depends on the situation. I only understood a cold, hard truth after roaming around the world," he explained truthfully.
"The citizens in our nation aren't happy enough, and this happiness shouldn't be derived from external factors. In fact, it's just the way they truly feel."
"Why do you say so?" An Xiaoning asked.
"When the citizens and public follow the lead of a single political leader, a conflict is only going to arise within society when they're upset about a civil servant, a teacher, or a doctor. Who stands to gain when the citizens lose faith in those three professions that I've mentioned? It'll be those who are looking to wreak havoc in our nation and jeopardize our peace. Some citizens see the good in other nations because they haven't lived there for a long time before. They haven't seen or experienced the twisted sides of other nations. In this era where war no longer exists, we get to eat and live well with a roof over our heads. We are granted peace and security, devoid of the fear of war ruining everything that we have. Women no longer face such a strong gender discrimination and prejudice, such that they are denied basic human rights. Aren't those facts worth rejoicing and feeling contented about?"
An Xiaoning agreed, "Life has become much better for everyone, but at the same time, humans also began yearning for more and raising their expectations gradually. But what keeps you going despite having witnessed and experienced the dark side of what every nation has to offer?"
His eyes lit up and he answered, "It's purely because of my passion for discovery and my adventurous nature. I have a penchant for taking risks. I can only continue being motivated and enthusiastic about globetrotting because that's where my passion lies."
"You probably start traveling after resting at home for a short while, don't you?"
"Where are you headed to next?"
"Haven't thought about it yet."
After chatting with him for a while, An Xiaoning realized that she did not manage to fish out any useful information from him. She was not sure if he really did not know much or if he was simply unwilling to divulge.
She gravitated toward the latter, however. After all, it was only their second time meeting each other and it was natural for him not to trust her just yet.
She invited him to stay for lunch, but he politely declined, claiming that he had agreed to go home for lunch with his parents.
Hence, she decided not to force him against his wishes.
When Jin Qingyan returned home in the afternoon, he asked her about the details of the conversation she had with He Yi. Maintaining her yoga pose, she kept her eyes fixed upward and answered, "We just had a casual chat and I didn't manage to find out anything from him. Perhaps he's just hiding something from me. Who knows?"
"Seems like you've really observed him thoroughly." Jin Qingyan handed her a stack of paper and said, "Here are some details about him that I had gotten from investigating on him."