99. Two Tao Qis
In an empty sick ward just a wall away from YiHan, JingYuan stood facing the window as he flipped through the document in his hands.
Chen Hong, JingYuan’s secretary, stood a few steps behind the man by the window. “This woman, Tao Qi,” he said, clear voice echoing. “There’s nothing special about her. She’s currently in her second year at university. Her father, Tao JianFei, is a truck driver. His income depends on taking on long routes. Her mother, Tang Jing, is a housewife. She has never held a job. Tao Qi is their eldest daughter. She also has a younger brother. When he was younger and unbeknownst to his family, he skipped school for a little business venture. He earned some money through it so he thought he was a genius businessman. He was no ordinary man. Unfortunately, he’s ambitious but careless and unskilled. The bit of money he earned through luck was quickly used up and under his family’s advice, “brought himself down” to find a job. However, he was rejected at every turn. He refused to admit it’s because he was incapable. He insists it’s because society is too corrupted. It’s why no one was accepting a talented man like him. All day long, he’d sigh about how unfair life was. He wouldn’t study or work. All he does is stay at home, leeching off his parents, waiting for the lucky chance in his life to bring him up to his peak. He’s the kind that can never be made into anything just like slippery mud.
“Tao Qi’s parents are the kind who think only sons are important while girls are useless. They dote on their son and ignore Tao Qi the whole time. It was rather hard for her to even get into university. She had incredibly good grades. Her high school arranged a guaranteed spot for her in university but her parents didn’t want her to go as a way to lessen the financial burden on themselves. They only let her go after she cried and cried and told them she’d work hard to earn all the money needed for university.
“Two months ago, Tao JianFei caused a crash from exhaustion. Someone nearly died then. Thus, the family’s finances had been on a downhill. They can’t afford the expensive surgery fees. In order to pay for the father’s medical fees, Tao Qi decided to be the son of Li ZiFa, Li Sun’s lover. Tao JianFei has now been discharged from the hospital but he can’t drive a truck ever again and he can’t do hard labour. With the family’s breadwinner down, she had to continue staying by Li Sun’s side so the family won’t go bankrupt. But recently, she’s been sending less and less money home. Her brother even came to ask about it a few times but she’d always wave him off. Her classmates and friends all say she’d changed dramatically recently. She’d gotten a lot tougher with her family. Before, she would never lay a single finger on her younger brother. The general consensus is she’d changed due to the immense pressure of having so many things happen to her family at once. They’re all very sympathetic to her. Mn. Everyone seems to like her. She’s got good social skills. While she’d gotten much more temperamental and impulsive lately no one has yet to express dissatisfaction with her.”
He paused, then continued, “Li Sun had once bragged that when Tao Qi was a virgin when they first got together. She’s very pure and naive out of the bed but in it, she’s an exceptional beast.”
“You don’t need to say that,” JingYuan said with a frown.
Chen Hong smiled. He said nothing but, in his heart, he was pumping his fist and holding up a victory sign. Boss, that flash of satisfaction in your eyes betrayed you. Don’t think I don’t know just how much you’re bothered by the question of whether or not the Little Master had sex with her before. The role of President Mu’s secretary was one everyone yearned for, but I could stay as calm as the eye of the storm. It’s not only because I’m extremely talented but because I’m very good at observing micro-expressions.
The hand holding onto the document shifted to behind JingYuan’s back. His gaze staring out through the window into the distance. “Changed dramatically?” he whispered. “Interesting. Chen Hong, have the men keep a close eye on her. If she does anything out of the ordinary, notify me at once.”
Chen Hong, top-class secretary, smiled and replied, “Yes, Mr Mu.”
After a round of one-sided orgasmic fun, Li Sun sprawled out on the bed and snored away. Tao Qi sat up stared down at her aching body to see blood-stained bite marks all over her fair, plump breasts. She felt like puking on the inside. She just couldn’t bear sleeping without washing so she slowly walked over to the bathroom.
Warm water flowed down and over the body tainted with marks of sex. It didn’t make her feel any better though. She scrubbed hard at the places Li Sun had touched, hate strong in her eyes.
Why? Why did she had to transmigrate in at this time? Why didn’t she transmigrate to the time just as the main plot was about to start?
She herself was named Tao Qi before. She was also a university student but unlike the Tao Qi here, she was at the end of her fourth year and was working hard for her future career. She was born into an ordinary salaryman family. Her parents loved her and gave her the best they could. Only she wasn’t happy. Because no matter how much they made sure she’d want for nothing, they can’t give her the luxurious life she wanted. Every time she saw her rich classmates wearing a skirt that cost as much as her yearly allowance, watches she might never be able to afford her whole life, she would despise how unfair life was. She was no worse than any of them. Why were their lives as different as heaven and earth? Was it all just because she was born into an ordinary household?
She can’t accept that. She wanted to fight with fate about it but reality is cruel. She’s not exceptional at all. In the crowd, she’d be as average as the most average grain of sand in the desert. Reeling in sugar daddies was a skill too. She would throw away her dignity to serve a fat rich guy, but they’d always look down on her. They’d just use her and throw her away.
Beaten down by life, she drowned herself in novels. It wasn’t just for leisure. It was so she could imagine herself as the protagonist. She’d fantasise about being unconditionally doted on by presidents, tyrannical masters, emperors, talented men, geniuses and so on. Only images of her being loved by cool and rich men would make her happy.
She dreamed of being able to transmigrate into the worlds of those novels, overthrow the female lead and have the male lead to herself. From then on, she’d have all the love she’d want and live out a life where gold was as common as dirt. She’d frequently look down at contempt as the female leads’ stupidity. She always thought that if it were her, the process wouldn’t be so long and painful. She’d quickly have the male lead be hers.
The last book she’d read was this world’s novel, “Sweet, Pregnant Body Double Wife Runs Away”.
The male lead of the novel, Mu JingYuan, had been secretly in love with his childhood friend Bai YiHan since he was a kid. However, Bai YiHan was a troublemaker. He’d just eat and play. He was skilled at nothing. There was one time where he nearly took drugs. Slowly, JingYuan grew disappointed at him. When he realised YiHan even toyed with his emotions as if it were all a game, he left the nation in dejection. His company gradually shifted their focus overseas. He thought that YiHan would be a carefree rich kid his whole life under the Bai family’s protection. The two could then live their own lives and forget about each other. Who knew that two years later, he’d receive a call from the Bai family parents and be told YiHan was dead.
In less than a year from JingYuan’s departure, the Bai family went bankrupt. YiHan was killed. His last wish was to be able to see him once more. He rushed back only to be met with the tortured corpse of his most beloved. He went all in with the investigation. He soon found the mastermind behind it all and began his rabid revenge spree.
These were all the set-up for the main plot. The prologue. Scenes merely written and done in a few sentences. With the lead’s help, the Bai family soon rose again but JingYuan fell into a spiral of numbness after the revenge was over. He turned into a mindless and tormented man. Just then, the female lead appeared and the main plot would formally start.
The female lead was one of those “white lotus flowers”, a saint through and through. Her parents were very misogynistic. They spoiled their useless son rotten while thoroughly ignoring their excellent daughter. She was only able to get into university because she worked hard and earned the money for it herself. The moment she started university, she fell in love with Bai YiHan, the third son of the Bai family. Back then, he wasn’t as much of a troublemaker as he was later. He was merely a little arrogant. During university, he hid his own identity so she didn’t even know he was the third son of the great Bai family. After some hesitation, she decided to be brave and confess her love to him. She even became his girlfriend. At first, it was just an innocent schoolyard romance. The furthest they’d gone was holding hands. However, that man was just a playboy. In less than three months, he broke up with her. She was sad but didn’t say anything. Most first loves end up in tragedy after all.
Life was fickle and unpredictable. In her second year, her father got involved in a car accident. To save her father, she had to sell herself and be the lover of the rich kid who kept lusting after her, Li Sun. From then she started over two years of humiliation.
After graduating from university, she was able to join the Mu Group due her exceptional results. Li Sun slowly grew tired of her and she was finally able to free herself from the beast. With her own talents, she slowly carved out a place for herself in the office and became one of their many full-time employees. However, her family was always bothering her, always demanding money from her. Most of her income went to her family and that rubbish younger brother of hers. Yet she was very happy as every cent she earned was gotten through her own hard work, not through selling her own body. She was satisfied.
Over two years would pass and that would be when Mu JingYuan finished his revenge. President Mu, aching and numb from his loss, would see her by coincidence. Naturally, he’d be reminded of her past relationship with YiHan. Speaking of which, Bai YiHan might be a playboy and reckless kid but in his short life, the only proper relationship he’d ever had was with Tao Qi. JingYuan had always envied her for it. She was the only one in this world who knew YiHan well outside of his family and JingYuan. The sight of her would make him recall that sweet smile of YiHan. Because of that, he’d unwittingly be drawn to her and pay attention to her. After some time, rumours began to spread in the office. For some unknown reason, he never stepped up and clarified anything so everyone began to believe in those rumours. While the two looked like they’d never interacted, Mr Mu thought differently about Tao Qi.
Mu JingYuan was a handsome man with an unordinary net worth. There were many women in the office who lusted over him. Of course, that made them very jealous of the female lead who could make Mu JingYuan look at her “differently”. She began to be the social outcast and target for bullying. They were all hoping to push her out of the company. Contrary to their expectations, the bull-headed woman took it as a chance to show off just how great she was. With the help of the friends she’d attracted through her own innate qualities, she was still able to solidify her place in the office.
The first climax of the story would be the annual company party. The old but well-loved trope would appear. A nameless “slutty vixen” hoping to get in with the top would drug Mu JingYuan with a strong aphrodisiac in an attempt to get in bed with him. The man would then be mesmerised by the female lead. A series of miscommunication and mistakes would ensue, leading to the “slutty vixen” ending up with nothing for all her efforts while the female lead was forced to receive the fruits of her labour. By accident, the two main characters would go a round under the sheets. JingYuan’s reputation as a cold, emotionless and harsh man was not just mere hearsay. Even though investigation showed the person who drugged him wasn’t Tao Qi, all he left her with was still a cheque and the dejecting sight of his back.
Slippery mud: A little nod to the actual phrase used here, “the rotten (slippery) mud will never stick to the wall”.