Lin Zhinian asked, “Do I know you?”

Ten minutes ago, they didn’t know each other, but now they did.

Without blinking, Qi Xing lied, “I’m a fan of your paintings, sir Lin.
I’ve attended several of your exhibitions before.
I didn’t expect to meet you here tonight.
What a coincidence! My name is Qi Xing, and I’m delighted to have this opportunity to meet you, sir Lin.”


Lin Zhinian almost immediately guessed his identity.
With the surname Qi and not appearing to be accompanying anyone, he could only be from the prestigious Ronghua Capital Qi family, which was currently very influential in Huai City.

When it came to the Qi family, almost everyone in the upper class of Huai City was aware of them.

The founder of Ronghua Capital, Qi Ronghua, was a local peasant with only a high school education who came to Huai City to make a living just over a decade ago.
In that short period, he first made a fortune in the catering industry, then ventured into hotels and real estate, entered the entertainment industry to make quick money, followed by financial investments, and even dabbled in the high-tech internet industry.
It was clear that he pursued wherever there was money to be made, and his luck was astonishing.
He made a fortune in every field, making people envious of him.

Those days, even the arrogant “old aristocrats” in Huai City looked down on Qi Ronghua and mocked him as a new rich, but they still had to greet him with a smiling face when they met him.

Lin Zhinian was somewhat surprised.
He had never met Qi Ronghua, but he had heard many sarcastic remarks about him and his family, and he didn’t have a good impression of them.
The young master Qi in front of him, although appearing silly, had a demeanor that was not inferior to his companions who had grown up receiving elite education.

Moreover, Qi Xing’s appearance was exceptionally attractive.

Qi Xing’s wine glass was brought in front of him, and Lin Zhinian calmly clinked glasses with him.

Qi Xing continued to talk about Lin Zhinian’s paintings, which he had just searched for on his phone.
He spoke confidently and without any awkwardness.

Lin Zhinian could sense it, but he responded with a smile without exposing him.

Five minutes later, a gentle male voice interrupted them, saying, “Zhinian, come over here.”

They both turned their heads simultaneously.
It was Ye Xingzhou, who had just finished talking with someone a few meters away and called Lin Zhinian over.

When Ye Xingzhou’s gaze swept over Qi Xing, it seemed to pause on his face for a second.
Qi Xing also casually scrutinized him, and in the instant their gazes met, he instinctively felt the coldness in Yeh Xingzhou’s eyes.
It wasn’t obvious, but it was impossible to ignore.

That feeling made Qi Xing very uncomfortable.
This person was clearly not someone easy to get along with.

Only Yang Kaiming, that fool, would think he was good natured and was easy to get along with.

Ye Xingzhou withdrew his gaze, and Lin Zhinian said “Excuse me” to Qi Xing and returned to his side.

Qi Xing took a sip of wine and his gaze remained fixed on Lin Zhinian.
Seeing the somewhat intimate vibe between him and Ye Xingzhou, he seemed to suspect something.

Yang Kaiming followed and listened to the entire conversation, teasing Qi Xing, “I think that great painter didn’t realize that you actually don’t understand his paintings at all.”

Qi Xing remained calm and said, “So what? He still smiled at me.”

Yang Kaiming laughed, “That’s true.”

Ye Xingzhou led Lin Zhinian to the dessert table, and Lin Zhinian whispered to him, “The person who just introduced himself as Qi should be Qi Ronghua’s son.”

Ye Xingzhou wasn’t interested and replied, “If you find it annoying, you don’t have to pay attention to him.”

Lin Zhinian observed his expression.
When Ye Xingzhou said this, his face remained calm, and it sounded like comforting words, but he didn’t care at all.

Soon, more people came to toast Ye Xingzhou.
He picked up a plate and casually picked up a pastry to hand it to Lin Zhinian before engaging in conversation.

The several people who came to toast were slightly surprised by the scene and discreetly observed Lin Zhinian.

The Lin family’s status was no longer what it used to be.
If Lin Zhinian had come there alone that day, without the reputation of a famous young oil painter, few people would have paid attention to him.
Ye Xingzhou openly showed his care for him in front of others.
If Lin Zhinian were a woman, the insinuation would be almost self-evident.
People would only marvel at the Lin family’s good fortune and the opportunity to rise again through a daughter’s marriage.
However, he happened to be a man.

He is a man… but perhaps that’s not a problem?

Regardless of what they thought in their hearts, everyone present was discerning, and their smiles remained unchanged as they flattered Lin Zhinian.
They even included Lin Zhinian when exchanging pleasantries and toasting.

Ye Xingzhou’s face maintained its usual warm and gentle expression, empty of the domineering presence of someone in a higher position.
It gave people the impression that he was still young, and his rise to power might just be an illusion.

As Lin Zhinian listened to the insincere compliments about his paintings from the people around him and caught sight of Yeh Xingzhou’s unchanged smile, he drank the wine, suppressing the complex emotions surging within him.

On the other side, Qi Xing’s gaze leisurely followed Lin Zhinian, and he asked Yang Kaiming, “What kind of relationship do those two have?”

Yang Kaiming also saw the scene just now and coughed lightly, “I don’t know.
I’ve never heard any rumors about Ye Xingzhou like that.
Qi Xing, not everyone is like you.
But who knows, whether they are or not, I advise you not to set your sights on him.”

“I won’t,” Qi Xing smiled as he looked at Lin Zhinian’s softer profile under the bright lights.
“I just took a liking to him.”

Yang Kaiming said, “But what if they really do have that kind of relationship?”

Qi Xing lightly tapped his finger on the glass, his voice rising, “So what?”


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