Gu Yu Fang wasn’t willing to reveal inside information about the Flower Society.
The more she acted this way, the more Xiao Xia felt there was definitely a problem with the group. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be so secretive.
“Well, then I can only say I’m sorry, I won’t be able to help. You should go find another lawyer.”
“No, I’m not willing to let too many people know about this matter.” Gu Yu Fang stopped her from leaving. “Tell me how much your fees are. Big sis won’t even blink an eye. No matter what, you must help big sis out this time. I won’t forget your kindness, little sis.”
Seeing Sis Gu’s pleading yet arrogant attitude, Xiao Xia silently took three breaths to restrain her fury. What was up with these rich people? It’s fine if they don’t benefit the people, but they still insisted on raping society with their money.
“Sis Gu, I don’t think it’s a question of money.” Xiao Xia looked bluntly at the other party. “It’s because you aren’t cooperating, so there’s really nothing I can do. Of course, with your money you can find some famous lawyer who can win you the case without the facts. Although our law firm is very famous, I don’t do that stuff.”
“I only want you as my lawyer.”
“Then I suggest you go to the Vast Sky law firm. If we accept your case and it’s assigned to me, I won’t be able to refuse. However, I definitely won’t be able to win.” Did she think she was asking about the Flower Society because she was curious? It was only for the sake of helping her.
“Xiao Xia, don’t be angry.” Sis Gu saw that Xiao Xia was displeased and hurriedly salvaged the situation. She really didn’t want this matter spreading. It would affect her reputation. That’s why she was putting up with Xiao Xia. “We sisters are kindred spirits. You’re the only one I trust. Are you really heartless enough to not help me?”
“It’s not that I don’t want to. How am I supposed to help if you’re not willing to reveal anything?” Xiao Xia was pulled into a seat by Sis Gu. “Let’s put it this way. Your private organization might very well be labelled as an illegal cult. Do you know how serious that is? Because someone died, according to the law, those responsible could be imprisoned for three to seven years. If the matter is severe enough, it’s also possible for the sentence to be longer than seven years.”
“It’s that serious? But she herself wanted to die.”
“Because she might have been tricked by superstition, those responsible must be brought to justice. Wasn’t it a sacrifice to a god? Furthermore, there were over ten people watching but no one stopped it or helped. You’re all suspected of indirect intent.”
“Seven years.” Sis Gu clearly didn’t think it would be so serious. “I’d be forty-five when I come out.”
Xiao Xia saw she was shaken and hurriedly followed up.
“If the duped woman was also swindled of her wealth and belongings, the sentence would be even more severe. Did something like this happen?”
“Swindled of her wealth and belongings.” Sis Gu’s face flushed in a rare display of embarrassment. “That…what if the member willingly handed things over?”
Good lord there was really such things going on. Xiao Xia cried out silently in her mind. Why were cults all the same?
“Since superstition was involved, it doesn’t matter whether it was willingly done or not. It still counts.” She hesitated. “This means there are men in the Flower Society.” Why were there no men present on that day?
Sis Gu immediately fell silent.
She was right, there were men. Xiao Xia immediately concluded.
“If you tell me the truth, I’ll help you. Otherwise, there’s nothing to discuss. You should know that as a lawyer, I won’t reveal your private matters.”
“I was sworn to secrecy upon entering the society.” Sis Gu hesitated. “It’ll be very problematic for me. You know oaths cannot be taken lightly. They have some weird abilities….they won’t let me off. Do you believe in such things?”
“The world is so large and full of strange and unbelievable things.” Xiao Xia thought of her own experiences and could tell Sis Gu was both enamored and afraid of this Flower Society. She decided not to force her. “However, I’m also sure the police will get the answers at some point, even if it doesn’t come from you. Furthermore, the police is keeping things under wraps for now, but will definitely release the details in the end. After all, uncovering a cult is something the public is happy to see. Therefore, you won’t be able to keep things hidden.”
“Then what should I do?”
Looking at Sis Gu’s panicked and helpless expression, Xiao Xia secretly sighed a couple of times. Such a shrewd and successful woman had lost her basic reasoning abilities.
“Find a good lawyer and do your best to appear like a victim of this case. This is my only advice.” She stood up. “Apologies, I really have to go now.”
Sis Gu didn’t move, not showing the slightest indication of planning to see her out. Right as Xiao Xia was about to leave herself, she suddenly spoke: “Whether or not everything gets revealed, I still want you to be my lawyer. You might not be the best, but you’re the only one I trust.”
“Then go to the Vast Sky law firm tomorrow and go through the proceedings.”
“I don’t want to force you into it.” Sis Gu explained. “I can only say that I first encountered the Flower Gathering at the Woman Flower Entertainment City. You’ll understand if you go take a look.”
Woman Flower. What a strange name. But how did she, Yue Xiao Xia, get involved with such a cunning person. She wasn’t willing to betray her oath, afraid of retaliation, but was willing to give her some clues. She also insisted on her being her lawyer. She was clearly having her go investigate the truth and act as a shield for her to escape responsibility. How was there such a convenient thing?
She turned around and wanted to say a few sarcastic words. However, seeing Gu Yu Fang’s pleading and helpless gaze, her haggard face looking as though she had aged a decade, Xiao Xia’s heart softened. Her nature of not being good at refusing others resurfaced.
“You’ll have to make a trip to the firm no matter what. Lawyers cannot accept cases in private.” She resigned herself. She was used to handling strange cases anyway. Furthermore, it was also pretty good to rid society of evil. The less there were of such cults, the better.
The address of the Woman Flower Entertainment City that Gu Yu Fang gave Xiao Xia made her a little puzzled. If she remembered correctly, this should be the address of a very popular nightclub. She had gone there before with friends. It had still been there before Ruan Zhan’s disappearance.
After arriving however, she realized the place was the same but the people had changed. In two short months, it had become a completely different world. The style and the restlessness of the crowd hadn’t changed, but the people inside felt completely different.
She didn’t think she would be able to find something out right away. She was going to take a look first and scout things out. She realized that the place had hired a lot of new servers, both male and female. Their appearances were all rather outstanding. The men especially were all pretty boys so the female customers had visibly increased a lot. This made her inevitably wonder if this place was doing an additional sort of business.
Since she had come by herself, a young hunk immediately came over to serve her. She thought that if such things were really going on here, a young beautiful female customer like her was probably more welcomed. However, she was now hating herself for not bringing Wan Li. She wouldn’t have to be so nervous at this moment.
“The management has changed?” She randomly ordered a drink and asked the server.
“That’s right. I heard it was within the last two months. However, I’ve only worked here for a little over a month so I don’t know what happened in the past.” The pretty boy assumed she was going to be a customer and sat down straightforwardly to chat with her.
“What sort of person is he? I’m talking about your manager.”
“I hear he’s from Hong Kong, but I’ve never met him. I don’t think he’s come here yet.”
“Then who’s in charge of this place?”
“Bro Wen and Bro Wu.” The pretty boy gestured with his lip to the side. Xiao Xia looked over and saw two similar looking people in the corner of the reception talking animatedly with several others. They didn’t look like good people, but they also didn’t give Xiao Xia the feeling they would be involved with a cult.
“How should I address you, miss? Are you looking for the manager?”
“I’m….surnamed Wan.” Xiao Xia gave herself Wan Li’s surname. “I’m not looking for the manager. I’m just curious. Things were different when I came two months ago.”
“That’s right, the world changes fast huh. Alright, big sis Wan, don’t fuss about other things. You should be living in the moment. Let me order you a drink.”
Xiao Xia stammered, not knowing how to get away from this overly cordial little server. In the midst of her awkwardness, she happened to see a well-dressed middle-aged woman staggering drunkenly. She was being supported by an extraordinarily handsome young man. He wasn’t just a little outstanding. He was so pretty he could anger beauties to death. He also carried himself with a unique air. His leaving made several female customers look disappointed.
“He’s our star server here.” Looking at Xiao Xia’s gaze, the pretty boy hurriedly said: “But I’m also one of the best servers.” As he spoke, he approached Xiao Xia and started using his knees to rub against her leg, teasing her. Xiao Xia was shocked into standing up suddenly.
“Bathroom.” She said awkwardly. “I want to use the bathroom first.”
The pretty boy finally realized this person wasn’t what he was expecting and pointed to the right disappointedly.
Xiao Xia left as though fleeing.
In the small bathroom stall, she was still feeling vexed at not bringing Wan Li when she heard the conversation between two women in front of the mirror.
One said: “Hey, this place was doing really well before. Why did they stop? Wasn’t it very profitable?”
The other said mysteriously: “Haven’t you heard? Rumor has it this place is haunted. The old manager wasn’t able to bear it anymore, so he closed up shop.”
“Stop speaking nonsense. Why would the current manager take over in that case? And it’s still so successful.”
“It’s true. I hear that it’s been especially bad recently.”
“Then why are you still here?”
“Isn’t it fine now? Furthermore, I heard the new manager had someone skilled give some advice and dispersed the foulness here. That’s why nothing has happened and everything is going well.”
“What do you mean?”
“Isn’t this place on the fifth crossroad? Everyone feels this place is bustling with people and business is booming. On the other hand, this place is supposedly the eye of the road. It blocked the path of wandering spirits so there are always accidental intruders. The store is also blocked by a tall building from behind. Many ghosts get lost and start creating disturbances.”
“I was wondering why they added two large stone lions. Turns out it’s to ward off spirits.”
“That’s not all. It’s said they changed the geomancy of this place. The stone trigram on the left side of the road is supposed to be a road marker.”
“Oh, so everything is fine now?”
“Probably. Forget it, are you done touching up your makeup? I’m getting goosebumps all over from talking about it. Let’s get out of here. Maybe there are still some foul things lingering.”
“I’m done, let’s go.”
The door banged shut.
In an instant, Xiao Xia realized she was by herself. A feeling of being surrounded suddenly arose.
She hurriedly ran out of the stall and realized it was empty outside. She couldn’t help but laugh at herself for being paranoid. However, when she turned the tap to wash her hands, she realized the water was cut off. The pipes merely made empty gurgling sounds, but she had clearly heard the two women from before washing their hands. This made her feel nervous once again. She no longer cared about hygiene and decided to leave immediately.
When she pulled the bathroom door, it unexpectedly didn’t open. She pulled once again and it still didn’t open, as though it were locked by someone outside. Even when she used all her strength, nothing happened.
“Is anyone there?” She pounded heavily on the door and yelled loudly.
“There isn’t.” A voice replied slowly.
Xiao Xia felt chills all over.