Although John had no idea how Isabella looked like, he didn"t have high hopes regarding her appearance because based on how ordinary her parents looked like, she would not be beautiful. As for her intelligence, he saw with his very own eyes that day how easy it was for Nina to make a fool of her. For that reason, she couldn"t be a clever person either.
Was James being blind or stupid? How could he say he would never forget her?
If there was anyone who could be called unforgettable, then it would be none other than Nina.
In his eyes, she was the most beautiful woman in the whole wide world.
And the most important thing about her was that she had enough evil cruelty in her in dealing with people who rubbed her the wrong way.
In this savage world, a person had the choice to be cruel either to himself or to others. Otherwise, he would be beaten down and wouldn"t be able to stand tall on his own two feet.
John wondered what could have kept Nina busy in the recent days.
"Uncle John, don"t get me wrong!" James didn"t want to be labeled as someone who could be easily deceived.
Nina had sarcastically looked down upon him at noon today, and now, his most respected uncle was looking down on himself. What a miserable life!
James" voice brought John back to reality. John turned around with interest and lit up the cigarette he was holding with his slender fingers.
"Oh? Really? Tell me," he urged.
James made himself comfortable, sat down on the sofa in the leisure area and crossed his legs. He narrated the whole story in astonishment, without forgetting even a minute detail. Of course, he concealed some details that were not favorable to him.
"Uncle John, don"t get me wrong. I didn"t have a thing for Isabella. Rather, I abhor her because she is so scheming and what"s worse, she even tried to use me! Uncle John, you know that Isabella was trying to use me, right? How dare a nobody like her take advantage of me!" The more James thought about how near he had almost fallen for Isabella"s trap, the angrier he became. He stood up in protest and made angry gestures in the air.
"Loser," John provoked him. How stupid could he be to have allowed himself to be used by a mere woman?
John uttered just one word, yet his cold voice rendered James speechless and uncomfortable. Although he had been used to John scolding him in the past, he was still unwilling to submit to his criticism. But this time, John had every right to reprimand him because he was within reason. James slumped back on the sofa in defeat.
Was he not a certified loser for him to be so easily taken advantage of by a woman? Besides, this woman was also a stupid one. That being said, did that not make him all the more stupid?
James tried to calm himself down and held his temper in check. He recounted what happened to John. "I saw Isabella and a schoolmate in a stalemate today. Isabella slapped herself and tried to frame the schoolmate. I saw her while she was in panic and she said she had been hit. As you know, my advocacy has always been to protect the weak, so I bravely stepped forward and condemned the schoolmate indiscriminately without investigating what really happened. In the end, the schoolmate gave Isabella a second slap. The two slap marks were obviously different. I realized then, to my chagrin, what had really transpired."
"Damn Isabella! How dare she use me!" John cursed silently in his head.
With a keen sense of awareness and insight, John asked, "And who is the other girl in the confrontation?"
"It"s Nina, the same person who dared to beat you." James was still so immersed in his thoughts that he blurted it out without thinking.
But as soon as the words left his mouth, he realized that what he just said was inappropriate and it was like adding salt to John"s wound. Sure enough, John"s eyes were shooting daggers at James with fury. Stunned, James obediently sat up straight in submission, like a child who did something wrong and was awaiting his punishment.
"Uncle John, I"m so sorry. I was wrong again." He repeatedly apologized and wanted to slap himself senseless. For once, why couldn"t he control his mouth?
Had he been infected by Isabella"s stupidity and became just as stupid as she was?
Fortunately for James, John wasn"t paying much attention to what James just blurted out. Instead, he prodded slowly, "Was Isabella trying to frame Nina?"
He frowned, deep in concentration, and pursed his thin lips. His rage was slightly feigned with a hint of cruelty in the corner of his mouth.
Then, he called Henry in and ordered with urgency, "Investigate what happened between Nina and Isabella."
"I"ll go with you," James volunteered and seized the opportunity to run out. He didn"t know why he even came here to tell John what happened.
As soon as he was out of John"s sight, James returned to his normal carefree way. He put one hand on Henry"s shoulder and gave him a friendly advice. "Henry, you c
an start your investigation regarding Nina and Isabella"s relationship with the posts on the campus forum. Both the posts have provoked much discussion in the past few days. There has to be something fishy going on,"
"Mr. Shi, it"s not a good idea to gossip." Henry felt that John"s advice was useless. As expected, wherever James went, he would always be carefree and wildly unrestrained. It was only when faced with John that he would behave as meek as a lamb.
"It"s different from gossiping. It is more of satisfying our curiosity, so go on and check it out." James liked logging on the campus forum to help him kill time while in school. Had it not been for the juicy gossips that he got to read there, he would have been bored to death by now.
Meanwhile, Henry buried himself in his computer. For him, all things related to the Internet were just a piece of cake. As efficient as ever, he stealthily hacked into the school system, restored the posts on the school forum, and checked the IP information of the anonymous posters. In less than ten minutes, the whole matter had been sorted out and brought to light.
He printed out the vital information and handed it over to John.
"Mr. Shi, these are the posts about Nina Lu and Isabella Zhang. Both of them posted against each other on the school forum. And this is the payment record of Isabella"s purchase of the Pheromone Perfume. Based on what I was able to gather on the Internet, I assume that Nina might have been sprayed with the perfume by Isabella and then she accidentally met you. The next day, Isabella captured photos of Nina wearing disheveled clothes as she walked out of your room. To tarnish her reputation, Isabella posted it on the school forum. Nina must have found out, so she lured Isabella out in retaliation and had some hooligans beat her up. To humiliate her, she also posted it on the school forum.
However, you took a video of Nina looking on as Isabella was being beaten, and you gave it to the Zhang family. As a result, Nina became a target of the Zhang family and she got into trouble.
As to what happened afterwards, you are already aware of it, Mr. Shi." And boy, how clearly he knew what happened next!
John quickly browsed through all the information before him, until his eyes fell on the post where Nina had been falsely insulted and accused.
"Having heard the full story, now I suddenly understand why Isabella tried to frame Nina today. She even had the guts to use me! Good thing she didn"t succeed in the end. But there is something I can"t keep my finger on. How did Nina find out that it was Isabella who set her up on the school forum? Did Albert help her investigate? And how did Isabella find out that Nina was the one who had her beaten up? I think Nina is too smart to have made such a careless mistake. What could have gone wrong?"
Henry was silent and didn"t know how to reply.
"Your uncle John is the one who leaked the information to the Zhang family, " he thought.
He stole a brief glance at John and found that his face was as dark as ink. Indeed, James had a way of always doing things to make his uncle angry.
The pieces of paper and malicious remarks against Nina stung John"s eyes painfully. He couldn"t believe that she had been badly slandered like this.
"If Isabella has nothing better to do in her spare time, she should spend it licking the public toilet until it becomes sparkling clean, " he thought to himself.
In an outburst of anger, he tore up the documents.
He threw them into the trash can lividly, and tapped his fingers on the table. Then he looked up and inquired, "Did Isabella try to use you?"
"Yes, she did," James earnestly replied as he patted his chest and promised that he was telling the truth. Isabella did take advantage of him. Had it not been for Nina"s cleverness and wit, he would have been easily fooled by her.
"Did you hear that?" John looked at Henry with malicious intent.
Henry understood what John meant right away, even without any specific instructions. "Yes, I will immediately retrieve the contract and inform them to cancel the collaboration with Zhang Group."
"Okay, go on," John nodded with satisfaction and waved his hand dismissively, indicating that they should go out of his office.
Both James and Henry sighed with relief, thankful that they were able to go out of the lion"s den unscathed.
As soon as they stepped out of the office, James was filled with gratitude and bragged boastfully, "Uncle John really treats me the best. Because of me, he is even willing to cancel the collaboration with Zhang Group."
It was so undeniably touching and heartwarming!
Henry shook his head and rebutted, "Think about it. Have you ever wondered why Mr. Shi didn"t order me to cancel the collaboration when you said Isabella used you?"
"Yes, why?" James was also confused and he was left puzzled.
Henry smirked mischievously and thought to himself, "He did this not for you, but for Nina."
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