The Jade Auction

  Qiqi opens the door and Zheng Si feels his heart momentarily stop. “Qiqi..you look..you look incredibly beautiful.”

   She smiles and spins around, “Any girl would look beautiful wearing this dress and necklace.”

   Qiqi holds out an exquisite carved wooden box. “Thank you so much.”

   Zheng Si’s dark eyes light up as he touches the box, “What is this?”

  “Well, just a small thank you. Honestly, I have never worn such a delicate dress. The embroidery is breathtaking and the necklace is incredibly beautiful.”

   He reaches out and hugs Qiqi, “How did I get such a sweet little sister like you!”

  “Haha..it was our fate to meet. I have always wanted an elder brother to spoil me hahaha.”

  Zheng Si opens the box and he almost drops it onto the floor. He stares with his eyes full of shock at the twisted pristine white root with thorns that resemble icicles. “Tibetan Snow Lotus Root! This is not a small gift!”

   “The root was given to me. I thought you could use it to break through to the next level of your cultivation.”

   “How did you know…”

   “When I felt your pulse the last time I saw you.”

   “You can read a person’s pulse?”

  “My Uncle taught me some TCM. He owns a small clinic outside of Bashu City.” Small but he is a genius doctor so he only treats the people he wants and he only takes ten patients a month. Uncle’s temper is so bad that I am one of his only assistants. He has been forcing me to learn Chinese medicine since I was eight.He likes calling me ‘Little Disciple’.

  “Is he the person who gave this rare Tibetan Snow Lotus Root to you?”

  “No. I can’t say who gave it to me. He is a very private man.”

  Zheng Si has a complex expression on his face. “I can’t accept this. You could sell it for millions.”

  “Brother Si. This is just the extra root. He gave me two.” Qiqi’s lips curl up in a mischievous smile then she uses his own words against him. “If you don’t want then I will toss it away.”

   He hugs her again tighter and kisses the top of her head. He sounds choked up as he rests his head on her shoulder and whispers in her ear, “Little Qiqi, thank you.” Zheng Si’s eyes have a layer of mist, no one besides his Grandmother has ever given him a gift. Every holiday his brother Chu was showered with presents while he was ignored. Once he entered the business world people would give him things but always wanted something in return.

  When he let’s go Qiqi can tell he is overwhelmed by emotion, he seldom shows his feelings. She knows his family has never treated him well. She holds his hand and looks up at him, “Brother Si, you are my dearest brother, of course I want to share good things with you. I hope you can move through the bottleneck and become stronger. You have worked so hard to come back after your accident, I truly admire you.”

   He calms himself and then helps her put on a white cashmere coat, as he buttons he looks down at Qiqi with a doting expression. “Qiqi, I also want to thank you for taking care of grandmother. She said you were very thoughtful when she was going to the hospital.”

   “I happened to see your grandmother when I returned from lunch with my cousin. I only helped her to the car, not much. How is she?”

   “She is staying overnight for tests. She told me she has been having some pain in her legs.”

   “I noticed she seemed weaker than the last time I saw her. It isn’t anything serious is it?”

  “We will have answers after the testing is completed. Qiqi can I ask where you got the pills you gave to my grandmother?” He was surprised when Fan Wenjie called him but now holding the box with the Tibetan White Lotus Root he understands she has some outstanding connections. The Shen family is one of the five famous families in Bashu City.

  “I’m sorry Brother Si, haha.. once again I can’t say… but I will guarantee the pills effectiveness. I got them from a reputable source. My Grandpa’s condition improved almost immediately, then after a week he was symptom free.” She traded priceless Calligraphy for the pills when her grandfather got ill. She had Fang Chao find the  Ghost Doctor on the Dark Web and asked what he wanted. When he said he wanted a particular piece of ancient Calligraphy she and Fang Chao searched  a month before they found a collector in Hong Kong who had it in his collection. The man was obstinate and after a week of frustrating negotiations she traded a rare golden Buddha her Uncle Yun had given her for her sixteenth birthday to him.

  Zheng Si opens the door and they walk to the elevator. Fan Wenjie called him and told him about the strange looking pills Qiqi gave to his grandmother. He knew she wouldn’t do anything to harm his grandmother but he was cautious. He thought she might have been duped by a quack doctor. When they were analyzed, the composition was found to be extremely complex, containing several rare medicinal herbs and the root of five hundred year old ginseng. After he was informed the health benefits could be extraordinary he told Fan Wenjie to give his grandmother a pill.  He received a call from the doctor when he arrived at the apartment building saying his grandmother’s circulatory system was vastly improved.

  “I want to reward him.”

  “No need. The man was paid extremely well. Really he is not easy to find anyway.” Qiqi laughs picturing the old Chinese man, he had to be eighty years old but was dressed like a Hip Hop star. He was wearing a Limited Edition pair of AJ’s and a Yankees baseball cap. “He is like one of those ancient Masters who roam the rivers and lakes.”

  “…”

  Once they get to the Harborview Hotel where the auction is being held, Qiqi reminds Zheng Si. “Brother Si, I brought my own money for the jade bracelet. Please don’t bid for me if I don’t have enough money. It will either be my fate to own it or not.” Luckily Mom unexpectedly gave me five million on my card. Maybe it is my fate to own the jade bracelet.

  Zheng Si shakes his head, “I could always loan you the money. I know you really want the white mutton jade bracelet. You could pay me back whenever.”

  “Brother Si, you are so good to me! But, the bracelet must come to me naturally for its luck to show..” I’m not going to tell him the legend about the Red Lotus bracelet he will laugh at me. Damn that Capitalist for taking my money! I would definitely be able to to get it with the additional five!

  “You are too superstitious Qiqi, we make our own luck.”

  “Haha… I think there are metaphysical forces at work sometimes.”

  He flicks her forehead as they walk into the hotel, “Silly girl! You really believe in spirits and the supernatural.”

    She touches her forehead,“Ahh..that hurt..hahaha…yes I do. Too many things can’t be explained.”

   They enter the Ballroom where the cocktail party before the auction is being held. Zheng Si takes off her white cashmere coat then hands it to a woman attendant along with his black Armani coat.

   Qiqi gazes admiringly at the silver gray Tang suit he is wearing. Her sparkling brown eyes bend into a crescent shape, “Brother Si! You look so handsome! You should wear light colors more often!”

   Two women walk past and gasp looking at Qiqi’s radiant smile gazing at Zheng Si. The one woman nudges her friend with her elbow, “Zheng Si brought a young woman? Who is she?”

   “I haven’t seen her before but she is wearing a K.I. Cheongsam and her necklace is worth millions.”

   Qiqi catches the attention of several men. Qiqi’s facial features are beautiful and delicate and her big clear eyes look pure and innocent. She looks like a fairy who came to the Immortal world wearing the form-fitting pink Cheongsam. The color accentuates her flawless snow white skin and her long black hair is curled over her slender shoulder. When Zheng Si notices the wolf-like stares aimed at Qiqi he wishes he had chosen a less alluring dress for her to wear tonight.

  Zheng Si grips her hand possessively, showing she is with him to deter any unwanted advances. He only thinks of Qiqi as his little sister but he doesn’t want her sullied by any of the unscrupulous men attending tonight. “Are you hungry?”

  “Umm..I only had noodles at lunch.”

  They walk over towards the buffet table and Zheng Si is stopped by a balding middle aged man. “Young Master Zheng, when did you return?”

  Zheng Si looks at the man with sharp cold eyes and has a terrifying smile, “You are blocking my way, kindly step aside.” He recognizes him as an ally of his brother Chu, the man owns a mid sized Real Estate company

  The man feels his legs go weak from Zheng Si’s powerful aura and he glances over at a handsome man who looks three points similar to Zheng Si. “I only wanted to say how beautiful your companion is tonight. May I know your name Miss.”

  “You are not qualified to know.” He tightens his grip on Qiqi’s hand as they walk away. Qiqi knows the room is full of snakes who want to sink their fangs into Zheng Si. She affectionately smiles at him exposing her cute dimples, “Look, they have your favorite, Seafood Pasta” She takes a plate and puts all his favorite dishes on it.  He has a pampering tone, “Little Qiqi do you think I am a pig.” She giggles,, “I thought we could share.”

   Zheng Si laughs heartily as she puts her hand on her stomach and says, “If I get my own plate I will eat too much…burst out of this dress and embarrass you!”

  Their laughter catches the eye of a handsome man by the bar. Qiqi’s slender back is facing him but he can clearly see Zheng Si looking at the woman with a gentle and tender expression. The man gulps down his glass of Scotch while watching them.He turns to the disinterested man next to him. “Who is the girl that is making that piece of wood laugh.” He sneers, “She must be special, Young Master Zheng actually looks human.”

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