My Dreamy Old Husband Chapter 541
Everybody felt rather speechless. Even so, Michael placed his hands on the strings and began strumming. Despite being an extremely girly song, it did not affect his performance. Using that low and sexy voice of his, he turned the song into one with a different feel to it. “You’re a pretty young thing. It’s a damn cool thing…”
Thus, everybody listened intently as he sang such a girly song yet he still managed to make it sound great. However, they couldn’t remain calm. The two of them leaned in closer and closer, and their gazes became hotter and hotter. Watching them, everyone began to worry that, at any time, those two might start an intense make-out session in front of them.
Stanley had eaten a lot of honeydew by then. Burping loudly, he said, “Come on; let’s have a game of mahjong.”
Stanley, Sean, Linus, and Sarah made just the right number of players for a game of mahjong. Thus, they set up the mahjong table. It was snowing heavily outside. However, it felt like a small spark could start a huge fire inside—it was as warm as spring. Besides, the charcoal fire burned brightly in the fireplace, and everybody felt high-spirited.
When the mahjong table was set up, Stanley rubbed his hands together in anticipation. He hoped that he could get rid of the bad luck hanging around him and win some money while he was at it. Seeing that Sarah still wasn’t coming, he urged, “Little Kitten, are you coming? If not, I’m going to ask Nicholas to take your place!”
“Go ahead!” Sarah was using a black fountain pen to draw a rough outline in a notebook. On the black-and-white-lined notebook, a female warrior wearing a glamorous costume was dancing while a girl was earnestly admiring the dance. Although the draft was yet to be completed, the emotions in the picture were clearly expressed…
The snow finally stopped falling in the afternoon, and the entire mansion looked like a snow sculpture. Meanwhile, the snacks on the table were replaced several times, the charcoal in the fireplace was changed several times, and the sound of mahjong echoed in everyone’s ears.
When Michael got tired of singing, he placed his guitar to the side and pulled Sophia into his arms. Afterward, the two of them sank into the soft sofa as they watched the snow. There were fireplaces in front of them and behind them. Therefore, they were warm and cozy. Moreover, Sophia had taken off her shoes and curled up on the big sofa to watch the snow with a large blanket thrown over her and two orange cats snoring in her arms.
In the plum orchard across a small lake, Nathan was playing with the two dogs together in the snow and having a great time.
“Are you happy?” Michael asked in a whisper, kissing Sophia lightly on the forehead.
Sophia nodded. Leaning into his arms, she gazed out in the distance. I’m happy; I’m very happy. I don’t think I’ve ever been as happy as this. It’s even better than the time when I got to eat cured meat as a child.
The cats in her arms snored away and she became drowsy too. By the time she woke up again, everybody was grilling skewers around the charcoal fire they used for warmth. Thus, the smell of cumin wafted throughout the entire mansion. After finishing off the skewers for dinner, they changed locations and moved indoors. Then, they continued playing mahjong until very late into the night before they retired to their bedrooms.
Meanwhile, Sarah finished her rough outline in the living room. She had not brought her tools with her on this trip. Therefore, she planned to wait until she got home before scanning the picture and coloring it. She intended to make it into an album or a table calendar and give it to Sophia as a present. That night, she was sleeping in the guest room the butler had arranged for her. After washing up, she turned on the night light and felt her way into the bed. To her surprise, she touched a man’s bare chest when she got into bed…
The next morning, everybody was still sleeping in after staying up late the night before. Hence, only a few people were present in the dining room during breakfast. Linus was one of them—he was the type that had to have breakfast in the morning. Nathan was also drowsily sitting there after being forced out of bed to eat breakfast. Lastly, Michael was like a nanny, holding the chubby Persian cat as he fed it with cat food.
Breakfast was very lavish. Sophia ate some noodles followed by a salad. After that, she ate some fruits while she planned out the schedule for the day.
First, let’s invite everybody to go and watch a movie with me. That way, I can contribute some tickets again… It had been nine days since ‘Doctor Invincible’ was first released. The total international box office earnings had exceeded 6 billion. Therefore, it easily slid into the top 100 rankings in the global box office records. Just yesterday, the domestic box office earnings recorded more than 300 million. With Asian actors combined with a Western storyline and team, the movie was killing it both in the East and the West—its box office earnings were soaring into the sky.
First, she used her phone to check the movie ratings and reviews. Then, she checked the movie schedules for the day. After confirming that ‘Doctor Invincible’ was placed first, she finally felt at ease. However, she noticed that there was a premiere for a self-proclaimed gigantic production today. Moreover, the scheduling in cinemas for that movie was catching up to ‘Doctor Invincible’.
The movie was called ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’. It was adapted from a popular online novel. For that reason, it had a large existing fanbase that was raring to go. They claimed that they intended to surpass ‘Doctor Invincible’, an adaptation of an overseas story, and make the local online novel adaptation shine.
Curiously clicking into the introduction page for ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’, she saw the names of the main actors—Bethany Nicole, Nicholas Yates, Xyla Huff, and Faye Edwards. Isn’t this the f*cking movie Richard invested in?
She was reading on her phone when she suddenly heard the sound of footsteps coming her way. Lifting her head, she saw the arrogant, blond-haired Harry walking in. He was dressed in pajamas and there was a bite mark on his face. He said nothing as he walked into the dining room, picked up an empty bowl, and filled it up with noodles. “Huh? Uncle Harry? Weren’t you on a vacation by the beach? When did you return?”
He filled the large bowl with noodles, then carefully topped it with the available condiments and poured some soup over it before answering her. “I arrived last night.”
Watching him take so much of her favorite handmade noodles, she couldn’t help rebuking him, “Uncle Harry, you won’t be able to finish that alone. Don’t take so much of it.”
Even so, he picked up his noodles to leave, saying, “It’s fine. This is for both of us. We exercised a lot last night, so we’re hungry now. We’ll be able to finish it.”
Sophia watched as Harry returned to the guest room. Looking at the direction he went in, she thought, Isn’t that the guest room Sarah is using?
After breakfast, everybody came out one after the other and drove two cars to go to the movies together. Even though it was the 10th day since ‘Doctor Invincible’ was released, its popularity was not decreasing. Sophia had reserved tickets for the morning show. When she bought her tickets, she noticed that more than 75% of the seats for that screening had been sold out. So, she only managed to get seats at the back.
Arriving outside the cinema, she immediately discovered that the promotional posters for ‘Doctor Invincible’ that was still there the day before were gone. Instead, they were replaced by ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’. Entering the inner part of the cinema, she then discovered that the inside was plastered with promotional posters for ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’, and the promotional screens in the lobby of the cinema were promoting it too. In addition, one could take photos with cosplayers cosplaying as the male and female leads of the movie for free. The publicity for ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’ was very aggressive and intense—it was everywhere. Everywhere she looked, she could see the faces of Xyla Huff and Faye Edwards. Thus, she felt very uncomfortable.
Upon returning home after the movie, she began to pay attention to ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’. Glory Entertainment had invested a lot in the movie. The entire team came from Hollywood, and the two main actors were famous domestic A-List celebrities. Moreover, they spared no cost for the production and publicity of the movie. It was known to have a budget of 500 million. The estimated domestic box office earnings were 3 billion while the global box office earnings should easily hit 5 billion.
On the surface, the main actors were Bethany Nicole and Nicholas Yates—two mega-celebrities. However, the real purpose of the movie was to support Xyla Huff and Faye Edwards. After all, the largest investors in this film were the Edwards Family, the Huff Family, and the Harper Family. The two mega-celebrities were simply there to serve as a foil and gimmick to attract viewers. Besides, Richard was hoping that this movie would become a hit, which would successfully launch Xyla into stardom. If her acting career could help repay the money owed by the Huffs, then they would still have room to maneuver.
After ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’ was released, Sophia began taking notice of it. Following its premiere, the box office earnings were strangely high. On its first day of screening, it managed to hit 300 million in box office earnings and successfully pushed ‘Doctor Invincible’ to second place.
My Dreamy Old Husband Chapter 542
Sophia felt a wave of bitterness rising in her heart, especially when she saw the earth-shattering publicity and the triumphant momentum for ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’ after its box office premiere. All the reviews for the movie were favorable. In contrast, many viewers criticized and insulted ‘Doctor Invincible’, using words that were very vulgar and harsh on the eyes.
Similarly, the fans of the opposing party would pop up from time to time to insult, mock, and ridicule the movie. Not only that but they would extend their insults to the two middle-aged washed-up actors, who had no endorsements nor variety shows.
You motherfcker! Who the hell do you think you are, son of a btch?! Inside the Edwards Residence, the two fangirls exploded with anger. Setting up two computers in the living room, they began taking control of the fan support group to do activities amidst the sound of mahjong in the background.
They monitored the data, conducted online and offline activities, chartered venues and cinemas, controlled reviews, appeased fans, and so on. At the same time, they also had to watch ‘Doctor Invincible’ and deliver the cured meat. Therefore, they were extremely busy.
Meanwhile, the two middle-aged washed-up actors were sucking on lollipops as they played mahjong.
Stanley had a lollipop in his mouth too. While playing mahjong, he said, “Uncle Michael, don’t you think Aunt is being silly? How could the movie sponsored by the Harpers possibly compete with the popularity of your movie? Why does she need to spend so much money? She might as well use it to play mahjong with me.”
Michael glanced at Sophia, who was assigning tasks to the fan support group. Then, he said, “You won’t be able to understand a girl’s heart.”
Similarly, Harry sneaked a glance at Sarah and said teasingly, “Bro, be careful. Otherwise, they will give away all the cured meat in your house as their prizes.”
At the mention of cured meat, Michael felt a little distressed. He had secretly taken a look at their ‘Box Office Rescue Plan’. According to the plan, half of his cured meat would be given away—they were planning to use his handmade cured meat to reinvigorate the ticket sales! What a f*cking pain!
While Sophia was focused on monitoring the ticket sales, Richard couldn’t even fall asleep out of worry. The movie, ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’, was Xyla’s only remaining hope. If it became a success, she would become famous within the circles instantly.
Then, they would have hope of repaying the Huffs’ gigantic debt. If it failed, the Harpers would never spend another dime on her again. When that happens, the Huff Family would collapse completely with no hope of rescue anymore!
On the first day, the box office earnings of the movie recorded 300 million, and it seemed like it was extremely well-received. What with the shocking amount of online and offline publicity, the situation seemed to be very good. However, only Richard knew that those results were brought about through the money poured into it by their investors! Therefore, he knew best just how much the 300 million recorded in the box office earnings was actually worth.
In his anxious state, he finally waited until the final box office earnings for the second day were announced—50 million! It was 300 million on the first day and 50 million on the second day. The sharp decline in ticket sales was shockingly large.
The film reviews that had been bought over before had fallen apart as batches of movie fans voiced their discontent after watching the movie. They furiously demanded refunds, citing that the primary roles and the minor roles were imbalanced; the supporting roles had more appearances than the protagonists; and it had great special effects, but the storyline was terrible. Despite the amazing special effects, it could not make up for the downsides. Many scenes had been cut out and the acting of the protagonists and supporting roles were horribly exaggerated. At the same time, fans of the original work protested that the movie had destroyed the original work….
By the third day of its release, the box office earnings fell to 30 million. In contrast, the bad reviews were increasing by the day, and the word of mouth came crashing down. As the box office sales tumbled down, the 500 million investment into the movie could not be regained. On the other hand, the box office earnings of ‘Doctor Invincible’ remained scarily stable despite being ripped apart by the ghostwriter fans of ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’. It recorded ticket sales of 300 million on stable days and 250 million on unstable days. Still, the attendance rate remained extremely high even after 10 days.
Looking at the box office data, Richard felt like he was on the verge of a mental breakdown. Thus, he slumped limply into a chair, his head hurting terribly.
“Richard, trust me. We probably chose an unfavorable date of release. The past two days were working days, so the ticket sales won’t be as great. If we put in a little more money into publicity, the ticket sales will definitely pick up,” Xyla said reassuringly.
Even so, she knew in her heart that the movie was a flop. In order to persuade herself, or perhaps to persuade him, she continued, “Many movies start off with poor ticket sales. However, their ticket sales start to skyrocket once word-of-mouth picks up.”
As she talked, she started to choke up. She knew that she only had several chances left, and her chances were reducing bit by bit. If she failed to perform well this time around, the Harper Family might completely lose their patience with the Huffs. Moreover, her parents were still in the intensive care ward at the hospital, and their medical expenses came to approximately 20,000 to 30,000 per day.
Although the debtors had been appeased by the Harpers, for now, they would surely return sooner or later. Besides, the Huff Family would fall to utter ruin once they lost the support of the Harper Family. Therefore, she had to succeed and make her mark in the entertainment circles so that the Harper Family would continue to support her acting career. Conversely, if she was unsuccessful, the consequences would be dire.
He remained quiet. Countless plans flashed through his mind in an attempt to reinvigorate their box office earnings. If he failed this time, not only Xyla, but he, too, would suffer the consequences. However, each of his plans was mercilessly turned down by himself. How could it be so easy to rescue their box office earnings?
Meanwhile, she glared bitterly at ‘Doctor Invincible’, which stood arrogantly at the top of the box office rankings. If it wasn’t for that movie, ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’ would have been a hit! It’s all that movie’s fault! I had a cameo in that movie, but I can’t believe that particular scene was cut off before its release! Not only that but my role in ‘War Dragon’ was canceled too. So, now I only have ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’. Then, she resentfully muttered, “If only a scandal involving Taylor Murray could surface during this time…”
If a scandal were to appear, the sales tickets of that movie will fall, sooner or later. When that happens, ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’ will shine in its place! She naïvely believed that her movie would become popular as long as there were no competitors.
He was currently under great pressure. Glaring at the irritating words ‘Doctor Invincible’ written at the top of the box office rankings, a bold idea came to him suddenly. Once that idea took root, his mind immediately replayed those words Taylor had said to him back then: ‘How embarrassing would it be for you if word got out that your ex-girlfriend had gotten herself a husband who is leagues better than you?’ However, he had no other choice. He had to try everything in his arsenal.
Thus, he broke his silence and said, “I happen to know a scandal about Taylor. Moreover, it’s related to Sophia…”
Upon hearing those words, Xyla’s eyes brightened. “What scandal? Hurry up and tell me!”
Richard hesitated, considering it over and over again. In the end, he said, “Back then, Taylor spent 80,000 to buy Sophia and make her his wife. Perhaps we can use that to our leverage.”
Over at The Imperial, Sophia began to send out the cured meat via delivery services upon her return from her holiday at Riverdale. Therefore, the cured meat at home was nearly all gone. Michael was starting to worry as he studied the amount left over—it wasn’t enough to last them for the year. Meanwhile, Nathan hurriedly stole a few pieces and hid them at Linus’ place.
Sophia had been extremely busy over the past two days. After vacuum packing the cured meat, she had to place them in gift bags before posting them out via delivery services. At the same time, she had to make more cured meat. For that reason, Michael was also instructed to make more of his handmade cured meat during his off days at home. Dressed in his pajamas with an apron over it, he yawned as he put on gloves and prepared to make the cured meat. First, he rubbed handfuls of salt into the fresh meat, then he left them to marinate for a while before hanging them out to air dry for several days. After he was done making cured meat, he quickly sneaked into the basement to look for Abel, for fear of being forced to continue making cured meat.
All of a sudden, the phone in his pocket vibrated. It turned out that ‘Eddie Fletcher’ had posted a new tweet on Twitter. He had listed her account under favorites, so he would receive a notification on his phone as soon as she posted something on Twitter. Taking out his phone, he saw that she had posted a picture of him in his pajamas, yawning as he made more cured meat. The caption was: ‘Shocking! Middle-Aged Washed-up Actor With No Endorsements or Variety Shows Makes Cured Meat for a Living!’
Michael was rendered speechless by what he read.
My Dreamy Old Husband Chapter 543
Sophia had gone mad for the sake of boosting ticket sales. She neglected her studies, her work, and her company to focus completely on her fangirl activities! She had gone bonkers! When the box office earnings passed 5 billion, she sent cured meat to 10 lucky-draw winners. Later, she sent cured sausages to 10 lucky-draw winners when box office earnings went over 5.5 billion. Then, when box office earnings hit 6 billion, she sent out dried fish to 10 lucky-draw winners.
There was another person who was as crazy as she was. Ever since the relationship between Sarah and Harry was exposed, she no longer tried to keep it a secret. Rather, she boldly and openly went over to his place. Moreover, every time she went there, she would rummage through his house and take everything she could get her hands on. His toothbrush, shaver, towel, random doodle, barely-read books… She took them all and gave them all away.
When box office earnings passed 5 billion, she gave away the used toothbrush stolen from her idol’s house. Later, she gave away a packet of snacks stolen from her idol’s house when box office earnings went over 5.5 billion. Then, when box office earnings hit 6 billion, she gave away a rusty kitchen knife stolen from his house.
Meanwhile, Stanley, as the president of the company, could only look on as his two employees neglected their studies and their work just to pursue their fangirling activities. Therefore, he came forward to complain many times. Unfortunately, Michael was very tolerant toward Sophia’s fangirling behavior. Every day, he only repeated three things to her: “Do you have enough money? Don’t overwork yourself! Leave it to me!”
Due to the previous incident, Sophia suffered from a mild case of depression. Hence, he tended to coddle her nowadays. She could worry over whatever she wanted to worry about as long as she was happy. Making my wife happy is my top priority!
In this regard, Stanley only had one opinion, A doting husband spoils his wife! That day, he noisily rushed over to Michael’s house again, shouting, “Uncle Michael, something big came up again!”
When Stanley rushed into The Imperial, Michael had an inkling of what he was going to say as he was sitting on the sofa in the living room, watching the latest news with a frown on his face.
In today’s breaking news on Cethos’ entertainment industry, the famous actor, Taylor Murray, was suspected of human trafficking, having reportedly bought an underage girl for 80,000 to be his wife.
At the same time, a scandal broke out revealing that the popular actor, Ethan Winston, was in an intimate relationship with one of his fans. He was revealed to have had a one-night-stand with ‘Little Kitten’, a high-profile individual among his fan group. Moreover, he refused to take responsibility after sleeping with her.
Harry and Little Kitten’s relationship was practically an open secret by now. After all, she had taken so many of his personal belongings and given them away. Even his sweaty shirt had been stolen to give away to his fans in exchange for more ticket sales. Thus, it was hardly a secret anymore.
However, Michael had never expected that Richard would go so far just to boost the earnings of his terrible movie—Richard had chosen to take the risk and expose Sophia’s identity.
This time around, Richard had gone completely nuts—he bought over several ghost accounts to create groundless rumors. The rumors claimed that Taylor Murray had abducted and sold underage girls, and his wife, Eddie Fletcher, had been sexually violated when she was a child.
Richard was desperate to discredit Michael and suppress the box office earnings of ‘Doctor Invincible’. He even dug up all the dirt on Sophia from her past. For example, he claimed that she had undergone an abortion during her high school years and that she used to have relationships with many men. Cobbling together bits and pieces of truth mixed with lies, he exposed them all at once. In particular, he highlighted the fact that Sophia had been molested as a child. He also emphasized that the male celebrity had married a woman that had been sexually violated before. Thus, no matter what the male celebrity said, it would still make his fans extremely uncomfortable.
Despite knowing that these rumors would eventually blow up in his face, he couldn’t care less right now. He wanted to drag Taylor Murray through the mud for as many days as he could. After all, a movie would only show in the cinemas for a month. Even if he could only drag it out for half a month, it would still greatly impact the ticket sales of the movie. Besides, he also hired many ghostwriters to go on a denouncing spree against Michael, criticizing him and accusing him of human trafficking. Looking at the degree of madness, it felt like Michael was being condemned by the public.
If it were the past, Michael would have ignored these rumors. However, the situation this time was different—it involved Sophia. Therefore, he hurriedly contacted his agency to clarify everything. Sophia did not wish to have her identity exposed. Not only that, but she was also not mentally prepared for it. More importantly, he did not wish to use such methods to expose their relationship to the public.
After hanging up on his agency, he turned to Stanley and said, “Don’t let your aunt know about this yet.”
Only then did Stanley realize that he had seen neither hide nor hair of Sophia even though he had arrived for a while now. Thus, he quietly asked, “Where is she?”
At the mention of Sophia, Michael couldn’t help smiling. “She’s making cured meat in the kitchen.”
Contrary to his expectations, Sophia, who was in the kitchen, received a phone call right at that moment. It was from somebody she never expected to hear from. “Haha; Sophia, I could never have imagined that you became Taylor Murray’s wife! What a stroke of luck!”
Sophia was not surprised to receive an ill-intentioned call from Xyla. From the time she invited Richard into the Edwards Residence at Riverdale, she had prepared herself for Xyla to learn of it too.
At the moment, she was wearing an apron as she made cured meat. Her phone was held in Nicholas’ hand and set on hands-free mode. Besides, it came as no surprise to her that Xyla would call and kick up a fuss. Thus, she continued sprinkling a handful of salt into the meat and then mixing it vigorously while responding, “You must be surprised. I married the most charming man in the world!”
On the other side of the phone, Xyla smiled mockingly. She was acting as if she had already won. “Sophia, all you married is a clown!” The tone of her voice made it sound as if marrying a celebrity was something to be ashamed of. Then, she elaborated, “Did you think that you would stand above others just because you married him? Let me tell you; you are still the same wench as before. Even if you left the nest, you are still nothing but an ugly duckling! It’s a piece of cake for the Huff Family to bring you down! Did you think that clown, Taylor, could protect you? Dream on! It’s easy to ruin him! Just you wait; he will be a goner by tomorrow!”
Her tone had reached the point where she was hysterical and fuming with rage, and it was clear to see that she was beyond madness. Thus, she frantically scorned and derided Taylor and Sophia to the max. At first, she thought Sophia would falter and show her weakness. Contrary to her expectations, the other party simply replied nonchalantly, “I’m making cured meat right now; I’m hanging up.”
After hanging up, Xyla paced about Richard’s office in satisfaction. She was so excited that her hands were shaking. The way she acted was as if she already had Sophia crushed under her feet and the ticket sales of her movie had gone through the roof.
Meanwhile, Richard frowningly stared at the latest news intently. It was not the first time he had defamed Taylor. Every time he felt that success was at hand or that he could bring down his opponent, he would end up failing miserably. But, it was different this time—it felt like victory was in his hands. After all, he held Taylor’s greatest weakness in his hand. He had accused Taylor of dealing in human trafficking. Even so, he felt extremely unsure. Unfortunately, he had no other choice but to fight on.
At the same time, Xyla called Joe. “Hey, Uncle Joe! Did you see the news today? Sigh. I honestly could not have imagined that! To think Sophia married Taylor Murray! What a surprise! I think she is ashamed of you, Uncle Joe. It looks like she wants to cut ties with you!”
On the other side of the phone, Joe jumped up in anger. He could never have imagined that Sophia’s old, ugly, and wealthy husband would turn out to be Taylor Murray! It was beyond his wildest imaginations! “That motherfcker! That wench deceived me and stole so much money from me! How dare she think of cutting ties with me?! No fcking way! This time around, I’m going to flay her skin! Isn’t that husband of hers a celebrity? Isn’t he worried about his reputation? I’m going to ruin their reputation! That fcking btch!”
My Dreamy Old Husband Chapter 544
Listening to Joe cursing endlessly on the other side of the phone, Xyla felt overjoyed. After she ended the call, she paced about elatedly. Suddenly, she noticed that Richard still looked extremely worried. Thus, she quickly comforted him by saying, “Richard, don’t worry! Uncle Joe is going to kick up a fuss soon. This time around, there will be no escape for Taylor!”
It was different this time. In the past, all the dirt on Taylor had been nothing but fabricated rumors. However, the information they had on him was the truth. It was enough to put Taylor in jail, let alone defame and bring down ‘Doctor Invincible’. Even so, Richard couldn’t help feeling extremely apprehensive as he studied the growing interest on the internet…
Michael had intended to cut off internet access in the house after Stanley left The Imperial to allow Sophia to rest for a few days while she concentrated on making more cured meat for New Year’s. Contrary to his expectations, Sophia walked out from the kitchen before Stanley left and bluntly asked Michael, “So, what do you plan to do?”
Looking at her expression, he knew that she had seen the news. He was worried that she might be suffering from shock caused by revisiting her past trauma. Thus, he subconsciously glanced at Nicholas. Nicholas could scan Sophia’s emotions in real-time and perform any immediate responses as required. As if understanding what he was thinking, Nicholas replied, “Mom is doing great! Rest assured, Dad! Mom is very strong!”
Even so, he still felt very anxious. “You don’t need to bother about this. I will handle it.”
However, Sophia knew that the other party didn’t just want to destroy Michael’s new movie—they wanted to drag her down too. “No. Let me handle things this time.”
There was a strange light shining in her eyes, and she still had the same thought in her head, Who the hell do you think you are, son of a b*tch?!
As the news broke out, it elicited various responses from both the fan groups of the two washed-up male celebrities as well as the students studying at Bayside University.
In the past, the names ‘Taylor Murray’ and ‘Sophia Edwards’ were often associated together. For example, Taylor, who rarely made appearances at public social events, had made an appearance together with Sophia at the birthday party of the Harper Family’s daughter. On another occasion, Taylor, who had been absent from the campus belle contest at Bayside University for many years, suddenly became a judge for the event and gave the previous campus belle, Natasha Mitchell, zero points. Back then, Sophia had been in the picture too—the two of them had collaborated on the program. Similarly, Taylor, who normally kept a low profile, had taken on a high-profile role by joining the International Esports Tournament. During the competition, the two of them had been working together again. Lastly, when the indecent photos of Sophia had been circulated all over the Internet, the first celebrity to stand up and speak for her had been Taylor. In recent years, Taylor Murray, who normally kept a low profile, had been making frequent appearances, especially in the last two years. Upon closer inspection, Sophia seemed to be present every time he appeared!
Unexpectedly, this couple with an age difference of more than ten years turned out to be husband and wife! Moreover, Sophia was the minor Taylor had spent 80,000 to buy and groom into his wife?! Taylor was suspected of being involved in the buying and selling of underage girls?!
After the news broke out, Xyla waited for ‘Doctor Invincible’ to be taken down from cinemas in advance to make room for her movie to increase its screening slots. Then, the box office earnings for her movie would have a comeback. The two leading actors of ‘Doctor Invincible’ had suffered from scandals. Furthermore, she had arranged for many people to raise complaints about the movie. Thus, she was certain that it would be removed from the cinemas early.
As winter and summer vacations were domestic film protection months, cinemas could only show domestic movies. ‘Doctor Invincible’ was considered foreign intellectual property, as it was produced by a foreign team. However, it had two Cethosian actors as the leading actors. Therefore, it had been classified as a domestic product and remained showing in cinemas during the domestic film protection months. Since the classification of the movie was inherently subtle, it would definitely be taken down early if something were to happen. By then, it will be the time for ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’ to shine!
Thus, she waited and waited. Two days after the scandals broke out, the ghostwriters had posted complaints by the thousands every day. Even so, ‘Doctor Invincible’ was not forcibly removed from the cinemas. Moreover, it continued to bring in revenue of approximately 200 million per day despite having been released nearly half a month ago! More shockingly, the ticket sales of the movie were boosted after the large-scale scandal had been revealed! Conversely, ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’ was doing poorly. Not only was the 500-million-dollar production suppressed by ‘Doctor Invincible’, but its box office earnings couldn’t even compare to other newly-released domestic indie movies and cartoons!
No! That’s impossible! The two leading actors of ‘Doctor Invincible’ have been defamed! So, why isn’t it falling from grace?! Why are the ticket sales still so high?! The only things she did every single day were to monitor the box office earnings and endlessly criticize ‘Doctor Invincible’ and Taylor Murray—so much so that it left her disheveled and crazy. Then, she frantically called Joe. As soon as the call went through, she questioned, “Why haven’t you sued Taylor Murray? Hurry up and sue him! He abducted your daughter!”
In response, Joe cursed at her, “You crazy motherf*cker! My son-in-law is an Academy Award for Best Actor winner as well as the largest shareholder of Asco International! How could I possibly sue him?! You’re insane!” After that, he hung up viciously.
Xyla, the stupid btch! Although Joe had indeed had the impulse to cause trouble for Taylor, Taylor had unexpectedly called him up instead. At the time, he had fallen to the ground suddenly and nearly knelt before Taylor! Fck! With such a powerful son-in-law, I’d be crazy to try and sue him!
After being hung up on by Joe, Xyla froze in shock. Then, she quickly called Faye. The moment Faye answered the phone, she coldly told her, “Xyla, stop struggling. That movie is doomed to fail. You better not interfere with me as I mingle in the entertainment circles. Now that Taylor Murray is my brother-in-law, I can get whatever I want and whatever I need in the entertainment circles—”
Before she could finish, Xyla lost control of her emotions suddenly. “You prick! Ashole! All of you are cnts! The Edwards Family are all motherf*ckers! Don’t forget who helped you out back then! If it wasn’t for my family, you would have died—”
“You’re insane.” Without waiting for her to finish speaking, she hung up on her fiercely and blocked her number.
Inside the freezing Huff Residence, Xyla, who was all alone and helpless, cried in despair.
At the same time, Richard of the Harper Family was also monitoring the scandals related to ‘Doctor Invincible’. Despite spending a large sum of money to hype up the scandal, it turned out to be useless again… Aside from the ghostwriters who were being paid, the fans seemed to have a mediocre response toward the scandals. They seemed indifferent toward the scandals. Rather, they seemed to find it funny instead.
“Oh, my idol. He truly is the world’s richest, highest-quality, and most eligible bachelor! Since he couldn’t find a wife, he was reduced to spending 80,000 to buy himself a wife! This is very believable.”
“It’s a harsh path that a washed-up male celebrity of the ‘three noes’—no endorsements, no variety shows, and no announcements—has to take to find a wife! He has already fallen so far that he has to make cured meat for a living! I’m begging you; please have mercy on him! It’s very difficult for him to make cured meat at his age!”
“Shocking! He was once a world-famous Academy Award for Best Actor winner! After he lost his popularity, he couldn’t get jobs nor find a wife! So, he had to spend 80,000 to buy an underage girl to become his wife!”
My Dreamy Old Husband Chapter 545
After commenting on how Michael had bought himself a wife with 80,000, their attention finally turned toward Sophia. Shockingly, ‘Eddie Fletcher’ turned out to be Sophia Edwards, the campus belle of Bayside University famous for joining esports tournaments!
“When the two of them participated in the Esports World Championship together, I knew there was something up between them! Turns out my intuition was right! Have a happy marriage! Sophia is a strong and kind girl! I feel reassured about leaving our idol in her hands!”
“The daughter of the Edwards Family, the smart and beautiful campus belle of Bayside University, and a well-known esports player… I have to admit; she matches up to my idol.”
“So far, nobody has successfully recreated the song ‘π’ that Sophia and our idol collaborated on together! That’s a top student at Bayside University for you! I heard that she holds so many certificates that they are weighed by the pounds!”
Taylor had always kept a low profile—he did not maintain a public persona, create scandals, or beg for favors. Rather, he simply concentrated on filming and focused on making quality shows. Therefore, he was not as popular as the movies he acted in, and his fans were relatively more rational. Besides, too many scandals involving him had been born out of nothing in the past. So, his fans were no longer surprised by them, especially in regard to something like buying himself a wife with 80,000…
On the other side, Joe held a press conference to openly recognize Sophia as part of his family. Furthermore, he criticized the unscrupulous media and clarified that it wasn’t a marriage of convenience but a marriage of love. He mentioned that Sophia was 18 when they registered their marriage, so the rumors about the human trafficking of minors were nonsense. Sophia was his long-lost biological daughter and the precious second daughter of the Edwards Family, so the 80,000 was just a symbolic dowry from Taylor during their marriage.
Meanwhile, Michael kept quiet throughout all this. He said nothing, held no press conferences, made no clarifications, and couldn’t even be bothered to post anything on Twitter. In contrast, Sophia posted on Twitter every day through ‘Eddie Fletcher’, describing the lovey-dovey married life of a young fangirl and a handsome man who was past his prime.
As for Harry, he made no response either. Besides, his fans were aware of the truth—Little Kitten was his girlfriend. However, she was a big-time figure and the longest-standing fan among his fan groups. Hence, his fans didn’t see anything wrong with the two of them being together.
All in all, Richard spent a large sum of money to boost the popularity of ‘Doctor Invincible’ that had been slowly declining in ticket sales after its initial release more than half a month ago. However, his efforts did nothing for ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’. Not only was ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’ unable to surpass ‘Doctor Invincible’, but it also failed to win against domestic cartoons that were released later. Although the movie was supported by two popular A-listed celebrities, online celebrities will always be online celebrities. They had millions of followers on Twitter, and their posts were retweeted thousands of times. However, their true selves were revealed once they appeared on the big screen—their acting skills and charisma were not up to par. Thus, the box office earnings kept going down. 10 days after its release, the ticket sales had dropped to 10 million. No matter how popular an intellectual property film like ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’ might be, it was doomed to fail!
Richard stared at the box office ratings as well as ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’ that couldn’t increase in ranking no matter what he did. Without warning, he suddenly swept everything on his office desk to the ground. As a result, the glass cups and documents scattered across the floor. His phone was about to explode from all the calls it was receiving. The calls were from various business partners. However, he didn’t want to nor dared to answer those calls, knowing that none of them were calling with good intentions. After messing up so many things, the Harper Family was extremely disappointed in him. If I weren’t the only son, I would have lost my position a long time ago. No! There must be a way to salvage this!
Hugging his head in his hands as he leaned against the chair, his brain kept running into a brick wall. Then, a lightbulb went off in his head as he thought of a bold and extreme method, and his blood-shot eyes shone with determination…
Meanwhile, Xyla couldn’t believe that Joe could make peace with Taylor and Sophia so easily. After all, he used to say that he wanted to rip them apart all the time. Besides, the relationship between Sophia and Joe had already reached the point where it was unsalvageable. How could Sophia accept Joe so quickly? She must have another motive for doing so!
Thus, Xyla made herself presentable and hurried over to the Edwards residence. The father and daughter pair of the Edwards Family had dressed up and were preparing to leave the house. Seeing that, Xyla walked up to them with a sweet smile, forgetting that she had been cussing out Faye not too long ago. Then, she asked, “Where are you planning to go, Uncle Joe?”
Joe straightened out his suit gaily with a preening expression on his fat face. “Where else could I be going? Of course, I’m going to meet my son-in-law, Taylor!”
He had received an invitation from Taylor out of the blue today, inviting him to Villa No. 8 for dinner. Hence, he felt that his life was about to change for the better soon!
Upon hearing those words, Xyla cursed at him in her heart, When the Edwards Family was in trouble, the Huff Family contributed a lot of money to help them out of their rut. But, now that the Huffs were in trouble, the Edwards are feigning ignorance instead! These ungrateful ingrates! You want to go and meet with Sophia, don’t you? You want to acknowledge your relationship with Taylor, don’t you? In your dreams! This damn fatty had harmed Sophia on so many occasions! Does he have selective memory loss?! I need to pit them against each other. The more they tear each other apart, the better! Besides, the Edwards are scoundrels. They won’t be able to let things end just like that! Therefore, she hurriedly said in a hopeful manner, “Are you going to meet up with Mr. Murray? Can I tag along too? I really want to meet him too!”
Faye played with her hair for a bit as she watched Xyla’s impatient behavior. Then, she contemptuously said, “You want to tag along? You should just forget it. It’s not like we don’t know about the resentment you hold against Sophia. I’m afraid it’s inappropriate for you to come along.”
Xyla seemed taken aback for a moment. After a moment, she forced a smile on her face. “What do you mean by ‘inappropriate’? Faye, it can’t be that you’re still harboring a grudge over what I said yesterday, right? It was my mistake. I was in a bad mood yesterday so I misspoke.” Gently, she continued, “As you know, our movie involves both of us. I was feeling very anxious because it just won’t become a hit no matter what. Therefore, I lashed out without thinking. Faye, you’re going there to ask your brother-in-law to share some resources with you anyway. Why don’t we do things this way instead? Bring me along, and we’ll have one more person’s strength to add to our numbers…”
Bursting in laughter, Faye sized Xyla up before sneering coldly, “You? Your little tricks might be able to fool Richard, but they won’t fool me!”
After saying that, the father and daughter pair headed to The Imperial next door. Xyla trailed after them, stubbornly following along. I won’t give up until I instigate a fight between them today!
Upon arriving at the gates of The Imperial, Xyla saw that Sophia was waiting by the door to welcome them herself. She even opened the door for them, smiling as she said, “Dad, Faye, you’re here! Please, come inside!”
Thus, Joe and Faye felt extremely honored and they proudly entered. However, Xyla was naturally locked outside mercilessly when it came to her turn. The security guard coldly blocked her way when she tried to sneak inside. “I’m sorry, but you can’t enter the premises of The Imperial without an invitation.”
Watching the three people who had entered before her and were happily chatting away, Xyla felt extremely anxious. A sudden impulse came over her and she shouted after them, “Sophia, be careful! I heard that Joe is targeting your assets and your property! If you bring him inside, he might end up devouring you and your husband alive! They’ve had it all planned out! They plan to murder your son, then take over your house and your money! You have to be careful!”
My Dreamy Old Husband Chapter 546
Joe heard those words clearly. Thus, his aged face turned red, and his fat body shuddered slightly. He was both angry and embarrassed at once as he hurriedly smiled at Sophia and said, “She’s talking nonsense! You’re my daughter! I don’t even have enough time to dote on you! How could I possibly try to harm you?!”
Faye hurriedly added, “We’re family! Don’t believe that outsider’s nonsense!! It’s not like you don’t know about that wench’s instigating methods!”
Back then, Xyla, that wench, had caused so much harm to me. How could I possibly be instigated by her words?! Sophia smiled but didn’t say anything. Then, the three of them entered Villa No. 8. Of course, I’m aware of what Joe is plotting. How could I not? Still, he doesn’t have what it takes to take over my assets!
Upon entering Villa No. 8, the look in Joe’s eyes darkened. Damn that wench, Xyla! She nearly destroyed my plans! Just you wait! I’ll kill you when I get back, you b*tch!
Xyla stood at the entrance, yelling after them. When she saw that it didn’t seem to have any effect, she quickly took out her phone and frantically sent messages to Sophia, telling Sophia everything she knew about Joe’s plans. I don’t believe Sophia would willingly accept Joe as part of her family!
At that moment, Joe and Faye stood at the entrance of Villa No. 8 with their mouths agape. This is the legendary Imperial! The lavishness! The luxurious look! It’s comparable to Buckingham Palace! This is, without a doubt, the wealthiest residential area in Bayside City! The opulence is incomparable! It would be great if I can stay in one of the houses here! Especially Villa No. 8! There must be dozens of rooms in that house! Moreover, it has a parking garage, a garden, a fountain, and a pool! God; how great would it be if I can live here for a while! No, I can’t settle for staying here for a short while! I will live here for the rest of my life!
After a while, Michael finally came downstairs. Sitting on the sofa in the living room, he studied the father and daughter pair as they continued glancing about even after entering the house. Then, he smiled slightly and said, “Welcome.”
Joe quickly smiled in response. Meanwhile, Faye stared fixedly at Michael when she saw him. At the same time, she swiftly stretched her long legs out on the sofa. Her sexy and shapely legs peeked out from behind her black stockings, and she even glanced at him seductively from time to time. In stark contrast, Sophia sat opposite her, dressed in pajamas. Hmph; she has no redeeming features whatsoever! How can she possibly compare with me?! The only reason she acts so arrogantly is that Taylor is backing her! If I can win over Taylor…
Faye was busy making plans. However, Joe had other plans of his own—he wanted to move into this house! Better yet, his name should be added to the title deed!
Sophia glanced at the scheming pair—their malicious intentions were practically displayed on their faces. Smiling mockingly, she clicked on the messages Xyla had sent to her. There were more than ten messages, and all of them were several-second-long voice messages. After that, she listened to the voice messages right in front of the pair.
Immediately, Xyla’s bitter and hysterical voice played out for everybody to hear. “The Edwards Family are a bunch of scoundrels! Did you really believe that he would clarify things with you out of the goodness of his heart?! Once he enters Villa No. 8 of The Imperial, you’ll be on the express lane to bankruptcy! That guy would never leave without sucking you dry first! Sophia, you’re so pitiful and pathetic! You are forced to accept such a repulsive man as your father just to protect your husband’s reputation! Even I feel disgusted on your behalf! They plan to murder your son and your husband, then steal all your wealth from you! You never imagined that, did you?! Haha! If my guess is right, Faye, that btch, is already starting to flirt, isn’t she?! That btch can’t keep her legs closed whenever she sees a man in front of her! Haha; letting that btch into your house was a mistake! She’ll sleep with your husband sooner or later! That slutty btch has slept with more men than the total amount of rice you’ve eaten in your entire life! Do you seriously believe your husband can withstand her charm? Why don’t you come to your senses? You aren’t their opponents! Besides, so many have seen your body before! Don’t you feel unclean?! You were sexually violated by your uncle! You’ve been sullied a long time ago! Moreover, Taylor has so many beautiful women by his side. Do you really think that you can tie him to you? Hahaha! You couldn’t even hold onto Richard! Let me count; how many days would it take Faye to seduce your husband? Three; no, two days? Let’s wait and see!”
Sophia played those voice messages on her phone, deliberately setting the volume to the maximum. Thus, Xyla’s resentful voice resounded in the living room. Listening to it, Joe and Faye flushed beet-red and were unable to say a single word. Furthermore, Faye looked extremely embarrassed and hurriedly withdrew her legs.
After listening to it once, Sophia listened to it again as if she had not heard it clearly the first time. Hence, those bitter and spiteful words rang out in the living room again. In response, the Edwards father and daughter pair seemed to react like they were sitting on a bed of needles after listening to it.
Joe waved it off, saying, “Don’t listen to the nonsense that wench spills. She’s gone insane! How could she say such unfounded words?!”
Still, Michael didn’t say anything while he quietly drank some water with a vague expression of ridicule on his face. On the other hand, Sophia didn’t seem to have heard enough. So, she listened to it again while playing on her phone.
Consequently, only Xyla’s bitter and resentful voice rang out in the living room again and again. And every time it repeated, it felt like it was stabbing into Joe’s heart again. He knew that Taylor and Sophia were sending him a message! Despite relying on Joe, they had no intention of giving him any benefit in return! Not a single thing!
Bam! Joe decided to take the initiative and gain the upper hand. Slamming his hands down on the table, he stood up from the sofa and pointed at Sophia viciously. “You unfilial daughter! Kneel before me!”
Glancing lazily at Joe, Sophia ignored him and continued listening to the voice messages.
Looking at her attitude, Joe felt his hatred bubbling up again. “The two of you deceived me and made me suffer so much! How dare you turn to me when you need me, then kick me to the curb when I’m no longer useful to you! Just you wait! Once I return, I’m going to reveal your true colors to the world! I’ll show them just what kind of people you are!”
Still, Sophia remained silent. She acted as if she had not heard him yelling at her. Then, Faye stepped forward and tried to smooth things over. Looking at Michael and Sophia, she said, “Hey, can’t you see how angry Dad is? Quickly apologize to him right now! We’re family. You shouldn’t be listening to what an outsider says. How could Dad do anything to harm you?”
Surely, even Faye did not believe in the words she herself had uttered. In any case, Sophia did not react to them as she continued playing on her phone. Rather, Michael spoke up instead. He coldly said, “Nicholas, bring it out.”
A moment later, Nicholas appeared with a thick stack of papers in his robotic hands. Then, he placed them in front of Joe.
“Take a good look at that, father-in-law,” Michael said, strongly emphasizing the first six words.
Flipping through the papers casually, Joe’s expression immediately darkened. How did Taylor obtain this?!
My Dreamy Old Husband Chapter 547
It wasn’t just Joe; even Faye showed an expression of disbelief mixed with horror.
Michael observed the changes in their expressions and casually said, “Those documents reveal some of the unscrupulous things you have done in the past few years, Mr. Edwards. There are three counts of rape, two counts of murder, one count of kidnapping, as well as tax evasion and tax fraud involving your company. If this information were to fall into the hands of your competitors… I wonder what will happen, Mr. Edwards?”
The information covered not only Joe’s dark history but also Faye’s dark history at nightclubs. Each page held information more shocking than the one before it. Moreover, there were pictures too.
Cold sweat dripped down Joe’s forehead. Over the years, I’ve stepped on so many toes. If this information were to fall into the hands of my competitors… then… No! That won’t happen! As soon as I open my mouth, I can ruin Taylor’s reputation! Reputation is extremely important for a celebrity like him! Besides, I still have my family’s wealth and my company. On the other hand, Taylor is a phony actor who relies only on his reputation to make a living. Therefore, his reputation is more important than his life! As those thoughts ran through his head, he became more confident. I hold his weakness in my hand! He will be finished if I reveal my hand! Hmph; he’s nothing but a clown! No matter how rich he is, he is still just a clown!
Calming down, he hardened his resolve and glanced at Michael fearlessly. Then, he smiled stiffly. “Mr. Murray, your reputation is in my hands. Aren’t you worried I might destroy you out of desperation?”
Upon hearing those words, Michael burst out laughing. If it didn’t involve Sophia, he couldn’t be bothered to have anything to do with Joe. After a moment, he smilingly said, “It looks like you don’t understand your situation, Mr. Edwards. The scandal you have on me won’t hurt me.
Do you really think anybody would care whether or not I spent 80,000 to buy a wife? Contrarily, I don’t think you have enough lives to survive this if this information were to fall into the hands of the relevant authorities, Mr. Edwards.”
Joe flushed red at Michael’s words and was unable to refute his words. It’s Taylor Murray after all. If I had not seen it for myself, I would never have imagined that he would spend 80,000 to buy Sophia and make her his wife. It’s completely far-fetched! Even if I expose it to the world, nobody would believe me.
Afterward, Michael waited until they finished reading through the documents before asking Nicholas to keep the documents away. Sipping on his tea, he said, “You know what you need to do, Mr. Edwards. With my authority, I can destroy you in a matter of minutes. Since you are my wife’s biological father, I don’t wish to cause trouble for you. So, I hope you don’t cause too much trouble either, Mr. Edwards.”
Glancing at the stack of papers in the robot’s hands, Joe was faced with a dilemma. Even so, he knew he had no other choice.
At the moment, Linus was welcoming a guest at Villa No. 2.
Villa No. 2 had very few people in it. Aside from Linus, only one or two other servants had followed him from the Michel Family. Since his house was fully automated, he didn’t need many people to maintain it. He had an automatic temperature control system, an automatic cleaning system, and a self-making bed.
Moreover, the security system was very strict—even a fly couldn’t get inside. Even the grooming and cleaning of his pets were automated too. Therefore, everything was automated except for the cooking.
At that moment, he had not even entered the house yet. However, the housekeeping robot had already made two cups of hot tea and placed it in the living room per his living habits and coordinates at the time.
When he entered the house, the two cups of green tea were still steaming. Putting down his phone, he took off his jacket and shook the snow off it. In the meantime, the lights in the room turned on automatically, and the hall lit up instantly.
At the same time, his pets came running toward him. Upon walking into the living room, a man wearing a black trench coat followed after him. The brim of a black top hat was pulled low over his face, and a mask hid most of his face from view.
After walking into the living room, he took off his mask and revealed a handsome face under it. His blond hair and blue eyes were very distinctive.
“Cooper, why did you come to Cethos so suddenly? You should’ve informed me a little earlier; I could have made some preparations.” The two of them sat down and Linus handed one of the cups of tea to the man sitting opposite him.
The man drank some tea before saying, “I came to visit an old friend.”
His voice was low and rich, containing an unspeakable reservation and depth to it.
In response, Linus asked curiously, “Didn’t you say that you cut off all ties with all the people in your past, Cooper? Why did you come back?” The man opposite him said nothing, so he didn’t ask further. The past had always been a forbidden topic with this man. Changing the topic, he said, “I just bought this house. I’m quite satisfied with it. Why don’t you stay here for a few days before leaving?”
The man did not respond. Meanwhile, Linus seemed to be accustomed to his quiet nature and went into the kitchen to ask the chef to start dinner preparations. Then, the man stood up and gazed outside the window alone. The entire Bayside City spread out before him. This house was pretty nice after all. He walked about casually and noticed that Linus had hung many pieces of cured meat outside. A bright red piece of meat entered his vision. It was a color he had not seen in a long time, and it seemed to bring him twenty years back into the past… A pretty girl with her hair in two braids was wearing an apron with her sleeves rolled up. Mixing the salt into the fresh meat, she lifted her head and smiled at him. “Coop, the cured meat and kimchi made by my family are to die for! The recipe is only passed down to the females in the family! Coop, I’m going to make more cured meat this year. I promise you’ll have enough to eat. Coop—”
Originally, he wanted to leave this place forever never to return again because everything here easily brought back the memories he had desperately tried to suppress. It hurt so much that he couldn’t breathe, and even the blood in his veins felt like they had frozen over. Even so, he had returned. He wanted to meet that person. This year, he was a hundred years old. If he didn’t meet that person now, he would never get another chance again…
All of a sudden, the housekeeping robot warned, “There’s a guest. A human, a dog, and a cat. Are they allowed to enter?”
Linus looked at the surveillance footage and saw Nathan standing outside the fence. Nathan held a dog leash in his hand and carried a huge orange cat in his arms as he looked in from behind the fence. If Linus did not allow it, any trespasser could lose their lives on the spot.
Looking at the man, he asked for his permission. “Cooper, that’s my neighbor’s child. He comes over frequently.”
The man glanced at the surveillance footage. It was a six or seven-year-old child. So, he didn’t mind it. “Let him in.”
As soon as permission was given, Nathan saw the infrared rays vanishing outside. Thus, he swaggered into the house. People he disliked had come to his house, so he quickly slipped away. When he heard that Linus had returned, he quickly brought his pets over to play and check on his cured meat while he was at it.
As soon as he entered, Linus asked, “Nate, have you eaten? Where are your parents?”
Nathan lifted his head and pouted. “We have guests at home, and I don’t like them.”
Linus replied, “The kitchen is making dinner now. Why don’t you leave after dinner?”
Nathan thought back to the dwindling stock of cured meat at his house as well as the cured meat hanging outside Linus’ house. Licking his lips, he said, “Sure.”
He walked into the living room and sat down, then saw the man sitting opposite him. Widening his eyes, he glanced at the man curiously.
Thus, Linus introduced them. “This is my neighbor’s child, Nathan Fletcher.”
Fletcher! The indifferent expression on the mysterious man’s face wavered slightly. Then, he asked, “Nathan?”
Linus smilingly replied, “Yeah, Nathan as in ‘the gift of God’.” Turning to Nathan, he said, “This is a relative from my hometown.”
Despite the introductions, Nathan widened his eyes as he studied the man in front of him; he was brimming with curiosity. Just then, the man finally had a good look at the child in front of him. The more he looked, the more the child’s appearance seemed to resemble the two people in his memory.
My Dreamy Old Husband Chapter 548
In his memory, that man and woman had been very well-matched—their interests and hobbies were similar, and they had a strong bond with each other. Unfortunately, their families were very against their relationship, and they could not get married. In the end, he had gone against everybody’s wishes and allowed them to get married.
“Cooper, thank you for blessing our marriage. Also, Celine and I would like that you name our future children, if possible.”
“Hmm… If it’s a boy, name him ‘Nathan’. Nathan as in ‘the gift of God’. If it’s a girl, name her ‘Esther’. The name is derived from the word ‘Aster’, a flower that blooms in Autumn. It also means ‘star’.”
“Okay. Thanks, Cooper.”
Could it be their child? Then, the man hurriedly asked Nathan, “Who is Celine Fletcher to you?”
Nathan was usually very quiet in front of strangers. Only in front of close friends and family would he occasionally act cute. Upon hearing the man’s question, he became upset. Thus, he turned around and ran off to the kitchen to check on the cured meat he hid here.
Linus smiled as he watched Nathan run off. “Speaking of which, that child is related to you too. His father is Justin Mitchell, and his mother is Celine Fletcher.” It was them after all… That young couple I unwittingly helped… Back then, they were only in their early twenties. I can’t believe their child is so big now.
Regrettably, Linus shook his head, and his demeanor abruptly became melancholic as he continued, “He lost his parents several years back. Right now, he is living with his uncle, Michael Fletcher, who is also known as Taylor Murray, the Best Actor Award winner.”
Michael Fletcher… Fass searched his memories, trying to find something about Michael. He had met Celine several times, but he didn’t have much of an impression of her brother. The only thing he could recall was that the Fletchers had a little kid.
After that, Linus went to the kitchen to look for Nathan. Meanwhile, Fass remained in the living room alone, watching TV. “Search for Mark Fletcher.” The words he said in a cold voice were captured by the robot, and it immediately pulled up the relevant news on the TV. Soon, an aged face appeared on the TV screen.
“The founding general, Mark Fletcher, appeared at the military parade. He remains full of energy at the age of a hundred.”
“The founding general, Mark Fletcher, appeared at a marathon.”
The Mark Fletcher that appeared on the TV was already a hundred years old. Even so, he was still as lively as a young man. Even though his 100th birthday was soon approaching, he seemed to be in good spirits and great health. Looking at the person on the TV, Fass smiled suddenly.
Later, Linus reported to him about some work matters. While he was listening intently, he suddenly felt a weight in his arms. A fat orange cat had jumped into his lap. Linus thought the man would get angry. After all, his impression was that the man had never raised a pet. Contrary to what he thought, Fass didn’t get angry. Petting the cat’s head, he looked at the collar it was wearing around its neck. “Chrysanthemum…”
“Meow!” Chrysanthemum answered. Acting like it knew him, it rubbed its head against the back of his hand.
Then, Linus hurriedly explained, “That’s the neighbor’s cat.”
All of a sudden, Fass reminisced about a cat he used to raise. Similar to this cat, its name was also ‘Chrysanthemum’ and it was a domestic orange cat too. Back then, he had left the cat with Mark because he didn’t dare to bring it home…
Fass was lost in his memories and Linus suddenly saw a small guy knocking on the gate outside the window. Thus, he immediately gave permission to open the door and allow Nicholas to enter.
As soon as Nicholas came in, he said, “Uncle Linus, Mom said that Nate cannot come over and eat for free every day. So, she asked me to bring some meat over.”
Every time Nathan came over to eat, Sophia would quickly send Nicholas over with some food in exchange. Thus, Linus couldn’t help smiling. Accepting the food Nicholas brought over, he opened it up and asked, “What did you bring today?”
Nicholas replied, “Mom’s braised pork.”
Linus recalled Sophia telling him before that the Johnson Family used to sell braised pork and kimchi at the market. She had learned the recipe at a young age but didn’t really feel like making them. However, she began making them again recently when she suddenly felt like stepping up to her role as a wife and mother. He asked Nicholas to bring the braised pork to the kitchen. After a while, Nicholas came back out. Walking over to the man sitting on the sofa, he said, “Hello, my name is Nicholas.”
Fass took a look at Nicholas’ configuration and felt extremely satisfied. He could tell at a glance that it was Linus’ handiwork! Only Linus could write such a perfect coding program and give it such a high level of intelligence. Teaching a genius like Linus is the greatest pride of my life!
At the same time, Linus hurriedly introduced Nicholas. “This is the educational robot I programmed for Nate.” However, he knew in his heart that Nicholas’ main purpose was to treat depression.
Fass touched the tiger hat on Nicholas’ head. Then, Nicholas looked at him and said briskly, “The hat belongs to Nate. Please don’t break it!” Upon hearing that, Fass couldn’t help laughing.
When dinnertime rolled around, Nathan joined Linus for dinner. As soon as they started eating, he quickly placed a few pieces of cured meat on his bowl; he seemed to be worried that the others would finish it quickly. Looking at the dishes, Linus said, “I’ve gone native recently. Most of the time, I’ve been eating Cethosian cuisine. If it’s not suited to your tastes…”
“It’s fine.” Fass picked up his chopsticks to eat. He had been living in Eastern Europe and Africa for decades. So, it had been a long time since he last used chopsticks. Now that he picked up a pair of chopsticks again, they felt strange and unfamiliar, yet at the same time, he felt a warm feeling of kinship.
The table was covered with various dishes—it was a luxurious affair. Aside from various seafood dishes, there was a plate of stir-fried cured meat, a plate of steamed sausages, a plate of kimchi to stimulate the appetite, as well as the braised pork they just received.
Picking up a piece of braised pork, he tasted it. When his taste buds came in contact with that unique taste, the sense of familiarity that came with it nearly brought tears to his eyes. Thus, he didn’t eat anything else except for some cured meat, braised pork, and kimchi. Perhaps, he had been gone for too long—everything he ate reminded him of her.
Once again, he was reminded of that girl—that beautiful, kind, and innocent girl. It was almost as if she could make anything with those skillful hands of hers. When he decided to go against his family’s wishes and marry her, they had fled far and wide. Traveling across Cethos, they looked for a place where nobody could tear them apart. He changed his identity, abandoned his original name, left his original family, and eloped with her to a place where they thought was safe. Afterward, he opened a bookstore under an alias to support their little family, thinking that it would be great to live as an ordinary person from that point forward. Likewise, she opened a small stall next to the bookstore, selling cooked food and cold dishes. Thus, he could see her whenever he looked out the glass window of the bookstore every day. Wearing an apron and a pair of gloves, she would concentrate on making the cold dishes and the braised pork. On the occasion where she lifted her head to look at him, there was always a smile in her eyes. During that period, they lived together every day and loved each other deeply. They were young—ignorant of the darkness and helplessness that existed in the world—and naïvely thought that those happy days would last forever…
Meanwhile, Nathan was worried that Fass would finish up the braised pork Nicholas had brought. So, he quickly put a few more pieces of it on his plate and polished off an extra bowl of rice.
That night, Sophia waited at home for a long time for Nathan to return. By her estimates, he should have been done with dinner by then. Thus, she went over to Villa No. 2 to pick him up after dinner. From a distance, she saw the villa’s gates open. Then, a car drove out from the garage as Linus stood by the door and watched the car disappear into the distance.
The car passed by Sophia. The windows were blacked out, and the car lights were too bright. Hence, she couldn’t make out what the person in the car looked like. When they passed by each other, a small sound seemed to reverberate within her. With a ‘crack’, it felt like something shattered or broke. For that reason, she couldn’t help but stop in her tracks and glance backward at the car that was leaving. It felt like she was connected to something in that car. Due to the increasing distance between them, the connection had stretched thin and finally snapped.
Hitting her head lightly and shaking her head to clear it, she thought to herself, What was that? She finally withdrew her gaze after the car became a spec in the distance. After that, she asked Linus curiously, “Who was that?”
Linus smiled. “A business partner who came to visit.”
Upon entering the house, Sophia saw the little brat, Nathan, lying on the sofa in the living room with his butt facing the ceiling, sleeping soundly. Linus covered the child with a blanket and said, “He had two bowls of rice for dinner just now. Then, he promptly fell asleep immediately after dinner.”
My Dreamy Old Husband Chapter 549
Looking at Nathan as he slept soundly, the look in Linus’ eyes was doting. I don’t know why, but I like this child very much. Perhaps this is fate!
On the other hand, Sophia was extremely embarrassed. This little brat! Not only did he invite himself over for dinner, but he also fell asleep and is refusing to leave! Why is he treating this place like it’s his own house?! It’s bad enough that he came alone, but he also brought the pets along! He might as well have dragged the entire family along to mooch a free meal! How embarrassing! Looking at the pets, she was faced with another dilemma. How am I going to bring them all back? Just carrying Chrysanthemum will be difficult enough for me!
He seemed to notice her dilemma and said, “I’ll send you back.”
Working together, they managed to put Nathan on Linus’ back. After that, Linus piggybacked Nathan, Sophia followed after him while carrying the cat, and Nicholas led the dog on its leash. In that manner, the rag-tag bunch returned to Villa No. 8.
Taking Nathan from Linus, Michael thanked Linus, “Thanks, lad. Why don’t you come in and have a seat?”
Linus shook his head. “No need. It’s very late. You should rest early.”
Then, Michael carried Nathan inside and watched Linus leave.
On the way home, Linus thought to himself, Should I upgrade Nicholas with a heavy lifting system? Lest Nathan falls asleep in some random bush one day and Nicholas can’t carry him.
After Michael took Nathan back, he handed the sleeping child over to the nanny to take care of. On the other hand, Sophia went back into the study and busied herself with her fangirling activities. Since her identity as Taylor’s wife was exposed, various media and newspapers were asking for her contact information to interview her.
However, Sophia had no interest in being interviewed. Rather, she accepted an offer from a publisher to publish a book. The book would be about her emotional journey as the wife of a Best Actor Award winner, some suggestions and thoughts on the protection of minors, as well as her experience and first-hand insight into her student life as the campus belle and top student of Bayside University.
Therefore, she had been racking her brains over the past few days to squeeze out the words. At the same time, she had to monitor the ticket sales of ‘Doctor Invincible’ and make arrangements for the cured meat she had left. Hence, she was extremely busy.
Meanwhile, Nicholas withdrew its hands and legs back into itself, then folded itself into a cylindrical shape. Even the antenna was kept away as it plugged itself into a socket at a corner of the study to charge its batteries.
Wary of Nicholas, Michael waited until it turned itself off to charge its batteries. Then, he went into the basement to look for Abel, who had just returned not too long ago after flying across half the world. He had organized a search and capture operation. However, he still failed to capture Phantom Wolf’s leader. My guess was right after all. Previously, Stanley had broken the manhood of Phantom Wolf’s leader. After that, Phantom Wolf’s leader had searched the world for the leading andrology doctors to treat his manhood.
The doctor Natasha had invited over to treat James was rather lucky. Not only had he managed to escape, but he had also been placed under high-priority protection recently.
In recent years, Abel had thrown himself into searching for Phantom Wolf’s leader. He had no personal life, no rest, no holidays, much less time to start a family. Thus, he started working as soon as he got home. This time around, he felt that something was amiss the moment he came back.
Hence, he hurriedly reported to Michael, “Gemma and I have both detected unknown signals being transmitted out of the house. Unfortunately, we could not intercept them. You have to be careful of any devices of unknown origins in your house.”
The first thing that came to Michael’s mind was the items that Linus had given to them. After all, Linus was an expert in this field. It would be a piece of cake for him to temper with the items, and there was no way to prevent it from happening. Besides, they were amateurs—they did not stand a chance against him. Notably, that robot might look adorable and sound sweet while it called him ‘Dad’, but the fact remained that it wasn’t human. Who knows what is hidden in its programming?
Abel had been away for some time. So, he was unaware of what had happened back home. Therefore, Michael explained, “Recently, Linus moved into this community. During that time, many devices that were personally programmed by him had been added to the house. For that reason, I told Gemma to create a shielding device so that they cannot detect the signals coming from the basement.”
Abel frowned in disbelief. “Linus Michel?”
In response, Michael nodded in affirmation. Following that, he recounted everything that had happened recently to Abel.
When Abel finished listening to the story, his scowl deepened. His entire being seemed to become grim as he gravely said to Michael, “Linus is not as simple as he seems. He and Fass practically monopolize the power of the Michel Family. Over the past few years, several conservative and traditionalist founding members of both the Michel Group and the Michel Family have died unnaturally.
I suspect that they were involved. Besides, I heard that Fass is only in his early thirties while Linus is only in his early twenties. For the two brothers to hold so much power despite their age, their hands must be stained with countless lives. I’m sure you’re aware of that too…”
According to Abel’s investigation, Linus was known as the world’s most eligible bachelor and a well-known philanthropist. Regardless of how harmless he might appear on the surface, the methods he employed in secret were so outrageous that they made one’s blood run cold.
Michael didn’t need Abel to tell him—he was already aware of the means Linus employed. Not long ago, he had investigated the recent living situation of the four surviving members of the Johnson Family. They had ended up as sex slaves at a high-end private club in Europe. Furthermore, all their teeth had been removed and their skin had been bleached—they were reduced to nothing but sex slaves used by the wealthy to satisfy their curiosity and thirst for novelty. That was a fate worse than death…
Many private clubs across Europe were filled with deviant novelty attractions. However, the mastermind behind the scenes all pointed to a mysterious person. And, that person was Linus Michel. Additionally, he was the overlord of the European underground world as well as the demon king of the night. Not only was he powerful and capable, but he was also cold-blooded and cruel.
Just by investigating him, Michael was terrified of him. There was only one difference between Linus and Phantom Wolf—Phantom Wolf killed openly while Linus killed in secret. Unfortunately, I invited such a dangerous person into my house myself. I’m terrified that I would lose everything—from my child to my wife to my soul.
The more Michael learned about Linus, the more he regretted his actions back then. Why did I let the wolf in? No, Linus is no wolf. A wolf would have some form of weakness. More importantly, it wouldn’t dare to stand alone. Rather, Linus is akin to an evil dragon with no weaknesses! The Michel Family has always been an evil dragon hovering over Eastern Europe throughout history, and now, it has extended its deadly claws toward Cethos. It was to the point where he wanted to give up investigating Linus and Fass. Likewise, he never wanted to let Sophia know about her relationship with Linus.
The Mitchell Family were ruthless—their callousness was etched deep into their bones. To them, lovers and family were nothing more than bargaining chips for them to gain more power. Each and every one of them was a cold-hearted monster—would they care about a sister and a daughter they had never met in 20 years? Sophia hopes to find her biological father… but what if, in the end, all she found was a power-obsessed monster with no feelings? Linus is more terrifying than Phantom Wolf. Unfortunately, Michael felt that he was already riding the horns of a grave dilemma…
Late at night, Xyla hid in a motel room, all alone. The cramped room smelled of instant noodles, dampness, and rancidity. Moreover, the abysmal heating system worked sporadically. Hiding under the covers, she shivered uncontrollably from the cold. At this moment, the Huff Family’s company and residence had been blocked by debtors and her parents were still in the intensive care unit at the hospital—their lives hanging in the balance.
None of the relatives and friends that used to try and curry favor from her were willing to lend her a hand. Therefore, she did not dare to return to the Huff Residence nor the Harper Residence. Ever since the Huffs had gotten into trouble, the disgusting true colors of the Harper Family were quickly revealed. In particular, Mrs. Harper constantly made things difficult for her over trivial matters. Not even in her wildest dreams had she ever dreamed that she would be in the state she was in today!
My Dreamy Old Husband Chapter 550
During dinner last night, Xyla had been berated and humiliated by Mrs. Harper all because she had eaten an extra piece of braised pork belly. Meanwhile, Richard continued eating his food, acting like he had not seen her being picked on despite sitting at the same table.
Thus, she had left in a fit of anger. At first, she thought that the Harpers would give in, and Richard would come to bring her back. Unfortunately, she thought wrong. After she left, the Harpers had not even bothered to give her a single phone call. Haha; how foolish of me.
Quietly clicking into Twitter, she glanced through the latest news. ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’ had been showing in cinemas for half a month now. During that period, it had accumulated slightly over 500 million in ticket sales. However, she knew best how much that was actually worth. In the end, the movie was a total disaster—so much so that there was no way to rescue it whatsoever. Many cinemas had even gone so far as to remove it from screenings ahead of schedule.
Although the movie was a flop at the box office, the other leading actors did not seem to have been greatly affected by it. Bethany Nicole and Nicholas Yates were still being endorsed on various variety shows. They only needed to stand in front of a camera to earn several million easily. On the other hand, Faye had posted a selfie of her at Taylor’s villa on Twitter today.
Moreover, she had created a disgusting caption to show off her close relationship with Taylor: ‘Finally, I can disclose this to the public! Mr. Taylor is actually my brother-in-law! I’m sorry about the misunderstandings we caused before!’
Haha. With just a few simple words, she cleared up the malicious rumors that were going around and attached herself to Taylor, a bigshot in the industry. The Huffs had invested the most money into the movie. Consequently, they, too, suffered the most. As a result, the billions worth of debt that weighed down on Xyla’s shoulders left her gasping for air—never before in her life had she felt as helpless and desperate as she was now.
The collapse of the Huff Family was all over the news by now and everybody knew that she had lost everything. Just a few days ago, I was still the young lady of the Huff Family that was loved and favored by all, the wife of the young master of the Harper Group, and the budding new actress that was rising in popularity within the film industry. But now, I’m no more than a penniless small fry that can only hide in a small motel that costs 100 per night—in the last throes of my life. Soon, I won’t even be able to afford to live in this little motel.
When she ran away in anger, she left without her wallet. All she had on her was her phone and ID card. Not only was she penniless, but she also did not have her debit cards or credit cards with her. Moreover, her Venmo and PayPal accounts had run out of cash. Soon, she wouldn’t be able to pay for her motel room.
The best friends and relatives that she used to have were all avoiding her like the plague, so she had nowhere else to go. Once she ran out of money, she had no other choice but to return to the Harper Residence in humiliation and continue suffering the dirty looks and harsh treatment Mrs. Harper would heap on her, as well as Richard’s cold indifference. As the saying went, ‘a person’s true character is often revealed in times of crises’.
All of a sudden, Xyla’s phone rang. A name that made her jump for joy appeared on the screen. Thus, she answered excitedly, “Richard, I knew it; I knew you wouldn’t abandon me…” This is great! Richard still cares about me!
On the other side of the phone, Richard fell silent for a moment before saying, “Xyla, come out. I’ll wait for you at the café opposite the motel.”
Overjoyed, she hurriedly tidied herself up and left the motel. When she arrived at the café, she saw Richard’s handsome figure sitting at a corner of the coffee shop through the glass window. All of a sudden, she was so moved that her tears poured down her face. Rushing over to him, she hugged him tightly and burst into tears. “I knew you wouldn’t abandon me! You’re the only one in this world who treats me the best…”
Compared to her emotional reaction, Richard was very indifferent. He glanced about at the other tables in the café. Fortunately, it was late at night. Moreover, this café was located in a remote suburban village where few people lived. Even so, he pushed her away in disgust while saying in a holier-than-thou attitude, “Xyla, mind your behavior. You’re a celebrity!”
After a moment, she finally released him and saw that he had ordered two cups of coffee as well as some desserts. She was so hungry that she shoveled them down immediately. All she had eaten today was a bowl of instant noodles because she had no money to order in since her accounts were empty and she didn’t dare to leave the motel.
As a result, she wolved down the food like a starved beggar. She, who had not washed her hair today, was a disheveled mess. However, she was so famished that she didn’t even notice when her hair went into her mouth while she was eating.
He quickly sipped on his coffee, trying to suppress the revulsion rising in his heart. He was even starting to doubt his preferences back then. Why did I marry such a useless and disgusting woman? In the two years we’ve been together, how much trouble has she brought to me? I can’t even keep count anymore! If this woman had not taken off her clothes and seduced me back then, I would never have left Sophia. If this woman had not resorted to underhanded means, which nearly caused Sophia to lose her life, and repeatedly tried to bring Sophia down after that, I would not have become a subject of Sophia’s vendetta. But now, Sophia seems to have pushed all the responsibility onto me. Her revenge is targeted at me, and me alone. Meanwhile, this woman remains completely unharmed. No; her current situation has nothing to do with me whatsoever. She had it coming! Besides, even if she died, Sophia would continue to seek revenge on me.
When Xyla finished eating, she even licked the plate clean without care for her public image.
Finally, Richard couldn’t bear to continue watching any longer. Finishing off half his coffee, he said solemnly, “Xyla, I have a way to stimulate the ticket sales for ‘Legend of Fan Lihua’. And, it is also the only method we have left.”
Can we still stimulate ticket sales? Her eyes immediately lit up, and she asked expectantly, “How do we do it?”
He looked a little troubled. “It’s a great method, but I’m afraid you won’t be willing to do it.”
Thus, she quickly nodded. “Just say it; if I can do it, I’ll do it.”
Then, he seemed to hesitate for a long time before he slowly explained, “I have great expectations toward your acting skills. I believe there is nothing wrong with our movie. The main reason our box office earnings are low is ‘Doctor Invincible’. It has been a long time since the movie was released, and it will soon stop screening.
As the audience’s interest and enjoyment toward the movie decreases, it will soon be our turn to shine. However, our movie has too few movie screenings. Some cinemas are only screening it two or three times a day. Some cinemas have even removed it from the screening list altogether! So, we only need to increase the screening slots of our movie as well as the interest in the movie. The ticket sales will definitely be boosted as a result!”
Xyla widened her eyes; she looked as if she had been enlightened. As long as we increase the screening slots of our movie and arrange for more screenings per day, we will definitely be able to increase ticket sales! Tugging at his clothes, she anxiously said, “Richard, tell me! I will definitely find a way to do it!”
Richard looked at her greasy hands that had held various pastries previously as they left greasy and disgusting marks on his neatly-ironed suit. A wave of nausea swept over him, especially when he saw dandruff crusted under her broken nails. It made him sick. Picking up the coffee he was drinking, he took a swig of it and forced down the bile churning in his stomach.
Then, he took out a business card from his briefcase. The words ‘XX Films, Mr. Murphy’ were written on it. Without wasting any more time, he bluntly said, “Mr. Murphy owns the largest chain of cinemas in Bayside City. All screening slots depend on him. He has taken an interest in you. If you sleep with him for a night, he has agreed to increase the movie’s screening slots by 30% throughout all his cinemas.”