Chapter 20

Inside Arielle’s room.

Arielle felt neither unhappy nor unsettled in any way as she surveyed the modestly decorated interior of the hotel room.

Never mind that she had temporarily fallen out of favor with Henrick, her very presence had already thrown this family into disarray, and amidst the ensuing chaos, she reckoned that she would surely find the truth which she sought!

The ceremony would begin in half-an-hour.

Before leaving the room behind, Arielle went before the mirror to straighten out her disheveled hair.

The girl staring back at her in the reflection looked unbelievably fetching, coltish and acquiescent, but only she herself knew this to be a mere facade.

A wolf masquerading in sheep skin bit faster, more incisively and viciously, and left no chances for its enemies.

The venue for the ceremony was extravagantly luxurious, with the aroma of coffee from the sampling stations of the various sponsoring roasters saturating the air inside.

Shandie picked up a cuppa the moment she entered and took a whiff from it before tilting her head toward Henrick. “This is pretty good, smells full-bodied. And judging from its form, I reckon that it should be from… Corleon.”

The sponsor at the side approached appreciatively when he incidentally overheard her. “You’ve a good eye, Miss. Our beans are indeed sourced from Corleon.”

The man’s effusive praise for Shandie made Henrick’s heart swell with joy as he looked proudly at her.

While Shandie was basking in her moment of glory, she lifted her head to see that sponsor looking absolutely mesmerized by Arielle.

Shandie had no doubt that the man would start drooling were he to carry on ogling, and that irked her to no end.

 

Although Shandie was a little over twenty just as Arielle was, the former still came across as a young lass who had yet to shake off her own girlishness.

In a few more years, there would be no telling whether Shandie herself would even be fit enough to be a complementary leaf to the ravishing rose that Arielle could become.

The very thought of that had Shandie gnashing her teeth and wishing for Arielle to disappear.

She thought that a country girl like Arielle should not show up and mess up her life like this!

Shandie took two steps to her left to block off the man’s line of sight, and harbored deviousness in her eyes when she picked up a cup of coffee in the same motion.

She shoved the beverage into Arielle’s hands and said, “Have a taste of their coffee too, Arielle. I thought it’s rather decent.”

Before Arielle could respond, Shandie pressed a hand to her own mouth as if she had hit upon a realization. “I forgot that you’ve always stayed in the countryside… so you must not have taken coffee before, haven’t you?”

was looking for an ambassador for his company

was from the countryside

unsuitable, or even undesirable, as a brand ambassador since

Shandie’s comments and only wished to

sampling drew a frown

was too acrid to the taste buds and apart from the bitterness, there was little complexity

 

it out to

from Arielle, adamant in the view that it was

does a country bumpkin like her

greatly pleased her. The latter then turned to the sponsor apologetically. “I’m

certain than ever that Arielle, who did not understand his product at all, should not

Shandie smilingly. “That’s okay, since not everyone is a coffee lover. In that case, I’ll be taking

at Shandie before turning

was thoughtful as he watched the man depart, believing his younger daughter to be far more capable

“Really, Shannie. Why did you have to let your sister drink

appeared quite indignant. “It

been forgetful, but Arielle, how could you tell the sponsor in his face that his coffee was bitter?

bowed, Arielle lowered her gaze apologetically.

regarded Shandie. “It’s almost time, so you should go prepare yourself backstage. Dad and Mom would be waiting

pleasantly and waved to Cindy before she took her pass backstage, while Arielle

 

Henrick who looked like he was trying to keep his distance from something repugnant, acting as if they

that was her dad. A good father who would happily

kept her own emotions in check and

ceremony commenced shortly after they were

visitors on the day was more than usual, primarily because of the presence of Vinson Nightshire as one of the

a slot at the event just for the opportunity to

the founders of Crown Coffee Academy;

“Please put your hands together for the CEO of Nightshire Group, Vinson

mention of his name ignited went far to illustrate

leading backstage. At the end of the ceremony, the technicians would edit the footage and

ceremony each year would receive

the front of the stage to greet the audience, he suddenly caught sight of a

Is that… Arielle?

gaze lingered upon her for awhile before pulling away. He then extended a

 

the seats. “Hello

audience grew ever more

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