Blizzardous Threads of Red Main Story 1-1: Villa Guests

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Blizzard Villa
Blizzard Villa
Villa Hall
Blizzard Villa - Indoors (Lit).png

The living room is completely illuminated this time, devoid of the gloomy atmosphere when you first got here.

You want to find the butler and ask him about the villa behind the mountains that Zangr mentioned, except...

As you approach the lounge, you hear a man and a woman arguing.

Middle-Aged Man: Shantel, how do you expect me to understand when you've pushed things to the extreme?

Middle-Aged Man: Does the supposed understanding you speak of mean that our company should concede to yours?

Middle-Aged Woman: I didn't say that. I am asking your company to perform its duties according to the previous agreement!

Middle-Aged Man: A deal is a deal. It's irrelevant to your behavior.

Middle-Aged Woman: Heh, Elijah, if you have any issues, go and tell Mr. Zeng yourself. What's the use in talking to me about it?

Marius: Oh? There seems to be some drama going on there.

Vyn: With more people come more conflict. I just did not expect it would come so fast.

Artem: They mentioned Mevis Zeng... The argument seems to have something to do with the Zeng family.

You: How about we check it out?

Your suggestion is accepted by everyone. You put the matter with Zangr aside for the moment and walk toward the gathering crowd.

The argument intensifies as you approach the crowd.

The middle-aged man named Elijah Yin was going back and forth with the well-dressed middle-aged woman named Shantel Pan.

Presumably, the well-dressed woman is Shantel Pan, the one Elijah Yin is talking about.

Elijah Yin: Didn't we agree to split the business evenly between us!?

Elijah Yin: And now, you went to see Mr. Zeng without me? What's the meaning of this?

Elijah Yin: Shantel, are you trying to take all of my business?

Shantel Pan: How ridiculous. I went to see Mr. Zeng to bond. What's the issue?

Shantel Pan: I just went to his study to greet him. I didn't see him directly. Why are you so worried?

Shantel Pan: You've got such a small heart despite your large gut. I don't even know what's inside that head of yours.

Winters: *sigh* Distinguished guests, please keep your cool.

Winters: At the villa, you are all distinguished guests of our master. Please don't ruin the harmony between the two of you.

The butler quickly steps forward, trying to make peace.

Elijah Yin: Butler Winters, you've come just in time!

Elijah Yin: Tell Mr. Zeng to come out and speak regarding this matter. Why is this woman always picking a fight with me?

Shantel Pan: No reason. I just don't like the fact that you're wearing a leopard-print shirt in the middle of winter. It disgusts me.

Shantel Pan: Hmph, some people are still lowly and despicable despite the luxuries they wear.

You: (I have no idea what they're arguing about anymore...)

Both of them are unable to reach a compromise. Butler Winters looks at them, troubled.

As the argument escalates, there are a few troublemakers among the spectators.

Guest A: Butler, where is Mr. Zeng? Why aren't you calling for your master to intervene?

Guest B: Or can he not be bothered to come out?

Winters: O-our master is personally taking stock of the collection to be displayed at the auction.

Winters: Organizing the collection is a delicate task, so the master has ordered us not to disturb him. Hence...

Elijah Yin: That's not true. Shantel just said that she went to see Mr. Zeng. I demand an explanation!

Winters: Well...

The butler freezes for a moment, as if he didn't know how to answer Elijah Yin.

Marius: Looks like Elijah Yin is quite good at digging holes for others.

You: Eh?

Marius: What he meant by that was that... Ms. Pan has a shady relationship with Mevis Zeng.

Marius can't help whispering and commenting on the matter.

Marius: If the butler admits it, then this will be big news.

Marius: If he denies it... then the statement that "Mevis Zeng doesn't want to be disturbed while organizing the collection" is invalid.

Vyn: I am also curious as to how the butler will respond...

You: (These two... What's with the anticipation in their tone!?)

???: That's enough. Please take the advice of an old man.

An old man's voice cuts through the crowd.

The crowd looks toward the source of the sound and naturally parts to make a path.

You: Who is that...?

Luke whispers in your ear to explain.

Luke: According to my research, that person is Mr. Ji, a famous businessman in Yuchen Town.

Luke: Many people who came to do business in Yuchen Town are in contact with him.

Mr. Ji: The rules of the Zeng family have always been like this—they maintain a sense of mystery and don't like to meet people.

Mr. Ji: Nolan Zeng and I can be considered close friends, but we communicated mostly by letter.

Mr. Ji: You two shouldn't make things hard for a staff of the Zeng family.

Mr. Ji: Relax. What's the big deal anyway? Won't you be able to see him at the auction in a few days?

Perhaps the sense of authority in the old man's slow speech calms everyone down for a moment.

Under his mediation, Elijah Yin and Shantel Pan restrain themselves and leave in separate directions after rolling their eyes at one another.

Villa Guests (1/3) - Villa Hall
Blizzard Villa
Villa Hall
Blizzard Villa - Villa Hall RPG map.png

It is rather chaotic to encounter a dispute upon arrival. Discuss the current situation with everyone first.

You: The reason for the argument was about business with the Zeng family, right?

Luke: You're still thinking about what happened?

You: Yeah. I feel that Mevis Zeng is a mysterious person.

You: And Mr. Ji said that the Zeng family likes their secrecy and doesn't like to meet people...

You: That means... not many of these guests have actually met Mevis Zeng, right?

Artem: Yes, the Zeng family has remained a mystery to the public all these years.

Artem: That's why this auction, in which Mevis Zeng invited celebrities, has garnered so much attention.

You: It is clear the two guests in the altercation are in business with the Zeng family.

You: And Mr. Ji, who came out to stop the argument, has some relations with the Zeng family...

You: It seems like everyone here wants to get close to the Zeng family.

You: The atmosphere feels a little strange...

Marius: I feel the same way.

Marius: Thinking back to what Zangr said, it makes me feel like there's some kind of hidden secret here.

Vyn: Maybe we can talk to the people around us to understand more about the villa. What do you think?

You: Okay, let's go say hello to the other guests.

Villa Guests (2/3) - Villa Hall

Many guests have arrived. Visit every room to greet people and get to know the current situation. (Some guests are resting in the dining room and the side hall.)

Holly plant (Center)

Marius: This is...

You: A potted holly?

You: It's gorgeous. The red fruits are beautiful!

Marius: The shape of this potted holly... is special. It's kinda like...

You: Like what?

Marius: No, nothing. I was just thinking aloud, Miss. Don't worry about it.

You: ...

You: (Strange, his expression was so serious that it didn't sound like it was nothing.)

You: (But this potted holly looks quite ordinary... What's so special about it?)

Mason and Mr. Qian (East)

Mason: Mr. Qian, where is Mr. Yin?

Mason: There's a remittance order that requires his confirmation, but I haven't been able to find him...

Mr. Qian: Mr. Yin is still angry at the moment. I imagine he has gone to take a bath to cool off. Just wait a little longer.

You: (He's taking a bath to cool off?)

Mason: The boss likes to take baths?

Mr. Qian: Hehe, didn't know about that, did you?

Mr. Qian: Mr. Yin likes to take baths whenever he has free time. He says that his worries all disappear after a nice bath.

Mason: Manager, forgive me for asking... but what is the boss' relationship with that woman?

Mason: It seems to be a delicate relationship, seeing how they argue as soon as they meet.

Mr. Qian: We are a logistics company, as is Shantel Pan's company, which makes us competitors.

You: Logistics company... Are they competing over orders to ship the collection?

Luke: It's possible, but artifact trading probably shouldn't have the need to employ a long-term logistics company...

You: Yeah...

Mr. Qian: Mason! You shouldn't be asking these questions.

Mason: Okay, okay, I got it.

Mr. Qian: By the way, I just went to the wing in the backyard. The bath facilities in the villa are big and spacious.

Mr. Qian: Taking a long bath before going to bed is definitely a luxury for the rich.

Mason: Well, I will have to enjoy it myself later!

You: (Their conversation ended so abruptly. It seems like Mr. Qian doesn't want to explain too much to his subordinates...)

Casey Cao and Mimi (Northwest)

Casey Cao: Wow, Mr. Ji is awesome. Everyone immediately falls silent when he speaks!

Mimi: Of course, Mr. Ji is the most respected man in all of Yuchen Town.

Casey Cao: Yes, someone was causing trouble in the village next to mine a few days ago. It was Mr. Ji who handled it.

Casey Cao: Mr. Ji is like the guardian angel of our town.

Mimi: Yes, my father told me Mr. Ji's words hold more weight than the mayor's.

Mimi: He also reminded me to learn as much as possible from Mr. Ji on this trip.

You: It sounds like... the old man is quite respectable.

Marius: More than respectable, I'm sure. Sounds like he's in a position of power.

You: Yeah, the room seemed to quiet down as soon as he spoke.

Marius: The respected old man is also close with the Zeng family.

Marius: He broke up the fight much like an elder of the Zeng family would.

You: Perhaps he is one of those kind elders who subconsciously regard others as his juniors.

Marius: ...I hope so.

You: (Eh? Marius' attitude seems strange... Did I say something wrong?)

Tony (West)

Tony: My friends, I see that you have been hanging around here for a long time...

Tony: What do you say? Do you want to hear about the gossips of the villa?

Tony: You can ask me about anything you want to know. I am always the first to get the latest news.

Artem: You are...

Tony: Ahh, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Tony. I'm a reporter, here's my business card.

You: Do you know what the two people were arguing about in the living room?

Tony: Of course, I do. They were arguing because Shantel Pan's company stole Elijah Yin's company's business.

You: Care to elaborate?

Tony: Shantel Pan's logistics company was founded just last year...

Tony: Her company was ruthless, seizing many big clients from Elijah Yin's company.

Tony: Of course, Elijah Yin was furious that it happened... That's why they argued upon meeting each other.

Tony: *sigh* I heard they knew each other when they were younger.

Tony: I don't know what happened for Shantel Pan to have it out for Elijah Yin.

Artem: So... their argument might have been personal?

Tony: I'm not too sure about that.

Tony: We reporters only need to differentiate facts from fiction. We know what we know and don't know what we don't.

You: I didn't expect him to have such strong principles.

Blizzard Villa
Villa Dining Room
Blizzard Villa - Villa Dining Room RPG map.png
Shantel Pan and Brooke

Shantel Pan: Hmph, what rights does that Elijah guy have to be fighting with me?

Shantel Pan: Mevis Zeng is in charge now. What worked with Nolan Zeng is no longer applicable...

Shantel Pan: Elijah still wants to use the old ways to cooperate with the Zeng family? Hmph, he's out of his mind!

You: (Old ways? Cooperate?)

Brooke: That he is! Ms. Pan is much more capable than someone like him!

Brooke: If it hadn't been for Ms. Pan taking the lead in doing the Zeng family's business, our company would have...

Shantel Pan: Brooke, enough!

You: (Shantel Pan's tone suddenly turned so stern...)

Brooke: My apologies, Ms. Pan. I will watch my words next time.

Shantel Pan: Why are you standing there with those people beside you, Miss? Eavesdropping, perhaps?

You: No, we were...

Vyn: Hello, Ms. Pan. We just arrived at the villa and were just familiarizing ourselves with the area...

Vyn: We are very sorry to have disturbed you.

Shantel Pan: Oh, someone with your looks can't be a bad guy.

Shantel Pan: Never mind. The villa is enormous, so take your time to look around.

Shantel Pan: I still have things to say to my staff. You should give us some space.

You: (Unfortunately, I didn't react in time. Good thing Dr. Richter came to the rescue...)

Blizzard Villa
Villa Side Hall
Blizzard Villa - Villa Side Hall RPG map.png
Sam Zhang, Ashely Zhang, and Frederick Yang

Sam Zhang: You are Professor Frederick Yang, right? I'm very pleased to meet you.

Frederick Yang: Hello, you are...?

Sam Zhang: Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Sam Zhang, a businessman specializing in antiques.

Sam Zhang: Oh, and this is my younger sister, Ashley Zhang... Ashley, say hello to Professor Yang.

Ashley Zhang: Hello, Professor Yang.

Sam Zhang: We both love your book, "Antiques Appreciation and Culture Folklore."

Sam Zhang: We were able to learn a lot from your book on antiques and how to appreciate them.

Frederick Yang: Haha, you flatter me.

Sam Zhang: I wonder if you have anything new in the works?

Frederick Yang: Something new? Well, actually...


You: (They are deep in conversation... I can't chime in at all.)

You: (Forget it, I'll talk to them later...)

Villa Guests (3/3) - Villa Hall

You were able to learn a lot from the guests. Sort through the information.

After walking around the villa, you get a better understanding of the auction guests.

Among them are entrepreneurs, industry tycoons, town residents, and tabloid reporters...

There are even doctors, scholars, and others who seem to have nothing to do with the collection.

It's safe to say that the diversity of guests is much more complex than you thought.

Marius: I thought only a few entrepreneurs would be interested in the collection, but there are so many people here.

Vyn: It looks like the treasure auction will be as lively as the butler promised.

*Bang* Suddenly, a muffled sound comes from the dining hall.

It seems to be the sound of something heavy hitting the ground.

And then...

???: Help! Someone come quick—

A scream alarms everyone at the villa.

You: !!!

Luke: Looks like something's happened.

Artem: Let's go take a look.

You: Okay!