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"Sorry for the inconvenience. He's with me," Yu Xiangxiang rushed over and presented her invitation. "It says here I can bring a dance partner, and he came with me. I apologize for any trouble we've caused."

After checking the invitation, the attendants softened. "In that case, enjoy your evening."

"Girl, who on earth did you pick as a dance partner? He has no manners!" Young Master Li whispered to Yu Xiangxiang.

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Despite cringing at Li's dazzling appearance, Yu Xiangxiang managed to smile. "My dad insisted I bring him, and honestly, we're not close."

"How about I find you a new dance partner then? Guaranteed to be 100 times better than this guy!"

Recognizing Li's apparent influence, she hesitated before agreeing, "Alright, if you insist..."

"Giggle! You're so sweet. Let's go find you a hunk," Li laughed, although the sound was grating.

Wang Lin remained silent; he wasn't keen on hanging out with the uppity Yu Xiangxiang anyway. After they left, he went back to munching his fruit.

Soon enough, Yu Xiangxiang returned arm-in-arm with a dashing young man clad in designer clothes. "Wang Lin, let me introduce you to Qian Yajun of the Qian family. We're officially together now," she said, a note of pride in her voice.

In the city's social landscape, the Hong family was the leading clan, with the Qian family just a notch below. They were part of an elite group of five prominent families. Although Yu Xiangxiang was a renowned beauty in the city, beauty doesn't pay the bills. So when a chance to link up with the Qian family tree came along, she wasn't about to say no.

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Plus, Qian Yajun was as handsome as he was wealthy—just the catch you don't say no to.

"Oh, congrats," Wang Lin muttered, showing zero interest. After all, he didn't have much connection with Yu Xiangxiang.

"Here's a gift I've prepared for you. You can give it later. I'm off to the dance floor with Mr. Qian now."

Yu Xiangxiang set down a beautifully wrapped gift box and left arm-in-arm with Qian Yajun.

Wang Lin picked up the gift box. A quick feel told him it was a jade bracelet. Shaking his head, he set the box aside. He had his gift ideas. He'd been eyeing Hong Ying as a potential apprentice for her evident talent.

However, yelling that out could be awkward, especially given that Hong Ying was the cherished granddaughter of the Hong family. So, Wang Lin prepared a 'Marrow Cleansing Pill' to improve her constitution, apprentice or not—let nature take its course.

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"Tsk tsk, can't even prepare your gift? How embarrassing," mocked Li, who had come around again, looking at him with disdain.

"I have my own," Wang Lin replied, revealing a small wooden box on the table.

Li frowned at the sight of the unassuming box, fanning his nose as if he'd just seen something foul.

"Yikes, where did you dig that up from, a dumpster?"

"Enough, I can't take it. Put it away."

"Li, Young Master, right?" Wang Lin finally spoke, "You're not well. You need treatment."

"Excuse me, who are you calling sick?

"I'm just fine, thank you very much!" Li retorted in a nasal tone, making it even more unbearable.

"I'd guess you weren't always like this," Wang Lin ventured, "This change probably happened about ten years ago?"

The color drained from Li's face, his eyes narrowing into slits. "Who are you?"

Popping a grape into his mouth, Wang Lin replied, "Who I am is irrelevant. What matters is that I can cure you."

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