Chapter 1-1 The Music that Ignited the Ivy Leaf
Updated: Dec 12, 2022
"Mark! Your ride has been here for 5 minutes! Would you come out for god's sake!" A voice comes from the kitchen.
"I'll be right out!" Mark shouts back. He turns his head back to give it a final look in front of the mirror, combs his hair one more time, then he checks it again.
"Beep." A message comes through. Mark checks his old school black and white flip phone and sees a message from a contact called "Booker."
"Our guests shall arrive on schedule tonight, your performance is a GO. Do not disappoint tonight's sponsor."
"Affirmative" Mark replies with one simple word.
"Looks like the adult has no music background nor appreciation, it's gonna be a piece of cake to take care of him. The girl may shows some resistance with her current training. But makes no difference to me." This time he can't hide his smug on his face.
A brief case suddenly appears out of thin air. "Here is 50% upfront and the rest shall be paid once the performance is complete." Mark reads on his phone.
Mark grabs a bundle of cash out of the stack, closes the briefcase and walks to the living room where Ms. Inna Kuznets is washing dishes and Jason appears to be busy into his work.
Mark hands over ￥20000 to Helen, "Dear, here is the rest of the rent for this month. Hey Jason, whatever you are doing, looks and sounds awesome, keep it up." He reaches for a kiss to Helen's cheek. She reluctantly obliges and sighs with a sign of relief.
"I have to go, I'll see you guys later!" Mark says to both Helen and Jason, throws a piece of sausage into his mouth and rushes out of the apartment.
Central Yichen is the center of civilization. Gigantic skyscrapers with walls covered by billboards, screens and holographic advertisements that cover most of one’s field of vision with demands for attention, brand loyalty, and most importantly, cash. In contrast, the largest billboard displayed above the busiest intersection in the city is showing none of that, it’s a simple promotion of a recent breakthrough in the biochemical industry. No flashy animations, just a video playback of a gray bearded in a lab coat. He’s promoting the Tertiary Human Immunization System called the Eiton Nanocells. A huge government approval stamp covers the edge of this message, making it seem credible.
Not too far away from the central square, hundreds of restaurants attract foodies of all kinds. Next to the riverbank stood one of last year’s top 5 ranking fine dining hotel restaurants: La Seul Plaisir. No one had ever walked out of it and felt unsatisfied, apart from the potential hole in their pockets maybe. After all, dining in La Seul Plaisir is only a bucket list item, a once in a lifetime treat for anyone who’s in any kind of salary job.