Cedrick was someone very famous, but his name was limited to a specific circle. The FBI had almost as much information on Cedrick as they did on Anthony, but this was not due to their level of danger but mainly due to the trouble that they created.
Just like what Ol' K had found out, Cedrick had a vibrant and glorious thieving history, but at the same time, he did not leave behind any evidence to prove his culpability, even though the police were one hundred percent certain that he was the culprit… After all, every time, the camera could prove that he was there, and there were not many who would smile at the camera at the crime scene… However, that was at most just circumstantial evidence.
Cedrick always had an alibi, and there was nothing at the crime scene that could tie him there. In fact, they could not even find the stolen stuff on him… He always said that he 'just happened' to be there, so what could they do? Force him to admit his crime?
A skillful criminal was not scary, but a criminal who could be so open about his crime and was able to flourish under the FBI's close scrutiny was someone beyond the description of cunning and scary.
Based on these reasons, even though FBI hated Cedrick a lot, they could not release a warrant for the man or else it might be a violation of his 'law-abiding' citizen's human right. Because Cedrick's record was so 'innocent' and because he was a generous, well-mannered youth—after all, people would have labeled him 'the white-gloved monster' instead of the 'gentleman' if he did not live up to his moniker—if Cedrick was willing, he was able to gain other people's affection fast. His connection was as good as Ye Shuang when she was in Brother Shuang mode.
Therefore, when Ye Shuang brought Su Zheng to Cedrick's hotel, they saw the man happily chatting with a French local.
"I hope I'm not too late." Edward, with his jacket open, sat down across from Ye Shuang and Su Zheng. He pulled out his phone with his fat fingers. "Oh, it's the one with light brown hair? He really does not look like a professional thief. Normally, people will see him as a shy, harmless youth."
"A beast in human attire!" Su Zheng hissed through her teeth, and she was about to crush the glass in her hand. "People like him are the worst; they look so presentable on the surface, but they're carrying a dark, dark heart. Such a quintessential representation of a cunning b*stard!"
Ye Shuang had translated what Edward said to Su Zheng. She consoled, "You can't say that. You are technically his colleague, and… even if you aren't, the man probably didn't really want to come after you. Perhaps when you crossed paths, he was in a bad mood, and you happened to be around…"
After she was given a glare by Su Zheng, Ye Shuang touched her nose and zipped her lips.
Edward could not understand Chinese, so he focused on his phone. After a while, he chuckled wretchedly, "Ye, I told you it wouldn't be wrong to bring me along… Do you know who that French guy is? If I was not here, you'd never understand why our little Cedrick is here."
The French local was at least fifty, and even though they said it was easier for foreigners to look old, to be able to have lines all over his face and two saggy eye bags, that was more than a health issue. Edward was there to tag along for fun, but he understood that he was an unwanted guest, so he knew that he had to offer something of value. He quickly found the opening he needed and explained the identity of the French elder who was happily chatting with Cedrick.
"That French guy is a famed collector, especially for French artists like Henri Rousseau and Paul Signac…" Edward commented in his condescending tone. "What kind of people admire that kind of work? Rousseau was childish and ignorant, and Signac was a single-cell organism. Just how intelligent do you think the collector who admires their paintings would be?"
"…" Ye Shuang was silent for a half a minute. "I remember the world praised Rousseau for his purity and innocence and Paul for his passionate determination… What kind of person makes that kind of review? Your comments have revealed the dark and acrimonious nature of your heart!"
Edward shrugged. "I am an acrimonious b*stard, do you not know me?"
Ye Shuang was speechless against such an open admission.
Su Zheng slammed the table. "Stop speaking in French! Or at least translate for me! I don't understand anything at all!"
Since there was a complaint, Ye Shuang quickly put Edward's issue aside and cut back to Chinese to explain the French local's identity and the reason that Edward speculated why Cedrick was there. The thief probably had his eyes on the man's collection.
Su Zheng was agitated after she heard that. She rolled up her sleeves and planned to create havoc. "The bad guy is up to bad things again! He wants to have a happily ever after after stealing my stuff‽ Does he think this is a fairytale? If I don't ruin his plan, my surname is not Su!"
"If you don't mind me asking, how do you plan to do that?"
"Er…" Su Zheng's fire was drenched, and then she quickly turned to look at Ye Shuang. "Sister Shuang, help me!"
Ignoring Edwar, who was studying them with open curiosity, Ye Shuang arranged her thoughts and started to ask patiently, "First, you have to confirm your target first. Is your plan to give him short-term pain or long-term pain?"
"Of course, long… Um, what do you mean by long-term?" Before Su Zheng finished the sentence, she noticed the serious expression on Ye Shuang's face, so she carefully asked another question instead.
"Long-term would be allowing him to steal the stuff and then be there to plant some evidence," Ye Shuang explained. "Then we'd inform the FBI of his crime, and those who have been waiting to capture him would not waste any time. Other than that, we could have Tony help them follow the guy. This way, Tony will have done the FBI a favor, and in the future, if Tony has any need for them, things will be easier…
"Short-term damage will be much simpler. Since he went through so much trouble to steal a few paintings, we can just ruin his plan… Personally, I think this option is not that technical, and I believe you wouldn't pick it." Then she sighed, her expression one of pity.
Su Zheng silently pulled back her angry fist. "How about I just let him be and go for a short-term pain?"
The other choice was too cruel; she did not want a colleague to end up in that state.
"Huh?" Ye Shuang looked at Su Zheng in shock. "Xiao Su, you're serious? A short-term pain is enough?"
Su Zheng felt cold sweat trickling down her back. "There's no need to push too far. After all, you said it yourself, Sister Shuang—we're in the same circle…"
Therefore, with the decision made by Su Zheng, Ye Shuang formulated a one-time hit plan. The plan was not to capture the gentleman but to ruin Cedrick's plan of stealing from the French collector.
"What do you plan to do?" Edward looked at the discussion between the two girls. Even though he did not understand it, the vibrant expression on Su Zheng's face was enough to keep him entertained.
Ye Shuang thought about it. "I've been listening to their conversation, and Cedrick has been pretending to be a cultured youth, someone who has a great passionate for arts… He's probably trying to get into the collector's good books so that he will be invited to his house to view his collection.
"Based on that French local's personality, he seems to hate pretenders a lot. The explanation of the actual plan is rather lengthy. In any case, you two just follow my lead… Xiao Su, you plan to take revenge while proving your professional skill, right? Later, I need you to stick a high-quality oil painting into Cedrick's bag, and then we'll do something to make the French man notice it."
When she said the last part, Ye Shuang cut back to Chinese and also elaborated on the other details, sharing the plan with Su Zheng.
It was fine for Edward, who did not hear the complete version, but Su Zheng almost fainted from shock. "Sister Shuang, are you kidding? Where do you expect me to find a good oil painting? Plus, you have to give me some direction, what kind of style? A portrait, object, or scenery painting? Nude or semi-nude?"
"Stop being so panicky…" Ye Shuang looked at Su Zheng with derision. "Don't worry. When Brother Han gave me some lessons, it included art appraisal. Even though I don't know much about art, I've seen a few oil paintings in my life… By the way, are there any art stores nearby?"
Su Zheng almost lost her mind and gasped. "Sister Shuang, you plan to draw it yourself? Now? High quality oil painting? Are you kidding me‽ The quality aside, we don't even have the time."
It might look like Cedrick and the French man were enjoying their conversation a lot until they were going to a room together, but in reality, it was already a stretch for them to sit there and chat for thirty minutes… The collector's time was very important!
Edward understood Ye Shuang's demand. He pointed at a store and asked curiously, "Interesting! Girl, what do you plan to do?"
Ye Shuang snapped her fingers. "You'll see, it's time for you to witness what is called a miracle!"
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