Brother Shuang… No, Sister Shuang's human photocopier technique surprised everyone again. Edward had originally been there for fun, and when he pointed out the location of the arts and crafts store for Ye Shuang, he had thought that the girl was going to attempt some petty tricks like purchasing some oil paintings from the owner that were left behind by art students…
However, to Edward's surprise, Ye Shuang really did buy a canvas and some oil paints. She did not ask about anything else and then led Su Zheng and him to a more secluded location. In the next ten minutes, Edward personally witnessed the birth of a scenery painting—Paul Signac's painting style was not through lines or palettes but through the use of tiny dotting of the paint brush. The small dots overlapped each other to form a lively painting that had light and shadow effects.
This was a human version of an oil painting copier!
Ye Shuang's 'painting' was not only fast—the quality was high as well. This kind of art style was right up her alley; as long as she could arrange the coordinates of all the painting points, then nothing was a problem. Edward almost swallowed the chewing gum in his mouth. Even Su Zheng could not help but cheer after watching for three minutes. When Ye Shuang finished the last stroke, the scenery that appeared on the canvas was a replication of the street before them.
The coagulation of paint completed the picture, and the combination of color and light perfectly increased the painting's reflectivity. The colors were not prematurely mixed on the palette but were arranged next to other colors on the canvas, and the direct contrast and complement were observable by the viewers.
The difference of brush stroke, the difference of thickness and lightness… this kind of complicated painting style required extreme patience and focus, but for Ye Shuang, it was just nice.
"All done!" Ye Shuang put down the paint brush and used the pencil to write her name on the lower right-hand corner of the canvas. Then she marked down the time as well—the date she put was ten days ago.
"What is the meaning of this, Sister Shuang?" Su Zheng slowly recovered from her shock. She saw that series of actions, but she did not quite understand their purpose. "Sister Shuang, do you plan to use your artistic talent to endear yourself to the old man and then fight for his affection from the thief?"
Ye Shuang turned to look at Su Zheng with a speechless expression. "I've told you to stop watching those imperial drama flicks. All those concubines fighting for a man's affection… Watching too much of those will lower your IQ. What's the point of winning the emperor's affection anyway?"
Su Zheng pouted unhappily. Ye Shuang smiled. She tossed the pencil away and picked up the eraser. "Look, this is the key!" Then she erased the name. Since she had used quite a lot of strength when she signed the name, and there was a layer of linen on the surface of the canvas, even after the application of the eraser, there was still a carbon trace of the signature on the surface.
It was not observable unless someone was paying close attention. She tossed away the eraser and grabbed a pencil with a thinner core. Ye Shuang signed another signature on the same spot, but instead of Chinese characters, she wrote down in cursive 'Cedrick'.
"Now, this is really completed." On the surface, it just looked like a very good painting. Ye Shuang blew away the trace of pencil and eraser dust.
She held the painting in her arms and felt like some spots were still not up to par. She blotted some spots or scratched at them… until she could not find anything wrong with it anymore. Then Ye Shuang handed the painting to Su Zheng, who was losing her patience. "Don't tell me you can't do this. This is 53 x 38… It can definitely fit into the double-strap backpack that Cedrick is carrying, but to shove this in without being discovered, that will be a test of your skill. After all, this is not something that is doable by just opening a small mouth on his bag."
Su Zheng was confident. "Leave it to me, what is this little challenge? I'll show the guy the terror of our Chinese bag-stealing… No, wait, the skill of our master thieves!"
Ye Shuang was too lazy to correct her. "…Well, have a good time. We'll depend on you to propagate the glory of Chinese culture!"
Su Zheng did not mind Edward, the fat foreigner who was in their presence. She lifted up her blouse to show her stomach and shoved the canvas under her shirt. She put the blouse down, nudged about, and then with some adjustment, the canvas that was still poking out earlier had completely disappeared into her skin. From the surface, no one could have told the difference, just like there was nothing underneath that thin blouse…
"Wow…" Edward whistled lightly, and his beady eyes that were made smaller by the fat on his face were particularly salacious. "The skin of Eastern ladies sure is fine, and due to the slender frame, the curve of the waist is also soft and pretty…"
Su Zheng looked at Edward with suspicion and asked Ye Shuang, "Sister Shuang, what is the man saying? I feel like it's nothing good!"
"He's complimenting you," Ye Shuang answered vaguely.
"Really? Such an easily-impressed foreigner. He has fallen to the charm of the skills cultivated over thousands of years, right?" Su Zheng laughed proudly and then shivered. "But I still feel something is not right."
Ye Shuang played dead. Even though it was unkind to her employee, it was better not to cause unnecessary conflict. Even though Edward had a sharp tongue, he was quite a valuable asset. If she really could pull the man to her side, even if it was just a mutually-beneficial relationship, Ye Shuang could save plenty of time and energy.
After comforting Su Zheng, Ye Shuang released the girl into the wild so that she could finish her job before Cedrick and the old man parted. Ye Shuang and Edward sat not far away and watched the event unfold.
"Are you sure your friend can do it?" Edward's eyes became more focused after he noticed that Su Zheng had gotten close to Cedrick. His attitude was not that abrasive, but the words that came out of his mouth were. It was one thing for him to watch, but he had to comment like the sharp-tongued host of reality TV shows. "Wow, your friend is walking to him that openly? Even though her expression is natural, her route is so direct. Cedrick will definitely notice her…"
Ye Shuang silently pressed a button on her phone, and then the phone gave a 'beep' sound. Edward asked curiously, "What are you doing?"
"I'm recording you and I'll send it to my friend." Ye Shuang raised her head. "Even though she doesn't know French, if she's interested, she can ask her friend to help translate."
In silence, Edward looked at Ye Shuang for half a minute. "Are you sincerely trying to work together with me?"
"If you know your mouth is dirty, then keep a lid on it," Ye Shuang countered. "Don't mock Xiao Su simply because she doesn't know French. You might think there is no chance for the relationship between the two of you to get worse, but you're forgetting one thing… There is a saying at our country called 'settling the accounts afterward'."
Edward huffed and drank the coffee that he had almost made into milk coffee. While Edward and Ye Shuang shared those few words, when the two raised their heads to look at Cedrick again, Su Zheng had already walked past the man's table. Ye Shuang had no idea how Su Zheng did it, but once Ye Shuang looked over, Su Zheng gave her a thumbs up with a big smile.
She glanced at the backpack that Cedrick was hanging behind his chair, and Ye Shuang really could not see anything different from before. "Hey, it's your turn now!"
This was an issue of skill. Thinking about that, Ye Shuang put her curiosity away and kicked Edward's feet under the table.
"Hmm?" Edward was still confused. "My turn to do what?"
"Xiao Su has already succeeded. Now, that painting is already inside Cedrick's backpack," Ye Shuang said like introducing the achievement of her own child. After seeing the expected shocked expression on Edward's face, Ye Shuang's pride continued to grow. "Foreign thieves like to follow plans and steps, one connecting to the next, manipulating blind spot of the eyes and the heart. But Xiao Su is a technical thief… She doesn't need to rely on others to lower their guard. Even if they are on full alert, you will not be able to tell how she did it… So, I'm giving you this advice, if you continue to offend Xiao Su, one day, you might not even realize your underwear has been stolen."
The fat on Edward's cheeks shivered, and he laughed drily. "Such an amazing Chinese culture?"
I already told you to not treat such a skill as representative of Chinese culture! Ye Shuang flashed a fake smile. "You can see it however way you want… Also, I already said it's your turn. Why aren't you moving?"
Edward sighed silently and finished his cup of coffee. He wiped the corner of his lips and stood up. "Fine, fine. What is my role in your plan?"
"Very simple!" Ye Shuang used her chin to point at Cedrick. "Find a way to get him to open his bag to reveal the painting… Use any method you like."
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