Chapter 7 - Spoiled by Mr. Russell

The crowd was astonished. Few people knew Lily’s whereabouts after she disappeared from the industry, let alone her relationship with Nathaniel.

At this moment, the reporters were the most excited ones. Initially, they thought they would only get to write an ordinary news article about the event tonight. No one expected there to be any plagiarism and betrayal affairs. It was exhilarating for them just thinking about it.

Lily watched as Nathaniel walked toward her while he said regretfully, “You’re part of us at MN Inc. When did you become a social climber and move to another company? You did not inform me, and… you even took my company’s product with you?”

His voice was not loud, but because there was a microphone next to him, everyone in the audience could hear him.

“She’s a traitor then. Now I see why there’s an issue of plagiarism,” someone said in realization.

“Everyone praised her too highly back then. I remember the media had exaggerated her talent when she won the Best Newcomer award. Look at her now. Tsk…”

“It’s a crime to steal a company’s confidential information. We should call the cops on her!”

“Not only does she not have a sense of smell, but she does not have a conscience. I have to say she’s quite the beauty, but what’s the use of that when she’s a thief?”

Everyone said nasty things about Lily, and Nathaniel had to suppress his smugness at this moment. Although he had no idea what was going on, at least he managed to save his company from the current crisis.

Then Nathaniel looked at the person-in-charge of Rebirth victoriously, feigning kindness as he said, “I think your company must’ve misunderstood something and fell victim to deceit. It is all merely a misunderstanding. Surely, your company is not at fault here. However, everyone knows that a product belongs to its creator. It is obvious that First Love belongs to MN Inc.”

“Mr. Hall, you said that…” A voice that sounded abruptly interrupted Nathaniel’s words.

Lily had an indifferent smile on her face the whole time. She turned to look at Nathaniel and asked calmly, “You said I’m working for MN Inc.?” She was so calm that it made Nathaniel anxious for no reason.

Still, Nathaniel managed to reduce his uneasiness as many people were watching. “You won’t be one of us anymore in the future. It is a regret that such a thing happened today.”

Lily chuckled as if she heard a joke and continued to ask, “Was I ever an employee of MN Inc. in the past?”

Before Nathaniel could speak, Lily continued, “Mr. Hall, I never seem to have signed any contract with MN Inc. Do we have a written agreement? Did you ever give me a paycheck? Do you have anything to prove that I worked for your company”

“Proof? Everyone in MN Inc. can testify that you worked with us before. What proof do you need?”

“That means you don’t have it then?” The question Lily casually asked silenced Nathaniel.

He had taken advantage of Lily’s loyalty, and there was no such contract nor paycheck. He did that to prevent Lily from using the contract against him. Lily’s salary was never consistent because she did not care about money.

Nathaniel also paid for her rental automatically through his bank account each month, and Lily was not much of a spender. One would say Nathaniel paid for most of Lily’s living expenses, so he thought it

unnecessary to provide Lily with a paycheck.

Nonetheless, Lily had brought the matter up and moved to another company, leaving Nathaniel untenable. Even if they brought this case to court, the jury would view Nathaniel as the unreasonable party.

“Regardless if we have proof, there is no need for us to show it to you here,” Melanie said harshly, unable to remain silent anymore after watching everything as she stood among the audience.

Raising her chin, she looked at Lily arrogantly. “This is not a place for you to grandstand. As your former friend, I won’t pursue this matter further, but I hope you leave at this instant.”

Melanie’s words seemed to have reminded Nathaniel of something. He took a step forward and grabbed Lily’s sleeve, staring at her as he said, “Lily, we’ll talk about this later regardless of what kind of misunderstanding we had.”

He used his gaze to warn Lily that she needed to listen to him if she wanted to keep their relationship. Unfortunately for him, Lily was no longer the same person he once knew.

“Mr. Hall, how could you not defend your rights after the organizing committee has identified you and Ms. Thayer as the victims of plagiarism? I believe the judges of this competition will be fair and square to all of us.” Lily took a step back and freed herself from Nathaniel’s grip.

Smiling, she looked at the host. “We have submitted the research data and sample of First Love to the committees, and we trust that the outcome will be fair to us.”

“Hold on!” Nathaniel raised one hand and looked up. “As Ms. Christian was an employee of my company before, it is possible for her to get the research data and samples from us. If the information is identical, how would the committee decide who is right or wrong?”

Nathaniel was not confident. After all, the research data and samples came from Lily, and they would contain identical information.

Now that Nathaniel could no longer stop Lily, he had to ditch her and seize the opportunity to make everyone believe Lily was the thief who betrayed her past employer. It was the only way Nathaniel could save his company’s image.

At this moment, someone went up to the host and whispered. The host straightened his back and looked at Nathaniel. “Mr. Hall, don’t worry about this. The judges have come to a decision, and… even though the information, data, and samples from both sides are similar, they are not entirely the same. There are still minor differences.”

“Oh?” Nathaniel was surprised.

On the other hand, Melanie was already feeling slightly uneasy as she wondered how their information, samples, and data would differ.

Even though everyone’s attention was on the stage, those who stood closer to Melanie instinctively moved further away from her. Melanie could also smell the strange odor, albeit faint, but she could not make a big deal out of it.

“The judges have concluded Rebirth’s First Love perfume as the winner! Congratulations!” The host did not beat around the bush, announcing the competition result immediately.

The sudden announcement made Nathaniel turn ashen. “T-That’s impossible!” Nathaniel yelled, “Absolutely improbable! My company has worked on that perfume for a long time! We’ve spent so much money and effort on developing First Love. How could Rebirth win?! First Love belongs to MN Inc., and we have evidence to prove it!

“The organizing committee cannot suppress small businesses like us just because Rebirth has La Beauté Group’s support! It is unfair to the newcomers to this industry. Although my company does not have the best capabilities and technology, we are serious about contributing to the industry’s growth through our work! If the organizing committee does this, it will disappoint the members of MN Inc. and other small companies like us who have worked hard! You are suppressing us!”

Many resonated with Nathaniel’s argument. There were only a few leading companies in the perfumery industry. Many small companies would continuously participate in competitions and exhibitions, hoping to have their brands known to more people and to expand their market shares. Still, their efforts will be futile if more influential companies constantly suppress them.

“He’s right! Since the two products are similar, why did Rebirth ultimately win?”

“This is daylight robbery! Mr. Hall, you should call the cops!”

Lily raised her brow and looked at Nathaniel as he stood righteously, manipulating people to trust him. “Mr. Hall, since you keep talking about evidence, let me show you some.” Lily turned to her side and took two tiny bottles from one of Rebirth’s employees.