When Sheng Jiaoyang heard Ning Xiaoruan mention the name ‘Jiaoyang’, she immediately turned to look at him. Then, when Ning Xiaoruan said, "How can I not go to her wedding?" she was shocked to the core.
"Why is your reaction so extreme?" Ning Xiaoruan took off his glasses and used a tissue to dry the water stains on the lenses as well as the drops of water on his face.
The two others at the dining table were also looking at her.
"What did you just say? Repeat!" Sheng Jiaoyang stared at Ning Xiaoruan with a burning gaze.
"I said that Jiaoyang is getting married. Didn't Cousin tell you?" Ning Xiaoruan glanced at Shen Zhining. "Oh, I almost forgot…you’re one of Jiaoyang’s die-hard fans. No wonder you reacted like that."
Sheng Jiaoyang already couldn’t hear the rest of what he was saying. The words ‘Jiaoyang is getting married’ were repeatedly circulating in her mind.
"She woke up? Who is she marrying?"
"That…I don't know. You'll have to ask my cousin," Ning Xiaoruan replied.
Sheng Jiaoyang turned to look at Shen Zhining.
"We'll know when we get there," Shen Zhining said dully.
"Cousin, you are only saying that because you don’t know, right?!" Ning Xiaoruan murmured.
Shen Zhining glanced at Ning Xiaoruan but didn’t say anything.
Sheng Jiaoyang was somewhat disappointed upon hearing this. Deep down, she was feeling quite anxious but she didn’t dare show it.
Sheng Jiaoyang was feeling particularly conflicted as she stepped into the Shen family's Aureate Manor once again, but with another identity.
"You’re here!" Fu Lailin stood up when she saw several people enter.
Shen Zhining looked around the living room and asked, "Where's Grandfather?"
"He’s in the study with his old friend," Fu Lailin smiled. When she took note of Sheng Jiaoyang standing beside Shen Zhining, she quickly beckoned her to come closer.
"Grandmother Andy." Sheng Jiaoyang trotted over.
Fu Lailin raised her hand and patted her on the cheek, asking caringly, "Why is your complexion so bad? Are you having a hard time with your studies? Or did Zhining bully you?"
"No, it’s not like that." Sheng Jiaoyang shook her head and added, "It's just that I had a nightmare last night and didn't sleep well."
Fu Lailin was aware of the bloody car accident they’d encountered on the road yesterday, so she’d specifically instructed Shen Zhining to bring Jiaojiao along. When she learned that Jiaojiao had suffered a nightmare, she gently stroked Jiaojiao’s head and said, "Rest early tonight, I’ve already prepared a room for you."
"Grandma, you’re playing favourites. Why didn't you ask me? I didn't have a good rest last night either." Ning Xiaoruan came over to join in the fun.
Fu Lailin laughed and raised her hand to tap Ning Xiaoruan's nose.
"Why did Grandfather Yang make such a decision?" Shen Zhining sat down on the sofa.
Sheng Jiaoyang’s expression lit up as she listened attentively.
Fu Lailin sighed. "Your grandfather is in the middle of persuading him in the study. I really wonder if he’ll insist on doing it or not."
Grandfather is here!
Sheng Jiaoyang couldn’t sit still any longer and wanted to rush to the study immediately.
"Jiaojiao, you don’t look that well, so you'd better go to your room and rest for a while. We'll call you at dinnertime," Fu Lailin took note of her anxiousness and suggested.
"It’s oka…alright." Sheng Jiaoyang, who’d intended to refuse at first, suddenly changed her mind.
"A’Ning, Jiaojiao's room is next to yours. Take her to her room to rest."
Sheng Jiaoyang hastily declined, "There’s no need to bother Zhining, I'll go by myself."
Fu Lailin helplessly opposed, "Silly girl, this is your first time here, so how can I possibly let you go search for it yourself?”
Hearing this, Sheng Jiaoyang finally remembered that this was her first time here as Xu Jiaojiao.
Shen Zhining glanced at her as he stood up. "Let's go."
Just as she was about to leave, Sheng Jiaoyang heard the familiar sound of a walking stick clacking on the ground. She followed the sound and saw two elderly men walking side by side in the right corner of the corridor.
Grandfather Shen was very well-dressed and appeared in high spirits.
As for the aged and haggard-looking elderly man leaning on a walking stick next to him, he was Sheng Jiaoyang’s grandfather, Yang Wenting.
Sheng Jiaoyang’s eyes immediately teared up. Although she hadn’t seen him for half a year, she felt as if it were a lifetime ago.
Grandfather Yang seemed to have aged a lot compared to the last time she’d seen him.
"Zhining, you’re back!" Grandfather Yang exclaimed.
"Grandfather Yang," Shen Zhining nodded before greeting Grandfather Yang.
"I heard that you have a girlfriend now. Won't you introduce her to this old man?" Grandfather Yang's eyes fell on Sheng Jiaoyang, his gentle gaze scrutinizing as he examined her.
"Her name is Xu Jiaojiao," Shen Zhining briefly introduced.
In this short period of time, Sheng Jiaoyang had kept her eyes open the whole time and didn’t dare to blink for fear that tears would fall. She smiled with difficulty and said, "Hello, I’m Jiaojiao." Her voice trembled slightly at the last part, revealing the restlessness she was feeling.
"Jiaojiao?" Grandfather Yang cast a look at Shen Zhining, his gaze filled with deep thoughts.
Grandfather Shen, who was next to him, suddenly added, "Zhining told me that he wouldn’t marry anyone else aside from this girl. It’s truly a pity that this girl is still so young. Otherwise, you’d already be enjoying drinks at our Zhining’s wedding feast by now, Old Yang."
Grandfather Shen’s words left the people present with different expressions.
Fu Lailin was wondering why her husband was acting crazy again. Everything was fine earlier, so why did he have to mention that?
Ning Xiaoruan was thinking: Oh, as expected! She’s my future cousin-in-law! I didn’t expect Cousin to have fallen so deeply in love with her. Cousin didn’t show his love towards her at normal times, so I didn’t notice it.
Shen Zhining only glanced at Grandfather Shen with an indifferent expression as if he already knew why he’d said that.
As for Sheng Jiaoyang…she didn’t even know what she was thinking about at this moment.
"They look good together." Grandfather Yang nodded. "Alright, I'll leave first. I'll have to trouble Brother Shen to arrange a few people to decorate the venue over the next two days."
"Since you’ve made up your mind, I won’t say more. I’ll do as I’ve promised. We’ve been through trials and hardships together all these years, so you must know that our friendship hasn’t been in vain." Grandfather Shen raised his hand and patted Grandfather Yang on the shoulder.
Grandfather Yang smiled. "I'm leaving."
"Grandfather Yang," Shen Zhining asked. "How is Jiaoyang currently doing?"
Grandfather Yang looked at him and said in a low voice, "The situation doesn’t look so good." With that, he walked out.
Seeing her grandfather’s bent over figure leaving on his own, the tears held back in Sheng Jiaoyang’s eyes instantly slipped down her cheeks. She trotted a few steps forward to support her grandfather and said, "Let me assist you."
Grandfather Yang turned to look at the girl who had her head lowered as she supported him on his way out. He was a little astounded when he saw a few tears fall to the ground.
"Child, why are you crying?"
Sheng Jiaoyang didn’t dare look up, and her glasses were blurred by her tears. She bit her lip and didn’t answer Grandfather Yang.
"No wonder Zhining likes you. You’re a very likeable girl indeed. Alright, just bring me to the gate, the car is parked outside," Grandfather Yang gently instructed.
Sheng Jiaoyang didn’t respond and simply supported him outside.
Grandfather Shen looked at the others and asked, "What's wrong with the little girl?"
"Maybe the scene of Old Yang leaving made her recall some past memories!" Fu Lailin replied.
"As expected of a die-hard fan!" Ning Xiaoruan stroked his chin and sighed.
"What die-hard fan?" Grandfather Shen cast him a questioning glance.
"She’s one of Jiaoyang’s die-hard fans. A die-hard fan is a hell-bent loyal and unprincipled person who follows their idol everywhere. You know what a fan is, right? Where there are idols, there are fans, and Sheng Jiaoyang is her idol. Tsk, tsk, when she heard Grandfather Yang say that Sheng Jiaoyang’s situation didn’t look so good, she cried in sorrow. Now, I wouldn’t believe her even if she says that she isn’t a die-hard fan," Ning Xiaoruan said, his explanation ending with a sorrowful sigh.
Outside, Grandfather Yang boarded the car and waved. "It's cold outside, so you two should hurry and go back inside."
Hearing Grandfather Yang's words, Sheng Jiaoyang turned her head and looked behind her. When she saw Shen Zhining, she pursed her lips and walked a few steps towards him. She looked him in the eye with teary eyes and softly said, "I want to go and have a look."
Her behaviour and actions left Shen Zhining astounded. She’d told him many times before that she was Jiaoyang’s die-hard fan. Yet, whenever she’d said that…her gaze didn’t carry the kind of admiration one should have towards one’s favourite idol. Rather, the look in her eyes was more perfunctory. However, what she did earlier completely overturned all of his doubts.
Grandfather Yang's car had already left.
Shen Zhining didn’t remain silent for long. "Wait here,” after leaving these words, he walked away.
Sheng Jiaoyang stood alone, the cold wind carrying away the warmth in her body. Her complexion turned white from the cold, but she didn’t move.
An off-road car steadily stopped beside her.
Sheng Jiaoyang hurriedly opened the door of the passenger seat and got in. She fastened her seat belt and turned to look at Shen Zhining, who’d already started the car.
He looked ahead, methodically reversing the car smoothly. When Sheng Jiaoyang saw the trees on both sides slipping away and turning into shadows, she noticed just how fast he was driving.
In fact, this was the first time she’d seen him drive in person.
When someone was doing something seriously, they’d exude a unique aura and radiance, unknowingly attracting the attention of others.
But, Sheng Jiaoyang didn't pay much attention to it. She held onto the door handle tightly and was shocked to see that the speed had already surpassed 100 mph. At this instant, her soul almost left her body.
Seeing that Shen Zhining wasn’t worried about overtaking Grandfather Yang’s car, Sheng Jiaoyang asked, “You know where Jiaoyang is staying?"
"Mhmm," Shen Zhining acknowledged.
Since he’d responded, Sheng Jiaoyang didn’t ask further. She just anxiously looked ahead as the car overtook the other cars in front. She didn't expect that Shen Zhining drove like a madman. It was no wonder he wouldn’t drive by himself normally.
The sound of Shen Zhining unfastening his seat belt brought Sheng Jiaoyang back to her senses. "We’ve arrived?" She looked around but didn't see any iconic buildings or anything. She then unfastened her seat belt, opened the door, and jumped out of the car.
Shen Zhining brought Sheng Jiaoyang to the door of a room, but they were stopped by the bodyguard standing at the door.
Having seemingly heard the noises coming from outside, the door was opened and an unfamiliar man stepped out.
"Who are you?"
"Who are you?"
The two questions were asked at the same time as if the two people who’d spoken had secretly agreed on the timing.
"An Jing, let them in,” another voice called out.
When Sheng Jiaoyang turned around, she saw Grandfather Yang walk over, step by step, with his walking stick.
An Jing stepped out of the way.
Sheng Jiaoyang couldn't wait and immediately entered the room, heading for the bedside.
Then, a mishap happened.
She’d walked halfway when she suddenly fainted. The three people who’d followed her inside happened to see this scene.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Yuna | Editor: Purpledragon | TLC: Grace