The protagonists of tonight’s banquet finally went on stage.
When Xu Qing and Sheng Jiaoyang pushed Grandfather Yang's wheelchair on stage, everyone understood that these two were the main protagonists of tonight’s banquet. Sure enough, Grandfather Yang announced that he’d treat Xu Qing as his own daughter, and Xu Qing's daughter would now naturally be his granddaughter.
"They’re so lucky!"
"I heard that Mr Yang's own daughter and granddaughter have already passed away, and now he’s acknowledged these two with great fanfare. Did he simply look for a stand-in or is that woman his illegitimate daughter? I don’t believe that he’d acknowledge someone completely unrelated to him without rhyme nor reason."
"The young girl over there is a celebrity. With such a powerful backer, it’s no wonder she rose to fame so quickly."
Pan Zihui and Jiang Yin stood together in silence for a long time as they listened to the soft murmurs beside them.
"Haha, Xu Qing is in luck!" Jiang Yin coldly sneered.
Pan Zihui didn’t speak. He simply stared at Xu Qing, who was smiling shyly in a graceful manner as she stood next to Grandfather Yang on the stage. The complex emotions stirring in his heart were about to overflow. If one were to ask him if he regretted it, he wouldn’t know it either. In any case, his heart would be in turmoil every time he saw Xu Qing, reminding him of the feeling he had when they’d first met.
Meanwhile, another married couple also had complicated looks on their faces.
Qi Yonggao was also staring at the woman on the stage. After all, she was his unforgettable first love. His heart inevitably fluttered when he saw her again after so many years, but he was no longer that young boy from back then and understood who the most important to him at present was.
"How do you feel, seeing Xu Qing again?" Mrs Qi jealously asked.
Qi Yonggao hurriedly wrapped his arm over his wife’s shoulder and replied, "Nothing special, it's good to see that everyone is doing well!"
"I actually hoped that she was leading a bad life. If that’s the case, then I could proudly tell her that it was her loss for rejecting you back then."
"But, it would’ve been my loss if she’d accepted me back then because I would’ve missed out on my dear wife!" Qi Yonggao softly coaxed.
Mrs Qi chuckled. She knew that her husband was saying that to make her happy, but she gladly fell for it.
At this moment, a group of youngsters were also chatting amongst themselves.
"The rich man Xu Jiaojiao was referring to earlier turns out to be Mr Yang."
"Before arriving here, I heard my grandfather say that Mr Yang was dead set on acknowledging Xu Qing and Xu Jiaojiao. Moreover, he’s even going to pass his family businesses on to them. Fudge! That mother-and-daughter pair is truly something! They can inherit such a significant amount of wealth without even lifting a finger."
"No wonder Xu Jiaojiao is so arrogant. After all, her livelihood is assured with such a powerful backer. Indeed, if she inherits Mr Yang's assets, she gets the right to be lofty."
"Mingyue, since Xu Jiaojiao currently has such a powerful backer, how could she possibly seduce your father? Could it be that you’ve misunderstood him? Perhaps, he only paid attention to Xu Jiaojiao because he was aware of the relationship between Xu Jiaojiao and Mr Yang!”
Pan Mingyue hesitated. With Xu Jiaojiao’s current standing, there was indeed no need for her to seduce someone of her dad’s age.
On stage, Grandfather Yang went on to say, "My daughter, Xiao Qing, will get married on the 29th of this month. The hard times are over and the good times are just beginning for her because she’s found the happiness that belongs to her!” Speaking up here, Grandfather Yang suddenly waved at the audience.
Li Weiqi stood up knowingly before walking onto the stage and standing beside Xu Qing.
"This is Xiao Qing's boyfriend, and the two of them are about to walk down the aisle, hand in hand. I would like to wish the two of you a long and happy life together, and may you forever be united in heart and soul. Next, let’s leave the first dance to them!"
At that moment, a round of applause echoed in the hall.
Xu Qing and Li Weiqi looked at each other. Xu Qing was a little nervous and embarrassed, but under Li Weiqi's steady and encouraging gaze, she placed her hand in the palm of Li Weiqi's hand. The two walked off the stage, hand in hand, and started dancing lightly and gracefully, following the rhythm of the music under everyone’s watchful eyes.
Sheng Jiaoyang smiled at the sight. She was happy that Mother Xu had found her happiness.
"Jiaojiao, you should go and dance too!" Grandfather Yang suddenly urged.
"I don't have a boyfriend, so who am I going to dance with?" Sheng Jiaoyang stared at her grandfather innocently.
“If you go and stand over there, I'm sure that someone will ask you for a dance," Grandfather Yang confidently replied.
"Alright, I’ll go!" Sheng Jiaoyang looked at Grandfather Yang with an ‘as long as you’re happy’ expression, and beckoned over An Jing, who was standing below the stage, to take care of her grandfather. Afterwards, she hitched up her dress and walked off the stage.
"May I invite you for a dance?"
Sheng Jiaoyang glanced at Lin Yu standing in front of her before turning to look in Grandfather Yang’s direction. Sure enough, their gazes met. Seeing Grandfather Yang nodding at her, she couldn’t help but chuckle.
"What are you laughing at?" Lin Yu was puzzled.
"Just now, my Grandfather told me that as long as I come and stand over here, someone would surely ask me for a dance. I didn't expect it to be true." Sheng Jiaoyang’s eyes were sparkling as she beamed. Having inherited Xu Qing's beautiful features, she was very eye-catching at this moment.
"Beautiful Princess, may I have the pleasure of dancing with you?" Lin Yu asked, extending his hand like a gentleman.
As such, Sheng Jiaoyang placed her hand in the palm of his hand.
The music of the first dance stopped, and the second song started playing soon after.
Sheng Jiaoyang and Lin Yu started dancing and appeared extremely relaxed. At a slow rhythm, they’d chat about this and that. When the tempo increased, they’d smoothly move in sync and dance to the beat. In other people’s eyes, they looked like a perfect match.
When they’d finished dancing, Sheng Jiaoyang followed Lin Yu to the dining area because the latter wanted to talk to her about the arrangements for the school’s New Year evening party.
"What should I perform that day? I…"
"Oops, sorry! I didn't see you." A girl had a cup in her hand, but it was empty because the juice was already gradually seeping into Sheng Jiaoyang’s clothes.
Sheng Jiaoyang looked down at her dress. Since it was, for the most part, black in colour, it was hard to tell that juice had been splashed on it. However, she felt very uncomfortable because the splashed part was sticking to her skin. She turned to look at the girl who’d apologised and saw at a glance that she was someone from Qi Hua’s circle. Sheng Jiaoyang immediately understood that all of this was intentional.
"How amazing! You managed to bump into me even though we’re in such a spacious area!" Sheng Jiaoyang’s tone sounded so indifferent that it was hard to tell whether or not she was angry.
"I was thinking about something earlier and didn't see you. Besides, I’ve already apologised to you. What else do you want?"
Sheng Jiaoyang raised an eyebrow and sneered, "I’m the victim here, and I haven’t even complained yet. So, why are you making it look like you’re the one that was wronged?"
"Humph!" The girl turned and left.
"Did you bring any spare clothes?" Lin Yu caringly asked.
Sheng Jiaoyang nodded. She glanced at the girl's departing figure and said, "I'm going to change my clothes, please wait for a bit."
The girl went back to her group of friends and haughtily raised an empty glass. "As you can see, I've already poured the juice on her."
"Pouring a glass of juice was too easy a task, I should’ve asked you to slap her face instead," said another girl.
"A slap to the face is too much. She has someone powerful backing her now. If you slap her, it's going to be hard to justify yourself to her family."
"Aright, let’s continue. Truth or dare?"
The group of girls was having a lot of fun, while Sheng Jiaoyang was on her way to the room to change her clothes.
After changing into another dress, she went out and proceeded to the banquet hall while fixing her belt. Then, she suddenly stopped in her tracks and looked up at the man standing in the hallway. At the same time, her gaze fell on the cell phone in the man’s hand.
It was quite funny to see a man holding onto a phone with a pink diamond case.
"That phone’s mine…" Sheng Jiaoyang’s voice suddenly trailed off and she swallowed when she saw Shen Zhining approaching, step by step.
What does he want?
Shen Zhining only stopped when he was half an arm’s length away from Sheng Jiaoyang, and held the phone in front of him.
Sheng Jiaoyang was overjoyed and she immediately reached out for her cell phone, but…she couldn’t get ahold of it because the other party didn't let go.
"What do you want this time?"
Compared to her flustered expression, Shen Zhining was looking at her with a fathomless gaze.
Grandfather was right, Shen Zhining is very complicated. Even though she was quite proficient at reading people’ thoughts, she couldn’t figure him out. When it comes to him, she was usually the one caught unprepared.
"I want to confirm something," Shen Zhining said.
The rest of the words were stuck in her throat.
Sheng Jiaoyang’s eyes widened and her mind went blank. She was petrified.
Did Shen Zhining go mad?
Shen Zhining, of course, was sane. He placed the hand holding onto the phone behind her head and kissed her…very earnestly.
"Grandmother, how can you tell if you like someone?"
"In your case, doing a simple test is the easiest way to find out. When you’re facing that person and feel like kissing her, that means that you like her, because your body and mind have already accepted her. Remember, it has to be spontaneous. If you were kissed passively but you don't resent it, it can only prove that you don't hate her, not that you like her."
He really was in love with Xu Jiaojiao.
Otherwise, why would he change his principles time and time again for her sake? All those irrational thoughts and the fact that he couldn’t bear to see her hurt was because he’d fallen in love with her.
When Sheng Jiaoyang recovered from the shock, Shen Zhining had already started to reach for a yard after taking an inch, and his kiss was growing more demanding, more intense. She wanted to push his mouth away, but their tongues intertwined instead. At that instant, her ears immediately turned red.
She must’ve gone mad…
When Sheng Jiaoyang heard her heart beating like crazy, she tried to push him away, but his other hand snaked around her waist.
After a while, Shen Zhining finally stopped.
Seeing Sheng Jiaoyang’s confused expression, Shen Zhining’s gaze landed on her rosy and luscious lips. He then asked her with a slightly flat voice, "Do you dislike it?"
Sheng Jiaoyang blinked. Her mind was currently in a mess and she couldn’t react to his question.
"It seems that you like it, too." The corners of Shen Zhining’s mouth raised slightly.
Hey, that’s enough!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Yuna | Editor: Purpledragon | TLC: Grace