Chapter 209 - Following Someone’s Tracks

"What are we going to do tomorrow?"

Sheng Jiaoyang bit at the straw and looked at Shen Zhining with an expectant gaze.

"We’re going to…" Shen Zhining hadn’t finished his sentence when his cell phone rang.

He frowned. Since he’d specifically taken days off to accompany Sheng Jiaoyang, he put off dealing with all the matters that weren’t urgent, and he’d instructed his subordinates to not disturb him unless it was something important. Who’s calling him?

"Go ahead and answer the call," Sheng Jiaoyang said understandingly.

Shen Zhining glanced at her before taking out his cell phone. When he saw the caller ID displayed on the screen, a dark glint flashed across his eyes.

"Qin Ye, what’s the matter?"

"Boss, our men were attacked while escorting the goods. Four of our comrades passed away, and three are seriously injured."

Shen Zhining’s expression turned dreadfully cold as if his face was covered with a thousand years of ice, and the temperature around him seemingly dropped a few degrees.

Sheng Jiaoyang, who was sipping on her drink, was startled when she saw Shen Zhining's expression. It had been a while since she’d seen him show such an expression. It was as if he were on the verge of turning someone into dust.

"Do you know who’s behind this?" Shen Zhining coldly asked.

"It’s still under investigation. The other party hired local mercenaries, and the leader who was behind this attack escaped."

"The first thing to do now is to appease the family members of the comrades involved. The ones who are seriously injured must be sent to the best hospital for treatment. As for…those who died while on duty, arrange a proper burial for them," Shen Zhining instructed.

Hearing what he’d said, a trace of surprise appeared in Sheng Jiaoyang’s eyes. There were even casualties? What on earth happened?

When Shen Zhining ended the call, she took the initiative to ask, "What happened?"

Shen Zhining's expression was still solemn as he answered in a low voice, "A small accident occurred at the African branch office."

People died while on duty, how is this a small accident? Sheng Jiaoyang then urged, "It is definitely not a small issue, you should handle it as soon as possible. We still have plenty of time to try different activities in the future."

She faintly smiled and added, "Besides, I had a great time skiing today, so this trip wasn’t in vain."

Shen Zhining stared at her for a moment before saying, "I'll take you home first."

"There’s no need, I'm not a child. I can go back by myself."

In the end, Shen Zhining assigned Man Jun to protect Sheng Jiaoyang.

After Shen Zhining set off, Sheng Jiaoyang was in no rush to go back home, and instead stayed another night at the hotel.

When she got up the next day, her muscles ached so much that it was difficult for her to walk.

Here comes the aftermath of skiing!

Sheng Jiaoyang was very energetic while skiing yesterday, but the consequences of that came quickly. She didn’t exercise much to begin with, so this aftermath made her feel like an ultra weakened person.

As such, she went to the spa to soak in the hot springs.

Man Jun followed behind her with an expressionless face, and he’d occasionally look at her with a peculiar gaze.

He never thought that his boss would find a girlfriend like Xu Jiaojiao. He couldn’t understand why his boss would like a young and playful girl like her, who couldn’t help him share any burdens and who didn’t have a single redeeming feature. Moreover, his boss also had to spend time and energy coaxing and pampering her.

Up until now, he still couldn’t understand this. Xu Jiaojiao looks joyful and seems to be having more fun without his boss’ presence.

As a matter of fact, she’s even chatting with another man.

Sheng Jiaoyang naturally didn’t know the thoughts going through Man Jun’s head. When she had entered the bathing area, she accidentally bumped into someone. During her apology, the other party picked up the conversation and started talking to her. Since she was the one who’d bumped into him, and seeing that he was a cheery handsome Western guy, she couldn’t ignore him and followed along with the conversation.

But, after exchanging a few words, Sheng Jiaoyang noticed that the handsome guy started to intentionally or unintentionally ask her about her personal information. She wasn’t a naive little girl, nor was she a flower who grew up in a greenhouse. Facing this kind of ploy, she could easily test the waters with a few words to find out that something was fishy.

Since the other party was treating her like a little girl who’d never seen the world, he naturally let his guard down and was instead tricked by her into revealing some information.

When the handsome guy introduced himself, he said that he came from France, but Sheng Jiaoyang feigned a surprised look and inadvertently said that he looked more like someone of German descent. There was a look of surprise on the handsome guy’s face, but he quickly covered it up. Even so, this swift change hadn’t escaped Sheng Jiaoyang’s keen eyes.

If he’s really just a passer-by, why would he lie about his nationality?

This was only a small detail, but he seemingly approached her with ulterior motives. He said that he was a tourist, yet if he really was one, why would he come straight to the hot spring on the first day? When other tourists come here, the first thing they do is go skiing, then soak in hot springs afterwards. After all, there are hot springs available in many villages, and there are also hot springs in France. Why would he come all the way to Switzerland to soak in hot springs when he’s from France?

There were also other details that didn’t make sense.

"It’s my fortune to have met you on this trip. Shall we go to the hot springs together?" The handsome guy gazed at Sheng Jiaoyang with his charming eyes and asked in English.

"Sorry, my boyfriend doesn’t allow me to go to mixed-gender hot springs. Goodbye!" Sheng Jiaoyang bade her farewell and left.

After walking away from his line of sight, Sheng Jiaoyang looked for a staff member. She gave the latter money and asked her to keep an eye on the handsome guy and follow his tracks. Moreover, if the staff managed to take some photos, Sheng Jiaoyang promised to pay her at least double the amount.

The female staff member took the money, which was comparable to three days of her salary. At the thought that she could earn double this amount later, she ignored her work and went to tail the designated person.

Man Jun’s English wasn’t very good, so he could only understand the basics. He saw that Xu Jiaojiao didn’t go to the hot springs, and instead caught a female staff member and stuffed some money in the staff’s hand while gesturing something. However, he didn’t manage to catch anything because they spoke very fast.

The female staff member basically risked everything for the rest of the payment. This was the first time she was tailing someone, so she was feeling both nervous and excited while following the handsome guy. She saw him taking a detour to meet another person. At this moment, her eyes lit up in an instant. She quickly lifted her phone and snapped a few photos.

"What are you doing?" She was caught in the act.

She panicked for a moment, but quickly calmed herself and walked up to the handsome guy and asked, "Aren’t you that famous star?" She then gave out the name of a similar-looking famous star. She pretended to be his hardcore fan and asked him for a selfie.

"You’ve got the wrong person."

"But, you look so much alike, can’t you take a picture with me? Pretty please?" she asked, putting on a pitiful look while begging.

The female staff was considerably good-looking. Seeing a beautiful woman begging him so much for a picture, the handsome guy agreed to her request and took a selfie with her.

She conveniently caught the other person standing at the side on camera as well while taking the selfies. Afterwards, she thanked him and left.

With just these few photos, she could get an extra week's pay as a reward.

Before leaving, the female staff reminded Sheng Jiaoyang, "If you want me to follow someone else next time, just let me know!"

Sheng Jiaoyang acknowledged her and waved in response. She then sent the photos to Shen Zhining and asked him if he knew those two foreign guys. She felt that there must be a connection between the incident and the two men who appeared in front of her right after Shen Zhining had left.

Sure enough, Shen Zhining replied with six words: Return home as soon as possible!

She’d initially wanted to ask him who those guys were, but on second thought, she figured that it was unnecessary. Even if she knew their names, she didn't know who they actually were, so why bother?

However, from Shen Zhining’s message, she could discern that they were dangerous.

Sheng Jiaoyang decided to not go to the hot springs and called Man Jun along to return home.

After picking up her suitcase from the hotel room, they immediately proceeded to the airport. Sheng Jiaoyang booked a same-day flight for the two of them and waited at the airport until it was time to board the plane.

When they landed, Man Jun hastily drove Sheng Jiaoyang home.

"How come you’re back so early?" Grandfather Yang was a little surprised to see her.

"Something happened on the way."

"Zhining didn't send you back?"

"Something big happened at his African branch office, so he let his bodyguard send me back home."

Grandfather Yang sighed. "High returns are accompanied by high risks."

"I'm going back to my room to rest."

"Go ahead."

After Sheng Jiaoyang sent Shen Zhining a message that she got home safely, she threw her cell phone aside and entered the bathroom to take a bath.

The booting ceremony of the new movie directed by Cen Jin would be held soon, and it signified that they’d start shooting the movie shortly.

The majority of the leading actors were present at the booting ceremony.

"The second male lead, Qin Fengyi, didn’t come?" Gu Zhou asked the director as he looked around. After all, he wasn’t only the movie’s male lead, but also the producer. Therefore, he knew all the main actors.

Cen Jin’s expression was downcast as he answered, "He told me last minute this morning that something came up."

"Then, let’s leave him aside for now and move his scenes to another day."

Sheng Jiaoyang, who was standing next to them, merely stared at them and didn’t interrupt. She just thought: Looks like the second male lead has deemed himself quite important as he didn’t even give Director Cen Jin any face. In the future, I’m afraid that he’ll be blacklisted by Director Cen.

After the roasted suckling pig and other tributes were arranged, the camera was covered with a bright red silk cloth. As soon as the auspicious time arrived, the booting ceremony began.

"Are you cold?" Gu Zhou turned around and asked.

"No, it’s fine. I have heating pads," Sheng Jiaoyang answered.

Gu Zhou looked at his watch and said, "There’s still half an hour left."

"It's alright. It's only another 30 minutes. It'll be over soon."

When the bright sun rose overhead, firecrackers sounded.

Afterwards, they burned incense, sliced the roasted suckling pig, and finally lifted the red silk. When the camera was exposed, everyone applauded, and the simple booting ceremony was concluded.

"After taking the movie stills, we’ll depart for the mountains. Without special circumstances, you’re not allowed to ask for leave. So, if there’s anything left unsolved, you should take advantage of the next two days to settle everything," Director Cen sternly stated.

Director Cen specifically shot a glance at Sheng Jiaoyang and said, "There must be a lot of things going on for you youngsters. However, I’d like to remind you that as the leading actress in this movie, you have to stay with us in the mountains for the next month or two."

"I know. I've already arranged everything. I won't ask for leave without rhyme or reason," Sheng Jiaoyang assured.

Cen Jin nodded, showing that he was satisfied with her answer.

"Alright, the male and female leads will take the stills first, the others will follow right after."

Sheng Jiaoyang and Gu Zhou looked into each other's eyes and smiled. They then followed Cen Jin into the studio together.

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Yuna's Thoughts

TL: Yuna | Editor: Purpledragon | TLC: Grace