Sheng Jiaoyang didn't know that she had unknowingly offended someone again. In her eyes, she felt that since the opposite party didn't answer her question, it was normal for her to ignore the latter.
But in the Chinese starlet's eyes, she felt that she was a senior and Sheng Jiaoyang had dared to put on airs in front of her, despite being a notorious junior. What a bigshot!
Arriving at the banquet hall, the first thing Sheng Jiaoyang did was to scan the surroundings. She found it weird that Lina wasn't around. Lina was currently considered to be a fairly popular figure in the fashion industry and would definitely be on the invitation list.
"Welcome!" Director Miller approached the couple.
A few others who were readying themselves to talk to Miller were surprised and scrutinized Sheng Jiaoyang and Shen Zhining. But the couple's faces didn't feel familiar and hence they started to further wonder about the identity of the two.
"Good evening, Mr Miller," Sheng Jiaoyang greeted.
When Director Miller noticed that Sheng Jiaoyang was wearing his brand of clothing, there was an added genuineness to the smile on his face. This oriental girl is sure tactful. She is clearly a detail-oriented person. That's good, very good.
"Have some appetizers first," said Director Miller.
"Sure, we’ll talk to you later," Shen Zhining nodded slightly.
Sheng Jiaoyang flashed a smile at Director Miller as well before she and Shen Zhining headed towards the appetizers corner.
"I'm a little hungry," said Sheng Jiaoyang. Shen Zhining then picked out a plate of appetizers for her.
Scanning the entire hall, everyone was just holding onto a wine glass and Sheng Jiaoyang was the only one eating appetizers.
"Hmm, this macaron tastes good too," Sheng Jiaoyang picked up a piece and placed it before Shen Zhining's lips.
Those invited to the gala tonight were fashion industry figures but their family weren't. Hence, Sheng Jiaoyang and Shen Zhining were the only ones who appeared as a couple.
Hence, those scrutinizing them were forced to tolerate their public display of affection.
Finally, when the others had finished speaking to Director Miller, the Chinese starlet then came forward to greet him, "Hi, Mr Miller!"
Director Miller looked intently at the woman in front of him. Oh, it's sure hard to remember an oriental face. But he didn't invite that many people today and remembered that the person before him was the previous Asia ambassador, Qu Wen.
"Mr Miller, I'm so sorry that due to conflicts in my schedule, I wasn't able to watch the amazing runway fashion show this morning. I deeply apologize about this." Qu Wen curtsied and said humbly.
"It's alright," Director Miller didn't take the issue to heart. The fashion show was not meant for her specifically as well so it didn't matter if she was there.
"Thank you for your understanding," Qu Wen curtsied again.
Director Miller was about to walk away when Qu Wen's voice sounded again. "Mr Miller, it turns out that you have invited Xu Jiaojiao to walk the show. Here I was thinking why didn't she appear to fight against the higher authorities' decision to shelf her."
Qu Wen's English was relatively fluent. Coupled with the fact that she had rehearsed this line a few times in her mind, it came out even smoother.
Director Miller was stunned. He looked at Qu Wen with dubious glances and asked, "Are you sure her activities have been suspended by the government?"
"Of course, I wouldn't make a joke over something like that," Qu Wen replied with a smile.
Director Miller turned his head to look in another direction and said, "I heard that Jiaojiao is a Chinese celebrity with tens of millions of fans." He felt that Shen Zhining wouldn't lie to him, especially over something like this where the authenticity of what he said could be checked with a simple Internet search.
Moreover, the pride that was flowing out of him at the time was definitely real.
"Mr Miller, you just need to get your assistant to check and you will see. Xu Jiaojiao has more than tens of millions of fans," Qu Wen intentionally paused before she continued, "But those fans are all anti-fans!"
"Anti-fans?" Director Miller gasped in surprise.
"Yes. Basically, they dislike her and exist to criticize and mock her." In case Director Miller was confused, Qu Wen explained the definition of an ‘anti-fan’.
Hesitation appeared on Director Miller's face. He then gave his orders to his assistant. Though he really adored that girl, he would never allow her to be the Asia ambassador of his brand if she was really surrounded by negative press; regardless of how influential Shen Zhining was.
His assistant gave Director Miller the investigation results when the gala began.
True to Qu Wen's words, Xu Jiaojiao was plagued with negative press and there were many people criticizing her online.
Originally, Director Miller had wanted to introduce Jiaojiao to everyone as the future Asia ambassador for his brand. But because of this, he didn't mention her name throughout the gala dinner.
When the gala ended, he asked them to stay until the end.
When they bade their farewells, Director Miller told Shen Zhining, "I am really sorry to tell you this piece of bad news. I have decided to take back my decision to let your girlfriend be our Asia ambassador at the last minute."
His decision came suddenly and was dropped suddenly too. Sheng Jiaoyang slightly furrowed her brows; she found that it was without rhyme or reason.
Shen Zhining raised an eyebrow slightly and asked, "Mr Miller, there must be a reason for this."
"I have just heard the news that Miss Xu doesn't have a good reputation in your country." Director Miller wasn't afraid of offending them as he was stating a fact.
Sheng Jiaoyang smiled instead, "Lately, I haven’t paid much attention to that. May I know how bad my reputation is?"
Director Miller looked at her with regrets and said, "Miss Xu, though I really admire your disposition on stage, I have to be careful in choosing an ambassador as this would affect our brand's development in Asia."
"Thank you for your honesty, Mr Miller. We shall take our leave first." Sheng Jiaoyang held Shen Zhining's hand and left gracefully.
In the car.
Shen Zhining was toying with Sheng Jiaoyang's fingers. "Didn't you want this endorsement deal? Why didn't you tell Miller that the negative press was just a part of your plan?"
"Because I have a sudden change of mind."
Sheng Jiaoyang was in high spirits, and the corners of her lips slightly raised as confidence coursed through her. "I don't want to endorse for others anymore. I will only endorse for myself in the future."
"You want to establish a new brand? Or acquire a brand?" Shen Zhining narrowed his eyes.
"Acquisition would save us from a lot of follow-up troubles. Establishing a new brand will be challenging. But I love doing challenging things!"
Due to what happened tonight, the idea of creating her own brand popped into her head and this idea swiftly rooted itself in her mind and sprouted. She was affirmative when she made her last statement; the confidence on her face was remarkable.
Shen Zhining's gaze flickered. She was so glimmering that it made his heart race.
"Jiaojiao," he called out.
"Hmm?" Sheng Jiaoyang turned and looked at him.
"Whatever you want to achieve, I will also help you achieve it."
Oh jeez, such words are so touching.
Sheng Jiaoyang recalled something that her grandfather brought up when they had just acknowledged each other. "He introduced your painting teacher and he was involved in your painting exhibition, your dream fund, your startup business and all. You just didn't know about it."
There were many things she didn't know.
"Zhining, are you being nice to me to make up for bullying me as a child?" Sheng Jiaoyang asked, her voice streaked with emotions.
Shen Zhining jeered, "You sound as though you harboured many grievances. Didn't you allow me to bully you willingly?"
What the hell! Sheng Jiaoyang glared at him. How was I willing? Never! Impossible!!
"You could have ignored me, not follow after me, not talk to me, not help me out, but you clearly didn't."
Erm… He has a point.
Sheng Jiaoyang was at a loss for words. She wished she could turn back time and shoot her younger self for being stupid and despicable.
"But when I said I would help you today, it has nothing to do with what happened in the past," Shen Zhining got serious suddenly, "It's purely because that's my heart's calling."
Sheng Jiaoyang felt that the whole world had gone silent. She could hear the sound of her heart beating. Thud. Thud. It reverberated in her ears as though it would break her eardrums.
Suddenly, she felt that Shen Zhining was the best she had ever seen when it came to mushy words.
Because she believed every single word he said. She certainly believed him with all her heart.
In another car, Qu Wen was answering her manager's question as to whether there were any interesting events that happened during the gala.
"Xu Jiaojiao actually appeared at the gala?" Her assistant sitting by the side wore a look of disbelief.
What rights does Xu Jiaojiao have to appear at a gala dinner of such status?
"She followed her boyfriend there. Ha. A golden coattail is very powerful. Mr Miller was very polite to him," Qu Wen spat with half disdain and half jealousy.
"No matter how powerful her coattail is, she can't stop everyone from talking. It's totally over for Xu Jiaojiao now. That's why no matter what you do, you have to do it on stable ground. If you try to do things in a rush, it's as good as doing all for naught," said Qu Wen's manager.
"For example, our Wenwen takes things a step at a time and got to where she is today by her own strength. No one is able to waver her position," Qu Wen's assistant said proudly.
Qu Wen smiled and posted a status onto her public account and accompanied it with a few photos that she took at the evening gala. She wrote: It is better to rely on yourself than to rely on others. Only by relying on yourself can you be steady as a rock. I hope I can stay true to my original aspirations. I hope everyone around me can be the same.
After a stream of comments extolling her beauty, other comments finally appeared.
LoveLifeButLoveMyselfMore: Why did I seem to see Xu Jiaojiao's shadow? Please tell me that I am not the only one who saw her!
MyGoddessIsQuWen: OMG, didn't my goddess attend a certain brand's gala dinner? Why is that lowly Xu Jiaojiao there too?
IFellInLoveWithADumbwit: Feels that Qu Wen has been dragged a class lower for appearing in the same photo as Xu Jiaojiao.
Following after, a variety of disparaging comments emerged. Seeing all these comments, Qu Wen was exceptionally pleased.
Meanwhile in a college dormitory in China.
There were a myriad of expressions on Liu Lu's face. One moment, she was gnashing her teeth and the next, she was giggling like a fool.
"Are you having a stroke?" Zheng Yuan gave her a side glance.
"Yuanyuan, Yuanyuan, when are you going to upload that video? I really can't wait to see everyone receiving a slap in the face. I have been holding it in for days. I really want to slap those who are scolding Sis Jiao!" Liu Lu said angrily.
Zheng Yuan didn't reply to Liu Lu immediately. She was scanning through the online comments to see how much negative press Sis Jiao had commended.
"If you are still not going to release the video, we’ll lose all the members from the fan club!" Liu Lu looked at Zheng Yuan grudgingly, the latter was neither anxious nor impetuous.
Zheng Yuan tapped away at her keyboard fervently and said, "Yeah, it's about time."Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Cosy | Editor: Grace | TLC: Grace