"Old Ning, what do you mean ‘my paintings are selling rather well’? Are you praising the value of my paintings, or are you satirizing me for being greedy for money?" Grandfather Wu joked.
Grandfather Ning didn’t answer, but asked instead, "Do you still accept students?"
Sheng Jiaoyang looked at Grandfather Ning in surprise. He went so far as to help her find a teacher. Does this mean that he has accepted her?
"No wonder you praised my painting in front of the younger generation." Grandfather Wu smiled but there was no trace of surprise on his face. He obviously understood his friend’s intention when he started mentioning his painting.
Grandfather Wu looked at Sheng Jiaoyang and gently asked, "Have you learnt traditional Chinese painting before?"
"I studied the technique on my own last February. The more I learned, the more I understood the breadth and depth of traditional Chinese painting, and the more I like it."
A trace of surprise flashed across Grandfather Ning’s eyes. She’s really gifted to have that level of skills after self-studying for just a year.
"Old Wu, the level of Jiaojiao’s skills is no worse than that of your students who have studied for several years. Even in certain areas, your students might not be as good as her." Grandfather Ning stared at Grandfather Wu as he indifferently remarked, but there was a trace of pride in his insipid tone.
Grandfather Wu raised his eyebrow with a look of disbelief, but his attitude was still very gentle. "I have to see for myself to know the extent of her level. I'm not boasting. But my students are all very talented; my youngest student even won a prize last year."
"Come to my place and have a look. Jiaojiao drew an ink painting for me yesterday as a birthday gift." As the saying goes, ‘unfamiliar at first, but well accustomed soon enough’. After Grandfather Ning called Sheng Jiaoyang’s name for the second time, it came out much more naturally.
"Alright, I'll come by later." Seeing that his friend was so positive, Grandfather Wu began to wonder. If he comes across a good talent, he would gladly accept another student.
"Grandfather Wu, may I take the liberty of asking you a question?" Sheng Jiaoyang asked.
"Go ahead." In the face of a younger generation who was likely to be a good talent, Grandfather Wu was very patient.
"Are you Mr. Wu Yinghui?" Sheng Jiaoyang stared at Grandfather Wu with sparkling eyes.
Grandfather Wu smiled happily. "It seems that you know a lot."
"I have pondered over your paintings before. Your landscape paintings are majestic with a distant and open-minded artistic conception. I like your works very much." Grandfather Wu's painting could be considered her first teacher of traditional Chinese painting.
This flattery was too high-level and didn’t sound like she was deliberately courting favours. Rather, her words sounded very sincere. In any case, when Grandfather Wu heard this, he was all smiles. He hadn’t even seen her paintings yet and he already had a favourable impression of her. At least she knew how to appreciate things.
Although Grandfather Wu didn’t directly promise to accept Sheng Jiaoyang as his student, his heart already softened and he half-promised, "I don't easily accept students now, but I can give you an advice or two. If you have any questions, you can ask me."
"Okay, then I won’t disturb Grandfather Wu and Gramps any longer." Sheng Jiaoyang retreated.
As the saying goes: ‘One should know when to stop’. Moreover, she had her own way of handling this matter.
Watching her retreating figure, Grandfather Wu said, "Which family is your granddaughter-in-law from? She has really good manners and knows when to be conservative."
"She’s just a child of an ordinary family," Grandfather Ning replied.
Grandfather Wu didn't believe it. He looked at his friend suspiciously and joked, "Don’t tell me that you're afraid of me robbing you off your granddaughter-in-law? You can rest assured. My grandson is very independent, so he won't budge to his preferences no matter how much I like that girl."
Grandfather Ning’s mouth twitched. "Everyone around Zhining is as strong-willed as iron, and no one can sway them."
As soon as Sheng Jiaoyang walked away, she was blocked by someone.
"I like your role as Zhen Xin very much." Ning Guangyu tilted his head with a somewhat stifled expression.
"So?" Sheng Jiaoyang looked at him without batting an eyelid.
"I really wonder how you took down my cousin; he had never given any women a chance in the past."
"What does this have to do with you liking my role as Zhen Xin?"
"There’s no connection. It's just to strike up a conversation since I had to find something to talk about," Ning Guangyu casually replied.
"You’re jumping over this topic really fast."
"Haha, that’s how I am. You have to get used to it."
Sheng Jiaoyang suddenly smiled and left Ning Guangyu staring at her in a daze. She cheerfully asked, "Why should I get used to it?"
Ning Guangyu put on a sloppy smile and was about to respond when Sheng Jiaoyang brushed past him and walked away. He stared blankly for a moment before turning around. However, she had already walked to Shen Zhining’s side.
Afterwards, the well matched couple walked to the other side.
Ning Guangyu’s mouth twitched at the sight. He’s truly keeping a close eye on her.
The birthday feast was a Chinese-style banquet. When the banquet was about to begin, everyone sat down one after another.
This kind of banquet was actually very boring, but it was an indispensable part of interpersonal communication. For some people, such banquets were also an opportunity and place for them to develop interpersonal relationships.
However, Sheng Jiaoyang had experienced an embarrassing moment at this banquet. In the midst of the lunch banquet, she felt a throbbing pain in her abdomen, and immediately knew that her period had arrived.
It was impolite for the midfield to leave on such an occasion, and she originally wanted to put up with it, but if her period got on her clothes, she would end up making a big fool of herself. So, she could only explain the situation vaguely to Shen Zhining next to her.
Without hesitation, Shen Zhining got up to talk to Grandfather Ning and left with Sheng Jiaoyang soon after.
Seeing them leaving, Grandmother Ning frowned and asked her husband, "Where are they going?"
Grandfather Ning replied, "Zhining said that he wasn't feeling well, so he left with Jiaojiao."
The banquet went on as it should. After all, the ones missing weren’t the main protagonist, so no one paid them any heed.
It would take approximately an hour to get back to Ning's Manor, and it was impossible for Sheng Jiaoyang to endure it for so long. It wasn’t that she couldn’t stand it, but her period couldn’t hold the flow that was about to rush out.
They went to the nearest shopping mall. Since they went straight to the birthday banquet, Sheng Jiaoyang didn't wear a mask today. She leaned against Shen Zhining and lowered her head before entering the supermarket together.
At first, Shen Zhining wanted her to stay in the car, and he would go help her buy the pads, but when Sheng Jiaoyang pictured him wandering around the women’s supplies area by himself, she felt that she shouldn’t make things difficult for him and let him face that dilemma.
She was also afraid that he would pack her a bunch of pads that she didn't use, just like those scenes she had seen in TV series. If that were to happen and she said that she didn't use any of those, the situation would turn super awkward.
When they arrived at the women's supplies area, Sheng Jiaoyang immediately walked to the shelf with all kinds of pads. She found a brand that she used and took a pack of day and night pads each.
"Miss, the winged ones are also very easy to use. Would you like to buy a pack to try? We are doing a campaign…" The sales clerk pitter-pattered next to them.
"There’s no need." Sheng Jiaoyang hurriedly dragged Shen Zhining to the cashier.
The cashier was doing her routine job and wasn’t surprised to see the two bags on the checkout counter. But when a black card was extended in front of her, she froze and couldn’t help but look up at the two.
"You’d better bring some small change with you in the future."
"It's alright. I'll ask someone else to buy it for you next time."
The cashier merely heard the couple in front of her utter these two sentences. Afterwards, she saw the girl lower her head, so she couldn’t see her appearance clearly. But, her boyfriend was very handsome. That kind of eye-catching demeanour and temperament, and…that doting tone…how envious!
"You can also pay with your mobile phone." The cashier girl couldn't help herself and reminded them.
"Oh, that’s right."
"Let’s pay by card," Shen Zhining said.
The cashier girl blushed and hastily took over the black card. She picked up the POS terminal and entered the amount of money before swiping the card. "Please enter your pin code."
"There’s no pin code."
The cashier girl let out a gasp in surprise. This was the first time she’d met a nouveau riche, but sadly he already belonged to someone.
After waiting for a moment, there was no progress on the POS terminal. The cashier looked up to meet Shen Zhining’s deep gaze and blushed. She swallowed her saliva and said, "I’m sorry, but the POS terminal isn’t working at this moment. Something went wrong with this one. How about using another payment method?"
Sheng Jiaoyang, who had her head lowered all this time, took out her cell phone and opened the payment interface and scanned the payment barcode.
Mobile payment was more convenient than paying by card, and nowadays many people only took their cell phones with them when going out.
The cashier girl merely wanted to shoot a glance at Sheng Jiaoyang, but the latter happened to look up. Upon seeing that beautiful face, the cashier girl stood there with her eyes wide open.
When the couple left and the next customer came to pay, she still hadn't recovered.
Her supervisor coughed and reminded, "Xiaoqin, why are you in a daze while working?"
"My, my eyes turned blurry just now." Xiaoqin rubbed her eyes hard.
"What did you see? Why do you look so surprised?" Her supervisor, who was a few years older than her, curiously asked.
"Xu Jiaojiao, that person was Xu Jiaojiao!" Xiaoqin's voice increased a few octaves higher as she exclaimed.
"How is that possible? How could Xu Jiaojiao come here to buy things? She’s a famous star with an assistant and a manager, so it’s impossible for her to come to buy things on her own,"
The supervisor said with a look of disbelief.
Xiaoqin didn't care that she was criticised. She quickly took out her cell phone and searched it up. Afterwards, she excitedly blurted, "It's really her! That handsome guy is her boyfriend, and there are pictures of them together on the Internet."
Because the handsome guy was very good-looking, she stole a few more glances at him earlier, so she could remember his face very well. The young man in the photo was the same guy who stood in front of her and handed her the black card just a moment ago!
"Alas, I can't believe that I didn't manage to recognise her earlier." Xiaoqin sighed, feeling a bit dejected.
"Alright, hurry up and get back to work. Don't get caught by the boss!" Her supervisor urged.
Xiaoqin continued to scan the merchandise with an absent-minded look.
"Were you talking about the infamous Xu Jiaojiao, who appeared in a recent online video, which showed her pushing down a pregnant woman?" Waiting in line, a man asked curiously.
"Yes, but she didn't push the pregnant woman down. She was framed by someone!" Xiaoqin retorted.
"I know that. What did she buy?"
Xiaoqin was about to tell him, but stopped herself from speaking last minute. She then formally said, "Sorry, we have the right to keep secrets for our customers."Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Yuna | Editor: Grace | TLC: Grace