Chapter 362 - The Worst Has Happened

Since ancient times, painters and calligraphers were considered as part of the same family, so even if Grandfather Ning wasn’t a painter, he was also invited to attend the International Art Exchange.

However, Grandfather Ning was evidently closer to Mr. Wu Yinghui compared to the others in the group.

Mr. Wu previously went to the Ning Family to check out Sheng Jiaoyang’s painting, so he wasn’t surprised that Grandfather Ning had brought her along. When he saw Sheng Jiaoyang, he said to his youngest apprentice, "That child is a very talented painter. Her painting skills are very solid, and she paints very meticulously and exquisitely. Her paintings carry a unique sense of creativity that is rarely seen nowadays."

His apprentice was a young man in his early twenties, and he was the youngest person in the group before Sheng Jiaoyang’s arrival.

Even if the younger generation no longer paid attention to stars and the things happening in the entertainment industry, they would still be exposed to entertainment news through various channels. Besides, the drama, ‘Redeeming my IGD Boyfriend’, was extremely popular, so it was hard for them not to know about Xu Jiaojiao.

The apprentice was surprised as his teacher rarely praised others. He then said, "I know who she is. Although I haven’t seen her works before, I have heard that she’s a really good painter. However, I don’t think that she’s very interested in this field. After all, her current focus is on being a star."

Mr. Wu nodded regretfully, "Mhmm, that's also the reason why I didn't accept her as my apprentice."

When Grandfather Ning came up to them with Sheng Jiaoyang, Mr. Wu smiled and said, "Old Ning, you’re a sensible man. You actually brought along a junior who’s fluent in foreign languages. She can be your interpreter later. Look at Old Zhang, he’d brought his most outstanding disciple, but when they encounter a foreigner later, they would surely be caught unprepared."

"The organizer must have prepared interpreters for this kind of scenario." Grandfather Ning wasn’t too bothered by the potential communication issue that might crop up later.

"Hello, Grandfather Wu," Sheng Jiaoyang greeted.

Mr. Wu smiled and nodded, "Old Ning told me that you’ve won an award at the Television Awards Ceremony. Congrats!"

"Thank you, Grandfather Wu."

After they had exchanged a few words, a staff member came over to inform them that the foreign guests had arrived.

The local artists were brimming with energy as they proceeded to the exhibition centre to welcome the foreign guests.

Several cameramen followed along to film the entire process.

The five foreign guests were lone operators, and they didn’t bring their apprentices along, unlike the local artists. All five guests were from different countries.

When the local artists greeted them, the interpreter helped to convey their words, and the foreign guests smiled warmly in return.

The first segment of the program was an icebreaker session, where everyone shook hands and introduced themselves.

Today, the cameramen couldn’t help but fix their cameras on Sheng Jiaoyang. They captured her beautiful and youthful appearance.

After the introductions were over, the local artists brought their apprentices along to shake hands with the foreign guests.

Grandfather Ning and Sheng Jiaoyang were the last to shake the hands of the foreign guests. If the staff hadn't come forward to remind them that it was their turn, they probably wouldn't have gone up to shake hands with the foreigners.

Sheng Jiaoyang saw a familiar face amongst the foreign guests. What a small world. I just attended his art exhibition not long ago. Now, we’re running into each other again.

When Malik saw her, he didn’t turn a blind eye to her. Instead, he happily greeted her, "Hey, Jiao, it’s nice to see you again. Seeing you here makes me feel more at home."

"It's a pleasure to see you here. I hope that this will be a rewarding journey for you," Sheng Jiaoyang spoke with a cordial attitude towards her former teacher.

Although many of the guests present didn’t understand English, they understood at a glance that the two were acquainted when they saw them chatting with smiles on their faces.

When Sheng Jiaoyang returned to Grandfather Ning’s side, the latter asked, "You know Malik?"

"Mhmm. A short while ago, I went to his art exhibition. I like his works a lot. He could be considered as my very first art teacher."

Grandfather Ning nodded, but he didn’t ask any follow-up questions.

The group then proceeded to the convention and exhibition centre. As they looked around and appreciated the many works on display, Malik walked up to Jiaojiao again and chatted with her. He preferred chatting with Jiaojiao, as he was already acquainted with her. Moreover, it was much easier to communicate with her compared to communicating with others through an interpreter.

Many people turned to look at Sheng Jiaoyang and Malik, who were having a friendly and language barrier-free conversation. The other four foreign guests also couldn’t help themselves and joined in their conversation.

All of a sudden, Jiaojiao was surrounded by a group of people.

The local artists who witnessed this were left dumbfounded. One of them asked his interpreter, "What are they conversing about?"

Even though the interpreters had gone through professional training, they still couldn’t understand some of their words. Therefore, they could only roughly translate the conversation. Unfortunately, the other local artists weren’t as lucky as Grandfather Ning, who had an instantaneous interpreter like Jiaojiao. Moreover, her translations were fast and accurate.

The local artists felt even more helpless in the third segment of the program, where both parties were supposed to sit down in the conference room to discuss the differences and similarities between Chinese and Western art. However, the foreign guests deemed that this segment was not necessary since they had already discussed these topics earlier while touring around the convention and exhibition centre.

The foreign guests immediately pushed Jiaojiao forward, and they wanted her to translate their earlier conversation. Hence, Jiaojiao began her one-man show, and she confidently translated the guests’ earlier comments. When she was finished, the foreign guests applauded loudly and thanked her, leaving the local artists at a loss for words.

Wasn’t this session meant for both parties to sit down and discuss the topic together?

However, it seemed that the foreign guests led by Malik had spontaneously decided that Jiaojiao was their interpreter. In fact, they found it too troublesome to communicate with the local artists through an interpreter. Since Jiaojiao had a profound understanding of their views and theories, the foreign guests would directly push out Jiaojiao to answer the questions posed by the local artists.

Someone then dejectedly asked Grandfather Ning, "Say, is your granddaughter-in-law on their side or on ours?"

"There are no sides to take in art. They asked my granddaughter-in-law to come forward and answer questions for them because they recognize her ability." Grandfather Ning answered with a proud look on his face.

When some pictures of the International Art Exchange were posted on the Internet, the netizens went into an uproar again. They fished out more information from various news agencies and marvelled at the information that they managed to piece together.

When news of celebrities attending formal events appeared, the netizens would view them in a different light; as if a tacky person had turned into an elegant one.

The Jiao Fans were super excited at the news. They knew that their idol liked painting, so it wasn’t surprising to see her at the International Art Exchange. All the fans actually felt honoured.

Our idol is so impressive! She never walks the ordinary path and only ever takes the path that surprises people.

For example, she was Princess Wight’s best friend, and now she was attending an important event like the International Art Exchange. Moreover, she wasn’t there to go through the formalities and even became a protagonist at the International Art Exchange.

From the few leaked videos about the event, the netizens saw that Jiaojiao had no difficulties communicating with the foreign guests at all. Her English was more fluent than the professional interpreters, so it was no wonder that the foreign guests had asked her to interpret for them.

Jiao Fans left all kinds of messages on Jiaojiao’s Weibo.

[My dear Jiao, you’re awesome!]

[Jiaojiao's painting style is more inclined to the West, so she understands the views of the foreign guest better. It’s no wonder they would ask our Jiao to speak for them.]

[Jiaojiao's proficiency in foreign languages is at a higher level than those professionals.]

[I almost forgot that Jiaojiao majored in English. No wonder she can speak it so fluently.]

[This is such an honour!]

[Every time Jiaojiao disappears from the public eye, some major events happen. Sure enough, it happened again this time!]

[Haha, other people's idols are either fighting or having an affair with someone else, but our idol is running farther and farther ahead.]

Sheng Jiaoyang didn’t pay attention to the comments on the Internet. After the International Art Exchange, she and Shen Zhining stayed at the Ning Family for another day before they went home together.

Grandfather Ning was the one who called them over this time, so they visited and stayed over. However, during her entire stay, she was actually very worried about Lina. Every time they chatted over the phone, Lina sounded weird, as if she was hiding something from her. Nowadays, Lina only reported good news and not bad news to her. She could clearly see that wrinkles were forming between Lina’s eyebrows due to excessive stress, but the latter always told her not to worry about it.

Therefore, as soon as she returned home, she cleared up her schedule in three days. The casting audition was fully entrusted to Qin Anliang and Ma Tingting. She then informed Shen Zhining and flew over to find Lina. This time, she didn’t tell Lina that she was visiting.

When Lina saw Sheng Jiaoyang, she was very surprised. She knew that Sheng Jiaoyang was busy with producing her film recently, so she didn’t want to bother her with her issues.

Sheng Jiaoyang sized up her best friend and noticed that she had lost a lot of weight. She then kneaded Lina's emaciated cheeks and said with a heartbroken voice, "Silly girl, when I told you that you've lost weight, you always argued back by saying that you were going on a diet. Why are you going on a diet when you are so slim?"

Lina let out a sigh and hugged Sheng Jiaoyang tightly.

"What on earth happened? Don't keep it from me anymore. I need to know in order to help you." Sheng Jiaoyang patted Lina on the back.

Lina remained silent for a long time before finally muttering, "Jiaojiao, the worst has happened."

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Yuna's Thoughts

TL: Yuna | Editor: Cookies | TLC: Grace