Su Xiaoran disappeared after the death of her mother was announced.
Guan Zixuan and Guan Zijue were both rather shocked at the current state of events.
The Su family had been utterly destroyed. Even though Guan Zijue had not found conclusive evidence to prove that Su Xiaoran was a murderer, he firmly believed that he would be able to get her arrested as long as she showed herself.
The investigation on the Su family was done rather quickly. All evidence was corroborated within three days and the Su family collapsed in the blink of an eye.
Guan Mingchang looked at his older son slightly differently now. He always knew that Guan Zijue was daring and very decisive, but he never thought that his son would have the ability to make the Su family collapse overnight.
Guan Mingchang was relieved that it was actually his son. He would have feared him if it was anybody else.
Emperor City seemed to enter a lull state after what happened to the Su family.
When they were having lunch, Guan Zixuan suddenly said, “I’m bringing A’zi here for dinner!”
Guan Mingchang put him in his place immediately. “Stop your nonsense!”
Tongues would start wagging if Guan Zixuan was to be seen with Xia Zi right after what happened to the Su family. Even if he did not mind it, Xia Zi had already embarrassed their family once by running away from her wedding, so he would not agree to welcoming her into the Guan family.
Xia Xinsheng was on Guan Mingchang’s side this time. Guan Zixuan had failed to get married twice. She did not agree to Xia Zi and Guan Zixuan’s relationship, but Guan Zixuan refused to listen and he was extremely adamant.
Initially, Xia Xinsheng kept her guard up against Xia Zi because the girl looked too much like her own daughter. Even though a child’s looks might have changed after so many years, Xia Zi still looked extremely similar to her daughter.
Xia Xinsheng guarded against Xia Zi because she did not want to face her past, and no one would be able to understand that.
Five years ago, Xia Xinsheng naively thought that Xia Zi might just turn out to be her daughter. But Guan Zixuan was so protective of Xia Zi for the past five years that literally no stranger would be able to approach her.
However, Xia Zi’s personality was unlike her daughter’s at all. Xia Xinsheng was no fool. No matter how an individual might have changed, their personality was unlikely to have changed so drastically. This was why Xia Xinsheng decided that it was unlikely that Xia Zi was her child.
She had also heard rumors that Xia Zi was in Interpol. She heard of the red and white roses too, but she never expected for them to be a pair of young ladies.
Guan Zijue remained silent, not giving any opinion on this. He hoped that his brother could be with Xia Zi. He appreciated girls who were decisive, daring and responsible, and he felt that girls like that were a rarity in the current society. However, he knew that his family needed time to accept her. Xia Zi was the one who ran away months ago, causing her wedding to be cancelled and embarrassing the Guan family.
Though Guan Zixuan felt rather disappointed at his family’s reaction, he still decided to take Xia Zi home with him. Attitudes can be changed, so all he had to do was to show his family how he felt towards Xia Zi and how he would never give up on her.
Xia Zi and Luo Qiqi had been staying in Guan Zixuan’s villa after that disastrous wedding day.
After having his lunch, Guan Zixuan left his family home to his villa. Before arriving, he went to purchase some items at the supermarket. Though Luo Qiqi was Xia Zi’s friend, Guan Zixuan knew that she treated Luo Qiqi like family. He wanted to change Luo Qiqi’s impression of him.
On the day of that wedding, he felt that Luo Qiqi had probably already failed him. He was very worried she might tell A’zi that he was not a good choice.
Guan Zixuan rushed back to his villa after getting the items. However, upon arriving, there was no one to be seen. He looked around for a while before spotting a tiny note that said, “Zixuan, Qiqi and I are going out for a bit.” He then stuffed the note in his pocket and started keeping the groceries.
Emperor City, Mingcheng International, a cafe at level 1.
Luo Qiqi and Xia Zi already spotted Xia Xinsheng from a distance away.
Displeasure flashed in Luo Qiqi’s eyes. She hated women like this, those who went looking for others behind their son’s back because they were unhappy with their son’s marriage. To her, women like that were the most vicious of the lot.
Xia Xinsheng looked impeccable at her age. She was dressed in a qipao  which only served to enhance her elegance. She was sitting near the full-length windows, and Xia Zi tugged Luo Qiqi along with her as they approached the older lady.
Luo Qiqi was slightly unwilling, but she decided to tag along as she was afraid that Xia Zi might inadvertently get hurt.
Xia Xinsheng looked up slightly when they arrived before her. Xia Zi greeted her politely, “Hi Aunty, you wanted to meet me? This is my good friend, Luo Qiqi. We happened to be hanging out so we made the trip here together.”
Luo Qiqi nodded slightly but remained silent. For A’zi, she could put up with anything the older woman did.
The elegant Xia Xinsheng spoke gently as she welcomed them. “Come, take a seat!”
She glanced at Luo Qiqi. So this is the red rose, Luo Qiqi. She looks like someone who would be pretty direct and unbridled.
Luo Qiqi chose to ignore the obvious scrutiny from Xia Xinsheng as she and Xia Zi took a seat opposite the older lady.
Out of politeness, Xia Zi asked, “Aunty, why did you ask to meet me today?”
Xia Xinsheng looked at her. Broaching the topic so directly. If nothing happened in the past few months, the relationship between Guan Zixuan and Xia Zi might still have been possible. However, it’s something unimaginable now.
She knew she would not be able to convince Guan Zixuan, so she decided to meet Xia Zi instead.
Xia Xinsheng sipped on her coffee and looked back at Xia Zi.
“Xia Zi, I’m not going to lie to you. I wanted to talk to you about your relationship with Zixuan. He is adamant on being together with you, and none of us at home can do anything about it. But we won’t agree to the both of you getting married. Xia Zi, you’re intelligent. I’m sure you know why!”
Xia Zi nodded as she answered, “I know!”
Xia Xinsheng nodded in satisfaction. “Since you understand, I won’t have to say much then. You embarrassed the Guan family after you ran away from the marriage previously. I’m sure you know that very well. It also took great effort to convince Zixuan’s dad to agree to your marriage. Do you think he’ll agree a second time?”
Xia Zi fell silent. Luo Qiqi thought that the older woman would either threaten or try to buy Xia Zi with some money, but she never expected for her to actually analyze the situation so calmly. Was the older woman trying to get Xia Zi to empathize with her first in order to better convince her?
Xia Xinsheng continued when Xia Zi did not react. “I’m sure you know the answer to that. The Guan family will never accept a woman who ran away from marriage. Zixuan told us that he wanted to take you back home for dinner tonight. Xia Zi, you’re intelligent, so I’m sure you know what is best for you.”
Luo Qiqi was annoyed. She slammed her palm against the desk and stood up. “I’m calling you Aunty out of respect. Who are you to say all this? It’s Guan Zixuan’s business if he wants to bring Xia Zi back home, and it’s up to Xia Zi whether she chooses to go or not. Why are you allowed to tell them what to do? Don’t you find it disgusting that you’re doing this?”
Xia Zi tugged at Luo Qiqi. “Qiqi, stop it! Sit!”
Luo Qiqi looked at Xia Zi in exasperation, sitting down in anger.
Xia Xinsheng suddenly smirked. “Xia Zi, this is your friend? Where did her manners go?”
Xia Zi’s expression darkened. She could put up with whatever Xia Xinsheng said about her, but she would not allow anyone to insult Luo Qiqi.
“Aunty, please be mindful of your words. Do you think you have such great etiquette when you’re asking to meet me like this?”
Xia Xinsheng did not expect for Xia Zi to say something like that. Xia Zi seemed like a fiercely loyal friend and the girl was not someone that she could convince easily either. She thus said, “Xia Zi, I’m not here to waste my time with you. Tell me what your conditions are for you to leave Zixuan!”
Xia Zi scoffed at this. She thought Xia Xinsheng was different, but the woman seemed to be no different from the other rich folk.
“My condition is that I’d like to have everything the Guan family owns. Can you give me that?”
Xia Xinsheng was losing her patience. “Xia Zi, you’re really greedy. Aren’t you afraid that I’ll tell Zixuan about it?”
Xia Zi raised her brows. “Go ahead and tell him then. Tell him that I want all your family assets and see if he still dares to marry me. I won’t harass your family if he isn’t willing.”
Xia Xinsheng looked dreadful now. Xia Zi tugged at Luo Qiqi and said, “Qiqi, let’s go!”
Luo Qiqi looked at Xia Xinsheng in satisfaction, as if she was saying, Not so smug now, are you?
Don’t treat my A’zi like a meek kitten. She just didn’t want to show you her temper.
Xia Xinsheng clenched her fists as she watched Xia Zi and Luo Qiqi leave. She would never do this if it was not for Zixuan.
She knew that Guan Mingchang would not agree to Xia Zi and Zixuan being together. They would probably get into a fight over this again.
But it looked like Xia Zi did not really want to discuss this.
Xia Xinsheng rubbed her temples. What should I do?!
 A qipao is a traditional Chinese dress. Link to the wikipedia page here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CheongsamPrevious Chapter Next Chapter