Chapter 40: The Misunderstood Girl
"All that's left of your company is an empty shell, and no one that has a brain would use their money to buy such an enterprise." Gu Xiqiao leaned on the car window, smiling softly as she spoke, confident with what she was saying.
Mu Zong had been managing an internet company, and back when he was focused on his daughter Mu Jiatong's sickness, a spy that had been sent to his company took the chance to steal company secrets and a newly developed game from him, causing him to go bankrupt overnight. Added onto that was how his competitors took the chance to rope in most of his developers and employees, and the higher-ups of the company even took the funds with them, leaving the company a metaphorical pile of rubbish.
Pawn it off? Who would want it?
As the strongest artificial intelligence in the world, the system had already collected all the information that Gu Xiqiao needed to know about Mu Zong, so she had the upper hand in the negotiation. "Hence, if you believe in me, you will be able to get back on your feet without any problems."
The same way a drowning man would grab onto a piece of driftwood, Mu Zong finally chose to believe in this mysterious girl after seeing her supernatural feats that afternoon, and the two scheduled a date to meet up and discuss the future of his company.
Jiang Shuxuan that had stepped out of the entrance of the mall stood there at a distance and looked at Gu Xiqiao, only walking towards the car once she hung up.
"Your friend gave that to you?" He revved up the engine and asked, spotting the bag that Gu Xiqiao was holding.
Gu Xiqiao looked down at the bag, her tone becoming lighter and brighter as she did. "My deskmate Xiao Yun did… She's the girl that I was with just now."
Seeing her excited reaction to the gift, Jiang Shuxuan remembered how she reacted similarly back when he sent her the painting album. "You get really excited about gifts, don't you?"
After he spoke, his motions paused for a moment as he thought about it thoroughly. The regular person would be happy with getting gifts, but wouldn't be as excited as she was about them, and once he thought about her background he finally understood why that was. She definitely had a difficult time back in the Gu family, hadn't she? No one cared about her enough to care about her general well-being, so gifts were definitely out of the question.
So that was why she was so excited when she got presents…
His niece would get so many gifts every year on her birthday that they could be stuffed into a warehouse, and she didn't even open some of the gifts most of the time. In contrast, what Gu Xiqiao had gone through was too much for someone of her age. Once Jiang Shuxuan thought of this, faint rage started building up in his eyes.
Back at the mansion, Mrs. Zhang gave Gu Xiqiao another bowl of medicinal soup which the latter downed with a bitter expression. Upon seeing this, he couldn't help smiling, his sour mood lightening slightly.
Mrs. Zhang accepted the emptied bowl from Gu Xiqiao with a satisfied smile. "You have been becoming healthier lately you're practically glowing! I told you this medicinal soup was going to help out, so you better drink it every day alright?"
In fact, the main reason why she looked healthier was because she had a breakthrough in her ancient martial arts, but could she say so? Gu Xiqiao had always been a sucker for goodwill, so she could only drink the soup without being able to refuse. "Mrs. Zhang, you didn't change the medicine…"
"No, I've asked a doctor, and he told me that I can't skimp on the materials, or else the effects would be compromised." Mrs. Zhang replied with a serious expression.
Gu Xiqiao: "…"
Well, this could be considered a sweet burden in any case. She didn't have any chance to be cared for like this even if she wanted to be in the past, so she was quite content with her situation now.
The next day, Gu Xiqiao went out for her morning exercise session before going to school. Jiang Shuxuan was the one that drove her to the school and had been doing so for the past few days.
Gu Xiqiao alighted at the fork in the road near to First City High and only turned around to walk towards the school once she saw him off.
Wu Hongwen that had arrived at about the same time saw her and jogged over to her to pat her shoulder.
Gu Xiqiao had already known that it was Wu Hongwen. Had it been anyone else that did something like that, she would have flipped them over her shoulder and broken their arm.
And so the duo walked towards the school gates together, and Wu Hongwen chattered on about the exams they had taken the few days prior as he drank a bottle of soy milk. Apparently, the results had already come out, and rumor said that all of the teachers were calculating the results and ranking the students the night earlier.
Students in their final year all cared about their grades more than anything as it was integral to their future, and most of the other students that they passed by were talking about this topic too.
"The robot is going to get the first place again…" Wu Hongwen finished his soy milk and threw it towards the rubbish bin, and the bottle clinked against the edge of the rubbish bin before rolling across the ground.
With a single glance from Gu Xiqiao, he sheepishly made his way over and picked up the bottle to throw it properly into the rubbish bin, before asking him in confusion. "Who's the robot?"
Coming onto this topic, Wu Hongwen gritted his teeth slightly as he spoke. "I mean Luo Wenlang. We came up from the same middle school, and ever since our sophomore year, he has always been at the top of the rankings, with near-perfect marks across the board. That's why everyone calls him the exam robot!"
This guy had outstanding grades, but he wasn't one to socialize and flaunt about his achievements, a true lone wolf that didn't talk much with any of his classmates. According to some rumors, he lived in the chaotic alleyways and had been seen getting into trouble with gangsters many a time, so many students avoided him of their own accord.
Wu Hongwen had a grudge against this genius that could beat him in every subject, but of course, he didn't act on those grudges, just grumble about them endlessly.
As the two talked, they came face to face with Zhong Yongsi at the stairs, the latter coming down the stairs with a drawing canvas in hand.
The events of the last week were still fresh in their minds, and neither party was on good terms with each other. Gu Xiqiao's expression was frosty as she waved at Wu Hongwen, before walking up the stairs without a word.
She was wearing the dress that Xiao Yun had gifted her on that day, and the white floral dress further complimented her porcelain skin, and her hair cascaded down the back of her head, and even though her head was lowered and her lips were pursed, she was still a sight to see.
Zhong Yongsi stood there on the stairs in a short-sleeved t-shirt, feeling her hair brush past against his arm.
The young man that had been talkative had become silent in the past few days. Like the vast majority of the ones that witnessed this incident, he didn't believe in the news that was reported on that day, and didn't believe that Gu Xijin was that sort of person!
And so, he started to look for information on the internet and on social media, but what he found were many videos that showed him the side of Gu Xiqiao that he didn't even try to understand before.
There were ones of her saving a young boy, of her feeding a stray dog, of her saving an old man, and of her concentrated with painting….These were all videos that were taken by passersby and were uploaded onto the internet.
The netizens all praised her as a young girl that had great morals, and all took the side of this illegitimate daughter instead of Gu Xijin that had become morally twisted even with such a good upbringing, calling Gu Xiqiao a goddess. Because of this incident, many netizens dug up dirt and gossip on Gu Xijin and even posted videos on how Gu Xijin's clothes got torn a while ago.
Zhong Yongsi didn't know how to react, but one thing he did know was that he had made a great mistake.
Gu Xiqiao truly was talented in painting and wasn't the one that stole the painting, and even Gu Xijin's talent couldn't even come close to a tenth of hers. What made it even harder for him to accept the reality was the fact that Gu Xijin, such a gifted girl, would trick and direct everyone to believe that Gu Xiqiao was the one that had stolen her painting!
He had been agonizing over this for the past week, and it even caused him to mess up on his mock exams so much that he was called for a conversation by his teachers. This was why he was going to paint in the first place, but he didn't expect to meet the duo as he was walking downstairs.
He had always hated those people that bullied others, but he was the one that led the other students in bullying Gu Xiqiao…How could he have done something like that?