Chapter 51: No Need to Grovel
Yin Shaoyuan came back very quickly, and behind him trailed a pretty attendant in a uniform with a food cart.
The food cart stopped beside the glass table in the middle of the sofas, and Jiang Shuxuan reached for a small bowl of herbal soup that he had them prepare for Gu Xiqiao that was similar to the ones that Mrs. Zhang would always make for her.
Seeing Yin Shaoyuan enter the room, some of the women that were playing billiards put down their cues and stepped over with graceful steps.
This get-together was held by Yin Shaoyuan in the first place, and the ones that were invited were all from influential families and forces in N City. These women were all the cream of the crop chosen by those families to represent them upon hearing that Mr. Jiang was going to attend to. They had thought that he had already returned to Jing Capital, and while they didn't know why he returned to N City out of nowhere, it didn't stop them from trying to attract his attention with beauty.
That was the plan before they realized that this sort of thing didn't work on Jiang Shuxuan in the slightest.
Different from the other men in upper society in N City, Jiang Shuxuan's dignified and elegant aura seemed to be completely natural and emanated from him, so much so that this aura of his combined with his perfect features commanded the attention of everyone in the room while simultaneously making it exceedingly difficult for the women to even try and approach him.
And so, they picked the next best objective to approach—Yin Shaoyuan who was well known as a playboy and a flirty man that would make it worth their while if they got on his good graces.
Upon seeing Yin Shaoyuan, many of them crowded up to him.
Yin Shaoyuan wasn't the type to do things regardless of time and place, however, and in the company of so many influential figures, he kept up a polite front and wasn't receptive to any of their advances.
Jiang Shuxuan's phone rang all of a sudden, and he looked at the name of the caller before glancing at Gu Xiqiao, seeing the latter munching on an apple while studying the painting album and walking out to accept the call.
After he exited the room, all of the other people in the room seemed to have a weight lifted off of them and started chattering with each other unabashedly, and a few gutsy young men even tried talking with Gu Xiqiao and were trying to butter her up. They took the conclusion that this girl must be connected to Mr. Jiang in some way, so they tried to give her a good impression.
Upon seeing the young girl flip the pages of her painting album without so much as stirring at their words as if she was in another world, their words became stuck in their throats.
Then, they sat down back in their seats, not daring to interrupt her again. After all, how weak could a person that was connected to Jiang Shuxuan be?
Meanwhile, the women that had just finished playing billiards and didn't see their interactions from earlier didn't know who she was and why she was here and only concluded that she was the new plaything of Yin Shaoyuan when they saw him talk to her.
Meanwhile, Xia Zilan was about to call Gu Xijin, but upon thinking of the latter's current state she put down her phone and redid her makeup before making her way back out of the toilet. Upon stepping out, she bumped into a person, but the sensation was akin to bumping into a brick wall!
Upon impact, Xia Zilan's meticulously done hairstyle became loose and she almost fell to the ground, and she immediately regained her bearings and tidied herself up. When she didn't hear any apology, she was about to rebuke the other before she saw that the figure in front of her was a lean and tall one with a phone in one hand and an expressionless face.
Seeing who the culprit was, her rage was immediately put out with a bucket of cold water and replaced with a strange excitement, and she hugged her bag close to her in hopes of calming herself down before speaking in a careful tone, "Mr. Jiang?"
Her face was made up lightly, and her wavy hair cascaded off her shoulder somewhat messily from the impact. That being said, this gave her a lazy sort of beauty under the lights of the club.
Jiang Shuxuan only glanced at her swiftly before walking away in another direction, picking up the call without much delay.
Xia Zilan didn't dare to follow behind him, but she was so filled with anticipation that her heart could burst. Did she just have a chance to get close to this person?
When she returned to the room, she had already calmed herself down. Walking over to the billiard table, one of her friends put down her cue and talked with her. "Lan Lan, did something happen good to you? You're practically glowing!"
Xia Zilan smiled. "Thank you for the compliment."
Then, she noticed how most of the people were gone, and her expression was replaced with confusion. "Where is everyone?"
"Young Master Yin came back, so everyone's over at the rest area." The other woman flipped her hair behind her shoulder before bending down and striking at a billiard with her cue, and after a few collisions were heard, one of the billiards were netted.
Xia Zilan thought about it for a bit, before deciding that she wanted to see what was so special about this illegitimate daughter of the Gu family.
Meanwhile, much of the attention of the young men in the room were attracted by the beautiful girl that came with Yin Shaoyuan. Honestly, it was hard not to as not only did she have pretty features overall, her pure and earnest aura was one that was exceedingly rare among the aristocrats where everything was hidden behind veils of lies and deceit.
"Second Miss Gu, what are you looking at?" Xia Zilan walked over to Gu Xiqiao with a gentle smile.
Once they heard this, most of the people stopped what they were doing and looked over at Gu Xiqiao.
Their social circles weren't all that wide, and almost everyone knew about the second daughter of the Gu family but never knew what she looked like exactly.
Speaking of Gu Xiqiao's reputation, it had already been spread and modified beyond repair among the aristocrats, the very concept of an illegitimate child becoming the laughing stock of these people that thought that their blood was better than those of the commoners.
Ever since the event with the stolen oil painting, everyone became even more curious about this girl that had almost destroyed the Gu family and caused Gu Xijin to lose everything overnight. Was she as scary and vile as the rumors said she was?
Once they saw her, however, they all thought that the rumors must be mistaken—Who could equate the subject of the rumors that were said to be venomous, gloomy, and greedy to this pure and delicate girl?
Gu Xiqiao completely ignored all of the gazes that were on her.
She knew who Xia Zilan was, she was one of the best friends of Gu Xijin that had just returned from abroad, and was quite an arrogant person that didn't have any talent to back her bravado up. The Xia family couldn't even be compared to the Gu family, and only Xia Zijun could be said as talented and having even the slightest semblance of a working brain.
Seeing that she was completely ignored, Xia Zilan stopped smiling. Noticing Yin Shaoyuan's calm gaze on the two of them, she concluded that he didn't have any plans of helping Gu Xiqiao even if anything happened and she became calm quickly. She knew about Yin Shaoyuan's fickle personality that had heard many of a lady, and how could this illegitimate daughter make him act otherwise?
Thinking of this, she became bracer and reached out and held the painting album in Gu Xiqiao's hands with two thin fingers and pulled… Huh, why wasn't it moving?
Xia Zilan's expression changed, but no matter how hard she tried, the album seemed to be glued to Gu Xiqiao's hands!
Xia Zilan bit her bottom lip and put down her bag, grabbing at the album with two of her hands and trying to pull the book from Gu Xiqiao's hands. To her surprise, the book still didn't budge even in the slightest.
Raising her head, Gu Xiqiao's gaze glinted before she suddenly released her hold on the painting album.
All of a sudden, Xia Zilan fell back towards the ground from the inertia of her force on the book, dropping onto the floor with a resounding thud and plunging the room into silence.
Gu Xiqiao reached over and daintily picked up the painting album, her eyelids slightly hooded, and the hints of a smile tugging at her lips as she spoke. "Miss. Xia, no need to grovel before me…"