The news about Ning Xi’s hospitalization and Chang Shi Gui personally taking care of her was quickly published on the entertainment news.
Many people who didn’t usually pay attention to the financial world looked at the news and lamented, Ning Xi’s boyfriend was so handsome, rich and caring. Why weren’t they able to meet such a good boyfriend?
Could it be that Ning Xi was a daughter of the heavens?
While it could not be established whether Ning Xi was the daughter of the heavens, Chang Shi Gui’s profound love for a female celebrity had set the aristocratic world abuzz. Many socialites would bring this topic up for discussion when they met to play mahjong.
As the Chang family was an extremely prestigious family, many of these people could never have had the ability to establish any relations with them. However, these women would debase the relationship, as if after Chang Shi Gui got together with an actress, the Chang family would quickly experience a massive plunge in their stock prices, a shrink in their profit margins, and eventually be trampled by other families.
When these words floated to Tao Huixue’s ears, she said expressionlessly, “People can say all they want, I’m not bothered by it.”
“Sister-in-law, you can say that, but these words are so demeaning. Our Chang family is such a prolific family in the capital, isn’t it blasphemous for such rumours to spread?”
Tao Huixue looked at her sister-in-law and smiled. “Sister-in-law, at this point in time, Shi Gui doesn’t need me to criticize him behind his back.”
The Gu family was now tightly in her son’s reins, so she didn’t have to be too courteous with these relatives. Sometimes, being overly polite could be seen as a sign of weakness. She didn’t need outsiders meddling in her own family’s affairs.
This sister-in-law of hers had always been a loafer who idled her time away when her parents were around. When they passed away, her husband continued to pamper her, resulting in her spoiled personality.
As her sister-in-law, Tao Huixue would normally be polite to her in consideration of her husband. However, this didn’t mean that she would stand by and let this woman point fingers at her son.
Over the years, Gu Qin might have been spoiled, but it didn’t mean that she didn’t understand what others said. When she heard her sister-in-law’s words, she looked somewhat embarrassed. After sitting in the courtyard for some time, she took a call, then used it as an excuse to leave.
Driving out of the Gu family home, Gu Qin muttered some insults, then unwillingly sped off.
After Gu Qin left, Tao Huixue looked at the cold black tea in her hand and sighed. She put down the teacup, then walked to the fountain and stared at the few koi fish in the water.
“Mother, what are you standing here for?”
Tao Huixue didn’t even notice that her son had returned. She turned back and smiled at him, saying, “Why are you back at this hour?”
Chang Shi Gui supported her arm and led her back into the house. “I came to visit you. Did Auntie come just now?” He still remembered the scene after his father’s death. He was still lying in the intensive care unit, while his aunt was twisting his mother’s sleeves, acting all rude and unreasonable.
“She’s just a foolish person. Don’t you care about her.” Tao Huixue got the helper to bring a plate of fruits for Chang Shi Gui. “How’s the girl that you like? I heard that she is very hardworking when filming.”
“She has only been in the industry for less than two years. If she doesn’t work hard, she can’t get more opportunities.” Chang Shi Gui passed a slice of fruit to Tao Huixue, his face visibly showing a hint of heartache.
Tao Huixue smiled, and said gently, “She’s a wonderful girl.”
The corners of Chang Shi Gui’s lips lifted. “Yes.”
The second day of Ning Xi's hospitalization, the production crew sent some reps to visit her. Her good friends in the industry also either visited her, or called to check in on her.
After ending the call with the second female lead of Three Lives of Rouge, Ning Xi moved her neck around to relieve the aching feeling, then threw her phone aside. She didn’t know that she had such a wide network of friends.
Zhang Qingyun observed her, then passed a few scripts and invitations to variety shows over to her. “Reality shows have been quite popular recently. All the cable companies are pushing out their own reality shows, and quite a few of them would like to invite you. Take a look, and see if any of them interests you.”
“Reality show?” Ning Xi flipped through the various invites. There were some that requested for their guests to pretend to be in a relationship, act as daughter-in-laws, or sisters. In these proposals, what were missing were only things that they couldn’t do, but not what they didn’t think of doing.
Pushing these invitations aside, Ning Xi then skimmed through the scripts. These scripts were either requesting for her to act as a beautiful fairy, or just a beautiful character beside a man. There was nothing challenging at all.
“Not interested in any of them?” From Ning Xi’s expression, Zhang Qingyun could already tell that she wasn’t interested in any of these. He dug through the invitations, then handed one over to Ning Xi. “I think this is not bad. There’s already a large corporation sponsoring it, and the filming schedule has already been fixed.”
Ning Xi shook her head, as she lay prone on the bed. “Wait a little longer. I’ll consider these after the filming of Rolling Good Fortunes.”
Looking at her lazy posture, Zhang Qingyun then asked hesitantly, “The two posts on Mr Chang’s Weibo were from you?”
Ning Xi turned to face him. “Yes, what’s wrong?”
As Zhang Qingyun observed Ning Xi, two idioms suddenly surfaced in his mind: “being proud because she’s pampered”, and “a woman is the root of all troubles”.
“Nothing. It’s fine.” Zhang Qingyun rubbed his nose. “I was just worried that it’s not appropriate for you to use his personal phone.”
Ning Xi knew what he was worried about. She smiled, “Don’t worry too much. It’s better for people to lead a simple life.”
“What do you mean by living a simple life?” The door was pushed open. Chang Shi Gui carried a large basket of fruits in.
Zhang Qingyun wasn’t sure if he was hallucinating, but the fruits in Chang Shi Gui’s hands looked exceptionally fresh and juicy.
“Nothing.” Ning Xi sat up in bed. “I’m going to be discharged this afternoon. Why did you still bring so many fruits?”
“My mother told me to bring them.” Chang Shi Gui smiled gently, then placed the fruits on the cabinet. “She said that a patient needs a lot of fresh fruits.”
Ning Xi lowered her eyes and smiled. “Help me thank Aunty when you get the chance to.”
“Sure.” Chang Shi Gui turned and nodded at Zhang Qingyun. “I’ll get the doctor to do another round of checks before your discharge.”
He then turned to Zhang Qingyun and said, “Thank you, Mr Zhang, for taking care of Xixi so meticulously.”
“No need for thanks. It’s my duty.” Zhang Qingyun didn’t expect Chang Shi Gui to thank him so formally, so he took a while to respond. However, he felt increasingly reassured inwardly.
Soon, a few doctors entered the room and carried out the necessary checks for Ning Xi. After confirming that she had recovered, the doctor-in-charge signed the documents for her discharge.
It was only after Zhang Qingyun left the ward that he noticed that Chang Shi Gui had brought a few bodyguards over. However, as the stern-looking, well-built men were carrying all sorts of daily necessities and fruits, the image they portrayed instantly shifted from cool characters in an idol drama to characters in a relatable urban drama.
Just as he stepped out of the lift, Zhang Qingyun noticed that a few reporters, who had disguised themselves as passersby, started walking in their direction. Almost instantaneously, mobile phones, recorder pens, and micro-cameras had surrounded them tightly.
“Everyone, please give way. This is the entrance of the lift. If there’s anything, we can take this outside. Thank you, everyone.” Zhang Qingyun and the bodyguards shielded Ning Xi, and did not allow them to squeeze near the lifts.
Fortunately, the reporters didn’t make too much of a fuss as they knew they were in a hospital, and willingly followed them to the entrance of the hospital before they started bombarding the couple with all sorts of questions.
However, these reporters had some level of self-awareness. They didn’t ask any dampening questions; all they asked was about Ning Xi’s new movie, the reason for her hospitalization, as well as their plans for getting married.
One of the reporters noticed that Chang Shi Gui had kept Ning Xi in his arms all this while, and didn’t allow the microphones or the recording pens to touch her. Hence, he cleverly filmed the whole process of Chang Shi Gui’s actions and expressions as he protected Ning Xi, and prepared to upload it later on.
“Mr Chang, there has been rumours that Ning Xi and you are getting married soon. Is this true?” A reporter realized that Ning Xi’s replies were going around in circles. She seemed to be saying something, but didn’t actually reveal anything important. Hence, he chose to focus his questions on Chang Shi Gui instead.
“Thanks for everyone’s concern about Xixi. As for our wedding date …” Chang Shi Gui grinned as he looked at Ning Xi, “I personally hope that we can get married tomorrow, but I’ll respect Xixi’s wishes on this matter.”
Oh, does it mean that Chang Shi Gui wanted to get married, but Ning Xi wasn’t willing to do so yet?
Other celebrities would be racking their brains trying to get into a rich family, but this was a case where the rich family was begging for a marriage, but the other party hadn’t agreed.
“Ning Xi, are you not willing to marry Mr Chang yet?”
Which company did this reporter come from? Why did he sound as if he was picking at their relationship? How could he ask such a question? Zhang Qingyun’s brows furrowed, as he observed the reporter.
Ning Xi’s smile didn’t fade as she said, “It’s better to just let nature take its course.”
Chang Shi Gui nodded as he smiled. He wasn’t upset at Ning Xi’s words. The reporter who raised the question knew that he couldn’t use this to stir up some news, so he could only give up.
“Alright, thanks everyone. Ning Xi has just recovered, so she needs plenty of rest. Thanks again everyone.” Zhang Qingyun and the bodyguards pushed the reporters aside and opened up a path for Ning Xi and Chang Shi Gui to get into the car. After their vehicle left the hospital, he then turned and went into another car.
The reporters who were left behind weren’t disappointed. Today’s interview was sufficient for them to put up an article.
“The Wealthy President’s unwavering love for Ning Xi!”, “Ning Xi - an unconventional and independent woman”, “The true love that touches the hearts of others”; all sorts of headlines and titles were swimming in the reporters’ minds, and they couldn’t wait to get back to writing out a few articles using their novel-writing abilities.
That night, videos of the interview were released. The video of Chang Shi Gui protecting Ning Xi had been reposted numerous times, and netizens were crying out on how this was a heartless display of lovey-doveyness for them.
There were also some who noticed the question on marriage. Initially, they thought that Ning Xi was the one who had latched onto Chang Shi Gui, but it turned out that it was the opposite.
How was this a case that Ning Xi refused to let go of a wealthy man? Obviously, it was that the wealthy man had finally successfully wooed the goddess in his heart, and he was carefully protecting, loving and pampering her, and he couldn’t wait to marry her.
Netizens: This is what a goddess is like!
Although Ning Xi’s hospitalization had delayed the filming for a few days, Rolling Good Fortunes still managed to successfully conclude their filming. After having a post-production meal together, the crew went their own ways.
After Ning Xi left the production, she only accepted an endorsement ad and two talk shows. Subsequently, she fell into a relaxing, restful mode.
When Zhang Qingyun brought the invitation letters for a new reality show to Ning Xi, she was sitting in the garden, sipping her tea leisurely. That serene look was enough to make Zhang Qingyun, who had been swamped with work, feel jealous.
“Why are there so many reality shows locally?” Ning Xi skimmed through the letters, then asked, “Which one should audiences watch then?”
“What audiences watch will rely on the production crew’s marketing plan and the guests’ entertainment skills.” The moment Zhang Qingyun drank the tea, his eyes lit up. “This tea is good!”
Ning Xi pulled out one of the proposals and started reading it slowly. “Oh right, Brother Zhang, I heard that there’s an overseas movie that’s going to premiere in our country soon?”
“Do you mean The Unrivalled 2?” Zhang Qingyun peeked at the proposal in Ning Xi’s hand. It was a show that was preparing to start filming soon. It was a very interesting show from a national channel, and the demands on the guests were high, even though the budget for each episode was less than a third of cable channels.
“Yes,” Ning Xi nodded. “This movie.”
“Yes it’s true. That’s a blockbuster with an all-star cast, so all the domestic movies are trying to avoid their release in the same period so that they wouldn’t be overshadowed.” Zhang Qingyun asked curiously, “Why are you asking about it?”
“Just asking.” Ning Xi patted the invitation letter from the national channel and said, “Let’s settle on this one.”
“This is not bad. Even though it’s the first time the national channel is organizing an outdoor reality show and they lack experience, it’s still the national channel. Even if the ratings aren’t high, at least you’ve been on their shows.” Zhang Qingyun knew to give up the petty gains for the larger one. “I’ll contact the production crew later.”
“I’ll have to trouble Brother Zhang then.” Ning Xi was relieved that her own manager was capable and trustworthy.
“No need to stand on ceremony with me.” Zhang Qingyun kept the rest of the invitation letters. “Oh, and if you are interested in the movie The Unrivalled 2, a few of the leads from the movie will be coming over to our side for promotions. Do you want a crew ticket?”
The Unparalled 2’s cast were superstars, so it wouldn’t be strange if local artistes were their fans. A few of the celebrities in the company were also trying to look for opportunities to take pictures or get the autographs of the celebrities after they got wind of the news.
“It’s fine.” Ning Xi smiled at Zhang Qingyun. “Help me free up next Monday.”
“You have something on Monday?”
“Yes. I’m going to meet a friend.”
Zhang Qingyun felt that Ning Xi’s smile was weird, but he didn’t think too much into it, and simply nodded.
After all, Ning Xi’s schedule wasn’t too packed, so it wasn’t a difficult thing to free up one day.