Return of the Goddess

Chapter 71

The press conference concluded successfully. After the event, the hosts even went to specially thank Ning Xi, throwing their previous unhappiness out of the window.

Later, the organizers held a grand dinner at the hotel. They invited the crew from The Unrivalled 2, but Ning Xi rejected the invitation.

“Someone's here to pick me up today. I’ll join everyone tomorrow instead.” Ning Xi saw Juliana’s unwilling face, and smiled as she hugged her. “Be good, my dear. My sweetheart is still outside waiting for me. Tomorrow, I’ll get him to join us for dinner.”

When the organizer, who had been standing by the side, heard the word “sweetheart”, a sheepish expression appeared on his face. How did the head of Chang Enterprises look anything like a sweetheart?!

“Oh!” Juliana had a shocked expression, but immediately, she smiled amorously and said, “Have a nice and romantic night then.”

Ning Xi winked at her. “Definitely.”

After bidding farewell to the production crew, Ning Xi and Zhang Qingyun stepped into the elevator. As he pressed the floor number that they were going to, Zhang Qingyun said, “Mr. Chang’s assistant called me just now to say that Mr. Chang is waiting at the carpark for you.”

Ning Xi raised her arm to look at her watch. “Alright.”

Zhang Qingyun thought that her expression was strange and frowned. He wanted to say something, but held back as he thought he might be overstepping his boundaries. For a moment, the air in the elevator stilled.

Given Ning Xi’s character, she would have already informed him earlier about her participation in The Unrivalled 2. However, this time, not only did she keep mum about it, her handling of the matter was also out of character.

“There must be a flurry of activity on the Internet now.” Zhang Qingyun couldn’t stand the silence in the elevator and found a topic to break the silence. “In our industry, not many Chinese actors have the ability to really participate and take on an important role in an international production.”

So why would Ning Xi return to China even after having such a great opportunity? Was it really because she simply … missed the delicacies in China?

“Brother Zhang.” Ning Xi laughed, as she took her phone from her handbag. “It doesn’t mean much to be able to participate in an international production. Instead of slogging it out overseas, it’s always better to work domestically.”

Zhang Qingyun wanted to continue the conversation, but the doors of the lift opened. Ning Xi’s smile became unusually sarcastic, as she said, “Let’s go.”

Seeing that Ning Xi wasn’t willing to say anything more, Zhang Qingyun also didn’t pursue the issue further.

The lights in the carpark were very bright. Even still, there was a dark corner, and the darkness that emanated resembled the mouth of a monster that wanted to devour humans.

The woman who walked in front of him had a good figure, and the sexy curls that lay on her back enhanced that allure. Zhang Qingyun was reminded of a line he saw somewhere - beautiful women are the fusion of a fairy and a temptress. Their smile will keep you alive, their tears will cause your death, but you’re simply a willing party.

Ning Xi, who had been walking in front, suddenly stopped in her tracks. She looked silently before her, as if she was watching a boring play.

Standing a short distance away from them were two people, Chang Shi Gui and Jiang Yun.

Under the lights, Chang Shi Gui’s tailored suit and his perfectly sculpted features looked extraordinarily cold. When the light shone onto him, it looked like he was basking in a halo.

As Jiang Yun suddenly reached out to grab Chang Shi Gui’s hand, Zhang Qingyun couldn’t help but turn to look at Ning Xi. He noticed that her face was expressionless, looking as cold as an exquisite sculpture, beautiful but lifeless.

“What’s so good about Ning Xi? Brother Chang, as long as you marry me, the shares in my father’s hands would be ours in the future.” Jiang Yun grabbed Chang Shi Gui’s sleeve tightly, refusing to let go. “Ning Xi is not worthy of you. The upper-class will only laugh at you as long as you are with her. Why can’t you come to your senses?”

Chang Shi Gui pulled Jiang Yun’s hands away roughly, unlike his usual gentlemanly demeanour. “Jiang Yun, I don’t need the Jiang family’s shares. As to whether Ning Xi is worthy of me, that’s our own problem. We don’t need outsiders to make such judgements for us.”

“I’ve known you since I was young, but in your eyes, all I am is an outsider?” Jiang Yun was both angry and anxious, as tears fell from her eyes. “I’m willing to do anything for you. Can Ning Xi do that?”

“I don’t need her to do anything for me.” Seeing that Jiang Yun was about to launch herself at him, Chang Shi Gui raised his hand slightly. Immediately, two bodyguards appeared from the dark corner, blocking Jiang Yun from Chang Shi Gui.

“Chang Shi Gui, you bastard!” When Jiang Yun saw that Chang Shi Gui had used his bodyguards to block her, she couldn’t contain her emotions anymore. She squatted down and burst into tears.

Chang Shi Gui looked down at the sobbing Jiang Yun, his brows furrowed. “Why must you be like this?”

“I’ve liked you since I was young. Each time after you rejected me, I still didn’t give up." Jiang Yun wiped her tears with the back of her hand. “If you got together with Bai Lu, I wouldn’t have anything to say. But why must you like a lowly actress?”

“Jiang Yun, it’s my problem that I can’t reciprocate your feelings, but I hope that I will never have to hear you insult my lover ever again.” Chang Shi Gui looked at her coldly. “There are some things that should never be repeated.”

The tears that slid past the corner of her lips were bitter and astringent. Jiang Yun looked at this heartless man, and her hatred towards Ning Xi intensified. “Chang Shi Gui, you will regret treating me like this.”

Chang Shi Gui couldn’t be bothered to maintain a basic level of courtesy as he looked at her glumly and said, “Jiang Yun, think before you act, or you won’t be able to deal with the consequences.”

Jiang Yun’s heart chilled. She knew that Chang Shi Gui wasn’t lying. If she dared to do anything to Ning Xi, the ones who would suffer at the end would be the entire Jiang family.

What drug did Ning Xi feed him, so much so that he was willing to even cut off relations with the Jiang family for her?

On the other hand, having witnessed the entire conversation, Zhang Qingyun turned his head awkwardly to look at Ning Xi. Unfortunately, Ning Xi’s head was lowered, and her hair covered the side of her face, so he couldn’t see her expression.

He retrieved his gaze, but he couldn’t help but think, Chang Shi Gui was really very good to Ning Xi.

At this moment, Jiang Yun, who had been blocked by the bodyguards, suddenly rushed forward and hugged Chang Shi Gui.

Chang Shi Gui raised his hand to push Jiang Yun aside. However, he didn’t control his strength, hence Jiang Yun fell to the floor.

“Tap, tap, tap.”

Footsteps could be heard moving closer to them. Jiang Yun looked up and saw Ning Xi sashaying over.

“Xixi, I …” Chang Shi Gui looked at Ning Xi, as awkwardness and anxiety flashed across his face.

Ning Xi looked at him, then placed her index finger on his lips. Her eyes were gentle as she said, “Shhh, there’s no need for explanations. I trust you.”

When Xu Zhou, who was seated in the driver’s seat, saw Ning Xi’s actions, his heart skipped a beat, but he quickly averted his gaze.

She was truly an extremely beautiful woman. Even a simple action like this was extremely seductive. It was no wonder that his boss had been bewitched by her.

“Miss Jiang.” Ning Xi smiled and walked towards her, then looked down imposingly. “The ground is cold and dirty, so is it that comfortable lying down?”

The moment when she saw Ning Xi, Jiang Yun forced her tears back, then stood up and glared menacingly at Ning Xi. “Don’t be so full of yourself, as though you’ve already married into the Chang family. You are only an actress.”

“So what?” Ning Xi was in heels, so she was more than 10cm taller than Jiang Yun. She lowered her head and whispered softly beside Jiang Yun’s ears, as if whispering to a lover. “The man you love would rather love an actress like me than look you in the eye. How much of a failure are you then? If you despise my occupation as an actress, what kind of trash are you, if you can’t even compare with me?”

“You!” Jiang Yun was so agitated that she raised her hand to hit Ning Xi; however, Ning Xi grabbed her wrist.

“Such a delicate and pretty face, but what an ugly heart within.” NIng Xi’s other hand raised Jiang Yun’s chin, as she seemed to smile and say, “Tsk tsk tsk, what a waste.”

“Let go of me.” Jiang Yun’s eyes were bloodshot from anger. She didn’t expect Ning Xi to be so daring; this was utter humiliation.

Pak! Jiang Yun’s hand didn’t successfully hit Ning Xi’s back; on the contrary, Ning Xi had caught the hand too.

She didn’t know how Ning Xi could be so strong. After both her hands were caught by Ning Xi, she couldn’t struggle.

Ning Xi exerted some strength, and pushed Jiang Yun towards the pillar behind. Ning Xi lowered her head, an indescribable emotion flashing across her beautiful eyes.

Suddenly, Ning Xi leaned forward. Jiang Yun could even smell the faint scent from her, and hear her heartbeat. She was unnerved, and didn’t know how to react.

“Little beauty, do you know that I have a virtue of not lashing out at others?” The corners of Ning Xi’s lips rose, her voice so sultry that even Jiang Yun could feel a tickle on her ear.

“I’ve always been very gentle towards beauties.” Ning Xi released her grip on Jiang Yun’s wrist, as she smiled and said softly, “Remember this. Don’t touch my man in future, otherwise …”

She widened her smile, but didn’t continue her words. Instead she raised her hand and held Jiang Yun’s chin in place. “Hmm? Have you drilled this into your head?”

Jiang Yun felt a chill down her spine as she looked at Ning Xi’s smile, and unwittingly nodded.

“Good.” Ning Xi was pleased, so she released Jiang Yun’s chin, then turned back to the few men behind her. “Let’s go.”

“I … I have something else to attend to, so I’ll make a move first.” Zhang Qingyun stuttered and he turned to leave, as though he had just witnessed something terrifying.

As Zhang Qingyun disappeared in a flash, Ning Xi eyed the two bodyguards beside them and raised her brows at Chang Shi Gui, “Weren’t we going to have dinner together?”

There was a complicated look on Chang Shi Gui’s face as he looked at Jiang Yun, who was leaning on the pillar, before he turned to Ning Xi and smiled, and opened the door of the vehicle for her.

The two bodyguards looked worried, but they hurried into another car, and followed Chang Shi Gui’s car out of the carpark.

Jiang Yun stood rooted for a few minutes before she slowly came back to her senses. Thinking back on Ning Xi’s words and actions, she felt humiliated.

She retrieved her phone from her bag, then furiously punched in a series of numbers, but her finger stopped before she made the call. She was clear in her heart that as long as she made this call, Ning Xi would definitely have to pay for what she did, but she somehow hesitated.

As much as she didn’t want to admit it, she feared Ning Xi. This wasn’t a fear that emanated from Chang Shi Gui, but from Ning Xi’s gaze on her.

That gaze that was devoid of all emotions, even though she continued smiling …

The feeling of Ning Xi’s fingers still lingered on her chin. She bit the corner of her lip, then shoved her phone back into the bag.

That bitch, Ning Xi!

“Just now …” Just as Chang Shi Gui started speaking, a warm hand covered his lips.

“I know.” There was a smile in Ning Xi’s eyes. She wrapped her arms around Chang Shi Gui’s neck, and lay her head on Chang Shi Gui’s shoulder.

The throbbing feeling from the pumping of blood through Chang Shi Gui’s veins carried with it a faint sense of warmth. Ning Xi started to smile.

Taking Ning Xi in his embrace, Chang Shi Gui didn’t ask her how she got to know those international celebrities. He didn’t even mention anything related to the movie. He simply lowered his head and kissed her hair, saying, “Xixi.”

“Hmm?” Ning Xi leaned into him and replied lazily.

“No matter what you want to do, I’ll always be by your side.”

There was a tremor in Ning Xi’s heart. She looked up at Chang Shi Gui, and saw him giving her a warm smile. She lowered her eyes, and buried her head into his chest.

Chang Shi Gui’s eyes darkened. He lightly caressed her back, and turned to look out of the window. It was already dusk.

Chang Shi Gui brought Ning Xi to a western restaurant. When Ning Xi saw the roses and candle on the table, she smiled and said, “A candlelit dinner?”

“Do you like it?” Chang Shi Gui raised his wine glass in Ning Xi’s direction and said, “I heard that this wine pairs nicely with steak. Would you like to try it?”

Ning Xi clinked her glass with his, then took a sip. The wine was indeed fragrant; of course, she would also never tell Chang Shi Gui that she was a commoner who would drink Sprite with wine [1].

The steak was very tender and tasty. Ning Xi enjoyed it thoroughly.

As Ning Xi and Chang Shi Gui were walking out of the restaurant after dinner, two girls recognised them. Fortunately, the two girls did not make a scene, otherwise they would have also drawn the attention of others.

“Goddess Ning, can we take a photo with you?” The two girls looked hopefully at Ning Xi, and even had the sense to stand in front of her so that passersby would not notice her.

“Sure.” Ning Xi agreed generously. Hence, both girls each stood one side of her. Just as the two girls prepared to take a wefie, Ning Xi waved at Chang Shi Gui, “Come on, I’ll allow you to photobomb this picture.”

After the photo was taken, one of the girls asked excitedly, “Goddess, can we post the photo on Weibo?”

Ning Xi held onto Chang Shi Gui’s hands, and said cheerily, “Sure, but only after we’ve left this place.”

“Yes, yes.” The two girls nodded, their faces flushed red. When Chang Shi Gui and Ning Xi left, they also couldn’t help but take a picture of the couple’s back view, walking hand in hand.

It was just a simple act of walking hand-in-hand, but from the girls’ view, it seemed as if pink bubbles were emitting from the scene.

Half an hour later, the two girls posted the picture on Weibo.

Lollipops aren’t sour: Had a chance meeting with Goddess Ning and Boss Chang. The goddess is even more beautiful in person. Boss Chang is also very handsome, and he treats our goddess very gently. [Picture 1] [Picture 2]

The young lady also posted the picture of their backs.

When the post appeared on Weibo, numerous Ning Xi fans flocked over to the young lady’s account, expressing their envy towards their good fortune.

Netizen 1: Did anyone notice this? Boss Chang’s eyes are on Ning Xi all the time, and they are full of love!

Netizen 2: The picture of them holding hands is so heartwarming. I can feel the sweetness simply looking at this picture. Thanks OP for posting such a wonderful picture. I seem to have regained my youthful heart again.

There was a reason why this post was so popular. It was because once the press conference of The Unrivalled 2 was posted online, there was a flurry of reactions.

Ning Xi was actually so close to the leads. Interactions between Goddess Juliana and Ning Xi were also featured, and the scene was extremely beautiful.

To be on such good terms with the leads, even if Ning Xi was just an extra, she must have been on very good terms with them in real life.

Mister Entertainment Gossip: Does everyone remember, last year when Ning Xi participated in a show, she said before that her foreigner friends loved the steamboat that she made, so much so that even after she returned, these friends would bring it up when they contacted her? I suspect that these friends include people like Hart and Juliana. In reality, Ning Xi and the two of them are schoolmates, just in a different batch. According to my knowledge, when Ning Xi was still in school, she took up all types of jobs due to her economic conditions, including tutoring, giving out flyers, serving in restaurants, and even acted as an extra in production sets. Traces of these can be found in the content of Ning Xi’s interviews.

Mister Entertainment Gossip: My industry sources tell me that Ning Xi didn’t use body doubles when she filmed many dangerous scenes. The director asked her why she didn’t use doubles, she said that when she was acting as an extra in foreign productions, she had always acted in scenes where she was either beaten up or had to fall, so she didn’t require body doubles anymore. When I heard this, I felt that she was an incredible actress. If it were me, I probably wouldn’t have done this well.

Once the two posts were published, netizens couldn’t help but imagine Ning Xi’s plight at that time. The more they thought of it, the more they felt that Ning Xi must have suffered a lot before achieving her current status.

Another passerby: Many people might think that Ning Xi must have struck the lottery in her life to be able to know so many famous celebrities. In reality, it’s all because she’s capable and hardworking. Let me tell everyone another piece of news, though unverified. After Ning Xi’s parents passed away, not only did her relatives not help her, they even came up with means to take over her familial possessions. If not for these relatives, Ning Xi wouldn’t have had to suffer when she was overseas. It is precisely because of these that these relatives didn’t dare to appear even after Ning Xi became popular. They must have felt guilty.

This post made many people who were revolted by this piece of news. Others started rebuking the cruel and dishonest relatives, even though their identities weren’t revealed.

[1] The Chinese would sometimes drink Sprite with wine, in order to use the sweetness of Sprite to balance the dry and sour taste of wine.

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