Chang Shi Gui frowned when he saw the caller display. Ning Xi took a peek at his phone. There was only a word - “Aunt”. She put down her glass, then continued to scroll through comments under her Weibo account.
Chang Shi Gui patted her head, his smile emanating a hint of indulgence, before he answered the call.
“Youngest Aunt.” Chang Shi Gui’s voice was extremely cold; when Tao Minya heard him from her end, she shivered. However, when she turned to look at her sobbing niece and her husband who was looking at her with expectation, she could only press forward. “Shi Gui, am I disturbing you at work?”
Using one hand to massage Ning Xi’s waist, Chang Shi Gui said plainly, “It’s fine, I’m not at work.”
“Oh …” Tao Minya stammered, “With regard to what happened yesterday, we as seniors already know what happened. Xiao Yun is a rash child, and her actions were accidentally caught on camera and even posted online. You know how harsh those people online can be. Our Jiang family is indeed ashamed, and we feel sorry towards Miss Ning. Can Miss Ning and you be gracious enough and not lower yourselves to her level?”
Chang Shi Gui’s frown deepened. He knew that his aunt was trying to end the matter and prevent it from escalating further. The Jiang family couldn’t afford this embarrassment, and neither could Jiang Yun.
“Aunty, the entire Internet is mocking Ning Xi now.” Chang Shi Gui looked at Ning Xi, who laid prone in bed. Was Ning Xi just supposed to accept all these slandering?
“I know about this too. Xiao Yun is truly repentant. In future, this will never happen again. We’ll also try to get someone to delete those pictures online.” Tao Minya hesitated for a moment. “However, Miss Ning’s post on Weibo this morning has resulted in many people misunderstanding the Jiang family and Xiao Yun. Do you think if … you can get her to delete the post? She’s your girlfriend, so rightfully speaking, she’s still a junior. In future, we’ll have to meet, so if this matter blows up, it won’t be good for all of us.”
Chang Shi Gui made no reply for a long while after Tao Minya said her piece. She thought that Chang Shi Gui was still considering, so she added on, “Besides, people won’t talk about things on the internet after a few days. If Miss Ning escalates this, it will also affect her negatively. Don’t you agree?”
“Aunty.” Chang Shi Gui’s voice reverberated from the phone, but all Tao Minya felt was the chill in his tone.
“Respect needs to be earned. It’s not only Jiang Yun who will be hurt by such rumours.” Chang Shi Gui’s voice was as cold as ice. “If that’s all that Aunty wants to say to me, then I have nothing else to say.”
“Shi Gui …” Tao Minya could feel the situation going awry, but before she could continue, the line was cut off.
“Sister-in-law, what did Shi Gui say?” Jiang Hongkai observed Tao Minya’s expression and his face darkened. “It can’t be that Shi Gui isn’t even giving you respect as an aunt, just for the sake of an actress?”
Tao Minya’s expression shifted; after a short while, she said in a strange tone, “Is Second Brother blaming me for not helping you solve the matter?” After she said this, she continued in a huff, “You’ve raised a shameless daughter, and now you are blaming my nephew for being disrespectful. If you are so admirable, then you should teach your daughter not to throw herself at my nephew, and drag this unrespectable aunt into the centre of this mess!”
“Minya, you …” When Jiang Yuanpeng saw his wife lose her temper, he glared at her awkwardly. He didn’t think that Jiang Minya would go to this extent, without any consideration for him.
“What about me?” Tao Minya pointed at Jiang Yuanpeng and said, “You should just count the number of shameless things that your niece has done! Over the years, she has unabashedly thrown herself at Shi Gui umpteenth times. My sister had raised this matter to me so many times, but every single time, I bore with it for your sake. However, if she’s going to continue being so insensible, then do I have to lower my dignity in front of my family for my entire life?!”
“Sister-in-law, these words are too harsh.” Tao Minya had thrown so much shade on Jiang Hongkai that the latter became upset. He said in an eccentric voice, “Chang Shi Gui might be your nephew, but isn’t Xiao Yun your niece too? Aren’t you favouring one over the other?”
“As a father, you could give up your daughter just to flirt around with female celebrities, so am I, an aunt, supposed to care for her like her mother?” Tao Minya was getting furious, and all the pent-up frustrations she had all these years started to explode. “Don’t you dare ridicule me. Don’t you know what you are like? It’s all your fault that Jiang Yun has turned out this way. Now, you are trying to push the blame on others, but you have to consider if others are willing to take the blame for you.”
“Like father, like daughter. There aren’t any good people in your Jiang family!” Tao Minya’s eyes flashed with hatred as she said this. She swiped the table of cups onto the floor. “In future, don’t you ever look for me for help!”
“Tao Minya, is this how you conduct yourself?!” Jiang Yuanpeng saw how scathing Tao Minya’s words had become, and he looked at her sternly. “The juniors are around, how can you say such things?”
“What’s wrong with my words?” Tao Minya looked at her husband scornfully. “All of you messed up, and I can’t say anything about this? My greatest regret in life was to have blindly married into your family. In future, your family’s matters are no longer my business. I’m so disgusted!”
Tao Minya retrieved her handbag from the sofa, then slammed the Jiang family’s door and left without looking back.
Jiang Yuanpeng’s face paled. As he thought of something, his expression changed, and he did not look at Jiang Hongkai and Jiang Yun, but rushed to the study after putting up an excuse.
“Yunyun, don’t be afraid …”
“There’s nothing to be afraid of. After all, like father, like daughter.” Jiang Yun rose from her seat, and without caring about Jiang Hongkai, she ran off, her eyes swollen from crying. At that moment, only Jiang Hongkai was left sitting alone in the spacious living room.
On the second floor, Jiang Cheng was observing the situation. He stifled a laugh, before throwing a disdainful look at the study. He then walked leisurely down the stairs, and looked at Jiang Hongkai from the corner of his eyes. “Second Uncle, my mother doesn’t owe your family anything. If there’s any matter, you can look for my father, but why are you putting my mother in a fix?”
He then whistled as he walked out the door, while Jiang Hongkai was pale with anger.
After his elder brother took over the reins of the Jiang family, even his nephew didn’t respect him anymore. This was going overboard!
After Chang Shi Gui hung up the phone, he lay down with Ning Xi and kissed her nape. Ning Xi was tickled by that move, and she huddled herself into a bundle. “What are you doing?”
“I’m just thinking that it looks tasty, and I can’t help but …” Chang Shi Gui pounced on her, and kissed her collarbone. “Want to have you as a meal.”
“Oh, I didn’t think that you would have such a hobby.” Ning Xi raised her finger and pointed disdainfully at his forehead, pushing his head away. “Just now, I thought I heard the person on the phone asking me to delete my Weibo post?”
“You don’t have to bother about that.” Chang Shi Gui caressed her cheek. “I won’t let you suffer such unnecessary grievances.”
As a man, if he had to make his lover sacrifice for such a small thing, then how could he be worthy of love?
Chang Shi Gui: I’m a close-minded person, and I only love Ning Xi alone. This OP took a picture of Jiang Yun hugging me when I was caught unawares, and even started spreading rumours, causing great harm to my relationship and my wellbeing. As such, I have contacted my personal lawyer, and will be sending out a letter to you soon. I believe that the Law Society will return us justice.
Netizen 1: Damn! Chang Shi Gui has come out to clarify. That line “Jiang Yun hugging me when I was caught unawares” was seriously such a face-slap. He’s so upfront about it, the truth is clear to me now.
Netizen 744: Keke, Isn’t Chang Shi Gui from an aristocratic family? For him to blatantly disgrace a lady, isn’t that being too ungentlemanly?
Netizen 745: Gentlemanly? What for? The one upstairs, if the man is trash, then the woman is mental. If a man’s girlfriend is affected by rumours, but he still has to be gentlemanly towards another woman, then he isn’t a gentleman anymore, but an asshole. Boss Chang is willing to do this for Ning Xi, he earns my respect.
Netizen 788: 744 is the legendary keyboard saint. If he wasn’t in the situation, he wouldn’t know the pain. I wish that in future, your lover would treat you in the same way you mentioned. At that time, you must remember to praise him, and not feel upset or wronged.
Very soon, “Mister Entertainment Gossip” reposted Chang Shi Gui’s post, and gave it a like.
Mister Entertainment Gossip: The couple’s relationship is smooth-sailing, but there are some who just want to be a third party, creating such gossip. I’m supportive of Chang Boss’ legal action.
Another Weibo user, “Just a passerby”, who often exposed scandals, had also reposted it.
Just a passerby: The Jiang and Chang family has some familial relations, but Jiang Yun is attempting to be a third party, while Chang Boss only likes Ning Xi. This time, Jiang Yun has destroyed the Jiang family’s reputation.
When Zhang Qingyun saw how the discussions were going in Ning Xi’s favour, he heaved a sigh of relief. It was almost time for The Unrivalled 2 to premiere. So long as this movie was a big hit, Ning Xi would be able to catapult herself into an A-lister. At this critical moment, if Chang Shi Gui wasn’t willing to step out and clarify, then in the eyes of many, Ning Xi would become an abandoned chicken whose dreams of becoming a phoenix was dashed, and be ridiculed by others.
He had originally thought that Chang Shi Gui would clamp down on the issue for the Jiang family’s sake, but wouldn’t clarify the matter. Now that he had stood out, the Jiang family’s reputation was in shambles.
He didn’t expect Chang Shi Gui to do this much for Ning Xi, so much so that he almost believed that there could be true love between a rich boss and an actress.
Within an hour of Chang Shi Gui’s clarification, a few major production teams had contacted him, asking Ning Xi to appear as the female lead or supporting lead.
There were no fools in this industry. Ning Xi obviously wanted to use The Unrivalled 2 to improve her position, and she didn’t lose her position in front of a rich boss. Moreover, her acting skills were impeccable. Hence, giving her a role was only beneficial to them.
After politely declining these invites, Zhang Qingyun pulled out his line to get a moment of peace. He thought about it, then used his private number to call Ning Xi. Unexpectedly, he heard a man’s voice instead.
“Mr. Chang?” Zhang Qingyun was stunned for a moment, but quickly reacted and said, “Is Ning Xi around?”
“She’s asleep.” Chang Shi Gui bent down to tuck Ning Xi in bed properly, before taking light steps out of the room. After he closed the door, he reverted to his normal volume. “Is anything the matter, Mr. Zhang?”
“It’s nothing urgent.” Zhang Qingyun coughed drily, “At 8PM tonight, the cast of The Unrivalled 2 will be in S City’s Tomato Station to film a show. The organizer has booked the tickets to S City. Will Ning Xi be able to reach the airport at three later?”
“I’ll accompany her to the airport this afternoon, don’t worry.” Chang Shi Gui paused for a moment, “She didn’t have a good sleep last night, so you have to take good care of her during filming.”
“Rest assured, Mr. Chang. I’ll definitely take good care of Ning Xi.” Zhang Qingyun thought inwardly, there was a thunderous storm last night. Ning Xi’s sleep quality had never been good, naturally she wouldn’t have slept well.
After he hung up, Chang Shi Gui pondered further, then called his assistant Xu Zhou.
“Help me check if there are any tickets for the 3PM flight to S City. If there is, book one for me, thanks.”
Ning Xi only woke up after noon. When she saw that lunch had been prepared when she went down, she awarded Chang Shi Gui with a kiss.
“This morning, your manager called and said that you have to go to Tomato Station tonight to film a programme. The organiser has already booked your tickets.” Chang Shi Gui put down his chopsticks and cleaned his mouth. “I’ve already instructed Xu Zhou to book a ticket for me too, I’ll accompany you to S City.”
“Why?” Ning Xi drank a mouth of soup. “Are you trying to care for a lover or a daughter?”
“Caring for a lover means pampering her like a daughter.” Chang Shi Gui raised an eyebrow. “I overdid it a little last night, so I’m worried that you haven’t recovered.”
A laugh reverberated from Ning Xi, as she lowered her head and continued to drink her soup. However, she didn’t reject Chang Shi Gui’s company.
At 2PM, The Unrivalled 2’s crew and the Chinese organizers arrived at the airport.
Juliana swept her eyes across the crowd, but didn’t spot Ning Xi. Hence, she pulled out her phone and prepared to call her.
Just as she pulled out her phone, she saw a remarkable looking man, and her eyes lit up. She whispered to Hart, “Look at that Chinese man, he’s so charming.”
Hart raised his head lazily and took a look, before saying with a strange look. “Are you talking about the man beside Ning?”
“Oh my goodness.” Juliana looked surprised. “Could that man be Ning’s sweetheart?”
Hart shrugged, not willing to patronize Juliana in her surprise.
Juliana said thoughtfully, “I was right. The man that can move Ning’s heart must definitely be outstanding.”
“Juliana, Hart.” Ning Xi saw Juliana and Hart and waved towards them. She then dragged Chang Shi Gui towards them. “This is my lover, Chang Shi Gui.”
“Hi.” Juliana couldn’t even pronounce Chang Shi Gui’s name in her stammer, and she only managed, “Good lord, Chinese names are as complex as your culture.”
Hart smiled at Chang Shi Gui, “Ning has mentioned you before. It’s an honour to meet you.”
“I’m grateful for all the care you both have given to Ning Xi.” Chang Shi Gui politely shook hands with them. “Ning Xi is feeling unwell today, so I’m accompanying her for the filming. I hope I’m not imposing.”
“How thoughtful.” Juliana winked at Ning Xi, then said in English, “Ning, you found a good man.”
Ning Xi turned and looked at Chang Shi Gui. He was conversing with Hart in fluent English. He looked gentlemanly and charming.
“I agree.” Ning Xi smiled and nodded at Juliana.