“Boss”, Xu Zhou stuck his head into the office. He saw that Chang Shi Gui had taken his jacket and was preparing to leave, so he called out to him. “Just now, the secretary of the President of Qu Corporation personally delivered an invite for you to attend tomorrow’s cocktail party.”
The Qu and Jiang family had always been on bad terms. Now that news of Tao Minya and Jiang Yuanpeng’s divorce had spread, the Qu family had turned around and started to initiate contact with their boss. In some ways, the Qu family had always spared no effort in trying to strike at the Jiang family.
Chang Shi Gui took a look at the invite. Most of the contents within were handwritten, and signed off by Old Master Qu. If the sender was a junior in the Qu family, Chang Shi Gui wouldn’t have paid attention to this invite. However, since the invitation letter was signed off by Old Master Qu, he had to honour the invitation no matter what.
“Got it.” Chang Shi Gui nodded, then walked towards the lift with the invitation in his hand.
“Father, will Chang Shi Gui really attend this time?” Qu Yuanbo didn’t really agree to Old Master Qu’s act of personally writing an invitation to Chang Shi Gui. No matter how powerful Chang Shi Gui was, his father was the senior. How could a senior personally write an invitation to a junior? The Qu family was a prestigious family; if people got wind of this, where would they place their pride?
“Yuanbo, I know that you are a proud man, and more outstanding than many of those idle second-generation nobles. However, you’re too arrogant.” Father Qu shook his head and sighed. “We’re businessmen. In order to become a successful businessman, you have to be clear when you have to stand up tall, and when to be humble and polite. A man like Chang Shi Gui can be considered the most prolific out of the many generations of the Chang family. The only flaw he has is that he’s interested in a small-time actress. The Qu and Chang family don’t get along much, do you think he’ll come if you invited him?”
Qu Yuanbo lowered his head without replying.
Seeing how his son seemed to have taken in his words, Father Qu smiled and nodded contentedly, “One would only lose their pride when they have failed. If they have succeeded, it means that they are adaptable. Now, Chang Shi Gui’s aunt and Jiang Yuanpeng are getting a divorce, and Chang Shi Gui had been displeased by the Jiang family’s doings in recent times. We’ll be foolish if we don’t make use of this opportunity to get into the Chang family’s good books.”
The words from Qu Yuanbo’s father reminded him of the incident caused by the daughter of the Jiang family’s second son. He recalled that Chang Shi Gui’s girlfriend was also implicated in the matter, and in the end, Chang Shi Gui had to personally step out to clarify. Even if the Jiang family later begged him for help, he didn’t relent. Then, a few days later, Tao Minya wanted to get a divorce. Whenever he saw the drama in the Jiang family unfold, he would feel a sense of superiority over them.
The Jiang family’s actions would only lead to their own demise.
Father Qu was right in his prediction. Soon after, he received a call from Chang Shi Gui, who said that he would be at the party with a partner.
After hanging up, Father Qu looked cheerily at Qu Yuanbo and said, “Yuanbo, looks like the Jiang family has really offended the Chang and Tao families.” Thinking back to his sister’s marriage to the wastrel Jiang Hongkai and the things that happened to her subsequently, Father Qu only felt disgusted.
The things that Jiang Hongkai did back then were in obvious disrespect to the Qu family. How could they take this lying down?
That night, when Chang Shi Gui and Ning Xi sat down for dinner together, the topic of the cocktail party was brought up.
Ning Xi pouted, as though she was troubled by it. “Then, you should go shopping with me tomorrow.” A man’s patience for a woman could be seen from the attitude he presented when he went shopping with her, as well as the time he spent waiting for her to get made-up.
“Sure.” Chang Shi Gui was struck with a sudden realisation. Because of Ning Xi’s occupation, they never had a chance to properly go out shopping together. Thinking of this, he started to look forward to the next day.
Shopping was one method for a couple to improve their relationship. Before leaving the house, Ning Xi applied a delicate daily make-up look, and even intentionally picked out a tie for Chang Shi Gui that matched the colour of her skirt.
“What about this?” Ning Xi picked out a bracelet from her jewellery case, but she never removed the thin silver bracelet from her wrist.
Chang Shi Gui observed her closely, then nodded. After they announced their relationship, Chang Shi Gui would always give Ning Xi all sorts of gifts. Ning Xi also enjoyed buying him outfits, cufflinks, and watches. Both Xu Zhou and Zhang Qingyun were the victims of their display of affection.
Chang Shi Gui had bought this bracelet for Ning Xi the month before. It had a thin chain, but it looked especially good on Ning Xi’s wrist. He looked down and helped fasten the chain onto Ning Xi, though his actions were somewhat clumsy. The high and mighty Mr. Chang would always be a klutz whenever he helped Ning Xi fasten her necklaces and bracelets, as though it was the hardest thing to do.
Chang Enterprises dabbled in many industries, including fashion, jewellery, electronics, pharmaceuticals, hotels, and real estate. After Chang Shi Gui took over the company, they also invested into the media and entertainment-related industries. Their businesses were everywhere, and everyone was envious of them.
In a romance novel, a man with such a background would certainly be the cool male lead and the female lead and supporting characters would be devoted to him. However, this cool male lead was now being a labourer, carrying countless bags.
In the male version of “Three Obediences and Four Virtues”, a man helping a woman carry her bags was a necessary skill. This has nothing to do with his status, or whether he was trying to butter up his woman. When Chang Shi Gui did this, Ning Xi was pleased; this was more meaningful than him giving her jewellery as gifts.
“Miss Ning, this pair of earrings is a perfect match to your skin tone.” The sales assistant said gently, “This is the new limited edition design from our chief designer. Do you want to try them?” The sales assistant had already recognised Ning Xi. However, she didn’t dare to believe that the man carrying numerous bags and following behind Ning Xi was their company’s president.
In her mind, when the boss accompanied his girlfriend to shop, he would surely just take out his limitless credit card and purchase everything that caught her eye, while a group of bodyguards clothed in black would be carrying their bags.
She scanned her surroundings. There were two bodyguards following them nearby, but they appeared relaxed, unlike the bodyguards depicted in movies, who would be standing frozen as though they were expressionless statues.
The world of the rich was truly hard to decipher. She didn’t understand it at all.
Ning Xi put on the earrings recommended by the salesperson, then turned to her side and showed it to Chang Shi Gui, “Does it look nice?”
Ning Xi’s ears were fair and cute, and the diamond earrings looked especially stunning under the light. However, the earrings were simply too delicate, so it couldn’t hold up the glamour of an evening gown. Chang Shi Gui flipped the brochure in his hand, then pointed out a design and instructed the salesperson, “Let her try this pair.” He then said to Ning Xi, “This pair is beautiful, and it’s suitable for daily wear.”
Ning Xi loved the seriousness in his face when he chose the earrings for her. She removed the earrings and placed them back into the box, then held her face in her hands and said, “Shi Gui, I’ve noticed that you’re getting better at sweet talking.”
Chang Shi Gui was confused. When did he do that?
“I’ve always spoken the truth. I haven’t lied to you.” Chang Shi Gui reached out to touch Ning Xi’s earlobe, “Your ears are beautiful, and you’ll look good wearing anything.”
“Isn’t this sweet talking?” Ning Xi giggled as she held Chang Shi Gui’s hands, then played around with his index finger.
In the end, Ning Xi bought two pairs of earrings and a necklace. When Chang Shi Gui took out his card to pay the bill, there were many envious gazes in their direction.
“It turns out that even the boss will also have to pay for his purchases in his own mall.” After shopping for the entire afternoon, the couple then took a rest at a nice-looking cafe. Ning Xi took a sip of her coffee. “And there I thought you would just wave your hands and ask me to take it away.”
“If I do that, it’ll be detrimental for the staff.” Chang Shi Gui explained, “There’ll be many additional billing issues. It’s easier this way.”
A couple’s conversation might sound boring to others, but the couple was engrossed in their own world. Ning Xi casually spoke about the plots in domineering CEO stories with Chang Shi Gui, causing the latter's expression to darken and his inability to reply.
Seeing how tickled his girlfriend was, Chang Shi Gui could only lament, “These are just plot requirements. If novels and dramas were entirely the same as real life, who would read novels or watch dramas? Though I think that even if these plots don’t reflect reality, they are quite impactful, so that’s not too bad.”
Ning Xi couldn’t help but chuckle at his serious look. It turns out that teasing her stern boyfriend was a fun thing to do.
“Sister Liang, isn’t that Ning Xi and her boyfriend?”
Liang Qianya heard her assistant’s remark, and looked in her direction. Seated in the corner was a couple. The male was dashing and refined, while the female was beautiful and poised. One could only think of the phrase “match made in heaven” to describe the scene.
Who else could it be but Ning Xi?
Liang Qianya had somewhat mixed feelings towards Ning Xi. Two years ago, she was the female lead for the movie “My Heart Longs for You”, while Ning Xi only had a few cameo scenes. Both of them didn’t even have any scenes together. Yet, within two years, not only did Ning Xi have a chance to collaborate with renowned directors and take on lead roles, she even obtained an important role in a foreign blockbuster production. Even her love life was the envy of countless women. It seemed as though the best things in the world were given to her.
Ning Xi’s first award in the industry was even presented to her by Liang Qianya. However, after she learned about Ning Xi’s past, the jealousy she felt vanished, and she only felt heartache for this young actress.
Some people might look like they were blessed by the heavens, but who knew how much she had to suffer to reach her current standing? Liang Qianya could only be envious of Ning Xi’s good fortune.
“Should we go over to say hi?” The assistant was excited, “That’s the President of Chang Enterprises beside her.”
“Even if he’s the boss of Chang Enterprises, he’s also Ning Xi’s boyfriend.” Liang Qianya retracted her gaze. “I’m not going there to be a lightbulb.” After this, a notification popped up on her phone.
“Miss Zhu has been detained under suspicion of drug possession…”
Liang Qianya could only shake her head in disappointment when she saw the notification. Zhu Moli was obviously ruined. Last year, Zhu Moli relied on Jiang Hongkai’s support and had become immensely arrogant. Under the guise of being “real”, she bullied numerous celebrities. She probably wouldn’t have thought such a day would happen.
The assistant also received the same notification. After she read it, she whispered, “Sister Liang, I did hear some rumours that Ning Xi was the one who called the police in Zhu Moli’s arrest.”
Liang Qianya’s expression dulled, and she said, “Don’t ever mention this again. Rumours can’t be trusted.”
“Oh.” The assistant saw Liang Qianya’s dark expression and didn’t dare to talk about the matter again. She took a bite into her cake, and when she looked up again, she saw a trace of elation flash past Sister Liang’s face.
She was doubtful of it, but she didn’t think too much, and quickly forgot about the matter.
Liang Qianya didn’t proactively approach Ning Xi, but when Ning Xi and Chang Shi Gui left, they saw Liang Qianya.
“Sister Liang, what a coincidence.” Ning Xi walked towards Liang Qianya and exchanged some pleasantries with the latter. Liang Qianya was cordial towards her, so the mood was relatively harmonious.
However, before Ning Xi left, Liang Qianya’s phone rang, and a message appeared on it. Even though it was just a glance, Ning Xi saw the words “Zhu Moli” on it.
Liang Qianya noticed it too. She was dumbstruck for a moment, before coming up with a smile and changing the topic. “I heard that you will be working with Teacher Zhang Yimin next. Congratulations.”
“Thanks.” Ning Xi nodded. “I’ll leave you guys to continue your chat. I’ll make a move first.”
“Take care.” Liang Qianya looked on as Ning Xi walked in front of Chang Shi Gui. The latter then naturally grabbed her hand, and the couple walked out of the cafe hand in hand.
“They’re on such good terms.” The assistant sighed. “Just now, when Ning Xi was talking to you, I noticed that Mr. Chang’s eyes never left Ning Xi, and his smile was extremely gentle.”
“Isn’t that a good thing?” Liang Qianya unlocked her phone. It was a push message from an entertainment broadcasting station. There were quite a few mentions of Zhu Moli, but none of them mentioned Ning Xi.
Liang Qianya didn’t bother to continue reading. Her crimson lips curled up into a smile as she turned off her phone.
This was the outcome of not leaving someone any leeway. It was also a lesson for her.