Chapter 158 - Pushing Forward and Resisting

The next day, Sheng Jiaoyang called Director Cen Jin early in the morning, but the call didn’t go through. She had a feeling that she’d been blacklisted.

She secretly cursed Shen Zhining a few times before phoning Gu Zhou.

Gu Zhou lethargically answered the phone.

Sheng Jiaoyang immediately explained the situation to Gu Zhou, saying that she’d been kidnapped at the entrance of the coffee shop that day and that she’d only retrieved her cell phone last night. Since she couldn’t get through to Director Cen when she called, she wanted him to help explain the situation in her stead.

"Were you hurt?" The first thing Gu Zhou did was to show his concern.

Sheng Jiaoyang felt warmth envelop her heart. "No, I’m fine."

"As expected, you really met with a mishap. I called you the past two days, but your phone was turned off. I also contacted your manager, but she said that she couldn't find you either. Thank goodness you're alright. Don't worry, I'll explain things to Cen Jin."

"Thanks, sorry for inconveniencing you."

"I thought that we were already friends, do we still need to be so polite?"

Sheng Jiaoyang smiled, "Alright then, I'll treat you to dinner next time."

"Okay."

When the call ended, Sheng Jiaoyang heaved a long sigh. As expected, there’s no one as complicated as Shen Zhining in the world!

Afterwards, she went to school to look for Lin Yu.

Lin Yu took her to the piano room, where several girls were rehearsing. When they saw Lin Yu walk in, their eyes instantly lit up.

"It's Lin Yu!" All the girls stopped rehearsing.

"Can I borrow the piano?" Lin Yu politely asked.

The girl sitting in front of the piano hurriedly got up and said, "Feel free to use it."

"Jiaojiao." Lin Yu turned and looked at the door.

Sheng Jiaoyang walked in and waved at the girls, who were staring at her in surprise. She sat down in front of the piano and first played a few keys to check the tones. Afterwards, she nodded at Lin Yu and played a piece that she used to practice. She hadn't played the piano for too long, so even though she remembered the song, she could feel that her technique had become a bit rusty as her fingers flew over the keys. The first part wasn’t played so coherently, and she played a few wrong notes. If an amateur was listening, they wouldn’t notice these small mistakes, but to an expert who strove for perfection, they’d certainly notice the mistakes she made in the first part.

Lin Yu's expression changed slightly. He noticed the mistakes she made, but he was quite surprised that she could play so well without a music score.

When she’d finished, Lin Yu asked, "Do you need a score?"

"I don’t need it for the time being." Sheng Jiaoyang closed her eyes and reflected. After a while, she calmly started to play again.

Lin Yu was particularly surprised to find that she’d corrected the mistakes she made earlier. The whole song flowed smoothly from beginning to end, and it was very pleasant to the ear.

Ding!

The last note fell. Sheng Jiaoyang turned to Lin Yu and asked with a smile, "What do you think, shall I play this song at the party?"

"Yes, absolutely," Lin Yu approved.

With her current fame, even if she played a song quietly, others wouldn’t find it monotonous.

"Jiaojiao, can I have your autograph?"

"I want it, too."

Several girls gathered around Sheng Jiaoyang.

Sheng Jiaoyang took over the notebook, tucked her hair behind her ear, and signed her name earnestly. She even drew a cute simplified cartoon character next to the signature.

"Can we take a picture together?" the girls asked.

Sheng Jiaoyang didn’t refuse and asked Lin Yu to help them take a group photo.

After the two had left, the girls screamed excitedly.

"Xu Jiaojiao's temperament is so good! Her skin is also flawless! She’s so beautiful with only a little base makeup, and the foundation she used is really good!"

"Her personality is also great! When she lowered her head and signed our notebooks earlier, she appeared exceptionally tender, so much so that she almost turned me gay."

"I finally understand why she’s popular now. If she’s not popular, then no one is."

"Hehe, I was smart enough to record her when she played the song for the second time."

"Fangfang, you also play the piano. What did you think of Xu Jiaojiao’s performance?"

"She's much better than me. She probably hasn't played for a while, but she can still play so well. As expected of a top student, she's good at everything!"

"I'm curious about the relationship between Xu Jiaojiao and Lin Yu."

"It doesn’t seem like they’re dating."

"Could it be that Xu Jiaojiao’s going to be attending our school’s New Year evening party?"

"Yeah, that's very likely!"

"Look, she put so much thought in this signature! It’s one of the most carefully designed ones I've ever seen. I’m going to post it on WeChat Moments!"

Meanwhile, Sheng Jiaoyang and Lin Yu were also chatting amongst themselves.

Lin Yu asked, "How does it feel to be a star?"

"It’s not bad. My fans are very lovely."

"But, there are also a lot of people who criticise you. You don’t mind?"

Sheng Jiaoyang’s lips curled into a smile. "It doesn't matter. I'll take those who praise me as it is, and I’ll regard those who scold me as them scolding someone else." In any case, the person everyone wrote about was Xu Jiaojiao. If they praised her, she would take it as a compliment, and if they scolded her, she would regard it as them scolding Xu Jiaojiao. It’s simple and nothing to fret about!

"I’m glad to see that you’re so positive about this. Hopefully, you can always maintain this state of mind and not be swayed by others," Lin Yu said wholeheartedly.

Sheng Jiaoyang was just about to say something when a car stopped next to them. The car window lowered, revealing Yuan Neng's smiling ruffian face.

"Since Lin Yu is also here, let's go have fun together this afternoon," Yuan Neng raised his chin towards them and said.

Sheng Jiaoyang smiled insincerely and immediately declined. "Sorry, I'm busy this afternoon."

"Why do you have so many trifling matters to tend to? Last time you said that you’d only come if Lin Yu invites you, but now that Lin Yu is here, you’re coming up with another excuse to reject my invitation. Are you looking down on me?" Yuan Neng impatiently asked.

"Neng, Jiaojiao really has some business to tend to this afternoon," Lin Yu explained.

"I don't care. If there’s anything, just put it off!"

"Neng." Lin Yu frowned.

The corners of Sheng Jiaoyang’s mouth slightly curled upwards. She took out her cell phone and made a call.

"I'm near the multidisciplinary building complex, come and pick me up."

When Yuan Neng saw Sheng Jiaoyang take out her cell phone, he’d initially thought that she was calling to postpone her matters, but she unexpectedly called someone to pick her up. He laughed angrily, opened the car door, and walked out.

Sheng Jiaoyang wasn’t afraid of him. She simply stood where she was and watched Yuan Neng storm over.

"Are you getting in the car?" Yuan Neng raised his chin.

Lin Yu moved in front of Sheng Jiaoyang and looked Yuan Neng straight in the eye as he said, "Neng, don't force her if she’s not willing."

"Okay, very good! I’ll give Lin Yu some face and let you go today." Yuan Neng walked back to his car and sped off.

Sheng Jiaoyang sneered. Tsk, who let who off in the end? She swept a glance at the two bodyguards, who were about to rush over earlier, standing a few meters away.

Lin Yu turned around and said, "Don't take it to heart. Neng is playful, but he’s not a bad person."

"Could it be that, in your eyes, everyone’s a good person? You can forgive them no matter how excessive they behave?" Sheng Jiaoyang raised an eyebrow and stared at him.

"How’s that possible? I'm not a saint." Lin Yu didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

"Alright, I was just teasing you. My ride is here, so I'll leave first." Sheng Jiaoyang bade farewell and boarded the van.

Zeng Huan, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, said, "The interview in the afternoon was cancelled. The reporter had an accident on the way here and asked to reschedule the meeting."

"Okay, is there anything else scheduled for this afternoon?" Sheng Jiaoyang asked as she leaned against the back of the chair.

"Sis Ping has received a lot of invitations and wants you to go over to have a look."

"Alright," Sheng Jiaoyang replied before taking her cell phone out.

The chauffeur made a detour and drove back to the company.

Sheng Jiaoyang went straight to Xu Ping's office, where many invitations and scripts were spread out on her desk.

"You’re here. Come take a look and see which ones you like." Xu Ping pointed to the table.

"What do we have here?" Sheng Jiaoyang walked over.

"There are invitations for all kinds of variety shows and advertisements, as well as some scripts for TV dramas and movies. But, they’re all supporting roles, and the best offer is merely a second female lead role."

Sheng Jiaoyang didn’t mind that these were supporting roles. She roughly flipped through each of the scripts and got a general understanding of the plots and characters. Afterwards, she picked out the script of a movie. This script was the story of the female lead (the victim's big sister) and the male lead (Captain of the Interpol Investigation Team) getting together because of a case and illustrated how they fell in love while solving the case. She was asked to play one of the villains, who at first presented herself as a perfect woman in front of everyone. However, someone later discovered that she was the real murderer in several homicide cases. It could be said that she was a particularly two-faced beast in human form. She appeared excellent on the surface, but she was corrupt at heart.

"The script isn’t bad. The role is quite challenging, but it's too negative." Xu Ping revealed her concerns.

"The character is the only negative part. Amongst so many scripts, only this character is challenging. So what if the other characters are leading roles? They aren’t challenging at all. Please update me on my schedule for the upcoming months, I may pick up another movie soon. As for these variety shows and advertisements, decline them all."

"You don’t want to keep one or two variety shows and advertisements?" Xu Ping hesitantly asked.

"No, let’s wait and see next year. Sis Ping, you can rest assured. Even if I don't take on any movies or advertisements, I can still afford to raise you," Sheng Jiaoyang joked at the end.

"Of course, I believe in you." Xu Ping knew that Jiaojiao had acknowledged a rich grandfather, so of course she believed her words.

"But, Jiaojiao, you just said that you might take on another movie. Who’s the director?" As Xu Jiaojiao’s manager, she must know these things clearly. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be able to make the necessary arrangements.

"Gu Zhou invested in a film directed by Director Cen Jin. I don't know if I can get it yet. Last time, I was supposed to meet and talk about the role, but a bastard appeared out of nowhere and messed things up. Gu Zhou did say that he’d explain the situation to the director for me, but I still don’t know if Director Cen Jin will let go of this matter."

"Oh, it's Cen Jin? If that’s the case, you must really fight for it. The box office results are guaranteed to be good for one of Cen Jin's films, and usually, there’s not much difference in the sales records."

Sheng Jiaoyang shrugged. "But, this time he’s producing a literary film."

"Although literary films aren’t that popular, it’s easier to win an award with one. It seems that Cen Jin also wants to fight for an award this time."

After chatting for a while, Sheng Jiaoyang got ready to go home.

However, when she saw the man waiting by her van, she really wanted to leave without turning back.

"Are you here for Li Yu? Unfortunately, I heard that he isn’t in today." Sheng Jiaoyang walked over and got ready to get in the van.

Shen Zhining reached out and held the car door. He looked at her and said, "Let's have dinner together."

"No, I can’t. I need to go back to accompany my grandfather."

"I’ve already informed Grandfather Yang."

Sheng Jiaoyang had no choice but to follow Shen Zhining to his car.

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xYuna's Thoughts

TL: Yuna | Editor: Purpledragon | TLC: Grace