Chapter 175 - Settling Accounts

“You're back just in time for dinner. Come and eat!” Old Madam Sheng smiled and waved as she saw Sheng Xun and the others enter the house.

“Yes, Mother,” Liang Xiaohui smiled as she replied.

“Grandfather, Grandmother, you guys sit down first. I'll go wash my hands and be back soon,” Sheng Shiyun said as she headed towards the kitchen.

Sheng Xun stood in the living room, his tone calm as he said, “Now that everyone’s here, let’s talk things through.”

Sheng Shiyun paused, suddenly feeling nervous.

Not only was Liang Xiaohui nervous, but she was also shocked. Straightening her back, she put on a calm facade so that she wouldn't reveal her nervousness.

“What's wrong, son?” Old Madam Sheng, who sensed that something was off, looked at him curiously.

“If you have anything to say, leave it for after dinner.” Old Master Sheng was about to walk towards the dining room.

Sheng Xun didn't move. He simply looked at Old Madam Sheng as he asked, “Mum, the bracelet on Liang Xiaohui's hand, was it given by you?”

“Yes,” Old Madam Sheng nodded as she confirmed, glancing at Liang Xiaohui.

“So, the head ornament on Sheng Shiyun was also gifted by you?” Sheng Xun continued.

Old Master Sheng stopped, his eyebrows raised as he looked towards him. “Sheng Xun, why do you ask these things without rhyme or reason?”

Sheng Xun didn't answer his father's question, he only looked at Old Madam Sheng. “Did you take these ornaments from Jiaoyang's room?”

“I-I…” Old Madam Sheng looked at Liang Xiaohui, but the latter wasn't even looking at her. “I took it. Jiaoyang was already dead, and since she couldn't use it, leaving it there was a waste. I'm her grandmother, yet I can’t take her things?”

“Okay, okay.” Sheng Xun slowly nodded, his expression was so calm that it was frightening.

Old Madam Sheng let out a breath. Just when she was about to call him to eat, she saw him look towards Liang Xiaohui to say words that shocked her heart.

“Put Jiaoyang's things back in their original positions. If there's even one thing missing or broken, you can scram.”

Liang Xiaohui's legs weakened and she collapsed to the floor, paralysed.

“Sheng Xun!” Old Master Sheng supported his wife, his voice stern as he roared.

Sheng Xun didn't answer, and without consulting anyone, he went upstairs.

Sheng Shiyun helped Liang Xiaohui up, saying hatefully, “Xu Jiaojiao must’ve said something to father.”

“How did she recognise our ornaments?”

“Mother, have you forgotten? The bride from today is the adopted daughter of Sheng Jiaoyang's grandfather. Xu Jiaojiao is the bride's daughter.”

“What are both of you talking about? Why does it always go back to Sheng Jiaoyang's grandfather?” Old Master Sheng stared at them.

“It’s nothing, Father, Mother. I don't feel well today, so I won't accompany you to eat.” Liang Xiaohui glanced at Sheng Shiyun before walking upstairs.

Sheng Shiyun also hurriedly told the two elders that she didn't have any appetite as she followed her mother upstairs.

The two elders sat at the table, looking at the spread of scrumptious dishes. However, they couldn’t swallow anything. All these years, their son had never cared about household affairs. Now that he was paying attention to Jiaoyang's ornament, it was very unusual.

Old Madam Sheng's heart was worried, so she threw down her chopsticks and went upstairs to find Liang Xiaohui.

Liang Xiaohui was talking about the ornaments with Sheng Shiyun. When she saw Old Madam Sheng approaching, she hurriedly stood up and supported her.

“Mother, quickly sit down.”

“Xiaohui, what should we do? There are two more ornaments that I’ve already sent to your aunts! How can I get them back?” Old Madam Sheng hurriedly said before bothering to sit down.

Liang Xiaohui saw that Old Madam Sheng was more nervous than her, so she wasn't as apprehensive anymore. She held Old Madam Sheng's hand as she said, “Relax, Jiaoyang has already passed away. Aside from her, who’d know how many ornaments there are? Mother just gave me and Shiyun one each, don't mention the others. Don't say anything, no matter who asks.”

After Old Madam Sheng heard this, her heart relaxed. She nodded as she replied, “Yes, I only gave something to each of you. Xiaohui, you're a good wife. Try to persuade my family's Sheng Xun to be more open-minded. He should treasure the person when they’re alive. What's the point of using their relics to remember them after they're dead?”

“Yes, I know. Mother, I'll support you to go rest.”

The people at the Sheng mansion were alarmed, but at the same time, Sheng Jiaoyang's heart was also flustered.

After finishing lunch, Lina said that she wanted to catch the afternoon plane back. However, while Sheng Jiaoyang was preparing to send her to the airport, a busybody decided to tag along.

“I can send her off, there's no need for you to tag along.” Sheng Jiaoyang looked at the pokerfaced Shen Zhining.

“As half a host, I have an obligation to go with you.”

Lina winked at Sheng Jiaoyang, joining in the fun.

Thus, there were now three people in the backseat instead of two. Sheng Jiaoyang was in the middle.

“Ah, I forgot!” Lina suddenly broke the tense atmosphere.

“What's wrong?” Sheng Jiaoyang turned her head to look at her.

Lina blinked innocently as she said, “I forgot to bring the painting I asked you to draw.”

Sheng Jiaoyang was stupefied for a moment before she realised that Lina was helping her to find an excuse for Lin Yan’s portrait. She returned an understanding gaze and said, “No problem, I'll mail it to you once I’m back.”

Lina replied with a drawn out, “Ohh.” Then, she peeked at Shen Zhining and said, “Mr. Shen, when will you and Jiaojiao treat me to a meal?”

“Why should we treat you to a meal?” Sheng Jiaoyang thought that Lina’s question was strange.

Shen Zhining also looked over.

“Isn't it common to treat your sister to a meal when you find a good boyfriend? Jiaojiao, you can't be like this! You’re still quite far from marriage and you're already thinking about saving money?” Lina said teasingly.

What are you saying?! Sheng Jiaoyang glared at Lina.

Lina raised her eyebrow, displaying her expression.

Sheng Jiaoyang turned her head. Shen Zhining was smiling slightly, obviously delighted by Lina's words.

Sheng Jiaoyang looked back at Lina grudgingly, and muttered, “You don't lack the funds for a meal.”

“Pick a time,” a voice spoke behind her ear.

Lina smiled while saying, “Then, wait for the next time I come visit.”

When they arrived at the ticket entrance, Lina hugged Sheng Jiaoyang. She whispered in her ear, “You should thank me properly.”

Lina waved as she walked confidently away, completely at ease as she lined up to get her ticket inspected.

Sheng Jiaoyang smiled lightly before she turned her head and saw Shen Zhining. In the end, the other party was looking at her.

“Let's go home,” she said as she smiled until her eyes curved.

Seeing that Shen Zhining had reached out his left hand, Sheng Jiaoyang's gaze hovered around for a moment. The surrounding people were looking at them, and since she was in a hurry to go out today, she wasn’t wearing a mask. She didn't think for long before her hand made contact with his palm.

The two people, hand in hand, walked out of everyone's line of sight.

Once they returned to the car, Shen Zhining cornered her in the front seat.

“What are you doing?” Sheng Jiaoyang looked at him, alarmed.

He moved nearer, one hand supporting his body on the door. As he approached, Sheng Jiaoyang looked like a small animal on high alert, causing the corners of Shen Zhining’s mouth to lift. He raised his other hand to tuck the hair on her temple behind her ear before asking quietly, “You’ve already told others that I'm your boyfriend?”

“You’re not?” Sheng Jiaoyang felt a bit vulnerable in front of Shen Zhining. Feeling unsatisfied with this, she wanted to fight back. So, she raised her chin.

“How do you explain that painting?” Shen Zhining looked her in the eyes.

Sheng Jiaoyang blinked innocently. “Lina already explained it.”

“I wanted to hear you say it.” He used his palm to gently stroke her cheek. “Don't lie to me.”

His tone was serious. Sheng Jiaoyang didn't want to use Lina’s excuse to muddle through this, so thinking quickly, she said, “I’m probably just used to drawing him.”

This reason sounded like an excuse.

Shen Zhining's gaze was deep, and his mouth spat out four words, “Later on, draw me!”

Sheng Jiaoyang blinked in surprise. “You mean that you'll be my model?”

Her pupils rolled around in thought, and the corners of her mouth revealed a bit of an evil smile. “You won’t be able to wear clothes~”

Shen Zhining's gaze also changed. With a mysterious expression that contained slight interest, he responded, “Are you sure?”

“Of course, I'm certain!”

Shen Zhining smiled and moved closer, his lips nearing Sheng Jiaoyang’s.

“Then, tonight.”

Sheng Jiaoyang's eyes widened. That’s too fast! I’m not mentally prepared yet…

Noticing the humour in his eyes, she’d realise later that she’d dug another hole for herself.

She still had to jump in the hole that she dug, even if it was deep. As the saying goes, the evil that one has created cannot live.

That night, Sheng Jiaoyang would thoroughly understand this principle when she was dragged by Shen Zhining to the studio.

When she saw that Shen Zhining was about to take off his clothes, Sheng Jiaoyang hurriedly raised her hands to stop him. “Wait, you don't have to take it off!”

“Didn't you say that you wanted me to take off my clothes?”

Big brother, what's with that tone of yours? It seems like you expect something?! Sheng Jiaoyang's heart was panicking, but her appearance remained calm as she said, “I'm scared you’ll catch a cold.”

Shen Zhining's response was to raise the temperature on the heater.

Sheng Jiaoyang was speechless.

She met Shen Zhining's provocative gaze and suddenly felt too oppressed.

Since the conscientious and meticulous Shen Zhining could take off his clothes to be her model, what should she be afraid of? Afraid. Of. What?!

Sheng Jiaoyang raised her hand to tuck her hair behind her ear, then pointed towards the divan and said domineeringly, “You can sit there.”

After waiting for Shen Zhining to sit down, she walked over to adjust his posture. She reached out to unbutton his shirt, immediately undoing half of the buttons.

“Maintain this pose. If I don’t ask you to move, don't move.” Sheng Jiaoyang turned around to arrange her art supplies.

She stood in front of the drawing board, and picking up her pencil, she quickly sketched out a draft portrait.

People that are doing things seriously will shine, making it hard for others to look away.

Shen Zhining looked at her concentrating, enjoying the feeling of being focused on.

After quickly finishing a drawing, Shen Jiaoyang looked at the sketch. Since the portrait lacked colour, it couldn't bring out Demon King Shen’s aura properly. She decided that she’d replace it with a coloured one later.

Sheng Jiaoyang looked at the drawing, then she looked at Shen Zhining. Her eyes brightened, and walking over, one of her legs kneeled on the sofa beside him as she reached out to continue unbuttoning his shirt. After unbuttoning all the buttons on his shirt, she undid the buttons on his cuffs and rolled the sleeves up.

“You need to relax a bit more. Lean back on whichever side is more comfortable,” Sheng Jiaoyang said while her hand pressed on his chest, pushing him backwards.

Her fingertips were a bit cold, but a fire was lit in Shen Zhining's heart.

Sheng Jiaoyang was about to go back to the drawing board to continue drawing, but she was pulled back and pinned on the sofa by Shen Zhining.

Demon King Shen began to enjoy the dessert before sleeping O(∩_∩)O~

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xYuna's Thoughts

TL: Kiki | Editor: Purpledragon | TLC: Grace