"Cousin, it's been a long while, how have you been!"
Upon seeing the approaching figure, Shen Zhining narrowed his eyes and didn't make any response.
A tinge of surprise flickered in the recesses of Sheng Jiaoyang's eyes when she saw the handsome man smiling brightly. She had met this person previously at the hot springs at the foot of the Swiss Alps. He had approached her to hit on her.
Cousin? He's actually Shen Zhining's relative? Sheng Jiaoyang recalled Shen Zhining had asked her to immediately return to China after she had sent the photo of this man. Shen Zhining had his guards up towards him.
"You guys?" Daisy, who followed after the man, looked at him in surprise and bewilderment and then looked at Shen Zhining.
"Oh, I forgot to tell you. His grandmother, Lady Flynn, is my grandfather's biological sister," the man answered.
Daisy shot him a glance. The man looked at Sheng Jiaoyang and smiled. "How coincidental, we meet again."
"Have we met before?" Sheng Jiaoyang acted as though she had never seen him before.
The corner of the man's lips twitched. I am so handsome and yet she has forgotten me!
"Switzerland, at the hot springs. We had a great chat." When the man said this, he looked at Shen Zhining from the corner of his eyes, wanting to see the latter's reaction.
However, there wasn't a crack to Shen Zhining's indifferent expression.
Sheng Jiaoyang's expression remained the same too - perplexed. She replied, "Is that so? I'm sorry. I have always been bad at recognising faces without any distinctive features."
"…" The man was speechless.
Daisy rolled her eyes. This useless man! I can only count on myself to make the first move.
"Hey, those few over there want to meet your 'fiancee'. Do you mind if I bring her over?" Daisy said with arrogance and glanced at Shen Zhining.
Shen Zhining looked at the direction Daisy pointed. A few women were gathered around enjoying a hearty conversation.
"Great, I have something to talk to you about as well. Just the both of us," the man looked at Shen Zhining.
"I have nothing to talk to you about," Shen Zhining replied coldly.
"Really? Don't you want to know who stole your shipment?"
Shen Zhining's eyes darkened and shot a murderous glare at the laughing man before him; he was laughing as though he warranted a beating. A dark glint flickered across Zhining’s eyes.
At this moment, Daisy said to Sheng Jiaoyang, "They have something important to talk about. Are you sure you want to stay here and get in their way?"
Sheng Jiaoyang's gaze fell on Daisy and then on Shen Zhining's blood relative. She smiled and turned to Shen Zhining. "You guys go ahead then."
Although Shen Zhining didn't want to talk to his cousin, she was certain that he wanted to know what the latter had to say.
Shen Zhining gave her a slight nod. "I'll come to look for you in a bit." His words were meant for Daisy as well; a subtle warning for the latter to not play any tricks.
Sheng Jiaoyang then walked off with Daisy.
"Yo, Daisy, you really brought her over," said a woman coquettishly. She was pretty with thick red lips and was leaning on the armrest with her legs one crossed over the other, holding a wine glass in hand.
Daisy lifted her chin.
Sheng Jiaoyang studied the few women before her in silence. From their attitude towards Daisy, she could tell that they were all from similar noble backgrounds.
"Daisy, you lost to this woman? She is not as pretty as you, her figure is not as good as yours either. You actually lost to someone who can't match up to you in every aspect. It looks like you haven't made any progress at all. In fact, your skills are deteriorating," another woman with a cold temperament said to Daisy after scrutinizing Sheng Jiaoyang.
"Felicia, you can't say that. Daisy's charm is obvious to all. She even managed to capture Prince Wight's heart. This lady must have some outstanding abilities to be able to snatch the man Daisy has her eyes on," objected the woman with the cigar in her hand.
The lady with thick red lips let out a chuckle and added, "Adeline, since when have you been so subtle in your words? Don't you just mean that she is good in bed!"
Sheng Jiaoyang maintained a composed expression. It was as though she didn't hear all the explicit statements and was unfazed.
What was there to be surprised about? She hadn't seen any less of these women who should be prim and proper ladies but actually spat vulgar and derogatory words. She had even heard worse and more explicit stuff than that.
One shouldn’t have the impression that all aristocrats from noble backgrounds are all elegant and demure. Perhaps, they might act appropriately in public or in front of the opposite sex, but they were unbridled in private.
Meanwhile, in the eyes of these three women, Sheng Jiaoyang’s lack of reaction was due to her failure to understand what they had said.
"Oh~ Daisy. She seems to not understand what we’re talking about. As her love rival, aren't you going to translate our words to her?" the woman with thick red lips teased.
The corners of Sheng Jiaoyang's lips rose up as she spoke slowly, "With Daisy's simple vocabulary, I'm afraid that she wouldn't be able to relay your words well, so don't make things hard for her. Whatever you have to say, you can say it to me directly."
The few women were stunned. Adeline, the woman who was smoking a cigar, then smiled, "I have heard the greatest joke of this century. Daisy, your love rival actually complimented you as simple."
Daisy looked at Sheng Jiaoyang with a weird expression. She didn't expect Sheng Jiaoyang to say that. But based on her previous encounters, Daisy knew that Sheng Jiaoyang was not someone who could be bullied easily. Sheng Jiaoyang was extremely great at her words.
"Haha. This is the first time I see someone speaking up for their love rival. You must know that Daisy is your love rival who is trying to snatch your man, correct?" The woman with red lips said to Sheng Jiaoyang, wanting to join in the fun.
"Snatch my man? You are wrong to say that. My darling excels in so many areas. Daisy likes him because she has good taste. However, such things are dependent on fate. My darling and I have known each other for close to seventeen years. He won't fall in love with someone else," Sheng Jiaoyang replied.
Daisy looked to Sheng Jiaoyang with surprise. Seventeen years! She suddenly felt that it was normal that she lost. They were childhood sweethearts; how could their relationship be easily destroyed by someone who came in halfway. If she had managed to capture Shen Zhining's heart easily, then he wouldn't be worthy of her love.
"If that's the case, Daisy, you can't blame yourself for losing!" the woman with red lips said.
"Knowing each other for a long time doesn't mean anything. I have seen so many men who abandoned their wives for their muses. Every man on this earth shares the same instincts, so don't count on them to be faithful. Whether a relationship is lasting or not is all dependent on the woman's ability." As a woman with experience, Felicia coldly spoke with an indifferent look on her face.
Having said that, Felicia paused and glanced at Sheng Jiaoyang before she continued, "There is so much temptation out there. Even if he is not one to initiate, there will be others initiating. Excellent men are desired."
Without naming names, Sheng Jiaoyang knew that Felicia's words were aimed at her.
"Ha, you made a well-reasoned point, but it's not applicable to everyone," Sheng Jiaoyang looked at the few women calmly.
If it was someone else, Sheng Jiaoyang would have hesitated. If it was Lin Yan, Lin Yu or someone else, she would perhaps be afraid that they would cheat from others' initiation. Like what Felicia said, there were too many hyenas out there. These men knew nothing about keeping a safe distance from the opposite sex; without their guards up, they would unknowingly fall into the traps of others.
But Shen Zhining was distant and aloof to everyone else. On top of that, he had strong self-control. Sometimes, their kisses had ignited the fire but because he cared for her feelings, he would restrain himself. From this, she could see that Shen Zhining was able to control his desires and not someone who would be consumed by lust.
Otherwise, why would Ning Xiaoruan claim that Shen Zhining had sexual apathy behind his back?
Speaking of Ning Xiaoruan, Sheng Jiaoyang was reminded that it had been a while since she last saw him. Ever since that fellow teasingly asked her to be with him at Mr Liang’s banquet, he had never appeared before her again. Once in a blue moon, Ning Xiaoruan would send her a text, but she had been so busy recently so she usually didn't reply to his messages.
Of course, the main reason for her blue-ticking Ning Xiaoruan was because the latter was too boring. He always asked if she was online. Even if she was online and saw his message, she would just ignore him.
"So confident, huh? Want to have a gamble?" A voice pulled back Sheng Jiaoyang's distant thoughts.
Sheng Jiaoyang looked at the speaker, Felicia, and raised an eyebrow. "Why do I have to gamble with you?"
"You don't dare to?" the woman with red lips goaded her.
Sheng Jiaoyang let out a chuckle. "You don't have to goad me. I just don't want to participate in your boring game."
"Boring? No, it's not boring at all. Don't you want to see how faithful your boyfriend is?" Adeline puffed out a circle of smoke. She was like an evil angel that led and tempted others to fall.
"Nope, because I already know the results. There's no need for you to test." Sheng Jiaoyang's expression turned icy.
"Alright, since you don't like it then forget it. We don't like to force things on others. Here, this is the first time we meet. Very nice to meet you, cheers!" The woman with red lips lifted a glass of wine off the table, stood up and handed it to Sheng Jiaoyang.
Standing by the side, Felicia passed a glass of wine to Daisy as well.
The three stood up and raised their glasses.
Under usual circumstances, Sheng Jiaoyang wouldn't easily drink from a glass that was passed to her. But Shen Zhining was also at the party today and she felt that these people wouldn't do anything overboard. Hence, she accepted the wine and downed its content.
"Cool!" The woman with red lips smiled at Sheng Jiaoyang.
Sheng Jiaoyang's expression changed at this moment. Her gaze was fixated at the bottom of the glass. There was some powdery-like substance. She looked at the few women, tried to suppress the fury in her and asked, "You girls sure welcomed me warmly. You even added stuff to my wine. May I know what this stuff does?"
She had overestimated the conscience and morals of these people. Sure enough, these idlers who loved to stir trouble and make entertainment out of others were the most disdainful bunch.
Daisy hurriedly looked at her own glass and frowned at the three women before her. They were not from the same clique and Daisy was afraid that they had added stuff into her glass as well.
Adeline stepped forward and circled Sheng Jiaoyang before she closed in, exhaled a circle of smoke into her face. "No worries, it's not poison. It's just something that adds a little fun, and allows you to have a taste of heavens."Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Cosy | Editor: Grace | TLC: Grace