The two Sheng elders completely believed that Xu Jiaojiao was Sheng Xun's illegitimate daughter.
This was the only plausible reason that could explain everything that happened before.
The two elders had already planned for their eldest grandson, Sheng Yi, to be adopted under Sheng Xun's name, so that it would be perfectly justifiable for Sheng Yi to inherit Sheng Xun's assets. It would be bad if an illegitimate daughter suddenly appeared to fight for the inheritance as well.
Hence, the two elders’ stance towards Sheng Jiaoyang was extremely vicious.
Sheng Jiaoyang couldn't be the least bit bothered by it. She had long already grown indifferent towards the so-called “family affection” during the first two years after her mother’s death. She was only bothered by the paparazzi who had just gotten away; there was something strange about him.
Her whereabouts were supposed to be secret, and she had never revealed it to anyone but her own family members. And yet, the paparazzi that fled wasn't just passing by; it seemed more like he was waiting around for her.
Sheng Jiaoyang pursed her lips as she watched the few of them lashing out angrily at her and labelling her as ’the illegitimate daughter who is here to fight for the inheritance’. Then, she said icily, "Are you guys done? If you guys are going to call the police, make it quick."
Even Liang Xiaohui and Sheng Shiyun hadn't expected that she would not have a single twinge of conscience.
Seeing that no one was saying a word, Sheng Jiaoyang turned and walked off.
"This unfilial daughter. Her father is still undergoing emergency resuscitation, and yet she isn’t even staying here to wait for him. Sure enough, she is the one who angered our Sheng Xun and made him collapse," Grandmother Sheng fumed as she watched Sheng Jiaoyang disappear into the distance.
A malicious glint flickered across Sheng Shiyun's eyes. Xu Jiaojiao, you are the reason why Father kicked Mother and I out of the house. You are the reason why I became what I am now. I will definitely tarnish your reputation such that you can never make a comeback!
Meanwhile, having left the hospital, Sheng Jiaoyang was already back in her car, and she started to make one phone call after another.
"Sister Ping, the paparazzi caught something today. There might be some news coming out soon. Don't bother about them, I have my arrangements for that."
"…Secretly install a camera in the ward, I want to be informed of his condition at any time…"
"…I want to know what Sheng Shiyun has been doing lately, and the people she has been in contact with. I want a thorough investigation."
Sheng Jiaoyang only finished making all the arrangements after reaching home. She was no longer the little girl who had to seek protection from the adults when trouble came.
"What's wrong?" Grandfather Yang asked when he saw Sheng Jiaoyang’s exhausted appearance.
Sheng Jiaoyang briefly summarized the events at the hospital.
"Most likely, Liang Xiaohui and Sheng Shiyun arranged for the paparazzi to be there, and the latter probably took the job for money. Either Liang Xiaohui and Sheng Shiyun paid him off, or he plans to use the news to blackmail you," Grandfather Yang analyzed the matter objectively.
Sheng Jiaoyang rubbed her temples and declared harshly, "I don’t care how much Sheng Shiyun gave him, but if he plans to blackmail me, I will make sure that he won’t be able to return home! Zhining's coal mine in South Africa is still lacking miners."
If someone else was met with such a problem, they would perhaps feel overwhelmed, and wouldn’t know how or where to start. But since she had such a huge backing to rely on, it would be a waste of resources not to use it.
She could easily let Shen Zhining help her clean up the mess because she already regarded him as somebody close to her.
"I will get someone to help you," Grandfather Yang said.
"Grandfather, let me settle this on my own. It’s time for you to let me face these things by myself. After all, I have already grown up," Sheng Jiaoyang said as she looked at Grandfather Yang.
Grandfather Yang returned her gaze and nodded, "Alright, if there's anything that you need of me, you must tell me."
"Of course, you are my closest kin."
"Go and have a rest first. You will most likely be thrown into the storm of public debate soon."
Sheng Jiaoyang headed up to rest.
Grandfather Yang sighed while watching Jiaoyang’s departing figure. He already found out about Sheng Xun's conditions, and he hadn't expected that Sheng Xun was really plagued with cancer. It's a pity that all of a sudden, a man at his prime is plagued with such a disease.
Grandfather Yang had been harsh towards Sheng Xun because the latter hadn't taken care of Sheng Jiaoyang properly in the two years after his daughter's death. In actuality, he didn't harbour any hatred towards Sheng Xun. Rather, he felt a little sorry for him. After all, the situation was partially caused by his daughter.
Susu didn't make the wrong choice, and she indeed understood Sheng Xun well enough. After ten years, Sheng Xun still ended up in such a dire state; he might have committed suicide if he knew of the truth then.
"A faithful and loyal man indeed!" Grandfather Yang sighed emotionally.
As expected, the secretive paparazzi contacted Sheng Jiaoyang and asked for hush money. Otherwise, he would expose the matter to the public.
Sheng Jiaoyang arranged for two groups of people - on the surface, she sent Xu Ping to deal with the paparazzi, and in the dark, she ordered Shen Zhining's men to find an opportunity to capture him.
The paparazzi was pretty gutsy, and he came alone for the money. But he still took some precaution by arranging the meetup at a downtown cafe.
The moment he opened his mouth, he asked for a sum of 5 million dollars as hush money. This was obviously a total rip off. Clearly, he had already more or less found out about the financial status of Sheng Jiaoyang. Moreover, he stood his ground on the amount he was demanding, and refused to take even a penny less.
Naturally, the deal fell through.
Very swiftly, Sheng Jiaoyang received an update that the issue with the paparazzi has been settled. Of course when they said ’settled’, they didn't mean that they killed the paparazzi, but rather, they made it seem as though the paparazzi had smuggled himself out of the country, when in fact, he was thrown to South Africa to be a coal miner.
Sheng Jiaoyang was the type to follow through with her words. She didn't want to waste her time with such people, and the best way is to take the simplest and most brutal solution.
She was in an especially bad mood, and anyone who dared to step on her tail must be prepared to be trampled to death.
From the surveillance camera, she knew that Sheng Xun hadn't come around ever since returning from the emergency resuscitation. The doctor said that whether he would wake up was all on his own will. Based on his physical condition, he didn't have much time left.
The next day, Sheng Jiaoyang went to the hospital yet again.
There wasn't any news about Sheng Jiaoyang today, though it was unknown whether this was due to the paparazzi being dealt with swiftly.
In the ward, Liang Xiaohui had taken over the role of the caretaker, and was watching over Sheng Xun by the bedside.
When Sheng Jiaoyang entered the room, Liang Xiaohui was holding onto Sheng Xun’s IV drip with a crazed expression.
"Sheng Xun, since you don't want me anyway, then you can just go ahead and die. No, wait. You can't die yet, you must leave a will first. Leave all your inheritance to me and Shiyun. Hurry and wake up—" Liang Xiaohui let go of the tube in her hand to shake Sheng Xun's body.
"Stop!" Sheng Jiaoyang hollered.
Liang Xiaohui jolted out of her crazed state. She glared at Sheng Jiaoyang as the latter entered the room, hatred evident in her eyes.
"You are the same as Sheng Jiaoyang, that bitch. Both of you should just die! Why is it that people like you can easily attain things I'll never get in my life?! You should all die!" Liang Xiaohui screamed hysterically.
Sheng Jiaoyang gestured to the bodyguards to pull Liang Xiaohui away from the bed, lest the woman exhibiting signs of madness decide to kill Sheng Xun all of a sudden.
"Let go of me—" Liang Xiaohui struggled with all her might after being held down by the two bodyguards.
"Do you know why you strive so hard your whole life, and yet, you are still unable to get what you want?" Sheng Jiaoyang looked at Liang Xiaohui with an icy smile.
Liang Xiaohui suddenly went silent, and she stared at Sheng Jiaoyang, as if prompting her to continue speaking.
"You reap what you sow. A woman like you who harbours malicious intentions can only dream of achieving happiness. You are only worthy of living in your own greed and struggling forever, before finally dying with regrets," Sheng Jiaoyang said in disdain.
"Ahhhh! What do you know? You little bitch! Why didn't you die like Sheng Jiaoyang!" Liang Xiaohui roared in fury.
"What’s happening? Let go of Xiaohui immediately!" The two Sheng Elders, Sheng Xun's two elder brothers, and their wives entered the ward.
The ward was crowded with so many people all of a sudden that it became a lively scene.
Sheng Jiaoyang shot them an icy glare and snapped, "Let go of her? Let go of her so that she can harm an unconscious man?"
"What are you saying?" Sheng Xun's eldest brother lashed out.
Sheng Xun's eldest sister-in-law chirped in, "I heard you are Sheng Xun's illegitimate daughter? I don't know how authentic this is, but even if you are his illegitimate daughter, you have no right to speak to us in such a manner! We are all your elders!"
"Aiyo, eldest sister-in-law, you have been playing mahjong all day long, and you don't pay attention to the entertainment news so you have no idea. This girl isn't a simple character, she is a famous celebrity!" Sheng Xun's second sister-in-law remarked in a shrill voice.
The eldest sister-in-law’s expression turned ugly. She glanced at the second sister-in-law in disdain and replied in a righteous manner, "So what? Does being a famous celebrity mean that she can disrespect her elders? A celebrity like that will only lead others astray!"
"Are you guys done?" Sheng Jiaoyang asked, with a smile that didn’t feel like a smile.
"Get them to release Xiaohui this instant. You can dream on if you think you will have a share of our family's inheritance. Our Sheng Xun will never give you any inheritance," Grandmother Sheng glared at Sheng Jiaoyang.
"You asked me to let go of her, but do you know what she did to your son just now?" Sheng Jiaoyang pointed at Liang Xiaohui with a sneer on her face, "Your great daughter-in-law was grabbing onto the tube just now and cursing your son to die."
Everyone was dumbstruck, especially the two elders. Their faces were full of disbelief.
Uncontrollable panic appeared on Liang Xiaohui’s face for a split second, before she collected herself again and calmed down. Her previous irrational hysteria was completely gone.
"Don't try to drive a rift between us. I can face Father, Mother, and Sheng Xun with a clear conscience, because I know how I have treated them all these years. Father, Mother, you two should know this clearly as well. Xu Jiaojiao, do you think you can stir up an internal conflict in our family with just a few words of yours?" said Liang Xiaohui.
Everyone was convinced by Liang Xiaohui, and they all stood in unison against Sheng Jiaoyang. While Sheng Xun's eldest sister-in-law was scolding Sheng Jiaoyang, she even got so agitated that she wanted to approach Sheng Jiaoyang and pull her hair out, but she was immediately held down by the latter's bodyguards.
"Ahhhhh, it hurts. Let go of me!" Sheng Xun's eldest sister-in-law's face turned pale.
Sheng Xun's eldest brother's expression changed as he hurriedly went forward to save his wife. He was about to get into a brawl with the bodyguard.
Just then, Sheng Jiaoyang said in a volume that was just loud enough for everyone to hear, "I have the surveillance footage of this ward. Do you guys want to take a look?"
As though the pause button had been hit, everyone from the Sheng family froze.
It was especially so for Liang Xiaohui, and her mind went blank. At this moment, she was regretting her inability to hold herself back from venting her frustrations on Sheng Xun.
But in this world, there was no medicine for regret.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Cosy | Editor: Cookies | TLC: Grace