Ever since the argument between the Peerless Couple at the airport, the fake news that the two had broken up has been perpetually floating around. As the couple had never come forward to address the speculations, even fans were starting to get worried.
Soon after, an insider revealed that Xu Jiaojiao had an ambiguous relationship with the mysterious second lead actor in ‘Frost at Dawn’. There were even candid photos as proof. The photos depicted the two standing opposite each other, talking and hugging. The insider even made a mountain out of a molehill, by including screencaps of the intimate scenes between the lead actress and the second lead actor in the movie, in order to justify the ambiguous relationship between the two of them.
As though to kick Xu Jiaojiao when she was down, another person also came forward and said that Xu Jiaojiao and Shen Zhining didn't leave the country at the same time but had come back together. The person alleged that Jiaojiao had gone overseas to see that mysterious second lead actor, and that she got caught by Shen Zhining. She suggested that this was why they argued in the airport when they returned to the country together.
When both allegations were placed side by side, the story actually became a believable tale. Many keyboard warriors immediately went online to harp on this matter, and they accused Jiaojiao of being a two-timer, and chided her for not being satisfied despite having such a great boyfriend. With someone spearheading the online commotion, many members of the Internet Water Army surfaced and flooded Weibo with requests and petitions to kick Xu Jiaojiao, this frivolous woman, out of showbiz. Many even said that she wasn't worthy of Shen Zhining.
Henceforth, the hoo-ha caused by the speculations that they had broken up intensified and became a frenzied mess.
However, not long after, a series of photos and video clips of Shen Zhining visiting the filming site of ‘Goodbye, Forever’ with a bouquet of fresh flowers began circulating on the Internet. Those who felt that Jiaojiao had done something wrong against Shen Zhining were immediately at a loss of words. After all, the side being betrayed would never take the initiative to butter up to the other.
Ye Zi, who already had a little taste of fame, uploaded a few photos onto her Weibo and attached the following caption: Being coldly showered with a round of PDA. Everyone is hugging each other to warm themselves up, but what about me?" (Photo 1) (Photo 2) (Picture 3)
Photo 1 was a selfie of Ye Zi, but what caught everyone’s eyes was the background of the photo. In the background, Jiaojiao was seated in a chair and reading her script, while Shen Zhining fed her peeled grapefruit.
In Photo 2, a few actors were huddled together, and in the distance, the silhouette of the Peerless Couple appeared once again.
Picture 3 was a GIF with a trembling expression.
Ye Zi definitely didn't have as many fans as Jiaojiao. However, she was partnered with Jiaojiao, and was also an actress managed by Xu Ping herself. Hence, she had many good resources and had advanced into a B-lister, and she had a significant number of fans.
After Ye Zi uploaded the post onto her Weibo, the post was soon shared by the others in the crew. A few of the actors in Photo 2 even commented that they were also in the same shoes as well.
Hence, speculations regarding the Peerless Couple's alleged break-up became mere rumors.
It was apparent that the couple had such a blissful relationship that they couldn’t help but display it publicly with a round of PDA. Of course, although many people were teasing the couple for their actions in the public, the voices of persistent haters still popped up occasionally, and they claimed that the PDA was just an act done on purpose to fool the public.
However, as the photos were not uploaded by either Xu Jiaojiao or Shen Zhining, nobody believed what the haters said.
As more and more candid photos leaked onto the internet, everyone started to realize that the Peerless Couple were now stuck together like glue. Previously, the public could still capture solo photos of Jiaojiao. But now, Shen Zhining would somehow intentionally or unintentionally appear in all her photos. Even when Jiaojiao attended a variety show to promote her movie, Shen Zhining was seated at the most prominent spot in the audience.
Now that Shen Zhining was following Xu Jiaojiao wherever she went, everyone was close to suspecting that Shen Zhining had gone bankrupt. Otherwise, how would he have so much free time on hand to always be around his girlfriend?
Meanwhile, a video of a short interview with Shen Zhining was released by a certain media outlet (Subsidiary of Entertainment International), and it went viral.
In the video, the reporter asked, "President Shen, have you heard of the scandal where Jiaojiao hugged a mysterious male friend of hers?"
"Yeah," Shen Zhining replied indifferently.
"Everyone feels that there is an ambiguous relationship between them. What are your views on this?" the reporter asked sharply.
"A defeated opponent."
"What?" the reporter retorted in shock.
"I said," Shen Zhining stared into the camera with an icy glint in his deep gaze, "He is a defeated opponent. How is he worthy of my remarks?"
A, defeated, opponent!
The message contained within these three words was certainly massive!
The vast majority of netizens were stirred up, and they started imagining an extensive drama plot from these three words. Some people couldn't help but comment and questioned jealously about what exactly Xu Jiaojiao had done that made these two fine men fight over her. Jiao Fans felt the proudest at this moment; this just indirectly proved how awesome their idol was.
While netizens were embroiled in this hoo-ha, Xu Jiaojiao and Shen Zhining continued on with life as per usual. They did not intentionally comment on their public display of affection but the masses had already gotten their fill of it.
When news that ‘Frost At Dawn’ was being nominated for ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ at the Berlin Film Festival arrived in China, and that the lead actor and actress was also nominated for best actor and actress, it was no surprise to everyone when they saw Shen Zhining appearing beside Jiaojiao in their photos as she flew out to attend the festival.
Sheng Jiaoyang had already wrapped up her filming for the movie. Hence, she left the country before Gu Zhou and Cen Jin, with Shen Zhining accompanying her. It felt like they were still in their honeymoon phase, and the emotions that she was feeling now were completely different from those she felt when she liked Lin Yan; it was like a breath of fresh air.
Dressed in tailor-made matching outfits, the Peerless Couple walked side by side, flanked by bodyguards who were tasked with clearing the path. Those who surrounded them couldn't even find a chance to approach them for photos or autographs.
Some people were secretly hoping that if they happened to be on the same flight, they could still ask for an autograph on the plane, only to realize that the couple was taking a private plane.
There were still several days before the opening of the film festival. Sheng Jiaoyang and Shen Zhining returned to the Aureate Manor for three days. In those three days, Sheng Jiaoyang even picked up some basic principles about jewelry design from Grandmother Andy.
On the day before the festival's opening, Sheng Jiaoyang arrived in Berlin.
Lina was in Berlin as well. A movie that she had participated in the previous year was also nominated. Hence, she had been invited to attend the festival.
As soon as they met, Sheng Jiaoyang stared at Lina's stomach.
"What are you looking at?" Lina looked at Sheng Jiaoyang with amusement.
"Why is your belly not swollen yet?"
"It's only three months old, how swollen do you want my belly to be?"
Sheng Jiaoyang had zero knowledge about pregnancy, and could only retract her gaze in disappointment.
"I brought several newly designed pieces from Paul. Take some photos in those outfits. After that, add our brand's watermark onto those photos and promote them." Lina didn't just come to attend the festival, she had a mission to complete as well.
In comparison, Jiaojiao was far more popular and well known than Lina in China right now. There was no better candidate than Jiaojiao to be the ambassador for their brand in China.
As the two close friends met, the two men that accompanied them finally met as well.
Sheng Jiaoyang and Lina were busy taking photos with the help of their crew, while the two men were seated nearby and drinking wine.
"Miss Xu really is an amazing person," Sven looked at Shen Zhining. In the eyes of a bystander like him who didn't know about the secret within Xu Jiaojiao, she indeed seemed very amazing to gain both Lina’s sincere friendship, as well as the wholehearted love of two fine men. If he hadn't already fallen for Lina, he would probably have made a move on her, just out of curiosity.
The corners of Shen Zhining's lips curved up, but he remained silent.
Sven then continued, "I'd like to share some good news with Mr. Shen. It seems like Lin Yan has decided to back out."
Shen Zhining was bringing the glass up to his lips when he halted for a split second, before replying nonchalantly, "Even if he doesn't back out, what else can he do?"
Sven smiled, picked up his wine glass, and gestured at Shen Zhining to offer him a toast, before drinking a mouthful.
He was not surprised by Lin Yan's failure. In fact, he had predicted the outcome from the very beginning. Compared to Shen Zhining, Lin Yan was a fledgling eagle that had only learned how to fly, but he was competing against a fully-fledged male eagle. Moreover, Lin Yan wasn't ruthless enough, and he was too soft-hearted.
While Sven was secretly scrutinizing Shen Zhining, Shen Zhining was doing the same.
They had undermined each other's foundation before, so things could be considered to be even between them now. That was the only reason why they could sit together to drink and chat as they did now.
Shen Zhining suddenly recalled a matter, and he spoke to Sven about it with great interest, "I heard that there was an agreement between you and Lina."
Sven slightly cocked an eyebrow and took a glance at Lina, who was simply taking photos on the streets. He wasn't surprised that Shen Zhining would find out about it, but he just had this tingly feeling inside him.
"What do you think of your chances?" Shen Zhining looked at Sven.
"What does Mr. Shen think?" Sven threw the question back.
"Lina and my Jiaojiao are best friends. I'm considered part of their family. Don't blame me for interfering then."
Though Shen Zhining didn't address his question directly, it was obvious that he didn’t think that things were looking very optimistic for Sven.
"I know what Lina's plan is, but I have more faith in myself," Sven didn't seem worried at all.
Just as the sky was going to turn dark, Sheng Jiaoyang and Lina wrapped up the photoshoot for the last outfit.
After that, the four of them had dinner together.
Recently, Sheng Jiaoyang had gotten used to Shen Zhining's thoughtfulness. So when she ate prawns, she didn't deshell them personally, but directly reached for those that Shen Zhining had deshelled.
Lina watched them till the point that she seemed to be lost in thought when suddenly, a peeled prawn appeared on her plate. She turned to See Sven deshelling prawns as well. He was going at it at a very slow speed, and he was far less skilled than Shen Zhining. It was apparent that he had never done anything like this before.
Sheng Jiaoyang saw Sven's actions and turned to meet Shen Zhining's gaze. Some people would buy their significant other a car, a house, and shower them with cash, but they wouldn't necessarily be willing to deshell prawns and wait on them during meals. For a man like Sven, who never lacked female companions, to do such a thing, it could only mean that there were some sincere feelings involved.
However, the gap between him and Lina was too hard to fill up, and it was especially so since he was trying to rebuild it after shredding it down to nothing.
After the dinner, as soon as they returned to the hotel, Sheng Jiaoyang directly pulled Lina into her room, and blocked the two men outside the door.
"The both of us will share a room tonight, they can sleep somewhere else."
"Have you recovered your memory?" Lina asked.
"There are some things that I feel like I've seen before, but when I try to think about it, I can't recall anything."
"You don't remember what happened between you and Mr. Shen, so did it feel awkward when you accepted him?"
Sheng Jiaoyang pondered for a moment and shook her head, "Nope, I don't feel any awkwardness."
"What about you?" Sheng Jiaoyang asked in return. She found Lina's situation more worrisome.
Lina looked at Sheng Jiaoyang and asked, "Do you think I will trust him, or should I say, forgive him?"
Sheng Jiaoyang thought about it before answering, "No."
"But he became better now."
"You still won't," Sheng Jiaoyang said assertively.
Lina smiled and lightly hugged Sheng Jiaoyang, "Indeed, you know me well."Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Cosy | Editor: Cookies | TLC: Grace