Chapter 48 - Gu Zhou

It was obvious that he was taking pictures, and most likely of her. Sheng Jiaoyang furrowed her eyebrows.

Nearby, the masked man narrowed his eyes, seemingly smiling at her. He then walked away to take pictures of other sceneries.

Oh, it was a tourist.

Sheng Jiaoyang didn’t mind the matter and strolled along the riverside until lunch time. She stopped at a restaurant near the shore and leisurely ate her lunch. After resting for a while, she went on enjoying the scenery of the Tiber river.

The moment she walked up the Sacred Angel Bridge, she saw a young man painting something. She walked over and saw him drawing an angel statue. She halted and watched for a while.

When the young man stopped drawing, she stepped forward and asked, “May I borrow your tools for a moment?”

Upon seeing someone else drawing, her addiction to painting flared up again.

The young man turned around and sized her up and down before passing his painting tools to her without much hesitation.

“Thank you!” Sheng Jiaoyang thanked him. Then, without further ado, she used the young man’s painting tools to start painting.

A rough sketch was gradually outlined on the white paper. At first, she drew a bit here and a bit there, scattering everything around the place and making it impossible for others to know what she was drawing. When those scattered lines were fully blended by her brushstrokes, an angel statue appeared vividly on paper.

The young man had initially worn a solemn expression, looking as if he regretted lending his tools to her. However, when he witnessed this stroke of genius, his eyes widened in astonishment. Soon after, he realised that the other party’s hand hadn’t stopped moving, and that she was filling in the empty areas on the paper.

A cute little angel slowly appeared beside the vivid angel statue. It looked very similar to the angel statue, like the spitting image of a father-son duo. This little angel tilted his head and looked at the solemn-looking angel statue beside him, his expression exhibiting curiosity and ignorance. It was so cute that it could melt one’s heart.

The young man opened his mouth in awe, but he was afraid of disturbing the person who was sketching. His voice reached his throat but was suppressed by a forceful swallow.

Finally, that slender white hand holding the brush moved to the lower right corner, as if she was going to sign. Just as the tip of the brush barely touched the paper, it suddenly stopped and was moved away.

The young man couldn’t help but ask, “What happened? Why aren’t you signing it?” At last, he could see that this girl who looked younger than him was a very skilled young painter with sophisticated painting skills.

Sheng Jiaoyang tilted her head, her voice carrying a trace of helplessness as she replied, “A fellow spent one million to buy out my pseudonym.”

“What? Why did you do that? Were you short of money?” The young man couldn’t understand this. A talented young painter like this shouldn’t have had to sell her pseudonym for that little bit of money.

That fellow was Demon King Shen, so she couldn’t fight back and could only acknowledge his offer. However, she was indeed short of money.

Sheng Jiaoyang smiled and put down the brush. She then stood up and said towards the young man, “Thank you for lending me your tools. If you like this painting…”

“Can you gift it to me?” a voice from the side suddenly interrupted her.

Sheng Jiaoyang turned to look, and a masked face entered her sight. The eyebrows above the mask were slightly curved, and the eyes below them were actually quite charming. They were as black as ink and seemed to be filled to the brim with stars.

“It doesn’t matter to me, the painting is his. You should ask him.” Sheng Jiaoyang pointed towards the young man.

The masked man turned towards the young man and said sincerely, “I really like this painting. Could you give it to me as a present? Or, I could exchange it for something else?”

“I'm sorry, Mister.” The young man shook his head. “I also like the painting a lot, so I won’t exchange it for anything.”

“Oh, that's a pity then.” Although the man had said that, no sign of disappointment was shown on his countenance.

The young man started to pack up his tools and prepare to leave. Before he left, he thanked Sheng Jiaoyang earnestly. Having witnessed the whole process of drawing this painting firsthand, he felt that he’d benefited greatly from it as it had broadened his outlook.

Sheng Jiaoyang nodded and waved goodbye to the young man. She then glanced at the man standing beside her before turning around and walking back to the riverside.

It was nearing evening now. Along the riverside, white pagoda tents were set up next to the fences of the dike. Many people were sitting there and ordering their favourite drinks as they waited for night to fall.

Sheng Jiaoyang sat down at a spot near the fence and ordered a cup of grape wine. She leisurely sipped the wine.

“May I sit here?” asked a somewhat familiar voice.

Sheng Jiaoyang looked at the masked man who’d appeared in front of her for the third time today, furrowing her eyebrows a little. She then lifted her chin slightly and replied lazily, “Go ahead.”

The man sat down before placing the camera on the table and taking off his mask.

He was a very handsome man.

Sheng Jiaoyang glanced at him once, then moved her gaze away.

“If I may ask, are you Chinese?” asked the man suddenly in fluent Mandarin.

Sheng Jiaoyang looked towards him and responded, “That’s right.” She also used Mandarin to answer his question.

“Then, are you ethnic Chinese?” The man’s eyes displayed some interest.

“No, I'm Chinese.”

She could make a clear distinction between Chinese and ethnic Chinese. Chinese refers to people of Chinese parentage, while ethnic Chinese simply refers to foreigners with Chinese descent. Her nationality had never changed before. No matter where she ate or where she lived, her roots were always in China.

“You speak Italian like a native,” the man praised.

“You're not bad, either.”

“I’m Gu Zhou,” said the man suddenly.

Sheng Jiaoyang just blinked and said, “Oh.”

“It seems like you really don't know me,” said the man with a slight smile.

From the way he spoke, she ought to know him? Sheng Jiaoyang re-examined the man earnestly.

“Any impression?” The corners of his mouth turned up.

“Nope,” replied Sheng Jiaoyang honestly.

“Your reply truly makes me wonder whether you’re really Chinese.” Upon realising that she really didn’t know him, Gu Zhou couldn’t help but ask, “Could it be that you haven’t seen any of my movies before?”

Movies? Hearing this, Sheng Jiaoyang seemed to recall something, as if she’d really heard the name ‘Gu Zhou’ in the past.

At this time, her phone rang. Sheng Jiaoyang rummaged through her bag and picked up her mobile.

“Hello?”

“Xu Jiaojiao, stop playing outside and come back early.” Zhuo Yiyan’s voice could be heard through her mobile.

Sheng Jiaoyang agreed before hanging up

“I have to go.” She picked up her small backpack, then bade farewell to Gu Zhou and left.

Gu Zhou laughed. This was the first time that he’d met a girl who didn’t ask for his autograph or a group photo. She genuinely didn’t know him. He hadn’t come across this kind of treatment ever since he’d become famous.

He took out his mobile phone and watched the short video which he’d recorded earlier. To be honest, he didn't follow her deliberately. But, when he’d been wandering around, he’d encountered her. He then happened to see her drawing and had recorded it out of habit. Thanks to this habit, he managed to capture that magical moment.

It was really hard to imagine that a mere brush made a whole sheet of scattered sand turn into a painting with just one stroke. That little angel drawn at the end had sublimated the entire painting, adding some vividness to the painting and making that angel statue no longer so dull and monotonous. Once he looked at the painting, his head would be filled with endless imagination.

He posted the video to his Weibo and wrote:

[Today, I met a girl at the Tiber river and was instantly captivated by her painting. I’d initially thought that if she recognised me, I could ask her to gift me a drawing. But, I didn't expect her to not know me at all (feeling grieved) ~]

Not long after this was posted on his Weibo, it had garnered many likes and shares.

Moreover, the comment section was flooded.

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xYuna's Thoughts

TL: Yuna | Editor: Purpledragon | TLC: Grace