As she was deciding whether she should accept the call, the phone stopped ringing and she sighed softly in relief. The next second, the phone started ringing again, as if the caller had infinite patience and wouldn’t give up until she accepted the call.
Sighing again, she pressed on the green icon on the phone and held it to her ear. "Hey, Brother Jiang."
"I’m waiting outside Gu Building, you come out."
Gu Xiqiao was surprised at how he returned to N City all of a sudden and pursed her lips slightly. "I don’t think I can do that now."
"Come out right now, I’ve already sent in someone to escort you." Then, Jiang Shuxuan immediately hung up the phone, not giving her a chance to refuse.
Gu Xiqiao stared at the phone in her hand dazedly before coming back to her senses, her heart beating wildly. Opening the door, she saw that the assistant had disappeared, and was replaced with a tall man that wore a pair of sunglasses.
In the end, Jiang Shuxuan was leagues more important than Gu Xijin, so Gu Xiqiao compromised.
She walked out Gu Building without any obstacles, and she couldn’t help but muse internally about how crazy it was that she was going to abandon the press conference like this. Thankfully, she could get the system spirit to upload all the evidence onto the internet, and Gu Xiqiao would be able to get what she deserved either way.
Meanwhile, Gu Building was plunged into chaos as the star of the show disappeared, and Gu Zuhui shouted at the assistant that was lowering his head in guilt. "Can’t you people keep an eye on a single young girl? Are all the years you lived just for show? The press conference has started, so you don’t need to look for her, but remember! Gu Xiqiao has already been banished from the Gu family!"
The assistant looked up at him in shock, and upon seeing that Gu Zuhui didn’t seem like he was joking, he nodded and slinked away to prepare for the press conference.
The assistant walked up the stage after tidying himself up, and immediately he was flooded by a barrage of questions.
"What is the truth of the stolen painting?"
"Was Gu Xiqiao’s mother the porn star Wen Xi? Why did the Gu family allow an illegitimate daughter to join the family?"
"Do the two sisters have a bad relationship? Why did she steal her painting?"
"Will Miss. Gu come out and explain for herself?"
These questions were all so pointed that the assistant was startled, were they all not afraid of getting on the Gu family’s bad side?
He didn’t have much time to spare when there were so many cameras aimed at him, so he spoke, "Please quiet down, everyone. Today is the day Miss. Gu is going to apologize publicly, but first I have news to report! From this day onwards, Gu Xiqiao is no longer..."
The assistant hadn’t finished his sentence before he was cut off by someone who spoke up from the crowd. "Please wait."
All of the cameras panned over to the person that spoke up, and some of the reporters seemed to recognize this person and started muttering to the people around them.
"I’m sorry for being late, I was caught in traffic, you see." The one that spoke up was a middle-aged man that was wearing a tidy suit and had a square face that was smiling at all the reporters. Two buff men in suits came forward and nudged the assistant away, while the man walked up to the stage. "Before we continue, I’d like everyone to take a look at a few videos."
And so, everyone’s gazes were attracted to the videos that started playing behind him.
The first seemed to be taken by a mobile phone, and in the video, Gu Xiqiao was sitting in front of a canvas. In this video that was around ten minutes, the girl seemed to be giving great thought before her brush touched the canvas, and after a while, a pair of lifelike eyes were painted by her, as if it were the final touch that made the painting complete.
The subject of the second video was Gu Xijin, and a girl next to her asked: "Jin, is Gu Xiqiao really from the countryside? And she’s the illegitimate daughter of your father too? Do you know who Gu Xiqiao’s adoptive mother was?" After a while, Gu Xijin finally replied, "Her adoptive mother died a long time ago, so I’ve never met her before." Even though the video was somewhat blurry, it was easy to tell what was going on.
The third was a simple old photo of a middle-aged woman and a young girl. Even though the picture wasn’t clear, but everyone could easily tell that the two were close and that their smiles radiated with happiness.
The girl in the photo was exactly Gu Xiqiao.
After the videos were all shown to the reporters, they all knew what was going on and looked at each other in surprise at the sudden turnabout of events. After that, all of their spearheads were turned to the legitimate daughter of the Gu family, Gu Xijin.
Who cared about the public apology anymore? The situation was completely reversed!
Just a few weeks ago, these very reporters were interviewing this talented daughter of the Gu family that had gotten an art prize. Now, that genius girl was discovered to have been a wicked sister that had stolen her sister’s picture, and even wanted to frame her sister for something she never did?
This headline would blow the earlier one out of the water completely!
At the same time, many pieces of evidence were released on the internet. It was unclear who leaked all the information, and even though the PR team of the Gu family had tried their best to get the posts off the internet, but all of them sprung up like mushrooms no matter how hard they tried. As soon as they got one off, another batch appeared like a virus that couldn’t be deleted.
An uproar immediately broke out amidst the netizens that had been keeping a close eye on the entire incident, and the first reaction of the majority was that it had to be fake, how could Gu Xiqiao create such a painting? The next moment, one of the most renowned hackers on the internet spoke up, stating that none of the videos or evidence had any trace of editing!
And so it was confirmed that the painting was drawn by Gu Xiqiao, and all the netizens that were condemning Gu Xiqiao a moment ago all started to curse Gu Xijin in fury, their hate messages coming with even greater magnitude than when they did with Gu Xiqiao.
At Gu Manor, Gu Xijin almost blacked out from the sudden turn in events, the cup in her hands falling and shattering on the floor as she trembled. Upon seeing all the gazes of the servants on her, she held her hands to her head as if she were possessed by a demon and started running up the stairs, screaming, "It’s not real, all of this is fake! I painted it! Me, me, me!"
And so, the servants were all left standing helplessly at the living room, looking at each other with spooked out expression. "Has Miss..."
Of course, Gu Xiqiao didn’t have the ’honor’ of seeing Gu Xijin’s reaction with her own eyes as she sat in the Bugatti. Jiang Shuxuan was flipping through documents beside her, his expression exceptionally cold and his lips pressed into a thin, firm line. He had never looked at her ever since she got onto the car.
Feeling a cold aura that was packed with pressure practically wafting off of him, Gu Xiqiao had to try and catch her breath. Who made him so angry?
"Brother Jiang?" Gu Xiqiao grabbed her backpack tighter as she realized the car was leaving towards the mansion. "I want to go to school, please."
She asked this question with a tilted head, her expression like a child that had been caught in the act of stealing a cookie from the jar.
Seeing this expression of hers, Jiang Shuxuan’s flames of anger were doused immediately, closing up the documents on his lap and chuckling a little. What was the use of getting frustrated with her? The reason why she didn’t tell him about it was to not cause him any trouble in the first place, and who was he to blame her? At this point, they could only be counted as slightly close acquaintances.
After he thought all of this through, his cold expression thawed as he told the driver to bring them to First City High. "You’re still in high school, so it’s not good to get exposed to the media."
Gu Xiqiao knew why Jiang Shuxuan had acted the way he did, and that it was how he showed he cared, so she didn’t ask any more about it. At the moment, she was looking at a semi-transparent screen in front of her that showed the hate comments of the netizens towards Gu Xijin, all of them mocking and condemning, asking her to step up and apologize to Gu Xiqiao. Meanwhile, another bunch of netizens was expressing sympathy and apologizing to the second daughter of the Gu Family.
Gu Xiqiao raised her hand slightly, and the screen disappeared.
She had already ruined all of the things that Gu Xijin cared about the most—Her pride, her reputation as a genius, and the image she was upholding in public...Now, the daughter of the Gu Family had become a laughing stock! She wouldn’t be able to salvage her current situation, no matter how much money she had...
’So, Gu Xijin, how are you faring?’
She would see how the Gu family fares without her help!
The car arrived at the school, and she alighted from it and stepped into the school gates, sheathing the coldness in her gaze.
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