Hearing she had to attend a banquet, Xu Xinyi was very busy. She contacted Anya for help.
“Anya, order me a high-end dress. One that will make me really shine and stand out.”
Anya’s voice on the phone was full of doubts, “Dress? Why, what are you doing that needs a dress? So secret that even I, your agent, can’t know about it?”
“No,” Xu Xinyi said with a joyful smile that could not be hidden. “Yi Yang said that he would take me to a banquet the day after tomorrow. So I need to dress up so as not to embarrass him.”
Anya asked with surprise, “A banquet? Yi Yang is planning to take you? Have you two suddenly decided to announce your marriage?”
“It’s a birthday banquet for the daughter of a family friend of the Yi family. All the people who will be there are insiders who already know. There won’t be any outsiders.”
Anya was silent for a moment. Then her next words had a tinge of disbelief. “May I ask, Miss Xu, what exactly is the grudge between you and that birthday girl? You want to wear such a flashy dress and steal her limelight?”
“How could it be called stealing her limelight? Isn’t this my first time attending a banquet with Yi Yang? I have to dress up beautifully so I won’t embarrass him.”
“…are you serious? ” Anya wanted to advise her friend against this. “If you really go through with this you will end up stealing that girl’s spotlight.”
“What are you talking about?” Xu Xinyi replied.
“Xu Xinyi, if you aren’t doing this on purpose, I’m really starting to suspect that you have a low EQ. Usually, you aren’t like this.” Anya sighed, “Is it true that love brings down intelligence? I feel like it’s over. With you as an example, I don’t think I can get married in this lifetime.”
“Stop worrying so much about me, I’m just asking you if it can be done.”
“Yes! Of course! Just do as you like! I’ll take care of the dress for you, and I’ll have it delivered to you in the morning the day after tomorrow.”
“Alright, send it to me as soon as you can!”
After she hung up the phone, Xu Xinyi called the beautician to come in and continue to work on her.
“Miss Xu, your skin is in really good condition. It looks just like an 18-year-old girl’s.”
Her skin was white and tender, without a trace of blemish. Her cheeks were smooth and clear. Her watery eyes were bright and seemed even more vivid than those of an eighteen-year-old girl.
This was the effect Xu Xinyi wanted.
She knew Qin Yan liked Yi Yang. That didn’t matter, Xu Xinyi didn’t mind, and she even wanted to match them together. But, that was one thing, a whole other thing was that from head to toe she could not lose to Qin Yan – not even by a single strand of hair!
What’s more, even Anya could see that it was inappropriate for her to dress so extravagantly at the banquet, would others not be able to see it?
But Qin Yan, that little white lotus, would definitely be magnanimous and say that it didn’t matter. Once he hears that Yi Yang, that dog man, would have his heart stirred and his affection for her would shoot up directly in a straight line.
With that as a springboard, the relationship between those two would become more and more intense. Eventually, when the love was strong, they would cheat together, toss Xu Xinyi aside, and finally tie the knot. They would then enter an unswerving marriage that would last for a hundred years!
And as for Xu Xinyi, she would put on the appearance of heartbreak. She would become a woman no longer able to believe in love. A heartless woman who only talks about money and does not bother about love. She’ll just ‘sadly’ sit on a huge amount of money and property and wile away her time traveling the world. She would be able to live the rest of her life peacefully.
It was a perfect plan.
Anya was reliable and understood Xu Xinyi’s intentions. So, in the end, what was sent to Xu Xinyi was a dark blue sequin dress made by Prada.
Xu Xinyi stood in front of a full-body mirror and stared at the beauty reflected there. She had a long neck that was shown off by the graceful V-shaped neckline of the dress. The sight created just the right amount of amorous feeling. Her waist was thin and dainty. The dark blue of the dress created a sharp contrast with her skin, making it look all the more white and translucent. The woman reflected was the type that, when she said nothing, she looked noble and aloof, but when she smiled it was enough to captivate your soul. When she blinked, the gaze under her long eyelashes seemed capable of ensnaring a person. Xu Xinyi became more and more amazed the longer she looked at herself.
“Are you ready? It’s nearly time. We should go.” Yi Yang was impatient waiting downstairs, so he headed up to the room and pushed the door open. There he saw Xu Xinyi, who was standing in front of the mirror admiring herself.
The evening sun was outside the window. It filled the room with fine golden grains of light. The sight was dazzling as if the room was filled with crushed gold foil, sparkling under the sunlight.
Yi Yang’s feet slowed as he took a look at her from top to bottom. The woman in the shining dress filled his eyes and a hint of amazement bloomed behind his eyes.
After he looked at her for a while, Xu Xinyi walked up to him while holding the edge of her dress.
“Yi Yang, am I pretty?”
—“If this bastard dares to say I’m not pretty, I’ll hammer in his dog head here and now!”
Xu Xinyi was about to smash in Yi Yang’s dog head but then she noticed that the man’s dog eyes seemed to be fixed on her, and it seemed he hadn’t even noticed.
–“Not bad? Since it’s ‘not bad’, why are you staring at me so fixedly?”
–“A dishonest dog man.”
Yi Yang quickly looked away.
Xu Xinyi was satisfied and took Yi Yang’s arm. Her smile was so wide it reached the corners of her eyes and she said: “Let’s go.”
Qin Yan was the only girl in the Qin family so she was doted on heavily. Her birthday banquet was held at a resort hotel surrounded by mountains and lakes with beautiful scenery, far away from the city. The Qin family had spared no expense to make the party perfect.
When Yi Yang and Xu Xinyi’s car parked in front of the hotel, Qin Yan greeted them with a smile.
Today was her birthday and she had dressed up carefully. She wore a long white dress and brightly colored high heels. She had a pure appearance as if to emphasize her gentle character and elegant manner. Even when facing the heavens, she could be considered a delightful beauty, the type that was unforgettable at first sight.
Qin Yan could be said to have grown up with Yi Yang. So she knew what kind of woman Yi Yang likes.
But when she saw Xu Xinyi, who was dressed up and literally sparkling, her smile froze on her face.
Her initial expectations were crushed.
This time, she had intentionally sent an invitation to Yi estate for her birthday banquet. She knew the Old Master was not in good health, so it could be expected that he would not be making a trip to attend a party thrown for someone from the younger generation, and Mrs. Yi would not be able to come either since she was taking care of the Old Master. That meant the only person from the Yi family who could come was Yi Yang.
Over the years, she had never heard of Yi Yang taking Xu Xinyi to any banquet or party. The relationship between the husband and wife had always been said to be terrible, so, thinking logically, when Yi Yang came to attend her banquet, he should come alone and should not bring Xu Xinyi.
But unexpectedly, Yi Yang brought her here.
“Yi Yang, Xinyi, you’re both here?”
“Happy birthday.” Xu Xinyi handed over a small gift box gracefully. Meanwhile, she was holding onto Yi Yang’s arm intimately, with her whole body almost affixed to Yi Yang’s side. “I chose this gift carefully for you. I’m sure you’ll like it.”
As a woman, Qin Yan knew that Xu Xinyi was provoking her.
She suppressed her feelings, not letting anything show on her face, looked at Yi Yang, and took the gift. “Thank you. You two go in first. I’ll be in after I finish welcoming all the guests.”
“Then we’ll head in first.” With that, Xu Xinyi walked by, arm-in-arm with Yi Yang.
The people who could attend Qin Yan’s birthday party were all people from their circle. They were all people with deep roots and heavy weight in City A.
Being raised in this circle, from an early age, Qin Yan had been certain that when she grew up she would marry Yi Yang.
Ever since they were growing up together in childhood, Qin Yan had always been interested in Yi Yang. That was something everyone in their circle knew. But no one had expected an engagement set down by the elders would allow Xu Xinyi to suddenly appear and become Yi Yang’s wife.
Xu Xinyi had also been a member of their circle when she was young but unfortunately, Xinyi’s parents died young. The whole Xu family had been supported by Father Xu so with his death the whole family collapsed and could no longer mingle in this circle.
Four or five well-dressed young people at one of the tables looked at the couple who just entered, turned to exchange a few words with one another, and then the whole group started moving towards them.
—“Looks like a show is starting.”
Xu Xinyi looked at Yi Yang and saw him faintly smiling as if he had seen some friends who he had not seen for a long time.
–“People are grouped by their nature. So if it’s the friends of Yi Yang, a dog man, they are probably not so good either. I heard that they all grew up around Qin Yan. So when they see me, they must have felt very aggrieved for Qin Yan, right?”
–“Since they all grew up together they must be thinking, ‘Poor Qin Yan was robbed of her love by a woman like you who came from who knows where’. In their eyes, I should be the mistress who appeared and came between Qin Yan and Yi Yang.”
–“Soon, these people will definitely try to stir up trouble. They will deliberately talk about their shared memories from childhood and only pause to ask me hypocritically, ‘Oh, you don’t mind if we talk about things from when we were young, do you?'”
–“If I say I mind, people will think that I am narrow-minded. But if I say I don’t mind, then these people will definitely get worse. They will definitely find some excuse to pull me away so we can talk alone. They will use various words to warn and humiliate me. All to provoke my ‘violent’ temper. Then there will be a dispute. Since a white lotus’s friend is also white lotus, after provoking me, they then will pour dirty water on me, joining together to say that I am an ill-bred woman who doesn’t belong in this circle. They will push all the blame on me. Yi Yang, the dog man, will sit on the sidelines indifferently.”
–“Ah, in this materialistic society, people nowadays all have deep intentions. Why can’t they be as pure and kind as me?”
In the bustling hall, Yi Yang heard Xu Xinyi’s thoughts clearly
Yi Yang sneered from the bottom of his heart. Xu Xinyi sure had a thick face. She hadn’t even said one word to the others and she did not have any understanding of them. But that didn’t stop her from openly and maliciously speculating about them, judging them with her own twisted heart, and she calls this ‘pure kindness’?
He and his friends all grew up together, and although they were no longer in touch with each other after college, he was sure of their character. No matter how they changed over the years, they would not be as scheming as Xu Xinyi thought.
“Yi Yang, you are here at last.” The four people finally arrived and began talking to Yi Yang over their wine glasses. There were two girls, each on the arm of a tall and handsome male companion, and they deliberately ignored Xu Xinyi. “Don’t you know that today is Qin Yan’s 25th birthday? It’s getting dark, how can you arrive only now?”
“Miss Xu is here too?” The woman who spoke acted like she just noticed Xu Xinyi before turning away and saying with a smile, “Yi Yang, we haven’t seen each other for several years. It seems like you become more and more handsome each time we meet. I still remember back when we were kids when we played together. Back then you said…”
“I know that when he was a child Yi Yang told Qin Yan that if she wasn’t married by the time she was 25 years old he would marry her,” Xu Xinyi cut in. “But it’s a pity that Yi Yang was lucky enough to meet me. Qin Yan was not so lucky, so she is still alone.”
The several people fell into an awkward silence for a while.
“Miss Xu knows about this too?” One of the girls asked hesitantly.
Xu Xinyi responded indifferently. “Of course I know. But I am not a person to care about every little thing. The past is the past. How can I be angry about some nonsense said between children? Hey, tell me, was there anything else interesting between you guys when you were kids?”
The two girls looked at each other.
“For instance, when they were young, they must have played games? Such as marriage games and bridal chamber games? Did Yi Yang play the bridegroom and Qin Yan play the bride?”
The two girls who were about to speak hesitated.
“So it turns out everyone used to play like this when they were kids? I thought I was the only one playing these kinds of games.”
Yi Yang kept silent the whole time.
He suddenly felt that Xu Xinyi was right. He really would sit on the sidelines because there was no need for him to speak at all.
The two girls were so blocked by Xu Xinyi that they had nothing to retort, so the men at their sides smiled and rescued them. “Don’t just talk about these things from when we were young, Yi Yang, let’s go over there and talk.”
The two girls smiled and said, “Miss Xu, the men have their men’s topics and us women shouldn’t interfere. Yan Yan has many friends attending this banquet. How about I introduce you to some of them?”
Their two pairs of eyes were on Xu Xinyi’s dress and an undercurrent was surging.
“Would you like something to drink, Miss Xu?”
–“Even before I arrived, I knew there would be this kind of trick. This is a timeless classic, not at all out of date!”
–“They’ll notice my dress and seeing that I’m so good-looking and so beautiful. They will only feel appeased when they find a way to ‘accidentally’ throw red wine on me and make me make a fool of myself. Then they will hypocritically say, ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to.’ Then, if I’m angry they’ll just say that I’m narrow-minded – it’s just a piece of clothing after all. If I’m not angry, it’s because I’m swallowing my anger and suffocating myself.”
–“They all think they are thousand-year foxes. Do I just watch their performance?”
“Yi Yang, let’s go.”
Yi Yang calmly adjusted his tie and did not move.
“Red wine, please.” He said.
A waiter shuttled through the crowd and brought a tray of red wine. As he passed the two girls, the waiter suddenly staggered forward, and the three cups of red wine seemed like they were going to be dumped on Xu Xinyi.
But Xu Xinyi seized the opportunity and moved quickly. She suddenly jerked on Yi Yang’s arm and, while Yi Yang was distracted by the waiter, she took advantage of his daze and pulled him in front of her.
The three glasses of red wine were all spilled on Yi Yang’s suit and not a single drop landed on Xu Xinyi.
—“Dog men are for blocking bullets!”
“…” Yi Yang looked at the mess in front of him and cursed in his heart.
In case you’re like me and didn’t know, a “sequin” is “a small, shiny disk sewn as one of many onto clothing for decoration”. So a “sequin dress” is a dress that is literally very shiny and sparkly and good for stealing the spotlight (I guess) lol