Ever since she was a young child, Zhou Xiaoqiao had grown up loved by everyone around her and protected from all the harshness of the world.
It was to the point that, in her over twenty years of life, she had hardly suffered any setbacks or failures.
Moreover, since she saw Ruan Tian successfully carving out a small place for herself in the entertainment industry, she had been full of confidence and thought that if Ruan Tian could be successful, there was no reason why she couldn’t be as well.
And, at first, the company Zhou Xiaoqiao personally started up seemed to be doing well, gaining traction in the industry and the attention of fans but, gradually, things started to fall apart and everything became a mess.
Things went wrong one after another. Her brand’s expected rise to fame never happened. Her target high-class customers weren’t interested in wearing the clothes from her brand, and she refused to lower her standards to target lower or middle-class customers.
The result was predictable. As time went by, the company didn’t experience “ups and downs”, rather it seemed to only slowly get worse and worse.
Watching all this happen, Zhou Xiaoqiao couldn’t believe it at all. She was still full of confidence so, with reddened eyes, she went home to ask her mother to invest some money and ultimately her mother agreed. However, a bit of money being poured into the dying company couldn’t do anything to reverse the overall situation and, in the end, could only be said to have been wasted.
The people under her and around her who were involved in running the company didn’t dare to speak up and give this fragile princess with a glass heart any advice, for fear that they might hurt her self-esteem and cause her to go home and cry to her parents. They knew that if that happened, they would be the ones to suffer.
Zhou Xiaoqiao really couldn’t accept that she couldn’t do something that Ruan Tian could, and she was completely unwilling to just let her company close down, so she cried until her eyes turned red before going to the Shen Group to find Shen Shu.
When she arrived the receptionist was very polite to her and arranged for her to have a cup of hot tea in the lounge before sending her up to wait in Shen Shu’s secretary’s office.
From there, it wasn’t long before Zhou Xiaoqiao was invited to the office of Shen Shu himself.
Shen Shu was seated at his desk, wearing a white dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, showcasing his slender wrist and pale fingers that were twiddling with a fountain pen. Once Zhou Xiaoqiao came inside, he looked up at her and said carelessly, “Have a seat.”
Today Zhou Xiaoqiao was wearing a pure-white dress and let her long black hair down to nestle on her shoulders. Her face only had a faint touch of makeup, making her look gentle and innocent. She quickly sat down on a sofa that was in the office and subconsciously wiped away the tears that had already formed at the corners of her eyes, then called out faintly: “Brother Shen Shu.”
Shen Shu put down his pen and said, “What’s the matter?”
Shen Shu could admit that Zhou Xiaoqiao had always been the woman he had felt was most suitable for him to marry. Moreover, they had been friends since they were small children, and their friendship had only become stronger as they slowly grew up together. Thus, it could be said that his affection for her that had resulted from all of those years of getting along still existed.
The only difference was that when Shen Shu looked at Zhou Xiaoqiao these days he no longer had any thoughts about marrying her.
Rather, the way he looked at Zhou Xiaoqiao was more like the way a man would look at a close little sister.
Zhou Xiaoqiao raised her head with reddened eyes and tried to hold back a sniffle. After taking a moment to calm down, she said sadly, “Brother Shen Shu, am I really so stupid?”
Shen Shu stayed silent and just watched her tears that were slowly falling.
He suddenly discovered that he didn’t feel much heartache seeing this scene.
Zhou Xiaoqiao bit her lower lip silently and then continued: “I’ve already worked so hard but, I don’t understand why, it just seems I can’t do anything right.”
Shen Shu raised an eyebrow and said slowly, “Maybe this kind of work is not suitable for you.”
Truly, it wasn’t suitable for the her who had never suffered any hardships.
Not suitable for the her who didn’t have any work experience at all.
After all, Zhou Xiaoqiao had been raised to be very delicate.
Zhou Xiaoqiao wiped her tears and looked at Shen Shu’s indifferent expression. She couldn’t help but feel her heart sink, but she still said, “Brother Shen Shu, I came here today to ask you a favor.”
Shen Shu didn’t seem surprised at all when she said this and he replied slowly, “Xiaoqiao, even if you don’t succeed, no one will blame you. This isn’t a problem you need to worry about.”
After all, he knew that her parents would definitely help her clean up no matter what kind of mess she made in the end, and her other admirers would only feel sorry for her and want to protect her even more.
Thus, there was really no need to come to him and plead with a face full of tears.
Hearing Shen Shu’s comforting words, Zhou Xiaoqiao felt a little more confident. She squeezed her fingers together and looked up with hope. She was sure that Shen Shu wouldn’t just watch on while her company went under.
Zhou Xiaoqiao blushed and said, “Then, can you…”
However, before she could ask anything, Shen Shu cut her off and said, “You’ve been working too hard recently, you look exhausted. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep after you get home.”
His words were gentle.
But they were also ruthless.
Zhou Xiaoqiao’s face gradually turned pale. Shen Shu’s meaning was very clear: He was willing to exchange pleasantries, but it was impossible for him to offer any concrete help.
Zhou Xiaoqiao couldn’t help but look up one more time at this man that she had admired for many years. She suddenly remembered that this had all started back then when she had tried to feed Ruan Tian that damned aphrodisiac. At that time, she had been carried away by jealousy and had plotted for Ruan Tian to be humiliated by an old man but, in the end, she had run into Shen Shu after drinking the glass of spiked wine by mistake…
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