Chapter 18 - Jing Family Banquet
As the only girl in the younger generation of the Jing Family, Jing Ruo was treated like a precious pearl even if she wasn’t blood-related to them. Since she had returned from abroad, the Jing family decided to hold a welcome banquet for her alone. The venue was the luxurious Jinnian Hotel in the Imperial City. Due to the Jing family’s current prestige, various male gods1Male God is a Chinese slang referring to a male who has an attractive appearance. and emperors would be attending this party.
Gu Jin had to eat in advance. If she ate a lot at the banquet, not only would she make a laughingstock of herself, but she would also end up ruining her formalwear. So after spending over an hour getting dressed and adjusting her beauty, Gu Jin thought about her plans. She didn’t intend to show all of her true colors today. Therefore, she had no need to dress too extravagantly, as long as she didn’t make a fool of herself. Otherwise, she might bring a disaster by stealing the host’s limelight.
Gu Jin then smoothed out her dress and sighed.
Mu Mingcheng’s secretary had sent over a gown, along with a matching purse, shoes, and jewelry. Surely, these were worth millions of dollars.
The style he had chosen would help her keep a low profile.
Nevertheless, she had to admit that the gown’s style suited her aesthetics very well. After putting on the dress, she twirled around in front of the mirror and sighed. Although it was very sweet of him, it was also a bit overbearing.
At six in the evening, when the sky had darkened, Gu Jin walked out of her apartment building. Her high-heeled shoes clattered on the stairs as she descended. She held her white clutch while wondering what kind of mood Mu Mingcheng was in to actually send her a pair of ten centimeters tall high heels.
When she reached the foot of the stairs, she saw a black car. Despite looking low-key, its insides contained the ultimate luxury features. Gu Jin paused and adjusted her facial expression.
As the gorgeous woman came near, Old Liu, who was familiar with Gu Jin, stepped out of the car. He held open the passenger’s door for the lady.
“Miss Gu, Mr. Mu is in a hurry. Let me send you over first. He’ll join you later.” Old Liu spoke in a straightforward manner, as if he didn’t care how beautiful his passenger was.
“It doesn’t matter,” Gu Jin replied as she sat on the backseat. She looked up with a smile and said, “Pardon me, Brother Liu, how long have you been working for Mr. Mu?” she suddenly asked.
Old Liu concentrated his sights on the road and replied, “It’s been almost five years.”
Gu Jin remembered that Mu Mingcheng had only inherited the Mu Family’s business three years ago. It meant this driver served him even in the military.
The car smoothly traveled at first. But since it was rush hour, the Imperial Capital highway was overcome with heavy traffic. Even this luxurious car, which usually got its way around the road, could only endure the traffic and go forward at a snail’s pace.
Cheng Xin soon called her cousin and impatiently said, “Little Jin, the banquet is about to start. Why haven’t you arrived yet?”
“We ran into heavy traffic along the way. I’ll be there in about ten minutes,” Gu Jin replied after speaking with the driver.
“All right, make sure to hurry up. Call me when you get here.”
After ten minutes, the car finally arrived at the banquet venue. Gu Jin stepped out and made her way toward the hotel. When she arrived at the gate, the party had yet to start. She presented her invitation to the porter and entered straightaway.
Most of the guests had arrived by this time, and the grand hall was filled with people moving to and fro. The hall’s luxurious crystal chandeliers shone light upon several floors. The dazzling lights, exquisite clothing, and seductive perfumes gave off an atmosphere of feasting and pleasure-seeking.
Soothing music filled the lobby overflowed with guests. No matter who these people were in their daily lives, at least for the moment, they were all elegant men and women who laughed and enjoyed a lively conversation with one another.
When Gu Jin entered the hall—in her wine-red dress with a fishtail skirt, and exquisite makeup—she immediately attracted the attention of countless men and women. The gaze of jealous and embarrassed onlookers lingered on her figure. Gu Jin clutched her handbag and silently stared back.
A waiter, clad in a buttoned white shirt and black pants, came toward her side with a tray of drinks. Gu Jin took a glass of juice and sat in a quiet corner away from the venue.
She didn’t bother informing Cheng Xin of her arrival. And if, by any chance, Mu Mingcheng couldn’t make it to the party, she planned to remain as a passerby and leave. But her wish was destined to fail.
A stranger approached her. “Where did this beautiful girl come from? How come you’re alone in this party?”
Gu Jin turned around and saw that this newcomer was a forty-year-old man wearing black-rimmed glasses. He was dressed in a proper suit and leather shoes, and his face displayed a gentle smile.
He would have looked like a trustworthy elder who cared for her if only his eyes didn’t dart toward her cleavage from time to time as if he were inadvertently doing it. Gu Jin smiled back. Her countenance appeared even more gorgeous and compelling. The man focused his eyes on her face.
She replied, “Thank you, Uncle. But my boyfriend will be arriving soon.”
“You’re welcome.” The man couldn’t help but choke while replying when she called him uncle. His expression slightly changed. But then, he laughed and extended his hand. “My surname is Zhao. I’m the head of an entertainment company. I think you have the potential to be a star. Would you like to leave me your contact information?”
He had never seen this woman at the high society parties he attended. She had said that she was here at this expensive banquet with her boyfriend. Yet that boyfriend actually didn’t mind leaving her alone by herself. He thought that a young beautiful woman like her had probably hooked up with a rich second-generation man of a family just to come to a high-end place like this. She was probably the kind of person who wouldn’t decline money in order to grab an opportunity for fame.
In that case, hee hee!
Gu Jin glanced at the man’s neatly combed hair. She looked down and smiled without replying. Boss Zhao lifted a hand to reach for her. But suddenly he yelped in pain. Something had pinched his hands, and his finger bones were being crushed by a powerful force.
A threatening cold voice came from behind the man. “Oh? You want my girlfriend’s contact information? I have it, too. Looks like I should give it to you.”
Mu Mingcheng coldly gazed at the middle-aged man, and then looked at the stunning woman across from him.
The newcomer had twisted his hands painfully, and Boss Zhao felt as if his bones had been crushed. As he turned back to scold the offender, he suddenly saw the face of a young man in a white suit. Boss Zhao’s back soon became covered in a cold sweat.
“Ah, I’m sorry. I didn’t know she was Mr. Mu’s woman,” he said, his voice trembling. “Mr. Mu, please forget this villain, and spare me this time.”
“Get out of here, and never show your face in front of me again. Take your little entertainment company and disappear. Now!” Mu Mingcheng warned as he threw Boss Zhao a couple of meters away.
The middle-aged man hurriedly scrambled away without a sound. But a familiar acquaintance of his had witnessed the scene from afar, and he quickly asked, “Dude, what’s wrong with you?”
Boss Zhao grinned with a pale face and replied, “I have stomach problems but forgot to bring medicine with me today. So I’ll be heading back first.” With those words, he rushed out of the hall.
Women like her were quite rare to find, but despite this, nobody dared to approach Gu Jin again.
Boss Zhao’s acquaintance went off on his way and found someone else to talk to. He and Boss Zhao, each the owner of small entertainment companies, had done everything to receive an invitation to the Jing Family’s banquet. They could gain more opportunities for their businesses as long as they could form ties with the higher class. For that old man to leave just because of a small stomachache? How stupid!
At that moment, the two people were left alone in a corner. Gu Jin’s hopes to leave early ended in disappointment. Her eyes paused on Mu Mingcheng’s burgundy tie for a second before she turned to sit down on the sofa. She then swirled her glass of juice and said with a smile, “It was only for a small acting role. Why would Mr. Mu be so overbearing?”
“If it were just recruitment, it’d be no issue. But who gave him permission to touch my baby’s hands?” Mu Mingcheng sat beside her and gave her a deep look.
He praised himself for having good eyes when he saw how beautiful the long red-wine dress complimented Gu Jin’s milky-white skin. The fishtail-style dress perfectly outlined her attractive figure. The star-shaped diamond necklace that hung on her neck and the white clutch she carried gave her a noble look. Her dignified and cold aura mixed with a touch of gentleness was in line with Mu Mingcheng’s imagination of his preferred woman.
Gu Jin froze when she heard Mu Mingcheng call her “baby,” and she almost choked on her juice. The corners of her mouth twitched as she thought, This is the same Mu Mingcheng who could set off waves by simply attending the Jing Family feast, right?
Seeing Gu Jin’s doubtful gaze, Mu Mingcheng voluntarily explained, “I came through the back door, so no one else has properly seen me yet.”
Then how did you find me so quickly? Do you have a dog’s nose? Gu Jin wanted to ask him, but the banquet was about to begin.