Song Li has been a longtime friend of Jiang Suizhou. Guan Xi also got to know him early on, so their relationship can be considered fairly good.
The next day, when Assistant Yang Qing brought the gift prepared for Song Li to Jiang Suizhou's home, Guan Xi had just finished doing her makeup. She stood in front of a row of perfumes, thinking about whom to favor today.
"What is it?" Guan Xi asked casually.
Yang Qing: "It was obtained at the last auction, a 1921 vintage bottle of Dijin. I thought President Song likes to drink, so it should be suitable."
Guan Xi nodded, "Just put it in the living room; you can leave now."
After the assistant left, her phone rang.
Guan Xi placed the phone on the table as she answered the call and put it on speaker.
"When will you be back?"
It was a call from Jiang Suizhou: "There's a bit of an issue at the company that won't be resolved for a while. I'll be going later in the evening. You can go first."
"Should I drive myself?"
"If you don't want to drive, I'll have Zhou Hao send you."
Guan Xi chose a bottle of her frequently used perfume, "I'll have to wait for half an hour then... never mind, I'll drive myself."
Jiang Suizhou was probably really busy; he quickly hung up the phone.
Humming a song lightly, Guan Xi sprayed a bit of perfume on her wrist and a little behind her ears. She didn't like strong scents; this perfume had a subtle fragrance that she found most comfortable.
Ten minutes later, she was ready and left with her bag.
Song Li was a party enthusiast, and on a day like his birthday, he would undoubtedly go all out.
The birthday party was held at his own villa. When Guan Xi entered through the front door, she was momentarily dazzled by his extravagant birthday decorations.
Light bulbs all over the room... What kind of taste was this?
"It's quite chilly. I think I'll go change."
"Are you sure you won't go swimming later? What are you changing into?"
"Hey, is this outfit good?"
"Have this drink; it's peach-flavored."
In the living room, there were several girls in swimsuits, chatting and touching up their makeup, creating a lively atmosphere.
Guan Xi didn't recognize any of them, so she didn't bother to greet them.
She glanced out into the villa's yard, where the pool, fine wine, music, and attractive men and women paired off, creating an atmosphere of extravagant revelry. It perfectly matched Song Li's style.
Guan Xi smiled and placed her bag and the gift aside. She took out a lipstick from inside.
"Can I borrow the mirror?" She was too lazy to go to the bathroom, and seeing that one of the girls in swimsuit had a mirror in hand, she asked.
The people on the sofa, who were talking, were immediately drawn to her when she spoke. The girl who was asked for the mirror looked Guan Xi up and down and handed her the small mirror.
Guan Xi thanked her and started to touch up her makeup with the lipstick.
While she was touching up on her lipstick, the others discreetly observed her. They didn't know Guan Xi, and here, apart from Song Li, they were unfamiliar with everyone else. However, being invited by Song Li for his birthday, they were naturally delighted. After all, getting into Song Li's circle meant the opportunity to connect with wealthy second-generation individuals easily.
"Here you go." Guan Xi handed back the mirror after finishing with her makeup.
The girl took it, subconsciously glancing at the watch on Guan Xi's wrist.
This group of people had keen eyes, with a strong ability to perceive luxury brands. Therefore, they easily recognized that Guan Xi's outfit and accessories were all quite valuable, especially the Patek Philippe on her wrist and the latest limited edition Hermès placed on the table.
"You're also a friend of Song Li, right?" The girls on the sofa smiled, but there was a hint of curiosity and hostility in their eyes.
Curiosity stemmed from Guan Xi's remarkable outfit, and hostility arose because the newcomer was exceptionally beautiful, easily diverting attention away from others. At such times, each girl hoped to be the center of attention.
Guan Xi nodded and was about to say something when Song Li's voice came over, "Hey! Guan Xi! Miss! You finally made it!"
He ran over, full of excitement.
Seeing him approaching, Guan Xi patted the box on the table, "Here's a reward for you, happy birthday."
"Whoa? Liquor?" Song Li exclaimed.
"Yeah, a bit vintage. When my assistant mentioned it, my heart ached a bit," Guan Xi replied.
Song Li smirked, "I knew you'd understand my taste! Love you, love you!"
"Stop loving. I bet you won't have enough love for all the people who came today."
Song Li glanced at her, "Naughty. Hey, where's Jiang Suizhou? Didn't come with you?"
"He'll be here later," Guan Xi replied. "Song Li, I have to say, what's up with the decoration in this house? With these lights turned on like this, I feel like I've walked into the red-light district in Japan."
Song Li was surprised, "Really? Isn't it romantic?"
Guan Xi found it hard to express, "I won't criticize you on your birthday... Is Ningyi here?"
"Yep, she's outside having fun."
"Alright, I'll go find her."
Guan Xi went straight out from the inner room, with Song Li following eagerly.
The beautiful girls who were sitting on the sofa looked at each other, but they had already sensed from Song Li's attitude that there was no need to be hostile to this girl.
Because, clearly, they were not on the same level.
Guan Xi saw Lang Ningyi from a distance. She was standing by the cocktail table, chatting with her cousin Wei Xiuyang.
After sending off Song Li, Guan Xi walked over to them and grabbed a glass of juice.
Wei Xiuyang turned to her and greeted, "You're here."
"You're here quite early," Guan Xi remarked.
"Not much earlier than you. I just arrived about ten minutes ago," Wei Xiuyang replied, glancing back towards the house. "Has that person arrived?"
Guan Xi knew he was referring to Jiang Suizhou, "He'll be here later."
"What were you just talking about?" Guan Xi inquired.
Lang Ningyi smiled, "We were talking about a handsome guy."
Guan Xi raised an eyebrow, "You guys gossiping again?"
Wei Xiuyang was provoked by the word again and gave her a glance, "I'm not gossiping. It was Lang Ningyi who asked me."
"Is that so, little brother?"
"So, who were you talking about?"
Wei Xiuyang had no choice but to say, "Xie Yan."
"Xie... Yan? Who's that?"
Lang Ningyi gestured with her eyes, "The guy across the pool, in the black shirt. See him?"
Following her gaze, Guan Xi looked over. Although he was quite far away, she could see that the man was tall and had a good physique.
Lang Ningyi said, "It's normal if you don't know him. Their family just moved from the south, into real estate, and quite wealthy. As for him, he's a well-known interior designer."
"Oh... and then?" Guan Xi didn't grasp what was so special about him.
Lang Ningyi was about to speak but seemed to remember something, glanced at Guan Xi, and then closed her mouth.
Guan Xi: "Why are you being so hesitant?"
Wei Xiuyang added, "It's nothing, just casual chat. I've seen Xie Yan's designs; I'm interested in collaborating. If there's anything special about him, it's probably his background."
"Yes, I heard he was adopted by the Xie family."
Guan Xi's hand holding the cup paused.
Lang Ningyi glanced at her secretly; this was the reason for her hesitation just now.
Wei Xiuyang, oblivious to the situation, continued, "Although he was adopted, he has a say in the Xie family. His foster father dotes on him, even more than his biological son."
Guan Xi nodded, her gaze stopping at Xie Yan.
Adopted son... could this be considered similar to her?
Perhaps because she stared too long, when the man across turned his head, their eyes met. Guan Xi froze for a moment and nodded politely; Xie Yan responded with the same gesture.
Guan Xi quickly withdrew her gaze.
Around seven in the evening, after Song Li had the cake brought out and everyone celebrated, the atmosphere became even more lively. Some people, still fully clothed, were even pushed into the pool.
Guan Xi wasn't in the mood to go wild today. After letting Lang Ningyi play on her own, she finished her juice and decided to retrieve her bag from the living room where she left her phone.
The path from her spot to the villa passed by the pool, and the wet ground was a bit slippery. Since she was wearing high heels, she walked slowly.
At this moment, a man walked towards her. Guan Xi glanced at him, feeling strangely uneasy.
As they passed each other, she didn't know if she was acting strange, but she subconsciously called, "Xie Yan."
The man walking past her paused, looking at her with some surprise.
Guan Xi regretted calling out to him as soon as the words left her mouth. Why did she suddenly associate herself with him?
And suddenly, there were so many questions... like, at what age was he adopted? Did he know he was adopted from an early age, or did he find out later? How did he feel when he found out? Did he go crazy like her? What were his secrets to being favored?
Various questions flooded her mind; it was as if she had suddenly encountered a kindred spirit.
However, these questions were impossible to ask! After all, she didn't know this person at all. She had spoken suddenly, caught in her own emotions.
"Hello," Xie Yan nodded towards her. "Miss Guan."
Huh? He knew her?
Guan Xi returned to her senses, feeling a bit embarrassed, "Hello."
Xie Yan seemed to notice her confusion and explained, "I heard Song Li mention your name over there. It's Guan Xi, right?"
"Yes, I'm Guan Xi."
"Do you know me, Miss Guan?"
"Oh... I heard someone talking about you just now."
Xie Yan nodded and smiled.
Just as Lang Ningyi described, this guy was indeed handsome, refined, and his smile was very pleasant to look at.
"Well, actually, I heard my friend mention that you're a very talented designer. I thought there might be opportunities for collaboration in the future, so I wanted to get your business card." Guan Xi, at this moment, awkwardly created an excuse for herself, or else she wouldn't be able to explain why she called out to him earlier.
"I see," Xie Yan said. "But I didn't bring my business card today. Why don't you add my contact directly."
Guan Xi pointed inside the villa, "My phone is inside."
"It's okay. You can just type in your number." Xie Yan handed his phone to her.
Guan Xi nodded, "Sure."
Guan Xi took the phone and entered her number. Xie Yan stood by, waiting.
At this distance, Xie Yan could smell a faint fragrance, different from the intense atmosphere here. It was sweet and pleasant, evidently her scent.
Xie Yan's gaze swept over Guan Xi's lowered eyelashes. Just a while ago, many people who didn't know her were curious about her name and asked Song Li. It happened that he unintentionally overheard.
Guan Xi held his phone and entered her number. She didn't fake it; she actually entered her own number because there might be genuine collaboration with this person in the future. If she stopped him and gave him a fake number, it would seem like playing games.
After entering the number and adding a note, she was about to hand the phone back to him.
Just at that moment, two playful girls rushed over!
Guan Xi's hand was bumped and the phone flew out. She froze for a moment, and instinctively turned to catch it.
However, behind her was the pool. Slipping on the wet ground, she missed the phone but tumbled straight into the pool.