When Gu Xijiu and Lan Waihu arrived at the main hall, the place was already crowded. Yan Chen had plenty of friends in Tianju Hall, especially among his classmates. They all came to meet his mother officially.
There was a vast assembly of people in the hall, laughing and chatting cheerfully.
Gu Xijiu had seen Yan Chen's mother from her memory. The woman's appearance did not change a lot, neither did her charisma.
Yan Chen's mother was a very beautiful woman, wearing an elegant white dress, obviously from a respectable, eminent family. To her surprise, she did not see Yan Chen's presence.
Gu Xijiu entered the hall with Lan Waihu. All the seniors and juniors stood up as they made their entry. Gu Xijiu became their pride and also their spiritual leader in Tianju Hall. Her reputation grew to become even greater than Gu Canmo's. Everyone greeted her warmly. Lan Waihu was an easygoing girl as well, so she was popular with others.
Yan Chen's mother and Leng Wushuang stood up like the rest of the people. Yan Chen's mother set her sight on Gu Xijiu and saw them walking into the hall hand in hand, radiating with big smiles. "Are you Miss Gu? I have heard a lot about you from Yan Chen. You truly are a magnificent woman." She continued with her flattery.
She turned and fixed her eyes on Lan Waihu. She maintained her composure and continued with a smile. "Waihu, long time no see. Come, let me have a closer look at you. You seemed to have grown taller."
Panicked, Lan Waihu's hand turned icy cold, as she was not sure how she should confront the woman who hid her vicious intent behind her smile. She pursed her lips into a line and avoided her greeting. She clenched Gu Xijiu's hand tightly, as though she was looking for support.
Gu Xijiu tapped her lightly on the back of her hand. She then turned to look at Yan Chen's mother. "I am flattered, Mrs. Yan." Smilingly, she continued, "As a matter of fact, I was once a girl with absolutely nothing good. I was bullied and told by many that I was only an ugly duckling that was fortunate enough to be in the general's residence."
Mrs. Yan quickly explained, "That is because they have a narrow vision. You have become someone amazing."
Leng Wushuang tried hard to please her, too. "That is right. You are a woman of great talents. They were too dumb to realize it."
Gu Xijiu smiled politely. "Before the ugly duckling grows into a swan, how many of us can truly recognize one's hidden ability? Many of us have mistaken a phoenix for a sparrow, don't you agree with me, Mrs. Yan? Miss Leng?"
Mrs. Yan and Leng Wushuang 's eyes met. They had a guilty conscience, so they could not help but think that Gu Xijiu was mocking them by making oblique accusations. They could not retort her mockery, so they pretended to agree.
They thought that Lan Waihu had talked bad behind their back, so they turned their attention to her.
Mrs. Yan gave her a strange look and waved at her. "Waihu, come closer. We have not seen each other for so long. I've missed you."
Lan Waihu was unskilled in social interaction, especially with someone she genuinely disliked. She hated to even look at her, so she refused to move.
Mrs. Yan took the opportunity to express her disappointment. "This child must have harbored a bitter resentment against me."
Curious, Gu Xijiu responded, "Eh? Waihu has always been the kindest to others. She has never borne anyone a grudge. How is it possible that she is against someone who has loved and cared for her since childhood? Is there a misunderstanding, Mrs. Yan?"
Mrs. Yan sighed. "I am sure you are unaware that two years ago, Waihu and I had a misunderstanding. It was my fault. My incompetence caused others to gossip about Waihu behind her back. She heard them, so she taught those people a lesson."