Zhao Lifei didn't pay any attention to the obvious gossip that was about her. Instead, she walked to pick up the nearest glass of wine from a server, but upon realizing her old habit, she immediately placed the glass back onto the waiter's tray.
She scolded herself for nearly reverting back to her habits. She knew she needed to be sober, awake, and conscious in this dangerous social gathering. So she walked away from the addicting drink and picked up a glass of grape juice. It wasn't her favorite fermented wine, but it was better than nothing.
Unlike what the people expected her to do, she walked into the center of the banquet. Everyone thought she would try to hide in the corner and pray she was unseen, but Zhao Lifei already felt the stares. Even if she did try to hide, it wouldn't work. So, she faced the harsh reality and braced herself for the exchange of insults and gossip.
With a gift box in hand, Zhao Lifei was walking to the table filled with mountains of gifts. The minute she placed her gift box down, a group of girls walked towards her.
Zhao Lifei already heard the loud clatter of their heels when they approached her. She sighed, pinching the spot between her brows.
It was too early for drama to ensue! For goodness sakes, she had just arrived less than five minutes ago and people were already picking a fight with her?! Did these people have nothing better to do with their life?
"Hmph, if it isn't the abandoned fiancee. I'm surprised you have the guts to show up after all that has happened." A snarky voice said.
Zhao Lifei turned around and to no surprise, it was her former best friend. She nearly laughed at this betrayal.
Song Qiuyu stood like a dignified woman with her arms crossed. She was surrounded by a posse of beautiful women that was low and middle-ranked socialites.
Zhao Lifei's eyes trailed over the haughty and confident women besides Song Qiuyu. She nearly chuckled. These were the same women that Song Qiuyu used to bad mouth when she was alone with Zhao Lifei.
"It seems all of the humiliation has made you dumb. You should answer when someone talks to you." One woman chided in, quick to support Song Qiuyu.
Zhao Lifei stared at them, swirling her cup of juice like it was wine. Her smile was sweet, but her gaze was aloof and cold.
She was forever unbothered by their words. Growing up surrounded by beautiful roses filled with thorns had toughen her skin. Besides, she used to be the on throwing the insults. One who throw dirt should be prepared for a dirt bath.
"You really are shameless, showing up to leech money and fame from your sister!" Another woman added on, clearly not knowing her words.
Zhao Lifei leeching off of Zhao Linhua and Wang Nuoli? Wasn't it the other way around?
When a light giggle came from Zhao Lifei, the women were taken back, but quickly composed themselves.
"See, Qiuyu. She really has gone insane." A different woman whispered to Song Qiuyu who was observing Zhao Lifei's nonchalant face.
"Is that this the best you could do?" Zhao Lifei stood up straighter and placed her drink down. These women were so silly. Did they really think their words were powerful and prickly? What a joke.
"What did you just say?!" The first woman who spoke up nearly lost it.
Zhao Lifei raised an amused brow, her lips tilting into a mischievous smirk. A small poke and she was already angered? How pathetic.
"My, oh my, Song Qiuyu. I didn't think you would surround yourself with these useless women who'd scream at the first insult." Zhao Lifei laughed, clearly pointing out the fact that Song Qiuyu had low-class to make friends with these women.
"Save it. Don't provoke someone you can't afford to offend." Zhao Lifei's eyes turned sharp and dark, revealing a certain clarity. She dropped the smile on her face which made her look deathly serious.
She was right, these women couldn't afford her. She might've fallen from grace, but with Zhao Moyao as her backings, she could easily squash these women like flies.
Song Qiuyu stiffened at the warning. Her friends exchanged wary and curious glances. Seeing the hesitation and self-doubt on her friends, Song Qiuyu felt incredibly embarrassed.
Song Qiuyu was supposed to show off how much she has grown throughout the years. She wanted to show who the leader was. She used to leech off of Zhao Lifei's fame and was bullied for doing that. Now, she wanted to look like Zhao Lifei was the one that used to leech off of her, even though everyone knew that was a lie.
Song Qiuyu racked her brain to think of something to say. When she took a better glance at Zhao Lifei, her lips quirked up. That dress, it was the same one that Xia Mengxi was wearing.
"Oh, dear Lifei, I didn't think you were one to steal and copy someone else's dress. Isn't that the same one Xia Mengxi is currently wearing?' Song Qiuyu chuckled, gesturing to the stunning woman that had just strolled into the room with Zheng Tianyi not far behind her.
Zhao Lifei stiffened, her eyes opening slightly wider. What did she just say? Xia Mengxi was here? Zheng Tianyi had already arrived? And she was wearing the same dress as his beloved?
She felt her fingers itch to curl around something, so she picked up her glass of grape juice. Zhao Lifei reminded herself to not sway under these women's words.
One crack in her perfect wall, one flaw on her perfect expression, and these women would hound on it. If they saw her falter, she would be instantly teared down.
"You're quite the one to talk. Aren't you the one mimicking Xia Mengxi's style?" Zhao Lifei lifted her fingers to brush away Song Qiuyu's bangs.
"Same hair, same jewels, same style, you should try harder to hide it." Zhao Lifei chuckled. By deliberately touching Song Qiuyu's hair, she was bringing attention to the extremely familiar hair style that Xia Mengxi had.
"Now that you mention it, Song Qiuyu's style does look like Xia Mengxi's housewife style..." A woman whispered, startling Song Qiuyu whose face inflamed in embarrassment.
When the woman realized Song Qiuyu had overheard her, she was quick to defend herself.
"Qiuyu, I didn't mean to-" Zhao Lifei hurriedly made her escape.
She seized the chance of Song Qiuyu and the women being distracted to find her escape. She glanced down at her dress and then toward the beautiful Xia Mengxi who was wearing the same dress.
'Damn it! I knew it was too good to be true!' She seethed inside of her head. She knew she should've doubted the dress the minute it was shipped to her.
No wonder why the dress was familiar, she saw it on TV! She cursed herself for not watching the TV channel. If only she wasn't browsing the TV, she might've caught onto this dress!
Zhao Lifei gritted her teeth and texted someone to bring her a quick change of attire. Busy with her phone, she had accidentally bumped into someone.
"I'm so sorry-" Zhao Lifei's voice died down when she realized she had bumped into none other than Xia Mengxi.