“That’s the dress your mother sent to you,” said a girl with a homely look beside Fu Zhi.
Even though the custom-fitted black qipao did not look as impressive as the rhinestone-embellished bellflower dress, it was still a limited-edition piece from Kimorty. It was not something that one could buy with money.
It went without saying that the girls were envious of her as well.
Frowning, Fu Zhi took the qipao out. There was a blue envelope underneath the box.
When she opened the envelope, Su Xing saw a line of words on the black-colored card—”For Ms. Lu Chuwan.”
Cocking her head, Su Xing exclaimed, “Hey, isn’t this dress for Lu Chuwan?”
“What? This is Lu Chuwan’s dress?”
Su Xing took the card and said, “Here, see for yourself. It says on top that this dress is for Lu Chuwan.”
This was the first thing Lu Chuwan heard when she returned to the dressing room, and she subconsciously placed her hand on her sore waist.
Fu Zhi looked at her from the other side of the dressing room. There was no emotion but anger in her eyes. “Take it off.”
Lu Chuwan was stunned for a while before she sneered, “Why should I listen to you?”
She glared at Fu Zhi back defiantly and added, her tone harsh and arrogant, “I know you’re envious of what I’m wearing, but please do me a favor and keep your ugly side home. Look at yourself in a mirror or something and know your place. You’re merely an adopted daughter and you would only be making a fool of yourself if you insisted that this dress is yours.”
“But the dress you’re wearing is really Zhizhi’s dress,” Su Xing chimed in. She then put the card on the qipao and said, “This is your dress.”
Lu Chuwan glanced at Fu Zhi, who was standing in front of a vanity. The light shone brightly above her head, and Lu Chuwan could not read her expression well.
Meanwhile, she could feel everyone’s gazes in the dressing room boring into her. Even though nobody talked, she was able to sense the thick malice in the air right now. It was as if all of them were saying that she was inferior to Fu Zhi.
She tightened her fists, turned sideways, and asked Tongtong, “Did you put the letter that Kimorty sent me in Fu Zhi’s box when you put the dress back?”
“Ah? Ah… Yeah, I got it wrong,” Xu Tongtong said as she licked her lips. “Alright, Fu Zhi. That qipao is yours. You’re an adopted daughter, so you should stick to whatever you have right now. Stop making a big fuss about it.”
Everyone watched the farce, and the atmosphere in the dressing room was tense.
Fu Zhi rubbed her fingertips against the phone screen. Her eyelashes were long, and she accidentally saw something that piqued her curiosity when she raised her head.
The side of the white bellflower dress was starting to get unstitched. It was not obvious, but it was definitely unstitching.
“You don’t want to take it off?” Fu Zhi scoffed. She lowered her head to send a message and said thoughtfully, “That’s fine with me. Just make sure you won’t regret it later.”
Lu Chuwan was startled by the light in Fu Zhi’s eyes, but she forced herself to calm down. After all, she was their grandmother’s favorite granddaughter, and Fu Zhi did not have any right to tell her what kind of dress she should wear. With that thought in mind, she straightened her back and sneered, “Hmph! Preposterous!”
Xu Tongtong took out a mini fan and began cooling Lu Chuwan’s skin down. Meanwhile, she said, “There’s no need to get so angry, Wanwan. This dress fits your figure really well, so how could it not have been ordered for you by your second aunt? Fu Zhi is just jealous that you look better than her!”
The moment she finished speaking, the door opened. Bai Yao entered the dressing room first, followed by Xu Wei.
Xu Wei saw her daughter from afar. A grin formed on her face, but just as she was about to ask why Fu Zhi had not changed into her dress yet, her eyes fell on her niece and her smile froze. Her skin turned from red to pale as she shouted in disbelief, “Wanwan, why are you wearing the dress I made for Zhizhi?!”
“What are you talking about, second aunt?” Lu Chuwan’s heart skipped a beat. “Isn’t this bellflower dress for me?”
Xu Wei replied, “Of course not! The dress I ordered for you is a black qipao. I even asked them to put your name on it. How could you get it wrong?”
Lu Chuwan did not say anything. Xu Tongtong, who stood next to her, gripped her mini fan even tighter.
Bai Yao glanced at the black qipao by the vanity and then looked at the bellflower dress on her daughter. After she compared the two dresses, a bolt of anger rose from her stomach pit and she snarled, “Xu Wei, how could you do this to my daughter? You gave the best to your own daughter and gave this kind of thing to my Wanwan?”
Every parent had their favorite child, just like humans had 10 fingers that were unequal in length. Even though Xu Wei liked Lu Chuwan, she loved her own daughter even more.
Besides, she was not angry because Lu Chuwan had taken Fu Zhi’s dress. It was just that the dress had been made by her specifically for Fu Zhi. In order to get the dress done in time, she’d had to pull two all-nighters in a row. Every stitch had encompassed her love for her daughter, and this was considered her first gift to Fu Zhi.
However, the dress had been taken away by Lu Chuwan.
Xu Wei did not want to argue with Bai Yao. She looked at her niece and tried her best to reason with her. “The competition hasn’t started yet. Go take the dress off and return it to Zhizhi.”
All the girls turned their heads and looked at Lu Chuwan.
“So this bellflower dress was made by Fu Zhi’s mother for her own daughter. No wonder it’s so beautiful. She even embellished it with rhinestones!”
“I remember Lu Chuwan saying that she was going to give this dress to other people after the competition. It turns out that the dress was never hers. She was just taking advantage of Fu Zhi and trying to make herself look good.”
“This kind of dress requires a lot of work. How is Fu Zhi going to wear it after she has worn it?”
Lu Chuwan bit her lips as she listened to the discussion around her. Her eyes were turning red around the rims as she said, “It’s almost my turn. I don’t have enough time to change right now!”
“The waistline of the bellflower dress is 56, whereas the waistline of the qipao is 62,” Xu Wei said nervously. “You’re too big for the dress. It might pop off while you’re on the stage!”
Besides, if Lu Chuwan took her daughter’s dress away, then what was her daughter going to wear later?
“Our Wanwan has the best figure! How can you say she’s big?” Bai Yao shielded Lu Chuwan with her body. “Let me get this straight, Xu Wei. No matter what happens today, my daughter is going to wear this dress to the stage. If you don’t like it, then let’s take this matter to our mother and see who’s right and who’s wrong!”
Lu Chuwan, who was sitting on a chair, added, “This dress fits my body very well. It’s like it’s been made for me, so don’t worry about it popping off while I’m on the stage, second aunt. If you’re worried about money, just tell me how much you bought it for and I’ll return the money to you later!”
“It’s not about money!” Xu Wei’s face was livid with rage. She had not expected Lu Chuwan to behave like her mother today. She could not go forward and grab the dress from Lu Chuwan either. She was getting more and more anxious as she shouted, “This dress was made by Zhizhi’s brother and me according to Zhizhi’s size! How can you be as unreasonable as your mother, Lu Chuwan?”
This was the first time Xu Wei was so angry at Lu Chuwan in front of so many people.
Lu Chuwan’s face turned pale. She turned her face to the side and said, “I’ve already made myself clear enough. It’s almost my turn, so I don’t have enough time to change into another dress!”
The moment she finished speaking, a teacher emerged from the curtain and announced, “Lu Chuwan, it’s almost your turn. Hurry up and get on the stage.”
“Alright.” Lu Chuwan rose to her feet.
Xu Wei was so exasperated that she nearly fainted. Her eyes were misted over as she looked at the large-sized qipao on the vanity. “It’s all mommy’s fault, Zhizhi. All of this wouldn’t have happened if I’d brought the dress to you myself. How are you going to wear this?”
Hugging his drawing board, Lu Yushen inched closer to Fu Zhi. However, before he could touch her fingers, he hastily retracted his hand.
His ears turned red, and his heart raced like a galloping horse. Pressing his lips thin, he grabbed Xu Wei by the hem of her clothes and went to stand in a corner. He looked unhappy.
“You’ve done really well, mom.” Fu Zhi comforted well simply. She held Xu Wei’s hand and said, “She will regret it.”
Bai Yao paid no mind to Fu Zhi’s words. She flipped the curtain a little and looked at her daughter, who was walking toward the stage.
The spotlight above the stage shone down on her, and her skin looked even fairer.
Below the stage, everyone was focused on her, as they were all stunned by her beauty.
Lu Chuwan could even hear someone calling her name and saying that she was very pretty today.
A satisfied grin curled onto her lips, and she raised the microphone closer to her mouth and expressed her gratitude for their support.
She stopped in front of the judges, but just as she bowed down to pick her topic from the box, something happened.
A loud fabric-ripping sound was suddenly heard.
Her dress was torn from her waist to her arm.
Then, a series of pitter-patters filled the air as rhinestones began to fall from her dress to the floor.