584 The Secret About the Past 202
"Your Highness, wouldn't that be a little too few?" the store manager asked.
He had never encountered a royal who requested for very few wedding photos to be taken.
"No, I don't like taking photos."
An Xiaoning was puzzled to hear his words, for she felt that he enjoyed photography quite a bit. Could it be that he didn't like having photos of himself taken?
"Alright, we'll do as you say, Your Highness."
"The shoot has to be completed by this morning. I have other important things to attend to in the afternoon."
"Yes, don't worry, Your Highness, everything will go according to your instructions. Your Highness, please change into your suit first. Ms. Lin should be arriving soon. I'll go downstairs to welcome her," the store manager said politely.
"Alright, go ahead."
The store manager left hurriedly.
An Xiaoning stood by the door with another bodyguard.
When he came out of the fitting room in the bridal suit, An Xiaoning gazed at him and remarked, "You look dashing."
His lips curled into a smile, seemingly extremely pleased to hear her compliment.
An Xiaoning's eyelids were heavy, and all she wanted to do was get some sleep.
She proceeded downstairs with Tuoba Gucheng and happened to see Lin Shishi entering with her subordinates.
Noticing that he had already changed into the suit, Lin Shishi said, smiling, "This outfit looks great on you."
"Mhm, tell the store manager to show you the wedding gowns. I'll be waiting for you in the studio."
Lin Shishi headed upstairs with the store manager leading the way.
Meanwhile, Tuoba Gucheng headed to the photoshoot studio.
An Xiaoning had initially wanted to wait on the couch. However, he insisted that she follow him. "Come along with me."
She had no choice but to follow him into the studio.
The photographer was already inside.
Tuoba Gucheng took a look around the studio with his hands in his pockets and asked the photographer, "What poses do people usually strike during the photoshoot?"
The photographer briefly explained it verbally.
Tuoba Gucheng intentionally tried to demonstrate and act out the instructions by standing beside An Xiaoning and placing a hand around her waist. He looked at the photographer and asked, "Like this?"
"Yes," the photographer answered while smiling.
He let go of her and continued to wait nonchalantly, as if nothing had happened at all.
An Xiaoning repeatedly told herself, "Don't mind it, don't take it to heart, don't be bothered by it!"
Lin Shishi finally showed up in the studio forty minutes later, dressed in a white, tube-top wedding gown.
She took such a long time to get ready because of the makeup.
The exquisite makeup enhanced her dainty features perfectly. She was brought to the studio under the escort of the bridal store manager and other staff members.
Tuoba Gucheng reached a hand out while Lin Shishi placed her hand in his, after which they began shooting in earnest.
An Xiaoning, the store manager, and the other staff members stood by the side to watch the shoot proceed.
Given both their captivating good looks, they looked stunning in the photos from every angle.
They were so ravishing that it was almost too dazzling.
The female staff members' eyes lit up in awe as they held their hands tightly together and watched the two of them with overwhelming excitement.
They were mainly gazing at Tuoba Gucheng.
Although the bridal store was located in the capital of the city, it was, nonetheless, a once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity to be able to see Tuoba Gucheng in the flesh.
An Xiaoning continued to accompany them while they proceeded with the photoshoot, which went on for the entire morning.
After changing out of the gown at the end of the shoot, Lin Shishi asked, "Are we taking more photos in the afternoon?"
"No, aren't these enough?"
"Aren't these a bit too few?" Lin Shishi asked, thinking to herself that the photoshoot ought to go on for at least an entire day.
"Not at all, we took quite a lot, actually. You may select a few more out of all the ones we've taken. I have other matters to attend to in the afternoon, so I won't be able to accompany you."
"Alright, go ahead with what you're busy with. Leave the photos to me."
Tuoba Gucheng nodded and left with his bodyguards while Lin Shishi stayed behind to pick out the wedding photos.
On the way back, the chauffeur, Tuoba Gucheng, An Xiaoning, and another bodyguard took the same car.
An Xiaoning was sitting beside Tuoba Gucheng and soon fell asleep due to the overwhelming fatigue.
Tuoba Gucheng knew that she had dozed off and thus did not wake her up.
They arrived in the garage of Tuoba Gucheng's mansion in the Autumn Palace.
"Your Highness, we're here."
The chauffeur and the bodyguard alighted from the car, leaving Tuoba Gucheng and An Xiaoning alone in the car. "Mu Ning, we're here," he said.
An Xiaoning did not move an inch.
He cocked his head slightly toward her, shifting his gaze onto her rosy lips.
He continued to move closer to her lips while staring at her.
When there were barely a few inches between them, he snapped back into reality and abruptly sat up straight, feeling a little out of breath.
He was extremely muddled up, thinking to himself that he must have been out of his mind.
"Mu Ning," he called again, raising his voice a little this time.
An Xiaoning opened her eyes slightly and murmured, "Yes… Your Highness."
"Alright." She opened the door and fumbled out of the car.
Although she was extremely weary, An Xiaoning nonetheless proceeded to the bathroom to remove her mask and wash her face when she arrived upstairs, before lying down in bed to catch up on sleep.
Tuoba Gucheng would usually take a nap after lunch before going out to handle some official matters.
However, he could not seem to fall asleep today.
He realized that he seemed to have taken more notice of Mu Ning and become much nicer to her lately.
It was not a good sign.
He could not fathom just why he had been paying increasingly more attention to her, especially since she was extremely unattractive.
Could it be because they had gotten intimate before?
He was clueless, unsure, and puzzled.
After much thought, he deduced that that must have been the case. Well, after all, that was his first intimate encounter with a woman…
It was only normal to pay more attention to her.
Only someone like him could come up with such an excuse for himself.
"What do you think of him?" Mei Yangyang asked, handing a photograph to Mei Shuangshuang.
After taking a look at the photos, Mei Shuangshuang thought to herself that he was rather good-looking. "Not bad, what does his family do?"
"His family runs a gold jewelry shop. He comes from a wealthy background and is pretty handsome too. He's two years older than you. But…" Mei Yangyang paused in her speech.
"But he's crippled in one leg."
Mei Shuangshuang immediately pulled a long face and hissed, "He's going to look so hideous when he walks. There's no need to meet him then."
Having already expected her to be intolerant toward the man's flaw, Mei Yangyang snapped, "You'd better know your limits. How many men have I already introduced you to? Didn't you say that you'd be willing as long as they own a house and a car? So many of them fit the standards you've listed. Mei Shuangshuang, he may be crippled, but he's not a dimwit. His family is so well-to-do. If he treats you well, that'd be a bonus. What more can you ask for? Take a good look at yourself before you pick on others. If it weren't for the connections I pulled, his parents wouldn't be interested in you even if you threw yourself at them!"
"If he's such a great catch, why don't you take him instead? Why don't we trade partners? Let me have Brother-in-law while you marry that cripple. Will that do? Talk is cheap."
With an austere expression on his face, Mr. Mei hollered, "Bastard child! What are you saying!?! I think your sister has a point. So what if he has a minor disability? Why don't you take a look at your own attributes before you pick on him!?!"
"I don't like him. Find me another one. Why can't you just find me a man who's outstanding in every aspect? All you do is introduce me to men who are ugly or disabled," Mei Shuangshuang scorned in disdain.