Chapter 662 Slander
The scroll didn’t feature any incredibly exquisite paintings. Instead, only a phrase was written on it in bold letters: Rest in peace.
Wendy stared at the words on the scroll intently. Her mood soured as the kind smile gradually dissipated from her aged countenance. She clenched the armrests with her emaciated and shriveled hands.
“Christina, what do you mean by this!” Barnaby was the first to snap out of his shock. “The Stone family sincerely invited you to attend this birthday celebration. If you didn’t want to come, you could’ve declined. There’s no need for you to act so maliciously as to curse our family. Do you think the members of the Stone family are pushovers?”
Christina was also dumbfounded as the antique artwork she had bought for a hefty sum at an international auction had now become an ominous piece of junk.
Before leaving the house earlier, Christina had thoroughly checked the painting, and she could firmly say with a clear conscience there was absolutely nothing wrong with it.
As for why the painting had been swapped, she reckoned there must be a complicated reason behind it that couldn’t be explained with just a few words.
Nathaniel shifted his piercing gaze onto Lyle. “What exactly is going on?”
That was the first time Lyle had made such a huge mistake. A cold sweat covered his forehead. “Mr. Hadley, Mrs. Hadley, I don’t know what happened. Mrs. Hadley and I carefully examined the painting and ensured it was fine before we departed from the house. I’m certain someone must ve tampered with the gift.”
Barnaby sneered. “You’re in this together, so you would naturally defend your employer. Isn’t this the Gibson family members’ style, saying one thing and doing another?”
Any sensible and clear-headed person could tell Barnaby harbored great prejudice against Christina as his remarks were filled with doubts and dissatisfaction toward her.
Nathaniel frowned in displeasure. “Old Mr. Stone, no one wishes something as inauspicious as this to occur during Old Mdm. Garcia’s birthday banquet. The Hadley family hasn’t fallen so low as to be unable to present a genuine antique artwork. You can be objective here, but you can’t blame us because of your biased opinion and make use of this incident to create unnecessary misunderstandings. Those not in the know might think you and the Hadley family have irreconcilable differences.”
Only then did Barnaby realize that he had displayed his true feelings toward Christina unreservedly in front of everyone. Colors drained from his face as he spoke. “I’m merely stating the facts. Although the relationship between the Stone and Hadley families has remained normal in recent years, we have never stood in one another’s way. According to you, Mr. Hadley, does that mean the Stone family deserves to suffer this misfortune, and if we wish to pursue this matter, we’re in the wrong?”
Nathaniel’s gaze darkened as he calmly refuted, “Not once have I stated that I intend to cover up this
Just as Barnaby was about to argue further, Sheridan piped up, “Grandpa, there might be more to this matter that we’ve yet to discover. I’m familiar with Christina’s character. She’s not an evil or insensible person.”
Nathaniel uttered sarcastically, “It seems there is at least still one smart and reasonable person left in the Stone family.”
His statement had essentially offended the entire Stone family.
Nevertheless, Nathaniel couldn’t care less about the insignificant Stone family.
He would never allow anyone to bully his woman.
At that moment, every member of the Stone family present grimaced. Nathaniel is being too arrogant!
As the head of the family, Sheridan, as composed as he was, couldn’t help but feel slightly irked after listening to Nathaniel’s sarcastic comment.
“That’s too much, Mr. Hadley. Today is my great-grandma’s hundredth birthday celebration. This was supposed to be a joyous event, but it unexpectedly turned south. My family members are displeased, so their language might’ve been slightly harsh. I hope you can be magnanimous and not take it to heart, Mr. Hadley.” Sheridan, exuding the poise of the head of his household, attempted to defuse the situation. “Since Christina and her bodyguard are certain there weren’t any issues with the antique painting before arriving at the venue, the gift must’ve been tampered with here. We installed surveillance cameras in our residence, so why don’t we review the surveillance footage before making further decisions? What do you all think?”
Christina glanced at Nathaniel, and both of them tacitly reached an agreement. She nodded. “Since we’re the guests, we shall gladly follow the host’s arrangements. Let’s do as you suggest, Mr. Stone. Nathaniel and I have no objections.”
Now that Sheridan had personally stepped in to solve the problem, other members of the Stone family naturally had to comply. After all, Sheridan held the position of the head of the family. Even Barnaby had to follow Sheridan’s directives.
“Retrieve all the surveillance footage from the Stone residence immediately,” Sheridan ordered.
“Yes, Mr. Stone.” The butler hastily turned and left.
Wendy cast a pensive look at Christina and Nathaniel before getting to her feet. She said in a weary voice, “I’m a little tired, so I’m returning to my room to rest. I’ll let you younger generations handle these things All I want is a reasonable explanation.”
She departed from the venue with the help of the housekeeper.
Since Wendy had mentioned letting the younger generations resolve that matter, an aged member of the family like Barnaby didn’t feel it appropriate to linger.
“I’ll go and greet the guests.” Barnaby walked away gloomily.
As soon as he turned to leave, two people hastily trod on his heels.
Christina knitted her brows slightly at the sight of Azure’s and Yerek’s retreating figures as they trailed behind Barnaby.
Sheridan politely evacuated his family members and guests in the hall, leaving only four people, including himself, at the scene.
see her get into trouble.
However, some points didn’t add up. Anya and Emilia weren’t on the Stone family’s guest list. Moreover, from their reaction when they saw Christina earlier, the duo apparently didn’t know Christina was attending the birthday banquet.
Even if they knew, Anya and Emilia wouldn’t be so foolish as to try something like that at the Stone family’s territory, which had tight security.
Azure and Yerek were even less likely to be the culprits since they were clearly focused on targeting Barnaby.
Simply put, they wanted to take advantage of Wendy’s birthday banquet to force the Stones to accept Nigel and Yerek back into the funily.
Otherwise, Azure and Yerek wouldn’t have clung to Barnaby persistently throughout the event.
With all the most likely suspects ruled out, Christina wondered who was trying to frame her.
Unable to come up with an answer, she massaged her throbbing temples in frustration.
“Don’t worry. No one can slander you. I’ll never allow such a thing to happen to you,” Nathaniel reassured