The story began in the Northwest, where a huge castle-like mansion stood on a vast stretch of grassland. It looked so much like a kind of Shangri-La that anybody who came here couldn’t help but sigh in wonder at its magnificence. At this moment, a young lady’s clear and melodious voice was heard from the mansion.
“What? No way! No way am I going to Athesea to get engaged!” “It’s not up to you, Elise. Your engagement had been arranged by the Griffiths and me quite a few years ago. The five sons of the Griffith Family are all very fine gentlemen, and all you need to do is pick one of them to get engaged to. Don’t worry; you’ll certainly find one of them to your liking.” Elise Sinclair leaned back on the sofa, her wavy hair hanging loosely behind her neck. Her features were delicate and enchanting, and every pore in her body exuded an air that set her apart from everyone else.
Having been raised by her grandfather since childhood, Elise knew the matter had been set in stone. After pondering for a moment, she replied with a meaningful smile, “Fine, but I have a few requests to make, Grandpa. The Griffith siblings mustn’t know who I am. Since you say they’re all very fine gentlemen, I should be free to leave if I don’t fall in love with any of them within a year. By then, I should get to decide on my own marriage.” Robin Sinclair, Elise’s grandfather, responded with a smile, “No problem.” …
A few days later, four men with delicate features could be faintly seen standing at the entrance to the railway station of Athesea. They were of different sorts; one was aloof, whereas another seemed bright and cheery with a sunny personality… The eyes of the passersby were glued to them. If it weren’t for the bodyguards keeping the crowd back, many would have come forward and asked for their contact information a long time ago. Danny Griffith, the fifth and youngest son of the Griffith Family, complained, “It’s so hot today, yet Grandpa insisted that the four of us come and pick up this little girl.
Does he really think we have nothing to do at all?!” Wearing a face mask and a cap, Jack Griffith, the fourth son of the Griffith Family and a big celebrity who had recently come to prominence as the Prince Charming of every female in the country, chimed in, “That’s right. To think she would come by train—that girl must be a country bumpkin!” “I thought Grandpa was joking when he told me yesterday that one of us five siblings would be chosen to be the fiancé of someone from the countryside!”
Brendan Griffith, the third son of the Griffith Family, joined the conversation. “I’m so envious of Alexander; he copped out thanks to a company meeting he had to attend.” Matthew Griffith, the second of the Griffith siblings, didn’t say a word, but one could tell from his expression that he wasn’t pleased with this either. Just then, a young lady in red with flowers embroidered on her clothes emerged from the railway station’s exit. One might as well say she was dowdily dressed. Moreover, her long bob haircut made her look dreadfully ugly. Danny patted Jack on the shoulder. “Would you look at that! I wasn’t aware that people still dress that way in this day and age!
Tsk, tsk, I’ve only seen it in the movies. Haha…” Then, to the four men’s great surprise, the young lady came out and stopped in front of them. “Hello. You guys must be the Griffith siblings, aren’t you? I’m Elise Sinclair.” All the four men looked somewhat appalled, especially Jack, who asked in disbelief, “You’re Elise Sinclair?” Is she the beautiful little fairy Grandpa talked about? he thought to himself. Not only was Elise dowdily dressed before them, but she was dark-skinned with several moles on her face.
Furthermore, the bright pink Barbie lipstick she wore was downright suffocating. Elise nodded and even replied with a look of infatuation, “So Grandpa didn’t lie to me after all. You guys really are handsome.” All of you look rather plain. No matter how handsome you guys are, none of you are good enough to be a match for me, she thought. Danny nearly broke out into curses. Even if she comes from the countryside, she shouldn’t be this ugly! he thought. “How about you go back instead, Miss Sinclair?” “Huh?” Elise blinked her eyes in confusion. At last, it was Matthew—the vice president of the Griffith Group—who said, “Let’s get in the car and go back first.”
The five of them thus left the railway station with Elise and Matthew seated in the middle row in the car. Elise glanced out of the window before saying with a sigh of admiration, “Wow! So that’s how tall the buildings in big cities are!” The lips of the four other people in the car twitched at her words. What is she, a yokel new in town? Just then, Elise inadvertently caught a glimpse of the watch on Matthew’s wrist from the corner of her eye.
She exclaimed, “Wow! This watch looks so pretty! It must cost quite a few hundred, doesn’t it?” Quite a few hundred? That watch of Matthew’s cost 30 million! All the four men were so speechless that they could only hope Elise wouldn’t take a fancy to any of them and ask them to be her fiancé. Their car drove all the way to the Griffith Residence. At the sight of the Griffith Family’s mansion, Elise gave another look of surprise.
“Wow! Your place sure is huge, isn’t it?” At the same time, though, she thought to herself, This mansion is not even one-tenth the size of my family’s estate. Just then, she heard Danny’s voice, which sounded like he had reached the limit of his patience, beside her. “That’s enough, you bumpkin. Don’t act like you’re going out in the world for the first time. I can’t stand it anymore.” None of the three men beside them spoke. After all, they couldn’t stand Elise’s behavior as well.