“After all, my surname is not Cao,” Xia Rou said slowly, looking at Cao Yang.
“Big brother… When my mother passed away, I was very scared because she was the last of my family.” She tried to recall the feelings she had in the past when Cheng Wan had passed away. “Inside the house was me alone and I sat on the sofa, not knowing what to do. Just sitting… Even as the morning passed, I didn’t eat.”
“After that, Uncle Zhou came to knock on my door to invite me to this house, saying that Uncle wanted me to live here. At that time… I was like the drowning mouse that encountered a boat…”
Though these feelings had been from long ago, they were very memorable. Now that Xia Rou was recalling them, tears immediately began to spill from her eyes.
“I am really… really grateful to uncle, and all of you, big brother.”
She whimpered, continuing, “These past three years, the only reason I could be carefree and attend school was because of all of you.”
“But I’m an adult now.” Translated by The Novelst
“I shouldn’t continue to stay here in this house without leaving.”
She wiped her face but tears continued to streak down her face. She sniffled and let out a long breath.
I feel that a person shouldn’t be greedy. When my mother passed away, I was only fifteen. I couldn’t live independently. But now I’m eighteen and I can live on campus. By the time I graduate, I’ll be twenty-one. Now I can live on my own.”
“Big brother…” She looked at Cao Yang, and said softly, “Thank you for taking care of me the entire time. In the future… I’m fine on my own now, and you… You don’t have to worry about me, ah.”
When she said “ah” at the end, the tone was raised, as though she were trying to soothe him.
She seemed to be made out of water. Even her voice was gentle like water.
Cao Yang was touched.
His anger had already vanished into thin air. All that remained was pity.
Xia Rou… This child.. How could she be so distressed!
“Silly girl,” he said helplessly. “Silly girl!”
“You’re really silly!” He patted her head and sighed.
“Though I can’t say I took you as family from the start, since that would be too much to believe, right now, you are already a part of this family.”
“You think just because your name isn’t Cao you should stop living here? Silly child, let me tell you, feelings are developed over time and are never there from the start.”
“In this world, aren’t there many cases that blood relatives turn into enemies? Even though they all bear the same surname.”
“But…” Xia Rou wanted to interrupt.
Cao Yang didn’t give her that chance. He looked at her directly and said, “You want to leave just like this. Have you thought about my father?”
“Ah…?” Xia Rou opened her mouth, puzzled.
“Actually, in the beginning, I thought to send you to a boarding school. That way it would be easiest. But it was my father.”
“The person who wanted to bring you home was my father.”
“The person who decided to give you an identity was also my father.”
“Now, when you walk outside, how do people see you? To the people of the capital, you are…. ‘Xia Rou of the Cao Family.’ That’s your identity.”
“You should know that my father’s identity is too special and there are many people who want to ride his coattails. Also, you know how it is… In this household, what he says is the final decision.”
“If he was not willing to give you an identity, even I cannot change that. But he gave you one.”
“That means he’s taken you as his own child.”
“When Aunt Cheng passed, it impacted him greatly. My mother has been gone for several years and in that time I never saw anyone who could affect him nearly so much. He entrusted his feelings towards Aunt Cheng to you.”
“And you want to leave just like that, have you… never considered this about him before?”
“Xiao Rou, in deciding to leave on your own, have you never thought that my father would be sad too? He’s also human and has feelings as well.”
Tears immediately filled her vision. Xia Rou lowered her head and covered her face, crying silently.
That was right. She knew that Cao Yang was speaking the truth.
Cao Xiong was the only master of this house. In the past, he hadn’t wanted to admit her. Even Cao Yang hadn’t been able to change this.
But in this life, he wasn’t simply fulfilling his promise to Cheng Wan to look after Xia Rou. He also treated her very well.
Since she was young, she had always wanted to be Cao Xiong’s child. She wanted to have a father who would protect his own child and put her as his number one priority, no matter what, when, or where.
In this life, though Cao Xiong had never formally adopted her, he had filled that role for her.
She knew more than anyone that though this man looked strong and fierce, he also had his weaknesses.
She had personally witnessed how quickly he had aged in the future ten years after he had lost Cheng Wan. He had wilted from an energetic middle-aged man to a white-haired old man.
She had also never heard of any other woman. Translated by The Novelst
In this house, she could feel the doting and caring that Cao Xiong had for her. These feelings were just as Cao Yang had said. It wasn’t born out of nothing, but rather ripened over time.
Soft yet firm – this feeling had connected her to Cao Xiong and the family.
And so Xia Rou had become Xia Rou of the Cao Family.
She had, unknowingly, planted her own roots in this house.
“Don’t cry…” Cao Yang coaxed, patting her head.You can support me & access to advance chapters here ^^ Become a Patron!
Proofread by: Hannah