Xia Rou woke in the early morning and opened her eyes. Her first thought was of how stupid she had been.
Not everyone could be as smart, strong and decisive as the brothers of the Cao Family. In this world, there was an existence as foolish as herself, what could she do?
No matter how hard she tried, no matter how fast she tried to keep pace, she always fell behind. Soon, she found herself becoming more and more inferior to even their shadows.
The more inferior she felt, the more she cared about her pride, turning into a vicious cycle.
The arrangements made by Cao Xiong, the advice he had given her – now that she was trying to recall, weren’t they all for her own good? In this world, excluding the Cao Family, even her blood-related father wouldn’t be as good to her.
Other people saw through her and tried to take advantage of her relationship to the Cao Family to try and gain benefits for themselves.
The people who had actually cared for her and protected her were the brothers of the Cao Family!
I’m so sorry!
Her big brother saw her as his real sister while raising her, and imagining the news of her death reaching him, how angry would he have been? And how sad he would have been.
He definitely would have sought revenge for her, right? Translated by The Novelst
Although Xia Rou wasn’t able to see it with her own eyes, she knew that Cao Yang definitely would have helped her seek vengeance.
Xia Rou covered her face, but the tears still flowed out from beneath her fingers, gleaming in the dawn light, soaking her pillow through.
I truly feel regret… for not listening to your words…
In this life, on the second day of her move, Xia Rou did not act as she had in the past, holding grudges and feeling looked down upon; falsely claiming that she was sick, refusing to go into the main building for breakfast.
She got up early, using some cold water to reduce the appearance of her red, swollen eyes. Looking at her appearance made her slightly depressed.
Opening up her closet, she put all her black dresses to the side, choosing a plain-colored one piece. When she heard the knock on her door, she fixed her bangs at the mirror and then went to open the door.
Just like in her past, it was Lady Fang who knocked on the door, but her attitude was much better compared to back then. Lady Fang stared at Xia Rou’s dress, satisfied that the child had listened to her advice. The pity she felt toward her slowly turned into fondness.
In the eyes of an elder, an obedient child was usually lovely.
“Breakfast is held in the main building, let’s go and not let them wait for you too long,” she said. “Do you know where the dining room is, or do you need me to accompany you?”
“It’s fine, I was there yesterday,” said Xia Rou in a well-behaved manner. “You can continue your work, I can find it myself.”
“Xia Rou, come and sit over here.” Cao Yang greeted immediately when he saw her. The men at the table all turned their gazes to her.
By the time she arrived to the dining room, the three men she wasn’t able to meet last night had already appeared.
Xia Rou was stunned when she took her first look at Cao Xiong. She couldn’t believe how young he appeared for his age.
In her memories, Cao Xiong was already a man with a head full of white hair in his declining years. But the Cao Xiong in front of her was maintained very well despite being over the age of 50. Only a few white hairs could be seen on his head, giving his overall appearance the look of an energetic middle-aged man.
Why, then, in her memory had he aged so quickly after only 10 years?
It was the first time Cao Xiong laid eyes on Xia Rou since Cheng Wan was buried. Although only a few days had passed, his keen observation was able to tell that the young lady in front of him was somehow different to the little girl who had passed out at the funeral.
Even the way she looked at him, her gaze wasn’t as usual, trying to avoid his line of sight lowering her head, attempting to avoid talking with him.
It had been a few years since she had looked him straight in the eye, so long that he had already forgotten that her eyes resembled those of Cheng Wan greatly.
He seemed to lose himself for a moment, picturing that gentle and beautiful woman again in his mind’s eye. But as he inspected her closer, he noticed that Xia Rou’s eyes were much deeper than those of Cheng Wan, but her gentleness and charm fell short of Cheng Wan’s.
He felt a sense of disappointment in his heart.
“Xia Rou.” He forcefully interrupted his emotions and greeted her, “Come and eat.”
“Mm.” Xia Rou lowered her head and replied gently. “Uncle.”
All of the men saw a teardrop twinkle through the air and drop onto the girl’s shoe. The dining room all stood still for a moment.
The one to break the silence first was Cao Xiong’s second son, Cao Bin.
“You’re a grown lady now.” He said, “Do you still remember me?”
How could she forget?
Xia Rou sat right beside Cao Yang, and looked at Cao Bin.
“Cao Bin brother.” She addressed him softly.
Then she turned her head to the opposite side towards Cao Xing.
Third brother. Translated by The Novelst
“Cao Xing brother.” She greeted him as well.
Including Cao Xiong and the fourth brother who was still abroad, the people at this table were those who really cared about her and treated her well.
They gave her a peaceful life and tolerated all of her childish, stubborn behavior. Regardless of their opposition, she had insisted on her engagement. No matter how helpless they had felt on her behalf, they still came out and acted on behalf of her maiden name.
But she… she let them down.
Xia Rou pinched her palms to bring herself out of it, she didn’t want to affect the atmosphere and bring it down any longer.
All the men saw her struggling to control her own emotions and sighed secretly in relief. They had experience handling adult women, but they were completely lost on how to treat a young girl life Xia Rou.
Even Cao Xiong didn’t really know what to do. His sons were trained in the ways of a soldier, but those sorts of methods didn’t seem suitable to be used on a little girl who had such thin shoulders, slim arms and skinny face.
They looked at each other, all thinking the same thing.
Their house suddenly had an extra child, how in the world… would they raise this child?
Proofread by: Hannah