That day, Cao Yang did not enter Xia Rou’s room. He stood in the hallway in front of the window and smoked for quite a while.
Separated by the unlatched door, he listened to the whispers between Xia Rou and the boy over the phone. He listened to him comfort her and slowly calm her down.
He took care of her, gave her protection and comforted her. Cao Yang had always believed these things should be done by her older brother. But now he felt that something seemed to have slipped through his fingers.
He lived for over thirty years, but it was rare for him to feel so helpless.
“Big brother?” Translated by The Novelst
Cao Yang heard the voice and turned back. Xia Rou was at her door, ready to leave. Her expression was calmer, but her eyes were still red.
“Are you feeling better now?” He moved his cigarette to his other hand to pat her head.
“Mn,” nodded Xia Rou.
Cao Yang looked at her red eyes and kissed her on her forehead softly. “Don’t overthink. You are one of our children.”
Xia Rou felt like Cao Yang was a little too close to her and that the kiss on her forehead was too intimate.
But she liked to be so close. She thought that inside Cao Yang’s heart he must take her as a child that would never grow up. That’s why he would spoil her, protect her, and have no barriers with her.
She liked to be treated like a child by him, so she could rely on him with comfort.
Although she was aware that this… didn’t seem right…
She was a little embarrassed as she lowered her head and let out a soft, “Mn.”
Cao Yang rubbed her head and his hand followed the length of her silky hair to her neck before he let go.
This habit of his never really had changed, even from the past, Xia Rou thought silently.
Cao Yang asked, “Where are you going?”
Xia Rou responded shyly, “I’m hungry now, so I asked Uncle Zheng to make some noodles for me…”
When Cao Yang had brought her dinner, she didn’t have an appetite. But now that she had calmed, her stomach had started growling, but the rice had already grown cold.
Cao Yang accompanied her to the dining room.
He smoked as he watched her eat her noodles. Seeing her eat so enthusiastically, he realized she was probably very hungry.
“Don’t smoke so much,” Xia Rou said, lifting her head to look at him.
Cao Yang laughed. “You’re not used to it yet?”
“Still, if you smoke too much, what if your lungs go bad?” Xia Rou said.
Cao Yang looked at her, his gaze seeming strange.
That gaze of his, Xia Rou remembered absentmindedly, seemed familiar, like she had seen it in the past too…
Big brother… Though it was rare, sometimes he would have that look in his eyes when he looked at her.
And even now, she didn’t understand what it meant.
When Cao Yang woke up in the morning, he could blearily recall the contents of his dream.
A slim waist, thin shoulders, and the silky sensation of her palm. The clinging and the pleasure seemed almost real.
What a ridiculous dream.
Though his senses were clear, a person’s willpower would always be weak in these early morning hours.
Cao Yang suddenly wanted to hear Xia Rou’s voice so he dialed her phone number. The phone rang a few times before it was picked up.
“Big brother?” Her voice was a little hoarse and sleepy.
Just like in his dream.
“Why aren’t you up yet?” he asked, lazily.
“I don’t have class on Thursdays. Did you forget?” Xia Rou yawned loudly, closing her eyes and turning over in bed.
She mumbled, half-awake: “What’s wrong that you’re calling me so early in the morning?”
Cao Yang closed his eyes, imagining her languid, lazy look on her bed. His body was ready with swords drawn and bows stretched.
“Nothing,” he replied. “Tomorrow is Friday. I’ll come pick you up in the evening.”
Xia Rou then let out an “Ah!” like she had just remembered something, and said: “I forgot to tell you I won’t be coming home to eat dinner tomorrow…”
“Wei Qi is coming back tonight and wants to have dinner tomorrow.” She seemed a little more alert now. “I’ll return after dinner.”
The ridiculous scenes and restless thoughts in his mind immediately disappeared as Cao Yang sobered up a little, coming back to reality.
“Oh…” he said, opening his eyes. “Alright, I understand.”
He hung up, laying in bed to stare at the ceiling for a while. Then he lifted his blanket, sat up straight, and went to the toilet.
He threw his dirty underwear into the laundry basket and took a cold shower.
That day he had kissed her forehead. But even after that intimate act, she had still used that kind of innocent gaze to look at him, undistracted. Translated by The Novelst
Her eyes were filled with her love for him and… the respect a little sister had towards her big brother. She trusted him completely and relied on him; never did she suspect that one day he would have different thoughts about her.
Having to face such a pure, innocent girl, what should he do? What could he do?
If she knew about it, he was afraid that… she wouldn’t be able to accept it…
Cao Yang lifted his face to let the cold water pour over his face. After a long while, he wiped the water away, his mind calming.
It was better for him to simply continue being her big brother…
Proofread by: Hannah
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