Cao Yang had a thought.
“I don’t need you to be rich. I just want your life to be peaceful and happy, to be lived with a man who really understands you, cherishes and loves you. That’s enough,” he said. “At least I know that even without me by your side there will be someone to take care of you, so I can rest easy.
“No matter who is with you in the end, wherever you are, you should know that I will always be here. No matter what happens, you can come back to me.
“As long as big brother is here, I can protect you.”
He heard Xia Rou inhale sharply through the phone.
It was messy. Translated by The Novelst
Ever since that day, Xia Rou’s condition slowly showed signs of improvement.
One day in the evening, Xia Rou called Cao Yang, her voice a little hoarse.
“I just woke up,” she said. “I slept for a while. It’s been a long time since I’ve slept so well…”
“Cao Yang, I miss you.”
The doctor sent over another report.
The “Yang” of reality and the “big brother” of her imagination that had been stripped from “Yang” had begun to fuse once more.
Xia Rou’s condition improved slowly.
Her schedule was slowly turning back to normal and the condition of her body was also much improved.
“I gained one kilo this week,” she said.
“It’s not much even if you gain five kilos,” Cao Yang said, gritting his teeth. “Cao An said you’re skin and bones.”
Cao Yang could sense the bright and cheerful Xia Rou reappearing through the phone.
He could listen to her laughing voice again.
Although they were separated by vast oceans, and numerous hills and streams, her voice was heavenly as usual.
She recounted her day and he urged her to be careful of every detail.
She replied, “Alright, I got it, big brother.”
After so long, he heard the words “big brother” from her again.
Cao Yang’s eyes were wet.
“Rou Rou,” he called out again, “It’s alright if you don’t like me. As long as you live well, that’s enough.”
But Xia Rou said, “No…”
“I’ve made up my mind… Cao Yang…” Her voice was soft as the morning breeze, but she had never felt so brave.
She summoned up all her courage and said, “I like you.”
“Then come back. Hurry and come back!” Cao Yang clenched his teeth.
“Almost there. It’ll be over soon,” she said. “I’ll return soon. Cao Yang, wait for me.”
“Alright, I’ll wait for you.”
There’s still a long time to wait for you to come back.
Cao Yang hated it bitterly.
The day Xia Rou returned was a bright, sunny day.
She didn’t want Cao Yang to pick her up at the airport. “I’m not a kid,” she said.
Once Xiao Yang reported that Xia Rou had returned, Cao Yang strode to the living hall of the main building.
She stood there, coincidentally wearing a black skirt, just like the day she had arrived to the house.
But this time there was not a hint of sorrow on her, and the air around her soothed him. She was back.
She looked at Cao Yang quietly, and slowly, very slowly, revealed a smile.
“Big brother,” she called out. “I’ve returned.”
The corners of Cao Yang’s mouth were pressed tight, and he was fixed to the spot and staring at her.
He took a sudden large step to her and hugged her tightly.
“Little girl!” he scolded.
His large hand pressed the back of her head to push her into his shoulder. He buried his face in her hair and took a deep breath.
His nose was full of her scent.
She had finally returned.
All in one piece – safe, healthy.
“Don’t run away anymore!” he said softly.
“Mn…” She closed her eyes, enjoying the embrace. “I won’t run anymore.”
She was pushed away suddenly.
Xia Rou opened her eyes. Cao Yang had a small velvet box from his pocket and threw it to the side, revealing a shiny ring that he slid on her finger.
“It was my mother’s,” he explained. “It was for her daughter-in-law. After you wear this, you must become mine.”
Xia Rou’s eyes curved into crescents.
“Alright!” she smiled.
She tiptoed to kiss his lips.
But how could that be enough to ease his lovesickness? How could he consider one kiss enough?
Naturally, the answer was that he couldn’t.
Cao Yang hugged her too tightly, like he was trying to carve her into his body. He even wanted to carry her up the stairs.
Xia Rou was shocked, her face red: “Big brother!”
Cao Yang really wanted to.
“Ehem,” a light cough interrupted them. Cao An, one hand on the door, said slowly: “Yo, perhaps I came at the wrong time?
“Father’s waiting for the two of you!” He rolled his eyes.
Cao Yang had no choice. Translated by The Novelst
Xia Rou was happy. She held his hand and began to run to the courtyard.
“Uncle——” She shouted with a bright smile, “Second brother, third brother… I’m back!”
On the grass beside the wooden table, Cao Xiong, white hair streaked on his temples and through his beard, put aside his newspaper. Cao Bin and Cao Xing smiled faintly with amusement, watching the girl run joyfully to them…
At some time in the past, she was garbed in a black funeral dress as she entered this house.
Very soon, she would be wearing a white wedding dress as she arrived at this house once more.
And this time, she would become a part of the family forever.
A big thanks to everyone for supporting, a shout out to the patrons, and my editor-chan Hannah, finally we managed to finish our first book! I hope you enjoyed the translation and the story 😉 We’ll probably look out for another story to translate, in the meantime, feel free to check out the other novel we’re translating.