Zhao Yuning was stricken with panic. “What- What should we do?”
Da ge’s appearance was pointless. Mingxi jie threw away the photo.
“What did Mingxi want you to tell us?” Zhao Zhanhuai asked.
Zhao Yuning didn’t dare to keep quiet any longer when he saw how angry Zhao Zhanhuai was. He could only repeat what she had said. Once he was done, he felt even more fearful, “Da ge, do you think she said that she wanted to sever all ties with us out of anger or… why do I feel like she’s taking it seriously this time?”
“Why didn’t you tell me about this earlier?!”
Zhao Yuning didn’t dare to even let out a whimper.
Zhao Zhanhuai’s thoughts were in turmoil. He took a glimpse at Zhao Yuning and said, “Forget it. Get the driver to bring you home. I’ll talk it out with Mingxi.”
Zhao Yuning was out of his wits. He could only say, “Okay.”
Fu Yangxi had just picked up his bag and left the class from the back door. The moment he turned, he saw Zhao Mingxi leaving the two men and the atmosphere was quite bad.
“Who are the two idiots standing there?” He subconsciously walked over.
Ke Chengwen quickly pulled him back behind the door. He whispered, “Xi ge, don’t butt into other people’s family affairs.”
Fu Yangxi quickly realized what was going on. Those two must be Zhao Mingxi’s eldest brother and her younger brother who was studying in Year 1 at their school.
According to what Ke Chengwen heard, Zhao Mingxi was not on good terms with her family.
Furthermore, due to some unknown reason, they had a fight and she ended up staying in school.
Fu Yangxi didn’t know what was going on in her family, but when he recalled what the person whom he tossed a pen at earlier today said, he quickly concluded, it can’t be that Little Mask’s family members are biased, right?
Or else why would it be that everyone in the Evergreen Class knew that Zhao Yuan had a tall, rich and handsome elder brother who would always fetch her home but when it came to Zhao Mingxi, no one had ever heard of someone purposely coming here to pick her up?
Three flames were ignited in Fu Yangxi’s heart. “Are her family members blind? Did they all think that just because that school beauty was prettier and smarter than Little Mask that they could favor her more?”
Ke Chengwen thought, maybe there’s other reasons. However, even he himself was not familiar with the affairs of the Zhao family.
Fu Yangxi snarled, “Isn’t Little Mask 100 times better than that Zhao Yuan*?”
ray’s note: he used 圆 (= circle) instead of 媛 (= zhao yuan’s ‘yuan’) here
Ke Chengwen agreed like the bootlicker he was, “I think so too.”
Fu Yangxi took off his bag and contemplated it for a while. Ultimately, he felt that the weight was not suitable, so he took up his bag again and walked toward the back of the classroom to pick up a basketball.
Ke Chengwen instantly stopped him. “This is the transfer student’s family after all. I don’t think it’s right for you to hurt them.”
“You’re right. It’s not right for me to hurt them. How else will I get along with them in the future?” Fu Yangxi mumbled.
Ke Chengwen was just about to let out a sigh of relief.
Suddenly, Fu Yangxi pushed the basketball into his arms. “You’re more suited for the job.”
Ke Chengwen: “...”
Zhao Zhanhuai and Zhao Yuning were walking down the stairs to the fourth floor.
Out of nowhere, a basketball came flying down on them from the sky and hit directly on Zhao Yuning’s head.
It landed with a ‘thud’.
Zhao Yuning’s head was almost sent flying.
A bump began to form on his head as stars appeared in his vision. He turned around in anger. “Who was that?”
After a short moment, a tall young man with short black hair stepped out from the International Class. He strutted before knocking Zhao Zhanhuai on the shoulder.
Then, he walked over to pick up the basketball and speedily ran downstairs.
Zhao Yuning felt disturbed. He yelled at Ke Chengwen’s retreating figure, “Do you guys in Year 3 have any manners?”
Zhao Zhanhuai furrowed his brows as he placed a hand on Zhao Yuning’s shoulder. “Forget it. I don’t think that student did it on purpose. Don’t cause trouble.”
As Zhao Yuning noticed that everything was not going as expected, he felt even more depressed.
The two of them went downstairs. Zhao Yuning went to the school gates, got in the driver’s car and went home.
As for Zhao Zhanhuai, he received the directions from a student who was passing by and walked with vigorous strides toward A High’s dorms.
When he arrived at the dorms, he was stopped by the lady who was on duty that day. “Male guardians are prohibited from going up. Only the student can come downstairs.”
Zhao Zhanhuai subconsciously took out his phone before belatedly realizing that he had been blocked by Zhao Mingxi.
He felt helpless as he spoke, “She didn’t bring her phone.”
“A child without a phone? In this decade?” The lady’s expression turned skeptical.
Zhao Zhanhuai went visibly pale. He could only reply, “I’m looking for my younger sister. Her name is Zhao Mingxi, she’s in the Year 3 International Class.”
The lady furrowed her brows. Nonetheless, seeing as how he was a handsome young man with a graceful appearance, she explained patiently, “I can’t just let you up with a name and class, or else wouldn’t any Tom, Dick and Harry be able to go up by simply stating a name? You must have registered and signed when you sent your child here, right? Do you remember which page you signed on? If you remember, I can cross-check it and allow you to go up.”
Zhao Zhanhuai said, “...When she came to stay in school, she brought her own luggage here. No one sent her.”
“Leave!” The lady’s gaze turned sharp. “I can’t believe that a well-dressed and handsome man like you would want to try and get into the girls’ dorms! The people who live here are all petite female high schoolers whose family members would always worry and fret as they send them over. Who would believe you if you said you let her come alone?”
Seeing as how he refused to leave, the lady took up her broomstick.
The veins on Zhao Zhanhuai’s forehead seemed ready to pop.
But at the same time, he felt unsettled. “Other people’s children...were all accompanied here?”
“Of course. There aren’t a lot of them who stay in school, so it would usually be one person per room. There aren’t any lifts in the dorms as well. The guys would be okay with it, but how could a girl carry her luggage all the way up to the sixth floor alone? She would have to clean up her own dorm room as well. I don’t think she could’ve done it on her own in one night!” the lady said. “Your family is absolutely ridiculous. How could you have let a child come here alone?!”
Zhao Zhanhuai felt a lump in his throat.
He never actually thought about this problem.
When Mingxi left home out of anger, they let her leave just like that. But what if it was Zhao Yuan? They probably would’ve gone after her immediately. Even if Zhao Yuan was adamant on staying in school, he would’ve definitely sent her here.
Yet why was it that when it came to Mingxi, he—
He never thought of how Mingxi must’ve cleaned up her room for the whole night and cleared the drains before falling asleep out of exhaustion.
It was the same as how he never thought of a few small matters that had happened before. For example, whenever the whole family went out to eat, they would always subconsciously order the dishes that Zhao Yuan liked to eat. What could’ve gone through Mingxi’s mind then?
He always felt that these were small matters.
However at this moment, two images appeared in this mind. The yearning and anticipation in Mingxi’s eyes when she first entered their home and the emotionless way she threw away that photo just now at the academic building.
It was only then that he had an abrupt awakening.
These disappointing small matters, how many times has it been repeated for the past few years? A few hundred times? No, a few thousand times? To the point that the Mingxi who had come to their home happily two years ago had turned into one who was extremely disappointed in their family?
“Are you going to leave?”
Zhao Zhanhuai took a glimpse at the lady. His emotions were in a wreck as he pleaded, “Can I borrow the landline phone? I want to give her a call.”
Though the suspicion in the lady’s eyes did not go away, she still gave him the phone.
Zhao Zhanhuai turned on his phone, dialed Zhao Mingxi’s number according to what was shown on the screen and called.
However, three minutes later.
She still didn’t pick up.
Zhao Mingxi was swift and firm with her severance. She had changed her number.
The lady said, “Stop acting.”
Zhao Zhanhuai hung up the phone with mixed emotions.
As Zhao Zhanhuai had spent quite some time at Zhao Mingxi’s dorm, he missed the timing to fetch Zhao Yuan.
Zhao Yuan called him, but no one picked up. She didn’t know what her eldest brother was busy with. She had waited for a long time at the school gates to the point that the girls from her class who wanted to see her handsome eldest brother had all left.
Zhao Yuan was unhappy, but she didn’t show it. She called for their family driver to come pick her up.
When Zhao Yuan got home, she saw Zhao Yuning going upstairs. As she recalled how Zhao Yuning had brought her a gift, she took the initiative to ease the tension between the both of them. “Yuning, when did you get home?”
Zhao Yuning who was at the stairs turned his head with a heavy heart. He didn’t catch what Zhao Yuan asked, so he just replied with a “Oh” and went into his room.
He didn’t have any appetite for dinner because Zhao Mingxi wasn’t home.
Zhao Yuan: “...”
Zhao Yuan furrowed her brows. She didn’t like the feeling of being ignored.
She changed her shoes and entered the house. At the same time, the nanny came in from the front yard, struggling as she carried a parcel which was as tall as she was. She said, “Miss, this was sent from the mall. Did you purchase this?”
Zhao Yuan turned and gave it a glance. When she saw the parcel, her expression turned bright and happy again.
She put on her slippers and walked over with a smile. “This must be my birthday present from Yuning.”
“He sent you a gift this early?” the nanny said in shock. She carefully placed the parcel on the ground in fear that it was something fragile.
Zhao Yuan smiled. Zhao Yuning must have purposely feigned a look of dejection and ignorance toward her just now so he could give her a surprise. “Help me open it.”
“Alright.” The nanny went off to take a pair of scissors.
The parcel was very quickly opened.
When Zhao Yuan saw a corner which revealed a ball of fluff, she couldn’t help but to touch it. It was very soft. She liked it very much.
However, before the nanny could finish opening it, she paused abruptly and said, “Miss, I don’t think you are the recipient.”
Zhao Yuan furrowed her brows and quickly snatched the courier receipt to take a look.
When her vision focused on the three words ‘Zhao Mingxi’, she went stiff.
Meanwhile, Zhao Yuning who was on the second floor heard the commotion downstairs. He hurriedly ran down with his slippers. When he saw that the present which was nicely wrapped at the mall had been opened by the nanny, he was enraged, “Who allowed you to open my things?”
The nanny stepped aside fearfully.
It was only then that Zhao Yuan realized that she had made a huge mistake. She stood up with a sour expression. She didn’t know if she wanted to appear awkward or angry.
She held herself together and asked, “Since it’s for Mingxi, why did you send it home? Shouldn’t you have sent it to school?”
As Zhao Yuning had always been bad at observing, he didn’t notice the expression on Zhao Yuan’s face. He said, “Isn’t Mingxi jie still mad at us? So I got this as a gift for her.”
Before Zhao Yuan could come back to her senses, Zhao Yuning had dragged the gift upstairs in a huff.
Both Zhao Yuan and the nanny were in disbelief. Zhao Yuning got a gift for Mingxi?
The nanny hesitated, but did not say anything. She took a glimpse at Zhao Yuan. She did not dare to say that it was Zhao Yuan who got her to open it, so she could only take the blame for it. Rubbing her hands together, she lowered her head before quickly heading toward the kitchen.
The sound of someone parking their car could be heard from outside the door.
Zhao Yuan calmed herself down. She looked toward the gates of their villa and saw Zhao Zhanhuai coming out from his car.
Zhao Yuan sat heavily on the sofa instead of greeting him at the door.
Her eyes were becoming bloodshot.
Zhao Zhanhuai entered the house and changed his shoes at the entry foyer. When he looked up, he saw Zhao Yuan’s back facing him as she sat at the sofa, hugging a pillow quietly.
If it was any day before today, he would have definitely noticed that Zhao Yuan was angry or feeling wronged, so he would quickly go up to her to ask if she was okay.
But today Zhao Zhanhuai’s mind was in a wreck. He didn’t know how to deal with Mingxi.
Also, he had spent the time coming home thinking about many details in the past— They were all small matters, like when Yuanyuan and Mingxi both tripped, he would always go up to help Zhao Yuan first.
Everyone saw how protective he was of Zhao Yuan. He didn’t think much of it himself either.
…But for Mingxi, this could’ve been the last straw for her before she completely lost her faith in the Zhao family.
Everything would’ve been fine if he didn’t notice how biased he was, but since he noticed, he felt that everything was wrong.
It was as if Mingxi who had severed all ties with their family was sitting across him on the sofa, watching him.
Furthermore, Zhao Zhanhuai guessed that nothing much happened to Yuanyuan, just that she might’ve been upset over the fact that he forgot to pick her up.
However, Zhao Zhanhuai who was currently in a very bad mood did not have the energy to coax her.
He hesitated, pulled his tie loose and directly went upstairs.
Zhao Yuan, who was seated at the sofa, waited for a long time until she heard the sound of footsteps behind her.
The corner of her eyes became even redder.
But what she didn’t expect was for those set of footsteps to turn and head upstairs.
She turned around in shock, but could only see Zhao Zhanhuai’s figure which was already halfway up the stairs.
Zhao Yuan immediately stood up. She couldn’t understand what she was seeing.