After Madam Zhao and Zhao Yuning came back from the hotel that day, they also caught a cold because they were exposed to the rain.
As a young boy, Zhao Yuning had a pretty good physique. He was alright after drinking a bowl of ginger soup cooked by the nanny. However, Madam Zhao was seriously ill.
It may seem like the illness was caused by external factors, but it was actually an illness stemming from the mind.
The Zhao family knew why, but they couldn’t do anything. Zhao Mingxi was almost 18 years old so they couldn't forcefully bring her back.
Besides, even if they did bring her back, there was no way they could go back to how they were before. Zhao Mingxi would only hate them even more.
The Zhao family finally realized this in all sobriety.
Nonetheless, no matter what, the Zhao family did not give up. A biological relationship is the most unbreakable thing in the world. Zhao Mingxi can be angry and resent them for a year or two, but it is impossible for her to not want them for a lifetime.
In addition, now that they know to repent and compensate, won’t their relationship slowly ease up over time?
The question now was how to alleviate it.
Just as Madam Zhao and Zhao Yuning had seen outside the hotel, now whenever Zhao Mingxi saw any one of them from the Zhao family, she wouldn’t even spare a glance at them, let alone greet them.
Going head-on to look for her would have no effect at all. She would definitely turn around and leave just like before.
They may not even be able to say a word before their efforts would be regarded as futile and annoying.
There must be some other way to soften her resolve slowly.
The Zhao family members were each thinking of a way.
Mr. Zhao still hadn’t fully accepted the gravity of the situation. Although he heard Zhao Zhanhuai's account of what happened during this period, he still felt that Mingxi might have only been trying to throw a tantrum and that this matter could be changed.
Mingxi was disappointed because the family was always standing on Zhao Yuan’s side. It may have started out as small matters, but these disappointments accumulated in layers which led to her final decision to leave the house.
So where was the source?
It was their partiality.
Mr. Zhao had a private conversation with everyone in the family, emphasizing that in the future, Zhao Yuan and Zhao Mingxi must be treated equally. Regardless of whether Mingxi was present or not, they must be fair and just.
Occurrences like Madam Zhao giving Mingxi's skirt to Zhao Yuan at the last birthday party will never happen again.
In particular, he reprimanded Zhao Mo. "Watch your mouth. I don’t mind you using foul language on a daily basis, but you must be more aware of what you say during critical moments."
He also said to Madam Zhao, "You have the greatest impact on Mingxi. You must act fairly in the future. Also, Mingxi is our biological daughter. It’s okay to take her side a little more, especially at times like this."
Zhao Zhanhuai also had a conversation with Zhao Mo and Madam Zhao respectively.
He mainly lectured Zhao Mo, "To be honest, if you waited for me that day instead of impulsively finding Mingxi, maybe you wouldn't have entered the police station and things would not have developed this way. You are the main reason why this happened."
Zhao Mo was so angered that he was amused. "You’re all ganging up on me just because of a little girl? You’re all trying to teach me a lesson, right? How would I know that on that day—”
Before he could finish speaking, Mr. Zhao, who just came in, gave him a heavy smack on the head. "I have already told you! Change the way you speak! Can't you say the word 'little sister'? Did you have to call her a ‘little girl’? This situation happened because of you! If you still want to stay at home, go to the study and write down the word 'little sister' 100 times for me right now!"
Mr. Zhao's face was ashen.
He always had the image of a strict father and the whole family feared him.
Zhao Mo could feel the anger crawling into his heart, but he chose to take the brunt of it all. He turned around and went to the study to write down some Mandarin words.
The conversation between Zhao Zhanhuai and Madam Zhao was mainly to analyze the reasons why things have become like this.
The two recalled some past events. The more they recalled, the more they remembered more details about how they had neglected Zhao Mingxi because of Zhao Yuan. Madam Zhao’s face was pale and she started crying again.
Zhao Zhanhuai had a headache and reminded Madam Zhao, "You should mainly start from these details in the future and pay attention to Mingxi's feelings." After that, he hurriedly left.
In addition, Mr. Zhao also held a meeting for the family's drivers and other employees, emphasizing that Zhao Mingxi is their biological daughter and that she must not be neglected in the future.
If things like what happened with Nanny Zhang happens again, they will be immediately fired.
Zhao Yuan was naturally excluded from the private conversations of the Zhao family.
It wasn't that they were deliberately hiding it from her, but it was their own family matter. She didn't need to be mixed up in this. If she were to appear in front of Mingxi, it would only trigger Mingxi even more. So it was better for her not to show up.
What's more, the Zhao family also considered her feelings.
But Zhao Yuan only felt that her family was acting weird recently. They often went to the study two by two, as if they were deliberately avoiding her in order to do some sort of illegal transaction.
Aside from them, their servants were acting oddly too.
The gardener began to buy the seeds of flowers that Zhao Mingxi liked and the chef began to study the dishes Zhao Mingxi liked to eat. When the driver brought her something, he would also find other students to inquire about Zhao Mingxi from time to time.
She also saw Zhao Yuning, who would get too hungry to sleep in the middle of the night, get up and go to the kitchen to study how Zhao Mingxi used to cook. He wanted to try making a lunch box so that he could take it to school to Zhao Mingxi—
Of course Zhao Yuan knew that this was their form of compensation for the loss of their family member.
Because he had eaten too many lunch boxes made by Zhao Mingxi, yet he never knew how to be grateful. Now that he has lost it, he feels empty and wants to make up for it.
But when she saw all this, it only made her extremely anxious and irritable.
Although Zhao Mingxi had left this home, she was still everywhere in this house.
Even her presence was stronger than when she first came two years ago.
Zhao Yuan was both scared and jealous.
A human’s energy and love are limited. Once more energy is put on Zhao Mingxi, the Zhao family will inevitably ignore her.
Not to mention that although Zhao Zhanhuai was still gentle to her all this while, he was actually avoiding her.
Aside from that, there was the problem of her stiff relationship with Zhao Yuning.
Even Mr. Zhao no longer personally taught her golf on the weekends. Instead, he left her to a coach. Zhao Mo didn't spend much time at home, but he kept looking at her with scrutiny in his eyes. He was no longer as close to her as before Zhao Mingxi came.
Zhao Yuan felt anxious and knew that she could not let this situation go on any further.
She called Aunt Zhang. Nanny Zhang was still expecting Zhao Yuan to get her back.
But in this situation where Madam Zhao had already rejected her once, Zhao Yuan had no idea how to ask the Zhao family to ask for Nanny Zhang to be re-hired again.
Zhang Yufen heard Zhao Yuan crying with great grievance. She got anxious and quickly comforted her. "There’s no rush, Miss. There is no need to hurry about my matter. You must take care of yourself first. You must stay calm, study and compete in the Tournament. Don’t slack, especially with regards to the one you’re about to participate in—"
Zhao Yuan said, "The Hundred School Tournament."
"Yes, especially for this Tournament. You can't lose to Zhao Mingxi. You have to make your family see that you are better than her," Zhang Yufen advised. "Secondly, you have to find a way to repair your relationship with the Zhao family. You have to take the initiative. Now that the situation has changed, you can't sit and wait anymore."
Zhao Yuan was upset, but still she agreed, "I understand."
It would not be easy for her to take the initiative.
For the past fifteen years, as the only girl in the Zhao family, Zhao Yuan had always been spoiled like a little princess. So when Zhao Mingxi first came, she felt a little sense of crisis.
Having been spoiled all her life, she only knew how to be spoiled. She was not good at the act of pleasing others.
As far as she knew, she only needed to be beautiful and obedient. How could she have known that the whole family would become like this now because of Zhao Mingxi's departure from home?
Zhao Yuan thought for a while. Finally, she recalled something.
Recently, Zhao Zhanhuai has been having a headache because of a matter in the company. His company intends to take over a piece of land, but the other company has always kept the price high, so Zhao Zhanhuai's acquisition has been hindered.
Zhao Yuan remembered that company, it was the Lu family’s company. It was the Evergreen Class’ Lu Ye’s family company.
Lu Ye used to like her, so she could help her eldest brother. This way, her eldest brother would definitely treat her differently.
As she thought about this, Zhao Yuan opened her WeChat and wondered how to make Lu Ye do this willingly.
Fu Yangxi did not come to class again on Thursday. Mingxi was at a loss, looking at the seat beside her almost 300 times a day.
She counted her young shoots. It had already reached 180.
500 was still too far away, but Mingxi was no longer as urgent now. After all, the injury on her face has healed and she was no longer as unlucky in her exams. The amount of luck she freeloaded had already made her a lot more lucky.
As for the rest, so long as she continued to stay by Fu Yangxi’s side, she could always get 500 trees before graduating from high school.
This was also the reason why when Fu Yangxi was away, she did not go to Jiang Xiuqiu for luck.
It was not until Friday when Fu Yangxi finally came to school.
Both his cell phone and pillow fell to the ground when he hurriedly jumped into the bathroom to wash his hair on Wednesday evening.
The phone case was cracked and the pillow was soaked. Thus, he could only put it on the balcony. And since it has been raining for the past few days, it could not be dried.
Fu Yangxi had no choice but to leave it at home.
As soon as Fu Yangxi came— Maybe it was because he hadn't come to class for two days, Mingxi couldn't help keeping her eyes on him. Therefore, Mingxi, who had never paid much attention to detail, discovered that he hadn't brought the Pikachu pillow.
He has never separated from the pillow ever since I gave it to him. What happened in the past two days?
Because of the strangeness in her heart, Mingxi couldn't help but to look at Fu Yangxi's handsome face for a long time.
She kept staring at him as he walked into the classroom with a blank expression, pulled out his chair and sat down.
Mingxi felt that he was obviously depressed, his aura was full of low pressure.
When he walked in, he was wearing his noise-cancelling headphones. Although he didn’t look pissed, it was blank. He started to sleep as soon as he sat down and took off his jacket. He didn't say a word nor did he greet Ke Chengwen, Jiang Xiuqiu or her.
Mingxi looked at Fu Yangxi's silent and dull mop of red hair and murmured in her heart.
If it wasn’t because only she and Ke Chengwen were on the call when she was reminded that she forgot Fu Yangxi's birthday, Mingxi would have almost thought that Fu Yangxi was angry because of this.
However, she figured he wasn’t this petty.
Mingxi thought that he might have just been in a bad mood because of his sickness.
It was quite uncomfortable to be sick, so Mingxi didn't bother him and let him sleep peacefully all morning. In fact, when his followers in the class passed by him, she put a finger on her lips and reminded them to keep quiet.
During the third period break, Mingxi saw that Fu Yangxi was still quiet. Thus, she couldn't help but run to the convenience store to buy a bag of sweets.
"Is there a bitter aftertaste in your mouth? Take this then." Mingxi shook him awake gently.
ray's note: sorry for the late update! life has been extremely hectic recently since i got a new job. now that i think about it, you guys have been with me through some of the most important parts of my life - studies, exams, passing the exams, internships, an official job. thank you all so much for being here and for always supporting me! i'll definitely push through with the story no matter what, so please be patient with me till the end ❤️