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  • Feigned Pity

    Chapter 2

    He threw them a cold look as he walked past and headed straight to the dining room.

    Xia Yan could not maintain her smile as she forced the corners of her lips up. Pretending that nothing happened, she said to her, “Xiao Xi, I’ll bring you to your room first to put down your luggage, before we head down to wash our hands for dinner.” 

    “Okay,” she obediently responded, unaffected by what just happened.

    The room was located on the second floor. The moment the door was opened, one would be overwhelmed by the girlishness of the room. The bedsheets were of a light floral pink, with laced curtains surrounding the princess bed. Even the dressing table was pink. 

    Although pink was the main theme, the other decorations were unconventional and mismatched.

    “Mom remembered that you used to like pink. Is this makeover acceptable?”

    Looking at Xia Yan’s expectant eyes, she finally revealed a real smile, “I like it.”

    “If you like it, then this designer’s sense of aesthetic is still passable.”

    The following parts of the text will be scrambled to prevent theft from aggregators and unauthorized epub making. Please support our translators by reading on secondlifetranslations (dot) com

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    Dky Zyd kdpvawnvle, “Vwv esod uswa vbkdtp yde zlv’p ts esod qsa ekddla.”&dcpr;

    Xd vblka oyu esod, vblu ayd kdvs Qw Yw Zydt, obs pwarakpkdtzu bye y qall xsxldv.

    Mys Zk Dk oyvnble yp bla xsvbla qlzz kdvs bkp yaxp zkjl y zkvvzl ckae alvwadkdt vs kvp dlpv.

    “Zsw’al cynj,” vbl osxyd’p shlazu nsiwlvvkpb hsknl oyp sdl vbyv xld zshle vs blya.

    Dky Zyd vbswtbvqwzzu rwv bkp nsyv yde cyt yoyu, clqsal bssjkdt bla yaxp kd bkp yde kdvasewnkdt, “vbkp kp Zk Dk.”

    Mys Zk Dk nyzxzu scplahle vbl xyd clqsal bla. Plprkvl bkp xkeezl ytl, bl oyp vyzz yde nsdpkelayczu ascwpv. Ekvb vbknj lulcasop, zyatl lulp, y pvayktbv dspl, yde vbkd zkrp; bkp bydepsxl qynl oyp hlau pkxkzya vs vbyv sq vbl csu fwpv dso.

    Kwpv vbyv sdl oyp wdawzu, yde vbl svbla sdl oyp pvlyeqypv. Tkp zktbv tzydnl tyhl y pldpl sq srralppksd vbyv sdl sdzu lmrlakldnle obkzl qynkdt y pwrlaksa.

    Tao Yi Xi smiled slightly, “Hello Uncle Gu, I’m Tao Yi Xi.”

    “En,” his attitude was lukewarm.

    “Jing Yuan is at home, let’s wash up and dine together.” 

    Xia Yan placed her whole attention on Gu Mu Yang. Tao Yi Xi stood by until they walked forward and then followed behind at a distance that was neither too far nor close.

    In the dining room, Gu Jing Yuan had already tucked in. Gu Mu Yang looked at him but did not comment. As everyone sat down, Tao Yi Xi remained where she stood, not knowing where she should sit.

    Fortunately, Xia Yan still remembered that she had a daughter, “Xiao Xi, you can just sit opposite Jing Yuan.” 

    Hearing this, Gu Jing Yuan put down his chopsticks and rose from his seat. The rice in his bowl was only half-finished.

    “Why are you leaving?” Gu Mu Yang stopped him.

    “I’m done.” 

    “We have a visitor, you better show some manners!” 

    Gu Jing Yuan peered at the so-called visitor.

    He was greeted with the sight of Tao Yi Xi with her eyes downcasted. Slender hands holding onto the white porcelain bowl, she looked delicate and pitiful.

    If Qi Yue saw this, he would have taken pity and caused a ruckus again.

    But Gu Jing Yuan was not like him. He just briefly glanced at her before turning around and leaving.

    The head of the family roared, “Gu Jing Yuan, you come back here!”

    Looking at the determined departing back, Gu Mu Yang knew that trying to deter him was useless.

    Xia Yan quickly persuaded, “Mu Yang, it’s okay. Later let the nanny whip up some of his favorite meat dumplings. He can have it as a midnight snack to fill his stomach.”

    Gu Mu Yang let out a sigh, “you arrange for it.”

    “Yes, yes, don’t worry.”

    “Eat,” as the head of the family had spoken, everyone dug in. There was no further conversation at the dining table. 

    After dinner, Gu Mu Yang stopped her, “Yi Xi, is it?” 

    “Yes, Uncle Gu.”

    “I heard that your grades are excellent. You’re always first in level every semester and in the last unified city examination, you were ranked among the best.”

    “It’s because it’s a small city.” 

    “You don’t have to be too modest. I’ve invited you over in hopes that you’ll aid my son.” 

    Tao Yi Xi blinked. Couldn’t he tell how much his son detested her?

    “I’ve already discussed it with the school teachers. You’ll be assigned to the same class as him and arranged to be his deskmate. Spare no effort to help him.”

    Gu Mu Yang had no intention of seeking her opinion, the whole conversation was in an informing tone. 

    Tao Yi Xi paused before responding with a smile, “I’ll do my best to help Ge-ge.” 

    “Mhmm,” Gu Mu Yang returned to the study after giving his instructions, without further niceties.

    The Gu Family’s father and son departed one by one, leaving only mother and daughter behind.

    Xia Yan had not seen her daughter for a long time. Scrutinizing her daughter, she felt somewhat proud as she was as beautiful as a flower.

    “Is grandma doing okay back home?”

    “In the past two years, she has been walking lesser. But Grandma Wang from next door will occasionally insist that she take a walk with her,” Tao Yi Xi beamed tenderly.

    “Exercising more is good for her body.” 

    Xia Yan patted Tao Yi Xi’s smooth locks. Tao Yi Xi could not remember how long it had been since her mother gently caressed her head. Just as her heart warmed, she heard Xia Yan continued, “you just met the Gu’s. Don’t judge your Uncle Gu for being so serious-looking. In fact, he’s a good person. The reason you could come here to study was all because of him.” 

    “En, I understand.”

    “As for Gu Jing Yuan, he’s very dear to your Uncle Gu. So try to flatter him more, it would be beneficial to you. Who knows? Maybe in the future, it’ll be able to help you secure a marriage with a wealthy family.” 

    Tao Yi Xi’s smile froze on her face, her translucent eyes dimmed slightly.

    “Mom, I’ve never thought of wanting to marry into a rich family.” 

    Xia Yan tugged on her hand, “you’re still young, hence you don’t understand how cruel this world can be. Just listen to me, mom wouldn’t do anything to harm you.” 

    Without batting an eyelid, she steadily removed her hand from her mother’s grip, “en.”

    Tao Yi Xi numbly listened to Xia Yan as she ‘imparted’ her superficial experiences on how to get into the good books of the pair of father and son.

    It continued until a servant came over and informed Xia Yan, “Madam, Young Master’s dumplings are ready.” 

    “Just nice. Xiao Xi, you go bring the dumplings to Jing Yuan.” 

    “Okay.”

    Tao Yi Xi received the bowl and escaped quickly. But after two steps, she retreated, “may I ask, where’s Ge-ge’s room?”

    **

    Although the villa was huge, the interior design was elaborate and compact. Each floor has its own study room, gymnasium, and relaxation corner. All the bedrooms were also gathered on one side.

    The servant stayed on the first floor.

    The third floor was exclusively for Xia Yan and Gu Mu Yang.

    Gu Jing Yuan’s room was next to hers on the second floor.

    With one hand holding the tray, the corners of her mouth lifted as she lightly rapped on his door.

    “Ge-ge, are you there?” 

    With such a delicate voice, even though he was unfamiliar, he knew who it was.

    “Get lost.”

    Tao Yi Xi took a deep breath and continued knocking, “Ge-ge, you didn’t manage to finish your dinner just now.”

    There was still no movement from within. 

    She continued to wait for a while when a sudden gust of wind blew her long hair; as her hair was light, her bangs were immediately messed up.

    She raised her head and looked at the raging young man in front of her.

    The handsome youth had sword-like eyebrows, bright eyes, a sharp nose, and thin lips. But currently, he had a look of dissatisfaction etched on his face.

    “Are you deaf? Didn’t you hear me asking you to get lost?” 

    In the face of his aggressiveness, Tao Yi Xi gently and softly said, “Ge-ge, here’s your meat dumplings.” 

    “Don’t want it. Also, I’ve said before, I don’t have a sister. Continue calling me that, and I’ll make sure you won’t be able to maintain that smile,” his gaze was malevolent and his tone was frigid.

    Tao Yi Xi’s smile stiffened, “then I’ll place it down here first. Remember to eat it later.” 

    She just arrived so she must not fail on her very first assignment.

    “I said I don’t want it! So fucking annoying!” He hollered and reached to close the door.

    Tao Yi Xi’s eyes flashed when the subtle sound of high heels approaching sounded from afar. She reached out and grabbed the corner of his clothes.

    Gu Jing Yuan subconsciously broke free from her grasp, instantly overturning the tray of dumplings in her hand.

    The soup directly spilled on her hand and the bowl landed on the carpet with a dull thud before spinning a couple of rounds. Tao Yi Xi’s pale lips trembled ever so slightly as her eyes gradually filled with tears.

    She glanced at him before immediately retracting her gaze. Rapidly blinking her eyes in fright as she froze on the spot.

    Her little aggrieved face tugged at people’s heartstrings.

    “Sss…” She covered her hand as she sucked in a breath of cold air.

    Gu Jing Yuan looked over, even with her other hand blocking, he could still see the traces of red blooming on the back of her hand.

    He pursed his thin lips, “you-”    

    Before he could finish, there was a sudden exclamation, “what’s going on?” 

    Spotting the person approaching, Gu Jing Yuan no longer cared to continue. Shooting them a cold glare, he flung his hand.

    ‘Bang!’ 

    The door slammed in her face, reverberating across the whole floor.

    Xia Yan was infuriated but she dared not rebuke him, so she turned to question Tao Yi Xi, “what happened?”

    Tao Yi Xi innocently gazed at her mother with tears in her eyes, “I brought supper to Ge-ge. But he didn’t want to eat, so he overturned the tray.”

    Lost and helpless, she lowered her eyes, “Mom, I’m sorry, it’s my fault that Ge-ge is angry.”

    Xia Yan did not utter a reply. She knew exactly who made him upset. Upon seeing Tao Yi Xi’s flushed red hand, her anger dissipated.

    “Oh no! You got scalded!”

    “Mom, I’m fine.”

    “It won’t look good if a girl has scars. Mom will find medicine for you, you can wait for me in the room.”

    “En.”

    After Xia Yan left. Tao Yi Xi expressively glanced at the tightly shut door. It seems like he was different from what she originally thought.


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