When Madam Cao passed away, Cao Yang was fourteen and Cao Bin was twelve.
Cao Yang matured overnight, while Cao Bin also quickly discarded his childish actions. They both took on the responsibilities of the elder brother early on. However, Cao Xing and Cao An were the little brothers who were always being taken care of.
This was the main reason why the four brothers were so different in conduct and personalities.
Xia Rou finished eating lunch and returned to her room. Once again, she started to review her materials. She was stupid – and because of that, she had to revise a few more times.
She got a call from Cao Yang in the evening. “Are you still at home?”
“Yes,” she replied. Translated by The Novelst
“I’ll be home soon, just sit tight. I’ll take you out to shop.”
Xia Rou was like, “huh?”
But Cao Yang had clicked off as soon as he’d finished his sentence.
Xia Rou looked at the clock. It was only four, why was big brother coming back so early? Moreover, what should she do about Brother Cao Xing?
She usually wore lounge-wear at home, so she changed into a dress and combed her hair.
Cao Yang was probably nearly home when he called. He arrived in just a few minutes. He saw her waiting on the first floor, and said, “Wait just a second.” Then he went upstairs.
Not long after, he came back down in casual clothing.
“Let’s go,” he said. “Cao Xing? Don’t worry about him. I already told him not to come home unless he misses my father’s leather belt.”
“…” Xia Rou was silent.
The city had developed rapidly in the next ten years in Xia Rou’s memory. So many of the old shops had closed, and new shops would open continuously.
Xia Rou didn’t remember which shops were good for stationery at this time.
Cao Yang brought her to a shopping mall, and to the fourth floor where there was a boutique stationery store.
Xia Rou was surprised: “How did you know there was such a store here?”
“I asked the leaders who had children,” Cao Yang replied.
Soon they had bought all the things she needed. Xia Rou felt the bag she used in middle school was old, so she bought a new, pretty bag.
Cao Yang swiped his card and paid for it all.
Stationery wasn’t normally very expensive, but since it was a boutique store, it was a different story. The things sold in this store were all imported.
Xia Rou’s bag alone was already a few thousand yuan.
Cao Yang was thinking that if Xia Rou was going to whine about money, then he would have to sit her down for a talk. However, Xia Rou didn’t say a word, just carrying the pile of things and quietly waiting for him to pay at the counter.
Cao Yang felt slightly weird.
Was it because she was so young that she had no concept of money?
But he didn’t think so. She was at least 15, she would have had pocket money and bought food to eat with her friends, right? At her age, he thought she should have some concept of price already.
Each of the items had its price clearly stated on the price tag. Whether it was expensive, cheap, or anywhere in between, she would have clearly seen the price and known it well in her heart as long as she wasn’t blind.
The phrases ‘I’ll pay,’ or ‘It’s too expensive, let’s not buy it,’ she didn’t even try to speak out. She naturally picked what she needed, didn’t mind the price even though she’d seen it, and naturally accepted that Cao Yang would pay for her.
At least she didn’t overreact, which was nice, Cao Yang thought. If she made a ruckus about it, he would definitely find it annoying.
To Cao Yang, this amount was just a little bit of money. Since Xia Rou had entered the Cao Family, then she must become accustomed to this level of consumption. If she acted petty, then he might have felt irritated.
He remembered the first few days after she had arrived. In just a few words they decided to let her study at Nan Hua, and she accepted it naturally. Now that he thought back to it, it wasn’t because she didn’t understand; on the contrary, she seemed to… understand the principles behind it.
At such a young age, she already knew these kinds of things?
Cao Yang looked at her and couldn’t help but ponder.
“Brother Cao Yang?” Xia Rou turned back to call him.
“Mn.” Cao Yang returned to his senses. In big strides he caught up to her. “Come, let’s go eat.”
Or was it because her mother had passed away, so she had matured early? But she didn’t seem to have confidence, and even repeated that she was stupid. But when he looked at her now, he felt that she was a clever child.
In a family like theirs, a stupid person wasn’t scary at all, but a silly person was.
Xia Rou knew inside her heart that she wasn’t a silly person, that was good. This kind of child could be taught.
He brought her to the restaurant on the fifth floor to eat. Just as they arrived, Cao Yang ran into someone he knew.
“Cao Yang? What a coincidence,” his acquaintance greeted.
Both men spoke a few words, before the man turned his gaze toward Xia Rou: “This is?”
Cao Yang paused a little: “This is Xiao Rou. Xiao Rou, call him Brother Liu.”
This introduction concealed both Xia Rou’s surname and Brother Liu’s full name, leaving it ambiguous and vague.
Xia Rou lowered her eyes, obediently greeting: “Brother Liu.”
The man’s gaze turned curious. Translated by The Novelst
This girl seemed quite young. He wondered if she’d turned into an adult yet, but she seemed like a pretty girl.
Cao Yang had always liked women with curves with slightly wild personalities. When did he start to like these kinds of young chicks?
Hm… Maybe he wanted to change up his taste?
“You have good taste.” He smiled at Cao Yang.
Both Cao Yang and Xia Rou knew that he had misunderstood, but neither made a move to explain.
After they left the man, they looked for a corner seat to avoid meeting anyone else. This was a popular restaurant, and there was no knowing if another acquaintance would appear.
Cao Yang ordered his dish and put down the menu. He looked at Xia Rou who remained silent, her eyes lowered, which made him feel more strange.
Just now he had thought she was a clever girl. But now, he felt that Xia Rou, as a child, knew a little too much!
He could read from her face that she could actually understand the dubious misunderstanding at the entrance just now!
Proofread by: Hannah