The Cao Family was the real head of the dragon.
And Cao Yang was the crown prince in the second generation of that family.
It was impossible for someone like him, even in his wild, younger days, to not have run amuck before.
It was just that by the time Xia Rou met Cao Yang, he was already almost in his thirties. He had already discarded the frivolousness and impulsiveness of his younger self. Instead, he learned to restrain himself and changed to a more pragmatic way of living.
Just as Hu Xuan’s father had said, it didn’t really mean he had changed as a person and would let someone walk all over him.
Cao Yang stood up. Translated by The Novelst
Xia Rou was staring, eyes wide, at Cao Yang’s black leather shoe grinding brutally on Hu Xuan’s hand.
Hu Xuan didn’t dare make a noise, gritting his teeth and trying to endure the pain, taking quick breaths.
Cao Yang revealed a hint of admiration, still smoking before putting even more strength on his foot.
Hu Xuan finally gave in.
“Bro! I really didn’t know! I didn’t think she was telling the truth!”
“Her surname wasn’t Cao! I thought she was just trying to scare me off!”
“Bro I’m at fault! I promise I won’t dare to do it again!”
Cao Yang dropped his cigarette butt on the floor, finally releasing the pressure on Hu Xuan’s hand and instead extinguishing the butt instead.
Hu Xuan, his face full of tears and snot, climbed up from the ground.
“Which one of your claws touched her?” asked Cao Yang.
Hu Xuan shivered and stretched out his right hand, but seeing as how his right hand was so badly hurt from being ground into the stones on the ground, he immediately brought it back in and changed to his left hand instead.
Xia Rou saw Cao Yang grab Hu Xuan’s arm, and with just a pull, Hu Xuan immediately burst into a scream. His left hand was left hanging uselessly, his face pale like gold paper.
“Xiao Rou, come here,” Cao Yang called.
Xia Rou walked a little closer.
“This is Xia Rou, she’s from our family,” Cao Yang introduced. “This is Hu Xuan. Now that you’ve been introduced, just know that you can find him if you have any trouble at school.”
Xia Rou didn’t say anything.
Hu Xuan was in so much pain that cold sweat had drenched his body. He endured the pain and said: “Bro, don’t worry. I-In the future, I’ll look after her, I won’t let anything happen to her.”
Cao Yang was then finally satisfied. “I’ll leave it to you,” he said.
After he said that, he turned to Xia Rou and said: “Let’s go.”
“The Hu Family has a bad habit. From his grandfather, to his father, and both him and his brother, all the men in their family are unable to think properly after seeing a woman,” he explained as they walked away.
“But you don’t have to be afraid. Now that he knows you’re from our family, he won’t dare lay a hand on you again.”
Xia Rou remembered the kind grandfather from the Hu Family, the refined father, the gentleman Hu Chen and the polite, well-mannered Hu Xuan.
When they met her, they had already known she was protected by the Cao Family. So what she saw of them was only the side they wanted to show her.
Xia Rou felt bitter in her heart.
“I didn’t know he was that kind of person,” she said. “I thought… he was a good person.”
“Alright,” Cao Yang nodded, warning her: “Next time, don’t follow just anyone to somewhere less crowded.”
Xia Rou wanted to tell Cao Yang that she wasn’t that unaware, nor was she that careless. The reason she believed Hu Xuan was because she remembered him as a well-behaved gentleman from her past.
But she couldn’t say this. It would just make Cao Yang misunderstand her and think she was clumsy and frivolous.
Tears trickled down her cheeks. Translated by The Novelst
Cao Yang stopped walking, turning around to look at her.
In just those few minutes, the sky had turned dark.
The little girl was hanging her head, sniffling softly and her hair fluttered in the breeze.
As if the one at fault was her.
It was really different, thought Cao Yang.
He had only taken care of brothers before, but not sisters.
Since his youth, it had always been his brothers that broke other people’s arms and legs, and he always had to tidy up their mess.
None of them was like Xia Rou.
He remembered the words she said to Hu Xuan.
“You did well,” he said. “Next time you should do the same. If you encounter anything, just tell them you’re one of the Cao Family.”
Xia Rou replied difficultly : “…Okay.”
Cao Yang looked at the tear tracks on her white cheeks, unable to stop his heart from softening a little.
“Let’s go,” he said.
Xia Rou was one step behind him. In that dark night, she followed his back quietly.
So quiet, thought Cao Yang. This was a very quiet, obedient child.
But when she encountered something, she wouldn’t hesitate to let them know that her big brother was Cao Yang.
Cao Yang paused.
“Xiao Rou,” he turned to the side to call her. “Xiao Bin and them address me as big brother.”
“In the future, you can also call me that way,” he said.
He didn’t turn enough to see her, so he didn’t notice that her shoulder shivered.
The sound of her walking pace suddenly became a little messy, then he heard her call out in a soft voice: “Big brother…”
Cao Yang lowered his head to see a slim hand gripping at the sleeves of his black uniform.
He took a glance at her and stretched his hand back to hold her tiny hand.
Her hand was tender and soft, and she was shivering minutely.
He held her hand tightly so she wouldn’t shiver anymore.
“Big brother…” Xia Rou called him again, in a soft, gentle tone, hope evident in her voice.
Cao Yang answered her with a “mn.”
The young girl suddenly took a step forward until her forehead was against his chest before breaking out into tears and sobbing loudly.
He had thought she was very calm, but she was still frightened. Well, after all, she was still a girl…
He released her hand and instead softly patted her back.
He could see the top of her head when he looked down. Her body was so soft and her shoulder so thin. When she cried softly, her shoulders were also moved up and down…
Within his arms, she was just a very tiny person…
She was different than his brothers.
What she needed wasn’t a strict beating, nor was it repeating lectures. She needed the opposite – she needed to be carefully protected in order to grow up peacefully.
That was fine, thought Cao Yang.
No matter what she needed to grow, he as a big brother could provide both.
He lowered his head, softly rubbing her smooth hair, and he seemed to be able to smell a faint scent.
The scent was indistinct. Translated by The Novelst
He wanted to focus on the scent, but it had already disappeared into the autumn breeze.
It was gone, untraceable.
Proofread by: Hannah