On their way back home, Cao Yang glanced a few times out of the corners of his eyes at Xia Rou, who kept rubbing at the sides of her neck. Then she kept her hand there to cover that part of her neck.
When they arrived home and got out of the car, Xia Rou’s hand was still covering her neck.
“What’s wrong?” asked Cao Yang.
Xia Rou didn’t respond. Translated by The Novelst
Cao Yang walked toward her and took off her hand. He pushed her hair away to get a closer look. In the dim lightning of the courtyard, he saw a red spot on Xia Rou’s snowy white neck.
There was a bite from the kid of the Hu Family!
Cao Yang’s expression turned cold. He gave out a “hmmph,” thinking that the lesson he’d taught Hu Xuan was too lenient.
But at the same time, he felt that Xia Rou was overreacting a little. She seemed to be restless with anxiety and very uncomfortable.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“I want to hurry and take a bath,” said Xia Rou, dispiritedly.
As if Hu Xuan was a germ.
After hearing that, Cao Yang wasn’t angry any longer, finding it funny instead.
“It’s not a big deal,” he comforted.
“I hate body contact,” she explained softly.
She had bumped into Cao Xiong and Cheng Wan doing those things when she was young. It remained as a shadow in her heart, having been planted there when she was just a little girl. The resistance to having body contact with the opposite gender became one of the first manifestations of her childhood trauma.
During her adolescent phase, there was one time she was especially resistant to it. During her high school years, she wasn’t willing to speak to any of the boys, and not to mention ever dating.
As she grew up, she slowly came to understand that sex was a very normal thing between adults. She was also well-aware that her actions, compared to other girls her age, were abnormal. So she looked to correct herself.
After that, she became engaged. Her fiancé, Liang Ziheng, was a hot-blooded man with exuberant demands. Xia Rou thought that he would surely have a need for intimacy.
Although her trauma was forcefully healed bit by bit, she would still resist when it passed a certain point. She didn’t let him easily into her apartment, and although she had the keys to his apartment, she didn’t go there often, either. She would subconsciously avoid situations where they would end up together alone.
Of course, Liang Zihen complained several times about this. But the main reason he had proposed was in order to seek connections to the Cao Family. As long as her big brother Cao Yang was protecting her, he needed to hold her in the palm of his hand and treat her like a princess.
Xia Rou had actually continually comforted herself. She felt that her trauma would probably resolve itself soon after they married. Too bad that she was still a virgin when she died, and the trauma was brought along with her to this life.
Cao Yang had just had body contact with her just now. He had hugged her, patted her, and even held her hand, so he couldn’t help but raise his eyebrows after listening to her explanation.
But then Xia Rou continued: “Except for people that I’m close with.”
It looked like he was included in that description… A slight feeling of pleasure bloomed in his heart.
Oh no, this won’t do, he thought. How was she going to get a boyfriend in the future if she was like this?
But she was still young, maybe girls in adolescence were very sensitive. Thinking of it that way, he didn’t feel the need to worry so much.
By the time dinner came around, Xia Rou had obvious signs of a rushed shower, her hair still half-wet. It was probably that she was afraid they would wait for her that she came down before she could fully dry her hair.
“What’s wrong?” Cao An asked. Translated by The Novelst
Xia Rou touched her neck uneasily. “I accidentally got a dirty stain on me.”
Cao Yang glanced at her.
After dinner, Cao Yang went to Cao Xion’g study room.
“When are you leaving?” Cao Xiong asked.
“Alright,” said his father. “Live up to my reputation.”
The son raised one brow.
Cao Yang left the study room on the fourth floor, and after thinking for a moment, headed to the second floor and knocked on Xia Rou’s door.
When she opened the door, her hair was dry, the fragrant smell of her shampoo not having dispersed just yet. Before, in the dining room when the delicious smell of food had covered it, he hadn’t noticed it, but now that he was here the fragrance immediately flooded his nose. It was different to what the brothers used; it was something that only women would use.
It was likely because of the hair dryer that both her cheeks were flushed a delicate peach blossom pink.
He always felt that she was a child, but she was actually already a big girl. So pretty that men would want to lay their hands on her.
Cao Yang didn’t enter her room, leaning on the door to speak with her.
“I’m leaving for a mission. It’ll probably be a few months before I can come back,” he said. “While I’m absent, look for Cao An if anything happens.”
He paused a while before continuing: “If there’s anything you want at school, look for that Hu Xuan. Now that he knows who you are, he wouldn’t dare bother you.”
He even reminded her, “Don’t be picky with your food. Eat more spinach.”
Xia Rou was speechless. “Big brother, you’re such a busybody!”
The hair she had just blown dry was messed up by her unscrupulous big brother into a wild mess.
Looking at Cao Yang’s bright smile, she muttered in protest before saying, “Wait a second.”
She turned around and ran into her room, quickly running back to slip Cao Yang an amulet, saying, “I got this from Qiyun Temple. The master blessed it for protection.”
Cao Yang smiled. “Good timing.” Translated by The Novelst
Of course it wasn’t a coincidence. Xia Rou had a memory of Cao Yang leaving around this time, so she invited her classmates to go to the Qiyun Temple together and sought a protection amulet.
Qiyun Temple was located in the center of the city, known as a royal temple in the old times. In the past, she took it as a tourist spot and had visited while traveling before. But after she was given a new life, she felt that there might be a mysterious power in the unseen world, so she had started to pay her respects to the Buddha.
She sincerely went there to seek a protection amulet for Cao Yang.
This was despite the fact that she already knew that his mission was supposed to be safe, and last time he’d even been rewarded for rendering a meritorious service.
Because she already knew all this in advance, Xia Rou wasn’t worried.
She quietly lived her simple high school life, peacefully without waves.
Proofread by: Hannah