Xia Rou began to feel embarrassed after crying her fill.
Cao Yang’s muscular features and his manly scent made her uneasy.
She struggled a little and Cao Yang released her. Looking at her, with her eyes, nose, and ears all red, he found it funny and asked: “Done crying?”
Xia Rou replied, embarrassed, “Mn.” Translated by The Novelst
Cao Yang patted her shoulder. “Come over here.”
He walked to the coffee table and pulled out two pieces of tissue for her: “Blow your nose first, it’s stained my clothes.”
Xia Rou was so shy that she turned even more red. She ashamedly took the tissue from his hand, abandoning her image and blowing her nose. She had no other choice because her nose was stuffy and she couldn’t breathe.
She even tried to peek at Cao Yang’s shirt… but he realized what she was doing and couldn’t stop laughing. “Just kidding, there’s no stain on my shirt.”
He lit a cigarette and sat at the armrest of the sofa. Both his long legs were resting on the floor.
He took a puff and folded his arms to ask, “Why did you cry?”
“Nothing much…” Xia Rou twisted her fingers behind her back.
Her head was hanging down, a portion of her black hair falling loosely on her shoulder.
It looked so smooth like silk, it was impossible for Cao Yang not to notice.
He couldn’t help but stretch out his hand to lift a few strands of her hair, brushing them smooth with his fingers. “It grew so long already, huh?”
“Mn,” Xia Rou glanced at him. “I haven’t cut it since then, and my hair grows fast.”
“Don’t try to change the topic,” Cao Yang said, his face returning to seriousness: “Tell me, why did you cry?”
Xia Rou choked.
He was obviously the one to change the topic!
But Cao Yang wouldn’t admit it, continuing: “Who bullied you? Is it Cao An? I’ll give him some beatings.”
“That’s silly,” Xia Rou said. “It’s not like that.”
“Then why did you cry?”
He wouldn’t stop asking for an answer. It looked like he wouldn’t give up.
Xia Rou had no choice but to tell the truth: “They said you were seriously injured and your life was in danger.”
“Just because of that?”
“Mn,” Xia Rou remained silent for a moment, before slowly explaining. “My mother isn’t here any longer, and I don’t have any other relatives. I… I’m scared that something might happen to you too.”
She was wearing simple loungewear, short sleeves with shorts, and it looked clean and comfortable.
Hugging herself tightly, she lowered her head slightly, looking like she’d done something wrong.
Cao Yang felt that at first, when he thought she finally had grown into an adult woman, he’d been wrong.
Indeed, she’d grown, but she was still just a kid.
No parents, no other relatives. To someone like him who always took care of her, she was like a nestling*.
His heart softened.
He stretched out his hand to pat her head. He didn’t want to mess up her hair, so he softly brushed downwards instead.
“Am I not back safe and sound now?”
Xia Rou raised her head, taking a half step forward and moving closer, wanting to look at him closer.
Cao Yang’s face was still as handsome as ever, the sharp lines of his face more structured, making him look manlier. He looked much closer to the person in Xia Rou’s memory.
He was born in February. His birthday had passed while he was away. Now he was already thirty.
Xia Rou stared at his face intently, not wanting to miss even a detail.
“What’s wrong?” asked Cao Yang.
“Where were you injured?” Xia Rou asked.
Not there. Under his jawline, there wasn’t a scar where she remembered one.
Something went differently in this life!
“On my body. Don’t ask more,” Cao Yang shook his hand with the cigarette in his fingers. “It’s already all better. Who doesn’t get hurt in the army.”
“Don’t worry,” he smiled. “My life is hard as a rock. No matter what I have to do, I have to watch you grow up and get married first.”
Xia Rou looked at him. Slowly, a hint of a smile grew on her face.
“Then… That’s a promise,” she said, looking at the shadows on the floor.
That was a promise. Everyone… must live well…
Being coaxed by him, she really seemed to have turned into a little girl.
Haiz, she would just turn into a little girl then.
It was actually quite nice… Translated by The Novelst
Cao Yang continued to smile while looking at her.
Like he could see right through her.
It made her feel embarrassed inside, and her ears turned red.
Since Cao Yang had returned, the events in her memory that had been delayed by some mysterious power seemed to start moving according to her recollection.
Just as in the past, Cao Yang came back with a scar; he was also awarded the first class meritorious medal.
Very soon, following her memory exactly, there was an extra star on his epaulet. He was already a lieutenant colonel at the age of thirty.
Within a crowd of middle-aged men, he stood out brightly.
In early August, the Cao Family held a banquet.
It wasn’t too many people, and very low-key. But because not many were invited, the attendees were limited, and the majority of guests were high in position.
It increased the prestige of this banquet.
A lot of people tried to use many methods to obtain an invitation. Those who couldn’t get their hands on one could only use their connections to try and see who was invited, so they could request to be brought along.
The theme of the banquet was a summer party, but everyone knew that it was actually held to celebrate the advancement in career of the Cao Family’s eldest son.
Like father like son: the Cao Family’s prosperity would obviously continue for another few decades.
Especially since Cao Xiong’s age would clearly allow him to continue working for another decade or longer.
The head of the dragon still remained within the Cao Family, no one could escape them.
During the preparation for the banquet, Cao Xiong instructed Cao Yang: “About the banquet, explain it to Xia Rou well. Ah, actually… Get her a teacher to give her some lessons. There’s going to be more occasions like this in the future, let her learn well.”
When he spoke these words, all four brothers were gathered.
Cao Bin, Cao Xiong, and Cao An all had odd expressions. Cao Yang was the only one who didn’t react: “Alright, leave it to me.”
And the person most surprised by this at the dining table was actually Xia Rou.
Cao Xiong was clearly indicating that he was allowing Xia Rou to participate in the Cao Family banquet. This treatment was something Xia Rou hadn’t received in the past.
Back then, every time they held a banquet, Cao Xiong would instruct her that there were, “Too many people, it’s messy. You should stay inside the house and not run outside.”
And so she even turned off the lights in her room, hiding behind her curtains, trying to take peeks at the perfumed clothing and gorgeous hair, watching the joyous toasts go around. She even lay miserably on top of her pillow, tearing up and feeling wronged and unwilling.
But without Cao Xiong’s permission, she didn’t dare nor did she have the thick skin to appear at the banquet on her own.
Cao Xiong never admitted her.
Nestling: When a baby bird is first born, it will take the first living thing it sees as its mother.
Proofread by: Hannah