The emotions of everyone in the Zhao family had boiled down to a wreck. They didn’t even know how they got home.
When Madam Zhao got back to the villa, her fingers were still trembling. She was trying her best to calm down, but when she took off her high heels, she lost focus for a while and almost fell down as she lost her balance. Zhao Zhanhuai who was standing beside was hesitant. Nonetheless, he still helped her up.
Madam Zhao didn’t say anything. She pulled up her dress and rushed to her room.
It didn’t take long before the sound of crying came out from the room.
As Madam Zhao’s cries resounded throughout the house, the whole atmosphere became even more depressed and solemn.
Because the nanny and the chef had no idea what happened, they did not dare to stay in the villa and left to their own quarters.
Mr. Zhao was clearly in a bad mood. He looked in the direction of Madam Zhao’s room. He partially blamed Madam Zhao, but he was so exhausted that he didn't say much. He merely said, "There are still many guests at the birthday banquet who have yet to be sent off. I have to make a trip there."
The birthday banquet this year could be considered as a total failure.
Also, it just might be the most unforgettable birthday for Madam Zhao.
Madam Zhao had just put on her evening dress and did not have the time to interact with the guests even for just a while. In fact, she received the call from Zhao Zhanhuai before the arrival of a majority of guests— and now they are in this situation. How could their family still have the mood to return to the birthday banquet and continue to receive guests?
Zhao Zhanhuai nodded and said, “I’ll be going to the hospital later. Zhao Mo’s injuries are minor. He didn’t suffer any injuries to his bones. You can be rest assured.”
“How can I be rest assured? All of you only know how to make me worry!” Mr. Zhao adjusted his tie. His face was pale as he walked outside and said, "We’ll talk about Mingxi once I get back. In fact, I want to ask you all about this! I've only been on a business trip for a month. How did things turn out to be like this?!”
Once Mr. Zhao left, Zhao Yuning looked tired of it all. He turned and was about to leave as well.
Zhao Zhanhuai hurriedly held him by his elbow, his emotions in a wreck. “Why are you running away?! Zhao Yuning, where are you off to?!”
"Brother, did you forget that I’m still living away from home?" Zhao Yuning sneered, "I only attended today’s birthday banquet because you asked me to, otherwise I wouldn’t have gone! I'm so mad. Mom has yet to apologize to me for slapping me on the face indiscriminately too!”
After he finished talking, Zhao Yuning could care less about Zhao Zhanhuai's reaction. He took off his tuxedo jacket and threw it into the cabinet at the entrance, turned around and left.
Once Mr. Zhao and Zhao Yuning left, the entire Zhao family villa looked like an empty grave.
There was only the faint sound of Madam Zhao’s cries.
It was so quiet that no one could bear staying there any longer.
Zhao Zhanhuai sat down on the sofa and massaged his forehead in dismay.
After taking a deep breath, he realized that no one else could clean up this mess except for him.
A short moment later, he went upstairs and knocked on the door of his mother’s room a few times.
“Mom, are you okay?”
"...How did things turn out to be like this? Is there still room for us to return everything to how it was?" Madam Zhao recalled the indifferent tone that Mingxi had used when she told them that she had deleted all their photos, asked them to delete her photos and to not carry out illegal activities. The more she thought about it, the more it felt like she was being stabbed with a needle. Her chest was getting tighter and she was experiencing shortness of breath along with heart palpitations.
She cried until she was out of breath. "What do I owe her anyway?! I clearly allowed her to use the card on whatever she wants! Buy any clothes she wants! Whatever she wants to eat! I even personally decorated the room for her... Just! Just why does she hate me so much?!"
Madam Zhao’s cries were so noisy that it was like a mixer in Zhao Zhanhuai’s head.
He closed his eyes and suppressed his emotions. He tried to persuade her, "Perhaps we should reflect on our own attitude."
Madam Zhao merely continued to cry. After she had calmed down a little bit, she asked a few questions about Zhao Mo's current situation, and felt relieved after asking. Then, she must have thought of something as she collapsed into a crying fit again.
Zhao Zhanhuai was having a headache. He planned to let her calm down by herself, so he turned and walked downstairs.
There was the sound of a car stopping outside. Zhao Yuan had also returned. As soon as she entered the door, she heard Madam Zhao’s faint sobbing and she knew what had happened.
"I’ll go and talk to her." Zhao Yuan picked up the corner of her dress and walked upstairs.
Zhao Zhanhuai subconsciously glanced at the gown she was wearing.
For some reason, his throat felt as if something was stuck there.
Mingxi has been pushed out of the house, gone forever in the cold night breeze.
But Zhao Yuan is still wearing Mingxi's dress.
Actually, this gown did not fit Zhao Yuan— She was much shorter than Mingxi, and the neat fishtail gown that was supposed to be knee-length was dragged loosely behind her.
However, despite the fact that it obviously didn't fit her well, she still wore it on her body as if it was an obvious thing to do, just like many things before.
A huge example would be a spot in the Chemistry competition; a small example would be a rabbit doll.
Whatever Mingxi has, she will have the same. But what she has, Mingxi cannot touch.
—Although it was supposed to be Zhao Mingxi’s.
Zhao Zhanhuai retracted his gaze with mixed emotions.
Zhao Yuan hurriedly entered the door to Madam Zhao’s room.
Soon, the crying ceased.
Zhao Zhanhuai's headache was also partially cured.
His assistant had just returned from the hospital. He asked him, "Are you staying home tonight?"
"Let’s go to the company," Zhao Zhanhuai said with a distracted tone.
He also threw his formal suit on the sofa and left the villa.
He didn’t know why, but he especially did not want to stay in this deserted villa tonight.
Zhao Yuan said something along the lines of, "Mom, you still have me." So as Madam Zhao was comforted by Zhao Yuan, her attention was slightly diverted, and her mood improved.
But her sight inevitably fell on Zhao Yuan's evening gown.
For some reason, she found it far too dazzling for her eyes. She couldn't help but ask, "Why are you still wearing this?"
Zhao Yuan leaned her head on her knees, "Mom, you have such a good eye for fashion. Many people praised that the dress was beautiful tonight."
Madam Zhao only felt that in an instant, she had slapped herself on the face with her own words.
—“What do I owe her anyway?”
Why doesn't she owe Zhao Mingxi?
She was always afraid that Zhao Yuan would feel disappointed and rejected because she was not the biological daughter of the family, so she tried various methods to show her love for Zhao Yuan. She wanted to tell Zhao Yuan that she was still her mother, just like before.
So when Zhao Mingxi accidentally picked up Zhao Yuan's doll two years ago, she quickly rushed over, took the doll and returned it to Zhao Yuan. She said to Mingxi, "If you want this I can buy you another one. Don't steal Yuanyuan's.”
Thus, when Zhao Yuan showed her liking for this dress, she didn't hesitate to give it to her, and thought that Mingxi wouldn't mind.
But when a child has been pushed aside again and again for two years, how could she not mind? It was precisely these matters that piled up and led to what happened today!
It was herself! In order to maintain the 15 year relationship between her and her adopted daughter, she ignored Mingxi’s feelings during those incidents!
It was she herself who pushed Mingxi farther and farther!
Madam Zhao felt as if a needle was stabbing her in the heart. She was anxious and in pain. She could not continue to see Zhao Yuan wearing this dress, it was like a slap after slap on her face, reminding her of how she used to treat Mingxi.
She quickly buried herself in the blanket and said, "You go out first. Leave me alone for a while."
Zhao Yuan looked at her in shock, "Mom, why are you suddenly—"
"Get out! Leave me alone for a while!" Madam Zhao's sobs came from under the blanket.
Mingxi sat in the back seat of the motorcycle, clutching Fu Yangxi's jacket with both hands.
The traffic flowed like a waterfall, and the cold wind blew across her temples on this night. She watched the flashing neon lights across the river, passing by one street light after another as she slowly calmed down.
She belatedly realized, "By the way, where did you get your motorcycle from?!"
Fu Yangxi's jacket was blown up by the wind. He deliberately said, "I can't hear you!"
Mingxi had to straighten up slightly. She grabbed his shoulders, climbed to the side of his ears, and shouted, “I said, where did you get your motorcycle from?!”
She was sticking so close to him that even if her breath that came out was blown away by the cold wind, it still fell on his auricle albeit only a little. Fu Yangxi was extremely sensitive there, and a chilling feeling came in an instant.
The tips of his ears suddenly flushed red. His hands shook, causing him to almost lose control over the vehicle.
Fu Yangxi swallowed hard, "Ke Chengwen has a friend who is a vehicle seller, and his showroom was just a few hundred meters away, so we went to pick up a few vehicles."
"Oh." Mingxi looked back. There were four or five motorcycles behind him. Mingxi turned her head fully and made a head count. She noticed that all of Fu Yangxi's followers were there except for Ke Chengwen. She was suddenly struck in realization—
"Wait, where is Ke Chengwen? We left him at the police station!"
Fu Yangxi said, “Why do you care so much about Ke Chengwen?"
"Over here!" Ke Chengwen was driving a sports car as he caught up to them. He lowered the window and beckoned to them.
Ke Chengwen was already 18 and owned a driver's license.
Mingxi glanced at the four-wheeled sports car that Ke Chengwen was driving and asked Fu Yangxi, "So there are sports cars. Then why did you come here with a motorcycle?"
"Because it's cool!" Fu Yangxi raised his eyebrows and boasted. "Don't you think that a few fast-moving motorcycles suddenly stopped by your side, buzzing around you, is like a scene from a movie? Don’t you girls like this sort of thing? It’s a pity that we didn’t have sunglasses on."
As expected, Xi ge is truly Xi ge.
Mingxi asked, “Then where are we going?”
Fu Yangxi answered, “Let’s get down first.”
"It's too cold at night. If we continue to be exposed to the night wind our fingers will go stiff." He parked the motorcycle by the side of the road, moved his leg over and got out. He then hugged Mingxi's waist naturally and helped her down. He was blushing as he helped her tuck in her scarf.
Mingxi saw how familiar he was with his actions and felt that something wasn’t right, but her brain was blown by the cold wind and her thoughts became slow. She didn't notice anything wrong for a while.
The way Mingxi was staring at Fu Yangxi caused him to unnaturally turn his head away. His face was red. The corner of his lips curled up, but he immediately hissed in pain.
Mingxi asked, “Is it painful?”
Fu Yangxi touched the band-aid at the corner of his lips, "Nah, this is just a small injury. There is nothing that I fear.”
Ke Chengwen also stopped the car by the side of the road.
After the rear window was lowered, He Yang poked her head out and beckoned to Mingxi. "Mingxi!"
Mingxi asked, “Why is He Yang here as well?”
"How can you not have some barbecue or something to celebrate such a great day of breaking the cocoon and turning into a butterfly! That’s why Xi ge invited your friend," Ke Chengwen said. "Zhao Mingxi, get in the car!"
Mingxi felt warmth in her heart. All the unhappiness at the police station seemed to be wiped out.
She walked over there and pulled the car door open.
"Wait!" Fu Yangxi interrupted suddenly. He took huge strides to the door, opened it, and pulled a boy out. "Jiang Xiuqiu, take the passenger seat."
"We haven’t seen each other for such a long time and this is how you treat your old friend?"
Mingxi's eyes lit up suddenly— Isn't this that, that person who is in second place on the list of people who can be freeloaded?
The boy named Jiang Xiuqiu had a pair of almond shaped eyes. He was wearing a high collared sweater which covered the lower half of his face. It was as if he was extremely afraid of the cold, hence he dressed like it was already winter. He glared at Fu Yangxi through his hands. Then when he took a glance at Mingxi’s face, his gaze paused on her. He reluctantly sat down in the passenger seat.
Mingxi's eyes were fixated on him.
I have yet to try the 2% return of luck. I wonder what it would be like!
Fu Yangxi was blocking the door of the car and was about to urge Mingxi to get in the car. Suddenly, he followed Mingxi's line of sight and fell on Jiang Xiuqiu.
One second, two seconds, three seconds— Fu Yangxi pinched his watch and counted 10 seconds, yet all he saw was Zhao Mingxi still staring at Jiang Xiuqiu!
Is Jiang Xiuqiu that handsome?
She has never even stared at him like this before!
Mingxi came back to her senses and found that Fu Yangxi was staring at her. His face suddenly showed an ugly expression.
Mingxi asked in confusion, "What's the matter?"
"Your eyesight sure is good at night." Fu Yangxi tried his best not to be jealous.
He pushed Mingxi in and they both got in the car quickly.