Mingxi saw a name at the training camp a few days ago: Fu Zhiyi.
If it wasn't for the sudden appearance of this name, Mingxi would have almost forgotten about the person on the 3rd place of the ranking list.
Mingxi asked the training teacher, and only then did he know that Fu Zhiyi was a contestant from a school in another city.
He returned from abroad some time ago. It seems that he planned to transfer to A High at first, but he later transferred to another school for some unknown reason.
When talking to Fu Yangxi, Mingxi mentioned this person.
Fu Yangxi frowned immediately.
Mingxi's heart skipped a beat. She thought to herself, is this a secret from a wealthy family? She asked him, "Are you at odds with him?"
"We’re not exactly at odds with each other." Fu Yangxi took a piece of beef and put it in the Mingxi bowl. He continued, "In fact, we rarely ever saw each other. I think he's— disgusting and pitiful. In short, it's something of an ugly family affair. Little Mask, you wouldn't want to know."
Fu Zhiyi was an illegitimate child with an indescribably strange personality. To Fu Yangxi, he was still a fake.
But it seemed that he couldn’t be blamed for this, so Fu Yangxi never sought trouble with him.
Moreover, because Fu Zhiyi was always staying abroad, the number of encounters between the two was rare.
Mingxi didn't ask any more. She felt that she would find out slowly, and one day, Fu Yangxi might be willing to tell her.
After the two finished eating, it was already 8pm.
Mingxi had been out for a full four hours. There were still a lot of exam papers to do. She had to go back to self-study. There was no more time to accompany Fu Yangxi.
Although Fu Yangxi looked arrogant and domineering, he always accommodated Mingxi in these matters.
He sent Mingxi back.
After being separated for a long time, they only got together for two hours and then they were separated again. Both of them felt endless loss in their hearts. After a hug and a kiss, Fu Yangxi watched Mingxi go upstairs.
A long time after Mingxi went upstairs, Fu Yangxi still had his head raised. After some time, he turned around and disappeared into the night.
Fu Yangxi felt that he had already started to miss her although they had just parted. It was said that men rarely felt any sense of longing— What happened to him? He could feel that his eyes were red!
This doesn’t make sense!
It must be a misperception!
The following days of training.
Mingxi continued to be very busy.
Occasionally, she would go on video calls with Fu Yangxi at night.
At the beginning, Mingxi and Fu Yangxi would wash their hair on purpose when they were going to be on a video call, but then she got too tired after her studies and it was impossible to wash them every day. So they got used to it after being together for a long time.
They just didn't bother to wash it.
Anyway, Fu Yangxi seemed to be very devoted to her and would not dislike her for not washing her hair.
One day during the training camp, Mingxi was playing in the corridor when she suddenly saw Fu Zhiyi walking out of the next class. Fu Zhiyi didn’t look like Fu Yangxi. He looked more restrained and more refined than Fu Yangxi.
He went downstairs.
Mingxi suddenly found that the beautiful woman with delicate makeup who was waiting for him in front of the car downstairs was a little familiar. More than that...
Wait, isn't that—?
Mingxi searched through her memories quickly.
She was shocked.
She found that she was right, that was Fu Yangxi's mother.
When Fu Zhiyi walked towards Yu Jiarong, Yu Jiarong immediately became happy and looked at Fu Zhiyi with great concern. She patted Fu Zhiyi on the head, handed him something to eat, put a coat on him and pulled him into the car.
Mingxi suddenly felt a little weird. Fu Yangxi's mother and Fu Zhiyi should not be too close, but she treated Fu Zhiyi like her own son.
Mingxi was standing on the second floor. Fu Zhiyi, who was downstairs, seemed to have noticed her. He raised his head to look at her.
Mingxi was waiting to learn a little bit about the secrets of the rich and powerful from Fu Yangxi.
Fu Yangxi must have a reason for not saying what he didn’t want to say.
But she was really curious.
This matter was like a fishbone, choking Mingxi in the throat.
Jiang Xiuqiu wasn’t going to tell her anyway, so Mingxi planned to ask Fu Zhiyi.
At first she thought that Fu Zhiyi was difficult to approach, but she did not expect Fu Zhiyi and Fu Yangxi to be complete opposites.
Fu Zhiyi looked a little depressed, as if there were a lot of things hidden in his heart.
Yu Jiarong came to pick him up three times in total, and he looked to be in a bad mood every time he came back.
During the more than 20 days of training, Mingxi occasionally asked Fu Zhiyi a few things about Fu Yangxi's past.
At first, Fu Zhiyi didn't pay much attention to her at all— Maybe he thought she was Fu Yangxi's girlfriend, and since he had a very basic relationship with Fu Yangxi, he had no obligation to answer her questions.
But after Yu Jiarong sent him back for the third time, Fu Zhiyi's mouth was finally pried open by Mingxi.
Seeing that he bought a bunch of drinks and went back to the classroom to drink beer by himself, Mingxi asked strangely, “Don't you want to go out with Xi ge's mother? If you don't want to, can’t you just refuse?"
Fu Zhiyi rolled her eyes at her. "You think I want to?"
Fu Zhiyi may have been too depressed tonight, so after drinking quite a lot, he shared some bitter stories.
What Mingxi heard was the story from his perspective.
It was absurd that he looked very similar to the dead Fu Zhihong when he was 18 years old. So for many years, Fu Yangxi's mother had been living in a dream through him.
Thus, Mingxi had a glimpse of the 13 year old little Fu Yangxi from Fu Zhiyi's few sentences.
She saw how the young Fu Yangxi struggled to get out of the pile of wild dogs, was hurriedly pushed around in the cordon, and was grabbed and asked about her brother and father. How he had to watch his mother take another person as the shadow of a deceased person and completely abandon him.
She also saw this: amidst the heavy rain, Fu Yangxi, who had not yet broken free from the shadows, went to the police station to give his testimony, recalling his nightmares over and over again under the dazzling lights.
Scenes of cold and depressing pictures passed by like a revolving lantern.
Fu Zhiyi's words were a simple narration without any direct vocabulary description.
But Mingxi couldn't sleep that night.
The part of her chest where Fu Yangxi lived seemed to hum slightly.
All the details she saw since she met Fu Yangxi flashed through Mingxi’s mind from beginning to end. Every detail was vivid and bright, showing the boy laughing and cursing in the wind. She thought she knew enough about Fu Yangxi, but turns out there were still many things she didn't know.
But now that she thought about it, a lot of things became clear.
Why he looked like a different person when he saw a dog and the way his eyes looked as if he fell into a nightmare in an instant.
Why he always had trouble falling asleep.
Why he was always hurt.
Mingxi tossed and turned, recalling the wound on his neck that time. The glass left a scratch which was about several centimeters in length. Although it was subtle and not deep, it must have been painful the moment he got cut.
The scar on his body had healed, but at this moment, it was uprooted in Mingxi's heart.
Mingxi's heart ached.
Mingxi had no way to ease his sadness.
That night, Mingxi cried incessantly in the middle of the night.
She didn't answer Fu Yangxi’s video call. She couldn't answer it at all in her current state. She was afraid that she would cry a lot if she picked up and Fu Yangxi might come over within an hour.
She only sent back a message with tears in her eyes, saying that she was asleep and that she would see him at school tomorrow.
The saddest thing was that all these wounds have passed. Now, standing in front of her was Fu Yangxi, an 18-year-old who had recovered from his wounds with his self-healing ability.
However, no one would ever be able to comfort the 13-year-old little Fu Yangxi who fled in fear that winter night.
Zhao Mingxi couldn't travel back to the past. She couldn't hold Fu Yangxi's hand at that time.
Mingxi's heart was in pain.
She opened her eyes and looked at the ceiling. The sky outside was lit up little by little. She just wanted to see Fu Yangxi as soon as possible.
The next day was the weekend. Sure enough, Mingxi's eyes were swollen into walnuts. She applied cold water for a long time but it was to no avail, so she could only take the bus back like this.
Fu Yangxi was tall and slender. In the cold wind, she saw Fu Yangxi waiting for her at the school gate at a glance.
As soon as Fu Yangxi saw her coming down, he carried her luggage and noticed that her expression was unusual.
"You cried?" Fu Yangxi said sharply, subconsciously looking at Shen Liyao not far away.
Carrying the luggage, Shen Liyao came down with a cold face and looked back at him.
Fu Yangxi exploded, his eyebrows suddenly rose.
Mingxi quickly pulled him aside and said, "I didn't cry. I just ate some Mala yesterday and it was so hot that I shed tears. My spice tolerance is quite weak. That’s why my eyes were swollen when I woke up this morning."
Fu Yangxi was doubtful, but there were people he knew in the training camp, and he did not hear of anyone bullying Little Mask like the last training camp. Is it really the tears from eating spicy food?
Mingxi said, “Let’s not talk about this. Didn’t you say that you’ll be going to your grandfather's house for dinner today?"
The two spoke about this when they were on a video call a few days ago. The last time Fu Yangxi's grandfather came, he had a fight with Fu Yangxi and the meeting ended on bad terms. Only afterwards did Fu Yangxi know that the old man had no ill will towards Mingxi.
Although Fu Yangxi was stubborn, he was brave enough to own up to his mistakes, so he apologized to the old man.
The old man’s anger had finally dissipated. He asked the two of them out for a meal.
Thus, Mingxi followed Fu Yangxi there.
Xiao Li drove the car.
On the way, Fu Yangxi noticed that there was something off about Mingxi today. “Today you’re quite—”
“What is it?”
Fu Yangxi glanced at Little Mask. Her hands wanted to hug him all the time, her eyes fell on his face all the time and her whole body was stuck to him all the time. It made his handsome face turn a little red. "Quite clingy."
Mingxi didn't want to say anything at this moment. She continued to bury her head in his arms, hugging him quietly.
The Fu family's house was very large. It was practically the kind of house Mingxi had only seen on TV. It was comparable to some old garden sites in Suzhou.
Originally, Mingxi would be in a good mood to tour the place, but today she just wanted to go back with Fu Yangxi and curl up in a warm bed to sleep.
It was too cold, and the breaths that came out had turned into ice.
Mingxi was led by Fu Yangxi into the old man's study. After sitting for a while, the cook prepared the meal and the three of them went to eat.
It may be because Mingxi was there today, but Fu Yangxi had actually gotten along with the old man calmly for once and played a few games of chess.
However, before they could take a few bites, an uninvited guest came.
The beautiful woman Mingxi saw outside the training camp last time, that is, Fu Yangxi's mother, Yu Jiarong came.
As soon as Yu Jiarong came, the atmosphere visibly stiffened. The old man and Fu Yangxi were both easily triggered, so they had to rely on Mingxi to be the middleman. Now the atmosphere was even more dire.
The old man didn't seem to like Yu Jiarong very much. He muttered with a cold face, "Why are you here?"
Yu Jiarong sneered and glanced at Mingxi. “I came to see what Yang Yang's girlfriend looks like. I remember that his brother didn't even have a girlfriend before he died, but he sure is quick to get one."
Fu Yangxi's face darkened.
"Do you have to come to disrupt the situation at this time?"
"I'm here to visit you, yet you think I’m being disruptive? Would you prefer it if I’m dead?" Yu Jiarong said in disbelief. After she finished speaking, she looked at Zhao Mingxi who was next to her and asked in a weird tone, “You. What's your name?"
Fu Yangxi stared at her, his whole body tense.
Usually he could tolerate her blatant cynicism, but it was absolutely impossible for him to tolerate her dragging Zhao Mingxi into these muddy waters.
He threw the bowl and chopsticks coldly on the table, his handsome face seemingly soaked in cold air.
His face was mixed with a darkness and anger that was completely different from usual. He stared at Yu Jiarong. “What do you want?"
Mingxi glanced at Fu Yangxi subconsciously.
Fu Yangxi stretched out his palm and held her hand tightly under the table.
Fu Yangxi didn't look at her, but what his actions meant was— Little Mask, don't be afraid.
The two clasped their fingers together.
Mingxi's heart seemed to be pinched by something. It seemed to be held up carefully by something and it felt too sore.
She suddenly understood why Fu Yangxi never talked about his family.
Because it was like a swamp.
He was afraid of being despised by her.
In other words, he was afraid that after she found out, he would be blamed and discarded by her.
"What could I possibly want? Didn't I say that I came to see your girlfriend?" Yu Jiarong gritted her teeth in hatred for Fu Yangxi's act of protecting the girl.
She had been living in the past, but why could Fu Yangxi and the old man continue to move forward?
How dare they?
Without saying a word, Fu Yangxi took Mingxi's hand and turned to leave. He said to the old man, "We’re leaving."
Yu Jiarong was immediately provoked. She suddenly became angry: "Stop right there—"
However, before Mingxi could hear the following words, Fu Yangxi suddenly pulled up the hat of her down jacket.
Fu Yangxi pulled the hat onto her head and covered her ears with warm hands in the cold wind.
He looked her in the eyes. He didn't want her to hear anything at all.
He was even more afraid that she would hear those malicious words.
He covered Zhao Mingxi's ears. After Yu Jiarong finished scolding, he pulled Zhao Mingxi away with a cold face and left quickly.
Fu Yangxi pulled Mingxi towards the gate of the courtyard, but Mingxi suddenly stopped and pushed away his hand which was holding her.
At this moment, Fu Yangxi's breathing almost stopped. He looked at Zhao Mingxi in disbelief, as if he fell into an ice cellar in an instant.
He almost thought that Mingxi was affected by Yu Jiarong's words.
However, in the next second, he saw Zhao Mingxi turn around.
Mingxi fixed her eyes at Yu Jiarong. Yu Jiarong didn't know what she was doing so she frowned.
Zhao Mingxi said word by word, “Auntie, you are manipulating his emotions."
Yu Jiarong said angrily, "How dare you—"
"It's because of too many emotional manipulations that Fu Yangxi has no sense of belonging in this world. You don't love him anymore, but he hasn't stopped loving you. So even if you’re sick, he wouldn’t force you to go to a sanitarium. Instead, he allowed you to take it out on him for the past five years."
The old man, Yu Jiarong and Lawyer Zhang who were next to him looked at Zhao Mingxi in shock.
"But have you forgotten something?" Mingxi's eyes gradually turned red, and her tears fell one by one.
She felt sad for Fu Yangxi. She really wanted to cry at this moment.
But she was holding back, she must finish what she wanted to say.
"Have you forgotten that even if he could bear it, he was just a child. When he felt so pressured, you couldn’t see it, and when he couldn’t sleep all night, did you ever notice it? You think he looks heartless and unaffected, so you want to force him to reminisce about the past with you and immerse yourself in grief, but how do you know that he’s not sad?"
"Fu Yangxi is such a person: even if you don't love him anymore, he would never hate you. He just won’t love himself."
The cold air froze Mingxi's tears.
Perhaps it was because they were shocked by Mingxi's tears, or perhaps because of her words, complex expressions appeared on the faces of Yu Jiarong and the old man.
"If you don't want him, I want him."
Mingxi pulled Fu Yangxi by the hand and walked out.
She rarely felt so sad. After her grandmother died, on the day she knelt in the mourning hall, she thought it was the last moment of sadness in her life. But she was completely heartbroken now. While she regretted not hugging and running towards Fu Yangxi in the crowd earlier, she was also thankful that it was not too late.
Fu Yangxi didn't react for a few minutes. He choked on his breath and stared blankly at the back of Zhao Mingxi as she pulled him away.
His head was blank and his heart was beating wildly.
He knew that Little Mask was crying now because she kept raising her hand to wipe her tears. He rarely saw Zhao Mingxi cry, only once when he was drunk and once now.
Fu Yangxi's throat was sore and his heart felt as if it was embraced by a warm current.
Many times, this place, home, meant disordered darkness to Fu Yangxi.
He didn’t know what would be coming next or if he would be lucky enough to fall asleep the next night.
He walked alone until he met Little Mask. Little Mask pulled him, rescued him, slapped him until he became fluffy and gave him sunshine.
She was the only one who defended him.
In fact, sometimes she didn’t need to do anything, just standing by his side could already give him enough warmth.
The two kept walking out of the house.
Mingxi wiped her tears again. It wasn't that she wanted to wipe them, but the tears were so turbulent that they ran into her neck and made her shiver.
"So this was why you were crying." Fu Yangxi's hoarse voice could be heard from behind her.
"Come here." Fu Yangxi turned her body back. His eyes were red as he wiped away the tears from the corners of her eyes with his thumb.
"Your eyes are red," Mingxi said.
Fu Yangxi smiled. An expression which was both arrogant and deserving of a slap appeared on his face. As always, he refused to admit it. "It’s because I got too cold. Let’s quickly get in the car and go home."
Mingxi forcefully pulled the corners of her mouth up and smiled, but in the next second she couldn't help crying in his arms.
ray's note: everyone is invited to my place for a crying session !!!