Defeated By Love - Chapter 16.1 - Are You Going To Protect Me?
Translated by Fairy_Dust
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For a moment, Shu Nian couldn’t fully react and asked: “Would you like to record the song earlier?”
When she said that, Xie Ruhe became a little uncomfortable. He was confused by her and looked into Shu Nian’s clear eyes. He became silent for a few seconds and then lowered his eyes as he couldn’t find any reason to give her: “…um.”
Shu Nian immediately agreed: “At what time?”
Xie Ruhe asked: “Are you free tomorrow morning?”
“Yes.” Shu Nian honestly answered. “I usually don’t have to go to the studio in the morning.”
“Then what time do you usually wake up at?”
“I don’t have a set time but I usually wake up at noon…” At that point, Shu Nian paused and wondered out loud. “It doesn’t matter though. When do you want to start recording? I can make it on time.”
He acted like he didn’t hear her. Xie Ruhe looked down and pondered for a moment. He then said something unexpected: “It’s still better at 1PM.”
After Shu Nian left, Xie Ruhe returned to the main road and went home.
He happened to arrive when it was dinner time. The housekeeper and Fang Wencheng were there but dinner was not yet ready. Fang Wencheng was sitting on the sofa when he heard the front door open. He immediately stood up and put on a smiling face: “Young master, you’re back?”
Xie Ruhe lifted his eyes and glanced at him. His expression was cold and dull.
Although Ji Xinghuai had already said that if Xie Ruhe got angry, he could just blame him but in the end, Fang Wencheng still didn’t dare to do such a thing.
He took a deep breath and said the words he had planned all afternoon in a single breath. They were spoken in an official and stiff manner.
“I’m sorry, young master. It’s like this because I was worried about the deadline given by Huajing which was getting closer and closer and there was still no singer. In such an anxious state, an idea suddenly came to me. You had praised Miss Shu Nian for singing well and so I made a bad decision on my own accord.”
Fang Wencheng’s tone was very flattering: “I hope you can forgive me this once, young master.”
Xie Ruhe looked at him and calmly repeated two of his words: “A bad decision?”
Fang Wencheng didn’t know where he had struck one of his nerves again. His head became numb and he instantly changed his attitude.
“Good decision! Yes, good decision!”
But, unlike what he had imagined, Xie Ruhe didn’t lose his temper. He just casually moved his wheelchair over and poured a glass of water next to the coffee table: “Next time, tell me in advance.”
Fang Wencheng quickly responded: “Yes.”
Xie Ruhe picked up the water glass and suddenly remembered something. His movements paused and he murmured familiar words. “You did something wrong.”
Fang Wencheng could only breathe out in relief for a second before he had to tense up again: “Yes, I, I did something wrong.”
Right after, Xie Ruhe raised his head, looking thoughtful: “Then reflect on it.”
Fang Wencheng was at a loss: “Ah?”
Xie Ruhe looked at him, his eyes were dark and still.
Fang Wencheng reacted and looked repentant: “Yes, I’ll go back to reflect on it.”
Xie Ruhe stated: “Do it here.”
“…” Fang Wencheng became more and more confused about what that man was thinking. He reluctantly repeated: “Here?”
“En.” Xie Ruhe said blankly. “Let me see how you reflect.”
In fact, she didn’t need to go to Huang Lizhi for anything. The main reason was that she felt it was still too early. She couldn’t have anything to do at home so she decided to go to the studio.
Shu Nian didn’t enter the recording studio. She just watched them from the outside. She didn’t stay too late because she still wanted to go home to practice her singing. She left the studio around ten o’clock.
Shu Nian went home and entered her room after washing up. Her hair was half wet and she sat down at her desk. She turned on the computer and opened a music software. Then, she adjusted the position of her microphone.
She transferred the audio Xie Ruhe sent her to the computer.
Shu Nian intended to record herself while singing and then comparing the differences by herself. Otherwise, if she sang normally, she wouldn’t be able to tell what her problem was.
She played the whole song first.
The quiet room filled with light and drawn out music.
Not long after, the lyrics that Shu Nian had heard on repeat that day made her become lost in her thoughts. She remembered what Xie Ruhe had said to her.
He sat in the wheelchair with his bangs hanging down his forehead. His fine eyelashes covered the emotions in his eyes. He very naturally told her: “I’ll sing it first and then you can follow me.”
After only recently meeting again, Xie Ruhe openly followed her around but when she exposed him for it, he pretended to be deaf and mute. Shu Nian found that feeling to be quite familiar.
It had happened too many times in the past between them.
At that time, it was actually a daily occurrence.
He followed her from her house to school and from school back home.
Xie Ruhe followed her every day without any concealment. When she looked at him, he would not hide either. He would just quietly stand in one place.
At first, she thought it was only a coincidence and didn’t put too much thought into it but after a few more days, she sensed something was wrong and frowned. She asked him: “Why are you following me?”
Xie Ruhe didn’t keep silent. He looked cold and calm: “I’m not.”
“I’m not following you.”
Shu Nian had always easily believed in other people so she immediately trusted him without a doubt. She felt like she had misunderstood him once again and mumble a quick apology to him.
This “coincidentally walking the same road” lasted for several days.
Shu Nian was unable to hold back anymore. She clutched the straps of her school bag in her hands and looked back. She was feeling very strange and suddenly asked. “Are you really not following me?”
Xie Ruhe didn’t feel panicked at all by being caught and lightly spoke. “I’m also walking this way.”
Shu Nian exploded. Her face was sullen as she unhappily uncovered all of his lies: “Your family obviously doesn’t live here so why are you taking this road?”
Xie Ruhe didn’t talk anymore. He acted as if her question was stupid and he was too lazy to explain it.
Shu Nian persisted and kept asking him but he continued to pretend that he couldn’t hear her.
Shu Nian felt that Xie Ruhe was lying. He didn’t live there and he had nothing to do in the area either. Why did he always take that road? And why was it that as she walked on the path in front of her house, he would just turn around and leave?
She didn’t understand him at all and she also felt a fair amount of annoyance towards him that she couldn’t get rid of the little tail she had acquired1.
It was also a tail who didn’t like to talk.
The two of them seemed to be in a silent struggle where they had each other in a deadlock.
Shu Nian no longer took the initiative to talk to him. She regarded Xie Ruhe who was walking behind her as air. He had always been silent so since Shu Nian had decided to not speak, he didn’t take the initiative to make conversation either.
It became a routine and they peacefully spent a week together like that, at a distance of three meters from each other.
Until one day.
On the way home from school, Shu Nian was stopped by an uncle she didn’t recognise. He asked her to go and do him a favour. Her expression showed that she was hesitant. She stood on the spot without moving and muttered: “What do you need help with?”
Shu Nian felt odd.
It was the beginning of April. The weather was still very chilly and the cold air seeped into the bones. The surrounding trees didn’t have any of their leaves. They looked bare, miserable and dull.
The man who was standing in front of her with a beard carried himself in a sloppy manner. He wore a knee-length windbreaker and appeared to be extremely cold. He was pulling on the zipper of his jacket with both of his hands. He looked like he was wrapping himself up tightly but his calves were exposed. Underneath, he was wearing a pair of dirty sneakers.
His smile was menacing and dark.
Shu Nian subconsciously stepped back.
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