Chapter 196: Her Adoptive Parent
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Xia Ling was in a daze.
She heard the discipline master hurrying her. “What are you still doing over there? Hurry and go! Xia Ling, you’ve gotten lucky today. Mr. Pei is so wealthy… If you make him happy, maybe there will be hope for your sister’s treatment expenses!”
Xia Ling’s heartbeat started to quicken. “Really?”
“When have I lied to you?” The discipline master glared at her. “Haven’t you heard of the Pei family that owns Imperial Entertainment? They are constantly on the news and are the wealthiest of the wealthy families. The Mr. Pei who is here today is the new head of the family. The representatives from all the small corporations that came to donate money to us can’t hold a candle to him. Xia Yu’s treatment expenses might be an exorbitant sum to others, but to Mr. Pei, he can take it out with just a word.”
Xia Ling’s heart started to beat even quicker as she clenched her fist, allowing her fingernails to bite into the center of her palm. For Xia Yu, she was willing to do anything, what was a little dance? She was about to run off in the direction of the classroom where the dancewear was stored that instant but felt the piercing pain from the sole of her foot with her first step. She lost her footing and almost fell onto the ground.
“Aye!” The discipline master caught hold of her. “Be careful! How will you dance if you get injured from the fall?”
She regained her balance with difficulty, the pain in her foot intensifying, making her break out in cold sweat. Seeing her pale face, the discipline master said, “Are you alright? If you’re unwell, do speak up. Your health is important too, you don’t have to dance if you can’t take it.”
“I’m fine.” She squeezed out a smile. “I was too excited hearing the news and just slipped up.”
The discipline master relaxed and nodded his head, watching as she left.
Xia Ling clenched her teeth together as she tolerated the sharp pain, walking quickly and steadily to the dance studio. Upon reaching the dance studio, she avoided the teachers and changed into her dancewear and dance shoes, hiding her bloodied shoes inside the cupboard. The teachers helped her put on some makeup and reminded her what to look out for, like presenting herself to be obedient, not to make Mr. Pei unhappy, and so on. She responded as she would usually, such that nobody realized she was seriously injured.
She was bent on performing this dance.
The discipline master said that Mr. Pei was rich, and even if there was only a glimmer of hope, she had to give her all for a chance to get Mr. Pei to save Xia Yu. She would not only dance, but she would also dance better than she ever did before.
The dance was scheduled for the afternoon luncheon.
The teachers kept reminding her. “Xia Ling, this luncheon was organized just for you. Mr. Pei had not originally wanted to stay for lunch, but agreed on account of seeing you dance. You had better do well, don’t make the orphanage lose face.”
Xia Ling breathed in a deep breath and went onstage.
Dancing was her forte. She stretched out her body and performed difficult moves one after another, flowing smoothly like water. Initially, she could feel the sharp pain in her foot everytime she moved, but was soon numb to the pain, lost in her world of dance. She gave her all and presented all that she had learned up till then perfectly. When she finished her dance, she looked up and saw that young man slowly raise his hands and give two light claps.
Was he satisfied? Or was he just being polite?
Xia Ling was extremely nervous. Instinctively, she knew that he was that Mr. Pei and could not help but sneak a few more glances at him. However, she could not read how he felt off his impassive expression.
The announcer hurried her offstage in a low voice.
Xia Ling was preoccupied and wondering how he felt, walking back to her seat in the dressing room like she was sleepwalking. She did not leave the room.
After God knows how long.
The door of the dressing room was opened. It was the discipline master again. “Xia Ling, why are you still here? You didn’t even change? Quick, there’s no time, Mr. Pei wants to see you.”
Mr. Pei wants to see her? She looked at the discipline master in shock, and her heart started to beat faster. “What is it?”
The discipline master could not hide the smile that had spread across his face. “He said he wants to adopt you.”
“Adopt me? Then, what about Xiao Yu?!” She asked anxiously. Many people had wanted to adopt her but had given up after hearing that they had to take in Xia Yu as well.
The smile on the discipline master’s face became even wider. “The head of the orphanage explained to Mr. Pei about you and your sister. Mr. Pei is willing to adopt both of you together and has promised to give Xia Yu the best treatment.”
Xia Ling’s voice started to tremble. “Really?!”
“Why would I lie to you?” He smiled and nudged Xia Ling. “Didn’t I tell you that you’ve gotten lucky this time? You sisters are finally seeing the light of day after all that you’ve been through. The Pei family is extremely wealthy and will not mistreat you. Don’t forget the orphanage when you’re living the high life! Come back to visit us often!”
Xia Ling nodded her head with gusto. All of this felt unreal and like a dream to her.
The discipline master rushed her off to change her clothes again. However, before she could change, he received a call and said after hanging up, “Forget it! There’s no time to change. The head of the orphanage is asking us to go over quickly so that Mr. Pei doesn’t have to wait any longer. Come with me.”
He turned around and headed out of the dressing room. Xia Ling followed him closely but suddenly felt the intense pain from the sole of her foot. She recalled then that she was injured. She was fine while she was dancing on stage, but now that she had relaxed, the pain was killing her.
“What’s wrong?” Seeing that Xia Ling was not keeping up with him, the discipline master stopped and asked.
She clenched her teeth together and said she was fine again. She could feel that the sole of her foot was sticky — the wound had probably started to bleed again. She looked down at her feet and saw that the bleeding did not show on the outside. Hence, she used all her determination to follow behind the discipline master. She was this close to being adopted, there was no way she was going to pass up on this chance.
She reached the VIP room with difficulty.
The head of the orphanage was chatting with the young man. Seeing her, he pulled her over enthusiastically and introduced. “Mr. Pei, this is Xia Ling. She’s had a tough life but is an extremely obedient girl. She won’t create any trouble for you at all.” He then lowered his head and chided her. “Xiao Ling, be a good girl and listen to Mr. Pei in the future! Do whatever he tells you to. Do you understand?”
Xia Ling nodded her head emphatically and looked up at the young man nervously. She was afraid that he was going to change his mind.
That young man said to the head of the orphanage, “I want to speak to this child alone.”
The head of the orphanage left with the discipline master in tow, leaving the room to the two of them.
Xia Ling carefully looked the young man up and down. Her adoptive parent was sitting in a deep-colored armchair against the window, his hands casually in his lap, looking relaxed. Random rays of sunlight were shining on his face and body, crisscrossed with shadows of the blinds, making him look mysterious and attractive. She had to admit that he was the best-looking person she had ever seen in the twelve years of her life thus far.
“You’re Xiao Ling, right?” He opened his mouth to speak, his voice gentle.
Xia Ling nodded, too nervous to speak.
He smiled. “Don’t be afraid, Xiao Ling. I said I was going to adopt you. I won’t go back on my word.”
“What about Xia Yu?” The question was out of her mouth before she could stop herself.
“The same goes for Xia Yu.” The young man said. “I’ve already asked my men to get the adoption procedures in order.”
“You’re going to help Xia Yu get treatment, right?” She asked anxiously.
“Of course.” He gently looked at her. “In the future, I will make sure that all your wishes become a reality.”
Xia Ling heaved a sigh of relief, feeling as if a huge boulder had been lifted off her shoulders. Her nose crinkled and she felt her eyes smart with tears as she repeatedly said, “Thank you… Thank you… Thank you…”
He laughed, and his eyes became gentler. “You don’t have to thank me. You’re very special and deserve all of this.”
Deserve all of this? She stared at him blankly.
He did not explain any more and only said, “Xiao Ling, come over here. Let me take a closer look at you.”