Chapter 33: The Hypocritical Ye Parents
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Xia Ling looked paler than usual as she picked up the box of roses.
To the horror of her roommates, she hurled it to the ground with immense force. A shrill sound echoed across the room as the crystal fragments scattered on the ground.
“Xingling, you…” Lan Lan was too shocked to speak.
Xia Ling could not be bothered with her. With a blank, look she mechanically got a broom, swept the fragments up and transferred them into a black trash bag. She then left the room, walked three streets out, and dumped the trash bag into the largest and dirtiest bin she saw.
The night was dead silent.
She dragged herself back to the dorm, exhausted, and tucked herself in.
The nightmares kept coming.
A huge prison cell stood deep in the boundless fog. She did not know when she walked into the cell, all she knew was that every time she desperately looked for an escape route, and no matter which direction she ran in, she would end up in front of a stretch of cold, steel barricades right in the way of the escape… And something would be looming from behind her, masked by the woods…
She started to have a cold sweat.
She wrapped her arms around her knees as she sat up on her bed, too afraid to shut her eyes. She held it out the whole night.
In the morning, Lan Lan looked at her as if she was seeing a ghost. “Xingling, were you out robbing a house last night or did you just fall out of love? Why were you sitting up the whole night instead of sleeping? Also, you don’t look very well today with your dark eye circles.”
Xia Ling acted like she did not hear anything and went ahead to wash up for practice.
At a dance, she almost twisted an ankle. And while singing, she went off pitch several times.
She gave Wei Shaoyin a call, informing him that she wouldn’t be going over for a while. Wei Shaoyin mockingly answered, “Yeah, you’d better reflect on yourself. For the previous song you were more a hindrance than a help, you’re thinking of cutting a debut in this state?”
She was in no mood to bicker with him, and instead weakly said, “If that’s all, I’m hanging up.”
Wei Shaoyin paused for a moment. “Xiaoling, is there something on your mind? What problems have you run into?”
She replied, “No.”
Wei Shaoyin continued lecturing her, “It’s best if that’s the case. If there’s anything, just let Tan Ying know. He’s in charge of you trainees anyway, you don’t have to go easy on him.”
“Got it.” She said.
Her head hurt as she hung up.
How was she supposed to tell Tan Ying something like that? She couldn’t possibly go: Chairman Tan, Director Pei of Imperial Entertainment wants me to be his woman, please help me get rid of him?
… It was not as if Tan Ying could get rid of him.
One nightmare after another, the boundless fog encapsulated her the moment she closed her eyes.
Over consecutive days without proper rest, she was all haggard and tired out. She had been waiting in trepidation for Pei Ziheng’s and Chu Chen’s next move, but it was as if they had disappeared, making no moves at all.
Just like that, it went on till the New Year when the training camp called for a two-week break.
The life of a trainee was a tough one. They hardly got to take breaks throughout the year, and the two-week leave for the New Year was the only chance they had to go home. So the moment the break commenced, most of them left the camp as soon as they could. Lan Lan and the other two roommates set off for home almost instantly, and the only person left in the empty and lifeless room was Xia Ling.
Tan Ying asked why she had not left.
Xia Ling was a little disoriented. In her memories, there was a lot of information regarding her parents, but none of that seemed anything but foreign to her — be it the term “parents” or the two very much alive people involved.
She did not know how to face them.
“Father” called several times to hurry her.
Tan Ying said, “Go back for a visit, Ye Xingling. You’ve been out here alone for so long, your parents must miss you a lot. Returning for reunions during celebrations and festivals is a child’s duty.”
That’s right… duty.
She calmly thought about it. Since she had taken over Ye Xingling’s body, she should take over the responsibilities that came with it as well. Very well, visiting Ye Xingling’s family on her behalf shall be her way of thanking her for loaning out that shell of a body.
The Ye family was in that city. Xia Ling followed the muscle memory that the body possessed, journeyed across half the city, and arrived at a door.
It was the stepmother who opened the door — she was cold and curt towards her. Yet, Xia Ling felt relieved by that. After all, she had no idea how to get along with her so-called parents but was more than immune to cold glares and enmity.
Father Ye felt extremely guilty and looked at her apologetically. Even so, all he said was, “Xingling, I know it’s not fair to you, but be a little more tolerant of your Aunt Liu, alright? She hasn’t had it easy all these years.”
Xia Ling nodded her head indifferently.
But on the inside, she found it a mockery. If she remembered correctly, this Aunt Liu was actually a mistress who chased her rightful mother out of the house. It’s no wonder there was a resistance to calling her “Mother”.
Whatever love that people talked about wasn’t real. The only reality was the fleeting nature of people.
She still did not sleep well at night, the same nightmare repeating over and over. The next day when she saw the way Father Ye and Aunt Liu interacted, she was reminded of Pei Ziheng — the way he eased her into her coat, the way he fed her… all the little things in the past surged back into her head.
The stepmother was extremely sarcastic to her, “Wow, is a celebrity not used to living in a small, commoner’s house like ours or something, she’s been pulling a long face since she came back. If there’s so much unhappiness, just pack up and return to the training camp sooner instead of being a jinx at home!”
On the account of Father Ye, she pretended not to hear it.
A few days past before Father Ye approached her. “Xingling, you’ve been back for a while and haven’t seen Feifei yet. Shall we go together as a family to visit her tomorrow?”
Xia Ling had no comment.
She and this sister of hers were basically strangers. In her memories, the original occupant of her body seemed to like her little sister Ye Xingfei a lot. Ye Xingfei’s smile was always filled with pure happiness, seemingly able to eradicate all the troubles in the world.
But that wasn’t how Xia Ling felt.
All that Xia Ling knew about kinship was in her past life, and it was spent on Xia Yu. In this life, she didn’t need any more attachment, she just needed to treat this so-called sister fairly and nothing more.
She, Father Ye, and Aunt Liu headed for the hospital in a packed public bus. This family was not all that well-to-do — they were just middle-class at best — and had to meticulously budget even for the smallest of things, so the routes they chose to take were always the cheapest but also the most congested. They spent a good two to three hours on the bus, and after they alighted, Xia Ling had a giddy spell that made even walking feel strangely effortless.
With every step, she felt like she was walking on the clouds. She followed Father Ye and Aunt Liu into the hospital building and then arrived at the VIP area in the top level.
Aunt Liu suddenly grabbed Father Ye. “Dear, I’m feeling giddy and nauseous, I think it must’ve been the ride earlier. I feel like I might puke, follow me to the toilet, quick…”
Father Ye frantically assisted her, as he shot Xia Ling a look of helplessness. A second later he finally said, “Xingling, how about this, could you go into the ward first? It’s not far from here, just walk to the end of the corridor, 2206. It’s easy to spot.”
She replied, “Okay.”
She turned around and went to look for the ward herself.
It was easy to spot alright. At the end of the corridor was a wood textured door to the ward; it was gorgeous and exuded an air of magnificence, looking way more presentable than the one at home. She looked up to check the ward number again. 2206, this was it.
She pushed the door open and walked in.