Chapter 5 - A Moody Brother
Let’s break up.
That was exactly what he heard her say.
“Little Jin, are you breaking up with me just because I hugged Cheng Xin?” Shao Chong was surprised that Gu Jin would take the initiative to break up with him. However, he didn’t care. He assumed that she was simply playing a joke on him and replied gently, “Why would you say something like that? I simply allowed her to borrow my shoulder to comfort her. Since we are all good friends, don’t mind it so much, all right?”
“No.” Gu Jin shook her head. “It’s not because you embraced her. It’s your heart. Your eyes tell me…that you don’t like me.”
Stepping forward, she looked up at him. Her momentum didn’t weaken due to her lack of height; instead, she displayed a side of herself that was more resolute and stronger.
“The person you like,” she said with a deep breath as she gazed deep into his eyes, “is Cheng Xin.” She appeared as if she needed to muster up all the courage she could in her attempt to smile.
No doubt, it was true.
Her words reverberated like thunder, shaking Shao Chong’s mind.
How did she know? When did she find out?
Numerous questions overwhelmed his mind. His lips moved, as if to say, “Cheng Xin and I are just good friends. You shouldn’t think too much about it.” Although his lips moved to reply, he couldn’t say a word under Gu Jin’s gaze. Her eyes remained clear and moving. Her gentle and kind smile appeared familiar to Shao Chong. At the same time, however, it seemed foreign to him. Whatever retort he could come up with at that moment could only come out weak and powerless.
He recalled Gu Jin’s utter joy when he first said they could be “together.” Did she want to break up after just a few days? Shao Chong wasn’t attracted to Gu Jin. Yet, at the same time, he didn’t want to break up with her. Gu Jin’s current expression carried no falsehood. She wasn’t kidding! Shao Chong couldn’t believe it.
In the end, he replied while walking away, “You’re tired today. That’s why you’re speaking nonsense. I’ll pretend I never heard this, so don’t mention it again. I won’t break up with you.”
Cut! Your combat power is too low! If you don’t even feel true affection for me, then why would you pretend to act protective? Gu Jin thought, Since you refuse to break up with me, don’t blame me if you end up wearing a green hat!
As the low-key Audi departed, Gu Jin stuck her tongue out and pointed her middle finger up at it.
* * *
From within the taxi, Gu Jin peered outside at the small western-like villa. Although the size of her apartment was small, when compared to the size of other villas surrounding it, the actual area of her residence was quite sizable. In a city like the capital, where every inch of land was as expensive as gold, a villa this size was enough to prove the capabilities of the Gu family.
“You’ve come back,” Gu Changsheng was watering his small garden when he heard the gate swing open, but he didn’t turn around to look.
“Father.” Gu Jin set aside the items she had been carrying and greeted her father respectfully.
After hearing her response, Gu Changsheng turned his head to look back, put his watering can down, then pulled his glasses out from his pocket.
“It’s Gu Jin. Why did you come back today?” He accepted a handkerchief from Gu Jin and wiped his hands.
“Teng Teng will take the college entrance exam soon, so I came back to check on him.” Gu Jin followed him as they walked toward their house.
After hearing her explanation, Gu Changsheng turned to look at her strangely. Finally, he looked up at the sky, wondering if the sun was rising from the west.
At fifty years old, Gu Changsheng worked as a professor at the Imperial University. The Imperial University was famous in the academic world. His eldest child was his daughter, Gu Jin, while his second child was his son, Gu Teng. Their ages had a two-year difference between them. Both of them inherited the excellent genes of his wife, along with their father’s good looks and intellect. As such, Gu Changsheng was proud of his career and his harmonious family. Additionally, he managed his health well and appeared as if he were still in his forties, all while maintaining a scholarly demeanor. At that moment, he was acting out of character.
Gu Jin simply smiled upon observing her father’s reaction to her. The original Gu Jin’s younger brother, named Gu Teng, was eighteen years old. Tall and handsome, people knew him for his bright, sunny character. Reasonably, one could say that any sister could hope for and be proud of such a younger brother. However, the relationship between the original Gu Jin and Gu Teng was rather bad. Of course, this was mainly because Gu Teng refused to get along with his sister. He teased her every time they met, especially in these past six months.
Gu Teng was studying in his third year of high school. He was facing an important turning point in life. For the past year, in order not to offend him nor distract him from his studies, the former Gu Jin returned home less frequently.
Since their parents were both intellectual, neither parent believed that men were better than women. Their parents felt helpless because their children weren’t getting along. They planned to reprimand Gu Teng, but Gu Jin stopped them.
Although the reasons why Gu Teng took such offense toward Gu Jin confused the original Gu Jin, she still felt deep fondness for her brother. She attributed his actions to the heavy pressure he underwent at school. As his older sister, she never blamed him.
After being away for so long, Gu Jin visited their home that day. It’s no wonder that Father Gu was surprised.
“Little Teng, your sister is back!” Gu Changsheng loudly called out to his son from outside before stepping into the house. Suddenly, before he even finished his words, the tap tap tap tap of quick footsteps rang through the hall.
Gu Jin’s eyes lit up. A beautiful youth with slightly curled hair sped past her and sat down on the sofa in the living room. Even though she was familiar with his appearance from the host’s memories, her brother’s attractiveness still surprised her.
Gu Changsheng frowned, then scolded the young man with a stern face, “Gu Teng, you saw that your sister is here to visit, yet you still haven’t greeted her.”
“Where is my sister? Why haven’t I seen her?” Gu Teng replied with an innocent expression. He continued to lounge on the sofa while twirling his curly hair with one hand.
“What kind of nonsense are you speaking? Who taught you to act so rude?” As someone who had devoted his life to education, Gu Changsheng was unable to spend much time with his son and daughter. However, that didn’t prevent him from finding time to teach his son about manners.
Gu Teng laughed sarcastically and replied, “Rules…etiquette…you and mother valued them so much that you even raised an obedient daughter. Did you want to raise me to become a blind follower as well?” If following rules meant blind obedience, then he chose to not follow the rules.
His son’s retort infuriated Gu Changsheng, but Gu Jin tugged at his sleeve. She knew whom Gu Teng was referring to.
Since Gu Changsheng and Li Mingxia both worked as professors at a prestigious university, their children regarded them as role models. In order not to soil their reputations, the original Gu Jin conducted herself with discipline since childhood. No matter what she studied or how she lived, nothing she did worried her parents.
The Gu parents discovered early on that their daughter had not only grown mature and dignified, but she had also lost the carefree aura of a bright girl. Fortunately, their relatives, the Cheng Family, had an older daughter who was pure, lovable, and highly attractive. Hoping that Cheng Xin could help improve their daughter’s temperament, the couple often put the two cousins together.
In the future, many years after their daughter’s death, the Gu parents questioned this decision many times. If they had known that Gu Jin’s association with Cheng Xin would bring a disaster to their daughter, they would have distanced themselves far away from the Chengs’ home right from the start.
Gu Jin sat opposite of Gu Teng and pleaded to him, “Little Teng, aren’t you going to welcome me?”
Gu Teng squinted, appearing extremely preoccupied with his hair as he fiddled with it some more.
“Well, okay, I’ll just head back to school.” After waiting for a few seconds, Gu Jin stood up in disappointment and walked away slowly.
Meanwhile, Gu Teng fiddled with his hair even faster, causing his curly hair to messily cover his forehead.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to hand over the game I bought for you,” she lamented with a sigh.
One, two, three.
“Stop! Who told you to leave?” Gu Teng couldn’t help but call out. He stood up straight with arms folded and displeasure on his face.
Both Gu Jin and her brother were born with charming, peach-shaped eyes. If Gu Teng’s eyes weren’t darting so obviously and nervously toward the exit, his expression of disgust for her would have been more convincing.
Since he could only see her from behind, he couldn’t see Gu Jin’s triumphant smile.
If the original host was in this situation instead, the way her brother turned a blind eye on her would have saddened her.
However, the transmigrated Gu Jin, with information from the host’s memories, was able to notice at a glance that the boy’s scowl had some flaws.
In the host’s past life, Gu Jin died at the hands of her kidnappers, leaving a corpse and the loss of two lives. Such a tragedy caused her parents’ hair to turn gray; it was as if the couple had aged overnight upon the death of their daughter, prompting their health to deteriorate.
Gu Jin’s younger brother—Gu Teng, who had originally turned a blind eye on her—was the one who sought revenge on her behalf. He made enemies with the Shao, Cheng, and Jing families to seek justice for her. That was when Gu Jin realized her brother never hated her. What he hated was the fact that Gu Jin followed Cheng Xin around and foolishly regarded her as a good sister. This caused their relationship as siblings to drift apart.
At that moment, Gu Jin’s footsteps paused for merely a moment. Then, she resumed walking toward the door.
Gu Changsheng glanced at his son and scolded angrily, “Gu Teng, if your sister leaves this house today, I’ll kick you out of the house myself.”
Gu Teng hummed defiantly, then strode forward a few paces before grabbing Gu Jin’s arm. He looked up at the ceiling instead of her face and coaxed in an awkward manner, “Hey, didn’t you hear Dad? If you leave again, the old man will chase me out.”
Would she still leave? Of course not!
She obediently followed Gu Teng as he led her back to the sofa.
A few minutes later, Father Gu returned to his room to phone his wife, who was still teaching at school. With just the two of them alone, Gu Teng displayed his naughty side once again.
“At least someone still knows that Gu Jin is not pronounced as ‘Cheng Jin.’ Why don’t you call yourself Miss Cheng’s lackey?”
“Little Teng, I’m your older sister, even though you don’t appear to know my name,” Gu Jin spoke earnestly, pretending as if she missed the ridicule behind his words.
When Gu Teng heard her say “older sister,” he felt as if he just heard a funny joke. He teasingly replied, his tone filled with jealousy, “How are you my older sister? You’re obviously Cheng Xin’s sister, not mine.”
“Since I spoke the truth, there’s nothing else for me to explain!” Gu Teng glared at her ominously. If she dared to acknowledge this fact, he planned to bite her to death.
Who would expect that, instead of being frightened, Gu Jin ended up laughing in amusement?
“What’s so funny?” Gu Teng was confused by her reaction. Angrily, he replied, “I won’t fall apart just because I don’t have a sister. I don’t care who is more important to you.” As if to reflect the teenager’s sour mood, Gu Teng’s wavy hair straightened and now hung limply over his forehead.
Gu Teng had always wondered what was so good about Cheng Xin for Gu Jin to maintain a friendship with her. Since the Gu Family and Cheng Family were related, it was natural for their children to be close to each other. However, his elder sister was gentle, beautiful, dignified, and refined. Why should she follow Cheng Xin around? Was it to become a foil to Cheng Xin so that Cheng Xin’s arrogance appeared innocent and cute? But why? Even if the Gu Family was not as wealthy as the business-minded Cheng family, they were still rather well-respected! Nonetheless, his sister still blindly followed Cheng Xin’s every footstep, unaware that Cheng Xin might be using her.
He kindly persuaded her several times to keep a distance, but Gu Jin didn’t take his words to heart. As a prideful brother, how could he be satisfied when his beautiful sister was being led in circles like this? Gu Jin and Cheng Xin had always been inseparable. Sometimes when Gu Jin came home, Cheng Xin would join her and stay at their house. This made Gu Teng want to vomit! Regardless, he wasn’t jealous that his sister cares more about Cheng Xin than him.
Somehow, the more Gu Jin observed Gu Teng, the more she imagined that her brother resembled a snow-white kitten. He might bare his teeth and appear fierce. However, when he stretches out his tiny paws, all he does is poke you indignantly before quickly retracting them back. Did she want to tease him? Yet, at the same time, she didn’t want to hurt his pride. He resembled a fuming cat rather accurately, especially when he was angry. This provoked Gu Jin’s “little girl’s heart,” so much that she felt the urge to reach out and touch his curly hair.
In order not to anger her cute little brother, Gu Jin suppressed her impulse to reach out. In an effort to stifle her laughter, she coughed and asked soberly, “Little Teng, I don’t know what I’ve done in the past to cause misunderstandings between us, but I promise in the future I’ll keep a distance from Cheng Xin. My closest sibling is only you, my brother!”
Gu Teng looked at her in disbelief. After a moment, he donned his facade again and murmured, “Why would I care?”
Gu Jin laughed when she saw the tips of Gu Teng’s ears redden.