Translated by Eve
Edited by Kara
Thank you Ciel and two anonymous donors for the kofi 💕
Song Xuanhe responded sincerely without any hesitation. He was so direct that no one could doubt his sincerity.
Xiao Yuanmu’s expression cleared up a bit at this answer. The corner of his lips rose up, almost unnoticeable, but it did not miss Song Xuanhe’s attention. A pair of beautiful eyes fixed onto him, and the accompanying voice was cool and refreshing, “But to me, it looks like you’re really interested in him.”
Song Xuanhe became slightly dazed at Xiao Yuanmu’s eyes that seemed to carry a smile in them. If he didn’t remember incorrectly, this was the first time he had ever seen Xiao Yuanmu smile.
Although the smile wasn’t obvious, when that faint smile came onto that face, it was really…exceptional.
Xiao Yuanmu’s eyes were slightly curved, making Song Xuanhe think of spring water in early winter, clear and bright. When the wind blew, light reflected off the water’s surface, and revitalizing mist and the scent of rosin came with it. If he used a large expanse of white with just the right amount of ink blue as the main points—if he hadn’t transmigrated into this book—Song Xuanhe thought that he would be very satisfied with what he could have come up with for this year’s spring-summer line.
However, there was no point in thinking “What if?” in this world. However, he couldn’t deny that Xiao Yuanmu really gave him a lot of inspiration.
Xiao Yuanmu quietly waited for Song Xuanhe’s response. The other side of the room, however, had become noisy. Everyone crowded around the centre. The two of them suddenly looked really incongruous standing there in their original spots.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
“Er shao,” Someone patted Song Xuanhe’s shoulder and said with a smile, “They’re cutting the cake over there. Aren’t you coming?”
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Xiao Yuanmu indeed pursed his lips slightly. However, before he could speak, someone came and wrapped an arm around Song Xuanhe’s shoulder. “What are you talking about, ne? Nan zi has been waiting for you. Everyone’s already there. Hurry up and come with me.”
Song Xuanhe glanced at this unfamiliar person. He knew that this was the plot’s doing. Therefore, he pulled the hand off his shoulder and lightly gestured at Xiao Yuanmu with his chin, “I’m going to head over there.”
After saying this, he didn’t wait for Xiao Yuanmu’s response and directly left with the person who had been speaking with him before. He didn’t look back.
The music in the banquet hall was relaxing. Their footsteps were light. Xiao Yuanmu could faintly make out their conversation:
“Just now, was that your new boyfriend? The one you embarrassed Lu Chao over?”
Song Xuanhe’s voice was muffled. He had probably just made a “mn” sound.
“Really high quality, ah,” That person clicked their tongue. He then laughed with a wretched overtone, “Only, you don’t seem as interested in him as they say. Our Er shao is famous for getting tired of his lovers after three months. Who knows how long that fellow will last? When you break things off, let me play with him, hm?”
Xiao Yuanmu’s expression was ice-cold. He turned to look in the direction Song Xuanhe had gone. Those two had already reached the crowd. He couldn’t hear Song Xuanhe’s reply.
“Isn’t this Mr. Xiao of the venture investment division? Why are you standing here all on your own?”
A charming but undisguised hostile voice chimed. Xiao Yuanmu cast an insipid gaze over towards it. He saw a woman dressed in bright and neat clothes.
Song Jiani looked in Song Xuanhe’s direction and smiled. Her red lips slightly parted, “Xuanhe gege, really? How could he leave you here? He shouldn’t have done that, ah.”
Sweeping a gaze over Song Jiani’s lips that had lipstick on them, a layer of frost covered Xiao Yuanmu’s already icy face. “Move.”
When she saw Xiao Yuanmu’s expression, Song Jiani laughed, muffled in her hand. After laughing, she gave him an askance glance with misty eyes, smile not reaching her eyes, “Do you know what kind of place this is, asking me to move?”
“Or rather, do you know what the theme of today’s party is?” Song Jiani blinked her eyes, mood quite good, “Let me tell you, ba. The theme of today’s party is ‘hunting.’ Look at those people gathered over there. Don’t they look familiar? You see them often on TV. They’re all prey. Prey without owners, just like you.”
Xiao Yuanmu’s expression didn’t change. In his mind appeared the profound look the person who had called Song Xuanhe over had had on his face. A bad premonition rose up in his heart.
As expected, Song Jiani smiled lovably in the next second and said, “I thought that you were important to Xuanhe gege, ne. I didn’t think that it was just this. You looked pitiful, so I came to explain things to you so that you don’t offend someone you shouldn’t and embarrass Xuanhe gege.”
“Aside from lovers and people with owners, everyone else who came here are split between hunters and prey. You know who the prey are, I don’t have to talk about that. The hunters are those by the long table. You should also be able to see, ba. Xuanhe gege is also over there. After the cake is cut, it’ll begin. The hunters have a tacit agreement that they can capture any prey they take a fancy to during this banquet. So long as it’s prey without an owner, the hunter can use any means to capture them. Usually, they offer money or directly grant them some kind of status, Of course, there’s also slightly more exciting things. For example, if a prey doesn’t agree to these conditions, other methods can be employed, la.”
Song Jiani beamed, “Only, the prey who come here all know about the rules and agreed to this game. Usually, the methods used won’t be too much. You don’t have to be too scared.”
As soon as Song Jiani had finished speaking, a woman with a round face came over from the side and looked at Xiao Yuanmu. Her tone was full of anticipation, “Jiani, I quite like him. If Song shao really left him here, I will have to participate and contend for him.”
“Do it,” Song Jiani laughed. Her eyes were full of disdain, “Only, looking at how seductive he looks, there will probably be quite a lot of people contesting for him, both guys and girls. When the time comes, you’ll have to fork over quite a lot. You might as well discuss things now with Mr. Xiao and see at what price he’s willing to sell.”
The other woman’s eyes clung to Xiao Yuanmu’s body, licking it all over from top to bottom with her gaze. She flipped her hair and blinked, “Xiao gege, what do you want?”
Song Jiani and some others stared at Xiao Yuanmu silently as if watching a good show, waiting for his response.
Xiao Yuanmu’s gaze lowered. Aside from slightly pursed lips, no one could discern his expression. He was more calm than Song Jiani had expected. Even the people by Song Jiani’s side were rather surprised. If they didn’t know that the young man before them really hadn’t known about the rules, they would have thought that he had already made mental preparations.
Xiao Yuanmu couldn’t bother with the onlookers’ shock, whether they were expressing it openly or inwardly. Only he knew how cold his heart had become upon hearing Song Jiani’s words. Along with the frost came a nearly insuppressible darkness. However, even though he had seen Song Xuanhe leave without looking back, he still had a sliver of hope that even he found ridiculous.
Before he could respond, the people by the long table suddenly broke out into a celebratory ruckus. There was laughter mixed in. The lighting in the banquet hall darkened considerably at the same time. The originally relaxing music also suddenly stopped and changed into an impassioned tune. The people by the table scattered, heading towards the ‘prey’—according to Song Jiani—seeming to each have their own targets.
Amongst them, there were quite a few people who headed over towards him.
Song Jiani didn’t expect the game to start so soon. Only, the faster the better. When Xuanhe gege saw Xiao Yuanmu’s true face, he would naturally snap out of the spell Xiao Yuanmu’s looks had on him. He would understand who really loved him the most and who was really best suited for him.
“There’s quite a few people who like you, ne,” Song Jiani covered her lips and laughed. She said to him, “In any case, we’ve worked together, so I should give you a word of advice. There’s a lot of people willing to spend money, ne. Be on your guard and choose well. You’ll absolutely be able to get yourself a good financial supporter.”
Xiao Yuanmu didn’t even give them a glance. He slightly turned his head and quietly stared in Song Xuanhe’s direction. His profile that looked like it had been carved out of stone was cold, but there was a hope contained in his eyes that he himself didn’t even notice.
Song Jiani laughed upon seeing this and said, “Don’t think that Xuanhe gege will come over. If he didn’t agree to this, do you think that these people would dare to come over? Don’t be so naive. You couldn’t really have thought that he would really fall in love with you because of your face?”
Xiao Yuanmu glanced back slightly. His frosty gaze had a nearly tangible cold to it. His clear voice lowered and was hoarse, carrying a sliver of anger, “Shut up.”
These two words made Song Jiani startled for no reason whatsoever. She even felt a bit afraid.
However, before she could analyze why she would feel fear towards this lowly orphan, she saw Xiao Yuanmu’s gaze turn back toward its original direction. His originally icy silhouette, however, seemed to have softened quite a bit.
Song Jiani bit her lips. She followed Xiao Yuanmu’s gaze and indeed, saw the person she yearned for, heading in their direction.
Eve: Hehe, here comes Xuanhe coming to ‘save’ his beauty.