Chapter 228: New Beginning
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Although her head was a negligible weight, his shoulders felt heavy, causing Pei Ziheng’s entire body to stiffen.
This girl… was too similar to Xiao Ling. When Xiao Ling was tired, she always liked to lean on his shoulders, close her eyes, and assume a defenseless position. The weight on his shoulders which was as light as a feather felt like it weighed a ton. Pei Ziheng did not dare to move because he was afraid that he would wake her up. With her body slanted, that girl was sleeping soundly. Her originally knitted brows were slowly relaxing, and she seemed to be in a dream.
The snowflakes were flying around, and the city skyline was blurred as the car sped on the road.
“Boss, we have arrived.” It was the chauffeur’s voice. The car had stopped outside a villa.
This villa was one of Pei Ziheng’s investments. Planted with cedar and ivy, the garden was lush and green even in the winter. The butler and servants had already lined up in front of the door, ready to welcome the owner of the house back.
However, Pei Ziheng lifted a finger to his lips and asked them to keep quiet.
The girl with a beautiful face was still in a deep sleep on his shoulders. Perhaps it was the warmth and comfort of the car or she had a good dream, but her initially pale face gradually developed a pale red blush. The scarf was still wrapped around her neck, and it partially buried her face. Her thin breathing sounded like a hibernating bear cub’s.
He could not help but smile and rearranged the scarf for her.
“Bring a blanket here.” He instructed the chauffeur in a low voice.
The chauffeur quickly brought a blanket over.
Pei Ziheng covered Xia Ling with the blanket, skillfully tucking in the corners to prevent the cold air from reaching her body.
He then signaled for the chauffeur to close the car door.
He did not dare to get down from the car because he was afraid that if he moved ever slightly, she would wake up. If she woke up, she would definitely not be willing to continue resting on his shoulders. His small desire of pretending that Xiao Ling was still alive would be destroyed, and he would not be able to use the scene to cherish the memories of him and Xiao Ling.
Regardless of how sore his shoulders were, he would rather remain in that position and let her rest on them forever.
Seeing that he was not leaving the car, the chauffeur respectfully and carefully closed the car door. After that, he whispered a few words to the butler. The formally dressed butler looked in the direction of the car then gave a signal for the servants to return to the villa.
Covered in snowflakes, the Rolls-Royce was left alone in the quiet New Year’s Eve.
Xia Ling was in a deep slumber. When she woke up, light gray sunlight was emerging from the horizon.
In a daze, she rubbed her eyes and realized that she was in a familiar car. The interior of this Rolls Royce was custom-made by her in the past. Its leather seats had butterfly and rabbit prints, and it was probably the only one of its kind in the world.
She was partly awake and in a trance-like state, feeling as if she had returned to the past. “Good morning, Zi…” She mumbled.
Suddenly, she came to a halt.
The tall man in her memory was looking at her quietly. It was the familiar look he gave when he was spoiling her but… a look of sadness and reminiscence mixed with other complicated emotions. Xia Ling suddenly became alarmed and swallowed what she was about to say, finally remembering what her reality was now and her current identity. It was a close call. She had almost put herself in danger.
Xia Ling let out a stiff smile. “Good morning, Mr. Pei.”
She quickly pulled her body away from Pei Ziheng and retreated to lean against the other car door.
Pei Ziheng looked at her guarded behavior with a complicated expression and rubbed his shoulders. She had used his shoulders as a pillow for an entire night, causing blood flow to be disrupted on his arm which was now numb. However, just after he placed his hand on his shoulder, he paused and lifted it. There was a long trail of… saliva.
She even had the same drooling problem when she slept like his Xiao Ling.
Xia Ling looked at that trail of saliva and was embarrassed. “I… I didn’t do it on purpose. I swear…”
She was afraid that Pei Ziheng would seek revenge on her. This man was extremely particular about his clothes. In the past, he did not like it when she drooled on him. Every time she did that, he would take out a tissue to wipe off her drool in a disgruntled manner, breaking her heart.
However, this time, Pei Ziheng was not unhappy.
He pretended that nothing happened and asked, “Did you sleep well last night?”
What? Now that he mentioned it, Xia Ling realized that she had surprisingly slept on his shoulders for the entire night. She chastised herself inside for not taking precautions. How could she casually sleep on Pei Ziheng’s shoulders? She apologized using her most sincere look. “Please excuse my behavior. I was exhausted after these two days. I’m very sorry.”
The way she politely apologized made him frown again.
Seeing that he was unhappy, Xia Ling became even more worried. “Well, how about I make a move first? It is already morning.”
Pei Ziheng frowned. “You aren’t allowed to go.”
Pei Ziheng lifted his hand and wiped off the drool on his scarf. He really could not bear to look at the way she was acting. “I already said I was going to treat your injuries, and you haven’t eaten anything all night.”
Only then did she remember what she did yesterday.
She lightly touched the wound on her neck and realized that it was still slightly swollen. Li Feng hit her really hard, so she also felt that her throat was a little uncomfortable. She wondered if he had hurt her trachea as there was a burning pain whenever she took a breath.
In that instant, the unhappy memories of being on the Li family island flooded back to her.
She became downcast.
“It’s a new year,” said Pei Ziheng suddenly.
Xia Ling lifted her head to look at him.
“So it’s time for a new beginning.” He looked at the swollen wound on her neck, and his expression was slightly pained. “Ye Xingling, do you want to join Imperial Entertainment? No matter how bad Imperial Entertainment is, at least we won’t take advantage of our singers like that.”
Won’t take advantage of our singers like that?
Xia Ling was startled, and suddenly, she felt that she was being ridiculed. Was she not taken advantage of in every way possible in her past life? Her predicament then was countless times scarier and more devastating than what she had experienced in the Li family. It was truly a living hell for her such that even though she was in a different life now, it was still a permanent scar on her heart.
“Thank you for your kindness, Boss Pei,” Xia Ling politely and formally said. “But I’m sorry, I have to reject your offer.” She would never return to Imperial Entertainment. Even if she were homeless in this world, she would never return to that awful nightmare.
He expected her to reject him.
However, Pei Ziheng’s expression was still dark. How many times had she rejected him? He did not even know how many times she had rejected his offer. Pei Ziheng was very annoyed. For a brief second, the idea of kidnapping her appealed to him, just like the way he poisoned her that time. He wanted to force her to remain by his side through unscrupulous means and make her his woman.
Just like how he had done to Xia Ling whom she resembled.
They may not be willing to sleep with him.
However, as long as he wanted them, he would use all methods possible to make them submit.
However, looking at that girl’s careful and alert behavior, he could not bring himself to hurt her. Ever since she sang “The Caged Butterfly,” he felt as if something was different. She was too similar to Xiao Ling… and more similar to her than every person he had met before. She resembled Xiao Ling so much that he could not bear to torture and ruin her. He only wanted to compensate Xiao Ling by doing everything he could not do for her because it was too late.
He suppressed the annoyance in his heart.
“At least, leave Skyart Entertainment.” He looked at her warmly and patiently said. “A new year means a new beginning.”