Zhou Hua Fan pretends to not see the looks thrown her way nor the whispers that took place out of earshot. Everyone was talking about one thing and one thing only, the young miss of the Zhou family and her mysterious "brother". The more people who heard of this rumor the more people avoid this "brother". "They say that Zhou Hua Fan even said herself that that transfer student two grades above us is her adopted brother." "Adopted brother? He must be a mistress's child no doubt then!"
"Not only that but Zhou Hua Fan even said that her absence was due to visiting her grandfather and not because of this "brother" popping out of the blue randomly." The people gossiping gave noises of confusion, "Hah? So are they close or not?" The person whispers fiercely at their companions while snorting and finding that their friends are really thick-headed. "Who cares if they are close or not! What matters is that Zhou Hua Fan is still the heir of the Zhou company! Think about it! If the grandfather calls for the daughter instead of the son doesn't that mean that the patriarch doesn't acknowledge the mistress's child?"
They all gave enlightened "Ooohs." glancing at the pretty girl's back as she turns the pages of her textbook silently by the library window. It did not seem she heard their conversation and was focusing all of her attention on the textbook instead which gave her a mature charm most preteens their age had not yet learned how to portray. She was much quieter than before, although the previous Hua Fan studied to keep up appearances. Back then she was always surrounded by other people and bragged about her family. But now she was so quiet her lovely eyes were clear and resemble the calm reflection of undisturbed water.
Was such a big change possible in a span of just a week? They shook their heads feeling bad for the girl and her family situation. They even assume she was taking her studies more seriously because of the fact that the mistress's son being brought home was pressuring her to grow up faster. The student that was full of speculation and gossip went on excitedly. "No matter what, it is still a death sentence to provoke her! Do not say I did not warn you if you choose the wrong side in the future!"
The sound of a thick covered book being slammed shut scares the students silly into running from the scene as if afraid that the girl really heard their whisperings. She gave a humorless smile at the textbook in her hands and stood up to leave. Handing her pass to the librarian who was also eavesdropping Hua fan did not give her a smile or anything. She was only focused on placing the book she had just borrowed into her bag. Even though the woman tried not to stare she could not help looking at the straight back of the young girl who left without a word from behind.
"Ah, the world of the rich is a place I will never understand. Such a young girl yet she is caught up in such a scandalous matter, it really is a shame." Outside of the school grounds Hua Fan kept her head up high and refused to look at anyone focused on one thing. And that was getting into her grandfather's car and returning home where she did not have to keep up false pretenses anymore. Besides the car, two bodyguards stood at attention and her driver was spotted through the window talking into a phone when he had seen her leaving the school gates.
It was that driver Yang who had protected her from her father's men, he looked well-rested and seemed to be much happier these days as her grandfather was generous with his paycheck. Even better the young miss he had driven around was less prickly and even smiled at him this morning. He would be a fool if he did not see that the young miss seemed to be in a better mood as well since moving into her grandfather's home. Needless to say, he had no complaints about his job anymore! It was like living in a dirty pond all these years then being caught and set free into a freshwater river where he could take a deep breath without worries.
He got out of the car and went to open the door for her with a smile, Hua Fan returns his smile with one of her own. After all, he was one of her people now and she would not treat her people like others. "How were your classes today Miss Zhou?" She answers with a light hum, before entering the back seat gracefully. Her tone was nonchalant, "So so, it is the same as before."
Driver Yang's smile almost falters since he had long overheard people talking when they pass by the car and knew what she said was not true. But knowing that the girl was not one to take losses silently he was not too worried about it. If she says it was the same, it was the same. "Driver Yang take me home to pick up lunch for grandfather." Driver Yang did as she says but he was curious how she planned to deliver said lunch seeing as her grandfather was at the company.
"Does Miss Zhou want me to call housekeeper Shuang?" She got comfortable in the backseat and closes her eyes to rest them for a moment, finding her energy strangely drained despite how low effort her activities were today. This was a side effect she would have to learn how to endure in the future. "No need. He is probably busy at the moment, grandfather told me there would be guests today for dinner."
He wisely shut his mouth and didn't ask any more questions seeing how tired the girl looked, he turns up the heat seeing her pale cheeks and endures the heat. Hua Fan could sense his subtle movement and she lightly smiles to herself because to her his actions were funny and caused her heart to whirl deeper into the black hole in her chest. After all, no matter what they did, she had already learned, this body no longer had the capability to feel physical warmth. The ones who watched her did their jobs well and even though only a week had gone by, for Hua Fan due to her "treatments" at night she felt as if a year had gone by already.