"Zhou Hua Fan!! You're back!!" "Miss Zhou welcome back!!" "Miss Zhou, did you know this strange child is coming out of your family's car these days you were gone?" "Miss Zhou!!" "Miss Zhou!" Zhou Hua Fan ignores the students who stare at her with pitying looks and gossipy eyes and continues walking forward. Her grandfather specifically called the principal to allow Hua Fan a week to rest and recover from the setback Zhou Feng Meng had attempted to set on her reputation.
Without Hua Fan's injury as a base for gossip and speculation for Huang Gou Heng's own rise of popularity. Now, the boy was at an impasse where his status was unknown and strange keeping people away from him as they were unsure why the boy was showing up in place of the beautiful girl. And without Hua Fan to inform the pack of starving wolves exactly who this person was they dare not take the first step towards this new species that had suddenly made its home on their territory. Was he an illegitimate child? Was he a distant cousin?
Who was this boy who rode the Zhou family car as if he was the Prince of the Zhou family? Where was the Princess who would have arrogantly strode down confidently to her classes without a backward glance? Ever since this boy had shown up, the Zhou Flower had disappeared without notice. Now that she was back they all clamored over to try and get information from her on the status and identity of the boy. The girls in particular hung close by as Hua Fan unpacks her books into her desk to question and whisper by her ear with sly side glances.
"Hey, Zhou Hua Fan who is that boy? How come he is using the Zhou family car and you are not? Is he your half brother?" Another girl jabs that one out of the way to stand beside Hua Fan who still had a cold disposition. This girl was from the Tang family and her family was almost as wealthy as Hua Fan's so it was not too big of a leap to say she was someone who considered herself the best suited to be Hua Fan's best friend.
But her eyes shone with a greedy light that Hua Fan despised and mocked her past self for not seeing before till now. Her eyes coldly access this young preteen with such a delicate body and frame who was trying to be strong in face of all the others. The Tang miss gave them all fierce looks and defends Hua Fan from their questioning while blocking their way. "Don't be ridiculous! All these years we have been by Fan's side she had never mentioned a brother! How could one pop up so suddenly and he is even older than Fan by a year! It's just not possible!"
The girls surrounding them all fail to hide their ridicule and some even gave her a pitying look without hiding the glee in their eyes at her "demise". A boy who was older than her claiming to be her brother? In the past how did she react? Her cold eyes flash momentarily as she recalls what she had done that day. Ah, she had fought these children and even threatened to claw their mouths out for speaking nothing but nonsense.
She still remembered the feeling of skin under her nails from attempting to scratch the girl's eyes out and gave a chilly smile. Leaning her hip against her desk Hua Fan crosses one arm across her chest while admiring her manicured nails on the other. Being a doll look-alike with a cold and cruel face she was bound to be beautiful no matter what she did. The girl's back was turned from the sun coming in from the window casting a light glow around her petite but oppressing frame. Her enchanting face was highlighted by the lovely sunny day outside and her pale skin resembled smooth snow causing the other girls to instantly be full of jealousy and hatred.
Ting Ai also could not stop herself from being jealous of this blessed girl. But then she calms herself by mocking Hua Fan in her heart haughtily. So what if you are a little pretty? Now that your father brought back a mistress's child what will you do? In the end, a girl will be married off while the boy takes over the family name. You are nothing but a vase that will be sold to the highest bidder.
Zhou Hua Fan, you are not better than the rest of us here, one day you will fall into greater misery than us since we all have older cousins or older and younger brothers to support us in the future. Meanwhile, you have no one but a bastard from a mistress who is going to usurp your fragile throne. Dark brown hair frames the doll's features as her lashes lightly fan her cheeks and those large eyes look up slightly after she had admired her nails long enough. Pretty pink lips raise to reveal a row of perfect white teeth faintly. "Oh? Brother? He is indeed my brother, what is it to you? These days I have been visiting my grandfather to pay my filial piety so I am not sure what has happened recently, you all did not bully him did you?"
The faces around her instantly become shocked, the boys who were listening in for gossip were also taken back by her response which was unexpected. Xiao Ai was especially taken back since she knew Hua Fan's temper, most of the time Hua Fan would have a short fuse in and out of school. It was strange that she did not get angry and bully the girl who spoke just now in a blind rage. Looking at Hua Fan strangely she saw the girl herself was already looking straight at herself with an eerie smile. Xiao Ai stiffened and felt a chill go down her spine, sweat broke out across her forehead as the young girl thought she had been seen through.
Hua Fan was terrifyingly gentle when speaking to Tang Xiao Ai as though she was actually as considerate as she pretended to be. This behavior was unlike the usual Hua Fan who would have thrown a tantrum by now and slapped the girls laughing at her without consideration of her actions. "Xiao Ai, as you said, we had grown up together so you would know the most, you did not forget I had an older brother did you? Back then you would even visit my home often and played with my older brother the most calling him brother. Ah, perhaps it has been so long that you had actually forgotten that brother of mine because he is adopted and not of true Zhou blood. Brother Heng must be heartbroken."
Instantly the eyes that were staring at Hua Fan turn simultaneously to look at her with doubting eyes. Xiao Ai turned pale seeing their looks of contempt and mockery. The girl who she jabbed aside is still bitter about being pushed about and sneers at her while her friends snicker to themselves beside her. "Xiao Ai you knew all along Hua Fan had an older brother what was with your speech earlier? Not to mention when Hua Fan was out for sick leave you even told all of us that Hua Fan had family problems and even played timid pretending to be concerned. What kind of white lotus are you playing do you still have the face to pretend in front of us?"
Laughter broke out in the classroom as no one dared to not laugh in case they were also associated with the foolish girl who had dug her own grave. The second generation pack of wolves all bares their fangs at Tang Xiao Ai, just like that. The queen of roses stood in the center with a sly look in her eyes as the youths who follow under the Zhou family banner all console her while sending Xiao Ai disgusted looks. The girl could not take their mockery and runs from the classroom in confusion and tears unable to utter another word from fear of being spat and cursed at by the hyenas. Hua Fan watches her leave with cold eyes, it was just like that.
This cruel world of the nouveau-riche who were raised to seek benefits and cut bridges that would cause them losses. Between the one who could stand proud and tall with the Zhou family name and the one who faked niceties with a white lotus banner. It was a no-brainer those smart would choose Hua Fan and those who did not want to be the odd one out also follow the crowd. The fact that Zhou Hua Fan brought out Zhou Jian Kong's presence without actually saying his name was caught by them. Since the patriarch of the Zhou clan still favored Zhou Hua Fan, who dares to stand up against her and laugh openly anymore? Who said Hua Fan was no longer the family heir?
If they were stupid like Tang Ting Ai and spoke too hastily it would have been them suffering instead. They all felt relieved in their hearts and minds and make sure to not provoke the tiger again. If Hua Fan said the boy was her older brother then he was her brother. No one breached the subject ever again in front of the girl who gave our punishments as easily as an emperor.