Quality Check: Kittsune
First Published on Ainushi.
How could I tell them this without making them angry? I kept brooding over this for the remainder of class. The old, bald professor at the podium lectured with spittle flying out from his mouth, but not a single thing he said went into my ears.
Oh god, why did I agree to go to the mixer with Xia Mei Wei? I’m going to get myself killed.
I remember a time when we all squeezed into the living room to watch TV after finishing supper. An idol drama was airing, and I merely blurted out without thinking that the lead guy was pretty hot and sexy. That caused them to push me down in the living room, peel off all my clothes, and toss me around for an entire night. The next day, I couldn’t even straighten my back.
If I told them that I was going to attend a mixer, I didn’t even want to think about how what kind of penalty they’d give me.
“Ding… ding…” The bell marking the end of class rang, and I abruptly came to my senses. It was only then that I realized that it was already lunchtime and I hurriedly packed my things away to leave. I ate lunch together with the twins everyday, and if I was late for any reason they’d be extremely unhappy. However, they wouldn’t explode immediately. They would wait until we got home before they would unleash their anger and lust on my body, making it so that I wouldn’t be able to straighten my back for several days.
After leaving the school gates, I hailed a taxi and rushed my way to Heaven’s Dynasty, which was a five-star hotel owned by the the Zhao Family Corporation. The food was very decent, and it wasn’t far away from NT University. When the twins had classes, they always got their meals here.
They didn’t like strangers coming into their home, so after the old butler passed away, they never found any more servants. They either ate out for most of their meals or ordered takeout. As for housekeeping, one of the cleaning companies they were familiar with would send a person over to tidy up every week.
After Christmas passed, they forced me to return the keys to the small apartment that I originally rented to move into the Zhao residence. I prefer the feeling of hand-making my own food, so whenever I didn’t have class I’d take it upon myself to cook a few dishes. Even though my cooking tastes, looks, and smells great, there was no way it could compare to the the skill of the kitchen of a five-star hotel. However, the twins never complained and I’d even venture to say that they rather looked forward to the things I made.
Perhaps we have been eating shark fin and swallow nests rather frequently lately. 
I very quickly rushed my way to Heaven’s Dynasty and an impeccably dressed waiter at the entrance deferentially opened the glass door for me. Then he cordially guided me to the private entrance that the twins used. If it weren’t for the fact that I was with the two young masters of the Zhao family, I’m afraid I wouldn’t even have gotten in through the main entrance given how I was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt.
I still remember the first time I came here to eat.
At the time, I had just finished class when I picked up a phone call from them, telling me to report to Heaven’s Dynasty. I rushed my way over, but the waiter at the door simply wouldn’t allow me to enter. When I explained to him that the Zhao brothers had asked me to come, he said, “I’ve met plenty of women like you who shamelessly chase after men, who’d do anything for money.” Then he even called security and had me thrown out.
That was my first time receiving such a huge insult, and I went back to the Zhao residence crying. I didn’t even want to go in the first place. Why did I have to be humiliated like this?
My cellphone kept ringing. I knew they were calling me, but I didn’t want to pick up.
Several hours later, they also came home and found me in my room still crying. They looked extremely furious.
“Where did you run off to? Do you know how worried we were looking for you this entire time?”
“It’s all your fault… your fault for making me so miserable… you torment me… and even get others to bully me…. waaa…”
The mortification I received at lunch once again welled up and I began sobbing loudly.
“What happened? Who bullied you?” They reined back their anger as they anxiously stared at me.
While I kept crying, I recounted what I had gone through at lunch.
Several days later, they once again brought me to Heaven’s Dynasty for lunch. I didn’t want to go, since the feeling of being publicly humiliated in front of everyone made me want to never ever step foot into Heaven’s Dynasty again. However, I ended up going because they forced me. The manager of the hotel personally came to the main entrance to greet me.
“I’m so sorry, Miss Shi. Last time our employee was extremely disrespectful and offended you. Please forgive us.” He even bowed excessively towards me.
“Don’t worry about it.” I hurriedly backed off a step. Even though the events last time made me very angry, I felt very awkward with how he was expressing his apology to me right now.
Zhao Yi Xuan hooked his arm around my waist and glared sharply at him. “Remember, Miss Shi is a guest of utmost importance. From now on you should treat her as respectfully as you would treat either of us.”
“Of course. We’ll remember.” The manager hurried to respond.
Seeing how anxious he was, like he had just encountered the final boss, made me feel bad for him. After all, it wasn’t even him who had thrown me out. “I’m hungry, let’s go eat now.” I tugged on Zhao Yi Xuan’s sleeves, trying to steer his attention away.
He lowered his head and glanced at me, seemingly understanding that I wanted to help out the manager. However, he did not say anything and the three of us were brought by the manager to the private room that was reserved for us.
Ever since then, we frequently had our meals at Heaven’s Dynasty, and I never again encountered a similar event like that again.
I briskly walked into their private room; all the dishes had already arrived.
“Why are you so late?” Zhao Yi Bo asked.
“I was delayed by the professor a few minutes after class ended. That’s why I’m late.” I casually tossed my bag to the side, pulled out a chair, sat down, and started eating.
The food really was delicious but I couldn’t enjoy the taste. How was I supposed to tell them about all this in a bit?
Honestly, I could have chosen to refuse Xia Mei Wei’s invitation, but I didn’t want to do that. When I was working, I did not have the chance to make many friends in the beginning. Later, because the Zhao twins were too possessive, I drifted away from the few friends that I had. Right now, you could say that Xia Mei Wei was my only friend, and I didn’t want to lose her.
“Does the business school have some kind activity today?” I finally summoned my courage to ask.
“No clue. What is it?” Zhao Yi Bo asked, and Zhao Yi Xuan put down his chopsticks to stare at me. I think my nervousness must have already attracted their attention.
“I heard that the business school and the informatics department have a mixer tonight…”
They glanced at each other as if to silently exchange some kind of information, but I barely noticed with how anxious I was.
“A mixer? Seems like it’d be fun? Did you want to go?” Zhao Yi Xuan asked with a warm smile.
“I’ve never gone to one before…” I didn’t dare say that I had already agreed with my friend to go.
“You should go then. It’s not a bad idea to try new things.” He took the initiative to speak.
I stared at him almost with disbelief. He agreed?! Did I hear this correctly?
“You’re letting me go?” I asked with shock.
He drew close as he gave me a kiss on my lips, and smiled as he patted my head. “Sweetie, you can go. But try not to get too close to other guys.” He was smiling, but it was impossible to neglect the serious and grave look in his eyes.
I wasn’t planning on finding other guys in the first place. I didn’t even want these two either. I muttered to myself in my head: ‘I’m just going for a look.’
I could finally pass on the good news to Xia Mei Wei.
- Swallow’s Nest (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edible_bird%27s_nest), Shark Fin Soup (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shark_fin_soup); Both of these are notoriously expensive dishes in Chinese cuisine. [back]