Quality Check: Kittsune
First Published on Ainushi.
“Stop right there!” An angry roar sounded, and a large hand tightly intercepted the palm that was in the middle of heading towards my face repeatedly. Soon after, I was pulled into a warm embrace into a chest. It was only then that I started to feel the stinging pain from all over my body. The feeling of being unfairly wronged surged, and I buried my face in that warm chest, starting to cry bitterly.
“You dare to raise your hand against her?!” Ice-cold words seethed through Zhao Yi Xuan’s teeth, and his tone was so cold that it could freeze hell over.
“Ouch! Let go!” The woman cried out in pain.
“Coming to my home with such insolence, you should have been prepared to receive backlash.” Zhao Yi Bo’s voice was so frigid it could strike terror in a person.
“I-I’m your own mother, how could you treat me like this? And what’s wrong with me teaching this little bitch a lesson?” Her voice was still snobbish in quality, but her words were faintly laced with fright.
She was their mother? I lifted my head from Zhao Yi Xuan’s chest and gave this woman a glance over through my tears. From her outward appearance, it didn’t look like she already had two sixteen year old children. Her perfectly maintained face was touched up with light makeup, and her high-class, expensive, tidy outfit didn’t show a single crease despite the “exercise” it had just gone through moments ago. She had the picture-perfect image of a big shot rich woman, minus the warped pained expression on her face and the fear in her eyes that weakened her imposingness.
“Madam, what brings you here?” Hearing the ruckus, Mama Yu came out from the kitchen and looked at this scene with our swords and daggers drawn with doubt and concern.
Seeing the worry in Mama Yu’s eyes, Zhao Yi Bo pulled back on his anger slightly. He released the tight grip of his large hand and took the initiative to walk into the house. Zhao Yi Xuan also picked me up and walked inside, leaving Mama Yu and their mother who had showed up for the first time at the door.
Zhao Yi Xuan gently let me down on the sofa in the living room, lifted my head, and examined the state of my injuries with worry. When he saw the bruises and scratches that were slightly bleeding on my face, the anger in his eyes became even more severe. The large hand at his side clenched into a tight fist, and his knuckles crackled as he did this.
Zhao Yi Bo carried over some ice he found in the kitchen, and lightly brought it against my face.
“Does it hurt a lot?” He asked softly.
There was such a murderous look in his eyes that I felt like if I said ‘It hurts a lot’, they would have rushed forward and killed their own mother without hesitation.
I quietly shook my head, holding back my tears and not daring to cry anymore. I didn’t want to cause some kind of family massacre, and I didn’t want to be called a “femme fatale that’s not even femme.”
“Young masters, the madame is…” At some point, Mama Yu returned to the room, hesitating as if she wanted to say something to the two of them who had exploded in anger.
“Kick her out!” Zhao Yi Bo mercilessly ordered.
Mama Yu shot me a pleading look.
“Let her come in. This is her house after all.” I spoke quietly. Even though I was always thinking of ways to get revenge on them and make them suffer, I couldn’t carry it out with the opportunity right in front of me. I had thought that my heart had already hardened and become spiteful, but it seems like my innate nature was soft hearted and conflict averse.
“Kick her out!” Zhao Yi Bo repeated this once again, his tone absolutely firm.
“Let her come in!” I locked eyes with him, not backing down the slightest.
In the end, he backed down.
“Fine, she can come in!”
Mrs. Zhao walked into the living room, and although she tried to look calm and collected, her expression was unable to hide the fear on her face.
They ignored her and single-mindedly dedicated their attention to caring for the bruises that had appeared on my face and body from the assault. I could tell that they were trying to restrain their anger. They didn’t seem to want to show their anger in front of Mama Yu and me.
I did not take the initiative to greet her. She had caused all these bruises and stinging pain. I felt very upset from being humiliated by her, so it was already generous of me to keep myself from flinging myself at her and paying her back two-fold. There was no way I could pretend like nothing had happened between us. Besides, I had a feeling she had no desire to speak to me.
“I… I came back this time to help arrange an engagement for you two.” Mrs. Zhao stood far away from us, and uneasily began to broach why she had come.
“Engagement? Who told you we wanted an engagement?” Zhao Yi Xuan sneered in response.
“Your father and I decided this. Bo will get engaged to that daughter of Heng Yuan Merchandise, Chen Yan Mei. You will get engaged to the second daughter of Jue Shi Shipping, Yan Shui Lin.” Under Zhao Yi Xuan’s severe glare, she shrank slightly, but preserved nonetheless.
I don’t know why, but when I heard the news that they were going to become engaged with someone else, my heart suddenly throbbed a little. It was as if something cruelly poked my heart for a second.
“And what gives you the right to decide this for us, my dear mother?” Zhao Yi Xuan stood up and began walking towards her. His tall, thin, yet powerful body exuded an enormous amount of oppressive intent. Unable to cope with this, she retreated backwards.
“I’m tired. I’m going to bed.” Not wanting to hear any more, I abruptly stood up and interrupted them.
Under their worried looks, I hurriedly ran back to my own room. After locking the door, I leaned back against the sturdy wood and slid to the ground.
I was a mess on the inside, and I couldn’t make sense of myself.
I have no idea how much time passed, but eventually a knock on the door came.
“Who is it?” My body tightened. I didn’t know if I was anxious or looking forward to something.
“Miss, I’m sending up your dinner.” I heard Mama Yu’s voice outside of the door, and disappointment slid through my heart. I opened the door and received the tray in Mama Yu’s hands. The food on the tray didn’t include the dishes that I had cooked though. Rather, the dishes were the ones that matched my taste. What happened to my cooking?
“The young masters already ate up everything that you cooked for dinner. These dishes are what the young masters had me make for you, according to your tastes, instead.” Mama Yu explained.
Hearing that they finished absolutely everything that I went out to make for them, I felt a little bit better on the inside. I silently began to ate the dinner Mama Yu prepared for me.
After I finished eating, Mama Yu packed up the tray and left my room. I went into my wardrobe, pulled out a pair of pajamas, and then walked into the bathroom to take a shower. This time, I didn’t lock the door.
That night however, they didn’t come to my room. I struggled to fall asleep.