She doesn’t remember how she finally got back up, but she takes a few steps back before running the hall in a circle. The dog starts chasing her. Eventually, she hides behind Han Qilu and tightly wraps her arms around his waist. The dog still thinks they’re playing a game of peek-boo.
“Help!” She latches on to Qilu pitifully, tears start streaming from her eyes.
Touched by her plea, he says, “Batian, go away. Otherwise you’re not getting dinner.”
The dog is ready to pounce on An Chuxia but the warning held him at bay. Finally, the dog obeys and sits down. The dog and Chuxia exchange
gazes. She feels if she breaks contact, he will lunge at her.
Qilu laughs, finding the situation rather ridiculous as he watches their expressions.
Puzzled, she asks nervously, “Why are you laughing?” Her eyes dare not leave the dog. However, the dog seems to be bored. He stretches his paws before him. He blinks his eyes lazily before resting his head on his forefoot. The dog’s eyes shut as its chin hits the back of the paws.
She is relieved.
He never thought he’d see the day An Chuxia feared anything. He is proud of this discovery. “I was laughing… .”
She glances at him despicably. She is anxious because
because she feels bullied.
“Miss, I said… .” Qilu leans so close to her face he can smell a light fragrance with a hint of milk on her. “Did you have to hold on to me this whole time?”
She suddenly remembers throwing her arms tightly around his waist! She releases him quickly. A pink tinge colors her cheeks instantly.
“I’m sorry!” She apologizes politely.
Han Qilu lifts an eyebrow to her. “My family seems to like Batian, but it seems like you don’t. To us, he’s cute. He usually doesn’t care for others. But you… he seems to like you a lot.”
She seems to be caught in a trance.
a trance. Han Qilu pokes her face to wake her up from her stupor. It shocks him to see the sadness in her eyes.
“When I was younger… much younger, my father would go philandering, leaving me and my mother. One night, I had a high fever. My father took our money and my mother couldn’t take me to the doctor. She had to go to the streets and beg.” She remembers vividly the scent of pantothenic acid.
Han Qilu knew she was from a poor family but he was unaware how dire things were. His chest tightens. Why is he feeling distressed?
“That day, my mother calls me over calls me over to the doorstep, and this rich man stands before us. He gives us this dog to protect me and my mother. Sadly, all the dog did was leave bite marks on my feet,” she recalls. Another tear rolls down her cheek.
She wakes up from her melancholia and realizes she’s said too much. She finds Jian Yuan standing by the kitchen door, crying. Next to her is steward Han, stoically trying to hide the tear in his eye.
“That’s why I’m afraid of dogs,” An Chuxia says, smiling, acting like nothing happened. “You know what? This story isn’t that poignant. My tears just flow quickly.”