129 The Appropriate Dating Age

Shen Xi had just exited the library when she received a call from her mother.
Shen Xi was a little surprised.

Her mother usually called at night, reminding her to nap in the afternoon.
She did not call for no reason.

“Xixi, have you eaten lunch?” Lu Shan’s concerned voice sounded.

“I was just about to grab lunch.
Is something the matter? Why have you called at this hour? Did something happen?” Shen Xi asked.

Lu Shan looked at her nervous husband and tried to speak calmly, “It’s nothing.
I just wanted to ask if any boys at school have caught your fancy.”

“No, Mom.
Why would you ask that?” Shen Xi answered naturally as if talking about the weather.

Hearing Shen Xi’s answer, Shen Yan relaxed.

Although he and Lu Shan were 18 when they got together, they were both hale and hearty, unlike that young man whose eyes were ringed in dark circles, looking rather unwell.

Lu Shan, on the other hand, did not mind.
In her heart, as long as her daughter was happy, she would support their relationship.
She could not help but sigh nostalgically; such was the springtime of youth.

“I was just wondering since you’re at that age now.
Your mother won’t hold it against you if there’s someone you fancy, you know?” Lu Shan teased.

Shen Xi facepalmed, utterly helpless.
“Mom, I’m only 18.
I’m still in school.”

Lu Shan immediately disagreed.
“So what If you’re only 18? Your mother got together with your father when I was 18.
You weren’t born long after!”

Shen Xi did not know why her mother would pop a question like that out of the blue, yet she remained patient.
“Mom… I want to further my education.
I’ll leave love up to fate.”

Shen Yan, who was listening in on the conversation, interjected gleefully, “Xixi, you’re right.
Love is something you can’t force.
We’ll let fate decide!”

Lu Shan glared at her husband but did not contradict him.
“Yes, yes.
Xixi, do what you think is best.
Mom and Dad will always support you, no matter your decision.
Your happiness is your Mom and Dad’s greatest hope.”

Hearing her mother’s heartfelt words, Shen Xi teared up, and her eyes tinged red.
She recalled her life with the Jiang family, and the differences were only magnified.
To please the Xiang family, the Jiang couple pushed her to chase Xiang Cheng even though she did not like him.

The Jiang couple only considered the material benefits an engagement to Xiang Cheng would bring to their family and business.
Her happiness had no place in the greater scheme of things.
In the Jiang couple’s eyes, the monetary gain she could bring was the golden standard of happiness to which her life was measured.

By contrast, the Shen couple never considered using their daughter to seek greater wealth; instead, their greatest wish was for her to find happiness.

Shen Xi felt her throat constrict, choked by the weight of her parents’ hopes.
She was silent for a time before a smile bloomed.
“Yes, yes.
Thank you.
I’ll make you both proud!’

After hanging up, Shen Xi walked to the cafeteria with a book in hand.
Fortunately, the cafeteria remained open on the weekends, or she would have had to venture out of school to look for food.

Shen Xi had eaten a late breakfast, so she was not famished.
She merely ordered two dishes to go with her rice lest she could not finish her food and go to waste.

The cafeteria was not crowded, being a weekend.
Guan Lei, who had just arrived, quickly spotted Shen Xi.
His eyes darkened when he saw her eating two small plates of vegetables with her rice.

Having seen Shen Xi’s home situation for himself, Guan Lei now understood Shen Xi’s frugal habits.
She probably wanted to ease the burden on her parents, thus eating the cheapest and smallest portions possible.

Guan Lei took off to the counter and ordered a large plate of pig trotters.
Wasn’t it said that they were good for the skin?

Shen Xi had only eaten a few mouthfuls when a plate full of pig trotters appeared in front of her.
She looked up, somewhat dazed, and came face to face with Guan Lei, who resembled a giant panda with dark circles around his eyes.

The scars marring Shen Xi’s skin were so clear from where he sat opposite her that it pricked his heart.

He had seen Lu Lin smearing medicine on Shen Xi’s skin the previous day, but he had not known the severity of her injury.

Now that he had a good look at Shen Xi, Guan Lei felt the punishment doled out to the Su family was too light.
He picked up his phone and ordered Xue Li to punish Su Ni’s family accordingly.

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