Ruan Tang looked at this white lotus act of his and immediately let out a snicker.

       There was a time when he had been blinded by this soft and harmless appearance of Ruan Xi, thinking that Ruan Xi was really a white lotus5… Because of his mother, brother and sister, Ruan Tang had always hated Ruan Ming, but he had never hated Ruan Xi, and had even once sincerely believed that this half-brother was innocent.

       He found him weak and honest, and at one point gave him his utmost love and care.

      It wasn’t until later that Ruan Tang unexpectedly realized that all his bad luck was inextricably linked to Ruan Xi.
It was only then that he woke up to reality.

       Because of Ruan Xi, first his father, who was not warm to him, became more and more indifferent and disgusted with him.
Followed by the heir of the Shen clan, the leader of the ten families’ Shen Mozi, the youngest parliament speaker of the empire, who took the initiative to make a marriage contract with him(RT), then suddenly found out that Ruan Xi is the benefactor who saved his life when he was young, and fell madly in love with him(RX).

       He broke off his engagement with Ruan Tang, and turned to pursue Ruan Xi.

       It was not just a matter of getting out of a marriage, although Ruan Tang originally planned to marry Shen Mozhi as a contractual partner, there were also expectations regarding each other’s future.
However people didn’t like him and Ruan Tang realized that he wasn’t indispensable, so he planned to let it go.

       How could he be regarded as a victim in the public opinion?

        However, Shen Mozhi not only cancelled the marriage, but also publicized that it was Ruan Tang who deceived him, that Ruan Tang had ulterior motives, and that he was engaged to Ruan Tang because he misunderstood that Ruan Tang was Ruan Xi, his savior.

       At that time, Ruan Tang became the target of public criticism within the aristocratic circle of Empire Star.
He became the representative of a malicious black hearted lotus who would do anything to clamber over the dragon and hang onto the phoenix6.

       Ruan Tang’s dark7 face had a question mark and he had no idea what happened.

       He went to explain to people, but none of them believed him, instead, they were even more convinced that he was highly skilled in his methods, and that he could trick Shen Mozhi into getting engaged to him before…

       All the while, Ruan Xi’s reputation in the circle was getting better and better.

       Not only Shen Mozhi, but also Ruan Tang’s second fiancé, Zhou Yao…All of Ruan Tang’s misfortunes seemed to have been caused by Ruan Xi.

       And after losing two fiancés in succession, for some reason, as if Ruan Xi had some kind of halo, everyone around Ruan Tang seemed to have been suddenly influenced by him and went to Ruan Xi’s side.

       This included Ruan Tang’s close associates, suitors, and his childhood friend.

       And because of the disputes between him and Ruan Xi, they criticized Ruan Tang one after another, “Ruan Tang, how can you be so vicious? What good does it do you to set up Ruan Xi over and over again? He’s forgiven you again and again, yet you bully and harm him like this…Isn’t this just taking advantage of kindness?”

       “Do you think that since you are the son of the first wife, that you are noble! That you feel that way because Ruan Xi is the third son of a mistress.
Let me tell you, that’s the business of the previous generation.
Besides, when your mother was conscious she acquiesced to Marshal Ruan looking for a lover outside.
Although he had plenty of lovers and illegitimate children, only XiXi’s mother turned legitimate…But your behavior of only targeting XiXi is disgusting and vicious, and it seems you’re doing it on purpose, you’re just jealous.”

       Everyone believed that Ruan Tang was malicious and mean to Ruan Xi.

       Ruan Tang had reasonably argued at first, but then realized that his struggle was not only useless, but also made the group of idiots even more convinced that he was a vicious villain against Ruan Xi, and used public opinion to constantly ‘slap’ him in the face later.

       Ruan Tang was too lazy to argue.

       These people are just like maggots in the gutter, disgusting but they can’t do any real harm to him.
The more he paid attention to them, the more excited they jumped and the more they targeted him.

       Instead, Ruan Tang let it go and ignored them, and the maggots stopped.

       Although Ruan Ming didn’t like his son, as the head of a family, the marshal of the Empire would not treat his own son harshly.

       In particular, this son was the only remaining healthy child born to him by the original spouse with whom he shared weal and woe8.

       In fact, at the most extreme moment, it wasn’t that Ruan Tang hadn’t thought about leaving, away from Empire Star, away from the Ruan family, away from Ruan Xi and the bunch of idiots around him, but then looking at his delirious mother, his comatose brother, his crazy sister…

       Ruan Tang knew he couldn’t leave.

       He was already the only one with a sound mind in their big house.
Although Ruan Ming did not deliberately treat his original wife and two, once proud but now useless, children harshly.

       But if he leaves…

       The current Mrs.
Ruan, Ruan Ming’s group of lovers, and those children are not easy to deal with, it’s likely his three blood related relatives wouldn’t even know how they died.

       Moreover, he had a premonition that even if he left, Ruan Xi would not let him off…

       He had a vague feeling, though he didn’t know what or why, but his gut told him that the stars holding the moon have everything go one’s way9 and Ruan Xi was trying to plunder something from him…He wouldn’t let him go, but he couldn’t kill him either.

       Ruan Tang had always had a beast-like intuition.

        Therefore, he chose to stay in the rich and powerful Ruan Family peacefully, like a rice worm who eats and waits to die.

       As for what others thought of him, Ruan Tang didn’t care at all, his lonely childhood cultivated his cool character.

       Those who are clear will clear themselves, and those who are muddy will be muddy.10

        In his eyes, those who didn’t trust him, betrayed him, and chose to take Ruan Xi’s side had no qualifications continuing to stand besides him.


TL Notes:

[1] Shao – another way of referring to a young master

[2] White moonlight – first love/ unforgettable love

[3] Fudge-like – Just reiterating to be sweet and soft, like fudge, gummies, etc.

[4] A moon surrounded by lots of stars – Variation of the chinese saying “The stars holding the moon”: to be admired a lot, people surrounding a person they respect

[5] White Lotus – the unsarcastic one; meaning a sincerely pure and kind person

[6] Clamber over the dragon and hang onto the phoenix – Can also be translated as “serve an Emperor and do service for a throne”, a Chinese idiom that means to curry the favor of those in power in order to climb a social or political ladder.
It’s used in a derogatory way.
The closest English equivalent would be  “brownnoser”, “bootlicker”, “suck-up”.

[7] Dark face –

[8] Shared weal and woe – refers to the good and bad times, the joys and sorrows, or prosperity and misfortune

[9] 但直觉告诉他众星捧月已是要风得风要雨的阮惜想要从他身上掠夺些什么 – I tried my best to translate this but if someone has a better way please tell me.

[10] 清者自清,浊者自浊 – From Qu Yaun’s Father of Fisher, it means that people naturally show their true colors under certain environmental changes, such as a good person will behave as a good person and a bad person will behave as a bad person.
An innocent person is innocent even if they do not declare themselves as such, A corrupt person is corrupt even if they declare themselves innocent.

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