“Baby, wake up! Baby, wake up! Baby, wake up!”

The childlike alarm brought Mo Jingxuan back to reality.
He couldn’t help but twitch the corner of his mouth, not that it truly existed, as he listened to the high-pitched voice chanting words that… didn’t quite fit Xiao Ying’s image in his mind.

After struggling with the alarm for a while, Mo Jingxuan sat up daily.
Although the curtains were still drawn and his shadow could not be seen by the naked eye, Mo Jingxuan was still firmly connected to Xiao Ying.

“Hmmm…” On the old wooden bed, the small child rubbed his eyes and sat without moving for a few minutes longer.
Reluctantly, he crawled out of bed, kicked on his slippers, and walked to the simple but clean kitchen.
After starting some water in the rice cooker, he went to the restroom to wash up.
Moving slightly less in a daze, he returned to the kitchen to see that the water had boiled, and Xiao Ying skillfully grabbed some noodles from a drawer to cook.

The child sat alone at the old table, facing a black and white photo, “Good morning Grandma!” He continued talking to himself as the noodles finished.
He ate slowly while describing in his childish voice the things that had happened at school yesterday and his plans for the afternoon.

Mo Jingxuan had seen such a scene many times in the past, but it still made his heart ache horribly for Xiao Ying.
Who would have thought that the eldest son of the Xiao family, one of the four major families in the imperial capital, would live such a life? An old house, worn-out furniture, and complete isolation from others.
If it was not before his own eyes, then he doubted that he would have ever considered it to be true.

And according to the neighbors he had met in his past life, Xiao Ying’s grandmother had been dead for half a year already.
That is to say, a four-year-old child had been living on his own like this for half a year at the very least.

Such a young child should be papered and coaxed by their parents, allowed to live without boundaries or thoughts.
But Xiao Ying was burdened with such a life so early on; it was no wonder that he grew up with warped views.

In addition to the Xiao family in the imperial capital, Xiao Ying had another relative that lived here, his aunt on his mother’s side.
But she could not be considered family, only visiting once when his grandmother passed away, and purely visiting for the money and properties she expected to be left.
Luckily the house was old enough that she didn’t bother to fight the child for what was left to him by his grandmother.

The neighbor, Aunt Liu, saw that Xiao Ying was so pitiful and tried to persuade Xiao Ying’s aunt to raise him, but the only offer she gave was to move the house under her name and give her the money for safekeeping.
Once that was done, the plan was for their family to move into this old house and Xiao Ying to the rented house where she lived.
The aunt was truly cruel, only wanting to be responsible for the bare minimum of Xiao Ying’s life until he turned 16.

Fortunately, little Xiao Ying refused simply because he wanted to continue living in the house he had shared with his grandma.
And since his aunt left at that time, except for the neighbors who came to check in on him from time to time, Xiao Ying lived alone.

Mo Jingxuan had learned much of this information about Xiao Ying’s aunt by extending his consciousness outside of the house and listening in on the gossip the nearby families shared after dinner.
He was incredibly disgusted with this woman he had never seen, this disgust only growing as he watched the child fend for himself at home.

He realized that Xiao Ying’s aunt was waiting for the stubborn child to compromise with her…and that she would most likely run out of patience soon.
Out of all the people that he knew, Xiao Ying was the most determined of all.
Once he decided on a course of action, he would not change it.
No matter what it led to.

Thinking of the last gunshot in his previous life, Mo Jingxuan’s mood was a little unstable, causing his body in the shadow state to waver slightly; however, it did not catch his attention as he immersed himself in his memories.

But while he was thinking of the past, little Xiao Ying was carrying his schoolbag and starting on his way to the school that he hated the most.

“Xiao Ying!”

Xiao Ying stopped and turned to look at the young woman in front who was pushing a bicycle towards him quickly; Mo Jingxuan was also forced to look at her incoming figure from the ground.

“Are you headed to school?” the young woman asked while crouching in front of Xiao Ying after reaching him.

Xiao Ying looked at the woman in silence and nodded.

The young woman apparently didn’t care about the child’s slightly indifferent attitude.
She gently rubbed his soft hair and took his hand, “Auntie will take you along the way!”

There was another moment of silence before Xiao Ying nodded and obediently opened up his arms for the woman to pick him up into the chair she had specially placed for children behind her bicycle.

“Sit tight, Auntie is going to start!”

“Yeah,” the young woman got a response from the child and set off steadily towards the school with him.

Mo Jingxuan looked at the child in the backseat with red eyes, pursing his lips as he held back tears that would never fall.
His heart ached for him so badly; he was still a child.
Why could he never be loved and cared for, treated with the tenderness that he deserved?

Standing in front of the tall school building, the child frowned before sluggishly walking in.
Mo Jingxuan knew that this building may seem to be dilapidated and boring to others.
Still, to Xiao Ying, its existence was most definitely a mountain unable to be passed.
The weight it carried on the child’s shoulders, how much of his future had been twisted because he was unable to bear it? The unruly children who don’t yet understand how to blend into a group, all standing out to impose hurtful words onto Xiao Ying, thinking that it is nothing more than a fun game.
Taking for granted that all would be well.

Xiao Ying tightened his grip on his schoolbag’s strap as he stood at his classroom door, visually showing just how much courage he had to first muster up before he could enter.

“Hey, the little orphan boy is here.
Everyone take a guess, why does no one want him?” As soon as Xiao Ying walked in, the children started to torment him with their immature, cruel words.

“Hahaha, orphan boy! Orphan boy!” the whole class joined in as they jeered at Xiao Ying, their sweet childish voices making the words jab even deeper into him.

Xiao Ying only knew to fight back with silence, having long been used to the ridicule that they presented him, wrapped in a bow and ready to be opened.
He knew from experience that rebutting them would only invite more intense bullying in return.

Xiao Ying gritted his teeth as he walked towards his seat, his back looking so helpless and lonely that Mo Jingxuan felt it would be a waste of air for any of this class to continue growing old.
He didn’t hate children, he even liked them a little bit, but now seeing how they treated Xiao Ying, he wanted to tear off their innocent and tender faces with his own hands.
Letting someone so important to him be ridiculed and tormented like this, he had never imagined it would make him feel so very much alive.
He smiled heartlessly at the class once more before directing his attention back to Xiao Ying.

No matter how angry he became on Xiao Ying’s behalf, he was still unable to do anything to support him, leaving the child to face it alone just as he always has.

Xiao Ying was standing in front of a table for two in the front row, examining the little girl who was sprawled over his desk.
Without waiting for her to stand up or move away, he turned sideways and started to unload his schoolbag onto her back.

“Ah! Take your dirty schoolbag away, it touched me!! Don’t infect me, I don’t want to be an orphan too!!” The girl on the table screamed as she ran to the other side of the classroom.

Xiao Ying froze for a moment, then continued to put his schoolbag into his drawer and sat down in his seat with wrinkled brows.

“Yo, hey everyone.
Bai Weiwei was infected by the orphan boy.
Stay away from her!” the class roared with laughter as Bai Weiwei started to cry.

She glared at Xiao Ying as she wailed, “I don’t want to be an orphan, I don’t want to be a little bastard without a father!” The girl screamed louder and louder, her cute face squished into a ball.
Looking at her, one would believe that her parents had really died because she touched Xiao Ying.

Xiao Ying could only sit at his desk helplessly, though.
No matter how anxious he was to speak, he was a little bastard without parents to this group of children; any comfort that he offered would inevitably make the situation that much worse.

“Weiwei, don’t cry.
I’ll avenge you!” Wang Bin immediately stood up, walking vigorously to the podium in his efforts to cheer up the heartbroken girl.
He picked up that chalk left at the board, bringing it over to Xiao Ying.
Standing in front of him, his small height still gave him leverage over Xiao Ying, who was cowering in his seat.
He began to beat Xiao Ying with the chalk, his head, face, and body.
Not a single place was left unattended to, and Xiao Ying soon had red, white, and blue dots scattered on his bony frame.
Everyone watching was silent; they had never seen such a violent scene before.
The injuries on Xiao Ying started to become real in their minds; it was no longer such a fun game to tyrannize him.

The hiccuping little girl also stopped, stunned at what had happened.
She stretched out her hand in fear, holding Wang Bin back from smashing Xiao Ying anymore.
She spoke with righteousness, saying, “Wang Bin, forget it.
Don’t beat him anymore.
I forgive him.”

“No, I will be sure to repay him for what he has done today.
Don’t worry, he won’t dare to bother you in the future!” Seeing that the chalk had nearly lost its effect in hurting Xiao Ying, Wang Bin threw it down and picked up the blackboards eraser to replace it.

The sharp corner of the heavy eraser hit Xiao Ying’s forehead as he did nothing to resist out of fear of worse punishment.

“Xiao Ying!!” Seeing the child’s forehead immediately drip with blood, Mo Jingxuan was so angry that he could no longer hold back from reaching out towards Wang Bin’s neck.

The blood had covered half of Xiao Ying’s face in an instant, inciting fear in the minds of the children who had been laughing gleefully not even minutes ago.
Xiao Ying paid no mind to his injuries, though, instead looking down at the white shirt he had worn that morning, a white shirt with a yellow cat embroidery on the chest.
His grandmother had embroidered this shirt for him while mending a hole while she was still alive….it was his favourite shirt.
His favourite shirt that was made by his favourite grandma.

The red blood had already stained the cat red, and Xiao Ying’s eyes quickly turned to match.
He picked up his pencil case from the table and rushed over to Wang Bin, ready to beat him while he was still stunned by the sight of what he had done.

Mo Jingxuan was going out of control along with Xiao Ying, the arm that he had wrapped around Wang Bin’s neck materializing and strangling him.
There was crying and shouting in the classroom as the students yelled, “Wang Bin’s eyes rolled back, call the teacher!” Mo Jingxuan calmed down, realized the significance of what he had just done, and took advantage of the chaotic mess to try dragging Xiao Ying back towards his desk.
As he stumbled a few steps, almost tripping over himself, Mo JIngxuan breathed a heavy sigh of relief from still being able to influence what was going on.

The children in the class looked at Xiao Ying, who was covered in blood and were frightened enough to trip over themselves as they pushed towards the door.

Glancing at Wang Bin, who had fallen to the ground unconscious, and at Xiao Ying, who was standing in a daze, Mo Jingxuan frowned, annoyed that he had attacked so ruthlessly just now.
What if he caused his Xiao Ying trouble when others thought that he did it? Of course, he knew that the child had just passed out due to lack of oxygen, and there was no big problem to worry about him dying and whatnot, but just looking at the two of them….One was lying down with a bruised face and neck while the other was standing….standing… Yes, his face was covered in blood, but with no parents to back him up and the class all against him, it is likely that Xiao Ying will be the only one judged as wrong in the situation.

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