Chapter 1: Guests to Greet

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At the end of August, the scorching sun shone brightly in the sky.
The humid air felt suffocating.

It wasn’t until a few days before the start of school, when several heavy showers of rain poured down, did the temperature finally drop by a few degrees.  

It was 2:30 in the afternoon.

Lin Yujing stood at the entrance of a shopping mall.
She watched the rain splashing on the flat slate floor outside, soaking the shoes of people who walked through.

After ten minutes, the rain had yet to let up.

Lin Yujing slung her shopping bag on one arm and pulled out her cell phone with her other.
After checking to make sure she didn’t miss any calls or messages, she walked over to a huge glass door in the corner.
She held up her pointer fingers and thumbs in a square shape and pointed it at the door, and as if she was taking a photo, Lin Yujing squinted one eye closed.

There were many high-rise buildings and shopping malls along the street.  Across the street, the huge sign for Starbucks was soaked in heavy rain.
The green mermaid appeared to have sunk to the bottom of the sea.
The whole street was awash in a gray, gloomy atmosphere.

A familiar environment in an unfamiliar setting.

Lin Yujing had only arrived in “City A” two days ago.

Three months ago, she had watched Lin Zhi and Meng Weiguo’s struggling marriage come to an end at last.

It was a lengthy and troubling divorce, and the two had a big fight throughout the process.

It was over Lin Yujing’s custody.

At 6:30 in the evening, on the second day after the decision to divorce, the three of them sat at the dining table and ate their last dinner as a family of three.
Starting from the discussion of the house, property, and custody of Lin Yujing, Lin Zhi’s face was a mask of numb indifference.
“You can have the house, I don’t want the car either.
Take the child with you.”

Meng Weiguo was satisfied with the first part of the sentence, but when he heard the latter part, he became confused.
“What do you mean, take the child with me?” 

Lin Zhi became a little impatient, “I’m too busy, and I won’t have time to take care of her.”

“What do you mean when you don’t have time? Just because you don’t have time doesn’t mean I have time.”

“You seem to get plenty!” Lin Zhi gave a cold sneer, “After depending off your wife for so many years, you finally remembered to be like a responsible adult and act busy, huh?

Meng Weiguo’s face turned red with anger, and he glared at his ex-wife.
He took a deep breath in an attempt to calm down, and continued,  “Lin Zhi, I don’t want to ruin the good mood by arguing today.
I hope we can find some mutual respect.”

Lin Zhi raised her eyebrows: “Oh, so now we start bringing up respect? Why couldn’t you act this way when we were married and living together?”

Meng Weiguo couldn’t bear it any longer.
He slammed his hand on the table with a resounding bang and quickly stood up.

Lin Yujin crossed her legs at her side of the table.
Using two chopsticks, she poked half-heartedly at her uneaten rice.
Propping her chin up with her hands, she watched all this go down.
Simply over custody of their child, they began to quarrel again, and this time, without trying to hide it behind her back.

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It was as if she was a dog, and she didn’t understand human speech at all.
Without a care in the world, no one felt the need to check up on her and her emotions.

Meng Weiguo was the one to enter the family.

Lin Zhi’s family had been successful businessmen for three generations, and they were very rich.
Meng Weiguo and her were college classmates.
They were admitted to the city from the countryside.

As an eighteen or nineteen-year-old, wearing a bleached cotton T-shirt, he appeared like a handsome, tall, and confident boy.

With this type of boy interested in them, there was no girl who could resist.
Lin Zhi was no exception.

As a result, the poor boy and the rich lady fell in love and got married.
But the ending was not always happily ever after.

Ever since Lin Yujin could remember, her parents acted very differently from other people.
She could see that her mother always loathed her father, and her extreme hatred for this man had worn away the little love she had left for her child.

Lin Yujing originally thought that she would be sad when she was inevitably abandoned by her parents.

However, as she witnessed the scene before her, she didn’t feel a thing.

As if she downed a whole barrel of spirits in one go, her tongue felt numb and so did her brain.

Meng Weiguo did not insist on going to court with Lin Zhi.

Lin Zhi’s family had all kinds of money and background, and if he went head-to-head, it would certainly be a death wish.
In the end, he was ultimately responsible for Lin Yujing, and Lin Zhi paid him a fixed amount of money every month.

Meng Weiguo quickly got out of the shadow of the previous failed marriage.
One month after the divorce, he took Lin Yujing to meet his new girlfriend Guan Xiangmei.
The two’s relationship quickly developed and had their first five-year plan.
After getting married, he joined the woman’s family and went to the city she lived in with Lin Yujing.
He seemed to be very familiar with the procedure.

Lin Yujing only thought that it must be very good to be handsome and eloquent.
There were so many stupid rich women willing to marry him.

The day after she was sent here, the two went on their honeymoon.
Before leaving, Guan Xiangmei smiled and looked at her.
“In the future, I hope you can see this place as your home.” 

Lin Yujin could only nod in agreement

 “My son has been out with his classmates for the past two days.
He should return tomorrow.
I’ve already told him to take care of you while we’re away.
He will be your future brother.
Give him your phone number, and you can contact him yourself.” Guan Xiangmei continued.


Lin Yujing didn’t really wish to get in touch with her so-called brother, but she didn’t want to destroy the seemingly harmonious family atmosphere so soon, so she nodded quietly.

Guan Xiangmei felt satisfied with her answer and added.
“If you need anything, you can ask Aunt Zhang.
Don’t feel like you need to hold back, everyone likes you very much.”

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Lin Yujing took a look at Aunt Zhang, who was standing on the side.
She could see her face showing the expressions of “Know your place little brat”, “Yo, the uselessly handsome father and her daughter came to scam”, and “Don’t you even think about getting a penny from me”.
Interacting with her didn’t seem very realistic.

The air-conditioning in the shopping mall was too strong, making the outside still feel very hot.
It was as if the rainwater was also warm, evaporating into the air before it could fully fall.

Lin Yujing expressionlessly watched the rainfall and checked at the time again.

It was 3 o’clock。

The phone rang, and she jumped slightly, rubbing her legs which had gone numb.
It was the phone number

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