With her stern reply, Zhenxiu knew instantly that she was not joking. 

“But why…” Zhenxiu’s bubbly eyes were filled with immense curiosity. “Could it be that you were hurt by a past relationship? A painful breakup?”

Vivian reacted instantly with a change in expression. Her body shivered ever so slightly, before she took a deep breath, her eyes filled with an array of complexity. She then brushed it off. “Xu Zhenxiu, you’re too young to understand this. Eat up, I don’t feel like talking anymore.”

Zhenxiu, on the other hand, was not keen on letting go as she pushed on. “What’s there to be shy about? No one else understands Chinese but us. C’mon Ms Vivian, love is painful, but that man must be blind to give up on a woman like you! This time around you find a better man and put that rascal to his place!”

Vivian noted her student’s blind fury as she awkwardly chuckled. ”How are you so sure that I was the victim?” 

“Are you not? So you dumped him? That doesn’t sound right. Why would you feel bad about it then?” Zhenxiu blinked with blurry eyes.

Vivian lightly sighed. “There are things even when other people forgive you for, you may never forgive yourself.”

Zhenxiu was quick to reply. “So you did something really bad, and now you just couldn’t bear to hurt someone else?”

Vivian startled at her question, staring soullessly at the girl.

Zhenxiu ruffled the ladle. Soup splattered all around the serving bowl, as she waved her hand in disagreement. “Huh, so what if you did wrong! People make mistakes all the time, if you scald your tongue on the first spoonful of soup, you don’t avoid the soup for the rest of your life, do you? Why’d you make yourself suffer over minor setbacks!”

She caught Vivian staring blankly at the abyss. She then took this moment to speak, “Well Miss, I’m sure this is something about me you weren’t told about me. Back when I was in junior high I was a rebellious messed up kid. I was expelled from school, and I spent most of  my days picking fights, went on illegal road rallies, or went pickpocketing on the bus.”

Vivian was completely caught off guard as she stared at Zhenxiu with utter disbelief. 

“Anyways eventually the law caught up to me and I was finally arrested. While I was detained, Big Sis, a police officer, told me that my past could be forgiven so long as I worked hard to fix my mistakes! I wasn’t confident if any of that were even true, not until I met my rusty Uncle...”

“Your Uncle?” Vivian was confused. 

“Erm…” Zhenxiu continued regardless. “Anyways there’s this person back in China that’s really important to me. He might be sneaky and always up to no good, but he was always the best to me. He never held it against me when I stole his wallet and phone, and even beat up the bad guys that came after me!

From that moment on I knew, that the mistakes I’ve made in the past stay in the past. As long as I put in the effort to change my ways and regain the trust of the people that genuinely care about me, everything will be fine! You don’t have to beat yourself up over things you’ve done in the past!”

Vivian was at a loss for words for a long while, before she finally cracked a smile. “You have a great mindset, but I’m not as thoughtful and optimistic as you. Nevertheless, I will try.”

“Ms Vivian, speaking of which, I’m sure you’re still in love with the man.” Zhenxiu brought herself closer. “Otherwise you wouldn’t have reacted the way you did when we were talking about it.”

Vivian lowered her head as she lightly chuckled.

‘Pfft, you’re hiding it again.” Zhenxiu vented her frustration. “Fine, I’m just gonna eat my food then.”

Watching Zhenxiu churning down the food on the table, Vivian could finally take a breath of relief despite having a thousand thoughts running through her head. 

Right at that moment, a young and suave-looking man, tailed by two men in well-fitted suits came right through the door.

“Morning Chairman!’

Eunjung and the other servants quickly bowed upon his entry. 

It was Park Jonghyun. 

Vivian stood up and gave him a nod. Even she had to show her respect to him.

Zhenxiu was rather awkward at his presence, but she nonetheless still took to addressing her older cousin.

Park Jonghyun remarked with a warm smile. “Cousin, you’re still on your breakfast I see, you gotta be quick or else you’re making Ms Vivian wait again.”

“Yeap, making progress.” Zhenxiu at this moment looked way more serious than before. “Do you have to work today? Or just making rounds to check on Grandpa?”

Park Jonghyun chuckled. “I thought I’d stop by to visit him, but he seems much more energized now that you’re here.”

Zhenxiu nodded. “You don’t have to worry about me.”

Park Jonghyun, however, took his time as he respectfully turned towards Vivian. “Ms Vivian, I wasn’t too sure if you’d feel accustomed to Korean cuisine, but if you would prefer Chinese food instead I can get someone to prepare right away.”

“You’re being too kind. I’m fine with anything really, I will eat whatever Zhenxiu is eating,” Vivian politely replied. 

“I see.” Park Jonghyun hesitated, before he swiftly added, “I do have something else for you Ms Vivian, we’re having a conference banquet with our American partners tonight, many renowned academics would be invited as well. I’ll like to invite you to be my partner…”

“Mr Park,” Vivian cut him off. “I’m grateful for the invitation, but I’m less of a party person.”

“Oh…” Park Jonghyun’s eyes were filled with slight dejection as he glanced towards the woman he adored. “Well isn’t it a pity. I think I should go upstairs now.”

Park Jonghyun was about to make his way up before he halted abruptly, and turned backward. “Cousin, Grandpa’s been telling me that the holding of Starmoon Group shares will be officially transferred to your name in the near future. The moon ivory that Aunt has handed to you must be kept well. When the time comes both the moon ivory and the star constellation with grandpa will have to reunite with one another.”

“The moon ivory? You mean the platinum moon ivory pendant?” Zhenxiu while listening was startled at its mention.

“Exactly. Is there a problem with it?”

“Oh erm…” Zhenxiu frustratedly bit on her lip. “You see, cousin, I...passed it to someone else…”

Park Jonghyun was confused before he cracked a halfhearted smile. “Who did you give it to?” Zhenxiu was a tad awkward before he scratched her head. “I gave it to…”

“Wait!”

Park Jonghyun cut her off before he hinted to everyone to leave. With a stern look, he questioned, “Keep it down, this is a serious matter. Don’t let anyone know alright!”

Zhenxiu was nervous as she walked towards him, she then brought herself to his ear. “Back then, to offer my gratitude to Big Brother Yang, I handed it to him.”

“Yang Chen?”

“Yeah.” Zhenxiu nodded. 

Park Jonghyun was slightly unamused but had quickly shielded it with a smile. “I see, nevermind I’ll talk to Grandpa about it. Nonetheless, the Moon ivory is our family treasure, and we will eventually have to take it back. But we will do it properly and respectfully.”

Zhenxiu unanimously agreed, hoping however that they could invite Yang Chen over from Zhonghai. Being away from him all this while left her longing to see him again. He was never home When she called. 

In a housing estate at the Western Suburbs of Zhonghai.

Lin Ruoxi was sitting idly by herself in her bedroom, slowly putting her phone down after a conversation with Liu Mingyu. 

Upon Liu Mingyu’s return to Zhonghai, she deliberately recapped her experiences and the local condition in Australia just as they planned prior.

If things were as they were before, much of their conversation would consist of how Xue Zhiqing’s plan was foiled. But from her subsequent revelations, it seemed as though it really went as Yang Chen explained it to be. It left Lin Ruoxi dispirited and in awe.

As Liu Mingyu narrated her bitter experience along the way, she mentioned the process in which sparked a change in opinion towards Xue Zhiqing. At this point, Lin Ruoxi was sure that, in Liu Mingyu’s heart, she began treating her as one of their own.

As for what was mentioned in Yang Chen’s narrative was but a tiny bit of truth, as Xue Zhiqing had undoubtedly done plenty that would leave her in complete admiration. Yang Chen had lost his cultivations. Liu Mingyu might have enough inner qi to sustain only herself. But Xue Zhiqing with her frail body and immense perseverance accompanied them out of no man’s land without slowing the group. She risked her own life for the lives of both Yang Chen and Liu Mingyu.

Lin Ruoxi was at a loss with her emotions. She felt wronged but there wasn’t much to feel wronged about. More than anything, she felt guilty but was more overwhelmed with resentment and bitterness.

If only she was there at that moment by her husband instead of Xue Zhiqing. Things would have definitely gone her way instead!

Just while she was in deep contemplation of the matter, a loud succession of knocks resonated from the door. It was Wang Ma. “Young Miss, come down quickly, there’s something we need to talk about!”