Xuefeng glanced at the pretty face of Jiao and saw the same pain everyone else did. The pain of someone in love.
He felt the same way back on Earth where he loved Tianshi yet they couldn't be together. Some of him wanted to end that pain Jiao felt but was it fair?
He didn't love her like he did any of his wives and they were not at that kind of stage yet. Seeing her behavior now, Xuefeng had other reasons to be sceptical about her. She needed to change.
"Sigh..." Xuefeng took a deep breath and decided to help her with that. It wasn't like he didn't care for her at all.
She didn't want to make it private so Xuefeng wasn't reserved anymore. He leaned over to her, took her hand to his own and asked, "But isn't it the life you chose for yourself?"
Jiao blinked, her mind scanning his question and realised he was right. It was her idea to have this kind of bet. She wanted to look down, embarrassed with herself but Xuefeng caught her chin and lifted it up, staring closely into her eyes.
"Returning to your question, yes, you are my friend. I considered you to be one since the very beginning. I never thought of you as a servant. If you wanted to follow me to the Capital, you could just ask. I would always find a place for you. You didn't need to become my servant for that," Xuefeng explained the situation from his side.
"I thought... I will spend more time with you this way..." Jiao muttered, regretting even proposing such a bet.
A part of her thought that Xuefeng will maybe try to use her for some tasks but she overthought once again. Xuefeng was nothing like any other guys of this world. Especially his personality which broke any established rules.
At this point, the people in the crowd already understood Jiao wasn't a normal servant but rather Xuefeng's friend which put her status from a commoner to a high profile person in an instant.
"You knew that I will be busy," Xuefeng countered her. "I wish I had time for everyone but it can't help it. I thought you will understand but just cause I didn't find time for you in two days, you come here and created a scene."
"I'm sorry..." Jiao apologized softly, a single tear falling down her cheek. She was forced to look into his eyes but she suddenly found herself not worthy of that. Shame engulfed her insides and she wanted to hide.
'What did I think I am doing...?' she asked herself, slowly hating her behavior.
It would be okay if Xuefeng didn't care. She could get over her troubles with alcohol and battles but he did came for her. The whole time she thought that she was a nobody to him but he considered her his friend already. How could she fuck up so badly.
Just as she thought of that, she heard gossips from the crowd, criticizing her. It struck her like a lightning.
"Tsk, I pity Young Master... He has to take care of his clan, business and now his friends too..."
"Yeah... Isn't she an adult? To trouble Young Master so much, I don't think she deserves to be his friend at all..."
She almost choked when she heard the last one, coming from another girl. At normal times she would slap the girl for speaking such nonsense but at the current moment, Jiao felt the girl was right.
'I really don't deserve him...' Jiao repeated in her mind, more tears falling with each second she looked at his handsome face. Her tears burned her cheeks and eyes. She forgot the last time she actually cried.
Jiao couldn't stand it anymore.
She wanted to run away.
She wanted to hide.
Hide from everything. She already created enough trouble for Xuefeng. He didn't need her at all. It was a mistake she even followed him.
Thousands thoughts engulfed her mind, trapping her inside a bubble of negative thoughts but she forgot the person that was the cause of all of her emotions was right there, holding onto her chin.
The bubble she created to protect herself suddenly popped, her eyes snapping open into focus. Her vision was impaired by her tears but she could feel the change in her surroundings.
Xuefeng grabbed her head out of nowhere and brought it into his chest, gently hugging it with both of his arms. She wanted to run away from the crowd, hide from the reality and being hugged by him cancelled everything she wanted.
She became a blank page, ready to rewrite what she actually felt.
She heard Xuefeng's voice. He didn't sound mad. She didn't feel any annoyance in his voice. It was all calm and soothing. Combined with a gentle rubs of his thumb that entwined within her hair, she didn't know how to feel about it.
Before Jiao knew, the tears she tried to suppress fell down like summer rain, coming out of nowhere.
She didn't deserve his kindness. She knew she didn't yet he didn't stop, continuing to embrace her.
"You can stay like this until you are fine..." Xuefeng whispered, causing more tears to fall. Her hands that clutched to his jacket climbed onto his back and she squeezed him tightly.
He didn't mind and only patted her head. Jiao was surrounded by many sounds but getting his hug, any other distractions disappeared.
She couldn't hear anything else other than his heart-beat that made her feel at peace, slowly letting her calm down a little. It made her understand a few things. The whole time she treated Xuefeng like any other men that she could get by slowly working on him but it would never work on Xuefeng.
'He cares about love and feelings... If he doesn't love me... Even if I offer myself on a golden plate, he won't touch me...' She thought to herself, tightening the hug she considered the last she would ever get from him.
'I'm so pathetic...' Jiao concluded, finally calming down. 'It's best if I leave him-'
She was in her zone, rethinking her life choices when Xuefeng stopped her by calling out to the crowd, "I'm sorry for my friend. She already called down so I will take her home."
'He still calls me his friend...' Jiao thought, finding that already laughable. She didn't deserve that title at all.
She felt him move her hand and then turn with her in his arms. "Are you manager of this bar? I'm sorry for the damages. I hope this can cover it," He apologized yet again.
She hated it.
He had to lower himself and apologize for her mistakes which made her feel sick. She couldn't stand it anymore, wanting to push him away and apologize for herself but to her surprise, Xuefeng held her tightly. She couldn't get away and each time she tried, he would stop her.
"Young Master! That's more than the cost of the doors or a few chairs!" the manager cried out in panic.
"It's nothing compared to the trouble we caused... Please treat it as Liu Clan's apology. We treat each case very seriously. Please accept it," Xuefeng replied with calmness, insisting for the manager to take the money.
Because of her, Xuefeng even involved Liu Clan which broke her final restrains. It was all her mess yet he took it on himself which she couldn't accept.
Jiao wanted to set herself free but her body didn't respond to her thoughts. She felt as if a strange force froze her body in place. No matter what she did, she couldn't fight back against it.
"Xuefeng..." She spoke with difficulty, thinking something happened to her only to find out the source of this paralyze. It came from Xuefeng himself.
Just as the restriction suddenly disappeared, Xuefeng called out for the last time, "We will be leaving now. The show is over. Please enjoy your night."
He then lowered one of his arms and grasped her waist, not bothered by the lack of clothes on her lower back. Before she knew, they were already in the sky, raising above the buildings.
She wanted to speak up but he kissed her on the hair and said warmly, "Stay still and hold me tightly. We will arrive home soon."