Chapter 1 Mistaken Identities
“I’m not a thief!”
Within the welfare center’s dormitory, a nine-year-old girl faced everyone’s suspicions, her eyes red. She had a pair of large, watery eyes and was radiantly beautiful. However, her body looked frail due to malnutrition.
Seeing everyone look at her with disdain and hate, she felt wronged and choked, “That jade… is… It is mine! I’m… I’m not a thief! My mom left that behind for me!”
“So what you’re saying is that I stole your stuff?!” Standing opposite her was a girl about her age. Tilting her head, the girl eyed her coldly before she turned to smile innocently at the other children.
Compared to her, the girl looked sweet and proud, as though she were a lofty, little princess showered with everyone’s love.
As soon as she spoke, the children around them immediately came to her defense.
“You’re obviously lying! You’re lying! Why would Rou’er steal your stuff?!”
“Right, right! That’s impossible! How is Rou’er a thief? Clearly, it’s you who stole her thing!”
Faced with all their condemnations and questions, the girl was unable to give any convincing explanations to defend herself. Absolutely aggrieved, she rubbed her eyes bitterly and burst into tears.
“That is really my jade! Give it back….”
Rou’er eyed her gloatingly and turned to speak to everyone, “Everyone, it’s clear! Xiaoshi is the thief! Don’t play with her anymore! Thieves are bad!”
Several children vigorously nodded their heads. “Uh-huh! Let’s listen to Princess Rou’er! Ignore her in future! She’s a thief!”
“She’s a thief! Xiaoshi is a bad girl! Stealing Rou’er’s thing, shame on you!”
The children roared with laughter as they dispersed. Alone, the girl leaned against a wall. She held back her tears as she gazed at the other children’s backs, tightly clenching her fists.
A row of men clad in black suits lined up outside the director’s office.
An energetic-looking elderly man past fifty sat sternly on a sofa. The set of traditional Chinese garments on him enhanced his respectable demeanor, and under the shadows of his brows was an air of fury.
He might be getting on in years, his appearance slightly aged, but from his handsome facial features, one could still picture how stunning he looked during his prime.
The director brought in a pile of documents, carefully showed them to the elderly man, and respectfully offered them to him. “Mr. Mu, these are the children who came into the welfare center last year. All their information is here. Please have a look.”
The elderly man reached out his hand for the documents, went over some of them, and then furrowed his eyebrows. The assistant by his side caught sight of his expression and raised his head to smile at the director, asking, “That child is about eight to nine years old. May I ask, of those who were admitted last year, how many fit this condition?”
The director briefly went over his memories and swiftly replied, “Please hold on a moment.”
The elderly man continued to scan through the documents, yet his eyes were fixed on a family portrait. He suddenly stretched out his hand and pointed. “Let me see this girl.”
The director felt stunned before hurriedly nodding. “I understand! I shall arrange for her to meet you fast!”
He made a call and, soon after, a teacher brought a girl in.
Rou’er diligently stood in front of the elderly man, with her hands to her back and chest puffed up. Grinning from ear to ear, she said, “Grandpa, nice to meet you! I’m Rou’er.”
The elderly man expressionlessly stared at her and carefully examined every inch of her face. His eyes slowly narrowed as he looked at her darkly and gloomily.
Rou’er curiously wrinkled her brows. This elderly man’s fierce-looking face and stern demeanor somewhat frightened her. Just as she retreated a few steps, she saw him suddenly gesture to her.
“Come! Let grandpa take a good look at you!”
“… Okay.” Rou’er hesitantly took two steps forward. The elderly man gently held her shoulders and observed her up close. Despite the compatibility in age, he still felt that neither her appearance nor her facial features were similar to that person.
His vision slowly shifted downwards until it landed on the jade near her collarbone. The elderly man held up the piece of jade and softly asked, “This jade…”
Rou’er stiffened for a moment before smiling sweetly. “This jade was given to me by my mother.”
The elderly man slightly narrowed his eyes. His assistant quickly realized the situation. He hurriedly took out another piece of jade from a briefcase and passed it over to him.
The two pieces of jade were put together and they fit perfectly.
The elderly man’s hands slightly shuddered. Upon witnessing this, the assistant understood his intentions and walked over to the director. He muttered a few words to him before taking out a check with a large amount from the briefcase and handing it over to him. The director accepted it with a smile.
A row of luxurious, black limousines was parked at the entrance of the welfare center.
A desolate-looking girl climbed up the black iron railings in the distance and, with dull eyes, watched Rou’er follow a group of men in suits and enter an extended Bentley.
The moment the doors of the vehicle closed, Rou’er coldly swept her gaze over to her direction.
Coincidentally, their sight collided. Rou’er smiled slyly at her before the car windows rolled up and the vehicles drove off into the distance.
Thus, the lives of two children took an unexpected turn.