He Should Be Mine

As the exam week approached, Wen Le and Cheng Hui spent almost every day together in the library. One afternoon, they received a call from Zhou Kao. Zhou Kao’s cousin came to A University to invite Zhou Kao for a meal and, having heard that Zhou Kao had a girlfriend, wanted to invite them both to meet over a meal. 

Zhou Kao called to ask Wen Le if she would like to go. Although Wen Le was somewhat embarrassed, she did not refuse.

On Saturday night, it snowed heavily, and when they woke up on Sunday, the world was a beautiful silver-white. Wen Le, who grew up in the southern mountains, had rarely seen snow and happily looked out the window, only to see Zhou Kao standing below the dormitory building.

This was their first date since their relationship became public. Zhou Kao was dressed quite flamboyantly, wearing a handsome black wool coat, standing tall with long legs, just standing straight below the girls’ dormitory waiting for Wen Le. The black coat against the snow-white world created a stark visual contrast that made the scene look like a beautiful picture from a movie, drawing the attention of passersby.

However, Wen Le somewhat spoilingly cursed Zhou Kao under her breath for not wearing a scarf or hat. Did he want to look good at the cost of his life?

Wen Le knew how cold it was outside and quickly took the longest white wool scarf from her closet and ran downstairs with it.

Zhou Kao had messaged on WeChat that he was coming to pick her up for a meal. Wen Le was already dressed and ready, having been bored and watching the snow from the window, so she was ready to go out at any time.

Wen Le stepped out of the dormitory, and her boots made a crunching sound on the snow. Zhou Kao turned at the sound, and before he even saw her, he smiled—a smile that was warmer than the winter sun, making one feel warm all over.

Wen Le walked up to him and stood in front of Zhou Kao, reaching out to pinch him at the waist in a spot where others couldn’t see.

Zhou Kao inhaled sharply from the pain.

Wen Le did not loosen her grip, and while pinching Zhou Kao, she felt the thickness of his clothes with her fingers, unintentionally increasing her strength when she realised how thin his clothes were for the winter.

Wen Le gritted her teeth, “Dressing so thinly in such cold weather to charm young girls?”

Enduring the pain, Zhou Kao held Wen Le’s hand, “Isn’t it just so you would love me a little more every time you see me?”

Wen Le felt the burning warmth of Zhou Kao’s hand, thinking that he must not be cold, and then let go, “Lower your head.”

Zhou Kao, with a smile at the corner of his mouth, modestly lowered his proud head.

As he did so, Zhou Kao’s handsome face came closer to Wen Le, who traced the contours of his deep features and handsome eyebrows with her eyes, filled with an unnoticeable tenderness.

Wen Le carefully wrapped the still-warm wool scarf she was holding around Zhou Kao’s neck and took the time to adjust it to match his refined outfit.

“All done.”

Zhou Kao didn’t look up but quickly scanned the surroundings. There weren’t many people paying attention to them at the moment. Zhou Kao quickly kissed Wen Le on the face and then stood straight, acting gentlemanly, “Let’s go.”

Wen Le, covering the kissed spot, blushed deeply and glared at Zhou Kao. But the glare was timid, lacking force, instead full of charm.

Zhou Kao’s mouth curved slightly, and his warm hand took one of Wen Le’s small hands and tucked it into his coat pocket.

Wen Le blushed slightly and tried to pull her hand back gently, but couldn’t, so she let Zhou Kao lead her forward, her face still flushed. Walking on the snowy, slippery road, they moved slowly. Other students occasionally passed by, inevitably giving the celebrity couple extra glances.

Wen Le was used to being watched since she was young and didn’t mind the scrutiny of others. However, this was the first time she felt self-conscious about being watched because of her relationship. She tightened her grip on Zhou Kao’s hand a bit more.

Zhou Kao, acting as if it was no big deal, squeezed Wen Le’s hand back. He had always wanted to let everyone know and wished for more of such attention.

The winters in Beijing are cold, and Wen Le would usually wrap herself in a down jacket, preferring to look like a dumpling rather than maintain a so-called graceful appearance. But this time, since they were going to meet Zhou Kao’s cousin, Wen Le naturally couldn’t allow herself to appear in the image of a “fat dumpling.” So, she made an effort to dress a bit more carefully.

Zhou Kao’s cousin, Pang Xingguang, the young master of Pang’s Group with businesses sprawling across the entertainment industry, didn’t want to inherit the family business. Instead, he aimed to become a director after attending an arts academy. 

With the dream of becoming an artist, cousin Pang dressed the part, looking like an artist with his height of 185 cm, tanned skin, small pigtail, and mustache, wearing a floral shirt and loose black pants, a bit unkempt but with a good foundation.

After Zhou Kao introduced them, Pang Xingguang was visibly shocked and amazed upon seeing Wen Le, unable to believe his eyes. 

“This…this is your girlfriend?” 

“From your school?” 

“Really? You’re not fooling me, cousin?” 


Zhou Kao gave Pang Xingguang a warning glare. Realising his overreaction, Pang Xingguang coughed lightly and tried to smile warmly and elegantly at Wen Le, “Please don’t misunderstand, I was just too shocked.” 

“I really didn’t expect it. Why are the girls at your school even prettier than our school’s beauty? Isn’t our school the one with the arts college?”

Pang Xingguang then teasingly hit Zhou Kao, asking, “Where did you find such a beautiful girlfriend? And she’s a top student from your school?” 

“Sister-in-law, come be the leading lady in my movie! I guarantee you’ll become famous overnight. Please, I sincerely invite you…”

Before he could finish, Zhou Kao pushed him away, saying bluntly, “If you’re not eating, then leave.”

Pang Xingguang snorted, “Crude!” 

“Let’s not lower ourselves to his level, sister-in-law. Let me tell you about my movie project. Anyone who stars in it will become a star overnight.”

Zhou Kao then pushed Pang Xingguang’s head back, firmly stating, “Stop dreaming. She’s the sole heir of the Wen family.”

Zhou Kao deliberately emphasised the last few syllables to make his point clear. 

Pang Xingguang, who didn’t catch it at first, asked, “What?”

“The Wen family…”

Could it be the Wen family that just returned to Beijing? 

The sole heir? 

The only successor of the Wen family?

Pang Xingguang’s eyes widened in shock as he suddenly remembered a conversation from a few days ago. 

His parents were complaining about how his uncles and aunts were fussing over why the eldest son of the Zhou family would possibly marry into another family, questioning the couple’s decision. 

His mother even laughed at the time, saying his uncles and aunts were overthinking. Now, it seemed, it wasn’t baseless worry after all but something Zhou Kao had orchestrated…

The Wen family, having been away from Beijing for many years, still had a well-established foundation that none of the old families could forget. 

It had always been rumoured that the head of the Wen family, Wen Tianqi, was single with no heirs, leading to speculation about who would inherit the vast Wen estate. Little did anyone expect that the Wen family had a daughter…

It was a pity for Pang Xingguang that this sole heir of the Wen family had been “snatched away” by his cousin before she even became known to the public. 

Tsk tsk tsk, what good luck Zhou Kao has.

Considering the Wen family’s scarce lineage, if there truly was only this one daughter, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for them to request the husband to marry into their family. 

However, given that both the Zhou and Wen families were not ordinary, with Zhou Kao being the only son of Zhou Chengyun, who also needed to uphold his family’s name, it complicated matters.

All these thoughts flashed through Pang Xingguang’s mind for a moment, and he wisely kept his mouth shut. The notion of becoming instantly famous was unrealistic for someone from a family like Wen’s, which, similar to the Zhou family, would prefer its members to avoid the limelight, especially the heirs.

Pang Xingguang felt a sense of regret, surrounded by such high-quality resources yet unable to utilize them for the entertainment industry. The fact that his cousin, with such a striking appearance, could not join the entertainment circle was frustrating enough. Now Zhou Kao had found an equally stunning girlfriend from a family with significant influence, beyond Pang Xingguang’s reach.

As an aspiring director, the pain of not being able to cast the actors he desired was immense. Drinking his sorrows away, Pang Xingguang lamented: why were there so many hurdles and setbacks on his path to becoming a director?

Despite his grievances, Pang Xingguang, a chatterbox by nature, ensured there was never a dull moment during the meal, adeptly including Wen Le and maintaining the conversation. Even when Zhou Kao stepped away to take a call, he continued to chat with Wen Le about the current state of capital flow in the entertainment industry.

The restaurant was warm, a bit too warm, and Wen Le took off her coat, revealing a white dress with puff sleeves she was wearing underneath. The puff sleeves were designed with two zippers near the wrists. 

One of the gold zippers dangled on her forearm, its zipper a coin-sized circle featuring the iconic decoration of Wen Le’s orchid production line—a circular orchid relief with a diamond in the centre. The zipper made a pleasant, crisp sound as it moved up and down with Wen Le’s movements.

Pang Xingguang glanced at it unconsciously, his gaze just sweeping over it briefly before he seemed to think of something and frowned slightly.

Seemingly recalling something, he casually remarked, “Sister-in-law, the pattern on your dress is a ‘dragon’ character, right?”

Wen Le looked at the orchid mark on her zipper and shook her head, “No, it should be ‘Song Mei’. Cousin, are you into orchids?”

Pang Xingguang took a sip of his drink and replied, “Not really, it’s just that the strokes of this orchid looked familiar to me, similar to an orchid painting at my cousin’s house. I initially thought someone took that painting and made it into a trademark. I didn’t expect it to actually be ‘Song Mei’.”

Pang Xingguang took a bite of his food and added, “Zhou Kao’s family has an orchid painting, but it’s not ‘Song Mei’, it’s ‘dragon’. It looks a lot like the orchid pattern on your zipper.”

Wen Le casually asked, “Who painted it?”

Pang Xingguang said, “I think it was Mr. Yu Shi*.”

After the meal, Zhou Kao’s cousin had to leave first due to some matters.

As the exam week was approaching, both academic and study schedules were getting busier, not just for Wen Le but Zhou Kao as well. So, after spending a little time together, they left.

Thinking about what Pang Xingguang had said that evening, Wen Le called her grandfather.

A few days after Wen Le and Zhou Kao met Pang Xingguang, Su Zhenzhen sought her out, specifically, Su Zhenzhen called Wen Le to arrange a meeting.

Wen Le didn’t find Su Zhenzhen’s actions strange at all.

Since the entire school knew about her relationship with Zhou Kao, including Sun Youmei, it wasn’t surprising to Wen Le that Su Zhenzhen knew about her too.

It had been a long time since Wen Le had seen or even thought of the name Su Zhenzhen. It seemed that ever since the last mixer, where Zhou Kao had said something to Su Zhenzhen, she hadn’t bothered Wen Le and Zhou Kao anymore.

Wen Le didn’t know what exactly Zhou Kao had said to Su Zhenzhen, but it probably completely discouraged Su Zhenzhen. Wen Le thought Su Zhenzhen had given up, but what she didn’t expect was that although Su Zhenzhen had given up, she wanted Wen Le to give up as well. 

Now, Su Zhenzhen seemed to have the extreme mentality of “even though I can’t have Zhou Kao, you lowlifes can’t have him either.

Wen Le didn’t refuse Su Zhenzhen’s request to meet. Although she didn’t know what Su Zhenzhen was planning, she felt it was better to resolve such matters sooner rather than later. She didn’t want someone so inexplicable to interfere with her relationship with Zhou Kao.

Su Zhenzhen probably wanted to intimidate Wen Le by inviting her to a high-end restaurant owned by a Spaniard.

Wen Le, unfazed, gladly accepted the invitation.

Arriving early, Wen Le mentioned Su Zhenzhen’s name, and a waiter led her to a table in an elegantly decorated setting, where a small group performed classical music on stage.

Wen Le noticed many foreign waiters here, who spoke a bit of Chinese but mainly communicated in English and Spanish.

It wasn’t long before Su Zhenzhen arrived.

With her haughty demeanour and overly extravagant attire, Su Zhenzhen looked like a warrior entering the battlefield, seemingly determined to intimidate Wen Le. Dressed in an expensive Chanel haute couture, carrying a Hermès bag, and sitting across Wen Le with her Louboutin shoes and a diamond-encrusted ladies’ watch, she was the epitome of walking money.

Su Zhenzhen sat down gracefully, and when the waiter presented the menu, she didn’t order but handed it to Wen Le with a smile, asking, “Would you like something to drink?”

The menu was entirely in Spanish, as Wen Le discovered.

Su Zhenzhen watched her with a smug smile, seemingly waiting for Wen Le to make a fool of herself.

Wenle glanced at the menu, smiled back, and thought to herself: Childish tricks.

As Wen Le closed the menu, Su Zhenzhen’s smile grew more triumphant.

Then, Wen Le spoke fluently in perfect Spanish.

The smile dropped from Su Zhenzhen’s face, disappointed from not seeing Wen Le’s embarrassment.

After the waiter left, Su Zhenzhen, while picking up a napkin, remarked, “Well prepared, I see.”

Wen Le simply smiled, saying nothing.

She hadn’t expected to live out a clichéd TV drama scenario but guessed Su Zhenzhen’s intention was to show the vast gap between their worlds by bringing her to such an upscale Western restaurant, where a cup of coffee could cost hundreds, hoping to intimidate her into backing down.

Unfortunately for Su Zhenzhen, she chose a Spanish restaurant.

What kind of people were Wen Le’s grandparents?

They were renowned intellectuals even during the Republic of China era, and their granddaughter was no less exceptional.

After compulsory education, there’s hardly anyone who doesn’t know of Mr. Yu Shi. Those more familiar with his work know that Mr. Yu Shi wasn’t just a brilliant writer but also knowledgeable in calligraphy, traditional Chinese painting, astronomy, geography, and Chinese studies, and was said to be fluent in several foreign languages.

Wen Le never attended preschool; instead, she was homeschooled by her grandparents from three until she started elementary school at seven.

While others had ordinary preschool teachers, Wen Le’s tutors were respected experts in their fields.

While other children were introduced to bilingual education early on, Wen Le was immersed in various foreign languages by her grandparents.

Unfortunately, Wen Le wasn’t a natural-born genius and couldn’t reach the level her grandfather did, but she managed to master English and could even stumble through simple conversations in French and Spanish with her grandfather.

Wen Le didn’t consider herself to be particularly intelligent; all her accolades were the result of hard work.

Thus, Su Zhenzhen’s initial attempt to unsettle Wen Le inevitably fell flat.

But Su Zhenzhen assumed Wen Le had merely scrambled to prepare by looking things up on her phone after arriving at the restaurant.

Wen Le sat there, smiling at Su Zhenzhen.

Su Zhenzhen idly toyed with the diamond clasp on her platinum bag, appraising Wen Le.

Wen Le spoke up, “Miss Su, let’s not play these games. If you have something to say, just be direct. It’ll save us both some time, don’t you think?”

Su Zhenzhen’s smile vanished, and she looked at Wen Le with a mocking sneer, “Does being with Zhou Kao make you feel proud? Seeing Zhou Kao choose you, someone from a poor background, over someone wealthy like me, must feel like a triumph, right? Do you think you’re just one step away from marrying into wealth and changing your social status, becoming a lady of leisure?”

Su Zhenzhen, speaking to herself, chuckled, “Do you really think the Zhou family would accept a gold-digger like you? They would never allow Zhou Kao to be with someone like you.”

“Wow, Miss Su, do you realise you’re acting like the stereotypical meddlesome mother-in-law from a soap opera, as an outsider no less?” Wen Le retorted with a smile, “What’s next? Are you going to offer me five million to leave Zhou Kao?”

Su Zhenzhen was visibly infuriated, her hand raised as if to slap Wen Le, but then she seemed to reconsider and restrained herself. Lowering her hand, she coldly stated, “There’s no need for such a strong reaction. I’m only speaking the truth. Just listen to me.”

Wen Le: …

So, who’s really having a strong reaction here?

Su Zhenzhen continued, “Even if Zhou Kao’s parents might not object, the rest of the Zhou family certainly would. Zhou Kao is the brightest future of the Zhou family. Neither Old Master Zhou nor any other elder would allow him to be with someone of mismatched social standing.”

“Someone like Zhou Kao, a young master, is expected to marry into an equal, traditional wealthy family. Besides, Zhou Kao’s family has strict rules; they wouldn’t keep you as a mistress, nor would he divorce for you. Many girls dream of marrying into wealth, but we’ve grown tired of such schemes. The only ones who fall for them are fools and the worthless. The truly discerning scions of wealthy families won’t even consider you; at most, you’re just a fling.”

“Don’t start with how times have changed. Wealthy and ordinary families are worlds apart. Maybe I can’t have Zhou Kao, but you’ll never end up with him either. Dreaming of marrying into the Zhou family is pure fantasy.”

“I suggest you see the reality sooner and collaborate with me. Clear up any misunderstandings Zhou Kao has about me, and I can introduce you to other wealthy heirs, ensuring you marry well. How does that sound? You’re a smart woman. Chasing Zhou Kao is a waste of time, but working with me could secure your place in a wealthy family, maybe not as wealthy as Zhou Kao’s, but glamorous enough for a lifetime.”

“Wen Le, you’re intelligent. Think it over.”

At that moment, the waiter arrived with the coffee, and Wen Le remained silent.

Today, Wen Le purposely wore the same white bubble-sleeve dress that she had on during her last meeting with Pang Xingguang when she met with Su Zhenzhen.

As the waiter was serving dessert, Wen Le remained silent, casually fiddling with the two coin-sized zipper pulls on her bubble sleeves. This action of playing with the zipper pulls was eerily similar to Su Zhenzhen’s earlier fidgeting with the diamond clasp on her bag.

If Pang Xingguang, a straightforward man, noticed the zipper pulls, how could Su Zhenzhen, a woman, not?

Su Zhenzhen looked over and saw the somewhat conspicuous orchid mark on the zipper pulls, feeling it looked… familiar…

Suddenly, Su Zhenzhen’s pupils shrank as she remembered something.

Tan Xiangxiang…

Tan Xiangxiang was a girl of the same age from Su Zhenzhen’s social circle, but Tan Xiangxiang came from a slightly better background, always acting superior around Su Zhenzhen, who could never stand her.

It seems natural to pay attention to one’s rivals, and Su Zhenzhen inevitably kept tabs on Tan Xiangxiang.

She would check Tan Xiangxiang’s account, “Tan Xiang Very Fragrant,” several times a week to stay updated on her rival and to mock and ridicule her.

How could she not know about the incident that made Tan Xiangxiang a hot topic on Weibo and even trending not too long ago?

The Tan family was an older and more established family than the Su family, and indeed, Tan Xiangxiang knew more than her, a fact that Su Zhenzhen reluctantly acknowledged.

Su Zhenzhen had vaguely heard about Le Yin but Tan Xiangxiang had always boasted about her grandmother being a member of the Le Yin society, and when Su Zhenzhen tried to inquire about it, Tan Xiangxiang refused to divulge any details.

Thus, it was only from trending searches that Su Zhenzhen learned what Le Yin really represented.

Le Yin belonged to the Tianyin Group, but Su Zhenzhen was not familiar with Tianyin, so she turned to her father for information.

Her father mentioned it was a very prestigious family, as influential as the Zhou family, and admitted, “That’s an old nobility we can’t aspire to.”

When Su Zhenzhen asked her father how one could become a member of the Le Yin society and have a production line of their own, her father told her to abandon the thought, saying even Tan Xiangxiang shouldn’t bother with such dreams. Unless she married into a family like the Zhou family and gained recognition from that old nobility circle, then she may have a chance.

Only then did Su Zhenzhen realise the vast distance between their family and that exclusive circle.

Scenes flashed before Su Zhenzhen’s eyes.

Su Zhenzhen stared at the orchid pattern on Wen Le’s dress, identical to the enlarged orchid mark she saw in a trending post…

Disbelieving, Su Zhenzhen stared at Wen Le, hoping she would say it was just a copy, but how could a copy be made so quickly?

Wen Le, however, was smiling, gently touching the zipper pull, and said, “You recognize it?”

“This is Song Mei, along with the Dragon, they are known as the twin jewels of the national orchids.”

“It is said that on the day I was born, my grandfather, inspired by excitement, drew two sketches of flowers and plants, one called Song Mei and the other called Dragon. These two sketches were brimming with divine inspiration and vitality, making them among my grandfather’s rare masterpieces. My grandmother saw this as a good omen and loved both sketches very much. She used them as the original designs for two series of Le Yin: the Song Mei and the Dragon series.”

“My grandmother attributed the Song Mei series to me, making it mine, while the Dragon series remains sealed to this day. My grandmother intends to unveil the Dragon series on the day of my engagement, as the first engagement gift I will give to my beloved.”

Wen Le touched the zipper pull gently and said with a smile, “Isn’t it romantic?”

“Even more romantic is that ten years ago, my grandfather gave the Dragon sketch to a close friend. After the friend passed away, the Dragon sketch passed through many hands until four years ago, when Master Zhou from the Zhou family bought it for 12 million. Coincidentally, when Mr. Zhou asked Zhou Kao what he wanted for his birthday that year, Zhou Kao pointed to that orchid sketch and said, ‘I want that.’ So Mr. Zhou gave the Dragon sketch to Zhou Kao.”

“Four years ago… It was also the year Zhou Kao and I met in a remote town.”

Wen Le gently played with the zipper pull on her hand, looking at Su Zhenzhen with a smile, and asked, “Now, don’t you even think Zhou Kao should be mine?”

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