Soon, it was the eve of Xin Li’s birthday. Xie Yuran had dinner with her as usual and drove her back to her condo.

The car stopped downstairs at the condominium. Xin Li unbuckled her seatbelt and got out of the car. Xie Yuran followed suit, intending to accompany her upstairs.

However, Xin Li said, “Don’t come upstairs.”

She wrapped her arms around his neck, leaning against him and looking up with a smile. “I’m afraid if you come upstairs, you won’t want to leave again.”

Xie Yuran lowered his head and said, “How about moving in with me?”

Upon hearing this, Xin Li displayed a hesitant expression.

It wasn’t that she objected to living together; they had already done so many intimate things, so there was no need to be coy. However, she hadn’t confessed to her parents yet, and if they suddenly came over…

While she was in a dilemma, she noticed a sudden change in Xie Yuran’s expression, and his gaze shifted behind her.

“What’s wrong?”

Turning around, Xin Li followed his gaze and immediately spotted Xu Wanqin standing not far away… She had no idea how long she had been there.

Xin Li: “…….”

Speak of the devil.

After a pause, Xin Li let go of Xie Yuran and uttered, “Mom.”



In the living room, the atmosphere was awkward. Xin Li and Xie Yuran sat side by side on the sofa, silent.

Xu Wanqin sat on the other side, looking at the two of them with a solemn expression.

After a moment, Xin Li summoned up the courage to ask, “Mom, why are you here?”

Xu Wanqin didn’t respond to her and turned her gaze to Xie Yuran as if expecting an explanation from him.

Xie Yuran didn’t evade her gaze, meeting her eyes and tightening his grip on Xin Li’s hand.

“Auntie Xu, Xiao Li and I are dating.”

Xu Wanqin frowned slightly. Although Xie Yuran’s presence in the Xie family was relatively low compared to his brother, Xie Shuo, Xu Wanqin was not unfamiliar with him. 

The relationship between the Xin and Xie families was still intact, and considering Xie Yuran was her junior, Xu Wanqin didn’t want to create too much tension. She tried to ask calmly, “When did this start?”

Before Xie Yuran could respond, Xin Li interjected, “Just recently.”

Xu Wanqin glared at her, and Xin Li immediately fell silent.

Turning her attention back to Xie Yuran, Xu Wanqin said, “It’s getting late. I have something to discuss with Xiao Li. Why don’t you head back first?”

Xie Yuran appeared as if he still had something to say, but Xin Li scratched his palm and shot him a meaningful look. “Go back first.”

Xie Yuran glanced at her and then at Xu Wanqin before finally getting up and leaving.

With only the two of them left in the room, Xu Wanqin dropped the pretense and asked sternly, “What exactly is going on?”

Playing with her fingers, Xin Li looked down and said, “It’s just as you saw. I’m dating Xie Yuran.”


Xu Wanqin felt a lump in her chest. After all her efforts to set her up with Xie Shuo, she ended up choosing Xie Yuran?

Xu Wanqin’s head started to ache, so she raised her hands to massage her temples.

No wonder she had resisted being with Zhou Zeyan so adamantly.

Seeing her like this, Xin Li dared not argue with her and said, “Mom, he treats me very well. Can you guys try accepting him?”

Hearing these words, Xu Wanqin’s headache intensified. After a while, she said, “We’ll talk about this later.”

Putting down her hands, she looked at Xin Li and said, “Your dad hasn’t been feeling well lately. He just went to the hospital this afternoon. Go and visit him; don’t be at odds with him anymore.”

“Dad’s sick?”

Xin Li asked anxiously, “Is it serious?”

Xu Wanqin: “Nothing serious, but he needs to be observed in the hospital for two days.”

After a pause, she reminded, “Don’t tell him about you and Xie… Xie Yuran for now.”

Xin Li understood her meaning and nodded. If she were to reveal their relationship to him right now, it might turn a non-serious condition into a critical one.

“You two…” Xu Wanqin seemed to want to ask something else but didn’t know where to start, so she stopped.

With Xin Yuanhong’s illness, it wasn’t good for Xin Li to quarrel with him. Early the next morning, she went to the hospital to visit him. 

Perhaps because it was her birthday, Xin Yuanhong didn’t stay glum when he saw her, and the relationship between father and daughter finally eased a bit.

Xin Li spent the entire day at the hospital and didn’t return to her condo at night. Instead, she went directly back to the Xin family residence. 

Xu Wanqin had already arranged for a cake and birthday presents to be prepared, simply celebrating her birthday.

After dinner, Xin Li returned to her room and couldn’t wait to take out her phone. She sent a message to Xie Yuran, asking what he was up to.

However, after a while, she didn’t receive a reply.

Xin Li couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed. After all, it was her birthday today. How could he not show any signs of well wishes?

Could he have forgotten?

Just as she was pondering, a call came in.

Seeing the nickname displayed on the screen, Xin Li’s eyes lit up, and she answered the call.


“You went home?” Xie Yuran asked.

Xin Li responded with an “En,” before complaining, “Did you forget what day it is today?”

Xie Yuran: “Do you still want your birthday present?”


“Come out, I’m in front of your house.”

Xin Li was taken aback, instinctively turning to look out the window… of course, she couldn’t see anything.

Returning to her senses, she slipped on her slippers and ran out of her room quietly, looking left and right to ensure no one noticed before swiftly exiting the house.

The night breeze brushed past her ears, and her heart pounded. As she walked, she couldn’t help but complain in her mind: What era is this? Meeting a boyfriend feels like a secret rendezvous.

Passing through the main gate, Xin Li immediately saw a familiar figure under the moonlight.

Leaning against his car, Xie Yuran watched as she ran out in a dress, with a smile forming on his lips.

Xin Li jogged over to him, her eyes filled with surprise.

Xie Yuran handed her a jewelry box. “Happy birthday.”

Xin Li took it, opening the box.

Inside was a custom-made bracelet: a delicate silver chain with a beautifully crafted little fox made of a gemstone, transparent and lovely without losing its cuteness.

Xin Li fell in love with it at first sight and couldn’t bear to part with it, smiling brightly.

Xie Yuran asked, “I’ll put it on for you?”

Xin Li extended her wrist to him with a bright smile.

Taking the bracelet, Xie Yuran looked down and put it on her. His fingertips lightly glided over her wrist, a tingling sensation spreading to the depths of his heart.

The bracelet was exquisite, emitting a delicate glow under the lamplight, especially enchanting on her fair-as-jade wrist.

After putting it on, Xie Yuran naturally clasped her slender fingers and pulled her closer.

Xin Li kissed him on the lips as if rewarding him.

“This present is quite satisfactory.”

Xie Yuran smiled slightly, his fingers gently caressing her knuckles as he asked, “How’s your dad’s health?”

Xin Li’s smile faded slightly. “It’s nothing serious; he’ll be discharged in a couple of days.”

Looking down at her, Xie Yuran pondered for a moment before saying, “How about I pay him a visit?”

Xin Li was startled and hurriedly said, “Not now!”

Afraid that he might be upset, Xin Li hugged him and explained, “My dad wants me to marry into the Zhou family. He’s been angry at me because of this. If you visit him now, he’ll definitely be even angrier…”

“How about you visit him after he has fully recovered?”

Xie Yuran remained silent, and Xin Li could only kiss him again.

Xie Yuran lifted his hand, embracing her waist.

The gentle breeze brushed through their hair, and under the streetlight, the leaves swayed gently, creating patterns of light and shadow.


After her birthday, Xin Li continued to stay at home, not returning to her condo.

Xin Yuanhong’s health improved, but he persisted in the matter of a political marriage, actively searching for a new prospective partner for her.

Xin Li felt perplexed.

In actuality, she could understand their perspective. The Xin family had been facing a downhill trend in the past two years, and the recent financial issues in the company made the need for a marital alliance even more pressing. If it weren’t for Xie Yuran, perhaps she would have compromised long ago.

Just at this time, Xie Yuran was forcibly called back to HQ due to the wedding preparations for Xie Shuo, temporarily taking over the affairs there. He was busy day in and day out.

The two barely had any chances to meet, and Xin Li found herself without a place to seek comfort.

Seeing that Xin Yuanhong was about to set her up with a new prospective partner, Xin Li finally couldn’t hold back and called Xie Yuran.

When he answered the call, Xie Yuran had just returned from a business trip. He was unlocking his door when he asked, “What’s the matter?”

Feeling stifled, Xin Li, in a moment of impulsiveness, spilled everything to him.

In the end, she said, “How about we secretly register our marriage?”

Xie Yuran paused and said, “Okay, how about tomorrow morning?”

Xin Li chuckled. “I’m just kidding. Did you really believe me? You betta propose first before thinking I’ll marry you! How presumptuous!”

Xie Yuran laughed.

With their playful banter, Xin Li’s mood improved significantly. Considering he had just returned from a business trip and must be tired, she didn’t keep him on call for too long and was about to hang up.

“It’s late, get some rest. Let’s talk tomorrow, goodnight.”

Just before she hung up, Xie Yuran asked, “Do you have any plans tomorrow?”

Lying on the bed, Xin Li turned to look out the window and said unhurriedly, “Nothing planned. Why, do you finally have some time?”

Xie Yuran unbuttoned his shirt, saying, “Wait for me at your house tomorrow morning.”

Hearing this, Xin Li excitedly sat up. “Okay.”


At 9:30 a.m. the next morning, Xie Yuran arrived punctually outside the Xin family residence.

Answering her phone, Xin Li excitedly grabbed her purse and headed out.

The sky was clear, and the greenery in the residential area was lush and vibrant. Xie Yuran leaned against the car door, waiting for her.

Quickly approaching, Xin Li held his face in her hands, deliberately sighing, “Sigh, it’s not easy. I finally get to see my boyfriend live.”

Xie Yuran chuckled and opened the car door for her.

As the car left the residential area, Xin Li suddenly remembered to ask, “Where are we going?”

Xie Yuran glanced at her and said with a smile, “You’ll find out when we get there.”

So mysterious…

Suddenly recalling the joke from last night, Xin Li exclaimed, “You’re not seriously planning to go to the Civil Affairs Bureau, are you? I didn’t bring my hukou.”

Xie Yuran turned around a bit. “Go back and get it?”

Judging by his calm demeanor, it was clear that wasn’t the case. Ignoring him, Xin Li turned around to look ahead.

The car drove through the city and headed to a secluded area, finally stopping outside the Xie family’s ancestral home.

Xin Li got out of the car and looked around, realizing where they were. She stared at Xie Yuran in disbelief.

Xie Yuran held her hand, leading her inside and answering her previous question, “We’re here to see yeye*.”

Xin Li was instantly overwhelmed, and she quickly pulled down the hem of her knee-length dress, all flustered. “Why didn’t you tell me in advance? If I had known, I wouldn’t have worn this dress.”

As she said that, she stopped in her tracks and took out a mirror from her purse before adjusting her hair, looking visibly nervous.

Seeing her like this, Xie Yuran couldn’t help but smile. Normally fearless and outspoken, it was surprising to see her nervous now.

He took her mirror and said with a smile, “You look beautiful.”

Leading her inside, Xin Li felt as if her heart had stopped. When they reached the entrance, she suddenly remembered something and anxiously said, “I didn’t bring a gift!” 

“How about we just forget about it today? We can come back when I’m ready?”

She turned to go back, but Xie Yuran held onto her wrist. On her wrist was the little fox bracelet he had given her, sparking in the sunlight.


He raised an eyebrow, smirking,

Xin Li could never resist a challenge, and she retorted, “Who’s scared?”

Xie Yuran chuckled, leading her by the hand as they ascended the steps and entered the manor.

Grandfather Xie was sitting in the living room with a cup of hot tea on the coffee table in front of him. It seemed like he had been waiting for them for a while.


Xie Yuran led Xin Li forward and greeted him.

Grandfather Xie smiled kindly. “You’re here?”

Xin Li composed herself and returned a smile. “Xie yeye.”

Grandfather Xie nodded. “Take a seat.”

They sat side by side, and Grandfather Xie looked at Xin Li from head to toe, smiling gently. “It’s been a while. You seem to have lost some weight. Has Xiao Ran not been taking good care of you?”

Xin Li’s cheeks flushed slightly, and she glanced at Xie Yuran.

That afternoon, Xin Li and Xie Yuran stayed to have lunch with Grandfather Xie, and they chatted for a while before leaving in the afternoon.

After getting into the car, Xin Li gradually came back to her senses and turned to ask Xie Yuran, “Why… did you suddenly decide to bring me to meet your grandfather?”

Xie Yuran gripped the steering wheel and was about to start the car when he paused at her question.

He turned around, smiling at her. “If I don’t bring you here soon, my girlfriend might become someone else.”

Xin Li chuckled but then grew concerned, asking uncertainly, “Are you planning to have your grandfather step in and persuade my parents?”

Xiao Li.”

Suddenly, he reached out and held her hand, his expression earnest.

“While I may not be as capable as my brother, I’m not as useless as you think. There are things I simply choose not to fight for. My uncle has done a lot for me, and my brother has always protected me since we were kids. For me, they are more important than so-called fame and status.”

That’s why, after becoming an adult, he chose to avoid any collision of interests with Xie Shuo, becoming independent.

Looking at her, he said, “But for you, I will do my best to strive.”

Xin Li was momentarily stunned.


A few days later, Grandfather Xie and Xie Baiyan personally accompanied Xie Yuran to visit the Xin family.

Before they arrived, Xin Li confessed to Xin Yuanhong about her relationship with Xie Yuran.

Xu Yuanhong, like Xu Wanqin, was also very surprised when he learned about it.

So, after all the commotion, it was back to the Xie family?

Before he could fully process this, Grandfather Xie, Xie Baiyan, and Xie Yuran had arrived.

Once seated, Grandfather Xie smiled and said, “I came here today to talk to you all about these two kids…”

As Xin Yuanhong listened to Grandfather Xie’s words, he looked toward Xin Li seated beside Xie Yuran, and his initial frown gradually relaxed.

If this had happened in the past, he and Xu Wanqin might have opposed it. However, with Grandfather Xie and Xie Baiyan stepping in and considering Xin Li’s firm stance, they ultimately chose to agree after careful consideration.

Finally free from hiding, Xin Li breathed a sigh of relief and began to let herself go.

They could finally date openly and publicly, occasionally showing PDA with Xie Yuran, appearing to be a couple deeply in love, which earned teasing from her girlfriends. 

In June, Xie Shuo and Ye An held a belated wedding ceremony, and Xin Li was invited to attend.

The bride wore a white wedding dress with a long, flowing train that spread out like layers of stars.

Looking at the wedding dress, Xin Li turned to Xie Yuran and said, “This wedding dress is so beautiful.”

Xie Yuran asked in a low voice, “You like it?”

Xin Li glanced at him, seeming to guess what he was about to say, deliberately choosing not to answer.

The wedding was grand and lively, lasting until late at night. Xie Yuran, as one of the groomsmen, shielded Xie Shuo from a fair share of toasts.

Xin Li was concerned that he couldn’t handle it and helped him to his room to rest.

Xie Yuran was quite drunk, stumbling into his room and collapsing onto the bed, carelessly pulling at his tie.

Xin Li had someone bring honey water up and helped him sit up, offering the cup to his lips.

After drinking half the cup of honey water, Xie Yuran became a bit more sober. He leaned against Xin Li’s shoulder, squinting his eyes.

Xin Li helped him loosen his tie and unbutton his shirt collar, saying, “Go take a shower before you sleep.”

Xie Yuran massaged his temples and, with her support, stood up and headed to the bathroom to take a shower.

Xin Li walked to the balcony, leaning against the railing, gazing at the vast night sky.

The breeze was cool, and the moon was bright, with the stars shimmering.

After a while, footsteps sounded, and Xie Yuran, still a bit wet from the shower, embraced her from behind.

In moments like these, even without saying a word, it didn’t feel dull. It just seemed like a peaceful and good moment in time.

“Does your design studio take wedding dress commissions?” 

Xie Yuran suddenly asked.

Xin Li paused, turning around to look at him.

After a while, she raised her chin slightly, smiling. “That depends on who it’s for.”

Xie Yuran lowered his head, a smile in his eyes. “For my girlfriend.”

Xin Li turned back, gazing once again at the vast starry sky with a bright smile.

A few seconds later, her voice floated in the night breeze…

“We can consider it.”

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