It's just that no one wanted her to remain

Translator: starrie

Editor: Larkspur

* * *

It was an ordinary rainy night. 

After wrapping her live stream, Ke Xiwen drew back the floor-length curtains to reveal the city lights twinkling faintly in the misty rain-soaked night. The picturesque view reflected in her purple contact lenses prompted a sigh to escape her lips. She couldn’t help but marvel at the beauty of her surroundings, confirming the worth of her five-million-yuan investment in this centrally located house.

The phone on the table suddenly buzzed, and she turned her head slightly before reluctantly pulling the curtains closed.

“Hello?”

“A-Wen, tomorrow is your birthday special live broadcast. Let me know if you have any plans,” said Yang Yiqing, Ke Xiwen’s manager.

In today’s world, one of the quickest ways to make money is likely through monetizing short videos and live streams.

Ke Xiwen belonged to a department within the company that primarily focused on live eating broadcasts, with Yang Yiqing overseeing all the food streamers in this division.

However, enveloped in the darkness, Ke Xiwen furrowed her brows, seemingly in a dilemma. She had no intention of streaming, after all, it was her 25th birthday. What’s more, she had already planned to spend it with her friend, Chen Xuanmei.

With this in mind, Ke Xiwen asked cautiously, “Qing-jie, can’t I take a day off for my birthday?”

“What! Take a day off?”

Ke Xiwen had only been in the industry for a little over a year, but with her beauty and a physique that defied the logic of weight gain no matter what she ate, she had swiftly become one of the company’s most popular streamers! Which popular streamer wouldn’t do a birthday special? This was a rare opportunity for the company to recoup the investment in internet traffic, not to mention the boost in product sales and revenue from advertising. Just by securing a recommendation slot, the increase in fan numbers alone would be substantial.

But… Ke Xiwen had a dull personality. She avoided company gatherings and shied away from events for big-shot influencers. Moreover, the company’s policy granting streamers liberty over content, advertisements, and broadcast venues once their fan count reached a million made it even more difficult for Yang Yiqing to engage with her. Since Ke Xiwen surpassed one million fans, she relocated her live broadcasts to her home, making it even harder for her manager to meet her in person. 

“You need to think this through. If you do a birthday special, I can arrange for increased internet traffic and recommendation slots for you. While your numbers are solid across the board, there’s still a considerable gap between you and the top influencers in the company,” Yang Yiqing advised earnestly.

But that’s just how it was for eating show streamers. It didn’t do as well as other streamers. Although there weren’t any requirements and being able to eat was enough, it wasn’t easy to gain followers and there was an upper limit to it. 

Ke Xiwen let out a muffled sigh, her carefully defined eyebrows wrinkled into an inverted eight*.

[*八 this is number eight in Chinese, use your imagination..(~_^)]

She had just paid the down payment for her house, and there was still a monthly payment to be made. Life seemed to pass by idly, but it was all heading in a good direction. If enduring some exhaustion now meant securing her financial stability and paving the way for a brighter future, then she was willing to persevere. She believed that as long as she managed to keep up with the monthly payments, a promising new chapter awaited her in the not-too-distant future. 

Thinking of the future she wanted, Ke Xiwen’s frown eased, and she spoke softly, “All right, I’ll have to trouble Qing-jie then.”

Little wonder that Ke Xiwen cherished her current peaceful life so dearly. After all, the Ke Xiwen of the past could never have imagined that, at twenty-five, she would be able to afford her own house in the heart of this tier-2 city.

Her thoughts slowly drifted into the distance. 

The Kes were from Yan City, a tier-1 city. They had two sons and two daughters: the eldest son, Ke Dongshuo; the second daughter, Ke Xiwen; the third son, Ke Nanfeng; and the youngest daughter, Ke Beixi.

Ke Xiwen had always felt that being born into the Ke family was undoubtedly the most unfortunate thing that happened to her.

The Ke family wasn’t particularly prestigious at the outset. When Ke Xiwen was born, her family was just an ordinary, well-off household. Father Ke worked as a writer, while Mother Ke, held a position as a university professor, allowing them to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. However, when Ke Xiwen was two years old, her father embarked on a business venture, and her mother resigned from her job to support him. As Ke Xiwen began attending kindergarten, the Ke family’s prominence in Yan City started to grow. 

In present-day Yan City, nearly half of the literary elites in the country were associated with companies owned by the Ke family. Even aspiring writers made every effort to join them. After Ke Dongshuo assumed leadership, many works published under their banner were adapted into film and television, further elevating the company’s reputation and success.

The Ke family wielded significant influence in the literary world, but they operated mostly behind the scenes. Consequently, while they held considerable sway, they remained largely unknown to the public. Thus, even though Ke Xiwen gained fame as an eating streamer, few were aware of her status as the Second Miss of the Ke family.

Upon closer reflection, Ke Xiwen realized that it had been three years since she returned to the Ke family. It was also the third year since she had run away from home. Given the Ke family’s power, they only had to make a slight move to locate her, as she didn’t intend to conceal her identity when she began as an eating streamer. 

But even so, the Ke family couldn’t be bothered to look for this Second Miss, right?

Ke Xiwen smiled self-deprecatingly.

The Ke family has never needed a useless Second Miss. 

Life was particularly challenging during the early stages of the Ke family’s entrepreneurial journey. Ke Dongshuo, five years older than Ke Xiwen, was already a little adult by then. Their mother was a professor, so she naturally devoted most of her efforts towards her son. As a result, Ke Dongshuo excelled academically and was regarded as outstanding by everyone.

But after the Ke family started their own business, the parents were busy with work and found it difficult to take care of their second daughter. Mother Ke, afraid of holding up the child’s studies, sent the young Xiwen to live in a boarding school. When she returned, she was already seventeen and in her third year of high school. And Ke Beixi had started junior high. 

Before returning home, Ke Xiwen still felt self-contented, thinking that the family was thriving, they had bought a villa and hired servants. She was now a wealthy second-generation, and with loving parents and her brother’s fondness, she would no longer be alone. 

However, only when the seventeen-year-old Ke Xiwen returned to the Ke family did she realise that no, from the day she left the Ke family, she was already the one who had been abandoned 

Her parents were polite and cautious towards her.

Her older brother was indifferent and strict towards her.

Her younger siblings were distant and kept her at arm’s length. 

She seemed to be the only outsider in this family.

It was not like she didn’t try to please them, but when she cooked a table of dishes, her family just looked surprised… 

Her younger brother and sister said, “Can you cook?”

Her older brother said, “If you had the time to do this, wouldn’t it be better to do more practice problems?”

Her parents said, “You don’t have to do this.”

When the cook, Aunt Liu, cooked a table of dishes, everyone ate happily and Father Ke even proposed to give her a raise on the spot.

To think that she wasn’t any better than a hired help…

Her older brother was steadfast, her younger brother excellent, and her younger sister lively and cheerful. There was only one mute in this family, and that was Ke Xiwen. 

In the following years, Ke Xiwen’s ears were filled with polite greetings from her parents, exasperated scolding from her older brother for failing to live up to his expectations, and whispers of disdain from her younger siblings that couldn’t be heard clearly but could be felt distinctly.

With each day at the Ke family, Ke Xiwen became increasingly introverted, and she gradually closed herself off, no longer communicating with anyone.

However, it was fortunate that although Ke Xiwen was slightly introverted, she was firm and resolute. What was hers would eventually return to her grasp, and only that which was not hers would be intangible and invisible. 

Her older brother chose her university, and since it was close to home, Ke Xiwen still stayed at home. But after graduating, she packed her luggage and left without as much as a word.

Ke Xiwen had never been the pride of the Ke family, and it didn’t seem to make any difference to them whether she was there or not. Three years passed by silently. At first, in order to avoid her family, Ke Xiwen tried to hide her tracks. But later she gradually understood that given her family’s ability, investigating a person’s whereabouts just required a command.

Who said she was the one that wanted to leave? 

It’s just that no one wanted her to remain.

—o—

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