One simple word, yet it could give a lot of different meaning. At the same time, it would not be an easy path because trying to protect someone was harder than to fight freely.
Ye Ai Xia looked at Ye Jiao with astonishment. “W-what do you mean by protect, Jiao’er?”
Her words were cracked for she didn’t expect to hear that word from Ye Jiao. From numerous reasons for one to practice martial arts, she had to pick this one.
Ye Jiao didn’t seem to realize as she opened her mouth to explain her answer. “I’m always being protected by Daddy, but I also want to be the one to protect him because I don’t want to lose him.”
Ye Ai Xia smiled. It was simple, yet it was genuine.
“I see, you’ll have to train hard, then,” she messed up her daughter’s hair. “But remember that you have to take care of your body. Training a lot is good, but paying attention to your own health is still extremely important, understand?”
“Yes!” Ye Jiao answered. She enjoyed the repeated tender stroke Ye Ai Xia gave.
“Let’s go to eat,” Ye Ai Xia stood up. “I’m sure you’re hungry.”
“Yes!” Ye Jiao exclaimed happily. She looked at Ye AI Xia before remarking. “Aunt Ai Xia, it’ll be great if you can be my mother.”
Her careless words caused Ye Ai Xia to be stunned. She watched as Ye Jiao ran out of the bathroom to prepare the table as tears welled up in her eyes.
‘I’m really your mother, little girl.’
She was glad that Ye Jiao said that, but at the same time, she was sad because she couldn’t tell the girl the truth. Because of the promise with those people, she was unable to tell her that she was her mother. All she could do was staying as her ‘aunt’ to stay around Ye Jiao.
“Aunt Ai Xia, let’s eat!”
“Wait for me, little girl,” Ye Ai Xia wiped her tears before walking out of the room. A smile made its way to her lips as she watched her cute little daughter.
Yeah, this was enough.
The next day, Ye Jiao woke up early and saw Ye Ai Xia was practicing Eon Energy. She rarely saw her aunt practiced martial arts even when she woke up early, so this was quite a surprise.
“Ah, Aunt Ai Xia, did I disturb you?” Ye Jiao asked hesitantly. It was not her intention to disturb her aunt. She has just woken up and about to help preparing their breakfast.
Ye Ai Xia chuckled and shook her head. “Not at all. You wake up even earlier than usual.”
Looking outside the window, Ye Jiao realized that she woke up before dawn. It seemed that she had had enough of sleep, so her body automatically pushed her to wake up.
Ye Ai Xia pulled the girl closer. “You’re sleeping even less now, Brat.”
“Aunt also didn’t sleep for long.”
When their Eon Energy reached certain amount in their body, their strength would be replenished with only circulating them. As a result, she didn’t really need a long sleep and could do with just training all night. However, Ye Jiao was still far away from that stage.
“Don’t compare yourself with me,” Ye Ai Xia remarked. He patted the girl’s hand. “I have a story. Do you want to hear it?”
“What story, Aunt Ai Xia?”
“It’s about a little girl that lost her parents and being bullied because she didn’t have any parents,” Ye Ai Xia noticed that she had caught Ye Jiao’s attention. “There’s this one little girl, she lost her parents because of war. Her parents are exceptional geniuses, so they’re fighting for the kingdom, yet the two of them lost their lives because of war.
As the result, the girl is left alone. She has exceptional talent, but after losing her parents, her progress stagnated. People around her started to bully her because she doesn’t improve anymore and terms her as useless.”
Ye Jiao frowned. Even though the situation was fairly different with her, there was some similarities. She really hated the people in the story who bullied the girl.
“Why did they bully her when they know that she has better talent?”
“Because of jealousy,” Ye Ai Xia smiled wryly. “The biggest enemy is not the enemy that comes to your door with a sword ready, but human heart because you don’t know what is inside their heart. Now, continuing the story.
The girl tried to fight back, but she’s not as strong as them. At that time, a young boy came and protected her. He beat up the bullies and treated the girl’s wound. Even though the girl was known to be broken because of the lost, he didn’t care and still treat her the same. Thanks to him, the girl could recover and train again wholeheartedly.”
“That’s really sweet!” Ye Jiao’s eyes glimmered. “He’s really cool!”
Ye Jiao leaned back to Ye Ai Xia in a relaxed manner. “Thank you for telling me this story, Aunt Ai Xia.”
Ye Ai Xia smiled and caressed Ye Jiao’s hair. “Don’t be depressed with your condition. There will be friends who will care for you regardless of your talent. They’ll care because it’s you.”
“En,” Ye Jiao nodded her head. A true friend that cared for her? She really wished she could meet with them.
“Now, you should learn to tone your training down a bit and don’t push yourself too hard.”
“No! I don’t want to always be protected by other people. I want to become strong as myself,” Ye Jiao replied back strongly.
“You brat!” Ye Ai Xia messed up the girl’s hair. That declaration truly reminded her of Ye Xiao. That man was also extremely stubborn, which resulted in their teacher gave him the worst possible training.
Ye Jiao laughed freely.
After finished teasing up the girl’s hair, Ye Ai Xia moved down from the bed. “Jiao’er, I have a request.”
“What is it, Aunt Ai Xia?”
“Can you call me mother?”