You Have the Right to Keep a Secret Love

Chapters List

Chapter 4: Becoming Part of the Family

"Can we still mend our relationship, me and Gu Yan?"

On her first day at work, after a team lunch, Qi Xi spent most of her time handling her personnel files and procedures. That night, she returned to the small apartment she shared with Zhao Yiran.

Ever since her fallout with her parents over studying abroad, Qi Xi had been determined to break free from their shelter and make her own way. Coincidentally, the court where Zhao Yiran was starting her job and the law firm she joined were both nearby. Zhao Yiran had rented a two-bedroom apartment and needed a roommate, so Qi Xi decided on the spot to move in with her.

"It's impossible," Zhao Yiran said sympathetically. "Haven't you noticed that Gu Yan is the kind of person who speaks little but his words are sharp? He's already made it clear that being friends with you is out of the question. I think you're completely out of luck. Why don't you try to charm your boss instead? It doesn't matter if your relationship with colleagues is cold as long as you butter up the boss."

Qi Xi wanted to cry out in despair. Gu Yan's older sister was their boss, and she seemed even more difficult to handle than Gu Yan. Qi Xi still had the misguided intention of helping Gu Yan, but if her true identity were exposed, she didn't know how awful it would turn out to be.

Especially after the team lunch, where she couldn't eat a bite, Qi Xi learned from the conversations of her colleagues that Gu Xuehan's true nature was quite different from what they portrayed her to be. They didn't call her a goddess because she was even more goddess-like than a goddess, but simply because beneath her goddess-like appearance was the heart of a female demon.

"She must have told you that she wants to cultivate her own loyal team before she selects new members, right? But that's not the truth. The other interns at the office don't want to join her team for the long term. Although Attorney Gu brings in a lot of revenue, her overtime work is like eating and drinking water – young people can't keep up."

"Before you, she actually had other newbies join her team. They didn't last long before applying for transfers to other lawyer teams..."

"Her energy is beyond what ordinary people can handle. The previous newbie who joined her was young and tender-looking, but after just a week, they were worn out and dried up. But Attorney Gu became more radiant. Maybe it's because of some physical problem; I saw her brother join the office, and after enduring her for so long, he still looks good. I wonder if they have some secret for replenishing their energy?"

"But don't worry, Qi Xi. You're so beautiful; you might be able to last a bit longer before becoming haggard."

This comforting was worse than not comforting at all.


As Qi Xi recounted everything, she looked at Zhao Yiran, feeling tearless. "So, that's how it is. But even if I can't survive in this team, I can't switch positions either because other lawyers are fully staffed."

Since she had been determined to go abroad before, Qi Xi was late in looking for a job and sending out resumes. Most law firms had already filled their positions, so it was fortunate that she could find an offer at the Jinghe Law Firm.

After hearing Qi Xi's story, Zhao Yiran could only pat her on the shoulder. "There's nothing much to say. Just grieve and move on."


"But since things are already like this, why don't you try to take a bold approach? I think you should start with Gu Yan. After all, he's just starting out in the workforce and not as cunning as his sister. You've been classmates for four years; surely he'll have some sentiment left for you. Find out what he likes and get him some gifts regularly. Show concern when he's in trouble. Over time, you might be able to mend your relationship."

The problem was right there, though.

After four years of being classmates, Qi Xi knew little about Gu Yan besides the fact that he always outperformed her in exams and competitions.

"I don't even know his hobbies or what he likes..."

Zhao Yiran looked frustrated and said, "You're clueless. You two must have some common social connections. Try asking his friends or roommates for information! If that doesn't work, check the school forum. Do you know how many people are infatuated with him across the whole campus? There are even students from other universities specifically hanging around our law school in hopes of running into him. Those girls who pursue him have formed an organization called the 'Care for Gu Yan Association.' You should join it."

"They know everything about him. They compiled a book called 'The Complete Gu Yan,' which includes all of his interests and daily life details. In the group, you might even find out where Gu Yan will be during the weekends. Spend a week in that organization, and with your ability to learn quickly, you'll have Gu Yan figured out!"

An organization like this actually existed!

As Qi Xi scrolled through the forum on her phone, it felt like she had opened the door to a whole new world.


Stunned, Qi Xi held her phone and exclaimed, "To join this group, I have to take a test!"

Zhao Yiran remained composed and said, "Yes, my friend. You really don't understand much about the online world during your four years of college. Nowadays, many groups require verification information to join. You probably have to answer questions related to Gu Yan's basic information, right?"

Zhao Yiran was right, but there were over a hundred questions, covering Gu Yan's height, weight, even the size of his ears and the location of a red mole on his neck!

"You better do some homework first before attempting the test. Otherwise, with such a high error rate, they won't accept you into the group."

Desperate to repair her relationship with Gu Yan, Qi Xi didn't pay much attention to Zhao Yiran's advice. Fortunately, even though she knew very little and relied on instinct to answer the questions, she probably got approved because she had mentioned being Gu Yan's college classmate. Shortly after answering the questions, she received an invitation to join the group.

Once Qi Xi was accepted into the organization, she wasted no time in getting to the point, asking, "Where can I download 'The Complete Gu Yan'?"

As soon as she spoke, the group owner quickly responded and shared a link to a cloud storage folder with Qi Xi.

Such genuine kindness in the world! Despite Gu Yan's somewhat difficult personality, his fan group seemed to be filled with gentle angels!

"We welcome those who truly understand Gu Yan and are attracted to his inner self. However, we despise those who know nothing about him and are only interested in him because of his looks. We not only don't welcome such people, but we'll also fight back fiercely to teach them what it means to respect Gu Yan."

Exactly! Qi Xi could relate to this so well; she also despised those shameless flatterers!

At this moment, Qi Xi felt a sense of gratitude and immersed herself in the joy of being saved. She quickly downloaded "The Complete Gu Yan" from the cloud storage and began studying it.

It had to be said that this compilation was beautifully done, featuring numerous candid pictures of Gu Yan, most of which were not taken by professionals and some were a bit blurry, but they didn't diminish Gu Yan's appearance.

Although Qi Xi had been classmates with Gu Yan for so long, she had never carefully studied his face. Now, looking at the photos closely, she realized that he was quite good-looking.

However, the more Qi Xi looked at Gu Yan's basic information, the more embarrassed she felt. She had answered at least eighty percent of the questions wrong. For example, Gu Yan's height was 187 cm, not the 185 cm she thought. The color of his eyes wasn't pure black either; it had a hint of light brown...

Luckily, she had mentioned being Gu Yan's college classmate; otherwise, she might not have been accepted into the group!

Anyway, she had "The Complete Gu Yan" now, and Qi Xi eagerly absorbed the information. She memorized Gu Yan's preferences like reviewing key knowledge points before an exam.

"His favorite foods are coriander, shiitake mushrooms, and bean products. He loves rice but dislikes pasta. He enjoys sweets and adds sugar to all dishes; he doesn't like spicy food. He likes chocolate, but he dislikes drinking milk. He likes the color pink but dislikes black. His favorite fruit is durian. He loves heavy metal rock music. During leisure time, he doesn't like sports, but his favorite activity is quietly reading in the library. He prefers things with a metallic texture and dislikes outdoor activities and nature. He especially hates sunbathing. He believes that life's meaning lies in the results, not the process, and he loves collecting medals, believing that participation means winning..."

The more Qi Xi read, the more astonished she became. Gu Yan's interests were like this?! It was evident that she and Gu Yan weren't familiar at all; she really didn't know him!

However, no wonder Gu Yan always competed with her for first place in various exams and competitions! Their views on winning and losing were quite compatible; maybe they could find some mutual understanding!

As she continued reading, Qi Xi noticed an excellent starting point: "Gu Yan's birthday is in three days! I'll use the occasion to give him a gift that shows my natural attitude towards him!"

Zhao Yiran nodded in agreement. "Building a good relationship is easy. Just cater to his likes and dislikes. Whatever Gu Yan likes, you should give him. Follow what's written in 'The Complete Gu Yan.'"

With internal and external problems at hand, Qi Xi understood that if she couldn't flatter Gu Yan successfully and he reported her, Gu Xuehan might punish her severely. If Gu Xuehan's vindictiveness got stronger, she might not even be able to survive in the legal circle in Rongshi.

Thinking about the consequences made Qi Xi break out in a cold sweat.

She decided to act upon it right away and racked her brain to come up with the perfect birthday gift for Gu Yan.

If she bought something too expensive, it would not only be beyond her budget but also seem too fawning and purposeful. That wouldn't do.

If she bought something too cheap, it might appear tacky and insincere...

"You should combine his interests and get something creative and preferably customized! Something that will leave a lasting impression!" Zhao Yiran advised enthusiastically while skimming through social news. "And it should show your sincere apology!"

Qi Xi thought for a while but couldn't come up with anything. Then, she tentatively typed in "creative birthday gift" in the Taobao search bar. Suddenly, something caught her eye:

Metallic items, creative customization, unique and memorable, and in the shape of the medals Gu Yan liked!

This is it!

Qi Xi decided to place the order with fervor and pay extra for expedited delivery.

However, she worried that the creative gift alone might seem too insubstantial. After all, it was quite reasonably priced. Luckily, Taobao was running a promotion: spend 200 and get 30 off. The search engine also recommended a men's tie. Hoping to meet the minimum purchase amount, Qi Xi went ahead and picked a tie to go with the creative gift and completed the purchase.


The creative gift and the men's tie arrived just in time for Gu Yan's birthday.

When Qi Xi placed the heavy gift on Gu Yan's office desk, it did indeed surprise him.

He frowned and shifted his gaze away from the case files, looking at Qi Xi warily. "What is this?"

"It's a gift for you! Gu Yan, happy birthday!"

As expected, everyone likes receiving gifts. When Gu Yan heard this, he paused for a moment. The stern expression on his face visibly softened. He glanced at Qi Xi, then averted his gaze to the neatly wrapped gift on the table, his voice becoming gentle. "You knew it was my birthday?"

"Yes!" Qi Xi nodded vigorously. "Rest assured, from now on, I will definitely celebrate your birthday every year! We all graduated from the same school, so we're practically family! That means your sister is my family too!"

Qi Xi dropped heavy hints, "Although I made a mistake before, I hope you know that I came here to join this family, not to break it apart. Among family members, grudges don't carry over to the next day. If someone truly does something wrong, they should be given a chance to make amends, don't you think?"

Gu Yan looked at the gift on the table thoughtfully, and his expression seemed less cold. It appeared that he was genuinely considering the feasibility of forgiving Qi Xi.

"Open it and take a look! This gift is customized according to your preferences and represents my sincere intentions towards you."

However, when Gu Yan was asked to open the gift, he seemed somewhat uneasy. He averted his gaze and calmly said, "No need. I'll open it at home."

As Gu Yan was about to put Qi Xi's gift under the table, he felt surprised when he lifted it up. "What did you buy? It's so heavy!"

"Heavy gifts represent deep sentiments! The heavy weight symbolizes the heaviness of my feelings too!"

"No need to buy expensive things." Although Gu Yan's tone still held some coldness, Qi Xi felt that his attitude had slightly softened. They were on the verge of resolving their past grievances.

Qi Xi honestly replied, "It's not expensive!"

And it truly wasn't expensive. Qi Xi had only spent less than 70 yuan, including shipping!

This creative gift was even cheaper than the tie she randomly bought!

"Just open and take a look!"

Finally, Qi Xi's persistence wore Gu Yan down. He pursed his lips, glared at Qi Xi, and reluctantly started to unwrap the gift.

As the shimmering gold color appeared and the bold letters caught Gu Yan's eyes, his gaze and expression froze completely...

Gu Yan looked up, his voice filled with incredulous shock. "What is this?"

"Don't you like metallic items? And you appreciate creativity, uniqueness, and unconventional approaches. You also like medals. So, can't this item be hung up like a medal?"

Gu Yan was probably too surprised. He stared at the inscription on the stainless steel, and his entire being seemed frozen.

Following his gaze, Qi Xi also saw the eye-catching words on the stainless steel:

"Strong friendship like stainless steel always remains by your side!"

"Happy birthday, Gu Yan!"

"From Qi Xi with sincere apology"

The usual stainless steel engravings would only consist of a few lines, but this time, Qi Xi was truly sincere. She hand-drew a cake and a little figure begging for forgiveness, and paid extra to have them engraved on the stainless steel.

In another small gift box, was a pure pink tie.

"I drew this picture myself!" Qi Xi exclaimed enthusiastically. "And as for the tie, I picked a style and color that I thought you would like!"

"..." Faced with this surprise, Gu Yan was momentarily speechless. He stared blankly for a while before looking at Qi Xi. "Why do you think this tie is my favorite color?"

Of course, because "The Complete Gu Yan" mentioned that Gu Yan's favorite color was pink!

A man liking pink was indeed a bit unusual, but who didn't have a little bit of princess in their hearts? Gu Yan must be surprised that she knew his hidden preferences!

Qi Xi smiled with hidden meaning, "Because the 'you' in my heart matches well with pink!"

Although he liked pink, truth be told, Gu Yan had never worn any clothes with pink or pink elements. He probably restrained himself due to societal expectations. Now, with her showing support like this, he must feel moved, like an ally!

Understanding—isn't it the best way to foster friendship?

But apparently, Gu Yan didn't see it that way.

The man stared at the words on the stainless steel, his tone a bit resentful. "Do you think we can have a strong friendship?"

Qi Xi cautiously replied, "Can't we? Even a fragile one would be okay..."

Qi Xi thought Gu Yan would at least give her face and pretend, but this man gave her a firm two-word response.

"We Can't."

With those words, Gu Yan pushed Qi Xi's birthday gift under the table and refused to acknowledge her any longer.

Fine, fine, if they couldn't be friends, then so be it. Without friendship, at least they could maintain a plastic colleague relationship. Qi Xi felt she had to redouble her efforts to integrate into the "family." Otherwise, with the two people surnamed Gu surrounding her, wouldn't she be in a vulnerable position in every sense?


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