You Have the Right to Keep a Secret Love

Chapters List

Chapter 1: Right to Love

Under the scorching sun of June, the gymnasium was filled with the high-pitched chirping of cicadas from the trees outside. Sitting backstage at the podium, Qi Xi's emotions were a mix of slight nervousness, dazedness, and a touch of melancholy.

The graduation ceremony was about to begin, and soon she would take the stage as the sole representative of the outstanding graduates from the law school at Rongda University. With that, her four-year journey at the law school would come to a close.

To be frank, Qi Xi's university life had been smooth sailing, partly due to her good looks and exceptional academic performance. The only thing that bothered her was the various opportunities and awards snatched away by her fierce rival, Gu Yan. Throughout their four years together, Gu Yan had taken countless chances and prizes from Qi Xi.

For the entire four years, Qi Xi devoted herself wholeheartedly to her studies, yet she never managed to surpass Gu Yan, not even once.

He was always the first, and she was forever the second.

Sometimes, the margin was slim, but who would remember the second-place finisher?

What Qi Xi couldn't accept was how effortlessly Gu Yan achieved his victories—he didn't give up all leisure and social life like she did. This guy participated in almost every event at the law school, be it debates, basketball games, mock trials, or legal aid.

He shone brightly on almost every stage, earning the admiration and praises of numerous girls with his impeccable face and physique, as if constantly brushing his existence in front of Qi Xi.

He seemed like a master of time management, excelling in almost every field and easily defeating Qi Xi, who staked everything on her studies.

This feeling of giving her all and still being defeated filled Qi Xi with frustration, and over time, she found herself harboring some resentment towards Gu Yan.

Logically, Qi Xi understood that Gu Yan hadn't done anything wrong, and they didn't even have much interaction. But she couldn't help but dislike him.

However, this time, it was she who had been chosen to speak as the outstanding graduate representative, not Gu Yan.

Mixed with a secretive sense of satisfaction for winning one over him, Qi Xi silently rehearsed her speech.

She thought for a moment and called her father, Qi Ruiming: "Dad, where are you? The graduation ceremony is about to start..."

Before she could finish her sentence, Qi Ruiming interrupted her: "What's the matter? Dad has a trial at the city intermediate court, and I have to go there immediately..."

Qi Ruiming had indeed forgotten!

Qi Xi felt a bit exasperated. "Dad, today is my graduation ceremony. You said you would come! As a student representative, I have to..."

But on the other end of the phone, Qi Ruiming didn't seem to take it seriously. He cut her off casually, saying, "Xixi, Dad is too busy. I can't delay the client's trial, and besides, there aren't many parents coming for those out-of-town students, right? Find someone to record or take a photo, show it to Dad later. I have to go now, talk to you later. Bye."

Qi Ruiming didn't even give Qi Xi a chance to finish the last sentence, leaving her with the familiar sound of the call ending.

Indeed, there weren't many parents attending the graduation ceremony, but the honor of speaking as the outstanding graduate representative was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Qi Xi once again had her call disconnected by her own father. She stared at the speech in her hand, feeling a bit annoyed.

Though Qi Xi had drafted the speech herself, after several revisions by the counselor, the final version had lost the essence she originally intended to convey. It became conventional and soulless, but in order to have the honor of being on stage as the outstanding graduate representative, Qi Xi accepted these changes.

However, now, as she reached the last paragraph of her speech, she felt that the coherence was lacking, and this sense of disjointedness grew stronger after the phone call.

With some time left, Qi Xi stood up and decided to find the counselor to discuss whether she could add a paragraph of her own to bridge the gap and improvise.


Qi Xi found the counselor at the entrance to the backstage area. He was standing with a teacher from the academic affairs office, chatting away.

"Time flies. Another batch is graduating. Who's speaking at this year's graduation ceremony?"

"It's Qi Xi."

"Qi Xi? The one who came in second? Why didn't you ask Gu Yan? Isn't he better?"

When they mentioned her, Qi Xi's steps faltered. She suddenly became curious about why the counselor ultimately chose her. Was it because he noticed her stronger dedication to studying?

But to her surprise, the response she received wasn't affirmative.

"Gu Yan is better. He's handsome, composed, and there are plenty of female students in the law school. His speech would probably receive a more enthusiastic response from the audience. But what can we do? He refuses to cooperate with any changes to the speech. He said that if he's chosen to speak, his wishes must be fully respected, and the speech won't accept any modifications."

The teacher from the academic affairs office chuckled, "Well, what can you do? Boys tend to be more individualistic, but the stronger the personality, the stronger the ability. While girls are generally obedient, they lack innovation and leadership skills."

The counselor couldn't help but sigh, "In such grand ceremonies like graduation, boys tend to be more composed. Qi Xi is just a girl, and I worry she might get nervous during her speech."

However, his tone soon lightened up, "But after all, she's a girl. Qi Xi is very obedient. I told her to make changes, and she did. I've revised the final draft several times and made her memorize it beforehand. Everything should go smoothly. The college leaders are coming today; we can't afford any mishaps."

The two of them continued chatting about other topics, but Qi Xi felt her hands and feet turning cold, and she couldn't listen to another word.

She didn't go back to the counselor, instead holding her speech in her hand and silently walking back to the backstage rest area.

She realized that even as the outstanding student representative for this graduation ceremony, she was only selected because she took what Gu Yan rejected.

Gu Yan, Gu Yan, everywhere it was Gu Yan. Everyone liked Gu Yan.

Even on the way to the gymnasium for the rehearsal, Qi Xi unexpectedly witnessed someone confessing to Gu Yan—

"I'm sorry, I don't like you."

"I have feelings for someone else."

"Today, I will confess to her."

"You don't stand a chance."

The girl confessing nervously and anxiously said a bunch of things, humbly pleading for a chance with Gu Yan, but he only responded with these four cold sentences. He didn't see Qi Xi, and after rejecting the girl, he turned and left on his own, polite but distant, giving no room for negotiation.

Could such a ruthless man really fall for someone?

Who was unlucky enough to be liked by someone like him?

At this moment, due to the incident with the speech, Qi Xi's anger towards Gu Yan had reached its peak.

She hoped that the girl Gu Yan was about to confess to would harshly reject him!

"Qi Xi."

Because she was angrily cursing Gu Yan in her heart, Qi Xi was taken aback when she heard his voice.

She looked up and saw that it was indeed Gu Yan standing in front of her.

To be frank, Gu Yan was truly one in a million in appearance, with a tall and well-proportioned figure, exuding the image of a sunny and refreshing campus heartthrob wherever he went. Bathed in the scattered sunlight filtering through the gymnasium's ceiling, his face had the purity of youth, yet also hinted at the charm of a mature man in the making. Without a doubt, he was bound to become an extremely handsome man. If he were to wear a suit and smile more, many girls would swoon for him.

Even if Qi Xi hadn't paid much attention, she knew that Gu Yan had been captured in candid photos while shopping outside the campus, trending on social media several times. He was frequently approached by talent scouts and showbiz personnel. One agent had even climbed the walls of the law school in the middle of the night, nearly being mistaken for a thief and taken to the police.

Qi Xi's heart started to pound nervously, and she glared at him with a mix of anger and unease. "What do you want?"

Gu Yan seemed like he wanted to say something, but in the end, he didn't. After a pause, he handed something to Qi Xi. "Your book."

Qi Xi took a look, and it was her LSAT practice book.

"You left it in the library."

After saying that, Gu Yan glanced at Qi Xi, placed the book down, and then turned to leave.

Utterly perplexed.

But this LSAT practice book brought a whirlwind of emotions to Qi Xi; it represented countless days and nights she spent studying in the library.

The conversation with the counselor had left Qi Xi feeling mixed up, and she almost instinctively opened the practice book, only to have a piece of letter paper fall out.

"To my dearest Qi Xi little darling,"

The salutation at the beginning of the letter made Qi Xi's whole body tremble.

This is...

This is a love letter?

This LSAT practice book was given to her by Gu Yan, and he just mentioned that he was going to confess today, so...

So, does that mean she's the unlucky one he likes?

Gu Yan actually likes her?!

Is this really a love letter he's given her?!

Qi Xi was utterly confused.

Her heart was pounding wildly as she recalled Gu Yan's face and his figure. It was hard to imagine such a cool and aloof person writing such a cheesy love letter and calling her "Qi Xi little darling"...

So, the question was:

Would Qi Xi, the little darling, accept it?

Or should she decline it? After all, she and Gu Yan had so much history, and she didn't know him that well...

However, his looks and figure were indeed impressive. Always coming in first place, he must be very intelligent. What if she went undercover by his side and used his own tactics against him?

In the midst of chaos and nervousness, Qi Xi unfolded the love letter, and then...

Her whole face turned dark—

"My little darling, at first sight, I fell in love with you, thinking of you day and night. But I was afraid to confess. Now that graduation is approaching, I've decided to be brave and confess—to tell you that I love you, love you so much that I can't sleep, you're all I think about. In my dreams, it's all about you and me, passionately entangled."

"My darling, I think you must be interested in me too. Otherwise, you wouldn't wear those clothes that accentuate your curves, trying to seduce me, twisting in front of me. I can't walk properly when I see your chest, your waist, your butt. My dreams are all filled with these things, and they've left me exhausted, unable to sleep well, feeling hollowed out, almost drained."

"So, you have committed a crime against me. I hereby sentence you to a lifetime imprisonment in my love."

"In the future, I don't want to be sleepless and hollowed out anymore. I hope that every night from now on, it will be you who empties me."


Qi Xi couldn't believe her eyes.

Is this a love letter?

This is sexual harassment!

This is disgusting!

When did she ever seduce him? The dress she wore was a dance costume, designed to outline curves, and she had never twisted provocatively in front of Gu Yan. She was forced to participate in the college's Mid-Autumn Festival dance performance! It was a normal artistic performance in front of the whole college!

Qi Xi stared at the final signature of the love letter—

"Gu Yan's," these two big words declared that everything she was experiencing at this moment wasn't just a dream born from her long-standing hostility toward Gu Yan.

She never expected that Gu Yan, who looked so aloof and serious on the outside, would be so despicable and vile on the inside!

This person is just garbage, harmful and trashy!

Qi Xi, the little darling, decided not to dwell on it anymore and personally sent Gu Yan to the trash heap.

Qi Xi took a deep breath and finally made up her mind. She handed the LSAT practice book mixed with the love letter to her good friend Zhao Yiran, who happened to pass by. Then she crumpled the speech that had been altered to seem like the counselor wrote it, and threw it into the trash bin.

She wanted everyone to see that girls wouldn't be stage-frightened and wouldn't always be obedient. Girls have their own thoughts, their own free will, and they are not appendages to any man. They are not dolls that fit into the rigid labels of being "obedient, gentle, and meek."

"Today, before giving my speech at the graduation ceremony, I received a love letter that made me decide to spontaneously change the conventional speech. I want to speak on the spot about the bias against women in society and the strength women need to resist it."


It was a bold rebellion, a spontaneous outburst, but never before had Qi Xi felt so confident. She was no longer the perennial second-place, always in the shadows. Now, she was truly herself. While there was some initial nervousness, once she started speaking, Qi Xi became more and more fluent, more and more energetic—

"The ratio of female top students in the law school has always exceeded that of male students. But why do most people still believe that males are more likely to succeed? How many of our senior schoolmates who pursued continuous undergraduate, master's, and doctoral degrees actually stayed here after graduation? Even within the law school itself, there is unconscious discrimination in employment—favoring males in recruitment and faculty appointments. The entire society needs women, yet it exploits them, lacks respect for them."

"I hope all the graduates of the law school, whether female or male, will fight for gender equality. And to every male, please understand that if you like a girl, the best pursuit is to respect her, not to engage in verbal harassment or objectification."

At this moment, all eyes were on Qi Xi. The college leaders looked serious, and the counselor seemed as if he might faint. But Qi Xi didn't care.

The only thing she cared about was the instigator, Gu Yan—Gu Yan was intensely and earnestly staring at Qi Xi. Even though he was the one who should be condemned the most, he shamelessly looked at her, without a hint of guilt or self-reproach.

Four years of grievances, unacknowledged repression, resentment from being labeled and suppressed, and the humiliation of receiving a creepy love letter—all of it made Qi Xi feel a surge of blood. Her speech also ignited the emotions of most of the girls in the audience, and the atmosphere of the graduation ceremony was almost incendiary.

And finally, Qi Xi couldn't hold back any longer. She glared at Gu Yan and delivered a passionate and eloquent speech, pushing the graduation ceremony to a climactic explosion:

"Gu Yan, you have the right to have a crush on someone, but expressing it like this is a crime!"

"I hope you remember that I am someone you'll never catch up to! Female students in the law school will never be objects you can harass!"

Gu Yan, today, I'll tear away your facade of a gentleman!

Qi Xi's words were like a drop of water landing in a scorching hot pan. The scene erupted into commotion. Indeed, all eyes converged on Gu Yan. And Qi Xi stood on the stage, waiting for Gu Yan to panic and flee.

But he didn't.

Gu Yan only frowned, his face dark, lips tightly pressed together. He didn't say a word, didn't do anything, just stared fixedly at Qi Xi on the stage.

What? Did she falsely accuse him?

You have guts to do it, but don't have guts to admit it?


Amidst the chaotic scene, Qi Xi bowed gracefully to express her gratitude, then firmly and confidently walked down the stage.

In the audience, Zhao Yiran was looking at Qi Xi with a desperate expression that seemed to say, "You're finished."

But Qi Xi felt quite exhilarated. She walked down the stage and sat next to Zhao Yiran, calmly unscrewing the cap of a mineral water bottle and taking a sip. "Cheer up, Zhao Yiran. We've graduated, so even if the college leaders and the counselor aren't happy, so what? This might be my last act of rebellion during adolescence. Let it go, there's nothing to worry about!"

Zhao Yiran was still holding the practice book Qi Xi had given her, and her hands were starting to tremble. "Qi Xi, did you read that love letter thoroughly?"

"Of course, I did!"

"Then flip it over and read the back."

Qi Xi was somewhat surprised. "There's more on the back?"

Didn't he already start signing and dating the front? Did Gu Yan feel unsatisfied and added a few more nauseating lines on the back?

After just delivering an important speech, Qi Xi felt clear-headed and refreshed, so she immediately turned to the back of the love letter. And then she...

She discovered a terrifying fact.

The love letter wasn't finished.

Because on the back, after that repulsive declaration of love, there was another line that said, "roommate, Zhang Jialiang." So, combined together, the signature on the letter was: "Gu Yan's roommate, Zhang Jialiang..."

The letter wasn't written by Gu Yan.

It was from Gu Yan's roommate, Zhang Jialiang!

It turns out she passionately cursed the wrong person!

How could she not have thought of flipping the letter over to check!

In an instant, Qi Xi felt like she was suffocating, under the weight of fate gripping her throat. She slowly turned her body and glanced back at Gu Yan, who was sitting not far behind her.

Sure enough, Gu Yan ignored the probing gazes of the onlookers. His eyes cut through the crowd, locking onto Qi Xi.

His face was still fair and handsome, but Qi Xi felt as if there was a dark, ominous aura surrounding him, like an evil spirit.

At this moment, Qi Xi felt her vision blur, and her head began to ache.

Zhao Yiran chimed in, adding fuel to the fire, "You're done, Qi Xi, you're truly finished. This is a blood feud..."

Qi Xi knew she was done for.

She remembered this morning, when she had gone out for breakfast and passed by a scamming fortune teller under the bridge. He had gone on and on, spouting a bunch of professional jargon, and finally concluded that her forehead was turning dark, indicating an impending disaster. Now it seemed she had been jinxed by this superstitious crow's mouth.

At this moment, she felt like buying a ticket to outer space and escaping from Earth tonight.


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