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168 A Better Person

 It sounded awfully twisted, so Gu Nianzhi didn't hesitate to argue. "You want to correct my bad habits and turn me into your little pet? Or your trophy? No, Mei Xiawen. I don't want to be a conquest."

"Nianzhi?" Mei Xiawen looked at his reflection in the window and was startled by the desperate smile he saw on his face. He tried to speak with some more confidence. "Don't be so quick to say no. When we fall in love, we naturally feel inclined to become a better person for our lover. Won't you do this for me as well?"

Gu Nianzhi was stunned. She thought about it carefully and shook her head. "No, you can't make me change myself into someone you would like. You either take me as I am and try to accept and work with my flaws, or you go find someone as perfect as to your liking. But, I won't change myself for you."

Mei Xiawen's smile faded and he frowned in displeasure. Even if she disagrees can't she say it in a nicer way? He thought angrily. Jiang Hongcha was better than Gu Nianzhi in this regard. Even if Jiang Hongcha disagreed, she would never openly argue with him. Instead, she would gradually and gently work her way through his decision so that in the end they would come to a mutual agreement without his ego being hurt. As for Gu Nianzhi however, she was still too young to understand the need for compromise and obedience.

Mei Xiawen sighed. This young lady still needed to be taught so much. Even though it was tiring to teach her, he could see so clearly how he could completely shape her as he pleased-unlike with Jiang Hongcha's gentle stubbornness. Mei Xiawen was aware that it would be more tiring to be with Gu Nianzhi in the beginning because it would take a lot of effort to change her, and smooth out her rough edges, and control her insolence. But in the end, they would be perfect together. Gu Nianzhi would make him her priority in life and become an obedient woman who loved him forever, and unconditionally.

As for Jiang Hongcha, although he liked her, he couldn't forget her betrayal. This would be something he could never get over; it was the one shortcoming that blotted out all he liked about her. Even though Gu Nianzhi had many shortcomings, she had the advantage of youth, beauty, and intelligence. She also didn't have a strong family background and therefore wouldn't give him trouble since she didn't have support from her own family. This kind of girl would be the most suitable for an heir like him. Mei Xiawen didn't need an arranged marriage to obtain certain interests.

"Nianzhi, don't be so obstinate." Mei Xiawen perked up. "You don't want to change for me now, because you still don't love me deeply. Once our relationship develops, though, you'll naturally want to change for me. Even if I don't say anything, you'll want to be your best self in front of me."

Gu Nianzhi grew silent when she heard his words. She lay on the bed with one arm curled on her panda pillow and the other holding the phone. She stared at the ivory reliefs on the ceiling and a voice in her heart whispered: the only person in the world I would change and improve myself for is Uncle Huo. She respected him and placed all of her trust in him because he was the one person in her life who made her feel safe, and had supported her throughout her entire life; a man of power, kindness, and strength not just in status, but in his character as well. She would do anything to be her best self for him.

But, Gu Nianzhi realized, what does that have to do with the love Class Rep and I are talking about? Gu Nianzhi made up her mind after thinking some more and then told Mei Xiawen gently, "Xiawen, I think you're wrong. We'll want to become better people because of the expectations and care from our elders, and the lull of society. But in a relationship, we should be free to be ourselves. If you can't accept me for the person I am, then don't even think about changing me to satisfy your requirements. That's not something I can, or will, do." She paused, then calmy continued, "You shouldn't waste any more time with me."

Mei Xiawen's heart skipped a beat as he raised his voice. "Nianzhi?! What are you saying? Just because I'm asking for this one thing, and you want to break up over it?! I don't agree! I won't allow it! Listen to me, I don't agree!" Mei Xiawen waved his arm while he paced in front of the window, venting his rage. Thankfully, the office was on the thirtieth floor, so he didn't have to worry about anyone witnessing him losing his temper.

Frightened by his sudden outburst, Gu Nianzhi could only try to console him. "Xiawen, Xiawen, calm down. Go, take a deep breath and drink a glass of water. Good, now set it down and sit on the couch, ok?"

Her voice was soft and sweet, and like magic, it compelled him to follow her instructions. When he sat on the couch, he looked at the empty glass of water on the coffee table in front of him and wryly said, "Nianzhi, I was talking about changing you, but you're actually the one changing me."

Gu Nianzhi giggled. "I'm not capable of that. Class Rep has always had good self-restraint, to begin with; I was just reminding you of that." The words "Class Rep," seemed to increase the distance between them again.

Mei Xiawen was annoyed at himself for making such a stupid mistake. This young lady obviously hadn't fallen head over heels for him yet, but he had already made such possessive requests. He had been too impatient and had now scared her off.

"Nianzhi, that was my mistake earlier. You're such a wonderful girl, so what would I even have to change? Even if something changed, that wouldn't be you anymore. I like you just the way you are." Mei Xiawen gripped the phone, wiping the sweat off his forehead. "See, that's why long distance relationships are so unreliable. I can't even make it up to you in person after we fight."

Gu Nianzhi laughed quietly and corrected him. "Xiawen, we're not in a relationship yet. Don't forget, we have a six-month promise." They had promised each other that if Mei Xiawen still wanted her to be his girlfriend when Gu Nianzhi returned to the Empire in six months, she would officially agree.

"Mhmm, well, see? That's how much I love you. I already see you as my girlfriend. Otherwise, I wouldn't have made that silly request." Mei Xiawen's honeyed words and baritone voice were very alluring. "Nianzhi, you have to forgive my foolishness. You studied psychology so you should know that people are the most demanding of the people they care about the most."

Gu Nianzhi had indeed studied psychology for half a semester, but only to learn about her own psychological state of mind and to find a way to restore her memories. She hadn't paid much attention to anything else. When Mei Xiawen mentioned this, she faintly recalled that there was such a concept in psychology.

"Fine, fine, don't apologize anymore. It's normal for two people to have conflicting views, so why else would we have to learn to get along? Isn't that right? It's a long process for two completely different people to become of one body and one mind." Gu Nianzhi was able to fluently analyze the relationship from a psychological perspective. Empty talk had always been her specialty.

Mei Xiawen frowned in disagreement, but knew that he would just upset her; he didn't want to say anything else that would provoke her.

Jiang Hongcha, meanwhile, had been waiting at the restaurant downstairs for a long time, but Mei Xiawen hadn't shown up for lunch. She decided to go to him directly when her call went unanswered again.

"Xiawen, do you want lunch? I brought something for you," Jiang Hongcha called out as she opened his office door and walked in with a bag of food.

Mei Xiawen looked up and made a silent signal as he spoke to Gu Nianzhi. "Ok my little psychologist, it's late. You should go to bed."

Gu Nianzhi murmured, "Easy for you to say, after causing such an emotional ruckus."

"Go to sleep." Mei Xiawen said tenderly, chuckling at her comment. "Mua, a goodnight kiss for you."

Gu Nianzhi found herself covered with goosebumps and immediately ended the call without a word. She tossed the phone onto the sofa all the way across from the bed, as though it had suddenly burned her.


"Who were you calling? That was an awfully sweet goodbye." Jiang Hongcha sat next to him, glancing at his phone screen just in time to see Gu Nianzhi's photo disappear. " Was it your little girlfriend?"

"The little one got upset, so I had to coax her." Mei Xiawen reached over and embraced Jiang Hongcha. He tilted his head and saw her pout. "What? Are you jealous?"