Before having an Alpha partner, an Omega can only attend gatherings that are exclusively for Omegas. It is only after having a betrothed partner that they are allowed to enter open events. It’s like an item that is exhibited and displayed only after being purchased by the owner. In the Thorn Empire, Omegas are treated as accessories.
Yan Qiongyu received the accompanying invitation, which was sent to his betrothed partner. He couldn’t enter the party alone with this invitation; he needed to be accompanied by his betrothed partner. With a light touch of his finger, the invitation shattered into fragments of light and disappeared before his eyes.
Setting down his teacup, Yan Qiongyu stood up and walked towards the wardrobe. There, he found a variety of dresses sent by the Wang family. His task for today was to present himself beautifully and be a proper adornment.
Beauty is a requirement for every Omega in the academy, with many courses teaching them how to please their Alphas with their beauty. Yan Qiongyu inherited his mother’s intelligence and excelled in all his studies. For him, the Omega courses were all simple and boring, far less interesting than his self-taught hobbies.
In addition to personal grooming, party preparations also included safety measures. As an Omega who had not yet been fully marked by an Alpha, Yan Qiongyu needed to wear a specific type of collar as a precautionary measure.
It was a simple black collar, designed to cover the glands on the neck and prevent pheromones from being released. The promotion claimed it was for their protection, but Yan Qiongyu saw it as a result of the Alphas’ dreadful possessiveness and perverse tastes.
The tight black collar embraced the graceful, pale neck, gently pressing against the Adam’s apple. Yan Qiongyu gazed at his reflection in the mirror, captivated by the enigmatic allure it radiated. Particularly when adorned with a shirt, the collar’s sharp edges concealed everything beneath, adding to the allure of his mysterious and alluring presence.
Unfortunately, no matter how alluring the appearance was, it couldn’t have its intended effect when facing a woman burdened with psychological scars. Upon boarding the Wang family’s hovercar, Yan Qiongyu immediately noticed his betrothed partner’s face, filled with a sense of despair and exhaustion.
“Miss Wang Luan, good evening.”
Wang Luan leaned against the side window, leaving a large space beside her in the confined car interior. Yan Qiongyu seemed oblivious to the hidden surveillance devices placed inside the car or Wang Luan’s evasive attitude. He greeted her with extreme gentleness, as if he hadn’t noticed her reluctance or weariness.
As the saying goes, don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Even if Wang Luan was irritated or reluctant to attend the party, it wouldn’t be right to vent her anger on an innocent person. The ability to bear children is inherent in their bodies, and it’s not his intention that attracts so many “rivals.”
Becoming her betrothed partner, Wang Luan believed that it was a situation neither of them desired, and Yan Qiongyu probably felt even more powerless than she did.
With a dull and ambiguous response of “good evening,” Wang Luan quickly leaned her head against the car window, resolutely avoiding eye contact and controlling her mind from engaging in terrifying associations.
Yan Qiongyu sat calmly until the hovercar stopped at the entrance of a mansion. As they prepared to exit the vehicle, Wang Luan suddenly felt her hand being held.
Wang Luan’s body reacted before her mind could catch up, and goosebumps erupted all over her skin. She quickly pulled her hand out of Yan Qiongyu’s grasp, looking as shocked as if she had been punched in the face.
As she turned to look, she found Yan Qiongyu’s expression even more shocked and hurt than her own. Slowly, he withdrew his slightly flushed hand, seemingly wounded by her instinctive gesture of disgust. He lowered his eyelashes and spoke softly,
“According to etiquette, I should be escorting Miss Wang Luan.”
Wang Luan awkwardly took a step back. “N..o…”
“No need,” she firmly asserted.
Not missing her immediate defensive reaction, Yan Qiongyu lightly flicked his finger, curiosity filling his heart. ~What had happened to make an Alpha so averse to an Omega?~
Afraid of any further contact with him, Wang Luan hurriedly walked ahead. Yan Qiongyu followed behind her, watching the back of her head with a smile on his face, his tone cautious and contradicting his calm demeanor.
“Miss Wang Luan, have I done something wrong to displease you?”
“Then, do you detest me, Miss Wang Luan?”
Wang Luan felt her scalp tingling. She desperately reminded herself that this was how Omegas in this world behaved, both male and female.
She didn’t want much interaction with this charismatic betrothed partner, but listening to the probing questions from behind and the sound of his footsteps following closely, she felt an urgent sense of being pursued.
Suddenly, she stopped and stepped aside, saying to Yan Qiongyu, “You go ahead.”
“Hmm?” Yan Qiongyu showed a slight surprise.
When walking together, Omegas would typically lag one step behind Alphas, walking slightly to the side and behind them, symbolizing their status. Yan Qiongyu often scoffed at this in his mind, but Wang Luan’s request caught him off guard.
He took a moment to process her words before nodding and walking ahead.
“You go ahead,” Wang Luan emphasized.
Yan Qiongyu took a step forward, slightly turning and smiling, “Alright.”
As Wang Luan watched his graceful and upright figure, she finally breathed a sigh of relief. No one was trailing behind her, which made her feel safer.
The person walking ahead then casually asked, “I wonder, how close can I be to Miss Wang Luan without making her uncomfortable?”
Since he was being so direct, Wang Luan responded straightforwardly, “At least twenty centimeters.”
Yan Qiongyu remained silent, and from then on, he indeed maintained a safe distance from Wang Luan throughout the journey.
Wang Luan thought to herself how easy it would be to get along with him if he didn’t have the burdens of ~~oo%OIO~~.
When they were about to enter the banquet hall, Yan Qiongyu intentionally slowed down his pace and walked alongside Wang Luan, keeping a distance of twenty centimeters to prevent others from sensing their awkwardness.
He handled it just right, precisely within the range Wang Luan could tolerate.
Moreover, Wang Luan quickly discovered that he was perceptive and understanding.
Once they entered the crowded banquet hall together, Wang Luan unexpectedly saw a bustling crowd that exceeded her imagination. Their arrival sparked whispers and discussions nearby.
Sensing her discomfort in such an environment, Yan Qiongyu naturally led her to a less crowded corner, allowing her to lean against a table and creating a barrier between her and those scrutinizing gazes.
In contrast to Wang Luan’s unease, Yan Qiongyu was adept at handling such occasions.
Even though they intentionally stood in the corner, many people came over to greet or simply spectate. Wang Luan didn’t know most of these people, but Yan Qiongyu responded appropriately to each one.
While Wang Luan had prepared herself to endure the verbal attacks from others, she stood on the side and watched as Yan Qiongyu effortlessly steered the conversation away from malicious and mocking topics towards trivial matters.
His ability to control the conversation was admirable, diverting most of the attention, Wang Luan gradually relaxed her tense posture.
Once she relaxed, she had the leisure to discern the subtle nuances in the strangers’ words.
The curly-haired Omega woman, who liked to elongate her vowels when speaking, was probably Yan Qiongyu’s classmate. Their relationship seemed strained, which made their conversation unpleasant.
Observing Yan Qiongyu’s expressions, Wang Luan noticed that this seemingly gentle and amiable young man smiled in response to everything, completely unaffected by any mocking remarks.
She wondered if he truly had such a good temperament or if he was simply accustomed to this kind of conversational environment. As she pondered, she casually observed the female Omega speaking with Yan Qiongyu.
So, this was a female Omega. She didn’t seem much different from an ordinary girl, without any extra organs.
Yan Qiongyu dealt with his annoying classmate without much concern, always keeping an eye on Wang Luan beside him, capturing her every reaction.
As the banquet was about to officially begin, the focus shifted to the protagonist of the event—the Seventh Princess—who finally made her appearance on the elevated stage, instantly silencing the conversations, and everyone’s attention turned to her.
Wang Luan felt even more dispirited. She knew very well that those Omegas who approached Yan Qiongyu earlier and expressed disdainful looks towards her were just the appetizers of this banquet. There were many more challenges awaiting her.
For example, the Seventh Princess, who kept casting glances in their direction while delivering her welcoming speech in front of everyone.
Today, the banquet was held to celebrate the Seventh Princess inheriting a vast territory. After her obligatory words, she made her way through the crowd, with all eyes following her, until she reached Wang Luan and Yan Qiongyu.
Wang Luan couldn’t help but give Yan Qiongyu a resentful glance.
‘’You certainly have a talent for drawing enmity.’’
Yan Qiongyu responded with an innocent and puzzled look.
Wang Luan thought, “Forget it..”
She stood up straight, languidly waiting for the Seventh Princess to speak.
“So, this is Miss Wang Luan from the Wang family. I’ve heard so much about you, but we haven’t had the chance to meet until now. It’s such a pity. I’ve heard that Miss Wang Luan has always had health issues and never attends gatherings. Is it true that you’re feeling better now since you’ve accepted the invitation?”
The Seventh Princess was tall and exuded a commanding presence. Although she appeared to be a girl on the surface, like Wang Luan herself, she possessed that particular organ.
Recalling this fact, Wang Luan made an effort to control her reactive response and replied, “Yes, I’m feeling better.”
She didn’t explain the details of her health, as everyone was well aware of it. She simply ended the topic with two words.
The nobles preferred more elaborate and embellished conversations, so her straightforward manner of speaking was not well-received. Immediately, someone sneered and said,
“Of course, she’s feeling better. If her health wasn’t good, how could she have the energy to look for an Omega?”
A displeased-looking male Alpha stood beside the Seventh Princess, indicating a good relationship between them. He casually interjected, and the Seventh Princess didn’t seem to mind. She played with her cuff, displaying an air of indifference and self-righteousness.
“Miss Wang Luan, you have certainly made quite a name for yourself recently, thanks to your Omega companion. It reminded us that the Wang family also has an Alpha. We hadn’t heard of you before. Were you studying at the Military Academy or at the Polaris Academy?” The unnamed male Alpha knowingly asked, causing nearby laughter to break out.
Wang Luan glanced at him and squeezed out three words, “Who are you?”
The male Alpha, seemingly wounded in his pride, immediately responded,
“You deliberately ask as if you don’t know who I am?!”
Wang Luan passively responded, “I have been chronically ill and ignorant of many things.”