What was I Thinking when I Ditch the Second Male Protagonist Chapter 82

Chapter 82

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The princesses were dissatisfied with Ninth Prince’s practical attitude, except for the older Sixth Princess who saw that he wasn’t intentionally being difficult.

The Ninth Prince seemed to just want to understand what advantages a highly admired man should possess.

This was a good sign, indicating that the Ninth Prince, who was only obsessed with cuju, was starting to show ambition and maturity.

So, the Sixth Princess patiently clarified for her brother, “This mystery refers to the fact that a man should have hidden qualities, such as while everyone knows he’s skilled in warfare, only those familiar with him will discover that he has other even more remarkable abilities.”

“Like cuju?”

Upon hearing this, all the sisters couldn’t help but simultaneously let out a hushed laugh.

“What’s wrong?” Xie Duo cautiously watched everyone’s expressions.

“Men who like cuju are fickle and unreliable,” the Eighth Princess spoke candidly.

“Who says that?” Xie Duo furrowed his brow and argued, “Being skilled at cuju actually shows exceptional willpower and judgment in a man, making him more dependable.”

The princesses expressed their disapproval with sighs. No one appreciated a man skilled in cuju!

Xie Duo nervously looked at his most beloved Sixth Princess, “Sixth Sister, what do you think?”

Sixth Princess: “……”

A silent stare-down ensued between the siblings.

The siblings exchanged a silent, meaningful gaze.

The Sixth Princess eventually sighed. “Ninth Brother is right.”


After accompanying his mother to inspect the new estate, Han Jiao paid the down payment that day and signed the property deed the next day, officially becoming a wealthy and handsome man in the capital with a luxury mansion and a Ferrari.

Half a month passed in the blink of an eye, and Han Jiao once again waited for the opportunity when the princes collectively left the palace in the evening.

After days of training, Xie Xiu’s resistance to the outside world had decreased to a safe level. Han Jiao felt it was time to take matters into his own hands.

After school that day, Han Jiao went to Prince Duan’s residence to meet up with the princes, preparing to officially join the game.

With two months of practice, Xie Xiu had become familiar with the sport of cuju. So, Han Jiao designed new passing rules a half-month ago, slightly increasing the game’s difficulty but without adding confrontations like ball stealing, to ensure that Xie Xiu wouldn’t feel nervous or bored and could remain immersed.

The new game rules had the four princes split into two pairs, kicking the ball along the diagonal of a square path, passing, running, and receiving, until one team made a mistake, and that round was counted as a loss. Then they switched teammates for the next round of the game.

Han Jiao’s involvement was not as a team member but as the game referee, deciding whether each player’s ball direction and running path violated the rules. This would enhance his authority in Xie Xiu’s eyes and prepare for the next steps of treatment.

To make Xie Xiu understand the importance of the referee, Han Jiao purposely allowed Xie Jing to score with a foul. He then stepped in, pointed out Xie Jing’s mistake, and declared that Xie Jing and Xie Duo had lost the round.

After Han Jiao’s ruling, Xie An immediately applauded and cheered, while the offending Xie Jing obediently admitted his mistake.

The plan was going smoothly, but when Han Jiao turned to look at Xie Xiu, he didn’t see the expected reaction.

Xie Xiu didn’t meet Han Jiao’s eyes but instead looked towards Xie Duo in a bewildered manner, showing a nervous reaction by raising his shoulders.

Unable to pinpoint the issue, Han Jiao instructed Xie Jing and Xie An to switch positions and began the next round of the game.

However, when the game started, Xie Jing kicked the ball to the diagonal position, where Xie Xiu was supposed to run and receive the ball. But Xie Xiu turned his head, looking uncomfortable, and refused to participate in the game.

Everyone was left bewildered.

In nearly two months, Xie Xiu had never shown uncooperative behavior. Han Jiao’s involvement had unexpectedly caused Xie Xiu to retreat into his own world.

Xie Jing quickly ran over to inquire about why Xie Xiu wasn’t catching the ball, but Xie Xiu paid no attention.

“What’s going on?” Xie An ran to Han Jiao’s side, nervously asking, “Master Xiaobai, it’s been a while since Seventh Brother ignored people like this. He isn’t sick again, is he?”

Upon hearing this, Han Jiao’s heart sank. He immediately stepped back, allowing the four brothers to continue their game. He went to a distant gazebo to watch.

However, even with Han Jiao’s withdrawal, Xie Xiu didn’t regain his composure. He remained tense, shoulders raised, and his eyes seemed vacant as he looked elsewhere.

The brothers took turns trying to comfort and console him but couldn’t get Xie Xiu to resume the game.

Even though Han Jiao reassured himself that relapses in psychological therapy were normal, he couldn’t help but feel anxious, his forehead sweating.

How could this happen?

After two months of treatment, Xie Xiu had clearly made significant progress in recovery. Why was he now rejecting Han Jiao’s involvement so strongly?

Han Jiao remained calm.

He carefully recalled the game’s beginning and what might have upset Xie Xiu. His mind fixated on the moment when Xie Xiu turned his head to look at Xie Duo.

Xie Xiu was worried about Xie Duo’s reaction.

What was he afraid of?

“Seventh Brother, let’s not have Master Xiaobai judge. Can we continue playing?” Xie An tugged at Xie Xiu’s sleeve, pleading repeatedly.

Xie Jing also used his persuasive skills, “Seventh Brother, how about if you win one goal, I’ll take off one piece of clothing?”

Xie Duo gave Old Eighth a warning look. “No scaring Seventh Brother.”

“The last round doesn’t count!”

Suddenly, Han Jiao’s voice came from behind. The princes turned to look.

Han Jiao approached quickly, gazing at Xie Xiu, and softly said, “The last round doesn’t count. Let Eighth Prince have another shot.”

“What doesn’t count?” Xie Jing didn’t quite understand.

Xie An nervously stepped in front of Han Jiao, “Master Xiaobai, it seems like Seventh Brother is scared of you. Why don’t you go sit in the gazebo for a while? We’ll handle…”

“It’s fine.”

Xie Xiu’s unexpected response left the princes surprised and puzzled.

“What’s going on?” Xie Jing’es eyes widened as he looked at Han Jiao, “Seventh Brother was ignoring me, but when you spoke, he agreed?”

Han Jiao quietly instructed Xie Jing and Xie Duo, “Quickly get back to your previous positions, and let’s play another round. You have to win.”

The two brothers looked at Han Jiao, utterly puzzled.

Xie Jing asked, “Wasn’t it agreed that I’d make a foul move, and Master would step in?”

“Seventh Prince felt that, in the last round, it should be you and Ninth Prince who win.”


“No particular reason,” Xie Duo seemed to understand and patted Xie Jing on the shoulder, “Just go back and get ready. We have to win a round.”

With no more questions from Xie Jing, he followed the orders and restarted the game. Xie Duo cooperated, and they smoothly completed a round.

Surprisingly, Xie Xiu had completely returned to normal, immersing himself in the game, and after a few rounds, they determined the winner.

Before the next round began, the princes crowded around Han Jiao, asking why Xie Xiu had suddenly lost control.

“It was my mistake,” Han Jiao explained, “Rather than feeling wronged himself, the Seventh Prince was more concerned that the Ninth Prince might feel wronged. When I ruled against the Eighth and Ninth Princes, the Seventh Prince was anxiously watching the Ninth Prince, unable to accept my decision.”

Enlightened, Xie Jing patted the Ninth Prince on the head. “Right, no one can make our Old Ninth feel wronged. After all, he’s been bossy since he was a little kid. Look how scared Seventh Brother got…”

“Oh, come on!” Xie Duo swatted Old Eighth’s hand away. “Clearly, it was a ruling against you, and Seventh Brother might have been worried you’d be upset.”

“In that case, doesn’t it mean Master can’t be the referee anymore?” Xie An worriedly suggested, “How about Master joins us in the game?”

“I understand where the problem is now,” Han Jiao immediately rearranged a new plan, pairing Xie An and Xie Duo against Xie Jing and Xie Xiu.

In this round, he Xie Jing would still make an intentional foul, but Han Jiao wouldn’t step in to make a judgment. Instead, Xie An and Xie Duo would display a look of resentment and dissatisfaction. Then he would observed Xie Xiu’s reaction and act accordingly.

Seeing Xie Xiu, who had finished his cold tea, eager to get into position, Han Jiao hurriedly urged, “Do you all understand? Get on the field quickly!”

“Wait…” Xie Duo, for the first time, raised his hand to halt the action, frowning as he looked at the little child prodigy. “How do I show resentment and dissatisfaction? I’m not good at that. Master can do it for me.”

“Think of past incidents that made you feel wronged,” Han Jiao encouraged the big boss. “Get on the field, Your Highness. Don’t worry. The Seventh Prince won’t miss your look of resentment.”

Xie Duo urgently reminisced for a while and shook his head. “No, I’m not feeling wronged. The people who wronged me are no longer here.”

Han Jiao: “……” A true boss.

At the crucial moment, it was Xie An with experience. “Ninth Brother, just follow my example! I often feel wronged!”

“Yes!” Han Jiao encouraged the big boss. “Your Highness, you can do it!”

The second round began hastily.

After passing the ball for a few rounds as usual, Xie Jing committed a foul under Han Jiao’s signaled gaze.

Xie An immediately stepped forward to protest, but Xie Jing acted stubborn and refused to admit his foul play.

The ball was at Xie Xiu’s feet, and he watched his two younger brothers arguing nonstop, looking utterly bewildered.

“Eighth Brother is just being stubborn! He refused to admit it last time, and now he’s doing it again! Hmph!” Xie An stamped his foot, pouted, turned around, and turned his back on Old Eighth, hugging his knees while squatting down!

Han Jiao immediately used his eyes to affirm Xie An’s acting skills and then turned expectantly, waiting for the big boss to imitate Xie An’s performance.

Xie Duo stood rooted in place like a thunderstruck tree.

Never had he witnessed the youngest prince throwing a tantrum with such disgraceful behavior.

Xie Xiu nervously glanced at the sulking Xie An and then eagerly turned his head to look at Xie Duo.

Xie Jing also used his peripheral vision to urge Old Ninth to quickly cooperate with the performance.

Xie Duo seemed as if his soul had been drained, still standing motionless, mouth slightly ajar, with eyes filled with sorrow and despair.

Ahem! Cough! Cough! Cough!” Not far away, Han Jiao began to cough frantically, urging the big boss to quickly imitate Xie An’s performance.

Xie Duo’s amber eyes slowly shifted, filled with despair as he glanced at the little child prodigy. He then turned his cold gaze towards Old Eighth, and suddenly, his eyes hardened. With the determination of a hero, he clenched his fists and roared, “Eight Brother is just being stubborn! Hmph!”

He turned around, squatted down, hugging his knees. The number one cuju master of Great Chu endured humiliation, forming a ball in public!

Xie Xiu gasped in disbelief, never having seen his ninth brother so furious!

He anxiously looked at Xie Jing, seemingly hoping that Xie Jing would admit his mistake voluntarily. However, Xie Jing crossed his arms, wearing a haughty expression, showing no signs of guilt.

A moment of hesitation.

Finally, Han Jiao caught the look of desperation in Xie Xiu’s eyes.

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