Chapter 1 She’s Back
Simone Gray opened her eyes, surveyed the surroundings, and looked at the familiar room from her memories. She had indeed returned. Reaching out to grab her phone from the nightstand, she checked the date before a smile appeared in her eyes. What perfect timing. Just as she was thinking, a knocking sound echoed. She got up to open the door and saw a handsome man standing there, questioning her immediately, “I called you earlier. Why didn’t you answer?”
Simone replied calmly, “I didn’t feel like it.” Standing before her was her second brother, Titus Gray, who was also her current agent. He was momentarily stunned, visibly not expecting his sister to say that. He furrowed his brows and lectured impatiently, “Stop causing trouble, will you?” She raised an eyebrow. “Say something new. I’m tired of hearing the cliche from all of you.” Since returning to the Gray Family, her mother and five brothers kept telling her not to cause trouble. Titus choked. “Is this amusing to you? Jo wants to be in that variety show. What harm would it do if you just let that happen? Must you make the whole family unhappy?” Simone looked at him coldly. “This is an opportunity I fought for myself. I won’t give it up. It’s your business if you’re unhappy.” Simone did not grow up with her family from a young age. Instead, she got lost at four when Aaron Gray, her fifth brother, took her out to play. After that, the Gray Family adopted a girl of similar age and even changed her name to Jodie Gray. A year ago, the Gray Family found Simone and brought her back home.
However, they overly favored Jodie and looked down on Simone. Whenever she clashed with the adopted daughter, it was always Simone who was considered troublesome. Before entering the entertainment industry, she worked hard and used her talent to climb from an unknown to a C-list actress in just over a year. After being recognized by the family, they brought her home, asked her to terminate the contract with her original company, and transferred her to the entertainment company owned by the Gray Family. In the meantime, Titus became her agent. Jodie, who originally studied music, suddenly wanted a part in the entertainment industry. She also joined the company and was mentored by Titus. In the past year, she received all the good resources, directly jumping from an unknown to a C-list actress. Meanwhile, the resources Titus provided Simone were the ones that Jodie rejected. Last month, she saved the wife of a director and gained a spot as a guest on a highly anticipated new variety show before it even aired. Similarly, Jodie showed interest in the show and expressed her desire to join. However, the guests were already confirmed, and it was not easy for someone of Jodie’s popularity to be added under special circumstances. Hence, Titus and the family suggested that Simone give up her spot to Jodie. She knew that Jodie intentionally wanted to snatch her opportunity, so she refused and was then condemned by her entire family. Last night, she insisted on not giving up her spot and returned to her room after arguing with them. Titus had appeared now because Jodie had not given up and pretended to be pitiful in front of him; that was why he came to her again. He took a deep breath. “I’ll find you a better opportunity. Just give this up for Jo.” Simone sneered. “I don’t care about your better opportunity. Just give it to your beloved Jodie.” She did not want to waste any more words with Titus and simply shut the door. His eyes showed some disbelief when he looked at the closed door. That was the first time Simone had shown him disrespect since returning home, his expression dark. “Simone, you’re being unreasonable.”
He knocked on the door again, but she did not open it. Only then did he leave with a stern face. After shutting the door, Simone’s heart could barely stir up emotions. In her previous life, she yearned for family affection, and after being recognized, she had always tried to please the Grays. For instance, she took care of their various needs, made their meals, gave massages, accompanied them in acting and dancing, and so on. She tried to fulfill whatever tasks or requests they had, but in the end, she failed to make them love her. When she and Jodie were kidnapped, everyone chose to rescue Jodie first, and she ended up losing her life. At that moment of death, she completely lost hope and severed her ties with the Gray Family. However, she did not expect to be bound by a system that took her to various mini timelines to fulfill tasks. Upon completion, she would be rewarded with life points, and only by accumulating them could she return to this world. Simone extended her right hand and looked at her palm; her lifeline was short. It meant that she had less than a year left, only until the time of her death in her previous life. The system informed her during the unbinding process that she needed to be adored by more people to extend her life. The more people who favored her, or the more people she helped to gain popularity, the longer her life would be. It was similar to exchanging faith for life points but would not affect those who liked her. Otherwise, she would not harm others for the sake of extending her own life. Now, saving her life was crucial because she needed more time or energy to continue getting entangled with the Grays. She packed up her belongings and put them in a suitcase. Since returning to the Gray Family, everything was bought for her by the housekeeper, and she did not take anything. As such, she calculated the expenses since coming to the Gray Family and noted them down. At the same time, she took out the bank card her father gave her when she returned. Luckily, she had not used any money in it. She opened the door as she carried the suitcase and went downstairs. At that moment, everyone was in the living room. When they saw Simone with her bags, they were displeased. Salma Johnston frowned and looked at her.
“What trouble are you up to this time? It’s been nothing but chaos ever since you returned.” Simone found it amusing. “Did I insist on returning? I remember you all came to pick me up, right? And what trouble did I cause? Jodie wanted my resources, and not giving them makes me the bad guy? If we’re being clear here, aren’t all of you the unreasonable ones?” Salma did not expect Simone to talk back, so her displeasure deepened. “Jo just likes that variety show. You’re the young lady of the Gray Family now, while Jo has lost that status. Shouldn’t you compensate her? Moreover, Titus said he’d get you a better opportunity in exchange. Why do you have to fight over it?” Luca Gray, the third brother, added, “I think you just can’t stand Jo, so you deliberately target her.” Andrew Gray, the fourth, impatiently said, “Simone, can’t you just be good? Why do you have to cause trouble?” In her previous life, Simone might have been upset by such unfair accusations, but not anymore. Instead, she sneered and said, “You guys are truly good at blaming others for your own fault. I never knew that defending what’s rightfully mine would make me the unreasonable one. Not only are you ignorant, but you’re also shameless. First of all, I never stole anything from her in the first place. On the contrary, she replaced me and enjoyed a comfortable life in the Gray Family for years. Secondly, you need to understand that it was you who lost me back then. I don’t owe her anything, and I certainly don’t owe any of you either. So, what exactly do I need to compensate for?” When Salma was about to speak, Simone added, “As for the young lady of the Gray Family, she can have it.
I don’t really care about it.” Salma was stunned for a moment, not expecting Simone to say such things. “What do you mean?” Simone replied with indifference, “I mean it literally. I am cutting off all ties with you and leaving the family. In the future, we will go back to being strangers when we meet.” She added, “Your beloved adopted daughter will remain the little princess of the Grays. You don’t need to worry that I will steal anything from her or try to take your love for her. I am simply making things easier for all of you.”