No Money to Divorce
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 27: Missed Opportunities
Adrian did not answer him. He frowned. “Didn’t I tell you to go to the car…”
“I saw them come out in the car, so I came to look for you.” Zhong Yan quickly interrupted him, “What were you talking about earlier? Who was proposing to whom?”
“Guards!” Adrian shouted.
A young guard sprinted over from the corridor. Before waiting for him to salute him, Adrian barked a question to his face, “What were you doing out there? How did someone this big slip in?!”
The guard was dumbfounded. “Zhong…The Special Commissioner said he was here to look for you. The meeting…Isn’t the meeting over?”
“Who told you the meeting was over? Why would I be in there if the meeting was over?” Adrian burst out in anger. “You let him inside just because he said he was here to look for me? Would you let him go into the data room too if he asked? If he overheard anything classified today—”
“Adrian.” Fayn put a hand on Adrian’s shoulder and stopped him from venting on the poor guard. “Enough, he didn’t do it on purpose. Everyone’s left, so he thought the meeting ended. It’s not like we were talking about classified information anyway.”
As he said that, he waved his hand towards the guard, motioning for him to leave. The guard looked worriedly at Adrian, who had yet to calm down from his fury; when he saw no reaction from him, he quickly bowed and left.
Zhong Yan was still standing at the side, watching Adrian in a panicky manner, but still persistently waiting for his answer.
Adrian brushed Fayn’s hand off his shoulder and said to him, “You should go first.”
This meant that he wanted to speak with Zhong Yan alone. With a spark of interest, Fayn said to him, “Alright, you two have a good chat. I’ll be going now.”
After saying that, he glanced over at the snowy and fair hand that slipped out from beneath the coat, then at Adrian’s brewing storm of an expression. He couldn’t help himself from adding on in a whisper, “Lay off a little. Don’t cripple the guy, we’re still counting on him.”
Adrian glared at him and squeezed a few words out of the cracks of his teeth, “I have my restraints, so get outta here.”
Seeing that Fayn had left, Zhong Yan thought that Adrian was finally going to speak with him; but without saying anything, he started walking towards the parking lot.
“Hold on,” Zhong Yan followed him and asked persistently, “Were you talking about someone else earlier? I’m sorry, I didn’t eavesdrop on purpose. I really thought it was only you inside. I didn’t notice that Suster was not out either. Who did he say he was going to be the best man for?”
Adrian was walking in front as if he did not hear him at all. Very quickly, Zhong Yan was left in a gasping mess and could not speak any longer. Adrian was walking too fast, so his energy levels were plummeting. He tried to make Adrian slow down a little, but this time, Adrian gave no consideration for him. With the earlier warning he was given, he did not dare to pull on the man’s clothes either. He could only break out into a jog every so often just to barely keep up with him.
When they reached the car, Adrian opened the door on the passenger side; without waiting for Zhong Yan, who had just rushed over, to say anything, he stuffed him in in one violent motion before wandering over to the driver’s seat. He booted up the driving system and started the car in full speed.
Zhong Yan looked at his stiff profile. His heart was leaping madly into an abyss.
Adrian would never get this angry just because he heard an unimportant piece of gossip. This reaction practically confirmed it for Zhong Yan; the person with the “failed marriage proposal” mentioned by Suster was Adrian.
Who did Adrian fail to propose to? How could that be possible! This man had such a strong physique and handsome face, commanding powerful troops at his fingertips with a resounding name; even if you pushed all of these aside, Zhong Yan had still seen what a gentle person Adrian could be.
Why would anyone reject such a perfect person? Clearly…Clearly, for the sake of maintaining his friendship with Adrian, he had spent all of his efforts just to end up in that tragic abandonment of seven years; but someone was actually able to obtain Adrian’s precious and loyal heart?
Zhong Yan could not describe the feeling in his heart. He tried so desperately to protect that pool of water in his own palms, but he could only watch with his eyes wide as the water flowed through his fingertips, while someone had managed to receive a great ocean that would never dry up.
How was it possible…Zhong Yan tried to make sense of it in his chaotic mind. How could anyone deserve to receive Adrian’s heart?
When they were still in school, it was their golden years, where they were just entering the age of twenty. Even though Adrian was deviant in his political tendencies at the time, there were still many men and women who professed their love to him without a care for that quality. Zhong Yan never had any special feelings for those people; he knew that Adrian would refuse. In his opinion, those people were far from being worthy of Adrian.
Nobody could ever be worthy of Adrian, but Suster was telling Adrian “wasn’t it just a failed marriage proposal?”.
Who was it? What kind of person…
Zhong Yan had to admit that the second he heard that sentence, a crazy, almost dreamlike guess had passed through his head.
No, it was not a guess. It was an idea that came from his intuitiveness, but he did not dare to touch on it. He tried his best to ignore it.
It was impossible; if it was true, he would definitely fall into an abyss of remorse.
Adrian’s silence continued until they arrived at Adrian’s private home.
The full name of Navi’s primary star was Naviland, or Navi for short, and the Navi System was named accordingly. This was the largest planet in the Navi System. Based solely on the surface area of the planet, it was slightly larger than the capital. However, unlike the Capital where every inch of land was worth its weight in gold, Navi was a planet under military management where every member of society was an admitted soldier. The Navi Military Command’s headquarters was located here, and outsiders were prohibited from landing on the planet. Since the population density was so low, many places were still uninhabited.
Adrian’s private home was just away from the bustle of the main population. Adrian had his eyes set on this multi-storey home that had a vast grassland in its backyard the moment he set eyes on it, but he had very few opportunities to actually stay in this home in. Most of the time, he would just be sleeping at headquarters.
However, Zhong Yan could hardly care about being curious as to why Adrian’s private home looked like a newly-renovated model home ready for sale; it was barely lived in at all. He took off Adrian’s coat and hung it up before quickly rushing over to stop Adrian who was prepared to abandon him there.
“Get out of my way!” Adrian gave off a chilling aura, but Zhong Yan was unwilling to move. He reached out to grab his clothes, which was actually his own jacket and threw him onto the sofa.
When Zhong Yan saw that he was about to leave, he threw all his thoughts aside and pounced over, latching onto Adrian’s clothes.
This move had completely detonated the landmine of anger Adrian had been suppressing. He turned around and pushed Zhong Yan abruptly to the wall. Zhong Yan felt the strong impact of his back hitting the wall, but before he could even process the pain, Adrian’s body closed in, full of oppressive energy. He grabbed hold of his chin and lifted it, forcefully lifting his head up to meet his eyes.
“Did you hear a damn thing I said? Did you forget what I told you this afternoon? Pull on my clothes one more time and I’ll have your arms.”
“It doesn’t matter…it doesn’t matter…just take them.” That horrifying conjecture was torturing Zhong Yan to the point of madness; he had to confirm it immediately. He could not wait even a second longer. He was practically begging him at this point. “My hands…just take them, just tell me what you two were talking about. Who did you propose to? Tell me, please, I beg you…”
Adrian sneered at him. “You couldn’t guess? With how agitated you look, I’m guessing you couldn’t.”
Sirens were blaring in Zhong Yan’s mind. He held his last thread of hope and asked in a quiet whisper, “Is…Is it someone from the military command? You’ve fallen for someone in these years, didn’t you?”
“No.” Adrian enunciated with cruelty, “It’s not from these recent years, it was eight years ago. I fell in love with a liar. It’s the dumbest thing I’ve done my entire life, and it’ll be a lesson I’ll never forget for the rest of it. Fortunately, I hadn’t had the time to propose in the end before the liar could stop himself from revealing his true self. At least I got away.”
Zhong Yan’s mind went blank. He could see Adrian’s silver eyes so close to his, and that bone-chilling icy gaze pierced straight into the softest corner of his heart, stirring up his flesh and blood into a mess, in a painful agony that made him wish he was dead.
Impossible, it was impossible! What did he…what did he do…what did he miss out on…?
Zhong Yan asked with a shaky voice, “When was it…When did you plan to…Was it after graduation?”
“During the graduation ceremony,” he told him. These words were like a dagger that had been pierced deep into his wound; and now, he was pulling it out himself and using it as a weapon against him. His own wounds were also torn apart, with fresh blood still gushing out of it. “On that day, I had the ring in my uniform’s pocket. The party poppers were with Fayn. I was waiting right below the steps of the stage. I was going to kneel when you came down from the stage after refusing the career proposal and asked you whether you would be willing to stay with me for the rest of your life.”
Zhong Yan’s eyes were red. “Why didn’t you tell me earlier? Why didn’t you…”
Adrian responded fiercely, “Earlier? Don’t tell me you couldn’t tell at all, Zhong Yan! When have I ever treated anyone as well as I have you?”
“I thought we were friends…” Zhong Yan muttered as a burning tears started to roll down from his eyes. “I thought we were the best of friends…”
“Friends? What kind of person would, for two whole years, spend so much effort to wash their friend’s clothes, cook for them, take care of their meals and daily necessities without a single word of complaint? You’ve been misleading me deliberately, you gave me the illusion that it was not unrequited love, you gave me the illusion that I only had to get past that paper-this barrier to achieve the greatest happiness of my life!”
Friends…couldn’t friends be like that?” There was not a single hint of doubt in Zhong Yan’s words. “I just wanted to treat you better, I wanted to be better to you than your other friends, so you wouldn’t not want me anymore…I’m sorry, I didn’t know friends couldn’t be like that, nobody ever taught me…”
Adrian snapped coldly, “Do you think that I’d believe you if you started acting pitiful now?”
Zhong Yan’s face was filled with his tears. He gritted his teeth and grabbed Adrian’s lapel. He looked deep into those silvery eyes and said, “Listen, I’ll admit you hate me, but let me make one thing clear. In all my life, I’ve spoken countless lies. For the sake of coming out on top, I lied to the auntie in the orphanage, I lied to the inspector, I lied to my teachers and my schoolmates; when I grew up, I lied to my colleagues, I lied to the media, I lied to everyone in this world, but I’ve never ever told a single lie to you, Adrian Yate!”