Before meeting his aunt, Meng Fu had always felt a sense of obligation towards her. However, his aunt broke off contact with his family after his parents went to jail, leaving him and his brother to live off the money their parents left them. He didn’t expect that the one to hold out a helping hand to him when he himself was also incarcerated would be his aunt.
But they were tied by blood after all.
“Meng Fu, Xiao Yi is currently staying with us, so don’t worry,” Meng Yu said caringly as she looked at Meng Fu, but her expression turned difficult after that—there was a clear frown between her brows. “It’s just…” She paused for a moment, seemingly finding it hard to speak.
“Auntie, I’m very grateful that you can take care of Xiao Yi. If there are any problems, you can just tell me.”
“I’m sure you know your Auntie’s family isn’t very rich, and Ye Yan, your cousin, needs a lot of money for university. Your younger cousin needs to go to school too. Your uncle is just an ordinary working-class man, so…” Meng Yu did not say any more because she knew that Meng Fu understood what she was trying to say.
But his uncle? Working-class? As an executive of a small company, he was already doing quite well, but Meng Fu looked into Meng Yu’s troubled eyes and said, “My parents left some money for me and Xiao Yi’s living expenses. The card is in Xiao Yi’s pillow, and the password is my father’s birthdate.”
“Oh oh, I see.” Meng Yu relaxed. As far as she knew, even though her brother went to jail for embezzlement and surrendered much of his money, he still left a good sum of money in private to his children. “Then, I’ll be going now, Meng Fu. You can rest easy in prison, Auntie will take good care of Xiao Yi.”
“Alright. Thank you, Auntie.” Meng Fu thanked her with a smile. When he saw Meng Yu get up, he suddenly thought of something and said, “Auntie, Xiao Yi is allergic to pollen.”
“Oh yes, alright. I understand.” Even though she responded so, her actions were focused on getting up to leave.
Watching her back as she left, Meng Fu thought, Auntie…visitation time isn’t over yet, isn’t it?
But the moment he saw Gu Ze, he just wanted to turn around and flee. He felt infinite guilt for the man before him, and that guilt made it hard to face Gu Ze.
His legs came together subconsciously and his fingers were squeezing the edge of the table.
“How was your time in prison?” Gu Ze leaned back into his chair with his chin up, looking condescendingly down at him.
He couldn’t tell him it was fine, neither could he say it wasn’t, because both answers would anger the man. Gu Ze wanted him to have a bad time. A very bad time.
So he did not answer.
Gu Ze kept on staring at him, at his face that was more gaunt than before, and at his pale lips, judging in the most intuitive way whether Meng Fu was living well in prison or not.
Meng Fu’s state of being satisfied him and even put a smile on his lips.
“Keep it up for another seven years. If you can’t take it, then just kill yourself.” Gu Ze leaned forward, approaching Meng Fu from the opposite side of the table. He whispered, “Can’t be easier for someone to die in prison.”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Gu.”
“That again?” Gu Ze sneered. “You think sorry can make up for the lives you took?”
“I…” Meng Fu could no longer speak. No matter how he tried to redeem himself, there was no way he could pay for two lives.
“Tell me about your life in prison. Maybe I’ll feel a little better after hearing about your misfortunes.” He eyed Meng Fu both intently yet calmly, as if he was hoping to obtain pleasure from Meng Fu’s pain.
“Nothing really happened,” he responded honestly. Other than the few spiteful words he received in the beginning, everyone now treated him with respect. He knew it was only because Di Jun, the big boss in prison, liked his writing.
He kept his head down. There was no way he could make up some tragic lie to deceive Gu Ze and make him happy.
Silence, and more silence.
Even the particles in the air had begun to settle.
“I heard you’ve got a mentally handicapped brother?”
It was a casual remark, yet it struck something in Meng Fu’s nerves. He lifted his head immediately and spoke with newfound sternness in his voice. “Don’t hurt my brother.”
“I’m not that despicable. The only person I want to see suffering is you, murderer. I’m not going to drag an innocent person into this, much less a fool.” He raised his chin slightly, contempt clear in his tone.
“I hope so.” Meng Fu relaxed.
“Was your brother born that way?”
Meng Fu froze for a moment. He didn’t understand why Meng Yi was suddenly brought up, and he still had a vague worry in his heart that Gu Ze would secretly hurt him. “No. He used to be fine, but he contracted meningitis as a child and wasn’t able to be treated in time since my parents have always been busy. So, his mental development stopped at the age of five. Mr. Gu, my brother doesn’t understand anything so please don’t do anything to him.”
“I said I wouldn’t do anything. I won’t hurt him. But as for whether someone else would…that’s none of my business.”
“What do you mean?” Someone else? But who?
“That woman in court last time was your aunt, right?”
“Yes.” Meng Fu nodded. His fingers clenched up. He could guess what Gu Ze was going to say, but he was still afraid to hear it.
Gu Ze was very satisfied with Meng Fu’s reaction. Such tension, such fear, like his heart was strung in the air. He smiled and said without much care, “I saw your aunt walking with your brother tagging along behind, shopping bags across both arms while he struggled with a bouquet of flowers. Your brother kept on sneezing but your aunt was in a hurry. Then, I saw her turn her head around and say something to him. It seemed like she was reprimanding him.”
Meng Fu’s lips paled as anger and sadness intertwined on his face. A drop of sweat flowed from his forehead to his cheek. Gu Ze’s mood improved. He continued, “It seemed like your brother was crying quite loudly. He’s allergic to pollen, isn’t he? You never told your aunt this, did you? Or maybe your aunt knows but she still made him hold the flowers anyway?”
“I never told her. I don’t think she noticed.” He raised a smile onto his lips with much difficulty and explained feebly.
He clearly told her before she left, didn’t he?
“Do you know how my brother is doing right now?” He wasn’t expecting Gu Ze to give him an answer, he was just desperate to know Meng Fu’s current situation.
“What? Didn’t your aunt tell you?” Gu Ze asked him back. He leaned forward, observing Meng Fu’s expression intently with a smug smile on his face.
“Heh.” Gu Ze let out a chuckle. “Keep it going like that, Meng Fu. Seeing you like this pleases me.”
After saying that, he left, with the joy of revenge clearly visible from his back.
The sky outside was blue, yet it was gray inside the prison.
When Gu Ze got on the car home, he no longer felt as down. Accepting the album his secretary handed to him, he flipped through page after page.
In the album were photos of Meng Yi and Xie Zhenzhen.
Meng Yi had an innocent look on his face as he carried his aunt’s bags, and even when he was walking behind his cousin, Ye Yan, there was that naive smile on his face as if all his worries were gone.
Xie Zhenzhen was still meeting her friends and taking piano lessons as usual.
They were extremely ordinary photos, but Gu Ze understood very well that these were powerful weapons he could use to break Meng Fu. Watch the two people you love the most, one be neglected by your dear aunt, and the other getting over her past love.
“Mr. Gu, we have connected with the contact in prison.”
“And? Did you figure out his situation in prison?”
“He’s being covered by the young master of a crime syndicate, Di Jun. Currently, nobody dares to do anything to him.”
The mood he was in plummeted instantly, and the album in his hands fell heavily onto the floorboard. Gu Ze couldn’t help but curse, “Damn it. He thinks he’ll be fine as long as someone’s there to cover for him? It won’t be that simple. Drive.”