Quality Check: Leslie
“General, you were looking for me?” Wei Li glanced at Lei Jianying in apprehension as he spoke. “Did you want to initiate ‘Plan A3’?”
“That’s right. You should set off for Bulacca today; I want Lei Jue to return to the Lei family of his own accord as soon as possible.” Lei Jianying’s face was gloomy as he stared at Wei Li. “Remember, the top priority is to have Lei Jue return, but if the chance arises, do your best to carry out our original goal.”
“Go.” Lei Jianying cut off the communication link and heavily pressed his temples.
Originally, he hadn’t wanted to initiate ‘Plan A3’ so soon, especially at this critical juncture of the election. Although becoming the deputy minister might be unlikely now, it was still a sensitive period nonetheless, so even if was just out of consideration for his reputation, he hadn’t thought about making Lei Jue return so soon. However, Lei Jue’s slight toward them had gone beyond just a slap!
This little bastard! Not only did he hide such a powerful ability, he actually dared to dig a hole for him in front of Feng Qingyuan?! Did he really think that he, Lei Jianying, was a doormat?
Immediately after landing, Lei Jiangying called Lei Haige to return home. “Haige, don’t you have photos of Xiao Lingyu? Get someone to post them now.”
Lei Haige appeared to be in quite a bad mood. “What’s the point of posting them? That dimwit Lei Jue wouldn’t take these things seriously.”
“Who cares if he takes it seriously! His thoughts don’t matter at all, what’s important is that the public knows that Xiao Lingyu is just scum! That he doesn’t treat Lei Jue well! This way, it won’t seem out of place when we use ‘Plan A3’ to force him to come back!”
“Okay, I get it. Why are you being so aggressive?” Lei Haige went to scrounge up the ambiguous photos of Xiao Lingyu with his various lovers, especially the more provocative ones, and handed them to Su Erman. “Make sure you don’t leave any traces.”
Su Erman nodded, expressing that he understood.
As a result, on the day Lei Jue, Xiao Lingyu, and Xiao Zhicheng returned home, Lei Jue saw a bunch of gossip about Xiao Lingyu online. In the beginning, the news started from the incident where Xiao Lingyu carried him. Originally, everyone was saying that the two of them seemed to have a good relationship, but for some reason, as the netizens continued to discuss this, the tone changed to saying that Xiao Lingyu wasn’t worthy of him.
Everyone knew how valuable A-rank wood ability users were, and at the same time, everyone also knew exactly how debauched Xiao Lingyu was. In the past, it wasn’t a big deal, as he was unmarried, but being promiscuous after marriage? That made people feel disgusted.
It could be said that the subject that Lei Jianying exploited had really hit the mark. He wanted all the citizens of Casweir to know that Lei Jue and Xiao Lingyu’s relationship wasn’t what outsiders thought it was, and that pairing Lei Jue with Xiao Lingyu was like sticking a fresh flower into manure!
For a while, this face of Xiao Lingyu’s was roasted countless times online. Although there were also people who felt that a prodigal son returned home was worth more than gold, and that Xiao Lingyu and Lei Jue seemed quite suited to be a couple, there were more voices in opposition. This was because some observant people noticed that one of the photos showed the day before Xiao Lingyu and Lei Jue’s wedding!
The wedding was the next day, yet he still went out to fool around?!
This was simply too much!
Online, the voices of condemnation directed towards Xiao Lingyu were everywhere, their words brimming with fire and scorn.
Looking at this development, Lei Jiangying finally felt better. “Haige, pay more attention to this for the next while; make sure it maintains this trajectory.”
Lei Haige made a non-authenticated side account to fan the flames every now and then. Upon hearing this, he replied, “Yes, Dad.”
After speaking, he skillfully composed a comment and posted it. In summary, the comment mentioned that Xiao Lingyu might have used some sort of ploy to wed Lei Jue; otherwise, why would a perfectly fine element ability user who can find any kind of partner get together with someone as fickle as Xiao Lingyu?
Once this was posted, many people felt that its reasoning was solid, while Lei Jue immediately thought of Lei Jianying.
He couldn’t help but think that it was Lei Jianying who was pulling the strings.
Of course, this line of thought wasn’t without reason. He felt that if Lei Jianying really wanted to make him return to the Lei family, he would definitely need to make some preparations. At the very least, Lei Jianying had to make outsiders think that his return was reasonable. In that case, using public opinion to swing the masses, make the public think that he went back because he couldn’t stand Xiao Lingyu’s licentious ways any more… wouldn’t it be very normal?
Based on his understanding of Lei Jianying, Lei Jue felt that the possibility of this was very high. And no matter what the truth was, he felt that he should do something about it, just in case it was actually as he thought, to avoid being led by the nose by Lei Jianying.
Lei Jue pondered for a bit, then took out the Abyssal Comet Fire. Holding the Abyssal Comet Fire in the palm of his head, he used his ability to lift it. And so, two seconds later, a brilliant green web of light formed a mass of energy shaped like a leaf and lifted the Abyssal Comet Fire. Lei Jue quickly snapped a picture of this scene then created an account on the the largest forum on Casweir and authenticated it. After verifying his identity, the first thing he did was to post the best picture of the Abyssal Comet Fire onto the web and captioned it ‘Met him and met a new life.’
After posting it, Lei Jue almost dry heaved, nauseated by himself. But the netizens were very dependable, and, with their rich imagination, concluded that his life before wasn’t very good from just his one sentence.
Why else would it say that he met a new life?
Countless people left caring messages under Lei Jue’s post, asking him what was wrong, if he didn’t live a good life before, etc. There were also people asking about his ability, people concerned about Xiao Zhicheng’s health, and some who even asked Lei Jue if he really liked Xiao Lingyu and wasn’t forced to do so.
The weirdest ones, though, which also happened to be the most numerous, would be the comments asking them when they were going to have children!
The birth of more children with elemental abilities was what all citizens wished for, so every time an elemental ability user got married, there would be countless people wondering whether or not they would give birth to a baby with an element ability. When it came to this, not even Feng Gu was exempt, not to mention the even rarer wood ability user Lei Jue. There were really too many people hoping that they would have children as soon as possible.
One side said that Xiao Lingyu was unreliable, and the other side wanted Lei Jue to hurry up and have a child. The two sides were very nearly at each other’s throats.
This really was a bit different from what Lei Jue had predicted. Lei Jue looked at it in bewilderment for a while before posting a reply. ‘At present, my elemental ability is quite stable. Father’s health is also quite well. As for when element ability children will appear, the children are still on the way; when they arrive is up to fate. Also, I wasn’t forced. But if I were to leave the Xiao family someday, I must have been forced to do so. I thank all of you for your care, I’m very good right now. As for those who want to sow discord, save it. Such a nefarious heart and not even knowing to conserve light energy, beware of karma.’
Carrera bustled about for a bit before retrieving Lei Jue’s message and immediately sending it to Xiao Lingyu. “Sir, the madam created an account on Planet Cass Forums and made a post in his own name.”
At first, Xiao Lingyu had just been waiting for Carrera to report to him after counterattacking. Upon hearing that Lei Jue had suddenly made a post, his curiosity was immediately piqued so he opened the post to take a look. Unbeknownst to himself, a smile appeared at the corner of his lips after he had finished reading.
Moments later, he logged into his own account and left a reply below Lei Jue’s post. ‘My dear wife, you are the most beautiful being I have yet to behold; if I were to halt my steps then it must be in order to protect you.’
The accompanying picture was one of Lei Jue and him that was taken during their wedding, a very elegant image of them surrounded by a kaleidoscope of butterflies.
Lei Jue was eating grapes and watching watched the number of fans explode. As he was amusing himself, he saw Xiao Lingyu join in. He was so startled by this that he spat the grapes in his mouth onto the photon computer.
This was too nauseating!
Lei Jue hadn’t thought about hiding this, but it was really discovered too quickly. He went directly to find Xiao Lingyu with his photon computer. “Hey hey hey hey! Did I give you permission to follow my post?”
Xiao Lingyu crossed his arms as he leaned against the door frame. “Did I give you permission to publicly display affection?”
Lei Jue also crossed his arms, but he leaned on the other side of the door frame. “Just retaliation, it’s nothing more than that. Besides, what can you do even if I really did?”
Xiao Lingyu used a little strength and left the door frame, propping one arm beside Lei Jue. “I can’t do anything. However, you can tell me where the little element ability baby is. As a father, I have the responsibility of giving him guidance on how to find his other dad to prevent him from getting lost, what do you say?”
“…” Lei Jue had no words for this.
Seeing the rare sight—where Lei Jue was tongue-tied—Xiao Lingyu smiled. “Come inside and talk.”
Lei Jue hesitated for a moment, then followed him in.
Xiao Lingyu sat on the bed. “It looks like Lei Jianying is determined to make you return; what’s your plan?”
Speaking with intelligent people really does save effort, Lei Jue thought as he sat on the bed. “What plans can I have? Right now, I’m out in the open while they’re hiding in the dark. All in all, my position is relatively passive.”
“In that case, I have some ideas. Do you want to hear them?” Xiao Lingyu’s smile was full of mischief. “It’s a bit low, but if done properly it’ll have unexpected effects.”
“Let me hear it first.”
“Let me show you something.” Xiao Lingyu used his communicator to play two clips for Lei Jue. One was a video of Emily attacking Lei Jue, and one showed a malicious Lei Haige.
“You want to post these online?” Lei Jue understood Xiao Lingu’s thoughts soon after seeing the contents of the videos.
“That’s right. Didn’t Lei Jianying want outsiders to think we don’t get along? We can let people see for themselves whether we get along or not, and how close you and the Lei family actually are. I’ll have someone post it online in a bit and you follow up with a post, is that okay?”
“Sure.” Wasn’t this simply pretending to be a paragon of virtue while being depraved on the inside? Lei Jue felt that was acceptable as long as the result was ideal!
Xiao Lingyu fiddled around a bit more, then posted the videos under the account of an anonymous butler. Seeing this, Lei Jue waited for a few more moments until someone asked him if this was actually true before following up with a reply. He felt that his reply would give people toothaches. ‘If the hardships I had to suffer in the past were to allow me to meet such a wonderful Xiao Lingyu, then I bear all of it gladly.’
After posting it, he hurriedly scrubbed at the goosebumps all over his body. Meanwhile, online, the video exploded like a drop of cold water in a pot of boiling oil. The little friends online were extremely furious!
‘There are actually people who dare to use such vicious means against wood element ability users?! ‘
‘Aren’t robots with attack capabilities provided for special personnel in order to protect them!‘
‘How could it be used to attack such a frail person!’
‘I really want to kill their whole family!’
Soon after, someone doxxed Lei Haige’s identity, and there were even people who pointed out that Lei Haige had stolen Lei Jue’s boyfriend, saying that Feng Gu had liked Lei Jue initially but Lei Haige stepped between them, which was why the target of Feng Gu’s affections changed! The one who said this was a big name account, too, the kind that had a high degree of credibility.
Even in his wildest dreams, Lei Haige had never thought that he would become the butt of public criticism just after he finished his skincare routine. Originally, he’d wanted to get a kick out of everyone cursing Xiao Lingyu, but who would’ve thought this would happen!
At home, Feng Gu also received messages from his friends. After taking a look online, he immediately became lightheaded from anger and directly contacted Lei Haige to yell, “Lei Haige, do you even have a brain! You actually dare to let outsiders see this kind of video?”
Lei Haige was already furious that his hidden personality had been exposed. After being yelled at, he couldn’t hold back anymore and directly fought with Feng Gu over the communicator!
It was as if everyone had their “Start” buttons pressed and were unable to settle down. Only Xiao Lingyu, from when he saw the five words ‘bear all of it gladly’, had his lips quirked as he stared unmovingly at Lei Jue.
As if sensing his gaze, Lei Jue raised his head and his eyes met Xiao Lingyu’s. “What?”
Xiao Lingyu said, “Nothing. I’m going to the washroom.”
Lei Jue nodded, but just as Xiao Lingyu took a step he seemed to remember something and suddenly grabbed Xiao Lingyu’s wrist. “Xiao Lingyu—” He called Xiao Lingyu’s full name for the first time, “—I have a question to ask you.”
“What question?” Xiao Lingyu turned back.
“On the night before the wedding, was it you?” Lei Jue stared straight into Xiao Lingyu’s eyes as if he refused to miss even the slightest of sentiments. “Was it you that controlled Emily?”
“Is that very important?”
“Yes, it is.”
Xiao Lingyu returned Lei Jue’s gaze for a moment and slowly smiled. “It wasn’t.”
A flash of uncertainty appeared in Lei Jue’s eyes, and he released Xiao Lingyu’s wrist. “If you say it wasn’t, then it wasn’t.”
After speaking, he waved his hand and went back to his bedroom.
Xiao Lingyu stood in place in silence for a long time, until Xiao Linghua came in with a wine glass to stand beside him, curled his lip and quietly said, “This might have been your best chance at coming clean. Do you really not regret letting it slip away like this?”
“What’s the point of telling him? We each stand at the opposite sides of a bridge; if we step on it, the bridge breaks. We might as well look at each other from the opposite banks.” Xiao Lingyu lit a cigarette and sat back on the bed. “You were eavesdropping on us?!”
“Pah! Who’d want to! Obviously it was the two of you who didn’t close the door!” Xiao Linghua said, “What if you watch him leave with someone else?”
“Are you looking for a beating?!” Xiao Lingyu grumpily stole his brother’s glass and downed it, then returned the cup. “Help me close the door. Thanks!”
“…That was a glass of Blue Ghost.” Xiao Linghua saw that his brother’s mood was quite poor and could only shrug as he took the empty glass and left.
As soon as the door closed, the effects of the alcohol set in, making Xiao Lingyu feel like his stomach was burning and the world was spinning. Downing the kind of alcohol that could put people with bad physiques in the hospital with just a sip was really painful, yet exhilarating.
Carrera detected the anomaly in her master’s physical signs and asked in concern, “Sir, do you need me to order sobering soup for you?”
Xiao Lingyu refused and directly dove beneath his covers.