Translator: O(n^n) oh baby
Quality Check: Kai
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter One Hundred and Eighty-Five: An Inescapable Past (I)
“Why?” Yan Jin asked.
“What do you mean ‘why’? That’s just how it is…” Xiao Yu’s expression was somewhat uneasy.
“How what is?”
Xiao Yu fell silent.
How was it? Well, just like that.
“It’s because instead of stepping into an uncertain future, you’d rather hide in the same old tortoise shell and wait for a miracle.”
Yan Jin’s bluntness caused Xiao Yu’s face to become a little pale.
Xiao Yu knew what Yan Jin was referring to. He was willing to admit that that was the truth. When he’d said earlier that he knew Yan Jin had investigated him long ago, he hadn’t been guessing. Furthermore, when he’d discovered traces of the investigation, he hadn’t confronted Yan Jin. In the end, he hadn’t planned on hiding his knowledge from Yan Jin very long.
However, being called out by Yan Jin like this left a sour taste in his mouth. He was already an adult. He could make decisions for himself and take responsibility for their results. He knew there were problems with how he handled family matters. He neither needed nor wanted others to point out his mistakes.
Yan Jin’s bluntness made him feel a little distant.
Fortunately, Yan Jin changed the topic. “You’re fortunate to have such a reliable lover.”
“Huh?” Xiao Yu couldn’t keep up with the change in topic.
“I told you long ago to have some more faith in me, but you’re still worrying about all these random things every day and night.” Yan Jin pecked Xiao Yu’s cheeks.
“What do I need to do to show some more faith? I…” Xiao Yu paused. Then, he finally gave up and let out his innermost thoughts. “My stepmother… Not long ago, she came to tell me that my dead father told her in a dream that he wanted grandchildren.”
Yan Jin grimaced, but he didn’t look angry or unhappy at all.
In an instant, Xiao Yu suddenly understood the meaning of what Yan Jin had said.
Yan Jin’s apparent criticism earlier wasn’t referring to his cowardice nor his self-deception. Instead, they were to emphasize “you have such a reliable lover.”
So, what Yan Jin had been getting at this whole time was: regardless of how Xiao Yu deceived himself and hid in his tortoise shell hoping for the future to get better, he was fortunate his lover was Yan Jin. Yan Jin could turn all of his hopes into reality.
“What did you do?” Xiao Yu suddenly realized the significance of Yan Jin’s words and hurriedly faced Yan Jin head on. “Did you do something?”
Without Xiao Yu realizing it, his tone carried all of his hope. Yan Jin heard it loud and clear.
Chairman Yan smiled contentedly, but he didn’t directly answer the questions. “Now that you’ve appeared on news headlines with me, aren’t you worried that your Aunty Fang will find out about our relationship?”
From the words “Aunty Fang”, Xiao Yu was even more certain that Yan Jin had already contacted Madam Fang.
“Nope. She’s worlds removed from this kind of thing. While this news did make the headlines, it only did so on entertainment outlets. Madam Fang doesn’t care about these gossip tabloids. She used to only care about the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Now, she hangs out with all the other aunties in her small neighborhood drinking tea and playing mahjong. It’s doubtful that their conversation topic will move to me either. Speaking of which, there was this time…”
Yan Jin suddenly went quiet. Although his expression didn’t change much, his bad mood had already permeated through the now-cold surroundings.
Xiao Yu felt that something wasn’t quite right and ceased his chattering. He repressed his enthusiasm and stared at Yan Jin for a while. Then, he said with some surprise, “Hey, how come you’re suddenly unhappy? You can’t be jealous, can you?!”
Yan Jin still didn’t say anything, but his arm around Xiao Yu tightened considerably.
“How can you be jealous of everything? Are you a woman?”
“Has there ever been a woman jealous because of you?” The point Yan Jin had taken issue with seemed completely off.
This time, Xiao Yu fell silent. He really had nothing to say.
After the two of them were silent for a while, Xiao Yu conceded first. “Perhaps I said a little too much. Can you not make an issue out of this…?”
Xiao Yu’s voice trailed off for so long, but Yan Jin still didn’t respond. Helpless, Xiao Yu could only resort to other tactics to curry favor. “Okay, okay. Madam Fang is just my stepmother. Of course, she can’t even compare with my dear Yan Jin’s position in the center of my heart. I love you the most.”
He concluded his flattery with a kiss.
“But you still tried to avoid our marriage because of her.” Yan Jin’s eyes darkened.
Xiao Yu’s body became somewhat stiff.
That was true, but…
Xiao Yu felt that it was unfair.
Xiao Yu knew that he was being pretty shameless right now. Though he said that Yan Jin was the most important person, his actions were entirely contradictory. He knew that even if Yan Jin proposed to him again, he would likely reject it.
Xiao Yu was very clear on the reason behind this. He was betting that Yan Jin was more willing to postpone the marriage than the conservative Madam Fang compromising her traditional beliefs for the sake of his happiness.
In the end, this perhaps was why the deepest hurt came from those you loved the most. Xiao Yu had become arrogantly accustomed to Yan Jin making accommodations for him because of his love. He had been confident that Yan Jin would compromise because Yan Jin loved him.
Xiao Yu understood all of this clearly. However, this was the only route available to him. There was no other choice if he didn’t want to lose anything. He was so greedy that he was even disgusted with himself. A single wrong step could take him down a road of no return.
Yan Jin saw Xiao Yu’s abnormal expression and raised a finger to prod Xiao Yu’s forehead. “What are you thinking about?”
Xiao Yu abruptly turned around and blankly shook his head.
“I already told you to stop worrying over such things.” Yan Jin sighed helplessly and pinched Xiao Yu’s waist as punishment.
“Hey, that tickles.” Xiao Yu shirked away. “You haven’t told me what you’ve done yet.”
“What do you hope that I’ve done? Or more accurately, what do you hope for?” Yan Jin shot back.
“I…” Xiao Yu hesitated for a while and pouted. “Isn’t this improper to shove all of my problems to you? Convincing Madam Fang should be my responsibility.”
“No, since my wish is that Fishy’s wishes come true,” Yan Jin replied.
Yan Jin’s familiar words caused Xiao Yu to imagine that he’d gone back to a midsummer’s night dream, complete with shooting stars and fiery skies. It seemed so unlikely and miraculous.
“… I wish that Madam Fang would attend our wedding. I wish that Madam Fang would sit in the front row reserved for family and give me a hug.”
The trembling words fell out of Xiao Yu almost unconsciously as he gazed off aimlessly. He curled up into Yan Jin’s embrace and gripped the front of Yan Jin’s clothes. In a muffled voice, he said, “If you can make that happen, let’s get married.”
Yan Jin’s smile and narrowing eyes revealed his elation.
“As you wish.”
The “business trip” hadn’t required more than a month. The only reason Yan Jin had been away for so long was because he had also handled some unplanned issues.
However, this didn’t mean that Yan Jin had been out of the country for several more days. Instead, he had only publicly reappeared several days after he had quietly returned to China.
On August 3rd, Yan Jin had met with Fang Wanqing at a five star hotel in City N.
Yan Jin had been the first to arrive. He waited alone for an hour before Fang Wanqing arrived late.
For business matters, if anyone had dared to make Chairman Yan wait for an hour, they could forget the possibility of any contract agreement. Instead, it was more likely that Yan Jin would blacklist them and perhaps consider some tricks, both obvious and subtle, to mess around with them.
However, this lady was in a special position. Yan Jin didn’t dare comment on her tardiness. Suppressing his complaints, he expressed that he hadn’t waited for too long and pulled out a chair for her.
Fang Wanqing stopped three steps away from Yan Jin. From that distance, she evaluated Yan Jin as if there were a wall separating the two.
After a long while, she slowly sat down.
“Long time no see.”
Fang Wanqing was the first to speak.
“You’re the same as ever.” Yan Jin’s tone was very respectful.
If anyone heard them, they would have been shocked by the apparent relationship between the two.
There wasn’t anything more that needed to be said for Yan Jin’s status. Not only was he YL’s chairman, he was the successor of the Gabriel Family. He was rich and powerful on a global level. Then, who was Fang Wanqing?
She was a widow from a long-since deceased husband and had no stable income. In order to send her own son to school abroad, she relied on the rent from a two bedroom apartment in City S and whatever she could compel her stepson to give. She was a stingy city dweller who haggled over every cent.
These people were as different as heaven and hell. They led completely unrelated lives. Nobody could have expected that they were actually old acquaintances.
“If you have anything to say, just say it. No need to continue with the niceties. I know how much you hate me. I’ve always waited for this day.” Fang Wanqing sighed. “I’ve been having nightmares again recently. None of the medicine works. I know that retribution is coming. My only hope is that you leave my children out; they don’t owe you anything.”
“You misunderstand.” Yan Jin went to appease her. “My intention to come find you today isn’t to investigate what happened back then. But, seeing that you’ve already brought it up, let me add a few thoughts. I don’t think any of the blame for what happened should fall to you. You were a junior researcher working on a very meager salary. You already performed well enough following the higher ups’ orders. I should be thanking you instead. If you hadn’t gone against orders and taken mercy, I fear that I would not be able to stand before you today.”
“You’re still just as cold as when you were a child.” Fang Wanqing lit a cigarette but only held it between her fingers.
In the midst of the heavy smoke, her tone greatly changed.
“I’ve caused too many to die. They called me mother, but I wasn’t one. I was only an executioner… I became a researcher when I was just sixteen. Ahh, in those years, it was such an honor. I took so much pride in being chosen by the Nan Family Research Institute when I was only a middle school student. No one in my class could beat me, and all the teacher had more than me was just some experience. I thought my future was as a top scientist, or chemist, or biologist…”
“But I ended up becoming an executioner.”
Yan Jin didn’t make a sound. He quietly listened to this still-charming woman reminisce about her past.