This evening, Li Mingxuan appeared in front of Shen Xi in a wretched state that had never been seen before.
The moment he opened the door, Shen Xi was stunned, “Cousin, what happened?”
Li Mingxuan smiled reassuringly at Shen Xi and took off his jacket, “It’s okay. I told Shen Ji that we are together.”
Shen Xi watched Li Mingxuan for a while, and then sneered, “Let me guess, Big Brother must have thought that I seduced you with the intention of competing with him for Shen Group, right?”
The self-deprecation in Shen Xi’s words made Li Mingxuan’s heart ache. He turned to Shen Xi, his eyes serious, “It was me who seduced you.”
Shen Xi couldn’t help but snicker; he walked past Li Mingxuan to sit on the sofa, looked up at Li Mingxuan and said as if inadvertently, “If I really plan to compete with Big Brother for Shen Group, Cousin, who will you help?”
Shen Xi’s expression was careless, as if he was just asking casually.
Li Mingxuan looked at Shen Xi; a flash of pain surfaced in his eyes, and then his expression gradually became firm. He quickly sat down next to Shen Xi with a frank and serious expression, “I’m sorry, Xiao Xi, I don’t know.”
Li Mingxuan carefully reached out and gathered Shen Xi into his arms, his low voice ringing in Shen Xi’s ears, “Xiao Xi, I don’t want to lie to you. If I said I would help you, it would be a lie. If it was before, I would have chosen Shen Ji, but now I really don’t know. You are the one I love and Shen Ji is my brother, I can’t bear to hurt you and there is no way to hurt Shen Ji. I just hope I will never have to face this choice one day.”
Shen Xi did not say anything and Li Mingxuan smiled bitterly, “Now you must think I’m just a greedy bastard, right?”
Shen Xi did not repeat his question but broke away from Li Mingxuan’s embrace, “Why does everyone assume that I will definitely compete with Big Brother for Shen Group? Starting from Grandfather, to Father and now to Big Brother?”
Shen Xi’s expression was puzzled, as if he had encountered some difficult riddle.
There is a presumption in jurisprudence that can be called a guideline, namely the presumption of innocence, which simply means that anyone should be considered innocent until proven and judged guilty. For two lifetimes, Shen Xi wondered why he had never shown the slightest thought about Shen Group but it seemed that everyone had decided that he would definitely compete with Shen Ji for Shen Group in the future.
Even before he was born, Shen Dehan began to worry that his birth would affect Shen Ji’s position as heir and was determined to deny him the right to come into the world. After his birth, when he was still in his infancy and unaware, everyone seemed to assume that he would grow up to compete with Shen Ji just as his father feared. What was even more ridiculous was that for the sake of the future that was still unknown, Shen Dehan came up with a way to cut him off at the very beginning, and he was deliberately raised to be a waste who knew nothing.
If Shen Cheng and Li Mingfei had somewhat relaxed requirements because of the customary system of eldest son succession in Zhongjing and were even deliberately guided to develop in other directions, then why were they not willing to give him a chance to do so?
Why did all his options have to be cut off since he was a child?
Shen Xi just looked at Li Mingxuan quietly, his face full of undisguised mockery.
Li Mingxuan’s heart clenched tightly, as if someone was gripping it vigorously and it hurt terribly. He wanted to explain to Shen Xi, but he didn’t know what to say.
Being in a family like theirs, and having seen so many cases of siblings turning against each other over property, good families falling apart in the blink of an eye, he had to admit that Shen Dehan’s worries were not unreasonable. Fang Yun was from an ordinary family and Han Ruo was from a powerful one; it was only natural that Shen Dehan, who favoured Shen Ji, would have such worries.
But Shen Dehan’s mistake was to forget that Shen Xi was just a child, a child who knew nothing, and that if he had been guided well, what he feared might not ever happen. Unfortunately, in the complicated environment of the Shen family at the time, with Grandpa Shen’s acquiescence, the Shen family’s contribution, and the rest of the people standing idly by, Shen Xi’s innocent life was decided in this way.
Whenever Li Mingxuan thought that he was one of those who stood by and did nothing, and to a certain extent might have even contributed to it, he felt a deep sense of remorse. He wanted to do his best to make amends, but in his heart he knew that what was wrong was wrong, and that even if he did more, what had been done to Shen Xi could never be undone.
Shen Xi saw Li Mingxuan’s remorse, lowered his eyes to avoid Li Mingxuan’s gaze and smiled self-deprecatingly.
“In fact, Big Brother is right to think so. There was a time when my father was so biassed that even Shen Rong could step on my face, and I really wanted to fight with Big Brother. But on my eighteenth birthday, I suddenly realized that what I wanted was not Shen Group at all, so even if I fought for it, there was no point. So Big Brother can now rest assured that I really don’t have any thoughts about Shen Group.”
Although Shen Xi’s words were full of self-deprecation, Li Mingxuan could hear that Shen Xi really meant what he said.
Li Mingxuan did not know what kind of spiritual journey Shen Xi had gone through, but he thought he knew how the former Shen Xi had struggled painfully in his heart.
Li Mingxuan didn’t say anything, he just held Shen Xi tightly in his arms. After a while, he said in a soft voice, “Xiao Xi, what do you want?”
Shen Xi hung his head to hide the expression on his face and said in a low voice, “A lot, but it’s good for Cousin to hold me like this now.”
Li Mingxuan’s heart melted into a pool of water as he lowered his head and kissed Shen Xi’s forehead, hugging him even harder.
That night, for the first time, Shen Xi couldn’t sleep in Li Mingxuan’s arms. Listening to the shallow breathing of Li Mingxuan beside him, Shen Xi couldn’t help but turn sideways and quietly gaze at him in the light coming through the curtains.
Li Mingxuan was really a very handsome man. Even though his face was still covered in bruises, it did not detract from his handsomeness at all. Shen Xi gently stretched out his hand and touched Li Mingxuan’s face with an inexplicable look in his eyes.
Before he returned to China this time, he and Li Mingxuan were two completely parallel lines. Even though there was a thin blood connection between the two, unlike his notoriety, Li Mingxuan was perfect like a person from another world. Shen Xi never thought that one day Li Mingxuan would fall in love with him. What was even more unexpected was that Li Mingxuan clearly knew what it meant to be with him, but he would rather put himself in a dilemma than give up.
When Shen Xi thought about Li Mingxuan’s words of never leaving him, an indescribable feeling flashed through his heart. Will he never leave? He just hoped that someday in the future Li Mingxuan would still remember saying this.
Shen Xi changed his position, squeezed into Li Mingxuan’s arms and slept peacefully. In his sleep, Li Mingxuan sensed Shen Xi’s movement and subconsciously enveloped him in his arms.
Unlike Li Mingxuan who had been sitting in Shutu for the whole afternoon, Shen Ji wandered the streets alone after leaving Shutu under the strange looks of passers-by.
Shen Ji did not want to go back to the office to face the many people’s inquisitive or pitying expressions, and he was even more reluctant to go home. There was a time when home was the most reassuring place in his heart, but since the appearance of Chu Qianqian, he could no longer find that reassuring feeling at home. Shen Ji wanted to talk to someone, but he had just gotten into a fight with his best friend, his brother, over a man, over his own younger brother. Shen Ji felt that life had never been so absurd, and for the first time he became confused about his future.
Shen Ji walked aimlessly along the street alone until he saw a familiar bar. Memories from a few months ago came back to him. It seemed that he had fought with someone here because he was in a bad mood. He had been picked up by Li Mingxuan at the police station at that time. Shen Ji shook his head, put aside his messy thoughts, pushed the door open and walked in.
The bar had just opened in the afternoon and there was not a single customer inside.
Shen Ji’s appearance was very abrupt, coupled with the injuries on his face, and the waiter looked at him warily, as if judging his origin.
Shen Ji sneered, “Don’t worry, I’m not causing any trouble, I’m just in a bad mood and want a drink.”
The waiter looked him up and down for a few moments before welcoming him to the bar.
Shen Ji sat alone at the empty bar and drank slowly.
There seemed to be people chatting quietly next to him. At first Shen Ji didn’t care but when he heard them mention a name repeatedly, he couldn’t help frowning in annoyance.
“So, the young man who was drunk here last time was Shen Xi? Shen Sanshao from the newspapers? He really paid for you to record a song?”
“En, I signed to Shen Xi’s company and he’s my boss now.”
“I read in the newspaper that he seems to have a bad temper, arrogant or something, is he like that in reality too?”
“Don’t believe the reporters’ nonsense, Shen Xi’s personality is actually very good, even Grandpa likes him very much.”
The name “Shen Xi” kept burrowing into Shen Ji’s ears, and after holding back for a while, he finally couldn’t endure and in annoyance walked up to the two men who were talking.
One of the two was clearly dressed as a barman, and as for the other, Shen Ji thought of the recent rumour that Shen Xi had thrown away a lot of money for an unknown singer. The rumour was that Shen Xi and this young singer were in a relationship. Although he knew that since Li Mingxuan was with Shen Xi, the rumours were bound to be untrustworthy, Shen Ji could not help but speak up maliciously, as if this could prove that Li Mingxuan was wrong about Shen Xi.
“You’re the singer surnamed Fang who is raised by Shen Xi?”
Fang Luowei had actually been very busy recently, and today he took the time to come here to visit his former colleague. The two of them casually chatted about their recent situation and were originally having a good conversation. They didn’t expect to suddenly hear someone malicious questioning them.
Fang Luowei subconsciously looked up, and when he saw the man in front of him he couldn’t help but stare, “Mr. Shen?”
Fang Luowei had a deep impression of Shen Ji, who had once helped him when he was in trouble at the bar. Plus, after he got acquainted with Shen Xi, he knew that Shen Ji was Shen Xi’s brother, so it was inevitable that he would pay attention to the news of the Shen family. Although he knew from the newspapers that the Shen brothers seemed to be at odds, Fang Luowei did not expect Shen Ji to harbour such great animosity towards Shen Xi. Thinking about what Shen Ji had just said, Fang Luowei’s good impression of Shen Ji was all but gone.
“Mr. Shen, it’s fine for you to have an opinion on me, but Shen Xi is your own brother, how can you question his character like this?”
This was the second time today that someone spoke in Shen Xi’s defence in front of Shen Ji, and despite the fact that it was an unrelated passerby, the anger in Shen Ji’s heart once again resurfaced, fueled by alcohol.
“Character? What kind of character does Shen Xi have? Do you know what kind of person he is?”
Fang Luowei looked at Shen Ji coldly, “I naturally know what kind of person Shen Xi is. Not to mention anything else, at least Shen Xi will not talk about others’ rights and wrongs behind their back while drunk, like you do.”
“If he dares to do it, why can’t I say it?” Shen Ji glanced at Fang Luowei, “You are defending Shen Xi, but unfortunately he has already hooked up with Li Mingxuan. There is no way he will ever look at you again.”
Shen Ji’s words made Fang Luowei’s brow furrow. He didn’t even think about it, directly picked up a glass of water on the table and poured it on Shen Ji.
“Mr. Shen, if there is evil in the heart, then everything you look at is evil. I always thought that no matter how much others misunderstand Shen Xi, you, as his brother, shouldn’t be this shallow. But I did not expect that you are even worse than those outsiders. You are not worthy of being Shen Xi’s brother at all.”
Fang Luowei didn’t even look at Shen Ji after he finished, and gestured to his colleague, “I’m leaving first, I’ll see you next time.”
Passing by Shen Ji, Fang Luowei couldn’t help but stop again, “Mr. Shen, allow me to remind you, no matter what, Shen Xi is your own brother. If you insult him in such a malicious manner, it will be you that others will laugh at.”
Fang Luowei’s glass of water calmed Shen Ji’s dizzy mind for an instant. He didn’t notice what Fang Luowei said afterwards, all he could think of was what Fang Luowei said at first, “If there is evil in the heart, then everything you look at is evil.”
After a while, Shen Ji laughed in a low voice to himself, “So there is evil in my heart?”
6 thoughts on “Rebirth: Different Way Chapter 42”
Shen Ji’s realization!
(not even sure it can even be real… But, can I low-key ship them?
Imagine Shen Ji going every night there to drink and Fang Luowei being like: Shen Xi, pick up your brother please.
And sparks start to ignite and then, BOOM! Love blooms!)
I thought so, too 🙂 But the author had different plans 🙂
Couldn’t help but notice that Shen Ji seems to need to be druk in a bar for the sake of being enlightened by strangers… The first time, he realized that his father’s actions of hooking up with his mother’s look-alikes as subtitutes showed that he didn’t love her as much as he proffessed. And now, the second time, it seems like he is due to start some serious self-reflecting on himself~~
Thank you for translating!! I’ll continue reading~ ^_^
I’m happy you like it!!! Haha, drinking in bars is pretty enlightening in this novel 🙂 And for some reason from all the bars they choose the one where Fang Luowei works 😂😂