The conflict between Shen Ji and Shen Cheng soon became known to Shen Dehan.
When he heard that Shen Ji had left the company in a rage, a trace of disappointment surged in his heart.
Shen Dehan knew Shen Ji’s feelings for Yunrou. As Lu Gesen said, Shen Ji had put too much of his heart and soul into Yunrou, and because of the special significance of Yunrou for him, Shen Ji’s strong opposition to the sale of Yunrou was completely understandable. But understanding did not mean approval.
In Shen Dehan’s mind, Yunrou had become a drag on Shen Ji, and its existence was a constant reminder to the board of directors of the mistakes Shen Ji had made. The only way to silence the unfavourable voices against Shen Ji from the board of directors was to get rid of Yunrou as soon as possible, but unfortunately Shen Ji, who had always been excellent, was stubborn in this matter.
In Shen Dehan’s opinion, Shen Cheng did not do anything wrong. His starting point was good whether it was for the company or for Shen Ji, not to mention that the deal was not a loss. Compared to the purchase price back then, even if you didn’t count the profits of Yunrou over the years, the price of this deal also left Shen Group with some profit. For this, even Gao Qiulin said a few words praising Shen Cheng.
Shen Dehan sighed. Ah Ji’s growth was too smooth. In the past he had protected Ah Ji too well. He hoped that through these events he could make Ah Ji really grow up.
After Shen Ji left the company, for a while he didn’t know where to go. The recent succession of events had turned his life into a mess. Glancing at the hurrying crowd on the street, Shen Ji smiled bitterly. This was the first time he had left the company to hang out alone at the time he was supposed to be at work.
Shen Ji felt that he had a lot of things on his mind and he had to find someone to talk to, but when he opened his phone book, no matter how much he deliberately ignored it, his eyes eventually fell on the words “Li Mingxuan”.
Shen Ji hesitantly looked at the name and after thinking about it dialled the number.
“Mingxuan, are you at the office? I’m coming to you.”
Li Mingxuan’s simple “good” made the depression in Shen Ji’s heart finally dissipate a bit, and half an hour later, he appeared in front of Li Mingxuan.
A friend for many years, Li Mingxuan could see at a glance that Shen Ji was not in a good mood at the moment. After instructing his assistant to make two cups of coffee, Li Mingxuan pushed away the documents in his hands and looked at Shen Ji, “What happened?”
Shen Ji took a sip of coffee and exhaled a long breath of depression, “I had a bit of an argument with Ah Cheng.”
“About Shen Group?” Li Mingxuan asked tentatively.
Shen Ji gave an “en”. “He submitted the deal I was holding down earlier to the board of directors and the board approved it.”
Li Mingxuan reacted quickly, “Ah Cheng was hiding it from you?”
Shen Ji nodded, rather disheartened.
Li Mingxuan was puzzled, “You didn’t tell Ah Cheng that you were in contact with Baoli Group?”
Shen Ji shook his head, “My father was determined to sell Yunrou and didn’t listen to my ideas. I planned to talk to him after I had made a deal with Baoli. I didn’t tell anyone in order to avoid getting into trouble, but I just didn’t expect Ah Cheng to submit the deal directly to the board.”
Li Mingxuan didn’t expect this to be the case. Thinking about what Shen Cheng had done, Li Mingxuan couldn’t help but say comfortingly, “Ah Cheng didn’t know what was going on behind the scenes, he is now the general manager of Shen Group. The deal submitted to the board of directors through his hands was in full compliance with the procedures, so he can’t be blamed.”
Shen Ji nodded and smiled bitterly, “I know. In fact, I know I shouldn’t blame Ah Cheng, I just couldn’t control my temper a bit. Everyone thinks I was reluctant to sell it because of my feelings for Yunrou, and even my father refused to sit down and listen to my thoughts. Shen Group blindly invested in the financial market over the years, seemingly growing and expanding non-stop, but in fact it drifted further and further away from Shen Group’s original vision. Yunrou originally was a great opportunity. If Yunrou had succeeded, it would have been the right time to use it to make Shen Group focus on industry. I just didn’t expect…”
Shen Ji shook his head in disappointment, “Maybe fundamentally my father and I just don’t have the same philosophy regarding the development of Shen Group.”
This was the first time Shen Ji had shown disappointment in front of Li Mingxuan. Li Mingxuan got up and walked to his side, patting him on the shoulder vigorously, “Having differences is not a problem, what matters is how you resolve them. Uncle has been doing well all these years, and it is inevitable that he will be a bit stubborn as he gets older. So why don’t you talk to him properly? Frankly speaking, according to the current economic situation, I am not optimistic about the financial market either.”
Shen Ji nodded, but he didn’t hold much hope in his heart, “I’ll try.”
After glancing at the time, Shen Ji changed the subject, “Let’s go out for a drink tonight?”
Li Mingxuan simply refused, “Not today.”
Shen Ji raised an eyebrow, “Want to accompany Shen Xi?”
Li Mingxuan shook his head, “The touring exhibition that Mingfei was attending abroad is over, and my mother is accompanying him back today. I’ve already called before and I have to go home in the evening.”
“Shen Xi is going too?” Shen Ji asked casually.
“Xiao Xi is not going, Mother doesn’t know about me and Xiao Xi yet.”
Shen Ji looked surprised, “You didn’t tell Aunt?”
Li Mingxuan nodded, “Mother has been abroad, it’s not good to talk on the phone. I’m worried that Mother might have some misunderstanding about Xiao Xi, it’s better to say it in person.”
Shen Ji froze and then smiled, “You think so much of Shen Xi, is he that good?”
Li Mingxuan looked at Shen Ji with a serious expression, “No matter what others think, Xiao Xi is good enough in my heart.”
Shen Ji did not say anything more under Li Mingxuan’s serious look.
That night because he was going back to the Li family, Li Mingxuan deliberately called Shen Xi in advance. He seriously instructed Shen Xi on the phone to eat well and rest early, and he would be back early tomorrow. His mother had been abroad with Mingfei for over a month, so he certainly couldn’t just leave her after dinner and come back to stay with Shen Xi. Plus he planned to confess his affair with Shen Xi while his mother was in a good mood. Thinking about his mother’s possible reaction, Li Mingxuan had already prepared himself.
When he received the call from Li Mingxuan, at first Shen Xi was not bothered that he would not come back in the evening. However, after hanging up the phone, as Shen Xi cooked alone, ate alone, tidied up the house alone, and looked around, he felt that something seemed to be missing.
After turning on the TV, Shen Xi unconsciously tuned to the financial channel. It was not until the stock market information was broadcast that Shen Xi suddenly realised that this was the channel Li Mingxuan was used to watching while he had no interest in it at all. Changing channels haphazardly, Shen Xi couldn’t help but look at the coffee table in front of the sofa where all the financial magazines that Li Mingxuan had brought were neatly laid out. As Shen Xi’s eyes swept around, there was Li Mingxuan’s jacket hanging on the coat rack at the door, the papers he had read last night were scattered on the table, and on the bedside table in the bedroom was Li Mingxuan’s watch, not to mention Li Mingxuan’s clothes that had taken up half of the wardrobe.
Shen Xi suddenly felt irritated. When he was not paying attention, Li Mingxuan invaded his life little by little. It was as if Li Mingxuan’s scent was everywhere in the house. Compared to when he was living alone at the beginning, the apartment was now stuffed full of things, and everything seemed to be connected to Li Mingxuan.
Shen Xi frowned and dialled Lao K’s number.
When Shen Xi arrived at Lao K’s house, the Li family’s dinner had just ended. Li Mingfei sat in the living room, excitedly describing his life abroad with his mother to Li Xiyong who listened with a smile on his face. In the corner of the living room, Li Mingxuan helped Shen Bixue sit down, “Mom, I have something to tell you.”
Shen Bixue gave Li Mingxuan a strange look and said with a smile, “Why so solemn?”
Li Mingxuan sat down opposite Shen Bixue and said with a serious expression, “Xiao Xi and I are together.”
Shen Bixue didn’t realise what Li Mingxuan was talking about at first, and it wasn’t until the words went round and round in her mind a few times that she reacted.
“You and Shen Xi are together?” Shen Bixue felt that she must have been hallucinating as she repeated incredulously word for word while staring closely at Li Mingxuan’s expression, trying to find traces of joking in it.
Under his mother’s gaze, Li Mingxuan nodded self-consciously.
Shen Bixue only felt her heart thud suddenly and said sternly, “What does it mean, together?”
As soon as this sentence was uttered, it immediately attracted the attention of the other two people in the living room. Li Xiyong knew what Li Mingxuan was talking about, frowned and did not say anything. Li Mingfei glanced at his mother cautiously and obediently shrank himself into the background of the living room.
Li Mingxuan’s expression remained unchanged, “It means what you understand it to mean.”
“I don’t agree!” Shen Bixue didn’t even think about it.
Li Mingxuan already expected his mother’s reaction and was not too surprised. He just persuaded Shen Bixue with a sincere expression, “Mom, Xiao Xi is very good, I want to be with him and take good care of him. Didn’t you also say before that you wanted me to take care of Xiao Xi more?”
“I asked you to help him as much as you can, but I didn’t ask you to take care of him in bed.” Shen Bixue said ruthlessly and then looked at Li Mingxuan with a suspicious expression, “Is it Shen Xi?…”
Li Mingxuan understood Shen Bixue’s unfinished sentence, and a trace of heartache flashed in his eyes. He directly interrupted his mother’s words, “It has nothing to do with Xiao Xi, it was me who seduced him.”
“How is that possible?” Shen Bixue refused to believe it.
Li Mingxuan repeated with a solemn expression, “Mom, it was me who seduced Xiao Xi.”
Shen Bixue looked at Li Mingxuan in a daze, unable to understand why her excellent son would fall for Shen Xi. It was not that she felt that Shen Xi was bad, but even putting aside the blood relationship between them, Li Mingxuan and Shen Xi’s lives had not intersected at all, and she could not think of how the two could come to be together. At first she subconsciously suspected that it was Shen Xi who had taken the initiative to seduce Li Mingxuan with some plan in mind. Then Li Mingxuan’s words made her believe that perhaps it was really Li Mingxuan who had first made a move on Shen Xi, but how was this possible?
Shen Bixue’s gaze turned to Li Xiyong and she realised that he was not surprised. Shen Bixue said hesitantly, “You already know?”
Li Xiyong nodded, “Since Mingxuan likes him, let Mingxuan be.”
“This…?” Shen Bixue still felt that she couldn’t accept it and subconsciously tried to find some reason to oppose it.
If Shen Bixue’s first reaction was to refuse to believe it, then Li Mingfei was completely surprised. Staring in amazement at his elder brother, Li Mingfei digested the conversation he had just heard in his mind over and over again. So, Cousin Shen Xi would be a family with them in the future?
Although his mother seemed to be very much against the idea, Li Mingfei could not help but feel happy in his heart. This way, he would be able to play with Cousin Shen Xi more often in the future, right? Even if his uncle disliked Cousin Shen Xi, with them as his family, wouldn’t there be no one to bully Cousin Shen Xi anymore?
No one knew what was on Li Mingfei’s mind. Shen Bixue looked back at Li Mingxuan, “How long have you been together?”
“Since you left the country.”
Shen Bixue sighed and eventually waved her hand, “Let’s leave it at that for today, I’m tired, let’s talk tomorrow if there’s anything to say.” After saying this, Shen Bixue did not look at the others again, turned and went back to her room.
Li Xiyong followed Shen Bixue back to their bedroom, and when the two disappeared, Li Mingfei immediately sat down next to his elder brother, “Brother, are you really with Cousin Shen Xi?”
Li Mingxuan gave a soft “en” and Li Mingfei looked happy, “Then will I be able to spend time with Cousin Shen Xi more often? Will no one be able to bully Cousin Shen Xi anymore with us around?”
Li Mingxuan was stunned and nodded with a smile, avoiding Li Mingfei’s first question, “En, we won’t let others bully our cousin Shen Xi in the future.”
While Li Mingxuan said these words, Shen Xi received a call from Zhao Wenping.
Zhao Wenping said an address and Shen Xi frowned, “I know, I’ll come find you guys.”
“What happened?” Lao K realised that Shen Xi’s expression was not right.
Shen Xi grimaced, “Chen Zhiwei took the crew out for dinner and ran into Shen Rong and their crew. Luowei is in a bit of trouble.”
“Zhao Wenping couldn’t solve it?”
Shen Xi shook his head, “There are people from the Film Bureau.”
Lao K grabbed his clothes, “I’ll go with you.”
Shen Xi refused, “No need, it’s better to use the name of Shen Sanshao.”
When Shen Xi rushed to the private room that Zhao Wenping had mentioned on the phone, there were not many people inside. Obviously because there were people from the Film Bureau, not everyone could sit there. At this moment a short, fat man of about forty was squeezing in beside Fang Luowei with the intention of drinking, insisting that Fang Luowei drink the wine in his hand.
Fang Luowei’s face was full of patience. Zhao Wenping was struggling to stop the middle-aged man and say something. Next to them, Chen Zhiwei was lying on the sofa already unconscious.
“What, refusing to give me face?”
Zhao Wenping cursed in his heart, but his face still had to wear a smile, “Director Hao, Luowei is still a newcomer, this is the first time he encountered this situation. I will drink for him.”
The man known as Director Hao gave Zhao Wenping a sidelong glance, “First it was Chen Zhiwei and now it’s you, what qualifications do you have?”
Despite this comment, Zhao Wenping’s expression did not change in the slightest. He still planned to speak with a smile, but suddenly someone next to him stretched out his hand and took the glass, “I’ll drink!”
With this “I’ll drink”, Shen Xi drank the wine in his hand without even looking at it.
“Sanshao!” Zhao Wenping looked at the young man standing in front of him and let out a sigh of relief. Fortunately Shen Xi had rushed over, otherwise he really would have been unable to stop it. Fang Luowei’s eyes flashed with surprise the moment he saw Shen Xi.
“Is it okay?” Shen Xi looked at the man across the table in disgust.
The man froze and wanted to say something when the other two middle-aged men in the private room came over with smiles, “Lao Hao, too much to drink, ah!”
“Sanshao, don’t mind, Lao Hao has this kind of problem, he makes trouble when he drinks too much. Misunderstanding, ah, misunderstanding!”
The other men laughed and dragged the man away quickly. Shen Xi gave them a cold look, not even glancing at Shen Rong who was sitting in the back, and reached out to pull Fang Luowei, “Let’s go!”
Zhao Wenping smiled at everyone, helped Chen Zhiwei and followed Shen Xi out.
From the moment Shen Xi appeared, Shen Rong’s eyes never left him. Shen Xi didn’t even look at him. Shen Rong’s expression twisted slightly as he thought about the drug he had put in the wine. He smiled coldly again. Fang Luowei or Zhao Wenping, whose bitch would Shen Xi be tonight?
Shen Xi and the others quickly left the hotel. As soon as the cold wind blew, Shen Xi suddenly felt a fire burning in his body. He subconsciously felt hot and seemed to be unable to stand properly.
Fang Luowei was the first to notice that something was wrong, “Xiao Xi?”
Shen Xi struggled to stand up straight. Under the light, Shen Xi’s face was blushing, and his eyes were full of mist.
Fang Luowei immediately realized that there was something in the wine just now. He carefully supported Shen Xi. Shen Xi gritted his teeth and said in a low voice, “Take me home.”
“What’s wrong?” Zhao Wenping noticed that the two were still standing in front of the hotel after he shoved Chen Zhiwei into the car and immediately returned. Seeing Shen Xi’s appearance, Zhao Wenping was stunned and hurriedly took the keys from Shen Xi and opened the car door for him.
Shen Xi silently sat in the passenger side. Zhao Wenping looked at Fang Luowei and wanted to ask him if he could drive, but Fang Luowei had already directly pulled open the car door and got in, “I’ll take Xiao Xi home, please take care of Director Chen.”
Zhao Wenping gave Fang Luowei a deep look and nodded.
As the car started up, Shen Xi let out an impatient groan. Fang Luowei’s hand trembled and he couldn’t help but look at Shen Xi. Under the dim light, Shen Xi squinted his eyes, his expression indescribably charming.
As if bewitched, Fang Luowei could not help but lean over, “Xiao Xi!”
These words were so familiar that Shen Xi unconsciously leaned towards Fang Luowei and said softly, “Cousin!”
Fang Luowei suddenly felt as if a bucket of cold water was poured down on him. He came back to his senses.
After he looked at Shen Xi with complicated eyes for a while, Fang Luowei’s expression finally turned into sadness. Carefully parking the car on the side of the road, Fang Luowei gently moved up and touched Shen Xi’s lips lightly like a dragonfly wing, then backed off a little and slowly looked away.
After finding Li Mingxuan’s number, Fang Luowei tapped on it and gently pressed it down.
Translator’s note: I’m not sure if it’s clear from the text, but Shen Rong didn’t plan to drug Shen Xi, he didn’t know Shen Xi would come. He wanted to drug Fang Luowei because of the rumours that Fang Luowei was Shen Xi’s kept lover.