Shen Dehan’s collapse set off the beginning of the night’s chaos.
“Ah!” With a short cry of shock, this time it was Mrs. Tian who fell limply to the ground.
“Wenyao!” With his wife in his arms, Tian Taoping shouted angrily at Tian Wenyao, who was still standing dumbfounded.
The familiar voice brought Tian Wenyao to his senses, and with a fierce glance at Fang Jiaying beside him, Tian Wenyao rushed to his mother. As Tian Wenyao came over, the people who gathered around Tian Taoping made way for him, covertly watching him. Tian Wenyao tried to act as if nothing had happened, and hurriedly left with his father carrying his mother.
Fang Jiaying’s expression was indifferent as she stared at Tian Wenyao’s hastily leaving back. She straightened her back and did not move. When footsteps came from behind her, Fang Jiaying turned around with an unchanged expression and met the eyes of her father and mother.
Mr. Fang’s eyes were filled with unconcealed anger, while Mrs. Fang seemed incredulous, gazing at Fang Jiaying with a look of disbelief. Fang Jiaying stared at her parents in silence for a while before suddenly smiling, “Tonight is really impressive, what do you think, Dad, Mom?” Without waiting for her parents to say anything, Fang Jiaying had already curbed her smile, “Father, I will go to the company tomorrow. I am a bit tired today, so I will go and rest first.”
Fang Jiaying finished speaking and left straight away. She had already been an obedient girl enough, and she had had enough of being at the mercy of her parents. She was the only daughter of the Fang family. Why should she give up her inheritance rights, why should she let others step on her, and why should she pin her happiness on a man next to her like her mother? She could obviously live another life, right?
Behind Fang Jiaying, her father looked at her straight back, his eyes full of inquiry.
As the Tian family left, Shen Dehan was also carried out of the hall by the bodyguards. Shen Ji and Shen Cheng walked by his side with distorted faces. Li Mingxuan let go of Shen Xi in his arms and quickly pulled him along to follow.
Shen Dehan was carefully escorted to the car by the bodyguards, and Shen Ji was the first to get in with him. Li Mingxuan glanced at the space inside the car and pulled Shen Xi a few steps behind, “Ah Ji, Xiao Xi and I will drive over by ourselves.”
Shen Ji nodded, not bothering to say anything, and urged the driver to rush towards the hospital.
The crowd in the hall was dispersing slowly. Li Mingxuan didn’t want Shen Xi to be pointed at by everyone. Protecting Shen Xi, he got in the car and followed Shen Ji’s car.
From leaving the hall to the present, Shen Xi had been indifferent throughout the process.
Li Mingxuan gave Shen Xi a complicated look before finally asking, “Are you worried about Uncle, Xiao Xi?”
Since Li Mingxuan had already noticed, Shen Xi had no intention of refuting and asked, “Do I look like I’m worried?”
Li Mingxuan’s heart sank as Shen Xi continued mockingly, “Why should I be worried? In my eyes, he is nothing more than a stranger who carries the name of my father. He doesn’t like me, and I don’t like him either. Our pathetic father-son bond has long been worn away after so many years. On the contrary, not only am I not worried, but I am very happy, don’t you see?”
The moment his father fell, Shen Xi could not control the pleasure he felt in his heart, especially when he thought about the reason why his father collapsed. He knew he should have controlled his emotions, but at that moment he subconsciously cocked up the corners of his mouth.
He didn’t care what Li Mingxuan saw. If the warmth that Li Mingxuan brought to his heart was what he craved, he could throw it away without hesitation compared to the great pleasure he would get from destroying the Shen family.
In his new life, his goal had always been clear, and no one could stand in his way.
Shen Xi’s tone was distant as he revealed facts indifferently, and Li Mingxuan’s heart sank. He felt that Shen Xi at this moment seemed far away from him, so far that if he let go of his hand, he might not be able to hold on to him anymore and would lose Shen Xi forever.
Li Mingxuan looked ahead in silence. He had always known that his uncle was cold towards Shen Xi, and he also knew the knot in Shen Xi’s heart. After getting together with Shen Xi, both of them consciously or unconsciously avoided mentioning the Shen family, and even if they did occasionally mention it, Shen Xi would always have a tone of disinterest.
He thought that Shen Xi was escaping; he thought that no matter how unconcerned Shen Xi seemed on the surface, he still had expectations for his father in his heart. He did not expect Shen Xi and Shen Dehan to have a father-son bond, but he thought there would always be a trace of father-son affection between them.
But now the mockery in Shen Xi’s words made his previous thoughts ridiculous. He had no way to question the rightness or wrongness of Shen Xi’s behaviour, and even his first thought was to protect Shen Xi; but in his heart he couldn’t tell how exactly he felt.
It turned out that he had never understood what was really in Shen Xi’s heart. He thought he understood Shen Xi, but in fact he was just being presumptuous.
Li Mingxuan’s heart clenched tightly; he wanted to say something to Shen Xi, but he didn’t know where to start. Shen Xi did not show the slightest sign of speaking either, sitting indifferently beside him, as if a solid wall had been erected between them.
They soon arrived at the hospital; Shen Xi pulled open the car door and walked ahead. Li Mingxuan followed behind him in silence.
Shen Dehan had awakened on the way to the hospital and was now surrounded by doctors doing various tests. Shen Ji and Shen Cheng were quietly standing on one side of the ward. Shen Xi swept a glance at the two of them and walked to the other side of the ward. Without hesitation, Li Mingxuan stood next to Shen Xi, staring unconsciously at Shen Xi’s profile.
The doctor’s examination was soon over. There was nothing wrong with Shen Dehan’s body. Like the last time, he was just stimulated a lot and felt suffocating. Of course, the doctor also warned everyone that although Shen Dehan’s health was good, he was too old to withstand too much emotional turmoil. The family must be careful not to let Shen Dehan suffer any further stimulation in the future.
In order to soothe Shen Dehan’s emotions, the doctor gave him an injection. Watching Shen Dehan fall asleep, Shen Ji finally breathed a sigh of relief.
“I’ll watch over Father tonight, you guys go back and rest first.” Gently closing the door of the ward, Shen Ji said to the others.
Shen Cheng glanced at Shen Ji worriedly, “Big Brother, let me accompany you.”
Shen Ji shook his head, “You still have to go to the company tomorrow. Go to bed early, the company is depending on you these days.”
Shen Cheng nodded, and Shen Ji’s gaze fell on Shen Xi, “You can go back too.”
Shen Xi lightly responded, “Big Brother has worked hard.” After saying that, without much delay, he turned around and left.
Li Mingxuan looked at Shen Xi’s back, turned and patted Shen Ji’s shoulder, “You shouldn’t worry too much, didn’t the doctor say that Uncle was fine?”
Shen Ji smiled bitterly, “I’m fine, tell Aunt about Father’s situation.”
Li Mingxuan agreed. Uneasy that Shen Xi was leaving alone, without saying anything else, he quickly chased after Shen Xi.
The moment the elevator was about to close, Li Mingxuan reached out his hand to stop it. As the elevator doors slowly opened again, Shen Xi’s face came into view. As their eyes met, Shen Xi’s gaze was filled with emotions that Li Mingxuan could not understand. A great fear rose in Li Mingxuan’s heart. Unlike the indifference in the car, there was too much strangeness about Shen Xi at this moment. Li Mingxuan had a hunch that if he did not do something, he might lose Shen Xi forever.
In this great fear, Li Mingxuan ignored Shen Cheng who was following behind him, took a step into the elevator and held Shen Xi tightly in his arms.
Shen Xi did not struggle and obediently let Li Mingxuan hold him. Shen Cheng outside the elevator looked dumbfounded at the two people inside, pointing at Shen Xi and unable to speak.
The elevator doors closed again, and Shen Cheng was left standing at the door in a daze. Inside the elevator, Li Mingxuan didn’t say anything, just hugged Shen Xi tightly.
The two drove back in silence until they reached the neighbourhood where they lived.
Even while driving, Li Mingxuan held Shen Xi’s left hand tightly, fearing that if he let go of it, he would no longer be able to hold on to Shen Xi.
They entered the house quietly, took a shower, changed their clothes, and went to bed, but Shen Xi did not say a word to Li Mingxuan until they were lying in bed.
Li Mingxuan lay beside Shen Xi, pressed close to Shen Xi’s body and carefully enveloped him in his arms. The moment their bodies fit together, Li Mingxuan’s heart that had been terrified finally settled down. Gently kissing Shen Xi’s still damp hair, Li Mingxuan said in a low voice, “Xiao Xi, I’m sorry.”
Shen Xi didn’t respond. Li Mingxuan didn’t care, he just hugged the man in his arms tightly and kept talking in a low voice.
At this moment, Li Mingxuan threw away all his pride and revealed his heart to Shen Xi.
“Xiao Xi, I’m sorry. I always thought that I loved you and could take good care of you. But today I realised that I only thought I loved you self-righteously and I never even understood what you were thinking. I stubbornly measured you by my own thoughts and forced my ideas on you. I couldn’t even resist the urge to change you, to make you what I expected you to be.”
In the boundless darkness, Li Mingxuan’s magnetic voice sounded in Shen Xi’s ears, and Shen Xi was lost for a moment. He thought Li Mingxuan would question his attitude; he did not expect Li Mingxuan to dissect himself first.
Li Mingxuan said that he did not understand him, and Shen Xi thought: but what did he let him understand?
Understand how he resented Shen Dehan? Understand how he deliberately wanted to destroy the Shen family? Understand how he was designing everything behind the scenes? He had never shown the real Shen Xi in front of Li Mingxuan. Everything was just played out according to the script. What could he see?
Li Mingxuan thought that he didn’t want to return to the Shen family because he was running away. Li Mingxuan thought that he was reluctant to talk about his father because he still had ridiculous feelings for him in his heart. Li Mingxuan thought that he wanted to get his father’s acknowledgement, that what he wanted was to fit into the Shen family.
What was wrong with these thoughts? These things were all originally demonstrated by Shen Xi himself in front of Li Mingxuan. If he had not inadvertently lost his temper today, he would have continued to pretend like this in front of Li Mingxuan until the moment the dust settled.
Shen Xi sniffed the clean scent in Li Mingxuan’s arms and for the first time felt guilty towards Li Mingxuan.
Gently reaching out to hug Li Mingxuan back, feeling the vibration of Li Mingxuan’s body, Shen Xi slowly said, “I hate him.”
Although Shen Xi didn’t mention it, both of them knew who he was referring to. Li Mingxuan let out a deep sigh and hugged Shen Xi even harder.
“I was an unwanted child for him, and all he did was dislike me since I was little. While Shen Ji and Shen Cheng were surrounded by his care, I could only ever watch enviously from the side. But it didn’t matter. I still had my mother and my grandfather and my uncle. But at the age of six, I watched my mother lying in the rain with a pool of blood under her body. After my mother’s death, my uncle and grandfather soon passed away, leaving me alone. He still didn’t like me and treated me like a transparent person. No one in the Shen family liked me, everyone treated me like a transparent person, even the maids. I tried desperately to do all sorts of things he didn’t like, just so I could get him to look at me. And once he did look at me, even if it was for a scolding, I could be happy for a long time all by myself. He never remembered my birthday, but my birthday wish every year was that he would one day recognise me as his beloved son, just like Shen Ji.
“It wasn’t until I was eighteen that I suddenly figured it out. I should have hated him, not looked forward to him with such pitiful expectations. Because of his meanness, my mother jumped to her death, because of his bias, I lived a transparent life in the Shen family for more than twenty years, because of his selfishness, the century-old Han family fell overnight. Because of his preference for Shen Rong, an illegitimate son was riding on my head. What reason do you think I have to not hate him?”
Shen Xi’s voice lowered, and a boundless pain welled up in Li Mingxuan’s heart. He had never hated his previous indifference and coldness towards Shen Xi as much as he did at this moment.
Shen Xi lifted his head, “I hate him. Everything I have depends on the Shen family. Without him, I am nothing. After all, I can’t do without him.”
Li Mingxuan hugged Shen Xi tightly and said with difficulty, “Apart from Uncle, you still have me.”
Shen Xi smiled faintly, “Yes, I still have you, Cousin.”