Lu Gesen’s childhood was a complete tragedy from the perspective of others.
As a young boy, he followed his single mother around the world, suffering many hardships. He met his father finally but before he could enjoy much father-son affection, his father died unexpectedly. With his father’s death, happiness once again slipped away from his hands. He watched his father’s family disintegrate overnight, leaving the huge Han family with only Shen Xi as an outsider.
The young Lu Gesen couldn’t describe that feeling. If he had never known what happiness was like, the loss would not have been too painful, but his father had described to him a future that was too bright, a warm home, a family that loved him, a school where he could go, having fun like a normal child and not worrying that his mother would not have a job to provide for him. He carefully looked forward to this happiness in his heart, but instead of happiness, the sad news of his father’s death came.
As his and his mother’s lives were once again thrown into turmoil, Wang Changlin appeared in front of them as a rescuer. He arranged a place for them to live, he sent Lu Gesen to school, he cared for him and loved him as much as his father had. It was from Wang Changlin that Lu Gesen learnt about the past of the Han and Shen families and it was from Wang Changlin that he gained the courage to take revenge. Without Wang Changlin, he wouldn’t know where he would be now, and even his so-called revenge might be nothing more than a joke in the eyes of the Shen family.
Shen Xi listened quietly to Lu Gesen’s story, unwilling to admit that there was a hint of jealousy in his heart. Although Lu Gesen’s past was poor and difficult, he was surrounded by his mother’s unfailing care, and more importantly, Wang Changlin acted as a qualified father figure in his upbringing. Compared to his materially affluent but loveless past, he felt that Lu Gesen was much happier.
“Foster Father was in love with Aunt back then, and after she got married, he was disheartened and never married,” Lu Gesen said with a sigh. Back then he accidentally found out that Wang Changlin actually liked Han Rou and was very angry in his heart. In his mind Han Rou was the murderer who caused the Han family to be destroyed, how could his foster father, whom he admired, like Han Rou? He went to Wang Changlin in anger, but saw the pain in Wang Changlin’s eyes when he heard Han Rou’s name, and all the words he wanted to say could no longer be said. Today, he could look further and understand that his aunt’s life was no less than a tragedy, and the Shen family was to blame for everything.
Lu Gesen originally thought that Shen Xi would have a huge reaction, but he did not expect Shen Xi to just whisper, “I know that Lawyer Wang liked my mother.”
“What? How do you know, Xiao Xi?” Lu Gesen was stunned, his expression surprised to the extreme.
Shen Xi smiled faintly, “I once met Lawyer Wang at the cemetery, he said so himself.”
Lu Gesen was obviously astonished, “Foster Father didn’t tell me about this, I didn’t know…”
Shen Xi interrupted him, “I only heard it from Lawyer Wang when I accidentally met him.”
Lu Gesen wondered what Shen Xi’s impression of Wang Changlin was and said hesitantly, “Xiao Xi, Foster Father has very complicated feelings for you and he has never known how to face you.”
Complicated feelings? Shen Xi looked at his mother’s bright smiling face on the tombstone and a trace of self-deprecation flashed across his face very quickly.
After meeting Wang Changlin last time at the cemetery, he only regarded him as a stranger who had a crush on his mother. But today, from Lu Gesen’s story, he realised that Wang Changlin remembered his grandfather’s kindness back then and had secretly done so much after the Han family’s downfall. The only one Wang Changlin forgot was him.
He wondered what kind of mentality Wang Changlin had to stay by his father’s side, watching Shen Dehan raise him into a waste day after day, only to briefly contact him five years ago. In his previous life, Wang Changlin had not offered him any help when he was in prison. If he really remembered his grandfather’s kindness, how could he have been indifferent to what happened to him? Or as Lu Gesen said, because of his mother, Wang Changlin could not face him and consciously chose to ignore him?
Shen Xi could not help but laugh at himself in his heart. Because of half of the Han family’s blood in him, the Shen family was suspicious and distrustful of him, treating him as a transparent person. Now, because of his half of the Shen family’s blood, people related to the Han family regarded him as an object of anger, treating him as a transparent person as well.
It turned out that for both the Shen family and the Han family, he shouldn’t have existed.
Shen Xi’s silence caused a hint of worry in Lu Gesen’s eyes. He did not know how to explain to Shen Xi his foster father’s behaviour. He did not want Shen Xi to misunderstand. Shen Xi could not see it, but he knew the struggles and hesitations of his foster father, and could see the pain he felt whenever Han Rou was mentioned.
“Foster Father, he?…”
“What do you want from me, Cousin?”
Both of them started talking at the same time, and Lu Gesen hesitated for a moment before repeating, “Foster Father, he?…”
“I know.” Shen Xi interrupted Lu Gesen quickly, “I can understand Lawyer Wang’s feelings. I am happy to have him miss my mother with me.”
Lu Gesen heard the evasiveness in Shen Xi’s words and sighed in his heart, not mentioning Wang Changlin’s matter again, but answering Shen Xi’s previous question.
“Xiao Xi, I am looking for you because I want to ask you if you would like to go abroad with me when the matter with the Shen family is over. I still have some savings on hand, enough for us to live without worries in the future.”
Shen Xi was obviously very surprised. He looked at Lu Gesen in astonishment, and then realised something, “You are worried that I won’t be able to make a living after Shen Group collapses?”
This was indeed what Lu Gesen was worried about. In his eyes, Shen Xi was relying on Shen Group for his livelihood, and after Shen Group collapsed, Shen Xi would also be left with nothing. The only way he could think of to compensate Shen Xi was to cover Shen Xi’s future living expenses himself; he did not feel that Shen Xi could support himself on his own.
Shen Xi’s heart softened; no matter what reason Lu Gesen had for saying this to him, at least he still remembered him.
“Don’t worry, Cousin, I have some money in my hand, enough to support myself. Not to mention that I have a film company.”
The film company that Shen Xi was talking about, Lu Gesen had also read the relevant reports about it and knew that the first movie Shen Xi had invested in was well received. Although he didn’t know how it would develop in the future, if Shen Xi was willing to develop it seriously, there should be no problem to feed and clothe himself. Thinking of this, Lu Gesen also put his mind at ease.
“That’s good, if there’s anything you need, just tell me.”
The two did not stay at the cemetery for too long but chose to leave one after the other. Watching Lu Gesen drive away, Shen Xi parked the car at the roadside and pressed Lao K’s phone.
“Xiao Xixi, did you miss me?” Lao K said with a strange smile as soon as he picked up the phone.
Shen Xi, however, was in no mood for teasing, “I met with Lu Gesen.”
“What? Something wrong?” Having known Shen Xi for five years, Lao K immediately heard that Shen Xi was not in a good mood at the moment, and was concerned.
“Haven’t you been guessing who Lu Gesen’s helper in Shen Group is?”
When it came to business, Lao K got serious, “Who?”
“It’s him? How come? Isn’t he Shen Dehan’s personal lawyer?” Lao K’s implication was that Wang Changlin was trusted by Shen Dehan, so how could he be involved with Lu Gesen?
“His other identity is Lu Gesen’s foster father, he was the one who raised Lu Gesen after the Han family’s accident.”
“You mean to say that Lu Gesen knew about the Han-Shen family’s entanglement from him?”
Shen Xi gave a soft “en”.
Lao K mused, “You still think Han Yu’s car accident was an accident?”
“I don’t know.” Shen Xi’s voice was full of doubts, “According to the results of our investigation, Uncle’s car accident was indeed an accident, but I can’t think of a reason why Wang Changlin would deceive Lu Gesen.”
“Too much time passed, there might also be some clues that we have missed. Do you want me to recheck it?” Lao K suggested.
“Fine, I’ll find some time to meet Wang Changlin, I’m sure he wants to see me too.”
Having finished the business matters, Lao K couldn’t help but ask carefully, “Xiao Xi, are you alright?”
Lao K stammered, not knowing how to speak. Although Shen Xi did not say much, he could tell a lot from the fact that Wang Changlin was Lu Gesen’s foster father. Since he had taken Lu Gesen in and raised him, he must have had a deep connection with the Han family, but over the years, Wang Changlin had been indifferent to Shen Xi’s situation, so it was no wonder that Shen Xi was in a bad mood.
Shen Xi guessed Lao K’s thoughts for a moment, and chuckled lightly, “I’m fine.” Even his blood father could ignore him; Wang Changlin was just a stranger after all. Besides, he was already used to this kind of indifference.
Hanging up on Lao K’s call, Shen Xi pondered. Wang Changlin, his mother, his uncle and the Han family back then were all like a fog. He always felt there was something he didn’t know, and what he didn’t know was precisely the key to everything.
Shen Xi tapped the steering wheel lightly, his thoughts focused on Wang Changlin. Was what Wang Changlin said true or not? Was it true that he had accompanied Lu Gesen all these years to plot revenge against the Shen family just to repay his grandfather’s kindness?
After thinking about it for a long time, Shen Xi shook his head. Perhaps he was overthinking. No matter what Wang Changlin’s purpose was, as long as he shared his goal of destroying the Shen family, what did it matter what other thoughts Wang Changlin might have had?
When Shen Xi drove back to the city from the cemetery, Shen Bixue was on her way to see Li Mingxuan because Shen Cheng was nowhere to be found.
“Mom, why are you here?” Li Mingxuan looked surprised, quickly greeting Shen Bixue and helping her sit down.
Shen Bixue pretended to complain, “Since you and Shen Xi got together, your mother can only come to the office to see you when she misses you.”
Li Mingxuan smiled lightly and made a cup of tea for Shen Bixue with his own hands, looking sincere, “I will try to make more time to come home in the future.”
Shen Bixue smiled and shook her head, “Your father and I have Mingfei and the house is very lively, but Shen Xi is out there alone. It’s good for you to spend more time with him.”
Li Mingxuan knew that his mother was sincere, so he smiled gratefully and changed the subject, “Is there something wrong that Mother comes here today?”
Shen Bixue said casually, “It’s just that I want to transfer the shares to Ah Cheng, but I can’t find him for two days in a row, I don’t know where he has gone.”
Li Mingxuan’s heart stirred slightly, “Are you so anxious, Mom? Uncle only just had this proposal.”
A trace of unnaturalness flashed across Shen Bixue’s face and she quickly laughed, “I am also trying to save myself the trouble. Who knows what proposal your uncle will come up with in a few days.”
What Shen Bixue did not say was that it was a joint decision between her and Li Xiyong to transfer the shares to Shen Cheng as soon as possible, in order to appease Shen Dehan.
Li Mingxuan watched Shen Bixue’s expression, and despite Shen Bixue’s quick reaction, Li Mingxuan still caught the hint of unnaturalness in her eyes. The suspicion in his heart became more certain; Li Mingxuan pretended not to care and said, “Mom, is there something you are hiding from me?”
“How could there be?” Shen Bixue immediately replied.
Li Mingxuan was already sure that his mother was hiding something, and he couldn’t think of anything else she would hide from him other than something that was related to Shen Xi.
“Is it something to do with Xiao Xi?”
“Mingxuan, how could you think that?” Shen Bixue was taken aback.
Li Mingxuan said with a serious expression, “Is it something to do with why Uncle is so defensive of Xiao Xi? Otherwise you wouldn’t be so eager to transfer the shares to Ah Cheng.”
“Mingxuan, what the hell are you talking about?” Shen Bixue stood up with a stern look and shouted at Li Mingxuan.
Li Mingxuan did not expect his mother’s reaction to be so strong and frowned slightly, “Mom?”
Only when Shen Bixue shouted out did she realise that her reaction was too great, and she calmed down, “Mingxuan, you are thinking too much, Mother just wants to save herself the trouble. Well, I won’t delay your work. I have some things to do in the evening, so I’ll go first.”
As he looked at his mother’s hurried departure, Li Mingxuan’s expression turned thoughtful. His words just now were just a test, but his mother’s reaction was so big, which meant that he was testing in the right direction. As soon as Ah Ji left Shen Group, Uncle couldn’t wait to ask his mother to transfer the shares in her hands to Ah Cheng. Uncle was obviously worried about Xiao Xi entering Shen Group and competing with Ah Cheng. But Xiao Xi needed Shen Dehan’s approval to enter Shen Group, and if Shen Dehan insisted on not giving his approval, Xiao Xi would not be able to enter Shen Group at all. So what else did Uncle have to worry about? Unless Xiao Xi could enter Shen Group without Uncle’s approval…
Without Shen Dehan’s approval? Li Mingxuan’s heart immediately stirred. He had heard Shen Ji mention before that there was a rule in Shen Group’s board of directors that shareholders who held more than a certain percentage of Shen Group shares could enter Shen Group to participate in management. In that case, was his uncle worried that Xiao Xi would have shares in Shen Group? But all of Shen Group shares were now in Uncle’s hands, so what exactly was Uncle fearing?
Li Mingxuan’s brow furrowed inadvertently. When it came to Shen Xi, he couldn’t help but think more about it.