Shen Xi received an official notice from Shen Dehan in the afternoon of the same day. Shen Dehan would hold a press conference the next day to announce his engagement to Chu Qianqian. Obviously, Shen Dehan was very eager to reverse the negative image of this matter. Although his current image had fallen to the bottom, it still looked better with the fig leaf of marriage. Shen Dehan was not concerned about Shen Xi’s attitude towards this matter, he and Shen Xi were now looking at each other in disgust and Shen Xi’s reaction was completely out of his consideration.
Shen Xi mockingly hung up Shen Dehan’s call but before he could put the phone down, it rang once again, and it was Li Mingxuan.
Li Mingxuan’s voice showed a hint of worry, “Xiao Xi, you know about Uncle’s decision, right?”
Shen Xi confirmed in a light-hearted manner, obviously not caring at all. Li Mingxuan smiled bitterly. Although he had already guessed how Shen Xi would react, he still couldn’t help but worry.
“I’m fine!” Shen Xi’s reply reaffirmed Li Mingxuan’s guess.
Li Mingxuan consciously made himself sound relaxed, “It’s good that you’re fine!”
Shen Dehan’s decision naturally did not meet any resistance from Shen Xi. Unexpectedly, even Shen Ji did not say a word about it. Shen Dehan originally thought that Shen Ji would oppose fiercely, but after listening to his words, Shen Ji did not react at all. Feeling guilty, Shen Dehan tried to talk to Shen Ji some more but Shen Ji simply cut him short, saying that the doctor was looking for him. In fact, since the revelation that Shen Cheng had been addicted to drugs by Shen Rong, Shen Ji had only briefly visited the hospital a few times and did not stay in the ward as he had done before.
After hanging up the phone, Shen Ji sat there expressionlessly, a trace of self-deprecation in his eyes.
“Big Brother, are you alright?” Shen Cheng, who also heard Shen Dehan’s call, looked at Shen Ji cautiously.
Shen Ji nodded. “It’s okay!”
After a period of detoxification, Shen Cheng was in much better shape than he had been at the beginning, and the intervals between drug addiction episodes were gradually lengthening. He no longer needed to be tied to the bed all the time like before. Occasionally, Shen Ji would release him and let him walk around the villa. Shen Cheng had always been somewhat afraid of Shen Ji, and now Shen Ji tying him up and forcing him to quit drugs made him hate and fear Shen Ji. Although he knew that Shen Ji was doing it for his own good, he could not help but tremble at the sight of him.
At this time, looking at Shen Ji’s gloomy face, Shen Cheng felt nothing was okay at all. Especially taking into account Shen Ji’s previous rejection of Chu Qianqian, Shen Cheng felt indescribably uncomfortable that this time his elder brother actually did not say anything. After stealing a few glances at Shen Ji, Shen Cheng felt that there was nothing he could do, so he intended to slip out.
“Where are you going?” Shen Ji’s gaze turned to Shen Cheng.
Shen Cheng instantly froze and said with his head lowered, “Just going out for a walk.”
“Come here!” Shen Ji ordered.
Shen Cheng paused and dawdled but finally walked over. Big Brother’s aura was too strong at the moment, and Shen Cheng remembered the time when he was tied to the bed, shouting until his voice was hoarse, while Big Brother refused to even give him water, forcing him to scream, promising to quit.
Shen Ji looked at Shen Cheng’s appearance and sighed silently. Perhaps he had pushed Shen Cheng too hard during this period of time, and Shen Cheng was like a mouse seeing a cat when he looked at him. He couldn’t help but reach out and pull Shen Cheng to his side. “Let’s go abroad for a while in a few more days? Where do you want to go, Ah Cheng?” Shen Ji said in a rare soft voice.
“Go abroad?” Shen Cheng looked surprised, “Doesn’t Big Brother care about Father and the company’s affairs?”
He already found it strange that Shen Ji was by his side every day and every night, but now he was even more surprised that Shen Ji was going to give up going to the hospital to take care of his father and attending to the company’s affairs to accompany him abroad.
Shen Ji’s brow furrowed slightly. During this time his mind was all on Shen Cheng and he didn’t pay much attention to Shen Group, but he heard some news that Shen Group’s recent situation was not very good. With his father in hospital, him being restricted from interfering in the company’s affairs, Ah Cheng’s rehabilitation and the fallout from the Anchor incident still rippling, Shen Group was on the verge of bankruptcy. It wasn’t that no one had suggested that he should return to Shen Group. Shen Ji sighed and gave Shen Cheng a look. The doctor said that drug rehabilitation was a long-term process; Shen Cheng was more important in his heart than Shen Group.
“Don’t worry about these things, Ah Cheng. Father has Chu Qianqian to take care of him, and as for Shen Group, I heard that Father has handed it over to Wang Changlin to take care of it. Ah Cheng just needs to focus on getting clean.”
“Oh!” Shen Cheng didn’t dare to say anything else. Anyway he was being locked up here by Shen Ji; whatever Shen Ji said was a decided matter.
Unexpectedly, none of the three brothers of the Shen family objected to Shen Dehan’s decision, which surprised Shen Bixue.
“Even if it’s okay for Ah Cheng, neither Ah Ji nor Xiao Xi are opposed to it?”
Li Xiyong looked helplessly at the overexcited Shen Bixue, “Ah Ji and Xiao Xi are both grown up and have their own lives. Since even they don’t object, this is the Shen family’s business after all, so you shouldn’t worry too much about it.”
“I would like to not worry about it, but what about the Shen family’s reputation if Big Brother tosses it around like this?”
Li Xiyong soothed her, “Reputation is something for outsiders to see. If Dehan himself doesn’t mind, that’s it.”
“No, I still have to see Big Brother,” Shen Bixue insisted.
Li Xiyong was very helpless about Shen Bixue’s insistence, “Instead of asking Dehan to focus on these imaginary things, you should ask Dehan to focus on the Shen Group situation. The Nancheng project that we all worked on together, several other families are now subtly expressing their dissatisfaction with Dehan and are already privately discussing raising money to offset Dehan’s share. If it wasn’t for Lao Fang and Dehan being good friends and me being involved, I guess there would be nothing left for Dehan now. I mentioned this to Dehan a few days ago, but I’m afraid he thinks I have some ideas. You can talk to him more; if he doesn’t care, Shen Group will probably really fall.”
The Li family and the Shen family had been friendly for many years and were involved in many businesses. Although with the Yunrou incident, the two families’ business philosophies had diverged and Li Xiyong had consciously separated his business from the Shen family, it was not so easy to cut off all the years of cooperation. Strictly speaking, there were only a few projects that the two families were now working on together, and even if something went wrong with the Shen family, there was no real impact on the Li family, they could just find another partner. However, when Li Xiyong thought of Shen Group’s century-old business ending up at this point, he was inevitably overcome with emotion.
Shen Bixue had heard Li Xiyong mention Shen Group problems a few times before, but it was the first time she heard of such a serious situation.
“It’s already so serious?” Shen Bixue said worriedly.
Li Xiyong nodded and seemed to have thought of something, glancing at Shen Bixue, “Remember to tell Dehan that Wang Changlin may not be trustworthy.”
Shen Bixue froze for a moment; seeing Li Xiyong’s reluctance to say more, she swallowed the doubts in her heart.
As the rumours of the relationship between Shen Dehan and Fang Yun, Chu Qianqian and Zhou Mingmei were buzzing around, Shen Dehan suddenly announced to the public that he would hold a press conference to make a statement. The reporters were speculating for a while; what exactly was Shen Dehan going to say, was it to dispel the rumours?
The press conference was held at the hospital because of Shen Dehan’s health. In order to make it official, Shen Dehan rented a conference room at the hospital as the venue for the announcement and sent someone to set it up early on.
Next day, Shen Dehan specially ordered the servants to send over clothes from home. After some cleaning up, Shen Dehan was dressed in a suit and looked very energetic. Chu Qianqian chose a long white flowery dress today and her hair was pulled up high, making her look even more innocent and sweet.
Shen Dehan looked at the well-dressed Chu Qianqian with satisfaction and said soothingly, “Qianqian, don’t be nervous later, I’ll answer any questions.”
Chu Qianqian nodded obediently, “Okay!”
Shen Dehan took Chu Qianqian’s hand, “Don’t worry, I won’t let you be wronged.”
Chu Qianqian smiled sweetly, “I know!”
This was the last scene she would play with Shen Dehan. After the end of this scene she would be able to go far away with the ten million given by Shen Xi. Of course, she would not be nervous.
Compared to the calmness of the two protagonists, the rest of the crew looked anxious instead. The long prep work was already in place, the conference room was packed with reporters, all sorts of cameras aiming the table. Amidst a flurry of flashing lights, Chu Qianqian pushed Shen Dehan out.
This was the first exposure of the scandalous heroine, and the reporters’ cameras all rushed towards Chu Qianqian. Unlike Zhou Mingmei’s description of her scheming and domineering nature, the Chu Qianqian who appeared in front of the reporters looked pitiful. As if it was the first time she had encountered such a scene, a hint of panic flashed across her face and she sat down beside Shen Dehan, obviously pretending to be calm.
Shen Dehan gave her a soothing look and greeted the reporters with a smile. In the past few days Shen Dehan had taken good care of himself, and today he specially cleaned up again. Although he could not compare with his appearance before he was hospitalised, he still looked elegant and personable.
Shen Dehan first thanked the reporters for coming, and then said he had a happy announcement to make today.
By now, the reporters had vaguely guessed Shen Dehan’s intention. If Shen Dehan wanted to dispel the rumours, he would definitely not bring Chu Qianqian out. Could it be that Shen Dehan and Chu Qianqian liked each other? Before Shen Dehan could speak, the reporters were already excited and eagerly waiting for the big announcement from Shen Dehan.
Shen Dehan smiled as he looked around and took Chu Qianqian’s hand, “I know there are some bad rumours about me out there now. I just want to say that Ms. Chu Qianqian and I are planning to get engaged, and I hope to get everyone’s blessings.”
As soon as Shen Dehan’s words came out, the scene went crazy. Speculation was speculation, but now the speculation was true, reporters were reaching their microphones forward desperately, eager to be the first to ask questions.
Shen Dehan was about to answer a question from a reporter in the front row with a smile on his face, when a shout suddenly came from the door, “I disagree.”
This “I disagree” was like a bomb dropped into the water, causing an uproar. The eyes of the crowd turned towards the doorway, where a young man stood. His face was flushed red under everyone’s gazes but he still looked firmly at Chu Qianqian at the front.
Chu Qianqian let out a soft cry and looked at the young man in disbelief. Shen Dehan’s face turned ugly. The expressions of those two clearly indicated that something was wrong, and the reporters could also see this. The noisy room immediately became quiet. Everyone waited with bated breath for another heavyweight bombshell.
The young man took a deep breath and seemed to be gathering courage as he looked at Chu Qianqian and shouted, “Qianqian, I’m not going to school anymore, I’m going to work. I’ll support you, don’t doom yourself to marrying such an old man for me.”
“How can you not go to school, you!” Chu Qianqian blurted out, and after she said that, she seemed to think of something and immediately looked nervously at Shen Dehan.
A few short words revealed the truth. Shen Dehan was by now in a gloomy mood, whispering to his bodyguards to drive the young man out.
As the bodyguards stepped forward, the young man shouted nervously, “Qianqian, come with me, I can’t watch you ruin yourself for me…”
The young man was stopped and dragged out by the bodyguards before he could finish the sentence. Looking at the young man who was struggling in the bodyguards’ hands, Chu Qianqian took a step forward worriedly, then seemed to have made up her mind and turned her head to look at Shen Dehan. “I’m sorry, Mr. Shen, I can’t get married to you. I’m pregnant, and the father of the child is not you.”
Things had developed to the point where the reporters below had all gone crazy. Although Chu Qianqian’s words were not said loudly, they were said right in front of the microphone, so the entire crowd could hear them clearly.
Shen Dehan’s expression could no longer be described as ugly, his face was livid as he stared at Chu Qianqian, his body trembling uncontrollably.
“You!” Before he could finish his words, Shen Dehan suddenly collapsed. His forehead hit the ground heavily, and a panic erupted around him.
While the bodyguards and reporters’ attention was on Shen Dehan, Chu Qianqian grabbed the young man’s hand quickly and the two of them left the hospital.
“Call the doctor!”
Chu Qianqian could no longer hear the panic behind her as she was led by the young man into a car that was parked on the side of the road.
Chu Qianqian let out a huge sigh of relief, suddenly raised her head and froze, “Shen Xi, why are you there?”
Shen Xi smiled faintly, “How could I be absent from such an important moment!”
Chu Qianqian thought of Shen Dehan who was in a coma in the hospital at this moment, and then looked at Shen Xi who was smiling happily in front of her, obviously not knowing what she should say. After hesitating for a while, Chu Qianqian finally thought of the key question, “Where is my money?”
Shen Xi handed over the bag in his hand, “The money and passport are in here. I’ve put the remaining five million into the card, the password is the same as last time. By the way, I’ve found you a house and language school, someone will pick you up at the airport when you get there.”
Chu Qianqian took the bag and rummaged through it, clutching it in her arms in satisfaction.
“Where are we going now?”
“To take you to the airport.”
Shen Xi let out an “en”, “To avoid the long night dreams.” (if the time is prolonged, the situation may change unfavourably)
The news that Shen Dehan was in a coma from the overstimulation soon spread, along with the news that Chu Qianqian’s childhood sweetheart boyfriend appeared at the press conference today and that Chu Qianqian temporarily backtracked and Shen Dehan was cuckolded.
Li Mingxuan’s heart sank immediately upon hearing the news. While outsiders didn’t know, he knew that Shen Dehan had checked out Chu Qianqian’s every detail and there was no such thing as a childhood sweetheart. It was clear that someone was deliberately setting up Shen Dehan.
Shen Xi’s name jumped out in his mind, and even though there was no proof, the indescribable feeling made Li Mingxuan feel cold all over.
Several times he misdialed the number he could have recited backwards, and after yet another misdial, the call was finally answered.
“Xiao Xi, did you do this?”
Li Mingxuan’s voice seemed to come from a distant place, and Shen Xi understood what he was asking almost instantly. After a slight hesitation Shen Xi heard himself say softly, “It was me!”
A boundless silence spread between the two; no one said another word, an invisible barrier rising between them.