Because of Shen Dehan’s physical condition, Li Xiyong did not stay in the ward for very long. Before Shen Bixue could thoroughly digest what Li Mingxuan had said, Li Xiyong had already pushed the door and walked out.
“Where is Mingxuan?” Li Xiyong wondered, noticing that Shen Bixue was the only one at the door.
Shen Bixue gestured towards the stairs, “He’s having a tantrum with me to stand up for Xiao Xi.”
Li Xiyong was taken aback, then chuckled, “Brat! What’s happened?”
Shen Bixue laughed bitterly, “I just wanted Xiao Xi to come to the hospital to spend some time with Big Brother, but when I mentioned it, Mingxuan refused on Xiao Xi’s behalf and acted like I had gone too far. Just think about it, Big Brother has been strong all his life, but when he is old and lying alone in the hospital, none of his three sons are around, what does it feel like?”
Shen Bixue obviously disapproved of Li Mingxuan’s behaviour. Noticing Li Xiyong’s disbelief, Shen Bixue gave him a disgruntled look, “You also help me to explain that to Xuan, Xiao Xi’s surname is Shen after all, and what resentment can be there when Big Brother is already like this?”
Shen Bixue’s thoughts were simple, but Li Xiyong was not as optimistic as she was. However, he did not want to argue with her at this time and changed the subject, “Why didn’t Ah Ji and Ah Cheng come?”
Shen Bixue frowned, “Ah Cheng is recovering from drugs, Ah Ji is with him and can’t leave, now only Xiao Xi has time.”
The topic of conversation once again moved to Shen Xi, and Li Xiyong said soothingly, “Since Mingxuan has already refused, you should not bring up the matter of Xiao Xi coming to the hospital again. Besides, according to Dehan’s nature, he might not be willing to see Xiao Xi either.”
That was true, but thinking of Shen Dehan lying alone in the hospital, Shen Bixue felt her heart sink. She wanted to say something else, but Li Xiyong once again said, “I know what you mean, but you have seen how Dehan treated Xiao Xi all these years. You can’t just ask Xiao Xi for everything regardless of Dehan’s attitude. Xiao Xi might be filial, but does Dehan treat him like a father? Besides, it’s up to Xiao Xi to decide whether he wants to come or not, so what’s the point of us getting involved in this?” According to Li Xiyong, since they had acquiesced to Shen Dehan’s attitude towards Shen Xi all these years and did not care about what happened to Shen Xi, what right did they have now to point fingers at Shen Xi’s behaviour? Shen Xi was with Mingxuan, but that didn’t mean they could interfere with Shen Xi’s attitude through Mingxuan. Besides, even Ah Ji was unwilling to stay at the hospital because of Shen Rong, so why should they make things difficult for Shen Xi?
Li Xiyong’s words made Shen Bixue sigh. Over the years, Li Xiyong had never interfered into the Shen family’s affairs, and this was the first time he had made a clear statement. She understood what Li Xiyong meant. Since she had sat back and watched Shen Dehan’s indifference towards Shen Xi, what qualifications did she have to ask Shen Xi to come here now? With a silent sigh, Shen Bixue said in a low voice, “I see!”
Li Xiyong and Li Mingxuan stayed with Shen Bixue at the hospital for a whole afternoon, and it was not until the evening that the two left. Li Mingxuan did not go back to Ye Han’s place, but turned along the familiar street to the neighbourhood where Shen Xi lived.
Skillfully parking the car at a corner of the neighbourhood, Li Mingxuan did not get out but sat quietly in the car and looked up at the familiar window. The warm glow from the window was a great attraction to Li Mingxuan. He tried hard to suppress the urge to appear in front of Shen Xi and stayed in the car restrainedly. It had been three days since he left Shen Xi. Li Mingxuan forced himself not to think about Shen Xi, but no matter what he did, Shen Xi’s shadow always lingered in his mind. Today, his mother mentioned Shen Xi, so he could no longer resist and sneaked back here in the darkness.
Perhaps it was because he was close to Shen Xi that the thoughts he had been suppressing came out in a flood. Li Mingxuan looked in the direction of the window, wondering how Shen Xi had been these past few days. Did he eat well and rest well? A trace of bitterness flashed across Li Mingxuan’s face. He wondered if Shen Xi would occasionally think of him.
When Li Mingxuan was suffering alone, Shen Xi was not having a good time either. Without Li Mingxuan by his side, he did not sleep well at night. The memories of his two lives were mixed up in his dreams, and every time Shen Xi was awakened, he would have moments of confusion about the reality he was in.
After being awakened by yet another nightmare, Shen Xi gasped for air. The scene in his dream was the life he had lived in prison in his previous life, but he was inexplicably accompanied by Li Mingxuan. The riot came as expected and he watched as the knife stabbed at him, but it was Li Mingxuan who stood in front of him at the critical moment. Boundless blood spread before his eyes; Shen Xi felt as if he had forgotten to breathe, as if his heart was squeezed by a large invisible hand, so painful that he could not even cry out. When he opened his eyes, he was lying on the bed in his apartment, there was no Li Mingxuan nor was there blood. Shen Xi frowned in annoyance. The scene in his dream was so real that even the pain felt as if he had experienced it himself.
With his sleepiness completely gone, Shen Xi simply turned on the light and sat leaning against the bed, casually grabbing a financial magazine by the side of the bed and flipping through it in a daze. After flipping through a few pages, Shen Xi’s movements stopped and his eyes focused on an interview with Li Mingxuan. A large picture was printed there, and Li Mingxuan was smiling with a calm and confident look on his face.
Shen Xi stared at Li Mingxuan’s smiling face, and Li Mingxuan’s desperate expression that day suddenly flashed in his mind. His heart throbbed violently. Why was he that desperate? Was it because of his revenge against the Shen family or because he deceived him? Shen Xi’s hand unconsciously brushed over the magazine, and a trace of longing appeared in his eyes.
As Shen Xi turned on the lights, Li Mingxuan, who had been sitting quietly in the car, quickly noticed the light. After he glanced at the time and saw it was 2 a.m., Li Mingxuan’s face expressed a hint of worry. He knew that Shen Xi did not sleep well when he was alone, so he had tried to avoid business trips for the past six months and insisted on coming home every night. Deeply worried, he wondered if Shen Xi was suffering from insomnia again.
Half an hour later, realising that Shen Xi had no intention of sleeping, Li Mingxuan finally couldn’t help but press Shen Xi’s mobile phone number. The call was quickly answered, but no word was said on the other side, only the sound of breathing came through.
Li Mingxuan quietly listened to Shen Xi’s breathing, forcing down the fluctuations in his heart and trying to act as if nothing had happened, “Why are you still awake?”
Shen Xi thought of many things Li Mingxuan might say, but he never expected him to ask him why he was still awake. Almost subconsciously, Shen Xi asked back, “How do you know I’m not asleep?” After saying this, Shen Xi seemed to realise something and said tentatively, “You are downstairs?”
Shen Xi’s guess made Li Mingxuan’s heart beat faster and he almost blurted out “yes”, but he soon calmed down and denied it, “No.” Then he explained, “I guessed. You picked up as soon as the phone rang, I thought you were still awake.”
While talking, Shen Xi got up and stood in front of the window. Because of the late night, even though the community was lit up with street lights, he could only faintly see the shadows of the cars downstairs, but could not see if there was anyone inside the car. After realising what he was doing, a hint of self-deprecation flickered in Shen Xi’s eyes. He didn’t really think Li Mingxuan would stay up in the middle of the night just to watch him. They had already broken up, so what was the need for Li Mingxuan to do that? Thinking about this, Shen Xi suppressed the indescribable disappointment in his heart, glanced downstairs once again, turned and left the window.
Shen Xi could not see below, but Li Mingxuan saw Shen Xi’s figure clearly. Taking a deep breath, Li Mingxuan pretended to speak calmly, “It’s so late, go to bed.”
Shen Xi was a bit confused as to what Li Mingxuan meant with this phone call. Was it just to see if he was asleep and urge him to sleep? Thinking about it, Shen Xi said frankly, “I can’t sleep.”
“Can’t sleep?” Li Mingxuan said warmly, “I will accompany you, go to bed and turn off the lights, you’ll fall asleep soon.”
Shen Xi obediently lay down on the bed, thoughtfully reaching out to turn off the light, and as the light dimmed, the pale moonlight poured in like water. Shen Xi glanced at the curtains that he had just pulled open and gave up the intention of pulling them close again.
In the moonlight, Li Mingxuan’s voice came out of the phone with an unmistakable gentleness, “Turned off the lights?”
“Go to sleep.”
Although the two seemed to have nothing to say at this point, neither of them showed any intention of hanging up. As time passed by, Shen Xi fell asleep unconsciously. Hearing Shen Xi’s soothing breath from the opposite side, Li Mingxuan pressed his mobile phone to his face, as if this way he could get closer to Shen Xi.
At dawn, Shen Xi woke up. Although he had not slept for long, the feeling of peace of mind surrounded him and Shen Xi felt indescribably refreshed. When he turned over, wrapped in the blanket, the left side of his face was suddenly pressed against something metallic. Shen Xi froze and checked what it was. The mobile phone in front of him reminded him of what had happened last night.
Shen Xi’s eyes fell on the screen in front of him, the call time on it was still counting, it hadn’t been hung up all night. Shen Xi hesitated slightly and said softly, “Cousin?”
He was just testing, but Li Mingxuan’s voice came quickly, “I’m here!”
This “I’m here” hit Shen Xi’s heart, and he couldn’t tell what he felt for a moment.
Li Mingxuan laughed softly and said, “It’s still early, sleep a little longer.”
Shen Xi held the phone and hesitated for a while, “Okay, I’ll hang up then.”
The beeping sound came out of the receiver, and Li Mingxuan relaxed against the back of the seat. After having spent the night in a small space and having to pay attention to Shen Xi’s state, only now did he feel exhausted. Casually tossing his phone aside, Li Mingxuan closed his eyes and imagined that Shen Xi was beside him right now.
The phone rang suddenly. Surprised, Li Mingxuan hastily picked it up. The name on the screen was “Ye Han”, not “Shen Xi”.
The surprise faded and was replaced with confusion, “Hello!”
“Where are you now?” Ye Han’s lazy voice came out; it didn’t sound as if anything was wrong.
Li Mingxuan let out a sigh of relief, “Downstairs of Xiao Xi’s house.”
“What?” Ye Han suddenly cried out and said hesitantly, “Hey, you didn’t stay downstairs at Shen Xi’s all night, did you?”
“You’re crazy!” It was the only thing Ye Han could say.
Li Mingxuan rubbed his forehead and avoided the topic, “What’s up so early in the morning?”
Since Li Mingxuan didn’t want to mention it, Ye Han let him go and returned to the subject, “The information you wanted to check on Lu Gesen was received this morning, and I found something interesting that was so unexpected that I couldn’t help but want to tell you about it.”
“What is it?” Li Mingxuan shot up.
Ye Han coughed lightly, “Lu Gesen’s original name is not Lu Gesen, he should be called Han Gesen. He is Han Yu’s son, which means he is Shen Xi’s other cousin.”
“Han Gesen!” Li Mingxuan sat up straight in shock, “Have you made a mistake? The Han family only has Shen Xi in this generation, how could a Han Gesen suddenly appear?”
“There is no mistake, I have the DNA test of Lu Gesen and Han Yu, they are father and son.”
Ye Han was obviously very sure, and Li Mingxuan subconsciously looked towards the familiar window. He thought about Shen Xi’s avoidance of Lu Gesen’s identity that day. So Shen Xi had long known that Lu Gesen was his cousin, and that was why he had defended him.
Ye Han seemed to be waiting for Li Mingxuan to digest this news, and continued to speak a little while later, “Apart from Lu Gesen, they also found another person.”
“You’ll never guess!” Ye Han’s voice revealed a trace of weirdness, “Do you know who Lu Gesen has been receiving support from all these years?”
Hearing Ye Han’s meaning, it seemed that this person’s identity was even more surprising. A figure suddenly flashed in Li Mingxuan’s mind and he blurted out, “Wang Changlin!”
“How do you know?” Ye Han exclaimed in disbelief.
Li Mingxuan muttered, “So it’s true?”
Ye Han affirmed, “It’s Wang Changlin. I can’t believe it. I was originally looking into Lu Gesen, but I found out that Wang Changlin and Lu Gesen have been very close over the years. Back when Lu Gesen graduated from university, it was Wang Changlin who represented his parents at the graduation ceremony. It’s just that the scope of activities of the two of them are abroad, and there is no clue at all in the country.”
Li Mingxuan did not expect to find out such astonishing news. He thought that the news that Lu Gesen was Shen Xi’s cousin was already shocking enough, but he did not expect that Wang Changlin would be involved. Who was Wang Changlin? He was his uncle’s most trusted person, his personal lawyer, so it could be said that he held the core secrets of the Shen family. But now he was actually involved with Lu Gesen. Li Mingxuan vaguely sensed something, “Do you have the detailed information on Wang Changlin?”
“Yes, but it’s fake, they found that all of Wang Changlin’s information before he was twenty-five was falsified. He is being investigated further.”
“I see, I’ll go back soon.”
Hanging up the phone, Li Mingxuan frowned slightly. Wang Changlin, the Han family, the Shen family, Lu Gesen and Shen Xi, there seemed to be a thread stringing them all together.