The investigation of Wang Changlin was conducted by the state and was very secretive, so Lao K only heard some rumours about it. About Wang Changlin, Lao K always had some sense of discord; even though he and Shen Xi were united in the matter of revenge against the Shen family, Lao K had never fully trusted Wang Changlin.
Although in Lao K’s opinion, Shen Xi’s cooperation with Wang Changlin had ended and no matter who Wang Changlin had offended, it had nothing to do with Shen Xi, but considering the relationship between Lu Gesen and Wang Changlin, Lao K still revealed this news to Shen Xi.
“Someone is secretly investigating Wang Changlin?” Shen Xi was very surprised.
“En.” Lao K’s tone that had been flirtatious became serious, “The other party is not easy to mess with, and this matter is very secretive, I just vaguely heard the rumours. I suspect that Wang Changlin has offended someone, do you think we should alert Lu Gesen?”
Lao K’s speculation made Shen Xi frown slightly. Most of Wang Changlin’s recent actions were related to the Shen family. Could it be that the other party was doing it for the Shen family’s sake? But Shen Dehan was lying in the hospital. Who in the Shen family would have such great power? And if the other party was doing it for the Shen family’s sake, what was the use of investigating Wang Changlin? Or was he wrong and the other party was not doing it for the Shen family but had some personal grudge against Wang Changlin?
As Shen Xi thought of it, he was already planning to warn Wang Changlin. After all, Lu Gesen and Wang Changlin were very close, and for Lu Gesen’s sake, Shen Xi did not want Wang Changlin to have any accidents.
“I see, I will tell Lu Gesen.”
Now that Shen Xi was notified, Lao K quickly put the matter behind him and turned to another question, “When are you planning to leave?”
“Probably next weekend. We are still packing. Just in time to wait for Luowei to finish recording his single and go together. Are you sure you don’t want to go with us?”
Lao K was very moved by Shen Xi’s invitation, but unlike Shen Xi, he had a lot of trivial matters holding him back, so he couldn’t be as free as Shen Xi. He had no choice but to say, “You guys go first, I’ll go after I’m done here.” After thinking about it, Lao K added unceremoniously, “Remember to leave me a bedroom with an incomparable sea view.”
Shen Xi couldn’t help but smile, “The whole island is ours, you can stay anywhere you want.”
Five years had passed and the Shen family’s affairs were finally over. Without Shen Group, the Shen family was nothing. Whether it was Shen Dehan who was bedridden, or Shen Ji or Shen Cheng, not to mention Shen Rong who was a parasite of the Shen family, without Shen Group’s signboard that adorned the façade of the Shen family, they could only fall off their high clouds. It would not take long for the entire Shen family to be forgotten by the high society of Zhongjing, and the century-old legacy of the Shen family would stop here. Shen Xi had already achieved his goal, and there was no more point in staying in Zhongjing.
After he hung up the phone, Shen Xi’s eyes fell on the luggage he was packing. He hesitated whether to call Li Mingxuan. When the two of them broke up earlier, Li Mingxuan had left without taking anything with him, and until now his things were still here. Shen Xi did not know whether he should tell him to come and pack his things, or simply leave the apartment to him when he left.
He was about to press the familiar number hesitantly when the doorbell suddenly rang. Shen Xi’s heart pounded wildly, and he instinctively felt that the person who was coming at this moment was none other than Li Mingxuan. Trying hard to suppress the complicated emotions in his heart, Shen Xi took a deep breath and opened the door with a calm face.
It was only a day since they had seen each other, but it felt like a long time had passed. Li Mingxuan did not look good, his face faintly haggard. The moment the door opened, his eyes focused on Shen Xi, looking at him greedily, unwilling to move away in the slightest.
Shen Xi’s heart softened and he moved out of the way, “Do you want to come in, Cousin?”
A hint of joy flashed in Li Mingxuan’s eyes as he was about to enter but when he saw the neatly packed luggage in one corner of the living room, he stopped stiffly. Although he knew that Shen Xi was planning to leave the country in the near future, knowing it and seeing it with his own eyes were two different things. With pain spreading in his heart, Li Mingxuan tried to act as if nothing had happened as he walked in and said unnaturally, “Xiao Xi, are you planning to go abroad?”
Shen Xi let out an “en” and stood there in silence, not knowing what to say for a moment.
The door closed gently and Li Mingxuan stood in front of Shen Xi. Perhaps because he was too close, he seemed to be able to feel the aura of Shen Xi’s breath. The dull pain in his heart seemed to be relieved by Shen Xi’s proximity, so Li Mingxuan settled down and said, “Xiao Xi, I have something to tell you.”
“What?” Shen Xi tried to make his tone seem calm.
Li Mingxuan did not say anything, but took out a blue USB drive and handed it over. If at first he was eager to tell Shen Xi Wang Changlin’s true identity because he didn’t want Shen Xi to be used by Wang Changlin secretly, at this moment he was hoping to use this matter to delay Shen Xi’s departure from the country. At least give him a little buffer time to hand over the company’s affairs to his father so that he can pursue Shen Xi again without any worries.
Shen Xi hesitantly took the USB drive, “What’s in it?”
Li Mingxuan whispered, “I want you to take a look at the contents.”
Shen Xi raised his head to meet Li Mingxuan’s gaze. Li Mingxuan’s eyes were full of insistence. Shen Xi believed that Li Mingxuan would not do anything unnecessary. Since he wanted him to read it, it meant that the contents of the flash drive were closely related to him.
He obediently inserted the USB drive and quickly opened the folder. The contents inside were not too much, but they were marked in great detail. When the first few comparison photos came into view, Shen Xi’s hand trembled a little. Then he quickly calmed down and finished reading the whole file expressionlessly.
The shock brought to him by this information was too great, and countless thoughts filled his mind in confusion. He wanted to question the authenticity of this information, but instinctively trusted Li Mingxuan. Thinking of what Lao K had just said on the phone about someone investigating Wang Changlin, Shen Xi looked at Li Mingxuan. It was too late to think about what Li Mingxuan was doing investigating Wang Changlin. Shen Xi wanted to know if there was any more information behind it. A certain thought that he did not want to believe appeared in his mind and he needed to get confirmation.
“Is that all?”
Shen Xi was acting too calmly, which surprised Li Mingxuan greatly. If he hadn’t noticed the difference in Shen Xi’s face when he saw the photos, he would have almost thought that Shen Xi had actually known it. Shaking his head, Li Mingxuan explained, “This is all the information about his life abroad, the rest of the domestic lie is still being checked.”
Shen Xi’s hands clenched tightly as that thought in the back of his mind became clearer and clearer. Li Mingxuan did not know about Wang Changlin’s relationship with his mother, but he did. If Wang Changlin was really Shen Shang, would his closeness to his mother be the so-called liking as he claimed it to be? And was the failure of the Han family’s business really the result of the Shen family’s calculations? Could there be other hidden agendas inside? The most crucial thing was, did Wang Changlin have anything to do with his mother jumping out of the window back then?
Shen Xi’s face distorted a little. If his initial goal after his rebirth was just to seek justice for himself and his mother, as the past became clearer, the Han family’s downfall was also counted on Shen Dehan’s head. But when he thought it was all over, he was suddenly told that there was another person behind all this, and that person had been treated by him as his ally not long ago.
The look on Shen Xi’s face made Li Mingxuan very worried. He took Shen Xi’s tightly clenched fists and carefully held them in his hands, whispering, “Xiao Xi?”
The call of “Xiao Xi” brought Shen Xi back to his senses. Looking up to meet Li Mingxuan’s worried expression, Shen Xi shook his head, “I’m fine, I’ve just thought about something.”
“What?” Li Mingxuan asked subconsciously; he felt that Shen Xi’s expression was too wrong just now.
Shen Xi smiled self-deprecatingly and didn’t hide it anymore, “The child that Mother was carrying before she jumped out of the window was Wang Changlin’s.”
There was no need to say too much, with just this one sentence Li Mingxuan understood what Shen Xi wanted to say. It was because of Wang Changlin’s relationship with Han Rou that Shen Xi chose to join forces with Wang Changlin, and because of Wang Changlin’s relationship with Han Rou that Shen Xi believed in Wang Changlin’s hatred for Shen Dehan. But all this now seemed to be nothing more than Wang Changlin’s calculations. Before Li Mingxuan came to Shen Xi, he had already thought that Wang Changlin was only using the Han family, but he still underestimated Wang Changlin’s unscrupulousness. He did not expect Wang Changlin to involve Han Rou into it. When he thought about Han Rou’s jump to her death, Li Mingxuan vaguely sensed that the real reason for Han Rou’s suicide was not Shen Dehan discovering her cheating, as they had thought, but perhaps some other reason.
Li Mingxuan sighed and said softly, “What are you going to do?”
“I need to talk to Lu Gesen.”
At the moment when Shen Xi intended to look for Lu Gesen, Lu Gesen was at Wang Changlin’s home.
“Foster Father, what has happened so urgently?” Not long ago Lu Gesen received a call from Wang Changlin who had asked him to come over as soon as possible. Speeding all the way here, Lu Gesen thought something had happened to Wang Changlin.
Wang Changlin smiled kindly, “Nothing, it just occurred to me that we father and son are so busy these days that we don’t even have time to eat together, so I purposely called you to come and have a meal together.”
Lu Gesen was pleasantly surprised, “Is it Foster Father cooking with his own hands? I’ve been drooling over Foster Father’s cooking for a long time.”
His tone clearly amused Wang Changlin, who smiled, “Don’t worry, it’s all cooked by my own hands, I’ll make sure you have enough to eat.”
Wang Changlin’s cooking skills weren’t exactly outstanding, but they were some of Lu Gesen’s fondest memories from his early childhood. Looking at the table full of dishes that he liked, Lu Gesen gazed at Wang Changlin with a look of indescribable admiration.
With a smile on his face, Wang Changlin poured a glass of red wine and placed it in front of Lu Gesen, “Today is special, consider it a celebration of Shen Group’s change of ownership, Gesen, you should drink some too.”
Lu Gesen smiled and raised his glass. He normally did not drink, but his foster father was right, today was a special day and he did not want to go against his foster father’s good intentions.
The glass was soon empty, and Wang Changlin did not urge him to drink any more, as they chatted casually as father and son would normally do. Not long after, Lu Gesen vaguely sensed that something seemed to be wrong with his body. His mind became dizzy, and the figure of his foster father became blurred in front of him, vaguely transforming into several.
“Foster Father?” Lu Gesen only had time to call out in confusion before his body slumped onto the dining table as his eyes went black.
Shen Xi did not reach Lu Gesen by phone, and after calling countless times with no answer, Shen Xi had to look up Lu Gesen’s address in the information Lao K had previously investigated.
Inside the quiet car, Li Mingxuan smiled bitterly as he flipped through Lu Gesen’s file and turned his head to look at Shen Xi who was driving. He understood Shen Xi’s distrust of people, but did not expect Shen Xi to distrust to this extent.
“What’s wrong?” Anyone driving while being watched by someone so intently would not be able to concentrate.
Li Mingxuan shook his head and laughed lightly, “Has Xiao Xi ever investigated me?”
Shen Xi looked calm, “I have. I’ve checked all the people who are close to the Shen family.” Speaking of this, Shen Xi suddenly thought of something and turned his head to look at Li Mingxuan, “In fact, initially I thought that Cousin and Big Brother were a couple. After all, you two were so close and neither of you had a girlfriend, and every time your picture was taken, there was Big Brother a few steps away.”
Li Mingxuan was stunned. A smile appeared in his eyes. He looked at Shen Xi and said very naturally, “Xiao Xi, you know, from the beginning to the end I have only ever loved you.”
Shen Xi began to regret the words he had said just now; it was as if he cared about Li Mingxuan’s close relationship with Shen Ji. Li Mingxuan’s response made him even more irritated, and he turned his head away with a stern face, refusing to speak again.
Li Mingxuan looked at him tenderly with a faint smile on his face.
The two of them arrived quietly at the neighbourhood where Lu Gesen lived. Li Mingxuan looked at Shen Xi, who was about to get out of the car, and said softly, “Do you want me to accompany you?”
Shen Xi shook his head, “I’ll go by myself.”
Watching Shen Xi’s figure disappear inside the apartment building, Li Mingxuan leaned against the car window and quietly waited. Not long after Shen Xi went inside, a man in his thirties walked out, talking on the phone and dragging a suitcase. Li Mingxuan casually glanced at the man and sat up straight in shock, looking intently.
That face, he would never forget that face. Although the man in front of him appeared somewhat younger than in his dream, Li Mingxuan was sure it was definitely the same man.
Li Mingxuan subconsciously pushed open the car door to stop him but quickly realised the inappropriateness of his actions. What should he say? Should he force the man to answer why he wanted to kill Shen Xi? But all that happened in his dream, and even in his dream it was only five years later.
Li Mingxuan’s eyes were firmly fixed on the man who quickly noticed his gaze and looked over warily. At the sight of Li Mingxuan, the man’s expression changed slightly. He quickly lowered his head and hurriedly drove away.
The man’s reaction suddenly made Li Mingxuan realise something, and when he linked it to his dream, he frantically ran to Lu Gesen’s apartment.
The elevator doors were slowly closing in front of him, and Li Mingxuan squeezed into the elevator feeling his body tremble terribly. Pressing down the number 28, Li Mingxuan felt his heart sink a little. He seemed to feel the fear of his dream once again. In the dream he watched Shen Xi fall in front of him but could do nothing about it. This time he must not let anything happen to Shen Xi. He could not live without Shen Xi.
As the elevator slowly ascended one level at a time, Li Mingxuan’s heart was burning with anxiety. He both hated himself for not reacting faster and secretly prayed that everything that happened in the dream was a lie. Besides, the man in the dream world had killed Shen Xi five years later, what reason did he have to do so now?
Self-blame and deep hope tormented Li Mingxuan, and in the midst of this anxiety the elevator reached the 28th floor. The moment the elevator door opened, he was about to rush out when he saw Shen Xi standing in the doorway with a surprised expression on his face.
“Cousin, how come you’re up here?”
Unable to describe the feeling of ecstasy mixed with fear in his heart, Li Mingxuan grabbed Shen Xi and pinned him against the elevator wall, kissing him fiercely.
The kiss was so intense and possessive as if Li Mingxuan was trying to confirm Shen Xi’s existence through this kiss. Shen Xi passively complied with Li Mingxuan’s movements, tilting his head to meet the kiss. After a long time, the intense kiss gradually became gentle, and Li Mingxuan kissed Shen Xi affectionately on the lips, hugging him tightly, “Xiao Xi, don’t leave me.”
Shen Xi was so softened by Li Mingxuan’s kiss that he had to lean into his arms. Only then did he have time to think about the abnormality of Li Mingxuan’s previous behaviour.
Li Mingxuan could not tell Shen Xi that he had met the man who killed Shen Xi in his dream. He just hugged him tightly, “Nothing, I just wanted to kiss you.”
Shen Xi’s heart softened and he didn’t ask any more questions. Li Mingxuan’s panicked heart gradually calmed down. At this time, he slowly thought back and also felt that his previous reaction was too extreme. But the change in the man’s expression after seeing him made him instantly recall the dream. Not caring much about anything, he just wanted to be at Shen Xi’s side immediately. Now that he thought about it, the man’s expression seemed to have changed because he recognised him, but he was sure he didn’t know the man. Since Lu Gesen lived here, could it be that the man was related to Lu Gesen and was therefore afraid of his presence here?
Li Mingxuan thought about it, lowering his head to kiss Shen Xi, “Did you see a man of about thirty just now?”
“No, what’s the matter?”
Li Mingxuan shook his head, “Nothing, it’s just that he saw me and ran away, I thought it was a bit strange. By the way, why are you leaving so soon? Lu Gesen isn’t here?”
Shen Xi nodded and pushed Li Mingxuan, “Do you want to let go of me first? There are cameras inside the elevator, I don’t want to be in the entertainment headlines tomorrow.”
Li Mingxuan hadn’t kissed Shen Xi properly since the breakup, so naturally he couldn’t let go of him. He quickly took off his coat to block the camera, leaned down and kissed Shen Xi once again, saying softly, “It’s okay now.”
Shen Xi looked at Li Mingxuan speechlessly and struggled to break away from his embrace, “Get lost!”
Li Mingxuan smiled faintly and kissed Shen Xi once more despite his struggle.