Lu Gesen had disappeared. It was the conclusion Shen Xi reached after being unable to contact him for the whole night. It was not that he hadn’t thought of other possibilities such as a dead phone, but considering Lu Gesen’s usual caution and the fact that there had been no reply to the note he left at Lu Gesen’s place asking to call back, Shen Xi had already prepared for the worst.
If Shen Xi didn’t know Wang Changlin’s true identity, he might not have thought too much about it; but now he couldn’t help but suspect that Wang Changlin had done something. With a silent sigh, Shen Xi smiled bitterly. Before that, he had envied Wang Changlin’s relationship with Lu Gesen, but when the truth was revealed, everything turned out to be ugly and terrible. Was Wang Changlin taking care of Lu Gesen sincerely or just using him for the sake of his plans?
Shen Xi was worried about Lu Gesen’s current situation. He wanted to pretend that nothing was wrong and give Wang Changlin a call to ask, but he was afraid Lu Gesen was really in Wang Changlin’s hands and the other party would notice something. Shen Xi couldn’t guess Wang Changlin’s thoughts. What did he want? Shen Group? But now that Shen Group was under his control, what was he dissatisfied with? If Lu Gesen’s disappearance was really his doing, what was his purpose? To him, it should have been the Shen family that he hated from the beginning to the end; the Han family was just an innocent pawn that had not only done nothing wrong to him, but had been broken because of him. What else was there for him to calculate?
“What’s on your mind?”
Li Mingxuan’s voice came from behind him. Shen Xi turned around and saw Li Mingxuan coming out of the bathroom topless. Perhaps it was because he had rested well that night, the sense of depression that surrounded him in the previous days had dissipated and his whole body looked radiant.
“Thinking about Lu Gesen. I wonder where the hell he is now.”
While speaking, Li Mingxuan walked up to Shen Xi and naturally leaned down to exchange a kiss with him, comforting him, “Maybe you’re overthinking it, maybe Lu Gesen just spent the night out and his phone is out of battery.”
Shen Xi frowned, “Maybe.”
Li Mingxuan didn’t want to worry Shen Xi and consciously betrayed Ye Han, “If you’re really worried, why don’t we ask Ye Han to help you check? With the Ye family’s power you should be able to find out soon.”
A hint of a smile appeared in Shen Xi’s eyes and he raised his eyebrows, “A favour to you?”
Li Mingxuan smiled and nodded, “A favour to us.”
Shen Xi did not refuse Li Mingxuan’s offer. Wang Changlin’s past information was so well disguised that even Lao K couldn’t find it, but the Ye family had easily checked it out, thus showing that the Ye family’s power was indeed huge. The sooner he got the news about Lu Gesen, the sooner he could rest assured.
Lu Gesen didn’t know that Shen Xi was worried about him at this time. When he woke up from a coma, he found that he was trapped in a strange room, and in addition to him, there were four other men in the room that he didn’t know.
After the initial shock, Lu Gesen quickly figured out his current situation. These men were only responsible for guarding him. Apart from the fact that he could not communicate with the outside world and could not go out, the other party did not restrict any of his movements and even did their best to satisfy him with any requests he had.
For example, the breakfast from Zhou Ji’s restaurant was laid out in front of him.
Lu Gesen slowly and methodically ate his breakfast, not moving as he surveyed the people in the room, calculating in his mind the possibility of getting out of the trap. Unfortunately, the forces were unequal, and as much as he thought, he could not figure out how he would be able to disarm four strong men at the same time and leave the place smoothly.
After eating eight point full, Lu Gesen put down the cutlery and one of the men who was guarding him quickly came over and cleared up neatly. Lu Gesen said tentatively, “I want to see my foster father, please mention it to him.”
The man gave him a cold look, turned away without saying anything and left, leaving Lu Gesen frowning slightly.
Although the men never talked to him, apart from initially telling him what he could and could not do, let alone reveal who they were instructed by, Lu Gesen understood that it all had something to do with his foster father. Thinking about the glass of wine that his foster father had poured him last night, Lu Gesen could naturally guess where the problem lay. But what he could not understand was why his foster father had done it.
His father died when Lu Gesen was young and he followed his mother around from one place to another. It was Wang Changlin who had given him a stable life, and it was also Wang Changlin who had taken his father’s place while Lu Gesen was growing up. Over the years, Wang Changlin had taken good care of him and even lurked in the Shen family for years in order to help him take revenge. Now that Shen Group had changed hands, their goal was about to be achieved. They were on the verge of finally declaring Shen Group bankrupt and getting rid of all of the Shen family’s remaining properties, completely cutting off the possibility of the Shen family to rise again. This was what Lu Gesen had been busy with these past few days. He had thought that in a few days he would be able to accompany his foster father to enjoy life abroad, but to his surprise, his foster father had suddenly attacked him and trapped him here. For what purpose?
No one could answer Lu Gesen’s doubts. He could not feel any malice in the four people opposite him, so he had to be patient and stay here quietly, waiting for Wang Changlin to appear.
His reaction soon reached Wang Changlin’s ears. When he heard Lu Gesen’s request to see him, Wang Changlin’s expression became complicated; he finally shook his head. His plan had come to its final step, and soon his wish of many years would come true. The reason he had trapped Lu Gesen there was that he did not want him to meddle and ruin his plan. He had patiently and meticulously laid out his plan for so many years and would never allow any error.
Wang Changlin tapped on his desk. As for Lu Gesen, he didn’t want to hurt him. Not only because he had raised Lu Gesen for so many years, but more importantly because Lu Gesen had a similar origin to him; the difference was that Han Yu had not given up on Lu Gesen and his mother. Wang Changlin lowered his eyes, hiding the self-deprecating look in them. Call him hypocritical or pretentious, but at a time when the Han family was ruined due to his calculations, he genuinely wanted to take care of Lu Gesen and do something for the Han family. Although Lu Gesen was also his pawn, even pawns could be important or not, couldn’t they?
These thoughts were fleeting and soon Wang Changlin regained his senses. No matter what Lu Gesen thought, he would stay there for the next few days, and when the matter was over, someone would naturally release him.
“I instructed you to pack some of Gesen’s clothes and send them over yesterday, did you send them?”
“I did, but…”
The man answering Wang Changlin was the man in his thirties, the very same man who had a hasty encounter with Li Mingxuan yesterday.
“But what?” Wang Changlin looked at him with a puzzled expression.
The man hesitated for a while before whispering, “When I left last night, I met Li Mingxuan downstairs. He seemed to recognise me, and his reaction at the time was very strange.”
“Li Mingxuan?” Wang Changlin’s expression changed slightly, “Why didn’t you say so earlier?”
The man glanced at Wang Changlin cautiously. Seeing that Wang Changlin’s face was gloomy, his expression became uncertain.
“Have the arrangements been made on the Nancheng side?”
The man nodded hurriedly, “It’s already arranged!”
“Advance the plan to today.” Wang Changlin decided after a brief pause.
Wang Changlin snorted coldly, “The Li family controls too much. Li Mingxuan wouldn’t go to the neighbourhood where Gesen lives for no reason, he must have known something. To avoid the long night dreams, since it’s already arranged anyway, let it be done on the same day.”
“I got it, boss!” The man nodded and turned to leave the room without saying anything else.
After the man left, Wang Changlin sat there in silence, thinking about something alone. It was only after a long time that he seemed to come back to his senses, slowly leaning down and pulling open the drawer, carefully taking out a photo album from it and gently flipping through it page by page.
The photographs in the album were all black and white, faintly yellowish and very old looking. The one who appeared most in the photo album was a beautiful-looking girl, who looked indescribably smart and lovely whether she was smiling or sulking. Wang Changlin’s face couldn’t help showing a nostalgic smile. As he turned the pages, a handsome looking man began to appear beside the girl, and the two looked very close. The smile on Wang Changlin’s face faded, replaced with a hint of ruthlessness. The man soon disappeared from the album, the young girl grew into a woman, and in the place of the man appeared a boy who looked quite similar to the man. The boy grew up day by day, turning from a teenager to a young man, and Wang Changlin’s eyes focused on that familiar and unfamiliar face, his features twisting a little before he finally laughed aloud strangely.
After nearly thirty years, he had almost forgotten his real face.
In countless midnight dreams, two faces alternated in his mind. He must have been in a momentary trance. Who was he? Wang Changlin or Shen Shang? Over the years, he had loathed looking in the mirror, loathed having his picture taken, loathed anything that would show this face. He was Wang Changlin in the eyes of others, but he hated the name, he hated the identity, he hated the face, he wanted to tell everyone that his name was Shen Shang, he was Shen Shang!
The laughter echoing in the room gradually quieted. Wang Changlin turned the photo album to the last page. Half of the photo was lying there quietly, Han Rou’s smiling face appearing in front of his eyes.
Wang Changlin’s eyes stared vaguely at the half of the photo for a while, then he picked up the scissors on the table and cut out the head belonging to Shen Shang and pasted it next to Han Rou’s. Although the stitched together photo looked strange, Wang Changlin was very satisfied, and a weird smile appeared at the corner of his mouth.
Carefully placing the collaged photo in his wallet, Wang Changlin locked the album into the drawer and got up to walk towards the door with a frantic look in his eyes.
Soon it all would be over. He was Shen Shang, and only Shen Shang!