When Yan Yue received the call from Lu Lingxi, he was bored stiff with the Spring Festival dinner hosted by the Ye family.
It was a tradition in the upper class circles of Zhongjing that the Spring Festival dinner was held every year in the first lunar month, and each time a different family hosted the dinner. This year it happened to be the Ye family. Elder Ye waved his hand and left the matter to his grandsons. As soon as Ye Kang saw that the situation was dangerous, he immediately pretended to be sick and avoided this task. In his words, he didn’t intend to refresh his sense of existence in front of the old man; whoever was willing to do this kind of hard work could do it.
In order to facilitate everyone’s communication, the dinner was served in a buffet style. It didn’t take long for Ye Kang to find Yan Yue. Yan Yue was surrounded by many people who were exchanging pleasantries with him, and he seemed to be quite popular. Although everyone present knew that Yan Yue had left Hopewell for the time being, no one was foolish enough to take sides now until the dust had settled. Across the crowd, Ye Kang raised an eyebrow at Yan Yue, signalling that he had made all the arrangements. Yan Yue showed an expression of understanding.
The two quietly got rid of the people around them and stood together. Ye Kang looked around, lowered his voice and smiled, “The one circling around Sister Li is Yan Hai, right?”
Yan Yue glanced faintly and gave an indifferent hmph.
“He’s quite good at seizing the moment.” Ye Kang said meaningfully. There were many people who had heard the rumours of the marriage between the Yin and Lu families, and Yan Hai looked like he was in a hurry, but it had to be Yan Shihui’s idea. “Should we give him a little push?” Ye Kang looked at Yan Yue curiously.
Yan Yue was about to speak when his mobile phone suddenly vibrated. The familiar name on the caller ID made Yan Yue’s eyes soften. He said a quick word to Ye Kang and took the phone to a corner of the hall, where there was no one around and it was pretty quiet, perfect for answering the phone.
“Big Brother Yan.” Lu Lingxi’s voice was soft and sticky, with a hint of laziness from having eaten and drunk. “Have you eaten yet?”
Yan Yue smiled and said softly, “I have eaten, quite a lot.” He didn’t really have much of an appetite in the evening, and had only eaten a little. However, in order to avoid Lu Lingxi’s worry, Yan Yue would occasionally tell a small lie with good intentions.
Lu Lingxi didn’t suspect anything and without waiting for Yan Yue to ask he told about the day’s events in great detail. The appearance of the little green snake, the bravery of Xiaohei, and his confession to a certain extent to Fang Lei; Yan Yue listened somewhat tensely, especially when he heard that Lu Lingxi was almost framed for keeping drugs. His face distorted. “Do you know who they are?”
“It seems to be people I had a fight with before.” Lu Lingxi said somewhat sheepishly and immediately changed to another topic, “I didn’t even know that Xiaohei was so powerful, he can actually eat poisonous snakes.”
Yan Yue knew what Lu Lingxi was avoiding and considerately didn’t pursue the matter. Speaking of Xiaohei, he was moved in his heart. He had never been able to find out the species of Xiaohei after searching online for a long time before, but if Xiaohei fed on venomous snakes, it was somewhat like the description of a kingsnake. This snake itself wasn’t poisonous, but was naturally immune to snake venom, and its favourite food was all kinds of poisonous snakes. It wasn’t that Yan Yue hadn’t looked up information on kingsnakes at the time, but there were basically no kingsnakes that were as black as Xiaohei, with no spots or rings of colour, and not quite the same shape. Could Xiaohei be a mutant kingsnake?
While this thought flashed, Yan Yue cooperated and praised Xiaohei a few times, and then listened to Lu Lingxi who seemed to have turned on the mic, and Xiaohei’s hissing voice sounded. Yan Yue laughed and had to praise a few more times. Xiaohei excitedly wrapped around the phone, shook his tail vigorously and hissed.
Lu Lingxi sat on the bed with his legs bent, smiling as he poked Xiaohei’s head. Xiaohei had really spent a lot of time with Dahei, even the way he wagged his tail was exactly the same. “By the way, Big Brother Yan…” Lu Lingxi was just about to say something when the background sound on Yan Yue’s side suddenly became noisy, as if someone was exclaiming. “What’s wrong?” Lu Lingxi asked worriedly.
“Nothing, it seems like someone has had a little accident.” Yan Yue comforted him in a calm voice.
At the entrance of the hall, Yin Ya stood with half of her clothes drenched, leaning into Lu Wei’an’s arms, her curves exposed. Her expression was frightened as she looked around with a pitiful look. Yan Yue carelessly swept a glance and hooked the corners of his mouth. Ye Kang noticed his gaze and raised his glass at Yan Yue from afar. Yan Yue raised his eyebrow and smiled, not bothering with what happened next. His goal had been achieved, and it was up to Yin Ya to seize this opportunity. After this slight distraction, Yan Yue’s attention returned to the phone.
Lu Lingxi wasn’t too curious about what was happening on Yan Yue’s side; Yan Yue said it was fine, so he treated it as if everything was fine. After talking about Xiaohei, Lu Lingxi mentioned Fang Lei again. Yan Yue was a little sour. Xiao Xi mentioned Fang Lei a little too often this evening.
As soon as Yan Yue hung up the phone, Ye Kang came over. He exaggeratedly brought a glass of water for Yan Yue and said in a pushy manner, “Do you need to moisten your throat?”
Yan Yue chuckled and nonchalantly took a sip of the water, commenting, “Good service.”
Ye Kang gave him a feigned glare, then said with a little pride, “How’s that? The person I arranged is reliable, right?”
Yan Yue nodded; Ye Kang’s arrangement was quite good. No matter how he brought Yin Ya and Lu Wei’an together, anyway, what everyone saw now was that Yin Ya was drenched and held in Lu Wei’an’s arms. In light of the rumours of a marriage between the Yin and Lu families, with a little effort, he was helping Yin Ya achieve what she wanted. Thinking about this, Yan Yue found his father through the crowd. His father’s expression looked fine, but Yan Hai’s expression couldn’t hide a hint of impatience.
“Yan Hai is anxious.” Ye Kang whispered, following Yan Yue’s line of sight.
Yan Yue glanced at Yan Hai as if nothing had happened, then looked away indifferently, and said, “Father is also anxious.”
No matter whether he or Yin Ya joined the Lu family in marriage, it would mean that the Lu family would have an excuse to intervene in the fight for Hopewell. Elder Lu wasn’t as easy to talk to as Grandpa, who had too many scruples and was suppressed by his Yan Shihui, only able to oppose him in a small way. Elder Lu, however, had no qualms, and Yan Yue could hardly wait to see the Lu family make a move. Yan Yue was in a happy mood, thinking that he didn’t know whose marriage to the Lu family, his or Yin Ya’s, would make his father feel more blocked.
With this piece of gossip, the rest of the evening didn’t seem so boring. Towards the end of the dinner, Yan Yue met his grandfather, but Yin Ya didn’t accompany Yin Yongde. Tonight, Yin Ya was following Grandpa in the name of the Yin family. If something happened to Yin Ya, Grandpa would definitely have to deal with it, but Yan Yue didn’t know what agreement the Yin family and the Lu family had reached.
Yin Yongde seemed a little guilty towards Yan Yue, “Ah Yue, Xiao Ya, she…”
The old man was full of hope that Yan Yue could marry the Lu family in exchange for the Lu family’s support, and he had even made a deal with the old man of the Lu family to have the children meet formally today and engage them as soon as possible if they were interested. As a result, before he could find Yan Yue, Yin Ya had an accident and completely disrupted his plans. Yin Yongde was furious, but he couldn’t be ruthless to Yin Ya. In his heart, he suspected that what happened wasn’t an accident but a scheme by Yin Ya. However, he couldn’t tell anyone about his suspicions. Holding back, he felt even more sorry for Yan Yue.
Yin Yongde wanted to suppress this matter. There were many new events happening in the circle, and as long as Yin Ya kept a low profile for a while, no one would probably mention it anymore. Even if the marriage between the Yin and Lu families didn’t work out, Yin Yongde would never agree to her marrying a sick boy who could have problems at any time. Whether it was Yin Ya’s scheme or his plan to abandon the Yin-Lu marriage, Yin Yongde felt that Yan Yue was the most innocent person in this. But Yin Ya was also his granddaughter, so what could he do? Yin Yongde looked at Yan Yue in embarrassment, unable to say anything for a long time.
Yan Yue gently hooked the corners of his mouth; his smile was standard and there was no sign of any discontent at all. As if he didn’t know what Yin Yongde wanted to say, he calmly asked, “Did Mother go home first?”
Yin Yongde smiled bitterly, “Your mother sent Xiao Ya back. I’m afraid, tonight she won’t…”
“I see.” Yan Yue politely interrupted Yin Yongde, “Father has already said that he won’t be coming home tonight either. I’ve asked my assistant to book a flight for tomorrow at seven, and I’m leaving Zhongjing first thing in the morning. Mother’s luggage will be delivered by the housekeeper. Is there anything else Grandpa wants?”
He spoke calmly, but Yin Yongde was taken aback, “Ah Yue, you’re leaving in such a hurry?”
Yan Yue smiled and said “en”, and very smoothly pushed Ye Kang forward. “Ah Kang helped me contact a psychologist. The other party’s schedule is very tight and I need to cooperate.”
Yin Yongde didn’t really believe Yan Yue’s words, but he looked at Yan Yue and then at Ye Kang who wasn’t far away, let out a silent sigh and didn’t say anything else.
Yan Yue lowered his eyes slightly, unconsciously rubbing the wine glass in his hand, and likewise didn’t speak again.
He understood all of his grandfather’s thoughts, but this was precisely the biggest difference between him and his grandfather. Just as he couldn’t trust his father, he couldn’t trust his grandfather wholeheartedly either. Even though his grandfather had always been clearly supportive of him in the inheritance of Hopewell and had even shown much favour to him in general, Yan Yue knew very well in his heart that in Grandpa’s eyes, he and Yin Ya were both his mother’s children and were in fact the same. The reason for Grandpa’s favouritism towards him was nothing more than the guilt that arose from his mother’s coldness towards him. In essence, there was no difference between how Grandpa saw him and Yin Ya and how his father saw him and Yan Hai.