When Yin Yongde called Yan Yue, he was already in Fengcheng. He didn’t say much on the phone, except that he wanted Yan Yue to come over for lunch. Yan Yue agreed.
After hanging up the phone, Yin Yongde coughed a little while leaning back in his chair. He had been suffering from a slight health problem for the past few days, and he had been forcing himself to keep from coughing so that Yan Yue wouldn’t hear it over the phone. In the past, he had taken good care of his health, but from the time of Yin Ya’s accident, he found himself a little out of shape. When Yan Shihui passed on the information he had collected on Yan Yue, the blow was so heavy that Yin Yongde’s body completely collapsed. He didn’t want to admit it but he had to accept the fact that Ah Yue didn’t trust him anymore.
He should have known a long time ago that Ah Yue’s temperament was exactly the same as his when he was young. How could his grandson tolerate that girl Xiao Ya smugly pressing down on his head? Yin Yongde had looked at Qinglan and at Yan Shihui and felt that they were too unfair towards Ah Yue, but it was his turn to be unaware that he got carried away with his authority. He had softly agreed to Xiao Ya going to Hopewell and he had supported Xiao Ya in the meeting of the board of directors. Even if he never had the idea of letting Xiao Ya replace Ah Yue, his actions gave a signal to the people around him that Ah Yue’s position had been shaken. And that blind date with the Lu family… Yin Yongde smiled bitterly. It was he himself who had pushed Ah Yue away from him step by step.
The housekeeper knocked gently on the door, interrupting Yin Yongde’s thoughts. He looked embarrassed as he whispered, “Young lady is making a lot of noise in her room.”
The young lady the housekeeper was referring to was none other than Yin Qinglan. When Yin Yongde returned to Fengcheng this time, he had forced her to come with him. Hearing that Yin Qinglan was making a fuss, Yin Yongde said coldly, “Let her make a fuss, she is fifty years old and has no brains at all.”
Realising that Yin Yongde was serious, the housekeeper quietly left. In the study, Yin Yongde sighed, regretting once again in his heart that he should not have been so arrogant in his treatment of Qinglan when she was young. Now that she was in her fifties, she was still living in her own world, letting her mood prevail. He could still look after Qinglan while he was alive, but once he was gone, what would happen to Qinglan? Could she rely on Xiao Ya or on that man eating soft rice (living at the expense of a woman)? She listened to that man in everything. No matter how much Yin Yongde left for Qinglan, the things would probably be gone in two days. Without him to protect her, without her possessions, relying only on Xiao Ya, would Qinglan still be able to live comfortably?
Yin Yongde shook his head. He had recently become more and more acutely aware that he was getting old and didn’t have much time left. No matter what he had planned before, things had now gotten completely out of hand. Whether it was Hopewell, Qinglan or Ah Yue, he had to make a choice.
With a long sigh, Yin Yongde left the study. He had made countless choices in his lifetime, but none of them had ever been as difficult as the one he was making now. Holding on the railings, he walked down the stairs step by step. There was the movement of a car in the courtyard; Ah Yue had arrived.
Yan Yue stood politely in front of Yin Yongde. Because he had gone to sign a contract in the morning, he was dressed very formally today, his well-fitted suit setting off his slender body and handsome appearance.
Yin Yongde didn’t say anything for a while, but just quietly looked at Yan Yue. Since when did Ah Yue spend less and less time back in China, preferring to stay abroad more and more? In fact, there had been signs of this for a long time, he just couldn’t see it. He smiled bitterly in his heart, “Ah Yue is here. The kitchen has prepared all your favourite dishes today. Let’s eat first, Grandpa has something to say to you after we finish eating.”
Yan Yue had always said very little in front of his family, and after agreeing, he had nothing more to say.
Yin Yongde’s heart was bitter, but he didn’t know what to say. He used to feel that Qinglan and Ah Yue were becoming increasingly alienated, but in fact, so was he and Ah Yue. The two of them finished their meal in silence and walked from the dining room to the study. Yin Yongde looked at Yan Yue, “Ah Yue, you’ve heard about Xiao Ya’s matter, right?”
He asked in a roundabout way, and Yan Yue lowered his eyes slightly, hiding the sneer within. It had been a month since Yin Ya’s accident, and he didn’t believe that Grandpa didn’t know what he had done. He looked calm and said directly, “If Grandpa wants to talk about Yin Ya’s bribery incident, I’m afraid I knew about it before anyone else.”
As Yan Yue’s words were said, the atmosphere in the room instantly chilled. It was as if the air had become stagnant and pressed heavily on the body.
Yin Yongde was caught off guard by Yan Yue’s directness. He gave Yan Yue a deep look and sighed, “Ah Yue, you have grown up.” These words contained too many emotions, bitterness, complexity, relief… Yin Yongde didn’t accuse Yan Yue, nor did he ask any questions, he just calmly recounted, “After Xiao Ya’s accident, Qinglan was very upset. Although she was not a good mother to you, Ah Yue, she loves Xiao Ya to her bones.”
These words were full of irony to Yan Yue’s ears. He didn’t say anything, and it seemed that Yin Yongde didn’t need Yan Yue to say anything as he continued, “During this time, Qinglan has thought of many ways to get Xiao Ya out. But Xiao Ya’s case is a big deal, and it involves drug safety, which is very important to the authorities. Once Xiao Ya is convicted of bribery, she will be sentenced to at least three years in prison. A few days ago, Qinglan approached Shihui, hoping that he could help Xiao Ya. Shihui made a condition that he wanted all of Qinglan’s shares in exchange for Xiao Ya’s freedom.”
Yin Qinglan had approached Yan Shihui in the hope that he could find someone to take the blame for Yin Ya. After all, Yin Ya had only been in Hopewell for a short time, and as long as a senior official came forward and admitted that Yin Ya’s actions were at his instigation, Yin Ya’s charges could be mitigated on the grounds of her being just a puppet. Yin Qinglan has already found a candidate, and if they wanted money, she had plenty of it. But the chairman of Hopewell was Yan Shihui, and Yan Shihui had to cooperate in this matter. If Yan Shihui were to break the case, Yin Ya would get another charge in addition to the bribery charge. Under such circumstances, Yan Shihui could easily take advantage of the fire to rob; but Yin Qinglan couldn’t refuse his request for Yin Ya’s sake, no matter what.
As he spoke, Yin Yongde glanced at Yan Yue, who looked as usual, his face revealing neither his thoughts nor his emotions. Yin Yongde hoped that Yan Yue would say something, but he waited for too long without any result. He sighed, gave up on guessing Yan Yue’s thoughts and continued, “Your father has 35% of the shares in Hopewell, and Qinglan and I have a total of 35%, of which 15% are under Qinglan’s name. I said that both my 20% and Qinglan’s 15% should be yours. No one can take them away from you. Xiao Ya has done something wrong, she should take the responsibility for what she has done. She can’t take what is yours, Ah Yue.”
The last few sentences Yin Yongde said were categorical. He said directly, “I have already found a lawyer to transfer all the shares in my name and Qinglan’s name to you, Ah Yue. Ah Yue, you can just sign it later.”
When he heard this, a look of surprise appeared on Yan Yue’s face for the first time. In fact, before coming here Yan Yue had envisaged what Grandpa would say to him, and the matter of Yin Ya was a topic they couldn’t avoid. Of course, Grandpa had to make a choice, and it was obvious that between him and Yin Ya, Yin Yongde would have to give up one of them. Whether it was him or Yin Ya, Yan Yue had already prepared himself. What surprised him was not that Grandpa had chosen him, but that Grandpa’s behaviour was less ambiguous than ever before and even a little too straightforward.
Noticing the look on Yan Yue’s face, Yin Yongde’s expression became complicated. He looked at Yan Yue with a bitter smile as he said in a low voice. “Ah Yue, your grandmother died early, and I only have one daughter by my side, Qinglan, and I have spoiled her. She has been arrogant and capricious since she was a child. She didn’t know how to take care of other people’s emotions since she was young, and she grew up smoothly all the way. When she and Shihui fell out later, I felt sorry for her and inevitably indulged her a little more. She found that man and gave birth to Xiao Ya, and she didn’t do her motherly duty to you. I saw all this, but I was too soft-hearted to do anything about her. Over the years Qinglan has grown older, but her temper is still the same as when she was young. I can protect her while I am alive, but what if I am gone? What will happen to your mother since that man is so unreliable?”
In the past, Yin Yongde felt that no matter what, Yan Yue was Qinglan’s son and there was no overnight hatred between mother and son. What’s more, he firmly believed that Ah Yue would inherit Hopewell. At that time, Qinglan would hold 15% of the shares in her hands, and Ah Yue would take good care of Qinglan in both public and private. But he never expected that what Ah Yue wanted was not to inherit Hopewell but to destroy Hopewell. Without Hopewell tying Ah Yue, relying only on the shallow mother-child relationship between him and Qinglan, and Qinglan having that kind of temperament, it was hard to say how much Ah Yue would protect Qinglan.
Yin Yongde knew in his own heart that things had gotten out of hand and that the only person both Qinglan and Xiao Ya could rely on in the future was Ah Yue. If he took a step back now, it would be for the good of Qinglan and Xiao Ya in the long run. As long as Ah Yue took over the 35% shares, he would have to protect Qinglan in the future. As long as Qinglan was well off, Xiao Ya wouldn’t have to bear any major grievances. As the thought passed through his mind, a hint of imperceptible pleading appeared in Yin Yongde’s tone, “Ah Yue?”
Yan Yue was silent for a moment and said, “I will set up a fund for Mother, enough to feed and clothe her. As for the beneficiaries of the fund in the future, Mother will designate them herself.”
By saying this, he was clearly agreeing to Yin Yongde’s arrangement. Yin Yongde let out a sigh of relief and smiled openly for the first time in days. It took only a few minutes for the two men to talk and sign the agreement. The lawyer had been waiting in the next room, and Yin Yongde had even found a notary.
After everything was done, Yan Yue was ready to leave.
Yin Yongde called out to him before he walked out, “Ah Yue… I heard you have someone you like?”
Yan Yue nodded, not meaning to hide it.
Yin Yongde smiled reluctantly, “He’s called Lu Lingxi, isn’t he… You should bring him home sometime so that Grandpa can meet him.”
Yan Yue paused and nodded, “Okay.”
As soon as Yan Yue walked out, Yin Yongde leaned back in his chair with a bitter smile. It was all the evil done by Qinglan and Shihui. If it wasn’t for the influence of his parents, how could Ah Yue be reluctant to start a family and fall for a man? If it was in the past, Yin Yongde could still take charge, but now… would Ah Yue listen to him?
Yan Yue, who walked out of the study, didn’t care what Grandpa thought. He never felt that the family would be an obstacle between him and Xiao Xi. He hadn’t thought so before, and he didn’t think so now. He didn’t leave immediately, but turned in the direction of the third floor. Although Grandpa didn’t say it clearly just now, he hoped that Yan Yue would see his mother. Yan Yue understood what Grandpa meant, and Yin Qinglan was his mother anyway. He would ensure that his mother had no worries about food and clothing as his grandfather wished, but that was all.
At the door of the room on the third floor, Yan Yue didn’t reach out to knock. The sounds of heavy objects crashing on the floor, interspersed with his mother’s angry curses, continued to come from behind the door.
Yan Yue was silent for a moment, then turned and left.
“Hey, An Jie?”
After leaving the Yin family mansion, Yan Yue contacted An Jie as soon as possible.
“Boss, something happened?”
“Contact Chen Xiuyuan for me, I want to sell my shares of Hopewell.”