Rebirth: Different Way Chapter 101

After the shower room brawl, no one dared to mess with Shen Xi again for some time. According to the rumours, the man who led the fight against Shen Xi had serious injuries to his lower body and very possibly would never be a man again in his life. When the news reached 302, Fang Luowei obviously sensed the few people in the cell who were chatting animatedly shiver at the same time, glancing subtly at the silent Shen Xi and quietly distancing themselves from him.

Fang Luowei had seen Shen Xi’s attack with his own eyes and had already guessed the outcome, and even guessed the reason why Shen Xi had done so. Shen Xi was deterring those who were hiding in the shadows and had ideas about him, or those who might have had ideas about him in the future.

After this incident, Fang Luowei did not conceal his closeness to Shen Xi in front of others but appeared openly by his side, not caring in the least about the trouble Shen Xi might bring to him. He still remembered Shen Xi’s alienation when he first entered the prison, and the snicker he heard when he couldn’t sleep on his first night in prison. He could never have imagined that a few months later, Shen Xi would become his only trusted friend in prison.

After another confrontation with the inmates, Shen Xi and Fang Luowei were sentenced to confinement together. This was Fang Luowei’s first experience of confinement. In the small, dark space, no matter how wide he opened his eyes, all he could see was darkness. The wounds on his body ached dully, and he and Shen Xi had not received any treatment before being confined. Fang Luowei groped his way closer to Shen Xi who hadn’t said a word since they had been locked in.

“What’s wrong? Does it still hurt?” Fang Luowei said in a low voice.

“I’m the one who dragged you down,” Shen Xi replied.

Fang Luowei froze; he quickly realised the reason for Shen Xi’s silence and said sternly, “Why do you say that!”

“They are coming at me.”

Fang Luowei reached his hand to hold Shen Xi, “We are friends, what’s the difference between coming at you and coming at me.”

Fang Luowei’s words came from his heart. He and Shen Xi were friends and Shen Xi’s trouble was his trouble. Apart from that, because of his relationship with Shen Xi, many people did not dare to attack him again, so he really avoided a lot of trouble. Since he had enjoyed the benefits of this friendship, how could he refuse to give anything? Of course Fang Luowei had always been secretly curious, who had Shen Xi offended? Looking at Shen Xi’s opponents, it was clear that they did not intend to kill Shen Xi straight away but rather enjoyed torturing him.

Shen Xi never mentioned anything about his past, and although Fang Luowei was curious, he kept to the boundaries of friendship and never asked. This time, perhaps it was the darkness that made people weak, or perhaps it was Shen Xi’s true recognition of Fang Luowei but he took the initiative to reveal his scars in front of Fang Luowei, squeezing out the pus and blood inside.

As he told of his frivolous youth, of his family’s dislike, of the consequences of an impulse, Shen Xi’s voice was not as calm as usual and carried a deep sense of resentment.

Fang Luowei listened quietly to Shen Xi’s narration, saying nothing. What Shen Xi needed was not his comfort, but simply a quiet person to talk to.

“I hate them, I hate my father, I hate the Shen family, I hate all the people surnamed Shen.”

Shen Xi ended his story with these words, and Fang Luowei held Shen Xi’s hand silently. The world that Shen Xi talked about was the world that Fang Luowei had never been exposed to, so he could not understand how there could be such a father in the world. Shen Xi was also his son, how could he be so biassed? How could he be so cruel stomping on Shen Xi’s desire for affection? How could he even kill Shen Xi’s hope for freedom? He thought of his own life. Although his parents died young, his grandparents had given him everything they could. Compared to Shen Xi, he was lacking in material things, but emotionally he was so much richer than Shen Xi.

Fang Luowei let out a silent sigh. He could understand Shen Xi’s resentment, but it did not mean that he wished Shen Xi to dwell on his hatred all the time. There was no turning back in one’s life, one could only ever keep moving forward. He wanted Shen Xi to live for himself, even if they were behind bars, even if they could never be free for the rest of their lives. At least their hearts were free. Shen Xi was still young, and he could not imagine Shen Xi living constantly gnawed by hatred for a long time in the future and looking back in his old age with nothing but hatred in him.

Nietzsche once said, “When you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” Fang Luowei quoted these words to Shen Xi and hoped that Shen Xi would understand what he meant.

Perhaps, no matter how difficult the days were, two people supporting each other would always be much better than one person.

Unnoticeably, their confinement ended and unnoticeably, Fang Luowei and Shen Xi spent five years in prison together, supporting each other. During these five years, the two had been calculated by others and they calculated others. As the number of scars on their bodies increased, Shen Xi’s ruthless reputation grew, and fewer and fewer people came to pick a fight, until the wind and waves were calm for more than half a year. Fang Luowei thought this meant the arrival of a peaceful life later on. He never expected the change to come so suddenly.

The gloomy weather, the chaotic crowd, the strangers waiting for an opportunity to attack; Fang Luowei could see the hideous malice on their faces. He tried to pull Shen Xi away and run, yet the crowd blocked all their paths. A cry of alarm sounded behind him and Fang Luowei turned back in fear, only to see Shen Xi give him one last smile and then fall limply to the ground, covering his chest.

Blood stung Fang Luowei’s eyes as he hugged Shen Xi, feeling the body in his arms lose its warmth little by little, and his heart seemed to be lost with Shen Xi’s departure. Only then did he realise that his feelings for Shen Xi had long ceased to be a mere friendship, but he had been blinded by the fact that the two of them were inseparable and had not discovered his feelings in time.

“Shen Xi!”

The chaos of the crowd was stopped by the prison guards. Fang Luowei did not react to the outside world, just hugging Shen Xi tightly and repeating his name over and over again.

Time passed, and Shen Xi was once again standing in front of Fang Luowei. In the bar, Fang Luowei looked at the drunken Shen Xi in amazement, wondering how the man could know his name. Fang Luowei didn’t take the first encounter to heart. It wasn’t until he was in a desperate situation in the alleyway that Shen Xi’s help made him truly remember this handsome young man.

What happened next was far beyond Fang Luowei’s expectations. Shen Xi appeared in his life in a way that he could not resist at all. Shen Xi cared about his work, about his life, and even about his family. Shen Xi easily got rid of the punks for him, simply helped him solve his contract with the record company. Shen Xi even set up a company specifically with him alone as a signed artist in it.

He marched all the way towards his dreams with Shen Xi’s help, while Shen Xi stood behind him with a smile, supporting his every decision.

Past experiences made Fang Luowei sensitive, and he had once doubted Shen Xi’s intentions. But no matter how critical he was, all he saw in Shen Xi’s eyes was sincerity and goodwill. He inevitably fell in love with Shen Xi, but before he could muster up the courage, Shen Xi was already accompanied by another man.

That night, he and the director were trapped in the hotel by a so-called social gathering, facing the drunk man who wanted to approach him, and strangely enough, Fang Luowei was not afraid at all, because he knew that Shen Xi would definitely come. He guessed the beginning but not the end. Shen Xi stepped in and took him away, but left him with a difficult choice.

Did he want to be with Shen Xi? Yes!

Could he be with Shen Xi? No!

The word “Cousin” was like a pot of cold water dousing the fire in Fang Luowei’s heart. He cautiously moved up and reverently placed a kiss on Shen Xi’s lips before resolutely dialling Li Mingxuan’s number.

Since then, he resigned to his status as a friend and quietly watched over Shen Xi. He watched as Shen Xi was content, watched as Shen Xi was sad, watched as Shen Xi finally achieved happiness after all the dust had settled.

Brilliant fireworks bloomed gloriously in the night sky and Ye Han had an odd look on his face, “Where did Mingxuan and Shen Xi go?”

Lao K gave Ye Han a contemptuous look, “Stupid! Where do you think the bridegroom and the bridegroom could have gone on their wedding night?”

Fang Luowei smiled as he listened to the conversation between the two, silently blessing Shen Xi in his heart. Taking his drink, he left the lively crowd and walked slowly along the garden path, listening to the band playing not far away, his mind unexpectedly very peaceful.

“Hi,” someone greeted him across the fence.

Fang Luowei looked over curiously and met a pair of smiling eyes.

“I’m Mo Zheng!”

“I’m Fang Luowei!”

Some people say that everyone in the world is a semicircle, and that two people together make a complete circle. Every one of us is struggling to find the semicircle that suits us. Perhaps one day you feel you have missed the right semicircle. Don’t worry, believe in yourself. When you turn around inadvertently, you will find the semicircle that really suits you standing behind you and looking at you with a smile.


Translator’s note: Mo Zheng is a character from another book by Li Songru ‘Rebirth of Xia Ze’. I haven’t read it but Mo Zheng is the ML’s friend, and he and Fang Luowei are listed as supporting characters, so they are apparently a side CP 🙂

The story is finished. Thank you, everyone who read and commented! I loved all your comments! If you enjoyed the story, please leave a positive review and/or good rating on Novelupdates 🙂

Or, you can buy me some coffee 🙂

Previous / ToC

Rebirth: Different Way Chapter 100

The first time Fang Luowei saw Shen Xi was at the door of Cell 302. When the guards brought him to the door of 302, the prisoners in the cell quickly stood up and looked at the guards beside him with ingratiating faces. At that time, Shen Xi, who stood up slowly leaning against the wall with an indifferent expression, undoubtedly looked very conspicuous.

To Fang Luowei’s surprise, the guard ignored Shen Xi’s behaviour, announced in an even tone that Fang Luowei would be a member of 302 and left. Fang Luowei stepped carefully into 302, facing the people in the cell cautiously and subconsciously avoiding Shen Xi. The guards’ attitude towards Shen Xi made him keenly aware not to mess with him. He thought Shen Xi was a legendary prison overlord and the guards were turning a blind eye to him out of respect. 

But soon afterwards he realised he was wrong. Shen Xi’s behaviour was not a provocation to the guards. He was injured and would not have been able to stand up if he had not been holding onto the wall. Just before Fang Luowei arrived, Shen Xi had had a vicious fight with the prisoner next door. The guards’ special treatment of Shen Xi was not out of respect but out of indifference. The guards had also suppressed the matter of Shen Xi’s fight not long ago. And since there was no fight, there was no injury, so naturally Shen Xi could not find a reason to go to the infirmary to get medicine and could only grit his teeth and endure the pain on his own.

Shen Xi’s story was nothing more than small gossip to Fang Luowei’s ears. He overheard a few words during the evening meal and left it behind him. At the moment he was still trying to adjust to life in prison and had no desire to think about unrelated people.

On his first night in prison, Fang Luowei couldn’t sleep. Not long ago, his grandparents were still by his side, he was still a signed singer, and although he was not doing well, he was at least working hard towards his dream. In less than a month’s time, his only family members were forced to die, and he was so desperate that he stabbed the man who was to blame for their death. He was no longer Fang Luowei, but number 24897. He no longer was in that small house in Zhongjing, but behind bars, and if there were no accidents, this would be the place where he would live for the rest of his life. Fang Luowei thought about it bitterly, moving gently to turn over. His enemy was stabbed to death, and the hatred that had been etched in his body seemed to be gradually quelled with the death of that man. For a while in the small cell of the detention centre he had been in a trance, unsure of the meaning of his life, but at his most painful moments, he kept going relying on his grandfather’s dying words.

“Xiao Wei, you must live well.”

“Must live well.” Fang Luowei murmured softly, cheering himself on for the long years to come.

A snicker sounded from below, and Fang Luowei rolled over to look. By the dim light from the corridor, Fang Luowei’s gaze fell straight into a pair of cold, sneering eyes. He moved his lips to say something, but Shen Xi only gave him a cold glance and turned his head away. Fang Luowei didn’t know when he drifted off to sleep, but Shen Xi’s snort seemed to ring in his ears the whole time.

When he was sentenced to life imprisonment, Fang Luowei had already envisaged what life in prison would be like. He thought it would be tough, but he didn’t expect it to be so tough, all because of this face of his. The first time he was blocked in the corner of the playground, Fang Luowei swung his fist. There was a second and a third time, until the fourth time, looking at the five men blocking his way, Fang Luowei clenched his fists. He wanted to live, but he had to live with dignity; he had his own bottom line and could not take a step back.

The result of the fight was obvious; he was no match for the opponents, so he could only grit his teeth and fight, hoping that the commotion would attract the attention of the others and someone would bring the guards. But to his despair, everyone who accidentally saw him left in a hurry with a scowl on their faces. No one was lending a hand, let alone call for the guards as he had hoped.

As his body was losing strength little by little, Fang Luowei was pinned to the ground and clearly saw the men grinning above him. At this moment, he also saw Shen Xi’s indifferent face. Perhaps it was the thought of what was about to happen that excited the men, but none of them noticed Shen Xi appearing behind them. A hard stone slammed down fiercely and the first man turned around clutching his bleeding head.

Shen Xi looked at the men with disgust and said in a cold voice, “Get lost!”

The men were obviously quite scared of Shen Xi, hesitantly looked at each other and quietly left.

Fang Luowei slowly stood up holding onto the wall and squeezed out a smile on his face with difficulty, “Thank you!” What he got in return was a cold look from Shen Xi who simply turned away. Fang Luowei was a bit confused as to why Shen Xi had saved him; after all, they were not familiar with each other and had never said a word to each other despite living together in 302. This question lingered in his mind until much later. When they got to know each other well, Fang Luowei got the answer. Shen Xi’s reason for taking action was very simple; it was because Fang Luowei resisted. He didn’t understand this answer at the time, but as time went on and he saw more scenes in prison, he gradually understood what Shen Xi meant.

There was too much bullying going on here, and what happened to him could happen to every man who still had a clean face. But apart from the very few who would fight back to death, most of the men would fight back a few times and then quietly choose to compromise. Some others would choose to join in the bullying of the weaker ones. On a few occasions, Fang Luowei would come across a humiliated looking man following several other men who had obviously just done it. He wanted to say something, but in the end said nothing. If a man did not even have the courage to resist, how long could he last here with the help of others?

After this incident, Fang Luowei intentionally showed his goodwill to Shen Xi, but Shen Xi did not respond to his gestures of kindness and remained alone. Shen Xi’s refusal aroused Fang Luowei’s curiosity, and his gaze unconsciously stopped on Shen Xi more and more often. He found that Shen Xi was a very special existence in the prison. Most of the people avoided him and did not want to get involved with him, but there were some people who were always looking for trouble with him. At first, Fang Luowei thought that Shen Xi, like him, was in trouble because of his face; but he soon realised that Shen Xi’s trouble was not just because of it. He couldn’t help but be curious about Shen Xi’s past, but apart from knowing that Shen Xi was locked up here five years ago for premeditated murder attempt and that he had offended the wrong people on the outside, he didn’t hear anything about Shen Xi. Shen Xi never talked about his past, and more often than not he just sat quietly alone and didn’t take the initiative to talk to anyone.

The turning point in their relationship came in the third month after Fang Luowei was imprisoned. It was a hot summer day, and after a long day’s work, everyone who came back from work went straight to the showers. The conditions in this area of the prison were not bad, and several large shower rooms were built in a row near the playground, enough for hundreds of people of the whole prison to wash together.

That day, Fang Luowei was delayed by something, and only when most of the people had finished washing did he rush to the showers with his clothes. Among the several shower rooms, he habitually went to the nearest one, but was stopped at the door by a strange man who gave him a sidelong glance and lifted his chin, “Go to the back.”

Fang Luowei’s heart thudded. The man’s words meant something was going on inside. He was no longer a rookie on his first day in prison; neither did he have the curiosity to pry into what was going on, nor would he argue with the other party hot-headed. He just carried his clothes and obediently turned to the second shower room, only to meet his fellow 302 cellmate, the man who slept in the bunk above Shen Xi, at the entrance.

The man had a cautious look on his face as he peeked at the place where Fang Luowei had come from, and Fang Luowei couldn’t help but ask, “What are you looking at?”

“Shhh!” The man whispered extremely quickly at Fang Luowei, “Shen Xi is going to be done this time, he is blocked inside.”

Fang Luowei heard the words “Shen Xi” so suddenly that he subconsciously turned around and looked over. Shen Xi was blocked inside; a few simple words revealed an incomparable danger. He simply dared not think what would happen inside, and after a moment’s hesitation, Fang Luowei lowered his head and made up his mind. The last time he was in a desperate situation and no matter what Shen Xi’s reason was for stepping in, this time he would take it as a repayment for Shen Xi’s helping hand.

Fang Luowei quickly turned around and left the place, going to the nearby playground. There were many good stones at the edge of the playground, and Fang Luowei patiently gathered them and wrapped them inside his clothes. All he could hope for now was that Shen Xi would last a little longer and try to hold out until he appeared. It’s not that he didn’t want to go to the guards, but for one thing, distant water couldn’t quench the thirst – the office building was too far away from the shower rooms; for another, through his observations during this time, he found that the guards had more of a permissive attitude towards Shen Xi’s troubles. It was evident from the fact that Shen Xi was frequently injured in fights and the guards turned a blind eye to it. Fang Luowei did not dare to bet on the guards’ intervention, so he had to find a way by himself.

The stones gathered inside his clothes were almost as big as a grown man’s two fists. Satisfied, Fang Luowei turned and walked briskly in the direction he had come from.

After knocking down the man guarding the door by surprise, Fang Luowei dared not delay any longer and hurried inside, shouting Shen Xi’s name as he ran. The scene inside was not what he had expected. He thought Shen Xi would be in a mess, he was even worried that he would see some embarrassing scene. However, the truth was, Shen Xi was in a mess indeed, but the men in the room were in an even bigger mess. In the empty shower room, Shen Xi and the other men were coldly confronting each other, all of them covered in blood, and one man was lying on the floor, dead or alive.

Fang Luowei’s eyes fell on the iron bar in Shen Xi’s hand. He didn’t know how Shen Xi had managed to break the iron bars of the bathroom’s water outlet. Compared to the opponent’s bare hands, Shen Xi, who had a weapon, obviously didn’t fall behind.

Fang Luowei’s presence quickly changed the tide of the battle, and with the two of them armed, the men on the opposite side were quickly beaten to the ground. Facing the men groaning on the floor, Fang Luowei tried to drag Shen Xi away, but Shen Xi walked up to the man in front of him. He rammed the iron bar in his hand into the leader’s lower body fiercely.

“Ah!” A harsh wail rang out in the room.

Fang Luowei looked at Shen Xi in shock, only to hear Shen Xi speak coldly to the man, “If you take money, you have to weigh whether you have the life to spend it.”

This sentence seemed to make Fang Luowei understand what was going on. He thought of the rumours he had heard about Shen Xi’s ruthlessness and swallowed back the words that were on his lips. Shen Xi did not rush to leave, but slowly and methodically rinsed the blood off his body. A foot-long bloody gash ran over his waist, and Fang Luowei could almost see the tender flesh turning inside out. Shen Xi washed the wound expressionlessly, haphazardly took his clothes and wrapped them around the gash.

“Aren’t you going to see a doctor?” Fang Luowei couldn’t help but speak up.

Shen Xi gave him an intent look, “I’m not injured, naturally I don’t need to see one.”

The shower room incident was a big deal, and Shen Xi took full responsibility for it alone, leaving Fang Luowei out of the matter. Because two people on the other side were seriously injured, Shen Xi was sent to confinement by the prison authorities for a fortnight. The prison authorities never mentioned the fact that Shen Xi was also injured, and Fang Luowei thought of Shen Xi saying that he was not injured. He could not say what he felt in his heart.

In prison, confinement was also privately referred to as a dark room. The only contact with the outside world was a book-sized opening in the heavy door. Fang Luowei heard from his cellmate that if it wasn’t for the need to find a way to serve food inside, the prison authorities would have preferred not to even have the opening in the door. For the inmates, their greatest fear was being locked up in the dark cell. In the deep, lonely darkness, time stretched infinitely. There was no one to talk to, you couldn’t tell day from night, you couldn’t feel the presence of light, so people weak at heart couldn’t last a week in there before they collapsed.

As Fang Luowei listened to the gossip, he could not help but worry for Shen Xi. He did not know if Shen Xi could survive these two weeks. Every night when he went to bed, he would habitually look at Shen Xi’s empty bunk, imagining what Shen Xi would look like now in the small dark room.

Perhaps because of these thoughts, time passed very slowly, and Fang Luowei only felt that these two weeks had been incredibly long. On the day Shen Xi’s confinement was over, Fang Luowei stayed quietly at 302 after finishing work, not bothering to take a shower.

When footsteps stopped at the door, Fang Luowei looked up and saw Shen Xi standing there quietly. Shen Xi’s face was no longer cold like before as he gave Fang Luowei an unprecedented smile.

“I’m Shen Xi.”

“I’m Fang Luowei.”

This day was the beginning of the two really getting to know each other.

Previous / ToC / Next

Rebirth: Different Way Chapter 99

“Congratulations, lasting happiness to you both.”

The round-faced black man smiled, saying it to Shen Xi and Li Mingxuan, handing them a thin piece of paper along with the blessing. Shen Xi took it with a smile and turned his head to look at Li Mingxuan, who gave him a peck on the cheek with a satisfied expression.

A few months after the proposal on Dolce Island, Li Mingxuan finally took a ten-day vacation to accompany Shen Xi to Las Vegas to receive their long-awaited certificate.

The two of them returned to their rented villa in high spirits. Li Mingxuan petted Shen Xi from behind, nibbling on his ear and whispering, “Mr. Shen, are you mentally prepared to be responsible for this man next to you for the rest of your life?”

Shen Xi, ticklish, dodged Li Mingxuan’s movements and glanced at him obliquely, “Is Mr. Li prepared?”

“Of course!” Li Mingxuan looked serious, “Mentally and physically, I’m well prepared. If Xiao Xi does not believe it, do you want to experience it yourself?”

Feeling that Li Mingxuan’s left hand was already sneaking under the hem of his shirt, Shen Xi had to avoid his actions with a stern face, “Stop it, everyone will be here in a moment.”

Li Mingxuan quickly leaned forward and kissed Shen Xi, whispering, “What are you afraid of, we’ve already obtained the certificate.”

His words brought a smile to Shen Xi’s eyes, and his stern face no longer looked intimidating.

Li Mingxuan reached out and wrapped his arms around Shen Xi, deepening the kiss. Although Shen Xi felt that it was not the right time, the word “certificate” made him excited and not only did he not push Li Mingxuan away but reached out and hugged him instead.

The two of them were just halfway through their kiss when the doorbell rang and Shen Xi gently pushed Li Mingxuan, “Someone is here.”

Li Mingxuan stopped his movements and kissed his lips harder, “Let him wait, it’s immoral to interrupt someone’s kiss.”

Shen Xi smiled as he matched Li Mingxuan’s kiss. The doorbell stopped ringing, this time replaced with a mobile phone.

“You’re poisonous, you’re poisonous, you’re poisonous poisonous poisonous!” When the unique voice sounded, even Li Mingxuan couldn’t hold on any longer and looked at Shen Xi with a frustrated expression.

Shen Xi laughed out loud and picked up the phone, “Hello.”

“I know you guys are in there, please save the after-party for tonight, the cake will melt if you don’t open the door.”

Lao K’s tone was a serious one, but Shen Xi couldn’t help but blush. His blush did not fade until Li Mingxuan opened the door and let Lao K in. Lao K winked at Shen Xi with an expression of “I see”, which made Shen Xi both laugh and cry in his heart.

Lao K was the first to arrive; Fang Luowei, Ye Han and the others rushed over one after another next, and the last to appear at the door were Shen Ji and Shen Cheng. They had all received their invitations in China and made time to come to Las Vegas to celebrate Shen Xi and Li Mingxuan’s wedding. Inviting their friends who knew them well, Li Mingxuan hoped that his marriage to Shen Xi would receive the blessing of everyone.

The invited guests arrived and as the sky turned darker. The villa was lit up with multicoloured lights. Because it was early autumn, Li Mingxuan had arranged the party in the garden behind the villa. As the lights came on, the whole garden was illuminated brightly, full of long, neat tables, rich food, a lively band and smiling people.

Li Mingxuan took Shen Xi’s hand and walked around the garden, unable to control his desire to show off to everyone. Shen Ji smiled as he watched Li Mingxuan’s movements. He quietly looked at Shen Cheng by his side and whispered, “Ah Cheng, why don’t we go and get a certificate too?”

Shen Cheng was very moved by the words, but his face had a look of impatience, “We are already together in the family register, why do we need to do this more than once?”

“Then forget it!” Shen Ji immediately agreed.

Shen Cheng choked and looked at Shen Ji bitterly, and met Shen Ji’s eyes full of laughter.

The interaction between the two was noticed by Shen Xi. Shen Xi always felt that something was indescribably odd about them, and yet he felt that the expressions of the two seemed very familiar.

“Cousin, do you ever feel that Big Brother and Second Brother are getting along very oddly?” Shen Xi could not help but gossip. Li Mingxuan thought of what Shen Ji had told him; a smile appeared in his eyes, but he deliberately asked rhetorically, “What’s odd?”

Shen Xi was about to answer but was stunned for a moment when he looked at Li Mingxuan’s expression. He understood why he felt the expression on Shen Ji’s face when he was with Shen Cheng seemed familiar. Seeing Shen Xi’s dawning realisation, which then turned into a surprise, Li Mingxuan nodded, “They’re together.”

“Really?” Shen Xi asked incredulously, and Li Mingxuan gave a definite “en”.

Shen Xi blinked, suddenly not knowing what to say. His mind inexplicably flashed back to Wang Changlin’s last words. Should he say that Wang Changlin’s wish had finally come true in such a way?

Li Mingxuan looked at Shen Xi’s expression with amusement, led him to a deserted corner, bowed his head and kissed him.

“You should only think of me at this time.”

This domineering declaration made Shen Xi laugh. He reached out and pushed Li Mingxuan, “Everyone is still here, it’s not good for us to hide, is it?”

Li Mingxuan raised his eyebrows and righteously said, “Technically speaking, tonight is our wedding night, they should all be able to understand.”

The smile on Shen Xi’s face deepened, “Let’s go back to the bedroom?”

“Good!” Li Mingxuan replied straightforwardly.

Hand in hand, the two left the crowd in the garden and sneaked back to the master bedroom on the second floor. No one turned on the light; the garden light was enough to illuminate the whole bedroom.

Li Mingxuan pulled Shen Xi to the centre of the bedroom and stood on one knee, kneeling in front of him like a mediaeval knight pledging allegiance to his king.

“I swear to cherish the relationship we have before, now, in the future and forever.

I swear that I will trust you and respect you as I trust and respect myself.

I swear that I will be with you in wealth or in poverty.

I swear that I will always be by your side no matter what we face.

I swear that I will love you faithfully.

As I reach out my hand for you to hold tightly,

I will commit my life to you.

My prince, I love you!”

What Li Mingxuan imitated was also a knight’s oath, only changed to a declaration of love to Shen Xi. After he finished, countless fireworks blossomed in the back garden. The dazzling light illuminated the entire night sky, revealing the unmistakable deep love in Li Mingxuan’s eyes.

The corners of Shen Xi’s mouth curled up uncontrollably, “I’ll remember your oath, my knight.”

“The knight” Li Mingxuan naturally pulled “the prince” Shen Xi to his feet, tenderly lowered his head and kissed him, whispering, “I hope what I do next will not be considered a crime. “

Shen Xi laughed cooperatively, “I forgive you.”

“Thank you for your forgiveness, my prince.” Li Mingxuan whispered tenderly, kissing Shen Xi while he moved to unbutton Shen Xi’s jacket. The Western-style outfit was intricately shaped and was not easily unbuttoned. Li Mingxuan’s kisses moved from Shen Xi’s lips to his neck, and Shen Xi tilted his head back, exposing his white neck. Li Mingxuan could not resist nibbling, not too gently but not too heavily, listening to Shen Xi’s low moans as lust rose up inside him, his whole body soon burning with desire.

After Li Mingxuan’s relentless efforts, Shen Xi finally took off his jacket, revealing the close-fitting satin waistcoat inside. Looking at the conspicuous double-breasted buttons on the vest, Li Mingxuan suppressed the desire inside him and said in a hoarse voice, “I really shouldn’t have let you wear so much.”

A smile appeared in Shen Xi’s eyes as he rubbed against Li Mingxuan and whispered, “Take off the pants first.”

Li Mingxuan’s eyes became hot under Shen Xi’s movements, and he quickly unbuckled Shen Xi’s belt and removed his pants. The slightly cool night breeze blew in through the window, and Shen Xi couldn’t help but shiver a little, pressing himself even closer to Li Mingxuan. After his experience with Shen Xi, Li Mingxuan was much quicker in taking off his own clothes. He did not strip off all of Shen Xi’s clothes but left his shirt on.

Shen Xi softly leaned against Li Mingxuan’s body. Li Mingxuan’s hands wandered behind Shen Xi’s back, his fingers rubbing Shen Xi’s sensitive parts. Shen Xi’s body grew softer and softer and he couldn’t help but whimper.


Li Mingxuan took a deep breath and carried Shen Xi to the head of the bed, finding the lubricant he had put there earlier. While Shen Xi’s upper body was still dressed, his lower body was naked. Li Mingxuan looked at Shen Xi’s naked body with fascination in his eyes, squeezed the lubricant into his hand and gently probed at Shen Xi’s behind.

Although they had been together for over a year, Shen Xi still needed some preparation. Li Mingxuan’s fingers probed into the tight place, patiently entering deeper little by little, gently moving in circles inside. The fiery place enveloped his fingers tightly, the slight contraction making him want to bury himself in it immediately. Fortunately, he was already very familiar with Shen Xi’s body and soon found Shen Xi’s sensitive spot, rubbing it gently on purpose.


Shen Xi’s entire body trembled as he hummed quietly. Li Mingxuan’s eyes became deep and he pressed down once more on the same spot.


Shen Xi begged impatiently, and Li Mingxuan couldn’t help but lean over and kiss Shen Xi hard. During the kiss, the movements of his fingers did not stop, and Shen Xi moved his waist up in dissatisfaction, rubbing gently against Li Mingxuan’s body.

Li Mingxuan’s desire had long been erect, but he was worried that Shen Xi would not be able to bear it and was suppressing his impatience. When he finally reached the point where three fingers could go in and out and Shen Xi’s expression indicated that he was ready, Li Mingxuan naturally refused to hold back any longer and slowly withdrew his fingers. The momentary emptiness inside him caused Shen Xi to moan again.

The hot flesh pressed against the long-wet spot, but Li Mingxuan did not enter immediately, instead slowly pumping at the entrance. Only when Shen Xi’s moist eyes turned towards him with a pleading look did he push in with a single stroke. The fiery giant took the place of the fingers, and Li Mingxuan slowly stroked Shen Xi’s body before thrusting into the deepest part and grinding hard. Shen Xi couldn’t help but cry out, his body undulating as Li Mingxuan moved, the place of their junction becoming moist and slippery.

Li Mingxuan held Shen Xi, slamming hard while nibbling on his neck. Shen Xi’s head was tilted up slightly, his eyes unfocused for a moment. The destructive pleasure gushed out of his body in a frenzy of the rapid frictions, and Shen Xi instinctively clenched and groaned as he came. His body went completely limp on the bed, and Shen Xi lay there helplessly, passively catering to Li Mingxuan’s movements. When Li Mingxuan stopped moving, Shen Xi tensed up slightly and waited for the final stroke, but unexpectedly Li Mingxuan suddenly picked him up, rolled him over and pressed him against the wall.

Shen Xi’s legs were too weak to stand, so he had to wrap his legs tightly around Li Mingxuan’s waist. Li Mingxuan lowered his head and kissed Shen Xi’s lips, finding the right spot to thrust in again.

“Xiao Xi, I love you!”

Li Mingxuan moved vigorously while kissing. Shen Xi could no longer notice what he was saying. Li Mingxuan’s attack was so intense that he withdrew almost all the way every time and pushed in again without waiting for Shen Xi to close up. Shen Xi only felt that his body was drifting out of control, like a boat swirling in the sea, as if he was going to faint in the next moment.

As Li Mingxuan’s movements accelerated, Shen Xi could not help but cry out, “Cousin, no more…”

“Good boy, hold on a little longer!” Li Mingxuan soothed haphazardly without the slightest intention of stopping his movements.

“No, ah!” Along with Shen Xi’s scream, a hot stream of heat was injected into his body, and Shen Xi jerked uncontrollably.

Li Mingxuan panted raggedly and held Shen Xi in his arms tightly. Shen Xi leaned in his arms in a daze and the two of them snuggled quietly, no one saying a word.

The fireworks burst into the sky once more, the brilliant light illuminating both of them at the same time. Li Mingxuan tenderly kissed Shen Xi’s damp forehead, feeling as if time stopped. He wished for this moment to go on forever.

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Rebirth: Different Way Chapter 98

Chapters 96-98 – incest warning (Ah Ji x Ah Cheng)

After a long kiss, Shen Ji propped himself up a little and looked at Shen Cheng. Their noses were only centimetres apart and the situation was indescribably ambiguous.

Shen Cheng had been lost in Shen Ji’s kiss for a long time, but when he slowly returned to his senses, the first thing he saw was Shen Ji’s handsome face very close, and his heart immediately beat wildly. He was usually not very bright, but two kisses and he could see that Shen Ji’s feelings for him were different from what he thought.

“Big Brother…” Shen Cheng unconsciously murmured in a small voice.

He felt that he did not seem to hate this kind of Shen Ji, and even deep inside there was a secret longing, with a wave of lust rising up in his body. Shen Cheng jerked, suppressing the reverie in his heart. Shen Ji was his own brother, how could they do this?

Two contradictory thoughts struggled in his mind and body. Shen Cheng’s complexion changed and he squeezed out a sentence, “Big Brother, let go of me first.”

An unmistakable smile appeared in Shen Ji’s eyes. He had thought of various possible reactions Shen Cheng would have, but definitely had not imagined the one in front of him. Did Ah Cheng even realise what the key issue was now? Moreover, looking at the expression Ah Cheng had shown earlier, Shen Ji was actually intoxicated.

Shen Cheng keenly noticed the smirk in Shen Ji’s eyes and, slightly emboldened, muttered in a small voice, “Big Brother, my hands hurt, let me go quickly.” As for what the two of them should do after Shen Ji released him, Shen Cheng was not thinking about it for a while.

Shen Ji smiled and raised an eyebrow, “Your hands hurt? You might just as well remember this feeling.”

Shen Cheng’s face became aggrieved because of these words, but Shen Ji was unmoved, propping himself with one hand on the bed and letting the other hand explore along the hem of Shen Cheng’s clothes. Shen Cheng’s body immediately stiffened and he shrank desperately to the other side of the bed.

“Big, Big, Big Brother?”

Shen Cheng’s voice was trembling as Shen Ji’s palm touched Shen Cheng’s waist. The skin beneath his palm was smooth and delicate, yet contained the unique strength of a man. Shen Ji rubbed it with fascination, his eyes looking at Shen Cheng darkly, “You think you were right?”

“I, I…” After a long time, Shen Cheng finally bowed his head, “Big Brother, I was wrong.”

Shen Ji continued to question, “Wrong about what?”

With his previous experience of admitting his mistakes, Shen Cheng said very consciously, “I shouldn’t have run away without saying anything, making Big Brother worry.”

“Oh?” Shen Ji was very satisfied with Shen Cheng’s attitude, and while running his palm up Shen Cheng’s waist a little, he said slowly, “Shouldn’t you be punished for doing something wrong?”

Shen Cheng only felt that a fire was ignited in his body. Something seemed to be getting out of control. Compared to the minor issue of whether the handcuffs were removed or not, Shen Ji’s behaviour at this moment was the bigger issue. Hearing Shen Ji’s words, Shen Cheng immediately said, “Big Brother, I accept the punishment, you don’t need to uncuff me, just leave the handcuffs like this.”


“Really!” Shen Cheng nodded flatteringly with a look of obedience.

Shen Ji showed a smile of satisfaction, “Since we have agreed on this matter, now we can start doing something else.”

“Something else?”

Shen Cheng’s doubts soon found an answer in Shen Ji’s actions. When his shirt was unbuttoned to reveal his bare skin, Shen Cheng couldn’t help but panic. If he had been able to pretend that he was avoiding the previous kisses and touches, Shen Ji’s actions now were forcing him to face up to the truth before him. Shen Cheng couldn’t say what he felt. On the one hand, he vaguely longed for Shen Ji, this taboo pleasure calling for him, and on the other hand, he could not help but think that Shen Ji was his elder brother, how could they do this?

Shen Cheng wanted to struggle, but his body was confined by Shen Ji tightly. When his pants were removed and his entire body was exposed, Shen Cheng only felt a roar in his head and his entire body seemed to be burning.

“Big, Big Brother?” Shen Cheng let out a low cry of extreme shame.

Shen Ji’s gaze swept up and down Shen Cheng’s body as if he was a lord inspecting his territory, and Shen Cheng tried to shrink into a ball in embarrassment but was stopped by Shen Ji. Shen Cheng dared not look at him again and faked his death, closing his eyes to escape.

Shen Ji’s eyes became dark and deep as he leaned down and kissed Shen Cheng on the lips.

“Ah Cheng, stay with me.”

Shen Ji didn’t need Shen Cheng’s answer. After he said this, the kiss turned from the initial tenderness to intensity. During the kiss, Shen Ji picked up Shen Cheng and probed at his behind with his fingers. The tight, hidden place was soft and tender, and Shen Ji was very patient in his pre-exploration. He had been waiting for Shen Cheng for 24 years, and he had enough patience to get him slowly.

One finger, two fingers… Shen Ji’s movements were gentle and slow and Shen Cheng’s struggle was not obvious. While helping Shen Cheng expand, Shen Ji gently licked and kissed Shen Cheng’s lips, leaving them and nibbling them again, tempting Shen Cheng over and over again. Finally, when Shen Cheng groaned in impatience, Shen Ji deepened the kiss.

Shen Cheng’s opening had been expanded to three fingers. Although there was still some difference from Shen Ji’s size, for one thing, Shen Ji no longer wanted to hold back, and for another, he also wanted to give Shen Cheng a certain memory.

The moment he entered, Shen Ji clearly heard a low, muffled groan from Shen Cheng. Thinking that this was Shen Cheng’s first time, Shen Ji tried hard to suppress the urge to cheer in his heart and patiently soothed Shen Cheng in his arms.

“Ah Cheng, Ah Cheng!” Shen Ji held back from moving, calling Shen Cheng’s name in a low voice, as if he wanted to engrave this name into his body. Only when Shen Cheng’s body slightly relaxed did Shen Ji find the opportunity to wedge himself in whole.

Shen Cheng’s face went white and he only said after a long time, “Big Brother, this time… it really hurts.”

Shen Cheng’s voice was almost sobbing. From the time he was undressed, he had given up struggling and submitted to Shen Ji’s actions, but this really hurt too much. Shen Cheng tried to push Shen Ji away, forgetting that he was still handcuffed to the bed and could not get free at all.

Although Shen Ji’s heart ached for Shen Cheng, he had no intention of giving up midway, patiently kissing him again and again, and when Shen Cheng slowly let out a sigh of relief, Shen Ji hugged him and pushed in hard again.

“Agh!” Shen Cheng’s short sharp cry was quickly blocked by Shen Ji. The burning hot sensation was gradually turned into something else as Shen Ji pushed in and out vigorously. Shen Cheng slowly adapted to Shen Ji’s entry and even instinctively catered to Shen Ji’s movements.

Satisfied, Shen Ji hugged Shen Cheng caught in lust tightly. From now on Ah Cheng would be his alone, and no one could separate them.

Shen Cheng did not know when he fell asleep, and when he woke up again it was already the next day. The handcuffs on the bed had long since been removed and his body had obviously been cleaned. Shen Cheng moved lazily. The uncomfortable feeling was still there, but it was not as serious as he thought, and there was no major problem moving around or anything. He turned his head and looked around. Shen Ji was not next to him and seemed to be talking to someone on the phone in the living room. Yesterday’s memories quickly resurfaced and crowded frantically in Shen Cheng’s mind; moaning, begging, crying… Shen Cheng just felt his body burning and buried his face down into the blanket, embarrassed, not knowing how he should face Shen Ji later.

“Awake?” Shen Ji’s pleased voice sounded in his ears.

Shen Cheng played dead and refused to speak.

Shen Ji looked at Shen Cheng dotingly and smiled as he stepped forward and lifted the blanket, “How does your body feel?”

Shen Cheng was still pretending to be dead.

Shen Ji laughed lightly and reached out to touch his waist, rubbing it while coaxing and persuading, “I’m going to the office later, does Ah Cheng want to go with me?”

What was this? The carrot after the stick? Shen Cheng raised his head in annoyance and shot a resentful glance at Shen Ji, then continued to bury his head and refused to speak. The smile in Shen Ji’s eyes deepened, “From today onwards, I will arrange an assistant position for you in the company, so you can choose whether you want to stay at home or go to the company with me.”

Although he would still have to stay under Shen Ji’s nose when he went to the company, at least he could go outside. Shen Cheng’s heart was slightly moved. He was hesitating whether to accept Shen Ji’s arrangement when Shen Ji already said in a considerate tone, “If Ah Cheng doesn’t want to go, forget it.”

Shen Cheng was indignant. He knew that Shen Ji was saying this on purpose, but he didn’t dare to bet that if he continued, Shen Ji would not really give up the idea of taking him out. Reluctantly, he raised his head and scowled, “I’ll go!”

Shen Ji quickly leaned down and gave him a kiss, smiling and nodding, obviously in a good mood.

With this beginning, Shen Cheng was not as awkward as he was at first when facing Shen Ji. Shen Ji knew that it would take time for Shen Cheng to get used to the transformation of their relationship. The reason he chose to take Shen Cheng with him to the company was to prevent him from being locked up at home alone with his thoughts.

The trip to the company went smoothly and Shen Ji personally arranged for Shen Cheng to have an office next to his own.

“Ah Cheng, be good, I’m going to have a meeting. There’s food in the pantry, get whatever you want for yourself.”

Shen Cheng nodded. Shen Ji was about to leave when he suddenly thought of something and laughed in a low voice, “Ah Cheng, behave yourself and don’t get any ideas about sneaking off, or I’ll be happy to administer a punishment here.”

Momentarily annoyed, Shen Cheng glared hard at Shen Ji, speechless with anger.

Without Shen Ji at his side, Shen Cheng was spending time quite freely on his own. Playing games and eating snacks was still a bit boring, but it was much better than being cooped up at home. Shen Cheng deliberately did not think about his current relationship with Shen Ji; he was a bit dazed. Before this, he had thought about living with Shen Ji forever, but he had never thought of this kind of relationship. Shen Cheng scratched his hair in distress. No woman, no sister-in-law, just as he had imagined before, only him and Shen Ji. Seriously, what was the difference between this and now? Could it be that Shen Cheng always liked Shen Ji subconsciously but he didn’t know it himself?

“Mr. Shen.” A pleasant female voice interrupted Shen Cheng’s cranky thoughts.

Shen Cheng raised his head in surprise, “Miss Chen?”

Chen Jie stood in the doorway of the office with a smile and apologised, “Excuse me, I’m looking for Mr. Shen. He seems to be in a meeting and Assistant Yu asked me to come here and wait for a while.”

When Shen Cheng looked at Chen Jie, he thought that what happened yesterday was all because of her and instinctively disliked her. But he knew that Chen Jie was Shen Ji’s big client, so it was not good to show his dislike. He had to nod perfunctorily, “Make yourself at home, Miss Chen.”

Chen Jie looked at Shen Cheng silently and sat opposite him with a smile. Shen Cheng played a game on his own. Chen Jie tried to start a conversation several times but was perfunctorily dismissed by Shen Cheng. After a few attempts, Chen Jie smiled at Shen Cheng in a friendly manner and went silent.

Shen Ji came out after the meeting and saw that the two were clearly separated, obviously in the same office but not talking to each other, regarding each other as invisible people.

“Ah Cheng, Miss Chen.”

“Mr. Shen.” Chen Jie stood up gracefully and nodded slightly at Shen Ji.

Unlike when facing Shen Cheng, facing Shen Ji, Chen Jie acted more elegantly. Shen Cheng sensitively perceived the difference and was instantly alert. Since Shen Ji said he wanted to be with him, what about Chen Jie? Shen Cheng’s hostility was noticed by Shen Ji who raised his eyebrows and smiled silently. He liked the way Shen Cheng was now defending his dominion, giving him an urge to overpower him. Suppressing the thought of wanting to stay with Shen Cheng, Shen Ji remembered that Chen Jie was still by his side.

Chen Jie’s visit had nothing to do with work. Out of her confidence in herself, she thought that Shen Ji had rejected the marriage proposal because there was some misunderstanding about it. She needed to join forces with him urgently and for that she did not mind bowing a little lower.

After listening to Chen Jie’s polite explanation, Shen Ji frowned and instead of declining it politely as he did last time, he simply refused, “I’m sorry, Miss Chen, I have someone I like. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t make myself clear last time, although revitalising the Shen family is important to me, in my heart, that person is more important.”

Shen Ji’s expression did not look like he was lying. Chen Jie was taken aback and then smiled awkwardly, “I’m sorry, I’m the one who caused you trouble.”

Because of this embarrassment, Chen Jie didn’t stay much longer, hastily said goodbye and left. After Shen Ji sent her away, he turned around and saw Shen Cheng sitting in his office looking at him with a thoughtful expression.

“What’s the matter?” Shen Ji said gently.

Shen Cheng said in a low voice, “Big Brother, do you like me?”

Shen Ji nodded with a solemn expression.

Shen Cheng looked at him, “Then there will be no woman, no sister-in-law, just the two of us.”

“Of course.”

Shen Ji’s simple answer made Shen Cheng very satisfied, but soon he thought of another problem, “Then if we are together and Shen Xi and Cousin are together, won’t the Shen family be completely extinct eventually as Wang Changlin hoped?”

Shen Ji was taken aback slightly, not expecting Shen Cheng to worry about this issue. Smiling unconcernedly, Shen Ji said with conviction, “In my heart, Ah Cheng is more important than anything else.”

Shen Cheng’s heart thudded. He saw Shen Ji’s serious expression and nodded heavily, “In my heart, Big Brother is also the most important!”

“En!” Shen Ji gently took Shen Cheng into his arms, “I know!”

He was content not just to be the most important, but the only important, and thinking about the long future before them, Shen Ji smiled faintly.

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Rebirth: Different Way Chapter 97

Chapters 96-98 – incest warning (Ah Ji x Ah Cheng)

Shen Ji promised to take Shen Cheng out, so naturally he would not go back on his word.

Waking up early in the morning, Shen Ji told his assistant to push off all his meetings for the day and free up some time for him. The assistant who received Shen Ji’s call was extremely puzzled. Yesterday, the contract had just been finalised. Shouldn’t the boss be dealing with the contact today while the iron was hot? What the hell was he up to? No matter how much he swore in his heart, the assistant had to resign himself to the fact that he had to cancel all the meetings he had scheduled yesterday. There was no major problem with the rest of the schedule, but there was an issue with the meeting with Chen Jie. During the phone call, Chen Jie asked in detail about the reasons for cancellation and even inquired about the activities She Ji would have instead. The assistant felt that Chen Jie’s questions were inexplicable, but as the other party was a major client of the company; he had to try to understand Chen Jie’s psychology and to accommodate the other party by answering to his best ability.

Only when the assistant hung up the phone did he let out a long sigh. Chen Jie didn’t sound like a client but like the boss’s wife checking his whereabouts. The assistant looked at the pile of cooperation documents and got busy.

Shen Ji didn’t know that Chen Jie would inquire about his whereabouts in such detail. He had consciously declined Chen Jie’s vaguely revealed intentions last night. Before Shen Group’s bankruptcy, he didn’t need marriage to increase his bargaining chips, and after the bankruptcy, he would not choose any ridiculous marriage either. He was Shen Ji, and he was capable of holding up the Shen family on his own, not selling himself out cheaply like some goods.

Moving quickly to wash up, Shen Ji returned to the bedroom. Shen Cheng was still sleeping, lying face down on the bed, pressing against the blanket under him. His long, slender limbs were stretched out. The corners of Shen Ji’s mouth curled up slightly; the blanket was exactly where he had been when he woke up. He had never known before that Shen Cheng’s sleeping position was so bad. For some time now, he had to carefully move Shen Cheng, who was pressing against him, every day when he woke up.

Shen Ji’s eyes slid down from Shen Cheng’s bare back all the way down to his upturned buttocks, and as some thought flashed through his mind, his body instinctively stepped forward and his hand slapped the place where his eyes had landed.

“Pop!” There was a crisp sound, and before Shen Ji could relish the supple feeling under his hand, Shen Cheng had already jumped up, frowning hard.

“Big Brother!”

Shen Ji laughed in a happy mood, “Hurry up and get dressed, I’ll take you out today.”

The misery and anger on Shen Cheng’s face disappeared immediately after the word “out”, replaced with a bright smile. With one hand rubbing the place where Shen Ji had just slapped and one arm wrapped around Shen Ji’s neck, Shen Cheng said ingratiatingly, “Big Brother, you’re really my good big brother.”

As he was talking, their bodies pressed together. Shen Ji stood fully clothed by the bed, while Shen Cheng was almost naked, half-kneeling on the bed, his entire upper body clinging to Shen Ji as he hugged Shen Ji tightly. Shen Ji felt the heat of Shen Cheng’s skin through his thin clothes and his eyes darkened. Perhaps the excitement of finally being able to go out was too much; Shen Cheng forgot his state of undress for a moment and was oblivious to Shen Ji’s reaction. Instead, he rubbed the place that was slapped by Shen Ji and complained, “Big Brother, why do you hit so hard, do you know how much it hurts?”

Listening to this kind of coquettish complaint, Shen Ji looked at Shen Cheng’s slightly frowned eyebrows, and his voice became hoarse, with a hint of danger, “Why, do you want me to rub it for you?”

Although there seemed to be nothing wrong with this sentence, Shen Cheng instinctively noticed something was unusual and quickly let go of Shen Ji, retreating to the other side of the bed and smiling, “No, Big Brother, I lied to you. It doesn’t hurt. It really doesn’t hurt at all. ”

Saying that, Shen Cheng quickly jumped out of bed and rushed into the bathroom. Shen Ji looked at Shen Cheng’s back, his eyes becoming dark again.

Shen Ji said that he was taking Shen Cheng out, but in fact, he hadn’t really thought about where they were going. To Shen Cheng, it didn’t matter where he was going, what mattered was that he could finally step out. Not to be watched by the bodyguard walking a few laps in the park and avoiding strangers with caution, but to have real contact with the outside world and mingle with the lively crowd. Shen Cheng couldn’t remember the last time he was so excited, and to prevent Shen Ji from suddenly changing his mind, he was sticking to Shen Ji since he finished washing up, playing the role of an obedient and docile younger brother.

Shen Ji was obviously very satisfied with Shen Cheng’s performance and took the initiative to ask, “Where do you want to go?”

“Shutu, Yuanhui, any bar or KTV, anything will do.” The answer was clamouring in Shen Cheng’s mind, but he didn’t dare to really say it, knowing that Shen Ji would definitely not take him there, instead he might cancel the trip altogether.

“Anywhere, Big Brother, you make the decision,” Shen Cheng said meekly.

Shen Ji nodded in satisfaction. He was not willing to take Shen Cheng to a place that was too lively, but picked a shopping centre that had just opened recently. Since Shen Cheng wanted to go shopping, there were not too many people there and it had everything to eat, drink and play, which in Shen Ji’s eyes was enough for Shen Cheng to pass the day.

Although Shen Cheng did not like Shen Ji’s arrangement in his heart, he knew that the opportunity to go out didn’t come easy and he didn’t dare to show his dissatisfaction. The reason why Shen Ji kept such a close watch on Shen Cheng was to prevent him from contacting his old friends and relapsing. Quitting drugs for the second time would be even more difficult than the first. Now that Shen Ji was at Shen Cheng’s side, Shen Cheng naturally did not need a bodyguard. The two of them strolled up from the ground floor. If it was in the past, Shen Cheng would have found this kind of activity extremely boring, but after being locked up for three months, Shen Cheng was excited to see everything again, pulling Shen Ji to look left and right.

“Mr. Shen?” A pleasant female voice sounded behind him, a hint of surprise in it.

Shen Ji turned back in confusion; not far behind him Chen Jie smiled elegantly at him and walked over very naturally.

“Mr. Shen, it’s really you, I thought I was mistaken.” Chen Jie said with a smile, her eyes unobtrusively sweeping over Shen Cheng. She did not know Shen Cheng, but she might as well judge Shen Cheng’s identity from the similarity between his and Shen Ji’s appearance. Originally, she thought that Shen Ji had something important to do since he had cancelled today’s meeting, but she did not expect that Shen Ji would be leisurely accompanying Shen Cheng in shopping.

At Chen Jie’s appearance, a trace of dislike flashed through Shen Ji’s eyes extremely quickly, but his expression did not show the slightest hint of it, and he said blandly, “Miss Chen.”

Chen Jie nodded with a smile, looking at Shen Cheng with suspicion, “And who is this?”

“Shen Cheng, my brother.”

“Mr. Shen, nice to meet you.” Chen Jie smiled and took the initiative to make a gesture of goodwill.

Shen Cheng’s gaze fell on Chen Jie’s face and he nodded perfunctorily. He did not like Chen Jie’s smile. Perhaps Chen Jie’s smile was sincere towards Shen Ji, but her smile at him was full of assessment. Especially when he smelled Chen Jie’s perfume that was exactly the same as the one on Shen Jie’s clothes last night. He wouldn’t believe that the women Shen Ji met two days in a row all liked this perfume. It was clearly the same person. Thinking that it was eleven o’clock when Shen Ji arrived home last night, Shen Cheng couldn’t help but feel annoyed.

Seeing that Chen Jie still had no intention of leaving, Shen Cheng sneered in his heart and looked impatiently at Shen Ji, “Big Brother, you talk, I’ll go over there for a stroll.”

Shen Ji did not reply but glanced at Chen Jie who was standing there with a smile on her face, looking as if she could not understand Shen Ji’s meaning. Although he did not like Chen Jie, the two companies had just started cooperating with each other, so it was not good for him to tear his face off with Chen Jie.

As this thought flashed through his mind, Shen Ji nodded slightly at Shen Cheng, who quickly rushed into a nearby shop with a liberated look on his face. It was not until Shen Cheng’s figure disappeared inside the shop that Shen Ji’s eyes following him moved back to Chen Jie. Chen Jie assessed everything she saw and smiled, “Mr. Shen, you and your brother are so affectionate.”

Shen Ji smiled lightly in silence, his attitude neither intimate nor distant. Chen Jie’s mind raced, full of thoughts. She knew that she had been a bit hasty yesterday and had too abruptly revealed her desire to join hands with Shen Ji in marriage, but she just couldn’t wait. Her family was pressing for her to marry, and if she hadn’t used the excuse of exploring the northern market to hide in Zhongjing, who knows if her father would have suddenly arranged a marriage contract for her. The Chen family was able to get to its current size thanks to her mother’s dowry back then. Now that her mother passed away, her father wanted to marry her off so that he could leave the company to her half-brother, but it also was up to her to agree or not.

When she thought of this, the smile on Chen Jie’s face became even sweeter, “Mr. Shen, do you have any misunderstanding about me? Regarding the proposal last night, I think I can explain.”

Shen Ji did not expect Chen Jie to be so direct and was about to speak when a few children at his side jostled and pushed, bumping into Chen Jie.

“Ah!” Chen Jie exclaimed as she lunged towards Shen Jie, who was unable to back away and had to reach out and support her. Chen Jie looked up gratefully and smiled at Shen Ji. From a distance, it looked as if the two were hugging each other, with a very intimate demeanour.

This scene was seen by Shen Cheng, who had just come out of the shop. The children ran away quickly after bumping into someone, and naturally Shen Cheng did not see the cause, but only saw Shen Ji hugging Chen Jie, bowing his head and  saying something. Anger welled up in his heart. Shen Cheng glared at Shen Ji in annoyance; he didn’t see Shen Ji push the woman in his arms away, the two continued hugging each other.

For some reason, Shen Cheng found this scene an eyesore, and after giving Shen Ji a hateful glare, Shen Cheng turned his head in anger and left.

Shen Ji was unaware of what was happening behind him. At the moment he was suppressing the impatience in his heart and looked at Chen Jie in his arms, “Are you seriously hurt?”

Chen Jie shook her head, “Just twisted my ankle slightly, it will be fine after resting.”

Since Chen Jie said so, Shen Ji took a glance at the ten centimetre high heels on Chen Jie’s feet and had no choice but to keep supporting Chen Jie. After a few minutes Chen Jie straightened with Shen Ji’s help, looking at him apologetically.

“I’m really sorry about what happened before, I wonder if I can invite Mr. Shen and his brother to have dinner, simply to thank Mr. Shen for giving a helping hand just now.”

“No need, it’s just a little effort,” Shen Ji politely refused.

Disappointment appeared on Chen Jie’s face as she forced a smile, “Then I won’t bother Mr. Shen, I’m sure your brother must be waiting.”

Shen Ji nodded with a light expression, and Chen Jie watched as he left without hesitation. This time, she felt truly disappointed.

Shen Ji did not care what Chen Jie thought, he was in a hurry to find Shen Cheng. He and Chen Jie had not been delayed for long, and Shen Cheng should normally have come out of the previous shop, but Shen Ji had not seen him. Was he fascinated with something?

Shen Ji’s good mood did not last long and he soon came out of the shop with an anxious face. After searching through several nearby shops in quick succession, Shen Ji was already livid. Needless to say, he was already sure that Shen Cheng had taken the opportunity to run away. He had never thought that Shen Cheng would be so bold as to run away under his nose. Shen Ji’s face turned gloomy as he quickly got through to his bodyguards and told them to come over quickly.

Shen Cheng had no money on him and no mobile phone, so he couldn’t have gone far and couldn’t contact his former friends. He must have still been nearby. Shen Ji looked around with a cold face and walked quickly towards the service counter.

As Shen Ji searched for him, Shen Cheng was wandering aimlessly in the street. After leaving Shen Ji in a moment of anger, he soon realised that he had no money on him and could not walk too far. But he was reluctant to go back like this, and the thought of the way Shen Ji hugged that woman just now made him indescribably irritable.

He was already used to Shen Ji being by his side all the time. Since childhood, they had always been very close. Even after all that had happened some time ago, Shen Ji had never left him alone. During this period of time, the two of them had been together day and night, and Shen Cheng had even had the illusion that he and Shen Ji would live like this forever. Only now did he realise that perhaps there would be a woman by Shen Ji’s side in the near future, that he would have a sister-in-law and later a nephew, and that Shen Ji could not possibly control him for the rest of his life.

Shen Cheng kicked the trash can on the side of the road. If only there was no woman and no sister-in-law, he and Shen Ji could live on like this forever. This thought flashed through his mind extremely quickly, and Shen Cheng froze and snorted. How was this possible? The restlessness in his heart was not relieved, as if he had become more irritable because of this thought. Shen Cheng looked around the street in bewilderment, not knowing where to go for a moment.

“Shen Cheng!” Accompanied by the sound of violent braking, it seemed that someone was calling his name.

Shen Cheng looked over at the sound in confusion, his face full of surprise, “Zhang Qiu.”

“Shen Cheng, it’s really you!” Zhang Qiu smiled as he opened the car door and walked over, “Why are you here? We haven’t been able to find you all this time, I thought you left the country? It’s a rare encounter, how about having a drink together?”

Shen Cheng agreed to Zhang Qiu’s proposal without even thinking about it. He was now irritable and felt that something was bothering him, but he couldn’t think clearly, so maybe it would be better if he had a drink.

Zhang Qiu smiled and pulled Shen Cheng into the car. Although he and Shen Cheng had not played for long, they used to be very close to each other. For Zhang Qiu, friendship was just having fun, it didn’t matter if the Shen family was bankrupt or not. What’s more, although the Shen family was bankrupt, the Li family was still around, and Shen Ji was still around, so no one knew when Shen Ji would make the Shen family rise again.

The two of them went to Shutu habitually, and several familiar faces happened to be there, gathering in a lively manner. Shen Cheng hadn’t played outside for a long time, and because he had something on his mind, he thought he would be better off when he came here. But who knew that this lively atmosphere would annoy him even more.

Zhang Qiu keenly sensed that Shen Cheng seemed to be in a bad mood, so he naturally took out a cigarette and handed it over, “Here, if you have any worries, just smoke one and it will go away, you know.”

The words “you know” made Shen Cheng’s expression stiffen, his eyes staring straight at the cigarette Zhang Qiu handed over. He knew exactly what this cigarette represented, and he wanted to reject it decisively, but he couldn’t say the words.

Shen Cheng’s hand involuntarily reached out and then stopped in mid-air when it was about to touch the cigarette. He knew he should have refused it ruthlessly. He remembered all the pain he had suffered during the period of detoxification and definitely did not want to experience it again. He had always thought he had quit, and he didn’t think about taking drugs for two months. But now, when the drugs were in front of him, that unparalleled craving rose up from his heart once again. Shen Cheng only felt his whole body tingling, something gently itching inside him, making him unable to restrain himself from wanting to take the cigarette in front of him.

His body slowly straightened, his eyes fixed on the cigarette. Shen Cheng’s face became slightly distorted as his hand that had stopped in mid-air hesitantly reached out again. The moment he touched the cigarette, Shen Ji’s face suddenly appeared in his mind, and Shen Cheng snapped out of it with a jolt. As if his entire body was instantly drained of strength, Shen Cheng leaned back softly on the sofa and shook his head helplessly at Zhang Qiu.

He had promised Shen Ji that he would get clean.

The news that Shen Cheng and Zhang Qiu were at Shutu soon reached Shen Ji’s ears.

After hanging up the phone, Shen Ji felt his heart finally settle, free of the worry because of Shen Cheng’s disappearance. But he soon became furious again. Shen Cheng had actually gotten together with Zhang Qiu again, and when he thought of Zhang Qiu’s usual idea of having fun, Shen Ji’s face was livid.

The bodyguard quickly drove towards Shutu, not daring to delay in the slightest. Shen Ji’s face was so terrifying at this moment that the bodyguard was absolutely unwilling to bear this anger. When they arrived at Shutu, Shen Ji, cold-faced, barged into the private room where Shen Cheng was.

Perhaps because he had something on his mind, Shen Cheng was not drunk and remained sober. When Shen Ji appeared, he was sitting next to Zhang Qiu with a glass of wine and saying something.

Shen Ji barging in startled everyone in the private room, and Shen Cheng turned his head in amazement and said hesitantly, “Big Brother!”

Shen Ji glanced around coldly, looking at the people sitting in small groups in the private room. The smell of wine, perfume, smoke and some other smells were mixed together. Shen Ji took a sniff and his expression changed dramatically. He walked up to Shen Cheng, pulled him up and said sharply, “Did you touch drugs?”

Shen Cheng’s heart jumped and he subconsciously looked at the pack of cigarettes that Zhang Qiu placed on the table. Shen Ji’s expression turned grim as his eyes swept over the pack. Before Shen Cheng had a chance to defend himself, Shen Ji turned to his bodyguard and said, “Tie him up and take him away.”

Shen Ji’s order was swift, and the bodyguard’s actions were even swifter. Without waiting for Shen Cheng to struggle, he directly grabbed Shen Cheng and dragged him out of the private room.

It was only a matter of moments from the time Shen Ji barged in to the time Shen Cheng was taken away. Zhang Qiu looked dumbfounded at the imposing Shen Ji and tried to give him a good-natured smile but froze under Shen Ji’s terrifying gaze.

Shen Ji felt that he had never been this angry before. Even when he first heard the news of Shen Cheng’s drug addiction, he seemed to have been less angry. When they arrived at home, Shen Cheng, who was with his bodyguard in the car, struggled and refused to get out, “Let go of me, Big Brother, you tell them to let go of me.”

Shen Ji suppressed his anger all the way home and completely exploded at the moment. Not even looking at Shen Cheng, he let the bodyguard drag Shen Cheng into the elevator and then into the apartment where the two lived.

“Let go of me, I’ll walk on my own!” Shen Cheng was still protesting angrily.

Shen Ji coldly motioned to his bodyguard to press Shen Cheng to the bed. Despite his struggles, with two sharp clicks, Shen Cheng was handcuffed to the head of the bed.

When Shen Cheng’s drug addiction was at its worst, Shen Ji always tied him to the bed. He had to tie him up tightly to prevent him from hurting himself. Later, as Shen Cheng became more and more able to control his actions, Shen Ji tied him up less and less often. But to prevent accidents, after the two moved to the apartment, Shen Ji still had all the necessary equipment, including handcuffs.

The bodyguard retreated at the first opportunity, gently closed the door and returned to his own apartment.

Shen Cheng looked at his two handcuffed hands in disbelief and shouted angrily at Shen Ji, “I didn’t take drugs, why are you handcuffing me! Did you hear that, I didn’t take drugs!”

Shen Ji looked at Shen Cheng with a gloomy face, deep suspicion in his eyes. Shen Cheng was furious and struggled desperately, “You asshole, Shen Ji, you bastard! I didn’t do drugs, I didn’t touch it, do you hear me, let me go, let me go!”

Shen Ji was indifferent to Shen Cheng’s yelling. On his way back he had already contacted the doctor who had previously detoxified Shen Cheng. He would know if Shen Cheng had touched the drugs or not once he was tested. In fact, because of Shen Cheng’s drug addiction, Shen Ji had read a lot of books on drug rehabilitation. The hardest thing about drug rehabilitation was not physical addiction but psychological addiction. There is a saying among drug addicts that once you have taken drugs you are an addict for life, because even if you are clean physically, you will not be able to resist the psychological dependence on drugs.

Although Shen Ji wanted to believe that Shen Cheng really didn’t touch drugs, he did not have confidence in him.

They stared at each other coldly. Shen Cheng glared viciously at Shen Ji, and the more he thought about it, the angrier he became. It was obvious that Shen Ji had left him alone first, and then kidnapped him in front of everyone without giving him any face. Now he was accused of taking drugs and handcuffed to the bed. Thinking of this, Shen Cheng struggled harder and harder, “Let me go, let me go!”

Shen Cheng was struggling so much that Shen Ji coldly rolled over onto the bed and pressed his legs against Shen Cheng’s legs, confining him in a death grip and looking at him from above.

Shen Cheng was still struggling, refusing to give up, trying hard to overturn Shen Ji on top of him, while gritting his teeth and shouting, “Shen Ji, you bastard, you pervert, I didn’t touch drugs, let go of me.”

Shen Ji didn’t say a word. He just looked at Shen Cheng coldly and restrained him tightly.

This attitude of Shen Ji made Shen Cheng inexplicably feel aggrieved. His eyes reddened a little as he stared at Shen Ji bitterly, “You’re not my big brother, you’re an asshole.”

Shen Ji’s originally ice-cold expression changed a little when he saw Shen Cheng’s eyes getting red. However, he didn’t get soft-hearted but more tyrannical. Shen Cheng’s expression at this moment was too easy to trigger the emotions that had been desperately suppressed till now. Shen Ji’s eyes became dark and dangerous, his gaze slowly moving from Shen Cheng’s handcuffed hands to his face.

Shen Cheng did not realise the danger. He stared at Shen Ji and the more he thought, the more aggrieved he felt, shouting hatefully, “Asshole, asshole, asshole, I didn’t take drugs.”

Under these screams, Shen Ji slowly reached out and brushed his fingers over Shen Cheng’s lips, rubbing them hard. Shen Cheng’s voice instantly disappeared and his eyes widened in shock.

His expression pleased Shen Ji. Shen Ji’s fingers moved from his lips to his chin, squeezing it lightly, and then he lowered his head for a kiss.

“Big, Big, Big Brother!”

Shen Cheng stammered, trying to say something, but Shen Ji’s lips blocked all the sounds. As Shen Ji’s tongue probed in, Shen Cheng’s entire body froze in place, passively accepting the sudden kiss. A tingling sensation rose up from the tip of his tongue, and Shen Cheng met Shen Ji’s movements in a muddled manner, allowing Shen Ji to plunder his mouth wantonly.

They didn’t know how much time passed before Shen Ji’s movements stopped and Shen Cheng looked at him with a bewildered expression. The corners of Shen Ji’s mouth slowly curled up. He gently reached out to wipe the silver threads of saliva in the corners of Shen Cheng’s mouth. The emotions that flowed from his eyes were completely incomprehensible to Shen Cheng.

The doorbell rang abruptly, and there was a faint sound of someone walking outside. Shen Cheng reacted with a jolt, his face instantly flushed red and he glared at Shen Ji but couldn’t say a word.

There was a faint smile in Shen Ji’s eyes, and he touched Shen Cheng’s face, “Ah Cheng, be good, the doctor is here.”

Perhaps he was frightened by Shen Ji’s kiss, but when the doctor came in to take the blood test, Shen Cheng was unusually obedient. The results of the test greatly surprised Shen Ji. The doctor said that Shen Cheng’s body was very clean, there was no drug residue.

When Shen Ji thought of Shen Cheng shouting that he was innocent, a smile flashed on his face. After sending the doctor away in a good mood, Shen Ji returned to the apartment and saw Shen Cheng looking at him provocatively, straining to raise his head, “I didn’t take drugs, you see? When will you let me go?”

The smile on Shen Ji’s face became more and more obvious, and he moved skillfully to press down on Shen Cheng’s body without the slightest intention of releasing him.

Shen Cheng instantly became anxious, not daring to call him an asshole again, and begged, “Big Brother, hurry up and let me go.”

Shen Ji lowered his head slightly, his eyes meeting Shen Cheng’s stare, and said in a hoarse voice, “Who told you I handcuffed you because of drugs?”

Shen Cheng blinked, his face unmistakably puzzled, and Shen Ji chuckled lightly, saying slowly, “This is your punishment for sneaking off at noon.”

Shen Cheng’s eyes widened in anger, and before the word “asshole” could be uttered, Shen Ji leaned down again and blocked his unsaid words.

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Rebirth: Different Way Chapter 96

Chapters 96-98 – incest warning (Ah Ji x Ah Cheng)

Three months passed since the fire in the Shen family’s house. In the first few days, both the media and the public were full of rumours about the fire, but after all the relevant people refused to be interviewed, and after all the inside information about the fire was covered up tightly by the concerned parties, the public finally lost interest and soon the topic of the Shen family’s fire was lost under all kinds of sensational or curious news.

Along with the memories of the fire, the Shen family also disappeared from the public eye. Not long after the fire, the results of the investigation into Shen Rong’s drug trafficking were finalised, and Shen Rong was sentenced to 20 years in prison after the evidence of drug trafficking was confirmed. Shen Ji hated Shen Rong for addicting Shen Cheng to drugs, and Li Mingxuan witnessed Shen Rong trying to push Shen Xi to the fire, but it didn’t matter who of them was behind Shen Rong’s sentence or if both of them had taken action. While Shen Rong was sentenced, Shen Dehan was sent by Shen Bixue to the best sanatorium in Zhongjing. Perhaps as a result of inhaling too much smoke during the fire, Shen Dehan’s nerves were severely damaged and his memory was lost. He didn’t recognise anyone and didn’t even remember who he was.

After Shen Dehan was settled, Shen Ji took Shen Cheng and moved out of the suburban villa and into an apartment in the city. After sorting out the remaining assets of the Shen family, Shen Ji decisively sold off several properties and some antique jewellery that the Shen family owned, cashing in a large sum of money. Part of this money was used to pay for Shen Dehan’s recuperation expenses, part was left to Shen Xi, and the remainder was used by Shen Ji to start a small trading company.

As for Shen Ji, the embarrassing past of the Shen family, the bankruptcy of Shen Group and other things certainly made him sad, but he did not have much time to be sentimental. He was not alone, he still had Shen Cheng behind him and he needed to uphold the Shen family as soon as possible. With this in mind, and with Shen Ji’s hard work and the help of the Li family, the company soon got on track and won a big contract a few days ago. This contract was too important to Shen Ji, as with the completion of this contract, the company’s scale could be doubled. Shen Ji had to fight with all his energy and worked day and night with his staff for several days, finally reaching an agreement with the other party on all the details of the contract.

“Happy cooperation, Miss Chen!”

Sitting opposite Shen Ji was the project leader of the partner company, and also the daughter of Chen Group’s owner, Chen Jie. Chen Group was not a local consortium in Zhongjing. It had previously been developing in the South Island and this was the first time it tried to expand to the North.

“Happy cooperation, Mr. Shen!”

Chen Jie smiled and looked at Shen Ji. She had heard of Shen Ji’s name before; the heir of the Shen family in Zhongjing, handsome and outstanding yet clean. One Shen Ji and one Li Mingxuan were the perfect marriage objects in the eyes of all the families in Zhongjing, but unfortunately neither of them had any intention of getting married. Chen Jie’s eyes flickered; her family had been forcing her to get married. If it was before, she would not have thought about Shen Ji, as the Chen family was not high enough to reach the Shen family. But now that Shen Group was bankrupt, if Shen Ji wanted to revive the Shen family as soon as possible, a helpful wife would be a good choice. And with Shen Ji’s ability, Chen Jie was sure she would quickly gain a firm foothold in the family and take the reins of the Chen family. In Chen Jie’s mind, whether it was for her or Shen Ji, it would be a mutually beneficial arrangement.

With these thoughts in mind, Chen Jie was already inviting with a smile, “I heard that there is a good Western restaurant not far from here, I wonder if Mr. Shen would be willing to accompany me?”

Shen Ji was startled and his brow furrowed slightly. He had been so busy in the past few days, so he deliberately mentioned to Shen Cheng that he would return early after completing the contract today. Frankly speaking, Shen Jie did not want to go, but looking at Chen Jie’s smile, he had to nod and agree. Chen Jie was a big client of the company and at this time, at the beginning of the cooperation, he had no way to refuse the other party’s goodwill.

Shen Ji’s consent made the smile on Chen Jie’s face even brighter, and she had more confidence in the idea in her mind.

It was ten o’clock in the evening and Shen Ji had not yet returned home.

Shen Cheng walked around the living room irritably; on the dining table not far away were several dishes that had already gone cold. Where the hell was Shen Ji? No one answered the phone in the company, and She Ji’s mobile phone was turned off. When Shen Cheng thought that Shen Ji had originally said he would be back early today but he hadn’t shown up until now, Shen Cheng became more and more annoyed.

In order to celebrate the successful signing of the contract, he even learned to cook a few dishes following the TV show, just to give Shen Ji a surprise, but now where the hell had he gone?

Little by little, time passed and there was still no sign of Shen Ji coming back. Shen Cheng was starving, but he had no appetite for the dishes on the table. He tossed all the dishes into the trash can and swore that he would never do anything stupid like this again.

Shen Cheng actually couldn’t tell why he was so irritated. Was it because Shen Ji had promised him but broke the promise or was it because Shen Ji was not around?

Ever since Shen Cheng started rehab a few months ago, Shen Ji had taken control of his life with an extremely forceful attitude. He had restricted Shen Cheng’s freedom, limited his use of money and cut off all his external interactions. During the days of detoxification in the villa, he lived under Shen Ji’s eyes 24 hours a day. Whether he was eating, sleeping or even bathing, he never left Shen Ji’s sight. This situation got better only when Shen Group went bankrupt and Shen Ji moved here with him. Of course, it was not that Shen Ji gave him freedom, but Shen Ji could not be by his side 24 hours a day like before because he was busy with the establishment of the company. But even so, Shen Cheng was still living under Shen Ji’s control. He was not allowed to surf the Internet, he was not allowed to go out at will, and he was not allowed to have any contact with the outside world except for a limited number of people. His daily entertainment was watching television or occasionally going for a walk in the nearby park accompanied by his bodyguard who lived next door.

If at first Shen Cheng was extremely uncomfortable with this kind of life, as time passed, he became accustomed to it. Unconsciously, his discontent and fear of Shen Ji had turned into dependence.

Shen Cheng thought irritably that in the past he relied on Shen Ji because he was arrogant and reckless, because he knew that no matter what he did, Shen Ji would take care of it for him. But that dependence was different from his current dependence, and what exactly was different, Shen Cheng could not figure out, even though he always felt that it was something right before his eyes.

Shen Cheng’s cranky thoughts did not last long when the sound of a faint voice came from outside the door. As soon as Shen Cheng heard it, he knew it was Shen Ji who had come back. The first thing Shen Ji did when he came back was to talk to his bodyguard about Shen Cheng’s movements for the day. Shen Cheng haphazardly turned on the TV and pretended to watch it carefully, but his ears were perked up, listening for movement at the door.

What Shen Ji saw when he entered the apartment was the familiar figure in the living room and the fatigue in his eyes dissipated, a faint smile appearing instead.

“Ah Cheng, why are you still awake?”

Shen Cheng turned his head impatiently, “It’s only eleven o’clock, who would go to bed so early, can’t you see I’m watching TV in fascination?”

Shen Ji’s eyes fell on the screen and he raised an eyebrow, “Since when are you so interested in cartoons, how come I didn’t know you liked watching ‘Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf’?”

“……!” Shen Cheng choked. He just casually turned on the TV, his whole mind was on Shen Ji, how could he notice what was on the screen?

Shen Ji chuckled, Shen Cheng became angry with embarrassment, and simply changed the subject, “Big Brother, why did you come back so late? The phone hasn’t been working either!”

Shen Cheng’s question seemed to make Shen Ji think of something. A trace of thoughtfulness flashed in his eyes, but his expression did not change, “I accompanied a client to have a meal, and my phone happened to run out of battery.” A faint smell of perfume came from Shen Ji’s body as he walked up to Shen Cheng’s side. This smell was very familiar; Shen Cheng used to smell it on his female companions when he was fooling around. It was a very famous perfume that many women liked.

When Shen Cheng smelled this fragrance, he didn’t know why an evil fire suddenly rose up from the bottom of his heart. Thinking about what Shen Ji had just said about accompanying a client to dinner, he became more and more irritable, grunted heavily and stood up abruptly, “I’m going to bed.”

Shen Cheng’s mood change was so sudden that Shen Ji looked at Shen Cheng’s back in confusion and only reacted when Shen Cheng slammed the bedroom door heavily.

“Ah Cheng!” Shen Ji quickly chased after him. The bedroom door was locked from the inside; Shen Ji frowned and quickly returned to the living room to find the key. By the time he opened the bedroom door, Shen Cheng seemed to have guessed he was coming. A single person wrapped up in a blanket occupied the whole big bed, looking at Shen Ji provocatively.

A hint of indulgence flashed in Shen Ji’s eyes as he sat down on the edge of the bed, “What’s the matter? Is it boring to stay inside, do you want the bodyguard to accompany you around the district tomorrow?”

Shen Cheng also knew that his temper just now was too inexplicable. Hearing Shen Ji say this, he took the opportunity to make conditions, “I want to go shopping.”

“No way!” Shen Ji flatly refused.

“Why?” Shen Cheng violently pushed away the blanket and sat up, “Even if you’re in prison, there is still time to go out and have a breath of fresh air, am I not just addicted to drugs? Before it was a villa, now it’s an apartment, you lock me up at home every day, no internet access, no contact with outsiders, even the bodyguard can’t talk to me, how long do you want to keep me locked up for? I said I’ve gotten clean and will never do drugs again, even if you’re my big brother, you can’t control my life like this.”

Shen Cheng glared fiercely at Shen Ji. These words were all from his heart. At the beginning when he was locked up by Shen Ji, he wanted to shout out loudly at Shen Ji like he did just now every day, but he didn’t have the courage. By now, he had actually not thought about doing this for a long time, and he did not know why he suddenly said these words today.

Shen Cheng vaguely felt that the reason he hadn’t thought about this for so long was probably because when he was locked up by Shen Ji, Shen Ji was by his side 24 hours a day, seemingly locked up with him. But now Shen Ji had left him behind and had contact with the outside world, while he was still locked up here. So he was unhappy, he was angry, he wanted to express his demands.

While Shen Cheng glared angrily at Shen Ji, Shen Ji’s eyes moved a little from Shen Cheng’s face to his body. Because he was going to sleep, Shen Cheng was not wearing anything but a pair of underwear. Perhaps it was the after-effects of drug addiction, but Shen Cheng was much thinner and weaker than before, and coupled with being locked up at home every day, his skin looked even paler. Against the dark blue bed sheet underneath, he looked like an unusually fragile beauty.

Shen Ji’s eyes became opaque. He had to admit that this body was very attractive to him, or perhaps it had nothing to do with the body, but with the person. He wanted to keep this person by his side, to control his life, he wanted to be the only one in this person’s world, and there could be no one else.

Shen Ji did not know when he had started to develop this strong desire for control over Shen Cheng. If at first he had locked Shen Cheng in the villa and controlled his entire life for the purpose of detoxification, then in the process of Shen Cheng’s initial fierce resistance turning to accepting this kind of life little by little, Shen Ji gradually couldn’t tell what exactly he felt.

Shen Ji knew that he had been used to controlling Shen Cheng’s life since he was a child, and after his mother entrusted him with Shen Cheng on her deathbed, he had consciously placed Shen Cheng into his own protective sphere. From childhood to adulthood, Shen Cheng’s life was controlled by him, he dictated what school Shen Cheng went to, he dictated what courses Shen Cheng took, he even gave up going to school abroad in order to watch over Shen Cheng. Until Shen Cheng graduated from university, he strictly required Shen Cheng to be home by 12 p.m.

After Shen Cheng graduated from university, Shen Ji learnt to gradually loosen his grip on Shen Cheng. He no longer restricted his return time and no longer cared about Shen Cheng’s friends. He always thought that he was not controlling Shen Cheng’s life, he was just a strict elder brother. But after he forced Shen Cheng to quit drugs, he realised that his strong desire to control Shen Cheng was too abnormal. Only in the past it had been hidden under the name of brotherly discipline, but now that he had justified reasons to control Shen Cheng, he seemed to be unable to suppress that strong desire.

Shen Ji’s gaze was so aggressive that Shen Cheng thought he had infuriated Shen Ji, and his original anger was immediately extinguished. He looked at Shen Ji dumbly and said flatteringly, “Big Brother, I was wrong, I know you are doing it for my own good, I shouldn’t have argued with you.”

This call of “Big Brother” made Shen Ji come back to his senses. Slowly reaching out to touch Shen Cheng’s head, Shen Ji lowered his eyes, “Go to bed early, tomorrow I will take you shopping.”

“Really?” This was definitely an unexpected joy for Shen Cheng.

Shen Ji nodded.

Shen Cheng lay down on the bed contentedly and patted his side smoothly, “Big Brother, I’ve reserved a place for you, hurry up, take a shower and go to bed.”

Because at the beginning of the detoxification process, whenever Shen Cheng was in pain, Shen Ji would hold him in his arms and gently soothe him, Shen Cheng had already gotten used to Shen Ji sleeping with him, and this habit was retained until now.

Shen Ji’s eyes flickered over Shen Cheng’s body once again and he gave a low “en”.

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Rebirth: Different Way Chapter 95

When Wang Changlin arrived at the hospital, Shen Dehan was sleeping. Perhaps because of his mobility problems, he was becoming more and more lethargic, with little clarity during the day. As he slept, he was unaware of anything around him and did not look as irritable as he did when he was awake, but looked very peaceful. Wang Changlin stood there quietly, his gaze focused on Shen Dehan’s serene expression, and his face distorted a little, a flicker of madness in his eyes.

“Boss, it’s all done!” The man who had been following Wang Changlin gently pushed the door in and said in a low voice.

The madness in Wang Changlin’s eyes faded away and he turned back into the refined old man again. With a slight nod, Wang Changlin pointed at Shen Dehan, “Take him away!”

The man nodded in silence and walked towards the sleeping Shen Dehan. Shen Dehan was quickly awakened by the man’s movements and stared in surprise at the man in front of him, wondering how a stranger could have appeared in his ward. The man’s movements were so rude that Shen Dehan realised that something was wrong and struggled hard, shouting loudly and trying to get the attention of the bodyguards outside.

Wang Changlin stood indifferently to the side, watching Shen Dehan’s struggle with cold eyes and a mocking expression on his face, “Don’t bother, they won’t care about you even if they hear you.”

It was only then that Shen Dehan noticed Wang Changlin. As if some thought crossed his mind, he glared viciously at Wang Changlin, trying hard to express his anger.

Wang Changlin laughed contemptuously, his voice sinister, “You want to know why I did it? Don’t worry, you’ll soon find out.”

When those words were said, Shen Dehan’s eyes went black and he suddenly fainted. Behind Shen Dehan, the man indifferently lowered his hand and looked at Wang Changlin. Wang Changlin was not impressed by his behaviour and walked out, instructing as he went, “Inform Shen Ji and the others that I am waiting for them at Shen’s house.”

Wang Changlin’s order was quickly carried out, and the first to receive the notice was Shen Ji.

After he hung up the phone, Shen Ji’s face was very ugly. Earlier, in order to avoid stimulating Shen Dehan, he had concealed the fact that Wang Changlin had taken control of Shen Group. After learning Wang Changlin’s true identity from Li Mingxuan, he had even instructed the bodyguards around Shen Dehan to forbid Wang Changlin from appearing at the hospital. But what he did not expect was that Wang Changlin would take Shen Dehan surrounded by bodyguards away smoothly, and not only the bodyguards but also the hospital would not react in any way. Shen Ji’s eyes were full of gloom. There was no doubt that the bodyguards had been bribed by Wang Changlin. The most urgent task was not to hold them responsible, but to find out what exactly Wang Changlin wanted.

Shen Xi was also trying to figure out what Wang Changlin was going to do. If he hated Shen Dehan because of his identity and his act of taking Shen Dehan away from the hospital was full of malice, then his act of sending Shen Dehan back to the Shen family’s house clearly meant that he didn’t want things to get too big. Did he want to solve the matter within the Shen family? This contradictory behaviour made Shen Xi very puzzled as to what Wang Changlin’s true intentions were. If it was just about Shen Dehan, Shen Xi did not care much, but thinking about Wang Changlin’s past with the Han family, Shen Xi frowned and resolved to go there in person. He needed to know Wang Changlin’s true intentions.

“I’ll go with you.” Li Mingxuan didn’t say much about Shen Xi’s decision but insisted on going with him. Li Mingxuan was already very concerned about Shen Xi because of his previous dream, and he had met the man from his dream in front of Lu Gesen’s house last time. Although there was no proof that the man was related to Wang Changlin, his heart was vaguely wary and he couldn’t help but want to be by Shen Xi’s side at all times.

“It’s just going back to Shen’s house, I’ll be back soon. Cousin, don’t you want to wait for Ye Han’s news?” Regarding this clingy behaviour of Li Mingxuan, Shen Xi only thought that he was stimulated by their previous break-up. In order to avoid Li Mingxuan’s embarrassing attitude, he did not want to involve Li Mingxuan in this matter, so he tried hard to convince Li Mingxuan.

“Ye Han will notify me when he has news. What is important now is that none of us know what Wang Changlin really wants. In case something happens, Ah Ji with Ah Cheng will definitely protect Uncle. Xiao Xi, if you are alone, I will worry.”

Li Mingxuan’s attitude was so firm that Shen Xi had no choice but to compromise. Each of them took a step back. Li Mingxuan would accompany him, but would not enter Shen’s house and just keep watch outside. As the two went out, Shen Ji, who was the first to receive the news, had already rushed back to Shen’s house with Shen Cheng.

“What a touching father-son bond!” Wang Changlin looked admiringly at Shen Ji who pushed the door open, obviously surprised that Shen Ji could arrive in such a short time.

Shen Ji gave Wang Changlin an expressionless glance. Shen Cheng, who followed behind Shen Ji, said sharply, “Where is Father?”

Wang Changlin leaned back on the sofa with a relaxed expression, like a host looking at his guests, “Dehan is resting in his room. Ah Cheng, if you worry, you can go and check.”

Shen Cheng subconsciously looked at Shen Ji, who seemed not to have heard these words and sat down in front of Wang Changlin with a calm look.

“Should I address you as Lawyer Wang or should I call you Uncle?”

Wang Changlin raised his eyebrows in surprise, “You already know?”

Shen Ji nodded, “I just found out not long ago.”

Wang Changlin let out a faint “oh”, as if the two of them were just talking about something that couldn’t be more ordinary.

Shen Cheng did not react for a while and repeated in a low voice, “Uncle?” The next moment his face changed dramatically and he looked at Wang Changlin in shock, “You!”

Wang Changlin smiled amiably at Shen Cheng, “What, Ah Cheng doesn’t know yet?”

When Shen Cheng saw this smile, he felt an indescribable discomfort. The intimate “Ah Cheng” made him feel as uncomfortable as if he had eaten a fly, and he looked at Shen Ji for confirmation, “Big Brother?”

Shen Ji nodded, and Shen Cheng’s expression instantly collapsed. Then he thought of something and looked angrily at Wang Changlin, “What do you want?”

For a family like theirs, illegitimate children were an issue that could not be avoided. Although Shen Cheng’s character was straightforward but it did not mean he was stupid. Wang Changlin had been lurking in the Shen family for so many years, and now he even held a controlling stake in Shen Group. To say that he did not have malicious intent was simply unbelievable.

Shen Cheng’s reaction amused Wang Changlin, who laughed lightly and became more and more amiable in his attitude, saying affectionately, “Ah Cheng is still the same, he can’t be patient at all. You’ll know what I want in a moment, but for now, I have to wait for Xiao Xi.”

Wang Changlin’s attitude once again affected Shen Cheng. He couldn’t imagine how Wang Changlin could still act as if nothing had happened. If Shen Ji hadn’t been around, he felt that he would have been unable to control himself and would have attacked Wang Changlin. Shen Ji was satisfied with Shen Cheng’s restraint. Their father was still in Wang Changlin’s hands and he did not want to get into a conflict with Wang Changin too early.

No one spoke anymore, and the living room fell into silence for a while. As time passed, there was the faint sound of footsteps in the foyer. A strange look flashed in Wang Changlin’s eyes, “It should be Xiao Xi coming, everyone is finally together.”

Shen Ji gave Wang Changlin a wary look. He vaguely felt that Wang Changlin’s tone just now was odd, what did it mean that everyone was together? Before he could think about it, Shen Xi pushed the door and walked in. Wang Changlin looked over with a smile and a crazy glint in his eyes.

“Xiao Xi!” Wang Changlin’s tone was like that of a close elder.

Shen Xi answered indifferently, surveying the surroundings in silence. As he expected, there were only a few people in the hall and none of the familiar servants could be seen. Thinking about the scenery all the way from the gate, it seemed that the entire house was empty apart from Wang Changlin’s people.

Shen Xi didn’t think much about it and naturally sat beside Shen Ji. Wang Changlin seemed to want to express some concern of an elder, but Shen Cheng impatiently said, “Didn’t you say you would tell us your purpose when Shen Xi came? Now that he’s here, you can tell us.”

Shen Cheng’s question was exactly what everyone wanted to know, and immediately everyone’s eyes focused on Wang Changlin.

Wang Changlin smiled and nodded. “Since Xiao Xi has arrived, it’s time for everyone to be together.” After saying that, he clapped his hands and soon, a few strange men pushed Shen Dehan and Shen Rong over from the side of the hall.

“Father!” Shen Cheng stood up and looked over eagerly, but Shen Ji gave Wang Changlin a covert glance. He noticed that Wang Changlin had mentioned twice that everyone was together, what exactly did it imply?

Shen Dehan was obviously very happy to see Shen Cheng, but he turned his head to Wang Changlin and became angry again, babbling something in fury. Unlike Shen Dehan’s anger, Shen Rong’s attitude was very abnormal; his expression was one of complete horror as he cringed and sneaked glances at Wang Chenglin every now and then, his body trembling uncontrollably.

Shen Xi did not look at the two men but stared dead on at one of the men behind Shen Dehan.

The rioting crowd, Fang Luowei standing in front of him, the knife that pierced his heart and the man’s grin, the last scene from his previous life came to his mind. Shen Xi seemed to feel that pain again as his life was draining from his body. Perhaps his gaze was too scorching; the man looked over keenly. Shen Xi lowered his eyes silently, avoiding the man’s gaze and hiding his hatred.

After pushing Shen Dehan and Shen Rong into the hall, the people quickly retreated, leaving only one of the men standing behind Wang Changlin. Wang Changlin’s expression relaxed even more as his eyes swept over the people present one by one, finally landing on Shen Dehan’s face.

“Now, everyone is finally together.”

His opening words were plain and uneventful, but Shen Xi and the others did not dare to be careless and all looked at Wang Changlin with solemn expressions. Wang Changlin smiled lightly, “Let me introduce myself first. I am Shen Shang, the eldest son of Shen Jiacheng and also Dehan’s elder brother.” These few words Wang Changlin had obviously deliberately said to Shen Dehan, whose expression instantly changed as he yelled angrily, expressing his disbelief.

The smile on Wang Changlin’s face deepened, “Whether you believe it or not, Dehan, I am your big brother. Our father knew that and, by the way, Ah Ji obviously knows it too.”

The words “our father” once again irritated Shen Dehan, who looked increasingly angry, but this time he turned his head and shouted at Shen Ji, clearly wanting him to come out and refute. Shen Ji was about to speak to calm Shen Dehan when the man behind Wang Changlin suddenly stepped forward and a knife was pointed at Shen Dehan’s neck. Shen Dehan’s voice stopped abruptly and his entire body froze in place.

“What do you want to do?” Shen Ji said angrily.

The man snorted, “I just want the old man to shut up.”

Shen Ji’s eyes moved to Wang Changlin, who shrugged, “I don’t like it when someone keeps babbling when I’m talking.”

Shen Ji gave Wang Changlin a deep look, “I see.”

After these words, the man quickly put away the knife in his hand and pushed Shen Dehan towards Shen Ji, then nodded to Wang Changlin and exited the hall. This time no one said anything; even Shen Dehan kept his mouth tightly shut, only expressing his anger with his eyes.

Wang Changlin seemed satisfied with the status quo and smiled faintly, “What was I just talking about? Oh yes, I said that I was Shen Shang, Dehan’s elder brother, the son of Shen Jiacheng. Shen Jiacheng knew full well of my existence, but he always pretended to be refined and elegant in front of outsiders, his character flawless, so naturally he could not let my existence spoil the good image he had created. I didn’t care that he wouldn’t acknowledge me, and indeed I never intended him to. I would not have appeared before him at all had it not been for my mother being very ill and wanting to see him. He rejected me, and I resented him for being mean and cruel but I also understood. He had to maintain his good image to the public and not let the scandal of having an illegitimate child break. But he should have never arranged a car accident that almost killed me when I was planning to leave. Luckily, I survived, but my face was burnt. When I came home after all the difficulties, I found out that during the time I was recovering from my injuries, my mother had passed away and I didn’t even witness her last breath.”

Wang Changlin kept a smile on his face, and even when he spoke, his smile did not change in the slightest, as if he was telling about the affairs of someone unrelated. Shen Xi lowered his eyes. The information Li Mingxuan had found indicated that the person behind the car accident was Grandma Shen and not Grandpa Shen, but for Wang Changlin, no matter who was behind the car accident, it was a fact that his life was completely ruined.

As Wang Changlin told the story, the people present had different expressions. Shen Xi and Shen Ji were very calm as they already knew about it beforehand. Shen Cheng and Shen Rong were stunned, but Shen Dehan was the only one who looked angry, and although he did not dare to speak out anymore, he stared at Wang Changlin with hatred.

Wang Changlin smiled and scanned everyone’s reactions before continuing, “I swore in front of my mother’s grave that I would pay back a thousand times the harm that Shen Jiacheng inflicted on me. Whatever he valued, I will destroy. He valued Shen Group, so I will take over Shen Group and make it change hands. He valued the image of the Shen family to the outside world. I will make the Shen family fall into disrepute and thousands of people will point fingers at it. He valued the legacy of the Shen family, so I will make the Shen family extinct. Over the years, in order to achieve my goal, I have given up my face and my identity, choosing to become a complete stranger. And now, with everything going as I had hoped, I am about to succeed completely.”

It was clearly an extremely vicious statement but it was said by Wang Changlin with a gentle smile, a dissonance that made even Shen Xi feel a chill in his heart. “What are you going to do?”

Wang Changlin had just mentioned the words “succeed completely”, and Shen Xi was more wary of Wang Changlin’s so-called “extinction of the family” than the change of ownership of Shen Group and the loss of the family’s reputation.

Wang Changlin looked at Shen Xi appreciatively, his eyes eerie, “You will soon find out.”

Shen Xi’s heart clenched and he subconsciously turned towards the doorway, but unexpectedly Shen Rong suddenly exclaimed, “Fire, there’s a fire!”

Shen Xi looked over. The hall was suddenly surrounded by countless flames. No one knew what Wang Changlin had arranged, but the flames rose to a height of a man almost instantly, trapping everyone in the hall.

Shen Xi turned his head to look at Wang Changlin. Like them, Wang Changlin was also trapped inside.

“You’re crazy!” Shen Cheng exclaimed, “Aren’t you afraid of burning to death yourself?”

Wang Changlin laughed wildly, “Me, I will die with you all, so that the Shen family will truly be extinct.”

No one expected Wang Changlin to be this crazy. Shen Ji pushed Shen Dehan towards the door and shouted, “Shen Cheng, Shen Xi, follow.”

Wang Changlin looked at them with a twisted expression, “You won’t be able to run. The door has been sealed off. The whole house except for the hall has been covered with accelerants and now the outside is also in flames. Where can you go after leaving here?”

Wang Changlin was telling the truth; except for the hall, the whole Shen family mansion was burning. Even from the window, the courtyard was in flames, and the whole Shen family’s house was like a sea of fire billowing in the wind.

Shen Xi’s footsteps stopped as Shen Rong behind him cried out pitifully, “I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die.”

“Shut up!” Shen Xi said in a cold voice, retreating to the centre of the hall. As Wang Changlin had said, the entire house had been covered with accelerants. Compared to that, the hall was now the safest place.

Shen Ji pushed Shen Dehan back to Shen Xi’s side and said, “What should we do?”

Shen Xi looked around, “Going out is impossible for now, we can only wait for help from outside. Cousin is outside right now, he should be able to think of something.”

Shen Ji breathed a sigh of relief. The fire started so suddenly and they were trapped inside before they could react. With his heart temporarily relaxed, Shen Ji looked coldly at Wang Changlin, who met Shen Ji’s gaze with a smile.

“Give up, no one can get in with this kind of fire. By the time they come in, we’ll all be burnt to ashes.”

Wang Changlin deliberately emphasised the words “burnt to ashes”, and Shen Xi keenly felt a tremor in the body of Shen Cheng beside him. Perhaps it was because he had died once, or perhaps because he was convinced that Li Mingxuan would definitely save him, even though he was trapped in the fire, Shen Xi’s heart was unexpectedly calm. Instead of huddling with Shen Ji and the others, Shen Xi walked towards Wang Changlin.

As the saying goes, when a man is about to die, his words are true. Shen Xi didn’t know if this was the case with Wang Changlin, but he needed an answer from Wang Changlin about his mother and the past of the Han family.

Shen Ji looked at Shen Xi’s movements with surprise and said in a low voice, “Shen Xi, come back.”

Wang Changlin was already crazy; Shen Xi didn’t care what the other party could do. Shen Xi turned a deaf ear to Shen Ji’s call and just calmly stood in front of Wang Changlin.

In the roaring fire, Shen Xi’s figure seemed to distort for a moment. Wang Changlin looked at Shen Xi with fascination, as if in a trance. He seemed to see Han Rou standing in front of him.

“Xiao Rou, you’re back?”

Wang Changlin’s voice was full of surprise, and Shen Xi lowered his eyes, “Did you approach Mother back then just to use her?”

“Use,” Wang Changli muttered and suddenly laughed loudly, “Yes, I was using her. I approached her in order to marry her so that I could use the Han family’s power to take revenge, but she fell in love with Shen Dehan. What’s so great about Shen Dehan? Just a liar pretending to be in love. You see, I just found Zhou Mingmei and easily tested his true nature. It’s a pity that Xiao Rou refused to get a divorce. I obviously convinced Han Yu to stand up for Xiao Rou, but Xiao Rou refused to leave Shen Dehan. What’s so great about Shen Dehan? What do you think is so great about Shen Dehan?”

“Hahahaha!” Wang Changlin laughed nervously, “Shen Dehan didn’t know that Xiao Rou was already depressed when she was pregnant with Shen Xi. Every time she went back to Han’s house I watched from the sidelines, carefully guiding her and using Zhou Mingmei to stimulate her. Telling her that Shen Dehan didn’t like her at all and definitely did not want her baby either unless Shen Cheng and Shen Ji disappeared, leaving only the child in her belly. I watched Xiao Rou become more and more anxious every day, watched her getting jittery from Zhou Mingmei’s stimulation, watched her unable to rest easy day and night because of Shen Dehan’s coldness, worried that someone might harm the child in her belly. I watched her getting wound up tighter and tighter until finally one day she completely broke.”

Wang Changlin’s smile faded, “I’ve never seen a woman as stupid as her. That stupid woman actually loved Shen Dehan.”

Shen Xi’s fists clenched in restraint, “What happened after that? Why did Mother jump out of the window?”

Wang Changlin looked at Shen Xi in a daze, “Yes, why did Xiao Rou jump? Because she found out about me, found out that I was Shen Shang, found out that I had been using her.” A hint of pain flashed across Wang Changlin’s face, “She thought I didn’t love her? How could I not love her? It took me six whole years to move her heart and make her forget Shen Dehan and love me, how could I not love her? She thought I was lying to her, but after six whole years of lying, I didn’t even know if what I said to her was true or not. She jumped out of the window like that, taking my child with her, why did Shen Xi survive while my child died there, why?”

Wang Changlin looked at Shen Xi in a trance, repeating over and over again, “Why did you live and my child died, why?”

Why? Shen Xi could not give him an answer, and for a moment he almost wanted to answer: would he rather live? His mother’s early death, the Han family’s downfall, his father’s indifference, the alienation of his relatives, and finally his tragic death in prison, if he hadn’t been reborn, he wouldn’t even know what he was living for. Who should he blame for all this? Blame Wang Changlin for using the Han family to take revenge? Blame his mother for not wanting to live? Blame his father for being too biassed? Or should he blame himself for being born?

The conversation between the two was heard by Shen Ji and the others and they all had different expressions. With a sigh, Shen Ji stepped forward and was about to call Shen Xi over when he suddenly heard the sound of breaking glass coming from a corner of the hall.

“Xiao Xi, Ah Ji!” Li Mingxuan’s voice came in, full of indescribable anxiety.

Shen Xi turned around in surprise, and Shen Cheng had already shouted out first, “Cousin, we are all here.”

Shen Cheng barely said that when he started coughing violently. Although the fire in the hall was large, there was not much smoke. However, as Li Mingxuan smashed the glass of the hall, the smoke in the courtyard surged in and filled the whole hall almost instantly. The figures of Shen Xi and the others were soon covered by the thick smoke and could not be seen clearly in the shadows.

“Quick, hurry up, go in and save the people.”

“Water guns! Water guns!”

“Xiao Xi?”

A jumble of voices rang out at the window, but Shen Xi only heard the call of “Xiao Xi”.


Loudly indicating his location, Shen Xi was about to move towards the window by memory, but unexpectedly Wang Changlin pulled him from behind.

“I remember now, you are the child of me and Xiao Rou, yes, you are the child of me and Xiao Rou.”

Shen Xi turned back in shock, and all he could see in the smoke was Wang Changlin’s insane eyes, but his face had a loving expression as he smiled at him gently.

“Let go!” Shen Xi tried hard to break free, but to his surprise, Wang Changlin’s hands were like iron pliers, gripping his clothes in a death grip, making him unable to break free.

“Xiao Xi?” Li Mingxuan’s voice sounded once again, seemingly not far from him.


Shen Xi replied loudly, then turned his attention to Wang Changlin once again, not noticing that Shen Rong had taken advantage of the confusion to come behind him.

Through the cover of the thick smoke, Shen Rong looked at Wang Changlin with a sinister expression instead of his previous cowering. As soon as Li Mingxuan appeared, Shen Rong took advantage of the chaos to set eyes on Wang Changlin. Seeing Wang Changlin holding Shen Xi, Shen Rong curved his lips in a vicious smile. He reached out towards Shen Xi and pushed him hard. Shen Xi momentarily lost his balance and fell towards Wang Changlin. Wang Changlin pulled Shen Xi to the floor and the flames quickly wrapped Wang Changlin’s body. 

Shen Rong looked at the two fallen men with satisfaction. The smile on his face had not yet receded when the crystal lamp, whose base had melted due to the fire, came crashing down from above his head, straight onto his back.

“Ah!” A miserable scream rang out.

Shen Xi was about to get up from the floor, but his body shook because the scream behind him was too shrill, and he almost fell on Wang Changlin’s body again. Familiar arms swept over from the side and Shen Xi was held tightly in Li Mingxuan’s arms.

“Xiao Xi! Xiao Xi!” Li Mingxuan repeated Shen Xi’s name frantically.  At the moment when Shen Xi fell, Li Mingxuan felt that his heart almost stopped.

Feeling the trembling in Li Mingxuan’s voice, Shen Xi said soothingly, “I’m fine!”

“Mingxuan, Xiao Xi, come out quickly, the hall is going to collapse.” Ye Han’s anxious voice came through.

Li Mingxuan calmed down and pulled Shen Xi back out in the direction he had entered.

The fire in the courtyard had been brought under control and a large number of firefighters were anxiously guarding them. Li Mingxuan pulled Shen Xi to the ambulance first and nervously examined the burns on his body. There was nothing wrong with Shen Xi, only minor burns on his palms. Because of Li Mingxuan’s cold face, the nurse had the sense to wrap Shen Xi’s hands carefully in layer after layer of gauze until Li Mingxuan nodded in satisfaction.

After confirming that Shen Xi was fine, Li Mingxuan did not stay long and took Shen Xi away, leaving all the follow-up to Shen Ji.

Back at home, Li Mingxuan carefully helped Shen Xi sit on the bed, put the pillow behind him and placed him in a comfortable position.

Shen Xi looked at Li Mingxuan speechlessly, “I only have minor burns on both hands, why do I feel like I can’t move my whole body now?”

Li Mingxuan grimaced and said in a low voice, “Don’t talk nonsense.”

Shen Xi originally wanted to make a joke, but he did not expect Li Mingxuan’s reaction to be so strong. Hearing the faint trembling in his voice, Shen Xi’s heart softened, “Cousin, I’m fine.”

“I know!” Li Mingxuan reached out and hugged Shen Xi, whispering, “I know! I know!”

Li Mingxuan couldn’t describe the terror of the afternoon. When the fire at Shen’s house initially started, he had just received a call from Ye Han stating that he had found Lu Gesen’s whereabouts. At that moment, Li Mingxuan was trying to inform Shen Xi, but unexpectedly he saw the house getting enveloped in flames in the blink of an eye. He subconsciously rushed over and the courtyard was already burning. Calling the police, asking the Ye family for help, he forced himself to calm down. When he had done all he could do and the rest of the time he could only wait helplessly for help to arrive, his heart was overwhelmed with regret; he should have insisted on staying with Shen Xi, he should not have left him alone in danger. When help finally arrived, Li Mingxuan insisted on going in himself, despite everyone’s resistance, afraid that Shen Xi would not be able to hold on till his arrival. During the long wait from the time the fire started until help arrived, Li Mingxuan felt like a walking dead. Only when he heard Shen Xi’s voice, when he held Shen Xi in his arms did Li Mingxuan feel like he had come to life.

“Xiao Xi.”


“Wherever you go from now on, I must be by your side.”


The fire in the Shen family’s house burned for three hours before it was completely extinguished. Fortunately, Li Mingxuan called the police in time, and although the fire caused heavy damage to Shen’s house, the surrounding houses were not damaged in any way.

When Li Mingxuan accompanied Shen Xi to the Shen family’s house the next day, all he saw was a charred ruin.

Shen Xi stood there in silence, listening to Li Mingxuan say that Wang Changlin was not rescued in the end. By the time the rescuers found him, he had no heartbeat, but there was a strange smile on his face. Apart from Wang Changlin, the most seriously injured person was Shen Rong. In the car accident, only Shen Rong’s lower legs were injured and the doctor said that if he recovered well, there was the possibility of getting back on his feet. However, yesterday, smashed by the crystal chandelier, Shen Rong lost all sensation down from his waist, and he would likely never be able to stand up again in his life. Shen Xi thought of Shen Rong pushing him from behind and sighed. If it wasn’t for Shen Rong, he would have been the one hit by the chandelier. Shen Xi didn’t know if he should thank Shen Rong, who had originally acted out of malice, but by mistake saved his life. The cycle of karma, the flow of the world, perhaps there really was retribution in this world.

Shen Xi breathed a heavy sigh of relief. He didn’t know why he insisted on coming here again. Maybe subconsciously, he regarded it as a kind of saying farewell to the past. Shen Xi had to admit that Wang Changlin’s final madness had given him a great shock, and for the first time he truly understood the words that Fang Luowei said once, “When you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” A trace of fear flashed through Shen Xi’s heart. Fortunately, he was not as crazy as Wang Changlin. He still had time to leave the abyss and walk under the sun.

“Xiao Xi!” Lu Gesen’s voice came from behind him, and Shen Xi turned around in surprise to meet Lu Gesen’s hesitant eyes.


In just a few days, Lu Gesen looked a lot haggard. Hearing Shen Xi call him “Cousin”, Lu Gesen smiled slightly and walked up to him.

Li Mingxuan let go of Shen Xi’s hand, lowered his head and kissed him on the forehead, and walked to the other side of the ruins, thoughtfully leaving space for the two to talk.

Lu Gesen said with concern, “Xiao Xi, are you alright?”

Shen Xi nodded. “What about you?”

Lu Gesen smiled bitterly, “I’m fine, I just couldn’t get in touch with the outside world.” In just one day, his world had been turned upside down. His foster father, who he had admired with all his heart, was the murderer who had caused the Han family’s destruction, and the so-called adoption was only to use him as a pawn. If Wang Changlin had just used him thoroughly, Lu Gesen might not be in such pain as he was now. But Wang Changlin’s using had a rare touch of warmth in it.

A trace of pain flashed across his face as Lu Gesen whispered, “What happened to him in the end?”

Shen Xi didn’t know how to describe it and softly told what happened yesterday.

Lu Gesen smiled bitterly, “He was always good to me, I regarded him as a real father. Even in the end, he was still good to me.”

Shen Xi listened quietly to Lu Gesen’s words. Perhaps Lu Gesen needed his listening more than his empty comfort.

Lu Gesen’s eyes fell on the ruins in front of him, and he said softly, “He had already signed the Shen Group split agreement earlier, splitting off the business that originally belonged to the Han family and transferring it to my name. Xiao Xi, I plan to leave the country next week and will settle abroad in the future. I will not come back if nothing happens. The Han family business doesn’t mean anything to me, and I want to leave it to you.” Lu Gesen said with a forced smile, “I originally planned to take you with me, but I didn’t expect you to be with Li Mingxuan. This is good, Li Mingxuan is a good person, I can rest assured in the future.”

Shen Xi refused Lu Gesen’s offer. He had no notion about the Han family’s business. In fact, it should have belonged to Lu Gesen.

Lu Gesen could not convince Shen Xi, so he had to accept Shen Xi’s goodwill. Patting Shen Xi’s shoulder hard, Lu Gesen smiled and left.

“Xiao Xi, no matter what, you’re the only family I have.”

“I know!”

As he watched Lu Gesen walk away, Shen Xi let out a silent sigh. He did not know how long it would take for Lu Gesen to get out of Wang Changlin’s shadow. He only hoped that Lu Gesen would be able to completely let go of his past and be happy in the near future.

With Lu Gesen leaving, Li Mingxuan returned to Shen Xi’s side and said softly, “Let’s go back, it’s time for you to change your bandages.”

Shen Xi nodded but did not act, instead turning to face Li Mingxuan and meeting his eyes openly.

“Li Mingxuan?”

“En?” Li Mingxuan’s tone was puzzled.

Shen Xi looked serious, “Have I told you that when I was trapped in the fire yesterday, I regretted only one thing?”

“What was it?”

Shen Xi smiled faintly, “I regretted that I never told you that I love you.”

Surprise flashed in Li Mingxuan’s eyes as Shen Xi stepped forward and intimately dropped a kiss on his lips.

“Li Mingxuan, I love you!”

“Shen Xi, I love you too!”

Translator’s note: This is the end of the main story. Next are the extras.

As I promised, I’m giving a warning: Chapters 96-98 contain incest, Ah Ji x Ah Cheng, with some bondage/dominance themes. If it bothers you, you can skip them no problem.

Chapter 99-101 are Xiao Xi and Li Mingxuan’s wedding and Fang Luowei. I do not recommend to skip them.

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Rebirth: Different Way Chapter 94

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!

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Rebirth: Different Way Chapter 93

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.

“What’s happened?”

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.

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Rebirth: Different Way Chapter 92

Zhou Mingmei disappeared silently; when Shen Rong woke up, he was in a trance for a while before he realised what had happened before.

At this moment, he had been sent back to his room and was lying on the bed there. Shen Rong looked around in horror, but there was no one else in the room except him. When he thought of what he had heard earlier and the blood stain that he had noticed behind the door, his complexion turned extremely white.

Why? Didn’t Wang Changlin have a good relationship with his mother? Hadn’t he always acted as if he was very fond of Shen Rong? Why would he do this? Why?

When he couldn’t find the answers to these questions, Shen Rong suddenly thought of something, eagerly crawled to the edge of the bed and struggled to reach for the mobile phone on the table. He couldn’t stay here. Wang Changlin was a madman, he would kill him, he had to find someone to save him, yes, find someone to save him.

The phone was soon in his hands and Shen Rong fumbled for the number in a panic. Who could save him at this time? Shen Ji, Shen Cheng or Shen Xi? He couldn’t think of anyone else; the people around him were not his friends, he only got close to them by offering his body, and now that he was like this, no one of those people was willing to take care of him. Only now did Shen Rong realise sadly that once something happened to him, the first people he would think of to turn for help were actually his three brothers.

Shen Rong searched through the phone for the numbers of the three of them. He didn’t have the numbers of the other two, except for Shen Cheng. But would Shen Cheng answer his call? Shen Rong didn’t have time to think too much; his only thought at this moment was to find someone to save him. Shaking, Shen Rong tapped on the number about to dial it when the door of the room was suddenly pushed open and Wang Changlin appeared at the door with a kind expression on his face.

“Ah Rong, who do you want to contact?”

Shen Rong’s movements froze; he lifted his head a little as if he were a puppet, looking towards the door in shock, his voice trembling, “I, I, I don’t know.”

Wang Changlin took a step into the room and walked towards him with a faint smile, “What’s wrong? So scared?”

Seeing Wang Changlin approach step by step, Shen Rong instinctively dragged his body backwards and shrank back in the bed, “You, don’t come over!”

Wang Changlin looked at him affectionately, as if he was looking at a disobedient child, and smilingly reached out and placed his hand on top of Shen Rong’s head, “Ah Rong, why are you so afraid of me? Didn’t I say that in my heart you are just like my own son? Don’t you believe my words?”

Shen Rong no longer knew what expression he should put on now. Wang Changlin’s hand seemed to carry an insidious coldness. As it moved over his head, he only felt chills all over his body, trembling uncontrollably.

His behaviour caused disappointment to pass through Wang Changlin’s eyes, “Ah Rong, you are so cowardly, it’s really too disappointing for me.”

Shen Rong couldn’t say a word; he just kept trembling.

Wang Changlin reached out and took the phone away from him, smiling as he said, “Although I don’t object to you contacting Shen Ji and the others, I still have a few things left to do, so to avoid trouble, it’s better for you to be obedient and stay put.”

Shen Rong watched as Wang Changlin took away his hope and couldn’t help but muster up the courage to say in a trembling voice, “Uncle Wang, can you let me go? I’ll do as I’m told, I’ll leave the country immediately, I promise I’ll never return to Zhongjing in my lifetime, I’ll never get in your way, Uncle Wang, please let me go, I beg you.”

The smile on Wang Changlin’s face faded. He looked at Shen Rong’s pleading face in silence. Seeing Shen Rong’s pathetic look, he sneered, “I swore to eliminate the Shen family. There will be no more Shen family in this world.”

Shen Rong’s eyes became desperate little by little. He didn’t know where he got the courage from but he fiercely lunged towards Wang Changlin, trying to grab his throat. Wang Changlin took a nimble step back and Shen Rong fell heavily to the ground, Wang Changlin did not even look at him and turned to leave the room.

Shen Rong could have never imagined that Wang Changlin would harbour such hatred towards the Shen family, and even retaliate against him. What was it for?

The question that Shen Rong could not understand was the very question that Li Mingxuan was trying to solve at this moment.

Ye Han handed the USB flash drive in his hand to Li Mingxuan with an odd expression, “This contains part of the information about Wang Changlin. I think you need to read it first.”

Li Mingxuan looked at Ye Han in confusion, “Part of the information?”

Ye Han nodded and explained, “Wang Changlin grew up abroad since he was young. A lot of information is hard to find after a long time. This is all the information before he returned to China. This part took a long time to gather. As for the information after he returned to China, they are still looking into it now. It’s just that after they sorted out the previous information, I thought you needed to take a look first. It’s best to be mentally prepared.”

Ye Han’s words made Li Mingxuan’s expression become serious. Although he felt that since the shares in Shen Xi’s hands had already been transferred to Wang Changlin, the overall situation had been decided, so there was no longer any need to investigate Wang Changlin anymore. But Ye Han’s expression made him wary, as if there was something hidden behind Wang Changlin’s back.

The USB drive was quickly opened. It contained only one document, marked with the words “Wang Changlin”. Li Mingxuan clicked in and the first thing that caught his eye was a picture of a man. When he saw the face of the somewhat romantic looking young man in the picture, Li Mingxuan froze.

“Grandpa?” Li Mingxuan muttered. The man in the photo looked exactly the same as his grandfather when he was young in the photos Li Mingxuan had seen before. Li Mingxuan reacted quickly and looked at Ye Han with a shocked expression, “Is it Wang Changlin?”

Ye Han nodded affirmatively, “It was Wang Changlin when he was young. At that time he was not yet called Wang Changlin, but Shen Shang.”

“Shen Shang!” Li Mingxuan repeated this particular name, basically confirming Wang Changlin’s identity. He had previously envisioned countless reasons for Wang Changlin to side with the Han family, but this was the only one he hadn’t thought of. It was because Wang Changlin bore no resemblance to his grandfather, and everyone in Zhongjing knew that his grandfather and grandmother had been lovingly married all their lives, so he would never have thought that his grandfather would have an illegitimate son. So Wang Changlin was also his uncle? No wonder Ye Han asked him to prepare himself mentally.

Ye Han smiled bitterly at Li Mingxuan’s reaction. The news was so unexpected that not to mention Li Mingxuan, even he didn’t believe it at first. But Wang Changlin’s face was so convincing that he couldn’t deny it if he wanted to.

Li Mingxuan looked at the information on the USB drive in silence, unable to say anything for a long time. In fact he didn’t know what to say.

Wang Changlin’s life seemed to be a tragedy, and the creator of this tragedy was his maternal grandfather.

When his grandfather was young, the Shen family had only become rich recently. In order to look good, his grandfather was sent to study abroad. Alone in a foreign country, his grandfather soon met his beloved girlfriend and they dated for three years. His grandfather was planning to propose to his girlfriend upon graduation when he received a telegram from home. The Shen family’s business was in trouble due to the economic crisis. At the time when his grandfather was lost and confused, his female classmate, who had always secretly had a crush on him, proposed marriage. After the marriage, she could persuade her family to fund the Shen family to help them get through their difficulties. But Grandpa had to promise to completely break off his relationship with his ex-girlfriend.

Li Mingxuan did not know what kind of struggle his grandfather went through back then, but in the end Grandpa chose to compromise. He broke up with his girlfriend quickly, and soon married his classmate, Li Mingxuan’s grandmother. Grandpa broke up with his ex-girlfriend as he had promised, not knowing that she was pregnant at the time. What Grandpa also didn’t know was that his grandmother knew all about his girlfriend’s pregnancy. In those days, it was a very disgraceful thing to be pregnant out of wedlock, and after sending his grandfather back to China under some pretext, his grandmother secretly made it public and his grandfather’s ex-girlfriend was expelled from school.

The ex-girlfriend then raised Shen Shang alone, suffering a lot of hardships. When Shen Shang graduated from university, she was diagnosed with cancer and her only wish was to see Li Mingxuan’s grandfather before she died. Shen Shang travelled all the way to Zhongjing to find his own father but even though Grandpa was happy with Shen Shang’s existence, he refused his request because he wanted to keep the promise he made to Grandma. Shen Shang was already resentful because of Grandpa’s refusal, but even more unexpected, when he was about to leave Zhongjing, Grandma engineered a car accident in which Shen Shang was seriously injured. By the time he was able to get out of the hospital and rush home, his mother had died alone and he missed seeing her for the last time.

A year later, Shen Shang returned to Zhongjing again. By that time, he had completely transformed into Wang Changlin.

Li Mingxuan sighed and looked at Ye Han, “Where is the real Wang Changlin?”

Ye Han smiled bitterly, “Dead. The real Wang Changlin died from his injuries in that car accident back then, and Shen Shang was seriously injured and recuperated for half a year. According to the investigation, the real Wang Changlin was an orphan with an introverted personality and didn’t interact much with people around him. Plus he disappeared for more than a year, so when Shen Shang appeared with his name, no one noticed the change. In fact, the two had similar body shape and voice; I guess that’s why Shen Shang chose to pretend to be Wang Changlin.”

The information on the USB drive ended with Shen Shang’s return to China, and now Li Mingxuan couldn’t wait to know what he did after returning to China.

Rubbing his temples with a headache, Li Mingxuan wondered, “There are so many families in Zhongjing, why did he pick the Han family? And also managed to appear at Elder Han’s side successfully?”

“I haven’t found out what he did after he returned to China, but I do know the answer for your question.” Ye Han sat down opposite Li Mingxuan and explained, “Back then, the Han family did a lot of charity in order to accumulate blessings because of having few children. The most important part was that Elder Han sponsored many poor students in the name of the Han family, and the real Wang Changlin was one of them. However, before Shen Shang became him, Wang Changlin was not conspicuous at all because of his personality, but after Shen Shang became Wang Changlin, he soon stood out among the crowd of sponsored students with his outstanding ability, and not only was he deeply appreciated by Elder Han, but he also gained Han Yu’s friendship.”

As Ye Han was speaking, Li Mingxuan had already guessed that the reason why Shen Shang had returned to China under the identity of Wang Changlin must have been to target the Han family, wanting to take revenge on the Shen family through the power of the Han family. Although he did not know how he intended to do so in the first place, Li Mingxuan had a vague feeling that there must be something else in this that he did not know. But no matter what, Shen Shang was full of calculations against the Han family and there was no slightest bit of goodwill.

Thinking about Shen Xi’s trust in Wang Changlin and Lu Gesen’s identity, Li Mingxuan felt that he needed to let Shen Xi know this.

Thinking of this, Li Mingxuan quickly picked up his coat, “I’m going out.”

Ye Han knew what Li Mingxuan was going to do and patted him meaningfully on the shoulder, “I hope the next time I see you is tomorrow morning.”

Li Mingxuan smiled bitterly. He did not have this hope.

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