166. I’ll Help
Yan Pei was enraged. Looking down at the photo of Nan Shan, her universe exploded. “Aaargh! This pisses me off so much! Just who is this scumbag?”
“We couldn’t find this man at first,” said YiHan. “They’re dating. Is there a need to be so mysterious? Then, JingYuan’s men stumbled upon Nan Shan’s mysterious boyfriend visiting him. They sent us a few photos of the man. Coincidentally, we all know him. That’s how we found out.”
Pei instantly honed in on YiHan. “You both know him? Do I? Is he someone in our social circle? Don’t leave me hanging. Spit it out.”
“It’s He Yuan,” YiHan said in a low voice.
“Oh…” Pei said with a nod. Then, she shouted, “Huh? What did you say?”
Pei immediately leapt out of her seat. Her eyes were as wide as plates.
YiHan hurriedly pulled her back down. “Don’t panic. Hear me out first. JingYuan and I were shocked too. Both the Yan family and Nan Shan are involved in this matter. It is a matter of utmost seriousness. We dug deeper and conducted an even more detailed investigation. I’ve even tested what Nan Shan knew when he had his guard down. After compiling all the information we could, we reached a consensus: Nan Shan and your aunt are both fooled.”
It was obvious Pei found the news a little hard to swallow. “How could it be him?” she mumbled. “He’s treated my aunt…”
“That’s right,” YiHan said. “They were both fooled by He Yuan. Marrying your aunt was a beneficial transaction for him. After marriage, he treated your aunt so well that he’s considered the ideal husband in high society. If it’s out of love, that’d be amazing. However, from our investigations, we’ve realised he was never a straight man. He’s either gay or bisexual.”
Pei leaned back against her seat, her hand against her forehead. “Give me a few seconds to sort my thoughts out and calm down.”
A few long minutes passed before she spoke up again. “You two are absolutely certain on this?”
YiHan picked up his phone and looked through the photos JingYuan’s men sent over. “Definitely,” he said as he showed Pei the photo of the man’s face. “This is him, for sure. I’ve also tried hinting about it to Nan Shan. He’s extraordinarily against being the homewrecker of another’s relationship. JingYuan said Nan Shan should start to suspect He Yuan now. We’ll soon know what decision he’ll make.”
Pei stared down at the photo for a beat before spitting out through gritted teeth, “He’d changed the entire style of his clothes and covered himself up so tight that no one would know it’s him unless they were very familiar with him!”
“Indeed,” said YiHan. “Not only did he change his clothes, but the way he carried himself also changed. I didn’t recognise him at first. It’s all thanks to JingYuan’s amazing memory. He instantly knew who the man was because of his photographic memory.”
“You just said Nan Shan was suspicious of him?” asked Pei. “Will he willingly leave He Yuan?”
“It’s very likely he will,” said YiHan, “but we’re afraid He Yuan wouldn’t let Nan Shan go. He’d threaten Nan Shan and maybe even take revenge on Nan Shan. From the results of our investigations, he seems to be extremely enthralled with Nan Shan. JingYuan said He Yuan wouldn’t easily let go. Nan Shan is just an author. He’s alone and weak. There’s no way Nan Shan can stand his ground against him. Nan Shan might suffer a lot.”
“Who said Nan Shan is alone and weak?” Pei barked in fury. “He has us, doesn’t he? I never would’ve thought He Yuan could be so vile! I must tell my aunt!”
“You can’t!” YiHan grabbed Pei’s hand as she stood to leave.
“Why can’t I?” Pei shouted back. “He Yuan is just disgusting! Do I let him continue making a fool of my aunt?”
YiHan clung on tight to her. “Calm down, Pei-Pei! Have you ever thought about what your aunt will do to Nan Shan when she knows of this? Would she believe Nan Shan is just an innocent victim? He Yuan would push Nan Shan out to be his scapegoat! Can you stop her then? Even if Nan Shan doesn’t die, he’d be skinned alive! At best, his reputation would be torn to pieces!”
Pei was stunned. A moment later, she sunk back down to her seat. “You’re right. I know my aunt. She would never let Nan Shan go free. What do we do, YiHan?”
“Pei-Pei, I was actually hesitating whether or not I should tell you about this,” YiHan sighed. “You’re stuck in the middle. It’s a tough spot to be, but you could also tell that this matter cannot come to light. We must act in secret. This concerns the Yan family. JingYuan and I must be cautious. After serious reconsideration, we decided to tell you. Of those in this relationship, Nan Shan is innocent. He shouldn’t be a sacrificial offering for He Yuan’s lust. Nan Shan’s life is terrible enough, isn’t it?”
Picking up the phone to stare at the photo of Nan Shan again, Pei softly mumbled, “What can I do for him then?”
“JingYuan said we’d have to wait and see what Nan Shan thinks of this first,” YiHan replied. “JingYuan’s a smart man. I’ll go with his suggestion. I’m telling you now because I don’t want you to be kept in the dark about it. If word of this matter ever reaches the ears of your family, the story would be twisted by He Yuan.”
“Twisted? Into what? That Nan Shan seduced him?” Pei spat in fury. “With his looks? As if that’d happen!”
“How does Mr Mu plan on handling this?” Pei asked after taking a few harsh pants. “Let me know if there’s anything I can help with. I trust in his brains and tact. I’m too impulsive. I’ll just be a helper.”
“I’d like to know what the old Mr Yan thinks of He Yuan,” said YiHan.
“Frankly, He Yuan is not someone the Yan family welcomes warmly,” Pei said. “My grandfather didn’t even want to let my aunt marry him. He thought He Yuan wasn’t an ethical man. My father and uncle both objected to the relationship as well. Unfortunately, my aunt has been mesmerised by the man. She insisted that she’ll marry no one but him. They had no choice but to let the couple get married. After the wedding, we rarely interact with them. He Yuan also knows my grandfather dislikes him. He seldom comes to visit. If there’s anything they want, it’d be my aunt who brings it up. Since the man treats my aunt well, Grandfather helped whenever he could. Honestly, I don’t like him either. He’s always dressed up. His silver tongue is so slippery that it’s a wonder it hasn’t made the impossible happen. If he wasn’t the husband of my aunt, I wouldn’t even bother interacting with him.”
After a brief pause, Pei then continued, “Actually, none of the younger generation have a great relationship with my aunt. When she lived with us, we were still kids. All we knew was that no matter what it was, my aunt would never let us have anything or do anything first. We were the ones who had to be obliging and let her have whatever she wanted. She later got married. Since then, she’d rarely come visit us. Every time she did, it was always because the He family or He Yuan needed help from Grandfather and the rest of my family. She never stayed longer than necessary. The last time my grandfather was admitted to the hospital, she only came and see him once. Even then, it was for He Yuan. She begged my grandfather to help He Yuan win over a potential project when Grandfather was bedridden. After my grandfather agreed to help, she left within the next few minutes.
“I was taking care of him then so I was there. The moment my aunt left the room, my grandfather was so depressed. He told me that he’d lived a grand life but the person he owes the most to is my grandmother. He was so busy with work and building up the family as a young man that he didn’t have time to properly be by her side. My grandfather has always felt guilty about it since she passed away. My aunt looked the most like my grandmother and my aunt was a daughter born to him when he was older. Grandfather couldn’t help but favour her more, spoil her a little more. To him, boys can trip and fall but still be fine. Girls needed to be pampered and protected. Who knew that the children he left to struggle and trip as kids would be so filial while his one and only daughter, the kid he doted on, would…
“Grandfather said he was very disappointed in my aunt. She only looked like my grandmother. Their personalities were as different as night and day. Nowadays, he’d still help my aunt whenever she comes asking but, unlike before, he would never wonder all the time, ‘Why hasn’t she visited me yet?’.”
“When it comes to filial piety, unconditional love is a cause but it depends more so on the other’s personality,” YiHan sighed.
“Is there anyone else in the Yan family who knows of Nan Shan?” YiHan asked.
“My second brother,” Pei replied without hesitation.
“The Second Young Master of the Yan family?” YiHan asked.
“Yes,” Pei said. “He looks so average and gloomy that he doesn’t seem to be the kind to read detective novels, right? I’ll let you in on something. I read Nan Shan’s books because he recommended them to me.”
YiHan was truly stunned. “I thought you recommended them to him!”
“No,” Pei replied. “Before this, I never read detective novels. One day, he saw me reading a romance novel so he recommended Nan Shan’s books to me. The first Nan Shan novel I read was ‘The Blue Night’. I was stuck in the rabbit hole since then. If there’s anyone you want to call a diehard fan, it should be my brother.”
“True,” YiHan said, nodding. “There aren’t a lot of girls who like to read detective novels. I really couldn’t tell with your brother. And he’d recommend books to other people? That’s impossible, even in my imagination.”
Pei chuckled. “Yes. I was shocked too. He displayed a passion he’d never shown before. He ran right back into his room to grab the book for me. He told me I’d definitely like Nan Shan’s books. Well, he was right.”
“Say, do you think he’ll help Nan Shan if he knows of this?” YiHan asked.
“It’s very likely!” Pei said, her hand on her chin in a contemplating pose. “I’ll tell him. Even if he doesn’t help, he wouldn’t let a word of it slip!” She paused, then continued in a whisper, “Can you send me the photo of Nan Shan then? I can show it to him.”
“I…” YiHan was put in a tough spot. “I’ve already let you view it without asking Nan Shan first. It’d be bad if this photo reaches another’s hands, right…?”
“Please, YiHan,” Pei pleaded with a little tug at his hand. I’ll only show my brother once. I will never let anyone else even know of it!”
“How about this?” YiHan said. “I’ll send it to you. The moment your brother has taken a look at it, you’ll delete it on the spot. We don’t want other people finding out and causing unexpected problems for us, okay?”
“Hm,” Pei mused in thought. “Alright.”
“Don’t think of it as a pity,” YiHan said as he smiled. “As long as we can help Nan Shan get past this, we might be able to talk to Nan Shan in person. Who knows? Perhaps we’ll eat at the same table!”
Her eyes gleamed as she fervently nodded. “Okay! Sure! We can do that!”
“Frankly, we’re not all that safe with just my second brother,” Pei then continued with an evil little chuckle. “We might not be able to protect Nan Shan so well that he can escape unscathed.” She let out another smirk. “Once I have time, I’ll read “The Blue Night” to my grandfather. It’ll help alleviate his boredom.”
Bisexuality: Please note that this story has a bias against bisexuals, as most old-school dramas do. This is because the only bisexual representation in this story is He Yuan, the typical negative stereotype of bisexuals are dishonest. Take whatever words this story says about the matter with a pinch of salt.
Greasy air…impossible happen: The actual text reads, “He’s always dressed up to the nines (via makeup/skincare) and his tongue is so slippery, like it wishes it could produce a flower (from nothing)”.
Blue Night: The author mistakenly wrote “The Blue Mountain” here.