186. Qi MingYang’s Stance
“Do we have to fight him then?” asked YiHan.
“Qi MingYang wouldn’t clash with us on the surface,” replied JingYuan. “These articles are just him telling us his stance on this. He’s waiting for us to speak up.”
YiHan didn’t get it.
JingYuan held YiHan’s hand. “Qi MingYang might be an intolerant man but he’s very prudent. He won’t just take this lying down but he’ll also do his homework beforehand. It’s no secret Nan Shan has us by his side. He attacked Chu FangMing as fast as lightning and as fierce as thunder. However, when it came to Nan Shan, he only ordered a few articles to be published every week. He knew those articles would be struck out and suppressed. It’s just a show of his convictions. It’s not his style to withdraw without a battle but he’ll leave himself room to turn around.”
YiHan let out an exasperated chuckle. “His organs and intestines must be all twisted up in a knot. It’s just revenge yet there are so many issues linked to it. Wouldn’t he get tired of living life like that? Anyway, how does he know those drafts would be struck out? The moment one article passes, he’ll have publicly turned into our enemy.”
JingYuan shrugged and smiled. “It’s like how I can guess his intentions. He must’ve expected me to prepare for this earlier.”
YiHan leaned against JingYuan’s desk. “Qi MingYang is quite a detail-oriented man. He’s as strong as you and my brother. But he’s too narrow-hearted, too easily angered. Such a personality has restricted his abilities. It’s as if he’s from a poor household, causing the entire Qi family to appear weaker among the Great Five.”
“They only look weak among the Great Five,” said JingYuan. “In this city, the Qi family is part of the top ranks in society. Furthermore, a starved camel is still bigger than a horse. Even if the Qi family is on the decline, it is still a powerful force to the Chu family. It’s not a family Chu FangMing can push around. He’s gotten too used to a smooth life where only Qi Jie would anger him. He is eager to be rid of Qi Jie. When he saw Nan Shan getting close to us, he hurriedly rushed over. He wants our help to apply pressure on Qi Jie.”
“Unfortunately, Nan Shan didn’t buy his act,” YiHan said with a smile and a shrug.
“With us around, he can’t force Nan Shan to do anything,” JingYuan said, nodding. “His plead on emotions have failed. He couldn’t get Nan Shan on his side and Qi Jie has turned into an enemy. He really has lost both his lady and his troops.”
YiHan pursed his lips. “Serves him right. What about Qi MingYang then? What do we do? Do we contact him?”
“We don’t need to do that,” JingYuan said with a smile. “He is wary of us after all. He wouldn’t dare to try and stamp out Nan Shan. We don’t need to say anything. He’ll come looking for us.”
“Will he?” YiHan doubtfully asked.
“He will,” JingYuan answered. “He’ll test the waters, see what we think, before deciding on his next move. No matter how angry he is, he wouldn’t make an enemy out of us for the sake of Qi Jie. He knows what will benefit him and what won’t.”
In the mall car park, YiHan leaned against his car as he spoke into his phone, “Comrade Yan Pei, you were the one who asked me out. Now, you’re leaving me hanging?” YiHan was both amused and upset.
“I’m sorry, YiHan,” Pei begged. “I didn’t mean to. Something last-minute came up in school. I have no choice either. Forgive me.”
“Alright,” YiHan said, smiling. “I’ll forgive you this one time.”
“I just knew you’re the best,” Pei giggled. “Let’s meet up another day.”
“If you dare leave me hanging again,” said YiHan with a harrumph, “the consequences will be dire. You know I’m one of the laziest persons in the world.”
“I won’t. I won’t,” Pei quickly said. “Today’s an accident. Next time, this would absolutely not happen again!”
“Okay, then,” said YiHan. “Go do your thing. I’ll hang out in Zhang-ge’s bookshop for a while.”
“Mr Mu has finally allowed you to drive on your own?” Pei teased.
“Don’t mention it,” said YiHan. “He only said yes after a lot of begging and pleading. It’s kind of exasperating.”
Pei laughed. “He’s just concerned about you. He’s afraid it won’t be safe if you drive…pfft!”
YiHan’s eyes squinted. “Friend, you’re very naughty…”
Pei’s laughter stopped. “Aah,” she loudly exclaimed. “Someone’s calling for me. I must go. See you another day. Bye-bye!”
Pei hung up. YiHan sighed and shook his head. His family’s always thought of him as a kid. They wouldn’t let him drive. They even made it so he had to have a driver whenever he left the house. It’s so inconvenient. What’s worse was that JingYuan fully inherited this habit. Combined with the car accident last time, the man had refused to let YiHan drive at all. Pei had laughed at him so many times over this. Even Yan had a constipated look whenever the topic was brought up. For a long time, YiHan had tried every trick he could. Finally, JingYuan relented. Even so, he was so very anxious. YiHan hadn’t left their home for long but he’d already received three calls from JingYuan. The older man was so worried that it left YiHan in both tears and laughter. YiHan was nearly twenty-five. Did the man still think he was a kid? If other people knew of it, how could YiHan ever dare show his face again?
YiHan put his phone away. He was about to step into his car when a Bentley slowly rolled up to him. The car parked in a spot near his. The Bentley’s door opened and out walked Qi MingYang.
“Little Master Bai,” Qi MingYang greeted with a wave, “long time no see.”
YiHan politely smiled back. “It’s been a while, Mr Qi.”
“Are you waiting for someone?” asked the other man as he walked over. “Is there anything I can help you with?”
“You’re too kind, Mr Qi,” YiHan said. “There’s no need, though. I’m about to leave. Mr Qi, you must be busy, unlike me. I’m just a free man who always has time to wander around. What brings you here?”
“No, no,” said Qi MingYang. “You’re too humble. I won’t lie. I was passing by when I saw someone who looked like you out of the corner of my eye. I turned in to test my luck. I didn’t think it’d really be you.”
“Oh?” YiHan raised an eyebrow. “Is there something you need from me?”
“It’s nothing.” The other man smiled. “I thought we can catch up since we’ve bumped into each other.”
“Thank you, Mr Qi,” said YiHan, “but I have something to attend to. I won’t keep you from your work. Pardon me.”
A hand rose to block YiHan’s way. “Please, stay,” said Qi MingYang. “I have something I’d like to confirm with you.”
“Do tell, Mr Qi,” said YiHan.
“May I have the honour of inviting you to a cup of coffee?” asked the man.
“You’re too kind.” YiHan smiled. “Thank you, Mr Qi.”
“This way,” said Qi MingYang, arm turning to indicate the way.
Near the mall was a pleasant little coffee shop. The two walked in and found a table.
“Please, Mr Qi, tell me what’s on your mind,” said YiHan.
“Why the hurry?” asked Qi MingYang. “Little Master Bai, you’ve always been glued to Mr Mu’s side. I snuck in a little break today out of my busy schedule. It’s a rare opportunity, being able to enjoy a cup of coffee with you.”
“Now, that’s not quite right,” YiHan said as he put on a shallow smile. “I admit that I’m not anymore extremely important. Our relationship has also not progressed to the point of being confidantes. You didn’t invite me here just to have a cup of coffee and catch up, did you?”
The man didn’t get angry. Instead, he softly chuckled and said, “Little Master Bai, you really are a frank man. Very well. I won’t go around in circles. It was a coincidence I bumped into you today. I have something I’d like to inform you about.”
“What is it?” asked YiHan.
Qi MingYang’s smile disappeared. “You should already know of the Qi family’s recent movements,” he lazily said. “This is just some dirty laundry, some family matters. When something like this has reached this stage, there’s no need for it to be a secret. Not within our social circle. Chu FangMing has crossed the line. If I just let him go, wouldn’t it tell other people that the Qi family has no one left to defend it?”
“I certainly know of it,” said YiHan. “But since Chu FangMing dared to challenge the Qi family, it’s entirely expected for him to be taught a little lesson. That has nothing to do with me.”
A faint hint of a smile returned to Qi MingYang’s face. “You are a logical man. I trust you already know what I meant. I’m not speaking of Chu FangMing.”
YiHan’s eyes squinted. “You are speaking of Nan Shan then?”
“Yes,” said Qi MingYang. “He is Chu FangMing’s bastard son. His existence is a slap to the Qi family’s face. I wanted to take care of him as well, but I’d unintentionally heard someone say you are acquainted with him. Since I’ve bumped into you, I thought I should let you know.”
“Then, you should also know that Nan Shan and I are not merely ‘acquainted’,” said YiHan. “I won’t keep it a secret from you. Yan Pei, Yan Yana and I are all fans of his books to start with. You know what he relies on to make a living. At first, we were attracted by his writing. Somehow, we befriended him and were slowly sucked in by his personality. As of now, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that we are the best of friends. There’s a common saying: one could take two stabs to the chest for a friend. I, Bai YiHan, am not particularly capable but I also wish to emulate the chivalry of the past. I can’t use my body as a shield but I can draw my sword and help out.”
“Must you say that?” Qi MingYang asked, frowning. “The Qi and Bai families might not be close but there is no grudge between us. Why must you ruin the peace for some random person?”
YiHan shook his finger. “No, no, no. Nan Shan isn’t some random person to me. It’s impossible for me to just sit and do nothing when it comes to him.”
“He’s just a disgraceful bastard. Why must you protect him so?”
YiHan’s lips twitched into what one can consider a smile. “Mr Qi, you are a scrupulous man. You would never fight a battle you know you can’t win. I trust you’ve already found out all there is about Nan Shan. You wouldn’t be ignorant to how he came to be a ‘bastard son’, right? I know that when it comes to the dignity of the Qi family, right and wrong doesn’t matter much. I won’t go on about how the man is innocent. I don’t even want to mention how he has no intentions of returning to the Chu family. No one can choose who they’re born to. He has no choice in being the child of Chu FangMing. If possible, he wishes the man would never appear before his eyes again. But perhaps you don’t understand what kind of person I am yet. I, Bai YiHan, don’t make friends based on their identity. I don’t care whose son he is. As long as he is to my liking, I will help my friend regardless of logic and rationale, especially not when Nan Shan isn’t the party who is in the wrong.”
“Little Master Bai, I admire your ethics but this issue involved the honour of the Qi family,” said Qi MingYang. “Thus, there are less I have to worry about when it comes to the feelings and relationships of other people.”
Poor household: The phrase, 小家子气, is more accurately translated as someone with the mindset of a peasant. The literal translation would be “tiny household temper”. The actual meaning is “petty” or “small-minded”.
The updates are finally here! My apologies for the missing chapters from last week. There were some technical difficulties. Word of warning : when buying new laptops from brands that are infamous for poor build quality (Asus), bad after-sales service techs (Asus), bad software compatibilities with Windows OS and its own software (Asus), always remember to keep all paperwork in a file easily accessible because you’ll be going back to them multiple times in hopes of getting the faulty part properly fixed and not just “replaced”.