201. A Little Gift
Once Yan Miao was done smashing up the room, she looked at her husband who had been hiding by the window. She was so pissed that she began throwing anything she could get her hands on at him.
“Everyone knows they must cherish their wife!” she roared. “Everyone knows to defend their wife! Why are you the only one who’s such a coward? Why didn’t you even have the courage to do anything? All you know to do is to ask me to beg the Yan family for help when there’s trouble. Look what’s happened. Are you happy to see me humiliated by my own family? He Yuan, do you think you’ve done right by me?”
He Yuan couldn’t dodge in time and was hit in the forehead by a glass ashtray. Rage blazed through him. How he wished he could slap her to death. However, he recalled just who this woman was and all he could do was grit his teeth and bore with it. His face went a putrid green from the suppressed anger in him.
That afternoon, a guest arrived at the Mu Group. Bai YiHan personally went down to the front doors to greet their guest. When YiHan saw who it was, he swiftly strode over with a smile on his face.
“Jiang-ge, why are you here?” asked YiHan. “Are you here to see me? Have you missed me?”
“You’re rarely home and you haven’t come over lately,” replied Jiang Hua with a warm smile “I have certainly missed you but I’m not here today just to see you. I have business with JingYuan.”
The words “rarely home” made YiHan feel a pang of guilt. “I was planning on heading home in a few days,” he said with an awkward smile.
Hua patted him on the shoulder. “Alright. We all know that you two are currently in your honeymoon period since you’ve only just obtained your marriage certificate. Being by each other’s side for every waking moment isn’t even enough. How could you find the time to visit home?”
“Wow, Jiang-ge,” YiHan said. “You’ve picked up bad habits from my brother. You’re actually laughing at me.”
“I wouldn’t dare do so,” Hua said, hiding his smile behind pursed lips. “Your brother would never forgive me.”
“Alright, you,” pouted YiHan. “How could my brother ever bear to not forgive you? He can’t even listen to anyone say anything bad about you. If you were to laugh at me, he would only laugh along. Perhaps he’d laugh louder than you.”
“Now, that’s a false accusation,” said Hua. “He truly loves you.
“I know, I know,” YiHan said, eyes squinting as he smiled. “You’re always on his side. Your heart has been handed over to him now.”
As the two men walked into Mu JingYuan’s office, they were greeted by a serious JingYuan. “Jiang-ge, are you here because of what happened with HanHan?”
“Ever since you two were registered, you didn’t hesitate at all before changing how you refer to other people. Thanks to YiHan, I can also hear you call me brother,” Hua said. “ You’re right. I’m here with a little gift for you.”
“I have a friend,” Hua said as he handed over a tiny USB flash drive from his pocket. “He’s a computer expert. Many private and secure places would hire him to set up their system’s firewall. I’ve asked him to help me with a task.”
JingYuan inserted the flash drive into his computer and opened up a video file. His pupils shrank. “This request likely went against the rules of your friend’s job, didn’t it?”
“Indeed,” said Hua. “He has already decided to retire and will no longer accept any more jobs. This is the only time he’s ever gone against the core rules of his profession. He’s only willing to help out because it’s a request from me and because he finds it repulsive as well.”
JingYuan closed the video player and looked up. “Tell your friend that the Mu Group would fund his retirement for the rest of his life, if he so wishes.”
Hua blinked. “I told him that the Bai Group is willing to do that.”
“It’s up to him,” JingYuan said, smiling. “Either way, he wouldn’t starve in the future. Also, transfer him to somewhere safe and make sure he’s protected. We wouldn’t want other people taking out their anger on him.”
“I understand,” Hua replied. “However, once the information is made public, there will be no room to retreat. We have to be careful, not because of the monk but because of Buddha. We still have to be respectful to the old Mr Yan. Hence, this information can’t be used yet. Still, it would come in handy one day. I hope Yan Miao can understand that it’s best to avoid offending others, even if they’re insignificant.”
JingYuan chuckled. “Your worth is now more than it ever was. If you’re insignificant, then everyone else in this city is too. You’ve put your faith in me by giving me this. I owe you one.”
“Please don’t ever think of this as a favour,” Hua said, waving his hand before him. “YiHan calls me his brother. I have to do something brotherly sometimes. You are his chosen partner. Why wouldn’t I trust you?”
“Very well. I’ve gained something all thanks to YiHan,” JingYuan said, smiling. “Relax. I will make this live up to its greatest potential.”
“I absolutely believe that you’ll do that,” Hua said. “Right, I still have work waiting for me. I won’t stay for long. Come home with YiHan when you find the time. His parents would like to see you two and XueQing requires YiHan to calm her down.”
“Okay,” JingYuan said with a nod. “I’ll see you out.”
“It’s fine,” said Hua. “Continue on with your work. I can head down myself.”
YiHan, who hadn’t spoken a single word since Hua entered the office and had been glancing around, raised his hand and spoke up, “I’ll see Jiang-ge out.”
“Okay,” JingYuan and Hua simultaneously turned to YiHan and said, smiling.
That evening, JingYuan and YiHan stayed the night at the Bai family home. When YiHan’s parents and sister realised YiHan’s mood wasn’t affected at all by what happened, they all stopped worrying. Everyone enjoyed themselves at the reunion dinner. The warm lights of the Bai family home stayed on until past midnight. The mansion was surrounded by an air of joy.
The He family’s situation was the exact opposite. He Yuan was running all over the city for the sake of his company. He’s done everything he can but still, he can’t resolve the looming danger.
In just three short days, the He Group was showing signs of collapsing. He Yuan had a migraine building up while Yan Miao, in her rage, had destroyed everything that was destructible. On the day after the engagement party, Yuan had expressed his hope that she could return to the Yan family home and personally give in, that she would beg the old Mr Yan for assistance in making sure the He family could survive the imminent threat. Miao had been born a proud woman. She had never once tasted defeat. How could she agree to that? She won’t cave in, not even to her own father!
But the He Group’s circumstances grew worse. Finally, Miao decided to visit the Yan family home. Her personal wealth was tied to the company, after all. Not only that, she couldn’t keep saying no to Yuan’s pleas.
Miao arrived at the Yan family home in the morning. The only members of the Yan family still home were the old Mr Yan and Kong Wen. Yan Cheng was in the office while Yan Yan had already moved into Xu YouRan’s home. The young man was currently browsing for the couple’s home post-wedding.
With a cup of tea in hand, the old Mr Yan was reading a book on chess while Kong Wen read by the window. The house was very tranquil.
The moment Miao stepped through the doors, she threw a heated glare full of hate at Wen. The other woman didn’t even bother looking up from her book.
This infuriated Miao. She stomped her feet. She then threw her coat at the servants. Without even changing out of her shoes, she stomped over to her father, her heels loudly clacking the entire time.
“Father, look at my sister-in-law,” Miao said to the old Mr Yan, sitting down beside him. “She acts like she doesn’t see me!”
Eyes still focused on the book before him, the old Mr Yan languidly responded, “Then, do you see your sister-in-law? Humans are divided into seniors and juniors. You treat her like she doesn’t exist. You won’t even greet her as you enter the room. How can you even be upset that your sister-in-law ignores you?”
Miao felt so very wronged. “Father, my second brother has forgotten about me ever since he’d gotten married. Do you and my big brother not love me anymore? Why would you criticise me for her sake?”
Wen sighed. “Father, I’ll go check on our lunch,” she said to the old Mr Yan.
“Go,” the old Mr Yan warmly replied with a nod.
Mrs Liu, the servant, placed a pair of indoor slippers by Miao’s feet. “Miss, please change into these,” she whispered.
Miao glared at Mrs Liu and kicked her heels off to change into the provided slippers. Mrs Liu carefully picked up the heels that had been sent flying and placed them in the foyer. Then, Mrs Liu mopped the floors clean before leaving the room with lowered eyes.
The old Mr Yan had been watching the entire time with cold eyes. He didn’t say a word. When Miao saw that Wen had proactively left the room, her anger finally simmered down a little.
“Father,” she cutely pouted at the old Mr Yan, “Yuan’s company has encountered a problem. I’ve called you but Big Brother wouldn’t even hand the phone over to you. His wife told him not to help me and to let me deal with it myself. But I only ever come asking for help because I can’t resolve it.”
When the old Mr Yan remained silent, Miao continued, “Father, you must save Yuan. They all say that Mu JingYuan is a generous man but I never thought rumours could be so unreliable. He’s actually even more mean-hearted than Qi MingYang. He’s doing this to the He Group all because I misspoke once. I’m your daughter. He’s just too bold. He doesn’t respect you at all. And then there’s the Bai family. They did the deed yet they won’t let anyone talk about it. They’re a strong family so most people wouldn’t dare say anything but the Yan family isn’t any weaker. By targeting me, they are definitely looking down on our family! There’s also the Chen family. It’s none of their business. Why are they poking their noses in?”
When the old Mr Yan didn’t respond, Miao unhappily said, “Father, I’m talking to you. Why are you ignoring me?”
The old Mr Yan put down his book and turned to look at his daughter, the woman who looked similar to his wife. “Miao-Miao,” he said, letting out a heavy sigh, “your brother said you are to learn to be responsible for your own actions and words. Have you taken the time to reflect on his words?”
Miao was already in a bad mood as nothing was going well and her birth family only stood aside and watched. She had built up a great deal of resentment against her father and big brother. She had to suppress her rage and cutely plead with her father because she wanted her father’s help. However, with her personality, how long could she have held back her anger? When her father’s words reached her ears, the “wronged and pleading” smile she had put on faltered. All warmth drained out of her face.
“Father,” Miao said, looking at the old Mr Yan, “what do you mean by that?”
The old Mr Yan was observing Miao’s reaction the whole time. “Miao-Miao,” he sighed again, “you are my youngest daughter. Ever since you were a baby, I’ve doted on you more than I’ve ever doted on your two brothers. In fact, I’ve shown more affection to you than to any of your brothers’ children. When you were young, I thought that it’s fine. You were still young and girls should be spoiled. But you’ve grown up now. How much of my advice and teachings can you hold dear to your heart?”
“I’m talking to you about Yuan,” Miao grumbled. “Why are you talking about all these?”
“Have you ever thought about how long it has been since you’ve last sat down and had a proper conversation with me or your brothers?” the old Mr Yan asked.
“I have my own family too,” Miao unashamedly stated. “Where do I find the time?”
“Yes,” said the old Mr Yan, “you’re married. You have your own family and you are the mother of two children, but have you matured along with your age? In this incident, every word out of your mouth pushes the blame to other people. Do you not even realise what you’ve done wrong?”