185. The Qi Family’s Rage
“Force?” said YiHan. “He shouldn’t have the guts to clash with us. His only advantage is his status as YouRan’s birth father. He might try persistent persuasion, or he might use the public’s opinion.”
“Could he be so shameless?” Pei’s cheeks were puffed up. “If he does that, then he really does have a thick skin!”
“He’s not just thick-skinned,” said Yan, “I can tell from the way he does things that he only ever cares about profits. It doesn’t matter what the issue is. As long as he gains something from it, he doesn’t care about face or dignity. Emotions are further not something he’d need to consider.”
YiHan was about to speak when his phone rang. He pulled the phone out of his pocket and glanced at it. A smile grew on his face.
When Pei saw the look on YiHan’s face, her lips widened in a mischievous smile. “That face means it must be Mr Mu.”
YiHan calmly answered the call. “JingYuan, are you done with work?”
“Mn,” said JingYuan. “How did the meeting today go?”
“It went as expected,” said YiHan. “At first, Chu FangMing said he didn’t know of YouRan’s existence. When Yan frankly called out his lie, the man didn’t feel guilty about it at all. He even began to talk about how fathers and sons are tied and so on.”
“Just as we anticipated,” said JingYuan. “Are you at Nan Shan’s home?”
“Yes,” said YiHan. “YouRan was clear that he wouldn’t go back to the Chu family. Yan was firm and told Chu FangMing not to harass YouRan anymore. The man didn’t dare to force us to agree with him, but I feel like he wouldn’t be stopping. We were just discussing if he’d use public perception to push YouRan into going with him.”
“You’re right,” said YiHan. “Will you be coming over later?”
“I’m heading over to fetch you. I’ll be there soon,” said JingYuan.
YiHan hung up and turned to the others in the room with him. “JingYuan said word of this wouldn’t spread. This city doesn’t belong to the Chu family.”
“With those words, I can stop worrying,” said Pei with a nod.
For a while, Chu FangMing did nothing. Then, just as YiHan said, he began to make a move. He didn’t dare visit YouRan again. All he did was mail parcels to YouRan. There was a delivery nearly every day. Sometimes, it’s clothes. Sometimes, it’d be luxury goods. FangMing also sent YouRan a few types of food that most people can’t afford to buy or were hard to source. Inside these packages, there’d be cards with words of concern and care.
Each time YouRan received a parcel, he’d tell the courier to return it to the sender. The persistence of the other party slowly got on YouRan’s nerves.
Yan was also fuming with rage at the situation. It took a call to FangMing before the other man showed some restraint. FangMing was YouRan’s father. They couldn’t do much to the man. They couldn’t be harsh and they couldn’t be rid of him. It was seriously so frustrating.
But FangMing couldn’t be smug about it for long. A few days later, there was a blazing inferno set aflame in his own home. As a daughter of the Qi family, even if not one from the main family, Qi Jie grew up as a cherished little miss. She only married Chu FangMing because the man courted her and proposed to her of his own will. She didn’t think the man would start distancing himself from her after he was done borrowing her help in his fight to be family head. Because she refused to bear FangMing another child after giving him two daughters, FangMing was further dissatisfied with her. However, the man only tolerated her because she was from the Qi family. Years have passed and FangMing’s hold on his position was secure. As he grew used to being the revered head of the family, his patience for Qi Jie slowly vanished. Qi Jie too had been tolerating his antics for a long time now. But they’ve been married for years. They weren’t young anymore and they had two daughters. Unless it was necessary, she didn’t want their lives to change too much.
Never could she have imagined Chu FangMing to step over the line. His attitude gradually worsened. Qi Jie was wondering if she should teach the man a lesson when he set off a bomb in their lives!
Since their wedding day, Qi Jie kept a strict eye on FangMing. She knew all about the people he was surrounded by. She squashed every possibility he could use to cheat on her. She was so cautious about everything and everyone, but she never once looked into his relationships prior to their marriage!
She never expected Chu FangMing to have a child before they were even married. Decades have passed and the man never said a word. There wasn’t even a hint of this child. If the man hadn’t decided to publicise his want to welcome the kid into the Chu family, she would still be kept in the dark!
Qi Jie was a proud woman. She was someone who never once suffered or be at a disadvantage. How could she bear to be humiliated so? She immediately started up a big fight with FangMing. Not only did the man not show an ounce of remorse, he even ordered her to be more polite when YouRan entered their home and to try and win the kid over!
Was he requesting she bow down and prostrate herself before her husband’s bastard son? Qi Jie’s lungs nearly exploded with fury. She immediately headed to the Qi family home with her daughters in tow. She ran straight for the head of the Qi family, Qi MingYang. She cried and complained, turning her exquisite makeup into a blurry mess on her face.
If Qi Jie were to really lay out her lineage, she’d be considered Qi MingYang’s cousin once removed. But in the Qi family, the main and branch families are distinctly separated. Control over the main businesses was kept strictly within the main family line. Branch family members all had much more inferior positions. When talking before Qi MingYang, Qi Jie can’t try and use her status as an elder. In fact, she must flatter and grovel with every word she said. She only dared to push this incident into Qi MingYang’s attention because she knew the dignity of the Qi family was the most important to the man. This issue was clearly a slap in the face for the Qi family. Even if she wanted to tolerate it, Qi MingYang wouldn’t be willing to play along. Qi Jie kicking up a fuss was the perfect chance Qi MingYang was seeking. She also succeeded in fuelling the younger man’s anger.
As expected, when Qi Jie left the Qi family home, Qi MingYang’s face was gloomy and insidious.
Within a week, the Chu family’s businesses were dealt a blow. Chu FangMing was gritting his teeth with rage but Qi Jie wouldn’t answer any of his calls. Xu YouRan’s attitude didn’t change for the better either. FangMing’s head was pounding from the frustrating circumstances of his company. It was obvious Qi MingYang was truly enraged. In just a few days, the Chu family’s net worth shrank by a fifth. FangMing was panicking. His hair shed in bunches. He was the textbook example of someone who wanted to steal some chickens but only succeeded in losing his fistful of rice.
YiHan brought it up in the group chat with Pei and Yan. They were all gleefully laughing at FangMing’s misfortune.
[Mu-Mu’s HanHan: JingYuan told you guys, right? Don’t jump the gun. Look. We didn’t even need to do anything. He’s already turned his whole life into a mess.]
[Pei the Third: It’s such a splendid sight to see! This is karma! Trying to steal chickens but lost his bait. He lost both the Lady and his soldiers!]
[Yan Yan: Mn.]
[Pei the Third: Qi MingYang is a spiteful man. Qi Jie is part of the Qi family after all. She bears the surname Qi. It’d be strange if he could tolerate such ridiculous humiliation!]
[Pei the Third: Chu FangMing was family head for only a few years and he’d already lost his way. Does he think women of the Qi family were easy prey for marriage? If you marry her, you must worship her! He’d thoroughly made an enemy out of them now. Hahaha! This makes me feel so happy!]
[Mu-Mu’s HanHan: Does YouRan know of this? What does he think?]
[Yan Yan: He does but he’s not reacting much. He looks like he doesn’t care.]
[Mu-Mu’s HanHan: That’s the best reaction. It means he has no expectations of Chu FangMing. He wouldn’t be upset because of the man’s suffering. Otherwise, YouRan would be burned out from stress at having such a stinkbug around. You can’t chase him away and you can’t even hit him.]
[Yan Yan: Mn, I think so too. He’s been working on his new book’s outline for the past few days. I don’t even dare talk too loudly for fear of disturbing him.]
[Pei the Third: That’s great! I look forward to it!]
[Yan Yan: Yes, me too.]
[Mu-Mu’s HanHan: This is major. Let’s not bother him with rotten news about Chu FangMing.]
[Yan Yan: Mn. I told him once when he was taking a break. His reaction was mild. I haven’t talked to him about it since.]
[Pei the Third: Actually, I think it’s impossible for him not to yearn for a father. He just doesn’t have the courage to expect anything from Chu FangMing because he knows fully well what the man thinks of him.]
[Mu-Mu’s HanHan: Pei-Pei’s right.]
[Pei the Third: Poor Nan Shan. Damn that Chu FangMing. Nan Shan’s life has only just improved and he comes running in. He’s not willing to give Nan Shan any love so why must he bother Nan Shan?]
[Yan Yan: Value. In Chu FangMing’s eyes, what is a son? That’s just a tool he can use.]
[Mu-Mu’s HanHan: In a few days, the man will be forced into a corner. He’ll be visiting you guys once more. We must be on our guard. We can’t let him ruin Nan Shan’s mood and affect his writing.]
[Yan Yan: Don’t worry. I’ll handle it.]
[Mu-Mu’s HanHan: Honestly, Chu FangMing is indisputably responsible for Aunty Xu’s early death. YouRan must hate him for it too.]
[Pei the Third: Of course. He must be feeling very conflicted when it comes to Chu FangMing. If only that man never appeared in his life!]
[Yan Yan: I’ll find a way to make him be too scared to harass YouRan anymore. We’ll just pretend the man never existed so YouRan doesn’t get upset.]
[Mu-Mu’s HanHan: That’d be for the best.]
YiHan put down his phone and said to JingYuan, “Nan Shan’s working on the outline of his new book. This means his mood has recovered.”
“Mn,” said JingYuan, “I have something to tell you.”
“What is it?” asked YiHan.
“Come see for yourself,” said JingYuan as he waved YiHan over.
YiHan walked over. Curious, his eyes followed along JingYuan’s finger to the computer screen. His eyes went wide.
A press statement was shown on the screen. It was a well-written article on Nan Shan. The article spoke of how he was the bastard son of a rich and powerful family. It said the man could only become a renowned author because his family had been secretly helping him out, not because the man was a good writer. The family even bullied and harassed other writers. There was a lot of tampering and underhanded deals involved.
The more YiHan read, the stronger his jaw clenched. His fist banged against the table as he roared, “Which company wrote this? This is just nonsense!”
JingYuan gently massaged the hand YiHan hit the table with as he said, “Half-truths are more believable. A friend of mine saw this. Because I’ve informed him about this before, he stopped the draft from getting published and sent it to me.”
YiHan was worried. “Would other places also…”
“No,” said JingYuan. “Frankly, there are many articles of a similar nature. I’ve suppressed them all at first notice.”
“Thank goodness,” said YiHan, frowning. “If this draft was published, goodness knows just how big of an impact it’d have on Nan Shan. Just who is powerful enough to do this? Who could’ve drafted up such an article and have it nearly published despite your warnings?”
“The only one who can do this is someone from the Great Five Families.”
“Qi MingYang?” asked YiHan.
“That’s right. He’s narrow-hearted. He can’t hold his temper. To him, humiliating Qi Jie means slapping the Qi family in the face. He cannot tolerate the Chu family’s existence. Naturally, this means he won’t be lenient on Nan Shan too.”
Trying to steal chickens: Chinese proverb. This has been translating quite literally.
Lost both the Lady and his soldiers: This is a Chinese proverb born from The Romance of the Three Kingdoms retelling of how Liu Bei married his wife, the younger sister of Sun Quan. Zhou Yu had allegedly planned to lure Liu Bei into a trap by offering Lady Sun’s hand in marriage to Liu Bei. In the end, Liu Bei was able to escape with his bride and his troops managed to defeat Zhou Yu’s men, who had chased after their fleeing prey. The translation of this phrase comes from an unknown source as Wikipedia’s citation only lists the name of the original text with no ISBN or translator.