164. So It’s Him!
YiHan thought about the hints JingYuan had given him. Frown present on his brows, he asked, “It’s He Yuan?”
“That’s right. You’re so clever,” JingYuan praised.
“You’ve already led me straight to the answer,” YiHan huffed. “Can I not guess it? His wife is Yan Pei’s elder. The only relatives who can suppress Yan Pei would be someone within the immediate family. Combined with that age, it could only be her aunt, Yan Miao!”
“It’s actually him?” YiHan was so angry that he stomped his feet. “If not for these photos, I would never have believed it! He’d always been the model husband. He’s extraordinarily nice to Yan Pei’s aunt. He’s the kind that would never settle for the moon if his wife asked for the stars. They even have two kids now and the eldest is ten. So he’s gay! He even fooled Nan Shan into being his secret lover! No wonder the man is wrapped up in so many layers. If Yan Miao knew of this, she could chop his head off! How can be he so shameless? He might as well aim to be a god!
“It’s no wonder those two could protect themselves so well in the scandal! A whirlwind wrecked through the city but they were utterly unharmed! They still went on in being the ideal couple. Even when Yan Miao barged into Nan Shan’s home with a group of men, not a single hint of her identity could be found. The Yan family must’ve covered up everything! Yan Miao is the old Mr Yan’s youngest daughter, born during his older years. She’s the apple of the Yan family’s eye! No wonder Pei-Pei didn’t make a move. That is her aunt. How could she do anything? She must have been so pissed off when she heard Nan Shan committed suicide!”
“I just knew you’d be furious,” JingYuan said, gently patting the other man on the back. “Calm down a little, HanHan. This matter involves the Yan family. We must think up a proper plan on how to proceed. He Yuan should be bisexual. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have sired a daughter and a son. He must prefer men a little more. His marriage to Yan Miao, and courting her until she’s fawning over him, was all for a very obvious purpose. He wanted to borrow the Yan family’s might. As we can see, he has succeeded. Not only did he successfully become the head of the He family, but he has also raised his family status to the point where the He family could be the most powerful family in the city, if the five great families didn’t exist.”
“Why must he still go on lying to Nan Shan?” YiHan angrily asked. “Isn’t he afraid of everything crashing down on him?”
“HanHan,” JingYuan said, a hand running through the other’s hair, “you must understand. When a person has power and status, they will want to chase after the emotional comforts in life. He Yuan and Yan Miao have different financial and social statuses. Between both of them, He Yuan has always been the weaker party. He had to curry her favour. If the marriage was not born out of love, then as time goes by, it’ll feel very oppressive. Additionally, he’s a bisexual whose preferences leaned more towards men. When he saw the ethereal Nan Shan, well, it’s easy to tell what happened.”
“Nan Shan also detests leaving his home,” YiHan spat through gritted teeth. “He’s not emotionally savvy and very gullible. There was no target better than he.”
JingYuan nodded and said, “I can tell. He’s very cautious when he went to Nan Shan. He even deliberately put on an extremely average outfit. Nan Shan shouldn’t know who he is. The name he gave to Nan Shan must also be fake.”
“But he is famous, one way or another,” YiHan said. “The finance magazines would often publish his photo. Would Nan Shan still not recognise the man?”
“HanHan, let’s put aside the question of whether a person like Nan Shan would look at those types of magazines first. Even if he does look through them, He Yuan is not a dead object. He has a silver tongue. If he could wrap Yan Miao, a proud little miss, around his little finger, how could he not do the same with a man who’s innocent to the ways of the world like Nan Shan? Anyway, a person will look different in photos. With just a simple change to his outfit and hairstyle, he’s now unrecognisable to you, someone who has seen him in person multiple times. How could Nan Shan recognise the man with just a few photos in a magazine? Even if he did notice the similarity, he’ll just think the two men share the same name and look alike.”
YiHan glanced down at the photo again. “Indeed. Now that he’s changed his hairstyle, he gives a very different impression compared to how he usually is. With just these photos, I really still can’t see He Yuan in them.”
“Someone who mingles with businessmen will almost always be wearing a facade,” said JingYuan. “Perhaps it’s only before Nan Shan that the man can truly be himself.”
“Perhaps it’s why Nan Shan didn’t realise the other man’s emotions were faked,” replied YiHan. “How else could a veteran writer of detective stories be unable to tell the other was hiding something, even after being together for so long? It must be due to He Yuan being true to his own personality when he’s with Nan Shan.”
“You also cannot ignore the power of love,” said JingYuan. “When a person is in love with another, he’d subconsciously deny the truth that he’s unwilling to accept. Even if there were holes in He Yuan’s story, Nan Shan would make excuses up for the man. An act upheld for years will absolutely have a lot of weaknesses. Nan Shan writes extraordinary detective novels. That means he has an observant and detailed mind. However, his emotions have clouded his eyes. Because of how much he craves to be loved, he’d always been repressing his insecurity. Still, deep in his heart, he must’ve noticed it. Perhaps it didn’t occur to him that his lover is married with a family, but he would realise their relationship was off. There must be a lot of matters his lover is secretive about. Why else would someone deeply in love be so obviously melancholic? Furthermore, when you spoke of your hypothesis, his first reaction wasn’t anger. It was silence. His last message seemed more like he was comforting himself than rebuking the notion. After all, why would someone lost in the ocean be willing to let go of the only piece of plank floating in his vicinity?”
“That’s no plank,” YiHan spat out in anger. That’s a snake. Sooner or later, he’ll drag Nan Shan down to the bottom of the ocean! You’re right. It’s no wonder Nan Shan asked me how lovers usually interact with each other. He must’ve noticed something was wrong.”
JingYuan patted YiHan on the back to help him calm down. “But from your conversation, Nan Shan shouldn’t be an illogical man,” JingYuan said with a smile. “He’s also very much against being a homewrecker. That’s why I said to give him some time. Once he thinks things through, when he can’t lie to himself anymore, he will make the correct choice.”
“Will he leave He Yuan? Won’t He Yuan take revenge on him?” asked YiHan.
“We’ll know of the results once he acts,” answered JingYuan.
YiHan solemnly looked back at him, waiting for a continuation.
Unable to help himself, JingYuan kissed YiHan on the lips before continuing, “You spoke of your suspicions the day before yesterday. Nan Shan has been silent since then. That means he’s still thinking about it. Now that He Yuan has appeared, maybe Nan Shan will try confirming a few details with the man. Perhaps He Yuan will get into a fight with Nan Shan because he felt guilty. If He Yuan leaves Nan Shan’s home in a bad mood, that shows us Nan Shan is suspicious of him now.”
“Won’t Nan Shan be hurt or be taken advantage of?” YiHan worriedly asked. “Will He Yuan do something to him?”
“Not yet,” said JingYuan. “Based on how often He Yuan visits Nan Shan, that man must be mesmerised. He wouldn’t let go so easily. If he can make Nan Shan stay, he won’t do anything. Also, he has us, right? My men will keep watch. If anything happens, they can react in time. There’ll be a team dedicated to keeping track of He Yuan’s movements. Nan Shan won’t be hurt.”
YiHan leaned back against the couch and closed his eyes. Concentrating hard, he thought back to anything and everything that he knew in his past life about Nan Shan’s incident. Back then, all information he had came from the newspapers and news channels. The most prominent of those memories were two photos. One was the censored photo of the man’s bloody corpse. The other was of the trashed memorial ceremony Nan Shan’s diehard fans had organised.
The photo of Nan Shan was thrown on the ground, dirtied by black, dirty footprints and partially covered by a random assortment of items. The glass frame was cracked. White chrysanthemum flowers were scattered all over the floor, squashed and stomped on by countless feet. And then there were the faces of the fans. Some were crying. Some were terrified. Some were visibly brooding and fuming. Some were wracked with agony.
YiHan’s eyes snapped open as he suddenly sat straight up.
JingYuan was frightened. He hurriedly stroked YiHan on the hair and asked, “What is it? Did you fall asleep?”
YiHan turned to JingYuan. His eyes looked straight into the other’s eyes as he said in a deep voice, “I just remembered something.”
“What is it?” asked JingYuan.
“In my dream,” YiHan said, a serious look on his face, “after Nan Shan’s suicide, his diehard fans once organised a small memorial service for him. I don’t know how but Yan Miao found out about it. She arranged for some men to charge in and trash everything up. This incident was on the news. In the photo the news report showed, there was a familiar face. I didn’t pay attention to it back then but now that I think of that photo, I suddenly remember who he is.”
“Who is it?”
JingYuan was surprised. “Him? How is he involved in this situation?”
“He was standing right in the middle of Nan Shan’s fans,” said YiHan. “His eyes were looking at the photo on the ground. He had a gloomy face on. From where he was standing, he should be a fan of Nan Shan’s books.”
“Then, can we take it as he’s also a fan of Nan Shan,” asked JingYuan, “but just like Yan Pei, he was unable to help Nan Shan due to Yan Miao’s involvement? After Nan Shan’s death, he felt guilty so he attended Nan Shan’s memorial service. He didn’t think his aunt would send some men over to ruin the ceremony. It made him feel so guilty and helpless. That’s why he had a gloomy face on.”
“I think so too,” YiHan said with a clap of his hands. “I’m thinking I should implicitly ask Pei-Pei if Yan Yan is a fan of Nan Shan’s books.”
“You want him to be an ally?” asked JingYuan.
“Everyone who attended that service was a diehard fan of Nan Shan,” YiHan replied. “The rest of the fans aren’t as fervent. They were either misled by the media or too cowardly to admit they were a fan of Nan Shan. Since Yan Yan publicly appeared in the memorial service, that meant he’s a diehard fan too. He is the Second Young Master of the Yan family. Without his approval, no media would dare to publish a clear photo of him. That photo might represent Yan Yan’s silent objection.”
JingYuan paused and thought about it. “You’re right. Since this issue involves Yan Miao, it has certainly become much more complicated. Nan Shan is a public figure. If we want to protect him, we’d best discreetly get rid of He Yuan and stop him from ever bothering Nan Shan again. We must also keep the entire incident a secret and avoid affecting Nan Shan’s reputation in any way. After all, we know Nan Shan had no choice but other people do not. They might not understand his situation. We can’t explain to everyone how hard the man’s life was. The best way to do so is to avoid letting this matter reach the public’s eyes. If a Yan family member can help protect Nan Shan, that’d be great.”
Translator’s Note: Due to a family emergency, this chapter will be all for today. Apologies for the late notice. Remember, falls in the toilets are terrible. Always keep an eye out for those prone to dizziness.
Additional T/N: Due to an exhausting 1.5 weeks of being the only and primary caregiver of my mom, there won’t be any updates this coming week. Updates will resume the week after.