Lin Ruoxi’s long-winding speech came to a halt. Throughout the entire time, it felt like she was unbothered as if she had played no part in the events that led to his death!
Her words had made Guo Xuehua and Wang Ma dumbfounded while Yang Chen was in a state of slight fear.
Lin Ruoxi might not have wanted anything to do with Li Jianhe anymore, but to orchestrate the events that led to his death was another level! They were even classmates at one point!
It was rather eerie to think that Li Jianhe’s incautious exposure of his predicament had Lin Ruoxi take advantage of it. Not only did she take the chance to seize more profit to herself, but she had also pushed Li Jianhe over the edge!
There was no way Yang Chen would buy the fact that Lin Ruoxi hadn’t known the aftermath. Between business and an old friend, Lin Ruoxi had chosen her business interest over him cruelly!
Li Jianhe would remain unknowing that the reason behind his ultimate failure was due to him reaching out to his last hope, Lin Ruoxi.
“Uh…” Yang Chen shook his head and smiled. “If you had told us last night about your strategy against Li Jianhe or the Li family, Mother wouldn’t have suspected you at all.”
As if this was the first time she knew Lin Ruoxi, Guo Xuehua nodded in turn. “Jeez, child. How could you hide everything to yourself? If you had told me this earlier, I wouldn’t have thrown a fit over one picture!”
Why would Guo Xuehua continue to believe that Lin Ruoxi had feelings for someone that she drove to his grave?!
Lin Ruoxi smiled gently. “Though it wasn’t my genuine intention to betray Li Jianhe, I am. If it wasn’t for the news broadcast, I would’ve brought it to my grave.”
Despite Lin Ruoxi’s smile, Guo Xuehua couldn’t help but feel shocked. Her impression on her daughter in law had taken a great turn.
Guo Xuehua had always seen her as someone soft, kind, and weak. The mother in law had always thought that she ran the gigantic enterprise with her efficient management alone. It came as a surprise that Lin Ruoxi was capable of something so cunning!
Though so, bloodshed and cold wars between the riches were no stranger to Guo Xuehua, which left her to not find any fault in Lin Ruoxi’s rather cruel ways. After all, the person she went against was not a part of their family. The circumstances of her worrying would be if Lin Ruoxi wasn’t tough and had no background.
This wasn’t the first time Lin Ruoxi had hidden something akin to this from Yang Chen. There were plenty of incidents where Lin Ruoxi had trapped him in her plans. This time, the man could only laugh at himself as he was once again fooled by her.
He had never expected that the person behind Li Jianhe’s death wasn’t him but Lin Ruoxi.
After breakfast, Lin Ruoxi went to work as usual. Lanlan was also sent to kindergarten by Minjuan.
Yang Chen, on the other hand, activated his cultivation. Paying close attention to Xiao Zhiqing’s formula, he returned to the castle’s underground chamber to work on concocting pills from their newly-acquired herbs.
The trip to Amazon and the Vietnamese Rainforest had returned them handsomely with more herds. It was just a pity that they weren’t able to locate the Heaven and Earth herbs that could allow him to concoct pills of the highest grade.
However, Yang Chen had gotten pretty lucky during his search. The herbs he had scavenged were able to create one full batch of high-grade Xiaoyun pills!
Those pills are the ones Lu Huating and Hao Changfeng had wanted to snatch away.
Back then, Yang Chen was merely tricking them into believing that he possessed the pills. Now, he actually had several of them on hand!
Despite that, the Xiaoyun pills show the best effect when consumed during the Soul Forming Stage. Other than providing a great boost to one’s abilities, the pills would also serve as a push into the Tribulation Passing Stage.
Yang Chen had plans to have all his women consumed this upon entering the Soul Forming Stage to avoid potential damage from the pill’s strong medicinal properties.
After more than a half days’ worth of work, the man had successfully produced a few tens of Xiaoyun pills. Aside from that, Yang Chen had also managed to create a few hundred pills from all the medium grade and lower grade herbs.
In the process, Yang Chen had found something that overjoyed him. After his multiple experiences with pill refinement and alchemy, his Dantian was nourished, allowing him to store and exert the Heaven and Earth Restoration Energy with ease.
Yang Chen had a hunch that this furnace was slowly improving its state while improving its own powers.
The most noteworthy thing was that the mythical creatures engraved on the furnace were getting progressively clearer. Though the smoke wafting out of the furnace had masked his sight, Yang Chen was able to see its presence.
Though Yang Chen didn’t know how far this furnace could improve itself, he was certain that its current state wasn’t its best yet.
Returning to China, Yang Chen sent some of the pills to Cai Ning who was in Beijing. After that, he came back to Zhonghai and distributed the rest to his women.
If the lower grade and medium grade pills were consumed in the fashion of a daily health supplement, Yang Chen was sure that his women would soon breakthrough their Houtian stages!
One thing that delighted him immensely was Rose’s natural talent for cultivation!
It had only been a few days since he last saw her but Rose had already completed her Xiantian stage from its initial phases!
Yang Chen’s special skill was all thanks to his mastery of Heaven and Earth energy. The skill was unique and able to surpass performances and effects delivered by regular skills.
Of course, Rose’s speedy advancement had much to do with her amazing comprehension.
Finishing his task, it was only then that Yang Chen ignited his car and drove it towards Xiao Zhiqing’s condominium. It was time to pick her up.
Xiao Zhiqing had obviously placed a lot of thought into her appearance tonight. She was dressed in a round-collared and embellished pink wool sweater that matched well with an engraved leather skirt. Though her height wasn’t as model-like as Lin Ruoxi, her legs were elongated by her stockings which helped make her appear feminine and vulnerable.
Watching her fumble and mumble before the entrance to the house, Yang Chen really wanted to tell her that bringing other women home was no longer strange to his family. He had too many women to the point that the women of his household were numb. Though he had the intention, he ultimately decided against it as this was considerably Xiao Zhiqing’s first official get-together with his family.
“Hello, Miss Xiao. Come on in and take a seat.” Wang Ma was the first person they met upon entering the house. She quickly greeted and offered Xiao Zhiqing a seat on the sofa.
Xiao Zhiqing had met Wang Ma before. She hurriedly returned the greeting. “Wang Ma, you can just call me Zhiqing, no need to call me Miss…”
“Of course you’re not a miss, you’re not an escort.” Yang Chen retorted nonchalantly.
Xiao Zhiqing clenched her teeth and rolled her eyes at him.
Guo Xuehua finally exited the kitchen. Yang Chen began to introduce his mother to Xiao Zhiqing, to which Xiao Zhiqing sweetly greeted her. “Hello, Aunty.”
Guo Xuehua studied her and shot a question. “Zhiqing, you look very young. How old are you?”
Xiao Zhiqing blushed a little. “Yeah… I’m barely twenty.”
Guo Xuehua and Wang Ma were shocked, quickly glaring at Yang Chen weirdly. Their thoughts were clear to the man in question. “Jeez, you have polluted yet another young girl.”
But come to think of it, Xiao Zhiqing was probably Yang Chen’s youngest lover to date. From Guo Xuehua’s perspective, the girl was at a suitable age to be considered as her youngest daughter. Plus, the woman had a great impression on her.
“We decided to invite you over today to thank you for going to such great extents to save Yang Chen back in Australia. This seemed like a great chance to get to know you better. We should really get closer if we’re going to be family in the future,” said Guo Xuehua while grasping Xiao Zhiqing’s palm.
Xiao Zhiqing could only blush and shake her head. “There’s no need for that…”
“What do you mean, silly child? Of course, it’s necessary. There’s no need to be so nervous…” Guo Xuehua laughed happily.
There was still much to do in the kitchen to ready the offerings for their ancestors. Guo Xuehua and Wang Ma quickly left Xiao Zhiqing behind in the living room but the girl was courteous enough to follow them into the kitchen. While she continued to engage them in conversations, she offered to help them with smaller chores.
Soon enough, the sky darkened. A rich feast was spread out majestically on the dining table. Guo Xuehua and Xiao Zhiqing were not accustomed to one another and Wang Ma was giggling joyfully.
After Minjuan had dropped Lanlan home from school, Lanlan had a rather pleasant encounter with Xiao Zhiqing. Perhaps it was because of Xiao Zhiqing’s age that made her seem more approachable to Lan Lan.
Aware that this adorable girl was Yang Chen and Lin Ruoxi’s adopted daughter, Xiao Zhiqing couldn’t help but find this rather eerie. From her perspective, Lin Ruoxi didn’t seem like the motherly type who would adopt children.
Smartly, Lan Lan questioned, “Aunty Zhiqing, are you Lanlan’s new aunty?”
The abrupt question had taken Xiao Zhiqing by surprise. Minjuan quickly leaned down to whisper an explanation to Lanlan until Xiao Zhiqing had reluctantly nodded with flushed cheeks.
Lanlan clapped her hands happily. She squealed, “Yay! Lanlan got a new aunty again! With a new Aunty, Mama is going to buy me toys again!”
Yang Chen, who had his eyes glued to the TV just a while ago almost slid off the couch. This young bumbling kid knew to use his women to threaten Lin Ruoxi into buying her toys?!
As the night progressed, Lin Ruoxi had finally made it home in a flurry. She had just signed a very significant agreement with Li Jianchuan today. Due to the fact that they hadn’t met each other before, it wasn’t hard to guess that work today was hectic for Lin Ruoxi.
Noticing Xiao Zhiqing’s presence in her house, Lin Ruoxi courteously greeted her after stripping off her coat.
“I know we had a rough start but it’s all in the past now. Thank you for helping Yang Chen out along his journey,” uttered Lin Ruoxi with a faint smile.
Xiao Zhiqing heaved a sigh of relief. She expected much worse. She shook her head. “Thank you so much, Sister Ruoxi.”
Perhaps Yang Chen’s words last night had Lin Ruoxi offer some generosity. Albeit so, the woman’s real thoughts shall remain a mystery.
Guo Xuehua set the table and placed an ornamental rug before the table. She lit two candles to start their prayers to the ancestors.
To hold such a traditional offering ceremony in such a modern house was undeniably weird. However, this whole experience was new to both Lin Ruoxi and Xiao Zhiqing.
“Actually, we’d need to do one again during the Winter Solstice but we’ll omit that. Let us all do it today,” explained Guo Xuehua with a motherly smile.
Inexplicably, this was also Yang Chen’s first involvement in this. He imitated his mother, kneeling on the rug and praying to the empty tables and chairs. He prayed sincerely for his ancestors’ blessings to maintain the harmony between all his women.
Confusedly, Lanlan followed suit. The child was getting a little grumpy, not understanding why they weren’t eating just yet.
Seeing that Xiao Zhiqing was standing in a corner awkwardly, Guo Xuehua approached the girl with a comforting smile. “Zhiqing, you’re considered part of our family now. Come, it’s alright for you to pray.”
The offer warmed her heart. After escaping home, she had finally found some sense of belonging today, like fleeting duckweed that finally found a place to grow its roots.
Nodding, Xiao Zhiqing became the last to kneel. She sincerely bent over to accomplish a standard kowtow.
At that split second, the initially smiling Wang Ma had a sudden change of expression. Her pupils shrunk abruptly!
Everyone jumped in shock to see the state Wang Ma was in. Her face was pale but flushed, she looked as if she had seen the most terrifying thing in her life.
“Yulan, what’s the matter?” Guo Xuehua quickly asked.
Xiao Zhiqing frantically scrambled up, thinking that she must’ve wronged her.
To everyone’s surprise, Wang Ma extended a trembling hand. With a stiff body, she went forward, trying her best to suppress her terror. “Zhiqing… You… Turn around... Let me see… your neck…”