“Zhenxiu, don’t throw a tantrum. Mr. Yang is my savior. I’m sure Kim Jip is fine with it,” persuaded Park Cheon.
Kim Jip chimed in, “I’m fine with it.” His tone was so flat as if he was a robot.
Left with no choice, Zhenxiu walked toward the living room and beckoned Yang Chen over. “Mr. Yang, follow me.”
The two of them walked to the living room. As it was kind of far from the dining room, they did not have to worry about being overheard.
Yang Chen dismissed the maids, and their surroundings quietened down immediately.
“Go ahead. What do you want to talk about?” Zhenxiu sounded irritated. Her head was tilted, so she was not looking at Yang Chen.
Yang Chen felt a pang of heartache. Then, he stood in front of her and asked with a solemn expression, “Zhenxiu, what happened? Are you angry at me?”
”I don’t understand what you mean by that, Mr. Yang. I’m doing fine. Thanks for your concern.”
Yang Chen’s voice deepened a little.
However, Zhenxiu was unfazed. She glared at Yang Chen and said, “This is my house. Please do not talk to me with such a tone.”
Yang Chen took a deep breath to calm himself down. “Zhenxiu, I want to know what happened in the past six months. Why are you talking to me like I’m a stranger to you? Did your grandfather tell you something? Or do you have a reason that you can’t tell me?”
“Mr. Yang, don’t you realize something’s wrong with your thinking? We aren’t related. Indeed, we were pretty close in the past, but that’s because we were staying in the same house. Now that we haven’t seen each other in half a year, it’s normal to feel distanced.”
Baffled, Yang Chen hung his head low for a moment. When he finally raised his head, he said, “All right. If that’s the case, I have one final request for you.”
“What is it?”
“You used to call me ‘Brother Yang.’ I want to hear that once more.”
Zhenxiu trembled slightly, which was caught by Yang Chen.
A grin formed on his face. I knew she’s hiding something. This is the Xu Zhenxiu that I know.
“You must be bored out of your mind. It’s my freedom to call you however I want.” Zhenxiu turned to leave, but Yang Chen stopped her by grabbing her arm.
“Let… let me go!” Zhenxiu turned red from anger and embarrassment.
“Yo, you're finally not cold as ice. Xu Zhenxiu, of all people, why did you act like Ruoxi? Sadly, you’re not as good as her with the whole Ice Princess concept. I saw through you right away.” Yang Chen sounded proud of himself.
As if her facade had fallen apart, Zhenxiu felt exposed, indignant, even.
“Yang Chen… Let go of me.” Zhenxiu clenched her jaw as tears brimmed in her eyes
Yang Chen was unwilling to let go when he was so close to breaking her down. He had to make her confess. “Call me ‘Brother Yang,’ and I’ll let you go.”
Tears rolled down her cheek as she choked out, “What… what are you doing?! You abandoned me when you didn’t want to talk to me. Now that we meet again, you’re asking me to talk to you and call you that. Do you think of me as a toy?!”
Confused, he replied, “Xu Zhenxiu, you shouldn’t accuse me wrongfully. I may have mistreated many people, but that doesn’t include you! When have I ever abandoned you? When have I ever treated you like a toy? I did come to Korea for the sarira, but I always wished to meet you because I missed you a lot. As for you, you didn’t even inform us about your wedding. I came to meet you, and you treated me coldly. Are you playing a joke on me?”
Yang Chen was displeased by her accusations.
“Miss me…” snorted Zhenxiu. “How dare you say that! If you really missed me, you could’ve called me! For the past six months, you never even bothered to talk to me!”
Stumped, Yang Chen scratched his head and smiled sheepishly for some time. “Uh… Zhenxiu, I didn’t do it on purpose. You know me, I don’t like to call others. I had been busy ever since we bade goodbye at this place. I kept getting into trouble, and I was almost trapped in a place forever. Well, I was too embarrassed to say this just now, but Ruoxi wants a divorce. This time, she’s being serious…”
“What? Sister Ruoxi wants to divorce you?!”
Zhenxiu was slack-jawed as she stared at Yang Chen wide-eyed.
Putting her fight with Yang Chen behind, she quickly enquired about the whole incident.
Yang Chen rubbed his nose and recounted the whole story.
“That’s pretty much it. Ruoxi is dead set on making me choose between her and Lanlan, but I can’t possibly abandon my child. My only regret in my life is Lanlan’s biological mother, so I can’t forsake Lanlan.” Yang Chen sighed.
With her lips pressed tightly together, it was hard to tell if she was shocked or sad.
Nonetheless, her gaze had softened.
Upon noticing this, Yang Chen quickly said, “Zhenxiu, you misunderstood me! Remember when you called home and Wang Ma answered it? She asked me to call you back.”
Zhenxiu nodded. “Yeah, but you didn’t call me.”
“No! I did, Eunjung answered the phone. She said you had fallen asleep and that you would call me back when you awoke. But you never called me back, so I thought you’re fine.”
Zhenxiu scrutinized him. Realizing he was not lying, she frowned and asked, “You… Did you actually call me?”
“Yes, why would I lie to you?” Yang Chen pointed toward the dining room. “Go ask Eunjung if you don’t believe me-”
Yang Chen paused mid-sentence when it dawned on him. Meeting Zhenxiu’s puzzled gaze, he asked, “Wait… she never told you?”
Zhenxiu’s expression changed, and she nodded. “Yeah… I asked her, and she said you never called me back.”
At the thought of something, the two of them fell silent.
After a long moment of silence, Zhenxiu spoke. “Brother… Brother Yang…”
“Hmm?” Yang Chen quirked an eyebrow and chuckled. “You’re finally back to being my Zhenxiu.”
Zhenxiu blushed and bit her lip. “I… A few months ago, I called you and Sister Ruoxi. I also called home multiple times, did you…”
“I didn’t receive any of the calls!” Yang Chen smiled wryly, “Zhenxiu, I finally understood why you hated me. Is it because you think we were ignoring your calls on purpose?”
Tears rolled down her cheeks once again, and she poured while nodding.
“I… I thought you guys… don’t want me anymore…”
Zhenxiu wailed and ran into Yang Chen’s embrace.
“Brother Yang… I miss you so much… I miss everyone…”
Yang Chen breathed out in relief and patted her back. “Silly girl. I’ve always said you’re a silly one, but you refused to admit it. Even if I’m heartless, Ruoxi isn’t that kind of a person. If I’m not mistaken, your calls must have been blocked. Anything that involves China’s number must have been cut off. As for our calls, someone must have been monitoring them. If they see it’s our number, someone else will answer it, or they won’t even let you know that we called.”
Leaning against Yang Chen’s chest, the tears that have rolled down her cheeks wet his shirt.
“It must be Grandpa’s doing… He kept telling me you wanted to distance yourself from me so that Sister Ruoxi wouldn’t be upset.” It finally dawned on her.
Yang Chen figured Park Cheon was the only person who would do this. Although he could understand his reasons for doing this, he still hated him for breaking Zhenxiu’s heart.
Even so, Yang Chen would not do anything to him since he was Zhenxiu’s grandfather.