Yang Chen was wondering who could have made Liu Mingyu turn cold, while knowing that this woman had a temper problem, and from personal experience she was always like that. The last time she got really mad, Qi Kai was still alive. The two couldn’t lay off each other whenever they met. So the fact that this soft-spoken, graceful and appreciative type of person could do that to her couldn't be good news.
The door suddenly opened, and in came a devilishly handsome guy in a suit. Hmm, I know this guy from somewhere, Yang Chen thought.
Thinking carefully, Yang Chen came to a realisation. Oh! Isn’t he Wu Yue’s partner, Vice President Li Minghe?!
Ever since the thirty-year-old Li Minghe came to Yu Lei, he had already become Prince Charming for most of the ladies working there. Tall, handsome, dashing, elegant, with the position and money to boot, this kind of man was one of a kind.
His charm and aesthetics were something of a surprise however. Him being close to the CEO’s assistant, the hot-tempered and cold-shouldered Wu Yue, was no secret and was something that was gossiped about among the employees.
Among the endless flowing amount of beauties who worked in Yu Lei, he didn’t choose any of the elite single women, nor did he pick the delectable models. Instead, he went for the most uninteresting woman, Wu Yue, something which others found extremely weird and ironic.
However, these days, this vice president had shifted focus, because he had been growing closer to the newly appointed Head of the Public Relations Department, who was also a high-ranking beauty, Liu Mingyu.
But he did not try anything extravagant or flashy. At most he would personally come to the public relations department every other day, just to see her.
As he was the company’s vice president, Liu Mingyu couldn't just stop that man from entering. So every time he came, she would have to entertain him for around half an hour before he would leave.
No one knew what was going on between the both of them. They only noticed that he was getting more diligent by the day with his visits. Coming in once or twice would be fine, but seven, eight, ten times even? How can it be that there is nothing going on?
It came as no surprise to the upper management of Yu Lei, however, as they thought Vice President Li and Manager Liu had long been together. They probably chose to stay quiet so as to not offend Assistant Wu.
That rumor was surprisingly convincing. Given how Wu Yue was, she certainly couldn’t match Li Minghe!
Being in the know, Liu Mingyu naturally knew about the whispers throughout the company, but had no way to control it. She knew that nothing was going on between them but couldn’t explain it to anyone. With rumors like those, the more they were explained, the more they would become exaggerated.
With things like this, it could only be settled by bringing one’s boyfriend out. However, that wasn't exactly an option available to her. She was the mistress of a certain someone, and that someone's wife just had to be her superior!
So she decided that since she couldn't think of any solution, she would stay quiet and pretend to have heard nothing.
Luckily, Liu Mingyu knew that the rumour would reach Yang Chen’s ears. Now, Yang Chen was not really the kind of person to pay attention to rumors. At least, he wouldn’t think himself at fault for them. In some way, he had the most misplaced self-confidence ever.
Li Minghe was about to wave merrily at Liu Mingyu as he entered the room when he noticed Yang Chen, whom he had not seen in a while, standing behind her. This fazed him, but he quickly recovered and said in a cheery tone, “Oh! Director Yang. It’s been a while, I heard that you were away with Boss Lin in Paris attending their Fashion Week. Did you just return?”
“Can I help you?” Yang Chen answered lazily. His expression carried a smile, but his tone showed disinterest in keeping the conversation going.
Without feeling the slightest bit awkward, Li Minghe shook his head and smiled. “Nothing official, it’s just recently I have been coming down here to chat with Manager Liu during my free time. Though it seems like you have some things to settle with her today, I’ll bid my farewell for now.”
“Well if you’re not on here on official business, please leave” Yang Chen said without hesitation.
Fazed yet again from the remark, Li Minghe quickly regained composure and nodded. “It seems I’ve come at an unfortunate time. I’ll be off. We should grab dinner next time, you know, to get to know each other as colleagues.”
Saying that, Li Minghe exited through the door, and closed it behind him gently, showing no anger.
The silent Liu Mingyu waited for Li Minghe to leave before she rolled her eyes at Yang Chen. “You should really watch your mouth. It’s a good thing that he is a patient one. Remind yourself that we’re in the company. Who’ll clean up your mess if you two started a fight?”
Blinking his eyes, Yang Chen replied, “He’s been sent by Li Muhua, and he definitely had some ulterior motive. He won’t mess with me. Not out in the open anyway”
Liu Mingyu had a general idea of Yang Chen’s background, and it’s definitely not a simple one. Otherwise Liu Qingshan will not let his only daughter become someone else’s mistress. Without hesitation, she replied, “He's definitely patient, but I can never seem to figure out what he has going on in his mind. He comes here almost everyday, and when he’s here he’ll stay for about half an hour beating around the bush. Even if I don’t give him much attention, he can go on and on. Sometimes I wish I could just kick him out, but I let him stay out of sheer politeness.”
“Then he probably does have a crush on you, coming here so often just to soften you up,” he said jokingly.
Liu Mingyu countered, “Then why aren’t you even a little jealous? You were so calm I felt like I wasn't cared for at all. Do you really care about me?”
Amused, he replied, “Well, since he could even get all mushy with the witch Wu Yue, I didn't feel like bothering with his antics."
Speaking of Wu Yue, Liu Mingyu said doubtfully, “About her, I don’t even know where to start. She knows about how he kept coming into my office, but it just seems like she doesn’t care, unless, she doesn’t really love him?”
Yang Chen undoubtedly had no interest in the disaster of a situation that was Li Minghe’s affair. He brushed off the comment, smiled and said, “So, about that thing I asked earlier, how about I treat your parents to dinner?”
Liu Mingyu nodded and said, “It’s a good idea, but that can wait. I’ve been busy with moving lately, and my work pile hasn’t shrunk either. I’ll let you know when I’m free then I’ll let my folks know?”
“You’re moving?” said Yang Chen, surprised. “What for?”
Sighing, Liu Mingyu replied, “My dad bought a new place after coming back, and I’m not really comfortable with the people there, so I decided to move out myself.”
Alone? Yang Chen thought as his eyes lit up. This is exactly my chance! He exclaimed, “I agree! A girl like you couldn’t possibly spend the whole day with those thugs.”
“Don’t think I don’t know what you’re up to. Before I finish moving, do not disturb me.” Liu Mingyu looked sharply at Yang Chen, who returned the glare with a goofy smile.
After chatting with Liu Mingyu, he left her office. She had work, like Mo Qianni. They were all busier than Yang Chen.
Yang Chen didn’t mind. The day was still early, so he decided to have lunch, which he had no time to indulge in earlier before minding anyone’s business.
He walked into the barely used cafeteria of the company, and bought three servings of lunch, sat in the corner and hogged it down without a care in the world. With a toothpick still in his mouth, he went back to his office.
Not long ago, he was dragged out of the office by the police, causing quite the commotion. This time however, it would seem that there wasn’t any ruckus. It wouldn’t be too far off if one guessed that the employees felt their unprofessional director did have some sort of complicated history.
When he arrived at the office, he felt a bit uneasy. He pushed his couch towards the window and dragged the curtains open, letting the rays of sunlight bleed into his office through the windows.
Yang Chen then lay lazily on the sofa, and dozed off for his afternoon nap.
Before this there would always be something that kept him busy, and it wasn’t easy for him to get sleepy. He then thought back to the time when he sold mutton skewers. Wasn't that all he had planned to do after returning to China? Putting his problems at the back of his mind, he drifted off into slumber.
During the evening, Yang Chen punctually arrived at where he and Mo Qianni had promised to meet. He got in her car, and headed straight to her mother's house.
Mo Qianni noticed his hands were empty. She raised an eyebrow and asked, “Why didn’t you bring a gift?”
Yang Chen facepalmed, but it wasn’t his fault he thought. He had never needed to bring a gift to visit an elder before. He then smiled and asked, “Little Qianqian, what do you think I should gift Mother with?”
“I can’t believe you. You're already calling her ‘mother’. You really didn’t prepare anything huh?” Laughing hysterically, Mo Qianni stopped by a florist and picked up some flowers.
Yang Chen, clasping the bouquet in his hands, had doubts. You can’t even eat these, and they will wilt in two days. Scallion biscuits are a much better alternative in my opinion. They smell pretty good too, he thought. If Mo Qianni knew what this gentleman here was thinking of presenting as a gift, she would probably just stop the car and kick him out.
The car zoomed into a small street in Zhonghai. Before long, Mo Qianni parked her car and got down.
Yang Chen also got down and looked around. He saw many people. There was a small restaurant at the entrance of the building.
As the evening neared, the neon signs around the streets lit up. Red was the colour that stood out the most, giving the normally quiet suburb a merry vibe.
Mo Qianni spontaneously held Yang Chen’s arms to show off a little bit of couples affection. However, it wasn't known whether she really liked this, or whether she was doing this to make her mother happy. Nonetheless, she felt it was right, and merrily walked down the street with him.
“Is your mum here?” Yang Chen curiously asked.
Mo Qianni nodded. “Remember Aunt Xiang?”
Yang Chen thought for a while and exclaimed, “You mean the one who had a stall by the river, the one who’s the village lady boss? That Aunt Xiang?”
“Yeah, that’s her,” Mo Qianni continued, “Aunt Xiang’s stall didn’t really do well, so she rented a shop here and converted the stall into a restaurant. My mum wasn’t able to adapt well to the Zhonghai lifestyle, so she went to look for a job here. So I asked Aunt Xiang to let my mum work at her restaurant. Although mum has some back problems, if she doesn’t tire herself out I think it’ll be alright.”
For folks who lived their whole lives in the country, adapting to city life can be quite challenging. Their hands itched to work because that was all they knew. Yang Chen knew that feeling.
Aunt Xiang’s name brought back tons of memories for Yang Chen of when he first met Mo Qianni. It was after he saved her that she brought him to eat at that stall. They also went there during their many subsequent meetings.
Suddenly, Yang Chen giggled and said, “Time sure does fly. Remember the time when you finished your meal, and suddenly asked if you could hug me? You know, at the time I was so scared, so scared of being molested by a thug.”
“Ugh! Who would want to molest you?” Mo Qianni said while recalling that time. Back then, she was so lonely that she didn't know what she was doing or saying.
Yang Chen continued to tease her. “Then who was it that took advantage of me when I was sleeping and crawled into my bed at night to steal a kiss? I really thought I was in trouble that time.”
“Stop it!” Mo Qianni blushed and pouted. She remembered that time well, but did not know why she would do something like kissing a guy when he was asleep. But he was acting so innocent as well, letting this girl just kiss him without resistance.
If she hadn't accidently touched his private part, she would really think that he was asleep!
Yang Chen didn’t mind Mo Qianni’s shyness, and continued, “I recall that our relationship stagnated for a little back then. If I didn’t go to Hong Kong for that business trip, I believe that a certain someone here would still be hating my guts.”
Thinking back to when they were in Hong Kong, Mo Qianni also realised it was quite complicated. It could be said that their relationship was strengthened thanks to those days.
For a time, the two didn’t say anything and walked down the street as if the people around them vanished. The whole world seemed to only revolve around them, bringing them closer together.
Yang Chen thought back to the time when the two of them went to Sichuan, their journey on the train, their trip to Kunshan Village. He also thought about how Mo Qianni waited for him.
During that snowy winter day, the two went to the hill near the beach, and she said she wanted to be like the ocean, to become a someone who occupied the lowest position in Yang Chen's heart.
It was that night that they had made their relationship official. When she woke up the next day before sunrise, she asked him to wait for her to get up from bed to dress herself.
The memories came one by one, some happy, some sad. As the days passed, the memories aged like fine wine, making it harder for him to snap out of the pleasant flashbacks.
Yang Chen let out a small chuckle. How can possibly I give up on them... he thought.
“You’re such a silly girl, there really is nothing that will stop you, huh? Of everyone you could fall in love with, you chose me," Yang Chen said as he shook his head, laughing.
Still holding on to Yang Chen, Mo Qianni said, “What? Are you complaining?"
“Yeah, I am," Yang Chen said. Without waiting for a response from the obviously pouting Mo Qianni, he smiled and continued, “My complaint is that you did not meet me sooner.”