It ended. A well-planned meetup had ended before it had even started.
With a frustrating realization, Yang Chen knew that this particular problem was indeed the one that brought him the most headache.
Mo Qianni’s background was nowhere near Cai Yan’s, An Xin’s or Liu Mingyu’s. She was merely a white-collar worker in the city. It was because of this exact reason that her relationship with Yang Chen was the most innocent at its core.
But why would any sane parent allow their daughter to become a mistress without having a say in the matter? After all, matters like these were despised by the society.
In Ma Guifang’s eyes, all her daughter needed in life was a stable job and happy marriage. So it was no surprise that Mo Qianni was strictly prohibited from going beyond those boundaries.
Yang Chen was incredibly powerful in combat, and he was not lacking in the wealth department as well. However, it was not enough to sway Ma Guifang’s decision of their relationship. He never wanted to ‘buy’ a girl from her mother, let alone to ‘steal’ her.
If Ma Guifang wouldn’t give her permission, Yang Chen knew that there was nothing else he could do; lest he lead a long life of regret should Mo Qianni stay with him.
While thinking these things, his desire to return to work soon diminished. After sending Guo Xuehua home, he drove aimlessly around the ity.
It wasn’t until he reached a river by the city road that he suddenly recalled, This was where I first met Tang Wan; I was heading back to my rented apartment from Old Li’s house.
A year had passed in the blink of an eye. It was so fascinating how time flew by so quickly.
Pulling over, Yang Chen stepped out of his car and walked to the riverside. He then quickly located a place for him to sot.
It was noon. There was no one around. He had bought two packets of cigarette from a small shop nearby and began to puff smoke as he stared into the distance with murky eyes.
In his head, Ma Guifang’s sharp criticism and the helpless look on Mo Qianni’s face kept appearing. Yang Chen felt the weight of the world on his chest—a discomfort that couldn’t be shaken off.
No matter how much I’ve gained in life, relationships will forever be my shackle to the ground, he thought bitterly.
A relationship; it could provide protection and offer a sense of security, but could also be a huge boulder in the way of life.
Yang Chen had just finished with his first packet of cigarettes and was about to unwrap the second one when his phone vibrated.
He initially believed that it was from Guo Xuehua who might've gotten worried about him. Glancing at his phone screen, he saw on the call screen that it was Jane.
He picked up the call and tried to sound as relaxed as possible. “Our noble scientist, is there anything I can do for you? What made you call me during lunchtime?”
Jane chuckled lightly. “Oh, how daring I must be to order you around! I’m just calling to let you know that I’m already at the airport. My flight leaves in a little bit.”
“So suddenly? Everything is solved then?” Yang Chen added, startled.
“Without a doubt. I’ve already analysed the substance that poisoned Master Tang, there’s no point to stay in China anymore. It’s not like you have time for me anyway,” said Jane resentfully.
“Still, I need to thank you. Why didn’t you let me send you off? You’re leaving so soon!” added Yang Chen.
Jane said, “I had already planned to leave quite a while back. Anyhow, there’s nothing special that you were going to do anyway. It’s not like you would give me a goodbye kiss. I thought I may feel attached if you came so I guess it’s better for all of us that you weren’t here. I would rather you come visit me in Europe if you really want to.”
Yang Chen laughed, albeit a little awkwardly. Indeed, all he would do at the airport was possibly waving Jane goodbye.
Jane had sensed Yang Chen’s embarrassment through the phone. She chuckled and said, “Right, I forgot to tell you. I’m bringing Hannya along with me. I figured it would be safer with her around. You don’t mind me continuing using your employee, do you?”
“Of course not.” Yang Chen remembered that he once ordered Hannya back to Japan. It’s not a bad idea for her to follow Jane; leaving China is better than making Yellow Flame Iron Brigade pointlessly suspicious, he thought.
After saying goodbye to Jane, Yang Chen felt a surge of guilt. It would be a lie to say that he had absolutely no feelings towards a stunning girl like Jane, not to mention the feelings were reciprocated. But Yang Chen watched her grow up, and with the relationship between himself and Catherine, he found it even more inappropriate to involve himself with Jane. It wouldn’t be fair to the mother daughter pair.
All the complications with his relationships made it difficult for Yang Chen to open up to Jane. Pretending like it did not exist was the best course of action.
However, a phone call with her had unexpectedly reminded him of Tang Wan. Why not talk to Tang Wan about it? She’s quite the listener.
Hence, he dialled Tang Wan’s number. After all, she was someone that he didn’t mind contacting spontaneously.
Tang Wan picked up the call rather quickly. Her soft voice more feminine than usual through the phone. “I was just about to call you! Heard about Jane leaving yet? She didn’t wish me to tell you before this.”
Yang Chen grunted, “I was just on the phone with her. How about you? You should be more relaxed now that Master Tang has recovered and the toxins were dispelled from his system.”
“I am definitely much calmer now. I’m grateful for that. You might not know how much Grandpa means to me and the Tang clan, but as long as he is healthy, I feel more at home,” Tang Wan said smilingly. “I wanted to treat you to a meal but I’m going to Beijing with Grandpa tomorrow. He planned to attend the clan meeting which requires my participation. I guess it’ll have to wait until next time then.”
“You’re leaving too?” asked Yang Chen gloomily.
Tang Wan burst out laughing. “You sound like you’re reluctant to see me leave… Why, are you sad that I’m leaving?”
Yang Chen flushed. His face a shade of deep red. It was fortunate that she couldn’t see him over the phone. “Why organize a clan meeting out of nowhere? Are you going to bring Tang Tang along?”
“There were a lot of rumors spreading within the clan when Grandpa was sick. There were even some rumors of disbanding the clan! Grandpa wanted to take this chance to get everyone back together. Anyhow, Tang Tang is growing up and she’s the grandchild of our family, of course she has to attend too! Even if she enters your Yang clan after marriage, she’d still be a part of us. She’s smart enough to stick around Grandpa all the time. She probably knows that Grandpa could offer her great things.”
Yang Chen listened and felt a little weird. “What do you mean by entering our Yang family? She’s going to marry Yuan Ye, and he’s from the Yuan family!”
“The Yuan family is an extension of the Yang family now, isn’t it?” Tang Wan paused for a while and continued, “Yang Chen, don’t blame me for being too blunt. But there’s no need to dodge the subject. We’re too close for me to pretend I’m unaware of the situation. As far as I’m concerned, Master Yang is more confident in you than Yang Lie. You should take note of that. Who knows if the Yang family will be handed over to you in the future...”
Yang Chen had planned to discuss about Mo Qianni with Tang Wan. However, he didn’t think she would suddenly mention the Yang family.
“I’m not interested in clan,” said Yang Chen while smiling lightly.
“Matters like these are often not as simple as you think,” replied Tang Wan before sighing. “Perhaps you have extraordinary capabilities, but in China, there must be a reason for the four major clans to dominate Beijing. I may be the heiress to the Tang clan, but even I know that our clan does not merely run several large businesses. I believe… the Yang clan is also more complicated than just controlling part of the military.”
“Not only that, think about it, if you decide to stay here, the status of the Yang clan will aid you in numerous occasions. At the very least, nobody would dare to mess with you or the people around you, right? I also know that your mother is staying with you right now. Do you really think she wants to be away from her family? If you join the Yang clan, many things become official.”
Yang Chen’s eyes shone suddenly. An absurd idea soon crossed his mind…
If he were to become the master of the Yang clan, it would be easier to have more than one woman. It was not as if he would publicly announce it, but using the status, it would only be a matter of showing his domineering strength to the rest of the world. People could only gossip behind their backs. Then, his women wouldn’t have to suffer so much hardship! Some would even be envious of them!
To be honest, Yang Chen did not have to use the status of the Yang in other countries. That was because he couldn’t act the same as he did overseas within this country.
In the past, it would never have worked. The reason he was separated from Guo Xuehua was because she had conceived him before marriage. She had to send him to the orphanage.
However, things had changed. Even if the rich were to marry a second partner, nobody would bat an eye.
So, there were two sides to everything. This world and its people had gotten rid of the past, but had somehow made life seemingly less challenging for Yang Chen with all the shortcuts now available to him.
Of course, it was only an idea. To have it really work would require a lot more planning. Not only did he recently come back to China, he still held a bad reputation from his past behavior. Assuming Yang Gongming was willing to hand over his position to Yang Chen, what other people thought about it was an issue as well.
Furthermore, being the master of a clan, could he really keep all the women by his side happy and satisfies? Even if they were fine with it, what about the others who were not? People like his mother-in-law, Ma Guifang…