“Enough, that’s enough!”
Ning Guangyao couldn’t take it anymore as he stopped Yang Chen from continuing. “You… can stop now. You’ve made your point extremely clear. There’s no need to bring this up again.”
Yang Chen sneered, “Hah, sick of my presence? Well fret not, I have no intention of having a meal with you either.” Once he finished his sentence he stood up and headed towards the door.
Ning Guangyao however halted him in his tracks. “Wait! I haven’t finished what I want to say!”
Yang Chen tried his best to keep his emotions under control. “Look, if you have anything else to say, spit it out. Every second I spend here is wasted from my life.”
“You…” Ning Guangyao had never met anyone with such disgustingly low regards towards him. He held on to his rage and continued, “If that’s the case, I’ll keep it short.
“From what I know, you have a rather formidable relationship with Master Tang, and also an intimate relationship with his granddaughter Tang Wan. Not to mention your relationship with Li Dun from the Li clan. I believe you both are also close, am I right?”
Yang Chen giggled. “Why would you even bother to ask if you have looked them up already? The Ning clan is arguably the biggest clan among the dominant four. I wouldn’t be surprised that you knew all that about me.”
“From what I have gathered, Master Yang surely favors you over your brother Yang Lie, despite your hippie antics. I believe it is because of your past experiences and achievements. Not to mention your personal ability is one the Yang clan had been expecting. That said, I understand that the full reins of the Yang clan’s political and military powers would sooner or later fall into your hands.”
“What are you hinting at?” Yang Chen sneered.
Ning Guangyao cracked a light smile. “Judging from the situation, our Ning clan is the only one you don’t sit well with because of Guodong. I hereby pledge to negate our individual differences and prioritise the greater good. You see, if the day comes when you take command of the Yang clan, and if there’s to be a visible conflict between us, it would bring about a bad reputation towards China.
“I understand that there are things within the Yang clan that might have been intentionally hidden from you, but it will be my pleasure to make it clear now.
“Put simply, the might of the military might be comfortably held within the reins of the Yang clan, most notably the army led by your father Yang Pojun within the Jiangnan district. But the truth is, about half of those are still loyal to your grandfather. I believe you understand that militants in particular are notably loyal to the general that has charismatically led them for years. The charismatic presence infused by your great-grandfather, General Yang Ye, into the military of our country was largely unwavered till this day. This is the reason why the presence of your grandfather still wields more power than seen on the surface…”
“Why are you telling me this? How about instead you try to educate your son better, in the name of national peace?” Yang Chen rebuked.
“I will discipline my son, you can be sure of that.” Ning Guangyao continued with a serious tone, “All I can hope for, for the sake of Ruoxi, is that you view our relationship as in-laws and avoid the possibility of a feud. Otherwise, I believe you understand the idiom: when the stork and the clam struggle, the fisherman has the advantage.
“You’re not in my current position, so I forgive your ignorance towards the seemingly simple relationship between the Tang’s and the Li’s.”
Yang Chen instantaneously burst into laughter, as if he was about to suffocate from it.
Ning Guangyao was stupefied. He frowned and asked, “What’s so funny about what I just said?”
“Funny?” Yang Chen held his laughter as he replied, “It’s the joke of the year!”
Ning Guangyao was confused by how the situation had progressed.
“You previously voiced out such ridiculous reasons for refusing to meet my wife… But now you want to convince me for the fact that Ruoxi is my wife?!
“Haha! Premier Ning, you sure are a thrifty businessman.
“Since you’re ordering me around using the relationship between you and Ruoxi, you might as well just instruct me to start a witch hunt on all your political dissidents. Oh wait, I can even slash the presidents of other countries apart. What do you think, my—beloved—father-in-law?”
“How dare you speak of me like that! This is for the mutual harmony of our two clans, for the order of our country!”
“I don’t give a shit about this damn country or the heavens! I’m an ordinary man, the husband to my wife! I would never wish for my wife to be depressed and agitated by her heartless father! I want her to be able to live her life happily! Anything else, you can count me out!”
Ning Guangyao was furious. His hand trembled as he pointed at Yang Chen, unable to raise his voice.
Yang Chen went further out before stopping and turning back. “Premier Ning, I am never considered a good man. In fact I’m an utter mess, perverted, motivation-lacking. I can’t help myself but always mess around with other women. Ruoxi has confronted me about it several times and she has every right to do so. She hated to her guts how I can never wholeheartedly love her and I’m aware of that. I’m guilty and repentant for my actions. Which is why I would never raise my voice towards her. However, I will spend the rest of my life compensating for my sins.
“But even a scumbag like me pales in comparison to a man like you. Ruoxi comparatively is much more fortunate than my late mother-in-law.
“At the very least, I have never once thought of leaving any of the women I love behind, regardless of the circumstance.
“Oh yeah, one more thing. I am very glad that I didn’t bring Ruoxi here to meet you, because you don’t deserve it. You don’t deserve to be her father and you never will!”
“Get out of my sight!” Ning Guangyao exploded.
Yang Chen gave him a look of despise and disdain, before he scorned and left.
As he made his way out of that problematic household, Yang Chen stared up at the overcast sky. Under feeble rays of sunlight he mumbled, “Babe Ruoxi, if it was not for you, I would’ve butchered that trash of an existence.”
Yang Chen took a deep breath of the relatively fresh air, before he suppressed his anger and drove away.
After the ruckus it was way past lunchtime, but Yang Chen didn’t want to miss out on lunch, so he dialed up Tang Wan’s number.
“You despicable bastard, with that young policewoman by your side how dare you still dial my number?” Tang Wan’s tone was noticeably hostile.
Yang Chen gave a bitter smile. “Well I’m calling you right now, ain’t I? Should we go for lunch? I’ll go pick you up.”
Tang Wan grumbled, “Did you bother to check the time? I’ve had lunch with Tang Tang a while ago. We’re on our way to visit some relatives right now. I don’t have time for you. Besides, I’m going back to Zhonghai in 2 days, why don’t you go look for Cai Yan instead?”
“Alright…” Yang Chen was filled with disappointment. He figured that someone mature like Tang Wan would be a great company for him right now.
Tang Wan felt Yang Chen’s dejection over the phone. She replied with sympathy, “Next time… I promise. I’m really occupied at the moment… Erm… why don’t we have dinner tonight instead?”
“It’s alright, I’m not a kid.” Yang Chen told the mother-daughter pair to rest more before ending the call.
He then scrolled through his contact list, understanding that there weren’t many people who would be keen for lunch at this hour. But nonetheless he called Cai Yan, believing that it would be great to be in her company.
Once the call got connected, a loud noise could be heard. With her high-pitched voice, Cai Yan taunted, “Bastard, why did you call? Don’t you know that I’m busy!”
Yang Chen felt gloomy. Similarly being a woman, Tang Wan was caring and considerate even when she was jealous. Why was Cai Yan the complete opposite?
“I haven’t had lunch yet. Just asking if you and your sister would fancy a lunch with me?” Yang Chen frowned. “Where are you, why is it so loud?”
Cai Yan chuckled. “Of course it’s loud. Elder Sister and I are having fun at the bird market right now. You coming by right now would be perfect. We haven’t had our lunch yet so we’re both starving!”
“The bird market?” Yang Chen was dumbfounded. What a peculiar pair of sisters, spending their freetime in the bird market over a shopping mall?
Regardless Yang Chen was not bothered by the destination, as long as he got to leave the business with the Ning clan aside. So there he was navigating on the GPS towards the biggest bird market in Beijing.
As his car came to a stop, Cai Ning and Cai Yan stood by the entrance in all smiles. The sisters were dressed in red and blue respectively, with an identical Levi’s vests and denim shorts, clearly going for a matching look. The two girls were undeniably pleasant to the eyes, one was sporty and outgoing, the other was elegant and sophisticated.
Yang Chen instantly felt much better, as he went towards them with both his arms wide open.
Unsurprisingly, however, they both instantly dodged his advances, as Cai Ning’s face turned little red. “Stop, there are people looking!”
Yang Chen was slightly annoyed at that. If it were An Xin, she would have instantly responded with a tight embrace. But he understood nonetheless that everyone was different. He pointed at the enormous bird cage that Cai Yan was holding, covered in an old rag cloth. “What did you buy?”