Yang Chen did not stand on ceremony. He started writing lines after lines of words on the piece of paper rapidly. Despite the fast speed, his handwriting was clear.
Lin Ruoxi sat there watching the man before her write down words that would separate the two. It felt as though he was building solid walls between them.
They were so near to each other; they were a couple who saw each other every day, yet all of that would no longer remain the same after this piece of paper becomes valid.
It took about ten minutes for Yang Chen to finish, but Lin Ruoxi felt like a century had passed.
When Yang Chen picked up the agreement that he had finished writing and placed it before Lin Ruoxi, she quickly wiped the tears off her face.
Even she had no idea when she had started tearing up. The day wasn’t over yet, but the tears she had shed were more than she could count.
Yang Chen looked indifferent, like he hadn’t seen it at all. He said solemnly, “You can take a close look at the terms written on it. I believe there shouldn’t be an issue. I’ve already signed. All you have to do is sign on it and this document will then be valid.”
Lin Ruoxi looked at the densely written terms on the piece of paper. She calmed herself down and perked up her spirits, and finally started reading it carefully.
This was a rather fairly written agreement. It involved no disputes of interests and it left nothing unmentioned. This was possibly the most peaceful divorce settlement in history.
She saw that Yang Chen had already signed his name on the signature column at the end. There was still an empty line waiting for her signature.
Lin Ruoxi lost her thoughts in a brief daze, and then she raised her head and said with a cold expression, “Give me the pen.”
Yang Chen suddenly grinned and said, “Before I hand you the pen for you to sign, I have to clarify some matters. Only then will I feel at ease with this divorce.”
Lin Ruoxi stopped for a split second. Then as she placed the agreement back to the middle of the table, she said, “Go on.”
Yang Chen crossed his legs, drank his coffee, and said, “There are two main reasons why we ended up in our current circumstances. Firstly, you are not the only woman that I have. Some of them are even acquainted with you, and some are your close sister-like friends. Secondly, I misjudged you today. Or perhaps, I should say that I had my suspicions towards you. But I believe the second reason was more like the last straw. After all, I am no robot, nor a computer. I have feelings of my own too. Hot headedness is part of my character. So, I don’t think that this was too big of an issue. But of course, I apologize for my stupidity and my rashness.”
Lin Ruoxi gave him a cold smile. “That isn’t needed. Since we’re getting a divorce, there’s no need to apologize.”
Yang Chen shrugged and said smilingly, “Okay, then I’ll get to the point. I believe that the greatest dissatisfaction that you bear towards me since my return from Beijing was hearing from Aunt Jiang Shan about my relationship with Ning’er and Yanyan. Though I’m not sure what she said to you, I think it would have sounded unpleasant to you no matter what.
“You must think that I like any beautiful woman that I meet, that I don’t bother to think of you at all, and that’s why I have affairs with your closest friends. But what I want to tell you is that even though I favor beautiful women, that doesn’t make me a pig who falls in love with anyone I meet without caring about your feelings.”
Lin Ruoxi snorted coldly and said, “Just say what you want to say, don’t beat around the bush. All I know is that a certain man told me beforehand that he was going to Beijing to help a woman settle some troublesome matters. But not more than two days passed when I suddenly I received news that he had had an affair with two other women, and even their parents were aware of it. It left no room for change for anything at all. I fail to see any honesty, any sincerity, nor any so-called care that you mentioned in all of these.
“I endured it back then when you had Qianni, because what happened in Hong Kong was a result of my set-up. I felt guilty for landing both of you in danger. And you had already known Miss Rose even before we knew each other, so I had no right to ask you to erase your past.
“But whether it is Mingyu or An Xin, I don’t believe that you couldn’t reject them too. Even if they do have their pathetic stories, I accepted it since I hadn’t done my part well as a wife. I have no choice but to accept the budding of those relationships.
“I believe that you probably still have other women, like Catherine whom we bumped into in Paris. But that is your past, and I can’t change that.
“Yet, how do you expect me to understand that Yanyan who has been my friend since young is now involved as well? Even more so than that, Sister Cai Ning who is just like a sister to me. The closer their relationship is with me, the more painful it becomes. Because that is not snatching, that is betrayal!”
She had finished her words. Lin Ruoxi looked like she had expended a tremendous amount of energy. She panted for breath adorably, her gaze staring brightly at Yang Chen.
Yang Chen took a deep breath and said seriously, “Okay, then I’ll tell you in detail why Ning’er and Yanyan ‘betrayed’ you.”
Lin Ruoxi said nothing. She stared at Yang Chen coldly.
“Do you remember the first time you dragged me out of the west-district police station? It was from then that Yanyan started crossing paths with me. She thought that I was some bank robber.
“She was at loggerheads with me and always finding fault with me. There were even a few times where she made me angry and it was safe to say that I did not like her.
“Later on, I met Zhenxiu. Zhenxiu told me that Yanyan helped her before as the police chief. She helped Zhenxiu onto the right path so she could start a small business properly.
“It was then that I changed my opinion towards her, because she wasn’t a bad person. But I did not fall in love with her.
“I’m not sure why Yanyan fell for me either. Perhaps because I had saved her once in a shooting incident, or maybe it was some other reason. In any case, I had never thought of getting involved with her before.
“Do you still remember the time when she came to our house and accidentally left her white bag behind on the sofa? She did that on purpose. She used it as an excuse to meet me.
“To be honest, that trick of hers was very conventional. But it suited her personality. It was so innocent that it was cute.
“It was then when I had lunch with her that she suddenly told me that she was fond of me, and that she had already found out from you that our marriage was on a contract…
“I was a little stunned then. Lin Ruoxi, why did you tell her even that? Hmph, if she wasn’t aware of that, perhaps she wouldn’t have confessed back then.” Yang Chen shook his head with a bitter smile on his face.
Listening up to this point, Lin Ruoxi started to look a little awkward. Even she herself had forgotten about telling Cai Yan about their contract marriage. If he was speaking the truth, then she was indeed partially responsible for how things were now.
Yang Chen continued, “But despite feeling guilty and touched by Cai Yan’s words, I rejected her on that day. I thought at that time that she was your close friend, so I shouldn’t ignore your feelings. This is the truth.
“But I didn’t anticipate Cai Yan to be so unyielding. She was actually silly enough to think that I didn’t like her because she wasn’t strong enough.
“Do you still remember the night when her sister Ning’er came running to our house, saying that I was cruel to Cai Yan, and that she wouldn’t let me off if anything were to happen to Cai Yan?”
Lin Ruoxi nodded her head silently. She had always wondered what that night was about.
Yang Chen said, “In order to become stronger, Yanyan joined the selection trial of a special task force using her identity as a police. That was a special training where participants could possibly lose their lives if they’re not careful during the training.”
This time, Lin Ruoxi could no longer remain calm. She was so agitated she opened her mouth and asked, “Rea—really?”
Yang Chen smiled bitterly. “Why else do you think Yanyan suddenly quit her police job and disappeared without leaving a trace?”
Lin Ruoxi recalled that she was indeed unable to reach Cai Yan during that period. She could feel her cold sweat the moment she imagined Cai Yan going through such a training.
Yang Chen sighed heavily and said, “Did you know? When I saw Cai Yan again who had survived the training and stood amidst a bunch of men, her face was dark from being under the sun all the time. She stood under the sun, trying her best to maintain a serious look and pretending that she didn’t know me. At that time, I couldn’t lie to myself at all. How could I disregard all the effort that she had put in?!
“She had been relying on just her imagination which showed no real promise for the future. Yet she made a decision that would risk her own life just to make me fall for her. What had I ever done to deserve such actions?! What have I sacrificed for her?! If I were to continue disregarding her existence, was I still human?
“After all, we had crossed each other’s path several times before in the past. With all those added up, I would be deceiving myself if I said that I had no feelings for her at all. That incident had merely made me admit all those.”
Lin Ruoxi bit her lips. She had lost focus in her gaze as she asked, “Okay. Even if I can understand what happened between you and Yanyan. What about Sister Cai Ning?”
Yang Chen said with force, “About Ning’er, actually you played a part as well.”
Lin Ruoxi furrowed her brows, “Why me again? Even though I know Sister Cai Ning, we aren’t close at all.”
“Zeng Xinlin. Weren’t you the one who single-handedly planned the Zeng clan’s incident?” Yang Chen gave her a bitter smile and said, “If it was not for your trick that crushed Zeng Xinlin’s Changlin Media, it wouldn’t have led to Zeng Xinlin and Xu Zhihong’s joint revenge later on. If they weren’t so hell bent on killing you, I wouldn’t have had to kill Zeng Xinlin. If not because of Zeng Xinlin’s death, the Zeng clan’s master Zeng Mao wouldn’t have come to Zhonghai to seek revenge for his grandchild.
“Zeng Mao wanted to destroy Yu Lei International regardless of what it took. He wanted to harm you and kill me. I wouldn’t have had to bear the risk nonetheless and kill Zeng Mao.”
Lin Ruoxi listened to the series of cause and results, and she said in puzzlement, “Even if… I have a big part to play in all these, all I did was just what a businessman had to do. I couldn’t have predicted all these to happen. Even more so… what does this have to do with Sister Cai Ning?”
Yang Chen rolled his eyes at her, “Do you think that it was such an easy job to clean up after Zeng Mao’s death? He was the head of the Zeng clan. You know what? I wasn’t the one who killed him in the end. It was Ning’er who killed him and bore the responsibility of his murder. She did it so I would be safe from the Zeng clan’s revenge. She did it so that I could live in peace with the people around me, including you.”
“What…?” Lin Ruoxi widened her eyes in shock. She had obviously never expected it to be such a case.
Yang Chen sighed and said, “Actually, you should find a chance to thank Ning’er. If not for her bearing the risk of being prosecuted on the military court and saving me, maybe nothing would have happened to me. But you and Yu Lei probably would have had no peaceful days. Maybe… it would have been a problem to even continue living in China like we do now.”
Lin Ruoxi shut her eyes closed. She held onto her forehead and tried to calm down before asking, “Then because of Sister Cai Ning, has everything been settled?”
Yang Chen nodded and said with mixed feelings, “Fortunately, I have established a good relationship with the Li clan in Beijing during this trip. You can say that it’s settled now. If I hadn’t made the trip this time, Cai Ning was actually planning to listen to her mother and marry a country pumpkin.
“A woman who has nothing to do with me at all was willing to be prosecuted on the military court and lose her name for my sake. Even more so, she almost got married to a man whom she had no feelings for at all. How silly. She didn’t gain anything out of this but yet she put her whole life on the line for me.
“If I were so stupid to be ignorant of her feelings, if I were to let her marry a stupid fellow who wanted to take advantage of the situation to possess her, wouldn’t that make me even worse than that stupid fellow?”
Lin Ruoxi didn’t say a word. She listened blankly, her hands holding onto the coffee mug. She felt awful in her heart.
Willing to sacrifice everything including their lives yet asking for nothing in return?
In comparison, what Lin Ruoxi had done for Yang Chen seemed to be pathetically little.
Yang Chen laughed in self-mock and said, “Sometimes, I really feel like I’m favored by the heavens. I’ve managed to get myself into such wonderful situations. Of course, I don’t mean to say that you’re no good. I just wanted to make it clear to you that I will never let go of anyone who loves me deeply and vice versa. Because it is what they rightfully deserve.”
Lin Ruoxi lifted her head and she met Yang Chen’s gaze.
“Lin Ruoxi, I am very grateful to have had your company for the past year. Although it did not end on a good note, these memories are really heartwarming for a man like me,” Yang Chen said with a faint smile.
Lin Ruoxi’s eyes reddened a little. Countless thoughts were flying through her mind. Their memories were appearing one by one in her mind just like a black and white film.
“Miss Lin, you wouldn’t ask me to repay you for bailing me out, would you? I have no money to give you, only my pathetic life.”
“Miss Lin, please come again. Why do I feel like I am hearing things…?”
“You’re not hearing things. I said I want you to marry me! Right now!”
“A marriage without love, does it always end up like them?”
“It won’t. At least, we won’t. Babe Ruoxi, if you want to go to nightclubs and bars, just ask me out together. I’m very open-minded. Let’s all have fun together if you want to have fun.”
“I have three options for you, watch a movie, go shopping, or visit the aquarium. Where do you want to go?”
“Let’s go to the aquarium. I like tropical fish. They’re very pretty.”
“The aquarium is going to close soon since it’s so late at night. Choose a different one.”
“Then shopping is fine too.”
“Shopping? Wouldn’t that tire me out?”
“Then where to?”
“Let’s go to the movies.”
“Then why did you make me choose?! Couldn’t you have suggested to watch a movie right from the start?!”
“This is democracy. Democracy. Hehe…”
“Dear, how much time do we have until the contract expires?”
“One and a half years.”
“How about shortening it? Make it six months. Let the two of us scorpions stay for six months more. At that time, even if we’re one of the same kind, we should be tired from all this, since there’s a gap between us after all.”
“Are you mocking me? For whoever gave birth to me doesn’t matter, and I’m a child that nobody wants?”
“You’re wrong. In my eyes, none of these things concerns me. Whose daughter you were in the past didn’t matter. What matters most is where you are now. You are now my wife.”
Heart-breaking scenes appeared one after another, making Lin Ruoxi unable to suppress her tears from rolling. After she tried hard to calm herself down, Lin Ruoxi wiped the tears off her face.
Yang Chen was watching her. He was smiling leisurely.
“Give it to me.” Lin Ruoxi extended her hand.
Yang Chen was stunned, “What?”
“The pen.” Lin Ruoxi said emptily, “Don’t I have to sign on it? The divorce agreement?”
Yang Chen was taken aback for a while. He asked softly, “Ruoxi, didn’t you just cry for us? Why do you still want to sign?”
Lin Ruoxi said blankly, “What do you mean?”
“I’ve said so much. Aren’t you touched at all?” Yang Chen asked with an awkward smile.
The gaze in Lin Ruoxi’s eyes started to become clearer. She said, “Does that matter? Didn’t you say that you want a divorce?”
Yang Chen swallowed his saliva and let out a few coughs. Then he said with a serious face, “Actually, it hasn’t been easy for us to make it this far. Look at you, you’re already touched to the point of tearing from our memories. If we were to give up on this, what a pity it would be.”
By now, Lin Ruoxi had finally sort her thoughts out. A look of realization replaced the tears that were rolling in her eyes.
She let out a vague smile and said, “Is that so? I don’t find it pitiful at all. Give me the pen.” Lin Ruoxi reached her hand out again.
Yang Chen hurriedly hid the pen behind him and shook his head. “Think through it again carefully. This is not a joke!”
“Yang Chen, you were the one who suggested a divorce. You were the one who wrote the divorce agreement. Are you going back on your words now?!” Lin Ruoxi said, her eyes were wide open.
Yang Chen’s expression was as bitter as it could be. He could only pull the pen out slowly and hand it to Ruoxi.
Lin Ruoxi snatched the pen from him in a second. She darted an icy glare at Yang Chen, and then she found the signature column and was about to sign on it.
But before she could land her pen on the paper, the piece of divorce agreement had already been snatched away by Yang Chen in the blink of an eye!
“Goodness gracious! Lin Ruoxi!! Is your heart made of stone?! I asked you to sign it and you really thought of signing it?! I asked for a divorce and you really want to do it?!
“Do you have a conscience at all? After hearing such a touching story, don’t you feel that your man is very responsible and the women are very pitiful?! Don’t you know how to say things like ‘Dear hubby, I understand everything now. I support you’?! How do you expect Yanyan and Ning’er to live with this! Things are already at such a stage, can’t you leave us a way out?! What divorce agreement are you intending to sign?!” Yang Chen yelled. He wanted to cry so badly yet he had no tears.
Lin Ruoxi just smiled coldly. She looked like she had long anticipated this. She played with her hair and said, “I don’t have such thoughts. Since you want a divorce, of course I’ll do as you wish. You have already acted so recklessly towards me in front of so many employees in the company. What is there for me to hesitate about? Come on, give me the agreement.”
Yang Chen’s eyes rolled. He could no longer care less and he tore the agreement into pieces right before Lin Ruoxi’s eyes. Then, he tore it into pieces before crumpling them together and throwing it aside!
“Why—why did you tear it apart?!” Lin Ruoxi confronted him angrily.
Yang Chen gave her a blank look and asked ignorantly, “What has been torn apart? I didn’t do anything. Aren’t we here for coffee?”
Lin Ruoxi let out a sigh. She furrowed her brows, showing a speechless expression. “Oh my word. How did I meet a man as thick-skinned as you? Even a year later, why are you still such a lousy man? You’re totally shameless!”
Yang Chen held his coffee and turned his head aside, looking at the fountain outside. He clicked his tongue and said pretentiously, “My good wife, the fountain looks so good today. The water seems to be clearer than usual.”
Lin Ruoxi glared at the shameless Yang Chen, grinding her teeth. She felt like breaking out in laughter yet she felt like scolding him at the same time. In the end, she just stood up and said out loud, “Waiter! I want the bill please!!”
“Hey! What bill! I’m still drinking!” Yang Chen hurriedly turned over and yelled.
“Drink?! Just drink to your death!”
Lin Ruoxi couldn’t be even bothered to wait for the waiter to come. She just pulled out a few hundred-yuan notes and left in anger.
Yang Chen could no longer sit still. He finished his coffee in a big gulp and wanted to leave with her. But he saw that Lin Ruoxi hadn’t finished her cup of blue mountain yet. Thus, he finished her cup of coffee in a big gulp again before he finally ran after Lin Ruoxi in a childlike manner.
Yang Chen ran all the way out of the cafe before he managed to block Lin Ruoxi’s path. He smiled and asked with a shy face, “Dear little Ruoxi, please don’t be angry. I—I had no choice either. I’m following you wholeheartedly for the rest of my life!”
Lin Ruoxi’s anger had already been mostly appeased by now. She no longer felt as upset about Cai Ning and Cai Yan. More than that was her anger at Yang Chen for playing tricks on her. She lifted her head up high and pouted as she said, “Forget about it. I don’t dare to believe the words of a shameless guy like you who doesn’t honor your words.”
“Please don’t. What’s more, the company employees are all aware of our relationship now. Are we going to get a divorce immediately after we announced ourselves as husband and wife? How embarrassing would that be? It’s not an issue for me to lose my pride, but for dear CEO you to lose your pride is a big matter!” Yang Chen said righteously.
“Yo—you still have the guts to bring that up?!” Lin Ruoxi was going nuts the moment she imagined how news of her relationship with Yang Chen was spreading like wildfire in the company right now.
“Don’t be rash! Don’t be rash! Since that’s the case,” Yang Chen put on a solemn expression again and abruptly caught hold of Lin Ruoxi’s hand, saying, “My dear wife, accompany me to one more place. I have no more tricks this time, really.”