Only a couple hours had passed from what seemed like an eternity to the members of the Red Thorns Society.
The cruise ships had sailed back to the harbor just as the sun began to set.
Most of the members took this time to return home. Despite the sudden change in leadership, it would seem that questioning or challenging that decision was not an option for now.
Rose was no longer their leader and therefore put aside as a non-issue. However, what struck a chord within them was Yang Chen’s requests to have his peaceful life left unaffected. How were they supposed to do that? And to what degree?
In the end, they concluded individually that the best that they could do for now was to manage their subordinates wisely and serve their new leader well.
Yang Chen had Xiao Zhao pass on the news of Chen Rong’s death to her brother Chen Bo. He made sure that he knew the reason she had died. How she was an accomplice to Situ Mingze’s revenge plot and that she failed before jumping into the sea. He decided to leave out the part where she was eaten by sharks though.
Yang Chen didn't plan to hide it from Chen Bo, nor did he care about what Chen Bo would think of the matter. He had already agreed on Chen Rong following in Rose’s footsteps. As Chanel’s lover, he must have known her sister had entered the underworld.
Since he didn’t try to stop it, he should’ve been prepared for this. The truth was, if it wasn’t for Chen Bo, Yang Chen would’ve killed Chen Rong at her first act of betrayal.
Moments after that, Rose followed Yang Chen home as her house was still in its rubble-like state.
Mo Qianni, Lin Ruoxi, and Guo Xuehua recollected themselves before returning to the hall. Ma Guifang had returned home from work and Zhenxiu had also come back from the orphanage.
They breathed a sigh of relief upon seeing them.
“All settled?” Guo Xuehua stood up and asked.
Yang Chen nodded. “It wasn’t too much of a hassle actually. All it took was a trip out into the sea.”
“The sea?” They asked in confusion.
So Yang Chen regaled a simplified version of the story to them. After finishing up his story, the women sighed at Chen Rong’s ultimate demise. Zhenxiu was especially scared as she could’ve had shared the same fate if it wasn’t for Cai Yan.
But once they were done talking about the incident, the atmosphere started getting a little weird.
Although they were neighbors, only Ma Guifang, Guo Xuehua, and Wang Ma would occasionally meet to catch up on life.
Lin Ruoxi, Mo Qianni, and Rose had no reason to ever meet. But in a bad twist of fate, they were now gathered together in the living room, awkwardly staring at each other from time to time.
Zhenxiu was excited at this. She wondered what the three women would do now that they were forced into the same room.
Guo Xuehua tugged on Yang Chen sleeves and whispered in his ear, “Son, what are we going to do now?”
“How should I know?” Yang Chen too had no idea where to proceed from here and decided to feign innocence.
After a while, Lin Ruoxi spoke up. “Why don’t you guys stay here for the time being? We have empty rooms to spare.”
Wang Ma quickly interjected, “Miss, that won’t work. Part of the house was destroyed too, leaving most of the rooms in shambles. We’ll have to move out of here ourselves too.”
Lin Ruoxi made a small o with her mouth in embarrassment. She then realized that she had said it without first considering her own predicament.
Rose smiled and said, “I have a suggestion, why don’t we look for houses that we can move into immediately after purchase? We've been neighbors for so long, what’s a few more years?”
Everyone was surprised by what Rose said, especially Guo Xuehua and Wang Ma. They never thought that Rose would suggest them to stay neighbors!
In truth, she just wanted to stay close to Yang Chen!
Even though Mo Qianni liked the idea, she didn’t dare to support Rose’s idea in front of Lin Ruoxi so she kept quiet. Ma Guifang knew it was hard for her daughter so she kept quiet too but silently agreed with the idea.
Yang Chen was just happy and he kept nodding while smiling.
Lin Ruoxi looked straight into Rose’s eyes and they just stared at each other.
Lin Ruoxi thought Rose was challenging her at first, but after a small bout of silent interrogation, she decided that there were no negative connotations behind her intentions.
This made her upset.
When did I become so paranoid? So what if we remain neighbors? Lin Ruoxi thought about it a bit more.
“Sounds good. Since money isn’t an issue, let’s go somewhere nice.” Lin Ruoxi agreed to it.
Guo Xuehua laughed and butted in when she heard that. “That’s nice, I’m close with Yulan and Qianni’s mom so you kids can go to work and we can accompany each other.”
[TL Note: Yulan is Wang Ma’s real name.]
Wang Ma and Ma Guifang looked at each other and smiled. They were more than happy to oblige.
Money wasn’t an issue for Lin Ruoxi and Rose. The only thing they had to consider was the location.
Lin Ruoxi had many properties under her name but they were mainly used for business purposes. The only real house they had was the one in Dragon Garden and the luxurious villa which was very far away. She had to buy a new one within Zhonghai.
In the past, it was only Lin Ruoxi and her mom living together so they didn’t need to buy more houses than they already had.
Lin Ruoxi brought down two laptops and searched through the property agent websites for villas while commenting on them as she scrolled through.
“The house has to be new and fully furnished since we don’t have the luxury of time to deal with it. Location-wise, I think it’d be best to stay near the mountains or lakes for its peaceful atmosphere. The highways should still be convenient enough for us to get into the city,” Rose said.
Lin Ruoxi nodded. “Also, it shouldn’t be too crowded.”
“That’s easy, just buy the most expensive one.” Yang Chen butted in.
Lin Ruoxi glared at him.
Yang Chen resorted to pursing his lips and keeping his mouth shut.
Rose turned her head towards Mo Qianni. “Qianni, any thoughts? We’re staying together so you should share your thoughts.”
Mo Qianni shook her head. “You guys can decide. Mom and I are fine with anything. Besides, these villas cost millions of dollars, which obviously I can't afford. It's a blessing that I get to stay with you, let alone choosing where we stay.”
Although she sounded like she was joking, there was a hint of self-depreciation in it. Compared to Lin Ruoxi and Rose, Mo Qianni was nowhere near as rich. Ma Guifang kept quiet as she smiled and sighed.
“You can.” Lin Ruoxi raised her head, her gaze clear as the sky.
“Hmm?” Mo Qianni replied in confusion.
Lin Ruoxi smiled and said, “I know a lot of other international corporations and executive recruiters have been trying to recruit you for a few years now. LV wanted you to be the vice president for their Asian branch. If you were to leave Yu Lei International for other companies, you could have made billions with large amounts of shares in different companies. But you gave all that up to stay with me, am I right?”
Mo Qianni smiled helplessly. “It’s nothing much. The old CEO was the only reason I was able to have this future at all. If I were to leave Yu Lei for money, I would never be able to forgive myself.”
“Actually, you could’ve gotten three to five percent of the company shares from me, but you didn’t and I’m thankful for that, Qianni.” Lin Ruoxi smiled. “I’ve always thought of myself as a great strategist but never a great executioner. For that, I have you to thank.”
Mo Qianni was shocked to hear the sudden gratitude from Lin Ruoxi. The others looked at her approvingly.
Ma Guifang placed a hand on her daughter’s back. “My dear, I knew you wouldn’t disappoint me. You did the right thing. No amount of money can make up for losing your human heart.”
Human heart… so falling for her husband, was it the right thing after all? Mo Qianni felt guilty.
Mo Qianni smiled shyly. “Ruoxi… I don’t know if I should cry or ask you for money if you talk about this suddenly.”
Lin Ruoxi pressed her lips together. “Money… If Rose were to ask you to pay rent, I can lend you the money without interest!”
Yang Chen almost spat out the tea in his mouth but managed to keep it in and swallowed it. He put on a strained smile and asked, “Darling, was that supposed to be a joke?”
Lin Ruoxi blushed when she realized everyone was staring at her with wide eyes. She coughed and said, “Stop looking at me and look at the house…”
The elderly chuckled and the room seemed brighter.
Zhenxiu gasped in surprise suddenly as she pointed at a photo on screen and said, “Sister Ruoxi, look at this. This villa seems to fit all of your criteria.”