Chapter 1/8

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Yang Chen smiled awkwardly as he knew that the woman got the wrong idea. Walking forward, he pinched the woman’s cheek with one of his hands.

“Little Qianqian, that’s Ruoxi’s and my younger sister. Don’t overthink it.”

The woman roaming the market alone was none other than Mo Qianni. After listening to Yang Chen’s explanation, she didn’t mind being pinched on the face. As doubt surfaced in her charming eyes, she asked, “Younger sister?”

“Yeah, she’s called Hui Lin, Ruoxi’s younger sister. She came out with me to get fireworks. I also bought her a few toys she liked on the way back,” Yang Chen said.

Mo Qianni finally noticed that Hui Lin seemed to be avoiding eye contact due to shyness. She then secretly glanced at Yang Chen, and concluded that Hui Lin must be feeling awkward after seeing the intimacy between her and Yang Chen.

Mo Qianni made sure that she perceived it wrongly earlier. Rolling her eyes, she smiled and said, “Why are you explaining it to me? It’s not like I’m your legal wife. Getting jealous will just end up in vain. It can’t be taken seriously.”

“If you talk this way again, I’ll smack your buttocks.” Yang Chen raised his arm as he demonstrated the action of butt smacking near Mo Qianni’s backside.

Shy, Mo Qianni pulled his hand down. “Do you plan on embarrassing me on the streets?”

“You’re the one who doubted my faithfulness to one person in the first place,” Yang Chen said before pouting.

[TL note: Added ‘to one’ so that the following paragraphs make sense.]

Mo Qianni rolled her eyes. She was very used to Yang Chen’s thick-skinned behavior. “Your ‘one’ should be the numerator in a fraction, right? What’s the denominator then?” Mo Qianni asked with a teasing smile.

Yang Chen patted his chest. “Little Qianqian, your words hurt so much my heart broke. If I had a knife now, I would scoop my heart out to show you. It’s now as fragmented as the stuffing in a dumpling.”

Mo Qianni frowned greatly as she forcefully hit Yang Chen’s chest. “I hate you! I came here today to get dumpling skins as I want to make some for the new year. Why do you have to make them sound so disgusting?”

Yang Chen chuckled. “Oh so Little Qianqian came to get dumpling skins. I didn’t know you could make dumplings. Can you make some for me? I only want to eat ones made by you.”

“Humph. Aren’t you buying new year’s goods for the family? Why should you have the time to eat the dumplings I make?” Mo Qianni asked as she pouted.

“There are two days left till the new year, are there not? I’ll go to your house tonight, and think about the rest later. I don’t think anyone at home is making dumplings,” Yang Chen said with a smile.

Mo Qianni stammered, “Yo—you’re really coming to eat them?”

“Of course,” Yang Chen said before nodding his head.

“Alright then, I’ll try to leave a few of them for you,” Mo Qianni said as she suppressed her laughter.

The matter could be considered done now. Both of them knew that it was merely a pretext for dining together during the festival, but none of them pointed it out explicitly.

Hui Lin saw Mo Qianni’s blushing face when she happily chatted with Yang Chen. Hui Lin couldn’t help but to feel slightly downhearted.

Brother Yang seems to have quite a lot of soulmates, but really only treats me as his younger sister…

As Yang Chen didn’t mind getting intimate with other women in front of her, Hui Lin could tell that Yang Chen never considered if she would get jealous or not.

However, Hui Lin wasn’t going to point it out after going home. To her, nothing was more important than a family living together peacefully.

On the way home, Yang Chen didn’t notice Hui Lin’s complicated facial expression. Other women currently occupied his mind.

Yang Chen had a faint heartache upon seeing Mo Qianni’s lonely figure wandering in the market by herself. She was a single woman who lived outside her hometown. On New Year’s Eve where tens of thousands of families gathered together, she, however, was eating the dishes she made herself. Even if she was eating boiling-hot dumplings, her heart might still be cold and bleak.

To most people, fireworks were splendid and fiery, but in Mo Qianni’s eyes, they might just be lonely plum blossoms blooming in the cold.

However, Yang Chen couldn’t directly express his pity for Mo Qianni. Thus, he chose to use the excuse of wanting to eat the dumplings made by her to keep her company during the festival.

Mo Qianni was a proud woman. She wouldn’t agree on coming to Lin Ruoxi’s house as her close friend. As a result, knowing Yang Chen’s true intentions, she didn’t turn down his request, but instead accepted his goodwill in satisfaction.

If this happens to Qianni, how about Rose who doesn’t have a family to spend the new years with too? Yang Chen thought.

Whenever he thought of the foolish woman who only wanted ten seconds of his time occasionally, he would realize just how much of a scum he was. As he pondered, he felt that he should have a new-years dinner together with Rose as well after going to Mo Qianni’s place.

On the other hand, Liu Mingyu had her own family. Although she may feel slightly sad, she wouldn’t be too lonely.

Regarding the vixen An Xin, it was unlikely that she would feel disheartened due to her crazy personality. Moreover, her father An Zaihuan would be by her side, although he wasn’t any good. Now that the An clan had skyrocketed in Zhonghai as a result of taking over the Liu clan, a bunch of their families and friends would come over for the festival. An Xin must be greatly irritated.

As Yang Chen thought about the people around him, a naive face flashed in his mind… I wonder how the kid Zhenxiu is going through the new year.

The festival would only last for two more days, while the tasks he had to get done seemed to be increasing. Yang Chen was annoyed, yet felt warmth in his heart at the same time.

After reaching home, Yang Chen carried the fireworks to the underground garage, as they would only be used on New Year’s Eve. He walked to the living room and couldn’t locate Lin Ruoxi. He then walked upstairs to knocked on the door of the study room.

Having a sensitive hearing, after knocking on the door, he heard clunking sounds coming from within the room. What’s Ruoxi trying to hide? Yang Chen thought as he frowned.

Lin Ruoxi opened the door with an unnatural expression. Coldly, she asked, “What is it?”

Yang Chen acted like he knew nothing. “Oh, I was wondering how Zhenxiu is doing as she’s alone this new year. Do you want to visit her with me?”

Warmth appeared in Lin Ruoxi’s eyes. She suddenly felt that Yang Chen looked much more pleasant. “Yeah, we should really pay her a visit. I’ll be visiting the orphanage tomorrow with Aunt Guo. Why don’t we meet Zhenxiu tonight?”

“This…” Yang Chen scratched the back of his head. “I promised someone that we’d have dinner together later.”

Lin Ruoxi noticed Yang Chen’s strange smile. Needless to say, she knew that he was having a date with another woman. Instantly, the warmth in her eyes earlier vanished. “We’ll go tomorrow then. You don’t have a date every day, do you?”

“Of course not,” Yang Chen said in a serious manner.

“I’ll go back inside if you don’t need anything else,” Lin Ruoxi said before slamming the door of the study room without waiting for Yang Chen’s reply.

Yang Chen was stunned outside the door as he looked helpless.

Upon closing the door, Lin Ruoxi forcefully kicked the ground in anger before walking to the study desk. She pulled the drawer to look at the yarn and knitting needles inside in addition to an incomplete, palm-sized cloth which looked loose.

Lin Ruoxi lifted the ‘achievement’ of hers which took her more than two hours to make. She stared at the piece of cloth absentmindedly as she sighed deeply.

Yang Chen who had returned to his own room was unaware that he obliterated Lin Ruoxi’s determination in learning needlework. He was focused on making a call to An Xin.

If he had to pick a woman who was the most clingy, it would certainly be An Xin. However, the one who was most light-hearted would be An Xin as well!

After returning to the country from Hokkaido, An Xin hadn’t contacted Yang Chen. The woman could be considered the kind who would use all her life to love someone, but would utterly ignore that person as long as she felt like doing so. Yang Chen used to love such a personality in the past. After all, he would only pursue short-term pleasures back then. However, times have changed and so has he.

The phone call was quickly connected. “Dear, you’re finally thinking about me,” the sweet voice of An Xin came from the phone.

“Hey, Little Vixen, I think you haven’t given me a call as well, have you?” Yang Chen asked gloomily.

An Xin chuckled. “It’s because you always act like a cool hero. I feel that heroes should be cold and proud. What if you feel disgusted when I cling onto you?”

“Are you taking revenge on me for leaving you alone for almost six months?” Yang Chen smiled bitterly.

“A little bit,” An Xin said in a mischievous yet serious manner.

Yang Chen wanted to explain something more, but a noise resounded from An Xin’s side.

Hurriedly, An Xin said, “Hubby, there are so many relatives at my house whom I haven’t seen before. I have to go greet the guests. Happy new year! I have a surprise for you after the festival. Bye!”

An Xin ended the call, leaving Yang Chen stunned while holding his phone. Ignoring what the ‘surprise’ she mentioned was, Yang Chen felt that he had to punish her by smacking her butt the next time they met.

Yang Chen then made a call to Liu Mingyu’s number.

After quite a while, Liu Mingyu finally picked up the call. She sounded in a hurry, asking, “What do you want? I’m cooking now. Say what you must and make it quick.”

Yang Chen got speechless. As soon as he opened his mouth to speak, a woman’s voice could be heard from his phone, “Mingyu, the vegetables are getting burnt! Why are you speaking on the phone?”

“Alright Mom, I’m coming.”

“Beep…”

Yang Chen was dumbstruck. He hadn’t spoken half a word, but his call got ended just like that.

Yang Chen wasn’t in the mood to make phone calls anymore. He’d just visit Rose in person later. If she was currently having some kind of celebration with her men, and his call got ended again, wouldn’t his tears dry up before he could cry?”

After changing a set of clean clothes, Yang Chen planned to tell Guo Xuehua and Wang Ma that he was going out.

Upon going downstairs, Lin Ruoxi and Hui Lin could be seen watching a hundred-episode Korean drama together, while Wang Ma was marinating something. He approached Wang Ma and said, “Wang Ma, I’m going out for dinner tonight. You don’t need to prepare food for me.”

Before Wang Ma replied him, Guo Xuehua who was walking downstairs asked out of curiosity, “The new year is here already, why are you still eating outside? Is it with a colleague?”

Yang Chen hesitated for a bit before answering, “Yeah, but no, it’s someone important in short. I’ll be having an early new-year dinner with her.”

Before Guo Xuehua raised more questions, Lin Ruoxi who was sitting on the sofa said emotionlessly, “Aunt Guo, don’t ask him anymore. Just let him leave if he feels that it’s important.”

Guo Xuehua doubtfully looked at Lin Ruoxi who spoke with a cold tone, before gazing upon Yang Chen who walked out of the house awkwardly. She pondered about something.