Christen frowned. “Do you really have to make excuses to stay away from me? Just tell me if you don’t want to spend time with me.”
“That’s not it,” Yang Chen explained with an awkward smile. “The seventh is the start of China’s National College Entrance Examinations. Zhenxiu has been working hard for the past few months ever since I pushed her to return to school. I must return to her to show my support.
“I really should be there to support her regardless. If she complains about my negligence, Ruoxi as the elder sister is going to start a cold war with me again! I can’t risk the chain reaction!”
Christen fixed her gaze at Yang Chen before teasing him. “Oh look who finally decided to be a family man. Not only is he worried about an exam of a non-biological sister, he’s also constantly wary of his wife’s reactions. If Takamagahara found out that they were defeated by the likes of you, they would have rather committed suicide.”
Yang Chen stroked his face. “Are you congratulating or insulting me?”
“The latter, without a doubt,” Christen replied snidely.
Yang Chen was annoyed but remained silent.
“Oh yeah by the way, why are you still booking a flight? Just teleport back home.”
Yang Chen scratched on his scalp as he avoided her gaze. “I thought about it. But if I exert too much power, I might face another heavenly tribulation, which frankly, I’d rather not. So with that in mind, I decided to travel like everyone else.”
Christen blinked at his suggestions but nonetheless said, “Alright I get it… I’ll get someone to get the tickets and passport ready. The sooner you get out of here, the less I will have to stress over you.”
Yang Chen groaned in frustration. Easy for you to say when you’re not the one who was struck by lightning! He pouted ever so slightly before running up the flight of stairs and back to his room, awaiting his ride back to Zhonghai.
As the sound of tempest wind blasted, Christen was left alone in the courtyard, silently watching the overcast sky. She let out a deep sigh.
… …
On the other side of the Pacific, Lin Ruoxi, with most of her day off, was seen bustling around the kitchen preparing an array of dishes.
As the main protagonist of tomorrow’s college entry exam, Zhenxiu sat awkwardly at the table as dishes of freshly cooked food were laid out before her.
“Zhenxiu, what are you daydreaming about? Eat while the food’s hot. There are steamed fish and charbroiled pig trotters which are both good for the brain, don’t be afraid to eat more!” Guo Xuehua noticed that the child was contemplating, so she used her chopsticks to fetch food into Zhenxiu’s bowl.
Ever since Zhenxiu lived into the family, she had been well-fed and well-treated. Her skin had also become fair and supple as a result. Despite her age, she had several feminine traits deriving from her partial Korean heritage. Her high raised nose structure and rosy cheeks separated herself from the other girls.
It was also part of the reason Guo Xuehua and Wang Ma loved her so much. While one shouldn’t only focus on appearance, good-looking people were naturally more adorable.
Zhenxiu silently stared at Lin Ruoxi who was scooping some rice and mumbled, “I just feel so bad. It’s my exams and my problem but you all seem to care so much more than I do. Sister Ruoxi even took half a day off to come back and cook for me.”
“Silly, your Sister Ruoxi did it willingly. Eat more if you don’t want to disappoint her,” Guo Xuehua replied as she lovingly pinched Zhenxiu on her supple cheeks.
Lin Ruoxi heard her name in their conversation before she put a chicken wing in Zhenxiu’s bowl. “Eat up.”
Eventually, Zhenxiu caved and started to happily enjoy the food.
The four women enjoyed each other’s company but there was still something missing from the atmosphere.
Halfway through, Wang Ma couldn’t help but ask, “Miss, when is Young Master coming back? Zhenxiu is about to begin her exams tomorrow. Must he really be gone for so long?”
Upon hearing Yang Chen’s name, Guo Xuehua frowned. “This child of mine has never known his responsibilities to his family. Why is he even in the US? He did not even leave a message. I’ll be sure to give him a piece of my mind when he returns.”
Lin Ruoxi nibbled on her food before she stopped and explained, “Christen’s house in America has a one-way line. He also didn’t bring his phone along, so we have no way to contact him.”
Zhenxiu’s facial expressions turned grim and she sulked by her corner.
Nonetheless, it was hard for the people around her to not notice her dejection. After all, it was Yang Chen who had brought her back years ago, before encouraging her to continue with her studies. While they often argued, and Zhenxiu addressed Lin Ruoxi as her elder sister, Yang Chen was in fact closer to her.
For an orphaned child, Yang Chen’s role in her heart was far greater than anyone would expect.
And in the final moments prior to her entering the examination hall, Yang Chen was nowhere to be seen. One could only imagine how much sadness she was going through.
Moments passed until Lin Ruoxi spoke out of nowhere. “Zhenxiu, Elder Sister will skip work tomorrow and fetch you to the exams hall, alright?”
Zhenxiu immediately shook her head. “No, no… I’m feeling guilty as it is already. I can go myself, it’s no big deal.”
Lin Ruoxi ignored her and nodded with determination. “Well, I guess that’s set then. I’ll wake up earlier to make breakfast before we leave to the exams hall together. I’ll also pick you up after you’re done.”
Zhenxiu was emotionally overwhelmed as she bit her lips, unable to put her thoughts into words.
… …
Meanwhile, in a secret research base deep within the mountains of Beijing, bright lights lit up a secluded room built with reinforced steel, simulating day time. There were numerous scientific apparatus lying around. Some were empty, but many filled with a strange luminescent fluid.
Right in the center of the room was an operating table, and on it, was a person.
The corpse of a middle-aged woman was lying stiffly on the bed. Her face was pale and lifeless. It was none other than Luo Cuishan who had died just moments ago from the hands of Ning Guangyao.
And next to her dead body was a tall man in a lab coat. He held a wicked smile, seemingly thinking of what he could experiment on.
“Sir, the woman is as dead as it gets. Why go through the trouble of swapping body bags when it's of no use to us?”
Behind the man in the lab coat was another man in a white hazmat suit.
If Luo Cuishan was still alive and conscious, she would’ve realized that the man was among the two who were tasked with producing the toxins for her consumption.
The sturdy man naturally was Yan Buwen whose legs were previously seen severely broken by the woman before him, but had miraculously recovered in such a short amount of time.
Yan Buwen sniffled as he replied, “Who told you that this woman was permanently dead?”
The man was caught off-guard. “Are you implying that you can revive the dead? Her heart has stopped beating for hours now. Her brain must’ve died out hours ago as well.”
Yan Buwen stuck out a finger and drew a line over Luo Cuishan’s stiff face before he maniacally laughed. “In the world where I, Yan Buwen, exist, reviving the dead is nothing so long as their bodies are intact and their brain has but one functioning cell.”
Listening to his words, the other man couldn’t help but shiver from the thought of it as he forced a smile. “My apologies for doubting your capabilities, Master. You have always been an inspiration to me.”
Yan Buwen turned back to ask the man a question. “Has Yang Lie completed the errands I assigned to him?”
The man nodded. “I just recently received an update from the henchmen, Yang Lie has already met up with Ning Guodong. I’m sure he’s still certain that his mother is dead. He’s probably weeping at the degradable corpse we manufactured. I’m going to guess that he will only be willing to meet us sometime tomorrow.”
“If that’s the case, keep this corpse in the freezer for the time being. When Ning Guodong stops by tomorrow, we’ll prepare a reunion for them,” Yan Buwen demanded with an ominous smirk.
The man in the hazmat suit nodded in obedience.