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Chapter 15 - The Two of Us Are Over
Tang Kai didn’t immediately raise his findings to Sun Zinan because he wasn’t sure if it was a taboo topic. He thought about it for a while, then sincerely let out a sigh. “After meeting your siblings, I think I like you even more now, especially when compared to them.”
Sun Zinan’s reactions were slow from the wine and he stared dumbly for quite a few seconds before returning to his senses. He laughed and scolded, “Go to h.e.l.l.” ”
Tang Kai also laughed and scooted over to gently wrap his arms around him, asking in a low voice, “We’ve both drunk tonight, how are we going to get back, does your family have enough chauffeurs?”
Sun Zinan likewise replied in a low voice, “We can just stay a night here. There are plenty of rooms anyways.”
Tang Kai continued in his low voice, “Then can I apply to stay in the room next to yours?”
Sun Zinan asked lowly, “For what?”
Tang Kai said quietly, “To chat with you in the middle of the night.”
Sun Zinan gave his lower back a slap. “You’re crazy!”
Tang Kai buried his face in his shoulder, silently laughing to himself for a while.
Sun Ying was getting too old to stay up late. He interacted with the others in the living room for a while, then excused himself, saying that he was exhausted. Secretary w.a.n.g took him back to his room to rest. Not long after, Sun Zinan received a call. It was too loud downstairs, so he took his phone and walked upstairs to the second floor, looking for a quiet place to take the call.
The hallway lights were dimly lit and the din of the living room was barricaded by the floorboards and thick carpet. It was quiet all around. He felt his phone vibrating in his hand and was about to answer it when he caught a glimpse of a streak of light in the corner of his vision. It came from the cracks of the tightly-shut door of the study.
Sun Zinan didn’t pay it much attention and returned to picking up his call. However, the other party had already hung up because he had taken so long to respond.
Ka, the second hand clicked forward.
Everything paused coincidentally at this moment; the phone vibrations in his hand came to a halt and the laughter downstairs receded, creating a delicate gap of stillness. The sudden silence amplified the faint murmur of conversation from within the study. Sun Ying’s elderly, hoa.r.s.e voice was like an awl, piercing him bluntly in the ribs.
“…First release Tang Kai’s ident.i.ty to the public. For the sake of his father’s face, Ding Fu should open his mouth. Find a time to make an appointment with him.”
Secretary w.a.n.g’s voice, “Yes, sir. But Chairman, if this matter drags on for another half month, if we can’t repress it, it will have a very big impact on Hongsen’s reputation.”
Sun Ying made an ‘en’ sound. “We’d better have the two of them get married quickly. Once we’re relatives of Tang Zhenhua, everything will be easy to deal with.”
Dang dang, two knocks resounded on the door. The Sun Ying and Secretary w.a.n.g who were deeply engaged in conversation both startled, uniformly turning their heads towards the entrance of the study. Sun Zinan leaned lazily against the door-frame, his shirt unb.u.t.toned at the collar, looking like a wealthy prince as he asked, “The two of you are still awake at this hour—what are you chatting about?”
Sun Ying didn’t know how much he had heard and replied in slight irritation, “Not following the rules, who let you in!”
Sun Zinan coldly tugged a corner of his lips upwards. “Don’t be afraid of ghosts knocking at the door if you haven’t done anything wrong. Dad, why are you so nervous?”
Sun Ying’s expression sank darkly. “Get out.”
“I’m not here to interrupt your important discussion, please go ahead.” Sun Zinan said openly, “But since I’m the object of your arrangements, I should be able to listen to the reasoning right?”
Sun Ying replied impatiently, “You drank too much. w.a.n.g Tian, take him out.”
A frigid smile had stiffened onto Sun Zinan’s lips. He suddenly said, “Dad, there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you for a long time. I call you Dad, but you…do you really think of me as your son?”
The living room on the first floor.
Tang Kai came out of the bathroom and went through a side door back into the living room. As he walked in the shadows under the staircase, he suddenly heard a subdued, whispered conversation from behind the pillars. “No wonder…turns out he’s Tang Zhenhua’s son.”
“Tang Zhenhua? The one from our province?”
“Of course,” someone replied. “Sun Ying’s son is pretty impressive. Even though he’s gay he still managed to get Tang Zhenhua’s son.”
“Who did you hear this from? I just asked him, he said his father does business.”
“He’s obviously being lowkey about it. But their family’s third son just accidentally let it slip out. The two of them were set up by Sun Ying.”
“Makes sense, there was a huge safety accident at Hongsen’s factory recently, and they’re currently being investigated by the higher-ups. With this, won’t they be protected?”
“Exactly. Even if you escalate it to the authorities, it’ll still get repressed when it reaches the level of the province. Can Tang Zhenhua ignore his own son?”
“The breeze is cool when you're leaning against a big tree…”
Although Tang Kai was not involved in business or politics, he still had a clear understanding of these matters. He only needed a bit of reasoning to understand that the Sun family was borrowing his father’s influence to make a flag out of tiger's skin.
Even though he already knew that there was a subtle, lurking motive behind their blind dates, hidden rules were hidden rules and they had a tacit understanding to not mention it. Once the truth of the matter was exposed, it became very disgusting.
Then what about Sun Zinan? What role did he play in this? How much did he know, and how much was he involved in?
Tang Kai frowned as he surveyed the entire scene. He couldn’t find Sun Zinan and thought to himself, should making a phone call take this long?
The staircase to the second floor was right next to him. Tang Kai borrowed some courage from the wine and aggressively rushed upstairs. He hadn’t even figured out what he was going to say once he found Sun Zinan. Should he question him on the spot and make him explain, or trust that Sun Zinan wouldn’t fool him and pretend that nothing had happened?
If, by any chance, this had been set up by Sun Zinan, what should he do?
Tang Kai’s heart was in a complete mess of confusion. When he reached the final step, he had the sudden urge to turn back and run away. But as soon as he stepped into the hallway, he heard the sounds of a violent quarrel through a door.
“Oh my G.o.d!” Sun Ying roared at Sun Zinan, “You better get out!”
“I told you we didn’t want to come, but you’re the one who begged us to come,” Sun Zinan replied. “I was wondering why you had suddenly become so hospitable. After so much trouble you’ve been waiting here for me! Dad, don’t blame me for my harsh words. What relation does Tang Kai have with you? How could our family bear losing our face and intrude on them?”
“I think you’ve been thoroughly confused by Tang Kai!” Sun Ying said, “Sun Zinan, can you recognize your own relatives? I’m doing this for Hongsen, for our family! What about you? You’re rebelling against me for the sake of an outsider! You’re as unscrupulous as a wolf, and don’t know the difference between what’s good and bad!”
In the hallway, Tang Kai was rooted in place.
Sun Ying had stepped on all his exploding points but Sun Zinan still had to suppress his temper. “Fine, I don’t have any conscience, I’m a b.a.s.t.a.r.d, but I’m the ungrateful, vicious wolf you raised, okay? I don’t have anything else to say except this—don’t have any ulterior motives towards Tang Kai, he’s just a poor teacher. He doesn’t walk the same path as we do; he’s clean and tidy. Wouldn’t it be a shame if you dragged him down?”
Sun Ying gave a hoot in derision. “You think Tang Kai has clean motives? Why don’t you think about why he chose you? Because you’re my son! Why else would he pay attention to you?
Sun Zinan sneered, “Not necessarily. Why don’t you try it with my third brother, see if he wants him?”
His words touched a nerve. The atmosphere in the study abruptly solidified, like a silent layer of frost appearing in the middle of the night.
“Since he actually appeared today, others will find out who he is.” Sun Ying said pitilessly, “You should be using this time to think about how you’re going to maintain a good relationship with him and get married as soon as possible. You’re on the same boat as the Sun family. Our glory is your glory, our ruin your ruin. Don’t do anything stupid that’ll devastate both sides.”
“That doesn’t make any f.u.c.king sense, I got it.” Sun Zinan couldn’t repress his anger any longer, finally furious to the point of going crazy. He kicked the study door open. “If you want to curry favor with an official, go f.u.c.king love whoever the f.u.c.k you want; laozi won’t wait upon you anymore!”
The wooden door that had been kicked against the wall bounced back. With a loud bang, Sun Zinan strode out of the study with a tempest burning in his brows and eyes, running face-to-face into the Tang Kai in the hallway who hadn’t had the time to run away.
Tang Kai, “…”
Sun Zinan, “…”
The taste of that moment was almost indescribable. Sun Zinan was carrying a handful of boiling magma within his heart and currently emitting sparks of furor, but the sight of Tang Kai was like a wave of cold water poured all over his face. The effect was no different than triggering an earth-quaking explosion in his chest; he was lucky to not have fainted on site.
He had drunk alcohol and stirred up rage. His blood pressure had been going up; with this sudden shock, he could only feel the blood rushing to the top of his head, but his heart was filled with an almost sadness at his powerlessness.
The heavens and earth were spinning in front of his eyes, the four walls shrinking towards him. Only then did he feel like he couldn’t breathe, and unconsciously raised his hand to press against his heart. He staggered and fell towards the wall.
Tang Kai rushed up and caught Sun Zinan.
The man’s eyes were half-closed, his forehead covered with cold sweat. His chest heaved rapidly, gasping for breath, but his lips were marked by signs of lacking oxygen. Tang Kai rubbed vigorously at his back to ease his breathing and saw that Sun Zinan was still lucid despite not being able to catch his breath. He asked hurriedly, “Don’t panic…what’s wrong? Where do you feel uncomfortable? Calm down, breathe slowly!”
Sun Zinan pressed firmly down on his chest, refusing to let go. His five fingers almost pierced through his flesh. Tang Kai was afraid of angina so he quickly scooped up Sun Zinan’s legs and carried him to the windowsill. “Open the window!”
Secretary w.a.n.g, who had followed Sun Zinan out, saw that something was not right and immediately ran over to help.
The window at the front of the hallway was forcefully pushed open and the cool night breeze rolled in with the scent of perfume. Sun Zinan strenuously took in a few deep breaths, the sufficient amount of oxygen relieving the feeling of suffocation in his chest. The stifling sensation that had left his mind blank slowly dissipated and his breathing gradually stabilized into the pattern of Tang Kai’s hand rubbing at his back.
“Keep the rhythm of your breathing in check, slowly, take a deep breath…” Tang Kai supported his back with one hand and checked his pulse with the other. He felt like his soul was about to fly out. “You’re trying to scare me to death.”
Sun Zinan shook his head, motioning that he was fine now.
Tang Kai was unable to turn his body, so he twisted his neck around and said to w.a.n.g Tian, “Call for a doctor.”
Sun Zinan was sweating heavily, his face as white as paper. He asked in a weak, hoa.r.s.e voice, “How much did you hear?”
Sun Zinan said slowly, “We were arguing in the study. Did you hear all of it?”
“…I did.” Tang Kai felt a little embarra.s.sed, but he still replied honestly, “Starting from when your dad told you to get out.”
The hallway subtly quieted down.
Sun Zinan tried to recall the order of events, but his brain had completely been mashed into a mess. It took all his effort to retain a single clear line of logic, so he gave up on thinking about it and said directly, “That’s fine, saves me the effort from explaining again…we’re over, you should go home.”
There was a fragility in his voice, but every word was filled with fatality, striking the ground with holes.
Sun Ying and Secretary w.a.n.g were frantic to the point of wanting to pounce on him to cover his mouth. However, while it was not too bad discussing this behind Tang Kai’s back, it became awkward and embarra.s.sing when they had been exposed in front of him. Additionally, Sun Ying’s remark that Tang Kai was an ‘outsider’ had been heard by Tang Kai himself. Opening their mouths would only bring contempt upon themselves; there was nothing good that could come to fruition.
When Tang Kai heard Sun Zinan’s words, he gazed at him deeply.
Sun Zinan didn’t even look at him. He leaned back against the window, trying to calm himself with the icy coldness of the gla.s.s. His fingers dug forcefully at the windowsill, his veins showing. He was unaware of his own trembling.
“Say that again?”
“I said, from now on.” Sun Zinan was bathed in the soft, silky moonlight under the window, but the words he spoke were merciless. “The two of us have broken up.”