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Translator: Lonelytree Editor: Millman97
Actually, at that time, no one really had the luxury of time to check whether Brother Shuang's expression was authentic or not. Madam Grace was shot and carried a long distance away by Cedrick. To avoid having their bodies exposed to the sight of the sniper, they had to keep searching for cover while they moved. After the many high difficulty postures that placed an additional demand on the synchronization of one's muscles and body, it naturally worsened the injury that she had already suffered.
The mention of Madam Grace's body weight by Cedrick was not to purposely find trouble or to mock her, but it was because the young man was really lacking in strength. Even though it might appear ridiculously easy for the male main characters in movies to lift the female character into his arms, it was not that easy in real life. With a body hanging heavily on two extended arms, the arms of the one carrying the weight were even bent and hanging in the air, which created a problem where it was difficult for said person to apply his strength… Cedrick's small frame was not an issue normally because he was in the business where technique was more important than brute force. The many cases that he had been involved with in the past were done thanks to his brilliance and cunning. Therefore, when it came to this situation where strength was required, he found it difficult to step up to the plate.
In reality, even Cedrick himself thought the fact that he could carry such a heavy woman for this distance was already a miracle in and of itself.
“You're finally here!” Therefore, one could imagine how happy Cedrick was when he saw Brother Shuang arrive. He had not only been using his strength but also his mind. Cedrick had calculated the three-dimensional terrain of the small café who knew how many times already and worked through how many routes and corners before he was able to carry Madam Grace to seek cover behind the cashier counter.
By then, the café was a horrible mess. Honestly, the sniper did not break that many things with their shots, but the screaming costumers that followed created most of the mess that surrounded them. They toppled over the tables and sent the utensils flying.
He wiped away the sweat that was flowing down his head. Feeling like the sniping was finally over, along with the face that there were people who were running in from the front door and all the doors and curtains were pulled shut, Cedrick finally gained the courage to poke his head out from behind the counter. He called after Ye Shuang and the bodyguard who just arrived at the scene. “Ye and… that African American man, please call the ambulance.”
“Are you sure?” Ye Shuang asked Cedrick, but her eyes were turned to Edward, who had the acting buff on as well. “This is a gun wound, so I believe that Madam Grace won't want to go to the hospital to have the records taken.”
Going to the hospital meant leaving behind a case file with the law enforcement. Later, once the truth like the type of bullets and reasons for being sniped surfaced, even if Madam Grace wanted to let the things go, things would not be that easy. In contrast, if they called a private doctor to handle this, there were many excuses that they could use when the police arrived to take their statement. A group of lawyers and the employees from the emba.s.sy were the most hated existence in the world for the police. As long as they did not have the necessary evidence, Madam Grace could choose to not answer most of the sensitive questions.
Most importantly, once Madam Grace's personal physician showed themself, then she would have the chance to trace Madam Grace's hidden influence in Feng Yuan City. Even though that was information that Edward already knew, Ye Shuang did not think that the man would honestly share it with her.
Once Ye Shuang said those words, she turned to look at the loyal ‘Tess' walk behind the counter and expressionlessly carry Madam Grace out. Even though the latter had lost a great amount of blood and had suffered through a lot, she still had not fainted over. She sucked in a cold breath in the arms of ‘Tess' and forced the following out of her lips.
“I have a personal doctor.”
She did not have the additional rationality or brainpower to defuse the content of Ye Shuang words. For example, was the statement “This is a gun wound, so I believe that Madam Grace won't want to go to the hospital to have the records taken” something that Brother Shuang had said based on his understanding of Madam Grace's personality, or had he understood something that he should not have‽
Normally, with Madam Grace's brilliance, she definitely would have paid more attention and have more suspicion toward this detail.
As the caring and loving little boy who reached out to help his biological mother at first notice, Cedrick felt awkward under Ye Shuang's mocking scrutiny. He was not only feeling awkward but also quite embarra.s.sed.
To maintain his own principles, and to not leave behind the sad typical impression of an abandoned child desperate for love, Cedrick could only pretend to be calm and brush the dust off his shoulders. “I just… Erm, happened to be around to lend a hand. After all, at the time, since I was just next to Madam Grace, I was caught in the same amount of danger, so it was more reasonable for us to escape together… Erm, you know what I mean, right?”
“I know, I know.” Brother Shuang released a long sigh and patted Cedrick on his shoulder. She looked into the man's highly antic.i.p.atory eyes and said, “It is merely a choice that was made by your subconscious. There is no reason for you to feel ashamed of it.”
“You don't know anything!” Cedrick exploded. “Get away from me!”
Once Madam Grace was sent back to her private villa for the surgery, the next second, the police arrived at her home to pay her a visit. They wished to get to know the process of the whole crime and wished that Madam Grace would cooperate with them to provide some statements.
In a country like China where guns were seriously banned, cases that had the involvement of firearms were naturally big cases, especially sniping and a.s.sa.s.sination attempts, which were extremely rare. It was not only related to the case itself; even the channel through which the snipers got their firearms was a big enough reason for the police to pay the incident serious attention. However, just as Ye Shuang predicted, Madam Grace would definitely not quietly and obediently cooperate with the investigation.
Before she exited the surgery room, the lawyers who arrived at the villa at the same time as the doctor already stood waiting. Using the law of the country and Madam Grace's ident.i.ty as a foreigner, the wall of lawyers refused to budge and forced the police officers to stay outside the building… With Madam Grace's current physical condition and the lawyers that she had hired to fix the loopholes, to pretend that she had fainted was something incredibly easy.
The police officers left unwillingly. All they could do was return to the crime scene to inspect it. Unfortunately, no matter how they searched the crime scene, it was hard to reconstruct the reality that someone had been sniped there because the evidence that they could find did not provide them with an actual trail.
“As a law-abiding citizen, I should not have allowed you two broken oranges to wander free in my beloved country.” Ye Shuang sighed. She stood on the second floor, watching the despondent troop of police officers retreat, and she could not help but feel a little bit awkward.
Cedrick pouted. “Then what do you plan to do? I hate such people who only knew how to create endless problem for others, but at the key moment… like when someone needed to be captured… they were completely useless. At most, they could detain the supposed suspects for a few day before letting them go. These are nothing but thieves of the good citizen's tax money!”
“Well, there will be the times when they make actual arrests. In any case, at least their spirit is in the right place. They cannot just throw people into jail without evidence, right?” Ye Shuang said confidently.
Cedrick frowned as he turned to look at Brother Shuang. “I'm surprised that you're so filled with justice.”
“It's mainly because I am in the presence of someone who wanders outside the jurisdiction of law and was dragged to align myself with them, so I feel additionally uncomfortable.” Ye Shuang shrugged and walked away from the window to plant herself on the sofa. She poured herself a gla.s.s of water. “But then again, Cedrick, I'm really surprised that you would volunteer to go and save Madam Grace.”
Based on Ye Shuang's understanding and prediction, Cedrick's feelings toward his family should have turned from desire and antic.i.p.ation to disappointment and hatred. He wished desperately initially to have a reunion with his family, but he would be equally despaired after finding out the truth.
Under such circ.u.mstances, even if he did not want to take direct revenge and dedicate the rest of his life to creating trouble for his biological mother, at least he would look at her demise coldly from afar. When something bad happened to the woman, he would rejoice and tell himself that it was the work of karma… Before the incident that happened that day, at least that was the impression that Cedrick had given Ye Shuang.
“So, blood really is thicker than water. I initially really did not expect you will be someone who is so kind and sentimental.” Ye Shuang made a conclusion in her disbelief. She looked at Cedrick and felt like she needed to rea.s.sess the young man.
Cedrick naturally had his issues with Ye Shuang's statement. When he heard what Ye Shuang had to say, he made a disgusted expression like it was a body reflex. “You mean I still care about her? Don't make me laugh!”
Yes, it is this tone! It is this att.i.tude! Earlier because of how determined the man's att.i.tude was, Ye Shuang came to the conclusion that Cedrick did not carry any kind thoughts toward Madam Grace, but reality told her that it might be the complete opposite.
Ye Shuang thought about it for a long time before expressing her thought in Chinese. “So, the body is more honest than the mouth…”
“Huh?” Cedrick could not understand Chinese, much less one that was steeped in internet culture.
Ye Shuang smiled wickedly and was about to provide a detailed explanation to the man when ‘Tess' happened to open the door from outside and walk in. “Mr. Ye Shuang, Mr. Cedrick, Madam wishes for me to arrange the guest room for you. Please come with me.”
“There's no need for that, I'll go back to my hotel.” Cedrick was the first to reject the man's kindness. Ye Shuang did not volunteer anything because she knew that there was something more than that.
As she expected, ‘Tess' looked at Cedrick calmly, and he continued to open his lips and said in a toneless manner, “Mr. Cedrick, you were inside the café at the time. Even though there were no cameras in the area, but I believe that the police will be able to get some accounts from the other witnesses… Furthermore, you're quite famous in the circle, and combined with the case that just happened not long ago, under all these conditions, you still insist on going back to the hotel? Now, when the police might show up to ask you questions at any time?”
Cedrick, who was in the middle of leaving, paused. He cursed under his breath and turned around with a dissatisfied scowl. “Fine, I'll stay!”
‘Tess' nodded and turned to look at Ye Shuang. Brother Shuang shrugged and said like it did not bother him at all, “I guess I'll stay, too.”
His face was too easily recognizable. Even though he was not a foreigner, he was as recognizable as one. “But only for now. Tomorrow, my friend will help me find a lawyer to explain the whole situation.”
Brother Han was so good at his work that he would probably be able to negotiate a deal within one night. And if that failed, at most, she would switch her gender to lay low for a while, or else Ye Shuang would suffer from the risk of having her secret exposed even if she moved into Madam Grace's place… Unless she was willing to kiss the only female there.
The large African American man helped the two guests settle down in their rooms, and the rest of their living amenities were handled by the other bodyguards.
Madam Grace's anesthetic wore off after two hours. After she regained her consciousness, even though she could not immediately jump into the investigation to deal with the after effect, she could handle some simple things.
When Madam Grace woke up, ‘Tess' was already by her side. Seeing her loyal follower, Madam Grace appeared rather detached. “Go and investigate this incident.”
The African American nodded, signaling that he would get to the truth.
After giving that order, Madam Grace appeared to stop caring about the details, and she did not worry whether her people would find out the truth or not. Instead, she breathed out a long sigh, and a deep frown was etched on her face as she tried to move her body. ‘Tess' moved forward silently to help nudge Madam Grace's body and to ma.s.sage her taut muscles.
The frown on Madam Grace's face slowly started to unwind. After she felt much better, she opened her mouth slowly. The first thing out of her mouth was not about Ye Shuang, whom she had been caring about, but about Cedrick who surprised her greatly during this incident. “That thief… who do you think he really is?”
Cedrick's earlier performance was too surprising. At the time, due to the dangerous situation, Madam Grace did not have the time to distract herself with thinking, but now that the danger had pa.s.sed, the problems from before naturally resurfaced in her mind.
“The anger and hatred that he showed when he accused me were real; I can discern that much, but if that was the case, why did he choose to help me?” Instead of asking a question, it was more like Madam Grace was talking to herself. She did not expect her expressionless underling to be able to provide her with the answer, so she was merely subconsciously rearranging the information in her mind. “Purposely getting close to Ye and then becoming angry once I openly threatened him… At the time, I thought his reaction was extremely weird like he was insulted or greatly disappointed…”
An answer seemed to threaten to appear in her mind. Madam Grace frowned, and her voice gradually softened. She repeated the many things that she thought were conflicting in her mind again and again.
“Getting close to Ye Shuang but not to steal anything…
“Has the intention to communicate with me and currently I have no idea why…
“Treat me with both hatred and selflessness…
“Wanting to get close but at the same time, push away…”
Madam Grace mumbled to herself for a long time, and she suddenly frowned after a momentary silence and blurted out, “Could it be that he's in love with me?”
‘Tess' was startled, and his action froze for a second. The lips under the cover of his mask could not help but twitch. The prediction and a.n.a.lysis at the beginning were correct, but what is going on with the sudden conclusion?
“Yes, it must be love!” Madam Grace seemed to have landed on an answer that she was satisfied with, but at the same time, she had a hard time believing it. “Other than this reason, I don't think there is other reason for him to be acting so conflicted around me.”
There is also the possibility of a heartless mother and a conflicted son.
Ye Shuang held her hand over the door for half a second and was unsure whether she should knock on the door to make a visit or not. She happened to walk by and wanted to see if Edward was free or not. If Madam Grace was still unconscious, then she could openly call the man out and try to get more information using the pretext that she wanted to ask him about Madam Grace's injury.
But the plot suddenly developed so fast.
It was not that big of a deal that Madam Grace had woken up, but the scary thing was, the woman had managed to come up with such an impossible conclusion from Cedrick's contradictory performance…
No, wait! If just reviewing this from the pure angle of ‘love', actually love between family could be considered a type of love.
Ye Shuang was hesitating when Cedrick, who walked out from his room to get a gla.s.s of whiskey for himself, walked past her. He poked his head her way and asked, “What are you doing here? Let's go for a drink.”
He was in a very foul mood, his brain was a horrible mess, and he desperately needed alcohol to help salvage his fragile nerves. Madam Grace was very sensitive. Once she heard the commotion outside the door, she raised her eyes to look at ‘Tess'.
Even though the latter was hesitant, he could not go against his persona. So, he used a lack of expression to show his obedience and walked to the door to open it. Therefore, Ye Shuang and Cedrick, who crowded the door, fell into Madam Grace's eyes.
It was fine for Ye Shuang—she showed simple concern and politeness—but Cedrick was not that good at acting. Madam Grace could see discern the flaws in his reaction. After the initial shock, the man started to become uncomfortable. His brows were locked in a show of disgust and hatred, but subconsciously, he kept trying to inspect Madam Grace's injury. Therefore, the status that he showed once again silently approved of Madam Grace's suspicion.
Is it due to jealousy?
Because she was in love with another handsome man, he was so dastardly toward her, but since he could not help but love her, did he subconsciously care about her injury?
Madam Grace had been through many things in her life, and she naturally had a good understanding of other people's emotional reactions. Furthermore, she had crossed paths with different types of people before, and even though she could not say that she had absolute confidence that she could guess other people's personality and inner thoughts, it was not an exaggeration to say that she would be eighty percent correct.
Even though she was surprised that Cedrick would be so loyally in love with such an old lady, it did not take long for Madam Grace to accept this preset.
She looked at Cedrick with complicated emotions. From her lovers or her former four ex-husbands, she had not experienced this kind of selfless love before, and Madam Grace was caught in a conundrum.
The man's face is at most only normal, even though I guess I can get used to it.
Without ambition means no future, but just focusing on the ability, he is not so bad. But to give up a whole forest for a tree is a bit of waste, but then again, nowadays, everything is the same after turning off the light. The difference in age is an issue though because if the man desires a next generation, I might not be able to provide that…
Without realizing it, Madam Grace had allowed her mind to wander too far. It was not until ‘Tess' took the seat again next to her and ma.s.saged her shoulders that Madam Grace tuned back to real life. She signaled for ‘Tess' to help her get up, and after having two pillows placed behind her back, she nodded at Ye Shuang and Cedrick. “Did you come to visit me? There's no need to worry about me. I'm fine. Please take a seat.”
“Humph! I just came out to grab some alcohol to drink!” Cedrick shot back on reflex. He thought that this would lead to another argument, but this time, Madam Grace did not rise to take his bait. In reality, the woman only looked at him calmly and used a type of gaze that seemed to say “I've seen through everything” to scan the man before turning to her side and telling ‘Tess' like this was a casual order, “I remember there are several bottles of aged red win in the wine closet. Why don't you take it out to serve Mr. Cedrick during dinner?”
‘Tess' hesitated for a moment before hurriedly standing up, nodding, and leaving… The wine mentioned by Madam Grace was not the bottles that were placed outside for show. The bottles that she mentioned were locked inside a wooden cupboard inside the cellar.
Cedrick was stunned and looked at ‘Tess' walk past him with dumb blankness. He had a hard time getting used to this peaceful atmosphere. Where was the promised love and war? Weren't they supposed to hate each other? Was it because he had saved her life earlier and that was why she was being so polite toward him? But that did not seem likely. With someone as arrogant as Madam Grace, she did not look like the type who would be nice to others simply because they had done her a favor, even if the favor was as big as saving her life…
Cedrick was instantly caught in a conflict, but Ye Shuang understood everything easily. This was probably the kind of tolerance a female would give someone ‘who would give up his life and soul in the name of love'. All negative att.i.tudes had a reason behind them—every scowl and every frown was hiding the hidden love.
Since you love me that much, then I shall be kind enough to tolerate your unreasonable temper…
That was probably what Madam Grace was thinking.
Ye Shuang's facial features were scrunched together. She did not dare to imagine how Cedrick would react once he found out Madam Grace's real thought… No, if Madam Grace stated it openly to Cedrick, what would Cedrick think?
Madam Grace did intend to lay it open with Cedrick, but since the man did not bring it up, she would not dare to start the conversation lest she made the man uncomfortable.
Furthermore, there was the incredibly handsome Brother Shuang standing right there. As true as Cedrick's love was, Madam Grace thought that she needed to give it a second thought. No one said that she had to surrender her body to repay someone who saved her life, right? Furthermore, for someone who loved her so deeply and purely, she knew that he would not be able to accept her current relationship… So, if she really accepted it, then did that mean that she would have to close down her harem?
That was a very big problem!
Therefore, Madam Grace cleared her throat and used a casual tone to maintain the current atmosphere. “Cedrick, I thank you deeply for your help today. If you need any help from me in the future, I will be willing to provide the support in any way that I can.”
Brother Shuang's brows rose; this meant that she intended to keep things ambiguous between them.
Cedrick flashed a fake smile and said, “What kind of situation will I run into where I will need Madam's help? I know the type of person you are, and you know the type of person I am—I think it is for the best that we do not meet each other in the future anymore.”
This meeting was the worst decision that he had ever made. After his initial urge was cut off by the a.s.sa.s.sination, Cedrick had lost all intention to reveal his real ident.i.ty to Madam Grace. So what if he did? The woman did not seem to care at all, and she did not even realize that she might have a son out there in the world. Even if he came back with a DNA report to prove his validity, Madam Grace probably would not have cared much about a son that seemed to pop up from nowhere.
Thinking about that, Cedrick felt so stupid for the thoughts that he had earlier. Why did he insist on staying back for closure? He had known about Madam Grace's cold-bloodedness from the beginning, so why did he insist on running himself into the wall?
Instantly, Cedrick was gripped by devastation. He put the wine gla.s.s down, losing the will to even drink. He turned to walk back to his room, to drown in his misery.
Madam Grace frowned and called after him subconsciously. “Wait.”