Chapter 237 - Hong Men Banquet [2 in 1]
Chapter 237: Hong Men Banquet [2 in 1]
Translator: Lonelytree Editor: Millman97
After dinner, Ye Shuang went to the balcony to get some fresh air. She happened to see Qiu Yu leave their neighborhood, and the boy whom had managed to get into the famed university from Block 2D was walking beside her. From the looks of it, he was accompanying Qiu Yu back to her hotel to protect her safety.
The child sure moves fast. He’s already made his move after finding out about the break up…
Ye Shuang had just seen the two shadows walk away from the residential area when she received a call from Xu Jian.
“I do not agree to the break up!” It was Wang Xueyu’s angered and urgent voice coming from Xu Jian’s phone. The voice was so loud that it felt like Ye Shuang had put the call on speaker phone. Mother and Father Ye, who were in the room, turned over to look with shocked expression on their faces. They were filled with disbelief. Who was breaking up? When did that happen? How come they did not hear anything about a relationship?
“…” Ye Shuang took a deep breath and gritted her teeth. “Mr. Wang, I understand how you feel, but it’s pointless for you to tell me this. It’s Miss Qiu who wants to break up with you, not me. Also, you can use your own phone to call me—there’s no reason to grab Xu Jian’s phone to contact me.”
“You’ve already blacklisted my phone number!” Wang Xueyu roared angrily.
Huh? Is that so? This… well, that does sound likely. Ye Shuang laughed drily. “That’s just a misunderstanding. I just have this habit of not answering unknown number… Cough! Let’s get back to the topic. Our responsibility for the case was to help you fool your mother, not to be concerned about the status of your relationship. Miss Qiu Yu wanting to break up with you is your relationship’s problem, and honestly, it has nothing to do with us.”
As she spoke, Ye Shuang moved away from the balcony and moved back to her room while avoiding the suspicious and inquisitive gazes from her parents. She closed the door and continued. “Mr. Wang, you have to be reasonable. Our responsibility doesn’t include preventing your break up, right? If you get married in the future, will the officers at the national registry department be responsible if you have a divorce? That doesn’t make sense, right? Things don’t work that way.”
After Ye Shuang gave her explanation, she heard several grunts of rough breathing coming from the other side. After a long time, Wang Xueyu’s suppressed voice began again. “I’m not calling to talk to you. Where is the Ye Shuang that came with me last time? Get him on the phone.”
Even though it was indeed Sister Shuang who had signed the contract with Wang Xueyu, it was Brother Shuang who had interacted with the man in person. Therefore, Wang Xueyu requested to find the person responsible to deal with this. At least it would have been easier for him to interrogate someone from the same sex.
“My partner is currently away. You can talk to me if you have any problems even though I think this technically doesn’t count as our problem.” Ye Shuang sighed. “Just be direct, what is the reason you’re calling us? We cannot possibly help you win your girlfriend back.”
Wang Xueyu was speechless. What was his reason for making this call? In reality, he really did not know why. Honestly, the reason he made that call was purely to vent—it was not for anything else.
“In… in any case! You have to answer to me somehow, right? Why would Xiao Yu suddenly propose a break up? It has to be because your people have failed at your job!” Wang Xueyu commented angrily.
“Mr. Wang…” Ye Shuang told herself to be patient and explained softly, “The content of our case is to work together with your request to come up with a believable socialite identity for Miss Qiu, right? I want to ask, has that identity been exposed?”
Well, it has not been exposed.
“Other than that, everything else is beyond our job scope. Be it your relationship problem or the problems that arose from your own family… Honestly, Mr. Wang, why do you think Miss Qiu wants to break up with you? Is it due to the fact that Mrs. Wang doesn’t like Miss Qiu?’
Wang Xueyu coughed. “For now, my mother doesn’t have any issue with Xiao Yu, but Xiao Yu has some issues with my mother…”
“Then, that should be easy.” Ye Shuang’s patience was wearing thin. “Mr. Wang, if you can convince Mrs. Wang to follow our instructions, we can help train her to become the quintessential good mother-in-law, one that will give Miss Qiu Yu nothing to complain about.”
That did return some rationality to Wang Xueyu. After he cursed in his heart, he tried to ask patiently, “Never mind those problem for now. I only have one question to ask. After Xiao Yu left your place, where has she been?”
University? That was possible, but the possibility of that was low. It was now internship season, and if Qiu Yu had found a spot for an internship in Shanghai, she would not have followed Wang Xueyu home. Internships were no different from officially starting work. Qiu Yu’s major was in translations. With her experience and familiarity with four foreign languages, the chance of her getting into an export-based company was quite high, but she was not familiar with that type of working tempo, so when she was sending out her resume, she had been targeting government departments.
Government departments had a more relaxed working environment, and the entry requirement was not as high as private companies. Qiu Yu did not have an impressive background and was not a local in Shanghai. Wang Xueyu’s family was not powerful enough to influence the people in Shanghai, so after some discussion, they had decided to compromise and try out their luck in other cities.
Qiu Yu’s family did not have any background, so they could be ignored. Wang Xueyu’s family was close to San Lin City, so the original plan was to send Qiu Yu to the government department in San Lin City.
Other people might had called this going the backend route, or overly reliant on background or connections. Then again, everyone in this world would bend their back for food, those who had power only needed to not bend that much.
Without food, without work, what was the use of keeping one’s principles? For example, those people from history that had their names recorded for progeny, if their families did not have the power to ensure that their names were recorded, they similarly would have been forgotten by time.
Therefore, after Qiu Yu left Wang Xueyu, Wang Xueyu had no way to confirm what her next move would be.
Ye Shuang hesitated. “Originally, Miss Qiu planned to return to school. After all, she has a dormitory back there to stay in…”
“Originally?” Wang Xueyu focused on the key word.
“Yes, but Miss Qiu ran into another classmate at San Lin City. The person is willing to use his connections to help her, so temporarily, Miss Qiu is staying in San Lin City…” Ye Shuang sighed as she revealed the truth. She saw no point in hiding this fact. Currently, Qiu Yu might be avoiding Wang Xueyu’s phone calls, but that did not mean that the two would not see each other in the future anymore. At most, in a few days, when school officially started, Wang Xueyu could just ask around and find out where Qiu Yu was staying. What was the point of dragging things out for a few days? In that case, she might as well end this tragedy as soon as possible.
“Another classmate… the f*ck, it’s that dude again!” Wang Xueyu exploded after a three-second silence. He seemed to have found his target. “Okay! I know what happened now. I’ll talk to you later.”
Wait, there’s no need for us to talk later… Ye Shuang wanted to say. Their working relationship was already over, so what did the personal relationship of the client have to do with her?
Way back when Zuo Yuanhang’s wife had been found to be cheating on him, the man did not drag them into the mess, but this was just a case of losing a girlfriend, so what was so important about that‽
After she hung up, Xu Jian’s call came not long after. This time, he did not have much to say. First, he reported that he had already gotten the signature on the letter. Second, he would need to take a train the next day to return to the city. Finally… before the holiday ended and he was required to report to work, Xu Jian wanted to make use of this time to have dinner with Ye Shuang.
Actually, Xu Jian only had half a month to come back for a holiday break. He only wanted to make use of this time to get together with Ye Shuang, but who would have thought that he would be dragged into such a complicated issue‽ His supposedly leisurely holiday was thus expended. If he did not even get the chance to have dinner with Ye Shuang before he left, it would have been totally pointless for him to return to San Lin City.
Ye Shuang nodded to what he had to say and then added, “Then, we shall meet up tomorrow afternoon. I do have something that I need to tell you.”
Something to tell me? What thing? Please, can you not tell me‽ Xu Jian was already not in a good mood, but once he heard that, his heart cracked. With a bad omen, he hesitated before opening his mouth to ask, “…Xiao Shuang, we do have a shared past together. Don’t you think it’s better if we part on the good terms and leave each other with a good memory?”
Could you not be so harsh, love‽ After the break up, they had not seen each other, and the reunion after such a long time led to him being cheated. He had sacrificed his car, apartment, and everything else… Fine, at the time, he was the one who had been cheating and swindling others, so this was karma, and he had nothing to say about it.
Then, during their second meeting, he had been dragged into some weird cases. His holiday was thus wasted on other people’s problems. Even though the salary was not bad… Fine, this could be counted at compensation, be it for the initial break up or the bad deed that he had done later. It could be counted as what he owed Ye Shuang, but he should have cleared that debt already.
And now you’re coming with yet another shot‽
Can you not do it again and again‽
Ye Shuang was also cornered. She sighed and said seriously, “That is not really my intention. I personally do not want to drag you into this problem, but your uncle… Anyway, you’ll find out about it at lunch tomorrow. It is just a small favor; I promise you’ll not be dragged too deep into it.”
Xu Jian felt like crying. Nowadays, he really had a hard time believing Ye Shuang’s promise. Times had changed, and people had changed along with it. His once first love had also been a girl of innocence and naivete. Back then, she had been embarrassed to get him to go out to dinner with her when he was playing with his dormitory mates, but now, grabbing other people and coming up with plots was something casual for her.
Ye Shuang returned to her apartment the next day. Since Xu Jian would arrive in San Lin City only around afternoon due to the train, Ye Shuang made use of the free morning to visit the prince with the broken arm. Mother Yao and Father Yao were not home. One was away at work while the other went off to find her friends to play mahjong. When Ye Shuang arrived, only the Yao siblings were home.
One was pulling backward… “No way, your arm is not recovered yet! It’s been less than two weeks; you cannot go out yet!”
One was pulling forward… “Sis, the thing that I broke is my arm, not my leg. Even death row inmates have the chance to roam the prison compound. You cannot lock me up at home forever!”
Sister Yao had a face of determination; Brother Yao had a face of agitation. Ye Shuang laughed when she saw this situation. She thanked the maid who led the way and then asked, “What is happening?”
Brother Yao and Sister Yao turned to look at the same time, and they were both stunned when they saw Ye Shuang. Yao Zhixing was the first one to recover. He made use of the chance to pull out the arm that was being held back and shuffled over in several steps. “Xiao Shuang is here… Hmm? Is there another soup today?”
Even though Sister Yao reacted slower, she sighed in relief when she heard that. She quickly mediated the situation as she called the maid to get the utensils. “Sister Ye, please come and have a seat. Brother, you need to sit down as well. We can talk about leaving after you finish your soup.”
Ye Shuang handed thermos to the maid who stood waiting by the side. She then walked forward with Yao Zhixing. “What was Brother Yao doing earlier? You want to escape from the house to play?”
Before Yao Zhixing could open his lips to answer, Sister Yao took up the thread of conversation. With a pouty face, she replied, “Yes, Sister Ye, you have to help me convince him. Even though he broke his arm, what if he runs into a door when he is outside? Furthermore, what is so fun outside? Big brother’s only sources of entertainment are car racing and drinking. Neither of these activities are good for his recovery, so how can I let him go?”
Even though Ye Shuang had left quite a strong impression on Sister Yao that she was a mafia boss, considering how she would often act in front of Yao Zhixing, Sister Yao weighed the options and felt like it was better if Ye Shuang could help her control and suppress her brother. It was better than allowing to man to fly all over the place.
Yao Zhixing glared at his sister with some impatience. He turned around to pull Ye Shuang over to be his ally when Ye Shuang opened her lips and came up with the plan for everyone. “This afternoon, I’m having lunch with a friend of mine… Brother Yao, do you remember Xu He? It’s his nephew. Would you like to come meet him with me?”
“Xu He?” Sister Yao looked at the two in confusion. Yao Zhixing thought about it before it hit him.
“The one who designed this whole shebang to injure me?”
Without any extra explanation, this introduction of the man’s identity was enough to make Sister Yao’s face change. She forgot to even put on her mask and subconsciously raised her voice to ask, “What is going on‽”
Ye Shuang looked at Sister Yao. “Things are quite complicated, and it’s hard to explain in a short amount of time. In any case, your big brother is one of the casualties. That Xu He comes from quite a powerful background.”
Sister Yao looked at Yao Zhixing and then at Ye Shuang. She hesitated and frowned before asking in a tone that suggested a compromise, “Do you have to go no matter what?”
“Why shouldn’t I go?” Yao Zhixing gritted his teeth. “I have to clear this account with the man. Does he think he can get away with it just because he does not have the intention to target me? By the way, what is up with that friend of yours?”
Ye Shuang pretended to cry and rub away the tears that were not there. She clutched her heart and said, “It’s my friend’s bad luck that he has such an uncle. At the time, he was too young to figure out the trap that his uncle was leading him into… Let’s not talk about that for now. We’ll discuss this further after we finish the soup.”
This time, no one had any issues. Even though Sister Yao was still quite worried, in front of official business, she would need to compromise. Furthermore, Ye Shuang promised that she would bring Yao Zhixing back without a scratch on his body. Factoring in the girl’s overwhelming physical prowess, Sister Yao thought about it and decided to let it be. This was better than locking Yao Zhixing up at home until he could not bear it anymore and silently snuck out on his own.
Therefore, after finishing thermos of soup, Yao Zhixing finally got his release. Sister Yao followed them to the door, and her face was filled with worry as she advised him constantly. “Big brother, your bones are still healing so remember to walk carefully on the road. Don’t knock into anything. It’ll be difficult to heal if the location of the bones moves.
“Sister Ye, please help me look after my brother. Don’t let him drive or touch any alcohol. Bring him back home after you’re done with the official business. Don’t let him wander off to meet up with the friends from his racing circle…”
There was one last step before he was going to leave the place, so naturally, Yao Zhixing would not say no. He mumbled a few words of agreement, but how much of the advice he was going to listen really depended on his mood.
The more Sister Yao looked at him, the more worried she became. It felt like she was releasing a dove back into the forest. The man had been cooped up for so many days—it would be weird if he did not play to the maximum of his ability. Therefore, she focused her attack on Ye Shuang, and her tears started to pour. “Sister Ye…”
“I know, I know…” Ye Shuang was feeling a headache as well. How long had it been since she had come across someone so soft? Even though she knew that Sister Yao was not as weak as she appeared, she had difficulty handling this appearance as well. Therefore, she quickly restated her promise and tapped her own chest to promise to Sister Yao. “I guarantee I will not bring your brother to meet the people from the racing team. I’ll drive the car, and I’ll fight the fight. Even walking on the road, I’ll hold his hand. I promise no one will have the chance to come close to Brother Yao’s arm. Even during lunch, I’ll order dishes that don’t have spices in them!”
“Okay, then I shall leave him in your hands.”
Finally saying goodbye to Sister Yao and getting on Ye Shuang’s car, both Yao Zhixing and Ye Shuang sighed in relief. Then, the two looked at one another and felt sorry for themselves. Ye Shuang started the engine and drove away from the Yao family’s home. She asked Yao Zhixing with pity, “Brother Yao, you have any place that you want to go to? We can go around the city before going to lunch. It is still quite early.”
It was rare that the criminal had the chance to leave the home, so of course, she was willing to let Yao Zhixing wander around the city before dragging him back home.
Yao Zhixing, who had always been a man of his word, tutted. “I’ve already promised her not to go out to loiter and drink. What other choice do I have?”
In today’s day and age, even though there were plenty of locations where they offered entertainment choices, since Yao Zhixing had promised his little sister that he would avoid activities that might harm his arm, naturally, he would not go against his promise. He could not go to places with too big a crowd or where the entertainment activity was too vigorous. Other than relatively silent activities like playing cards or movies, what other choices did he have?
“Never mind, just drive me around the city.” Yao Zhixing thought about it and felt quite depressed. “Go to the route that our racing people have booked. You race, and I’ll sit here. At least I’ll be able to live the rush vicariously.”
Therefore, Ye Shuang really did bring Yao Zhixing to the racing circuit. She had Yao Zhixing sit in the passenger seat to reminisce about the racing adrenaline. After that, Yao Zhixing only felt worse for him. How much fun could racing be when he was just sitting at the side? Especially when the person next to him was handling the steering wheel so elegantly, but he could only twiddle his fingers. After the comparison, the sadness and disappointment were not something that could be put in words.
“Brother Yao, don’t be like that. Just wait for another two weeks, and you can go back to the hospital. If the x-ray is fine, you’ll be able to remove the plaster. Then, you can play as much as you want.”
When they came back from the racing circuit in the mountains, Ye Shuang led Yao Zhixing to the restaurant at the mall that Ye Shuang had already booked. Yao Zhixing still looked so despondent, so Ye Shuang tried to console him. “Furthermore, quiet activities might not be worse than racing. If you’re that bored, how about I teach you how to read dice?”
“Thanks, but no thanks.” Yao Zhixing sighed. “If we’re playing dice, we need to call people, and if we’re calling people, then we need to go to KTV. If we’re going to KTV, then we need to drink… If you want me to watch other people, it’ll only make me feel worse.”
“But don’t you dislike drinking?” Ye Shuang asked with a smile.
Yao Zhixing glanced at her. “Dislike drinking doesn’t mean that I can’t drink. Sometimes, drinking is for the atmosphere. Everyone will drink in that environment. If I’m not allowed to drink, other people will be deprived of a choice. By the way, why didn’t you go to our restaurant for lunch? Haven’t I already given you a card‽”
Yao Zhixing was not the type to get down on himself. He would recover on his own after a while. As he spoke, he changed the topic. Ye Shuang sighed in relief. “Well, my friend’s uncle has come after you, right? It would be so weird going to your restaurant to talk about those things. Mainly, this is to avoid suspicion. If you share a table with my friend, it’s less conspicuous at other people’s restaurant.”
“What, are we 007?” Yao Zhixing joked. The two entered the private room and studied the menu. They made their order and waited for a while before Xu Jian’s phone came. After Ye Shuang gave the man the address for the restaurant, they waited for almost an hour before Xu Jian, who had been trapped in the after-work traffic jam, arrived at the restaurant.
Once he entered, Ye Shuang made the introduction. Xu Jian was naturally surprised. Yao Zhixing scratched his chin and had a contemplative expression on his face. “Xu Jian… No wonder I feel this name is so familiar. Isn’t this Alexander?”
Xu Jian had once attended quite a number of events at San Lin City. Using the An family’s company power, he did show up at upscale events many times. However, at the time, Xu Jian had shown himself mainly to brush up the gossip between him and An Zixuan. The representative for the Xi Hwa Organization was someone else, and the two did not have any open interaction, so no one really had the idea to link these two together.
After Xu Jian left San Lin City, his disappearance had naturally led to a dwindling in his focus. If Ye Shuang did not make the introduction that day, Yao Zhixing probably would not have any idea who this Xu Jian was.
“Xiao Shuang?” Xu Jian hesitated as he took the seat at the table. He looked at Yao Zhixing, whose arm was injured, and he had a hard time telling what was really happening.
Ye Shuang smiled and pointed at Yao Zhixing to Xu Jian. “This is the thing that I want to talk to you about. Brother Yao, I’ve already introduced you earlier. Prior to this, he was assaulted by a group of local gang members in the countryside. It was a gang of bikers. According to them, they were doing that on Uncle Da He’s order.”
Xu Jian felt like kneeling down right there and then. Even though he was already prepared after he heard the thing on the phone yesterday, he knew that this was going to be a Hong Men Banquet 1 , but as vibrant as his mind was, he could not have predicted that this banquet’s danger level would be so damn high.
Who did not know about Yao Zhixing! Xu Jian himself was a local from San Lin City, and when he returned from overseas as an elite to prepare to infiltrate the An family’s company, he had once been given a list of all the famed people within San Lin City. At that time, he had specifically been warned to stay away from Yao Zhixing.
The worst thing was, his uncle had rammed into the man and left like it had nothing to do with him. Therefore, the unfortunate nephew, who had already given up his past and decided to start a new life for himself, decided to come home to visit his family and friends at a time like this, and he just so happened to walk himself to the mouth of the gun.
Xu Jian felt like crying. “Xiao Shuang, please just explain everything at once. What is happening? Let me die knowing everything.”
Ye Shuang nodded and asked with a smile, “Before that, I have something else to ask… Xu Jian, do you know what kind of business your uncle is in?”
Isn’t he the local manager for the Xi Hwa Organization? Xu Jian suddenly had a very bad feeling.