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Shen Jiayang’s family lived on North Street in Jiang Ping County. North Street was a new street built in North Street two years ago. The entire street was wide, clean, and lively. Although it was late afternoon, the street was still lively with people.
Cui Dingchen had to slow down as he cruised on the paved road. He turned two corners and stopped at a small courtyard.
The gate of the small courtyard wasn’t closed. Looking inside, you could see three single story houses with the courtyard in the middle. There were also seasonal flowers and other plants planted in the courtyard. Everything looked very peaceful.
This was Shen Jiayang’s home.
Pulling over and stopping the car, Cui Dingchen stepped down and walked up to the small courtyard. Before he entered, a woman walked out.
The woman wasn’t tall. Her hair was gray, but her complexion was good. She had pleasant features and looked very similar to Shen Jiayang. This was Shen Jiayang’s mother, Mother Shen.
Seeing Cui Dingchen appear, Mother Shen was stunned at first, then greeted her with a smiling face, “Dingchen, you’re here.”
Cui Dingchen nodded, “Good afternoon, Auntie Shen.”
“Good, good. Quickly come inside and sit. You haven’t been over in a long time. Jiayang said that you’ve been busy and even more busy. You should make sure to rest as well.”
Mother Shen was very enthusiastic as she invited Cui Dingchen inside the courtyard and asked Cui Dingchen about his recent life. However, Cui Dingchen didn’t look back but directly asked, “Auntie Shen, is Shen Jiayang at home?”
“No, he went to a class reunion,” Mother Shen replied.
Cui Dingchen asked, “When will he get back?”
Mother Shen had an apologetic expression. “I’m not sure. But before he left, he said that he would be back for dinner.”
Cui Dingchen took the initiative and said, “Then I’ll wait for him here.”
Mother Shen smiled and said, “Sure, you can wait in his room. I’ll go pour you a cup of tea.”
Cui Dingchen nodded. “I’ll be troubling you, Auntie Shen.”
Mother Shen specially went to the main hall to make a pot of good tea for Cui Dingchen. After exchanging a few pleasantries with Cui Dingchen, she returned to the courtyard to sew shoe soles.
Cui Dingchen sat alone in Shen Jiayang’s room. Shen Jiayang’s room was clean and tidy. The desk, bookcase, and wardrobe were all neat. Logically speaking, this suited Cui Dingchen the best.
However, he couldn’t help but think of Xu Zhao’s room. In Xu Zhao’s room, besides the several stacks of books, there were also a bunch of children’s products, toy cars, toy guns and whatnot, milk powder, milk bottles, comic books, and other stuff. Sometimes everything would be messed up by Xu Fan, making the entire room look chaotic.
However, he inexplicably felt that Xu Zhao’s room had a sense of intimacy, which made him like it very much. And right now, he could only sit inside Shen Jiayang’s room and wait for Shen Jiayang.
He drank tea and waited. He waited for over an hour and Shen Jiayang still hadn’t returned. However, Cui Dingchen had no intention of leaving. He continued to sit at Shen Jiayang’s desk and wait while thinking.
During this period, Mother Shen came over a few times to chat. Cui Dingchen’s replies were very cold and seemed like he had no intention of leaving, making it so that Mother Shen could only mutter in her heart. She absentmindedly walked back to the courtyard and picked up the sole again. She originally wanted to visit someone else, but now she could only sit in the courtyard and wait with Cui Dingchen for Shen Jiayang.
Another hour passed.
The sound of footsteps finally came from outside the courtyard. When Cui Dingchen looked out the window, he saw Mother Shen rushing to Shen Jiayang and whispering a few words into Shen Jiayang’s ear. What she whispered, Cui Dingchen didn’t know, but he could see that Shen Jiayang’s face immediately tensed. He saw that he was also looking in this direction.
Cui Dingchen quickly withdrew his gaze and pretended to be relaxed. He lowered his gaze to stare at the books on the table until Shen Jiayang walked in.
“Dingchen,” Shen Jiayang called out.
Cui Dingchen slowly raised his gaze to Shen Jiayang but didn’t speak.
Shen Jiayang forced out a smile. “Dingchen, you’re here.”
Cui Dingchen still didn’t speak. His eyes stared at Shen Jiayang without any emotion, which made Shen Jiayang’s heart itch, but he still put on a smile and pretended to act normal. He walked to the desk, poured tea for Cui Dingchen and said, “Dingchen, did you drop by on the way again? I’m very happy. Just in—”
“It wasn’t on the way, I came to find you,” Cui Dingchen finally spoke.
I came to find you—
This should have been a very happy matter, but Shen Jiayang was apprehensive because of Mother Shen’s sentence of “Cui Dingchen has been waiting for you for two hours.” After knowing Cui Dingchen for six years, he knew that Cui Dingchen was someone who valued time and never wasted a single minute on someone, let alone two hours. Even if he was “in love” with him, Cui Dingchen wouldn’t have waited that long.
What happened now?
Was it for something important?
Shen Jiayang was panicking in his heart, but his face was still elegant. He even pretended to ask with a hint of joy, “Why are you looking for me?”
Cui Dingchen fixed his gaze at Shen Jiayang and asked instead, “You really don’t know why?”
Shen Jiayang’s heart felt weak. His brain was moving a thousand miles a second. The more he thought about it, the weaker he felt. Then he heard Cui Dingchen’s soft voice, “It’s been too long, so you don’t remember anymore, right? Should I remind you?”
Shen Jiayang looked back at Cui Dingchen. Cui Dingchen looked calm, but he felt a sense of oppression that he’d never felt before. He was suddenly confused and stammered, “I-I don’t know what y-you’re talking about.”
Cui Dingchen gently let out an ironic “heh”, causing Shen Jiayang’s face to change slightly. This change didn’t escape Cui Dingchen’s sharp eyes. Cui Dingchen took advantage of the situation and asked, “I wonder if you dare substituting?”
It really was about that matter!
Shen Jiayang’s expression drastically changed in an instant. He looked at Cui Dingchen in disbelief.
Cui Dingchen directly looked at Shen Jiayang. His eyes were filled with anger as he cut to the chase and brought out the truth of the matter, “Did you not know about what happened five years ago? Did you not know that you’re not him? Did you not know about that child’s existence? Did you really not know?”
What happened five years ago—
You’re not him—
Cui Dingchen knew it all! How did Cui Dingchen find out? It was Xu Zhao! Xu Zhao must have told him! He knew that meeting Xu Zhao wouldn’t be good!
Shen Jiayang was so shocked his legs went soft. He was unsteady and directly hit the wooden door, making a “bang” noise. He quickly stretched out his hand to hold the door frame and steady himself. After calming down for a moment, he slowly raised his gaze to look at Cui Dingchen. He looked dazed as he said, “I-I-I don’t know what you’re talking—”
“Really? Then you can continue to pretend,” Cui Dingchen interrupted Shen Jiayang’s words, disappointed. He stood and walked toward the door. He lifted open the door curtain and paused. Slightly tilting his head, cold light flashed through his eyes. “It doesn’t matter if you admit it or not. I’m here to tell you that how good I treated you in the past is how bad I’ll treat you in the future.”
How good I treated you in the past is how bad I’ll treat you in the future—
Shen Jiayang was suddenly calm. He knew how good Cui Dingchen had been toward him in the past. Good enough to take him to school. Good enough to settle his family’s troubles. Good enough to sponsor him to go to school. Good enough to buy this house for him…Then how badly would he treat him in the future?”
How bad would it be in the future?
Cui Dingchen was able to obtain his position as a rich man because he experienced cruelty, darkness, blood, violence, and even more terrible things that were unimaginable to ordinary people. He still remembered the murderous appearance Cui Dingchen had as he arrogantly held a steel pipe to fight gangsters five years ago.
It was terrifying!
Shen Jiayang couldn’t help but shiver. In what seemed like a second later, he grabbed Cui Dingchen’s arm and quickly said, “Dingchen, I didn’t do it on purpose. I didn’t do it on purpose.”
There really was something behind this matter!
Cui Dingchen’s heart jumped, but his face didn’t show anything. He impatiently said, “You don’t need to tell me this.”
The more he didn’t let Shen Jiayang speak, the more anxious Shen Jiayang became. He gripped Cui Dingchen’s arm tighter and anxiously said, “I really didn’t do it on purpose. I really do like you. I like you. When I first saw you six years ago, I already started liking you. It took me a year to find you.”
“But you didn’t notice me at all. I chased you so much that even your good bro noticed me, but you never knew that I existed.”
“So you guys teamed up to trap me?” Cui Dingchen asked, displeased.
“No! I didn’t!” Shen Jiayang let out his voice and pushed all the blame to Cui Dingchen’s bro. “It was your bro. He said he was going to do something and for me to wait in the room for you. In the end, he went to the wrong room and dragged you to Xu Zhao’s room. It’s all his fault. He tricked me. He tricked the both of us!”
Cui Dingchen didn’t listen to Shen Jiayang’s excuses. His brain was full of thoughts of how he was helped to Xu Zhao’s room.
It really was Xu Zhao!
It really was Xu Zhao!!
The man he slept with five years ago was Xu Zhao!
Then that meant Xu Fan was… Was his! Cui Dingchen suddenly remembered what Mother Cui had said. She said that Xu Fan looked like him. He was clingy just like he was as a child. He was picky, loved to talk, and was a late-bloomer like he was.
It was the same. All the same… In an instant, Cui Dingchen’s mind and body seemed to have received a great impact. His body stumbled backwards and uncontrollably, making him almost fall.
This behavior attracted Shen Jiayang’s attention. Shen Jiayang looked at Cui Dingchen with a face full of shock. He instantly understood that Cui Dingchen…Cui Dingchen had tricked him!
That was right! Cui Dingchen had tricked him!
In fact, Cui Dingchen hadn’t known anything. He was bullshitting from the start. Since he was scared and timid, he hadn’t noticed Cui Dingchen’s abnormal attitude at all and told him everything that had happened five years ago!
He told him everything!
In an instant, Shen Jiayang’s face turned blue for a bit. His brain was chaotic, but there was an intense thought in his mind. The thought was to explain everything or else it was all over. Everything would be over.
He grabbed Cui Dingchen’s arm even harder with an anxious expression. He incoherently said, “Dingchen, it’s not like that. It’s not like that. That day, the room you entered was mine. The one who entered Xu Zhao’s room was Qi Shuai. That child…That child named Xu Fan is Qi Shuai’s child. Dingchen, Dingchen…”
Cui Dingchen slowly recovered from the huge shock. His wandering gaze gradually became focused as he looked straight at Shen Jiayang.
Shen Jiayang shouted with a miserable expression, “Dingchen. It’s not Xu Zhao. It’s me. Me.”
Cui Dingchen looked at Shen Jiayang for a moment before spitting out, “Get lost.”