Chapter 252 – Following One’s Heart
The scent of autumn grew stronger. The distant mountains had already been tinged with a fiery red, appearing thick as if a layer of rosy clouds draped over them.
Chen Li woke up unusually early today, perhaps due to a restless night. He had awakened several times, checked the sky outside, and then closed his eyes to sleep again.
It was already deep into autumn, and the nights had grown longer. At around six in the morning, faint light trickled in through the curtain’s crevices, signaling the break of dawn.
Upon seeing this streak of light, Chen Li found it impossible to fall back asleep. He swiftly got up from the bed. His restless night had affected Wei Chen’s sleep as well. Wei Chen’s slumber had become shallow due to Chen Li’s uneasy nights. Whenever Chen Li made the slightest movement, Wei Chen would immediately wake up to check on Chen Li. Once he confirmed that Chen Li was fine, Wei Chen would go back to sleep.
So, when Chen Li woke up at this moment, naturally, Wei Chen also woke up.
He watched Chen Li head to the bathroom, and Wei Chen, in turn, got out of bed and joined him in the bathroom, embracing Chen Li from behind as he stared into the mirror, lost in thought.
“Li Li, good morning,” Wei Chen lightly kissed Chen Li’s ear, his morning voice slightly hoarse.
“Morning,” Chen Li replied, leaning on Wei Chen for support.
“What are you thinking about?” Wei Chen nuzzled Chen Li’s neck, asking.
“I’m thinking about my biological father,” Chen Li confessed openly to Wei Chen.
“And then what? Are you not ready to meet him yet?” Wei Chen inquired.
Chen Li shook his head. “No, it’s just that I’m worried…”
“Worried about what?” Wei Chen interjected.
“Worried that he won’t like me.”
Wei Chen reached out and ruffled Chen Li’s hair. “Perhaps he’s also worried that you won’t like him?”
“Really?” Chen Li tilted his head, looking at Wei Chen with a puzzled expression.
Wei Chen nodded. “Yes, and with how great you are, Li Li, how could anyone not like you?”
Chen Li finally smiled faintly at this reassurance.
Q University Affiliated Hospital.
After settling Chen Yunlan’s hospital fees, Zhuge Yu went to a small shop outside the hospital to get some porridge for Chen Yunlan before returning to his hospital room.
Chen Yunlan was already awake, gazing out of the window, lost in thought.
When he was brought in on the ambulance yesterday, he had passed out, and after a medical examination, there were no major health issues, just a host of minor ones. Zhuge Yu, looking at the medical report, sighed helplessly. This fellow had never taken proper care of himself all these years.
Zhuge Yu brought in the porridge and said, “Chen Yunlan, have some porridge first.”
Chen Yunlan finally turned his head, nodded, and said, “Okay.” His complexion remained very pale, and he looked rather unwell.
“I just received a call from Wei Chen. He said he’ll bring Chen Li to visit you later,” Zhuge Yu said. Not liking the lifeless look in Chen Yunlan’s eyes, he mentioned Chen Li, hoping to stir Chen Yunlan back to life.
Upon hearing the two words “Chen Li,” Chen Yunlan’s eyes instantly lit up. He looked at Zhuge Yu and asked, “Chen Li is coming? He knows about this?”
Zhuge Yu shook his head, “I’m not sure if Wei Chen has told Chen Li about your situation.”
Chen Yunlan didn’t lose hope. As long as he could see Chen Li, he would be content. Despite what he had said yesterday, the thoughts from yesterday still lingered in his mind. Yet, before facing off with the Chen family, if he could see Chen Li a few more times, he felt it would be the happiest thing. Even though he had a severe cold and had no appetite, the porridge Zhuge Yu had prepared for him tasted incredibly sweet and fragrant.
Half an hour later, Wei Chen arrived at Q Hospital with Chen Li.
However, at the hospital entrance, Chen Li paused.
Wei Chen looked at him, and Chen Li gazed back.
“If you’re not ready, we don’t have to meet for now,” Wei Chen suggested, not wanting to force Chen Li.
Chen Li shook his head. “It’s fine.” Then, he took a deep breath, took a step forward, holding Wei Chen’s hand, gripping it tighter.
Wei Chen followed Chen Li into the hospital and guided him to Chen Yunlan’s ward.
The door to the ward was slightly ajar, and inside, it was quiet, with no sound at all.
Wei Chen knocked on the door, and Chen Yunlan’s slightly hoarse voice responded, “Come in.”
Wei Chen pushed the door open and led Chen Li inside.
Perhaps due to nerves, Chen Li kept his head down, staring at his toes, walking into the room hesitantly.
The term “biological father” was very unfamiliar to Chen Li. Even the words “father” had been meaningless in Chen Li’s life for over twenty years.
However, when Chen Li heard those four words from Wei Chen the day before, an inexplicable surge of warmth flowed in his heart, overwhelming him entirely.
A strong voice inside him urged, ‘Go meet him! Meet your biological father!’
But at the same time, there was resistance, and even Chen Li himself didn’t know why he resisted.
In the end, the desire overcame the resistance, and Chen Li asked Wei Chen to bring him to meet his biological father.
But when he was face-to-face with his biological father, Chen Li felt a twinge of fear and nervousness, causing him to be unable to lift his head to look at the person on the hospital bed.
“Li Li, we’re here,” Wei Chen leaned in and softly whispered in Chen Li’s ear.
“Mm-hmm.” Chen Li nodded, psyching himself up internally before slowly lifting his gaze to the person in the hospital bed.
However, Chen Li didn’t manage to see what the person on the bed looked like. Their eyes only briefly met, but then Chen Li quickly averted his gaze.
Wei Chen didn’t rush Chen Li, standing by his side, accompanying him and waiting for Chen Li to make a choice.
Meanwhile, Chen Yunlan’s gaze had already locked onto Chen Li. Upon knowing Chen Li’s identity, Chen Yunlan found the young man increasingly appealing, deeming him the most good-looking and adorable person in the world. He refrained from calling out to Chen Li, silently waiting for his reaction.
Whatever reaction Chen Li displayed now, Chen Yunlan was ready to accept it. He felt no regrets in seeing Chen Li again. Feeling the strength transmitted through Wei Chen’s hand, Chen Li looked back toward the bed but this time leaned slightly toward Wei, without the nervous and guarded expression he had earlier.
Blood ties can sometimes convey significant strength.
During this encounter between Chen Li and Chen Yunlan, the two didn’t exchange a word. They merely locked eyes from a distance for a while before Chen Li averted his gaze first. Then, following Wei Chen’s arrangement, Chen Li and Zhuge Yu left the room.
Inside the ward, only Wei Chen and Chen Yunlan remained.
“Thank you,” Chen Yunlan said to Wei Chen, sitting up on the bed. “Thank you for bringing Chen Li to visit me.”
Wei Chen stood there, his icy gaze fixed on Chen Yunlan before finally saying, “You don’t need to thank me. It was Li Li’s choice, and I respect his choice.”
From Wei Chen’s words, Chen Yunlan grasped his meaning. He respected Chen Li’s decision but didn’t necessarily agree with it. “Regardless of whether it was Chen Li’s choice or not, I want to thank you for being willing to inform Chen Li about this matter,” Chen Yunlan smiled, pressing his lips together.
“He deserves to know,” Wei Chen replied. “I heard the conversation you had with Mr. Zhuge yesterday.”
“Is that so?” Chen Yunlan wasn’t surprised. Perhaps when he heard that Chen Li was coming to see him from Zhuge Yu, Chen Yunlan had already guessed that Wei Chen knew about their conversation from yesterday.
“Rather than a battle to the death with the Chen family by any means necessary, why don’t we cooperate?” Wei Chen walked over and stood beside Chen Yunlan, extending his hand.
“Why?” Chen Yunlan was puzzled. He perceived Wei Chen’s lack of fondness towards him, so he hadn’t anticipated Wei Chen’s choice to collaborate with him.
Wei Chen explained, “Since Li Li was willing to come and see you, I didn’t want him to lose someone he wanted to meet in his life.”
Chen Yunlan smiled, his eyes glinting with genuine amusement. It was a truly charming smile that filled Chen Yunlan with allure. He responded, “Alright, let’s collaborate,” extending his hand to shake Wei Chen’s.
His son was fortunate to have encountered Wei Chen in his life, someone willing to give everything for his son’s well-being.
“Rest well.” After settling matters, Wei Chen turned and left the room.
Alone in the room, Chen Yunlan turned to look out the window, his gaze fixed on the leaves that were on the verge of falling.
—”Qu Ran, can you see this? Our son has found someone who loves, protects, and cares for him. Tell me, if we had persisted like this back then, would the outcome have been different?”
—”Persist. Why didn’t you persist with me?”
A gust of wind blew, and those yellowing leaves finally succumbed and fell from the tree.
Chen Yunlan tucked himself into the bed, feeling the bone-chilling autumn wind.
Chen Li and Wei Chen left the hospital.
Chen Li was very quiet. From the ward to the car, he didn’t utter a word, allowing Wei Chen to lead him.
As the car started, Chen Li lifted his head and said, “Achen, my teacher told me that there are reasons for his recent appearance.” He was referring to Chen Yunlan.
Wei Chen made no comment on this, simply saying, “Whether he has his reasons or not, Li Li, you just need to follow your heart. Do what you want to do and walk your own path.”
Chen Li turned to Wei Chen, his gaze filled with love and dependence, and nodded firmly. “Okay, I understand.”
Wei Chen freed a hand, ruffled Chen Li’s hair, then drove Chen Li to school and headed to Changfeng Group himself. Upon arrival at the Changfeng Group, Sheng Jiaqi immediately called Wei Chen to the office. He seemed urgent, and Wei Chen thought it was about a company matter. However, it turned out to be about Chen Li.
“Wei Chen, tell me, is Chen Li really the biological son of Chen Yunsheng from the Chen family in Shanghai?” Sheng Jiaqi asked.