Chapter 333 – Meeting Wu Zikang
Qiuqiu remained well-behaved. At first, unaware that Wei Chen and Chen Li had gone out, when he noticed, he gazed at Chen Yunlan with wide eyes and called “Da da” a few times.
Chen Yunlan lifted Qiuqiu from the carpet, kissed his chubby face affectionately, and tenderly said, “Dad and they have gone back to Shanghai and will be back the day after tomorrow.”
Not understanding, Qiuqiu tilted his body to find his dad. Chen Yunlan walked around the house with Qiuqiu, checked the art studio and Wei Chen and Chen Li’s bedroom, but didn’t find anyone. It dawned on Qiuqiu that both dads weren’t home, but he didn’t cry. Instead, he made a sound and quietly lay on Chen Yunlan’s shoulder.
After about an hour, the doorbell rang. Xie Chunsheng arrived. Chen Yunlan opened the door and let Xie Chunsheng in. After he came in, Xie Chunsheng’s gaze fell on Qiuqiu. Sensing Qiuqiu’s low spirits, he reached out and gently stroked Qiuqiu’s soft hair, somewhat concerned, and asked, “What’s wrong with Qiuqiu?”
Chen Yunlan replied, “Achen and Xiao Li went back to Shanghai. He couldn’t find his dads, so he’s feeling upset.”
When Qiuqiu saw Xie Chunsheng, his dewy eyes scrutinized him, and he stretched out two chubby little arms toward Xie Chunsheng, saying “Ah!”
“This…?” Xie Chunsheng couldn’t quite understand Qiuqiu’s meaning and looked at Chen Yunlan, utterly puzzled.
“He wants you to hold him,” Chen Yunlan chuckled, and then handed Qiuqiu over to Xie Chunsheng.
Stiffened all over, Xie Chunsheng held Qiuqiu, feeling how soft and tender he was, afraid that a little pressure might leave marks on Qiuqiu’s chubby body.
Qiuqiu clung to Xie Chunsheng’s neck, resting his head on Xie Chunsheng’s broad shoulder, still feeling melancholic.
“Don’t worry, Qiuqiu isn’t that delicate,” Chen Yunlan reassured, seeing how tense Xie Chunsheng was.
Though Xie Chunsheng understood the logic, he was clueless about how much pressure to exert while holding Qiuqiu, who was plump and tender. He had never held a child before.
Without further persuasion from Chen Yunlan, he continued holding Qiuqiu while Chen Yunlan went to the kitchen to prepare lunch.
“Stay for lunch at noon,” Chen Yunlan hesitated for a while in the kitchen before finally speaking to Xie Chunsheng near the door.
Excitedly, Xie Chunsheng agreed. He sat on the sofa holding Qiuqiu, his gaze fixed on Qiuqiu, radiating an affection even he hadn’t realized.
This was his grandson, connected by blood to Chen Yunlan and Qu Ran.
Wei Chen and Chen Li’s flight landed at Shanghai Airport around 3 o’clock in the afternoon. As they planned to stay in Shanghai for a day or two, they carried only a set of spare clothes, traveling light.
After getting off the plane, their hands clung tightly together, paying no heed to the gazes directed at them.
They walked hand in hand through customs, heading towards the airport plaza. As they reached the plaza, a voice sounded from behind.
The voice carried a weathered tone. Wei Chen couldn’t immediately discern who called out to him. Upon turning around to see the person behind him, it took Wei Chen a moment to recognize him.
“Wu Zikang.” Wei Chen’s expression remained indifferent, his tone icy and unwelcoming.
Wu Zikang hurriedly ran up to Wei Chen, stopped in front of him, and glanced at Wei Chen and Chen Li’s intertwined hands before addressing Wei Chen, “It really is you! I thought I was mistaken.”
No wonder Wei Chen almost didn’t recognize the person before him. In Wei Chen’s memory, Wu Zikang had always been a dashing young man, well-dressed, and somewhat fastidious about cleanliness.
However, the person standing before Wei Chen now wore dirty clothes, their color barely recognizable, disheveled hair, and an unkempt beard that hadn’t seen a razor in ages, with some strands tangled together.
The once noble air in his eyes was gone, replaced by bloodshot eyes, a flustered sclera, and lifeless pupils. He carried a tattered bag on his back and held an empty mineral water bottle in his hand.
If it weren’t for Wu Zikang calling out to Wei Chen, Wei Chen wouldn’t have recognized this ragged-looking individual as Wu Zikang.
Even in such dire straits, Wu Zikang showed no signs of embarrassment. He cracked a smile at Wei Chen, saying, “I heard you’ve been doing well in the capital? Forget about your old buddy?”
Wei Chen glanced at Wu Zikang but said nothing.
Unfazed, Wu Zikang’s wandering eyes fixed on Chen Li for a while before addressing him, “You know Wei Chen used to like Chen Qing, right? But Chen Qing didn’t like this introverted guy. You don’t look much like Chen Qing, so how could Wei Chen fall for you? Are you sure Wei Chen didn’t see you as a replacement?”
Chen Li held Wei Chen’s hand, surprisingly showing no signs of fear. He looked at Wu Zikang and said earnestly, “I don’t know why you’re saying this, but I believe Achen.”
Chen Li was resolute. He could feel Wei Chen’s feelings for him and thus believed that Wei Chen loved him, not as a substitute for someone else.
Upon hearing Chen Li’s words, Wei Chen felt a warmth in his heart. He tightly held Chen Li’s hand, and then, with a cold gaze, turned to Wu Zikang and said, “Do you know how Chen Qing ended up in prison? It was because of me. Of course, if you want to keep him company, I don’t mind helping you out.”
Wu Zikang looked at Wei Chen in disbelief, “That’s impossible!”
He had always assumed that Wei Chen would marry Chen Li out of necessity, believing that Wei Chen still loved Chen Qing. But now, Wei Chen had just told him that he was the one who had sent Chen Qing to prison!
“Nothing is impossible,” Wei Chen replied. “If there’s nothing else, I’ll be on my way.”
Without another word or glance at Wu Zikang, Wei Chen grabbed Chen Li’s hand and walked away.
Wu Zikang, in a daze, watched Wei Chen’s retreating figure. Suddenly, he snatched a baton from a nearby security guard and swung it towards Wei Chen.
It had to be Wei Chen! He was the reason for Wu Zikang’s current plight!
Wu Zikang’s actions were swift, but the airport security was alert. Though they were unsure of his intentions, they immediately shouted warnings upon seeing him take the baton.
Hearing the security’s warning, Wei Chen swiftly pulled Chen Li closer and, catching a glimpse of Wu Zikang, spun around and kicked him hard, sending Wu Zikang sprawling on the ground, clutching the spot where he had been kicked, glaring fiercely at Wei Chen.
“It’s you, Wei Chen! You destroyed the Chen family! You ruined our Wu family! It’s all because of you that I ended up like this! I’ll kill you! I’ll take back everything I’ve lost from you!”
When the Chen family was at its peak in Shanghai, the Wu family enjoyed a position of prominence, all thanks to their relationship with the Chens. This relationship allowed them to flourish without restraint and made many enemies.
However, because of a fake painting given to Secretary Wu previously, Wu Zikang fell out of favor with Chen Qing. As their relationship soured, the Wu family started to decline.
But due to their minimal connection with the Chen family, those who had grievances with the Wu family refrained from acting against them.
Yet, the Wu family never expected that the tree they leaned on, the Chen family, would actually fall! And it fell so rapidly and unexpectedly that the Wu family was entirely unprepared for the downfall!
In this world, there are many who add joy to one’s life, but few who help in times of need. Sadly, there are also many who kick others when they’re down. When the Chen family fell, how could those offended by the Wu family spare them?
Overnight, the Wu family was ousted from the elite circles of Shanghai. Even Wu Zikang’s parents went to great lengths to protect him from a fate like theirs, ending up behind bars. But Wu Zikang, used to extravagance and with a proud demeanor, couldn’t humble himself to seek help from others, especially given the number of people he had offended over the years.
With no place to go, Wu Zikang became a wanderer, experiencing hunger and satiety in turns. Seeing Wei Chen and Chen Li so content, he impulsively tried to please them without considering that Wei Chen was the reason for Chen Qing’s imprisonment. Did that imply Wei Chen was also behind the fall of the Chen family?
In other words, everything that had befallen him was Wei Chen’s doing! How could Wu Zikang not harbor resentment? In that instant, he even impulsively desired to erase Wei Chen from the world. Why should Wei Chen, a wild seed, live carefreely while Wu Zikang and Chen Qing lived in misery?
“Wu Zikang, this is what you deserve,” Wei Chen approached Wu Zikang, squatted down, his gaze cold, his voice laced with suppressed anger.
As Wei Chen spoke, airport security arrived, and the alerted police officers rushed over. They swiftly subdued Wu Zikang, while an airport staff member kept apologizing profusely to Wei Chen.
Before long, Wu Zikang was taken away. The police wanted a statement from Wei Chen, who said a few brief words and then left, holding Chen Li’s hand.
“Achen, you’re happy,” Chen Li was perceptive and understood Wei Chen’s true emotions beneath his icy demeanor.
Wei Chen didn’t deny it. “Yes, I am happy.”
“Why? Is it because of his current situation?” Chen Li sensed Wei Chen’s animosity toward Wu Zikang.
Wei Chen shook his head. “No.”
“Then why?” Chen Li couldn’t fathom what else could make Wei Chen happy.
Wei Chen tilted his head, gently sealed Chen Li’s lips with a kiss as light as a dragonfly touching water, his eyes filled with tenderness.
“I’m happy because you believe in me.”
As for Wu Zikang, that was a matter of the past life. The people and events of the past were now just dissipating smoke and clouds. What mattered to him now was the person right in front of him.