Editor(s): Mariabel, PM87
Tianhe didn't understand. Before Grandpa passed away, he practically wasn't speaking in Shanxi dialect anymore, but rather the local dialect of a small mountain village. That being said, the relatives were all determined and excited to start a new round of transmission.
Pro: “Guan Yue is coming.”
Zhang Qiu, “But Pro always broadcasts to me who’s coming, that’s quite annoying.”
Pro: “I just wanted to alert Tianhe.”
Guan Yue entered the tea room, looking noticeably exhausted. Zhang Qiu nodded and glanced at Tianhe, who was still thinking about Grandpa’s last words. Guan Yue looked a bit unwell.
The servants took the black armband and the hemp, putting it on the table.
“Are you going to be busy in the afternoon?” Tianhe asked Guan Yue.
Guan Yue shook his head, his expression dazed. When Tianhe woke up in the morning, Guan Yue had already left to accompany the guests. The bed was still warm from his body heat. It was snowing outside the tea house. Within the 20,000 square meters of the Guan estate, all the rooms had floor heating, including the outside corridors. There were even heating pipes running underground throughout the garden to keep the soil from freezing. It was certainly very warm.
Zhang Qiu picked up the black armband and attached it to her sleeve. Guan Yue picked up a square hemp and a needle, but Tianhe stopped him and took over. Guan Yue turned his body slightly as Tianhe fiddled with it.
As Tianhe was fixing the armband, the needle gently pierced his hand. He looked up at Guan Yue again, his handsome features were riddled with confusion, showing that he was at a loss. Tianhe had seen black and white photos from when his grandfather was young, tall, and handsome. It was as if he and Guan Yue were made from the same mold. Stuck in his depressing train of thought, Tianhe suddenly started crying. He couldn't control his tears.
“What’s wrong?” Guan Yue's expression changed, not knowing what to do. He glanced at Zhang Qiu and then back at Tianhe.
However, Zhang Qiu showed no signs of panic as she calmly drank her tea. Tianhe wiped his tears as Guan Yue reached out to hug him. Tianhe motioned for him to stay still as he finished fixing his band. Zhang Qiu passed Guan Yue a cloth, which he received and used to wipe Tianhe’s tears.
“Little Brother, that’s the rag used to wipe the tea case.”
Tianhe laughed as he pushed Guan Yue’s hand away, seemingly feeling better already.
Guan Yue was still nervous. “Jie, what were you guys talking about?”
“Nothing much,” Zhang Qiu said calmly. “Ask again and I’ll smack you.”
The person Guan Yue was most afraid of was Zhang Qiu. Ever since they were kids, he had been disciplined by Zhang Qiu; the effects of her teachings still left shadows in his heart. The three of them sat in silence as they drank tea.
“After this matter is over, go find Tianyue,” Zhang Qiu said to Guan Yue.
Guan Yue agreed with an “en”.
“I still haven’t asked you, how can you treat Tianhe like this?!” Zhang Qiu exclaimed. “How come he’s like this?!”
“No such thing,” Tianhe said. “Guan Yue has been appearing in front of me and protecting me all this time. Things are all normal back at home, everything is going well.”
Zhang Qiu gave a ‘pah.’
Zhang Qiu suddenly started lecturing ruthlessly, “If it weren’t for Uncle and Yuankai lending money that year, the Guan family’s paper wouldn’t even be good enough to be used as wipes for people’s as-”
“Jie!” Tianhe said. “Don’t be so vulgar!”
Zhang Qiu continued, "Thanks to those of you who are good at math, hundreds of millions of dollars can be borrowed over a period of three years and paid off, but what about the interest? Now, no one is mentioning it. What if Grandpa had forgotten? Is everyone going to pretend like they forgot too?"
Tianhe replied nervously, “Epeus was founded by my father and Uncle Zhengping at the time. Uncle Zhengping has the right to transfer funds. The interest must have already arrived. Don't be like that.”
Zhang Qiu looked at Guan Yue again and said, “If Youngest Uncle has a share in other people’s companies, then Uncle Yuankai must owe you guys right?”
“Jie!” Tianhe finally couldn’t bear to hear this continue. “Don’t say it anymore, it’s too awkward.”
Guan Yue sipped his tea and then looked at Tianhe again.
Tianhe said, “I do not know how Father and Uncle Zhengping discussed this matter, and I don’t want to know either. Nor do I have the energy to care. These things are all in the past. They must have had their own ways to solve this, and they must have come up with a solution in private. There is no need for us to worry about this. Our families have been friends for a long time, ever since Grandpa’s generation. We’ve always helped each other and never cared about who owed who. Guan Yue, don’t worry about it, I’m already very grateful that you’ve chosen to vouch for me.”
“Look at the way Tianhe talks,” Zhang Qiu said. “All you know to do is to use your boss’s money to do someone a favor.”
Tianhe smiled, Zhang Qiu’s personality is as tough as ever. They sat there for a while as the snow began to fall down heavily again, giving everyone a sense of calmness and security. Zhang Qiu randomly picked up a few books and passed them over to them as she continued to sit and read in front of the case. Zhang Qiu was reading inscriptions written on bamboo scripts that had been dug out from god knows whose tomb. Guan Yue was reading "Finnegan's Night Watch," while Tianhe was reading "Pride and Prejudice" as he didn't want to read something too difficult.
That day, when Guan Yue’s parents, Zhang Qiu, Guan Yue, and Tianhe, who was family only in name, started dinner, the tide of trouble that was a long time coming finally arrived. Tianhe didn’t even dare to think back on what he’d eaten for that meal at all. After Zhang Qiu had stocked up on her power for two full days, she let out the ultimate move, it was almost merciless. While chatting with Tianhe, she took the opportunity to mock her foster parents, frequently criticizing them. If it wasn’t indirectly mocking the Guan family for their ungratefulness, then it was criticizing that no one had taken care of Grandpa; they hadn’t even visited him as much as an unmarried granddaughter had. While doing so, she also mocked Guan Yue for a while. Anyway, from start to end, the words she’d said left no face for her foster parents and her younger brother at all.
Guan Yue’s parents had already been prepared for this beforehand and seemed to be calm. In front of Zhang Qiu's calm demeanor, they neither delayed the meal nor delayed the machine that mocked people, they only tried to maintain their restraint.
Guan Yue only continued to eat his meal, showing no signs of easing the situation. Whereas Tianhe was about to be driven to madness by this awkwardness. He could only intervene occasionally and try to change the subject, only to fail. Every time he said something, Zhang Qiu would divert the topic back. When Zhang Qiu finally left, Guan Yue’s parents let out an obvious sigh of relief.
It’s all over now, Tianhe thought. They must think that Zhang Qiu had specifically come to help him get out of this difficult situation. Whatever, their impression of him was already bad, who cares if it gets worse.
Time quickly passed by as guests arrived again. Tianhe was pulled by Luo Qifen to translate. All of the Guan family’s relatives and friends had returned from the states one after another. Luo Qifen’s approach was, “This is Guan Yue’s friend. He’s been with us ever since he was young, so he’s also part of our family.” Everybody seemed to enjoy Tianhe’s conversation and politeness.
When there were no more guests, Tianhe and Zhang Qiu sat in the tea room and read some books. Within seven days, the snow melted and then fell again. After the funeral, Zhang Qiu left without a word. Two days after they had sent Grandpa to the ancestral tomb, the servants of the Guan family sent Luo Qifen’s suitcases to the airport. Guan Yue and Tianhe went on the same plane on their way home.
The sun was splendid as the city received it's coldest winter season thus far. Tianhe had slept too late last night and could only think about Zhang Qiu's oracles.
The thought of the software architecture classification had caused Tianhe to toss and turn the entire night, waking up Guan Yue. Tianhe tossed and turned under the heat in the middle of the night. Guan Yue woke up frizzly as he fixed the blanket and covered Tianhe's body with it.
Tianhe found it interesting to sleep on the same bed as Guan Yue these days. He was able to figure out if Guan Yue was asleep or not based on his breathing patterns. Most of the time, Guan Yue was awake. In order to keep quiet, he would lay on his side of the bed facing outwards, occupying only a small area with his lonely back facing Tianhe, giving him the impression that he was sleeping quietly.
This made Tianhe want to pull a small prank. With a kick of his foot, Guan Yue would fall to the floor with a bang.
Both of them didn't fall asleep until morning. The Guan's plane ran into weather issues again. It took off at noon and arrived at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. When leaving the airport, Tianhe received a message from the driver, Xiao Liu, that his Bentley was waiting in the parking lot.
"Oh, are you back?" Tianhe smiled as he saw Xiao Liu again, still in a good mood.
Xiao Liu bowed beside the car and said, "I received Aunt Fang's notice a week ago, so I came back quickly."
"Let Aunt Fang make up for the salary missed within the few middle months." Tianhe got in the car as Xiao Liu placed Guan Yue's luggage in the trunk, and replied, "The salary has been paid for the past few months. Aunt Fang just let me go home and rest for a few days."
Only after Tianhe asked, did he know that all the servants, drivers, gardeners, and security guards had not been dismissed. Aunt Fang just sent them home to rest for a while, and the salary was still paid. Once they heard from her, they would come back at any time.
Xiao Liu played Bach as he said, "Aunt Fang said that these few months are very important. It's not good to be too extravagant and to be noticed. Stay low-key, as long as the company manages it’s fine."
Tianhe thought, when you say this in front of Guan Yue, what is he supposed to think? He immediately glanced at Guan Yue.
The two sat in the back of the car as Guan Yue silently looked at the view outside the window.
Tianhe could only say, “Aunt Fang actually has a lot of trust in me.”
Xiao Liu continued, "Everyone thought that Chairman Wen would be able to make it through. Afterall, everyone in the Wen family are geniuses. Goodness, those who appreciate food and eat, don't go to beg.”
Tianhe answered, “You are really too optimistic, if not for Chairman Guan right now, I really would have to beg for food.”
“Then, thank you Chairman Guan for taking care of our Chairman Wen.”
Guan Yue, “No need.”
"Just call me by my name." Tianhe thought, “What does ‘take care’ of mean? Can you not use such vague words? Tianhe was still not used to the change in address by Xiao Liu after he had taken over the company. “Can you not play Bach? Everytime I hear Bach I think of my poor Xiao Jin in the washing machine.”
“Xiao Jin is fine now,” Xiao Liu said. “He eats even more than he did before.
As the car got off the highway, Tianhe glanced at Guan Yue and thought that there was something wrong with him today. After being awakened by the alarm clock in the morning, Guan Yue has not said a single word after getting on and off the plane.
“Come live with me for a while,” Tianhe said to Guan Yue. “At least until the Lantern Festival is over?”
Guan Yue turned his head and looked at Tianhe.Tianhe said, “In regards to the company's affairs, there are still some questions I have about the business’ direction. I would like to ask you to teach me. In the field of company management, I don’t think I’m quite suited.”
The sorrow from the death of a loved one was like a pot of strong alcohol. It may be hard to feel the effects first. At first, you may only feel hazy, but after two weeks to a month, when you dream and walk around your house, you'll feel the sadness being released. When Tianhe had lost his father, he only realized half a year later that his father had truly left him forever.
Guan Yue was even more lonely then him. When Tianhe had visited his house, there was practically no one to talk to him. Their cat had already been returned to Tianhe’s house when they went to Taiyuan. He felt that Guan Yue really needed some company. If he temporarily lived with him until after the Lantern Festival, at least Guan Yue will return to a house that’s lively.
“Company affairs can be discussed at the company,” Guan Yue replied.
Tianhe could only say, “Are you really not going to come? Aunt Fang really wants you to come live with us. She had already arranged everything yesterday.”
“I’ll go visit her another day.”
Tianhe could only tell Xiao Liu to send Guan Yue home. The car stopped when they arrived at the high class apartment.
The music stopped. There was a moment of silence between Tianhe and Guan Yue.
The two only looked at each other without exchanging a word.
Xiao Liu got out of the car to take out Guan Yue’s bags. Then, he silently waited on the side.
Guan Yue seemed to have remembered something and reached into the inner pocket of his suit. Tianhe raised his brows slightly and looked at Guan Yue, but he suddenly stopped.
Finally, Guan Yue opened the door and got out of the car.
“See you,” Tianhe said quietly.
Guan Yue pushed two boxes, and the security guard in the apartment hurriedly came out to take them. Guan Yue entered the building without looking back.
Tianhe recalled the sense of silence as Pro suddenly said from within the car stereo, "He prepared a ring for you today. Before he left, I saw him repeatedly take out a ring only to put it back into the pocket of his suit from the camera."
“Who? Who's speaking?” Xiao Lau said in a jump.
Tianhe explained, “It’s the AI designed by my dad. Just pretend they’re Siri. Pro: don’t suddenly speak like that, you’ll scare people.”
Pro continued, “I only did so because you weren’t wearing your earpiece, and I wanted to tell you this matter. If you run into the apartment right now, hug him from behind while sliding down, and then kneel on the floor while hugging his legs….”
Tianhe yelled, “Pro!”
Xiao Liu, “...”
Pro: "I'm trying to keep him from getting into the elevator. If you go now, I can still hold on for a while so that he can't get into the elevator. He’s very impatient and has already pressed the elevator button twenty-two times."
Tianhe, “I think you should just let the elevator come down. The thing he needs the most right now is time to be alone.”
Pro: “Originally, he was going to find a suitable opportunity today to ask you to reconcile, but unfortunately, he was irritated by the phrase ‘Chairman Guan’. You shouldn't call him that."
Tianhe, "How could I have known that he cares about a title?"
Pro: "The huge amount of information revealed by your conversation also made him feel sad. He probably misunderstood, thinking that your previous bankruptcy dilemma was staged for him to see."
Tianhe, "You have learned another word again, 'huge'. Forget it, I have to go to work on Monday anyway. I will explain it to him clearly and invite him again. But if he does come live with me and hears Xiao Jin mocking him all the time, he’ll only get more angry."
Pro: “I don’t think so. If he hears Xiao Jin mocking him, he’ll be very happy. If your parrot is willing to chase him and scold him, the result will be even better."
Tianhe, “Are you stupid?! Do you really think that’s possible?”
Pro: “Of course, because this implies that…”
“Stop,” Tianhe said. “I was originally in a good mood today. Don’t say anything more, I’m really upset now.”
After Pro finished mentioning Guan Yue, Tianhe was about to explode. The original happiness from thawing the assets immediately disappeared and there was a lingering feeling of guilt. He thought about it for a while and finally sent a message to Guan Yue, apologizing and explaining what the driver had said. Xiao Liu was a soldier and had always been in charge of protecting the brother's safety and driving them. He wasn't very considerate of his words and didn't realize that what he had said would lead to Guan Yue's misunderstanding. Tianhe didn't plan on blaming him, as what he said was true.
After Tianhe finished writing the long explanation, the more he looked at it, the more he thought that it wasn’t right. It only felt that such an explanation was more compelling, so he stopped. He was about to delete it and talk to him tomorrow when they met face to face when—
Xiao Liu made a sudden turn and Tianhe also suddenly turned, accidentally pressing the send button. The message was sent with a ‘ding’ sound.
Tianhe really exploded, and he raved, “Xiao Liu!”
Xiao Liu was in high spirits, he happily replied, “Yes!”
Tianhe was frantic and suddenly thought of deleting the message. Just when he was about to do so, Guan Yue had already seen the message and had replied with a downward smile.
"Let me give you a task, Pro." Tianhe took a deep breath and roared, "Hack into Tencent's server. I want this emoji to disappear from the world!!!"
Pro: "There are too many processes going on right now. If you don't mind that I stop one, you can choose which one to stop."
Tianhe, “Just what processes are you going through?”
Pro: “Your old house’s devices and new house's, Qingsong Capital's fluorescent lamp control system, coffee machines, kettles, and the numerical control doors in Guan Yue’s office; as well as six elevators in the HSBC Building, the backstage of the U.S. Department of Defense, all cameras and household equipment in the Guan family’s house in Taiyuan, the Jiangman Hotel Headquarters' twelve elevators, cameras from luxury stores, Guan Yue’s movie storage trays and ovens, the ordering system of the "Good Time" Foot Bath City, Jiang Zijian’s Lianliankan game, the cameras in Tong Kai’s Dutch farm pigpen..."
“Why are you looking at his pigs?!” Tianhe said with a hard to believe tone.
The car drove on Anchun Road in the city center and arrived at a quiet place full of privet trees. The big iron gate opened, and the security guards on their shift bowed and saluted at the door.
When the car stopped at the gate of the villa, Tianhe got off, and Aunt Fang stood outside the door with six servants, cooks, gardeners, and handymen. After waiting for a long time, Xiao Liu closed the car door and walked to the side of the team. The security guard quickly walked over, and twelve people lined up.
“Xiao Tian is back?” Aunt Fang smiled.
“We welcome the Third Young Master home.” Everyone said in unison while bowing.
Tianhe looked at the scene before him, several feelings welling up in his heart.
“Thank you everyone,” Tianhe said emotionally as he smiled.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Joyce, Cat and Caro.