Sob sob, this is it, the ending of the novel. It does seem a bit abrupt with the last minute introduction and resolution of the mystery. However, it does seem like the most appropriate way to settle it. I am not one who subscribe to the principle of ‘an eye for an eye’ so forgiving is the best way to move forward to find happiness. I think the drama will be more flesh out but there is still the epilogues to enhance your understanding of the story as well as to continue the story. You also have to say goodbye to lidge as I’ll translate the epilogues.
Chapter 12.3: As It Turns Out (translated by lidge and edited by peanuts)
It can be proven that ancient sayings made sense and Yi Chen’s instinct was also correct.
Of course, a twenty-seven years old Zhao Mo Sheng was more sensible than when she was in her teens. However a few habits that Yi Chen was familiar with clearly did not change with time or age. For example she would act cheekily like a rascal if she could not win an argument against him. For example she would like to stick to him more and more. For example she would give him the food she did not like to eat, for example ……
Well, lawyer He secretly admitted he actually enjoyed them. Moreover, it was really not easy to get these little habits to come back.
The wedding banquet will be held in one and a half month later. Yi Chen intended to take some time off after the wedding banquet so he was busy wrapping up all his cases which could be finished. Those cases which could be passed to other people, he had already done that. Earlier, he had also turned down being a special guest host on the tv show “Legal Time”. As for the preparations for the wedding banquet, compiling the invitation list, booking the restaurant etc …… Basically, Yi Chen single-handedly took care of everything. In contrast, Mo Sheng had it really too easy.
In fact, all these things can be handed over to a wedding planner, but Yi Chen apparently preferred to do them personally.
Actually, Mo Sheng also had one problem causing her headache, she could not find a bridesmaid.
Yi Mei was out of the question because she had quickly registered for a marriage license right after Lunar New Year.
Xiao Hong was even more inappropriate. When she heard about Mo Sheng’s wedding, Xiao Hong was mad and admonished Mo Sheng for concealing the true circumstances of her marriage from the good, honest and innocent people. In the end Mo Sheng had to treat her to several great meals to sooth her. When Mo Sheng mentioned wanting her to be the bridesmaid, Xiao Hong screamed: “No, if I’m the bridesmaid again, I’ll never get married!”
Xiao Hong’s frightened expression made Mo Sheng felt very guilty.
There was also Xiao Xiao. After hearing from Yi Chen about the wedding, she called Mo Sheng and her manner of speaking was a lot gentler than the last time they met. She even said she wanted to be the matchmaker.
In short, Xiao Xiao also did not want to be a bridesmaid.
Finally, the person chosen to be the bridesmaid was somewhat unexpected.
That night, Yi Chen was in the bedroom looking at some important documents, so he instructed Mo Sheng not to talk to him.
Mo Sheng was lying on the bed and writing the wedding invitations. The list was drafted earlier by Yi Chen, so she only needed to copy them neatly. But, what could this word be? Yi Chen’s handwriting was scarcely legible.
Mo Sheng turned the paper this way and that way for a long time.
Yet, she still did not know!
Biting the pen, should she ask Yi Chen? She looked up to see him concentrating his attention……
He had already said not to talk to him……
Forget it, better not ask, just skip it and come back later!
Of course, Mo Sheng is not an obedient person. Previously, while at university, she was good at agreeing overtly, but opposing in secret. But the Yi Chen at that time would at most show any angry face, then lectured her with a few words. However, after they got married, it was different now. Yi Chen’s way of ‘punishing’ her was simply without any restraint. Truth to tell, Mo Sheng was truly afraid of him.
Mo Sheng blushed when thinking about it. A Yi Chen like now, she could not have imagined back then.
But how boring…… copying some more, copying some more…… Mo Sheng could not take it anymore. She took a blank piece of paper and wrote a few words.
——”Yi Chen, I had a falling out with a colleague because of you.”
When done, she handed the note to him.
This did not count as talking to him.
Yi Chen initially intended to ignore her. He lifted his eyebrows and glanced at the note. This seemed serious so he picked up a pen and wrote a reply —— “How?”
——”Tao Yi Jing, do you remember her? She found out you and I already knew each other before. She is very angry because she thought I deliberately hid the truth. But how could I tell her given our relationship at that time?”
Yi Chen rubbed his eyebrows and wrote on a tiny piece of paper —— “Is it serious?”
——”Yes, very serious! I found an opportunity to explain in detailed to her. I also asked her to be my bridesmaid and she has agreed but she said will not give a red packet :(”
Indeed very serious!
Yi Chen threw the tiny piece of paper into the trash can, then pulled her up: “I think you’re too bored.”
She buried herself in his arms. He held tightly onto her waist. She smiled happily and and tried to get up, her hands pushing at his chest to escape. The sweet scent from the recent bath filled his nose ……
Yi Chen indulged himself for a split second.
He had longed for all these for so long. From now on, no matter what, he would never let her go!
A few days before the wedding banquet, the law firm had an unexpected visitor.
On that day, Yi Chen had just returned from the prosecutor’s office, Mei Ting saw him and said immediately: “Lawyer He, a woman has been waiting for you for a long time.”
Yi Chen looked at the direction her finger pointed at. Upon seeing him, the visitor stood up and in a graceful manner nodded at him to send her greetings. It was Pei Fang Mei, Mo Sheng’s mother.
“Here’s the tea.” Mei Ting put the tea on the coffee table in front of Pei Fang Mei.
“Thank you.” Pei Fang Mei said politely and picked up her tea cup. As a former mayor’s wife, she was undoubtedly elegant and well-mannered.
After Mei Ting softly closed the door, a strange silence immediately filled the office.
Pei Fang Mei looked at the quiet young man sitting behind the desk and spoke first: “We met in a hurry last time but you should remember who I am.”
“Of course.” Yi Chen replied indifferently, “Mrs. Zhao!”
His cool response made her a bit more skeptical. Her facial expression all the more gentle when she said: “You don’t have to be so polite since you and Xiao Sheng are already married. In that case you ought to call me mother-in-law’.”
Yi Chen smiled faintly but did not say anything.
Pei Fang Mei smiled and said: “If you’re not used to it, you can call me Ms. Pei.”
“Ms. Pei.” Yi Chen accepted this suggestion, “I’m very curious what is the purpose of your visit.”
Pei Fang Mei sipped her tea, appearing more relaxed: “We only said a few words last time, but Xiao Sheng praised you a lot. I came here merely to take a look and find out more about you. Lawyer He, don’t worry.”
“If Mo Sheng knows you’re so concerned about her, she’ll be very happy.”
Pei Fang Mei looked at the penetrating gaze of this young man, smiled affectionately and said: “Do you feel grievance for Xiao Sheng?”
Yi Chen replied expressionlessly: “Mo Sheng has never felt grievance, so why should I?”
“Indeed.” Pei Fang Mei raised her eyebrows, sighed and said: “From the time Xiao Sheng was little to now, I’ve never fulfilled my responsibility as a mother, partly because of a busy career and partly because I didn’t get along with her father so I neglected her. Fortunately, this child isn’t very sensitive so she grew up well.”
She paused for a while, seemingly to sigh with regret, then added: “In fact, I intend to make it up to her now, but I don’t know if there’s still a chance.”
After hearing her sincere confession, Yi Chen was still unmoved: “Ms. Pei, if you want to express maternal love, why do it in a roundabout way? I think you should talk to Mo Sheng directly.”
Pei Fang Mei carefully observed his expression: “You seem to be quite hostile toward me?”
“Probably, you’ve the wrong impression.”
Pei Fang Mei lifted her tea cup again and blew on the tea leaves. After a long while, she said: “Lawyer He, what kind of job do your parents do? If there’s a chance, invite them to come out so that our two families can formally meet.”
“That’s probably not possible because my parents have already passed away.” Yi Chen said indifferently.
“Oh? I’m sorry.” Pei Fang Mei’s tone was apologetic but she did not appear surprised at all, as if she has already known. She thought for a moment and asked: “They passed away because of illness?”
Yi Chen felt tedious again.
Actually, Yi Chen has already guessed the purpose of Pei Fang Mei’s visit. She probably had recognized him but did not know how much he knew what happened to his parents so she asked so many indirect questions to probe him. Yi Chen could certainly pretend not to know anything, but suddenly he was tired of this kind of beating about the bush incessantly.
“Ms. Pei.” He said in a flat tone, “Why do this in a roundabout way? Why not just ask me directly if I know that my father’s death is related to Mayor Zhao?”
Immediately after Yi Chen spoke, Pei Fang Mei’s gentle and benevolent mask disappeared instantly. She suddenly stood up, appearing strong while weak inside and said: “You already knew! So, why did you marry Xiao Sheng? To take revenge against us?”
“I don’t think I need to tell you why I got married.” Before her questioning, Yi Chen answered coldly: “Besides, I don’t have so much patience to plan such a long revenge.”
Pei Fang Mei suspiciously looked closely at his facial expression for a long time before she said: “I don’t believe you.”
Yi Chen said bluntly: “It doesn’t matter if you believe me or not.”
Pei Fang Mei froze and was stumped for words for a while, then said: “Does Xiao Sheng know about this?”
“She doesn’t need to know, and she’ll never know.” Yi Chen said dismissively. He had decided a long time ago that even if they did not end up together, he would also not tell her anything. It was enough that he shouldered this secret burden alone. Last time, when Mo Sheng asked him what did her father say to him, he deliberately misled her.
“Actually, what happened then was an accident, no one expected it to turn out that way.” Pei Fang Mei’s voice softened. After all it caused the lost of a human life so the He family left a deep impression on her. Years later, when Mo Sheng mentioned the name He Yi Chen, Pei Fang Mei felt he seemed familiar. When she saw him, she became even more suspicious, so she decided to investigate further because she felt very uneasy. Indeed, he was the He family’s ten-year-old son at that time. However, she did not know if that young child knew how his father died so she came to the law firm to find out.
After she spoke so weakly, Yi Chen did not want to argue further. He stood up and opened the window, the fresh air outside suddenly rushed in. He looked out the window from the tenth floor, the sky was clear and the horizon spacious, helping somewhat to reduce Yi Chen’s moodiness.
When his father died, Yi Chen was about ten years old. Although he was smart, still not enough to understand the complexities of the adult world. He only remembered that one day coming back from school, his father, who was healthy in the morning, was in the hospital, his body bloody and not breathing. Then, his frail mother also became ill and passed away, he suddenly became an orphan. Fortunately, a neighbor, who is also his father’s comrade-in-arms, adopted him. After he grew up, he gradually understood everything thoroughly.
In the 1980’s, Yi Chen’s father borrowed money from the bank to invest in real estate. When the building construction was only half done, the bank changed its credit policy and demanded repayment in advance. Zhao Qing Yuan was governor of Y City Bank at the time, so he has the power to decide when to recall the loans. After Yi Chen’s father repeated attempts to solicit favors, Zhao Qing Yuan finally agreed to delay recalling his loan. However, Zhao Qing Yuan only agreed without meaning it so the money and effort Yi Chen’s father spent to delay having to repay his loan were useless. He has to repay his loan based on the new credit policy, so he had to abandon the building construction immediately. The building workers and material suppliers constantly demanded the repayment of their debts. While on the run from debtors, he accidentally fell from an unfinished building floor and died instantly.
In the meanwhile, Governor Zhao continued his meteoric rise in career, finally becoming mayor. Although he did not directly cause Yi Chen’s father death, he was undoubtedly the source of the tragedy. Whenever auntie saw Zhao Qing Yuan giving a speech on TV, she’ll say to him: “Yi Chen, wait for it, this bad man will get his retribution one day.”
Yi Chen can never forget his extremely complicated feelings when he found out Mo Sheng was actually Zhao Qing Yuan’s daughter. Hatred, anger, pain, the absurdity of it all, he could not restrain himself and vented all of the negative emotions towards Mo Sheng when he saw her. Perhaps a part of it included self-loathing because even after knowing, he did not want to break up with Mo Sheng.
What he said at that time even pained him, so how could it affect Mo Sheng any less?
Moreover, he almost…… immediately regretted what he said.
Yi Chen frowned and could not bear to think of that awful past. When that happened, he was still young, no matter how matured he was, he was only twenty years old. He still did not how to control and conceal his feelings. But he would never repeat the same mistake now.
The owner of the law firm clearly had the intention of ending the conversation. Pei Fang Mei realized she made a mistake in coming here. If he never intended on revenge, her being here was unnecessary. If he intended on revenge, how could she stop him?
Nevertheless, she did not want her trip to be worthless, so she lowered her voice and said softly: “I hope you can give me an undertaking. Even if I’m not close to Xiao Sheng, I’m still her mother.”
A long time passed, but there was no response.
Pei Fang Mei has always been proud and arrogant, but she had lowered her self-esteem today for Mo Sheng. She stood up and said: “Since like this, I’m leaving.”
She got up and walked to the door. Just as she was about to turn the doorknob, she heard that overbearing young man plainly made an assertion:
“They gave me ten years but I want Mo Sheng for a lifetime.” His voice sounded tired, he paused then said, “I capitulate to the warm reality.”
Pei Fang Mei was startled at first, then realized what he said was the commitment she wanted from him. She turned around, the young man who was standing in front of the French window was shrouded in a layer of golden sunlight, his silhouette seemed desolate. Pei Fang Mei did not have a chance to speak before she heard his faint request.
“Mo Sheng loves to let her imagination run wild, so please don’t let her know about all these.”
The office was quiet once again, but Yi Chen could not concentrate on his work. Looking at the time, it was almost time to go home, so he might as well close his case file and deal with it tomorrow.
The phone in his pocket rang, it was the ringtone of an incoming text message.
It must be Mo Sheng!
Checking the phone, it was really her.
——”Yi Chen, I got my bonus today, so I’m treating you to a meal. I will be at your workplace right away.”
Yi Chen smiled happily, imagining someone looking immensely proud of herself. When he was about to reply her, the phone rang. After he was done with the call, there were two more text messages.
——”Didn’t reply me, it is unlikely you are not around……”
——”Poor phone, where did Yi Chen misplace you?”
Yi Chen helplessly shook his head, his phone conversation was no more than ten minutes, so he quickly answered her —— “No need to come up, wait for me downstairs.”
Yi Chen stood in front of the window, waiting for Mo Sheng to appear.
It seemed like Yi Mei asked him before, how could he continue to wait so patiently?
Actually, waiting had nothing to do with time, it was a habit, something that came about naturally, he could not control it.
Mo Sheng who was carrying her camera, appeared in his line of vision. She stood under the shade of a tree across the street, her head bowed as she typed on her mobile phone.
A moment later, a new text message appeared on Yi Chen’s mobile phone.
——”Yi Chen, I’ve arrived, so hurry down. Still the old rule, I’ll count to 1,000……”