Lin Nuo wiped his mucus vigorously. In the end, he roared at Du Xueyan. “Xueyan, I am here! I am so happy that you actually took the initiative to call me. Boohoo, I thought I would never be able to answer your call again. Boohoo…”
Lin Nuo didn’t look like an idol at all. He cried whenever he wanted to. His loud voice was heart-wrenching and touching. Du Xueyan smiled tolerantly and awkwardly. When Lin Nuo could catch his breath from crying, she said, “Lin Nuo, do you still remember what you said to me on that Mid-Autumn Festival two years ago?”
Hearing this, Earl Ace’s expression changed drastically.
Lin Nuo said loudly, “Of course I remember! I confessed to you and begged you to be my girlfriend. You rejected me and said that you only wanted a career and didn’t have any pursuit of love. Xueyan, why did you suddenly mention this? Are you going to agree to my pursuit?”
Du Xueyan smiled gently and looked at the gloomy Earl Ace. She said softly to Lin Nuo, “Lin Nuo, this accident made me understand a principle. All of us should cherish the person in front of us. I also understand that it was a cowardly act to always avoid relationships in the past.”
Earl Ace felt that something was amiss.
Lin Nuo’s heartbeat quickened. He asked carefully, “So, you suddenly realized the beauty of love and are planning to agree to my confession?” Before Du Xueyan could answer, Lin Nuo had already thought of what kind of suit to wear to register their marriage with Du Xueyan.
Du Xueyan couldn’t bear it and didn’t want to continue hurting Lin Nuo. But seeing Earl Ace’s stubborn expression, she could only apologize to Lin Nuo in her heart.
Du Xueyan said to Lin Nuo, “Gu Shengyao sacrificed himself to save me in hopes that I can live well. I think he also hopes that I can live with someone who understands and loves me. Only then will he be at ease.”
“So, I want to tr…” try it with you…
Before she could finish speaking, Du Xueyan’s cell phone was suddenly snatched away by Earl Ace. He placed the cell phone to his ear in disdain and told Lin Nuo heartlessly, “She just wanted to tell you that after this accident, she has completely seen through it. It’s impossible between you and her. She wants you to give up and stop dreaming about her.”
Earl Ace’s gorgeous and noble voice sounded more frustrated and angry. With that, he hung up.
Lin Nuo was stunned.
Who was this man who suddenly snatched Xueyan’s cell phone? Gu Shengyao was already dead, so why was it not my turn as the spare tire? Why did another jerk appear?
After hanging up, Earl Ace grabbed Du Xueyan’s cell phone tightly. He glared at Du Xueyan and asked her through gritted teeth, “Are you trying to anger me to death?”
Du Xueyan rolled her eyes at Earl Ace and asked, “Your Excellency, what are you angry about? Lin Nuo really loves me. I don’t know how many fans are kowtowing to me and Lin Nuo. Look, I just called him and he was so touched that he cried. If this isn’t true love, what is?”
Hearing Du Xueyan’s reply, Earl Ace was so angry that he couldn’t resist flying into a rage at Du Xueyan. He scolded. “I f*cking risked my life to save you not because I wanted to see you marry another man. I saved you because I love you. I saved you because I wanted you to understand that I am 1,000 times better than that bastard Han Zhan!”
“What about you! You still want to lead a good life with a man who understands and loves you. Are you blind? That peacock Lin Nuo only likes your goddess halo. Your glorious moment on stage! Du Xueyan, in this world, only I will unconditionally like you at any time.”
“You throw things around when you’re having a tantrum. Only I will clean up the mess for you! When you are discredited by the media and hide like a fool, only I can comfort you and coax you!”
“What did that Lin Nuo do for you? Confess to you with flowers? How many times did he send you Cartier? Or did he purposely confess to you in an interview?”
“Du Xueyan, he has only given flowers and diamonds to you. I have risked my life for you! That year, when I first entered America, in order to protect you from being bullied, I knelt down, kowtowed, and begged! I, Gu Shengyao, have only been so good to you in this life! Do you even have a f*cking heart!”
When Earl Ace lost his temper, the corners of his eyes were red. He looked like he had been ruthlessly trampled on and was about to cry.
He was suddenly agitated. Once he erupted, his chest felt like it was being bullied. He felt like he was about to lose all his strength and could collapse at any time.
Du Xueyan looked at him quietly. She didn’t argue with him or quarrel with him because everything he said was true.
Others loved Du Xueyan’s glorious moments. They loved the way she sang in her gorgeous dress, the way she smiled beautifully in front of the camera. But only Gu Shengyao loved everything about her without hesitation.
He knew her capabilities, tolerated her bad temper, and even bled for her.
Snowflakes landed on their bodies and hair. Du Xueyan looked at Earl Ace’s eyes and suddenly felt her vision blur as tears welled up in her eyes.
Du Xueyan carefully reached out her hands and gently pressed them against Earl Ace’s chest. She said tearfully, “Yes, only Gu Shengyao will love me unconditionally in this world. But you just won’t admit that you are Gu Shengyao. You don’t want me anymore…”
“Gu Shengyao, you are finally willing to admit that you are Gu Shengyao.”
Hearing Du Xueyan’s cries, Gu Shengyao was like a rubber ball that had been pricked by a needle. His anger instantly dissipated.
He used all his strength to hug Du Xueyan and felt complete.
“I’m sorry, I don’t know how to tell you this. I’m also afraid that you won’t believe me.” But he didn’t expect Du Xueyan to so easily accept that he was Gu Shengyao.
“Actually, I also thought I was dead. The day I woke up, I was especially happy and thought I had found my life. But the butler who entered the ward called me Your Excellency. Only then did I know that I was no longer Gu Shengyao, but Earl Ace, that legendary lunatic.”
Gu Shengyao had heard of Reynolds Ace’s deeds a long time ago. He knew that he had once set the entire manor on fire at night and even dragged the deceased and survivors to take photos in front of the burned manor.
Gu Shengyao had also seen that photo in the past. At that time, he had even mocked Reynolds Ace for being a lunatic.
Unexpectedly, he actually became that lunatic.
During this period, Gu Shengyao had been focused on learning and imitating Ace Reynolds’ behavior, manner of speaking, as well as his unpredictable way of doing things. It was not an easy task to act as Ace Reynolds. Ace Reynolds had too many enemies and he didn’t dare to show any signs, afraid that he would be discovered by his enemies who were eyeing him covetously and be killed by them.
He had successfully forced himself to become a fake lunatic, making all his enemies fear him.
Every new year, Gu Shengyao would spend it with Du Xueyan. Thinking that it was going to be the new year soon, Gu Shengyao couldn’t bear to leave Du Xueyan alone in the convalescent hospital for the new year, so he quietly appeared in America to visit Du Xueyan at the convalescent hospital.
Seeing Du Xueyan’s slender figure on the bed, Gu Shengyao felt a sense of pity. He couldn’t resist grabbing her hand and speaking to her.
But he didn’t expect Du Xueyan to be waiting for him. Not long after he finished speaking, she woke up.
When Du Xueyan opened her eyes and stared at him with wary suspicion and unfamiliarity, Gu Shengyao felt afraid for the first time.
Would she believe that I am Gu Shengyao?
She shouldn’t. After all, a situation like soul going into another body was only seen in movies. Gu Shengyao had always been very calm and thought that he could control himself. But Du Xueyan’s “I am going to pay respects to my husband” completely broke Gu Shengyao’s heart.
“Yanyan, do you mind if I am a lunatic?” A famous lunatic Earl in the world.
Du Xueyan shook her head and said, “Gu Shengyao, as long as it’s you, I want it.”
Gu Shengyao finally felt at ease.
“Alright, I will accompany you back to China to recuperate.”
Song Ci bought many gifts and returned home with bags.
It was already the 29th of December on the day she returned to the country. Without the time to personally send gifts, Song Ci found Butler Cai and got him to send every present to his family and friends’ residence.
Butler Cai was very reliable and quick, as the friends received Song Ci’s New Year gift very soon. Song Ci bought Song Fei a VANS skateboard, shoes, and a hat.
She chose a brooch for Yan Jiang, as he especially liked to collect beautiful brooches to match his fancy suit.
Apart from that, she also bought gifts for Shen Yubei and Di Rongrong.
On the 29th day, the company also took the annual leave. It was rare that Ah Rang didn’t go to deliver takeout. He went home in Han Zhan’s car. Returning to the house, his eyes lit up when he saw the gift boxes piled up in the living room.
“Is there mine, Song Ci?”
Song Ci hugged the box in her arms and teased him. “Call me sister-in-law.”
Aaron said, “Song Ci, is that my present?”
“Call me sister-in-law and I will give it to you.”
In the end, Aaron couldn’t resist his curiosity towards the present. He called out very softly, “Sister-in-law.”
Only then did Song Ci smile. “For you!” She threw the box to Aaron.
Aaron hurriedly took it.
Not in a hurry to open the box, Aaron threw it up several times. He stared at Song Ci suspiciously and asked her, “Could it be a box of RMB inside?”
Song Ci said, “Congratulations, you got it right!”
Aaron was overjoyed.
He hurriedly opened the lid of the box. Han Zhan stood aside and couldn’t resist glancing into the box. The lid was opened by Aaron, and it was filled with 10 to 50 cents of change…
Aaron’s face turned green.
“Just this?” He was so angry that he threw the box on the ground and ran back to his room in exasperation. As he walked, he scolded something in Italian impatiently.
Song Ci also knew Italian and understood that Aaron was scolding her for being petty and not having sex for a year. She was so angry that she laughed. “This fool, it’s already not bad to have money.”
Song Ci picked up the box and turned to walk into the kitchen. She said to the uncle in charge of purchasing daily, “Uncle De, I placed the change in this box for you.”
These were all the money that Uncle De needed to buy shopping bags at the supermarket.
Han Zhan realized that Miaomiao and Junjun had both received brand new clothes. He hugged Song Ci from behind and leaned against her shoulder lovingly. “Baby, you didn’t buy me a present?”
Song Ci asked, “Why didn’t you call me Baby Ci?”
“Baby sounds even better.”
Song Ci pinched her warm earlobe and said, “I bought you a present. It’s here.” Song Ci handed the shopping bag to Han Zhan.
Han Zhan opened the bag and saw a bunch of colorful socks…
“Just this?” Han Zhan didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
“Mmm, there’s a discount at the supermarket. Buying five for the price of three is especially worth it.”
Han Zhan hugged that bag of socks and praised Song Ci. “What a good wife.” After returning to the room, Han Zhan saw that there were several pairs of leather shoes, two ties, a new briefcase, and a dark blue star watch in the cloakroom. He couldn’t help smiling.
At night, Han Zhan held Song Ci by the window to handle some matters. As it was almost the new year, Wangdong City started to have a light show at night. All the curtains were drawn. Han Zhan drank Song Ci’s tea as he admired the light show at the foot of the mountain.
Song Ci leaned against Han Zhan’s chest, covered in sweat. She was in no hurry to take a shower. She saw that the LED billboard at the largest corner of the pedestrian street was playing the airline commercial she and Han Zhan had shot together at the beginning of the year.
When she saw that delicate beauty on the screen, she couldn’t help touching her own face and sighing. “Why am I so beautiful? Look, the camera is so close to me and my skin is also flawless. Sigh, I am born beautiful.”
“Pfft!” Behind her, Han Zhan was laughing so hard that his shoulders were trembling. “Does Father-in-law and Mother-in-law know that you are so thick-skinned?”
Song Ci turned and glared at him. She picked up her pyjamas, put them on, and went to the bathroom to take a shower.
After taking a shower, Song Ci got Han Zhan to apply body lotion for her. Song Ci’s skin was very dry during winter and layers of skin could be seen on her warm autumn pants. After applying body lotion, her condition would be much better.
When she was done applying it, Song Ci was already drowsy. Han Zhan patted her butt and said, “Go to sleep. We still have to pay respects to our parents-in-law tomorrow.”
The next day, at dawn, Han Zhan personally drove Song Ci to the villa.
After Han Aoyu’s death, his ashes were scattered in the forest at the southwest border. He didn’t have a tombstone, so Han Zhan set up a mourning hall for him in the villa on the main mountain and even moved his grandmother’s memorial tablet over.
Someone regularly came to clean the villa. It was rather clean.
Han Zhan and Song Ci offered incense to the elderly, kowtowed, and exchanged for new offerings. They still had to drive to meet Yan Jiang and the rest later to visit their late father-in-law and mother-in-law in the Cai Family Village.
As they descended the mountain, Han Zhan and the rest met Cheng Yanmo at the entrance of the Cheng Family residence.
Cheng Yanmo’s company was also on holiday and he had returned to the old residence for the new year. His younger brother, Cheng Ziang, was sitting in the passenger seat. Now that Cheng Ziang saw Song Ci, he didn’t dare to let his eyes run wild.
It had been a long time since Song Ci last saw Cheng Ziang. The last time she saw him was at the massage parlor. But that time, Song Ci didn’t see Cheng Ziang in person either. She only saw the photo sent by Han Zhan.
After not seeing him for a long time, Song Ci realized that Cheng Ziang’s playboy aura was almost gone. He had calmed down and looked completely different from his previous life.
Song Ci was slightly shocked.
What did Cheng Yanmo do to Cheng Ziang?
“Mr. Han, Mrs. Han.” Cheng Yanmo glanced at Cheng Ziang. Receiving his elder brother’s warning gaze, Cheng Ziang also greeted Han Zhan and the rest obediently. “Mr. Han.” Looking at Song Ci, this woman who had once moved him, Cheng Ziang’s eyes fluttered as he called out softly to Mrs. Han.
Although she knew that in this life, Cheng Ziang had never hurt her, in her previous life, Cheng Ziang had really hurt her too deeply. As a result, Song Ci always hated Cheng Ziang.
Song Ci ignored him, which was also within Cheng Ziang’s expectations.
Cheng Yanmo said to Cheng Ziang, “Go in first.”
The three of them looked at Cheng Ziang’s back view as he entered the house. They were all not used to it. Han Zhan said somewhat ruefully, “Your brother has changed drastically.” He was so arrogant in the past, but now he was so obedient.
Cheng Yanmo said, “I’m sorry. I had no choice but to send him to a security company to learn from their boss.”
Han Zhan knew about the security company. He said, “Which one?”
Cheng Yanmo said, “It’s the new one two years ago. It’s very famous in the industry. It’s run by a group of retired soldiers. It’s called Zhenhua Security.”
Han Zhan was speechless.
Seeing Han Zhan’s subtle expression, Cheng Yanmo couldn’t help asking, “You know them?”
Han Zhan said, “I invested in it.”
Cheng Yanmo was stunned. He finally understood what Han Zhan’s expression meant. “Is that so? Mr. Han, your business is so extensive.”
“Just investing for fun.” The boss of Zhenhua Security Company was Han Zhan’s former assistant. His surname was Fu and his name was Fu Ze. Han Zhan and the rest had always asked him to be responsible [1. The romanization for ‘responsible’ in Chinese is ‘fu ze’, which is the same pronunciation as the character’s name].
Fu Ze was 1.85m tall and exceptionally strong. His parents were both soldiers and he was a mighty and serious person. No wonder Cheng Ziang had become so obedient. In Fu Ze’s hands, he couldn’t be less obedient.
Han Zhan patted Cheng Yanmo’s shoulder and said, “Not bad. If you persevere, this younger brother of yours might even be able to become stable.”
Cheng Yanmo was very happy. “Really?”
“The effect is very obvious.”
“Then I will definitely persevere.” Cheng Yanmo made up his mind to transform his younger brother. He didn’t want him to be outstanding, but he wanted him to not commit any crime or cause trouble. He could even be a salted fish who only knew how to eat and drink.
“Oh yes, Huanyan and Sicilio will be arriving at the airport later. Song Ci and I are going to the countryside. Yanmo, why don’t you fetch them?”
Cheng Yanmo felt frustrated at the mention of Sicilio. But it had been a long time since he last saw Su Qingjia and Program. He also wanted to see them.
“Mmm, it’ll be tiring for you.”
Han Zhan and Song Ci returned to their car. Cheng Yanmo watched as their car drove away, before turning to enter the house. Song Ci saw Cheng Yanmo’s back view from the window. Thinking of how much Cheng Yanmo and Sicilio dealt with each other, she couldn’t help laughing.
“I wonder how many jokes Cheng Yanmo and my brother will make this year.”
Han Zhan said, “Who cares? It’s better to make a joke than to fight.”
Han Zhan drove the car to the intersection between the provincial and county roads and saw Yan Jiang and Song Fei waiting there. The sun was out today and the snow was melting. It was especially cold outside.
Song Fei and Yan Jiang were both hiding in the car. When Song Ci and the rest arrived, the two of them were eating spicy sticks. These spicy sticks were especially spicy and Song Fei’s mouth was red from the spiciness.
Song Ci knocked on the car door. Song Fei put down the bed, handed out the spicy bar, and asked her, “Do you want some?”
Song Ci instinctively swallowed, hurriedly took out two spicy strips, and stuffed them into her mouth. Han Zhan didn’t have any. Song Ci chewed the spicy strips as she said, “How long have you been waiting?”
“Let’s go then. Leave early and come back early.”
Song Ci jogged back to her car. The moment she got in, Han Zhan smelled that alluring spicy scent. “What did you eat?”
“You didn’t bring me any?”
“None for you.” Song Ci stuck out her tongue, unscrewed Han Zhan’s glass of warm water, and took a sip. The hot water scalded her tongue, and Song Ci couldn’t help opening her mouth to take a deep breath.
Seeing that Yan Jiang and the rest’s car had moved, Han Zhan started the car and chased after them. Along the way, Han Zhan found something to say to Song Ci. “When I was young, about eight to nine years old, I also especially liked spicy sticks.”
At that time, Han Zhan had just recovered and could already eat snacks.
As it happened that he was in elementary school, the spicy strips from the school’s convenience store were the most popular among the students. “At that time, the spicy strips were cheap and delicious. There was a kind of spicy strips that were stored in thin plastic bags. Every day after the second period ended, there was a 15-minute break. I could quickly run to the convenience store to buy a packet of spicy strips, then return to the classroom to secretly eat one class.”
Song Ci could imagine that scene. It was vivid and interesting. She said, “How did much did they sell spicy strips for back then?”
“One packet for ten cents and eleven packets for one dollar. That was in the 1990s and 1980s. It was already not bad for many children in families to have twenty to thirty cents of pocket money every day.”
Han Zhan’s family background was considered good and his grandmother doted on him. He could spend 50 cents a day and was considered a little wealthy in class.
Song Ci said, “Brother Han is in February of the 88th lunar month, right?”
Song Ci thought of some things she had seen on the Internet in the past and asked Han Zhan, “Then, Brother Han, have you done that hairstyle before?” Students in the late nineties had dyed their hair in their adolescence and had blown-up hair. They thought they were very fashionable.
Han Zhan shook his head. “I didn’t, but Du Xueyan did.”
“Ah?” Song Ci couldn’t imagine Du Xueyan’s permed hair. “Does it look good on her?”
Han Zhan’s answer was very honest. “Like a hedgehog. After the first day she permed her hair, her mother chased her to the school entrance and cut it with a pair of scissors the next day.”
Song Ci didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Han Zhan told Song Ci, “Actually, those who can do that kind of hairstyle are usually students at work or children who stay at home without their parents’ company.” They were all slightly rebellious children.
Speaking of these interesting things, Han Zhan asked Song Ci, “What about you? What stupid things did you do in your adolescence?”
Song Ci thought for a moment and shook her head. “Almost none. I just entered puberty when my parents passed away and my elder sister became comatose. I was adopted by the Mu Family and wanted to become more outstanding to please my adoptive parents. I didn’t dare to do those things that displeased them.”
She didn’t even dare to think about perming her hair during puberty, going to the bar, or going online. She also wouldn’t do those things.
Han Zhan suddenly looked up and stroked Song Ci’s head. He said, “If you want to perm your hair, I can also accompany you.”
Song Ci was shocked. “Don’t, I don’t like it.”
Han Zhan didn’t continue talking about this. After they arrived at the Cai Family Village and the four of them paid their respects to Father Song and Mother Song, Han Zhan picked up his cell phone and searched for a question on Baidu.
[What silly things did a 98-year-old child do in his adolescence?]
This New Year, Han Zhan wanted to accompany Song Ci to do all those silly things that she didn’t have the chance to do in her teenage years.