Chapter 122: Shen Yan’s Side Story (Part 4)
Translated by Jouissance of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
After staying in S City for several days, Shen Yan didn’t receive another call from Jiang Cheng after that midnight call. He had contemplated this for a long time before deciding that things were just fine this way. They had already talked everything out, and he would no longer be unable to get over what had happened all those years ago.
Though he wasn’t very pleased about it, he treated it like all the regrets he had about the past and tried to face it straightforwardly. It wasn’t until his secretary called saying that there was something he had to deal with that Shen Yan drove back to H City, and Chen Fang went back with him, too.
The next day, he got up early in the morning for work for the first time in a long time. The News Year’s atmosphere was very faint in the office, but the young ladies were no less passionate than usual, all having brought local specialties from back home to share.
As the director, Shen Yan naturally received plenty of such gifts. He was a little distant and unapproachable in the office, his smile very polite but empty, but that was no match for the fact that he was handsome and single, humble as well. So there were plenty of young ladies trying to get close to him.
After Jiang Cheng, Shen Yan hadn’t had any feelings for anyone else or tried going out with anyone. In their circle, both of the Shen brothers were known for not having entanglements. This was widely known in their circle, but the two brothers were too hard to catch and now the second young master had someone, so Shen Yan was the only one left, yet it seemed like there was no one worthy of him. He had become a lofty, untouchable flower in the eyes of the public. You could only look, and you were dreaming if you thought you could touch.
Thus when Shen Yan’s secretary walked in, carrying a huge bouquet and trying to be discrete, everyone perked their ears up, curious as hell about this mysterious and courageous suitor after their boss.
Which young lady was so daring!?? Daring to try and taint this lofty, untouchable flower?!
Meanwhile, Shen Yan was gazing at his secretary, Vivian, who held a massive bouquet of champagne pink roses: …
Vivian wore an expression of mysterious excitement and placed the flowers in front of Shen Yan. “Reception said this was for you. There’s a card in there, too, I don’t dare read it.”
Despite what she said, her gaze was stuck to Shen Fu, clearly wanting to hear the gossip about this mysterious admirer.
Shen Yan: …
“Got it, you can go now.”
Vivian immediately wilted, shuffling out of the door while glancing back longingly with every step.
Shen Yan looked at the bouquet with a stormy face. Ninety-nine champagne pink roses were enough to completely obscure the vision of anyone who decided to carry it in their arms. In the center, there was a small card. Shen Yan reached over and plucked the card out. The elegant scrawl was infinitely familiar. “Jiang Cheng.”
Shen Yan: …
He suddenly kind of wanted to know what had happened to Jiang Cheng in these seven years.
After all, what on earth could cause someone to become so shameless?! Hadn’t they already settled things?!! He couldn’t believe he had thought things could go back to normal between them!!
Shen Yan might’ve seemed unfazed on the surface, but his heart was filled with a thousand “WTF”s, wanting nothing more than to punch that shameless guy in the face.
Speak of the devil. His personal phone, which hadn’t rung all morning, suddenly rang. Shen Yan didn’t even need to look to know who was calling.
He glared at his cell phone patiently until it stopped ringing… and then another phone started ringing.
Shen Yan: …
The phone and cell phone were like a symphony, one entering the stage as the other one exited, clearly not intending to stop until Shen Yan picked up.
Shen Yan: …
He had realized that ever since Jiang Cheng returned, the expression he wore most often was the expressionless one.
“Did you not listen to what I told you?” Shen Yan was about done with Jiang Cheng’s shamelessness. He didn’t know what to do about this guy anymore. “Jiang Cheng, we aren’t kids anymore. Can you stop this childishness?!”
On the other side of the line, Jiang Cheng took Shen Yan’s anger silently before replying, “Hn, did you eat lunch yet?”
Shen Yan: …
Did he look like he wanted to talk about lunch with this guy!?
“I’ve booked us a table; I’ll come and get you.”
“Thanks, but no thanks.”
Jiang Cheng sighed, saying, “After ten minutes, I’ll be at your office. If you don’t come out, I’ll come up to get you.”
Shen Yan: …
People always say romance is made… of a series of compromises!
Ten minutes later, Shen Yan found himself downstairs anyways, looking like he was just about ready to destroy the world. The employees, seeing the anger plain on his face, were extremely cautious even when just going to greet him, terrified of accidentally setting off this usually dormant volcano.
Jiang Cheng approached in his car and, seeing Shen Yan standing at the door waiting for him, couldn’t help but smile and lower the window.
Shen Yan wore a tailored suit, looking like an uptight elite. The only flaw was the murderous expression on his face, though that didn’t stop people from staring at his handsome visage.
Shen Yan stalked over to Jiang Cheng, rage on max, but Jiang Cheng’s smile just grew wider. As Shen Yan got on the car, prepared to unleash his wrath, Jiang Cheng suddenly said with a wide smile, “It really does look like we’re wearing a couple’s outfit.”
Shen Yan looked at the suit Jiang Cheng was wearing, the same color and style as his own. At this point, he couldn’t even be bothered to roll his eyes.
Their journey was completely silent. Shen Yan didn’t speak, so Jiang Cheng decided against speaking as well, as if he really was just there to take Shen Yan out to eat. After eating, he dropped Shen Yan back off at the office, still silent.
A month passed quickly amidst Jiang Cheng’s harassment and Shen Yan couldn’t endure it any longer. “Jiang Cheng, if you have something to say to me, say it…”
Jiang Cheng cut him off, saying, “Say it, huh? I’m pursuing you.”
Shen Yan: …
“No matter what, we lost seven years. My explanation wasn’t hope that you would forgive me. I just wanted you to know I never stopped loving you, so, let’s begin anew.”
Shen Yan’s gaze turned cold. “You think we can start anew just because you say so?”
Jiang Cheng thought for a moment. “No, which is why I’m pursuing you.”
Shen Yan’s cold mask cracked, raging, “Do you even understand?! It’s over! My love for you is gone! Seven whole years, and you think you can make up for it just like that? You didn’t tell me anything about your decisions back then, walking away and baring the burden alone, and now you suddenly come back and tell me all this?! What do you take me for?! You keep saying you love me, but which of your actions reflect that?”
In the end, he even sounded a little hysterical.
Shen Yan had never lost his temper like that before in his entire life. These were his inner demons. He could understand that Jiang Cheng didn’t have a choice, but he couldn’t let go of it. Jiang Cheng had never trusted him, and still didn’t trust him to deal with these issues, so he had kept it all from him. He hadn’t even contacted Shen Yan once in all these years he was away. He could understand, but he couldn’t forgive.
The more he had loved Jiang Cheng back then, the more the wound hurt now, unable to close.
Jiang Cheng gazed at him, a melancholy sort of smile on his face as he reached out to touch Shen Yan’s face carefully, like Shen Yan was fragile as glass. “I understand.”
“You don’t!” Shen Yan shouted before suddenly, shockingly, pushing Jiang Cheng down onto the seat and kissing him.
The kiss was wild, with hints of heartbreak. Jiang Cheng was stunned for a moment before he began trembling. Shen Yan bit and tore at Jiang Cheng’s lips, like it wasn’t a kiss, but he was instead trying to devour the other.
“You have no idea how heartbroken I am. You keep saying you don’t want to hurt me, yet you don’t even realize you’re the only one who can. Do you know my despair when I couldn’t find you? Did you know that I didn’t even dare sleep in the first few years after you left? As soon as I closed my eyes, all I could see and feel was you. You say you understand, but you don’t!”
Shen Yan collapsed against Jiang Cheng’s chest, voice raspy and slowly wetting Jiang Cheng’s shirt with tears. That was when Jiang Cheng realized that the other was crying. He cupped Shen Yan’s face between his hands and tilted his head up to see Shen Yan crying like a child. His lips trembled as he wiped at Shen Yan’s tears, yet he new ones always came to replace them.
“I know.” Jiang Cheng raised his arm, rolling up his sleeve and revealing his arm. Looking into Shen Yan’s eyes, he said slowly, “I never thought I’d be the one to hurt you so, and only realized when I came back, but even though I knew, I also knew I could no longer let go.”
These years of hardship had taught him that if he lost Shen Yan, it would be worse than death. Shen Yan was in pain, but so was he. However, no matter how painful, he had never thought of letting it go. Even if Shen Yan hated him, never forgave him, he wouldn’t let go, not even in death.
There was a tattoo on Jiang Cheng’s arm.
Shen Yan’s eyes widened, going silent at the sight of Jiang Cheng’s arm. He reached out, gently stroking the tattoo there for a while, before grabbing Jiang Cheng’s face and kissing him like he had gone crazy.
The tattoo wasn’t done in one go, but instead composed of many green dots that formed words, some new and some old, like something sharp had stabbed a dot onto his arm each day, forming the words.
Scrawled there was, ‘Shen Yan.’
Jiang Cheng’s hand trembled as he hugged Shen Yan, kissing him back. The kiss deepened, like they were trying to devour one another and become one forever more.
It had been seven years, and he could finally hold him again, kiss him, stand under the same sky as him. To Jiang Cheng, this had long since become an ambition. From when he was twenty-one onwards, he only had one goal, even if the road ahead was filled with thorns, he was no longer living for himself.
For the first time ever, Shen Yan skipped work without warning.
His secretary, Vivian, called him many times, but never got a response. In the end, she had no choice but to leave the documents on his desk and leave.
Two days later, Shen Yan called Shen Fu, who was all the way in S City, saying that he needed the other to come help because he was too busy with his lover.
Shen Fu was shocked and kept trying to get him to spill who this lover was.
Shen Yan glanced at Jiang Cheng who sat next to the table and smiled silently.
He’d know one day.
Half a month later, a multinational corporation in D City, which was close to H City, suddenly went bankrupt. When Shen Yan saw the news, he stared at Jiang Cheng in surprise for a long while. Jiang Cheng sipped some wine from his glass before smiling gently and saying, “What are you looking at me for? She’s not young anymore, it’s time she stepped down.”
That company’s chairman was a lady, sixty years old and managing to keep herself in a good condition. Her family name was Wu, full name Wu Qiao. Technically speaking, Jiang Cheng should call her “mother”.
If it wasn’t for her, Jiang Cheng wouldn’t have been separated from Shen Yan for seven years. Even today, she didn’t approve of their relationship, but now, she had nothing to threaten Jiang Cheng with.
Jiang Cheng didn’t hate her, but he couldn’t forgive her.
It was a shame they couldn’t get her approval, but that wouldn’t change Jiang Cheng’s resolve. He respected her, but could no longer love her, after all, she had threatened him with her own life, causing him to lose what he loved. This wasn’t something anyone could forgive.
Luckily, in the end, he didn’t lose him forever.