"I'm fine. In fact, I'm calmer than I have ever been before."
"Why did you suddenly decide not to tell him?"
Lina closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Then, she opened her eyes and looked at Sheng Jiaoyang. "I'd rather see him hate me than see him suffer in pain from a guilty conscience."
After a long period of silence, Sheng Jiaoyang shook her head and said, "I don’t understand why you decided to do what you did, but I'll support your decision."
Lina smiled before extending her hand and cupping Sheng Jiaoyang’s face. "Of course you wouldn’t understand. If you understood my decision, then you’re surely not the Little Sun that I know."
"So, what are your plans now?"
The smile on Lina's face disappeared. She looked out of the window and watched the neon lights brush past them and fade away into the night. "With our current situation, I believe that the best choice would be for us to go our separate ways."
Sheng Jiaoyang held Lina's hand.
Lina turned to look at Sheng Jiaoyang and added, "Don't worry, I won't let something like this knock me down. I will become stronger, and I won’t let anything restrain me anymore."
"Mhmm, I’m sure you can do it! After all, you are Queen Lina!"
‘Queen Lina’ was the Chuuni nickname her friends gave her in high school.
Lina felt much more relaxed when she heard Sheng Jiaoyang’s encouragement. With a gentle smile on her face, she said, "I still remember what I said back then. I said I wanted to be a queen that is so strong that no one could ever beat me. Then, I’ll let you be the rice worm that I would feed for the rest of my life."
"You have already taken the first step," Sheng Jiaoyang said.
"Yes, I have taken the first step."
The look in Lina’s eyes became all the more determined.
If a person had faith in their hearts, they wouldn’t be devastated after experiencing setbacks and heavy losses. As long as their faith wasn’t extinguished, they would only grow stronger.
Lina was such a person.
After seeing the determination in Lina, Sheng Jiaoyang breathed a sigh of relief. Mei Niu has truly changed now. She has completely freed herself from the shackles of the emotional setback she has experienced.
"Would you like to go for a drink?" Sheng Jiaoyang asked.
Lina shook her head. "I want to go through the divorce formalities as soon as possible. After he signs the divorce agreement tomorrow, I will go back to Paris and devote myself to my work. Since I am not destined to be a happy housewife, then I'd better work wholeheartedly towards my new goal and become a successful career woman."
"You are already a successful career woman. How many people can start their own business and become a successful entrepreneur who makes millions at your age?" Sheng Jiaoyang was talking about ‘entrepreneurs’ and not ‘celebrities’. No matter how beautiful and well-off celebrities were, they would eventually have to retire after making the most out of their youth. However, entrepreneurs were different. As long as they managed their businesses properly, they would be able to pass them down to the later generations.
At this moment, Lina felt more clear-headed than ever before. "Don't flatter me. If it wasn't for your investment, I wouldn't be where I am today. I suddenly feel a wonderful rush of inspiration, and I can't wait to go into the lab to experiment with some perfume recipes."
Sheng Jiaoyang’s eyes widened in surprise. "Does this mean that we would be able to launch new perfume soon?"
"I can’t say for sure. We’ll have to see how the experiment turns out."
Once they started talking about work-related matters, Lina became much more energized.
Sheng Jiaoyang knew her well, so she deliberately switched the topic and talked about work. "How's the lawsuit with RICHAD going?"
"If you didn't ask, I would have forgotten about it. It seems that the court is going to hear the case soon."
"When the hearing happens, let me know. I must go and take a look."
"If Miller had known that things would end up like this, he would have certainly tried his best to make you the spokesperson for RICHAD. Then, none of this would have happened."
Sheng Jiaoyang raised an eyebrow and said, "Even if he has a lot of money, it is impossible for him to predict the future and make decisions that he would not regret."
When she got home, Lina first called her assistant and asked him to help draft the divorce agreement. Then, she began to pack up her things while Sheng Jiaoyang helped her pack her clothes.
Even though Lina had a sleepless night, she was still in good spirits. All the desolation she felt recently dissipated overnight. After watching the movers carry away all the things that she had packed, she turned around and hugged Sheng Jiaoyang.
"Thank you for rushing over and accompanying me through all this."
Without Jiaojiao, she might not have had the courage to pull through this awful situation. If she didn’t overcome all of this, she might still be trapped in her gloomy life, and gradually degrade into someone totally unlike her current self.
"I should have come earlier." Sheng Jiaoyang welcomed Lina into her embrace.
Sheng Jiaoyang actually felt very guilty. If she had intervened sooner and accompanied Lina to face this situation, perhaps Lina's marriage could still be salvageable.
"No. This matter has nothing to do with you. Even if you stay with me all the time, if I don't have the courage to stand up for myself, I will only make my life worse."
Sheng Jiaoyang didn’t dwell on this topic and deliberately said in a relaxed tone, "Queen Lina, please remember, today marks the start of your second life."
"No, today marks the start of Queen Lina's first life," Lina corrected.
Sheng Jiaoyang and Lina looked at each other and smiled.
When Sudan, Lina's assistant, came to the door with the drafted divorce agreement, Lina picked up her cell phone and called George. Her current expression was one of a warrior making her way onto the battlefield.
George picked up the phone after a few rings.
"George, I'll have my assistant send you the divorce agreement. All you have to do is sign it."
George did not respond, but he did not hang up either.
Lina held her breath before lowering her eyes. "Goodbye."
But before he could finish speaking, Lina had already hung up the phone, and she even turned it off.
Sheng Jiaoyang wrapped her arm around Lina's shoulder and said, "Let's go."
Lina took one last look at her former home. She was a bit reluctant to part ways with it, but she knew she had to let go.
A successful career woman wouldn’t drag her feet. Since she had already made her decision, she must take prompt actions, just like what Jiaojiao did at that time. Even when Jiaojiao was reluctant to let go of the feelings she had towards Lin Yan, feelings which had been nurtured for several years, she still resolutely let it go in the end. Even when Lin Yan came back to beg her to give him a chance, she never looked back. I will strive to be like Jiaojiao.
When they arrived at the airport, they took a last-minute flight to Paris.
After arriving at Lina’s residence in Paris, Lina didn't even stop to rest. Instead, she rushed straight to the laboratory to start her experiment.
Meanwhile, Sheng Jiaoyang went to Lina's office and started a video call with Shen Zhining.
"Is everything settled?" Shen Zhining asked.
Sheng Jiaoyang sighed. She placed her phone on the tabletop and laid her head down on the table, as if all her energy had just left her.
As soon as Shen Zhining saw her like this, he knew that she was in a bad mood.
"If you look at the situation with a different mindset, you might find yourself discovering different developments and results."
"Are you trying to make me accept the situation and move on?" Sheng Jiaoyang stared feebly at Shen Zhining.
"Yep. What else can you do aside from accepting the situation?"
"Couldn’t you have said something else?"
"How is Lina doing now?"
"She devoted herself to her work."
"Then, why can’t you just stop thinking about it and move on?"
Sheng Jiaoyang thought about it and found that his words were reasonable. The parties involved already got over it, so I shouldn’t dwell on this matter anymore and move on.
"I’m just slightly upset that things turned out this way. Now, I’m not even sure how our future would look like. Even Mei Niu and George, who have been together for several years, have ended up like this, we…"
"We are different. You are not Lina, and I am not George," Shen Zhining interrupted her.
Sheng Jiaoyang looked at Shen Zhining and asked, "If you were in that kind of situation, what would you have done?"
"I wouldn’t let that happen," Shen Zhining answered calmly with a tone brimming with confidence.
"What if it did?" Sheng Jiaoyang asked.
"Would you have let something like this happen?"
Sheng Jiaoyang was stunned by his sudden question. After a brief moment, she began to ponder over it seriously. If I were to meet a bastard like Sven, what would I have done?
"I’m sure that I would have beaten him beyond recognition and disabled him!" Sheng Jiaoyang ground her teeth.
Shen Zhining smiled. "Yes, you can beat him ruthlessly, and I'll clean everything up for you when you’re done."
Sheng Jiaoyang's mood immediately became brighter after hearing his words. She straightened up, clenched her fists and said, "I'm going to start practising boxing when I'm free. When I encounter this kind of bastards, I'll beat them all up!"
Shen Zhining placed his hand against his lips and chuckled softly.
"What are you laughing at? If you dare to mess around in the future, I'll beat you up too!" Sheng Jiaoyang said threateningly.
Shen Zhining beamed at her. His deep and good-looking eyes were immersed with gentleness, making him appear all the more charming.
My Little Cute Angel has truly changed. She even dares to threaten me now.
After joking around, Sheng Jiaoyang said, "Zhining, you can rest assured that I would rather lose everything than let you down. To me, you are more important than money."
Shen Zhining felt that those were the most beautiful words that he’d heard this year.
He sighed lightly, "Foolish girl."
"Zhining, you were right. If I had been faced with the same situation as Mei Niu, the development and result would surely have been different. But I believe that the reason Mei Niu made that choice wasn’t because she valued money more than her relationship. Instead, she didn’t have enough confidence in herself. If it were me, I would believe that even if we ended up with nothing, we would still be able to earn back what we’ve lost, sooner or later. But there's nothing I can do about it now, Mei Niu and I grew up in different environments."
Lina was always ignored by her family when she was a child, unlike Sheng Jiaoyang, who grew up in a privileged environment. Sheng Jiaoyang even had the opportunity to hone and refine her senses for two years amidst her stepmother and stepsister’s schemes. Most importantly, she had a solid backer like Grandfather Yang, so she was fearless. But Lina was different. Since childhood, no one had protected her from the wind and rain. Lina lived her life very carefully, as she feared that she would lose the things that she had. She might have seemed very strong on the surface, but she was in fact, a fragile person at heart.
Everyone's dream was to achieve something they didn’t have or something that was difficult to accomplish. Lina once said that she wanted to be a queen who had control over her own life. Her words actually revealed her true character.
The strong front that Lina put up was all just a pretense to protect herself.
However, Sheng Jiaoyang believed that Lina had truly changed after enduring the recent tumultuous events. As mentioned in their conversation earlier, Lina had already taken the first step to becoming Queen Lina.
1. Chuuni is short for Chuunibyou, which is a Japanese colloquial term that translates to ‘middle-school second-year syndrome’ or ‘eighth-grader syndrome’. This term is mainly used to describe teens with delusions of grandeur e.g. they convince themselves that they are more awesome than everyone else because they have so-called secret powers, abilities, and other hidden knowledge, which they clearly don't have. For more info: https://bit.ly/30keqQE
TL: Yuna | Editor: Cookies | TLC: Grace