Lin Yixin’s face turned pale in an instant as she stared wide-eyed at someone behind me. When I slowly turned around and looked up, I saw a middle-aged man in a western suit. I knew the guy because we met once in the past. He was Lin Yixin’s father, Lin Xiao.
Lin Xiao’s face was as ugly as you might expect as he stared at the pack of condoms on the table. Seemingly thinking that something unthinkable had happened between us, he shot Lin Yixin a painful look before saying, "It’s true that I failed you in the past, Yiyi, but I never thought that you would decline to this level. You, you bastard…"
Lin Yixin shook her head hurriedly. "You misunderstood, it’s not what—"
"I know what I saw!"
Lin Xiao’s expression turned ice-cold when he looked at me. "What did you do to my daughter, Lu Chen?"
I didn’t confront him immediately because I knew that his misunderstanding was at least partially my fault. Also, he was accompanied by three brawny men that looked like his bodyguards. It would be crazy to act recklessly in a situation like this.
I defended myself. "Uncle, it’s not what you think. There really isn’t anything between Yiyi and me."
"Nothing? How do you explain that thing on the table then?" Lin Xiao pointed at the Durex condom pack.
Lin Yixin whined a little and shot me an aggrieved look. She seemed to be blaming me for not discarding it sooner and allowing ourselves to be caught "red-handed" by Lin Xiao.
Lin Yixin didn’t back down though. She stared at Lin Xiao and said calmly, "Dad, forget that Lu Chen and I haven’t done anything, it’s none of your business even if there was something between us, is there? I’m 20 years old; an adult with her own personality and dignity. My private life is not yours to control."
Lin Xiao seemed a little startled. He didn’t think that his daughter would refute him in such a clever but unyielding manner. Clearly tormented by even greater self-blame, he replied, "Yiyi, I just visited your mother this afternoon. I don’t care if the two of you accept my apology or not, but I cannot accept my daughter dating a dubious man no matter what. How can someone who only knows how to play games possibly be good for anything?"
The comment instantly pricked the softest part of my heart. Eyes turning cold myself, I faced Lin Xiao directly and growled, "Bullshit! Don’t you dare slander our dreams with your ignorance! Competitive gaming is no different from competitive sports like soccer and basketball!"
Lin Xiao’s face immediately turned green with anger. "You!"
Lin Yixin jumped to her feet and ran up to me before another outburst could happen. "Dad, can we please talk about this outside? Can we not embarrass ourselves in front of a crowd?"
Her tone was almost begging. I had never seen her speaking to anyone this way.
Lin Xiao nodded and walked out of the restaurant first.
Once her father was gone, Lin Yixin looked at me with red eyes and said, "Why did you lash out at him like that, you stupid? Hmph, I’m a fool. You don’t care about me at all…"
I said sincerely, "You know that isn’t true at all, Yiyi."
"You just don’t!"
Lin Yixin stomped the ground before heading outside. I hurriedly chased after her after paying for the meal. Right now, my mind was a jumbled mess of thoughts and emotions. I never dreamed that we would run into Lin Xiao today, much less let him see something as incriminating as a pack of condoms. Maybe this was inevitable, and it was bound to happen sooner or later.
A cold wind was blowing outside. Colorful lights swayed among the night.
Lin Yixin followed Lin Xiao all the way to the edge of a garden outside the restaurant. She was shivering a little from the cold because she wasn’t wearing much.
I walked up to her and put a coat around her. Lin Xiao’s gaze grew even icier because of it.
"Dad, it really isn’t what you think…" Lin Yixin said in a low tone. She sounded like a kitten begging for forgiveness.
Lin Xiao replied icily, "Yiyi, it’s been a long time since we talked to each other properly. Why don’t we sit down and do just that… without the interference of an outsider?"
Lin Yixin shot me a look before saying, "Lu Chen is my friend. He’s the one who stayed by my side during the hardest times of my life, not you!"
"Never mind…" Lin Xiao pulled out a cigarette, lit it, and took a deep breath. With his back against us and his eyes staring at the moon in the sky, he said, "Yiyi, everything I did was so that you and your mother could have a better life. It’s true that I might’ve neglected something as a result of it, but I still wish that the two of you could forgive and give me a chance to make up for my mistakes. Now that my businesses in Southeast Asia and South Africa have stabilized, I have sufficient time and energy to keep you both company. Is that okay?"
Lin Xiao’s voice sounded deep and powerful. When he turned around though, he touched his temple and said with a tremor that wasn’t there before, "I’m growing old. I would like to keep my wife and my daughter company. I would like to take care of my family. Is that okay?"
Lin Yixin pursed her lips and stayed silent. Her hands were clenched into fists around the hems of her shirt.
Seeing that his words were getting through to her, he decided to strike while the iron was hot, "For the past month, I’ve been traveling back and forth between the USA, Canada, England, and other places with Wanru’s medical report. It was in Vancouver that I found a famous neurologist who used to be my good friend’s lecturer. It took a lot of effort, but I was ultimately able to persuade him to treat Wanru’s illness. Therefore, I would like to take Wanru to Vancouver. The treatment process could take a month, half a year, or even longer. By the way, you should be making preparations as well. I’ve already applied for the transfer for you, and you will be finishing your studies at the University of Victoria."
"What? I have to go to Canada…"
A visible shudder coursed through Lin Yixin’s body. She was as shocked and dazed at the news as she could be. She looked back and forth between me and Lin Xiao before murmuring, "Why… why should I complete my studies in Canada? I don’t want to! I’m staying!"
LIn Xiao suddenly raised his voice. "Don’t be selfish, Yiyi! Don’t you want your mother to recover? Dr. Alex said that the chances of your mother waking from her coma are at least 60% or above after his treatment. Are you going to abandon your mother for your selfish desires?"
"But… but…" Lin Yixin still couldn’t come to a decision.
Lin Xiao suddenly glared at me frigidly before growling, "Don’t tell me you’re hesitating because of him? What part of him do you fancy anyway? I’ve investigated him, and yes, I know I’m sticking my nose in your business, but I found out that he’s living with three beautiful women right now! Hmph! You don’t deserve someone like him!"
My eyes widened, but I couldn’t say anything in defense of myself.
Lin Yixin continued to put pressure on me angrily, "I dare you to say that you love my Yiyi. I dare you to say that you’ll care for her from the bottom of your heart. No? Then what can you sacrifice for my Yiyi? You’re just a weak-minded brat, unable to directly face his own feelings!"
"Stop talking already, dad…"
Lin Yixin cried after saying that. It was the kind of tears I never wished to see on her face. She looked at me and murmured, "I’m sorry, Little Cheat, but I… I…"
I felt something in my own nose. "Yiyi, I…"
Lin Xiao said, "Yiyi, you’re still too young to understand love. The reason you’re with him right now is because this emotion seems fresh to you. You don’t really love him at all. When you grow tired of him, you will forget him completely yourself. Come with me to Vancouver, will you? Let us begin our new life there together."
Lin Yixin bit her lips as tears poured down her eyes like a waterfall. She suddenly turned toward Lin Xiao and shouted, "You bastard! How do you know I don’t love him at all? How dare you decide my feelings for me?"
Lin Xiao shuddered from head to toe. It looked like he had never seen his daughter this angry before.
I called out to her and tried to touch her shoulder, but she dodged away as if she was pricked by electricity. Her eyes were closed, and tears slid down her cheeks soundlessly. Even now, she looked impossibly beautiful under the moonlight.
A long time later, Lin Yixin opened her eyes and asked me dazedly, "Little Cheat, you can’t love me and me only, right? You won’t leave He Yi and Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls, right?"
My emotions were a jumbled mess. I thought of He Yi, Murong Mingyue, Beiming Xue, Li Chengfeng, Gui Guzi, Xu Yang, Du Thirteen, High Fighting Spirits, and more. How could I possibly abandon them?
"I… I won’t leave Ancient Sword Dreaming Souls. I’m sorry…" I murmured.
Eyes cold, Lin Xiao said, "Do you see that? This man won’t sacrifice anything for you. There is nothing good about him. Give it up, Yiyi. He really doesn’t deserve you."
Lin Yixin slowly closed her eyes and cried even harder than before. Her delicate shoulders jerked occasionally as tears slid down her soft skin.
A long time later, Lin Yixin finally opened her eyes again and stared at the swaying grass on the ground. She said quietly, "Thank you for keeping me company for so long, Little Cheat. I was happy; really, really happy that you were there for me, hehe. But I need to go to Canada for my mom. I will be leaving your side for a very, very long time. Please forgive me, okay?"
I nearly broke into tears there and then. I was the one who failed her, and yet Lin Yixin thought that she was the one who owed me for leaving so suddenly.
I looked away just in case my tears broke loose. After controlling the urge to cry, I looked at Lin Xiao and asked, "When are you departing for Canada, uncle? And how long will you be there?"
Lin Xiao stared coldly at me. "Why do you want to know?"
I murmured, "Yiyi is the most important person in my life. I care about her."
Startled, Lin Yixin’s tears started dripping again. There was about 5 meters of distance between us, and neither of us could see each other’s faces clearly. That didn’t stop us from feeling the helplessness and love of the other person.
Lin Xiao clenched his teeth once before replying in an emotionless voice, "We’ll be departing in about half a month’s time. Whether or not Yiyi is going to inform you when she leaves is up to you!"
I nodded and said, "Thank you."
I turned to look at Lin Yixin, and she looked at me as well. A moment later, she gave my jacket a pull before asking softly, "Can you give me your jacket? I… I want to look at it when I think about you…"
Tears threatened me again as I replied, "It’s a cheap 120 RMB jacket though…"
Lin Yixin cried again. "You’re not allowed to make me cry, stupid…"
In the end, Lin Yixin left with Lin Xiao. They would be departing to Canada in half a month’s time, and I couldn’t do anything to stop them. For one, I had no ground to stop Lin Xiao at all. Lin Yixin gave up almost everything so that her mother could recover. I couldn’t possibly become an obstacle in her path.
Standing in the frigid wind, a wave of sorrow and helplessness assaulted me as Lin Xiao’s car shrank from view.
Suddenly, my phone rang. Xu Yang was the one who called me. "Lu Chen, a Vassal Token just dropped for Li! We’re planning to use it for revenge and launch a raid on Hall of Immortality tomorrow at 10 am sharp, so prepare yourself. Everyone will be in higher spirits with you around!"
I clenched my fists tightly. "Got it!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter