Chapter 267: Shen Mengting Is Madam X’s Niece
Atlas Studios Atlas Studios
On the second day, a newspaper and magazine publishing company reported on the relationship between Shen Mengting and Ning Shuqian.
On the papers was a gigantic photo of a disguised Ning Shuqian coming out of the police center. The report beside it read: “Seeing that a certain wealthy Madam X went to the police, I thought there was some big news. After both public and private investigations, it was found out that Shen Mengting is Madam X’s niece.”
“Shen Mengting’s mother, Madam Zhang, was a former acquaintance of Madam X. Madam Zhang’s elder brother was also Madam X’s old lover, and the two of them had given birth to a daughter—everyone should know who is it!”
“As Madam Zhang has depression, she’s currently rehabilitating in a sanitarium. According to investigations, Madam Zhang’s husband passed away at a young age. She had raised her daughter up on her own, sustaining their lifestyles through working at a hotel. Shen Mengting had excellent results in school, but due to her mother’s sudden depression, she had dropped out of school and stayed at home before finishing her Secondary Three studies!”
“The question is, how did Shen Mengting manage to get into Lan Feng Institute, such a high-end school with expensive school fees?”
“How can Madam Zhang stay in such a sanitarium with acceptable conditions and substantial fees?”
“Where did Shen Mengting get the money to go to bars and take drugs?”
“Could it be that a certain Madam X is still deeply attached to her old lover, and hence took special care of them?”
The exposure of many youths taking drugs in the Birds of Paradise Bar had already attracted the society and the government’s attention—where did the money come from? This statement pointed at Ning Shuqian. Even if it wasn’t Ning Shuqian who asked Shen Mengting to take drugs, she was implicated. Naturally, society did not have a good impression of Ning Shuqian.
And the last statement was even more deadly, openly saying that Ning Shuqian was still deeply attached to her old lover and so extended her love to take care of Madam Zhang and her daughter. Wonder how would Wen Haowen’s reaction to this piece of news be?
The edge of Wen Xinya’s lips curled up into a cold smile. Ning Shuqian manipulated Shen Mengting against her—she definitely wouldn’t take it lying down. She had long ago decided to make use of Shen Mengting’s drug-taking to implicate Ning Shuqian. However, the results of the investigations by the Celestial Detective Agency was beyond her expectations, making it possible for her to drive a wedge between Ning Shuqian and Wen Haowen at the same time.
Wen Xinya opened up the documents that the Celestial Detective Agency had sent her regarding Ning Shuqian’s past. The information contained the past relationship between Ning Shuqian and Madam Zhang’s elder brother. With a few light strokes of her fingers on the screen of her phone, she sent an email to the Celestial Detective Agency, requesting to look for a person.
The Celestial Detective Agency replied very quickly.
Wen Xinya sighed slightly.
There was a knock on the ward’s door. Zhong Rufeng strolled into the ward, holding a bouquet of exquisitely packaged crepe myrtle flowers—the combination of white, purple, and blue was extremely gorgeous.
Wen Xinya was stunned, obviously not expecting that Zhong Rufeng would visit her. “Why are you here?”
“I heard Old Mr. Mo mentioning to my Grandpa that you’re wounded, hospitalized, and will be discharged today. So, I came to visit you.” Zhong Rufeng explained with a smile and passed the fresh flowers that he was hugging over to her. “Congratulations on your discharge from the hospital today.”
Wen Xinya received the bouquet of crepe myrtle flowers. Seeing the extremely radiant and pretty crepe myrtle flowers, she couldn’t help but feel joy in her heart. “Thank you. I like them very much.”
Seeing that she accepted the bouquet, Zhong Rufeng’s uneasy heart instantly went back to normal. Previously, he had not placed the crepe myrtle flowers in his hands into her hair purely because the act was too abrupt. However, that had always been his regret. Now, to gift her his bouquet of crepe myrtle flowers was also not impolite and completed his own thoughts.
“Oh yes, that girl, Ruo Ruo, asked me to bring you something.” Zhong Rufeng passed a plastic bag to Wen Xinya.
Wen Xinya stretched her hand and received it. It contained medication prescribed by Du Ruo for scar removal with clear instructions on usage method and quantity.
Zhong Rufeng smiled and said, “Previously, that girl has been saying that she wanted to come over. However, she seems to have something on and didn’t come over together.”
Wen Xinya naturally knew that since the confirmation of the opening of the cosmetics company and storefront, Ruo Ruo had recently been busy with the deconstruction of some of the formulas on hand, and was extremely busy.
“As you know, there are more males than females in my family. Not having a caring little cotton candy has always been my Grandpa’s regret, and you happen to get along very well with him. Recently, my Grandpa has always been talking about you—if you have time, you can go over and visit him.” Only when Wen Xinya got on closer terms with the Zhong Family could he take the relationship between him and Wen Xinya to the next level.
“I’ve been busy recently and didn’t have much time. I’ll go and visit Grandfather Zhong in a few days.” Only after Zhong Rufeng mentioned it did Wen Xinya realize that previously, she had been busy with returning to school, then with the opening of the company and storefront, and had indeed not been to the Zhong Family to visit Grandfather Zhong in a long time. She felt even more guilty towards Grandfather Zhong in her heart. Grandfather Zhong was truly fond of her—not only did he guide her sincerely in Liu-calligraphy, but he had also given her tips on history and literature.
“I don’t mean anything else. I know that things haven’t been smooth for you since you entered Lan Feng Institute.” Zhong Rufeng secretly sighed. He was ultimately still slightly impatient—it was rumored that she had indeed been in a bad shape recently, and that was normal. Now that she had officially returned to school and rescheduled her learning of chess, calligraphy, and music to nighttime, under such immense stress, he was being a little difficult.
He struggled to warn himself that she was only fifteen-years-old, not twenty-five-years-old, there was no need to rush things, and quickly changed the topic. “Oh yes, how’s the High School’s syllabus—are you finding it tough?”
“Still alright!” Her foundation was after all slightly weaker, and the High School’s syllabus had rather high expectations of foundational knowledge. While she didn’t find it too tough at the moment, she had a feeling that she would be under greater stress moving forward.
“I’ve always kept my notes from my three years of secondary school and three years of high school previously—not sure if they’ll be of any use to you?” Zhong Rufeng had known long ago that although she had studied the three years of secondary school syllabus and obtained pretty good results in the examination of the Institute, she had after all not been through formal education. With the Achilles’ heel of weak foundational knowledge, she would slowly fall behind others’ learning progress. Thus, he had suggested so.
“Of course I’ll need them.” Wen Xinya’s eyes lit up—with the notes of the ex-President Zhong of the student union, her learning would definitely be accelerated.
Zhong Rufeng’s smile became even more radiant. “Okay, I’ll pass them to you tomorrow.”
“Thank you!” Wen Xinya felt like she was dozing off and suddenly met with a pillow. Just like this, she felt a huge load off her shoulders.
Zhong Rufeng took out the fountain pen he carried with him, pulled out a piece of sticky note, wrote down his webchat ID and his phone number, and passed it to Wen Xinya. “If there’s anything you don’t understand about your studies, you can ask me directly. Now that I’ve entered university, my learning schedule isn’t that packed and lessons are relatively more relaxed.”
Naturally, it was just what Wen Xinya was looking for. She received the sticky note unabashedly and said, “I won’t stand on ceremony then!”
“We’re friends, so there’s no need to stand on ceremony.” Zhong Rufeng replied with a calm smile.
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Chapter 268: As the Saying Goes: There’s Always One Thing to Conquer Another
Atlas Studios Atlas Studios
In the afternoon, Grandpa and Grampy fetched her from the hospital together. After Grandpa helped her with the discharge procedures, she returned to the Wen Family and moved into the Mo Family with Grampy.
Once back at the Mo Family, Mother He and Mother Jiang surrounded her and sized her up from head to toe. “Young Mistress, are you okay? Does your wound still hurt? Still feel dizzy?”
“Mother He, Mother Jiang, I’m really alright!” Wen Xinya felt warmth in her heart. If she were back at the Wen Family today, she would probably face Grandma’s cold words instead!
However, Mother He said worriedly, “After losing so much blood, your body’s definitely weak. Later, Mother Jiang and I will boil some black chicken with goji berries soup for you—drink more, it’s best for nourishing energy and improving blood circulation.”
Mother Jiang added, “You’ll also need something to nourish your brain, why don’t we also boil some pig’s brain with walnuts soup.”
The pair clicked immediately and scurried to the kitchen.
Wen Xinya couldn’t help but not know whether to laugh or cry. She came to the living room where Grampy was playing Chinese chess by the window. The afternoon sun, shining past the window grilles, landed diagonally on Grampy, illuminating his white hair so much that it was glaring. She suddenly realized that Grampy’s head was filled with even more white hair, felt her nose becoming sour out of the blue, and her eyes fogging up rapidly, becoming moist.
As if he felt her gaze, Old Mr. Mo looked up, took a glance at her, and said, “Why are you still standing there, come over and play a few rounds of chess with Grampy.”
Only then did Wen Xinya realize that now that she had started school, although she would go to the Mo Family for learning every day after school, as the time for learning was reduced, it had already been a long time since she last played chess with Grampy. She hurried over and said, “Grampy, you have to give me an advantage of five moves!”
Old Mr. Mo shook his head. “You’ve already learned chess for so long and still want others to give you an advantage. Such chess etiquette is still passable for self-entertainment, but better don’t show it to others to avoid being mocked at.”
Wen Xinya pouted in disagreement and said, “Grampy, you’re a Chinese chess expert and I’ve only learned it for a while! How can I match up to you—you giving me an advantage of five moves is already considered little. If I were to play chess with others, I can win even without an advantage.”
Old Mr. Mo raised his brows and shot her a look. “Only learned chess for a few days and already started to boast. Find a day for you to have a few rounds with Ninth Si to keep you in check.”
Wen Xinya instantly choked up. That sick Si Yiyan could even play chess with Grampy with ease. To have him play chess with her—wasn’t it a suicidal, asking for it move?
Upon the rare sight of her being speechless, Old Mr. Mo’s eyes glimmered slightly as he smiled and said, “You’ll start with the black pieces, I’ll give you an advantage of five moves—let’s see if your chess skill has improved over this period of time.”
As if afraid that Grampy would go back on his words, Wen Xinya quickly took the chess pieces and placed them on the chessboard.
Just like this, one after another, more than thirty moves passed. Wen Xinya’s speed of placing her pieces slowed down, needing to think for a while before her each move more often than not.
On the other hand, Old Mr. Mo was still handling it with ease. However, in his heart, he was shocked at Xinya’s improvement. She had already formed her very own chess style—nimble, dynamic, mingling the true with the false, employing military tactics, and catching one unaware.
Slowly, some of Wen Xinya’s secret moves were forced out. From time to time, she fondled with the dangling earring on her ear, and often, before placing her next step, stole glances at Grampy’s expressions and demeanor.
The smile in Old Mr. Mo’s eyes deepened as he purposely looked down and retrieved the teacup beside his hand. “Indeed, you haven’t been skiving in this period of time—your chess skill improved quite a bit.”
“An accomplished disciple owes his accomplishment to his great teacher—it’s all because Grampy has taught well!” Receiving a rare compliment, Wen Xinya’s eyes twinkled as the smile on her lips became even sweeter.
“Are you praising me or yourself?” Old Mr. Mo’s glance landed on a corner of the chessboard—indeed, a chess piece was missing over there. She thought that she had acted so secretively that even the spirits didn’t know about it, yet she didn’t know that chess players had each chess piece under them at their fingertips—the strategic placement of every chess piece could affect the big picture, how could one not know that a chess piece was missing.
Wen Xinya was still unaware that Grampy had already seen through her trick as she placed a chess piece in a corner of the chessboard, instantly reversing the decadent situation. She became even more smiley. “Of course, while praising Grampy, I’m praising myself at the same time.”
Old Mr. Mo, looking at his granddaughter’s pair of flickering, exceptionally bright eyes after doing something bad, placed a white chess piece at the spot where a chess piece had gone missing previously.
Wen Xinya instantly widened her eyes. Looking at the severely defeated black chess pieces on the chessboard, she understood that Grampy had already long seen through her secret move, purposely didn’t declare it, in actual fact intentionally making her suffer from her own scheme, plumped out her cheeks, and said, “Grampy, you’re playing dirty—you purposely baited me.”
At this ripe old age, Old Mr. Mo’s expression was unaffected by her saying that he played dirty. “You’re not playing dirty by stealing chess pieces?”
Wen Xinya was speechless for a moment.
Old Mr. Mo said slowly, “Furthermore, all is fair in war. I’m not playing dirty!”
Wen Xinya plumped out her cheeks and said, “Grampy, you’re really scheming. Even if you don’t play any tricks, I can’t win against you.”
Old Mr. Mo looked at her seriously and said, “Without using any tricks, you won’t be so convinced that you lost. It’s already game over long ago, and you just had to give dying kicks, struggling till your very last breath—this is not a good character trait!”
Wen Xinya hung her head, speechless for a moment. In her previous lifetime, it was precisely because of this character trait that she had ended up like that.
Old Mr. Mo said solemnly, “A moment’s victory or loss doesn’t count as anything, the key is who can have the last laugh. During the Chu-Han war in the Han dynasty, after Xiang Yu overthrew the tyrant Qin dynasty on his own, the third party who enjoyed the benefits was instead Liu Bang. Compared to Xiang Yu, Liu Bang was inferior in terms of military, talent, and more so, character—in fact, he had the character flaw of being despicable. But so what—instead, he’d had the last laugh.”
Each of Grampy’s words was sonorous, his every phrase a gem, making Wen Xinya feel a sense of enlightenment. “I got it, Grampy.”
Seeing that she really absorbed it, Old Mr. Mo couldn’t help but be relieved. “That’s good!”
Looking at Grampy, Wen Xinya giggled out loud. “Grampy, why don’t I dye your hair for you! I saw a Traditional Chinese Medicine hair dye formula, from one of Grandpa Du’s medical books, using polygonum root which not only helps to condition hair but also has the qualities of darkening hair.”
Old Mr. Mo frowned and said, “Why dye hair for no reason.”
Shaking Old Mr. Mo’s arm, Wen Xinya said disagreeably, “It’s good to dye hair—it’ll make Grampy look even younger and more energetic.”
Old Mr. Mo’s frown could almost snap a fly. “Graying hair is a natural occurrence, why hide it.”
“Grampy, Grampy, Grampy, just agree with me!” Wen Xinya stuck herself to Grampy’s body and whined.
And Uncle Zhang outside covered his mouth as he laughed uncontrollably. Indeed, there was always one thing to conquer another—no one had dared to go against Old Master’s authority all along. Now, Young Mistress was finally his counter.