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Chapter 99: A rather long story
When they left Maple Forest Leisure Centre, Mo Qianni was gasping for breath from all that running.
Seeing Yang Chen who still refused to let go of her hand, Mo Qianni pretended to cough, it was unknown whether it was due to shyness or the exercise that her face was bright red.
“What’s wrong? Is something wrong with your throat? Miss Mo?” Yang Chen feigned ignorance as he asked.
Mo Qianni glared at him, “Release your pig trotters!”
Yang Chen whose face wasn’t the slightest bit red laughed, but he still let go of that white and tender hand. The feeling of holding it was great though, as he took the chance to explain, “Miss Mo, these words of yours are incorrect. Pig trotters can’t possibly bend and grab onto your hand.”
Mo QIanni who already knew that bickering with this fella wouldn’t end well, so she didn’t bother arguing with him, and directly walked towards her car.
After the two of them got on the path back, Yang Chen turned to ensure that nobody had chased after them. He then sighed a breath of relief.
Mo Qianni wore a rather playful smile, “So someone with thick skin also has people they’re afraid of, are you worried that Zhou Dongcheng would chase after us?”
Yang Chen was truly worried of that sissy chasing after him. He awkwardly smiled, “Miss Mo is truly wise and intelligent, you managed to figure out such a profound problem.”
“Relax, although he was born as a part of the underworld, in our circles he’s famous for being modest and polite. There isn’t a shred of a big family’s young master’s demeanor to be seen from him, he never uses force to make people comply.”
“Hearing you say such a thing, he seems very kind……” Yang Chen mumbled.
Mo Qianni stretched her hand out to tap on the volume rocker on the steering wheel, bringing the music volume to the minimum, then said, “Of course he can’t possibly always be so kind, if he was truly so harmless, then everybody wouldn’t be so fearful of him. I’m just saying that if you don’t provoke him, and don’t do anything that would harm his bottom line, Zhou Dongcheng would always treat you warmly, this sets him apart from his father.”
“You’ve even met Zhou Guangnian before?” Asked Yang Chen.
Mo Qianni glanced at him like she was looking at a moron, “Of course. The Dongxing Group isn’t some small enterprise, it isn’t anything strange for us to see him during some public events. However, to be honest that old man truly doesn’t look like a businessman, despite many years of laundering his image, every time I’ve see him I feel like he’s shrouded in darkness, with a gloomy aura that makes one’s heart fluster.”
That goes without saying, how could he be the east region’s underworld emperor otherwise? Yang Chen felt that it’s rather normal for Zhou Guangnian to be that way.
As she spoke to this point, Mo Qianni maintained silence for a while, then said, “As thanks for helping me today, I’ll give you a chance to choose where we eat.”
Once Yang Chen heard this, he celebrated the fact that he no longer needed to follow Mo Qianni to weird places, he thought for a moment and said, “I want to eat hotpot!”
Mo Qianni shot him a glance, “It isn’t even winter time yet, why eat hotpot? The heat from it would cause acne.”
“You said you’d let me choose, well what do you feel like eating?” Yang Chen asked in grief.
“We'll eat at a roadside stall.”
“Eat at a roadside stall again!? Big sis, didn’t you say that you were giving me the chance to choose!?” Yang Chen bitterly smiled.
Mo Qianni snorted, “Like you said, what I mentioned was chance, not the right to choose, the place you chose has been vetoed, now we’ll go to a roadside stall!”
He painfully shut his eyes. This woman was too unreasonable!
Half an hour later, Yang Chen depressedly sat across Mo Qianni in Sis Xiang’s roadside stall; various Sichuan dishes were laid in front of them, and the bright red chilies looked spicy enough to kill Yang Chen just from looking at them.
Because it was still early, there weren’t many people in the roadside stall, so it seemed rather deserted compared to the last time. The cool winds of autumn’s beginning blew past, bringing with it a slight chill.
Mo Qianni drank a mouthful of white spirit, then looked at Yang Chen who looked like a bullied child. In a displeased manner she said, “What kind of expression is this, I’m treating you to a meal yet you have a face of hardship.”
Yang Chen wiped away the sweat on his forehead caused by the spiciness, “Unlike you who began eating spicy things since childhood, I rarely eat such spicy food overseas.”
“Oh, I nearly forgot, this great scholar in front of me had studied abroad, a wild brat like me who was raised in a small mountain village can’t compare.” Mo Qianni ridiculed.
Yang Chen couldn’t be bothered to bicker with her. He suddenly thought of something, with a serious expression he asked, “How are you planning to deal with your stepfather Zhang Fugui? I previously didn’t know what the reason was for your depression the past few days, but now that I think of it, it should be that man giving you a headache. If you need my help just ask, I’m very free and you know it.”
Mo Qianni’s chopsticks froze, she looked up straight at Yang Chen, then asked, “You’ve been paying attention as to whether I’ve been depressed or not?”
“Erm…” Yang Chen smiled embarrassedly, he couldn’t possibly say that he had been secretly taking glances at her every time she walked past, then staring at that butt of hers, could he? So he just said, “Our colleagues in the office all say that you’ve been in a bad mood, that’s how I found out.”
A little disappointment showed in Mo Qianni’s eyes, she softly said, “Do you remember the phone call I picked up the last time we came here?”
“I remember.” Yang Chen also remembers that he was forcibly hugged that night!
“It was a call from my mother, she said Zhang Fugui wanted to look for a job in Zhong Hai, and wanted me to help him arrange it.” Mo Qianni sneered, “Fact was he didn’t come here to build a career, he had built up a pile of debts in our hometown, and if it wasn’t for me paying off his debts, he’d already be beaten to death a long time ago… but his reputation was already so horrid there, so he decided to escape to Zhong Hai.
“You knew perfectly well that he was like this. Why did you allow him to come here?” Yang Chen curiously asked.
“Would you mind listening to a rather long story?” Mo Qianni returned with another question
“If the next time we go to eat you don’t bring me here, I’m willing to hear what you have to say……”
“Erm…” Yang Chen posed a sad smile, “You can go on to say it then.”
Mo Qianni’s lips formed the smile of a victor, then she dully began to narrate.
“I’ve told you before that my father died when I was thirteen, then my mother remarried to Zhang Fugui. Zhang Fugui was one of the few men in the village who hadn’t married. He was considerably young, and had always liked my mother, so my mother agreed to the marriage in the end. Actually, at that time Zhang Fugui wasn’t much of a gambler; although we were poor, we still had enough food and clothes.”
“...... But a few months later, my mother fell sick due to her weak constitution and from working at the farm everyday, she was bedridden. At that time, I was just thirteen years old, after I went through elementary school in the village, I stayed at home and wasn’t able to obtain a middle school education. Fact was we didn’t even have a middle school in our area.”
“During that time I wanted Zhang Fugui to bring my mother to the closest little town to see a doctor, because I was afraid that after my father left me, my mother would leave me too. If that were the case, I would truly be an orphan. I was very afraid, and kept begging Zhang Fugui… before that I had never called him daddy, but to urge him that time, I kept calling him ‘daddy’, ‘daddy’......”
“But Zhang Fugui suddenly changed, to the point where I didn’t know him anymore, like he was a stranger… he didn’t listen to a word I said. Other than asking for some herbal medicines from the village chief, and giving it to me to boil it for my mother, he didn’t do a single thing……”
“Afterwards, an auntie who was my neighbor told me that Zhang Fugui was too poor, he didn’t have the money, even if we went to the town’s hospital, there was no way to let my mother see the doctor, and it was even more unlikely for us to be able to afford the medicine. He was so poor that he couldn’t even afford to buy the ticket to take the bus to the town.”
As she spoke till this point, Mo Qianni’s voice turned a little hoarse, her eyes reddened, then she poured herself a small cup of white spirit and downed it.
“Then your mother, she’s……” Yang Chen didn’t continue the question.
Mo Qianni replied, “Afterwards my mother turned for the better. I don’t know whether it was sympathy from the heavens, or the village chief uncle’s herbal medicine being effective. However, after that sickness my mother seemed to become a lot older……”
“However, I was still very afraid then, I began to think, if mom turned sick again, and we still didn’t have the money to bring her to see a doctor, what was going to happen? I didn’t dare think more of it, I only had one thought at that time which was to make sure mom had enough money to go see a doctor……”
“So you came to Zhong Hai alone?” Yang Chen suddenly understood.
Mo Qianni nodded, and mocked herself, “Do you find it very absurd, very foolish? A little girl who wasn’t even fourteen yet, pretended to be very mature, yet she actually didn’t know a thing. She just took the train to Zhong Hai, with a wish to earn enough money to let her mother see a doctor.”
“You weren’t silly, you were incredible. I’m very curious as to how you attained the money to buy a train ticket.” Asked Yang Chen.
Mo Qianni’s dodged his gaze, hesitated for a moment and said, “I stole a person’s wallet at the train station……” After she said that, she lowered her voice and asked, “Will you look down on me, and feel that I’m very shameless? Despite having done such a terrible thing, I’m still able to boldly say it out?”
What’s stealing a wallet? I(laozi) even robbed a bank before…… Yang Chen thought, but he didn’t say it of course, he just sincerely shook his head and said, “I won’t, for all humans err. At least you’re much more skillful than me, I’ve gone into the police station twice now.”
Mo Qianni finally laughed, then continued to say, “You may know a little about what happened after. When I came here alone, I looked for ways to self-study. I received help from Sis Xiang and others who came from the village along with some help from the welfare agencies to get into middle school. After that, Ruoxi's grandma, who was Yu Lei International's CEO at the time, came to my school to give a speech. She took fancy to me and provided me financial aid. From then on, I was able to raise my head in Zhong Hai. If it weren't for the previous CEO, there wouldn't be the Mo Qianni of today..... You should be able to understand why I became so angry when I found out a rogue like you married Ruoxi, right?”
Yang Chen understandingly nodded.
The greatest favor in the world was no other than providing help when one needs it most. Although Mo Qianni seemed unperturbed about it, it obviously wasn’t easy for her to come out from a remote mountain village without anybody to rely on, she was just a little girl who had nothing. She was provided education, brought into the high society, and even became one of the elites in Zhong Hai’s business world. What Lin Ruoxi’s grandmother gave to Mo Qianni definitely wasn’t just monetary aid, perhaps she was even more of a spiritual pillar for Mo Qianni to lean on. Of course, throughout that time the amount of effort Mo Qianni put in had to be several times of others, the sweet, the sour, and the suffering involved, only she herself understood.
“Later on, I finally earned some money. I still remember the first time I sent my mother some money, my mother cried on the phone for a long time, but we were very happy…… My mother knew that I had grown up, and I knew I could finally take care of her……”
“However, that was also when Zhang Fugui began to indulge himself in gambling. After he knew that I was able to earn a considerable amount every month, and that I had deep roots in Zhong Hai, he began rolling higher and higher. From what began as cents, turned to a few dollars, then he began betting tens and twenties, in the last two years, he was already gambling hundreds a time.” Mo Qianni depressingly said.
Yang Chen creased his brows, “Then why don’t you let your mother divorce him, and let your mother leave him? Wouldn’t that be the end of it if you brought her here to live with you? With your income, you’re perfectly capable of allowing the both of you to live well, why care about that gambling addict?”
Mo Qianni made a sad smile and said, “In your eyes, he’s a disgraceful gambling addict, and in my eyes, he’s a useless and disgraceful stepfather…… but to my mother, he’s a man who sheltered her during her most bitter period of life, a man who accompanied her for over ten years. No matter how bad Zhang Fugui was, he hadn’t done anything outrageous to my mother, and had always kept her company……”
“So for your mother, you kept helping Zhang Fugui settle his gambling debts? And even let him come to Zhong Hai?” Yang Chen had already understood the crux of the matter, and felt sad, every family had its own problems. If he hadn’t heard Mo Qianni say it herself, who would’ve known that this incredibly bright and beautiful executive had such a dark past?
Mo Qianni nodded, “What more can I do? I can’t force my mother to divorce, my mother can’t reject Zhang Fugui’s imploring, and I can’t reject my mother’s request.”
“Do you think your mother loves Zhang Fugui?” Asked Yang Chen.
Mo Qianni was stunned, then said, “If she doesn’t love him, she wouldn’t stay with him in that poor and secluded place. Despite knowing that her daughter had a house, a car and a career in this flourishing city, she still silently stayed with Zhang Fugui, and stayed in that shabby house with a two mu farmland.”
[TL: Mu = 0.0667 hectares]
“Why are you so sure about that? I’m guessing that perhaps your mother just doesn’t want your career to be harmed by her coming here. After all, if others knew about your background, it may be detrimental to your career.”
“I don’t care about that!” Mo Qianni was a little agitated, she truly hadn’t thought about this point before, hearing Yang Chen point it out for her, she suddenly turned a little sober, “Do you think there’s really such a possibility? That my mother isn’t staying because she loves Zhang Fugui, but because she’s worried about causing a negative impact on my career?”
Yang Chen thought for a moment, then made a strange smile, “If you’re willing to believe me, we can conduct an experiment, after that the truth will come to light.”
“Experiment?” Mo Qianni doubtfully looked at Yang Chen, but she instinctively trusted him, so she made a slight nod.
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