[Please tell Zhong Lin to take a good rest. I hope to see a radiant Zhong Lin when the time comes.]
Seeing this message, Zhou Yilin fell in a daze and it wasn’t until the arrival of the next message that she recovered her senses.
[Zhong Lin attaches a lot of importance to your sisterly relationship, but you take advantage of her like this, won't your conscience hurt?]
Zhou Yilin locked the screen and threw her phone away.
Afterwards, she heard the text message ringtone beep from time to time, asking whether Zhong Lin was eating well, what Zhong Lin was doing right now, what kind of clothing style Zhong Lin liked, and whether Zhong Lin wanted to go abroad to have fun…
Ouyang Yi’s perseverance softened Zhou Yilin's heart.
But her reason always prevailed, and she knew very well that affection came in a vigorous manner only at the beginning, and those feelings came quickly but disappeared just as quickly.
When Ouyang Yi called, Zhou Yilin wasn’t surprised at all.
"Did you pass on my messages or not? And why didn’t you answer my questions?"
"She already knows. As for your questions, am I obliged to answer?"
"Do you find it fun to be sandwiched between me and Zhong Lin? Don't you think that your light bulb is shining way too brightly?"
"I don’t mind, it’s fine like this."
Ouyang Yi was instantly KO’ed.
The day of signing the contract finally arrived. When Zhou Yilin got to her office, the representatives of Ouyang Corporation were already waiting downstairs.
Zhou Hua was confused by Ouyang Corporation’s eagerness to sign the contract. Initially, he had planned to personally bring the contract to Ouyang Corporation’s headquarters with his people, but the other party was even more anxious than him.
Under the positive outlook and cooperation from both sides, the contract was signed in a smooth manner.
Following this, Ouyang Yi immediately pulled Zhou Yilin away, leaving the rest of the people in the conference room dumbstruck.
Zhou Hua stroked his chin and his eyes sparkled.
Ouyang Yi pulled Zhou Yilin to her office and closed the office door under everyone's eyes.
"Hurry up and tell me, where is Zhong Lin?"
Zhou Yilin broke away from his hand, her wrists were now red from his grip. She looked at her wrist and answered, "Go to Raphanus Courtyard tomorrow morning, I will send her there."
Ouyang Yi then left with delight written all over his face.
Meanwhile, Zhou Yilin was still in a daze when Zhou Hua walked into her office.
"Yilin, Ouyang Yi was in such a hurry to sign the contract for your sake, yet you say that there’s nothing between you and him? You don't have to keep things from me. Father will be even happier if you guys are truly dating."
Zhou Yilin cast a surprised look at Zhou Hua, who never referred to himself as ‘father’ in front of her at the company. In fact, he’d never made their father-daughter relationship public before.
"if you can fight for it, you have to give it your all and win him over. If you can marry into the Ouyang Family, Father will certainly prepare a generous dowry for you." Zhou Hua added and left.
Zhou Yilin asked for leave again.
She returned to Raphanus Courtyard, but this time she couldn't focus solely on being Zhong Lin because she was distracted by other thoughts.
She picked up the painting brush but didn't even know where to start. Her mind was in a complete mess.
She had two thoughts battling it out in her mind.
One said, "I can't go on like this. If Ouyang Yi knew that I’m a two-faced person, he would certainly cut me off. Instead of breaking up when our feelings grow deeper, it would be better for me to take the initiative to break up with him and go our separate ways now."
Another said, "I have never met someone who sincerely liked me as much as he did. Why can't I continue and stay together with him? Even if we can't be together in the future, I want to cherish the present moment."
By the time Zhou Yilin regained her senses, a person’s image had appeared on her drawing board, it was a spitting image of Ouyang Yi with a smile tugged at his lips.
She put down her painting brush and lay on the sofa. She wanted to lie down and have a rest, but she didn't want to fall asleep. However, she slowly drifted to sleep, nestled up on the sofa.
When she muddleheadedly heard someone yelling and her phone ringing, she slowly crawled up. Had she not been holding onto the sofa, she would have fallen to the ground already. She then staggered her way to the door and opened it.
The smile on Ouyang Yi's face froze as soon as it appeared. "Zhou Yilin? What are you doing here?"
He removed the hand Zhou Yilin had placed on the doorframe and walked inside to search for Zhong Lin, but he couldn’t find her anywhere. He walked back angrily and was about to confront Zhou Yilin when the latter collapsed and fell down next to the door. He froze for a second before rushing over. He raised his hand to pat Zhou Yilin's arm and called her a few times, but didn’t get any response. He then extended his hand and touched her forehead, which was scalding hot.
Ouyang Yi no longer bothered to find Zhong Lin and hurriedly sent Zhou Yilin, who was running a high fever, to the hospital.
While Zhou Yilin was hooked up to an IV, he hurriedly went back to Raphanus Courtyard. He walked to the wardrobe to find a set of pajamas and a change of clothes. On his way out, he also took the makeup remover that was placed on the dressing table along with him.
After asking the female nurse to help Zhou Yilin change her clothes and remove her makeup, Ouyang Yi returned to the ward. When he saw her lying on the hospital bed with a sickly look, he momentarily thought that Zhong Lin was lying there.
Without makeup, Zhou Yilin and Zhong Lin looked exactly the same. If it wasn't for Zhong Lin's leg injury, and the fact that she didn't like to wear makeup, he would really think that the person lying there was Zhong Lin.
When Zhou Yilin woke up, she heard a familiar voice amidst the fuzzy sight in front of her, "Zhou Yilin, you are awake."
Zhou Yilin instantly sobered up. She steadily swept a glance at Ouyang Yi sitting by the bed. Yesterday’s events flashed in her mind one by one. She remembered that she had arrived at the Raphanus Courtyard yesterday evening. Then, she felt exhausted after painting and wanted to take a nap on the sofa. Afterwards, she’d seemingly heard a shout from outside, so she went and opened the door…and now she was here.
In other words, she met Ouyang Yi with the appearance of Zhou Yilin. No wonder he called her ‘Zhou Yilin’ instead of ‘Zhong Lin’.
When Zhou Yilin didn’t respond, Ouyang Yi added, "Why were you at the Raphanus Courtyard?"
"That's my place too, so why can't I be there?" Zhou Yilin replied with an expressionless face.
"What about my Zhong Lin? Why wasn’t she there?"
Zhou Yilin’s lips parted but when she saw Ouyang Yi's face full of worry and disappointment, she swallowed the truth hanging at the tip of her tongue and stiffly answered, "Something came up at home, so she couldn’t make it."
Ouyang Yi frowned and cast a suspicious look at Zhou Yilin. "Is it because you don't want her to see me?"
Zhou Yilin fixated her gaze on him and unexpectedly replied, "Yes, that's right."
"What do you want this time?" If it weren’t for the fact that she’s a woman and the closest relative of his sweetheart, he would have given her a good beating!
"I want you."
"What???" Ouyang Yi was shocked.
Zhou Yilin looked at him and said word by word, "I like you."
Ouyang Yi abruptly stood up and strode away. He paused in his tracks at the door and turned to Zhou Yilin. "I have never met anyone as sickening as you. I will find Zhong Lin myself! As for you, don’t you ever appear in front of me again!"
Zhou Yilin raised her hand and covered her eyes. She didn't cry, she just felt a bit tired.
"See? No one likes Zhou Yilin."
"Then, don't be Zhou Yilin."
"No, you promised Grandmother that unless Zhou Yiyi is back, you can only continue being Zhou Yilin."
The two thoughts intertwined and flashed through her mind.
Zhou Yilin was discharged from the hospital on the same day and went back to Raphanus Courtyard, where she stayed for another two days. However, she’d never heard a knock on the door again on those days.
On the third day, she put herself in order and went to work.
"Deputy Director?" An Xiaotian was a bit surprised to see her. She thought that Zhou Yilin would take a longer leave this time. After all, the latter had clearly handed over a week's workload to her before going on leave.
"Did anything happen while I was away?"
"The director already came back from his business trip. When he heard that you’ve helped the president win over the contract of Ouyang Corporation, he said that he will invite us all to dinner and karaoke when you’re back. He also said that he wants to exchange pointers with you. Oh, he should still be in the president's office at this moment."
Zhou Yilin didn’t bother with the news about the director and simply asked, "Xiaotian, do you live with your family?"
An Xiaotian was stupefied for a moment. She didn't understand why Zhou Yilin would ask her about her family out of the blue but she still replied, "I live with my grandmother and my uncle."
"Where are your parents?" Zhou Yilin stared fixedly at An Xiaotian.
An Xiaotian felt even more suspicious now in her heart. She still couldn’t discern why Zhou Yilin would ask her all this, so she was a bit nervous. She then prudently replied, "I don't have parents. I heard that my grandmother picked me up from the garbage heap."
Zhou Yilin's eyes lit up. The reason why she asked those questions was because when she’d thought of Grandmother Zhou earlier, she suddenly recalled a picture she’d seen of Grandmother Zhou in her youth. An Xiaotian bore a resemblance to the young Grandmother Zhou.
"It must have been tough for you all these years."
An Xiaotian felt flattered and promptly shook her hand in response, "No, no, my family is poor but my grandmother and uncle love me very much and spend all the money they earn on me. Fortunately, I’m working and I can earn money to repay their kindness."
Although Zhou Yilin had a conjecture in her heart, she didn't show it with great fanfare. She was prepared to secretly take An Xiaotian and Zhou Hua’s hair to do a paternity test.
Tang Feng, the director of the project management office, was quite young. He was only a year or two older than Zhou Yilin. He became the manager of such an important department because he had received several important projects in the past. However, these projects were obviously not on the same level as those given by the Ouyang Corporation. It could be said that the company could rely solely on Ouyang Corporation’s projects to survive another three years.
Tang Feng liked Zhou Yilin, but he didn't dare to express his feelings because of the latter’s aloof appearance. This time, he took advantage of the fact that they were celebrating to sit next to Zhou Yilin. He put his hand on the back of Zhou Yilin's hand that was placed on the table and smiled, "Yilin is really our heroine. I heard from President Zhou that without you, we wouldn’t have successfully won over Ouyang Corporation’s project. Come here, let me toast to you!"
Zhou Yilin pulled her hand back and raised her wine glass slightly. She didn’t clink her glass against Tang Feng’s and directly downed her glass of wine.
"Great! How frank! We must really thank Yilin. President Zhou has decided to give everyone in our project department a salary raise! Aren’t you guys going to express your thanks?" Tang Feng swept a glance towards his fellow colleagues.
"Deputy Director, I'd like to propose a toast to you. I hope that our project management office will continue prospering like this for many years to come." A quick-witted colleague immediately stood up with a wine glass in hand.
Manager Lin couldn't help but say, "I think it’s better for the girls to drink tea in place of alcohol!"
"Xiao Lin, why are you so fussy? All the girls in our department won't concede to men. Since we are having dinner together, let’s not spoil the fun and drink some wine. I’ll certainly arrange for someone to drive you home if you were to get drunk later." Tang Feng cast a meaningful look at Zhou Yilin.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Yuna | Editor: Grace | TLC: Grace