"Even if she lived in a villa, ate and dressed well, and went to the best school, no one took her seriously. If she wanted to make friends, people would say, 'Look Zhou Yilin is currying favour with so and so again'. When her grades were bad, people would say, 'Does she even need good grades? She could just sit at home and be a rich heiress'. To others, even her smile was seen as a frivolous expression."
"She had to make herself perform better and become an outstanding person so that no one else could find faults with her. She would rather live like a walking corpse than be a joke in other people's eyes."
Zhou Yilin finished the last part in a very calm manner.
Ouyang Yi had never heard her mention this before. Now that he thought about it, he could finally connect the dots to some of his previous doubts.
After hearing this, his heart ached for her.
Before, he thought that he hated everything except for her appearance. To him, she was a calculating and hypocritical woman who thought highly of herself. But when he got to know her better, he noticed that she was actually a softhearted person underneath her disguise. Otherwise, it would be impossible for her to have a split personality like Zhong Lin.
Even now, he still thought that Zhong Lin was Zhou Yilin's split personality.
After Zhou Yilin untied the knot in her heart, she no longer wore that heavy makeup look and those expensive clothes the next day. She changed into a set of casual attire and became herself again.
Ouyang Yi was astounded when he saw her. He put the bouquet of flowers aside and reached out to pull her into his embrace. He then affectionately said, "Zhong Lin, you finally appeared."
Zhou Yilin stared blankly at him for a moment before replying, "I've always been here."
"I know. I also know the secret between you and Zhou Yilin."
"Secret?" Ouyang Yi's words left Zhou Yilin confused.
"How long have your two personalities coexisted?"
Zhou Yilin steadily looked at Ouyang Yi. Her eyes shone brightly and a smile spread across her face. It turns out that he deemed she had a split personality. Now that she thought about it, she indeed felt as if she had a split personality.
She found this quite hilarious, so she deliberately adjusted her expressions from time to time to tease Ouyang Yi. Only when Ouyang Yi was overwhelmed by it did she tell him the truth. Ouyang Yi's expression was particularly spectacular. When he saw her laughing at him, he suddenly turned over and pressed her on the sofa. He then paid her back with a little bit of interest.
Their feelings seemed to have broken the boundaries and quickly intensified. Meanwhile, the Zhou Family was ready to hold a dinner party to share the good news of Yiyi’s return.
The Ouyang Family, their business partner, naturally received an invitation. Ouyang Yi's father asked Ouyang Yi to go in his stead.
Ouyang Yi asked Zhou Yilin to accompany him and help her vent her spleen in passing. Additionally, he was planning to propose to her after the dinner.
Zhou Yilin didn't want to go at first, but when she remembered Grandmother Zhou's last wish, she finally agreed.
After arriving at the Zhou Family’s gate, they met Zhou Hua and Mrs. Zhou at the entrance.
Seeing Zhou Yilin walking towards them arm in arm with Ouyang Yi, neither of their expressions looked good. Zhou Hua was a bit astute and adjusted his expression immediately. Mrs. Zhou, however, wasn’t so calm and directly told Zhou Yilin that the Zhou Family didn’t welcome her.
Before Zhou Yilin could speak, Ouyang Yi sneered, "I have never seen anyone get rid of somebody once they have ceased to be useful so thoroughly. President Zhou, have you forgotten who contributed the most to the pentagram construction project. This is just the first phase. When it’s done, there’s still the second and the third phase. It seems that I have to start considering whether I should continue our future cooperation or not. You say that Linlin wants to take your daughter’s place so that she can inherit the family business. Haha, she will shine wherever she goes with her abilities, why would she covet that tiny bit of your family's fortune?"
"You…" Mrs. Zhou was about to refute, but she was held back by Zhou Hua.
Zhou Hua hurriedly lowered his stance and said, "Vice President Ouyang has a point. Yilin has been part of our family for so many years. I understand her character well. I believe that she wouldn’t do such a thing. This must surely be a misunderstanding. I was too impulsive that day and didn’t investigate the details thoroughly. I’m sorry about that."
Zhou Yilin then replied, "I noticed that Xiaotian looked like Grandmother in her younger days, so I secretly went to do a paternity test. The test result I got was negative, thus I placed the document in the drawer. I never thought of taking your daughter’s place. I knew where I stood the moment I entered the Zhou Family’s gate. I promised Grandmother that I would continue to search for your biological daughter on her behalf. I hate lying. It’s up to you whether to believe it or not. I can't help it either if you don't believe me."
She paused and swiftly bowed to the Zhou couple. "I will always remember the kindness of your upbringing. I have donated all the salaries I received in the past two years to the Red Cross under Zhou Yiyi’s name. Please take good care of yourselves."
Zhou Hua and his wife froze.
At this moment, An Xiaotian, the protagonist of the dinner party, came in with a person in tow and towards them.
"Dad, Mom, Brother Lin has something to show you." Following behind An Xiaotian was Manager Lin.
Manager Lin handed a folder to Zhou Hua. "President Zhou, I saw Director Tang take out a document from Deputy Director Zhou's office and shredded it with a shredder. Sorry, I collected the pieces out of curiosity. I then pieced them together. Although it’s still incomplete, it’s enough to prove the truth."
Zhou Hua opened it and saw a piece of A4 paper with densely packed pieces of shredded paper glued to it, which was missing a few pieces here and there. However, the key information was displayed on it. Those with discerning eyes knew at a glance that this was a paternity test report, and the test results were spelled out without missing a word. The outcome of this paternity test was negative.
They instantly understood that Tang Feng had messed with the results.
Zhou Hua and his wife looked at each other before glancing at Zhou Yilin in an awkward manner.
"Yilin…" Zhou Hua wanted to say something but was interrupted by Zhou Yilin.
Zhou Yilin looked at An Xiaotian and said, "I'm sorry, Xiaotian. I've been a bit too harsh on you in the last few days."
"No, no, I know that you think highly of me and want to train me," An Xiaotian hesitated for a moment before discreetly added, "Elder Sister, I never thought that we would be part of the same family."
Zhou Yilin fished out a USB flash drive from her handbag and handed it to An Xiaotian. "This is a gift for you. There is a summary of all my work. I don't know if it will be useful but if you plan to continue working there, it might be of some help one day."
An Xiaotian received the USB flash drive with a surprised look on her face.
Zhou Yilin turned to Manager Lin and sincerely thanked him. She might still be unjustly blamed now if it wasn’t for him.
"Yilin, come back. The company needs you, and Yiyi likes you a lot," Zhou Hua urged.
Mrs. Zhou’s lips parted. She wanted to say something, but didn't know where to start.
Zhou Yilin calmly replied, "I’m sorry, being Zhou Yilin is too tiring. From now on, I just want to be myself and live the life I want."
"We still have some matters to tend to, so please excuse us." Ouyang Yi drew Zhou Yilin towards him and they left together, without giving Zhou Hua and the rest a chance to exchange pleasantries.
The two left from the dinner party and went directly to the dreamily decorated open-air balcony on the top of a building. The two were dressed in evening attire, sitting at both ends of a long table plated with exquisite delicacies. A handsome man and beautiful woman sitting together made the scene appear picture perfect.
Ouyang Yi began to talk about himself. His parents divorced when he was young, and he then went abroad with his mother. Afterwards, his mother suffered from depression and attempted suicide countless times. It was precisely because he grew up in such a depressed environment that he was instantly attracted to her when he saw her, a girl with impaired mobility in a wheelchair, yet still smiling so brightly.
The two of them ate dinner together and recalled the course of events from their first meeting to them falling in love with one another.
All kinds of irony caused by misunderstandings remained etched in their memories and would accompany them forever.
Then, dazzling fireworks burst forth in the sky.
Zhou Yilin looked up at the sky. Only when she heard Ouyang Yi calling out to her did she notice that Ouyang Yi was already standing next to her. Meeting her gaze, he knelt on one knee and opened the ring box held in the palm of his hand.
Inside lay a diamond ring.
Meanwhile, the still-single Zeng Huan saw this scene unfold on-screen and her girly heart nearly exploded with excitement.
"Ouyang Yi is simply the ideal husband. He’s handsome, rich and romantic. He’s also committed and devoted. Sadly, this kind of man doesn’t exist in real life." Zeng Huan sighed.
Sheng Jiaoyang thought differently. Doesn’t exist? There's one right by her side.
On-screen, the male lead put on the ring for the female lead. She suddenly missed Shen Zhining. Although Shen Zhining and Ouyang Yi had different personalities, Shen Zhining was fundamentally more dominant than Ouyang Yi. Although he appeared like an unromantic person, he often gave her pleasant surprises.
The more she missed him, the more she wanted to see him.
After watching the last episode, Sheng Jiaoyang drove Zeng Huan away. When she finished washing up, she video called Shen Zhining in bed.
With the time difference, it was currently evening on her side and afternoon over there.
As soon as the call connected, a gorgeous face came into sight.
Sheng Jiaoyang was about to say hello but froze when she saw the face of an unfamiliar foreign woman.
"Who are you?" Both asked in English at the same time.
"Why did you answer the phone, where is Shen Zhining?" Sheng Jiaoyang frowned.
"Shen is in the shower. Why are you looking for him?" The foreign woman was also staring at her through the screen.
He’s taking a shower? Sheng Jiaoyang’s eyelids twitched.
She then examined the background on the screen. That place was clearly Shen Zhining's office and she was also aware that there was a bathroom in the lounge. But why would he take a shower in the afternoon?
"When he’s out of the shower, tell him to call me back."
Sheng Jiaoyang tried to hold back her displeasure and hung up. She didn’t want to interpret the situation out of context, but anyone who encountered such a situation would certainly flip out. She wanted to hear Shen Zhining's explanation.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Yuna | Editor: Grace | TLC: Grace