Chapter 344: That bastard who abandoned his wife and daughter
A voice resounded from behind the reporters, ““There isn’t any godfather. The birth father giving a piece of his mind on his daughter’s behalf-that’s okay, right?”
Everyone looked back.
If anyone had been paying attention, the speaker had actually already been sitting at the very back of the hall for a very long time, ever since the start of the press conference.
If anyone had been paying attention, the eyes of this man in his early fifties with a handsome, scholarly appearance who possessed both bearing and aura had been reddened when Apple had admitted to once having been afflicted with severe depression and nearly committing suicide, the veins all bulging as he clenched his fists.
Then, seeing Apple encircled by the reporters, attacked and helpless to defend herself, he had finally spoken up.
The reporters instinctively raised their cameras.
A great many security guards surged in from the back doors on both sides of the room, giving them a ‘friendly’ warning, “You are forbidden from taking photographs for the moment.”
“Birth father? Didn’t they say that Apple grew up in a single parent family?” Since they had been forbidden from taking photographs and not speaking up, someone mustered up his courage and muttered aloud.
With Apple having entered showbiz twice and being in the midst of great popularity, her familial background and growth had already more or less been excavated. Even the fans and netizens knew that she had a birth father who had forsaken his wife and daughter more than ten years ago, disappearing without a trace and leaving them with only each other to depend on.
As reporters, these people naturally knew about this, even having once written articles despising and criticising this totally heartless father somewhat.
“Yeah, I’m that bastard who abandoned his wife and daughter.”
The man responded in a self-deprecating manner before standing up and walking forward.
Apple’s field of vision had previously been blocked by the reporters and all their equipment as she had been unable to see that person.
Twelve years had gone by. Apple was already unable to confirm it through just his voice alone.
She thought that this might be a joke or perhaps an arrangement that Tianyi and Xu Tingsheng had made to extricate her from her predicament…
“This isn’t happening, this isn’t happening…”
As she told herself this over and over again in her mind, due to her intense pain and emotions that were running amok, she began trembling in her entirety.
Li Juan said a few words to the member of Tianyi’s PR team sitting beside her who got up and let her sit there instead. She drew her chair closer, tightly holding Apple’s hand below the table.
The reporters unconsciously made way, opening up a path.
The man walked towards Apple. Looking at her from far away, he opened his mouth, seemingly wanting to ask after her and also seeming like he was trying to smile, yet was able to do neither of these in the end.
While there was still some distance between them, Apple needed just one glance to know that it was him. Even though they hadn’t met for twelve years, even though he looked much older than Apple imagined him, with quite some change even having come to the way he carried himself…
Still, Apple only needed a single glance to recognise him. It really was him, he who had once loved to carry her on his back, he who had once doted on her so much yet had suddenly left afterwards, this man who was her father.
Over the past twelve years, there had been countless times when Apple had dreamed about how he was like now, how he was living now, fantasising that he would appear again as she imagined the scenes of their reunion.
The word ‘Dad’ had already not left her mouth for twelve whole years.
She had originally decided that when she saw him again, she would call out ‘Dad’ at the very least.
Her mother had always believed that he had been plagued by unsaid troubles which had forced him to do what he had done. Otherwise, she would not have persisted in bringing her daughter along in searching for him amongst the endless crowds.
Before being afflicted with dementia, her grandmother had often said that he might be dead. This was not her cursing him as there was love and also hatred contained within her words.
Both her mother and grandmother could be certain of one thing, at the very least. They had always believed that he was not someone who would ‘abandon his wife and daughter’ on his own volition. Yet, as traditional women who were not much proficient in culture, they were actually unable to imagine even a plausible scenario that could account for everything.
Due to her mother’s attitude, Apple’s hatred for him actually did not run that deep. After entering showbiz, she had even wondered if he would see her. Perhaps he would come looking for her.
If he was currently not doing very well, Apple would take care of him for the rest of his life.
However, from the bearing, clothes and wristwatch of this man before her now….Apple who had already acquired some experience and discernment was able to tell with a single glance that he was living very well, well to a point that she had previously been unable to imagine.
“In that case, for him to leave...for a total of twelve years and not return, how can it be justified? ...How can anything be said in his defence?”
Apple’s mind was completely thrown into chaos at this moment. Even she herself was unclear on what exactly she was thinking, what kind of emotions she was having now.
She sat there in shock just like that, just looking at him and not saying a word.
The man walked over to Apple, his lips quivering a few times before he asked in a rather croaky voice, “Do you still recognise Dad, Xiyu?”
As the tears soundlessly trickled down her face, Apple...shook her head.
Li Juan leaned over and hugged her from behind.
Next to the comparatively silent father and daughter, the mood of those reporters was a whole different thing altogether. They were already excited to the extreme now. Twelve years having passed, with the daughter having gained popularity in showbiz, shameless father had come to the press conference to reunite with her on the spot...could there be a greater scoop than this?
The hits, the sales...were before their very eyes. The reporters were able to stand it no longer.
“Who are you? Is this legit or fake?”
“This wouldn’t be a PR ploy of Tianyi’s right?”
“What right do you have to stop us from taking photos?”
“Yeah, what right do you have to stop us? On whose authority?”
Amidst the resultant din, the man shot Apple a hand gesture before turning.
The clamouring of the reporters was quelled.
Firstly, the first doubt was already dispelled. As the man stood in front of Apple now, one standing, one sitting... just a simple comparison of their faces lined up side by side was enough for the reporters to virtually be certain that this person was none other than Apple’s birth father.
There was a difference in gender and age, but the look between their brows was so obviously similar their relationship could be confirmed by this resemblance with merely a single glance.
“No wonder he was able to give birth to a daughter as beautiful as Apple. Observing more closely, this guy was definitely crazy handsome when he was young,” A female reporter murmured softly.
“It also isn’t too bad now. A charming Uncle, just that he looks a little frail,” Another female reporter said.
The more it was like this, the more the reporters’ hands itched. A scene like this...being unable to take photographs was virtually a form of agony in itself.
“What right do you have to stop us?!” A reporter with a more obstinate personality stubbornly raised his camera which was then immediately confiscated by a security guard beside him.
Someone tried to secretly capture a photograph with their phone from a corner of the room but was similarly unable to succeed.
The reporters’ emotions surged.
Tianyi had pretty much given the best to Apple in everything as the current location of the press conference was one of the most luxurious hotels in Shenghai, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel belonged to the Cesar-Carlton Corporation whose founder was hailed as the father of luxury hotels throughout the world. Just this alone was sufficient as evidence of its position and strength.
Now, the boss of Shenghai’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel rushed into the venue, coming over to stand beside that man. He first respectfully made some whispered inquiries before turning towards those reporters, saying, “Sorry, but this Mister Cen Qishan before everyone here is one of the investors of Shenghai’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Therefore, we cannot but abide by Mister Cen’s will as much as is possible.”
“If you are dissatisfied with anything, you can leave the venue now. Also, we do are unconcerned whatever evaluation you may give the hotel in your articles thereafter.”
After these words were said, the reporters dared not utter a sound. This was equivalent to saying: We daren’t offend this dude even if we die, so just let him do whatever he wants. As for you lot, if you make any more noise, we’ll just have to throw you out.”
Leave the venue now, with the press conference not yet over? With such a great scoop laid out before them, only a fool would do so.
“Also, the identity of Apple’s birth father is more interesting than any old news. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, a world-class enterprise. This isn’t something that anyone with money can be an investor of. It also entails sufficient status and capabilities.”
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