The Yin family’s grand living room was filled with people; the sides were clearly differentiated.
Aunt Qin clenched her hands so tightly that discoloration could be seen on her slightly plump hands. Her body trembled as she involuntarily moved closer to the person sitting on the couch in front of her; her heart was clearly beating quickly.
Sensing the anxiety coming from the person behind him, He Changning turned back and gave Aunt Qin a comforting smile. Then he turned back to look at the bunch of people sitting before him. His eyes were still smiling, but there was no longer any warmth in it.
Just a while ago, his biological father, representing the entire family, informed him that he would soon be married off to the oldest son of the Shang family as a wife.
Yes, he was going to be married to a man as his wife.
He Changning felt that God must be pulling a joke on him; he was a man, a hundred percent purebred man, and yet he was going to be married to another purebred man to be his wife – was the joke even funny? No, it’s not funny at all. And the person who delivered this surprise was his father, a person that he had been calling ‘Dad’ for twenty years.
To be honest, up to this point he still couldn’t bring himself to believe if what he’d heard was true. But as he watched the people sitting opposite himself with that expression – rejoicing, despise, indifference – he thought that he heard it right. So, he just had to confirm it once again, “Dad, what do you mean?”
Yin Zhinian cleared his throat. To be honest, he really was unwilling to be telling his own son to marry another guy as his wife. But the Yin Establishment was currently facing a crisis and only with the assistance from a financial group to inject funds into them would the establishment be able to turn around. Plus, with his wife, Congmin, at the side stirring things up, Yin Zhinian, who was already credulous, just couldn’t handle the temptation and hence the decision. Yet, to officially inform his son of this news face to face, he just couldn’t put up a straight face.
He coughed a bit before saying, “Well, Changning, Dad really ran out of solutions, you see. You know how this entire family was holding together because of our biggest lifeline, Yin Establishment. But right now, Yin Establishment’s funding is having some problems. We can only hope that with the help from the Shang Establishment Group we can resolve the current lack of funding. Once the crisis is over, Dad will come up with a way to get you out from the Shang family. Even if the Shang family objects, they would release you after one year. When that time comes, Dad will properly compensate you.”
With every word he heard, his heart sunk lower. He Changning’s elegant smile had already turned icy-cold. The temperature in his eyes made Yin Zhinian shudder in response.
“So what Dad meant is, you are selling me to the Shang Establishment as an exchange for funding and that the deal is on for a year?”
Witnessing the coldness and sarcasm in his son’s eyes, Yin Zhinian trembled even more. “Changning, how could you say that to me? Dad really has no other options. I can’t possibly just see our entire family out on the streets, right?” Yin Zhinian justified himself for his despicableness and selfishness.
He Changning laughed sarcastically, “So I deserve to be the one to be sold off, to be the one who would willingly sacrifice for everyone? And I shouldn’t even have any grudges?”
Yin Zhinian had never seen He Changning being so intense and harsh. In that instant, he felt that the ever-so-obedient son of his must have been swapped away with this stranger before him. How could he have such a penetrating gaze that made him feel so ashamed and unable to look in his eyes?
Congmin watched as her husband backed down again, making anger rise in her, “Changning, I know you don’t feel good about this. But you can’t possibly just care for yourself. Our family has been raising you for so many years and now that we’re facing a problem, you can’t just sit back and watch right? Besides, hasn’t your dad treat you well all these years? No one in this family has requested you to do anything for us, so you can’t be so heartless and watch our family decline, can you? If the Yin family goes down, there’s no benefits for you to gain. You better think again.”
All of a sudden, He Changning was crowned to be heartless, unrighteous, disloyal and unfilial. The frustration added on to the anger deep within him. Now that the Yin family’s survival had become his responsibility, the Yin family’s glory, splendor, wealth and rank would only be complete with the deal to sell him off. And yet all these people took it for granted and assumed that he was supposed to return this debt, because he owed the Yin family.
As he looked at those despicable-to-their-rotten-souls faces, He Changning suddenly felt like laughing. And in fact, he did, and he did it exaggerated and presumptuously, “HA, HAHA, HAHAHA, what a one-of-a-kind family, selling their son for their riches and honor, yet making it sound so dignified. Even the reasons I’ve used to retort became a joke. Good, well done. Since aunty was so devoted to such righteousness that inspires reverence, why not ask your own son to be the family’s savior? That’ll sure bring honor to your ancestors.”
Like a cat whose tail got stepped on, Congmin immediately reacted aggressively with her high-pitched voice, so sharp that it’d make your eardrums hurt, “He Changning, that’s too much! Was that how your mother taught you?!”
“How my mother teaches me isn’t for you to comment. You jolly well be clear about your own status before speaking to me.” He Changning’s voice was just like ice shards, ruthlessly aiming straight at Congmin’s sensitive nerves.
A mistress who entered the family because of her pregnancy – that was what Congmin’s status was. This status would forever be a topic that people would use to denounce her for life. Others may not talk about it as they have qualms for the Yin family. But He Changning’s existence had always been a reminder to Congmin of how her status today was obtained. Which was why she couldn’t wait to kick He Changning out from the Yin family and even make him disappear from her eyesight forever.
He Changning’s words not only sounded like a punishment to Congmin, but also made Yin Zhinian feel absolutely disgraced, “Changning.” He said, yet he was at a loss of words for what else to say.
Congmin, who was unwilling to forgive that, started to bawl, “Mother, look at Changning, how could he treat me this way? All these years that sister Minglan wasn’t around, I treated Changning just like my own child and have never ill-treated him before. Even if he doesn’t want to call me ‘mom’, I have no complaints over it. But how could he speak this way to me? At the very least, I am the Yin family’s daughter-in-law now, mother, you can’t just let Changning bully me. You must uphold justice for me! Ever since I’ve entered the Yin family, I’ve put in so much effort, yet this is how this child was treating me. I’m so disappointed, mother. Hnn, hnn…”
The Yin family’s old lady who had not said a word from the start replied with her wrinkled face that was full of plots, “Changning, your mother had taught you so well, didn’t she? Was this how she taught you to speak to your elders?”