The recorder in her hand was still warm from being in Yi Yang’s pocket but Yi Yang’s abnormal attitude attracted Xu Xinyi’s attention. It made her more curious about the contents of the recorder and made her determined to listen to it in her spare time.
“Why are you getting so excited?”
–“I knew it. As soon as I told him that there was a recording, he immediately became nervous and agitated. It’s obvious that he’s feeling guilty.”
–“It seems he really said something in that room that he doesn’t want me to hear.”
“Did those old lovers get too affectionate after seeing each other after such a long time? No wonder I didn’t hear anything even though I was right outside the door.”
–“Dog Man! After I finish listening to this recording, just see how I settle you!”
Yi Yang: “…”
He felt his old headache creeping back for the first time in a long while.
Yi Yang really felt that it was much easier to talk with other businessmen about deals worth hundreds of millions compared to dealing with Xu Xinyi.
His eyes were fixed on the pen-shaped recorder in Xu Xinyi’s hand and he struggled to make himself look more nonchalant.
“Xu Xinyi, don’t you know why I’m getting excited here? You put a recording device on me without my permission? Who taught you to do that? On an occasion like this, what if I had discussed some important secret with a business partner and the recording got out?”
“We’ve agreed that the most important thing between husband and wife is trust. I give you plenty of trust, but what about you? Why didn’t you even tell me before you planted a recording device?”
“Husband, don’t be angry. Listen to my explanation, it’s not…” Xu Xinyi seemed very apologetic, “Just let me explain. I was worried about you, so, just in case…”
“I can understand that you were worried but I hope you will tell me this kind of thing in advance in the future, understand?”
Xu Xinyi’s face scrunched up.
“Now give me the recorder!” When he saw Xu Xinyi nervously protecting the recording pen, looking like she wanted to hide it, Yi Yang held out his hand and said in a deep voice, “Even if you want to hear the recording, now is not the time. You can listen to it when we get home.”
Xu Xinyi was stunned by those words.
The wisps of doubts she had about Yi Yang and Xu Weiyin circling the bottom of her heart were dissipated by those words.
“If I can listen to it anyway, then I’ll just hold on to it.”
“Are you sure you have room to carry it?”
Xu Xinyi looked down at herself. It seemed she really had no room. Her dress had no pockets and she didn’t take her bag out of the car.
“Give it here.”
–“It seems like he might be telling the truth.”
–“Can I just trust him this once? He’s probably not that shameless, is he? And they weren’t alone for long, so what could he and Xu Weiyin have even done?”
–“Whatever, I’ll trust him this once. If he dared to lie to me and I find the evidence, I will divorce him!”
Very hesitantly, Xu Xinyi reluctantly handed over the recording pen.
In order to appease Xu Xinyi, while Yi Yang put the recording pen away in his pocket he said, “Don’t worry. I’ll play it for you when we get home.”
Yi Yang breathed a sigh of relief.
He managed to dodge that bullet for a while.
There was still a lot of bustle and clamor coming from the first floor but before they could move that way Jiang Huai and Mr. Zhou appeared from another room on the other side of the second floor. Jiang Huai looked at Yi Yang and smiled, “Mr. Yi, Mr. Zhou and I have been waiting for you for a long time. Did Mr. Yi go to the wrong room?”
Yi Yang looked coldly at the two people pretending in front of him. “Since it seems I entered the wrong room, I suppose that means I have no fate with Mr. Zhou’s project. Perhaps in the future, we might have an opportunity to cooperate but not today.”
With that, he wrapped his arm around Xu Xinyi and escorted her down to the first floor.
A moment later Xu Weiyin emerged from the room Yi Yang had been in. Her face was very ugly.
Jiang Huai knew at a glance that things had not gone well.
It was usually impossible for Xu Weiyin to even see Yi Yang’s face so today he had worked hard to create a good opportunity for her to meet him alone, but somehow she could not seize it?
The host of the party arrived late. He seemed very different from the genial old man Xu Xinyi had met in her company the other day. He had obviously especially dressed up today, or maybe it was just because it was his 55th birthday that made him seem more dignified than the last time she saw him.
With Jiang Huai by his side, Jiang Cheng addressed his guests with some polite words, like how honored he was to have them in his humble home, or how lucky he was to have so many friends. His manner was as if he were a grand noble trying and failing to act low-key.
Hearing his insincere words the people all laughed agreeably and raised their glasses flatteringly.
But Xu Xinyi thought something was strange. It was already so late but she still hadn’t seen Jiang Nian.
It was supposed to be his father’s birthday, didn’t he have to at least show his face at such a big event?
Didn’t Anya give him a holiday? So why wasn’t he here?
Jiang Cheng and his son came over and offered a toast.
“Mr. Yi, long time no see. Thank you for coming here today.”
Yi Yang politely clinked his glass and said, “Old Master Jiang needn’t be so polite. My grandfather wanted to attend but unfortunately, he wasn’t feeling well, so Xinyi and I came here on his behalf. I hope Old Master Jiang won’t take offense.”
“Of course not.” Jiang Cheng smiled and looked at Xu Xinyi. “I had just seen Miss Xu a few days ago. I really didn’t expect to see Miss Xu again today.”
“Happy birthday, Old Master Jiang.”
“Thank you. Please enjoy yourselves. I still have to tend to the other guests, so I’ll go first. Let me apologize for my poor hospitality.”
Jiang Cheng and Jiang Huai moved on from Xu Xinyi and Yi Yang, going to smile and greet the next guest, as if they really treated the couple the same as any of the other guests, and had no other intentions at all.
Xu Xinyi seldom attended this kind of banquet so she did not have any female friends, not even plastic sisters to exchange empty pleasantries with, so she just had to hold Yi Yang’s hand and smile while listening to him talk to other men about business topics, their conversation jumped from venture capitalists to the stock market to the current economic situation.
The venue was so warm and comfortable that Xu Xinyi had a fight to keep her eyelids from drooping.
But after Xu Xinyi forcibly tried to hold back her fourth yawn, she finally couldn’t help herself and yawned.
Someone laughed and said, “Mrs. Yi seems bored. She’s almost fallen asleep.”
Yi Yang lowered his head to look at her and asked, “Sleepy?”
“A bit.” Xu Xinyi slipped her hand out of his and said, “You guys keep talking, I’m going to the restroom.”
“I’ll go with you.” Yi Yang said.
Someone joked, “Mr. and Mrs. Yi really have a good relationship.”
This group of people seemed much more agreeable than the ones they met when they first arrived. At least they were more polite.
Xu Xinyi gently refused. “It’s fine. I’ll be right back.”
After asking a waiter where the restroom was, she headed to the restroom.
The Jiang family villa could really be called luxurious. Xu Xinyi estimated that the sink in the restroom was solid gold.
Although the Yi estate was also fairly luxurious, Old Master Yi had his own ideas about not being too extravagant or wasteful. So Old Master Yi would probably have some words to say if he saw the absurd levels of luxury here in the Jiang villa.
After retouching her makeup, when Xu Xinyi began to head back to the living room through the winding hallways when she spotted a swimming pool in a courtyard through a window. There were some faint ripples on the surface of the water.
There was a small door to the courtyard that was open, but the hallway didn’t feel cold because of it.
Xu Xinyi stepped out onto the stone and wood plank pathway that was paved into the yard and felt heat gushing up from the ground.
It seemed that there must be heating elements built into the ground of this courtyard.
Xu Xinyi took a deep breath and sighed. There had been so many people in the living room that she had been feeling a bit suffocated.
Then she vaguely heard the clicking of approaching high heels.
Xu Xinyi turned to the source of sound and saw that it was Xu Weiyin.
When she spotted Xu Xinyi, Xu Weiyin seemed surprised. “Miss Xu also came out to get some air?”
“No, I just needed to fix my makeup. It’s fine now though so I’ll head back first.” Xu Xinyi didn’t want to bother to talk to her. This woman was up to no good. If things followed the developments in the novel, Xu Weiyin would definitely take this opportunity to push her into the pool somehow.
Wouldn’t that ruin her dress and makeup?
She really couldn’t afford to lose to Xu Weiyin in front of so many people.
“Is Miss Xu in such a hurry to leave because she doesn’t dare to face me?”
Xu Xinyi tried to ignore her and walked toward the house.
“I wonder, has Miss Xu seen that post on the internet?”
Xu Xinyi suddenly turned on her heel and looked back at her. “Did you post it?”
“I didn’t post it. But when I saw it I was very upset and wanted to know who did. After all, the person who posted it seemed to know exactly what has happened to me over the past few years.”
Inside there was a group of men talking about the stock market and the economy until she had felt like her eyes were spinning, while outside there was a woman who wanted to act out some bitter and dramatic performance in front of her.
It seemed Xu Xinyi really couldn’t escape annoyance tonight.
Xu Weiyin put on a bitter smile. “I really didn’t think things would turn out like this. If I had known, I wouldn’t have left the country four years ago.”
Xu Xinyi cooly watched her perform and asked, “And how exactly did ‘it turn out’?”
“Xinyi, I never wanted to intervene between you and Yi Yang but my child can’t live his life without a father. Can you try to understand how a single mother feels?”
Xu Xinyi was a little dumbfounded at Xu Weiyin’s words, “What do you mean? Yi Yang is the father of your child?”
“You didn’t know? I talked to Yi Yang just now and showed him the paternity test. Yi Yang is undeniably the father of my child.”
Xu Weiyin knew that the relationship between Xu Xinyi and Yi Yang could not really be that strong.
It was a fact that over the past two years Xu Xinyi and Yi Yang had been all but strangers. Yi Yang’s dislike for Xu Xinyi was undoubtedly real, otherwise, he would not have put together the papers for divorce. And even if he did not ultimately go through with the divorce, how much could their relationship have improved in just a few months?
So if Xu Xinyi knew that the father of Xu Weiyin’s child was Yi Yang, would she still trust Yi Yang so unconditionally? Wouldn’t she at least be suspicious?
And as long as the two of them quarreled, Xu Weiyin felt that she could take advantage of the situation.
“Miss Xu, after returning to China, I never wanted to go and find Yi Yang. But when I found out that the marriage between you and Yi Yang was decided against Yi Yang’s will, I knew that I had misunderstood him four years ago, I realized I should not have gone abroad.”
Xu Weiyin kept subtly tying herself to Yi Yang with her words, heavily implying that she and Yi Yang had been together four years ago.
“I never expected that Yi Yang loved me so much.” Xu Weiyin looked at Xu Xinyi and ‘apologized’. “Xinyi, I’m sorry that Yi Yang hurt you.”
“Hurt me?” When Xu Xinyi thought about the post that said that Yi Yang just regarded her as a stand-in for Xu Weiyin, she suddenly realized that she was clutching her chest. She spoke with a voice shrouded with pain: “So, I was really just your stand-in?”
“Xinyi, if I were you, I would leave Yi Yang now with my self-esteem intact. Instead of disregarding my dignity and letting myself be trampled on.”
Xu Xinyi shook her head sadly, “No, I can’t leave Yi Yang. I love him. I will never leave him!”
“Even though he is treating you like this you still want to stay with Yi Yang?”
Xu Xinyi’s voice was choked with tears, “That’s right! Even like this, I will stay with him. I am his wife. Why can’t I stay with him? I love him, and even if he doesn’t love me, he’s mine!”
“As long as I’m here, you and Yi Yang will never have a chance in this lifetime!” Xu Xinyi shouted emotionally.
Xu Weiyin frowned. But she had somewhat expected Xu Xinyi to react like this so she immediately followed up with, “Xu Xinyi, you don’t mind the existence of my child?”
“If that is really Yi Yang’s child, then I won’t mind,” When Xu Xinyi spoke her face was a tangled mixture of humiliation and happiness. “I love him. I ask for nothing else. I don’t need anything else. As long as I can stay with Yi Yang, I will always be happy. Even if he doesn’t love me, it doesn’t matter.”
“Xu Xinyi, you…”
Xu Xinyi moved forward and grasped Xu Weiyin’s hand. She said earnestly, “If you want to, you can call me sister from now on. I’ll be the big, you’ll be the small, and we’ll serve Yi Yang together, alright?”
Xu Weiyin jerked her hand back in disgust.
Xu Xinyi smiled, winked at her, and then said, “Well, how was it, did you like my acting?”
Xu Weiyin understood everything in an instant. She said angrily, “You were playing with me?”
“Of course I was playing with you. I’ve never seen a person who wanted to rush forward and be a mistress like this in real life, so I felt like playing along. But at any rate, Miss Xu, thank you for your bitter drama performance. I enjoyed it very much.”
Tl note: this chapter set out to answer the question ‘what would happen if an actual human encountered a weird soap opera / romance novel plot in real life?’ lol
Also, I made a discord today. Just sort of testing the waters to see if there’s any interest.