After she came out of the police station, Xu Weiyin went home in a daze.
The auntie who took care of Tong Tong was playing with Tong Tong in the living room when she got back. Seeing that Xu Weiyin was home, Tong Tong threw away his toys and ran into Xu Weiyin’s arms.
“Mom, you’re back?”
Feeling her calf being held by Tong Tong, Xu Weiyin suddenly snapped out of it and looked down at Tong Tong’s bright eyes.
His eyes were so beautiful, like tiny stars were twinkling inside.
“Mom, what’s the matter with you?”
Xu Weiyin reacted quickly, she turned her head to wipe the tears from her face, then squatted down and hugged him, “Mom is fine, just a little tired.”
“Did someone bully you?”
“No. Who would dare to bully your mother? Mom has Tong Tong’s protection.”
“Yes! Mom, no one can bully you, Tong Tong will protect you!”
Xu Weiyin touched Tong Tong’s tender little face gently. Then she said with a wry smile, “You play with your auntie first for now, your mom will come and play with you after dealing with her own affairs, okay?”
Tong Tong was very sensible and nodded, “Okay.”
With that, he ran to the living room and continued to play with the auntie.
Xu Weiyin took a deep breath, changed her shoes, and walked into her room then locked and closed the door.
She did not know why the paternity test result at the police station had been like this today. Jiang Huai had helped her do a paternity test and then solemnly reported the contents to her. After that, to make sure Jiang Huai wasn’t lying to her, she had gone to the hospital on her own to do a paternity test. So why had things ended up like this?
Did Jiang Huai lie to her?
But if Tong Tong was not Yi Yang’s child then that night four years ago…
Xu Weiyin could not accept this.
She tried again to dial Jiang Huai’s phone again. Recently, she had called his phone 53 times but there was never an answer.
It was clear Jiang Huai didn’t want to take her call.
Eventually, she opened her contact list, slid down through it, and put her finger on the contact labeled ‘Jiang Villa’.
She had taken the opportunity to save this number last time at Jiang Cheng’s birthday party.
Since Jiang Huai had been entangled with her since the beginning, it was impossible for her to let him make a clean break with her so easily.
She dialed the Jiang family’s home number.
While Xu Weiyin was making a call, the Jiang family, father and sons, were sitting around the dinner table and eating happily.
Of course, this happiness was limited to Jiang Cheng and Jiang Huai.
“Nian Nian, come on, you haven’t been back for a long time to eat the food Auntie Zhao makes. Why don’t you try this West Lake Fish in Vinegar Gravy, does it still taste the way it used to?” He spoke in a flattering tone.
But Jiang Nian didn’t seem grateful at all. He sat in a seat just Jiang Cheng, hung his head, and focused on eating. He turned a deaf ear to Jiang Cheng and the piece of fish he was offering, so eventually, he just left it on the plate in front of Jiang Nian. But Jiang Nian left it untouched and instead picked up a piece of chicken from the table.
Jiang Cheng was not annoyed. Instead, he smiled and asked, “Have your tastes changed? You don’t like fish anymore?”
Jiang Huai used his chopsticks to add another piece to Jiang Nian’s bowl. “I just tried some and it has the same taste as before. You should like it.”
Jiang Nian didn’t like it when other people added food to his bowl. He always felt like it was unsanitary. He frowned and looked like he wanted to take the newly added fish out of his bowl but Jiang Huai gave a threatening cough.
After a moment of silence, Jiang Nian stuffed them quickly into his mouth, chewed twice, and then swallowed them.
Jiang Cheng glared at Jiang Huai.
Jiang Huai felt his father’s harsh stare and immediately raised his hands in surrender.
Fine, his dad could do whatever he liked.
Jiang Cheng sat in the main seat and didn’t eat a bite. Throughout the meal his eyes stuck to Jiang Nian’s body without budging. When he saw Jiang Nian’s pointed chin his brow furrowed slightly. “Jiang Huai, do you think Nian Nian has lost weight? Have you been working too hard recently and not eating enough?”
“You are mistaken. He’s not thin. I think he has grown taller and even put on weight.”
“He should still eat more since he is still growing up.”
Jiang Nian ate with his head down, not interfering with the topic or speaking. It was like he treated eating as his job.
One of the household servants appeared and said that someone had called and wanted to speak with Jiang Huai.
Jianghuai didn’t put down his chopsticks, he only asked, “Who?”
“The lady didn’t leave a name, she only said that she urgently needs to talk to you.”
The servant returned to the living room and told the caller, Xu Weiyin, “Sorry miss, but our young master doesn’t have time right now. Please call back later.”
Then she hung up the phone.
Jiang Nian finished the last mouthful of rice in his bowl and said, “I’m full.”
“Have you had enough after only one bowl of rice? I’ll ask Auntie Zhao to bring you another bowl. “
Jiang Nian set down his chopsticks and stood up.
His chair scratched sharply across the marble floor as he did, and then he walked toward the door without saying a word.
“Jiang Nian!” Jiang Cheng stood up and called after him.
Jiang Huai hurriedly put down his chopsticks and stood up. “Dad, don’t worry, I’ll go.”
He caught up to Jiang Nian at the door. He frowned and whispered, “What’s the matter? Didn’t you promise me you would come home for dinner? Don’t lose your temper now.”
“I finished eating.” Indifferent eyes stared back at Jiang Huai, “So I’ll leave first.”
“Don’t leave so quickly! Why are you so unruly? Your elders haven’t finished eating yet.”
“Let him go.” Who knows when, but Jiang Cheng had appeared behind his sons. He shook his head at Jiang Huai.
Jiang Nian rolled his eyes without looking back and then went around Jiang Huai.
It was raining outside and at the door, a servant was ready with an umbrella but Jiang Nian ignored it. He rushed out into the rain and soon disappeared into the dark courtyard.
Jiang Cheng silently looked in the direction of the courtyard for a while and Jiang Huai looked at him with worry, “Dad, it’s cold by the door, please come inside.”
A cold wind blew inside and Jiang Cheng turned to walk upstairs, his body was bent like a tired old man. “Don’t follow me. I want to be alone.”
Jiang Huai, who had been following a meter behind him, froze.
A servant came forward and said, “Sir, regarding that lady, do you have any…”
Jiang Huai looked at the servant impatiently with obvious gloom in his eyes, “You don’t have to report her calls to me in the future.”
The servant quickly bowed his head and replied, “Understood.”
Jiang Cheng went upstairs and into his room. He picked up a faded family photo from the table. The Jiang Nian in the photo was still young. He was smiling a naive and loving smile while in his father’s arms. The two of them, father and son, were snuggled up against a gentle and beautiful woman. Jiang Huai was already a small adult and he stood upright by the woman’s other side.
There was a bitter smile at the corner of the old man’s mouth. His thumb stroked the smiling woman who he was snuggled up to in the picture.
“I had dinner with Nian Nian today. I know my body won’t last much longer, so I guess this might have been the last meal. It’s been a few years but that kid still hasn’t forgiven me. I don’t know if I can get his forgiveness before I die. But don’t worry, I’ll see you soon. Just wait for me, I’ll come make amends to you myself.”
Suddenly he felt a sharp pain in his chest and a coppery smell welled up from the back of his throat. Jiang Cheng leaned forward and coughed violently before suddenly vomiting blood onto the dark carpet.
Jiang Cheng silently looked down at the carpet that had been stained with blood. His hand tightened on the family photo, and he slowly closed his eyes.
Regarding what had happened in the last few days, Xu Xinyi did not know at all. She was very busy recently, to the point that she really wished she could split herself in two to deal with all the work.
She had just finished shooting a commercial and as soon as she got into the car Anya gave her some big news.
“What’s the good news?”
“‘Bei Bei’s Promotion’ has been shortlisted for this year’s TV Festival, and you have been nominated for Best Actress.”
Xu Xinyi was stunned. She obviously did not expect this at all, “Me? Best actress? Are you sure?”
Although this TV festival did not carry as much weight as various film festivals, it was still a pleasant surprise for Xu Xinyi to be nominated for best actress for the first time.
“Of course I’m sure. This is insider information, would I let you down? ‘Bei Bei’s Promotion’ is on fire right now and the ratings are very high, if you were not nominated it would mean the judges are all blind.”
Xu Xinyi found her explanation reasonable.
“There is also news that ‘The Way of the Phoenix’ is scheduled to be broadcast exclusively at the Golden Theater owned by Mango Satellite TV on the 3rd of next month. Xu Xinyi, the good times are finally here, this year I can count on you to be more and more popular.”
Anya took out the work schedule she had prepared for Xu Xinyi. “In order for me to pick up even more fresh meats, you will work a little harder this year. Let me tell you about your work schedule next.”
“Director Xu’s film crew will be starting up on the 3rd of next month, so we still need to confirm with Director Xu when he will need us for filming. In addition, I asked one of the investors about that drama we talked about earlier. The crew has a good production team that has produced several popular TV dramas. However, they will not accept actors that are too busy, they want you on-call around the clock. However, they won’t begin for another three months. As for why, on the one hand, the cast has not yet been finalized and one the other hand, there are some problems between Film City and the crew. I will find time to talk to Director Xu about how long it will take to shoot his film.”
Anya closed the work schedule, smiled, and said, “One more thing, you and Han Xiao will be on a variety show together next Wednesday in order to promote ‘The Way of the Phoenix’.”
“Me and… Han Xiao?”
“However, now that we have set up a studio, we can’t forget our own people. This variety show has relatively high exposure so I discussed it with them and, as a result, you and Jiang Nian will go on the show together.”
Speaking of Jiang Nian, Xu Xinyi recalled that she hadn’t seen him around recently. “What has Jiang Nian been doing recently?”
“I don’t know. I gave him a holiday for a while and he disappeared. But I’m telling you, Jiang Nian is really popular now. He has tens of millions of Weibo followers and you have no idea how many brands want Jiang Nian’s endorsement.”
Xu Xinyi said thoughtfully, “It’s a pity that he hasn’t learned to act. If his acting skills were good he would be even more popular.”
“Who says you can’t act if you don’t have acting skills?”
But Xu Xinyi didn’t think acting would be good for him. “Come on, I don’t want the popularity he has just accumulated to be wasted. He still has time to learn. Once his acting skills are good enough we can talk about acting.”
Because Xu Xinyi’s “The Way of the Phoenix” was being broadcast on Mango Station, it was naturally that the variety show with high ratings she was going on was also on Mango Station. They gave her a script that revealed the ‘Question and Answer’ segment in advance. So, generally speaking, except for a brief call-in segment, there was nothing that Xu Xinyi needed to pay special attention to.
After a brief flight, Xu Xinyi and Jiang Nian arrived in the city where Mango Station was located one day ahead of schedule.
Xu Xinyi didn’t think much of when Anya told her that Jiang Nian was very popular until she got off the plane and looked around to see that the entire terminal was full of Jiang Nian’s fans. Only when the two were practically under siege did she realize that Anya was right after all.
Her ears were full of Jiang Nian’s name and Xu Xinyi felt like she might go deaf soon, but she looked over at Jiang Nian with a smile on her face, as if she was not frightened by the gathered fans at all.
Finally, they managed to get into their car with the help of the airport security and Xu Xinyi sighed, “I knew you were popular but I didn’t expect you to be so popular.”
Jiang Nian looked a bit at a loss. Eventually, he said with a smile, “Sister Xinyi, please don’t make fun of me.”
Xu Xinyi felt some pride for her own discerning eyesight. “I’m not kidding you. What did I tell you back then? You, ah~, you’re destined to be popular!”
The car started slowly and arrived at the set where they would be recording an hour later.
Outside the venue was bustling, in addition to Jiang Nian’s fans, Han Xiao’s fans also accounted for more than half the people there. The two names being shouted were deafening, it was so loud that Xu Xinyi only could not hear her own name.
When she entered the station to record the program, in the guest lounge, the director and his staff gave the book with the variety shows intended programming to Xu Xinyi and Jiang Nian.
Xu Xinyi took a look at it and it was not much different from what Anya had shown her before.
Jiang Nian was very familiar with the process of going on variety shows. Soon he stood up to talk to the director and his staff to clarify some things, his insight was so good it even gave Xu Xinyi some points to pay attention to.
“Why haven’t I seen Han Xiao?”
“Mr. Han is in the other lounge. Shall I take you there?”
Xu Xinyi smiled and shook her head. “No need.”
But as soon as she finished speaking the door of the lounge opened and Han Xiao and the host of the program appeared.
The program host had a wealth of experience; he was talkative, friendly, and knew how to get closer to people. As soon as he entered the lounge he greeted Xu Xinyi with a smile and helped familiarize her with the book and the process of the show.
By contrast, Han Xiao only said hello to her when she stepped inside and then did not say much else.
Xu Xinyi breathed a sigh of relief.
This way was good too.
It was only ten minutes away from the beginning of the program, so the several people went to the set together with Han Xiao and Jiang Nian. The audience was filled with fiery enthusiasm. From the very beginning of the introduction, their screams never stopped.
As the representatives from the crew of “The Way to the Phoenix”, the program gave Xu Xinyi and Han Xiao a lot of screen time. Jiang Nian was very experienced with variety shows and he stood next to Xu Xinyi and would always interject when Xu Xinyi was unable to speak, alleviating her embarrassment.
“I heard that Xinyi’s first on-screen kiss was dedicated to Han Xiao during the drama.”
The audience screamed even louder.
Holding the microphone, Xu Xinyi smiled to the fans off set and said, “Why is everyone so excited? Of course not. Did everyone forget to do a hot search when we were filming? Did you not hear about the stand-ins used in the kissing scene?”
Xu Xinyi’s words eased the anger of Han Xiao’s girlfriend fans off set.
Han Xiao answered quickly, “That was my first kiss scene, and I wasn’t feeling well that day, so I asked the director to find a stand-in.”
This could be regarded as him taking full responsibility for the matter.
After chatting about a few more interesting things about filming “The Way of the Phoenix”, the guests and hosts were divided into two groups to play a game: listening to a song and then guessing the name of the song. Then the losers would be punished, overall it was a very mild game.
Xu Xinyi has seen this variety show before and had seen it use some intense and exciting games, so she was surprised that the game this time was so gentle and harmless.
Xu Xinyi and Jiang Nian and two hosts were in one group, while Han Xiao was in a group with several other hosts.
Xu Xinyi thought that their side would be dominant. After all, they were all young people who probably listened to a lot of music. Meanwhile, Han Xiao’s team of older singles should not be as quick as their team of young people.
But what she didn’t expect was that the songs played by the program group were all songs that Xu Xinyi had never heard before.
Not only had she never heard of them, even Jiang Nian seemed stumped. The two listened carefully with their ears perked up but they could only watch as Han Xiao’s team rushed forward to answer the questions one by one. Later they stopped rushing, they even waited for a while to let Xu Xinyi’s team answer first, when either no one answered or they got the wrong answer, Han Xiao’s team would then leisurely come forward to answer the question.
Later on, the program group released an emoji package of silly and muddle-headed looking avatars of Xu Xinyi and Jiang Nian.
They were so confused the whole time that they didn’t get a word in.
In the end, Han Xiao’s team won overwhelmingly.
Xu Xinyi’s team lost and the scheduled punishment was to take something out of the mystery box. The show staff had made it clear that there would be nothing really dangerous inside the mystery box but they still had to act scared.
But the prop did not appear even after a long time. The host quietly inquired and found out that there was something wrong in the prop department, he had no choice but to change the punishment.
“Since your team lost in the guessing game this time, your punishment is to call the last person you called and tell them that you are in trouble and need to borrow money, and then let everyone listen to the other person’s reaction.”
Xu Xinyi was stunned, she knew they could change the punishment, but why would they change it to this?
Before she could say anything though, the people from the program brought over their cell phones.
The host took Xu Xinyi’s phone and handed it to her, ” First Xinyi, go ahead and open your contact list and call the last person you called. Everyone, how much should she borrow?”
The audience began yelling out numbers: one yuan, ten thousand yuan, 1 million yuan, and someone even said 100 million yuan.
Xu Xinyi took her phone with trembling hands.
She remembered that she called Anya before she got off the plane.
Then she called Yi Yang to tell him that she arrived safely.
Tl note: ughhh I finished this chapter today and started on tomorrow’s chapter to get a little head-start when I noticed there was a weird gap between the two. After being confused I eventually discovered that my raw was missing like a third of this chapter… so I went and found it and translated it but wow
Is there any feeling worse than thinking you’re done with something but then realizing that no, you’re not even close to done T.T
Then I went and carefully checked my raws for the next 5 chapters and they all seem fine so I don’t know what the hell is going on, I just know it’s very annoying