Epilogue: Jiang Nian
December had arrived and the air outside was very cold. In a certain airport, a flight from abroad was touching down in China.
A well-dressed Jiang Nian got off the plane, found his luggage, and followed the slow-moving crowd of people to the exterior of the airport.
He was a bit dazed seeing the crowd of yellow-skinned Chinese-speaking people around him.
It had been five years since he had gone abroad, and just as he adapted to the life of constantly meeting people with different skin colors who spoke different languages, he suddenly returned to China overnight.
He hadn’t informed anyone of the news of his return, so when he arrived he just quietly dragged his luggage back to the house where he had lived with his mother all those years ago.
The house and the furniture inside were all just as spotless now as they had been five years ago.
The only change was that now, next to his mother’s photo, many pictures of his father had been added.
Jiang Nian stood in front of the photos of the two people for a long and silent moment. Eventually, he regained himself, then changed into a suit and left for a certain hotel.
He had decided to come back this time because he had gotten news that Anya and Luo Jie would be getting married today. Anya had taken care of him a lot back in the days when he had been working for Xu Xinyi’s studio, so he felt like he had no choice but to fly back and attend Anya’s wedding since he had found out about it.
In fact, Jiang Nian wasn’t too sure himself whether he wanted to attend Anya’s wedding because he legitimately wanted to send her his best regards, or if he was just making as an excuse to come back and take a look at Xu Xinyi.
When he was abroad, he would occasionally see news about Xu Xinyi popping up online.
For instance, the box office performance of a movie she starred in, or the time she won the crown of best actress, or… the time a certain happy family of three left to go on a trip.
As the years went by, slowly all the news regarding her had become tied to Yi Yang, her son, or their family. Wherever her name would appear, Yi Yang’s name would also appear alongside it.
As time went by he slowly found that he did not like to read news regarding Xu Xinyi.
In fact, it seemed to have been about two years since the last time he had seen any news about Xu Xinyi.
Back then, it had been announced that she was winning the crown of Movie Queen.
His car parked in the lot of a certain hotel, and he walked inside to see a magnificent wedding venue. As he looked around he couldn’t help but think that it really seemed Luo Jie had gone all out to throw Anya the grandest wedding possible. The whole hotel was packed with people and the sparkling lights lit up the bustling venue as brightly as the sun.
Jiang Nian easily slipped inside and looked around. The bride had not shown up yet and the groom was busy smiling and dealing with the crowd, so he just found a corner to sit in silently while nursing a glass of wine. From his corner, he slowly looked around and took in all the strange new faces.
The entertainment industry had always been a place that changed rapidly. Now that it had been five years, it was hard to say just how many popular stars had fallen, and how many unknown artists had risen up to take their places.
Times had changed, and not many people still remembered the name ‘Jiang Nian’.
After finishing his glass of wine, he was about to get up, but suddenly he felt a tug on his pant leg. Jiang Nian looked down and saw a small pair of child-sized hands reaching out from under the table and clutching his pant leg.
Whose kid had been brought out to this wedding?
He lifted the tablecloth, and there was a four-or five-year-old boy looking up at him with big and beautiful eyes. When the tablecloth suddenly lifted, the child gave a small startled shout before quickly looking up at Jiang Nian and pressing his index finger against his lips.
Those eyes were so beautiful and striking that Jiang Nian could instantly tell whose child this was.
“Big Brother, don’t say anything, sit back down, don’t let anyone find out!”
“What are you doing down there?” Jiang Nian asked helplessly.
The child, who was shorter than the table and dressed in a small suit, crouched down and whispered, “I came here with my mommy but my mommy said that my daddy would be coming later, and I don’t want to see my daddy.”
“Why don’t you want to see your daddy?”
“Last night… last night I asked my mommy to tell me a story. But my mommy was too tired I guess and she fell asleep in my bed. When my daddy found out, he got angry and spanked me. Now I’m angry with him, I don’t want to see him.”
Jiang Nian couldn’t help but smile. “Why was your daddy angry?”
The child thought about it for a moment before replying in a voice filled with chagrin, “It’s all because I made my mommy too tired. I already apologized, didn’t I?! But then he spanked me anyway. It’s not fair.”
“Is your daddy very kind to your mommy?”
The child nodded, “He’s very kind!” Then he added, “But not as kind as I am to mommy! In the whole world, the one who is kindest to my mommy is me!”
“Yi Qian!” Suddenly an anxious voice cut through the noisy crowd.
Jiang Nian’s heart tightened.
When he heard the voice, the child said hurriedly, “Big Brother, I’m leaving first. Please don’t tell anyone that you’ve seen me!” With that, he quickly crawled away and out of the other side of the tablecloth, thinking that he was very hidden and inconspicuous.
However, his small figure had already caught the eye of the person searching for him, and she watched him crawling about with furrowed brows.
“Yi Qian! If you don’t come here now, mommy is going to be angry!”
Hearing her warning, the child quickly dived under another table.
Xu Xinyi walked forward, but she didn’t lift the tablecloth, instead, she sat at the table and said deliberately, “Some children are so timid after getting spanked by their fathers that they don’t dare to even face him anymore. However, didn’t that child say that he was a man who would protect his mother? If he’s like this, when his father bullies his mother in the future, how will that little man protect her?”
As soon as she finished speaking, the child quickly crawled out from under the table and stood in front of Xu Xinyi with his head held high. “Who says I’m afraid of my daddy? I’m just angry! I don’t want to see him because I’m angry! But mommy, don’t worry, if daddy dares to bully you, I’ll protect you…”
“Xinyi.” Yi Yang had just walked in the door, saw Xu Xinyi at a glance, and strode over to her side. As soon as he appeared the brave and righteous child vanished and all that was left was a small boy who immediately hid behind Xu Xinyi.
Xinyi smiled and patted the top of the child’s head. Then she looked up at Yi Yang and asked, “Why are you only here now?”
“There was a small delay in the company,” He replied. Then he faced Yi Qian, who was still hiding behind Xinyi. He gave the child a single look and hummed in his throat. “Well?”
Yi Qian was like a deflated ball, and he stepped out from behind Xu Xinyi with his head drooping.
“Dad.” He muttered.
The stern father, who seemed like he didn’t care if he frightened the child or not, just frowned and said in a deep voice, “What was that you were talking about just now?”
The child looked up at Xinyi, his pitiful eyes begging for help.
Xu Xinyi’s heart softened and she quickly gathered the child into her arms. “He didn’t say anything. Say, weren’t you going to take him skiing?”
The child’s eyes lit up and he looked at Yi Yang eagerly. “Really daddy? Are you going to take me skiing?”
Yi Yang raised an eyebrow and looked at Xu Xinyi without responding.
After he heard the word ‘skiing’ the child forgot all of his fear. He leapt out of Xinyi’s arms and grabbed Yi Yang’s hand excitedly. Then he asked, “Daddy, when are you going skiing? I want to go with you!”
Xinyi sent him a signal with her eyes, ‘Why don’t you coax your son?’
Yi Yang picked Yi Qian up and held him steadily in his arms. “If you’re a good boy, we can go tomorrow.”
“Really? Then I’ll definitely be good!”
After that, Xu Xinyi got up and took Yi Yang’s free arm and the family of three disappeared deeper into the hotel.
Once the three men moved away, Jiang Nian, who had been hidden in the dark, slowly stepped out into the light.
Back before he had gone abroad, he had once said to Xu Xinyi, “I will study hard and try to be an excellent person. I will grow up quickly and, when I grow up, if Yi Yang is not being good to you, or if you don’t like Yi Yang, will you think of me?”
It seemed that, until now, she still wouldn’t think of him. But that was also good.
At least it proved that she was happy now.
Her happiness was enough.
— Jiang Nian End–
tl note: I made a discord. Just sort of testing the waters to see if there’s any interest. You can chat about my current projects or read my gripes about my new projects.