ZhouXiang cautioned ChenYing a few words and left. Glancing at the time, there was still ample time but just in case, he sent a text to LanXiRong to come pick them up an hour later.


The café was very easy to find. The patrons coming to this shop that still remained opened two days before the Lunar New Year's had reduced by half. The color of the exterior wall of this cafe is very unique and eye-catching.


There was barely anyone in the shop. When he entered, the waiter asked if he was here to meet someone with the surname Yan. ZhouXiang replied that he is so the waiter took him to the reserved room.


YanMingSu sat alone in the room. He swept a glance at ZhouXiang, his expression deep and serious.


ZhouXiang closed the door and sat opposite of YanMingSu. He wanted to wait for YanMingSu to speak first but YanMingSu just kept staring at him, with his eyes barely blinking, making him extremely nervous.


So he could only force himself to speak first, “Are you looking for me regarding YanMingXiu? I haven’t seen him for a long time. In fact, I don’t even know where he is.”


YanMingSu responded gloomily, “You don't need to lure me into telling you. I'm also not going to lie to you. He is home now.”


ZhouXiang sat up straight, “At home.”


“Yes, at home, confined by my dad.”


ZhouXiang is slightly startled, “Confined?”


"MingMei went home and told them about the matter with you guys. MingXiu simply admitted and ultimately the altercation turned out like this. Seeing how it's already the New Years, everything is such a terrible mess both in and out of the family. He's been kept home under house arrest by my dad, not allowed to go out.”


ZhouXiang lowered his head with his hands trembling. He put his hand in his pocket and gently tightened it into a fist.


“I have a younger sister and a younger brother. One found a vain and dishonest trash (referring to WangYuDong); another simply found one of the same sex (referring ZhouXiang). Not one can ease my mind." YanMingSu shook his head, looking exhausted and agitated.


ZhouXiang strongly suppressed the shock of his heart and faintly responded, “I don’t know why you're looking for me.”


He never imagined that YanMingXiu would really come out to his family. A family like the Yan's, YanMingXiu would have to bear the pressure in daring to say that he actually liked a man? If YanMingXiu could really do this for him…


ZhouXiang’s heart wavered. This is the first time. He began to doubt his determination. He began to doubt, maybe… maybe everything is not as bad as he thinks, maybe even going back on his old path, it may not be a dead end.


YanMingSu was observing his expression the entire time. At this moment, he mocked, “What? Very touched? If it was three years ago, I might still be uncertain but now I can clearly tell you, when my brother likes you, he can put his entire heart into it, but after it's over, where is the love?"


ZhouXiang narrowed his eyes, “I'm a simple minded person, Director Yan (T/N), please say it directly.”


T/N: YanMingSu’s title is 廳長, which is the head of a governmental department; director. Assume that YanMingXu is an head director of a Governmental department.


“Three years ago, there was a person with the same exact name as yours, who had been with MingXiu. You know right?”


“I know.”


“When this person had an accident years ago, MingXiu was also very heart broken. But what happened in the end? It's all been forgotten. And now, he's once again fallen hard for you. To tell you bluntly, who can't live on after someone leaves? No matter how deep the feelings were, after the time had passed, it's nothing special. If I want, I have many ways to make it so that you guys won't be able to see each other for the rest of your lives. One day he will forget about you. But I don’t want to do that because MingXiu will hate me. I would rather prefer that you be a bit more reasonable in seeing the situation and take the initiative to break up with him.”


ZhouXiang's heart felt all sorts of emotions. At this time, he really wanted to tell YanMingSu that he got it wrong. I am that ZhouXiang.


He's always thought that YanMingXiu would never be able to overcome the critical juncture of his family's objection. In fact, he still does not feel that YanMingXiu could overcome it. But the fact that YanMingXiu is willing to take that step is quickly shattering his psychological defense.


When he was very young, from the time he knew he is gay, he had thought that if one day there is that person willing to confess to his parents and insist on being with him, regardless of the pressures from family and society, he will certainly be with him his entire life.


Now this person really appeared.


They have suffered through so much hurt and agony but it is still this person who is willing to give it all for him in the end.


His mood is complicated and pained. He simply doesn't know what to do.


What should they do? He and YanMingXiu, what should they do?


Seeing that he isn't talking, YanMingSu looked at him calmly, “I don’t know how deep the feelings between the both of you are, but it's certainly not to the extent of your imagination. MingXiu is only 24 years old. He still has a very long future ahead of him. He will meet many other people. One day, he will come to realize that being with a person who can’t have children… a person who he can’t bring out is a wrong choice. If you wait until then to leave, you would have devalued to a point that you can't imagine. Why not just simply do it now? I'll compensate for all your losses.”


YanMingSu's words actually made him feel comfortable. It's not as provoking as the Yan's family elder daughter but it still made his entire body feel chillingly cold.


He didn't need YanMingSu to tell him. He had already considered all of this. When he first pursued YanMingXiu, he didn't know YanMingXiu is from the Yan family. Had he known, he would have retreated right from the beginning. No matter how entangled they are, he would give up. At that time, he still had not fallen deeply in love with YanMingXiu, at least not to the point where it could only be him and no other… not to the point where he would be stupid enough to be like a moth flying into the flames.


When he found out later, it was already too late.


Now knowing and looking back, he could clearly see that his path with YanMingXiu is one that is full of challenges. Having gone though hardships and tragedy, even coming back from the dead once, he dared to bet that nobody's love life is as torturous and as hopeless as theirs.


If a person is still able to persist to the end on a path that is full of setbacks and pains, he must be a brave man. But how many people are really that brave? At least ZhouXiang knew very early on to retreat. The kind of exhaustion and fear of the future forced him to be reluctant to move forward. He's afraid that taking a few steps forward will lead to him falling into an abyss. Staying in the same place or taking a step back is at least safe. Going forward may be hell or maybe heaven. With this tormenting choice, who can be calm?


ZhouXiang felt a splitting headache with his eyes a little blurry. He waved his hand and hoarsely muttered, “Director Yan, can I see him first?”


“Can't. It's not me not allowing you. It's my dad not allowing. He can’t come out right now.”


"Then how long are you guys planning on confining him?"


“Until he gives up.”


ZhouXiang bent down and supported his elbows on his knees, rubbing his face forcefully with both hands. His face became red from rubbing too hard. He is silent for a long time before saying, “I don't have the final say in our relationship. It is useless to force me. What do you want me to do?”


“Take the money and leave,” YanMingSu simply responded.


ZhouXiang smiled bitterly, “Not possible, my home is here, my career is here, unless you throw me into a ditch, otherwise, I won't leave.”


“As long as you have money, you can have a home and a career anywhere. ZhouXiang, I've been in contact with you several times and my impression of you is not bad. You are not like those foolish superficial little celebrities. You are a man with insight and knowledge. I have investigated you and know that the reason you are with MingXiu is because of your dire need of money for your mother's illness. You are a smart person. You know that MingXiu is not a good choice. Smart people should do smart things. If you guys continue on, you might not get anything.”


ZhouXiang responded softly, “You don’t need to threaten me. The things you've said, I know very well in my heart. But there are some things that I can’t explain to you. I just need to see him.”


“This, I can't make the decision. I have to discuss it with my dad.”


“Then you go and discuss it with him. I need to go back for the New Years."


ZhouXiang stood up. The moment he stood up straight, he is a little dizzy. He felt his brain severely lacking oxygen.


He wanted to leave as soon as possible. YanMingSu’s aura is very oppressive. In front of him, he seems to not be wearing clothes. Everyone one of his words pierced his heart. He needed some time. He need to slowly and calmly think about this.


YanMingSu was still sitting in the chair, slightly lifting his chin, staring at him for a long while and said, “Fine. Go back first. I will keep in touch with you at any time.”


ZhouXiang nodded indifferently, then quickly opened the door and left.


End of the chapter