2.9 - Let's discuss whether sheep or foxes are easier to raise
Although Xue Ling had no control over the major events of this world, everything that happened around him or was related to him was all within his grasp. Based on what he knew, it was simple to infer what would happen next.
So when he saw Mr. Cole Owens coming in with Elaine in his arms, Xue Ling was not at all surprised. He nodded and said hello very calmly. Doyle was disappointed for a while, having wanted to see a bit of a show.
“This is my brother and the patriarch of our family, Cole Owens. The one in his arms is our little princess, Elaine Owens. She is Cole’s daughter.” Seeing that the situation did not move in the direction he envisioned, Doyle came forward to introduce the two sides.
On the surface, it seemed like everyone did not know each other and were meeting for the first time tonight. But in fact, the waters here were very deep, and everyone present, other than Wen Xiuting and Elaine who truly didn't know anything, were high level actors.
Even Wen Mo could smell a hint of blood from this dinner party, feeling deeply that it was a good thing he had listened to his uncle's words and eaten something to pad his stomach.
Whether or not this meal could be eaten properly was still up in the air.
The food was still on the stove and Wen Xiuting was a little timid when facing her boyfriend's dignified and difficult-to-approach older brother. After gracefully welcoming him, she found an excuse to leave the settling in of the guests to Xue Ling and pulled Doyle with her back into the kitchen.
Xue Ling had not seen his sister act so immature in a long time and inexplicably felt somewhat relieved. He could also get the satisfaction of taking care of someone through occasional gestures from Wen Xiuting, since that never happened with Wen Mo…
It was probably because his sister was really too gentle and kind…
No wonder Doyle had fallen for her despite their schemes. If his sister hadn’t been blinded by love before, she would definitely have always been as happy and cheerful as she was now, finding the whole world exceptionally beautiful. There would be no shadow on her heart, because there would always be someone to shelter her. Before, it was their parents, now it was Xue Ling, and in the future it would be Doyle.
Although she had experienced such misfortune, she did not seem to have let those things influence her. Instead, she became even more sunny and bright, almost like she carried a halo…
However, her gentleness was never seen by anyone other than Xue Ling and Wen Mo. Having been hurt before, she guarded her heart much more carefully. Otherwise, it would not have taken almost two years of knowing each other before she brought Doyle back to meet them.
Elaine could walk already and didn’t like being held all day long. Cole let her down; after she greeted everyone sweetly, she timidly came to say hello to Xue Ling.
At only three years old, it was pretty amazing for her to be able to articulate herself so well. Xue Ling laughed and picked her up, then turned towards Mr. Cole Owens. “How about we go to the living room and have a proper chat?"
Mr. Cole was stoic on the surface, but his heart was beating like a drum.
He was not actually calm, but made himself appear so out of habit as he didn't want to lay gall his cards on the table.
It had been one year, and his brother had already found himself a wife, but Cole was only now formally introduced to the other party. When their gazes met, he felt awkward to the point of not knowing what to say.
Even a three year old child could get his personal phone number, but he could only sneak around, following Wen Xiuyuan like a stalker and spying on the other's whereabouts without clear intentions.
Oh, his recent actions were truly abnormal – even his butler Wenbert couldn’t look on anymore, not wanting to follow him when he went out…
The Wen family had their own way of showing hospitality. After bringing his guest to the sofa, Xue Ling brought out a tea set.
“Does Mr. Cole like tea? Would you like some tea from Country H?"
Not everyone liked that kind of tea, so Xue Ling asked out of courtesy.
Although, even if his guest said no, Xue Ling was not going to offer him anything else.
Fortunately, although he was a great aristocrat, Mr. Cole was not particular and nodded his head to show he was amenable.
Wen Mo had already taken Elaine to explore the apartment. The two were walking together hand in hand with Wen Mo occasionally reaching out to steady the little princess who was still learning to walk. The scene was unexpectedly very harmonious.
Xue Ling’s method of making tea was very old-fashioned and proper. Heat up the water, measure the tea leaves, pour hot water, then the tea; the whole process was very natural and smooth. He sat next to Cole, and it seemed that if he closed his eyes and sniffed, he would be able to smell a subtle fragrance of tea from his body – a little cool, slightly different from the full bodied fragrance of the tea in front of them.
Mr. Cole felt like he was a little drunk.
Xue Ling had split part of his attention towards Mr. Cole while making tea, but found that the other party's eyes were hooded and did not speak. It was a bit strange. He thought about it and found a topic to diffuse the awkward situation: “The Owens family seems to have always been based in Country E, but Mr. Cole has been very busy in Country M in the past two years. Is it in preparation for transferring Country E's business?"
Cole shook his head when he heard the words, not expecting him to start talking about work. On second thought, realizing that the only connection between them was work, he became annoyed at himself. Although unhappy, he still maintained his superficial calmness and replied honestly: “I have been staying here to deal with personal affairs."
Doyle alone was enough to handle things like work. There was no need for Cole to come here. But for some inexplicable reason, he kept finding himself heading in this direction… Looking at this building from afar, but never once attempting to approach.
Doyle once tried to buy an apartment on this floor, but he refused, causing Doyle to declare that, at his speed, he will definitely stay single his whole life. Even so, Cole didn't think that was a mistake.
His crush was his own business and there was no need to let the other person know and disrupt their life.
What’s more, the other party’s life was not easy, facing numerous challenges every day.
Xue Ling’s company's success relied completely on taking advantage of any crisis that emerged in the market. In the past two years, he was timely in seizing every opportunity that existed in any dangerous situation that arose. To have such amazing achievements today and be able to collaborate with his conglomerate was completely due to Xue Ling's ability. He had single handedly supported his entire company.
For Country M's business circle and upper class to praise Wen Xiuyuan endlessly was not unexpected. He was definitely the most popular rising star in Country M, a person who could continue to shine brilliantly, with an amazing future ahead. Cole did not want to interfere with the life of such a person.
He liked how Wen Xiuyuan carried himself when he struggled; head held high and persevering on, unfazed by any danger and fearless, like a king who fought on all sides, his men undefeatable.
That look was even more dazzling than what he had seen on the stage.
“Private affairs?” Xue Ling tilted his head, touched his nose, and wanted to ask if his private affairs involved following him every day. But it was too straightforward, and they weren't here to start a fight. There was no need to confront him on purpose. “Your private affairs?” Except it would be a waste not to press further, and he was also quite bothered by it.
Xue Ling felt that this kind of life was really uncomfortable, being stared at every day but having to pretend that nothing was happening. If not for the limitations of this body's identity and the fact that what he has achieved now was not easy to come by, based on his own personality, he would have gone over and fought bitterly with the other party a long time ago.
Unfortunately, he was now Wen Xiuyuan.
Mr. Cole’s ears seemed a little red. He nodded. “Yes, my private affairs.”
The situation was deadlocked and Xue Ling could not continue to ask more questions at the moment. It was clear that this gentleman wanted to end the topic. So, they drank two more cups of tea and watched as Wen Mo took Elaine into another room.
Xue Ling once again tried to start a conversation: “Although it’s a bit presumptuous, don't you think that… Miss Elaine looks a little like me?”
Cole finally turned his head to look directly at Xue Ling's solemn face. He looked down and seemed to ponder for a moment: “She was adopted from H country. At the time, there was no information on her parents and family."
With his words, all his speculations became valid. Xue Ling nodded and said, “My sister’s daughter was abducted from birth. I have been searching for a long time and the clues all point to a police station in Country H, but because the person who adopted her is very mysterious, the trail ended there."
Cole clenched his fist. He knew that this day would come once he got close to Xue Ling. It was not that he was reluctant to give up the little girl. After all, Cole been struggling with himself numerous times about whether or not to send her back ever since he had discovered her origins. “Yes.” He responded in a low voice. It did not sound as though he was in a good mood.
Xue Ling hesitated for a moment and finally decided that acknowledging Elaine was worth provoking him over.
He promised Wen Xiuyuan a happy ending, and little Elaine played a big role in that. Wen Xiuyuan’s original death was due to saving her, and the sadness of his past life should be resolved here. “I don’t mean to force her back… After all, you adopted her legitimately… But if she is really our family, I hope we can spend time with her…”
Cole pondered for a while and said, “Doyle and your sister are getting married.”
Xue Ling understood the other side’s meaning.
When the two became married, they would naturally be a family. At that time, details like who Elaine's parents actually were would no longer be an issue, since they would always be by her side.
Xue Ling breathed a sigh of relief. “Then you should know about our family's situation…” Given that he agreed to his younger brother’s marriage to Wen Xiuting, Cole was sure to have already investigated everything about them. “Elder sister and that person did not actually divorce, but it has already been two years. Legally speaking, two years of separation is enough time to begin the process of divorce. I plan to return to that country soon.” The other side had followed him for so long, whatever his purpose may be, so he must already be familiar with every detail of Xue Ling’s life.
In any case, it would be stupid not to make use of readily available resources, and Xue Ling was not adamant about destroying Xu Yongyi by himself. Mr. Cole seemed to be a very good golden thigh. If he held on tightly, perhaps he could finish off Xu Yongyi earlier. For Xue Ling, being a little shameless was not a problem at all.
“You… plan to start now?" Knowing why this man has been working so hard over the years, Mr. Cole had frequently wanted to help him by directly destroying Xu Yongyi, but he didn't want to accidentally wreck the other party's plans.
Xue Ling's lips curved upwards. “Now is the right time. Two years have passed. It can be determined that the relationship between husband and wife has indeed broken down, which is a good opportunity for getting a divorce in court. It will be troublesome for us if he is the one to initiate the proceedings, so it's better for us to move first. He is now preparing to marry Bai Luzi. Having his blissful life be destroyed overnight must be a great feeling, and I think he will enjoy it very much."
He did not find anything wrong at all with exposing his own character like this to a stranger. A call to come for dinner emerged from the dining room, and Xue Ling got up, crooking a finger at Cole. “Mr. Cole has been following me for so long. Are you interested in going back Country H with me to take a look?”
“Look at what?” Cole didn’t care that his furtive movements were noticed and remained expressionless as always. It seemed that nothing was capable of taking the mask off his face.
“Watch you take back the Wen family business?"
“It's pointless to snatch it back.” The little fox nested on the sofa heard the malicious intent contained in its host's words and trembled uncomfortably, ears flicking subconsciously. “I spent so much effort to sell them the shares back then."
“Naturally the goal is to destroy them completely, as directly and straightforwardly as possible, so that they can be happily relieved of all their worries."
His laugh was full of joy, but his eyes were full of malice and no brightness could be seen, seeming to pull everything into an abyss of darkness. Cole had always been fascinated by this pure darkness.
This man has never been an innocent sheep. Perhaps calling him a crafty and cunning fox would be a better match.
Cole felt that he really liked this kind of smile, and was willing to pay any price for it.
editors: alamerysl & bluebug