the middle of feeding Ming Sichen.

The TV in the room was on and the lighting was ample.
Ming Sichen sat by the window, staring at the TV with a vacant gaze.
Despite Xia Wennan standing at the doorway, Ming Sichen didn’t turn his head to look at him.

“Sichen?” Xia Wennan called out.

Only then did Ming Sichen turn to look at Xia Wennan, his face expressionless, as if uninterested, before returning to the TV.

“Has his mental state been a little worse off recently?” Xia Wennan asked Aunt Zhang.

“He’s been well,” said Aunt Zhang.

“Why does it feel like it’s not as good as it used to be?”

“I don’t think so…” Holding the spoon, Aunt Zhang said, “His food’s getting cold.”

Xia Wennan thus said, “Sorry for interrupting.”

When he returned to the living room, Ming Qin, Ming Luchuan, and Ming Siyan were chatting on the sofas.
The TV was showing celebrity gossip, and while Ming Qin’s eyes were trained at the screen, he appeared entirely absent-minded, his attention elsewhere.

The auntie came out of the kitchen and asked, “Should I prepare dinner?”

Ming Qin was snuggled in a couch corner, hugging a bolster.
He turned to the aunt and said, “Go ahead.”

When he put down the bolster and made to stand up, a car engine sounded outside.

Ming Sichen shot a look towards the windows and said, “Yin Zejing’s back.”

Ming Qin laughed.
“If he’s back then he’s back.
Whatever happens, happens.” He then stood up and was the first person to enter the dining room.

When Yin Zejing walked into the dining room, he appeared somewhat travel-worn.
He’d already changed out of his formal attire for casual wear and sneakers, and as soon as he walked in, he sat on the unoccupied seat next to Ming Qin.
“Auntie, a bowl of rice please,” he shouted as he lifted a hand and flung car keys onto the dining table.

Yin Zejing then clasped his hands together and placed his arms on the table.
He turned to face Ming Luchuan.
“Luchuan, HR tells me that my internship has been suspended?”

“Mm, it was dad’s idea,” Ming Luchuan shifted the blame to Ming Qin without the slightest hesitation.

“Qin ge?” Yin Zejing turned bodily towards Ming Qin, his hands still folded on the table.
His tone was both coquettish and accusatory.

Xia Wennan picked up his rice bowl and placed a small serving of his favourite dishes into it with his chopsticks, giving him the vivid feeling of watching a play.
He shifted in his seat till he had a better angle and pretended to eat in earnest, when in fact all his attention was focused on Ming Qin and Yin Zejing.

Ming Qin’s chopsticks didn’t even stop moving when he told Yin Zejing, “Go and find a company on your own.
Ming Yan isn’t right for you.”

The aunt came over with Yin Zejing’s bowl of rice and placed it in front of him.

Yin Zejing didn’t even look at the bowl.
“Where is all this coming from?” he asked, frowning.
“I’ve already interned for half a year, how could I switch companies now?”

“That’s your problem,” Ming Qin remarked.
“I told you that Ming Yan isn’t a good fit for you in the first place.”

“Qin ge? What’s the matter?” Yin Zejing lowered his voice and closed the gap between himself and Ming Qin.

Ming Qin finally put down his chopsticks.
He gazed at Yin Zejing and placed his right index finger in the centre of his brow.
“Because I think you’re useless.” Ming Qin’s tone was gentle as he lightly pointed at Yin Zejing.
I prefer enthusiastic and ambitious university students to some little bitch who lives off of a man.”

Xia Wennan froze in the middle of his meal.
He looked around the dining table, feeling that the air had turned unpleasant, and discovered that Ming Siyan was eating unfazed while stealing glances at Yin Zejing, whereas Ming Luchuan was dining gracefully, not even sparing a single glance in Yin Zejing’s direction.

Xia Wennan inwardly thought that he wasn’t thick-skinned enough to watch this unfold—so he thickened his skin, then kept watching.

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