Ming Luchuan turned to look at Xia Wennan.
“You think your car accident had something to do with Yin Zejing?”

Xia Wennan had a look of distress across his face.
“It’s not like I want to think so, but something’s weird,” he said.

“What’s weird?”

“By an unusual coincidence, someone told me that they detected traces of sleeping pills in my blood samples from the day of the accident,” Xia Wenna slowly explained, keeping his eyes on Ming Luchuan’s face all the while.

Ming Luchuan frowned, as if he was in deep thought.
“In the days leading up to your accident, you were suffering from severe insomnia.”

Xia Wennan froze.
“Huh?” This was something that had never crossed his mind.
“This early? I’m only twenty-six and I already have insomnia?” Finding it hard to believe, he lifted a hand and ruffled his hair—it was still quite thick.

“So I took those sleeping pills myself?” Xia Wennan asked Ming Luchuan dumbfoundedly.

Ming Luchuan’s face was far from relaxed.
He pressed a hand to his forehead.
“The hospital prescribed you sleeping pills, but I don’t know if you took them that day.
We slept in separate rooms.”

Xia Wennan had suddenly obtained the answers to his many questions, yet he felt no sense of enlightenment and merely thought: That’s it?

He asked Ming Luchuan, “Us sleeping in separate rooms was due to my insomnia?”

“You weren’t sleeping well.
You were under a lot of pressure at work.”

“How come you didn’t tell me any of this before?”

Ming Luchuan looked at him.
“Would you have believed me if I told you? Have you believed anything I’ve ever said to you?”

“I had no idea when you were telling the truth!” Xia Wennan retorted indignantly.

A shadow fell across Ming Luchuan’s face as he folded his arms across his chest.

Xia Wennan decided against arguing with Ming Luchuan for the time being.
“We shouldn’t be jumping at each other’s throats.”

“Let’s visit the house tonight,” said Ming Luchuan.

As far as Xia Wennan remembered, Ming Qin hadn’t told them to go home; this was their first time visiting of their own accord.

With something so big happening between Ming Qin and Yin Zejing just moments ago, the two of them rushed home, as if they were specially heading back to watch a play.

On the drive to the Ming house that afternoon, Xia Wennan took out the ring Ming Qin had thrown away from his pocket and held it in his palm to inspect it.

“Why did you keep it?” Ming Luchuan asked him with a glance as he drove.

Holding the ring, Xia Wennan said, “Just in case your dad wants to drive us out—if that happens, I can take out the ring and say, ‘Your actions tell me that you still love him’.”

Ming Luchuan said nothing.

Xia Wennan gave him a curious look.
“What do you think?”

“I think it’s fine,” Ming Luchuan deadpanned.
“You’re welcome to try.”

Xia Wennan put the ring away.

Before getting home, Xia Wennan was certain that Ming Qin and Yin Zejing had fought, and maybe Ming Qin had even kicked Yin Zejing out by now, but the actual situation at the Ming house was far better than he imagined; it was the picture of calm and tranquillity.

Because—while they had arrived at the house, Yin Zejing had yet to come home.

The aunt was asking Ming Qin whether Yin Zejing would be back for dinner tonight.

Ming Qin said, “He didn’t say.
He probably will.”

Before dinner was served, Aunt Zhang brought Ming Sichen’s meal to his room.

It had been a while since Xia Wennan last saw Ming Sichen, so Xia Wennan said to Ming Qin, “Dad, I’m going to go see Sichen.”

Ming Qin, who was watching the news on TV in the living room, nodded indifferently.

Xia Wennan walked down the corridor to Ming Sichen’s door and knocked quietly.
He was a little nervous as he waited for it to open.

The door was opened by Aunt Zhang, who had a spoon in her hand.
It seemed that she was in 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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