The next morning, Xia Wennan woke up a little later than usual.
The space next to him was empty—Ming Luchuan had probably gone downstairs to have breakfast.

He dressed and went up to the window, where he could hear noises downstairs.
In the next second, he caught sight of Ming Sichen leaving the house and driving away to work.

Ming Luchuan had just about finished his meal when Xia Wennan came down, but he lingered in the dining room, waiting for Xia Wennan.

Xia Wennan walked over and took a seat.“How was I out for so long?” he said as he stroked his unkempt hair.

Ming Luchuan poured him some milk.
“You were completely exhausted.”

Xia Wennan thought about it before leaning into Ming Luchuan’s space and mumbling in his ear, “Exhausted from watching last night’s show?”

Ming Luchuan gave him a look.
“Exhausted from work.”

Xia Wennan’s brain never once stopped working while he was at his lab yesterday.
He didn’t notice anything when he was too focused, but once his body relaxed, the fatigue set in, causing him to inadvertently sleep till this hour.

Xia Wennan yawned as he dug into his breakfast.

Ming Luchuan sat next to him and kept him company.
“Don’t go to work if you’re too tired to.”

Xia Wennan’s chopstick-holding hand froze as he cast an inquisitive glance towards Ming Luchuan.
“You’re not even a little worried that I’m working too slowly on the R&D end and will drag down Ming Yan’s profits for the coming year?”

Ming Luchuan leaned back in a relaxed manner.

“Mo Ze’s about to launch their pheromone perfumes,” Xia Wennan added as he moved closer.

“I’m not worried,” Ming Luchuan responded.

A laugh escaped Xia Wennan’s mouth when he heard this.

After breakfast, while Ming Luchuan and Xia Wennan were preparing to leave for the company, Ming Qin suddenly called Xia Wennan and summoned him to the third floor.

Ming Luchuan scowled and looked at the time.

“Are you in a hurry?” Xia Wennan asked Ming Luchuan, peering in the direction of the stairway.

“I have a meeting this morning,” said Ming Luchuan.

“You can go on ahead then,” Xia Wennan suggested.
“I’ll head over to the company on my own in a bit.”

Ming Luchuan’s face looked solemn, his brows furrowed.
His coat was draped over his arm, and his back a ramrod-straight line as he stood at the doorway of the dining room.
“I’ll have them reschedule the meeting,” he remarked a few moments later.

“You don’t have to do that…” Xia Wennan thought his nervousness was a little out of proportion.

“I’m not leaving you alone in this house.”

After experiencing the events of that night, they could basically conclude that someone intended to harm Xia Wennan.
Ming Luchuan was naturally apprehensive about leaving Xia Wennan alone in the Ming residence.

Xia Wennan, aware of the man’s concerns, didn’t persist.
He gave a nod and said, “I’ll go up and take a look and come back down as quickly as possible.”

Upon arriving in front of Ming Qin’s third-floor bedroom door, Xia Wennan gently knocked on it, then heard Ming Qin’s voice coming from inside shortly after.
“Is that you, Wennan? Please come in.”

When Xia Wennan opened the door and entered the room, he discovered that Ming Qin had already gotten out of bed and was sitting on a recliner near the window in his pyjamas.

The curtains were flung open, the glass window covering the entire height of the wall was spotless, and golden early morning sunlight flooded in, enveloping Ming Qin’s body.
His eyes were half-closed, still a tad tipsy from the previous night, and he presented an indolent image.

“Dad?” Xia Wennan ventured.

Ming Qin had clearly summoned Xia Wennan here, but there appeared to be no pressing matter, as he said nothing more than, “Come sit down and keep me company.”

Xia Wennan perched on the stool next to the recliner and said, “What is it, dad? Luchuan is still waiting for me downstairs.” Without waiting for Ming Qin to respond, he hurriedly added, “He has a morning meeting, and I have work to do in the lab as well.”

Ming Qin understood what he was getting at.
“Are you in a rush? Nevermind that, why don’t you tell Luchuan to go on ahead.”

Xia Wennan remained silent.
“What’s the matter, dad?” he carefully inquired.

Ming Qin turned to the window and gazed off into the distance.
There were no tall buildings nearby, and there was nothing to look at but the distant sky through the branches of enormous trees from where they sat.
Ming Qin let out a slow, steady breath, and after a while, he said, “It’s nothing, I just wanted to find someone to keep my company.”

Xia Wennan suddenly realised that Ming Qin was lonely.
Even if his children and housekeepers were home, after his breakup with Yin Zejing, he still felt that he was alone.
Despite getting adequate sleep each night, having someone serve his meals, and being able to go out and have fun, the feeling of emptiness remained.

“Would you like to go out for a little while?” Xia Wennan sounded out.
“You can try going somewhere a little further away.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll meet a young and handsome alpha.”

Ming Qin grinned and turned his head to Xia Wennan when he heard this.
“Does it seem like that’s urgent to me?”

“Didn’t you want some company?” asked Xia Wennan.

“Do you not want to accompany me that badly?”

“Don’t I still have to toil for the company?” said Xia Wennan.

Ming Qin ducked his head and laughed wordlessly.

Xia Wennan could tell he was in a terrible mood by the way he entirely ignored the mention of Ming Yan.
He thus said, “Why don’t you ask Ming Luchuan to accompany you?”

Ming Qin looked up at him.
“Does he still blame me for what happened last night?”

Xia Wennan was taken aback by the question.
“So you weren’t so drunk that you forgot about that, huh?”

Ming Qin slowly exhaled.
“Why would he blame me? The one he should be blaming is Lu Wenxing.”

“He doesn’t blame you.”

“Oh?” Ming Qin appeared unconvinced.

Xia Wennan suddenly felt somewhat resentful, and a trace of sullenness leaked out in his voice as he said, “He doesn’t blame anyone, and he doesn’t need anyone’s pity.
He’s doing really well these days.”

Ming Qin blinked, his lashes quivering.
“I know that he had an unhappy childhood.
I was too young at the time and had no idea how to care for a child who appeared out of nowhere.” Up to here, Ming Qin looked at Xia Wennan.
“When did he find out that I wasn’t his biological dad?”

“I’m not sure,” Xia Wennan responded dazedly.

Ming Qin exhaled a lengthy sigh before bitterly biting out through gritted teeth, “This is Lu Wenxing’s fault.”

Xia Wennan thought about the subdued tone Ming Luchuan used, and said, “What does it matter whose fault it is? It’s all in the past anyway, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
I don’t know if his childhood trauma will follow him for the rest of his life, but he’s strong enough now that he’s able to stop caring.”

The damage had already been done; regret inevitably meant nothing.
People tend to become engulfed in their sorrows, unable to free themselves, and Ming Luchuan was perhaps no exception.
So, despite being such a clearly outstanding alpha, deep down he was terribly insecure and unconfident.

But if you continue to dwell on these emotions, the one person who will end up suffering the most will be yourelf.
Perhaps this pessimistic disposition originated from one’s family, but reinforcing this idea over and over again as you grow up would just sink you deeper into this negative frame of mind.
If no one loves you, why don’t you love yourself more? If no one expects you to live a good life, shouldn’t you live an even better life to prove those people wrong?

Ming Luchuan’s apathy was genuine.
These things were carved into his bones and could not be changed, but he was able to take the reins on his own life.
He had told Xia Wennan, “If you don’t love me, I won’t love you”, yet even when Xia Wennan lost his memories and clearly had no feelings of love for him, Ming Luchuan still firmly held on to him.

He was conscious of the things that were most important to him.
He feared the recurring pain of love, but he clung to it with tenacity.

Xia Wennan loved him.
In his heart, he knew that, even if he lost his memories all over again, he would still love him.

☆ ☆ ☆

t/n – i’m going to be taking a 1 week break from one way passage to work on my other tl, so see you all next week!

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