Chapter 8 – His Friends

“Because of certain issues in the past, I didn’t have the chance to inform you all.” He had failed to inform them of such a life-changing event; him getting married. It was wrong of him to hide it from them, so he tried to give an explanation. Afterall, they were his sworn brothers.

“Oh my god! What about Duan An Ran? If I remembered correctly, wasn’t she the person beside you last month?” Gan Yun Ting tried to wrap his head around what he just heard.

“Her? I don’t know, and neither do I want to know,” Ji Nan Feng continued. Regarding feigning amnesia in front of others, he did not want to do so in front of his brothers either.

“Third Brother, didn’t the hotel catch fire previously? How did it happen? From the way you look, it didn’t seem like you were injured in that accident,” Lu Xing Yan observed.

“I’m fine, however…” Ji Nan Feng paused as he struck another ball into a pocket.

“But what? Third Brother, just tell us!” Gan Yun Ting urged.

“I told others that I have amnesia, and that I’ve lost about a year of memories,” Ji Nan Feng smiled bitterly.

“Amnesia?” The other two had a look of incredulity as they stared at Ji Nan Feng. In a snap, they seemed to have understood something.

“As long as Third Brother is fine, everything else doesn’t matter! Keeping some secrets in your heart is not necessarily a bad thing,” Gan Yun Ting consoled.

As the three brothers exchanged glances with each other, some unsaid words did not need to be voiced out to be understood.

“Another question, with regards to third sister-in-law…”

“She doesn’t know. It’s not the right time to let her know about this yet. When the time is right, I will inform her,” Ji Nan Feng said as he peered at Mo Li Xin.

The girl in question was already deeply engrossed in her phone. Her bare feet rested on the sofa, as she hugged her knees to her chest, watching videos. Occasionally, she would release a cute giggle. She had always been that optimistic and carefree. Even the smallest of things could keep her feeling happy for a long time.

Gan Yun Ting and Lu Xing Yan also turned to observe their third brother’s wife. Although they had many questions, they chose not to voice it out and bury it in their hearts. They could see that their third brother really likes her very much. Their evaluation of her was also pretty good. They felt that she was not a bad person; demure, well-behaved but not boring.

Mo Li Xin was immersed in her phone when she was drawn out of her reverie by her stomach growling. Looking at the time, it was close to having lunch.

As she was about to ask Ji Nan Feng, she saw that he scored three goals in one shot. Even though she was not sure what was going on, she could grasp their conversation after taking off her earpiece. It sounded like Ji Nan Feng won the game, and the other two that lost had to treat a meal.

“Xin’er, come over here,” Ji Nan Feng beckoned to her.

Mo Li Xin obediently went over.

Ji Nan Feng drew her into his arms and introduced, “This is Eldest Brother, Lu Xing Yan.”

“Nice to meet you Eldest Brother,” Mo Li Xin was unsure of what to say, so she followed Ji Nan Feng’s way of addressing Lu Xing Yan. Less nervous than she previously was at the beginning.

“And this is Fourth Little Brother,”

“Hello, Fourth… Little Brother,” Mo Li Xin awkwardly greeted as she looked at the man in front of her. He looked like a man of talent, but he still looked older than herself. Having to call him ‘little brother’ felt a bit off.

“Third Sister-in-law, you can just call me Yun Ting,” Gan Yun Ting commented as he noticed her awkward address.

“Oh, okay!”

After introducing everyone, they then decided to go nearby to have their lunch.

~~~~

“Eldest Brother, what’s up with the reinforcement bar incident just now?” Gan Yun Ting enquired as he drove off.

“It could be the dump truck that accidentally spilled it at the side of the road,” Lu Xing Yan analyzed.

“What if someone wants to murder you and deliberately set up a trap?” Gan Yun Ting fearfully asked.

Ji Nan Feng did not participate in their conversation. He sat at the back, leisurely hugging Mo Li Xin.

“Fourth Brother, discard your conspiracy theories!” Lu Xing Yan felt speechless. This fourth brother of his always had a paranoia that everyone in the world was out to get him.

“No more buts, concentrate on the road!”

“Okay,” Gan Yun Ting reluctantly replied.

Due to his moment of distraction, the car almost ran into an old man. Just as he thought that he would not be able to brake in time and knock over the elderly, a young woman dashed out in front of his vehicle too. She flew over, pushing herself and the old man onto the sidewalk. Thankfully the car jerked to a stop without hitting anything.

Gan Yun Ting tried to calm his mind. Fortunately, he did not hit anyone.

Mo Li Xin, unprepared for the sudden brake, slammed her head against the car seat in front of her because of the inertia. The pain caused her to grit her teeth and squeeze her eyes shut.

“Don’t you know how to drive?!” Ji Nan Feng yelled at Gan Yun Ting when he saw Mo Li Xin getting hurt.

“Are you okay? Does it hurt? Do you want to go to the hospital? Raise your head and let me have a look,” Ji Nan Feng rapidly fired questions at Mo Li Xin.

“It’s okay, I’m okay. It’s only a slight bump and only slightly aching. I’m not even bleeding.

“What happened?” Mo Li Xin asked.

“Third sister-in-law there were two people in front of my car just now. I’m going down to have a look,” Gan Yun Ting reassured. He pushed open the door and got out of the car, the others subsequently followed.

“Why is it you again?!” A man and a woman sounded at the same time. Mo Li Xin heard the familiar voice and hurriedly exited the car. As expected, the male’s voice belonged to Gan Yun Ting whereas the woman’s voice belonged to Man Man. No wonder she felt that the voice was familiar.

“Man Man, why are you here?” Mo Li Xin exclaimed.

“Eh, Xin Xin, why were you in their vehicle?” Xu Qing Man asked.

She never questioned Mo Li Xin about her family circumstances before. Hence, she was unclear about it. Based on how Mo Li Xin liked to dress, she assumed that her family financial status was average. However, looking at the situation now, she seemed to have assumed wrongly. Even so, she was not angry about it. Since she never asked, it could not be considered that Mo Li Xin was trying to deceive her.

“I’m joining them for lunch. What about you? Would you like to join us?” Mo Li Xin offered. She turned around and looked at Ji Nan Feng, hoping that he would agree.

“It’s up to you to decide,” Ji Nan Feng smiled.

Mo Li Xin was taken aback as she did not expect him to agree so readily.

“Xin Xin, who are these people?” Xu Qing Man asked curiously. Except for Gan Yun Ting, she did not recognize the others.

“Oh, this is… he is… I…” Mo Li Xin stumbled as she did not know how to introduce them.

“I’m her husband. Due to previous issues, we have yet to disclose our marriage status.” Ji Nan Feng took the lead and introduced himself.

Mo Li Xin stared at Ji Nan Feng, remembering his stated conditions on their wedding day.

Forbidden to reveal to others that they were married.

If they were to encounter each other outside, they would pretend that they did not know each other.

She was not allowed to question his private life.

And many other demands. Mo Li Xin remembered them all clearly. For she feared that one wrong move would upset Ji Nan Feng. But recently, he broke too many of his own rules for her. Although it made her ecstatic, at the same time, she felt a sense of loss. She was afraid that everything was but a dream, and when she woke up, nothing had changed. And all that she experienced thus far was not real.

“As for who I am, there shouldn’t be a need for introduction. The other gentleman here is my Eldest Brother, Lu Xing Yan. I’m the fourth, Ji Nan Feng is ranked third. We’re sworn brothers!”

Gan Yun Ting deliberately whispered into Xu Qing Man’s ear. Believing that he was full of charm and was seductive.

“If you have something to say, then say it properly! Why do you need to get so close? Are you inarticulate, or do you think that I’m deaf?” Xu Qing Man retorted feeling annoyed.

“Hello, Eldest Brother! Since Xin Xin addresses you as such, can I be ever so brazen as to call you that too? I’m Xu Qing Man. Just call me Xiao Man or Man Man. Hope you won’t mind,” Xu Qing Man turned and introduced herself. She was a little nervous as except for Gan Yun Ting and Xin Xin, the others looked larger than life. However, she was unable to pinpoint why Lu Xing Yan gave her a sense of familiarity.

“Um… As you wish. It would be my honor to have such a beautiful little sister,” Lu Xing Yan had no objections. This girl in front of him definitely had a different personality from him, but she gave off a feeling of being straightforward and pure, making him fond of her. But of course, his fondness of her was only to that of sibling love.

“Xin Xin, don’t just stare at your husband in a daze! If you don’t give me a satisfactory explanation, I will not spare you!” Xu Qing Man demanded as she placed a hand on Mo Li Xin’s shoulder.

Mo Li Xin felt like a bomb went off in her head when she heard Man Man say ‘your husband’. All the blood rushed to her face as she blushed furiously at that comment.

“Alright, let’s go,” Ji Nan Feng glanced unpleasantly at the hand resting on Mo Li Xin’s shoulder, even though that hand belonged to a female.

“Where are we going?” Xu Qing Man placed her attention back on the others. She was out of the loop when they discussed where to have lunch.

“To have a meal,” Mo Li Xin answered.

“Xin Xin… I’ve to eat vegetarian food for this period. You… should know why.” Xu Qing Man murmured, feeling a little depressed as her thoughts drifted to her parents.

It was only then, did Mo Li Xin remember what had occurred recently to Xu Qing Man. She had actually forgotten about it when she saw Man Man’s cheerful demeanor today. She was to be damned and she could not help but feel a little guilty.

Turning to Ji Nan Feng, she suggested, “Nan Feng, why don’t you guys go ahead. I’ll accompa-“

“We’ll join you! Fourth brother, do you know of any vegetarian restaurants nearby? You should be most familiar with this neighborhood,” Ji Nan Feng said.

Gan Yun Ting knew about Xu Qing Man’s situation, “There’s one not far from here. It takes about ten minutes to get there by car. The food there is not bad so let’s go there. Eldest brother, do you mind?” Gan Yun Ting asked.

“I don’t, recently I’m tired of eating meat and fish. Having something lighter sounds good,” Lu Xing Yan realised that there was more than meets the eye regarding this situation.

Sure enough, as soon as he got back in the car, Lu Xing Yan received a text message from Gan Yun Ting. He was informed that Xu Qing Man’s parents passed away recently.

Who was Lu Xing Yan? Although he was only thirty this year, he was already a major general. Years of experience and a strong intuition told him that this matter was not as simple as it looked. What had happened that could cause everyone to die? Unless it was a car accident, the whole incident felt fishy. But this was another family’s affair, and he had no right to stick his nose into it.

In the back seat, Mo Li Xin was wedged between Ji Nan Feng and Xu Qing Man. The car descended into a heavy silence. Mo Li Xin wanted to break the tension, but she did not know what to say.

“Well, Xiao Man, I have a question. But I’m not sure if it’s appropriate for me to ask,” No one expected Lu Xing Yan to speak.

“Ah, Eldest Brother, do ask.”

“That is, about your parents…” Lu Xing Yan could not be too frank in fear he touched a sensitive subject. He could not explain why he seemed to care so much for this girl.

“They’re both dead… The debt collectors forced them into a corner and they met with a car accident as they were being chased.” Xu Qing Man decided to divulge everything. After getting wasted yesterday, she was in a much better place today. Plus she felt an inexplicable sense of familiarity towards Lu Xing Yan, she felt that she could confide in him.

“What of the rest of them? The drivers, the debt collectors?”

“They all escaped, I tried calling the police, but…” Xu Qing Man frustratedly continued.

Suddenly thinking of something, she leaned forward excitedly, “Brothers, can you help me? I don’t want my parents to die for nothing!”

Lu Xing Yan was shocked by the turn of events, but he nodded, “Okay.”


For more advanced SHPW chapters, here.

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