Over at the Lin residence in Zhonghai, the lights were all still on despite it being late into the night.
On the soft couch right in the center of the living room was Lin Ruoxi in a velvet sleeping gown, curled up in a corner. She was hugging her legs as she blankly stared at the wall clock, still as a statue.
Her fair arms were exposed in the cool midnight air. The side view of her mesmerizing face was shrouded behind a messy array of hair as black as ink.
What was not covered by her nightgown were her fair little pair of feet. Although her toenails were not decorated in polish like most women opted for, they were every bit as delicate and beautiful.
“You’re still awake I see.”
A soothing voice resonated from behind through the dead of the night.
“Mother… why are you down here at this hour?” Lin Ruoxi asked, slightly startled.
Guo Xuehua was in her cotton pajamas. With the absence of her makeup, she appeared especially compassionate and benevolent though her wrinkles were present, indicating old age.
With a wise little chuckle, she came by Lin Ruoxi as she sat on the couch before she broke the silence. “How could I sleep with you so anxious? Even Wang Ma was awake all night, but she didn’t want to interrupt.”
Lin Ruoxi held her head low. “I’m sorry I made you worry, Mom.”
“You will truly understand what I mean when you become a parent yourself.” Guo Xuehua reached out and gave her a slight squeeze on her shoulder. “I saw you crying a while ago, but Yang Chen did not come in with you. I’m guessing that you’re waiting for him to come back?”
Lin Ruoxi bit on her lips ever so slightly. “Yeah…”
“Ugh… this son of mine is truly a mess. What’s so important that he couldn’t wait? What’s so important that he had to keep his wife waiting?” Guo Xuehua proclaimed, frowning.
Lin Ruoxi shook her head. “It’s my fault this time, don’t blame him.”
“What happened between the two of you? Aren’t you both back in good terms? Did something happen since then?” Guo Xuehua sympathetically said, “If something is going on in your lives, please don’t hesitate to tell me.”
Lin Ruoxi hesitated as it was her original intention to keep it away from her family, but all the misunderstanding and anxiety piled within her was eating her alive. In the end, she started to spill all the details of the events that had happened several days prior.
Just the summary of all that had happened had left Guo Xuehua in a complete daze.
When she found out that it was the elders of the Ning and Luo clans who had orchestrated the exile of the Xue family, even to the extent of having Luo Cuishan to blackmail Lin Ruoxi and Yang Chen, Guo Xuehua was instantly filled with hatred and disgust.
“Who would have thought that she, as the first lady, would commit such despicable acts unto you. I met her in Beijing a few times. It was in good terms back then when I viewed her as the wife of Premier Ning!” Guo Xuehua sighed as she continued, “But the Ning clan with all their influence and authority is not something we can interfere with. Trust that Yang Chen will take care of it.”
Lin Ruoxi agreeably nodded, albeit with a certain dejection. “Even I am aware that with all the fame and fortune I possess, I can’t even hold a candlelight to their positions.”
Guo Xuehua compassionately stroked onto her daughter-in-law’s silky-smooth hair, caressing her supple face as she reassured, “After everything you said, my two cents on the situation is that the last person you should’ve kept that from is Yang Chen. He was seriously worried sick for you. In the end, all he wants is for you to be happy with your life. Now that he faced Luo Cuisan head on, there’s bound to be repercussions that would leech on him for a while. ”
Lin Ruoxi’s pupils started getting watery as she started choking up. “I know I made a mistake, I know it was a terrible thing to say. And when I realized that, it was too late to take anything back. I hate myself for the fact that I just don’t really know how to talk to him. I’ve got no idea how to make him feel better, to make him love me more. I really don’t know what to do.”
Guo Xuehua felt apologetic as she embraced Lin Ruoxi’s trembling body. “My child, think about it. Think about all the things that have kept you from him. All the times you one-up him, times you wait for him to read your mind. This has been going on for one and a half years. Love is a two-way street. You can’t just always leave it all for Yang Chen to play the offense. You must start putting some thought into his needs too, only then will the both of you truly connect with one another.”
Lin Ruoxi lifted her head, in her watery eyes were confusion and bewilderment.
Guo Xuehua with a warm smile replied, “I have to admit, you’re prettier than your mother was when she was in her peak. From the perspective of a selfish mother, I am truly happy that Yang Chen married you. Who wouldn’t want their grandchildren to be this gorgeous to look at.”
Lin Ruoxi instantly turned slightly embarrassed. “Mom… what’s with this sudden change in topic?”
“Well it’s something I need to get out of my chest don’t you think? Ruoxi, I was also young once. But time flies and it flies fast. Regardless of how remarkably pretty you are right now, one day you’d look yourself in the mirror and discover that you have gotten old. There’s no hiding that fact, and when that day comes you wouldn’t have the advantage against those young and attractive girls out there anymore. You might think that you have Yang Chen in the palm of your hand right now, but how certain are you about the future?
“Men gather experience over the years, and women find mature men particularly attractive. Let’s not forget that my son has no resistance to the temptations of lust. When that day comes for your turn to grow old, and your relationship with Yang Chen is still at a stage of a rocking boat, what do you think will happen?”
Lin Ruoxi went instantly pale. A flash of panic immediately ran over her face. Prior to this, she had not put too much thought into her future. But now that Guo Xuehua reminded her of it, her heart started to get heavy with all the realization piling on it.
Regardless of how their relationship was, Yang Chen and Lin Ruoxi both knew that their marriage was far from the initial contract stage.
A divorce would be hard to take in for a traditionalist like Lin Ruoxi, not to mention the existing feelings she held towards him.
The conversation they had in the cafe that one fateful day, along with Yang Chen’s singing performance behind Yu Lei International’s building reassured her that he was destined to be her man.
“Think about it, even now when you’re still young and vibrant, there are already several other women by his side, all of whom he’s unwilling to give up. But right now, you won’t have to worry about them because you’re married to him while they’re not, and you’re ahead in terms of appearance. It is said that the youth of a woman goes away in a snap, so would you be as confident that in the future when you’re no longer the gorgeous figure that you are now? How confident are you that he will stay with you? Yes, it might take years, even decades before we see anything arise. But are you willing to bet that your future is safe with him?” Guo Xuehua explained.
Lin Ruoxi hung her head low. She immediately realized that her quick-acting brain was not as reliable as she thought it would be. It was unparalleled in the business world, but when it came to a situation like this, it was no longer of any use.
When I get old, am I still ready to burn life’s brief candle in the business world? Is that really what I want? she thought.
Guo Xuehua stroked her hair and said, “Ruoxi, why don’t you take my advice? Don’t waste your entire youth on your business. Try taking some time off to bond with Yang Chen, buying clothes and making dinner is good and all but you’re his wife, not his housemaid. You have to build upon the foundations of your marriage. Only with a strong foundation and solid structure, will you solidify your future with him.“
Lin Ruoxi nodded ever so slightly before she lifted her head and stared right at Guo Xuehua. Filled with guilt, she asked, “But… Mom, if you really cared about me, why would you visit Aunt Ma for Yang Chen’s sake then?”
Caught off-guard and embarrassed, Guo Xuehua forced a smile. “Oh my… why did you have to bring that up all of a sudden? I wasn’t given an option. I would want both of you to be lovingly together, but I too want Yang Chen to be happy.”
Guo Xuehua was aware that it was not her call to be there anymore, so she abruptly stood up and walked towards her room upstairs.
The living room went back to its original serenity as Lin Ruoxi was back to being in her own company. As she sat silently on the couch watching the clock as seconds and minutes went by, she wondered what her next move would be…
Meanwhile, over at the skies above an island on the Pacific Ocean, a silhouette revealed itself amidst the darkness of the night as it silently oversaw the entire landscape.
On the island was a huge military base which consisted of the most advanced fighter jets, along with several military helicopters and trucks.
By the edge of the island were multiple massive warships with their missile launchers facing the horizon. Further out in the waters was a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. It looked like any slight movement posing a threat to the base would trigger the overwhelming firepower to be unleashed.
As the two nations were in a maritime conflict, the American forces, being the third party, unsurprisingly sent a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to hold the ground, even if it was yet to be used. A weapon of this magnitude would put any nation to halt.
Yang Chen, however, had no interest in any of that destructive weaponry. He scanned the military base for something else. Upon discovering a towering reinforced steel structure where the light was most concentrated, he instantly flung himself towards it.
After his breakthrough into Xiantian Full Cycle, a rapid transmission was nothing more than a mere trick. He didn’t even have to use his divine powers.
On the ground level, a squad of American troops armed with M4 assault rifles could be seen patrolling the outer rim of the military base control tower. It was almost impossible for anyone uninvited to be able to make it this deep into the base without being spotted. But they were not hired based on possibilities.
Right at that moment, by the main entrance of the control tower was a haunting silhouette of a black-haired youth relaxedly proceeding towards the gate.
Tens of American soldiers were petrified when they realized someone was on the deck. Upon returning to their senses, they lifted their weapons and started blindly shooting at the intruder without the slightest hesitation!