1 My Father and Stepmother Showed Up Uninvited

Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios

A dilapidated residential building.

A young man in casual clothes turned the key and opened the rusty iron door. What followed was a moldy smell.

The first thing he saw was a rickety chair and a small table in the middle of the living room. Apart from the necessities of life, there was nothing else.

He walked over to his laptop and pressed the power button.

Ever since his mother passed away, Lu Ming had been alone.

He had depleted his modest savings just to bury his mother. If his colleague who was hired at the same on-campus job fair had not taken pity on him, he might not even have a place to stay.

So he was usually very frugal. Other than going to work, he basically did not go out and lived a quiet life.

He exhaled and picked up a photo beside the computer.

The woman in the photo was smiling like a flower as she held the child's hand. The man not far away waved at them.

He was Lu Ming's father—Lu Yaohua.

They were originally a happy family. Although their household circumstances were not good, they were very happy.

His parents would do their best to satisfy whatever he wanted.

However, this life did not last long. His father, Lu Yaohua, was rarely coming home.

Initially, he and his mother did not suspect anything at all. After all, his father's career was taking off at the time.

Later, when their family was slightly better off, Lu Yaohua started wearing tailored suits. They had not realized it back then. He was just an ordinary senior executive. Why would he buy such expensive clothes?

It was not until one day when their mother saw Lu Yaohua coaxing another woman that they realized that he had been spending time with this woman when he was supposedly working overtime and socializing.

He watched his usually gentle mother become hysterical, while his father said defensively, "This is just my client. Don't overthink it."

But not long after, Lu Yaohua firmly filed for divorce on the grounds that his mother was not worthy of him.

No matter what his mother said, Lu Yaohua did not relent.

In the end, their marriage was destroyed.

Lu Ming could never forget the smug look on Lu Yaohua's face that day.

Lu Yaohua even engaged a lawyer, which resulted in the court ruling that absolved him of obligations to pay alimony and child support.

Consequently, his mother's health, which was not good to begin with, broke down completely!

Not long after, Lu Yaohua married that woman.

Perhaps Lu Yaohua and that woman were really just clients in the beginning, but it was undeniable that after Lu Yaohua became rich, he abandoned them.

In order to survive, Lu Ming had no choice but to do odd jobs for some evil bosses. Sometimes, he did not get paid and the other party even threatened him with the fact that he was underaged.

He scrimped and saved to buy medicine for his mother, but her health was not improving.

The place they were living in became more rundown. In the end, they could only build a shed as their home. However, whenever it rained, the place would leak.

His mother's condition was getting worse.

Lu Ming had no choice but to look for his father. When he saw the luxurious house, he realized that the woman was a high society socialite from a wealthy family, the eldest daughter of the Tang family—Tang Wenyi!

Tang Wenyi looked down at him and said, "If you kneel down and kowtow to me, I don't mind giving money to help you. Just take it that I'm being kind."

Lu Ming could not stand her. Why would he kneel down?

He wanted to see Lu Yaohua but was stopped by Tang Wenyi.

He had only two choices. Either kneel or leave.

As he caught sight of Lu Yaohua on the second floor with his changed demeanor, he understood at last.

Lu Yaohua did not want to have anything to do with them anymore.

For his mother's sake, he knelt down dejectedly and kowtowed.

Tang Wenyi's self-satisfied laughter seemed to pierce his eardrums. "I thought your mom could teach you well, but it looks like it's nothing more than this."

Afterward, she threw a sum of money to Lu Ming. "From now on, you mother and son will have nothing to do with Yaohua."

That sum of money indeed made life a little easier for Lu Ming and his mother.

Her mother took the opportunity to find a part-time job. She worked as a waitress at the restaurant during the day and did handiwork at home at night.

A year later, her health failed due to exhaustion once again.

This time, his mother did not allow Lu Ming to spend money as he had already been admitted to university.

It could be said that he went to university using life-saving money.

But he could not watch his mother die, so he went around borrowing money.

In the end, his mother held on until the day he graduated.

Before she died, she grabbed his hand tightly and said, "I'd been a burden to you… If you had followed Lu Yaohua back then… At least you wouldn't have to starve with me… Go find him… Otherwise, I wouldn't let him off even after I die…"

Over the years, Lu Yaohua's life had been getting better and better. His career was thriving, and he had gone from being a junior employee to one of the top 20 richest men in Shanghai.

Lu Ming understood his mother's intention. She was afraid that he would be crushed by these debts.

Although his mother had said so, Lu Ming was still unwilling to look for that person. He would rather bear the debts than bow down to Lu Yaohua.

He had once seen in the newspapers that Lu Yaohua and Tang Wenyi had a son. They had specially thrown an extravagant first-month birthday party for him, and more than half of the local wealthy people attended.

That day, Lu Yaohua was eating delicacies at the banquet.

He and his mother were having noodles with vegetables.

"Ding-Dong!"

"Ding-Dong!"

The ringing of the doorbell brought Lu Ming back to reality. He stuffed the photo into the drawer and asked while walking, "Who is it?"

"It's me."

Lu Ming stood rooted to the ground. "Is this familiar middle-aged voice… Lu Yaohua?" he wondered.

As though he wanted to confirm his guess, he opened the peephole and saw the same face as the one in the photo. There were only a few more wrinkles with the passing years.

He looked at Lu Yaohua, his mind in a blur.

"Why did this man show up uninvited?" he thought.

Lu Ming wondered if it was possible that his father wanted to apologize.

"After neglecting him for so many years, he now had the gall to apologize?" he fumed.

However, when he saw the teenager who resembled Lu Yaohua beside him, his hope was extinguished.

It seemed strange to Lu Ming that his father would apologize with Tang Wenyi and the child he had with her in tow.

He thought, "Could it be that they had come together to apologize for the kneeling incident back then?"

He shook his head. "Why would he apologize now, of all times?"

Just as he was lost in his thoughts, a disdainful voice came from outside. "Mom, why do we have to come to such a godforsaken place? I'm afraid I'll get infected with some kind of germ!"

"It's fine. Just bear with it a little longer and shower a few times when you get back." The female voice said arrogantly.

The doorbell rang again. "Little Ming, I know you're at home. Can you open the door?"

Upon hearing this, Lu Ming lowered his head. It had been a long time since someone called him that.

Judging from the situation, he thought that Lu Yaohua might really be here to apologize.

He turned the doorknob.

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