Feng Qi was driving to the Ou House. While he was waiting at the red light, he tilted his head to look at the chess case sitting on the front passenger seat. When Wenwen mentioned that he liked chess, he had made up his mind to give him this present.
He was certainly aware that the old master had collected three valuable chess sets. However, he had only occasionally been dragged into playing some games with the old master in the past, and since the old master wouldn't use his collection when he played, instead opting to use chess sets that were slightly better than the average, he didn't know much about his collection. That he hadn't paid attention when he saw the old master lovingly wipe his babies every now and then didn't help matters, either.
But after deciding to gift Wenwen a chess set, he specially went to appraise the old master's three treasures. Upon seeing them, he chose to give the white jade set. Although the incense wood and red sandalwood were both superb as well, the white jade was clearly superior in terms of colour and luster. In his opinion, the white jade was more suited for young people, and privately, he also felt that the white jade quite complimented Wenwen.
When the light turned green, the driver of the car behind him honked his horn to hurry him. Feng Qi started his car and looked away from the chess case, a tiny smile curving his lips.
He was certain that Wenwen would be elated when he received his present, and was very much looking forward to seeing the look of surprise and joy he would have then.
At that moment in time, Old Master Feng was at home, foaming with rage at losing his treasure. After a detailed interrogation, he at last learned that his precious had been taken away by his unworthy progeny, Feng Qi. The old master called Feng Qi at once. He wouldn't be lenient if he didn't fess up.
Beep, beep, beep, beep—
Old Master, who was hung up on, "…"
Very good, this shameful boy has really pissed him off!
Feng Qi sneezed and calmly stuffed his phone back into his pocket. He turned the steering wheel around a corner and crossed the road curve, about to drive into the cluster of villas where the Ou House was located, still at the outer area.
Papa Ou had invited a great number of people. As Feng Qi was entering the outer area of the villa district, he came across a few cars driving in the same direction as him, presumably for their engagement at the Ou House.
He changed gears, his car accelerating at once, and soon left those cars in the dust.
At the same time, the Ou House.
Hao Ritian was wearing a casual suit, while his originally overly-long hair had been trimmed. Without the cover his long hair provided him, his face –a mix of handsomeness and elegance –was completely exposed. Adding in the degree of adoration Ou Yu showered him, in the eyes of those not in the know, he was practically Cinderfella, who'd transformed into a little prince.
Cinderfella—ah, no, now he was the Little Prince.
The Little Prince, Hao Ritian, was at that moment in the middle of being bathed in Mu Rou's meticulous care. She knew that her son surely wouldn't be able to adapt to so many people coming to their home at once, so she naturally had to prepare her son's mind in advance and comfort him.
"Don't worry, your father won't insist that you talk to so many unfamiliar people. He just wants to introduce you to everyone. Oh, right, you can play games here for now and when it's time, Mom will call you out. You'll only have to endure it for a moment, and then it'll be over. How about I have someone send you something to eat and drink?" Wearing a body-hugging formal dress, Mu Rou looked simply radiant. And her tender expression when she spoke to Hao Ritian only added to her charm.
Mu Rou was very beautiful to begin with, and despite her son being as old as he was, she still appeared quite young. Paired with that dress, she was in all seriousness, exceptionally eye-catching.
In fact, she was very relaxed as she pacified her son because her son's condition had been great lately and, spurred on by Qin An, he had developed a big interest in games. Her own job was to illustrate games, so her understanding of games was no worse than those of young people. She'd even given her son the latest developed game from her company for him to play with.
Mu Rou was the only mother here who would so actively allow her son to 'idle around'.
It went without saying that Hao Ritian wouldn't drag his feet on such an important day. He was just about to nod when he heard a voice that he had grown familiar to hearing these past few days. It actually carried hints of dissatisfaction.
"Pum pa da dum! Ziwen, I'm here! I thought you were downstairs and looked for you for a long time. Who knew you'd be hiding in the gaming room at such a time? That's unfriendly of you."
Almost out of nervous reflex, Hao Ritian felt a headache coming on. The noisiest guy ever has arrived.
Just as expected, in the heels of his words, Qin An immediately jumped in. That's right. He jumped in. Qin An thought that arriving like this had a heroic flair.
As a result, his pose was all set up when he finally noticed that Mu Rou was also present. No matter how thick his face was, he was still a little embarrassed. He sheepishly rubbed his face and hurriedly straightened from his chuunibyou-like stance.
When Mu Rou saw that it was Qin An, not only did she not mind, her face even brightened. "Ah, Little An, you're here. Just wonderful, you and Ziwen play here for a while, Auntie will have someone send you two something to eat. Go on and play."
She put her hands on Hao Ritian's shoulders and pushed him to Qin An, looking very kind with her face full of smiles.
Mu Rou really was fond of Qin An. Not only due to his own likability, but also because of his unflagging enthusiasm towards her son. Despite her son's constant show of irritation by Qin An's existence, she could tell that he was very relaxed when he was with him. That was enough to gratify her.
With someone to accompany her son, Mu Rou finally felt secure enough to receive the guests with Ou Yu. There were so many distinguished guests today. As one of the hosts, she couldn't be absent all the time.
Qin An made an exaggerated show of breathing a sigh of relief after Mu Rou left, his chest puffing in and out.
In fact, after being acquainted for a week, Qin An had of course become aware that Mu Ziwen was autistic. After going to school, he often went to Ziwen's dormitory to look for him and once accidentally overheard his dormmates secretly discussing how 'that gloomy, autistic ghost, Mu Ziwen, actually has a friend'. At the time, he ran inside and quarreled with them.
After the event, he was incredibly surprised. Not that his good friend was autistic, rather he was surprised because, in his eyes, Ziwen didn't seem much different from normal people. Besides being taciturn and not being very fond of answering when spoken to, he was quite normal in other aspects. Those dormmates of Ziwen's were being too much.
So, even though he knew Mu Ziwen was autistic, he still got along with him normally. Though privately, he tried learning a bit about autism to avoid accidentally doing something taboo.
He came over early today and looked for Hao Ritian straight after arriving because he wanted to keep him company.
As soon as his eyes turned away, Qin An spotted a new game disk and his face brightened. "Wow, you actually have this game here? I saw online that this game is still being beta-tested. The game company has only released a thousand copies of the game. You actually grabbed one? Hurry, let's try it out."
He didn't wait for an answer, seeming more interested in the game.
In the blink of an eye, Hao Ritian who had been listening to Mu Rou's advice at first, was now sitting next to Qin An and playing games with him. Hao Ritian was also a bit intoxicated.
Ever since he met Qin An, it seemed he'd become hooked on games. But, cough, it felt pretty great. He didn't have to worry about anything and just play, play, play.
Downstairs, Mu Rou was meeting many people under Ou Yu's guidance. The reception hall was full of guests, most of whom were in the same age group as Ou Yu, with only a small portion of them being either his senior or junior. Contrary to what one might expect, the entire hall was wrapped up in an exuberant atmosphere.
Of course, Ou Siyang's family also came. Mother Ou looked at the dazzling-looking Mu Rou standing beside Ou Yu and curled her lips in disdain. "A free-range chicken wants to become a Phoenix. Isn't she just profiting from Second Brother's prestige? How come we haven't seen that woman's son?"
One could hear her opinion from her words alone. Using 'that woman's son' to describe Mu Ziwen indicated that she evidently didn't recognise Mu Ziwen as Ou Yu's son.
Father Ou heard her muttering and glared at her. "How can you say that? If Second Brother hears you, he'll feel hurt. Have Siyang get along with Ziwen in the future."
Afterwards, without waiting for Mother Ou to react, he grabbed a glass of wine from a passing waiter's tray and strode to one of the paunchy middle-aged men. That middle-aged man was a collaborator in one of his current projects. It was only natural that they fraternize since they've run into each other here.
Mother Ou's expression was clearly unconvinced. One could say that she was the most discontent with the return of Mu Rou and her son. To put it another way, one should say that she was least good at pretending. Her eyes searched the hall for where her youngest son was. She thought her youngest son would understand her way of thinking.
In the end, before she could find her youngest son, several ladies slowly gathered around her, including the lady next door who had scorned Ou Siyang the day Ou Yu received Mu Rou and their son home. The expressions on each of the ladies surrounding Mother Ou were faultless, but the words that left their mouth were like barbs.
Mother Ou was forced to listen to a copious amount of satirical remarks underneath the pretence of congratulations, and still carry a smile. She couldn't let outsiders think that she really coveted her Second Brother's things, so though she wanted to die from how much she was stifling her anger, she had to endure.
The several ladies around her exchanged looks, their expressions full of satisfaction. Only after they had looked at their fill of Mother Ou's sullen face did they turn around and leave. From this, it could be seen how unpopular Mother Ou was.
Once they left, the veins on the back of the hand Mother Ou held her wine glass bulged. She really wished she could've splashed her wine on all of those bitches' faces just now. This is all because of Mu Rou and her son's return. She laid her grievances and anger on Mu Rou's and her son's shoulders.
A woman he met again after twenty years and a son he just recently acknowledged. She didn't believe that they surpassed her husband and her sons' place in Second Brother's heart.
After becoming convinced of that, the smile on her face became much more natural.
Time slowly passed by as the cups went gaily round. When it was almost eleven, a friend who had a good relationship with Ou Yu jokingly asked him, "President Ou, why don't you let your darling son come out to see us? Isn't your cosseting a bit excessive? Even a daughter wouldn't be hidden away for no one to see, right?!"
The look on Ou Yu's face was exceedingly conceited and full of pride. "It's not enough no matter how much I cosset my son. I'll ask someone to call him down and introduce you all to him. I'm telling you, my son is an outstanding student from Imperial University. He's much better than me, his father."
His friends' eyes were smiling as they looked at him, and how he seemed like he was about to ascend to heaven. After all, apart from their business contacts, they were good friends in private as well. This was the first time in years since they'd seen Ou Yu have such an animated expression, and they were happy for him.
So, regardless of whether it was towards Mu Rou or Mu Ziwen who had yet to appear, they all harboured goodwill towards them.
Mu Rou chuckled next to Ou Yu, already able to keep a straight face at his bragging. After all, the person he was bragging about was her son, and their son really was an outstanding student so he wasn't exactly shooting off his mouth. After Ou Yu finished, she expressed that she would get their son herself.
It was then that Feng Qi arrived.
He had set off relatively early and, by rights, should have arrived early. As a matter of fact, he had entered the villa district without a hitch. But unfortunately, just as he was about to pass through the sign and enter the inner area, a fool rushed over without rhyme or reason. If not for his good driving skills, the two cars would've had a large-scale collision.
Even though they evaded just in the nick of time, the two cars still suffered different degrees of damage. His was light, while the fool's was heavy. Luckily, the people themselves were fine. After getting off his car, he confirmed that the foolish car owner was a resident living in this district and the accident was simply caused by drunk driving.
Very good. He was driving while intoxicated and had even ran into Feng Qi, a police officer. Although he wasn't in charge of DWI, after a phone call, he sent the fool to the police station.
Afterwards, he found someone to tow the fool's car and take care of the site. Only after everything was over did he drive to the Ou House. Time had flown by and he was very late. Luckily, after inspection, he discovered that his intended gift for Wenwen was still in perfect condition. If it wasn't, he would've taught that fool a lesson at the police station.
Feng Qi entered the hall but didn't see Hao Ritian, so naturally, he made his way to Ou Yu and Mu Rou. After learning that Hao Ritian was still in the game room and that Mu Rou had just been about to call him down, the 'task' fell on him.
Feng Qi was acquainted with many of Ou Yu's guests, but he didn't exchange much pleasantries with them. After nodding to the people around Ou Yu, he proceeded to the game room.
His reaction was unperturbed, but when those acquainted with him saw that he had unexpectedly honoured Ou Yu by joining the banquet, and that he displayed familiarity with the Ou House, thoughts ran wild in their minds.
The Feng Family was different from businessmen like them. Their power in the political and military circles was so strong that it was scary and before Old Master Feng retired, he had been one of the generals that held real authority. Even though he had retired, his deterrent effect still remained and no one dared to underestimate the Feng Family.
As the old master's youngest son, Feng Qi's weight could be well-imagined.
That's right, Feng Qi was not Old Master Feng's grandson, but his youngest son. Feng Qi's eldest nephew was quite close in age with him, so in terms of seniority, it hadn't been that insurmountable of Ou Yu to make his son call Feng Qi 'Uncle' at the beginning.
Qin An had a special situation too, otherwise he wouldn't call Feng Qi 'Big Brother'. Appellation was almost always according to one's own social circle. If not, with Qin An calling Feng Qi 'Big Brother' and Ou Yu 'Uncle', yet Feng Qi and Ou Yu addressing each other as 'brothers', wouldn't it be chaotic?
But Feng Qi's appearance today had made many people realise that Ou Yu actually had a very good relationship with Feng Qi. Just that information was enough for them to muse for a long time.
However, Feng Qi's thoughts weren't so complicated. After arriving at the door of the game room, he suddenly put the gift in his hand behind his back before walking in.
Once he spotted Hao Ritian sitting cross-legged on the floor with Qin An, playing video games, he crossed over to him and called him, "Wenwen."
When a pair of long legs blocked his view, Hao Ritian raised his head and saw Feng Qi looking at him with a smile. Immediately, he dropped his game controller and stood on his feet with a 'swish'. "Un…Uncle Feng."
After greeting him, he put both his hands behind his back, looking ill at ease. He even kicked his game controller to the side, as if not wanting Feng Qi to find out that he'd been idling around.
His adorable actions made Feng Qi really want to knead and pinch him. Pressing his fist on his lips and coughing a couple of times to resist the impulse, he only reached out to rub his head. "It's almost time. Your parents want you to go down. You just have to meet the guests for a bit and it'll be over soon."
"…Oh." Hao Ritian drew a circle on the ground with his foot then was about to leave after he responded.
But Feng Qi grabbed him, "Wait."
The hand behind his back suddenly came out. Seeming unconcerned, Feng Qi passed the chess case to Hao Ritian and said in a low voice, "This is the gift I promised you. Open it and see if you like it or not?"
Hao Ritian hesitated for a moment before taking it, then carefully and painstakingly opened the chess case. His eyes instantly lit up after seeing the round and smooth white jade chess pieces, as if his eyes were full of starlight inside.
He bordered on impatient as he set the chess case on the sofa behind him and grabbed one of the pieces to rub it in his hands. He carefully examined it. The quality of the jade was exquisite and the texture was smooth. He was so delighted with it that he could hardly bear to put it down.
There was no need for an answer. His behaviour alone showed how much he liked this gift.
Feng Qi was very pleased. It was great that this gift was able to reach Wenwen's heart. He stepped forward to rub Hao Ritian's head again and said warmly, "Alright, if you like, I can play a few games with you later when there's a chance. Now, you should head down."
Hao Ritian continued crouching and raised his head to regard Feng Qi. After a while, he said, "Thank you, Uncle Feng, I really like this gift."
If it had been Mu Ziwen, he probably wouldn't have been able to tell the value of this chess set which was made with white jade, but with his knowledge, he could easily see that these white jades were treasures. And he knew from it's brightness and from how it's exterior hadn't suffered any damage that the chess pieces had been well maintained.
Feng Qi had used his heart when picking this gift.
"It's good that you like it. Let's go, your parents are still waiting for you." He pulled him up on his feet. Feng Qi didn't want Hao Ritian to make a bad impression on the guests on such an important day.
Hao Ritian obediently stood up with his help, but after closing the lid, carried the chess case in his arms. When Feng Qi peered at him, he blushingly told him, "I want to put it in my room."
Seeing how much he cherished his gift made Feng Qi's hands itchy again. He had been right when he said that he sometimes resembled a groundhog; his habit of wanting to dig a pit storage when he came across something he liked was exactly the same.
"Sure, put it in your room." Feng Qi indulgently replied.
The two people left the game room side by side. Qin An, the messy background, "…"
He was such a large living person, yet Big Brother Feng was actually able to completely ignore him. He was impressed.
Forget it. He was used to this.
Switching off the game, Qin An followed them, not at all offended.
After putting away the chess set, Hao Ritian finally followed Feng Qi downstairs. As soon as he appeared, the eyes of the guests in the drawing room uniformly glanced over and settled on him. They didn't need Ou Yu to introduce him; the guests could confirm his identity just by looking at his face.
Having so many eyes focused on him made his body instantly freeze up and his face blanch. Feng Qi noticed that right away and lifted his hand to cover his back, half caging him in his arms. He lowered his head to whisper to him, "Don't be afraid, Uncle Feng is with you."
His eyes were full of heartache. This was his first time experiencing this emotion.
Hao Ritian calmed down under his reassurance, his familiar smell comforting him. He raised his head and looked trustingly at Feng Qi, then walked to Ou Yu and Mu Rou with him, ignoring the eyes on him as much as possible
Compliments were suddenly given to him like it was going out of style. Hao Ritian turned a deaf ear to them, obviously not feeling well. To others, being treated as the centre of attention like this was enjoyable, but to people with autism, it was torture.
Ou Yu was, of course, aware of this and since he loved his son dearly, never intended for his son to stay here very long today. Quickly, he led his son to the very front where a microphone was placed. He switched on the microphone and spoke, "Ladies and Gentlemen, those who could come here today are this Ou's friends, and I would like to introduce to you all my son, Mu Ziwen. For twenty years, I have not fulfilled my duty as a father and it was with great difficulty that my son returned, so it's only natural that I properly make it up to him. I hereby announce that 51% of my shares will be transferred to my son, and the rest to my wife, Mu Rou. Before my son can undertake this task alone, I will manage the company on his behalf for a while. Out of respect for me, please take care of my son."
Ou Yu embodied the phrase 'it never rains, but it pours'. Nobody expected that he would say such a thing and it immediately caused everyone present to be in an uproar.
The industry under Ou Yu's name was worth billions of dollars. And he'd actually given most of it to his son and the small remaining portion of it to his wife without batting an eye, leaving nothing for himself.
Because the company he took over at the beginning had been small and floundering, of no value at all, everything he had now was the result of many years of hard work. Furthermore, he was also the founder of the company and possessed as much as 80% of the shares. By dividing 51% to his son, he was guaranteeing that his son had the largest voice in the company.
He was essentially still young, at a time in a man's life when he was burning with ambition. None of his peers would delegate power at this age, hence their shock at Ou Yu's decision.
In what way was he treating his son like a treasure? He was practically treating him like an ancestor!
Ou Siyang could no longer maintain his gentle facade. Even the marks his fingernails caused by sinking into the hollow of his palms couldn't regain his attention. If there weren't so many guests watching, he would have lost it.
Let alone outsiders, Hao Ritian himself was baffled.
But once he snapped back to reality, he started poking voodoo dolls in his mind. Who the hell wants this responsibility? Can he not separate himself from the identity of a business successor? There wouldn't be a big industry for him to inherit in every following world, right?!
Please spare him, he was just quietly doing his mission!
If others were to know that he had inherited so many industries yet was still complaining, the amount of eye rolls he would get would likely send him to the skies.
Mu Rou covered her mouth, tears brimming in her eyes. What she valued wasn't how much her son had received, but the heart Ou Yu put into this. Ou Yu's sincerity towards her and her son must be absolutely unquestionable for him to do this.
Ou Yu's decision evoked thousands of waves of discussion, however the following matters were unrelated to Hao Ritian. After his announcement, Ou Yu sent him to his room on the grounds that his son wasn't in good health and needed to rest. At that moment, the guests wouldn't pay so much mind to Hao Ritian anymore. They were more concerned about Ou Yu, who had made the decision. They surrounded him and the scene became boisterous again.
By the time the guests had gradually left, it was already 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Feng Qi had a rare moment of free time so he accompanied Hao Ritian for the afternoon, playing a few games against him with the white jade chess he gave him. During that time, he witnessed how adorable Hao Ritian was when he handled the chess pieces cautiously, reluctant to lay his hands on them. He was in a terrific mood and only returned home after dinner.
As a result, just as he stepped into the house, the old master stopped him dead in his tracks.
"Where's my white jade chess set?" The old master asked, as he glared at him like a tiger watching his prey. He wasn't tactful in the slightest, indicating that he was certain that he was the thief and wouldn't accept any trickery.
Unexpectedly, Feng Qi calmly walked to one side and sat down. He didn't cover up the fact that he had taken the chess set. Keeping a straight face, he said, "I gave it away."
"You gave it away?" The pitch of the old man's voice rose by a couple of degrees. He was foaming at the mouth with rage, "Who did you give my baby to, you little brat?"
Soon after he said that, his expression suddenly froze. This was his first time hearing this little brat give something to someone, and it was even his treasure. Could it be…?
"Don't tell me you gave it to my future daughter-in-law?" As soon as he made that conjecture, the old man's expression rapidly transformed. After all his son was already thirty yet had never been in a relationship before, meanwhile even his great-grandson could buy soy sauce now. How could he not be worried?
If his son had taken his treasure to win favour with his future daughter-in-law, he could accept it. Even if it hurt, he would give it away. But if he hadn't, then he would beat him up!
Feng Qi stiffened, then reached up to rub his chin. The word 'daughter-in-law' sounded very pleasing to the ear. Seeing that the old master was still expectantly waiting for his answer, his expression moved, "Maybe."
Since he didn't deny it, did that mean there was a possibility?
A look of joy crossed the old master's face. Just as he wanted to ask about the situation in detail, his son –after dropping that one single word –got up and returned to his room, leaving him gnashing his teeth again. He secretly hoped that his daughter-in-law would marry into their family soon. When that moment came, his daughter-in-law could help him take care of this stinky boy.