Chapter 25 — Does this make you feel disgusted?
He Xiu was silent for a moment and then bowed his head to chuckle.
Being laughed at like this by him, Jian Yan became embarrassed. She really cared about the strawberries, though, because after picking them, she would need to pay money…
“Eh, I’m sorry…” She returned the strawberry back to the basket and smiled apologetically at He Xiu.
The corners of He Xiu’s mouth rose into a smile. He looked at her and said, “It’s okay, it was my bad. I should be more serious when picking strawberries.”
Jian Yan: “…”
He Xiu really did as he had said and took strawberry picking more seriously. He held one in his hand and lifted it up for Jian Yan to see. “How about this? It’s not too small yet not too big, and the color is uniform. On a scale of attractiveness, it’s 100%.”
“…Mhmm, pretty good.”
He Xiu smiled and plucked it, placing it into his basket. Because Jian Yan had changed the subject, he also no longer monitored his words. Instead, he bluntly said to her, “Back then in the dining hall, when you had suddenly brought up my parents, I had really been somewhat angry, but I was more angry at myself afterwards for speaking without thinking the matter through and telling you that Zhao Ying Fang wasn’t my mother. Although she really isn’t my mother, that is a secret of the He Family. He Jing Long had always told outsiders that I am Zhao Ying Fang’s eldest son…”
He Xiu spoke all of this in one breath. He then continued to say, “I arrived at He Mansion when I was already seven years-old. My father said that, because I was born with an unhealthy body, I had stayed abroad to receive treatment the entire time.” He smiled mockingly. “I don’t know how much of this excuse others believed, but no one performed an in-depth investigation. People treated me with the same courtesy as if they were actually treating the eldest son of the He Family. People of the business world are so hypocritical.”
Jian Yan slightly pursed her lips, not knowing if she should say something. As a child, she had felt that if her family had been wealthy, she wouldn’t have experienced so much suffering, but the fact was that even a wealthy family like the He Family could have other sufferings.
He Xiu remained quiet for a long time before he said with a steady voice, “My mom, she died the year I turned seven years-old…”
Jian Yan suddenly grabbed his hand. “Don’t say anymore.”
He Xiu tilted his head to look at her. Jian Yan exhaled lightly and said, “It must be very agonizing to remember it, right? You don’t need to force yourself to recall those memories again.”
He Xiu’s eyes glimmered with a watery light. Shortly after, he finally realized that they were holding hands. He looked at Jian Yan, slightly hesitant. “You’re…touching me.”
Jian Yan only just seemed to realize that their bodies happened to be touching each other. It was of her own volition too. Seeing that her expression was strange, He Xiu eased the mood by chuckling. “After this, you wouldn’t happen to want to beat me up, right?”
Jian Yan giggled softly, lips raised into a smile as she withdrew her hand. She blinked at him before saying, “Actually, my situation is much more extreme than what I had previously told you. Rather than simply having something against men, I have misandry.”
He Xiu’s eyebrows furrowed together. “Misandry?”
“Mmn. I have had it since I was a child. My father gambled and lost a lot of money. He took everything valuable in the house to settle his debts, but it still hadn’t been enough. The creditor would drop by every day to harass him to settle the debt and would even spray red paint on the door of my house. Once, he even barged directly into the house and viciously told my father to pay up. Perhaps because he really saw that there was indeed nothing valuable in the house, he told my father, ‘If you have no money to settle the debt, then use your daughter to repay the debt.’ He had said this while reaching out to stroke my face. Although it was simply my face, I feel that disgusting sensation every time I recall that moment. I get goosebumps over my whole body.”
Even though Jian Yan’s tone was very light, He Xiu’s heart suddenly felt a stab of pain. He wrinkled his brows and looked at her, asking, “What happened after?”
Jian Yan said, “At that time, my dad had been drunk. I was really terrified that they would take me away. Fortunately, my mom came back and protected me as if her life depended on it, driving those men away. Later, when my dad sobered up, he took the initiative to divorce my mom. Now…I don’t know where he is. Maybe he had long ago been killed by the creditors.”
He Xiu didn’t respond, his brows remaining furrowed. Jian Yan smiled and said, “After that day, I especially felt allergic to touching men. If they approach me, I will become very violent.”
He Xiu looked at her and slowly lifted his right hand and gently caressed the side of her face with his fingers. “Does this make you feel disgusted?”
Jian Yan shook her head. “Maybe…it’s because you’re handsome.”
The corner of He Xiu’s mouth finally quirked up. Just as he wanted to say something, they heard the owner of Strawberry Gardens yell at them from not so far away, “That handsome guy and beautiful woman over there! It you want to date, return home and do it, okay?! This is a narrow path. You two standing there will block other people’s paths. Not only that, there are so many ripe strawberries, after other people finish picking, you two certainly won’t have any~!”
He Xiu: “…”
Jian Yan: “…”
“Mn, let’s pick strawberries first.” He Xiu took the basket from Jian Yan’s hand and continued to walk farther down the rows of strawberries. The harvest from their trip was rather plentiful. By the time the two of them left the row, the basket was actually too full. The boss weighed their harvest——nearly 1.5 kilograms.
Just as Jian Yan was about to pay, He Xiu stopped her. “There isn’t a principle that lets you pay.”
“Eh…” Jian Yan paused her movements and said to him, “I was the one who wanted to eat these strawberries; you…”
He Xiu couldn’t help laughing. “They’re all for you. I don’t intend on fighting over them with you.”
Jian Yan: “…”
She watched as He Xiu handed over the money and bowed courteously to him. “Thank you, Head He.”
He Xiu chuckled once more.
After Tang Zheng and Lin Zhen finished picking strawberries and left the gardens, they caught sight of Jian Yan bowing toward He Xiu. Tang Zheng joked, “What did you two do, worship heaven and earth?”1
Jian Yan: “…”
He Xiu glanced at Tang Zheng and said, “How does us worshipping heaven and earth concern you?”
“How does you two worshipping heaven and earth not concern me!”
To the side, Lin Zhen nodded. Right, how does you two worshipping heaven and earth not concern him? She looked at the strawberries Jian Yan was carrying and was rather astounded. She exclaimed, “You two dawdled for half a day, yet only picked this little? Tang Zheng and I had picked two large boxes!”
She revealed the harvest she was holding to Jian Yan as she said this. “What do you think, very wonderful, right?! Come, come, come, I’ll split some with you two.” She very carefully grabbed a bunch of strawberries and placed them in Jian Yan’s bag. Jian Yan examined it and picked two out. “I don’t want these grotesquely shaped things.”
Lin Zhen clicked her tongue. “What, afraid there are chemicals?”
Jian Yan shook her head. “I simply dislike its ugliness.”
Lin Zhen: “…”
As it was nearly noon, Tang Zheng suggested that they try and find somewhere to sit and eat. Strawberry Gardens had a restaurant. In addition, it had a specialized strawberry dessert stand. Several people headed to Strawberry Gardens to eat lunch.
“As expected, this strawberry cake isn’t as delicious as Yu Zhi’s.” Jian Yan bit into a very tiny strawberry cake and sighed.
Lin Zhen sneered. “Oh, please. If you want to compare with Yu Zhi, if this place had the same level of skills as Yu Zhi, they wouldn’t have to come here to sell.”
Tang Zheng said, “Isn’t that why Head He is here? If you want to eat Yu Zhi’s desserts, let Head He make a call, and Yu Zhi Desserts will deliver some over.”
He Xiu looked askance at him. “We have a collaborative relationship with CEO Yu. He is not my subordinate.”
Tang Zheng made a fuss and remarked, “Then as a director-general, you are very useless~”
He Xiu raised his brow. Creating trouble, are you?
Tang Zheng laughed gently and picked up a washed strawberry. He brought it up to He Xiu’s mouth. “Taste a strawberry we just picked, very sweet. Here, I’ll feed you.”
“…I can feed myself.”
Lin Zhen suddenly elbowed Jian Yan, nearly causing Jian Yan to drop the strawberry in her hand. “What are you doing! The strawberry almost fell to the ground!”
Lin Zhen: “…”
Is now the time for you to say strawberries!?
He Xiu’s eyebrows rose slightly higher. It seemed like he had realized something.
He glanced at Tang Zheng and quirked his lips, smiling yet remaining silent.
Tang Zheng: “…”
Fuck! Every time Master He smiles like this, someone else has a disaster befall them!
After they finished eating, Tang Zheng still wanted to go somewhere else to have fun. Mentally, Jian Yan remembered that she still needed to hand in her draft, so she said, “I won’t go. I still need to return home to dra…sleep. You all can go have fun.”
He Xiu clearly heard the word she had said at first and lowered his head to smile.
Tang Zheng stared at Jian Yan in disbelief. “What are you doing sleeping in broad daylight?”
Jian Yan sent an even greater look of disbelief at him. “Napping. You haven’t heard of it?”
Tang Zheng: “…”
He Xiu said, “I also need to go back to the company. You two can go.”
Pa! Tang Zheng slapped the table. “You two are really boring!”
He Xiu calmly and composedly nodded. “Which is why we won’t disturb you two any longer.”
Tang Zheng: “…”
He didn’t know why, but he felt that today, He Xiu’s hatred of him was seemingly double what it normally was.
Because they had arrived via Lin Zhen and He Xiu’s cars, and since He Xiu and Jian Yan were leaving early, He Xiu took responsibility for sending Jian Yan back home.
It was reasonable to say something like this.
But Lin Zhen knew Jian Yan had misandry. If she and a member of the male race stayed in the same car, then she would assuredly cause a great commotion! Not only that, Jian Yan would certainly not approve.
She had originally intended to abandon Tang Zheng and send Jian Yan home herself. She didn’t expect to hear Jian Yan say, “Then I’ll trouble Director He.”
Lin Zhen: “…”
Wait a minute! Did she mishear?
She stared at Jian Yan, considering her with uncertainty. “Master He is sending you back home?”
He Xiu believed that she was ill at ease about Jian Yan’s safety, so he said, “You don’t need to worry. My driving skills are very good.”
Lin Zhen: “…”
No, that’s not the problem! Furthermore, Master He, why do your words sound a bit dirty?!
Jian Yan actually understood what Lin Zhen meant. She nodded at her and said, “It’s alright. You and Mr. Tang, have fun, okay?”
Lin Zhen blinked rapidly. Previously, she and Master He had shared a table during meals, and now they were sharing the same car to return home. Would they share the same bed later… Pei pei pei! How could she be so filthy!
“Then you both need to be careful.” After she repeated her warning, she and Tang Zheng walked over to her car.
Jian Yan had already grown this big, but this was still the first time she had entered a man’s car. Previously, whenever she took the taxi, she only sat inside with female drivers. After they fastened their seatbelts, He Xiu slowly started the car. He glanced in the direction of the passenger seat and asked her, “Will you feel uncomfortable?”
Jian Yan shook her head. “I’m fine.”
A car was an enclosed space, and He Xiu’s body scent grew stronger inside. Jian Yan truly was a bit more reserved than she had been outside, but it was still within her scope of acceptance.
He Xiu turned on the music in the car, hoping that it would make Jian Yan relax a bit.
Merry Christmas Eve, everyone~! XOXO
- To worship heaven and earth is a ritual kneeling by bride and groom in an old-fashioned wedding ceremony ↩