Chapter 11: Exposed — Do you know how to pay the the water and electricity bill?
It just happened to be lunchtime. The students of Imperial Capital University were currently enjoying their carefree weekend.
A slender male figure rushed through the entrance, his appearance incongruous with his surroundings.
Qi Xiao Yan had gone to the teaching and research building this morning and had just started to head downstairs. When he saw the time, he’d decided to head to the cafeteria and eat lunch first. As soon as he turned to descend the stairs, he heard someone call out from behind him. “Qi Xiao Yan!”
This voice was definitely not one that would be considered friendly; in fact, it could even be described as somewhat ferocious. Nevertheless, Qi Xiao Yan still turned around—because the voice he’d heard was Yang Ming’s.
Yang Ming’s black hair was quite disheveled because of his intense sprinting. When he reached Qi Xiao Yan, he hadn’t slowed down at all. Instead, he swung his fist toward Qi Xiao Yan’s face. Followed by a rush of cold wind, his fist accurately slammed into Qi Xiao Yan’s chin, causing him to stagger a couple of steps back. Qi Xiao Yan licked his lips, feeling the pain radiating from the corner of his mouth.
Yang Ming towered above Qi Xiao Yan, his fury not abated in the slightest after striking him. “Qi Xiao Yan, you didn’t say a word when you married my older sister back then, and now you’ve chosen to remain silent yet again after divorcing her a year later. What are you to my older sister? Before she married you, you weren’t ever her boyfriend, yet she gave up studying abroad for you! Yet, you’ve treated her like this? Why?!”
His words dripped with rage, and he tightened his fist in preparation to punch Qi Xiao Yan again.
“Yang Ming! Stop!” Yang Wei yelled, gasping for air, as she ran over to Yang Ming and yanked his hand back. “This place is a school! What are you doing?!”
Yang Ming gritted his teeth and shook off Yang Wei’s hand. Afterwards, he stood there motionlessly. Yang Wei then turned to look at Qi Xiao Yan. The corner of his mouth had already begun to bruise, and a small trickle of blood had even formed. Yang Wei stepped forward and helped support him by the arm, slightly worried. “Curly, are you alright?”
“I’m fine.” Qi Xiao Yan shook his head but didn’t try to remove Yang Wei’s hand.
Yang Wei pulled a tissue out of her bag and helped wipe away the blood from the corner of his mouth. “Don’t you exercise quite often? You could have easily dodged a punch like that; why did you just stand there and let him him hit you?”
Qi Xiao Yan replied, “He seemed to be extremely angry, so I figured doing it like this might make him feel a bit better.”
Yang Wei frowned. Yang Ming, that damned boy, hadn’t cared much about the outcome of his actions. Fortunately, there weren’t many people near the teaching and research building. Otherwise, who knew what any onlooking students would make of the situation? When Yang Ming saw her cautious movements, he could help but sneer. “He’s the one who divorced you, yet you’re still taking care of him? Why bother?”
Yang Wei turned her head and spared him a fake smile. “We divorced peacefully. As such, Qi Xiao Yan has nothing to apologize to me for. Furthermore, Qi Xiao Yan is a professor. Considering the fact that you struck him on campus grounds, the consequences of your actions won’t be very good.”
Yang Ming’s lips curved into a mocking smile. “I did so for the exact reason of allowing others to clearly see this scum’s true colors.”
Yang Wei became somewhat angry. “I said that we divorced peacefully.”
Yang Ming glanced at her with an agitated look. “I don’t feel like dealing with this matter of yours. You can return home and explain it to dad and mom yourself!”
Yang Wei watched as Yang Ming sped off, suddenly feeling listless. Was he going home to tell dad and mom? She hadn’t expected this day to arrive so quickly!
Qi Xiao Yan looked at her and inquired, “Do you need me to go with you to explain?”
“…No need.” If he came with her, Yang Wei believed that this time, her dad really would kill him. “Since this doesn’t concern you, I’ll take my leave first.”
“Wait.” Qi Xiao Yan called out for her to stop. The dancing lights in his gaze caused his eyes to appear as if they were a meticulously engraved masterpiece, capable of bewitching anyone who dared look long enough into their depths. “Do you like Maseratis?”
Yang Wei froze for a second before understanding what he was alluding to. She glanced at Qi Xiao Yan, and her lips quirked up into a pleased smile. “If this were to be a comparison to Goldbach, then he is indeed more attractive.” She waved at Qi Xiao Yan, but not without remembering to warn him, “Remember to apply some medicine, professor.”
Qi Xiao Yan watched as she walked away before turning around to leave in the opposite direction. When he passed the corner, he nearly missed the person standing there due to their quiet presence blending in with the environment.
It was Song Jin.
Even when Qi Xiao Yan caught sight of her, his steps didn’t slow down in the slightest. It was as if nothing on the planet could cause his steps to falter.
“How come you’re here?”
Song Jin smiled at him and replied lightly, “The cast and crew are on break, so I wanted to explore my alma mater.”
Qi Xiao Yan nodded, as if this answer was understandable. Meanwhile, Song Jin kept up with his pace and walked alongside him toward the campus’ interior. “Who was that girl just now? Your student?”
“No, she’s my ex-wife.”
Qi Xiao Yan’s words were like a tsunami crashing down from above, instantly drowning Song Jin.
She suddenly stopped and stared at him incredulously. “Ex-wife? You were married?”
Qi Xiao Yan’s brief confirmation that he had an ex-wife dealt Song Jin 100,000 damage. She stood there, wounded, for a moment before rushing to catch up to Qi Xiao Yan. “You’ve already divorced, right?”
Qi Xiao Yan didn’t answer and instead asked, “You’re walking together with me like this; aren’t you afraid of what the media will say?”
Song Jin smiled at his question and quickly sped up to stand in front of him. She looked up at him, similar to the way that she had back when she was in school. “Are you free tonight? Let’s go out and eat.”
When Yang Wei walked out of Imperial Capital University’s entrance, she found Yang Ming waiting for her. After thinking for a couple seconds, she smiled and walked over to him. “You’re waiting to take me to Lily’s Barbecue? I’m super hungry; let’s go!”
Yang Ming expressionlessly stated, “I’m inviting you back home to eat sautéed pig’s kidney.”
Yang Wei: “…”
She maintained her smile and stood on her tiptoes to ruffle Yang Ming’s hair. “Time flies so fast. I miss those days when you’d hide behind me, snivelling like a baby. Now you can already beat up others on my behalf.”
Yang Ming unconsciously pushed her hand away and stared at her with a blank expression. “Don’t count on me helping you explain this to dad and mom.”
Yang Wei deflated, yet continued smiling as she said, “You’ve grown so much. Ruffling your hair takes more effort than it used to.”
Yang Ming walked toward the intersection and flagged down a taxi. “It seems you still have the energy to deal with father and mother.”
Yang Wei: “…”
Such sibling love!
When they arrived at home, Mama Yang was in the kitchen, preparing lunch. Hearing the door open, she left the kitchen to take a look. When she saw both of her children in the doorway, she asked in surprise, “How come you both came back together?”
Yang Wei took a few steps forward to stand in front of Mama Yang, a smile blossoming on her face. However, Yang Ming, having fought to death to overtake her just now, quickly called out, “Sister divorced Qi Xiao Yan.”
Yang Wei: “…”
Was this person really her younger brother?!
Mama Yang froze, her eyes remaining unblinkingly fixated forward. Yang Wei, worried that she might collapse, nervously supported her by the arm. A long while later, Mama Yang went back into the kitchen to switch off the gas stove, untied the apron around her waist, and left the kitchen. “Both of you, follow me.”
Yang Family Summit Conference
Papa Yang and Mama Yang sat on the highest seats of honor, whereas Yang Ming sat to their left. Yang Wei was by herself on a small wooden stool, about to receive an interrogation.
“When you got married, you kept us in the dark until it was over. Now, you conceal the fact that you got divorced from us. Are we no longer your parents to you?!” Papa Yang suddenly slammed his fist on the table, causing Yang Wei’s teacup to clatter atop it.
Mama Yang patted his back to help calm him down while glancing at Yang Wei from the corner of her eyes. “Speak honestly with your mother: Why did you two divorce? Did Qi Xiao Yan have an affair?”
“No, I suggested the divorce.”
“What? Don’t tell me you had an affair?!” Papa Yang immediately jumped up from the sofa.
Yang Wei pursed her lips and said, “Divorces aren’t only because of affairs…”
“Then say what the reason is!”
“If your temperaments were incompatible, why did you marry him!”
Yang Wei’s ears rapidly became deaf to her father’s words. Finally, she summoned up the courage to lift her head and meet his eyes. “Dad, don’t be so angry. It’ll easily lead to high blood pressure.”
Papa Yang furiously shouted, “I’ll get high blood pressure sooner or later because of you!”
Mama Yang quickly stood up and soothed, “Alright, alright, they’re divorced now, and that’s that. It’s useless for you to be angry like this. Why not think about plans for the future instead?”
Papa Yang took a deep breath and asked Yang Wei, “Where are you living now?”
Yang Wei replied, “The same place, as it turns out. Qi Xiao Yan left me the house.”
Papa Yang chuckled. “I don’t have a house for him! Is it the same for a man to divorce compared to a woman?! Fortunately, you don’t have any children; otherwise, look at what you’d have to deal with!”
Mama Yang seemed to suddenly recall something and nervously glanced at Yang Wei. “You haven’t been late recently, right?”
Yang Wei’s lips quirked up. “Don’t worry. We’ve used protection every time.”
The atmosphere within the house immediately became filled with a hazy layer of awkwardness. Papa Yang and Mama Yang both glanced at Yang Ming simultaneously. Yang Ming instantly sat upright and said, “I’ve matured.”
The atmosphere grew somewhat sluggish until Papa Yang coughed lightly and asked Yang Wei, “How are you getting to work now?”
Yang Wei replied, “By taking the bus.”
Papa Yang thought for a moment and said, “I’ll buy you a car. You can attend driving school and drive yourself to work afterward. It’ll be more convenient this way.”
Yang Wei’s brows arched. “No need, my place isn’t far from school. It only takes me five minutes by bus. Furthermore, it’s better for me to take the bus; there’s less carbon emission!”
Papa Yang frowned and shot her a look. “You don’t feel like learning to drive?!”
Yang Wei pursed her lips and declined to comment. Mama Yang rolled her eyes and then smiled wholeheartedly at Yang Wei. “It’s fine if you don’t learn how to drive, but you should find a boyfriend as soon as possible.
Yang Wei: “…”
She knew that her mother would respond like this, which was why she’d felt unable to face her! Was her mother no longer satisfied with their neighbors introducing candidates and thus was finally extending her claws toward her?!
Yang Wei pursed her lips and said, “Mom, I just crawled out of the tomb that is marriage, yet you already want to kick me back inside?”
“I only told you to get a boyfriend, not to get married. Tomorrow just happens to be the weekend; I’ll help set you up with a blind date.”
Yang Wei’s heart nearly collapsed. “I’m not even twenty-four yet; do you really have to worry so much?”
Mama Yang sternly countered, “Do you really think that at twenty-four, you can still compare to those young ladies who just entered the workforce?”
This was the typical case of discrimination against divorcees. Yang Wei curled her lips and replied, “Then if worst comes to worst, I’ll simply end up alone. I can live just as well alone.”
Mama Yang scoffed. “You, alone? Do you even know how to pay the water and electricity bill?”
Yang Wei: “…”
Indeed…mothers knew best. Yang Wei straightened her neck before looking at her and saying, “I’ve graduated from university already; paying utilities shouldn’t be that difficult?”
However, Mama Yang immediately replied, “Every neighborhood has different fees. The water bill for our house is covered by property management. Thus, each month we also pay property management the fee, who in-turn pays the water company. The electricity fee is charged before you have electricity to use; thus, you have to frequently check how much electricity is left until it’s used up. The gas fee is also prepaid, but if you surpass your limit, you’ll be fined. If your water bill is calculated via prepaid water cards, then if there isn’t much left, your water will be cut off. You’ll then have to recharge your water card and insert it into the water meter. Oh, the water meter tank is usually in the corridor, so do you know where to find it at your place? There’s also the pay station; you don’t necessarily need to live in that district to pay. It’s not that uncommon to go across districts to pay the water bill. In addition…”
Yang Wei wiped her forehead and smiled at Mama Yang. “How about we discuss that blind date instead?”
Mama Yang smiled, pleased. You want to fight with me? You’ve never been good at keeping track of things. You think I don’t know?
Those little angels reading this, bookmark it while you’re at it qwq
I took an hiatus for my end of semester exams…without any warning. Sorry!
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