Pearl Throat
Pearl Throat: Chapter 17

The Maybach stopped in the Shen family’s parking lot. Shen Cizhu was escorted into the hall by his bodyguards. It was eerily silent, with his father, brother, and Xie Yan present.

Xie Yan, wearing a suit and polished shoes, stood silently behind his father, like a loyal and vigilant wolf. However, his eyes were filled with concern as he watched Shen Cizhu from an angle that others couldn’t see.

During the explosion earlier, Shen Cizhu’s neck had been cut by glass shards, and the wound had not yet healed, causing blood to stick to his hair.

After sitting down, Shen Cizhu’s father and brother expressed their concern.

“It’s getting messier and messier… They’re clearly provoking the Shen family!” His father’s eyes held an inexplicable meaning.

“Is this considered murder? Brother, did you provoke someone?” Wen He was a bit puzzled. He hadn’t caused these events tonight. Ever since the night when Shen Cizhu disrupted the wedding and he had threatened Shen Cizhu to deter him from going to the police, he had behaved honestly and hadn’t done anything out of the ordinary.

So, who could be behind these incidents?

“I’m doing fine, aren’t I? Don’t worry,” Shen Cizhu said as he accepted a glass of warm water from the nanny.

He took a sip from the porcelain cup, and then slowly raised his gaze, looking at his father. It was almost as if he was staring past his father at Xie Yan.

“As long as everything is fine, you mustn’t have any more trouble,” his father said, holding a snake-headed cane. “I heard that someone saved you. Bring that person here. I want to express my gratitude in person.”

“Father, that person is Xie Yan’s younger brother,” Shen Cizhu explained as he placed the porcelain cup on the coffee table. His fingertips were so pale they seemed translucent, but his irises were strikingly vivid.

His father’s eyes were full of inquiry.

“He’s a very intelligent boy, and I’d like to have him by my side. In that case…” Shen Cizhu’s voice carried a hint of amusement, surprising Xie Yan.

His amusement made Xie Yan extremely uneasy.

Then Xie Yan heard him say, “I won’t need Xie Yan anymore.”

In the midst of the silence, Wen He shrank his neck and did his best to lower his presence.

Afterwards, he heard his father burst into hearty laughter.

“…That’s good. If you don’t need him, Cizhu, it means you’ve grown up,” the head of the Shen family happily remarked, as if a huge burden had been lifted.

“Well, Father, I’m going back to my room to rest,” Shen Cizhu said as he headed towards the bedroom.

He knew that his father was giving him real power, which was more attractive than anything else, and Shen Cizhu needed to seize it.

The following night, Shen Cizhu received the news that his father had arranged for Xie Yan to go to the United States for a subsidiary meeting.

He didn’t say a word, as his father initiated the conversation during dinner. His father mentioned that Xie Yan had served the Shen family faithfully for ten years and now it was time to give him real power.

“Will you be sad? Will you be like when you were in your teens… whenever Xie Yan leaves the house, even if it’s just to buy you a new doll, you would cry if you couldn’t find him?” His father squinted slightly, “And would you let Xie Yan hold you and soothe you over and over again?”

Why would I? That’s too embarrassing. As you said, I’ve grown up. I’m not a child anymore. Father, everything you do is always right. Besides, Xie Yan and I have no connection anymore. You’re his employer.” Shen Cizhu put down his knife and fork, looking at his father across the long table. “Your commands are above everything else.”

The table was filled with exquisite dishes, but Shen Cizhu felt a bit nauseated.

At this moment, on the other side of the ocean, in Washington, United States.

During the meeting, Xie Yan sat at the head of the table, silently gazing at the employees who reported the company’s data to him with dedication. A lady in a red dress and golden hair winked at him flirtatiously, as if inviting him.

Xie Yan shifted his gaze away. After the meeting, he returned to the villa.

Shen Cizhu had called him during the meeting, but he didn’t answer. The entire meeting was being monitored by the head of the Shen family to prevent any rekindling of the relationship between the two.

Shen Cizhu was well aware of this, and he made the call just to embarrass Xie Yan.

Xie Yan felt torn, feeling sorry for his savior on one hand, and guilty towards his former partner on the other.

When Xie Yan was alone, he preferred the light. With the curtains wide open, he sat on the edge of the bed, unbuttoning his suit and loosening his tie. His muscular and tall male physique beneath the shirt resembled a restrained yet dangerous mountain, bearing a scar that ran around his neck. When he was injured back then, it seemed to cut deep into his bones.

The time difference here was completely different from China. Under the time difference, he quietly waited for Shen Cizhu to call him for the second time. He felt both lonely and uneasy, like a large dog afraid of being abandoned by its owner.

His phone had its ringtone set to silent mode for everyone, but it vibrated powerfully when Shen Cizhu called.

As it vibrated, he slid to answer. His amber eyes watched the high-rise buildings outside the villa, where the traffic and scenery were entirely different from China.

“Are you… alright?” Xie Yan asked. He sensed something was wrong and continued with concern, “Have you been drinking again? Your health isn’t good. Can’t you avoid drinking?”

As Shen Cizhu had anticipated, he had been drinking without restraint in his bedroom after dinner.

“Qu’est-ce que tu fous? Where are you?” Shen Cizhu’s tone was warm, his French and Chinese mixed up, and through the phone, Xie Yan even heard the sound of the liquor gurgling in the bottle.

“Xie Yan, I’ve run out of alcohol. Can you get me another bottle? Don’t tell Father… I’ll just drink this one more time.” Shen Cizhu seemed to be lying on the bed with the bottle.

He didn’t know if he was fully dressed, or if he was just wearing a white shirt and had fallen asleep from drinking too much. That would give him a fever.

Shen Cizhu was very prone to getting sick, and he disliked taking medicine. Every time he had to take medicine, Xie Yan had to coax him, or even threaten him with injections, before Shen Cizhu would swallow it.

“Good, wait for me to come back, alright?” Xie Yan’s hand was veined, with bright sunlight pouring in from the floor-to-ceiling windows. His facial features, devoid of the ruthlessness that others saw, looked incredibly gentle. “I’ll be back very soon.”

“Xie Yan…” Shen Cizhu’s voice became very soft. “If you really don’t want me anymore, I’ll also let you go.”

“t’es rien de rien pour moi.”

You mean nothing to me.

“Sleep,” Xie Yan said, his fingertip gently touching the scar on his neck, which hurt a bit like a stabbing pain. He walked to the French window and closed the curtains for some reason.

After a long silence on the other end of the phone, Shen Cizhu seemed to have fallen asleep. His light breathing was right next to Xie Yan’s ear, just like when he was a child.

Xie Yan held onto the curtain, with the phone screen close to his chest. He said, “I’ll be with you.”

“Zhu Zhu, good night.”

The call was never hung up, but Shen Cizhu didn’t know this. He held the phone in his palm, with it close to his nose.

Exactly as Xie Yan had anticipated, Shen Cizhu was wearing just a white shirt. It didn’t even cover his thighs, and a mole on his inner thigh was a subtle detail. His fair skin had taken on a flushed hue due to the alcohol. He wasn’t even wearing socks, completely lost in his drunken stupor.

His long hair was scattered on the bed as he lay on his side, hugging the bottle. He began to drift off into a dream, deeply intoxicated.

In the dream, he was only fifteen years old. He had undergone eye surgery and his vision was very poor. He would often go blind, which terrified him. His parents were never around, and when they were, it was just endless arguments, always about a man named “Huang Chuan Die.”

“Huang Chuan Die is dead! You’re still thinking about him! What does that make me and Cizhu? We are your wife and son!” His mother shouted hoarsely.

She yelled, “Huang Chuan Die is just a freak who isn’t a man or a woman! Why do you all love him? If he were a woman, if he were still alive… would you still want to bring him back to marry him?”

“Shut up!” His father slapped his mother harshly, towering over her, his snake-head cane trembling. “He won’t die…”

“Huang Chuan Die is dead!” Tears and resentment filled his mother’s green eyes. “You clearly saw it with your own eyes.”

“He was killed by you all.” His mother sounded sympathetically sorrowful.

Shen Cizhu didn’t know who Huang Chuan Die was, but he had been hearing his father mention this name since he was born. His father said that Huang Chuan Die was a beautiful name that sparkled like the water’s surface.

As a result, his mother often quarreled with his father, and everything in the house was shattered. Later, his mother died for no apparent reason on the street. Flames lit up the sky on the street that night, and Shen Cizhu was terrified.

On the day of the funeral, Shen Cizhu curled up in a corner, hugging a doll. He couldn’t see anything and cried in grief.

“Don’t cry; let’s go home,” Xie Yan was twenty years old that year, much taller than Shen Cizhu. He provided much more security and reassurance to Shen Cizhu than his father.

With one hand, he held Shen Cizhu close, and Shen Cizhu sat on his forearm. His hair had gradually grown longer and was jet-black, soft and covering the crying child’s face.

Xie Yan wiped away his tears with a handkerchief, and Shen Cizhu felt very uncomfortable when the handkerchief touched his eyes, scrunching up his nose in a delicate manner.

“Mommy is gone… Xie Yan, will you leave too?” He grabbed Xie Yan’s suit and tie, his pupils lacking focus. “I’m scared… Please don’t leave me, okay?”

“I will never leave you,” Xie Yan made this promise to the young Shen Cizhu.

“I will never leave you.”

In the dream, Shen Cizhu was only fifteen years old. As he grew up, he became taller, and he didn’t have to tiptoe to look Xie Yan in the eye. He was no longer the child who needed Xie Yan to hold his hand to leave the house.

“Cizhu,” later, Xie Yan knelt in front of him on one knee, a bit shy. He said, “I like you, and I want to be your lover… Would you be willing?”

Just as Shen Cizhu looked bewildered, there was blood at the corner of Xie Yan’s lips. He was still smiling gently, but suddenly, his body ignited like a burning abyss in the dream, and Shen Cizhu watched in horror as he turned into a pile of white bones.

Shen Cizhu woke up suddenly, his consciousness quickly detaching from the dream. He sat up, his head pounding, and his legs were covered in red wine. The bottle had fallen and shattered into numerous sharp fragments.

“…Do you still want to cling to me even in dreams?” His vision gradually cleared, Shen Cizhu’s pupils remained green, with only slight bloodshot veins. He was still holding the phone he had used to talk to Xie Yan a moment ago, and the call was still active.

He seemed to hear Xie Yan’s heartbeat, providing a comforting presence in his room.

Shen Cizhu tossed the phone onto the floor, shattering the screen completely. His mother’s hoarse screams from his memory still echoed in his ears.

“Huang Chuan Die…” Shen Cizhu was filled with mixed emotions.

Huang Chuan Die…what?

Shen Cizhu closed his eyes, faintly recalling the person he had seen when he was a child, a person who was being grabbed by two men, their thin ankles restrained. They were wearing a pure white suspender dress and pleading desperately to him.

“Your name is Cizhu, right? Cizhu, dear child, can you save me? I will die…” Huang Chuan Die’s fingertips were covered in blood. He crawled desperately forward on his knees, looking up with his long, flowing hair and a pair of phoenix-like eyes filled with despair. “My child is waiting for me at home… He’s only three years old, and he can’t be without his mother.”

“Little Butterfly, don’t run away.” The man’s hand was already gripping Huang Chuan Die’s thigh. “Come back home with us.”

“No, please! Let me go…I’m begging you, I have a child. He’s waiting for me… I have to go back.”

What happened afterward? Shen Cizhu couldn’t remember.

He was only ten years old that year.

Calculating, Huang Chuan Die, the person who shattered his family, should be eighteen this year.

The next day, the maid opened the door and came in to fetch Shen Cizhu’s freshly pressed suit and leather shoes. He was gentle and expressed gratitude to the maid for her hard work.

Flawless in language and demeanor, the perfect scion of a wealthy family.

After breakfast with his family, he went to the head office with his father.

“Cizhu, all of this will be yours sooner or later,” his father looked at him from the car, filled with satisfaction. “I hope to see that day as well.”

“I understand, Father,” Shen Cizhu nodded gently.

His father had a deep affection for his biological son. After the bombing attempt on Shen Cizhu in the city village, he used all the power of the Shen family to cooperate with the police in an attempt to penetrate the transnational criminal organization behind the scenes.

With this news, Shen’s Group gained a great deal of public prestige, and the stock market soared to new heights.

Shen Cizhu had been learning how to wield power at the head office under his father’s guidance these days. Senior executives had acknowledged his abilities, which was a resounding slap in the face for those who had secretly spread rumors of the “The reigns of Shen Group’s successor will be passed on to Wen He, that illegitimate child.”

Shen Cizhu had control over five subsidiary companies, and now he had also made his presence felt at the head office. He had gained much more power than Wen He, securing his position as the heir.

The genetic technology company in the center of the Imperial Capital was in turmoil.

The members of the board of directors were all core members of the parent company who had invested heavily in this new company due to its promising prospects. They had sought to topple Shen’s Group and support Wen He’s ascent to power. In that scenario, they would share the spoils with the transnational criminal organization that they were working with.

Their combined shareholding accounted for fifty-seven percent, giving them the upper hand over Shen Cizhu. Victory seemed imminent. However, in recent days, a group of young and wealthy individuals in the Capital had apparently conspired. They purchased a substantial portion of the technology company’s shares from a Shanghai brokerage, increasing their shareholding to a commanding seventy-two percent.

They replaced the board of directors and became the new owners of the technology company. Shen Cizhu was at their beck and call, and the company was seamlessly returned to his control.

At the board meeting of the Shen Group, Shen Cizhu presided over the meeting, flanked by young and handsome heirs on both sides of a long table. They were all impeccably dressed, and they playfully glanced at the old men on the other side of the meeting table.

“The ultimate goal of a company is to create wealth for its shareholders. Many of you are veterans of the Group, and I have come here today with sincerity and hope. I believe that Shen’s Group will continue to thrive, and we will not betray our father’s trust, right?” Shen Cizhu tilted his head slightly.

The sunlight streamed onto his face through the slats of the blinds. The projection screen in the room displayed the meeting summary.

“Of course, CEO Shen has the ability, and we look forward to it. However, outsiders may not understand,” a young new shareholder led by Zhou Ping responded. Their smiles faded away, and their gaze turned fierce and predatory, as if they were ready to devour the members of the board.

“Of course, of course…” someone stammered in response.

“Then, thank you all. The meeting is adjourned,” Shen Cizhu clapped his hands and smiled.

The sound of paper rustling filled the room as the attendees rose from their seats, and they left one by one in the dimly lit room.

“CEO Shen,” the secretary whispered, breaking the silence.

“What’s the matter?” Shen Cizhu was the last one to stand, and the secretary helped him put on his suit jacket. The shadows cast by the golden watch on his wrist danced elegantly.

She said, “Those newly elevated individuals, led by young shareholders like Zhou Ping, aren’t necessarily loyal to you. They may just be…desiring your beauty.”

They appear to use you on the surface but are secretly plotting to take you down…

The secretary was muttering to herself, feeling quite disgusted. All these people seemed to be all over her boss; apparently, this place had bad Feng Shui. Everywhere else was a solid 0, but here, it’s all 1.

“They are merely using my name to become majority shareholders. I still hold absolute power, don’t I?” Shen Cizhu tilted his neck slightly, securing his long hair on the right side of his neck. He looked quite docile. “Don’t worry.”

“But—” The secretary widened her eyes, showing some confusion.

“When I no longer need them, I will deal with them one by one.” Shen Cizhu’s green pupils suddenly focused on the secretary, exuding a chilling ruthlessness. “Mutual use is more enjoyable.”

It wasn’t just the young heirs led by Zhou Ping at the board of directors’ meeting.

There were many in this world who needed to be utilized.

Shen Cizhu enjoyed his freedom and had the upper hand.

After the board meeting, while signing documents in his office, Shen Cizhu received an invitation. There was an auction held by a wealthy Hong Kong businessman at the Bvlgari Hotel at 7 PM.

After speaking with his father over the phone, Shen Cizhu attended the event on his behalf.

The venue was filled with world-renowned works of art, opulent and luxurious. Shen Cizhu instructed his subordinates to purchase nearly half of the artworks but donated them to a museum in the name of the wealthy businessman.

“The businessman’s gaze was fixed on that small mole.

‘Of course.’ Shen Cizhu rose to his feet, and his suit trousers concealed his ankles. He smiled gently, and his white suit accentuated his slender shoulders and long legs. He elegantly adjusted his rose tie around his neck.

In truth, he didn’t want to dance at all; he had been drinking heavily for the past few days and felt quite uncomfortable.

At that moment, he sensed something. His serpentine eyes slightly lifted, focusing on a young man on the second-floor balcony.

How is he here?

Shen Cizhu retracted his gaze and looked at the businessman. ‘Let’s go.’

‘My pleasure,’ the businessman was genuinely delighted. He looked at Shen Cizhu’s black leather gloves, feeling a bit troubled… No direct skin contact?

The rumor about Shen Cizhu having mysophobia was true, huh? But wouldn’t dirtying a person with mysophobia be more satisfying?

So, his bow became even more sincere.

When Shen Cizhu’s hand was about to rest on his palm, a strong hand grabbed Shen Cizhu’s wrist.

The young man who had been on the second-floor balcony had already descended. He pulled Shen Cizhu behind him, and his height of 1.85 meters made him stand out in the crowd. He wore black T-shirt and pants, which sharply contrasted with the luxury and extravagance of the ballroom but made him even more eye-catching.

His appearance immediately triggered hushed discussions among the crowd.

“Whose young master is that?”

“He looks a bit like that person…”

“That person? No way, it can’t be!”

Xie Hou, in a pair of canvas shoes, stepped on the glass floor. His long legs accentuated the sportswear, giving him a restrained and austere look. He was very tall and had an air of nobility and aloofness. He cast a disdainful glance at the wealthy businessman.

‘’I’m sorry, Mr. Shen shouldn’t dance tonight,” Xie Hou’s features were as handsome as ever, his gaze icy, ‘I’m taking him away.”

Just as Xie Hou was about to release Shen Cizhu’s wrist, Shen Cizhu proactively interlaced his five fingers with Xie Hou’s behind him.

The wealthy businessman hadn’t yet realized that he had been interrupted, and his hand, which had extended to invite Shen Cizhu to dance, was still hovering there.

Xie Hou felt that it was impossible to communicate with fools. He led Shen Cizhu towards the elevator.

Shen Cizhu wasn’t as ruthless as Xie Hou. He politely said to the wealthy businessman, “See you tomorrow.”

Xie Hou tightened his forearm muscles upon hearing this.

Inside the elevator, Shen Cizhu and Xie Hou stood far apart. After the elevator doors closed, it ascended straight to the top-floor presidential suite.

Shen Cizhu: Huh? The presidential suite?

Booking a room? So sudden? Xie Hou and him? They’ve only known each other for a short while, and they’re already booking a room? Is this what the young guys do nowadays?

“Don’t overthink it,” Xie Hou glanced at the corner of his eye. “This is Miss Sheng’s idea. She asked me to help you leave because you don’t like dancing with others.”

“You know Sheng Xiaoning?” Shen Cizhu asked.

“I’m just her younger brother’s tutor,” Xie Hou replied nonchalantly. “Don’t read too much into it.”

“A tutor, huh,” Shen Cizhu said thoughtfully.

“Shen Cizhu.” At this moment, Xie Hou turned slightly to face him.

Those amber phoenix eyes were just too cold, not deserving to be compared to anything, like the pristine and proud lotus petals on a snow-capped mountain. At times, they resembled a blood-soaked crane bird when expressionless.

“You,” Xie Hou started but then fell silent halfway as the elevator was about to reach the top floor. His tone sounded somewhat displeased. “You and that person just now..?”

Xie Hou remained silent.

“Hmm?” Shen Cizhu’s eyes flashed with amusement, knowing what Xie Hou meant.


The top floor arrived, and the elevator attendant outside the elevator smiled perfectly and bowed. An English couple was about to enter the s-vip elevator.

Shen Cizhu was the first to step out. Brushing past the English couple, amidst his fragrant clothing and extravagance, he slightly tucked his long hair behind his ear, revealing the golden X-shaped 18K earring on his snow-white skin.



“Darling,” he turned his head and smiled at Xie Hou, and then his serpent-like eyes carried a thick allure, raising slightly. “I put this on for you. Would I still engage in adultery with others?”


What?! Where’s the restraint and subtlety of Chinese people? The mysterious and romantic pure love of the East?!

Amid the astonished gaze of the British couple, Shen Cizhu lowered his neck and slowly began to put on his black leather gloves.

“Master, let’s go,” he raised his chin slightly, appearing somewhat arrogant, and kept his gaze fixed on Xie Hou, who was both icy and handsome.

Adultery, black leather gloves, a special title—it all seemed like something from that BDSM circle, but Shen Cizhu was not like that. He had a playful personality, and he would do as he pleased regardless of how licentious it might appear, because no one could control him. However, unfortunately, the person standing in front of him right now was not the obedient Xie Yan, but Xie Hou, who was cold and ruthless and had strong methods.

As the elevator door was about to close, the elevator attendant couldn’t keep up her smile anymore.

Just in this closing moment, Xie Hou’s canvas shoes wedged the edge, and his five fingers clamped onto the gleaming doors. Expressionless, he stepped out.

Xie Hou crossed over the British couple, and he directly covered Shen Cizhu’s mouth with his hand, taking him towards the presidential suite.

The British couple looked at each other in amazement.

“…I’m shocked,” the wife pinched her chin.

The husband then expressed in broken Chinese, “Young people really know how to have fun.”

It was a role-play situation, with the school uniform-wearing cold and aloof junior x the well-dressed CEO. Hmmm… was this some kind of kept man scenario?

Xie Hou was not as filthy as they thought.

After iris recognition and a security card, Sheng Xiaoning stood in the entrance of the room, cradling a sleeping baby.

“Cizhu, wuwuwu, you’ve finally come to save me! It’s so exhausting to take care of a child, wuwuwu,” Sheng Xiaoning “complained” as she suddenly sat up from the floor. Her high-end, exquisite little dress remained elegant. She handed the baby over to Shen Cizhu.

“Oh my God,” Shen Cizhu cradled the baby, tilting his head slightly. He pretended to be shocked. “My sister-in-law, how did you end up with a child? Does Wen He know about this?”

“Oh my God, holy Mary, you mustn’t talk nonsense! I’m still a pure and innocent girl! This is my younger sister!” Sheng Xiaoning looked horrified. She and Shen Cizhu had a good relationship, so they naturally teased each other.

Sheng Xiaoning was ostensibly engaged to Wen He, who was Shen Cizhu’s younger brother, but it was all a performance they orchestrated. Ever since their wedding was disrupted by Shen Cizhu, Sheng Xiaoning and Wen He’s marriage alliance was on the rocks, with Wen He begging for a reunion every day.

Sheng Xiaoning was tired of it and had directly booked the presidential suite at the Bvlgari Hotel. Damn it, her younger brother also heard the news and came over! Her younger brother was about to take his high school entrance exam, and their family had found a particularly outstanding tutor for him. However, he was unwilling and decided to run away with his sister.

He came to take refuge at the hotel with Sheng Xiaoning.

Sheng Xiaoning took on her younger brother and sister in addition to her duties as a tutor, who was none other than Xie Hou.

Meeting Shen Cizhu tonight was purely coincidental. She knew that Shen Cizhu didn’t like skin contact with others, let alone dancing. So she asked Xie Hou to help bring Shen Cizhu up.

Upon seeing Xie Hou bring Shen Cizhu up, Sheng Xiaoning was extremely satisfied. She said to Xie Hou, “Thank you for your hard work. Also, that… my younger brother is going through a rebellious phase, so you’ll have to provide extra guidance.”

Xie Hou nodded and entered the room with his single-strap backpack.

Sheng Xiaoning’s younger brother was still roaring in his room: “Ahhh, I’m so angry! Who the hell does homework at a hotel?! While others are here having fun at auctions and banquets, I’m stuck doing homework! Ahhh, I can’t take it anymore! Whose family runs away from home and gets a private tutor brought over by Mom?! I’m going crazy! I’m going to explode! I’m going to destroy the Earth!”

Not sure what Xie Hou did the next second, but the rebellious teenager fell silent, and then there was a loud sound of a pen rapidly writing on homework paper coming from the room!

Shen Cizhu and Sheng Xiaoning were left in silence at the entrance.

“Um, Xie Hou is quite amazing. He managed to calm down my little brother, who’s like a little demon!” Sheng Xiaoning adjusted her flowing hair and left in a hurry after putting on her eight-centimeter high heels.

“Having you here makes me feel even more at ease,” she gave Shen Cizhu a seductive look, then opened the door.

“Goodbye, Cizhu. I’m entrusting my little brother to Xie Hou. Please take care of my sister too. I’m going to attend the banquet downstairs!”

Shen Cizhu, holding the sleeping baby, watched Sheng Xiaoning abandon her brother and sister and slip away.

Shen Cizhu: “…”

So, even though she said she brought him to the suite to get some rest, in reality, it was just to find a babysitter for the child so she could enjoy herself downstairs, wasn’t it?

Shen Cizhu looked at the sweetly sleeping baby in his arms.

If it weren’t for the fact that Shen Cizhu liked children, he would have gone out to drag Sheng Xiaoning back by now.

He hadn’t held such a small child before. When he picked up Wen He from the orphanage, Wen He was already eight years old.

The baby was very well-behaved. Shen Cizhu gently pinched her cheek with his fingertip, and she half-awoke, giggling.

At that moment, from the innermost room of the suite, a door creaked open, and a head pushed it.

“Damn it! I finished my homework! Haha!” Sheng Xiaoning’s little brother, the second child of the Sheng family, crawled on the floor and headed into the living room to watch TV.

However, Xie Hou emerged from the room, wearing silver-rimmed glasses and holding a tablet computer. “You haven’t finished today’s programming assignment yet.”

The second child of the Sheng family went limp and lay on the ground. Then, his eyes wandered around, and he saw Shen Cizhu, holding his little sister in the hallway.

“Ah! A beautiful lady!” His eyes lit up, and he got up.

Xie Hou: “…”

Are all the Sheng family members such womanizers?

Shen Cizhu, holding the baby, took off his shoes and, only in socks, walked toward Xie Hou. His long hair gently cascaded over his right shoulder. When he settled onto the sofa, his eyebrows and eyes slightly curved, he looked as submissive as a Japanese wife.

As if the next thing he’d say would be, “ご主人様お帰りなさいませ” (Welcome home, dear husband) like a Japanese wife.

The second child of the Sheng family wanted to “see the beautiful lady” and refused to go back to his room to work on his coding. Xie Hou gave up on trying to talk to him and opened his computer in the living room to provide one-on-one tutoring.

Xie Hou sat on the sofa, sharing the same space as Shen Cizhu but maintaining some distance.

At this moment, the baby woke up, raising her small hands, reaching for something in Shen Cizhu’s arms.

“Do you want to play with this?” Shen Cizhu stuffed his long hair into her hands to play with, and she giggled all the while.

The second child of the Sheng family looked at Shen Cizhu and his sister with envy.

Xie Hou remained unfazed, his fingers tapping the keyboard with composure.

However, when the little baby started crying out of hunger, Shen Cizhu was about to unbutton his shirt to breastfeed her, prompting him to close his laptop and prepare baby formula.

When he returned, the floating television had been secretly turned on, and Shen Cizhu and the Sheng family’s second child were watching “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

When they saw Mermaid Man tell SpongeBob, “If you don’t come out now, I will use my power to pronounce you man and wife! You can kiss the bride now,” Shen Cizhu burst into laughter. His upbringing in elite aristocracy made his laughter soft and childish, despite his composed demeanor.

His shirt, which had been unbuttoned a few buttons earlier, had allowed the baby to finish playing with his hair and move on to the crystal buttons. This had disheveled his clothing, loosened his tie, and revealed a hint of his slender physique with a subtle, alluring protrusion.

Xie Hou averted his gaze.

…Sometimes, Shen Cizhu didn’t seem like an adult.

Xie Hou didn’t turn off the TV, letting them continue watching the animated series.

“Just feed her half a bottle, and remember to burp her,” Xie Hou, after warming the baby bottle, gave it to Shen Cizhu.

“Have you taken care of children often before?” Shen Cizhu took the bottle and fed the baby in his arms.

“…I’ve helped neighbors,” Xie Hou said, all while grading a calculus exam and simultaneously editing the code for the Sheng family’s second child.

Indoors, the lighting had been dimmed to accommodate Shen Cizhu. The computer screen was filled with lines of code, reflecting in Xie Hou’s glasses. His side profile didn’t possess the deep mixed-race features of Shen Cizhu but had an air of traditional Eastern elegance.

Wearing glasses, he exuded an unexpected aura of academic excellence.

In contrast, Shen Cizhu was entirely different. His raven hair was partially disheveled, and he was strikingly captivating. After the baby had been fed and fallen asleep, the Sheng family’s second child watched cartoons while playing with his sister.

Only the two of them remained in the living room.

Shen Cizhu sat beside Xie Hou, so close that he could smell the cold and enigmatic scent emanating from Xie Hou.

On the coffee table, a pile of academic books was accompanied by a piece of bathroom reading that Sheng Xiaoning had left behind.

“Xie Hou, do you know what we’re like now?” Shen Cizhu leaned over, taking the reading material. His face was close to Xie Hou’s shoulder, and his eyes were slightly narrowed, showing signs of drowsiness.

As Shen Cizhu spread out the reading material, Xie Hou, in response to Shen Cizhu’s sudden intimacy, instinctively looked at him.

The reading material that Shen Cizhu was holding had some bold and risqué words written on it: “Gorgeous Woman | Wife and the Cold Tutor.”

Xie Hou, with the pen in his hand, made a sudden slip, mistakenly marking an “X” on a calculus test as a “√.” He hesitated, not realizing his mistake.

After Sheng Xiaoning returned to her suite from the dance floor, Shen Cizhu finally left. He had been exceptionally kind tonight, genuinely helping Sheng Xiaoning look after the children as promised.

When he arrived, he hadn’t brought anything with him, but he left with Xie Hou.

As they were leaving, the Sheng family’s second child looked at Shen Cizhu with reluctance.

“Ah,” Sheng Xiaoning patted his head, “Don’t worry, it’s the same for your sister; she can’t have him either.”

Shen Cizhu, with his generous heart, intended to give Xie Hou a ride home. As he had learned from Sheng Xiaoning, after Xie Hou was hired as a private tutor by the Sheng family, Sheng Madam had arranged accommodation for him, which was a private standalone apartment. This apartment was conveniently close to the high school Xie Hou was attending.

Xie Hou was currently in the final stretch of his preparations for the college entrance exam. He was aiming to secure a seven-million-yuan scholarship with his outstanding performance.

Shen Cizhu couldn’t help but find this ironic.

As he was driving Xie Hou back home, Xie Hou sat in the passenger seat without saying anything. He seemed to have been startled by the reading material with the title “Gorgeous Woman | Wife and the Cold Tutor.”

“Xie Hou, I kindly gave you a ride home; don’t you have anything to say?” The streets were bustling with traffic at this late hour, and Shen Cizhu’s luxurious car was still quite eye-catching, glistening like a serpent with its high-tech features.

Xie Hou was about to respond, but suddenly, a woman rushed toward them in front of the car.

It was evident that the woman was attempting to stage an accident. However, Shen Cizhu’s driving skills were exceptional, and he stopped his car ten meters away from the woman without colliding with her.

The situation became very awkward for a moment. However, the woman persisted, running up to the car and banging on the windows, her sparse and greasy hair obscuring her face. But she was a wife, a mother, a desperate person with nowhere else to turn, and she began crying and pleading, “You have so much money! Save our family! My child’s father owes three million! We can’t repay it… please, help us… If you run me over, I’m willing to die! Just give us the money!”

Shen Cizhu actually lowered the car window, gazing at the woman. Outside the window, there was a cacophony of noise and horns.

The woman, looking at his face, seemed a little dazed.

At this moment, traffic police officers arrived to maintain order.

“Why do you owe three million?” Shen Cizhu asked patiently.

“The child’s father… he gambled overseas and got cheated… we can’t repay it… but it’s three million,” the woman said with a numb expression. She was then taken away by the traffic police.

Three million was a small sum to Shen Cizhu.

The car window automatically rose, and he treated the woman’s desperation without empathy or sadness. It was as if nothing had happened.

The car entered the residential compound and stopped in front of Xie Hou’s apartment. Shen Cizhu said, “Xie Hou, when I saw that woman, it reminded me.”

Shen Cizhu’s long hair swayed in the wind like a snake poised to strike. He smiled and asked Xie Hou, “You also have debts, right? 140 million. It’s the debt left behind for you after your mother’s death. Did he also get into gambling?”

Xie Hou’s pupils slightly contracted.

Bending down, Shen Cizhu unfastened his seatbelt.

In the intimate proximity, Shen Cizhu’s green eyes slightly shifted. “Your mother’s name is Huang Chuan Die, isn’t it?”

Huang Chuan Die.

Xie Hou suddenly looked up, and this was the first time he truly lost control in Shen Cizhu’s memory. His eyes, usually eerily calm, were filled with trembling, and he seemed somewhat sad.

After all, he was still young, seven years younger than Shen Cizhu.

“Why do you know my mom’s name…” Xie Hou’s voice grew quieter.

“Baby, don’t be sad…” Shen Cizhu gently comforted, using the same tone he had used to soothe the little baby at the Bulgari Hotel earlier.

Xie Hou looked at Shen Cizhu.

“Huang Chuan Die was framed. Do you want to know the truth? Then, we can exchange the information you have. But before that, we need to eat.”

His finger left his lips, touched Xie Hou’s waist and abdomen, then moved down.

“Shen Cizhu…” Xie Hou grabbed his wrist, pulling his black leather glove loose, revealing fair skin. “Stop.”

“Your mind is quite dirty; I was just talking about eating,” Shen Cizhu retracted his hand and put his black leather glove back on.

“You probably don’t have school tomorrow, right? I’ll pick you up at 7 PM.” Shen Cizhu thought for a moment and added, “Your brother will also join us, and we can have dinner together.”

“You must be present, or Huang Chuan Die will be a murderer for a lifetime, and you’ll be the son of a murderer,” Shen Cizhu’s fingers pressed against the young man’s forehead with an almost murderous intensity. He looked down on him, and his green pupils seemed to have a faint red streak in the moonlit night.

Arrogant and cruel.

“Xie Hou, your mother killed your father, and you are the child of sin.”

Shen Cizhu never empathized with the suffering brought by sin because his existence itself was a form of sin.

This was Shen Cizhu’s purpose tonight.

When Xie Yan received Shen Cizhu’s dinner invitation, he was undergoing emergency treatment at a private hospital in the United States. He had been targeted for assassination on his way back to China, and a bullet had narrowly missed piercing his heart.

His return should have been delayed, but Shen Cizhu said, “I missed you.”

“Zhu Zhu… I…” Xie Yan gritted his teeth. The doctors were removing the bullet from him, and he couldn’t be anesthetized due to his medical condition, so he had to watch the bullet being painfully extracted from his flesh.

“Hold on, please!” A nurse shoved a towel into his mouth to prevent him from biting off his tongue in agony.

“Hello?” Shen Cizhu’s tone wasn’t very friendly. “Xie Yan, what are you doing? Are you trying to make a baby?”

“No!” Xie Yan yanked the towel out of his mouth, wiped the sweat from his face, and tried to sound as composed as possible. “I’ll be there on time.”

Shen Cizhu looked at the reading material from Sheng Xiaoning, Gorgeous Woman | Wife and Cold Tutor), and, after hearing Xie Yan’s reply, he hung up the phone.

He glanced sideways and saw that the lights in Xie Hou’s apartment had gone out.

That’s when he went back.


Certified member of the IIO(International Introverts Organization), PhD holder in Overthinking and Ghosting, Spokesperson for BOBAH(Benefits of Being a Homebody), Founder of SFA(Salted Fish Association), Brand Ambassador for Couch Potato fall line Pajama set.

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