Chapter 144: A loveless marriage
Yang Chen knew that this matter wouldn’t just end like this, but he didn’t expect Ruoxi to beckon him so soon and even ask for Zhao Hongyan. He couldn’t help feeling fidgety inside, though nothing had really happened between Zhao Hongyan and him, they kissed and hugged, he can’t possibly wipe his lips and claim that he did nothing, right!?
He gave the nervous Zhao Hongyan a soothing smile, and they left together. As for the Yu Family brothers, though they gnashed their teeth in rage, they had no way to argue back.
Five minutes later, Yang Chen walked with Hongyan to the CEO’s office on the top floor. This was Yang Chen’s second time here, while Hongyan had never stepped foot here during her three years in Yu Lei. Although there were still tear stains on her face, it was too late to do anything about it, so she looked around curiously.
“Don’t be nervous, take a seat here.”
The indifferent Lin Ruoxi walked over from the water dispenser in her office. In her hands was a glass of piping hot green tea that had just been steeped, it had a light color with a great fragrance, which could be smelt from far away.
Before Lin Ruoxi had even placed the cup of tea on the mahogany coffee table in front of the sofa, Yang Chen smiled and stepped in front of her to receive it.
“How can I let the CEO make tea for me? Please allow me……”
Lin Ruoxi ignored Yang Chen, she directly walked past him and directly walked to Zhao Hongyan. Ruoxi gave her a slight smile, that looked like it could thaw snow and make flowers blossom.
“This is this year’s newly harvested West Lake Longjing, you’re someone who knows tea, which is why I’m giving this to you to drink. I wouldn’t give this to an average person.” Lin Ruoxi blinked at Hongyan, and placed the cup of tea in front of her.
Overwhelmed by favor, Hongyan stood up with a blush on her face, it was unknown if she was feeling excited or shy, “Boss Lin, you’re too polite, I… I will feel embarrassed……”
This scene made Yang Chn feel rather gloomy, why wouldn’t this woman give a bright smile like this to him, her husband?
Lin Ruoxi gracefully walked over to a seat and sat in a leisurely manner, she didn’t seem impatient to ask for details about what happened earlier at all. Instead, she looked at Hongyan with a smile, and asked, “Hongyan, if I remember correctly, you’ve been in the company for over three years, right?”
Zhao Hongyan sat on the soft sofa, and hearing Lin Ruoxi’s question and the earlier words ‘someone who knows tea’ filled her with disbelief, “Boss Lin, you know about me?”
“I practically know everybody as long as they are an employee from the headquarters. Although I don’t interact often with you guys due to work, as long as it’s my employee, I will recognize.” Lin Ruoxi gently said.
These words didn’t just shock Zhao Hongyan, even Yang Chen who just took a seat was stunned. It must be known that Yu Lei’s headquarters had at least four hundred employees, under the circumstances of not interacting with them normally, Lin Ruoxi was still able to remember them all. Seeing the way she treated Hongyan today, she didn’t seem to be lying. It seemed that she who managed this fashion behemoth had a much more terrifying mind than he had imagined.
Zhao Hongyan was visibly touched, like a vast majority of other female employees, she adored Lin Ruoxi. Hearing that her idol remembered her name and background, she was like a pleased bird, her previous crappy mood was blown away, and she respectfully said, “I never expected Boss Lin to even recognize a insignificant employee like me, looks like there isn’t anything in the company that Boss Lin doesn’t know……”
“You’re rather special. Actually, I had seen you before you had even entered the company,.” Said Ruoxi.
“Before entering the company?” Zhao Hongyan wasn’t able to recall this.
Lin Ruoxi hesitated for a moment, then said, “Your father, Mr. Zhao makes delicious glutinous rice balls, I often bought them from him in the past.”
Zhao Hongyan understood now, but still found it inconceivable, “Boss Lin, you… like eating glutinous rice balls?”
She didn’t expect the refined and elegant CEO to enjoy eating small snacks like that.
“Your family owns a glutinous rice ball store?” Yang Chen asked in amazement.
Zhao Hongyan nodded, with some pride she said, “Our rice balls store has several generations of history, it has a very authentic taste, and is considered a reputable store.”
“Mr. Zhao is also an expert at traditional tea ceremony. I’ve drunk Huangshan Maofeng tea and Biluochun tea steeped by him. His techniques and skills are of the most orthodox tea ceremony style. In Huaxia, this is almost extinct, and it is better preserved in Japan. It’s a pity that nowadays, people only pay attention to non-Chinese tea ceremonies, and don’t understand how to appreciate the authentic tea ceremonies.” Lin Ruoxi said regretfully and with admiration.
Zhao Hongyan became increasingly excited, “It’s truly hard to imagine that Boss Lin knows so much about my family, and even know my father……”
“That was many years ago, come to think of it, I’m younger than you by two years. Back then, when I went to buy glutinous rice balls, I was still in high school. Due to the fact that the high school was very close to your rice balls store, I often ate there. After getting more familiar with your father, he started serving me tea. I occasionally noticed you helping out in the store. You probably have no impression of me anymore, but I always remembered how your store looked like. I felt that your family was incredibly fortunate, with a father, mother, daughter, and son, who should be your younger brother. All of you work in the shop to make and sell the rice balls, and lived in harmony.” Lin Ruoxi revealed longing in her eyes, and every word she spoke was gentle and clear.
Zhao Hongyan reminisced as well with a peaceful smile, “That’s right. Back then, I was still in college, so I would occasionally help out in the shop when I had spare time. Later on, I started working and no longer had time to go back. Actually, I was pissed at my father at that time, I didn’t know how to make rice balls, but he forced me to learn. I’m pretty happy about it now though.”
Hearing the two ladies’ exchange, Yang Chen couldn’t help but feel admiration for Lin Ruoxi’s conversational skills. At this moment, Hongyan had evidently relaxed her tensed nerves, and was chatting heartily.
“Is Mr. Zhao well?” Lin Ruoxi took this chance to ask.
Zhao Hongyan’s originally bright face revealed grief, she forced a smile as she said, “He isn’t well, he has been hospitalized from the start of last year.”
“Hospitalized?” Lin Ruoxi pondered and replied, “Can you tell me the details? It has been a long time since I last saw him.”
Zhao Hongyan picked up the teacup on the table, sipped two mouthfuls of tea, and said, “My father had been found to have kidney failure, and requires constant dialysis treatment. His body is in a terrible condition, and due to that, the family business has been put into my younger brother’s hands. It isn’t going too well.”
“I’m sorry.” Lin Ruoxi apologetically said, and turned to look at Yang Chen.
Noticing her gaze, Yang Chen spread his hands to show that he didn’t know of this, and didn’t intentionally lead her to ask such a hurtful question on purpose.
After some thought, Lin Ruoxi asked, “Hongyan, is the man who came to the ground floor today your husband?”
“Yes, Boss Lin.” Hongyan sadly nodded.
“Why did he do such a thing?”
Zhao Hongyan sighed, then explained what happened at the bar last Friday. However, she still left out the part where she was harassed by Yu Hui. Though it wasn’t her fault, it was still disgraceful.
When Lin Ruoxi was heard the story, she asked Yang Chen, “Yang Chen, is that what happened?”
Yang Chen nodded, of course.
“What did you kiss Hongyan for then?” Lin Ruoxi instantly questioned again, and it was difficult for her to say the word ‘kiss’.
Yang Chen was speechless, while Hongyan also blushed. Being asked a question like this, she felt her face burning up, but at the same time, she looked forward to Yang Chen’s answer.
Lin Ruoxi’s gaze was as chilly as a surgery knife meant for cutting open a human heart, as if she was saying to Yang Chen, “Don’t lie to me.”
Evidently, no matter whether it was work life or private life, Yang Chen kissed Hongyan in front of the public, this made Ruoxi extremely discontented, but she just didn’t get too agitated and showed how she felt.
Embarrassed, Yang Chen gave a dry laugh, “That guy with the surname Yu insisted that I admit to having that kind of relationship with his wife, I said we don’t, yet he didn’t believe it. Since he was so determined and generous to give me his woman, I can’t possibly say that I don’t want her, right? Wouldn’t that be hurting Hongyan’s self-confidence? A perfectly alright woman is unwanted by her husband. If I, the fake lover don’t want her either, that would be so hurtful!”
“So you kissed her for that, have you thought over what would happen after everyone saw the two of you kissed!?” Lin Ruoxi was about to go crazy, this man had actually used such a rogue reason!
Yang Chen looked towards Zhao Hongyan beside him whose face looked like a big ripe apple. He scratched the back of his head, then said, “What else can I do? Her husband already said that he wants to get rid of her, I can’t possibly say that I want to get rid of her as well, right?”
“You……” Lin Ruoxi’s anger accumulated inside her, but she didn’t know what to say.
Yang Chen then mischievously said, “For Boss Lin to worry so much about my love life, I’m truly overwhelmed by your favor. On behalf of my wife, let me thank you for your generosity, Boss Lin.”
He’s doing it on purpose! He’s making me angry on purpose!
Lin Ruoxi’s fair hands formed little fists, and kept trembling. If Zhao Hongyan wasn’t present, she truly felt like picking up anything on the table and smashing it on this man’s head!
“Yang Chen, don’t use such a tone towards Boss Lin, she’s caring about us.” Zhao Hongyan suddenly persuaded, and with turned back to look at Ruoxi with complicated emotions, “Boss Lin, I think everything that happened is my fault, I shouldn’t have gone to the bar, it was I who first lied to my husband. Otherwise, none of these would’ve happened.”
Yang Chen was puzzled as he asked, “I’ve been curious, why is it that you can’t tell that fellow that you’re going to the bar to have a drink with your colleagues?”
Zhao Hongyan turned silent for a while, then said, “Actually, you also saw it today, Yu Guang is a very conservative and upright person. In his eyes, things like bars, clubs, and karaoke places are all poison of the society for debaucherous men and women. People of their Yu Family aren’t allowed to go to those places.”
“Didn’t his brother go there?” Yang Chen creased his brows.
Zhao Hongyan showed a sad smile, “Yu Hui is his biological brother, while I’m a woman married into his family. According to the way the Yu Family view things, I’m just the daughter of a small shop owner, and I’m low-class. For them to marry me into the family is considered kindness towards me, how could they tolerate me going to bars?”
Yang Chen couldn’t help but find this ridiculous, “It’s truly unexpected that there’s such a person in this world, it somehow feels like we’ve returned to feudal society.”
“Yeah, when I first got married to him, I found it difficult to bear, I felt like an ascetic monk. Every time I returned home, I felt like the atmosphere was weighing on me and it’s difficult to breathe. It got better over the past year, but I still felt afraid of returning home. It always felt like I couldn’t become a part of their family, and that there were too many things in-between.” Zhao Hongyan said in a depressed manner.
“Why did you still marry him then?”
Lin Ruoxi rolled her eyes at Yang Chen, “It’s for your father, right? From what I know, kidney dialysis isn’t cheap.”
Zhao Hongyan bitterly nodded, then said, “That’s right, my father and Yu Guang’s father are friends. Back then when my father was hospitalized, though the medical insurance paid for a certain amount of the fees, it was still not enough. Yu Guang’s mother took a fancy to me then, and wanted me to be their family’s daughter-in-law…… Perhaps it was because other families weren’t willing to betroth their daughters to Yu Guang, and they also weren’t willing to accept those who weren’t pretty enough. In the end, they chose me, and promised to pay for more than half of my father’s medical treatment.”
The truth of the matter was simple yet sorrowful, a young and beautiful woman married an old-fashioned and pigheaded man for the sake of paying for her father’s medical bills.
“Do you love him?” Lin Ruoxi suddenly asked.
Zhao Hongyan was slightly stunned, then thinking about who this person was, she made a distressed smile and said, “Boss Lin, there was never love between Yu Guang and me, and there wasn’t even any interaction between us before I got married to him. I don’t understand him, and he doesn’t trust me, how can I possibly love him?”
A loveless marriage?
Lin Ruoxi quietly looked towards Yang Chen, while Yang Chen was also looking back at her. Lin Ruoxi’s heartbeat hastened, and she quickly turned away to ask Hongyan, “What do you plan to do next?”
At a loss, Hongyan shook her head, “I don’t know. Actually, I’ve been thinking about getting divorced with Yu Guang a long time ago, we’re simply people of two totally different worlds.”
“But what about your father’s sickness?” Lin Ruoxi asked.
Zhao Hongyan bit her lip, “I’ve discussed this with my younger brother before, we would mortgage the shop and get a loan from the bank. We should be able to get a loan of several hundred thousand, and it should just be enough to do a kidney transplant for my father.”
“What if I say that I’ll pay your salary for the next five years in advance, and want you to work here for the next ten years, will you accept this?” Lin Ruoxi asked.
Zhao Hongyan quickly raised her head, her watery eyes were pleasantly surprised and were filled with disbelief, “Boss Lin… are you saying……”
Lin Ruoxi turned around to tap on the big red button on her desk, and said to the refined microphone, “Wu Yue, come here.”