Chapter 15.1 – Exposure

Feng Hua had a dream. In the dream, he was lying in a sea of paper, and on each piece of paper, dense words were written, but he couldn’t see them clearly. A white figure floated around in the space, then flew towards him and stopped above him, looking at him and calling his name softly: Feng Hua.

Feng Hua.

Feng Hua.

Feng Hua woke up and found that a group of people were calling his name.

“Feng Hua! Wake up! We’re here!”

On this day, the documentary crew and the research institute were having a dinner together. They had chartered a hotel and planned to party for a night.

Standing on the window ledge on the second floor, Feng Yeran saw a large crowd of people outside the hotel. Many young girls were holding signs and shouting something. Occasionally, he could hear the words “Feng Hua” and “love you”. His fans were blocking the entrance to the hotel.

Feng Hua still looked very tall and striking in the crowd.

Female students gave him gifts and asked for autographs and handshakes.

Even when he walked into the hotel, his fans were stopped outside the door. Feng Yeran was deeply aware for the first time of the fact that Feng Hua was extremely popular.

At first, only one or two people came forward to talk to him, but soon, he had become the centre of attention. Curious people would go over to take pictures with him and interview him, and, more often than not, they were girls who blushed at the sight of him.

And Feng Hua was really different from when he was a child. As a child, he would tremble when standing in a crowd and disliked parties. Every time he followed Feng Yeran to a party, it wouldn’t take long before he urged Feng Yeran to go home. But at this moment, he was at ease and elegant in the crowd.

A pretty young woman approached Feng Hua and spoke to him.

Feng Yeran asked, “Who is that woman? She looks familiar.”

A male colleague looked speechless. “Director, you don’t know Gao Jinyi! She’s a model who’s been on fire recently! She’s only 19 years old and she’s already in a world-famous magazine!”

Feng Yeran suddenly remembered the huge advertisement hanging on the shopping mall recently. “She’s actually come.”

“Yeah, she must’ve come for Feng Hua, tsk.”

Gao Jinyi, with her blonde hair braided in a Western European style, was wearing a rose gold evening dress, her back completely exposed, her figure slender, her waist tied with a bow, and very high heels on. She was really the centre of attention.

She hardly looked at any other men at all and kept talking to Feng Hua, her shoulders shaking with laughter every now and then.

Inexplicably, Feng Yeran felt a slight sense of superiority at that moment.

All these people around Feng Hua had once dared not approach him, despising him and fearing him. How could Feng Hua look up to these people.

And…

Feng Yeran’s mind kept replaying the scene he had seen yesterday, Feng Hua saying in front of the whole world that his eyes, nose, mouth, hair and flesh were all created by him, were all his, and that from the beginning to the end, all he loved was only him—

Before he could question this sudden and inexplicable sense of superiority, he saw Feng Hua looking towards him.

The moment their eyes met, Feng Yeran unexpectedly tensed up, his heart beating rapidly.

He understood his Feng Hua so well that he knew that his Feng Hua would dump the pretty young model and come towards him the next moment. He had always been the only one in the eyes of his Feng Hua.

These crazy thoughts that popped up one after another made Feng Yeran devastated.

However, what made him even more devastated was that Feng Hua only gave him a faint glance before shifting his eyes, as if his gaze was just passing a stranger.

The beautiful model took Feng Hua’s arm, and they went to the buffet area amidst people’s envious gazes. A beautiful waltz began to play and some couples were already dancing snuggled up on the dance floor.

Male colleague A complained aside, “Tsk, yesterday he was even declaring his love for you to the world.”

Male colleague B looked speechless. “Say, the love he talked about yesterday is obviously just a kind of family love, a kind of gratitude expressed by the creator. Don’t think too much of it. It’s just like us telling our parents that we love them… But having said that, Gao Jinyi is too… a man can’t resist, right?”

Feng Yeran, however, didn’t listen to them much. He just drunk glass after glass of wine.

His stomach was hurting again, but he didn’t stop.

He really couldn’t figure out the thoughts and emotions that always suddenly popped up these days—strange, inexplicable emotions that didn’t belong to him. He must have been controlled—he was clearly a normal man, he clearly loved Chen Xuan, he clearly had only family love for Feng Hua—yes, he must have been imposed with something that didn’t belong to him—otherwise, why would he be so strange? Why would he want Feng Hua to really love only him, to really not see anyone else? How could he be so uncomfortable because Feng Hua was ignoring him? How could he be jealous of that young girl?!

The burning liquid was poured into his chest again and again, and he seemed to be testing something.

Feng Hua wouldn’t stand by watching him drink too much. He would definitely come to stop him—by now, a certain fixed chemical reaction had practically formed. Every time they attended a banquet, Feng Hua would drink in Feng Yeran’s place. He couldn’t bear to see Feng Yeran drink much.

But Feng Hua didn’t come.

There was no way he didn’t know Feng Yeran was here.

He could know where Feng Yeran was and what he was doing just by listening and smelling.

Obviously, Feng Yeran had been ignored.

Probably because he had drunk too much, Feng Yeran’s vision was getting more and more blurred. Feng Hua’s figure had blended into the crowd and he couldn’t really see him.

Many people came over to talk to him and toast him. To him, those people didn’t look any different from each other. They were all dolls wearing smiling masks.

He was a doll, too. He laughed heartily and talked non-stop as if he were a different person.

He couldn’t understand himself anymore. He tried hard to disguise himself, tried hard to bluff and draw a certain someone’s attention with his voice, tragically flaunting something illusory, tried hard to silently say ‘it doesn’t matter to me if you ignore me’. But he was already very, very hurt. His stomach hurt, his whole body hurt, hurt till he was numb.

While disguising himself, he was waiting, worrying and doubting with near-anxiety. Doubting that his emotions had been imposed, doubting that Feng Hua’s so-called liking was all just a fleeting hallucination due to his illness, that what he had heard yesterday were just choreographed lines.

Once in a while, he found himself laughable. Hadn’t he always wanted Feng Hua to shift his attention? Wasn’t Feng Hua now doing what he wanted to see? Then what was he in pain from?

Feng Hua never came from beginning to end.

Some time later, he received a call from Chen Xuan.

His body was already extremely uncomfortable, but his mind was clear. Feng Yeran staggered to his feet, and a male colleague immediately helped him up.

“I have to go now.”

“Ah? It’s so early.”

“Where’s Feng Hua?”

“Please, director. You can’t be thinking of taking him away!”

“No… I’m just asking.”

“Haha, I said you wouldn’t be that cruel. Look, he’s over there, sitting with Gao Jinyi. I don’t know if they can make it today… Don’t worry about it. He’s so big, and Gao Jinyi isn’t bad. She hasn’t had any scandals before, and she’s pretty…”

Feng Yeran didn’t look at Feng Hua. He carried his briefcase and staggered onto the elevator. In order to cover up, Chen Xuan first waited for Feng Yeran in the reserved room.

Feng Yeran collapsed on the sofa, his skin flushed and a smile on his face.

Chen Xuan changed his clothes. “Why did you drink so much?”

“Xiao Xuan, do you like me?”

“Yeah, what’s the matter?”

“Will you betray me? Will you leave me?”

“What nonsense are you saying! Drink some water and go take a bath.”

“Feng Hua has grown up.”

“He’s grown up.”

“Sooner or later, he’ll leave me too. I only have you.”

The woman’s hand undressing him hesitated for a moment, and then she said, “You’re very drunk. Go take a shower.”

Feng Yeran went to take a shower.

Chen Xuan opened Feng Yeran’s briefcase and took out his paper-thin computer. As soon as she touched it, a stereoscopic image flashed out. The password was very simple. It was her birthday. It wasn’t the first time she had turned on his computer.

In the bathroom was the constant sound of water. Drops of cold sweat slid down Chen Xuan’s forehead as she stared at the document in front of her, her fingers trembling.

Meanwhile, in the bustling lower level of the hotel.

Feng Hua’s phone rang. It was a call from Sean.

“What’s the matter?”

“Your Ye’er opened a room with Chen Xuan, eh?”

“I don’t need you to tell me to know that.”

“Oh? Are you still not gonna take my advice?”

“Not interested.”

“Feng Hua, are you actually a coward? I’ve pitied you a hundred times and over! Besides, don’t you want to get him?”

“I want to give up.”

“Are you serious?”

“…Heh, I’m kidding. If only I could give up.”

“I knew you’d say that! Say, Mr Goody-goody, don’t you want to get back at them? Don’t you want to do a little something to make him have to go to you? Didn’t you say something grand and ambitious in America before? Was it all false?”

“…”

“Fool, you’ve successfully taken Chen Xuan and your Ye’er to the pinnacle of life. What should you do next? It’s simple. Just drop them down. Your Ye’er will soon understand how fragile their relationship really is, and how important you are to him—”

“Shut up. I told you, I won’t do anything against Ye’er.”

With that, Feng Hua hung up.

Chen Xuan stared at the screen. As long as she clicked confirm, she could fully obtain Feng Yeran’s confidential information. At the same time, a virus that’d long been set up would corrode the original document and make the information incomplete just like a ridiculous imitation.

She knew that if she gave this information to Feng Boran, she and Feng Yeran would be finished.

However, her relationship with Feng Yeran, from the beginning to now, was all a plan. She had only one goal, to get Feng Yeran’s confidential document, because Feng Boran needed it. Her most beloved Feng Boran said that as long as she helped him obtain this document, he would love her forever and give her a lifetime of happiness. How she longed for such happiness.

She had countless opportunities to obtain this document, but the tenderness Feng Yeran gave her was so nostalgic that she put it off again and again.

But how could she have hidden it from Feng Boran?

Sure enough, her lover got angry last night. He had overturned the soup she had made for him, lifted her sobbing face and said to her, “Take his document and come back to live a good life with me, or fall into ruin with him. It’s up to you.”

She knew very well that behind every happiness, there were cruel sacrifices.

She didn’t want to sacrifice Feng Yeran.

But she didn’t want to be the one sacrificed even more.

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