Ch 44: Another House
Yin Chang furrowed his brows and looked back at the gravestone engraved with Yin Dong's name.
Along the way, they'd passed by several other gravestones of prominent families.
Husbands and wives were buried together, and the names of their children and grandchildren covered large swatches of gravestone.
However, here at Yin Dong's grave, there were only a few words that read, “Respectfully erected by Son, Yin Chang.” It looked lonely.
Thinking that he might not be Yin Dong's biological son, Yin Chang felt a little melancholy.
He thought about whether he should take the opportunity to change Shao Junling's surname and add his name to the gravestone as well…
Lost in thought, Yin Chang heard Shao Junling beside him say to the gravestone, “I'll take good care of brother.”
Yin Chang was startled and looked at Shao Junling with confusion.
Shao Junling also glanced up at him, but quickly turned away, seemingly feeling embarrassed, and ran off.
“Ah, this child!” Fiona also heard what Shao Junling said and chuckled with relief.
“You talk to your dad, I'll go keep an eye on him.” With that, she chased after Shao Junling.
Yin Chang remained in a daze for a while, then took out a pack of cigarettes from his pocket.
Yin Dong used to smoke, but rarely did so in front of him.
If he really had the urge, he would go outside or to a place where he couldn't be seen to smoke.
Yin Chang remembered one time in Pasadena, also in winter, when he saw Yin Dong standing alone outside his bedroom window.
He'd been smoking cigarettes one after another…
At that time, he'd wondered if his dad had a lot of stuff on his mind, if his dad's work was too difficult…
But when Yin Dong came back inside, his face would return to that gentle expression, completely different from the lonely man smoking alone outside.
Yin Chang shook off his thoughts, opened a pack of cigarettes, and lit one.
Putting the cigarette between his lips, he took a deep inhale.
Once the cigarette tip turned crimson, he placed it on the stone platform of Yin Dong's grave.
A thin line of smoke escaped from his lips as Yin Chang softly called out, “Dad.”
He reached out and touched the gravestone, with countless unspoken words he wished to say.
He wished to ask if he was truly adopted, and if so, who his biological parents were.
He wished to ask about Shao Junling's background, and why Yin Dong had decided to acknowledge this child but keep it from him.
He also wished to talk about his own experiences during this time period.
How he’d followed Yao Manhuai's advice and entered the entertainment industry, but still had doubts at times, unsure if the path was right or wrong.
He wished to talk about Shao Junling's performance at school – his poor communication skills, their conflicts and arguments, and his current mediocre English abilities…
But Yin Chang only said, “I’ll take good care of Junling, you can rest assured.”
After the grave sweeping, Yin Chang returned home.
He received several New Year's phone calls, including one from Lawyer Wang.
Lawyer Wang occasionally contacted him regarding his father's company matters, but this time, in addition to New Year's greetings, he mentioned something else.
“Does your father still have the two properties in Hongcheng? I mentioned it to you before, do you remember?” Lawyer Wang asked on the phone.
“Yeah, do I need to handle the inheritance of the properties?” Yin Chang had been too busy the past six months, so he hadn't had the time to deal with it.
“If you're busy, it's not urgent.
There's no time limit for property inheritance.
I just wanted to let you know that among the two properties, one of them is a rental apartment in Qingcheng Bend.
Your father signed the property to a property management company to handle, and the rental income is stable.
However, the property management contract is about to expire, and they called me before the New Year to ask if we want to renew the contract.
I wanted to ask for your opinion.”
“Oh, I see.
Then let's renew it, so we don't have to worry about it…
What about the other property?”
“The other one has been vacant this whole time.
Your father probably had specific plans for it.
I'm not sure about the details.”
“Alright, I understand.”
Reminded by Lawyer Wang, Yin Chang recalled the past.
Before Yin Dong took him and Fiona to Pasadena, he had lived in Hongcheng for several years.
Although he didn't have many memories of those years, he remembered that they lived in a neighborhood with a lotus fountain.
Fiona often took him downstairs to play, and every street lamp in the neighborhood looked like lotuses
Could the vacant property be that one?
They hadn't been back there for over ten years…
Yin Chang walked into the study and retrieved a pile of property certificates and documents left by Yin Dong and given to him by Lawyer Wang from a locked cabinet designated for his use.
He looked up the information of the two properties in Hongcheng.
…Qingcheng Bend, Guanchao District, Hongcheng…
Hmm? The property in Qingcheng Bend was the lotus apartment?
He looked at the address of the other property, which was on Ningjing Road in Huandao District, a completely different location.
Yin Chang walked out with a puzzled look on his face and asked aloud, “Fiona, do you remember which district I lived in when I was a child in Hongcheng?”
“Yeah? It was in Guanchao District, I believe…” Fiona walked out of the guest room, “Why are you asking about this?”
“My dad has two properties in Hongcheng, and just now his lawyer called me to discuss what to do with one of them.” Yin Chang casually mentioned.
“Which one?” Fiona asked.
“The one in Guanchao District,” Yin Chang glanced at Fiona and unexpectedly caught a hint of unease on her face.
He paused, “So that property is currently being rented out…”
“Oh, yeah, that makes sense,” Fiona lowered her head and pretended to tidy her clothes, but her movements were stiff.
Yin Chang: “What about the other property in Huandao District? Do you know anything about it? Lawyer Wang said it's been vacant for a while.”
Fiona's complexion changed, “Um, I think your dad may have mentioned it once…”
He hadn't specified “Ningjing Road” just now.
How could Fiona react so quickly if Yin Dong had only mentioned it once before?
And she had always been smart about money.
It was out of character for her to imply he didn’t need to concern himself with the rental income from his properties.
Furthermore, if he had to rent out one property, why would it be the apartment he grew up in? Why not rent out the vacant one on Ningjing Road? Then he wouldn't have to move the furniture unless there was something else going on…
Yin Chang's heart skipped a beat as he thought of his mysterious origin – could there be something related to his mother there?
If that was the case, Fiona must know something, right?
He felt the urge to directly ask Fiona…
but if Fiona knew the truth, why wouldn’t she directly inform him? Did Yin Dong instruct her not to say anything?
If that was the case, he probably wouldn't be able to get anything out of her, because Fiona keeps her promises.
In that case, why not go and see for himself first?
Thinking up to here, Yin Chang pulled out his phone and checked his schedule and available flights.
There was a flight to Hongcheng tonight.
If he just took a look, he could come back in a day…
But another problem arose.
How would he get around in Hongcheng? He would definitely be recognized if he went out in public now, and it would be inconvenient to move around privately.
Besides, he hadn't formally inherited the two properties yet, so even if he went there, he wouldn't be able to enter without the keys.
Yin Chang forced himself to calm down and messaged Lawyer Wang, “I want to go to Hongcheng as soon as possible to handle the property inheritance procedures.”
Lawyer Wang: “Why the sudden rush?”
Yin Chang didn't explain to Lawyer Wang his suspicions and simply said, “I only have a few days off.”
Lawyer Wang: “Start preparing now then.
The earliest you can go is the ninth day of the Lunar New Year, because you have to wait for the relevant departments to start working.
Then you can get the paperwork, and go to the property management bureau there to handle the procedures…”
Yin Chang calculated and found that the ninth day of the Lunar New Year would work, as he was still on vacation.
He asked again, “Can the property be transferred on the same day as the inheritance?”
Lawyer Wang: “Yes.”
Yin Chang: “Okay, let's plan to handle this on the ninth day then.”
After that, Yin Chang switched to his conversation with Lu Lingjuan.
“Will you be back by the eighth?”
Because he was taking a break for the Spring Festival, she’d also decided to take off and go back to her hometown to celebrate the New Year.
Lu Lingjuan: “I’ll be back on the sixteenth, so we'll start work on the same day.
What's up? Do you have something you need to do on the eighth?”
Yin Chang: “Can you come back early? I need your help with something urgent.
I’ll pay you double your daily salary during the holiday.”
Lu Lingjuan: “What's the rush?”
Yin Chang: “On the ninth day of the lunar new year, I’d like you to accompany me to Hongcheng.”
Lu Lingjuan: “Is it for work? Yao Zong didn't say anything about this.”
Yin Chang: “It’s not.
She’s not aware, but it’s fine if she finds out.
I can let her know it's to handle some of my father's properties.
Lawyer Wang will also be there.
She’ll feel more reassured if you're with me.
I just don't want my family members to know, including my housekeeper and Shao Junling.
So the travel information must be kept confidential.”
Lu Lingjuan: “Oh, no problem.
It's my duty to protect you.
I’ll go buy the tickets now.”
Yin Chang: “After we arrive, I’ll need a car.”
Lu Lingjuan: “Got it, leave it to me.”
After confirming the trip to Hongcheng for the ninth day of the lunar new year, Yin Chang's anxiety let up a little.
But he didn't feel at ease for long.
The next day, while chatting with Fiona, he found out she also planned to go to Hongcheng!
“I heard that one of my sisters is seriously ill and might not make it.
I want to go see her, she used to be very kind to me.”
Yin Chang felt a pang in his heart.
He and Fiona had been living in Pasadena for so many years, and she’d never mentioned any sisters.
How did a “sister” suddenly appear?
The unusual behavior of the other party made Yin Chang think back to their conversation from yesterday.
Could it be that Fiona has the key to the house on Ningjing Road and wants to go there to dispose of something in advance?
“Are you leaving in the next few days?” Yin Chang concealed his emotions and said, “Junling and I are both on vacation these days.
If you leave, there’ll be no one to cook for us…
Can you wait a few more days until Junling starts school?”
He deliberately made a show of being reluctant to let Fiona leave.
Sure enough, Fiona softened her heart.
She probably also thought it wasn't so urgent she had to leave within these next two days, so she agreed.
The next few days, Yin Chang stayed at home, read books, slept, and occasionally played with Shao Junling and his models during his free time.
The three of them stayed at home.
Although there was nothing special to do, it was warm and cozy.
On the sixth day of the lunar new year, Si Wenqi's official Weibo account officially released the advertisement for the BG series of watches: “Low-key luxury is BG design’s concept.
Thank you to the Chinese artist Yin Chang for showing us the same temperament.
We hope the new series of watches will allow more young elites to show their inner selves and shine brightly.”
They attached a photo of Yin Chang endorsing the watches in Switzerland.
He was seen in the photo wearing a dark teal tailored suit with one hand resting lightly on his arm.
On his wrist, the distinct joints of the diamond-studded obsidian dial watch shimmered.
Captured by the lens of a high-end fashion photographer at BG, Yin Chang's naturally exquisite features and inherent elegance were showcased to the fullest.
After a month of no news, his endorsement spread like wildfire across the internet.
He's a male god! So handsome, right!?”
“Oh my god, this is the first time I'm seeing Yin Chang's restrained beauty! I'm dead!”
“Yin Chang endorsed BG! What amazing connections does he have?”
Yin Chang dutifully retweeted the news on his Weibo, expressing his happiness about the collaboration.
Marketing and promotional matters were handled by BG and New Star Entertainment, so he just had to sit back and relax.
On the eighth day of the lunar new year, Yao Manhuai messaged saying the schedule for the English tutor had been confirmed, and the family driver arranged by Lu Lingjuan could start anytime.
With all the household affairs in order, Yin Chang told Fiona that same evening, “I have to go on a business trip tomorrow afternoon.
I'll probably be back in about two days.”
“Didn't we agree to take a break until the fifteenth?” Fiona was surprised.
“It was a last-minute decision,” he said, secretly observing Fiona's expression added, “I'm going to Tiancheng.”
In Yin Chang's memory, this was the first time he lied to Fiona, and his heart pounded hard.
Fiona responded with a simple “Oh,” without suspicion, but Shao Junling beside her kept staring at him without shifting his gaze.
Yin Chang: I'm going on a business trip.
Shao Junling: Liar! O︿O
Yin Chang: …………
(This is the first time I've lied, cut me some slack, bro)
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