“Ah, I see.” Ming Siyan seemed a little disappointed when he heard Ming Luchuan say that they were going back on their own, but a smile quickly returned to his lips.
“Well then, see you tonight.”

Ming Siyan then waved goodbye to Xia Wennan and exited Ming Luchuan’s office.
The slim-fitting suit he wore emphasised his slender figure.
Beneath his short, jet-black hair, a showy butterfly tattoo was inked mid-flutter on his fair nape. 

Xia Wennan waited until Ming Siyan had left the office and the door had been securely shut before whispering to Ming Luchuan, “Your little brother has a tattoo over his glands… Isn’t that painful?”

“How would I know?” said Ming Luchuan. 

Xia Wennan gave him an odd look.
“Aren’t you an alpha?”

“I don’t have a tattoo.”

Xia Wennan thought, fine then, but then his thoughts leapt back to the topic of their conversation before Ming Siyan had come in, and he suddenly stiffened.
He grabbed Ming Luchuan’s lapels and enunciated each word slowly: “There.

Ming Luchuan glanced down at him silently at first, but after a moment, his lips curled as he grasped Xia Wennan’s hands and flung them away.
“Whatever you say.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

Ming Luchuan’s previously smooth lapels were now full of wrinkles.
He walked over to his desk as if he didn’t care at all and sat down on the wide office chair, turning 180 degrees and crossing his long legs.
“Feel free to believe whatever makes you happy.”

Xia Wennan pursed his lips, certain that Ming Luchuan was messing with him.
He forced himself not to dwell too hard on whether there really was a red mole on his ass and how exactly Ming Luchuan came to know about it.  

Ming Luchuan appeared to have no intention of paying him any more attention, flipping open a file on his desk and lowering his head to read it. 

Xia Wennan decided to change the subject.
He approached the desk and inquired, “Do I really have to go to your family dinner tonight?”

Ming Luchuan didn’t raise his head.

“What if I don’t go?” 

Xia Wennan’s attention was drawn to a row of exquisite perfume bottles atop the table. 

“I’ll carry you back.” Ming Luchuan flipped through the documents in his hand. 

Xia Wennan plucked a small perfume bottle, brought it to his nose to take a sniff, and immediately froze.
He then lowered his head to look at the name of the perfume written on the bottle: Tears of the Enemy.
He smelled the perfume once more, like he couldn’t quite believe what he was smelling, and this time, he couldn’t help but open his mouth in shock and say, “Is this pheromone extract?”

Ming Luchuan stopped thumbing through the documents.
He raised his eyes at Xia Wennan, and after a moment said, “It’s a pheromone perfume.”

Xia Wennan’s expression grew even more doubtful. 

At university, he majored in biochemistry, which had an area of study that focused on the pheromones in the human body.
While it was possible to extract pheromones along with the scent they carried, it was impossible to turn pheromones into perfumes.
This was due to the fact that perfumes were mass-produced goods and no two people’s pheromone scents were identical.
Pheromones couldn’t be extracted in large quantities either.

People had long been exploring pheromone perfume due to market demand, but none of their studies had yielded the outcome they’d hoped for.
One of the biggest problems was that individuals who could smell pheromones were also affected by them, whilst betas, who weren’t affected, weren’t able to smell them. 

One major difference between the perfume industry and other industries’ research was that the former relied on the perfumer’s subjective senses.
Every year, the market was flooded with a plethora of perfumes in a variety of aromas and notes, but their time on the shelves was short-lived, eventually leaving just a few brands that could withstand the test of the market. 

The development of this pheromone perfume became even more difficult, requiring a refined perfumer who could smell all kinds of pheromones, was well versed in biological data and its relevant chemical knowledge, understood extraction techniques, and was simultaneously—and most importantly—not affected by pheromones, because otherwise, pheromone rejection could happen to those of the same sex, just like how an omega found other omegas’ pheromones unpleasant.
This would severely limit the subjectivity needed in perfume development. 

And so for many years, numerous established perfume companies have made attempts in the field of pheromone perfume, only for their endeavours to end in failure.

The Tears of the Enemy in Xia Wennan’s hands, on the other hand, was different.
He was able to identify the scent of alpha pheromones.
The top note had a cold, woody scent that was somewhat familiar; it was 70-80% similar to Ming Luchuan’s pheromones, but the scent dissolved into a middle note that was laced with a hint of warm spice, harmonising with the cold top note in a contradictory balance.
It perfectly reflected the name of the perfume: Tears of the Enemy.

Xia Wennan put the perfume down and picked up the rest of the perfumes on the table to smell them one by one.
They were all pheromone perfumes, seven kinds in total; four were omega pheromone-scented, and three were alpha pheromone-scented, and among them was the scent of the omega pheromone perfume that Xia Wennan had smelled more than once, on the girl in the fast food restaurant and the male beta he’d encountered by chance in the streets. 

At the time, he’d found it strange.
Why did a beta smell of omega pheromones? He knew now that they were using Ming Yan’s perfumes. 

After Xia Wennan finished smelling every perfume, Ming Luchuan, who’d been watching him the entire time, finally spoke up, “What do you think?”

Xia Wennan turned to look at him.

“This is Ming Yan’s emotions line,” said Ming Luchuan.
“They’re currently the most popular perfumes on the market.”

Xia Wennan listened attentively. 

Ming Luchuan looked at him.
“So you really don’t remember anything? You’re the one who developed this line.” He then picked up the bottle of Tears of the Enemy, sprayed some on his wrist, and brought it to his nose, taking a light sniff. 

Xia Wennan was still completely dazed. 

Ming Luchuan stared at him for a long time before placing the perfume on the table with a solemn expression.
“You don’t remember? Then forget it.”

“Hold on.” It was as if Ming Luchuan’s words had jolted him back to reality.
“What do you mean ‘forget it’? I developed the hottest perfumes on the market—why would you say ‘forget it’?” He straightened up, looking down at Ming Lucuan and snarling, “Did you Ming Yan people pay me?”

Ming Luchuan’s expression grew increasingly stormy.
“Is there nothing but money in that head of yours? Is marrying me not enough for you?”

“You’re jack shit compared to money,” blurted Xia Wennan.

Ming Luchuan picked up the files on his desk and slammed it back down, snapping, “Get the hell out of here!”

Xia Wennan could feel that the man’s angry outburst was genuine.
He inwardly panicked, but his mouth didn’t back down, “You want me to leave, but have you paid me yet?”

Ming Luchuan glowered at him.

Xia Wennan was struck by another bout of panic.
As he was trying to find the words to ease up the atmosphere, he suddenly heard a knock at the door.

“President Ming.” Xu Feng’s voice resounded from the other side of the door.

Xia Wennan promptly shouted, “Come in!” He then glanced at Ming Luchuan and realised that the man was still glaring at him. 

Xu Feng opened the door, carrying several bags.
Mere moments after entering the room, he came to a halt upon noticing Ming Luchuan’s complexion. 

Ming Luchuan didn’t spare a glance at Xu Feng, sombre gaze fixed on Xia Wennan.

Xia Wennan pretended not to notice and turned to approach Xu Feng, saying, “Are you back with my clothes?”

“I bought them according to President Ming’s instructions,” Xu Feng said.

Xia Wennan didn’t bother with asking if the clothes were within his 100 yuan price range.
When he opened the paper bag, he discovered that Xu Feng had bought him a complete set of shirts, pants, and even a pair of new shoes. 

“Sorry for the trouble.” Xia Wennan took the clothes and walked towards the door, intending to hide for a while and wait for Ming Luchuan’s anger to subside. 

Yet just as he reached the door, Ming Luchuan called out, “Stop!”

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