Ch.66 – One-way Passage


‘Things are different now‘. What was different now? Xia Wennan thought that he could faintly understand what Ming Luchuan meant.

He couldn’t resist asking one last question, “Then, since you know that he’s not your real dad, does he himself know?”

“I take it he does,” said Ming Luchuan, but after that, he continued, “But maybe he doesn’t.”

“What? So does he know or not?”

Ming Luchuan shook his head.
“It doesn’t matter whether or not he knows anymore.”

They were held up by a traffic jam along the way, so by the time they arrived, nighttime had fallen.

While Ming Luchuan parked the car, Xia Wennan spotted Ming Qin with a shawl draped over his shoulders, waiting for them in front of the house.

Xia Wennan promptly stepped out of the car and walked over to Ming Qin, who broke out into a smile at the sight of him.
In two steps, he trotted over to welcome Xia Wennan and clasped his hands.
“Wennan, thank you for your hard work.”

Xia Wennan could only smile abashedly.
“Not at all.”

Ming Qin gave him a hug, and as he drew back, he said, “As expected from Ming Yan’s chief perfumer.
Come on in, dinner’s ready.”

When Xia Wennan entered, he noticed that Ming Sichen and Yin Zejing were already there, but Ming Sichen was nowhere to be seen.

Ming Qin led Xia Wennan by the hand all the way to the dining room, while Ming Luchuan could only trail after them in silence.

Xia Wennan was extremely uncomfortable.
When Ming Qin was about to pull him over to sit by his side, Xia Wennan seized Ming Luchuan’s hand, taking advantage of the moment to break away from Ming Qin, then pressed close to Ming Luchuan’s ear and said, “Hurry up and rescue me.”

Ming Luchuan held his hands and similarly murmured in his ear, “Come here.” Then, he took a seat on the chair between Ming Qin and Xia Wennan.

Ming Qin watched on with a smile, saying, “Every time I see how close you two are, I’m overjoyed.”

“How come I haven’t seen Sichen around?” asked Xia Wennan, changing the subject.

“Sichen isn’t feeling well today,” Ming Qin explained, “so I asked Aunt Zhang to feed him and bring him back to his room to rest.”

Will he be all right?” Xia Wennan asked.

“He’s chronically ill, so his immune system isn’t the best.
He gets sick easily.”

At this time, the aunt brought out the dishes, and Ming Qin asked Yin Zejing to fetch a bottle of red wine from the liquor cabinet and pour a glass for everyone.

Ming Qin raised his glass, and looked at Xia Wennan as he said, “Today, we toast.”

Xia Wennan remained mum.
Fingers touching the wine glass in front of him, he couldn’t help but look to Ming Luchuan.

Ming Luchuan asked, “Toast what?”

“Toast the birth of Xishui Hall, of course!” Ming Qin declared.
On that note, he sighed with some emotion.
“The name sounds great, and I recognised Wennan’s style right away.
It’s a shame I haven’t had the opportunity to smell it though, why didn’t you bring it home for dad to try?”

“You didn’t mention this over the phone, dad,” said Ming Luchuan.
“I had no idea that you called us back for dinner for this.”

“You don’t even consider taking the slightest initiative when it comes to something as significant as this.” Ming Qin sounded as if he was grumbling, but he quickly smiled and continued, “It’s been nearly two years since Ming Yan introduced the Emotions line, when pheromone perfumes upended the entire traditional perfume market and raised customer expectations.
But despite numerous companies releasing new products, the perfume market has remained absolutely stagnant.
Everyone is looking forward to our talented perfumer’s new products.”

Having been praised so highly, Xia Wennan subconsciously felt a little flustered

“It’s imperative that Xishui Hall hits the market by the end of the year,” said Ming Qin.
“We’ll bring out the big guns and invite Yang Youming to come endorse it.”

Yang Youming was one of the film industry’s very best alpha actors, with a slew of local and international awards to his name and virtually all his endorsements being top of the line international luxury goods.
Leaving aside the issue of endorsement fees, he was extremely cautious when it came to accepting endorsements, and partnership talks were no easy task.

“It would also be in time for the International Perfume Awards next March.
I’m confident that Wennan’s Xishui Hall will be the second Tears of the Enemy.”

Xia Wennan didn’t speak.
His fingertips brushed against Ming Luchuan’s thigh beneath the table.

As Ming Qin talked, Ming Luchuan lightly swirled the wine glass in his palm.
He then set his drink down and said, “I think we can wait a little longer.”

“What are we waiting for?” Ming Qin asked, smiling.

“Wennan is creating another perfume, one that belongs in the same line as Xishui Hall,” said Ming Luchuan.
“He hopes that they can hit the market at the same time.”

Ming Qin nodded, and asked Xia Wennan, “How much longer do you need, Wennan?”

Xia Wennan took a deep breath before bluntly stating, “I’m not sure.”

Ming Qin stared at him mutely.

A moment of silence descended over the dining table.
Ming Siyan appeared to be in a dour mood today, and seeing that Ming Qin wasn’t speaking, he too kept silent.
This went on for ten minutes until Yin Zejing spoke, “Can we eat first? I’m starving.”

Ming Qin turned to him.

“Why don’t you guys talk it over after dinner?” said Yin Zejing.
“You’ll have more than enough time.”

Ming Qin nodded then.
He smiled and said, “Well, let’s eat first.”

Sure enough, Ming Qin no longer brought up work-related affairs during the meal, casually chatting with Xia Wennan and the others instead, and also asking how Xia Wennan’s treatment had been going lately.

Xia Wennan gave a brief account of what the doctor had informed him in his last therapy session.

“Did you remember something, Wennan?” Ming Siyan enquired.

Xia Wennan turned to him.
“I didn’t, actually—it was just a feeling.”

“A feeling?” Ming Siyan was seemingly confused.

“It wasn’t any one event or person,” said Xia Wennan.
“I just suddenly felt that this particular situation was familiar, and the mood then was familiar, like I’ve experienced it before.”

“So that’s how Xishui Hall came to be?” said Yin Zhejing.

Xia Wennan gave a nod.

At that point, dinner was just about over, with everyone having set down their chopsticks.
Ming Qin slowly sipped his wine, then asked Xia Wennan, “Since Xishui Hall is an alpha pheromone perfume, are you planning on an omega perfume for the same line? Something that’s highly compatible with Xishui Hall’s pheromones, perhaps?”

Xia Wennan shook his head.
“No, it’ll be a beta perfume.”

Ming Qin abruptly stilled, his wine glass pressed against his lips.
Tilting his head slightly, he studied Xia Wennan and enquired, “Beta? Betas don’t have pheromones though?”

For a very long time, Xia Wennan himself had no clue what the beta perfume in his notes was supposed to mean.
Even until now, he didn’t have a clear concept of it, but he vaguely sensed that he’d be able to figure out what it was he wanted down the line.
Just like Xishui Hall, the possibility that the yet-to-be-named beta perfume had already been well-thought-out prior to this was high; it and Xishui Hall should be displayed on the same counter, the two different fragrances complimenting each other.

“You’re right,” he said to Ming Qin, “but aren’t betas our pheromone perfume’s biggest consumer group?”

Ming Qin gingerly put his wine glass down.“Betas use pheromone perfumes in the hopes of impersonating alphas or omegas.
They have zero need for a conventional beta perfume.”

Xia Wennan opened his mouth to refute him.

Yet Ming Qin was already addressing Ming Luchuan, saying, “Luchuan, come to my study.
I need to speak with you.”

☆ ☆ ☆

t/n — a/b/o au yang youming cameo!! his name here is spelt with different characters though, 杨佑铭, as opposed to the star around the sun’s 杨悠明

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