Ming Luchuan stood up and gently patted the crown of Xia Wennan’s head before following Ming Qin out of the dining room.

In an instant, only three people remained at the dining table; Xia Wennan, Ming Siyan, and Yin Zejing.

Ming Siyan set his chopsticks down, then looked up at Xia Wennan and said, “Wennan, I’m going back to my room.”

Xia Wennan nodded.

Ming Siyan got up and left.

As a result, only Xia Wennan and Yin Zejing were left in the dining room.

Yin Zejing, who appeared to be in a pretty good mood, raised his wine glass towards Xia Wennan and said, “Congratulations, Wennan.”

Xia Wennan raised a finger and pointed upstairs, saying, “Didn’t you hear what dad said just now? There’s not much to congratulate me on right now, is there?”

The slight smile on Yin Zejing’s face didn’t fade.
“No matter what he says, you deserve the congratulations.”

Xia Wennan reluctantly lifted his wine glass, clinked their glasses, and tilted his glass till the wine wet his lips, without swallowing a single drop.

Yin Zejing, on the other hand, drained the contents of his glass.
After putting it down, he leaned over and whispered to Xia Wennan, “Qin ge’s getting on in years.
Many of his ideas aren’t suitable for the company’s growth.”

Xia Wennan said nothing.
It wasn’t that he couldn’t understand where Ming Qin was coming from, but ruthfully, until now, with how Ming Yan’s sales were on a decline, he was unsure whether persisting with his idea was the best move.

Yin Zejing grabbed the wine bottle and poured himself half a glass of wine.
“You have to know that, currently, there’s only one Xia Wennan in the entire perfume industry,” he added as he drank.
“When pheromone perfumes are concerned, you having ideas and sticking to them amounts to so much more than you without them.
If I were Qin ge, I’d definitely give you my unconditional support.”

“Why do you guys have so much faith in me?” Xia Wennan was a little perplexed.
Presently, the only ones who had smelled Xishui Hall aside from his colleagues at the lab, were him and Ming Luchuan, and yet everyone was unfalteringly convinced that the perfumes would achieve high sales upon hitting the market.

Yin Zejing swirled his glass.
“Because you’re Xia Wennan, duh.
The gap between a genius and an ordinary guy is insurmountable.
Unfortunately, Qin ge doesn’t understand that, because he was once a genius too, in a way, but his era has long passed.”

As soon as he finished speaking, Yin Zejing’s phone suddenly rang.
He set down his drink and answered the call, tone indolent as he said, “Hey—”

It was noisy, on the other end; even Xia Wennan, who sat across the dining table from Yin Zejing, could faintly hear the raucous music.

“Right now?” said Yin Zejing.
“I’ve had a few drinks, there’s no way I’m driving.”

Xia Wennan had no idea what the caller had said.

Yin Zejing clutched at his hair.
“Okay, I’ll take a taxi.
See you in half an hour.” He then hung up, stood up, and said to Xia Wennan, “I’ve gotta go, my friend invited me out for drinks.”

Thus, in the end, Xia Wennan was the only one left in the dining room.

Having noticed the aunt peeking in through the kitchen door, Xia Wennan voluntarily stood up and left the kitchen so that the aunt could clean the table.

When he got to the deserted living room, he sat on the sofa, and reached for the TV remote.
But in the end, he lost all interest in turning on the TV, sighing as he leaned back on the sofa.

Where are the Ming Family’s manners? Xia Wennan thought.
How could they abandon a guest in their own home?

Bored out of his mind, he got to his feet, wanting to go up to the second floor and wait in Ming Luchuan’s bedroom.

As he slowly made his way up the stairs, Xia Wennan heard a muffled voice coming from the third floor.
There was only one voice; it sounded like Ming Qin had raised his, but immediately afterwards, the silence was reinstated.

Xia Wennan stopped in his tracks and, struck by a wave of curiosity, he quietly ran darted up to the third floor, fully intending to eavesdrop on Ming Qin and Ming Luchuan’s conversation.

The third floor had always been Ming Qin’s domain, and as far as Xia Wennan could remember, he had never gone up there.
Right as he set foot on the third floor and stuck his head out, he spotted a person in the corridor and suffered a fright, immediately retracting his head.
Afterwards, his mind slowly caught up to him as he realised that that person wasn’t Ming Qin, but Ming Siyan.

Xia Wennan looked up again and saw Ming Siyan crouching outside the door, his shiftiness giving away the fact that he was eavesdropping.

Ming Siyan, who had also seen Xia Wennan, nervously raised a finger to his lips, signalling for Xia Wennan to keep quiet.

Xia Wennan covered his mouth before slowly slinking to Ming Siyan’s side, following in his stead and pressing an ear to the door.

The muffled voice he could barely hear from the corridor before became more audible.

“I don’t think it’s necessary to develop a beta perfume,” said Ming Qin.
“If Xia Wennan insists, then create an omega perfume that meets today’s market demand.”

A moment later, Ming Luchuan’s voice resounded, “Why don’t you have faith in Wennan? It was him who developed pheromone perfumes, him who changed the entire perfume industry, so it’s fitting that he would know the market best.”

“Not every perfume in the Emotions line made a big splash in the market.
Why wouldn’t he make mistakes?”

“But our current primary consumer group for pheromone perfumes are betas,” said Ming Luchuan.
“He knows what betas need.”

“He doesn’t,” Ming Qin’s tone was a tad harsh.
“Maybe he does—but he has a personal agenda.”

“What are you saying?”

“Isn’t Xishui Hall inspired by your pheromones?”

Ming Luchuan didn’t speak.

Ming Qin paused briefly before continuing, “I understand that, as a beta, Wennan wants to have his own perfume to take an omega’s place by your side.”

Ming Luchuan remained silent.

“But there’s no market demand,” said Ming Qin.
“Moreover, he’s sick right now—his memories aren’t intact, and he’s not even sure what kind of beta perfume he wants to create.
Are we going to have to wait indefinitely?”

“I believe in Wennan.
We can wait for him.”

Xia Wennan’s heart thumped a few times after suddenly hearing this sentence coming from the other side of the door.
He couldn’t help but cast a glance towards Ming Siyan next to him, wondering if the other could hear his heartbeat.

Ming Siyan was coincidentally glancing at him too.
For some reason, he let out a sigh and reached out to hold Xia Wennan’s hand.

Xia Wennan quickly pretended to unintentionally dodge his hand.

“This isn’t a game,” Ming Qin said.
“I can’t agree.
Ming Yan is my lifeblood.
As I’m an outsider, I see things clearer than you and Wennan.
I don’t approve of this.”

“I’m Ming Yan’s president,” Ming Luchuan’s tone was calm, but he sounded firm.

“I own the vast majority of Ming Yan’s shares! Without my appointing you, you’re nothing!” Ming Qin’s dissatisfaction was palpable.

A brief silence fell upon the room.

Skulking around outside and listening in on their argument made Xia Wennan feel a little ashamed.
He couldn’t help but look at Ming Siyan, abruptly wondering if he knew that Ming Luchuan wasn’t his biological older brother.

At this moment, Ming Qin spoke, “If you’re the type of president who handles significant company matters like Xia Wennan would—trifling away with his little love tricks—then stop.
Hand over the company to Sichen.”

Ming Siyan’s eyes abruptly widened; Xia Wennan suspected that he wanted nothing more than to rush inside and tell Ming Qin that he was ready for the job.

“Fine,” said Ming Luchuan.

Xia Wennan and Ming Siyan were taken aback.
Ming Qin was most likely the same, as Xia Wennan couldn’t hear his voice.

“I can quit right this second,” Ming Luchuan continued.
“Ming Yan can launch Xishui Hall whenever you like, but I’ll quit, and I’ll set up a whole new place for Wennan so that he can continue developing his beta perfume.”

Xia Wennan’s breath caught in his throat.

A moment passed.
Ming Qin remarked coldly, “Are you threatening me?”

Ming Luchuan huffed a laugh.
“That’s right, dad.”

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