Ch.81 – One-way Passage

 

“It was no trouble,” Ming Luchuan said, seemingly unperturbed.
“Nothing but swatting away a fly.”

He Yufeng responded with a laugh, then nodded and said, “Yeah, that was quite a despicable method.”

Xia Wennan couldn’t help himself from piping up, “Senior He, who do you suppose would do something so vile? Were they targeting you or me?”

He Yufeng cocked his head slightly, as if he was thinking about it in earnest.
“Sorry, Wennan.
I truly have no clue either.
But there’s a chance that they’re targeting Moze’s new pheromone perfumes.”

Xia Wennan gritted his teeth.

“Speaking of which, we haven’t congratulated you yet,” Ming Luchuan interjected, holding out a hand.

He Yufeng shook his hand and smiled bitterly.
“It hasn’t undergone market testing yet, so there’s no need for that.
Everything is in the hands of the customers.”

As soon as He Yufeng’s words left his mouth, there was a sound of glass shattering on the living room floor, followed by Ming Qin’s quiet berating, “What’s gotten into you? Such a klutz.”

Xia Wennan turned around to see pieces of broken glass all around Ming Qin.

Ming Qin’s voice wasn’t loud, and he spoke to Yin Zejing in an airy tone, “Go clean it up.”

Yin Zejing was visibly taken aback.

Before Yin Zejing could move, however, Duan Wenlong intervened, saying, “There’s no need to, I’ll have someone else clean it up.
How could I allow my guests to do it?”

Having said that, Duan Wenlong had no choice but to greet Yin Zejing.
“This little brother is?”

Duan Wenlong had never met Yin Zejing, but he was aware that Ming Qin had an alpha boyfriend who was still a student.
When he first laid eyes on the unfamiliar young man at Ming Qin’s side earlier today, he had a guess, but he never asked him outright.
He didn’t agree with Ming Qin’s actions, but he disdained young alphas who ran off to be someone’s kept man even more.

Up until now, Duan Wenlong had been skirting around Yin Zejing.
He was left with no choice but to greet him amiably.

Ming Qin appeared entirely unfazed as he explained, “He’s a student I’m sponsoring.”

On the inside, Duan Wenlong grimaced, but outwardly, he kept a smile on his face.
“That’s great.” He didn’t even ask for Yin Zejing’s name.
When he looked up and saw Ming Luchuan, he beckoned them over and nonchalantly changed the subject.

After conversing for a while, Ming Siyan and his fiancé, Lu Huaiye, also came over.
The Ming and Duan families had been acquainted for many years.Given that both families had the opportunity to get together today, it was no surprise that they didn’t run out of topics to discuss for quite some time.

Xia Wennan stood to the side, but the more he listened, the sleepier he became.
He furtively took a half-step back, and when he realised that no one was paying attention to him, he silently observed everyone who were exchanging pleasantries.

Yin Zejing was similarly standing behind Ming Qin, seeming somewhat absent-minded.
However, he wasn’t looking around the room, merely staring at his phone with his head down.

Meanwhile, Lu Huaiye was in a daze, his gaze locked on Ming Siyan’s nape.


It had been a long time since Xia Wennan last saw Lu Huaiye at the Ming house.
He had always thought that Lu Huaiye had a complicated look in his eyes whenever he looked at Ming Siyan, so he couldn’t help but scrutinise the man’s gaze.

Lu Huaiye became aware of Xia Wennan’s stare soon after.
He gave Xia Wennan a slight nod and flashed him a polite smile.

When nearly all of the guests were present, their conversation came to an end.

The dinner party began.
Duan Wenlong expressed his gratitude to the guests, then sat down in front of the piano and personally played a piece for everyone.

Although Xia Wennan didn’t have a high level of appreciation for music and the arts, he knew that Duan Wenlong’s piano playing was incredibly pleasant to the ear, and after listening to it for a while, he and the other guests all took it in with relish.

While Duan Wenlong played the piano, a young alpha stood nearby.
The alpha’s features didn’t mirror those of the Duan family, but his brows were prominent, his eyes bright.
His face contained a boyish air, but he was quite attractive.

Duan Wenlong concluded his piece and introduced the alpha to everyone as his student, who then played another piece.

To a layman like Xia Wennan, the young alpha’s skills were slightly inferior to Duan Wenlong’s, but his playing was quite good overall.

After the young man finished performing, he didn’t move away from the piano and began a soft and quiet composition.
Duan Wenlong encouraged the guests to make themselves comfortable, to which everyone wandered around and struck up conversations with one another, their focus drifting away from the young pianist.
The soothing tune served as background music for the dinner party.

At this moment, Duan Ning had gone and found Xia Wennan to ask if he would ever consider allowing Duan Ning to photograph him, his bearing sincere.

“What kind of photos do you want to take? What made you want to take pictures of me so suddenly?” Xia Wennan inquired curiously.

Duan Ning tugged at Xia Wennan’s hand, holding it until it was stretched out.
He gave Xia Wennan a once over, then mused, “Wennan, I’ve photographed a lot of models, and if they’re not alphas, they’re omegas.
I’ve basically never had the opportunity to photograph betas.”

Xia Wennan gave what Duan Ning said some thought and said, “Yeah, betas obviously make up the majority of the human population, but in every kind of clothing ad, you’d find that they virtually contain exclusively alphas and omegas.”

Duan Ning looked at him with a focused expression.
“I believe betas possess a different kind of beauty that is neither excessively masculine or effeminate.
It’s just right.”

Xia Wennan pondered over his words for a moment before saying, “You might as well tell me I’m handsome.”

Duan Ning smiled in response.
“You really are handsome, a handsomeness that transcends your gender.”

After Duan Ning finished speaking, Xia Wennan suddenly heard Ming Qin nearby say, “Bring me a glass of wine.”

His attention no longer on what Duan Ning was saying, Xia Wennan cast a furtive look in Ming Qin’s direction and saw that the man was addressing Yin Zejing.

“Qin ge, what are you doing?” Yin Zejing asked.

Ming Qin sounded somewhat cold as he said, “Just get me a glass of wine.
Why are you wasting time?”

Yin Zejing brought Ming Qin a glass of wine, which he grasped in his fingers and swirled lightly.
He didn’t drink a drop, instead carrying the wine over to the young man who was still playing the piano in a corner of the garden.


Yin Zejing did not follow him.
He stood motionless, staring at Ming Qin.

When Ming Qin arrived at the young alpha’s side, he remained mute and simply observed him play the piano.

It was a while before the focused alpha noticed that someone was watching him.
When he looked up and noticed Ming Qin, he immediately panicked and played a wrong note, but he quickly regained his tempo and smiled at Ming Qin somewhat bashfully.

Ming Qin reached out to pat his chest and returned his smile.
Soon after, he sat down on the stool next to him and set his wine glass down.
With his head slightly lowered, his body slowly swayed along to the gentle music.

After reaching the end of the song, the alpha stopped playing.
He then stood up in front of Ming Qin and said something to him.

Ming Qin remained sitting on the stool.
He looked up at the alpha, listened until he finished speaking, then rattled something off himself before handing him his wine.

The alpha, seeming somewhat nervous, downed the wine with a tilt of his head.

Ming Qi immediately smiled.

There were spotlights overhead, warm golden light shining down on their faces.
The alpha was young, probably barely twenty, his flawless and taut.
Under the lights, Ming Qin’s face was just as wrinkle-free, merely softened by the passage of time.
From his youth up till now, he had always been the most beautiful omega, and despite having three children, he had never been marked by any alpha.

From his posture to his demeanour, Ming Qin exuded charm and elegance.

Xia Wennan cast a glance towards Yin Zejing and saw that he was still rooted to the spot, staring at Ming Qin.
Moments later, as if he’d seen through Ming Qin, the corners of Yin Zejing’s mouth twisted into an artificial smile.

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