When Xia Wennan awoke the next day, he found himself in bed with Ming Luchuan.
He had been sleeping with his back turned to Ming Luchuan, tightly wrapped up in his embrace.

In truth, he couldn’quite say that it was a comfortable position, but they had stayed like that from midnight until well after eleven o’clock the next morning.

Xia Wennan’s body ached all over, but the most painful part of his body was the wound on his nape.

He lifted a hand to touch his nape, but the moment he moved his arm, Ming Luchuan hugged him even tighter from behind, his scorching breath grazing the top of Xia Wennan’s head.

Xia Wennan struggled to put a little distance between them.
When he managed to touch his nape with his palm, he could feel the unmistakable, deep cuts.
Fortunately, the bleeding had already stopped.

Ming Luchuan hauled him back into his arms, his palms glued to Xia Wennan’s chest.

Slightly distressed, Xia Wennan asked, “You’re not going to keep being in rut, are you?”

It took a moment before Ming Luchuan rasped out, “No.”

Xia Wennan said, “Luckily, you’re not like those omegas—once in heat, they’ll never see the end of it.”

“…Do you hate me?” His questioning tone was tinged with grievance.

“That’s not it,” said Xia Wennan.
“I just have more important things to do.
I can’t keep wasting time with you in bed.” Afterwards, Xia Wennan shrugged off Ming Luchuan’s hands, rolled over, and sat up.

When he moved his stiff neck, the movement pulled at the wound on his nape yet again, and couldn’t help but say, “Why can’t you be a little gentler.”

Ming Luchuan sounded calm as he replied,“I can’t control it.
I want to swallow you whole.”


“What?” Xia Wennan actually felt embarrassed when he heard Ming Luchuan’s words, but he stubbornly maintained his grudging expression.
“You wouldn’t be able to mark me even if you bit into my flesh and swallowed my neck.”

Yet after uttering these words, Xia Wennan became aware of Ming Luchuan’s silence, so he elbowed the man and added, “But so what? There are a lot of beta couples who can’t ever mark each other, just like how there are a lot of AO couples who get marked, divorce, and then have to have the mark surgically removed.
Won’t that be a complete waste of time?”

Ming Luchuan followed him and sat up.
He stroked Xia Wennan’s hair before pressing head into his own shoulder and tightly hugging him.
When he let go, he said, “Let’s go report last night’s car to the police.”

“No,” Xia Wennan declined.
“I have more important things to do.”

“Hm?”

“From today onwards, I’ll be working overtime at the company.”

Despite it being so late in the day, Xia Wennan insisted on returning to the company.
He locked himself up in his laboratory and immersed himself in the realm of fragrances.

All kinds of scents existed in this world, and everyone had different preferences, but the overall perception of smell was uniform.
Therefore, these natural or perhaps chemically synthesised raw ingredients with pleasant scents were called fragrances.

What emotion each fragrance portrayed was largely determined by people’s subjective perceptions, and the complex fragrances contained in perfumes were interpreted in a variety of complex ways, as if each scent might illustrate a beautiful painting.
However, everyone’s perception of smell differed objectively, to the point that the majority of customers preferred a perfume for its scent alone, without expecting to sense any particular emotion from it.

Pheromones, on the other hand, were an entirely separate existence.
Pheromones held emotional information that was passed along between alphas and omegas.
In some ways, the emotional information it conveyed was unrelated to the perfume itself.
Each person possessed only one type of pheromone scent, but it held a wide range of emotions, both complicated and ever-changing.

For a long time now, the primary challenge of pheromone perfumes lay not in their research and development, but rather in their integration.
Pheromones contained emotions, and combining them with a perfume relied on the perfumer’s subjective interpretation of a fragrance, which would then require consumer acceptance.
This resonance was, in essence, quite difficult to establish.

Xia Wennan, however, was able to pull it off.
His identity as a beta liberated him from the constraints of pheromones, and his sensitivity to scent bestowed upon him the gift of perfumery.
He utilised the emotions conveyed by pheromones to paint a picture for his perfumes, and the perfume user could then truly see and accept that image.
Achieving that resonance with so many people—Xia Wennan was an irreplaceable industry genius.


Xia Wennan closed his eyes and sought out the purest trigger that touched his heart.

At the end of the work day, he told all his staff to leave, which then left him all by himself.

After another ten minutes or so, Ming Luchuan showed up and opened the door to his lab.

Xia Wennan looked up.
“What brings you here?”

Ming Luchuan approached him.“I checked out that car.
It had a fake licence plate.
The original vehicle was stolen and rented out unofficially.”

Xia Wennan’s brow furrowed in response to his words.

“The police tracked it down, but as the car was rented through illegal channels, they couldn’t find any information on the person who rented it.”

Xia Wennan gave it some thought, then suddenly asked, “If we’d gone to the police last night, is there a chance they’d have been able to track down the guy before he returned the car?”

In lieu of answering Xia Wennan, Ming Luchuan simply sat down on a nearby chair.

There was no point in talking about this now.
Last night, Ming Luchuan had been in rut, and they’d both cast this issue aside.
Today, they messed around in bed until almost noon, and Ming Luchuan didn’t go to investigate the car until this afternoon.

Xia Wennan asked, “We don’t know their identity, but their appearance was visible, right?”

“It was an alpha,” said Ming Luchuan.
“He doesn’t seem to be from the area.”


Xia Wennan had no leads.

“How’s work?” Ming Luchuan asked him.

Xia Wennan took the pen in his hand and gently pressed it to his lips.
“Baby steps.” Something like inspiration couldn’t be rushed.

Ming Luchuan stared at him.

“Have you eaten?” Xia Wennan asked.

Ming Luchuan nodded.

“Why don’t you head home? I’m going to be here for a while.”

“On your own?”

“Mm-hm.”

“Do you plan on going home tonight?”

“We’ll see in a bit.”

“I’ll keep you company.”


Upon hearing this, Xia Wennan turned to face him.
“Why? I’m not scared of ghosts or anything.” After the words left his mouth, Xia Wennan couldn’t help but cast a peek outside; he hadn’t expected to see any ghosts, but having abruptly attracted his attention to the matter made him feel a little terrified of the desolate corridor.

And yet, as soon as he lifted his head, he noticed that someone was standing outside his lab.

Xia Wennan inwardly jumped in fright, but in the next second, he saw that the figure standing outside was none other than Ming Qin.

Ming Luchuan followed Xia Wennan’s line of sight and also saw Ming Qin.

The both of them rose to their feet and made their way over to the laboratory entrance one after another.

Ming Luchuan opened the door, stepped out, and said to Ming Qin, “Dad, what are you doing here?”

Xia Wennan trailed behind Ming Luchuan and looked at Ming Qin without speaking.

“I heard that Wennan is working overtime today, so I came by to see how he was doing,” Ming Qin explained.

Xia Wennan and Ming Luchuan exchanged a glance.

Ming Qin laughed.
“Don’t worry about me.
I was just bored, so I wanted to drop by and have a look.” He entered the lab and proceeded towards the wall of fragrances, where he came to a halt.
“It’s been a while since I felt like this,” he said, looking up at the wall.
“The current Ming Yan has clearly changed a lot, yet it’s as though I can still see the shadows of the past.”

Ming Luchuan watched him for a while before saying, “Dad, you’ve been drinking.”

Ming Qin smiled without responding.

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