When Xia Wennan heard that Ming Qin was done eating, without a second thought, he said, “Let’s get going then.
We can head back and rest for a bit before getting back to work.”

During that lunch break, Xia Wennan relinquished his lounge to Ming Qin and sat on his desk chair, leaning backwards and legs up on the table as he napped with his arms crossed over his chest.

In the hazy midst of sleep, Xia Wennan vaguely sensed someone watching him, and when he opened his eyes, it was to the sight of Ming Qin standing right in front of him, staring at him unblinkingly with a morose face.

Xia Wennan gave a start and involuntarily kicked at the table, which sent his chair sliding backwards and bumping against the floor-to-ceiling window.
Once he returned to his senses, Xia Wennan patted his chest and said, “What are you doing?”

Ming Qin folded his arms over his chest and took a deep breath, saying, “Xia Wennan, be honest with me, am I old?”

Xia Wennan let out a perplexed, “Huh?” which, after some thought, was followed by, “You’re not old, really? People in their fifties are considered middle-aged nowadays.”

“That’s not what I mean at all,” said Ming Qin.
“I wanted to ask if I’m old, as an omega—am I no longer attractive to alphas?”

Xia Wennan sat up straighter in his seat.
He clutched a handful of his unkempt hair, his face contorted in bewilderment.
“I’m a beta—you should be asking alphas.”

Ming Qin said nothing and averted his gaze to the window.

When Xia Wennan became a little more awake, he realised how unseemly it looked to still be sitting while Ming Qin stood in front of him.
He then stood up, leaned against the edge of his desk, and asked, “Are you angry?”

“Hm?” Ming Qin turned to look at him.

“Did my words at the cafeteria earlier upset you?” asked Xia Wennan.

Ming Qin’s tone was level as he replied, “No.”

Xia Wennan mentally organised his words before saying, “I was just running my mouth.
If you want to find your alpha true love, then go for it.
Just be a little less calculative.”

“When did I tell you that I wanted to find my alpha true love?”

“Have you not moved on from Yin Zejing, then?” As soon as the question left Xia Wennan’s mouth, Ming Qin’s face immediately turned ugly, so he quickly continued, “He doesn’t deserve you.
You should find someone better.”

Ming Qin took a deep breath, as if he was holding back his emotions.
“In your eyes, I’m someone who can’t be without an alpha, aren’t I?”

“But—you haven’t been looking too good recently,” Xia Wennan cautiously ventured.

“Sichen’s currently in the hospital, and we have no idea what’s wrong with him,” said Ming Qin.
“How do you think I’m supposed to look?”

“You haven’t gone to the hospital to keep Sichen company today though? Besides, Sichen has been like this for more than a day or two—” Xia Wennan cut himself off here, thinking that the rest of his sentence might be a little too much, and he wasn’t sure if voicing it was the right thing to do.
But, as he stared at Ming Qin, he couldn’t resist the urge to vent some of his emotions, so he continued, “If nobody had rebuked you to your face, would you have stopped caring whether Sichen lives or dies and looked away from his fate?”

Ming Qin glared at him.
“Sichen is my son!”

Since Xia Wennan had already said what he’d said, he simply stopped concealing his opinions and expressed them openly: “So what if he’s your son? The only person you care about is yourself.
We all know that Ming Luchuan isn’t your biological son—despite growing up by your side, you didn’t spare him any love and care, and now he doesn’t even give a damn about it.
But Sichen is ill, there’s something wrong with his head—aside from you, his dad, who can he rely on? Have you truly been dependable to him? If it weren’t for Lu Huaiye berating you, would you even consider why Sichen’s condition would deteriorate? Or did you consider your job done when you allowed Siyan to carry on bringing Sichen to his monthly checkups?”

Ming Qin lowered his head slightly as he fixed Xia Wennan with a wide-eyed glare, his expression a little vicious.

Feeling emboldened in that moment, Xia Wennan lifted his chin high and returned Ming Qin’s glare with a haughty gaze.
“Let me guess your thoughts.
Ming Sichen became mentally disabled as a result of his car accident, so you fed him, you housed him, you hired a nanny to care for him twenty-four hours a day, which means that you, as a father, have already done your best.
You have two more sons anyway.
There’s someone to inherit your Ming Yan anyway.
You have an endless amount of money to spend.
You have young alpha boyfriends.
At this point, for a beta son, what more can you do, right?”

After letting out in one breath, Xia Wennan paused, reached for the cup on his table and took a drink.

Ming Qin slowly said, “Do you think what you’ve said to me is appropriate?”

Xia Wennan said, “Who cares about that? What are you gonna do about it? At worst, I won’t work for Ming Yan anymore, but there are tons of companies who are crying and begging me to join.
Ming Luchuan and I can also leave and start our own company.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll even be crying and begging for me to return.
Why should I be afraid of you?” The barrage of words managed to convince even Xia Wennan himself, and he felt virtually unstoppable.
“I only respect you because you’re Ming Luchuan’s dad—but are you his dad? Have you ever performed your fatherly duties? I’m telling you now, no one will like you.
You’re the type of person who refuses to give your heart to others, so no one will give their heart to you either.
You think you’ll always stay young and beautiful? When you’re old, you’ll be just like Sichen, with only a nanny to accompany you for the rest of your days!”

Ming Qin’s face divulged no emotion, his expression barely budging, but his chest was heaving and his face had a sickly pallor to it.
After directing a sharp glare at Xia Wennan for a few more moments, he turned around and left.

Xia Wennan watched his retreating figure as he opened the office door, the straightness of his skinny back, his steady footsteps as he walked away.

Despite the fact that the office door remained open, Xia Wennan could no longer see Ming Qin’s back.
He could only make out the neither slow nor quick sound of Ming Qin’s footsteps reverberating in the corridor gradually growing further away, followed by a distant ding of the elevator.

Xia Wennan sat in his comfortable desk chair, picked up his glass of water, and took a few sips.

Deep down, he felt pleased, and the feeling pushed him to recline against the back of his chair, cross one leg over the other, and sway from side to side.

The sensation lasted about one or two minutes before unease gradually filled his chest.

As Xia Wennan picked up his glass and swallowed several more mouthfuls of water, his thoughts flitted back and forth between the things he’d spouted earlier and the expression on Ming Qin’s face right as he left.
In the end, he got to his feet and left for Ming Luchuan’s office.

They had barely made a dent into their lunch break; Ming Luchuan was still napping in his lounge.

Xia Wennan quietly opened the door and entered the room, surprised that he hadn’t roused Ming Luchuan.
He guessed that the man was probably tired from the previous night’s overindulgence, and as that thought passed through his mind, Xia Wennan suddenly felt a little smug.
Approaching the bed quietly, he removed his shoes and crawled onto Ming Luchuan’s bed, still wearing a suit from head to toe.

Ming Luchuan awoke as soon as the bed shook; his eyes flew open and his pupils constricted, before gradually relaxing and reaching out a hand to Xia Wennan.

Xia Wennan burrowed into his arms and laid down beside him.

Ming Luchuan seemed not entirely awake.
“What’s the matter?” he asked, raising his hand to his brow and pushing his hair back.

Recalling what he’d come here for, Xia Wennan said, “I cursed out your dad until he walked out.”

Ming Luchuan looked at him.
“What did you say to him?”

Xia Wennan thought back to what he said and curled up in mild embarrassment, burying half his face in Ming Luchuan’s blanket until only his eyes were exposed.
“I told him that he isn’t sincere towards others, so no one will be sincere towards him, and that he’ll definitely spend his final years alone.”

Ming Luchuan fell silent.

“Was that out of line?” Xia Wennan asked.

“No,” said Ming Luchuan.
“You’re quite correct.”

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