Chapter 20: Not meet
He Yunsheng stood in front of He Yan, blocking her.
Fan Cheng looked somewhat surprised.
He Yan and He Yunsheng, this brother and sister pair, had always had a bad relationship, and he knew that. In the long time he had known He Yan, he had almost never seen them together. Even on the rare occasion they met, they were often arguing.
But looking at He Yunsheng’s current appearance, it didn’t seem like they were fighting. Instead, it looked like he was protecting He Yan. Had something happened between them?
He then turned his gaze to He Yan. The young girl stared back at him, her eyes clear and honest, without much emotion. It didn’t seem like she had any lingering feelings for him.
Fan Cheng took another step forward, showing concern and eagerness, and asked, “I heard that you fell seriously ill some time ago. Are you feeling better now…? Do you need me to have some supplements sent to your home? What do you like? You seem to have lost some weight; I’m really worried.”
This man, with his decent looks and luxurious attire, being so caring, if it were truly Miss He in this situation, she would probably have been moved to tears by him.
He Yan hadn’t had a chance to speak yet, but He Yunsheng, afraid that she might be swayed by Fan Cheng’s words, quickly interjected, “Don’t listen to his nonsense! Don’t forget who caused you to fall seriously ill in the first place and the things they said in front of the Fan family’s gate! This person is just a fraud!”
He Yan had already heard about this incident from He Yunsheng before. Miss He went to seek an explanation from her beloved after hearing he was getting married, but she was kicked out by the servants without even seeing Fan Cheng himself. That was what made her feel utterly hopeless and fall seriously ill.
Hearing this, Fan Cheng felt resentful towards He Yunsheng for meddling in his affairs, but on the surface, he appeared sorrowful. “Ah He, it was my parents’ decision to arrange this marriage for me. I had no say in it. However, my feelings for you are known to you. Why listen to outsiders trying to sow discord between us?”
“Who are you calling an outsider?” He Yunsheng was furious. “I am her real younger brother! What relationship do you have with her? Don’t think you can take advantage of her!”
He Yan patted He Yunsheng’s shoulder, signaling for him to calm down. She then looked at Fan Cheng and said politely, “Thank you, Young Master Fan, for your concern. I am perfectly fine, and the illness you mentioned was just a minor cold. My younger brother tends to speak without thinking due to his young age.”
Fan Cheng didn’t expect her to say this, and for a moment, he was at a loss for words.
“The past is already like smoke, and now Young Master Fan is married. I shouldn’t get too close to you, lest it causes grief to your wife. In the future, let’s just go our separate ways and not meet again.”
He Yan felt that she had said these words very thoughtfully, without harming Fan Cheng’s pride. She then looked at He Yunsheng, who seemed to be satisfied with her words, as if he were a victorious rooster, he looked especially pleased with himself as he stared at Fan Cheng.
Fan Cheng carefully observed He Yan.
In truth, his encounter with He Yan today was purely coincidental. She had twisted her foot during a spring outing, and he had kindly arranged for someone to give her a ride.
To be fair, He Yan is quite beautiful, but not to the point of being stunning. People from families like theirs have seen all kinds of women. He Yan was simply attracted to his family background and wanted to live a luxurious life. For him, having a good-looking woman with a clean background is like having a piece of fat meat delivered to his mouth; he wouldn’t miss the chance. A woman with good looks and a clean background, he thought, would be suitable to become his concubine.
Who would have known that He Yan was aiming for the position of his legal wife?
How could he marry the daughter of a city military official? He Yan must be being delusional. But in order to deceive her and get her into his hands, he still went along with her, giving her some cheap cosmetics and jewelry to make her feel happy.
Who would have known that one day He Yan found out about his impending marriage and caused a scene at his residence? The woman he married was the eldest daughter of a Cheng Wulang*, and if her father found out about this, he might cancel the marriage. So Fan Cheng had his servants chase He Yan away.
* title used in ancient China to refer to an official who assists a higher-ranking official in their duties
It was said that He Yan was very heartbroken at that time and almost tried to commit suicide right in front of his house. Fan Cheng couldn’t be bothered to deal with her then. And then, he got married and took a lovely wife into his arms, and everything went smoothly.
After the honeymoon period, Fan Cheng’s old habit resurfaced. But his new wife was fierce and strong-willed, and she kept a tight leash on him. He couldn’t go to brothels or visit other courtesans; he even had to dismiss some concubines. At this time, Fan Cheng started to miss the delicate and pampering He Yan.
He Yan’s temperament was different from his fierce wife’s; she was as delicate as a little girl and sometimes showed a bit of a coquettish side, which was quite adorable. Fan Cheng sent people to inquire about He Yan’s situation and learned that after leaving his residence, she fell seriously ill, and since then, she rarely went out alone, only occasionally going to the shop across from the Drunken Jade Pavilion with her younger brother to sell some Da Nai cakes.
Who would have thought that he would meet her here today?
He Yan seemed different from before.
She looked at him with an expression that wasn’t as flattering and coquettish as before, but rather straightforward, which surprised him. Her features were the same, but there was a bit more liveliness, and she even had a touch of charisma that she didn’t have before. This charisma made her beautiful face look different, and even the polite smile on her lips was captivating and hard to look away from.
There seemed to be a hint of transformation.
“It turns out you are still angry with me,” Fan Cheng said dejectedly.
He was certain that He Yan still had feelings for him. How could she, who used to like him so much, suddenly give up on him? As long as he apologized to her like before and gave her some gifts, she would forgive him. Such women, just a few sweet words and promises, and they would be devoted to him.
He Yan didn’t know what Fan Cheng was thinking. She had made herself quite clear, but it seemed like Fan Cheng couldn’t understand? She turned back and asked the old tailor, “Have you taken the measurements?”
The old tailor nodded in confirmation.
“This is the deposit,” He Yan placed the silver coins on the table, “when will the clothes be ready?”
“Spring and summer clothes can be picked up in twenty days, but winter clothes take a bit longer, about a month.”
“Okay,” He Yan smiled, “we will come to pick them up in twenty days. Please make them beautiful,” she pointed at He Yunsheng, “children like to look good.”
“Who likes to look good?” He Yunsheng grumbled.
The old tailor smiled and nodded.
He Yan and He Yunsheng walked out of the tailor shop, and He Yan simply nodded at Fan Cheng without saying anything.
Fan Cheng wanted to say something more, but the young girl had already walked away with a decisive stride. Instead, He Yunsheng turned his head and secretly waved his fist at Fan Cheng, his gaze full of warning.
“Hmph,” Fan Cheng sneered.
“Young master, Miss He’s attitude towards you…” the servant grumbled indignantly.
“It’s nothing,” Fan Cheng waved his hand, “women, they just throw tantrums sometimes.”
Today’s He Yan was indeed very different from the past. Her distant and aloof demeanor was really intriguing. Fan Cheng suddenly thought that he had spent so much time on He Yan, but in fact, he hadn’t gained much benefit.
How could he let a duck that was already in his mouth fly away? Since they met here today, why not continue their previous relationship and make something beautiful together?
A confident smile appeared on Fan Cheng’s face.