Edited by PohTahTvh
This Alpha’s name was Zheng Feiyi, Zheng Feiluan’s older brother. The two brothers looked similar, and there was not much difference between their heights as well. There was supposed to be harmony between the brothers, but from Jiusheng’s board of directors to the staff in the tearoom, everyone knew that they did not get along.
It was due to the fact that there could only be one heir to Jiusheng, and they both happened to be Alphas.
Before Zheng Feiluan was born, Zheng Feiyi had been the pampered darling of the family — an Alpha boy with Level 7 pheromones. Although the potency of the pheromones could not be considered to be that of a top-tier Alpha, among the similarly-aged heirs of other powerful families, there was no one comparable either. Everyone in the family all reckoned that he would be the future leader of Jiusheng, and his father had doted on him to extreme ends.
When Zheng Feiyi reached the age of five, growing up in a family that pampered him, his Omega father was once again pregnant.
Zheng Feiyi hoped for a soft, sweet Omega sister, or an obedient Beta sister. However, in the end, what he got was a younger brother that was an Alpha just like him. Joy and anxiety surged within his heart — what would be the level of his brother’s pheromones? Would it exceed Level 7?
No, it couldn’t be that coincidental.
He believed devoutly in that statement, until the second day of Zheng Feiluan’s birth.
That day, a one-page analysis of Zheng Feiluan’s pheromones was delivered to their father’s hand. Up until now, Zheng Feiyi could still remember the expression of delirious joy on his father’s face. That undisguised happiness was like a savage punch, mercilessly shattering his young heart. He was extremely terrified, and he had a premonition that there might be a change coming in his world. As such, when his father left the room, he secretly opened the report.
Pheromone Category: Alpha 482.
Potency: Level 9.
He rubbed his eyes in vain, staring at the horrifying “9” over and over again.
In one night, this belated Alpha younger brother, with his rare top-tier pheromones, snatched away everything he had, along with everything he was about to have.
In this world where the strong preyed on the weak, pheromones were the Alphas’ weapons for survival. Its importance to the heirs of rich, powerful family was particularly undeniable — two Alphas, comparably dominating and with equivalent power in decision making, were seated across each other at the negotiating table, but the one with the weaker pheromones would always be oppressed by the one with the stronger pheromones.
A potency of level 9, that was the right for an Alpha’s arrogance.
At Zheng Feiluan’s one-month celebration, their father announced this exciting good news. Once the news spread, no longer was there anyone who doubted Jiusheng’s bright future. Of course, no longer was there anyone who would treat the oldest son of the Zheng family as the heir.
Zheng Feiyi had fallen from the top of the mountain all the way down to the mud. He had lost a large portion of the pampering and attention that had once been showered upon him, and only his Omega father loved him just as always.
When they both grew up, their father kept a spot for him in Jiusheng, allowing him to temper himself. However, these resources, to an Alpha’s ambition, were extremely pathetic. It might as well be called a charitable action given to him by his father because of their relationship.
An arrow was not enough to train an archer, and ten soldiers were not enough to train a general. How could Zheng Feiyi not understand what his father intended? He knew that if there would be a day when he left voluntarily, not only would his father not stop him, he would even hand his spot over to Zheng Feiluan without hesitation.
But he was unwilling to be eliminated just like that.
He tried his best to grab every possible shield available to him, like the support of his Omega father, like fostering a force of his own in the dark, like… striving for the power behind this jade pendant.
“This is the birthday present I gave Qin Xuan. Why is it with you?” Zheng Feiluan asked coldly, his hands pressed against the desk as he stood up.
Zheng Feiyi sneered. At the same time, he swung his hand, and a clear, distinct sound came from the jade piece. It swung out with momentum, striking the desk, nearly flying onto the floor with its impact. “She’s a young girl in her early twenties, and she chose her birthday to confess to you. What about you? How rude you were to her, do you not remember anymore?!”
Zheng Feiluan was alarmed. “Confess?”
Qin Xuan… confessed to him?
The Qin family and the Zheng family shared a longstanding friendship. This generation, the Zheng family had two Alpha boys, Feiyi and Feiluan, and they had no Omegas. However, the Qin family had an Omega daughter on whom they lavished all their love on. Her name was Qin Xuan, and as a child, she was extremely sheltered and protected by her family; occasionally, her parents would bring her over to the Zheng family’s place to visit.
Last week, Qin Xuan had her twenty-second birthday, and she invited Zheng Feiluan out alone for dinner. Out of politeness, Zheng Feiluan gave her a jade pendant as a birthday gift. However, today, not only had the pendant changed hands, it had even been shattered.
What was more strange was that he had no impression of the “confession” Zheng Feiyi was talking about.
Zheng Feiyi stood by the door, studying Zheng Feiluan with a sharp gaze as he tried to gather any possible scraps of information from his astonished expression. A while later, the corners of his lips slowly curved up into a smile. “You don’t remember anymore? Then, do you remember anything else? For example, you personally told her to stop her wishful thinking, because, you said, you were already married, and you had a daughter that was nearly a year old?”
A daughter that was nearly a year old?!
Zheng Feiluan felt as though he had been struck by lightning. His pupils constricted instantly, and he needed almost all his willpower to maintain his expression.
“… Or for example, right in front of you, she threw away the pendant, but you didn’t even say a word of comfort, shrugging her hand off, abandoning her in the restaurant. You didn’t pay the bill, and in the end, the Qin family had to send someone to pick her up.”
Zheng Feiyi was deliberately speaking very slowly, and as he spoke, he paid attention to Zheng Feiluan’s reactions. Zheng Feiluan met his eyes, remaining silent. Those dark eyes were like a deep well, completely pitch black, hiding all ripples of any intense emotions.
He had no argument.
Despite having no recollections of whatever his brother was talking about, he was well aware that there was a very high possibility that everything was true.
After driving He An away from Yuanjiang, there was no improvement to his mate-seeking disorder, and instead, it continued acting up. In the past, he could confirm his movements with Cheng Xiu, but now that Cheng Xiu had been fired, and he was unwilling to share his actual mental state of mind with his new assistant, he was now at a loss—he often did not even know what had transpired during some nights where his memories were missing.
He pinned his hopes on pheromone medication, but unfortunately, they had little effect on him.
Zheng Feiluan’s eyes drifted down, and with no change in expression, he went over his memories for a few seconds. Immediately, he realised that there was really a large chunk of his memories missing of that Saturday night—he did not remember that Qin Xuan had confessed to him, he did not remember what they had talked about in the later part of the dinner, and he did not even remember how he had settled the bill, and how he had left.
His memories stopped abruptly on some romantic-looking scene, and when he thought about it, it was rather alarming—at that point in time, the dessert had just been served. Qin Xuan was seated across from him, her face flushed pink, and she looked rather shy. Her fingers were fiddling with the chain of the pendant, and she seemed to be gathering up her courage to tell him something.
As for what happened next, it was a huge blank.
“From what I know, you’ve always had a very good sense of propriety in front of others. Even when you’re angry, you’re still able to be rather courteous. When Qin Xuan came over to complain about how fierce you had been, to tell the truth, I did not believe it at all. However, in comparison to that, I’m more concerned with another matter—you said that you were already married, and you even have a daughter. What does that mean, exactly?”
Zheng Feiluan’s breathing was caught, and his heart tensed.
“I’m very sorry.”
“I’m not married, and it’s even more impossible for me to have a daughter that’s nearly a year old. That Saturday night, something came up out of the blue. I had to leave immediately, and I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to quickly coax Qin Xuan into a good mood—you know as well that the girl has always been spoiled by Uncle Qin, and she’s very clingy. If I don’t come up with a good excuse, she won’t give up at all. I was wrong in this matter, and I’ll meet Uncle Qin personally to apologise. Gege, sorry for your trouble.”
His words sounded very sincere and earnest, and his reasoning was very simple, but the simplicity of it made complete sense.
Zheng Feiyi was a very meticulous person, and he acutely noticed a conflict in logic. Just as he was about to dig deeper, the other party suddenly released a powerful, oppressive cloud of pheromones, disturbing his calm.
Whenever the brothers confronted each other, he had always been in the disadvantageous position.
Things were now in a stalemate, and Zheng Feiyi had no choice but to stop the discussion about Qin Xuan, and he changed the topic. “I’m here this time because there’s some unpleasant news I have to tell you—your performance recently has been too disappointing, and it has aroused the anger of many people. The board of directors unanimously agree that there’s a need to review your qualification to manage the company, lest you continue to harm Jiusheng’s interests. There will be an emergency shareholder meeting this Friday, and Father will be attending as well. From what I hear, even if he wants to protect you, he might not be able to do so. In your position, in your role, the power in your hands is not for you to express your willfulness. You best be careful.”
“I got it.” Zheng Feiluan’s face was stern. “Is there any other matter?”
“No more. Have a happy Monday at work.”
Zheng Feiyi grinned at him, turning around and leaving the office as he closed the door behind him.
After some time, Zheng Feiluan’s stiff shoulders finally relaxed bit by bit.
He grabbed the jade pendant, the chill from the silver pendant disturbing. It was like a piece of solid ice, so cold that one could almost barely hold on to it. He quickly pulled a drawer open, tossing the pendant in it.
The fifty-fifth floor was full of light, and warm, inch-wide rays shone on a porcelain vase. A dozen lilies-of-the-valley bloomed among the leaves, their petals a snow-white. With drops of dew on them, they looked a little translucent. He reached out to touch them, inadvertently causing one to fall.
It was so small, so thin, and lying on the deep brown wood, it looked just like a lonely child.
That child that he had never met… Was she really about to be one? When did she come into the world? Was it on some snowy day at the end of last year?
That day, a flurry of dazzling snow covered the glass of the windshield, the wipers moving at the fastest speed possible. Solidified snow built up on the edge of the glass, and no matter how hard the wipers worked, they were never able to get rid of the snow that kept falling down.
It was evening, the lighting dim, and in the stuffy little room was a bedsheet stained with blood.
This was all he remembered.
His phone vibrated. Zheng Feiluan took it out and looked at it. Three new messages appeared on his screen.
Current location: Green Apple Inn, 26 Luotan County, Luotan Municipality.
Owner of the business licence: Dai Xiao, 28 years old, Alpha.
Recent photo: [Image]
He froze, his face ashen. He had wanted to delete it straight away from his main screen, but his finger trembled fiercely, and instead, he opened the message instead.
As such, he saw the image attached to the message.
Early in the morning, in a little old county, halos appeared everywhere the sun shone. On the stone bridge stood a thin young man. He was facing away from the camera, and in his arms was a baby with pigtails tied up to the sky. A white and chubby arm could be seen, and it looked just like the smoothest tofu scooped up from water.
This was his daughter?
What was her name? Who did she look like? Had she learnt to say Papa yet?
When she called out Papa, was her voice moving to the ears?
Just as Zheng Feiluan was thinking about all these, his face suddenly froze. Closing his eyes, he gave a long, slow exhale. When those eyes opened again, any extraneous warmth within them had already vanished.
Sooner or later, he would have a daughter, but not this one.
This one, was an agreement broken by her despicable father, secretly born with some unmentionable motive behind it. She was unwelcomed, unacknowledged, and she shouldn’t even exist.
Expressionless, Zheng Feiluan deleted the photo. His eyes then could not help but stop at a familiar number on top of the screen. He did not know who owned this number, but he knew that the other party was a private detective, while he, or rather, the version of him that appeared when the mate-seeking disorder flared up, had already been in contact with the private detective for nearly a week.
Because every morning, he would receive an investigation report without fail. He would blacklist this number, but the next day, it would once again be removed from the blacklist, like a tumour that couldn’t be removed.
Zheng Feiluan scrolled upwards, and there were nearly five pages worth of messages last night. In the conversation, he was almost requesting the other party to speed up his investigation in a threatening manner, and he even sent a startling huge amount of money as investigation fees.
But when he was awake, he had no memory of what had happened at all.
Other than just deleting and blacklisting in vain, Zheng Feiluan was unable to do anything else.
Things were happening in an uncontrollable direction.
The board of directors was already watching him. This chair that he was sitting in was becoming more and more unsteady with each passing day. If he was unable to settle this issue as quickly as possible, perhaps, by Friday, there would really be a change to the occupier of this office.
With no other choice, Zheng Feiluan could only open his contact list. He found a number under a person called Jiang Qi and sent him a message.
“Wait for me in your consultation room at 9pm tonight.”