Completely Opposite Attitudes
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Listening to the side, Ban Han Qi was also emotionally moved by those words. Even though it was someone else’s family matter, this woman was once his wife. Hence, being able to see how Gu Hai was able to forgive and show tolerance to Bai Luo Yin’s mother, as a father, Bai Han Qi felt gratified.
Gu Hai shifted his gaze to Bai Han Qi.
“Father, I have called you Uncle for many years. But in truth, I have regarded you as my father a lot of the times. You are my dearest elder and the person that I deeply respect the most in this lifetime. I can still vividly remember when I followed Yin Zi to your house ten years ago and saw your circumstances for the first time. Back then, I had just left my home. I paid attention to Yin Zi, largely because of your affectionate father-and-son relationship that was within my sight but beyond my reach, as it was something… unattainable.
“I am guilty of giving you two major letdowns in this life, but please believe that there will absolutely never be a third time.
“You can use any foul or hurtful language to curse me, but please, by all means, do not take your anger out on Yin Zi because of our relationship. Just like how you said at your wedding ceremony back then, that you love your son the most, I want to reply on behalf of your son. He also loves his father the most. Today, for Yin Zi and myself, I want to return the gratitude for the past twenty years of your nurture and kindness. Please accept us once more.”
After that, Gu Hai got up and walked one meter away. Then, he kneeled down with earnest and bowed twice on the floor— his head striking hard each time.
When Gu Hai had said all those words, Bai Han Qi only felt pained and moved. But as both of Gu Hai’s knees hit the floor, Bai Han Qi’s tears flowed down uncontrollably. He suddenly remembered the night of his wedding, the scene of Gu Hai placing Bai Luo Yin on his back before he walked out. Perhaps, from that moment on, it was destined that his son no longer belonged to him.
“Quickly get up.” Bai Han Qi hastened to help Gu Hai up.
To the side, Jiang Yuan had long sobbed until her voice cracked.
“A man should have dignity and not grovel or bow down, 215 how can you kneel just like that, huh? Even if you want to kneel, wait until the wedding day!” Bai Han Qi wiped his tears, “There is no need for you to feel guilty. If it wasn’t for you back then, my son would have been dead long ago.”
Once they returned to their seats, their emotions returned to normal.
Jiang Yuan spoke with a strong nasal tone. “As a matter of fact, I’ve met many people in the last few years and they are not that narrow-minded. The single ones or those that chose not to have a regular marriage are not flawed, it’s just a type of lifestyle. There is no differentiation between right or wrong in that kind of lifestyle, it is only a matter of whether or not it is suitable for the individual. In regard to children, having an heir is just a type of entrustment—without that entrustment, we can nevertheless use something else to fill in the gap.”
“That’s right,” Bai Han Qi added on from the side. “In the case of having descendants, I will just let fate take its course. If there is one, then there is one. I will not demand one even if there isn’t one. And I think my son has truly suffered more than enough in the last twenty plus years of his life. Instead of letting him suffer every possible torment just to bring up a child, I would rather wish that he could receive more love.”
“Yes,” Jiang Yuan rarely reached a unanimous opinion as Bai Han Qi. “Having a child is not a set mission. As parents, when we want you to have a child, it doesn’t necessarily mean our view on having an heir was of great significance; it’s so you can experience the happiness of being a parent. Just like how we desperately prevented you two from being together at all cost, it wasn’t because it is hard to accept this kind of relationship. We merely love and feel sorry for you, afraid that it will be even more difficult for you two in the future.”
“Alright, there is no need to think too much about it.” Bai Han Qi grabbed Gu Hai’s hands, “As long as you love and serve my son well, that is more than enough.”
Jiang Yuan laughed, “That’s right!! My son’s life is full of riches and honor, deserving of everyone’s praises. If he really married a woman into the family, he would only be nagged at and bossed around all day long. I would only be sullen and grief from seeing that!”
Bai Han Qi laughed heartily.
At that moment, Gu Hai suddenly thought that this whole world had become so beautiful.
Bai Luo Yin was still in another part of the country carrying on a mission, along with Gu Wei Ting and several other leaders from the other districts. He had completely forgotten all about the marriage proposal he had made to Gu Hai that night. However, he remembered that dream and thought that it was quite hilarious— not thinking too deeply of it. Therefore, not only was he unaware that Gu Hai had gone to see Bai Han Qi and Jiang Yuan, but he also didn’t know Gu Hai had already made the decision to get married.
He was arranged to stay in a hotel, and Gu Wei Ting’s room was opposite to his.
Since he was promoted, Bai Luo Yin had had fewer opportunities to participate in training missions and instead only had random and tedious tasks pouring in from all directions. However, his chances of working with Gu Wei Ting had increased tremendously.
On that day, Bai Luo Yin accompanied Gu Wei Ting to a meeting. On the way back, Gu Wei Ting suddenly said, “Come to my room tonight, I have something to ask you.”
Bai Luo Yin faintly discovered something was up.
After having not eaten with a peace of mind, Bai Luo Yin sat waiting in the room for a long time until he finally heard the opposite door sounded.
“Come in and sit down!” Gu Wei Ting said
Bai Luo Yin appeared to be calm on the surface, but beneath it all, his heart was on tenterhooks.
When Gu Wei Ting took out a stick of cigarette and placed it in his mouth, Bai Luo Yin got up and lit it for him.
“Do you want one?” Gu Wei Ting asked.
Bai Luo Yin shook his head, “No need, I just had one.”
Gu Wei Ting blew out a puff of smoke while wearing a somewhat complicated expression.
“Let me ask you, are all the things that appeared in Gu Hai’s room yours?”
As expected—what was supposed to come, surely came. At first, Bai Luo Yin wanted to wait for an appropriate opportunity to personally confess to Gu Wei Ting. He had never expected that before this opportunity came to fruition, Gu Wei Ting would initiate the topic first.
“Yes,” Bai Luo Yin replied calmly.
At that word alone, Gu Wei Ting’s complexion became grave as his brows tensed up.
“What is the relationship… between the two of you now?”
Bai Luo Yin lightly bit down on his teeth, “Lovers.”
The hand that Gu Wei Ting used to hold the cigarette started to shake as a trace of anger appeared in his eyes, but he kept it contained.
“Lovers…” Gu Wei Ting pondered on that word. “I was reluctant to believe that this word could be used between the two of you. Back then, despite my misgiving, I acquiesced in you being together. However, I also clearly stated that even though I wouldn’t stop it, it did not mean I consented to it. I merely thought that the two of you were not mature enough, and that along with the changes in your lives you would naturally abandon this unrealistic feeling. I could have never imagined how I have severely underestimated both yours and his psychological endurance.”
Bai Luo Yin faintly replied, “Perhaps, had I not entered the military and were we not separated for eight years, and instead were left to follow the course of time— we might have separated long ago.”
“Are you telling me that what was lost was the best course of action, that’s why his passion for life reignited for you? Or, are you trying to say that I was the one who planted the vile spawn that inevitably gave way for sinful flowers like you two to blossom?”
“No,” Bai Luo Yin replied calmly. “I just wanted to say that things in the world are unpredictable and can change unknowingly. If I had the choice, I would not walk down this path.”
“How could you not have a choice?” Gu Wei Ting flicked off the burnt cigarette ash, “You possess great family conditions now, with a bright future ahead of you. As long as you are willing to swallow the medicine, this abnormal life of yours will be cured immediately.”
At those words, Bai Luo Yin looked profoundly at Gu Wei Ting.
“Back then, I took sixth place in the college entrance examination in the whole city. I could have entered any elite schools and live the life that I wanted, but did I have a choice? When your son was dying on the hospital bed and you urgently needed someone to secure your position in the military, aside from sacrificing me, did you have any other choice?”
Gu Wei Ting only responded after a long while, “I admit, at that time my decision was made with personal factors. But that does not rule out the abilities you possess. The facts have also proven that if you had followed the conventional path, you might not have been able to achieve the success you have now.”
Bai Luo Yin laughed bitterly, “Perhaps.”
When Gu Wei Ting stared at both of Bai Luo Yin’s severely deformed hands that were lying on his lap, his heart suddenly trembled.
“Actually, you didn’t have to completely risk it all, as these glories belong to you regardless.”
Bai Luo Yin quietly replied, “You know that I did not risk everything, including my life, for the sake of these ‘glories’.”
“You have sacrificed a lot in all these years and have also matured. I have personally seen your efforts, but there are some things that you cannot achieve no matter how much effort you put in. Just like no matter how hard you try, you can never give Gu Hai a child in this lifetime.”
Bai Luo Yin’s heart suddenly shook uncontrollably as both of his red eyes, brimming with tears, looked squarely at Gu Wei Ting.
Gu Wei Ting did not soften or cared as he continued to bombard and criticize Bai Luo Yin. “Don’t even try to use any of those shallow western ideologies with me. I am fundamentally an ordinary Chinese man who is traditional to the core. I have to protect my son’s rights to receive respect and honor at all cost and also protect his ability to continue on with our descendants. You can say that I am absurdly old-fashioned or that I am unreasonable, but I must ensure that the fire in this bloodline remains lit.”216
“That’s fine,” Bai Luo Yin uttered with difficulties. “I don’t mind if he has descendants, but his lover can only be me.”
Gu Wei Ting did not change his attitude because of Bai Luo Yin’s compromise.
“I cannot allow my grandchildren to live in such an abnormal family environment.”
“If you have the ability to predict that there were possibilities of your son suffering from all this, then why did you want to give birth to Gu Hai?”
Gu Wei Ting twisted the cigarette butt in the ashtray and then looked at Bai Luo Yin with cold and unfeeling eyes.
“Whether or not he was born is not a question, there’s no need to ponder over that—it’s simple, he must exist. And, as long as he exists, I have to be responsible for him to the best of my abilities. It is impossible for me to be as honorable as you two, only living completely for yourselves.”
Am I living for myself? Bai Luo Yin suddenly felt a stab of pain penetrate his heart, why is that you can so carelessly deny everything that I have done for you in all these years?
“In your eyes, are all my efforts not enough to be exchanged for a nod from you?”
After all was said and done, Gu Wei Ting was nevertheless unrelenting. “As I have said before, some things cannot be exchanged no matter how hard you try. Even if you have sacrificed yourself for Gu Hai, I still don’t want to see his love life ruined in front of your tombstone.”
“You should have said that to me long ago.”
Bai Luo Yin was in a daze, who will compensate me for all these years?
Seeing Bai Luo Yin’s appearance, Gu Wei Ting’s heart also tightened into a ball. He had wavered once before. But some things had taken root too deeply in his heart and mind—to pull it out was the same as taking his life.
Bai Luo Yin suddenly laughed and left without saying anything.
He had never thought of giving up. Even until that very moment, Bai Luo Yin would never say that he would give up.
It was just that… his heart suddenly felt extremely cold.
215 男人膝下有黃金[nánrén xī xià yǒu huángjīn] lit. the man has gold under his knees; fig. a man who does not easily kneel in front of others (owing to pride or moral integrity).
216 “…ensure that the fire in this bloodline remain lit.” (香火延续下去) – the continuation of the family’s bloodline.