Chapter 89: Covenantor (XII)
“Father, five years ago, you organized a grand banquet for me, and announced to all the Yue Family members that I was the Yue Family’s heir.” Shang Ke held out his left hand; on the left index finger he wore a signet ring emblazoned with the family crest. “The Yue ring is here; the previous commitment is also here.”
Madam Chang and Yue Xuan’s expressions twisted upon seeing this. They had been so focused on banishing Yue Ze that they’d forgotten to retrieve the signet ring.
“Yue Ze, even if you wear the Yue ring, you are no longer the Yue Family heir,” Yue Xuan couldn’t help but reiterate.
Shang Ke ignored him, only looking at Yue Cheng, “Father, are you going to revoke my status as heir?”
Yue Cheng expression froze as he was caught in a quandary. If he revoked Shang Ke’s status as heir, it would also mean severing his relationship with Yue Family, meaning he would not offer any help to Yue Family. If he acknowledged Shang Ke’s status as the heir, he’d be handing Yue Family over to a covenantor who had lost all sense of family loyalty. Not to mention, Yue Ze is now Lu Xiufan’s man; after Shang Ke passes away, Lu Xiufan would be fully entitled to Yue Family. When that moment comes to pass, he feared Yue Family would have to change their name completely.
Lu Xiufan didn’t say a word to this group of Yue Family members; they only cared for their short-term interests, none understood Shang Ke’s true purpose. If Shang Ke really wanted to dissolve Yue Family, there were simpler ways to do so–all he had to do was simply ask Lu Xiufan. However, he didn’t, and instead he was taking on the role of heir, ready to take over despite their disastrous circumstances. Even if he had become a covenantor, he hadn’t really given up his pride or his principles. Yue Family members’ skepticism of his sincerity were simply projections of their own thoughts. They’d forgotten now that Shang Ke was a covenantor, and that even when he was a member of Yue Family in more prosperous times, he was never greedy at heart. Now that Yue Family was in decline, why would he exert so much effort to possess it?
“Old Cheng, Yue Family’s heir is Yue Xuan, this cannot be changed.” Madam Chang reminded Yue Cheng immediately upon seeing his hesitation, “After Yue Ze became a covenantor, he lost the right to inherit. You should seize back the Yue ring. Even if Yue Family eventually fails, at least it will be due to its own choices. Rather than living an ignoble existence under someone else’s direction, it’s better to retain our pride and seek to make a comeback sometime in the future.”
Hearing her rousing speech, Yue Cheng and even the other family members felt their hearts stirring with emotion.
Shang Ke quietly glanced at Madam Chang; this woman was truly good at inspiring others. Unfortunately, she had a son that would always drag her down.
“Mother speaks the truth,” Yue Xuan cut in, “Yue Ze is now His Excellency’s man; if Yue Family was given to him, what would be the difference between that and being taken over?”
Saying these types of words in front of Lu Xiufan, even God couldn’t rescue a person of such low intelligence.
Lu Xiufan pretended not to hear what he was saying; he couldn’t be bothered to lower himself to responding to such drivel.
Yue Cheng thought for a while, before saying to Shang Ke with difficulty, “Little Ze, you’ve always been modest, respectful and generous; I hope you are still able to show some consideration for your family.”
He avoided the issue of succession, trying to persuade Shang Ke to give in on his own volition.
Shang Ke calmly stared at him for a long time, slowly responding, “The year you pressured mother into allowing Madam Chang to come and go as she pleased, in order to preserve the family’s reputation, mother quietly accepted it. When mother died from her illness and you married Madam Chang after only half a year, I accepted it. When you wanted me to inherit the family property, and forced me to abandon my musical passion, I accepted it. When I became a Covenantor, and you ignored me, I accepted it. When Madam Chang sent me to the distribution center, I accepted it. Father, tell me, if this isn’t showing the family consideration, what is?”
A hint of shame flashed across Yue Cheng’s face.
Madam Chang saw that she was losing control of the situation, and so asked, “Since you value the family so much, why do you still need to return and fight over the succession?”
“Wasn’t it Madam Chang who asked me to return?” Shang Ke turned his gaze in her direction, “Since you let me return, aren’t you also agreeing to my status as heir?”
“Of course not, I was only hoping you would be able to help Yue Family in this time of crisis.”
“But in what capacity?”
Madam Chang almost choked, “You have Yue Family blood flowing in your veins; even if you’re not the heir, you still have the responsibility to contribute your strength to the family.”
“Is that the reason you previously plotted against me? So I’d have to give up my right to inherit, but could still contribute my strength as a regular member of the family?”
Madam Chang’s expression warped as she shouted at him, “What are you saying? When did I plot against you?”
The crowd’s attention sharpened, focusing on the two people in confusion.
“If you weren’t plotting against me, then why did you secretly enter my room more than a year ago and give me an injection of psychotropic drugs?”
Now it wasn’t just Madam Chang, Yue Xuan’s expression also changed, while the others hadn’t reacted yet.
“At the time, you and Yue Xuan thought I was unconscious, when in reality I was still very much awake,” Shang Ke said without even a hint of emotion, “I saw you personally inject the psychotropic drug into my body, causing me to go mad.”
Shang Ke’s calm eyes showed not a ripple of emotion, yet his words seemed to explode like thunder in everyone’s ears.
What’s the meaning of this? Yue Ze had gone crazy because he was injected with psychotropic drugs?
Yue Cheng’s body began to tremble slightly, his eyes staring lifelessly at Shang Ke.
“When I was sent to the hospital, the doctors diagnosed me with the Mental Virus, and in less than 3 hours, proceeded with the Mental Virus removal surgery.” Shang Ke slowly continued, “And as a result, I became a Covenantor.”
Yue Cheng slowly turned his head, looking at his wife with empty eyes. The events that happened that day were still fresh in his mind. Yue Ze’s mad behavior forced his hand, making him agree to the Mental Virus removal surgery. It was his own mouth that had agreed to the procedure, and it was his own hands that pushed Yue Ze into the operating room, making a healthy child undergo the Mental Virus surgical treatment.
Father, father, father… his child’s mournful cries still rang in his ears. His face had been frantic and filled with pain, as if begging him for help.
“Little Ze’s words… are they true?” Yue Cheng hoarsely asked.
Madam Chang affected a calm composure, “This is slander! He’s just saying this so he can seize the right to inherit Yue Family.”
“The doctor who previously operated on Little Ze is still at the same hospital; all that’s needed to determine if it’s slander or not is to get someone to ask him,” someone suggested aloud.
Hearing these words, Madam Chang showed a panicked expression for the first time. Others couldn’t help but secretly sigh upon seeing this.
All the family members clearly remembered how exceptional Yue Ze had been back then. They never suspected that Yue Ze’s madness harbored such a chilling truth.
Because he was injected with psychotropic drugs by his stepmother and younger brother, and sent to the operating table by his father, he had been deprived of a normal person’s emotions and had decades taken off his expected lifespan.
Looking at the calm Shang Ke, everyone’s face showed unbearable regret. His tone when speaking has been undisturbed, as if he was speaking of someone else, without a hint of anger or pain; perhaps he didn’t even realize what he’d lost.
“Don’t listen to Yue Ze’s nonsense, he….”
A brittle crack interrupted Yue Xuan’s shouting.
Everyone turned in the direction of the sound, and saw that Lu Xiufan had crushed the cup he held, blood seeping from within his clenched fist. His expression was frosty, his whole body emitted a murderous aura, and his eyes stared coldly at Madam Chang, as if staring at a corpse.
Madam Chang felt sweat run down her back from his stare, her fingers shaking uncontrollably.
Lu Xiufan swiftly rose, coldly saying to everyone in Yue Family, “In five days, Little Ze will return to take over Yue Family.”
After saying this, he grabbed Shang Ke and left without looking back, only taking time to give orders to his subordinates, “Go to the hospital that conducted Little Ze’s surgery and bring back the operating doctor.”
What a great family, what a cunning Madam Chang! They’d even go as far as to turn an originally healthy Little Ze into a covenantor!
Lu Xiufan had never felt as murderous as he did now.
“Are you angry?” Shang Ke asked.
Lu Xiufan looked at Shang Ke’s gentle face, his heart aching uncontrollably. If he hadn’t personally revealed the truth, it was possible that no one would have ever known what kind of suffering he’d previously had to endure. For almost two years, Shang Ke was treated as a person infected with the Mental Virus; for almost two years. For those two years, he’d never revealed his own bitter experiences, silently accepting everything his family did to him. In the end, he even tried to comply with his previous commitment, wanting to shoulder the burdensome responsibilities of being the family heir.
He didn’t even realize that, since the moment he became a covenantor, no one still considered him the heir. His father ignored him, his stepmother tried to entrap him, his little brother repeatedly tried to humiliate him.
Little Ze, how stupid are you? How pitiful is the existence of a covenantor?
Lu Xiufan tightly held Shang Ke in his embrace. Little Ze, be assured that I’ll avenge you of all the grievances you suffered. I’ve convey all the emotion you can no longer express.
That evening, the doctor was captured and presented to Lu Xiufan; Lu Xiufan did not have to exert much effort before he confessed.
The psychotropic drug Madam Chang injected into Shang Ke was a special kind that made people display similar symptoms to the mental virus within a short period of time. However, this drug only required two to three days before it naturally decomposed; and if the appropriate antidote was administered, a few hours were sufficient for recovery. All it would have taken was Yue Cheng to seek other doctors for a second opinion, and the tragedy could have been averted. However, he’d only taken three hours before deciding to go ahead with the operation!
“Abominable!” Lu Xiufan’s fist punched the table, his face showed a fierce expression.
“Reporting back, sir.” A bodyguard reported, “Madam Chang and Yue Xuan attempted to flee, but were detained by our guards.”
“Lock them in the isolation chamber,” Lu Xiufan’s gaze was cold, and his tone was frigid, “I want to personally deal with them.”
Lu Xiufan didn’t return to the mansion until the middle of the night, but the lights were on in his room–Shang Ke was still waiting for him.
“How come you’re still awake?” Lu Xiufan curbed his anger, slowly walking to his side.
“I’m sorry,” Shang Ke looked at him, earnestly apologizing.
“Why are you sorry?”
“I used your influence to intimidate people today.”
The coldness in Lu Xiufan’s expression melted away, his eyes showed a hint of warmth, “I like it when you use my influence. In the future, if you want to intimidate anyone, just call me; I’ll always be willing to lend you my influence.”
“You’re a good employer,” Shang Ke gave him a well-deserved compliment.
“Good in what way?” Lu Xiufan gazed at him with a smile on his face.
“Good in every way.” Shang Ke listed them one by one, “You show compassion to your subordinates, take your responsibilities seriously, and you’re gentle…”
In what way was he gentle?
Lu Xiufan covered his mouth.
“…Your influence is large enough.”
These last words were no longer audible.