Mu Tian Heng felt a little sore in his heart looking at Mo Di’s sparkling eyes. He slightly lowered his head and spoke to him: “the busiest time for the first phase of the Hua Xia project is over, I’ll be free the next two days. Little fellow, you said before you’ll take me on an eating tour at the most authentic restaurants of the capital, is that still on?”
“Yes!” Mo Di nodded quickly. His cheeks turned red and the joy and excitement could not be concealed, just like a silly little hamster holding on to his favourite fruit.
Looking at Mo Di’s stance, Mu Tian Heng couldn’t help but smile: “let’s go for a ride this evening. You’ve just finished your exam so let’s go loosen up.”
He was truly glad that when he got to the airport, he changed the decision he made in the morning. The so-called last struggle was actually laughable. They were ridiculous and meaningless.
He clearly had fallen for the kid. And all those times that he repeatedly tried to avoid him, other than making the little thing upset, it did not change anything. He still liked the little guy, and this feeling kept multiplying. Just thinking about the scene after he left Hua Xia, and received a phone call from the kid who would put up a happy front but was in fact, timid and cautious, made his heart ached.
So at that time, Mu Tian Heng thought it wasn’t that bad being an old beast.
But for the time being, he would not disturb the elephant in the room. He would first ascertain that the little guy really liked him rather than a misunderstanding, and then, wait till after his 18th birthday to start developing their relationship.
After all, being an old beast was quite interesting but being an old pervert, not so much.
Lai De Si at the side was completely ignored by the two. He was about to explode.
What the hell is this? When he’s gone, wouldn’t these two just get together?!!!
Lai De Si left anyway. When he left the sky was already dark and lights began filling the city, making it bright and vibrant.
Mu Tian Heng did not send him off but it was not because he did not want to. Between Mu Tian Heng sending him and a big bonus, Lai De Si chose the latter.
Mo Di did some serious strategizing. He was determined to take Mu Tian Heng to eat authentic local street food and let their footsteps imprint on the streets and alleys and into their memories.
Before going to bed that night, Mo Di saw a message from his headteacher. After some consideration regarding his performance in the exams, he sent the estimated score to the group chat according to his teacher’s request.
Then he shut down his computer.
He did not have to guess what the most malicious students in the school had to say about him. He also did not want to think about their anger or scorn.
This year’s exam was surprisingly difficult, especially mathematics and English. But reporting the estimate of 720, he was already very humble. No matter how difficult those math problems and English questions were, to him, they were simply a walk in the park.
The next day, Mo Di got up early to take Mu Tian Heng to the old alley for breakfast. There were dou hua, jiao quan, tang shao cake, chao gan, you tiao, wan dou huang etc, he would order one of each.
When they drove out to the gate, the villa entrance was suddenly blocked by another car.
Sitting in the car, Mo Di spotted a dark rough-looking cross-country car parked outside the villa gate. His sight caught on a rainbow-coloured teru teru bozu doll hanging on the front windshield and instantly, his scalp burst into a bone piercing chill and his body was frozen stiff.
Mu Tian Heng was acutely aware that something was wrong with the Mo Di next to him. Looking over, he saw his aghast expression and eyes filled with fear and panic.
“What’s wrong?” Mu Tian Heng’s heart leaped, the tone was eager yet brimmed with tenderness: “What’s the matter, little fellow? What are you thinking about?”
“I…I’m fine, brother.” Mo Di forced himself to keep it together. He had Mu Tian Heng beside him, he’ll be fine. This time, he definitely will not be taken into that car and had his legs broken then shut into that dark place.
Mo Di’s current state was far from being fine. Mu Tian Heng was about to ask something else when he saw five or six figures alighting from the cross-country car parked outside. Amongst them, only two were familiar to Mu Tian Heng. One was Mo Shi Hong, the third master of the Mo family, the other was Mo Yi Cheng, the little guy’s cousin whom he met at the hospital.
When Mo Shi Hong saw that Mo Di had clearly seen them but remained motionless, his heart was teeming with anger. But seeing that Mu Tian Heng was present, he did not tear off his mask or let his mouth run wild.
Mo Yi Cheng next to him was much calmer. He took the lead: “Hello Mr. Mu, we’re here to pick up Mo Di. He really has been bothering you these past few days. Thank you for taking him in. He suddenly ran away from home and it took us a long time to find him. Everyone is worried.” He then looked at Mo Di, “Xiao Di, come down quickly. We’re taking you home.”
Mo Di held on tightly to his phone and stayed still as a statue.
“Mo Di did you hear me? Come out quickly.” Mo Shi Hong endured his anger and stared at Mo Di: “You’re already a disaster at home. You left home and still want to bother others?”
“I…I don’t want to go home.” Mo Di’s movement was rigid and his speech was incoherent, he looked at Mu Tian Heng tentatively with eyes brimming with fear, he beseeched: “Brother, please don’t drive me out. I’ll be good, I can cook, I can work, I’ll be very obedient!”
“Little one, what nonsense are you saying? Why would I drive you out? You can stay here as long as you want. There’s also no need for you to do anything.” Mu Tian Heng rubbed Mo Di’s hair and said in a warm voice, “Don’t be afraid.”
Mu Tian Heng maintained his tender look but inside, he was outraged. From the fact that, despite being a victim of the bullying incident and hospitalized, the Mo family still insisted on beating and scolding Mo Di, Mu Tian Heng could tell that Mo Di was abused at home. But from the reaction just now, he was afraid that what he thought was just a fraction of what was done to Mo Di.
“Xiao Di, why are you refusing to come home? Mom, dad, grandpa and uncles are all worried about you. Living at someone else’s place, how could it be better than at home. Moreover, you don’t have any money, you shouldn’t disturb people like this. Eating and drinking, what’s there that does not cost money?” Mo Liu Gui was wearing a long off-shoulder red dress, looking beautiful under the sun. Her eyes were also showing a tint of red, “or is it that you hate me so much that you’d rather owe this Mu…brother Mu a favour than to come home with me?”
“I know that I didn’t do well in certain aspects, but I can change. Whatever you think that I am lacking, I’ll change it all! Xiao Di, come home with sister, alright? I can also apologize to you!”
Mo Shi Hong was at his limit enduring Mo Di’s defiance towards him. Upon hearing his darling daughter’s words, his heartache further fueled the rage and his anger was uncontrollable: “How can you apologize to him? He had schemed and framed against you all his life. He’s just acting innocent right now. His whole being is a bastard!”
He then looked at Mu Tian Heng: “You’re Mr. Mu, right? I’m going to take the kid home. You have no right to stop us from taking Mo Di back to the Mo house! You also have no right to stop us from educating our children! We’re doing this because he’s still a Mo, that’s why when he does something we have to be the one to clean up his messes! Don’t meddle. Or else when he has to go to prison, the first one he hates is you!”
What’s happening?! Going to prison?!!
Mo Di’s heart thumped hard as a bad premonition swept over him. He shot a look at Qin Cheng Yi who had been silent the whole time. His temperament was cold but his eyes were still violent. Mo Di said to Mo Shi Hong: “Father what do you mean?! What did I do?”
“You still dare to ask!” Mo Shi Hong stared at Mo Di, “weren’t you very bold when cheating in the college entrance exam, only now you know it’s humiliating?”
“Cheat? What about cheating?” Mo Di just felt ridiculous, “it’s all a rumour, I did not cheat!”
“Xiao Di, this matter currently only we know about. You don’t have to be afraid. Come home with us, we’ll think of ways to solve this, and then…” Mo Liu Gui glanced at Mu Tian Heng, “let’s not let anyone else know, the more people know, the worse things’ll get.”
“Sister, what are you talking about. This matter I did not do. My scores are achieved from my honest efforts! I did not cheat!” Mo Di stared at Mo Liu Gui, “Don’t just open your mouth and condemn me, that’s slander!”
“You bastard! How dare you talk to your sister like that?!!” If laws were non-existent, Mo Shi Hong would’ve strangled Mo Di, “The older you are the worse you get! If you don’t come out now, we’ll go to court tomorrow and cut you off from the Mo family!”
“Dad!” Mo Liu Gui shouted in shock, “what are you talking about?!”
“Xiao Gui, stop protecting him. This ingrate from young has been hurting you and framing you, why are you still protecting him? You treat him as your brother but does he treat you as a sister? Our Mo family has been around for so many years. To actually think that we gave birth to such an animal, he’s a shame to our family! If you didn’t beg everyone to bring him back and help him deal with this, I would’ve taken him to court and broken off this relationship a long time ago. I just didn’t think that he was so ungrateful. He’s incorrigible! That’s fine then, I’ll see you in court! When you’re convicted of cheating in the exam, don’t come back to us and cry! By then we have nothing to do with you!”
Breaking off with the Mos, Mo Di couldn’t be more eager. But now he had to figure out one thing to confirm the conjecture he just made. He looked at Mo Liu Gui and said: “Sister, are you the one who said that I cheated in the exam?”
“You don’t have to aim at your sister or pretend anymore. I’m the one who spread the news.” All of a sudden, Qin Cheng Yi broke his silence and spoke coldly, squinting his eyes: “You also shouldn’t be too positive. I’ve publicized this matter on the internet and let them make a big deal out of it.”
Mo Liu Gui looked at Qin Cheng Yi: “Cheng Yi, what did you say?”
“Liu Gui, you are just too kind and soft. He tried to harm you over and over again and even disrespected you. Why are you still treating him so well?” Qin Cheng Yi sighed, looking at Mo Liu Gui with heartache and indulgence, “this matter you can blame me. I just don’t want to see him hurting you.”
Then he turned and looked at Mo Di coldly: “Zhang Kuang Chang divulged the questions of the exams and sold them at a high price to two people, one of them is you. You dared to estimate your score to be 720 is because you’ve bought the data and cheated. I have both a witness and evidence. Zhang Kuang Chang identified you and another person after his arrest. So if you don’t want to be shunned by everyone after you’ve lost your reputation, you’d better apologize to Liu Gui and uncle Mo, then own up your crime of cheating on the internet.”
“This way, the Mo family will not be completely disappointed with you and won’t cut you off. They might help you get off your sentence. Even if you do get a sentence, it can be reduced to the minimum. As long as you’re honest, your work and life might not be affected too much. But if you don’t admit, all the evidence will be put on the internet! Not only will you get billions of people despising you, but you’ll have to spend the next seven years in prison. Prison, rejection, and a ruined reputation, your life will be ruined.”
“What nonsense are you saying? I did not do such things, why should I admit?!” Mo Di’s conjecture was spot on and a plan immediately took shape in his head. Still wearing a flustered look, he said: “You’re just forcing me to admit!”
“As I said, I will only give you one last chance.” Qin Cheng Yi looked at Mo Di with a dark face. He opened Weibo on his phone and tapped on the top link with the hottest search topic and a video popped up.
In the video, a middle-aged man in handcuffs was crying bitterly to the police, saying that he was a first time offender. He then said that he only sold the data to two people, one was Mo Di of Xia Jia International School and the other was Huang Lie Hao from Jing Cheng Yi High School. He knew that he was wrong and asked for leniency.