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Chapter 40

Cheng Hui didn’t expect him to talk to her like this. Immediately, she became so angry that she couldn’t even maintain a pretense. She stood up, looked at Shen Zhi, and angrily rebuked, “Who are you talking to? Do you think your position in the Shen family is so secure that you can ignore me?”

Shen Zhi glanced at her indifferently and suddenly smiled. “What are you nervous about?”

The voice of the seventeen-year-old boy was cold, and his pitch-black eyes carried a detached understanding of everything. Suddenly, Cheng Hui’s body trembled slightly, as if Shen Zhi had asked her the thing she feared the most.

What was she nervous about?

Shen Zhi lowered his gaze, looking at the woman in front of him. Suddenly, she no longer had the same intimidating effect on him as before. In fact, Shen Zhi wasn’t always this powerful at a young age; he returned to the Shen family when he was already ten years old.

At that time, Yuan Sheng’s situation was particularly bad, and Shen Jiming came aggressively to take the child. In the end, Shen Zhi stood up for himself.

He told Shen Jiming that as long as he took his mom to see a doctor and arranged for his grandparents’ lives, he was willing to go with Shen Jiming.

The ten-year-old boy already had a strong opinion, and everything was measured and chosen by him. Ironically, the elders had to listen to him.

The most challenging thing for the Yuan family was the lack of money, but this wasn’t a problem for Shen Jiming. He hired the best psychiatrist for Yuan Sheng and arranged for her to stay in the best hospital.

Even Shen Zhi’s grandparents moved into a large house they had never dreamed of.

But everyone forgot that he was only ten years old, leaving a familiar environment for the first time and entering a hostile family.

How could Cheng Hui treat him well? Although she didn’t abuse him, a cold gaze and sharp words were enough to make a ten-year-old boy feel uneasy.

As a result, he gradually grew defensive, becoming the personality he has today.

But suddenly, Shen Zhi realized that Cheng Hui was no longer fearsome; on the contrary, she seemed pitiable.

Because she was more afraid of losing everything now than he was. If she wasn’t Mrs. Shen, she would be nothing. In recent years, the Cheng family’s business has been declining. If it weren’t for the Shen family forcibly extending their lifeline, they might have declared bankruptcy long ago.

Now, they were just barely hanging on.

Cheng Hui hated, “Do you really think you’ve secured the position of the young master of the Shen family? Let me tell you, Shen Zhi, that your mother went insane when she was in her twenties. Be careful not to follow in her footsteps.”

“Shut up.” Shen Zhi finally showed anger.

He stared directly at Cheng Hui and said coldly, “How did you marry Shen Jiming? You know it yourself.”

“My mom hasn’t wronged any of you, so if you dare mention her again, I won’t go easy on you.”

The boy’s voice was so cold, like needles pricking at Cheng Hui’s heart.

“You.. you’re simply…” Cheng Hui didn’t expect that the little boy, who used to carefully observe her every move when he first entered the Shen family, would now become so powerful, making her feel intimidated.

Shen Zhi wasn’t originally willing to come home; if it weren’t for Cheng Shen’s matter, he wouldn’t have come today.

So, after saying these words, he turned and walked towards the door.

However, before he reached the door, it was pushed open, and Shen Jiming, who was about to come in, saw him. A hint of surprise flashed across his face. “Ah Zhi, why are you back?”

“Please ask your wife not to casually send the driver to the school to find me in the future,” Shen Zhi said coldly.

Shen Jiming frowned, glanced at Cheng Hui in the living room behind him, and said helplessly, “Your aunt cares about you.”

“What are her real intentions? You better ask her yourself.” Shen Zhi found this statement ridiculous; if Cheng Hui cared about him, it would only be about when he would die.

Shen Jiming looked at Cheng Hui and asked, “What’s wrong with you again?”

Cheng Hui didn’t expect Shen Jiming to speak directly for Shen Zhi without asking, raising her voice and asking, “What’s wrong with me? Ask your son what he did to Ah Shen. Let me tell you, if Ah Shen’s parents go to the police, he can expect to eat prison food.”

Shen Jiming chuckled when he heard this; he somewhat displeasedly said, “That brat Cheng Shen, what kind of character does he have? Do you think I don’t know? If he didn’t come to provoke, would Ah Zhi go and hit him?”

Although Shen Jiming wasn’t satisfied with Shen Zhi’s behavior in recent years, he was still his own son. Moreover, he also understood Cheng Shen’s personality; he loved to pick trouble with Shen Zhi from an early age. There was one time before when Shen Jiming had seen it happen. Although Shen Zhi beat him quite badly, even though Shen Jiming criticized Shen Zhi on the surface, he was quite satisfied in his heart.

So, at this moment, he was quite biased.

Cheng Hui found his words amusing and said directly, “Originally, I wanted to advise my brother and sister-in-law to let it go. After all, it’s a fight between our own family members. But if you say that, I’ll let them go to the police and let the police handle it.”

Shen Jiming didn’t take Cheng Hui’s threatening words to heart. He glanced at Cheng Hui and said softly, “Cheng Hui, I advise you to put away your little schemes. If you keep making trouble like this unreasonably, then I’ll reconsider the coastal city project we discussed before.”

The Cheng family’s company was struggling at the moment, in desperate need of a project to ease the company’s situation. Originally, Shen Jiming also thought that, since they were business partners and his brother-in-law was more reliable, it would be a helpful collaboration. But today, Cheng Hui actually used the threat of calling the police to scare him.

Sure enough, as soon as these words were spoken, Cheng Hui’s face instantly stiffened, staring fixedly at Shen Jiming.

Shen Jiming didn’t want to make things so tense between them. He spoke lightly. “Advise Cheng Shen to behave himself and not always provoke Ah Zhi.”

Shen Zhi had long been impatient to listen to their pointless bickering, so he opened the door and left.

Cheng Hui looked at the door and sneered, “You’re so protective of him, but your son doesn’t seem to appreciate it.”

“So what? In any case, he is my own flesh and blood,” Shen Jiming said indifferently.

Indeed, this statement once again caused a pang in Cheng Hui’s heart. The fact of not having children was something she couldn’t let go of in her entire life; even now, in her forties, she still can’t move past it.

Shen Jiming didn’t say this to deliberately upset her, but Cheng Hui still looked up suddenly, casting a resentful glance at him.

It was only at this moment that Shen Jiming realized his words were inappropriate.

He felt somewhat awkward and said, “Ah Zhi, this child, don’t judge him by his cold appearance. If you genuinely treat him…”

“He’s Yuan Sheng’s son. Even if I don’t have children in this lifetime, I could never treat him as my own,” Cheng Hui said bitterly.

Seeing that she was still like this, Shen Jiming glanced at her and said, “It’s up to you.”

After that, he went upstairs to his room; they had slept in separate rooms for a long time.

However, when he reached the stairs, Cheng Hui turned around and looked at him. “What’s going on? Couldn’t get enough of the little enchantress, Shui Jingli, that you actually came back?”

Shen Jiming turned back slowly, glanced at Cheng Hui, and with a somewhat ambiguous expression, he said, “Cheng Hui, you’re no fun like this.”

“Shen Jiming, I can tolerate your illegitimate child, but if you keep humiliating me like this, I might not be so easy to talk to,” Cheng Hui said.

Now that there were no outsiders around, the two of them didn’t bother pretending to be a loving couple, and they openly tore apart what should and shouldn’t be said.

Even if Cheng Hui told herself a hundred times that she wasn’t wrong to forcefully intervene in the relationship between Yuan Sheng and Shen Jiming in the beginning, this marriage full of troubles still fiercely slapped her in the face.

Even though she was forever the glamorous and wealthy Mrs. Shen in public, the bitterness behind the scenes couldn’t be hidden.

Shen Zhi wasn’t aware of the content of their argument later on. After leaving home, he hailed a taxi on the roadside and went straight to his own place.

Upon arriving home, he entered the study and put down his backpack.

This study was usually kept closed, and when he turned on the lights, the light spilled into every corner of the room like liquid mercury. On the wall next to the window, there was a whole bookshelf filled with various reference materials.

If someone were to open these reference materials, they would notice that many of the books on them weren’t pristine but had been flipped through many times.

Shen Zhi had been exceptionally intelligent since he was a child. Moreover, while other children were restless and couldn’t sit still, he could quietly sit there for a long time. After starting school, this uniqueness became even more prominent.

Even though in elementary school, girls’ grades tended to be better than boys’, he was still number one in the entire grade, and he could easily answer even those mathematical Olympiad questions.

That is, until he met Ji Ran, the smartest little girl he had ever encountered.

Initially, he thought there was no math problem that could stump him, until he saw Ji Ran solving Sudoku puzzles. She did Sudoku training every week at the youth palace, a math game he had never encountered.

Sitting in the chair behind his desk, he held his phone in his hand and looked at it for several minutes until he found Ji Ran’s phone number. He hadn’t dialed it yet, but a small smile gradually appeared on his lips. Just thinking about her made him happy.

In this indifferent world, she was his little sun.

When he finally called her, Ji Ran was busy working on her math homework, although she didn’t mind being considered a poor student. She couldn’t tolerate being looked down upon by Jiang Yi.

She still remembered the incident when she scored 22 in math, and Jiang Yi ridiculed her. The so-called “knowing shame and then courage” was true. Since the last monthly exam, she has indeed been earnestly preparing for the midterm exams.

The midterm exams were at the end of November, just a few days away. During today’s class, the math teacher sternly expressed that if Class Eight continued like this, the lowest average math score would still belong to Class Eight this time.

As she finished the last question on her paper and placed it on the desk, her vibrating phone caught her attention.

She turned her head to glance, and the jumping name on the phone made her momentarily stunned. Until she reached out and gently picked up the phone, the name on the screen made her pause for a few seconds.

When she answered, the voice on the other end said, “What are you doing?”

Ji Ran honestly replied, “Working on a math paper.”

After the little girl finished speaking, she felt that her silence seemed a bit impolite, so she asked, “What are you doing?”

“I’m also preparing to do a set of math papers,” Shen Zhi said quite seriously.

Ji Ran was stunned for a few seconds and then suddenly said, “Aren’t your assignments all copied?”

The implication was, do you even know how to do a math paper?

Of course, listeners also have their own interpretations. Shen Zhi felt a bit helpless being mocked by her. He whispered, “Don’t believe it?”

Ji Ran casually said, “No.”

The response was perfunctory and insincere, and Shen Zhi immediately sensed that she didn’t believe him.

So he chuckled and said, “When is the final exam?”

Ji Ran sighed softly and gave a date. The teachers had mentioned the final exams multiple times, and the fact that this big brother was asking her about it showed that he probably hadn’t been paying attention during class.

Shen Zhi didn’t expect that she had already complained about him in her heart.

He whispered, “Didn’t you say last time that as long as I scored 700, you would be my girlfriend?”

Ji Ran was stunned. Did she say such a thing?

After carefully recalling, she immediately denied, “I didn’t.”

“Yes, you did,” Shen Zhi affirmed.

Ji Ran shook her little head like beating a drum and said earnestly, “I didn’t.”

Her meaning was that if she liked someone, that person must be more capable than her in every aspect, rather than something like “if he scores 700, I’ll be his girlfriend.”

Suddenly, Shen Zhi lowered his voice and called out, “Ji Ran.”

Ji Ran pursed her lips and waited quietly for his words.

It took a long time before his voice slowly came from the other end.

“I wasn’t joking with you.”





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