*** = Scene change
***** = Timeskip
As time passed, Feng Nianyi’s tyranny worsened. She couldn’t be more similar to Feng Qi, being extremely unreasonable and headstrong and overprotective of the friends she acknowledged, regardless of if they were in the right or in the wrong.
Because her father was Feng Qi, hardly anyone dared to provoke her. As a matter of fact, even the adults had to show her a certain degree of respect.
It was in junior high that, unbeknown to Qingruo, Feng Nianyi underwent her rebellious phase and became the school’s tyrant.
Having donated the school a laboratory, library, and much of its teaching equipment, the Feng Company held a great deal of authority there. In fact, it was the same way in at least half of the city’s public and private schools.
Feng Nianyi’s homeroom teacher would often call Feng Qi to report —but euphemize— her misdeeds in school.
This time, Feng Nianyi had beat up and poured water over a first-year student in the restroom. When the drenched little girl ran into the office and told on Feng Nianyi, her homeroom teacher started to shake with anger.
After a moment of careful consideration, he decided to not call Feng Qi, as it would only cure the symptoms and not the disease. The homeroom teacher called Qingruo, who was at the television station, instead. When she received his call, she stopped the filming and rushed to the backstage to answer.
Qingruo and Feng Qi were complete opposites. After learning about her daughter’s misdeeds, Qingruo apologized profusely and said that it was her fault for not teaching her daughter properly. She promised to visit the school with Feng Qi and apologize in person and gave the homeroom teacher permission to punish Feng Nianyi as the school saw fit.
Her attitude was so good, and her morals so right, that the homeroom teacher couldn’t help but spill everything Feng Nianyi had done from her first year of junior high to the current semester of her second year. He was so caught up in his grievances that he almost started sobbing.
The more Qingruo listened, the closer she felt to blowing up. Immediately after the call ended, she dialed Feng Nianyi’s number. Classes had not been dismissed yet, but the homeroom teacher had informed her that Feng Nianyi was skipping.
Feng Nianyi was afraid to answer her call, so she rejected it. When Qingruo called again, Feng Nianyi also rejected it again. Feng Nianyi sent her mother a message saying: What is it? I’m in class.
Qingruo responded: Your homeroom teacher called me. Answer the phone.
Qingruo understood that every child was different, and while she did want her daughter to grow up in a relatively free and happy environment, Qingruo was truly angry this time. She tried to talk to her daughter using a very gentle tone of voice, but the rebellious girl got impatient and argued with her before hanging up.
Meanwhile, Feng Qi was in the middle of a meeting. His phone was set to automatic refusal mode where only Qingruo’s calls would go through, so when it rang, the other conference members immediately knew who was calling and started to busy themselves with their papers as they waited.
Feng Qi glanced at his watch. It had to be for something important if she was calling him at work.
Qingruo’s tone of voice was frighteningly calm. ”Feng Qi, Nianyi’s homeroom teacher called me today. He told me that she often hits and insults her classmates in public, and she skips classes occasionally. She even talks back to the discipline teacher.”
As Feng Qi silently cursed the nosy homeroom teacher, he gently coaxed, ”Mhm. Nianyi went too far. We’ll punish her when we get back. Don’t be mad, baby, it’s bad for your health.”
When she didn’t respond, he felt his heart tighten a little. ”Baby?” he murmured gently.
“I’ve already called her. She lied to me saying that she was in class, and then she started talking back to me. If we see each other now, we’ll probably start quarreling again. Go pick her up after you’re done with work. We’ll talk later tonight.”
His eyebrows knitted in a frown. ”Baby, I’ll have her picked up immediately. You should finish recording and let the chauffeur bring you over when you’re done. I promise you’ll see her. Is that alright?”
He rose from his chair and went over to one of the wall-to-wall windows in his office. ”Baby, I didn’t teach her properly. It won’t happen again, don’t be mad,” he said gently into the phone as he stared out the window in the direction of the television station.
The man sounded cautious and fearful at the same time, causing Qingruo to smile and soften her tone a little. ”Feng Qi, I hope our daughter will grow up to become a good girl.”
Feng Qi looked at the glass and nodded. Every time she spoke softly to him, his heart would melt into a puddle of tenderness. ”I know.”
After hanging up, he left the meeting to Chu Yang and headed for his office. As he walked, he took out his phone and made a call. ”Use any method to get Feng Nianyi in here—immediately.”
His tone was too cold. When he brought up Feng Nianyi, his voice did not contain the slightest of warmth. The person on the other line was stunned for a moment before hurriedly complying.
Feng Nianyi was playing with her buddies in the billiards room when two bodyguards arrived to take her away. She cursed and screamed until they reached Feng Qi’s office, and his secretary opened the door. She entered with her arms forcefully pinned behind her back, and the first thing that came out of her mouth was an indignant ”Dad, what are you doing?”
Feng Qi was sitting behind his large office desk. Without looking at her, he ordered, ”All of you, leave.”
The bodyguards left her at the entrance. As soon as the office door closed, she gave a low curse and took off her baseball cap before throwing it to the ground. ”Feng Qi! Why did you let them bring me in like this?”
Throughout the past fifteen years of her life, she was perpetually spoiled and always got what she wanted; Feng Qi not only held her in the palm of his hand but also put a bench on his palm for her to stand on.
When she heard no response from her father, she stomped her feet loudly and glared up at him. Although she resembled Qingruo more, her eyes were just like Feng Qi’s, appearing lazy and attractive when hooded, and sharp and clear when angry.
She furrowed her brows and snorted. Walking over to the sofa, she poured herself a cup of water and sat down. But before she could lift the cup to her lips, Feng Qi spoke, ”Come here and kneel down.”
A calm and icy voice without emotion.
She waved her hand. ”Are you crazy?”
Instead of responding, he called his secretary.
“President Feng.” The secretary knew to act extra careful because Feng Qi was obviously very angry at Feng Nianyi.
“Tell them to come in.”
The same two tall bodyguards from before lightly knocked on the door and entered after being granted permission.
Feng Qi leaned back in his chair and jerked his chin toward his daughter. ”Make her come here and kneel.”
Her eyes immediately widened with horror. The cup in her hand was violently snatched away, leaving her palm with a burning sensation. Once again, her arms were pinned behind her back as she was brought before Feng Qi’s desk. The bodyguards delivered two kicks to her knees, sending her tumbling to the floor. They left quietly while she began to cry.
Who was Feng Qi to Feng Nianyi? He was the heaven and the earth, her most admired father, and the man who had always loved and tolerated her. She was close to Qingruo, but she was afraid of her strict discipline. However, Feng Nianyi had never thought that Feng Qi, of all people, would one day berate her—and the blow hit her, hard. As she sat frozen on the floor, she cried until she was almost out of breath.
Sitting there in his office chair, Feng Qi looked at her coldly as though he were a compassionate god looking at a follower who had disappointed him.
“Nianyi, you’re the child Qingruo gave birth to. Your smile resembles hers. I’ve never forced you to do anything against your will, and nor have I ever asked you to learn anything against your will. You eat, drink, and play. You could even gamble and sleep around—it doesn’t matter, because I can help pave the way to an easy-going life for you,” he said coolly.
Feng Nianyi wiped her tears with her sleeves, smearing the makeup on her face. When she looked up at Feng Qi, she felt as though she had fallen into a cave in December. There was no warmth anywhere, and she was chilled to the soul.
“But.” Feng Qi gently smiled, but the smile was cold. ”You shouldn’t have angered your mom. You shouldn’t have argued with her. You should’ve coaxed her like you did when you were younger. Do you still remember doing that?”
She couldn’t speak. As she retreated into herself, she felt the claws of unfamiliarity, fear, and panic squeezed around her heart, making every beat painful and difficult. The sunlight pouring in through the huge glass windows behind Feng Qi seemed dark. Standing up, he pulled several tissues from the box on his desk and walked toward her.
”Don’t come here…” she muttered hoarsely as she tried to move back, but he kept a steady pace and soon arrived in front of her. When he squatted down and started to wipe her face, his movements were just as gentle and meticulous as they had always been. However, Feng Nianyi tensed and felt the hairs on her body stand up.
“Little baby, do you know why you’re an only child?”
His tone was light with a riveting sense of tenderness. Feng Nianyi shook her head. She didn’t want to know, but at the same time, she didn’t dare turn her head away. She could only shut her eyes tightly.
“Your mom was pregnant for ten months. It was difficult—giving birth to you was difficult.”
Finally, she opened her eyes.
In his forties, Feng Qi seemed even more imposing than before. When she was a child, he had given her the impression of a sharp knife, cold and poisonous and fear-inducing. The current him was composed and merciless, like a silent killer.
She had grown up listening to rumors about him, some of which were laudatory, and others derogatory. At the time, those rumors had seemed like jokes to her. Feng Nianyi smiled slightly. It took only one moment for her to understand.
She had grown up seeing Qingruo falling asleep in front of the television and Feng Qi standing up to turn it off. Sometimes, he would tightly clasp their hands together and let Qingruo use his arm as a pillow. Other times, he would carefully carry her upstairs, gently patting her back and coaxing her as he went.
She had always known how much Feng Qi cared about Qingruo. The Feng Company was huge, and Feng Qi stood at the very top of its hierarchy; it went without saying how many women threw themselves at him every day. However, he never once fell for any of them. All of his apologies and nauseating sweet talk were used to coax Qingruo. He couldn’t stand to see Qingruo unhappy, and he would frequently push aside projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars in favor of accompanying her to participate in all sorts of trivial little activities.
She had always thought that the love parents gave to their children was divided, just like how some couples would love their children even if they didn’t love each other.
But she had never thought that even the love and tolerance Feng Qi gave her was because of Qingruo.
“Dad, I will apologize to mom.”
At that, he smiled and rubbed her head. He was still the same unruly father who liked to spoil her to the heavens. ”My little baby is good. Go freshen up in the lounge, your mom will be here soon.”
There was a small lounge behind Feng Qi’s office. Whenever she was in trouble, she would hide there and play on her tablet while Feng Qi coaxed Qingruo. All Feng Nianyi had to do was make an appearance during dinner and obediently admit to her wrongdoings, and then everyone would be happy again.
However, this time Feng Nianyi went to the lounge and cried. She cried, feeling like the whole world had abandoned her.
Qingruo had arrived and Feng Qi was gently soothing her in a low and mellow voice. Each tender word he spoke was a ballad in itself.
Feng Nianyi heard her mother laugh a few times, and suddenly it came to her that as far as she could remember, no one had ever said a single harsh word to her mother before. What was the reason? Half of it was because Qingruo herself was simply a perfect woman, and the other half was obviously because her husband was the tyrannical Feng Qi.
Maybe this was true love. Feng Nianyi lowered her head and washed her face. As the warm water splashed against her face, the corners of her lips curved and she thought, ‘Fortunately, they’re my parents.’
Seemingly overnight, Feng Nianyi’s rebellious phase passed.
When her homeroom teacher called Qingruo again, he was full of praise and gratification.
As the years went by, Feng Nianyi became closer to Qingruo, while a sense of distance was established between the father she had clung to when she was younger. The father-daughter duo started to fight for Qingruo’s attention and would grouch when one of them lost to the other.
On the day of Feng Nianyi’s wedding, Feng Qi sent her off with a huge dowry, including the entire Feng Company. He and Qingruo were going to retire and spend the rest of their days traveling around the world. They planned to rest at one place for a year or two if they ever got tired, find some little things to do, and then resume their travels.
Qingruo was nearly fifty years old now. Wrinkles had appeared on her face, and her hair had begun to turn white, but she was still beautiful, and she moved with mesmerizing grace. The flow of time had left traces on her body, and those traces had become beautiful gifts.
As they waited for the groom to arrive, a group of bridesmaids, relatives, and friends stayed in Feng Nianyi’s room to discuss how they should prank the groom.
Later that evening, someone brought up the past, mentioning how Feng Nianyi had suddenly turned obedient overnight and become a true proud daughter of heaven.
Qingruo was still reluctant to let go of her daughter. Her eyes glistened with tears. Feng Nianyi was also filled with tears, but she laughed as she sat beside Qingruo on the bed and held her hand.
When Feng Nianyi told her a secret that she had always kept to herself, Qingruo didn’t know whether she should laugh or cry, and the sad mood instantly dispersed. She gently stroked her daughter’s head. ”You little dummy. How could your dad not love you? He was just scaring you.”
Feng Nianyi laughed and nodded obediently before scooting over to rub their shoulders together, acting like a spoiled child again. “Well, I was young. It had really frightened me.”
The truth was, she knew that the Feng Qi she had seen that day was the real version of him. However, she didn’t tell her mother that.
Afterward, Feng Nianyi left to wreak havoc in the bridal chamber with her friends, and Feng Qi took Qingruo back to the old manor. He was almost sixty years old now, but he was in denial of that. He princess-carried Qingruo from the entrance to their room and secretly felt proud of himself for keeping up with his exercises; how humiliating would it be if he had accidentally dropped her?
Their things were all packed up. Two people, two suitcases, and a backpack, reminiscent of their honeymoon all those years ago. The manor had been redecorated, elevating their room to the third floor, where the ceiling had become a glass ceiling. By pressing a button, the partition would part to reveal a starry sky.
Qingruo nestled hand-in-hand in Feng Qi’s embrace. Their wedding rings had left individual marks on their fingers, like promises engraved deeply in their hearts.
“Feng Qi, our daughter told me today that when she was small, you scared her. It was that time her classroom teacher called me and told on her.”
He gently laughed. ”Baby, our daughter is a good child, a good girl, and today she has become a good wife. In the future, she’ll become a good mother.”
A busy day had gone by. Feng Qi never wanted to part with Qingruo. He leaned down and kissed the top of her head.
Her hair was no longer as soft as it used to be, and her tresses were slightly dry. Her lips were no longer as full as they used to be, and when he kissed her, there was the grainy feeling of sand rubbing against sand.
It was an imprint of happiness, left behind by the passage of time.
Baby, I wasn’t scaring her.
I love her because of you.
When you’re by my side,
Every second and every hour feels like a moment of stolen happiness.
With my unease and insecurity,
My anxiety and worry,
I want to treat you even better.
VIN: Ahh, it’s over. So, what do you guys think? About their story? Out of 10, what rating would you give Feng Qi? And was he too harsh with Feng Nianyi?