Chapter 351: Richard’s Domain
“I love you… I love you Jin Yan, so much. I’m no longer lonely, without a family. Now, I have someone to love. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.”
“Let me down, silly!” Jin Yan playfully ruffled his hair.
Wang Hongyuan quickly and carefully did as asked. He used his free arms to wipe the tear from his face. “Sorry, I’m just very excited. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
Jin Yan rolled her eyes. “I’m not a doll, alright. I’m not nearly that fragile. Do you know why I agreed to be with you?”
Wang Hongyuan shook his head.
She looked at him with an earnest expression on her pretty face. “Your sincerity. You started out by telling me your deepest secret. More than anything else, that was moving. The one who should be apologizing is me, actually. I had no idea you had these kinds of feelings for me. I’ll admit that I had an interest in Professor Lan, but that was more admiration. I found out quickly that he and I couldn’t be. I’m just guessing but I don’t think that man is as ‘normal’ as he appears. There’s something very different, you can see it in his eyes. There’s a sadness in them. I decided to give you a chance because of your sincerity, so you have to make sure that sincerity remains.”
Wang Hongyuan nodded his head. “Absolutely. To you, I’m as clear as glass. Anything you want to know, you need only ask.”
Jin Yan narrowed her eyes at him. “Oh? So who is Professor Lan, really?”
Wang Hongyuan didn’t hesitate to throw Lan Jue under the bus. “Professor Lan is a very strong man, stronger than me for sure. But we have to keep this quiet – I don’t know why he came here, but he’s a good man. On Taihua, it was actually him who saved everyone. I just helped.”
Jin Yan looked around at all the flowers. “You and he live here together right? How are you two going to sleep?”
“Professor Lan said he was going out on a trip tonight, actually,” Hongyuan replied.
“If he not coming back? That means he and Zhou Qianlin….” She trailed off.
Just then, a voice called out. “Zhou Qianlin, can you come out to the front of the hotel.”
The voice was coming from somewhere outside. Jin Yan and Wang Hongyuan exchanged a glance. , then quickly went to the window to peer outside.
Both their eyes popped wide at what they saw.
From the second floor they could peer out to the beautiful horizons of the Barrows. They saw stretching vistas, gorgeous forests, and giant beams of golden light that formed words in the air: Zhou Qianlin. Below, a sea of flowers had been arranged in the shape of a heart before the window. A man stood amidst the fragrant flora, clad in a snow-white suit and an orange shirt behind a white tie. A golden rose was clutched in his hand.
Wang Hongyuan muttered quietly as he stared. “What’s this guy doing crashing our party?”
The flower arrangement Wang Hongyuan had set was beautiful, but what was going on outside…
He pulled open the window and attempted to climb out. Jin Yan quickly pulled him back in. “What are you doing?”
“I’m gunna kick his ass!”
Jin Yan chuckled as she held him back. “You shouldn’t compare yourself like that! I prefer the flowers in here.”
Hongyuan stopped, and looked a her. “Really? You’re the best”
Jin Yan closed the window, and pulled the blinds.
Wang Hongyuan still seemed perturbed the scene outside. “Should we go and see who’s trying to get Qianlin’s attention?”
Jin Yan answered by shaking her head, and sitting on a nearby chair. “I’m not interested in gossip right now. You said before, that you would do whatever I wanted, right?”
Wang Hongyuan nodded in confirmation.
Jin Yan smirked. “So it’s time to put that to the test. Tell me ten thousand times that you love me.”
Wang Hongyuan approached and once more dropped to one knee. He took up her hands in his own. “Jin Yan, I love you.”
“Jin Yan, I love you.”
“Jin Yan, I love you.”
Most of the hotel’s interior was peaceful and calm, but outside it was more than Wang Hongyuan and Jin Yan who were surprised by the situation.
The ruckus caused a stir within the place, and many patrons wandered toward the windows to see what was going on. Lan Jue and Qianlin – just about to open the window – were among them.
“Is… is someone calling my name?” She asked.
Lan Jue shrugged. “Looks like it. I guess we ran in to an acquaintance of yours.”
Zhou Qianlin’s brows furrowed in contemplation. “Let’s go look.” She was off before she’d even finished her sentence.
Lan Jue hurried after her.
Before long, both of them were out of the small hotel’s front doors. The moment she exited, a beam of golden light showered down on her from on high. All the other lights dimmed and disappeared, leaving only that one spotlight, picking her out for all to see. The only things that remains were Qianlin, the flowers, and the man who stood within them.
“Qianlin!” The man called out to her.
Richard looked majestic in his white suit. He was very meticulously put together, clearly.
Zhou Qianlin looked at him, flabberghasted. “You… what are you doing here?”
Richard gave her a charming grin. “Because you’re here. So, here I am!”
Her expression hardened. “What do you think you’re doing?”
Richard shook his head. “I’m not doing anything – I’m just here to see my wife. Have you forgotten? I’m from the West, and many of these planets could be considered my home. And now that you’ve come to visit my home, I must do the proper thing and introduce you to my parents. You are the mother of my future children, the continuance of the Austin lineage. We have to show you all of the manors you have now – whatever belongs to the Austins, belongs also to you. Because you are my wife.”
The windows were full of curious and excited faces. None of the many onlookers had ever seen anything like this before. They couldn’t look away.
Lan Jue stood a small distance behind Zhou Qianlin, watching the exchange. He didn’t move forward, or make any efforts to intervene. He calmly looked on, with a derisive smirk.
It had been quite a while since Richard had shown his face. He’d disappeared ever since his encounter with Hua Li and Chu Cheng. But for why he’d show up right now, Lan Jue had no idea.
Of course Richard was telling it true. The West was his domain, and his family was very likely the strongest in the entire Alliance. More than that, they had been so for the whole modern era. Qianlin’s family had gotten where they were through political tact and skill, remaining uncorrupted in the process. But the powers behind the Austin family were vast, and suspect.
Leaving a spy behind in the university to keep an eye on Qianlin was not a difficult thing to accomplish. So long as she was on Skyfire, Richard and his cronies wouldn’t dare act indiscriminately. But that was the East, with Skyfire Avenue a few short minutes away. But now she was here, in the West. Richard felt this was his opportunity.
As for Lan Jue, he’d completely forgotten about the guy until just this minute.
Zhou Qianlin took a minute to process the crazy coming out of Richard’s mouth, but a moment later she had regained her composure.
“Richard, you need to stop believing and spreading these delusions. Our wedding was never finished. I am not your wife. Please, stop calling me that. It makes me uncomfortable.” Her voice was soft, but firm.
Richard smiled, and slowly made his way out from the center of the flowery heart. “Uncomfortable? That doesn’t mean anything. I just want you, to be my wife. That’s how much I love you. I have ever since the moment I laid eyes on you. Although my parents very much disapprove, I would rather die than live in regret. You’re right, our wedding was never concluded. But, now that you’re here we can finally finish the wedding you deserve. No one’s allowed to marry on The Barrows, but if that’s what you want, then it will be done without a problem. We’ll have the grandest wedding anyone has ever seen. Anything you want, I will give you. You already have all of me. Qianlin, I love you, and my family is happy to give you everything you could ever want. All I want is for you to be my wife, and whatever you need for that to happen I will do.”
“Enough!” Zhou Qianlin snapped.
Richard stopped dead in his tracks from her fierce outburst. He’d never seen her angry before. She had always ever been the picture of graceful poise. But now she was clearly full to the brim with anger. It made her even more beautiful.
Zhou Qianlin glared at Richard. “Love is not a transaction, Richard. I am not goods you can purchase by trading fine jewelry or extravagant weddings. I’ll admit to you right now that I originally took advantage of you, and that was a mistake. I’m sorry, and I regret that I did it. But after taking an honest look at myself, I knew I couldn’t love you. You must give all of this up. I really hope this is the last time you harass me. I don’t want to hate you.”
“Hate me? Ha-hahaha!” Richard suddenly burst in to great peals of laughter. “Hate, huh? Alright, Qianlin – since you want to talk about this, I’ll drop the nonsense. Whether you agree or not, we had our wedding, and you are my wife. Now that you’re here, you can forget about going back. This is the West, and Skyfire’s far away. Once things have been consummated and you bear my children, then I’ll go back with you so your parents can see their grandchild. Right now, I just need you to come with me so we can finish this wedding.” His hand shot out to grab her, and the light from above illuminated his hideous expression.
The skies suddenly exploded in to light, and a host of mecha suits descended. There were more than a hundred with flashing cobalt-blue armor and the Austin family emblem on their chest. Their sudden appearance sent many of the onlookers scrambling away.
Zhou Qianlin shouted right back at him. “What do you think you’re doing! Are you trying to start a war?!”
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