While organizing his thoughts, Shen Yanming recalled his meeting with He Yue today.
Before Shen Yanming mentioned He Changkong’s name, He Yue had subtly checked the time, claiming he was free.
Yet, the message he conveyed was that he didn’t have much leisure for an extended conversation.
However, when Shen Yanming directly asked about He Changkong, He Yue changed his tune, “Let’s talk in my office.”
He Yue’s large office had a small room inside that served as his personal workspace.
He closed the door and hung a “Do Not Disturb” sign, ensuring no one would enter for a while.
Surveying the office, Shen Yanming saw that while it held various items, everything was neatly arranged.
This attention to organization was rather consistent with He Changkong’s nature.
He Yue poured tea for Shen Yanming.
Accepting the cup, Shen Yanming found the temperature just right, neither scalding nor cold.
Holding it in his hands provided some warmth.
Even in the face of a student from an unfamiliar background, Professor He still maintained a remarkably accommodating demeanor.
Shen Yanming held the cup, contemplating several times to speak, but he wasn’t sure where to start.
It was He Yue who broke the silence, “Where did you come from?”
“Haicheng,” Shen Yanming replied.
“That’s not too far.
It’s about an hour by high-speed train.
But our school is quite remote.
It mustn’t have been easy to find,” He Yue commented.
Shen Yanming shook his head, “It was okay, really.”
“You’ve come a long way.
I believe you must have something important to say.
Don’t worry, just speak it out… I heard you mention that kid, Changkong.
Is it related to him?” He Yue inquired.
Shen Yanming hadn’t expected He Yue to be so straightforward.
He Yue was right though; traveling all the way here he surely wasn’t here for trivial matters.
But in truth, Shen Yanming had come mostly due to his gut feeling that something wasn’t right.
If he had to be frank, he wasn’t sure what he should say or ask.
To directly ask, “Why didn’t you visit him all these years?” or “Do you know how his mother treated him all these years?” would be like stirring up trouble.
Besides, he felt there might be things he wasn’t aware of.
He Yue seemed to have sensed Shen Yanming’s unease and took the initiative, “Are you his friend? Did he encounter some issues?”
Shen Yanming felt that He Yue’s tone was strange.
Whenever he spoke about He Changkong, there was a hint of unfamiliarity.
Could it be because they hadn’t been in touch for so long? He couldn’t quite figure it out.
Finally, hesitatingly, he asked, “Yes, I am his friend… You are his father, right?”
“Father…” He Yue’s gaze lost its focus for a moment, “Is that how he told you?”
Shen Yanming pondered, “…” how else?
Things were becoming stranger by the moment.
He Yue asked again, “Did he run into some trouble?”
After considering it, Shen Yanming felt that his hesitance was making him appear less confident.
He said, “My next words might come across as offensive, I apologize in advance.”
“It’s alright,” He Yue replied.
Shen Yanming steeled himself and roughly recounted the incident at the hotel when Xu Yun had caused a scene.
Of course, he wasn’t naive; when he spoke, he omitted certain details.
“Currently, we’re teammates in a competitive gaming team.
It’s called esports; not sure if you’ve heard of it.
But that’s not important… The thing is, his mother wasn’t too happy about him being in this field.
She caused a scene where we play matches.
And also… and also…”
Speaking about private matters to a professor who appeared gentle, respectful, and noble like a true gentleman made Shen Yanming feel quite pressured.
He stumbled for a moment.
“Don’t rush, take your time,” He Yue reassured him.
“I know about esports, though I’m not very familiar with it.
I didn’t expect Changkong to get into this line of work… His mother indeed probably wouldn’t have agreed to him pursuing the esports you’re talking about… Continue.”
Shen Yanming skimmed over the cause and effect, then whispered, “And then his mother mentioned your… sexual orientation to him, saying you left back then.
This was the first time Kong ge heard about these things, and it seemed to significantly affect his mood.
His performance in matches suffered as well.
I wanted to confirm with you if what his mother said was true and if it’s true that you haven’t thought about going back to see him all these years… After all, he is your child.”
Upon hearing the subsequent events as described by Shen Yanming, He Yue’s expression turned stern.
“Are you questioning me?”
Seeing the usually mild-mannered professor suddenly become cold, Shen Yanming was taken aback.
However, he wasn’t intimidated.
Arguments were common, and anyone could engage in them.
If this turned out to be a confrontation with a trashy individual, Shen Yanming was prepared to confront the years of resentment and frustration on behalf of He Changkong.
Yet, before Shen Yanming could speak, He Yue picked up his water glass, took a sip, and returned to his original demeanor.
“Were you startled just now?”
Shen Yanming: “…” What was this? Changing moods faster than a Sichuan opera face-changing performance!
Or was He Yue going to turn dark?
He Yue continued, “You’re a good kid.
Your friend is facing issues, and you traveled all this way, possibly seeking the truth or some kind of explanation.
But you’re too impulsive.
What if you encounter someone unreasonable or a person lacking patience? Have you thought about the consequences?”
Shen Yanming: “…” He had considered it a bit, but not thoroughly.
He had indeed thought that the way Kong ge was handling things was not effective.
So, as a last-ditch attempt, he had hurriedly come here.
His plan had been quite simple.
If he could uncover something good, that would be ideal.
If not, he would confront the person directly.
It was still better than waiting for something to happen at the base.
“Alright, I understand you’re anxious.
Come here,” He Yue motioned Shen Yanming over to his personal computer, then said, “I might sound impolite, but you are indeed a stranger to me.
I could have ignored the questions you asked… But you mentioned Changkong’s state being affected, so I thought it was necessary to address it.”
Shen Yanming moved over and saw He Yue searching through a hidden folder for a while before finally opening a scanned document.
He Yue said, “Fortunately, I have a bit of… what you young folks might call OCD.
I’ve archived important documents and records, and I back them up every few months.
Otherwise, if you’d come knocking, I could have spoken, but you wouldn’t have believed me.”
On the screen, Shen Yanming saw a DNA paternity test report issued by a medical identification center.
It was quite old, dating back over a decade.
Shen Yanming calculated; it seemed to be around the time He Changkong had mentioned, when his parents divorced.
The final conclusion stated that there was no genetic relationship between He Yue and He Changkong.
In other words, they were not blood-related.
Shen Yanming was greatly shocked, even forgetting about manners.
He leaned in, took the mouse, and repeatedly zoomed in and out on the image.
“Is this… for real?” Shen Yanming muttered.
He Yue gave a bitter smile.
“Would you like to hear the story?”
Shen Yanming looked somewhat bewilderedly at He Yue.
He Yue said, “I’m actually not inclined to speak ill of the lady or bring up those trivial matters from the past.”
Despite saying that, Shen Yanming still listened as He Yue recounted some old stories.
He Yue and Xu Yun had met through a setup, but labeling it as a blind date wasn’t entirely accurate.
He Yue hadn’t been willing to go on such a blind date at that time.
He went just to save the lady some face, a mere social interaction.
He had initially thought that would be the end of it, but Xu Yun started passionately pursuing him.
He had clearly rejected her and explained he already had a partner.
Yet, Xu Yun was stubborn.
Even if he said that, she persisted, claiming that unmarried men and women could have partners too.
Back then, He Yue felt he couldn’t reveal the truth to Xu Yun, so he politely declined time after time.
Until one day, she caught him with his partner.
Although it startled him, He Yue thought Xu Yun would give up after that.
But she didn’t.
Later, she used that incident to threaten him, saying if he didn’t enter a relationship with her, she would reveal his homosexuality.
He Yue hadn’t agreed.
But the parents of both families started socializing more and more, and despite He Yue’s attempts to avoid it, there were times he couldn’t avoid running into Xu Yun.
Family gatherings, a bit of alcohol, and the family’s members being pleased resulted in locking the two young people in a room.
Actually, He Yue could handle his liquor fairly well, but that night, he happened to get incredibly drunk, even losing consciousness.
He woke up with gaps in his memory.
Later, Xu Yun claimed they had become intimate that night.
He Yue didn’t believe it at all, because he felt no attraction toward women.
But then Xu Yun said she was pregnant.
Coupled with not recalling what exactly had happened that night, under Xu Yun’s repeated crying and her family’s urging, He Yue began to doubt if he had done something wrong.
Subsequently, he and his partner broke up, and for the sake of responsibility, he married Xu Yun.
Afterward, Xu Yun raised He Changkong like He Yue, but He Yue was generally silent at home.
The most painful thing for him every day was going “home.” He couldn’t reveal any hint of himself even in front of the innocent child.
He numbly fulfilled his duties as a father.
This kind of life tormented him for several years.
He had countless nights where he thought that death might be better.
As He Changkong grew older, he grew less and less like He Yue.
Finally, on one day, He Yue secretly arranged for a paternity test.
When the results came out, he was infuriated, almost immediately divorcing Xu Yun and leaving everything behind in Yun City, heading far away.
Facing a child who wasn’t actually his, he knew rationally that He Changkong was innocent, but emotionally, he couldn’t accept it at the time.
It wasn’t until some time had passed that he decided to return and see the child.
However, during that visit, he didn’t manage to meet the child, but he got entangled with Xu Yun again.
Xu Yun kept changing her approach, first begging him to come back, and when he didn’t agree, she started to threaten him.
He Yue ignored her, so she became annoyed and declared indignantly that she had already told the child.
The child didn’t want to meet a gay father like him at all.
He Yue found it rather amusing.
In fact, he wasn’t He Changkong’s father at all.
Entanglement indeed brought no benefits.
After He Yue left once again, he truly never returned.
However, he maintained some form of contact with He Changkong.
When He Changkong started primary school, He Yue had a friend who taught at that school.
He had heard about a pen pal activity organized there, so He Yue voluntarily became He Changkong’s pen pal.
Of course, he didn’t use his usual writing style, instead adopting that of a stranger, keeping up this correspondence roughly until He Changkong graduated from elementary school.
Even at that young age, He Changkong’s letters sounded a bit like an adult’s.
They mostly revolved around school matters, occasionally mentioning his mother’s high expectations and strictness and his resolve to work harder.
From those letters, He Yue had never sensed that He Changkong was not doing well.
Later, for reasons unknown, whether due to a change of job and address that made contact difficult or because the child had reached adolescence and wasn’t willing to write such things anymore, the correspondence ceased.
And it remained that way until now.
Listening to all this, Shen Yanming’s emotions went from shock to melancholy.
In the end, he didn’t know what to say, and he awkwardly said, “The professor told me I’m too impulsive, but he still directly told me all these things…”
He Yue took a sip of water and smiled, “Did I say my story was true? It’s just a story.”
Shen Yanming said, “…At the very least, that paternity test should be real.
You didn’t know if I would come over, so it wouldn’t be easy to fake that in advance.”
He Yue then asked, “Can what I said be of any help to you?”
Shen Yanming shook his head, “Honestly, I don’t know.
But I think he’s really messed up mentally because he found out his father is a morally tainted deceitful gay.
How should I put it… I don’t know about others, but even if I complain about my dad on the surface, I still think of my dad as the first hero in my life… Maybe the dad in Kong ge’s heart was also very magnificent, and it all just crumbled, he definitely wouldn’t be able to handle that.”
He Yue fell silent for a long time, “You’re a good kid.
To be honest, I haven’t been in touch with Changkong for many years.
I don’t know what kind of person he’s grown into now, so I can’t give you any advice.
But as you’ve said, if you go back and tell him all this, he might develop new issues.
You understand, right?”
Shen Yanming pondered, “I do.” To think that the supposed father wasn’t actually his real father, and he didn’t even know who his real father was… It sounded incredibly tragic.
A knock sounded from outside the door.
“Perhaps a student is looking for me,” He Yue called out, “Wait a moment.”
Shen Yanming stood up, “Thank you, Professor He.
I’ll probably tell Kong ge about this.
Even if it might make him upset, he shouldn’t be kept in the dark about this kind of thing.” Not exaggerating, at this point, Shen Yanming felt irritated by He Changkong’s deceitful mother.
He had once felt some sympathy for her, but now that was completely gone.
He only wanted He Changkong to extricate himself from these messy matters as soon as possible.
He Yue nodded.
Shen Yanming added, “Then I’ll leave first.
I’m really thankful for your time today.”
He Yue said, “Won’t you stay for a meal?”
Shen Yanming replied, “No, I need to hurry back for training.”
He Yue: “You’re really diligent, I hope you’ll achieve good results in the competition.”
Shen Yanming scratched his head, “Definitely.”
After saying that, Shen Yanming was about to leave, but He Yue remembered something and stopped him, “Leave me your contact information.”
Although Shen Yanming had sounded quite certain at the time, saying he would definitely talk to Kong ge, when it came time to actually speak, he felt a bit hesitant.
They had a match in two days, and it might not be the best time to bring this up.
Maybe he should wait another two days?
What if He Changkong’s mental state deteriorated further? It wasn’t just about the competition.
If He Changkong had another breakdown and lost the match, it would be a heavy blow to him.
Worried and concerned, Shen Yanming didn’t know how long he had been in the bathroom.
He had been in there so long that He Changkong felt something was amiss and came to knock on the bathroom door.
Startled by the sudden knocking, Shen Yanming jumped, “Okay, okay!”
He turned off the shower, quickly dried himself, put on his clothes, and rushed out.
He Changkong looked at him somewhat concerned, “Why were you in there for so long?”
Shen Yanming had already decided to talk about the matter after the match.
He was about to change the topic when a bright idea struck him.
He walked up to He Changkong with his body still damp from the shower, lightly bit on the nape of He Changkong’s neck, and said, “I did something bad inside.”
After saying it, he felt his ears getting warm.
Shen Yanming lowered his head and pinched his earlobe.
Truth be told, he didn’t know what came over him.
When he was being stared at by He Changkong, he suddenly felt like doing something bad.
Luan luanzi: tie tie~
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