Damn Old Man
Lin Chucheng’s legs sent him after the staggering Irena before he realised it. Irena wiped her tears as she ran. Notwithstanding her speed, she didn’t bump into anybody or be hit by a horse carriage. Suddenly, somebody hugged Irena. Irena desperately struggled and cried, but the woman tightly had her arms around her shoulders.
“Your Highness, what happened?”
Irena trembled when she heard the woman’s voice. She looked up to see Veirya looking at her with surprise. Anybody who saw the nation’s Princess crying and running up to them would react the same way, wouldn’t they?
It was difficult to describe what Veirya was to Irena. Veirya was a woman who was friendly with her and once a hero, an idol from her stories; however, things were complicated because she was Lin Dongqing’s beloved wife. That was what Irena struggled to accept the most. She blamed Veirya for preventing him from being her father.
“What is the matter, Your Highness? Could Chu have bullied you?” Veirya made a very mother-like remark you’d hear in fiction as she saw Lin Chucheng chasing Irena.
Lin Chucheng and Irena both shuddered. Irena knew that Lin Dongqing had a son but never met him before, partially because Lin Dongqing didn’t want them to be aware of their relationship. Lin Chucheng rarely made public appearances, while Lin Dongqing and Irena were hardly ever in the imperial capital when she was younger. That was why she didn’t know how the boy she even looked.
Lin Chucheng used to be a ball of fire, acting childish. He was a young man she looked down on. He even wanted to abandon his duty as an assistant to a tax officer. She finally discovered he was Lin Dongqing’s son! Lin Chucheng wasn’t trying to be Lin Dongqing’s son. The former was the latter’s lucky son – her perspective.
Irena turned around and stared at Lin Chucheng, emotions and frustration rendering her speechless. From her perspective, Lin Dongqing was a remarkable man. Accordingly, he assumed that his son must’ve been an incredible individual in his own right. Even if he wasn’t as cool, he should’ve been as astute and similar in personality as Lin Dongqing. She couldn’t be his daughter, so she always wanted to get along with his son when they met; she even considered marrying into his family. Never in her wildest dreams did she realise she was already acquainted with his son.
Unfortunately, Lin Dongqing’s son was completely unlike his father. He and his son were two opposite extremes. One was calm and astute, while the other, who was in front of her… was stuck up and self-righteous. His only skill was talking up a big deal – the epitome of what Lin Dongqing looked down on.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to hide it from you. It was my father who forced me to hide my identity.” Lin Chucheng’s best trait was not dragging his feet and being indecisive.
Veirya expressed, “Your Highness, he is my son. His relationship with his father is not very healthy, which was why his father sent him to the tax bureau to work as an assistant. I did not think he was working with you. I hope he has not caused you trouble. With that said, I would like to ask why you are crying.”
Irena sniffled, tightly gripped Veirya’s clothes and shakily requested, “Countess Veirya… I want to see Count Lin… I want… to see Count Lin…”
Lin Dongqing was always Irena’s last hope when she was distressed for he always had a way to comfort her in such moments. Although Irena wanted to be cool, she wanted to choose where she cried. She probably didn’t notice that she bumped into Veirya precisely because she ran toward Lin Dongqing’s place.
Although rather perplexed, Veirya nodded since Irena looked so distressed: “He is at home. If you want to see him, let us go now.”
Lin Chucheng awkwardly stood in place. He suddenly felt a surge of emotions as he watched Veirya hug Irena. He thought he could help Irena feel better. He even had his script prepared. Sadly, he was never on Irena’s radar. He was still nobody to her even after his identity was revealed. Irena’s hope was his father.
How am I inferior to my father? Why does everyone always want my father? Everyone is disappointed when they find out I’m my father’s son. For what reason does my father overshadow me so much? Does even my most pure kindness pale in comparison to him? Everybody seeks my father when they’re faced with trouble, while I’m always letting them down. Am I really so useless?”
Veirya looked back at her son and reached a hand out: “Let’s go, Chu. I think you should speak to your father, too… he’s… in very poor shape… right now. He… coughed blood again this morning… If he doesn’t have much time left… I think you should speak to him.”
Lin Chucheng’s brain blanked out. His mother looked very distressed. Maybe… maybe… his father…
“I… I… I’ll go speak to him!” Lin Chucheng grabbed his mom’s hand tightly and rushed home…
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