TL: This is a novel that I was doing on another website as a small experiment. After a few months, I have decided to move it here. It is a bit slow paced at the start but I really like it. I hope you do as well. Enjoy!
The furnishings of the medical facility gradually disappeared and all the pain in his body dissipated as a bizarre scene gradually took shape.
Zhao Yao opened his eyes and the whiteness of the medical facility disappeared. The shadows overlapped and formed the back of the driver’s seat. The air-conditioning in the driving car was just right. He was sitting in the back seat of the car while the wiper of the front windscreen was working. The car was quiet.
“Why is the rain suddenly heavier?” A voice came from his left.
Zhao Yao tilted his head slightly. Sitting on a seat parallel to him was a young man with a slightly immature hairstyle and thick, black-rimmed glasses. The voice clearly came from this young man.
He wasn’t dead?
Zhao Yao looked at the young man’s side profile in silence. It seemed a bit familiar but the body wasn’t like that of a bodyguard.
There were only two people in the car. One was the young man sitting next to him and the other was driving.
Zhao Yao looked quietly at the person sitting next to him. The bodyguards he hired weren’t easy., How did these two men bring him out of the medical facility? In addition, he was dying. There were actually people who had ideas against him…
The young man’s eyes were focused outside on the passing traffic and his voice was filled with a few complaints. “Brother Yao, the car in front of us has slowed down. It looks like there is a traffic jam?” He turned his head to look at Zhao Yao and happened to meet Zhao Yao’s deep gaze.
Yao Bai had never seen Zhao Yao like this before. The silent Zhao Yao had a sense of alienation from strangers that made Yao Bai shiver. The next moment, Zhao Yao’s expression became weird. Yao Bai waved his hand in front of Zhao Yao’s face. “Brother Yao, are you still angry? Being angry is harmful to your body. Don’t care too much about that kid Zhao Qizhen. It will be giving him too much face if you become angry.”
Zhao Yao saw the somewhat familiar face and blurted out a name. “Yao Bai?”
“Brother, what’s wrong?” Yao Bai was uncertain. “You look a little pale. Do you want to let Uncle Wang…”
Zhao Yao moved his eyes to the middle-aged man driving in the front seat. “Uncle Wang?”
The man called Uncle Wang was intently watching the traffic ahead of him. He hadn’t heard the conversation between Zhao Yao and Yao Bai and thought that Zhao Yao was asking about the journey. Therefore, he said, “Young Master, we should arrive in 10 minutes.”
Arrive where in 10 minutes?
“Where are we going?”
Zhao Yao looked at the person in the driver’s seat in a puzzled manner. Didn’t he live in a suburban, long-term medical facility due to his illness? How could Uncle Wang show up at this time? He remembered that Uncle Wang died of advanced cancer when he was 30 years old. How could Uncle Wang be driving him at this time? In addition, Yao Bai was his former friend and assistant when he first entered the Zhao family’s business. Later, Yao Bai resigned because he went abroad.
Uncle Wang was a bit surprised. “Aren’t you going to the company to attend the meeting?”
He continued, “Young Master, are you not feeling well?”
Meeting? He had already delegated power to his confidants in the company. If there was a meeting, there was no need to have him go personally to the company. What was going on? Was he dreaming? He was dreaming of old friends from over 10 years ago?
Zhao Yao was thinking about things in his heart when he unknowingly placed a hand on his leg.
Yao Bai saw Zhao Yao’s face pale and couldn’t help worrying. “Brother Yao, is your leg giving you pain?”
Leg? Wrong! Zhao Yao settled down. There was faint pain from his left leg. He reached out to touch his left leg and as expected, he felt the plaster cast under the loose trouser pants.
Plaster, left leg injury, Yao Bai and Uncle Wang…
Zhao Yao had lived for over 30 years. The only experience he had with having a cast on his left leg was when he was 23 years old. He was in a car accident and his left leg was fractured for over three months before improving… He bit his lower lip slightly and the pain in his lip spread. This wasn’t a dream?
Yao Bai saw that Zhao Yao hadn’t said a word and thought he was suffering from pain. Yao Bai hurriedly searched through a box on his other side. “Brother Yao, wait for a while. The doctor gave me some special painkillers when you were discharged. If you can’t hold on then we will go back to the hospital. The big meeting isn’t as important as your legs.”
The bottles in the box were rummaged through and Zhao Yao’s eyes followed Yao Bai’s movements as he asked, “The Qichen Project?”
Zhao Yao finally found the painkillers. He opened a bottle of mineral water and removed a tablet from the film. “Yes, Mr Zhao sent you a message that the meeting for the Qichen Project will be held today so you wanted to make a trip to the scene as much as possible.” He handed the tablet and water to Zhao Yao. “If it wasn’t for your car accident, that kid Zhao Qizhen wouldn’t be able to show off his power. This opportunity would have originally been yours…”
Zhao Yao looked down at his palms. His delicate hands weren’t what they should look like in his 30s. It might be a bit weird but the current situation shouldn’t be that he died but that he returned to when he was 23 years old. Was he starting his life over?
At the age of 35, his body was weak and his immune system had nearly collapsed. He had stayed in the long-term medical facility for over a year without getting any better. He even heard the final diagnosis from his doctor not long ago. He was too accustomed to his body and had been full of pain every night, unable to sleep. How could he have a relaxed body now?
He started all over again and had returned from his 35 year old self to his young and healthy 23 year old self.
Zhao Yao suddenly felt that all of this was inexplicably funny. He returned to the age of 23 when it had all started. At this time, he was no longer the frightening Zhao Yao. He wasn’t burdened by the bottomless pit that was the Zhao family’s property, nor was he surrounded by no relatives.
The Zhao family’s property was a family business. At the age of 23, he had just come into contact with the Zhao family’s industry when he faced the serious illness of his father, the person in charge of the Zhao family. This triggered a family property struggle. The Qichen project was an important node that kicked off the prelude of this family property competition. It was a project called the heir assessment.
Zhao Yao didn’t take the medicine.
Yao Bai was taken aback. “Brother?” Why did he feel that his brother was a bit strange? He was still fine when coming out of the hospital. Then he asked some strange questions after getting in the car and his face wasn’t quite right.
Zhao Yao’s mind returned and he looked down at his left leg that was in a cast.
“It doesn’t hurt.” Zhao Yao glanced at Yao Bai. “Give me the water.”
Yao Bai handed over the water in a daze. “Brother, are you angry? I heard that this project requires traveling around. If you don’t get the opportunity this time, you don’t have to be discouraged.” He finished these words and felt talkative again. He told Zhao Yao cautiously, “I’m not saying you don’t have a chance but your leg injury means it is inconvenient…”
Zhao Yao drank the water while quickly recalling the events of this period.
The time when he was 23 years old was too long ago. Zhao Yao couldn’t remember other things but he couldn’t forget many details of the Qichen Project. The Qichen Project was one that caused them to shed all pretense of cordiality. He had wanted it and so did the rest of the Zhao family. In his last life, he was in a car accident that caused mobility problems and fell behind in the competition of the Zhao family. He almost missed his chance to participate in the Qichen Project and he was coldly ridiculed by Zhao Qizhen.
At that time, he happened to learn that the Qichen Project meeting was about to be held. Therefore, he rushed from the hospital to the meeting site despite the need to rest after the car accident. It was all in order to participate in the so-called heir evaluation projection selection.
The driver was Uncle Wang, the housekeeper who had taken care of him since childhood. In addition, the person sitting next to him was his assistant Yao Bai.
He would arrive at the meeting in 10 minutes…
Uncle Wang saw Zhao Yao’s gloomy face through the rearview mirror and thought about it. “Young Master, you should rest for a few more days before leaving the hospital. The doctor said that it is best to rest in this situation.”
Zhao Yao heard this and smiled. “Then at the front intersection, turn around. Return to the hospital.”
His words shocked the two people in the car.
Yao Bai didn’t know why Zhao Yao had suddenly changed his mind. “Then we will go back to the hospital. Do I need to tell Mr Zhao that we’re not coming?” He took out his mobile phone.
Uncle Wang looked at the intersection in front. “Then I will change roads back to the hospital.”
“It is just a joke.” Zhao Yao closed his eyes to rest. “Keep driving.”
Yao Bai couldn’t understand it and kept holding the phone in his hand. He asked in a daze, “Huh? So you are going?”
Uncle Wang had an idea in his heart and didn’t turn at the intersection. He told Yao Bai, “Young Master values this meeting very much.
Zhao Yao wondered casually with his eyes closed, “Is it important?”
It didn’t matter to him but his absence might mean that some people’s expectations would come to nothing.
The car soon arrived at the commercial building. Yao Bai, who was sitting on the other side, opened the door and got off. He opened his umbrella and put the wheelchair on the other side. Together with Uncle Wang, he helped Zhao Yao into the wheelchair.
Yao Bai pushed the wheelchair to a place where there was no rain. “Is this rain against us? It started to rain as soon as we got out of the hospital and now it is getting worse.”
Zhao Yao stared straight ahead at the building that was both familiar and strange. “There is nothing wrong with a rainy day.”
Yao Bai nodded. “It is also cooler.”
Uncle Wang needed to park the car so he said, “Time is tight. Let Xiao Bai send you up first.”
Zhao Yao looked around and spoke in a warm voice, “There is no rush.”
The people here weren’t in a hurry but once those upstairs learned that the Third Young Master’s car had arrived at the building, they sent a person to keep an eye on it. Zhao Yao had just arrived inside the building when he saw a man in a suit hurrying out of the elevator.
The secretary who received the notice had hurried down. He looked happy when he saw Zhao Yao and came forward. “Third Young Master has come? The meeting has just started. President Zhao asked me to come down and pick you up.
The Qichen Project meeting had been delayed for some time. One of the key figures, Zhao Yao, was delayed in coming so the meeting was delayed for a long time.
Zhao Yao smiled and asked calmly, “Zhao Zhikai?”
Zhao Zhikai’s secretary obviously hadn’t expected Zhao Yao to call out President Zhao’s name so blatantly and didn’t know how to respond for a moment. He changed the subject. “The eldest young master and the others have also arrived.” He carefully sized up Zhao Yao. He heard that the third young master of the Zhao family was smart but he was still a bit naive when first entering society. Now seeing the third young master himself, he didn’t know why but he didn’t dare underestimate this person.
Zhao Yao looked bored. “Let’s go.”
Yao Bai pushed his wheelchair forward.
Yao Bai had just taken two steps when he noticed the secretary’s gaze. “What’s the matter?”
Zhao Zhikai’s secretary coughed. “This gentleman, you should wait in the lounge. It is estimated that the meeting won’t end for some time. I will send the third young master up.”
The meaning was that Yao Bai didn’t need to follow. The meeting wasn’t suitable for him to be present at.
Yao Bai wasn’t surprised by the secretary’s words. In the eyes of outsiders, he was Zhao Yao’s assistant but in fact, he was actually an assistant with no sense of existence. He lowered his head and was going to talk to his brother, when he heard Zhao Yao speak first.
“Yao Bai, follow me. Uncle Wang will wait for me in the lounge.”
Yao Bai was taken aback.
Zhao Yao’s eyes were indifferent as he looked up at the secretary. “Is there a problem?”
The secretary was suddenly embarrassed and had to say, “No problem. I will show you the way.”
Uncle Wang told him, “Young Master, be careful.”
The elevator soon reached the 20th floor. Yao Bai pushed him past a group of officers and the employees in the work area looked at them until they opened the door of the meeting room.
The door of the meeting room opened wide and the people sitting at the table cast their eyes at Zhao Yao with curiosity, suspicion and even doubts. Zhao Yao glanced at the people present. They were the branch leaders of the Qichen Project and the directors of this family’s group.
In addition, the few people sitting directly in front were the highlight of this meet.
Zhao Yao’s gaze swept around the room. There were familiar faces and many new ones.
Part of the demonstration had already been done on the electronic projection screen and it was clear that the meeting had already begun.
A tall, thin speaker in a suit and leather shoes stood at the podium, looking at the middle-aged man below from time to time. The middle-aged man he was looking at was Zhao Zhikai, who specifically asked the secretary to go down and pick up the key figure of this meeting. He saw Zhao Yao enter the meeting room and a bit of joy filled his face. “You came?”
Zhao Yao’s eyes stopped on Zhao Zhikai. Before he could speak, the voice of someone else suddenly interjected.
“Third Brother, you came. Sit down first. I’ve been waiting for you a long time.” The casually dressed young man stood up with a smile. He saw that Zhao Yao was sitting in a wheelchair and ordered, “The chair is too much trouble. Move it first.”
Yao Bai saw the young man and whispered, “Fake good intentions.”
Zhao Yao turned his head and saw Zhao Qizhen.
Zhao Qizhen met Zhao Yao’s gaze openly and looked at his injured leg provocatively.
Yao Bai was angry and muttered, “I don’t know who the show is for?”
He lowered his head and whispered, “Brother, don’t look at him. He isn’t worthy.”
Zhao Yao, “……”
This kid Yao Bai was still the same as before. He hadn’t changed at all. In the past, after Yao Bai resigned, there were several assistants around him but they were always the spies of others and were careful when dealing with him. There was no one who spoke bluntly like Yao Bai. Yao Bai’s personality wasn’t suitable for attending various occasions with him. In the early years when he worked for the Zhao family, Yao Bai had only followed him once or twice before stopping.
Zhao Qizhen instructed the staff to arrange Zhao Yao’s location. Once he saw that Zhao Yao wasn’t even looking at him, he felt anger at being ignored and scolded the staff, “Why are you standing there in a daze? You still aren’t doing it?”