Xia Wennan sulked in front of the civil affairs bureau for a while before eventually turning back and leaving.
He was still wearing the clothes that Xu Feng had bought him the day before, and his pockets were empty save for his phone.
The city was vast; he had his own apartment on top of his nominal home here, but in that moment, he felt the kind of loss that arose from having nowhere to go.
In the end, Xia Wennan returned to the apartment he shared with Ming Luchuan, took a shower, changed his clothes, then sat cross-legged in front of his desk with a bottle of iced soda he’d purchased at the supermarket, and unscrewed the lid.
The iced soda fizzed, and the bubbles raced to the top.
Xia Wennan felt a little more at ease.
He fired up his laptop and went online to look up Ming Yan.
His previous search had resulted in the unexpected discovery that Ming Luchuan was the president of Ming Yan, which had diverted all of his attention.
This time, after meeting Ming Qin, his interest towards Ming Yan and those with the surname Ming had increased a great deal.
He discovered that the founder of Ming Yan was actually Ming Qin, who had previously worked as a perfumer for a well-known luxury brand.
He founded the perfume company Ming Yan over a decade ago.
In the first year of its establishment, the omega perfume Summertime Snowfield won them the international perfume awards.
Following that, they expanded their business by releasing scented candles, shower gels, and even clothing and cosmetics.
Ming Yan had been under Ming Qin’s personal management for the past decade, and during that time, Ming Yan’s newer perfumes had not been well received.
Their old perfumes remained their best-sellers, and thus Ming Yan’s name gradually faded into the background.
The perfume market’s appeal towards the youth was also exceedingly limited.
This lasted until about a half-year ago, when Ming Yan launched a new line of pheromone perfume, Emotions.
It was a huge success, and they managed to attain the international perfume award yet again with Tears of the Enemy, which immediately became the hottest product on the market.
There was a fairly detailed introduction to the Emotions line on the internet.
As it was the first successful pheromone perfume on the market, it garnered countless people’s attention.
The perfumer who developed this perfume line—Xia Wennan—also rose to industry fame.
Xia Wennan also learnt that he had been interviewed by a well-known fashion magazine.
The article was titled “Tears of the Enemy: The Secrets of a Genius Beta Perfumer’s Emotions.”
Xia Wennan couldn’t stop a flush from rising to his cheeks upon seeing the word ‘genius’ in the title.
He carefully pored over the entire article and realised that he’d given frank, confident answers, appearing to have a wealth of knowledge about perfumes and the pheromones and emotions at the heart of the perfume line.
Throughout the article, however, there was no mention of his unique ability to perceive pheromones as a beta.
The writer was clearly curious about this matter, and one of the questions Xia Wennan had been asked was: “As a beta, how were you able to discern and blend components that mimic those of pheromones?”
Xia Wennan’s answer had been: “It was all due to our teamwork.”
“Were there omegas and alphas on the team?”
“That goes without saying.”
The writer had probably assumed that it was a trade secret, so they stopped pursuing this line of questioning.
As he read the article, Xia Wennan felt very satisfied with his answers.
He propped his face up and reflected: if he had been interviewed as his current self, he probably wouldn’t have been able to answer all those questions so easily.
Those six years worth of accumulated experience must’ve been extremely valuable to him.
He placed the bottle of cold soda on the table and stretched. As he leaned back, the chair swayed and turned slightly, and his thoughts returned to Ming Qin.
Curious, he looked up Ming Qin’s name and many relevant information popped up on the net.
There was even someone who started a thread full of gossip about Ming Qin on a popular forum.
Xia Wennan noticed that the original post had been posted after Ming Yan launched their Emotions line six months ago.
As it was gossip, it couldn’t be fully believed, but based on the contents of the post, it could be said that Ming Qin’s life had been extremely colourful.
Ming Qin was forty-four years old this year.
He developed Summertime Snowfield and founded Ming Yan when he was twenty-six, and he’d only been seventeen when he gave birth to Ming Luchuan.
The post mentioned that Ming Qin hadn’t been married at the time, and the identity of Ming Luchuan’s other father was unknown.
However, while the poster didn’t state anything explicitly, they hinted that on the year before Ming Luchuan was born, Ming Qin had been secretly photographed by the paparazzi while on a date with a top-tier male celebrity—a ‘heavenly king’—alpha surnamed L, and there were even a few blurry pictures attached.
Ming Qin had been an underaged omega who was still in high school at the time, so when the photos were taken, no one had known who he was.
The public’s focus was on the fact that ‘L’ was in a secret relationship.
It was only when the young and beautiful omega founded a famous perfume brand and gained a name in the industry did people discover that the omega youth in those photos was Ming Qin.
Xia Wennan’s curiosity was piqued.
According to the information in the thread, if you looked up ‘heavenly king alpha surnamed L’, you’d find one with the surname Lu, full name Lu Wenxing.
He’d already retired, and he hadn’t made a public appearance in years.
The movies, videos, and photos of him in his younger days were all easily accessible on the internet; Xia Wennan couldn’t be sure if it was just his preconceived notion, but he couldn’t stop thinking that there was a shadow of Lu Wenxing’s looks in Ming Luchuan’s features.
Moreover, did the ‘Lu’ in Ming Luchuan’s name have anything to do with Lu Wenxing, or was it purely coincidental?
*Lu Wenxing’s name – 路问行, Ming Luchuan’s name – 明鹭川.
Same sound, different characters.
Xia Wennan’s attention was drawn back to Ming Qin.
According to the forum post, Ming Qin met his former husband at the luxury brand company where he worked when he was around twenty years old.
The man was a beta, but he was extremely talented and had already risen to the position of company executive before the age of thirty.
Ming Qin married him, had twins when he was twenty-two, and later resigned from the company to co-found a new brand.
Ming Qin drew a lot of attention because he was the perfumer behind Summertime Snowfield and also a beautiful omega.
His beta husband was comparably more low-key, always quietly assisting him from behind.
In the fifth year of Ming Yan’s founding, the beta was imprisoned for embezzlement.
He and Ming Qin divorced, and nothing more was known about him after that.
This beta was none other than Ming Siyan and Ming Sichen’s biological father.
Ming Qin was in charge of Ming Yan for many years, until about half a year ago, when he handed over management to his eldest son, Ming Luchuan.
However, he was still in possession of the majority of the company’s shares.
Based on Xia Wennan’s calculations, Ming Luchuan assumed the role of Ming Yan’s president not long after they got married.
Suddenly somewhat anxious, Xia Wennan gnawed on his nails, stood up, and shut down his laptop.
After a simple lunch outside, Xia Wennan took the subway to Ming Yan.
When he emerged from the subway station, he fixed his gaze on the scorching sun, and on his walk to the Ming Yan building, he happened to witness a minor tailgating incident on the road.
The incident reminded him that he’d been in a car accident himself.
And what of his car? Had it been completely totaled in the crash? Why couldn’t he drive? Why did he have to walk through all this heat?
In the end, Xia Wennan picked up a big leaf from the side of the road and held it up to his head to shield his face from the glaring sunlight.
When he arrived at Ming Yan’s entrance, he caught sight of two people talking beside a taxi.
One of them was an unfamiliar male alpha, his buff body wrapped in a fancy shirt and long legs encased in cropped jeans, and on his feet were a shabby pair of slides.
The alpha had a head of long, wavy blond hair extended almost to his shoulders, a high nose bridge, and deep-set eyes.
His appearance seemed that of a mixed-race person.
The person he was talking to was an Omega in a body-hugging suit—Ming Luchuan’s little brother, Ming Siyan.
He had no idea what the two men were saying.
Ming Siyan pulled open the door of the taxi and ushered the alpha into the car.
When the taxi drove off, Ming Siyan turned his head and glimpsed Xia Wennan holding a leaf to his head.
☆ ☆ ☆
t/n – xia wennan wyd…
anyways! the word that was used to describe ming luchuan’s supposed alpha dad was 天王, which literally means ‘heavenly king’, as in ‘the four heavenly kings/四大天王’ if you’ve heard of them.
this term is used to refer to the best of the best in pop culture who dominated the industry.
so we can all conclude that mlc’s dad was absolutely huge back in his day.
i wonder if he’ll show up later on
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