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Yang Chen rushed to Master Tang’s house with Tang Wan to hopefully try to understand the situation better.
Tang Zhechen had three sons and two daughters, while his siblings each had their own children. Tang clan had a huge family tree. At least that was evident.
Tang Wan was Tang Zhechen’s eldest grandchild, a sister of the big mouth Tang Jue. On the other hand, the young girl Tang Xin was the only daughter of Tang Wan’s third uncle, who happened to be the youngest in the clan.
Following Master Tang’s retirement from the government, the Tang clan became the fastest-developing one among the four major clans. Being the eldest grandchild, Tang Wan had received the largest piece of the cake from Master Tang, being the sole inheritor of the maple Group.
However, Master Tang didn’t pass all his authority to Tang Wan alone. He had handed over a large number of assets from the north and Beijing to his eldest grandson, Tang Huang, who was given birth to by his second eldest child.
These choices were the result of the faith he had in Tang Wan and Tang Huang and the potential he saw in them. He was giving these two grandchildren of his a test to judge who was more competent in managing a business before picking either of them to become the next master of the Tang clan.
It was exactly due to his act of mentioning the two possible inheritors that caused the clan to be unstable internally. There were people who were standing on Tang Wan’s side, while there were others supporting Tang Huang. Moreover, a portion of the members were dissatisfied with Master Tang’s arrangement and thus live their days attempting to cause harm to the Master.
The conflict within the clan had become more apparent after Master Tang aged.
However, Master Tang was helpless against this situation though he wanted to solve the issue. Just like the ancient times, problems would definitely arise when emperors handed their power over to the next generation. Not everyone could sit still and watch as the most distinguished title that they could achieve was passed to someone other than themselves.
“The reason I seldom return to Beijing is because, I hate to see the two-faced people from my clan and deal with their criticism and sarcasm. It is also not in my best interest to pick a fight with them. I thought I just had to take care of Maple Group’s operations in the south, and Grandpa would make a wise decision. I just didn’t expect Grandpa to end up this way. After Grandpa who was able to resolve various conflicts collapsed, a lot of unwarranted problems started arising from both sides,” Tang Wan said as she walked with Yang Chen.
Yang Chen wasn’t too surprised. It was common for such dramas to take place in major clans. “What’s the guy Tang Huang all about?”
Anger surfaced in Tang Wan’s elegant eyes. “He’s a really capable manager, but I don’t like him. It isn’t because Grandpa has let him compete against me. I just despise his frivolous attitude. You’ll understand soon enough…”
Tang Xin who was beside them said furiously, “Elder Sister, I feel that Tang Huang is the one behind Grandpa’s sudden illness. It is obvious that he thinks Grandpa is bias and plotted this out of jealousy. He’s the kind of person who will do anything to anyone for money.”
“Tang Xin, it is not wise to conclude without proof. Regardless of how much we dislike him, we must not jump to the conclusion so quickly.” Tang Wan shook her head and sighed.
Tang Xin pouted her lips but looked like she was confident with her statement.
After a short while, the three people came to a quiet courtyard. There was a clean and neat lawn planted with a few maidenhair trees. The courtyard looked like an old-fashioned siheyuan, but had a modern design. It oozed a sense of high-class aura. A private ward for the rich.
[TL note: A siheyuan is a historical type of residence that was commonly found throughout China.]
Upon stepping into the courtyard, Yang Chen heard a hoarse shout coming from a male.
“Lu—Lun! Lun, don’t leave! Don’t leave!!!”
A slender, white-haired old man dressed in a set of cotton pajamas could be seen being pulled by two tall nurses. However, he was still trying his best to rush forward to reach a man standing nearby, as if he had lost his mind.
That man looked like he was in his thirties. He wore a black casual suit. Having a tall and strong build, he had his hair combed neatly while the contours of his face were sharp, causing him to look really masculine. However, the disdainful smile on his face was detestable.
There stood another man and a woman behind him. Similarly dressed in white shirts and black suits, they appeared to be his assistant and driver.
“Tang Huang, do you think Grandpa isn’t in a bad-enough situation already?!”
Tang Wan shouted at that man upon entering the place.
Tang Huang turned around and laughed when he saw Tang Wan. “I was wondering why the brat Tang Xin had run away. So she had gone to ask for help. Tang Wan, although you’re my elder cousin, there’s no reason to stop me from visiting my grandpa is there? I came here all the way from Beijing just to see how Grandpa is doing. Didn’t you say you had invited a professional to treat Grandpa? Why is his illness more severe than ever? Just listen to whose name Grandpa is shouting.
Agony filled Tang Wan’s eyes. Coldly, she said, “Mind your own business. Now that you’ve visited Grandpa, you may leave this place.”
“Tsk, tsk. My great elder sister, why are you treating your younger brother who just wants to visit his senior this way? You could’ve at least asked me to stay for lunch or something.” Tang Huang shook his finger.
At this moment, Yang Chen quietly and slowly walked to Master Tang who had not calmed down yet. Being gazed upon by the two surprised nurses, Yang Chen touched the back of the old man’s neck lightly.
In the blink of an eye, the old man stopped shouting. He then blurrily returned to his wheelchair before falling asleep.
Tang Wan and Tang Huang who were in the midst of an argument, frowned as they looked at Yang Chen. Silence ensued.
Yang Chen raised his head with a faint smile. “Don’t worry, I’m just letting him rest for a bit. He looked like he could use one. Let’s have a rest ourselves as well, shall we? It’s about lunchtime now.”
Tang Huang looked at Yang Chen again with curious eyes. He smiled weirdly and said, “I had been wondering why Elder Sister hadn’t found a man for so many years. So… it’s because she likes young ones. Kid, do you study traditional Chinese medicine? Did you strike his acupuncture point?”
Yang Chen waved his hand. “Think whatever you want. Didn’t you say you wanted to have lunch here? Let’s go now.”
Tang Huang let out a wicked smile. “Interesting. But I’m not in the mood for a meal anymore. Sigh… I lost my appetite after seeing my dearest grandfather like this. You should keep my elder sister company and give her consolation.”
After he finished speaking, he turned to Tang Wan. “Elder Sister, I noticed that this place is much better than Beijing. The air is so fresh here. No wonder you have such a clear and moist skin. I think I’ll stay here for a little longer and visit Grandpa more often.”
Tang Huang then signalled the man and the woman behind before leaving without turning his head back.
Tang Xin stared at Tang Huang’s figure when he left. She stomped heavily on the ground to express her anger and helplessness.
Tang Wan bit her lip quietly before approaching Yang Chen. “I’m sorry. He’s always behaved that way, please don’t get angry.”
“I’m not mad of course. I can tell that he’s a legitimate wicked man, but I find people like him more acceptable than hypocrites,” Yang Chen said with a relaxed smile.
Tang Wan said, “Sigh, you’ve always been so carefree. There is no shortage of people like Tang Huang in the clan, while the hypocrites you so despise, are also all over the clan. That’s why I can never be at ease. I had to spend a lot of effort to move Grandpa over to Zhonghai for treatment. I’m worried that Grandpa might be provoked by Tang Huang and the others and his illness will only worsen that way. Also, the relations in Beijing are overly complicated and messy.”
Yang Chen nodded and walked around in the courtyard. Suddenly, Yang Chen stopped moving when he was beside a pillar.
The pillar was built using pure camphor wood which had cost a ton. There were even poetries in the form of Chinese calligraphy engraved on the surface making it appear rather classy.
Yang Chen didn’t pay attention to the poetries. He reached his hand out and pushed the pillar with his finger. At last, he broke a small piece out…
Being stared upon by the others who were clueless, Yang Chen removed a small piece of wood from the pillar…
Yang Chen smiled. On the rear end of the wood piece, there was a glue-like substance, with a tiny silver-colored stick attached. It was the exact same thing Yang Chen had discovered in the late Professor Andre’s room—a listening device.