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( Darkness Dissipates; The King Returns (20)

Su Yu immediately hid the brocade box behind him and stood up. "Why are you here?"

"Did you like Pudding and Little Bean's singing?"

"Mhm, I did."

"Who's better, Pudding or Little Bean?" Huo Mian asked with a smile.

"They're both good."

"Aiyo, what a diplomatic answer…"

"I have to be diplomatic, I'm not about to piss one of them off," Su Yu chuckled and responded.

He had been by the twins' side for three years and knew their tempers well. Ever since they began talking, the one question he kept hearing was, "Handsome Su, which one of us is prettier?"

If Su Yu said they were both pretty, they would refuse his answer and force him to make a pick.

If he picked one over the other, the other one would get mad.

But Su Yu wasn't one to anger Huo Mian's darling children.

As smart as he was, Su Yu thought of a way. If he was asked the "who's prettier" question again, he would just directly answer 'I think Huo Mian's prettier'. That would probably keep those little kids quiet.

"Su Yu, thank you for the party tonight. Thanks for taking the time to get everything ready," Huo Mian thanked him with all her heart.

"Don't say that, I've heard you thank me so many times over the years that my ears are starting to hurt."

"What are you hiding behind you?" Huo Mian tilted her head and asked.

"N-nothing…" Su Yu panicked and clenched onto the box, but Huo Mian walked up to him, snatching it away from him.

"Mian…" Su Yu wanted to stop her from opening the brocade box, but it was too late. She smiled. "Wow, what a beautiful diamond ring. Look at the size of it… Gosh, Mr. Moneybags…"

Su Yu smiled awkwardly, but he didn't say anything.

"It's really pretty… One day, the ring will find its owner."

"Mian…" Su Yu wanted to say something, but Huo Mian cut him off. "Su Yu… I can't even begin to express my gratitude towards the Su Family. I witnessed with my own eyes how you treated me, Pudding, and Little Bean over the past few years, and I'm not one to burn bridges… I can't accept your kindness without returning it, but I hope you can understand one thing… Even if Qin Chu hadn't come back, we still won't end up together. Some things are determined before they even start, Su Yu. I don't want to lie to you, and I don't want to choose you out of gratefulness and empathy, because that's hurtful and irresponsible. You deserve a better woman, really… You're a strong man, and you don't need a woman to be with you out of pity. Others might think that I will kick you aside as soon as Qin Chu comes back, but I want to say that I'll never kick you aside. Our relationship won't change just because he's back… I won't say things like I'll treat you like my brother and good friend, because to me, you're family… You're someone I can't live without. I need to say something to you that might hurt you, but I really love Qin Chu. He's the only man I ever loved and will ever love…"

"I know." Su Yu smiled bitterly.

"You're a very important man in my life. You can call us friends or family, but remember I will never cast you aside, nor will I force you to date someone else just so I can leave without guilt. You're a good man who deserves better, and you deserve a woman who loves you wholeheartedly. Although she hadn't appeared, one day she will… Keep this ring, I hope it'll come to use one day," Huo Mian said as she handed the ring back to Su Yu.

"Mian… if Qin Chu didn't come back today and if I proposed in front of everyone, would you have said 'yes'? It had been three years, don't you like me, even a little bit?" Su Yu was unwilling to give up; he didn't get a chance to propose, so he didn't even get to know the answer. He knew Huo Mian would never lie to him, so he really wanted to hear it from her.


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