Wei Wuxian gave an awkward cough, eyes darting between Jiang Yanli and Jiang Cheng. They both wore equal disbelieving expressions on their faces as they scrutinised him. It was in moments like this that Wei Wuxian could see the similarities between the completely different Jiang siblings. Jiang Cheng was all hard features and a poisonous tongue, quick to anger and even quicker to use his fists instead of talking. Jiang Yanli, on the other hand, was a direct contrast to her younger brother. Soft features and always wearing a kind smile despite her illness. In the months that Wei Wuxian had known her, he had never heard her frown nor complain even though she had every right to.
“Wei Wuxian.” Jiang spoke at last, eyes travelling down to his phone before he held it up. “That text you sent yesterday, what did you mean?”
Wei Wuxian grinned, “exactly what I meant! I got the money for the transplant!”
Jiang Yanli glanced at her brother, before looking back at Wei Wuxian. A mixture of emotions washed across her face as if she could not comprehend Wei Wuxian’s words. Jiang Cheng also looked at Wei Wuxian as if he had grown two heads. He seemed to want to speak but did not know how to form the words.
Finally, he leaned forward and grasped Wei Wuxian’s hands. Then, with a heavy voice, he spoke, “Wei Wuxian… have you—did you rob a bank?”
A splutter escaped from Wei Wuxian’s lips and he also leaned forward to lightly punch Jiang Cheng’s arm. “With one eye missing and with how fragile I look; does it seem as if I can rob a bank?!”
“Then how did you get 300,000 Yuan in one night?!”
“I got a new job.” Wei Wuxian answered, a proud smile on his lips. At the mention of the job, he could not help thinking of Lan Wangji and how generous he had been so far. Even though they barely knew each other and Wei Wuxian’s request of 2 years’ worth of pay was incredulous, he still accepted without question. Without realising, Wei Wuxian’s proud smile turned soft, almost fond.
Jiang Cheng looked at his expression and a million ideas crashed in his mind.
Wei Wuxian… if he did not rob a bank, and he got a “job”, then… “you’ve become a sugar baby?” the words were out of Jiang Cheng’s mouth before he could stop it.
Wei Wuxian really wished he could ignore this person.
“No! I got a job as a PA! And I asked if I could have two years’ worth of pay in advance. My boss agreed.” Wei Wuxian answered.
“You got a job as a PA without any prior experience and your boss even agreed to give you 2 years’ worth of pay in advance? Is your boss so rich that money has clogged up his brain? What kind of employer is this? Wei Wuxian, you better tell me the truth!” Jiang Cheng could not believe Wei Wuxian’s words.
He had taken on many jobs in the past to save up money for Jiang Yanli’s transplant and he had also tried asking for pay in advance with no luck. For Wei Wuxian’s so called boss to give him almost 300,000 Yuan in advance without him having experience or anything to back him up, it sounded too good to be true.
Wei Wuxian did not know whether to laugh or cry. “I am telling the truth! I’m as shocked as you that it worked out, but I suppose I should have expected it. Lan Zhan seems cold and hard to approach but he’s really kind.” Wei Wuxian praised.
Jiang Cheng did not know who this Lan Zhan was, but the “Lan” gave him a clue and he had a sudden realisation.
“Your boss is a Lan? As in Lan Enterprise?” Jiang Cheng questioned. He thought about it—and then, Jiang Cheng, who was having all sorts of realisations, had another one.
“Wait, your boss… is he the rich friend that let you “borrow” a jumper worth thousands of Yuan? The man that stood up for you at the restaurant. The one that looks like Lan Xichen.” Jiang Cheng said. He also knew Lan Xichen’s face, as did most people who paid attention to the news.
“Wait… your friend looks like Lan Xichen.” Another realisation struck Jiang Cheng; he had also heard the staff’s gossip at the Zhong family banquet. The staff had said the man who was next to Lan Xichen, who looked a lot like him, was his younger brother. Therefore, Wei Wuxian’s mysterious rich friend, and now his boss, was none other than Lan Wangji!
Jiang Cheng, who felt as if his entire world view had collapse, could not react for a moment.
Jiang Yanli had been silent up until this moment; finally, she spoke.
“A-Xian, I don’t really know what’s going on, but you have to return the money.” She said, reaching out to take Wei Wuxian’s hand. “I am grateful to have you and A-Cheng, and I’m grateful for all you’re doing for me but this much—I can’t take it.”
“She’s right.” Jiang Cheng interjected before Wei Wuxian could respond, “Wei Wuxian. if you spend most of two years’ pay on the transplant, what will you be left with? Isn’t this pretty much working for free? And also, this Lan Wangji may be your friend now but who’s to say he’ll be your friend tomorrow? Rich people are too fickle to rely on. If you make a mistake in the future and he wants the money back, won’t you be in trouble then?”
“Working for free? Isn’t this for sis? And besides Lan Zhan—he isn’t like that. Isn’t it just two years? I’ll work hard and make sure I repay him with all my effort; if I don’t do anything for him to complain about then there won’t be problems.”
“But if you spend all the money on the transplant, how will you pay for things you need? What about rent?” Jiang Yanli said.
“I’ve worked it out. The rest of the money will be enough for my rent and I have some money saved up from working at the restaurant. Also, I never said I would just be giving the money to you. I expect repayment, especially from you sis.” Wei Wuxian replied with a serious tone.
The room descended into silence before Wei Wuxian spoke,
“I probably won’t be able to buy groceries myself for a while, so I’ll most likely mooch from you for a long time.” Wei Wuxian spoke with a laugh, “So I expect you to repay me by getting better and cooking lots of food for me. Jiang Cheng’s always going on about how delicious his sister’s food is and I want to taste it too! So, get better and cook for me, okay? I won’t take no for an answer.”
“A-Xian…” Jiang Yanli said, her voice coming out in a wobble. She reached forward, wrapping Wei Wuxian in a hug, her tears dampening his neck. “Thank you.”
Wei Wuxian smiled, patting her back to comfort her before turning to a red eyed Jiang Cheng, “and you. Repay me by not smoking anymore. We’re lucky they can use your kidney for sis despite your addiction to smoking. Enough is enough now.”
Jiang Cheng sniffed, his voice coming out hoarse, “Okay.”
He knew what a big sacrifice Wei Wuxian was making for his sister. He knew that from now on, Wei Wuxian’s life would pretty much be unstable until he worked for the two years’ worth of money. He did not know what Lan Wangji was like, if Lan Wangji could turn on him at any moment. Or if Zhong Haoran would continue to make life difficult for him. He was diving head first into unknown waters for Jiang Yanli and Jiang Cheng knew he could never pay him back for his kindness.
“Don’t endure any hardships, Wei Wuxian, you hear me? If anything happens with the Lans; if we have to beg, or even rob a bank, we’ll do it. But don’t suffer in silence.”
Wei Wuxian laughed, his right eye sparkling, “okay! If anything happens, we’re robbing a bank.”
Wei Wuxian could not tell the Jiangs that he was used to hardship, that until recently, he was struggling every day. To Jiang Yanli and Jiang Cheng who did not know of his past, of course they would be worried for an eventual problem. But Wei Wuxian was not worried.
He had faced all kinds of hardship in his life already.
And besides, he was sure…
Lan Wangji would not make life hard for him.