Dinner was by candlelight.
This island was a holiday paradise.
The weather felt like spring all year round, with glowing white beaches and bright stars at night.
Liu Chengyu could see that the Eldest Miss of the Han Family was really enjoying her dinner.
With every bite of fresh lobster raised to her mouth, she closed her eyes a little and her mouth curved to show the pleasure and contentment she was feeling in the moment.
Liu Chengyu was patient.
He quietly and respectfully accompanied her through the meal, until Han Yanyan finally picked up her glass to take a sip of white wine.
Then he put down his knife and fork, dabbed his mouth with a napkin, and set it aside to start the conversation that would change his life.
"All transactions must be fair.
I would like to know what you want from me in return" he asked.
"Hmmmmmm..." Han Yanyan dragged out her answer as she swished her wineglass gently.
"What about a reliable husband"
Liu Chengyu's expression didn't change.
"It's true," Han Yanyan smiled.
"The Qiao Family has been going downhill for the past two years, but to my father's mind, they are still the best allies by marriage.
He isn't willing to settle for second place, and neither am I." Han Yanyan curled a lip.
"Unfortunately, your brother has lost his mind.
I doubt my dad wants a fool for a son-in-law, and of course, I don't either.
Who would want an idiot for a husband "
She laughed scornfully.
Her expression made Liu Chengyu relax.
"What are your requirements for this marriage" he asked.
"I want to be free," Han Yanyan replied.
Does she mean, sexually Liu Chengyu pursed his lips.
"I don't think I can agree with that attitude towards marriage."
Surprised, Han Yanyan said, "I would have thought that with your life experience, you wouldn't care too much about marriage."
Liu Chengyu tightened his lips, and the air seemed to chill.
But unexpectedly, Eldest Miss Han apologized immediately.
I crossed a line."
He loosened his clenched fist and pondered for a moment before saying, "Before we have children, I'm fine with not interfering with your lifestyle.
But if you and I have a child together, I wish for the child to have a normal and complete family."
A little amazed, Han Yanyan asked, "Have you never thought that this requirement might lead to our negotiations falling through, and that I might settle for second best You must know that there are quite a few people who would be glad to marry me, and who wouldn't care if I continued playing around."
"A man must have a bottom line."
Han Yanyan put away her playful look.
Now sincerely interested in the young man before her, her eyes turned serious.
"I don't know what sort of marriage you want," Liu Chengyu said, "But I will do my best to give it to you.
However, that's my bottom line.
If you can't accept it, then we have nothing to talk about."
Han Yanyan put down her glass and leaned back slightly in her chair, examining Liu Chengyu.
His face was similarly handsome, but his serious eyes in comparison to spoiled Qiao Wenxing made him much more pleasing to Han Yanyan's eye.
She thought for a while before saying, "Alright.
This condition isn't hard to accept."
"But I have one more request," she added.
Liu Chengyu leaned forward.
"The most humiliating thing that I, Han Yanyan, have ever encountered was to have the words 'breaking off the engagement' thrown in my face.
I want your foolish brother to be taught a lesson."
When Liu Chengyu's expression changed slightly, she smiled.
"Don't worry, I won't endanger his life, nor will I injure his limbs.
Doesn't he love beauty but not power1 Then let us take away his power and see if his beauty will stick around to share his hardships."
Liu Chengyu thought a little before holding out his hand to Han Yanyan.
Her red lips curved as she took his hand.
After Liu Chengyu returned to China, Han Yanyan left the island as well.
She went to a different country's snow-capped mountains for a pleasant skiing holiday, and then flew to another country's world-famous Grand Canyon...
She played all over the world for four months before finally packing her bags and going happily back to China.
Winter had already fallen in China.
Uncle Chen, who came to pick her up at the airport, could clearly feel that her inexplicable rage of four months ago had dissipated, and that she seemed far more relaxed.
But at the thought of the news he had recently gotten, Uncle Chen didn't dare say anything.
He drove Han Yanyan home as quietly as a chicken.
Han Yanyan had traveled and shopped abroad until she was tired of being fair, rich and beautiful.
When she got home, the first face she saw was the stormy and unpleasant visage of her father in this world.
"Your father has deluded himself.
I thought that the boy wasn't aggressive enough, but that at the very least he would be able to keep the status quo.
I never expected him to be such a fool." Father Han threw a newspaper onto his desk.
Han Yanyan picked it up and leafed through the pages, hiding a smile.
While she had enjoyed herself all over the world, Qiao Wenxing had been rebelling against his father.
He hadn't been able to do it, obviously, and his demand to break off the engagement had been overruled.
In a fit of pique, Qiao Wenxing had put out a public statement dissolving his engagement with Han Yanyan, slapping the faces of both Han and Qiao with one blow.
"He really did it," she laughed.
"Why aren't you surprised" Father Han looked at her.
"Did you already know"
Han Yanyan threw down the newspaper.
"He came to me with his true love and kept saying that he wanted to break off the engagement.
I was too lazy to pay attention."
"Is that why you ran off to amuse yourself" The thought of his daughter going abroad with grief in her heart thanks to this bird brain made Father Han fume.
He no longer hesitated, but immediately and firmly ruled out Qiao Wenxing internally2.
"Yanyan," he asked his daughter tentatively, "How do you..."
"I'm fine," Han Yanyan said, making a dismissive motion with her hand.
"We grew up together and knew each other well, so it felt right, but I didn't expect him to grow up to be so stupid.
Since he's no longer suitable, let's call it off."
Father Han relaxed a little.
Although it was an arranged marriage, he, too, hoped that his only daughter would have a happy life.
Qiao Wenxing might not have been a success story, but Father Han thought that he might as least be a good husband.
He hadn't expected to have misjudged the young man.
He calmed down, opened a drawer, and took out a folder, which he then pushed over.
Han Yanyan opened it to find a photo of Liu Chengyu.
In it, he was shaking hands with some clients.
His face was handsome, his manners solemn, and his look serious and earnest.
Raising an eyebrow, she asked, "And who might this handsome guy be"