Chapter 50 – Cracks
“It has nothing to do with Joe Yin. I’ve just became Master Yi’s apprentice, and I want to focus on learning and training. Getting engaged and married would be distracting right now.” Ye Wei calmly said while looking at Joe Yin, who was looking down to avoid eye contact.
He did not hate Joe Yin, nor did he hold a grudge because of what she said to him. It was her own choice to behave the way she did and Ye Wei just could not trust her. If Joe Yin didn’t really care about him, there was no point for him to invest his emotion in this relationship.
Telling everyone what Joe Yin said to him certainly won’t help, nor would apologies do anything meaningful. Trust is like a mirror; you can fix it if it’s broken, but you can still see the cracks in the reflection.
Ye Wei was over Joe Yin. He did not want to get even with her, and he did not want anything to do with her.
Joe Zheng Feng noticed the difference. Ye Wei used to smile when he called Joe Yin’s name, and it used to sound sweet. The Joe Patriarch knew in his heart that it was over. If Ye Wei doesn’t like Joe Yin anymore, nothing can be done. Even if Ye Zheng Qing doesn’t agree with him, he would respect and follow his grandson’s wish. It won’t be surprising if Ye Wei could find someone better than Joe Yin.
Experiencing humiliation for the first time, Joe Yin widened her beautiful eyes in disbelief. She had never been rejected before!
Since Joe Yin was a little girl, she had countless boys complementing and tailing her every move. She genuinely thought Ye Wei would still dance on her palm if she told him to.
But that was not the case! Joe Yin’s heart ached like it was stabbed and tears built up around her eyes uncontrollably.
“Why?” Joe Yin raised her head to look at Ye Wei then screamed. “Is it because of Lin Zi Yan?”
“Why?” Ye Wei was disgusted with how his discreet response was not appreciated. He laughed and replied, “Joe Yin, you know better don’t you? You told me we don’t live in the same world. You told me dragons don’t associate with snakes. You said that in front of tens of South Star Students outside Green Phoenix Halls. I forgave you, and now you feel insulted?”
“Joe Yin, don’t be so self-centered! The world does not revolve around you. You are a pretty girl, and because of it there is always a queue of boys following you, doing whatever you tell them to even if you treat them like dirt. That is not me!”
“Do you think I cared about you because I fancied you like those other boys? You could not be more incorrect… I cared about you like you were my sibling, It hurt when I realized you don’t care about me the same way.”
“When I got my Sentient test result back, how did you treat me? You couldn’t get away from me fast enough. You didn’t want to be seen with me for all that time, and now that I am Master Yi’s legacy apprentice you would like to be engaged to me?”
“I don’t want your fake attention! If I get married I want someone who really cares about me! Yes, you are pretty and talented, but my future wife will be a better person than you!”
Ye Wei did not want to make a scene, but when Joe Yin shamelessly talked back, he needed to get that negativity out of his head and draw the line. He also wished Joe Yin would realize how manipulative she was!
These words stabbed Joe Yin’s heart like a sharp knife. Two lines of tears ran down her cheek as Ye Wei finished his rant.
Ye Wei always treated her well and those words did hurt, but Joe Yin was more emotional than she appeared to be…
Memories came crashing like a tide overwhelming Joe Yin’s mind.
They used to play together, train together. Ye Wei always shared toys and treats with Joe Yin. Every time he was nice to her, she would pull the corner of his robe and say “Thank you Wei Wei!”
It was not before now that Joe Yin realized she misunderstood Ye Wei and that she might be losing someone who genuinely cared for her. She thought Ye Wei was one of her admirers and no matter how far she gets ahead, he would always be there when she turned around. However, what she saw right now was that Ye Wei was further away, at an unreachable place. Joe Yin just wanted him to care for her again, to be reachable again.
“Ye Wei, will you forgive me? I know it’s my fault, I messed up!” In the beginning, Joe Yin felt undignified but Ye Wei’s emotionless face somehow hurt her. She started to understand how much her arrogance and willfulness actually wounded him. “Whatever it may be, I will change it for the better!” Joe Yin said.
Seeing tears streaming down her face, Ye Wei let out a long sigh. “Joe Yin can you stop being so dramatic? You don’t get it… If I was not Master Yi’s legacy apprentice, I really don’t see you apologizing. You’ve hurt me enough, and I am sure we have grown apart now.”
After hearing Ye Wei’s confession, Joe Yin could feel nothing but guilt. She knew if Ye Wei did not become the Runemaster’s apprentice she would probably still be ignoring him, neglecting his feelings. She truly felt guilty and regretful, and she realized the bond they had might never come back.
“I’m sorry, but I have to check on cousin Zhong now, excuse me.” Ye Wei bid his farewell, nodded at Joe Zheng Feng then headed out the door.
If the Runemaster’s legacy apprentice wanted to leave the room nobody could stop him, not even the Joe Patriarch.
A drop of golden sunshine landed on Ye Wei at the hall’s entrance. It lightened up his mood as he stepped away from the drama. He took a deep breath then moved on.
Looking at Ye Wei’s silhouette getting further and further away, Joe Yin felt emptiness and a sense of unease. She would later learn that something irreplaceable just left her life.
There was tension building up inside the great hall as Ye Wei departed.
Joe Zheng Feng felt as if he was sitting on a carpet made of needles. He did not know the relationship between Joe Yin and Ye Wei was this dire. He took a sip from his teacup then said: “Kids always make a huge fuss out of the small things, it should be resolved soon!” He smiled awkwardly as he spoke.
‘Ye Wei was Master Yi’s only legacy apprentice! If this engagement worked out we’d be protected by the Runemaster, even the Big Three would fear us… How stupid is little Yin? Why didn’t she tell me she messed up?!’ Joe Patriarch’s eyes darted around as his mind wandered.
‘Make a fuss out of small things?’ Ye Zheng Qing was not happy with how the Joe’s reacted during the Du family’s campaign, but he was able to be the bigger man because he thought Joe Yin was close to the hero of the hour. But now that did not seem to be the case, there was no reason to be nice to the Joe family.
“Dragons don’t associate with snakes, that’s a good one!” Ye Zheng Qing said in a cold sarcastic tone.
The Ye Patriarch’s words made Joe Zheng Feng feel increasingly embarrassed and uneasy, his face was red as a tomato.
Joe Wan could see how bothered Ye Wei was from his posture. The slow steps he took and how he kept his head down as he walked out. The enthusiasm she had earlier disappeared from her eyes. Although, she is related to the Joe family she is also Ye Wei’s mother. The moment her son revealed the details, she forgot about the engagement and started siding with him.
“Joe Patriarch, excuse me!” Ye Yi too wanted to leave the scene. He was there when his son told him about his red Sentient, he knew exactly how vulnerable Ye Wei was. To Ye Yi and Joe Wan, what Joe Yin did to their son was intolerable.
Their son’s wish was clear therefore they had no business here. They weren’t worried about his future, Master Yi’s legacy apprentice deserves better.
Aunt Jing Jing was known for her bad temper and caring for the youngsters, she stood up and grunted while staring at Joe Yin. It would have been less traumatizing if the insults came from a stranger, but she knew Ye Wei had been looking after and cared for Joe Yin since he could walk. Ye Jing Jing realized she did not pay enough attention to Ye Wei. ‘Only if I had spent more time to talk to him, it could have avoided him getting hurt…’
Following Jing Jing’s lead, the rest of the Ye’s left their seats quietly.
“For goodness sake!” Joe Zheng Feng trembled in anger under the social pressure, he shouted at Joe Yin: “What were you thinking? Apologise to them now!”
“Brother Ye, kids say silly things all the time, don’t take this too personal.” After shouting at Joe Yin, the Joe Patriarch spoke to Ye Zheng Qing in an apologetic tone.
“Don’t be silly, you are thinking too much. Why would I take children’s words seriously?” The Ye Patriarch sounded diplomatic, but his cold facial expression told another story; the recent developments showed him the darker sides of the Joe’s they were too opportunistic and manipulative.
“It’s getting late, and I’m not young and energetic like I used to be! Ye Hai, do you want to show the Joe’s the way out?” The Ye Patriarch stood up and faked a yawn.
Ye Hai stood up, “Uncle Joe, this way.” He said indifferently.
‘Drop the act…’ Joe Zheng Feng felt extremely bitter, not only did the Joe’s get embarrassed from the proposal. He was pretty sure the Ye family wouldn’t be interested in doing any kind of business with him.
A relationship that spanned through generations came to an end today. When the words from today spread, the Joe’s will become the laughingstock of the city.