Of course, the recovery process took longer than the two had hoped for, and the days passed by slowly. After half a month, Ceng Qingyan came to remove the gauze on Xie Shuo’s eyes and check the results.
It was cloudy today.
The sun hid behind the clouds, and the shadows of the drenched trees swayed outside.
Ye An stood in front of Xie Shuo and watched as the layers began to unravel, her heart stuck in her throat.
The last layer was removed to reveal Xie Shuo’s trembling eyelashes. He slowly opened his eyes.
The scene ahead of him was blurry, and there was a vague shadow in front of him. There seemed to be a bright light coming into the corner of his eyes.
“How do you feel?”
A voice before him sounded, but it wasn’t the voice he was used to.
Seeing Xie Shuo not respond, Cen Qingyan waved his hand in front of his eyes.
Ye An held her breath and stepped forward to hold his hand.
The palm covering the back of his hand was warm. Xie Shuo smelled her familiar scent and opened his eyes. No matter how hard he tried, his gaze would not focus.
A black mist slowly clouded his vision again, dispelling the bright light.
He felt a piercing pain that spread to the back of his head in both eyes, and it felt as if every nerve in that area was struck.
He clutched Ye An’s hand tightly with a pale face and bulging veins.
Ye An noticed the strength and hurriedly held him, “How do you feel?”
Cen Qingyan noticed his reaction and the change in his expressions, so he stepped forward to check.
Soon after, Xie Shuo was taken away to be checked on more carefully.
Ye An waited in the corridor. She stared at the closed door with a pale face.
Her usually bright and lively gaze was dim.
She didn’t know how long she waited until the door finally opened. Her legs were too soft to move forwards.
In the past, she couldn’t understand why Xie Shuo was always so pessimistic. It was until she went through the treatment process with him in person for half a month before she realized how torturous it was to have hope.
In a year, they had tried again and again. There was only disappointment in the end; who wouldn’t be sad?
Cen Qingyan walked over to her and took off his mask. He shook his head solemnly.
Ye An’s heart squeezed. Her limbs were heavy and almost made her fall over.
“The more surgeries that are done, the greater the damage that is going to be done to his eyes. So it’s not suitable for him to have another operation done with his current condition. If you do… I’m afraid that it will cause irreversible injuries. I recommend that you try acupuncture next.”
Cen Qingyan seemed to be afraid of scaring her, so he paused before continuing, “Also, the longer he’s blind, the less likely he is to recover. You should mentally prepare yourself.”
Ye An replied with difficulty, “Thank you.”
Xie Shuo was sent back to the ward.
Ye An sat by the bed accompanying him. She knew that he was awake but didn’t want to talk.
The breeze shifted the curtains, but the ward was silent. Ye An looked at him for a moment and gently held his hand.
Her eyelashes drooped, casting a faint shadow.
Two days later, Cen Qingyan’s team gave them a new treatment plan that incorporated medicine and acupuncture, and Xie Shuo began a new round of treatment.
His mood had obviously dropped, and he became much less talkative than before. Ye An wanted to tease him upon seeing his appearance, but she couldn’t open her mouth to do so. She stayed by his side, only accompanying him.
Xie Baiyan came to visit a few times a week. After hearing the results of the operation, his hair had become even whiter.
The weather was gradually becoming hotter, so when Ye An was bored, she would go learn a few skills from an acupuncture doctor. Even though she didn’t have the courage to do acupuncture, she could at least help massage Xie Shuo’s acupoints every day.
The course of treatment ended at the end of July. Cen Qingyan had Xie Shuo return home and arranged for a professional team to perform acupuncture and cupping on him.
Before leaving, Cen Qingyan had a talk with Ye An to debrief her on Xie Shuo’s condition. With current treatment options–both domestic and abroad–it was very difficult to say if and when his injuries would heal.
To put it briefly, it depended on luck.
Ye An was very depressed and didn’t tell Xie Shuo about what she had learned. However, he seemingly knew and was also silent and gloomy. After returning home, he locked himself away in the study.
The atmosphere at home was also very depressing. Not long ago, the development project that was in cooperation with the Ju Family failed due to Xie Yuran’s faults. Xie Baiyan scolded him and was almost angered to the point of his illness relapsing.
Because of this incident, the board of directors proposed to strip Xie Yuran’s current position as chairman. Xie Baiyan and two other directors stood their ground against the majority and denied the proposition.
Ye An was speechless after hearing this. Xie Shuo had clearly arranged everything for Xie Yuran before leaving, yet he still managed to fail.
If Xie Yuran didn’t lack a motive, she would have wondered if he did it on purpose.
It happened to be Grandfather Xie’s birthday four days after returning home.
On this day, Xie Shuo had to go even if he didn’t want to leave the house.
This year, Grandfather Xie wanted to have a lowkey family meal. However, the Xie family had many people, so many relatives gathered together to celebrate.
The house bustled with noise and excitement, with the scene appearing harmonious and warm.
Aside from a few close relatives that Ye An met at the wedding, she didn’t recognize many of the guests. Likewise, they didn’t recognize Ye An either.
Many people showed expressions of surprise and curiosity upon realizing that she was Xie Shuo’s wife, as if they had just seen a miracle.
Ye An wore a pale, long skirt with an elegant smile as she held Xie Shuo’s arm. She whispered a few words to him from time to time, playing her part as a gentle and virtuous wife.
Because of Xie Shuo’s cold expression, no one dared to approach him to ask about how his eyes were doing. Even though everyone was curious, no one dared to gossip. They only greeted him briefly and complimented Ye An.
After the lunch banquet, Grandfather Xie called Xie Shuo and Ye An over to the living room to talk. Xie Baiyan was also there.
“How was the treatment with Xiao Cen?” Grandfather Xie opened his mouth to ask.
Ye An glanced at Xie Shuo and braced herself. She smiled and said appeasingly, “It went well. Professor Cen said that we should take it slow in recovery. He is doing acupuncture and cupping.”
Grandfather Xie had lived long enough to know that she was sugarcoating the situation to make him feel better, so he didn’t ask more on the matter either.
He looked at his grandson next to him, who was getting thinner and thinner, and sighed. He smiled at Ye An and said, “I heard that you’ve been accompanying Xie Shuo these days; it must have been hard for you.”
Ye An smiled softly and said shyly , “Grandpa, what are you saying; this is what I should be doing.”
Grandfather Xie’s eyes became even kinder and changed the topic. His gaze suddenly fell on her belly.
“An An, you both have been married for a while, right? When are you planning to let Grandpa hug his great-grandson?”
“Ahem…” Ye An was shocked by this sudden switch, and her carefully maintained image almost collapsed.
She looked instinctively at Xie Shuo, but the Eldest Young Master didn’t react much and only frowned.
“What’s wrong; you guys haven’t planned for children yet?” Grandfather Xie’s smile faded, and he frowned, seemingly unhappy. “A’Shuo’s already twenty-seven this year; it should be time soon.”
Ye An: …To be honest, I think there’s something wrong with your grandson.
Xie Baiyan also directed his gaze towards them.
Ye An’s mood was complicated. She couldn’t rely on Xie Shuo to help, so she forced a smile and replied, “Grandpa, we have already been preparing…”
It would probably take another thirty to fifty years.
Grandfather Xie’s expression finally relaxed, and he urged them a few times more before turning to talk about other matters with Xie Baiyan.
Ye An let out a sigh of relief and couldn’t help but glance at the man beside her once again. There was still no expression on his face, and he acted as if the current conversation had nothing to do with him.
Sometime after two left, Ye An went to the bathroom and found that Xie Shuo had disappeared after she was done.
He can’t see, so where could he have gone?
Ye An thought it was weird and began to worry, so she looked around.
There was a large courtyard with many flowers and plants outside the residence. Ye An searched for a long time before finally finding him standing near a grapevine trellis in the courtyard. It was unclear how he got there.
Ye An walked towards him and was about to call out to him when she suddenly heard voices of two middle-aged women:
“So his eyes can’t be cured?”
“If they could be cured, they would have been cured by now. Have you seen how many times they’ve recruited doctors?”
“That’s too bad; Grandfather Xie used to cherish him…”
“There was no point in caring for him. Now, he has to be supported even when he walks. What can he do on his own?”
“Hey, do you know what family that wife is from? She’s pretty.”
“I don’t know. I’ve never seen her before, so she probably is just a gold-digger from a poor household. Why else would she marry someone that is–”
Before the woman could finish speaking, she suddenly caught a glimpse of a figure beside the trellis and pulled on her friend.
Their gossip stopped immediately, and their faces paled.
Woody vines with unripened green grapes climbed the trellis. Mottled sunlight peeked through the gaps.
The weather was clear and sunny, but there was a slight chill in the air. The slender man stood silently with a cold expression.
Ye An glanced at the two women who she suspected to be aunts before taking his arm. She called him in a sweet voice, “Hubby, why are you over here?”
Xie Shuo didn’t reply but didn’t bother with the other two women either. He turned around and walked away, with Ye An hurrying to keep up and hold his arm. From the back, they looked like a loving couple.
It was inevitable to have a few gossiping relatives in the family. It wasn’t appropriate to cause trouble on Grandfather Xie’s birthday, so neither of them mentioned it after re-entering the house.
Soon after, Xie Shuo excused himself due to discomfort. He bid Grandfather Xie farewell before they left.
Ye An naturally followed him along. Xie Baiyan had matters to take care of, so he stayed there for the night.
After getting in the car, Xie Shuo leaned motionlessly against the seat. His lips were pursed, and his features were sharp like a statue.
Ye An grew restless upon seeing his appearance. She shut her mouth and silently cursed the two gossiping women, not daring to irritate him.
To compensate for the sweltering summer heat, the air conditioner inside the car was turned down. Since there was a chilly person next to her as well, Ye An grew chilly, and goosebumps appeared on her fair arms.
She rubbed her arms and coincidentally glanced at Xie Shuo out of the corner of her eye.
After a moment of hesitation, she reached out and put her hand over his.
Xie Shuo’s fingers twitched but didn’t move away.
The ride home was silent.
Upon returning home, Xie Shuo went upstairs and directly entered the study.
Aunt Zhou noticed something off and whispered to Ye An, “Why are you guys home so early?”
Ye An smiled gently. “He wasn’t feeling too well, so we came back.”
Ye An made a cup of tea and brought it to the study. Xie Shuo was currently sitting on the sofa with knitted eyebrows and an apathetic expression. It was impossible to discern what he was thinking about.
Since the failed treatment, he began to do this often. Ye An sat down beside him and asked gently, “Are you tired? Do you want to sleep for a while?”
Xie Shuo ignored her as usual.
Ye An sat in silence with him. She took a deep breath and adjusted her smile before sitting in his lap with her arms around his neck.
“If you don’t want to sleep, what can I do for you?”
She spoke softly as she smoothed his brows with a slender fingertip.
Xie Shuo finally had some sort of reaction. He looked up with dull eyes facing her.
“How about I tell you a joke?”
Ye An’s fingers descended to his chin.
Her finger was unexpectedly caught. Ye An thought that he would make her move or move her finger like usual.
However, he suddenly grabbed her waist and pinned her to the sofa.
What’s going on?
Ye An was caught off guard, and her eyes widened in surprise.
But before she could react, the man’s slender fingers traced their way up her arm, collarbones, and neck before grabbing hold of her chin.
Then, he leaned in to kiss her.