Chapter 73: Penance
"Mom, you might not know much about the law. If we do things the normal way and they lose the lawsuit, they'll have to give compensation too. It's just that it might not be as much as they would give for a private settlement. Normally speaking, they have to provide Zhixin's medical fees. All we're giving up on is the compensation for the so-called nutritional fees and emotional damages. We won't ask for too much. I don't want to use my little brother's wellbeing as leverage to get rich. Once we win the case, they still have to give us the basic things. So don't worry about the money."
"Sis, you make it sound so complicated. How could Mom understand? Why don't you just tell her, if we settle privately, they might give us 1,000,000 yuan in compensation. But if we go through the court process, after the ruling, they might only have to give us 300,000 to cover the medical fees. It's quite a difference in terms of money. Is that right?"
After Jing Zhixin had finished, Huo Mian nodded.
Yang Meirong didn't say much, but lowered her head and said quietly, "I hope everything can go smoothly."
Huo Mian could tell that, even though her mother didn't put on a good face, she still agreed with her way of doing things.
Right then, a knock sounded at the door.
Huo Mian was beyond nervous. She was really afraid that Qin Chu would suddenly come to the hospital without warning.
If that happened, and her mom saw Qin Chu, it would make the situation unthinkably tense.
The person who walked in after the knock allowed Huo Mian to let out a sigh of relief.
It was Ning Zhiyuan.
"Brother Zhiyuan," Jing Zhixin said quietly.
Ning Zhiyuan was wearing a white lab coat as if he had just gotten off from a shift.
In his hand was a fruit basket. He first looked at Huo Mian, a mix of emotions on his face.
Then, he greeted Huo Mian's mother, "Auntie."
"What are you doing here? Didn't you two break up?" Yang Meirong said with a stern expression.
"I came to see Zhixin. He's recovering well. Get well soon," Ning Zhiyuan said, setting down the fruit basket.
"Thank you, Brother Zhiyuan." Jing Zhixin smiled.
"Mian…" Gazing at Huo Mian, he opened his mouth but didn't seem to know what to say.
"Can you come out for a moment? I have something to tell you."
"Whatever it is, you can say it here. My Mom and Brother aren't outsiders." After she had gone to Ning Zhiyuan's new home the other day, ran into him sleeping with another woman, and was refused the money she had paid for the downpayment, Huo Mian no longer had a shred of feelings left for him.
Before this, she would have at least be thankful for the way he had courted her back when they were still in school.
Only now did she know that a man could change so mercilessly.
If Ning Zhiyuan had helped her then, she wouldn't have had to beg Qin Chu.
In the end, she was left with no other choice but to marry Qin Chu.
At the end of the day, Ning Zhiyuan had become a catalyst for the way things have become.
Now that it came to this, Huo Mian really had nothing left to say to him.
Hearing Huo Mian's words, Ning Zhiyuan became somewhat embarrassed.
Then, he coughed before speaking, "Mian, I didn't expect this to happen. Back then… I was mad with jealousy too. We've been together for more than three years. You should know how I feel about you. It's not that I didn't want to help you. I heard that Zhixin's surgery was paid for with money you borrowed from somewhere else. I'd like to help you pay that back. I can sell the apartment and the car. Your family is my family and Zhixin is my little brother. Can we go back to…"
Before Ning Zhiyuan had a chance to finish, Huo Mian cut him off.
"Mian, are you really not going to give me another chance?" Ning Zhiyuan begged.
Huo Mian lifted her head. Looking into Ning Zhiyuan's eyes, she said clearly, "All I know is, when I had no choice but to ask you for help when my brother was lying in a hospital bed waiting for money to save his life, you were in the home we down-paid together screwing around with another woman. Ning Zhiyuan, I'm not that dumb, and you aren't either. Please, stop clinging to our past. You didn't help me, and I don't blame you. But now, the way you're trying to act nice after the fact, it's disgusting."
Huo Mian's words left Ning Zhiyuan with nothing but shame.
At the same time, he was surprised. To him, Huo Mian had always been a gentle girl. Why was she now so sharp-tongued? She seemed like a different person. Her words cut him like knives, leaving him unable to respond.
"Mian… I think you've changed," Ning Zhiyuan said after a long moment of hesitation.
Huo Mian smiled faintly at his remarks.