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    Chapter 129: Useless

    Shen Hanshan was the old Master Shen's name.

    Upon hearing his grandfather's full name, Shen Xingyu was momentarily stunned.

    But he quickly grasped the key point in the detective's words.

    Both his grandfather's death and Lu Ran's car accident were somehow connected to his father, Shen Hongyuan.

    Shen Xingyu felt an overwhelming sense of absurdity in that instant.

    However, the detectives didn't give Shen Xingyu time to react. One of them began questioning him about his memories of the two incidents while the other two, having learned from the doctors that Shen Hongyuan was currently conscious and could still communicate, entered his ward and explained their purpose.

    In his bed, the once-alive-but-now-better-off-dead Shen Hongyuan reacted fiercely to their revelation.

    Struggling to sit up, he found his body unresponsive and could only fix his gaze intently on the two detectives, mustering all his strength to demand, "Evidence!"

    One of the detectives merely replied, "We've apprehended Shen Cheng."

    Upon hearing this, Shen Hongyuan's face contorted fiercely.

    Despite his predicament, he persisted, shouting, "He's defaming me!"

    The two detectives exchanged a glance before stating, "We have also brought back Ms. Hu, who was Mr. Shen Hanshan's caregiver back then, from abroad."

    Upon hearing this, Shen Hongyuan's heart was utterly consumed by despair.

    Lu Ran and Ji Min investigated Shen Cheng's mistresses.

    This man, whether by nature or design, had an abundance of both mistresses and children.

    After much exertion, they managed to locate a Ms. Hu who had previously worked as a caregiver for Elder Shen at a private hospital in New City.

    Not long after Mr. Shen passed away, she left the country with Shen Cheng's son, assuming new identities and living comfortably abroad.

    Yet, throughout all these years, she had maintained financial ties with Shen Cheng.

    Upon reporting to the police, they discovered that on the night before Mr. Shen's death, Shen Hongyuan had secretly visited his father's hospital room.

    He thought he had done it stealthily.

    However, coincidentally, Ms. Hu was on a date with Shen Cheng that very evening. After an argument, she returned home and accidentally witnessed the scene.

    Ms. Hu remained silent, but bravely recorded what Shen Hongyuan was doing through a crack in the door.

    In his later years, Mr. Shen had developed diabetes.

    Requiring daily insulin injections.

    Yet, at midnight, when his blood sugar was already low, Shen Hongyuan administered another shot.

    In the late stages of diabetes, blood sugar fluctuations can be significant, and the risk from hypoglycemia becomes higher than hyperglycemia.

    During his hospitalization, Mr. Shen had experienced several hypoglycemic shocks.

    The use of insulin had to be approached with extra caution.

    Moreover, Mr. Shen was already extremely disciplined in managing his sugar intake, and after the disappearance of his grandson, he had significantly reduced his food consumption.

    Thus, when it was discovered the next day that Mr. Shen had passed away due to hypoglycemia, people merely expressed condolences without delving deeper into the matter.

    Only Ms. Hu secretly kept the video.

    She was self-aware, knowing she was just an ordinary caregiver and lacked the power to truly manipulate Shen Hongyuan.

    Promptly, she contacted Shen Cheng.

    Their interests aligned, and they arranged for Ms. Hu to be safely settled abroad first.

    Then, it was Shen Cheng who would blackmail Shen Hongyuan over the course of more than a decade.

    Shen Hongyuan refused to cooperate with the police investigation, leaving them no choice but to temporarily withdraw while assigning two officers to stay at the hospital.

    Shen Xingyu finished his statement.

    With the consent of the two police officers, he was escorted into Shen Hongyuan's hospital room under their supervision.

    Shen Hongyuan lay on the bed, his eyes, now a dull yellow, fixated blankly on the ceiling.

    Shen Xingyu took a seat by the bedside.

    A considerable distance away.

    He hunched forward, interlacing his hands against his forehead as his gaze lingered on the floor for a prolonged period.

    Shen Xingyu was no fool.

    Prompted by the police, all the inconsistencies in his mind began to connect.

    After a long silence, he spoke in a hoarse voice, "You've taught me since I was young that as the eldest son, I exist for the Shen family."

    Shen Xingyu's voice was deep, tinged with exhaustion and confusion.

    "On the day I joined the company's management, you revealed the truth about the inheritance to me."

    "You said that Grandfather had become senile before his death and left everything to Ranyan, but Ranyan couldn't find it. If this were to get out, it would pose a great danger to the Shen family. So you were forced to forge the inheritance."

    "I believed you then."

    "When Ranyan had the car accident, I asked you, and you said you knew nothing about it. I believed you too."

    Shen Xingyu rubbed his forehead, his face creased with worry.

    He spoke in a barely audible whisper, "I thought you just had a bad temper but still cared about the family's well-being..."

    "Now..."

    Shen Xingyu laughed, though it was an ugly smile.

    He looked at the silent Shen Hongyuan lying in the hospital bed and asked,

    "So that day you were paralyzed and threw a cup at me because... you thought I would treat you the same way you treated Grandfather?"

    Shen Xingyu had always been resolute.

    He bustled about for the Shen family, even though Shen Hongyuan only knew how to throw tantrums, Madam Shen cared only for her clothes and accessories, and Shen Xingzhuo acted like an irresponsible child.

    But it was Shen Xingyu who held the family together.

    Occasionally, he felt weary.

    As if he were climbing a steep cliff alone, with a bottomless abyss beneath him and no companions by his side. The only thing keeping him from falling was a rope tied around his waist.

    At the other end of that rope were Shen Hongyuan and the others.

    And so he dragged this rope upward, always climbing but never reaching the end.

    His ingrained sense of responsibility and mission since childhood sustained him through it all.

    Shen Xingyu couldn't recall when he had become this way.

    Back then, as a youth, he had detested the heavy responsibilities weighing upon him.

    Yet, in the end, he persisted with unwavering determination.

    He worked tirelessly, day and night.

    He weighed his options, discarded emotions, and tried to avoid any meaningless endeavors.

    He believed he was safeguarding honor and treasures.

    But eventually, he realized they were nothing but worthless scraps, not even fit to be called trash.

    Leaning against the cold hospital wall, Shen Xingyu asked in bewilderment, "I... we, what are we to you? After all these years, was the burden you made me protect just the sins you committed?"

    Shen Hongyuan remained silent.

    He simply gazed at the patterns on the hospital ceiling in silence.

    His father's reproach echoed in his mind: "Useless thing."

    But Shen Hongyuan was well aware.

    His father was different from him.

    The scolding was rooted in his anger and disappointment, fueled by the fact that he found his capable young son displeasing to his eye.

    How Shen Hongyuan wished his father were like him, lashing out due to the quirks of old age.

    But he knew that wasn't the case.

    With his father's pragmatic and profit-driven nature, not wanting him to inherit the company and calling him useless—none of this was a random emotional outburst.

    There was only one reason.

    And that was… in his father's eyes, he truly lacked the capability to uphold the Shen family's legacy.

    It was more painful than taking his life.

    Seeing how the old master Shen was willing to abandon him in favor of grooming his own son.

    This left Shen Hongyuan in a state of despair for a long time.

    Until one day, when the old master Shen suddenly fainted due to low blood sugar at an event he was attending.

    With the old man hospitalized, Shen Hongyuan took his father's place to attend the occasion.

    During this event, Shen Hongyuan heard numerous compliments.

    They praised him for his filial piety, commended him for his youthful achievements.

    Hope flickered within Shen Hongyuan at that very moment.

    He even thought that perhaps he hadn't done a good job previously.

    But it wasn't entirely his fault, nor did it mean he was truly incapable.

    It was because Grandfather hadn't given him enough opportunities to learn and grow.

    He was always assigned to low-level positions or sent to work in subsidiary companies.

    He never had the chance to participate in significant decision-making processes. How could he become competent?

    But after Grandfather Shen returned from the hospital, he immediately resumed his duties.

    Shen Hongyuan found himself in another dilemma.

    On one occasion, he accompanied Grandfather Shen for a follow-up hospital visit.

    The doctor instructed Grandfather about monitoring his blood sugar levels and the proper dosage of insulin.

    Shen Hongyuan paid close attention.

    Rekindling his long-forgotten knowledge of biology, he recalled what insulin was all about.

    Initially, his attention to such details might have been driven by filial piety.

    But from that point on, a seed seemed to have taken root in Shen Hongyuan's heart.

    On one occasion, he could no longer restrain himself.

    While the elderly man slept soundly, Hongyuan discreetly administered another dose of insulin.

    It was the first time Shen Hongyuan had done something like this.

    His heart pounded fiercely, fearful that the old man might awaken from the sound of the injection.

    He had even prepared an excuse.

    He would say that the glucose meter was malfunctioning, showing an elevated blood sugar level for the elder.

    Out of excessive concern, he had thought about administering an injection just in case.

    The old man would probably just scold him for being foolish when he woke up, and wouldn't think too much into it.

    But Shen Hongyuan's prediction was wrong.

    The elder Shen was already exhausted at that time and found it difficult to awaken once he fell asleep.

    Moreover, the insulin pen needle was extremely thin. The old man had been injecting himself with one or even two shots daily for over a decade. His abdominal skin had long grown accustomed to this slight pain.

    To his surprise, the elder Shen didn't react at all when the needle pierced his skin.

    At that moment, Shen Hongyuan was so nervous that his entire body had gone numb, leaving him with no sensation at all.

    He merely watched the insulin inject a few units before immediately retracting the needle.

    The next morning, the elder Shen felt dizzy and unwell, preventing him from going to work.

    Shen Hongyuan's experiment had succeeded.

    He began to taste the sweetness of his accomplishment while remaining ever cautious.

    On the surface, he remained the heir apparent, vexed by the need to win his father's approval, acquiescing to the elder's every wish and tending to him with utmost devotion.

    He was ever at the patriarch's side, obedient and attentive.

    Yet, in secret, he would seize the opportunity of being the caregiver to administer medications stealthily into his father's sleep, all for the sake of seizing power.

    Shen Hongyuan had everything planned out perfectly.

    There was no need for him to do anything to Elder Shen; all he needed was for the elder to remain in a state of occasional frailty. This would allow him to gradually infiltrate the management.

    Wouldn't it be a sure thing for him to inherit the Shen Corporation then?

    He would also take good care of the elder in his old age.

    This scheme continued for a period of time.

    One evening, after Shen Hongyuan secretly administered his insulin injection and put away his personal insulin pen, he was about to return to his room to sleep.

    Suddenly, a drowsy voice echoed from behind him:

    "Dad, what are you doing?"

    Shen Hongyuan broke out in a cold sweat.

    He spun around to see his youngest son standing by the door.

    The child was wearing small slippers, rubbing his eyes, looking utterly exhausted and struggling to keep them open.

    At this age, the child was still too young to understand anything, which brought a sigh of relief to Shen Hongyuan.

    When not enraged, Shen Hongyuan was a compliant son and a loving father.

    The elderly man first took in his eldest son, but the boy couldn't withstand the pressure and cried to come back.

    Then, he took in his youngest son, raising him from the age of two until now.

    Shen Hongyuan was well aware of the old man's character.

    He criticized more than praised, and due to his health condition, he was extremely particular about his diet.

    Although Shen Hongyuan couldn't defy the elderly man, he felt that the child was suffering by staying with him.

    To make matters worse, the old man was now hospitalized yet insisted on bringing the child along.

    Shen Hongyuan couldn't help but feel a pang of sympathy for his younger son.

    "Daddy disturbed your sleep, didn't he?" he asked gently as he approached.

    The child shook his head and replied, "I need to go to the bathroom."

    "Then let Daddy take you there," Shen Hongyuan led the child towards the restroom.

    Unexpectedly, the child stopped and glanced back at Grandfather's sickbed, asking,

    "Daddy, what happened to Grandpa? Why did you uncover his blanket?"

    Shen Hongyuan froze at the question.

    He still held the insulin pen in his hand, not putting it down.

    The child's gaze naturally fell upon it.

    Feeling slightly flustered yet deeming it unnecessary, Shen Hongyuan crouched down, looked into his young son's eyes, and tried to conceal the truth. "Grandpa is sick and needs injections all the time, haven't you forgotten?"

    "Ahh! I remember now! After using this, we have to put it back in the fridge."

    The child pointed at the insulin pen in Shen Hongyuan's hand.

    Relieved that the child didn't persist with his questions, Shen Hongyuan was simultaneously startled that the child actually remembered that insulin should be refrigerated.

    But he didn't dwell on it too much.

    After all, the child was only four years old.

    He took the child to the bathroom and then coaxed him to sleep before going to bed himself.

    The next morning, Old Master Shen experienced low blood sugar again.

    Given how often this happened, the doctors were already accustomed to it.

    However, when the caregiver injected insulin into the old man during the day, the quiet child, who was waiting to eat, suddenly tilted his head. He looked at Shen Hongyuan and then at Old Master Shen in the hospital bed, asking,

    "Grandpa already had an injection last night, right? Why does he need another one?"

    The child's clear voice filled the room, casting a sudden hush over the atmosphere.

    Both the elderly man receiving an injection and the doctors conducting their rounds nearby turned to look at the child.

    Unaware of his misstep, the child instinctively looked to Shen Hongyuan.

    Shen Hongyuan's heart leapt into his throat.

    He quickly corrected, "You must have mistaken. Your grandpa was previously on rapid-acting insulin, which required two injections. Now, he only needs one."

    Relying on his recent research, he hastily explained and, without thinking, scolded the child, "Don't interrupt. Grandpa is waiting to finish his injections so he can eat."

    The child pouted, seemingly wanting to insist that he was right.

    But with Shen Hongyuan's sternness, he eventually fell silent.

    In the hospital bed, Shen's father frowned at his son.

    However, his mind was preoccupied with the assistant's report, and his attention soon shifted elsewhere.

    Unnoticed by all, Shen Hongyuan's shirt had become damp with sweat against the air conditioning.

    On that day, Shen Hongyuan took the child back to his residence under the pretense of the child missing his mother.

    However, the elder soon retrieved the child once more.

    What concerned Shen Hongyuan even more was the attitude of his younger son.

    Perhaps it was due to the events that transpired during the previous night, the child would now attentively watch by the side whenever the elder administered his insulin injection.

    It could also be Shen Hongyuan's illusion, but he felt as if the elder was somewhat guarding against him.

    Out of caution, Shen Hongyuan refrained from making any moves for several consecutive nights.

    The elder's health visibly improved significantly.

    The doctors all agreed that, given some more time without any fluctuations in blood sugar levels, the elder could be discharged from the hospital.

    Shen Hongyuan found himself trapped once again.

    After attending various events as the heir and figurehead of the Shen family, Shen Hongyuan was increasingly unwilling to return to his previous position.

    His mood became profoundly gloomy.

    He treated his youngest son with an unspoken wariness, and arguments with Madam Shen frequently erupted within the household.

    To appease Madam Shen and to give himself some respite, Shen Hongyuan organized a short trip.

    To prevent any loose talk from the children in his absence, he also used the excuse of summer vacation for them to gather, thus taking his youngest son along.

    Unfortunately, the trip failed to alleviate his vexation.

    Most of the time, Shen Hongyuan sat in his SUV, smoking cigarette after cigarette.

    Even being in Madam Shen's luxury RV irritated him.

    During the journey, the antics of the children proved challenging, and as expected, another dispute erupted between him and his wife.

    Shen Hongyuan retreated into his car, but his thoughts were not occupied by the recent argument.

    He was worried that the innocent child might inadvertently reveal the events of the night, which would undoubtedly provoke a furious reaction from the elder. At the same time, he felt stifled by the seemingly endless wait to inherit the Shen family's legacy.

    When one is suppressed for too long, extravagant thoughts tend to surface.

    For a fleeting moment, Shen Hongyuan wished the elder would just pass away.

    After all, elders should yield to the younger generation; why did he insist on holding onto power indefinitely?

    But as soon as this thought crossed his mind, he was overwhelmed with guilt. He scolded himself inwardly for harboring such a notion.

    Regaining his composure, he lifted his gaze and caught a glimpse of a small figure receding in the rearview mirror. Shen Hongyuan's eyebrows knitted together once more.

    He inwardly cursed his family for being utterly useless. With his mother present and an auntie hired, they had still allowed such a young child to wander off on their own?

    How dangerous!

    If not for him, the father, happening to notice...

    Suddenly, Shen Hongyuan paused in the act of opening his car door.

    An odd impulse rose within his mind.

    It was an impulse that didn't require any action on his part, no need for hesitation.

    All he needed to do was stay where he was, doing nothing.

    That would be enough.

    Doing nothing...

    Would solve everything.

    And... he didn't even need to consider an explanation later.

    Because, there was no one who could prove that they had seen anything.

    He had simply failed to notice anything at all.

    Shen Hongyuan stood frozen in his spot, as if time had stopped for him.

    Yet, his heart began to pound wildly with the fading distance of the child in the car behind him.

    In the rearview mirror, the child's figure grew smaller and smaller.

    Eventually, it vanished at a turning.

    Only then did Shen Hongyuan come back to his senses, peering out of the car window like a thief.

    The driver had gone to the restroom and had yet to return.

    None of the occupants in the other cars ahead had gotten out either.

    In that instant, Shen Hongyuan felt that it wasn't his fault at all.

    Didn't they fail to notice just like he did?

    Soon, the driver opened the door and entered the car, saying, "Mr. Shen, judging by the sky, it's about to rain. Let's hurry up and leave."

    Shen Hongyuan managed to force a composed smile on his face.

    He replied, "Alright."

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