You Make Money, I’ll Spend It: Stepmother’s Ultimate Pleasure in the Aristocratic Family

Chapter 157

Sheng Mumu and Qin Jiamu quickly arrived at Su Tingran's house.

They didn't see the shadow of any housekeeper or servant. It was Su Tingran herself who opened the door.

There was fatigue in her eyes, and faint red bloodshot marks around her eye sockets, indicating that she hadn't had a good rest.

Her voice sounded weak:

"I gave the housekeeper and the maid at home a few days off."

Upon hearing this, Sheng Mumu and Qin Jiamu exchanged glances.

They sensed the seriousness of the situation.

On their way here, the two of them speculated whether there was a conflict or misunderstanding between Tingran and her husband.

Now, seeing Tingran's dejected appearance and the expulsion of the servants, they felt increasingly uneasy.

It seemed that it wasn't simply a misunderstanding.

The three of them sat down on the small sofa in the side hall on the second floor.

Tingran had arranged this place very warmly, with a wool carpet on the floor and variously shaped wine glasses on the table, which she had specially collected from various places to occasionally entertain Sheng Mumu and Qin Jiamu.

However, today was not a night for girlfriends to chat and confide in each other.

The air was heavy with tension.

The previously warm and delicate arrangement now seemed to have a touch of desolation.

Sheng Mumu noticed that Tingran was dressed lightly. He quietly got up, brewed a cup of hot tea, and handed it to Tingran.

He also fetched a thin blanket and draped it over her legs.

After doing all this, he spoke slowly:

"Tingran, what happened exactly?"

Tingran held the teacup, her fingers curling.

The cup was hot, but a chill kept rising in her heart.

"He went back to the capital city yesterday," Tingran said, her head slightly lowered. "He didn't go alone. He brought another woman with him."

Qin Jiamu, who had an impatient personality, changed her expression instantly upon hearing these words and exclaimed:

"What you mean is that he didn't have an affair that you accidentally discovered, but he shamelessly told you without intending to hide it?"

"Yes," Tingran nodded lightly, her voice like a wisp of air. "He said our marriage had long lost its love and he wants a divorce."

"What a despicable man!" Qin Jiamu indignantly remarked. "How shameless can he be?"

Tingran fell into a melancholy silence, took a deep breath, and began to tell the story of her and her husband.

After graduating, Tingran married Song Yue.

At that time, they were an enviable couple in the eyes of others.

During their honeymoon period, they had experienced sweet and affectionate moments.

Later, Song Yue's company grew bigger, and they had more foreign trade projects.

They spent no more than three months together in a year.

They agreed that one would focus on the household while the other would focus on work.

Song Yue was responsible for earning money to support the family, while Tingran stayed in the capital city, taking care of the affairs of the extended Song family.

The Song family had many relatives, and each and every one of them relied on Song Yue. They would often cause trouble, either asking Song Yue to handle things or asking him to clean up the mess caused by the younger generation.

Tingran, with her gentle yet resilient character, managed to mediate and smooth things out, gradually ensuring Song Yue's stability and preventing the troublesome relatives from hindering his career development.

While Song Yue's career flourished, their relationship grew distant.

Tingran originally thought it was normal for a couple to have less and less to talk about as they spent more time together.

Trying to self-adjust and finding solutions.

Before her husband returned to Beijing, she planned a surprise at a romantic restaurant and organized a short-term travel itinerary, hoping to restore their relationship to what it was before.

Upon hearing this, Sheng Mumu couldn't help but sigh.

She remembered a conversation she had with Su Tingran some time ago.

During that conversation, Sheng Mumu sensed Su Tingran's sense of loss and suggested that when the Chinese New Year comes and Su Tingran's husband returns to Beijing, she should take the opportunity to visit him under the guise of New Year greetings and observe him on Su Tingran's behalf.

Little did she know that even before the arrival of the New Year, still in the deep autumn, Su Tingran's marriage was already on the verge of collapse.

From Su Tingran's narration, Sheng Mumu could imagine the scene.

A marriage that started off beautiful but eventually withered away.

Sheng Mumu felt a sense of desolation and loss.

In the eyes of Qin Jiamu and Su Tingran, the conversation among the three married individuals today was just that.

But only Sheng Mumu knew that she had not truly entered into marriage, nor had she ever been in a romantic relationship.

Hearing all this, she couldn't help but feel a sense of trepidation.

She began to contemplate the essence of an intimate relationship.

The initial attraction and the irresistible pull when getting closer...

These things, over a long period of time, only occupied a short segment and were insignificant.

Between men and women, what they truly face is the day-to-day routines, the mundane aspects of life.

Staying together for a long time without getting bored, that tests one's heart more than the excitement of a first encounter.

Sheng Mumu couldn't control the overwhelming emptiness and sense of loss welling up inside her. She picked up her teacup and took a sip, concealing the complex emotions in her eyes.

"Yesterday, he confessed about that woman—" Su Tingran's lips curled slightly, finally reaching the part that hurt her the most.

"That woman's name is He Qing. She's twenty-four years old this year and she's his secretary. After graduating, she interned at their company and gradually rose to the position of secretary."

Su Tingran laughed bitterly at herself.

"In the past, I heard him mention 'Xiao He' before, and I always thought it was a man. I never expected..."

"It's this kind of situation again!" Qin Jiamu couldn't help but interject. "Last year, I heard about three divorce cases around me, and two of them involved scumbag men having affairs with their secretaries or administrative staff. Why does this kind of rat feces keep happening? It's really unfortunate for someone to have their professional reputation affected by the actions of such a morally corrupt person."

A bitter taste spread across Su Tingran's face. "He said they only developed feelings for each other in the past few months. Before that, they had a normal superior-subordinate relationship. I don't know whether I should believe him or not."

"Don't believe him, of course," Sheng Mumu said sternly. "If he can cheat, it shows that he lacks moral integrity. You can't fully trust someone with low moral integrity, no matter what they say. It's all just nonsense."

"Yes, Mumu is right! That's the point," Qin Jiamu nodded emphatically, expressing her agreement.

"Don't just listen to what he says, pay attention to his actions," Qin Jiamu spoke with the voice of experience. "Maybe he's deliberately emphasizing that the affair is recent, just to gain your sympathy and pave the way for property division in the divorce."

Qin Jiamu was the oldest among the three and had witnessed many cases of cracks in her friends' marriages.

She offered sensible advice.

"Su Tingran, what you need to do now is gather evidence of his infidelity within the marriage, to fight for yourself and gain more."

Su Tingran remained silent, biting her lip.

Then she lowered her gaze, her shoulders sinking.

With a trembling and suppressed voice, she slowly spoke:

"Mumu, Jiamu, I understand the reasoning behind what you're saying, but... but I still feel heartbroken. Why... why would he do this?"

Su Tingran could no longer control herself and burst into tears, covering her face.

Sheng Mumu and Qin Jiamu felt their hearts tighten.

They suddenly realized that they had overlooked Su Tingran's feelings.

Both of them were accustomed to analyzing the pros and cons from a rational perspective when faced with problems, figuring out how to minimize losses.

But they forgot that what Su Tingran needed at this moment wasn't that.

What she needed was help to overcome the emotional turmoil within her.

To overcome the sense of failure and lack of confidence resulting from a failed marriage.

Sheng Mumu embraced Su Tingran's shoulders, gently caressing them.

Su Tingran was enveloped in warmth, and the most fragile part of her heart completely gave way.

Her voice, tinged with a sob, became fragmented:

"Song Yue said that he found a sense of youthfulness in that woman..."

Su Tingran slowly moved her hands away from her face, tears blurring her vision, and buried herself in Sheng Mumu's embrace, uttering the words that hurt her the most from Song Yue.

"He said, I can take care of myself alone, but that woman... he can't live without her..."