Cheng Xi had had her driver’s license for a long time, but she rarely drove. And considering how fancy Fu Mingyi’s car was, it was only normal that she was on tenterhooks the entire drive. Even so, she couldn’t ignore the serious glances that Lu Chenzhou was shooting at her from the passenger’s seat.
He sat there on his side with his hand resting on the armrest between them and his eyes staring at her with rapt attention. After finishing his inspection, he detachedly stated, “You look very ordinary. Why do they all call you beautiful?” Having been at the spa just earlier, he had heard all of Cheng Xi’s classmates’ conversations. This earnest commentary was just a continuation of those conversations. “Especially given that you only have one dimple. How disgusting.”
Cheng Xi tried her hardest to pretend he was just air.
He even seemed confused as to why Cheng Xi was ignoring him. “Why aren’t you speaking today?”
Honestly, Cheng Xi was even more mystified by his attitude. After thinking about her teacher’s request, she drove even more slowly and asked, “Why are you speaking so much today?”
During their first meeting, he had barely spoken at all.
Lu Chenzhou remained quiet. Just as Cheng Xi was about to reflect on whether she had phrased her question too directly, he suddenly spoke up again. “I want to woo you.” He looked at her directly as he asked, “May I?”
Cheng Xi couldn’t help but laugh upon hearing his words. “Don’t tease me. I really can’t drive all that well.”
“Why are you laughing? Am I not being serious enough?”
No, Cheng Xi thought. Who would care if a calculator were serious? Lu Chenzhou’s tone didn’t contain any of the bashfulness of a youthful man yearning for love. Rather than being nervous, he sounded more like an office worker merely trying to accomplish a task.
She decided to have a good chat with him, from the stance that he was one of her patients. “Mr. Lu, have you ever been in a relationship before?”
“Is this related to my chasing you?”
Cheng Xi smiled. “If you’ve ever been in a relationship, then you should know that your actions are different from those of someone who’s truly smitten and wholeheartedly trying to woo someone else.”
“Oh.” His tone was as apathetic as ever. “Then what should my actions be like?”
“What should it be like?” There was a red light ahead, and Cheng Xi decelerated the car slowly, her white fingers slowly rapping on the steering wheel in thought. “To truly woo someone earnestly involves treating a lover with a reserved, modest, and even somewhat shy attitude. It definitely does not involve sudden passion or premature affection.”
“The great pioneer of the proletariat, Karl Marx.”
“Marx really said something like that?” Lu Chenzhou clearly didn’t believe her words. “On the other hand, the great French novelist Balzac stated that love is the indulgence of rationality. A positive, grave enjoyment.”
After hearing Lu Chenzhou’s words, Cheng Xi started smiling. He was a more interesting man than she had previously given credit for; at the very least, he had been thinking about love, or he wouldn’t have remembered this quote of Balzac’s.
Or, perhaps, these words only served to support his detached emotions.
An indulgence of rationality, a grave enjoyment… his attention was solely focused on the words “rationality” and “grave,” wasn’t it?
She stopped debating with him. After the red light turned green, she started driving again. Lu Chenzhou received a call, probably the one that was rushing him. She heard him say, “I’m almost there—turn right.”
“Turn right” was directed at Cheng Xi. He had said it promptly, and Cheng Xi was able to follow his directions. Not far ahead, she saw a big metal gate.
After they finally arrived, Lu Chenzhou hung up. “Drive inside.”
Cheng Xi glanced at him, and he also turned his head to look at her. She somewhat awkwardly asked, “Can you walk inside by yourself?”
She remembered that there used to be a mountain here, but the mountain had clearly been levelled and replaced with bungalows some time ago. This now unfamiliar place, walled up behind a big metal gate, looked like a dark castle in the deep night, and it was a castle that Cheng Xi didn’t want to enter.
Lu Chenzhou seemed to see through her pretense. “Are you scared?” He seemed a bit amazed and tried to reassure her, though his tone wasn’t very reassuring. “We’ve already slept together, so what else could you be scared of?”