From Lu Chenzhou’s behavior, it didn’t seem like Chen Jiaman’s relapse that day had affected him at all.
And could his observation skills be any stronger? Clearly, she hadn’t been doing anything with Lin Fan, and even tonight, they had only been standing there chatting ordinarily—at least in the eyes of any normal passersby, they had been very normal. Had he not noticed that even Baldy had only teased them for a sentence or two before dropping it?
Cheng Xi wasn’t in any rush to look at her phone. “Why do you think that this is what I came here to speak with you about?”
“What else could there be? Would you be speaking to me about anything else?”
Cheng Xi was speechless, because this really was what she wanted to talk with him about.
But she first had to explain why she wanted to talk about it. “I did want to talk with you about this, but not because I’ve started liking someone. Rather, it’s because I feel like I need to clarify in detail that I promised to be your girlfriend not because I love you, but because I wanted to have you trust me in a way that is more acceptable to you.”
“Trust.” He smiled coolly as he raised his head to look at her. “Are the rest of the doctors like you? Able to give up anything to gain their patients’ trust.”
“Yes.” Lu Chenzhou was too intelligent and logical, so Cheng Xi didn’t plan on hiding anything from him. “From a psychiatrist’s viewpoint, being empathetic towards your patients is a necessary part of treatment. So, sometimes, in order to help our patients, we doctors will even temporarily abandon our viewpoints, ethics, and justice, all so that our patients can trust us.”
“Then why are you telling me all this now?”
His question was framed from the perspective of a patient, indirectly signaling that Lu Chenzhou was very aware of his own situation.
And it also meant that he was starting to trust her a little.
Cheng Xi didn’t want to destroy this rare connection that she had established through this conversation, and so she chose her next words slowly, trying her best to be as warm and truthful as she could. “I’m doing so because Chen Jiaman’s father’s incident made me realize that, sometimes, even despite my best intentions, I might end up significantly harming others. I don’t want to become an instrument that hurts others.”
Lu Chenzhou actually knew what had happened. But he didn’t even frown after hearing Cheng Xi mentioning it, only continuing to coolly question her. “What do you have to do with all that? Don’t tell me that you think his actions were your fault.”
“That’s exactly right. I do think that it’s my fault. If I hadn’t forced him to get justice for Chen Jiaman, then he wouldn—”
But before she could finish speaking, Lu Chenzhou interrupted her as he looked her up and down. “You are so stupid that I don’t even want to look at you directly anymore.”
……This man really did have a vicious mouth, but Cheng Xi was actually not at all deterred by his words. “Why do you say that?”
“Because you’re dumb,” he replied without hesitation.
She looked at him, speechless.
At that point, Lu Chenzhou started laughing in a particularly vile fashion. “Do you think that he poisoned all those people in order to get revenge for his daughter? Ha-ha, stop joking. The truth is that when he went out fishing in the ocean, he gambled with the other fishermen and lost a significant amount of money. Originally, he could have used Chen Jiaman’s bullying incident to extort reparation fees from those families. However, after his mother died and his daughter went crazy, and especially after you exposed the whole incident, he certainly wouldn’t have been able to get any money back. Thus, saddled with debt, he was forced to do something big.”
Cheng Xi looked at him in a stupor. Lu Chenzhou’s revelations shook her to the core; when she thought about Chen Fuguo kneeling down to her in her office and his remorseful and conflicted face in Chen Jiaman’s ward, a cold surge of realization hit her as she realized how especially foolish she had been.
She believed that Lu Chenzhou wouldn’t lie to her; he simply had no reason to.
But she still couldn’t help but ask, “Is this true? ...How do you know all this?”
Lu Chenzhou didn’t answer her. He tilted his face so that he didn’t have to face her, his expression as cold and obstinate as ever.
Perhaps even he didn’t realize it, but his expression was exactly that of a lonely and aloof child. In other words, it was a way for him to protect himself from others by distancing himself.
Cheng Xi knew that she had also ended up hurting him.
His investigating all this was most likely because he wanted to help her. No matter the reason, she seemed to always fail to live up to his expectations.
She wanted to save the conversation, and did her utmost to sincerely say, “Thank you for telling me all of this. Really. I’m very, very grateful. You don’t know how ashamed I felt before you told me, as I was constantly feeling like it was my fault that Chen Jiaman’s father had gone to such extreme lengths to take revenge on those families. All I ever wanted to do was get justice for Chen Jiaman, but I never intended to implicate so many innocent people.”
“Heh, innocent? In order to help their children get off scot-free, they helped destroy evidence after the crime, bought off witnesses, and drove the victim crazy. How could they be innocent?”
“...At most, their actions constitute covering up a crime. They don’t deserve to die.”
“That’s only your opinion.” Lu Chenzhou’s voice was unusually cold, even for him. “As for me, I don’t think their deaths are worth shedding a tear over.”
Even the corners of his eyes betrayed his sudden coldness. Cheng Xi had the odd feeling that he wasn’t talking about the victims of the poisoning, or at the least, not about just them.
A blurry conjecture slowly took shape in her mind, but before she could develop it any further, she was distracted by his next few words. “Leave. I’ll have my lawyer contact you later.”
She could tell that his feelings were in a mess right now.
Cheng Xi clammed up. It was the first time that she had ever felt that words had power: a cold, icy power that could stop someone from breathing.
“I’m sorry. If my carelessness has caused you distress or even hurt you, then I’m really very sorry. I’m very serious about wanting to help you.”
He didn’t respond.
He just sat there, completely still like a statue carved out of ice that radiated a frigid chilling aura that drove others far away.
After an unknown amount of time that felt like an eternity to Cheng Xi, he finally asked, “What do you plan on helping me with?”
“To build trust with others, to help you…… believe that there is love in this world.”
Lu Chenzhou raised his head slowly and looked at her. Today, she was wearing a stone-green jacket. The color was too dark on her, and gave her an old and weary look. It was completely lacking the customary freshness of her normal attire.
But her eyes were as bright as ever. Her pupils were distinct, like a pool of water that reflected a person’s innermost desire.
His face started forming a smile, but that smile never reached his eyes. “Love… just like what you have with that man?” Then he called out to her. “Cheng Xi.” For as far as she could remember, he seldom ever referred to her by her full name. And every time he did, her heart would shudder. “Do you want to make a bet with me?”
“...A bet about what?”
“Whether or not you and him will get married. If so, I won’t take even a cent of the settlement fee and will instead donate it all to the two of you as my blessings for your marriage. How about that?”
“...And if we don’t?”
Lu Chenzhou’s voice turned taunting. “Do you lack that much confidence in your mutual love? He’s your idol, isn’t he? How can you not get married after thinking about each other for so many years?”