In the heat of the moment, Cheng Xi didn’t know what to say. During her indecision, Lu Chenzhou clutched her hand even tighter and pressed it against his chest again as he repeated, “Is it beating quickly?”
His voice was calm but serious, and in this moment, Cheng Xi felt a bizarre gentleness in his demeanor, and even his cold voice seemed warmer than usual.
But, in reality, his heart wasn’t beating any quicker. It was just that he was wearing one of those thin hospital gowns, so Cheng Xi could feel each distinct heartbeat. Back when she had been a student, she had once gotten bored and decided to experience traditional Chinese medicine and to learn to feel people’s pulses, so she had taken a year’s worth of classes and practice on the subject. She didn’t really learn how to feel pulses that much better, but she did had gotten significantly better at understanding the significance of others’ heart rates in different situations.
Right now, Lu Chenzhou’s heart was not beating any quicker than usual. In fact, it was actually beating a bit slower. When Cheng Xi remembered his unusual body condition, she had a hunch that he wasn’t feeling anything at all.
His excitement was closer to a guise, but one that could trick even himself.
Regardless of the truth, she still said, “Yes, a bit faster.”
And then Lu Chenzhou smiled, a truly joyful smile that contained a bit of childish innocence and sincerity; it was just like the dark clouds that Cheng Xi had once seen before, the ones that had silently blossomed in the biting cold.
Joyful, and heart-wrenching.
Such was the power of handsome people. Cheng Xi was dazed just from looking at him, until an “Oh!” rang out from the door.
The two both regained their senses at the same time and turned towards the door, but all they saw was someone hurriedly running out.
It was one of the Lu family’s private attendants.
Cheng Xi calmly pulled her hand away, slightly tilted her head, and looked out the door. “You scared her away.” She then looked at him. “You should smile more in the future. Smile if you’re happy—you look so wonderful when you’re smiling.”
Lu Chenzhou responded with a simple “Oh.”
Still cool and aloof, but it was missing a bit of the tyrannical tone that he usually displayed.
Yes, she had made at least a little progress; the flower blooming on the high cliff was now willing to look towards people below it.
Cheng Xi felt slightly gratified. But then her phone rang, a call from her department. “The patient in ward 24 is in the process of leaving the hospital. Dr. Cheng, are you still in the hospital?”
Cheng Xi froze for a moment. The patient in ward 24 was Chen Jiaman; although she had managed to delay the proceedings for all of yesterday, it had just ended up happening today instead.
Keeping the phone line open, Cheng Xi said, “I’m going to leave, so rest well.”
Lu Chenzhou looked at her. “You’re unhappy.”
“Yes, a bit.” She didn’t hide the reason from him. “Chen Jiaman’s family’s here to transfer her out of the hospital.”
Lu Chenzhou asked, “Do you want me to help?”
Even though she knew that this was the inevitable outcome, and even though she had never expected his help to come, his cold and firm rejection still caused her to feel a bit depressed.
Lu Chenzhou was feeling good, so he even tried to explain why he couldn’t help her. “As an investor, I’m contractually obligated to not interfere with the workings of the laboratory. So unless we bring Donglai Pharmaceuticals down and I file for bankruptcy……”
Even mentioning filing for bankruptcy… Cheng Xi sucked in a breath to stabilize her emotions. “It’s not that important, really.” She was honestly starting to get afraid of what he was saying, and quickly found an excuse to leave. “I really have to go. Rest well.”
Then, Cheng Xi hurriedly left, as if ghosts were knocking at her door. When she thought back to Lu Chenzhou’s serious expression, her heart started bleeding again; she was frightened that he would actually bring down Donglai Pharmaceuticals, and then she would undoubtedly be lambasted by the media.
Don’t underestimate the lengths a patient suffering from mental illness is willing to go to, especially if that patient is stubborn and intelligent!
Cheng Xi returned to her own department. Lin Fan’s mother was waiting there, and she wasn’t alone. She had brought along a crowd of unfamiliar people, each of them rubbing their palms as if they were preparing to enter battle.
Lin Fan’s mother was still dressed as exquisitely as ever, just like a perfect wealthy housewife. That day’s unhappiness seemed to have vanished without a trace, and her smile at Cheng Xi remained warm and amiable. However, this amity veiled her true feelings of disaffection and arrogance.
“I’m really sorry. I must be interrupting your afternoon. But as you know, I was busy all morning, and I only became free just now… Jiaman’s exit procedures—could I trouble you to help me with them?”
Cheng Xi looked at the nurse by her side. The head nurse wasn’t present, and only one of the other nurses on duty was here. When she noticed Cheng Xi glance over, that nurse coolly pursed her lips and said, “We already told her, but she said that she knows you, and was insisting that you were present.”
Without any change in her facial expression, Cheng Xi pivoted to look at Lin Fan’s mother. “Please follow me.”
Leaving the unfamiliar people outside, Cheng Xi brought Lin Fan’s mother with her to her office. But instead of proceeding with the procedures as she wanted, Cheng Xi instead sat in front of her desk and said, “I’m sorry, but Jiaman’s exit procedures can’t be processed at this time.”
“My lawyer’s currently in contact with Chen Jiaman’s father. Before receiving his personal confirmation, I don’t think that I can continue with this process in good faith.” She made a hand gesture, stopping Lin Fan’s mother from speaking, and continued talking. “It’s because I initially promised him that I would finish treating her before I let her out of the hospital. Right now, even though she’s improved greatly, her emotions still aren’t very stable, and she still desperately lacks a sense of security. Changing her environment at this stage will not benefit her at all. Out of my consideration for the patient, I don’t recommend that she switch hospitals.”
Lin Fan’s mother frowned. “Not even if I move her to a better hospital?”
Cheng Xi nodded. “That’s right.”
Perhaps not expecting Cheng Xi to make this move, Lin Fan’s mother stared at her for awhile before saying, “Cheng Xi, you’re joking, aren’t you?”
“No, I’m not. And Chen Jiaman was sent here by law enforcement. So, before she is given a directive from the corresponding office, no one can move her away. Even if she fully recovers and is able to leave, she has to submit an application before doing so.”
“Then why didn’t you say so beforehand?” Lin Fan’s mother became shrill.
Because I forgot about it, Cheng Xi thought as she very calmly said, “Because it was a notice that I just received.”
Lin Fan’s mother’s mouth was left hanging open in shock.
She felt like Cheng Xi was deliberately targeting her and that Cheng Xi was obfuscating her own personal interest in the matter, so Lin Fan’s mother became quite angry. Even as she tried to restrain her anger, she asked, “Cheng Xi, can’t you accommodate us even a little?”
Cheng Xi was quiet as she unyieldingly answered, “I’m sorry.”
“Are you really going to go against me just because I won’t let you and Lin Fan be together? Cheng Xi, I honestly thought that you were a better person!”
“Even if I said that this had nothing to do with him, you wouldn’t believe me, so I won’t bother explaining.”
Lin Fan’s mother clearly didn’t believe her. “It’s more like you can’t explain it at all, right? Honestly, I’ve seen plenty of girls like you. Regardless of whether or not you have a job, all you can do is try to catch a good man and climb the social ladder that way, not even caring if you can handle it! It’s just that I didn’t imagine that you wouldn’t let go even after I talked to you so candidly that day. Hah, if I can’t make it clear to you, then I’m going to find your director and give him a piece of my mind!”
After she said this, Lin Fan’s mother got up and prepared to leave. At this point, Cheng Xi almost thought that Lin Fan’s mother, whom she’d known in the past, was a fake all along! What did she say just now? That time that she called her over to Lin Fan’s stepfather’s house, when she had displayed both her weakness and her aptitude for being endlessly bothersome, was that all to dissuade her from marrying Lin Fan?
Cheng Xi was honestly quite impressed by Lin Fan’s mother’s train of thought. She could deeply feel how her mental compass had been twisted and distorted by her long years of fighting with her stepchildren over the Wang inheritance. To a person like her, no amount of reason could explain anything.
“Mrs. Lin, I hope that you won’t make this messy.” When Cheng Xi saw that Lin Fan’s mother was about to head out, Cheng Xi quickly spoke out. “Or it’ll be hard for me to promise that you’ll get what you want.”
“What do you mean?” Lin Fan’s mother turned around to glare at her. “Are you threatening me?”
“No.” Cheng Xi sighed. “I only wanted to advise you to be prudent with this matter. Renyi has reporter correspondence connections to the major media outlets. If you make a big fuss, I can’t promise that news of this matter will be suppressed, or how deeply the reporters will investigate. Regardless, if you really want Lin Fan to marry a wife that will be of use to him, like Miss Meng, then I think it’s better if you save him some face.
“Additionally, I’d also like to tell you that I indeed like Lin Fan very much. However, it’s not enough for me to eschew everything else. With a mother like you, it will be difficult for him to ever have a happy marriage, and I don’t plan on taking on such a difficult challenge.”
After Cheng Xi finished her speech, she walked over and opened the door for Lin Fan’s mother. “Please choose wisely.”
And then she saw Lin Fan standing outside the door, his face stark white, looking at her with a mournful expression.
Cheng Xi was at an utter loss for words.