“You’ve investigated him?” This “him” was referring to Lu Chenzhou. It wasn’t strange for Cheng Xi to think this, because Lu Chenming was still in school. As a businessman, it wouldn’t be strange for Cheng Yang to know of Lu Chenzhou, but him knowing Lu Chenming was a bit strange.
Cheng Yang paused for a moment before quickly inflating with confidence and vigorously declaring, “Of course! I only have one sister! Don’t I have to be more careful?”
Cheng Xi harrumphed in annoyance. “Lying again!”
Cheng Yang desperately thought to himself, ……What can I do?! He was used to making these moves all the time in his business dealings, but he had to be very careful with his words at home; when he was faced with Cheng Xi’s pellucid gaze that refused to let him get away with even the smallest thing, he could only touch his nose in shame and admit, “I wanted to do business with the Lu family in the past, so I thought of some ways to form connections with them. Lu Chenzhou is particularly hard to get close to, so I asked someone to investigate the people around him to see if there were any easier targets.”
“And what did you find?” But as soon as Cheng Xi said this, she suddenly remembered the answer to her own question. “Not only did you find something, but you even found the target that you were looking for, didn’t you? I remember that your engineering project in Hainan was from the Lu family.”
This engineering project in Hainan was the project that Cheng Yang had been working on right before the start of the new year. He had never mentioned it before, but Cheng Xi had suddenly recalled that the backdrop of one of his work photos on his social media feed was the banner of the Donglai corporation.
Cheng Yang begrudgingly admitted to it. “You do have quite the good memory.” He then sighed before explaining, “I did do that project, but I wasn’t the one who obtained the contract. I bought it off of someone else, and even had to fork over a large intermediary fee to him.” Afraid that Cheng Xi was going to keep pressing him for information, he hurriedly said, “So since you’re on really good terms with Lu Chenzhou now, please don’t forget about me.” He grabbed her hand and rubbed it greedily. “Don’t forget about your dear brother when you make it rich.”
Cheng Xi pulled her hand back as if she were about to slap him in the face.
Cheng Yang chuckled. As the two siblings messed with each other, Cheng Xi suddenly heard her mother calling for her.
Cheng Xi went into the guest room and immediately saw that the guest room’s cupboard was wide open. Her parents were both stock-still in their pajamas, as if they had just seen a frightening creature come out of the cupboard.
Cheng Xi peeked in. Ah, oh dear. The big red blanket that Lu Chenzhou had used to wrap up his nude body as a present was still there! Cheng Xi’s mother walked over, pointed at the blanket, and asked, “When did you buy this?”
Actually, the blanket wasn’t the problem; its color was the real issue. Cheng Xi’s taste had never included such bright colors. She might have one or two red pieces of clothing to match with the rest of her outfit. But with regards to a blanket, and especially to this sort of big, red blanket that was normally only bought for a marriage or a particularly joyous occasion, Cheng Xi wouldn’t buy something like that even if she weren’t thinking straight!
But what she said was, “I…… I bought it when I wasn’t thinking straight.”
And then her infuriated mother yelled, “You wouldn’t buy something like this even if you weren’t thinking straight! Is this something that you think can be explained away by that silly excuse? This damn thing is something that you only use when you get married! Tell us, did you already secretly get married with that dolt?”
Cheng Xi’s mother was so mad that her imagination was running rampant, causing her to even start cursing! And the more she thought about it, the more sense her theory made to her, and she even started running around the entire apartment, trying to unearth evidence that Cheng Xi had gotten secretly married without telling her family.
Cheng Xi’s mother had never forcefully searched through Cheng Xi’s belongings in this fashion before: Cheng Xi had always been an obedient child, a diligent student, and a responsible adult. It was only in the last two years that Cheng Xi’s parents had started worrying about her relationships; before that, they had never really interfered with her life. As a result, when they did get serious, Cheng Xi couldn’t really do anything to stop them. As for Cheng Yang, the siblings usually teamed up to get away from their parents’ nagging, but he didn’t want to join in to just attract their attention and be scolded for not having any relationship progress.
Cheng Xi looked pitifully towards her father for help, but just one sentence from him caused her mother to turn on him too.
Helpless, Cheng Xi could only concede to her mother’s fury. Her mother scolded all of them, and finally, Cheng Xi even had to call Lu Chenzhou.
Once the call connected, she was stripped of the privilege of speaking. Her mother took over the phone, and personally talked to Lu Chenzhou. Of course, her mother’s tone was still quite kindly; in order to not lose her daughter any face, she didn’t act too brusquely. She steered the conversation through a tortuous line of small talk before finally saying, “Lu Chenzhou, given that you’ve been with my daughter for this long, why don’t we officially meet up?”
She hadn’t asked for the two families to meet up, but rather just him and her family.
Lu Chenzhou was unusually patient with Cheng Xi’s mother. Even though he thought that her call was a bit random and out of the blue, when he recalled the romance books that he’d read, he was about to take a treasure away from her hands. Thus, it was only natural for him to act nicer to her.
And so, when Cheng Xi’s mother requested for them meet up, Lu Chenzhou decisively agreed without any hesitation, and even made sure to choose a date that wasn’t the sixth—that day was supposed to be a date day for him and Cheng Xi, and he’d force it through even if it were raining frogs outside.
After Cheng Xi’s mother confirmed the time for the meetup with Lu Chenzhou, she became paranoid about her daughter colluding with him and coming up with a fake story. So, not only did she confiscate Cheng Xi’s phone, but she even slept with Cheng Xi during the night, and she even came up with a decent excuse for doing so: your brother’s so tall that it wouldnapos;t be good for him to sleep on the sofa.
Cheng Xi had suffered through so much torment over the course of the day that she had no energy left to rebuff her mother. Giving up, she just accepted whatever her mother said. Originally, because of Lu Chenzhou’s thoughtful and romantic behavior, she had been a bit happy inside, but after all of this hassle, those feelings had long since disappeared. The only desire on her mind now was to sleep.
And when she woke up, she realized, Ah, today’s the fifth.
Cheng Xi was very impressed with how much trouble her mother was willing to go through to cause trouble. However, she had no choice in this matter, and she even had to wake up early to try to curry favor with her mother. After breakfast, she proactively said, “Ma, since we have some free time, let’s go shopping, buy some nice outfits, and get our hair done. You’ve worked hard all year long, so when you have time off, you should take care of yourself.”
Her parents worked in their diner every day for the whole year. In terms of eating, they were doing fine, but their appearance left much to be desired, as they were not even willing to wear the new clothes that Cheng Yang and Cheng Xi had bought for them.
Cheng Yang also helped her out in trying to convince their mom. “That’s right! If you dress up well, Dad’ll look at you with fresh eyes.”
But that only provoked his mother’s scolding. “What do you mean? Are you resenting me for nagging at you? Are you saying that I’m old, garrulous, stale, and that your dad should swap me for someone fresher?”
Cheng Xi’s father, who had been innocently lazing around, was attacked out of nowhere. ……How unjust!
Cheng Xi knew that her mother was just taking her anger out on her brother, so she put in some real effort to comfort her. Only after bringing up Lu Chenzhou and the Lu family did her anger finally abate.
As the family left the apartment, Cheng Yang and Cheng Xi sighed from the front. “Our mother’s so hard to please. It feels like our mother’s transformed into a wicked stepmother just because we haven’t found partners and gotten married yet.”
Meanwhile, Cheng Xi’s father was saying to his wife from the back, “This wasn’t what we planned… And why did you also start scolding me?”
Cheng Xi’s mother gave him a supercilious look. “Look at how good the results were! Didn’t Cheng Xi obediently schedule a meeting for us and little Lu after? Even when we harried her before in the past, she didn’t treat it as something important. We were definitely too nice to them before!”
After thinking about it for a moment, Cheng Xi’s father sighed in defeat. Yes, she was right. So, he continued to act out the role of the good cop to his wife’s bad cop, all the way until they successfully met Lu Chenzhou.
Lu Chenzhou had come alone, bearing a large number of gifts while also dressed cleanly and neatly. He was wearing a buttoned up jacket that could have come from a uniform. That, combined with his calm, handsome, and austere face, gave off an elegant, noble, and gracious demeanor, completely unlike the dolt who had casually stripped naked in someone else’s home.
Cheng Yang didn’t come because he had prior plans, so besides Lu Chenzhou, it was just Cheng Xi and her parents. When Lu Chenzhou arrived, his appearance left all three of them somewhat dazed.
Cheng Xi’s father was the first to react; he stepped in front of his wife and daughter as he said with a stern face, “You’re really Lu Chenzhou?”
In a cool but not impolite tone, Lu Chenzhou replied, “Yes. It’s nice to meet you, and Happy New Year to both of you.” And then he waved his hands, first giving them his prepared gifts.
He was quite adept at choosing appropriate gifts. They were not too expensive, but were clearly very presentable. “These are just a few trinkets, not as valuable as what Cheng Xi has given me.”
Cheng Xi immediately thought, ……What valuable thing have I given him?
Cheng Xi’s parents curiously asked, “What did Cheng Xi give you?”
Lu Chenzhou looked straight at Cheng Xi. He was sitting solemnly on the other side of the table; his posture was straight, and his bearing upright and unafraid as he very seriously and severely said, “She gave herself to me.”
Cheng Xi and her family opened their eyes in shock!!!