Perhaps it was because they’d been together for quite a while, but Cheng Xi detected Lu Chenzhou’s abnormal emotional state very quickly. The private restaurant was deep in an alleyway, and the lighting wasn’t very good here. She raised her head, noticed his slightly clenched lower jaw, and immediately grabbed his hand tightly.
“Lu Chenzhou, are you upset?”
He turned around, glanced at her briefly, and then honestly replied, “Yes.”
“I don’t like seeing you around him.”
Cheng Xi stilled for a moment, and asked in disbelief, “Are you jealous?”
Lu Chenzhou replied with a serious expression, as if it were to be expected, “I’m learning to.”
She wasn’t able to hold her laughter back and a chuckle or two spilled out. Lu Chenzhou looked at her with a dissatisfied expression, and Cheng Xi quickly said, “I”m sorry. I didn’t mean to intentionally laugh at you. We only met up coincidentally, and we were talking about Chen Jiaman’s affairs. Don’t worry. We probably won’t see each other for quite a while.”
But when Cheng Xi was saying this, she didn’t anticipate that, she’d actually be forced to meet frequently with Lin Fan for this entire month. At the time, she was just clutching Lu Chenzhou’s hand and saying with a smile, “Lu Chenzhou, you’re too cute! But even if you’re learning to be jealous, you have to do so for the right reason. Lin Fan and I…… Even if he were an angel sent from heaven, I wouldn’t get involved with a married man.”
Only then did Lu Chenzhou’s facial expression improve slightly. On the surface, however, he looked as though he was even colder and more inapproachable than usual. In the end, Cheng Xi didn’t dare to laugh too much at him, and just happily walked to the restaurant with him.
Of course, the main reason why she was happy was because Lu Chenzhou’s awareness over his own emotions seemed to be improving, as signified by the fact that he responded to them, unlike before.
Cheng Xi was ultimately late to the dinner because of her work, and the elders of both families took that into account, but in quite different fashions. Her mother grumbled, “You arrived so late! Everyone’s waiting for you, almost as if no one else has anything important to do!”
Meanwhile, Lu Chenzhou’s grandparents graciously replied, “Aiya, work is important. It’s fine even if we wait a little.” They then even commented on how hard Cheng Xi had to have been working, and lovingly pulled her next to them.
Even Lu Chenzhou’s father said, “It’s good for young people to work hard.”
Upon hearing all this, Cheng Xi smiled a little, and her gaze landed on Lu Chenming, who was sitting opposite her. He had found a corner seat and was originally sneaking secret glances at her with his head low, but when he saw her look over, he quickly turned his head away with a red face.
Cheng Xi couldn’t help but smile at his antics, and then she greeted them all in turn. Lu Chenzhou’s family had all gathered here today, and as for her own family, Cheng Yang was on a business trip, so he was the only one who was unable to make it. After Cheng Xi’s mother finished enumerating her daughter’s multiple shortcomings, she didn’t forget to mention her son either. “Don’t say something like that! You’re going to over-coddle them and make them think that their work is as important as the president’s. My son’s like that too. He said that he was going to come, but then something came up at work that required his urgent presence so much that he had to take an overnight flight over.”
Lu Chenzhou’s grandfather replied, “It’s far better for young people to be working hard than to be sitting at home idle.” And then he criticized his own grandchildren as well, tossing out some vague descriptions. “The older one doesn’t come home, and the younger one stays home far too much.”
Cheng Xi and Lu Chenzhou were sitting side by side, and, along with Lu Chenming opposite them, the three of them suffered in silence as their elders castigated them. Luckily, the food arrived quickly, and they didn’t have to listen for too long.
After all, since this was the first time the two families had met, they didn’t discuss anything too important. According to Cheng Xi’s mother, this was just a part of the process for the two families to get to know each other, and there wasn’t a need to rush into marriage. But Lu Chenzhou’s grandmother jumped into the topic, saying, “With the way they are now, their marriage can be in whatever style they’d like. However, I still feel like we shouldn’t have one of those new-fangled marriages where they drop the banquet in favor of travelling around. Neither of our two families have a lot of children, so we really do need to have a ceremony. After all, in a woman’s entire life, how can she not go through a few ceremonies?”
These words spoke to Cheng Xi’s mother’s heart, and the two of them sat side-by-side for the rest of the dinner. One called the other auntie, and the other sister. Yes, they were really getting along quite well.
On the other hand, Cheng Xi’s father and Lu Chenzhou’s grandfather quickly began discussing financial affairs—even though Cheng Xi’s father was only in charge of a small diner, he tended to pay close attention to national matters, and always watched the daily news. He wasn’t able to come up with grandiose statements, but something general like,“The price of raw goods has really skyrocketed these last few years. It’s getting so much harder to do business,” was something he could easily chat about.
Lu Chenzhou and Lu Chenming didn’t talk very much, but Cheng Xi would occasionally exchange a few words of conversation with the both of them. Overall, this dinner was quite lively and harmonious. After the dinner concluded, it had been prearranged for Lu Chenzhou to take Cheng Xi and her family home, whereas the rest of the Lu family would be driven home by Lu Chenzhou’s father. As Lu Chenzhou’s grandmother left, she even pulled on Cheng Xi’s mother’s sleeve and said, “Let’s meet and talk more in the future.”
As for Cheng Xi’s mother, she invited Lu Chenzhou’s family over to their place. “If you’re ever free, please feel free to stop by our place. We don’t have much, but we can still get you some things that are hard to find in the city.”
The two seemed unable to separate.
That night, Cheng Xi’s parents stayed in the apartment opposite Cheng Xi’s. When they first saw the signpost by the door, their lips twitched, rendered speechless by Cheng Xi and Lu Chenzhou’s antics.
Once they entered the apartment, Cheng Xi’s mother quickly chased Lu Chenzhou away with an excuse about trying to find something, and then Cheng Xi’s parents dragged her Xi into a discussion about the dinner—they had to rush it, because Cheng Xi was still working the next day, even though it was a weekend. Afterall, she had to finish all her tasks by the time graduation came around.
Cheng Xi’s mother went straight to the point, saying, “The Lu family seems to be pretty easygoing.”
Her father was also pleased with what he had seen. “They really don’t seem like a rich family at all, and don’t have the normal pretentiousness that you often see.”
Cheng Xi nodded. Not only were the Lu family not pretentious, but she also honestly felt that Lu Chenzhou’s grandparents were a very well-grounded couple.
Her mother then said, “When talking about marriage, you really have to take a close look at the other party’s family. If everyone else in the family is kind and understanding, then the person himself also won’t be too bad. And as far as I can tell, everyone from Lu Chenzhou’s family is pretty decent. Lu Chenzhou himself also isn’t too bad, and besides the fact that he talks too little and always looks a bit dazed, he seems trustworthy.”
Cheng Xi started smiling upon hearing her mother’s evaluation. It seemed like Lu Chenzhou wouldn’t be able to rectify his image as a dolt in her mother’s mind that easily, but at least it didn’t affect the overall picture. After all, her mother continued with her assessment, saying, “Being a bit dazed also implies that his personality’s pretty direct, and that he won’t be sly, devious, or anything like that.”
In summary, the Cheng family was very pleased with the Lu family, who was rich but not ostentatious. With Lu Chenzhou growing up in such a family, it wasn’t strange for him to become enamored with Cheng Xi despite their differences in background, and Cheng Xi wouldn’t be at a disadvantage if she did marry into their family.
The Lu family also were quite satisfied with Cheng Xi’s parents. Additionally, they had no problems with Cheng Xi herself, and honestly, even if they did, as long as Lu Chenzhou was willing to marry a female, then they would be fine with whomever he chose. And since they really had a good opinion of Cheng Xi, they were very open-minded about Cheng Xi’s parents.
And since both sides were satisfied, Lu Chenzhou’s grandparents very much wanted them to get engaged quickly. “Getting engaged is a good idea because then you can wait a little before getting married.”
Lu Chenzhou’s father seldomly commented on Lu Chenzhou’s affairs, and he didn’t do so now either, only saying, “Do whatever you like.”
This comment angered his grandparents quite a bit. “Is he even your son? We even had to prod at you endlessly to get you to dinner tonight. You’re not even going to give an opinion for something as important as this?!”
Lu Chenzhou’s father raised his eyebrows, and then coolly said, “Does he treat me like his father? The two of you can handle his affairs however you’d like, and if you need me to be around, then just let me know.” And with those words, he swished his sleeves and left.
Lu Chenzhou’s grandparents could only stare at his back. But when they remembered that their little grandson, who was already twenty-something years old and about to graduate, was still there, they reluctantly dropped their anger and asked for his opinion as a gesture of goodwill. “Chenming, what do you think about your brother’s girlfriend?”
Lu Chenming lowered his head, his eyes red, and only after quite a while did he say, “Not good.”
Lu Chenming gritted his teeth. “She’s a vile person!”
Lu Chenzhou’s grandparents were dazed.