Lu Chenzhou’s grandparents had only asked for Lu Chenming’s opinion out of goodwill, and didn’t expect to receive a serious answer.
Lu Chenzhou’s grandmother immediately asked, “What’s wrong with Dr. Cheng?”
“What did she do to you to make you feel that she’s a bad person?”
But Lu Chenming stopped speaking, and his grandfather became so angry that he started pounding at Lu Chenming’s shoulder. “All you know how to do is spout nonsense!”
Lu Chenming buried his head and stubbornly replied, “I’m not spouting nonsense!”
“Then tell us what she did! Why do you think that she’s not a good person?”
Lu Chenming kept his head down and refused to respond. His grandmother stooped down to look at him, and to her shock, his eyes were red with tears welling up. She couldn’t help herself from trying to comfort him. “Alright, alright. We’re not blaming you, but if you know something, then you have to tell us. Saying that she’s a bad person out of nowhere…… What are we going to think? You know how hard it’s been for your brother to find a girlfriend, and yet you……”
But before she could finish, Lu Chenming had escaped from them and rushed up the stairs.
“Ah, what’s wrong with this child?”
Lu Chenzhou’s grandparents looked at each other, both concerned. With how strange Lu Chenming’s behavior was, the two of them really were starting to suspect that something was wrong. Afterall, even though Lu Chenming didn’t speak up very often and was quite timid, he almost never lied. If he said that Cheng Xi wasn’t a good person, then it could very well be true that he had found out about something bad that she’d done.
But if he just threw down such a crazy proclamation and then ran away, of course the two of them would feel anxious and worried, all right?!
So, the next day, Lu Chenzhou was summoned back home by his grandparents. But since he didn’t know why, he had brought Cheng Xi with him. They had come straight from Cheng Xi’s workplace, so she was still wearing her professional work. Since she had been working on preparing for thesis defenses these last two days, her clothes were very formal and mature; today, she was dressed in a blazer and casual pants that were the same shade of light purple, giving her a smart and dashing appearance.
Cheng Xi had brought some considerate presents for everyone as well: a small bracelet for Lu Chenzhou’s grandmother, an ornate snuff bottle for Lu Chenzhou’s grandfather, tea leaves for his father, and a pair of earphones for Lu Chenming. None of the gifts were particularly expensive—she didn’t have much time to pick them out as Lu Chenzhou’s invitation had come at the last minute. Actually, she had bought them from a shop on the way over. Lu Chenzhou knew nothing about what his family liked, so she even had to call Lawyer Du and ask for his advice. Her gifts didn’t look like much, but she had put quite a considerable amount of thought into them.
Lu Chenzhou’s grandparents could tell how thoughtful Cheng Xi’s gifts were, and so, despite scrutinizing her carefully from every angle, they couldn’t see anything about her that would make Lu Chenming so upset: the woman in front of them smiled gently, was pleasant to listen to, and had a bright gaze and a warm attitude. Could it have been a misunderstanding?
When Cheng Xi saw their faces, she thought that they had something to discuss with Lu Chenzhou. As she searched around for an excuse to leave, she conveniently saw that the housekeeper was about to bring the cat outside, so she said, “I’ll go out and take a walk outside with Daggry.”
When Lu Chenzhou first bought this cat, Daggry, it had been thin and small, but by now it was already starting to border on becoming fat and rotund. In consideration of its future health, Lu Chenzhou’s grandparents had decided that it had to be walked around a little once at morning and once at night.
Lu Chenzhou nodded coolly.
And so Cheng Xi went out with Daggry and the housekeeper. As she left, Lu Chenzhou and his grandparents stared at her back, all of them a little dazed. Only after quite a while did Lu Chenzhou break the silence, asking, “Alright, what’s the matter?”
Both of his grandparents found it hard to broach the subject. Only after a while did they tactfully ask, “You and Dr. Cheng are getting along fine, aren’t you?”
“There isn’t anything bad about her, is there?”
Lu Chenzhou looked towards them, his tone a little colder this time as he asked, “What’s wrong with her?”
Outside the house, Cheng Xi looked at Daggry, who was happily walking along on its small stubby legs, and felt a small urge to laugh. She had never raised a small animal before and thought that this little cat was quite cute. In her mirth, she asked the housekeeper, “Can I lead it along?”
The housekeeper handed the leash over, and Cheng Xi walked at the front with the little cat following slightly behind while the housekeeper brought up the rear slowly. They didn’t walk too far, just circling around the Lu family’s backyard. In the beginning, Daggry was quite happy, but as it kept on walking, it slowed down and eventually refused to move anymore. It had spread its body on Cheng Xi’s feet and was pretending to be dead, refusing to move no matter how she prodded it. Cheng Xi poked at it with a finger, and it seemed to think that she was going to rub its fur. In an adorable move, it twisted around and exposed its cute little belly for Cheng Xi to poke some more. When she turned it back around, it stuck its little legs up and turned itself back around again.
Cheng Xi didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry.
As she happily played around with the cat, she suddenly heard Lu Chenzhou’s voice drift out of the house from above her. “What’s the meaning of what you said to our grandparents?”
It was from an upstairs bedroom.
Cheng Xi was right below that window, and the window wasn’t closed, so she could clearly hear the conversation.
It seemed as if the Lu siblings were talking about something. Cheng Xi felt that it would be impolite to eavesdrop, but just as she was about to carry the cat away, she heard Lu Chenzhou ask, “You know Cheng Xi? What has she done to make you feel like she’s not a good person?”
Cheng Xi was shocked by the accusation. “……”
Her hands, which had picked up the cat, subconsciously lowered again. Lu Chenzhou’s words were a bit mystifying to her, really. Did Lu Chenming think she was a bad person? Just what could she have done or said that would make this shy and introverted fellow still attend her class with that opinion of her?
So while she wasn’t intentionally trying to eavesdrop, she was a little curious. In the end, she remained half-standing by the window. When she saw the housekeeper approaching her from afar, she even waved her away, and the housekeeper stopped, somewhat puzzled.
Lu Chenming didn’t respond to his brother’s question, and Lu Chenzhou’s tone turned impatient. “Lu Chenming, I’m not a patient person, so I’ll give you one last chance to respond. If you want to say something, then this is your last chance; if not, then keep it bottled shut for the rest of your life.”
“I’ll give you three seconds to decide.” And then Lu Chenzhou began to count down unhurriedly. “One, two, three!”
Honestly, Lu Chenzhou was already being pretty warm towards Lu Chenming by giving him three seconds to decide. If it were anyone else, then he probably wouldn’t even have wasted his time counting down.
Such was Mr. Lu’s personality.
As soon as he said “three,” Cheng Xi heard some footsteps approach the door. Evidently, Lu Chenzhou had lost his patience and was directly walking away.
But at the same time, Lu Chenming’s voice rang out, and he hoarsely yelled, “She seduced me, but then she turned around to marry you!”
……!!! So this was what he had meant when he had said that she was a bad person!
But when had she seduced him?
Clearly, Lu Chenzhou was also wondering the same question, because she heard his cool voice ask, “When?”
Perhaps Lu Chenming felt like he had already said the scandalous important part, so Lu Chenming unhesitatingly answered, “Before she got in a relationship with you!” He even sounded a bit sulky, as if he was thinking, Brother, you’re a small-minded person. How could you steal my woman away from me.
Perhaps Lu Chenzhou was also thinking the same thing, because he fell silent for quite a while.
And then Cheng Xi heard Lu Chenzhou’s grandmother’s trembling voice, “Are you sure that it’s her?”
“She said that she liked you?”
Lu Chenzhou’s grandfather’s panicked voice came out from the window. “Wait, old woman, old woman…… Don’t be like that, don’t be so anxious. Calm down……”
Lu Chenzhou’s grandmother began to cry. “How could something like this happen?!”
Given the huge mess developing upstairs, even though she was shamelessly eavesdropping, Cheng Xi felt like she had to stand up and speak out for herself. She straightened herself up, walked a few steps into the line of sight of the window, and yelled out, “I’m sorry to bother you, but can I say something?”
Lu Chenzhou’s entire family was stunned by this turn of events.