When Cheng Xi finally regained her senses, she massaged her forehead. “Please don’t make this a big deal, alright?”
Tian Rou harshly responded, “What do you mean, ‘make this a big deal?’ I’m proving your worth to the whole world!”
“What worth can a man prove?”
“It can prove that you’re charming and capable. Don’t you think that you can get men by the handful with your looks and skills?”
“Why would I want so many of them?” Cheng Xi firmly refused to cooperate with Tian Rou’s harebrained plan.
She really couldn’t let Tian Rou go through with this, as she hadn’t actually been dumped yet; rather, her hesitation stemmed from the lingering fear of being strangled halfway to death. However, this wasn’t the first time something like this had happened to her, courtesy of her occupation as a psychiatrist. She’d been pinched, bitten, and harassed countless times by her patients. Indeed, almost every psychiatrist had encountered something of the sort throughout the career, and the only real difference was the severity.
What surprised Cheng Xi the most was Lu Chenzhou’s behavior, as what she had seen today seemed to imply that he was scared of his own actions.
But Cheng Xi couldn’t just tell Tian Rou all of this, and so, Tian Rou ended up arranging a whole bevy of blind dates for Cheng Xi. Tian Rou worked frighteningly fast, and not even a day later, she called Cheng Xi and said, “Come over, I have a big surprise for you.”
When Cheng Xi got Tian Rou’s call, she was actually at the Lu household. Lu Chenzhou’s grandparents had been away on a trip when everything had gone down, and after receiving a call from the hospital, they had rushed back, returning yesterday.
They still didn’t know that Lu Chenzhou was the person who had reported her. Actually, the hospital didn’t know either. So when they met up with Cheng Xi, Lu Chenzhou’s grandparents were grumbling about the unknown reporter. “Who on earth would do something like this? Are they bored out of their minds!? Zhou, too, how can he just watch your name be tarnished like this without doing anything?” They even consoled her, saying, “Don’t worry. We’ll definitely clear this up for you. Honestly, you guys had started dating before Lu Chenzhou even entered the hospital.”
Lu Chenzhou’s grandfather was even more ‘heroic.’ “We have more than enough money. Even if you’re here to swindle us out of our money, we have plenty for you to take. The only question is if you’re willing to take it.”
Cheng Xi had no response. “……”
What could she say? Only a vague remark. “Haha, Grandfather Lu, you’re really too humorous.”
If word of this ever spread, then everyone around her would probably drop dead out of jealousy, right?
Cheng Xi decisively changed the topic. After all, the reason why she was here today really wasn’t to ask the Lu family to clear her name. Rather, she wanted to understand the circumstances around the origin of Lu Chenzhou’s mental illness. Although he had forbidden her from asking, Cheng Xi simply decided to ignore it.
Of course, Cheng Xi wasn’t so naive as to directly ask Lu Chenzhou’s grandparents about this incident like how she had with Lu Chenming. Instead, she was far more tactful, and broached the topic by saying that she had accidentally angered Lu Chenzhou by bringing up his mother.
Yup, her strategy was to lie. However, she had to give some reason for why she was fighting with Lu Chenzhou. Thus, she might as well hit two birds with one stone and say that this was the root of their dispute.
As soon as Cheng Xi mentioned Lu Chenzhou’s mother, both grandparents’ faces turned serious. They didn’t dare to look directly at Cheng Xi, as if they were both very uneasy.
“His mother, huh,” murmured Lu Chenzhou’s grandfather, “It’s not really that big of a deal, but the main reason why he doesn’t like bringing her up is because his mother died to save him. What’s more, his grandmother even harshly scolded him for it, saying that her death was completely Zhou’s fault. So for all these years……”
“Is that so?” Cheng Xi fell deep into thought. “I saw that he was very angry, so I felt a bit shocked. He must have had a very good relationship with his mother before she passed, right?”
Lu Chenzhou’s grandmother abruptly changed the topic. “No wonder he’s been behaving so strangely lately. He’s not even answering my calls. When I asked him about how you were doing two days ago, he even said……” Perhaps Lu Chenzhou had something vulgar, but his grandmother didn’t finish the sentence. Instead, she shifted topics once more and asked Cheng Xi, “Have the two of you made up yet?”
Cheng Xi nodded, and then suddenly asked Lu Chenzhou’s grandfather a seemingly random question. “Grandfather, what did you have for breakfast?”
Lu Chenzhou’s grandfather instinctively replied, “Congee and steamed dumplings. Why?”
Cheng Xi smiled. “It’s nothing. Actually, if the two of you are free tomorrow, I’d like to treat you both to breakfast. I just wanted to know what you enjoyed having in the morning.”
Actually, that was another lie. It was the same tactic that she had used on Cheng Yang a while ago; Cheng Xi had asked an innocent question that regular people wouldn’t ever lie to, in order to ascertain whether what Lu Chenzhou’s grandparents had told her earlier was true.
And, beyond a shadow of a doubt, Lu Chenzhou’s grandfather had lied.
His mannerism when he was telling the truth was completely different from that when he was lying.
After Cheng Xi bid goodbye to Lu Chenzhou’s grandparents, Tian Rou’s call came. When Cheng Xi picked up and heard Tian Rou say that she was going to give her a big surprise, Cheng Xi almost instantly declined. “I’m fine. Thanks……”
“Cheng Xi, if you don’t show up, then I’m going to break off my friendship with you!”
With that threat in place, she could only relent. “Alright.”
Perhaps it was because Lu Chenzhou’s mother was such a sensitive topic, but Lu Chenzhou’s grandparents actually didn’t urge Cheng Xi to stay any longer. “If you have something you have to do, don’t worry about us. We’ll handle the whole fiasco with the report.”
Evidently, they forgot that earlier, when Cheng Xi first arrived, they had warmly invited her to stay for food, and also called Lu Chenzhou over.
Despite the call to Lu Chenzhou not connecting.
Given their abnormal behavior, Cheng Xi became even more certain that there was more to Lu Chenzhou’s mother’s death than they were letting on. It had happened so long ago that Lu Chenming’s knowledge of it was simply too limited, and those who did know what happened had sealed their lips. If she wanted to discover the truth, then she’d have to conduct a deeper investigation.
But this was someone else’s affair, and she was a doctor, not a police officer. If she dug deeper…… she didn’t know if she could handle the consequences.
Cheng Xi hesitated when her thoughts reached this point, frozen with indecision. After she left the Lu household, she headed straight to where Tian Rou was holding her event. Due to the good weather today, Tian Rou had chosen a spot near the water, not too far from Donglai Hotel. It was a bar by the Mei river, and it was so popular that a decent crowd had already formed even though it was only the mid-afternoon.
Tian Rou had reserved the largest room inside the bar, and the attendant brought Cheng Xi over after she mentioned Tian Rou’s name. When Cheng Xi opened the door, she didn’t see Tian Rou anywhere, Instead, what caught her eye was that the room was filled with well-dressed men, all of whom were sitting, standing, or singing. As soon as she stepped into the room, their heads all swiveled towards her. Cheng Xi was a bit flustered to suddenly be the center of attention, and she immediately said, “I’m sorry. I must have the wrong room.”
But before Cheng Xi could retreat, Tian Rou’s voice boomed out from behind her. “What do you mean, you have the wrong room?! Get in, you!” And then she shoved Cheng Xi in, with so much force that Cheng Xi skidded across the floor and fell into a man sitting on a sofa.
That man reached out to break her fall, and smiled as he lightheartedly teased her. “My goodness, this girl’s a fierce one.”
The crowd burst into laughter, and Cheng Xi…… Cheng Xi quickly extricated herself from his lap, her eyes brimming with tears (from slamming into his chest with her nose), and said, “Sorry.”
She tried to restrain her anger at Tian Rou as Tian Rou earnestly apologized. “My foot slipped.”
Cheng Xi’s actions were indescribably cute, and she naturally received another round of laughter. Tian Rou smiled in a particularly exaggerated fashion as she turned to the crowd and said, “Isn’t my sister tall and cute and pretty?”
The whole crowd replied as one. “Yes!”
Cheng Xi couldn’t bear to look at any of them anymore. She retreated behind Tian Rou, poked her waist, and spat out through clenched teeth, “What are you planning?”
Tian Rou’s eyes twinkled mischievously. “I’m just introducing you to some potential boyfriends. There are fashionable wolf pups, milk pups, and even wild pups., I’m sure that you’ll find one that you like. Actually, the one you ran into just now wasn’t bad……” As she said this, she pulled out her phone and showed Cheng Xi the picture that she had just taken; it was a particularly embarrassing one where Cheng Xi’s nose was clearly smushed against his chest. “Do you feel anything after crashing into him like that?”
“I just sent it to Baldy, and I asked him to send it along to Lu Chenzhou. Heh heh, I’m doing a good job, aren’t I?”