“What else do you want to do to her?”
“At any rate, nothing good.” Shen Wei laughed coldly as she said, “In the past, I thought that it’d be ideal if she lived every day hoping that it would be her last. However, it seems like I was still too easy on her. She should die, the earlier the better!”
Only then did Cheng Xi think to ask, “How did you know that she did it?” Even though Gong Hengjin had indeed reported her, the Bureau of Internal Affairs normally protected the identity of all whistleblowers. In other words, this information shouldn’t have reached Shen Wei’s ears.
“She admitted it herself.”
Cheng Xi was honestly impressed by Gong Hengjin’s guts.
“She was discharged from the hospital yesterday, and word of this incident spread to me today. I didn’t originally believe her, but when Tian Rou mentioned it in the group chat, I had no choice but to accept that it was all true.”
“That’s right. But if I told you that her impact in all this wasn’t really that large, would you believe me?” After Cheng Xi mulled it over for a moment, she then asked, “What did Tian Rou tell you?”
“She said that Lu Chenzhou was the one who reported you in the first place, but I didn’t believe her—why would Lu Chenzhou do something like that? Even if you dumped him, he has myriad ways to deal with you without resorting to something that overt.”
Those who didn’t understand Lu Chenzhou would truly find it difficult to believe that he would do something like this, but the truth was often hard to believe. Cheng Xi decided to be honest with Shen Wei, if only so that she wouldn’t do anything frightening in a fit of passion. “Lu Chenzhou really was the root cause of all this.”
Shen Wei’s eyes opened up wide. “What?!”
“The reasons behind the circumstances are quite complicated, and I’d rather not explain everything to you. However, just be aware that me being reassigned to Gansu really isn’t all that related to Gong Hengjin. As you know, she’s a patient in our psychiatry department—she won’t be held liable for any crime she commits, let alone a report. What’s more, I don’t even know her all that well, so what could she even report me for?” After Cheng Xi resolved the issue with Gong Hengjin, she continued persuading Shen Wei to not take action. “You already have a baby, so stop thinking about things like revenge, dying, or retaliation—it won’t be good for the baby. Anyways, don’t you think that she’s suffered enough? AIDS is unbelievably traumatizing to a person’s psychology and physiology. You should just try to let it go at this point.”
“I’ve already let go.”
“No, you haven’t. If you had, then you wouldn’t have become so furious after hearing about this. In fact, you’re already starting to plot against her again. After all, people live life for themselves, and it’s too tiring to focus all of your attention on someone else, regardless of whether it’s someone you love or someone you hate. Shen Wei, don’t forget: the best revenge you can take is to completely forget about the other person’s existence and live a happy and fulfilling life of your own.”
Cheng Xi, who had originally wanted to sleep in peace, instead stayed up late into the night, performing one last therapy session for Shen Wei. Cheng Xi didn’t know if it was effective or not, but she wanted to do her best for her friend.
As long as Shen Wei remembered a bit of what she said and changed her own lifestyle for the better, it would be worth it.
It was the first time Cheng Xi had slept in the same bed as a pregnant woman, and she was very concerned about accidentally hitting Shen Wei’s stomach, so she had a restless night, waking up quite frequently. On the other hand, Shen Wei had a good night’s sleep, only waking up when it was bright outside.
The next day, she didn’t immediately leave Cheng Xi’s apartment, and stayed there until the afternoon, when Tian Rou and the others came to fetch them. Her classmates had booked a luxurious ballroom at Phoenix Stage to send her off, and when Cheng Xi arrived, she almost jumped up out of shock. “Isn’t this a bit too much?”
“Not at all! It’s also our thirteenth graduation anniversary anyway, so we’re just celebrating both of these things at the same time.”
Cheng Xi was speechless. She didn’t know if a thirteenth anniversary was something worth celebrating, but she couldn’t complain as long as everyone was happy…… Her classmates’ party was even crazier than her colleagues’; everyone ate and drank in large portions as they boisterously horsed around. Cheng Xi had a low alcohol tolerance, so Tian Rou drank for her—which caused everyone to tease Cheng Xi until Tian Rou slammed her palm on the table. “What’s the matter? Are you dissatisfied that I’m drinking on her behalf? Do you wanna have a go at it too?”
Those words dragged Tian Rou into a drinking competition against ten guys. But even after the guys drank to the point of falling under the table, she was still loudly shouting, “Anyone else?”
Everyone was looking on with shock and admiration.
Cheng Xi was worried that Tian Rou had really drunk too much alcohol for her own good, but she seemed fine for the most part. It was just that she became even more exaggerated when she was drunk. For example, she ran up to Shen Wei, hugged her, and then started rubbing her stomach as she said, “This is my godson! You’d better grow up well so that you can be a nice son-in-law for me in the future.”
Some time later, she found and hugged Cheng Xi. “Lu Chenzhou, that asshole, is making you go so far away…… I’m telling you, he’s getting his just deserts now. Didn’t you say that he found a new girlfriend recently? Well, that new girlfriend of his already broke up with him due to his pettiness, and now she’s posting on all the forums, saying that he’s suffering from erectile dysfunction. Baldy tried to deflect the rumors by posting a picture of a receipt for the condoms that he’d bought, saying that that was a three-month supply for him. But then, someone did the math and found that Lu Chenzhou would have to have sex 9.6 times a day to finish using the whole stack within three months. And now, everyone’s saying that the reason why he bought so many condoms was to hide that fact…… My goodness, I’m about to cry from laughing so much!”
Cheng Xi rubbed her face as she thought about Lu Chenzhou’s surprising fortitude, remaining silent.
She didn’t expect that Tian Rou would notice that something was off about her reaction and ask, “So is Lu Chenzhou really unable to have sex? Did he report you because you saw through him?”
Tian Rou patted Cheng Xi’s shoulder, her expression one of commiseration. “Alright, I understand. But why are you still so scared of him? You’ve been sent all the way to the border! Tell everyone! It’s fine!”
Tian Rou could barely wait to spread the gossip that she just heard, but it’d be a futile endeavor to try to explain anything to her while she was drunk. Cheng Xi didn’t want to explain it either, so all she did was…… silently light a candle for Lu Chenzhou in her mind.
This sort of reputation would be very hard to dispel, and dealing with the rumors would be even more difficult. What’s more, given how rapidly technology was advancing these days, even if he did have a baby, people could still claim that it had been conceived via in vitro fertilization.
Cheng Xi decided to light a few more candles for him.
Tian Rou was very happy. To her, speaking badly of Lu Chenzhou was a small success, so she pulled Cheng Xi to the dance floor. When Lin Fan entered the venue, Tian Rou was spinning around in circles with Cheng Xi. The two of them spun all the way to the door, and when Cheng Xi tripped, two hands emerged from behind to catch her.
Cheng Xi turned around and saw Lin Fan’s face.
History truly tended to repeat itself; they were in the same position from a few months ago, where she had been standing in the front, preparing to catch Shen Wei’s wedding bouquet while he stood behind her, ready to protect her.
But this time, her feelings were completely different. Cheng Xi’s heart no longer yearned for him, and she immediately smiled politely as she moved away. “Thank you.” She tugged lightly at Tian Rou, who was still spinning around in a daze. “Alright, stop messing around. Lin Fan’s here.”
Tian Rou pounced on him. “My idol!”
Cheng Xi pulled her back quickly. “Don’t make a scene.”
“What’s the matter? It’s just a hug. Why didn’t you get together with Lin Fan before? Look at how well he treats his wife! His behavior truly befits his being my male idol.”
Cheng Xi really wanted to sew Tian Rou’s mouth shut, and in her frustration, she called another classmate over and forcefully dragged her away. Lin Fan’s embarrassment didn’t last very long; although he arrived quite late, the crowd went wild as soon as he stated, “I’m late, so everything’ll be my treat today.”
No one here really lacked money, but seeing someone act so forthrightly made everyone happy.
The atmosphere became even more festive.
Cheng Xi lurked in a corner as she took care of the inebriated Tian Rou and the pregnant Shen Wei, occasionally sneaking a few glances at the tables. She saw Lin Fan animatedly discussing something with some other classmates, a far cry from his usual aloofness—and those classmates were all working in business too, and they all had wealth and power. He really has changed, and he’s finally learned to make use of his personal connections.
It wasn’t necessarily a bad change.
The party raged on past midnight, which was far too late. Baldy himself came to pick Tian Rou up, Shen Wei’s brother came for her, and as for Cheng Xi, right when she was about to head out, Lin Fan called out to her. “Let me give you a ride.”
Cheng Xi shook her head. “It’s alright. I can just take a cab.”
But Lin Fan had already gotten out of his car and pulled open the door. He stood there and looked at her seriously. “I have some things I want to talk to you about, so could you please go for a drive with me?”