Hypnotherapy was a standard psychotherapy procedure, but the reason why Cheng Xi wanted Lu Chenzhou to undergo this procedure was to dig up the truth of that incident from long ago.
She was somewhat suspicious of the veracity of Lu Chenzhou’s memories as the events had taken place too long ago. Even adults subconsciously pruned and edited their old memories, to say nothing of what an eight-year-old child would do with a traumatic memory.
Lu Chenzhou hesitated for a moment before assenting.
As he had promised earlier, he would do anything if it meant that she would stay.
Cheng Xi was touched by his willingness, and she leaned into his embrace and kissed him. She didn’t say anything more, because she believed that he could understand her feelings.
Lu Chenzhou didn’t say anything either. His cheeks were still slightly swollen, and his eyes had the remnant markings of a bruise. Cheng Xi lightly kissed his wounds as she tried to rationalize Cheng Yang’s actions. “It’s just that my brother’s very protective of me—”
But before she could finish, he stopped her from speaking any further.
His tongue flirted with hers; a cold and soft object entered her mouth, bringing with it a lemony fragrance.
The sky outside was burning a dull red, and amidst the striking sunset backdrop, the two of them had a gentle and long-lasting kiss.
It abruptly ended when Cheng Xi’s feet went numb again, causing her to fall onto the floor with an “Ouch!”
Lu Chenzhou let go of her, letting her lay on the ground as he leaned back against the sofa and looked at her.
“My legs hurt! Will you massage them for me?” Cheng Xi moved in front of him. But when she saw the darkness swimming in his eyes, she scrambled backwards, climbing up and away from him, and pretended that she hadn’t said anything just now. “Are you going to sleep some more? If not, you should get up. Baldy and the others are still here.”
Lu Chenzhou looked at her lazily, but then his gaze suddenly sharpened. He got down from the sofa, crouched down in front of her, reached out, and grabbed her leg.
Cheng Xi wanted to pull her leg back. She glanced at the door, worried that he’d do something reckless and that he’d repeat the earlier incident with Cheng Yang.
But Lu Chenzhou firmly held onto her leg, not letting her move it at all. Then, he lifted the hem of her dress.
Right above her knee was a long laceration. Dried blood had already scabbed over the slightly swollen flesh, making for a frightening sight.
His fingers brushed lightly against the wound. “Your leg?”
Cheng Xi realized that his actions weren’t what she’d expected, and she blushed from the misunderstanding. When she heard his question, she glanced at it and then casually replied, “Hmm? Did I scratch myself? It’s just a superficial scratch. Don’t worry.” Then, she even joked, “I probably got this from when I scaled the wall to enter. It’s been a while since I did something like that, so I was out of practice.”
“You…… scaled the wall?”
“That’s right. I also broke the window in your living room. You might have to get that replaced.
Lu Chenzhou was struck speechless. He had never expected that Cheng Xi was this…… adventurous.
Cheng Xi looked at him, still somewhat worried, and then she heard him say, “Let me see you climb the wall again.”
This time, it was Cheng Xi’s turn to be struck speechless.
The two of them chatted aimlessly for the rest of the night, neither of them mentioning the hypnotherapy session again. But the next day, Cheng Xi found a hypnotherapist and told him about it. Lu Chenzhou calmly replied, “What time? And where?”
“At his office,” Cheng Xi answered before briefly describing the hypnotherapist’s background, “He was recommended to me by one of my seniors. Actually, he’s pretty well known within the country.”
Cheng Xi wasn’t very experienced with hypnotherapy, and the classes she had taken back in medical school hadn’t covered this. Furthermore, due to Lu Chenzhou’s particularly wary and controlling nature, Cheng Xi had expended considerable effort to find someone reliable.
Since she had to return to Gansu shortly, they scheduled Lu Chenzhou’s hypnotherapy session to take place in two days. Cheng Xi spent this period of time relaxing with Lu Chenzhou. Of course, they had moved back into Cheng Xi’s apartment.
Lu Chenzhou liked her place mostly because it wasn’t very big. Whenever he turned around, he could see and hug her.
On their first day, they moved all of Cheng Yang’s belongings and the furniture in the guest room to the apartment next door. Additionally, Lu Chenzhou was petty enough to still be annoyed by the apartment door that Cheng Yang had installed. When Lu Chenzhou saw it, he immediately had it replaced with an even more advanced version. Fingerprints and retina scans were already outdated—the most modern technology employed biometric palm scans now!
In the time it took Cheng Xi to go to Renyi and come back, she could no longer recognize her front door.
Lu Chenzhou had to help her open the door and record her information on the scanner. She allowed him to do as he pleased as she leaned against the doorframe and joked, “I feel like this kind of door is wasted on me.” Honestly, what was the point of installing such a secure door for her shabby little apartment?
When Cheng Yang came over and saw the door, he was also shocked. “What’s he doing?! Is he trying to advertise that you have something precious in your apartment?”
It was a bit too incongruous, wasn’t it?
But Cheng Xi didn’t want to talk to either of them about the door anymore. Of course, Cheng Yang had come over to find her not for the door but rather to talk about Lu Chenzhou. “What kind of mental illness does he suffer from?”
Since Lu Chenzhou had announced it himself, Cheng Xi didn’t hide it any longer. “Emotional detachment.”
Cheng Yang immediately googled the term on his phone, and read through a score of comprehensive articles and informational sites. However, the only information he retained was a possible symptom. “......Erectile dysfunction?” And then he looked at Cheng Xi questioningly.
Cheng Yang thought that her silence was a tacit agreement, so he too fell silent for a moment. “No wonder his mental state’s like that.” And then his attitude quickly became gracious. “You should do your best to help him open up. Remember, if he really can’t do it with you, then don’t force it.”
In order to protect her and Cheng Yang’s lives, Cheng Xi decided to bury this conversation deep in her heart, never to see daylight.
In these two days of free time, Cheng Xi did everything that she needed to do after returning home. First and foremost, she went home to see her parents, and Lu Chenzhou went along with her. Just his presence alone meant that, no matter what Cheng Xi brought, her parents were both upset. When the two of them arrived, they ignored her and bluntly asked Lu Chenzhou, “What’re you doing here?” Their tone was very impolite.
This was something that Cheng Xi had preemptively trained him to do: no matter what her parents said, as long as he apologized, then everything would be fine. Indeed, Cheng Xi’s parents couldn’t do anything to him with this iron defense. And since they knew that Cheng Xi was only back for a few days, they couldn’t bear to scold her for too long. They quickly ignored Lu Chenzhou and turned to Cheng Xi as they wiped their eyes. “You’re darker, thinner, and somewhat older.”
Cheng Xi could only stay with them for a single day, because on the second day, Tian Rou and her other classmates found her. They all decided to get together and go visit Shen Wei and see her baby. The baby was a beautiful little boy, and he was already three months old, chubby, and cute.
Shen Wei looked far happier now compared to before her divorce, as her every action carried a warm and graceful bearing. Or in Tian Rou’s words, she was filled with a motherly aura. And whereas Tian Rou simply pretended that Lu Chenzhou wasn’t there, Shen Wei acknowledged Lu Chenzhou and calmly smiled as she said, “When Cheng Xi left, I thought that the two of you would get back together. Lo and behold, you did.”
Lu Chenzhou looked at her arrogantly. “After your divorce, your eyesight seems to have improved.”
Even Tian Rou couldn’t stop herself from chuckling at Lu Chenzhou’s jab, and Cheng Xi had to intervene to smooth things over. “He’s praising you, really.”
Eventually, Shen Wei shot Mr. Lu a look just as supercilious as his.
Then, it was finally time for Lu Chenzhou to undergo his hypnotherapy. Cheng Xi was worried that he’d be anxious, so as they walked in, she tried to console him. “You’ll be alright. It’s a very simple procedure. You just need to relax and do what the hypnotherapist tells you to do.”
Lu Chenzhou nodded.
In the end, after about an hour, the doctor came out.
“Did it fail?” Cheng Xi asked with a frown.