Tian Rou was about to flip the table upside down. But Baldy, who was sweating buckets as she asked her question, couldn’t stop himself but start snorting at Lu Chenzhou’s answer. “Darling, if you’re going to ask Boss Lu if he has money, then you’re just courting disaster.”
Tian Rou’s shame turned to anger at his words. “Can you be any more shameless?! Who’s your ‘darling?’”
Baldy had clearly grown accustomed to his role as a henpecked husband, as he obediently and meekly replied, “You’re my darling, of course. Don’t be so jealous, darling. I’m not doing that badly myself. If you want a hundred million dollars or something, I can give it to you too.”
The crowd all looked on jealously, and some people even surreptitiously patted their own empty wallets.
Tian Rou had managed to become public enemy #1 in an instant, causing everyone to turn their gazes toward her. Despite the fact that both she and Baldy had a pretty good alcohol tolerance, they too were half-drunk and stumbling around by the time the gathering concluded.
Cheng Xi and Lu Chenzhou helped send everyone away, until only Baldy and Tian Rou remained behind. Cheng Xi drove them all back, but halfway through the drive, Tian Rou grabbed the front passenger’s seat and said, “Cheng Xi, you’re too disloyal! You let us get this drunk while you’re still sober enough to drive.”
Cheng Xi didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at Tian Rou’s lamentations. “What would you rather have it be like?”
“I want to continue drinking, of course.” Even when Tian Rou was this drunk, she knew how to act pitifully to pull on her heartstrings. “You don’t know how lonely I was when you left, and now that Lu bastard’s gone and seized you before we could even have a heart-to-heart talk! I don’t care anymore! You were the one who reached out to me today, so you’re the one who has to accompany me!”
Cheng Xi glanced at the person who started grinding his teeth as soon as Tian Rou said “lonely” through the rearview mirror, smiled, and said, “Don’t you already have Baldy? Why do you need me to accompany you?”
Rou waved her hand dismissively as she boldly replied, “What’s he to me? Men are just clothes to be worn and discarded, but you’re as important to me as my limbs!”
All right, even Cheng Xi couldn’t save her from Lu Chenzhou now.
Tian Rou refused to go back home, stubbornly sticking to Cheng Xi. In the end, Cheng Xi brought Tian Rou and Baldy back to her apartment.
When they all arrived at Cheng Xi’s apartment, Cheng Xi originally wanted to have them stay in the apartment next door. Cheng Yang hadn’t been staying there these past few days, so there was more than enough space in there for the two of them. However, unexpectedly, Lu Chenzhou walked ahead and opened up the door to Cheng Xi’s apartment.
She hesitated for a moment before smiling and dragging Tian Rou inside with Baldy’s help.
After they all entered, Cheng Xi went to have a “heart-to-heart” talk with Tian Rou in the study while Lu Chenzhou and Baldy stayed behind in the living room, drinking tea. Baldy was at a loss for Tian Rou’s behavior, and he tactfully apologized in her place. “Sorry, my girlfriend’s not very thoughtful.”
Lu Chenzhou grunted nonchalantly, his face cool.
The atmosphere was a little awkward. In truth, ever since Baldy had found out that Lu Chenzhou was mentally ill, his attitude towards him had changed slightly. Baldy was curious about the details, but he was even more afraid of asking, and he hadn’t even dared to go find Lu Chenzhou during these past few days.
Lu Chenzhou wasn’t stupid and quickly noticed Baldy’s pensive gaze. He poured him a cup of tea. “What’s the matter?”
His tone was cold, but Baldy was very surprised that Lu Chenzhou was considerate enough to initiate a conversation with him. Perhaps Tian Rou had influenced him, but he took the cup of tea and straightforwardly asked, “Are you really suffering from a mental illness?”
As soon as the question left his mouth, Baldy wanted to slap himself, but Lu Chenzhou actually nodded and said, “Yes, that’s right.”
Baldy looked at him in a daze.
Lu Chenzhou lifted his head, returning the look. “What’s the matter? Are you scared?”
“No, no, no. But I really believe that you’re mentally ill now, because you’ve never spoken this politely to me before!”
Baldy wasn’t used to making Lu Chenzhou speechless, and the momentary elation made his courage blossomed. He chuckled and continued to say, “But I never feared you in the past, and I’m even less afraid of you now. We’re good brothers, aren’t we?” His voice was loud and rambunctious, but the emotions that he wanted to convey were sincere.
Lu Chenzhou’s gaze became warm.
Neither of them were particularly fond of idle chatter, and after Baldy confirmed that Lu Chenzhou was actually mentally ill, he instantly dropped the matter and pivoted to the subject of Donglai. “Are you really going to let it go just like that? It seems that Donglai hasn’t been doing so well lately.”
Lu Chenzhou’s tone was cold as he replied, “They can do whatever they want.”
Baldy sighed regretfully. “They’re all a bunch of dumbasses. They still think that this is a small incident, that it’s something that’ll just fade away if they bury their heads in the sand for a while and throw you out as a scapegoat. But they don’t realize just how heated the discussion surrounding this controversy is getting, do they? Vaccinations aren’t a small matter, and even if the average person forgets about this, the relevant governmental departments won’t. Honestly, I think that it’s a good thing that you ended up being cut off from that whole mess. This way, you won’t be wrapped up in all this when the matter inevitably blows up.”
As Baldy said all this, he felt that something seemed to be amiss. The main thing was that Lu Chenzhou’s timing for being fired couldn’t have been better: it was almost as if he had predicted that disaster was going to strike the company, as he had started loosening his reins and cutting ties to the company ever since the start of last year. Then, he had completely forsaken the company when Cheng Xi left, and now he’d been pushed out of the company as a scapegoat……
Baldy felt like he was missing a vital piece of the puzzle, but his intellect wasn’t sharp enough for him to make all the connections, and all he could make out was a faint sense of incongruity. He didn’t dare to ask about this—after all, Donglai was Lu Chenzhou’s business, and him knowing too much about it wouldn’t help him at all. After Baldy perfunctorily lambasted Donglai, he turned to ask Lu Chenzhou, “Dr. Cheng won’t be going back to Gansu after this, will she?”
He’d hit the heart of the matter, and Lu Chenzhou clutched his teacup without responding.
This sudden shift in pressure…… Baldy was overjoyed, but also afraid that his schadenfreude at Lu Chenzhou’s misfortune was too obvious. He quickly put on a sympathetic expression as he carelessly said, “What, she’s still about to leave? Then just think of a way to keep her here.”
Lu Chenzhou raised his head. “I can make her stay?”
His low E.Q. left Baldy’s teeth aching. “Of course you can! What’s good about that rundown old place? It’s not like you need her income, so why don’t you just take care of her and keep her at home?”
Lu Chenzhou stopped responding. Baldy might not know, but Lu Chenzhou knew full well just how passionate Cheng Xi was about her job. Although he hadn’t kept a close watch on what she was doing in Gansu, he still knew a little about her activities. In less than a year, she had already acclimated to the local areas, and she’d even built a charitable organization to help the mentally ill, a lifelong dream of hers.
At this point, if he asked her to stay here, even if Renyi was willing to transfer her back, she’d likely refuse the opportunity.
And so Baldy suggested, “Well then, just have a baby!” He glanced at the living room to check on the two females, and then leaned closer to Lu Chenzhou anyways. “While she’s here, sneak a baby into her. Gansu is so far away that if she gets pregnant, even if you were willing to let her go back, her parents certainly wouldn’t be! You know that the first three months of pregnancy are when women are the most likely to have a miscarriage, don’t you?”
Lu Chenzhou frowned, his tone cold as he succinctly replied, “I don’t like children.”
Cheng Xi was busy enough with work. If there was a child in the equation, Lu Chenzhou didn’t even have to think to know that it’d suck up most of her time and attention.
And he hated anything that dragged her attention away from him. Even now, after he retrieved some of his repressed memories and let go of a significant part of his burden, the behavior and instinct that had formed a core part of his past self wouldn’t be erased that easily.
He could barely tolerate her loving her work, but if another person got in the way and took away her time, dragged her down, and demanded her hugs, feeding, and coaxing…… Just thinking about it was hard to bear.
Baldy was speechless at his reaction. “You don’t want a child at all?”
“No.” Lu Chenzhou was very sure of this.
But right after he said this, he tasted the sensation of being wrong. Before a supposed child could get in the way of his relationship with Cheng Xi, a totally unexpected person suddenly appeared in his and Cheng Xi’s life.