Chapter 35: Partner

Lu Chenzhou’s tone was relaxed, even jokingly so as he refused her. Cheng Xi couldn’t help but be startled, and then started laughing.

She thought that she had more or less learned how to get along with him as a friend, and that she was approaching their relationship less from a doctor-patient one. But she had suddenly thought of Chen Jiaman. When she was living with that kind of family life, had anyone ever joked with her, or laughed with her without caring for decorum?

Perhaps the reason why she liked the graveyard was because only there could she say what she truly wanted to say.

She suddenly wanted to go to the hospital to look at Chen Jiaman again, so she said to Lu Chenzhou, “Sorry, are you still busy? If not, I’d like to go back to the hospital.”

Lu Chenzhou looked at her questioningly.

Cheng Xi explained, “I want to go look at Chen Jiaman.”

He didn’t say anything, and started the car to drive her back.

He accompanied her even up the stairs and followed her into the office. The doctor on the night shift wasn’t there, and the room was completely quiet.

Cheng Xi changed into her work clothes and came out. When she saw that Lu Chenzhou was still there, she said, “I might be a bit late, so you should head back first. Thank you for bringing me over.”

Because she wanted to verify her thoughts as quickly as possible, Cheng Xi left immediately after saying that.

Chen Jiaman was currently entering the stage when she was the most active. But unlike before, after she had been given the sketchbook, she had clearly become much quieter. She sat there in the darkness, holding her pen, and drawing something that no one else had seen.

Cheng Xi pushed the door open. After her eyes acclimatized to the darkness, she slowly walked over, still sitting five paces away from Chen Jiaman.

The sketchbook that she had left behind in the morning was still there. She picked it back up, and muttered to herself, “What should I draw?” Her voice was very light. In this dark room, it was as light as a gentle wind, not frightening at all.

Chen Jiaman didn’t hear it, or if she did, she didn’t respond. Cheng Xi didn’t mind, and continued to speak softly. “I’ll draw a little bunny, then, a little bunny afraid of the dark. It yelled out in a dark house, ‘Is there anyone there? Please speak to me. I’m scared, and it’s too dark in here.’ There was another bunny locked inside with it, a bunny who was very old. When he heard the other bunny’s behavior, he said, ‘What use are your actions? It’s so dark in here that you can’t even see me.’ The little bunny replied, ‘That’s quite alright. As long as there’s someone speaking, there’s light.’”

That whole night, Cheng Xi repeated this story over and over again. The sketchbook that she had drawn in was a mess, and because she couldn’t see, she didn’t even know what she had drawn.

Chen Jiaman never responded to her. After tiring herself out from drawing so much, Cheng Xi fell asleep by the corner of the table.

In the morning, when she woke up, the sky was already bright. The nurse on duty had walked in and woken her up. By then, Chen Jiaman had also fallen asleep. Cheng Xi slowly walked over, and noticed that a corner of the sketchbook in her lap consisted of a large pile of messy lines. 

Walking out, Cheng Xi could only feel her four limbs aching. The nurse asked her, “Dr. Cheng, how did you end up sleeping in there?”

Cheng Xi rubbed her eyes without speaking, and the nurse continued to say, “You’re really close with your boyfriend, aren’t you? You fell asleep in the patient’s ward, but your boyfriend kept watch over you the entire night in the control room… Dr. Cheng, you’re really lucky.”

Cheng Xi froze for a moment, then quickly ran into the office’s inner room, leaving the nurse behind. Lu Chenzhou was truly still there, sitting in front of the monitors. Upon seeing her enter, he raised his head and glanced at her coolly.

“You……” She could only say one word before the door behind her opened again. The morning shift doctors had come in; at the very front was the doctor who had had a run-in with her, her senior Ceng Xing.

“Hey, everyone, come look. Our great Dr. Cheng is really diligent. Didn’t the head put you on leave? What are you doing back here?” 

Cheng Xi gulped down the words she was about to say, and beckoned to Lu Chenzhou. “Let’s go.”

As Lu Chenzhou stood up to follow her out, the people outside naturally all saw him. Ceng Xing yelled out, “Hey, who’s this? How could you let a stranger into that area?”

Cheng Xi ignored him, pulling Lu Chenzhou out at a brisk pace. Even from far away, she could still hear Ceng Xing. “How arrogant, completely lacking all respect for law and order. Wasn’t she put on leave? What’s the point of running to the hospital daily? Who’s she trying to impress?”

After entering the elevator, Cheng Xi was finally able to take a deep breath. It was only then that she realized that Lu Chenzhou’s hand was still clasped in hers.

She quickly released her hand, carefully glancing at him.

Lu Chenzhou was looking at her with a thoughtful expression.

“What’s the matter?” Cheng Xi rubbed her face as she asked, “Are you alright? You sat there the entire night?”

It was partly her fault. Last night, her attention had been entirely focused on Chen Jiaman, and she had totally forgotten that this Mr. Lu was somewhat abnormal too.

Lu Chenzhou just continued looking at her. Only after quite a while did he say, “I’m tired.”

Cheng Xi, slightly relieved, replied, “Oh…… then go back quickly and get some rest.”

“So tired,” Lu Chenzhou emphasized again.

Only then did Cheng Xi inspect him closely. He was clearly barely awake, and his eyes were even somewhat red.

“Then……” But before she could finish speaking, Lu Chenzhou’s head drooped onto her shoulders, and his expression seemed like he was about to fall asleep right then and there.

Cheng Xi couldn’t speak.

In the end, she could only bring him into her own bedroom.

Cheng Xi was a very detail-oriented person. Her room was neat and tidy, and even the corners of her room were free of dirt and grime.

Lu Chenzhou would be very happy with its condition.

Cheng Xi left him on the guest room’s bed. The sheets were clean and well-folded; when she was preparing the bed, she could even smell the sunlight that had seeped into them.

Lu Chenzhou was probably extremely tired, as he fell asleep almost immediately after getting into bed. Cheng Xi had originally wanted to cook him something to eat, but by the time she was done, he had already fallen into a deep sleep.

Cheng Xi bathed herself and ate a light, unseasoned breakfast. Because she still had class in the afternoon, she then made some preparations for it and then rested awhile. Lu Chenzhou didn’t wake up even after she made lunch.

She didn’t wake him up either, only leaving him a note, and leaving for the university right after she ate. That day, Cai Yi was also at the office dealing with her affairs, and Cheng Xi set aside some time to go discuss Chen Jiaman’s illness with her. Cai Yi agreed with her plan of treatment. “If the reason for her illness is indeed as you said, then she clearly lacks trust. To make her accept treatment, obtaining her trust is the first step.”

Cheng Xi said, “I intend on drawing with her daily. Hopefully, that’ll be effective.”

Cai Yi laughed. “They say that doctors have to be humane; so you really made the right decision to become a doctor. But for something like this, isn’t it better for her family members to do that? Didn’t you say that she has a father? Isn’t he back yet?”

“He’s back.” While remembering Chen Jiaman’s father’s behavior, Cheng Xi frowned. “I just received a call from the police, and they say that he refused to reopen the incident. Given that the matter’s already done and past, he doesn’t want anything to come up again. It happened too long ago, and given Chen Jiaman’s current condition, if her guardian decides to not take the initiative, then it’d probably be very difficult to regain justice for her.

Cai Yi looked at her. “You’re disappointed by this turn of events?”

Cheng Xi let out a deep breath. “Yes.”

“You’re still too young.” Cai Yi shook her head. “This was such a vicious incident, so why did nothing come of the investigation two years ago? Do you think that after two years, some video footage without a clear start or end can change anything? If the Chens wanted to, or rather, if they were able to reopen the investigation, then they would have done so a long time ago. Their unwillingness to do so now is only human nature. There’s nothing to be disappointed about. There are too many unfair things in the world. As a doctor, you can’t impose your own judgment into your patients’ affairs. Just focus on what you can do. Chen Jiaman’s illness is very special, and being able to treat her will also be good for you.”

Cheng Xi knew that Cai Yi’s words were right, but they still left her with a heavy feeling in her heart. “This is different, it’s illegal……”

“You have to learn something: there is always a darkness that the law cannot penetrate. If you try to dredge up everything, then I’m scared that one day……”

Before Cai Yi could finish, someone came inside and said, “Professor Cai, the principal is here for you.”

She clearly couldn’t continue the conversation. Cai Yi stood up. Just as Cheng Xi was about to send her off, she stopped her and said, “Go back to teaching. I can go over by myself just fine.” After saying that, she patted Cheng Xi’s shoulders. “Everything will be fine given time.” As she was preparing to leave, she suddenly turned her head around again. “Oh, right, I heard that you and Lu Chenzhou ended up visiting his parents—what’s going on?”

"……"

“His grandparents are already preparing to build a new house for you, and they asked me about what sort of bridal room you’d prefer……”

! ! !

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