Chapter 36: Living Together?

Cheng Xi was dazed by Cai Yi’s sudden news. “Really?” She was somewhat frantic. “I thought I’d explained things very clearly to his family that time.”

Because the principal was waiting for Cai Yi, Cheng Xi couldn’t explain to her what had transpired in detail. “Professor, please help me and clearly tell them what’s going on. This is all a misunderstanding.”

Cai Yi tutted, pointing her finger at her forehead. “Silly girl, you must be stuck in Lu Chenzhou’s trap.” Upon seeing Cheng Xi’s dazed expression, she even smiled innocently. “But if you really don’t feel particularly strongly about love, then marrying him isn’t a bad idea.”

“…What do you mean, Professor?” Cheng Xi couldn’t understand her professor’s words one bit!

Unfortunately, Cai Yi didn’t explain. Cheng Xi tried to chase her down and ask her a few more questions, but all she got in response was, “Actually, I’m just guessing. Don’t ask me now, as that might affect your diagnosis of his condition. But you don’t need to worry. If you really want to break off the contract, then I’ll make him give you a discount.”

“…Should I thank you for that, professor?”

Cai Yi laughed heartily, and then headed into the principal’s office. 

Cheng Xi went to teach even as her face was 囧囧囧. As class was being let out, she received a call from Cheng Yang. She didn’t answer it then,so he texted her instead. “I’m here with Mom to see you, so come home quickly after work.”

Seeing this, Cheng Xi jumped up in fright. Lu Chenzhou was still sleeping over at her place; who knew if he had left yet? If he hadn’t, then with the circumstances combined with his direct style of communication, Cheng Xi could only feel her head go numb.

She quickly called Cheng Yang. “You guys are here?”

“Yep.”

“Just you and mom?”

“Who else would be here?”

“It’s nothing.” Cheng Xi rubbed her forehead as she replied, “A friend’s resting over at my place, and I’m not sure if my friend left yet or not.”

“A friend? Who? Male or female?”

“…Female.”

Cheng Yang chuckled. “Then no.”

Cheng Xi let out a breath of relief. She had originally wanted to go back to the hospital, but since her mother and brother were here, then she could only go back home first.

When she got back, the first thing she saw was her mother, her brother, and Lu Chenzhou sitting in a triangle in the living room, the atmosphere awkward beyond description.

More importantly, Lu Chenzhou was naked! He was solely draped in a blanket, coolly looking back at Cheng Xi’s mother’s and brother’s glares.

Cheng Xi entered, and the trio’s gazes landed on her immediately. Her mother was very polite as she asked, “You’re back?”

Her voice was warm enough to make Cheng Xi tremble.

And then Lu Chenzhou also said, “You’re back?” But then he quickly followed it up with, “I don’t have any clothes to wear anymore.”

Cheng Xi and her family were momentarily stunned and couldn’t even think of a response.

Her mother was the first to become furious, and threw a fierce “Get over here!” at her, before entering her room.

Lu Chenzhou looked at Cheng Xi with a dignified and noble air, his expression seemingly stating, “Your mother’s mad, but it’s got nothing to do with me.” It made Cheng Xi desperately want to hit him.

Cheng Xi shifted her gaze to Cheng Yang, who shrugged his shoulders at her, as if he had no part in all this.

As Cheng Xi walked over into her room, she leaned down and whispered to him, “Didn’t you say there wasn’t anyone else home?”

Cheng Yang innocently replied, “Yes, but you only asked about females.”

“……”

She wanted to keep arguing, but her mother was already shouting for her. “You’re still not coming?”

Cheng Xi could only reply, “I’m coming.”

As she entered the room, she saw her mother with hands on her hips, rotating on the spot.

Cheng Xi closed the door gently, and obediently called out, “Ma…”

“Not even calling out for your ancestors will save you now!” Her mother looked at her with a fierce expression. “That man outside, is he really your boyfriend?”

“Aaa~~”

“Stop aaa-ing at me!” Cheng Xi’s mother was furious. “What sort of eyes do you have? How could you find such a…” Glancing outside, she lowered her voice even more as she angrily whispered, “Do you know what he was doing when we entered? He was eating while naked! He frightened me so much, but he didn’t even care, and continued to slowly eat his fill before draping himself in a blanket. When I asked who he was, he said that he was your boyfriend… Oh my goodness, my heart!”

Cheng Xi quickly rubbed her mother’s chest, and helped her sit down on the bed. “Don’t be too agitated. Speak slowly!”

“How can I not be agitated? That behavior of his, I feel upset just looking at him! Daughter, are you looking for a boyfriend or a master? And even if it’s the latter, can you at least find someone more respectable? Not even putting on clothes when his elders are here, could he act any more disrespectfully? Just like a hoodlum…… Stop smiling!”

Cheng Xi really couldn’t help herself from smiling, because her mother’s choice of words were just too incompatible with Lu Chenzhou.

Seeing her heartless behavior, Cheng Xi’s mother became even more agitated. “Can you take this a bit more seriously?!”

Cheng Xi nodded. “Why are the two of you here today?” Her parents were usually taking care of the shop and were generally very busy. Under normal conditions, they wouldn’t go anywhere else.

“It’s all your brother’s fault. He said he heard from your classmates that you had a boyfriend? Naturally, I came over to ask about your situation…… When we ask you about such things, you always say you’re not in a rush. But who knew that you could act so quickly when you wanted to—you’re already living together with him!”

"……"

Cheng Xi really felt maligned! She already told her friends not to spread the word, but they’d still done so. Even worse, news had even somehow gotten into her mother’s ears.

Cheng Xi could only imagine her life getting even more complicated from here on out, so she decisively chose not to explain the situation. Instead, she waited patiently as her mother nagged at her, and at the end, she promised once again, “I’ll break up with him for sure, Mom. Don’t worry.”

Seeing her compliant behavior, Cheng Xi’s mother was finally satisfied. However, she couldn’t help but warn her one last time. “Remember to be kind, and don’t hurt his feelings…… he seems a bit dazed in the head, so don’t offend him.”

Cheng Xi couldn’t help but laugh again. What she had taken to be a blunt personality was, in her mother’s eyes, a person dazed in the head.

Even though Cheng Xi’s mother disparaged Lu Chenzhou, she still made a sumptuous dinner for everyone—she was primarily trying to take care of her daughter, who seemed to have gotten even skinnier since the last time they had met.

Being a doctor was tiring.

While making dinner, Cheng Xi’s mother didn’t let Cheng Xi help. Instead, she got Cheng Yang to buy Lu Chenzhou a new set of clothes. While Cheng Xi was pouring water to drink, she heard her mother instruct Cheng Yang, “Buy something nicer and treat it as your sister’s fee for breaking up with him.”

Upon hearing this, Cheng Xi was rendered speechless. She returned to the sofa in the living room, sat down, and then noticed that Lu Chenzhou’s whole body was curled up under the blanket as he calmly looked at his phone.

She glanced over at it, seeing that he was sending an e-mail in English.

When he finished, Cheng Xi asked, “If you didn’t have any clothes to wear, why didn’t you just stay in the room?”

With a very righteous tone, Lu Chenzhou instead asked her, “If my wife’s mother is here, shouldn’t I go and meet her?”

"……"

She had thought that she was very well-mannered and had gone through considerable ethical training, but Lu Chenzhou was somehow always able to get her riled up and furious.

She really wanted to knock her head hard on this sofa and end it all. “She’s not your wife’s mother! Alright, this isn’t even the key point. Rather, my mom said that when they entered, you weren’t wearing anything. How can you do that?”

“No, I didn’t.” As Lu Chenzhou said this, he lifted up the blanket, showing the underwear within. “I was wearing this.”

“Oh!” “My goodness!”

Two exclamations at the same time. Cheng Xi and Lu Chenzhou turned their heads around, and saw her mother and Cheng Yang at the door of the kitchen. The pot in her hand clattered onto the floor, and Cheng Yang knocked his head against the doorframe. “I didn’t see anything.” He had clearly hit his head, but he said this while covering his eyes. Then he gingerly stepped past the living room and out the door, running outside to get some new clothes.

Slowly and carefully, Lu Chenzhou arranged the blanket about himself again, whereas Cheng Xi’s mother balefully stared at her son and her daughter.

During dinner that night, besides Cheng Yang, everyone else was in low spirits.

Cheng Xi didn’t rest properly, so her appetite was poor. As for Lu Chenzhou…… His dining etiquette was perfect, slow and elegant, but anyone watching him eat would have their appetite drained away: eating was nothing more than a task to him, and it didn’t matter if he were hungry or the food were tasty.

As the cook, Cheng Xi’s mother was somewhat displeased with his behavior, and even more displeased when she saw her daughter’s gaze land on his body.

She planned to give her daughter a stern talking-to at night, but Cheng Xi told her that she had to work the night shift. Additionally, her mother had to wake up early in the morning to open her diner, and it was unrealistic for her to stay overnight and dump everything on her husband. Thus, Cheng Xi’s mother could only go home with a head full of worries.

Even so, before she left, she made sure to see Lu Chenzhou out first.

With regards to all of this, Cheng Xi just did as she was told. At any rate, time would be able to resolve everything; she wasn’t in a hurry.

After sending her mother and brother away, Cheng Xi returned to the hospital. Once it was time, she went to Chen Jiaman’s ward and accompanied her in drawing. She persisted in doing this for quite some time—the hospital had finally let her return to work and had asked her to return to the clinic—but the results were still insignificant. Chen Jiaman still did not permit anyone to come closer than five paces to her.

During this period of time, Chen Jiaman’s father had come to visit her just once, to pay her hospital bills and an additional hundred thousand yuan.

At that time, Cheng Xi didn’t know that he had paid so much money. She met him in her office. Compared to that day, Chen Jiaman’s father looked much paler, and he was wearing an attire similar to what he had worn that day, a black armband on his arm.

Seeing Cheng Xi’s gaze land on his armband, he covered it with his hand. “I’m sorry for coming here like this, but today was my mother’s funeral, so…… Please excuse me.”

From just his appearances, he certainly seemed like a dignified man.

“My condolences.”

Chen Jiaman’s father’s lips curved up imperceptibly as he said, “I apologize for my actions that day; it was all my fault. In the past few days, the police came to talk to me. I know that you’re a good doctor, and Jiaman’s very fortunate to have met you. But those things are long past, and I don’t want to pursue them any further. I’d also like to ask you to not meddle in this affair any longer… If Jiaman can get better, that’s great; if not, I’m willing to keep paying for her stay here.”

Upon hearing this, Cheng Xi didn’t know what sort of expression to make. She looked at him, not saying anything for a long while, before finally taking out a sketchbook from a drawer and placing it in front of Chen Jiaman’s father. “This is a book of sketches that your daughter has drawn while here. Take a look at it. If you still think that that matter’s unimportant afterwards, then I will respect your choice. But I have to say that, as a parent, if you cannot love your children, then at the very least, do not become an accomplice to her problems.”

Just as Cai Yi had said, she was only a doctor. The only thing she could do was to cure illnesses and treat patients. She couldn’t become a savior for the masses, and neither did she want to.

After leaving Chen Jiaman’s father alone, Cheng Xi walked out. Chen Jiaman’s nurse walked over, curiously looked inside the room, and then whispered in her ear, “Dr. Cheng, Chen Jiaman’s fees are paid in full now, and her father even paid an extra hundred thousand yuan. Her father spent so much money at once; is he trying to keep her here for her entire life?”

Cheng Xi could only smile coolly. “Who knows?” She looked through the security camera as Chen Jiaman’s father slowly flipped through Chen Jiaman’s sketchbook. The nurse lamented, “Chen Jiaman really has a talent for drawing. What a pity.”

Cheng Xi didn’t respond. She looked at Chen Jiaman’s father as he flipped through the book, page by page, clutching his chest as tears started slowly dripping from his face.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter