When Lu Zhengfei had just returned to Chen Qianqing’s ward with Liu Huamei, Chen Qianqing was curled up into his blanket, sleeping.
After Lu Yiqin had left, Lu Zhengfei had asked the nurse to change his sheets so the water stains from earlier were all gone. But it was no matter even if they were not there, Chen Qianqing had his own way of making Lu Zhengfei notice.
“Qianqing, wake up, if you keep sleeping you won’t be able to fall asleep at night.” Liu Hua Mei spoke in a gentle tone: “Get up, quickly, mom is here with fish.”
Only then did Chen Qianqing open his eyes groggily. He reached out to rub his eyes and got up from bed.
It was the month of May, so the weather was not too cold. Qianqing did not wear much to begin with, so moving his arms now, he revealed the red marks on them. The surrounding skin was all pale, so the colour contrasted it very strongly.
“Qianqing, what happened to your arm?” Liu Huamei immediately noticed the marks on his arm, and asked: “Did you get scalded by something?”
Chen Qianqing smiled: “It’s nothing, just an accident.”
Hearing this, Lu Zhengfei raised a brow: “When did you burn yourself?” Chen Qianqing had been in bed all day and did not have to touch anything hot, how could he get scalded?
Chen Qianqing shot a glance at Lu Zhengfei, and responded plainly: “I accidentally burned myself when I was drinking water.”
Hearing his cursory answer, Lu Zhengfei had quite obviously revealed a look of displeasure. Since Liu Huamei was here, he did not say anything more.
“Goodness, my dear child, how could you be so clumsy?” Liu Huamei nagged: “Just look at your arm! I’ll bring you over some medicine tonight.”
Chen Qianqing nodded.
Liu Huamei had brought over some steamed crucian carp as well as crucian carp soup, as well as some side dishes. This made Chen Qianqing’s appetite improve, it was rare for him to ever finish anything that had been brought to him.
A boy should be eating his most at his twenties, but Chen Qianqing would eat very little. Seeing this, Lu Zhengfei was unhappy, so seeing how he had eaten most of what his mother had prepared him, he was feeling better.
“Mom, have you eaten?” After finishing his meal, Chen Qianqing wiped his mouth and asked.
“I’ve eaten.” Liu Huamei sat by Chen Qianqing’s side. Seeing that he had finished his meal, her eyes narrowed with joy: “You’re so blessed to have a good friend like Lu Zhengfei, he ordered delivery and we’ve both eaten.”
Hearing this, Chen Qianqing turned to look at Lu Zhengfei. What he got in return was a pair of eyes filled with mirth. Chen Qianqing pretended he never saw that and turned his eyes away as if nothing had happened.
“The doctor said you can be discharged after a few days.” Liu Huamei continued: “But you have to use a wheelchair for some time……You better not let your grades drop.”
Grades? Chen Qianqing has not been to school in three months, but Liu Huamei had thought that her son had only taken a few days of leave instead. Chen Qianqing: “I know mom, don’t worry.”
Seeing that the mother and son pair were having their talk, Lu Zhengfei decided to excuse himself: “Auntie, you should stay and chat with Qianqing, I’ll be going out for a while.” Liu Huamei nodded cheerfully. From her perspective, Lu Zhengfei could not have been a better friend. He was enthusiastic, thoughtful, and caring towards Chen Qianqing. If he was not male, Liu Huamei would have been suspicious about whether he liked Chen Qianqing or not.
Lu Zhengfei left with an easy heart. He was sure that Chen Qianqing would never reveal their relationship to Liu Huamei, because even if he did, there was nothing he could do about the situation. Worse comes to worse, he would just have to suffer together with his mother if he ever let the cat out the bag.
Indeed, Chen Qianqing did not have any plans to tell her. She had only chatted with Liu Huamei about normal topics. But he did not dare venture too deep into a topic, after all, he was not the real Chen Qianqing.
Liu Huamei’s heart was beating uncomfortably when she came, but seeing that Chen Qianqing’s condition was not as serious as she had expected, she finally relaxed. But of course, a mother could never let go of the usual worry and nagging. She scolded Chen Qianqing for being too clumsy, and worried about whether or not Chen Qianqing’s injury may not heal properly.
Chen Qianqing listened to everything she said without a single hint of impatience on his face. At the end, it was Liu Huamei herself who felt embarrassed. With a bitter smile, she said: “Qianqing, you must be feeling quite sick of your mother’s constant nagging.”
“Mom.” Chen Qianqing reassured her: “How could I be sick of it? I don’t even get the chance to hear you talk when I’m missing you, so it’s nice to hear you talk more as well, I want to listen to it.”
With this, Liu Huamei revealed a smile.
After Lu Zhengfei left the ward, he did not come out of the hospital. Instead, he went to the surveillance room, and after greeting the guard inside, he picked out the surveillance records for Chen Qianqing’s ward.
“Nothing happened today, right?” Lu Zhengfei asked casually.
“Nothing, Young Master Lu.” The guard responded: “I’ve been sitting here all day.”
“Is that so?” Lu Zhengfei ordered: “Bring out the surveillance records, I’ll look through them.”
“Yes.” That man was not afraid——But what was there for him to be afraid of? They’ve already doctored the evidence, there’s no way Lu Zhengfei can find the scene with Lu Yiqin anymore.
Lu Zhengfei sat on the chair and watched through the entire day’s worth of surveillance in Chen Qianqing’s ward, but he did not find anything unusual.
After Liu Huamei left the ward, Chen Qianqing seemed to have been sleeping on his bed the whole day. If not for the fact that time was still going on, then practically nothing had moved.
Even up till the point where he and Liu Huamei returned to the ward, Lu Zhengfei was unable to find anything happening to Chen Qianqing.
But Lu Zhengfei was no fool. Recalling the sudden burn mark on Chen Qianqing’s arm and looking at this recording now, he had instantly realized what had happened. But he did not try to reveal it, he just smiled and gave that man a pat on the shoulder: “Not bad.”
“Thank you, Young Master Lu.” That man had never thought that Lu Zhengfei would notice anything, so he really thought Lu Zhengfei was praising him. He was smiling to brightly that his eyes were narrowed into slits.
Lu Zhengfei had very low tolerance for betrayal, so small that he could possibly rip out the weeds at their budding stage. So with such severe matter, there was no way he would let it go.
But now was not the time. Lu Zhengfei picked up his coat and left the surveillance room.
At nine o’clock that night, Lu Zhengfei had come to the hospital to bring Liu Huamei back to his residence. After that, he took another trip to the hospital.
Chen Qianqing had slept plenty during the day, so he was just watching television at this time. From his face, you could tell he was quite bored. Seeing that Lu Zhengfei had suddenly come in, he was not surprised either, he just gave him a quick look before turning back.
“The procedures for your returning to school are all done.” Lu Zhengfei told him: “You can go back to class next week.”
Chen Qianqing gave him a glance: “Okay.”
Lu Zhengfei thought that Chen Qianqing would continue speaking, but he never would have expected to receive just a simple ‘okay’. He asked: “Aren’t you going to thank me at all?”
……How could he never have realized how shameless he was in the past? Such were Chen Qianqing’s silent thoughts in his heart. He made it sound as if the one who led Chen Qianqing to stop his studies was not him.
“Thanks.” Chen Qianqing responded very curtly, but his eyes never left the television.
Lu Zhengfei followed where Chen Qianqing’s eyes were looking, but he found that the advertisements were currently playing on the television. Instantly, his mood took a dive. He asked: “What happened today?”
Chen Qianqing spoke innocently: “Nothing.”
“How did you scald your hand if nothing happened?” Lu Zhengfei approached him and grabbed his arm. The injury was more obvious now that he had applied the topical cream bought for him by Liu Huamei.
“Don’t you have recordings?” Being grabbed by Lu Zhengfei hurt, but Chen Qianqing did not show it on his face. He only looked at him innocently: “Didn’t you watch them?”
“……” There was no way Lu Zhengfei would admit that the recordings were pruned, so he could only grit his teeth: “I want to hear it from you.”
“Your sister came.” Chen Qianqing spoke: “She threw a glass at me.”
Lu Zhengfei’s rage burned up in an instant, but the target was not Chen Qianqing.
“She called me a whore.” Chen Qianqing knew very well how to incite Lu Zhengfei’s anger, so he continued: “She even asked me to stop pestering you. Do you think I’m the one wants to pester you, Lu Zhengfei?”
Lu Zhengfei was so mad that his body was shaking, and his hand was still around Chen Qianqing’s arm, not letting go.
“It hurts.” With a simple few words from Chen Qianqing, Lu Zhengfei let him go. Chen Qianqing looked down and discovered that the skin around his wrist was bruised.
The one thing Chen Qianqing was most unwilling to do at this moment was to harm this body. Even if these were Lu Zhengfei’s usual habits from long ago, it still made Chen Qianqing frown.
“Call me when the next time she comes.” Lu Zhengfei knew that his sister had been spoiled to high heavens, but Chen Qianqing was the only thing of his that nobody could touch, even if it was Lu Yiqin.
“Would she let me call you?” Chen Qianqing continued: “There’s still several men with her.”
“What?” Hearing this, Lu Zhengfei asked: “Who?”
Chen Qianqing answered: “I don’t know them.”
Of course he didn’t, because those people were not even at the scene——
“I’ll warn her.” Hearing that there were still several men, Lu Zhengfei seemed to have found out their identities in an instant. But he did not intent to tell Chen Qianqing, he just promised him: “She will not appear in front of you again.”
Chen Qianqing kept quiet and nodded in a nonchalant manner. From his reaction, it was clear he did not believe in what Lu Zhengfei had told him.
Lu Zhengfei’s mood was terrible. He really wanted to explain it all to Chen Qianqing, but he was not in any position to speak. Lu Yiqin was his sister, he should have been responsible for her behaviour in the first place, but seeing Chen Qianqing’s reaction, this may not have been the first time it happened. When he thought of that, Lu Zhengfei had already decided how he was going to deal with Lu Yiqin. With his decision now set in stone, he could tolerate his sister’s wilfulness, but he could not take being fooled by her with some other people.
There was not much of an expression on Chen Qianqing’s face, but it seemed to have latched on thoroughly onto Lu Zhengfei’s mind. He supported his chin with his hand and swapped his focus back onto the television.
Lu Zhengfei’s mood had fallen rock bottom, but he did not say anything. He straightened his body and left. Indeed, from his appearance you could tell he was mad with anger.
Chen Qianqing watched Lu Zhengfei’s back from where he sat, and his thoughts seemed to have suddenly trailed off. What was his goal of being reborn into Chen Qianqing’s body? To realize Chen Qianqing’s dream, or to isolate Lu Zhengfei bit by bit——paying himself back for his own stupidity and cruelty.
The arm he had scalded himself was buzzing with pain. Even though the television programmes being broadcast today were so drab and boring, Chen Qianqing found it hard to fall asleep. All he wanted to do was find a place, a place where he could have a quiet smoke by himself.