Published at 26th of January 2020 05:48:36 PM

Chapter 20

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Two cars left the neighbourhood at the same time, and Qi Xiao Yan's Audi headed straight for the airport. Fang Cheng Ran’s Maserati, however, circled the block and drove right back in again.

Standing once again at the door to Yang Wei’s house, a sly smile spread over Fang Cheng Ran’s face — luckily, he had had a brainwave, and while Qi Xiao Yan was talking on the phone, he had slipped Yang Wei’s keys into his pocket.

He dug out the door key from his pocket, opened the door as lightly as a thief, and put Yang Wei's keys back in their place.

Meanwhile, Qi Xiao Yan waited at the airport for 20 minutes before finally spotting the person he was waiting for. "Auntie Zhao!" he called upon seeing a middle-aged woman in a light suit, not too loudly, but just enough to be heard. The woman pulling a black roller bag looked about upon hearing her name and immediately smiled to see Qi Xiao Yan. "Xiao Yan, have you waited long?"

"Not at all," he replied, coming forward to help her in a very gentlemanly way. "My car is parked outside. Shall we?"

"Okay." Auntie Zhao followed him to the car and looked out the window with interest. "I haven't been back to the city for two years, and now I can't recognize it anymore. This place changes so fast. "

Though Qi Xiao Yan didn't answer, her interest remained perked. "Are you very busy at the university?"

"Not too bad."

"I saw the paper you published a while ago in the magazine. I was thrilled.”

“Thank you.”

Auntie Zhao smiled. “You haven't changed at all since you were a kid.” She paused. “And how is your wife?”

He hesitated, then muttered, “She's fine."

Auntie Zhao smiled. "When I heard your mother say you got married, I got such a shock. You don't know about this, but she used to be really worried that you'd be lonely in your old age. Ai, what a good thing it was that our family's Wen Wen waited so long for you."

Auntie Zhao and Qi Xiao Yan’s parents were colleagues. The two families lived in a compound and were rather close. Qi Xiao Yan had shown himself to be excellent at an early age, and Auntie Zhao had already marked him out as a possible son-in-law. Alas, he had grown up too fast. Even before her Wen Wen had graduated highschool, he had already left to study abroad.

"Auntie Zhao, you're hilarious as always." Qi Xiao Yan turned a corner in the road, no emotion in his voice. She knew what he was like, and didn't feel at all displeased. "Where are we going?"

"I've booked you a room at Grand Europe Hotel."

By the time Yang Wei woke, it was already seven o'clock in the evening. Her cramps had subsided, but she was starting to feel a little peckish. She lounged in bed for a couple minutes, then reluctantly left and walked to the kitchen.

The faint aroma of food wafted from the living room, and her brows lifted as she carefully glanced into the kitchen.

Fang Cheng Ran held a spoon in his hand, tasting the porridge. His head was slightly lowered, and his bangs swept over his eyelashes charmingly. It was a pleasing picture, and she could hardly bear to destroy it. After watching for a moment, she coughed and asked, "Fang Cheng Ran, you're still here?"

Hearing her voice, he lifted his eyes to her and smiled. "I thought you might be hungry when you woke, so I stayed to help you cook. Aren't you impressed?"

She smiled back, walking over to the pot to inspect the contents. It was porridge made with millet, eggs and brown sugar. "How did you know to make this?"

Fang Cheng Ran picked up his mobile phone, lying to one side, and waved it. "I asked the Internet."

Yang Wei nodded sincerely. He waved her off. "Go sit in the living room, food should be ready soon."

"Okay." She took two steps before suddenly stopping and turning back. "Fang Cheng Ran, have you been here this whole time?"


"Then... did anyone else come by?"

The ladle in Fang Cheng Ran’s hand wavered a little as he looked up at her. "No. Why do you ask?"

Yang Wei smiled. "Nothing. Don't burn the porridge."

"Do you think I'm you?" Fang Cheng Ran drove her out of the kitchen. Yang Wei went to the sofa and sat down, lost in thought.

Then had it been a dream? Was it maybe a nightmare? She felt like Qi Xiao Yan had somehow been there.

After a while, Fang Cheng Ran walked out of the kitchen with two bowls, and Yang Wei quickly went up to take one. Sitting at the table, he watched her eat a spoonful and asked expectantly, "How is it?"

Yang Wei gave him a thumbs up. "Grand Chef Fang! Your home is indeed a hotel!"

Fang Cheng Ran laughed. "I lived alone abroad, so I had to learn how to cook for myself."

Yang Wei blinked. "Didn't you have 357 girlfriends?"

"They wouldn't let me wait on them, I'm afraid." Fang Cheng Ran spread his hands.

Yang Wei swallowed a mouthful of porridge, banter in her eyes. "Go on."

Fang Cheng Ran looked at her before suddenly changing the subject. "Were you the one who drew on the wedding photos in your bedroom?"

Yang Wei's eyes darkened for a moment, then she nodded. "Yeah."

"If you don't want to see it, why not just take the wedding photo down?"

Yang Wei paused. Without conscious thought, the spoon in her hand stirred at her porridge. "Well... that wedding photo is too big. The wall looks too empty upon taking it down."

Fang Cheng Ran bit a lip and said nothing.

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After the meal, he volunteered to wash the dishes. Feeling a little guilty, Yang Wei told him, "Just put them in the sink, I'll wash them later."

Fang Cheng Ran looked back toward her and said in the tone of an authority on the subject, "One should have less contact with water during one's period."

Yang Wei's mouth puckered up into a little grin. "Oh? Did your 357 girlfriends inform you of this fact?"

"No, that would've been the clerk at the pharmacy." Fang Cheng Ran corrected her quite seriously. After washing up, he looked at the time and finally felt that he should go. "I'll take my leave, you should rest early."

"I will. Thank you very much for today."

Fang Cheng Ran stopped, and his bright eyes focused on her, shining like beautiful, glassy obsidian. "Do I get a thank you kiss?"

Yang Wei paused a moment before taking a step back. "I thought you were working for free."

Fang Cheng Ran couldn't help but laugh out loud. Stepping forward, he pecked her cheek lightly. “Then here's a good night kiss for free.”

Though the kiss had been very light, Yang Wei was completely stunned.

She had never been kissed by anyone but Qi Xiao Yan.

Fang Cheng Ran raised his hand and smoothed back the black strands on her face. The colour of his eyes darkened. "If you just stand there like that, I'll kiss you on the mouth."

Yang Wei felt a tingle run all the way down to her toes, and quickly jumped back a few steps. "Hahahahaha well, good night!" Having said that, she slammed the bedroom door and locked it.

Fang Cheng Ran: "..."

Well, it seemed as though he had been officially classified as a pervert.

If he'd had known in advance, he'd have just kissed her outright.

After dropping Auntie Zhao at the hotel, Qi Xiao Yan returned to the school. One of his projects was quickly approaching its deadline. Parking his car, he headed directly to the teaching and research building.

All three of his graduate students were inside. One of them, a girl with a ponytail, was holding a magazine in her hand, saying to the grad student with glasses next to her, "Look! Don't you think the person Song Jin is talking about is Professor Qi?"

The boy pushed up his glasses, as was his nervous habit, and advised, "Better not gossip about Professor Qi right now. Since our project just ended, he could very well just turn right around and give us a crap ton of work."

The girl pursed her lips, her hand still holding the magazine. "I didn't figure Professor Qi's first love to be Song Jin. It's like right out of a novel."

"Who's first love is Song Jin?"

When Qi Xiao Yan's voice suddenly sounded from behind her, the girl jumped in fright, and the magazine in her hand fell to the ground with an audible smack.

Qi Xiao Yan picked up the magazine, glanced through it, and then replaced it on the table. The three graduate students observed him nervously, holding their breath. He turned on the computer and leafed through a few documents for awhile, then said to the three, "Pages 137 to 159, 177, 185, 199, 203, and 211. Re-do all of them."


A living hell.

“Deliver the updated versions to the publishing house by Friday.”


A! Living! Hell!

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