A regular person would usually have their wound scab over in about ten days, but Ning Yiwei’s wound took more than a month to heal.
After coming back from U City, Liang Chong got caught up in a major acquisition case and disappeared every day.
Ning Yiwei calculated that the chances of seeing Liang Chong in a video about the progress of the acquisition in financial news were much higher than seeing him at Liang Chong’s home, as Liang Chong never came home.
Liang Chong turned into someone who only existed on the other end of Ning Yiwei’s phone, frequently calling late at night and making boring requests.
In Ning Yiwei’s memory, it had been a long time since Liang Chong had been so busy that he needed Ning Yiwei to read him books to relax.
Ning Yiwei didn’t like reading overly dramatic romantic books, but whenever he read Liang Chong’s, he would laugh happily. So, Ning Yiwei still went along with it.
Apart from that, Ning Yiwei’s life was boring. Fortunately, Zhou Zirui was also bored. These two bored friends went to a convenience store and bought a new notebook. They chose a small wound behind Ning Yiwei’s ear as their observation point and drew pictures every day to track its healing progress. They even made an agreement that if Zhou Zirui happened to get a similar wound in the same area behind his ear in the future, they would record it for comparison.
Unfortunately, after twenty days of observation, Ning Yiwei couldn’t wait any longer. He opened his backpack in Liang Chong’s living room and took out the notebook to check those precious records when Liang Chong suddenly entered the room and caught him red-handed.
Ning Yiwei never expected Liang Chong to come home so early. He stood there dumbfounded, watching Liang Chong approaching. It felt like they hadn’t seen each other in years. When Liang Chong stood in front of him, Ning Yiwei suddenly remembered that he should have hidden the notebook, but it was too late.
“What’s this?” Liang Chong swiftly snatched the notebook from Ning Yiwei’s hand.
Under Liang Chong’s intense questioning, Ning Yiwei had no choice but to betray his friend and confess the truth.
After criticizing Ning Yiwei’s boring and superstitious behavior, Liang Chong confiscated Ning Yiwei’s notebook and took out a tube of ointment from his bag. He squeezed a bit onto the scabbing area behind Ning Yiwei’s ear and said, “Just delivered from the hospital, use it once in the morning and once at night.”
Ning Yiwei lost his beloved notebook and was forcefully applied ointment by Liang Chong, which could potentially affect the healing of his scar. He felt reluctant and wanted to resist.
Sensing Ning Yiwei’s actions, Liang Chong forcefully restrained him and said, “Don’t move around. After applying the ointment, I have to go back to the office for a meeting. There are a bunch of people waiting.”
“But it smells terrible,” Ning Yiwei was overwhelmed by the scent of the scar-removing ointment, and his head began to ache. He tightly closed his eyes and pretended to faint. “I’ve been poisoned!”
Liang Chong paid no attention to Ning Yiwei’s act. He held Ning Yiwei’s wrist with his right hand and massaged the scar with his left hand.
Once Ning Yiwei calmed down a bit, Liang Chong spoke, “This morning, I received a call from Aunt Lu. She seems suspicious and asked if you’re addicted to online games.”
Startled, Ning Yiwei’s eyes opened. “What?”
“She hasn’t seen you three times this month when she came back, so it’s natural for her to have doubts,” Liang Chong let go of Ning Yiwei and comforted him, “I told her you’re struggling with your senior thesis and preparing for postgraduate study. You’re studying all the time except for sleeping. She should believe it.”
Last weekend, Kong Shenfeng called Ning Yiwei and had a long conversation, hoping that Ning Yiwei would stay in his research group for graduate studies.
Kong Shenfeng analyzed many of Ning Yiwei’s troubling issues, talked about the prospects of his research group, introduced the upcoming underground laboratory, and assured Ning Yiwei of the opportunities for communication and resources that he could provide.
Weighing the pros and cons, Ning Yiwei ultimately decided to continue his academic pursuits under Kong Shenfeng’s guidance.
After Ning Yiwei finished reading a scene in a book, when he informed Liang Chong about this news, Liang Chong seemed quite happy. He even went against his usual behavior and praised Kong Shenfeng, which surprised Ning Yiwei.
“The postgraduate admission process is over,” Ning Yiwei said with a hint of guilt, “My mom is coming back next week. What should I say then? If I meet her and she takes me to get a haircut, what should I do?”
In order to deceive his family upon returning home, Ning Yiwei tried to grow his hair a bit longer.
Now it seems that although the ends of Ning Yiwei’s hair can barely cover the scar, they have grown to the point of affecting his daily life.
Whenever Ning Yiwei lowered his head while attending classes or reading, his hair would cover his eyes. He had to use a hair tie to gather the upper part of his hair, but that made his classmates mock him, calling it a “princess hairstyle” or saying it was “too weird.”
“Is it really that weird?” Ning Yiwei pushed his hair back and sought help from Liang Chong. “Yesterday during class, my classmates were laughing at me.”
“Let it be for now. I’ll talk to Aunt Lu,” Liang Chong touched Ning Yiwei’s hair and added, “Once everything heals completely, I’ll take you for a haircut.”
Ning Yiwei’s scab hadn’t completely fallen off yet. If he were to cut his hair now, even if he avoided meeting Lu Jiaqin, others would surely notice.
Liang Chong didn’t want Ning Yiwei to constantly face questions about the origin of his wound. Selfishly, he hoped Ning Yiwei would grow his hair long. Besides, with Ning Yiwei’s sharp face, longer hair wouldn’t look out of place.
“Fine,” Ning Yiwei reluctantly agreed, “but when will you have time? You’re so busy.”
“Soon,” Liang Chong said, pinching Ning Yiwei’s face.
Ning Yiwei silently gazed at Liang Chong, blinked a few times, and slowly said, “Oh.”
It had been two weeks since Liang Chong last saw Ning Yiwei. Now, seeing Ning Yiwei in this innocent and obedient state, he didn’t feel like leaving at all.
Just a while ago, he passed by the neighborhood where Ning Yiwei lived. His secretary mentioned in passing that the doctor had prescribed ointment for Ning Yiwei. This made Liang Chong instruct the driver to change the route and head home to place the ointment on the table. He intended to leave a note with his own touch at home, serving as a warning and intimidation. However, he never expected to catch Ning Yiwei the moment he entered the house.
The secretary and the driver downstairs were waiting. Despite not wanting to leave, Liang Chong released his grip on Ning Yiwei’s face and said, “I have to go downstairs.”
Before the words even settled, the phone placed nearby started vibrating. Liang Chong picked it up and felt a headache coming on.
The caller was the father of the lady Liang Chong had met in U City.
Among the companies Liang Chong was acquiring, there was a shareholder who refused to sign. Coincidentally, this elder gentleman had a good relationship with that shareholder.
For some unknown reason, Kang Minmin was eager for Liang Chong to seek the elder’s help and persuade him. However, Liang Chong immediately declined. Firstly, the shares held by the unwilling shareholder were not significant enough to pose any obstacles to the acquisition. Secondly, Liang Chong didn’t want to involve any personal connections with this elder gentleman.
Unexpectedly, instead of Liang Chong seeking him, the elder gentleman came to visit on his own.
Liang Chong glanced at the bewildered Ning Yiwei beside him, sat back down, and answered the phone.
The scent of the scar-removing ointment applied to Ning Yiwei’s wound tickled Liang Chong’s nose as he listened to the elder’s voice coming through the receiver.
They exchanged pleasantries before discussing the acquisition case. The elder gentleman said, “If there’s anything you need help with, you can always come to me.”
Liang Chong gathered his spirits and politely declined the elder’s offer.
After hanging up the phone, Liang Chong realized he had unconsciously grabbed Ning Yiwei’s hand, and he was holding it tightly. The back of Ning Yiwei’s hand had visible red marks from his grip.
Probably feeling the pain from being gripped and not wanting to interrupt Liang Chong’s phone call, tears welled up in Ning Yiwei’s eyes. He bit his lip, his face filled with a pitiful expression.
Liang Chong realized the situation and immediately let go.
“You have such strong strength,” Ning Yiwei complained as he sorrowfully touched his own hand.
“I’m sorry.” Liang Chong wanted to touch the red marks on Ning Yiwei’s hand, but his hand hesitated in mid-air and he pulled it back.
He felt restless and guilty, wishing he could have Ning Yiwei by his side at all times. He wanted to look at him, hold him whenever he wanted, but he knew he would never find a good enough reason.
“It’s okay.” Ning Yiwei looked at Liang Chong for a while before speaking.
Liang Chong glanced at Ning Yiwei and noticed how earnestly he was looking at him. They locked eyes for a few seconds, and then Ning Yiwei moved closer to Liang Chong. He raised his hand and used his thumb to smooth out the furrowed brow on Liang Chong’s forehead. In a soft voice, Ning Yiwei said, “You shouldn’t always furrow your brow. Long-term muscle contraction can cause dynamic wrinkles.”
Ning Yiwei’s fingers were gentle as they touched Liang Chong’s forehead and cheek. His gaze was filled with concern, and his voice was gentle. His lips moved, opening and closing in front of Liang Chong’s eyes. When he spoke, the tip of his rosy tongue lightly touched his white teeth. The warm breath was so close, closer than ever before.
It felt as if Liang Chong could move forward just an inch, place his hand on Ning Yiwei’s shoulder blades, and push him onto the sofa, allowing him to take whatever he desired.
Liang Chong closed his eyes briefly, grasped Ning Yiwei’s wrist, and pulled him back slightly. He said, “I understand,” followed by a soft “Okay.”
He hurriedly left, leaving Ning Yiwei alone at home once again.
Holding a book, Ning Yiwei wandered around upstairs and downstairs in Liang Chong’s house throughout the night, but he didn’t wait for Liang Chong to return home from his meeting.
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