Cactus in Distress Chapter 17

Chapter 17

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When Sun Yutan entered the door, Chen Rui was drinking a glass of water at the dining table. Looking at her expression, he stated rather than asked, “It didn’t go well.”

Sun Yutan ignored his gloating, and Chen Rui followed her gaze, asking, “Your boss has a hot temper. Does he like you?”

“Yes,” Sun Yutan replied.

“No wonder. He lets you work when you want to and not when you don’t. He even has plenty of specialized personnel who are not being used, yet he takes a student who hasn’t even completed an English major to play around the world.” Chen Rui had researched these things when he was bored and even found other things that made him feel more settled. Zhou Shuxin wasn’t worth paying attention to, and he was certain that Sun Yutan would not fall in love with him.

He watched the car speed away from upstairs and couldn’t help but whistle, as someone’s defeat was confirmed 100%.

“People tend to forget themselves when they become too proud,” Chen Rui joked and persuaded her, “But it’s not difficult. If you come to Yunkai, you can also enjoy this treatment. After all, the boss likes you too. And he’s single and has no family.”

Sun Yutan stopped and turned back to look at him in surprise.

Chen Rui knew he had misspoken. He steadied himself, pretending nothing had happened. “What’s wrong?”

Sun Yutan walked towards him and asked, “How do you know?”

Chen Rui calmly replied, “I investigated him. Your elders were worried about you running around with him, so they asked me to check on him.” Half true and half false. Afraid she wouldn’t believe him, he had to change the subject, “I didn’t expect him to be so romantic. He has several hidden places in his golden house to hide his lovers.”

Sun Yutan chuckled. “I guess there are just too many cute girls.” It turned out that these things would come to light with a little investigation, and even Chen Rui knew about it. But it took her a few years of wandering to figure it out.

“Really greedy.”

Sun Yutan nodded in agreement, Zhou Shuxin was indeed greedy.

Tang Nuo recently learned a piece of news from the alumni group chat: Xiang Jiayu had returned.

This was originally not a big deal, but Xiang Jiayu was not from Haicheng, yet she chose to work for a company in Haicheng out of all the companies offering opportunities to work with them. Why? People with good memories and gossip skills thought for a moment and recalled another name in Haicheng, and the story suddenly made sense.

Tang Nuo looked at the lively and fast-scrolling screen, everyone chiming in one after another. Although no one explicitly said it, the meaning was obvious: Xiang Jiayu came for Chen Rui. And Chen Rui, who had been single and clean for the past few years, had become a persevering person who kept waiting in the cold.

He sighed and thought that he couldn’t blame others for having wild thoughts. If he had to blame someone, it would be that his boss and Sister Xiang’s relationship was too close. Mentioning one would make it hard not to think of the other.

In the past, he was also one of those who watched the excitement. But since he learned about the existence of a certain unknown neighbor, the plot had taken a 360-degree turn. His boss’ unwavering devotion was real, but the female lead was someone else. As for Sister Xiang, she might have left angrily after discovering that Chen Rui had moved on. Tang Nuo deeply sighed, thinking of Xiang Jiayu’s strong and confident personality. If she really came back for Chen Rui, he sincerely sympathized with her and could already foresee her facing setbacks.

After all, his boss has recently been clouded by love.

In what aspects did it show? Nothing else, just that he spoke less harshly. After scolding someone, he also knew to encourage and comfort them. His face was not always stiff, and he sometimes greeted people with a smile. 

If a survey were conducted at this time, even the janitor would praise Chairman Chen for being as warm and gentle as a spring breeze.

A supervisor suspected that Chen Rui was suddenly adopting a gentle strategy and was worried that he was holding back some big moves. The more he thought about it, the more anxious he became, so he secretly talked to Tang Nuo. 

Tang Nuo reassured him that the good times that had been found should not be wasted.

It would be best if Chairman Chen and his neighbor live peacefully and happily until old age.

Unfortunately, life always had its ups and downs.

At a business networking event, Tang Nuo was chatting with someone next to him absentmindedly when he lifted his head and saw an acquaintance leaning against the balcony on the second floor. She was wearing a well-tailored beige suit, with her delicate face shining brightly. It was none other than Xiang Jiayu.

She also noticed them, gave a slight smile, and walked down the stairs.

Tang Nuo kept his composure, thinking to adapt to any situation, and was curious to see how these two would interact. Unexpectedly, Xiang Jiayu started with him, walked over, and directly placed her hand on his shoulder, “Little Brother, can you do me a favor?”

It was her usual style to skip the small talk and get straight to the point. When Tang Nuo was in school, he had also learned from Xiang Jiayu, who was his senior. Her words held great weight, and he couldn’t resist. Chen Rui looked over and said, “Go find Assistant Manager Tang.”

Tang Nuo stepped aside, and Xiang Jiayu calmly sat next to Chen Rui.

Chen Rui continued to look at the stage with his chin resting on his hand, seeming to be completely unaware of someone staring at him. He didn’t feel uncomfortable being enveloped in such a focused gaze.

“Chen Rui,” she called him, “you’re so rude. You don’t even say hello when you see your ex-girlfriend.”

“Isn’t this the etiquette that should be shown to an ex-girlfriend?”

“Are you single now?”

“No, I’m not single.”

Xiang Jiayu didn’t believe it and joked, “Hey, do you know what? Everyone says you’re keeping yourself pure for me.”

“It’s up to you to believe it or not.”

“Why aren’t you looking at me? Are you angry with me?”

Chen Rui turned his head and looked at her. “What could I be angry with you about?”

Xiang Jiayu shrugged. “I was just kidding. Chen Rui, if you’re still single…”

Chen Rui interrupted her, “I’ll invite you to my wedding.”

Xiang Jiayu was surprised, “Wedding? Who are you getting married to?” Why hadn’t she heard about it?

“Of course, it’s to someone I like.” Even though they had been in a relationship, he said it so matter-of-factly. Caught off guard, Xiang Jiayu didn’t ask any further questions. Chen Rui also seemed to have not noticed the momentary shock on her face, got up, and left.

So Xiang Jiayu knew that Chen Rui did it on purpose. He saw through her intentions and wasn’t being deliberately cruel to her, just pushing her away. Xiang Jiayu closed her eyes and laughed at herself, relieved that she didn’t take the conversation any further, but what difference did it make?

As soon as she remembered the soft yet resolute expression on Chen Rui’s face, a lump of cotton would form in Xiang Jia Yu’s heart, choking her up to the point where her nose would turn sour. In the past, she had put in a lot of effort to be with him, and because their coursework overlapped, they were always together in their daily lives. In the eyes of outsiders, they were an inseparable pair, but unfortunately, they knew their true feelings towards each other. After she had experienced the joy of being with him, she also doubted whether Chen Rui loved her, but he didn’t seem to love anyone else either, so she comforted herself by thinking that this was just his natural demeanor.

Afterwards, as graduation approached, she broke up with him and flew across the ocean with a plane ticket. They completely lost contact with each other, but their mutual friends still knew about their relationship and weren’t shy to bring up Chen Rui in front of her. They said he drank a lot for a while, and that he was applying to Ivy League schools, and some of her friends even bet that he was doing it just to come find her. Perhaps with distance, everything became blurred between good and bad, and the people who believed that Chen Rui loved her became more and more. The result was that of course Chen Rui did not come to find her, he came and went. They spent two years in different countries and never met.

Several years passed, and friends around her had gone through several cycles of change. No one would come to talk to her about Chen Rui anymore. But she was not willing to give up. She found a step for herself and thought that no matter what, Chen Rui had only been with her before and she was special. With her stubbornness, she had to try again.

But tonight, with just a few words, she found herself doubting like she did in her twenties, even more miserable than before.

She knew Chen Rui had not lied to her. It turned out that this was what it looked like when he fell in love with someone. Xiang Jiayu couldn’t help but feel resentful.

“Damn him.” Xiang Jiayu was so angry that she kicked the door of the house. She would wait and see what kind of goddess he was going to marry.

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