On the way back, Ji Anning said, “I want to go back to school tomorrow.”
Wen Yu was very supportive and said, “Good.” He felt that the sooner Ji Anning returned to a normal life, the better.
Ji Anning hesitated for a moment and said, “I want to apply for a dormitory at the school.”
Wen Yu rejected her without much thought, “No.”
The house in the Huada University Family Building is no longer habitable unless it’s renovated. Initially, it was arranged by the school for the elderly person who came to school with her granddaughter who doesn’t want to leave her side. With the grandmother now deceased, the school is unlikely to allow her to continue using this house.
Ji Anning had essentially lost her place to stay.
It was only natural for her to consider applying for a dormitory. She now lived in Wen Yu’s place, and if she were to stay there long-term, it would be akin to cohabitation.
Even for couples who already have an intimate relationship, cohabitation is a significant step.
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Gde vbl alzyvksdpbkr clvolld Kk Gddkdt yde Eld Zw kp lhld xsal nsxrzknyvle.
Rd vblpl rypv qlo eyup, yzvbswtb Kk Gddkdt yde Eld Zw pbyale y cle, vblu byed’v esdl yduvbkdt, dsv lhld y jkpp.
Rd vbl xkepv sq y talyv wrblyhyz, vblu bye nawxczle, plljkdt oyaxvb yde hkvyzkvu qasx lynb svbla zkjl ydkxyzp kd rykd, vaukdt vs rashl vs vblxplzhlp vbyv vblu olal pvkzz yzkhl. Tsolhla, yqvla vbl ycpwaekvu rypple, vblu alvwadle vs alyzkvu, csvb nyaaukdt vbl olktbv sq vblka zshle sdl’p ryppkdt yde xswadkdt vblx.
Slvwadkdt vs clkdt bwxyd dyvwayzzu aliwkalp yeblakdt vs bwxyd nsdewnv pvydeyaep.
Lsv vs xldvksd Kk Gddkdt, lhld Eld Zw, obs byp yzoyup clld iwkvl srld ycswv elpkalp, bye nsxrzlvlzu alpvaykdle bkxplzq.
Kk Gddkdt qlzv vbyv vbl nwaaldv pkvwyvksd oypd’v vbl aktbv vkxl qsa vblka alzyvksdpbkr vs vyjl y ckt pvlr qsaoyae, yde vbkp oyp kdelle y dyvwayz vbswtbv tkhld vbl nkanwxpvydnlp.
Jwv Eld Zw’p alqwpyz oyp dsd-dltsvkyczl.
“Ls,” bl pyke.
He reached out his right hand to gently stroke Ji Anning’s slightly lowered nape, saying, “You can stay at my place, and Xiaogao1the secretary he assigned her can pick you up and drop you off every day.”
His palm was powerful, accustomed to being domineering.
The car stopped at a traffic light, and Wen Yu turned to look at her. The pressure of his hand in her palm eased, and he became gentler.
“Don’t overthink it. The more you think, the more confused you’ll get. Right now, if you go back to school to live alone, can I really be at ease?” he said. “I definitely can’t. I have a lot of things to take care of, and I’ll be worried about you. It’s exhausting for me. Just stay at my place, alright?”
Ji Anning wasn’t fixated on this matter. She had brought it up as a point of discussion with Wen Yu.
Wen Yu insisted, and she nodded, saying, “Okay.”
Wen Yu breathed a sigh of relief, ruffled her head, and said gently, “You stay for now, and after some time, if you still want to move back to school, I’ll go along with your decision.”
His voice was tender but not meant to coax anyone.
Ji Anning noticed that Wen Yu had changed.
In the past, he used to think of ways to give her money and things, circling around, trying to do something for her to protect her self-esteem. But everything he did were deliberate.
That care was merely a strategy, an attempt to please her, not a genuine sentiment. Deep down, he would have given her a black card to let her shop to her heart’s content.
But now, when he said, “I’ll go along with your decision,” his tone was calm and sincere. He genuinely respected her wishes, without any attempt to forcefully impose his will on her, directly or indirectly.
Back at their residence, Wen Yu stood still and said to her, “Open the door.”
Ji Anning smiled helplessly, placed her palm on the access control panel, and the palm print scan opened the door.
Wen Yu gently pushed her inside, holding onto her shoulder and said, “We’re home.”
He had truly changed.
This version of Wen Yu was unfamiliar to Ji Anning compared to before. But this version of Wen Yu brought them closer, making their hearts more in sync.
And when they went to bed that night, Wen Yu was also thinking that Ji Anning had changed.
He had arranged for his assistant to pick her up for school, and to his surprise, Ji Anning accepted it calmly without any objections. It was as if all her stubborn edges and rigid backbone had melted away in that massive fire.
Wen Yu felt a pang of sadness and sympathy.
He held her close, allowing her to fall asleep in his embrace.
She lost her grandmother, but she still have him.
In the past, she had to be strong to support her grandmother. She had to be tough.
Now she didn’t need to be, Wen Yu thought. In his arms, she could be soft, she could fall asleep in a baby-like posture. She didn’t need to protect or take care of anyone.
From now on, he would protect her and take care of her.
Ji Anning returned to school. School had started a few days ago, and her classmates had already heard about her situation.
Fortunately, no one exaggerated their sympathy or condolences. Most people’s attitudes were quite natural, and those who knew her well mostly said, “Take care,” or “If you need help, let us know.”
Ji Anning breathed a sigh of relief.
She didn’t know that it was because Meng Xinyu had already informed their classmates before she returned.
Her classmates were unaware of Meng Xinyu’s mother’s passing. Meng Xinyu understood better than anyone that, during such times, excessive pity and sympathy could be even more painful for the person going through it.
So, she had given her classmates a heads-up in advance.
During lunch, Bai Lu held her tray, glancing at Chen Hao’s direction, then at Ji Anning and Meng Xinyu, feeling a bit hesitant.
Seeing that Wen Yu wasn’t with Chen Hao, Meng Xinyu said, “You can go over there. I’ll talk to Anning.”
In a group of girls, everyone knows who’s closer to whom and who might be a bit more distant. Bai Lu nodded and headed towards Chen Hao.
She couldn’t bear the burden of consoling a classmate who had just lost a loved one, and she felt more comfortable leaving it to Meng Xinyu.
“Why isn’t Wen Yu here today?” Meng Xinyu asked.
Not having seen Ji Anning or Wen Yu these days, she assumed that Ji Anning had returned with Wen Yu. However, only Ji Anning was back, and Wen Yu was nowhere to be found.
“He has some family matters to attend to and won’t be coming to school for a while,” Ji Anning replied.
Meng Xinyu casually asked, “What happened?”
Ji Anning softly said, “His mother passed away.”
Meng Xinyu couldn’t eat the bite of rice that was in her mouth. She set down her chopsticks and sighed, “What kind of year is this?”
An extremely unlucky one.
Meng Xinyu’s mother had been ill for many years, and both she and her daughter were mentally prepared for her passing. That was one thing.
But how did it happen all of a sudden? Ji Anning’s grandmother, and now Wen Yu’s mother, too?
Meng Xinyu had lost her appetite entirely.
She didn’t inquire about what had happened to Wen Yu’s mother. After all, when someone’s gone, what’s the point in asking how it happened?
Meng Xinyu, on the other hand, asked Ji Anning in detail, “Where are you staying now? Will you be moving into a dormitory in the future?”
Ji Anning shook her head and replied, “I’m living at Wen Yu’s place.”
Living together in their first year? Meng Xinyu thought it was a bit early, but Ji Anning’s situation was unique, and she felt that having Wen Yu to look after her might be a better arrangement.
Ji Anning then said, “Let’s eat.”
Meng Xinyu picked up her chopsticks again.
The topic had been quite heavy, and Ji Anning changed the subject, asking, “Did anything happen at school while I was away these past few days?”
“What could possibly happen at school? It’s peaceful and tranquil, just as always,” Meng Xinyu said. “By the way, Bai Lu got a new phone.”
“Did she really buy it in the end?” Ji Anning asked, a bit surprised.
“Well, she did receive New Year’s money, didn’t she? So, the young lady decided to get herself a new one. But,” Meng Xinyu said, “Chen Hao gave her two thousand yuan when school started, saying it was to support her in buying the phone.”
Ji Anning was aware of that money. Chen Hao had stayed at school working until the twenty-eighth of the twelfth month, earning hard-earned money.
“He’s working two jobs too? Bai Lu didn’t mention that. She was quite pleased, took the money, and treated her dorm mates to a big meal,” Meng Xinyu paused and continued, “No wonder, though, when we were having lunch, Chen Hao’s expression didn’t look good.2I’d be pissed too if I was in his shoes.“
For anyone, hard-earned money, when spent so extravagantly, would make anyone cringe.
“After eating, Bai Lu seemed to regret it a bit, too. She said she shouldn’t have spent it carelessly; she still wanted to buy a new notebook,” Meng Xinyu sighed in resignation.
Differing spending habits can indeed strain a friendship, especially when they’re roommates and one of them wants to be together for twenty-four hours a day.
“Oh, and there’s some gossip,” Meng Xinyu remembered, “Sun Yaxian hasn’t stayed in the dorm since the start of the school year. She moved out.”
This wasn’t something that had happened in their previous lives. Ji Anning was a bit surprised and asked, “Why did she do that?”
“They say Sun Yaxian might also be involved with a boyfriend… well,” Meng Xinyu waved her hand, “it’s all hearsay. We don’t really know if it’s true, so let’s not spread rumors.”
Meng Xinyu never spread gossip in her previous life.
But Ji Anning had a pretty good idea by now.
Has Sun Yaxian really taken things this far with Qian Haoran?
Qian Haoran is several years older, and when he talks about “love,” it’s not as innocent as it might be for the young couples on campus. In fact, even on campuses, it’s common for young couples to move in together. For a mature man like Qian Haoran, it seems like a natural progression.
“Yeah, let’s not talk about her,” Ji Anning said. “Can I borrow your notes from the past few days?”
In the afternoon, Bai Lu came to inquire, “Why didn’t Wen Yu come back with you? We all thought we hadn’t seen him for these days because he was with you. Chen Hao said he’s taken a leave of absence, but we don’t know why.”
Ji Anning and Meng Xinyu instantly understood that Wen Yu, like Meng Xinyu, hadn’t told his classmates about the loss of his loved one.
No wonder in their previous lives, Sun Yaxian couldn’t find out anything specific when she inquired about why Wen Yu had taken a leave of absence.
Ji Anning simply said, “There’s some family matters at his place.”
Bai Lu wanted to ask more questions, but Meng Xinyu told her, “Why are you prying so much? Their family has some issues.”
Bai Lu stopped asking further.
Ji Anning called Ma Ge and apologized for not working these past few days.
Ma Ge didn’t dare to accept her apology and kept saying it was okay, assuring her she could take a few more days off if needed and told her to take care.
The most common phrase she had heard in the past few days was “take care.”
It was precisely because she needed to take care that she wanted to go back to work. Although Wen Yu had provided her with a place to stay, she didn’t plan on relying on him for everything.
Her grandmother had passed away, but her life had to continue. She still had to support herself.
Ma Ge didn’t immediately agree and said he would respond later. He then called Wen Yu to brief him on the situation.
“It’s fine; let her go back to work. Having something to do will help her recover sooner,” Wen Yu agreed.
After hanging up, the person sitting across from Wen Yu asked, “Is she your girlfriend?”
Wen Yu looked up. The middle-aged man across from him had already recovered, and it was hard to see any traces of his recent beating. He was Yang Yuan, the sperm donor.
“You’re grown up now, and I don’t expect you to call me ‘Dad’ all of a sudden,” Yang Yuan said, “I just hope that we don’t become strangers, father and son. In the past, I was afraid of disrupting your life, so I didn’t dare to acknowledge you. Now, I regret it, truly regret it.”
As this middle-aged man spoke, his eyes reddened, and his gaze was filled with sincerity.
Wen Yu was well aware of how this man operated with women. Yang Yuan was handsome, charming, and could play any role with such authenticity that women easily fell for him.
However, Wen Yu couldn’t understand why Cheng Lian had conspired with him but ended up being killed by him. Perhaps it was a dispute over the spoils?
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