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    Chapter 61 [VIP] The Scoundrel Rich Second Generation (17)

    Nanyan immediately saw through his little ploy.

    She gave him a thorough once-over.

    He reeked of alcohol, with a ring of dried-up drink stains on his jacket. His slightly disheveled hair hung over his forehead and cheeks, clearly indicating he hadn’t slept all night, with dark circles under his eyes.

    She slightly lifted her head, noticing that his cheeks were still wet, likely from quickly splashing his face with cold water without having time to dry off, rushing out in haste. His distinctively clear eyes looked somewhat pitiful.

    Yes, it was his typical trick.

    Shamelessly playing the victim after biting someone, now he was trying to turn the tables and question her, thinking it would cover up his inner guilt.

    Nanyan disdainfully ignored his gaze, glaring at him, "Why would I be angry? It’s rare for you to go out and have fun, don’t waste this great opportunity."

    Zhou Chiyi was momentarily speechless, caught off guard.

    His gaze awkwardly met Nanyan’s.

    His eyes flickered involuntarily, then shifted away, feeling inexplicably guilty.

    He knew it was somewhat inappropriate for him to be in such a place early in the morning, especially after just starting a relationship. Being caught by her after spending the night out with someone else certainly sounded like a prelude to a breakup.

    But in reality, a big part of why he agreed to come was out of spite towards Nanyan, especially after being rejected in front of his roommates.

    He felt a loss of face, humiliated, and frustrated, coupled with his roommates who egged him on, enjoying the drama...

    He had impulsively followed his friends out, but he hadn't expected to coincidentally run into her in such a place.

    What a tremendous twist of fate.

    However, sometimes too much coincidence isn't necessarily a good thing, like in this situation, feeling like he was caught red-handed, even though he hadn't done anything wrong!

    Zhou Chiyi’s gaze was glued to her, shimmering with uncertainty, as he slowly approached her, trying to explain:

    "I really didn’t do anything."

    He lowered his head, moving closer to her ear, sounding increasingly guilty, "It was just my roommates having a mixer, and they dragged me along to fill the numbers."

    His voice grew softer and muffled, “I just hung out with a few friends for the night and drank by myself. Please don’t get the wrong idea..."

    Nanyan glanced at him sideways, noncommittal.

    Zhou Chiyi continued to plead, but as he rambled on trying to make his explanation sound more plausible, a sudden ringtone interrupted him.

    Frowning, Zhou Chiyi looked down at his inopportune phone, wondering who could be calling so early in the morning.

    Seeing Nanyan’s furrowed brow but a lack of surprise in her eyes, Zhou Chiyi slowly began to realize something. His thoughts shifted, understanding that she was likely diverting his attention.

    He still didn’t know why she was here.

    She had just refused his invitation for a date.

    Zhou Chiyi felt like a victim, almost deceived, and suspicion began to creep into his mind.

    His gaze stealthily shifted towards the phone. Wasn’t she too busy?

    How did she find the time to catch him here?

    Nanyan pretended not to notice, but preemptively turned her head to glance at the slightly ajar door of the booth behind him. The dimly lit interior and the messy table were hard to see clearly, but she could vaguely make out several figures sprawled across the sofa.

    This scene made Nanyan’s eye twitch, and she bluntly said, "You seemed to have quite a night. A night of fun and frolic, must have been quite a stir."

    Zhou Chiyi: "..."

    He swore, these people had nothing to do with him.

    However, a glance inside the room at the assorted group of young men and women made him feel the scene was too lascivious to bear.

    After all, they were young and full of energy, inclined to party hard. Too drunk to bother finding a hotel, they just fell asleep on the sofas. The girls, being more decent, had left early, while the boys now lay disheveled and haphazard, an inappropriate sight to behold.

    Not wanting her to see such a scene, Zhou Chiyi stepped forward, blocking her view with his body, jokingly acting like a little wolf cub guarding its meat.

    “Don’t look, there’s nothing good to see inside, just a bunch of drunk wild men. It's an eyesore,” he criticized his friends without hesitation.

    Yet, his eyes conveyed a hint of concession.

    Nanyan was momentarily speechless at his disdainful tone.

    Never mind, she thought, if not looking meant not caring, she wouldn’t bother. She glanced at the room number and turned to walk in the other direction.

    But before she could take two steps, her wrist was caught again.

    Zhou Chiyi felt unhappy again. He knew she didn’t care, but her indifference only made him more insecure, feeling as if their relationship lacked substance. It was supposed to be about two people, yet it felt like he was the only one serious about it.

    So, holding her with one hand, he sought an explanation.

    His grip wasn't tight, just firm, and he asked in a muffled voice, “You haven’t told me, what are you doing here?”

    Just then, Nanyan’s phone vibrated. Zhou Chiyi, with keen eyes, saw the name He Yanzhou on the screen...

    Well, that made things quite clear.

    His girlfriend claimed to be busy, turning down his invitation for a date. Yet, behind his back, she hurriedly met her ex-boyfriend early in the morning after a call, and coincidentally bumped into her recently elevated current boyfriend.

    It all seemed too suspicious.

    Zhou Chiyen felt suffocated by the situation.

    He couldn't just let her leave like that.

    He immediately gripped Nanyan's hand tighter, his irritation visibly increasing, his face flushed with anger. Yet he forced himself to maintain composure, refusing to let go. "You're here to meet your ex-boyfriend?" he emphasized the words 'ex-boyfriend,' incredulous.

    Nanyan explained, "I'm just here to help out," her expression casual as if it was a trivial matter.

    She didn't specify what help, but it surely wasn't anything good. Zhou Chiyen was certain of it. If there was any sign of reconciliation with her ex, she wouldn't have faced him so calmly.

    But still, he felt uneasy. What if she still harbored feelings for her ex, He Yanzhou? It's not the theft but the constant fear of it.

    He, the newly appointed boyfriend, hadn't even passed the probation period yet.

    Zhou Chiyen harbored a growing resentment, exacerbated by Nanyan's seemingly indifferent attitude.

    "He's a grown man with functioning limbs, what could he possibly need help from his ex-girlfriend for?" His tone was sarcastic and cutting, "Besides, didn't you say you were busy? Too busy to even have time for a date with me, but you have time for your ex?"

    This was simply intolerable. After all, he was now her official boyfriend.

    Nanyan realized Zhou Chiyen's old habit of being overly suspicious was acting up again. She gently patted his hand, explaining, "It's not what you think. Don't overthink it. A staff member called to say he was drunk and asked me to help, that's all."

    Her demeanor softened considerably, with a touch of tenderness on her face, and a coaxing tone, "Besides, my agreeing to be with you shows I've moved on from him. Do you still suspect something inappropriate between us?"

    Zhou Chiyen admitted to himself he did have doubts, but voicing them would mean he didn't trust her, which would render their relationship pointless. However, the more he thought about it, the worse he felt.

    Why couldn't she focus more on their relationship?

    He always felt she was just toying with him, maintaining a nonchalant attitude, yet never seeming truly in love. Unlike other couples he knew, he was deeply concerned, but she seemed utterly indifferent, treating him like a child.

    Zhou Chiyen suddenly realized this, feeling genuinely upset. Was she planning to dismiss the matter with such a superficial attitude?

    "Am I a nuisance to you? Did you agree to be with me just to placate me, or do you really like me?"

    Having said this, he was more interested in the answer to this question.

    He disliked her condescending attitude. False hopes would only lead to greater disappointment.

    Therefore, Zhou Chiyen became nervous as he uttered these words, fixating his gaze on her, bracing for her response.

    Nanyan looked at him, "Why this sudden question?"

    Seeing his earnest expression, she couldn't help but smile warmly, "If I were truly bothered, I wouldn't be with you."

    "But what's with you today? I haven't even questioned your night out with others. Are you that bothered by my meeting with He Yanzhou?" Nanyan tugged his hand, and he compliantly moved closer. Her grip wasn’t strong; he could easily break free.

    Zhou Chiyen gripped Nanyan's hand a bit more firmly.

    Apparently, when men act unreasonably, they can be even more extreme than women. Zhou Chiyen is now behaving in this manner, stubbornly fixating on certain issues.

    “I know I'm not mature enough, but please don't play with me. Do you think I'm not smart enough, easy to deceive?” He was aware of the inherent problems in their relationship, rooted in his initial intentional approach.

    The longer they were together, the more uneasy he felt, always sensing her lack of genuine interest. In a relationship, feelings are palpable. To her, he seemed replaceable, but his feelings for her only grew stronger.

    When the balance in a relationship is disrupted, with one party investing more without receiving the desired attention and reciprocation, it usually ends in two ways: either cutting losses early or getting increasingly entangled. Unfortunately, he falls into the latter category.

    “Why can't you care about me more? You promised me, yet you're still willing to meet your ex, ignoring me. How is this fair...”

    His concern wasn't just about Nanyan refusing his invitation to meet He Yanzhou. It was more about her attitude towards him.

    Since she agreed to be with him, why couldn't she be more serious about it?

    Since the beginning, Zhou Chiyen realized there hadn’t been much genuine communication between him and Nanyan.

    He genuinely believed Nanyan didn’t like him as much, always treating him like a younger brother. Her agreement to date him might have been impulsive, or perhaps a rebound from her disappointment with He Yanzhou...

    But he had been pretending too often in her presence, to the extent that she didn’t know his true self. If she discovered his real personality, would she leave him? Zhou Chiyen felt worried and agitated, unsure what to say in his moments of vulnerability.

    He wanted to bring her into his world, let her see who he really is, not just maintain a facade of the ‘good little brother,’ and have a superficial relationship with her.

    Zhou Chiyen couldn't help but tighten his grip on her hand, various thoughts threatening to spill out.

    If he confessed that his initial approach was just to get back at He Yanzhou, a ridiculous reason, would she forgive him now?

    “What's wrong?” She looked up at him.

    "Will you leave me?"

    The two were very close, Zhou Chi Yan could almost hear her breathing, his eyes fixed unwaveringly on Nan Yan, his heart pounding, a surge of emotion spreading from his chest.

    "Why would I leave you when everything's fine?" Nan Yan chuckled, then gently rubbed his cheek as if trying to smooth out his worried expression, half-jokingly asking, "Unless, have you done something behind my back to betray me?"

    Zhou Chi Yan froze, his breath halting for a moment.

    He didn't know whether Nan Yan was asking this on purpose or if she had sensed something.

    His complexion visibly becoming uncomfortable, Zhou Chi Yan's eyelashes fluttered, feeling her fingers on his cheek, her eyes warm and bright, making him lower his gaze, too apprehensive to meet her eyes.

    "No..."

    Nan Yan smiled, seemingly oblivious to his unease, her tone casual as she said, “Then, naturally, I won't leave you.”

    A wave of relief washed over Zhou Chi Yan, and he couldn't help but probe further, “So, do you genuinely like me?”

    Nan Yan nodded with a smile, “Of course.”

    “Then, there’s a cultural performance at our school this week. After it ends, would you join us for a meal?”

    His tone softened considerably, more natural, holding her hand affectionately, “I want to introduce you to some of my friends, to help you know me better.”

    Zhou Chi Yan hesitated, ultimately keeping silent, believing that as long as he hid it well enough, she wouldn't find out.

    Nan Yan happily agreed to his request.

    As for the matters concerning He Yan Zhou, Zhou Chi Yan would handle them. Nan Yan was pleased to be at ease, having someone to rely on.

    …………

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