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    Chapter 70 [VIP] Best Friend Shield (8)

    "What did you do to me last night?"

    Fu Qingzhou's expression turned grim, and an inexplicable anger surged within him. Suddenly, his cheeks flushed red as if he had recalled something, but it was clear that this wasn't from embarrassment, but anger.

    Nan Yan found the question amusing. Strangely enough, she could discern the message behind his eyes – he probably thought she had taken advantage of him.

    Looking up, Nan Yan sized him up from head to toe, then compared their physiques with her hands. With a composed look, she addressed him,

    "What can I possibly do to you? You're perfectly fine, aren't you? And besides, shouldn't I be the one worried about what you might have done to me last night?"

    Nan Yan gave him a glance, the meaning in her eyes clear enough. "After all, I'm no match for you in strength."

    Fu Qingzhou was taken aback by her words, but upon reflection, he realized she had a point.

    Yet, his expression darkened instantly.

    In his recollection, it was indeed he who had initiated the embrace and the kiss, and it was during her struggle that she had fiercely bitten him...

    This realization filled him with a mix of embarrassment and annoyance.

    Fu Qingzhou instinctively stepped back, as if Nan Yan in front of him was some kind of ferocious beast, feeling a twinge of guilt mixed with annoyance. How could he have mistaken her for Wanrou last night? The difference was so obvious!

    As his emotions stabilized, Fu Qingzhou's expression softened, and with a sudden urge, he warned, “Regardless of what happened last night, it must not be spoken of, especially not to Wanrou…”

    He didn’t want anyone to know about last night's events.

    It would make him feel like he had betrayed Wanrou, even though they had broken up, Fu Qingzhou knew he still couldn’t forget her.

    In principle, there was nothing wrong with what he said.

    But the tone sounded rather uncomfortable, almost like a command.

    Nan Yan just smiled at him, her eyes gentle and unconcerned about his threats, “Just because you say not to mention it, I should comply? What are you afraid of? Worried Wanrou will find out you bullied her friend? But why should I help you hide it?”

    Seeing his face visibly fall, Nan Yan tilted her head, then looked at him with an obviously mischievous smile,

    “I’m not only going to tell her, but also how you bullied me. It’s perfect to make her give up on you completely and never see you again.”

    This speech made Fu Qingzhou's ears burn with anger.

    But it was indeed his doing, and he couldn't deny it, “I didn’t do it on purpose, I just mistook you for someone else!”

    Seizing on his slip-up, Nan Yan shook her head with a tone of regret, “So, you can't even recognize the person you like? She was worried about you, asked me to check on you, and then you do this to me? You're no better than a beast!”

    Her eyes shone with disdain as she glared at him, leaving Fu Qingzhou at a loss for words.

    “I was just drunk, it wasn’t intentional.”

    He was genuinely infuriated now, never having encountered someone as unreasonable as her.

    “So, being drunk gives you the right to misbehave? That’s what you think!” Nan Yan blinked, her expression one of utter disbelief, “In that case, I definitely need to tell Wanrou. You have such a bad habit, taking advantage when drunk. It’s best to cut ties early, to save Wanrou from future heartache.”

    Saying this, she made to leave as if she really intended to report him, causing Fu Qingzhou’s expression to change as he almost instinctively grabbed her hand.

    The girl's soft and delicate wrist pressed against his palm, making it uncontrollably warm.

    He wanted to let go but worried she might run away, especially as her fleeting, odd gaze made his face burn. In the end, he could only close his eyes and hold on tightly, managing to squeeze out after a long time, "Wait, don’t go yet!"

    "I didn’t mean that, I misspoke. I shouldn’t make excuses for myself, I was just too nervous. Don’t be angry, tell me, what do you really want?"

    Nan Yan couldn’t help but laugh at his words. She pursed her lips, giving him a disdainful look, "With you being so destitute right now, what could you possibly have that I would covet?"

    This comment made Fu Qingzhou's heart constrict.

    Though her words were true, being so bluntly pointed out still made his cheeks uncontrollably flush, probably the remnants of pride from his fall from grace, making him feel particularly embarrassed.

    "So, what exactly do you want me to do?" Fu Qingzhou asked, holding back his frustration.

    Hearing this, Nan Yan gave a light huff, "I don’t want anything, just a sincere apology from you."

    "That simple?" Fu Qingzhou was skeptical.

    "Yes, just that simple."

    Only then did Nan Yan's expression soften, smiling as she said, "Besides, had you not been so unreasonable at the start, why would I need to threaten you with this? Moreover, your kissing skills are terrible, you made my lips hurt."

    Hearing this, Fu Qingzhou didn’t know what expression to wear, his ears even turning a shade of red. It should have been him with the sore lips.

    He didn’t remember much from the incident, but the pain on his lips when he woke up clearly indicated he had been bitten quite hard.

    But perhaps it’s best to leave that matter unmentioned!

    Upon hearing Nanyan so casually nodding off his apology, Fu Qingzhuo felt a sigh of relief while also acknowledging that perhaps he had been too confrontational.

    From the beginning until now, she hadn't uttered a single word in her own defense, nor had she blamed him at all. This left him with an odd feeling deep down, an unsettling discomfort.

    After all...

    Last night, she was the one who had brought him home and tidied up the living room. If not for her assistance, he might still be sleeping on the streets right now.

    Upon waking up, not only did he fail to express gratitude, he even reprimanded the person for what they had done to him? Reflecting on it, he seemed to have overreacted.

    This left Fu Qingzhuo feeling somewhat uneasy, perhaps due to guilt or embarrassment.

    Especially when he saw the apron Nan Yan was wearing, he immediately released his tightly clenched hand and coughed dryly, "I'm sorry... It wasn't intentional. I was drunk last night and mistook you for Wanru. I don't have any other thoughts about you... Anyway, thank you for bringing me back." His tone softened unconsciously by the end of his sentence; he genuinely didn't wish to engage in further conflict with her.

    His words were delivered dryly, and if not for the evident hint of apology on his face, Nanyan might have taken it as another warning.

    Fu Qingzhou felt a bit awkward himself. Having grown up being doted on, he rarely apologized to others, and such humble gestures were particularly uncomfortable for him. Thus, after speaking, he stood there obediently, awaiting her to calm down.

    Seeing that he had made an effort, Nanyan decided to let it go. After all, their mission was yet to be accomplished; it wouldn't be ideal if they fell out completely.

    She glanced at Fu Qingzhou before responding, "Alright, don't worry about it. I have no interest in you, and I won't spread any rumors about this incident."

    Only then did Fu Qingzhou breathe a sigh of relief.

    But then he suddenly remembered something; he had heard her mention earlier that it was Wanrou who had asked her to check on him. The mere mention of Wanrou's name stirred a ripple in his heart.

    He hadn't seen Wanrou in a long time, so he couldn't help but ask, "How has Wanrou been lately?"

    Nan Yan turned off the stove where a pot of white porridge simmered, and seemingly casually remarked, "She's fine. She'll probably be engaged to another man soon."

    "Engaged?" Fu Qingzhou was momentarily stunned.

    He had not expected to hear this news from Nan Yan, which to him was like a bolt from the blue, leaving his mind blank and unable to recover for a long time.

    "How is that possible..."

    How could Wanrou be getting engaged to another man?

    But as he came to his senses, his expression suddenly changed, "Impossible, Wanrou can't be getting engaged to another man so soon. Where did you hear such news? It must be false!"

    Fu Qingzhou's face gradually darkened.

    Nan Yan looked up at him and said, "Why not? Since you two have already broken up, isn't it normal for her to get engaged to someone else?"

    "This can't be true. She wouldn't get engaged to another man so easily. I know her; she would never do that. I need to find her and get some clarity."

    Fu Qingzhou still refused to believe what Nan Yan said.

    In this regard, these two were truly a perfect match, each having exceptional trust in the other, worthy of being a couple for so many years.

    Saying this, Fu Qingzhou suddenly stood up, not even bothering to change his clothes, and hurried towards the door, seemingly eager to find Wanrou for answers.

    Seeing his anxious demeanor, Nan Yan instinctively asked, "Where are you going?"

    "I need to find Wanrou and get some answers..."

    "But even if you do find her and clarify everything, what then?" Nanyan suddenly interrupted his unfinished words, "Haven’t you two already broken up? Isn’t it normal for her to be with someone else?"

    Her light words instantly anchored Fu Qingzhou’s steps to the spot.

    Nanyan, however, continued unperturbed, "Moreover, what right do you think you have now to interfere with Wanrou's life? Can you guarantee her a better future? Or can you offer her a grand wedding again? Don’t forget, you can hardly support yourself now, so on what grounds do you expect others to share your hardships?"

    Hearing this, Fu Qingzhou’s breathing became noticeably heavier.

    Indeed, why should he expect Wanrou to endure hardships with him?

    Wasn’t this the very issue they had faced from the beginning?

    And wasn’t it the reason for their breakup?

    Fu Qingzhou felt as if his heart was being tightly squeezed. Despite it being early spring, he felt an unstoppable chill enveloping him, as if drenched from head to toe in icy water.

    He completely lost the motivation to seek out Wanrou.

    He knew that what Nanyan said was the truth.

    Because it was the truth, it made him feel even more powerless, an unprecedented embarrassment, as if his last shred of dignity had been stripped away, leaving him unable to utter a single word of rebuttal.

    Unconsciously, Fu Qingzhou clenched his fingers.

    His full reservoir of resentment, like an overinflated balloon, was completely deflated by Nanyan’s piercing words, leaving him without even a trace of resistance, only surrender.

    He truly didn't know how to continue his life from here on. How could he, in his current state, possibly provide Wanrou with the life she desired?

    The Fang family would never agree.

    And his own pride wouldn't allow it either.

    Feeling a suffocating blockage in his heart, Fu Qingzhou exhaled softly, sinking into a mood of self-loathing, "You're right, I don't have the right to go looking for her again..."

    He could only give up!

    Just like she said, even if he found Wanrou and got clarity, what would change? Even if she was coerced, what could he change?

    Nothing would change; it was better not to disturb her.

    A proper ex should be like the dead, not disturbing the peace of the other's current life. From the moment he chose to break up, he should have known that such a day would eventually come.

    Fu Qingzhou’s eyes grew dim, and he suddenly slumped against the wall, sitting down. Closing his eyes, he painstakingly recalled all recent events, finding not a single chance for change.

    It felt like everything had hit a dead end.

    Nanyan glanced at him, "So, you're just giving up like that?"

    "What else can I do now?" he replied.

    Fu Qingzhou laughed bitterly at himself.

    He had thought that the breakup and the pain were temporary. But recent experiences made it painfully clear how difficult the road to a fresh start was. He wasn't even sure if he could keep going.

    Nanyan countered, "Why can't you? You're just bankrupt, not crippled. As long as you're alive, why can't you start over?"

    She walked a few steps forward, squatted in front of him. Her tone was gentle and calm, devoid of her earlier harshness and mockery,

    "Is it because you're used to living as a wealthy heir, and suddenly having to humble yourself before those who once had less than you, feels humiliating? But if you can't even endure this slight discomfort, how can you talk about seeking clarity from Wanrou?"

    Fu Qingzhou's expression paused momentarily,

    Hearing her words, the turmoil in his heart grew unbearable, as if all his emotions needed a vent. He spoke coldly, "You think it's just about enduring these things? If it were that easy, do you think I wouldn't want to start over? It's just that no one is willing to help me. They won't let me start anew."

    Nanyan, unfazed by his tone, smiled at him,

    "If no one helps you, does that mean you won't make an effort? Haven’t you seen enough of the world to know better? You could find a new job, start as an intern, or even work as a waiter. Or is it that you can't endure such hardships?"

    Fu Qingzhou opened his mouth, suddenly realizing she might be right.

    It would be difficult, but if it was just about enduring hardship, then it wasn’t unbearable, especially since he had nothing left to lose.

    "So, why do you want to help me?"

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