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    Chapter 76 [VIP] Shielding Friend (14)

    In the meantime, Jiang Shaoyan also finally came to terms with his true feelings. A wave of regret and panic spread relentlessly from the depths of his heart throughout his entire being. He wanted to find Nan Yan to clarify everything, but the bitterness and guilt almost drowned him, leaving him with no face to confront her.

    But what could he do?

    At this point, he couldn't let go.

    Jiang Shaoyan wanted to call her, to pour out his thoughts from beginning to end, to tell her how he regretted it all. How he truly regretted not understanding his heart earlier, turning what was once perfect into such a mess.

    If not for him... If not for his stubbornness, his foolishness that blinded him from recognizing who he truly loved...

    They would be living blissfully now...

    The happiness that was once within reach is lost because of his own doing.

    He knows he deserves this, that it's karma coming back to haunt him. But what can he do? He really can't forget her now.

    Why does it have to be at this particular moment?

    Only now does he realize who truly matters. If only he had recognized his heart earlier, would things not have unfolded as they have?

    Jiang Shaoyan feels an invisible palm grasp his heart tightly, leaving him trapped and uncertain of what to do.

    The only solace he finds now is in the memories of the home they once shared together, reminding him that Nan Yan did love him, deeply and with all her might, cautiously drawing closer to him bit by bit. It was he who had forcefully pushed her away.

    He recalls her panic on the day they broke up, her joy transforming into cautiousness. She dared not make a single request, enduring her grievances to apologize, lowering herself to the dust. He was the one who made her that way...

    The colder he was back then, the more regret he feels now. Clearly, it was all his fault, yet she was the one to offer the first apology!

    He truly deserved it.

    Jiang Shaoyan suddenly raised his hand weakly, covering his face. For an instant, he was overwhelmed by a suffocating heartache. Feeling the moisture between his fingers, he slowly opened his eyes and clenched them tightly...

    He couldn't continue down this path anymore. He had already made one mistake, he couldn't afford to make another.

    Jiang Shaoyan returned to the place they once shared. From the moment he stepped into the living room, memories of their past flooded his mind with vivid clarity.

    Emotions churned within Jiang Shaoyan. He scrolled through his phone, searching for a long time, but surprisingly, he couldn't find a single photograph of the two of them together.

    The only photograph of the two of them together was a group shot from their graduation party, where she stood to the left of his shoulder, her fingers gently tugging at the corner of his shirt, her lips curved in a smile, her eyes sparkling with anticipation as they gazed in his direction, filled with nothing but him.

    Unconsciously, Jiang Shaoyan touched the face in the photo, a sudden surge of contentment flooding his heart; just looking at her picture made him inexplicably happy. Yet, in that moment, his gaze hadn't been on her – he had been watching the fireworks in the distance, and the one setting them off happened to be Fang Wanru...

    Regaining his composure, Jiang Shaoyan exhaled deeply. Just as he was about to call Nan Yan to ask where she was, he realized her phone was unreachable.

    At that moment, his assistant rushed in with a message, informing him that there had been an accident at Fu Qingzhou's construction site, resulting in several injuries. Nan Yan was currently at the hospital...

    Upon hearing this, Jiang Shaoyan's heart clenched. Though he didn't catch the full details, he knew that Nan Yan had been spending time with Fu Qingzhou recently. If something had happened at the construction site, could she have been caught up in it?

    At the thought of such an outcome, Jiang Shaoyan barely had time to ponder before hastily inquiring about the hospital's location and speeding off towards it.

    Meanwhile, at another hospital, Fu Qingzhuo was once again pulled by Nanyan through a full-body examination. In the end, due to a recurrence of headache, he was asked to stay overnight for observation. He could leave the next day after confirming that there was nothing serious.

    Flipping through his medical report, Fu Qingzhuo looked at Nanyan with a mix of helplessness and amusement, "I've told you, there's really nothing wrong. It's just some abrasions on my arm and lower leg. A bit of ointment will do the trick. Staying in the hospital for a night is such a waste of money, don't you think?"

    "No sooner had you mentioned that your head was hurting," Nanyan shot him a disapproving glare, "This isn't something trivial. What's wrong with staying one night? Besides, I can cover your medical expenses, can't I?"

    As she spoke, Nanyan began to nag like a chatty old lady, "Fu Qingzhuo, when did you become so stingy? You're worrying about saving this amount of money?"

    Unable to resist a smile at the tone of her voice, Fu Qingzhuo reached out to gently pinch her earlobe. His voice became even more tender as he said, "You know very well what situation your boyfriend is in. He's lacking in everything, especially money!"

    "Besides, I'll have to support you in the future, won't I? I wonder if I'd even be enough to provide for you if I were to sell myself."

    Nanyan seemed to find his words amusing.

    Turning her head to look at him, her eyes were clear and lustrous, resembling beautiful amber, and when she smiled, her entire being, reflected in her eyes, was filled solely with his presence. "Why don't you simply sell yourself to me, then? I'll provide for you from then on. In that case, you can carry a bowl and walk down the underpass, singing all the way, while I follow behind you with a long stick, ready to give you a tap whenever you misbehave..."

    Lost in her blissful daydream, she seemed to believe that this was the path to riches. Fu Qingzhou couldn't help but laugh, albeit with a hint of tenderness creeping in. What else could he do? Of course, he would spoil her. After all, she was the only beloved little darling he had. The thought of her having to endure hardships, even begging for food, was unbearable...

    The nurse had finished her examination and left, leaving the room empty except for the two of them. Seizing the intimate moment, Fu Qingzhuo gently took Nan Yan's hand, his desire for closeness evident in his eyes.

    However, being too obvious wasn't ideal either, as it would make him appear unserious. Fu Qingzhuo cleared his throat softly and asked, trying to conceal his concern, "Yanyan, the doctor has left. Would you like to sit down and rest for a while?"

    Nan Yan was studying his medical report. Upon hearing this, she didn't even lift an eyelid as she casually replied, "Mm-hm, I'm right by the bed. You can lie down for a while."

    Fu Qingzhou cast a glance at his girlfriend, who remained steadfast as a rock. He nibbled on his finger, feeling somewhat discontented, and thus hinted more overtly, "What I mean is, you can continue what we didn't finish earlier... Now that no one is disturbing us..."

    He even cast a deliberate glance toward the entrance, where it was eerily quiet - not a single passing nurse in sight.

    Nanyan found the situation amusing and playfully teased him, "Alright then, take off your clothes and I'll apply the medicine right away..."

    As she spoke, she was about to put down the cloth in her hand, but before she could finish her sentence, she was suddenly pressed onto the bed by him. Nanyan giggled and struggled, but seeing that she was still being mischievous, Fu Qingzhou resorted to tickling her. The two of them tumbled on the bed until Nanyan, unable to bear the tickling, surrendered. She rubbed against his neck, laughing and crying as she pleaded, "Your Majesty, spare me! I know my mistake." This made Fu Qingzhou laugh so much that he held her cheeks and kissed her passionately.

    However, as they kissed, he sensed something amiss. His movements gradually descended, and he slowly kissed her lips. Nanyan's eyelashes fluttered slightly, but she soon regained her composure and responded eagerly.

    Just then, Jiang Shangyan's car finally arrived at the hospital. After locating their room numbers at the front desk, he hurried to the third floor.

    Upon reaching the door, he saw through the transparent observation window the intimate embrace of the two people lying on the bed. They were deeply entwined, displaying a tender affection for one another.

    No language could adequately convey the jolt he experienced upon witnessing that scene. Jiang Shaoyan was at a loss for words to express the turmoil within him.

    Shock, agony, rage.

    And jealousy – a jealousy that bordered on madness.

    In that instant, it felt as if someone had viciously struck his brain with a wooden club, triggering an intense pain that originated deep within his skull, nearly causing him to lose his footing.

    He bit his lip fiercely, his eyes reddened, and his face paled from the pain. It seemed as if countless veins in his head were uncontrollably raging, urging him to burst in and forcefully separate the two.

    How could it have come to this?

    He knew he was wrong, truly realized it. So why was he still one step too late? What should he do now? What on earth should he do?

    In that instant, Jiang Shaoyan seemed to genuinely grasp the meaning of unbearable pain. Every part of him ached - his head, his body, every inch of him was consumed by torment. He wished he could just die from the pain, yet paradoxically, he was acutely aware and conscious.

    He clenched his fists so tightly that his knuckles turned white, and blood droplets seeped between his fingers. But as he watched the two of them kiss, his palms eventually grew numb, feeling not even a hint of the pain they were causing.

    No, he couldn't stay here any longer...

    He couldn't bear to witness more; he was on the verge of losing control, and it was something he truly couldn't tolerate!

    Jiang Shaoyan turned around and stumbled towards the stairs. Despite the short distance, he nearly fell multiple times, leaving the nurse beside him worried about his condition.

    Inside the room, the two occupants seemed to sense the commotion. As the kissing continued without end and became increasingly presumptuous, Nan Yan retaliated by biting him in anger.

    Fu Qingzhou finally released her, covering his lips while unable to suppress his laughter. "Biting me again, huh? You've really developed a habit of it, haven't you? You bit me during our first encounter, and now that we're together, you still do. Let me see, do your teeth belong to a puppy? Why are you so fond of biting?"

    As he spoke, he reached out his hand.

    Nanyan's eyes widened in astonishment, staring at him as if questioning how he could have the audacity to say such words. What did he mean by "bite him again"?

    "You still have the nerve to mention it? If not for my kindness in taking care of you that time, you'd be sleeping on the streets! Yet, you acted like a ruffian the moment you woke up. It was already merciful of me not to have you arrested, and now you dare to say such things..."

    Fu Qingzhou pinched her cheeks with delight. Yes, if not for her, he would indeed have been homeless. Perhaps this was the bond between them.

    Nanyan swatted away his mischievous hand and turned her head towards the door, asking strangely, "Did you really not hear anything? I swear I heard someone opening the door. Was there someone here just now?"

    After a moment's thought, Nanyan glared at him again. "What should we do? If someone really did come, I'd be utterly embarrassed. It's all your fault!"

    Fu Qingzhou, however, held her hand calmly and smiled as if it were the most natural thing in the world. "So what if we did? It's gone, then it's gone! After all, we're legitimate boyfriend and girlfriend, and we're not bothering anyone else. Besides, it was just a kiss, perfectly normal. Don't worry, I was listening carefully. No one came by."

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