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    Chapter 51 - Thanks to Someone

    Despite it being just a jest, why did he avoid the topic as if he were the one feeling guilty?

    Jiang Yuduo pondered over the reason and concluded that it was likely due to his usual playful demeanor. On the other hand, Lu Nanqing had a strict and earnest personality, devoid of any sense of humor. Thus, jokes directed at him often came across as strangely serious.

    "I won't be sleeping for the next three hours, so there's no need for President Jiang to keep staring at me," Lu Nanqing replied, not engaging with the playful remark but addressing the previous statement instead.

    "Oh," Jiang Yuduo responded quietly, rubbing his nose.

    An awkward silence lingered between them once more, making Jiang Yuduo somewhat uneasy. After a minute or two, he initiated a conversation, "So, you can actually control your state of unconsciousness?"

    "Of course, one can't control a passive coma," Lu Nanqing replied.

    "What do you mean by that?" Jiang Yuduo turned abruptly to look at him, inquiring.

    "Yesterday evening, I was in a passive coma, but this morning, I simply felt exhausted," explained Lu Nanqing.

    "Otherwise, no amount of verbal provocation from you would have had any effect," Lu Nanqing continued.

    "You heard everything, huh..." Jiang Yuduo said with an awkward expression.

    "I said that on purpose. Didn't I already carry it out? Even if there were some ulterior motives involved, the progress isn't that fast."

    Lu Nanqing gave him a fake smile and coldly replied, "You'd better hold onto your Phoenix Fire tightly. Once I'm discharged, be careful or it might end up bearing my surname."

    "Hmph, bring it on if you dare. We'll see who's scared," Jiang Yuduo challenged, not willing to admit defeat.

    "Speaking of which, what do you mean by active and passive?" Jiang Yuduo steered the conversation back on track, hoping for more specific information that could potentially provide the doctors with more insights into Lu Nanqing's condition.

    "On the surface, passive unconsciousness means I have no control over my body, while actively falling asleep is simply due to extreme exhaustion," Lu Nanqing explained.

    "You've been unconscious for thirteen hours and you're still tired?" Jiang Yuduo asked, both puzzled and bewildered.

    Lu Nanqing's gaze swept across him and he said in a low voice, "Thanks to someone."

    That person had kept him up all night, and just when he could finally catch some peace and quiet early in the morning, they showed up at the hospital to continue tormenting him.

    Jiang Yuduo was completely confused by this point. "Who is 'someone'?"

    "Wait a moment, I feel like there's an issue with your reasoning," Jiang Yuduo said, organizing his thoughts.

    "During your coma, were you perhaps disturbed by the doctors' physical interventions, which affected your sleep?"

    Lu Nanqing didn't respond.

    "So you were aware of external stimuli and could sense their attempts to awaken you while in a coma," Jiang Yuduo concluded to himself.

    Isn't this reaction quite similar to that of a vegetative state? The body reacts to external stimuli, but without long-term consciousness – it's just that you haven't fully entered that state yet, but there's already a tendency towards it.

    Observing Jiang Yuduo's fluctuating expressions—first furrowed brows, then tense and worried, followed by deep contemplation with interlaced hands and tightly clenched fingers—Lu Nanqing could tell these were signs of anxiety in Jiang Yuduo's character.

    "What are you thinking about?" Lu Nanqing asked, sensing that his innate pessimism was taking over, and that he wasn't contemplating anything optimistic.

    "I was thinking about you," Jiang Yuduo blurted out.

    "In case you…" Jiang Yuduo continued, but before he could finish his sentence, Lu Nanqing interrupted him:

    "I won't become a vegetable," he assured.

    Jiang Yuduo abruptly snapped out of his gloom, still wearing a look of astonishment as he asked, "How did you know what I was thinking?"

    Lu Nanqing replied with a chuckle, "Well, I won't mention who spent over an hour on the phone last night researching about comatose patients."

    Jiang Yuduo cursed, "Damn, you guessed that too? Lu Nanqing is way too sharp, like a mind reader. It would be a tragedy if someone like him ended up in a coma – a waste of talent, really."

    At this moment, a sense of mutual respect between rivals surfaced. Jiang Yuduo didn't wish for Lu Nanqing to become a vegetable, not only because he'd be burdened with a lifelong debt, but also due to their professional rivalry.

    "I'll find you the best experts," Jiang Yuduo assured him sincerely.

    Lu Nanqing wanted to say that no expert could cure him, since all tests indicated he was healthy, save for his consciousness being trapped within the money tree.

    This led him to inquire, "Do you know any highly respected and skilled masters, perhaps someone with supernatural abilities?"

    Jiang Yuduo's concern lessened at this suggestion, responding, "You still believe in that?"

    In his heart, Lu Nanqing replied: "I wouldn't have before, but given what's happened to me, I have no choice but to believe."

    "Let's cross this river by feeling our way through the stones. Metaphysics and science can coexist," Lu Nanqing said.

    "I don't know any masters personally, but my mom does, and they have a pretty good relationship," Jiang Yuduo explained.

    "I'll talk to her. Once your condition stabilizes, we can take you there."

    Lu Nanqing nodded, then curiously asked, "Is your family... quite superstitious?"

    He almost blurted out "superstitious," but caught himself just in time.

    "My parents are more into it. You know, people of their generation. Plus, in their business circle, no CEO is a non-believer. So, it's a combination of personal beliefs and the environment they're in," Jiang Yuduo shared.

    "My mom donated twice as much last year as all the other temple visitors combined. That's how she got to know the master," Jiang Yuduo added with a shrug.

    Lu Nanqing raised an eyebrow. Jiang Yuduo continued, "If the master can solve your issue, I guess my mom would sponsor the temple's entire year of offerings next year."

    "But it should be modern medicine that gets the credit for this," Jiang Yuduo concluded.

    Lu Nanqing acknowledged, "Indeed, there are things that medicine can't fully explain."

    "So, you're quite convinced too," Lu Nanqing observed.

    "I don't buy that for a second. I was raised under the warm spring breeze and the red flag, a model youth of our motherland, a steadfast scientific materialist, and an atheist," Jiang Yuduo declared, lifting his chin and patting his chest.

    Lu Nanqing found his earnest and resolute expression amusing. "Yet you're so superstitious about that money tree."

    "How can a money tree be superstitious? It's all about seeking good fortune!" Jiang Yuduo argued.

    "Even when I overtook your car that day, it was because I wanted to arrive first and take the lead. Who would have thought such mishaps would occur?"

    "So, it proves that the good luck you seek doesn't always come true," Lu Nanqing countered.

    Jiang Yuduo huffed. "I know what you're trying to do – divert attention from how you killed my money tree. But I've already forgiven you generously."

    Lu Nanqing shook his head, retracting his gaze. He thought to himself, No, what I mean is it's absurd to pin your hopes of wealth on a tree.

    "Hey, Lu Nanqing, what's with that expression? You should respect other people's beliefs, you know?" Jiang Yuduo said, turning back to look at him.

    Lu Nanqing nodded nonchalantly, not engaging in further argument.

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