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    Chapter 52 - Didn't Expect President Lu to Give Me So Much Face

    "Since President Lu doesn't believe in those things, why don't you let me take care of the cat at your company? After all, we're just upstairs and downstairs. If I mistreat it, you'll know right away," Jiang Yuduo suggested, his mind already plotting something mischievous.

    As soon as he finished speaking, Lu Nanqing swiftly turned back, his eyes seemingly sharp enough to slice through steel. If they possessed real killing power, Jiang Yuduo would have been done for.

    "My Little Orange can only belong to me. Don't even think about it," Lu Nanqing declared firmly.

    Don't think that by building a whole cat villa in the office or providing a miniature garden worth a five-digit sum would win over Little Orange. It wouldn't have come upstairs if it hadn't sensed his presence.

    "Well, what if it decides to look for a new owner? A wise bird chooses its tree, and cats are intelligent creatures. Clearly, it knows who's more suitable to be its sugar daddy," Jiang Yuduo said with a smile.

    He hadn't told Lu Nanqing that his cat had already betrayed him and was probably enjoying the air conditioning in his office. He wondered what expression would grace Lu Nanqing's face if he knew.

    "Cats are loyal to only one owner, unless that owner abandoned them," Lu Nanqing countered.

    "I won't argue with you. Just answer me this: what if your cat willingly follows me?" Jiang Yuduo asked.

    "If it willingly follows you, I'll let it go," Lu Nanqing replied.

    "Alright, deal's sealed. I'll take your company and your cat, both." Jiang Yuduo declared confidently, raising an eyebrow triumphantly, determined to succeed.

    Lu Nanqing merely smiled without comment, observing Jiang Yuduo's taunting behavior as if he were a mischievous middle schooler, choosing to remain composed.

    True to his word, Jiang Yuduo took a half-day leave and stayed in the hospital room until almost eleven thirty. As promised, Lu Nanqing didn't sleep during those last three hours. Before leaving, Jiang Yuduo intended to order lunch, but it was his mother who personally delivered it to the hospital.

    "Southqing, did Yuduo bother you this morning?" Jiang's mother asked with a smile.

    "Mom, do you really think your son is that annoying?" Jiang Yuduo protested.

    Jiang's mother gave him a look that conveyed her thoughts, then turned to Lu Nanqing. Lu Nanqing replied with a gentle smile, "No, Auntie Jiang. Yuduo was very quiet."

    Hearing this, Jiang Yuduo looked at him, a hint of a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. Satisfied by the answer, Jiang's mother went to serve soup for Lu Nanqing.

    "Hey, I didn't expect CEO Lu to give me so much face," Jiang Yuduo whispered, leaning close to Lu Nanqing's bedside while his mother was away.

    Lu Nanqing, not fond of such close proximity, shifted away slightly. Coldly, he said, "I was just giving Auntie Jiang face, CEO Jiang. Please don't misconstrue my intentions."

    Jiang Yuduo was left speechless.

    Mrs. Jiang, with a hearty soup in hand, warmly brought it to the bedside, setting up a table and even offering to feed him personally with a spoon.

    "Thank you, but I can manage on my own," Lu Nanqing politely declined.

    "You're like a national treasure now, I need to take good care of you," Mrs. Jiang chuckled.

    Jiang Yuduo, unable to witness this display of maternal affection, retreated to the sofa to slurp his soup quietly.

    "Mom, I'm going back to the office first," Jiang Yuduo informed her after finishing his meal. However, his mother merely waved without turning around, leaving Jiang Yuduo with a sigh of frustration.

    Ah! Now, who could tell which one of them was truly her son?

    "Little Duo, you've worked hard this morning. Take a good nap back at the office, so you'll have energy for the afternoon," Lu's mother said as she saw him off at the door.

    Touched, Jiang Yuduo hugged her and replied, "Thank you, Aunt Lu. I'm off."

    Before leaving, he glanced towards the hospital bed. Lu Nanqing, seemingly ungrateful, showed no reaction. Thus, Jiang Yuduo simply turned and left.

    On the bed, Lu Nanqing caught a glimpse of Jiang Yuduo departing and assumed he had looked at his mother last, perhaps feeling that he had taken away some of the motherly affection that belonged to him.

    Upon arriving at the office, Jiang Yuduo noticed his potted plant still looking lifeless, so he turned on his computer to search for a solution but found no definitive answer. He could only place it atop the air conditioner for now.

    Learning that their boss had returned, Little Fatty deliberately brought forward some documents that needed approval in the afternoon and asked with concern, "Boss, how's President Lu doing?"

    "You're so concerned, why don't you ask him downstairs? Zhou Yu has already been discharged from the hospital," Jiang Yuduo said while reviewing the documents.

    "How do you know Zhou Yu is out of the hospital?" Little Fatty queried softly.

    "Oh, I ran into him in the elevator," Jiang Yuduo lied without any change in expression.

    "Oh, but I think it's more convenient to just ask you directly, no need to go downstairs," Little Fatty replied.

    "Why would you ask me? I know nothing about it," Jiang Yuduo denied.

    Little Fatty thought to himself: True disappointment isn't a big argument; Boss, you're still hiding things from me!

    Not hearing a response from Little Fatty, Jiang Yuduo finally looked up at him and, with a delayed realization, chided with a smile, "You must have met Zhou Yu earlier, right?"

    "I went to the hospital this morning as you asked, and coincidentally, Zhou Yu was also leaving when I did, so we rode back together," Little Fatty said truthfully, his face devoid of emotion.

    "Then why did you deliberately ask me?" Jiang Yuduo said.

    "Luo Nanqing tells Zhou Yu everything as his assistant, but you, as my assistant, kept your relationship with Luo Nanqing a secret from me!" Little Fatty, now embodying an Oscar-worthy performance, wore a sorrowful expression.

    "I'm no longer your trusted confidant!"

    Jiang Yuduo felt the hairs on his body stand up. He waved his hand dismissively and said, "Ugh, go away, too mushy! Acting like this, what if others misunderstand my brilliant, mighty image?"

    Little Fatty chuckled and stopped his act. "Although we've suddenly become the junior partners of former enemies... I know you were forced into it. You even humbled yourself to obey your parents' orders and visit the hospital. Don't worry, as your assistant, I'll always be on your side!"

    "Partners?" Jiang Yuduo asked in confusion.

    "Yes, isn't the Jiang family negotiating business with the Lu family? So it wouldn't be appropriate for you and Luo Nanqing to have a conflict," Little Fatty explained.

    Jiang Yuduo opened his mouth, about to say that he had no idea their families were collaborating on a project. However, he changed his question at the last moment. "How did you find out?"

    "Zhou Yu told me," Little Fatty replied.

    Jiang Yuduo's eyebrows rose. He wondered if it could be that Luo Nanqing had informed Zhou Yu about the collaboration to explain why the Jiang family paid for his medical expenses.

    Well, Lu Nanqing is indeed an upright gentleman. Let's assume his character and integrity are beyond reproach.

    "Boss, is there more to the story than what Zhou Yu said?" Little Fatty asked, noticing his employer's silence.

    If he knew additional details unknown to Zhou Yu, he might be able to turn the tables.

    "There's no hidden truth; it's just as Zhou Yu described," Jiang Yuduo replied, leaning back in his chair.

    "I have indeed been visiting Lu Nanqing at the hospital these past few days, including this morning. You know me, it was out of necessity. Sigh, as the only son, I had to swallow my pride temporarily and bow to my former enemy for the greater good," Jiang Yuduo sighed.

    "A true man knows when to bend and when to stand tall. I support you, and I'll keep your secret," Little Fatty said admiringly.

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