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    Chapter 55: What's Wrong with Two Men Hugging?

    "I was being kind to apply medicine on you, and you took advantage of me?" Jiang Yuduo said with a mix of amusement and irritation.

    "It was your idea for me to do so," Lu Nanqing argued reasonably.

    Hearing this, Jiang Yuduo lost his patience. He got up, grabbed a chair nearby, and sat down, using his knee to stabilize Lu Nanqing's left lower leg.

    "Stop kicking me. I'm doing this for your own good, or else you'd be heartless," Jiang Yuduo said as he lowered his head to apply the ointment on the injured ankle.

    When the cold cream touched Lu Nanqing's skin, the man involuntarily shivered, curling his toes slightly.

    Jiang Yuduo's fingers warmed the ointment, gently massaging it into the injury with just the right pressure.

    As he worked, his gaze wandered. He thought to himself: Lu Nanqing is fair all over, despite being 6 feet tall, but he's not muscular. It's obvious he doesn't exercise regularly. I can easily hold his entire ankle in one hand.

    His eyes then shifted to the top of Lu Nanqing's foot. Jiang Yuduo glanced down at his own large, size 12 flip-flops. In comparison, the foot in his hands seemed unusually small in terms of length, width, and complexion.

    "Hmm, you wear size 43 shoes?" Jiang Yuduo asked casually.

    Lu Nanqing responded with a nonchalant hum.

    "Your legs are way too skinny and pale. How can a man be this fair?" Jiang Yuduo criticized.

    Lu Nanqing: ...

    "I prefer a bronze complexion like mine. It's the true mark of a man," Jiang Yuduo said, looking up at him and flexing his muscular bicep with his right hand.

    "I can't do anything about my skin tone. It's genetic," Lu Nanqing replied expressionlessly.

    "I'm not naturally dark either, but you clearly avoid the sun like those sheltered ladies in ancient times," Jiang Yuduo pointed out.

    "I dislike having two different shades on my body even more," Lu Nanqing countered calmly.

    Jiang Yuduo then looked down and pulled up his shorts, revealing a clear demarcation line. His arms weren't as noticeable, possibly due to regularly wearing tank tops and getting an even tan.

    "CEO Lu appears to be such a proper gentleman, yet you secretly ogle me," Jiang Yuduo teased.

    Lu Nanqing: ... As if I want to see? It's all because someone carelessly exposes themselves without realizing it, creating a visual impact equivalent to ten tons of dynamite.

    "Is there a need to snoop around for this? Isn't it common sense that anyone wearing shorts and short-sleeved shirts in summer would get tanned unevenly?" Lu Nanqing shot back sarcastically.

    "I..." Jiang Yuduo attempted to retort.

    "Besides, what could Mr. Jiang possibly have that's worth my attention? Bulky and rough, like a street thug. I must be out of my mind to intentionally torment my eyes," Lu Nanqing continued with her acerbic tongue.

    Jiang Yuduo: ...

    "People should have self-awareness," Lu Nanqing concluded with a final jab.

    Silent, Jiang Yuduo stared at the person sitting on the hospital bed. At that moment, he had an overwhelming urge to shut up Lu Nanqing's indifferent and biting mouth.

    Really, how could someone with a 37-degree heart speak with such coldness? He was just joking.

    "Alright, I'm the petty one. I admit to snooping. Please don't be angry, President Lu," Jiang Yuduo forced a smile, saying.

    He had caused her injury and now there were complications. He had to tread carefully and cater to her needs. He could endure it.

    "It's simple if you want me not to be angry. Just keep your mouth from being insolent," Lu Nanqing replied.

    Jiang Yuduo opened his mouth but didn't speak, an unprecedented occurrence as he began to ponder if the fault truly lay with him.

    Was he too impertinent? Well, perhaps a little.

    But... was he really that excessively inappropriate? Not really.

    Observing the man lost in thought once more, Lu Nanqing repeated, "May I ask if you could release my ankle now?"

    Jiang Yuduo snapped back to reality and instantly let go. Lu Nanqing pulled his foot away, covering it with a thin blanket.

    The scene resembled an unwanted advance, prompting Lu Nanqing to retreat hastily. Jiang Yuduo stared, feeling as if his mind was malfunctioning.

    "No, please don't misunderstand. I genuinely just wanted to apply medicine. We're both men, so what could there be between us? Is there a need for such awkwardness and dishonesty?" Jiang Yuduo decided it was crucial to clarify the situation.

    Lu Nanqing looked at him coldly and replied, "Firstly, I'm not accustomed to physical contact with others, regardless of who it is, not just with you, President Jiang. Secondly, have you reflected on your actions from yesterday till today? Are they really appropriate?"

    Jiang Yuduo looked at him blankly, clearly unaware of any issues with his behavior.

    "Even though you're a man, imagine being carried horizontally, having your waist squeezed, being pressed onto a bed with someone touching your waist, holding your ankle while examining your feet, and making all sorts of critical remarks," Lu Nanqing said icily.

    Jiang Yuduo understood, speaking frankly, "What's the big deal with two men hugging? Besides, you're injured. In school, when I hurt my foot playing basketball, nobody carried me before?"

    Lu Nanqing looked at his earnest expression and asked in disbelief, "That was carrying, how is it the same as hugging?"

    "Because they couldn't carry me," Jiang Yuduo said matter-of-factly.

    Lu Nanqing: ...

    Suddenly, Jiang Yuduo seemed to realize something and asked with amusement, "Hey, Mr. Lu, have you never lived in a dormitory? Never soaked in hot springs with your buddies?"

    Silent for a few seconds, Lu Nanqing shook his head.

    "How did you manage school then? No experience with group living?" Jiang Yuduo inquired.

    "I've always had a driver since kindergarten, even for naps, and I've never lived in a dorm," Lu Nanqing replied.

    Jiang Yuduo thought, that explained it, and said, "So you've always been a day student, huh? Quite the typical wealthy family's son."

    "Day student?" Lu Nanqing was slightly puzzled but managed to grasp the general meaning, responding,

    "No dormitory buildings—my education has always been in elite schools since I was young," Jiang Yuduo explained.

    Jiang Yuduo: ...Alright then.

    "The Young Master is accustomed to solitude and high society. My ignorance has offended you." Finding the reason, Jiang Yuduo sincerely apologized.

    Lu Nanqing was surprised by his quick change of attitude, then heard him continue, "I shouldn't have carried you to the restroom without your permission, nor should I have touched your buttocks or waist. I won't do it again."

    "Not only will you not do it, but you also mustn't mention it again," Lu Nanqing added.

    Jiang Yuduo nodded eagerly.

    He understood that the Young Master valued his dignity.

    "You had quite an eventful school life. Shouldn't yours have been similar to mine?" After apologizing, Lu Nanqing wasn't petty enough to dwell on the matter and changed the subject.

    "How could they be the same? You're a genuine aristocrat from a hundred-year-old family, while I'm just a nouveau riche second-generation heir. When I was young, my family was even quite poor. I used to run around causing trouble with other kids every day," Jiang Yuduo said casually, leaning back in his chair.

    Lu Nanqing's curiosity piqued. He knew the Jiang family was a prominent figure in Zhou City, but he hadn't expected their rise to fame to be so recent.

    Perhaps sensing the curiosity in his gaze, Jiang Yuduo continued, "Initially, my family was no different from those other ordinary households. Everything changed when our village was acquired for redevelopment."

    "At that time, everyone in the village received compensation, but my parents were the ones who wisely invested it, particularly in land and real estate. The era was marked by rapid development, and the property market boomed accordingly."

    "The rest, as they say, is history. Their investments multiplied exponentially, leading to the Jiang family we have today."

    Lu Nanqing commented, "Uncle and Aunt indeed had a keen eye for opportunity."

    In the early stages of development, their ability to seize the potential of the real estate sector showcased their entrepreneurial prowess.

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