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    Chapter 57 - My Tree Has Become Sentient?

    Despite Lu Nanqing's claim that there was nothing wrong with his body and the numerous doctor visits that yielded no results, Lu's parents could only be partly reassured while remaining anxious, feeling that something was still amiss.

    "Southqing, you should return to Hainan City and see other doctors," Lu's mother suggested.

    Lu Nanqing shook his head. "It won't make a difference; experts have already come from Beijing."

    To put his parents at ease, Lu Nanqing got out of bed and walked a few steps. Though he still felt weak, his gait was steady.

    "Mom, Dad, you can go back now. Your work has been affected by this delay," Lu Nanqing said.

    "Duty is secondary; your safety comes first," Lu's father replied, his furrowed brows indicating he was still worried.

    Jiang Yuduo, who had been silent all this while, found their family dynamics amusing. Soon, Jiang's mother arrived, and the three adults left the room.

    "Hey, CEO Lu, were you adopted?" Jiang Yuduo pulled up a chair, sat backward on it with his arms crossed over the backrest, and asked playfully once they were alone.

    Lu Nanqing returned to the bedside and looked at Jiang Yuduo quizzically. However, Jiang seemed genuinely curious, so Lu answered, "I'm not adopted. I'm their biological son."

    "It doesn't seem like it. I feel like you treat your parents more like distant relatives," Jiang Yuduo mused.

    Lu Nanqing: ...

    "Out of the hundreds of millions of people in this country and countless families, do they all have to interact in the same way?" Lu Nanqing asked sarcastically.

    Jiang Yuduo found some merit in his argument but still persisted, "But it's not like it has to be that extreme..."

    Lu Nanqing, knowing what he was going to say, interrupted him, "I grew up with my grandfather since I was young. My parents were preoccupied with their work."

    "Oh, I see." Jiang Yuduo immediately responded with understanding, inwardly thinking,

    So he's a 'left-behind child.' No wonder he has such an aloof personality.

    Seeing that Jiang Yuduo didn't press further, Lu Nanqing leaned against the headboard, opened his phone, and began to deal with some simple work tasks. There was no inherent reason for his personality; it was simply innate. But explaining that to someone with Jiang Yuduo's mindset would be futile, so if he wanted a reason, he'd give him one.

    "As Aunt Jiang mentioned, when will Master have time available?" Lu Nanqing asked while typing away on his phone.

    "Why are you in such a hurry?" Jiang Yuduo queried.

    "Indeed, let's do it as soon as possible. I don't like dragging things out," Lu Nanqing said. It felt like a sword was hanging over his head otherwise, and his parents couldn't relax either.

    "Sounds like you're ready to go right now. My mom's already involved; the master will always have time for us," Jiang Yuduo huffed.

    Lu Nanqing turned to look at him. "Then let's make it this afternoon."

    Jiang Yuduo was taken aback. He studied Lu Nanqing's serious expression and shook his head. "No way. Even if you want to, I can't let you go."

    Lu Nanqing wore a puzzled look.

    "I'm really fine now," Lu Nanqing insisted.

    Jiang Yuduo wasn't convinced. "Your face is as pale as a ghost, and you'll fall over with a gentle breeze. If I take you out now, my mom will skin me alive."

    Lu Nanqing: ...

    He rubbed his forehead, pondering how to convince Jiang Yuduo to let him see the master sooner. But knowing it would be futile, he could only eat more of the special nutrient meals Jiang's mother prepared, and then act as if he were completely healthy when working, walking, and doing everything else.

    Jiang Yuduo requested another morning off, and Little Fatty didn't even need to inquire about the reason. Zhou Yu paid a visit to the hospital, bringing his boss a work laptop.

    That morning, Father and Mother Lu, Mother Jiang, Jiang Yuduo, Father Jiang who arrived later and left, and several shifts of doctors all stood by the sofa, observing the person on the bed typing quietly on the computer with varied expressions.

    Father and Mother Lu and others: He looks completely normal.

    Doctors: A medical enigma. The patient can be discharged now, yet why does he still slip into unconsciousness at night?

    After multiple rounds of examination, Jiang Yuduo even felt that Lu Nanqing might not be ill at all, though his complexion was indeed poor. It was when he came to the hospital early in the evening that Lu Nanqing proposed his suggestion again.

    "I want to meet the master tomorrow morning," Lu Nanqing said.

    "You..." Jiang Yuduo started, but Lu Nanqing promptly continued:

    "I'm mobile, and there's a sightseeing bus to take us up the mountain, so I won't have to walk."

    "But you..." Jiang Yuduo opened his mouth.

    "If anything goes wrong, I'll take full responsibility. I'll inform Auntie Jiang and my parents beforehand," Lu Nanqing ensured, leaving no loose ends.

    Jiang Yuduo observed him in silence, eventually seeking the consent of the three elders. They all agreed to visit the temple the following day.

    Of course, Lu's parents were typical modern scientifists, not believing in such matters. However, they couldn't deny their son's sudden "superstition," so they treated it as a sightseeing trip to help him relax.

    Jiang Yuduo didn't rush to leave. He insisted on observing if Lu Nanqing would lapse into unconsciousness again that night. Others were present, including the doctor.

    Feeling like a monkey on display, Lu Nanqing was helpless. He had prepared an excuse beforehand and lay down before the dizziness struck. He declared, "I'm very tired. I'm going to sleep first."

    Jiang Yuduo glanced at his phone for the time and then outside at the sky. Standing by the bedside, he gently shook Lu Nanqing after hearing his words, calling out, "Lu Nanqing, Lu Nanqing?"

    No response.

    Turning to the doctor, Jiang Yuduo asked, "Doctor, is this sleeping? It seems more like a coma, doesn't it? Who could fall asleep so early and instantly?"

    Everyone else was skeptical too. The doctor conducted a check, reaching the same conclusion, "Mr. Lu's brain has entered a state of sleep. There are no abnormalities."

    With no other options, the adults stood by the bed. Jiang Yuduo proposed, "Uncle and Aunt, I'll take the night shift tonight. I'll set the alarm for 5 AM tomorrow morning."

    If Lu Nanqing woke up without issues the next day, it would signify that everything was truly fine. However, the unexplained periodic unconsciousness needed further investigation.

    Consciousness returned to the tree, and Lu Nanqing rustled its leaves, gazing at the familiar environment within the car's passenger seat.

    Jiang Yuduo was absent, likely still in the hospital room. Tomorrow, he would meet the Master again, but he wondered if there was any solution to his predicament.

    In this half-awake, half-asleep state within the tree, time passed indeterminately. He felt a slight "thirst." Jiang Yuduo had watered him around two o'clock in the afternoon, but the small pot didn't hold much water. Besides, with the tree looking wilted, Jiang Yuduo dared not overwater it, opting for small quantities more frequently.

    Lu Nanqing now understood the phrase "drought kills the drought-resistant, and flood drowns the flood-resistant." Before, he was drowned; now, he was being dried out.

    Scanning his surroundings for a water source, he discovered one right beneath the seat - both nutrient solution and plain water were available. All he needed was to reach it.

    The potted plant was securely fastened by the seatbelt. Lu Nanqing struggled to "extend" towards it but failed. This wouldn't work; the distance was too great. An idea then struck his mind:

    Why not simply pull out my roots and jump down? I've never tried it before, but let's give it a shot.

    Focusing intently on the water source, he mentally rehearsed his plan several times. Indeed, the tree responded to his will, its roots gradually detaching from the pot.

    This control instilled hope in Lu Nanqing, stirring excitement within him. So engrossed was he that he neglected to guard against the outside environment once more. Unbeknownst to him, a figure stood silently outside the car, fixated upon him.


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