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    Chapter 63 - Can Trees Become Enchanted?

    Jiang Yuduo justified himself, "Who could have predicted the misunderstanding caused by the Buddha beads?"

    "Anyway, a string of Buddha beads doesn't signify anything," Lu Nanqing commented, then asked, "Did the master say something else earlier?"

    Otherwise, Jiang Yuduo wouldn't have reacted so abruptly.

    Jiang Yuduo looked at the master, but the latter remained silent. He could tell that the monk was doing it on purpose. Folding his hands in prayer, he asked, "Master, has your conversation with him concluded?"

    The master nodded.

    "So, what's the outcome?" Jiang Yuduo pressed.

    "The condition has eased," the master replied.

    "How so? Will Lu Nanqing still pass out at a specific time?" Jiang Yuduo frowned and asked.

    "Young Master Lu is already in good health. Now, all we need is time," the master said.

    Jiang Yuduo sensed there was something off about the monk's words. If he was already healthy, why the need to wait? What would happen when the time came?

    "Master..." Jiang Yuduo was about to press for more answers when knocks on the courtyard door interrupted them. His parents had finally arrived.

    With adults present, Jiang Yuduo stepped aside, letting them take the lead in asking the questions he himself had asked. The master's responses remained the same.

    Tugging at Lu Nanqing's sleeve, Jiang Yuduo whispered, "Hey, what's so secretive that I can't hear? Why are you avoiding me?"

    "Curiosity killed the cat, and you've already got your answer," Lu Nanqing replied, pulling back his sleeve.

    "But this isn't some top-secret matter. Why won't you let me in?" Jiang Yuduo was perplexed.

    Lu Nanqing remained silent. Jiang Yuduo continued, "No, wait, something feels off. Are you two hiding something from me?"

    "Hey, Lu Nanqing, Lu—" Jiang Yuduo persisted, but Lu Nanqing, growing annoyed, turned away. As he did, he noticed a towering ginkgo tree.

    Its branches spread wide, forming a grand canopy. Drawn to it, he picked up a freshly fallen leaf from the ground.

    It looked familiar, reminding him of the leaves Jiang Yuduo had once brought home and randomly planted in his flower pot. If these were those leaves... could they be the reason he returned to his human form? How should he ask about it?

    "You..." Lu Nanqing turned around, only to bump into Jiang Yuduo. Stepping back, he asked,

    "Why are you so close to me?"

    "This road is only for you, Mr. Lu?" Jiang Yuduo huffed. "It was you who weren't watching where you were going and bumped into me."

    Lu Nanqing: ...

    I didn't feel like engaging in a meaningless debate with this person.

    "Quickly, tell me, what did you two discuss behind my back?" Jiang Yuduo asked again.

    "Liu, since it was behind your back, how could we possibly tell you?" Lu Nanqing bent down to pick up another leaf, casually responding.

    Upon hearing this, Jiang Yuduo thought to himself, Ah, so there must be some secret going on!

    "I was the one who facilitated your connection, you know," Jiang Yuduo said, "It's not very considerate of you."

    " Aunt Jiang was the one who played matchmaker," Lu Nanqing argued, "She's her, and you're you."

    "It's my mom!" Jiang Yuduo protested.

    "Sure, but even Auntie Jiang wouldn't force me," Lu Nanqing replied.

    Jiang Yuduo was silenced. He wanted to continue the conversation, but Lu Nanqing had already changed the subject. "When was the first time you came here to see the Master while I was unconscious?"

    "It must have been the 23rd," Jiang Yuduo recalled. "Zhou Yu was discharged from the hospital, but you were still in a coma. Mom brought me here."

    "Coincidentally, you woke up that night, though you fell back into a coma later on."

    Lu Nanqing understood now; everything was crystal clear. The ginkgo leaves Jiang Yuduo had brought him were from this very place. He sighed with admiration. "The Master truly is a divine figure."

    "Divine or not, it depends on whether you'll slip back into a coma," Jiang Yuduo said.

    Not anymore, Lu Nanqing thought, looking at the beads on his wrist.

    "Help me gather some leaves," Lu Nanqing instructed.

    "Why should I?" Jiang Yuduo shot back.

    "Didn't you say you were good at it?" Lu Nanqing remarked.

    "Who said I was good..." Jiang Yuduo started, but before he could finish, Lu Nanqing continued:

    "The last time you visited, the master mentioned that you also took some leaves home."

    Well, that was true. So, Jiang Yuduo bent down to join in the picking, inwardly grumbling about how detailed the master's account of their visit had been to Lu Nanqing.

    Their parents seemed to engage in a much longer conversation with the master. By the time the two boys had filled their pockets with leaves, the adults were still talking.

    After repeatedly ensuring that Lu Nanqing was indeed unharmed, the four of them stood up, though their expressions remained tense, as they hadn't witnessed any immediate "results." The master, however, wasn't bothered and simply reassured them.

    "Little Friend Lu is always welcome to drop by," the master smiled at Lu Nanqing.

    "Thank you, Master. I will," replied Lu Nanqing.

    "I'll come with you," Jiang Yuduo chimed in simultaneously. What if Lu Nanqing got tricked into becoming a monk if he came alone?

    The master's smile didn't fade as he watched the pair. As Lu Nanqing followed his parents out, Jiang Yuduo lingered and whispered, "Master, did you tell Lu Nanqing something else that I don't know about?"

    "The answer to that lies with him," the Master chuckled.

    "I can't get it out of him, that's why I'm asking you," Jiang Yuduo said.

    "Apologies, but I cannot disclose it due to privacy concerns," the Master declined.

    Jiang Yuduo was about to ask his mother for help, but she was already urging him to leave, saying they shouldn't disturb the Master's rest.

    "Then just one question," Jiang Yuduo said. "Do you believe... um, that trees can become spirits?"

    "What nonsense about trees turning into spirits? You're losing your mind!" Jiang's mother turned back, dragging her delinquent son away while apologizing to the Master.

    Jiang Yuduo, with his ears being pulled and face contorted in pain, glanced back at the Master. The Master's smile remained, but it now held a hint of profundity.

    Outside the courtyard, Lu Nanqing and the others waited for Jiang's mother and Jiang Yuduo to exit. They wandered around the temple grounds, with the adults leading the way and the two younger ones trailing behind.

    "Master already told me your not-so-secret secret," Jiang Yuduo whispered to Lu Nanqing.

    As expected, Lu Nanqing turned to look at him but, instead of a straightforward response, he countered, "Is that so? Then what exactly do you know?"

    "It's something I shouldn't hear," Jiang Yuduo said. "It concerns me."

    He was forcefully linking himself to the matter.

    Lu Nanqing remained silent, continuing to wait patiently.

    "I also respect you thoroughly. Don't worry, even though I know, I won't speak of it," Jiang Yuduo declared with a sense of loyalty.

    Upon hearing this nonsense, Lu Nanqing knew that Jiang Yuduo was trying to bluff him. He replied calmly, "Then brace yourself for what's coming."

    Jiang Yuduo: "Huh?"

    "When I asked the master when we could acquire Phoenix Tech, he said it's just around the corner," Lu Nanqing said, turning his head to look at Jiang Yuduo with a mischievous smile.

    Jiang Yuduo: Damn...

    They were actually discussing this? No wonder he wasn't allowed to listen.

    Lu Nanqing was being overly spiteful, retaliating in such a way and even seeking advice from the master about the timing!

    "Come if you dare," Jiang Yuduo taunted, striding forward with a cold smile. "I'll show you the power of science over superstition."

    What a joke, did he think Lu Nanqing could bring him down? Let's not forget, he had the influence to hike rents and make it impossible for Lu Nanqing to survive in Zhou City!

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