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    Chapter 64: Two Masters?

    They had lunch at a mountain-side restaurant known for its wild seasonal vegetables, which added a unique flavor to the meal. As usual, Lu Nanqing was treated like a "precious body," with Jiang's mother paying attention to every detail, even neglecting her own son. It was evident how much she doted on him.

    After lunch, they returned to the city. Lu's parents took Lu Nanqing to the hospital, mentioning that there were two more examinations scheduled for the afternoon. Lu Nanqing knew that his parents wouldn't believe in the master right away, so he could only wait and see how things unfolded tonight.

    It being the weekend, Jiang Yuduo didn't have to work. He had spent the whole morning on the mountain but hadn't forgotten about his "new discovery" from the previous night.

    His potted plant was still in the passenger seat of his car, untouched. After watering it, he drove back to his office at the company.

    In the hospital bed, Lu Nanqing tapped on his tablet computer, wearing a string of Buddhist beads on his left hand, cool and translucent. With his heightened senses, he could roughly guess where Jiang Yuduo had gone.

    It was Saturday, yet Jiang Yuduo had returned to work. His dedication to his job seemed uncharacteristic of the person he knew.

    However, judging by the lack of computer sounds, it was clear that Jiang wasn't actually working. Instead, he heard a cat meowing – it was Little Orange.

    "You're still the obedient one. You let me pet you just for some food, unlike your heartless owner who treats you so well but never gets a word of gratitude."

    Lu Nanqing: ...

    "Stay still, I'm checking the surveillance footage."

    Lu Nanqing: ?

    Without the sound of typing, only occasional mouse clicks could be heard. Lu Nanqing was unsure what Jiang Yuduo was investigating. The potted plant was initially placed on the side of the desk but was soon moved back, followed by a sudden pause in the keystrokes.

    Indeed, Jiang Yuduo was up to his mischievous habits again. Instead of stroking the cat in his arms, he was plucking at the leaves of the plant.

    The sensation of fingertips grazing the leaf edges reached Lu Nanqing's body, causing him to subconsciously pinch his earlobe, feeling a tickle that spread to other parts of his body. This made his mother, who had just entered, believe something was amiss.

    "South Qing, are you unwell?" Lu's mother asked with concern.

    "I'm fine," Lu Nanqing replied calmly, trying to hide his discomfort as if ants were crawling across his back or a faint electric current was pulsing through him.

    "You go about your business, Mom. I'm okay," Lu Nanqing added, barely holding it together.

    His mother then retreated to the sofa, leaving him undisturbed, and Lu Nanqing sighed in slight relief, striving to suppress the peculiar, prickling, and indescribable sensation.

    Each day is unbearable, he rubbed the Buddhist beads on his left hand with his right, seeking solace and praying that Jiang Yuduo would spare Ye Zi. Closing his eyes quietly, he hoped for peace.

    In another part of the building, in the office.

    Jiang Yuduo was also getting dizzy from watching the surveillance footage. He wanted to fast-forward but feared missing something crucial. If he asked for help, he might expose the secret of his "potted plant." Ultimately, he had to do it himself.

    The potted plant was now nestled in his arms, as he discovered that the cat and the tree couldn't coexist peacefully. The chubby orange tabby kept trying to climb his money tree, so he held the plant protectively, allowing the cat to sprawl on the desk.

    For two or three hours, he watched the footage, dozing off occasionally. Unnoticed, the little orange cat had jumped onto his lap, curling around the pot in a circle, pretending to sleep.

    Jiang Yuduo resisted the urge to move. Surprisingly, there was a moment of harmony, with the cat not causing any trouble.

    Just as he intended to turn off the surveillance for the night and review it later, the screen showed the cat sneaking into his office. Glancing at the fat orange tabby on his lap, he decided to watch the rest of the clip.

    He had never pondered why the downstairs cat would suddenly venture upstairs. As he watched, he noticed something odd – the cat seemed to be targeting his tree.

    On its first intrusion, the cat's objective was clear: it leaped onto his desk and began rubbing against the potted plant, causing the leaves to sway uncontrollably.

    In the following scene, where the cat was chased away, Jiang Yuduo sped up the playback, reaching the second incident. Fully alert, he sat upright, staring intently at the screen. While he was away from his office, the atmosphere on his desk had transformed into...

    Trees petting a cat? ??

    Indeed, he wasn't mistaken. While the first instance of swaying leaves could have been brushed off as the cat's doing, this time he saw it clearly—the leaves had initiated the movement!

    He must be seeing ghosts in broad daylight!

    Jiang Yuduo glanced out the window, where the sun was still high, then at the cat sprawled across his chest, sound asleep.

    Fixing his gaze on his potted plant, he hesitated for a long while before cautiously poking it with his finger.

    "Hey, if you're not human, move a bit; if you are, make a sound," Jiang Yuduo muttered almost involuntarily.

    In the adjacent hospital room, Lu Nanqing assumed he was addressing the little orange cat and believed Jiang Yuduo was experiencing another episode of "illness." How could a cat respond to him?

    Receiving no response, Jiang Yuduo continued to gently prod the tree. It remained motionless, like a lifeless object.

    Recalling what he had witnessed last night from the car and the clear evidence from the surveillance footage, Jiang Yuduo refused to believe his eyes. He picked up the potted plant and scrutinized it from every angle, leaving no blind spot.

    Unable to detect anything unusual, it was as if Jiang Yuduo had just caught the enchanted tree in the act, otherwise, he wouldn't have taken so many days to notice.

    In the hospital at that time, with his head spinning from the motion, Lu Nanqing had no choice but to shut down his computer, leaning on his forehead for support, trying to maintain his thoughts.

    This situation couldn't continue. He needed to find a way to "steal" the potted plant. But how?

    Relying on Little Orange wouldn't work; as a cat, it could only gain entry but couldn't take any action. It would still require teamwork.

    Considering this, Lu Nanqing felt the need to return to the company as soon as possible. As long as he could resist sleep tonight, he could be discharged tomorrow.

    At the company, Jiang Yuduo was so fixated on his money tree that he didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. He concluded that if his tree had truly become sentient, it must have an incredibly thick skin, otherwise, why wouldn't it show any reaction even when stared at directly?

    "I've already discovered your little secret. Quickly, tell me, why did you come to my side?"

    "Is it because you saw that I'm handsome and wealthy, wanting to repay me?"

    "Hey, I won't hurt you. Just show yourself!"

    Lu Nanqing listened to Jiang Yuduo's intermittent, delusional, and eccentric monologue with a cold smile in his heart:

    Not even a hundred psychiatrists could save your brain now.

    Who among ordinary people would lecture a cat incessantly? Even if one were to talk to it, they wouldn't ramble on like that, imagining the cat transforming into a human, a feline maiden returning a favor?

    Lu Nanqing's expression remained stoic, but alas, his little orange was a male, even a castrated one.

    Jiang Yuduo didn't receive a response and ended up waking the cat. On a whim, he conducted an experiment, placing the cat's favorite cat treats beside a potted plant to see which one it would choose.

    With a mix of anticipation, he observed the cat approach the treat, only to veer toward the potted plant. Undeterred, he persisted in his enticement.

    "Come on, chubby tabby, dig in!" Jiang Yuduo coaxed, playfully nudging the potted plant aside.

    In the end, after a strenuous struggle, Little Orange relinquished its favorite cat treat and darted straight towards the potted plant, rubbing its head affectionately against it.

    Jiang Yuduo, witnessing this scene: !!!

    Could the allure of cat treats not even rival that of a tree? Is this a degradation of feline virtue or a loss of cat nature?

    What, then, is the true nature of this tree? Why does the plump tangerine have such a special affection for it?

    When the little orange cat finally mustered the courage to leave the cat treats behind and rush to its "owner," the owner was unexpectedly taken away.

    Jiang Yuduo hugged the tree and took a few deep breaths, muttering, "Not catnip, huh?"

    This annoyed the orange cat, which then launched a flurry of meow punches at him. Eventually, Jiang Yuduo had no choice but to give it the cat treats while stubbornly holding onto the tree.

    "Peculiar, peculiar..." Jiang Yuduo stood up, still talking to himself while cradling the tree. With the cat treats in its possession, Little Orange temporarily ceased its assault.

    There must be some connection, he thought. Otherwise, why would his tree attract the downstairs cat? He had long known that the cat had a bad temper – during their first "encounter," he'd been stepped on and blamed for it. Now, as he recalled that incident, he realized he had been carrying this very potted plant back then.

    Unable to fathom the reason behind it all, he reminded himself that he was just an ordinary human. He'd have to check the surveillance footage later that night.

    "I'm leaving now. Do you want to stay in my office or go back?" Jiang Yuduo asked the cat.

    Although nobody was working downstairs, there was a small door specifically for the cat. The feline was intelligent and wouldn't wander outside its territory; it had a strong sense of ownership.

    Seeing that Jiang Yuduo was about to leave with "its owner," Little Orange abandoned its treats. It followed Jiang Yuduo out but hesitated at the seventh floor, circling around his legs.

    "You really are..." Jiang Yuduo said, feeling helpless yet amused. Then, an idea struck him. "Do you want to see your owner? I'll take you, but you can't cause any trouble."

    Oranges didn't understand, but it followed Jiang Yuduo upstairs obediently and even nestled into its cat carrier.

    Carrying the cat, Jiang Yuduo joked as he descended the stairs, "You're not afraid that I'll sell you to a cat meat restaurant, huh?"

    In the hospital, Lu Nanqing thought, If you dare, I'll sell you to Thailand to become a ladyboy. (Menacing gaze)

    Inside the car, to prevent the cat from panicking and meowing, Jiang Yuduo placed the potted plant on the back seat so the cat could see it. As expected, the journey was peaceful.

    Upon arriving at the hospital parking lot, cats weren't allowed inside, so Jiang Yuduo intended to call Lu Nanqing down. However, he realized he didn't have the man's contact information. He could have asked for it indirectly, but he didn't want to.

    Why should I take the initiative to add Lu Nanqing? Shouldn't he be the one eagerly seeking to add me? (Stubborn and reluctant masculinity)

    Before he could press the elevator button, the doors suddenly opened, and the person inside startled him.

    "Lu Nanqing?" Jiang Yuduo asked, taken aback.

    "Mm-hmm, what are you doing here?" Lu Nanqing replied with a perfectly puzzled expression.

    "Shouldn't I be the one asking you that? Why aren't you staying in your room?" Jiang Yuduo countered.

    "I feel like taking a stroll downstairs on the first floor." Lu Nanqing concealed any sign of his intentions.

    "But this is the basement level," Jiang Yuduo pointed out.

    "Oh? Is that so? Maybe someone else who was with me pressed the button for this floor." Exiting the elevator, Lu Nanqing looked around.

    Jiang Yuduo found it quite coincidental and didn't bother to ponder over the intricacies. He said, "I was actually looking for you. Guess what I've brought for you?"

    Although he knew what it was, Lu Nanqing still shook his head.

    "Go check in the car if you want to know~" Jiang Yuduo humphed, rather pleased with himself.

    Taking a step forward, Lu Nanqing's lips curled up slightly out of Jiang Yuduo's sight.

    In the Land Rover, in the backseat.

    When Jiang Yuduo opened the car door, he saw Little Orange had somehow "escaped" from its prison. The cat bag's zipper had been pushed open from the inside, and the cat was rubbing against the money tree, inhaling its scent.

    "Orange?" Lu Nanqing called softly.

    The cat, startled by its master's voice, trembled in surprise, then turned its head to look, its feline face utterly bewildered.

    What was going on? Two masters?!


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