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    Chapter 72: He Blows Air at Me!

    Lu Nanqing replied calmly, "You're dressed in a suit; what else could it be but a blind date?"

    "Hey, what if this is a business dinner?" Jiang Yuduo retorted unhappily.

    Lu Nanqing shot back, "If it's a business dinner, would you have the nerve to corner me right at the beginning? Don't you worry about the other party thinking you're impulsive?"

    "That's... because I had ample time!" Jiang Yuduo argued, sticking out his neck.

    "And why would I be obstructing you? It's just a simple greeting when we meet. Yet, you claim not to know me," Jiang Yuduo retorted indignantly. "You ungrateful wolf, with a heart of a dog."

    Lu Nanqing: ...

    Neither of them moved, so they remained quite close. Lu Nanqing looked into Jiang Yuduo's eyes, who met his gaze steadily, his focus unwavering.

    Suddenly, Jiang Yuduo noticed Lu Nanqing reaching out. Still, he stood firm, until Lu Nanqing's hand drew near. He wondered, Is Lu Nanqing going to touch my face?

    But the hand didn't reach his cheek; it stopped near his neck. In the next moment, Jiang Yuduo felt his collar being pulled outward.

    "Your collar's crooked, and there are wrinkles on your suit. Given how disheveled you are, it's quite remarkable that the girl managed to finish the meal with you," Lu Nanqing remarked as he retracted his hand, finally appeased by the neatness.

    Jiang Yuduo rubbed the collar that had been adjusted, and had to admit it felt better.

    "Ignoring my appearance only applies to the unattractive. For me, being handsome is enough," Jiang Yuduo said nonchalantly, radiating self-assurance.

    Lu Nanqing's eyebrows rose, and he chuckled lightly. "President Jiang's self-confidence is truly unparalleled."

    Jiang Yuduo knew Lu Nanqing was teasing him, but having grown used to it, his skin had thickened, and he didn't mind anymore.

    "You still haven't explained how you knew I was here for a blind date," Jiang Yuduo pointed out.

    "Because I'm clever," Lu Nanqing replied simply.

    Jiang Yuduo: ... "Alright, you got me there."

    "Hey, what did that guy mean when he said you're in the same circle as him?" Jiang Yuduo asked, recalling something.

    Lu Nanqing pursed his lips. "Eavesdropping isn't a gentlemanly act."

    "I'm no gentleman, but you, Mr. Lu, are. Didn't I tell you before? My ancestors were bandits," Jiang Yuduo said.

    Lu Nanqing: ...

    "What else did you hear?" Lu Nanqing asked him.

    "Just stuff about being in the same category, belonging to certain circles, and being a 'tiancai'," Jiang Yuduo recalled.

    Lu Nanqing: Huh, you eavesdropped quite a bit.

    "What's a 'tiancai'?" Jiang Yuduo asked sincerely.

    "It's an insult. It means someone is naturally terrible at something," Lu Nanqing replied with a straight face, not thinking that Jiang Yuduo would doubt him due to his simplicity and low intelligence.

    "Oh? That Chen guy was insulting people?" Jiang Yuduo indeed believed it and continued, "This person is two-faced. He'd curse at you one moment and call you a friend the next. Shameless."

    Lu Nanqing couldn't help but chuckle, a faint smile tugging at the corners of his lips.

    This smile momentarily dazzled and disoriented Jiang Yuduo. He knew Lu Nanqing was handsome, but his handsomeness was different from his own; he had a feminine charm, especially when seen up close. Jiang Yuduo even found himself thinking:

    Damn it, if Lu Nanqing were a woman, I'd be captivated.

    Due to their proximity, Jiang Yuduo caught the faint scent of alcohol on the breeze as he, without breaking eye contact, asked instinctively, "Did you drink?"

    "Mm-hmm, just a little," Lu Nanqing replied.

    Finished speaking, he gazed at the bewildered Jiang Yuduo and gradually leaned in closer.

    Jiang Yuduo, whose eyes had been locked on him, now froze entirely. His expression immobilized, his heartbeat slowed, wary of being detected.

    What is Lu Nanqing up to? Is he going to pull my collar again? Why not just reach out? Why is he leaning in?

    Questions raced through his mind like a carousel, but he couldn't tear his gaze away, simply waiting for what was to come.

    As Lu Nanqing drew near, their foreheads almost touching, Jiang Yuduo felt a gentle breath against his ear.

    In that instant, a tingling sensation spread from his ear across his entire body, akin to an electric current sending shivers down his spine. His hair stood on end, and blood rushed to his head, leaving him hot and dazed.

    "Does it smell strongly of alcohol?" Lu Nanqing inquired.

    Is it strong? Jiang Yuduo thought to himself, barely able to detect the scent anymore. All he could smell was a faint trace of perfume from the other person, not his familiar lavender scent. What had they switched to now?

    He needed to respond to Lu Nanqing's words, to speak them aloud, but for some inexplicable reason, his throat clenched, as if under a spell. His heartbeat accelerated uncontrollably, racing like a speeding car.

    "Bam, bam, bam" - Jiang Yuduo could hear his own heart thudding loudly, yet his body refused to obey his brain's commands, even his eyes seemed frozen in place.

    Lu Nanqing seemed to sense Jiang Yuduo's stunned state and let out a soft laugh. The sound echoed clearly in Jiang Yuduo's ears, turning his surroundings into an illusionary mirage.

    What is Lu Nanqing doing? He's so close to me...and he's...breathing on me!

    But how alluring, what kind of perfume is Lu Nanqing wearing? Could it be numbing his senses? Otherwise, why did he feel a tingling, itching sensation, as if losing all feeling in his body?

    Trapped in this surreal limbo, Jiang Yuduo stood rooted to the spot, his only reminder of life being the rapid pounding of his heart.

    Completely unresponsive, his gaze fixated, it wasn't until he belatedly realized that something was taken from his left hand.

    Lu Nanqing's arm deftly reached around, securing the potted plant. Jiang Yuduo's vision finally refocused, only to see his beloved money tree being stolen.

    "! You actually stole my tree!" Jiang Yuduo snapped back to reality, stepping backward in disbelief.

    This fellow Lu Nanqing... How despicable, to actually use a beauty trap!

    But wait, wasn't he a guy? Why would he fall for it?

    Lost in thought, Jiang Yuduo was still pondering over the theft of the money tree, an enormous issue, yet he didn't immediately think of snatching it back.

    "Let me clarify, since I'm doing this in front of you, it's not stealing," Lu Nanqing said, looking at the potted plant.

    "You clearly didn't object, so I took it as your consent, a gift for me," he mimicked Jiang Yuduo's "bandit-like behavior," seizing it without hesitation.

    "No," Jiang Yuduo replied. "If you want something else, I can buy it for you, but not this pot."

    Fortunately, his rationality still held ground, preventing him from being "bewitched by desire," reminding him that the money tree couldn't be given away.

    "Really not allowed?" Lu Nanqing looked straight into Jiang Yuduo's eyes, tilting his head slightly, his gaze and expression radiating innocence and purity.

    Jiang Yuduo felt himself sinking again into that "illusion," taking a deep breath inwardly to force himself to turn away before he was completely captivated. His voice stiffened as he struggled to articulate, "N-No... Not allowed..."

    "But Orange really likes it, and so do I," Lu Nanqing continued.

    "I'll buy you ten, no, a hundred of them," Jiang Yuduo offered.

    "But what if I really want this one?" Lu Nanqing raised an eyebrow playfully.

    Jiang Yuduo attempted to turn his head away but halted mid-motion, persisting, "I...".

    "Is that not possible?"

    "I'll take great care of it."

    "I truly adore this pot, nothing else can replace it."

    Lu Nanqing's successive queries left Jiang Yuduo stumped, repeating "I" without a conclusion. Eventually, he wasn't even sure if he had agreed or not – the potted plant was already in Lu Nanqing's hands.


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