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    Chapter 80: A Wife's Duty

    Back in his office, Lu Nanqing opened the lunchbox to reveal three dishes and a soup – a lavish spread. Just as he was about to dig in, his phone lit up.

    Universe's Most Explosively Handsome: [What do you have for lunch? Show me.]

    Lu Nanqing snapped a picture and sent it over.

    Universe's Most Explosively Handsome: [As expected, you're the real son, and I'm adopted. [Picture]]

    Lu Nanqing didn't think there would be much difference in their meals, but it was clear that the other had meat. He replied, [Roast chicken, meatballs, braised pork – isn't that enough for you?]

    Universe's Most Explosively Handsome: [But mine is easier to make. Your black-bone chicken soup takes at least half a day to prepare. The time cost is different; mine is just a quick fix.]

    Lu Nanqing chuckled and shook his head, finding Jiang Yuduo overly picky. He responded, [Then come down, and I'll share three spoonfuls of goji berries with you.]

    Universe's Most Explosively Handsome: [Nah, better not. I'm all manly vibes; I might bleed from my nose if I eat that.]

    With some playful banter, Jiang Yuduo knew Lu Nanqing was now occupied with his meal, so he temporarily left him alone.

    In his office, Lu Nanqing was reviewing the project's PPT summary while eating. The manpower was manageable, and if necessary, he could motivate his employees with double pay. However, the main issue was funding. Where would he secure the finances for this project?

    With that in mind, Lu Nanqing scrolled through his contacts, eliminating one by one, but couldn't settle on anyone.

    Ten minutes later, a notification popped up. He tapped it to find a message from Jiang Yuduo, checking up on him.

    Universe's Most Explosively Handsome: [Finished eating? Send me a picture, including the trash bin. I bet you'll throw some away.]

    Lu: [How could I be done so quickly? Do you think I'm a tornado sweeping through food?]

    Universe's Most Explosively Handsome: [I've already finished. [Picture]]

    Lu: [That's more like shoveling food, like Zhu Bajie eating a fairy peach.]

    Universe's Most Explosively Handsome: [It's because you're slow. Remember to send me a picture after you finish for inspection.]

    Lu Nanqing didn't reply and was about to continue searching for potential investors when his finger paused as he scrolled. His gaze lingered on the name "Universe's Most Explosively Handsome."

    In terms of financial resources and technical capabilities, who could be a better choice than Jiang Yuduo's company? Jiang Yuduo was wealthy, and his team of technicians were no slouches – truly a perfect match.

    However...

    Lu Nanqing hesitated again and ultimately decided against discussing the project with him. After all, they weren't "close" friends just yet; in fact, they had previously been bitter rivals. How could Jiang Yuduo possibly invest in his project to assist him?

    He switched off his phone and focused on eating. With some soup left and half a fistful of rice untouched, he initially intended to discard them but then paused, picking up his phone to take a picture instead.

    He could have entirely ignored Jiang Yuduo's request for a photo, but he didn't want to disappoint Aunt Jiang. If she were to inquire about Jiang Yuduo, he could still send the picture over.

    Upstairs, Jiang Yuduo, who was playing a mini-game, heard the notification sound. He glanced casually at his phone and immediately froze, chuckling softly. "How obedient."

    Indeed, it was from Lu Nanqing, who had faithfully taken the picture as instructed, including an empty trash bin, resembling a diligent student submitting homework.

    The "teacher" who was "grading" the "homework" sent praise and encouragement: [Not bad, not bad. Try to finish the rice next time! [Thumbs-up emoji]]

    Lu Nanqing didn't reply to that comment but said instead: [I'll wash it and give it to you.]

    Universe's Most Explosively Handsome: [You're washing it? So domesticated, you can just put it straight in.]

    Lu: [Washing it doesn't take much effort, we have detergent at the company.]

    Galactic Supreme Charmer: [Then you can wash mine too, right?]

    Lu: [Go ahead and take them down.]

    Galactic Supreme Charmer: [Forget it, I wouldn't dare to bother President Lu with such a task.]

    Of course, Jiang Yuduo was joking. How could he possibly ask Lu Nanqing to wash his dishes? Typically, who was responsible for this chore in a household? Oh, right, it was the wife's duty.

    Lu Nanqing ignored him. Assuming that Jiang Yuduo hadn't washed the morning dishes as he had taken them away directly, Lu Nanqing washed and dried them before heading upstairs by elevator.

    An "unexpected guest" suddenly appeared at the entrance of Phoenix Tech. The receptionist stared in surprise. Lu Nanqing, being polite, approached first and said, "I'm looking for President Jiang."

    "The president is in his office..." The receptionist pointed blankly in the direction of the office.

    Lu Nanqing nodded and proceeded inside.

    As a man of etiquette, he didn't leave the lunchbox with the receptionist to deliver but chose to deliver it himself.

    Walking through the corridors of Phoenix Tech, he was familiar with the environment and layout, having seen it all when he was still "a tree." Thus, he made his way confidently and effortlessly.

    Employees of Phoenix Fire who spotted him paused in their tracks, their eyes wide with astonishment. They didn't forget to stealthily snap pictures to send to the group chat, tagging Jiang Yuduo with a "vindication of past humiliation."

    The door to the office was knocked on, but Jiang Yuduo, engrossed in his game, didn't respond. Usually, his staff would just walk in after knocking.

    After a few seconds, with no one entering, the door was knocked on again. Jiang Yuduo reluctantly called out, "Come in."

    The door cracked open, and he sighed, "Who is it? Do you have to make me say it...?"

    His eyes widened as he recognized the visitor, an inner turmoil raging: What the hell? Lu Nanqing? He's here? Or am I hallucinating??

    At the entrance, Lu Nanqing stood still, unsure whether to enter or not, sensing Jiang Yuduo's impatience.

    "I brought utensils," Lu Nanqing explained.

    Jiang Yuduo snapped back to reality, hastily standing up. "Come in, come in quickly."

    Lu Nanqing nodded and stepped inside.

    "You should've let me know beforehand," Jiang Yuduo said.

    "Need to notify you before visiting? Then I'll contact Xiao Pang next time," Lu Nanqing said.

    "No, no, that's not what I meant. You don't have to notify me, just come straight here," Jiang Yuduo hurriedly explained.

    "I meant, it would be nice if you could give me a heads-up so I'm prepared."

    "What for?" Lu Nanqing asked.

    Jiang Yuduo stumbled over his words, "Well... just to welcome you, you know. I didn't expect your visit, so it's quite surprising."

    Lu Nanqing understood now and smiled silently to himself.

    "You don't need to knock next time either. Just push the door open. My employees enter on their own. If I don't respond, you'd end up waiting outside," Jiang Yuduo said, gesturing hospitably.

    "I got it, it was my first time," Lu Nanqing replied, placing the food box on the coffee table.

    After setting it down, he turned to leave but caught sight of the cat tree in the corner, pausing for a moment.

    Jiang Yuduo followed his gaze, realizing he couldn't hide it any longer. He awkwardly and guiltily explained, "This... I was also planning to adopt a cat, so I set it up in advance."

    Lu Nanqing delighted in observing Jiang Yuduo's flustered babbling, so he didn't rush to leave. Instead, he approached the cat tree and picked up a strand of cat fur between his fingers, intentionally asking, "Planning on keeping it?"

    "Cough... cough..." Jiang Yuduo averted his eyes guiltily. "Well, I did keep it for a few days, but it ran away."

    Lu Nanqing playfully teased, "Ran away? That's dangerous. Didn't you try to find it?"

    "It... has a wild nature, it prefers freedom!" Jiang Yuduo awkwardly explained.

    Lu Nanqing suppressed his laughter. "Is that so? When I first saw its fur color, I almost thought it was my Little Orange."

    "No," Jiang Yuduo declared firmly. "It's also an orange cat, just not your Big Fatty."

    Lu Nanqing looked at him calmly and, bending down, retrieved a stuffed fish toy from the cat bed. "That's quite a coincidence. My cat had this toy, and it happened to go missing recently."

    Jiang Yuduo stared at the "evidence" with a horrified expression: !!!!

    "No, I didn't, I didn't do it." Jiang Yuduo denied thrice.

    "I didn't kidnap it; it came into my office and wouldn't leave. I even took good care of it. Look, the cat tree, the villa, the cat bed, even a small garden! All for it!" Jiang Yuduo panicked, trying to prove his innocence, fearful that Lu Nanqing might misunderstand him.

    With a smile that curved his eyes, Lu Nanqing said, "Thank you for taking care of it. If it decides to come here, I won't stop it."

    Jiang Yuduo, who had just been anxious and fearful, was stunned and astonished upon hearing this. He asked, "You... don't blame me?"

    "What would I blame you for? You also said it came up on its own," replied Lu Nanqing.

    "But..." Jiang Yuduo stammered, "Your front desk staff all think I stole the cat!"

    Even Little Fatty didn't believe him, accusing him of kidnapping the cat. Yet, Lu Nanqing actually believed in his innocence. How could he describe this feeling? Ah, he was so touched that his eyes were welling up with tears.

    "I know they misunderstood you. I'm certain you didn't steal it; instead, you took good care of it," said Lu Nanqing.

    Jiang Yuduo: Sobs, even more moved now. Why is Lu Nanqing so kind? Not only does he trust me, but he also stands up for me!

    On the verge of tears of gratitude, Jiang Yuduo impulsively embraced Lu Nanqing.

    Startled for a moment, Lu Nanqing then heard Jiang Yuduo whisper in his ear, "You really... I'm dying from crying. I never expected that the person who would believe in me would turn out to be my enemy."

    As he spoke, Jiang Yuduo pretended to sniffle to add drama to the scene, leaving Lu Nanqing torn between laughter and tears. He comforted, "You... have suffered injustice."

    Jiang Yuduo: Ahh! Ahh! Ahh! (Excited.jpg)

    Jiang Yuduo held onto Lu Nanqing even tighter, almost suffocating him. Struggling to breathe, Lu Nanqing managed to say, "Mm, let go of me. I'll clarify with my staff. Orange really likes you, so don't be sad."

    Always knowing Jiang Yuduo as an easy-going and carefree person, Lu Nanqing was surprised to see this sentimental side of him, leaving him slightly at a loss.

    Jiang Yuduo released his grip, his face returning to normal, showing no sign of tears. He complained, "Your fat orange doesn't like me at all. It was flirting with me while hitting me. I've never seen such a two-faced cat."

    Lu Nanqing stood still, laughing softly. "But it lets you hold and pet it, and even comes up to your floor. That means it likes you. Orange just has a quirky personality, not clingy."

    "Oh," Jiang Yuduo said, relieved. "Cats take after their owners, I guess."

    Lu Nanqing raised an eyebrow, neither acknowledging nor denying the statement.

    With no need for further clarification, Jiang Yuduo was delighted. He pulled Lu Nanqing aside to show him the things he had prepared for Little Orange, along with a full cabinet of premium cat food and canned treats.

    "It doesn't come here anymore, so all this is just sitting unused," Jiang Yuduo mentioned casually.

    "I'll bring it up next time," Lu Nanqing replied.

    Jiang Yuduo gazed at him, "Sure."

    If the cat was coming along, wouldn't that mean Lu Nanqing would be as well? The thought caused a subtle curve to form at the corner of Jiang Yuduo's lips.

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