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    Chapter 73 - It's the Feeling of a Heartbeat

    With a viable plan in place, both Mrs. Zhong and Gu Chang felt a great weight lifted off their shoulders. Hope flickered anew in their hearts, and their smiles became genuine.

    Mrs. Zhong held Tang Fei's hand and showered her with compliments. "Teacher Tang, it's all thanks to you. You're wonderful in every way. Unlike my Zhong Xue, she's timid and naive. I don't know what she'd do if I were no longer around."

    "You managed to convince Zhu Xiansheng to help—it's our good fortune, and we owe it to Yao Hui too."

    "Teacher Tang, how do you maintain such smooth skin on your hands? It's as soft as silk. If you haven't been taking care of it, then it must be your natural beauty. Heaven has destined you for this career."

    With the situation on a more positive track, Zhou Weichuan relaxed and suddenly felt a wave of drowsiness wash over him. He leaned back on the sofa, his eyelids drooping gradually.

    Lack of sleep could be temporarily overcome by adrenaline, but once the body relaxed, exhaustion would take over. The warmth from the radiator brushed against his face, and Mrs. Zhong's voice seemed to fade into the distance.

    Tang Fei felt goosebumps from all the flattery. After sending Mrs. Zhong away, she rubbed her arms as she returned, only to notice that Zhou Weichuan had already fallen asleep on the sofa.

    Reaching out to wake Zhou Weichuan up, Tang Fei hesitated mid-air when she saw the dark circles under his eyes. She retracted her hand.

    Tang Fei gritted her teeth and slapped her own hand. Why had she come back?

    It was so noisy just now. How could the boss have fallen asleep?

    Could it be that she had pushed him too hard yesterday, causing internal injuries to the boss?

    Startled by her wild imagination, Tang Fei's hand involuntarily reached out to check Zhou Weichuan's breath. Feeling the rhythmic flow of air against her fingertips, she realized how foolish she had been, and what she had been thinking.

    Half-awake, Zhou Weichuan caught a faint whiff of shower gel scent near his nose. He found Tang Fei's actions amusing, but he lacked the energy to open his eyes. Instead, he smiled slightly, contentedly slipping into a deep sleep.

    The boss's ability to fall asleep instantly was impressive. He could even doze off while sitting and listening to such noisy and sycophantic praise.

    Tang Fei paced back and forth in the living room. Then, she remembered that she should inform Zheng Haisheng about the boss!

    She dialed the number.

    "Haisheng, the boss is sleeping on the sofa in my room."

    "What? You went to visit the reporter from the Sunshine Daily at the hospital instead of staying at the hotel? You want me to take care of him? That's not what I meant... Ah... What precautions? The boss can't sleep with too much noise?"

    ...

    Didn't he fall asleep with all that noise just now? Nonsense!

    But looking at Zhou Weichuan, Tang Fei decided to lower her voice. She covered the microphone and spoke softly as she tiptoed towards the bathroom, closing the door before continuing.

    "Haisheng, is there really no one else who can help? Has everyone else from the company left? Gone back to the capital? Why so soon?"

    "Then should I wake him up? Is it not okay to disturb the boss when he's sleeping? Does he have a bad temper in the morning?"

    "He hasn't slept for two days. Oh, he was preparing for the signing ceremony, contacting Du Mei, and dealing with the aftermath of the accident..." The more Tang Fei listened, the more she frowned. The boss didn't have energy pills; what was he doing pushing himself like this, staying awake for over thirty hours?

    No wonder he fell asleep so quickly. If she didn't have energy pills and acted like Boss Zhou, she would've dozed off on the street.

    Tang Fei hesitated for a moment before saying, "But I don't think it's appropriate."

    "Sis Fei, the boss sleeps very soundly. He doesn't toss and turn, talk in his sleep, or grind his teeth. Just let him be on the sofa, and don't disturb him. It's very convenient."

    "That's not what I meant by 'inappropriate'!"

    Tang Fei held her forehead, as Zheng Haisheng seemed to have suddenly turned silly. "…Alright then, let's do it your way."

    As soon as the call ended, Zheng Haisheng, lounging by the floor-to-ceiling window with a glass of red wine, hummed a tune with a smile. Sister Fei, you can never wake up someone who's pretending to be foolish.

    Boss, that's all I can do for you.

    Suddenly, Zheng Haisheng's mind raced, realizing there was still a way out for Tang Fei – He Zhou could help her!

    He immediately called He Zhou again. "Brother He, it's me, Hai Sheng.

    I heard Sister Fei wants to bring her parents to the capital for the New Year. Our company happens to have a team-building event with employee benefits. It covers the flight expenses for immediate family members during the Spring Festival. Oh, just today. But it requires buying tickets on the spot, taking photos, checking in on social media – a bit troublesome. Huh? You're not bothered by the hassle? You'll go right away? That's great! I'll arrange for the hotel to send a car for you!"

    Zheng Haisheng opened his laptop and swiftly sent a notice to the administrative department, organizing an employee welfare event. They needed a poster within 15 minutes and a notification to be sent to the employees' work system!

    "Brother, don't hang up yet. I've got a tip for you. Did Sister Fei's call come in? My information comes from inside the Zhu Xiansheng production team. Your sister's incident is related to Second Master Guan. Mm-hmm!

    It's reliable!

    "Tang Fei, I'll go up and check it out personally. Don't worry, everything will be fine."

    "You got in the car, let me think... where should I start? Right! From when Sister Tang started her singing career and Young Master Guan failed to win Song Li's heart."

    Zheng Haisheng activated the hands-free mode, sipped his wine gently, and began narrating slowly.

    Who else could be the best supporter but me?

    He's the MVP of the assisting world!

    ...

    Tang Fei kept calling He Zhou, but the line was busy. He Zhou rarely didn't answer her calls; perhaps he was on an important call that couldn't be interrupted.

    Putting down her phone, Tang Fei turned her gaze towards Zhou Weichuan.

    He leaned against the sofa, head hanging down, with shallow breaths. His arms were crossed over his chest, and his legs were slanted on the carpet, pressed together.

    On the long sofa, he occupied only a small corner, as if afraid to take up more space, trying desperately to hide himself.

    For some inexplicable reason, it made one forget that she was his boss, instead evoking a sense of sympathy.

    A person who always exuded warmth now appeared indescribably cold and solitary.

    Tang Fei shook her head, dismissing the illusion she must have been experiencing.

    She took out two blankets from the closet. Although the hotel room was adequately heated, there was a kind of cold that came from others perceiving you as such.

    Tang Fei draped one blanket over Zhou Weichuan's legs and spread the other across his chest.

    This sudden close proximity placed Tang Fei's face just a fist away from Zhou Weichuan's nose tip.

    Zhou Weichuan's soft, low hair obscured his eyes, and Tang Fei found herself gazing at his nose tip, her heartbeat suddenly falling out of rhythm.

    Tang Fei abruptly pulled away, scampering away like a startled rabbit.

    My God, what am I doing?

    Tang Fei rubbed her face, trying to regain her composure.

    When the boss is kind to you, it's for the company's benefit and a mutually beneficial partnership. Yet, you blush and your heart races just from giving them a blanket - how useless!

    Where has your composure gone?

    There are plenty of handsome men out there! Stay calm!

    Compared to the boss, the difference is clear: they're in charge because they think of profit when faced with allure, while you can't even think straight at the sight of beauty.

    I have to focus on my career!

    Less daydreaming!

    Tang Fei took a few deep breaths and redirected her attention to the system. Back then, the chandelier falling was too thrilling, and even the impressive special effects that accompanied the completion of the Clear Your Name mission couldn't divert her attention.

    The card rewarded for that task now lay quietly in its slot, untouched. She hadn't had the chance to examine it yet.

    Activating the card now, she saw a myriad of patterns - flowers, birds, insects, fish, young and old - embedded on its surface.

    Would the ventriloquism skill aid her delivery?

    Tang Fei tapped gently with anticipation.

    ...

    Zhou Weichuan's rising and falling chest pressed against the soft blanket, and in his dream, he returned to his childhood days.

    That day, after finishing his homework, he had kept watch over his mother's intravenous drip until the late hours of the night.

    Exhausted beyond measure, he had dozed off by his mother's bedside.

    In his drowsy state, he felt a warm blanket envelop him, like his mother's embrace. He smiled in contentment and continued to slumber.

    Unbeknownst to him, it was his bedridden mother, in her last vestiges of strength, pushing the blanket onto him. It might have been a fleeting burst of vitality before her final decline.

    When he opened his eyes that day, he became a child without a mother.

    He had missed the one chance to speak with his mother while she was still lucid, the farewell that never took place. The warmth on the cotton blanket was the last memory he held dear.

    Such a hazy, indistinct last sight.

    Zhou Weichuan slowly opened his eyes, the moisture in the corners of his eyes still present, and memories lingering. The blanket covering him slid off with his movement.

    He was in a daze for a while until his emotions settled.

    He looked at the fallen blanket, picked it up, folded it neatly, and placed it aside. Then, he glanced ahead.

    He saw Tang Fei.

    Tang Fei, in the living room, clutching at her own throat, her face flushed red, with tears swirling just beneath her eyelids!

    ?

    What kind of performance art was this?

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