Xia Wennan was reduced to a bundle of nerves in an instant, and his ears didn’t register a single word that came out of Li Xin’s mouth across him.
His mind was taken over by one thought—why would Lu Wenxing come here?
Had he come here to see Ming Luchuan?
Xia Wennan couldn’t help but shoot him several looks, but he couldn’t detect anything out of the ordinary from Ming Luchuan’s demeanour.
Meanwhile, Ming Luchuan had taken notice of Xia Wennan’s line of sight; he held Xia Wennan’s hand under the table and slightly tightened his grip.
Ming Luchuan didn’t even recognise Lu Wenxing as his father.
Even if Lu Wenxing had inquired where they were dining tonight, there was no reason for him to rush over and wait for Ming Luchuan here.
Xia Wennan couldn’t figure it out.
He didn’t tell Ming Luchuan about this until the meal ended, his mind clouded with hesitation.
When they finished eating, Ming Luchuan stood up and offered a hand to Xia Wennan.
Xia Wennan glanced at him.
He wanted to high-five him at first, but upon second thoughts, he conscientiously took hold of his hand, presenting the impression of an affectionate couple.
Ming Luchuan then led him to the staircase and slowly descended to the first floor.
Duan Ning trailed after them.
While Xia Wennan was positive, from the bottom of his heart, that there was nothing going on between Ming Luchuan and Duan Ning at this point in time, he couldn’t help but furtively stick a little closer to Ming Luchuan.
As a result, Ming Luchuan transferred Xia Wennan’s grip from his right hand to his lift, then wrapped his right hand around Xia Wennan’s waist.
Their posture was exceedingly intimate.
Xia Wennan had no choice but to lean on Ming Luchuan’s body.
He was somewhat uneasy, yet he couldn’t just push Ming Luchuan away either.
Once they reached the entrance of the private restaurant, Xia Wennan saw that, as expected, Lu Wenxing’s car was parked nearby, but he couldn’t see the man in the car through the window.
Right then, Li Xin piped up, “Someone’s here to pick me up.” His tone was laced with delight, as though the fact that someone had come to pick him up was cause for celebration.
Ming Luchuan smiled faintly.
“Have a safe trip, rest well.”
Li Xin gave a nod.
“Let’s get together again when you’re free, President Ming.” After that, he said goodbye to Duan Ning and skipped over to Lu Wenxing’s car.
Xia Wennan remained frozen where he stood as he watched Li Xin pull open the car door.
The sapphire blue vehicle soon roared to life and sped away from the restaurant’s entrance.
Lu Wenxing never got out of the car or showed his face the entire time.
Xia Wennan was certain that Ming Luchuan hadn’t seen him, so… had Lu Wenxing known that the person dining with Li Xin tonight was his son? And what was his relationship with Li Xin? Could Li Xin be his illegitimate child as well?
Xia Wennan subconsciously frowned..
Ming Luchuan lowered his head to look at him.
“What are you staring at?”
“Li Xin’s already gone,” said Ming Luchuan.
“Right.” Xia Wennan forced his eyes away and finally couldn’t help himself from shaking off Ming Luchuan’s arm, pretending to stretch his arms.
Duan Ning was standing in front of them.
He smiled as he said, “I’d best get going too then.”
Ming Luchuan nodded.
Duan Ning waved at them and walked over to where his car was parked.
“Don’t stare, the guy’s already gone,” said Xia Wennan.
“What was I staring at?” Ming Luchuan asked in return.
Xia Wennan knew that Ming Luchuan had barely stared at Duan Ning, but he intentionally raised his gaze to the sky and suddenly pointed to the moon.
“Ah… the white moonlight!”
After uttering those two words, Xia Wennan suddenly felt a little uncomfortable.
It clearly wasn’t the first time he teased Ming Luchuan in this manner, but it was the first time those two words seemed to lodge themselves in Xia Wennan’s heart, making him feel inexplicably unhappy.
He then let out a cold humph.
“It’s so bright.”
“What’s so bright?” Ming Luchuan was looking at him, arms folded across his chest.
“Don’t you know in your heart?” said Xia Wennan.
He’s not my white moonlight, as I’ve previously stated.” Ming Luchuan’s voice sounded solemn.
“Didn’t you have feelings for him in the past?”
“Does that automatically mean that he’s my white moonlight? Isn’t a white moonlight someone who’s always on your thoughts, but just beyond your reach?”
Xia Wennan cocked his head.
“So you used to like him, but now you don’t think of him at all?”
“I’ve long stopped thinking about him.” Ming Luchuan sounded slightly distant.
“I never concern myself with one-sided feelings.”
“So, you won’t ever think about him because he doesn’t like you back?”
“It’s pointless to invest in unreciprocated feelings.”
Xia Wennan said, “I thought that you stopped liking him because you fell for me.”
Ming Luchuan said nothing.
Xia Wennan was suddenly tempted to ask: “If I never get my memories back, then would you think that your feelings are unreciprocated as well?”
Without warning, Ming Luchuan suddenly reached out and embraced Xia Wennan.
He held Xia Wennan in his arms and hugged him tightly, saying, “You’ll remember.”
Ming Luchuan didn’t tell the driver to drive when they got inside the car, but instead named another place.
Xia Wennan was taken aback.
“Where are we going at this hour?”
Ming Luchuan replied, “I’m taking you to the old lab.”
Ming Luchuan remained deafeningly silent.
Xia Wennan could sense his slightly intense emotions, so he bit his tongue and only let out a yawn.
“I’m kind of sleepy.
Can’t we just go on the weekend?”
Ming Luchuan remained indifferent.
Xia Wennan could only say, “Okay then.
Let’s go take a look.”
Ming Yan’s former lab was a rented facility within a research institute that they had leased prior to Ming Yan’s rise to fame in the industry owing to their pheromone perfumes, and before they owned their current building.
It was past 9 p.m.
when they arrived at the research institute, less than half an hour before closing time.
The driver drove them to the front of a traditional, three-storey red brick building, parked the car at the side of the road, and opened the door for them.
The building was unlit.
In the night, the street lights illuminated the pitch-black and open windows.
Ivy crawled up from the base of the walls, quivering and rustling in the wind.
There were also osmanthus flowers abound.
They rustled in the breeze, their sweet scent wafting across the air.
Xia Wennan was standing under a tree, peering up at the third floor of the small brick building, when he felt a jolt go through his mind—he felt as if he’d been here before.
The memory was hazy.
It didn’t tell him what had happened on this spot on any particular day, but was simply an inexplicable familiarness, as if he’d once dreamed of this place.
Red brick walls, green ivy, golden osmanthus flowers, grey roof tiles of an old brick structure, its roofing ornamented with traditional ridges and interlocking wooden brackets, half-hidden under dense foliage.
As the night breeze softly buffeted his cheeks, he smelled a faint aroma, completely unlike the sweet scent of osmanthus flower.
It was Ming Luchuan’s pheromones, that cold, woody scent.
When Xia Wennan caught the first whiff of it, he was reminded of the mountain forest, and the hidden, ancient temple with green roof tiles and snowy white walls deep in the forest.
His present surroundings were nothing like that image, yet there was something vaguely similar.
While he’d long known that it was Ming Luchuan’s pheromones, it wasn’t until this very second that he realised what kind of Xishui Hall he desired.
In the silence of the night, a quaint, magnificent Buddhist hall stood tall, its wooden doors sealed shut.
Surrounded by a grove of ancient trees, the air was chilly, secluded.
Someone was chanting scriptures, their calm cadence audibly reverberating throughout the mountain forest.
A stream flowed from one corner of the hall’s enclosing walls, the water crystal clear and emanating the scent of joss sticks and candles.
It was otherworldly, as cold as ice, but a cluster of osmanthus flowers floated on the water’s surface, dyeing the stream with a tinge of sweetness.
The chanting thus became tumultuous, losing its tranquility…
Why did it seem so familiar? Because when Xia Wennan smelled the scent of Ming Luchuan’s pheromones mingled with the fragrance of osmanthus flowers, he knew that this was the Xishui Hall he desired.
Xia Wennan’s heart thumped furiously with the discovery.
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