Cheng Xi, a guileless psychiatrist with a heart of gold, who would do anything for her patients. Lu Chenzhou, a frigid businessman who refuses treatment for his emotional detachment.
This is the story of a man’s stubborn frozen heart and a woman’s fiery determination to thaw it.
Fortunately I Met You
“Any patient suffering from mental trauma is someone worth listening to. The primary goal of psychiatric care is not to provide patients with an unachievable state of happiness, but rather to help them build up their own patience and resolve to confront their own struggles.”
“Professor, does that mean that you believe that mental illnesses can’t be treated?”
“No, quite the opposite in fact. Mental illnesses can be treated, as long as we provide these patients with sufficient patience and resolve.”
“Then, professor, what if your patient ends up falling in love with you because of that?”
Cheng Xi raised her head and smiled at the student who had asked the question, a young, pretty girl who immediately hid behind her neighbor upon noticing Cheng Xi’s gaze.
Cheng Xi was a psychiatrist and, at the same time, a lecturer at a medical university. Because of her age, wit, and looks, she was very popular among all the students, and her lectures every Thursday were almost always filled to maximum capacity. Of course, this meant that she also received all sorts of strange questions at the end of every lecture.
This wasn’t the first time she had been asked such a question, and so she was able to answer it handily. Smiling, she said, “I think I’d be very happy, because that would mean that the patient’s mind is under a wonderful misconception.”
“Rather than that, I’d call it more of a temporary illusion.”
“Have you had such an illusion, professor?”
“No, because I’m already old.”
“Boo—-” The whole crowd of students playfully booed her comment. “Pretending to be old is shameful!” A bold student even jokingly asked, “Professor, I don’t mind that you’re old, so can I date you?”
Cheng Xi smiled as she nimbly shot back, “A date in the lab as my test subject?”
The student who had just asked her about dating quickly recanted with a serious expression on his face. “Love between students and faculty isn’t permitted. Professor, I’ll do my best to work on my self-restraint.”
Everyone laughed, including Cheng Xi. “How regretful.”
The classroom once again filled with laughter. The bell rang not too long later, signaling that it was time for the students to file out of class. While saying goodbye to her students, Cheng Xi packed up her books and teaching materials. But just as she was about to leave, she noticed a male student that was resting his head on his desk, sound asleep.
She walked over to him, and quickly prodded him awake. The male student rubbed the sleep from his eyes and looked at her.
“Do you want some candy?” asked Cheng Xi as she extended her hand, a colorfully wrapped sweet resting on her palm. “I’m sorry that my class made you feel so bored.”
The student looked at her in a daze, as if she were a monster.
Cheng Xi smiled, left the sweet on his desk, and stepped out of the classroom.
While walking, she received a call. “Cheng Xi, where are you?”
The phone call was from Cheng Xi’s own professor, Madam Cai Yi. She was both Cheng Xi’s doctoral advisor and a national authority on psychiatry. After retiring, she felt restless about doing nothing, and subsequently opened up her own office and lab.
“I just finished teaching.”
“Good. Come to my office.”
Cheng Xi left her things in her office and immediately headed over. Madam Cai’s office was right next to her home, and its surroundings were the definition of natural beauty. By her office was a lake, and by the lakeside was a flock of pigeons. The surroundings were filled with vibrant shrubs and blossoms, and, even more unusually, the water itself was clear and limpid. It was truly a relaxing place to be.
The only problem was that it was a bit far from the school, and the evening rush hour only exacerbated the long drive. By the time Cheng Xi arrived, it was already late enough that the early winter’s dusk was only being held at bay by the surrounding lights.
She pushed the door open and entered, bringing wisps of the winter cold in with her. Madam Cai’s hair was streaked with gray, and her gold-rimmed glasses gave her a classic scholarly air. She was sitting on the sofa in front of her desk, talking with the young man sitting beside her.
Upon hearing Cheng Xi enter, both people looked over at Cheng Xi. Madam Cai smiled at her. “You’re here already? It’s cold outside, isn’t it?”
Cheng Xi cheerily replied, “It’s fine, just a little windy.”
The two made small talk as Madam Cai motioned for Cheng Xi to sit by her side. She pointed at the young man and introduced the two, saying, “This is the CEO of Donglai, Lu Chenzhou, or Director Lu.” And to Lu Chenzhou, she said, “This is the young, pretty, and creative Dr. Cheng that I’ve been telling you so much about.”
Cheng Xi knew of Donglai, a large drug manufacturer; many of Madam Cai’s projects were supported by the company.
She just hadn’t expected their CEO to be so young. He was a relatively handsome man, and probably not even thirty yet.
However, Cheng Xi’s first impression of Lu Chenzhou was not only that he was young and handsome, but also cold and aloof. When their gazes met, it was as if she were but a speck of dust in his eyes.
Chapter 2 Mr. Lu
Having seen all sorts of patients, Cheng Xi was very tolerant towards people with slightly unusual behavior, and didn’t mind his demeanor that much. Since her teacher had introduced her, she smiled and greeted, “Nice to meet you.”
But Lu Chenzhou kept staring at her, his forehead slowly creasing. “You only have one dimple?”
Cheng Xi, slightly baffled, automatically replied, “Yes.”
This unexpected evaluation left Cheng Xi speechless. Cai Yi also looked on blankly for a moment before laughing heartily. “Your students would probably cry if they ever heard that someone evaluated a professor renowned for her beauty as ugly, haha.”
She laughed so happily that Cheng Xi felt a bit exasperated, and she said to Lu Chenzhou, “I’m sorry for disgusting you with my ugliness. Do you want me to cover up that side of my face?”
This sparked another bout of laughter from Cai Yi, but it was as if Lu Chenzhou couldn’t sense the humor in her tone. He expressionlessly looked down at his watch. “Let’s go.”
Cai Yi wiped the tears of laughter off of her face. “Your grandparents aren’t here yet.”
Cheng Xi had some more time to look at him now. Lu Chenzhou was indeed expressionless, his handsome face as apathetic as still water.
She raised her eyebrows slightly upon seeing that Cai Yi was blinking rapidly at her. “Let’s go.”
“To get food with us.”
“Oh.” Cheng Xi helped her teacher up, and then followed along somewhat confusedly.
Lu Chenzhou’s grandparents never showed up, so it was only the three of them at the dining table. Lu Chenzhou was reticent, and it was mainly Cheng Xi and Cai Yi doing the talking during the meal.
But just as the waiter served the last fruit platter, he did say something. “Remove it.”
The waiter hesitated, and Cheng Xi and Cai Yi stopped talking.
Lu Chenzhou pointed at the platter a little impatiently. “What are you thinking, plating the fruit in such an ugly fashion?”
The waiter, Cai Yi, and Cheng Xi all looked at the platter. Quite honestly, the fruit platter was plated beautifully, with care and precision. The platter consisted of half a honeydew carved into the shape of a flower, which was then filled with a variety of vibrant fruits; it was a natural piece of art.
But Cheng Xi quickly noticed that on that platter was a lopsided cherry tomato, the likely reason for Lu Chenzhou’s distaste.
As expected, this person has a very serious form of OCD.
Cai Yi did not seem to find his behavior unusual, and waved at the waiter with a smile. “Take it away, will you?” And, as if nothing had happened, she turned to Cheng Xi. “Keep talking about that patient from just now.”
Cheng Xi continued explaining, “Her family invited a spirit medium to purge all the ghosts from their house, claiming that she must have been possessed. During the ritual, the girl was badly scared, and in her panic, accidentally killed her grandmother. When I saw her during my daily rotations, her condition had already reached a very severe state; she firmly believed that someone had cut her head off, and that she was a headless corpse.”
Lu Chenzhou looked at Cheng Xi after she finished talking. It was perhaps the first time he had directly looked at her after having commented on her lone dimple.
Cheng Xi was talking about one of the patients currently in her care, one with a serious case of Cotard’s syndrome, colloquially known as the walking corpse syndrome.
Cai Yi responded, “This is truly a classic case of Cotard’s syndrome. It’s a very rare illness in this country. How do you plan on tackling it?”
But before Cheng Xi could respond, Cai Yi’s phone rang. Cheng Xi heard her say a few words into the phone, before saying to the group, “Something urgent came up at the office, I have to go.”
Cheng Xi stood up. “Let me walk you outside.”
As a doctor, there were always sudden, unexpected situations, especially in the psychiatry department—when patients’ illnesses flared up, most people wouldn’t be able to handle them. Cheng Xi wasn’t bothered by Cai Yi’s sudden departure, only thinking about how she might be able to help out.
But Cai Yi stopped her. “It’s fine, my assistant is coming to fetch me, and there are enough people on the scene already. You should stay here and enjoy a nice meal with Director Lu.” She then looked over at Lu Chenzhou. “You’ll help me take care of Cheng Xi, won’t you?”
Chapter 3 Oh, it’s a Date?
Lu Chenzhou, indifferent as usual, replied, “That’s fine.”
Cai Yi smiled and patted Cheng Xi’s hand. Before long, Cai Yi’s assistant had arrived, and Cheng Xi was walking Cai Yi to the door. By the time she returned, Lu Chenzhou had already put down his chopsticks. “Are you full?”
Lu Chenzhou nodded.
Cheng Xi retrieved her jacket that was draped on a nearby chair. “Then, let’s go as well.”
She kept thinking about what Cai Yi had mentioned. In general, patients that could alarm even her teacher were quite remarkable, and she very much wanted to observe her teacher in action.
However, Lu Chenzhou didn’t move. His distant gaze, as if covered in a thin layer of frost, landed on her face. “It seems that you’re really quite unaware,” he sneered. “Did you think that your teacher really had an emergency? Or why my grandparents said that they would come, but never showed up?”
“What do you mean?”
“Their actions were all premeditated.”
Lu Chenzhou looked at her and couldn’t help but ask, “How on earth did you become a psychiatrist? This is a blind date in disguise. Could you really not tell?”
Cheng Xi was at a loss for words.
She coughed violently to break the awkwardness. “Hem hem, I didn’t know.” She had thought that the reason behind her teacher introducing Lu Chenzhou to her was for something important, like helping her raise funds for a grant she was writing.
Lu Chenzhou’s face remained expressionless, and Cheng Xi felt a bit embarrassed. “Sorry, I really didn’t notice Professor Cai’s plan.” Cai Yi had been single her entire life, so Cheng Xi had never imagined that she would try to be a matchmaker for her.
It seemed like he had really taken an interest in the subject. Cheng Xi thought for a bit, sat down again, and started outlining her rough plan. “Patients suffering from Cotard’s syndrome generally find social interaction difficult, but can often be savants in their personal areas of interest. I’d like to have her start doing personally interesting activities. That way, she can immerse herself in her fantasies and I can slowly help her accept reality using her fantasies as a medium.”
“I’d have imagined that you would start by restraining her or locking her up.”
“Unless it’s absolutely necessary, I don’t support severely restricting patients in general.”
“How confident are you of curing her?”
“Doctors can only be fully confident in patients who firmly aim to get better.”
Lu Chenzhou remained silent for a while, before finally asking her, “Would you sleep with one of your patients?”
“Hmm?” Cheng Xi didn’t understand.
Lu Chenzhou’s tone was as tepid as if he were discussing the weather. “What if you accidentally got into bed with your patients?”
Cheng Xi laughed. “That’s impossible.”
“But what if it happened?” Lu Chenzhou was unexpectedly insistent on this point, and looked at her intently. “Would you continue treating him?”
Cheng Xi was unable to follow his logic, and was still confused at how the subject had suddenly changed from a patient suffering from Cotard’s syndrome to a patient getting into bed with their doctor. But she could see what kind of answer Lu Chenzhou wanted, so she responded, “No.”
Lu Chenzhou laughed lightly. This was the first time Cheng Xi had ever seen him laugh. His lips curved slightly up and his eyes were without any sense of warmth, but his mien had an unexpectedly handsome coolness.
After that, Cheng Xi ate dinner patiently. Lu Chenzhou’s behavior seemed similar to that of a robot with a pre-programmed routine: he wouldn’t do anything else before finishing a given task.
For example, with regards to this blind date that seemed unfathomable to Cheng Xi, Lu Chenzhou instead seemed determined to check all the boxes. Once the duo left the restaurant, Lu Chenzhou said, “Next in the schedule is watching a movie, taking a walk, or drinking at a bar. Which do you want to do?”
His businesslike tone left Cheng Xi’s lips twitching. “……can I skip all of those activities?”
“Then let’s go drinking.” His matter-of-fact tone had already made the decision for her. Snapping his fingers, Lu Chenzhou signalled an approaching taxi to stop. He pulled the door open, waiting for Cheng Xi to get in.
This series of actions was really quite smooth, Cheng Xi noted silently.
She hesitated for only a few seconds before getting into the car. Reflecting upon it later, Cheng Xi dismissed her actions as the occupational habit of a doctor: Lu Chenzhou’s actions dripped with oddities, and such oddities boasted a near-instinctual attraction for psychiatrists.
Chapter 4 My Partner
Despite saying that they were going to a bar to drink, Lu Chenzhou instead brought Cheng Xi to Phoenix Stage, a famous local nightclub. He was on his phone inviting people all throughout the drive, so by the time they arrived, the private room was already filled to the brim.
Upon seeing their arrival, those people all stood up and greeted Lu Chenzhou. Some called him Director Lu, some as Chief, and some, like Cai Yi, simply as Zhou. But without exception, everyone noticed Cheng Xi, who was standing behind Lu Chenzhou. Someone who seemed to be on very good terms with Lu Chenzhou even directly asked, “Who’s this young lass?”
The room fell quiet, and Cheng Xi almost tripped over her own feet. She stumbled, only regaining her balance after grabbing Lu Chenzhou’s sleeves.
Her fingers even accidentally brushed over his hand, and the warmth of his skin caused her heart to skip a beat. As she lifted her head, she saw that everyone’s gaze was focused on her hand, which was still holding on to Lu Chenzhou’s sleeve. Her fingers were fair and delicate, but who knew whether the germophobic Mr. Lu would suddenly become infuriated and cut her hand off.
Lu Chenzhou didn’t refute her, merely looking at her once before taking his jacket off.
But the truth was that he did, because he immediately threw the jacket at her. “Return it to me after you’ve washed it.”
Cheng Xi was left speechless once again.
Was this a form of selective germophobia? Where he can have lunch outside, but not bear someone else’s touch?
Lu Chenzhou turned and walked away as Cheng Xi was busy diagnosing Lu Chenzhou in her mind. The man who had just asked her who she was smiled at her. “Hi, Doctor, I’m Xu Po, one of Zhou’s friends.”
Cheng Xi nodded at him. “Nice to meet you.”
“Sit here.” The man called Xu Po led Cheng Xi over to a seat, directly next to Lu Chenzhou. Cheng Xi made sure to stay as far away from him as possible this time.
The atmosphere in the private room quickly grew rowdy again, the young men and women clumping together as they sang karaoke. Next to Cheng Xi, Xu Po asked Lu Chenzhou, “Zhou, what do you want to play tonight?”
Lu Chenzhou lounged on the sofa as he looked at the singing people with a supercilious look on his face. He pointed at Cheng Xi and said, “Whatever, as long as you take care of her.”
Xu Po smiled. “Are you trying to let your partner see what your world’s like?”
Lu Chenzhou reiterated, “Anything’s fine.”
Xu Po, still smiling, turned to look at Cheng Xi. “What do you want to play, Doctor?”
Cheng Xi actually didn’t want to play anything. She didn’t enjoy partying, and almost never thought of drinking, going to bars, or singing karaoke. But since she was already here, when Xu Po asked her, she also replied, “Anything’s fine.”
Her answer was really quite careless, and was something she would regret countless times in the future. But she had no choice: that was the unfortunate answer she had given.
And so Xu Po called a bunch of people over to play a simple game of guessing dice with her. To Cheng Xi, this wasn’t anything challenging, but the key point was that she hadn’t played before. This meant that before she could fully grasp the trick behind the game, she had lost, and was subsequently forced to drink some alcohol.
The alcohol consisted of a vibrant liquid in a beautiful glass cup, on top of which faint flames were dancing. Before this, Cheng Xi had never drunk any liquor but beer, being both a studious and obedient girl.
She didn’t know how strong this alcoholic drink was, and she didn’t think much of it upon seeing its beautiful appearance, and so she downed it in one gulp.
Then, she collapsed.
An almost instantaneous collapse, right as she finished the alcohol.
The last thing she remembered was the man called Xu Po exclaiming beside her, “Damn, is her tolerance that low?”
Chapter 5 One-night Stand
When she awoke, Cheng Xi found herself lying in a strange place, with a strange man sleeping by her side.
The man’s back was facing her. From her angle, all she could see was his smoothly cut short hair and his slender back.
Yes, the man was naked—at least, his upper body was.
Cheng Xi looked down at herself. Very good, she was almost naked too. A thin undershirt on her upper body, and underwear covering her lower body. She could see the rest of her clothes flung recklessly about the room. The jeans she had worn yesterday were lying haphazardly on the tatami mat by the window, as if publicizing the roughness, or rather, the raw desire of the person who had taken them off.
The curtains weren’t completely shut; a ray of light was shining through a small crack.
She sat up, rubbing her swollen forehead. The man woke up almost as she moved. As he turned around, he revealed a youthful face, quite handsome, with robust facial features, a piercing gaze, and a cool, indifferent mien.
To sleep together right after meeting… Cheng Xi rubbed her forehead.
“You’re awake?” Lu Chenzhou’s expression remained as insouciant as ever, his gaze roaming over her body that was currently covered by a blanket. “You climbed into my bed yourself last night.”
Cheng Xi’s lips twitched as she replied, “I climbed into your bed?”
“Mm.” The man did not seem able to bear her asymmetrically dimpled face. After resting his head on his hands and making that one sound, he offered no further explanation.
She looked at him, somewhat expressionlessly, but her inner self was close to falling apart— after all, she couldn’t remember last night, and had absolutely no impression of climbing into his bed like he said! Of course, this wasn’t strictly true—at the very least, she remembered that her curiosity had caused her to follow Lu Chenzhou into Phoenix Stage, play a game with the crowd there, and then be forced to drink a colorful glass of alcohol as a penalty.
And after that? No clue.
But even while knowing nothing, she strongly suspected the veracity of Lu Chenzhou’s words. Now, however, wasn’t the time to probe for the truth; as they were half-naked and lying in bed, anything they said would feel somewhat strange. She averted her gaze, bent over to pick up her coat lying beneath the bed, covered herself up with a blanket, quickly put the coat on, and then got out of bed.
Wrapping her coat tightly about herself, Cheng Xi industriously pretended that nothing unusual had happened. She picked up the rest of her clothes and entered the bathroom. During this whole ordeal, Lu Chenzhou had just lain in bed quietly, eyes closed.
Only when she was about to enter the bathroom did the man behind her speak. “Do you want to go again after you’ve cleaned yourself?” His tone wasn’t inviting, and was still that same casual tone that one would use to discuss the weather. “I’ve got great technique. Perhaps you didn’t feel it last night, as drunk as you were.”
Cheng Xi almost tripped over her feet again, and her response was a quick “Bang!” from slamming the bathroom door shut.
When Cheng Xi got out, Lu Chenzhou had shifted to a different pose. He was now lying on his side and facing the bathroom directly. “Already dressed?” he asked indifferently. “Aren’t you going to consider my earlier proposition?”
This was perhaps the strangest invitation that Cheng Xi had ever heard, because his tone was so indifferent that it made her want to smack him.
After a moment’s pause, Cheng Xi turned sharply on her heels, walked to the side of the bed, and leaned over slightly to look at him.
He impassively looked back at her, his gaze dark like the ocean waves in the eye of the storm, deep and profound, cool and resolute.
Lu Chenzhou’s appearance was really quite compelling; at the very least, Cheng Xi had never seen anyone who looked better than he did. Of course, perhaps it was his aloof nature that made Cheng Xi feel that way.
She extended her hand, her fingertip lightly touching his lips. ”Are you serious?”
The alcohol had left her voice with a note of hoarseness, unexpectedly adding a dash of sexuality.
Edited and proofread by audiowuxia.
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