Everyone had a casual dinner, but Qiao Yuan’s complexion wasn’t great. He looked exhausted as Lu Ye helped him back to his room.
On his way back to his room, Tang Zhou bumped into Lu Ye, who seemed to be in a hurry, and asked, “Where are you going?”
“I’m going out to buy some cold medicine and a couple of new pairs of shoes. Your shoes are wet too, right? Do you want me to buy you a pair?”
The shoes they were wearing were of excellent quality, and although they might not be able to find the same quality nearby, they could make do with lesser ones for a few days.
Tang Zhou initially had the same idea, but after Fu Shen bought him a shoe dryer, he had put that thought to rest.
“No need.” he said.
“Then what are you going to wear tomorrow?”
“I have a shoe dryer. They should be dry by tomorrow night.”
Lu Ye looked at him strangely, “You didn’t used to be this frugal.”
Tang Zhou kept a straight face, “Just practicing for a life of bankruptcy.”
At a loss for words, Lu Ye waved his hand and turned to leave.
Seeing the now cheerful Lu Ye, Tang Zhou let out an imperceptible sigh.
He didn’t want the events in his dream to become reality.
The handsome young man turned his head, “Changed your mind about the shoes?”
“No.” Tang Zhou smiled, “When you get back, I have something to tell you.”
Lu Ye turned serious, didn’t ask further, and nodded in agreement.
Back in the room, Fu Shen was sitting on the sofa, engrossed in his phone, quiet as can be.
Thinking about the email from ‘Mouse Loves Rice’, Tang Zhou felt a pang of guilt.
Everything that happened in the dream was somehow related to Fu Shen, but he definitely wasn’t the main culprit.
He sat down on the sofa across from Fu Shen and casually said, “Thank you and your teammates for today.”
Fu Shen looked up in surprise, finding Tang Zhou’s words unusual.
Tang Zhou wasn’t really aloof and indifferent; otherwise, he wouldn’t have foolishly helped Tang Zhen in the dream, even getting himself involved.
Moreover, all of his embarrassing moments were witnessed by Fu Shen, so in front of Fu Shen, he didn’t need to maintain the façade of the Tang family heir.
“I heard you guys came here for a competition. How did it go?”
Seeing Tang Zhou’s intention to chat, Fu Shen couldn’t help but put down his phone and sit up a bit straighter.
“We managed to complete the mission.”
Tang Zhou: “…”
The mission from the school must have been to win an award, so completing the mission meant getting one, though he didn’t know what kind of award it was.
He didn’t inquire further and changed the subject, “What do you think of Qiao Yuan?”
Fu Shen raised his eyebrows slightly.
“Lively and cheerful, pure and enthusiastic.”
Tang Zhou clasped his hands together, his right fingertips pressing into the palm of his left hand, and mustered the courage to say, “Lu Ye has always thought that you would hurt Qiao Yuan and has been somewhat resistant to you. I’ve also had some prejudices against you before and haven’t treated you well. I’m sorry.”
He was genuinely apologizing, and whether or not his prejudices had hurt Fu Shen, he should apologize for them.
Fu Shen clearly didn’t expect this sudden apology and was taken aback, remaining silent for a while before regaining his composure and saying indifferently, “No need.”
He didn’t harbor any ill feelings towards Qiao Yuan, nor did he have any particular fondness for him. Even if Qiao Yuan might be implicated in the future, he wouldn’t care.
He didn’t need such a hypocritical apology either.
Tang Zhou wasn’t the type to back down from a confrontation. Seeing Fu Shen’s resistance, he decided to drop a bombshell.
“Qiao Chengan, he’s the one you want to take revenge on.” Facing Fu Shen’s suddenly darkened gaze, Tang Zhou calmly continued, “You were getting close to Qiao Yuan before because…”
“Getting close to him?” Fu Shen seemed to have heard a joke, asking with a smirk.
Tang Zhou hesitated because of Fu Shen’s attitude and asked doubtfully, “Lu Ye mentioned that every time he went to see Qiao Yuan, you were always there. It didn’t seem like a coincidence.”
As soon as the words left his mouth, and seeing Fu Shen’s expression, he suddenly realized something was wrong.
Given Lu Ye’s possessiveness towards Qiao Yuan, he must have thought that Fu Shen had intentions towards Qiao Yuan, which led him to investigate Fu Shen. As a result, he discovered that Fu Shen and Qiao Chengan were father and son, and thus concocted a conspiracy theory that Fu Shen would hurt Qiao Yuan.
It sounded a bit foolish, but Lu Ye’s feelings for Qiao Yuan bordered on obsession, so his divergent thinking was understandable.
Lu Ye’s subjectivity had influenced Tang Zhou, who originally despised illegitimate children, especially those who didn’t know their place. When he learned that Fu Shen was Qiao Chengan’s son left outside, he developed a bias against him even before meeting him.
Later, when Fu Shen sought investment from him, Tang Zhou was interested in the project but was reluctant to invest in an ambitious “illegitimate child.” In his dilemma, he proposed that Fu Shen become his personal assistant.
It was an immature and prejudiced act of displaced anger.
However, Fu Shen in the dream later gave him a taste of being an assistant, which was his just desserts.
But now, Fu Shen’s counter question made him suddenly realize that perhaps, in addition to prejudice and displaced anger, he had made another mistake—believing only one side of the story.
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