I ADORE HIM
(Little Troublemaker, I’m in Love with You (4)
“Huh?” Qin Zhi’ai’s question had caught Lu Bancheng by surprise. He paused for some time before eventually replying, “They did marry. I had thought so initially anyway. But I found out not too long ago when I was drinking with Brother Sheng that the certificate he had back then was not an actual marriage certificate.”
What do you mean it wasn’t an actual marriage certificate?
Qin Zhi’ai’s fingers quivered slightly, and her heart clenched tightly at that instant.
Lu Bancheng was about to continue, but the waiter had walked over with his pushcart to serve them their dishes, so he stopped himself. After the waiter had left, as he urged Qin Zhi’ai to help herself to the dishes while they were hot, he noticed her quizzical gaze at him. He finally picked up from where he’d left off.
“Back then, Old Master Gu was pressuring him, so Brother Sheng finally got himself a fake marriage certificate because he was so irritated. He even agreed to let Xiaokou live with him. Subsequently…”
Upon reaching this part of his story, Lu Bancheng stopped. Looking at Qin Zhi’ai, he asked, “Are you aware that there were two Xiaokous?”
Of course, of course, I knew… Because I was one of the “Liang Doukous.”
“Mm,” Qin Zhi’ai replied faintly. After pondering for a moment, she added, “I’ve heard Nuannuan vaguely mention this before, but I’m not clear about any of the details.”
“Well, the real Xiaokou got a fake Xiaokou to live in Brother Sheng’s house. After the fake Xiaokou left, Brother Sheng chased the real Xiaokou out of the house…” After summarizing the events that had taken place, Lu Bancheng summarized by saying, “Brother Sheng and Xiaokou were never married, and Brother Sheng has never even considered marrying Xiaokou.”
While Lu Bancheng had shared all this in a casual and matter-of-fact tone, Qin Zhi’ai’s heart trembled, and the spareribs on her chopsticks slipped and landed on the table.
“Be careful,” said Lu Bancheng, as he proceeded to pick up a new piece for her.
Qin Zhi’ai snapped back to her senses and, despite her attempts to suppress the undercurrent of emotions in her heart, her voice still had a hint of tremor as she said, “Thank you, Brother Bancheng.”
“You’re welcome.” Lu Bancheng slightly smiled and took a sip of tea.
Holding onto her chopsticks, Qin Zhi’ai jabbed the spareribs twice. While she vaguely had an answer already in her heart, her curiosity got the better of her, and she cocked her head to one side and asked, “Brother Bancheng, who is this other woman to whom you’re referring?”
Upon hearing her question, Lu Bancheng, who was about to lift his chopsticks, paused his hand midair. After a moment, he finally helped himself to the vegetables and, with his usual expression, replied, “She’s Xiaokou’s body double.”
“Oh…” Suddenly afraid that she had forgotten herself, Qin Zhi’ai smiled. Recalling what Xu Wennuan had said when she had shared this similar gossip with her back then, Qin Zhi’ai said in a half-joking manner, “…It sounds like an imaginary tale or a legend. It’s slightly similar to the romance novels about body doubles that I used to read back in high school.”
“Is that so?” Lu Bancheng had never read a romance novel so he was unfamiliar with what she meant. “I’m not sure if they’re similar, but I do know that Brother Sheng likes her a lot.”
Lu Bancheng suddenly paused again midway toward the vegetables. He seemed to be recalling something from the past. Finally, he resumed and added, “He really likes her a lot, to the point where…”
He couldn’t find the precise term to describe what he was thinking, so he paused again. This time, after 10 seconds, he said, “Let me explain it to you in another way.”