Chapter 62: It’s Me
Jiang Yao was so indifferent while answering the phone and was ready to hang up after getting the message, but the familiar voice from the other end stunned her.
It was from Lu Xingzhi.
“Jiang Yao, it’s me.” Lu Xingzhi’s usual monotonous and straightforward tone echoed into her ear through the phone line.
It was an astonishing moment for someone who didn’t hold any hope.
However, after regaining her attention, Jiang Yao shouted right into the phone. “Lu Xingzhi! You’ve finally remembered to call, haven’t you! Do you remember what you promised me before you returned to the base? You promised that you were going to call home once you arrived at the base, remember? Well? Did you know that I was worried sick about you? These days, I’m like a crazy person rushing to the phone as soon as it rings, thinking it’s you! Ten days! I was worried for ten whole days! You, on the other hand, didn’t even remember to call home! Argh!”
The more Jiang Yao said, the more agitated she got. After a series of continuous scolding, she immediately slammed the phone receiver down and hung up. Then, she glared at the phone, huffing and puffing in irritation.
At the moment, in Longteng Restaurant in Jindo City, Lu Xingzhi was a little astonished as he listened to the beeping sound on the phone. He was surprised that Jiang Yao had hung up instantly after scolding him.
She must be in so much rage to hang up without giving him a chance to say a word.
Lu Xingzhi wasn’t upset about it though, as he thought about what she said. She had been worried about him for ten days and was waiting for his call every day. He understood the anxiety and misery of missing someone.
“Why? Has our sister-in-law hung up on you again?” Zhou Weiqi, the owner of the mobile phone Lu Xingzhi was using, glanced in amusement at the man who hadn’t even managed to go out of the room to talk on the phone. He teased, “She is the best.”
Zhou Weiqi used the word ‘again’ on purpose. The buddies who sat around the table knew a thing or two about Lu Xingzhi and his wife.
“Weiqi, can you stop taking pleasure in other people’s misery? It’s disgusting.” Chen Xuyao kicked Zhou Weiqi, who was smiling a bright and teasing smile, under the table. It was not funny at all, at least not to Cheng Xuyao.
Zhou Weiqi squinted at Chen Xuyao from the corner of his eyes and snorted, “What I want to say is that there are so many women in this world, who do you have to…godd*mnit! Xuyao! Kick me one more time and you’ll see!”
Before he could finish, Chen Xuyao kicked him again, and this time, the kick was stronger than the previous kicks. Zhou Weiqi even guessed that his feet must be swollen from all the kicks.
In an instant, Zhou Weiqi stood up in dismay and got into a fighting posture as if he was ready to jump on Chen Xuyao.
“How can you still talk with food in your mouth? Just eat.” Chen Xuyao was certain that if Zhou Weiqi had finished his sentence just now, Lu Xingzhi would have been the one to pounce on him.
Lu Xingzhi loved his wife like she was his Thumbelina. Everyone knew that he adored her and cherished her gingerly. The suggestion that he find another sensible woman to spare his time for instead of pleasing a woman with great effort would only agitate Lu Xingzhi.
Zhou Weiqi also realized the mistake he was about to commit after being chided by Chen Xuyao. He sat back timidly and said while extending his hand to Lu Xingzhi, “Brother, can I have my phone back, please?”
“Is it urgent?” Standing a few steps away from Zhou Weiqi, Lu Xingzhi questioned without even lifting his gaze while holding Zhou Weiqi’s phone in his hand without any intention to return it.
“No, it’s not urgent,” Zhou Weiqi said sheepishly. “If you want to call her back, go ahead and make the call. After you finish talking, you can come back to eat.”
A lot of readers have questioned if Jiang Yao’s feelings for Lu Xingzhi are merely reciprocal love and have found the progression of the story a bit strange as it unfolded. Here, I would like to provide some explanation.
As mentioned earlier, before Jiang Yao’s rebirth, the main reason Jiang Yao and Lu Xingzhi were separated for eleven years of their married life was because she was opposed to the concept of their arranged marriage by their parents and the lack of freedom to make her own decisions. It was not because her groom was Lu Xingzhi.
Jiang Yao is the youngest and only daughter of the Jiang family. She had always been adored by her parents and her elder brothers, and had never been through hardship growing up. She excelled academically, but she had always been an independent girl with her own sets of thoughts. When her parents abruptly announced that she was to marry Lu Xingzhi, an out-of-nowhere stranger, her first reaction was to find her parents’ behavior ridiculous and unbelievable.
The Jiang couple loved their daughter Jiang Yao very much. If Jiang Yao had insisted, they wouldn’t have forced her to marry Lu Xingzhi. Her compromise later on was nothing more than a rebellious action that was evoked against the arrangement. She had wanted to use her own method to show her parents the consequences of an arrangement that they thought was good and suitable for her.
This kind of thinking is quite risky for a girl like Jiang Yao, who had never been in love before. She didn’t understand what love was and she was still ignorant about affection and passion. By marrying Lu Xingzhi with such a state of mind, Jiang Yao had gotten lost in a maze.
Nevertheless, she was not entirely devoid of passion towards Lu Xingzhi, or she wouldn’t have run away from him otherwise. She could’ve divorced him after she graduated from college with the ability to survive on her own, cutting all ties with the man.
However, she didn’t do so. Instead, she chose to run away and avoid him, which represents exactly the vague feelings she had for Lu Xingzhi that she didn’t know how to face.
Jiang Yao’s feelings for Lu Xingzhi were illustrated in the first two chapters of this novel, which might be a little too subtle for you to notice.
For example, after all those years of zero communication whatsoever, Jiang Yao immediately recognized Lu Xingzhi’s voice though he spoke only one sentence. It shows that Lu Xingzhi’s voice was carved deep in her mind, but she was in self-denial and didn’t know how to confront her feelings.
Moreover, although she hadn’t seen him for such a long time, she recognized Lu Xingzhi at first glance the moment he was buried in the landslide.
When Lu Xingzhi was swallowed by the muddy landslide, Jiang Yao’s involuntary actions and responses prove she wasn’t entirely dispassionate towards Lu Xingzhi. However, she was simply too used to suppressing her feelings, and was in such deep self-denial just so she could contradict her parents someday by showing them how unhappy she was and what misfortune she faced in this marriage.
This is the final outcome of a rebellious thought of an adolescent girl.
Lu Xingzhi’s testament, his sacrifice, and his intense love for her were enough to free her from her invisible shackles and helped her realize her genuine feelings for Lu Xingzhi.
Therefore, after rebirth, Jiang Yao liked Lu Xingzhi, though in a fuzzy state. As she has more contact with Lu Xingzhi, the passion would become more intense, more affectionate, and deeper. It is a process that would make their interactions more natural and harmonious.