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    “Boss, Shen Zhengqing is here again…”

    Upon hearing the name Shen Zhengqing, Shen Li wanted to hang up the phone: “What does he want?”

    “He said he has something very important to discuss with you.” Le’an sounded hesitant.

    Shen Li’s voice was cold: “Just tell him I’m not at the bar. If he causes trouble, let the security kick him out.”

    Le’an lowered her voice: “He said if you don’t see him, he’ll go to Mr. Lu…”

    In fact, Shen Zhengqing’s original words were much harsher, with a tone that hinted at threats. If it weren’t for involving Mr. Lu Changting, he wouldn’t be so hesitant.

    “Mr. Lu?” Shen Li frowned, “Which Mr. Lu?”

    What’s wrong with Shen Zhengqing? Why would he randomly drag someone from the Lu family into this…

    “…He mentioned Mr. Lu from the Lu Corporation, should be Mr. Lu Changting.”

    The hand holding the phone tightened suddenly, Shen Li spoke slowly: “Tell him to wait.”

    Regarding Shen Zhengqing, who always makes a fuss about nothing, Shen Li couldn’t help but speculate on his intentions with the utmost malice.

    Over the years, Shen Zhengqing had never paid a penny in child support to Chengzhao, nor fulfilled his duties as a father. If they just stopped interacting like this, it would be fine. But after he started running “Gujiu,” Shen Zhengqing not only brought friends to the bar to eat and drink for free but also criticized and insulted his sexual orientation while hypocritically asking for money under various pretexts.

    At first, he gave in a few times out of fatherly affection, but later, Shen Zhengqing demanded more and more. He always pretended to be doing it for his own good, advising him to “follow the right path” and to “change his ways.”

    He even lied to him about blind dates.

    He hadn’t harbored any hopes for Shen Zhengqing a long time ago, just hoping he would cause fewer troubles, so everyone could get along peacefully and they could barely maintain the facade of a father-son relationship.

    But Shen Zhengqing always fell short.

    Fortunately, Ms. Cheng Zhaozhao recently went to Z city with her mentor for inspiration, otherwise, if she knew he went to see Shen Zhengqing, she would be angry again.

    When Shen Li arrived at the bar, Shen Zhengqing had already finished a glass of Black Square.

    He was sitting very casually on the sofa in the booth, but when he saw Shen Li, he showed a friendly smile: “Xiao Li.”

    Shen Li sat down on the sofa opposite him and skipped the hypocritical pleasantries straight to the point: “What’s the matter?”

    Shen Zhengqing’s smile remained unaffected. He signaled the waiter to bring another glass and attentively poured Shen Li a drink: “It’s been a long time since the two of us sat down for a drink…”

    “I haven’t been drinking lately.” Shen Li’s tone was indifferent. “Drinking too much harms the stomach. You’re getting older, so you should pay more attention too.”

    Though it sounded like concern for his health, Shen Zhengqing knew his tendency to get angry and violent when drunk. Feeling pricked, he awkwardly put the glass down: “Let’s talk business then.”

    “Dad came to see you today because there’s really no other way.”

    “You know there have been some problems with Dad’s company. Originally, the funds were tight, and now the tax bureau…” Shen Zhengqing glanced at his expression, seeing no impatience, he continued, “The company needs to pay taxes and fines now, otherwise, it will go bankrupt, and we’ll end up on the blacklist.”

    After listening, Shen Li responded lightly, “How much do you need this time?”

    “Not much, just over five million.”

    Shen Li chuckled, exasperated, “Five million isn’t much? Do you think all my money comes blowing in with the wind?”

    Shen Zhengqing chuckled awkwardly, “Now that you’re connected to the Lu family, the company’s affairs are just a matter of Mr. Lu’s word…”

    Shen Li glanced at him, with a hint of warning in his eyes, “Mr. Lu is Mr. Lu, and I am me. What’s the connection between us?”

    Shen Zhengqing’s smile faded a bit. He knew Shen Li didn’t want to help him, but using such words to dodge was too perfunctory.

    “Aren’t you two in love? That day at Wangjiang Tower, Cheng Zhao was still flaunting in front of me.” He took a deep breath, trying to make his tone less aggressive, after all, he needed something from Shen Li, “Dad used to think that your liking for men was an illness, but since you’ve never been in a relationship, I still believe you can change.”

    “Since you’re already with Mr. Lu, I can’t really oppose anything.” He paused before continuing, “But you need to understand, families like the Lu’s, they’re destined for marriage, Mr. Lu will definitely marry in the future. You two don’t have a long-term future. It’s better to take advantage of the situation now, you have to plan for the future.”

    Shen Li was stunned by his words, it took him a while to react.

    He first frowned and scrutinized Shen Zhengqing, then shook his head, taking out several banknotes from his wallet and placing them on the table with a glass.

    “Dad, delusions are an illness, they need treatment.”

    “I can’t help you with the company’s affairs, but I can help with this illness.” Shen Li’s tone was earnest, “The psychiatric department at the S City Neurology Hospital is quite renowned…”

    “What nonsense are you talking about!” Shen Zhengqing exclaimed angrily.

    “I’m just returning the favor.” Shen Li looked at him calmly, “You know Mom likes to joke. Today Mr. Lu is my boyfriend, tomorrow Mr. Fu is my boyfriend. To annoy you, any wealthy and promising young man in S City could be my boyfriend.”

    Shen Zhengqing was stunned after hearing this. Indeed, Cheng Zhao could do such things. But that day, Lu Changting clearly didn’t refute… He was a bit confused for a moment, not sure if Shen Li really had no connection with Lu Changting, or if he was just trying to avoid helping him by distancing himself.

    “I have no relationship with Mr. Lu, not in the past, not now, and not in the future.” Shen Li’s eyes darkened, his tone sounding calm but carrying a hint of hostility, “You know what kind of family the Lu’s are. If you provoke him, you’ll bear the consequences.”

    Shen Zhengqing looked behind Shen Li, his pupils suddenly shrinking: “Mr. Lu…”

    “Mr. Shen, nice to see you again.”

    A deep voice sounded, and Shen Li turned around at the sound, his heart momentarily skipping a beat, then pounding even harder.

    When did Lu Changting arrive?

    Those words… how much did he hear?

    With impartiality, Lu Changting happened to hear the sentence “I have no relationship with Mr. Lu, not in the past, not now, and not in the future,” suppressing the bitterness in his heart. He sat down beside Shen Li with a faint expression, and with a firm attitude, he intruded into the conversation between this father and son: “Ms. Cheng said last time that Shen Li won’t help you with the company’s affairs, and you shouldn’t think about the marriage alliance. So why are you turning to Shen Li again, hmm?”

    “Mr. Lu!” Shen Zhengqing’s anger was completely ignited by his words. “What is your relationship with Shen Li, and why do you repeatedly intervene in my family affairs?”

    Lu Changting casually smiled, “It doesn’t matter for now.”

    He continued, “I’m still pursuing him unilaterally.”

    Shen Zhengqing was almost speechless under his overwhelming momentum, feeling increasingly unsure of himself. “Since you two are not together yet, you have no right to interfere in the family matters between us father and son.”

    “But he’s troubled by you.” Lu Changting’s voice was low and serious, “It’s a rare opportunity to show concern and support for your loved one.”

    Shen Li’s eyes widened in astonishment.

    For a moment, he almost believed Lu Changting’s words.

    But he didn’t dare to believe.

    Was it just to help him out of trouble?

    Lu Changting was really good at deceiving people, lying without blinking an eye. Just the day before, he brought a blind date to the bar for a date, and today he was sitting next to him saying he wanted to “pursue him”.

    But his heart was pounding incessantly because of that sentence, like a drumbeat of urgency and speed, louder than the music in the bar, louder than the laughter of others, only Lu Changting’s words echoed in his mind, “loved one.”

    Suddenly realizing the turning point of the situation, Shen Zhengqing smiled again, his tone completely different from the angry questioning just now: “Mr. Lu, you see, I am Shen Li’s father, and the affairs of my company also trouble Shen Li equally.”

    Lu Changting looked at him, his eyebrows slightly furrowed: “Then why do you have to trouble Shen Li with the company’s affairs? That’s your company, not his.”

    He hadn’t been in charge of the Lu family for long, and he hadn’t encountered such shameless and troublesome people. He patiently dealt with him, considering it as an eye-opening experience.

    Shen Zhengqing was rendered speechless by his question, his face alternating between green and white. “In the end, Mr. Lu just doesn’t want to help.”

    Lu Changting countered, “Why should I help you?”

    Shen Zhengqing let out a cold laugh, tearing away the hypocritical smile on his face, feeling somewhat frustrated. “Fine, you don’t have to help, and I can oppose you being together.”

    “That’s your freedom,” Lu Changting’s tone was indifferent. “Similarly, it’s Shen Li’s freedom to be with whoever he wants.”

    “You’re being unreasonable! It’s simply absurd!”

    Their argument attracted the attention of several tables of customers. Shen Li remained silent, feeling disheartened, not wanting to hear another word from Shen Zhengqing.

    “Have you had enough?” Shen Li interrupted him with a deep voice. “You just want money, I’ll give it to you.”

    “I’ll give you a maximum of three million, figure out the rest yourself.”

    Shen Zhengqing was still unsatisfied. “Only, only three million, how is that enough?”

    “You can sell the houses and cars you bought for your lover, raise some money that way. Even if it’s one or two million, it’ll do.” Shen Li looked at him coldly. “The company is already in such a deficit, stop maintaining your lover. Auntie has been with you for so many years, raising your son, it hasn’t been easy.”

    Shen Zhengqing’s expression turned extremely ugly. “What nonsense are you talking about, what lover?”

    Shen Li’s tone was icy. “How many have you changed, and how many properties have you privately acquired? Do you want me to list them for you?”

    “This is the last time,” Shen Li’s voice became even more indifferent. “And— the Lu family is not someone you can mess with.”

    Shen Zhengqing wanted to say more, but was silenced by Shen Li’s icy gaze. He didn’t dare to truly offend Lu Changting, so he reluctantly accepted the outcome.

    Three million was better than nothing.

    As for Shen Li’s remark about it being the last time, he didn’t take it seriously at all. After all, Shen Li always softened eventually and wouldn’t leave him to fend for himself.

    Author’s Note:

    The blind date issue has been resolved, the cabinet has been taken care of, and now I’m happily pursuing my loved one.

    And then, with a snap—the cabinet door was closed by my loved one.

    Lu Changting: I’m suffering inside.

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