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    Loves Error

    Human nature is inherently greedy: for life, for love, for desire, for everything that can be coveted.

    Once someone tastes the sweetness of something, it’s like setting a fire in a dry field, spreading like wildfire.

    Lu Changting not only didn’t intend to restrain himself but even acted more indulgently, showing signs of neglecting his duties for pleasure.

    Shen Li, initially staying for just a couple of days, ended up living there permanently, and the two naturally started living together.

    June passed by, and at the beginning of July, there was a rain shower, but the weather kept getting hotter day by day. During the height of summer, only ice-cold watermelon and ice cream could alleviate the heat a little.

    Their daily life as a couple involved Lu Changting going to work at the company during the day while Shen Li either caught up on sleep at home or managed the bar’s accounts. Shen Li would bring him lunch and prepare dinner at home. After dinner, they would go to the bar for an inspection. If Lu Changting didn’t have to work late, he would accompany Shen Li to the bar, and they would go home together around 10 PM. If he worked late, it would usually be very late, and he would go straight to the bar to pick up Shen Li after work.

    Although Lu Changting still worked diligently and as self-disciplined as before, Shen Li’s frequent visits to the company inevitably sparked some gossip. Moreover, many people from high society frequented “Gu Jiu,” and the news about him and Shen Li soon reached Lu Shiyang’s ears.

    Lu Shiyang, who loved to stir up trouble, casually informed their parents about it.

    In fact, Lu Shiyuan had already heard some rumors but wasn’t ready to address the issue yet. However, once Lu Shiyang mentioned it, even if it was just for appearances, he had to call Lu Changting home for a talk.

    When Lu Shiyuan’s call came, Lu Changting had just finished work and was stepping out of the elevator into the underground parking lot. It happened to be a particularly hot day, and the underground parking lot was stifling. The seat’s heat caused him to break out in a light sweat on his back. Even though he turned on the air conditioning immediately after getting into the car, he still felt a wave of discomfort.

    Lu Changting answered the call, put on his Bluetooth headset, and started the car.

    He wasn’t surprised when Lu Shiyuan told him to come home; instead, he felt a sense of relief.

    Although his father’s tone was not pleasant, the fact that he was being called home meant that his parents were finally willing to have a serious conversation with him.

    It was Lu Shiyang who had torn through the facade of peace. Lu Shiyuan initially thought that ignoring the issue would be easier, but now he had to face the fact that his son liked men. The hot weather, combined with his irritability, naturally made his tone harsher.

    Seeing Liu Xiezhi frown, he added in a stiff tone, “Your mom specifically had the housekeeper make a large meal and even cooked your favorite sweet soup.”

    Lu Changting responded with a simple “Got it.”

    After hanging up, he pulled up his contact list and dialed the top-pinned number.

    Shen Li was cutting meat, and his hands were a bit greasy. He squeezed some dish soap, washed his hands, and answered the phone, “Changting?”

    “I won’t be coming home for dinner today,” Lu Changting said, feeling a peculiar awkwardness in informing his partner last minute that he wouldn’t be coming home for dinner. “My dad asked me to go home.”

    He sighed, “Sorry.”

    “There’s nothing to apologize for,” Shen Li wasn’t upset. After all, it was Lu Changting’s family calling him home for dinner. He was just concerned and asked, “Is something going on?”

    There was something, but Lu Changting didn’t want to worry Shen Li, so he said, “My mom said I’ve been working too hard lately, so she made a big meal to nourish me.”

    “Will you be back tonight?”

    It was uncertain… Lu Changting sighed inwardly but replied in a playful tone, “Can’t bear to be away from me for a night?”

    Shen Li pressed his lips together, “I’m hanging up. Drive safely.”

    Lu Changting chuckled, “Be good, go home early, and get some sleep.”

    He added, “If I don’t stay overnight, I’ll try to come back early.”

    The Lu family home was situated at the end of Pingchao Road along the river, an old residence with white walls and black tiles. The courtyard in front had a large grove of willow trees and rose bushes, with winding paths leading to secluded spots.

    The houses along this riverside road were all built in a classical style, with ample space between each residence. Not all the residents were extremely wealthy, but this was an old district with a long history, elegant scenery with clear water and green trees. Nowadays, even with money, it would be hard to buy such a house.

    Lu Changting bought some fresh seasonal fruits at the corner, parked his car, sent Shen Li a message saying he had arrived home, and then walked in carrying the fruit.

    “Mom, I’m back.”

    “So, you still remember to come back.” Sitting on the sofa, Lu Shiyuan shook the newspaper, humming lightly. “Either you don’t come home for ten days or half a month, or you come back just to grab something and leave…”

    Liu Xiezhi lightly patted his hand, “Changting is busy with work. It’s rare for him to come back. Say a few less words.”

    “A person busy with work goes to bars every day to fool around?”

    “Going to a bar is fooling around?” Liu Xiezhi calmly retorted, “Then, were you doing something serious when you used to go to the theater every day to listen to operas?”

    Lu Shiyuan put away the newspaper. “Watching the wife is, of course, a serious matter.”

    “Your son takes after you.” In these days, they had also inquired about Shen Li’s situation, knowing that Shen Li was the owner of “Gujiu.” Lu Changting couldn’t possibly be fooling around at the bar, and Shen Li’s reputation was quite good. They even heard from people in the company that Shen Li would deliver meals to Lu Changting every day.

    Shen Li, who managed “Gujiu,” was definitely not just a decorative vase or a pet canary. The Xiezhi family had already accepted him as an extra son. However, Lu Shiyuan still harbored some reservations about Lu Changting and Shen Li, always thinking about when the two would break up and bring Lu Changting back onto the right path.

    Feeling like he still wanted to say something, Lu Shiyuan was glared at reproachfully by Liu Xiezhi. “Let’s eat first. If there’s anything, we’ll talk after dinner.”

    Lu Changting was used to his parents’ playful banter. He placed the fruits on the coffee table, washed his hands in the kitchen, and then sat down at the dining table.

    After dinner, Lu Changting was summoned to the study by Lu Shiyuan, without even getting a sip of the sweet soup specially cooked by Liu Xiezhi for him.

    As soon as the door closed, it was knocked again.

    Liu Xiezhi entered with two bowls of chilled sweet soup and smiled at Lu Shiyuan. She knew that she couldn’t take her son’s side at this moment. She had to first cheer up her husband. So, she just placed the sweet soup on the desk and softly said, “Dear.”

    Lu Shiyuan felt a bit helpless. He was always soft in front of Liu Xiezhi. “Alright, I promise not to get angry or do anything. You go out first.”

    After the study door closed again, Lu Shiyuan picked up the sweet soup and took a sip before speaking, “How long have you been with Shen Li?”

    “Since May 19th,” Lu Changting replied. “It’s been forty-nine days.”

    “You remember it quite clearly,” Lu Shiyuan stared at him with a deep gaze. “Do you know about his family situation?”

    “His parents are divorced, his aunt hasn’t remarried in recent years, she runs her own studio, and Shen Li is currently pursuing a master’s degree at the Art Institute,” Lu Changting paused before continuing, “His father has his own new family and doesn’t usually interact with them.”

    “He doesn’t usually interact with them,” Lu Shiyuan sneered. “He doesn’t usually until he needs something.”

    “I don’t deny that your boyfriend is an outstanding person,” Lu Shiyuan said. “But he comes from a single-parent family, and with a father like that, his upbringing is completely different from yours. You two are not compatible.”

    Lu Changting couldn’t help but furrow his brow. “Did you investigate him?”

    “I just wanted to know a bit about your boyfriend,” Lu Shiyuan’s anger surged. “Isn’t it for your own good? You’ve never been in a relationship before, and you’ve always been virtuous. You don’t know how chaotic places like bars can be…”

    “What did you find out?” Lu Changting’s tone cooled down.

    “While I didn’t find out much, Shen Li might not be as clean as you think,” Lu Shiyuan’s brows furrowed. “He might not be.”

    “You’re biased,” Lu Changting also felt angry, but the more his anger burned, the calmer he became. Arguing wouldn’t help; he had to calmly discuss this with Lu Shiyuan.

    “Fine, let’s not talk about this,” Lu Shiyuan suppressed his anger a bit. He didn’t want to argue with Lu Changting, because he had promised Liu Xiezhi to have a good talk with Lu Changting.

    “Today, your uncle came to our house. Do you know what he told me?”

    “He said that rumors are spreading throughout the company that you’ve taken up with a pretty little canary, and people in the business world say you’re indulging in pleasure, hanging out in bars, and reveling all day long,” Lu Changting could disregard his own reputation, but the head of the Lu family couldn’t. Lu Shiyuan looked at him sternly, “Your position dictates that you cannot behave so recklessly.”

    Lu Changting straightened his back, his expression always faint. Upon hearing this, however, he chuckled.

    It was a somewhat helpless smile.

    “I never wanted this position, Dad.”

    Lu Shiyuan was momentarily speechless at his son’s words.

    Indeed, Lu Changting had never wanted to be the head of the Lu family.

    In his generation, the other relatives were too mediocre in their abilities. He and Lu Sheyang were comparable, but they were two extremes. Lu Changting had no interest in family affairs, and in his earlier years, he had immersed himself in antiques and calligraphy. It wasn’t until he got married that he began to manage the family’s import and export business. On the other hand, Lu Sheyang, being the latecomer to the Fourth Lord’s family, had been somewhat spoiled since childhood, only caring about power, status, and wealth. Without proper guidance and restraint, he was bound to cause trouble sooner or later for personal gain.

    Among the younger generation, Lu Changxu was too gentle and sometimes indecisive, not suitable for leading the family. Lu Changyin and Lu Changge had no interest in business, and Lu Changan was still young… It was only Lu Changting, with his exceptional talent and outstanding abilities, who, while not coveting wealth and glory like his peers, had a broader perspective and was willing to take over the family business and manage it.

    In the study, neither father nor son spoke, and the only sound was the hum of the air conditioner.

    After a long silence, Lu Changting suddenly spoke up, “I’ve been in a relationship before, in my senior year of high school.”

    He continued, “So if I don’t want you to know, I can keep it from you for a long time.”

    He had that capability, and he could easily do so.

    Then there was Lu Sheyang, who always caused trouble for him. The group was under his control now, and if it weren’t for family ties, he would have dealt with Lu Sheyang long ago, never giving him the chance to stab him in the back.

    But he hadn’t.

    He had openly admitted his orientation and had repeatedly indulged Lu Sheyang. And what did he get in return?

    He got a bucket of dirty water.

    He got the phrase “Your position dictates that you cannot behave so recklessly.”

    Lu Changting suddenly felt that his busy days, tirelessly working for the group, were extremely meaningless.

    If he couldn’t even have his own home, if he couldn’t even control his own feelings, then why bother being the head of the Lu family?

    Lu Shiyuan looked at him, seeing his unwavering gaze and firm attitude, and couldn’t help but smile with some emotion. “What’s good about liking men?”

    His son was truly like him.

    When he had told his father he wanted to marry Liu Xiezhi, he had been just as resolute, refusing to back down.

    “He’s good in every way, and it’s even better if I can bring him home,” Lu Changting’s tone softened as he thought of Shen Li. “Then you can see for yourself how great he is.”

    Lu Shiyuan sighed deeply and made his final concession, “Find a time, bring him home for me to see.”

    Author’s note:

    Yes, the Lu family is on the same path as the Song family, but they’re quite far apart.

    【Actually, I’m just too lazy to come up with names for places.】

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