Even though she was clutching her arms and shivering, goosebumps were all over her body as she called a taxi and got into it. The driver noticed her plight from his rearview mirror and asked if he should turn the heater on for her.
Cheng Xi nodded. “Thank you.”
She couldn’t help but glance back. The words “Donglai Grand Hotel” shone clearly in the morning light.
She finally recognized where she was—in Nan’an, far from Phoenix Stage, the nightclub where she had been partying last night, and farther still from her home.
She rarely ever came to this area, so despite being a local, she found the surroundings unfamiliar.
“Please make the next left turn and go to Phoenix Stage.” After finally seeing a familiar landmark, Cheng Xi gave some instructions to the taxi driver.
“At this time?”
The driver looked at her with a funny expression, then smiled and asked, “Do you work there?”
Cheng Xi, stone-faced, replied, “No.”
The driver chuckled, decided not to say anything else, and turned left ahead.
Cheng Xi took out her phone and googled ‘Donglai.’ Only one piece of news mentioned Lu Chenzhou, and even that was a year old. All it said was that Donglai was to be passed down from father to son, with Lu Chenzhou taking over and becoming its new CEO.
The rest of the many news articles dealt almost exclusively with Donglai’s corporate expansion plan. Cheng Xi didn’t read these articles, as she was not interested in such matters.
It was indeed quite early. They reached Phoenix Stage right around 9 AM, but the doors were already open, and a worker was cleaning the floors. Cheng Xi walked in and found the manager. “I left my handbag here last night. Could you let me check the security cameras?”
The manager was on guard towards her request and perfunctorily replied, “Which room were you in? I apologize, but under normal circumstances, we’re not allowed to let customers look through the security footage.”
Cheng Xi reported the room number. “I’m not interested in anything else except for the footage near the exit. My handbag has some very important information that I need to reclaim, so could you please help me out?”
The manager thought for a while before replying, “Would it be fine if you stated the approximate time at which you lost your bag? That way, we can review the security footage for you.”
No matter what Cheng Xi said, the manager seemed reluctant to agree, and he was even starting to suspect her true motives. Exasperated and helpless, she suddenly thought of name-dropping Lu Chenzhou. “Do I need to have Mr. Lu talk to you, then?”
“Yes, Lu Chenzhou. My missing handbag has his documents inside.”
The manager looked at her suspiciously before finally giving in. “Please wait here.” He turned and went into the office, most likely to talk to his boss. After a while, he returned and brought Cheng Xi in to look at the security footage.
The footage had no audio. At 11:18 PM, she saw Lu Chenzhou’s driver lift her out of the private room. Lu Chenzhou walked by his driver’s side, and the three of them left directly by car.
Throughout the whole process, no other people entered or exited the room.
11:18 PM---it shouldn’t have been more than half an hour since Cheng Xi had first entered the room. Additionally, the time she had been drunk was far shorter. Within that period of time, then, nothing much could have happened.
So, Cheng Xi was quite certain that, last night, not long after she had gotten drunk, Lu Chenzhou had brought her away to Donglai Hotel.
As for his motives.... she suddenly remembered a question that Lu Chenzhou had asked her. “Would you get in bed with your patients?”
Then, she had replied ‘no.’
As she remembered this, Cheng Xi laughed softly.
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