The bag in his hand was quite heavy, and as he held it, it dropped heavily, causing Lu Ye to instinctively grip the handle tightly.
He felt a complicated mix of emotions that he couldn’t quite put into words.

Ironically, Lu Ye had never been fazed by even the most vicious criminals, yet today he was caught off guard by Qi Yanbai’s sudden attack and found himself at a loss.

“Well…” Lu Ye was a bit dumbfounded, unable to speak for a while as he lowered his head.
Eventually, he chuckled and made a joke, “This… I’ve never experienced this kind of treatment before.”

Lu Ye had grown up being independent, having clashed with his family’s beliefs and come out of the closet at an early age.
Consequently, he had left home early, worked his way through college with part-time jobs, and relied on both scholarships and mutual support from his sister Lu Wenyu to complete his education.

While he had a good relationship with Lu Wenyu, their personalities were quite similar.
Both were strong-willed and ambitious individuals.
Although they cared for each other, they weren’t particularly attentive to the finer details, often overlooking many things.

Lu Ye had become used to self-reliance.
Suddenly having someone show such genuine concern for him made him feel inexplicably moved.

The bag still emitted a slight warmth, and a faint steam escaped from the gap in the zipper, leaving a noticeable warmth on the back of Lu Ye’s hand.
As he rubbed the strap with his hand, he felt a slight tingling sensation in his chest, a mixture of numbness and itchiness.

“In any case, thank you.” Lu Ye sincerely expressed his gratitude and then playfully teased, “Being this gentle and considerate.
If any girl ends up with you, she’ll probably be really lucky.”

“Well that’s unfortunate,” Qi Yanbai quickly refuted, “I don’t have any girls I like.”

He refuted a bit too quickly.
Lu Ye was slightly taken aback, sensing a subtle restlessness in Qi Yanbai’s attitude.

But before Lu Ye could fully understand the source of this restlessness, Qi Yanbai had already returned to his normal self.
He glanced behind Lu Ye and smoothly changed the topic.

“Um, I have classes in the afternoon.” Qi Yanbai said, “So I better be going now—remember to eat while it’s hot and not let it get cold.”


This abrupt change of topic seemed to be masking something, yet also carried a hint of an unfinished intention.
Lu Ye was protective of those close to him, and for anyone he included in his “safe zone,” he was quite accommodating.
Seeing that Qi Yanbai didn’t seem interested in discussing the topic further, he naturally refrained from probing.

“Wait a moment.” Lu Ye stopped him, bringing up another matter, “Since you’re here, let me brief you on last night’s incident.”

As expected, Qi Yanbai paused in his steps.
He turned his head and looked at Lu Ye, asking, “Is it about the assailant from last night?”

“Yes.” Lu Ye confirmed, “His name is Zhao Quan, forty-two years old, unemployed.”

“Why did he follow me?” Qi Yanbai wondered, “Trying to rob me?”

“No.” Lu Ye explained, “He was looking for his daughter.”

Seeing Qi Yanbai’s puzzled expression, Lu Ye continued, “His daughter transferred to your institution recently and is your student.”

Qi Yanbai was meticulous in his job, remembering personal information and family backgrounds of all his students.
Thus, upon Lu Ye’s slight reminder, he recalled a person from his memory.


“Zhao Ting’s parent?” Qi Yanbai asked.

“Yes.” Lu Ye confirmed, “He divorced his wife and lost custody of his daughter due to lack of employment.
Discontented, he always wanted to take his daughter back, but he was never successful.
He staked out the area near your institution a few times, saw you talking to Zhao Ting’s mother, and assumed you were accomplices, so he targeted you.”

“That makes sense.” Qi Yanbai let out a sigh of relief and said, “So, how should we deal with this person now?”

“He wants to see you and hopes to request forgiveness.” Lu Ye spoke truthfully, “I know this incident is still scary for you, so whether you want to meet or not, it’s entirely up to you.”

“I don’t want to see him.” Qi Yanbai honestly replied, “and I don’t think there’s a need for forgiveness.”

Qi Yanbai appeared gentle but held grudges deep within.
He wasn’t concerned about the fact that the drunkard had followed him or whether he had actually bought a knife to potentially harm him.
What he cared about was Lu Ye being injured and hurt in the process.

Lu Ye wasn’t sure what Qi Yanbai’s focus was, but he appreciated Qi Yanbai’s clear boundaries.
He nodded and didn’t press him further.

“However, the man was heavily intoxicated when he followed you last night.
He didn’t actually harm you in the end, so even if we decide to take action, it would likely result in a maximum of ten days’ detention and a fine.” Lu Ye explained, “Anything more severe is unlikely.”

“That’s fine, I’ll follow your lead.” Qi Yanbai said softly, “I trust that you won’t let me down.”

He raised his eyebrows slightly, his smile carrying a hint of cunning, his eyes full of tender and focused amusement.
It was as though Lu Ye was intrinsically deserving of unconditional trust from Qi Yanbai.


The way Qi Yanbai looked at him made Lu Ye’s heart melt.
He felt as though Qi Yanbai possessed a certain magic, an innate ability to make people unable to refuse him.

“Alright, I understand.
I’ll enforce the law impartially.” Lu Ye’s gaze also softened.
He chuckled and lightly patted Qi Yanbai’s shoulder, gently reminding, “This man has a drinking problem and a criminal record.
He’s been involved in gambling and drugs.
You can let your students and parents know about this incident, just be cautious in the future.”

“Got it.” Qi Yanbai said.

“Alright, go back to work.” Lu Ye smiled and said, “I’ll bring your lunchbox when I get off work tonight.”

This suggestion clearly resonated with Qi Yanbai.
He squinted his eyes and smiled, saying, “Sure.”

With a single hand in his pocket, Lu Ye stood at the door, watching as Qi Yanbai walked about a hundred meters away to the bus stop.
He waited for a little while longer, watching Qi Yanbai board the bus, before turning back to his office.

Having gone out for a while, he returned with an oversized insulated bag, catching the attention of his colleagues who were still in the office.
It was almost lunchtime, and Lu Ye cleared some space on his desk, then opened the bag and took out the contents one by one.

Perhaps worried that the food would cool down, Qi Yanbai thoughtfully included dry heating packs between the layers of lunch boxes.
As Lu Ye took out the lunch boxes one by one, he felt the thin layer of plastic between the layers of food was warm to the touch.

Qi Yanbai was clearly tidy and meticulous, and his cooking skills were impressive.
Lu Ye opened each of the three layers of lunch boxes and realized that this meal contained not only meat and vegetables but also soup.
Qi Yanbai had even taken the effort to arrange the dishes, resembling the meticulously prepared “solo living bento” seen on certain video websites.

Lu Ye chuckled at the sight of the nori and sesame sprinkled over the white rice.
He couldn’t help but admire the artistry of the art teacher.
Finally, he reached for his phone on the table and took a photo.

“Wow, even takeout isn’t this elaborate.” His colleague, enticed by the aroma, couldn’t resist pushing his rolling chair closer, asking with a knowing smile, “Is this from another ‘ ordinary friend’?”

 Lu Ye took out the last bottle of plum drink from the insulated bag and asked, “well you can find yourself an ‘ordinary friend’ too, if you’re feeling jealous.”

“So, this is what men are like.
They sway in their stance, and easily fall for sugar-coated traps.” His colleague clicked his tongue in mock seriousness, “He was denying him in the morning, but one meal is enough to win him over.
Now he’s showing it off.”

Joking aside, Qi Yanbai’s “sugar-coated trap” was evidently a tasty temptation for the Public Security Brigade, used to takeout and instant noodles.
The fragrance of the food was irresistible, and not just his colleagues, even Li Zhiwen, who had just scolded Lu Ye in the morning to “keep personal affairs out of work,” couldn’t resist and “happened” to pass by Lu Ye’s desk, glancing inside several times.

“So much?” Li Zhiwen looked at the large and small containers on Lu Ye’s desk, unable to resist clearing his throat and subtly asking, “Will you be able to finish all of it?”


Lu Ye was a generous person.
He left cigarettes and tissues casually on his desk for everyone to share, and when it came to ordering takeout, they usually shared as well.
So, Li Zhiwen’s question was reasonable, but Lu Ye’s reaction that day was unexpected.
He swiftly grabbed the lunch box, as if protecting his food, and pulled the plate of chicken wings back to his side.

“I can,” Lu Ye said with a smile, “Thanks, boss.”

Li Zhiwen: “…”

Stingy brat!

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