Hear My Heart: My World Falls into the River of Love

Chapter 66
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Chapter 66

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This began after the Lunar New Year Festival.

Since Lin Zhen and Tang Zheng evidently had a backward understanding of the other’s character, they no longer had a collaborative relationship. During the Lunar New Year, however, Tang Zheng’s older sister had Tang Zheng invite Lin Zhen home for a meal. In order for their deception to not be exposed, he thus had to brace himself and contact Lin Zhen.

Thinking that directly calling her would be unavoidably awkward to the extreme, he logged into WeChat and sent her a message.

Tang Zheng: 「『red envelope』Happy Lunar New Year」

Lin Zhen:「『red envelope』Happy Lunar New Year to you too」

Tang Zheng: 「『red envelope』It’s like this」

Tang Zheng:「『red envelope』My older sister wants to invite you over for a meal」

Tang Zheng: 「『red envelope』I’m wondering if you’re free?」

Lin Zhen:「『red envelope』…」

Lin Zhen:「『red envelope』Why is she inviting me over?」

Tang Zheng: 「『red envelope』Maybe because our previous collaboration」

Tang Zheng: 「『red envelope』still isn’t over」

Tang Zheng: 「『red envelope』My older sister got inspired by the Lunar New Year」

Lin Zhen:「『red envelope』…oh」

Tang Zheng: 「『red envelope』Don’t return the red envelopes」

Tang Zheng: 「『red envelope』This kind of chat is very tiresome」

Lin Zhen: 「…」

She straightforwardly sent him a voice message. 【I think that since we’ve been deceiving them, it doesn’t matter.】

A moment later, she also received a voice message from Tang Zheng. 【I also know this, but since it’s the Lunar New Year, I’m at gunpoint. Putting off that discussion until after this boils over.】

【Alright】

Tang Zheng saw her agreement and internally breathed a sigh of relief. He couldn’t help but inquisitively ask, though: 【 No one is rushing you at home? If you need me to, I can help.】

Lin Zhen responded: 【They are. I simply didn’t return home for Lunar New Year. It was peaceful.】

Recalling those seven sister-in-laws, eight aunts, and even the aunties next door back at home, reminding her that she was already thirty-one, she felt her brain wanting to explode.

Tang Zheng: 「『red envelope』I understand」

Tang Zheng: 「『red envelope』I’ll pick you up tomorrow afternoon」

Lin Zhen: 「…」

In fact, she really liked chatting this way with Tang Zheng.

?

The next day, Lin Zhen was trying out clothes at home, but she was ultimately unsatisfied with the several outfits she had. She thus grabbed one of Jian Yan’s manhuas and consulted it. After an hour of such nitpicky torment, Tang Zheng arrived downstairs. He sat in the car while he called her. “I’m downstairs. How much longer do you need?”

“I’ll be down right away.” Lin Zhen hung up and styled her hair. Grabbing her purse, she slipped into a pair of boots and left her apartment.

Tang Zheng saw her appear and waved. “Over here.”

Lin Zhen walked over to his car and asked him, “I think I should drive my car; otherwise, after the meal, won’t you need to drive me back?”

Tang Zhen countered, “So we’ll be side-by-side on the road?”

Lin Zhen: “…”

“Sending you back is indeed a big deal. Just get in, okay?”

Lin Zhen had no response and climbed into the car. On the way there, the two of them spoke little. Tang Zheng, unable to bear this kind of atmosphere any longer, coughed and tried to make small talk. “That, where is your old home?”

Lin Zhen replied, “A small town on the outskirts of A City.”

“Oh.” Tang Zheng pursed his lips and continued, “It’s reasonable to say that…your circumstances for seeking a husband shouldn’t be unfavorable—unless your requirements are too high.”

Lin Zhen remarked, “Your circumstances aren’t that unfavorable either, so why are you still single?”

“…” Tang Zheng coughed again and stated, “I simply don’t want to marry.”

“Hehe, you men are all like this. Of course you are happier spending your time outside, indulging in a life of debauchery.”

Tang Zheng: “…”

He felt that he should remain silent.

?

That evening, Tang Zheng’s parents and older sister were in attendance. Tang jiejie1 and Lin Zhen spoke familiarly at first sight. Upon seeing Lin Zhen enter, Tang jiejie dragged her into the drawing room to chat…about tips on running a business.

After their conversation drew to a close, she felt that her younger brother was even more useless. “You don’t know how troubled I am every day, trying to teach business to Tang Zheng at the company. I truly don’t know how he is able to live so extravagantly with his IQ.”

Tang Zheng: “…”

Unwilling to accept her judgement, he interjected, “What’s wrong with me? Haven’t I worked hard enough these days? Plus, dad said that project I am currently in charge of is doing pretty good.”

Tang jiejie giggled. “Dad’s just trying to make you feel better. Look at mom, she even says that you’re the ‘most handsome.’”

Tang Zheng: “…”

What—which feature of his was not handsome?!

Lin Zhen said, “There are a lot of matters that he is definitely gaining a slow understanding of. Tang Zheng has already progressed far.”

“Exactly!” Tang Zheng proudly puffed out his chest.

Tang jiejie sighed. “If only he was twenty instead of thirty this year.”

Tang Zheng: “…”

Lin Zhen: “…”

Lin Zhen also sighed with sorrow at this comment. “Boys nowadays are really becoming increasingly immature. Previously, a thirty-year-old man wore maturity as a badge of honor. Now, a thirty-year-old man is indistinguishable from a twenty-year old man.”

Tang jiejie corrected, “There is still a difference. Their bodies aren’t as fit as a twenty-year-old’s.”

Lin Zhen pondered this deeply. “Yes, ai, then it’s better to look for twenty-year-olds, no?”

Tang Zheng: “…”

“Hn, once you guys really try and look for twenty-year olds, you’ll learn that there is a difference between a twenty-year-old and a thirty-year old! Little boys are indeed very childish!”

Tang jiejie glanced at him. “In regards to that…I don’t see how you’re any different.”

“I have at least run a studio for several years. Do you think developing the studio to its current level was easy?”

Tang jiejie commented, “I think that’s primarily because of the contributions of He Xiu and the others.”

Tang Zheng: “…”

Let’s sever our relationship. ??

Afterwards, Lin Zhen joined the Tang family at the dinner table. There were countless dishes today, and Papa Tang, joyous, even called for someone to bring out red wine from his collection. Mama Tang said that his blood pressure was high and didn’t allow him to drink any. Thus, this bottle of wine was basically consumed by Tang jiejie and Lin Zhen. Tang Zheng didn’t get to taste even a small sip——because he had to drive Lin Zhen home later.

Lin Zhen kindly saved him a mouthful, so that he could drink it after he returned home. At the dining table, Mama Tang gave Lin Zhen a red envelope. Lin Zhen, really embarrassed, received it. Mama Tang smiled and said, “What is there to be embarrassed about. Celebrating the Lunar New Year is auspicious, and the money isn’t much.”

“Then, thank you, auntie.” Lin Zhen thickened her face and accepted the red envelope.

?

When she sat in Tang Zheng’s car later, she returned this red envelope to Tang Zheng. “You hold onto this red envelope. When I pinched it, I realized it’s quite thick. My conscience aches.”

Tang Zheng: “…”

Then how come when I gave you a red envelope, your conscience didn’t ache?

Tang Zheng refused the envelope and started the car, driving away from the Tang residence. “My mom gave it to you. You keep it. Anyway, it’s not like you normally accept my red envelopes.”

“…That’s different. We have a fair deal between us.”

Tang Zheng: “…”

In the end, Tang Zheng did not accept the red envelope, so Lin Zhen decided that since he wouldn’t keep it, she would just return the amount to him via WeChat.

The car made its way to Lin Zhen’s residence in a high-ranking neighborhood. Passing through a garden, the car rolled to a stop in front of her apartment building. A person standing downstairs caught sight of the car and gazed at them. When Lin Zhen exited the vehicle, that person excitedly ran up to her, calling out, “Lin Zhen!”

Hearing this familiar yet terrifying voice, Lin Zhen trembled. Tang Zheng also heard that person’s shout and rolled down the car window to look outside.

Lin Zhen froze in place. That person was already walking up. “It’s really you! Where did you go that night? I called your phone, but you didn’t answer either!”

Lin Zhen relied on her sturdy heart to resist this sudden change. She looked in despair at the woman. “Mother, why did you come?”

“Why can’t I come? You didn’t return home for Lunar New Year. I had no choice but to come to A City to find you!” After she said this, she glanced at the car in front of her. “How come this car doesn’t look like yours? Isn’t yours a flirty red?”

Lin Zhen: “…”

Who said her Baby Cayenne was a flirty red!

Lin Zhen’s mother was looking at the car and just happened to meet Tang Zheng’s gaze.

Tang Zheng: “…”

Lin Zhen: “…”

Mama Lin: “…”

The ambiance quietened; even the night breeze ceased blowing. All that was left were these three people bathed in the moonlight as they stared at one another.

Ultimately, Lin Zhen’s scream broke the strange silence. Lin Zhen’s mother, startled, nearly swung the small bag of leftovers at her. “What are you hollering in the middle of the night for?! Are you not going to introduce this young man?!”

Lin Zhen said, “He’s no one, just a friend.”

Lin Zhen’s mother pursued this closely, reluctant to let it go. “What type of friend—a boyfriend?”

“…No, someone new who joined our studio. Tonight, the studio had a group dinner. Since it’s quite late, he drove me home.”

Tang Zheng collaboratively smiled at Lin Zhen’s mother. “Hello, auntie.”

Lin Zhen’s mother examined him before shifting her gaze to Lin Zhen. “You can’t deceive me. No wonder you’re an editor, coming up with one trick after another..”

“…Mom, I have already told you many times, an editor and a screenwriter are two quite different things.”

“In my opinion, it’s the same.” Lin Zhen’s mother moved closer to the car window after she said this. “This young man looks very proper. What’s your name? How old are you? Where do you work?”

Tang Zheng: “…”

Auntie’s fighting strength did not lose out to his family’s three aunts and six grandmothers.2

“That, auntie, it is getting late. You and Lin Zhen shouldn’t be standing outside. Quick, go upstairs, ha.” He stepped on the accelerator after he spoke and ran away.

……

Lin Zhen said, “See, you just scared him away.”

Lin Zhen’s mother stared at the car’s tail light and said, “Hey, I only said a few words, yet he ran off. His mental aptitude is no good.”

Lin Zhen: “…”

“Fine, fine, let’s go upstairs first.” Lin Zhen dragged her mother upstairs, only to realize her mother had left quite a few large bags at the steps of the entrance. “You brought along all of this?”

“We made sausages and bacon at home, as well peanut, fruit, and sweets.”

“…Bringing this much…you aren’t afraid of getting tired? You can find them all at the supermarket.”

“Why buy take-out when you have home-cooked food. Don’t stand there; come here and help carry them.”

Lin Zhen walked up the stairs, two bags in hand. Her expression changed. “How many kilograms did you stuff in these bags?” Tang Zheng, that despicable guy, ran off so quick—was it because he saw so many bags and didn’t want to lend a hand?

After they reached her apartment, Lin Zhen discovered her phone was dead. No wonder her mother said she called but got no response. She searched for her charger and plugged it in. Once her phone started up, she received a message from Tang Zheng on WeChat.

Tang Zheng: 「I apologize, but your mother asked a question earlier that suddenly made me recall the terror of the dominatrix three aunts and six grandmothers of my family a few days ago.」

Lin Zhen: 「…」

Tang Zheng: 「How about I invite auntie to a meal tomorrow? Since we have a collaborative relationship, it can’t always be me taking advantage of you, right? I also should make contributions.」

Lin Zhen: 「Don’t. I am different from you. I actually want to find a boyfriend.」

Tang Zheng: 「Then why on earth are you still collaborating with me?」

Lin Zhen: 「I thought I could possibly get acquainted with outstanding males through you?」

Tang Zheng: 「…」

Tang Zheng: 「I am not outstanding enough?」

Lin Zhen: 「… Look in a mirror and ask yourself that『smile』」

“Playing on the phone immediately upon returning home, is it a message from that young man earlier?” Lin Zhen’s mother suddenly walked in, startling Lin Zhen—who hurriedly locked her phone screen.

“I’ve said, it’s just a friend.”

Lin Zhen’s mother scoffed. “I see those celebrities on television every time when they get caught; they also say they’re just friends.”

Lin Zhen: “…”

Why was her mother so forward in this type of territory?

Lin Zhen’s mother sat down beside her and brought her closer for a long talk, knees pressed close. “Are you honestly telling mama that the man earlier isn’t your boyfriend? I spoke to the matchmaker who selected your blind dates. You always looked unwilling. So, as it turns out, your heart already has someone.”

Lin Zhen: “…”

Recalling how she initially accepted Tang Zheng’s collaboration offer precisely because she wished her family would stop introducing her to repulsive guys, she simply said, “At present, there’s no one.”

Lin Zhen’s mother heard a trick and hurriedly asked, “Oh? Then there’s still room to grow? Tomorrow, let’s go eat together with him.”

“…Some other time. He is currently very busy at work.”

“You youngsters, only knowing how to be busy busy busy each day. Even if you’re so busy, you need to leave some room for love!” Lin Zhen’s mother patted Lin Zhen’s hand and declared imperially, “So it’s decided. Tomorrow, mama will prepare a meal at home, and you’ll invite him to come for a home-cooked meal.”

Lin Zhen: “…”

Seeing her mother delightedly walk out, she suddenly felt both mentally and physically exhausted.

Lin Zhen: 「Circumstances have changed. My mom invited you to come over tomorrow for a meal…」

Tang Zheng: 「… I pledge to complete this mission; please plan it out worry-free.」

This was the first time Tang Zheng was officially meeting the parents. Although this was fake, he was still a bit nervous. Tang jiejie didn’t go to work that morning and saw Tang Zheng dressing formally upstairs. She asked him, “Are you going to a fancy party?”

Tang Zheng straightened his tie and said, “Lin Zhen’s mother invited me to a meal.”

Tang jiejie blinked. These two, perhaps they are genuine?

Once Tang Zheng reached Lin Zhen’s apartment, he nervously rapped on the door. Lin Zhen opened the door, and when Lin Zhen’s mother, who was working in the kitchen, saw him arrive, her apron-clad self welcomed him. “Oh! Tang Zheng’s here.”

“Hello, auntie.” Tang Zheng’s smile was a bit stiff. “This fruit basket also has cosmetics; it’s for you.”

“Thank you, thank you.” Lin Zhen’s mother accepted it and deliberately examined the cosmetics. “Isn’t this very expensive? Explain why you spent this money when I, at my age, have little need to wear makeup.”

Tang Zheng elaborated, “Auntie’s words are wrong. Women, at any age, all have the right to wish to appear beautiful.”

These words rang through the depths of Lin Zhen’s mother’s heart. She beamed and exclaimed, “You, young man, can truly speak. No wonder our Lin Zhen likes you.”

Lin Zhen: “…”

Tang Zheng: “…”

“You two, sit down first. I’ll continue making lunch. The dishes today are ones I am an expert in.” Lin Zhen’s mother placed the basket of fruit and cosmetics on the table and hummed a ditty as she entered the kitchen.

?

Author’s Note:

Tomorrow, the tale of Tang Zheng and Lin Zhen will continue 『laughter』

Notes:

1. Jiejie = older sister ?

2. Idiom meaning women with disreputable or illegal professions…aka she’s like an apex predator ?

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