Yang Chen wasn’t planning to include the Fengxiang bracelet that was already on Lin Ruoxi’s wrist. Although it wasn’t a low-level artifact, Yang Chen would rather treat it as a family heirloom since it was given to her from his mother.

Xiao Zhiqing evaluated the rest of the medicinal herbs. They were mostly basic ingredients for making medicinal herbs. They didn’t really have much use so he could either eat it or throw it away.

After looking through everything, Yang Chen checked the time and was about to leave when he realized it was almost lunchtime.

Xiao Zhiqing didn’t dare stop him. She was relying on Yang Chen’s protection after all.

However, right at this moment, a faint smell of burnt meat wafted through the living room!

“Ah!”

Xiao Zhiqing exclaimed and dashed into the kitchen with her slippers on. 

Yang Chen followed her out of curiosity and witnessed her turning off the gas stove carefully before scrunching her face at the burnt pot.

“Were you cooking meat?”

Xiao Zhiqing nodded her head. “I put it on the stove before you came and I forgot about it when we started talking…”

Yang Chen was amused by her antics. “How can you be so careless as a woman. You were so sharp back when you were scamming me in the States.”

Xiao Zhiqing lowered her head in embarrassment. “I…have never really cooked before. I’m bound to make mistakes.”

“Why don’t you just buy food if you don’t know how to cook? Were you like this too back in the States?”

“I gave a lot of earnings to my subordinates before I came back. I have to live frugal because I’m no longer earning…”

Yang Chen was speechless. He didn’t expect her to have a conscience, to the extent she would give her subordinates money.

It wasn’t surprising to know she was careless since she grew up in the hidden clans and only started living by herself when she came back to Zhonghai.

Yang Chen glanced around the room which was filled smoke before looking at Xiao Zhiqing who had a look of defeat plastered on her face.

He couldn’t stop himself from pitying her. “Alright, wash the pot and I’ll treat you to lunch. Think of it as a reward for helping me out.”

Xiao Zhiqing raised her head and looked at him in disbelief. “You…are you for real?”

Yang Chen chuckled. “I might be afraid of my wife but I’m not so much of a coward that I wouldn’t even dare to buy you lunch. It’s not like I’m going to a hotel room with you.”

Xiao Zhiqing’s cheeks became red and she turned around to clean up the burnt meal, not daring to say anything else.

After taking care of everything, she threw on a blazer before following Yang Chen out.

Her head was lowered and she kept quiet the whole time. Yang Chen’s teasing struck a chord in her heart.

Yang Chen suddenly felt like the woman he had met before wasn’t the real her. Once she removed her disguise, she was just a frail and inexperienced woman. In fact, she was quite submissive too.

It was a fresh experience for Yang Chen and he couldn’t stop himself from having dirty thoughts.

He only dared to think about it since he wouldn’t want another bomb to disrupt his relationship with Lin Ruoxi.

Yang Chen asked for her preferences but she said anything was fine, so Yang Chen looked for a restaurant near the university that sold Szechuan cuisine.

Xiao Zhiqing seemed kind of restless, having sat face to face with Yang Chen. She felt guilty sitting here with Yang Chen, probably because she was mindful of how Lin Ruoxi was tolerant of her.

They didn’t say much and when they were halfway through the meal, Yang Chen’s cell phone rang.

Yang Chen looked at it and realized it was from Cai Yan who he hadn’t been in touch with for some time now. She was always rash which made Yang Chen worry about her cultivation, whether or not she was finishing his tasks on time.

Yang Chen didn’t want to push her like an instructor, so he didn’t pry further.

Cai Yan roared through the cell phone as soon as he answered the call.

“Yang Chen! What’s going on with that child?!”

Yang Chen pulled his cell phone away instinctively and smiled bitterly. “Yanyan, that came out of nowhere. What child?”

Cai Yan was obviously agitated. “The little girl, Lanlan. Be honest with me, is she your biological daughter? Is she your secret love child?”

Yang Chen was bewildered. “Why would you think that way? Lanlan was adopted by Ruoxi, how would she be my biological daughter?”

“Really?” Cai Yan sounded doubtful. “Why did you let her adopt a kid? You guys are still so young. I thought you would be strict when it comes to children. I can’t really believe that she isn’t your biological daughter.”

“Lanlan isn’t an ordinary child. Just listen to Ruoxi. But why are you asking me this? Did you meet Ruoxi today?”

Cai Yan grumbled. “Of course I did. She came to my office just now even though she was super busy. She was carrying your baby girl in her arms…”

Yang Chen chuckled. “Did she ask anything from you?”

Cai Yan grunted in response. “It’s about the adoption procedures. According to our country’s law, a couple must be in their thirties to adopt a child. You guys are still far from it so she came to me for help to legalize the adoption so that Lanlan can be given an official identity.”

Yang Chen came to a sudden realization and he laughed after that. It looked like Lin Ruoxi was really determined to adopt Lanlan. So much so that she went behind his back to get the papers approved. It was probably because Yang Chen said he would make sure Lanlan gets to stay in their house even if Lanlan’s grandfather returned in time. 

Technically Yang Chen didn’t really care about it. Lanlan was loveable and talented, she would do well as his daughter.

On the other hand, once Cai Yan has confirmed the situation, she relaxed significantly and spoke in a calm manner. “But seriously, Lanlan’s really cute, Ruoxi chose a really nice kid. She cheated though, no one can get pregnant and I was hoping to be the first one but she went ahead and adopted a kid. That’s cheating.”

Yang Chen was getting a headache. Who in their right mind would say something like this? 

“You can adopt one too if you like it. I’m not opposed to it.” Yang Chen smiled bitterly.

“I don’t want to. I prefer my life as it is.” Cai Yan sounded pleased with herself. “I’ve thought about it since Lanlan isn’t Ruoxi’s biological daughter, this means she can call us mom too! I’m going to buy some toys and snacks for her when I’m free on the weekend!”

Yang Chen stroked the back of his head and sighed at her rich imagination. He was about to remind her to cultivate but she had hung up on her when an emergency came up at work.

Yang Chen placed down his cell phone with a gloomy expression and he caught Xiao Zhiqing looking at him with a weird gaze.

“Do I have something on my face?”

Xiao Zhiqing shook her head and smiled through pursed lips. “Can I ask you something?”

“Go ahead.”

“How many lovers do you have?”

It wasn’t a tough question to answer, in fact, he felt that being blunt was the right way to go.

“Seven,” Yang Chen blurted out. He didn’t include those he had one-night stands with, that would’ve been too many.

Xiao Zhiqing’s jaw dropped and a hint of resentment flashed across her eyes. “No wonder Miss Lin hates mistresses, that’s too many…”

Yang Chen thought about the women he had rejected and he curled his lips. “We’ve fought over this many times, can we not talk about this?”

Xiao Zhiqing smiled sweetly. “It’s nothing, you’re a good man so it’s understandable if a lot of women like you.”

Yang Chen almost spat his food out when he heard this. He covered his mouth which made his words sound muffled. “I…am a good man?”

“Mmh.” Xiao Zhiqing nodded. “You’re so powerful yet you promised Miss Lin that she could adopt a girl as your first child. It shows that you love Miss Lin more than you love yourself, at least that’s how I see it.”

“You think too highly of me. I’m not that honorable.” Yang Chen shook his head.

“Anyways, you and Miss Lin are the nicest people that I’ve ever met.”

Yang Chen felt slightly ashamed when he saw her sincere gaze. However, he had to admit that her words had painted her in a new light.