Edited by Elv

A Problem with Status

Wen Le spent two days at home on the weekend. During this time, Wen Tianqi was somewhat busy and was hardly at home during the day, except in the evenings.

With nothing else to do, Wen Le changed into more than a dozen outfits in succession and wrote three fashion notes, but she didn’t post them. Instead, she saved them on her computer, planning to post them later.

On Sunday evening, Wen Le suddenly received a message from Zhou Kao, asking which building their house was in. The last time they spoke on the phone, Wen Le told Zhou Kao the name of the neighbourhood she was living in but didn’t specify the building number. Wen Le didn’t know why Zhou Kao was asking this, but she didn’t think much of it and just gave Zhou Kao the address.

After receiving the message, Zhou Kao didn’t reply anymore.

At that time, Wen Le was watching a Korean drama. Since there was no reply on her phone, she didn’t bother about it.

After a while, Zhou Kao’s call came through.

Wen Le answered the phone, and Zhou Kao’s voice came from the receiver, seemingly outside, with the noise of wind blowing through the microphone. Zhou Kao said, “I’m near your house. Come down.”

Wen Le’s heart skipped a beat when she heard this, and subconsciously looked out the window, but all she could see was a large garden with some flowers and plants inside and nothing else.

Wen Le was extremely curious. With such tight security in this neighbourhood, how could Zhou Kao possibly get in without a resident guiding him? But Wen Le didn’t doubt Zhou Kao’s words. She almost immediately got up from the bed and carefully went downstairs. When she met the butler on the way down, he asked her, “Is there anything Miss needs when going downstairs?”

Wen Le waved her hand and said, “Nothing, I just want to take a walk in the garden.”

The butler looked puzzled as he glanced at the yard. He knew Wen Le had delicate skin and was afraid of bugs. Although the courtyard was taken care of by a professional, there were inevitably bugs in areas with soil and plants. He didn’t understand why Wen Le wanted to go to the garden so late at night.

Seeing the butler’s doubt, Wen Le made up another excuse and said, “I have an article that I’m working on which needs me to take some photos of plants outside.”

The butler believed her and reminded Wen Le to wear more clothes because it was cold outside.

In December, Beijing was comfortable with heating readily available, but the nights were still cold. Wen Le wrapped herself in a beige wool coat over her white nightgown.

The night wind was a bit chilly, and Wen Le felt the temperature difference as she walked outside, so she tightened her clothes.

The distance from the main gate to the courtyard was quite far, and if she had to open the gate, it would definitely alert her father.

Zhou Kao probably also considered these factors and told Wen Le to meet him in the backyard.

Wen Le walked towards the direction Zhou Kao mentioned, and there were still some flowers and green plants in the backyard that had not withered.

Holding her phone, Wen Le followed Zhou Kao’s instructions and looked outside the iron fence of the courtyard. She scanned around but didn’t see anyone, making her somewhat suspicious. Could it be that Zhou Kao was deceiving her?

Just as she was thinking, a familiar voice sounded, “Over here.”

Wen Le followed the source of the voice and indeed saw Zhou Kao standing outside the fence in a black trench coat, holding a phone in his hand. The light from the phone screen illuminated Zhou Kao’s face, and under the faint light, Zhou Kao’s handsome face was revealed.

Wen Le’s heart skipped a beat initially, then she couldn’t help but feel pleasantly surprised.

Wen Le almost jogged forward, her eyes full of smiles, her voice crisp and bright like a silver bell. “How did you get here? Isn’t this neighbourhood strictly off-limits to outsiders?”

As far as Wen Le knew, the security in this neighbourhood was so strict that it was almost unbearable. But precisely because of this, it was highly sought after by celebrities, yet few could actually buy a house here. Most of the people living here were big shots.

Zhou Kao saw Wen Le’s eyes glued to him, and he could read the surprise and joy in her eyes. Then, as if infected, a smile gradually spread across his face.

Zhou Kao’s voice was not loud, but low and deep, gentle yet magnetic, especially pleasing on this slightly chilly night. He said, “I wanted to see you and I can always find a way in.”

While part of Wen Le was disdainful that Zhou Kao was flirting with her as soon as they met, she couldn’t help but smile.

The two of them had been together for about two or three months.

It is said that the honeymoon period for most people lasts about three months. Wen Le had once wondered if their feelings would also gradually fade away with the departure of the honeymoon period.

But the reality was quite the opposite.

Their relationship was like wine, becoming purer and sweeter with time.

Because of these two or three months together, they had come to understand each other better. And the more they understood each other, the more they realised how well they fit together.

Wen Le’s view of relationships was deeply influenced by her family. Whether it was the lifelong support between her grandparents or her father’s unwavering love and devotion to her mother for over a decade, the relationships in her family seemed so beautiful to Wen Le.

Perhaps influenced by this, Wen Le treated relationships with a bit of idealism, even to the point of extremism.

Wen Le hoped to find someone who could understand her, be loyal to her, and love her.

She once believed that there were two types of love in this world.

One was driven by dopamine secretion, attracted to each other physiologically. It burned passionately in the short term, but after the honeymoon period, problems would arise, values would clash, or it would be difficult to understand and tolerate each other. This was the type of love that Wen Le rejected.

The other was platonic or spiritual love. Both parties were attracted to each other’s souls, truly understanding each other, truly being soulmates. This was what Wen Le yearned for.

When asked about relationship issues in the past, Wen Le often found herself caught in a conflict between idealism and reality.

On the one hand, she knew her thoughts were unrealistic and overly idealistic.

But on the other hand, she stubbornly held on to them. She had long known that times had changed, and the kind of love she wanted was not easy to find, even in her grandparents’ era, or her parents’ era, let alone now.

The fast pace of modern life made people fickle, casting wide nets, fishing for more, and putting genuine and faithful feelings often at the bottom of the list.

For her goals to be realised, it was even more difficult.

Even Wen Le herself sometimes couldn’t see clearly whether her relationship with Zhou Kao stemmed from the first type of love or if it was a mix of the second type of love as well.

But the fact was, she seemed to have found the right person.

She felt that Zhou Kao could truly understand her.

Because they were fundamentally the same kind of people, only they could understand each other, only they knew each other’s souls, and the longer they spent together, the more evident this became.

This was probably the attraction of their souls.

So much so that even after the honeymoon period of two or three months, when they looked into each other’s eyes, there was a strong surge of emotions, even more intense and passionate than before.

At that moment, Wen Le thought a lot, thought far, but it seemed like she didn’t think of anything at all.

Wen Le took the initiative to walk over and reached out her hand, smiling at Zhou Kao.

Zhou Kao understood and held Wen Le’s hand.

On this cold night, their hands were tightly held together.

The night wind was cold, blowing on Wen Le, rustling her long hair, but she didn’t feel cold. She felt the warmth radiating from Zhou Kao’s palm, feeling a continuous warmth flowing from their clasped hands, warming her hands, warming her heart.

Wen Le sighed. Even though they were separated by an iron fence, she longed to hug him and kiss him again.

They had only seen each other the day before yesterday, but at this moment, holding Zhou Kao’s warm hand and looking into his sparkling eyes, Wen Le realised how much she missed him.

It was miraculous. Her feelings for Zhou Kao were even stronger and more profound than when they were together.

Perhaps when love ran deep, even a tough woman could soften. Wen Le looked at Zhou Kao and whispered softly, “Zhou Kao, kiss me.”

With this soft utterance, Zhou Kao’s eyes reddened. He regretted not being able to break through the fence, enter the courtyard, and embrace her tightly, melding her into his bones and blood.

Zhou Kao took a deep breath. He prided himself on being calm, but he never expected his emotions to be stirred so easily by Wen Le’s words.

He felt like he was going crazy. He was practically bewitched by this woman, yet he welcomed it willingly.

Zhou Kao couldn’t help but think of the ancient stories he read as a child, the irony of the phrase “all’s fair in love and war” ringing in his mind. How could someone become so infatuated over a woman’s smile, to the point of becoming a fool for love?

Although he still couldn’t fully understand it, he now understood why the phrase “a beautiful woman is a disaster” existed.

A true love could make you willing to do anything for her. How could you refuse any request she made?

Zhou Kao had no way to kiss Wen Le through the fence. It tortured him so much that he wished he could climb over the railing to hold her and kiss her.

But reason restrained him.

So Zhou Kao held Wen Le’s hand, bowed his head, and kissed the couple’s ring on her finger repeatedly.

Zhou Kao’s gentle lips left imprints on Wen Le’s fingers, making her tremble, feeling like her heart had turned into warm honey, sweet enough to make her whole body tremble.

Until they heard footsteps and voices approaching from afar, the two of them alertly released each other.

Zhou Kao instinctively crouched down, using the concrete wall between the railing to conceal his figure.

Wen Le also hurriedly took out her phone, unlocked it, and the screen lit up.

Before long, Wen Tianqi came over with the housekeeper.

“Wen Le.”

Wen Le turned around and pretended to be surprised. “Dad, why are you here?”

Wen Tianqi said, “The housekeeper told me you came out for a while but hadn’t returned, so I came over because I was worried. What are you doing out here? Why aren’t you going back in such cold weather?”

Wen Le thought to herself that she didn’t feel like she had been out for that long. Had it been a long time?

Wen Le pretended to have just realized, saying, “Oh, I was just taking photos, but then a senior sister messaged me about something related to the Student Union, so I stood here to reply and forgot about taking photos.”

Wen Tianqi asked, “What kind of photos are you taking?”

Wen Le made up a random excuse, “Nothing special, I just got a part-time job, and I need some good-looking pictures for writing articles. I noticed the garden was well-maintained, so I thought I’d come over and take a few shots. I’ll be done soon, Dad, you guys can go back first.”

Wen Tianqi looked around and didn’t find anything suspicious, so he nodded and left with the housekeeper, reminding Wen Le to go back early because of the cold weather.

Wen Le obediently nodded.

It wasn’t until the two of them had completely disappeared that Wen Le let out a sigh of relief and whispered softly, “You can stand up now.”

Only then did Zhou Kao stand up, leaning against the concrete wall, sighing helplessly. “I feel like I urgently need a status.”

“Do you think I still have a chance?”

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