During the afternoon, the sun was less piercing. When cool autumn winds blew through the mountains, everyone felt relaxed and comfortable.
The afternoon activity was still hiking, but unlike the morning hike, this hike was divided into six groups, and each group was made up of five or six people.
Wang Peng was obviously in Lu Zhous team. Luo Wenxuan only came to Jinling half a year ago, so he didnt know a lot of the other faculty members. Plus he didnt want to try and pick up girls, so he joined Lu Zhous team.
Han Mengqi, Assistant Lin, and another lady from the foreign language department also joined Lu Zhous team. The lady from the foreign language department had luscious long black hair. She majored in Spanish and became a counselor last year. She was bubbly and extraverted. Even though she was the only one from the foreign language department in this group, she seemed to fit in well.
Oh yeah, Professor Lu, is this your first time coming to Purple Mountain?
Lu Zhou thought for a bit and said, Not quite.
After all, his mansion was at the bottom of the mountain, taking a stroll outside his house counted as walking up the mountain.
Us locals rarely come here.
Youre from Jinling?
Yeah, what about you?
Im from Jiangling.
The counselor from the foreign language department smiled and said, Jiangling, sound pretty similar. Haha, it seems like were quite destined for each other.
Lu Zhou: ?
You count this as destined?
With someone constantly talking along the way, the hike wasnt too boring. They took some breaks and walked for around an hour. They passed by a beautiful maple tree forest and decided to stop and rest.
Before Lu Zhou could find a place to sit down, the female counselor held his arm and gave Wang Peng the camera. When Wang Peng looked at Lu Zhou, Lu Zhou gave Wang Peng a helpless expression and smiled. Wang Peng shook his head and took a few steps back to take the picture.
Han Mengqi was sitting on a bench nearby. Her legs dangled off the bench as she looked at the two people taking the photo. There was a glimpse of envy in her eyes.
She wanted to be in the photo as well.
However, for some reason, whenever a thought like this came to mind, she would choke up and couldnt say anything.
Do you like Professor Lu?
Han Mengqi nearly jumped off the bench. She turned around and saw that it was Assistant Lin. She gave Assistant Lin a death stare.
No, no! What are you talking about?
Lin Yuxiang smirked and blinked innocently.
Nothing, its just that youve been staring at him the whole day. Im just curious.
Han Mengqi stared at Lin Yuxiang and didnt say anything.
After a while, she coughed.
Forget about me What about you?
Me? Lin Yuxiang smiled and said, Professor Lu is not my type, I dont like him.
That frivolous reply made it difficult to tell if she was lying.
After all, this was how she normally spoke.
Han Mengqi stared at her for a while and couldnt tell if she was lying. She pretended as if she saw through Assistant Lin.
Lin Yuxiang smirked with a hint of ambiguity as she said, Why would I lie to you? Hmm I guess I wouldnt mind if something were to happen between us.
Han Mengqi instantly blushed. She was like a frightened rabbit, and her entire demeanor changed.
Isnt that weird?! You dont like him, why would you want anything to happen?
Seeing how flustered the little girl was, Lin Yuxiang couldnt help but tease her.
Its not weird at all. Hes handsome, rich, he doesnt have any bad qualities. Hes quite charismatic as well. Its not just me, a lot of other people think the same, just like that lady whos dragging Professor Lu for a photo. Her eyes are glowing with lust.
Han Mengqi stared straight at Lin Yuxiang. She puckered her lips and didnt say anything.
Lin Yuxiang looked at her and suddenly felt a twinge of resentment.
However, this resentment quickly disappeared. She smiled at the little girl and said, I think youre the weird one, you clearly have feelings, but you dont want to admit to it.
Before Han Mengqi could reply, Assistant Lin turned around and took two steps. She then stopped and said, However if you want to be more straightforward toward Professor Lu someday, I can help you.
She turned around and walked away.
Han Mengqi looked at Lin Yuxiang walking away and muttered to herself, Why would I believe you
Wait no, I dont like him!
Han Mengqi stomped her feet. She didnt know why she was angry. She got up and walked away.
In the evening, the sun started to disappear behind the mountain.
The six teams arrived at their destination. They were at one of the Purple Mountain peaks.
Even though this was supposed to be the peak, Lu Zhou felt like they could walk a little further. However, there werent any smooth roads ahead. Only a few well-built male teachers and some other female teachers continued to explore the mountain. The rest stayed at the gathering point and set up a charcoal grill.
This was a dedicated barbecue spot, so it was fine for them to have an open flame. However, they had to take away their rubbish and make sure to be safe.
Wang Peng walked over holding a plastic bucket. When he saw Lu Zhou sitting there quietly, he smiled and asked, Why arent you choosing your fish for grilling?
You can choose for me, I like eating, not grilling.
Okay then. Wang Peng threw a few catfish into a plastic bucket and stood up. Ill go get some more.
The sky was filled with a deep shade of orange as the golden ginkgo leaves in the distance blended seamlessly into the sky.
The flames on the charcoal grill burned slowly. Some of the ladies from the foreign language department took out their phones and excitedly took group photos in front of this beautiful scenery.
As for Lu Zhou, he wasnt interested in photos. He sat down comfortably against a parasol tree and took out his phone to read a thesis.
The area was soon filled with the scent of barbecued fish.
Wang Peng was holding a couple of catfish skewers. He smiled and said, Barbecue is not my only cooking skill.
Lu Zhou asked, What else can you cook?
Lu Zhou: That counts as cooking?
Wang Peng smiled and said, Anything related to food is cooking!
The barbecue party was held until 8 pm.
They picked up their rubbish and went on a bus, which sent them back to their hotel.
Lu Zhou wanted to rest in his room, but Old Tang suggested that he experience the hotels hot spa.
Lu Zhou had to admit, the hot spring was pretty nice. He didnt even care whether or not it was manmade or natural.
Lu Zhou wiped himself dry and put on some clean clothes. He bought a can of coffee at the vending machine and was about to return to his room. He then saw Han Mengqi with her wet hair. She was sitting on a chair nearby.
Lu Zhou looked at the vending machine and contemplated it for a second. He then bought a small carton of warm milk and walked toward her. He sat down next to her.
Your hair isnt dry yet, youre going to catch a cold. Lu Zhou gave her the carton of warm milk. He opened his can of coffee and took a sip.
Han Mengqi avoided eye contact as she gently nodded.
Oh, okay, Ill dry it later.
Lu Zhou nodded and didnt say anything.
He looked at the view outside the window. He then stood up and was about to leave.
However, before he could take a step, Han Mengqi suddenly stopped him.
Wait a second.
Lu Zhou turned around and asked, Why?
Han Mengqi grabbed her knees and curled into the seat. She then asked quietly, Can you sit here with me for a while?
Lu Zhou thought for a bit and nodded.
He sat back down and the two stayed silent.
Lu Zhou drank his coffee and looked at Han Mengqi.
He felt like there was something Hang Mengqi wanted to say.
However, he didnt take it too seriously, nor did he ask her.
Everyone had their own worries and secrets. It wasnt a polite thing to ask about them.
A few minutes went by.
Han Mengqi held her knees tightly and looked at Lu Zhou. She quietly asked a question that surprised Lu Zhou.
What do you think about my sister?
Lu Zhou looked at the city lights in the distance and felt the evening breeze on his face. He thought about this question for a while and said, Shes a close friend with whom I get along with.
There were two types of friends.
One was the type of friend with common interests, like Luo Wenxuan.
The other was the one without any common interests, but they could get along well.
For him, Chem Yushan was the rare kind, the ones he got along well despite not having common interests.
As for his other feelings
He carefully thought about it and didnt think he had any.
Han Mengqi looked a little disappointed, and she looked down as she quietly muttered, Thats it?
Lu Zhou looked at her and said, Why, whats wrong?
Han Mengqi buried her chin between her knees and lowered her head.
Because of the lighting, Lu Zhou couldnt see her face. He could only hear a soft whisper.