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Wei Ruxia went back to the hotel and took a shower. After washing, she called her father in England. The phone was quickly connected, and her father's voice came through. Wei Ruxia's brows softened and she smiled, "Dad, what are you doing?"
Wei Zishan's eight-year rehabilitation plan had been regular and organized. Even if he didn't say anything, Wei Ruxia could guess what he was doing. But the conversation between the father and the daughter was often mindless and casual, nothing more than regular small talk.
"I'm looking at a script the students just sent over. You haven't recovered from the jetlag, right?" Wei Zishan asked softly. After the operation, Wei Zishan's vitality was severely reduced and even after so many years of rehabilitation, he still hadn't fully recovered. He wasn't as full of anger as he was before.
Wei Zishan's illness had spent all his savings, so Wei Ruxia started working after graduating from university. Despite this, the family's economic situation still wasn't optimistic. Knowing that he had dragged down his daughter, Wei Zishan had also started to work very hard. In eight years, he had recovered to the level others might not have even achieved in ten years. Now that his condition had gradually stabilized, he found a friend in the theater and started a part-time job helping students with their scripts.
Taking the remote control and closing the curtains, Wei Ruxia responded. After a busy day plus not sleeping the day before she was very tired. But although the body was tired, her mind was still sober, the mixture was unpleasant.
Wei Zishan could hear the exhaustion in his daughter's voice. He felt a little distressed and said to Wei Ruxia, "You don't have to worry about me. I have no problem taking care of myself now. Alan can take me to the hospital regularly."
Alan was one of Wei Zishan's students. He was only 19 years old and was a sophomore at the Drama Academy. He had seen Wei Zishan's performance in 'Wind and Sand' when he was still performing, and was a small fan of Wei Zishan. Sometimes Wei Zishan would give him acting lessons. He also liked to be with Wei Zishan. During Wei Ruxia's return to China, he was taking him to the hospital.
"Good, when I get back I'll invite him to dinner. I should be able to go back in a month." Wei Ruxia said her arrangements feeling a little relieved. In fact, it took far more than a month to make an advertising feature. She had been writing the script since the beginning of the year, and now she had to shoot it all before returning from Ancheng.
This was the first time since he had fallen ill that Wei Ruxia had left him for so long. Under usual circumstances Wei Ruxia was a young woman who should be working hard outside, or in love and married. In reality, Wei Ruxia had zero love life and had been running around making money to support her family.
There was no sound on the other end of the phone. Wei Ruxia was afraid that her father might be overthinking things so she quickly said, “The spokesperson for this advertisement is my high school classmate. I remember she was specially recruited by the Film Academy when we were in school. Now she's a very famous star."
"Didn't you contact your other classmates when you went back?" Wei Zishan asked, "How is Luo Tang?"
Wei Zishan didn't know about her relationship with Luo Tang, only that they were close friends. After she arrived in the UK, she seldom had contact with people in China. Since she had returned to China and he thought she would contact Luo Tang.
After hearing her father's words, Wei Ruxia smiled and said, "Do you remember him?"
"When you first came to Ancheng, he always took care of you. Later, you lived in his house for more than a year." Wei Zishan said what he knew, and then asked Wei Ruxia, "Did you forget him?"
Wei Ruxia looked up at the ceiling, her eyes were dry because she couldn't sleep. She picked up the blindfold next to her and said while putting it on, "I haven't forgotten. But he seems to have moved from the community and I don't have his contact information. And I haven't seen him for so many years, even if I contacted him, I don't know if he'd have time to meet up?"
What's more, Luo Tang may not yet be willing to see her. Wei Ruxia thought of the man she saw at Starbucks that afternoon.
After hanging up the call with her father, Wei Ruxia didn't fall asleep immediately. She imagined a tree of infinite flowers in her mind and fell asleep while counting the petals. The infinity flower was like a thread, bringing out all the clear and unclear memories with it. She didn't know whether she was dreaming or remembering, as she fell asleep, hazy.
Wei Ruxia drank an iced Americano and the cold bitter coffee made her a little more conscious. Looking at the footage that was just taken, she spoke with the photographer and didn't even notice someone had appeared next to her.
"President Cen." Tongtong called, and Wei Ruxia came back to her senses.
Seeing Cen Nianbai who was standing beside her smiling, Wei Ruxia unconsciously laughed. She turned her head and rewound the film while saying: "When did you get here?"
Cen Nianbai wore a formal suit, but he was clearly too hot as he’d taken off his jacket and only wore the white shirt. The tie at the collar of the shirt was slightly loose, exposing the man's wheat-colored skin. He looked very outstanding, his features were profound and his hair was meticulously combed, but the corners of his eyes rose when he smiled, which gave him a sense of frivolous flamboyance.
He was indeed qualified for the publicity he received. Cen Nianbai was a noble son of a poor family. He had built YI Group from scratch and was now firmly established in Ancheng as a domineering president.
"I just finished a meeting." Cen Nianbai glanced at the iced Americano in Wei Ruxia's hand, then glanced at her face and stretched out a hand to hold her low shoulders. He said, "Let’s go eat, look at the time. Even if you’re not hungry, the others should be."
Being pulled up by Cen Nianbai, Wei Ruxia glanced at the time, and it was already 12:30pm. She smiled and said sorry to everyone, then after cleaning up her work, she followed Cen Nianbai to the top floor.
"American coffee is filling enough." Wei Ruxia said, and went to take another sip.
Cen Nianbai reached out and took the coffee from her hand as he walked, and threw it into the trash next to him. Then he took out a tissue to wipe the moisture on his hand, and asked, "Now will you eat or no?"
Wei Ruxia really wasn’t very hungry.
Seeing that Wei Ruxia just smiled and didn't answer, Cen Nianbai changed the subject and said, "It's okay if you don't eat now. I’ll be finishing work early in the evening. Go to the Green Bamboo Club for dinner with me."
"Don’t bother, I don't have much energy." The dinners that Cen Nianbai attended were all commercial in nature. She didn't get along well at them, and she wanted to go to bed early.
The two of them were in the elevator now, and Wei Ruxia was leaning on the wall, looking at the elevator instructions in a daze. Cen Nianbai looked at her lack of interest and asked, "Are you really going to go back to the UK after this? This dinner is hosted by the Ancheng Chamber of Commerce, and there will be many Ancheng company bosses there. Like me. I can recommend a few for you. Domestic directors are paid more for commercials than ones abroad."
Wei Ruxia and Cen Nianbai met at a Fashion Week, and they saw each other at the French Fashion Week almost every year, so they considered themselves old friends. He knew about the situation in Wei Ruxia's family and knew what would catch her interest.
So naturally, as soon as he finished speaking, Wei Ruxia nodded and said, "Okay, then I’ll trouble you. But I won’t be picking up any jobs in the near future. I can't leave my dad for too long."
The Green Bamboo Club was located in the southern district of Ancheng, halfway up the mountain. The venue for the dinner was a semi-open hall. Standing in the courtyard outside, you could see the sea.
The sea breeze could be felt, although the sea wasn’t close and you could just see the standing lighthouse, shining in the distance.
Cen Nianbai and Wei Ruxia went early and there weren’t many people. Since they were members of the Chamber of Commerce, they were all old acquaintances of Cen Nianbai. Wei Ruxia followed Cen Nianbai with a wine glass, and received a few business cards.
In fact, Cen Nianbai felt that she was very sought after. Generally, large companies had a dedicated team for shooting promotional videos, but she was just one person and didn’t have an advantage in the industry at all.
Cen Nianbai was able to build the YI Group from scratch to its current level, and he couldn't do without his charisma. He was well suited to these kinds of events and had extremely strong diplomatic skills.
After taking Wei Ruxia to meet people in the circle, Cen Nianbai stood by the pool with a wine glass. From time to time, someone came over to talk to him, and Cen Nianbai responded with a smile.
As soon as the people around him left, Wei Ruxia said to Cen Nianbai, "You can go with them, I can just stay here."
At this event, Cen Nianbai had many friends, and it was a good opportunity to catch up. She felt like a ball and chain attached to Cen Nianbai’s side.
"No need." Cen Nianbai didn't care however. He raised his eyebrows and smiled, reaching out to clink glasses with her.
Both of them drank well and considered each other drinking partners. As soon as Cen Nianbai's glass came over, Wei Ruxia smiled and toasted with him. There was a crisp sound when the glasses collided, and Wei Ruxia heard a small commotion when she sipped the wine.
"Mr. Luo, you came."
After drinking a sip of red wine, Wei Ruxia raised her eyes to the direction of the commotion. She had only glanced casually, but when she saw ‘Mr. Luo’ herself, her gaze froze.
Even though everyone invited to the dinner were all top dog businessmen, they were also divided into classes. This Mr. Luo obviously belonged to the ‘high’ class. Just after he entered, people flocked to him.
Mr. Luo was wearing a well-tailored navy suit, and the dark blue made his complexion seem white against the night sky. He was tall, 1.9 metres tall, with broad shoulders and a narrow waist, tall and slender. His brow and nose bridge were both high and delicate, framing his face and making him appear full of extravagance. Under his high brow bone were a pair of dark eyes that were like the sea at night, deep and dark and without an end.
As he spoke with several people, he raised his lips slightly. Even so, his temperament still carried some coldness, like a sea god coming in from the ocean, a gentle but distant elite.
Wei Ruxia thought she would hesitate to recognize Luo Tang if she saw him again, but no matter how much his appearance and personality had changed, she would always feel different when she saw him.
It was Luo Tang, and he was the same person she saw at Starbucks saw that day.
When Wei Ruxia looked at Luo Tang, Luo Tang also noticed her sight and looked at her. His eyes were narrow, long and deep. He only looked up and glanced at her, then quickly looked away. Throughout the whole process, his eyes and expression were calm.
The night at the beach was not too hot but Wei Ruxia's hand holding the wine glass was slightly moist. She changed her hands and drank the wine in the glass.
She recognized Luo Tang, but Luo Tang didn’t seem to recognise her. Wei Ruxia didn't know how to describe her current mood. It didn't hurt or feel itchy, she was just a little confused.
"He is Luo Tang of the LO Company. It’s an online company, and they’ve released some new games recently. However, their games have a dedicated promotion team and are unlikely to hire external directors." Cen Nianbai said plainly.
Luo Tang and him were two completely different entrepreneurial models. He started from scratch, while Luo Tang had it much easier. The Luo family was a big family in Ancheng, a scholarly family, rich and powerful. When the real estate market was booming, Luo Tang's father, Luo Qinggu, made a successful real estate business. In the past two years, the Internet had become the new hot thing, and Luo Tang had opened an Internet company.
Although Luo Tang's company didn’t deny the support and help of his family, Cen Nianbai also couldn’t deny that Luo Tang was an outstanding businessman. When he was a graduate student, he formed a team to build games. After the game's great success, Internet-related industries were growing and LO became a leading Internet company in China.
Everyone thought that LO’s boss was a fat homebody, but when LO was listed a few years ago, it was rated as one of the ten outstanding young representatives of Ancheng by the municipal government. During the media interview, they released his photo and for a while, Luo Tang became a popular bachelor with beauty, talent and money.
This wasn’t what Wei Ruxia expected. According to his performance in high school, Wei Ruxia once thought he would become a cartoonist.
Cen Nianbai refilled the wine glass for Wei Ruxia and stretched out his arm to let Wei Ruxia take it. He still wanted to introduce Luo Tang to Wei Ruxia. If she could win a big order from LO. LO's compensation would be much higher than their company and Wei Ruxia might stay in China for it.
When Wei Ruxia followed Cen Nianbai and she heard Luo Tang talking to the people around him. The man Wei Ruxia had just said hello to was speaking to him. He was a big man in the mahogany business, and was being followed by his daughter, a gentle and dignified woman. When her father introduced Luo Tang to her, the woman blushed slightly.
Dinner banquets weren’t just about business negotiations, sometimes they turned into blind dates.
Wei Ruxia took a slight breath, raised her eyebrows, and laughed in her heart.
"Hello, Mr. Luo." Cen Nianbai and Luo Tang knew each other, and he smiled and shook hands with Luo Tang.
He didn't come alone, there was a woman by his side. The woman wore a leaf yellow silk sling evening gown, which was simple and elegant. The evening gown outlined her figure, and matched her smile with an indifferent yet amorous feeling. She was very tall, wearing not too high heels on her feet and showing off a part of her white calves.
Luo Tang only took a look at her, then withdrew his gaze, and exchanged greetings with Cen Nianbai. The voice was low and nice, with a decent smile on the corners of his lips, far from the old school bully who was too cold to be approached.
He had become mature, very elite, very gentle, but still carrying a sense of immortality, as if he was just talking about nothing of importance.
Wei Ruxia listened to his voice, and every syllable seemed to pop out of a piano and flowers bloomed in her ears. She didn't even hear Cen Nianbai introducing her.
"Ruxia." Cen Nianbai smiled helplessly and called again.
"Huh?" Wei Ruxia returned to her senses, raised her eyes to meet Luo Tang's sight, she smiled, stretched out her hand to shake hands with him, and said, "Hello, Mr. Luo. My name is Wei Ruxia. Actually, you and I were neighbours for two years."
Cen Nianbai raised his eyebrows in surprise. Why didn't she tell him about this?
Not only was Cen Nianbai surprised, the corner of Luo Tang's eyes in front of him was also slightly raised. He looked at Wei Ruxia, stretched out his hand to shake hands with her, and said solemnly.
"Oh? Which two years?"
Holding the man's hand, Wei Ruxia's palm was a little sweaty and cold, while his hands were much warmer and drier. Wei Ruxia smiled slightly, and said with a faint smile, "Mr. Luo has a lot of things to think about and has probably forgotten. If you can't remember, you can't remember."
Wei Ruxia and Luo Tang talked briefly about advertising and as Cen Nianbai said, LO’s promotional film has a special publicity team taking care of it.
Since the business could not be negotiated, Wei Ruxia didn't withhold him much. After staying with Cen Nianbai for a while, her energy couldn’t keep up. Cen Nianbai didn’t stay, and left with her early.
After being sent back to the hotel by Cen Nianbai, Wei Ruxia went to take a shower. After taking a shower, she took out a mobile phone out of her suitcase. This was the mobile phone she used in high school. She used it until she graduated from college and changed to a new one.
The software in the phone was still the same and Wei Ruxia found the WeChat icon and clicked on it.
In the contact column, the top one was ‘Tangtang’. Wei Ruxia clicked it and swiped up and down, and the chat history was either a study topic or a video call or a notice of the video call ending. On each prompt, the current date was displayed.
Wei Ruxia clicked on Luo Tang's circle of friends, but the circle of friends was empty, showing a line. This either meant that Luo Tang's account had been abandoned, or that Luo Tang had blocked her.
Thinking this, Wei Ruxia took a section of the chat history between her and Luo Tang, then edited the picture and used a pen to draw attention to the date in the chat history and wrote ‘two years’ on the picture.
After finishing editing the picture, Wei Ruxia sent it. The picture was sent smoothly, without any prompts that the other party rejected it, nor did it notify her that she was no longer a friend of the other party, Wei Ruxia was taken aback.
Luo Tang was sitting in a dark room. He looked at the message he had just received on WeChat. In the dark, the man's eyes seemed to be darker than the night. He put his arm on the back of the sofa and chuckled.
You still know how to come back.
The author has something to say:
Tangtang: You still know how to come back.
Ah! Loni and anyone else who guessed he was Starbucks guy was right! So, question, do you guys think Luo Tang is attactive? I'm just not sure, the author is so vague about his appearance, barely mentions it...so hard to say...