Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Jing Yichen became much more distant than he had been a while ago.
Because he had a feeling that he was behaving a bit different from his usual self.
That was not a good sign at all.
He couldn’t help but glance at Shangguan Ning in a careful way.
She was tall and slim. Her skin was pure and white. Everything was right about her face and she behaved gracefully. But that was all.
He had seen way too many beautiful girls. The models and stars were not only beautiful, but also quite skilled at keeping fit. They wore proper makeup and expensive, glorious clothes. They were simply God’s chosen ones. Shangguan Ning surpassed them just by being natural.
That was nothing special. He was not a young man who had just come out of his thatched cottage.
Jing Yichen kept telling himself that.
He talked no more, but kept receiving and sending emails, answering phone calls and replying to messages.
Actually, Jing Yichen was not as free as Zhao Anan had claimed, even though he had just returned to China. He had become so busy with the enterprise that he was about to take over. He was not pretending to be tied up in business matters at this moment, either.
Jing Yichen had approved of this date invitation only because Zhao Anan threatened him.
If he had disagreed, the two old ladies, namely his grandma and grandmother, would surely combine forces and corner him at home. They would nag him constantly, collect different types of girls and push them onto his side.
Jing Yichen had been too badgered by that. So he had asked Anan to shield him every time. As long as Anan showed up, the two old ladies as well as those pushy girls would withdraw in disappointment.
As long as Anan’s requests weren’t too over the top, he would satisfy them with his ability. She was the person he needed help from.
Shangguan Ning was the kind of girl who would treat the friendly ones with double enthusiasm and who would refuse to offer a smiling face if the other party was being cold.
When she noticed a change in Jing Yichen’s attitude, she decided to take the incident as something that had never happened. She had expressed her gratitude already and it was all in the past now.
Awkward as the air was, food should not be ignored. So when the good-looking waiter presented the medium-well done steak that smelled wonderful, Shangguan Ning didn’t wait even for a second to have a taste of it.
Jing Yichen, seated opposite her, couldn’t help but raise his refined eyebrows.
He was fully aware that he was pretty good at causing awkward atmosphere and almost no one would have any appetite in this kind of scenario. Besides, meeting with strangers for the first time would normally cause discomfort.
But it seemed that Shangguan Ning didn’t have that problem at all. She was eating fast but in an elegant manner. It seemed as if she only had eyes for the delicious dish.
Could the steak be so tasty? Jing Yichen got a bit confused.
He took up the knife and fork and fiddled with the steak on the plate. It was a piece of imported meat, tender in texture, well prepared.
Yet far away from the best steak.
Zhao Anan had assumed that Jing Yichen wouldn’t know of the fact that she owned the restaurant, yet such a tiny matter couldn’t escape Jing Yichen’s awareness.
Jing Yichen understood his own cousin more than anyone else. She was a girl with ephemeral passion for everything. Also, she was careless and inattentive. Therefore, a steak done to this level should already be considered as a success because he had never had high expectation from this restaurant. After all, it was the chef’s achievement, not Zhao Anan’s.
He had ordered a set of top sirloin steak and a set of warm water shrimp. The coincidence was that Shangguan Ning had ordered exactly the same thing.
While they were ordering, both of them had only pointed with their fingers at the menus which they held in their hands. None of them had said anything.
Or maybe, there were too few choices for either of them to pick from, at this stage in this newly opened restaurant. So they ended up having the same dishes.
Shangguan Ning’s passion towards food somehow brought out Jing Yichen’s good appetite. In fact, he felt a little dissatisfied when he finished the food.
That was such an incredible thing for a person like him, who was extremely particular about food.
Or maybe it was because of the delicious food that filled up his stomach, Jing Yichen felt that his mood was lifted up.
Jing Yichen noticed that Shangguan Ning had finished the gift cocktail. He asked in a gentle yet distant tone, “Where do you live, Ms. Shangguan? I can give you a lift home.”
She was his cousin’s colleague and it wasn’t a good idea to let her go home alone, otherwise he would have to hear complaints the next day.
Shangguan Ning checked her watch and saw that it was only 8:15. She was happy that the dinner had finished so early.
“Thank you. There is no need. I drove here myself. A tiny glass of cocktail wouldn’t make much of a difference.” Her voice was soft and gentle, showing equal level of politeness and distance.
As they two walked out of the elegant room, Zhao Anan was nowhere to be seen.
That was good. Embarrassment had been avoided.
They didn’t feel embarrassed facing each other, but would have been if Zhao Anan had been there.
That was a strange thought, yet neither of them dwelled on it.
As they walked out of the restaurant, cold wind blasted in, bringing numerous snowflakes to them.
Wrapped in her coat, Shangguan Ning stretched out one hand to catch the snowflakes. There was surprised joy in her voice. “Oh, it is snowing!”
Jing Yichen turned around to look at her.
The cold wind had left pink patches on her exquisite, snow white face, yet her joy was coming from inside her heart. She didn’t seem to care about the red scar caused by wax drops on the back of her hand as well.
Jing Yichen was slightly moved. He asked calmly, “You like snow?”
Shangguan Ning turned around and noticed a handsome Jing Yichen standing straight in the floating snow. His long eyelashes cast a small area of shadow upon his face. He looked like a prince from the fairy tales, a fantasy.
She couldn’t help but whisper, “What does a man like you do, being so good-looking...”
The flying snow blended with the wind and scattered her voice.
Not having heard her clearly, Jing Yichen couldn’t help but ask, “What?”
That made Shangguan Ning a bit diffident, so she immediately showed a smile, trying to cover herself up. “Nothing! I just like snow!”
Jing Yichen shut his eyes, trying to make the image of her bright smile fade away, before he replied quietly, “Okay.”
Shangguan Ning thought that this man in front of her had a fickle temper. His nasal “okay” was just like ice thrown upon people’s heart. The day was already too freezing for that, right?
What a waste of the handsome face!
Even so, Shangguan Ning waved him goodbye politely before getting into her car and driving away. She cared about her friend Zhao Anan’s reputation, after all.
Jing Yichen didn’t move as he saw the white Audio fading out of his sight.
The hair on his shoulder was already covered with a layer of snow. The light of the restaurant landed upon his back, casting a long shadow, causing a feeling of loneliness and bleakness somehow.
He seemed to be the only man left on this land of white patches.
Sometime later, a humble voice came from behind his back. “Master, it is time to go home. It is freezing outside.”
Jing Yichen sighed with relief, turned around neatly and strode towards the silver Aston Martin.
Tiger followed up instantly, pulled open the door in a proficient manner and turned around to take the driving seat after Master was well seated. The engine was started and they drove away quickly.
The car entered Compound Landscape and parked at the underground parking lot in the compound.
Jing Yichen stepped out of the car and walked towards the elevator. Tiger followed tightly behind.
All of a sudden, a white Audi A4 drew his attention. He took a glance at the car plate, paused for a second and then strode out.
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