Vol. 1: chapter nine – lunch (part 1)

After what felt like a rather long drive, Xue Rui finally stopped the car in front of an expensive-looking establishment located along Baifu Street or what was known as the financial trading row in ZaoXiang City. Xue Rui killed the engine and faced Li Xinwen, “We’re here Xinwen,” he said, smiling while unbuckling his seatbelt.

Li Xinwen was still in the process of unbuckling his own when Xue Rui unlocked the driver’s door and rushed to the passenger side. He opened the passenger door and peeked in at Li Xinwen, smiling as he reached out his hand.

“Shall we?”

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Li Xinwen, who had never been treated this way before, was not weirded out in the slightest and gladly took Xue Rui’s hand. He got out of the car and thanked Xue Rui. Both men looked dapper in their suits and radiated sexiness as they stood side by side. Even the most indifferent socialites passing by turned their heads to take a second look at the two gorgeous men.

Li Xinwen was straightening out his suit and could not have predicted what Xue Rui did in the next instance. Xue Rui’s arm snaked around his waist and pulled him close, catching him by surprise. He wanted to pull away from Xue Rui’s grasp but Xue Rui’s strong-arm kept him in place. He realized that using more strength to pull himself away would only arouse suspicion as he was, supposedly, still injured. Much to his displeasure, Li Xinwen had to resign himself to the situation and just decided to let this one slide. Xue Rui casually threw his car keys to the valet who waited at the side of his Maserati and he walked Li Xinwen over to the entrance.

Upon entering the establishment, a restaurant employee immediately greeted them. “Good afternoon. May I know whose name the reservation for our esteemed guests is under?” he asked.

“It’s under Xue Rui.” Xue Rui answered as he let go of Li Xinwen and straightened his tie.

“Ah, yes. Young Master Xue, we’ve been expecting you. Please follow me. Your private room is ready,” the employee said as he welcomed the two. The man ushered the two towards the stairs leading to the second floor of the establishment, which was reserved for VIP guests. Li Xinwen looked around while walking and noticed how lavish the restaurant was. This reminded him of the establishments owned by high-ranking sects in Long Xing.

‘I guess this is where people of high class gather in this world?’ Li Xinwen thought. The people he saw there were all well dressed and mostly talked about business. Several socialites were talking about the latest fashion and the latest entertainment gossip, but what caught Li Xinwen’s attention was the conversation at one particular table in the corner, which made him stop in his tracks.

A young couple occupied the table, or maybe, Li Xinwen should say a former couple. It seemed that they were breaking up, and the reason for Li Xinwen’s interest was the drama he had watched while he stayed at the hospital. Their conversation was so similar that Li Xinwen thought they might be filming a movie.

“Xinwen, what’s wrong?” Xue Rui asked after noticing that Li Xinwen had stopped walking and was distracted. He followed Li Xinwen’s gaze and asked, “Do you see someone you know?”

“No. I just find those two a bit funny,” he explained, gesturing towards the couple seated at the far corner. “The woman wants to leave but that man wouldn’t let her, and their conversation reminds me of that drama movie I used to watch at the hospital to pass the time,” Li Xinwen said with a small laugh.

“Conversation?” Xue Rui asked, confused. Everyone was talking in low voices and he couldn’t even hear the conversation from a nearby table, let alone the couple in the far corner.

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Li Xinwen realized what he had just said so he quickly looked back at Xue Rui. “I mean… I was just thinking how similar the scene is with the drama movie I saw before, so I can’t help but imagine the same conversation!” he said, trying not to sound suspicious. He had forgotten that mortals couldn’t hear as far as he could. He gave Xue Rui a nervous smile as he silently wished he would let this go.

Xue Rui eyed Li Xinwen for a while but decided not to pursue the matter.

“Well, since they can afford to have lunch in an establishment such as this, surely, their social status is not that low and their conversation would not be as ridiculous as that. What kind of dog-blood drama were you watching in the hospital anyway?” Xue Rui chuckled as he wrapped his arms around Li Xinwen’s waist and pulled him in again, amused at the simplicity of Li Xinwen’s statement. He smiled as he gazed into Li Xinwen’s eyes warmly. “No matter. We should head into the room and have lunch since we still need to get you your gift.”

This caught Li Xinwen by surprise once again and he felt extremely uncomfortable in front of everyone in the restaurant. He could feel his cheeks blushing and his ears getting warm. He pushed Xue Rui away as he covered his mouth and looked down because of his discomfort and embarrassment.

‘Thank goodness the lights are dim. Oh god, just you wait Xue Rui… a few more months and you won’t be able to even lay a finger on me, let alone eat my tofu…’ Li Xinwen thought to himself.

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