Wei Lai stayed with her mom until half past ten before carrying several bags of snacks she bought at the supermarket on her way back.

Seeing that it was quite late, Cheng Minzhi suggested for her to stay over.

“I still need to pack for the business trip when I get back and prepare a sales report.”

“What sales report?”

“I need to request inventory from Qi Linsheng, so I have to show some sincerity.”

Cheng Minzhi nodded understandingly. “Alright, I’ll leave it to you. Handle it as you see fit.”

Wei Lai opened the car door but didn’t hurry to get in. Instead, she first checked how many valuable items she needed to bring to Zhou Sujin and whether they were heavy.

The safe was located in the center console between the driver’s and passenger’s seats. She bent down and entered the password directly. She had memorized the password Zhou Sujin had given her.

Standing by her daughter’s side, Cheng Minzhi observed Wei Lai’s familiarity with the password as if she were entering her own frequently used password. She stared at the car thoughtfully.

To lend such an expensive car to someone else indicated that the owner must be nonchalant about it, and likely owned more than one luxury vehicle.

Moreover, the license plate of this car was not an ordinary Beijing plate. She had pondered all night but still couldn’t figure out which friend of her daughter owned the car.

Among her daughter’s close friends, there were some whom she hadn’t met but had heard of whose financials didn’t allow them to afford this type of car.

Was it the breakup fee from Zhang Yanxin?

Afraid of delving into her daughter’s heartache, she suppressed her curiosity and casually remarked, “I heard that the starlight roof of the Cullinan is a highlight with meteor effects. Does your friend’s car have it? Let Mom broaden her horizons.”

Wei Lai blurted out, “No, it wasn’t added.”

It seemed to fit Zhou Sujin’s character; he was allergic to these romantic features.

The safe opened, revealing several valuable items inside. At the top were three velvet boxes.

Wei Lai recognized the logo on the velvet boxes. Zhang Yanxin had gifted her jewelry from this brand on their second anniversary, but she had sold all of them after their breakup, not keeping a single piece.

Aside from the jewelry, there were two men’s watches; the combined value of which could buy a Cullinan.

President Zhou, there are a total of five valuable items in the safe.

Zhou Sujin sent pictures of three bracelets over. “No need to bring the others.

Following the pictures, Wei Lai opened the jewelry boxes to reveal this year’s limited edition women’s bracelet collection. Having bought all the styles, it seemed he also understood romance. Wei Lai retracted her earlier words that he was allergic to romance.

If she had known that these valuables were bracelets he intended to give to another girl, she wouldn’t have insisted on bringing them herself. It would have been simpler to just mail them directly.

The next morning at 11 a.m. Wei Lai took a taxi to the high-speed train station.

That morning, she had called Happy Lemon’s East China regional manager, Qi Linsheng, to schedule a meeting within the next two days. When he learned that she was the newly appointed buyer for Wei Lai Supermarket and wanted to meet him in Beijing, he fell silent for a moment.

In the silence that lasted for several tens of seconds, there must have been a strong mental struggle. Finally, he replied, “I’m available after 8 p.m. tomorrow night.”

After expressing her gratitude, she immediately booked a restaurant near where he was having his meeting.

Wei Lai’s seat was by the window. As the high-speed train left the city, the window turned into a dynamic watercolor painting: wheat fields nearby, vast expanses of low-lying clouds in the distance, villages nestled among the fields, rivers winding around the villages, and endless power lines stretching into the distance.

Lost in the scenery, her mind wandered off.

Stay a few more days in Beijing and go have fun,” her mom messaged her.

Wei Lai snapped back to reality. “I used to go there often; there’s not much to do.

She glanced at the bag containing the bracelets. This time, she didn’t plan to invite him to dinner again; she needed to be mindful.

With almost two more stops until Beijing, Zhou Sujin’s chauffeur, Uncle Yan, called her, saying he was already waiting at the exit.

It seemed that Zhou Sujin treasured those bracelets a lot, to have Uncle Yan come over so early.

After agreeing on a meeting point, Wei Lai got off the train and headed straight for her destination with her luggage. She had only met Uncle Yan twice before: once at the hotel to hand her the car key, and once when he drove her home.

“Hello, Uncle Yan,” she smiled, handing over the bag. “These are President Zhou’s three bracelets. Please open it and verify.”

Uncle Yan didn’t take the bag but instead took her suitcase. “You should personally hand over the items to President Zhou.”

“Is President Zhou in the car?”

“No, he’s at the office.”

Uncle Yan explained, “The restaurant where President Zhou will have dinner tonight is less than 500 meters from your hotel. I’ll drop you off on the way.”

Wei Lai didn’t refuse. It was a perfect opportunity to thank Zhou Sujin in person.

Today, Uncle Yan came to pick her up in a black Bentayga EWB. She couldn’t help but wonder how many luxurious SUVs Zhou Sujin owned.

Before Wei Lai could touch the passenger door, Uncle Yan stopped her. “Miss Wei, please sit in the back. There are flowers on the passenger seat that President Zhou bought for his elders.”

“Oh, okay.”

Wei Lai turned and opened the rear door to get in. Like the Cullinan, the rear seats were not equipped with captain’s chairs, allowing three people to sit side by side.

She speculated that Zhou Sujin probably drove SUVs himself most of the time, so the comfort of the rear seats wasn’t his primary concern. Unlike his sedans, which were usually chauffeur-driven and he spent more time in, hence the captain’s chairs in the rear.

Once settled, Wei Lai noticed the large bouquet on the front passenger seat. It was a mix of baby blue hydrangeas and eucalyptus—modest in cost but refreshing and pleasing to the eye.

As they descended from the highway, Wei Lai caught sight of the Kunchen Group’s office building. Its all-glass curtain wall gleamed brilliantly in the sunset.

The car stopped at the main entrance, conveniently allowing her to watch as people came out of the building’s ground floor.

Thanks to his long legs, she saw him take just a few steps down the stairs and walk right up to her in just a few strides.

His crisp black suit accentuated his noble aura, making him imposing.

The chauffeur had already opened the door for him. Soon, a shadowy figure got into the car, filling the interior with his unique scent.

Once he was settled, Wei Lai handed him the bag. “President Zhou, here are your bracelets.”

Zhou Sujin set the bag aside and sent a voice message to Min Ting, “The bracelets have arrived. Come over later to pick them up.”

Wei Lai’s peripheral vision unintentionally caught sight of the bag again before quickly averting her gaze.

“Didn’t you resign?” Zhou Sujin placed his phone away and glanced at her sideways.

Wei Lai understood the meaning behind his question: Why are you on a business trip if you’ve resigned?

She explained, “I just started yesterday, working under my mom for now. Tonight, I have a meeting with a regional manager of a snack company to discuss a partnership.”

Zhou Sujin nodded. He had looked into her background before, knowing that her dad was a law firm partner and her mom ran a chain of supermarkets.

For the rest of the ride, Zhou Sujin handled work matters on his phone, and Wei Lai didn’t disturb him, also occupying herself with her phone.

The SUV drove all the way to a private siheyuan. Zhou Sujin got out, taking the flowers from the passenger seat with him.

“President Zhou,” Wei Lai called out to his retreating figure, realizing that it might be difficult to see him again in the future.

Zhou Sujin had only taken a few steps before stopping in his tracks and turning around. He waited for her to continue speaking.

Wei Lai: “Thank you for getting Chairman He to help me out with such a big problem.”

Zhou Sujin said nothing but just nodded slightly in acknowledgment before turning around to walk toward the siheyuan again.

Just at that moment, a voice came from inside the siheyuan. “Your uncle has been eagerly waiting for you. You’re finally here.”

Wei Lai looked over and saw an elegant and noble older woman welcoming him from inside the grand gates.

“Your brother didn’t come with you?”


Zhou Sujin handed the flowers to his aunt.

“I didn’t raise you for nothing; you still remember what flowers I like.”

As they continued chatting and entered inside, their voices gradually faded into the distance.

The car started moving again, and Wei Lai withdrew her gaze.

It was only upon arriving in Beijing that she truly felt the vast difference between his world and hers.

Uncle Yan escorted her all the way to the hotel entrance and retrieved her suitcase from the trunk. “Miss Wei, if you need anything, feel free to call me anytime.”

“Thank you, Uncle Yan, but there’s no need. I’ve already troubled you so much.”

She reminded Uncle Yan about the bracelets on the back seat before wheeling her suitcase into the hotel. Meanwhile, Uncle Yan reported to Zhou Sujin, “President Zhou, she has been safely escorted to the hotel.

Just at this moment, Zhou Jiaye, his older brother, had also arrived at their aunt’s siheyuan.

The scolding from their aunt echoed throughout the courtyard, audible to everyone present.

“What’s the matter with you two? I told you not to look at your phones, didn’t I? The more I say it, the more rebellious you guys get, right? Put your phones down.” Ning Rujiang placed the bouquet of baby blue hydrangea and eucalyptus into a vase, commanding her two nephews not to look at their phones.

She had just given them a long lecture, but instead of listening, one picked up his phone claiming he had to reply to an email and the other followed suit.

Zhou Sujin wasn’t replying to an email; he was checking Uncle Yan’s message.

Glancing at his older brother beside him, he noticed that his brother’s phone screen also displayed a WeChat conversation.

“Hey, hey, hey! I’m talking to you guys! You two are such unruly brats!” Even Ning Rujiang, who was usually composed, couldn’t help but swear when dealing with these two brothers who were sparing with words.

Every time she saw them, she felt like she lost a few years of her life. That’s why she avoided seeing them as much as possible. It was no wonder that her sister and brother-in-law avoided them, too. While most families longed for reunions, their family was the opposite. Apart from the Mid-Autumn Festival and Chinese New Year, they didn’t usually ask the brothers to come home for dinner. It wasn’t worth it to risk aggravating themselves and potentially causing health problems.

So, out of sight, out of mind.

Her sister often said that if she didn’t die from anger caused by her two sons in this lifetime, it must’ve been her good fortune from her past life.

Today, she had invited her two nephews over for dinner at her sister’s request. Her sister had poured out her grievances, saying that this year alone, there had been over a dozen attempts to introduce their daughters to her sons. Some were outright rejected, while for a few, she didn’t know how to refuse politely, finding it hard to turn them down.

Just now, she had mentioned the topic of blind dates to Zhou Sujin and Zhou Jiaye. Naturally, she had phrased it delicately, using ethos:

“How many blind dates do you think your parents have turned down for you guys in the past few years? You guys have no idea, do you? Parents do everything they can for their children without seeking anything in return.”

“Your parents also have their own social circles to maintain and their own interpersonal relationships to consider. While you might think your dad doesn’t need to give others face and can simply refuse directly, there are times when it’s necessary to consider the face of certain friends and acquaintances, isn’t it?”

She stopped there, seeking their opinions on who should go on a blind date first.

So, the opportunity was passed back and forth. Zhou Sujin declined, and Zhou Jiaye didn’t need to be asked.

“Jiaye, what’s your opinion?” Ning Rujiang directly called on her eldest nephew.

Zhou Jiaye looked up, then gestured his chin slightly toward Zhou Sujin, stating, “He’s more filial than me. I’ll give him the opportunity.”

Zhou Sujin: “No need to be so polite. You’re not usually filial, so this is the perfect chance to show some.”

They started passing the ball back and forth to each other again, leaving Ning Rujiang feeling exasperated. The bouquet of baby blue hydrangea and eucalyptus she held still hadn’t been trimmed yet, so she did and placed them into the vase.

After each of them spoke a sentence, silence fell again. Seeing their nonchalant attitudes was infuriating. Ning Rujiang picked up a spray bottle and sprayed the bouquet of baby blue hydrangea and eucalyptus in the vase as if spraying it onto her own heart to cool down some of her anger.

Seeing their aunt getting angry, Zhou Jiaye put down his phone. With his long and strong fingers, he undid the clasp of his watch and placed it on the table before saying to Ning Rujiang, “I’ll go make tea for Uncle.”

He found an excuse to leave the living room.

“Thank you so much, but you don’t have to.” Just as he stood up, Ning Rujiang hurried over and pulled him back into his chair. “Your uncle doesn’t drink tea at night. Drinking strong tea will keep him awake.”

“Auntie, how about this,” Zhou Sujin suggested to Ning Rujiang, “We will draw lots.”

Whoever drew the short straw would go.

It’s all up to fate.

Zhou Jiaye glanced at Zhou Sujin. Despite his dissatisfaction, he agreed, “Sure.”

A hint of the most content smile of the evening bloomed on Ning Rujiang’s face as she addressed her little nephew, “You’re still the one who cares for Auntie the most, more sensible than your brother.”

On-the-spot mockery.

She fetched paper and pen, making two simple lots.

Zhou Jiaye drew first. He unfolded the paper but didn’t win. Glancing at Zhou Sujin, he said with a hint of sarcasm, “Congrats.”

Zhou Sujin still hadn’t opened his lot, but since his brother had spoken, there was no need to open it to know what he had drawn.

With a slight exertion of his clearly defined fingers, Zhou Sujin unfolded the paper lot, revealing that he was the one who would be going on the blind date.

Ning Rujiang didn’t care who would be going on the blind date; she just wanted to get the task done. She quickly shared the good news with her sister and asked about Zhou Sujin’s blind date partner. She only knew which family’s daughter would be introduced to Zhou Jiaye but was unaware which was for Zhou Sujin.

Ning Rujiang returned to her room to make the call, leaving the living room finally quiet.

Zhou Jiaye stood up and opened the window with its vintage design before lighting a cigarette and leaning against the window to smoke.

Glancing back at Zhou Sujin, he said, “Should’ve just eaten dinner tonight. Yet, you insisted on drawing lots and ended up getting yourself into this mess. It’s your own doing.”

Zhou Sujin looked up. “You saw Auntie’s attitude. If we don’t comply tonight, do you think you can leave this place, or do you think I can?”

Zhou Jiaye exhaled smoke. Auntie raised them both, so their relationship was different. She was adept at using emotions to manipulate both him and Zhou Sujin.

“Once you go on this blind date and meet the other party, Auntie will have ways to make you settle down and get married. How do you plan to handle the person in your car?”

As he was coming to their aunt’s house, his car met Zhou Sujin’s SUV head-on. The rear window of the SUV happened to be lowered, and he saw the person sitting in the back seat.

Being able to ride in his younger brother’s SUV and not hesitate to let her know the location of Auntie’s house, it was clear that they weren’t just ordinary friends.

Zhou Sujin glanced at his brother but didn’t respond.

As Zhou Sujin couldn’t stand the smell of smoke, Zhou Jiaye only took a couple of puffs before putting out the cigarette. He sat back down and picked up his watch from the table, putting it on.

Suddenly, he remembered something and looked at Zhou Sujin’s wrist. He noticed he was still wearing that new watch of no collector’s value.

“Your girlfriend gave you that?”

Zhou Sujin wanted to say, “What girlfriend?” but then he remembered that he had openly admitted to being with Wei Lai in Jiang City, not denying the existence of a girlfriend in front of Zhou Jiaye either.

Zhou Sujin: “It wasn’t given by her.”

It was Lu An’s card that bought the watch that night. Later, he reimbursed Lu An, essentially buying the watch himself.

“Dinner’s ready.” Ning Rujiang returned to the living room after her phone call, calling her two nephews to eat. Her voice was full of joy. “The chef made dishes that both of you love tonight.”

“Oh, Sujin, I just spoke with your mom on the phone. The blind date is set for tomorrow night, and I’ve already reserved a table for you for dinner.”

With the blind date settled, Ning Rujiang was in high spirits. The dinner went smoothly and happily, except for Zhou Sujin, who didn’t feel happy in the slightest.

After dinner, Zhou Jiaye went to the tea room to brew tea for their Uncle. Who said Uncle didn’t drink tea at night? He loved tea, and they all sat in the courtyard, leisurely enjoying it.

Zhou Sujin left early, and Auntie, in a good mood, let him go without any fuss.

After he got into the car, he instructed Uncle Yan, “Go to the hotel.”

Uncle Yan took a moment to react. “Got it.”

It was to the hotel where Miss Wei was staying.

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