Zhao Yihan and her friend agreed to meet at the store around 9 p.m. to have her friend take a look at the watch first.

As for when they could find a buyer, it would depend on luck.

“For you to get this watch sooner, you even bought an equal amount of items. It must’ve taken two years of salary without eating or drinking, right?”

Wei Lai was slightly surprised, wondering how she knew about how much she spent on items.

Zhao Yihan: “My friend is the store manager, and she saw your transactions. Let’s go see her later. I’m not sure how much she can help, but having more options gives more hope.”

Wei Lai’s phone vibrated—it was a message from Zhang Yanxin’s secretary: Miss Wei, when are you free? The CEO wants to transfer the villa in Jiangan to your name. He said he’s very sorry for what happened and regrets not living up to your feelings. Please accept the villa as a token of apology and consider it a settlement for the emotional debt he owes you.

Wei Lai suppressed the tumultuous emotions welling up inside her.

Zhao Yihan deduced from Wei Lai’s expression that the message was related to Zhang Yanxin. She grabbed her phone from her hand and placed it on the table. “Don’t use your phone when eating.” Trying to divert her attention, she continued, “My mom and Uncle Wei are getting married. What gift are you planning to give?”

Wei Luo remained somewhat silent. “I haven’t decided yet. What about you?”

Zhao Yihan’s silence lasted longer than hers. “Same.” She hadn’t decided either.

She only loved her own parents, and now that her mom was marrying someone else, she wasn’t sure what would be an appropriate gift. Similarly, Wei Lai also only loved her own parents. Despite how loving Uncle Wei and his ex-wife were before, dating from college to marriage, they eventually went their separate ways. Wei Lai probably wouldn’t want to face her dad’s wedding with someone else either.

Wei Lai suggested, “How about we chip in together and buy something more expensive? I’ll give my blessings to my dad, and you can give yours to your mom.” 

Zhao Yihan nodded. “Sure. Let’s go pick it together when we have time.”

After finishing dinner and leaving the restaurant, Wei Lai declined the chauffeur arranged by Zhang Yanxin, walking straight out of the lobby. 

Manager Lu was put in an awkward position. If he couldn’t safely escort Wei Lai home, he couldn’t report back to Zhang Yanxin. He had no choice but to advise again, “Miss Wei, you’ve had some wine…”

Wei Lai interrupted without looking at him, “I’ve called for a driver. Again, I’ve broken up with Zhang Yanxin.”

Manager Lu didn’t take those words to heart. Which couple hadn’t said they were breaking up in the heat of an argument?

“Manager Lu, no need to see us out.” Zhao Yihan, walking behind them at a steady pace, stopped Manager Lu, “My sister wasn’t celebrating his birthday today; it was a farewell dinner. He didn’t eat it, so I ate it on his behalf. Farewells have been said.”

Manager Lu visibly paused.

Zhao Yihan mocked, “I hope the next time we come to eat, we can still enjoy Manager Lu’s enthusiastic and thoughtful service as before.”

Manager Lu smiled and replied primly, “Certainly, it’s my pleasure.”

As they spoke, the driver arrived on a motorcycle.

A tall and slender young man, wearing gray sweatpants and a loose white T-shirt. 

Wei Lai could feel a youthful vibe from him, a kind of freshness that was absent in Zhang Yanxin—a seasoned businessman.

Having confirmed that he was the designated driver she called, Wei Lai handed him her car keys.

Zhao Yihan fetched a garment bag from her car. “Don’t forget your dress.”

Wei Lai took a few steps forward, receiving the bag and placing it in the trunk. Feeling apologetic for troubling this sister of hers, she said, “You should head back now. I’ll go to the flagship store and find your friend, the store manager. I’ve troubled you enough.”

“An extra hour or two won’t make much of a difference. “ Zhao Yihan opened Wei Lai’s car door and got in.

The white car left the restaurant parking lot and headed toward the flagship store of the watch brand.

With an unfamiliar driver in the front, discussing private matters wasn’t convenient, providing the perfect excuse for both to remain silent.

They had not exchanged many words during dinner tonight; each ate their own thing, immersed in their thoughts. 

The car remained quiet until the driver parked not far from the flagship store. Wei Lai turned to the driver and said, “Why don’t you walk around nearby? It might take a while.”

The driver was a man of few words and just nodded in agreement, returning the car keys to her.

The VIP guest still hadn’t arrived to choose his watch yet, so the store manager had some free time to personally attend to them.

The store manager hadn’t met Wei Lai in person before today, but she was not unfamiliar with her. Over the years, she had heard bits and pieces about Wei Lai from Zhao Yihan, giving her a general understanding of her personality. Known for her high EQ, in Zhao Yihan’s words, Wei Lai seemed non-confrontational but had eight hundred tricks up her sleeve.

She had also seen how Wei Lai looked in a family photo at Zhao Yihan’s house—a plump oval face with a soft jawline, a pair of eyes full of mirth that could melt anyone’s heart.

In the photo, her features were impeccable, almost unrealistically beautiful, and she had thought it was the result of the photographer’s Photoshop skills.

Now, with the real person standing in front of her, the store manager, a woman herself, couldn’t help but hold her breath at the sight.

Wei Lai greeted her, expressing apologies, “It’s quite late; sorry for the trouble.”

The store manager greeted them with a warm smile as they entered. “No trouble at all. Your sister’s matters are my matters; don’t stand on ceremony. You’re in luck; our regional director happens to be here tonight. I have a good relationship with him personally, and he has an extensive network. I’ll ask him for a favor.” 

The warranty card for this watch hadn’t been filled out, and it hadn’t even been tried on. There was a slim chance of reselling it close to the original price, though the probability was quite low.

Right now, Wei Lai only wanted to get rid of the watch as soon as possible. The price wasn’t her top concern at the moment.

The store manager poured two cups of coffee and invited them to sit in the VIP room on the first floor while she took the watch to find the regional director, hoping he could help find a suitable new owner for the watch.

“Skip the coffee; will you even be able to sleep after drinking it?” Zhao Yihan reminded her.

Wei Lai stirred her coffee without concealing her emotions. “Whether I drink it or not, I won’t be able to sleep.”

Soon, the store manager hurriedly descended from upstairs. In the VIP room, the two sisters sat at opposite ends of the sofa, maintaining complete silence as if they were strangers.

The store manager handed the watch back to Wei Lai. “I’ve taken the photos. Keep the watch safe.”

After a pause, she advised Wei Lai to prepare herself mentally. “The color scheme of this watch band, someone who likes it will appreciate it a lot.” The remaining half of the message was left unspoken.

Wei Lai was already mentally prepared and graciously expressed her thanks.

The store manager gestured toward the door and said to Zhao Yihan, “Our VIP guest is arriving shortly, and I won’t have time to accompany you guys. Feel free to help yourself to more coffee. If you guys are busy, you guys can head back first. We can discuss it later over the phone.” 

Zhao Yihan: “No rush, we’ll wait here.” 

The store manager, without lingering for small talk, quickly adjusted her attire and makeup in the mirror, then briskly walked out of the lounge, closing the door behind her.

Having just learned from the regional director that tonight’s VIP guest was surnamed Zhou, the second young master of the Zhou family in Beijing, and that the person who accidentally damaged his watch was Lu An from the Lu family.

The purpose of their visit was to see if the damaged watch could be repaired, and buying a new watch was just a secondary matter. 

As the store manager reached the entrance of the flagship store, two cars pulled up in succession and parked.

The leading vehicle was a striking dark emerald Cullinan. Even without being a car enthusiast, she knew this Cullinan was the epitome of an SUV.

A young man, casually dressed, stepped out from the driver’s seat. His T-shirt was even darker than the color of the SUV, exuding a carefree aura.

Following closely, the door of the passenger seat opened too. A tall man in a white shirt got out of the car. She could only catch a glimpse of his side profile. His demeanor and aura were in stark contrast to the man in the T-shirt. He possessed a natural charisma, a silent presence that simultaneously made people nervous and yet strangely comforted—a contradictory feeling.  

The regional director approached, exchanging pleasantries with the man in the white shirt. The store manager then confirmed that the man was Zhou Sujin, the second young master of the Zhou family, and the one in the T-shirt was Lu An.

The store manager followed them into the store, with the regional director leading the way. There was little for her to do.

As they ascended the stairs, Lu An engaged in conversation with the regional director, while Zhou Sujin remained calm and aloof. He was a man of few words, and from the entrance to the second-floor VIP room, he uttered only two sentences, not totaling ten words.

The damaged watch was with Zhou Sujin’s secretary. Lu An instructed the secretary to take out the watch and told the regional director, “Try to shorten the repair time.”

The regional director simply responded verbally. The watch needed to be sent to the headquarters for repairs, and the exact duration of the repair would be assessed after an inspection. It wasn’t a decision he could make.

Lu An was even more anxious than the owner of the watch, emphasizing twice that it must be restored, regardless of the repair cost, and the repair time should be shortened as much as possible.

The significance of this watch to Zhou Sujin was unparalleled. It was a gift from Zhou Sujin’s older brother for his 20th birthday, more than nine years ago. The watch appeared most frequently at significant occasions.

He blamed his own curiosity; he shouldn’t have asked Zhou Sujin to take it off and let him take a look.

At that time, they were playing cards, and he forgot how precious this watch was. Amid playful banter after losing a game, the watch accidentally fell off. It was then unintentionally kicked by him, too…

After discussing the repair of the watch, Lu An requested to see the watches in the store, instructing the store manager, “Bring out the most expensive ones.”

Zhou Sujin was engrossed in work on his phone, not bothering to look up.

He had no need to buy a watch. Various watches filled three watch safes at home, and some watches still haven’t even had the chance to be worn. It was Lu An’s way of apologizing for the incident with the watch, and he insisted on gifting Zhou Sujin one.

The store manager brought over several watches that might catch Zhou Sujin’s eye, omitting the basic models.

After arranging the watches, Lu An gestured to Zhou Sujin. “Take a look; which one do you think is okay?”

Zhou Sujin quickly glanced over all the watches. “Put them away.”

He didn’t fancy any of them.

Lu An understood Zhou Sujin well; choosing a watch for him was about personal connection rather than price. He had seen the watches in Zhou Sujin’s collection, ranging from five to eight figures.

He pointed to the damaged watch and asked the store manager, “Is there anything similar to this? The style can be different; if the color is similar, that’s fine too.” 

The store manager took another glance at the watch band and then looked at the regional director.

The regional director also found the band color familiar and suddenly remembered the watch that belonged to Wei Lai. Although its price was incomparable to the high-priced watch that Zhou Sujin needed to repair, the band color was quite similar.

The regional director explained the situation to Lu An, “We have a watch in the store that belongs to a customer…”

“Bring it here for me to see,” Lu An eagerly interrupted.

“One moment; I’ll go get it right away.” The store manager calmly left the VIP room. Upon reaching the stairs, there seemed to be wind under her feet as she dashed to find Wei Lai and Zhao Yihan. 

Entering the room, she exclaimed with relief, “Luckily, you guys didn’t leave! If we’re lucky, this watch might find a new owner tonight.”

Wei Lai was surprised, “So fast?”

“That’s why I said you’re lucky.”

With no time to explain further, the store manager took the watch and hurriedly returned upstairs.

Zhou Sujin had a penchant for collecting watches, and he could estimate the value of a watch with a glance. The watch brought by the store manager had no collectible value, and he thanked her, saying, “Thank you for your efforts.” 

Lu An understood; the watch didn’t catch his eye.

Zhou Sujin closed his phone and glanced at Lu An. “Let’s return to the hotel.”

He didn’t fancy any of the watches, so there was no need to make a purchase.

However, Lu An felt apologetic. Zhou Sujin had a business meeting tomorrow, and wearing a suit without a watch felt like something was missing. Zhou Sujin wouldn’t borrow someone else’s watch, either.

Without responding to Zhou Sujin, Lu An took the liberty to trouble the store manager again, “Are there more styles in the Shanghai store?”

Zhou Sujin didn’t have the time to accompany him on such trivial matters. It was just a watch. He interrupted Lu An. “No need to go to Shanghai.” He then gestured toward the uniquely colored watch in the store manager’s hand, saying, “This one will do.”

Previous | Index | Next