Inside Riverside Restaurant, Zhao Yihan picked up her white button-up from the front desk, and just as she turned to leave, someone called out to her, “Zhao Yihan?”

Zhao Yihan paused, glancing sideways. A man in a dark green T-shirt was walking toward her from the lounge area. He was handsome and tall, with a pair of captivating peach blossom eyes. His eyebrows were slender, and his smile was harmless.

She knew this man, a fellow university alum, and his name was on the tip of her tongue, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t remember his name, not even his last name.

Before Lu An reached her, he introduced himself, “Lu An. Do you still remember me?”

Finally connecting the name to the face, Zhao Yihan maintained her composure and smiled. “How could I forget? Long time no see.”

Knowing Zhao Yihan’s personality, Lu An half-jokingly remarked, “I’m afraid an important person like you can’t remember everyone. Are you from Jiang City?”

“Yes.” Zhao Yihan extended her hand, and they shook hands while exchanging pleasantries. “Are you here on business?”

“En. A friend of mine is a son-in-law of Jiang City, mobilizing everyone around him to invest in Jiang City Industrial Park. He even set KPIs for us, requiring me to come to Jiang City two to three times a year.” Lu An pulled up his WeChat QR code and handed his phone over. He didn’t have Zhao Yihan’s contact information. “I heard you got married to your college boyfriend. Congrats.”

“Thank you.”

They exchanged contact information, and Zhao Yihan updated his name in her contacts.

Their conversations were always brief, and after several years apart, they struggled to find topics to discuss.

Their brief reunion after graduation ended with Lu An’s offer, “When you’re free, let me treat you to a meal.” He then returned to the lounge area to wait for his late-night takeout while Zhao Yihan left the restaurant to find Wei Lai.

During the ten minutes she was inside the restaurant, Wei Lai had been admiring the neighboring Cullinan for the same duration.

Initially, it was admiration, but as time passed, her gaze fixed on the car as her thoughts drifted to tomorrow’s work handover.

Meanwhile, Zhou Sujin turned around once more, glancing to see if Lu An had come out. Wei Lai’s gaze inadvertently met his, prompting Zhou Sujin to avert his eyes and look toward the restaurant’s entrance.

When Lu An stepped out, Wei Lai’s white car had just driven away.

“I packed a portion for you.” Lu An placed the takeout on the back seat and started the car.

Zhou Sujin: “I told you I didn’t need it.”

Lu An had intended to treat Zhou Sujin to late-night, but since he said he wasn’t hungry, Lu An didn’t dine in and instead got takeout. Feeling awkward about eating alone, Lu An ordered an extra portion but he didn’t appreciate it.

Lu An, being good-natured, said, “I’ll eat two portions by myself then.”

While waiting at the traffic light, Lu An propped his elbow on the car windowsill, absentmindedly rubbing his chin with the back of his hand, and sighed, “The world is really small, you know? Guess who I bumped into at the restaurant just now? An old college acquaintance of mine. She didn’t even remember my name.”

He chuckled awkwardly.

There was a moment of silence.

“I know she’s from Jiang City.”

Zhou Sujin couldn’t grasp his words and had no interest in gossiping. He simply stated, “I’m heading back to Beijing tomorrow morning.”

Lu An withdrew his arm from the car window, suddenly feeling uneasy. “But what about the meeting tomorrow if you leave?”

“You go.”

“I… I go… and with you, isn’t the same.”

The semiconductor materials project in Jiang City was a joint investment between him and Zhou Sujin. In the past, major decisions for the company were made by Zhou Sujin, and he was happy to handle the legwork.

Tomorrow’s meeting in Jiang City was especially important, and Lu An was afraid he wouldn’t be able to handle it alone.

“What’s the rush to go back for?”

Zhou Sujin replied, “It’s something related to my brother.”

“Oh.” Lu An didn’t press further, knowing that even if he asked, Zhou Sujin might not explain. Over the years, he had noticed that anyone who spent time with Zhou Sujin tended to develop a habit of speaking less and doing more. Even he, who used to be outspoken and straightforward, had learned to read between the lines.

Twenty minutes later, the car stopped in front of the hotel.

“You’ll be in charge of the project in Jiang City from now on,” Zhou Sujin said as he unbuckled his seatbelt and got out of the car.

“Hey, wait a moment.” Lu An didn’t forget to grab the two portions of takeout. Zhou Sujin’s chauffeur and secretary were in the car behind, so Lu An gestured the Cullinan to the chauffeur, indicating him to park the car properly before hurriedly catching up with Zhou Sujin. “What do you mean by that?”

Zhou Sujin: “I have other projects to attend to.” He didn’t have the time to come to Jiang City frequently anymore.

The project in Jiang City was basically on track and didn’t require his constant supervision; Lu An should be able to handle it.

The next day, Wei Lai went to work as usual, arriving at the office around the same time. Her project team colleagues had started to arrive one by one, and they were surprised to see her again in the office, with puzzled expressions on their faces.

Their dark circles were even heavier than Wei Lai’s. They had created a new group chat last night, where they continued to roast their boss until three in the morning. If Tang Zhi hadn’t disbanded the group, they would have talked until dawn.

Tang Zhi took the initiative to take Wei Lai’s cup to the pantry and poured her some warm water. She then brewed some coffee to keep herself awake. Last night, she received a notification from their boss to arrange for Wei Lai to hand over her work to her.

“Have some water,” Tang Zhi placed Wei Lai’s cup on her desk. Staring at her eyes, there were no signs of puffiness, just a few faint lines of redness. “I was worried your eyes wouldn’t be presentable today.”

Wei Lai smiled. “My tear glands are underdeveloped.”

A man who could make her shed tears probably hasn’t been born yet.

Last night, when sending Zhao Yihan home, she asked her to wait a few minutes. She got out of the car and bought a bottle of melatonin pills from the pharmacy for her. When Wei Lai returned home, she got into bed and fell asleep in less than half an hour. She was awakened by her alarm in the morning, with no time to indulge in sadness and tears.

Tang Zhi got straight to the point, “CEO Mu asked me to take over your work. If you’re not feeling well today, we can postpone the handover to another day. No rush.”

“No need. A breakup won’t affect the handover.”

Tang Zhi sighed inwardly. Although she was discontent with their boss, she could only voice her complaints in private. The next day at work, she would continue to wag her tail as usual.

“CEO Mu also mentioned that you can rest assured, the bonus from the previous project will definitely be given to you in full,” Tang Zhi, being overly cautious, whispered to Wei Lai, “While face is important, it’s not tangible. Don’t be foolish and let go of this bonus. You earned it with your hard work, and no matter what, nothing’s worth sacrificing money over.”

While organizing the handover, Wei Lai paused and looked up, “The bonus is rightfully mine. Why wouldn’t I accept it? If the company refuses to give it to me, I will protest.”

Tang Zhi gave her a thumbs-up, trying to keep the conversation light and avoiding mentioning their boss, Mu Di. “Once you’re settled in at your new company, I’ll come join you.”

Wei Lai joked in agreement, “When I become a boss in the future, I’ll hire you with a high salary.”

She was joking, but Tang Zhi wasn’t.

Wei Lai was one of the few employees in the company who resigned without giving a month’s notice, but her handover process was swift. In just three days, she handed over all her ongoing projects.

During those three days, she didn’t catch sight of Mu Di.

Mu Di’s office was on the same floor as theirs. It was said that she was on a business trip these past few days. Privately, they speculated that Mu Di was deliberately avoiding meeting Wei Lai.

As for that bonus, Wei Lai received it a month later.

The day she received the bonus happened to be when Zhang Yanxin and Mu Di got engaged. She couldn’t help but feel that it was too much of a coincidence.

The company’s finance team knew that Mu Di’s fiance was her ex-boyfriend, yet they chose this day to send the bonus to her.

That day felt like an eternity, with each passing hour feeling longer than a week.

Unable to focus on reading, Wei Lai decided to hit the treadmill for a run.

As she was sweating profusely, a call came in. Wei Lai picked up her phone and saw it was from the real estate agent. She had listed the villa in Jiangan with the agent, and there had been occasional visits from potential buyers lately.

Answering the call, the agent asked if she was available at the moment. There was a buyer interested in her villa.

Wei Lai had plenty of time on her hands these days, too much time to know what to do with. “I’m available.”

Agent: “The buyer’s whole family is currently at the office. Could you come over?”

Wei Lai set aside her phone and went to take a shower. Since resigning from her job, she rarely bothered with makeup when going out, but she took the time to apply an exquisite layer today.

A month had passed, and from her appearance and demeanor, one couldn’t tell that she had experienced both heartbreak and unemployment.

Upon arriving at the real estate agency, the family interested in her property had been waiting for some time, accompanied by a lawyer.

The lawyer got straight to the point and proposed their offer, which was lower than Wei Lai’s expectations. However, the buyer was offering to pay the full amount upfront. All she needed to do was nod, and they could sign the contract and pay the deposit right away.

Today was Zhang Yanxin’s engagement day; such a special occasion seemed to have sealed the fate of this villa.

Wei Lai didn’t want to keep it for another day, so she agreed to the deal.

The paperwork was a bit complicated, so the transfer of ownership wasn’t completed until the next day.

Wei Lai had returned to her normal routine this week, waking up at 6:30 in the morning, preparing a hearty breakfast, and then relaxing on the sofa with a book after eating.

Zhao Yihan sent her a message: Are you busy?

During the past month or so, she hadn’t had any contact with this sister of hers.

Putting down the collection of poems in her hand, Wei Lai replied, Not busy at the moment.

Zhao Yihan knew Wei Lai had resigned and had been resting at home for over a month. With Zhang Yanxin’s engagement two days ago, she had thought about calling Wei Lai but was worried she might not feel like talking.

Wei Lai asked, “What’s up?

Zhao Yihan expressed concern, “Have you found a new job yet? Or are you planning to take more time off?

Wei Lai wanted to get herself sorted out before making any decisions. “I’ll decide after my dad’s wedding. No rush.

“Oh, by the way,” Zhao Yihan asked Wei Lai, “Does Auntie know about your breakup and resignation?

Wei Lai hadn’t told her mom yet; she didn’t want her to worry. “The matters at the supermarket are enough to keep my mom busy.

Zhao Yihan: “Should I tell Uncle Wei or not?” Even if they didn’t tell now, it wouldn’t stay hidden for long.

With her dad and Zhao Yihan’s mom’s wedding approaching, Wei Lai pondered for a moment before replying, “Let’s wait. I want him to be in a good mood for the wedding. After the wedding, I’ll tell them once I find a job and settle down properly.

Zhao Yihan: “As long as you’re in the financial circle of Jiang City, you’ll inevitably have to deal with Mu Di. Have you thought about working in Su City? It’s not far from home, and a change of environment might lift your spirits.

Wei Lai said candidly, “I don’t have any connections in Su City.

Zhao Yihan: “I’m attending a dinner party tonight hosted by Su City’s wealthiest man, He Wancheng. He has business dealings with major corporations in Jiang City. Whether you decide to work in Su City or not, it wouldn’t hurt to make some connections.

She knew she would just be a background figure at the dinner, unable to participate in conversations with such people. However, with Wei Lai’s social skills, turning the big shots at the dinner into potential connections shouldn’t be a problem.

It’s a rare opportunity. You should go.

Wei Lai appreciated Zhao Yihan’s goodwill: “Send me the address.

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