Epilogue 6: Xin Li & Xie Yuran
“What do you like about me?”
Xin Li was caught off guard by this sudden question, momentarily choking on her words.
Noticing her reaction, Xie Yuran smiled again, dismissing it as a fleeting attraction for her and not taking it to heart.
He took off his suit jacket, tossing it onto the nearby sofa. A white button-up was neatly tucked into his tailored pants, buckled by a belt, showcasing his slender waist and long legs.
Xin Li glanced at him from head to toe, admiring his physique while saying, “I like your…”
Before she could finish her sentence, there was a sudden knock on the door.
Both of them paused.
It was the voice of a middle-aged woman, probably one of his elders.
Xie Yuran turned and looked toward the door, answering loudly, “I’ll be right there.”
He looked back at Xin Li. “Would you like to rest here for a while, or come out with me?”
Xin Li was about to say she would go out with him when she suddenly remembered her mom was still inside the venue. She immediately cooled her head, shaking her head, “You go first; I’ll go out in a bit.”
Xie Yuran’s smile faded, and his expression changed slightly. He didn’t say anything and didn’t grab his suit jacket, just adjusted the collar of his button-up before opening the door and walking out.
After he had left for a while, Xin Li cautiously opened the door, peeking outside to make sure no one was looking before exiting and returning to the soiree.
Mrs. Xu Wanqin just so happened to be looking for her, and upon seeing her, she started nagging again.
Xin Li absentmindedly listened to her while scanning the surroundings, but she didn’t spot Xie Yuran.
They didn’t cross paths again throughout the rest of the soiree.
The next day, Xin Li woke up vexed, remembering their conversation from last night.
What did he even mean?
Did he think that her feelings were too shallow?
Although she was initially attracted to his looks, she had met Xie Shuo afterward and wasn’t swayed.
With their limited interaction and Xie Yuran’s consistently indifferent attitude, Xin Li gradually lost patience and stopped sending him messages.
To her delight, after hitting a few walls, Mrs. Xu Wanqin finally realized that Xie Shuo was not interested in her daughter, so she gave up on the idea of matchmaking.
Enjoying her newfound freedom, Xin Li refused to move back home, citing the need to manage her clothing brand. Xu Wanqin nagged, but there was nothing she could do, so she let her do as she pleased.
Shortly after, a girlfriend invited her to go vacay abroad. She just so happened to be bored to death, so she eagerly agreed and packed to go abroad for ten or so days.
Amid her trip, she couldn’t resist and sent Xie Yuran a few photos of her adventures abroad.
In the first couple of days, Xie Yuran courteously responded, but as time went on, it seemed like he grew annoyed, taking longer to respond perfunctorily.
Xin Li’s initial enthusiasm was extinguished to the point where there was almost nothing left, ending her trip with a sense of frustration.
Upon her return home, only then did she learn that something disastrous had happened in the Xie family—Xie Shuo had been in a car accident.
The news was tightly controlled by the Xie family, and the exact details were unknown. It was reported that he was seriously injured and remained unconscious.
Due to the accident, Xie Yuran, as his younger brother, must’ve been busy. No wonder why he had no time to respond to her messages.
The lump in Xin Li’s heart lightened a bit, realizing that he didn’t ignore her on purpose.
She picked up her phone, intending to inquire about Xie Shuo’s condition. However, after a moment of thought, she realized that the Xie family was preventing any leaks of information to the public. It might not be appropriate for her to inquire directly.
After hesitating for a while, she decided to put her phone down.
For the following few months, Xin Li refrained from contacting Xie Yuran.
Around two months later, there was some news from the Xie family. It was reported that Xie Shuo had regained consciousness, but unfortunately, he had lost his vision.
Although unrelated to her, Xin Li couldn’t help but feel a tinge of regret since Xie Shuo had it all since he was born. It was unfortunate that he had such an outcome.
The next day, Xin Li learned from Xin Yu that Xie Yuran had been assigned back to the Junming Group headquarters, temporarily taking over Xie Shuo’s position.
With the heir to the Xie family having an accident, there would undoubtedly be internal turmoil within the company. Having grown up in an affluent family, Xin Li was well aware of the dangers that came with such situations. Therefore, she refrained from bothering him too much, only occasionally sending a message to express her concern.
Xie Yuran’s response remained insipid. He wouldn’t ignore her, but he was also far from being proactive or warm.
His attitude left Xin Li feeling somewhat in despair, and on several occasions, she contemplated giving up.
In the blink of an eye, it was already October.
One day, Xin Li was dragged to the airport by her girlfriend to see her off.
“Why have you been so down lately, like you’ve just experienced a breakup?”
Her friend asked, noticing Xin Li’s lackluster mood.
Xin Li glanced at her and thought: Not a breakup, but it feels almost the same.
The person I’m interested in is out of reach—isn’t that akin to a breakup?
Her friend linked arms with her and said with a smile, “Come on, don’t be so gloomy. I’ll bring you a gift when I come back.”
Inside the airport, people were coming and going, with the sweet sounds of the announcer making announcements echoing continuously.
As they walked further into the terminal, her friend suddenly looked toward the right and exclaimed, “Hey, isn’t that Xie Yuran?”
Xin Li was momentarily surprised. Following her friend’s gaze, she indeed spotted a familiar figure…
It had been almost half a year since they last met.
He seemed to have lost some weight, and his shadow on the gleaming floor appeared particularly slender.
In front of him stood a young woman wearing a long dress. Her side profile was elegant as she smiled while chatting with him.
Xin Li inexplicably had an inkling that the relationship between him and the woman was not simple.
Her friend glanced at her and, noticing her expression, tentatively asked, “Xiao Li, I remember you used to have a bit of interest in Xie Yuran. Are you still pursuing him?”
Xin Li said nothing, but her facial expression had already provided an answer.
Her friend leaned in close and whispered to her, “If that’s the case, I advise you to cut your losses now. The woman in front of him is Zhang Muqing, the adopted daughter of the Zhang family. I recently heard that Xie Yuran likes her. However, the Zhang family favors Xie Shuo, so Zhang Muqing hadn’t agreed to his advances. Now that Xie Shuo has had an accident, Xie Yuran is likely to take over his brother’s position, and there’s a chance Zhang Muqing might change her target…”
As she said, her friend suddenly remembered the rumor going around and lowered her voice, “I also heard that Xie Shuo’s accident might be related to his younger brother. I don’t know if it’s true or not… but you should keep your eyes wide open. Don’t pick a scumbag and get yourself pulled in…”
Regarding the rumor about the car accident, Xin Li had also heard about it. But, she still believed in Xie Yuran.
Although they didn’t spend much time together, her intuition told her that he wasn’t that kind of person.
Seeing her silent, her friend didn’t dare to tease her anymore. She patted her shoulder and comforted her, “There are plenty of good men in the world. There’s no need to put all your eggs in one basket. I’ll introduce you to a few good-looking guys another day…”
Before she could finish her sentence, Xin Li interrupted her, “Okay, I got it.”
After seeing off her friend, Xin Li glanced once more at Xie Yuran, who was still talking to Zhang Muqing. Her heart felt void, and an indescribable pain overwhelmed her.
No wonder he rejected her. It wasn’t because their statuses were incompatible; it was because he already had someone he liked.
He had no girlfriend, but he had someone in his heart.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the airport, she stood still for a moment. She didn’t go up to him, just turned around and left.
Since the day Xin Li saw Xie Yuran and Zhang Muqing at the airport, her feelings toward Xie Yuran have died down considerably. She rarely sent messages to him now.
She had her own pride. She didn’t know he had someone in his heart before, so she pursued him persistently. Now that she knew, it was time to cut her losses.
However, it didn’t stop the pain in her heart. Every time the thought crossed her mind, it felt like a cotton ball was lodged in her chest.
On Xie Yuran’s side, after not receiving messages from her for a long time, he just assumed that this heiress had finally grown tired of him. A strange and unexplainable feeling flickered in his heart.
After Xie Shuo’s accident, he took on more responsibilities, becoming extremely busy and occupied. He also had to deal with various suspicions, so he had little energy to think about other matters, quickly pushing this matter to the back of his mind.
They met again in the spring of the following year at a certain bar.
This bar was owned by Xin Yu’s friend. Feeling down, Xin Li went over to sit for a while.
The dazzling colored lights kept flashing. Leaning against the bar, she was chatting with a friend’s younger brother when she looked up and saw Xie Yuran entering through the door.
Xin Li’s smile froze slightly.
Xie Yuran also noticed her amidst the chatting and laughter of the patrons in the bar.
After so long, her smile was still as brilliant. She was holding a glass of wine in her hand; the liquid in the glass rippled like the light in her eyes.
The young man by her side had attractive features—probably her new love interest.
As he expected, she was just momentarily attracted to him. The infatuation faded, and she withdrew quickly.
A strange feeling surfaced in his heart, slowly spreading.
Xie Yuran was in a daze for quite a bit, only retracting his gaze when someone beside him called him. He then sat down with his companion at a nearby booth.
Seeing him turn away so indifferently, the smile on Xin Li’s face completely faded.
After a while, she mustered to put on a smile and continued chatting with her friend’s younger brother.
The wine in her glass gradually diminished, and Xin Li’s head became a bit cloudy, with the light and shadows before her eyes blurring.
Leaning on the bar, she got up and smiled at her friend’s younger brother. “It’s getting late. I should head back. I’ll treat you to drinks next time.”
“I’ll send you…” The other party also got up.
“You’re also drunk; can you even send me back?
Xin Li laughed, evading his attempt to help her, and swayed as she walked out of the bar. However, just a short distance beyond the entrance, she almost bumped into someone.
Xie Yuran had also come out. He reached out to steady her as the light reflected off his watch flickered.
Xin Li managed to steady herself before looking up and meeting his gaze as he looked her way.
This situation somewhat resembled their first meeting.
Their eyes met, and neither of them spoke a word.
Her friend’s younger brother also came outside, and seeing this situation, asked puzzledly, “Xiao Li jie?”
Xin Li snapped out of her thoughts and looked at the person in front of her. That painful feeling resurfaced.
Forcing down the discomfort in her heart, she greeted with a smile, “Long time no see.”
Xie Yuran glanced at her and then at the young man behind her. His expression slightly changed as he replied, “Long time no see.”
His chauffeur just so happened to pull up the car, parking by the road.
Xin Li thought he would be like before, getting into the car and leaving without hesitation. However, he unexpectedly asked her, “Do you need a ride?”