Ning Guangyao’s face lit up, and he peered inside the house.
Coincidentally, Lin Ruoxi came out when she didn’t hear a reply from Wang Ma. With a beige dress on and her hair tied up, she looked less aloof and more gentler.
The moment she saw Ning Guangyao, she paused in her tracks as if in a trance.
Somehow, she couldn’t move her legs as if they were stuck to the floor.
“Ruoxi, I’m glad you’re still awake. I hope you don’t mind me visiting you so suddenly,” Ning Guangyao said with a smile.
Lin Ruoxi pursed her lips. Her body shuddered as she cast an unreadable gaze at him.
“What’s the reason behind your late-night visit, Premier Ning?”
Ning Guangyao said sheepishly, “I wanted to come over earlier, but I was caught up in a meeting with the local government. It ended very late, and I wanted to see you before I go back to Beijing tomorrow.”
“You’ve seen me, so please leave.” Lin Ruoxi nodded coldly and turned to leave.
“Ruoxi,” he pleaded, “I know you might not want to see me, but I really want to talk with you. Could you accompany me to a meal? I haven’t eaten dinner, and I’m kind of hungry.”
Seeing that she wasn’t replying to her, he added, “Please, my daughter.”
With her back facing him, Lin Ruoxi hit her lip. In the end, she softened up.
Since a premier had begged her, she thought it would be cruel to reject him.
After taking a deep breath, Lin Ruoxi turned around.
“Wang Ma, I’ll be back late. You can go to sleep first if you’re tired.”
Wang Ma nodded nervously. Though she was smiling, her gaze was filled with worry.
Meanwhile, Ning Guangyao was overjoyed.
He led Lin Ruoxi to his car and then commanded the chauffeur, “Go to White Deer.”
Soon, the car drove off.
Ning Guangyao looked at his daughter, who was staring outside the window impassively. Since she didn’t seem inclined to talk, he broke the silence. “Ruoxi, do you know about White Deer Club? It’s actually the Ning clan’s property. I always go there when I visit Zhonghai. There aren’t any disturbances there, so it’s quiet.”
“Premier Ning, my surname is Lin. The Ning clan has nothing to do with me,” Lin Ruoxi replied flatly.
Ning Guangyao shook his head, sighing. “I know it’s hard for you to acknowledge a father that had wronged you so many times. Similarly, I know it’s also hard for you to return to our clan. But you also know that I no longer care about the public’s opinion. I realized that relationships formed by blood can never be forsaken. The affluent families in Beijing and Zhonghai already knew you’re my daughter. No matter what they say, I’m proud of you. I know I’ve hurt you many times with my actions and words. I repent everything I’ve done that I constantly have nightmares of you staring at me with disdain. Each time I awoke, I felt so regretful that my heart ached so badly. Yet, I don’t dare to contact you, for fear that you will spurn me. I feel so useless. Last time, when the Yang clan was in trouble, I wanted to bring you to the Ning residence. However, I had to look at the big picture and was worried you would reject me. So I placed all hopes on Yang Chen, hoping that he would resolve the crisis. I was so nervous at that time that I could hardly breathe…”
His confession sounded as if he was talking to himself.
At that moment, he was acting like a father who was repenting his wrongdoings.
Lin Ruoxi didn’t respond, but her eyes that were staring at the bustling city were misty.
Ning Guangyao talked for around twenty minutes until the car pulled up at a club located in between the western suburb and the city area.
The White Deer Club usually only received VIPs
Since Ning Guangyao would be visiting, they closed the place early and waited for his arrival.
Once they entered into a private room that was renovated in a traditional style, Ning Guangyao ordered the staff to bring in a dozen of dishes that were surprisingly Lin Ruoxi’s favorite dishes.
One of them was the glutinous rice balls from the Zhao couple. Ning Guangyao must have ordered someone to buy them during the day.
“How is it? I had them prepare these. It’s our first dinner, I mean, supper together. I specially prepared your favorite dishes. Are you wondering how I know about your preferences?”
“Ruoxi, I’ve been watching you grow up since you were young. I remember all your favorites.” He was completely unbothered by Lin Ruoxi’s stony expression.
Then, he ordered the staff to bring in a bottle of red wine and WuliaNing Guangyaoe. The wine was for Lin Ruoxi while he sipped on the baijiu liquor on his own.
“Here, Ruoxi, eat this glutinous rice ball, this okra, and meat… Oh, since it’s already nighttime, maybe you don’t want to eat meat? Then eat some vegetables,” Ning Guangyao said as he put some food into Lin Ruoxi’s bowl.
Lin Ruoxi stared at the pile of food in her bowl and finally moved her chopsticks. She then picked up a piece of okra and ate a small bite.
Ning Guangyao was dejected at first, but his eyes soon lit up. He clapped his hands and exclaimed, “Ah! I almost forgot about it!”
That puzzled Lin Ruoxi. She then stared at him, wondering what he had forgotten.
Ning Guangyao beckoned the server over. “Serve the white truffle I’ve ordered.”
The server nodded and soon served the seasoned white truffle on an exquisite silver tray.
Lin Ruoxi’s gaze that was normally impassive flickered with emotions.
Italian white truffle, French foie gras, and Middle Eastern caviar were top delicacies in the world.
Among them, white truffles were the hardest to obtain even with money. It was because they would spoil ten days after being harvested. Since they originated from Italy, the quantities were limited.
Normally, an egg-sized white truffle would cost around five thousand dollars.
For a fungus, the price was sky-high.
Nonetheless, Lin Ruoxi loved white truffles as much as she loved glutinous rice balls. Since it was too expensive and hard to store, she hardly ate it.
To her surprise, Ning Guangyao actually knew about this.
That led her to believe that he truly cared about her since she was young.
“Here,” — Ning Guangyao cut two thin slices and put them on a plate for her — “try it. I ordered my people to airship it from Italy.”
Lin Ruoxi was moved by his thoughtful gesture. Since it was her favorite food, she didn’t reject him.
She nodded and put it into her mouth. When she smelled and tasted the tantalizing food, a smile appeared on her face.
Ning Guangyao couldn’t take his eyes off her smile.
After a long while, Lin Ruoxi finally sensed his gaze. Her cheeks heated up when she realized she was too immersed in the tastiness of the white truffle.
“You smiled.” Ning Guangyao’s eyes were misty. His face was twitching with excitement as he said, “I guess I haven’t failed as a father. I can still make my daughter smile…”
It was a straightforward sentence that somehow melted her iced heart.
Is a smile all it takes to make him feel so touched? Maybe I’ve been too prejudiced. I should put myself in his shoes; he must be pressured too. I suppose no parents would deliberately harm their children. Maybe he also felt hurt and remorseful when he hurt me.
At that thought, Lin Ruoxi’s expression softened, and she voluntarily picked up another piece of white truffle and put it in her mouth.