At noon in Zhonghai, the sun was shining on the traffic.
As it was Saturday, the commercial streets were packed with people. Music was playing from the shops and were mostly Hui Lin’s songs.
After her comeback, her fame had been increasing despite the previous scandal. That was how the entertainment industry worked. No matter how heated the topic was before, the public would eventually stop talking about it.
With the international recognition Hui Lin had received, a mere scandal didn’t do much harm to her career as a singer. Besides, compared to those who gained fame through scandals, she worked her way with her voice and talent.
Students and corporate workers were chatting and laughing as they walked on the streets as if delighted by the fact that the coldest season of the year was over.
Even if they were in a concrete jungle, they could still feel the joy of spring, the season that represented a fresh start.
Yu Lei International stood tall in the city center. Despite it being the weekend, plenty of employees were working inside the building.
Ever since Yu Lei became an international corporation, they had recruited more people. Otherwise, they would be overwhelmed by workload from the branches of offices.
Moreover, countless rising talents in the corporate world were doing their best to work in Yu Lei as they saw the potential of the business empire and were charmed by Lin Ruoxi’s charisma. Maybe they could learn a thing or two and even work with Lin Ruoxi.
Plenty of male employees Esther worked overtime to catch a glimpse of beauties in the company.
At the chairman’s office located on the top floor, a few pots of plants could be seen next to the window.
Just like the rest of her employees, Lin Ruoxi was standing before the window, looking down at the bustling city.
With a white patterned skirt, a black lace top, and a mustard blazer, her appearance was a mix of aloofness and gentleness. Regardless, it enhanced her beauty.
Standing behind her was Zhao Hongyan, dressed in a suit that flaunted her curves. At that moment, she was reporting work matters to Lin Ruoxi.
“Chairman Lin, the negotiation with Germany’s Collins Company has reached the third round. They insist on a 300-million annual fee. How should we—”
“Tell their representative that 50 million is the last offer. If they don’t accept it, then there’s no need to renew the contract with them. Don’t wait for their reply. Contact Hofferman Company and give them the same offer,” Lin Ruoxi answered immediately.
“Yes,”—Zhao Hongyan quickly noted it down—“also, the vice president of Lorrent Group, Mr. Thompson, invites you to their cocktail party to discuss the investment plan regarding the villas on the western coast. He said if you don’t meet him personally, he’ll return to the States tomorrow night and take it as you’re not interested in the plan.”
“Let him be. Have Chris call their chairman and relay my message. Tell them Thompson has a bad attitude and that they should consider replacing him,” Lin Ruoxi said flatly.
Zhao Hongyan stifled a smile and nodded.
When she was done, she closed the file and bowed slightly. “Chairman Lin, I’m done with my report. Is there anything else I can help you with today?”
After a brief silence, Lin Ruoxi suddenly spoke. “The… The weather is good today.”
“Huh? What?” Zhao Hongyan doubted her ears.
Lin Ruoxi turned around as the slight smile on her face faded.
“Hongyan, have you eaten?”
“Uh…” Taken aback, Zhao Hongyan took some time to respond. She shook her and said, “No, it’s only noon anyway.”
Lin Ruoxi nodded and tucked her hair behind her ears. “Then let’s go outside. I’ll treat you to lunch.”
Zhao Hongyan stood rooted to the spot. She couldn’t understand what was going on with Lin Ruoxi. As a workaholic, she should be choosing to eat at the cafeteria or even skip lunch till the end of work.
However, she couldn’t possibly say no to her superior. Instead of delegating tasks to her subordinates, she smiled and said, “Sure! What do you want to eat? I’ll drive the car out of the parking lot.”
“It’s fine,” Lin Ruoxi called out. “There’s no need to drive. We can just take the bus at the entrance.”
“Ah?” Zhao Hongyan’s jaw went slack. Realizing that she was overreacting, she quickly covered her mouth and said sheepishly, “C-Chairman Lin, are you not feeling well? Or are you in a bad mood?”
She dared not imagine the image of a wealthy woman like Lin Ruoxi riding the bus out for lunch. No one will believe it if I tell them! Lin Ruoxi, a billionaire with a net worth of 50 billion dollars, chose to ride a bus?!
Lin Ruoxi gave her a side-eye. “Don’t overthink it. Are you going or not?“
”Uh, yes, of course. Hold on a minute, we can go downstairs once I put my stuff down.” Zhao Hongyan ran all the way back to her office.
A few minutes later, under the gaze of the employees, Lin Ruoxi walked out of the company with Zhao Hongyan and brought her to a bus stop that led to the restaurants in the city center.
The employees were dumbfounded.
Fortunately, the bus wasn’t crowded, so the ladies found seats on the back.
Lin Ruoxi deliberately chose the seat by the window and made Zhao Hongyan sit next to her.
The latter was numbed from the shock and just went along with her.
In fact, she guessed that Lin Ruoxi wanted to reminisce about the past.
And she was right.
Ever since Ning Guang Yao said those words, her heart couldn’t stay at peace. For the rest of the night, she was sleepless from the waves of emotions washing over her. Within the deepest part of those emotions was the man who brought her joy and pain.
She looked out of the window as her mind drifted away.
She remembered the way he stubbornly sat beside her and smirked at her.
“There are so many empty seats here. You could’ve just sat somewhere else. Why must you sit next to me?”
“I’ll kiss you if you don’t let me sit here.”
“You, you are unreasonable! Why must you sit beside me when there are so many empty seats around!”
“That’s true, but you’re the only one who can sit beside me.”
His smile felt so real as if he was next to her. Lin Ruoxi tried her best to stifle a smile and subconsciously touched her finger.
At that time, he pulled out plaster from nowhere and put it on me.
Tears welled up in her eyes.
Just then, Zhao Hongyan asked, “Chairman Lin, at which stop should we alight?”
Lin Ruoxi snapped out of it and looked around. The bus had driven a distance away, and they were near the destination.
“It’s here. We’ll get off at the next stop.”
They arrived at a bustling street. Though the restaurants weren’t of high class, they were filled with local delicacies. Customers walked in and out of the restaurants.
When Zhao Hongyan walked on the street with Lin Ruoxi, she couldn’t help but find it weird. She doesn’t fit into this place at all. Why did she think of coming here?
Suddenly, Lin Ruoxi stopped at a small restaurant emitting a fishy smell. “We’ll eat here. Let’s go in.”
Zhao Hongyan whiffed the smell of spicy spices and looked up at the sign that read “Crayfish.”
Utterly confused, she followed Lin Ruoxi in as people around them gave them incredulous looks. Soon, they sat at a table by the window.