“Why can’t I be here?” Yang Chen drew a circle in the air with his pointer where Cai Ning and Cai Yan stood. “You dragged your lady here while I was dragged by mine.”
Tang Xin was also slightly surprised that Yang Chen was here. But as usual, she kept her elegance as she greeted him with a nod. As normal as it may seem, it was already leaps and bounds better than how she usually treated Li Dun.
Li Dun on the other hand seemed to be unfazed by her cold attitude towards him. He cheerfully mentioned, “I intentionally brought Tang Xin along to get some cosmetics. What a coincidence to see you here. Since it was a fated encounter, I know you wouldn’t mind to settle the bill together, would you?”
Yang Chen was stupefied that the idiot came to leech on his money immediately upon their encounter. He decided to ignore him and went on to greet Tang Xin. “Oh Tang Xin, didn’t expect to see you out here with him. I thought for sure you’d have rejected him.”
Tang Xin with a face of dispiritment frustratingly replied, “Well this genius here was cheeky enough to go straight to my father. Unsurprisingly enough, he told me to come with him. ”
Li Dun proudly added without a single hint of embarrassment, “Well this is what I call efficiency. With this, I can even build a decent relationship with my future father-in-law! Killing two birds with one stone. Well Miss Tang Xin, don’t you think that I’m intelligent?”
Tang Xin gave a disturbed look as she rolled her eyes, with no intention to reply to his narcissism.
Right at this moment Cai Yan jovially hopped by Yang Chen with two bottles of white facial cream. “Yang Chen, how about I buy two bottles of this for you. I heard from the staff that it’s pretty effective for skin whitening for men!”
Yang Chen frowned as he replied, “Why would I need that? I don’t get by in life with a pretty face.”
“Pfft, not that there’s anything bad about that,” Cai Yan happily replied.
Yang Chen reached out as he lightly slapped her on the butt cheek. “Alright stop it with the nonsense. Finish up your purchases, we’re leaving soon.”
Cai Ning came over and nodded at Li Dun as a greeting. She then looked at Tang Xin and greeted her too with a smile though they didn’t know each other.
Tang Xin mumbled with a smile, “Wow Young Master Yang, you surely are in no shortage of pretty women by your side. It’s no wonder that Elder Sister brought Tang Tang out early this morning just to avoid you. It would seem like you do have other people to meet in Beijing.”
Before Yang Chen replied, Li Dun patted on his chest as he proclaimed, “You see Miss Tang Xin, men like these are terrible. Unlike them, I’m always single and ready. My heart and mind will always be filled with the thought of you!”
His proclamation was rather astounding, which led to many of the other customers and outlet staffs to look over at this direction. This even prompted several women to envy his public confession.
Tang Xin’s cheeks went bright red as she glared at Li Dun, unable to speak a word.
Li Dun meanwhile was gleaming with pride, with belief that his confession was a success.
Subsequently after, despite Tang Xin being there against her will, Li Dun took her around to buy some cosmetics. Li Dun in such circumstances however was completely willing to break the bank, starkly opposing his usual stingy demeanor.
Cai Yan bought a huge array of cosmetics, of which prompted Yang Chen to wonder if she actually knew how to use them. Cai Ning on the other hand, only had a tiny bag, presumably only accompanying her sister in buying things.
Since they had met through pure fate, the five of them decided to have dinner together. As it was not quite nighttime yet, they went for a stroll on the streets.
Beijing in May was still relatively cool, as the evening sun shone upon the streets, the leaves of the Chinese Parasol trees wavered under the warm breeze. The streets were slightly crowded with the presence of tourists.
Tang Xin might not be interested in a chat with Li Dun, but was more than willing to with the Cai sisters, despite their differences in profession. They were born into a similar age range, leading to multiple common topics.
Cai Yan was unsurprisingly the most enthusiastic among the group. She boasted and babbled about things questionably true. Li Dun who had wanted to take this opportunity to bond with Tang Xin, was left grumpy by a corner, too awkward however to cut through their conversation.
As they arrived at an outdoor cafe, the five of them took their seats and each ordered a cold drink. They decided to make a pit stop before truly searching for their dinner place.
Yang Chen brought up something he had in mind. “Tang Xin, how’s the situation back at the Tang clan?”
What Yang Chen was curious about was naturally the culprit that poisoned Tang Wan. He did not however think of investigating the case on his own, nor sending someone for that. Realizing that he was still in Beijing, a personal investigation of his would cross paths with the security bureau under the jurisdiction of the Li clan.
Thus, Yang Chen could only observe as a bystander while he ensures the safety and wellbeing of Tang Wan and her clan.
Tang Xin had a distressed look on her face as she replied, “There isn’t a lead yet, but the people from the security bureau are already on it. We increased the security monitoring around the estate. So long as nothing drastic happens, we should be fine.”
Yang Chen appeared to be in deep thought as he nodded, his pupils faintly focusing on Tang Xin. “You too, take care of yourself.”
Tang Xin noticed that there was something off with Yang Chen, as his expression was vaguely unnatural, but regardless she nodded with a smile. “Thanks, I will.”
Li Dun slurped through his cup of cappuccino before he said, “Fear not, I’ll always be here! If anyone were to harm a single hair on Tang Xin’s head, I would slaughter them!”
Cai Yan was unamused as she debunked his claims. “Just you? Don’t boast too much about yourself. Who knows, you might not even be an equal match to the person behind this.”
“Haha.” Li Dun twitched his eyebrows as he replied to her distrust, “If I’m really not his match I can always borrow your man to use as backup. Just make sure you won’t get mad when I do.”
Cai Yan was slightly embarrassed by that comment. “He’s his own person, take him if you want, I don’t care.”
Right at that moment, two girls were holding a rainbow coloured ice-cream cone on their hands as they joyfully walked past.
Tang Xin had her eyes fixed on the ice-cream that they were holding as she appeared to be craving for it.
Li Dun was quick to notice the slight change in expression of the woman he fancied, as he instantly ejected out of his seat. “Tang Xin, allow me to get you one!”
Tang Xin was amazed that such slight expression of her fondness had immediately caught Li Dun’s attention. She—like most girls—enjoyed eating ice cream. But all these years of spending time at home looking after Master Tang, along with her lineage in a clan had rendered her chances of having ice cream relatively slim.
“That’s fine, we are about to go for dinner anyway.” Tang Xin was slightly embarrassed, but this time around she did not ignore Li Dun, after all she was moved by his attentiveness.
Li Dun however remained resilient. “Well dinner is dinner. If you feel full after having ice cream, we can always delay our dinner!”
“Hey, who gave you permission to decide when we’d have dinner?” Cai Yan rebuked.
Li Dun cracked a smile, “Miss Cai if you fancy one, I can get you one too.”
Cai Yan reacted like a child upon hearing his reply, as she cheerfully accepted. “Alright, then let’s have our dinner later! Oh yeah, get one for my sister too. You can leave Yang Chen out, I’m worried he might be diabetic.”
Yang Chen was dumbfounded by her reply. Wow what a snake this woman is. Besides, what the hell have I got to do with diabetes?
Li Dun wholly agreed. After all, these were just cheap foods. He had no problems with that.
The ice cream parlor was located just a couple of steps away from the cafe, and right in front were a few children queueing.
Li Dun was rather enthusiastic, as he ran towards the stand, his charismatic military presence seemed to be on full display, as if he was going to war!
However, exactly because of that, in addition to his sturdy build and his eye patch, freaked the children out of the queue!
The children were terrified at the sight of the approaching Li Dun, instantly towards a tree in fear.
The waiter at the ice cream parlor was slightly shocked, but regardless she gave the fearsome Li Dun a respectful smile. ‘Sir, what can I help you with?”
Li Dun was puzzled as to why the children ran from him, but nonetheless responded to the ice cream parlor staff. “Everything you have! Stack every flavor on!”
Tang Xin slowly approached him and forcefully shoved Li Dun away. Furious, she taunted, “How can you treat the kids like that? Look at them, they’re terrified of you! Apologise to them now. Besides, why did you cut queue?!”
Li Dun was stunned, staring blankly at Tang Xin. He then turned around at the schoolchildren watching from afar, and awkwardly giggled. “That’s because I wanted to get one for you as soon as possible. I didn’t mean to scare them away.”
“But that doesn’t explain why you had to cut queue. They’re just kids, do you even have basic decency?”
Tang Xin was agitated as she shoved Li Dun aside and went towards the kids. She squatted down and switched to a gentle, approachable tone. “Kids, do you guys want ice cream? It’s my treat.”
Needless to say, after years of accompanying Tang Zhechen as guardian and caretaker, she had adapted to be patient and caring towards most, in addition to the fact that she had a sweet and innocent-looking face, allowing her to easily defuse the hostility from the children.
The pupils of the schoolchildren instantly glowed as a young girl mentioned, “I want the strawberry one.”
“Oh, strawberry? It’ll taste even better if you mix it with vanilla. Do you want to try it? It’s going to taste great,” Tang Xin persuaded with a smile.
The little girl vigorously nodded.
“Elder Sister, I want the mango one!” the other boy shouted.
It didn’t take long before the children let their guard down towards them both, even the ferocious looking Li Dun was less frightening now, as they gathered around Tang Xin while flocking towards the ice cream parlor.
Tang Xin patiently ordered the flavors chosen by the children and paid with her own money. Throughout the entire process, Li Dun stood by a corner as he watched.
Before the schoolchildren left, the little girl happily kissed Tang Xin on the cheek, leaving a noticeable ring of vanilla cream.
As Tang Xin stood by and watched the children disappear into the horizon, she turned back towards the parlor, only to be greeted with an extra large serving of an ice cream cone.
All she could see was Li Dun holding a huge cone filled with seven different ice cream flavors. His expression was peaceful as he mentioned with a light smile. “Now that you got one each for the kids, don’t forget your own.”