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Published at 3rd of February 2020 06:07:12 AM

Chapter 21

The three graduate students worked themselves to the bone to get their manuscript up to Professor Qi's rigorous standards before the Friday deadline . They spent Saturday collapsed in their dormitory, limp and boneless .

Yang Wei had also been planning to spend the day in bed, but Sheng Lei had asked her to a buffet that day . She crawled out of bed and cleaned herself up, only to find that the water supply had been cut off . Remembering what her mother had said about water getting cut off when there was not much left, she looked about the bedroom but could not find the water card .

Sheng Lei would be expecting her soon . Yang Wei hunted through the closet for a while before reluctantly calling Qi Xiao Yan .

Qi Xiao Yan, at that very moment, was preparing to pick up Auntie Zhao from her hotel . He had just buttoned up his shirt when the phone on the table lit up . On the buzzing screen, the word "Darling" was particularly conspicuous . He paused a moment before hastily answering the call . "What's the matter?"

That cool, cold voice, like little pieces of ice, hit Yang Wei's ears and put her at a momentary loss . "Where did you put the water card?”

“The second drawer on the right of the bedside table . The water tank is in the corridor, and the third of the seventh row belongs to our home . If there's no water at home, that means that water has run out . You can pay the fee to have it refilled at the supermarket downstairs . "

Though his tone was gentle, Yang Wei's ears were red from embarrassment . She felt like a foolish kindergarten kid who knew nothing .

"Thank you . " She said the words quickly and hung up without hesitation . He smiled to hear the busy tone on the phone, and stood there listening for a while before picking up his jacket and heading out the door .

The Western restaurant Yang Wei and Sheng Lei had chosen was on the second floor of the Grand Europe Hotel . It was a Western buffet, which was very popular among the younger generation .

The handsome doorman held the door politely for her, and Yang Wei walked up the spiral staircase to the second floor of the hall . The hostess there greeted her with a bow and a sweet smile . "Welcome, do you have a reservation?"

Yang Wei peered into the interior of the restaurant and quickly found Sheng Lei . "I'm meeting a friend . It looks like she's here already . "

The hostess gestured politely for her to enter . Really, Yang Wei thought, this place was worthy of being a 5-star hotel . Such service! Also, hadn't Fang Cheng Ran said that he worked here? She wondered if she would meet him?

Finding the table Sheng Lei was at, she looked down at the dishes currently on it . On the table were a caramel pudding, a stack of banana pancakes, and two strawberry cakes .

This particular restaurant was famed for their desserts . Not only were there a wide variety of delicacies in their selection, but they were oftentimes actually better than that of an actual cake shop . It was quite common to come here specifically just for dessert .

Yang Wei eyed the cakes on the table and felt her mouth water . Forking up a corner, she bit into it - the sour taste of strawberry and the sweetness of cream blended together, and she closed her eyes in bliss . "Mmmm! The strawberry cake here's just the best!”

Sheng Lei smirked . “Why do I get the feeling that ever since your divorce, your standards have been getting lower and lower?”

Yang Wei picked up a strawberry with her fingers and tossed it into her mouth carelessly . "I prefer to call it 'returning to my natural state' . "

Her friend rolled her eyes, a smug smile hanging on her face . "How's life after divorce? Lonely? "

Yang Wei contemplated the question for a moment . "It's pretty great . Slippers no longer have to be perfectly perpendicular to the head of the bed . The toothbrush head can face whichever way it wants, and there's no need to separate the towels from each other by exactly 5 centimeters!"

Sheng Lei was slightly startled . "Goodness, was Professor Qi really that nitpicky?"

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Shaking her head, Yang Wei laughed at her naivete . "Professor Qi's a Virgo . "

Sheng Lei: " . . . "

Truly a justified and convincing argument .

Having polished off her cake, Yang Wei headed to the buffet station to order a freshly cooked steak . Coming back with her plate, she asked Sheng Lei, "How's the case you're working on?"

Her friend sighed heavily . Popping a strawberry into her mouth, she replied, "I've been doing this for so long that I've completely lost faith in the institution of marriage . "

"What's this? Have you run into some asshole again?"

Sheng Lei began to tick off events on her fingers . "After ten years of marriage, this bastard cheats on her, throws her away, and the homewrecker ends up on top . What happens next?"

Yang Wei raised an eyebrow . "A fight for custody?"

Sheng Lei shrugged . "See, even you know how the story goes . What even is the point of marriage?"

Yang Wei pondered the question for a moment . "To have someone to grow old together with?"

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"All those old people are from the previous generation . I'm guessing that in another 20 years or so, there will no longer be any old folk walking the streets hand in hand . "

"Oh, don't be so pessimistic . "

Sheng Lei looked down at her . "You're going to say that to me now, Miss Divorcee?"

Yang Wei shut up .

Having eaten the small steak before her, she wiped her mouth and said, "My mom called me a couple days ago . She wants to introduce you to a guy . "

Sheng Lei almost choked on the cake she was eating . "Auntie Yang sure lives up to her name as a graduate of China's matchmaking university . ”

Yang Wei nodded disapprovingly, and snagged herself a plate of crayfish .

At that moment, a woman in a long red dress passed by and suddenly stopped next to them . She gazed at Sheng Lei with some surprise . "Lawyer Sheng, what a coincidence . "

Looking up at the woman, Yang Wei motioned to Sheng Lei with her eyes .  Who is this? Sheng Lei stood up with a smile, introducing the woman to Yang Wei . "In the case I'm currently working on, this is the other party's . . . girlfriend . "

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Yang Wei nodded . You sure are tactful, Lawyer Sheng .

The woman in the red dress picked up on the implications in Sheng Lei's tone, and looked at her with a frown . "Lawyer Sheng, I know that you may sympathize with your client . I know, too, that in your eyes, I'm the shameless mistress in this whole show . But in my opinion, it's love that's most important, and it's the person who is unloved who is the third party in a relationship . Between a loveless marriage and a precious love, which do you think is more important?"

Yang Wei's blood boiled in shock from this righteous-sounding argument . "My opposing friend1, this idea of yours is absolutely ridiculous! Even the ancients knew about the concept of "beginning with passion, ending in propriety" . 2 Can you even call yourself a modern woman if you still don't understand?! Look at you and your scholarly appearance - in all your books, didn't you learn any courtesy? If everyone used love as their shield to justify destroying someone else's family, what would society be like? But I suppose this isn't much in your eyes . After all, 'You just lost a leg, but she lost her love!'3"

As Yang Wei's voice fell silent, there was a hush throughout the entire restaurant . Then, from here and there among the tables, sounded a sparse burst of applause . One girl even pushed back her chair to give Yang Wei a standing ovation . Her face hot, the woman in the red dress walked quickly away, her heels clacking as she went . Yang Wei and Sheng Lei stretched, paid, and left to the sound of clapping .


As Qi Xiao Yan was stepping into the elevator from the lobby downstairs, Fang Cheng Ran and his father walked out from the one beside it . That day, his father had strong-armed him into visiting the hotel for observation and study, and all the way from the chairman's office to the main lobby, female employees had been sneaking peeks at him . If he hadn't been accompanied by his serious-looking chairman father, someone would likely have approached him by now .

“Welcome, Chairman . ” The waiter of the Chinese restaurant greeted, giving Fang Cheng Ran a subtle once-over . Seeing the chairman from a distance, the front desk staff also straightened up . "Welcome, Chairman . "

"Hello, all," Father Fang nodded, before telling the front desk staff, "Give this man a standard room . He'll be staying here tonight . "

The front desk staff looked at Fang Cheng Ran with a smile . "Of course . Please wait a moment . "

An ugly look on his face, Fang Cheng Ran asked, "Dad, are you serious?"

With a final glance at him, Father Fang turned on his heel and walked out of the hotel . Helplessly, his son leaned against the front desk, but as soon as he looked up, he spotted out of the corner of his eye Yang Wei and a woman he had never met coming down from the second floor western restaurant .

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