Chapter 8: Engagement
Nyoi-Bo Studio Nyoi-Bo Studio
When the ladies reached the appointed restaurant, the hostess brought them to the private room. Upon entering, they saw Mr. Xu seated at the table with Mr. Zhang. The two men were deep in conversation.
Mrs. Xu sensed Xu Weilai freeze in her tracks, and she tightened her hold around Xu Weilai’s arm.
“You’re here,” Mr. Xu commented to his wife and daughter. “I met Mr. Zhang coincidentally and invited him to join us. We’re all going to be a family soon, anyway.”
1He paused for a moment and looked at Xu Weilai. “Weilai, why aren’t you greeting him?”
Before coming, Xu Weilai had had a premonition that this wasn’t going to be a simple family meal. But she had never imagined that her parents would be so bold as to go this far.
Then again, since when had her feelings ever been in the scope of their considerations?
Xu Weilai closed her eyes and suppressed her emotions. When she reopened them, she pasted a smile on her face and called out docilely, “How do you do, Mr. Zhang?”
Mr. Zhang got up immediately and walked over to her. “Don’t stand on ceremony, Weilai. We’re about to be engaged, after all. In the future, just call me Lei.”
He kept his eyes trained on Xu Weilai’s face and made no effort to mask his desire whatsoever. Xu Weilai felt very uncomfortable.
Xu Weilai imperceptibly avoided his outstretched hand. She proceeded to pull a chair out from the table and gave a subservient pose as she said, “Mr. Zhang, please have a seat.”
After Zhang Lei sat down, Mr. Xu followed suit. Mrs. Xu sat to his side. Xu Weilai was about to sit beside her mother, when her father said, “Weilai, sit beside Mr. Zhang and keep him company.”
Stunned, Xu Weilai’s hand paused in midair for a moment, before she pulled out the chair beside Zhang Lei and sat down.
Mr. and Mrs. Xu seemed very much in a hurry for her and Zhang Lei to develop their relationship. Therefore, when Zhang Lei deliberately plied her with alcohol, not only did they not stop him, they even encouraged her to indulge him.
2Xu Weilai tried her best to avoid drinking as much as she could. But she still ended up drinking a fair bit. Her face grew flushed, and her mind started to become a little hazy. She knew that if the situation continued any further, she was going to lose her ability to protect herself.
Xu Weilai stated decisively, “Please, excuse me. I need to go to the washroom.”
Xu Weilai turned on the tap and splashed her face with cold water. After washing her face for a good while, she finally regained a little more clarity. She retrieved the hangover medication that she kept constantly in her handbag. She poured two pills out onto her palm and swallowed them without any water.
1Only when the tipsy sensations slowly ebbed off, did Xu Weilai leave the bathroom. As she walked through the corridor on her way back to the private room, she walked past a tall man.
After Xu Weilai returned to the private room, the man headed to the washroom and returned to his private room as well.
Seated on the couch was a group of men, each with their arm around a woman, drinking red wine and discussing business.
Gu Yu leaned back on the couch right in the middle. His expression was cold, but his demeanor remained elegant. The natural aura he emanated kept people at a distance, and those who did speak with him had a tinge of awe in their voice.
1He didn’t say much, but every time he opened his mouth, his words were sharp enough to draw blood.
The tall man took two steps forward, and, with excitement written all over his face, he announced, “Guess whom I just saw?”
A round-faced young man by the name of Xu Shuai gave the man a side-eye glance and remarked brusquely, “Whom could you have seen? It’s probably just one of the many beautiful women out there!”
“She is indeed a beautiful woman, but it’s one that you’d never imagine!”
Xu Shuai laughed aloud. “What sort of a beautiful woman is beyond the imagination of a player like you?”
“It’s Xu Weilai!”
The tall man didn’t bother beating around the bush. “I thought I was high from alcohol and made a mistake. But I asked the waitress. It’s indeed her! I didn’t know she was back in China. Moreover, she’s in the private room right next to us. I heard that she’s discussing the details of her engagement with Mr. Zhang!”