Yu Xia, Zhao Chen’s accomplice.
They met at NL.
Yu Xia is currently working part-time at a different bar. After the school buildings were repaired, students from their two departments moved back. Her workplace is now too far away.
She went to NL for an interview. NL is a big bar with high commissions, so there are many girls who want to earn money there. The manager didn’t find her attractive enough and wasn’t eager to hire her. Coincidentally, Ji Anning walked by and Yu Xia called out to her: “Classmate! Are you from Huada University?”
They acknowledged each other, and Yu Xia repeatedly assured that she had experience. Since Ji Anning had good sales performance and the manager valued her, Yu Xia was hired.
Ji Anning had been ostracized by her classmates at school and had been subjected to various rumors and gossip. She had become withdrawn and cold. Her relationship with Yu Xia wasn’t that close.
After Wen Yu suddenly disappeared from school, Zhao Chen started bothering Ji Anning. He went to NL multiple times to harass her and became physically aggressive.
At this time, Yu Xia showed a “loyal” side and took the initiative to deal with Zhao Chen on Ji Anning’s behalf. Ji Anning was quite grateful to her.
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Fs zyvla, obld Zw Dky xldvksdle y pbsav-vlax fsc okvb y bktb pyzyau, y nsarsayvl vlyx-cwkzekdt lhldv satydkgle cu y zyatl nsxrydu vbyv oyp iwkvl qsaxyz, Kk Gddkdt eked’v eswcv kv yde tzyezu oldv okvb bla.
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Tla qynl oyp ryzl okvb dlahswpdlpp, yde bla bydep olal valxczkdt.
Gv vbyv xsxldv, Kk Gddkdt yzalyeu wdelapvsse vbyv pbl bye clld plv wr cu psxlsdl. Mblal oyp ds eswcv vbyv Hbys Ubld oyp vbl rlapsd clbkde kv.
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Xdnl Zw Dky zlqv, Kk Gddkdt vawzu ayd yoyu. Ebld vbl lzlhyvsa essa srldle, pbl wdlmrlnvlezu ldnswdvlale Hbys Ubld yde bkp cseutwyae. Ohlausdl oyp pvwddle.
Kk Gddkdt vwadle yde ayd, yde yp pbl awpble kdvs vbl pvykaolzz, pbl nswze pvkzz blya Hbys Ubld pyukdt, “Tyhl vbl rlsrzl esodpvykap twyae vbl lzlhyvsa ldvaydnl! Zsw twup, ts yqvla bla!”
After that, there was no “after.”
Ji Anning gripped the pen tightly, her knuckles turning white.
Meng Xinyu was surprised: “What’s wrong? Do you know my fellow villager?”
Ji Anning took a deep breath and said, “I don’t know her. It’s just… this job pays more, but it’s also quite exhausting. First of all, the working hours are late; I’m assigned to the early shift and finish work at 10:40 PM. The late shift lasts until the early morning. Moreover, the working environment is chaotic; bars are really messy places, and you have to be especially careful and vigilant. I’ve seen people drugging single female customers with my own eyes…”
Meng Xinyu covered her mouth in fright and asked, “What happened next?”
“I informed the manager,” Ji Anning replied, calming herself down, “The manager called security and they stopped him.”
Meng Xinyu patted her chest, saying, “That was so scary. I was scared to death.”
“Yes, it can be quite frightening at times,” Ji Anning nodded, “So even though you can earn more money doing this, unless you have no other choice, I wouldn’t recommend it. If you want a job, I can introduce you to the coffee shop where I work.”
Meng Xinyu waved her hand and said, “No need. I’m already busy enough with my tutoring jobs. I also have responsibilities in the student council.” She had joined the student council, which kept her quite occupied.
She paused for a moment and asked cautiously, “With all these part-time jobs, are you still struggling financially?”
Ji Anning smiled wryly and said, “My grandmother frequently falls ill…”
Meng Xinyu understood the financial struggles that Ji Anning faced, as her own family was also financially tight due to her mother’s long-term illness.
She sighed and encouraged her, saying, “Hang in there.”
Ji Anning smiled in response.
In the afternoon, Wen Yu received a call from her mother, “Are you free for dinner?”
Wen Yu: “Dinner?”
“On weekends, either you have to follow Dad around or go out on your own. When will you have time to spend with me?” Wen Yu’s mother said with a hint of resentment.
Wen Yu had a headache. “It’s business with my dad… Oh well, fine, I’ll have dinner with you tonight.”
After hanging up the phone, he rubbed his temples and said to the person next to him, “Women, no matter how old they are, they still need someone to coax them.”
The person next to him burst into laughter.
He only had one class in the afternoon, so he lay in the dormitory for a while and then left on time. Near the intersection close to the cafeteria, he saw Ji Anning running over from the teaching building.
“Leaving early again?” he raised an eyebrow.
“Busy!” Ji Anning ran past him without stopping.
“Shall we go to the coffee shop tonight?” he shouted.
Ji Anning replied from a distance, “Sure!” and ran away.
She was slim and petite but full of energy. Wen Yu watched her figure disappear and couldn’t help but smile.
He drove to the agreed-upon place for dinner, and his mother, Cheng Lian, was already sitting there, sipping tea.
Wen Yu didn’t resemble his father; he had inherited his mother’s handsome looks entirely.
With just one glance, it was evident that Cheng Lian had been a great beauty in her youth. In fact, she was still a beauty now. She took good care of herself and didn’t look like someone with a son as old as Wen Yu. She was more than ten years younger than Wen Yu’s father, Wen Guoan. Ever since marrying him, she had been living a comfortable life, and she appeared youthful to others.
Wen Yu happily sat down beside her, showing an intimate connection. People passing by even mistook them for a couple in a romantic relationship.
“You don’t even know to come home on weekends and see me,” Cheng Lian scolded him.
“But I did come home,” Wen Yu protested. “You weren’t there. I went to the office twice this week and didn’t see you.”
Due to the significant age gap between Cheng Lian and Wen Guoan, their passion had long faded, and their family life was very ordinary. Wen Yu was already an adult, and young people have diverse and colorful lives, leaving little time to allocate to their parents.
However, in other families, children are usually close to their mothers from a young age, but Wen Yu’s memories were filled with his father’s greater care. During activities like parent-teacher meetings and sports events, Wen Guoan never missed them, no matter how busy he was. On the other hand, Cheng Lian didn’t seem to care much.
Naturally, Wen Yu became closer to his father as a result.
“What do you want to eat?” Wen Yu asked as he opened the menu.
“Just order whatever you like,” Cheng Lian replied absentmindedly, occasionally glancing towards the entrance.
Suddenly, her eyes brightened.
A gracefully poised middle-aged man entered with a handsome young man by his side. Their gazes swept across the room, and when they saw Cheng Lian, they smiled at her.
Wen Yu was looking down at the menu when suddenly everything went dark.
As he raised his head, he saw two men standing by the table who appeared to be father and son. The middle-aged man had a handsome appearance and exuded elegance. He was the type of mature and attractive uncle that girls on the internet loved. It was evident that he must have been quite handsome in his younger days as well.
The young man inherited his good looks and was also a handsome guy.
“What a coincidence,” the middle-aged man smiled and said, “Are you here for a meal too?”
Cheng Lian smiled with ease and replied, “Yes, what a small world.”
The young man smiled and called out, “Aunt Cheng,” as if they were familiar with each other.
Cheng Lian responded kindly, turned her head, and introduced Wen Yu to them, saying, “This is my son, Wen Yu. Xiao Yu, this is your Uncle Yang Yuan, my college classmate. And this is Yang Bo, Uncle Yang’s son.”
Cheng Lian also came from a prestigious school. In her early career, she was young, beautiful, and talented. She worked as Wen Dong’s secretary and later became Mrs. Wen.
She had been in charge of all internal and external affairs concerning Wen Guoan for decades and was well-versed in them. In this long marriage, she had become Wen Guoan’s business partner. She now held the actual financial control within the Wen family’s conglomerate, with the internal funds under her sole control.
Wen Yu stood up to greet them and shook their hands.
“I’ve heard your mother mention you many times. Are you currently studying at Huada University?” Yang Yuan looked at Wen Yu with a particularly affectionate gaze and held his hand a bit longer.
“Yes, I’m in my third year now,” Wen Yu politely replied. He looked at Yang Yuan, slightly puzzled, and asked, “Uncle Yang, you seem familiar… Have we met before?”
Cheng Lian’s expression subtly changed as she said, “You’ve definitely seen him in the news.”
Wen Yu thought for a moment and asked, “Uncle Yang, are you the chairman of Zhenyuan Group?”
Yang Yuan smiled and said to Cheng Lian, “This kid is quite sharp.”
Cheng Lian said, “Why don’t we have a meal together?”
Yang Yuan gladly took a seat, and the four of them had a meal together.
Yang Bo was the boss of Zhenyuan, Cheng Lian was the CFO of the Wen Group, and Yang Bo had been by his father’s side for several years, gaining rich experience in the business world. Even Wen Yu, though still in university, had already entered the family business early on.
The four of them had plenty to talk about, laughing and chatting harmoniously.
At least in Wen Yu’s view, this was much better than just being with his mother and listening to her nagging throughout the entire meal.
Even if one didn’t personally know local figures in the business world, they would often hear about each other. Wen Yu had heard of this Yang Yuan before; he was considered a self-made man and a formidable figure.
His son appeared to be around twenty-five or twenty-six years old, and he spoke quite maturely.
However, Wen Yu couldn’t help but feel that whenever Yang Yuan or Cheng Lian spoke, he would occasionally catch Yang Bo sizing him up.
But whenever Wen Yu looked over, Yang Bo would smile, avert his gaze, and adopt an attentive posture, as if he were focused on listening to the elders’ conversation.
Wen Yu remained composed and lifted his cup to take a sip of tea.
After finishing the meal, Wen Yu glanced at his watch. It was late at night, and he had devoted over two hours of his time to his mother. He felt like a filial son.
Cheng Lian knew the nature of her son. He would rather accompany Wen Guoan, an old man, to play golf than spend too much time with her. She glared at him, then turned to Yang Bo with a smile and said, “Your father and I still need to discuss this project further. You young people have many evening activities, so you can leave first.”
With the permission of the elders, both Yang Bo and Wen Yu stood up. They bid farewell, left the underground garage, and went their separate ways to find their cars.
Wen Yu returned to his car but didn’t immediately leave. He lit a cigarette and quietly waited inside the car. After a few minutes, Yang Bo’s car passed by him and disappeared.
Wen Yu remained motionless.
He waited patiently for half an hour until Cheng Lian and Yang Yuan finally emerged from the elevator. Without the two younger companions, this middle-aged couple visibly relaxed. Yang Yuan had his arm around Cheng Lian’s waist, and they chatted and laughed intimately.
Wen Yu stared at them from a distance, his gaze unwavering.
It wasn’t until they got into the car and left the building that Wen Yu looked away. He silently finished his last cigarette, started the car, and drove off.
By the time he left the underground garage, it was already dark outside. Wen Yu received a call inviting him to hang out, but he declined. He aimlessly drove through the streets, lost in thought. When he snapped back to reality, he found himself at an intersection.
The traffic light turned green, and the cars behind honked impatiently.
Wen Yu pondered for a moment, then turned the steering wheel and made a turn, eventually arriving at a café on Guangming Road.
He parked the car on the side of the road and stood outside, peering through the glass window.
It was only Tuesday, so the café wasn’t too crowded with customers. Similarly, there weren’t many staff members besides Shu Chen. There were only two female waitresses, one of whom was Ji Anning.
She was dressed in a maid outfit with a black base and a white apron trimmed with lace. The skirt was a bit short, but paired with high black stockings, it wasn’t too revealing.
Ji Anning, who usually went without makeup at school, had applied light but vibrant makeup. There was a small red heart sticker beneath one of her eyes. On her white lace headband, she even had two cat ears!
It was the first time Wen Yu saw Ji Anning in such attire. He only knew that Shu Chen’s café was an anime-themed café, but neither Shu Chen nor Ji Anning had told him that the uniform was a maid outfit.
Wen Yu cursed Shu Chen in his heart for this choice, but he couldn’t help but smile. Through the glass, captivated by Ji Anning’s alluring appearance, he unabashedly let his imagination run wild, envisioning a roaring train in his mind.