Lu Wanru found the most luxurious hotel in all of D City and picked a table by the window that overlooked the entire city.
On pins and needles, Xia Mo looked at the utensils and western cuisine in front of her. She didn’t know where to begin.
Seated on the opposite side, Lu Wanru looked at Xia Mo and empathetically said, “Apologies. If I knew that you are not used to eating these, I would’ve brought you to a Chinese restaurant instead.”
Xia Mo merely smiled.
Lu Wanru patiently explained to Xia Mo on how to use the utensils, which foods she found to be palatable, what are the signature dishes of this hotel, and the etiquette of eating. She was just like a neighborly big sister whose warmth and kindness had touched her.
“Xia Mo?” Just when Xia Mo eased her anxiousness and was ready to sample the delicious food in front of her, a girl’s voice suddenly called out to her.
Xia Mo’s complexion instantly paled. There was no shade of rose left on her cheeks.
What she feared the most had happened. She saw her classmate, Leng Ling.
“Why are you here? Why didn’t you go to school?” Leng Ling walked a few steps up to Xia Mo’s side, noticed her wear, and remarked, “My God! You didn’t win the lottery, did you?”
All of a sudden, Xia Mo didn’t know how to respond. She had never been good at lying.
Lu Wanru was surprised as well and criticized herself. She realized she must have been too overjoyed to have brought Xia Mo here to celebrate and forgot that she didn’t want to be involved with Xia Mo or any of her acquaintances.
“Xia Mo, you have no idea. My brother has been looking for you for a long time. He went to the school daily for the past few days just to search for you. I told him that you didn’t go there anymore, but he refused to believe me. After that, he and Song Jianan went to your house and discovered that your family had already moved. It was then that he believed it.”
Leng Ling was sincerely happy that she had seen Xia Mo because her brother had almost annoyed her to death.
“My brother’s just downstairs, getting the phone from his car. He’ll be up here in a bit. Wait until he sees you. I bet he’ll be thrilled.” Leng Ling then spotted Lu Wanru and asked, “This is your sister? My God! She’s not your mom, is she?”
Xia Mo quickly stood up and interjected the babbling girl, “Leng Ling, I have matters to attend to. I’ll have to go.”
After she had spoken, she saw Lu Wanru get up as well.
“We are leaving.” Maintaining her usual temperament, Lu Wanru briefly eyed Leng Ling and left.
There was a frog in Xia Mo’s throat. She could sense Lu Wanru’s obvious displeasure.
“Xia Mo, you can’t leave.” Leng Ling’s gaze at Lu Wanru did not last long. The only person in her eyes right now was Xia Mo. “My brother’s annoying me to death. Just wait until he comes. Go speak a few words to him.”
“Leng Ling, I honestly have something to do today. Let’s meet again next time.” Xia Mo nervously watched Lu Wanru approach the elevator. “I’m serious.”
“Just one minute. Just wait one more minute.” Leng Ling held onto her with one arm and pulled out a phone with the other. She hollered into it, “Brother, I caught Xia Mo.”
Xia Mo watched the elevator doors open, and Lu Wanru stepped into it. Still holding onto his phone, Leng Junsheng exited the elevator. The moment he saw Xia Mo, he ran over to her.
“Xia Mo?” Leng Junsheng could not believe that she was Xia Mo. She was even more beautiful than he had remembered. “Where have you been? I’ve been looking everywhere for you.”
“Some... something came up. We moved.” Xia Mo took a step back. “I have to go.”
“What’s wrong with your family?” Leng Junsheng suddenly remembered the news that he had gotten wind of. Worried, he inquired, “I heard something about it. Don’t know if it’s real or fake. Is your father...”
“It’s already been settled.” Xia Mo hastily cut him. “I must go.”
She didn’t want to discuss anything about her family. Not to mention, the Leng siblings were loudmouths. They had already drawn the attention of others in the restaurant. The pressure made Xia Mo feel as if she had been stripped bare.
However, it took Leng Junsheng great efforts to have found her, and he was unwilling to let her go so easily. He grabbed her by the shoulder and asked, “Where do you live now? Which school are you attending? I’ll drive you home.”
“Really, no need. Thanks.”
Waves of frustration washed over her. She knitted her brows and extended her hand to pry Leng Junsheng’s fingers away from her. Instead, Leng Junsheng grabbed her hand and held it in his grasp. “Xia Mo, if there’s anything that’s bothering you, tell me. My family is well-connected. We also have money.”
“Can you unhand me first?” Xia Mo’s face alternated between red and white. She wasn’t really angry. Rather, she was more so anxious.
Leng Ling continuously tugged her brother’s shirt, but Leng Junsheng was so preoccupied with confessing his love to Xia Mo that he didn’t pay any attention to what his sister was doing. He gripped her hand tighter and tenderly swore, “Don’t worry. Your problems are my problems. All you have to do is tell me, and I’ll find a way to help you, whether it’s money or people resources.”
“Which one is it? You got people or money?” A man’s voice abruptly sounded.
Leng Junsheng and Leng Ling stared at the man who had spoken, blinked a few times, and finally answered, “Papa... Mom...”
Xia Mo searched for the source of the voice and saw a middle-aged couple who looked at her and Leng Junsheng with strange expressions on their faces.
Xia Mo’s face immediately flushed red-hot. With a forceful swing, she freed her hand from Leng Junsheng’s grasp.
With his hand now empty, Leng Junsheng attempted to pull Xia Mo to his side. At this time though, they heard another man’s voice.
Mr. Leng, is this your son?” A low, crispy, cold voice resonated.
Xia Mo’s eyes widened in disbelief as her gaze darted past Mr. Leng and locked onto the man who had appeared beside him. It was that... That man whom she had done it with!
With an arm elegantly wrapped around a young beauty, Ling Yichen stepped into Xia Mo’s line of vision.
“Mom, this is Xia Mo, the one whom I mentioned to you before.” Unable to contain the excitement within him, Leng Junsheng introduced Xia Mo to his mother.
“Mom, Xia Mo is our school’s beauty and an honor student,” Leng Ling chirped.
“So you are Xia Mo.” Mrs. Leng scanned her from head to toe and then chuckled, “I have heard so much about you that my ears were about to fall off. It’s a pleasure to finally be able to see you.”
Xia Mo’s complexion whitened even further. She nodded at Mrs. Leng. Despite being a nervous wreck, she still kept her manners. “Nice to meet you. Please do excuse me. I have matters to attend to. I will take my leave now. Goodbye.”
After she had finished, she speedily walked to the elevator, but the elevator doors did not open for her. She then headed to the emergency stairwell, and Mrs. Wu, who waited for her by the elevator, followed.
Leng Junsheng briskly said, “I’ll see her off.”
However, his father stood in his path. “Since Mr. Ling is here, you will come with us and listen to our project.”
“Dad...” Leng Junsheng’s eyes were still glued to where Xia Mo had disappeared to. The look of worry on his face was evident.