Chapter 302: Encountering Pei Ziheng
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Rong Ping picked the restaurant, which was a private venue that required a membership card upon entry.
The guests who dined there enjoyed superb service. Frosted glass was used as part of the decor along with flowers and wood structures, and each detail was beautifully designed. Guests having their meals at adjacent tables would not be able to see one another, which made it an ideal location for business associates and celebrities to enjoy their meals at.
It was probably a new store since Xia Ling had never been there before.
They took their seats.
The waiter came over with the menu and asked what they would like.
Rong Ping was the host and ordered many nutritious and low-calorie dishes. He then politely smiled at Xia Ling. “Are these dishes alright? They’re not too strong in flavor, but they’re unique.” It was important for celebrities like them to maintain their figure in order to look good on screen and hence had to follow a strict diet and avoid high-calorie food. Male artistes typically had it better but were not spared from it either.
He did not know that Xia Ling preferred food that was stronger and richer in flavor.
But she was not too particular about it, especially since it was a socializing event with rather unfamiliar people. “These would be fine,” she said, taking into account Rong Ping’s status, and ordered just one serving of dessert.
Rong Ping stole a few more glances at Xia Ling.
“Many female celebrities don’t even have mains for their meals.” Rong Ping kept his tone elegant. “Miss Ye is very special.”
“It’s meaningless to be famous if that means you can’t even eat what you like,” Xia Ling said with a smile.
Rong Ping courteously nodded even though he did not agree with her statement. When was food a priority for a celebrity? There was too much to do after being famous. Wasn’t standing in the spotlight and receiving cheers from the audience way more appealing than just satisfying one’s stomach? He appeared courteous but had a sense of superiority.
The dishes were served not too long after.
Xia Ling and Rong Ping were not close to each other, and neither were Lin Yunan and Jimmy. The four of them chose common topics to discuss in order to sustain a conversation, but nobody was truly comfortable in that setting.
Lin Yunan’s acute observation led him to a realization — Xia Ling had no interest in Rong Ping.
She was different from Rong Ping in that her emotions were written on her face. Even when she tried to conceal them, the difference between her current expression and her joy when she spoke about Li Lei or when she sang a beautiful song was too noticeable.
When the dessert arrived, Xia Ling excused herself to the washroom and took some time off for herself.
It was a pretty good venue with tranquil surroundings and unique decor. Xia Ling felt like she was admiring the scenery and works of art while on her way to the washroom. After she had used the washroom, she took some more time to walk around and appreciate the place, and before she knew it, she had lost her way.
There were barely any waiters standing around because of how private the place was supposed to be.
Xia Ling took a few steps forward and realized that it was not where she came from — the designs on the frosted glass and the plants used as decoration were different from the ones at her table.
As she decided to turn around.
That was when she heard a voice a short distance away. “This dish is high in calories, I can’t have it. Director Pei, would you have it on my behalf?” The young girl’s voice was sweet and coquettish.
Xia Ling stopped in her tracks.
She looked through the gap between the frosted glass pane and the plants, in the direction of the voice, and saw two people at a table. The girl who had just spoken had her back facing Xia Ling, and all she could see was her neatly styled hair and petite stature. Her back view was familiar.
Sitting opposite the girl was Pei Ziheng.
Pei Ziheng wore a grey cardigan today, revealing some of the white shirt’s collar with gold lining on the inside. He was 30-odd years old but still carried himself well, with an elegant charisma and an air of authority. This man made many girls blush just by sitting opposite them, even if in silence.
Even Xia Ling was holding her breath just looking at him.
The girl before her was evidently attracted to him as she pleaded. “Help me eat it, please?”
Xia Ling looked away and was about to leave.
“Miss, may I help you?” A waiter asked her politely. He was about to serve dishes at Pei Ziheng’s table and recognized that she was a guest from the other table. He figured that she had lost her way.
Pei Ziheng was alerted by the sound.
He looked up and saw her through the bamboo decor.
“Xiao Ling,” he said her name slowly as if he had encountered a long-lost lover.
The girl opposite him turned around.
At that point, Xia Ling had no idea what to do and how to react.
Should she leave immediately or go in and greet him? She really wanted just to walk away, but her feet seemed to have been rooted to the ground.
That moment of dilemma gave Pei Ziheng enough time to get up and walk to her. “Come and sit here,” he said to Xia Ling, before instructing the waiter. “Keep the dishes and bring a new set of cutlery here.”
The waiters there were well trained and had witnessed many scenarios. He speculated that they must have known each other, and hence did not say much as he took the order.
Xia Ling looked up at him. “I’ve already eaten.”
“Have a little more.” His eyes were gentle, but his tone was authoritative, as usual.
Xia Ling had not made a move as she looked at the girl. It was obvious that he was on a date with the girl before she had interrupted, and her heart stung a little on that thought. But she was in a much better place than before —
She remembered how her whole world crumbled when she first found out that he had another woman.
Today, she was actually able to stand before him in the face of this.
She took in a breath and immediately put on a mask. “I shall not bother you both, my host is waiting.”
Pei Ziheng frowned slightly and followed her line of vision to the girl. “Go back.” He ordered her in a tone that was much colder and firmer than the one he used with Xia Ling.
The girl seemed to know his temperament well and dared not resist. But she did shoot Xia Ling an unfriendly, jealous glare before taking her leave.