The streetlights within the campus were lit at dusk, and an expanse of orange light descended from them.
Chen Lan and Mu Qing walked side by side like a couple, yet a certain distance was maintained between their shoulders. Every single time Mu Qing tried to get closer, Chen Lan’s shoulders acted as if they had eyes and smoothly avoided her.
After trying a few times, Mu Qing gave up. She understood Chen Lan’s character, and it was exactly that character of his which was most attractive to her.
“My parents have prepared dinner. Some of my father’s friends might be there as well….” Mu Qing placed both her hands in her coat pockets while her beautiful hair fluttered along the cold winds of winter. As her slender figure strode lightly forward, the illumination of the streetlights on her gorgeous and charming face added a indescribably mysterious feeling of beauty to her.
“OK.” Chen Lan nodded and didn’t really have any reaction to her words.
But Mu Qing seemed as if she’d heaved a sigh of relief in her heart, and she smiled. “Don’t worry, I know that you dislike engaging in social activities, so you just have to focus on eating upon arriving at my home. I’ll take responsibility for talking.”
Mu Qing had exhausted quite a bit of effort to invite Chen Lan to join her family’s reunion dinner for the new year. She’d invited him many days ago and used every single method at her disposal to finally make Chen Lan agree.
However, Mu Qing couldn’t help but feel slightly anxious and fearful when the time came because she was afraid that the dinner would make Chen Lan feel uncomfortable.
After all, it was the first time she’d brought a boy home. Her parents had repeatedly confirmed it over 10 times when they heard of it, and only then were they finally able to confirm that it was true.
Under such circumstances, she knew how many questions would be hidden within her parents’ hearts, and those questions would definitely be voiced once they met Chen Lan.
This made Mu Qing feel slightly worried. Her parents ran a business, so they were astute and experienced. Mu Qing didn’t know what sort of questions they would ask, and she was worried that it would put Chen Lan in an embarrassing position….
“There’s no need to worry. It’s just a meal.” Chen Lan glanced at Mu Qing and spoke casually.
It was just a few simple words, yet it instantly stunned Mu Qing. Does this fellow know what I’m worried about?
A long time passed before Mu Qing smiled and said, “Reunion dinners have always been held for the sake of seeking happiness. It’ll be fine so long you don’t act like an outsider.”
Chen Lan remained sedate and just nodded lightly.
Outside the campus entrance, a black limousine was waiting quietly there.
It was clearly a little old but well maintained. Perhaps its model seemed to be slightly old, but only those who were truly knowledgeable about such cars knew that only 16 of these limousines were ever made 10 years ago. They were simply priceless.
The chauffeur noticed Mu Qing’s arrival, and he hurriedly got off the car, opened the door, and stood at the side while welcoming her with a respectful gaze.
“Get in.” Mu Qing turned to gaze at Chen Lan.
Chen Lan nodded, and he got on immediately.
Only then did Mu Qing get on after him. The chauffeur's eyes narrowed when he witnessed this scene, and he was quite surprised and bewildered. Could this young man be the one that the young miss has fallen for? But he seems to be very rude.
Even though he thought like that, the chauffeur remained attentive to his duty. He quickly got in the car and drove the pair through the bustling streets that were brightly illuminated by neon lights.
Octagon Alley. Courtyard 19.
According to old folks, Octagon Alley had once been where the kings and nobles of the last dynasty had resided over 1,000 years ago, and it was extremely high in status and valuable.
At this point in time, Octagon Alley had a few courtyard houses, and all of them were possessed by the wealthy or high ranking officials who possessed extraordinary status and background. Not to mention buying a house here, ordinary commoners couldn’t even enter this area.
The land here couldn’t be described as being comparable to gold anymore, and it was utterly priceless instead. It wasn’t even possible to enter Octagon Alley without possessing high ranking status in the Cathay Empire.
After all, it was an important plot of land in the capital, and it wasn’t very far from the palace. According to rumor, numerous generals of the Cathay Empire were living deep within this alley.
When the black limousine arrived here, the guards stationed at the entrance bowled respectfully in unison, and then they just sent the limousine off with their gazes.
At this moment, the chauffeur glanced at Chen Lan via the rearview mirror. He’d expected to see something like shock or terror, but never had he imagined that Chen Lan seemed completely indifferent.
The chauffeur couldn’t help but see Chen Lan in a new light. If it were any other young man that had arrived here, even the most arrogant and haughty would probably be terrified to the point of becoming timid or reverent.
Of course, Chen Lan might be faking it as well. However, the chauffeur couldn’t be bothered to observe Chen Lan further. After all, he was the chauffeur's young miss’s friend. So, since the young miss had acknowledged Chen Lan, then it wasn’t something that a chauffeur like him could interfere in.
Within courtyard 19 was a beautiful and antique looking mansion. Its walls were covered by the branches and leaves of ancient trees, and a pair of mottled stone lions sat before the entrance.
The building itself seemed ordinary, yet it actually represented a form of deep reserves that were simply priceless.
At this moment, a young man was standing upright before the entrance of courtyard 19. His ramrod straight figure was draped in a suit, his figure was tall, and he had a bright and handsome appearance.
The young man’s eyes instantly lit up when he saw the black limousine, and he smiled as he moved over and opened its door.
The young man greeted the chauffeur before he smiled to Mu Qing who’d just got off the car, “Qing’qing, you’ve finally returned. Regardless of how important your studies are, you shouldn’t forget that it’s the new year, and all the uncles and aunties are waiting for you.”
His voice was low, neither fast nor slow, and his manners couldn’t be criticized at all.
“Oh, wait a moment, Big Brother Zhao.” Mu Qing glanced at the young man and spoke casually.
“It’s fine. Take your time.” The young man smiled, yet he saw Mu Qing stand at the side and wait for a young man within the car to step out.
The young man’s gaze was extremely discerning, so how could he be unable to discern that the attitude Mu Qing had towards this young man was completely different to when she faced him?
So, the young man’s gaze towards Chen Lan didn’t just seem like he was scrutinizing Chen Lan, it even faintly carried a trace of faint hostility.
The young man had heard that Mu Qing would be bringing her ideal partner for the reunion dinner tonight. He felt extremely uncomfortable at that time because he’d always regarded her as his companion that would accompany him down the aisle. So, how could he possibly tolerate another encroaching on Mu Qing?
So, he’d specially dressed himself up for tonight, and he’d made sufficient preparations to completely crush this ‘rival’ of his who had come out of nowhere.
But never had the young man imagined that this ‘rival’ of his would actually be so ordinary, so sedate, so… uncultured!
Just look at that old black colored Mao Suit, worn out backpack, and black rimmed glasses. He seems so lifeless as he stands there. Does he even look like a young man?
How did Mu Qing fall for such a fellow?
At this moment, the young man couldn’t help but doubt Mu Qing’s esthetic sense. But not too long passed before the young man heaved a sigh of relief in his heart. Chen Lan’s dressing allowed him to roughly determine that Chen Lan’s family background should be extremely ordinary.
The young man had countless methods to make such a person withdraw in the face of difficulties.
It was even to the extent that the young man wondered if he would even have to do anything. After all, he felt that this fellow wouldn’t be able to receive the approval of Mu Qing’s parents!
The young man felt extremely confident when he thought up to this point, and his gaze towards Chen Lan even carried a trace of pity.
A frog like you is trying to taste the flesh of a swan?
The ignorant really are fearless.
“Allow me to make the introductions. This is Zhao Zhicheng. We’re childhood friends because my grandfather and his grandfather fought in the war together. We’ve always been quite close.” Mu Qing introduced, “Big Brother Zhao, this is my classmate, Chen Lan.”
“Hi.” Chen Lan nodded and stretched out his hand.
“Hi.” The young man thought for a moment before restraining his impulse to ridicule Chen Clan in the end. He stretched out his hand and briefly shook Chen Lan’s hand before paying no further attention to Chen Clan. He smiled as he said to Mu Qing, “Qing’qing, go in quickly. Everyone is waiting for you to begin the reunion dinner.”
Mu Qing frowned and said, “Big Brother Zhao, what do you mean by that? There’s my classmate as well.”
As she spoke, Mu Qing had moved backward and stood by Chen Lan’s side.
Zhao Zhicheng’s face froze, and then he smiled brilliantly and said, “Haha! It’s all the same, all the same. Quickly go inside.”
Chen Lan still remained sedate when facing such a scene, and it was like nothing was able to draw his attention.
The three of them immediately walked side by side into courtyard 19.
The chauffeur lighted a cigarette as he watched them leave, and the smoke from it curled up into the air as he suddenly shook his head and said, “Even Young Master Zhao isn’t able to sit still anymore. Looks like the reunion dinner will definitely be very lively….”