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    “Um, I’d like to ask something,” the young woman’s voice was like a gentle breeze, gently dispersing the deep, bass voices in the bar. “Yesterday, I drank too much at the bar, it seems I didn’t settle the bill…”

    “And then when I woke up, I found myself in a hotel. The receptionist said two women brought me to the hotel last night, both wearing white shirts with black ties.”

    She still held a piece of paper in her hand, paused here, then continued, “It looks a lot like your bar’s uniform.”

    It was just past nine o’clock and the bar was still relatively empty. Baixu was lazily sitting at the bar chatting with Le’an when she saw Tang Yao and recognized her.

    Beautiful women always leave a lasting impression.

    “It was me and Xiaoke Jie who brought you to the hotel,” Baixu took a sip of lemon water and said casually, “The note was written by Xiaoke Jie, but you don’t need to thank us, thank our boss instead.”

    Tang Yao still politely thanked her, then asked, “What happened last night exactly?”

    If she had just been drunk, why leave her with such a note…

    “Was there a man who offered you a drink last night?” Baixu said, “He put sleeping pills in the drink. If our boss hadn’t coincidentally seen it, you wouldn’t know what would’ve happened by now.”

    Tang Yao’s grip on the note tightened slowly, “I drank too much last night… He handed me the drink, I thought he was a waiter.”

    Baixu looked at her, feeling that it was unfortunate for her to encounter such a thing out of the blue, so her tone softened a lot, “Don’t worry, nothing happened last night, and that scumbag who wanted to take advantage of you has been taken to the police station by our boss.”

    After saying this with a solemn tone, she added with emphasis, “In places like bars, you should pay more attention to your safety next time.”

    “Is your boss here?” Tang Yao smiled gratefully at her, “I want to thank him in person, and also for the hotel room and last night’s drinks…”

    Thinking about Shen Li’s attitude towards Tang Yao last night, a hint of cunning flashed in Baixu’s eyes. “Beauty, do you know our boss?”

    Tang Yao was puzzled, “…Who’s your boss?”

    “Shen Li.”

    Tang Yao indeed had no impression of this name, so she shook her head.

    Baixu sighed with disappointment, muttering softly, “I thought you were an old flame of our boss, that’s why he took care of you so much.”

    Baixu’s voice was low, and Tang Yao didn’t hear clearly, but Le’an did.

    He raised his hand and tapped Baixu’s head, frowned and said, “Stop talking nonsense, be careful the boss hears you, or he’ll deduct your salary.”

    After warning Baixu, he looked up at Tang Yao and smiled politely, “Our boss hasn’t arrived yet. Regarding the bill and room fee, the boss didn’t say, so you don’t need to pay. You can thank us, and we’ll pass it on to him.”

    Tang Yao thought for a moment and said, “Then I’ll wait here for a while. I want to thank your boss in person.”

    Baixu’s words made her curious about the owner of “Gujiu,” and given the great help she received, she felt she should thank him in person.

    Le’an nodded, “Feel free to sit, would you like something to drink?”

    Tang Yao looked at the menu, the events of last night still haunting her, so she flipped to the last page of drinks and snacks, “Give me a glass of pear yogurt.”

    As the night grew deeper, more people gradually filled the bar. Amidst the lively music and lights, Tang Yao sat quietly at the far end of the bar, looking at her phone.

    Some people noticed her and came over with drinks to strike up a conversation, but she just shook her head, saying she didn’t drink, and the tactful ones didn’t linger.

    Le’an sent a message to Shen Li, saying the young lady who got drunk yesterday had come today and wanted to thank him in person. Shen Li was driving, but when he got out of the car, he took out his phone from his pocket and saw the message, already walking towards the bar.

    He had a headache.

    Lu Changting might come to pick up the invitation at any moment… What if he ran into…

    Stopping more thoughts in his mind, he walked into the bar with large strides, heading straight for the bar counter.

    The colorful lights in the bar happened to switch to warm tones as a young man walked in from the entrance, his clothes fluttering in the wind. Tang Yao casually glanced up and collided with a pair of bright eyes like shattered stars, couldn’t help but sigh inwardly.

    What a handsome face.

    The slender and elegant eyebrows resembled newly unsheathed daggers, carrying a cool meaning, yet those eyes were gentle. From a distance, they seemed shrouded in mist, but up close, they were like a handful of starry rivers, clear and bright.

    He was a remarkable man, tall and straight.

    As he walked towards her, Tang Yao thought to herself, who could resist if he came to strike up a conversation…

    “Boss.” Le’an saw Shen Li coming and glanced at Tang Yao beside him. “Miss Tang has been waiting for you for a long time.”

    Tang Yao had waited for more than half an hour. A few casual chats revealed her name, and Le’an keenly noticed that Shen Li’s gaze towards Tang Yao was somewhat complicated. But Tang Yao, on the other hand, genuinely didn’t recognize Shen Li.

    This was somewhat strange.

    Shen Li responded with a grunt to indicate he understood. Then he suppressed his emotions, speaking calmly, “Miss Tang.”

    Tang Yao belatedly realized he was the owner of “Gujiu,” and after a moment’s pause, she stood up gracefully and said, “Mr. Shen, hello.”

    Shen Li responded with a faint greeting, “Hello.”

    “Regarding what happened last night, I wanted to thank Mr. Shen in person,” she raised her hand to adjust her hair, revealing a gentle smile, “and also for the bill and room fee from last night, I feel somewhat embarrassed about it. How about I treat Mr. Shen to a meal another day as a thank you?”

    “No need,” Shen Li refused directly, his tone distant, “If Miss Tang feels embarrassed, you can settle the bill at the counter.”

    Tang Yao didn’t expect him to respond like this, she was stunned for a moment, then smiled faintly, “Alright.”

    She and Shen Li were just strangers, he simply helped her out of kindness. She wasn’t an ungrateful person. She had expressed her gratitude, but if the other party refused, then she would try to clear the financial debts first. As for the debt of gratitude, she would remember it for later repayment when the opportunity arose.

    She nodded slightly at Shen Li, then stood up to go to the counter to settle the bill.

    Shen Li breathed a sigh of relief, accepting the tea that Le’an had brewed, the foam of the tea leaves filtered out. He took a sip.

    Sometimes, it seemed like heaven enjoyed playing tricks on people. Just as Tang Yao finished settling her bill and prepared to leave—Lu Changting walked into the bar from the entrance, and the two of them met each other perfectly.

    Shen Li’s heart hadn’t settled yet, and it suddenly soared high again. His hand holding the glass tightened abruptly, feeling as if a thorn in his heart had been forcefully pulled out, only to stab back in, causing him to black out momentarily.

    The reunion of their first love from their youth left both of them stunned in their tracks.

    Tang Yao appeared even more beautiful now, with long hair, pierced ears, exquisite makeup, and a white dress that resembled a fresh flower in the summer, charming and graceful.

    Lu Changting had also matured, suppressing the flamboyance and casualness of his youth. He seemed like a sheathed sword, distant and cold. Clad in a frost-white shirt, casually unbuttoned at the collar, he remained handsome and dignified, with his eyes still sparkling and deep, carrying the chill of the deep sea.

    They stood a few steps apart, sizing each other up, then smiled faintly.

    “Long time no see,” Tang Yao took two steps forward slowly, maintaining a polite distance in her speech.

    Lu Changting snapped out of his sudden encounter and instinctively looked inward, searching for Shen Li’s figure.

    Shen Li subconsciously lowered his head, avoiding Lu Changting’s gaze.

    In that moment, he suddenly felt like he was back in high school, hiding like a shadow in the dark. This situation was all too familiar to him, filled with bitterness and palpitations.

    Lu Changting withdrew his gaze and nodded politely at Tang Yao, “Long time no see.”

    Tang Yao smiled, “When did you come back?”

    “It’s been a while.”

    As the conversation fell silent, the awkwardness lingered.

    Tang Yao thought that since they met in a bar, Lu Changting might invite her for a drink, sit down, and catch up. But then she realized that she and Lu Changting didn’t really have much to catch up on. So many years had passed, and their youthful feelings were long gone. What was there to catch up on?

    She also thought that Lu Changting might have arranged to meet other friends.

    In an instant, too many thoughts flashed through her mind, and she stared at Lu Changting, lost in thought for a moment.

    “Would you like to exchange contact information?”

    Lu Changting nodded apologetically, “Let’s just leave it. I’m afraid my significant other would be jealous if she found out.”

    Tang Yao raised an eyebrow slightly, somewhat surprised, “You’re in a relationship.”

    But it wasn’t too surprising. After all, Lu Changting was so outstanding; he never lacked admirers.

    Lu Changting looked in Shen Li’s direction and smiled faintly, “Not yet. I’ll take your words as a good omen.”

    This remark caught Tang Yao off guard. She hadn’t expected Lu Changting to actively pursue anyone, let alone without success.

    “I never thought you’d be chasing after someone,” curiosity and a hint of schadenfreude overcame the embarrassment of Lu Changting’s rejection. She joked, “Do you need me to offer some advice? I have plenty of experience in pursuing others.”

    “Thank you,” Lu Changting rejected again, “It’s not necessary.”

    “You’ve rejected me twice in one night,” Tang Yao felt relieved in her heart and relaxed her tone naturally, “Lu Changting, you’re becoming less gentlemanly.”

    Lu Changting couldn’t help but glance at Shen Li again.

    His beloved was sitting quietly with his head down in the dim light. He didn’t know if Shen Li had seen him or was pretending not to.

    Tang Yao noticed his distraction and sighed, pretending to be deep in thought, “Forget it.”

    She said, “I’m leaving. Maybe we’ll meet again someday.”

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