Chapter 28 - Wu Jia“s Invitation
“Wu Jia? What are you doing here?”
“I… I just happened to pass by…” Wu Jia caught the shift in Li Yiming’s countenance, and her attention turned towards the corner in which Lin Lu sat.
“Passing by three times in a day?” Chen Jiawang muttered, barely able to stop himself from laughing. In the few days Li Yiming left the shop, she visited almost every day.
“What are you talking about?” Wu Jia feigned ignorance.
Wu Jia had never thought that there would come a day when she would act like so. Along with her beautiful features, possessing many talents meant that there was an endless line of men courting her. She was usually the one in control, with her calm and collected nature, but ever since meeting Li Yiming again, she lost her sense of judgment. With trivial matters filling her head, she grew anxious about the most minute of details, and her curiosity for Li Yiming seemed impossible to satisfy.
The old friend that she had known since high school was now a completely changed person — her curiosity slowly pushed her towards fascination, and from fascination toward love.
Li Yiming poured a cup of water for Wu Jia and retreated to the side.
“So, where have you been?” Wu Jia picked up the cup Chen Jiawang had reserved for her and asked.
“I've been busy with some things…” Li Yiming sat down and answered, glancing again at Lin Lu.
“With her?” Wu Jia suddenly asked.
“What?” Li Yiming did not understand how Wu Jia figured that out immediately.
“Are you two dating?” Wu Jia peeked at Lin Lu. Unlike when she met her at the banquet, Lin Lu seemed exhausted and flustered. However, this only made her more charming, as she now possessed the air of a damsel in distress.
Upon noticing Wu Jia’s stare, she looked up from her screen and squeezed out a polite smile, believing her to be a good friend of Li Yiming’s. Wu Jia smiled back, but her mood sank. Her thoughts began to wander wildly, as she imagined Lin Lu to be looking through the tea house accounting rolls, fulfilling the role of a future co-owner of the shop.
“We’re just friends. She had some trouble at work, so I went to check it out.” Li Yiming equivocated.
“Really?” Wu Jia thought that she still had a chance.
“Haha.” Wu Jia let out a laugh to ease her embarrassment.
“So, you were looking for me?” Li Yiming, who was still too blunt to figure what was going on, asked.
“It's nothing… it's just that my dad received an invitation to a gem exhibition a few days ago. I remembered that you were interested in them, so…” Wu Jia looked around until her gaze fell on the golden potted plant.
“A gem exhibition?” Lin Lu instantly jumped up and rushed toward Wu Jia. At that moment, she happened to stumble upon a webpage detailing the event, after a long, desperate search through the internet.
“Huh? Yeah, the Jing Sheng Exhibit.” Wu Jia stepped back, startled by the sudden reaction.
“It’s more like a marketplace than an exhibition. It might not be the biggest of its kind in the country, but you can find all sorts of gemstones there. If you’d like…” Lin Lu explained with an eager voice — this was the best opportunity for finding a Shadowless Stone.
“Are you inviting me to attend this event?” Li Yiming instantly began to consider the costs and benefits of attending. He concluded that it just might be a good idea.
“If… If you’re free…” Wu Jia said in a low voice.
“Alright, let’s go.” Li Yiming nodded.
“Great! I’ll make the preparations right away.” Before Wu Jia could express her joy, Lin Lu suddenly interjected.
“What? You’re going too?” Wu Jia was confused. She was already surprised at how quickly Li Yiming accepted the invitation, but she did not expect Lin Lu to impose herself like so.
“Of course!” Lin Lu nodded and began packing up.
“Uh, I'm sorry but every guest needs an invitation,” Wu Jia suddenly said in a rather aggressive tone.
“And you only have two?”
“Are you sure you want to go?”
“Of course!” Wu Jia almost let out a laugh at how ridiculous the question was.
“Oh, okay. I'll figure something out.” Unlike what Wu Jia expected, Lin Lu did not seem disappointed by the refusal. She packed up her computer, put her back on her shoulders, and made for the exit as she signaled to Li Yiming that she would call him later.
“Uhh…” Chen Jiawang raised his hand, wanting to say something.
“Don't tell me that you also want to go.” Wu Jia said in a rather irritated voice.
“No… It’s about that computer… It’s our property…” Chen Jiawang retreated to the side again after noticing Li Yiming’s attention.
“So do you think that this will become a running joke? A trio of normal people escaping from you?” Tian Yan said with an amused voice.
“I didn't expect that kid to have that kind of trick up his sleeve,” Li Huaibei also seemed amused.
“Did they leave any clues behind?” Tian Qian waved her arm to expel the smoke in the room.
“Using fire to attract one scent... This is a traditional technique. He knows that we’re here.” Li Huaibei pointed at the candle flame, and it suddenly flew onto the tip of his finger.
“He burned his trails away with this fire. He’s being cautious… Did you notice anything when you saw them from afar?” Li Huaibei asked as he sent the flame back to the candle.
“Two of them are perfectly normal. The other one had his fate changed. It’s very subtle though. I wouldn’t have noticed it if it wasn’t for my breakthrough a few weeks ago.” Tian Yan said as she brushed her hair to the side.
“His fate has been changed?” Li Huaibei walked toward the curtain and pulled them toward the size. Sunlight passed through the thin veil which remained and traced many motifs on the floor.
“Qian Mian, it’s me. Can you do me a favor? I have three people I need to find. Haha, he’s listening. I don’t think you should joke about that. Alright, thanks.” Tian Yan put down her phone and walked into the hallway. As she exited the room, she put her left hand into her pocket, pinching the piece of paper she took from the small restaurant she ate at earlier, which contained Fu Bo’s order.