23. Mooching a Glass of Alcohol
In the evening, after the sky turned dark, Bai XueQing was driving home with her eyes drifting sideways when she spotted someone unexpected. Mu JingYuan slowly walking on the pedestrian path. His back was as straight as ever, but it somehow gave off an aura of despondent fragility.
XueQing liked JingYuan. She came from a good family. She’s strong. She was the dream of many men. Of course, she’s got quite an ego in her, yet Mu JingYuan was the first man to make her heart skip.
Tall and handsome. While disaster struck JingYuan early in life with both his parents being lost at the same time, it did not strike him down. He rapidly gathered his wits and took over the Mu Corporation. He protected the product of his father’s sweat and blood from the circling old foxes. After years of hard work, he’s turned into a veteran of the business world. In fact, most of those old foxes had to bow before him now. That’s the best proof of his might.
JingYuan came from a good family. He’s attractive, persistent, skilled and knew to keep himself clean. Their two families had always been close, but no one ever knew if he had a lover or someone he liked. In the current society, such a man is one in a million. After being in contact with him for so long, XueQing slowly grew to like him.
She’s always been a brave one, never shirking from love or hate. She would never miss out on a good opportunity just because of that laughable concept called “face”. Since she liked him, she will fight hard for her own happiness.
JingYuan had been down spirited lately. She didn’t know why, but she seized the chance and tried her best to stay by his side at all times, as if she was a good and true friend. As expected, they became much closer.
Now that she’s seen JingYuan walking alone, dejected, she naturally had to follow along and see what’s going on.
She saw Mu JingYuan walk into a bar alone. She parked the car nearby and walked in too. Strangely enough, this bar wasn’t that noisy. She quickly spotted him sitting in a corner booth.
His jacket was slung over the chair beside him. He was only dressed in a button-up shirt. His sleeves were folded up, revealing muscular arms. He slouched on an armchair. His bony, slender fingers twined around a glass of alcohol. His eyes squinted at the mass of people around him, looking rather lost.
XueQing’s heart ached. This man had always been so strong and confident. What could possibly make such a strong man look so lost and troubled?
XueQing walked over to him. “Why are you drinking all alone, JingYuan?” she asked.
JingYuan looked up at her and hooked his lips up into a smile, “XueQing? Why are you here?”
“I happened to see you walk in, so I followed along to mooch a glass of alcohol off you.” XueQing went straight to the point.
“Does the almighty Miss Bai really need to mooch if she wanted alcohol? I probably can’t even get in line for that,” JingYuan replied with a low chuckle.
XueQing sat down on the couch beside him and ran her fingers through her long hair. “Must you tease me? Tell me. Just what has made President Mu so unhappy?” she said.
JingYuan tipped the alcohol into his throat in one gulp and poured another. “What can bother me?” he said.
XueQing picked up a glass, poured some into it, and clinker her glass with his. “We’ve known each other since we were children. Why hide it from me? I thought we were friends.”
He looked up at her and asked, “Since we’re friends, why are you digging?”
She lifted her hands up in surrender. “Okay. I won’t ask. You want to drink? I’ll drink with you.”
Bar or not-bar: For those confused (aka anyone coming from a place with strict/sensible alcohol rules), JingYuan bought a whole bottle of liquor. Bottle-service – instead of the bartender pouring out X amount of shots for that table in the corner, you get the whole bottle to yourself with no bartender to monitor you at a ridiculous price. Most bar scenes Chinese know of revolve around bottle-service. It’s very much an American-influence thing. Drinking in Chinese culture is all about social drinking. Schmoozing, gambling, gossiping and just hanging out is what it’s mainly for. Bars in Chinese culture (Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan) mostly have stage entertainment too. Just don’t ask me how XueQing magicked up a glass from thin air. The server probably gave JingYuan 2 glasses for “just in case”.