Chapter 8: The two met each other’s gazes. Lu Li was expressionless.
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When Xie Jianwei woke up, Lu Li had already left.
This was very normal; ever since the two fought about breaking up half a year ago, every time they were finished Lu Li would turn and leave, resolutely not staying the night. His Lu ‘big’ Li was an ambitious man after all.
Even after all this time, poor Xie Jianwei was still not used to waking up with nobody by his side, since in reality, the split personality’d Supreme Commander must lock lips with him three or four times a morning, and on the last time would probably look up and down for more places to ‘lock’ with. Even though Xie Jianwei was always saying that it wasn’t good to ‘drive the early morning car’, but, having gotten used to it already, having no one there to ‘step on the gas’ also made him uneasy all over. 
Xie Jianwei sighed, getting up, taking a cold shower and eating breakfast, before busying himself with work.
If he wanted to topple the complex, deeply rooted Xie family  within a short period of time, not putting in the relentless effort wasn’t going to work.
After being busy for a whole day, there was a dinner gathering at night.
It wasn’t for work, but for the family.
Xie Jianwei’s parents in this world had left it long ago, but there was a Grandmother who had raised him.
Grandmother Xie wasn’t your average person; to be able to prop up so big of a Xie family – after her husband had weakened with disease, and her son had passed away – and then to have also successfully gifted it to her own grandson, she definitely wasn’t an ordinary person.
Xie Jianwei held a very good opinion of Grandmother Xie, because he could tell who Grandmother Xie was originally modelled off of.
Although Lu Li had lived on the deserted planet since he was very little, an infant had no way of surviving in a place as dangerous as that, so he was also brought up by people when he was a child.
That was a very kind woman, and at the same time, incredibly powerful.
She was aged, but had the strength to battle against the planet’s beasts; her body was inflicted with heavy illnesses, but she had willpower as strong as steel, forcibly suffering through the beckoning of the death god, giving little Lu Li the power to independently live on, on the wasteland planet.
When Xie Jianwei arrived at the waste planet, this woman had long since passed away, so he had never met her.
But after becoming familiar with Lu Li, he got to know of her existence.
Xie Jianwei was very thankful to her – thankful to her for letting Lu Li survive, thankful to her for raising Lu Li so well, and thankful to her for leaving him with a means to live.
— Allowing him to meet Lu Li.
Due to these reasons, when Xie Jianwei first saw Grandmother Xie, he felt that she was the grandmother in Lu Li’s memories.
Lu Li always hoped to give the best to him; within his subconscious, the best person was probably ‘grandmother’, and so Xie Jianwei gained a Grandmother Xie.
As long as he thought of this, Xie Jianwei would be deeply respectful towards Grandmother Xie.
But this time’s dinner gathering wasn’t going back to spend time with Grandmother Xie, but to have dinner with another person.
This person was Grandmother Xie’s grandniece from the maternal side of her family, a girl named Jiang Mingming. 
Jiang Mingming was the same age as Xie Jianwei, and had been studying abroad all this time; in the years prior, Grandmother Xie had intentions to act as a go-between for them, wanting to push them together as a couple.
But without waiting for Xie Jianwei to express his opinion, Jiang Mingming opened up and said: ”What I want is a partner that can traverse the world with me; Jianwei, you still have to succeed the family business right?”
Hence Xie Jianwei was also saved from the effort.
But Grandmother Xie hadn’t given up the thought all along; actually, it wasn’t because Jiang Mingming was someone from her maternal family that she wanted her to marry Xie Jianwei, but it was purely because she liked Jiang Mingming – she was pretty, smart, capable, and extremely generous; a girl like this wasn’t easy to find.
Grandmother Xie wholeheartedly thought for her grandson, only wanting to save the best for Xie Jianwei, persistently playing matchmaker for them only because of that.
Xie Jianwei knew that she meant well, and Jiang Mingming was also extremely respectful of her grandaunt, so even though the two clearly knew that they weren’t suited for each other, because of the wishes of the elderly, as long as she organised it, the two would still meet up and have a meal together.
Also because the two didn’t have any intentions of that sort towards each other, eating together wasn’t awkward, and was in fact pretty harmonious.
Except that Xie Jianwei never would have expected that things would still be so lively, even while eating his own meal.
Although Jiang Mingming’s family background was pretty good, because she had gotten used to playing around outside, she didn’t even half look like a girl from a well off family; one could only see her picking up the fork and poking the beef before her, laughing: “These beef ribs of yours are enough to fill the stomachs of half a country’s children.”
A while ago, she had taken a trip around Nigeria, and after coming back she couldn’t stand seeing such extravagant wastefulness.
Xie Jianwei side-eyed her: “Then don’t eat.”
Jiang Mingming heaved a few deep sighs: “It’s already cooked, it’d be more wasteful not to eat it.” She cut a piece and filled her mouth, and then laughingly said, “How much did this meal cost, I’ll help you donate it after.”
Xie Jianwei laughed in spite of himself: “Don’t need you to.”
As the two laughed and talked, Xie Jianwei randomly raised his head, and all of a sudden saw Lu Li.
Lu Li seemed to have also come here with people to eat; he had only just walked into the restaurant, and had basically only swept a gaze across before accurately spotting Xie Jianwei.
After all, a restaurant as big as such, only had three spots, and it was a rotating restaurant at that – when Lu Li came in, Xie Jianwei’s seat had coincidentally rotated to this angle.
The two’s gazes met. Lu Li was expressionless.
But Xie Jianwei’s heart dropped with a ‘ge deng’ sound.
This really was an accident.
But it was hard to say what Lu Li would think.
Xie Jianwei instinctively wanted to explain, but the result was that Lu Li didn’t even look at him, turning and leaving to go sit with his partner.
Xie Jianwei: “…” It must be his own hallucinations that he was able to smell vinegar or something from this far away! 
In the end, Lu Li didn’t do anything; instead, Jiang Mingming said astonishedly: “Chen Qing?” The person she called out to was the man by Lu Li’s side, apparently an old acquaintance.
That Chen Qing was pretty surprised: “Mingming? You’ve come back from Nigeria?”
Jiang Mingming laughed: “Yeah, I haven’t had time to tell you guys yet.”
The two should be classmates, and ones who hadn’t seen each other for a pretty long time; upon meeting, they began to gossip after one or two sentences.
Xie Jianwei’s thoughts shifted, and he took the initiative to speak: “Since you guys know each other, then let’s sit together.”
Jiang Mingming wanted to do just that; it was just that Xie Jianwei didn’t know Chen Qing, so she was worried that it would be awkward. Chen Qing glanced at Lu Li standing by his side a little awkwardly.
Lu Li raised his lips a little, smiling: “If President Xie doesn’t mind, I too have no problems with it.”
Xie Jianwei said in his heart: doesn’t mind, his ass! Only by sitting together could he prove his innocence!
There was already enough vinegar to be eaten, since there wasn’t a need to eat any more then let’s save it.
Xie Jianwei and Jiang Mingming were originally innocent anyways; in sitting together, the conversation between Jiang Mingming and Chen Qing was enough to explain this clearly.
Xie Jianwei attentively observed Lu Li’s expression, but saw that there was no hint of it clearing up on his face.
What was he angry again for now? Wasn’t the atmosphere last night pretty good, how come it all flipped around when he woke up?
Xie Jianwei’s entire meal was eaten exceptionally cautiously.
And yet before one wave had even flattened, another one rose; the real ‘good show’ would always be at the very end.
Xie Jianwei was just thinking how he should make Lu Li’s mood a little better, when the restaurant’s third wave of people made a timely arrival.
Xu Li, who has unexpectedly caught sight of Xie Jianwei, had eyes filled with surprise: “Jianwei!”
Xie Jianwei: “…”
Xu Li neared in a couple of steps, the happiness in his eyes completely unconcealed: “I didn’t think that I’d be able to meet you here, I’m very happy, truly very happy.”
Xie Jianwei’s face was expressionless: the work efficiency of earthlings was too low. It had already been a night, so why hadn’t this guy ‘accidentally died’ yet.
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The author has something to say: Aahh, partied too late last night, didn’t write Old Lu and XX Play, sorry ah, there’ll be a thicker and longer one tomorrow!!
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 I’ve added quotation marks not in the raws cause frankly the metaphors and puns just don’t translate well. Even tho you can tell that they’re metaphors it just sounds awkward -_-‘ Same thing is happening with all the italics I’ve put in.
盘根错节 means ‘with twisted roots and gnarled branches’ (thx Pieco) – complicated, confusing, and difficult to deal with, with many connections, etc. Literally (I think) washbasin sized roots and interlocking knots.
根深蒂固 means ‘deeply rooted’ – literally (again, I think) with deeply embedded roots and solid bases (base of a fruit)
 蒋茗茗 – pronounced Ji-ah-ng Ming Ming. It’s a lot cuter and less stupid than it sounds in English lol.
 Metaphors to do with vinegar denote jealousy. If someone eats vinegar it means they’re jealous.