Mo Fang wasn’t sure how to express all of this so finally, he could only shake his head. “You’re not wrong. It’s just that it seems easier to take a break now to come up with a plan than to work on my career to get to the same level I was at overseas and then decide this isn’t what I want.”
Linghu Jiahao was surprised when Mo Fang still gave him a response in the end. He simply nodded though. “Well, it’s your life so you have to make the decisions that work for you. I’ve simply mentioned something you should keep in mind. As long as you do that, I’m sure you can find your way.”
Mo Fang nodded and then lowered his head again, continuing to eat. Anyway, he wasn’t sure what else to say. All conversations finally seemed to lead to something he didn’t want to talk about.
Linghu Jiahao didn’t mind and instead turned to look at the bar again, making their table become exceptionally quiet.
Soon, the door behind them opened and the person Mo Fang had been waiting for appeared. Seeing Linghu Jiahao sitting at the table, Si Tao raised his brows and immediately came over. “I see you didn’t have to wait alone. Didn’t think you’d come by this early though.” He nodded toward Linghu Jiahao when he said the second sentence but then turned back to Mo Fang. “It’s good you came out in the end. When you tried to turn my invitation down, I was starting to worry. It’s not like you to vanish off the face of the earth like this.”
Mo Fang smiled faintly. “Can you call that ‘vanishing off the face of the earth’ when you managed to get me on your first call? Also, I’m back in the same city. In the worst case, you could just drop by.”
Si Tao nodded, unable to refute. Indeed, it wasn’t like it was impossible to set up a meeting. The last time, when Mo Fang had just returned it China, it had been Mo Fang who asked him to meet up. Since then, Mo Fang hadn’t tried again but neither had he. So … he really couldn’t complain, could he?
Si Tao sighed. “Aiya, call me unreliable then. I should have reached out sooner.” He waved at the nearest waiter at the same time, giving his order before he turned back to Mo Fang. “I guess you’ve also been busy after coming back to the country.”
Mo Fang nodded but didn’t explain much. “A bit. But I guess I can’t compare to you. Brother Yao told me you opened a new restaurant down the street? Or is that old news already?”
Si Tao gave a faint laugh. “I guess you could call it old news but it’s not that old yet. The opening ceremony was only half a year ago.” He looked at the bowl in front of Mo Fang and couldn’t help but give a hum. “I guess you could say we gave some of it a trial run here. Not that it would have been needed. I was sure it would work out.”
“I thought so. You’re not the type to invest if you’re unsure. I heard it was Tong Lan’s idea?”
Si Tao wriggled his brows. “Don’t I just have the perfect fiancee? If she hadn’t finally found her dream job, I’d totally ask her to just work with me directly. She’d have the aptitude for it.”
Mo Fang gave a hum but his thoughts were already elsewhere.
Si Tao didn’t notice. Mentioning Tong Lan, he remembered that they hadn’t actually talked about that. “Right, you don’t know! Originally, she was working at one of my businesses at the end of her studies. It was a small pet cafe that I had recently opened.
“I didn’t have any suitable staff yet and she was interested so she jumped at the opportunity. Then later, with the pandemic happening, she helped out at one of the offices for a while instead. It just didn’t seem suitable to stay outside and work with people if there was another choice.
“Then some months ago, she finally found an opportunity in a research team. I feel pretty reassured about this one since it’s also inside and there aren’t that many coworkers. Since starting, she hasn’t complained about the job even once as well so I guess this is it then. She’s found her path. So, I’m afraid working together is a thing of the past.”
Si Tao sighed. To be honest, they hadn’t really worked ‘together’ anyway. But her being at one of his businesses had at least meant that there was a certain flexibility. Now, that wasn’t possible any longer.
Well, as long as Tong Lan was happy, so was he. And with her regular work hours and his own flexibility, it wasn’t like there wasn’t enough time to spend on the two of them. In the worst case, he’d just scale back his own amount of work.
Linghu Jiahao watched the two of them and shook his head. “Seems like you already found a topic. I’ll go to get another drink then.”
Si Tao simply waved, not too interested. Anyway, he had been seeing Linghu Jiahao much more often than Mo Fang recently. “Take your time.”
Linghu Jiahao nodded and then made his way over to the bar, indeed leaving the two alone.
Mo Fang looked over but didn’t say anything. Instead, he turned to Si Tao. “Sounds like the two of you are really happy. Do you have a date for the wedding yet? It’s been quite some time since the engagement, hasn’t it?”
Si Tao sighed. “Well, Ah Lan wants to be more established in her career before we do it and then there is still the risk of yet another lockdown. So right now, we don’t really want to go ahead. I mean, maybe we’ll get the certificate soonish but as for the actual event, we’ll wait with that.”
Mo Fang nodded. “Makes sense. Well, as long as you’re together, I guess it doesn’t matter much. It’s only a formality, after all.”