Meanwhile, Li Ming walked down the street randomly, looking for another place where he could meet with Rui Land and Cang Gui Ying. Even though he had come to Si Tao’s place often, he had actually never taken a closer look at the other restaurants in the vicinity. Thus, he could only look blindly.
There were several restaurants and bars on this street. Even the buildings right next to Si Tao’s restaurant were similar establishments. Of course, Li Ming wouldn’t choose any of them. No, the risk of running into Mo Fang right when they went out seemed much too high. After already having bad luck once, he didn’t want to have to go through the experience a second time on the same day.
He walked a whole block before the front of another restaurant caught his eye. To be honest, it looked a bit similar to the one he had just left. Li Ming stopped in his tracks and tilted his head, taking a closer look.
This was a vegan restaurant. The name was one of those corny puns that he often saw online. He wouldn’t have thought anybody would name an actual business like this but looking through the window, it seemed that the place was quite well-liked.
He thought for a moment and then pulled out his phone again, sending Rui Lan the address. Afterward, he walked inside by himself to get a table first.
As soon as he stepped through the door, he felt a sense of deja-vu. He raised his brows and looked over to a table close to the door, half-expecting to see Mo Fang there. Of course, that didn’t happen. Mo Fang was still in the restaurant he had just left. Li Ming still looked from side to side, trying to figure out what was going on.
At that moment, one of the waiters was bringing a dish to a nearby table. She looked up and came over after seeing his confused gaze. “It’s the same boss. Do you want a table?”
Li Ming turned to her, still just as confused. “Come again?”
The woman laughed and motioned to the right with her head. “The restaurant a block up the street, it’s owned by the same guy. Guess it was a working model or he just got lazy so he furnished this place exactly the same. We’ve had quite a few customers stumble in here and stop in confusion because they thought they had gone wrong.”
Li Ming rubbed his forehead. Right. Si Tao had told him when he opened this place. He had never come here though because he had to work at the time of the opening and after that, all the tables had been taken for the first few weeks. Over time, most of his friends had been there at least once to give it a try and he didn’t want to go alone. As they were still more familiar with the original restaurant, that was where everyone continued to meet up.
He lowered his hand again and shook his head. “Now that you mention it, I heard he opened another restaurant. I can’t believe I didn’t realize that was what this was. As for the table, yes, please. I hope there is still a free one? Two of my friends would like to join me in a bit.”
The waitress nodded. “Well, you’re lucky. We still have two.” She motioned to one table closer to the bar and another one in the other corner. “Any preferences?”
Li Ming didn’t care either way but the one on the right seemed to allow for a little more privacy so he motioned over there. “Then, could we maybe have that one?”
“Sure thing!” Come on, I’ll bring you over and grab the menus for you.”
Li Ming followed her and pulled out his phone again while she got the menu to check whether there was any news from Rui Lan. He had only gotten a short reply to say that they were on their way. Looking at the time though, they should be there in another minute or so.
Just as the waitress came back, the door at the entrance opened as well. Both of them looked over and Li Ming hurriedly raised his hand. Of course, the two people who had stepped in were none other than Rui Lan and Cang Gui Ying.
The waitress smiled. “Are these your two friends? Well, good that I already took another menu then!”
Li Ming laughed. “I guess I was a bit conservative when I said ‘later’.”
The two of them came over and greeted Li Ming and the waitress before sitting down.
After handing them the menus, the waitress left and went to take care of another table.
Meanwhile, Rui Lan leaned over the table and gave Li Ming a careful look. “So, how are you actually?”
Li Ming smiled wryly. “It’s not that bad. Anyway, it’s not like it was the first time I saw him since he came back.”
Rui Lan sighed. “Yeah. I still feel like I should have suggested another place. The likelihood of running into him at that place was too high, wasn’t it?”
Li Ming gave a hum. To be honest, yes, Si Tao’s restaurant was one of the places with the highest likelihood of running into Mo Fang. But then, it was also a place he liked to go to despite the history he had there. He simply liked the atmosphere that was different from other restaurants.
He sighed as well and shook his head, opening the menu in front of him. “Well, it doesn’t matter. I finished that talk and now, we’re in different restaurants. Although …” He looked around and noticed that even the small hallway to the office seemed to be the case. “It sure doesn’t feel like this is a different place. Si Tao is really …” He could only shake his head again, unsure how to even describe it. But either way, no matter how it looked, it still wasn’t like Mo Fang would walk out of that office and back into his field of vision.