"Grandfather, I'm sorry for my lateness. Did I make you wait too long?" Zhao Lifei gently asked while sitting down.
Zhao Moyao hummed in reply. "No, I just got here," He blatantly lied, revealing a smile.
Li Xuan, his private secretary, twitched his lips at his Big Boss's lie.
Zhao Moyao had been waiting here the minute he had called her. He seemed to really cherish the time spent with his granddaughter. He had so many yet he only seemed to favor this one right here.
"Are you sure? Li Xuan's lips just twitched right now." Zhao Lifei teased, happy she came thirty minutes earlier than planned. She knew he was the type to constantly wait for her, so she rushed her routine and the cab.
Zhao Moyao chuckled, taking a sip of his tea. "It seems I should've made him wait outside." He mused.
"That's not nice, grandfather. He has been your right-hand man for the past decade." Zhao Lifei teased right back, giggling to herself when she took a sip of the hot tea.
Li Xuan let out an exasperated sigh. The two always teased him as if he wasn't present in the same room as them. Luckily, he was used to their bullying. Whatever made them happy, he would gladly oblige.
"Besides, why are you still standing, Li Xuan? Come and sit down." Zhao Lifei beckoned towards the empty seats surrounding their table.
"No thank you. I have to leave soon." He said, politely declining the offer. Exactly a few seconds after, his phone went off. Excusing himself, he stepped outside.
"Xiao Fei, how are you these few days? I still haven't visited your condo after coming back last week." Zhao Moyao was a busy man.
He was the King of the Hotel Empire and Head Monarch of the Zhao Corporation. He did not inherit his position like most company legacies. Zhao Moyao was the youngest in his family, but after working hard, he was able to achieve the outstanding position as CEO of the Zhao Corporation.
"It's the same routine; there's nothing out of the ordinary." Zhao Lifei said whilst picking up the menu and briefly skimming through it.
"My sources told me Yang Ruqin had set you up on another blind date yesterday," Zhao Moyao listlessly said, but his hawk-like eyes were monitoring Zhao Lifei's expression.
Zhao Lifei stiffened at the news and sighed. "Grandpa, please don't tell me you've hired another private team of bodyguards who are watching me from the distance." She placed down the menu and childishly crossed her arms.
Zhao Moyao chuckled. "You're a Zhao and my favorite granddaughter — those titles are enough for you to have a hit on your head. You need to be well-protected. Besides, an extra layer of security never harmed anyone."
"It'll harm my privacy." She resorted.
"Yes, but it will keep you safe. Especially with that Zheng brat and his minx running around the city." Zhao Moyao's voice was nonchalant as he casually threw out the comment. But deep down, he was burning with fury and a desire for revenge.
He used to be close friends with the Elder Zheng, but after the horrible humiliation that Zhao Lifei had to endure, Zhao Moyao severed all ties with the elder. He would never allow her to be trampled over, regardless of the things she might've done!
The Zhao Corporation had taken a harsh blow in their stocks, but Yang Enterprise came as their aid.
"It's fine. I'm not scared of him, grandpa..." Zhao Lifei's voice turned soft and gentle, but it quivered and shook with uncertainty.
One glance at the broken and pained expression on her face was enough to make Zhao Moyao frown.
"Are you sure you don't want to take up my previous offer? We can try to get rid of that woman—"
"No, grandfather. One hit at her, and it'll send the entire Zheng army after us."
Zheng Tianyi was in charge of the private military that the Zheng owned and he would never hesitate to use it, especially when Xia Mengxi was in the picture.
Had this been the previous, naive, and vengeful Zhao Lifei, she would've immediately agreed with her grandfather.
An opportunity to discard Xia Mengxi? Gladly. However, she was not that woman anymore. She had learned her lesson the hard way and was determined to not experience it again. Besides, she didn't want to forever remain the stereotypical ex-fiancee who refused to let go of the big thigh  she was constantly clutching.
"What that bastard has done to you is despicable." Zhao Moyao placed down his menu.
How dare they try to attack his granddaughter when he was out of the country on an important business trip?
Zheng Tianyi waited for the perfect opportunity where all of Zhao Lifei's comrades and allies were out of the city or the country to strike her. And indeed, they struck her hard. Within a matter of three days, she was humiliated, tossed aside, disowned, banned, blacklisted, beat, and ruined.
Zhao Lifei might've done some horrible things to Xia Mengxi, but Zheng Tianyi's actions had crossed the line.
"You've changed so much within two years." Zhao Moyao said, remembering the memories of Zhao Lifei's spoiled and bratty ways.
Zhao Lifei let out a light laughter. "I didn't want to be that hateful and vengeful fiancee. A positive change isn't that bad." She rested her cheek on her propped up hand.
"You've done too much for that useless man." Zhao Moyao muttered, clearly not wanting to let Zheng Tianyi go unpunished.
His granddaughter shouldered all of the hard responsibilities of being Zheng Tianyi's public fiancee. Xia Mengxi was hidden from the limelight, and thus, never received the harsher end of the stick.
Zhao Lifei had to endure death threats, constant assassin attempts, staying up for endless nights working on his reports, and signing documents. It was all of the responsibility that Xia Mengxi should've done, but instead of doing so, she ran from it.
"I want to let go of the past, grandfather. It's not good to dwell on it any further..." Zhao Lifei whispered, hugging her stomach protectively.
The past was the past, it should remain in the past and not the present or future.
Zhao Moyao's face softened. The woman in front of him has become a shell that has suffered immense damage. The cracks were clear, and the high walls she created were even more visible.
She was severely damaged, and nothing he could do or say could turn back the time.
"It's been a while since we've last had a nice chat over lunch. Let's not talk about this matter anymore." Zhao Lifei quietly said, her voice barely above a whisper.
Zhao Moyao sighed. "Alright, I suppose we should get back to ordering our food."