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885 The Criteria of a Lifelong Partner

 Gu Nianzhi did not want to make things difficult for Xie Qingying, so she remained quiet and followed her into the restaurant.

Huo Jialan felt like she could not hold the smile on her face any longer, but she still did not bear to leave.

This time around, she followed her grandfather, Huo Xuenong, to France and lived in the Xie's mansion for about a year. It was only then did she realize what a truly wealthy family was.

Although the Huo family was not bad and had more power in terms of authority, the wealth that the Xie family had was much more than the Huo's. It was that obvious.

Perhaps after a few more generations, the wealth of the Huo's could be comparable to that of the Xies, but as of now the two did not come close.

Xie Qingying was merely a distant relative of the Xies. When she was in France, she had accompanied her father, Xie Dezhao, to the Xie's main family for a visit, and that was how she got acquainted with Huo Jialan.

The two of them went shopping together a couple of times, and they had coffee in one of the cafés along Avenue des Champs Élysées.

If Huo Jialan had made up her mind to be friends with someone, she could give the illusion of letting you feel good about yourself, like you have finally met someone who knew you well.

Xie Qingying liked making friends as well. The two clicked well.

When Xie Qingying was on her way to treat Gu Nianzhi to a meal near B University, she bumped into Huo Jialan coincidentally.

Upon hearing that Xie Qingying was going to treat Gu Nianzhi to a meal, she immediately said that she also knew Gu Nianzhi well, and she had not seen her in the longest time. She could make use of this meal to see her again.

Xie Qingying agreed readily and said, "It's always nicer to have meals with more people."

She had always liked the feeling of having family dinners where everyone in the family was present.

When they were at the Xie's Mansion, the family could fill several large tables.

She had not expected that it would be in such a situation when she finally would get to meet Gu Nianzhi.

Even though Xie Qingying did not say anything, she had already mentally made up her mind to distance herself from Huo Jialan.

She could tell that Gu Nianzhi had a horrible impression of Huo Jialan.

She would of course be on Gu Nianzhi's side, so it was natural for her to come to this decision.

The three of them sat down in a Japanese-styled private dining room.

Xie Qingying requested the menu so Gu Nianzhi could place her order.

Gu Nianzhi examined the menu and ordered some Huaiyang dishes.

One of which was shredded tofu skin braised with superior stock. It was really challenging to shred the tofu skin into thin, noodle-like strips. It had to be cut into thin strips before it could be cooked. When braised in superior stock, it tasted refreshing and savory.

Other than shredded tofu skin, one of the most popular Huaiyang dishes was deep-fried Chinese perch that was made to look like a squirrel. The body of the Chinese perch had to be cut into strips of meat. Then, it had to be coated with egg powder before putting into hot oil to get it deep-fried into shape. Then, a sweet and sour sauce would be poured over the fish, making the dish look similar to a fluffy squirrel's tail.

The last dish that Gu Nianzhi had ordered would be braised pork balls with shredded crab meat. It was called braised lion head in mandarin and was made from scratch. Then, it was cooked slowly in a pot. There were only four pork balls in a pot. When it was served, each pork ball would be placed in a bowl. There would be only one pork ball per bowl. Gu Nianzhi used to like it so much that she hoped that she could have this dish as a main.

However, Huo Shaoheng was strict in bringing her up. Therefore, he insisted on teaching her correct table manners. She was also not allowed to overeat.

Therefore, it remained as a mere thought in Gu Nianzhi's mind.

Today, without Huo Shaoheng by her side, she felt that it would be fine to cut herself some slack. Anyway, she could run three rounds around the school later after she was done eating to burn off the extra calories...

Seeing that Gu Nianzhi had only ordered the appetizers, Huo Jialan suggested, "Why didn't you order the soft shell turtle soup? They have braised claypot free range duck as well. These are Huaiyang dishes that require so much skill to cook."

Xie Qingying added Huo Jialan's orders to the list. She informed one of the severs before ordering some stir-fried meat for appetizers and steamed chicken wrapped with lotus leaves as mains. She also ordered a portion of bird's nest with Hashima for desserts.

These were the signature dishes from restaurants like these. Therefore, they were well-prepared and their dishes arrived in the blink of an eye.

The three of them chatted as they ate.

Due to eating out, Gu Nianzhi and Xie Qingying did not adhere to the rule of not talking during meals. They had a really good time.

"Cousin, would you still be leaving after coming back this time around?" Gu Nianzhi asked curiously. She knew that Xie Dezhao and Xie Qingying returned from overseas, but they still own businesses in Hua Xia Empire.

Xie Qingying had already reached the marriageable age. She was supposed to return to Hua Xia Empire to search for her lifelong partner-or to put it simply, a husband.

She was not close with Gu Nianzhi in the past and did not have any intention to be close to her. Therefore, they were merely acquaintances and had not brought this topic up before.

However, due to the lawsuit happening now, Gu Nianzhi's quick thinking saved her from being maligned by Gu Yanran. This left a great impression on Xie Qingying, so she developed the intention to be close to Gu Nianzhi.

Therefore, Xie Qingying began ranting to Gu Nianzhi, "...This time around, my mom said that I wouldn't be able to go back to France unless I've found a husband."

She made an expression of feign crying and it made Gu Nianzhi laugh out loud.

Huo Jialan was listening to them for a long time and finally found an opportunity to interrupt. "You're such an amazing girl, Qingying, and you're worried that there wouldn't be suitable candidates? Just don't be too picky; they just have to have a good character. Your family wouldn't care too much about other things anyway."

Gu Nianzhi was not happy to hear this from Huo Jialan. Xie Qingying also looked unhappy. "When did I become so capable? Where are the eligible bachelors? I have never seen any..."

Gu Nianzhi savored a pork ball and truly enjoyed its umami taste. With a great appetite, she fished another one into her bowl and said, "You can't say that. Other than having a good character, the person should also have looks. He should be handsome, have a great voice, be successful in his workplace, and must definitely have a family background that's compatible with my cousin. Only a man of such caliber would be compatible with my beautiful cousin, right?"

Xie Qingying was extremely pleased with what Gu Nianzhi had just said. She smiled and replied, "You're really good with words, aren't you? What you just said was spoken so well. My Mandarin isn't exactly good. I really have to learn from you."

Hearing Gu Nianzhi mention the criteria of a lifelong partner, Huo Jialan pouted. "How would there be such a perfect man around? Nianzhi, don't get Qingying's hopes too high."

She sighed and continued, "If he's handsome, he wouldn't have a good family background. Or, if he had a good character, he wouldn't be capable at work. Or, if he was handsome and had a good family background, he wouldn't have a good character and would be a Casanova. Therefore, when girls like us want to look for a suitable man, there really aren't many to choose from."

"Are you sure? You aren't kidding me, are you?" Gu Nianzhi raised her eyebrows. "Who are the men you've been seeing, Miss Huo? They really don't sound good at all!"

Huo Jialan turned pale. "I was talking about the norm! Do you know anyone who is handsome, capable, has a good family background, and has good character? This already wouldn't be a man-he would be god."

She knew one man like that in her whole life. However, that person did not belong to her...

Gu Nianzhi contemplated but said, "I really know a few of them."

Huo Jialan: "...One is already amazing. You know a few?! Is it because you have low standards?"

Gu Nianzhi did not wish to lose to Huo Jialan. "What do you mean by saying I have low standards? I think it's your circle of friends that are low in quality, isn't it?"

Huo Jialan's face flushed. She raised her voice, "Why are you insulting others?"

"When did I insult you?" Gu Nianzhi picked up her bowl and began eating her second pork ball. After swallowing the first mouthful, she said, "I was merely stating facts. If you're unable to accept it, that's your problem. Don't say that I have low standards."

Seeing that they were about to start another fight, Xie Qingying tried her best to change the topic. "Weren't we talking about me going on blind dates? Why are you two fighting? Here, let me show you some of the candidates. You two can help me look through them."

Xie Qingying turned twenty-six last year and was about to turn twenty-seven soon. She was also rather worried about her romance.

Women from the Xie family did not need to worry about if they could get married. The issue was that they wanted to marry well; they wanted to make sure they did not marry just anybody.

Gu Nianzhi and Huo Jialan were both ladies. Therefore, it was innate that they were both interested in topics like these. They put down their chopsticks and looked at her expectantly, waiting for details.

Actually, Xie Qingying returned to Hua Xia Empire in a rush this time because she had wanted to be a witness for Gu Nianzhi's lawsuit. She had not had time to organize her blind dates.

However, seeing that both the ladies were interested, Xie Qingying thought quickly on her feet. Just when she had managed to think of a name, a tall, lanky man came into their room. He was dressed elegantly.

Huo Jialan did not know this man, but Xie Qingying and Gu Nianzhi did.

This was Assistant Yang from the office of Senior Speaker Long.

He walked to their table and they heard a really handsome voice. "Miss Xie, you're having a meal with your friends?"

Xie Qingying nodded. "Assistant Yang is here as well? Isn't this place far from the office?"

"I'm here to give a treat to my juniors. They're all law students." Assistant Yang looked at Gu Nianzhi in secret like he was trying to imply that only students who studied their way up in B University were true graduates from B University. The people enrolled through taking entrance exams were not considered students of B University.

Gu Nianzhi pretended to not see his implying gaze, as she did not want to entertain such snide remarks.

Assistant Yang looked at Xie Qingying instead. He smiled gently. "Would Miss Xie want to say hello to my juniors?"

Xie Qingying's stepmother was Senior Speaker Long's distant paternal cousin.

It was normal that Assistant Yang knew her.

However, Xie Qingying did not feel like going over. She smiled and replied, "I have guests with me. Perhaps next time?"

Assistant Yang looked at Gu Nianzhi and Huo Jialan and smiled. "These two? Would you, Miss Xie, introduce them to me please?"