Half an hour after returning to the party room, He Jichen and Fatty wrapped up the party.
He Jichen paid the bill and the three of them exited Lou Wailou.
Fatty was in Hangzhou for work, so his company booked him a hotel room. Back at the party room, he already called for a taxi.
The three of them stood outside Lou Wailou opposite the West Lake. Less than two minutes later, Fatty's taxi arrived.
Fatty had a little too much to drink, so he had his arm around He Jichen's shoulder. They repeatedly said their farewells until the driver rolled down the window and rushed them. Fatty pulled the car door open and got in.
The taxi slowly sped up and Fatty stuck his head out. He continued to talk endlessly until the car had driven off into the distance and they could no longer hear his voice; Ji Yi could still see Fatty's hand waving.
The car took a turn and disappeared from sight.
That was when He Jichen withdrew his eyes from where Fatty's car had just been.
It was already ten in the evening and the heat from the day had subsided significantly. The night breeze blew over the West Lake and mixed with the chill from the surface of the water. The temperature was perfect and pleasing.
There were quite a few people strolling along the path of willow trees by the lake. The lotus flowers on the lake's surface just bloomed, and under the street lights, they looked unusually beautiful.
He Jichen stared at the lake for a moment then suddenly asked, "Walk?"
Ji Yi knew He Jichen meant to ask her for a stroll by the West Lake. She was stunned for a second before she gave a nod and gently replied, "Alright."
He Jichen didn't say anything as he pointed towards the Duan Bridge. He walked on straight ahead.
Ji Yi followed behind.
He Jichen didn't walk quickly but his legs were long, so one of his steps was equivalent to two of Ji Yi's steps. To avoid falling too far behind, all Ji Yi could do was walk faster.
After walking for about five minutes, He Jichen noticed Ji Yi was having trouble keeping up, so he walked a little slower.
Even though he didn't say anything, Ji Yi understood the reason behind his change in pace.
She knew he purposefully slowed down because she was walking so hastily to keep up.
Ji Yi's heart warmed all of a sudden, and she couldn't help but turn her head to glance over at He Jichen.
He was looking straight ahead as he walked leisurely under the dim light of the lampposts by the lake. The light blurred her vision, but his elegance and distinguished air were obvious.
Behind him, the willow trees stirred in the wind, the lotus flowers swayed, and the water rippled.
The entire picture was frighteningly beautiful; the scene was visually-appeasing and calming to the mind. Ji Yi couldn't help but stare a while longer. When she withdrew her gaze, she happened to notice two young girls secretly taking photos of He Jichen with their phones.
Ji Yi instinctively turned her head and stared right at the two girls.
One of them noticed her gaze and gently nudged the other girl who had her phone raised, taking photos non-stop.
The other girl's face was flushed as she instinctively put her phone away. Then she pulled the other girl along and they quickly ran away.
Ji Yi couldn't help but smile as she watched the backs of the two girls rushing away.
He Jichen happened to turn to Ji Yi at this moment and realized that her lips were curved into a smirk. "Why're you smiling?" inquired He Jichen quietly.
The two of them hadn't said much to one another from the moment they started their stroll.
When Ji Yi heard this, she hesitated for a moment but replied, "Two girls were secretly taking photos of you just now, so I stared at them and scared them away."
"Mm," responded He Jichen. Considering how unfazed he looked, it seemed like this was a normal occurrence - people often took photos of him eating.