Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
After picking up Li Du’s parents, they went to the hotel and asked them to have a rest
first and then prepare for dinner.
Li Du took Sophie along to say thank you to the JP Morgan staff for sending his parents
to Los Angeles.
For dinner, he planned to book a place in Urasawa, a top Japanese restaurant in Los
Angeles with three Michelin stars. Li Du had eaten in Michelin three-star places before,
and it was indeed high class.
Urasawa’s three-course meal, which started at $400 per person, was so popular that it
had to be ordered a week in advance.
However, Li Du had a JP Morgan’s palladium card, which was so powerful it could be
used anywhere in the service industry to book a table.
Li Du shared his dinner plans with his parents, but when Li Du’s father learned that it
was a Japanese restaurant, he firmly shook his head. “No, we should not let the
Japanese earn our money. What would your grandfather and grandmother say?”
During the Japanese invasion of China, their county had been occupied by the
Japanese. Because their village was conveniently close to the city, the Japanese would
make local men repair turrets and trenches.
Even if the people worked honestly, the Japanese could still kill them on a whim. Half of
the village laborers died in the hands of the Japanese.
Li Du’s grandfather was young at that time, and he escaped by boat along with some of
his neighbors. They only came back after the Japanese were driven away.
Even now, so many years later, the old wounds still hurt. It was a very dark history, and
the elderly would still shed tears when they talked about this.
Li Du changed his plans out of respect for his father. Li Du’s father strictly educated him
about how the Japanese were their enemies. Sooner or later they might have another
war, and he was strongly opposed to Li Du having any business with the Japanese.
Mr. Li’s patriotism spirit was high. People from his generation had unlimited loyalty and
love for the motherland, which was something Li Du’s generation could not understand.
Eventually, they chose a French restaurant and had French and Mediterranean food.
From his warehousing auction work, as well as from other projects, Li Du was
experienced in tasting food from different countries and was quite adventurous in that
The French restaurant, Blue Fields, was not rated by Michelin but also well known in
Los Angeles. It was located on the central floor of the Ritz-Carlton hotel building,
overlooking the city’s coastline.
The total height of the building was 55 stories, and it was 220 meters high. The top floor
had a better view, but the view was not clear enough. The middle floor was just fine.
Li Du kept making phone calls. Li Du’s father was puzzled and said, “It’s just a meal. Do
you need to make so many calls?”
“It’s hard to get a table at one of these posh restaurants,” Sophie explained. “Li might be
trying to figure out how to get a seat through a friend.”
Li Du’s father suddenly gave an understanding look, and quietly said to Li Du’s mother,
“If it is so difficult to have a meal in the United States, we’re better off at home. We have
dozens of restaurants just outside the house.”
“Do you think that type of restaurant would suit Sophie’s parents?” said Li Du’s mother
Mr. Li said, “Why would it not? It’s only food, we eat and digest it and then it’s gone, so
why would they be so picky?”
After entering the restaurant, he said no more.
Blue Fields aimed for a natural look, imitating a small French farm in the middle of the
It took up almost an entire floor with flowers and grass and trees, all real plants.
As a whole, the restaurant was like a farm with small wheat fields, vegetable beds and
small areas for livestock, fish in a pool and chickens and ducks in a poultry house.
Walking through the restaurant was like walking through French farmland, and looking
out the window, one could see the vast harbor to the southwest and the city of Los
Angeles to the northeast.
It was like a city in the sky, and the feeling of being there was divine.
Li Du’s father was shocked by what he saw. This kind of restaurant was unheard of in
his small county, and it was hundreds of meters high up in the air, which was even more
Li Du gave his contact information to the manager of the restaurant, and the manager
took them to the best place on the southwest side. They could see the dock if they
Li Du’s mother took a seat facing indoors and said, smiling, “I can’t enjoy the view. I’m
afraid of heights.”
Li Du and Sophie ordered the food. Serving would take time, but there were also some
good appetizers, such as a Caesar salad with nuts.
Li Du’s father commented in a low voice that the salad was just some shredded nuts
sprinkled on lettuce.
Li Du laughed. That was true, but it was a famous dish.
They had foie gras toast, fish mozzarella, ham and cheese puffs, blackfish roe with
shallots and white wine, clams stir-fried and served in an elaborate nine-layer tower,
tuna belly with oil-soaked red peppers, maroon chutney, Portuguese duck soup, rice,
and, in short, too many dishes to list them all.
The sun went down and night fell.
Los Angeles was a city that never slept. Although there were not many tall buildings in
the city, the continuous lights made it look more impressive at night than during the day.
Lights were also up in the harbor below, and some cruise ships twinkled as they set off
at night to begin a new journey around the shoreline.
Li Du and Sophie talked about their journey in Australia and Africa, speaking in a
mixture of English and Chinese. As they led the conversation at the dinner table, the
four old people kept gasping and laughing.
While Sophie was telling them about African pygmies, Li Du’s cell phone rang. He took
the call, nodded and said, “Ok, I see. Let’s go.”
When he answered the phone, Sophie did not speak, but when he hung up, Sophie
started talking again.
Li Du smiled at her expression, so quiet and beautiful as she concentrated.
Suddenly someone exclaimed, “Hey, look down, what is that in the sea?”
Guests on the southwest side turned to look, and then screamed, “Fire! Is the sea
“What is this? How did it come about?”
“Take a picture!”
“How did the ocean catch fire?”
The surprised cries startled Sophie and others, and they looked out of the window too.
The sea in the harbor was dark, but in the darkness, there was a great fire burning just
Golden flames appeared in a line on the water. They started with a point, then rapidly
spread to two sides. The two lines of fire burned across the sea in a gentle arc, taking a
position to converge in the middle.
The fire-wires were finally glued together and a huge, burning heart appeared!
Once the heart shape was formed, a line of words made of flame instantly flared up,
spelling out, Sophie Martin, in the ebb and flow of the tide, my love will be the same.