Xie Shuo’s cold lasted for approximately a week. 

Because of this, Xie Baiyan rushed back from his business trip in advance.

Ye An was afraid that Xie Baiyan would blame her for not taking good care of Xie Shuo. She retrained her usual willful personality and behaved gently–even her voice was a few decibels lower.

Fortunately, Xie Baiyan was reasonable and was not angry with her. He asked kindly about Xie Shuo’s condition.

Ye An took the opportunity to ask for Xie Shuo’s medical record, and she studied it carefully.

Xie Shuo finally got better a week later.

A weight was lifted off of Ye An’s shoulders. And just as she wanted to make up for all the sleep she lost in the past few days, Xiang Quan suddenly called to ask her if she would record a theme song for an anime.

Xiang Quan knew that Ye An could sing. In the past, she would also sing for the theme songs for radio dramas when she wasn’t dubbing.

However, she had few aspirations. She was in her early twenties but acted like a middle aged woman. She had many skills but didn’t care much about them.

She worked hard and was never careless in her projects, but she always lacked ambition.

“We already had a singer scheduled, but the plans changed, and now the project deadline is coming up soon. I just told them that you could try it. The lyrics have been written, and music has already been produced, so you can go ahead and sing it.”

Ye An thought for a bit before asking, “Can I practice the song at home?”

Xiang Quan didn’t understand how she became a “homebody” after getting married, but he said, “Yes, you can come in to record in the studio after you finish rehearsing.”

It doesn’t take much time to record a song, Ye An agreed, hesitant, “Then I’ll try it.”

Xiang Quan replied, “Great, just come to the studio this afternoon and give it a go.”

At one in the afternoon, Ye An bid farewell to Xie Shuo and left in a hurry.

After staying inside for so long, Ye An’s first breath of air outside refreshed and lightened her entire body.

She looked out the car window at the bustling streets and couldn’t help but start to wonder when she would finally be able to bring Xie Shuo out again.

    —–

When she arrived at the recording studio, Xiang Quan and the rest of the staff were already there and waiting for her.

Lu Chuan from Brilliant Dreams wrote the song and was notorious in the industry for being picky and having a bad temper.

As soon as Ye An entered the control room, she saw a lean middle-aged man sitting on a stool in the back of the room. He held a document in his hands and frowned, appearing irritated.

“You’re here?”

Xiang Quan stopped what he was doing and guided Ye An in the man’s direction. “This is Lu Chuan laoshi.”

老师-laoshi, a broad term of address used for teachers, experts in a field, or someone that is respected or in higher positions of power

Lu Chuan looked up to see a delicate face.

Ye An smiled politely. “Hello, Lu laoshi.”

“You’re Ye An?”

Lu Chuan looked at her from head to toe, and his gaze said, “Another talentless vase coming to ruin my work.”

“Since you’re here, hurry up and try it out!”

He didn’t have the patience to be polite with Ye An and waved his hand, signaling her to start auditioning.

Ye An didn’t want to pander to him either, so she walked to the recording booth without another word and put on the earphones.

demo

Soon after, Lu Chuan began to play the song demo.

The song was called “Mountain Ghost,” named after Qu Yuan’s poem “Mountain Ghost.” It had its own twist on the lyrics and melody, with an enchanting and elegant style.

The beginning was low-pitched, and the melody itself was high-pitched. There was a long high note in the middle, so the recording couldn’t be interrupted.

The song was indeed difficult to sing; no wonder Lu Chuan was hesitant about her abilities.

Ye An listened to the song twice over and started to sing, focused.

Lu Hong remained indifferent when the song started, but he began to look up by the second verse.

A gentle female voice sounded with an ethereal simplicity, while still preserving underlying feelings in the music.

Lu Chuan’s expression became more focused.

When learning a song for the first time, one couldn’t expect a perfect performance. In the latter half of the song, Ye An messed up a bit.

After finishing the audition, Lu Chuan looked curiously at her, asking, “Have you ever studied vocal music?”

Ye An was surprised, replying, “I studied on and off for a year.”

In those past years, Xia Jin had her learn more than just singing to spite Ye Yuan Nian.

Lu Chuan: “Why’d you stop?”

Ye An smiled faintly. “I wasn’t originally studying music because it was just my hobby. Later on, there were some matters in my family, so I didn’t continue it.”

Lu Chuan looked at her for a moment before he said, “What a pity.”

Ye An didn’t reply and waited for his decision.

Lu Chuan stood up, saying, “I’ll give the demo to you. Go back and keep practicing…” After a pause, he continued, “Is three days enough?”

Ye An thought about it before answering, “It should be.”

Lu Chuan said, “Then let’s officially record it three days later.”

Xiang Quan didn’t expect things to go so smoothly. After exiting the recording studio, he said quietly, “With Lu Chuan’s temper, I was scared for you when you went in. I thought something was going to happen.”

Ye An laughed. “Did you think that I wasn’t going to sing well enough and get yelled at by him?”

Xiang Quan replied, “Don’t laugh; there really have been people that have been yelled at before.”

Ye An laughed even more. “Then did you think that I wasn’t talented?”

Xiang Quan finally smiled before suddenly saying, “You really want to cancel your contract?”

Ye An nodded.

The elevator door opened, and the two walked in.

Ye An had officially proposed the termination of her contract to Xiang Quan a few days ago. Aside from her audition, her priority for this afternoon was to discuss this matter.

The elevator only held the two of them. Xiang Quan suddenly turned towards her and asked, “Is it because of your marriage?”

Ye An went silent for a moment, before smiling. “I guess so.”

Recalling the ostentatious display of her ring and the car that night, Xiang Quan understood. Marrying into a wealthy family meant that she didn’t have to care about the basic necessities. There was no need to leave so early and return so late every day. 

The only problem was her contract lasted for three years. Right now, it had only been one year before she was now trying to leave.

After exiting the elevator on the first floor, Ye An took the initiative to say, “What’s with the long face? It’s not like the studio will go bankrupt without me.”

Xiang Quan’s eyebrows knitted even more. “I’m still losing a cash cow!”

Ye An glanced at him. “But isn’t it worth it? You’ve squeezed my value out of me for a year. Is it not enough?”

Xiang Quan couldn’t help but laugh this time around.

Ye An said, “Besides, I’m only canceling this contract. I’m still up for the investment we discussed before. If I have time and there’s a good role, I’ll pick up a project every now and then.”

Xiang Quan was no longer as sorrowful, so he nodded and replied. “All right, we can sign the contract termination in the next few days, and then we’ll go finalize the plans for the partnership with Brilliant Dreams.”

The two had already walked away from the business buildings when Xiang Quan’s phone buzzed twice. 

He fished the phone out of his pocket and frowned. “I have some matters to attend to, so I’ll be leaving first. Let’s talk about the details another day.”

“En, bye~”

Xiang Quan walked hurriedly away, and Ye An took her phone out to check the time. It was four o’clock, still quite early.

There was a captivating fragrance in the air that attracted her to a candied chestnut shop nearby. She couldn’t help but walk over to buy a bag of fresh chestnuts.

After buying the snack, she turned around, planning to hail a car.

The family’s driver was busy today, and because she was too lazy to drive herself, she chose to take a taxi.

Suddenly, a familiar figure came into view. Ye An froze, still holding her paper bag.

…Xie Yuran?

She wasn’t certain, so she blinked and looked again.

The man was tall and slender. He wore a black sweater, hat, and a mask. When Ye An saw him, he had just removed his mask and waved to hail a cab.

Under the hat, he had a handsome appearance and resembled a naive youth.

It really was Xie Yuran.

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