He’s Regretting It Now
On this Sunday, apart from meeting with Zhou Kao, Wen Le didn’t have any other plans. Since Zhou Kao postponed the meeting, and she had nothing else to do, she went out in the morning to check out a few dance interest classes. However, most of these classes didn’t fit her schedule, or they were quite far away. Wen Le couldn’t make up her mind, so she only added the WeChat contacts of the class organizers, saying that she would consider it.
Afterwards, she spent the entire day in the library.
In the evening, when she returned from the library, Wen Le overheard her roommates discussing the campus beauty contest. While removing her makeup, she listened with half an ear and then remembered that today was the campus beauty contest. She had been in the library all day and hadn’t paid any attention to it.
Cheng Hui and Bao Xiao Fan had gone to watch the event, just for the fun of it, and they were gossiping about it.
This year’s campus beauty was from the Department of Gymnastics in the Physical Education Institute, named Tan Dan Yi.
Cheng Hui sighed and said, “Actually, if we talk about it, Tan Dan Yi’s looks are quite good compared to previous departmental beauties. She’s not bad in a lineup of departmental and campus beauties, but she’s really not on the same level as our Wen Le.”
Bao Xiao Fan chimed in, “Although I haven’t seen many celebrities in real life, I believe even celebrities can’t surpass Le Le’s beauty. Le Le’s appearance is at its peak, it can’t possibly get any better.”
Cheng Hui laughed and said, “Do you remember that Li Le Xue from back then?”
Bao Xiao Fan suddenly realized, “Right! Li Le Xue actually had great looks even in the whole entertainment industry, but she was still overshadowed by Wen Le. A few days ago, Li Le Xue’s new drama was a big hit, and netizens were praising her looks. It reminded me of that old video.”
Cheng Hui said, “The internet has a long memory. That video where Wen Le overshadowed her is still on the BBS.”
“And Wen Le wasn’t even photographed well in that shot. Do you remember when Li Le Xue’s agency sent people to deal with that video? When they saw Wen Le in person, they were completely stunned and couldn’t take their eyes off her. They were tongue-tied and ended up wanting to sign Wen Le. Hahaha.”
Wen Le cleared her throat and said, “Hey, I’m right here. If you keep praising me like this, I’ll start floating away.”
Both of them burst into laughter.
Bao Xiao Fan still felt regretful, “Le Le, if you participated, honestly, you wouldn’t even need any special talent. Just go up and dance a simple square dance, and the title of campus beauty would be yours. No one could compete.”
After removing her makeup, Wen Le stood up to freshen up and said, “I’m not going. Even if they offer it for free, I won’t take it. I’m planning to conquer you fish-lipped humans with my wisdom and strength.”
Cheng Hui playfully threw a pillow at her, saying, “You fool.”
Wen Le laughed and dodged it.
On Monday morning, just before the fourth class ended, Wen Le received a text message on her phone. It was the payment for her article from “Wen Xing Magazine,” totaling 5256 yuan. She sent a message to the editor, letting them know that she had received the payment, but the editor didn’t reply immediately.
As the class bell rang, Wen Le packed up her bag. However, she noticed the class monitor stepping up to the podium, saying that they were going to have an impromptu class meeting for about five minutes to discuss something.
The school had a quota for volunteer teaching in rural areas every semester. Unfortunately, this year’s graduates who had gone to teach in the mountainous regions were caught in a flood down south. While the mountain areas weren’t affected by the floodwaters, heavy rains had caused landslides and mudflows. Luckily, the students who had been volunteering and the local children were safe, and there had been no accidents.
However, due to the heavy rain this year, many areas in the mountains suffered severe losses. Even the houses and schools of the left-behind children were affected. The graduates planned to mobilize social forces to help raise funds for rebuilding schools and homes for the children in the mountain areas.
This initiative had started a week ago. The student union had received the information early, but the college was a bit slower. The class monitor’s announcement was about the fundraising efforts.
Donations could be made through various methods, including assisting in fundraising events, direct monetary donations, or participating in the reconstruction projects. This way, they could provide assistance to the children affected by the disaster and contribute their compassion. Moreover, it would provide valuable social practice opportunities.
Most of the sponsorship funds for the three-day student union and the college union gathering had already been allocated for donations. They had also organized activities like mask auctions and other sales to increase the fundraising efforts.
The specifics of the projects for reconstruction and fundraising hadn’t been detailed yet. However, it was mentioned that students who wanted to donate could contact the class monitor. The amount was not limited whether it be one yuan or one hundred yuan, it was voluntary and deserving of respect.
Naturally, Wen Le wanted to support this cause. She also lived in a mountainous area with her grandparents, even though it wasn’t a disaster-stricken region. But she had once considered herself a left-behind child and could empathize with the feelings of these children.
After some thought, Wen Le considered it fate. Since she had just received 5256 yuan in payment for her article, she decided to donate it all at once.
On Friday afternoon, Wen Le received a call from a senior student at the school’s magazine department. They explained that due to the impact of the floods in the southern region on many underprivileged children, they were looking to collaborate on a project to raise awareness about the situation and increase societal attention about these children’s plight. They had previously organized a mask DIY event and an auction during the student union gathering, and they wanted to build on that success.
The magazine’s chief editor had heard about Wen Le’s involvement and the article she wrote for the school’s magazine, which expressed deep thoughts and heartfelt sentiments about the gathering. Considering her good writing skills, they wanted to collaborate with her on this project.
Wen Le agreed almost instantly.
On Saturday, a senior student from the magazine introduced Wen Le to another senior student.
This senior student was majoring in Chinese literature and was a top scorer in the college entrance examination from a prominent province. His writing skills were exceptional, and he had won numerous awards. He was currently in his fourth year and had already received a job offer from a highly reputable publishing company.
The senior student’s name was Xu Wenhao. They had arranged to meet at a coffee shop through the introduction of the senior student. When Wen Le saw him for the first time, she found him quite captivating.
Xu Wenhao wasn’t the kind of strikingly handsome person with an intense presence. He gave off a gentle vibe, like a lightly inked Chinese ink painting that was surprisingly pleasant to look at.
He was probably around 1.8 meters tall, slender, and had delicate features. His fair skin, coupled with thin-framed silver-rimmed glasses, gave him a scholarly and refined aura. However, his demeanor wasn’t stiff. On the contrary, he was gentle, humble, well-read, and witty in conversation. He was as gentle as spring water in April, providing a comfortable and relaxed feeling.
No one could help but develop a positive impression of such a person.
They talked about various topics, ranging from the weather to literature, covering domestic and international themes, as well as ancient and modern subjects.
The senior student on the side was in awe and looked at Wen Le with surprise, saying, “Wow, it’s quite rare for our knowledgeable genius Xu to chat so much with someone. Many people can’t keep up with his topics, especially when he starts mentioning names that no one has heard of. Wow, Wen Le, you’re really a hidden treasure. You must have the reading capacity of a whole library!”
Wen Le chuckled, “That’s impossible, senior, you’re exaggerating.”
Xu Wenhao interjected, “You might be too modest. I’ve read many of your articles, and both the wording and the depth of your writing reflect your accumulation of knowledge. I rarely have such in-depth conversations with peers. The last time I had such a deep conversation was with an editor who’s almost forty. And you, a science major, have me puzzled.”
Wen Le smiled, “Really, I don’t have that level of knowledge. I’ve learned these things mostly from my grandfather.”
Xu Wenhao grinned, “To have raised such an outstanding granddaughter, your grandfather must be an extremely knowledgeable elder.”
However, the senior student was slightly surprised. She had heard that Wen Le came from a mountainous area, and if her grandfather truly possessed such extensive knowledge, given the scarcity of intellectuals in that era, how could their family have ended up in the mountains?
The senior student hesitated, unsure whether to ask Wen Le about this matter. If Wen Le was lying and got upset when asked about it, how should she handle the situation?
Seemingly unaware of the senior student’s dilemma, Wen Le shifted the conversation to another topic.
They had a delightful conversation that afternoon. Wen Le and the senior student exchanged contact information for future communication.
Since the fellowship event, Wen Le hadn’t seen Zhou Kao for about two weeks. She hadn’t thought about him much either. Even the people around her hadn’t mentioned Zhou Kao. He seemed to have disappeared from her life. Later, she heard from someone that Zhou Kao had gone to H city to participate in some competition.
Wen Le didn’t pay much attention to it and didn’t ask further.
Between her daily studies, club activities, and occasional part-time work, Wen Le’s life had become quite busy. She didn’t have much time to think about other things.
After a few days since the fellowship event, one evening at around 10:30 PM, Wen Le returned to her dormitory from the library. She overheard her roommates discussing how Zhou Kao had just won an award at some national competition. Wen Le didn’t listen closely and went to the bathroom to freshen up.
One of her roommates glanced at Wen Le without saying a word and didn’t bring up the topic again for some reason.
A couple of days later, Xu Tianhao asked Wen Le out for dinner. They met at a trendy restaurant near the school, the same place where Wen Le had met with her friends earlier. Xu Tianhao said they could discuss the school publication project.
It was a Saturday, and Wen Le had some rare free time. However, in the morning, she had an appointment with her friend to get her hair done. So, she arranged to meet Xu Tianhao in the afternoon.
Wen Le and her friend had been binge-watching Korean dramas lately and became fascinated with the soft brown hair color of the female lead. They decided to get their hair done that Saturday since they had time.
Cheng Hui, who was watching a drama about in-law relationships, scoffed, “Keep fooling around as much as you want.”
The two of them looked proud of themselves, like two peacocks.
With her new light brown hair and big waves, Wen Le looked gentle and charming. The light hair color made her fair complexion stand out even more. After the hair coloring session, she looked like she had a Korean filter applied, she was glowing white and exuding a gentle youthfulness.
The hair styling and coloring took five hours, from 8 AM to 1 PM. Since it took a while, and the nail artist in the shop wasn’t busy, Wen Le even got a BLINGBLING manicure.
During that time, Wen Le received a WeChat message on her phone, but she was busy, so she didn’t check it.
It wasn’t until two hours later when the manicure was done that she checked the message. It turned out to be from Zhou Kao.
But what to do? She didn’t want to read it.
Wen Le deleted the notification right away.
She should have blocked him.
That day, with her new hair, she wore a lavender-colored floral dress and a pair of white shoes. She looked like the female lead stepping out of a Korean drama, with a gentle and pure appearance. When Xu Tianhao saw her, he paused for a moment and then smiled genuinely, praising her, “You look beautiful today too.”
The use of the word ‘too’ pleased Wen Le, and she smiled as she took her seat.
She had arranged to meet Xu Tianhao at 5:30 PM, and they ended up chatting for a full three hours until 8:30 PM.
They discussed movies, music, literature, publishing, but they hadn’t touched upon the school publication project.
Wen Le thought that this was probably the adult routine — arranging a meeting under the pretext of official matters but not discussing anything official. Instead, they would chat about everything under the sun, laugh and talk ambiguously, conveying the signal of “I want to pursue you.” If you wanted to decline, all you had to do was subtly indicate it, and when you met again, you could continue cooperating without any awkwardness.
Wen Le couldn’t help but think of Zhou Kao. First, she couldn’t resist cursing him inwardly. She didn’t know what his problem was – he had conveyed an ambiguous signal and then abruptly cut it off himself.
At 8:30 PM, they left the restaurant. Xu Tianhao accompanied Wen Le back to her dormitory, and they chatted and laughed along the way.
When they reached the entrance of the women’s dormitory, Xu Tianhao bid Wen Le goodbye, saying, “There’s a good Japanese restaurant on North An East Road. Next time, I’ll take you there.”
Wen Le smiled in response.
After Xu Tianhao left, Wen Le turned back towards her dormitory.
She had only taken a few steps when her arm was grabbed.
Startled, Wen Le turned around and saw Zhou Kao walking out of the shadows with a dark expression.
Zhou Kao had been away for half a month, and his longing for Wen Le had grown more intense by the day. He didn’t even know why he felt a bit restless.
Zhou Kao suddenly regretted his approach. He should have been straightforward before leaving. He should have confessed everything on the Sunday before he left, or better yet, he should have kissed her on the evening of the fellowship event.
TN: YESS ZK you should’ve done that…sobs
What logic was there in love? What use was calmness? What need was there for cause and effect? Emotions were inherently subjective; what was wrong with following your feelings? He had prided himself on being intelligent, yet he had acted foolishly in matters of the heart.
Damn it, he thought. He couldn’t wait a moment longer; he needed to see Wen Le immediately.
So, right after landing, he hadn’t even returned to his dormitory or unpacked. He had just left his luggage at the side and came straight to find Wen Le.
Yet, after waiting for three hours downstairs of her dormitory, this was what he encountered.
Wen Le, in a purple dress with a new hairstyle and meticulous makeup, was standing there, smiling beautifully at another guy. Zhou Kao felt like his heart was about to explode.
Zhou Kao tightly held onto Wen Le’s arm, his lips pursed together, his gaze deep, and an intense air about him.
Wen Le looked at Zhou Kao and said calmly, “Do you need something?”
Her tone was icy, her attitude distant.
Zhou Kao’s heart clenched suddenly, feeling a heart-wrenching pain. His voice lowered, sounding somewhat hoarse, “Why didn’t you reply to my messages?”
Wen Le nonchalantly replied, “Didn’t see them.”
Zhou Kao pressed his lips together, staring fixedly at Wen Le, as if some terrifying thing was burning in his eyes.
But Wen Le seemed to be getting impatient. She forced a slight smile, then firmly and resolutely pulled her arm back from Zhou Kao’s grip, inch by inch.
Then, she turned around and walked away.
Zhou Kao watched his empty hand and felt a heavy air of gloom enveloping him.
TN: Our poor male lead, how will he fix this?? 🙁