“To see you.”
His melodic voice, laced with a smile, drifted through the evening breeze and into her ears. For a moment, Ye An just stared at him in stunned silence.
Feeling ignored, the little cat at her feet let out an indignant “meow” and silently walked away.
Xie Shuo strode over and extended his clean, slender hand toward her, looking down at her from a higher vantage point.
Ye An’s heart skipped a beat, but she didn’t take his hand. Instead, she supported herself up.
He wore a white shirt with an undone top button; his face carried a hint of weariness as if he had hurriedly come from somewhere.
“Why did you come here? Isn’t there a lot of work at the company?”
Withdrawing his hand in the air and returning it to his pocket, Xie Shuo looked at her bright eyes and repeated his words from earlier. This time, he said hoarsely near her ear, “To see you.”
Ye An’s ears tingled, flushing inexplicably.
“Why did you want to see me?”
She muttered as she tucked her hair behind her ear, avoiding his gaze and pretending to look at the peach blossoms in the courtyard.
Suddenly, the voice of the innkeeper’s lady boss sounded from behind her, “Your husband is here?”
For the past two days, Ye An had been staying at the inn, and the lady boss’ younger brother happened to be her fan, so the two of them had become familiar.
When Xie Shuo had come the last time, his eyes were still not recovered. A man so handsome yet blind had left a deep impression on the lady boss’ wife, so she recognized him at a glance.
“Dinner is ready, would you like an extra serving?”
The lady boss asked Ye An, curiously glancing at Xie Shuo’s eyes.
Turning around, Ye An just so happened to meet Xie Shuo’s gaze. Somehow, she suddenly felt like being a little willful and said purposely, “No need, we’re not together.”
She smiled playfully and turned around, walking through the long corridor toward the stairs. She wore a red dress that flowed gracefully around her, emphasizing her slender waist.
“Are there any rooms available next to hers?”
Xie Shuo asked the lady boss, watching her graceful figure as she walked away.
The lady boss showed a troubled expression. “I’m sorry, sir, but the room next door has already been booked by another guest.”
Ye An arrived at the door of her room, swiped her card to enter, and was just about to close the door when she suddenly saw Xie Shuo following her.
“I didn’t book a room.”
His hand resting on the doorframe, looking somewhat pitiful.
Ye An suppressed the urge to give in to her soft-heartedness and said with a smile, “It’s not too late to book one now.”
Xie Shuo locked eyes with her, and she met his gaze.
The two of them stood at the doorway, locked in a gaze for over a dozen seconds. In the end, Xie Shuo conceded and withdrew his hand.
Ye An glanced at him one last time before closing the door.
After closing the door, Ye An waited for a while but didn’t hear any knocking. She began to worry.
He was a wealthy CEO, worth billions, and a grown adult. With his eyes healed, he should be able to find a place to stay, right?
Not long after, the lady boss sent up her dinner. Ye An placed the meal on the balcony and sat at the table, dining alone.
The setting sun bathed everything in a golden light as it slowly descended.
This radiant glow extended until nightfall when the bright moon appeared on the horizon, but Xie Shuo never came to find her again.
As Ye An finished her dinner, the more she thought about it, the more worried she became. She pretended to go for a walk outside, descending the wooden staircase.
Beneath the moonlight, the peach blossoms were still in full bloom, and a few tourists strolled around. However, there was no sign of him anywhere.
Could it be that he was so upset by my rejection that he had left in anger?
Wasn’t that too petty?
The lady boss wasn’t around, and Ye An didn’t inquire further. She went back upstairs to her room.
The night breeze gently rustled the curtains with antique-style palace lanterns adorning the balcony. She held her phone in her hand and leaned against the railing.
Her long hair danced in the wind. Suddenly, her phone buzzed with two WeChat messages.
Xie Shuo: “Turn to your left.”
Ye An instinctively turned her head. Under the moonlight, a familiar figure came into view — slim waist, long legs, and a noble demeanor.
The balconies of the rooms in the inn were only a short distance away from each other. They had decorative railings with climbing vines and various potted plants, emitting a subtle fragrance.
Ye An: ?
She distinctly remembered that the room next door had already been booked by someone else.
“Isn’t this room someone else’s?”
Ye An glared.
“I offered double the price.”
Xie Shuo smiled, his eyes clearly conveying the message — with money, you can do whatever you want.
Ye An: “…….”
How could the person next door lack such a backbone?
To actually cancel their reservation just for money!
“Why did you decide to come here for a vacation?” asked Xie Shuo suddenly.
With the Thousand Moon Lake glistening in the distance, with the moonlight casting a shimmering light on the water, Ye An gazed into the distance and said casually, “It’s not crowded here, and the scenery is nice, so I came.”
Xie Shuo arched an eyebrow. “You didn’t have enough fun last time?”
Ye An thought to herself: Last time, I was too busy taking care of you. How could I have fun?
She propped her chin up and said, “Different season, different scenery.”
Xie Shuo paused for two seconds before saying, “I thought you wanted to do the honeymoon again.”
Ye An: “…….”
Knowing he was doing this on purpose, Ye An still couldn’t help but feel a little flustered. She instinctively retorted, “What nonsense are you making up? Who would I go on a honeymoon with alone?”
As soon as she finished speaking, she wished she could shut her own mouth.
As expected, Xie Shuo looked at her with a half-smile, as if saying, “Aren’t I here?”
Ye An pursed her lips and turned away, ignoring him.
Standing by the railing, Xie Shuo gazed into the distance at the moonlit lake. After a moment of silence, he suddenly asked, “Is the moonlight tonight better, or was it better that night?”
Ye An was slightly taken aback, catching a glimpse of his side profile bathed in moonlight.
She had mentioned “River On a Spring Night” yesterday, thinking that he had probably forgotten it by now. But to her surprise, he remembered.
The phrase “The moonlight tonight is so beautiful,” was also a line to profess one’s love. This time, Ye An didn’t fall for it again as she turned around and said, “It was better that night.”
Looking at her, Xie Shuo wanted to say something, but his phone in his pocket suddenly rang.
He took it out, glanced at it, and frowned slightly. He answered the call and turned to the side.
The night breeze was cool. His voice sounded in her ears, seemingly discussing a company project. After listening for a while, Ye An felt a bit sleepy so she decided to go inside.
After tidying up her clothes and taking a shower, she sat down on the bed. She reached for her phone and saw a new message.
Xie Shuo: “Asleep?”
Leaning against the headboard, Ye An looked at the message on her phone before replying: “Not yet.”
Xie Shuo: “Any plans for tomorrow?”
Ye An: “Going hiking.”
Xie Shuo: “Okay, get some rest. Goodnight.”
Ye An replied with a “Goodnight” and put down her phone, sitting there with her knees pulled up, lost in thought.
These past two days, she had come out alone to clear her mind and carefully reconsidered everything between her and Xie Shuo.
Since she couldn’t completely sever her feelings, they might as well start afresh. She had been overthinking things for the past few months, and it had left her physically and mentally exhausted. It was better to just relax and enjoy herself.
She pulled the blanket, ready to lie down, but then remembered that she hadn’t done her skincare, so she got out of bed, slipped on her slippers, and applied her skincare before climbing back into bed to sleep.
The next morning, as the sky was just starting to brighten, Ye An was awakened by her alarm. Still a bit groggy, she hurriedly got out of bed and went to the bathroom to freshen up.
She didn’t send a message to Xie Shuo specifically. After getting dressed, she left her room.
When she opened the door, she was surprised to see a familiar figure standing in the hallway as if he had been waiting for a while.
Today, Xie Shuo wasn’t wearing his usual shirt and trousers. Instead, he had changed into athleisure, giving him a more approachable and down-to-earth appearance, neat and handsome as always.
Ye An rarely saw him dressed like this and couldn’t help but glance at him a few more times.
Xie Shuo was also looking at her. She, too, wore athleisure today, with her long hair tied up and a black sun hat on. Her red lips were vibrant, exuding youthfulness.
Xie Shuo greeted her with a “morning” and took her backpack from her hands. Together, they descended the stairs.
The spring scenery in the mountains was beautiful, with fresh greenery and wildflowers swaying in the breeze.
The last time they came here, Ye An had been concerned about Xie Shuo’s eyes, so they only climbed to a small pavilion halfway up the mountain. This time, her goal was the mountaintop.
However, halfway up, she was panting heavily and struggling to continue. Leaning against a large rock by the side of the path, she wiped the sweat from her forehead.
Xie Shuo stopped in his tracks and extended his hand.
His fingers were long and slender. Ye An glanced at him and hesitated before eventually placing her hand in his palm.
Xie Shuo grasped her delicate and fair hand, holding her up the rest of the way.
The morning sun shone through the branches and leaves, casting dappled shadows. The fragrance of flowers and plants wafted in the breeze. With Xie Shuo’s assistance, Ye An finally made it to the mountaintop.
The mountains stretched into the distance, and the sunlight bathed the lush greenery. They were finally able to enjoy the scenery that they missed last time.
After resting and having a snack at the mountaintop, they decided to make their way back down while they still had the energy.
As they passed by the pavilion halfway down the mountain, Xie Shuo suddenly asked, “Did we climb up to here last time?”
Ye An felt blisters forming on her feet but endured it as she nodded. “En, we had bumped into Zhuang Yinian, and I even asked her to take a photo of us.”
Hearing this, Xie Yan asked, “Where’s the photo?”
Ye An walked into the pavilion and sat down. She took out her phone from her bag and started scrolling through her photos. However, the first photo she came across was the candid “kiss photo” she had taken later on.
In the photo, she was leaning close to his cheek, and he happened to turn around at that moment.
It was an incredibly intimate pose.
Ye An froze; Xie Shuo suddenly leaned over.
Fumbling, she hastily placed her phone on her chest, feeling somewhat guilty, and her ears slightly red.
Noticing her anxious reaction, Xie Shuo remembered the “awkward hair photo” he had seen on her phone before and thought she must’ve scrolled to that photo. He smiled and asked teasingly, “I can’t see it?”
Locking eyes with him, Ye An turned her back to him and quickly found the normal photo taken by Zhuang Yinian of the two of them. She held it up for him to see for a moment before immediately withdrawing.
“Okay, you saw it. Let’s go.”
After saying that, she didn’t give him another chance to look and quickly got up, walking out of the pavilion like a jumping rabbit. Xie Shuo chuckled and followed behind her.
Not long after, Ye An’s feet were in unbearable pain. Gritting her teeth, she walked ahead with a slight limp.
Suddenly, Xie Shuo grabbed her wrist and crouched slightly in front of her. “Hop on.”
Ye An was taken aback and remembered when she saw Yan Fei carrying Zhuang Yinian on his back the last time, she purposely expressed how envious she was to him.
After being stunned for a few seconds, she bent down and climbed onto his broad back.
Xie Shuo’s hands wrapped around her knees, and he carried her down slowly, his steps steady.
Beside them, a young couple walked past. The girl glanced enviously at Ye An and then nudged her boyfriend’s arm, saying, “Look at that girl’s boyfriend, and then look at you! Not only is he good-looking, but he’s also considerate.”
“His girlfriend is skinny, easier to carry…”
“What do you mean? Are you saying I’m fat? If you want to break up, just say it!”
“I was wrong, I was wrong…”
The young couple continued to bicker as they walked away.
Ye An rested against the nape of Xie Shuo’s neck, chuckling softly.
The spring sun illuminated the path, and as Xie Shuo listened to her laughter in his ears, a slight smile formed on his lips.
As it was a hiking trail after all, Ye An didn’t dare to make him carry her for too long. Before reaching the foot of the mountain, she broke free from his carry.
Upon descending the mountain, the two of them took a ride back to the inn.
Ye An was exhausted. After entering her room, she collapsed on the sofa. When she took off her shoes, she noticed that her feet were indeed covered in blisters.
Lying on her arm as a makeshift pillow for a while, she was interrupted by a sudden knock on the door. She reluctantly got up, limping her way to answer it.
Xie Shuo had somehow found a jar of ointment. After entering the room, he knelt down, his long fingers grasping her fair foot, intending to apply the ointment for her.
Ye An was taken aback and quickly withdrew her foot, saying, “I can do it myself.”
After a morning of hiking, her feet were covered in sweat; the smell was unpleasant for sure.
Xie Shuo looked up at her as if he understood what she was thinking. He sat down beside her and reached out again. “Didn’t you say you have no strength left?”
With determination, Ye An moved away from his touch and firmly said, “I still have the strength left to apply the ointment myself.”
As she spoke, she reached out to snatch the jar of ointment from his hand. However, she lost balance and fell forward, landing directly on top of him.
Xie Shuo quickly supported himself with one hand on the edge of the sofa and used the other to encircle her waist.
Her lips accidentally brushed against his shoulder. Upon smelling his familiar scent, Ye An froze for a moment, feeling her ears heat up. She quickly pulled away, flustered, and sat back down.
Turning her back to him, she picked up a Q-tip and started applying the ointment. A faint blush appeared on her fair cheeks.
Xie Shuo didn’t insist any further and sat silently beside her, watching her.
His gaze was too piercing, making Ye An somewhat uneasy. She glared at him. “I know I’m pretty, but you don’t have to keep staring, do you? There’s a fee for extended viewing!”
Xie Shuo smiled and went along with it. “How much are you charging?”
Blinking her long eyelashes, Ye An’s eyes wandered. “One look costs one million, no discounts.”
Xie Shuo chuckled. Compared to the cordial atmosphere they had maintained for the past while, he much preferred her current careful and playful demeanor.
Just as he was about to say something, his phone in his pocket suddenly rang again.
Taking it out and checking the call, his smile faded away and was replaced by his usual cold and serious expression. He got up and walked to the balcony to answer the call.
Ye An vaguely heard some words from the convo, seemingly related to matters at the company.
This man truly was a workaholic, not a spare moment of idleness.
The phone call took quite a while, about half an hour, before Xie Shuo returned from the balcony and stood in front of her, asking, “How about going to the hot springs in the afternoon?”
Was he trying to relive the things they had done during their honeymoon?
Ye An was feeling a bit sleepy. Remembering the series of awkward events that had happened during their previous hot spring experience, she shook her head. “No, I want to take a nap.”
In the past, when he couldn’t see, going to the hot springs wasn’t a big deal. But now, going together might be a bit too much.
She looked up and saw that he was still standing there, not moving. She said lazily, “If you have things to do, go ahead. You don’t need to worry about me.”
Glancing at her, Xie Shuo made sure that she wasn’t angry before saying, “Alright, rest well.” He then turned and left the room, returning to his own.
The afternoon sun was cozy, and Ye An slept for the entire afternoon.
Xie Shuo, on the other hand, had a much busier afternoon. He had two meetings and dealt with work matters throughout the afternoon. It wasn’t until after 5 p.m. that he finally took a short nap on the sofa.
Close to 6 p.m., he checked his phone again and still hadn’t received any messages from Ye An. He began to worry and got up from the sofa.
The door next door was slightly ajar, and as Xie Yan approached it, he heard voices of laughter inside… Ye An’s voice and that of a young man.
Frowning, Xie Shuo pushed the door open and saw Ye An sitting on the sofa with a cushion in her arms, looking up at the young man in front of her, smiling radiantly.
The young man was tall and skinny, appearing to be around 18 or 19, saying “jiejie” this or that, his eyes filled with admiration.
Frowning slightly, Xie Shuo knocked on the door.
Ye An glanced toward the door, and the young man turned to look as well.
Xie Shuo pushed the door open, gave the young man a brief glance, and then walked over to Ye An. His tone was gentle as he asked, “Shall we go for dinner?”
Ye An gestured toward several takeout boxes on the coffee table with her eyes. “Dinner has already been delivered.”
Following this, she looked up and introduced the young man in front of her. “This is the lady boss’ younger brother. Dinner was sent up by him, and he even added some snacks.”
The youngster looked at Xie Shuo and smiled shyly. “Hi.”
Xie Shuo nodded slightly in acknowledgment.
The youngster didn’t linger and said, “Alright, I’ll take my leave now, jiejie.”
Ye An smiled radiantly. “Okay.”
After the young man left, the room fell silent, and Xie Shuo’s expression finally eased a bit.
Seeing him, Ye An remembered the last time she had to coax him for quite a while before he agreed to eat the food she bought. This time, she deliberately ignored him and set the meal out on the balcony, seating herself alone.
After a moment of standing in the room, Xie Shuo walked over and sat down beside her, directly picking up a pair of chopsticks.
Ye An looked up and said, “I don’t recall inviting you to join me though?”
Xie Shuo seemed to have not heard her words at all and began to eat as if he didn’t consider himself an outsider.
Seeing him like this, Ye An couldn’t help but smile and also picked up her chopsticks.
After finishing dinner, it was still quite early, so Xie Shuo asked, “Would you like to go for a walk?”
As night began to fall, the twilight cast a shadow on his face, making his features appear indistinct. In the past, it was always her who went to great lengths to coax him out, but today, he had taken the initiative.
Ye An’s heart softened a bit and she said, “My legs still hurt, so I don’t want to walk too far. Let’s just go downstairs.”
The two of them went downstairs, and in the courtyard, the scent of peach blossoms filled the air. There were quite a few people out for a stroll, and it was easy to bump into one or two of them if you weren’t careful.
Xie Shuo gently pulled her into his arms to avoid bumping into others.
The little black cat that belonged to the lady boss came over, purring and rubbing against Ye An’s feet.
Ye An crouched down, happily petting it.
Xie Shuo stood behind her, watching, and suddenly remembered the little penguin back at home.
The little black cat purred a couple more times before scampering away.
Ye An got up, but because she had been crouching for too long, and with her legs already sore, she stumbled backward and ended up falling right into Xie Shuo’s arms.
Xie Shuo held her waist and pulled her close, wrapping his arms around her.
His familiar and cool aura wafted over her, and Ye An looked up, meeting his eyes, which were deep and intense.
To think she would throw herself into his arms twice in one day…
The moonlight shone dimly, and the peach blossoms around them were in full bloom, setting a romantic atmosphere.
Xie Shuo held her and whispered, “Yin Yin misses you a lot.”
Ye An was momentarily puzzled, then realized it was the name they gave to Little Penguin at home. She arched an eyebrow and asked, “Are you sure… it’s just Yin Yin who misses me?”
Xie Shuo looked down, and before he could speak, Ye An pushed him away, smiling. “Well, in that case, you can just have someone send it to me.”
Pausing for a moment, she emphasized, “Just the penguin, though.”
After saying that, she turned around and walked briskly back the way they came.
Xie Shuo watched her retreating figure, smiling.
The next day, the soreness in Ye An’s legs intensified, so she could only choose to wander around the vicinity.
As they strolled, the two of them passed by the temple where they had made wishes the last time. Ye An stopped outside the temple, recalling something, and suggested, “Since your eyes are healed now, how about going in to make an offering?”
This time, Xie Shuo didn’t show clear reluctance and accompanied her to light license and make offerings.
After leaving the temple, they once again passed by the fortune-telling booth they had visited before.
Ye An was in high spirits and suddenly asked, “How about trying our luck with another fortune stick?”
Xie Shuo arched an eyebrow, initially going to decline, but seeing her so enthusiastic, he didn’t want to dampen her spirits, so she agreed.
His eyes had already healed, so there was no need to make another wish. Looking at him, Ye An pondered for a moment and then had a clever idea, smiling mischievously. “Let’s seek a marriage fortune this time.”
Xie Shuo glanced at her and drew a fortune stick from the container.
Ye An took a look at it, and on the stick were four characters written in bold… Heaven rewards the diligent.
Ye An: “…….”
Xie Shuo: “…….”
After a brief silence, Ye An suddenly burst into laughter while Xie Shuo’s handsome face turned as dark as the bottom of a pot.