The Moon Will Always Come to You - Chapter 1
Chapter 1: Fruit Candy
At seven o’clock the next morning, Ruan Zhizhi had dark circles under her eyes that couldn’t be covered with makeup. Carrying a white suitcase, she walked out, called a taxi, and eventually arrived at the main campus gates of the university where Gu Nian taught.
As soon as she got out of the taxi, she saw an eye-catching long-distance bus parked at the A University gates.
In fact, she was unwilling to travel very far due to her current status as an intern. But she had never been to Yunnan, even now that she was grown up. It just so happened to be the New Year’s holiday now, and Gu Nian had already transferred the slot to her. With the opinion that not taking a free opportunity would be a loss, Ruan Zhizhi mulled over it until two o’clock in the morning. In the end, she resigned herself to the idea, got out of bed, and hurriedly packed her luggage.
According to Gu Nian, this trip would be five days and four nights altogether. The destinations were Kunming, Lijiang, and Shangri-La.
But from Gu Nian’s words, this trip was a year-end award specially prepared for the school’s first-level professors…Ruan Zhizhi roughly imagined professors with grey hair and thick reading glasses in her mind. She sighed deeply.
Aside from the abnormal Gu Nian who had an extremely high EQ, Ruan Zhizhi didn’t believe anyone else could be granted the title of professor from one of the country’s most outstanding educational institutions at the mere age of twenty-seven.
She walked over with her heavy suitcase in tow. A number of people stood scattered in front of the bus door, lining up to verify their personal information. Ruan Zhizhi wasn’t in a hurry. She casually found a bench under a tree and sat down.
Today the sun was especially dazzling. It was a pity that the weather was still piercingly cold.
Vigorously wrapping her big red scarf around her neck, Ruan Zhizhi looked at her surroundings with boredom. In the blink of an eye, she happened to see a man standing in the shade of the same tree just a few steps away, smoking a cigarette.
Presently, the outdoor air temperature had already reached below zero at least. Yet he was dressed in a thin white knitted sweater and a pair of beige khakis. He was also very tall, and it was strenuous for Ruan Zhizhi to look up at his face.
Unfortunately, his head was slightly lowered. She couldn’t see his appearance.
The man was lazily holding the cigarette in his mouth. The hair on his forehead fell loosely. A ribbon of smoke lingered in front of his eyes, and he was inexplicably polluted by a somewhat depressed air.
Ruan Zhizhi felt that she must not have woken up yet. Otherwise, why would she stare at an unfamiliar man smoking a cigarette and still find his demeanour incredibly charming?
She watched him pinch the cigarette butt and carelessly toss it in a trash can on the side with precision. Afterwards, he walked towards the direction of the bus expressionlessly.
Could it be that he was also one of the first-level professors in this tour group?
Regarding Ruan Zhizhi’s visual assessment, this man couldn’t have been more than twenty-seven years old at most. Perhaps he was even younger.
Alright, it turned out that in this world, Gu Nian was not the only abnormal person.
After sitting for a while, she estimated that time was nearly up. Ruan Zhizhi stood, patted the dust off her coat, and walked over with her suitcase. She provided her name and personal information, and as soon as she got on the bus, she saw the man from just now sitting at the very front. He had chosen a seat by the window.
The sleeves of his sweater were rolled up, and his eyes were lowered as he lazily tore the wrapper of a piece of fruit candy. Sunlight refracted through the clear glass window, reflecting on his clean, pitch-black hair. The lighting was soft. It was as if it had been faintly swathed by clouds.
Based on common courtesy, she didn’t stare at him for too long. After a hurried glance, she quickly retracted her gaze and looked for the remaining seats left on the bus.
She had come relatively late. After a round of inspection, she reluctantly found that there was only one empty seat located behind the man. With a beautiful man to appreciate, she felt that there was no reason to be unwilling, so Ruan Zhizhi gladly sat behind him.
Looking around, she saw that the people sitting near her were all at least thirty-five years old. At least they looked like university professors, unlike that man. He looked like a film star who had gone to the wrong set.
Having said that, with such a university professor, at least his class attendance would absolutely be guaranteed.
She sat down and organized her backpack. Ruan Zhizhi took out a bottle of mineral spring water, and just as she unscrewed the bottle cap, she saw a young man gasping for air as he rushed to reach the bus. Two buttons on his coat were unfastened and he was holding onto half a piece of toast with his mouth. A hurried expression was over his entire face.
He got on the bus, glancing around as he pleased. Then, without the least bit of hesitation, he sat down beside the man in front of Ruan Zhizhi, muttering: “Ah Yan, didn’t I tell you yesterday to give me a call so I could wake up today? Because of your harm, I was almost late.”
“Forgot.” The man had a fruit candy in his mouth. He spoke indistinctly, his voice deep and a little hoarse. It was the kind of hoarseness that was provocative, and hearing it, Ruan Zhizhi’s heart stirred.
At that time her head was lowered as she scrolled through Weibo. But she was attracted by the sound of his voice and couldn’t help raising her head to glance at him.
In the next second, her gaze faltered slightly.
It was because this man looked a little familiar, it seemed…he was the person at the coffee shop yesterday who had passed her by.
The man who bought the very last macarons.
Perhaps her stare was too direct. The other party seemed to sense it a little. He turned his head slightly, meeting her gaze indifferently.
How did that pair of eyes look? They were cold, detached, gloomy, and calm—with a weary sense of alienation from this mundane world. His pupils were pitch-black like an endless sea, tolerant of everything, but lonely with no feeling.
Ruan Zhizhi trembled faintly in his eyes.
The other party abruptly withdrew his sight.
It was sudden and deliberate.
His action successfully attracted the attention of his companion beside him. The man that had arrived late swallowed his last piece of toast, then turned around and saw Ruan Zhizhi sitting in the row behind them. The expression in his eyes immediately brightened a bit: “Yi, our school has such a young and beautiful female professor? I actually didn’t know.”
Ruan Zhizhi was a little embarrassed. She quickly opened her mouth to explain: “I’m not from your school. My friend couldn’t be here because some things came up, so she transferred the slot to me.”
“So that’s how it is. Anyway, it’s an honour to go on a trip with a beautiful woman. Hi, my name is Chen Jiayan. May I ask how I should address the beautiful lady?” His eyes bent when he smiled, giving off a cool and refreshing appearance. To her surprise, there was a hint of Li Sichen in his expression.
Her thoughts had strayed uncontrollably. She revealed a polite smile in return: “Hello, my name is Ruan Zhizhi.”
“Then I’ll call you Zhizhi la, let me introduce you first. The man sitting next to me who looks hard to get along with is called Shi Yan. In our department, he’s the professor who is the most famous yet most difficult to deal with. I’m getting ahead of myself, Zhizhi, I must warn you first. By all means, don’t be attracted by his appearance. This guy has a cold personality and he’s also strange. It usually doesn’t end well for the women that like him.”
Ruan Zhizhi: “……”
This Chen Jiayan, even though they had just met for the first time, it felt a bit like they were old friends. But did she say that she was attracted to this man? Yesterday he took away the macarons when she needed them most.
She raised her head a little speechlessly, only to find that Shi Yan was looking down at her.
Entwined in his dark black pupils were emotions that she could not fathom. They were like a thin layer of mist, a silhouette so shallow it was as if it would evaporate in the next second.
Suddenly an indistinct idea blared in her mind. Ruan Zhizhi looked at him, slightly narrowing her eyes. She wondered with uncertainty if they had seen each other somewhere else before.
Because such eyes were too special, too unforgettable.
Soon the bus began to slowly set out. It would take about an hour from here to the airport. Ruan Zhizhi put her headphones on and quietly leaned back in her seat, listening to her music. She intended to rest for a bit in order to replenish her energy.
About halfway through the journey she began to feel a little dizzy. Skillfully unzipping her backpack, she reached in and fumbled through it, only to come up with nothing.
It must’ve been because she was so rushed when she packed her suitcase. She’d forgotten to put a few candies in her bag.
For so many years now, she was accustomed to relying on sweets such as candies, cakes, and other desserts to recover her physical state. It was really problematic not to have these sweets for too long. Ruan Zhizhi’s head felt nauseous. Her eyebrows creased uncomfortably.
At this moment, a man’s hand abruptly appeared in front of her.
Thinking that she had seen it wrong, Ruan Zhizhi closed her eyes hard. When she opened them again, she still saw a hand with distinct joints. Lying quietly in the hollow of his palm was a colourful fruit candy, reflecting the gleaming rays of light coming through the bus window. His fingers were long and fine, and they remained motionless before her eyes.
“Want it?” the man asked in a low tone. His voice was still horribly seductive, and carried a trace of hoarseness.
Ruan Zhizhi raised her head to look at him. His eyes were hidden by the brilliant sunlight, void of emotion. It was too late to ruminate over why the other party happened to give her a candy at this time. Out of instinct, she quickly thanked him and reached out to take it.
Tearing open the wrapper, she put the tangerine-flavoured fruit candy in her mouth. Her restless mood finally calmed down and she gradually grew drowsy.
When she woke up from her sleep, the bus was slowly stopping at the airport entrance to Terminal 3. Ruan Zhizhi released a yawn and stood up. She listened to the tour guide, who was holding a loudspeaker, prattle on endlessly about the specific arrangements that had been made for everyone to meet with the local tour guide after they arrived in Kunming, Yunnan.
She rubbed her eyes and began to slowly tidy up her backpack and luggage.
It wasn’t until she followed the large group into the airport that Ruan Zhizhi finally had the time to study the group members she would be spending all her time with in the next five days.
After a visual assessment, there were about twenty-five people in all. Among them, there were three or four other young ladies about her age, presumably travelling with their parents who were professors. Then there was Shi Yan, and Chen Jiayan next to him. They were incredibly eye-catching as they walked on the road. Aside from them, there were also some older professors and scholars.
It was unknown…whether this five-day, four-night trip would be smooth sailing.
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