The Moon Will Always Come to You - Chapter 31
Chapter 31: Ball
Ruan Zhizhi once had a very secret diary. Inside, it recorded the youthful days of her unrequited love for Li Sichen without any omission.
That diary had been placed by her bedside at the beginning, then one day she put it in the bottom drawer of her desk. And now…Ruan Zhizhi walked to the drawer and took out the diary. She reached out and felt the slightly worn cover, then gently threw it into the garbage bin.
She finally met someone even better and more worthy, and it was worth letting her forget all of her past to reach out and embrace love again.
That night, Ruan Zhizhi had a dream. The man in the dream looked somewhat gloomy yet very refined. He stood there quietly by himself, appearing a little lonely.
She bit her lip and approached. Clearly the distance wasn’t far, but for some reason, she walked for a long time and still couldn’t reach him.
She was in a bit of a hurry and couldn’t help calling out to him. At last, he heard her voice and turned around.
The man smiled at her. The patterned frost over his eyes seemed to shatter, exuding a sense of gentleness and softness inside and out. He turned around and walked towards her step by step, until the distance between the two was only a millimetre.
Then, he reached out and touched her hair very intimately. He said, Don’t worry, Zhizhi, I will always be here waiting for you.
Ruan Zhizhi, who was still dreaming, unconsciously bent the corners of her lips and smiled happily.
When Ruan Zhizhi woke up from her sleep, she only felt full of vitality. In her memory, it seemed that she hadn’t had such a good night’s sleep in a very long time.
She stretched and unhurriedly got up from the bed, then picked up her phone from the bedside table. The screen displayed that she had received a WeChat message.
Her heart moved. She was almost a little impatient to open it. As expected, it was sent by Shi Yan.
—There is a morning class today, so I can’t accompany you to have breakfast. I’ll come pick you up when you finish work in the evening.
The style of the message sent by Shi Yan was just like him, concise and clear without a single word of nonsense. There wasn’t even a single expression.
Every frame of what happened last night was vivid in her mind. Speaking of which, fate was indeed very amazing. When she first travelled to Lijiang, she thought that her life would have nothing to do with Shi Yan in any way no matter what. However, as time went around and around, she realized that God had really stored a huge surprise for her dull, unmoving life.
It was just like a tree that had been sleeping in her heart all along. After that, it took advantage of the moment she was caught off guard to break out from the ground, blossoming and bearing fruit in an instant.
When Ruan Zhizhi walked into the company building humming a song in a good mood, she ran into Lu Wanyi head-on.
“Zhizhi, what a coincidence, ah.” Lu Wanyi saw that she was evidently very happy, and promptly ran towards her. En route, she accidentally tripped over her skirt and almost fell down.
Ruan Zhizhi was startled at first, but seeing that Lu Wanyi hadn’t fallen, she couldn’t help laughing: “You’re already someone pushing thirty, why are you so reckless? When you’re like this, how could your boyfriend feel at ease, leaving you alone in City A to go on a business trip?”
Lu Wanyi patted her chest with lingering fear, then looked a little surprised when she saw Ruan Zhizhi’s face. She stood still, meticulously examining Ruan Zhizhi from head to toe: “Zhizhi, why do I feel…that you’re a little different today.”
Ruan Zhizhi halted her steps when she heard her words. She didn’t know why, but she felt guilty for some reason. “How am I different? It’s only been two days since I last saw you. I wouldn’t even have enough time to get plastic surgery.”
Beside her, Lu Wanyi didn’t listen to her words. She only watched her facial expressions closely. Seeing Ruan Zhizhi’s unconsciously lowered eyes, she couldn’t help but open her mouth to expose her: “Zhizhi, today you’re radiating with happiness, unlike the lifeless look you had some time ago. It’s a world of difference, even if I wanted to ignore it, I can’t.” After a pause, she spoke again, “Don’t say it, let me guess.”
Saying so, she narrowed her eyes and pretended to sniff around Ruan Zhizhi, then said narrow-mindedly, “Tsk tsk, why do I seem to smell the foul odour of love.”
When Ruan Zhizhi heard her speak, she didn’t want to hide it. Therefore, she lifted her eyes and replied with poise: “As you have guessed, I’m in love.”
“As expected!” Hearing the answer that came as no surprise, Lu Wanyi’s eyes lit up. “Is it that Li Sichen who drives a luxury sports car, or Professor Shi who is above the common mortals?”
“It’s Shi Yan.” Mentioning his name, Ruan Zhizhi couldn’t help but smile sweetly. “We just confirmed our relationship last night.”
Lu Wanyi wasn’t at all surprised to hear this answer. She even nodded in agreement. “I also think Professor Shi is more suitable for you.”
From her point of view as an outsider, Li Sichen admittedly had love for Ruan Zhizhi, but it was actually more possessive, like a child who had lost his beloved toy and was impatient to snatch it back.
But every time Shi Yan looked at her, the expression in his eyes was so tender, as if he was itching to give her the whole world. Every time, so long as Ruan Zhizhi was there, no one else could enter his line of sight.
Lu Wanyi didn’t know how Ruan Zhizhi had conquered this superb man. But she felt that such a wholehearted romance was really enviable.
The two chatted and laughed all the way to the elevator. Inside, Lu Wanyi saw some female colleagues holding formal dresses in their hands and suddenly remembered something. She reminded Ruan Zhizhi: “Right, Zhizhi, tonight the company’s holding a ball. The CEO said that in order to maintain the company’s image, it’s compulsory for employees to wear formal attire to attend. You didn’t forget, right?”
Ball? Formal attire?
Ruan Zhizhi’s gaze also shifted to the black dress in the hands of their female colleague. After thinking about it for a while, she finally remembered that she seemed to have heard Lu Wanyi talk about this last week.
Of course, there was so much going on this week that she really had forgotten about the ball.
Lu Wanyi saw her expression and knew that she must have forgotten. She couldn’t help laughing at her misfortune. After she finished laughing, she said with great loyalty and self-sacrifice: “It’s fine, we’ll get off work early today. After work, I’ll accompany you to the nearby shopping mall to choose a suitable evening gown.”
Ruan Zhizhi nodded. She couldn’t help thinking to herself that she probably wouldn’t be able to have dinner with Shi Yan today. She lowered her eyes and sighed regretfully.
After they got off work, Ruan Zhizhi and Lu Wanyi left the company building energetically and flagged a taxi to the largest shopping mall nearby.
Once she was in the car, Ruan Zhizhi hurriedly called Shi Yan, afraid that he would come over to pick her up for dinner.
The phone barely rang for a few seconds before it was quickly connected by the other party: “Zhizhi.”
His voice came in from the other end of the phone. It drifted gently into her ear, so pleasant to hear that it was a little surreal. Ruan Zhizhi suddenly gave birth to a rare shyness in her heart. After a pause, she said, “Shi Yan, our company has a ball tonight. All employees must attend, so…I may not be able to have dinner with you.”
She had already tried her best to keep her tone placid, but there was still a hint of regret leaking between the lines.
Shi Yan paused, then laughed very lightly: “Okay, then eat some more by yourself.”
“En…you eat well, too.” Hearing his laughter, Ruan Zhizhi’s manner of speaking couldn’t help becoming softer. Holding her cell phone and speaking warm words softly, she was like a little girl having her first awakening of love.
Lu Wanyi, who was sitting beside her, saw her rare expression and couldn’t help covering her cheeks.
Indeed, her teeth really ached.
After finally arriving at the mall, Lu Wanyi diligently helped her choose a dress. Ruan Zhizhi seemed to be lacking in interest: “Aiya, it doesn’t matter, buying any one will do.”
Finished speaking, she disregarded Lu Wanyi’s objection and didn’t even try any of them. She directly picked a white tube top dress recommended by the shop assistant. In passing, and under Lu Wanyi’s instigation, she also purchased a pair of silver crystal shoes.
By the time she walked through the door with two big bags in her hands, Ruan Zhizhi began to feel distressed. The dress and shoes were expensive, and in addition, she felt that she would only wear them this one time. It wasn’t really worth it.
How about taking it back after the ball was over tonight? En, she would be even more careful not to dirty the skirt that evening.
Thinking this way, Ruan Zhizhi began to change her clothes carefully. When she put on the ethereal column dress and stood in front of the full-length mirror, there really was a bit of an air of delicacy fluttering from the dress.
The size was unexpectedly fitting. The long skirt began to split from the base of the thigh, and the skirt was made of tulle, which was somewhat transparent. It seemed to reflect her pair of fair, sleek legs.
It was just the perfect kind of style, but…was it a little too revealing?
Ruan Zhizhi suddenly regretted not trying on the dresses just now. But even if she regretted it at this time, it was too late. Since she didn’t care about the ball at all, she didn’t put her makeup on earnestly. She casually traced her eyeliner and untied her rubber hair band; her long, black hair fell loose. Without even applying lipstick, she hurried out.
When the taxi stopped at the company building, Ruan Zhizhi saw through the car window that there was already a steady stream of guests coming and going at the entrance of the main hall. She got out of the taxi unhurriedly. After walking a few steps, she felt a little cold, and regretted that she had only taken a knitted shawl.
As soon as she entered the hall, it was already crowded with a multitude of people. Men and women drank and intermingled, their laughter harmonizing as they clinked glasses in succession. It was a scene of happiness and prosperity.
Ruan Zhizhi saw that many of her female colleagues who didn’t usually wear makeup were now all gorgeously dressed up. Their clothes were also extremely revealing. Holding wine glasses, they stood in front of different men and smiled beautifully.
This kind of ball that gathered the elites of the upper class only occurred once a year. Therefore, many girls wanted to seize the opportunity. Even if they couldn’t catch a wealthy husband, it was also excellent for them to accumulate some connections in society.
Ruan Zhizhi didn’t think that the behaviour of these girls was frivolous or cheap, but she wasn’t interested in doing it, either.
The ever-passing waiters carried glasses of red wine with low alcohol content. She took off her knitted shawl and seized one in her hand. Alone, she hovered around, fetching food and eating. She was happy and peaceful.
She had just hidden in a corner to eat a piece of mousse cake when she suddenly heard someone behind her raise their volume to call her. The decibel level made her think that turning a blind eye simply wasn’t possible.
Somewhat helpless, she turned around. Sure enough, she saw Gu Nian dressed in splendid attire.
She knew that Gu Nian, as the prestigious wife of a CEO of a listed company in City A, would certainly not miss such a high-profile public occasion.
“Zhizhi, long time no see, I missed you to death!”
Gu Nian trotted all the way, her intricately patterned skirt swaying to and fro. Ruan Zhizhi broke into laughter: “My Eldest Miss, speak quietly, I don’t want it to be discovered by my colleagues that I’m hiding here to pilfer food.”
Gu Nian understood tacitly. Walking to her side, she picked up a piece of cake, lowered her voice, and went straight to the subject: “Zhizhi, just now when I was coming in, I saw Li Sichen. He’s chatting with Fengjin outside right now. I estimate they’ll come in right away.” Once she finished speaking, she sized up Ruan Zhizhi’s expression and couldn’t help asking, “How’s your relationship with Li Sichen nowadays? I just heard the tone of their conversation, it seems he still hasn’t given up yet.”
Li Sichen had also come? Ruan Zhizhi took a spoon to dig at the cake for a while, feeling ineffably flustered. But after thinking for a while, she had already made it very clear to Li Sichen last time at the milk tea shop. Therefore, she put down her heart and said calmly: “Li Sichen and I have completely turned the page. We are two strangers now. Of course, if we meet each other, we will still exchange pleasantries. After all, we used to be university classmates.”
Now it was Gu Nian’s turn to be surprised. She looked at Ruan Zhizhi with a hint of incredulity in her eyes. She had never seen Ruan Zhizhi talk about Li Sichen in such a light-hearted tone before. It was as if she was talking about a stranger.
The past between Ruan Zhizhi and Li Sichen was not clear to others, but Gu Nian had been observing from the beginning to the end. She knew what Ruan Zhizhi had delivered, and what had been invested.
Yet at this very moment, Ruan Zhizhi’s expression was so serene that it was almost insipid, as if she had changed overnight.
Could it be that her close friend had truly, thoroughly let go of this man and their memories?
Gu Nian calmed down and felt that this fact was worthy of celebration.
The two conversed casually for a while. Quite soon, the ball started. The surrounding gentlemen invited the ladies they admired to dance, and for a period, the banquet hall became incomparably lively.
Cheng Fengjin and Li Sichen also walked towards them. Li Sichen was still in high spirits. Seeing Ruan Zhizhi from a distance, his eyes glistened brightly.
The two approached. Cheng Fengjin shot a signal with his eyes at Gu Nian, and then she was forcibly pulled away to dance. Soon, only the two of them were left in that small corner.
The atmosphere turned awfully silent and a little awkward. Ruan Zhizhi thought for a while and took the initiative to break the silence: “What a coincidence, you also came to the ball.”
Li Sichen said, “Not a coincidence. I specially came for you.” Having said that, he paused, looking like he was experiencing some struggle. Then, he finally stretched out his hand and said with just the right amount of apprehension in his tone: “Zhizhi, can I invite you to dance?”
His outstretched hand trembled slightly, and he looked at her without blinking, as if afraid that she would refuse.
Ruan Zhizhi was at her wit’s end. She thought she had made it clear to him last time.
Sensing that ambiguous eyes had already begun to look in their direction, and for fear of being misunderstood by her colleagues about the relationship between the two of them, Ruan Zhizhi hurriedly said, “Li Sichen, didn’t I make it obvious last time? It’s impossible for us, you…you can’t do this again.”
“Zhizhi, you’re so heartless. You can’t even give me a chance to dance with you?” Li Sichen obstinately refused to withdraw his extended hand. At that very moment, his arrogant eyes seemed to be covered with a layer of mist, unexpectedly seeming a little pitiful.
If it was the Ruan Zhizhi from three years ago, she would have long been defeated seeing him like this. But now, even though she looked straight into his eyes, her heart was tranquil to the point of no waves.
The atmosphere became even more embarrassing under the unwillingness of both parties to back down. Seeking help, Ruan Zhizhi cast a meaningful glance at Gu Nian who was dancing in the crowd, but found that Cheng Fengjin seemed to be deliberately blocking Gu Nian’s line of sight with his back.
She gave up asking for help. She retracted her gaze, took a deep breath, and said, “Li Sichen, it’s impossible to give you this dance. Furthermore, there’s something I think I should tell you.” She stopped there. Then, she spoke word by word, “Shi Yan and I—”
Before she could declare the last half of her sentence, she suddenly felt something cold on her hand.
Someone in the crowd had come up and grabbed her wrist.
This person’s fingertips were cold until the inside of his palm, where there was some warmth.
Ruan Zhizhi’s frantic expression from a moment ago immediately stabilized, and she subconsciously turned her wrist over to hold his hand. Ruan Zhizhi turned around. The first thing that entered her line of sight was a hand with well-defined joints, and then she meandered all the way up to finally settle on the man’s cold, pitch-black eyes.
Her tone was both surprised and happy: “Shi Yan, why are you here?”
When Shi Yan heard her voice, the coldness in the corners of his eyes gradually vanished. He lowered his eyes and stroked her hair, and for the first time he did not conceal the doting in his tone: “I could tell that you wanted to have dinner with me and couldn’t bear to disappoint you.”
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