Chapter 65 – On the Way Home
Night time, at Nordic Fantasy. The soulful melody of a piano resounded under the warm restaurant lighting.
Dinner had just finished and the remaining guests were mostly the restaurant’s regular customers. One was drinking a cup of coffee; some were listening to music, and there were also several guests that had come for a late dinner. Nordic Fantasy was part of a high-class hotel and the restaurant gave off a refined aura. However, its prices were reasonable even for ordinary citizens, so apart from a few of the hotel’s wealthy guests, a lot of the loyal customers were average white-collar workers. They came there to listen to good music and admire the active bustle of the city streets through the glass wall, relaxing after an exhausting day at work.
The standard of the pianists at this restaurant had always been high, and the newly hired one did not disappoint. The 15 year-old beautiful young lady naturally could not be compared to a veteran pianist, but the way she played the piano was unique, as it somehow resonated with the listener.
Young and inexperienced, the melody of her piano was able to convey her thoughts, feelings, and her understanding of life. People that listened to her playing could not help but think back to their younger selves — to the more innocent and simpler times, to young and inexperienced romances and all those precious and happy moments in their lives. As they gazed attentively at this young lady who was single-mindedly playing the piano, their long-forgotten memories came roaring back to them.
The pianist wore a simple ponytail with youthful bangs, and under the soft restaurant lighting, lightly pursing her lips, her delicate fingers danced over the piano keys with flowing movements. The guests that usually liked to watch the scenery through the glass wall could not help but find themselves drawn by this captivating scene as well. Over the past few days, quite a few of them had privately asked around the hotel about this young lady’s situation, but there was not a lot of information available. They only knew that this young lady was in high school, that she was currently working part-time while studying and had the very suitable name of Ye Lingjing.
“Good, good, regarding the publicity of the matter, I will convey it to my father. Farewell, Mr. Wang, I will accompany you only till here.” It was near 10pm and the restaurant’s manager, Zhang Jingfeng, escorted a guest out of his office. That person waved in response and had barely left before he turned around and said, “Oh right, young master Zhang has good taste. Before I entered, I heard that young lady perform for a while. Based on this kind of temperament, if you allowed my company to package her for show business, she would definitely be quite successful. Could I ask what that young lady’s name is…”
“Ah, her name is Ye Lingjing. She’s a high school student working part-time while studying, but… Mr. Wang, both you and I know how complicated show business is. I don’t want to prevent her from joining, it’s just that if this young girl got pulled into that type of social circle, wouldn’t it be rather…”
“Oh, I understand. I understand completely, young master Zhang, please rest assured… Ok, I will take my leave now.”
When that person’s figure disappeared around the corner, a handsome man holding a wine cup appeared next to him, with a somewhat dubious smile on his face. He was one of the the restaurant’s string instrument players and also Zhang Jingfeng’s best friend from university. His name was Chen Kean. He said, “Hmm… I don’t understand, but he obviously understands something. Jingfeng, what does he understand? Does he think that little Lingjing is the girl you’ve taken a fancy to?”
“Kean, you can drink however much you want, but don’t speak nonsense. She’s still only a high school student.”
“Eh, I won’t speak nonsense, but what I said was true, right?”
“I’m ignoring you. You can think whatever you want…” Zhang Jingfeng helplessly shrugged, “Oh right, I’ve got to go right now. Please take care of matters here.”
“Is your shift over? A workaholic like you wants to leave at 10pm?” Chen Kean gave him an exaggerated stare before smirking, “I see… I see… You’re going on the offensive, aren’t you? At this time…”
“What are you saying.”
“I mean that since you know that beauty’s schedule, you can offer to drive her home. Didn’t you do that often during university? Well, I understand and support you. However, you should get some things straight — we’re currently not in university so the rule of mutual consent does not apply. You can’t play around with that girl.”
“Shaddap, I’ll be leaving now.” Zhang Jingfeng waved at him and turned to leave.
He went to his car in the parking lot and waited for a while before exiting. When he drove out, he saw the young lady come out of the back alley way of the restaurant. She was holding a small handbag, standing under the streetlight, while a light night wind was blowing lightly, causing her bangs to sway. There were not many pedestrians on the street and she stood out amidst them like a quietly blossoming small flower. Driving up to her in the silver-colored, high-class sports car, Zhang Jingfeng nonchalantly called out to her, “Hey, Lingjing. Just finished your shift?”
“Oh, hi, Manager Zhang, you’ve finished as well.” Lingjing smiled and greeted him.
“You’ve done quite well over these past few days. I feel that it won’t be long before all the guests that visit would become your fans. Oh, are you returning to Sacred Heart Institute?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Haha, that's on the way. Let me give you ride back. It's probably not a good idea to wait for public transit at this time.” Zhang Jingfeng said, as he reached out to push open the passenger door. However that young beauty hurriedly waved her hand in rejection while smiling apologetically, “Ah, thank you, but there's no need. My friend is coming to pick me up. We had arranged for it a few days ago… Ah, he also bought a new vehicle a few days ago, hehe…”
Zhang Jingfeng’s eyebrow twitched slightly. Sacred Heart Institute had many sons from wealthy families. Listening to Lingjing’s words, it seemed that she was quite close to that fellow student. Also what kind of vehicle would it be? A new sports car? None of those thoughts showed on his face, and he only smiled gently, “Oh, that's fine then, I'll be taking my leave first. I have something to take care of nearby, so we might even bump into each other. Goodbye then.”
“Goodbye!” Lingjing waved back at him. The sports car had not gone far when a new-looking bicycle zoomed by. When Zhang Jingfeng looked at the rear-view mirror, his expression changed.
When he turned his head to look back, he saw the bicycle that passed earlier, come to a stop next to Lingjing. The extremely ordinary looking boy said a few things to Lingjing. He then saw her smile as she climbed onto the bicycle seat behind him and wrapped her arms around his waist.
At that sight Zhang Jingfeng smiled slightly bitterly, and the sports car sped away. This kind of opponent… shouldn't be that difficult to deal with…
They had bought a bicycle and a television on the second day Lingjing went to work. To Lingjing and Shasha's dismay, a fourteen inch color television was extremely expensive, and thus, they only ended up buying one bicycle. Every day after dinner, Jiaming would deliver Lingjing to work and then would pick her up at 10 pm to return home.
The truth was, Lingjing could ride a bicycle herself, but Lingjing and Shasha both insisted that Jiaming should be the chauffeur. This was because the two of them had read too many romance novels where romantic feelings would bloom when the male main character drove the female main character to and from work. Another worry was that due to the unemployment crisis, public safety also decreased, and even though Lingjing could take care of one or two hoodlums on her own, no one knew what could happen late at night after she got off work.
At another street corner, they bought half a pound of Shasha's favorite sweetened chestnuts and then continued ro ride home. Lingjing ate a couple as she sat in the back and then tried to pop one into Jiaming's mouth. She enjoyed the cool city wind as the bicycle sped across the streets. But then she started feeling mischievous and started wriggling around, ending up swapping seats with Jiaming...
“Oioioi… can you watch the front? Ugh, stop wobbling so much, are you trying to drop me?”
“I am looking! Hahaha, it's ticklish! Jiaming, you're putting your hand there on purpose… Don't just randomly touch there, hahaha…”
“Who's tickling you randomly…” Jiaming protested from the back seat, not admitting anything, “You keep wobbling around, if I don't hold on to you, I'll fall… Also I've never heard you say you're ticklish at home…”
“Hahaha, you're the worst! If you keep tickling me, we'll both fall… Ah—”
Losing control of the bicycle, Lingjing’s shout was cut short as the bicycle tilted over while Jiaming was holding onto Lingjing's waist and they all fell onto the ground. Jiaming grouched, “I can't believe you… You actually caused us to fall…”
“Hmph… it's all your fault…”
Lingjing smiled, smacked him, and then the two of them lifted up the bicycle. This time, Jiaming did not tease her and sat behind her properly. He placed his arms around her waist in a proper manner. The bicycle wobbled for a bit, but then smoothed out and Lingjing smirked, “Oh right, have you thought about Shasha’s club? Finding of basis to form this club on is quite difficult.”
“How would I know? There are so many clubs at school, and all kinds of names have been used already. If it was a more normal interest, then we might as well join someone else’s club. I’m usually not really interested in anything…”
“But you like computers.”
“Uh, well, there’s also a computer club. They’re pretty bad though, and I don’t want to join them.”
“Ugh, dummy.” Lingjing wrinkled her nose, then said, “Jiaming, if we were to start saving money, how long do you think we’ll need before we can get you a computer?”
“Huh? There’s not really any need…”
“But you're interested in it, Jiaming.” Lingjing looked back with a smile, “I’ve asked some of my classmates, they said you need around ten to twenty thousand… We also sold another can of anti-wolf spray these past few days, and my job brings in eight hundred… Jiaming, should we use the saved up money to buy the computer first? What do you think?”
Jiaming originally wanted to say that it did not matter whether he had the computer or not, but he swallowed his words. He only tightened his grip on Lingjing's waist and she leaned back against him, neither of them saying anything.
At that moment, Lingjing spotted a group of people in front of them and slightly panicked. With an “Uh oh”, she turned the bicycle into a dark alley behind an apartment building.
“That group in front are my classmates. It'd be bad if they saw you hugging me.”
The two of them peeked out from the alleyway and saw the crowd murmuring to each other. When Jiaming heard Lingjing's reason he smirked at her, “Don't worry about it. We're just sharing a bicycle and you can say that we're friends that coincidentally met on the way home. There's plenty of excuses.”
“Oh right!” Lingjing responded as she stuck her tongue out at him, “I was being too nervous, huh.”
When he went to retrieve the bicycle, he frowned. He heard a muffled “mmm” coming from further in the alleyway and he decided to turn on the flashlight he had with him. Illuminating the alleyway, there was a man with a dagger out, whose hand was pressed tightly against a girl's mouth. The two of them looked towards Jiaming like deer that were caught by the headlights…
2/2 chapters (next release is May 14).
Lingjing’s name actually means spiritual and calm or something along those lines.