If The Moon Won’t Hold You

Chapter 8: First Meeting

At dusk, the sun was about to set.

Cen Ning looked at Yan Xingzhi carrying her pink school bag on one shoulder in front of her, her feelings a little complicated.

It was one thing for the sprouts of her youthful heart to suffer a heavy blow, and it was another for the loneliness of a child like her’s to be comforted. Cen Ning thought, it seems that no one has actually accompanied her home like this before, nor has anyone attentively discovered that her school bag is so heavy that it pushes down on her shoulders until it hurts.

Later, the two returned home by taxi.

The moment they entered the house, a strong scent of food wafted over, and he turned around and handed her the school bag, “After eating, go to my room and bring your test paper.”

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Cen Ning nodded, holding the school bag tightly in her arms.

A home full of warmth, family members waiting for her to eat at home, and ‘him’ who accompanied her home…at that moment, Cen Ning felt that she had everything.

After eating, Cen Ning carried her school bag and went upstairs under Yan Guofeng’s gaze of approval.

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Vwpbkdt srld vbl essa vs Zyd Dkdtgbk’p assx, pbl pvsse yv vbl essa kd y olzz-clbyhle xyddla, yde pyke ‘Qltl’ iwklvzu.

Zyd Dkdtgbk bye qkdkpble bkp xlyz lyazkla. Gv vbkp vkxl, bl oyp pkvvkdt yv vbl elpj, nypwyzzu qzkrrkdt vbaswtb y cssj wdalzyvle vs bkp pvweklp, “Usxl blal.”

Uld Lkdt yrrasynble yde tzydnle shla yv vbl cssj bl oyp bszekdt sdvs, vbl osae ‘qkalyaxp’ sd vbl nshla. Rd vbl dlmv plnsde, Zyd Dkdtgbk pvwqqle vbl cssj kdvs y pxyzz cssjpblzq sd vbl pkel.

“Ebu, yal usw alyekdt vbkp cssj?”

Zyd Dkdtgbk ryvvle vbl nbyka dlmv vs bkx yde xsvksdle vs bla vs pkv esod: “R zkjl kv.”

“Zsw zkjl, vbkp?” Uld Lkdt oyp y zkvvzl nwakswp, “Mbld, okzz usw cl, vbl pyxl yp Qaydery kd vbl qwvwal?”

“Mbl pyxl.” Tl zywtble caklqzu yde pyke pweeldzu, “Jwv yzps dsv vbl pyxl.”

Uld Lkdt eked’v wdelapvyde obyv bl xlydv, sdzu alrzukdt, “Mbyv’p, ralvvu tsse.”

Yan Xingzhi spread out her test paper, and said casually: “Pretty good? Then have you thought about what you are going to do in the future?”

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Yan Xingzhi only casually asked this because he knew that children at this age had all sorts of out-of-this world thoughts in their minds. But he didn’t expect Cen Ning to be silent for a while, and suddenly say: “I want to be a very outstanding photographer.”

It was rare for Cen Ning to not stumble over her words, Yan Xingzhi looked at her with an unexpected expression: “Photographer?”

“Yes, it records the most beautiful, most exciting, and most, most shocking scenes.” Cen Ning engraved all the words her father had once said into her heart, and she recited every word, “I want, to be the recorder of time.”

Cen Ning seemed to have returned to the moment when her father was by her side. He took out his camera and photos and let her admire them like they were precious treasures. She was still young and didn’t know whether the photos were good or bad, but she could feel his pride and satisfaction from being a photographer.

“Ah…have I, said too much?” Cen Ning came back to her senses and asked with unease.

Yan Xingzhi’s expression was a little deep, and he curled his lips: “No.”

“Actually, I’m talking nonsense, don’t, don’t tell my mother, she doesn’t like what my father does.” Coming back to reality, Cen Ning still had a mother who extremely despised photography.

Yan Xingzhi spun his pen carelessly, his gaze on her test paper: “Cen Ning, go and fight for what you want to do, don’t be swayed by others.”

Cen Ning was taken aback.

“If you really like it, then you have to work hard for it. If you just talk about it, then that’s really called a dream.” He turned his head and glanced at her, “Understand?”

Under the bright light, Cen Ning’s eyes were almost scorched by his indifferent yet gentle side profile. She suppressed the feeling of a hundred flowers blooming inside her heart, and nodded lightly.

“Which questions do you have problems with, point it out.” Yan Xingzhi instantly pulled her thoughts back to her studies. “Before your dream starts, you have to resolve the most basic foundations.”

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……

Time passed by every minute and second, and halfway through, the aunt at home came over to give them juice.

“This question is actually the same as that multiple-choice question. Try thinking again to see if you have any train of thought.” After Yan Xingzhi said this, he took a sip of orange juice, and his brows furrowed as soon as he swallowed it, “Sweet.”

Cen Ning looked at him sideways, “Huh?”

“It’s nothing.” Yan Xingzhi pushed the orange juice farther away, with one hand supporting his head, he looked at her test paper with his body slanted sideways, “Have you been able to think of anything?”

Cen Ning glanced at him. Under the light, his eyelashes trembled, leaving a small silhouette on his fair white face, he was so good looking that it seduced her.

“Still don’t know?” Seeing that she did not write anything for a long time, Yan Xingzhi raised his eyebrows slightly, and looked at her.

Cen Ning, who had been surreptitiously checking him out, was caught red-handed. Her heart started beating very fast, she felt nervous all over, “I, I…”

“It’s okay.” Yan Xingzhi took her pen and took out a piece of draft paper, “I’ll do the calculation for you.”

“Okay….”

“One last time.” Yan Xingzhi said in a slightly serious tone, “You can’t always rely on me to solve it, next time you have to figure it out yourself, do you understand?”

Cen Ning was a little ashamed, her hands tightly clutched onto the edge of the table.

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“I’m not scolding you.” Yan Xingzhi glanced at her gently, “You don’t need to be nervous.”

Cen Ning: “…oh.”

If there was someone in this world who was willing to treat you tenderly, then all the harshness and desolation in the past could be completely forgotten.

Cen Ning was lying on the bed, looking out the window at the indistinct trees, in a daze.

She remembered the gossip that Zhang Ziyi would occasionally tell her about in the class, who and who liked whom, and who and who confessed to whom, she said, that was love.

Cen Ning was not sure what love was, she only knew how to tell apart what was like, and what was really like.

And Yan Xingzhi, it seems that she really liked him.  

Cen Ning turned around, hugged a pillow, and blushed secretly in her room.

She didn’t dare to close her eyes, because once she closed them, the scene of Yan Xingzhi seriously teaching her the questions would appear in her mind. She often felt that he was very cold, but at that particular moment, she felt that he was gentle enough to make people drown inside of it. 

**

After class the next day, Cen Ning packed up her school bag and walked from the classroom to the school gate.

“Cen Ning, did you understand today’s class?” Song Ci asked as he walked next to her.

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Cen Ning nodded: “Yes.”

Song Ci: “That’s good then, um, if you still don’t understand, remember to ask me.”

“Okay…” As soon as Cen Ning said this word, she saw Yan Xingzhi standing beside Uncle Zhong’s car at the school gate with…Meng Peiyan.

She had only seen Meng Peiyan once before, which was that time at the sports ground in the compound. But at school, she often heard people mention her. And the most powerful label she carried was: The School Beauty Queen.

Cen Ning looked at her fair skin and exquisite noble-like face, and she could only think in her heart wearily that she was indeed worthy of the name, The School Beauty Queen.

“Hey, that’s Yan Xingzhi and Meng Peiyan, right.” Song Ci chuckled lightly, it was rare to see him gossip, “I heard that they are a couple.

Cen Ning’s face went slightly stiff: “No.”

“Hm?”

Cen Ning said resolutely and decisively: “They are not a couple.”

Song Ci: “Really, I thought they were.”

I thought.

Everyone thought this was a matter of course.

It’s true that they were a perfect match. They looked like they had come out of a painting when they stood together. They really were a good match.

But… just because they looked like a good match didn’t mean they actually were, right?

Cen Ning’s inferiority complex started to haunt her heart, but there was also a small part in the deepest depths of her heart that was raising a flag and yelling, if one day, she could also become very outstanding, then she would also look like a perfect match for him when she stood beside him.

“Cen Ning.” From a distance, Yan Xingzhi saw Cen Ning and her deskmate walk out together. His brows were lightly furrowed, and his tone carried a bit of dissatisfaction, “Walk faster and get in the car.”

Cen Ning did not say a word, speeded up and walked over. Yan Xingzhi’s gaze fell faintly on Song Ci, not looking at Cen Ning until he had turned away and left, “Did your class go overtime today?”

Cen Ning pursed her lips and nodded.

Yan Xingzhi opened the door for her. When Cen Ning bent down to go in, she heard Yan Xingzhi ask Meng Peiyan, “Give you a lift?”

Meng Peiyan pointed to another car parked not too far away: “My dad is here to pick me up.”

Yan Xingzhi went ‘ok’ and said: “Then I’ll go first.”

“Okay.”

Yan Xingzhi also got into the car, Cen Ning looked past him to see Meng Peiyan standing outside the car window. Coincidentally, she was also looking at her. The two looked at each other silently, each with their own thoughts.

A moment later, Meng Peiyan smiled at her slightly, a very nice smile, not sharp or pretentious, but Cen Ning sensitively felt an emotion that she disliked the most.

It was the kind of side-eye that showed disdain for the weaker party.

Time passed day by day, the final exam was getting closer and closer, and Cen Ning worked harder and harder. Wei Pinfang found that the light in Cen Ning’s room was on several times when she got up in the middle of the night. When she opened the door, she would always see her reading, sometimes doing questions, sometimes listening to English recordings with headphones on.

Wei Pinfang didn’t say a word about it, but occasionally went in to send her something to eat, and then silently returned to her own room afterwards. Cen Ning also began to make some subtle changes at school. For example, she talked more with classmates, spoke more in class, and became more bold when asking Song Ci and Zhang Ziyi questions.

This change was not brought about by others, but forced upon her by herself. Because her stuttering problem was actually psychological, the only cure was by going out of her comfort zone.

Later, she finally got through the finals. That moment when she received her test results, Cen Ning’s nervousness that had prolonged for a few days could finally be let go.

After school, she carefully put the test papers in her school bag and hurried to the school gate.

She wanted to show Yan Xingzhi the fruits of her hard work.

Although it was not quite possible for her to suddenly rush to the top of the rankings in her class that was full of talents, her ranking this time was in the mid-high range. This was already a big leap from her bottom ranking in last month’s test.

“Uncle Zhong!” Cen Ning pulled open the car door and said, “Xingzhi Gege, hasn’t come out yet?”

Uncle Zhong said: “Mr. Yan came to pick him up at noon. He didn’t go to class in the afternoon.”

Mr. Yan was in reference to Yan Xingzhi’s father, Yan Su, Cen Ning was taken aback: “Where did he go?”

“This, I’m not too sure, but he should already be at home by now.”

Cen Ning nodded, saying eagerly: “Then, then let’s go home quickly.”

“Okay.”

Along the way, Cen Ning continuously imagined what Yan Xingzhi’s reaction would be like after he found out she had improved her marks. Maybe he would give her a look of approval, maybe… he would even praise her.

Cen Ning’s heart beat faster when she imagined this scene, and she couldn’t wait to rush over to Yan Xingzhi’s side in the next second.

So, as soon as the car reached the door, Cen Ning got off the car happily. The corner of her mouth rose unconsciously, and she reached out to push the door open.

She didn’t expect Yan Xingzhi to just so happen to open the door. She was overjoyed, and when she was just about to call him, she saw him passing by her with a cold and emotionless expression. That kind of coldness was not the one that he usually unconsciously showed, but it overtly hung upon his face and was deep within his eyes, it really could only be due to his mood being as cold as ice.

And this coldness was enough to completely wipe out Cen Ning’s enthusiasm inch by inch.

Cen Ning turned her head suddenly, and saw Yan Xingzhi quickly walk out of the courtyard. She stood at the door blankly, unable to recover.

“Ningning, you are back already, what are you doing standing at the door, come in.” Aunt Chen helped her take off her school bag, “There’s someone who came home, remember to call him brother later.”

Cen Ning: “Huh?”

“Nanru is back. You haven’t seen him before. He is the younger brother of Xingzhi.”

The author has something to say:

Xu Nanru has appeared, during this time, the two’s relationship was still incompatible. (Xu Nanru is from “Only Bending My Waist For Him”1this is a novel the author wrote prior to this, Xu Nanru is the ML. If you’re wondering why they are brothers but have different surnames, you will find out later., if you haven’t read it before, it doesn’t affect your reading.)

[Translator’s Note: Poor FL huhu]


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