: “Sister Xiaoshi, I'm actually not young anymore.”
“You're the youngest in our orchestra, so you're the priority for protection.”
Ying Ruoyun: ……
Gathering himself, Ying Ruoyun exited the rehearsal hall and went to the door of the office.
The door was not closed, but ajar, and after a few polite knocks, Ying Ruoyun pushed the door open and entered.
Shu Jingzhi was sitting at his desk, working on his document, seemingly unaware of his arrival.
Ying Ruoyun asked softly, “Conductor Shu, you wanted to see me?”
“Mm.” Shu Jingzhi closed the file, got up, and closed the office door, his eyes looking at him slyly, “Have you forgotten something?”
“Last night.” Shu Jingzhi reminded him.
“Last night,” Ying Ruoyun's mind was blank, he knew he was drunk, but he didn't remember anything after that, “what's wrong?”
“You clearly swore last night that you would tell me yourself when you were sober, didn’t you? And now you're denying it?”
Ying Ruoyun immediately developed some kind of bad association.
Three years ago, after his first confession to Shu Jingzhi had been rejected, he had gotten drunk and angrily denounced the other party as “pretentious, insensitive, narrow-minded and small-minded”; somehow this comment had actually reached Shu Jingzhi's ears, indirectly causing his second confession to fail, or at least that's what he thought.
He had no idea how unreliable his uncontrollable drunken behaviour was, so could it be that last night he had not only repeated his old comment, but also added “unstable, morally low, and a man of great beauty, but not a man of quality”?
At the thought of this possibility, Ying Ruoyun immediately felt uneasy: “I'm sorry! Conductor Shu, drunken words are illogical and often the opposite of reality!”
Shu Jingzhi's unhappy expression became more and more obvious: “Is that so?”
“Yes, it's absolutely true.” Ying Ruoyun said, “In my heart, you have always been noble and elegant, extraordinary and with excellent taste…”
“Drunken talk is the opposite of reality,” Shu Jingzhi interrupted, “is that what you want to tell me?”
Ying Ruoyun was silent, and he didn't know how to answer.
“I see.” Shu Jingzhi returned to his usual indifferent look, “There is one more thing to tell you.”
“In a while I have a solo recital, the finale of which will be a piano and violin ensemble, and I hope you can join me.”
“There is nothing else, you may leave now.”
Ying Ruoyun walked to the door and suddenly turned back: “Conductor Shu, as compensation for participating in the recital, may I make a request to you?”
“Let's hear it.”
“I have been shortlisted as a semi-finalist in the Premio Paganini, and I am going to Italy this autumn.
I would like to ask for your guidance.”
“The Premio Paganini is one of the most prestigious international violin competitions, congratulations.”
“I greatly value this opportunity.
You have won this competition before, so…”
“Let's see how you do.”
“What do you mean?”
“I definitely won't let you down!”
Ying Ruoyun gripped the handle of the door, pushed it open a crack, and turned back again, “Thank you.”
“I haven't promised you yet, you don't need to say thank you so early.”
“You will promise me,” Ying Ruoyun smiled, “I have that confidence.”
After work and dinner, Ying Ruoyun had to go to Shu Jingzhi's house to practise violin, as promised.
He went downstairs and turned left, and it took him less than three minutes to get to the door.
Ying Ruoyun was just about to ring the doorbell when the door opened automatically from the inside.
Shu Jingzhi took his violin case, and Ying Ruoyun had just stepped into his house when he saw a fluffy snow-white dumpling dart into his arms, looking at him with watery blue eyes, with the aggrieved look of an abandoned daughter-in-law berating a scumbag: “Meow!”
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