Blue Moonlight
Blue Moonlight: ->Chapter 22

  22. Like Before.

That night, Yu Xinqiao couldn’t sleep well. 

After discovering his amnesia, although he gained more valid information, the unexplainable things didn’t decrease.

The most obvious example was the significant change in Xu Yanhuan’s behavior and his cold personality, while still showing sincere and gentle treatment towards Yu Xinqiao. Could it be true, as Liang Yi suspected, that their relationship after marriage was deeply affectionate and their life harmonious and beautiful?

Reason told Yu Xinqiao that it was impossible, and Mr. Huang indirectly confirmed that their relationship after marriage was average. However, the facts in front of him repeatedly overturned his assumptions.

In a half-awake state, the melody of “Starry Sky” echoed repeatedly in Yu Xinqiao’s mind. He returned to the auditorium of Xuncheng Second High School, where he seemed to see Xu Yanhuan standing in an empty corner, just like that night of power outage, quietly listening to a piece of music played for him.

In the new week, Yu Xinqiao continued practicing the piano at home.

The orchestral tour with the Love Symphony Orchestra was rescheduled to May, and even with ample time, he couldn’t afford to slack off.

The only time he went out this week was for Xu Yanhuan’s client, the mother of the victim in a domestic violence case. It was the same old lady he had met before. He thought the car accident was related to her use of Xu Yanhuan’s phone, so he wanted to have a meal together, regardless of the circumstances.

Yu Xinqiao asked, “Does this have nothing to do with not being able to reach her on the phone? How did you explain it to Grandma?”

Xu Yanhuan replied, “That day, I suddenly left, and afterwards, she heard about your car accident and blamed herself, saying she shouldn’t have occupied my phone for so long.”

“That was a special circumstance, and I didn’t blame her.”

“The old lady feels guilty about it, and with the trial approaching, she took this as an opportunity.”

Yu Xinqiao understood, “So, she’s forcibly involving me in socializing?”

Xu Yanhuan chuckled, “That’s what you said. I didn’t think about it that way.”

Since Yu Xinqiao was reasonable, this matter was originally related to him, and helping out with social obligations wasn’t a big deal.

Sure enough, on the day of the meal, Yu Xinqiao’s main role was being the mascot. Soon after the banquet started, Xu Yanhuan and the old lady began discussing the trial documents, and Yu Xinqiao couldn’t understand or join the conversation. He just sat at the table, focusing on eating.

After the meal, the old lady asked the restaurant to pack several dishes that Yu Xinqiao had eaten the most.

Taking the heavy food box, Yu Xinqiao felt a bit embarrassed and couldn’t speak fluently, “You don’t have to do this… Besides, it wasn’t me who helped you with the lawsuit, it was him.”

“This time, Lawyer Xu helped us with the lawsuit for free, and he cared so much. He is a great benefactor to my daughter and me.” The old lady held his hand. “Last time, I caused you to have a car accident and created a rift between you two. I really feel guilty.”

Yu Xinqiao didn’t expect her to know other things as well. He glanced at Xu Yanhuan and shook his head awkwardly, “No, no, no, it was just an accident. I really don’t blame you.”

“You and Lawyer Xu are both kind-hearted. Although I’m old, my eyes aren’t blind.” Tears welled up in the old lady’s eyes. “I hope the heavens protect you both. May you have a safe and happy life together.”

As time went by, Yu Xinqiao became concerned about the case of the old lady’s daughter as well. He reserved a seat to observe the trial and went to the court with Xu Yanhuan on the day of the hearing.

Xu Yanhuan’s car had just been repaired, so before getting in the car, Yu Xinqiao cautiously opened the hood and inspected it, checking each wheel. Once inside the car, he even asked Xu Yanhuan not to accelerate immediately but to first test the brakes to see if they were responsive. The whole process exemplified what it meant to have paranoid delusions.

Xu Yanhuan told him not to be so nervous, but he didn’t listen.

“The fact is, there are indeed people who want to harm you. How can I not be nervous?” Yu Xinqiao said earnestly.

Xu Yanhuan understood and said, “Oh, you’re worried about me.”

Yu Xinqiao said seriously, “I’m not just worried about you, I’m worried about myself sitting in your car.”

Xu Yanhuan didn’t comment on that, but Yu Xinqiao caught a glimpse of his smirk from the corner of his eye.

Today, Yu Xinqiao was dressed casually, wearing a loose denim jacket over a hoodie. The black straight-leg pants that reached his ankles and canvas shoes made his legs look slender and long. Coupled with his youthful face, he looked like a student visiting the courtroom.

Perhaps noticing this, Xu Yanhuan’s gaze lingered on him more than usual. Yu Xinqiao couldn’t stand being stared at and urged him, “Don’t lawyers usually prepare before the trial? Aren’t you supposed to go now?”

Xu Yanhuan held a stack of case documents in his arm and raised his other hand to tidy up Yu Xinqiao’s messy collar. “Wait for me here after the trial. Don’t wander around.”

Yu Xinqiao was speechless, thinking, “I’m not a child.” But in the end, he agreed verbally.

“Got it,” Yu Xinqiao said. “Good luck. Make sure to claim enough compensation for Grandma and her daughter.”

Xu Yanhuan looked at him with a hint of amusement in his eyes and said, “Okay.”

This was Yu Xinqiao’s first time observing a court trial.

The atmosphere in the courtroom was solemn, and the audience below consciously remained quiet. Both parties were present, and in the vast courtroom, only the voices of the judge and the lawyers could be heard.

Yu Xinqiao was only concerned about the outcome, so he used the lengthy trial time to admire the plaintiff’s lawyer.

Although Xu Yanhuan now wore formal attire almost every day due to professional requirements, standing in the courtroom gave off a different impression than usual.

It had to be admitted that Xu Yanhuan was well-suited to be a lawyer. He was rational and calm, with meticulous thinking. Each statement he made was concise and straight to the point. He effortlessly seized on the opposing lawyer’s loopholes and pursued victory, magnifying his own advantages.

Looking at Xu Yanhuan’s upright posture and serene profile as he stood up to speak from across the crowd, Yu Xinqiao suddenly felt that this was his home ground and that he was born for justice.

After the first-instance judgment was announced, seeing the relaxed expressions of the plaintiff’s friends and family, Yu Xinqiao speculated that the result should be favorable.

He also felt relieved and, before returning to the designated meeting place with Xu Yanhuan, went to the restroom first.

At the sink, he encountered the two students who had been sitting together in the audience just now.

The two of them seemed to be law school students who had come to observe. From their conversation, Yu Xinqiao confirmed his judgment was correct: Xu Yanhuan was indeed impressive. He couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride.

Unexpectedly, after discussing the serious matter, their conversation took a turn to gossip.

“By the way, do you know who owns Xingchen Law Firm?”

“Luo Meng, right? She’s so famous. Everyone studying law knows her.”

“Do you know the relationship between Xu Yanhuan and her?”

“Senior and junior relationship?”

“You’re too naive. Xu Yanhuan was the top graduate of our law school. Can you guess why he chose to join a newly established law firm with no reputation in the industry?”

“Are you suggesting…?”

“Let me put it this way, although Xingchen Law Firm isn’t widely known, Luo Meng has been in this field for more than ten years. Besides being recognized for her skills, she also has valuable connections and resources.”

“Moreover, with Xu Yanhuan’s qualifications, it’s not necessary for him to do so.”

“It’s not necessary. He could become a top-notch professional in the industry within ten years on his own. But by riding on Luo Meng’s coattails, he can shorten that time by at least five years.”

“Yeah, no wonder Luo Meng is almost forty and still unmarried. But I heard that Xu Yanhuan is already married?”

“So what if he’s married? I have a friend who interned at Xingchen Law Firm. They said Xu Yanhuan is very close to Luo Meng. He personally screens the cases Xu Yanhuan takes, either for good profit or to enhance his reputation. I heard that he even helped Luo Meng with her recent house move. You know…”

After the court session ended, Xu Yanhuan and Yu Xinqiao, upon Grandma’s warm invitation, had dinner together with her, as well as the witnesses and friends of the parties involved.

By the time they were heading back, it was already dark outside. It was only now that Yu Xinqiao found the phrase “recently” mentioned by the person to be worth contemplating.

Based on Xu Yanhuan’s recent movements, it should be before he lost his memory.

Combined with Yu Xinqiao’s message to Xu Yanhuan before his memory loss saying, “Let’s forget about it,” everything seemed to make sense.

However, it remained speculation. Yu Xinqiao had learned from his past experiences and made a silent vow never to randomly suspect things without concrete evidence. Besides, rumors and gossip heard through word of mouth should never be taken as truth.

But from the perspective of 24-year-old Yu Xinqiao, he still couldn’t help but be concerned.

Back at home, Yu Xinqiao sat on the sofa, looking at the TV background wall that the developer had given, the elegant but inevitably tacky ceiling and patterned floor tiles. He couldn’t help but wonder what Director Lu’s home looked like. Xu Yanhuan personally helped her move; would her place be cozier and more beautiful than here?

Then he thought about the eve when he and Xu Yanhuan fell out. The bar’s Huang Jie had intentionally or unintentionally reminded him that most of the waiters there usually only associated with wealthy individuals, and in the world, there weren’t so many men who liked men.

The exact words were, “When you taste something sweet, you should be cautious whether the other person has set a trap to deliberately make you fall into it, to take advantage of you.”

So, was that kiss from back then the sweet taste? But regardless of the past or the present, Xu Yanhuan hadn’t taken advantage of him in any way.

So the money he used to buy the house also came from Luo Meng? Even if she didn’t directly gift it to him, she must have helped him earn it by making connections.

Yu Xinqiao realized he was angry.

It wasn’t because of Xu Yanhuan’s ambiguous relationships with others but because Xu Yanhuan would rather take advantage of others than take advantage of himself, and he even refused to let Yu Xinqiao spend money on him.

Even the money for buying apples was spent by Xu Yanhuan, but it was Yu Xinqiao who ate them.

Why? Does he look down on my financial capability?

“I’ll do it.”

Lost in thought, Yu Xinqiao handed the apple and knife over to Xu Yanhuan, who skillfully took them. Yu Xinqiao watched his adept movements and frustratingly noticed that Xu Yanhuan even peeled the apple more neatly and beautifully than he did.

Unable to hold back, Yu Xinqiao toyed with the plates on the table and casually asked, “I heard that law school graduates aren’t assigned jobs after graduation. Why did you choose to join Xingchen?”

“Through personal connections,” Xu Yanhuan replied while peeling the apple.

“Is it Director Lu? I heard from Lawyer Xing that you are close to her.”

“It’s fine. She has helped me a lot.”

“You have also helped her a lot, right? I heard that when she moved—”

The blade of the knife, touching the fruit flesh, suddenly stopped as Xu Yanhuan turned his head to look at the person beside him, making Yu Xinqiao instantly feel guilty, and he stopped speaking before finishing his sentence.

But it was already too late. Xu Yanhuan’s gaze was too sharp, filled with scrutiny.

“Did you hear something?” Xu Yanhuan didn’t hide it and asked directly, “Or can I understand that you’re feeling jealous?”

As his words fell, the overhead light suddenly flickered, and then the entire space was engulfed in darkness as if covered by a blackout cloth, catching them off guard.

Yu Xinqiao was already defenseless against Xu Yanhuan’s questioning, but the sudden power outage gave him a moment to catch his breath.

At least he didn’t have to face his relentless questioning.

However, with a “clang,” Xu Yanhuan put down what he held and then raised his hand, turning on the flashlight hanging above the counter.

Yu Xinqiao: “…” It’s my fault for not being familiar with the kitchen; I didn’t expect such a thoughtful device.

However, the light wasn’t very bright. It shone a small beam downwards, originally intended for illuminating cutting vegetables, but now the light reflected from the table only barely lit up their faces.

The familiar scene reminded Yu Xinqiao of that rainy night six years ago. The same power outage, the same two people, the same struggle and torment.

Back then, the physical pain gradually drowned in the bitterness of his heart. At eighteen years old, Yu Xinqiao tried to inquire about the meaning of the kiss that had just happened: “Do you accept my pursuit?”

Then Xu Yanhuan’s silence made him realize his own naivety. At the same time, the natural arrogance of a young person emerged, driven by his self-esteem, and he raised his chin and continued, “So, how much does it cost for a kiss?”

As if asking like this could cover up his just-emerged feelings and that fleeting moment of taking it as truth.

But Xu Yanhuan’s answer undoubtedly shattered the last shred of secretive hope.

He said coldly, “It’s free.”

That kiss just now was a complimentary gift with double the hourly rate, a package deal for home service. It wasn’t precious or rare, like disposable chopsticks in a restaurant that anyone could take for free.

The pitter-patter of the rain seemed to follow him even after six years, layering bitterness upon bitterness. Yu Xinqiao slowly turned around, keeping his back to the light, his expression concealed in the darkness.

“Why would I be jealous?” he heard himself say. “I don’t like you anymore.”

Perhaps it was due to his amnesia, but he realized that he hadn’t made any progress compared to six years ago. Encountering a situation like this, he instinctively sought to gain the upper hand, even if his words were insincere.

At least he could avoid appearing so weak and powerless.

With the words spoken, Yu Xinqiao continued, “I just want to know if helping others move, is it still free like it was back then?”

Time passed minute by minute, and Yu Xinqiao lowered his gaze but still noticed someone standing in front of him.

Facing the dim light, Xu Yanhuan revealed a calm face, no longer needing to hide.

Immediately after, an arm from behind wrapped around Yu Xinqiao’s waist and pulled him closer.

Although Yu Xinqiao resisted at first, halfway through the embrace, he realized and moved backward, lifting his face to meet Xu Yanhuan’s, only to discover that their current position was suitable for something else.

The kiss happened naturally.

Perhaps every kiss before this had happened naturally, without anyone forcing the other.

This time it was gentle, causing Yu Xinqiao to curl up, feeling like a piece of chocolate slowly melting in the warmth of the skin, gradually dissolving in the water and turning into a slightly bitter liquid food.

He was still so powerless, easily dismantled and dissolved with just a touch of tenderness.

Yu Xinqiao had to admit that it wasn’t that he didn’t want to be close to Xu Yanhuan, but that he didn’t dare. He was afraid that he had misjudged back then, enduring so much pain and suffering for no reason.

If he had made a mistake, why did they separate for six years?

But if he hadn’t made a mistake, why was he the only one suffering?

After they separated, Yu Xinqiao leaned back against the edge of the table, breathing heavily, and asked the person in front of him, “Is this another compensation I owe you?”

“No,” Xu Yanhuan said, “You don’t owe me, you don’t owe anyone.”

The words sounded familiar to Yu Xinqiao, but he couldn’t recall where he had heard them.

Without time to think, his mind was in chaos, still stuck on that night six years ago.

So he asked directly, “Is this kiss also free?”

In Yu Xinqiao’s eighteen-year-old expectations, the answer was unquestionable.

However, Xu Yanhuan told him, “Not free.”

Yu Xinqiao stared at him in disbelief for a moment. Upon reflection, it made sense. Xu Yanhuan was so shrewd that each time he took advantage of the situation to kiss him, he would ask for something in return. Last time, he demanded that he no longer doubt him, and the time before that, he forbade him from disliking him.

Yu Xinqiao silently cursed Xu Yanhuan’s cunning in his heart but asked honestly, “So, what do you want this time?”

His voice sounded muffled, as if trapped under the covers. Considering that this kiss had nothing to do with coercion, he was also proactive. He showed three parts of reluctance and two parts of grievance.

Meanwhile, Xu Yanhuan looked at him with dark eyes, seemingly harboring long-held and unfiltered emotions.

It easily made Yu Xinqiao feel as if his own pain had been transferred, without a trace, onto Xu Yanhuan.

Xu Yanhuan still remembered the rules set by Yu Xinqiao, the only way he could communicate was through actions, through words.

“I want you to continue liking me,” he said in a commanding tone, uttering a plea. “Like before.”

“…Can you?”


Author’s Note:

This scene is also known as “Huanhuan finding various ways to say ‘I like you’.”

There is no deliberate explanation left out, it will be explained at the beginning of the next chapter.

Alright, from now on, the storyline will be all sweet, resolving some misunderstandings and such (at most a bit bittersweet).


Certified member of the IIO(International Introverts Organization), PhD holder in Overthinking and Ghosting, Spokesperson for BOBAH(Benefits of Being a Homebody), Founder of SFA(Salted Fish Association), Brand Ambassador for Couch Potato fall line Pajama set.

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