Blue Moonlight
Blue Moonlight: <- Chapter 36

36. Didn’t you say you would stay far away from me?

The first snow of the year in Xuncheng fell on the day of the winter solstice.

It’s not unusual for it to snow every year in the northern regions, but it’s a pity that Yu Xinqiao couldn’t experience it together with Xu Yanhuan, even though they are both residents of the capital city.

On the way home, Yu Xinqiao received a call from his father asking if he had eaten dumplings today.

“Yes, I’ve eaten them,” Yu Xinqiao lied.

“Really?” Yu Hanzhang said slowly, “Did you eat them at home?”

“Yes, they were frozen dumplings.”

“What filling did you have?”

“Um… cabbage and beef.”

“Well, open the door. Your mother and I also want to taste them.”


Yu Xinqiao hurried home and saw two people standing at the doorstep from a distance.

After the last time he had the locksmith come over, Yu Xinqiao had replaced the lock with a smart one, which meant that even though Yu Hanzhang had the key, he couldn’t get in.

He opened the door and let his parents in. Yu Xinqiao took off his coat, brushed off the snow, and quickly turned on the heater.

Yu Hanzhang looked around and nodded with satisfaction. “You know to turn on the heater when you go out and lock all the doors and windows. Your awareness of safety is good.”

Yao Qiongying glanced at the polishing tools in the living room and snorted, “Always messing around with these things. I don’t know if you’ve been practicing the piano properly.”

Since their argument during the last phone call, Yu Xinqiao hadn’t spoken to his mother. But since Yao Qiongying took the initiative to extend an olive branch, there was no reason not to accept it.

“Yes, I have,” Yu Xinqiao handed the timetable posted nearby to Yao Qiongying, “I’ll be going abroad next year, so I know I have to seize the opportunity.”

Upon hearing this, Yao Qiongying glanced at the timetable and her tense expression relaxed, as if to say – that’s about right.

The family of three sat together at a table, enjoying tea and chatting, which they hadn’t done in a long time.

Yu Hanzhang brought dumplings for Yu Xinqiao. They were made by the housekeeper and filled with cabbage and beef.

Yu Xinqiao had eaten too much for dinner, so he symbolically stuffed two dumplings into his mouth and raised his cup to wish his parents a happy winter solstice.

Yao Qiongying glared at him angrily and said, “How many holidays have you missed this year without wishing us happiness?”

Yu Xinqiao was taken aback. “Has it already been a year?”

“Almost,” Yu Hanzhang said, “In two more months, you will have spent a full year in Xuncheng.”

When they initially sent Yu Xinqiao here, apart from teaching him a lesson, they also wanted him to learn how to take care of himself, considering that he would be studying abroad alone in the future.

But now…

“There’s something else I want to tell you this time,” Yu Hanzhang gestured to Yao Qiongying with his eyes and, upon her approval, announced, “Your mother will be transferred to an overseas branch next year, and I have already submitted my resume to nearby schools. So, by then…”

Yu Xinqiao interrupted, “By then, our whole family will go together?”


“That’s great!”

Seeing Yu Xinqiao’s joy almost jumping up, Yao Qiongying couldn’t help but smile. “Do we need to have another child?”

Yu Xinqiao lowered his head, playing with his fingers, and muttered, “It wasn’t me who brought it up first…”

The family crisis was resolved. While Yao Qiongying went to the restroom, Yu Hanzhang secretly told Yu Xinqiao that the moonstone rough he had was also arranged by Yao Qiongying. She had proudly said at the time, “Consider it his birthday gift this year.”

Yu Xinqiao suddenly realized, “No wonder. That rough stone is so hard, just like my mother’s stubbornness.”

Father and son laughed together.

In the warm and pleasant atmosphere, Yu Xinqiao took out his phone and sent a message to Xu Yanhuan: “So today is the winter solstice. Did you eat dumplings?”

After thinking for a moment, he sent another message: “Next weekend is Christmas. Do you have any free time?”

Unfortunately, Xu Yanhuan did not reply to those two messages.

On Thursday and Friday, Xu Yanhuan didn’t come to school.

Considering the situation that night, Yu Xinqiao grew worried. He tried calling Xu Yanhuan, but the call didn’t go through. After school on Friday, he went to Xu Yanhuan’s house. The door of the apartment on the fourth floor at the western end of the building was tightly closed. He knocked for a long time, but no one answered.

An elderly woman with gray hair from the neighboring apartment came out when she heard the noise. She said, “They’ve moved out.”

Yu Xinqiao asked where they had moved to, but the old woman shook her head. “I don’t know. People come and go here every day, and we don’t know each other.”

Yu Xinqiao had no choice but to leave.

The following Monday, Xu Yanhuan still didn’t come to school.

Yu Xinqiao couldn’t sit still and went to the teacher’s office to ask the homeroom teacher. Teacher Yang said, “He took leave. He called me last week.”

“For how many days? Why did he take leave?”

“He said there was a family matter and requested a week off.” Teacher Yang looked at Yu Xinqiao strangely. “Although he often takes leave and skips classes, it never affects his studies. If you have time to worry about him, it’s better to go back to the classroom and focus on studying. The college entrance examination is less than half a year away.”

Yu Xinqiao returned to the classroom, and the members of the basketball team gathered around him, asking about the situation. He shook his head helplessly, “Even Lao Yang doesn’t know.”

Seeing his disappointment, Liang Yi passed him a note during class: “Xu Ge is so awesome, he must be fine. Don’t worry.”

Since the basketball game, everyone had switched back to using respectful terms when referring to Xu Yanhuan.

Yu Xinqiao drew a smiley face in response to the note. When Liang Yi saw it, he laughed so hard that his mouth and eyes were crooked, looking even uglier than crying.

Fortunately, when they said one week of leave, it was indeed a week. On Thursday afternoon, Xu Yanhuan, wearing his school uniform, approached the classroom from the back door. He was trying to be low-key, but it caught the attention of the whole class.

Unfortunately, as soon as he sat down, he rested his head on his arms and fell asleep, not lifting his head even once. During the break, Yu Xinqiao thought of approaching him several times but refrained from disturbing his rest.

Finally, after waiting for the end of the school day, Yu Xinqiao saw Xu Yanhuan’s desk empty. He had already disappeared long before the bell rang.

The next day, in the afternoon, there was a rare physical education class that wasn’t occupied by the main subject teacher. Everyone was preparing for the physical fitness test before the college entrance examination next year. There were even more students on the track than during the sports meet.

Yu Xinqiao found Xu Yanhuan holding a test booklet near the flower bed in front of the cafeteria, at their usual spot.

Yu Xinqiao sat down beside him, anxiously asking, “Where were you the past few days? You didn’t reply on WeChat, and I couldn’t reach you on the phone.”

The last time this happened was during the concert.

Xu Yanhuan held a pen in his right hand and circled a number on a certain question, as if he hadn’t heard anything, remaining silent.

“Was it…?” Yu Xinqiao paused halfway, remembering that Xu Yanhuan didn’t like being interrogated, so he changed his approach. “If you encounter any difficulties, you can talk to me, to all of us. We can all help…”

Before he could finish, Xu Yanhuan suddenly spoke, “It’s none of your business.”

His expression was indifferent, his profile resembling a sculpture of ice and snow, with a frosty layer in his eyes. His voice was cold, as if he was speaking to a stranger.

He kept his gaze fixed on the test booklet, not even sparing a second to look at Yu Xinqiao. “Didn’t you say you would stay far away from me?”

The winter days grew dark early. There was no evening self-study on Fridays, so when the dismissal bell rang, students scattered in all directions.

Except for Yu Xinqiao, Liang Yi, and Shen Da, the three of them had agreed to study English in the classroom.

Seeing Xu Yanhuan also packing his bag, Shen Da nervously walked to the back row. “Xu, Xu Ge, our math study…”

“You can keep up with the progress now,” Xu Yanhuan said. “If there’s still a need, we’ll continue next semester.”

“Okay, okay, thank you, Xu Ge.” Shen Da happily rushed back to his seat, feeling as if he had received amnesty.

When they reached the classroom door, Xu Yanhuan’s phone vibrated in his pocket. Seeing the incoming call number on the display, his face darkened.

Looking through the window at the first group near the window, at that intentionally unturned back that appeared somewhat stubborn, Xu Yanhuan stuffed his phone back into his pocket and walked quickly toward the school gate.

Turning left after leaving the school gate, walking about fifty meters, then turning left again, there was a rarely frequented alley.

Many old houses in this area had been demolished, creating a strangely uneven view from a distance. At the entrance of the alley, Xu Yanhuan saw a despicable figure hunched over, but he suppressed the rising disgust and walked over in that direction.

However, after waiting for about ten minutes, Xu Zhen became impatient. When he saw Xu Yanhuan, he complained, “Why are you so slow?”

Xu Yanhuan didn’t answer and asked directly, “What’s the matter?”

What else could it be other than him asking for money?

The pen he took from home last time was already squandered on the gambling table. Since he couldn’t find him at the apartment, Xu Zhen simply came to the school.

“What do you mean?” Xu Zhen sneered. “You said you would do anything when you begged me that day. But then you moved and thought I wouldn’t find you?”

“I don’t have any money left,” Xu Yanhuan said. “I gave you all the money last time.”

He thought Xu Zhen would at least lay low for two months this time, but just one week had passed, and this bastard came looking for him again.

Xu Zhen chuckled, “So this time, I’m not here to ask you for money. I’m here to deal with that student surnamed Yu…”

Xu Yanhuan’s eyes widened suddenly. “Didn’t you promise me not to touch him?”

“Not touching him, sure. What I mean is, you go ask him for a loan, and say you’ll pay him back later,” Xu Zhen said with a smirk.

Xu Yanhuan’s heart sank.

At the time, he had pleaded with Xu Zhen because he understood his character. Xu Zhen not only bullied the weak but was also an extremely vain person. He derived a distorted sense of achievement from seeing others, especially those stronger than him, grovel in front of him. Xu Yanhuan’s “dad” and the kneeling were a tactical retreat, and Xu Zhen was indeed deceived, immediately agreeing to his request and proudly saying, “Since my good son has spoken, Dad will give you this face.”

But Xu Yanhuan underestimated Xu Zhen’s cunning. Even though he expected him to make trouble again, he didn’t expect him to be so shameless and play word games with him.

Seeing Xu Yanhuan remain silent for a long time, Xu Zhen urged, “Didn’t you say he would return to his hometown soon? It’s far away in the mountains and waters. You won’t have to repay the debt then, right?”

As he spoke, he shifted his gaze. “Or is it that you’re actually involved with that kid and can’t bear to do it? Tsk, I didn’t expect my son to be gay…”

“No,” Xu Yanhuan finally spoke, his tone devoid of emotion. “Wait here for a while; I’ll go ask him.”

“That’s more like it,” Xu Zhen laughed, his face full of wrinkles. “I’ll wait here. Hurry up and come back!”

This time, Xu Yanhuan didn’t take too long. He returned in less than ten minutes.

When he came back, the chill on his body seemed even heavier than before, as if he had been outside in the freezing cold for a long time.

His hands were tucked into the pockets of his school uniform, lips pressed tightly together. He walked towards Xu Zhen with measured steps, his gaze calm as if unaffected by wind or rain.

However, Xu Zhen couldn’t wait any longer. He hurriedly approached, anxious, and asked, “Did you get the money? Did you bring it?”

Xu Yanhuan nodded.

Xu Zhen was delighted. “Then take it out, cash or bank card?”

“Cash,” Xu Yanhuan said.

“Cash is good. It saves the trouble of going to the bank and getting caught on camera,” Xu Zhen rubbed his hands together. “How much is it?”

“You reach out your hand.”


“With both hands.”

“Do you have that much?”

Xu Zhen happily extended both hands, cupping them together, looking like a beggar asking for alms.

No, he’s even worse than a beggar.

Xu Yanhuan’s gaze suddenly darkened, and then he quickly took his hand out of his pocket, swiftly stuffed something into Xu Zhen’s hand, and grabbed his wrist tightly, forcing him to grip whatever was in the palm of his hand.

By the time Xu Zhen realized something was wrong, it was too late. Xu Yanhuan exerted great force to bring his hands together, tightly holding the object in his palm.

But that object was not cash at all; it was the handle of a fruit knife.

Now Xu Zhen held the knife, its tip pointed directly at Xu Yanhuan. Xu Yanhuan showed no fear and clamped Xu Zhen’s wrist with one hand, while gripping the knife together with Xu Zhen’s fist, with the base of his palm pressed against the blade. One careless move could cut him.

“What… What are you doing?” Xu Zhen’s eyes almost popped out. “Have you gone crazy?”

After struggling in vain, Xu Zhen lowered his head and realized that Xu Yanhuan had designed his method of restraining him. It was clearly a defensive move when someone was being stabbed. In other words, if this knife were to stab, if it alarmed the authorities and an investigation took place, both the condition of the wound and the fingerprints on the handle would only prove that Xu Yanhuan was attacked by Xu Zhen.

Without regard for his own life, Xu Yanhuan forcefully pulled Xu Zhen’s hand towards himself and said, “Come on, stab here. Stab a few more times.”

In an instant, the knife’s tip was pointed directly at Xu Yanhuan’s abdomen, only about a centimeter away from piercing through his school uniform and the thin T-shirt underneath, penetrating his skin.

“Have you gone mad?”

Xu Zhen panicked. Just because he was fearless didn’t mean he wanted to be a murderer, and it certainly didn’t mean he wasn’t afraid of death.

He finally realized he had fallen into Xu Yanhuan’s trap, underestimating the extent to which this kid could go crazy. At the same time, he noticed that the child who always looked at him with gloomy eyes had grown so tall and possessed the strength to easily overpower him.

“Let go!” Xu Zhen said sharply. “Don’t you want to study and avoid going to jail?”

Compared to Xu Zhen’s panic, Xu Yanhuan remained remarkably calm. It was the result of five minutes of contemplation when he stood at the school gate—the only solution.

Xu Yanhuan tightly held onto Xu Zhen’s wrist, even though the blade had already sunk into the base of his other hand, emitting a dull sound of flesh being cut.

He said, “Yes, I don’t want to go to jail.”

Because it meant being consumed by darkness, even if his body continued to exist.

“But I’m not afraid of death either.”

If his physical body perished, his soul could still remain in the light.

Half an hour later, Yu Xinqiao and the others finished their tutoring session and packed up to return home.

Since the first snowfall, the weather in Xuncheng had become colder with each passing day. Leaves fell from the trees along the road at the school gate, and as Yu Xinqiao walked by, a leaf landed on his shoulder.

Using gloved hands, he twisted the leaf up, his gaze following the veins of the withered yellow leaf, ultimately resting on those ink-blue gloves.

Thinking of Xu Yanhuan’s indifferent attitude today, Yu Xinqiao took a deep breath, thinking that men can change their minds faster than flipping through a book. He didn’t know how long it would take to appease him this time.

As he exhaled, Yu Xinqiao still felt a heavy sensation in his chest.

But even if he missed Christmas, there was still New Year’s Day and the Spring Festival. Besides, he couldn’t give up halfway through a task.

With this in mind, Yu Xinqiao quickened his pace, intending to return and grind the whetstone.

When the moonstone reached a crucial point, he selected the piece with the brightest refracted light and entered the fine grinding stage. Once it was shaped, he could polish it.

What kind of expression would Xu Yanhuan have when he received such a beautiful stone?

He definitely wouldn’t have the heart to ask me to stay away from him anymore.

Not far away, watching Yu Xinqiao hurriedly approach the silhouette in the darkness, Xu Yanhuan squeezed the back of the knife, pulled out the knife embedded in his palm, and when he relaxed his grip, he fell to the ground.

The struggle just now had almost depleted all his strength. Fortunately, Xu Zhen was quite frightened. After Xu Yanhuan released his grip, Xu Zhen ran off without looking back, stumbling and falling as if he had seen a ghost.

Xu Yanhuan warned Xu Zhen one last time, “If you dare to touch him again, I’ll ‘kill’ you.”

In the same way I killed myself before.

On a winter evening, lying on the ground with his face up to the sky, Xu Yanhuan’s chest heaved heavily as he gasped for air, his mouth open.

It was as if he had been deprived of oxygen for a long time and had finally regained it—a sense of relief that comes after a close call.

The sky above was pitch-black, like dense ink spreading, and it resembled his hand, dripping with fresh blood and unable to be wiped clean, sticking wetly and stubbornly.

At this moment, the streetlight above him illuminated on time, casting a beam of light that made Xu Yanhuan squint.

Once he adjusted, he opened his eyes wide and stared, without blinking, confirming that he was enveloped in light, remaining in the place of brightness.

Where Yu Xinqiao was.


The final recollection segment, only two chapters left.


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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