Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
An Xiaxia was very lucky, for she had drawn “Starry Sky” again, which was what she had played the last time. She used to practice it all the time before and had played it countless times for the first audition. It was the piece that she was the most confident about. She simply waited for her turn.
Her phone vibrated twice. She thought it was from An Yibei, but saw the picture of a test result when she opened it.
Name: Song Qingchen. Department: Gynaecology and Obstetrics.
There was a tick in the box confirming the pregnancy and the diagnosis was written below it.
“Confirmed pregnancy. Approximately two to three weeks. Rest well and…”
An Xiaxia couldn’t read the rest of the text.
All the color drained from her face in an instant and she clenched her phone tight. Another contestant next to her was kind enough to ask, “Are you alright? Do you feel unwell?”
An Xiaxia came back to herself and shook her head. “I’m fine…”
Her heart felt like it had been crushed and the pain took her breath away.
Her phone vibrated again. Numbly, she checked it again and saw that it was a text message.
[You have successfully booked Flight XS156 to Country M. Departure time:…]
Country M? She hadn’t bought any tickets…
Wait. Last time, Sheng Yize had had to go to Korea alone for an event and had needed to book a ticket. His battery had run out, so he had bought the ticket with the app on her phone.
That app had linked his ID number to her phone number. This message she had just received meant that someone had bought a ticket to Country M on behalf of Sheng Yize.
Fingers shaking, she sent a message to Song Qingchen’s number: Are you two going abroad together?
Song Qingchen was baffled when she read the message. How did An Xiaxia know that?
Well, all the better. With both blows, she was sure An Xiaxia’s competition item would be a fiasco!
Song Qingchen gloated and replied immediately: Yes.
The simple word made An Xiaxia ghastly pale.
Her fingers felt so heavy that she couldn’t lift them. She had no strength left in her to press on and she felt like a joke.
They were leaving together and he had still sent her that star?
“Hey, it’s your turn.” The girl from earlier gave An Xiaxia a push. An Xiaxia picked up her violin and walked to the center of the stage with rigid movements. In the audience, Song Qingchen almost burst out laughing when she saw An Xiaxia’s bloodless face.
She had it coming!
An Xiaxia raised her bow and stopped there. A hubbub rang out among the audience.
“What’s going on? Is she playing or not?”
“She’s not getting stage fright, is she…”
“She’s not feeling well, I think. Look at the color of her face. She could faint any time now…”
While everyone was talking, An Xiaxia took a deep breath and nodded at the accompanist at the piano behind her.
That was her long-time partner in music, who took the hint and started playing right away.
Her bow moved. The two sounds wove together perfectly, appeasing the restless audience.
The judges looked pleased. Quite a few still remembered An Xiaxia from the last time.
If her last performance had had room for improvement, this one was almost impeccable!
The sorrow was so profound and full of despair, and the hall of people were pressed into utter silence. As if a door to a memory had been opened, something hovered by everyone’s ears, shouting into them. That heavy, quiet, yet sophisticated emotion reached into the deepest corners of all their hearts.
When the music ended, nine out of ten people in the hall wiped their cheeks.
To their utter surprise, they realized that they had all been… moved to tears!