Chapter 31: The Homesick Soul Afar
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
At 8 pm, the gala event officially started. The background music filled the entire field and the four emcees of the night slowly strode on the stage. Two were men and two were women. The women were beautiful and elegant, and the men were dashing and tall. Their entrance caught the eyes of everyone present.
One of the female emcees dressed in a white gown was Qin Xiaoyou. When she was in school she was always in charge of organizing the New Year’s Eve gala, so tonight’s gala event was also organized by her.
Tonight, Qin Xiaoyun was radiant. She probably was the most beautiful woman present at the venue. She alone had drawn most of the crowd’s attention. With a white fluorescent gown, feet adorned with silver high heels, an elegant figure, and a face of unparalleled beauty it was as though Snow White had walked straight out of a fairy tale.
Qin Xiaoyou stepped forward, her lips forming a faint smile. “Chang’e may have regretted stealing the elixir of life, as night after night she hovers over azure seas and blue sky. After such a tragic tale of love, the moon became a symbol of humanity’s desire for reunion. No matter where you are, or whether you are together or apart to those dear to you. Tonight, the full moon will carry your longing to those whom you long for…”
Each emcee presented a short introduction and then the performances officially began.
Every battalion had prepared many performances which, after rigorous selection, were presented on stage here tonight. The first performance was from the female battalion. Ten or so women dressed in costumes danced gracefully to musical accompaniment.
The second performance was a comedy skit from a collaboration of male and female students. The humorous skit easily pumped up the atmosphere. Laughter could be heard frequently among the crowd.
The crowd was lively and filled with laughter and chatter, but Mo Wen wasn’t in the mood to watch the performance. While staring at the bright full moon in the sky, realization dawned upon him – he hadn’t spent Mid-Autumn with his mother for a long time. He celebrated the last Mid-Autumn festival alone. He celebrated the Mid-Autumn festival the year before alone too…
It seemed like since he had started studying, he hadn’t been spending the Mid-Autumn Festival with his mother. It was because his house was located in a remote area, deep in the mountains and across the river, far away from the glamorous city. There was no electricity and no tap water. The people in the mountains lived primitive lives. Don’t mention phone calls, even a letter couldn’t reach there.
It was only during the winter and summer holidays that Mo Wen could make a trip home. As for the Mid-Autumn Festival, he had always celebrated it alone. When every other student had returned home for the festivities, he would hide away in his dormitory for the whole day and reminisce about what it would be like to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival back home.
He vaguely recalled when he celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival when he was young. His mother would shift the table outside to their small yard to have dinner, and afterwards, she would take out the ready-made mooncakes for him to eat. His younger self always knew that there would be mooncakes for him to eat during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Every time the Mid-Autumn Festival came around, he would be ecstatic because not only would there be mooncakes for him to eat, but he could also listen to his mother tell the love story of Chang’e and Hou Yi.
He laughed at himself, thinking about it now. That was more than ten years ago. However, every mid-autumn he would alway reminisce and refresh that slowly fading memory. Sometimes he wondered, how did he manage to leave the mountains and the forests? How did he manage to come to the city to study in the capital’s leading university?
What if he had not left the big mountain? If he had not come to the city outside to study? If he had stayed at his mother’s side, spending every mid-autumn at her side, growing old by her side? He would have married a gentle, homely wife and they would have a bunch of kids. He could take care of his mother till her time came to pass. Wouldn’t that be a blessed life?
Why did his worldview change after coming to this outside world? He promised his mother that he would get into Hua Xia University and bring her out of the mountains to let her live a prosperous life.
But, he failed his examinations. He didn’t dare to go back. He didn’t dare to face his mother. He didn’t dare to face her disappointed gaze and so for the first time, he didn’t return during the summer holidays. Instead, Mo Wen wandered the streets aimlessly, not knowing what would the future be.
In the end, he found the hardest and most tiresome job at a construction site. He hoped that he could create a future through the labor of his own two hands.
Thinking about it now, he had been so naive. If he was given a chance to choose again, he would not have hesitated to go home. As long as your loved ones are beside you, isn’t anywhere you are blessed?
A hand patted his shoulder, bringing Mo Wen back from his deep thoughts, “Hey, Mo Wen, what is on your mind? Why do you seem so listless?” Wang Yuan, who was sitting beside Mo Wen, looked questioningly at Mo Wen. Since the gala started, he had tried to talk to Mo Wen a few times without response. Mo Wen kept his head down, seemingly uninterested in the gala. Wang Yuan continued, “Please, the performances tonight are so captivating. You are missing out on so much by not watching.”
Mo Wen forced a laugh, “Just remembering some things,” drawing the sadness that was surfacing in his eyes back into his heart.
“The next performance is Qin Xiaoyou’s. It’s the grand finale of tonight’s gala. Don’t say I didn’t tell you.” Wang Yuan rolled his eyes as he spoke. Qin Xiaoyou’s performance was the most anticipated. Mo Wen had been keeping his head low since the start. Does he really not care about Qin Xiaoyou’s performance!
Mo Wen smiled and nodded, shifting his gaze to look at the stage.
After a while, a girl in a white traditional dress walked up to the stage. Her figure was slender, her face refined and beautiful, a delicate jade hairpin was placed in her updo. She moved daintily, like a fairy from another realm.
Qin Xiaoyou looked less flamboyant in classical attire, and looked more elegant while radiating classical charm. Perhaps she was a natural, classic beauty; both her demeanor and temperament conveyed the elegance and properness of a classical lady.
As soon as she walked onto the stage, she had attracted the attention of almost everyone. If there was any live media coverage here now, she might receive visits from countless entertainment company agents the next day.
“Next I will be presenting a traditional dance for all of you here. But first, I wish for all accompaniment to be switched off. I want to invite a good friend of mine to come up here and be my accompaniment.” Qin Xiaoyou smiled elegantly, her lips slightly pursing. Her bright gaze searched the area where the Fourth Battalion was.
“What! She wants to switch off all the accompaniment and only ask a friend to be her accompaniment?”
“Surely not? If you turn off all the musical accompaniment, the stage effects will be greatly reduced. Is Qin Xiaoyou so confident in herself?”
“Is it even possible that her friend alone can play better than all the musical accompaniment?”
“Who is her friend?”
For a moment, the whole crowd was in an uproar. Everyone was astonished, but at the same time, guessing who Qin Xiaoyou’s friend could be.
When everyone noticed that Qin Xiaoyou was looking towards the Fourth Battalion, some people’s faces darkened. The Fourth Battalion was a male battalion. Could that friend of Qin Xiaoyou be a guy?!
The next moment, Qin Xiaoyou gave an answer that collectively shattered the hearts of most of the guys present.
Qin Xiaoyou smiled faintly, “I would like Mo Wen from the Fourth Battalion Third Company to be my accompaniment, please?” Her gaze was fixed on Mo Wen sitting up straight on the grass field and her eyes flashed with a glint of mischief.