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Chapter 10 Part 1

His body swayed with the bus. Lu Chenfeng sat in the last row next to the window and enjoyed the view outside. Rows of prunus triloba aligned in the view, scattering pinks decorated the greenery that stretched into the back. The sky was as blue as a blue canvas, clean without a freckle of dust.

Lu Chenfeng didn’t listen to the tour guide’s presentation about the views, but thought back to what Lin Chaosheng said.

The scenery was beautiful, but it was different to every scene he had seen when he was riding the bike yesterday. Lu Chenfeng thought it was completely different to be part of a view rather than seeing it through a narrow window.

Xi Town was bustling. Lu Chenfeng stood in front of the entrance of the historical town and became the photographer for many people. He looked deeper into the scenery and he could see nothing but heads. He didn’t really want to go in, and he found a quiet bar next to the town to kill time.

He couldn’t take in what the magazines said, the milk tea in his hand was tasteless too. He couldn’t help but to compare that he’d rather be in Lin Chaosheng’s guest house drinking tea and reading.

Lunch menu included a special dish of mushrooms, Lu Chenfeng avoided it from the very beginning. Who knew if the tour group’s restaurant was good or not, and he only dared to eat what Lin Chaosheng cooked.

In the afternoon, the tour guide took the twenty of them to a quiet, deep alley. Lu Chenfeng had an unlit cigarette in his mouth and silently commented: no bustling markets, no kind elders sitting down the tree, no young boys of the Bai ethnic group playing shuttlecock. It was truly boring.

The whole day ended boringly. The last scenic spot was a bridge. Lu Chenfeng walked on it and faced towards Beautiful Dusk. He met a few seagulls, and he breathed deeply as he rested his hand on the bridge and unlocked his phone.

Lu Chenfeng: Sign up for me.

Fang Yi seemed to be waiting for Lu Chenfeng’s message and replied quickly: Take a photo of your ID for me.

Lu Chenfeng opened his album and sent him the photos he had saved earlier and typed: Deadline?

Fang Yi: Mail the hand drawing and finished design to the judges before July 4th, the winners will be announced by the end of September.

Lu Chenfeng didn’t reply. After a few minutes, Fang Yi sent another message: Don’t lose to me.

Lu Chenfeng replied with “okay” and paused until his phone dimmed on its own. He put it in his pocket and straightened up. This moment was the lightest moment of the entire day.

However, heavy pressure fell on his heart. Lu Chenfeng hasn’t needed inspiration for a design for a long time now. No theme, no range, completely free. The techniques weren’t enough to win the competition, what was the most important was the design of the product and the meaning behind it.

Emptiness left his head. When Lu Chenfeng was suffering from anxiety, he had a habit of turning the cigarette between his fingers, and he did it all the way to Shuanglang.

He got off the bus and walked with his hand in his pockets and looked down at the ground. Shadow shrouded over his head from the lines of trees on the side, the last rays of sun tainted the bushes of flowers, but nothing caught his attention. He finally looked up until he was almost at the guest house and slowly stopped.

Lin Chaosheng was waiting at the entrance, he saw Lu Chenfeng and walked towards and headed back together.

This act soothed the complicated emotions in his mind and relaxed his tensed mind.

“How was today? Went well?” Lin Chaosheng asked caringly.

Lu Chenfeng didn’t answer honestly to ruin Lin Chaosheng’s interest, “It was good.”

“Are you hungry? I’ll let you have a taste of my specialty.” Faint red tainted his pale skin as the last rays of sun shone on Lin Chaosheng’s cheeks. He pulled open the door and said, “It’s Jian Yi’s favorite.”

The guest house was warm. Although he had been here for only a few days, he had a sense of familiarity to Beautiful Dusk compared to anywhere else. He returned to his room and washed his face, changing into a shirt only. He went to the front lobby and sat in a chair on the right side of the book shelf. He looked up at the books on it, but recalled the place where Lin Chaosheng put the notebook. He locked his eyes on a familiar looking green notebook, but the next second, his attention was drawn to a delicate brown coloured book on the side.

The whole book shelf was full of famous classics, they were printed with the names of the books clearly. The brown notebook’s existence was sudden and out of place, as if someone intentionally placed it there.

The fragrance of pineapple fried rice caught his attention and his stomach rumbled just in time. Lu Chenfeng tahnked Jian Yi, who passed the plate to him. He glanced down while picking up the bamboo chopsticks; other than the main dish, there was a small plate of mushroom sauce and a plate of tofu.

He emptied the places in a few minutes and saw Lin Chaosheng coming through from the kitchen with droplets of water on the back of his hand. The two made eye contact and Lu Chenfeng nodded at him. Lin Chaosheng seemed to remember something and quickly went back to the counter, taking out a bottle of pills and swallowing it with half a cup of warm tea while pressing down on his chest.

Lu Chenfeng saw it and frowned deeply.

“How’s the taste?” Lin Chaosheng wiped his hands and asked gently, “Is everything just right?”

Lu Chenfeng nodded, “I don’t eat hard peas, but the ones in the pineapple rice were soft.”

“I soaked them for over an hour,” Lin Chaosheng smiled satisfyingly and confessed, “Jian Yi had three bowls in the kitchen.”

“Because it is good,” Lu Chenfeng blurted out, “And now it’s my favorite dish too.”

He was bad at complimenting and only wanted to express his honest opinions. To avoid awkwardness, he quickly changed the topic, “I want to borrow some paper and a pencil.”

Lin Chaosheng replied, “No problem, I’ll send them to your room later.”

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