While in school, Lu Jinnian was already one of the best while Qiao Anhao was just mediocre, but this mediocre devoted all her heart to her studies and eventually made it into the A university.
After just one simple demonstration by the shop owner, Lu Jinnian could do it perfectly while Qiao Anhao was still struggling, missing out on many steps after several demonstrations.
When new customers came in, the shop owner left, leaving Lu Jinnian and Qiao Anhao to mold the clay by themselves.
The warm rays from the sun spilled across Xitang, the sound of streaming water billowing with the wind, different faces contentiously pa.s.sed by the window. The mood was peaceful and the pair was at ease. The pottery that Lu Jinnian had made looked great while Qiao Anhao's piece was an utter disaster.
When the shop owner came back again to look at their work, Qiao Anhao reached over for the cup in front of Lu Jinnian. With a bright smile, she lied naturally, "What do you think, I'm impressive, right?"
With just a glance, the shop keeper knew that the cup she held was Lu Jinnian's, but he didn't intend to expose her lie. Yet before he could praise her, Lu Jinnian, who sat beside her, smiled indulgently and commented sincerely, "Impressive."
A sweet smile crossed her face instantly. Turning to look at the cup she had forced into his hands, she widened her eyes and with an incredulity in her voice, she remarked, "Lu Jinnian, hurry and teach me how you can make such an ugly cup!"
She then added, "Hurry and hide it, stop embarra.s.sing yourself!"
Lu Jinnian chuckled in amus.e.m.e.nt, a hint of tenderness and warmth crossing his usual frosty expression as he carefully placed the horrendous looking cup into a box.
When they reached Nanjing, they had even went to Orchid theater to watch "The Peony Pavilion". Even though they could barely understand the songs, the tunes were delightful.
Afterwards, they went for a scrumptious meal consisting of Mei Ling porridge and duck blood vermicelli... After about two days, they took an afternoon flight back to Jingcheng.
Lu Jinnian's car was parked in Beijing airport's carpark, so once they entered the city, it was already 5 pm, dinner time. When the car pa.s.sed by Beijing Hotel, Lu Jinnian slowed, asking, "Dinner here?"
"Sure." Qiao Anhao lifted her lids to look at the hotel before nodding her head without any comments.
The private rooms in Beijing hotel were always packed, but since they arrived early, they managed to get the last room.
Lu Jinnian ordered a pot of pu'er tea, the aroma from the tea diffusing in the air, lifting their spirits.
After ensuring that Qiao Anhao had been well fed, Lu Jinnian placed his chopsticks down, pus.h.i.+ng the cup of tea that he had brewed in advance over to her. "Have some tea, it's good for your gut. I'll go down to pay the bill."
Qiao Anhao sipped the tea, nodding towards Lu Jinnian.
He reached for his wallet and left the room.
After footing the bill, when he was about to head back to the room, he caught sight of a familiar figure in the seat near the window.