It was New Year's Eve in China.
Cheng Chu led Gu Miao into the apartment, holding her hand.
He didn't bring much with him, but perhaps the heaviest thing he carried was his burning heart.
The apartment was very quiet.
The bright lights reflected off the wooden furniture, giving off a lonely feeling.
Cheng Chu was very happy, and his joy was almost overflowing from his eyes.
"You haven't eaten yet, have you? I'll make something for you," she said.
She couldn't cook in the past, but after being with Gu Miao for a while, she had learned a few things.
"No need," Gu Miao stopped her and whispered, "What do you want to eat? I'll make it for you."
Cheng Chu hesitated.
Although ahe really wanted to eat the food Gu Miao made, he had been on a plane for over ten hours and was already so tired. How could she bear to let him cook for her?
Gu Miao seemed to understand what was on her mind, and he gently patted her head and said, "I slept enough on the plane and now I feel energized. Whatever you want to eat, just say it."
The girl looked up, her clear eyes shining in the light, and her voice became more cheerful. "I want to eat braised pork."
She had been sick for a few days, and the hired help had only made her bland porridge, leaving her with no taste in her mouth.
"Okay," Gu Miao agreed. "I'll go tidy up first."
He had been on a plane all night, with stubble on his face and looking disheveled.
Cheng Chu said, "Then you go take a shower first, and I'll prepare the ingredients for you."
"Okay," Gu Miao smiled and nodded.
The long night was quiet.
After washing away his exhaustion, Gu Miao emerged from the bathroom.
The steam instantly filled the room.
Through the glass window, he saw the girl's slender figure. The bright lights shone down as she busily worked with her head down. Her hands, which danced so gracefully on the piano, now seemed a bit clumsy.
In the corner, water boiled and a misty white fog slowly rose, filling the air with a damp warmth.
In an instant, the floating mist seemed to fall into Gu Miao's eyes. His eyes shimmered with a shallow glimmer of water, and the emotions in his heart danced like an erupting volcano. The scorching magma flowed through his veins, surging in all directions.
A whole year of longing silently melted away on this warm and quiet night.
He walked over and without hesitation, embraced the girl in his arms.
She seemed startled and let out a suppressed cry, but within seconds, her stiff body softened.
"What are you doing? I'm cutting meat," the girl pouted, her words tinged with a hint of annoyance, but her voice was so soft that it made one's heart flutter.
Gu Miao leaned his head against the girl's neck and murmured, "Chuchu, I missed you so much."
His voice was low and hoarse, but it was as light as a feather, brushing against Cheng Chu's heart, one stroke after another.
Her legs went weak, and she leaned against the man's scorching embrace, her heart filled with sweet ripples as she softly replied, "I missed you too."
The kettle in the corner gurgled.
Gu Miao's heart raced, his uncontrollable emotions rushing to his brain. The next second, he lowered his head and kissed the girl's lips.
The air became warm and humid in an instant.
Time seemed to stand still, and all the bitter longing melted away in this lingering and romantic kiss. For a long time, Gu Miao held the girl.
His dark eyes were filled with desire, but his hand beside him was restrained and clenched into a fist.
"I'll cook." His voice drifted in the quiet room, very low.
The starlight outside the window fell into the room.
Cheng Chu felt that she hadn't had such a delicious meal for a long, long time.
The comfortable warmth flowed slowly through her body, and she lay quietly in Gu Miao's arms, listening to his deafening heartbeat, beating in her ears.
The falling snow outside the window seemed to have brought warmth.
The man gently touched her head and said in a warm voice, "Tomorrow is New Year's Eve, what do you want to eat?"
Because of the time difference, it was one day later here than in China.
The bright light in the living room was reflected in the girl's dazzling eyes. She lifted her gaze and her voice, filled with a smile, echoed in the empty living room.
"I feel like having hotpot."
But then her voice suddenly lowered as if she had just remembered something.
"But it seems like we don't have any soup base."
"It's okay," Gu Miaosu pondered for a moment. "I can try to make it myself."
Her slightly dim peach blossom eyes seemed to light up like stars in an instant.
"Really? I don't have class tomorrow, so we can go buy the ingredients together."
"Okay." He pursed his lips and said somewhat hesitantly, "But I've never made it before, so I don't know if it will turn out well."
Cheng Chu laughed, "Don't worry, my Miao Ge is the best."
Her soft and tender voice reverberated in the warm air, even the slightly cold colors around them seemed to brighten up a bit. Gu Miao felt as if his mouth had been filled with honey, the sweetness flowing down his throat and gradually spreading to his heart.
And his ears, which had not blushed in a long time, turned red again when he met the girl.
Cheng Chu reached out and playfully touched him, "Our Miao Ge is shy again."
He pursed his lips and just looked at Cheng Chu with his bright eyes, not saying anything in response.
The girl's heart melted instantly, and she couldn't help but lean over and kiss his red ear.
But the man's body suddenly stiffened, his Adam's apple rolling violently twice before he abruptly stood up, unable to contain his nervousness.
"I, I need to go to the bathroom," he said hoarsely, his broken words overflowing with an uncontrollable sense of tension.
Cheng Chu watched his fleeing figure and couldn't help but laugh lightly.
On the afternoon of New Year's Eve, the two of them went to the nearest Asian supermarket and bought ingredients such as Sichuan peppercorns and chili peppers.
The hotpot they made was a great success.
The snow stopped tonight, and the white world was quiet and peaceful.
The two of them sat together by the window, cuddling.
As the city lights came on, this silent city suddenly became radiant.
Suddenly, a thin card was slipped into Cheng Chu's hand.
She sat up in surprise from the man's embrace.
"A credit card?" she asked.
In the silent night, a few points of light slowly rose and exploded in the dark sky.
Countless dazzling lights reflected in those dark eyes.
"Yes," he said with restrained joy in his voice, "it's a New Year's gift for you."
Cheng Chu looked down at the shining card in her hand, but remained silent.
The air seemed to freeze for a moment, and the light in Gu Miao's eyes gradually dimmed.
For many years, he had never given her anything valuable as a gift. This was the first time, and the man's self-doubt and suppressed heart were jumping with joy as he presented the gift he thought was worthy of his beloved little princess.
But she lowered her gaze, her eyelashes trembling, and she didn't speak for a long time.
That trembling and joyful heart quietly fell.
The white snow accumulated on the bare branches outside the window became even more dazzling in the moonlight.
Cheng Chu raised her gaze.
The night highlighted the man's slightly resolute profile. He had long shed his youthful appearance, his shoulders had become broad and sturdy, and the melancholy between his eyebrows gradually faded, replaced by a deep darkness like the night.
He had changed a lot, but the heart that cherished and protected her remained unchanged.
Cheng Chu's fingers tightened as he softly said, "Then I'll accept it. Thank you, Miao Ge."
The man's breath caught, and his eyes lit up with joy that he didn't bother to conceal, like stars in the dark night.
He seemed to think of something and pretended to be strong, saying, "You have to use it."
Don't just accept it to keep me happy.
Cheng Chu held the hard card, feeling her heart melting.
"Okay," she finally said with a smile.
On Monday, Cheng Chu woke up to find breakfast already on the table.
Her groggy eyes gradually cleared, and she happily finished her breakfast before getting up to go to class.
Today was the last class of the semester. The grades for this course had already been released.
Due to time constraints, Cheng Chu's group project did not receive a high score, and in the end, they only received a B.
The classroom was very noisy, perhaps because it was the last class, and many people couldn't contain their joy and were chattering away.
Cheng Chu sat quietly in the back row.
Suddenly, the seat next to her moved, and Zhou Yanshi and Ye Xin sat down.
"Chuchu, look at this quickly." Ye Xin excitedly showed her phone.
Cheng Chu lowered her gaze and saw that it was an email from the professor.
The email stated that the two people in Cheng Chu's group who did not participate in the final project had their grades cancelled and were considered to have failed.
"Ah, this is so satisfying, so satisfying!" Ye Xin couldn't help but applaud.
"I can't stand these freeloaders. They think just because we're exchange students, they can take advantage of us. Now look, they failed their exams and it serves them right. Well done, Chuchu," exclaimed Ye Xin, another female exchange student who had a bold and straightforward personality and had a good relationship with Cheng Chu.
She thought that Cheng Chu had personally reported the two students, and she couldn't stop praising her for it. But only Cheng Chu knew that she hadn't actually reported them.
Today's classes went from morning until evening. When they came out of the teaching building, a bright moon hung high in the sky. It hadn't snowed in the past few days, and the snow on the streets had been swept to the sides, but the quiet paths were left untouched.
Cheng Chu trudged through the snow, taking one step at a time, each one difficult.
"Chuchu," a deep voice pierced through the cold air and into Cheng Chu's heart. She lifted her head in a daze.
A man stood under a nearby street lamp, the dim yellow light falling on him.
His cold and stern brows and eyes, like newly melted ice and snow, had turned into something soft and moving like water.
"How did you come here?" Cheng Chu asked.
He slowly walked over, took her hand, and said softly, "I came to pick you up from school. It's not easy to walk on the snowy road, so I'll carry you."
As he spoke, he squatted down directly, his back broad and thick.
The snow-covered road creaked as they walked, and Cheng Chu obediently leaned against his back.
The man's body temperature was very high.
She slowly leaned her head towards his neck and whispered, "Miao Ge, is it you?"
"What?" He seemed a little confused.
"That report, was it you?" She had only told him, not even Zhou Yanshi knew.
At some point, the sky had started to snow lightly. The two of them walked together in the snow, leaving behind deep and shallow footprints.
Gu Miao's steps paused for a moment, and he murmured, "Mm."
It was clear that as a computer expert, finding evidence was just a matter of a few clicks.
The snow fell slowly as Cheng Chu leaned in close to him, her warm breath gently brushing against his ear.
"Miao Ge, I don't want you to leave," she said.
She knew that the Chinese New Year holiday wasn't very long, and in a few days, Gu Miao would have to leave.
There were few cars on the road on this snowy night, and he carried Cheng Chu as they walked down the empty street.
His heart, which had been beating rapidly, gradually calmed down because of the girl's words.
'I don't want to leave either, Chu Chu,' he silently thought.
Gu Miao: I don't want to leave, I want to stay here with Chu Chu forever.
The next chapter is about their time back in China, where they will finally graduate! They will stick together all the time!
Translations during sleepless nights. I can sleep when I'm dead! ...Please let me sleep. Happy readers keep me awake, and lots of love and a huge thank you for supporting my hobby!
Give me feedback at moc.ebircssutol@ypeels.