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After seeing the words written on the gla.s.s with roses, Qi Mu immediately stepped into the hallway and shouted, “Min Chen!” But, his voice only echoed in the empty apartment.
Slowly, his surprise and joy faded away. Qi Mu gently placed Edith on the coffee table. He then searched every corner of the living room, piano room, and bedroom. When he confirmed that his lover was really absent, he stepped up to the floor-to-ceiling window.
“Brilliant performance, my dear little concertmaster.”
Standing so close made Qi Mu find dew lingering on the fresh, tender petals. The rich aroma filled the whole living room, its fragrance intoxicating!
Qi Mu couldn’t help but reach out and touch the soft petals, nor could he help the smile that touched his lips.
After a long time, he leaned against the cold gla.s.s window and got out his phone. When a certain man answered his call, the first thing he asked was, “What about the surprise?”
Min Chen’s end of the line was noisy. After he found a quiet s.p.a.ce, he whispered, “Ah,” and then asked, “Don’t you like it?”
The young scoundrel said, “I thought you always had surprises. I thought that when the concert was over, you’d say you were here.” After a pause, Qi Mu couldn’t help it. With a low laugh, he added, “Weren’t you like this when I was still in Paris?”
After a moment of silence, Min Chen said in a low tone, “You said it was shocking before.”
Qi Mu raised an eyebrow. “Then I want to be terrified now.”
In the face of such a strong-willed young man, regardless of how indifferent and calm Min Chen was, he couldn’t easily deal with it.
Standing in his lounge, Min Chen looked at the river in the darkness, not far away. After a long time, he changed the topic and said, “Daniel heard from a friend that Wei Ai’s performance was excellent. I guess you played something very technical, then something very emotional?”
Reaching out and plucking a soft petal, Qi Mu asked in surprise, “How did you know?”
Qi Mu already told Min Chen before the concert that Dorenza had arranged a handover ceremony where he would replace Anthony in the final encore and play with the orchestra as its concertmaster. Even though Qi Mu said this, he didn’t mention his repertoire.
The man’s magnetic voice came across the radio waves, “Because… I know you.” His tone was soft and low.
Hearing this completely unfounded answer, Qi Mu reluctantly looked up at the beautiful crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling. Bunches of crystal rhomboids draped down like snowflakes, glowing under the lights.
After a while, Qi Mu’s smile faded away. He whispered, “When I saw the words today, I really thought you were back. Min Chen… I miss you so much.”
A moment later, the voice on the phone answered, “Tomorrow I’ll spend probably the whole day meeting with the orchestra members. Bai Ai has an interview the day after tomorrow. I should have time in a few days.” After a pause, he added, “Berlin is not far from Vienna.”
Hearing this, Qi Mu was slightly stunned.
The man always wanted to make time to see him, but Qi Mu never took the initiative to see him.
“You have an interview the day after tomorrow… Well, I will celebrate with the members tomorrow, and then I can take a little holiday. I can talk to Mr. Dorenza and go to Berlin in a few days.”
Although it was a simple response, the joy it bore couldn’t be concealed. Next, Qi Mu described the concert with Min Chen. After exchanging a few more words, they hung up the phone.
Under the deep, charming Vienna night, Qi Mu finally calmed and entered a sweet dream.
In the Bai Ai building, the lights gradually went out. When Daniel came to knock on Min Chen’s door, he just opened it and asked with a smile, “Did the little angel call just now to express his feelings? Haha, 999 fresh red roses. Didn’t you pick them out and send them by a special plane? Hey, if my sweetheart knew that I did something like that for her, she’d definitely give me a pa.s.sionate kiss!”
Removing the silver gla.s.ses from his nose, the elegant man showed a rare moment of fatigue. Min Chen reached out and rubbed his temples. His vision wasn’t that bad, and he rarely reached for his gla.s.ses through the year, except when he was this busy.
“He liked it very much.” After a pause, without elaborating, Min Chen asked, “Are tomorrow’s meeting materials ready?”
Daniel spread his hands helplessly. “Yes, yes, I’m prepared. I’ll show them to you first. Ah, by the way, how did you know that the little angel would perform as the concertmaster tonight? Oh, d.a.m.n, it must have been the little angel who secretly told you in advance, wasn’t it?!”
Min Chen looked up at Daniel in disgust then said, “Even if he didn’t say it, I knew.”
Daniel was taken aback. “How?!”
“Because he is excellent.” His tone was even and calm as ever.
Daniel: “…” Don’t you dare show so much affection like this!!!
The last lights in the Bai Ai building weren’t extinguished until the early hours of the morning. The Spree River, which had flowed for thousands of years, continued to flow tirelessly. Min Chen sat in the back seat of the car, looking deep into the south.
Now, your life has entered a new chapter.
Good night, my dear little concertmaster.
《Qi Mu: Wei Ai’s New Concertmaster Captures Audience With Violin Performance!》《Wei Ai’s New Concertmaster Takes Over, Perfect Encore Surprises Audience!》《Most Well-Deserved Prince of Violin, Wei Ai’s New Concertmaster Debuts》……
On the night of Wei Ai’s performance, major public opinion media released new articles and reports on their official websites and other social media.
The next day, all European newspapers and magazines in Europe reported on the event. The craziest thing was that even the Austrian National Newspaper published the story on the front page, thoroughly introducing Wei Ai’s new concertmaster to the public!
The report detailed Qi Mu’s performances since childhood. Although there was an eight-year gap in the middle, when everyone saw that this man had created so many miracles since 2015, they couldn’t help looking forward to this brand new Wei Ai.
This was Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s new concertmaster, one of the most important violinists in Austria.
In the streets, cafes, parks, and squares, as long as there were people, comments filled the air throughout Vienna. Music was the most sacred thing in this city. Wei Ai had a new concertmaster? This would become the most popular news for the first half of the year.
“I heard that Qi Mu’s violin skills are very good. His teacher was Master Reed Akkad!”
“You haven’t heard much. My friend works in the Pearson Theater. He told me Master Lance also appreciates this Qi Mu!”
“Ah? Even Master Lance approves of him? I really want to hear his next performance. When will Wei Ai’s next concert be…”
All kinds of discussions made the streets of Vienna boil with conversation, and the “culprit” of all of this spent a leisurely day of vacation with the members of Wei Ai. At the request of the members, he led the drooling foodies to eat hot pot.
Dorenza kindly provided a location. In a private garden, they could serve as many people as they wanted. Anthony sponsored the tableware. “Oh, Little Seven, I haven’t forgotten the way Master Lance described your hot pot! Was it really cooked in the bottom of the pot?”
Qi Mu: “…”
The hot pot dinner for nearly a hundred people was split between ten tables. Even Julie and Lance joined in with a smile. The word on the air was, “Let’s join in on the fun, so the crowd will be more lively!”
…There were already nearly a hundred people there, why would it need to be more lively!
However, even though he said all that, Qi Mu wasn’t too troubled at all. In Dorenza’s villa garden, he carefully a.s.signed tasks to each member. Some he ordered to clean the vegetables, a few others, he took to the supermarket to buy a variety of meats.
Thanks to the ubiquitous Chinese people all over the world, there were supermarkets in every country with perfect meats for hotpot.
This hotpot, enough to set a Guinness World Record for serving 100 people, took four or five hours to make, from cleaning the ingredients in the morning to the official start in the evening. After Qi Mu threw the last package of hot pot ingredients into the pot, before he could even speak, the audience fidgeted in antic.i.p.ation.
“Haha, this is the legendary hotpot! I want to eat meat, I want to eat meat!”
“Keep that piece for me, it’s mine!!! Annie, you’re not allowed to s.n.a.t.c.h it!!”
“d.a.m.n it, why does this meat taste weird? Is it because I’m eating it the wrong way?”
Qi Mu: “…”
Because you just threw it in the pot and picked it up again in the blink of an eye!!!
The hotpot for 100 people didn’t officially end until past 8 that evening. From the beginning, everyone’s enthusiastical exchanges of, “How long does it take to cook the meat?” and, “Can you eat this meatball?”, evolved into, “Don’t move, those are my vegetables!”, and, “Oh G.o.d, you dare s.n.a.t.c.h my prawns!” …
This group of Wei Ai members, still well-dressed and graceful onstage in the Golden Hall the previous night, playing symphonies properly and seriously, now sat in Dorenza’s garden, fighting over a prawn!
Unsure whether to laugh or cry, Qi Mu came forward and pulled apart the two cellists shouting, “It’s my prawn!” and “No, it’s my prawn!”
Before he could say, “In fact, this is a crab stick,” One of them said, “Nick, don’t think I don’t know you haven’t washed those socks for two days! They stink like maggots, don’t they?”
A sound of disgust reverberated amongst all the members.
“d.a.m.n, Chad, do you dare say your hair’s been washed in the last three days?! Look, it’s laying on your head like a piece of mud!”
“Okay, Nick, how dare you insult my beautiful hair! I just want to tell everyone you’ve secretly been in love with Kelly from the clarinets, alright!!!”
An uproar pa.s.sed throughout the crowd.
“Chad, you b.a.s.t.a.r.d!!!!”
“Nick, I actually like you, too!!!!”
Qi Mu: “….”
Everyone: “Get together, get together, get together, get together!!!”
Seeing the young couple hold up their hands in a mix of shyness and excitement, the corners of Qi Mu’s mouth twitched. He clapped dumbfoundedly with everyone and sent them blessings.
So… how does fighting over prawns… cough, crab sticks, evolve into everyone chanting the 《Marriage March》?!!!
After the hotpot meeting, everyone stayed behind to clean up. Qu Mu and Julie poured a pot of the leftovers into a garbage bag, then threw it into a garbage bin together.
No nasty smell filled the air, only the remaining spices filled everyone’s nasal cavities, making them feel reminiscent of the delicious food they’d had. After walking only a few steps, when Qi Mu and Julie returned from the bin, the moonlight was hazy overhead as a gentle breeze pa.s.sed by.
The valiant lady turned her head to look at the young man at her side and asked, “Little Seven, are you going to Berlin with me tomorrow? You and Austin haven’t seen each other for a long time, don’t you miss him?” She smiled teasingly as she spoke.
Qi Mu gave a light cough and smoothed his face. “Julie, I have something to discuss with Mr. Dorenza tomorrow. I will go to Berlin in about two days.” I just want to… I won’t tell you!
“Oh, I don’t understand. You little lovers haven’t seen each other for more than a month or two. You don’t have any ideas? When the night is quiet, are you not empty and lonely? What I saw just now… Oh yes, was it Nick and Kelly? Seeing them didn’t make you want to run to Berlin and hug Austin to rid yourself of the pain of love sickness?”
Qi Mu: “…”
“Alas, I really don’t understand you young people…”
Qi Mu: “…”
He didn’t understand you at all, okay!!!
What she called love sickness, emptiness, loneliness…
Was it really okay for you to be so unrestrained, Master Julie!!!
A touch of pink appeared on the young man’s pale cheeks. He turned away shyly, unwilling to let a lady see his embarra.s.sment. Qi Mu couldn’t help it. Julie stared at him for a long time, but she didn’t speak.
When they returned to the apartment, Julie stopped him at the top of the stairs and said softly, “Little Seven, Austin is a child who doesn’t know how to express his inner feelings. He won’t show you his weaknesses and will try to make you think he’s strong enough to go without support.”
Qi Mu was stunned. Under the bright light, the lady’s strong and resolute face showed a loving smile. She said, “Before the start of the tour, that is, after you and Tucker left that day, Austin went to my home again. He told me that he hoped I could take care of you more when I was with Wei Ai.”
“Little Seven, I have never seen him do his best for anyone to such an extent. Austin is a child who is not good at expressing himself, but even you may not understand his love for you… it’s so detailed that you can’t even imagine it.”
His amber eyes suddenly widened and Qi Mu stared at the lady before him in a daze.
“Go see him, Little Seven. He must miss you very much.”