945 Perplexed and Smitten 5
￼"He's once investigated blood-feeding humans. However, he didn't dare to expose much about it, although he was rather brave. I only found out about it secretly too. I was thinking you must be very curious about this. Don't you want to meet him?"
"I do. I hope your former classmate will feed me with some useful information," said An Xiaoning, whose curiosity was piqued.
"Just take it that we're attending for fun. Don't carry any high hopes, though. He's been traveling around non-stop for several years. I reckon he must know a lot of things that we don't. No harm in getting an eye-opener, right?"
Once they arrived in Wei Ni Estate, they alighted from the car, after which Fan Shixin said, "Young Madam, the items you ordered online have been delivered."
"Really? I'm going upstairs, help me place them inside the bedroom."
"What did you buy online?" Jin Qingyan asked.
She blinked at him and said, "You'll find out tonight."
"Why so secretive?"
She smiled and kept quiet. When Fan Shixin entered with a rectangular cardboard box, Jin Qingyan tried to open it, only to be stopped by An Xiaoning, who said, "It's a present for you. You can only open it tonight."
Jin Qingyan's eyes lit up with joy and excitement upon hearing that it was a gift for him. Thinking to himself that she was going to give him a surprise, he curbed his curiosity and said, "Alright, I shall see what it is tonight."
In order to prevent him from sneaking a peek, she moved the box into the dressing room.
After taking a shower and changing into a fresh set of clothes, she put on some beautiful makeup and said to him in satisfaction, "Let's go downstairs and eat something to fill our stomachs first. I'm a little hungry. We'll be busy drinking and chatting later anyway. You rarely get to eat much at such gatherings."
"Sure," he agreed.
The gathering was set at seven o'clock in the evening, and they set off at half past six.
They arrived at their destination twenty minutes later.
It was a gathering with Jin Qingyan's former classmates from high school.
He had almost forgotten all of them and was, in fact, rather surprised when he received the invitation.
However, he seemed to have some recollection after hearing about the then-monitor of the class' recount of the events that took place during their school days.
He did not have a penchant for attending such gatherings, for he felt that the entire purpose was not to catch up with each other and reminiscence about the past. Rather, it was for the superficial sake of broadening connections.
They weaved through the dancing crowd on the dance floor and made their way upstairs to a stretch of exquisite private rooms. After verifying the room number, Jin Qingyan opened the door.
There was initially ongoing chatter and boisterous laughter. Upon the sight of Jin Qingyan, they immediately stood up and greeted him.
An Xiaoning closed the door and looked at the bunch of former classmates inside.
There were more than ten people who attended the gathering, amongst which were males and females. An Xiaoning thought to herself, There must be tens of classmates within the class, yet only so few were invited. That just means that the organizer must have selected who to invite based on their current status. Those who did not make a name for themselves definitely weren't included in the list.
Everyone knew that Jin Qingyan and An Xiaoning were divorced. However, it was obvious that they had made up with each other since they both showed up together.
The female monitor said to An Xiaoning, "Madam, you're so beautiful."
An Xiaoning smiled politely and answered, "Thank you, you're pretty too."
"Have a seat, please."
Jin Qingyan sat down together with An Xiaoning, appearing cool and collected while introducing An Xiaoning to each of his former classmates. However, when it came to those whose names he could not remember, he would say, "This one's…"
The person being introduced would then blurt their own name.
After the introduction, the female monitor said to An Xiaoning with a grin, "Jin Qingyan is still as dashing as he was back in high school. He hasn't changed much at all. Well, all of us proceeded to embark on our own endeavours after graduation from high school, and we haven't contacted each other much ever since. It's such a rare opportunity for us to be able to ask him out this time."
An Xiaoning teased, "How many girls had he courted in high school?"
"I haven't heard of any." The female monitor covered her mouth while chuckling and continued, "He used to be the one being courted instead. Back then, there were so many female schoolmates of ours who would stare at him fondly from outside of the windows after class. By the way, Qingyan, do you remember Wen Lele, the girl who used to sit beside you? She'll be coming later too."
Feeling a little muddled up, Jin Qingyan said, "I do remember vaguely."
"Hey, buddy…" said Yang Zhou, one of Jin Qingyan's former classmates whom he was much closer to compared to the rest. They used to play ball together.
"Are you married yet?" asked Jin Qingyan, who had a clearer memory of him since he was closer to him in high school.
"Not even close. Your son is already so grown up and I'm still single," Yang Zhou said casually. Despite having not met each other for years, he did not feel distant toward Jin Qingyan at all.
An Xiaoning felt that Yang Zhou was not a scheming person, given how straightforward and candid he was.
"What industry are you working in now?"
Yang Zhou grinned and said, "Make a guess."
"Don't tell me you really became a toilet janitor?" Jin Qingyan blurted unrestrainedly.
Everyone burst into laughter at his amusing comment. Yang Zhou waved and said, "I did have such plans, but too bad, the toilet didn't accept me."
The female monitor interjected, "Yang Zhou is now a prestigious lawyer."
"Being a lawyer is great," Jin Qingyan said in approval.
Just as they were in the midst of a conversation, a good-looking couple entered.
Everyone began teasing them the moment they stepped foot inside. "Oh? Why did you two come together? Don't tell me, you're dating each other?"
"Cut it out. We bumped into each other at the door," said the slender and beautiful woman.
Pursing her lips, the female monitor said, "Lele, your table partner is here."
Wen Lele had already caught sight of Jin Qingyan when she was at the door of the room. He was just like a glowing presence, never failing to catch the attention of those around him.
"I saw. Long time no see, Jin Qingyan." She extended her hand to shake Jin Qingyan's.
"This must be Ms. An. I've seen several photos of you on the news. You're so much prettier in real life. I'm Jin Qingyan's table mate back in high school. My name is Wen Lele."
An Xiaoning remarked, "You're so beautiful, Ms. Wen."
"Nah, I can't be compared to you, Ms. An."
"You're too humble."
Pointing at the man who entered together with Wen Lele, Jin Qingyan said, "Here, let me introduce you to He Yi, the impressive globetrotter I was telling you about."
He Yi extended a hand and said, "Nice to meet you."
An Xiaoning returned the handshake and greeted with a smile, "Nice to meet you."
They sat down one after another. The female monitor then said, "All the invited guests are present. It's been more than a decade since we graduated and last met each other. Let's toast to reuniting."
Everyone opened a can of beer each and clinked their cans together.
They then began chatting joyously about the interesting and amusing events that took place during high school, as if they had just happened yesterday. An Xiaoning began snacking on some sunflower seeds while listening to their recounts. She was initially thinking about how she should strike a conversation with He Yi. To her surprise, he initiated a chat with her and Jin Qingyan.
"You didn't attend the previous gathering we held several years ago. Only a few of us had your contact number. I did see you on the news rather frequently, though."
"Let's exchange numbers, then. What's yours?" Jin Qingyan asked.
Slightly taken aback, He Yi proceeded to give Jin Qingyan his mobile number, after which Jin Qingyan gave him a missed call.