Luo Hongyi was one of the regular customers of Forget Worries Bar.
He had struggled in the capital for years and could now be considered a semi-successful person. Even though work was usually slow, whenever he had time at night, he would come sit at the bar, order some bottles of rum, and spend the long nights quietly.
Luo Hongyi didn’t like places that were too noisy but also didn’t want to be alone. The atmosphere of Houhai bars made him feel comfortable. He didn’t go there to try his luck in finding a woman but rather to loosen his taut heartstrings.
He sat at his usual place in Forget Worries Bar tonight as well.
Then, he heard Lu Chen sing You Who Sat Next to Me.
You were always very careful,
you asked to borrow half my eraser,
you also accidentally said,
you liked being with me.
Those days, the skies were always blue,
the days always passed too slowly,
you always said that graduation was far away,
but in a blink of an eye, we’ve gone our separate ways!
Who met the sentimental you.
who comforted you who loved to cry,
who read the letters I sent you,
who lost them in the wind…
As an experienced businessman, Luo Hongyi was already used to fighting and scheming against others. He believed his heart was as unyielding as steel and that there was no way for someone or something to move him emotionally.
However, when he heard the clear, clean ballad that brought a hint of melancholy, he suddenly found his heart wasn’t as cold and impregnable as he had thought. There was a soft part of his heart that he didn’t need to be ashamed of.
Seatmates may be everyone’s most profound memories. A lot of seatmates were first loves, even though everyone didn’t know about love at the time. However, only this type of uncomplicated, innocent love — uncorrupted by the world — was the most perfect.
Luo Hongyi also had an unforgettable seatmate. This seatmate was a lady with “Tong” in her name.
They met, became familiar, fell in love, had arguments, and reconciled… in a blink of the eye, they went their separate ways after graduation!
It was like a melodramatic modern drama, yet this was Luo Hongyi’s experience and his youth.
It was already impossible to reminisce over past events, but Luo Hongyi suddenly had a strong impulse. He wanted to call that Tong seatmate to ask a single question — are you living well?
Yet a very very long time ago, he had already lost contact with the other party.
The days from before are far away,
I too have my spouse.
I too will have her look at our pictures,
tell her of you who sat next to me.
Who married the melancholic you,
who comforted the tearful you,
who lifted your long hair,
who made your wedding gown,
Lou Hongyi suddenly stood up, almost knocking over the small wine table. Yet without caring, he grabbed an unopened beer from the table and continued to take large strides towards the stage.
On stage, Lu Chen finished singing the last line of the lyrics.
The entire bar was silent, as if affected by a spell. Time had stopped at this moment.
Lu Chen started feeling extremely nervous.
Everyone’s sight was focused on his body, yet no one said a word. There wasn’t anyone drinking their beer, walking around, being indifferent, or turning a blind eye .
In this bar, on that stage, he used one song to conquer everyone!
Except that well-groomed middle aged man that flew through the tables with staggered footsteps toward the stage. He placed the bottle in his hand on the stage.
Immediately after, this man that appeared to be an elite businessman took out his wallet from his bosom. He first counted out five one-hundred RMB bills and placed them beside the beer bottle. He hesitated and added another three bills.
He used the bottle of rum to hold down the eight big red bills.
“Sing it again!”
The middle aged man raised his head and looked at Lu Chen.
He said in a hoarse voice, “please sing it again!”
His dark eyes had a flicker of indescribable light.
Lu Chen was frightened for a moment, but after realizing what happened, promptly said, “thank you for your support. I will sing it again. I hope that everyone will be able to enjoy it!”
This way of rewarding was rarely used at Forget Worries Bar because customers were usually white collar workers, young artists, high school students, or insiders. The majority of them were cultured and rational.
You Who Sat Next to Me fulfilled all the conditions of a classic. Through Lu Chen’s performance, a magical feeling that made others feel emotional was produced.
It was then, the applause finally exploded out inside the bar. The applause was so enthusiastic that it almost blew the roof of the bar off!
Lu Chen leaned over, grabbed the bottle of rum, popped the cap, took a big swig, then returned to his seat. He nodded his head towards the man and picked up his guitar again.
He began performing for a second time.
The applause that just began was like a summer night’s rain — it came quickly but left even quicker. The bar quickly returned to its previous tranquility. The noises from the busy pedestrian street outside that passed through the glass windows was faintly discernible.
Lu Chen’s voice blended with the sound of his guitar, filling this unforgettable moment.
In the backstage of the bar, Su Qingmei’s eyes shone as she grabbed tightly onto Chen Jianhao’s arm. She lowered her voice and said, “I want, I want him, I want him!”
Chen Jianhao’s head hurt causing him to pinch the space between his eyebrows. He bitterly laughed, “My esteemed lady, can you be a bit more reserved?”
“If he’s yours, he can’t run even if he wants to. If he’s not yours …”
“He can only be mine!”
Su Qingmei proudly interrupted her counterpart, her words contained an unspoken confidence, “I refuse to believe he can decline my invitation, but that’s if you don’t interfere with me and that song is truly an original of his…”
Chen Jianhao waved the phone in his right hand and said, “I tried Song Search already, there is neither similar nor identical works. If you want to have something more reliable, then you should go check an official music database.”
Song Search was an app that was currently very popular. As long as you played a random segment of music, it would find the song name with high accuracy.
Of course, Song Search’s expertise and authority paled in comparison to the Greater China Music Database.
Su Qingmei cracked a happy smile and released Chen Jianhao’s arm, “then there will be no problem.”
A mature woman’s glamour and a young girl’s cunning. Two different temperaments blended together to form a unique attractiveness like the alluring, country-destroying fairies of the legends.
However, Chen Jianhao tried to remain at a respectful distance. “You don’t have a problem, I still have a problem!”
He left the counter and walked toward the backstage.
On the stage, Lu Chen’s performance continued.
In the big room backstage, Sister Hong and the male singer surnamed Ye looked at each other, expressions of shock, astonishment, admiration, and jealousy alternated on their faces. They became silent and had nothing to say to each other.
The big room didn’t have the soundproofing that the green rooms had, hence, they could clearly hear the music that reverberated in the bar.
After being at Forget Worries Bar for so long, how could the two of them not be clear about Lu Chen’s skill level?
As resident singers, Sister Hong and Brother Ye looked down on Lu Chen. They believed that he depended on his face to earn money and was nothing more than a bar server. They never even considered him as a potential competitor.
However, Lu Chen sang Soaring Pigeon first tonight and allowed others to have a whole new level of respect for him. Right after, he shocked everyone present with his original song and received a standing ovation.
Was this the Lu Chen that everyone previously knew?
The two could not believe, didn’t dare to believe, and didn’t want to believe!
“H… he copied this from somewhere right?”
After a short pause, Brother Ye mumbled, “it sounds a little familiar on the ear. He dares to call it an original song?”
Sister Hong smiled with difficulty, but secretly despised her counterpart’s IQ.
To figure out if it was an original, all those present had to do was quickly check using their phones. Unless Lu Chen was an idiot, he wouldn’t dare to bluff. Otherwise, where could he go after his bluff was seen through?
The thing that left her with no self-confidence was the fact Lu Chen’s two songs were sung with his natural voice!
What was the electronic room’s fatty trying to do?
At the same time, in the electronic room.
The sound technician Fatty and waiter Little Gao were completely flabbergasted.
They wanted to scheme against Lu Chen, so they disabled the audio tuner and let his real voice play through the speakers. This would then cause a scandal by revealing Lu Chen’s original voice and satisfy each of their respective dark thoughts.
However, the result was completely out of their expectations. Lu Chen not only avoided losing face, he also won praises of the audience. His abilities were immeasurably better than before.
The transmitted voice that they heard was even clearer than the voice the patrons heard outside.
Their small moves were all rendered useless.
And the bloody Lu Chen even had to bring out an original song!
Fatty dispiritedly shook his head and extended his hand to re-enable the audio tuner.
Little Gao stopped him with a grab, darkly asking, “Fatty Bro, can you make his voice sound a bit worse?”
His strong jealousy was akin to a poisonous viper devouring the waiter’s heart, making him lose his rationality.
However, Fatty was still clear headed. He didn’t have that much of a grudge with Lu Chen. After he got over his shock, he said as urgently as if his buttocks were lit on fire, “what are you muttering about?? Do I look like I don’t want my rice bowl anymore? Definitely not. Absolutely not.”
Audio tuners could make a voice sound good, so it could naturally make a voice sound bad. However, it was way too obvious. Was this waiter taking everyone else for a fool?
Little Gao was completely unreconciled and refused to loosen his grip on the fatty’s hand. He wanted to continue his persuasion.
Right at this time, the electronic room’s door was suddenly pushed open.
The two schemers turned their head to see Chen Jianhao who appeared in the doorway. The two were scared silly!
Chen Jianhao’s face was completely dark. His piercing gaze swept over the two’s body and finally rested on the still open audio mixer. Flames began to flicker in his gaze.
Fatty was paralyzed in his chair and tried to explain with a bitter face, “B…boss, I …”
Chen Jianhao didn’t bother paying him any head and coldly said to Little Gao, “Little Gao, go to the cashier to get your wages for this month. There’s no need for you to return anymore.”
The owner of the Forget Worries Bar was very clear on what had happened and who the culprits were.
As if he was struck by lightning, Little Gao suddenly roused himself. All of his unreconciled envy, anger, and desire for revenge suddenly disappeared. All that was left was terror and regret.
“Boss, I was wrong. I’m begging you for another chance!”
Being a server at Forget Worries Bar actually wasn’t bad. The work was steady and the salary wasn’t low. The boss, Chen Jianhao, treated the staff well and, at the end of the year, the red packages were always full.
Little Gao really didn’t want to lose this job. In addition, Chen Jianhao’s words implied that he should no longer appear in Houhai in the future.
Chen Jianhao naturally didn’t have the ability to influence all the bars in Houhai. However, he only needed to say a few words and let the other bars know. Which bar would be willing to hire this kind of person that liked to stir up trouble?
To let him receive his paycheck before leaving was already extremely benevolent. It could be considered opening the net and giving him a way out.
Regardless of how much he begged, it didn’t make a difference.
Even though Little Gao wanted to cry, no tears came out — he had brought this disaster on himself!