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    Shen Li gave the jar of stars to Lu Changting, who placed it in the study. Occasionally, when Shen Li went to the study, he would see Lu Changting dismantling the stars and then carefully folding them back together.

    Shen Li felt that Lu Changting, who meticulously folded the stars, was a bit adorable.

    Knowing each other’s adolescent crushes and unaware of it, their everyday love life didn’t seem to change much. Except that Lu Changting always liked to tease Shen Li when they were alone, making him call him “little brother”.

    At first, Shen Li would blush and shyly couldn’t say it, but after a few times, he could also call out “little brother” with a smile, leaning close to Lu Changting’s ear to say it, which made Lu Changting blush and pretend to be indifferent.

    The summer passed quickly. Cheng Zhao moved back home and tacitly agreed to Shen Li living with Lu Changting. Lu Changting’s girlfriend finished her studies abroad and returned home, and they started preparing for the wedding. Jiang Chifeng and Wei Wenxing went home to visit their parents. Probably because of the Moonlight incident, Wei’s parents had become more accepting over the years, so they quite liked him. They also mentioned Wei Wenxing to their family, but Jiang’s family’s current attitude was still neither supportive nor opposed; some things still needed time.

    Everyone else seemed to be the same, couples continuing to love each other, while singles remained carefree.

    On the day of the Mid-Autumn Festival, Shen Li went home to celebrate, bought a box of mooncakes, had dinner with Cheng Zhao, and watched the Mid-Autumn Festival Gala together.

    They had done this in previous years, but this year, Shen Li couldn’t get into the songs and dances of the Mid-Autumn Festival Gala. Feeling bored and uninterested without Lu Changting, he celebrated with his phone, constantly messaging on WeChat.

    The Mid-Autumn Festival should have been a day of reunion under the full moon. Originally, he and Lu Changting had agreed to have lunch at Lu’s house and then have dinner with Cheng Zhao. But plans changed—Lu Changting went to M City.

    It wasn’t a business trip; Lu Changting had encountered a minor accident while filming in M City. Upon receiving the call, Lu Changting immediately booked the fastest flight. Since M City had a large temperature difference between day and night, Shen Li helped him pack a few clothes and took him to the airport, only reminding him to be safe without saying much else.

    The filming location was in the desert, and Lu Changting had fallen off a horse again. The manager called while they were on the way to the hospital. The situation was unclear, and Lu Changting was worried. He was worried too; at times like these, personal feelings had to be put aside.

    However, by the time Lu Changting arrived at the hospital, Lu Changting had already woken up. After taking X-rays, it was determined that she had injured her leg with a minor fracture, and she had already been conservatively treated and put in a cast. Seeing her in good spirits and still able to joke, and hearing the doctor say that rest was enough, Lu Changting’s heart finally settled down. He called home to update them on Lu Changting’s condition and then informed Shen Li of his safety before sitting down by the hospital bed.

    Thinking of the man who had been sitting by the bed and quietly talking to Lu Changting, Lu Changting couldn’t help but furrow his brows.

    Li Jiansheng.

    He was the director of Lu Changting’s previous film. Last time, when he invited Fan Jingling to dinner, Fan Jingling had mentioned another person taking care of Lu Changting. So, he had looked into this person. His mother was a well-known screenwriter, and his father was the famous director Li Zhongming, a respected artist. However, although Li Jiansheng had directed films, he kept a low profile. Few people in the industry knew about his background. He was more known for winning the New Director Award for his first film, which Lu Changting had seen and was also Shen Li’s favorite, “Clouds and Joy”.

    After learning about Li Jiansheng’s background, Lu Changting had casually asked Lu Changting about her impression of him. What had she said at the time?

    Lu Changting said, “Director Li seems gentle, but he can be strict during filming.”

    Because of Lu Changting’s words, Lu Changting hadn’t taken Li Jiansheng too seriously. But now, it seemed he had let his guard down too early.

    Li Jiansheng was also tactful. When he saw Lu Changting, he made an excuse about something on the set and left first.

    After thinking it over, Lu Changting still felt uneasy. He looked at Lu Changting and asked, “Why is Director Li here?”

    “Jiansheng is Zhang’s student.” Lu Changting’s gaze dodged slightly. “He’s been learning with the crew lately.”

    Li Jiansheng usually treated people very gently and attentively, always caring for her silently. After spending a long time together, she slowly discovered Li Jiansheng’s good qualities, and inevitably, Lu Changting felt a bit moved. So, when Lu Changting asked, she felt a bit guilty.

    Lu Changting gazed steadily at her and said, “Last time you said he was strict, now you’re calling him Jiansheng?”

    Lu Changting had a feeling that Lu Changting could see through any hidden thoughts she might have. She bit her lip, looked pitifully at Lu Changting, and also tried to create a favorable impression for Li Jiansheng. “He… he’s actually a very nice person. When I fell off the horse, he was the first one to run over and lift me up. He’s also the one who brought me to the hospital…”

    Lu Changting sighed. “You like him?”

    “There’s a bit.” Lu Changting stole a glance at him, seeing his expression soften, she smiled sweetly at him, “But I still prefer Brother Changting.”

    Lu Changting’s tone was somewhat helpless, “Love is freedom, I didn’t intend to play the role of a third party in any relationship.”

    Lu Changting whispered, “But it seems like you don’t like him…”

    Lu Changting poured a glass of warm water for her, “Why should I like someone who’s competing with me for my sister?”

    Lu Changting:”…”

    This topic was exhausted, and Lu Changting also knew that her brothers all had some sister-loving tendencies to some extent, so she didn’t mention Li Jiansheng again.

    Moreover, they weren’t together yet, it was too early to talk about the future, and she didn’t want to think too much about it for now.

    In the evening, Lu Changting returned to the hotel to rest, and his agent came to accompany her. The next morning, Lu Changting came to see her again.

    Although it was inconvenient to move with the cast on, the VIP ward of the hospital was still comfortable. The crew had kept her injury under wraps tightly, except for the first day when everyone came to visit, afterwards, everyone returned to the set to continue shooting. No one disturbed her, and the ward was quiet, allowing Lu Changting to rest well.

    But she could only lie on the bed, and her meals were brought by her assistant. Lu Changting bent down to raise the bed, propped up the pillows behind her to make her more comfortable, and then set up the dining table and arranged the food.

    Getting closer, Lu Changting caught a whiff of the faint woody scent emanating from Lu Changting’s body, somewhat surprised, and a little moved. “Brother Changting, did you bring perfume? Can you spray some for me in the ward?”

    The hospital was permeated with the smell of disinfectant, and even with the windows open, it couldn’t be dispersed.

    “What perfume?” Lu Changting reacted for a moment. “I didn’t bring any perfume.”

    “Smell it yourself.” Lu Changting widened her eyes, looking disbelieving. “You clearly sprayed some.”

    Lu Changting lowered his head to smell the collar of his clothes, the extremely light woody scent was clean and refreshing, familiar, comforting, and warm.

    He suddenly smiled, muttered something about making a phone call, then turned and left the ward.

    Shen Li was still not fully awake, letting her phone ring for a while before finally answering the call.

    Hearing a cheerful “Shen Xiaoli”, he lazily responded with a “Hmm,” and said, “Good morning.”

    Lu Changting smiled and replied, “Good morning.”

    After exchanging morning greetings, there was no further conversation. Shen Li was still a bit sleepy, so he lazily put his phone on speaker and held it to his ear, then wrapped himself in the blanket. “Why aren’t you saying anything?”

    “I just wanted to call you.” Lu Changting felt the longing pressing on his heart slightly ease when he heard his voice. “You can go back to sleep.”

    Shen Li hesitated for a moment, then suddenly called out, “Little Brother,” his voice was soft and gentle, “Do you miss me?”

    Lu Changting’s grip on the phone tightened slowly. “Yes.”

    “I miss you a lot,” he said again, “You secretly sprayed perfume on my clothes, just to make me think of you, remember you?”

    “…You found out.” Shen Li, wrapped in the blanket, turned over heavily, turned off the speaker, and held the phone to his ear, correcting him, “It’s to make you feel like I’m by your side when you think of me.”

    Lu Changting smiled, “But it just makes me miss you more, what should I do?”

    “I don’t know what to do.” Shen Li yawned, “I stayed up very late last night, I couldn’t sleep.”

    He said, “Around three or four.”

    Lu Changting asked, “You said goodnight early in the morning, why did you only sleep at three or four?”

    “I missed you.” Shen Li buried his face in the pillow, said muffledly, “What can I do? I counted so many sheep, counted so many stars, but still missed you.”

    Missing someone is never about how long you’ve been apart or how far away they are. It’s simply because that person, they’re on your mind, carrying all your thoughts.

    “Why didn’t you call me?”

    “Are you asleep?” Shen Li said, “And in the future, when we’re apart—I mean, it’s impossible to be together every day. You’ll be on business trips, and I’ll accompany my mom on outings. When you’re not around, I’ll still eat well, sleep well, and live well.”

    Shen Li paused for a moment, then said, “And you should too.”

    Even though there’s longing, no matter how far apart, you still have to take care of yourself so that the other person can feel reassured.

    “You’re too obedient,” Lu Changting sighed softly, “Sometimes I wish you weren’t so obedient. I hope you’ll call me whenever you miss me, anytime, anywhere.”

    “I know…” Shen Li responded, “When I miss you, I’ll send you a message or call you.”

    Then he added, “You should do the same.”

    Shen Li said, “When you miss me, send me a message or call me.”

    Lu Changting chuckled softly, “Aren’t I talking to you right now?”

    Lu Changting said, “In the future, during Mid-Autumn Festival, you won’t be left alone anymore.”

    Even though we might be separated by miles, he still wants to be with Shen Li, to be together under the same moon.

    [1] 棒打鸳鸯: This idiom literally translates to “to beat mandarin ducks with a stick.” Mandarin ducks are a symbol of love and affection in Chinese culture, so the idiom refers to interfering in a romantic relationship or preventing two people from being together.

    [2] The term 妹控 (mèi kòng) means “sister complex” or someone who has a strong affection for younger girls, often used humorously.

    [3] 人月两圆:: This phrase is a play on words. 人月两圆 (rén yuè liǎng yuán) literally means “both people and the moon are round,” implying a sense of completeness or harmony in a relationship. It’s a clever twist on the traditional Mid-Autumn Festival saying 人月两团圆 (rén yuè liǎng tuán yuán), which means “both people and the moon reunite.”

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