Thousands of Heartbeats

Chapter 1

On a cold winter day, the sky was lightly drizzling with rain.

A gust of wind swept by, kissing the skin and causing ripples, as the temperature gradually dropped, making everyone shiver with cold.

At the end of December, a fashionable charity evening event arrived as scheduled.

Celebrities had received invitations to attend the event well in advance. Despite the below-freezing temperatures, they appeared in suits and evening gowns, signing autographs, giving interviews to the media, and posing for photos.

Yan Qiuzhi was no exception; she had also received an invitation.

As she hurried to the event, she was running a bit late and didn't have time to change her clothes or do her makeup. She was still making her final preparations in the car.

Her assistant, Zhu Zhu, was by her side, updating her on the latest developments on the red carpet.

"Wow, it's about to be Guan He's turn to walk the carpet!" Zhu Zhu sat in a corner and excitedly narrated, "Her makeup today is charming, and she's wearing a nude strap dress, revealing some cleavage, with a captivating figure. It's truly enchanting!"

Yan Qiuzhi couldn't help but laugh at her description and playfully blinked her eyes.

The makeup artist also joined in, scolding Zhu Zhu, "Don't fidget around. Do you want Yan Qiuzhi to walk the red carpet with raised eyebrows later?"

Zhu Zhu chuckled, "Of course not. Guan He is already flaunting her cleavage. We can't let Sister Yan lose!"

Upon hearing this, Yan Qiuzhi couldn't help but give her a sideways glance and calmly said, "What do you mean I can't lose?"

Zhu Zhu kindly explained, "You know, the usual competition online? Today there's even a poll, and many people were saying you might not attend tonight's event."

"Why?" Yan Qiuzhi asked.

Zhu Zhu explained, "Because our studio hasn't released any red carpet photos."

Before celebrities walk the red carpet, about 99% of studios would release photos in advance for fans and the public to enjoy. Many celebrities even manage to trend due to a single set of photos. It's an opportunity for fame that most wouldn't want to miss.

Yan Qiuzhi and Guan He were both subjects of attention from fans and the public. They followed similar paths in the entertainment industry, and with increased competition over the past year, they were often compared, even though they themselves didn't think that way.

While they were talking, Yan Qiuzhi's phone rang.

"It's Sister Meng's call."

"Go ahead," Yan Qiuzhi replied.

She was being held still by the makeup artist and couldn't move much.

Zhu Zhu answered the call and greeted, "Sister Meng."

Sister Meng was Yan Qiuzhi's manager.

Li Meng's voice came from the other side, "Where's Qiuzhi?"

"She's still getting ready."

Li Meng was still in the office at this moment. She glanced at her wristwatch and then at the ongoing red carpet live broadcast. She spoke in a deep voice, "Can she make it in time?"

Yan Qiuzhi's voice was very soft as she calmly replied, "Yes."

Li Meng nodded and whispered, "I just received a message. I wanted to pass it on to you."

"What is it?"

Li Meng hesitated for a moment and then whispered, "The endorsement deal we've been working on for so long, Guan He took it away."

Yan Qiuzhi was taken aback and immediately understood what Li Meng was referring to. Her eyelashes trembled slightly, but she remained silent.

Li Meng continued, "Don't be too disheartened. It's just one endorsement deal, and we have many more opportunities in the future."

Yan Qiuzhi smiled lightly, her lips curving slightly. "I know."

Listening to her tone, Li Meng wasn't entirely reassured. She said, "If she deliberately provokes you later, try to keep your temper in check."

Yan Qiuzhi found it a bit amusing but agreed with a good heart, "Okay."

After hanging up the phone, Zhu Zhu stared at Yan Qiuzhi for a while and whispered, "Sister Yan, don't get discouraged."

Yan Qiuzhi was about to respond but was stopped by the makeup artist.

"Don't speak, it's the final step," the makeup artist said.

Yan Qiuzhi nodded.

After finishing her makeup, Yan Qiuzhi quickly changed into her gown with the help of her assistant. Just as she finished changing, the makeup artist touched up her makeup and fixed her hair, and the car came to a stop.

At this moment, fans and media were waiting on both sides, eagerly anticipating the arrival of their idol. In order to support their idol, they endured the cold without complaint.

When they saw a black limousine stopping, everyone craned their necks and turned their gaze in this direction.

The first thing that was exposed to the public was a pair of dazzling white legs. Moving upward, there was a dark red sequined suspender skirt that shimmered in the black night.

Fans exclaimed in surprise; their screams continued when they recognized the familiar face.

The sound of media cameras clicking away in the distance showed no signs of stopping.

Yan Qiuzhi appeared like a fairy emerging from the darkness, captivating everyone's attention with every move, making it impossible to look away once they saw her.

"Ah, it's Yan Qiuzhi!!!"

"Oh my god, Yan Qiuzhi is enchanting us again!!!"

"Ah, Yan Qiuzhi is killing me."

Yan Qiuzhi smiled slightly at the camera, walking gracefully towards the red carpet.

Just at that moment, another car slowly pulled up on the other side and stopped at the entrance of the red carpet.

Yan Qiuzhi glanced at it and then walked straight to the display board. This was a part of the normal procedure; she signed her name, and the next person followed suit.

However, just as Yan Qiuzhi approached the display board and took the pen from the host's hand, there was a sudden uproar from behind her.

Instinctively, she turned around and looked in that direction.

Once she turned, her gaze couldn't immediately be withdrawn.

In the bustling night, a man in a well-fitted black suit stood at the other end of the red carpet. He had a tall and imposing figure, exuding an air of elegance. His facial features were sharp, and his deep-set eyes were captivating. He stood there as if he was isolated from the world.

The surrounding noise seemed to have no connection to him.

However, it was precisely because of him that the rising excitement had everyone's attention focused on him.

As if they shared a telepathic connection, the man, who was strolling slowly towards her, raised his eyelids and looked in her direction. His irises were light, yet it easily gave people a deep, entrancing feeling. Once you fell into those eyes, it was impossible to break free.

That one glance, when Yan Qiuzhi recalled it after entering the venue, seemed to be mixed with the coldness of winter, making people dare not approach.

Inside the venue, the male and female celebrities who had walked the red carpet found their designated seats.

With familiar friends nearby, there was some room for conversation.

Just as Yan Qiuzhi had found her seat and sat down, conversations among artists could be heard on both sides.

"Did we see correctly? Chen Lunan is back!"

"No way! He's really back!"

"Ah, he just returned today. How did he keep it so tightly under wraps? Tonight's hot search belongs to no one else but Chen Lunan."

"That's for sure."

The two people behind Yan Qiuzhi were chatting, and in between, they didn't forget to include her, "Qiuzhi, you saw it just now, right?"

Yan Qiuzhi came back to her senses, turned to look at the two, and smiled politely, "Yes."

The two of them exclaimed excitedly, "You have no idea how much I've dreamed of seeing him since I entered the entertainment industry."

"Me too."

Chen Lunan, a top-tier legend in the entertainment industry.

From his debut until now, all his works had become incredibly popular. He was known for being modest and low-key, rarely appearing in public except for necessary promotional events.

However, even so, he was an extremely high-profile male artist. Whenever he attended an event, everyone else essentially played a supporting role.

But then, just over a year ago, he suddenly announced that he was going abroad for further studies.

After that, there was no news of him until he made a surprise appearance tonight.

Yan Qiuzhi speculated that there should be at least three trending topics online related to Chen Lunan right now.

With his return, the position of the top star in the entertainment industry would have to change hands.

While she was lost in thought, someone sat down beside her and asked, "What are you daydreaming about?"

Yan Qiuzhi snapped out of her reverie and looked at the person next to her; it was Shen Muqing.

She was one of Yan Qiuzhi's close friends in the industry.

Yan Qiuzhi met her gaze and said casually, "Just thinking about how my limelight was stolen tonight."

Shen Muqing: "..."

She was speechless for a moment, then looked at Yan Qiuzhi and asked, "Is that all?"

Yan Qiuzhi shrugged and replied frankly, "Yep."

Shen Muqing choked for a moment, then glanced at the man who had finally sat down in the front row, right in the center. From their position, they could see the superior profile of his face.

She stared for a moment, then whispered in Yan Qiuzhi's ear, "It's been over a year, but your husband is still very handsome."

Upon hearing this, Yan Qiuzhi gave a cold look in that direction and let out a sarcastic laugh.

That was indeed a fact.

Her husband had always been handsome, the kind that could attract attention anytime, anywhere.

Shen Muqing, hearing Yan Qiuzhi's cold laughter, shivered inexplicably.

She glanced at Yan Qiuzhi and then back at Chen Lunan's direction, cautiously asking, " didn’t know that your husband was coming back?"

Yan Qiuzhi gave her an approving look.

Shen Muqing couldn't believe it as she looked at Yan Qiuzhi and then back at Chen Lunan. She muttered a curse under her breath, "Damn! Your husband is something else."

Yan Qiuzhi nodded in agreement, "You're absolutely right."

Just as she finished cursing, Chen Lunan sneezed over at his side.

A senior artist, who was sitting beside him and chatting with him, was startled and nervously asked, "Xiao Lu, do you have a cold?"

Chen Lunan shook his head, "No."

His voice was low, like a clear spring, pleasant to listen to.

The senior artist smiled and advised, "You’ve just returned to the country, you might not be accustomed to the local weather. It's cold, remember to dress warmly."

Chen Lunan nodded, indicating that he understood.

He wasn't much of a talker, but the senior artist was used to it and didn't mind his attitude. They were all well-acquainted, and his behavior didn't affect their opinion of him.

Chen Lunan had indeed just arrived. Shortly after getting off the plane, he was notified to attend this event.

Originally, it wasn't supposed to be him attending this event, but the originally scheduled person had some last-minute issues, and Chen Lunan owed a favor, so he had to step in.

He glanced at the host speaking on stage, his expression indifferent and somewhat absentminded. 

His phone kept vibrating, but Chen Lunan found it annoying and decided to put it on silent.

As soon as he did that, he heard the voices behind him.

"Yan Qiuzhi's dress tonight is so beautiful."

"Yeah, she's also trending, right behind Chen Lunan."

"To be honest, if it weren't for Chen Lunan's surprise appearance tonight, Yan Qiuzhi would have taken the top trending spot."

"Yan Qiuzhi's figure is incredible!"

"You think so? She's currently the top female star that everyone wants to 'sleep' with, just a tiny bit away from the top male star, Chen Lunan."

"Didn't they say someone is pursuing Yan Qiuzhi lately? I wonder if he’ll succeed."

The two people chatted away, oblivious to the fact that their voices had carried over to Chen Lunan's side.

It wasn't until their voices grew louder that someone nearby glanced at Chen Lunan and lightly cleared their throat as a reminder, causing the two to gradually lower their voices.

Chen Lunan narrowed his eyes, suddenly recalling the poster he had seen just after getting off the plane.

A stunning lady in a red dress, with a figure to die for, enchanting eyes and dazzling teeth. She could easily capture anyone's heart.

Thinking about it, he let out a faint chuckle.

Throughout the event, Yan Qiuzhi seemed somewhat absent-minded.

Her demeanor was cool and elegant as always, which seemed normal to those unfamiliar with her. However, those who knew her better had heard that Guan He had taken away the endorsement Yan Qiuzhi had been striving for. Her mood was bound to be affected.

As the event entered its later stages, most people were ready to leave.

Shen Muqing, who had been staring at the person whose posture hadn't changed all night, called out, "Are you going to the restroom?"


Shen Muqing probably understood her mood and asked in a low voice, "Then, are you going back?"


Just as Yan Qiuzhi stood up to leave, she saw someone on the other side walking toward the center of everyone's attention.

Yan Qiuzhi even noticed with sharp eyes that Guan He deliberately pulled down her dress, revealing her prominent cleavage.

In an instant, Yan Qiuzhi changed her mind.

"I won't go back just yet."


Shen Muqing followed her gaze and, upon seeing Guan He's actions, couldn't help but laugh.

"Doesn't she know that Chen Lunan is very principled?"

Yan Qiuzhi smirked, clearly enjoying the spectacle, "Who knows? Maybe she thinks that after not seeing each other for over a year, Chen Lunan is now insatiable and doesn't discriminate between meat and vegetables*."

"不分葷素" is a Chinese idiom that means "to not distinguish between meat and vegetables," often used humorously to suggest someone is indiscriminate or insatiable in their desires.

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