Chapter 164: Take it that I kissed a dog
Rebirth could be considered as having been popular before, while Rebirth’s Apple was currently rapidly gaining popularity as a newcomer to showbiz...still, it was even more remarkable this time. Perhaps it should be said that this was Rebirth shooting into prominence overnight in the truest sense of the term.
They were so popular that the media and the internet were filled entirely with discussions about them.
Firstly, this was an unexpected performance. From the sudden announcement to the choice of locale, Rebirth’s first ever public performance had left everyone feeling incomparably surprised.
Then, they had displayed a self-absorbed attitude that bordered on ‘arrogance’ at the scene, seemingly not caring about others’ evaluation of them as well as their image and style at all as they had just treated it like entertainment and self-leisure, an expression of their selves.
Other than those two deep bows and that ‘goodbye’ at the end, they hadn’t even bothered with a greeting at all, not even having dispensed with the most basic of pleasantries.
They had been in cool, dazzling attire, yet had performed a dance that was stiff and wooden to the point that everyone had been laughing at them, dancing till the laughter eventually turned into popularity. This dance was currently spreading at the greatest possible speed, going viral.
They had produced a virtually irreproducible performance, taken out Rebirth’s deepest, most emotional song to date, <The Brightest Star In The Night Sky>. They had moved countless people to tears with their singing, sighing as they questioned themselves, yet had just thrown down two totally random sentences before leaving.
Whilst not having revealed their faces, they had easily broken the rumour of the ‘ugly band’.
It was even to the extent that while they hadn’t even officially recorded and uploaded those two songs, not even having provided ringtones to download, just the songs alone with the great amount of background noise from the live performance were already sufficient to easily reign at the top of the music charts and downloading lists as well as air on the major television stations.
If this had been a promotion activity intended to stir things up before Rebirth entered showbiz, it was unquestionably an incomparably successful one. Whether it was the sense of mystery, the topicality or the music itself, they had all been perfect, being sufficient for them to announce their debut amidst a wave of anticipation before coming out to take the world by storm.
Yet, everyone waited for a few days only to discover that there would be no continuation to this matter at all. Rebirth had just suddenly popped out and about before vanishing soundlessly into thin air once more.
The media was unresigned, and those self-proclaimed ‘fans’ of Rebirth were even more unresigned. Through various channels, they incessantly continued asking about whether Rebirth would be officially entering showbiz.
Finally, as such questions continued on the small Rebirth webpage, a reply came to a simple, innocuous post:
“I’ll clarify. Stop asking. Rebirth’s other members apart from Apple will never enter showbiz.”
“Never? Why?!” An unresigned ‘fan’ asked.
“Haven’t the time.”
It really was because of ‘haven’t the time’. People remembered Apple’s earlier words: ‘He hasn’t the time’. Being a star and earning big money-there was actually someone claiming not to have the time for even the likes of that?
“Will you still be performing in public then? When will that be?”
“Will there still be new songs? Will there be underground albums?”
No further replies were forthcoming to the questions that followed. Still, Rebirth’s stance could not have been any more obvious.
To Xu Tingsheng, aside from celebrating Little Xiang Ning’s birthday, there was actually also an unexpected gain from this.
They had performed on the pretext of gratitude towards their former school, pretending to have graduated from Xinyan Junior High in the past. This having been reported on by the media, it had greatly diverted the efforts of those who were searching for clues as to their identities.
As long as you’re a member of Rebirth, you’ve got to first fit the condition of having studied in Xinyan Junior High in the past. Following this track of thought, it was impossible for them to get their hands on Xu Tingsheng and Fu Cheng. However suspicious they were, they would also be automatically excluded from suspicion.
With this, it was not just the media and the ‘fans’ who were misled. Even those friends and classmates of Xu Tingsheng’s who had suspected him before now felt that perhaps he really only knew Rebirth.
An old classmate who had heard Xu Tingsheng singing <We Are All Good Kids> in senior high called, asking, “Xu Tingsheng, it looks like you really aren’t a member of Rebirth! Still, you definitely know Rebirth, right? Because of that, you listened to their song even before it’d been officially released.”
“Oh, I just happen to know them by chance.”
“That...how about it? Can you introduce them? Or give some hint?” His old classmate pressed.
“Sorry, they want this to remain a secret. I can’t help it, I can’t betray my friends,” Xu Tingsheng said troubledly.
Not being bothered by anything, one would feel weightless and relaxed.
Hucheng was still developing rapidly following its implementation in the nine cities. It had gained initial profits, the hiring of personnel for the training institute nearly being complete as well as it would officially begin recruiting students on a full scale when the summer holidays arrived.
Xu Tingsheng maintained that same living rhythm. Every day, he would go to class, leave class, go to Hucheng and sleep in his dorm. Then, he would also go to tutor Xiang Ning on Saturdays.
‘Uncle’ felt rather regretful that after his identity as a member of Rebirth had been learnt by Xiang Ning, there really seemed to be none of that awaited admiration and adoration at all.
To Xiang Ning, the incomparably mysterious Rebirth member whom she had originally liked and been full of curiosity about...had suddenly become ‘Uncle’ whom she was the most familiar with. Like this, only the identity of Uncle remained. Rebirth or whatnot-it was not worth a mention.
“If only I didn’t know about it. How boring. Uncle’s not like a celebrity at all. He’s more like a chef, because his cooking is delicious.”
Little Xiang Ning occasionally complained about how her expectations of idols had been broken. When mentioning Rebirth afterwards, there was only Apple whom she would ask about.
Xiang Ning liked Apple. Xu Tingsheng didn’t know whether he should tell her: Actually, you’ve seen her before. She’s the one you saw holding onto my arm on the street, and she can be considered your love rival as well. How can you possibly like her?
Still, Xu Tingsheng was worried that if he were to say this now, Little Xiang Ning might reply, “Hurry up and get together with Big Sis Apple then! Like this, I would be able to see her.”
As for the kiss from that day, Xiang Ning did not feel shy or embarrassed over it at all. Her explanation back then had been: I was kissing you for Big Xiang Ning. Uncle’s very pitiful.
Afterwards, even more outrageously, in order to emphasise that she really hadn’t had any other intentions, she had even kissed her pet Golden Retriever in front of Xu Tingsheng a few times when at home before saying, “That kiss was just the same as this.”
“So, you’re saying: Take it that this Miss kissed a dog?”
Uncle felt like he was going crazy, yet there was really nothing that he could do. He could only be stricter and more severe in his lessons. The end of the semester was nearly upon them, and people were never easily satisfied. Mr and Mrs Xiang had been feeling incomparably moved over Xiang Ning having ranked fifth in class in her midterms just recently. Now, they had already set their sights on third place as well as an overall ranking in the entire year.
Yet, Xiang Ning really wasn’t cut out for attaining exemplary results. The goal of Xu Tingsheng’s efforts was merely to help her get into a first-tier senior high school of Yanzhou. As for why she definitely had to get into a first-tier school...need it still be said?
Yanjing, Tianle Media Agency.
Apple left the boss’s office.
In the joint office region outside, everyone, including artistes, managers, assistants and clerical personnel, was looking at her. It was just that there were different emotions within their gazes. Some were worried for her while some didn’t even bother feigning goodwill, their minds just full of wanting to watch her fall and make a joke of herself.
Apple did not evade them, not uttering a sound. In the boss’s office just earlier, she had been like this for the entire half hour, not uttering a sound all.
The boss had called Apple in on the pretext of creating her album for her. Yet, as soon as he had opened his mouth, he had only mentioned one thing, having shamelessly urged Apple to ask Rebirth for the copyrights of their two new songs.
Apple suddenly felt that it was very laughable. The boss was very laughable, and she herself was even more laughable.
The words she had said to Xu Tingsheng that snowy night forever remained beside her: ‘I want to hold up an umbrella of my own, walking shoulder-to-shoulder with you.’ Song Ni had told her afterwards that choice Xu Tingsheng had made during the Xu Family’s predicament nearing the end of the previous year. That was eternally etched within her mind as well.
Therefore, this time, Apple would definitely maintain her final persistence. Her resistance, was silence.
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