Chapter 350: Those who walk together after the ruckus
After leaving the private room, Tan Yao leaned against the banister on the second storey for a while, watching the performance downstairs. Still, he was actually unable to take in any of it at all.
It could not be denied that Tan Yao had felt rather flustered upon suddenly seeing Fang Chen in the private room earlier.
When he had first met Fang Chen in his first year of university, she had really been too dazzling such that she had somehow entered his heart.
This had already gone on for nearly two years.
It is just like one’s early years of school. You end up liking the girl speaking on the podium beneath the national flag at first sight. There might not actually be any interaction between you. Still, this will continually stay buried within your heart. Many years later, you will suddenly recall that you once liked such a person.
Such feelings are always one-sided, with no way of expressing them and no reciprocation at all.
Tan Yao and Fang Chen were just a bit more acquainted with each other than normal friends at most.
To do a bit of psychoanalysis, girls that Tan Yao would really end up liking would definitely have to be those he had to look up to at the start, maybe even made him feel a sense of inferiority. It was the case with Fang Chen, and with Ye Qing as well.
Still, things were different for Ye Qing.
If someone’s solitude that they had deliberately concealed could be seen through by someone, this meant that the way in which she looked at him was definitely different, definitely not being like how one saw another as a less worthy being.
Also, with what had happened on the eve of the Lunar New Year, when Ye Qing had suddenly appeared that night and so amusingly taken out a big packet of still warm dumplings from her LV bag, this tale was destined to be different.
Afterwards, they had sat on the pile of wood from the construction materials, squabbling and mocking each other with nothing good coming out from their mouths at all as they quarrelled and quarrelled…ending up being in a huff and not speaking to each other until they had finished listening to the New Year’s countdown bell and the sound of fireworks which filled the entire sky.
As he walked her to the door, she had hesitated for a very long time before saying, “I brought too little alcohol.”
There was also what she had said tonight, ‘I’m very happy now that you have your own career’, ‘Stupid, I’m supporting you here’, ‘Then standing in front of a younger guy, disregarding my face and saying all this’.
Tan Yao waved a hand in front of his forehead as if to signify dispelling some specific emotions, a particular person...setting aside Fang Chen whom he liked for no real reason, to properly love Ye Qing for whom him being in a relationship with was even more unthinkable yet was somehow truly happening now.
“That’s how it is,” Tan Yao took in a deep breath as he told himself.
Tan Yao had once smiled bitterly as he confided to Xu Tingsheng in the early hours of the morning that he did not know if anyone really cared much about him. He felt that he really lacked value in his existence.
Ye Qing had given him this existential value and feeling of being cared for by someone. Also, it could not be denied that she was a woman who possessed that much charm. “The heck, this is kinda freaking crazy.”
Huang Yaming had just finished going around toasting people as he was now sitting together with Shao Jun.
“When that article was published earlier, Jin Datang retaliated by yelling over the media that if he loses to you in one week of box office earnings when the time comes, he’ll wipe your shoes clean for you,” Shao Jue brought up this matter.
Leaning against the backrest of the chair, Huang Yaming grinned, “Jin Datang and I both know full well that coming together to stir up expectations and awareness isn’t a bad thing. If I really do win him for one week then, that would be some crazy luck on my part. And it just happens that I could really use someone to help clean my shoes.”
Hearing him speaking so calmly as if it was a matter that could not be any more ordinary, Shao Jun realised with a start: This guy actually really isn’t doing this out of youthful impetuousness at all. In betting with someone else, money is really his sole aim.
Looking at this young man who had still been enthusiastically ingratiating himself with all those aloof faces some months ago at Tianyi, shamelessly going around forming connections and trying to become closer with them as he completely ignored that mockery and indifference, Shao Jun remembered how Wang Zhongjun had said back then that if this guy gained a chance, he would definitely be able to climb up to success.
Now, success was truly about to come for him.
“News about the bar has already spread on the internet. With that press conference from earlier and today’s opening ceremony, because this is in closer proximity to the entertainment industry, you may well become more renowned than Xu Tingsheng very soon,” Shao Jun smiled, saying.
“That fits his personality, and fits mine too. He doesn’t like being exposed to the public eye as far as is possible, while I like it and am enamoured by it too much, that feeling of being above the rest with infinite glory,” Huang Yaming replied very candidly.
And this was how things were in actual fact. As Huang Yaming had been gradually coming to take center stage, Xu Tingsheng had been cautiously retreating backwards slowly but surely.
After Weibo had gotten on track, Xu Tingsheng had basically handed operations over to Hu Chen and He Yitan to handle, with the two frequently showing their faces before the media.
Fang Yuqing had been given the lead position of Zhicheng Real Estate as besides the upper echelons of Yanzhou who had been figuratively slapped by Xu Tingsheng, the ordinary folks basically only knew of Fang Yuqing when talking about Zhicheng, not knowing Xu Tingsheng.
As for Hucheng, it had primarily been led by Lu Zhixin in the first place. Recently, she too had revealed herself more to the general public. Young, beautiful, cool and shockingly talented-the domineering female CEO image had caused her number of followers on Weibo and discussion levels to rapidly surpass Xu Tingsheng’s.
There were even more women who loved her than men.
And she even also listened to Xu Tingsheng’s advice, uploading a few photos from time to time, of when she was at work, in the library, in the classroom, out on business trips, and even when she was at the main seat of the conference table during meetings, presiding over everything…
In actual life, who had ever since such a young woman before?
Lu Zhixin gained internet fame without even really knowing how it happened such that when news on the dramatisation of a popular workplace drama was revealed, votes on the female lead were frenziedly cast for her who was not even an actress in the first place.
It was to the point that the professional actresses were left totally angered and embarrassed.
The people who were by Xu Tingsheng’s side and could see all this unfolding vaguely had the sense that while Xu Tingsheng was merely twenty-one, he seemed already to have the feel of commandeering the entire world from behind the scenes in a leisurely and composed manner.
As for the reason, there was only Xu Tingsheng himself who knew it.
“Maybe he’s keeping something all to himself again. It’s always been like this. None of us can see through him,” Said Fu Cheng who had also been at the bar for the entire night yet clearly looked more or less like he had nothing better to do.
Wu Kun came over and said hello to Shao Jun. They agreed to head to Starry Splendour to continue the conversation later on.
Tongtong came and reported the earnings for the fourth hour to Huang Yaming. The figures were dropping, basically being around four hundred thousand. Still, this was very normal and did not hinder the overall situation. Bright Brilliance’s overall earnings were already nearing five million that night, this being a near unthinkable figure.
If this situation persisted for another two days, the seemingly vast investment sum that Bright Brilliance had received would be recouped at a virtually insane efficiency.
Of course, it was not like things would always be like this. There were too many connections and relationships involved in this five million. It was not like they could receive such support every day.
Xu Tingsheng and Apple walked over through the crowd.
They had also invited their friends over that night, with Zhang Ninglang and the girl with the long plait, Ning Xia as super guests of honour. However composed she was, Ning Xia still received a fright from this ‘Sis Apple’ of Zhang Ninglang’s.
Relationships between people really were strange. The two of them who did not usually interact much actually really had a relationship like that between an older sister and a younger brother. Meanwhile, even Apple and her ‘sister-in-law’, Ning Xia, interacted extremely harmoniously.
It was only that when Xu Tingsheng said that someone was pursuing Ning Xia, Apple was very nervous on Zhang Ninglang’s behalf for a bit.
Xu Tingsheng arranged for security to drive Zhang Ninglang and Ning Xia back to the university before coming over with Apple to find the ‘organisation’.
Tongtong was standing behind Wu Kun and Huang Yaming. As she looked at Xu Tingsheng and Apple who were walking over, she zoned out for a bit as she watched on, the expression on her face also beginning to change…
After Wu Kun stood up, he walked over to Tongtong’s side, telling her in a low tone, “Tongtong, though you aren’t under me anymore, Bro Kun advises you not to have wild thoughts. People have to learn to be satisfied with what they have. What Xu Tingsheng has given to you now, what you have gained-these are already things those former sisters of yours back at Starry Splendour cannot hope for no matter what. Look at these people around him, all their great prospects. Don’t be silly, and just be satisfied with what you have.”
Tongtong nodded, “I understand, Bro Kun.”
After saying so, she greeted Xu Tingsheng and Apple who had already arrived before them. Then, clenching her teeth, she claimed to be busy and hurriedly excused herself.
Bright Brilliance had one last surprise in store that night. After the emcee had announced it, the lights on the stage were all dimmed.
When the lights went on again, five guys and one girl could be seen in pyramid formation on the stage...Rebirth’s fullest, complete lineup came on display for the first time. This...might really be the one and only time this happened.
This immense surprise nearly caused the customers in the audience to fall into a stupor. How could this night be any more worth it?!
Regardless of the fact that anyone would be able to tell that it was her with a single glance, Apple had still playfully worn the same half-mask and air force jacket as the five guys...that suggestion of their matching uniforms had only been kept from Xu Tingsheng from the start.
Apple was especially enthusiastic and happy. She would be leaving Yanzhou the next morning, leaving Xu Tingsheng.
As for those dance steps, for she who had a foundation in dancing in the first place, they really couldn’t be considered very tough.
The music for <You Are My Flower> resounded as the stiff dance steps came on display once more. They were even stiffer than the last time, with the beats being messed up too. From time to time, they were even staggering around messily, nearly even stumbling down to the ground...
Still, because of Apple, they were ultimately much more ‘pleasing to the eye’ than previously.
The customers before the stage burst their sides laughing as applause and cheers resounded unceasingly…
After the song had ended, Fu Cheng performed a solo rendition of Apple’s new song, <Long Time No See>.
The emcee announced, “This member of Rebirth who just performed a solo, the male lead singer of the band, will hereby be a regular singer at Bright Brilliance, singing at infrequent intervals on stage in this bar…”
As soon as this news was revealed, the bars of Yanzhou, regardless of scale, all realised...there was really no way for them to compete.
The grand ruckus of that night finally drew to a close. The alcohol, the music, the bodies, the sweat, the cheers...hormones...all that had drifted in the air that night slowly settled down as everything quietened.
Right after Tan Yao descended the stage, he was pulled away by Ye Qing, who certainly was able to recognise him.
The two traversed the crowd, rushing back to the office from earlier. This time, it was Ye Qing who pulled Tan Yao along, dashing. When the door was shut, looking at Ye Qing who already looked much more drunk than before, Tan Yao asked, “What is it?”
“That just now was only a timeout,” Ye Qing replied, “The way you looked when dancing was really too handsome and too cute. I have no way of controlling myself anymore...you are my…”
Tan Yao smiled foolishly, deliberately pointing out, “What...weren’t you finding it forced just a little earlier?”
A blushing Ye Qing said, “I’ve thought about it. What you said was right. When you were willing to come inside the room with me and face those friends of mine despite clearly knowing what they might say afterwards...considering simply this alone, I really should be listening to you…”
“So...in the future...in bed, you are my king...I’ll be very obedient…”
With such words gently spoken into his ear from Ye Qing’s mouth, as he thought back on when they had met for the first time, with her elegant and lofty like a sculpture of ice, Tan Yao’s blood surged and bubbled in its entirety…
Ye Qing slowly slid her fingers down Tan Yao’s body…
Tan Yao emitted a muffled groan, “The heck, is this Ye Qing? Right...it is Ye Qing...can I not be this arrogant?! Whatever…”
The crowds had basically all dispersed.
Huang Yaming was actually already drunk beyond measure. Just as Xu Tingsheng was about to find someone to send him back, Chen Jingqi appeared at the doorway, smiling as she said, “Let me take care of him. I’m already used to it.”
Then, she supported Huang Yaming with her frail frame, sending him home along with security. Actually, she still lived there too.
Fang Yuqing sent Yuqing back.
Fu Cheng was unable to return to his dormitory. Having nowhere to go, he accompanied Xu Tingsheng in sending Apple back to the riverside residence.
Then, out on the streets in the early hours of the morning, they decided to go look for a motel.
Xu Tingsheng recalled Tan Yao who had stayed behind to watch over the bar, next calling him as he asked, “Has Sis Qing left?”
Tan Yao asked, “How did you know? I was actually planning on telling you about it later.”
“We all know about it,” Xu Tingsheng said, “There’s surveillance! Still, relax, there isn’t any in the office. We just collectively stood outside the door and listened for a while...it was very intense…”
“...She’s drunk like crazy. She was just sent back by her friend.”
“She was happy for you today.”
Xu Tingsheng and Fu Cheng went to the bar. Then, the three of them sat together in the early morning and drank at the balcony that was exceptionally quiet now after the ruckus.
Tan Yao said, “If you guys hadn’t come today, I’d probably feel especially alone tonight. The silence after the commotion is always especially taxing on people…”
More than an hour later, Fang Yuqing reached the bar.
The better part of another hour passed before Huang Yaming arrived as well.
“Making use of my drunkenness, I took Chen Jingqi down again...I don’t know what I should do anymore...she’s actually pretty good,” He said, “Forget it, let’s not think about this now. I knew that you guys would definitely be here. After I sobered up, I found myself thinking especially about you.”
Therefore, it became five people who were consuming alcohol on the balcony.
They conversed, talking a lot, about each of their individual tales and dreams…
When the light of dawn had broken, Fu Cheng asked, “Want to take a walk?”
And so it was that the five of them really ended up walking for more than an hour from Bright Brilliance to the site of Zhicheng’s Ning Garden. An empty stretch of wilderness and countless work machinery...accompanied by the emergence of sunlight, their forms were slowly revealed, much like a vast swath of territory...appearing before the eyes of the warriors.
Huang Yaming threw away the can that he held, yelling towards the sunlight with all his might, “In this life...this old man must definitely soar to fame and glory…”
Tan Yao yelled too, “I, Tan Yao, am not unwanted by anybody, and much less a sponger-off…”
Fang Yuqing yelled, “I want to tear down Yuqing’s house. I want to build my villa before the place she lives...when you go home, it’ll have to be my house…”
Fu Cheng and Xu Tingsheng stood by the side, smiling as they watched the three go bonkers.
“What next after the fame and glory?” Fu Cheng asked Huang Yaming.
“Let’s talk about it after I get the fame and glory...I’m wishing especially to see that face of Tan Qingling’s now. She should already be looking down on that man’s BMW as too trashy by now, right? ...Soon, real soon,” Huang Yaming said.
The topic finally shifted to Xu Tingsheng. They all said that Huang Yaming and Chen Jingqi could be considered as having started out a relationship again, and Tan Yao had Ye Qing to dote on him, while Fang Yuqing was focused on Yuqing anyway. As for Fu Cheng? A person was already on his mind, at least…
“What about you, Tingsheng?”
Looking at Ning Garden that was presently still a vast, uncultivated stretch of wilderness, Xu Tingsheng closed his eyes. Before him now flashed the scenes of that year, wherein he had walked together with her in that park hand in hand, saying those words to her...
He saw the scenes of that year, as he had walked with her hand in hand in that park, those words he had once said to her…
“Me? I’m working on it, aren’t I? Very soon, really soon,” Xu Tingsheng said.
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