Chapter 394: Bye, Ms Fang
The four girls returned in the evening with shopping bags of varying sizes in tow. This seemed like proof that they had really gone shopping.
This did not make any logical sense at all. Even though there should already have been enough time for them to accept reality during his coma as the most agonising stage should already be past, even though this matter should not weigh so heavily on them due to Little Xiang Ning’s age as some amount of curiosity and novelty should instead be evoked…
The way Apple was acting now was already extremely abnormal. Xu Tingsheng could still remember how she had cried her heart out amidst the snow back then.
Wu Yuewei? She was acting even more strange. Even meeting him usually evoked fear and pain in her as she would unconsciously take a half step back. What exactly was up with her?
When things diverge from the norm, they are definitely never that simple.
There was no way Xu Tingsheng would not feel panicked.
The gazes directed at him by Song Ni who had always possessed an ‘overflowing sense of righteousness’ regarding this matter and Xu Qiuyi who had always ‘disdained’ and ‘had a low opinion of’ her brother were still not so friendly.
Still, Xu Tingsheng already cared not about that. With the sixteen-year-old Xiang Ning having already been overtly and conspicuously brought out into the open before his parents, in front of everyone, his ‘thick skin’ and shamelessness was the only weapon he had.
Now, Xu Tingsheng was only concerned with whatever might be up with Apple and Wu Yuewei.
Of course, first and foremost, Xu Tingsheng could be reassured from their personalities that they would definitely never scheme to bring Little Xiang Ning harm. Still, it was precisely because of this that he felt more befuddled, not knowing what he should do about it.
Little Xiang Ning who was ‘unable to distinguish between friend and foe’ walked over, joining in their conversation.
Xu Tingsheng felt like entropy was starting to reign over this world.
Once in a while, Apple would shoot Xu Tingsheng a few glances before smilingly perking up the corners of her mouth. This smile of hers revealed everything going through her mind. There was some triumph, a dash of a threat and a pinch of slyness.
It felt just like back when she had been flirtingly teasing Xu Tingsheng around the time of the university entrance examinations, when she had been fully able to deal with him as it was like he was clutched firmly within her grasp.
Wu Yuewei’s gaze collided with Xu Tingsheng’s for a moment. She did not shrink back, simply smiling a little awkwardly and unnaturally before turning away from him again.
Still, Xu Tingsheng could clearly detect that within that smile of hers was a sense of her having accomplished something tremendously praiseworthy. It was like the irrepressible excitement and nervousness of a child who had always played by the rules mustering up her courage before finally doing something naughty for the first time.
“Are they thinking to slowly torture me to death like this? One knife, one stab, slowly but surely exacting vengeance at a time?”
Xu Tingsheng looked at Little Xiang Ning, standing amongst them. Visually speaking, she was just like a ‘hostage’! Yet, she herself seemed totally oblivious to this.
Song Ni’s handphone rang. She answered the call and said ‘hello’. Then, her expression immediately changed.
Covering the speaker, her eyes were wide open as she exclaimed to all, “Ms Fang”.
Fu Cheng shot to his feet.
Everyone fell silent. Little Xiang Ning who was unclear on the situation remained quiet as well, curiously watching all this.
“Hello, Ms Fang. Oh, Tingsheng? He…”
At this point, everyone realised that Fang Yunyao had probably called because she had seen the rumours and contention regarding Xu Tingsheng on the internet, that he was unconscious and on the brink of death and whatnot. She had called simply because she was worried about his current condition.
Song Ni directed her gaze at Xu Tingsheng.
Xu Tingsheng mimed a slicing motion across his neck after which his head dramatically cocked down to the side.
“He’s...dead,” Song Ni said slightly unnaturally.
Huang Yaming ran over and covered Xu Tingsheng completely with a blanket, next bowing deeply and solemnly towards him.
Understanding what he meant, Song Ni continued, “Umm, can you make it to his funeral?”
Little Xiang Ning was rendered dumbstruck by this, her mouth gaping wide in shock. After managing to wake up after all this time, Uncle had...went and died again? Even his funeral preparations had been completed.
Very obviously, Xu Tingsheng and Huang Yaming were scheming to trick Fang Yunyao over.
From Song Ni’s expression and how she was repeatedly nodding and saying yes, the scheme seemed about to succeed.
Fu Cheng took the phone.
“Tingsheng’s fine. He’s woken up,” Fu Cheng said, “I...you, are you well?”
It was so quiet in the room you could hear a pin drop. Still, everyone was still unable to clearly discern what Ms Fang was saying and what tone of voice she was using.
Whatever it was, Fu Cheng’s face dimmed after hearing it as he feigned his composure and said, “Alright, I won’t look anymore. I won’t go anymore. Don’t worry. Actually, I just want to know how you’re doing...when I went over last time, I heard that you have gotten married?”
Fu Cheng had evidently received an answer in the negative as his eyes turned dull and lustreless.
“Alright then. Then, I’m hanging up. See you, Ms Fang.”
Always making the situation awkward whenever he spoke, Fu Cheng still awkwardly called her Ms Fang on this final occasion. He had said ‘see you, Ms Fang’, that normalest greeting which he would use whenever her lesson ended or he met her at the school gates back in the past.
Yet, with this ‘see you’, they might never meet again in this life.
Yet, this was the woman he had loved for the best five years of his youth, after which he had spent two whole years searching all over for her. The happy times between them had merely lasted for two days, despite all this.
After hanging up, Fu Cheng numbly returned Song Ni her handphone.
Sensing everyone’s worried gazes on him, Fu Cheng tried his best to smile and said, “Ms Fang is married now. She says that she’s doing very well, that she’s very happy...that’s what’s most important. Right?”
No one knew how they should respond to this.
“Oh, right, I forgot to wish her happiness,” Fu Cheng looked skyward, “I’m gonna go take a walk.”
Huang Yaming followed after him from a distance.
After a while, Xu Tingsheng narrated the tale of Fang Yunyao and Fu Cheng to a curious Little Xiang Ning in its entirety. Little Xiang Ning sighed sorrowfully, saying, “So theirs was a student-teacher relationship. Student-teacher relationships really are very pitiful.”
She seemed to have decided that their relationship was also one, and Xu Tingsheng had no way of rebutting her on this.
“He should have fooled her over,” The shameless Little Xiang Ning said, “Let’s make sure of this first! If you run off in the future, I’ll fool you back over. If I’m the one who runs off, you fool me back over. We’ve both definitely got to bite the bait!”
Hearing what was basically equivalent to her ‘style’ in his previous life, Xu Tingsheng said, “Got it.”
After close to twenty days in the hospital, Xu Tingsheng had basically recovered fully from his injuries.
Little Xiang Ning came virtually everyday, bringing her senior high textbooks along as well. Just like that, she began to receive tutoring from Xu Tingsheng before senior high even commenced.
“There are advantages to student-teacher relationships too. We can both study and be together at the same time!” Was what she said.
Apple and Wu Yuewei both returned to Libei to stay for a while, saying that they would return to take Little Xiang Ning to Yanjing.
Mr and Mrs Xiang never did come to the hospital to visit Xu Tingsheng, perhaps because either Mr or Mrs Xu would basically always be there at any one time. When the parents of both parties met, there would be the feeling of this having become official. The Xiang family was not mentally prepared for that yet.
Still, the shameless Little Xiang Ning got along very well with Mr and Mrs Xu as she buttered them up nicely.
She seemed naturally gifted with the ability to get on the good side of others, never having to intentionally put in extra effort at all.
After her return from Shenghai, Lu Zhixin spent less time visiting Xu Tingsheng at the hospital. Still, she was more diligent in pushing forward Hucheng’s agenda, spurring its development. Xu Tingsheng felt rather guilty such that when she refused the Xu family’s ‘compensation’ and only requested for a financial securities department to be set up in Hucheng which she would be in charge of, not having all that much interest in shares in the first place, he virtually approved it without any hesitation whatsoever.
As Lu Zhixin had switched courses to Finance for her second year of university, this seemed perfectly reasonable a step to take.
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