Chapter 425: Uglie
Xu Sheng was an expert at picking up chicks. Besides utilising his wealth, he also loved to act romantic and devoted.
It was rumoured that right after entering the university, in order to conquer a female senior, he had once tied roses and photos that he had secretly taken of her along the length of a rope. One end of this rope had appeared at the entrance of a classroom where the girl had just finished her class while the other had extended four whole storeys to the door of his car where he had been waiting for her downstairs…
That female senior had been moved by this, tears of joy having streamed down her face as she plunged into his embrace. Then, after having played with her for two months, he had grown tired of her and just dumped her.
“Say yes, say yes.”
Many of the audience members were already following Xu Sheng’s gang and randomly cheering them on just for fun.
The scale of this seemed...hard to match…
Xu Tingsheng turned to look at Zhang Ninglang. While the latter actually looked rather nervous, he still tried his best to smile at him. Who would have thought that someone quiet and dependable like him who was used to living a simple, low-key life would end up in a situation where he had no choice but to step into the spotlight and be romantic.
Fortunately, no reply was forthcoming from the female lead, and the emcees eventually had no choice but to return to the stage and resume the proceedings.
Ning Xia was not angered as she simply sat there with some of her classmates, smiling and chatting as she appeared wholly unconcerned.
She was in a pretty good mood too, for it was really something else, somebody else whom she was concerned with. Zhang Ninglang, he whose hand would be all sweaty from his nervousness whenever they held hands, would actually soon be ascending the stage and performing for her. She was filled with happiness and anticipation just thinking about it, with a smile unconsciously hanging on the corners of her mouth.
Xu Sheng clearly misunderstood this smile of hers.
“I know that it is very difficult to expect you to make such a decision now. There will also be another performance put on for you later,” Xu Sheng concluded in a very gentlemanly fashion, “I'll wait then. I’m aware that they may have found a very good band. After all, his roommate, that Student Xu, is very rich...still, I just want to say that I hope this will not be a performance completely lacking in sincerity.”
Xu Sheng was really quite smart. He knew that if Zhang Ninglang's side had really managed to invite Rebirth, he would surely never be able to match them in the quality of their performance. Therefore, with a few simple sentences, he adroitly shifted everyone's standard for judging the performances to this: sincerity.
He even hinted that even if Zhang Ninglang's side had managed to invite Rebirth, however great the ensuing performance might be, all it would be able to prove was ‘wealth’...it would simply have nothing to do with sincerity.
With that, even if he was unable to win the heart of Ning Xia in the end, Xu Sheng would still be able to win approval, recognition and also reputation.
To him, this sort of victory was actually very important too. Moreover, with one of his opponents being Xu Tingsheng, if he managed to obtain more approval and recognition under such circumstances, the sense of satisfaction and massive reversal in his image would entail a sizeable accomplishment on his part.
Obviously manipulated by his words, many of those present forgot that it was clearly Xu Sheng himself who loved flaunting his wealth most, having been doing so just moments earlier too.
What was sincerity?
If Rebirth came and sang a pre-existing song here, of course it would be a brilliant performance. Still, it would be lacking in 'sincerity’, right?
Xu Sheng was pressuring Rebirth to the point where they definitely had to perform a new song, and one that corresponded with the mood at that...
He did not believe that Xu Tingsheng would be able to get Rebirth to do this much. Rebirth was well known for being hard to control.
The audience was clearly very happy to support Xu Sheng just based on this, bearing witness to the debut performance of Rebirth's new song.
Also, while the audience was most certainly looking forward to Rebirth's performance, where there would hopefully be a new song, the crux of this 'relationship struggle’ was actually not Rebirth but that male lead himself. Was he really relying mainly on the fact that Xu Tingsheng was his roommate to get things solved with money?
Where would be the sincerity in that?
Therefore, regardless of the quality of Rebirth's performance, whoever Ning Xia chose, few of them who did not know the truth of the matter would even try to grasp it as was the social norm. Instead, on Yanzhou University's campus, it would all fall to Zhang Ninglang to win their approval and recognition.
Unaware of the specifics of the upcoming performance, Xu Tingsheng felt that the situation that Xu Sheng had induced was indeed rather troubling. There would really be some pressure on Fu Cheng and Zhang Ninglang with this.
Beside Xu Tingsheng, Little Xiang Ning turned to look at him, saying, “I want this too.”
“A performance, to confess?”
“...I have done it. I went to your school for its ten year anniversary and nearly made it into a mass nationwide celebration, remember?”
“But you didn't confess then.”
The freshman welcoming party finally resumed its usual trajectory as various performances unfolded and laughter and applause unceasingly resounded. There were even two confessions between freshmen in the meantime which basically ended in success...
Everything was going pretty well.
Yet, it was just like something was missing.
Not much time remained before the projected end of the party.
“Could it be that the other side is simply not going to accept and respond to the challenge?”
“Huh? That would be too weak, right? Even if the girl still follows him, he surely wouldn't look good? Maybe cracks will even arise in their relationship.”
“Well, I heard that the guy is very ordinary in the first place, yeah? Many even say that he cannot match up to that long-plaited girl Ning Xia at all...”
“Who cares about that. More importantly, what about Rebirth...are they not going to perform?”
“I believe they really weren't on the programme schedule in the first place! In the first place, the rumours were only that there was a possibility of senior Xu Tingsheng inviting Rebirth. This was all just mere speculation…”
“No, please, no…”
“Senior Xu Tingsheng's sitting right there! Go ask him yourself if you want.”
Right now, every time the emcees went on stage, the eyes of the audience would be fixated intently on their mouths as they yearned to hear Rebirth's name being called out next.
If it wasn't, sighs would again resound.
The emcees went on stage again, bantering a bit as usual before pausing momentarily. The audience fell silent, awaiting with bated breath to hear what the next performance would be.
“Up next…” The female emcee looked at the note in her hand that she had just received.“<Uglie>.”
And they left the stage without even saying who the performers were.
Boos resounded all around.
What was <Uglie>? Was it a comedy routine? Skit? Verbal sparring? Clowns fooling around? ...“Can you stop messing with us?” ...“Please override it!” ...“We want Rebirth!”...
The lights on the stage suddenly dimmed completely.
A momentary silence.
Two spotlights came on.
Illuminating two people.
...Thunderous applause, cheers, yells of ‘Rebirth, Rebirth!’...
So <Uglie> was a song, originating from Rebirth...it had to be a new song then.
They were not carrying guitars.
They were not wearing those cool air force jackets.
They were just two guys wearing ordinary clothes, standing in the spotlight amidst the darkness.
Still, it was fine. All that was unimportant.
This was Rebirth.
Everyone recognised those signature half-masks on their faces.
Additionally, after the opening sequence, one of them sang:
“If only the world is pitch black, I am actually very beautiful.”
The voice of Rebirth’s lead singer was warm and clean…
Everyone was familiar with it.
If the world is pitch black, I am actually very beautiful-this was the starting verse of ‘Uglie’, the voice of someone denied by others. It asked: Why are you judging me like this? Beneath my ordinariness and ugliness that you can see, there is an underlying beauty that you overlook.
Zhang Ninglang was not ugly. He was just ordinary in all aspects. Talent, looks, personality...it was all just so ordinary with him.
Still, he had indeed been scorned. When he stood beside Ning Xia, the girl with the long plait, as she grew increasingly dazzling and well-known, his ordinariness had become a sort of sin. People were always commenting how he was too ordinary, how he was not qualified to stand beside her…
Actually, it was not just Zhang Ninglang who was in such a position. There were many other boys and girls who were similarly normal and ordinary. They were generally used to receiving more disapproval than approval from other people as they gradually came to feel inferior about themselves.
Which of them would not want a fairer, non-judging gaze?
In that case.
I wish this world were pitch black. In that case, everyone would come to better understand and appreciate one another.
Just that single sentence accompanied by Fu Cheng’s warm voice moved many people as they fell into a deep silence.
It was actually the majority of people in this world who were not dazzling, merely being ordinary.
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