Chapter 429: Forcing someone who loves you most to put on a show
In the year 2003, Rebirth had appeared for the first time, borrowing their joint for a confession in singing <Fairy Tale>. Someone had once said that Yanzhou University’s freshman welcoming party that year was simply destined to be impossible to surpass. In terms of explosive effect, this had actually already been solidly surpassed tonight.
As for whether 2005 was superior to 2003 overall, as everyone had different experiences and perspectives, they would naturally come to differing conclusions on this.
Thunderous applause and cries for encore resounded as <I Want To Sing Me To You> ended. Apple and Fu Cheng gave deep bows and left the stage. The female emcee returned. Yet every time she spoke, her voice would be suppressed by the din from the audience.
It was five minutes or perhaps even longer when she finally got a chance to speak again.
“Crazy…” This came unscripted as it was like a genuine outpouring of her emotions.
“Cen Xiyu is my favourite singer too. Did you know? I nearly went crazy when I saw her backstage just now. Just now, do you know how tempted I was to stop her for everyone, requesting one more, two more songs…”
“Zhang Ninglang, we’re all counting on you for your second anniversary next year!” She smilingly said.
But Zhang Ninglang and Ning Xia were nowhere to be seen, having already left at some point in time.
The emcee spread her hands apart helplessly, “Classmates of Zhang Ninglang present, please remember to help convey this to him. Next, the programme will continue. Up next, this junior is also a fan of Miss Cen Xiyu’s. The song that she will be singing is…<Performer>...”
The lights dimmed as she left the stage. Then, a first year female student ascended the stage as the opening sequence for <Performer> resounded.
“I just got an autograph. I really hope Big Sis Apple will be able to hear this song,” The girl said, holding the microphone.
Actually, it was not just Zhang Ninglang and Ning Xia who had exited the hall. Xu Tingsheng, Xiang Ning, Tan Yao, Old Wai, Li Linlin...these people had all already left too. To them, this freshman welcoming party was actually as good as over.
Right after returning backstage, Fu Cheng sent Xu Tingsheng a text.
“It’s fine just seeing each other, right. Off we go. Let’s meet at the side entrance and have a meetup at the bar.”
Xu Tingsheng did not refuse to do so. Moreover, Little Xiang Ning wanted to see Apple too.
They waited at the side entrance for a while. Apple had still yet to emerge when Fu Cheng arrived.
He said, “Apple’s changing. She has to go in disguise lest she’s swarmed by all those fans…”
Xu Tingsheng nodded.
Little Xiang Ning went to the toilet, led by Li Linlin.
Fu Cheng passed Xu Tingsheng a cigarette, telling him, “I didn’t tell Apple that your little wifey’s here.”
Xu Tingsheng nodded again.
Apple emerged from the side entrance, having changed her clothes and put on a hat.
On seeing Xu Tingsheng, she stopped for a bit before finally walking over. The brim of her hat was pulled very low as her expression could not be seen clearly.
Fu Cheng feigned casualness and walked off, leaving the two alone by the corner.
Xu Tingsheng smiled apologetically but did not speak.
“Why didn’t you sing?”
“Xu Tingsheng, you...can you please not be like this? I know that I can’t continue asking things of you, including how you treat me. Still, I’ve been trying very hard! Little Xiang Ning and I are on great terms. I’ve handled our relationship very well...you can see it, right? Can you please not push me so far away? I won’t hurt her.”
Some sniffling was interspersed with her voice as she had evidently just been crying.
“You don’t have to do this,” Xu Tingsheng said in a low tone.
Apple raised her head and looked at him. There was a bit of a lost, misty look in her eyes.
She shook her head slowly, saying, “I know. Still, it doesn’t have to be that serious, right? Leave me some imagination. Leave me some space. Leave me some time. On my own, I’ll slowly...is that okay? Actually, I don’t know what it is that I myself want. I’ve also tried to persuade myself to properly accept it. Look, in bringing Little Xiang Ning to Yanjing, I was telling myself to face reality and give the two of you my blessings, in return for all you’ve done for me. But even so, things don’t have to be serious to such an extent, right?”
Xu Tingsheng actually had no way of answering this question at all. Maybe Apple was right and things really weren’t as serious as he was making them out to be. Yet, there would always just be that sense of worry and fear, perhaps even a foreboding feeling within him due to the guilt that he felt.
“Is that alright?”
Apple gingerly came closer, reached out and hugged Xu Tingsheng. Her tears fell onto his shoulder.
“Please don’t be like this, okay?”
She had just sung the song that evoked the happiest memories in her. She had looked forward to this day for so long...even though Fu Cheng had not told her that it was because Xiang Ning was present that Xu Tingsheng had refused to perform, she understood it. He had rejected her.
This was really unrelated to pride. It just stung so very badly.
It had hurt too when she had first met Xiang Ning. Still, she had ignored it, trying her best to get herself to accept it. Still, some things would not happen just because one willed them so. She only hoped that there would still remain some form of relationship between herself and that person, formerly her Superman…
Yet, he sought to push her so far away.
The pain that had been suppressed for a long time was brought to the surface by that song, thereby erupting. She had no way of hiding it any longer.
Holding hands with Li Linlin, Little Xiang Ning rounded the corner around that stone pillar. She saw Xu Tingsheng, and then Apple too. Excited, she was just about to call out a greeting when she abruptly stopped in her tracks. There was a lost, helpless look in her eyes as her hand that was clutching Li Linlin’s unconsciously fell…
“Big Sis Apple is hugging Xu Tingsheng…”
Little Xiang Ning’s mind had still not come to any conclusion as she had no way of accurately pinpointing her feelings. Still, it was more of a sense of bewilderment that she felt, alongside which came a faint stabbing pain from something else…
She turned to look at Li Linlin.
Li Linlin pulled up her hand. She was the person Little Xiang Ning was closest to here, Xu Tingsheng aside.
“Cough…” Li Linlin made a deliberate noise.
Xu Tingsheng saw Xiang Ning. He was rendered at a loss.
Apple saw her too.
There was a momentary pause alongside her startlement.
“Yeah, performance success! Victory!” She yelled loudly.
Pushing Xu Tingsheng aside, Apple turned and strode towards Fu Cheng who was closest to her, saying, “Nice working with you…”
Then, she hugged Zhang Ninglang, exclaiming, “You did awesome out there!”
Hugging Ning Xia, she asked, “How is it? You must be super happy right now, right?”
She acted very enthusiastically as even her voice was bright. Whether or not everyone else was a bit befuddled by this, finding it to be very sudden, she made it feel as though the hugs were like when a singer thanked her accompaniment, honoured guests and band at the end of a concert…
This actually seemed...completely reasonable too…
Little Xiang Ning’s expression finally eased.
“Big Sis Apple…” She called.
“Little Xiang Ning?” Apple exclaimed in an astonished tone, “So you were here too?”
“It’s been a long time!” Apple hugged Little Xiang Ning and led her by the hand while talking to her.
The voice of the first year female student could faintly be heard as it emanated from the music hall.
“Don’t design more sequences like these
No opinion, just want to see how you smoothen things out
Your sorrowful exterior like a talentless performer
The audience can tell with a single glance
I who should act together in concert with you pretend to see nothing
When forcing someone who loves you the most to take to the stage”
Having unfortunately been intruded on, not wishing for anyone to be hurt, Apple had worked hard to smoothen things out. With all her might, she had taken to the stage in an impromptu performance. Even so, all those in the know could actually tell that her act was very surface level.
Smiling brightly, she was talking to Little Xiang Ning about her earlier performance. That song...Xiang Ning said that she liked it too.
“If you can still tell I have these lingering affections
Please erase those sequences, let my dignity stay
It’s because I love you that I choose to perform, and fulfil you.
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