Chapter 496: Another sort of learning
They hosted this bunch of people for dinner again that night. After this, they would be heading to Shenghai. Huang Yaming would be going with them to view the locations which they had narrowed down to and discuss the matter of opening a Bright Brilliance in Shenghai.
It was already past 10pm when Xu Tingsheng reached home.
He opened the door, turned on the lights…
He kicked Fu Cheng who was lying on the sofa.
“What’s this? I’ve been gone for so long, and you’re still sleeping on the sofa?”
Fu Cheng sat up rather helplessly, pointing towards the guest room, “I tried...just when it looked like there might be a chance, Niannian suddenly cried out and woke up. And then I was chased out. I even got scolded…”
“What about afterwards? You accepted your fate?” Xu Tingsheng smiled, “Ms Fang is probably just shy. You can’t expect her to take the initiative, right?”
Fu Cheng considered it intently for a bit before looking up as he replied, “I almost believed you for a second there. I almost forgot...like hell you’d know.”
Xu Tingsheng was rendered speechless. This Uncle was a longtime warrior of the battlefield in his previous life, alright?
“So you’ve just been sleeping here? Playing for sympathy everyday?” Xu Tingsheng asked, “Why didn’t you sleep in my room while I was away?”
“Your room? Apple was sleeping in your room up till a few days back.”
“She came to see Niannian and stayed for three days,” Fu Cheng hesitated for a bit, “She was in a hurry to leave before the weekend, said that she had to go run a marathon. Actually, I feel it’s because she saw that Xiang Ning has a room over there. Right, she washed all the sheets, blankets and whatnot in your room before she left, even scrubbed the floor several times. She said it was to make absolutely sure that not a trace of it is left behind…”
Fu Cheng had said all this while observing Xu Tingsheng’s expression.
“What’re you looking at me for?” Xu Tingsheng was feigning calmness.
“Looking at your heart that’s made of stone,” Fu Cheng answered just as calmly.
That night, as Xu Tingsheng lay on his bed, smelling the freshness of pillow and blanket, he recalled the lights from back then, that female hooligan, that snowy day, running together, him coaxing her into falling asleep…
Was life destined to be like this? Firmly standing by some things meant losing others; treasuring someone meant hurting someone else.
At the same time, in another city.
Their ex-classmate from senior high, Shu Yan, looked at Apple’s rather desolate expression after having drunk some wine and tugged at her hand, asking, “What is it, Apple? It’s rare to meet you now that you’re getting more and more famous, but why is it that you are unhappy instead?”
Looking at her, Apple suddenly said, “I used to like Xu Tingsheng.”
Shu Yan replied, “I know!”
Apple said, “Actually, I still like him now. I always have.”
Shu Yan asked, “Then, how’s it going between you two?”
“Tell me about it. You’ll feel better that way.”
The next evening, on break for the weekend, Xiang Ning returned home.
After Niannian had fallen asleep, she too was chased back to her room.
Fu Cheng was pitifully left to sleep on the living room sofa as per usual.
Fang Yunyao emerged with a set of pyjamas, patting him and saying after a bit of hesitation, “I, I’m going to take a bath...go in and help me look after Niannian. I’m afraid she might suddenly wake up and start to cry, disturbing Tingsheng and Little Xiang Ning.
Fu Cheng nodded and went inside the room.
Actually, Niannian was in a deep sleep on her little bed, seeming comfortable and refreshed.
After watching for a while, Fu Cheng felt at ease and settled down against the bed for a bit. Soon, Fang Yunyao returned. Her pyjamas weren’t so thick and didn’t cover up all that much, revealing her skin that was tinged with redness after the bath. She seemed like a spring breeze gusting across the lake’s surface, rippling with effervescence...
Having lost all her troubles and worries over this period of time in addition to frequently doing some skincare with Ye Qing and the others, Fang Yunyao appeared to have returned to her former youthful, endearing state both physically and mentally.
Fu Cheng was staring at her rather foolishly, in a bit of a daze.
Fang Yunyao shot him a look, exclaiming softly, “What are you looking at…”
“Can’t even look at my own wife. We’ve even had a child already,” Fu Cheng mumbled softly, “And I still got to sleep on the sofa…”
He did not notice that on Fang Yunyao’s averted face, her lips were involuntarily twitching as she felt both aggravated and amused at once.
“Do I really have to say ‘look, look all you want, it’s all yours anyway’?” Fang Yunyao thought, “Aren’t all women like this? You don’t get it? And of course I have to get used to the idea. We haven’t met in two years, after all.”
Fu Cheng helplessly began heading outside.
Fang Yunyao felt a bit helpless and vexed. She looked down and twiddled her thumbs.
“It isn’t healthy to always be sleeping on the sofa,” She said while facing away from him.
Fu Cheng dispiritedly nodded, saying, “Oh. I’ll buy a spring bed then. I can fold it up in the daytime and open it up to sleep on at night.”
“This...even this isn’t enough?” Fang Yunyao really felt like beating him up.
“It was just like this the first time...and he’s still like this now. No, he dared to try staying in the room the first time...he’s even more useless now.”
When the two shared a past and a definite future, Fang Yunyao really wondered what he was afraid of sometimes.
“Am I really so scary? Or is it because...I was his teacher? Too much respect, or does he fear me still?” Fang Yunyao wondered exasperatedly, getting more vexed the more she wondered.
“I’ll help you turn off the lights,” Fu Cheng turned off the lights as the sound of him softly closing the door could then be heard.
Amidst the pitch darkness, Fang Yunyao furiously lay down on the bed. She reached out and grabbed a stray pillow, pinching and hitting it.
She griped softly, “Fu Cheng, idiot! You, you, you’ll be the death of me. Timid like a mouse. Even calling me wife. You’d better call me Ms Fang for the rest of your life...idiot, stupid…”
“Are you talking about me? My dear wife,” Someone said from beside her.
If not for the fact that she could not be any more familiar with Fu Cheng’s voice, were Niannian not asleep beside her, Fang Yunyao might really have yelled and leapt up in fright.
After the fright, realising that he had heard all of what she had just said...Fang Yunyao took the blanket and buried herself underneath it.
“No, nothing at all. Didn’t you go out? Why…” She asked from beneath it.
“I turned off the lights and closed the door from the inside. I’ve been here ever since. I’ll not be sleeping on the sofa anymore. It isn’t healthy and if I get sick, it’ll be your heart that aches,” Fu Cheng smiled and said.
Not knowing whether to laugh or to his cry, feeling incensed from all that embarrassment, Fang Yunyao exclaimed furiously, “Who, whose heart will ache?! Get out! Back to your sofa with you!”
“Then, you...Hey! You...don’t come up here.”
“Give me a pillow.”
“Never mind then.”
“Pant...pant...pant...no, Fu Cheng, you let go of me! Don’t disturb Niannian…”
“It should be me saying that to you, right? Ms(Teacher) Fang, in a little while, remember not to disturb Niannian! Also, be careful that no one hears.”
“You...nonsense, when did I...ah.”
“I'm remembering that day…”
“...Me, me too.”
“Hey, Fu Cheng, do you feel like...I’ve gotten old?”
“Not in the least.”
“Mmm, that’s good then.”
The door of Xu Tingsheng’s room was pushed open.
Little Xiang Ning lightly entered.
“Why did you come?” Xu Tingsheng asked nervously in a hushed tone.
Because Fang Yunyao and Fu Cheng were in his house and Xiang Ning was still little, Xu Tingsheng was actually rather afraid of them accidentally catching a glimpse.
She went snugly into his embrace.
“Fu Cheng’s in Ms Fang’s room already,” Little Xiang Ning said softly, “I heard on the way to the toilet.”
Xu Tingsheng gave a small ‘wa’.
“Let me ask you,” Little Xiang Ning leaned into Xu Tingsheng’s ear, “Why is it that Fu Cheng will sometimes call Ms Fang, Ms Fang...and then Ms Fang will softly say don’t call me that, but Fu Cheng still does it...and Ms Fang says you’re done for, you actually dare to press down your teacher and bully her, wait for your punishment…”
So Fu Cheng was actually this mischievous, and the mood was as such between the two. Xu Tingsheng literally shook from laughing. Of course, the eavesdropping little girl was really too much...that was no good at such a young age…
The little one beside him called softly, a little coquettishly in all her youthfulness. Xu Tingsheng felt like he could understand Fu Cheng a bit now…
“Don’t call me that.”
“Just no. Don’t learn bad stuff from other people.”
Early the next morning, before six o’clock, Xu Tingsheng thought to let Xiang Ning creep back secretly to her room as he got out of bed and opened the door to review the situation.
And it so happened that Fu Cheng slunk out from the guest room at this time….
Their eyes met.
“Go on pretending, beast…” Xu Tingsheng said in a low tone.
Fu Cheng’s face was filled with embarrassment.
“What is it?”
Her hair dishevelled, her eyes still yet to open, Little Xiang Ning’s bleary face appeared behind Xu Tingsheng. She hugged Xu Tingsheng’s waist from behind, half her face resting against his shoulder. Xu Tingsheng’s expression froze entirely all at once…
Fu Cheng stared. As he watched on, an ‘enlightened’ expression flashed across his face as he now burst into exaggerated, soundless laughter.
“Go on pretending, beast…” He said.Previous Chapter Next Chapter