Chapter 522: What more do you want me to do (1)
Huang Yaming, Fu Cheng and Xu Tingsheng had previously had a conversation about life, death and rebirth.
In the process, they had talked about crossing the Bridge of Helplessness and drinking the Waters of Forgetfulness, bringing an end to their worldly matters of this lifetime.
After each pondering on it individually for a time, Huang Yaming was the one who ultimately voiced the conclusion.
“First, Tingsheng,” Huang Yaming said, “It will probably be like this for Tingsheng. He will cross the bridge and accept being reborn, but he won’t be able to bear forgetting. He’ll dodge the soup if humanly possible, and there is really no helping it, he’ll spill half and hold the other half in his mouth while drinking it, finding another chance later to spit it out. This is how he is. What he owes, what he cares about, he’ll always want to take care of them, burdened life unto life.”
“Then there’s me. I’m that kind of person who will say to Granny Meng: ‘Hey, pretty lady, gimme another bowl, wouldya?’.”
“What about Fu Cheng?”
“Him? He’ll just sit at the head of the bridge and not go anywhere. Someone said ‘Waiting three years at the Bridge of Helplessness of Life and Death’, or something like that. That refers to his kind of person.”
This was quite an accurate conclusion that Huang Yaming had come to as it left Xu Tingsheng and Fu Cheng with no further need to speak.
Still, while this matter was wholly hypothetical for Fu Cheng and Huang Yaming, it was indeed somewhat more applicable to Xu Tingsheng. While he had not seen Granny Meng, a bowl of soup and the bridge, not having become another person, he had come for a do-over with his memories of a previous life.
Huang Yaming had not been wrong to say that he was burdened life unto life. The matters of Xu Tingsheng’s previous life had indeed continually been occupying the bulk of his thoughts. Still, things weren’t actually like this in reality. Even in this current lifetime, his concerns had been accumulating as there was too much he wanted to get involved in, too much he could not let go of.
Xu Tingsheng had lived too cautiously in this life, seeking to secure a peace of mind in his interactions with others above all else. Even if he consequently suffered and invited a little trouble over, it would ultimately be okay so long as he made sure to account for all factors.
In doing so, he had attracted many events, many people, and unavoidably as well, some hearts.
In this post-rebirth life, Xu Tingsheng had been able to influence many things thanks to his foreknowledge, and had done a pretty good job of that too. He had appropriately accounted for everyone’s affairs as much as possible from family to friends. For example, he had given his father a foundation, given Huang Yaming a battlefield, given Fu Cheng an untainted land…
Yet, matters of the heart were the one thing he could not influence and give appropriate consideration to in satisfactorily taking everybody into account.
Fortunately, Xiang Ning had basically been protected up till now, doted on by all and not suffering any hurt or injustice as she was happy and joyful.
Even then, it might be inevitable that he had still hurt and let down the others somewhat.
Regarding this, the accident in which Xu Tingsheng had fallen into a coma and Xiang Ning’s identity had been exposed after he had rushed into a burning building to save her could perhaps be considered a swift severing of those haphazard bonds. Xu Tingsheng had had no choice in the matter, not having had to make any decision at all as events had simply unfolded just like that…
Lu Zhixin, Wu Yuewei, Apple and even Li Wan’er who had returned from and returned to Milan again had all reached their respective resolutions following that affair-or at least, this was what Xu Tingsheng had believed at the time.
The hearts that he had previously not dared and wanted to hurt had all already been hurt by the time he regained consciousness.
“Since things are already as they are, they may as well stay like this.”
Such was Xu Tingsheng’s decision at the time. Since the swift blades had already fallen and all the necessary pain had already been suffered, he should let those bonds stay properly severed.
And so, he had not tried to look for Li Wan’er after she had left a message and left. As Lu Zhixin had become vengeful, he had simply relinquished his shares and left Hucheng. Apple and Wu Yuewei were unexpectedly very close with Xiang Ning and treated her very well even as they began keeping a distance from Xu Tingsheng. While this was a little strange, it could not be considered a bad thing too.
Xu Tingsheng had actually been working hard to maintain this sort of distance and state for some time now, not daring to let it decrease.
Yet, all of a sudden, Apple had posted something like this on Weibo which had thereby become a trending, highly-discussed topic. Xu Tingsheng had been somewhat bewildered and bemused, also feeling a little troubled as he did not know how he should deal with this.
Therefore, whether it was Tianyi or Xingchen who called to seek his opinion, Xu Tingsheng had not been able to give too definite an opinion at the time.
What Li Juan had thought of, Xu Tingsheng had naturally thought of as well. Whatever Tianyi or Xingchen did, the effect could actually only be secondary. Only Apple’s own stance could be the main driver that dictated how this matter progressed.
Having posted on Weibo and then deleted it...you’ve at least got to say something afterwards, right? Even if it’s nothing but copying others in claiming that your account was hacked!
And so Tianyi, Xingchen and Xu Tingsheng had waited the whole night...with no response forthcoming from Apple’s side whatsoever.
“It can’t be that she’s still asleep. Her manager knew about it before; we were even in contact.”
It was actually not mainly because of Xu Tingsheng that Hu Chen was personally involved in a matter like this. Rather, it was primarily because of their Little Lady Boss who was loved by all of Xingchen.
“If we don’t do anything about this, the employees will be very troubled!” Hu Chen said.
“What if Little Lady Boss sees it? And she feels miserable?” He continued.
In contrast to Xingchen’s impatience was Tianyi’s exceptional composure. If one treated this incident like the entertainment industry using the power of media to promote an artiste, it would virtually be a contender for best hype of the year in this common practice.
Firstly, the other party was a great choice. A handsome guy and a beautiful lady-there was no fall in value.
Secondly, this matter was not obtrusive as there had been a history between the two of them from the start, in the first place.
With that, it would be easier for people to accept in thereby raising their artiste’s newsworthiness and popularity. What was most important for artistes? Newsworthiness, popularity, exposure to the public eye...as Tianyi was better aware of than anybody else.
Beneath this wave of popularity, it would be easy to negotiate the price for performing or promoting a product so long as Apple wished to do so.
Therefore, Tianyi would actually be very happy to see things continue as they were. They were not bothered at all in seeing the matter as something that had to be quickly resolved.
Xu Tingsheng had no choice but to make a move himself. His first choice was to contact Li Juan. If there was a third party to bypass him having to discuss things with Apple directly, everything would be so much less awkward.
He gave Tianyi a call, but was told that they were temporarily unable to contact Li Juan too.
“Well, there’s no way about it then,” Xu Tingsheng hesitated for a while, thought about how to express himself and dialled Apple’s number.
While the topic was indeed a little awkward, it seemed like he had no choice but to mention it.
“Sorry, the number you have dialled is currently switched off…”
“What?!” Having been feeling somewhat uneasy at first, Xu Tingsheng heard this and was left totally bemused, “Switched off! Just what’s the meaning of this?”
Xu Tingsheng had no way of knowing that in another city at this very moment, Apple, who had already left Yanzhou in the morning was wrapped up tightly, and, half-dragged and half-pushed by Li Juan, getting onto a plane to Hawaii.
“Sis, I still feel worried. How about we go back and post on Weibo?” Apple began feeling uneasy not long after sitting down as she said helplessly, “I’m not really worried about anything else. I’m just a bit afraid that Xiang Ning may think it to be true when she finds out, and then…”
“Useless,” Li Juan glanced at her and said exasperatedly.
Apple thought about it and meekly dared not say anything further.
The air stewardesses were going around reminding the passengers to turn off their phones.
Li Juan smiled, saying, “It’s too late, anyway.”
“Right, it’s too late, anyway,” Having finally found a good reason and an external factor that could not be circumvented, Apple inhaled deeply as the plane began gliding across the runway.
She set aside her inner struggle, closed her eyes and leaned back against her seat, attempting to calm herself as much as possible.
The entire incident had indeed started out as an accident.
While it might appear like Li Juan had instigated all that had happened afterwards, the truth was that Li Juan would never have been able to force Apple to do so had she been resolved enough.
Right, the truth was that Apple herself was actually not all that resolved. She was still unable to put it behind her, unwilling to give up...she still wanted to take a look at Xu Tingsheng’s attitude, see if there was still a chance for the two of them.
It was actually not strange at all that Apple was unwilling to give up, possessing the mentality of probing and waiting a little longer. It was natural, in fact, for besides her just loving that person too much, there was actually another belief which had been hidden within her heart all along: This cannot be.
She did not believe that Xu Tingsheng could fall in love with a girl in her teens just like that, forsaking all else as he was so firm...because this just did not make any sense whatsoever.
If Xu Tingsheng had ultimately selected Lu Zhixin or Wu Yuewei, however much pain Apple would have felt, she might still have forced herself to accept it and put it behind her.
Such would be perfectly logical and within reason, after all.
But when Xu Tingsheng’s final choice had appeared before everyone’s eyes, the Xiang Ning whom she had long heard of had actually turned out to be a girl of sixteen who was about to begin attending senior high school...Apple had simply been unable to wrap her mind around this.
Apple understood Xu Tingsheng, knew that he was not the sort who would play with the feelings of women...yet the more this was so, the more she could not understand it.
Little Xiang Ning was indeed pretty, cute and likable. Still, all these clearly weren’t enough. Lu Zhixin, Wu Yuewei, Apple herself-which of them wasn’t outstanding in these aspects?
Also, they all had their various haloes. Wu Yuewei was a study queen, Apple herself was a singer, and Lu Zhixin, with her business acumen, could really not be any more suited to Xu Tingsheng.
There was a basis for all their relationships with him, in the form of events that had occurred in the past.
As for Xiang Ning, she was just sixteen at the end of the day, having just graduated from junior high school. There was also nothing else that was special about her. In that case, just where was the basis for her relationship with Xu Tingsheng? Apple did not get it, and thus did not believe it.
It was precisely because she felt that ‘this cannot be’ that Apple had decided to bring Xiang Ning to Yanjing at the time. She had wanted to seek the truth in her interactions with this girl such that these doubts of hers could finally be alleviated.
So long as these doubts were not alleviated, she would never truly be able to put it behind her.
After their trip to Yanjing, Apple had no way of denying that she had come to like Xiang Ning a lot too. Still, from Xiang Ning’s narrations of how she had come to know Xu Tingsheng and all which had elapsed afterwards, Apple still had no way of grasping the logic of Xu Tingsheng’s affections at all.
It was all too sudden, overly deviating from reason.
The more muddled she got, the more Apple could not believe it as she hypothesised countless scenarios.
Yet, however much she hypothesised, there was simply no way for her to guess at the basis of Xu Tingsheng’s relationship with Xiang Ning with his understanding and familiarity with her that came from his previous life. Thus, she was destined never to be able to figure this out.
Regarding this, there was absolutely no one who could besides Xu Tingsheng himself.
Being unable to figure it out, Apple had no way of fully accepting it. It was for that very reason that she would harbour hope and expectation, speculating that things might really be different somehow, that another version of the tale might still exist yet...Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Sadly, have been slightly sick. And, next chapter x2 this.