Chapter 161: The brightest star in the night sky
Singing this song, dancing this dance, some people thought that Rebirth was stirring up their value, while others felt that Rebirth was going to go viral…yet, all Uncle wanted was actually to coax a young girl, giving her a truly happy birthday.
In the end, the entire crowd was laughing joyfully. After laughing, they also saw his earnestness and diligence. It was just that they did not know that this earnestness and diligence was actually just there for a single person. They were actually irrelevant in this matter.
The first song of Rebirth’s first ever public performance ended amidst great applause and shrieking.
The audience discovered that of the five on stage, three were leaving whereas the other two remained behind.
The audience and the reporters present unconsciously fell silent.
“So it’s actually like this,” they thought, “The real Rebirth is coming on,” However approving they felt of that song, everyone still felt the same way, that that shouldn’t be Rebirth.
“Perhaps that was just to ramp up the atmosphere in their former school, livening up the scene. Still, a great amount of heart was really put into the matter!”
“What about after?”
Everyone waited, and indeed…two people hurriedly ran up from backstage, setting up two microphone stands and putting the mikes on them. After that? The audience saw two young girls running onto the stage with guitars.
“Xiang Ning…Xiang Ning,” Su Nannan tugged at the suddenly dazed Xiang Ning’s arm, pulling her along up on stage as she said, “Hurry up!”
Su Nannan handed Fu Cheng his guitar.
“Thanks,” Fu Cheng smiled as he received the guitar.
Standing before a microphone, he strummed the guitar. While it was merely just a testing of the sound, applause and shrieks resounded from the audience along with it.
A guitar in hand, Xiang Ning stood in front of Xu Tingsheng.
Pursing her lips, she gazed fixatedly at this man before her who slowly bent down, gently taking the guitar from her. She stared very earnestly, very carefully, looking at his little bits of stubble, looking at his hair, looking at his mouth, looking at his eyes…
Xiang Ning felt that she could be certain of it, because of his eyes. Every time he looked at her, he would always do so with these eyes. While Xiang Ning couldn’t understand these eyes, they would always cause her to feel warm and at ease.
Looking into Xiang Ning’s eyes, Xu Tingsheng smiled warmly, whispering, “Happy Birthday.”
“Happy Birthday? …”
“So, he is Uncle. So, he isn’t a graduate of Xinyan Junior High…then, why is he here? He knows that it’s my birthday today. I heard it. He just said…Happy Birthday.”
Within these eyes before her, Xiang Ning could see warm sunlight, could see overflowing tenderness.
“Uncle Liar?” Xiang Ning ventured, asking carefully in a low tone.
“Yeah,” Xu Tingsheng nodded in affirmation.
“I’m here to sing to you, to wish you Happy Birthday.”
Xiang Ning was fifteen. As a fifteen-year-old girl, she already knew what being moved was. She was suddenly unable to speak, tears gradually glistening within her eyes that were bright as the stars in the sky.
“Shhh, secret,” Xu Tingsheng blinked.
“Yeah,” Xiang Ning nodded, holding back her tears.
Currently, Xu Tingsheng was facing away from the audience, also shielding Xiang Ning from sight. Thus, no one saw the interaction between the two. Some felt that they should be talking, but no one knew what they were talking about. Amidst the surrounding din, not even Fu Cheng and Su Nannan heard the exchange between them.
Everyone felt that this should just be a young fan expressing her adulation to Rebirth. The girls felt envy, felt jealousy…
“Xiang Ning, let’s go!” Su Nannan came over, dragging Xiang Ning along as she ran off the stage.
Xu Tingsheng waved lightly to them.
“Why’re you constantly in a daze today? Is it that you’re too emotional at seeing Rebirth?” Su Nannan asked Xiang Ning.
Xiang Ning blankly responded ‘uhuh’, not replying. It was not like she could tell Su Nannan, “Rebirth? I always see him. He even cooks for me, holds an umbrella to shield me from the rain, teaches me my homework…even tells on me, even…”
Up on stage, Fu Cheng strummed his guitar, the gentle opening sequence for <The Brightest Star in the Night Sky> resounding…
From just this brief opening sequence alone, everyone knew that this was yet another new song, also being completely different in style from the one from earlier. “Having been silent for so long, coming out to perform in public for the first time in the anniversary performance of their former school, even taking out two songs all at once…how thoughtful.”
This was what all the reporters and members of the audience present were thinking. Amongst them, there was merely a single girl who knew: This was Uncle having come to celebrate her birthday for her, having nothing to do with Xinyan Junior High at all.
She was still young, not knowing what was called ‘Limitless tenderness for that single one’.
Everyone listened quietly.
Fu Cheng began singing:
“The brightest star in the night sky
Can you clearly hear
Of that person gazing upwards
The solitude and sighing of his heart”
Everyone could tell that this was that most important voice of Rebirth. Additionally, due to the crudeness of the recordings Rebirth had originally made, what everyone was feeling now was actually more of amazement: So his voice was actually this good, this captivating.
In the past, some people had once analysed the songs that Rebirth had uploaded. In the end, they had concluded that the main singer’s singing was still a little tender. Still, the quality of his voice was really good. It was very warm, and most hard to come by was that it was so warm even when hitting the high notes.
Currently, Fu Cheng’s voice still contained that warmth, yet additionally had pain as well as a sense of loss to it. It was like they could hear memories, hear questioning, hear solitude and sorrow from within.
This voice could draw all men who had experienced the vicissitudes of relationships before into reminiscing. This voice could instantly hook the hearts of girls…some people inexplicably found that somehow or other, they had descended into a state of melancholy, suddenly beginning to think about a certain someone, that someone from back then…
Fu Cheng had actually already forgotten every single person on scene. He was only talking to a single person.
“The brightest star in the night sky
Can you remember
Once walking alongside me
The figure that vanished amidst the wind”
The figure that had suddenly vanished was Fu Cheng’s happiest memory, yet also his most painful loss and the subject of his unflagging, solitary search, just like how he always sat by the window in buses, carefully gazing at every single street amidst the night.
It was like his solitude was plainly audible, that scene plainly visible.
“He could really get crazy popular,” A reporter said.
Everyone beside him put a finger to their lips, shushing him. Many of them, having been to far too many press conferences and concerts in the past, could actually already be considered to be partial insiders in the industry.
Thus, they knew that this version of this song was something they might get to hear only this once in their lifetimes.
It was not just because Rebirth would likely not be entering showbiz that they thought this way. Actually, they also knew that even if this boy up on stage did enter showbiz eventually, he still might not be able to produce such emotion ever again in singing this song. Meanwhile, the recording of this scene might touch the hearts of countless people after having spread…
Yet, it would definitely still be incomparable to the scene unfolding right here, right now.
This was like what was commonly said by those who had fortunately been there to listen to Cui Jian’s first rendition of <Nothing To My Name> in the eighties. There was no version that was comparable to how it had been that day, even if it was still Old Cui himself singing it afterwards.
Fu Cheng glanced over at Xu Tingsheng, the two singing together:
“I pray that I can possess a transparent soul
And eyes from which tears can flow
Give me the courage to believe again
Oh~Transcend all lies to embrace you
Every time I can’t find meaning in living
Every time I’m lost amidst the night
Oh~The brightest star in the night sky
Please guide me to draw closer to you”
Utter silence reigned in the background. There wasn’t even any applause.
“You’ve lost your friends, lost your lover before…then, how long has it been since you last cried unrestrainedly in peace? Not afraid of being laughed at…how long has it been since you dared to fully love someone with all your heart, being courageous for him(her)? …Also, do you miss that former silly self, that transparent soul you once possessed?”
Perhaps the children here only felt that the singing was nice, but those of the audience who were slightly older and even the teachers could not help but so question themselves.
Xu Tingsheng’s voice was on the deep side, seeming a little hoarse.
As the two voices sounded in harmony, people discovered that while this voice might not be as good as the one from earlier, it felt more mature, seemingly harbouring the vicissitudes of the endless ages, seemingly being able to provide a consolation to the solitude of that other voice…
This voice seemed to evoke a strange feeling within them. It was as though as soon as he opened his mouth, they unconsciously felt like what he was narrating was a tale that was incomparably distant…
How distant? Perhaps as distant as the vast fields and the boundless oceans, as distant as the cycle of rebirth itself.
It seemed to suddenly have struck them now why the name of this band was none other than ‘Rebirth’.