SWFM 173

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Chapter 173: 100000 yuan of celebratory money

 

Wu Yuewei said that she already couldn’t remember. Actually, it is the same as well for many people in the later stages of a relationship. In truth, when you have forgotten why exactly you like someone, it generally entails a deeper love, the habitual nature of such being mostly insignificant yet harder to overcome.

Now, the sun having set and the moon risen, it was instead a little brighter than at sunset, every tree and every shrub clearly visible on the frost-like ground. The white moonlight of autumn was cool as well as tranquil.

They were quiet for a time.

“Senior,” Wu Yuewei rose beneath the moonlight, breaking the silence, “When there’s moonlight, how about I show you around?”

“Okay,” Xu Tingsheng stood up as well.

While he had thought that Wu Yuewei would lead him up the mountain, they ended up walking downslope instead. At the bottom of Moonteeth Mountain was actually a small, sunken valley. The two followed the stone stairs for a while. Xu Tingsheng could hear the frolicking of the stream’s waters in the distance.

“The stream’s there, right after this stretch of trees. When I was young, I liked to pick up some nice-looking rocks from beside the stream and bring them back home. In the end, most of them were used by my Mum to press vegetables with. There’re still a few small ones in my drawer. One of them is…”

While listening to Wu Yuewei’s stories, Xu Tingsheng walked in front of her after having grasped the general direction of their path, spiderwebs sticking onto his face every once in a while.

This stretch of dense forest might be a very old one. More than ten years or even decades of fallen pine needles had accumulated on the ground, a dense layer forming. Walking atop its soft, springy surface, one’s footsteps would unconsciously leap a little just as one’s emotions would.

After having finished speaking, Wu Yuewei began humming a song. Xu Tingsheng recognised it as <The Brightest Star In The Night Sky>.

She stopped midway through, asking, “Is it sung this way? I’ve only heard it twice on my classmate’s computer. Senior, can I be wilful today for once? After all, I was so awesome, scoring second in the entire province. This song-sing it once for me, Senior.”

This really felt like the relationship between a pair of young lovers. ‘Uncle’ felt rather awkward, but just as Wu Yuewei had said, she was almost never wilful, this being a single rare occasion.

Thus, Xu Tingsheng tried his best to overcome his embarrassment as he sang the whole song.

After he had finished, Wu Yuewei asked, “Senior, can you guess what this valley is called?”

“Moonteeth Valley?”

“Love Song Valley.”

“Really?”

“I just named it. Hehe.”

This was a rare wilful side of Wu Yuewei.

Amidst their conversation, they arrived by the stream. Wu Yuewei suddenly tugged at Xu Tingsheng’s sleeve, pulling him backwards.

“What is it?” Xu Tingsheng asked in puzzlement.

“There’s a snake,” Wu Yuewei said.

The next moment, Xu Tingsheng grabbed Wu Yuewei’s hand, turned and ran. He ran all the way till he discovered that something wasn’t really right, because at the same time that Wu Yuewei was being pulled along by him, she was also giggling in amusement.

Xu Tingsheng halted, asking, “So, there’s no snake?”

A smiling Wu Yuewei shook her head, “There isn’t.”

“How did you know that I’m afraid of snakes?”

“You told me about it before! When you were shamelessly pestering me in the past, you said so many things to me, told me so many things about yourself. Have you forgotten all of it? I still remember,” Wu Yuewei said.

When Wu Yuewei had been in eighth grade and Xu Tingsheng had been in ninth, he had pestered her for close to a year. “That’s already something of more than ten years ago, isn’t it?” To the 31-year-old Uncle, that was indeed an incident of a very long time ago.

“Back then, you told me that your Grandpa would catch snakes, and you originally weren’t afraid of them when you were little. There was once when your Grandpa caught a viper and tied it with a rope to a pear tree. Being mischievous, you crouched down and continuously poked at it with a tree branch. Poking and poking, the viper got anxious and stretched its body to forcibly come over and bite you.”

“You clearly saw its fangs whizzing right past your fingertips. From then on, you would tremble even hearing someone mention the word ‘snake’.”

Wu Yuewei described each detail very clearly, clear to the point that Xu Tingsheng felt it to be a little inconceivable. After all, at such an ignorant, childish age, how would someone have fallen in love with another person just like this, remembering it once and never forgetting it again?

Wiping off his sweat, Xu Tingsheng said, “You nearly scared me to death.”

“But I’m happy! Senior still remembered to pull me along as you ran just now,” Wu Yuewei said, “Do you still have the paper crane that I folded for you during junior high graduation, Senior?”

Wu Yuewei brought up another matter that Xu Tingsheng had already forgotten about entirely.

“I do,” Xu Tingsheng lied.

“Have you unfolded it then?”

“That…am I supposed to unfold it?”

“There are words inside.”

When Xu Tingsheng had graduated, Wu Yuewei had folded a paper crane for him and secretly written words inside…this had been indeed a common method of expressing their feelings for young boys and girls of that time.

“I’ll take a look at it when I get back then,” Xu Tingsheng said.

“Yeah.”

As the two were about to arrive at Wu Yuewei’s home, Wu Yuewei halted, clenching her teeth as she asked, “Senior, what if I can’t do it?”

“Huh?”

“What if I can’t like someone else? What then?”
……

On the car journey back, Xu Tingsheng informed Vice-Principal Lou about Wu Yuewei’s decision to go to Qingbei. The latter was so overjoyed that his head started bobbing all over the place.

Xu Tingsheng hurriedly reminded him, “Uncle Lou, focus on driving. It’s at night now, and this is still a winding mountain road.”

Vice-Principal Lou randomly commented, “The little lady’s pretty good.”

“Yeah,” Xu Tingsheng vaguely responded in the affirmative.

Then, the car braked urgently with a ‘screech’ as Vice-Principal Lou now asked with a face full of excitement, “Isn’t it? How about it, how about we turn back right now? Uncle will help you to ask for her hand in marriage.”

Xu Tingsheng looked at him, “Uncle Lou, are you drunk?”

“I didn’t drink much. I just drank a little with the relatives at their house while the two of you were out flirting and whispering sweet nothings to each other.”

Cold sweat ran down Xu Tingsheng’s body. He had actually been sitting in a drunkard’s car, at night, and on a winding mountain road! “Uncle Lou, come, get off…let me drive.”

Xu Tingsheng stole the driver’s seat, shooing Vice-Principal Lou away into the passenger seat, the latter droning on without any sense of realisation at all, “The little lady’s really pretty good. Her looks, her personality, and this second in the entire province…”

Xu Tingsheng had originally wanted to ignore him, but Vice-Principal Lou next droned out, “Even your Dad’s hundred thousand yuan bride price’s been covertly sent over. I just gave the card to her parents. You…”

It was Xu Tingsheng who urgently slammed down on the brakes this time.

“What bride price? A hundred thousand yuan? …Uncle Lou, the hundred thousand yuan reward by a local entrepreneur that you were telling Wu Yuewei’s parents about earlier was…my Dad’s?” Xu Tingsheng questioned like launching multiple cannonballs.

“Who else would it be? When eating just a few days ago, I mentioned to a few people how Wu Yuewei’s familial conditions aren’t too good, and how producing such good results must not’ve been easy at all. The very next day, your Dad had the money sent over to my office.”

“As I see it, your Dad must have taken her into account as his daughter-in-law. Your Xu Family really rocks! A hundred thousand yuan just in ambush. Right, does your Dad knows that you’ve taken their family’s daughter?”

“Stop messing around, Uncle Lou. That whatever bride price! For my Dad, it’s probably because my sister and Wu Yuewei are on especially good terms. She must have mentioned it to him long ago. The problem now is-does Wu Yuewei’s family know that the money’s from my Dad?”

Xu Tingsheng was worried that if Wu Yuewei knew that the reward money had been provided by his family, she might not feel very good about accepting it.

Vice-Principal Lou shook his head, “They don’t. Your Dad repeatedly reminded me not to tell them about it. It’s anonymous. So, that’s why I said that your Xu Family laid down a hundred thousand yuan at once just in ambush, dang!”

“But you’re drunk.”

“I’m drunk, but I didn’t say it, I swear.”

“That’s good then.”


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