Chapter 56: To be a little closer
“How was your first day of university? Was it also as crazy as this?” Xu Tingsheng asked Apple.
“Some seniors came to help us. Still, ninety percent of the students in our university are female. It was because of you that I specifically chose it. You can rest assured; ever since that day when you carried me on your back, I decided that I would guard my body like jade for you.” Apple said.
The two stayed in the room for a while, properly tidying the place up. Then, they apologised to Xu Tingsheng’s roommates and left.
Tonight’s dinner was originally supposed to have been the first group event for the freshmen staying in the dormitories. Still, university had yet to begin for Huang Yaming and Song Ni, who were both currently staying in a motel. Xu Tingsheng and Fu Cheng could only accompany them first.
After briefly explaining things to his roommates, Xu Tingsheng left the room with Apple.
“Everyone, please help to watch over my hubby for me from here on out,” Apple finally said to them.
Xu Tingsheng’s thoughts were that he would let Apple mess around however she wanted today. Additionally, he also didn’t plan on looking for a girlfriend in university. Therefore, even if news of him having a girlfriend spread, it wouldn’t actually be a bad thing.
Xu Tingsheng gave Fu Cheng a call. He learnt that they were staying in the same dormitory area but in different buildings, and also asked whether he needed any help in unpacking.
Fu Cheng said, “Just help me to buy a couple of things.”
Xu Tingsheng bought the things and Apple volunteered to help send them up. More than ten minutes later, the two came down, Fu Cheng saying that the bestial creatures in his room had already all gone crazy.
On the way to the town of Xishan, Apple was all smiles as she conversed with Fu Cheng. Xu Tingsheng could tell that Apple was trying hard to improve her relationship with Fu Cheng. They had only been normal classmates before, but it was best that they could be friends in the future. The reason for this was that he was one of Xu Tingsheng’s two best friends.
The three headed directly to the motel in question. Having known that Apple was here, Song Ni had booked a double room.
Huang Yaming had booked a triple room as he said to Xu Tingsheng and Fu Cheng, “The two of you are sleeping with me tonight.”
However one listened, this just seemed wrong.
The group of five ordered a few simple dishes and had dinner together. Apple complained with tears in her eyes that if she had known they would all be studying here, she would have applied for Yanzhou University as well. Broaching that topic, it really was rare that good friends like Xu Tingsheng’s trio and Song Ni could actually still remain so close to one another in university.
Of course, they would individually be making yet more, new friends thereafter, not spending all their time together like they had in senior high. Still, they weren’t limited as best friends to meeting only during holidays, and were able to assist one another at a moment’s notice as well. Really, this was already good enough.
As for what Apple was doing here, before Huang Yaming and Fu Cheng had asked, Apple herself had already explained it.
“I came here to pursue Xu Tingsheng, of course,” She said.
Afterwards, at Huang Yaming’s suggestion, they called for a few bottles of wine. Song Ni could drink a little, while Apple’s alcohol tolerance could be considered passable as well. However, in order to grow closer to Huang Yaming and Fu Cheng, Apple drank a little too cheerfully and readily. In the end, when the meal ended a little after 7pm, only Apple was a little tipsy.
Xu Tingsheng got Song Ni to help Apple back to their room to rest. He and Fu Cheng having skipped the group dinner, they should now return to show their face at their dormitories at the very least.
Huang Yaming said, “You’d better remember to come back and sleep with me.”
The eighth person of Room 602 ultimately didn’t show up, perhaps having given up on his placing and gone back to retake the university entrance examinations.
Xu Tingsheng decided to move onto the upper bed, leaving the lower bed empty for everyone to place their things. When he was moving his things over, something dropped out from beneath the blanket. Xu Tingsheng picked it up. It was the little singlet of Apple’s that she had changed out from at the clothing store earlier.
It was made of a soft and supple material, and contained her smell. This demoness.
As his roommates all burst out snickering, Xu Tingsheng put the singlet inside his cupboard.
There was no seniority ranking amongst the seven of them, because everyone feared that they might just be that one ranked number two. Now, they individually did some basic self-introductions. Actually, Xu Tingsheng’s other six roommates had already gotten to know each other during that dinner earlier. In starting all over again now, it was mainly for his sake.
The tall, handsome one was Tan Yao of Shandong. While introducing himself, he admitted to having a rich history of chasing girls. With that and his good looks, it was evident that he was an expert in this area.
“Bros, if anyone catches your eye in the future, remember to tell me about it first, lest I accidentally harm allied troops,” he said.
It seemed like this guy’s university life was going to be a very colourful one.
The short and stout Li Xingming was a local whose dream was to lose his virginity in university.
The only one in the room who had brought along a computer was called Old Wai. The reason for this was a very awkward one. His actual name was Wa Aiyi. His father was surnamed Wa, and his mother was surnamed Yi. When choosing a name for his son, his father had acted all loving and given him a name that literally meant Wa Loves Yi. Therefore, just having entered junior high, he had already begun telling others, “Just call me Old Wai.”
Even while speaking, Old Wai was still pounding frantically away on his keyboard. At first, Xu Tingsheng thought that he might be playing a game. Having taken a closer look, though, he realised that he was actually programming.
Currently, the use of computers was still not widespread. There were very few who were as familiar with using computers as him, and freshmen who knew programming were even rarer.
“This old man applied for Computing, but just got pushed over to Chinese,” Old Wai let out an earth-shaking mournful howl, “This old man doesn’t want to be a bitter literary person, you bunch of bitter literary people…at any rate, we’ll be in this same room from now on. I won’t be attending the lessons; I want to attend the Computing lessons.”
Old Wai had precisely the look of an IT male.
The small, honest kid was called Zhang Ninglang. Xu Tingsheng knew that while he wouldn’t usually stand out, when they needed help for attendance taking or with the end of term examinations, he would become the most important person in the room.
The other five guys told Xu Tingsheng the nickname that they had already given Zhang Ninglang, ‘Lil’ Bro Ning’.
Of the final two, one was called Lu Xu while the other was called Huang Keshen.
Lu Xu said, “I have a catchphrase while speaking. I like to say ‘You still have the face to smile?’ Today, I’m keeping it in and not speaking much for fear that you guys might misunderstand. If I accidentally say it in the future, please don’t mind it. I mean no harm-it’s just that I’m used to it.”
Xu Tingsheng felt that this guy was likely to suddenly get into a fight with someone out of the blue.
Huang Keshen was a little arrogant, and looked from his appearance like he came from a rather well-off family.
He said slightly not so simply, “I am Huang Keshen from Xihu City. I scored 588 marks in the university entrance examinations and failed to get into Jianhai University by just a bit. I didn’t want to come here originally, but my parents both work in the government. They say that it’s just getting a paper qualification anyway, and they’ll make arrangements for me afterwards. I thought that this was fine as well, so I came.”
After he had finished speaking, someone smiled derisively a few times but said nothing, while someone said for him out of goodwill, “What a high score.”
Perhaps Huang Keshen was trying to show off a little, but Xu Tingsheng felt that there was nothing really wrong with this. Instead, his manner of speaking made it seem like he was not a scheming person, which was pretty good. Also, just having entered university, everyone sharing their university entrance examination results was really a perfectly normal thing. Still, it was inconvenient for Xu Tingsheng to bring his results up. With how high he had scored, there was absolutely no way for him to broach the matter himself.
“I actually performed below standard in the university entrance examinations or I’d have stably gotten into Jianhai University. My girlfriend usually does worse than me, but even she managed to get into Jianhai,” Huang Keshen said.
Huang Keshen was the second person in the room to have openly admitted to having a girlfriend, if Xu Tingsheng could be considered the first.
Finally, Xu Tingsheng gave a basic self-introduction as well, “I’m Xu Tingsheng from Libei County in Jiannan City.”
“With such a hot girlfriend, you definitely won’t have to look for another one in university, fighting for food with your bros in the dorm…” Li Xingming helped to substantiate, and Xu Tingsheng just let it be.
“Xu Tingsheng? You are Xu Tingsheng? …I didn’t hear it clearly when Sister-in-law said it this morning,” On this relatively rare occasion that Lil’ Bro Ning, Zhang Ninglang, spoke, his tone felt rather emotional.
“What? What skeletons in the closet does he have?” Tan Yao hurriedly asked.
“When reporting today, I heard it being discussed. They were saying that the highest scorer in our batch came in with 627 marks, and his name is Xu Tingsheng.”
The ensuing silence within the room was only interrupted by Old Wai’s sudden slapping of his computer, “The hell, are you sick in the head? You scored so high, but instead of studying Computing, you’re studying Chinese?”
Computing was indeed currently a profession that could not be any more popular, but Old Wai seemed to be missing the point here.
Li Xingming corrected, “What computing? This score was just two marks short of Qingbei; it could have stably gotten you in anywhere else. Bro, how are you even in Yanzhou University? Did your brain overheat and die?”
Xu Tingsheng smiled, saying, “I filled in Qingbei but didn’t manage to get in. I didn’t know about it, but they all told me to properly cover my bases. I’m timid, so I filled in Yanzhou University for my second aspiration.”
“Heck, you still have the face to smile? Don’t you know that wastage is to be disdained? I don’t know why, but I suddenly feel like I struck it big. Someone who scored several tens of marks more than me is actually studying the same course in the same university as me, yeah…But I still don’t believe that trashy excuse of yours. For real, why exactly did you come here?”
As soon as he heard that ‘you still have the face to smile?’, it was clear that the one who had spoken was Lu Xu. Xu Tingsheng thought for a while, thinking of Xiang Ning. He had checked his phone countless times today. He had not received any calls from her…
Perhaps it was really going to be like this, staring at her from far away once in a while and waiting for her to grow a little older before going to try again?
Xu Tingsheng said in a rather pained tone, “In order to be a little closer to that person in my heart.”
“Wow, that dedication in passion, that sacrifice…it’s Apple, right? Which university is she studying in here in Yanzhou? Wait, that’s wrong. You could very well have gone to any other city. Does she live here?”
Xu Tingsheng’s roommates thought that he was talking about Apple, but he naturally wouldn’t explain and clarify what even Fu Cheng and Huang Yaming were still yet to know about as he just replied simply, “Apple’s in Shenghai.”
Shenghai was indeed rather close to Yanzhou, but it clearly couldn’t justify Xu Tingsheng’s words of ‘in order to be a little closer with that person in my heart’.
While they didn’t get it, having after all only just met today, his roommates couldn’t very well question him on it further. They just thought to themselves: If even Apple is not that person, what kind of heaven-defying being can it be?
While aware of his roommates’ doubts, Xu Tingsheng spoke no further, just thinking, “Whoever would guess that she’s just a fourteen-year-old girl? But…she seems not to want me anymore.”
The matter passed just like this.