Chapter 59: They’ve all come
The passion and longing of boys towards guns was not any lesser than their desire for girls. Of course, having met girls, they would only be able to hand over their weapons in surrender.
It had not been said earlier that they would be able to shoot targets in their military training. Therefore, when the instructor announced this piece of news when training was ending for the day, the training grounds descended completely into a hubbub of noise.
This was an era when Counterstrike was extremely popular. There were few amongst the boys who did not play it, did not love playing it. Being used to rampaging about over the keyboard, everyone’s expectations were therefore a little high.
“Instructor, will there be AK47s?”
“I want a sniper rifle! Instructor, give me a sniper rifle!”
What came after joy was unease. That night, Huang Keshen gave his family a call. His grandfather who had carried a rifle several tens of years ago told him that if his posture was wrong when firing, the recoil from the rifle could dislocate his shoulder, at least taking away a layer of his skin.
Huang Keshen furrowed his brows, thinking for a long time. Then, he took apart the pillow that he slept with, pulling out from it a large amount of cotton stuffing which he intended to place by his armpit the next day.
Old Wai said, “Oh, you’re smart. Let me have some.”
Xu Tingsheng yawned, looking at how Huang Keshen would thereon be lacking a pillow.
At the shooting range the next day, there were actually quite a few who had made similar preparations, various colourful techniques having been employed. Li Xingmin took a look around the area and returned saying that he had discovered a method that was much cleverer as well as more practical than the taking apart of a pillow.
Pained at the loss of his pillow, Huang Keshen asked what it was.
Li Xingmin secretly reported his discovery that some girls had pasted sanitary napkins on their shoulders, and quite a few layers of it as well.
Lu Xu thought about it for a while, then said, “This method is really too splendid. If they really knock into something and get injured, it can still stem their flow of blood.”
Tan Yao shook his head and sighed, “I really can’t bear to tell you damned virgins that those things can suck blood.”
Each person was distributed five bullets. Without having yet satisfied their desires, not having been able to properly get a taste of things at all, the dreams of many thereby came to an end like Zhu Bajie swallowing the Ginseng Fruit in a single gulp.
Xu Tingsheng had fired once in his previous life before, his results back then being a little pathetic. This time, he held his breath and focused before slowly aiming and firing every single shot. Only when everyone had turned in their guns and been standing at attention for quite a while did he slowly crawl up from the ground…
There was actually still another motive in having shot slowly. Xu Tingsheng had been waiting for the bullet shells to cool down, after which he secretly pocketed two of them when no one was looking.
A few instructors crawled out from the trench opposite, beginning to count the results on the target boards.
While Xu Tingsheng felt that he had fired pretty well, he was still shocked by the final results.
“Lu Xu, 0 points.”
“Xu Tingsheng, 47 points…but there are 8 bullet holes on it.”
“Wa Aiyi, 0 points.”
While firing, Lu Xu had been lying prone beside Xu Tingsheng. It had been the same for Old Wai as well.
“Dang, this bro aimed at the wrong target,” Lu Xu said.
“Me too,” Old Wai said.
This was to say that of the trio’s fifteen bullets, only 8 of them had connected. As for who amongst them had fired the most reliably, it was impossible to say for sure.
On their way back to school, Xu Tingsheng took out his bullet shells to the incomparably envious, and also incomparably regretful, gazes of all.
There were those who came over to beg, and there were those who came over to snatch. Xu Tingsheng kicked all of them far away without exception, his stance firm. No way, over his dead body.
The military training ended. After the bustling observance ceremony ended, the Vice Principal went up to the podium and announced the name of the soldiers who had performed exceptionally well.
Xu Tingsheng unexpectedly heard his own name being called.
Those model soldiers whose names were called out had to individually leave formation with the proper drills and slow march over to the podium to receive their commendations. Xu Tingsheng hesitated for a moment. If he dared refuse this, the old Vice Principal would probably deal him a full set of military punches.
Keeping his legs taut, keeping his arms locked, Xu Tingsheng marched forward mechanically step by step as he looked towards the front.
A group of students from senior high was currently watching on rather interestedly from behind the podium. Perhaps their school had arranged for them to come for a tour of this academy city, and they had coincidentally found their way here.
Due to the occurrence of several boat-sinking accidents these past few years, many schools had already cancelled the outings that they had once organised. Even if the students really wanted to go somewhere, they still wouldn’t dare to let them go too far off into the wilderness. Under such circumstances, the academy city became a very good destination for school trips. Seeing how universities were like would be beneficial in calling forth greater passion for studying within the students somewhat.
Under the eyes of many, Xu Tingsheng threw his feet forward and proceeded forth with gusto. Not wanting to make a mess of things and cause embarrassment for himself, he put in great effort, his form very accurate and precise.
Then, he saw that little girl standing over by the side of the podium. Carrying a red schoolbag on her shoulders and holding a bottle of orange juice in her hand, she stood there looking at him.
Little Xiang Ning was wearing a sky blue tracksuit with white stripes along with white sport shoes today. Her hair was tied back in a ponytail with a butterfly knot as she stood delicately and adorably there…
This was the first time Xu Tingsheng was seeing Little Xiang Ning out of her school uniform.
Xu Tingsheng had already not seen her for close to twenty days. These days had felt exceptionally long, because he had spent virtually every single one of them worrying, in great torment.
Seeing Xiang Ning once more, Xu Tingsheng felt overwhelmed by countless emotions, “We can even meet coincidentally like this? It’s indeed a deep destiny of past and previous lives that lies amidst this rebirth! Also, my little Xiang Ning, is so…so beautiful…so cute…”
Having blanked out for a moment, as the model soldier Xu Tingsheng pushed his foot onto the platform, he stumbled forward. Startled cries resounded amidst the entire field, Little Xiang Ning’s mouth wide open in shock as she looked at him…
Xu Tingsheng wobbled, frantically trying to regain his balance, but finally…still plunged headlong into the greenery below the podium.
Startled cries and whistling arose all around. The entire training grounds erupted in noise.
Xu Tingsheng cared not about this. While he had embarrassed himself…
He was very happy, because as he crawled out from the other end of the shrubbery, Little Xiang Ning came over, asking carefully, “Uncle, are you okay?”
“I’m fine, I’m fine. You’re…on an outing?” Sprawled across the ground, Xu Tingsheng was incomparably moved.
So, she still cared about him.
“Yeah, you’re studying here?”
“Yeah, I am. School just started; we’re having military training.”
“Yeah. So, my teacher is calling us to gather up. I’ll be leaving first.”
“Okay…wait, this is for you.”
Xu Tingsheng extended a hand, opening his palm. Inside lay a glistening yellow bullet shell.
Xiang Ning hesitated for a moment before reaching out and taking it from him as she said softly, “Thanks, Uncle.”
Xu Tingsheng crawled up, returning to the podium to receive the commendation. The old Vice Principal kicked him jokingly, chiding him for making a fool of himself. In a great mood, Xu Tingsheng was similarly all smiles as he saluted to him.
Xu Tingsheng spent the rest of the day with a silly smile on his face, clenching his fist and howling like a wolf from time to time. His roommates were all creeped out by this. Was this guy that happy over being acclaimed as a model soldier? Or had that fall brought him into a strange encounter with the supernatural?
The university’s welcoming party was held after the end of the military training, to welcome the freshmen in as well as bid the military instructors a happy farewell.
When the organisers of the event had made a call for performers a few days ago, the class chairperson had informed everyone in the class about this. Xu Tingsheng had immediately refused without even a moment’s consideration. He felt that he was not cut out for this. His voice was low and husky, and he had merely gotten slightly proficient in the guitar back over the summer holidays learning from Fu Cheng.
Also, this Uncle was already getting on in years. Never mind, he would not embarrass himself on stage in front of everyone.
While Fu Cheng should actually have gone to perform, he did not sign up for it as well. This guy was currently afflicted with lovesickness. While he could not stop thinking about Fang Yunyao, he dared not even give her a call, caught within such a fix all day long as he had not the mood to do anything at all.
Still, they would of course be going to join in the fun and revel in the event’s atmosphere for a bit. In this, even Huang Yaming came.
“I’ve come to see what exactly these things called women are like,” Huang Yaming said.
Just a few days after having matriculated, he had already lost all hope in his university.
What they had not expected was that Song Ni actually came as well. When she arrived, a group of female upperclassmen, dancing in sync in tight-fitting clothing, was currently in the midst of raising their long, elegant legs up high. The three guys watched on very intently in appraisal.
Having found the trio, Song Ni directly sent a slap onto Fu Cheng’s head. Fu Cheng looked back and saw her, his gaze also registering the person who was walking behind her. Then…he just stared, dumbfounded.
Having come here together with Song Ni was Fang Yunyao.
Having come to Yanzhou to attend a course, Fang Yunyao had actually already been here for a few days. Perhaps to avoid suspicion or maybe because she had a guilty conscience, she hadn’t mentioned this to them at all before this. After her training for today had ended, touring randomly about on a bus by herself, she had somehow found herself at the big academy city of Xishan. Then, she had contacted Song Ni.
Using this welcoming party of Yanzhou University as an excuse, Song Ni had brought her over.
She had voiced no objection.
Fu Cheng offered her his seat, now standing on tenterhooks by the side.
“Why didn’t you say sooner? Fu Cheng isn’t prepared at all,” Xu Tingsheng questioned Song Ni in a hushed tone.
“I just messaged you, didn’t I? With Ms Fang just beside me, it’s not like I could have called?” Song Ni replied in a huff.
Xu Tingsheng currently had two mobile phones. However, the one always clutched in his hand was his old phone that used his old number. This was especially true today, during the span of which he had virtually went and checked on it once every few minutes.
Song Ni had sent her message to his new number.
Xu Tingsheng found an excuse and dragged Fu Cheng out to the hall outside.
“You’ve got to go on stage and sing,” He got straight to the point.
“No, really?” Fu Cheng asked hesitantly.
“Let me just put it this way. During the summer holidays, you only managed to open a stitch on Ms Fang’s heart with great difficulty. Having not met for so long after that, if you don’t hurry up and think of something, that stitch will probably just then fade away. How good of a chance is this? How rare and precious an opportunity?”
“But I didn’t register…how?”
“Force your way up.”
“I’m saying to get on that stage. Force your way up!”
“Oh,” Fu Cheng clenched his fist, breathed in deep, breathed in deep, breathed in deep.
Finally, he clenched his teeth, “Alright, I’m going.”
The party would last for more than an hour longer. Xu Tingsheng dashed wildly back to the dorms with Fu Cheng to get their guitars, meanwhile discussing the song that they would be singing…
They made a whole bunch of selections, but still failed to come to a decision.
“Won’t it be better if there’s a special song, dedicated specifically to her?” Xu Tingsheng suddenly thought aloud.
“What song? And where would we get it from?”
“I have one.”