Chapter 92: Lu Zhixin’s secret
As Lu Zhixin was about to go for her third glass, Xu Tingsheng reached out and stopped her. This was just how he was. Even while he rather minded and was rather confused about Lu Zhixin’s actions today, as long as someone had not clearly demonstrated any intentions of harming him, Xu Tingsheng would always show that person the greatest level of respect.
He still couldn’t understand the motivation behind Lu Zhixin’s actions. Even if she had been attracted to him a little from their previous interactions, it still couldn’t explain why she had done things to this extent, looking a little as if she was randomly stirring things up in a sort of wilful harassment towards him.
Despite everything, Lu Zhixin had still not demonstrated any malicious intentions towards him at the end of the day.
One’s good intentions can not be accepted, but how can they be repaid with malice? …The meaning of this was basically that you can refuse to accept another’s goodwill or even feelings of love, but no matter what, you can never, ever justify returning them with resentment or hatred.
In other words, if someone is like: You actually dare to have feelings for me? I don’t like you, so I’m going to viciously humiliate you, stomp over you, kill you dead. That person’s a lunatic.
Xu Tingsheng could categorize Lu Zhixin’s actions under expressing her feelings towards him. Even while her methods might have been a little over the top, this still shouldn’t be wrong. Therefore, while unable to understand why she had acted this way, Xu Tingsheng still gave her the respect that she deserved. He reached out and stopped her from drinking her third glass.
“Let me do it myself,” Xu Tingsheng said, smiling.
Lu Zhixin leaned over, whispering in his ear, “Relax, my alcohol capacity’s great.”
This rather intimate action sent the atmosphere into a high. In the end, Xu Tingsheng drank a glass of wine as well. His teammates’ rationale was: You’ve become a hero today, and also carried away the beauty. You just can’t not drink even a single glass.
After the round of wine, Lu Zhixin’s face had not turned red, her steps remaining stable.
A little after 8pm, people began looking for others to continue partying around with, continuing with the next wave of fun over at the KTV. Xu Tingsheng left early under the pretext of having an examination the next day, Lu Zhixin taking her bag and following after him.
“Xu Tingsheng, are you mad at me?” Lu Zhixin asked from behind him.
Turning, Xu Tingsheng replied, “It’s not that I’m actually angry. Instead, perhaps I should thank you for thinking so highly of me. It’s just that…I can’t understand. I really don’t know what’s so good about me that’s worth you doing this.”
Lu Zhixin smiled, but did not speak.
Xu Tingsheng pressed, “Can you explain a little?”
Lu Zhixin shook her head, answering, “No.”
In having said ‘no’, rather than the likes of ‘I just like you somehow, just really like you’, this was equivalent to Lu Zhixin having tacitly admitted some things. This was bravery in another form, candidly admitting that she had a secret whilst also firmly expressing that she would not reveal it.
Since that was so, Xu Tingsheng could not press her regarding this matter.
Out of manners, with Lu Zhixin having helped him to block more than twenty glasses of wine in a single go, Xu Tingsheng had originally intended to escort her back to her room. Now, however, his phone rang.
He always had two phones on him, one being the old one back from Libei and the other the new one that he used in Yanzhou University. Due to mobile roaming, his parents included, virtually everyone who was looking for him now contacted him via his new number.
It was his old phone which had rung, the one which used the number that he had left for Xiang Ning. He had already been waiting for this call for nearly an entire semester. Therefore, he cared not about manners now.
Lu Zhixin walked along the path leading back to her dormitory alone. Amidst the cold winter winds, she felt a little ‘piteous’ walking on her own. However tough and rational she was, frankly speaking, she did feel a little resentful. The incident before the male dorms as well as today’s incident-in truth, she felt sometimes like laughing mockingly at herself, laughing at how she really deserved it.
Still, she did not intend to change, did not intend to stop.
During her initial interactions with Xu Tingsheng, Lu Zhixin had also considered that he might have approached her with the intention of pursuing her. The reason she had not refused him was that he had really acted far too naturally. Also, his intonations really were rather good, surpassing even quite a number of her fellow students from the English course.
As time passed, Lu Zhixin began noticing some unusual things about Xu Tingsheng, such as how he was more mature than other guys of the same age, also being calm and stable in dealing with matters.
Throughout the entire semester, she had virtually never even seen him flustered once.
Also, he seemed to possess great self-confidence, with this self-confidence being expressed in a very calm, natural way. For example, the first time Xu Tingsheng had asked her out for a meal, he had dispensed with all formalities and gone straight to the point, asking her right after the bell signalling the end of the lesson rang, “Come, let’s eat together.”
It was as though going for a meal together could not have been a more natural thing. No guy had ever asked Lu Zhixin out for a meal like this before. They would always hesitate for a long time, struggling inwardly, before stammering out the words, “Will you be free later?”
“How are you so confident? You feel that things are completely within your grasp? But I haven’t even fallen for you yet!” This was how Lu Zhixin had felt the first time Xu Tingsheng had invited her to eat together. Therefore, she had found some random excuse and turned him down.
During that free elective class those following two weeks, she had tried to give Xu Tingsheng the cold shoulder.
However, she had not seen Xu Tingsheng dismal and panicked like she had thought he would be. He had still been the same as usual. Once again, after the bell had sounded, Xu Tingsheng had said, “Come, let’s eat together.”
“This crazy bastard, has he forgotten that he’s been turned down by me before? Doesn’t he feel embarrassed?” This time, for some reason, Lu Zhixin had not turned him down.
Afterwards, Xu Tingsheng still remained the same as usual, leaving hurriedly after class most of the time whilst saying once in a while, “Come, let’s eat together.”
After the two had eaten together five or six times, Lu Zhixin had finally blurted out, “Why do you invite me to eat together?”
Xu Tingsheng had answered, “Well, lunch hour is right after class! Also, I’m grateful to you for practising intonations with me. It’s easy to find a partner in your English course, but there’s really only you I can rely on…So, I invite you so as to keep on your good side.”
Lu Zhixin had wanted to exclaim: You can go to English Corner, go to English Salon! She hurriedly suppressed this weird thought that had suddenly arisen within her mind, even secretly rejoicing that she had not said it out loud. If she had, perhaps this guy might really not look for her anymore?
“So, is it really only just that?” After Lu Zhixin’s roommates had secretly observed her and Xu Tingsheng eating together a few times, after they had gotten used to teasing her in a playful manner, ‘That guy’s pretty handsome! Stop hiding him, when’re you going to bring him back for us to inspect?’, Lu Zhixin had known that she was attracted to him, her heart fluttering just like that of any other girl.
She had begun thinking, “Alright, let’s just see how long you can hold back for. If you bring it up, I’ll reject you once first, only considering agreeing after that…Forget it, I’ll won’t reject him. Why don’t I just wait for him to bring it up, after which we can embark on a relationship together.”
Xu Tingsheng had not brought it up. Instead, Lu Zhixin had grown more and more enamoured with him, also beginning to understand him better and better, including the adorable childishness that showed through occasionally in his personality.
When a man both was steady and mature as well as adorably childish at the same time, a woman would often find it hard to resist him, both their youthful hearts and maternal instincts being awakened as a result.
Lu Zhixin was still resisting it, but if it was merely this, it still wasn’t sufficient to account for her having been unable to suppress her emotions, thereby taking the initiative to confess later on, even having come to randomly stir up matters and perform wilful harassment yet afterwards.
This lasted all the way till the girls in her artistic division sent off their fourth year female seniors in a farewell party. There, she had come to know their former division head, Fang Chen, also having taken down this self-proclaimed ‘Stable throughout a thousand glasses’ great beauty through her shockingly proficient alcohol capacity.
The two had hit it off very well. Therefore, she had looked after Fang Chen in a motel room the entire night, the latter telling her many things in her drunkenness. In her tipsiness, she had also blurted out the name ‘Xu Tingsheng’ without any reservations whatsoever.
“Xu Tingsheng, the person you’re talking about is Xu Tingsheng? Oh no, you’re in for it…”
Then, the drunk Fang Chen had let Lu Zhixin know of a whole different side of Xu Tingsheng.
“The highest score? A poor kid who shamelessly wants money and doesn’t want face? Someone whom Fang Chen admires as well? A girl called Apple whom he seems rather close with yet also distant from? … And even more shocking is…the mysterious Rebirth?”
Lu Zhixin was not that kind of girl who could not keep secrets. She did not mention this matter to anyone, Fang Chen after she had finally sobered up the next day included. She only silently went to understand everything there was to know regarding Rebirth.
In front of the dorms that night, there had been both truth and falsehood within Lu Zhixin’s words. At that time, she had indeed still yet to listen to Rebirth’s new song, <<You Knit A Woolen Sweater For A Freaking Fool>>. However, she had already come to understand everything else there was to know about Rebirth, their corporate income included.
She had been present at the scene of the welcoming party that night. Thinking back, it could be determined from their appearances that of the two on the stage back then, Xu Tingsheng was not the one who had confessed.
Afterwards, she had even come to know of the establishment of Hucheng Education Service Platform from one of her roommates whom Li Linlin was rather close to. Back then, Old Wai had only just begun busily working late into the nights and on into the mornings. Back then, there was still virtually no one who had known who the person behind this platform was.
In truth, even now, many people had still yet to learn about Xu Tingsheng’s relation to this platform. There were even fewer who could tell the ambition behind this platform that was completely free of charge.
Yet, Fang Chen had been able to tell, and it was the same for Lu Zhixin as well.
Therefore, when her roommate had astonishedly tugged on her sleeve, when she had seen Xu Tingsheng’s family car, she had actually not been surprised at all.
The man whom she had already been interested in originally had suddenly had two mighty attributes of power and mystery added to him. Perhaps he had a great and glorious future ahead of him. Lu Zhixin’s mindset had also correspondingly switched from ‘can embark on a relationship together’ to ‘I’ve definitely got to have you in my grasp’.
“The him on the field today was really so captivating to us girls. Also, that foolish look afterwards when he handed the entire plastic bag over-it was so adorable.”
Lu Zhixin knew that she had fallen ‘ill’, and that this illness was only getting more and more severe.
At the same time, her confidence stemmed from her analysis and understanding of Xu Tingsheng as she knew that she had grasped his nature and weaknesses.
Just like back on the stands, when she had wanted to take the rose but he had been unwilling to let go. She had switched from pinching to grasping, her entire hand closing in, the thorns of the rose pricking into her palm and blood flowing freely as a result…Xu Tingsheng had let go.
Everything had gone according to Lu Zhixin’s predictions. This was Xu Tingsheng.
Lu Zhixin was confident in being able to deal with Xu Tingsheng. In order to achieve this, she minded not being a little more vicious to herself.
Elsewhere, Xu Tingsheng knew nothing of this. He dashed a short distance away whilst hurriedly pulling out his phone, his hands trembling a little as he pressed the button to pick up the call.