Chapter 241: A single lifetime, a single fate
Huang Yaming and Tan Yao did not return that night, only calling back to inform Xu Tingsheng, “We’ve got something on. The two of you should properly enjoy your time together before your separation.”
Xu Tingsheng and Cen Xiyu wore neat sets of pyjamas, lying down together on the same bed.
The bed in a high-class suite was large indeed.
The two of them both rested their heads back against their hands.
If what lay above them right now was not a ceiling but a starry sky, it would probably be quite the evoking scene.
Cen Xiyu was wearing flower-patterned long-sleeved pyjamas, looking like a young village girl whose hair should really be in a plait as she asked, “Xu Tingsheng, do you know why my name is Cen Xiyu? Is it old-fashioned or not?”
Xu Tingsheng said, “It’s not old-fashioned at all. Why do you ask?”
“Because my father used to be a terrible Language teacher,” she smiled cheerily, “You definitely wouldn’t think it, but my Dad was once a Language teacher at Libei Senior High. If he hadn’t left, he might even have been your teacher.”
“So he was actually a teacher. Was your mother also one?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“No, Mum only had a primary school education, after which she went back to her village to stay. She was a village girl, just like how I look now. Dad was just a teacher at a village initially. He married Mum there, probably because Mum’s really beautiful, I guess.”
“Afterwards, Dad was transferred to the city. Just a few years later, he was transferred again to Libei Senior High. Mum followed him over to the city. She stayed at home and took care of me. Dad said that our family didn’t need much money, so Mum didn’t have to go out to work.”
“But he left with a very rich woman afterwards, or so I heard.”
Xu Tingsheng was unable to understand how such a change could have occurred, unable to find the logic behind it at all. Therefore, he did not say anything.
Cen Xiyu continued, “Mum gave birth to me in the village clinic. Dad says he was super nervous waiting outside the ward that day. It was drizzling. He paced back and forth, finally stopping by a corridor window. He saw a small stream in the distance, the raindrops landing densely within…
“Then, he discovered that he had suddenly calmed down. And then, I popped out with a loud cry and was born. Because of that, he gave me the name Cen Xi(stream)yu(rain).”
Xu Tingsheng calmly listened to Cen Xiyu’s narration. It felt just like ‘The mountain is quiet after the rain……clear streaming springs over rocky beds travelling in kind’. The scent of gunpowder was mild, there seeming to be no precedent.
Therefore, he was even more unable to understand how such a great change had suddenly come upon that man, that father.
Xu Tingsheng said, “Listening to you speak, it feels like your Dad was an artistic youth.”
Cen Xiyu said, “Maybe he was. He said that he was an idealistic person, yearning for a simple, peaceful life where just being able to take care of who he wanted to take care of was enough.”
“Let me tell you, I once felt for some reason that you resembled him a lot. Because of that, even before you had started with all your achievements, I was actually already very curious about you. In the end, he left with a female tycoon, and you became a tycoon yourself. Heh.”
Xu Tingsheng felt at a loss as to this topic. Therefore, it seemed inadvisable to continue with it.
Based on what she had said, Cen Xiyu had actually already felt differently about Xu Tingsheng as compared to others when they had been classmates in Libei Senior High in his previous life. This was despite the fact that he had not been so outstanding then.
There had indeed also been some interactions between them back then. It was just that the Xu Tingsheng of back then looked at her completely differently than from in this life. There had ultimately not been any actual developments between the two of them, with no further communication ongoing between them after their short one year as classmates.
Actually, when enrolled in university, the two of them had actually run into each other once on a bus headed from Jiannan to Libei. She had been seated at the row in front of Xu Tingsheng. While he had recognised her, he had hesitated for a bit, still not greeting her in the end.
As for her life afterwards, her marriage and her emigration to Australia included, Xu Tingsheng had only inadvertently heard about it via word of mouth, not even having paid much mind to it.
A single lifetime, a single fate.
The things that had changed because of Xu Tingsheng…were so many.
Xu Tingsheng thought for a moment before changing the topic as he asked, “Do you have any thoughts regarding the album?”
Cen Xiyu thought hard for a while, “Actually, I haven’t thought about it yet. All those things that I wanted in Tianle back then-I don’t want them anymore. Right, what’s that song that you left with Tianyi for me?”
“It originally had another name, but now, I’ve changed my mind. It shall be called <>. I feel that it’s very fitting,” Xu Tingsheng said.
“Can you hum it for me?”
“When you’ve returned.”
“What else do you want to do in the future, apart from singing?”
“Maybe, hmmm, maybe I’ll just do whatever comes to mind.”
“That would be nice.”
“Because of you.”
Cen Xiyu chuckled for a bit before saying, “Well, I have two songs now then.”
Xu Tingsheng asked in puzzlement, “Two songs?”
“That’s right! I plan to force you to write a duet for me. Then, we’ll be singing it and shooting the music video together. You can wear a mask on screen, but you can’t refuse. This is my number one dream right now.”
A melody suddenly sprang to Xu Tingsheng’s mind as he began humming, “
“I want to sing to you about myself here
When our hearts are still young as flowers
Let the flowers bloom brightly as they can
Storing some of your life and my sprouts
Who is there who can take your place
Let us love to the utmost in our youth
The person dearest, oh dearest to me
Let us be together this long journey…”
As Xu Tingsheng had sung up till this point, Cen Xiyu said in a cheerful tone, “Alright!”
Her head leaned over, resting on Xu Tingsheng’s chest.
When Xu Tingsheng awoke the next day, Cen Xiyu had already finished packing her luggage and taken a bath as she was seated by the side of the bed, looking at him.
As Xu Tingsheng still had to discuss the acquisition of Dexin Training Institute with Zhang Xingke, she decided to go back first, staying in Yanzhou for a few days and taking care of everything there such as those little plants of hers before afterwards returning to Libei and accompanying her mother and grandmother there for a couple of days…
Finally, she would come to Shenghai and get on a plane for America.
“The new semester should have begun for you then, right? You don’t have to send me off at the airport then. Still, you’ve got to come see me in America once in this half year. Otherwise, you’d best be careful that my heart doesn’t get stolen away by someone else.”
She said, “I’ll be emailing you often to tell you about my life there. Do remember to read them.”
Xu Tingsheng said, “I will.”
Soon, Xu Tingsheng received a call from Fang Yuqing.
“I went and investigated it for you. There doesn’t seem to be anything special. Lu Zhixin’s father has been running all over the place these past few years. He might have been doing something related to the stock market in Hong Kong recently…well, there shouldn’t be anything wrong here, right?” Fang Yuqing asked.
“Nope,” Xu Tingsheng said, “I was just suddenly feeling curious. It’s fine now.”
“Do you need me to investigate a bit more?”
As Xu Tingsheng was about to hang up, Fang Yuqing suddenly asked, “Are you interested in hearing a little about her family’s past?”
“Right, it’s kinda legendary.”
“Well, tell me about it then.”
Fang Yuqing said, “It’s just something that I heard. It seems like Lu Zhixin’s family was pretty ordinary originally. Her father initially ran a home appliances repair store that wasn’t very big. While they couldn’t be considered rich, they also couldn’t be considered as living a tough life. Anyway, things were just as peaceful and ordinary as that.”
“Afterwards, her family seemed to have suddenly become rich. After that, her parents instead divorced. You understand, there’re many cases like that about couples who can bear hardship together yet are unable to be wealthy together, especially the ones who strike it rich overnight.”
Xu Tingsheng smiled, “I get that.”
Fang Yuqing continued, “Ever since then, Lu Zhixin’s father began earning money as if he’d been possessed, first in Yanzhou and then everywhere throughout the entire nation. So, Zhixin has basically been living on her own since she was seven or eight years old. After getting a little older, she began helping out with her family’s business in Yanzhou. Formidable, no?”
“Formidable indeed,” Xu Tingsheng agreed.
“Maybe it’s because of this that Lu Zhixin is so special and so capable. Say, is it that you can’t be away from her anymore? Do you want to consider her?”
Xu Tingsheng asked him to scram, next saying, “The way we are now, it’s pretty good already.”
After hanging up, Xu Tingsheng threw that inexplicable curiousness from before to the back of his mind.
More than ten minutes later, Huang Yaming and Tan Yao returned.
The two only rested for a short while before dragging Xu Tingsheng out to have lunch.
“There’s already stuff to eat in the hotel. Why do we have to go out?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“We’ll be driving to the vicinity of the academy city to eat, letting you experience exactly how wonderful this world truly is,” Huang Yaming said with a triumphant look on his face.
Feeling even more bemused, Xu Tingsheng asked, “Experience what, you say?”
“Experience what exactly is called the willing fish bites the hook,” Tan Yao continued for him, “Bro Xu, do you know what happened to the two of us last night? Didn’t we fail to hook up with any of those young female artistes? We were feeling pretty dismal after leaving, so we parked the car by some roadside and started smoking. Then, two girls came and knocked on the car window, asking if we could send them back to their school.”
“So you sent them back?”
“Of course we did. The key is what happened afterwards, you know? Afterwards, we were wondering about how to go about it throughout the entire journey. In the end, just after we’d arrived at the entrance of the academy city, those two girls said: Wah, it’s so late already. We won’t be able to go back to our dorms, what to do? …So, how could we not understand it then? Therefore…”
“So, you want to go hook a few more today?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
“Yeah, and let you understand as well just how worth it is spending over a million on a car,” Huang Yaming said.
Xu Tingsheng followed the two to an academy city of Shenghai City, finding a small, normal restaurant where they could park their car.
The restaurant’s business was booming. The trio could only share a table with some others.
There were two university girls seated at the other end of the long table.
Seeing the female students, Huang Yaming watched carefully for a while before shaking his head, next lowering his head and concentrating on eating as he said softly, “Hurry up and eat. After we’re done eating, let’s return to the car to sit. Wait for someone to knock on the window.”
Xu Tingsheng asked him softly, “What about these two? They aren’t interested?”
Huang Yaming shook his head.
“Look again at the one on the left. Look again, carefully.”
Huang Yaming looked up and glanced at the girl again. Then, he shot Xu Tingsheng an extremely speechless look before continuing to eat, his head lowered.
“She’s really…not even the least bit interested?” Xu Tingsheng pressed.
Huang Yaming shook his head incomparably firmly.
Xu Tingsheng spoke no longer.
That girl had been Huang Yaming’s wife in his previous life.
This was another story about a single lifetime, a single fate.
Some had grown closer, numerous entanglements arising between them, whereas others, just like that…no longer had any relations at all.
Huang Yaming said indifferently as he ate, “Right, Tingsheng. By the way, I want to quit school.”
Xu Tingsheng asked, “What?”
Huang Yamign said, “I want to quit school.”