Chapter 348: Bright Brilliance
Yuqing had already signed an agreement for a job in her hometown of Suzhou. She had returned to Yanzhou for her thesis dissertation and to attend the graduation ceremony too.
Two days ago, Fang Yuqing had brought her to see his grandfather, having a meal with the elders of the Fang family. Things had apparently gone quite well in the conversation. Old Mr Fang really liked this granddaughter-in-law candidate too. Yet, Yuqing had ultimately decided that she would be returning to Suzhou. After all, she was the only child in her family.
Yuqing’s parents were down-to-earth, honest people as they had no ambitions of their daughter marrying into a rich family. Understanding the Fang family’s background and hearing about the initial attitude of Fang Yuqing’s parents, they were quite unwilling for her to remain in Yanzhou alone just after her graduation.
The only reason the two had not said that they should break up just like that was considering Fang Yuqing’s sincerity in having travelled a long distance to their home to propose back then.
Being unable to convince her to stay, Fang Yuqing had wholeheartedly devoted himself to their Ning Garden project, striving to be able to build a house right in front of Yuqing’s home one day, the faster the better.
Xu Tingsheng and Yuqing conversed for quite a long time. Apple had still yet to emerge.
“Do I have so many dirty clothes?”
When Xu Tingsheng pushed open the door and looked in on Apple, he found her in the midst of numbly scrubbing a T-shirt of his in the washbasin.
Seeing that Xu Tingsheng had come in to rush her, Apple wrung the final article of clothing dry before squeezing past him, saying, “I’ll go dry the clothes on the balcony.”
After hanging the laundry to dry, Apple began organising the things in Xu Tingsheng’s room, next mopping the floor. She got down on all fours, using a cloth to wipe every single corner of the room, the feet of the table, the feet of the chairs…she cleaned every spot meticulously.
Even after Xu Tingsheng had finished preparing dinner, she was still not done.
The three girls helped to call for her a few times but to no avail.
Xu Tingsheng entered the room, saying warmly, “Alright, Apple, it’s already very clean now.”
Kneeling on the floor, her face pressed against the floorboards as she extended a hand beneath the big cupboard in an attempt to wipe under it, Apple said, “Just a little longer. Some corners are hard to wipe, and you might not notice them when you’re doing the cleaning yourself. It wouldn’t be good if I missed them.”
Not yet reading the mood, Xu Tingsheng sat on the bed, smiling, “Look at how you look now. The fans definitely wouldn’t think that their beloved Apple would still be helping out with spring cleaning in someone else’s home even as her album was being advertised. How about I take a picture for you and upload it onto Weibo later?”
“Yeah, take it, and upload it if you will,” Apple said coolly, “After you’ve done so, everyone will know that Cen Xiyu is actually willing to be a housewife for her one and only Xu Tingsheng, doing the laundry, cleaning the floor…but sadly, she can’t do any of that.”
Xu Tingsheng finally realised her mood as he said softly, “Sorry.”
Apple knelt down by another end of the cupboard, meticulously wiping that part even as she continued, “This room used to be mine, but I won’t be able to live here anymore. If I dropped some hair, accessories or whatnot by accident, she might be unhappy if she sees it and then throw a tantrum at you. I’ll sweep it nice and clean before returning it to you.”
Xu Tingsheng walked over, reaching out as he tried to snatch the rag from her hand. Failing to do so, he could only capture her in his embrace, exerting force with both arms before only then managing to snag the rag and fling it away to a corner of the room.
Leaning in his embrace, Apple bit down on his shoulder, saying softly with repressed emotions, “Sorry, Xu Tingsheng. My first thought at the time was to come to Yanzhou to look for you. But when I finally saw you, I didn’t know what I should say to you. I was afraid of speaking to you.”
“I’m afraid that I might throw my temper at you. I’ve already found out that you lied to me. You helped to arrange everything for me just so that I would recover and then become independent, allowing you to shake me off. I’m so stupid. I should have stayed here and refused to leave back then.”
“I’m also afraid, afraid that you’re going to tell me that you’re already together with her now. I’m afraid that you would chase me away, next wishing that I will never show up again in the future.”
Xu Tingsheng hugged her, telling her, “That’s not going to happen.”
Apple was silent for a while before she flashed a consoling smile, “Sorry, Xu Tingsheng. You’ve actually done enough for me already. Don’t force yourself anymore. I’ve already raised my own umbrella, no longer being afraid of the winds and the rains and snow…well, we should eat now.”
After dinner, the two went for a stroll along the riverbank just like how it had been in the past.
On the riverbank, amidst the evening breeze.
Apple suddenly looked up, extending a hand to stroke Xu Tingsheng’s face as looking at him, she now said, “Trust me, Xu Tingsheng. Whatever decision you make, I would definitely never let you come to any harm because of me.”
In the end, she said none of the words that Cen Qishan had asked her to convey to him. When Xu Tingsheng asked her about this, she did not speak too much about it, only saying that it was merely that a new stranger had appeared in her life thereafter.
In the twelve years ever since he had left, he had never felt like a stranger, but upon his return now…a new stranger thereafter.
Huang Yaming shamelessly made use of Apple’s presence in Yanzhou to bring forward the opening ceremony of his bar by more than ten days, printing flyers with Apple’s smiling face before distributing them all over, promoting this even over the internet.
The name of the bar was: Bright Brilliance(Mingyao). The Ming from Huang Yaming, and the Yao from Tan Yao.
On seeing this, Wu Kun said that it matched very well with his Starry Splendour. It was indeed an inborn fate.
Thank goodness for this fate.
On the day the bar began operations, due to Apple’s current super popularity, a simple opening ceremony was somehow made out to feel like a concert as thousands of fans filled an entire half street, with the entire road thus being blocked.
Despite basically all being unable to enter the bar in the end, these fans were unwilling to leave for a long time. The security of the bar was totally insufficient as only with Wu Kun urgently dispatching more than fifty people from Starry Splendour was order barely maintained.
Sufficient popularity had already been accumulated, and sufficient word-of-mouth too. Going on like this could never be a sustainable plan.
Apple took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony and greeted her fans before going to the balcony on the second storey alone and singing a song for them there, next patiently chatting with them, conversing with them, persuading them…
Only with much difficulty did she succeed in coaxing most of these people away.
Xu Tingsheng watched it all in silence. Apple was more composed and gracious in her singing as she had also become calmer and more dependable in dealing with issues.
She was really no longer that little girl who needed to mask herself at all times whilst actually being helpless, only being able to rely on Xu Tingsheng.
Going back inside, Apple went up on stage and sang two songs. She had initially adamantly refused to sing in bars no matter what, yet ultimately made an exception for Huang Yaming here. Of course, these were two different things altogether.
Apple’s performance lifted the atmosphere in the bar to a highest peak right from the start.
Next to take the stage were some celebrity friends whom Huang Yaming had gotten acquainted with during those two months in Tianyi previously. Now that his status was different as he was an official partner of Tianyi’s, the producer of a movie, there were naturally more people who gave him face and came.
Many people whom Huang Yaming had been afraid to invite due to potentially having to pay them to come came on their own, ascending the stage on their own accord.
Even the VP of Tianyi, Shao Jun, personally came, opening wine that amounted up to over a hundred thousand as a celebratory gift.
With a lineup like this, adding on the lines of luxurious cars parked outside, the level and scale of Bright Brilliance was hence consolidated as it stood at heights that other bars in Yanzhou would never be able to reach no matter what.
From now on, it would be Bright Brilliance that reigned at the top of Yanzhou.
Of course, it was not these people who were truly the mainstay in dispensing the fees that night. Those of the Black Horse Club and other second gens who were close with them also showed up to support them, with a few bottles of wine surely being necessary with that. Also counting those unfamiliar faces which included locals of Yanzhou who had come to join in the fun and maybe some rich dudes from neighbouring districts…
One hour into the bar’s commencing of operations, just in terms of wine alone, more than a million had already been spent.
On the next hour, Tongtong was emotional beyond herself as she ran over and told Huang Yaming, “Two million.”
“Another million’s been spent?” Huang Yaming asked excitedly.
“No, there was 2 million that came in this hour. It’s up to 3 million in total now,” Tongtong said.
“…Who’s so fearsome?”
“Sis Ye Qing. She brought a bunch of friends over and then spent 1.4 million all on her own.”
With this still being early 2005, even Xu Tingsheng felt rather dizzy upon hearing this figure. That money which had been spent on alcohol was already enough to buy his Mercedes-Benz G500. For those others present who had been patronising them, they had generally just spent a couple tens of thousands. For those who had spent a bit more, it amounted to around a hundred thousand at most…
Ye Qing alone had spent 1.4 million.
Taken aback, Huang Yaming asked, “…Has she gone mad?”
Meanwhile, Tan Yao too pulled Ye Qing over to a corner, asking the same question, “Have you gone mad?”
“It’s not that I’m lacking in money,” Rather tipsy yet still clearly in a great mood, Ye Qing was all smiles as she looked at Tan Yao, “Tan Yao, I’m very happy now that you have your own career, you know? I really am very happy.”
Having previously been in a huff as he refused to speak to Ye Qing for quite a long time, Tan Yao did not know how to react now as he only said, “Even if you do have money, you can’t spend it as thoughtlessly as this! Be careful of your family blaming you now. Besides, we opened this bar to earn money from outsiders. What are you doing, spending so much?”
Ye Qing leaned over, smiling like a little kid as she pointed at herself, asking, “So…I’m an…insider(wife)?”
Tan Yao was momentarily taken aback before he said, “Sis Qing, I live in a different world from you. I have always been well aware of this. If you want to mess around with someone, don’t do it with me, alright? I like to play around and hook up with women, but I can’t afford to do so with you.”
Ye Qing suddenly kissed him right on the lips.
Then, the two looked quietly at each other just like that.
Their initial relationship had begun on the bed. Still, after a few times, after Tan Yao had thrown that tantrum, the two had eaten together, watched movies together, attended concerts together, instead never even having held hands.
Afterwards, Tan Yao had grown unhappy once again.
Thus, there had actually never been a simple kiss like this between the two before.
“What, you’re so great because you’re rich?” Tan Yao feigned a stern face but was unable to stop himself from smiling immediately thereafter.
In contrast, Ye Qing suddenly grew serious as she told Tan Yao, “Stupid, I’m supporting you here. Look, the name of the bar is Bright Brilliance, with one word from you. However, of those who have come here in support today, ninety percent are the connections of Huang Yaming and Xu Tingsheng. I am different. Everyone knows that I am close with you. I don’t want you always being thought of as just some lackey.”
Tan Yao did not accept this goodwill as he asked rather angrily, “What do you mean? Are you sowing discord between us? Let me tell you, someone like me who’s got totally nothing at all. Huang Yaming and Bro Xu have never treated me as just some lackey. Actually, they clearly can do so. It’s totally within reason, and I could accept that too. Yet, they’ve always treated me like a brother.”
Ye Qing forced a smile, shaking her head, “Do you still not get it? Well of course I know how Xu Tingsheng and Huang Yaming treat you. Even how many shares of this bar they’ve given you for nothing-I’m basically aware of that too. They really do treat you well.”
“Still, what I mean is not with regard to them, but with regard to outsiders, do you understand? Regardless of how Xu Tingsheng and Huang Yaming treat you, if you have no abilities of your own, those outside will never seriously treat you as being on the same level as them. They will only ever see you as a lackey, get it? I want to tell them for you that they are wrong. Tan Yao is not all that simple too.”