Chapter 65: This idiot is my younger brother
Despite having been ridiculed for the entire night, now, it already seemed as if there was no need for Xu Tingsheng to retaliate.
If many had earlier been unable to believe Fang Chen’s apparent interest in Xu Tingsheng, having even been suspicious of it somewhat, Apple’s appearance had completely pulled the situation back in his favour. She was just too dazzling, dazzling to the point that one just had to feel that there must truly be some special thing, some special charm about that guy sitting there.
Also having played a part was the earlier performance of Xu Tingsheng’s roommates. Earlier, virtually all of them had stood up to ‘block’ the wine for him and help him smoothen up the situation. Now, as they collectively rose to greet and welcome their ‘Sister-in-law’, these combined were sufficient in proving the strength of Xu Tingsheng’s relationships and connections with those around him as seen in his position in the hearts of his roommates.
Actually, the first time they had seen Apple, some of Xu Tingsheng’s roommates had still addressed her as (younger) Sister-in-law. This time, however, all of them had addressed her as (elder) Sister-in-law without hesitation.
This was actually already no longer a matter of age. Some impressions were just subtly formed and developed over time. During the time they had spent together so far, Xu Tingsheng had already unconsciously established his own image in the eyes of others. He cared for Zhang Ninglang like an elder brother, and while he treated the rest of them more like bros, he was indisputably the responsible one of them by whom the decisions were made. Even Tang Yao, possessing a wide network of connections, had this feeling as well.
Some of them might not even have consciously recognised this themselves, let alone think more deeply on it.
Then, was Xu Tingsheng still truly like Cao Qing said? Coming from a poor land, was he really just a poor little kid who should conscientiously place studying as his foremost priority above all else? Many held this doubt in their minds, even though he had shamelessly tried to give footing the bill a miss just earlier.
Now, Apple and Fang Chen sat beside him, one on each side. Apple aside, what was it with Fang Chen? With the main one having come, was she still trying to get a foot in and compete?
This was Apple’s first time having a meal with the guys of Room 602. They took turns to offer her toasts, which she accepted and reciprocated in a graceful manner, indeed truly resembling a Sister-in-law in her bearing.
Knowing that she had must not have yet eaten dinner due to having been on the bus, Xu Tingsheng reminded her to ingest some more food first before drinking wine, scaring off his roommates who were intending to come up for a second round of toasts in the process.
This scene appeared somewhat loving in the eyes of many. With this, Fang Chen’s presence on Xu Tingsheng’s other side came to appear even more obtrusive.
However, Fang Chen herself seemed not to have such a realisation as against everyone’s expectations, she began talking happily with Apple, even raising her wineglass and giving Apple a toast on her own accord. Wanting to ‘block’ it, Xu Tingsheng was quelled into submission by a look of hers.
“The feeling of someone having a hold over you really isn’t good.”
At the end of the meal, hearing that Cao Qing would be paying the bill for Xu Tingsheng, Apple even specifically went over and toasted him.
However much Cao Qing liked not the sight of Xu Tingsheng, he was still very gentlemanly when it came to beauties as he drank the wine courteously and politely. When calling for a KTV trip, he even specifically invited Apple and Xu Tingsheng along.
Xu Tingsheng initially didn’t want to go for KTV. Like Fang Chen said, he really didn’t dare to do so. His speaking voice may not be so distinct. However, as soon as he sung, he was afraid that someone would recognise that it was a voice which had sung <Fairy Tale> just last night.
His singing voice was rather husky, actually being not that difficult to distinguish.
However, Fang Chen dragged Apple along, and Xu Tingsheng could only go along as well.
Having entered the KTV lounge, Xu Tingsheng began stoning in a corner, raising his arms and swaying a few times once in a while as he helped in setting up the beat. Most of the time, his attention was focused on the fruits and the little snacks on the table.
The microphone was pushed over to him a few times, but he would always resolutely refuse under Fang Chen’s ‘Sing one if you dare’ gaze.
Apple did sing some, however. Xu Tingsheng found that she was actually rather good at it. She would definitely be compatible if asked to sing some songs together with Fu Cheng.
Once in a while, some seniors, feeling that they possessed much more charm than Xu Tingsheng, would come over to flirt with Apple. Apple would immediately return to Xu Tingsheng’s side, hugging his arm and calling him hubby, coming as cloying as they went.
After most of them had sung their fill, someone put on a dance song, those around beginning to break out in wild, uninhibited dancing about the area. Unable to pull Xu Tingsheng off to dance, in her tipsy state, Apple went off to dance with Fang Chen as her dance companion.
It could immediately be seen that both were of national standard as well as evenly matched.
While everyone else had their limbs in a wild, haphazard tangle, Apple and Fang Chen coordinated in perfect synchrony. Apple danced the male part, embracing Fang Chen as she lowered her waist and raised her leg. With her slick and dashing movements, she actually truly seemed like an uninhibited, passionate gentleman as everyone present was rendered wide-eyed and tongue-tied by their performance.
After the song had ended, Fang Chen came over and whispered in Xu Tingsheng’s ear, “I’ve thought of my condition. Hand Apple over to me.”
Xu Tingsheng shivered inwardly, “You like it that way?”
Also drunk, Fang Chen laughed sinisterly, “I’m fine either way. I don’t mind taking in the both of you at once, the three of us thereby living happily ever after.”
Xu Tingsheng felt a cold chill run down his spine.
Apple, however, was wholly ignorant of this as she came over and embraced Xu Tingsheng by the neck, asking, “Hubby, wasn’t I handsome just now? …Wasn’t it exceptionally MAN?”
Xu Tingsheng thought ‘You were so handsome you nearly took down Yanzhou University’s number one beautiful female host’, but what actually left his mouth was, “You’re drunk; you’re not allowed to drink anymore.”
Now, a few other people entered the room, all friends of Cao Qing in their third year of university. After one of them had taken a once-over of the room, however, he then walked towards the corner over where Xu Tingsheng was with a look of pleasant surprise on his face.
“Bro, do you remember me? Sister-in-law as well.”
Xu Tingsheng blankly shook his head.
“I’m the one you bluffed back then! At the time, I had just fought with my girlfriend, and she had run away while crying. You came over and told me that there were drunk hooligans apprehending girls over there, scaring me till I sprinted straight off after my girlfriend… Do you remember now?”
Xu Tingsheng remembered it now. That night when Apple had accompanied him to university, he had indeed done such a thing by the roadside.
Seeing Xu Tingsheng nod, a girl walked over from behind that guy, smiling radiantly as she said, “Thank you, and sister-in-law as well…He always seems like he doesn’t care about anything, and I had been feeling especially disappointed about that. However, when he dashed over all heaving for breath at the time, it was then that I knew, knew that he actually truly cares about me…we…we’re together again!”
The guy substantiated, “Afterwards, looking around, how were there any drunk hooligans nearby? …She said that I was clearly distressed about her yet felt embarrassed to say it, therefore intentionally creating a pedestal to step down from…Still, I’ve really got to thank you. I’m third year Fang Yuqing, and we’ll be bros in the future. If anything comes up next time, just give me a call.”
The girl introduced herself as well, “I’m Yuqing.”
“Yuqing, Yuqing; how compatible. You’re both in your third year now; you ought to cherish it well. Otherwise, reminiscing on it five, ten years down the road, there might only be you secretly wiping tears away all alone,” Xu Tingsheng said like an old man.
He really hoped that they could properly cherish this relationship, because he had seen such stories far too many times in his previous life.
In his previous life, during the two times Xu Tingsheng had gone back for university gatherings after graduation, there would always be bros suddenly huddling in some corner of the campus and bursting uncontrollably into tears, sobbing as they said: Back then, I stood here, holding her hand for the first time…Back then, it was here that we broke up…Back then…she wore a dress as she walked across this very bridge…
Xu Tingsheng remembered that one of them had even written a rather non-standard poem:
Even if I forget you, that bridge will still be there.
Even if I can’t forget, that bridge will still grow old.
My hand’s left a few scars on the railing of that bridge.
Oh, actually, it’s like this.
It was three years ago when I met you.
It was seven years ago when I met you.
It was ten years ago when I met you.
Afterwards, Yuqing engaged in some secret conversation with Apple while Xu Tingsheng and Fang Yuqing exchanged numbers before just sitting there and chatting casually.
Xu Tingsheng and Fang Yuqing hit it off very well. At the same time, the latter’s position amongst the group of third year upperclassmen, Cao Qing’s group included, could also be felt. Ever since he had sat down beside Xu Tingsheng, not a single guy had dared to come over to flirt with Apple. It was even to the extent that a hint of an apology could be seen in Cao Qing’s smile as his gaze met Xu Tingsheng’s a few times.
When the party was about to disband, Fang Yuqing pulled Xu Tingsheng along with him as he rose and announced loudly, “This is my bro, first year Xu Tingsheng. Everyone, please take care of him in the future.”
Xu Tingsheng smiled wryly but did not speak. I am your uncle, okay? Young kiddo.
Lying in a tipsy half-slumber by a sofa on the other side of the room, Fang Chen was startled awake by Fang Yuqing’s words as she clambered up and tottered over towards him before grabbing him by the ear and scolding him, “Brat, you’ve been here so long and you still haven’t seen your sister? …Also, with me here, what bigshot are you pretending to be?”
While his body was twisted along with his ear, Fang Yuqing did not truly struggle as he pleaded in a low tone, “Sis, there’re so many people here. Leave me some face!”
“What face does a young brat like you need?” After saying this, Fang Chen tuned towards Xu Tingsheng and said, “This idiot is my younger brother. If you’re hanging out with him, please help me to keep him in line.”
Xu Tingsheng smiled as he nodded. Just having been treated and taken care of like a younger brother a moment ago, he was finally back to feeling like an uncle.