My posting will be erratic as I am busy planning my holidays as well as taking care of Wallace Chung’s blog. Since the readers of different books will lobby for their books, I won’t put any of them on hiatus but the posting will depend on my mood and progress. I am definitely going on hiatus for 5 weeks from early Sept to mid Oct. This is non-negotiable as I’ll be away on my long vacation so I am certain I won’t have time to translate.
In this post, you get your kiss again 😛 This story is written from the 3rd person point of view. Most of the time, the story’s focus is on An Ning but in this chapter, you get to read more about Xu Mo Ting’s background as well as his thoughts.
Chapter 12.3: The Most Pale Memories
Coming out from the private room, An Ning immediately complained, “Why you did not help me?!”
Ten minutes after finished talking about giving birth in the year of the dragon, several uncles casually talked about a relative in the family who has been staying aboard all year round. The relative was coming back this time because the daughter-in-law (xi fu can also mean wife but the usage is less common) will be giving birth to a second child. An Ning lamented that even important people will usually drink tea and also chat about ordinary matter. Due to being poisoned too deeply by him, she spoke without thinking at all, “Since the relative has been staying aboard all year round, how can there be a second child?”
Everyone present was quiet. Three seconds later, thunderous laughter can be heard in the private room.
At that time, An Ning was really able to experience first hand what is called ‘too late for regrets’.The person standing next to her was immovable like a mountain and did nothing to save her. So hateful! Furthermore, she could have sworn he laughed!
Ultimately, Xu Mo Ting coughed once and told the elders that he still has to take her out for a walk. Only then, she was free to go.
Mo Ting chuckled, “You have done very well.”
Hypocritical, really hypocritical! An Ning can’t be bother with him.
Xu Mo Ting has always been a calm and cool-headed person, but after all was still a complete novice when it comes to matters of the heart. He was nervous with every step he took, or at least worried that she would reject him. He was also worried about many things a lot of the time. He had stumbled before, so he did not want to experience that kind of feeling again. This time around, he will be much more cautious. But, occasionally he will still be a little anxious.
“Where to go next?” An Ning asked after going out the main entrance.
“Have a casual stroll around.” He was already holding her hand.
Even if she will often accompany friends or her mom to shop around, but go shopping with Xu Mo Ting ah? It felt a little strange.
“What’s up? Not willing?” A certain person calmly accused her.
“I don’t dare ah.” She said with a sense of grievance.
“It’s okay. When you are tired later, I can carry you.” Xu Mo Ting comforted her.
An Ning was very firm, “Don’t want.” So many people coming and going on the main street. Being carried on leader Xu’s back will certainly attract a lot of attention.
When they were passing through a street, suddenly An Ning remembered an interesting anecdote she once read online. Thus she asked the person next to her, “Do you know which is the safest street in our city?”
“The one on your left-hand side.”
Too far off from the standard answer. Well, indeed it is the street on her left-hand side. Within a few hundred meters, there are the public security bureau, the procuratorate and the court of law. If you break the law here, you can stay here to enjoy the convenience of one-stop service.
At this moment, Mo Ting gave a laugh, “In fact, it is still quite interesting.”
An Ning was lacking the energy to wave her hand. No need to force yourself.
The crowd was lively under the dazzling street lights. This winter was colder than previous years but there was also more heart-warming stuff.
When the two people were walking to the public square, Xu Mo Ting answered his phone. After listening to a few sentences, he handed the phone to An Ning. She looked bewildered.
An Ning took the phone in puzzlement. The other party immediately said: “Sister-in-law, what can be used to wash away sulfuric acid ah?!”
==! “Someone threw acid at you?”
After Zhang Qi’s black line (It describes a situation where you don’t know how to respond), he said vaguely: “I accidentally splashed some on a friend but just on the hand only.”
An Ning thought for a while, “Do you’ve sodium bicarbonate? Just like baking soda. Don’t wash with water. Wipe with a clean towel, then apply the baking soda. If the condition is serious, best to go to the hospital.”
“Thanks, sister-in-law!” After the other party hung up, An Ning gave the mobile phone back to Xu Mo Ting. When she saw the way he was looking at her, her heart could not help palpitating, “Why are you looking at me like this?”
Mo Ting lowered his head, smiled and said: “Nothing, I just feel really good.”
An Ning thought he should not tease her like this.
Fortunately, she was instantly saved by cousin’s text message. Actually it cannot be considered being saved at all.
“I heard you are on a date. I also happen to be drinking fruit juice in downtown KFC. Do you want to come over to catch up?”
She probably heard that from her mother. An Ning replied very straightforwardly: “No.”
Cousin sister called her immediately, “You treat it as – love (zhuo ai can also mean making love), okay? Come over here quickly! I have already ordered both of your drinks!”
An Ning could not help muttering, then why did you still ask just now? She looked at the person next to her. Xu Mo Ting has always been very intuitive until reducing one to tears.
“Do you need me to see a customer?”
She was reduced to tears! Why said like she has become a pimp?
“My cousin is a little outspoken.” If we are to go over, we have to prepare in advance, so that nothing unforeseen will happen later.
“Don’t worry, I always love the house and its crow (an idiom similar to Love me, love my dog).”
Well, since the party involved was so ‘generous in spirit’, she really did not need to dawdle on it anymore. Finally, she replied cousin, “Coming over right away.” Just hope cousin will not go overboard. When she is cocky, she is even harder to ward off than Mao Mao and Qiang Wei. However, people like leader Xu …… did she worry about the wrong person?
That day when they met cousin, it was totally contrary to An Ning’s expectation.
Xu Mo Ting has always been a calm and composed person, but surprisingly cousin was also rather serious.
“I am really sorry to make you come all the way here ah.”
Mo Ting gave a faint smile and calmly said: “It’s nothing. Naturally, I’ve to meet An Ning’s close relative.”
Cousin asked earnestly: “Both of you are considered to be officially dating now? Our family’s Ning Ning is quite remarkable in all aspects. Just that sometimes, she is a bit muddle-headed and the thinking is a bit off.”
“Not at all.”
Meaning that he quite liked it?
“That’s good. In the future, will have to ask you to take good care of our family’s Ning Ning.”
“I ought to.”
An Ning really felt a little out of touch. While she was still wondering when cousin had changed her character, she received a text message, “Ah ah ah ah! Handsome ah! Where did you find such a high quality man?! That lips, that eyes, and that distinct style! My most beloved Phoebus (also known as Apollo who is one of the Olympian deities in Greek and Roman mythology) ah!!”
An Ning nearly spurted out her fruit juice. Everything has been an illusion! She has been deceived!
Older female cousin winked at younger female cousin, “Ning Ning, why aren’t you saying anything?”
Nothing to say ……
In the end, it was a sincere entrust and a quiet promise. Who was actually the pimp ah?
That night, Xu Mo Ting drove them home. Cousin who lives further away was sent home first. When she got off the car, she said politely: “You’ll have to come out for dinner together again when we get a chance.”
“Sure.” Xu Mo Ting has always been very easy-going when talking to his girlfriend’s friends and family.
“All right, drive carefully.” Then she said to her own cousin: “Ning Ning, give me a call when you get home.”
“Okay.” She can foresee some noisy chatter will be unavoidable later.
Finally, only the two of them left. An Ning remembered some thing, but she did not know if she should talk about it at this moment. She hesitated over and over again before deciding to get it over and done with, “I may have to go to my dad’s place the day after tomorrow.”
He only said “okay”, without any indication to his mood. An Ning felt her worry earlier was clearly unnecessary, so she started to relax, smile and say: “Then we’ll meet next year.”
She did not answer. After a while, Xu Mo Ting only asked, “Are you going to do your PhD next year?”
An Ning was not surprised that he was aware of this. This matter has been on her agenda since a long time ago. By continuing her study here, she will have one more reason to stay in X City.
“Yes.” Speaking of which, his English should be very good, “Are you going to give me tuition?”
An Ning stared at him. Xu Mo Ting said slowly: “But I can sacrifice a little.”
“To study PhD in X University, a national level certificate can add 10 points.”
An Ning was even more confused.
Leader Xu calmly continued, “A marriage certificate should be considered a national level certificate.”
This, can this be considered a marriage proposal?
An Ning’s face was getting scalding hot and she said righteously: “I want to rely on my own strength!” She was not going to use the back door! In fact, this cannot be considered the back door, right?
“Is it?” Xu Mo Ting did not force the issue, “Then forget about it.”
An Ning could not help but suspect that he had played a trick on her.
Could it be like what Mencius said, when Heaven is about to place a great responsibility on a person, it always first tests his/her resolution with suffering by wearing out his/her sinews and bones with toil? But she has absolutely no great responsibility to undertake ah.
An Ning unkindly guessed, “Do you also want to do PhD? Thus you are looking for a ——”
He leisurely interrupted her, “Saying this kind of words, aren’t you afraid of being struck by lightning and split into two halves?”
“……” He can say anything but why cursed her ah?
The car stopped at the main entrance of her home. Xu Mo Ting turned his head to fix his gaze on her. An Ning subconsciously tilted her head. He smiled, stretched out his right arm to embrace her neck and kissed the side of her neck and all the way down. Then he opened his mouth to bite her.
His heart was like the anchor which has yet to reach its shore after started sailing. After meeting her again, he only realized how lonely he had been. The shore he wanted has always been here. His selfishness has infiltrated into the blood. He must have her, others won’t do.
At this moment her breathing was all around him, letting him indulged for a short period of time. From knowing each other until now, a little bit of the fragmented memories can be put together into a segment. An incident which happened a few years ago brought to his attention that the girl he has a crush on can turn around and forget about him ——
“Xu Mo Ting, do you want to go and sing K (karaoke) after school today?”
“No, you go and have fun.”
After the two girls left, Lin Wen Xin who sat in front, turned around, “Those girls mustered up the courage to invite you, but why are you so cold and detached towards them ah?”
Xu Mo Ting turned a page of the book in his hand and said in a disinterested voice, “The final exam is around the corner so it is better to study more la.”
“Leader, with your capability, even if you don’t study, you will still be able to get into the top three in our grade. Hence why on earth, must you study so hard? You are making me feel embarrassed to go out and have fun.”
Mo Ting merely said faintly: “There is no reward without effort in this world.”
At this moment, the person who sat next to Xu Mo Ting looked up from the papers he was reading and agreed: “What leader said sounds reasonably pertinent!”
Lin Wen Xin twitched his mouth, “Do you know who is the top student in the science class in our grade? It is said that she spent half the time doing light reading.”
When Xu Mo Ting heard this, his eyes flickered slightly with a hidden yearning. While listening to the student next to him chatting, he put down his book. When he was about to get up, he nearly collided with a girl who came in from the back door.
“I’m sorry.” She took a step back and smiled shyly, “I am looking for your class monitor because the teacher in charge of your class asked him to go to the office.”
Mo Ting looked behind, turned around and said flatly: “He is not here.”
The boy next to him raised his hand, “My fellow student, our class monitor has gone to the toilet. When he comes back, I’ll help you to convey the message to him.”
“Thank you.” When she turned around to leave, she thought of something. Thus she turned back and said “thank you” to Xu Mo Ting.
Hazily, he carefully opened a long-dormant longings. He bent his head again to kiss her.
An Ning felt slight pain on her lips. Therefore she was convinced that among the lovers in the entire world, she can be considered the most tragic one.
“An Ning, don’t turn around and forget about me.”