After school on Friday was the weekend break, and there were many people on the subway. Although the air conditioning was on, within the crowd, it still felt hot and bothersome.
Wei Ruxia leaned in a corner between the entrance of the carriage and the handrail, and Luo Tang in front of her caged her in with his arms forming a small independent space in the bustling subway.
With her back against the cool subway wall, her irritable mood from being squeezed in the station gradually eased. Luo Tang looked out the glass door of the subway. As they passed a luminous billboard, his dark eyes reflected a dazzling sea of stars.
"Let's go out for lunch on Saturday." The owner of the starry sky suddenly said.
Wei Ruxia didn't hear any deeper meaning to the sentence. She nodded and agreed, "Okay. I also planned to meet up with Hu Yinyin at the Golden Palace Shopping Centre on Saturday afternoon."
On September 30th, the comic expo at the Minghong Exhibition Centre was to start, and the play that the Hanfu Club was putting on would be performed on that day.
For the past few days the Hanfu Club had been using the joint physical education classes to rehearse. There were two male characters in the drama, one was played by Wei Ruxia and the other was played by Hu Yinyin's boyfriend, Xu Xian.
Xu Xian was from Ancheng No. 4 High School, so he hadn’t been at any of the drama rehearsals. But he had performed the drama before and was practically born to cosplay. He also frequently attended the comic expo, so he could perform well even without rehearsing.
This weekend Hu Yinyin wanted to take Wei Ruxia to meet Xu Xian. Firstly, because Wei Ruxia had never acted before, she had asked Xu Xian to write the script. Secondly, because she wanted an excuse to meet up with her boyfriend on the weekend.
Wei Ruxia had agreed to meet up with them in the afternoon, so she didn’t think it would conflict with having lunch with Luo Tang.
"It’s not at Golden Palace." Luo Tang said.
Wei Ruxia raised her eyes and looked at Luo Tang in front of her, then smiled, "Where is it?"
The authentic northern restaurant recommended by Han Junsong was called Yahui’s Hometown Cuisine. It was located on Minghuang Street, an old food street in Ancheng. Luo Tang led Wei Ruxia through the street gate of Minghuang Street and guided her to the humble northern restaurant at the corner of the street.
The weather was cloudy and the air had been heavy since the morning with a humidity that was magnified several times in Minghuang Street. After entering the restaurant, the air-conditioning on her face made Wei Ruxia feel alive again.
The restaurant wasn’t big, with only six tables arranged on the left and right sides. Even though it was midday only three of the tables were full. Seeing someone coming in, the shop owner hurried over and when she spoke, Wei Ruxia heard a familiar northern accent.
"What do you want to eat?" The owner had a big skeleton, looked strong, and spoke with confidence.
Wei Ruxia's heart felt like one of its strings had been plucked, she smiled and glanced at Luo Tang. Luo Tang handed over the menu and looked up at her, his tone still flat.
"I haven't eaten here before, you order."
The word ‘hometown’ in Yahui's Hometown Cuisine gave Wei Ruxia an unspeakable feeling. There were many small restaurants just like this in the county town where Dongzhen was located. The decorations were similar, and the warm greetings and savoury flavours made people feel at home.
Wei Ruxia had the most satisfying meal she had ever eaten since coming to Ancheng.
"Where did you hear about this restaurant?" Wei Ruxia drooled as she asked Luo Tang, her eyes locked on the preserved white root in the cupboard behind the front counter of the restaurant.
Without answering Wei Ruxia's question, Luo Tang asked, "Is it authentic?"
"Authentic." Wei Ruxia nodded.
It was also because of the authenticity, that the flavour was too salty and too heavy to suit the tastes of Ancheng people, so there were very few locals in this place.
Wei Ruxia lowered her eyelids and glanced at the empty rice bowl in front of Luo Tang. He hardly ate any vegetables but ate his bowl of rice in no time. It seemed that Luo Tang, like Wei Zishan, couldn't eat northern style cuisine at all.
Moving the cup aside, Wei Ruxia said to Luo Tang, "Next time, we can eat Ancheng local food."
Luo Tang looked at the almost empty dishes in front of her and asked, "You don't like northern dishes?"
"I like it." Wei Ruxia said with a smile, "but I’ll be living in Ancheng from now on, so I need to adapt to the taste."
Today, Wei Ruxia wore a black spaghetti string singlet with a white tulle shirt. She leaned back on the back of her chair, her posture relaxed, and her tone was light and breezy.
Wei Ruxia was very easy-going, and very zen. Even though she was like an alien from outer space in Ancheng, she didn’t resist, nor was she stubborn in maintaining her own nature. Instead, she kept polishing her edges and corners so that she could integrate into her new environment.
Luo Tang looked at the girl's light brown eyes and the corners of her lips that always seemed to hold a smile. He pressed his lower lip slightly and said, "If you like it, I can always bring you here."
Although Wei Ruxia still wanted to adapt herself to suit Ancheng's taste, Luo Tang's words still made her feel warmth in her heart. Wei Ruxia was very happy to have met him and become friends with him.
Wei Ruxia smiled deeper and said very sincerely, "Thank you, Luo Tang."
After the two had lunch, they went to the subway station together. Wei Ruxia was going to the Golden Palace Shopping Centre, and Luo Tang was going to two stops further. As soon as the subway arrived at the Golden Palace station, Wei Ruxia and Luo Tang said goodbye and parted ways.
Although she had been here once before, Wei Ruxia was still a little confused about the layout. Fortunately, Hu Yinyin was also worried that she would get lost and waited for her right outside the subway entrance.
As soon as Wei Ruxia got on the escalator, she heard Hu Yinyin calling her.
Wei Ruxia looked up, at the top of the escalator, Hu Yinyin was wearing a white blouse over her Hanfu, waving and smiling at her excitedly. Although there was air-conditioning at the subway entrance, it had little effect in the sauna-like weather. Hu Yinyin was afraid that Wei Ruxia couldn’t find her, and after waiting for a while at the subway entrance, some sweat dripped from her nose and her bangs were a little wet.
Even so, Wei Ruxia still thought that Hu Yinyin was very cute. She had white skin and was a little chubby, which really made her look like a Tang Dynasty beauty.
Hu Yinyin was wearing a Hanfu and the people coming out of the subway often looked at her, but she didn't care. After Wei Ruxia came out, she slung her arm around her and said, "Come on, Xu Xian is waiting for us at DQ."
"Aren’t you hot?" Wei Ruxia took a tissue and wiped Hu Yinyin's nose.
Hu Yinyin smiled nonchalantly, her cheeks still rosy, "It's bearable."
On the weekend DQ was full of kids eating ice cream. Xu Xian was sitting in the corner, playing with his mobile phone. When Hu Yinyin brought Wei Ruxia over, he was typing while smiling. Hu Yinyin called out to him and asked in a funny way, "Who are you chatting with? You’re so happy~"
When Xu Xian looked up and saw Hu Yinyin, he handed her the phone and said, "There’s a funny video on station B."
Hu Yinyin didn’t take the phone, but after humming twice, she pulled Wei Ruxia over and introduced her with a grin, "This is my deskmate, Wei Ruxia~. Xia Xia, this is Xu Xian, my Xu Xian~"
Before this meeting, Hu Yinyin had shown Wei Ruxia a picture of Xu Xian. The photos were all of Xu Xian's cosplay on Weibo. Seeing the real person, Wei Ruxia didn't recognize him at first.
He looked very upright, thin and with black lensless frames. Behind the frames, he was wearing blue coloured contact lenses, and after seeing Wei Ruxia, a gleam of light flashed through his eyes.
After the two greeted each other, Hu Yinyin sat down next to Xu Xian and Wei Ruxia sat across from them.
When Hu Yinyin entered the door, several people in the store did a double-take. As soon as she sat down, there were still some people looking over. Xu Xian looked at the Hanfu on Hu Yinyin's body and said, "You know, you didn't need to wear Hanfu today."
"Huh?" Hu Yinyin looked at Xu Xian, puzzled, "Why not?"
Her expression was full of confusion and carelessness, and Xu Xian was perplexed. He glanced around and said, "Everyone is looking at you."
"Let them look." Hu Yinyin laughed, "If everyone is afraid of being looked at and doesn't wear Hanfu, how can Hanfu be promoted?"
Xu Xian seemed to have something to say, but Hu Yinyin met his gaze and asked, "Doesn't it look good on me?"
When this question was raised, Xu Xian went dumb. He retracted his gaze and said, "It looks good. In my eyes, you look good in everything you wear."
"That's enough for me then." Hu Yinyin was very happy with his answer. She stood up and asked Wei Ruxia, "Ruxia, what would you like in your lava blizzard?"
Wei Ruxia had never eaten at DQ and asked, "Is there a peach flavour?"
"No." Hu Yinyin laughed and said, "We are indeed friends. I also like to eat peaches, yellow peaches, but they don't have peach flavour here."
Wei Ruxia smiled and said, "Then you can buy me whatever."
After Hu Yinyin responded, she went to line up. Wei Ruxia saw that she was waiting and she was about to get up to line up with her when Xu Xian asked, "Yin Yin said you two are at the same table."
Wei Ruxia glanced at Xu Xian and replied, "We were before. We just changed places on Friday."
"She dragged you into the Hanfu pit, right." Xu Xian said, "She has had many deskmates, but you were the first to be brought in by her. This is the first time I’ve met her deskmate."
"Ah." Wei Ruxia replied lightly.
"Do you have a boyfriend?" Xu Xian asked.
Wei Ruxia lifted her eyelids, her light brown eyes were unclear.
"Don't get me wrong." Xu Xian laughed. He looked at Wei Ruxia's expression and explained, "I’m just asking because there’s an ambiguous scene in the play, I'm worried if your boyfriend..."
"Then just delete it." Wei Ruxia interrupted him, got up and went to find Hu Yinyin.
Luo Tang and the others were in the alley next to the convenience store behind No.4 High School. There was a shed built in the small alley and the roof was covered with iron sheets. It looked very shabby. There was some scrap metal in the shed and Huang Wei and his crew sat there waiting for them.
Huang Wei said it would be a 15 vs 15 at first, but he still cheated. Looking at the people in the shed, there were just under 25. In addition to those who didn't go home for the weekend, many students who lived in the city were also called over by Huang Wei.
When Luo Tang and the others arrived, Huang Wei was listening to a short, fat boy. Huang Wei smiled wickedly and Luo Tang heard him say something just as he entered.
"On the subway?"
The short chubby boy nodded, but when he looked back he saw Luo Tang. His eyes froze and he quickly hid in the crowd.
Huang Wei wasn’t afraid of Luo Tang.
He was in the third year of high school this year, and was one year older than Luo Tang and the others. He practiced boxing and compared to the students behind him, he looked very strong.
Seeing Luo Tang and the others coming, Huang Wei jumped off the sheet iron and walked to Luo Tang's side. His eyes swept behind him, and he smiled mockingly.
"Where is the cutie who rode the subway with Luo’ge? I heard that her legs are really..."
Huang Wei didn't finish his sentence, there was only the sound of wind blowing past his ear. Luo Tang slammed his foot forward and Huang Wei staggered to the ground.
Luo Tang's leg didn’t retract. His eyes were dark and his voice was low, "How are my legs?"
When Luo Tang met up with Wei Ruxia again, it was already three in the afternoon. After Wei Ruxia and Hu Yinyin bid farewell, she entered the subway station where Luo Tang stood waiting for her at the entrance.
Wei Ruxia ran over, her face flushed. She gasped twice and said, "Let's go."
Luo Tang swiped his subway card, then looked at the book she was holding and asked, "Ancheng's local recipes?"
"Yeah." Wei Ruxia smiled and raised the recipe book in her hand and said, "I want to learn how to cook the dishes myself."
Luo Tang didn't question it. When the train arrived, the two followed the crowd onto the carriage.
Three o'clock happened to be when everyone had decided to go home, so the subway was still quite crowded. As soon as Wei Ruxia followed Luo Tang into the carriage, she was encircled in the space created by his arms.
Golden Palace Shopping Centre was a major station. After they got on, there were still people walking behind them in an endless stream. The carriage was crowded and someone was squeezed backwards a step, and their elbow hit Luo Tang's waist.
Luo Tang frowned.
Wei Ruxia leaned her back against the door and saw the slight change in Luo Tang's expression. She raised her eyes and noticed his slightly pale face. Then she looked down at his waist with a deep gaze, some unexplained emotion entered her voice, "You’re hurt?"
After being hit by someone on the waist, Luo Tang flinched subconsciously, but usually if someone knocked him lightly, he wouldn't even frown with pain.
Luo Tang relaxed his eyebrows and looked calm.
The moment he finished speaking, Wei Ruxia clenched her fist and hit his waist. Before her fist could reach him, Luo Tang had already subconsciously dodged.
As soon as Luo Tang dodged, Wei Ruxia got up from her position against the wall and at the same time, grabbed Luo Tang's arm. With a strength that Luo Tang had never seen from her, she pulled him into the position she had just occupied. As soon as he leaned back on the carriage wall, the cold temperature quickly penetrated his thin T-shirt, and Luo Tang looked down at Wei Ruxia.
At this time, Wei Ruxia was standing just like he used to, with both hands on either side of him, giving him his own circle of space. Like this, no one would be able to touch his injury again.
As soon as she stood up, Wei Ruxia raised her head to meet Luo Tang's eyes, with rare seriousness in her heroic brow.
"I can lie to Auntie Yang for you, but you have to promise me not to get hurt."
The author has something to say:
Tangtang: What exactly is your personality?
Wei Ruxia: A gentle and calm Buddhist girl.
Tangtang: You’re really not.
Wei Ruxia:? ? ?
Tangtang: She’s a gentle and calm Buddhist girl.
Tangtang today is still sweet.
Sorry about the lack of a comments section. The service I was using kept having memory leaks and crashed my site! I'm working on building a new one but I'm a busy bee lately so we might have to wait a little longer. Sorry again!