27 - Only if you're happy or not
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The boy's eyes glimmered, like twinkling stars in the dark night sky. When Wei Ruxia listened to him, her heart seemed to be covered with a security blanket, soft and slightly hot.
She laughed, her smile reached the bottom of her eyes, and she said to Luo Tang, "You are already."
Luo Tang was that person, although he wasn't related to her by blood, he was still the closest person to her.
As April approached, the days got longer and longer, and the weather was getting hotter and hotter. After buying barbecue with Hu Yinyin, Wei Ruxia bit her icy pole and turned her ponytail into a bun with her hair tie. Near her hairline, her fringe was getting long, and looked a little shaggy.
"Are you going to take time off tomorrow?" In the barbecue restaurant the two had been chatting about Wei Ruxia's father's birthday, which was tomorrow, and they hadn't finished the conversation.
After tying her hair, Wei Ruxia took another bite from the icy pole and the ice melted away on the tip of her tongue. She talked as she walked, "No, the monthly exam is coming up. My final exam score last time was too low, this time I have to do better."
"You've made a lot of progress this time, right?" Hu Yinyin said with confidence. Wei Ruxia had to adjust to the new teaching materials last semester, and her grandma's death also affected her grades greatly. But now she was back on track and her results in the last few tests were good. She had been called out and praised by Ke Wenzhen.
That month's test was much better than her last exam. Wei Ruxia replied, "Yeah, thanks to Luo Tang."
Upon mentioning Luo Tang, Hu Yinyin raised her eyes to look at Wei Ruxia. To be honest, Hu Yinyin felt that recently there seemed to have been a change between the two of them. She could clearly feel it, but she couldn't say.
Sometimes when she went to see Wei Ruxia, Luo Tang would look over, like a little wolf dog guarding his food. This feeling was very subtle, and Hu Yinyin wasn't completely sure.
She carried the barbecue bibimbap, following Wei Ruxia in front, and said, "Xia Xia, do you think Luo Tang..."
As the two of them talked, they passed the entrance to a small alley, Hu Yinyin's voice was covered by the voices in the alley. Wei Ruxia held the icy pole in her mouth and glanced into the alley.
There were five people in the alley, all wearing the sports school uniforms. Among them, four of them were tall and big. They circled a relatively short figure in a corner. Wei Ruxia noticed a big pair of eyes at a glance.
Among the four, the tallest one was holding a bank card and was patting the face of the little guy. The little guy looked at him, his face was red.
This street was full of students, a lot of bullies also hung around, and school violence occasionally occurred.
The little guy's eyes were wide, as if he was experiencing this kind of thing for the first time. His eyes were a little stubborn, but mostly scared.
Wei Ruxia accompanied Hu Yinyin to buy barbecue bibimbap every week, and she had seen this boy nine out of ten times. This time he had left first. He clearly didn't expect to be stopped here.
Seeing this kind of bullying, Hu Yinyin wanted to take Wei Ruxia and leave quickly. There were often small gangs behind these kids, and if they provoked them, they would definitely have to deal with the backlash.
"Let's go, go." Hu Yinyin turned pale with fright.
Wei Ruxia took a bite of the icy pole, but she didn't move. She said, "Isn't that Big Eyes?"
After she mentioned this, Hu Yinyin raised her courage and looked down the alley. By the time she recognised the boy, Wei Ruxia had already started to move and walked towards the person.
Hu Yinyin, "!!!"
Wei Ruxia was tall, and as soon as she entered the alley, the eyes of the gathered people surrounded her, and finally froze on her legs. Wei Ruxia wore black calf length sweatpants. Although a little loose, they could still see that her legs were straight, thin and long.
Big Eyes also saw Wei Ruxia, he was surprised at first, and then narrowed his eyes at her and signaled her to leave quickly. The person holding the card in front of him, looked back at Wei Ruxia, with a slightly sultry smile on his face he asked, "Do you know him?"
The icy pole in her hand was only half eaten, Wei Ruxia looked at the four people calmly. She didn't answer him, just said, "What are you doing?"
"Oh!" As soon as Wei Ruxia said this, several gangsters immediately looked at each other and cried out in a meaningful way. One of the boys with small eyes said, "Hurry up, what do you want?"
Now that she had gotten mixed in, Hu Yinyin followed Wei Ruxia, boldly amplifying her voice and said, "Hurry up and return the bank card to him. Don't you know who she is?"
Hu Yinyin pointed at Wei Ruxia, and said fiercely, "She is Luo Tang's neighbour, if you dare to provoke her, be careful that Luo Tang doesn't clean you up."
Luo Tang was an infamous tyrant in this school district. After hearing Luo Tang's name, a few of them had visible reactions on their faces, but soon after, they laughed. The first guy was also annoyed. He let go of the big-eyed boy in his hand, and walked up to Wei Ruxia, saying with a smile, "Look for any ten people on this street, and nine of them will say they have something to do with Luo Tang. Who are you kidding? But since you don't want to leave, then you can stay with me here and wait for me to figure out the code from this kid. Then you can come to the bar with your brothers tonight..."
Before he could finish speaking, Wei Ruxia slammed her fist into his face, and the boy was knocked to the ground immediately, his vision turning blotchy with pain. He quickly reacted and cursed, "You bitch!"
After he finished cursing, the other three quickly surrounded Wei Ruxia and attacked her while cursing. Hu Yinyin screamed with fright beside them, but Wei Ruxia didn't even blink. She picked up a stick from the ground, and beat back the four of them violently.
Wei Ruxia barely needed to fight. She only punched and kicked a little and in addition to her stick, Hu Yinyin and Big Eyes also joined the fight. Soon the four people who had surrounded her left, but the biggest boy didn't forget to leave her with a parting statement.
"Bitch, you just wait!"
Wei Ruxia threw the stick in her hand to the ground with a 'bang'. The stick rolled twice before Wei Ruxia turned her head and looked at Big Eyes.
Although they often encountered each other in the barbecue restaurants, this was the first time Wei Ruxia had actually met Big Eyes. He had white skin with big eyes, his whiteness wasn't the same as Luo Tang. Luo Tang was cold and white, like the light of an LED lamp at night, Big Eyes was like milk, with a baby face, he looked very creamy.
Picking up the bank card on the ground, he seemed to have forgotten the fear he had just now, and he ran over to Wei Ruxia. His skin was white and his eyelashes were dark and thick, with black eyes hidden beneath, sparkling with excitement.
Not only his looks, but his voice was also a bit milky, it really aroused people's maternal instincts.
Wei Ruxia smiled. She had just helped him, because she felt that he was kind. He was too grateful. She said "It's okay", and then moved to accompany Hu Yinyin to get a new barbecue bibimbap.
The two turned and walked, as they took a step, Big Eyes followed right after them. He followed step by step, like a little Pomeranian.
Wei Ruxia looked back at him and asked, "Are you also going to buy another one?"
"Yeah." Big Eyes nodded.
Hu Yinyin was a big-hearted person. She had just experienced a fright, but now she had completely forgotten and only thought that Big Eyes looked cute. Since they were going the same way, she chatted with him.
"Are you from the sports school, what do you play?"
Big Eyes wasn't very tall, only about 1.75 metres tall. He was wearing loose clothes and his figure was a little thin.
"I do figure skating." After Big Eyes finished speaking, he introduced himself, "My name is Wang Ming."
No wonder that he was very thin and had slender arms and legs, Hu Yinyin was envious.
After they went to the barbecue restaurant to buy a new one, Wei Ruxia and Hu Yinyin prepared to go back to school. They had been delayed for a while and now their PE class was probably over.
But this time when the two of them left, Wang Ming still followed.
Wei Ruxia glanced at Hu Yinyin, and Hu Yinyin glanced at Wang Ming. Wang Ming noticed that the two were looking at him, and he said, "Wait a moment."
Then, he ran to a nearby convenience store. After a while, he came out with two icy poles in his hand. When Wei Ruxia was fighting, she had thrown hers away.
"Thank you." Wei Ruxia took the icy pole, unwrapped it and took a bite. She was indeed a bit hot after fighting just now.
After Wei Ruxia finished thanking him, Wang Ming stood in front of her, looking at her shyly. He was a little bit taller than Wei Ruxia, so Wei Ruxia had to raise her eyes to look him over. She asked, "Is there anything else?"
Wang Ming did have something else, his heart was beating very fast, and his white cheeks gradually became pink.
"I...I want to say something to you." Wang Ming blinked his big eyes. In addition to his big eyes, his features were also very beautiful, a little extravagant.
"Then say." Wei Ruxia ate the icy pole to cool down, and said with a smile.
Although Wang Ming was frightened when he was just targeted by the bullies, he was usually a very courageous boy. With his eyes wide open, he looked at Wei Ruxia and said straightforwardly.
"I like you."
Hu Yinyin, who was eating her icy pole next to them, choked. Wang Ming turned his head and glanced at Hu Yinyin who was red from choking. She smiled bashfully and touched the back of her head.
Originally she thought that although he was a bit obvious, he wouldn't be so straightforward and bold. Hu Yinyin wanted to give him praise for his unabashed way of confessing.
Hu Yinyin looked on awkwardly for a while, but the person concerned smiled faintly. Wang Ming turned back to Wei Ruxia again, she smiled and made him feel at ease.
Wei Ruxia took another bite, looked at Wang Ming, smiled and asked, "How old are you this year?"
"Huh? I'm sixteen." Wang Ming was a little confused. His heart was beating too fast, and when he answered Wei Ruxia's question, he felt a little bit light headed.
The icy pole in her mouth was cool and sweet, Wei Ruxia smiled again and said, "Then you're underage, do you know that this would be called puppy love?"
Wang Ming, "..."
Hu Yinyin, "..."
After rejecting Wang Ming, Wei Ruxia and Hu Yinyin walked back to school. After eating the icy poles and throwing the sticks into the bin, the confession didn't seem to affect her in any way.
She remembered that Hu Yinyin seemed to have something to say before she went to help Wang Ming.
"Before, did you want to tell me something about Luo Tang?"
"Huh?" Hu Yinyin was taken aback for a moment, then remembering what she was about to say to Wei Ruxia, she shook her head, "It's nothing."
After seeing Wei Ruxia's attitude towards Wang Ming, she and Luo Tang should be fine. She was a very clear cut person. Now she was a student, what she should do and what she shouldn't do, were clearly defined in her heart.
At the end of the last class on Wednesday afternoon, Wei Ruxia and Luo Tang took the subway to the Ancheng Grand Theatre. Her father’s show was today at 6:30 in the evening.
The Ancheng Grand Theatre has its own own subway station. For fear of being late, Wei Ruxia hurriedly ran out of the subway station. When the two reached the entrance of the theatre, Luo Tang stopped and said to Wei Ruxia, "You go in first, I'll come in to find you later."
The tickets they bought were for two seats together. Luo Tang was more familiar with the area than her, so Wei Ruxia didn't ask more, nodded and went to the theatre.
The Ancheng Grand Theatre was very large. She saw the sign for 'Wind and Sand' as soon as she entered the hall, the play was very popular. Wei Ruxia came without telling Wei Zishan. She didn't buy the tickets for the drama, but got Luo Tang to help her get them.
There were two floors of theatre seats, divided into three major sections. Wei Ruxia and Luo Tang sat in the fifth row in the middle, near the central walkway. It was just six o'clock and the theatre was full of people. Wei Ruxia checked the time and turned to look at the door of the theatre at the back.
People came in and out from time to time. As she watched the entrance, a teenager in a white shirt walked in with a handful of bright flowers in his arms.
The young man had a picturesque brow and a cool temperament. He was tall and looked like he was thin under his clothes. Lifting his eyes to look around the theatre, he met Wei Ruxia's gaze, and came over with the flowers.
Luo Tang had a temperament that didn't match his age, making it difficult to look away. Even walking down the thoroughfare, the eyes of people around him would glance his way. He was used to this and easily walked in front of Wei Ruxia with the bouquet. As the two got closer, Luo Tang's face became clearer and more beautiful.
Wei Ruxia thought he had something to do but it turned out he went to buy flowers. She remembered the last time he went to see her in her grandma's ward he also brought a bunch of flowers.
While she was thinking, Luo Tang handed the flowers over. Wei Ruxia raised her eyes and looked at Luo Tang. The boy's eyes were clear, and the tail of his eyes faintly raised as he said, "It's for Uncle Wei, not for you."
Wei Ruxia smiled and took the flowers. Then she looked at him and said, "But I like it too."
The corners of Luo Tang's lips were slightly pressed, he looked back at her smile and sat next to her.
This was the first time Wei Ruxia had ever watched her father act. She didn't expect that a person who was so elegant could perform on the stage full of tension and appeal. Wei Ruxia was shocked and filled with pride.
When the play was over, the staff called for the curtain call. Luo Tang stepped aside with Wei Ruxia holding the bouquet, and they joined a group of fans and followed them to the stage.
When the fans got to the stage, they lined up and went one by one to give flowers. Wei Ruxia followed the crowd and listened to Wei Zishan saying thank you to the fans as they handed him flowers.
Wei Zishan wore his costume and the long gown was extraordinarily elegant. His polite smile gradually enlarged after seeing Wei Ruxia. Wei Ruxia handed the flowers to him and her father took it. She was about to step down and leave, but when she was leaving, she was held back by Wei Zishan.
"Stand next to me." Wei Zishan stepped aside and pulled Wei Ruxia to stand with him.
Wei Ruxia didn't expect to remain on the stage. Her father took her hand, he had just finished performing and his hand was sweaty. She was suddenly grabbed by him, so the others on the stage all looked at her, Wei Ruxia was a little surprised.
When the fan offering was over, Wei Zishan took a step forward as the lead actor, and Wei Ruxia was also dragged along behind him. The audience looked at Wei Ruxia next to him all wondering who this tall little girl was.
Wei Zishan took Wei Ruxia and bowed first, then smiled at Wei Ruxia and gave an introduction.
"This is my daughter, Wei Ruxia."
Many of the audience present were fans of Wei Zishan. Knowing that he was single, they didn't expect him to have such a big daughter. The fans of the play were very amiable and hearing his introduction, there was another round of applause.
Wei Ruxia was still in shock, and there was thunderous applause below. Her heart was pounding. Her father just introduced her to everyone and admitted her existence. She didn't know how to describe what she was feeling now, it should be happiness.
As soon as the curtain call was over, Wei Zishan took Wei Ruxia backstage. Today was Wei Zishan’s birthday, and the theatre had also prepared something for Wei Zishan’s birthday.
But since Wei Ruxia was here, Wei Zishan naturally would accompany her first. He changed his clothes and after making his excuses, he took Wei Ruxia out.
When Wei Zishan went to change, Wei Ruxia was the target of everyone's smiles. At the same time, she also received a text message from Luo Tang. He said that he had something to do and asked her to contact him after eating.
Wei Zishan was taken to Ancheng Hotel by Wei Ruxia. They entered a private box and the two of them sat down. The night outside the window was picturesque. After ordering the food, Wei Zishan looked at Wei Ruxia opposite him and asked, "How did you book this place?"
She wasn't familiar with Ancheng, and Ancheng Hotel couldn't be booked casually. Not only the Ancheng Hotel, but it would be hard to buy tickets for the theatre today, he didn’t expect she could manage to get them both. This was the first time Wei Zishan had truly felt the filial piety of a child, something he had never felt before.
"Luo Tang helped me." Wei Ruxia poured a glass of water for Wei Zishan and replied with a smile.
After she said that, Wei Zi understood, and he asked, "Where is Luo Tang?"
"He said that he had something, I'll call him after I finish eating." Wei Ruxia replied.
Wei Zishan seemed to think of something, he raised his eyes and looked at Wei Ruxia, and a trace of guilt flashed in his eyes, "I spend less time with you than Luo Tang does."
Wei Ruxia didn't care, she smiled and said, "Luo Tang and I are in the same class. You have to work, it's different."
Speaking of the troupe, the box fell silent again. The waiter served the food and Wei Zishan looked at the familiar dishes with a calm expression.
This was the first birthday that her father had without her grandma by his side. Because of her mother, only his grandma stayed with him for more than ten years. He was also very lonely.
Wei Ruxia looked at her father's lonely eyes and her heart sank. She looked at her father and said, "I'll spend your birthday with you every year from now on."
Hearing Wei Ruxia's words, Wei Zishan's eyes moved slightly. He raised his eyes and glanced at her, and smiled with the corners of his lips.
Taking the chopsticks, Wei Zishan took a bite of the food. The dishes at Ancheng Hotel were naturally the most authentic, but the taste wasn't as good as the ones made by his mother. After taking two bites, he said to Wei Ruxia, "I'll be very busy for a while."
He would be going to Qiucheng to perform next month, and then the schedule for the follow-up tour would be released, and he would need to fly around more than half of the country. During that time, he would have very little time at home, but he couldn't leave Wei Ruxia at home.
"I'm currently thinking of what to do. You can accompany me to the show during your summer vacation, but you can't be at home by yourself everyday."
Wei Ruxia's attention had stopped at being with her father during her summer vacation. She couldn't stay with him during the summer vacation. She still had things to do. Wei Ruxia raised her eyes to see Wei Zishan's expression, she pursed her lips, and was just about to speak when the chopsticks in father's hand suddenly fell.
Wei Zishan immediately grabbed his right hand with his left hand and Wei Ruxia panicked and stood up quickly.
"It's okay, it's fine." Wei Zishan massaged his right hand with his left hand. He looked up at Wei Ruxia's nervous expression, she seemed to be frightened.
Knowing what Wei Ruxia was thinking, Wei Zishan tried his best to reassure her, "I've been too busy recently, it's just a little tired. I've seen a doctor."
He felt a little sorry, Wei Ruxia reacted so strongly because he was the only relative she had in this world.
After hearing her father's words, Wei Ruxia's beating heart gradually calmed down. Her scalp was numb and she returned to her seat breathing lightly. She nodded and said, "Good."
During the meal, her father didn't have any more problems with his hands, and Wei Ruxia's heart gradually let go. After dinner, her father had to go back to the theatre for a meeting so Wei Ruxia called Luo Tang.
As soon as she arrived in the lobby after the phone call, she saw Luo Tang sitting there waiting. Luo Tang was holding his mobile phone with his elbows on the edge of the sofa, playing games.
As if sensing Wei Ruxia's sight, Luo Tang put the phone away, got up and walked over.
"Yeah." Wei Ruxia agreed.
It was already nine o'clock in the evening when the two took the subway back to the community. Near April, the night breeze was warm and comfortable. The two walked side by side on the long road into the community and the light from the street lamps shone mottled light on them through the leaves, making their shadows very long.
Wei Ruxia, who had just celebrated her father's birthday, didn't seem to be very happy, and didn't talk much along the way. Luo Tang followed her and watched her walk away with her long legs, raising her feet to step on each of the pavement tiles.
When she was approaching their homes, she suddenly stopped. She looked back at Luo Tang and said with a surprised smile on her face, "The cherry blossoms are blooming."
This cherry blossom tree was planted by Luo Tang's grandfather, and it was just across the road from his house, it was quite old. When they passed by on the way to school in the morning, the flowers hadn't yet fully opened. She didn't expect it to be fully opened in only a day's time. The tall cherry tree and street lamp stood together, exuding a faint fragrance.
When Luo Tang responded, Wei Ruxia had already walked under the cherry tree. The girl was tall and slender. She looked up at the cherry blossoms on the tree, and her drooping ponytail followed her gaze and swept over her the back of her smooth and white neck.
"It looks pretty." Wei Ruxia praised. She stretched out her hand to touch the petals, but she wasn't tall enough. When she was about to withdraw her arm, an arm stretched out next to her and picked the cherry blossom.
The sound of the branch breaking was very crisp. Wei Ruxia watched the teenager hand the cherry blossoms over, and her heart was moved by the strong fragrance of the flowers. She stretched out her hand to take it, pinching the cherry blossom branch with her fingertips, and smiled at Luo Tang.
Luo Tang watched her gradually smiling, her dark eyes gleaming with a faint light. He looked at the cherry blossoms in Wei Ruxia's hand and asked, "Are you happy?"
"Happy." Wei Ruxia sniffed the scent of flowers, and her restless heart from the hotel was gradually calmed down. She pinched the cherry blossom branches with her fingers, looked up at the cherry tree, and said, "But you broke the tree and now it's not as pretty."
Luo Tang looked at her, his eyes were covered with mottled light and shadows. The young man's expression was calm and his voice was faint, adding a gentleness to the night.
"I don't care if the tree looks good, I only care if you're happy."
The author has something to say:
Tangtang: If you are happy hug me, if you are happy kiss me~
Man, the 'don't date in high school' rhetoric is really strong in China...I thought it was just the education system that discouraged it but even the comments section of this novel on the Chinese website has discourse about whether or not Tangtang and Ruxia sohuld get together already.
Also, because I got super confused, I did some research on Chinese school years. So they run on a similar time frame to North American schools where they start in July. The high school Ruxia is in is called 'middle high school' in Chinse but its like senior high; they call university 'high school' as well. It's three years long, so it covers grades 10, 11, 12. Their testing is also intense, I think it must vary a bit but it's like tests every month then exams every semester alllll through junoir/middle/high school. I would die....I went an art school, hahaha~