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Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
“Did I just sleep?” Lin Sheng opened his eyes, bewildered. “Unlike the first time, I don’t feel the sequelae of being killed anymore. Probably it’s because my soul has become stronger.” He shook his head and realized that he was still at the party. He had been non-stop meditating from morning until now to digest the chaotic memories, and at last, mental fatigue set. “I think I should take a break.”
Slouching on the couch, Lin Sheng let out a sigh. He looked at his former primary-school classmates, who were drinking and chatting volubly beside him. The ambient in the KTV, particularly the lighting and the rhythms of the music, made one involuntarily swung with the beats. Lin Sheng’s eyes swept across the room. Those who were here today were all his former classmates. But he did not mean to come initially. It was Liu Hui, his closest classmate sitting next to him during his elementary years, who came to his house inviting him to the gathering. Reluctantly, he agreed. After all, he had died in his last dream, and there were another three days before he could go back into his dream to continue his exploration.
But at the gathering, Lin Sheng was reticent, preferring to sit in a corner quietly and chewing some fruit slices occasionally, as though no one had noticed he was there half of the time. There were sixteen of them packed into the karaoke room. A few boys and girls, who had gotten quite a buzz, began to sing in chorus and blab at the top of their voices. Everyone was high on alcohol and feeling except Lin Sheng.
This gathering of the former primary-school classmates lacked the philistine vibe of the adults, mostly because everyone was in some state of sadness of parting as the college entrance exam loomed. It was easy to get emotional with this innocent, fraternal feeling. But not Lin Sheng. He watched as his buddy, Liu Hui, jestingly held the hand of a girl whom he had secretly been having a crush for a long time. Another girl, who tied her hair in a ponytail sitting in another corner, gulped a mouthful of beer down her gut as she watched the little handholding episode played out. “Since when did these kids find the ‘torn-between-two-lovers’ affair an in thing?” Lin Sheng chuckled in amusement.
The karaoke session was soon over. Liu Hui, who organized this gathering, got to his feet and went outside to settle the bill. The ponytail girl, whose eyes were fixed upon Liu Hui just now, got up and followed Liu Hui. A lively banter was still ongoing with the others, and no one, except Lin Sheng, noticed the two had gone out one close behind the other.
Not long after, Liu Hui came back in with an absent-minded look on his face while the ponytail girl came back in after him. Looking from the eye of a spectator, Lin Sheng found the ponytail girl was not bad at all. Except for a little plump, this girl coming from a well to do family could be considered pretty. But the girl whom Liu Hui was after was definitely more gorgeous and alluring.
“Thank you so much for coming today. I truly appreciate it. I, Liu Hui, have not many true friends in school except you all who have come today!” Liu Hui got to his feet and toasted his glass in the air.
“You must be drunk, Liu Hui. You’re damn emotional today!” Someone laughed.
“I might be drunk,” Liu Hui swirled a glass of beer in his hand, face flushing, “but my brain isn’t. To be honest, this might be our very last time seeing each other.” Upon hearing this, everyone hushed in curiosity as to what he was going to say. “In just a few more days, I will go abroad to further my study and not be coming back very often. As we will part ways to pursue our dreams, respectively, gathering like this will be hard to come by.” Still, with the glass in hand, Liu Hui walked up to the girl he liked. “Chen Lan, there is something that I’ve been keeping in my heart for a long time, and now, I finally get the chance to confess in front of everyone.” His tone was serious as he looked into her eyes.
Wearing a light-red, one-piece dress, white high heels, nude-colored pantyhose, and a light shade of red lip makeup together with a shapely figure, Chen Lan was an alluringly charming little girl with a mature vibe to it. She was no doubt the prettiest one in the room and knew how to apply makeup. Upon seeing Liu Hui approaching, she put up an obligated, polite smile. “What do you want to say?”
Liu Hui suddenly choked, and for a long while, there was no response from him. Lin Sheng sat in a corner and was tired of watching this kiddish soap opera. What did these kids know about love? They were driven by their youthful hormone and sexual impulses more than anything else.
“Chen Lan, I…” Liu Hui stammered, and the words seemed to have stuck in his throat. Lin Sheng watched with bated breath.
Just then, Chen Lan raised her glass in the air. “Let’s not talk about it. I wish you well in your study, and a great future awaits you.” She then downed the entire glass of beer down her throat. Liu Hui looked at her, transfixed. His heart sank, feeling woefully miserable. He still had failed to confess in the end. Seeing the public confession of love dead in the water, the others broke out in teasing laughter, which had sort of helped play down the awkward atmosphere. After a final toast and publicly professing their own feelings, everyone left. The gathering began at one in the afternoon, and by the time it ended, it was already seven at dusk.
Lin Sheng and Liu Hui meandered side by side along a food street. “I’m leaving. Do you have anything more to say?” Liu Hui asked casually but was visibly depressed.
“Study hard. And then find someone better than Chen Lan and get married,” replied Lin Sheng casually.
“Knock it off. Isn’t it too early to talk about marriage? ” Liu Hui retorted. “Forget about it. What about you? Where are you planning to go?”
“I have no idea. Maybe Langang University.” In fact, Lin Sheng had no whatsoever plan.
“I plan to study hotel management. Miga University is ranked pretty highly globally for its hotel management course. I’d come back to help manage my dad’s hotel after completing my study,” said Liu Hui candidly. Running only a medium-end hotel, his family might have to spend a fortune to send him abroad. Perhaps this could be the biggest turning point and opportunity in his life.
“Good for you.” Lin Sheng smiled.
“You are still cocky as ever; why the girl is into you is really beyond me,” said Liu Hui with a shrug.
“What do you mean?” Lin Sheng was confounded. Just then, He saw Liu Hui fishing out a pink envelop from his pocket.
“Here you go.” Liu Hui shoved the letter in his hand. “Mission accomplished. The ball is in your court now.” He patted on Lin Sheng’s shoulder before turning around and dashing away.
Just then, Lin Sheng saw a familiar face appearing from an alley up ahead. He instantly recognized her; she was the ponytail girl who kept her eyes glued to Liu Hui earlier. What is her name? He suddenly found himself scrambling in his mind as embarrassment loomed. He had totally forgotten her name. Damn it. Liu Hui had only passed him the confession letter at the last minute, and now, he was in the lurch.
The girl ambled up to Lin Sheng. “Hi, what a coincidence!” A sweet smile bloomed on her face.
“Ya… Hi, what a coincidence.” Lin Sheng echoed reactionarily.
“You’re still the same, Lin Sheng. It’s like nothing has ever concerned you. But I like this maturity of you,” said the girl softly and earnestly.
“I-I think we’re too young… not mature enough…” Lin Sheng quickly made up an excuse.
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