We have a flashback in here! What I love about this book is the amount of words that has been dedicated to reconstruct the old College Romance and the way the incidents that happened back then are related to the ones that are happening right now. And as it has been with the previous flashback, rest assured that this one is fun-filled and wonderful too!
SONG OF THE DAY: Problems of Love by Benny Dayal – 2 States OST [Download]
CHAPTER 2 (PART II): A Shining Star.
Li Ming Xing was seriously preparing for her upcoming semester examinations.
After all, not only her rank, but also her friends’ ranks depended on the amount of hard work she puts in to study!
Ming Xing usually goofed off like anybody else normally. But when she decided to study, she was invincible, la! If anybody cares for their dear life, then they’d better not approach her when she’s studying!
So, the invincible Ming Xing decided to find a calm place to study, as she had a shift in the library after an hour.
And that calm place turned out to be the Chess Hall. What could even she do?! Chess turned out to be the most silent sport she’d ever seen, and the Chess Hall was naturally more like a meditation hall than anything else.
But who knew that even Chess has nowadays turned from a passive sport into an active sport?!
In the middle of the Hall, there’re a group of people surrounding a table where two young students are playing a game. Whenever one of those players made a move, huge cheers erupted. The other player was left with virtually no supporters at all.
Ming Xing frowned. Who’s so excellent that he has an entire audience on his side?!
Momentarily forgetting about her exams tomorrow, she approached the table and pushed through the crowd of spectators to take a glimpse at the great player.
Of all the people she was expecting, it turned out to be Han Xue Zhao!
She remembered their last meeting in the library. She’d recognized his name instantly, in fact. Truthfully speaking, the name of Han Xue Zhao is something that every P University student knows!
The best student in the Computer Science faculty, he’s also doing a Minor in Business Management. He’s an active member of the Debate Club, the Literature Club, the Music Club… well, almost all the clubs in P University. He has turned down internships from many companies and it’s also been rumoured that he was invited to join the Soccer Team of a province.
And not to mention, he’s the official Campus Hearththrob.
She never personally saw him playing any sport, but she’d heard enough stories about the wonders he performs in the field of Soccer, Basketball and Chess.
With so many credentials to his name, it would be a surprise if he’s without friends. Liu Jin, also of the Computer Science faculty, is known to be his most trusted friend. And Liu Jin isn’t without his own fame either, and has recently taken up an internship offer which Xue Zhao had refused previously. Even looks wise, he’s second only to Xue Zhao.
Hmm, but actually, Xue Zhao is a pretty good player. His eyes radiated his immense concentration that showed that he isn’t affected by the huge noise around him. There is firmness in his profile and an Alpha-male appearance that both psychologically as well as physically intimidated his opponent.
He was wearing a white shirt and dark black trousers, with his hair ruffled. Even the last time she’d seen him, his hair had been artfully unruly. It would probably feel great to run my fingers through his hair, ah!
Aiya, what was she thinking, la?! Ming Xing blushed crimson red when she realized that her mind was going to dirty places.
And at that very moment, as though he was aware that someone’s plotting against his hair, Xue Zhao turned away from the chess board to look at her. Looking like a deer caught in headlights, she immediately ducked behind another person.
As she had begun the process of escaping, she didn’t know that the great chess player Xue Zhao’s eyes were shining brightly. He too decided to accelerate the proceedings of this rubber match, and before Ming Xing made it till the Chess Hall’s doors, he calmly informed his opponent, “Checkmate.”
Even as all his friends and admirers burst into loud cheers for him, he didn’t care as he calmly made way through the sea of crowd to find her. He found her trying to inconspicuously tiptoe her way out of the hall.
“Li Ming Xing!” he yelled her name. His deep voice resonated across the hall and vibrated to the bones of all its inhabitants. She immediately froze in her place with an Oh Crap! expression on.
Liu Jin was shocked. “Xue Zhao, you’re actually calling out to a girl?!”
Xue Zhao gave her a one-over, as he said with a deadpan face, “The last time I checked, she’s definitely a girl.”
Everyone nervously burst into laughter, as they were under the impression that Xue Zhao’s making fun of the girl. It was as though they were all eager to please him.
Ming Xing felt offended. She gathered herself and stomped out of the Hall furiously. She heard someone’s running footsteps behind her, but didn’t stop.
“Ming Xing, wait!” she heard that deep voice call out for her.
When she saw her watch, she realized that it’s already time for her shift in the Library. So she silently headed there.
The Chief Librarian, Madam Qin, glared at her disapprovingly. “You’re late, my dear,” she informed her, shaking her head.
“I’m sorry, ma’am,” apologized Ming Xing.
Madam Qin sighed. Ming Xing coughed when the dust that rose up as the pile of books hit the desk in front of her entered her mouth and nose.
Madam Qin had returned with a giant heap of old fat books from the store room and ordered her, “Organize them according to their genre and put them in their respective bookshelves.”
Ming Xing nodded, dreading what is to come. As she sat down sorting the books, she noticed someone entering the library as if that person has run till he was out of breath.
The ‘person’ in question is Han Xue Zhao.
Ming Xing ignored him and continued sorting the books. She remained silent even when he squatted beside her and said, “I’m sorry.”
She rolled her eyes. She could hear the sincerity behind his words. But really, he shouldn’t have been so flippant before, ah! She nodded to show that he’s forgiven. But still, he won’t go. Ming Xing sighed. “What now?” she asked annoyed.
“I’m looking for Laozi’s ‘The Way’. Can you look it up for me?” he asked her, his eyes wide and innocent.
She gritted her teeth and turned back to her work. “It’s in Bookshelf No. 4. You’ll probably find it in the fourth row,” she replied, without looking at him.
“I saw it. It’s not there,” tad the protest came from him.
“It has to be there. Check properly,” she denied his declaration.
“You check it, then.”
“Why should I?”
“Because that’s your job!”
“What if I don’t?”
“Madam Qin!” Xue Zhao yelled at the top of his lungs.
“Hey, what are you doing?” hissed Ming Xing, shocked.
All the inhabitants of the library were startled into staring at them. The sound of footsteps approaching them increased.
“I’m informing Madam Qin that a part-time employee under her supervision isn’t serving the customers,” he calmly enlightened Ming Xing.
“No, please, don’t!” she begged.
“Then will you get me my book?” asked Xue Zhao.
Ming Xing frantically nodded. He smirked.
“Who’s that rule-breaking, aberrant, abhorring…?” Madam Qin’s voice floated from behind them. “Oh, Xue Zhao, you’re here! Help me catch the person who just broke the sacred laws of the library!”
Xue Zhao, the ‘rule breaker’, humbly bowed as he said, “I apologize ma’am, but it was me!”
Madam Qin was shocked into speechlessness. “You… but… how?!”
“I’d suddenly realized that I haven’t greeted you in a long time, so the moment I came in, I was desperate to find you and in that desperation I’d shouted out your name aloud!” he earnestly told her.
Ming Xing saw him comfortably lie, and her jaw hung open in astonishment. She’d never seen anybody say such a cheesy lie with such expertise, ah! He’d turned on his charm to full blast and the effect can be felt even to her. He suddenly seemed so innocent and pious.
Old Madam Qin blushed: Duck out. “Oh, dear Xue Zhao, you shouldn’t have taken so much of trouble! I wouldn’t have taken it as a slight. The next time you want any book, all you have to do is inform me and I’ll get it for you, okay?”
He earnestly nodded. “Madam Qin, I’ve been searching for a book since a long time but haven’t been able to find it. Can I trouble my Junior Mei Mei here to find the book?”
When Ming Xing realized that the ‘Junior Mei Mei’ in question is her, she panicked and subtly tried to shake her head at Madam Qin. Too bad, but Madam Qin had eyes only for the charming and handsome Xue Zhao and abandoned her trusted employee.
“Of course, she’ll personally help you out whenever you want her to!”
With that, Li Ming Xing turned into Han Xue Zhao’s personal librarian.
Han Xue Zhao, the Annoyer Of The Year, was amusedly watching poor Li Ming Xing stomp over to the bookshelves with a forced smile displayed on her face. He was positively sure that she’s glowering at him internally.But all this is being done for her own ‘safety’.
Once Ming Xing disappeared from view, Xue Zhao turned to face the critters who were following her disappearing figure with their greedy eyes. One look from the towering and almighty Han Xue Zhao sent all of the possible suitors fleeing for their lives.
Satisfied, Xue Zhao walked over to the corner where Ming Xing disappeared. She was oblivious to the fact that many of her fellow students admired her tenacity and of course, her understated charm. It’s probably because she doesn’t try to be captivating that it appeals to everyone.
She’s not beautiful. No, she’s definitely not. She’s not a topper either, though she does get the second or third rank in her batch. It’s just that her intensity is infectious. And also her inextinguishable energy when it comes to talking. She’s bold and doesn’t hesitate to talk to anyone.
Xue Zhao didn’t even notice that a girl like her existed in his University until he’d seen her in the library all those days ago. She wasn’t like all those girls who hid behind the bookshelves to stare at him. She wasn’t like those girls who nervously stuttered or blushed when they talked to him. Her eyes were as clear and innocent as a crystal. And there was this crackling energy in her eyes that made him feel as though he could warm himself from the power radiating off them.
And now, those eyes are staring at him, as if accusing him of a great crime. “The book’s right here. How could you not find it?”
“I must have missed seeing it. I’m sorry!”
She glared at him and walked away, leaving a certain somebody who was grinning like a fool.
Li Ming Xing was ready to bet her buttons on the fact that Xue Zhao must have done this to purposely infuriate her. But ‘why’ is the Million Yuan Question!
As she turned around the corner of the bookshelf, she saw a group of girls whispering and giggling. Then she caught the name of ‘Han Xue Zhao’ coming from the lips of one of the girls and saw that they were all staring Han Xue Zhao. She felt a strange sense of discomfort and decided to walk away from there.
But her legs betrayed and carried her straight to the Giggling girls. “Making noise in the library is banned,” she found herself saying sternly.
The girls seemed taken aback and one bold girl stepped forward to say, “Uh, we’re just searching for books.”
“May I know which book, so that I can help you with it?” Ming Xing employed the use of her super-sweet tone which has the power of making people flinch.
The bold girl seemed lost for a while, before stammering, “A… A Brief History of Time.”
“And it’s written by?”
“Stephen Hawking,” Ming Xing calmly answered her own question. She hadn’t read that book yet as she isn’t that interested in Science, but she did know the book.
The girl looked down at her feet, ashamed. “And this is the Philosophy Section. The Science Section is in the extreme right of the library. So please make your way over there and stop giggling and talking over here or else I’ll personally ensure that you’ll never be allowed to step into the library,” warned Ming Xing, her fake-sweet voice treading that thin line of bitchiness.
Truthfully, Ming Xing could be the meanest person in the world if she wished to be so.
The scared girls scattered away. Ming Xing walked away surprised to find that there’s a tiny smile playing at the corner of her lips. And Han Xue Zhao’s grin widened after he watched her smackdown hidden behind the bookshelves.
The feelings were there in both the hearts. It’s just that they didn’t know how deep the feelings were until they separated.
That’s so CUTE!
Oh you lying liars! How long are you going to lie to yourself?! Can’t you see how crazy you’re about each other?!
Okay, coming back to the point, I love the way this chapter has pointed out the budding affection that Ming Xing has for Xue Zhao, and which she herself is unaware of. Looking at this chapter makes me really wonder about what major thing must have gone wrong for these two to have ended up the way they have in the present.
And I won’t blabber too much, because I want to see what all of you are thinking about this Chapter. It’s my small request that everybody who’s reading this chapter comment your views on it and provide an analysis, because that makes the whole equation even more fun.