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He subconsciously checked his thermal lunch box and made sure there were no issues before going to the toilet to clear his bladder. He washed his face and rinsed his mouth.
After that, he switched on his phone, logged into QQ and held his lunch box tightly again. He closed his eyes, meditated and started practicing the 'Condensation Stance', seizing every precious second.
After about 20 minutes later, the beeping message tone sounded. Lou Cheng took out his phone and saw that it was Yan Zheke who sent him a "determined face with a red ribbon across the forehead" emoji. "The beautiful lady has woken up!"
This is what I've said before... He could not hold back from breaking out into a soft laugh. Then he quickly replied, "I am the one who woke up the earliest!"
They exchanged a few messages before Yan Zheke then went out for her morning training. As for Lou Cheng, he held back and kept mum about the fact that he had packed a lot of delicacies for her. Pleasant surprise, pleasant surprise. Where would pleasant be if not with surprise?
At 6:13 a.m., the bullet train had arrived at Songcheng North Station. Lou Cheng carried his luggage on his back, hugged his lunch box and moved towards the exit following the crowd. The sky outside was faintly bright and the damp winter breeze blew on his face as he stepped out of the station.
At this time, there was no online car-hailing, and cab drivers would be unwilling to drive him to Songcheng University due to the short distance. As for illegal taxi, they would charge him with a high fee. In the end, Lou Cheng decided to wait for the bus at a nearby stop. After a while, the bus came and he got on it. It was almost empty as there were only a total of five people on the bus, including the bus driver.
Instead of getting himself a seat, he stood at the wide space near the back door with his feet apart. As he went into meditation, he could feel the pausing and bumping of the bus. He tried to stable himself as he took this opportunity to practice Yin-Yang Stance.
Martial arts live in daily routines!
The bus stopped and moved for a few stops before Lou Cheng finally reached the old school region of Songcheng University. He arrived at the bus stop familiarly and waited for the shuttle bus to come over and drive him towards the new school region.
While waiting, he placed his luggage and thermal lunch box at a clean area, took out his outer down jacket, and placed it on top of them. Dressed in fleece and long casual trousers, he slowly practiced his every movement as well as tricked set practice routine to train every part of his body, looking like the grandpa and grandma that usually practiced tai chi to strengthen their bodies. Towards the mocking and curious looks of the surrounding few people who were also waiting for the shuttle bus, he turned a blind eye.
Six months was enough to change a person. When faced with martial arts, he no longer felt embarrassed or unconfident about exhibiting his skills in front of others.
At 6:40 a.m., the first school shuttle bus departed on time, and drove towards the new school region on the outskirt. Lou Cheng was acting out Big or Small Hand Wrap tactics in his mind, attempting to challenge himself.
The small ripples were seen on Weishui Lake as the breeze blew, the scenery of the surrounding trees and hills reflected on the water, the inverted image of the school buildings with lit lamps shown on the surface of the lake. These familiar scenes made Lou Cheng felt at ease, calm and a sense of belonging.
The morning mist filled the air, making the weather chilly. He walked into the cold spring breeze, along the pedestrian walkway that was filled with groups of people. It was about 7:20 a.m. and to many Songcheng University students, this was the final semester for them to self-study and prepared for the final examinations.
Upon reaching Room 2-302, Building No.7, Lou Cheng took out his keys and consecutively opened the two doors.
He entered the small bedroom and realized that Zhao Qiang, Qiu Zhigao and Zhang Jingye were not in the room. However, the things were placed neatly and it was obvious that they had gone to the cafeteria for breakfast, in preparation for a brand new beginning of their independent study lives. As for the room next door, faint snoring sounds could be heard.
"Little Ming that fellow must have played the online game with them the whole night..." Lou Cheng silently judged as he put down his luggage. He then opened his thermal lunch box, took a pair of scissor, cut open the wrappers and poured the dishes into the different tiers of his lunch box.
"It's indeed still warm, and just microwaving it for a few minutes will do...hmm, but the braized quail egg can't be microwaved, I guess it's still edible to eat like this." He inspected the food and stacked them nicely back into the thermal lunch box. With an excited and nervous heart, he carried them out of his room and towards the One Cafeteria located near the female dormitory. He found the microwave and heated up the food. Then patiently, he sat at one of the tables and waited for Yan Zheke to return from her morning training.
While waiting, his mind ran wild and he could not calm down. His heart was beating faster as he started to feel nervous, worse than the first time he got to the arena.
What should I do later?
I'll just tell her that I've bought her sticky rice cake and want her to come over, for that's the easiest to take away and the least obvious to reveal my real intention...
When she sees others, I guess she'll be surprised? Then should I take that opportunity to say something?
Erm, what should I say then? If she were to say "You still remember what I told you", then I should reply "Whatever you say, I'll always remember them in my heart"...
No, Little Ming said that before the girl makes the final decision, the guy shouldn't give an obvious hint, or the girl will feel pressurized and not at ease. This'll lead to a least wanted outcome...
What about changing the words and tone? If I reply with "Of course I'll remember the things you said", there's not only a hint but also some ambiguity, yet not very obvious...
Yeah, that's it. Gonna take note of my breathing pace as well, can't appear to be too panic and nervous. Need to be steady, calm and easy...
All sorts of thinking started to appear in Lou Cheng's mind as he imagined how he should respond in different scenarios. He continually deliberated and practiced his replies, to the extent that he even took into consideration of his breathing pace. In the end, he could not even sit still as he stood up and walked up and down. He imagined Yan Zheke was right in front of him as he kept practicing his sentences, aiming for perfection and to hopefully leave a great impression on the girl.
At around 8 a.m., Yan Zheke finished her morning training and started to message him on the phone.
After he confirmed that she had taken her bath, Lou Cheng took a deep breath, "chuckled" and said,
"I've brought sticky rice cake for you, come and eat!"
Yan Zheke sent a "surprised face with mouth covered by a hand" emoji and added, "You seriously brought the sticky rice cake? Hee hee, not bad, you still remember Coach Yan! Just right I am really hungry now, where are you?"
"At One cafeteria, near the microwave." Lou Cheng replied, feeling excited. He then quickly placed the grilled eggplant, tamale bread, and sticky rice cake separately into the microwave, each warming them up for a short while before displaying them neatly on the cafeteria table. He stood behind these delicacies, looking at the entrance in the distance.
Thud-thud, thud-thud, his heart started pounding hard like a drummer beating his drum. He could feel his blood flowing fast into his head, which caused him to shiver a little. He then revised his speeches all over again.
After a while, a silhouette of his lover whom he kept thinking day and night appeared at the entrance. Yan Zheke dressed in a white woolen sweater topped with a long plain color down jacket, and wore a dark-colored pair of jeans with a pair of snow boots, attracting many passersby's attention.
She stood there and glanced around the area to look for signs of him, seemingly a little lost. Her tilted forehead was similar to that a dragonfly's, as her black hair flowed down like a waterfall, making her beautiful and mesmerizing. Her beauty dazed Lou Cheng that he had forgotten about his breathing pace, which he had earlier practiced on.
Finally, she found the microwave location and saw Lou Cheng by the side. The corner of her lips curled up as she grinned and lifted up her right hand, gesturing to him before she quickened her pace towards him.
Lou Cheng hurriedly stepped forward two steps and met her by the table.
Just when Yan Zheke was about to speak, she suddenly saw a variety of delicacies displayed on the table beside her. There were Old Liu grilled eggplant, tamale bread, House Wang sticky rice cake, braized quail egg, as well as three other piping hot dishes placed in front of her.
Her mouth was half-pouted, half-opened, forming a cute O-shaped. She then raised his right hand and covered her mouth as she turned around. She swayed her long hair, showing her side-face to Lou Cheng. He noticed her sharp nose, healthy-looking face, fairly smooth skin, and long eyelashes that pointed downwards, blocking her eye.
After a short moment of silence, she turned her head. Her eyes shone like diamonds as she studied Lou Cheng.
Lou Cheng had heard before that eyes were the windows to the soul, where you could see through a person's feeling, but at this time, he could only see shock and happiness within Yan Zheke's eyes. As for other feelings, they were too complicated to be put into words.
Yan Zheke put down her right hand, lowered her head, smiled and said,
"You really bring all of them here..."
"Yup, I've said that I'll need to thank Coach Yan for the help. Afterall, you are my life mentor." The moment Lou Cheng blurted out his reply, he regretted. "What the hell did I just said?
That's totally different from what I've practiced just now!
His mind went blank as he stood there frozen. He must not have presented himself well.
Just then, he heard Yan Zheke giggled as he saw her pursed lips and smiling eyes. She seemed amused.
Yan Zheke tilted her head again to the side, acted as if nothing had happened and said,
"Let's eat together. It's too much just for me alone, and it won't be nice when it's cold."
"Sure!" Lou Cheng agreed, beaming with joy. The only regret was that the tables and chairs in the cafeteria were fixed together, so he could not act like a gentleman to pull out the chair for her.
Just as he was about to sit, he suddenly thought of something and hurriedly stood up. He was upset as he chanted.
How can I forget about chopsticks!
Points are gonna be deducted again!
He dared not look at Yan Zheke, as he hurriedly ran towards the windows to get the chopsticks. He could hear the girl's soft giggling sound from his back.
While grabbing the chopsticks, he did some mental preparation before turning around. To his surprise, Yan Zheke was giving him a beaming smile, and there was no sign of detest or dislike from her look.
He heaved a sigh of relief as a smile revealed on his face. He hurriedly returned to the table, handed the chopsticks to the girl and sat opposite her. Watching her delicately picked up a piece of eggplant, elegantly chewing it with her set of neat white teeth and her long black eyebrows revealing a sense of comfort and satisfaction, he was admiring another side of her. She was so beautiful.
Lou Cheng could not get enough of her as he kept peeping at her with every opportunity he had. To him, Yan Zheke's passion towards the food was equivalent to her affirmation towards him, and this gave him a great sense of satisfaction.
All of a sudden, Yan Zheke raised her head and stared at him. She caught him peeping at her.
Subconsciously, Lou Cheng looked down. He grabbed his chopsticks, randomly picked up a pea and put it in his mouth, covering up his embarrassment.
On the other hand, Yan Zheke seemed to be getting a little warm as her face reddened. She looked down once again. A faint smile crossed her face as she spoke softly, "Coach Shi sent an email to all Martial Arts Club members, stating that martial arts lesson is starting the day after tomorrow when school reopens. As for special training, it'll start tomorrow as soon as everyone has arrived. If not, it'll start on the day after tomorrow, so it's to be confirmed. Have you seen it?"
"Ah?" Lou Cheng was confused at first, then he finally came to himself and said, "Saw it, saw it. He might discuss the preliminaries then."
A long-distance communication during the school break had caused the face-to-face interaction between Yan Zheke and himself seemed anxious and awkward. He was not sure what to speak about, but luckily, the girl initiated the conversation and talked about the stuff in the Martial Arts Club. This enabled him to go with the flow as he went on with other topics, not letting there be any awkward silence in their meeting.
Unknowingly, Yan Zheke placed down her chopsticks. There was only residue left in the multi-tier lunch box, and of course, part of the food was eaten by Lou Cheng. However, he was too focused admiring the girl who sat opposite of him and too mesmerized with her smile, so he did not focus much on the food he ate...
"I've eaten so much... gosh, will I grow fat..." Yan Zheke gasped, feeling worried.
Lou Cheng hurriedly consoled her. "Nah, you've been practicing martial arts, which consumes a lot of energy. That's why you should replenish it."
Yan Zheke slightly nodded, took a glance at the thermal lunch box and commented. "This works so well? The braized quail egg is still warm, not cold at all."
"Works better than I thought." Lou Cheng grinned widely as if he was being praised.
After chatting for a while, he packed his lunch box and sent Yan Zheke back to her dormitory.
The two of them walked side by side. Lou Cheng could smell the sweet light fragrance from her and this triggered his heart, making him felt as if he was in the Fairyland.
Not sure if the fragrance was from her shampoo or her body... his thoughts started to run wild as he, again, quietly studied the girl. He noticed the fair looking skin under her dark black hair, her tiny-looking ears, and her non-stop chatting mouth that kept rambling on.
Soon, the two of them had arrived in front of the entrance of Block 3 at Yan Zheke's dormitory.
Before bidding goodbyes, Lou Cheng suddenly thought of an idea as he hopefully yet anxiously tried his luck by asking, "Well, I did say to treat you to a big meal to thank you for the luck you brought to me, so when are you free?"
Please don't go back on your words... Hope I can successfully date you out...
Yan Zheke tilted her head to the side, closed her lips lightly and smiled. She then replied, "Then you get to prepare a strategy, I don't want to eat any awful food."
"Strategy..." Lou Cheng looked dazed all of a sudden, then finally realized that the girl had agreed to a date!
His mind was in a mess as he felt ecstatic, and he quickly replied,
"Sure, sure, I'll do my best, no, I'll immediately come out with the strategy!"
"Alright, I'll go back first. I still yet to finish my winter break investigation report!" Yan Zheke left without turning back as she waved her hand and walked towards the Block 3 entrance.
Lou Cheng stood outside the entrance. He was feeling very restless and joyful, as his eyes followed Yan Zheke's back until she entered the unit entrance.
Her hair is already as long as her sweater. Ah, what a great hair texture...
She seems to be about 1.65m tall with such a perfect ratio, and her legs are long and slim...
Just when his mind was straying off, he suddenly noticed the girl looked back!
This shocked him, and was afraid that the girl saw his "lecherous" look.
Looking him at a loss, Yan Zheke looked around before she broke into a sweet smile.
A loud thud sounded in his mind. Lou Cheng stared blankly. This was the first time he deeply understood what the ancient Chinese poem meant by "Her charms dazzled many as she turned back and smiled."
It was till the girl left the unit entrance, did he started to wake up, feeling ecstatic and restless.
What should I do next?
Can I take this opportunity to try holding her hand as we are crossing the road?
He could not calm himself down and decided to return to consult Little Ming about it. When he entered the dormitory, before he could knock on the door of the opposite room, Cai Zongming popped out from the door, with a black hero head kerchief on his head.
"What's up?" Lou Cheng said, shocked by his sudden appearance.
Cai Zongming replied with a "stern" look on his face,
"I, Cai Zongming, am f*cking unpleased with your strength!"