Chapter 509: "I'm willing to become the stone bridge for 500 years"!
In the villa.
Wu Zeqing put the flowers on a table.
Zhang Ye went up to it, "Let me help you with these, where do you want me to place them?"
Wu Zeqing said, "It's fine. Let's have our breakfast first. If there's no place to put them, then just leave them there or put it out in the garden."
Zhang Ye blinked, "You are so popular."
"They are just gifts from some friends and ex-colleagues." She answered.
Zhang Ye asked, "Oh, they are all wooing you?"
Wu Zeqing brought the milk over and calmly responded, "I don't know about that."
Come on, even a fool could see that! How could you not?
When Zhang Ye heard this, he started to talk badly about them and said, "Say, don't you think a foreign festival like that really spoils the atmosphere here? What so good about celebrating a day like Valentine's Day anyway?"
"Just sit down and eat." Wu Zeqing smiled, "Big Sis doesn't celebrate Western festivals like this either."
Zhang Ye lightly slapped his hand on the table, "Right? Things like chocolates and flowers are totally undesirable gifts. We should firmly reject such practices. Just look at Thanksgiving Day last year, where so many of our Chinese nationals were fussing over celebrating it. Even some public figures went about posting on Weibo about what they were thankful for. What are they even thinking!? How did the American festival of Thanksgiving come about? It was because they wanted to thank the Indians for helping them before and so this day was designated as Thanksgiving day. Who is our country giving thanks to then?! It is totally mindless to celebrate it!"
Wu Zeqing was already laughing, "You seem pretty agitated."
"It's not that I want to step on them, it's really not like that, Sis Wu." Zhang Ye was in fact bashing them using this opportunity, "Such undesirable practices are really making me unable to just look on anymore!"
Wu Zeqing nodded her head slight, "They shouldn't be promoted."
During the duration of breakfast, Zhang Ye kept talking about and putting down these people with everything he got. He was not done until he had buried these people deep into the mud!
After breakfast, yet another courier had arrived to send a package.
After signing for it, Wu Zeqing took it out and saw that it was a calligraphic scroll with a poem written in it.
You are the beautiful Chang'er of the mortal world.
Are the song and dance a reflection of your heart?
The wind I ride on while you steer our direction.
Most beautiful of all is not how the clouds float past.
Love so deep, you won't need much of those.
Zhang Ye knew at a glance what it was, "An acrostic poem?"
The characters in front formed the sentence - You are the most loved? Bah! How disgustingly vulgar! This was simply too disgustingly vulgar! Zhang Ye was already despising the sender completely and forming opinions of that person!
Wu Zeqing could only laugh lightly and shake her head. She did not say anything else, but just kept the calligraphic scroll aside.
Zhang Ye continued his bashing, "Is that from someone in the Calligraphy Association? The words are just alright, but the standard of this poem is.....very normal. It's just a matter of putting it together properly and that doesn't require much skill."
Di Di. Wu Zeqing's cellphone received a message and she picked it up to take a look.
Zhang Ye stole a glance, but did not manage to see clearly. Based on the layout of the words, it was probably yet another poem. It seemed like everyone knew that Wu Zeqing liked calligraphy and poems a lot and they were aiming to please her on this Valentine's Day, hoping to win her over!
Old Wu passed the phone over and asked, "What does this poem mean? I don't understand it."
"Oh, let me help you with it." Since this was Zhang Ye's rice bowl, he did not say another word but took the phone and read from it. He said, "It's another acrostic poem, but this one is a little deeper."
Wu Zeqing said, "Acrostic?"
Zhang Ye nodded and read:
"A bit of melancholy over long days and short nights, from high few ever come -The moon."
"One person to cruise the green plains, ten soldiers with their feet growing clothes-Represents."
"The swan spreads its wings, gone is its flight, meaningless to enjoy wine with a white ladle-My"
"Nothing with a hook and three dots of rain-heart."
Using the Chinese characters and the clues in the text, they formed - the moon represents my heart.
Such poems with hidden words or meanings were not a serious kind of literature. Sometimes to make it work, it would have to be forced. The sentences would then become flawed and it was understandable that Old Wu did not catch the meaning of it. This sort of poems was very common in Zhang Ye's previous world, so he knew the meanings behind them almost immediately after reading it.
Wu Zeqing laughed, "You seem to be quite well versed in this field?"
Zhang Ye sighed, "Well, I dare not claim that I am well versed in such things. These kinds of poems are just simple tricks and can't be considered a skill. I've never really learned in depth about them, but I think that I do know it better than them." He had again stepped on Old Wu's pursuers. Even this bro has not dared to make his move yet, but all of you are already confessing one by one?
Do you all still have a shred of humanity left in you!?
Zhang Ye was very angry and worried. Seeing Old Wu's calm demeanor, she probably had to sign for these things every year. There were probably more than 10 people trying to woo her at any given time, and that was already a conservative estimate. Old Wu was already in her thirties and was not married and had no children yet. From this reasoning, her family was probably already urging her to do so? Old Wu might also be a little worried because of this? A situation like this made it even more critical! If she were to loosen up a little, she might just end up with someone else after hearing their sweet words and promises. Then Zhang Ye would definitely end up heartbroken and crying. This was the main reason why he was also feeling very worried!
Old Wu went to get a vase.
Zhang Ye followed along and helped her arrange the flowers. He tested her by asking, "Sis Wu, there are so many people wooing you, but it seems like none of them have caught your eye?"
Wu Zeqing replied, "They are not wooing me. They're all just friends and teasing me for fun."
"You...don't you plan to have a family?" Zhang Ye ventured a little more and asked.
Wu Zeqing looked at him, "Why are you asking about this?"
Zhang Ye smiled, "Sigh, I'm just curious. Just curious."
She replied anyway, "Of course I would like to have a family, but I have not met the right person yet. Hur hur. Why? Do you have someone in mind to introduce to me?"
"Ahem, no." Zhang Ye replied.
She said, "Alright, the flowers have been arranged properly."
Zhang Ye said, ".....Hmm."
She had already walked in front of him, "Let's go. Let's go upstairs to take a look at your newly published chapter. I'm looking forward to read it."
"Sure." Zhang Ye followed along, "If you still want to read more after you finish this chapter, I will continue to write. I can try to rush out six more chapters today."
Old Wu's room.
Wu Zeqing switched on her computer and sat down. She launched the browser while Zhang Ye pulled a chair over and sat down. His heart was very unsettled right now.
Old Wu logged onto Weibo first and said, "There's so much activity on here today."
Zhang Ye had a look and felt the same. The internet today was filled with proposals between couples and confessions from secret admirers. There were even some celebrities who were showing their love and affections to others. There was surely a lot of gossip about them while at least two public figures had already been photographed with another mysterious man or woman out on a Valentine's Day date. Wu Zeqing's Weibo was also having quite a commotion. As Old Wu was not considered a public figure, she did not have many fans paying attention to her. It was inconspicuous, but Zhang Ye was following her. When he saw many people doing acrostic poems on her Weibo, he was infuriated!
A Weibo verified account of a certain Higher Mathematics teacher from Peking University, Han Henian also posted on her Weibo with a message. He had also dedicated a poem to @WuZeqing .
Leaning on a window I long for a beauty.
Blissful rain and overflowing wine string bead curtains.
Merry dances wave to the elegant figure.
Your smile appears like a flower fairy.
From the top parts of the Chinese characters, it meant - I like you.
Regarding these messages, the common netizens were not too interested in them, but Wu Zeqing's friends and students of Peking University were. They had all gathered at her Weibo page to see what was going on.
A female student exclaimed, "Wow! Teacher Han has confessed!"
A Physics department Associate Professor also teasingly gave his blessings, "Wishing Little Han gets to win the maiden's hand. Work hard for it!"
Zhang Ye's colleague, Chinese department's Su Na also joined in the fun, "Hehe, Teacher Han's courage is admirable. Here's a Like for you. I heard that President Wu will be posted to another place soon, so you had better work hard to win her over!"
The students of Peking University were also shouting all sorts of replies.
"Ah, President Wu is mine!"
"Pfft, previous poster must be crazy. Your balls must be really big!"
"Wuwu, I like President Wu as well. When I graduate and find a job, and if President Wu is still unmarried at that time, I will definitely woo her. Even if I know that President Wu will not have eyes for me, I will still go for it!"
"Cries! President Wu is my goddess!"
"I've also been secretly in love with President Wu for the past three years!"
"President Wu, I love you too!"
"Forget it you guys. At our age, it is definitely not possible."
"Yea. Honestly speaking, Teacher Han Henian, who teaches higher Mathematics is more suitable for her. At least they are similar in terms of age and Teacher Han is rather suave looking as well."
"I never expected a Math teacher like Teacher Han to have such good literary talent! It's an acrostic poem!"
Some male students cried out in jealousy, while others were shouting their blessings and wishes for the 2.
"President Wu is too popular!"
"Yes, just look at how many people are confessing to her!"
Another Weibo verified member of the National Writers' Association, a middle-aged man, had also 'transmitted' his love for Wu Zeqing. That person who was considered to be rather well known and worked in literature research probably knew Wu Zeqing in person as well since they might have crossed paths in their work before. He was a divorcee and had a child from his previous marriage.
He posted a poem to Wu Zeqing:
The trees open their eyes.
A kid naps under his roof.
Lacking in conscience.
Sunset with remnant rabbits by the side.
It was acrostic also. The few words represented - regret that we didn't meet sooner.
This middle-aged man from the Writers' Association was still holding back and being a little more subtle than the others. He was already at an age where he wouldn't feel comfortable with expressing those mushy love confessions in public. This was evident in his poem too as it was just a simple hint that still managed to express his admiration of her.
When this poem was published, some other admirers were probably getting anxious by the slew of confessions to Wu Zeqing. They knew they could not longer just sit back, so all of them also joined in to make their confessions. Because Old Wu was also part of these circles, having worked in publicity, education, Peking University's Chinese department, and was also a member of the Calligraphy Association, the people she knew and mingled with were also part of these circles. These people might not be good at most other things, but coming up with a simple poem was definitely not one of them.
There was poetry everywhere!
A thread of feelings lead to a head of white.
Daily longing expels grief.
Don't blame me for my seeds of infatuation.
Seeing you often in my dreams.
If we were fated.
The distance that keeps us apart is just a thread.
The cherry blossoms bloom in March.
Fruits after autumn is most sweet.
The same old acrostic poems-one day apart seems like three years.
One after the other, wave after wave. There were too many people who were confessing to Wu Zeqing. It felt like they were kicking up a riot, each trying to outdo the other to see who could win the dame's heart.
"What's going on here today?"
"Wow, they are all here trying to woo President Wu?"
"I wonder who President Wu will choose!"
"Looking forward to it."
"I'm getting interested in this too."
"Sis Wu, pick one of them. Hehe, you aren't young anymore."
The going-ons were sustaining the attention of the students and Old Wu's friends.
Wu Zeqing only smiled and shook her head.
Zhang Ye was looking at her Weibo all this while beside her. He was somewhat angry and frustrated and finally couldn't hold it in anymore, "Sis Wu."
"Yes?" She tilted her head sidewards.
Zhang Ye muttered some words, "So then, let's, you....."
Wu Zeqing gently said, "Just say what you want to say. What's the matter?"
Zhang Ye clenched his teeth, thinking that if he didn't say anything now, then he would probably not have another chance in this lifetime to say it. By the power of the five times difficulty reduction Die! Bestow unto me the courage to do this! Zhang Ye took a deep breath and did not beat around the bush any longer. He looked at Wu Zeqing in the eye and said, "Don't bother with them! Why don't you be my girlfriend instead!"
What the heck!
He finally said it!
When the words slipped out of his mouth, Zhang Ye no longer felt nervous. He wore a serious expression on his face.
But Wu Zeqing only laughed it off, "You are just like them, teasing me."
Zhang Ye said seriously with a blushed face, "Hey, what do you mean teasing? I am being very serious, Sis Wu."
Wu Zeqing smiled, "I don't see it."
Zhang Ye let himself loose, "Just tell me if you want to or don't want to. "
"You like me?" She looked into Zhang Ye's eyes.
Zhang Ye said without hesitation, "Yes."
Wu Zeqing calmly said, "Big Sis will be leaving for her new post soon. This time, it will be to the South and the workload will surely become heavier. I probably won't be able to come even once a year."
Zhang Ye immediately said, "I don't care if we can see each other or not. Besides that, I could go over to look for you too. A flight there wouldn't take long at all. Moreover, even if you don't come back for a year or five years, I will still wait for you. Distance is not a problem. Sis Wu, I am being quite serious here."
She asked, "What do you like about me?"
Zhang Ye said, "There's no reason why, I just do."
She asked again, "....How much do you like me?"
Just thinking about Wu Zeqing's gentleness and caring side, thinking about how she treated him with so much respect and gave him unconditional support, he wouldn't be able to find a girlfriend like this even in eight lifetimes. So why did he like her that much, was that even a question? When the images of those pursuers of Old Wu composing poems to confess floated across his mind, Zhang Ye's expression began to calm down slowly.
How much do I like you?
Zhang Ye looked at her and lightly recited a Zen verse that did not exist in this world:
"I'm willing to become the stone bridge."
"Enduring 500 years of the ruthless wind."
"500 years of the burning sun."
"500 years of the freezing rain."
"Just... to catch a glimpse of you passing by."
How much do I like you? I guess it is as much as that!
When this famous "Verse of the Stone Bridge" was spoken, Wu Zeqing's eyes immediately changed. She was stunned!
500 years in the ruthless wind?
500 years under the burning sun?
500 years of being....beaten by the rain?
Compared to those acrostic poems that Old Wu's pursuers had used to confess with, Zhang Ye's "Verse of the Stone Bridge" was on a much higher level than theirs. It was already in a different class. Not only was the content and literary standard on a different level, even its meaning and power were incomparable!
There were no sweet words in it!
There were no promises either!
But the emotions in the Zen verse were much more meaningful and amazing than anything those confessions could express with words! 500 years of suffering, just to catch a glimpse of you passing by?
Wu Zeqing closed her eyes and opened them again, asking, "Are you serious?"
Zhang Ye said, "I've never been more serious than I am today!"
After a few seconds of silence, Wu Zeqing simply said, "OK."
"OK?" Zhang Ye was stunned, "What do you mean?"
Wu Zeqing smiled at him, "Weren't you asking Big Sis to be your girlfriend? So I said OK."
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