Picking Up Stars - Chapter 1
Quick warning and notes by translator:
Firstly, there’s a lot of uncensored cursing in this entire work, and to stay true to the source material, I translated them as they were written, so please bear that in mind as you read.
The use of Ge(哥): Literally, meaning older brother. However, used differently in this work.
Most of the characters in this work are young males. In Chinese, as an affectionate, friendly way to call each other in modern China, people use a character from the guy’s name and then Ge. Equivalent to something like “bro” in English, but to me, that really disrupts the flow, so I just opted to put Ge every single time they did that. The only time it actually means “older brother” is when the main character’s younger brother calls him that.
Hope you guys have fun, and thank you for reading!
“Ge, if this week you don’t come back still I will go to your school to catch you and bring you back.
While Jian Muyang continuously rambled on about how he had to be home for the weekend, Qin Fang put the phone between his shoulder and his face, trapping the phone so that it wouldn’t slip. When Qin Fang heard the continuous pleading, he smiled, a little exasperated, and finally said, “Okay, I know.”
“Then I’ll wait for you.” Jian Muyang still wasn’t completely reassured, and reemphasized, “If you don’t come back I will go to your dorm to find you, I’ve really missed you.”
“Okay.” Qin Fang affirmed again, his heart softening under his little brother’s words. Although his voice stayed at the same tone, there was still a little bit of gentleness that sneaked into his voice, “Stop nagging me, I’ll be sure to come back on Friday, okay Yangyang?”
Okay.” When Jian Muyang was about to hang up, he still wasn’t very reassured, as he waited quite a few seconds before hanging up.
Qin Fang waited until the line on the other side had hung up before he took down his phone from beside his ear. Beside him, Hua Tong leaned on his cue stick and said, “Only when you are talking to your little brother can we hear you like this.”
“Bullshit.” Qin Fang shoved his phone back into his pocket as he leaned forward to aim for his last ball, “Aren’t I always like this, quite agreeable?”
The black 8 ball hit the edge of the table, and then bounced into the pocket. Hua Tong first chuckled, and then asked, “Play again?”
“Nah, I’m hungry.” Qin Fang took his cue stick and left to put it back in its cabinet. He then turned around and asked, “You have class in the afternoon, right?”
“Yeah, I have two, are you coming with me?” Hua Tong asked as they walked.
“Am I out of my mind?” Qin Fang looked at Hua Tong, puzzled. He was too lazy to go to even his own classes, much less someone else’s classes.
Hua Tong laughed, walking, “I just randomly asked.”
Qin Fang was in his second year of university, and Hua Tong was his friend from high school. They started playing together from when they were really little, so they were like brothers from the start. But, Hua Tong had better grades than Qin Fang. Qin Fang was in Global Relations School of the famous C University, which was technically a lower ranked school in the university. But still, It was C University, so even as a lower tiered school the students needed to be around 30 points above the first level university cutoff line.
Right now, the spring semester had only started for about a month, and Qin Fang had started pursuing a girl. The girl’s name was Gong Qi, a third year student in management studies. She was tall, skinny and pale, which was right on Qin Fang’s tastes.
After finishing lunch with Hua Tong, Qin Fang decided to leave the campus to go buy something. Gong Qi’s birthday was next week, and he needed to figure out a birthday present. Still, it was just a birthday present, he thought, since usually presents for girls did not take too long to prepare.
After they had finished buying some stuff Qin Fang sent a message to Gong Qi, asking her out to dinner.
Gong Qi replied, [Okay]
Qin Fang then asked, [Then I’ll wait for you downstairs at the dorm?]
Gong Qi: [Okay, you can call me when you are here]
Since Qin Fang didn’t have anything to do in the afternoon, after strolling around a bit he went to a little bakery and got a few boxes of small cakes for Gong Qi, since it was good to show some respect to the girl by bringing her something. He also got some handmade chocolate for his little brother.
Qin Fang then arrived at the girls’ dorm and waited downstairs. When people passed by, they often would take a glance at him. He was tall and handsome, with some decent clothing taste, so of course people would like to sneak in a few glances at him; his looks were comforting.
Gong Qi walked over and smiled apologetically at him, “Sorry for coming down slightly late, making you wait for me.”
“No problem,” Qin Fang did not mind at all, “What do you want to eat?”
“I’m fine with anything, you decide.” Gong Qi walked alongside him, not too close but not too far. Their arms were just about not touching, but they were no further apart than that.
Gong Qi had a pale scent of perfume around her. It was a refreshing, light scent, pleasing to the nose. The perfume seemed similar to the girl herself: comfortable and gentle.
She was a great conversation conductor with a high EQ, so a conversation wouldn’t completely die down, but it also wouldn’t be too close. This was the third time Qin Fang had gone out with her to a meal. They never intentionally got too close, and they weren’t all amateurs in terms of relationships anymore. Both had a “I have some interest in you” attitude when they started to interact, and their end point was probably starting a serious relationship. So, as they kept their distance now, they both seemed quite comfortable.
Gong Qi took a sip of orange juice, and then watched Qin Fang, smiling, and said, “I knew you from a lot earlier.”
“Hmm?” Qin Fang raised an eyebrow, motioning for her to continue.
When Gong Qi smiled her eyes would become slightly crescent shaped, giving her the impression that she was sweet and very kind, “Last year, during our school festival, you performed a program, right?”
“Yes.” Qin Fang nodded. Last year it had coincidentally been the university’s 100th year founding anniversary, so the school festival was quite extravagant. The performance showcase went on for a few hours, and Qin Fang, being a new student representative, sang a song.
“You were so handsome, and you sang well too, so all of the upperclassmen girls remembered you, ” Gong Qi joked lightly.
Qin Fang poured her another glass of juice before smiling and replying, “Then I am grateful for you upperclassmen girls.”
“And then you fought with somebody, we heard about it too.” Gong Qi said.
“Ah, stop.” Qin Fang made a stop sign motion, and then waved his hand, “Let’s not talk about embarrassing stuff, it aggravates me.”
Gong Qi smiled as she nodded, and then stopped, taking another sip of juice.
Last year, when school started, Qin Fang made quite the name for himself. First, of course, he had participated in the school festival, and then, after scarcely two months, he had a huge fight with two seniors in the sports college. This thing was so big that people in both the sports college and the global relations school heard about it, and even the other majors and schools heard about it. Really, this incident was caused not by Qin Fang, but because he didn’t take stuff laying down, he retaliated quite harshly.
That incident happened in the gym. That day, Qin Fang and one of his roommates went to the place to play some tennis, but as his roommate had some things to do, he had to leave first. Qin Fang left after cleaning up after, and when he left, he went by the ping pong arena, where he accidentally stepped on a ping pong ball. Those two guys had some dirty mouths, and although Qin Fang hadn’t wanted a scene and apologized, those two started spitting out some filthier and filthier things. At the end of their rant, they required Qin Fang to recover their ping pong ball to its original shape, as it was flat.
The ball was impossible to reform, and Qin Fang didn’t know how, so at the end he just stuffed it in one’s mouth.
Those two from the sports college did look down at Qin Fang, since he was alone in comparison to them. But, Qin Fang had fought so much with people from when he was little, and he had learned boxing, so he was a formidable force. That day, although he didn’t take a bad beating from those two, he also didn’t let them get a thorough lesson. He still came away with plenty of bruises on his body.
And then, later, those two had found him again. That time, Qin Fang and Hua Tong fought with them again. Really, it was clear that this incident was caused by two seniors bullying freshmen, but both parties were left with a mark on their records.
Qin Fang, however, was just like this. He never wanted to take anything lying down; anything that was dealt to him would be returned.
After they ate, Qin Fang walked with Gong Qi back to the dorms. He hadn’t driven them, so his car was underneath his dorm building. At this time, the two walked slowly on campus, with a bag of little cakes in Qin Fang’s hand. The streetlight elongated their shadows, creating a gentle atmosphere, so much so that Qin Fang, who was not a gentle person, could appreciate the gentle and silent night.
Gong Qi turned her head to look at him, and when Qin Fang sensed her gaze, he turned and met her eyes, and smiled.
Qin Fang, being the schoolwide handsome boy in high school, had a very charming smile, able to win over many. Gong Qi also smiled towards him, but neither of them spoke. When they walked like this, they seemed very suitable, and some other students passing by would look at them.
When Qin Fang was pursuing a girl, he would take quite the short and blunt approach. If they were good, cool, if not, whatever. He would not use up a lot of time to pursue them. Now, he had gone on three dates with Gong Qi, and felt good about her, since he felt comfortable with her.
So, just before they reached the girls’ dorm, Qin Fang called Gong Qi, and when she looked at him, he directly asked, “I’m pursuing you, you know that right?”
Gong Qi definitely didn’t expect him to say something like that, so at first she didn’t know how to reply, but after, she laughed and nodded, “I know.”
“That’s good,” Qin Fang also smiled, “I’m a little direct.”
“This wording was too direct, if you meet someone more shy they would’ve definitely ran away,” Gong Qi told him.
“Then what about you?” Qin Fang asked her.
He had a good voice, so even as they were just chatting on a silent night, it was something enjoyable. Gong Qi replied steadily, “Me, I have thick skin.”
“Then I’ll continue pursuing you?” Qin Fang raised his eyebrow and asked again.”
“You’re too direct of a guy, I can’t continue the conversation,” Gong Qi smiled, fond but slightly exasperated. “You’ll drive the conversation into the ground.”
By this point in the conversation, they both understood each other. As they got to the dorm, Qin Fang said good night while Gong Qi took the stuff and walked upstairs, leaving Qin Fang to put his hands in his pockets and walk towards his dorm.
Qin Fang was quite well mannered when it came to pursuing girls. Before they were a confirmed item, he wouldn’t even touch their hands, nor say something out of line.
To him, it seemed like he was very close to getting her. Maybe if he put in a little more effort for Gong Qi’s birthday next week, they would probably be an item. For Qin Fang, it had been a while since he dated a girl, so he needed some time to warm up.
Their dorms weren’t near the regular male dorms, since the Global Relations kids all lived off campus, with their dorms being in better shape than all of the dorms on campus. Most importantly, they had private showers and air conditioning. However, the downside was that it was further away, as you had to walk across the entire campus.
At this time, although there were still little groups of students clustered in duos and trios across campus, it was already pretty quiet and empty. So, when Qin Fang’s phone rang he heard it immediately, and when he took it out for a glance, he saw that it was his roommate Chen Ke.
Qin Fang picked up, “Need something?”
His roommate asked, “Where are you?”
Qin Fang replied, “Nearly to the building, you tell me what you need.”
“Don’t buy anything, come back and look at your car,” his roommate said.
Qin Fang then asked, “What happened?”
His roommate Chen Ke first let out a curse, and then momentarily after, replied, “Someone threw paint over your car.”
“Hmm?” Qin Fang raised an eyebrow, “What type of paint?”
His roommate, being so angry, cursed once more before saying, “I don’t know what type of paint, but it smells like shit.”
First chapter ends on a little cliffhanger~ Paint does smell really bad so.
Thanks for reading the first chapter, and I hope to see you around!