Sweet Teeth / A Speck Amid The Dust of The World 世界微尘里 Chapter Prologue


Today is the first day returning to work for the New Year holiday. The municipal library is very quiet with few people—students, workers, and the children’s reading room on the second floor had almost no child at all. Zeng Li climbed up to the third floor to the Director’s office to grab the keys to open the door of the reading room.

The first thing Zeng Li had to do when she walked through the door is to put on gloves, and after that reorganize all the books on shelf that was not categorized after the yesterday when the book prices went up. Busy for a while, she turned on the sensor and sat down on the table to turn on the computer, this was the time she can take a break.

Her work deals with borrowing academic texts and thus the bookroom was rather deserted with few people, and the atmosphere was cold and cheerless. The number of people is not many compared to the comprehensive social science room on the first floor. Several former classmates who knew she works here are envious and say that working can have relax reading, and was also leisurely and fun. But only Zeng Li knows her grievances—the academic journals and professional books are not her taste. Ever since she started working she rarely sleeps, but as long as she conveniently grabs a book from here home, at night bring out to read, guarantee in ten minutes will fall asleep so easily, sleeping pills effects are not comparable to this.

The computers are very old and take several minutes to start.

How does Zeng Li start her day? The first thing is to go on QQ, then browse around Taobao, and lastly open other frequented sites.

At this time her colleague Wu Wan Xia came with a bowl of beef wonton. Just before they arrived at the same time. Zeng Li went to open the doors while Wu Wan Xia went to buy breakfast. Taking advantage that there is no one borrowing books yet, Zeng Li quickly ate to fill her stomach so to avoid director seeing such and lecturing.

“How do you like eating wonton so much that you change flavor every day?” Wu Wan Xia confusingly asked

“Similar to how every time you go karaoke you will sing on and on the same song like some kind of rule.” Zeng Li laughed.
Wu Wan Xia glared at her, turned around, and went back to her office. When Wu Wan Xia went out there was a customer/reader coming in. Zeng Li buried herself in eating and did not pay attention. Her mouth would chew while she opens up a local forum that posts the hottest news of A city. Sometimes she would take a look at the local culinary recommendations or popular events. For example, which store has discounts, which café has special food dishes, who stars in what movies, who is opening live shows, which hospital the doctors are causing deaths…

New Year’s day many people probably had nothing to do, and thus leisurely went on forums to post. The posts she had seen a few days ago have sunk to the bottom, and the front page is a post of someone with the nickname ID “Oreo is pride “with topic titled: ” Let’s discuss about professors that are handsome, rich, and stylish from our city A university!”

Zeng Li is very curious, stuffed a wonton in her mouth, and clicks using the mouse to see.

The first person mentioned is a professor named Mu Cheng He. Zeng Li does not know him, but she often walk around A university and listen to the students gossip and mention this name quite frequently [what’s frequently heard can be repeated in detail (idiom)].

The original poster of the topic would rave how Mu Cheng He is remarkable, graceful and amiable and does not forget to post a photograph to illustrate, this person can be compared to paparazzi.

Zeng Li patiently scrolls down the first page, end of first page still raves about Mu Cheng He—(same for) second page, third page, fourth page. The thread is mainly from A university students, someone said this post was linked on the campus website, and onlookers came. It was only on the fifth page a second person was mentioned – Ai Jing Chu.

Speaking about Ai Jing Chu, the original poster did not ramble on much about him compared to Mu Cheng He. It stopped short [grunting sound it stops (idiom)] and only posted a couple pictures of him. The first photo Zeng Li has seen before. Almost like a passport picture: blue lapel, white dress shirt, and sat straight; similar to the one pasted on the hospital’s gate near the display window. The second is the student’s graduation photo—in the corner was his small figure.

After two photos, the original poster left one sentence: “Professor Ai, he will always be an exotic flower addition to A University’s School of Medicine. The term exotic flower can be explained as so: rare, special, superior, very beautiful flower, not the derogatory term people with wretched mind would think! ”

Immediately someone replies to the thread: “I love and support Mu Cheng He, he is number one in our school. I do not like Ai Jing Chu even though he is really handsome.”

“The original poster dare describe him as a flower, it seems like [poster] wants to live. Be careful of your whole mouth that [will] end up being dragged to make porcelain.”

“Need to vote? Battle for number one? I will vote for Ai Jing Chu, despite loving and admiring Professor Mu Cheng He. But Professor Ai is too aggressive, in case he finishes his second (another round of) project, personality is difficult, what if he hang us then what? Cries.”

“Original poster, I know who you are, but you have to hide very carefully, do not expose yourself and continue to observe Ai Jing Chu ah, looking forward to your news!”

“For Mu Cheng He, but Ai Jing Chu might explode and obtain the greatest, really unimpressive.”

“I do not like Ai Jing Chu! Decline following this topic.”

“The world has given birth to Cheng He, and also given birth to Jing Chu.”

“I have seen everything. Why is there no Lan Zhou?”

Zeng Li read and read. The corner of her mouth curves.

She gradually slides the mouse to the bottom of the page and suddenly sees a comment.

“-Wipes away sweat-Why does no one discover yet, when you take both of their last name and combine them, it forms the name of a famous domestic brand for bra?”*

*There is a Chinese bra brand “(Love)爱慕Ài Mù”, the pronunciation is similar to “Ai艾 Mu慕”.

Zeng Lei at first glance did not understand, then thought for a bit, and suddenly could not hold back her laughter and giggles coming out.

At this time, a customer/reader that went in before appear in front and places two books and a library card on the desk between the computer and breakfast box.

Zeng Li laugh and causes the wonton in her mouth that she did not swallow completely to fly out of her mouth. Furthermore, wonton filling as well as the celery and everything shot straight at the books and the other person’s hand.

In a split second she was alarmed, and hurriedly wipe the other person’s hand, but the hand extended out was not appropriate and quickly grab the napkins from the drawer. –Opens drawer- The first thing is to wipe the miserable book covers, would recklessly wipe and apologize “Sorry, sorry, sorry.”

After that she stood up, and then bent down to wipe the other person’s hand with a napkin. One hand held the other person’s hand the other held a napkin. She did not expect the other side to shift his hand away and said: “Fortunately did not shoot in the face!”

Intonation was not fast nor slow, cannot decipher what emotion, but that whispered voice that is faint carries subtle warmth.

Zeng Li heard his voice, her heart stirred, and she gradually lifts her head. It seems like someone mistakenly pressed the slow button on the time machine: her gaze shifted from his hands to his sleeve cuffs, and continue to his shirt collar and finally settle on his face.

The man looks young, his face outline is distinct, and eyes dark and narrow with the white area carrying blue ripples.

Zeng Li was distracted, forced her head to lower, continue to wipe his library card and after that code scan and goes through the borrow procedure.

He picked up the books, did not speak a word, even did not glance at her and immediately left.

After he was gone for a long time, Zeng Li still looked at the window dazedly until the second person came to return books did she return to reality. She slides the mouse to exit the screensaver screen and on that computer screen information from the previous book borrowing appears.

The column of book borrowers clearly displays three words:

Ai Jing Chu

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