better late than never hehe
When the two returned to the classroom, Old Ye hadn‘t arrived yet.
“The questions I answered were actually all wrong!”
Fang Ziqi was holding his question sets while he beat his chest and stomped his foot with a huge sigh. “It’s over, it’s over, I didn’t do well in math. Now my average score will be dragged to death!”
Dream-Ge plucked a blue easy-open can and downed the cola. Hearing Fang Ziqi, he glared. “Shut the fuck up. Laozi didn’t do either of the last two big questions, yet didn’t say a word. But you made one wrong choice and still have the face to bullshit!”
After speaking, he gloomily took another sip of his cola. “My last three multiple-choice answers in math and physics were all blind guesses. The proctor stood next to me for a long time and really fucking watched me fill them in randomly from beginning to end, then just left! Laozi’s hand which was used to guess was shaking!”
Fang Ziqi covered his mouth and held back a laugh, causing his shoulders to tremble.
Zhang Yueshan comforted, “It’s okay Dream-Ge, the accuracy rate is 25%. If you’re lucky, your hit rate might actually be quite high!”
“Makes sense, I’ll stake all of it on luck!”
Dream-Ge then changed the topic. “Speaking of which—”
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Chu Yu and Lu Shi walk in and quickly waved at them. “School Flower, Lu-Shen, quick quick quick, come and listen!”
Chu Yu moved over. “Listen to what?”
Dream-Ge faked a cough twice and lowered his voice, saying mysteriously, “You won’t believe who sat in front of me when I took the exam!”
Upon hearing there was a story, several people approached one after another. “Who was it?”
Dream-Ge touched the back of his head. The burly 1.8m tall boy was a little shy. “It-it was the one from last time, the girl with the strawberry tissue package beside the court!”
Zhang Yueshan was shocked. “Fuck, it’s destiny! You met her again?”
Dream-Ge’s smile became increasingly brighter. “Yeah yeah yeah. That girl has better grades than me, but because she failed the final exam last time, she ended up sitting in front of me. She said that she’d pass me her test paper so I could copy it. Although I was very tempted, how could I agree!?”
Chu Yu didn’t understand. “Why didn’t you copy?” He then suddenly realized. “So it turns out that Dream-Ge, you actually have some personal integrity!”
Dream-Ge waved his hand. “School Flower, how is it that you never seem to keep up? If I’d really copied, I would’ve appeared shameless, how could I leave a glorious impression in a girl’s heart then?”
Chu Yu contemplated for two seconds.
Then he was enlightened. “So it turns out that Dream-Ge, you fell—”
Dream-Ge put a hand over Chu Yu’s mouth. “Whisper, whisper, whisper!”
Chu Yu nodded quickly, only then did Dream-Ge remove his palm.
Chu Yu seriously changed tones and whispered, “Dream-Ge, you’ve actually fallen in love with someone!”
At that moment, the classmate on lookout who was keeping watch by the doorway shouted, “Old Ye’s coming!”
Everyone dispersed back to their own seats, moving at lightning speed.
When Old Ye walked into the classroom, the whole class was sitting in their seats properly and well-behaved.
Old Ye was very satisfied. He propped his hands on the trapezoid-shaped lectern and said, “In a moment, all of us – your teachers – will gather to grade the tests. I’ll have no time to manage you all, so each and everyone of you should take care of yourselves. Your results will come out tomorrow. Tonight is probably the last of your merriment, while tomorrow is for crying, for repenting and turning over a new leaf, and for asking your parents to ask their parents.”
It was rare for Old Ye to not irrigate them with some chicken soup for the soul. It was likely that he really was in a hurry, because he left after a few sentences.
The tables and chairs were moved and soon the classroom became noisy once again.
The committee member of livelihood tugged at their throats to arrange those on day duty, while Dream-Ge loudly asked if anyone wanted to form a team to play basketball.
Chu Yu packed his school bag.
He stuffed two question sets into his bag, but then suddenly remembered that exams were over so he no longer had to stay up late at night to read and answer questions, so he put the book back.
Seeing his movements, Lu Shi asked, “What are you doing tonight?”
Chu Yu pondered. “I guess… read comics? I haven’t taken out nor laid eyes on any comics for three weeks now. If I don’t accompany them, they’d probably get very lonely.”
“Mm,” Lu Shi nodded, “I’m going to have dinner.”
Watching him walk towards the door, Chu Yu suddenly noticed that Lu Shi wasn’t holding a pen in his hand.
Was he not going to solve questions tonight?
Chu Yu had no appetite so he slowly walked back to his dorm room. Taking out the comics he hadn’t yet read, he picked one out.
A light-colored carpet was spread upon the ground where Chu Yu was barefoot. He carried a comic book as he leaned against the side of his bed and sat down.
Turning a few pages, Chu Yu found that he couldn’t concentrate. He stared at the pictures on the book’s pages, but what he was looking at wouldn’t register. A mess of test questions occupied his mind.
After the exams, he was in a weak state of mind. In order to protect his fragile little heart, he simply didn’t ask about Lu Shi’s answers. When Zhang Yueshan and the others were discussing their answers, he also didn’t participate.
The checking was determined and entirely out of his hands; he’d tried his best.
Tossing away the comic book, Chu Yu lay on the carpet and stared at the wide green leaves of the Strelitzia in a trance.
If he failed the exam, it was impossible that he’d cry. After all, he was self-aware; it was a quick crash course, the kind given to him by a great god. The point was… if worse comes to worst, he could just try again and study harder. After the monthly exams, there were still midterms. If the midterm exams wouldn’t do, then weren’t there still the final exams?
Anyway, in the end, he could still show his mother that he could also do very well.
After contemplating such things in his heart for a while, Chu Yu mentally prepared himself for the worst and picked up the comic again.
After an unknown amount of time, there was a knock on his door.
Chu Yu got up with the comic book in hand and opened the door.
Seeing the person standing outside, he was stunned for two seconds before hastily saying, “Give me a minute!”
The door closed with a slam.
Chu Yu scanned his dorm room, scratched his hair, and immersed himself in beginning to tidy up.
Clothes were thrown into the dirty clothes hamper, shoes were all orderly arranged, everything on the table was swept into the drawers, the wardrobe door was shut, and the pillows were placed properly.
It wasn’t until the bedroom could be seen again that Chu Yu reopened the door. “That… come in.”
Lu Shi walked in.
He pretended not to see the jammed drawers, the wardrobe door where fabric was peeking out from the corner, and the crumpled sheets.
His gaze fell on the piled up comic books beside the bed. Lu Shi naturally sat down on the carpet with his back leaning on the bed and raised his head to ask Chu Yu, “Let’s read together?”
Chu Yu agreed, thinking there shouldn’t be any problems and questioned Lu Shi, “Which genre do you like? I’ll find one for you.”
“Whichever one you like reading the most.”
Chu Yu grabbed a book and handed it over to Lu Shi, then sat down next to him.
Lu Shi didn’t talk much, and Chu Yu also didn’t say anything. The room was quiet with only the sound of pages turning every once in a while.
He didn’t know if it was the effect of Lu Shi’s own calming aura, but Chu Yu was no longer that panicky so he could finally read the comics.
However, after reading for a while, Chu Yu felt that his eyelids were getting a bit heavy as his head also drooped.
His foundation was too weak, and his preparation time was too short. In the last three weeks, he’d studied intensively every day, waking up at 6 or 7 in the morning and going to bed at 12 in the night. He was even studying and doing questions in his dreams.
The entire thing was an ordeal.
Now that the exams were over, his nerves relaxed and his entire person no longer had any energy. He was terribly exhausted.
Lu Shi had straightened his left leg, bent his right, and propped the comic book on his knee, turning pages one by one. Before he could get through half of it, he felt a weight on his right shoulder.
Chu Yu had closed his eyes, his soft hair caressed the skin on the side of his neck while his breathing was even, there was even a faint black shadow under each eye.
He’d fallen asleep.
Lu Shi stopped his little movement of flipping through the comic book and sat quietly— motionless.
The next day, Chu Yu carried black-bone chicken soup in a thermos cup, and as soon as he arrived in the classroom, he was blocked by Fang Ziqi.
“School Flower, are all the god statues you took out before still here?”
“Yeah, what’s up?”
Fang Ziqi was restless and anxious. “Quick quick quick, let me pray again, I have an ominous premonition. I woke up early this morning and my eyelids jumped. I think my grades are probably going to regress!”
Chu Yu asked him, “Which one do you want to worship?”
“WenQuXing, yes, WenQuXing1Fourth star of the big dipper, governs literature.!”
Chu Yu placed WenQuXing on the table then Fang Ziqi put his palms together. He muttered a lot, but no one heard clearly what he was saying.
Li Hua’s eye sockets were also dark. “Study Rep, feudal superstition2Refers to the beliefs and thoughts conceived by the folks, such as fictitious settings and rumors, believing in gods and ghosts, or blindly indulging in religion and worships a certain character or practicing strange methods. is intolerable. Plus, the results have already come out, so even if you worship WenQuXing now, will the numbers on your transcript change out of thin air? Please wake up.”
“Who was the one who energetically made offerings before the exam?”
Fang Ziqi displayed a profound expression on his face as he stated, “I pray to God and worship Buddha for peace of mind. Young man, you don’t understand.”
As soon as Fang Ziqi finished speaking, a burst of laughter broke out on the other side of the classroom.
The boy’s pitch was very high. “Hahaha, Guan Yiyang, if you become a father, can we bask in your light and also be uncles?”
“I don’t want to be an uncle, I’d have to give my nephew pocket money during the Chinese New Year. It’s not a good deal!”
“Who cares, his family’s well-off anyway, maybe he’ll honor you and give gifts every new year and holidays!”
Guan Yiyang’s voice dragged out for a long time. “Lower your voices a little, the grades haven’t come out yet and the results aren’t set in stone.”
The high-pitched boy laughed even louder. “Guan Yiyang, this is where you’re wrong. Do you really believe in some person’s fierce words?” After speaking, he squeezed his throat and exclaimed, “Ah, you’re my father!”
Several people laughed.
Fang Ziqi’s face sank and he was about to go over when Chu Yu stopped him. “The grades will arrive soon. Let them jump around now, their faces will hurt in a while.”
Fang Ziqi thought it was reasonable. He gazed at Chu Yu with anticipation in his eyes. “School Flower, your mentality is really excellent, so calm and collected!”
Chu Yu faintly smiled. “I’m faking it.”
In fact, his heart was buzzing with nerves at the moment.
The homeroom teacher, Old Ye, entered under everyone’s anxiously-awaiting gazes. Lu Shi came late today, following in behind Old Ye.
“All students are present, right?”
Old Ye put down the stack of white report cards. There were wisps of red around his eyes, but he was in good spirits.
“I graded the exams yesterday and my horizons were broadened yet again. I walked into the office full of excitement, put on my glasses, and picked up my red ballpen. When I took a closer look, I was made to question, ‘What is in the reading comprehension? What language was used to write this? Did I teach in such a way?’ Thus, I decided to swap with the teacher from the next class over and proceeded to mark the essays.”
Old Ye had a grave face and was heartbroken. “Essays, they were essays which let a hundred flowers bloom3Freely made, freely expressed.. I even marked a poem prose that was no more than eight sentences and less than seventy words. In order to make up for the word count, the poet insisted on writing a delicious prose eulogizing the food in the cafeteria, and repeated it four, five, ten times!”
Dream-Ge rapped his table at his seat. “Sir, if you still don’t announce the results, I’ll explode on the spot because of how fast my heart is beating!”
Only then did Old Ye stop his lengthy lecture. “Well, in order to prevent classmate Luo Jiaxuan’s on the spot death, I’ll read the results next.”
The classroom suddenly quieted down. Chu Yu clenched his fists on his lap and took a deep breath.
Li Hua whispered, “That snow-white touch of the transcript looks like a death sentence!”
He was spinning his pen like a propeller while saying this.
Zhang Yueshan didn’t reply, but started turning his Rubik’s Cube as if to launch it flying.
Old Ye picked up a transcript and began reading aloud.
“Lu Shi— placed first in the class and the grade. Excluding Chinese where he ranked second, he ranked first in each individual subject, his scores for each subject are…”
In the classroom, everyone simultaneously gasped.
In contrast, the students from the branch school were used to it; wasn’t it just being crushed? They’d all calmed down after being trampled month after month. From time to time, they’d even bet on how many points Lu-Shen could overtake second place with.
Those from the main school, who hadn’t been in a class with Lu Shi before, all turned their heads to look at him, admiring the brilliance of a study god.
Someone whispered in awe, “Is this result really something a human could get on a test? Lu-Shen must be a machine covered in human skin!”
Zhang Yueshan, as Lu Shi’s fan, was excited and commented, “Lu-Shen will always be your Lu-Shen!”
Lu Shi got up and went to receive his report card without any superfluous expression on his face as usual.
Old Ye continued reading:
The names of the top-ranked students passed one by one. Chu Yu felt his breathing tighten, his heartbeat pound upon his eardrums, and his palms becoming hot.
Until he heard his name.
“Chu Yu, ranked 21st in the class and 199th in the grade. English score is 148, second highest in the grade.”
As Old Ye read out the scores and rankings, he was also quite emotional.
One needed to know that when these results had come out, the teachers in the office had almost dislocated their jaws in shock.
The English teacher had even specially taken out Chu Yu’s test paper to read through it once, and finally sighed, “This English essay is really good. I heard that he attended an international school during elementary and junior high school? But this elementary student handwriting really hurts my eyes!”
They’d been unable to contain their smiles.
Chu Yu sat still.
It wasn’t until Lu Shi called ‘Chu Yu’ from behind that he returned to his senses.
Standing in front of the lectern, Old Ye handed Chu Yu his transcript and said gently, “You have made immense progress!”
“Thank you, Sir.”
Chu Yu received his report card and returned to his seat in a daze.
Zhang Yueshan and Li Hua turned their heads together while Zhang Yueshan sighed. “Awesome, School Flower!”
Chu Yu was still a bit unable to respond, staring at the numbers on his report card, feeling like he was dreaming—
No, this level of achievement, I wouldn’t dare dream of it!
Li Hua stated in a low voice, “I feel refreshed, my entire body’s qi and blood are flowing unobstructed. I was watching Guan Yiyang just now when he heard your ranking and English test score of 148. His expression was in complete shock and his eyes were saying ‘I don’t believe it, I don’t believe it, this is fake’! Now his face is so black it’s going to drip ink. His deskmate has been looking over here, as if bereaved of a mother and a father! Heh, still wants to be an uncle, then he’ll kneel down and call you uncle, and it still depends on whether you’ll give him this opportunity!”
Chu Yu didn’t care about Guan Yiyang, he turned around and looked at Lu Shi. “I, I—”
He seemed to know what he was going to say. Lu Shi looked into Chu Yu’s eyes, his voice gentle and husky with a slight, light smile. “You worked hard.”
Hearing the three words Lu Shi said, Chu Yu’s eyes became a little sour.
He didn’t know what to say for a while.
In the end, he simply nodded and smiled.
As soon as they got out of class, Dream-Ge took big strides like during a layup and rushed towards Chu Yu. Slapping him on his shoulder, he exclaimed in excitement, “Our School Flower is so fucking awesome! He crammed and actually placed in the top two hundred of the exam! What kind of brain is this, huh?”
Fang Ziqi was also dying with excitement. “I actually seem to be shedding an old mother’s tears! I’m obviously only seventeen years old!”
Chu Yu, who was shook to and fro by Dream-Ge4Unclear if this is a metaphor as in he was swayed by Dream-Ge’s praises or he was literally shaken by Dream-Ge., was also very happy with his eyes bent into a smile. “I also think I’m awesome, why am I so good!?”
Dream-Ge laughed. “I fucking said that and thought School Flower would reply with a few modest words like, ‘This time I didn’t try hard enough, I’ll continue to work hard next time’, but it’s impossible!”
After saying this, he sighed, “And that guy, I wonder when he’ll take a moment to kneel down and call you Daddy!”
As he turned his head and glanced backwards, Dream-Ge found that the key person was no longer present. “Where did that black-hearted bastard, Guan Yiyang, go? Has he gone to find a remote place to practice calling out Dad?”
Chu Yu didn’t really take this matter to heart.
He was thinking about whether he should call Shi Yaling at noon, or wait until nighttime before calling.
But his mother might work overtime in the evening, while she should have a break at noon. Moreover, he was a bit unable to contain himself right now and wanted to tell his mother the news as soon as possible.
At that moment, the principal appeared at Class A’s door. “Chu Yu.”
Chu Yu looked up.
“Come to my office.”
The author has something to say:
Here’s a heart folded out of white A4 paper~ mwah mwah chu~ Good afternoon yah, my little fairies!5you like, so i yeet
staff shenanigansdisclaimer: none of these images are mine (except for the gdocs screenshots of course) so no, no silhouette or hand reveal happened here, okay!
- 1Fourth star of the big dipper, governs literature.
- 2Refers to the beliefs and thoughts conceived by the folks, such as fictitious settings and rumors, believing in gods and ghosts, or blindly indulging in religion and worships a certain character or practicing strange methods.
- 3Freely made, freely expressed.
- 4Unclear if this is a metaphor as in he was swayed by Dream-Ge’s praises or he was literally shaken by Dream-Ge.
- 5you like, so i yeet