Little Cutie Arc #3
The next day, Su Tang came to school as usual. It’s just that since he’d recently transferred into the school, he didn’t have any results from previous exams and could only head to the examination room to take them.
The examination rooms were allocated based on results, so the one Su Tang went to was the room full of idlers. The people there did their work quickly; they wrote their names and their admission numbers before seemingly choosing random options for their multiple choice questions. Boom, they finished.
A few form teachers were stricter than others and would pick out questions from assessment books to make the papers seem more challenging. After they did so, they were then satisfied.
The invigilators didn’t care about these students. They really didn’t know how to answer, and if they couldn’t sit still, they might as well sleep on their stomachs.
So, looking at it this time, the classroom seemed to have undergone a flip as there were some people working hard to finish their papers.
Su Tang was one of them; his results were considered not bad. He was the typical good, obedient student who would answer all the questions and didn’t dare to hand in empty papers. As for the other one furiously writing, it was the big brother on Su Tang’s right who seemed even more serious than Su Tang.
This guy was probably a straight-A student. He must’ve missed the previous exam and happened to land in this specific room. Su Tang thought about it for a while before continuing to answer questions.
The bell rang and the examination was over. Su Tang sat in the last row, and papers started to get collected. Many students looked over at him and some even teased him. They asked what class he was from and what his name was. After all, Su Tang was a fresh face there. He was pretty and charming, with a smooth and tender face, and big, round, sparkly eyes. He looked soft and dreamy, an appearance that many couldn’t resist.
Su Tang didn’t answer them and only showed a shallow smile. His smile was good-looking and it made those around him want to protect him and his wishes. When Su Tang walked over, everyone slowed down their movements, afraid of knocking into him.
Su Tang, for whatever reason, walked with his head down and coincidentally happened to bump into the ‘straight-A’ student who was writing seriously just moments ago. He casually looked over at the other’s paper and realised that it was indeed full—not of words, but of drawings.
He’d sketched a picture of the invigilator dozing off with a pencil; the posture and the expression seemed to be taken right from the person. It was simply too life-like. However, since he’d drawn it on the paper, would he really not be looked for by the teacher to talk?
It was still very impressive. Su Tang closed his mouth and recalled that he was about to submit his paper. On his way, he even saw many people who’d used knives to carve little houses and guns out of chalk. If someone were to say those were store-bought, they would be believed.
En, this examination room was full of unnoticed talent.
Su Tang completed what he had to and passed the paper to the teacher before going back to pack up his desk, ready to go to the cafeteria to eat.
But when he touched his pocket, he didn’t find his meal card1I believe most students in China use meal cards instead of cash to buy food in their school’s canteen, but I’m not too sure though and instead touched a shopping card.
His heart turned cold and he quickly took out all the contents of his pocket. He totally didn’t have it. Then it finally dawned on him that he must’ve taken the wrong card.
What could he possibly do now? Su Tang couldn’t help panicking; the moment he’d started the exam, he was already hungry and looking forward to lunch time. Who knew it would turn out like this.
Furthermore, he didn’t bring a single snack.
Su Tang felt a little frustrated and hugged his books to his chest. The more he thought about it, the more upset he felt. He’d just transferred to this school and needed to do an exam right off the bat. And after finishing said exam, he couldn’t even eat. He was new so he didn’t have anyone he could borrow a meal card from. Where should he go during the afternoon? To the canteen to watch people eat or to the corridors to stand alone and daydream?
This was truly miserable.
He leaned on the wall and watched the crowd passing by. He was feeling very wronged in his heart, and if it wasn’t for the people around him, he really would’ve cried out loud.
However, it wasn’t looking good now—his eyes were wet and his nose was starting to feel uncomfortable. It looked as if something was about to fall from his eyes and he was holding himself back as well as he could.
Students being released from class were always at their noisiest. Su Tang’s brain was buzzing and it made his heart feel more troubled.
Vaguely, he could hear someone calling Chi Shu Yan’s name, but when he looked up, he found that the people around him were too tall and were blocking his line of sight.
He’d probably heard wrong ba. Su Tang frustratedly looked down again and hugged his books tighter to his chest before immediately relaxing his hold, much like a child who was losing his temper.
“Su Tang?” Someone was calling him.
Though Su Tang promptly lifted his head and looked around, couldn’t find anyone. Chi Shu Yan then said, “I’m behind you.”
Only when Su Tang got onto his tiptoes did he finally see him. His heart warmed, as if spring flowers were blooming inside.
He wanted to run over, but the crowd was truly too much. Chi Shu Yan saw this and said to him, “Stay there, I’ll come over.”
Su Tang straight away nodded his head, his eyes sparkling and seeming full of anticipation. Chi Shu Yan saw his appearance and forgot everything in that moment, only wanting to quickly get over to Su Tang to pinch his little face.
The crowd was moving and there was a girl between the two of them. Chi Shu Yan gently tapped the other’s shoulder and asked, “Student, I want to get across. Could you move to one side?”
The girl’s face turned red and she hurriedly nodded her head before moving closer to the side. Chi Shu Yan thanked her loudly and took big steps towards Su Tang.
Seeing that someone wanted to squeeze in between them again, Chi Shu Yan grabbed Su Tang’s bag and pulled him towards himself, just like how one would do so to a little animal with a leash.
“Walk this way.” Chi Shu Yan pointed out a direction. He took the other’s stuff from him and helped him carry it.
“Ai, ai, ai, wait for me, you two.” Someone said from behind them.
Su Tang turned back and saw that the person who’d previously been drawing in the exam room was the one calling out to them. Chi Shu Yan glanced back at him and said, “Looks like we didn’t lose you.”
“Tsk, tsk, tsk.” That person shrugged and could only slowly walk behind them.
After leaving the teaching building, Su Tang found it more spacious and heaved a sigh of relief. He stopped with Chi Shu Yan under a pavilion, waiting for the person behind to catch up.
“The people in that crowd can really push. Isn’t it just eating? Is there a need to be so hurried?” That person wiped their face and finally got a chance to get a better look at Su Tang’s appearance.
“Ai, how coincidental, we took the exam together.” He said.
“En, en.” Su Tang nodded and looked over to Chi Shu Yan, unsure of what to say after.
In the end, Chi Shu Yan didn’t get to speak since the other person opened their mouth first. “I’m called Li Cheng. You must be Su Tang. Chi Shu Yan brought you up before. Welcome, welcome.”
“Thank you.” Su Tang smiled, finding this person very friendly.
“What are you saying thanks for ah. You’re treating me too much like a stranger.” Li Cheng waved his hands and appeared to be looking Su Tang up and down. He let out a ‘hehe’, “Do you know how I recognised you?”
“Are we eating or not?” Chi Shu Yan suddenly cut in. He gave Li Cheng a look which immediately made him straighten up. “Lord Chi, calm your anger, this small one2In olden day China, people would refer to themselves by their own names or by ‘this slave/small person/one’ when talking to a person of a higher status. For example, if someone was talking to the king, it would be like, “This slave obeys…” knows his wrongs. May the lord be generous and give me a meal.”
??? Three question marks appeared above Su Tang’s head. Li Cheng said, “Cough, I lost my meal card so I came to get a free meal.”
“Empty-headed.” Chi Shu Yan remarked.
When he heard that, Su Tang’s face instantly turned red because he remembered that he’d also come to get a free meal. Chi Shu Yan saying thisleft Su Tang speechless.
If he didn’t say it now, he would still have to say it later. If not, then when he eventually got to the cashier, whose card would he take to pay? Su Tang thought it over before finally saying in a small voice, “That, actually I also… forgot to bring my meal card.”
Chi Shu Yan was shocked and hurriedly replied, “It’s okay, everyone has moments where they forget something. Later, you can just use my card.”
Li Cheng burst out laughing after he heard what the other said and wanted to become suffering brothers3难兄难弟 nàn xiōng nàn dì = a pair of well-matched brothers who suffered together with Su Tang. He put his arm on the other’s shoulder, but Chi Shu Yan slapped it away.
He wasn’t angry at all and pointed at his own face, asking, “Lord Chi, does your face4Face = dignity/pride hurt?”
Chi Shu Yan ignored him and grabbed Su Tang’s hand to lead him to the canteen. Li Cheng caught up and continued to babble on to Su Tang.
“This is already the third year, so why did you transfer schools?” He asked.
“My parents are very busy so they sent me to a boarding school.” Su Tang replied.
“Then do you know anyone here?” Li Cheng asked again.
Su Tang hesitated and nodded.
Li Cheng asked once more, “Ai, heh, what’s his surname? What class is he from? Who knows, I might know him.”
Su Tang was silent for a second before he replied, “I only know Chi Shu Yan…”
Chi Shu Yan hadn’t said a word the whole time they were walking, however, when he heard Su Tang’s words, he actually smiled and rubbed the other’s hair. Although Su Tang was obedient and didn’t struggle, his face turned a little red.
When Li Cheng saw this, he suddenly felt very hurt and pointed at them. “I feel that I’ve been injured.”
“Does it hurt a lot?” Chi Shu Yan asked, his eyebrows raised.
“It’s not little, but this time, the harm is different.” Li Cheng covered his chest and continued, “As a single dog, I’ve been force fed dog food5Singles are referred to as ‘single dogs’ in China (usually done by youngsters) LOL // for someone to eat dog food is to be forced to watch a couple act cute and lovey-dovey in front of them – basically rubbing in their faces that they’re single.”
Su Tang felt shy, and just as he wanted to explain, Li Cheng said, “Do you know how he described you? He said you were cute. I asked how cute, and he said you were the cutest person he’d ever seen.”
Li Cheng finished what he wanted to say before he patted another student’s shoulder and went off to get a free meal from them. He smiled wickedly, “I won’t be a light bulb6灯泡 light bulb = slang for third wheel. Bye bye ah, lord Chi and little cutie hahahaha…”
Su Tang was too embarrassed to show his face and felt that the people around them were all staring at him. He finally couldn’t take it and tried to explain, “He was just kidding ba.”
“…” Chi Shu Yan found it hard to speak.
It seemed like… it wasn’t a joke?
Su Tang thought of this and suddenly felt like his heart was going to jump out of his chest.
dreamy here! im finally getting back on track thanks to sunshine(co-tl), meowmiao (editor) and xav-meimei (pr)! i really owe it to them （；´д｀）ゞ
i hope you’re enjoying this new arc as me hehe i really like college arcs! it gives me unrealistic expectations of my own college life which is super boring and hectic QAQ
thanks for reading and see you babes next week!