After the monthly exams were announced to take place right after National Day, once the last class had concluded, everybody dispersed with good spirits, restlessly itching to dash home straight away. Only Lin Yujing remained in her seat, drawing a huge sigh.
Shen Juan had attended every single class this week, which was the first since the start of school. He hadn’t skipped a single class, even being present throughout the entire self-study periods. When the end of class bell rang, he hoisted his empty school bag onto his back and stood up, looking at the bitter-faced Lin Yujing in amusement. “What’s wrong?”
“I don’t want to have a holiday,” Lin Yujing lowered her eyes and sighed. “I want to study. Can’t we just continue studying? Studying is such a beautiful thing.”
For a moment, Shen Juan didn’t know how to reply. He had never seen such a forward-thinking student.
Shen Juan looked at the girl who emitted unhappy vibes all over from head to toe and went quiet for a while before slowly asking, “Do you want to study or do you want to avoid going home?”
Lin Yujing sighed again. “I don’t want to go home.”
“Hm?” Shen Juan inquired, ”Why don’t you want to go home?”
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By the time he reached the doorway, Shen Juan’s footsteps paused and he turned his head back. “Oh yeah.”
Lin Yujing raised her head. “Hm?
“I’ll be at the studio the whole day on the 11th.” Shen Juan said.
“Ah,” Lin Yujing appeared at a loss, confused as to why he would tell her this. And so, she could only follow up with, “You’re not going out to play?”
“There’s nothing fun to play with,” Shen Juan dropped his eyes and calmly said. “If you don’t have anything to do, you can come to my place and stay for a while. I’ll be there the whole day.”
Lin Yujing couldn’t tell if she was being too sensitive. She felt as if he was secretly implying that ‘if she had no place to go, she could go to him.’
Even though Shen Juan looked sloppy, unmoved by anything, he was certainly quite a meticulous person. He must’ve heard the mountainous feelings in her earlier words.
It was back at the 7-11 convenience store entrance where they met for the second time that Lin Yujing realized this.
This ruthless delinquent brother had a very well-hidden principled warmth which didn’t seem to conform to his character.
Take for example, when the two of them fought, he wasn’t willing to become an innocent bystander—When Lin Yujing’s friend was pulled into a fight, he would naturally help her out.
Take for example, he would notice the innocent rice ball that had fallen down, buying another one to compensate for it.
Take for example, on the day they had hotpot, he had undoubtedly seen the tiny vigilance and hesitation she held towards them, which was why he confiscated her cup and got coke for her.
These unconscious, meticulous displays of warmth seen leaking from his bones were a manifestation of one’s upbringing and discipline. It was a sign of imperceptible influence. He had definitely come from a happy family or was raised in a warm loving home since young.
Lin Yujing put down the books she was holding and leaned on her chair, heaving a sigh.
“How nice,” she whispered to herself. “Having someone who cares for you sure is nice.”
The people in class had already gone, leaving her all by herself. The entire floor was silent, occasionally a few students could be seen crossing through the playground outside the building. Through the window, one could see the lights of the third years’ north building classroom turned on from afar, like little bright blocks of color cut apart.
In the empty classroom, the air carried the scent of printing ink and books, as well as a smidgeon of loneliness.
After attending class the whole day, there was a faint feeling of fatigue. Lin Yujing dropped her head down and rubbed her eyes, her low murmur melting into the quiet atmosphere, “I also want that.”
Lin Yujing spent her 11th very peacefully. Though Shen Juan had told her she could sit around in his studio, she didn’t really plan to take him up on his offer.
She didn’t know if he was really free. Moreover, the monthly exam was going to take place after the 11th. As this would be Lin Yujing’s first exam in this school, she was unsure of how difficult Eighth High’s exams were going to be. She also didn’t know whether her IQ and level would atrophy after muddle-headedly passing through the whole week so she earnestly cracked her books open at home.
Fu Mingxiu had finally returned home as Lin Yujing saw him the instant she arrived home after school. He was sitting on the living room sofa, playing on his phone. Hearing the sound of her return, he didn’t even look at her, wearing a face of indifference, yet for some reason, it appeared a little stiff.
Lin Yujing looked at his face that appeared as though he didn’t want to see her and hesitated over whether to greet him or not. In the end, she decided to do as he wished and with her own discretion, didn’t exchange any words with him, preparing to head up the stairs.
Ever since the previous incident, she held complicated feelings towards Fu Mingxiu.
Lin Yujing had always been someone who didn’t fear people who held sinister intentions or malice. If there was somehow a hint of kindness mixed within hostility, she would have a very strong sense of uncertainty.
In the end, after taking a few steps, Fu Mingxiu suddenly lifted his head and looked at her with a frown. “Did you not see me?”
“…..” Lin Yujing replied. “I did.”
The scrunch in Fu Mingxiu’s eyes grew even deeper, “Then why did you act as if you didn’t see me?”
Lin Yujing suddenly felt that Guan Xiangmei must’ve had a hard time raising him as her son was truly outlandish. Though he clearly looked quite mature, he was as arrogant as a little princess.
Father Jing(1) will indulge you.
(1) Lin Yujing is referring to herself as Father Jing. Remember: To call yourself the father/dad of someone is to think yourself as superior to the other.
Lin Yujing greeted him and didn’t want to get into a row with him, patiently inquiring, “Does brother have something to tell me?”
Fu Mingxiu looked at her with a face that looked like he had a lot more to say yet 10 seconds passed by and not a word was uttered.
Lin Yujing turned around and prepared to head up the stairs but just as she reached the base, she got called out again. “Hold on a second.”
Lin Yujing stood where she was and gritted her tooth. After heaving a huge sigh, she then turned around.
Fu Mingxiu looked at her. “Don’t think that I’ve accepted you. You also best not have any devious ideas.”
Lin Yujing nearly couldn’t hold back her laughter. She sincerely wanted to tell him to go look for a psychiatrist. Was it because the pressure of having a new stepfather bring in a daughter to the family too big for him to handle leading him to have mental problems?
“What devious ideas?” Lin Yujing asked.
“Don’t even think about laying a hand on the Fu Family’s company.” Fu Mingxiu said with a gloomy face.
Lin Yujing let out a chuckle.
The young girl was still wearing a uniform, backpack on her back and luggage in tow. Her pretty fox-like eyes curved up in a smile, appearing very lovely. “Don’t worry, brother. I really don’t want a piece of your company. Why would I want it? I’d only be worked like a dog, going early and coming back late. You can have it. You can have it all. Go take charge of making money.” Lin Yujing pointed at him then pointed at herself, “I’ll take charge of going to you for money if I run out. After all, we’re siblings, we should at least help each other out.”
“…..” Fu Mingxiu looked at her in disbelief.
Lin Yujing snapped her fingers at him before skipping up the stairs while humming a tune.
Fu Mingxiu was left standing in place, glaring at her figure with an expression as though he had eaten shit.
The day of the monthly exam, Lin Yujing had gotten up very early.
The exam originally didn’t require them to arrive at school very early, however, because it was Liu Fujiang’s first time having to experience his class’s first official exam, he was very excited as well as a little uneasy. As such, the night before, he reminded the people in the class group chat to come at the usual time to school so that he could spare 10 minutes to teach biology just before the exams started.
After he delivered his message, the usual lively messages consisting of ‘Hey, have you played the new game?’, ‘I downloaded it last night and deleted it in 10 minutes, 3D games are nauseating.’, ‘Did K shop come out with a new autumn and winter fashion?’, ‘I saw, it was so ugly’, ‘The competition’s about to start, boys. I’m going to whoop your asses in the game.’
—and the like and basically any other messages that did not revolve around studying, instantly fell into a dead silence as though it had been a dead group that hasn’t had any buzz in the past 800 hundred years.
Lin Yujing at that time was very curious as to how many people would be able to arrive when morning settled in.
Upon reaching the entrance, Lin Yujing first went to the canteen to buy breakfast. She even specially bought two cartons of soy milk, one of which was walnut flavored. After all, Miss Lin was a very caring teacher, buying it for her only student, Shen Juan, for the purpose of boosting his memory.
Otherwise, it would be terrible if he couldn’t even score 40 marks on physics. Wouldn’t this be a hit to her business?
By the time she arrived at the classroom, Liu Fujiang was standing energetically at the podium, a countable number of students sitting in front of him. Despite the number of people arriving was less than 10, Liu Fujiang’s spirits were not dampened at all and at the sight of Lin Yujing, he even revealed a happy smile. “Good. Lin Yujing is also here. We have 9 people in total here today. What do we call this? It’s called a small class teaching. The quality of such teaching is very high. Look at Nineteenth High next door, the private high-class school. They teach in small classes and the effect is very good–”
Lin Yujing: “….”
Liu Fujiang used about 7 minutes to praise the nine students’ enthusiasm and the remaining 3 minutes to talk about biology questions. After this, the elite class of 9 people dispersed, the tables and chairs moved away in preparation for the exam venue.
The last exam venue was on the first floor, in the liberal art class’s classroom. The atmosphere in the liberal art class was different from the science class. The blackboard bulletin at the back was decorated very prettily, covered in dense characters and drawings, evidently appearing worked hard on.
The blackboard at the front contained big words in a pretty calligraphy style—Today, I hold the long rope in hand but when will I be able to restrain the mad dragon of the Jiang family?(2)
(2) This is from the lyric poem 清平乐，六盘山 by Mao Zedong, recounting the journey of the long march, expressing the Red Army soldiers’ iron will to move forward bravely and their firm belief in winning the war of resistance against Japan. This is a victory song of marching forward in battle, a manifesto to inspire and stir up the fighting spirit in people.
Lin Yujing recalled the look of their class’s blackboard and only remembered the big words Li Lin used a white chalk to draw on—Please drink chrysanthemum tea in spring and autumn to clear internal heat, detoxify and relieve inflammation.
Beneath it, he even used yellow chalk to draw a little chrysanthemum flower.
–Sixteen words and a flower that covered the whole entire blackboard had given their class an unsuspecting sweep of first place from the bottom of that month’s blackboard decorating contest for their grade.
During the examination, schools did not enforce uniforms on students and because of that, everybody practically wore their own clothes to the venue. Out of all the school days, it was only during these few days that they did not have to wear the uniform. As such, everybody was very lax, most particularly, the last exam venue with students wearing all sorts of clothing.
The girl in front of Lin Yujing even wore lace stockings. Upon sitting down and taking off her jacket, she revealed her spaghetti-strapped shirt. The weather in October was already starting to turn cold and the classroom temperature was even lower than it was outside, so Lin Yujing only felt cold looking at her.
10 minutes before the exam started, Shen Juan appeared at the doorway and the rambunctious exam room turned silent in an instant.
Lin Yujing raised her head and saw that Shen Juan was wearing a white sweatshirt with black jeans. His jeans made his legs look long and straight and his hoodie sweatshirt was in a simple style with no image adorning it, just a solid snow white color. Compared to the cool dudes in leather biker jackets, he looked very youthful.
Though, the air he was giving off wasn’t the least bit youthful at all. One could still feel his indifference through his simple attire.
Lin Yujing also didn’t know why.
Perhaps it was because Boss Juan was just the coolest.
Boss was not only an influential figure in the grade but in the whole school. He naturally accepted the surrounding stares. This guy didn’t even bring a pen to the exams. Walking to the last row with empty hands, drooping eyelids and a cold face, it very much suited his school tyrant image.
But Lin Yujing knew that it was because he had gotten up too early that he was feeling a little tired, his person a little muddle-headed.
Usually, he would be lying asleep on his table during first period to make up for the lack of sleep, however, today was exam day, so he was unable to do as such.
Lin Yujing gave him the soymilk with walnut bits. The soymilk packaging sold in Eighth High’s canteen was similar to gelatin desserts. The caps were sometimes screwed on very tightly. Lin Yujing liked drinking soy milk in the morning and would often ask for Shen Juan’s help whenever she couldn’t unscrew the cap off.
And so, Shen Juan narrowed his eyes and took it. Without even looking at it, he naturally unscrewed it open and placed it at her desk before sitting down beside her and lazily letting out a yawn.
The onlookers in the exam venue: …..What the fuck?
Lin Yujing also naturally expressed her gratitude and took two sips of it, tasting the walnut flavor. There really were walnut bits inside.
She then reacted, letting out a sound of realization. She pulled the straw out of her mouth and turned her head to him, “I bought this for you.”
Shen Juan also let out a sound of acknowledgement and speaking in a slightly hoarse voice, leaned forward on the table. “Then just leave it there. I’ll drink it later.”
Lin Yujing: “….”
……The onlookers at the last exam venue: ….Holy!?!? Cow?!?
The girl in lace stockings in front swiftly turned around and lowered her head, taking out her phone and typing furiously on it. [I might have accidentally stumbled upon the school tyrant’s love affair.]
The author has something to say:
Fu Mingxiu: I’m that righteous-clinging armored brave soldier who has been defeated repeatedly, never to win against my evil sister.
Shen Juan: The female student wearing lace stockings in the front row, you sure have some good judgment. Go to financial affairs later and get your doubled salary.