Not knowing whether it was because watching a tense and exciting fight had used up a lot of energy, Lin Yujing slept especially sound that night. It was the best sleep she had in the 3 days she’d been here.
After a night without dreams, when she opened her eyes the next morning, she was a little dazed, even thinking that she was still in her former home.
She blinked her eyes and at the sight of the ash pink laced thick window curtains and milky white velvet rug becoming clear, she slowly became sober.
To tell the truth, Guan Xiangmei’s superficial efforts were very well-done. Before Lin Yujing had even arrived, her room had been already prepared for her. There were even cuddly stuffed toys and several sets of expensive-looking pajamas that came along with it, appearing very considerate.
If she had managed to hide the wariness and alienation in her eyes on the first day they met a little better, Lin Yujing probably would’ve been able to warmly call her mom.
Lin Yujing rolled out of her blanket and got off the bed. After taking a shower and changing her clothes, she went downstairs, sharing a very stifling breakfast together with Fu Mingxiu.
The entire time, not a single person spoke up. When Lin Yujing greeted him good morning, he didn’t even raise his head. His expression was dark from beginning to end and he didn’t cast her a single glance at all.
Lin Yujing: “…..”
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“I’ve already made arrangements for your school. Mingxiu will be starting next week so he’ll take you to yours tomorrow.”
Oh, it was the rice ball from yesterday. She had forgotten to eat it.
“Since school is starting, don’t be nervous. You don’t need to be afraid as well.”
Was she going to school or going into the battlefield?
Guan Xiangmei: “If you have any problems, let Mingxiu know. There’s no need to be shy. Fortunately, his school is close to yours so he can take care of you a little more.”
Lin Yujing raised a brow, clearly not holding any hope towards Fu Mingxiu taking care of her matters.
“Understood. Thank you, auntie.” Lin Yujing replied.
After Guan Xiangmei had finished all her instructions, she hung up the call. Lin Yujing put down her phone and went off in a daze sitting on the bed for a while before sighing.
For a stepmother, whether she was being sincere or putting up a font, Guan Xiangmei sure acted well. At least, up until now, it seemed as if there was not a thing out of place, unable to pick out any flaws at all.
When she had to go to school in the past, Lin Zhi wasn’t even as meticulous as she was.
Lin Yujing threw her phone on the bed and got off. She walked towards the table and picked up the rice ball, taking a look at the best before date. It had to be kept at a temperature of 0-5 degrees and consumed within 3 days.
She peeled it open and took a bite. The taste of rice gone bad instantly spread in her mouth.
It was too disgusting.
Lin Yujing rushed into the bathroom and spat the rice ball out. She then rinsed the taste from her mouth several times before the taste finally dissipated. Turning to look at the rice ball on the table, Lin Yujing suddenly couldn’t help but feel apologetic towards Shen Juan.
She had wasted the last bit of kindness and warmth the delinquent had used, to buy her the rice ball.
Even though Guan Xianmei had told her that Fu Mingxiu was going to take her to school, Lin Yujing didn’t believe that would happen. The next morning, by the time she got down the stairs, as she expected, nobody was there.
Aunt Zhang was in the dining room. Lin Yujing drank her milk and finished her fried eggs before picking up a piece of toast and chewing it on her way out. Upon coming out of the doors, she saw Old Li standing beside the car with his head lowered, looking at his phone.
Lin Yujing walked over and leaned down slightly.
Old Li raised his head hastily, unable to hide the smile on his face in time. He unconsciously rubbed the screen of his phone on his clothes and hurriedly greeted, “Morning, Miss Lin.”
Lin Yujing’s mouth continued to chew on the piece of toast as she climbed on the car, and she vaguely responded, “Mornin’ Uncle Li.”
Lin Yujing’s new school and new home were not in the same area. Driving to school usually took about half an hour.
At the start of September, a lot of schools started a new term. Adding on to the rush hour in the morning, the roads soon became congested. After seeing the school gate right in front of her for more than an hour, she was still stuck in a traffic jam with a sea of cars in front.
She simply got out of the car and walked over. On her way, she spotted several boys and girls riding bicycles at the side without any obstructions, making the string of luxurious cars on the road look ridiculous.
Lin Yujing walked towards the school entrance and the first thing she did was to raise her head and appreciate the vast doors of Eighth High.
Before Guan Xiangmei called her yesterday, she had yet to ask where she was going to finish the last two years of school. And now, by the looks of it, this school seemed to serve as a good place.
At least, just from the looks of it, it was passable.
After passing through the gates, a small plaza could be seen. Across from it was a pathway lined with trees where the end couldn’t be seen. There were several outdoor basketball courts on the left and all kinds of buildings on the right but she didn’t know what they were.
Lin Yujing walked to the guidepost beside the plaza and walked straight ahead, finally arriving at what seemed to be the main academic building.
She stared at the entrance of the four storey tall concave building for a while at a loss, not knowing whether the building for second years was this place and where the teacher’s office was. Just as she turned around, she spotted a teacher coming out from inside. Lin Yujing hurriedly walked up to him and greeted. “Good morning, teacher.”
The teacher looked kind and amiable and had a bald head. He chuckled and responded to her greeting before hurrying on his way.
Lin Yujing quickly said, “I’m a new transfer student. I wanted to ask, is this the academic building for second years?”
Liu Fujiang was the class teacher for second year class 10. Ever since he received this class, he had reflected countless times as to when he had provoked the school management’s ire.
Eighth High valued the sciences over humanities. There were 10 science classes and 6 humanities classes. Class 1 was an experimental class and all the students who were in that class were influential figures who had won some kind of award. All the students in class 10 were also ‘influential figures’.
Liu Fujiang was a 50 year old teacher who taught biology. Despite working several years in this school, he had never been delegated the responsibility of managing a class. As such, he didn’t understand why the first time he had finally been given the job, he had become the caretaker of a group of ‘influential figures’.
But since he was already given the job, he could only put in his best effort. In Liu Fujiang’s perspective, there was no child who can’t be taught well, only teachers who can’t teach children well. As such, before the start of school, he had read several books in a week such as ‘Criminal Psychology’,’Prison Psychology’,’How to become a competent warden—Techniques for managing prisoners’.
When he heard that a new transfer student was arriving, Liu Fujiang was still immersed in the beautiful future vision of his education career. He was in high spirits, ready to welcome the new student at the school gate.
As a result, just as he left the academic building, he had coincidentally run into said transfer student.
Inside the second year biology group teachers’ office.
Liu Fujiang looked at her with a smile, “You’re Lin Yujing?”
Lin Yujing nodded.
The girl hadn’t gotten her uniform, wearing a white T-shirt and black skirt. Her hair was tied into a neat ponytail. She was quite a pretty young lady.
Moreover, she also didn’t seem to be a problematic student.
Liu Fujiang silently covered the ‘Techniques for managing prisoners books’ book lying on top of the table with some test papers and asked, ‘Did you come from Beijing?”
“Yes.” Lin Yujing nodded.
“From a subsidiary school right?” Liu Fujiang asked.
Lin Yujing continued nodding.
Liu Fujiang chuckled, “How was the subsidiary school? It’s not as big as ours, right?” He wore a proud face, “Our school is much bigger!”
Lin Yujing: ?
Lin Yujing continued nodding like a small chick pecking rice and echoed, “It’s humongous!”
Liu Fujiang appeared to be very satisfied with her, talking about the school environment to the quality of teachers. “Even though our school isn’t one of the very best in City A, it’s still ranked well. The quality of teachers and education is guaranteed. I’m not going to reveal a lot but do you know what the ascension rate1Ascension rate (升学率): Basically the percentage of students who are able to go into the next grade, eg 2nd years to 3rd years etc. of our school is?”
Lin Yujing’s curiosity was piqued. “How much is it?”
Liu Fujiang slammed the table, “98%!”
Lin Yujing: “Wow.”
Her reply brought extreme satisfaction to Liu Fujiang. “Do you know what our school’s first-tier university admission rate was last year?”
“I don’t know.”
Liu Fujiang: “90%!!”
Lin Yujing: “Wow!!!”
The neighboring biology teacher: “….”
Liu Fujiang was evidently very pleased with the new student. After saying a few more words to her, the preparation bell had just rung. As such, he took her to Class 10.
The bell signifying the start of class hadn’t rung so students still walked in the hallways, heading to their classrooms. The hallway of the academic building was brightly lit and several boys and girls could be found running. In good spirits, Liu Fujiang raised his voice and hollered. “No running in the hallway!”
Lin Yujing was startled by the sudden volume of his voice and Liu Fujiang noticed it, turning his head to inquire. “Did I scare you?”
Lin Yujing hurriedly nodded, “No, not really.”
Liu Fujiang chuckled, “Alright. Then be mentally prepared.”
Lin Yujing pondered over his words, wondering why she would have to make mental preparations when all she came here to do was to study.
Class 10 was located in the innermost part of the corridor of the fourth floor. She carried an empty school bag in one hand and followed Liu Fujiang into the classroom.
Lin Yujing lowered her eyes and stood beside the podium, finally understanding why Liu Fujiang had told her to make mental preparations.
The class bell had already rung yet the group of people in front of them were still out of their seats. The girls sat on top of the tables, giggling away in their cliques while one boy held up the pole of the mop, hitting it against the blackboard at the end, bellowing. “Who fucking touched my chrysanthemum tea drink!?”
Liu Fujiang cleared his throat and gently said. “Good morning, students. Everybody, settle down. Class is in session.”
Everyone ignored him.
Liu Fujiang didn’t get angry. “I am Liu Fujiang and from now on, I’ll be your class teacher. We are now about to spend the two most important years of your life–”
The boy holding the mop pole at the back had a new discovery, his anger reaching a new boiling point. “Who fucking poured puree into my chrysanthemum tea!!!”
Liu Fujiang persevered. “–This is my first time acting as a class teacher. I firmly believe that there are no students that can’t be taught well, only teachers that can’t teach students well….”
Lin Yujing had a faint feeling that the 98% exam success rate Liu Fujiang had mentioned earlier was a lie.
She raised her empty school bag and stood at the side of the podium, leaning against it quietly. With her head lowered, she listened to Liu Fujiang start talking about the mysterious happenings during his time teaching in school.
In the blink of an eye, the whole classroom turned mysteriously quiet.
Liu Fujiang’s voice sounded particularly clear at this moment. “At that time, I was still quite young so my temper wasn’t as good as it is today. I asked the student why he had come late and guess what he told me at the time. He told me. ‘Teacher, I stayed up all night doing homework so I couldn’t get up in time.’ Could I still get angry with him? He was such a good kid.”
Not a single person spoke, the silence deafening.
Lin Yujing raised her head and followed the direction of everyone’s gazes, turning to look at the entrance.
Shen Juan stood at the doorway, wearing the school uniform consisting of a white jacket and black pants. He didn’t seem to have managed to comb his hair in time, appearing a little messy.
With drooping eyelids and a hoarse and nasal tone voice, he greeted, “Good morning, teacher. I was up all night doing homework so I arrived late.”