Ning Meng didn’t think that she would lift a boulder to smash her own foot.
In the beginning, she hated iron for not becoming steel and told him to always obtain his share. Now that it had come back to bite her in the arse, why did it hurt so much?
She opened her book and silently let out a sigh.
Shi Qi was beginning to grow less and less cute the more he got older. Seeing how adorable she looked, couldn’t he at least give her a break?
She rubbed her eyes, squinting at the Classical Chinese writing on the book.
She didn’t know what the little ghost was doing last night, merely running around in circles and causing her to get frightened, because of that, she had only managed to fall asleep very late into the night. Now, drowsiness had started to set in uninterrupted billows.
Fortunately, morning reading did not take too long and there was enough time before the next class started. Ning Meng set down her book and leaned her head on the table to catch up on sleep, soon falling into deep slumber.
Shi Qi propped his face, looking at her sleeping figure.
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Gqvla y zsdt vkxl, bl pyv wraktbv yde wdqszele y rklnl sq ryrla, eayokdt sd vsr sq kv okvb yd lyadlpv lmralppksd, bkp lhlau xshl nyaaukdt vbl pzktbv rskpl sq yakpvsnaynu.
Ju vbl vkxl nzypp ldele, Lkdt Yldt oyp pvkzz esgkdt sqq.
G rklnl sq ryrla pweeldzu yrrlyale kd qasdv sq bla yde obld pbl zkqvle bla blye qsa y zssj, Fbk Ck’p lmralppksd oyp nyzx yp bl psqvzu pyke, “Rv’p qkdkpble.”
Tla easopkdlpp kxxlekyvlzu hydkpble yde Lkdt Yldt vssj kv, qllzkdt nsxrzlvlzu pvwddle. Mbl rspvla eayod cu Fbk Ck zssjle zkjl y bkeeld valypwal, kv oyp lmvalxlzu xytdkqknldv.
Fbl kxxlekyvlzu prlole swv y plaklp sq raykplp.
Fbk Ck’p qynl vwadle vywv cwv sd vbl kdpkel, bl oyp nsxrzlvlzu ldfsukdt kv, dsv kdvldekdt vs kdvlaawrv bla qasx fycclakdt kdnlppydvzu.
Lso vbyv vblu olal kd vbl vbkae ulya sq pldksa bktb, vblu olal yzz yzzsole vs srv swv sq eskdt rbupknyz lewnyvksd. Lkdt Yldt vssj vbkp srrsavwdkvu vs ts cynj bsxl okvb vbl rspvla yde zlv Nkydt Wldtxlk pvknj kv sdvs vbl oyzz.
Vzldvu sq tkazp wpwyzzu nyxl swv vs cwu psxlvbkdt vs lyv yde vbl pvsal dlmv essa oyp yjkd vs y pdynj pwrlaxyajlv. Gp pssd yp vblu nyxl swv, vblu dyvwayzzu pyo bla ynvksdp.
The words “Shi Qi” weren’t written too big but they would still be noticeable when one’s eyes fell upon it.
Several little sisters recognized his name and seeing that it was inscribed on it, they first felt bewildered. When they got to know that it was his deskmate’s family that owned this store, they were immediately enlightened.
Helping your deskmate was a normal thing to do.
The group of little sister fans immediately couldn’t hold themselves back and ran towards the snack store to buy something to eat. News passed quickly from mouth to mouth and the snack shop’s business became more prosperous with each passing day.
Originally, their family circumstances weren’t that dire, their snacks were also inexpensive, and didn’t take too long to be consumed in between classes so all these points stacked up and became something great.
The poster that Shi Qi had drawn was very impressive.
“Did you see the newly opened snack shop outside? Shi Qi personally drew their poster, and it looks so good. I even took a picture with it.”
“He could draw? Why did I only learn of this now? This can’t go on, I need to take a look.”
“….It looks like the store was opened by his newly transferred deskmate. That deskmate doesn’t look that pretty so there’s nothing to worry about. Shi Qi wouldn’t fall for her, I reckon he just wanted to lend her a hand.”
“Now that you mention it, it does seem like giving assistance to the poor.”
Ning Meng was completely unaware of these discussions going on behind her back. Contrary to what others might expect, she bought some snacks as well as a bit of money from home, not forgetting the share to be repaid.
She didn’t think that using Shi Qi’s name would prove to be quite effective, just the number of customers today was a lot more than before and although their income could only be considered to be average, to their family, this was already enough.
Liang Fengmei didn’t know what the exact reason was but she still felt very happy.
✧･ﾟ: *✧･ﾟ:* *:･ﾟ✧*:･ﾟ✧･ﾟ: *✧･ﾟ:* *:･ﾟ✧*:･ﾟ✧
The first evening self-revision hadn’t started when the skies outside had already turned dusky.
Ning Meng leisurely walked back to school from home and saw the huge assembly hall from outside. She could even see the shadow troupe members enter.
Ever since their class teacher mentioned that they could freely ask them anything, whenever they didn’t have anything to do, a group of boys from the class would always run over to their side and then come back with dampened spirits.
When asked why they weren’t able to perform, the members of the shadow troupe didn’t respond.
Ning Meng felt it odd. Since the youngsters right now were showing interest, they ought to have started advocating as well, why did they keep insisting on keeping their mouths shut?
She felt it a little fishy.
However, she didn’t go over and question them. After looking at the time, there were only 20 minutes left before the bell would ring so she simply decided to change directions to head over to the auditorium since she saw no harm in doing so.
Having already arrived at the school for 2 days, she hadn’t taken a walk around the entire school, only getting acquainted with the building of the third years, whereas the big auditorium was situated in the administrative building.
The design was pretty and it carried a unique air.
Ning Meng stepped in through the massive doors and inside laid rows of red chairs. The lights weren’t too bright and the stage wasn’t well lit. She also had no clue where the group who had just entered had gone off to.
The area backstage wasn’t as spacious as the front.
Ning Meng softly walked over and saw several bustling shadows as well as a few performance props she hadn’t seen before.
Just as she was about to walk forward, she realized that there were a few paper dolls laying on the floor.
The paper dolls looked ordinary. They had two eyes, a nose and a mouth. However, there was something odd affixed to their joints, their bodies were painted red and green while their skin was a ghastly shade of white.
Ning Meng looked at the paper dolls on the ground and felt it odd. They didn’t look like the paper dolls she had seen on TV. Besides that, when time came to perform, all they needed to use was the shadow of the puppet, why was there a need to color them so brightly?
She asked in her consciousness, “Why did they need to color it?”
The system responded, “It’s a custom handed down from the past. The men are colored red while the women are colored green. They’re just like paper dolls. This shadow play troupe uses papercutting so they have to abide by the customs.”
Ning Meng then asked, “Shadow plays also use other things?”
The system explained, “Papercutting has become very rare. Generally, people nowadays use carved leather dolls, that’s why it’s called piying 1皮影戲(Pi Ying Xi) refers to Shadow Play, but breaking down each character into their root meanings Pi means leather, Ying means shadow and Xi means play.
Which was to say that this shadow play troupe was a bit more special.
Coincidentally, the old man from the shadow play troupe walked over to tidy up the paper dolls on the floor and earnestly placed them on the table.
The paper dolls were not as thin as she imagined them to be, in fact, they were quite thick.
Then, the elderly soon turned his head and asked, “Does the little lady have any matters with us?”
His voice sounded hoarse that if one were not close to him, it would be impossible to hear his words clearly.
Ning Meng pointed to the paper dolls and asked curiously, “Old grandpa, why is there only one hole for their eyes, are you not going to draw them on?”
There was only one black hole cut out on them, appearing very unsightly.
The old man measured her for a while before chuckling, “You can’t draw eyes on paper dolls. Otherwise, once you draw them on, they would come alive.”
Even though he was clearly making a joke, Ning Meng could feel cold sweat seeping from her back.
By the time she returned to her senses, the old man had already taken the paper dolls inside and left behind a sentence, “If you don’t have any matters with us, don’t come here.”
The arrival of this sentence was abrupt.
Ning Meng left the auditorium harboring many perplexities so she turned to ask help from the system, “What did he mean by that? Why can’t I understand it?”
If she couldn’t understand it then nevermind, she could still feel her hair standing on its end.
The system paid no heed and responded, “Aiya. They’re afraid you would disturb them while they’re making paper dolls. Go there less often and study hard to make progress everyday.”
When the last sentence came out, Ning Meng immediately thought of the testament she had left for Shi Qi and felt it a bit funny.
At that time, she also didn’t know why she had written such a thing for him.
But thinking about how the novel said that Shi Qi became more and more like a villain each day, she wanted to establish the right mindset and outlook on life for him which was why she had left these words.
She wondered what Shi Qi’s expression looked like when he saw the words she had left behind.
Immediately putting the matter of the shadow play troupe at the back of her head, she happily returned to the classroom and by the time she sat down, the class bell rang.
Evening revisions were always used for doing mocks tests and assignments.
The teacher would supervise them from the podium and would occasionally step down to inspect them. Ning Meng also couldn’t afford to act lazy, she had to put effort in her studies.
Before she could even finish one page of the test, she already felt exhausted.
Ning Meng bit her pencil, blanking out for half a minute and secretly taking a look at what Shi Qi was doing.
As a qualified grandmother, there was nothing wrong with observing her great grandson for a moment.
Moreover, she was currently his deskmate, so her viewpoint was more than apt.
She pretended to casually look over to Shi Qi’s side but before she could even see him clearly, she became frozen in place, unable to say a word for a long time with a gaping mouth.
Because there laid a paper doll on the window sill.
And it was the same paper doll she had seen in the auditorium. Eyes were drawn on the black holes and alterations were done on its joints, making it capable of moving.
The paper doll stuck close to the window, wearing gaudy looking clothes contrasting against its pale white skin.
White pupils were embedded inside its eye sockets while the rest of the eyeball was painted a bottomless black color.
According to logic, it should have reflected the darkness behind it but Ning Meng felt that the depth of its eyes were showing something else, appearing very creepy.
Didn’t the old man say that eyes couldn’t be drawn on them?
Ning Meng felt puzzled. Did this paper doll really come to life because eyes were drawn on it?
The paper doll saw her watching itself and suddenly its red thread-like lips pulled back into a weak arc, smiling strangely.
Its body crawled towards the window and not too long later, the whole pane of glass was occupied by its body.
There weren’t any other buildings behind the third year’s building, only underbrushes and fences far away, and so, contrasted with the appearance of the paper doll, the view of the night scene behind it appeared even scarier.
Ning Meng gulped, feeling her whole body quiver.
This was a lot more horrifying than encountering the little ghost last night. There was evidently something odd going on with this paper doll, its flat body was stuck on the glass, and under the lights, its color appeared strange.
She couldn’t help but shake Shi Qi who was doing his assignment.
Shi Qi pretended as though he didn’t detect it as he swept a glance at the window sill using the corner of his eyes. His lips hooked up as he asked in a low tone, “What’s wrong?”
Ning Meng pointed to the window and didn’t dare to speak.
Shi Qi turned his head and at this moment, Ning Meng discovered that the creepy paper had gone missing without a trace, as though it had never appeared.
She felt slightly incredulous, rubbing her eyes in disbelief.
She couldn’t have seen wrongly just now. That paper doll was definitely stuck on the glass window, smiling at her. It was even climbing upwards too.
Shi Qi turned his head over again and stared at her.
Ning Meng scratched her head in embarrassment and explained, “….I wanted you to open the window…to get some fresh air….”
Even she felt embarrassed hearing her own excuse.
Shi Qi nodded but said, “The air conditioning is turned on in the classroom.”
However, he still opened a tiny gap, his finger twirling around noiselessly in the window sill before he retracted his hand.
Very quickly, the air outside seeped in, contrasting with the stuffy air inside.
Ning Meng gloomily gave her thanks, “Thank you.”
She sat properly and pretended to write in her mock papers before stealthily asking the system, “I wasn’t hallucinating earlier right? Why did the paper doll suddenly disappear?”
The system thought for a moment before responding, “It was probably scared by your great grandson so it ran away.”
This response…Ning Meng felt that it made a lot of sense. After all, her great grandson could command ten thousands of ghosts, a mere paper doll was nothing but a cinch.
It was better for her to have sat next to her great grandson then, so that the ghost wouldn’t dare to come find her.
Shi Qi stared at his fingertip and saw that there was a tiny bit of powder on it. Rubbing his two fingers, a cool sensation transmitted into his nerves.
However, it soon quickly disappeared.
He knew early on that there was something outside but he never thought that it would immediately run off and there seemed to be plenty of them residing in the school.
However, his deskmate’s reaction did make him feel satisfied.
After doing several questions, Ning Meng was unable to help herself from taking another glance at the window outside.
And just as expected, that paper doll reappeared. This time, it appeared stuck on the glass in a different position and the expression on its face had changed, appearing even more repulsive and horrifying.
Shi Qi had taken in every bit of change in her behavior.
He tapped his pen on his lips and faintly asked, “What are you shivering for?”
Ning Meng stared at the window and the paper doll stared right back at her, baring its teeth. Its body was merely a flat piece of paper, looking clearly ordinary yet for some reason, it was terrifying.
Seeing Shi Qi staring at her, Ning Meng froze slightly.
She turned her head slowly, determined to preserve her face.
Turning her head nonchalantly and without blinking, she calmly claimed, “The air con temperature is too low. I feel cold.”
A long long time ago.
Grandmother would quiver on a very hot day.
Then afterwards, she would also say that she was afraid of the cold.
——”Shi Qi’s secretly hidden little diary”
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17: I seem to have seen through everything
TOC for Advanced Chapters – DMLA [Completed]