She rapped on the teacher’s office door. The form teacher looked up from his book and waved her over. He then reached for the two sets of uniforms resting on the edge of a nearby chair.
“Yi Xi, these are your school uniforms.”
Tao Yi Xi received them with both hands, “thank you, Sir.”
“Are you able to keep up with your studies?”
“There are some parts that I don’t understand. I’ll need to go back and digest it further.”
The form teacher nodded, “you have the right learning attitude. If you still can’t make sense of it, you can just ask me, understand?”
“En, I will.”
The girl stood straight, her pupils were clear. In class, he noticed the girl’s serious attitude towards learning. She was indeed a well-behaved student.
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Mbl qsax vlynbla rsdelale qsa y obkzl, “usw olal alnsxxldele cu Pkalnvsa Qw. Fs yal usw qyxkzkya okvb Kkdt Zwyd?”
Mys Zk Dk qyzvlale, “ol’hl sdzu xlv y qlo vkxlp.”
“Mbld es usw pvyu dlya Qw Kkdt Zwyd?”
“Rq usw byhl vbl srrsavwdkvu, nyd usw kdqsax Pkalnvsa Qw ycswv Kkdt Zwyd’p pkvwyvksd yv pnbssz? Tl nyd’v jllr pjkrrkdt nzypplp lhlau eyu. Uyd’v cl vbyv bl rzydp vs alrlyv ydsvbla ulya ytykd.”
Mys Zk Dk’p lulcasop fszvle, “alrlyv?”
“Zlp,” vbl qsax vlynbla lmbyzle kd ydtla yp bl takrrle bkp byka.&dcpr;
“Gde vbyv Ck Zwl vss. Gzoyup qszzsokdt dlmv vs bkx, vbl vos pwal yal vos rlyp kd y rse. Jsvb tayelp yal liwyzzu cye.”
The puzzle in her heart was finally answered.
It’s no wonder…
If one had poor grades, one could hire a tutor. She did not expect that it was so bad that he had repeated a grade. No wonder his dad wanted to find someone to monitor him constantly when he was at the school.
“Since you’re here, bring this homework back for Jing Yuan.”
“Is he not attending afternoon lessons?”
The form teacher sighed, “according to past experiences, he wouldn’t be coming. Will have to trouble you to bring it back for him.”
Tao Yi Xi responded with a smile, “it’s no problem. Does Teacher have any further instructions?”
“No, you should go for your lunch.”
“Then, goodbye Teacher.”
When Tao Yi Xi exited, that girl was still waiting for her at the office door. She even accompanied her back to the classroom to put her things. The girl enthusiastically babbled along the way.
“I haven’t introduced myself yet. My name is Zhou Zhi, ‘zhi’ is written the same as in ‘shu zhi’1树枝的枝 (shu zhi de zhi) which directly translated to ‘branch’ in ‘tree branch’.. Or you can call me Zhi Zhi, that’s my nickname!”
“Zhi Zhi, nice to meet you,” Tao Yi Xi’s smile was slightly stiff as she tried to maintain some distance between her and that classmate.
Zhou Zhi was thick-skinned and could not detect the strain in Tao Yi Xi’s tone. In fact, having a conversation so closely allowed her to notice that Tao Yi Xi’s smile was even more dazzling than she first imagined.
Zhou Zhi’s hysterical inner OS2OS stands for overlapping sound. So ‘inner OS’ is essentially an inner monologue.: Ahhh!… She’s SO pretty… Her skin is so white and tender, no acne, and can’t even see her pores! *Admiration* Eyelashes are so long, and there’s a beauty mole under her left eye too! WSL3Chinese internet slang; WSL = 我死了 (I’m dead) Usually used to describe the excitement of seeing something cute.!
She liked everything about her. From the moment Tao Yi Xi stepped onto the podium to introduce herself, she was captivated.
She admitted that it was because of Tao Yi Xi’s face that she first approached her. How nice would it be if they could become friends!
Zhou Zhi became more enthusiastic, “I’ve asked my friend to grab our school’s signature sweet and sour pork tenderloin. It is only available on Mondays and Wednesdays. It’s super delicious! You must try it later.”
“Mhmm, thank you.”
As they spoke, Zhou Zhi stepped closer to her, “Which school did belong to previously?”
“I used to study in another city.”
Zhou Zhi’s eyes lit up. This meant that she was the little fairy’s first-ever friend in this school!
“I’m a local! In the future, I’ll take you to eat loads of delicious local food.”
Exuberantly, Zhou Zhi involuntarily hooked her arms with Tao Yi Xi’s. Tao Yi Xi stiffened as she looked down at the area where the two were linked but did not say a thing.
“I also don’t know what the form teacher was thinking! To let a delicate girl, like you, sit beside Gu Jing Yuan.”
She tilted her head and continued to gossip, “Gu Jing Yuan has a bad reputation. He fights every day and gets called to write self-reflections. He also has unknown ties with the students in the vocational high school next door. It’s rumored that they are all gangsters over there. But then again, he is very handsome… So he’s worthy of the title of school grass4The most handsome boy in the school..”
Zhou Zhi peered at her, “since you’re here, it’s time for our school flower to give way.”
Tao Yi Xi smiled but did not refute. She also knew that she was not lacking in the appearance department. After all, this face of hers had brought about many disasters upon herself previously.
As they made their way, Zhou Zhi pointed out the different landmarks, and soon the two arrived at the cafeteria.
“Zhi Zhi, over here!” A couple of girls raised their arms and shouted.
“Coming!” Zhou Zhi naturally led Tao Yi Xi in their direction. The two seated girls eyed her curiously.
The girl with a ponytail probed Zhou Zhi, “this is?”
“She’s a new transfer student from our class, Tao Yi Xi.
“Yi Xi, this is Miss Bookworm, Tang Wan, from elite Class Eight. And that is Cai Li Ling from Class Two. We used to be in the same class in Grade One.”
“Hi,” Cai Li Ling waved her hand in greeting.
Tao Yi Xi nodded with a smile, “hello.”
Zhou Zhi placed the tray in front of her, “now that everyone knows everyone, quickly sit down and let’s eat!”
“You’re welcome, quick eat up. After lunch, let’s go to the mini kiosk to get a drink.”
Cai Li Ling continued the conversation, “what shall we get today? The new flavor last round tasted horrible.”
“Yesterday, I spotted a promotion for their cheesy yogurt drink. I think it was ‘buy three get one free’. It just so happens that there’s four of us.”
Zhou Zhi turned and asked her, “Yi Xi, do you want to try that?”
“I don’t mind.”
Zhou Zhi smiled contentedly, “hehe, Yi Xi you’re so nice.”
Tao Yi Xi faintly smiled as she quietly watched them while they chatted. Occasionally, Zhou Zhi would take the initiative to ‘cue’ her in. Although she did not have much to add, the four of them seemed to get along harmoniously.
This was something she had not expected when she joined this school.
As the form teacher had predicted, she had the whole desk to herself for the remaining afternoon classes. Even after she reached home from school, she did not spot the person in question. It was close to dinner time when Xia Yan reached home, carrying a few bags.
“Why are you the only one home?”
Tao Yi Xi reported truthfully, “Ge-ge skipped class.”
Xia Yan frowned and muttered, “skipped class again? Is he planning on repeating another year?”
She turned and addressed Tao Yi Xi, “why didn’t you stop him? Your Uncle Gu wanted you to watch after him. This point, you know, right?”
Tao Yi Xi was silent for two seconds before giving a nod.
“In the future, remember to look after your Ge-ge more. Understand?”
After all, Tao Yi Xi was still a child. Thus, she was quite unwilling, “but mom… I’m not familiar with him.”
Additionally, this so-called ‘Ge-ge’ was extremely hostile towards her.
“I’ve told you to address him as ‘Ge-ge’. Try to fawn over him more. After all, mom gave birth to such a beauty, no one can resist feeling softhearted towards you. Besides, you’re all still young. If you try to get more intimate with him, wouldn’t you naturally become more familiar?”
Tao Yi Xi pursed her lips. After she calmed down, she realized that it was pointless to continue this conversation with her mother, “I understand.”
“That’s my good girl,” Xia Yan carried her bags and left.
“Mom, aren’t you eating?”
“I just came back for a change of clothes. I wouldn’t be joining you for dinner tonight.”
Xia Yan left as hurriedly as she appeared. As soon as the only person she knew left, the whole villa felt even more desolated.
She was the only one at the overly spacious dining table. It was so much better having a meal with Grandma in the countryside on their simple and narrow table.
Tao Yi Xi quickly polished off her dinner and went back to her room. As she dug through her schoolbag, she pulled out a lot of blank papers. After much consideration, she went to seek the nanny. She was hoping that the nanny would be able to inform her when Gu Jing Yuan came back.
Coincidentally, Nanny Yang just so happened to be downstairs when she went down. Her mother told her previously that Nanny Yang worked for the Gu’s for many years, thus she had vast experiences and seniority in the household.
Nanny Yang shot a glance at her and seriously informed, “Jing Yuan doesn’t like others monitoring him.”
“You misunderstood. I wasn’t planning on monitoring him. It’s just that the teacher wanted me to pass him his homework.”
Nanny Yang’s attitude remained unchanged. Her profound nasolabial folds became deeper as she stared gravely at Tao Yi Xi. She truly believed that what Tao Yi Xi said was just a made-up excuse.
Tao Yi Xi choked, she could feel the animosity permeating from Nanny Yang. Compared to Gu Jing Yang’s blatant hatred, this felt even more alienating.
She proceeded to carry her homework to the living room. By the time she put her pen down, she could feel that her neck was sore. After all, this was not a study desk and chair, it was bound to be uncomfortable.
She stretched and yawned. The corners of her eyes were moist and hazy. Yet, there was still no movement from the entrance.
The hands of the wall clock gradually climbed to twelve.
She frowned as she changed to another book and supplementary teaching materials, and continued to self-study the parts that she believed needed more revision.
The sky had long darkened. The gated community was silent, with only the street lights and door being illuminated. When Gu Jing Yuan arrived back home and stepped into the living room, he felt that it was different from usual. Today the lights seemed to be brighter.
In the middle of his thoughts, a drawn-out cry called out, “Ge-ge, you’re finally back.”
Hope everyone enjoyed the first (and maybe only) mass release.
Give everyone a decent dose of this novel~ Hope it whets your appetites!