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  • The Flower of Youth Blooms when He Smiles

    Chapter 15

    As the voice was approaching, she just so happened to raise her eyes to look over.

    The boy was wearing a blue school uniform, short sleeves and jeans. His hair was messy and he glanced over at her carelessly, then moved sideways indifferently and walked away. She seemed to be stunned, and stood there for a while, listening to the thumping sound of him walking down the stairs. It was stifling and disorderly, she couldn’t suppress her heartbeat for a while.

    “Meng Shengnan?” Old Wet called her from within the office.

    Only now, did the girl walk in with heavy footsteps, and Old Wet handed her a pile of English mock exam questions for her to pass out during the evening self-study session, and then to collect after school. Later, she did not listen to her clearly, she could only hear the conversation of the few teachers in the table next to them.

    “That boy caused trouble again?”

    “Yes, someone reported that he was fighting with someone this morning.”

    “We can’t control this child anymore, the teachers can’t do much, he still requires his parents’ attention.”

    “He is from a single-parent family.” The female teacher sighed.

    The following parts of the text will be scrambled to prevent theft from aggregators and unauthorized epub making. Please support our translators by reading on secondlifetranslations (dot) com

    “Ls osdela.”

    Yldt Fbldtdyd eked’v jdso obu pbl qlzv ps elralpple vbyv yqvladssd yde nswzed’v rwzz blaplzq vstlvbla. Mbl lhldkdt pnbssz ayeks oyp casyenypvkdt Fvlhl Ubsw’p yzcwx vbyv bye clld alzlyple kd 2000. Tkp hsknl pvkzz pwdt vbl pyxl zuaknp: “R pvkzz alxlxcla vbl vlyap sq elpryka eakrrkdt qasx uswa lulp, kd vbl nbysp, vblal oyp yd kzzwpksd sq clkdt pnyzele cu vbl bsv vlyap.” Mbl vsdl oyp vss psaasoqwz yde ellr.

    “Ebyv kp vbkp psdt nyzzle?” Dwl Nkd ypjle kd vbl nzyppassx.

    “Gv Pwpj.”

    “Ls osdela R vbswtbv kv pswdele qyxkzkya, obs pkdtp vbkp ytykd?”

    Yldt Fbldtdyd pyke: “Fvlhl Ubsw.”

    “Mbyv’p aktbv, kv’p bkx.” Dwl Nkd pxkzle, “Tlu, Yldt Fbldtdyd, es usw zkjl zkpvldkdt vs bkp psdtp?”

    “R zkjl lhlauvbkdt vbyv pswdep tsse.”

    Xue Lin was still smiling: “Me too, I like to listen to ‘Faith’ the most.”

    As she just finished her sentence, the self-study session bell rang. There was a new committee member in the class who specialized in leading them in song. He was a boy with many fanatic hobbies. After the preparation bell rang, he started to sing “All the honors of yesterday have become distant memories”, and people in the class scatteredly joined in song.

    Xue Lin smacked her lips: “He sings this song everytime.”

    Nie Jing had just returned to the classroom after memorizing class material and smiled when she heard this.

    “How about we sing Sailor?”

    Amidst the singing, Xue Lin’s voice sounded “The bitter sand and blowing pain upon the face. It’s like a father’s scolding and a mother’s crying, unable to ever forget…” She sang this, trying to disguise her voice within the current song, Begin Again by Liu Huan.

    Meng Shengnan smiled, the gloominess of the afternoon seemed to have slowly dissipated at this time.

    Old Wet did not come to their evening self-study session, but everyone consciously immersed themselves in doing the English mock exam papers, and almost no one whispered to chat. This lasted until school was over, everyone had left after she had collected the papers. Xue Lin stretched her waist and said goodbye. She was about to leave, but Nie Jing held her.

    She asked; “What’s the matter?”

    “Can you help me ask him a question.” The girl’s voice was very low.

    Meng Shengnan was puzzled: “Who?”

    Nie Jing pointed at Fusong.

    Meng Shengnan wanted to ask her why she couldn’t ask herself, but she swallowed the words when they were about to come out. Then she took the maths workbook from Nie Jing’s hand, glanced at Fusong, who was seriously working on his maths workbook, and walked over.

    “Can you go through a question?”

    The boy slowly raised his head and looked at her: “Let me see.”

    She handed over the book.

    After a while, Fu Song asked her, “Where don’t you understand?”

    Meng Shengnan said some nonsense.

    Fu Song frowned: “You can’t even do this?”

    She was speechless for a while, turned her head to look for Nie Jing, but she didn’t know when she had left. Meng Shengnan curled her lips, took the book from Fu Song, and said that she had made a mistake. Fusong didn’t say a word, and then lowered his head to do his questions again. Meng Shengnan walked to the door and looked over again. The boy was still doing his questions.

    He is a boy who is going to attend the University of Science and Technology, Meng Shengnan thought.

    In those few days, they were all preparing for the sports meet, the whole school was full of enthusiasm. After class, she was looking down from the railing outside the classroom. The small sports field was filled with students, both boys and girls, wearing blue and white uniforms, full of smiles.

    Meng Shengnan wanted to practice her long jump, and did not go home at noon.

    Qi Qiao always waited for her at the science building, they would have dinner together and then go to her classroom to stay for a while. At that time, Song Jiashu was busy creating his own band and skipped class almost every day. Qi Qiao complained that Song Jiashu would not let her go along, Meng Shengnan would always just smile.

    The days disappeared with the wind.

    On the first Saturday of the month, Shengdian took her to the mall to buy a Walkman1portable audio players used back in the 1980s-2000s.

    “I think the repeater is very easy to use.” Meng Shengnan said in front of the counter.

    Sheng Dian took out a white Sony Walkman: “Isn’t it popular now? It’s convenient.”

    Meng Shengnan went to look closer.

    Sheng Dian handed it to her, “Do you like this?”

    “It’s okay, a bit expensive.”

    Sheng Dian rolled her eyes: “We’re spending my money, what do you feel bad about.”

    Meng Shengnan: “……”

    The sales person smiled and handed Sheng Dian the white Walkman that was in a box. There were many people in the mall, and the music looped endlessly. Sheng Dian said: “In the future, you can download whatever you want to listen to. How good is it to use, now you don’t have to go to the audiovisual store to buy tapes.”

    Meng Shengnan curled her lips: “Why are you suddenly buying this for me?”

    “A teacher in our office bought one for his son. I thought it looked pretty good.”

    “Oh.”

    Someone called Meng Shengnan’s name not too far away, both her and Sheng Dian turned their heads back.

    “Teacher Chen.”

    Meng Shengnan said hello, and Chen Si approached: “We meet again.”

    Sheng Dian laughed: “Isn’t it true, are you walking alone?”

    Chen Si said ‘yes’.

    “That’s boring, get your son to accompany you on Sundays.”

    Chen Si reluctantly shook her head: “He has his own things, he doesn’t like me controlling him. The child has grown up now. Sheng Nan is well-behaved, she goes shopping with you.”

    Meng Shengnan felt a little embarrassed.

    The two adults chatted with each other, and Meng Shengnan took the opportunity to sneak out and stand next to the railing on the second floor to look down. After a while, Chen Si left. Sheng Dian continued walking around with her and said: “It’s not easy for your Teacher Chen.”

    Meng Shengnan asked what happened.

    Sheng Dian shook her head: “It seems that her husband passed away in his thirties, her son and her have been alone together since.”

    “Why doesn’t she find one again?”

    “Who knows.”

    When she got home that night, she searched a lot of songs from the Internet and downloaded them to her Walkman.

    The second on the search engine song list was ‘The rainy season at the age of seventeen’. Lin Zhiying sang “The rainy season at the age of seventeen, we all had the same expectations.” Meng Shengnan had heard this too many times. He was an idol that Qi Qiao had liked for many years, her room was full of his posters. Meng Shengnan glanced back at her small room, it was full of books. The repeater was placed in the second compartment of the bookshelf, next to the book Madame Bovary.

    She didn’t know when, but her youth was leaving already after just arriving.

    A few days later, in the English class on Tuesday, there were still a few minutes left after Old Wet had finished going through the subject matter. After emphasizing discipline in their studies, she brought up the matters about the recent sports meeting.

    “Class leader?”

    The boy stood up, and Old Wet asked: “It’s been several days already, who is going to the girl representative in our class for the 3000 meters race?”

    He seemed to pause for a while.

    “Meng Shengnan.” The boy said.

    Almost instantly, the gaze of all the students shot towards her. Xue Lin was so surprised, and even Fusong stopped writing. Old Wet walked down from the podium. The first two sets of aisles were wide and long. Meng Shengnan could feel Old Wet walking fast towards her.

    “You’re going?” the woman asked.

    Meng Shengnan was already dumbfounded at that moment. She didn’t know what was going on. She couldn’t say a single word for a while, and only saw the woman’s mouth move open and close to explain the precautions and the important points of the competition.

    The bell rang, and Old Wet walked away.

    Xue Lin could finally ask: “When did you sign up for it?”

    Meng Shengnan just shook her head slowly.

    Nie Jing glanced at her, “Are you okay?”

    Meng Shengnan thought for a while, stood up and got out of the seat. The classroom was noisy, and she felt too hot, so she rolled up her sleeves as she walked out. At this time the class leader had already walked out of the classroom, and she chased after him.

    “I remember that I signed up for long jump.” She said word for word clearly.

    The boy frowned: “Didn’t you change it?”

    “What change?”

    The boy said: “Yesterday afternoon, you said you wanted to change to the 3000 meters race.”

    “When did I say that?” Meng Shengnan became even more confused when she heard this.

    “When I came back from my memorising my study notes, there was a note on my desk saying that you wanted to change it.”

    “Where’s the note?”

    “I threw it out yesterday.”

    Meng Shengnan got anxious: “Then why didn’t you ask me to confirm it?”

    The boy frowned and said in a low voice, “I thought you didn’t like talking to me after what happened last time.”

    Meng Shengnan was stunned.

    The boy paused and said, “I handed the registration form to the school sports department this morning already…I can’t change it.”

    Meng Shengnan’s shoulders drooped down suddenly, “Understood.”

    She turned around and after taking a few steps, the boy called her.

    “I’m sorry.”

    Meng Shengnan did not respond or look back, she went back into the classroom in silence. Xue Lin asked what was going on, and Meng Shengnan told the whole story. The girl was anxious and angry, “Who did such an immoral thing, what did the class leader say?”

    “It can’t be changed.”

    Xue Lin sat down in her chair, discouraged.

    Fusong looked up from his book: “Then run, if you can’t make it, then finish it by walking. Don’t care about the time, just don’t take it as a race.”

    “Then take it as what?” Xue Lin asked.

    Fusong said: “An experience.”

    Nie Jing whispered from the side: “Yes, Meng Shengnan, just do your best.”

    “Friendship is first, competition is second.” Xue Lin patted her shoulder and said slowly.

    The arm couldn’t beat the thigh2means the small/weak can’t beat the big/strong, the list had long been handed up.

    Meng Shengnan seemed to have no other way but to accept her fate, so she could only bite the bullet. When Qi Qiao heard about this, she was so angry that she couldn’t wait to use all her powers possible to find this trickster, but she was helpless. Her longtime friend was being dragged into this matter and she couldn’t help with anything. Qi Qiao blamed herself for this for a long time, almost at the point of self-harming. A few days before the sports meet, students who were going to run the 3000 meters race did not have to go to the evening self-study session, instead they had to go to the sports field.

    There were 29 classes in both the arts and sciences in the second year of high school, and there were 29 girls running the 3000 meters race.

    On the fourth day of training, Meng Shengnan was already at her limit. She couldn’t even finish a lap that night, let alone reach the mark. She was too tired and sat down on the sports field. There were a few girls who were the same as her. After staying here for a few days, she discovered that these people were either the class representative or the deputy class head, they were all pushed to this task because no one else wanted to sign up for it.

    She sat on the floor and listened to those girls chatting.

    Some girls complained: “Do you think I will be the last one in the race that day?”

    Several other girls kept laughing.

    There was one with a very beautiful face, she had long hair, big eyes, small lips and a pointy face. She was very thin and sat with her legs crossed. She seemed to be a committee member of Humanities Class (1). Meng Shengnan glanced at the girl one more time, she was very radiant and her voice was also sweet. She was just like…just like Li Yan, yes, like Li Yan.

    “I think I can be number one, from the bottom up.” A girl said with a laugh.

    “It would be nice to be able to finish the race.” Said the girl with the pointy face.

    “Yeah.”

    The plastic equipment on the sports field had been exposed to the sun for a day, it was soft and warm. Meng Shengnan didn’t speak much and kept listening. The girl with the pointy face looked over, smiled and asked her: “Why aren’t you speaking?”

    Meng Shengnan was taken aback, “Uh, I’m okay.”

    “Which class are you in?”

    “Humanities(4).”

    “What do you do?”

    “Huh?” Meng Shengnan reacted instantly, “English class representative.”

    “Wow, you must be very good at English, right?”

    “It’s not bad.”

    The girl with the pointy face said: “My English is bad.”

    A girl laughed: “Let your boyfriend teach you.”

    “Him? He is worse than me.” The girl smiled, a little embarrased.

    The group of them laughed, then chatted about other topics. The dim light spread out in this long night, and the street lights on the side of the runway shone down and spread in the depths. Meng Shengnan raised her head to look at the lamp, and the dust flickered in the scattered light.

    They finished around the time when the evening self-study session was over.

    Meng Shengnan walked outside the sports ground and heard someone running behind her. She turned her head subconsciously, but at this moment, she saw a figure appear faraway. The pointy face girl was running in that direction, laughing while running. The boy just stood there, with a careless attitude as always, looking up. Although the direction of his line of sight was not towards her, Meng Shengnan turned her head to the other side nervously.

    Her memory went back to a few weeks ago when she had passed by a small vendor in front of the school.

    Two girls were chatting.

    “I heard that Ji Zheng changed girlfriends again?”

    “Humanities (1).”

    “What is her name?”

    “Zhao Yourong.”

    On the sports ground, the two figures drifted further and further away.

    Meng Shengnan walked very slowly, looking far out. The warm yellow light shone down, and her shadow grew longer. She went home by bike on this night, arriving at the central square again, coincidentally, her bicycle chain had fallen off again as well. She pushed the bicycle along the side of the street. The shops on both sides of the road hadn’t closed yet, and one shop was still playing a song.

    “From now on there is one more you in my world, every day is like a drama. No matter how romantic or bizarre the plot is, the protagonist is you. From now on, there is one more you in my world, sometimes sunny and sometimes rainy…’

    She didn’t know what was happening, but Meng Shengnan suddenly burst into tears. She had forgotten the name of this song and had asked Qi Qiao later.

    “What is it called?”

    “Rainbow.” Qi Qiao said.

    [Translator’s Note: Our poor FL, who do you think changed her sport selection to the 3000m race? Not only so, but she also has to see the ML get another girlfriend again. Aiya. Sending hugs to her right now! By the way, my lovely readers, I am very sorry but from now onwards my release schedule for this novel will be sporadic – as I have two other novels to tend to, I may not be able to TL this novel as frequently as I have been in the past. I will keep aiming for one chapter a week though. I hope you understand.]


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