The Flower of Youth Blooms when He Smiles

Chapter 4

​​During the seven-day National Day holiday, other than going to her guitar classes for two hours every second day, Meng Shengnan stayed at home. The manuscript kept being written and deleted, and she kept reading Shen Cong and Wen Luyao’s1famous authors novels one by one. Qi Qiao, that girl was long gone with Song Jiashu, out and about having fun.

In the morning, Sheng Dian sat in the living room and watched a drama set in the Republic of China.

Meng Shengnan came out of the kitchen while biting on a cucumber and her eyes swept around.

“Mom, where did Dad go?”

Sheng Dian’s gaze did not leave the TV screen: “Kang Kai’s family to play mahjong.”

“That’s relaxing.”

Sheng Dian: “Are you not relaxed?”

“Yeah.” Meng Shengnan chewed on the cucumber and said, “The manuscript needs to be sent in about a month or so. I feel like my head is going to explode.”

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

Fbldt Pkyd aykple bla blye yde pyke: “Ebyv kdprkayvksd nyd usw tlv qasx clkdt csvvzle wr yv bsxl okvbswv tskdt swv vs rzyu. Zsw xwpv jdso vbyv lmrlakldnl kp vbl xspv ralnkswp ypplv kd oakvkdt. Psd’v usw wdelapvyde vbl vawvb sq alyekdt vbswpydep sq cssjp yde vayhlzkdt vbswpydep sq xkzlp2keksx vbyv xlydp sdl dllep vs alye yde tykd lmrlakldnlp vs yvvykd jdsozletl?”

Yldt Fbldtdyd qasodle, “R wdelapvyde, cwv R’x kd y elye lde aktbv dso.”

Fbldt Pkyd vwadle esod vbl MA hszwxl yde pyke: “Mbld vbkdj ycswv kv xsal pkxrzu. Zsw nyd oakvl ycswv vbl rlsrzl sa vbkdtp yaswde usw, kv eslpd’v byhl vs cl yd lmyttlayvle vyzl. G tsse rklnl sq osaj kp sdl vbyv nyd alpsdyvl okvb rlsrzl yde vswnb vblx.”

“Ywx.”

“Ebyv?”

“Rp vbkp bso usw vlynb uswa nzypp vs oakvl lppyup?” Yldt Fbldtdyd ypjle.

Fbldt Pkyd tzydnle yv bla, “Xdl osae.”

“Ebyv?”

“Real.”

Meng Shengnan thought about the word “real” that Sheng Dian had said as she went out to find some material to work with. She had to admit, she was a little touched by the words of her mother just now. After all, Sheng Dian had taught Chinese for 20 years in elementary school already, she had eaten more salt than the experiences she had gone through.

However, it was probably better to go back and write her manuscript than shopping around alone.

Meng Shengnan strolled around the streets and went to the Xinhua Bookstore in the First Square to buy a few books. She met an acquaintance as soon as she finished paying.

“Meng Shengnan?”

She glanced at the boy: “Are you here to buy books too?”

Fusong nodded: “What did you buy?”

Meng Shengnan handed him the book, Fusong took it and glanced at the cover: “Do you like foreign literature?”

“It’s okay, there’s a lot I can’t understand.”

Fu Song: “Then why do you still buy it?”

Meng Shengnan smiled: “I like to collect books, plus, you see, how pretty is the cover.”

Fu Song: “Assuming that a person’s life lasts until they are sixty years old, and the amount of time they work is thirteen years, and taking away sleeping time and eating time, the time left is seventeen years, then there is really no point in wasting your time to read books you can’t even understand.”

Meng Shengnan: “…”

“Do you need me to repeat it again?”

Meng Shengnan pursed her lips and cleared her throat: “Philosophy Rat, do you have any interests?”

“Females.”

“What?” Meng Shengnan didn’t hear clearly.

Fu Song’s mouth moved slightly: “My interests are women.”

Meng Shengnan: “—Oh right, I won’t bother you from reading anymore, see you at school.” As soon as her voice fell, she hurriedly fled, as she walked she came back to her senses, that person was really…

However, Fusong, who was in front of the door of the bookstore, was smiling as he went in.

The day before their holiday was over, Qi Qiao came over to play with her. At that time, Meng Shengnan was leaning on her bed trying to read the hard-to-understand famous foreign novel, Madame Bovary, that had been criticized by the Philosophical Rat as a waste of time. Qi Qiao yelled in a loud voice downstairs, her voice arriving even before seeing her figure.

Qi Qiao opened the door and entered her bedroom, covering her mouth exaggeratedly when she saw her.

Meng Shengnan put down the book and raised her eyes.

Qi Qiao made her voice high-pitched, creating a strange tone.

“Auntie Sheng said you haven’t gone out all this time, you haven’t grown mold, have you?”

“Close the door, go out and change back into a human being before talking to me.”

Meng Shengnan lowered her head and flipped a page, saying in a serious tone.

Qi Qiao really closed the door, opened it a second later, wailing while lying on the bed with her limbs all stretched out.

“It’s over, it’s over, Meng Shengnan has gone crazy.”

Meng Shengnan rolled her eyes: “It’s fortunate that you still think of me.”

Qi Qiao smiled mischieviously and instantly got up, kicking off her shoes to get to Meng Shengnan’s side, trying to cozy-up with her: “Don’t you see me here now, Nan Nan3uses the last word of Meng Shengnan’s name to make a nickname, in Chinese it can be quite cringy.

“Hiss—” Meng Shengnan pushed Qi Qiao away half an inch: “You’re giving me goosebumps.”

Qi Qiao sat down and started to laugh in a silly manner.

Meng Shengnan felt that something was wrong and asked, “What do you keep laughing at?”

Qi Qiao licked her lips: “—you guess first.”

Meng Shengnan: “What did Song Jiashu do to you?”

Qi Qiao was instantly astonished: “How did you know?”

Meng Shengnan felt tired: “Don’t say I’m your best friend when you go out in the future, it’s too shameful.”

Qi Qiao hesitated and said coyly: “Well—he—kissed me.”

She said the last three words super fast.

Meng Shengnan was speechless for a while: “Don’t tell me you’re this happy because of that?”

“He also touched me.”

Meng Shengnan was silent for several seconds before asking, “Where did he touch you?”

Qi Qiao didn’t look at her, and said, “Well, he touched the right places.”

Meng Shengnan really didn’t know what to say, Qi Qiao suddenly changed her expression and asked her hurriedly, “You say, will I get pregnant?”

“What?”

“Will I give birth?”

“Probably—not.”

“No, no, quickly search it up on the Internet.”

At that time, they really didn’t understand anything. At such a brazen age, they thought kissing would lead to childbirth. What’s more interesting was that when they were seven or eight years old, ancient Chinese dramas would be on TV every day, and Qi Qiao would come to play with her when she had nothing on for the day. She would wrap bedsheets around her hips and say: “Why aren’t you bowing before your princess?”

Meng Shengnan almost had a stroke from laughing.

With their laughter and conversations, the holiday was over. Meng Shengnan had a particularly long dream that night. After waking up, she couldn’t remember anything and was sweating all over. She glanced at the alarm clock while seeing the faint light coming from outside, her heart dropping.

She was ruined.

In a speed that took seconds, she quickly got up from the bed, washed up and got dressed in a matter of minutes. Sheng Dian and Meng Jin were still fast asleep. Meng Shengnan pushed her bicycle out quietly, and then quickly rode out of the alley. There was almost no one on the street, and Meng Shengnan still hadn’t realized why it was so. It wasn’t until she arrived at the bicycle port, saw the tightly closed iron gate doors of the security guard uncle, did she finally react – she immediately looked down at the watch under the light on the side of the road. It was only half past five.

Oh My God.

She had no other way, so she could only push the bike aside and sit on the steps and wait.

The sky was gray and foggy, she couldn’t see clearly.

It was a little past five in the morning, just the time when it was as chilly as ice. Meng Shengnan was wearing a sweater with a thin school uniform blazer on the outside. When the wind blew in, she couldn’t help but shake, clasping her arms with her hands, putting her chin on her knees, waiting for the bicycle port to open at six o’clock.

She missed her bed now.

A group of boys laughed and cursed vaguely in the distance.

“Hey, I say, the internet speed here is much faster than Tianming4internet café.”

“—I can’t, I can’t, I fought monsters all night yesterday, I have to go make up for my sleep later at school.”

“…”

There were four or five of them chatting here and there. They all curled their necks, each with a cigarette in their mouth, like they were old men. One of the boys asked: “What day is it today?”

“Saturday?”

“Scram, we’re raising the flag today!”

“F*ck!”

“I didn’t bring my school uniform.”

She touched her clothes, and the wind felt even colder.

“Scared?”

A boy snorted and spoke with contempt.

This voice made Meng Shengnan freeze.

The boy who had been looked down on said with a sigh, “Only our Master Chi is calm.”

“Worst case scenario we get told off and have to stand still as punishment, are you that worried?” Another boy answered.

Early in the morning, only they were on the street, occupying half of it and walking over with a careless attitude. Each of them had been up all night at the Internet cafe, coming out at around five to six o’clock, always hanging around near the school.

After a while, she saw them turning into the road leading to the school without a trace.

After finally waiting for the bicycle port to open, Meng Shengnan set aside her bicycle and walked to school. She walked while remembering that it was her turn to be on duty today, so there was no need to go and raise the national flag.

There were also a few classmates who were cleaning up the classroom, busily working with her. During the half-hour when the flag was raised, she wiped the blackboard, wiped the table, and helped to fetch the water. She was exhausted and sweating profusely after finishing her tasks. At that time, the flag-raising was over, and there were already students walking back and forth in the corridors of the school building.

Meng Shengnan rested for a few minutes, waited until the crowd became less busy before taking the trash can out of the classroom.

The garbage bin was behind the small sports field, and she walked back after dumping it.

On the way, there were students everywhere studying in the early morning. Meng Shengnan quickened her pace and passed through the first floor in the science hall. The morning wind was still quite cold. She lowered her head and had just walked down the steps, but then contracted her neck subconsciously. A scene came in her sight, and she almost tripped over.

A row of boys stood at the door of the classroom next to the hall, none of them in school uniforms.

The first one was him.

Leaning against the wall carelessly and listlessly.

Looking at his just-awakened face, how could one not be tired after staying up all night at the Internet café? Meng Shengnan twitched her lips and walked forward, she didn’t know why, but she looked back at the class: No.10 Science class.

It was pretty strange, she kept on bumping into him.

The second class of the morning was English. She was called by Old Wet to answer two questions. After class, Xue Lin smiled and asked her: “Meng Shengnan, how are you so good at English?”

Meng Shengnan was embarrassed: “I’m okay.”

“Be less humble, the teacher must have good intentions given that she made you the English representative.”

Meng Shengnan sighed: “She must have good intentions as well to ask me to answer questions.”

At that time in class, Old Wet always liked to ask people to answer questions. Her favorite question was: “Who is the student on duty today?” or “That desk mate, stand up.” Those two people sitting next to each other, or the ones sitting around them were all panic-stricken.

She sighed while finishing her sentence.

Xue Lin laughed suddenly, “Yes, yes, yes I have to be careful of my head being chopped off when you are called on.”

Several people laughed.

After the meeting, Nie Jing said, “You are on duty today, I will take out the trash for you tonight.”

Meng Shengnan: “It’s okay.”

Nie Jing smiled and looked at Fusong: “Why aren’t you saying anything?”

Fusong lowered his head while writing.

Xue Lin said, “He disowns all of his relatives and friends when he studies, let’s chat between ourselves.”

Nie Jing said a few words without much interest and then turned back. Meng Shengnan glanced at Fusong and smiled without saying a word.

It was noon-time when she returned home for lunch.

The meal had already been prepared by Sheng Dian and she asked: “Why did you leave so early in the morning?”

Meng Shengnan said while eating, “I looked at the time wrong.”

Sheng Dian shook her head: “You really worry me with your temperament.”

Meng Shengnan nodded repeatedly: “Yes, it was so cold.”

Sheng Dian: “You deserve it, always so forgetful.”

“Are you my real mother?”

“I picked you up in the ditch.”

Meng Shengnan went ‘che’ and said, “Why hasn’t dad come back yet?”

“There is something to handle in the bureau.”

“Oh.”

After eating, Meng Shengnan went back to school. There was a big temperature difference between the morning and evening, and it was very hot at noon. When she arrived to her classroom, Fusong was reading a book. He looked up when he heard noise and saw her holding her school uniform jacket in her arms. Then he smiled, “Actually, you look good without your school uniform.”

Meng Shengnan put down her schoolbag: “I thought you don’t even know how to praise people.”

Fusong said seriously, “Yes, I’m okay at it.”

“Che.”

Fusong smiled.

The days before Wednesday always felt very slow, but after Thursday, it felt like a blink of an eye. Meng Shengnan’s day on duty was almost over, for dinner, it was Xue Lin who had brought over some buns for her. In the evening break before her self-study session, Fusong helped her wipe the blackboard and everything was done.

When Xue Lin came back, she glanced at the few people in the classroom and asked, “Where is Fusong?”

Meng Shengnan said: “Fetching water.”

Xue Lin said ‘oh’, “Where’s Nie Jing, wasn’t she supposed to take out the trash with you?”

Meng Shengnan smiled and said, “I don’t know, she’s probably off studying.”

“I’ll go with you then.”

“No need, it’s very light.”

After speaking, she took the trash can and went downstairs.

At that time, the self-study preparation bell had just rung, and Meng Shengnan walked slowly on the small sports field with the excuse of taking out the garbage. There were boys playing basketball in the distance, and when they heard the bell, they rushed back to the classroom.

The sky was already dark.

She dwadled outside for a while, and started walking back as she heard the bell ring.

Carrying the trash can up five floors was quite tiring. She walked slowly up the stairs, and the whole school building was very quiet, there wasn’t much sound at all. Meng Shengnan finally went up to the fifth floor, turned a corner, and looked in from the window outside. The math teacher was sitting at the podium table, her head down as she was preparing material. She was about to sneak in through the back door, however, she felt the trash can being grabbed. Meng Shengnan slowly turned her head.

“Do me a favor.”

The boy’s complexion was particularly pale, his eyes were dark black and his voice was very low. Because they were so close, Meng Shengnan could smell the cigarette smoke all over him. At this moment, he was holding onto the other side of the trash can in one hand and looking up at her just like that.

Translator’s Note: Thank you for reading till this far, the story is quite slow, but almost like a gentle stream! More small interactions with the ML!


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dian [Translator]

Hello all! Thank you for reading my translations, this is my secret plot to get people to read my favourite novels and fangirl about nonexistent characters with me. If you can, please consider supporting me below!
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    1. dian
      dian [Translator]

      Aww I am extremely grateful for your support <3