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  • The Flower of Youth Blooms when He Smiles

    Chapter 7

    As soon as Thursday came by, it already felt like Saturday was near.

    The wave of mock exams finally passed, and the usual warmth and peace in the classroom was restored. Without the pressure of exams, her whole body felt relaxed. The sun shone into the classroom, and almost everyone was lying on the table, enjoying the gentle warmth of the afternoon break. Meng Shengnan was sketching and drawing on a piece of white paper with a pencil.

    Xue Lin poked her with a finger.

    “What’s wrong?” she turned back to ask.

    “Let me borrow your English notebook.”

    Meng Shengnan handed over her notebook, and soon later Xue Lin called her again.

    The girl’s expression was full of surprise: “Did you not note down what the teacher said today?”


    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

    “Wsatlv kv, R’zz tkhl kv cynj vs usw.”

    “Bpl Wwpsdt’p.”

    “Yu Qse, bkp nbyaynvlap yal pwrla xlppu, kv’p yzalyeu tsse ldswtb vs ekpvkdtwkpb vball osaep.”

    Yldt Fbldtdyd: “……”

    Gv vbkp xsxldv, vbl csu obs bye clld elqyxle aykple bkp blye qasx bkp cssj yde tzydnle yv vbl vos. Tkp lulp olal ps ewzz vbyv kv xyel Dwl Nkd valxczl, yde pbl iwknjzu vakle vs pktdyz Yldt Fbldtdyd okvb bla lulp. Bdlmrlnvlezu, vbkp rlapsd srldle bkp xswvb yde ypjle: “Ebu eked’v usw vyjl esod uswa dsvlp?”

    Dwl Nkd: “……”

    Yldt Fbldtdyd: “……”

    Mbkp rlapsd’p oyu sq vbkdjkdt oyp alyzzu ekqqlaldv vs saekdyau rlsrzl. Dwl Nkd blze cynj y zywtb, yde obld pbl nswzed’v bsze kv kd ydu zsdtla, pbl vwadle bla blye vs vbl pkel. Yldt Fbldtdyd blpkvyvle yde eked’v jdso bso vs ydpola, yde sdzu alrzkle okvb y rbaypl yqvla y zsdt vkxl.

    “Can’t I slack off occasionally?”

    “Learning doesn’t allow slacking.”

    Meng Shengnan sighed: “How tiring is it to always have your IQ be online.”

    Xue Lin sent her a look that was full of praise.

    Fusong said very seriously: “That depends on what kind of situation. On a macro level, learning and IQ are not the same thing. So, your answer is not valid. And—”

    “Wait.” Xue Lin interrupted the conversation, turned to look at him, and held back a laugh: “Are you going to talk about the micro level next?”

    When she said this, the two girls laughed in unison.

    What’s interesting was that the people who listened to his words always wanted to laugh, but the key thing was that he would continue talking seriously and scrupulously: “Meng Shengnan, today is not the first time you haven’t taken down notes. You have been absent-minded these past few days, haven’t you noticed?”

    It turns out that what he said was always right.

    Coming to think about it, it was strange because she didn’t really have much to think about, but her mind was completely blank. After being criticized, Meng Shengnan silently turned her head back to reflect, and then rolled back to her original position to doodle. When it was evening break, she was lying on the table, playing with an eraser without a word. Nie Jing pushed her and motioned her to look out the window.

    Qi Qiao knocked on the glass to tell her to come out.


    In the corridor, after listening to Qi Qiao’s words, Meng Shengnan couldn’t help but exclaim.

    Qi Qiao held onto her hand and shook it: “Nan Nan, won’t you just accompany me?”

    “What will we do if the teacher finds out?” Meng Shengnan really wanted to slap the girl.

    “I have read the timetable; your class doesn’t have a teacher monitoring for the self-study session tonight.”

    “What if the head teacher comes to check?”

    “Tell your deskmate to help cover for you, just say you went to the toilet.”

    “Qi Qiao!”

    “Nan Nan—”

    Ah, goosebumps all over.

    “Isn’t it just a performance, do you really need to go to such lengths?”

    “What do you mean by ‘it’s just a performance’, I never miss even one of his performances!”

    “Does Song Jiashu know you are going?”

    “It was originally set to be on a Saturday. Who knew that it would suddenly move up, I haven’t told him yet.”

    Meng Shengnan said: “You are really making me mad.”

    “I promise this is the only time!”

    Meng Shengnan sighed with her shoulders drooping down, and was about to go back to the classroom to pack her things. However, she suddenly thought of something, and seeing that Qi Qiao had not left yet, she went to pull her over.

    “No regrets.” Qi Qiao said before Meng Shengnan could speak.

    “Who is regretting, I just wanted to ask you how will we get out of school?” Meng Shengnan gritted her teeth in a low voice.

    Qi Qiao smiled mysteriously, “Don’t worry, I have a way.”

    So, under the dull gaze of Fusong, who had just criticized and urged her to be more studious just a while ago, Meng Shengnan lowered her head and carried her schoolbag while there weren’t many people in the classroom, sneaking out from the back door and gloriously skipping class.

    Qi Qiao was riding the bicycle while they were on their way, with Meng Shengnan sitting in the back seat like a princess.

    “Where did you get the request-for-leave slip?”

    Qi Qiao was tired from riding, but she had to endure it as she was the one who needed a favour from her.

    “It was given by the class head.”

    “Your relationship is good.”

    “Of course, he’s one of Song Jiashu’s close brothers.”

    Meng Shengnan pursed her lips and smiled, turning her head away to look at the school that became further and further away. In such an evening, the street was very long, it took them more than 20 minutes on the road. When they arrived at the Chenguang Theater, the performance had already begun.

    The curtain was lifted, and the atmosphere was good.

    Meng Shengnan and Qi Qiao were sitting in the second-to-last row, of course, because there were no seats left at the front anymore. Looking forward, there were a swarm of young students. Meng Shengnan was shocked and asked Qi Qiao if they had all skipped class to come watch this?

    Qi Qiao explained: “You are silly, the No.16 High School doesn’t have evening self-study sessions.”

    “Oh, I forgot.”

    Song Jiashu was really a talented youth, he was in the rock-and-roll scene, and was extremely good at street dancing.

    The boy wore a baseball cap, held up his arms with his hands and spun 360 degrees without any mistakes – he was so handsome. The most important thing was that when his voice sounded from his throat while playing the guitar, it could charm a bunch of girls. Thinking of the song he sang and played the guitar to, Greenhouse Girl by Cui Jian, at the school anniversary evening celebration, the screams of the girls could knock down the whole lecture theatre.

    Qi Qiao once asked her why Song Jiashu had not caught her eye.

    Later, Meng Shengnan thought about it very carefully. Song Jiashu’s handsomeness was a type of serious and honest charm, but Chi Zheng was not. That guy even walked without a care, full of a frivolous attitude. He was the type to laugh deviously, which could really stimulate one’s heart rate. Maybe she seemed too well-behaved on the surface, but actually she craved for rebellion and freedom in her heart, so she could not help but notice him.

    It was nine o’clock by the time it was the end of Song Jiashu’s performance that day.  

    Meng Shengnan felt her hands hurt just by looking at how much Qi Qiao clapped while shouting Song Jiashu’s name at the top of her lungs. After the performance, he came out out from backstage and called them to meet outside, Qi Qiao was so happy that there were no words to describe it.  

    Outside the theater, Song Jiashu looked at Qi Qiao with a cold face.

    “How did you get here?”  

    Qi Qiao: “By bicycle.”

    “That’s not it.”


    Song Jiashu glanced at his innocent girlfriend.

    “Today is a Thursday.”

    Meng Shengnan held back a laugh at the side. 

    Qi Qiao realized afterwards, “That, that—”  

    It was dark, there was no one on the side of the road, and the dim light fell upon the three of them. Although the light made everything look vague, Meng Shengnan could clearly see the rare pampering in Song Jiashu’s eyes when he looked at Qi Qiao. It was just like three years ago, when he had blocked the door of the classroom after their evening self-study session and asked Qi Qiao to be his girlfriend. 

    So, in such a situation, she sensibly made an excuse to slip away.  

    She took the bus home alone and got off early at the intersection of the Fengshui Tai Street outside her alley. As soon as the bus drove away, she had a better view and saw a banner taped outside the wall of the Tianming Internet Cafe that was on the second floor across the street, which read:

    The second Warcraft competition event.

    Meng Shengnan’s mind suddenly flashed to the night when the chain had fallen off her bicycle a few days ago. Someone in that group had said not to forget next month’s competition. As if her legs could not be controlled by her mind, she walked in. There were a lot of people inside, and the air was a bit stuffy.  

    “Meng Shengnan?”

    Xi Linxiao’s voice was surprised and excited, she asked: “Why are you here? School is over already?”


    “Ah, I understand.” 

    Meng Shengnan smiled helplessly, and then quickly changed the subject. 

    “By the way, why are there so many people in the Internet cafe today?” 

    Xi Linxiao smiled playfully.  

    “You don’t know right, today is the second round of the Warcraft Jiangcheng division competition, there is a an expert player who is handsome!”  

    “Really.” Meng Shengnan stretched her neck to look inside.

    Xi Linxiao asked: “Are you here to write your manuscript?”

    “Not today, I’m joining in with the fun.”

    At the cashier counter, Xi Linxiao pulled her over and walked inside with a few steps, put her hand on her shoulder, and pointed.

    “Do you see the boy currently competing to the side in the last row?”

    A group of people had started to play at the same time, and the sound of the clacking from the keyboards caused an upsurge in emotion, almost capable of toppling down the Internet cafe. The surrounding area was full of young students watching the game, all of them beaming with youth, a bunch of girls and boys. Meng Shengnan’s gaze passed through the crowd and fell on the boy Xi Linxiao had talked about, it was still in the same place she had seen him the first time.

    It really was him, he also skipped class?

    “He is our Warcraft ace; he is very good at playing games.” When Xi Linxiao praised him, her whole face was dynamic.

    Meng Shengnan watched the intense competition quietly.  

    She asked Xi Linxiao: “How good is he?”

    “Well–he’s just very good, many people call him the emperor.” 

    Meng Shengnan frowned lightly and didn’t say anything.

    “He often comes to spend the night, either playing games or still playing games. Oh, by the way, once I happened to see that his computer interface was full of code, I couldn’t understand it at all, anyways, he seemed super cool when I was watching him continuously typing at his keyboard. “Xi Linxiao thought for a while and said this.

    Meng Shengnan stared over there very intently.

    Xi Linxiao asked, “Handsome, right?”


    “I heard that he has a girlfriend, but it’s not serious.”

    “How do you know?” Meng Shengnan retracted her gaze and looked at Xi Linxiao.

    Xi Linxiao smiled slyly: “I have seen him come here with several girls, the next is more beautiful than the previous, the key is that they are all super good at acting cute.”

    Meng Shengnan couldn’t help but bite her upper lip.

    “Why do boys all like girls who can act cute? I guess the key is they enjoy being the receiver. If it were me–eh, I couldn’t stand it.”

    The competition over there was in full swing.

    Meng Shengnan was separated from him by a lot of people in between, she looked at him within the gap, seeing him unhurriedly moving the mouse and typing at the keyboard in a casual manner.

    The competition was to continue on for a long time, Meng Shengnan didn’t have a lot of time to spare to stay here.

    After a while, she didn’t know what had happened, just when she was hesitating and about to turn to leave, a group of people started to roar. She glanced over quickly, and saw him slowly standing up in the crowd, smiling very uncharacteristically.

    “Tonight at Wudong, your brother, I, will cover all the fees, anyone is free to come as my guest.”

    The roars were louder than before.

    Meng Shengnan glanced over there for the last time, then walked out silently, slowly walking along the cold street. Wudong was a five-star KTV in Jiangcheng, he must be a regular there. Later, when she went home, she checked the prize money on the Internet, it was up to ten thousand dollars, no wonder he was so generous. The types of people like him, weren’t they all just looking for some fun?

    She couldn’t sleep that night, so she was lying in bed reading Xi Bao1a famous novel.

    But in her mind, the scene of the group of people wandering in the streets late at night, their arms wrapped around each other’s shoulders as they went to the karaoke hall, kept popping up in her mind. One of them was smiling lazily, smoking while walking, full of frivolity.

    Going to school the next day, her eye bags were a bit heavy.

    Xue Lin leaned over during the morning recital session, squinting her eyes and watching her while smiling, not saying anything. Meng Shengnan thought it was a little strange.  

    “What’s wrong?” she asked.

    Xue Lin said: “You skipped class last night.”

    “Hmm.” She nodded slowly, and then asked, “Nothing happened, right?”

    Xue Lin’s face became serious.

    Meng Shengnan bit her lip and asked softly, “Old Wet found out?”

    Xue Lin sighed slowly and shook her head.

    “Did people from the Dean’s Office come to check on us?”

    According to logic, her luck couldn’t be that bad, plus when she came to the classroom in the morning, there wasn’t any commotion. But seeing Xue Lin’s expression, she began to feel uncertain. She had always followed the rules, if she were to get caught this time, that would be terrible.

    “Don’t listen to her scare you.” Fu Song walked in from outside the classroom.

    Xue Lin couldn’t bear it any longer and let out a laugh. 

    “You get scared so easily, Meng Shengnan.” 

    “You are too good at pretending, Xue Lin, you might as well be an actor in the future.”

    Meng Shengnan breathed a sigh of relief as she saw Xue Lin laugh without a stop, her head rocking back and forth. Fusong returned to his seat and looked through his book solemnly. The two of them were practically a perfect duo, and she couldn’t help but also laugh as well in the end.

    Xue Lin finally stopped her laughter

    “Tell me, why did you skip class?”

    It was still the middle of the morning recital session, and almost all the students in the classroom had gone to the corridor near the sports ground to recite their books. In this area, there were only the three of them sitting here. Xue Lin did not have the mind to read, all she wanted was to hear the gossip, so Meng Shengnan told her everything.

    Xue Lin froze, and it took a long time before she said a word.

    “Why didn’t you call me to go along with you?”

    Fu Song shook his head and smiled faintly. The boy took out his mathematics textbook and turned to the functional operations section, his eyes still fixed on the book, and said, “Meng Shengnan has not been motivated to make progress in her studies, I think she regrets it now. If she were to also lead you astray, now that sin is serious.”

    Meng Shengnan: “……”

    Xue Lin: “……”

    Later, Meng Shengnan learned that the class head had actually called on people last night to check. However, Fusong and him had been in the same class in their first year of high school, so he asked for a favour and the matter was over. Xue Lin still felt a little regretful about not going, and she was now filled with righteous indignation that she also had to skip class one day, otherwise it would be so boring that she had never caused any trouble during her high school years.

    A few days later, she chatted with Fusong.

    The boy asked her again why she always seemed absent-minded from studying recently, and Meng Shengnan brushed it off with a laugh​​. The boy looked at her for a while and shook his head. Meng Shengnan couldn’t find the reason why she was like this, until the morning when the flag was raised on Monday.

    Everyone crowded in the small sports ground, standing upright while listening to the principal’s words.

    The sky was still grey and misty, spreading over their blue and white school uniforms. The sound of the horn was strong and serious, and when reciting the names of the students who had violated the rules, the tone became heavier and heavier as it went by.


    “Chi Zheng.”

    Her nerves were all tense, and her heart thumped.

    [Translator’s Note: Who has skipped class before? (Me guiltily puts my hand up.) Anyways, isn’t it interesting to see how the FL comes to realise her feelings?]

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