Early in the next morning, Shen Zhan was washing in the bathroom. The alarm clock outside already rang seven or eight times, and the continuous ringing is causing him a headache. Shen Zhan spit out the toothpaste and went out.
Lin Jiayin just moved the quilt. When Shen Zhan thought she was going to find her phone to turn off the alarm clock, she stopped and sat motionless with the quilt of her head.
“…” Shen Zhan walked over and lifted the quilt. “Get up. It’s already 7:40.”
Lin Jiayin fell back on the bed without opening her eyes.
She did not forget to grab the quilt back from Shen Zhan’s hand and hug it in her arms while rubbing her face against the pillow.
“Get up.” Shen Zhan bent over. He grabbed her wrist and dragged her up.
Lin Jiayin murmured a few words, but her eyes are still closed.
The two began to pull the quilt on each side. Lin Jiayin’s strength was far inferior to Shen Zhan. She could only unwillingly grasp the corner of the quilt as she is dragged from the middle of the bed to the edge of it.
Shen Zhan let go, “Get up.”
Her eyes didn’t react at all and remained closed.
Shen Zhan tugged the quilt mercilessly before letting go.
Lin Jiayin’s head dropped and she planted face first on the bed. The moment she felt weightlessness, she immediately woke up. However, she continued to lay down on the bed for some reason.
Fortunately, the bed was low and there was a quilt. Lin Jiayin lifted the messy hair that was covering her eyes.
Shen Zhan had already walked away and went back into the bathroom.
Lin Jiayin dragged the quilt from the bed and stood there in a daze. Actually, it’s not called being in a “daze”— it is more appropriate to use the phrase “booting up a computer1Booting is the process of starting a computer. “To boot up” is to start a computer system by connecting it to electrical power and loading the startup services until the operating system is loaded.” as an analogy.
Lin Jiayin’s brain was blank when she woke up. When she walked to the bathroom, Shen Zhan just came out. There are still a few drops of water remaining on his face, and some strands of hair were wet and stuck to his forehead. Lin Jiayin could smell a faint pinewood fragrance from his body. The sun shining through the bathroom window became brighter.
The sunlight happened to hit Lin Jiayin’s eyes. She blinked as a reflex and then tried to open her eyes wide because she wanted to look directly at Shen Zhan.
“I’ll give you five minutes.”
“What?” Shen Zhan passed by her, and she turned her head as her eyes follow him.
This time the sun fell on his back, and a warm orange light envelops his body.
Shen Zhan didn’t look back, but simply and concisely said: “Morning class.”
Lin Jiayin’s brain finally started functioning.
She ran into the bathroom, closed the door, washed her face, and brushed her teeth.
The face of the person in front of the mirror is pearl white. Her cheeks are still pink from sleep, and her lips are ruddy without applying any make-up.
Once, someone approached and asked Lin Jiayin what brand and color lipstick she is using.
Lin Jiayin shook her head and said, “I don’t wear lipstick.”
The girl’s face suddenly twisted. She turned around and immediately complained to her companion with a loud voice: “How could it be possible that she didn’t wear any lipstick? My eyes are not blind. If you don’t want to say it, then just forget it. Even dared to say that she didn’t apply anything. How funny!”
Lin Jiayin heard her complaining loudly and wanted to chase the girl to explain. Tao Mo stopped her, “She doesn’t believe it even after you said it. She’ll realize the truth one day. Just leave her alone.”
Lin Jiayin finished washing and smiled at the mirror. An impatient voice rang from outside, “Only 2 minutes left.” Her brows drooped immediately, and she rushed out of the bathroom.
“I’m done!” As soon as Lin Jiayin went out, she saw Shen Zhan standing in the hallway while holding the bottle of the previous night’s medicinal liquor in his hand. The smell was quite strong and pungent.
“Come here and sit down.” Shen Zhan walked to the bed.
Lin Jiayin followed behind him while wondering what he was going to do.
“Pull up the hems of your jeans yourself.”
Lin Jiayin sat down beside him and looked up at him in a daze. Shen Zhan lowered his head and twisted the cap of the battle. Halfway through, he realized that Lin Jiayin remained motionless. He raised his eyelids: “Roll up the hems of your jeans.”
Lin Jiayin finally nodded, bent over, and rolled up her jeans on both legs. She raised her head again, and Shen Zhan squatted down in front of her. He began applying the medicated cotton swab to her knees.
“What time is it now?” Lin Jiayin looked over his head, suddenly worried about the time.
Shen Zhan carefully applied the medicine and did not answer her question.
She could feel the coldness of the damp cotton swab around her knees. The knuckles of Shen Zhan’s other hand are touching the skin under her knees from time to time. Lin Jiayin’s heart started to beat loudly, and she forced herself to focus on his hand calmly.
In addition to the knees, the cotton swab was also applied to the other parts of her calf.
Shen Zhan spread the medicine on all the places where bruises could be seen. He asked her when he raised his head. “Where else?”
Lin Jiayin’s mouth open and closed a few times as if hesitating to speak.
“None?” Shen Zhan placed the cap.
Lin Jiayin: “On my buttocks.”
“…” Shen Zhan stood up and tightened the lid of the bottle. He took her schoolbag on the bedside table and threw the medicinal liquor bottle inside.
“You won’t return it? I thought you borrowed that downstairs. ” Lin Jiayin was puzzled.
“I bought it.” Shen Zhan threw the schoolbag into her arms and raised his hand to look at the watch: “Thanks to you, there are only twenty minutes left.”
After speaking, he started to walk away.
“Wait for me!” Lin Jiayin bent over to look for her shoes. She only found one and the other was missing.
Shen Zhan had already reached the door. Lin Jiayin was so anxious that she could only put on one shoe, and stood up barefoot with the other, “Shen Zhan, don’t go away!”
Shen Zhan sighed slightly. His whole person is worn out because of her. He took his hand out of his pocket and walked to her in two steps.
Lin Jiayin cried and said, “I can’t find my other shoe.”
Shen Zhan squatted down and took out a white sneaker under the bed.
“Foot.” Shen Zhan said.
Lin Jiayin was shocked but she still stretched out her foot.
He tied it for a while without getting the kind of bow that matches the other shoe.
“Why… don’t I do it myself?” Lin Jiayin watched as Shen Zhan tie and pull them apart for the second time.
Shen Zhan didn’t seem to hear it.
Lin Jiayin was rarely sensible, and said worriedly: “We’re going to be late.”
“That’s it.” Shen Zhan got up.
The shoelace was tied in a random shape.
Anyway, it’s still a bow.
“Wait.” Lin Jiayin jumped up.
Shen Zhan didn’t look back this time.
The hotel is still three kilometers away from school, and now there are only less than 20 minutes left. Once Shen Zhan decides to go to class, he will never be late.
Lin Jiayin grabbed her schoolbag and ran to him. She pointed at his chest, “You button it.”
The second button is gone. Even if the first and third buttons are still attached, a slight movement will still cause a small opening on his shirt.
Just now, when Shen Zhan squatted in front of her to put medicine on her knees, Lin Jiayin could take a peek inside clearly.
“I don’t care about it.” Shen Zhan looked up.
Lin Jiayin took a golden sunflower brooch that was clipped on the outer layer of her schoolbag. She bought it at a special jewelry store with Tao Mo.
“Look! This can be used as a button.” Lin Jiayin leaned close to him. Without waiting for him to express his agreement, she tiptoed up and carefully put the steel pin through the buttonhole.
The cumbersome schoolbag fell on her left elbow, and the hand holding Shen Zhan’s clothes shook uncontrollably.
Shen Zhan pulled her schoolbag upon his shoulder, put one hand in his pocket, and curled his eyebrows as he watches her fasten the brooch.
Her movements were as clumsy as herself. Because she was extremely afraid of poking him with the needle, she reminded herself to be careful. When it was finally attached, her long eyelashes trembled, and the sunlight flickered on them. She let out a long breath, then raised her head and smiled at him. “Done.”
Shen Zhan looked down.
The small flower is pinned to the place where the second button should be. The golden yellow color is too vibrant, which is incompatible with the pure white color of the shirt.
“So cute.” Lin Jiayin said.
“…” Shen Zhan twitched the corner of his mouth. He did not want to comment on this sunflower pin that was too inconsistent with his usual appearance.
After walking out of the hotel, Shen Zhan carried a schoolbag on his right shoulder and asked for a taxi on the side of the road. Lin Jiayin saw a convenience store behind her. She thought that Shen Zhan hadn’t had breakfast yet, but as soon as she turned around, her shoulder was immediately grabbed.
“Where are you going?” Shen Zhan asked.
Lin Jiayin pointed at the convenience store, “I’ll buy breakfast.”
He said lazily: “Just eat later.”
“I’m afraid that you’ll get hungry.” She added.
Shen Zhan paused: “I’m not hungry.”
“It’s not good for your stomach to skip breakfast.” Lin Jiayin said, “What do you want to eat? I’ll buy it for you. I’ll run very fast.”
As soon as her words fell, a taxi stopped in front of them. Shen Zhan opened the door, and Lin Jiayin had to give up and sit inside obediently.
The car drove to the main entrance of Huaqing University. There are still eight minutes left. Fortunately, the experimental building laboratory was close to the main gate.
When they stepped inside the school gate, Lin Jiayin pulled the schoolbag strap that is hanging on his shoulder: “I can carry it by myself.”
Shen Zhan dropped his hand and threw the schoolbag to her.
While throwing it to her, he glanced at the schoolbag and frowned.
It’s so ugly that he doesn’t know how he willingly carried it on his shoulder.
Lin Jiayin walked behind him with her schoolbag while keeping a distance so that people would not link them together. He walked unhappily and lazily. She stared at his long and straight legs the whole time.
The laboratory is in room 506. It’s just that the elevator was the most crowded during this time. Lin Jiayin wasn’t able to squeeze into the elevator and had to climb the stairs. She stepped two stairs at a time, and she was exhausted.
When she reached the fifth floor, she saw Shen Zhan when she turned around the corner.
His back is slender and tall as he walks toward the classroom at the end of the corridor.
The bell rang at this moment. Shen Zhan just walked in front of the door, but he didn’t go inside.
He’s thinking of the sentence Lin Jiayin said last night: “Can I enter the classroom with you tomorrow?”
Shen Zhan turned his head.
Across the long corridor, Lin Jiayin was shocked. Shen Zhan seemed to be waiting for her deliberately.
While holding her schoolbag, she ran over at a speed of 100 meters in a minute.
After the bell rang, the noisy classroom instantly went quiet.
The art students felt uncomfortable as soon as they enter this class. They felt confused as they look at the laboratory full of instruments that they don’t even know about.
The professor is also very strict. In each class, he will personally memorize the face of every student and call out their names. His hair is half white, but his memory is still sharp.
In this class, even the geniuses are not allowed to be absent. The brains of each student must consistently keep up with the lesson. If there is disturbance during the class, he will call the person who’s causing the interruption and let him answer questions.
Yang Bo took the student list and called the names as usual. When Lin Jiayin was called, no one responded so he called again.
“Here!” Lin Jiayin wasn’t able to stop immediately. Her head slammed on Shen Zhan’s back. Fortunately, he stood firm and didn’t stumble even a little.
Yang Bo furrowed his brows. This is already considered late. He raised his eyes from the list, wanting to meet this non-punctual student.
A tall boy stood in front of the classroom’s door, and but the voice who answered earlier was obviously from a female.
Yang Bo stared at him for a while. After recognizing his face, he smiled slowly, “Shen Zhan?”
“Professor Yang.” Shen Zhan nodded apologetically.
No teacher dislikes students like Shen Zhan. Yang Bo pushed his glasses up, “Come in. You can’t be late next time.”
This is the first time Shen Zhan attended his class in person. The previous competitions were prioritized, and he was excused from attendance. Yang Bo had never called out his name as he has the option to not attend the class.
At this time, Lin Jiayin poked her head out from Shen Zhan’s back and whispered: “Mr. Yang.”
She was small and was completely covered by Shen Zhan’s tall figure. When she greeted the teacher, everyone looked at her.
Yang Bo frowned. Both of them were late. Since he immediately pardoned Shen Zhan, he was embarrassed to scold her. He coughed: “Just this once2“Just this once” is equivalent to saying “this is the last time” and the person cannot repeat the same action in the future..”
“Thank you, Teacher Yang!” Lin Jiayin grabbed her schoolbag and ran to the last row.
Everyone stared at her, then looked at Shen Zhan. They looked at the both of them as if guessing if there’s any connection between these two people.
“Why are you late?” Tao Mo lowered her head and asked in a low voice. She peeked at Yang Bo who’s standing on the podium. “Fortunately, he didn’t made an issue about your tardiness this time.”
“You slept well.” Tao Mo gave a thumbs up, “You’re also very lucky.”
Lin Jiayin was puzzled: “Why am I lucky?”
“Because you entered the classroom with Shen Zhan.”
Lin Jiayin didn’t speak.
It’s not luck. Shen Zhan waited for her.
Lin Jiayin wanted to speak but a deep voice came from the podium: “What are you chatting about in the last row?”
Lin Jiayin and Tao Mo turned their heads at the same time.
“You’re not embarrassed to talk when you already arrived late in my class?” Yang Bo frowned.
Lin Jiayin was stunned.
“Stand up.” He nodded at her, “The girl who was late.”
Lin Jiayin stood up.
Yang Bo smiled, “What did I just talk about now?”
Silence. She could only lower her head.
“I was talking about how wave detectors are used.” Yang Bo walked off the stage and answered his question.
Lin Jiayin pursed her lips. Her mind is blank at this time.
Yang Bo walked to the last row, and all the students turned their heads.
“Show me how to use the wave detector.”
Lin Jiayin looked at the several instruments in front of her. She didn’t know which one was the wave detector.
“The one on top.” Tao Mo whispered to her.
Yang Bo glanced at Tao Mo, “You like helping other people? You can answer the next question.”
Tao Mo closed her mouth.
For a few seconds, Lin Jiayin looked at the instrument that was supposed to be a wave detector.
“Turn on the power.” Yang Bo pointed at her.
Lin Jiayin held it in her hand but didn’t know how to do it.
Yang Bo sighed: “Right side.”
“Oh.” Lin Jiayin found the switch.
“Insert the wires into the opening. Blue to blue, and red to red.”
Lin Jiayin followed his instruction. She pursed the corners of her mouth after finishing it, and looked at Yang Bo: “What should I do next, Teacher?”
Yang Bo sighed again and shook his head helplessly: “Then connect them.”
Lin Jiayin was stunned for a moment, then slowly raised the wire. In a dazed and puzzled manner, she placed the testing meter on her head3If I’m not mistaken, Lin Jiayin must have misunderstood what her professor instructed her to do since the Chinese for the phrase “to connect” is similar to the pronunciation of the word “head” in Chinese.↩
to connect = 接头 = jiētóu
head = 头 = tóu.
The whole classroom was quiet for two seconds before a roar of laughter was heard.
T/N: I feel like Shen Zhan doesn’t really mind even if other people see them together. It’s only Lin Jiayin who’s thinking that she’ll trouble him if other people found out about their relationship. Shen Zhan may look cold and indifferent all the time but he definitely tries his best to be patient with Lin Jiayin.
- 1Booting is the process of starting a computer. “To boot up” is to start a computer system by connecting it to electrical power and loading the startup services until the operating system is loaded.
- 2“Just this once” is equivalent to saying “this is the last time” and the person cannot repeat the same action in the future.
- 3If I’m not mistaken, Lin Jiayin must have misunderstood what her professor instructed her to do since the Chinese for the phrase “to connect” is similar to the pronunciation of the word “head” in Chinese.↩
to connect = 接头 = jiētóu
head = 头 = tóu