Zhou Qiang was still talking endlessly, Tao Xi complied unwillingly, while secretly watching the time on the watch, anxiously wishing to run away.
Night study would end in a few minutes, he had to rush to ask Lin Qinhe if his self-review passed before he left.
At this time, Zhou Qiang finally took out his phone and looked at the time, and patted his semi-bald head: “Oh, why is it so late?! Okay, Tao Xi, you should go back first. Don’t study until it is too late when you go back to the dormitory at night, pay attention to study and rest…”
He hadn’t finished speaking yet but Tao Xi had already disappeared.
“Yes, it’s still alive and kicking, indicating that the mood is not affected.” Zhou Qiang smiled, feeling relieved.
As Tao Xi ran, he scolded Zhou Qiang for finding such a remote corner. When he ran to the teaching building, the bell was already ringing. Against the rush of people in the stairwell, he climbed the three floors in one breath. Sure enough, most of the classmates had already left when he ran into the classroom
Yang Duole took a leave from night study. Tao Xi thought that Lin Qinhe would leave after class, but he didn’t expect him to be there. Though, he was carrying his bag, obviously about to leave.
Tao Xi hurriedly stretched out his arms to stop Lin Qinhe, panting and asking: “My, self-review, is it a pass?”
He opened his rosy lips slightly because of gasping, his white face was stained with a layer of light pink moistened with delicate sweat, and there were drops of water hanging on the tips of his eyelashes. He looked at Lin Qinhe nervously.
Lin Qinhe looked down at Tao Xi’s face and quickly looked away and took a tissue from his desk before handing it to Tao Xi.
Tao Xi was stunned. He took the tissue from Lin Qinhe and thank him. Wiping the sweat from his face with the tissue, he heard Lin Qinhe’s solemn and indifferent voice: “It’s not deep enough.”
Tao Xi was beaten by the words. He pinched the tissue into his palm, opened his eyes and stared at Lin Qinhe, he couldn’t help but blow up his hair: “Is this not deep enough?!”
He copied the Three Represents reports of party members he had seen before. If the party members did not write profoundly, what was profound?
Tao Xi didn’t want to rewrite another one. He moved closer to Lin Qinhe, raised his eyelashes and looked at Lin Qinhe with his gaze. He softened his tone and started crazily suggesting, “I still have a lot of homework left and there a lots of them that I have not even written a word yet.”
Lin Qinhe didn’t seem to believe him, his stern face didn’t loosen at all.
Tao Xi thought for a while, tilted his head to observe Lin Qinhe’s expression carefully, and his voice was softer: “Didn’t you say that my listening book is too old? I listened to you and bought a new one. Today I have to practice listening in the evening. I really don’t have time to rewrite the self-review.”
He regretted that he promised Lin Qinhe that he could write anything.
Lin Qinhe asked, “Did I ask you to rewrite it?”
Tao Xi was taken aback, he looked at Lin Qinhe blankly and found that there seemed to be a flash of smile in Lin Qinhe’s eyes.
He wanted to try hard to see if the smile was real, but he heard Lin Qinhe say: “Show me the listening book.”
Tao Xi thought that he might have studied a wrong book. He walked to his seat and pulled out the listening book he had just bought from a big bookstore in the city from the drawer, and handed it to Lin Qinhe along with the tape on the back.
At this time, there were no other people in the classroom. The people in the front row turned off the front lights when they left. Only the last row of lights still illuminated the last seats in the classroom and the two people who still haven’t walked out yet.
Lin Qinhe quickly flipped a few pages after taking the book, and quickly concluded: “This book is not good either. The topic is too simple and there is no improvement.”
Tao Xi let out an “Ah”, tangled his fingers, and said helplessly, “But I can’t find a better one.”
Lin Qinhe glanced at him, turned around and took out a heavy book and a transparent box with tape from the drawer. While handing it to him, he said in a slightly commanding tone:
“Go back to practice this listening book and do a set of questions every day.”
Tao Xi took the book and the tape in a daze. He opened the front page of the book – on it were three sparse and beautiful words written in pen: Lin Qinhe.
The book was obviously new. The sets of questions hadn’t been answered, and the tape was as brand-new as a blank tape.
He stared at the thing in his hand blankly, having a mixed feelings. For a long time he seemed to be lost in thoughts.
“Don’t want to do it?” Lin Qinhe asked him with a low voice.
Tao Xi recovered, he shook his head quickly and looked at Lin Qinhe: “But if I practice your book, what will you practice?”
This was obviously a new book that Lin Qinhe bought and hadn’t used yet.
Lin Qinhe said flatly: “I don’t need to practice.”
Why did you buy it? Was this the waywardness of the rich?
Tao Xi didn’t understand what Lin Qinhe was thinking, but he didn’t want to take Lin Qinhe’s things for nothing, so he asked: “How much is this book? I will bring you the money tomorrow.”
The price of this book should be very expensive, it may cost a hundred yuan, Tao Xi couldn’t help but feel a little pain.
Lin Qinhe frowned and said: “No need.”
Before Tao Xi had time to insist, he saw Lin Qinhe put the worthless listening book with the tape he bought from the bookstore into his school bag and said to him, “In exchange, I’ll take this one.”
Tao Xi was taken aback. He was bewildered: “But didn’t you say that this book is too simple and useless?”
This was not an equal exchange at all.
Lin Qinhe picked up the schoolbag and said casually, “Yes, so I take it back and give it to my cousin who’s in elementary school.”
Tao Xi stared at Lin Qinhe, feeling offended!
Just as he was about to express his dissatisfaction, in the next second, Lin Qinhe stretched out a hand to his eyes.
Tao Xi closed his eyes subconsciously and felt a warm touch in the corner of his right eye. He couldn’t help holding his breath, his eyelashes quivered, and he felt a finger twirl away from the skin in the corner of his eye.
After the fingers left, he opened his eyes and found that on Lin Qinhe’s hand was actually a small piece of confetti. It should have been left when he wiped his sweat.
His heartbeat became faster for some reason. Watching Lin Qinhe randomly twisted away the confetti from his fingers, the warm touch seemed to return to the corner of his right eye, and it quickly crawled to his heart and gently scratched it.
Tao Xi couldn’t help reaching out his hand to touch the corner of his eye, blinking a few times, and pretending to blame him: “Why didn’t you tell me earlier!”
He had a piece of confetti stuck to the corner of his eye and Lin Qinhe didn’t even tell him.
“How do I know you couldn’t see it,” Lin Qinhe’s lips lifted slightly, and then he walked to the door with his schoolbag.
Tao Xi was startled. He was sure that he had saw it right – Lin Qinhe did smile.
Then he thought angrily, he was not a dragonfly, of course he couldn’t see what was next to his eyes!
Tao Xi turned off the classroom lights and locked the classroom door with the key. After checking that the door was really closed, he walked towards the dormitory building with both hands holding the listening book and tape given by Lin Qinhe.
It was late September, there was a hint of coolness in the evening and the faint scent of osmanthus floated in the dim campus. Tao Xi took a deep breath, thinking that Lin Qinhe would definitely feel uncomfortable smelling the scent.
But now he was about to fly happily smelling the scent of sweet-scented osmanthus.
Lin Qinhe didn’t seem to hate him.
He remembered what Lin Qinhe had told him; responding well to those who were really good to him.
At that time he decided that he would work hard to treat Lin Qinhe well.
But he didn’t seem to be able to bring any benefits to Lin Qinhe.
Tao Xi thought all the way back to the bedroom. Xu Ziqi seemed to be listening to English while wearing headphones. Pan Yan was sighing while drawing.
“Xi Da1大 means big/great. So I guess he means the Great Xi here?? But I’ll keeping it as Xi da for the sake of consistency (and also because I’m not very sure of what Xi da means)! You’re back! Come and help me, I really don’t know how to draw!” When Pan Yan saw Tao Xi coming in, it was like a weasel seeing a chicken, pounced towards him with teeth and claws.
Tao Xi flexibly avoided Pan Yan, protecting the listening book in his hand and mercilessly refused: “No, I want to practice listening tonight.”
Pan Yan cried and complained: “Do you have the heart to treat your roommate in the sea of suffering like this?!” He suddenly found that he no longer able to persuade Tao Xi.
“Have.” Tao Xi said coldly.
At this time, even if the earthquake was coming, and he still had to practice a set of listening questions first.
Tao Xi first went to the bathroom to wash his hands carefully, then took out his cassette player and opened the tape. Only then did he find that the tapes had no trademarks, except that they were labelled with paper with the number 1234.
Unexpectedly, for such a beautiful book, the tape packaging was quite simple.
He put the tape into the player and plugged in the earphones. After finishing a set of questions carefully, he found that the questions were really difficult, and there were many wrong answers.
No wonder Lin Qinhe said that the book he bought was too simple. He closed the book after listening to the questions he answered wrong for several times and went to the bathroom to take a bath.
When Tao Xi came out of the bathroom after washing, he saw Xu Ziqi standing at his desk looking through his listening book.
He rushed in a few steps and slapped Xu Ziqi’s hand vigorously. Picking up the listening book and holding it in his arms, he looked at Xu Ziqi with a gloomy face and said coldly: “Who allows you to move my things?”
He pressed the word “my” very hard.
Xu Ziqi was startled, he hold his sore wrist that was beaten. Tao Xi’s expression was terrifying, and he actually felt a trace of fear, but soon this fear turned into anger.
“I just flipped a page and it’s not broken. Why are you so stingy?!”
Xu Ziqi glanced at his already a little red and swollen wrist, staring at Tao Xi angrily before speaking in a strange manner: “And this book clearly says Lin Qinhe’s name, who knows if you stole it from him?”
He had seen this listening book before. It was compiled by a well-known English professor for his and his friends’ children to practice listening. It was never put on the shelves for external sales. It was not a surprise for Lin Qinhe to have it, but how could it be given to Tao Xi?
He had stayed in the first class for two months and tried to curry favor with Lin Qinhe, but never succeeded. Lin Qinhe never gave any unfamiliar people a good face.
The word “steal” irritated Tao Xi, and together with the morning’s affairs, he was extremely uncomfortable.
He had been pretending to be a grandson2To stay low in this school for so long. He just wanted to stay with Lin Qinhe, but if someone touched what Lin Qinhe gave him…
Tao Xi looked at Xu Ziqi. With a sneer, he kicked Xu Ziqi’s chair abruptly. After a few loud noises, the chair flew to the bedroom door before it bounced back to the ground.
Xu Ziqi was frightened by the violent movement and backed up a few steps. His complexion turned pale and he looked at Tao Xi like a madman.
Tao Xi’s eyes were too gloomy and sharp. He always thought this student who had transferred from the countryside was weak and timid. He had never seen him with such a terrible side?
Tao Xi gently put the listening book in his hand on the table and walked slowly towards Xu Ziqi.
Xu Ziqi actually had a premonition that he was going to be beaten. He couldn’t help but stepped back a few steps, until he retreated to the chair lying beside the door. Pointing to Tao Xi, he said, “You, what are you doing?! You will be punished for beating people!”
Tao Xi laughed, but there was a fierce energy in his eyes, staring at Xu Ziqi sarcastically, “You are a weak chicken. Are you worthy to be beaten by Laozi*?”
The ones he had beaten in Qingshui County, who was not taller than Xu Ziqi? Which one didn’t bow to him and concede defeat?
“What did you say?!”
Xu Ziqi couldn’t believe it. Tao Xi was obviously not taller than him, and even thinner than him, but he scolded him for being weak?! He clenched his fists and stared at Tao Xi with fiery eyes. He wanted to swear, but found that he didn’t have the courage to speak.
Then, with fear he saw that Tao Xi walked to a place three steps away from him and stopped, biting his words and saying:
“Xu Ziqi, I have tolerated you for a long time. Listen to me well, this book is given by Lin Qinhe to me, and this is mine. You touch my things again, it’s not gonna be the chair that I’ll kick next time.”
Tao Xi dropped these words and returned to his chair to continue working on the questions.
Xu Ziqi stood stiff on the spot, his chest rising and falling violently. He had no doubt that if he touched Tao Xi’s things again, Tao Xi would really do what he said.
Why did Lin Qinhe give Tao Xi such a precious book, and why did Tao Xi, a poor student with no background, threaten him?
Xu Ziqi’s face was blue and red, and after a while, he picked up the chair by his feet and put it back in place.
He deliberately made his voice a little louder when he put the chair. When Tao Xi looked up at him coldly, Xu Ziqi took a step back subconsciously. Feeling that he was too cowardly, he stared at Tao Xi vigorously, trying to find a bit of arrogance.
Tao Xi actually raised the corner of his mouth and chuckled. There was obvious contempt in the eyes!
Xu Ziqi was furious. He endured it but still couldn’t hold back the bitter words: “Even if you fawn on Lin Qinhe, with your test result from that week, won’t you be thrown into Class 3 in midterm.”
Tao Xi never thought that this person had also inquired about his weekly test scores and calculated his rank. He continued to lower his head to do the papers, and casually replied: “Really? Then let’s wait and see.”
Xu Ziqi suddenly wanted to slap himself, why did he set up a flag3To set up a flag = jinx!
But he also thought that unless Tao Xi was a genius, it was impossible for Tao Xi to fly into the top 50 in two months. He must use his grades to humiliate this violent maniac!
When Pan Yan, who had gone out to sleep in, opened the door and came in, he was keenly aware that something had changed in the dormitory.
Tao Xi was still doing the papers as usual, but Xu Ziqi climbed onto the bed so early and closed the curtains tightly.
Pan Yan couldn’t hold back his mouth: “Xi da, do you think that our dormitory seems to be a bit heavy, it seems that there is a deep-seated wife?4深闺怨妇 = Those who are left out by men, those who are dissatisfied, and those who show their faces to others all day long, or grieving women“
He waited for the great yin and yang Xu Ziqi to fight him in the ring, but Xu Ziqi didn’t say anything, being silent like a dumb bride in the night of the bridal chamber.
Tsk, it’s boring, Pan Yan shook his head.
“Qinhe, why are you coming back so late today?” Luo Zhengyin looked at Lin Qinhe who had just entered the door. Although she asked, she did not expect Lin Qinhe to give any specific answers.
“There is something at school.”
Sure enough, Lin Qinhe replied vaguely.
Luo Zhengyin was not relieved, because she had other things in her heart. With a sad expression, she spoke: “Lele has been uncomfortable after coming back from school. He refused to eat dinner.”
Yang Duole had a bad heart and asthma since he was a child. Over the years, Luo Zhengyin and Uncle Fang and Auntie Fang had been taking good care of Yang Duole’s body. They tried their best to give him everything he wanted, because the doctor said that the things they needed to avoid the most about Yang Duole’s illness was that him being too emotional.
“I’ll go see him.” Lin Qinhe put his schoolbag on the sofa casually.
Luo Zhengyin was relieved. While everyone spoiled Yang Duole, only Lin Qinhe had never spoiled him, so Yang Duole was only afraid of Lin Qinhe.
“By the way, Qin He, do you still use the tape recorder in the study? The nanny asked me if I want to put it away.” Luo Zhengyin asked Lin Qinhe.
Some time ago, Lin Qinhe took out an old tape recorder from the storage room and went into the study every night. It seemed to be recording a tape. He only recorded a little every day, so it took a long time to record it. Although she was curious, she didn’t ask. She only thought that Lin Qinhe was interested in these retro tools on a whim.
“Not for the time being.” Lin Qinhe picked up the dinner plate prepared by the nanny for the third time from the dining table and walked to the second floor.
- 1大 means big/great. So I guess he means the Great Xi here?? But I’ll keeping it as Xi da for the sake of consistency (and also because I’m not very sure of what Xi da means)
- 2To stay low
- 3To set up a flag = jinx
- 4深闺怨妇 = Those who are left out by men, those who are dissatisfied, and those who show their faces to others all day long, or grieving women