Tao Xi went back to the classroom alone, because Bi Chengfei had to ponder his skills at noon every day since he became addicted to playing basketball last time.
When he arrived at the classroom, there was more than one hour left during the lunch break. Many people went to the coffee shop and milk tea shop to have fun, and some went to club activities, so there were not many students in the class.
But for Tao Xi, even that crowd didn’t make him feel as impatient as Lin Qinhe did.
Lin Qinhe was absent at noon a few days ago. Maybe he went to the school basketball team to play, but today he was here for the first time.
Lin Qinhe was sitting on the chair reading a book with headphones on. This time he was not reading a Math or Physics competition book, but a “Book of Excellent Narratives” book. Even if you could only see the side face, you could see how reluctant the reader was, frowning and turning pages quickly, as if looking at something uncomfortable.
It was estimated that He Wenjiao forced him. He Wenjiao looked gentle and amiable, but he was no more annoying than Bi Aoxue.
Tao Xi walked lightly to his seat, thinking about whether to take the materials and find another place to study, but was stopped by Jiang Xinyun, who was setting up a blackboard at the back of the classroom.
“Tao Xi, can you copy the blackboard writing for me? I think your writing is pretty good.” Jiang Xinyun held a simple draft of the blackboard newspaper in his hand and looked up at him eagerly.
“My handwriting is average, ba…” Tao Xi glanced at the blackboard with only a drawn frame. He was not very willing. He could study a lot of content after a lunch break for more than an hour, so he wanted to tactfully refuse.
Although Lin Qinhe hurt him by saying what he said last time, he was right. If he wanted to stay in the first class after the midterm exam, he had to be admitted to the top fifty.
“It’s not average. We have seen your full score essay throughout the year. The essay is well written and the characters are very beautiful.” Jiang Xinyun was often responsible for blackboard newspapers. She had studied calligraphy for many years and was considered a very picky person.
When Tao Xi listened to the full score essay, his whole body was agitated. So they read it for the whole year?
This was a fucking public sentence, right?
He glanced at Lin Qinhe, who was looking at the “Book of Excellent Narratives”. Then Jiang Xinyun continued in a begging tone: “Help me, I still have to draw, it’s too late to copy the characters.”
Tao Xi couldn’t stand the girls acting like a baby and wanted to refuse, but he thought of the twelve yuan bottle of mineral water that Jiang Xinyun gave last time.
The hand that took other possession was soft1it’s from the idiom (吃人嘴软拿人手短) but the author used soft(软) instead of short (短), so I’m not really sure either. But anyway, this whole idiom makes sense in this context. It means that when you get favours from someone, it’s hard to speak out against them, just help, ba. Just because he didn’t have to uncomfortably sit next to Lin Qinhe.
Tao Xi agreed, and Jiang Xinyun happily gave him a draft picture. At first glance, it could be seen that it was a Japanese comic style blackboard newspaper designed by a little girl. The large pink cherry blossoms and castles made the girl’s heart to the extreme.
“Just copy this text in this area. I’ll draw the main part of the drawing next to it.” Jiang Xinyun put on a pink apron and picked up the gouache palette and paintbrush.
So particular, it was also painted with paint. The blackboard newspaper of Qingshui No.1 Middle School was done by drawing a few circles and writing a few words at random with chalk.
Tao Xi took his chair, put a piece of paper before stepping on it and started writing on the blackboard. There were not many words to write. He finished it in only ten minutes. Jiang Xinyun was still painting the castle, and she seemed to be dissatisfied with how she painted it.
He couldn’t help but feel anxious when he saw this kind of sluggish painting, so he said “I’ll do it”, and then took the paintbrush from Jiang Xinyun’s hand and started painting.
He was the best at this kind of flower and tree scenery. After all, he had painted peach blossoms along the Qingshui River many times with many art students.
In less than 30 minutes, Tao Xi finished drawing the entire blackboard. Jiang Xinyun had been handing paint beside him, and many students who were originally reading also frequently looked back.
The large cluster of cherry blossoms turned into different shades of pink, and the attic with green tiles and gray walls was looming in the shadow of endless flowers. It was clearly approaching autumn, but when looking at the blackboard, it felt that April was not over, and the spring was as deep as the sea.
After Tao Xi got down from the stool after painting, he realized that he was being watched again like a monkey. Jiang Xinyun looked at him with a strange look in her eyes, half-bowed her head to say thank you.
Tao Xi shook his head and said, “You’re welcome. I’m going to wash my hands.” Then he quickly left the classroom and rushed to the bathroom.
After washing, he returned to the classroom and glanced at Lin Qinhe first. This person was no longer reading an essay book and replaced it with a Physics competition book, but his face still looked stinky.
Tao Xi quietly walked his seat. He moved his chair like a dog and was about to sit down when he suddenly heard a cold voice saying, “Wash the paint first.”
“?” Tao Xi was taken aback, didn’t he wash his hands? He made sure it was clean.
Bi Chengfei in the front row turned around and kindly pointed his finger at his sleeve.
Tao Xi looked sideways and saw that the right sleeve of his white shirt uniform was stained with pink paint, just a small piece.
An unnamed fire rose in his heart. Lin Qinhe’s pollen allergy was real, was it possible that he also had pigment allergy?
This disgusting tone successfully pierced every sensitive nerve in him.
Tao Xi glanced at the large cherry blossoms on the blackboard behind, then glared at Lin Qinhe, sarcastically replying, “Don’t worry, I am not Ma Liang and his Magic Brush!2神筆馬良 (lit. the Magical Brush Ma Liang) is a Chinese fairy tale. In short, Ma Liang got a magic brush and everything painted using that brush will become alive/real. There are a lots of foreign adaptation of this fairy tale.“
Then he turned around and strode out of the classroom to wash his sleeves in the bathroom.
Bi Chengfei tilted his head and pondered for a while before suddenly explained to Lin Qinhe, who had a stinking face, “Xi ge has very cleverly used the allusion of the magic brush Ma Liang. It means that the pictures he drew will not become real, so the flowers on the blackboard behind will not…”
The little mermaid3If y’all forgot, Bi Chengfei is called the Little Mermaid because he exchanged his voice for Lin Qinhe to join their basketball team during the gym class earlier (chapter 6) shut his mouth, made a zipper movement with his hand to his mouth, and then turned back to cry secretly.
After this, Tao Xi still continued the cold war with Lin Qinhe, unilaterally.
He was also struggling these days because the exam was about to start soon. He just went through the content he didn’t learn during the summer vacation, but there were still many unsolved problems, and there was not enough time to dig deeper.
He was not happy in the dormitory either. After that idiot Xu Ziqi hit him in the last basketball game, he not only did not apologize, but also became more yin and yang4Another slang. Something like sarcastic. The example of yin and yang person from baidu:
Normal person: Awesome!
Yin and Yang: Really, then you are really awesome. If he were in Qingshui No. 1 High School, he would have cleaned up the yin and yang people.
But he still endured it, because Feng Yuan said that no one would protect him in Wenhua No. 1 High School.
Pan Yan didn’t embarrass him, but it was annoying when he always begged him to help drawing flowers and fruits. In order not to be completely isolated in the dormitory, he had to sometimes refuse it and sometimes agree with it.
There was also Jiang Xinyun, who ran over every once in a while. Today she asked him to help draw a handbook, and she would borrow his Chinese composition tomorrow. He was not good at rejecting girls, and he was not good at dealing with girls who acted coquettish, because Tao Le always coquettishly begged him and he had never successfully refused once.
The first-semester exam was not a large-scale exam. It was just a test for the self-study during the summer vacation, and it would not be ranked. Therefore, the examination room was their respective classes, and the seats were not adjusted. Instead, there was a little bit gap between the tables.
But it was still terrible, because it took one day to complete the exams of foreign language, Mathematics and Science, from 7:30 in the morning to 9:30 in the evening, like a marathon.
When Tao Xi was running the marathon, there was always someone putting the pen in advance beside him, which made him even more anxious.
When the final exam papers were collected, he slumped directly on the desk, feeling like he was dead.
Bi Chengfei patted his head: “Xi ge, get up and move the table.” After the exam, the separated tables was put back in place.
Tao Xi twisted his stiff neck. He stood up and saw Lin Qinhe’s table, which was half a meter away from him, had been cleaned up and the person had walked away.
He moved his desk to Lin Qinhe’s desk. When the edges of the two desks were about to meet each other, he heard Bi Chengfei say: “Xi ge, we can change seats on Monday. Let’s be tablemate, ba.”
Bi Chengfei recently had a quarrel with his deskmate, Hu Tong. The two were in a cold war. The cause was that Hu Tong threw the mineral water bottle that Jin Jing gave to Bi Chengfei last time, thinking it was a trash.
Tao Xi’s hand paused, and two seconds later, he continued to move the desk over. The edges of the desk came together tightly.
Changing seats in a class was very casual. Students could make appointments with classmates they wanted to sit with. The head teacher, Aunt Zhou, thought that as long as it didn’t affect the lesson, they could sit anywhere. The only time he forced students was when he asked Tao Xi to sit next to Lin Qinhe, who never had a deskmate.
On the first day of school, Zhou Qiang also told Lin Qinhe that if he didn’t fit in for a week, he would change seats.
Tao Xi forgot this subconsciously.
“Xi ge? Do you want to refuse me too!” Bi Chengfei’s face looked dejected. He had just been rejected by Jin Jing for the countless times, and Hu Tong seemed to have found a new tablemate.
“Talk later, ba.” Tao Xi was a little confused as he picked up his schoolbag and prepared to run.
Bi Chengfei didn’t let him go: “I heard that Yakult and Xueshen talking today, he will sit with him this time. You guys don’t agree with each other anyway. We sure get along!”
He continued to persuade, but found Tao Xi’s expression on the verge of crying, but when he blinked again, it seemed to be an illusion.
When Tao Xi returned to the bedroom, Pan Yan was taking a bath in the bathroom, while Xu Ziqi was talking on the phone. Listening to the conversation, it looked like he was talking to his parents.
“Well, I have finished the exam today. It’s okay… The paper is relatively simple… The results will only be available on Monday… This time it will not be ranked, but it should be no problem to enter the top 50… Then I have to wait for the mid-term exam to change classes …Now there are more seats in the first class, but it will definitely be reduced next time…”
When he said the last sentence, Tao Xi knew that Xu Ziqi took a look at him.
As if he didn’t hear it, he took out a set of papers and continued to do exercise.
Today’s papers were not simple for him. He should not have a big problem with Chinese. English was barely possible. The earlier basic questions in Mathematics were good, but he didn’t have enough time to solve the last questions of the last two big questions. He had gone through the content of the Science comprehensive questions this week, but the problem was the difficulty of the question had increased.
On Sunday the next day, the school puts a half-day break in the afternoon, but the whole students in the class were obviously a little restless during the morning class. During the end of period, girls were discussing where to go in the afternoon, either the pottery class or flower arranging class, and the boys were discussing which game to play, either the arcade or racing game.
Most of the students in Wenhua No. 1 High School were from generous middle-class families. For Tao Xi, in the past, apart from studying, he was either helping the family with farm work or earning extra money during the vacation. He had never heard of these activities.
He didn’t care either, because his mind was all about changing seats.
When the first period was over, he decided to talk about it after the second period, and when the second period was over, he wanted to talk about it after the third period, so it was postponed to the third period.
This was the last chance, to say that he would change seat on Monday.
Tao Xi propped his head with his left hand and drew circles on the paper with a pen with his right hand, quietly looking at the side with the corner of his eyes.
Lin Qinhe was answering the Math papers that Aunt Zhou arranged in the last class. The speed was like copying the answer.
He mustered up his courage, and was just about to open his mouth when Bi Chengfei suddenly handed a folded paper crane from the front. His tone was very envious and his eyes were a bit wretched: “Jiang Xinyun gave it to you. She definitely wants you to be her tablemate.”
Tao Xi was taken aback and took a look at the paper cranes. The very delicate pen writing on it was “Lacking tablemate?” and signed Vivian. It took him a long time to realize that this might be Jiang Xinyun’s English name.
He frowned, took the pen and wrote the two words “No shortage” underneath. After thinking about it, he solemnly added the two words “Thank you”, and then folded it again. He gave it to Bi Chengfei, asking him to pass it on.
Just now, Bi Chengfei quietly saw the words written by Tao Xi, and gave him a look that “worthy of being a good brother”.
Tao Xi finally understood what Jiang Xinyun probably meant these days, but he didn’t want to provoke some peach blossoms. This was something that Lin Qinhe said was meaningless.
However, writing a note might be a good way. Tao Xi’s spirits shook and he quickly tore a small sheet from the paper. When he was struggling with what to write, the class bell rang again.
They were all piled up by the paper cranes.
The fourth period was English. He didn’t dare to pass a small note in Bi Aoxue’s class, and so he finished the class honestly.
The fifth period was the school’s club time, which was equivalent to a half-holiday, so as soon as Bi Aoxue left, the whole class was like herding sheep. They simply packed up their school bags and swarmed out of the classroom.
Bi Chengfei was from the Bridge Club5Contract bridge, or simply bridge, is a trick-taking card game using a standard 52-card deck. In its basic format, it is played by four players in two competing partnerships, with partners sitting opposite each other around a table, and he told him that he hadn’t seen him running away with his bag. Lin Qinhe was still sitting aside writing math papers.
Tao Xi raced against time to write a small note, but then Yang Duole ran over with music sheets and said, “Qinhe ge, let’s go to the orchestra together. It seems that we are going to practice a new piece of music today.”
At that time, Tao Xi had just finished writing “Can I continue to be your tablemate” when he heard Yang Duole’s voice.
He held the pen and suddenly stopped.
He didn’t think this note makes any sense.
Then he heard Lin Qinhe say: “Wait until I finish this question.”
Tao Xi rubbed the piece of paper into his palm, put down his pen and walked out of the classroom quickly, without hearing Yang Duole say:
“Didn’t you always do your homework at home?”
- 1it’s from the idiom (吃人嘴软拿人手短) but the author used soft(软) instead of short (短), so I’m not really sure either. But anyway, this whole idiom makes sense in this context. It means that when you get favours from someone, it’s hard to speak out against them
- 2神筆馬良 (lit. the Magical Brush Ma Liang) is a Chinese fairy tale. In short, Ma Liang got a magic brush and everything painted using that brush will become alive/real. There are a lots of foreign adaptation of this fairy tale.
- 3If y’all forgot, Bi Chengfei is called the Little Mermaid because he exchanged his voice for Lin Qinhe to join their basketball team during the gym class earlier (chapter 6)
- 4Another slang. Something like sarcastic. The example of yin and yang person from baidu:
Normal person: Awesome!
Yin and Yang: Really, then you are really awesome
- 5Contract bridge, or simply bridge, is a trick-taking card game using a standard 52-card deck. In its basic format, it is played by four players in two competing partnerships, with partners sitting opposite each other around a table