After evening self-study, He Chao stuck to Xie Yu all the way back to their dormitory.
He even wanted to hold hands with Wan Da, so that Xie Yu and Wan Da could stand on either side of him. But Wan Da was quite self-aware and avoided him, saying, "This i-i-i-i-sn't too appropriate, the two of you lovebirds can just be happy with each other."
Xie Yu was a bit annoyed and asked, "Which eye of yours saw us being lovebirds?"
Wan Da thought to himself, "Both of my eyes saw it."
He watched as He Chao almost leaned his entire body towards Xie Yu, but in the end, he didn't say anything.
"Do you want to come to my room and play video games?" He Chao asked.
"No," Xie Yu replied.
"There's a basketball game tonight. Are you interested?" He Chao asked again.
"No," Xie Yu answered.
As they arrived at the dormitory door, Xie Yu used his key to open it. However, He Chao still wasn't willing to give up and took a chance, saying, "The monthly exams are coming up soon. Maybe we can study together?"
Xie Yu didn't say anything and simply closed the door.
After finishing his conversation with Zhou Dalei, Xie Yu checked the time and saw that it was already 1am.
The knocking on the door usually occurred between 12:30am and 1am. The floors where the knocking occurred varied each night, but it was mostly concentrated on the first to third floors. Perhaps "it" was also afraid of trouble and didn't want to go any higher. For now, the fourth floor and above were safe.
If there really was someone playing tricks, they must have a lot of perseverance to stay up so late.
Xie Yu casually picked up an English test paper and opened the door. By the time he stepped out, the knocking had already stopped and there was nothing in the hallway.
The motion sensor light wasn't working properly, flickering on and off and emitting a weak glow.
As Xie Yu knocked on the door of the opposite dormitory, he felt something being thrown at the door from inside, followed by He Chao's voice, sounding on the verge of a breakdown: "Is it not enough? Try knocking again!"
Xie Yu knocked twice more.
After knocking, he realized there was no response from inside the room.
Wrapped in his blanket and holding his phone, He Chao was cursing in his mind a thousand times over.
He had just casually made a threat, but this thing actually understood him.
And it dared to challenge him.
After waiting for a while, Xie Yu ruled out the possibility of the person inside looking for tools to come out and fight, and compromised: "Open the door, it's me, your uncle."
Half a minute later, the door opened.
When He Chao opened the door, his expression was calm and collected, with perfect acting skills: "Why are you here?"
Xie Yu suspected that the person in front of him had intentionally messed up his hair. Besides his hair, the loose collar and rubbed eyes also seemed suspicious, as if he was trying to create the image of someone who had just woken up.
He Chao did not disappoint his expectations. He leaned against the door, posing and running his hand through his hair: "...Ah, I was sleeping."
Xie Yu looked at him and felt a headache coming on.
If someone like He Chao were to die one day, it would definitely be from too much acting.
After a moment, Xie Yu spoke up: "Then I won't disturb you."
He Chao stopped posing. "Ah?" Wasn't he supposed to take the next step
Xie Yu felt that he shouldn't have interfered and should just let him die.
"Take responsibility for waking me up," He Chao held onto him and refused to let go. Under the faint light, he saw what Xie Yu was holding and said, "An English exam paper? Want to do homework together? Welcome, don't be shy. Whatever you don't know, I definitely won't know either, so I won't laugh at you."
"Study with me, don't worry," He Chao said.
Don't worry my ass, Xie Yu thought to himself but didn't say it out loud.
He Chao's dormitory room was decent.
He had just moved in this semester and didn't have much stuff. Xie Yu thought he would be the type to make a mess and not clean up his living environment, but he was surprised to see that wasn't the case.
He Chao put away the clothes hanging on the chair, then patted the back of the chair and said, "Sit."
In the dorm room, there was only one chair. He Chao sat on the bed, legs crossed, leaning against the corner of the table. Two people could barely fit together to look at the test paper.
"Wait a while, I'll go find a pen," He Chao said, stepping off the bed with his long legs in slippers.
Xie Yu spread the test paper on the table and, by the dim light of the desk lamp, saw a stack of brand new textbooks on the corner of the table. They seemed to have been untouched since they were issued. Next to the textbooks was an iron box filled with lollipops.
...This is a strange habit.
Xie Yu turned his head and inadvertently saw He Chao's phone, which he had just placed on the corner of the table. The phone screen was still lit.
Five large words on the screen were extremely eye-catching.
- Folk Methods for Exorcising Ghosts.
After searching for a while, He Chao finally found two pens. Xie Yu took them, but he didn't know what use they would have with He Chao's English level and his "current level".
As if they could really solve the problem.
"Which question should we start with?" He Chao bit the cap of the pen and asked with it in his mouth.
"You choose," Xie Yu replied.
He Chao circled a multiple-choice question, acting like he was choosing a concubine: "This one."
Xie Yu had no objections, but He Chao stared at the question for a long time, it was unclear what he was thinking.
Xie Yu remembered his performance in English class: "Give up and move on to the next question?"
He Chao couldn't hear the sarcasm in his words and readily agreed: "I think so, let's move on to the next one."
Xie Yu: "..."
He Chao gave up quickly. They hadn't even started writing, but before he knew it, the exam paper had turned a page.
"Let's do the reading comprehension questions," He Chao suggested. "It's easy, trust me. With a bit of intuition, you can guess the answers."
As he spoke, He Chao's confidence was almost bursting out, smearing all over Xie Yu's face.
"Do you have good intuition?" Xie Yu asked.
"I do. For example, when there are three short options and one long option, I choose the longest one. That's my intuition," He Chao replied.
In the end, He Chao himself felt that this way of answering questions was too perfunctory. Of course, it could also be because he was worried that they would finish the exam too quickly and he would have to spend the long night with his book on exorcism. So, he suggested that they should try the questions properly.
"Let's guess the intention of the examiners," He Chao opened Baidu Translate and manually translated word by word. "Let's understand the meaning first."
The two of them divided the work and each translated a paragraph.
Even when he reads those English words backwards, Xie Yu recognizes them all. But now he has to pretend. He started to wonder if the person next to him was actually mentally challenged, or if his own disguise was not convincing enough.
Or was this really what the world of an underachiever was like?
Xie Yu turned his head to look at He Chao, who was sitting on the bed and biting his pen cap from time to time without any proper posture.
"This person," He Chao translates, "wrote a letter to his friend from America about the Chinese culture and highlights. The Great Wall, China's iconic buildings, this...he wants him to see the Great Wall if he comes to China."
He Chao's translation is doesn't quite make sense.
Xie Yu started to daydream. Holding his pen, he suddenly remembered the day he first entered the Zhong family's door.
Zhong Jie smashed things directly, then without saying a word, turned and went upstairs. Zhong Guofei followed closely behind and the father and son talked for a long time in the study. Then Zhong Jie reluctantly came down and the four of them had an extremely awkward lunch.
Zhong Guofei was indeed very good to Gu Xuelan, and he also believed that these two people genuinely liked each other.
But that was his love for Gu Xuelan, and it didn't mean that Xie Yu could also get a share of it.
"Zhong Jie, that child, is very competitive and wants to do everything better than others." When Zhong Guofei talked to Xie Yu, there was pride and worry in his eyes. "Especially after his mother passed away, he has been feeling uneasy."
He said it very tactfully, but Xie Yu was not a fool, and the meaning behind his words was clear.
On the day of her wedding, Gu Xuelan was very happy. Ever since Xie Jiang left them with a pile of debt, they had been hiding and struggling to make a living for the past ten years. Xie Yu had never seen her smile like that before.
Gu Xuelan stood in front of the full-length mirror in her wedding dress, feeling a bit embarrassed. "Do I really look good like this?"
Zhong Guofei hugged her from behind. "You look beautiful."
That day, Xie Yu hid in the bathroom and smoked a cigarette.
"She's certainly really beautiful. But I don't know she managed to hook up with Old Zhong. This woman is not simple," someone said. "If her qualifications were average, it would be fine. But if not...who knows what she might be thinking."
"But she doesn't seem like that kind of person, does she?"
"The Zhong family has a big business, even if they don't have any plans now, they will eventually. Just like the Huang family, their stepson always acted so docile, but in the end, he caused trouble and wanted to fight for the company."
"The Huang family?"
"Don't you know? Recently, they tried to win over some shareholders..."
"So, the answer to this question must be B!"
He confidently selected the answer and the circle looked like a piece of poop. He finished and then flicked his finger on Xie Yu's forehead, "Hey, what are you thinking?"
Xie Yu snapped out of his thoughts and looked down at the circle.
This person, He Chao, had spent almost half an hour using Baidu Translate...and still managed to get it wrong.