"Hey, Brother Jie!"
Early in the morning, Wan Da had just finished packing up and was ready to go to the cafeteria for breakfast when he turned around and saw Shen Jie walking up the stairs with buns and soy milk in his hands. He waved and called out.
They had met in the exam room and had cheated and shared answers together. Although they didn't keep in touch often, every time they met, there was always a strange sense of familiarity.
Shen Jie was about to turn and go up to the third floor when he heard his voice and stopped. "Hey, Mr. Know-it-all."
"Why are you here in the dormitory building?" Wan Da walked over. "Looking for Brother Chao?"
Shen Jie shook the things in his hands, wishing he could swing them around in circles. "Yes."
Wan Da remembered that He Chao had skipped class that morning, and several teachers looked furious. He said in realisation, "Did He Chao ask you to call him? He's the type who struggles to get out of bed?"
"Comrade Mr. Know-it-all, you have the wrong idea about He Chao," Shen Jie said. "Do you think he's the kind of person who would ask someone to call him just to prevent missing class? You're thinking too highly of him."
Wan Da replied, "...I guess I was being naive."
Shen Jie continued, "The new teacher in your class is pretty good."
"You mean Teacher Tang?"
"Yeah, that one with the surname Tang."
Class 3 of the second year had gone through a change of their teacher, and when they wrote a joint letter, it caused a sensation throughout the entire grade. Wan Da smiled and said, "Teacher Tang is a pretty good person."
Shen Jie exclaimed, "This is simply impressive, I've never seen anything like it before."
Not only did Tang Sen have a long and unpleasant conversation with He Chao, but he also wanted to get to know the character of He Chao's friends better, so he called Shen Jie over as well.
Shen Jie was called to the office by a teacher from another class for the first time. He drank two cups of hot tea and felt a little lost sitting there. "Teacher, I'm from Class 8."
Tang Sen kindly said, "I know you're from Class 8."
"I really like our class. We are harmonious and friendly, and teachers and students help each other and work together. I feel very happy and currently have no plans to transfer to another class." Shen Jie felt that the teacher was looking at him strangely, and was afraid that he wanted to steal him away.
As it turned out, Tang Sen only wanted to ask for help with his student He Chao.
"I did some investigation and found out that you have a good relationship with He Chao in our class...I think he must also want to come to class, but he struggles to overcome the attraction of his bed and lacks some self-discipline. If it's convenient for you, could you invite him to come to class with you in the morning? Thank you so much."
Shen Jie was a bit confused but still agreed, "Okay, I'll do it."
Then Tang Sen asked, "I know you young people have a rich nightlife. I also want to know what games you guys are playing these days. Do you know what games He Chao is playing?"
"What game is Brother Chao playing these days?" Wan Da asked.
"It's a bit embarrassing to say," Shen Jie stopped swinging the plastic bag in his hand and looked complicated. "...Miracle, Miracle Nikki."
"Wan Da: ..." Huh?
As they talked, the two of them walked upstairs together. Wan Da didn't know why he was following, but before he knew it, he was standing at the door of He Chao's dormitory with Shen Jie.
Shen Jie's task today was to pull Brother Chao out of bed.
He happened to have the key to He Chao's dormitory, which he had begged for for half a day on the first day of school. He thought he could skip class and hide in the dormitory occasionally, feeling very pleased with himself.
As Shen Jie opened the door, he said, "Let me release you from your seal, Brother Chao! Although the bed can hold your body, it cannot hold your soul...Come on, get up and follow me..."
Shen Jie stopped talking halfway, abruptly.
Wan Da stood behind him and urged, "Still sleeping? Just shake him awake."
As Wan Da walked forward and glanced into the dormitory, he too was speechless.
"Hit me once."
"You also...you also hit me once."
The dormitory beds were single beds, and it was a bit cramped with two people squeezed in.
The air conditioning temperature was set low, and a blast of cold air rushed out when the door was opened.
Xie Yu's head was resting on He Chao's arm, with his back facing the door. From Shen Jie's angle, it looked like he was snuggling in He Chao's arms.
He Chao's waist was covered with a blanket, and most of the thin blanket was covering Xie Yu.
Xie Yu's hair covered half of his face, revealing only his nose and chin. He must have sensed some movement and felt disturbed, as he furrowed his brows in his sleep and unconsciously tried to burrow deeper into the covers.
His movements also disturbed He Chao.
Shen Jie watched as He Chao lifted the arm that Xie Yu was using as a pillow in a very natural movement, and with a quick flick of his wrist, he reached around and lightly grabbed the back of Xie Yu's head, his five fingers gently entwining in his hair. He whispered, "...Don't fuss."
Wan Da calmed down and didn't know what to say. In the end, he only uttered one word, "Wow."
"Perhaps things are not as we imagined," Shen Jie finally closed the door and sat on the stairs with Wan Da, lost in thought. The soy milk was casually placed on the ground. "Maybe our thinking is too narrow-minded."
Wan Da asked, "Does Brother Chao usually let you lie on his bed?"
Without hesitation, Shen Jie replied, "No way. If I did, he would definitely kick me off."
Silence fell between them.
Wan Da patted Shen Jie's shoulder and said, "The road ahead is long and arduous, my brother. I have to go to class now."
Xie Yu's biological clock was always accurate, and coupled with his light sleep, the sound of Shen Jie opening the door earlier had already woken him up halfway.
He lay in bed for a few conscious minutes, and the first thing he saw when he opened his eyes was He Chao's Adam's apple.
Meanwhile, Shen Jie sat on the stairs lost in thought.
Suddenly, he heard a muffled thud behind him, followed by his Brother Chao's cursing, "Fuck."
It was Tang Sen's Chinese morning reading class, and He Chao was already more than ten minutes late.
"Can you walk faster?" Xie Yu supported him and was already a little impatient when they arrived at the bottom of the teaching building.
Holding a cup of soy milk, He Chao asked back, "...and who made me become like this?"
Early in the morning, Xie Yu kicked him off the bed, and his right ankle hit the chair directly.
As they approached the building, they saw Tang Sen waiting at the classroom door, pacing back and forth in the hallway with something in his hand.
He Chao finished his cup of soy milk, raised his wrist, and casually threw it into the trash can, creating a beautiful parabolic arc.
It hit the target perfectly.
"The inquisition has arrived for an interrogation," He Chao laughed, "Sorry, you might need to get punished with me."
For some reason, the more they spent time together, the more Xie Yu felt that He Chao's laughter was just a habitual facade, like now, he didn't seem that happy.
He Chao thought Tang Sen had come to punish him, but instead, Teacher Tang took out a stopwatch and patted his shoulder. "Thirteen minutes and twenty-six seconds, Student He Chao, you have made great progress compared to yesterday."
He Chao was stunned. "...Huh?"
Teacher Tang put away the stopwatch and said, "What's wrong with your foot? Hurry, go to the infirmary and have it checked."
Before He Chao could react, Tang Sen had already squatted down to check his ankle, expressing concern. "Student Xie Yu, you go to class first. I'll take him to the infirmary."
Xie Yu's appreciation for Teacher Tang increased significantly, and he was about to say "okay," but He Chao said, "He must take full responsibility for me today."
Xie Yu: "...Why didn't I break your other leg too?"
Halfway through Liu Cunhao's poetry recitation, he stopped and leaned in to whisper to Wan Da, "Brother Chao's sprained foot looks very real today."
Brother Chao always had a good excuse for skipping class or being late, and the members of their class were still guessing what he would come up with today.
[English Representative - Xue Qingqing]: I didn't guess it right. Brother Chao's tactics are truly diverse and colorful.
[Class Representative - Liu Cunhao]: Do you remember on the first day of school when he directly arranged for Shen Jie to have some funny stomach ailment? Shen Jie still goes to the medical room with Brother Chao to get medicine even now.
[Sports Committee Member - Luo Wenqiang]: Why is that?
[Class Representative - Liu Cunhao]: Brother Chao said that the medicine can still be useful. Who knows, it might come in handy next time. In acting, you have to go all out.
[English Representative - Xue Qingqing]: ......
After Liu Cunhao finished chatting, he sneakily put his phone back and found that the king of gossip, Classmate Wan Da, was still indifferent: "What's wrong with you today? Are you unhappy?"
Wan Da shook his head: "I received a shock this morning."
Wan Da's phone kept vibrating, but it wasn't messages from the Class 3 group chat. They were from various girls he barely knew. He couldn't believe that after being single for 17 years, he was suddenly surrounded by girls.
- Hey, what's the contact number for He Chao in your class? Can you give it to me? I promise not to say it was from you.
- Dada, we've known each other for so many years. Can you help me out? I wrote a love letter to Xie Yu and I was wondering if you could help me give it to him?
- You're such a slowpoke, man! Are you friends or not? It's taking so much effort to get He Chao to come out, my lifetime of happiness is in your hands.
- Does He Chao have a girlfriend? What kind of girl does he like?
Wan Da was absolutely frustrated.
Stop asking! The two of them might not even like girls!! Ah!!!
In the medical room.
The school doctor and He Chao were so familiar with each other that they could even call each other by name. He was wearing a white coat and sitting at his desk writing a prescription. As soon as he saw He Chao come in, he said, "Hey, what's the problem again today?"
He Chao was half leaning on Xie Yu, and greeted the school doctor, "Hey, Brother Lu, good morning."
Xie Yu helped him sit on the bed.
Instead it was Tang Sen who looked a bit nervous, "Doctor Lu, can you take a look? He sprained it pretty badly. You take a look, and see if he only needs to have some medcine prescribed or to go to a big hospital for diagnosis?"
School Doctor Lu may seem gentle and refined, but he's not someone to mess with. With so many students faking illnesses every day, if he were easy to bully, the school clinic would become a refuge for truants.
After writing out a prescription and tearing it off neatly, he placed it to the side before standing up and saying, "Don't worry, these kids, especially this one in your child's class, this one named He Chao, he's just a drama..."
Doctor Lu squatted down while speaking, and as soon as he touched He Chao's ankle, the word 'queen' was silenced, "This is really a sprain."
Luckily, it wasn't a bone injury, so after applying ice and some medicine, Doctor Lu, "Rest for a few days, avoid strenuous exercise, and if there are any problems or discomfort, come back and see me. Be careful and don't get into fights, or you'll end up with a permanent limp."
As soon as He Chao returned to the classroom, a crowd gathered around him.
Liu Cunhao was leaning on his desk, looking down and exclaiming, "...It looks just like the real thing"
The sports committee member, Luo Wenqiang, also came over to join in the excitement. He was always actively promoting sports and was familiar with common injuries. At a glance, he could tell and said, "This is real, class representative, it's really sprained."
Recently, they had been practicing basketball in physical education class, and Luo Wenqiang wanted to form a basketball team - although there were no competitions, his passion for sports was always burning.
He had originally wanted to recruit He Chao as the first member.
Now that he had sprained his foot, it was a bit of a pity.
Liu Cunhao asked, "Oh, really? What happened?"
Xu Qingqing came over to collect yesterday's English test papers, and He Chao said while searching for the papers, "You have to ask my desk mate about this."
Xie Yu's expression was unchanged, and he said, "It was my kick, sorry about that."
When Xu Qingqing received test paper, she was surprised, "Today it actually isn't a blank paper?"
"That's right, I wrote it seriously," He Chao said, "I scare myself when I get serious, this time must be super strong."
Xu Qingqing quickly scanned the first page and then flipped over to look at the reading questions on the back, "..."
Based on her impression of these questions, she didn't see a single correct answer.
But she was afraid to say anything that would hurt He Chao's confidence, so she was about to casually praise him when she heard Xie Yu's indifferent remark from the side, "Strong my ass, might as well have turned in a blank paper."
That's absolutely true.
Xu Qingqing wanted to applaud.
There was a physical education class in the morning, and the school doctor gave He Chao a note to stay in the classroom and rest.
To say he was resting was actually just an excuse for sleeping.
He Chao was slumped over his desk, and from any other angle, all you could see was the back of his head. Despite wearing his school uniform properly, he was covered in the word "sloppy" from head to toe. Due to the noisy hallway, he couldn't sleep soundly, so he turned his head to adjust his posture and placed his hand on the edge of the desk.
"I don't even bother with He Chao and Xie Yu, this set of deskmates," said the English teacher who had returned to the office after the bell rang for the end of class. "The two of them handed in identical English test papers today, perfectly neat. I don't know who copied from whom...What's the point of copying like this? They couldn't even get one question right, it's all wrong."
The math teacher was grading assignments when he came across a workbook with the name "Xie Yu" beautifully written on the cover. However, upon flipping through the pages, he was disappointed to find that the content was unbearable. He furrowed his brows and shook his head, "How did this student even score into high school? He's making mistakes on middle school level concepts."
Another older teacher tried to console him, "At least they're not causing trouble. I have to say, they have made some progress this semester. Their behavior has improved, perhaps the seating arrangement in the classroom is working. It's just their grades...we can't rush that."
The teacher continued, "Look at Old Tang, he's so calm and collected despite his age. He's not even worried."
Tang Sen transferred to this prestigious school, and although he had been teaching for almost twenty years, his colleagues didn't know much about him except that he and Head Teacher Jiang were old classmates and had been friends for over a decade.
Head Teacher Jiang was such a "fiery" person, but surprisingly, his friend had such a good temper.
Tang Sen was busy tinkering with his phone, seemingly oblivious to his surroundings. It wasn't until the teacher called him for the second time that he looked up and apologized, "What? Sorry, sorry, I wasn't paying attention."
"What are you doing?" The English teacher stopped by and bent down to take a look after getting some water. "...Playing a game?"
On the phone screen was a cartoon girl with long hair, wearing a dress, and a list of various clothes beside her.
Tang Sen immediately exited and returned to the main screen, not knowing how to explain. "Uh...this..."
Fortunately, the English teacher only glanced over quickly and didn't look too closely.
The class representative knocked on the door and asked for the marked exercise books. With a turn of her body, the English teacher forgot about the little incident just now. "Class 8, right? The exercise books have been marked and are on the desk. Three classes are piled together, so you'll have to look for it."
Physical education class continued as usual with basketball practice.
Since girls had more class time, they basically had no contact with this sport usually. When the ball came straight at them, their first reaction was not to catch it, but to cover their faces and crouch down to avoid it. The physical education teacher simply took them aside for individual practice, while the boys played basketball freely.
Xu Qingqing was not afraid of being hit by the ball. After practicing for a while, she felt bored and ran to play with the boys.
"Qiangqiang, I heard that your basketball team is still looking for players," Xu Qingqing walked over, patting the ball. "What do you think of me? Can I join?"
Luo Wenqiang was practicing his shooting. His muscular body was tanned, giving him a bit of a bodybuilder look. He jumped up, threw the basketball, wiped his sweat, and said, "Sister Qing, are you serious?"
Xie Yu leaned against the iron gate of the basketball court, sitting under the shade of a tree with one earbud in his ear.
The music swirled around in his ears.
Suddenly, he raised his hand to adjust the volume, and the music became quieter and quieter until it was muted.
Xu Qingqing said, "I'm serious. Just think about when our class joins a competition..."
Before she could finish her sentence, Wan Da came from behind and snatched the ball from her, laughing as he ran to the side. "If that time really comes, our class will definitely be at the bottom of the rankings."
Wan Da was running when he accidentally collided with Liu Cunhao, causing the basketball in Liu Cunhao's hand to fly out.
Liu Cunhao immediately exploded, "You come here! Do you know how long I've been preparing for that three-pointer just now?!"
Xie Yu was watching, when a cold object suddenly touched his cheek. He turned his head to see He Chao, who was limping and holding two bottles of ice-cold soda.
"Little friend," He Chao handed the water to Xie Yu and said, "Why are you alone here while the other kids are playing basketball?"
The soda was peach-flavored, and the bottle was covered in condensation, leaving droplets on Xie Yu's hand.
Wan Da saw him. As he was being chased by Xu Qingqing and Liu Cunhao, he could only shout from afar, "Brother Chao, why did you come down?" "
He Chao said, "Came down to take a look at my handsome desk mate."
Wan Da stumbled and almost fell down.
He Chao twisted open the bottle cap, and the smell of peach water mixed with icy vapour welled out, "The classroom is too boring, and those girls outside were chattering so much that I couldn't even sleep."
"Aren't they all there to see you," Xie Yu said.
"Why are they there to see me...I still don't understand this logic. Last time, that kid Wan Da also said the same thing."
He Chao twisted his foot, causing a commotion that the whole grade knew about, especially the group of little girls who were worried and couldn't concentrate in class.
"What do you think they're doing standing in the hallway during break time every day?"
He Chao tilted his head back and took a gulp of the cold drink, feeling refreshed. Then he said, "How would I know, admiring the scenery? Sunbathing for calcium?"
In some aspects, this person's emotional intelligence can be considered disabled.
As the topic of emotional intelligence crossed his mind, Xie Yu poked He Chao with his drink that was still covered with condensation. "Hey, disabled guy, have you ever been in love?"
He Chao was watching Luo Wenqiang and the others play basketball. Besides Luo Wenqiang, the others were actually not very skilled and seemed like they were just there to cause trouble. But He Chao still generously praised them, "Good shot - Hao-zi, your snake-like movements are really cool."
Liu Cunhao tilted his head and made a "cool" gesture, looking very confident.
He Chao felt a chill in his elbow and only then realized what Xie Yu had just said, "I just sprained my foot, do you have to call me disabled?"
"To tell you the truth," He Chao leaned his arm on Xie Yu's shoulder and pointed to the iron gate of the basketball court in a boastful manner, "My ex-girlfriends could be lined up from there all the way to Jin Bang Restaurant and back again."
Without hesitation, Xie Yu shoved his cold drink right onto He Chao's face.
"I was just joking, just joking," He Chao raised his hand to touch his face, feeling the wetness of the bottle, "...Kid, you have quite the temper."
After the physical education class ended, He Chao and Xie Yu's English test papers were already posted on the small display board next to the blackboard, for public execution.
Next to them was the test paper with the highest score in the class, Xu Qingqing's 120 points, making for a strong comparison.
One by one, the students returned from the basketball court.
Liu Cunhao came over to see, but couldn't say anything for a while: "You two...why did you copy from each other?"
Of all the people they could copy from, they copied from each other, didn't they know how the score would turn out to be!
"Because I trust my desk mate." He Chao sat in the last row, very close to the small blackboard. He turned around and sat on the chair, both legs crossed around the back of the chair, which was extremely eye-catching. "My desk mate also trusts me."
Liu Cunhao didn't know what to say for a while. He wiped the sweat from playing basketball in the last class and said, "You two are really brave."
In fact, Xie Yu didn't plan to do the test paper like this.
But after observing last night, He Chao's ability to answer questions was really terrible.
Finally, Xie Yu understood why he had put in so much effort in his first year of high school barely pass while achieving the lowest grades, only to end up second to last in the entire year.
It turned out that the throne of last place was occupied by He Chao.
So, when Xie Yu was doing his practice questions, he deliberately avoided the correct answers and was determined to beat He Chao and come in first in this month's exam.
First from the end.
As the monthly exam approached, even Wan Da and his friends stopped telling ghost stories during evening self-study and were busy reviewing.
When Mad Dog came to patrol, he saw the thriving and studious appearance of the students in Class 3 and was pleasantly surprised: "Not bad, I'll give you all a special commendation. Keep it up, your class has a very good learning atmosphere lately. Students should have this kind of attitude towards learning, it's very good."
Tang Sen had just finished his meal and came over to see them, holding a hot water cup in his hand on this scorching summer day.
Mad Dog: "Old Tang, you came at the perfect time. I need to talk to you."
Tang Sen placed the cup on the podium and followed Head Teacher Jiang out.
"Have you noticed that Mad Dog has been coming to our class a lot lately?" Wan Da said while working on math problems. "Old Tang and Mad Dog are best friends. They're so close they might as well be wearing the same pants."
He Chao had books spread out on his desk and was secretly playing with his phone in the drawer.
Although usually no teacher dared to discipline them, Mad Dog was an exception. Head Teacher Jiang was an old ginger, and an especially tough type of ginger. Nobody could stop him, and it felt like he could get into a fight with the students at any moment. He wasn't afraid of anything and it was as though he was a ruthless character who once ruled the underworld back in his youth.
So every time Mad Dog came to inspect, even if they were reluctant, both of them would follow everyone to put on a show together.
Xie Yu threw a pen over to remind him, "Mad dog."
"Help me cover up," He Chao said without looking up, "This level is a special stage, I can't be distracted. Love you."
"Take back the last two words," Xie Yu said.
"It sounds disgusting."
After throwing the pen, Xie Yu realized it was his only one and reached out to pick it up.
He accidentally caught a glimpse of the screen on He Chao's phone.
In Xie Yu's impression, his desk mate had already put aside the dress-up game for a long time. Just a few days ago, he even pulled him to play "Man's Romance" - a sniper game.
The dress-up game, like a whirlwind, was probably no longer popular in the circle of little girls.
Head Teacher Jiang chatted with Old Tang for a while before going to inspect the classroom downstairs. He Chao directly took out his phone and played with it in plain sight.
On the screen was a cartoon girl with long hair, a floral dress, rosy cheeks, standing under a tree in a praying pose.
Then the screen gradually darkened, and several subtitles slowly appeared.
"Tomorrow...is the day I have a date with him..."
"Will he come?"
"Will he like the cherry blossom cake I made for him?"
Xie Yu: "..."
Wan Da kept saying that he had to review for the upcoming monthly exam and he must make a breakthrough, and insisted that nobody should go over and disturb him. But halfway through, he got bored and started biting his pen while looking around. Finally, his gaze fell on the last row, where two heads were tightly pressed together.
He Chao placed his hand on Xie Yu's neck, his five fingers slightly curved, intentionally or unintentionally pulling him towards himself.
The two of them huddled together, talking about who knows what.
"Why won't he go on a date with me?" He Chao was about to collapse. "That damn man, yesterday he clearly said he would come, and the affection bar was filled up."
Xie Yu looked at the sad girl crying in the rain on the screen, not knowing how to react.
There were several icons in the lower right corner of the screen, one of which had a small red dot on it. Xie Yu asked, "Did he send you a message just now?"
He Chao said, "This overbearing CEO said that there was something going on at his company and he might be a little late, and there were three reply options."
Xie Yu vaguely caught something, "Which one did you choose?"
"Of course I chose to reprimand him for being late," He Chao said.
"You're crazy," Xie Yu's head was pounding from listening to this. "Who the hell would want to date you like this?"
"If he doesn't come to the date just because of this, what kind of man is he? What overbearing CEO?" He Chao cursed, but still pushed his phone towards Xie Yu. "Then what should I do next...damn it, this stinky man's affection level for Little Cutie has turned negative."
Xie Yu lightly tapped the screen twice and followed the game's storyline: "Apologize to the stinky man."
He Chao: "..."
"Apologize," Xie Yu pushed the phone back, "Do you still want to win the stinky man's love?"
He Chao hesitated for a long time before reluctantly choosing the option 'I'm really sorry for today.'
He Chao said, "If He Xi this brat ever dares to find a boyfriend like that in the future, I'll just beat him to death. Don't even think about it. Nowadays, what kind of eyes do these young girls have?"
The weekend was approaching quickly.
Except for those who lived far away and found it inconvenient to travel back and forth, most of the boarding students packed up their things on Friday and prepared to go home. The parents always worried that their children wouldn't eat well at school and urged them to come home as soon as the weekend arrived.
When Xie Yu just finished evening self-study, he received a call from Gu Xuelan, "Are you coming back this weekend?"
Xie Yu stood in the corridor, surrounded by darkness, with the sound of He Chao and Wan Da playing in the background. The tables and chairs were being moved around for some reason, making a loud noise.
"Brother Chao, do you want to join our basketball team? We're really awesome."
"If I bragged like that it would be fine, but if you go all the way to brag on my behalf, it's a bit hard to believe. This morning, when Liu Cunhao messed up, I didn't even have the heart to call him out on it."
"...Didn't you praise him as being awesome?"
"Can't you tell if what I said was true or false?"
Xie Yu hooked the corner of his mouth and replied, "I might not come back this weekend, we'll see."
Gu Xuelan held the phone and let out a barely audible sigh before asking, "It's been a few weeks since you last came back, hasn't it?"
Xie Yu came up with a reason that would make any parent happy, "I have the monthly exams coming up, I need to focus on studying."
This semester, Xie Yu had been doing pretty well and hadn't caused any trouble. The new teacher, Teacher Tang, who had just arrived, even said that Xie Yu was disciplined and not bad at all, so she could rest assured.
As soon as that reason was given, Madam Gu had nothing to say.
"Well then, study hard," Gu Xuelan said, "come home after the exam, and I'll cook whatever you want. The food at school can't compare to home..."
Xie Yu made a few "mm" sounds and chatted for a while before hanging up the phone.
He Chao had already packed up and playfully patted Xie Yu's head from behind, or rather, rubbed it more accurately. "Little friend, not going home this weekend?"
Xie Yu, who looked tough, had surprisingly soft hair. He Chao couldn't resist rubbing it a few more times.
"Disabled guy," Xie Yu called him, "I give you a bit of face and you're taking advantage of it?"
Seeing Xie Yu about to throw a punch, He Chao dodged to the side. "Calm down. Harmony brings wealth, harmony brings wealth."
Wan Da was in a hurry to go back and pack his clothes, so he left first.
As Xie Yu and He Chao walked out of the teaching building side by side, there was a long silence before He Chao finally spoke up, "I'm not going home this weekend either."
The streetlights cast long shadows of the two figures.
"Why stay on campus?" Xie Yu asked. "Do you want to test the effectiveness of folk exorcism techniques?"
He Chao was initially stunned, then he thought of saying something, but in the end, he didn't spin up any stories. He just scratched his head and suddenly laughed, "Yeah, I want to test them."
As they walked a little further, Xie Yu suddenly asked, "He Xi, that's your sister's name=?"
"That damn girl," He Chao stared at the street lamp and uttered these five words, then fell silent. After a while, he said, "...Should I boast about how pretty my sister is? It's like she took after me. Actually, I'm not sure. It's been so many years since I last saw her. She must be quite pretty, right? They say girls undergo a transformation when they turn eighteen. After all, she was so ugly and chubby like a ball when she was little."
He Chao spoke lightly, but Xie Yu could tell something was off and it wasn't convenient to ask further.
He Chao was instead nonchalant and simply revealed everything in a concise and calm manner, "They're divorced, she's living with my mom."
"It sounds nice," Xie Yu commented.
He Chao turned his head, "What?"
"Your sister's name," Xie Yu clarified.
"Then what about me?" He Chao asked again, "Shouldn't you also compliment me a little in this situation?"
Xie Yu walked towards the dormitory building, not really wanting to deal with him: "You? Just go away."
Wan Da also didn't go home on the weekend, and his reason was exactly the same as Xie Yu's - "I want to focus on reviewing". However, his credibility was obviously much higher than Xie Yu's.
"I'm serious. My mom cooks too well, and we have a computer that has too many fun games." Wan Da leaned on the desk and confided his troubles to Liu Cunhao, "As soon as I get home, it's like I'm back in summer vacation. I can't control myself. How can I waste my life on studying?"
Liu Cunhao nudged him with his elbow, gesturing for him to shut up.
Wan Da sat up and looked around before leaning back down again, "What are you doing? There's no teacher...even if there were, I wouldn't be afraid."
There may not be a teacher, but there was the great and terrifying class committee member of Class 3.
Xue Xisheng was a well-known figure in their year, adored by teachers, and was an extraordinary person in his classmates' eyes.
On the first day of school, he introduced himself with a call for everyone to work hard and progress together. His desk was covered in sticky notes, filled with formulas, vocabulary, and sentence structures.
With thick glasses and a stack of extracurricular exercises in hand, Xue Xisheng walked into the classroom.
As he passed by Xu Qingqing, she was startled by his appearance: "...class committee rep, what are these dark circles under your eyes."
Xue Xisheng's footsteps seemed unsteady, and he appeared somewhat fatigued. He lifted his hand to adjust his glasses and said, "It's alright, I can still continue studying. Good luck on your monthly exams, classmate Xue Qingqing."
Xu Qingqing was at a loss for words and simply replied, "Good...good luck."
Liu Cunhao said, "There's a saying that Mad Dog likes to use, something about learning until you die. I think this guy is the perfect spokesperson for that."
Wan Da was completely stunned, "I had no idea someone's eye circles could be this dark."
He Chao wasn't late today, and he and Xie Yu entered the classroom one after the other, "Good morning."
Wan Da replied, "Good morning, good morning, good morning."
He Chao slung his backpack over one shoulder and leaned in, "What are you guys looking at?"
Liu Cunhao said, "We're looking at our class committee rep's dark circles."
"What the hell, they're so dark," He Chao was also taken aback.
Xie Yu was about to walk past them to his seat and catch up on some sleep, but He Chao grabbed his wrist and pulled him over, "Old Xie, take a look. These dark circles, how long has it been since he slept?"
Early in the morning, Xue Xisheng had brewed a cup of coffee and was sipping it while memorizing English vocabulary words.
Xie Yu had no interest in his dark circles. Right now, all he wanted was to catch up on some sleep. He shrugged off He Chao's hand.
He Chao was still watching the "panda", but his thought process was different from that of an ordinary person. As he watched, he came up with a new way of solving the problem: "Could it be that he drew it on himself? When I was a child, I used this trick to create the illusion that I was studying hard and fooled my mother."
Xie Yu sneered, "Do you think there's a second person in the world like you?"
He Chao replied, "You're making me feel a little embarrassed with all this praise."
Xie Yu thought to himself, I'm not praising you at all.
He Chao couldn't detect the sarcasm in Xie Yu's words and shamelessly continued, "Your Brother Chao is one of a kind."
Wan Da clapped his hands and cheered, "Bravo!"
Liu Cunhao also applauded, "A true genius."
The first period of the day was math.
The math teacher instructed everyone to take advantage of their morning wakefulness and memorize all the necessary formulas.
After speaking, he found a chair and sat at the front of the classroom to grade today's assignments.
Meanwhile, Xie Yu was sleeping on his desk, with the sun shining in from the window.
He vaguely felt a sudden brightness in front of him, furrowed his brow in his half-asleep state, and then shortly after, the disturbing, seemingly paper-thin layer of light disappeared.
"There are still the assignments from yesterday, those who haven't corrected their work, hurry up and do so. Everyone needs to understand where they had gone wrong, otherwise the mistakes will pile up."
"If you don't understand, come ask me or your classmates. Show me once you're done correcting your mistakes, I need to keep a record...Don't wait for me to come find you, if I do, you're done for."
The math teacher nagged at them, then lowered his head to grade papers.
The classroom remained quiet.
The only sounds in the classroom were the flipping of pages, the clinking of pencil cases, the soft thud of correction tape being set down, and the distant recitation coming from other classes.
He Chao leaned his elbow on the desk, holding a practice book he had grabbed at random. He held it up in front of Xie Yu's face, blocking the sunlight streaming in from the window.
Xie Yu slept soundly, completely unaware that someone was shielding him from the sun.
"Ah, how could there be such a great desk mate in this world like me?" He Chao's arm grew tired and he switched to the other one, muttering to himself in a soft voice, "...just looking at it myself makes me feel so moved."