Fake Slackers

Fake Slackers

Chapter 55 - Chapter 55

There were many similar Q&A threads, and Xie Yu clicked on one that was relatively recent.

The question was asked three days ago.

The person who asked the question first went off-topic and bragged about her boyfriend, praising him to the skies. Then she finally got to the point: he didn't do well in his studies and always ranked second to last. How could she correct his attitude towards learning?

One popular answer was to set a small goal, such as improving his grades by a certain number of points or planning to attend a certain school.

The user who asked the question replied, "It doesn't have to be too good, just Tsinghua or Peking University."


Xie Yu raised his eyebrows at the words "second to last" and vaguely felt that the tone of the questioner was familiar. 

Without much thought, he continued scrolling down and came across a bunch of posts about "what to do if your child doesn't like studying". All the parents in those posts seemed to be very anxious, but eventually they started chatting and it turned into a parents' gathering.

- Which high school did you go to?

- I went to a public one. It's tough to compete these days, life isn't easy.

"Dinner's ready," Gu Xuelan brought out the last dish from the kitchen, untied her apron and said, "Put your phone down, don't hold it all the time..."

Xie Yu pressed the power button and the screen immediately went dark. "Got it," he replied.

The four dishes and one soup were all home-cooked dishes.

If Zhong Guofei finished work on time, he would come home for dinner every day. Today, it seemed like he had some social engagements, so only he and Madam Gu were at the table.

Xie Yu ate a lot of each dish and was planning to put down his chopsticks and go upstairs, but he saw Gu Xuelan sitting across from him, staring at him. 

"Why are you eating so little?" Madam Gu always felt that her son didn't eat enough. "Are you full? Want another bowl of soup?"

Perhaps every parent treats their child like a pig.

Xie Yu filled another bowl of tomato and egg soup. After he finished drinking it, he said, "Mom, I'm going to Aunt Mei's tomorrow."

Gu Xuelan paused with the soup spoon in her hand, but ultimately didn't say anything. "Just be safe and don't cause any trouble. Come back early."

Gu Xuelan didn't like it when he went to Blackwater Street all the time. 

In her opinion, they used to live there out of necessity, and fortunately they only met good people. But their values were different. The way Mother Lei and Aunt Mei bonded was by insulting each other, and sometimes they even sat at the street corner smoking. 

She had also thought that after moving away, their relationship with Blackwater Street would fade away in a year or two, maybe even three. 

But Xie Yu, a child who seemed to care about nothing and spoke very little, was actually very loyal.

That night, Xie Yu searched for a while on how to deal with not liking to study. He scoured the entire internet but couldn't find any good methods to inspire a love for learning. There were plenty of dubious methods, such as inducing a car accident to stimulate the brain or trying to get struck by lightning. There were even people selling fake medicine.

- The Magical Wisdom Capsule! A high-tech new product that enhances intelligence, develops both sides of the brain, and easily improves grades. No need for car accidents or lightning strikes, just a 30-day course!

Xie Yu stared at it for a while, then thought about He Chao's grades and actually considered placing an order. 

As Xie Yu scrolled down, he wanted to see what ingredients were in this smart capsule. Before he could figure it out, He Chao called him.

Accidentally hitting the speakerphone button, He Chao's voice blared out, "Little friend, what are you up to?"

Xie Yu thought to himself, I'm considering whether or not to buy you a course of treatment to try.

"I'm not doing anything," Xie Yu replied. He had just finished showering, his hair still damp. He couldn't mention the smart capsule, so he asked in return, "What about you?"

"I'm thinking about you," He Chao said.

The boy's voice carried a hint of seriousness and tenderness as he whispered in Xie Yu's ear.

But in the next second, He Chao's emotional intelligence, which had just risen, plummeted as he said, "This is the model answer, remember it."

"..." Xie Yu thought, "Remember my foot." 

In fact, He Chao had been holding back for a long time. As soon as Xie Yu left, he wanted to make a phone call. He thought to himself that even if Xie Yu's family needed to eat supper, they should have finished by now.

He Chao thought of his stepbrother who held the script for the domineering prince and asked, "Did that idiot bully you?"

"He's not here," Xie Yu hesitated before realizing who He Chao was referring to and that he used the word "bully." It was unclear who was bullying whom. "He can't beat me either."

For so many years, Zhong Jie had never gained any advantage over him, whether it was through physical fights or verbal arguments.

The two of them chatted aimlessly.

"Oh, by the way, Old Xie, did you block the class group chat?"

"No, I occasionally check it." 

"I thought you were forced out by the class representative. That math formula he had on his head yesterday, n=c·v, I memorized it all day."


What's the use of memorizing it, that's a chemical formula. 

Do you expect to get points for a formula like that on a math test?

Xie Yu felt powerless: "Well, you're amazing."

The secret group of Class 3 had long been secretly disbanded. Since they found out that the school bully didn't hit people and the teachers were reasonable, they felt that there was no need to create another small group, which would seem disunited.

Besides, their homeroom teacher was an elderly person with a regular schedule and slept early at night, so he couldn't control them at all.

Nightlife belongs only to young people. 

The Class 3 group chat was always lively. The class representative would change their group nickname to various new ones every day, and during chats, they would forcefully inject some key knowledge points.

Whenever Wan Da appeared, it immediately turned into a gossip session, with everyone grabbing their seats and munching on sunflower seeds.

The classmates in the group were quite down-to-earth. Xu Qingqing would express her grievances in the group chat while standing outside a clothing store on weekends, holding a bunch of shopping bags and accompanying her mother: I hate shopping!

At this time, Liu Cunhao and the others would comfort her: Us men don't like shopping either. You really are our Brother Qing.

Xie Yu didn't know what to say. As a conversation ender, he rarely spoke in the "No Violence" group chat. 

Despite having nothing much to talk about, the two of them chatted until late into the night. And it turned out that He Chao was really good at telling jokes. Even the most mundane things became interesting when he spoke.

Until Xie Yu started to feel a bit sleepy.

The sky had already turned pitch black, and the only source of light in the room was the glow of their phone screens.

He Chao listened to the sound of Xie Yu's voice growing weaker, occasionally responding with a few monosyllabic words. His tone was unexpectedly gentle, making him sound quite obedient. Unable to resist, He Chao lowered his voice and asked, "Are you falling asleep?"

There was no response from the other end of the line.

But even through the phone, he could still feel their breaths intertwining.

He Chao was reluctant to hang up.

He felt satisfied, yet unsatisfied at the same time.

"I've realized something recently," He Chao whispered softly, even though he knew Xie Yu couldn't hear him. "...It seems like I'm becoming addicted to liking you." 

Xie Yu didn't have a lot of crooked thoughts. He didn't know if it was because he was always thinking about this during the day, but he had a particularly bizarre dream last night.

He dreamt that He Chao finished his college entrance exam and went to operate an excavator.

A nightmare.

He woke up and took a while to recover.

Xie Yu got up and washed his face. Unable to resist, he looked at himself in the mirror and muttered, "Fuck."

The early bus wasn't crowded, so Xie Yu put on his earphones and planned to sleep for a while on the bus.

The bus was bumpy, especially when it turned or braked suddenly.

Xie Yu tried to sleep but couldn't, afraid that if he closed his eyes, he would see He Chao sitting in the excavator and laughing at him. Then he opened his eyes and saw the endless flow of cars outside the window, with the most common sight being small breakfast stalls on the roadside.

After getting off at his stop, he sent a message to Zhou Dalei: Have you had breakfast yet? 

- Not yet, shall we meet directly at Mother Wang's place?

- Help me order five meat buns, I'll be there in a moment.

Mother Wang started by selling breakfast on a small stall in the street. Later, she saved up some money and decided to open a small shop. The children who grew up in this area have been eating her food for years. They would miss it if they couldn't have it one day.

Xie Yu found a seat and waited for a while, urging Zhou Dalei to hurry up and come. As soon as the message was sent, he looked up and saw a steaming bowl of tofu pudding in front of him.

"You, kid, I saw you from afar," Mother Wang put down the tofu pudding, her hands still wet, and wiped them on her apron. "The buns are still steaming, they'll be ready soon. Have some of this first to fill your stomach." 

"Mother Wang," said Xie Yu, looking around at the less-than-ideal surroundings. The ground was uneven and made of concrete, and the shop was too small to fit all the tables inside, so they spilled out onto the street. Xie Yu smiled and said, "I haven't even ordered yet."

Mother Wang said loudly, "What you and Lei-zi eat, wouldn't I already know! I could serve it to you with my eyes closed."

As she spoke, Dalei shuffled in wearing slippers, still half-asleep. He rubbed his head and walked to the door, holding up one hand and gesturing, "Mother Wang, five of them."

Aunt Mei was still busy at the Guangmao market, and it wasn't until almost noon that she was free. Xie Yu spent the morning playing video games in Dalei's room, using an old-fashioned TV that they had never thrown away. "Why do you still have this thing?" he asked.

"It's nostalgic," said Zhou Dalei. "And most importantly, it still works! The quality is unbelievable." 

As Xie Yu played, he remembered a nostalgic memory: "When you were young - your mom bought you that thing, did you eat it? Did it work?"

Zhou Dalei was puzzled: "What thing?"

Xie Yu said, "The one that improves memory and develops intelligence."

In order to improve Zhou Dalei's grades, his mother had tried all sorts of tricks, even forcing him to drink talisman paper, but unfortunately, none of them worked.

For a while, there was a TV commercial promoting a magical children's health product that could change lives and destinies, and help children win at the starting line. The half-hour extended version of the ad prompted Mother Lei to immediately call the ordering hotline and bring back two large boxes full of hope.

Zhou Dalei remembered, "Oh, that thing. Just look at me, does it look like it worked?"

Xie Yu: "..." 

Xie Yu thought, that's true, am I an idiot.


A little frog who likes reading. Hope you liked this chapter, and thank you for your support! Coffee fuels my midnight translation binges.

Give me feedback at moc.ebircssutol@tibbir.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com