When Xie Yu returned, the lights in the hall were still on. Ah Fang had been following him since he entered the door. Xie Yu stopped halfway and said, "Just say what you want to say."
Ah Fang glanced at the hall calmly and whispered, "Madam has been in a bad mood all afternoon and didn't eat much for dinner. She's really angry this time. Second Young Master, when you go in later, don't argue with Madam."
Gu Xuelan was watching TV in the hall. Although everything seemed normal on the surface, Xie Yu could tell just by looking at the back of her head that tonight was going to be a tough one.
On the TV, a cheesy family drama was playing with terrible acting and a plot that defied all logic. The male lead contorted his face to express his pain and said, "I love you, but I also love her... I just don't know what to do. You and her are both important women in my life."
Xie Yu walked over and said, "Mom."
Gu Xuelan didn't say anything.
The only response he got was the male lead's increasingly ridiculous lines.
"I'm sorry," Xie Yu endured the torture of the brain-dead TV show and admitted his mistake, "I shouldn't have left without saying anything this morning."
"Shouldn't have left without saying anything?" Gu Xuelan raised her hand and turned off the TV. She then slapped the remote control on the glass coffee table, making a loud "bang" sound. "What, were you planning to leave in a grand manner? Xie Yu, have I not told you that I want you to stay at home during this vacation and not go to any messy places? Your most important task now is to study."
"Mom, I think I have the right to choose how to spend my vacation."
Gu Xuelan's voice was slightly sharp: "What right do you have? When you become independent, then you can come and talk to me about rights. I didn't raise you to be idle all day and just getting by, always running around outside. Have you ever thought about what you'll do in the future? You're still young now, things you can't think of, Mom will think for you. If your self-control is not enough and you can't do it, Mom will supervise you and make you do it. In the end, it's still my fault?"
Xie Yu remained silent.
Gu Xuelan let out a sigh, sat down, picked up the water glass on the coffee table with a trembling hand, and said, "You may blame Mom now, but you will understand in the future. Mom does all this for you."
"I know," Xie Yu said, "I have a plan in my heart. When it's time for the college entrance exam, you'll see if I get into Tsinghua or Peking University."
"You always use this phrase to block me. What plan do you have? If you really had a plan, your grades wouldn't be like this today. Dream on if you think you can get into Tsinghua or Peking University." Gu Xuelan's chest felt tight and painful.
Since she awkwardly sent away Teacher Huang in the morning, her emotions have been fluctuating greatly. Now, Xie Yu is still in front of her, not feeling the slightest bit of guilt, and all her emotions suddenly surge up: "Who taught you to become like this? Zhou Dalei? Xu Yanmei? Do you also want to be like those people in Blackwater Street?!"
Xie Yu originally wanted to apologize and coax Madam Gu with a good temper to calm her down. After all, he did something wrong today. If she really wanted him to get tutored during the holidays, then so be it.
But hearing the last sentence, he suddenly raised his head, speaking slowly, but his eyes were cold as ice: "'Those people?'"
After finishing her words, Gu Xuelan felt like she had misspoken. But she was still angry and had no way to back down.
The two of them stood in silence, facing each other.
"The food is in the kitchen. If you're hungry, go eat it yourself," Gu Xuelan's attitude softened, and a sense of powerlessness swept over her.
Xie Yu's personality was tough, and many times she didn't know how to educate him.
She raised their child alone, and she had no way, nor the power, to fill the void of the missing father figure in Xie Yu's growth process. No one had ever taught her how to handle a teenager with a rebellious attitude.
This child was no longer the soft and cuddly little one who used to rely on her, nor did he demand her company to go out and play. He no longer walked with a bouncy step, stopping halfway to look back and find her when she wasn't keeping up.
He could now take his own steps, seemingly leaving her behind. Their conversations had become fewer, and she didn't know what he was thinking. In the teenager's eyes, there was a world she couldn't understand.
After Gu Xuelan went upstairs, Xie Yu went to the kitchen to get some water. He saw a plate of tomato and scrambled eggs, neatly placed with a bowl on top. The eggs were golden and sprinkled with finely chopped green onions.
Madam Gu made it herself.
He didn't even need to taste it, he could tell at a glance.
Xie Yu suddenly felt like he had done something really despicable today.
As the night grew deeper, the large house became quiet once again.
After taking a shower, Xie Yu remembered that his phone was still on airplane mode. After turning it off, a flood of more than a dozen text messages came in, one after another.
Most of them were from Aunt Mei, asking where he was, not to throw a tantrum, and to hurry home because his mother was very worried.
Even Dalei's mum, Mother Lei, had sent two messages, and the last one was from Lei-zi, asking if he had made it home.
Xie Yu replied: I'm home.
Lei-zi: Good that you made it. As soon as I got home, my mom grabbed me and asked if I knew where you went. I acted like I didn't know, and she made it seem like you were a missing person. It scared me to death.
Although Madam Gu spoke harshly and put on an act as though she wouldn't listen no matter what he said, she didn't persist in enforcing the tutoring.
Zhong Jie, who had nothing to do with the matter, was like a victorious rooster, feeling extremely happy and bringing it up from time to time.
Xie Yu remained indifferent and was 'polite' throughout, saying, "Yes, yes, you're right, you're amazing. Are you happy now?"
Zhong Jie: "..." His words only made him angrier.
Without having to deal with tutoring, Xie Yu had a lot of free time during the holidays.
The season for the Trivia King Battle competition was based on the holiday schedule, with the start and end of the season being the standard for the beginning and end of the summer and winter breaks. This summer was the first trial operation of the obscure game, and the noble first generation Trivia King would be born.
"I Love Learning": Is the top student X not online today? Is he sick?
"For a Better Tomorrow": Why assume he's sick... Can't you think positively? He's also a human who needs to live.
"I Love Learning": Because in my eyes, this top student X will never give up on learning as long as he has breath in his body. He is so diligent, combining talent and hard work, humble and never arrogant, even staying up until 5am to study. He is my role model for learning.
'This Top Student X Whose Learning Cannot Be Stopped Even by Death' was currently playing on the internet with two old aunties.
Xie Yu: "One circle."
Xu Yanmei: "Three with one."
Mother Lei: "Pass."
Xie Yu played another one again: "Bomb."
Comrade Xu Yanmei, the queen of the Blackwater Street society, has recently been addicted to playing mobile Landlord and spends all day looking for someone to play cards with in the group. Mother Lei looked at her bad hand and said, "I give up, I can't win anyway. I need to go cook."
Xu Yanmei asked, "Why do you always run away when you can't win?"
Mother Lei replied confidently, "I really need to cook, otherwise my son, Dalei, will have to eat crap."
Xie Yu said, "I'm out too. Playing with you is no fun because you always lose."
Xie Yu was known for his good luck, and Dalei always called him "Boss Xie."
During New Year's gatherings in the past, everyone refused to play with Xie Yu, so he sat alone like a sad old man with no children to care for, watching TV and drinking hot water.
At first, Zhou Dalei tried to boost his brother's confidence and forcefully pulled him to the table. "You guys are overestimating him. Really, his card skills are just average and it's all just luck. Don't believe me? Let's see for ourselves. He'll definitely play poorly today."
But in the end, Xie Yu completely betrayed his trust. Not only did he win all the money that could be won, but he also won four IOUs.
Xie Yu once again logged into the "Trivia King Battle", because he suddenly remembered that there was a limited-time double experience event this weekend.
[Trivia King Production Team]: Are you ready for the Trivia King Carnival tonight! Not only are there new question types, but we have also enriched and improved the content of various subjects. The difficulty level has also increased. We have also launched a brand new spectator mode where you can watch the top students solve questions and have one-on-one battles! The competition is fair and transparent, and there is no place for cheating and hacking!
The introduction of the spectator mode has caused a stir throughout the game.
"I Love Learning": This is great! Now I can see where I stand compared to others, their problem-solving strategies may help me develop new ways of thinking. Looking at the same question from different angles will definitely make learning more efficient!
"Serving the Motherland": Kudos to the development team! The spectator mode is truly a pleasant surprise. I have always wanted to see how the top players on the leaderboard solve problems.
"Learning, Learning, Learning, It's All I Live For": Thanks to you guys, I had a fulfilling summer. Every time I open this app, I know there are endless questions waiting for me, and I feel especially happy. I have tackled many difficult problems that I wouldn't normally encounter, constantly challenging myself and maintaining my passion for learning.
Xie Yu remained oblivious to the world outside his window and dove straight into the practice problems. He didn't notice the small gray text that appeared in the upper right corner, constantly changing and flashing.
Current viewers: 82.
"I love learning": This top student X is terrifyingly fast at solving these problems...
"For a Better Tomorrow": X is a god, a divine being at answering questions. No wonder they're climbing the leaderboard so quickly. I haven't even finished reviewing the question, and they've already solved half of it. 666!
"Learning, Learning, Learning, It's All I Live For": Did anyone understand that last geometry problem? X just came in and drew five auxiliary lines. Is that how it's done?
"Striving for the top": Those auxiliary lines are amazing! That move was impressive, solving both parts of the question in one go.
"For a Better Tomorrow": Classmates, let's all strive for 666!
Xie Yu had no idea that nearly a hundred crazy people were watching him solve problems.
All he knew was that at 3:30 in the morning, he had finally managed to knock that shameless guy off the top spot on the leaderboard.