Picking Up Stars

Picking Up Stars

Chapter 11 - Chapter 11

Xing Yan also sweated a lot. When he turned around, his black T-shirt stuck to his back, and his exposed arms looked dazzlingly white under the dim light.

His words left a lingering trace in Qin Fang's empty heart.

When Qin Fang pushed the door open, Hua Tong had already finished showering and was sitting there playing games. Seeing him walk in with a racket and sweating all over, he asked, "Went to play ball?"

Qin Fang responded and grabbed shorts and a towel before entering the bathroom. "If the water is cut off today, I'll perform a suicide for you."

"Hahaha there's water," Hua Tong raised his voice, afraid he couldn't hear. "I just finished washing. Even without water, Brother Tong can create water for you, don't worry."

"You can even create water now?" Qin Fang asked him. "How do you make it?"

"Some classmates deliver barrels of mineral water, ten yuan a barrel. For twenty yuan, Brother Tong can let you wash to your heart's content," Hua Tong said.

Qin Fang chuckled. "You'll step on a chair and pour it over my head?"

"Can't you pour it from the basin yourself?" Hua Tong tsk-ed. "Stepping on a chair, showing off your height?"

"I'm just tall." Qin Fang pushed the door closed and turned on the cold-water-only shower.

A strenuous workout had already completely dispersed Qin Fang's negative emotions. Emptying himself in this way was very effective, and Qin Fang had never failed.

In the past, the only feelings left after exercise were tiredness and exhilaration, nothing else.

But today there was one more thing. The words Xing Yan said before turning around kept spinning in Qin Fang's mind. A very wonderful feeling, quite hard to describe, an unexpected kind of conveyance from a not-so-familiar friend.

Of course, this conveyance was well-intentioned, and Qin Fang received it.

—The eyes are unwilling.

Qin Fang laughed lightly. If he were a little girl, he would probably have fallen for it by now. He didn't know if Xing Yan had a girlfriend, but if he did, she would be almost infatuated to death. Who could resist a cool guy's sweet talk? He didn't have this skill. If he did, maybe he could chase girls even faster.

This game of ball quickly made Qin Fang and Xing Yan become close.

Friendships between boys come easily in the first place, and Qin Fang had always been a person with a lot of personal charisma. He had always had good interpersonal relationships and many friends. In Qin Fang's view, after Xing Yan helped him save a seat, ate a meal with him, and played a game of ball with him, the two of them were already quite close friends.

The exam month arrived. Even if Qin Fang was usually inattentive, he had to settle down and review at this time. The library was crowded enough on weekdays, and it was even more packed now. His two roommates had already given up on the library and were each sprawled on their own desks in the dorm, not talking to each other while studying.

Qin Fang couldn't stay in the dorm. He always wanted to sleep when he was there.

He sent a message to Xing Yan: Yan-ge, where are you?

Xing Yan replied: Lab

Qin Fang: Do you have class in the afternoon?

Xing Yan: No

Qin Fang: Then I'll wait for you at the coffee shop?

Xing Yan: OK

There were many acquaintances in the coffee shop. Qin Fang's small circle of friends at the school always came here. Last time, he even got into a fight with Zhou Siming here. Although they didn't break anything, the shop didn't do much business at noon that day, so the loss was actually not small.

The boss was too familiar with Qin Fang. There was no way he would take Qin Fang's money. Later, Qin Fang sent a bottle of red wine, and the boss pushed it away for a long time before laughing and saying, "If you do this, I'd rather take your money. You're losing out big time."

"You're going too far, bro." Qin Fang waved his hand, not wanting to talk about these things.

The fight last time didn't actually happen that long ago. It was all this semester's business. So when Qin Fang and Xing Yan ate together here, finished eating, and then continued studying for an afternoon, it felt like a time warp no matter how you looked at it.

A waiter quietly asked his colleague, "The one who went up last time... the one who went up later, is it this one?"

"I think so..." the colleague said in a low voice. "He's quite memorable."

"Then what's going on?" The waiter glanced over there again. "I don't understand."

The colleague also didn't understand and waved his hand. "Oh well, maybe they became acquainted through the fight."

It was indeed a case of becoming acquainted through a fight. At this moment, Qin Fang was sitting across from Xing Yan, looking down at his linear algebra book, his eyes almost boring through the book.

Xing Yan looked up at him and then tossed him a pen and a piece of paper. "Use a pen to calculate."

Qin Fang was very lazy when it came to studying and didn't like to write. He would rather use his eyes than his hands. The paper and pen were left untouched on the side, and his eyes were fixed on the example problem steps. He turned the pages very slowly, not moving for a long time.

Xing Yan looked up from his book and, seeing that Qin Fang had been looking down without moving, asked, "Fell asleep?"

"No." Qin Fang looked up. "If I fell asleep, I'd be lying down."

"Are your hands made of gold?" Xing Yan glanced at the untouched paper and pen and asked.

Qin Fang laughed carelessly. "I'm used to it."

Qin Fang was getting a little frustrated from reading and started looking for someone to chat with. He asked Xing Yan, "Yan-ge, how are your grades?"

Xing Yan didn't even look up. "Not bad."

"Have you ever failed a course?" Qin Fang asked.

Xing Yan said indifferently, "No."

"I figured you were a study god since you always go to the library," Qin Fang stretched his arms. "I envy you study gods' concentration."

Xing Yan ignored his words. He held a pen in his hand and used the tip of the pen to point at Qin Fang's book. "Read yours."

"I'm dizzy from reading," Qin Fang yawned. "My eyes are dizzy."

"I told you to use a pen to calculate, but you didn't listen," Xing Yan put down the book in his hand and looked up. "Be dizzy then."

Qin Fang was a local. He had lived in this city since he was a child, a genuine northerner. After interacting more, he guessed that Xing Yan was not from here. Although they both spoke Mandarin, there were some subtle differences that could be heard.

Qin Fang lay on his side on the table, twirling a pen in his hand, and asked Xing Yan, "Yan-ge, where are you from?"

Xing Yan glanced at him, said a city name, and then asked, "Why?"

"I feel like you're not a local."

"Mm." Xing Yan responded and didn't want to chat more with him.

Qin Fang was already used to this person's aloofness. It was like this every day.

After eating, they each returned to their own dorms. On the way back, Qin Fang even brought half a watermelon for each of his two roommates. Nowadays, the owners of small shops are quite smart. They sell watermelon directly with spoons, chilling it in the freezer, and give you a spoon after weighing it.

Their dorm now had a bunch of spoons. Shen Dengke was even saving them to see if he could collect a hundred by graduation.

The two roommates were studying until their heads were spinning. In their eyes, Qin Fang, who brought back iced watermelon, was shining.

Qin Fang put one on each of their desks and said, "Take a break."

"Love you, mwah." Shen Dengke hugged the watermelon, delighted.

"What are you guys eating for dinner?" Qin Fang asked.

"Takeout," Chen Ke put away the books on the table, "I said let's eat out but he doesn't want to go."

Only after living in Hua Tong's dormitory did he realize how precious air conditioning was. Qin Fang sat backwards on the chair, leisurely playing with his phone, chatting with Jian Muyang on WeChat while casually talking with his two roommates.

Jian Muyang's WeChat profile picture was of himself, wearing a clown nose and smiling with his head tilted, looking both silly and sweet. He asked Qin Fang on WeChat: Bro, how long is your summer vacation?

Qin Fang replied: About a month.

Jian Muyang immediately asked: What day does it start?

Qin Fang said: Not sure yet.

Jian Muyang didn't have much to do, he just finished his homework and was looking to chat with him. Qin Fang didn't go back last week, so the young master was trying to make his presence felt. Qin Fang indulged him in chatting, but actually had no plans to go back for the month-plus summer vacation.

Last summer vacation, Qin Fang went out on his own and became a backpacker, with a bag containing two sets of clothes and a camera. That feeling was pretty good, with a freedom from letting the soul fly.

This year he hadn't decided where to go yet, but he definitely wouldn't go home. If Jian Muyang also wanted to go, Qin Fang could take him along, but Dong Yin probably wouldn't allow it.

"I'm not going back for summer vacation, I already told my family," Shen Dengke said while digging into a watermelon, "I'm staying here to study."

"Then I'll keep you company," Chen Ke went to wash his hands, came back and sat down to dig into the watermelon, "I don't want to go back either."

"Well that's just great." Shen Dengke then looked at Qin Fang, "What about you, young master?"

Another message came on WeChat, and Qin Fang lowered his head to look: "I don't know, haven't decided."

The WeChat message turned out to be from Xing Yan, and it was a file.

Qin Fang opened it, and inside were all linear algebra problems, with answers and analysis. Qin Fang had been looking at linear algebra all day, and now just seeing it made him dizzy.

He exited and returned to the chat interface, fingers on the keyboard about to type, when Xing Yan sent a message first on the chat interface.

- If you don't want to write, just memorize the answers.


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