The weather in Haishi was unpredictable. After the New Year's Eve, it rained heavily for more than half a month. When the rain finally stopped, it was time for school to start.
As Gu Miao entered the classroom, it was already filled with students. Today was registration day, and after receiving new textbooks and submitting homework, they could go home.
Many students were busy with their heads down, trying to finish their homework. Their hands moved quickly with their pens, and although the classroom was crowded, it still felt damp from the rain.
The seat next to Gu Miao was empty, and for some reason, his heart felt empty too.
He sat in silence, taking out his homework from his backpack.
The small classroom was extremely noisy, perhaps because the excitement of the recent holiday had not yet dissipated. They all huddled together, whispering to each other.
"Hey, I just saw that Cheng Chu and Ye Feixue's seats were empty. Did they transfer to the advanced class?"
"They probably did. Ah, my goddess, she's gone just like that. I don't know if I'll ever see her again."
"Pfft, what are you thinking? Instead of wasting your time, why don't you think about how to work hard and meet your goddess in the advanced class?"
"Well, that's probably not possible. I spent my whole break playing, and I started copying my homework a few days ago."
"Same here. People who can study during the holidays really have strong willpower."
The chattering voices drilled into Gu Miao's ears. For some reason, his ears seemed to have an automatic recognition ability, as they perked up at the mention of Cheng Chu's name.
Their conversation quickly shifted to gaming.
Gu Miao regained his focus and stared intently at the book in front of him.
He couldn't afford to be distracted. This upcoming school exam was his chance to shine.
No one knew how difficult his winter break had been. Since the first day of the Lunar New Year, she woke up before dawn to study vocabulary, review, and preview the next semester's material.
The winter nights in the coastal city were cold and damp.
The windows in his room were old and never closed properly.
The icy wind and rain would occasionally sneak in, slapping his face over and over again. He shivered uncontrollably, despite wearing all the thick clothes he had. The cold wind still found its way into his bones.
His hand, holding the pen, was covered in frostbite, but he didn't care as he continued to write. He couldn't be separated from her for too long. If he didn't seize this opportunity to take the entrance exam, the next chance wouldn't come until a month later.
He couldn't let her wait that long. The class leader pounded on the podium and shouted for everyone to go downstairs to move books. Suddenly, half of the boys in the class left, leaving the lively classroom empty.
Gu Miao felt thirsty and took his water bottle out of the classroom. There weren't many people in the hallway, so he quickly filled the bottle with hot water and hurried back.
But the next second, he stopped in his tracks.
Two boys were walking down the stairs, arm in arm, laughing and joking around.
"Hey, has Cheng Chu come back?"
"Yeah, didn't you see her just now? She's sitting at the back."
"I heard she's been busy catching up on homework. But now that she's back, I bet Yu Yan is over the moon. He's been acting strange ever since Cheng Chu left, running up to the second floor every day just to catch a glimpse of her. How silly."
"Absolutely. Just now, he was grinning from ear to ear."
As Gu Miao tightened his grip on his water glass, his breath caught in his throat and a layer of frost slowly formed in his eyes.
He was a classmate of Cheng Chu's in the advanced class, and they had known each other for much longer than Gu Miao had known her.
The dampness in the air seemed to seep into his heart all at once, and a faint sourness began to rise. He pursed his lips and his steps became heavy.
He had no idea what kind of person Yu Yan is, but he must be better than him. At least he studies much better, otherwise why would he always be in the advanced class?
Until the end of school, the sourness in his heart not only did not dissipate, but seemed to have become even stronger.
He refused Zhou Ran's invitation to walk together and sat alone in the empty classroom, burying his head and self-numbingly reading for a long time.
It wasn't until the evening's smoke and haze gradually drifted into the classroom that he lifted his head from the book as if waking from a dream.
He turned his already stiff and sore neck and looked out the window.
The campus after the rain exuded a refreshing beauty, and the crimson sunset on the horizon was like a dreamy veil, gently enveloping the entire campus.
Behind him, the classroom door was lightly knocked twice.
"Gu Miao, you haven't left yet?" The girl's clear and crisp voice echoed in the beautiful mist, causing Gu Miao's heart to skip a beat. He turned around, a bit absent-minded.
The evening breeze was not cold, but rather carried a hint of tenderness. The girl's stray hair was gently blown, and her bright peach blossom eyes seemed to twinkle with starlight.
She seemed to have gained some weight, her originally thin cheeks now slightly plump, revealing a hint of cuteness.
"Our teacher in class talked on and on, and I thought everyone had left after school. I just wanted to come and take a look, but I didn't expect you were still here," the girl's rosy lips were moving non-stop, telling him about everything she had seen and heard that day.
As Gu Miao looked at her, he felt all his anxiety and restlessness melt away, and even his hands holding the pen relaxed.
"Are you still studying?" The girl looked at the books on his desk, her brow furrowed with some distress.
"No, no." Gu Miao quickly shook his head, stuttering, "I, I was just about to go home."
A smile appeared on the girl's face like the first rays of spring sunshine. Her beautiful peach blossom eyes formed crescents, and her voice was light and lively: "Then let's go."
Gu Miao lowered his head and hurriedly stuffed all the books on the table into his backpack, standing up in just a few seconds.
He didn't expect that even though they were no longer in the same class, she still wanted to walk home with him.
As the sun set in the west, the shadows of the young boy and girl gradually lengthened in the wind.
The back-to-school exams arrived as scheduled.
Many people who had played to their heart's content during the holidays were now complaining.
This upcoming exam not only covers part of the holiday homework, but also includes some slightly beyond-the-syllabus content that hasn't been taught in the new semester yet.
The start-of-term exam isn't very formal, and there's no need for separate exam rooms. Each class just needs to complete it in their own classroom.
During the holiday, Cheng Chu didn't neglect her studies. She's always been diligent and rarely resorts to last-minute cramming.
So, she did pretty well on this exam.
After the exam, it was the weekend. After this final holiday, the new semester would officially begin.
Monday was a beautiful day, with long-awaited sunshine generously pouring down on the campus.
Cheng Chu arrived at school a little late and hurried up the stairs. She saw a crowd gathered around the notice board on the second floor.
Luo Qianqian was squeezing her way into the crowd, and her eyes lit up when she saw Cheng Chu.
"Chuchu--" Her pair of deer-like apricot eyes sparkled, as if burning with a dazzling sun.
Cheng Chu waved to her and walked over.
"What are you looking at?" She scanned the crowd and noticed that most of them were from their top class.
But the classroom was clearly upstairs.
Luo Qianqian pulled her aside and whispered, "I heard that the grade director made a red list for the top ten students in the grade, and it's posted there."
This was unprecedented, and Cheng Chu was also curious, although she didn't think she would be on it. Still, she couldn't help but tiptoe to take a closer look.
But the dense crowd was like a high wall, blocking all sight.
"Forget it, there are too many people, and it probably doesn't include me. Let's not look," Luo Qianqian sighed.
"It's true, usually the top ten spots are taken by students in the advanced classes, there's no way someone from a regular class could make it."
"I don't know why the grade director posted this honor roll on the second floor."
Cheng Chu glanced at the crowd and was about to follow Luo Qianqian when she unexpectedly heard Gu Miao's name.
Her footsteps suddenly halted and she quickly turned around.
Someone in the crowd ahead was loudly discussing,
"Who is this Gu Miao? I've never heard of him before."
"He's from Class 3, he's pretty strong."
"Damn, he got a perfect score in physics, is he a monster?"
"He almost got a perfect score in chemistry too."
Something exploded in Cheng Chu's heart and her mind was left in a daze by this sudden news.
She turned to look at Luo Qianqian and they both saw the disbelief in each other's eyes.
A slight chill in the morning breeze swept through the corridor, carrying with it the warm breath of the sun.
Cheng Chu suddenly grabbed the person in front of her and urgently asked, "Is Gu Miao's name on the red list?"
The girl held onto his hand, tilting her head slightly and looking at him with anticipation written all over her face.
Her peach blossom eyes were like clear and pure spring water, reflecting his awkward and clueless expression.
Yu Yan felt his hand shaking as the girl held onto it, and his calm heart was disturbed like a small stone thrown into a still lake, causing a strange emotion to ripple through him.
He didn't even register the girl's question, just responded with a dazed "Huh?"
Her voice was filled with a barely contained joy. "I said, was Gu Miao on the top ten red list for our grade just now?" Cheng Chu looked at the boy in front of her, who had a dumbfounded expression.
She had to suppress her excitement and ask each word carefully.
"Ah, yes." Yu Yan scratched his head. "He was second in our grade, only two points behind Lin Jianshen. It seems like his English was a bit lacking."
The little person in Cheng Chu's heart was jumping wildly, making her heart pound.
Yu Yan lowered his gaze slightly, watching the smile flow from the girl's eyes, unable to help but feel a slight tremor in his heart. "Do you know him?"
"Yes, he is--"
Before she could finish her sentence, a slightly cold voice echoed through the noisy hallway.
She turned her head at the sound. The young man's cool face was bathed in the brilliant morning light. His long bangs, which usually covered his forehead, were now all gone, revealing a smooth and clean forehead. The dark and gloomy aura that seemed to be hidden in his bones had dissipated by half.
At this moment, he lowered his eyes slightly, and his icy gaze seemed to casually sweep over her hand holding onto Yu Yan.
The author has something to say:
Gu Miao: I'm so annoyed, really annoyed. Why did she have to hold onto someone else's hand?
Translations during sleepless nights. I can sleep when I'm dead! ...Please let me sleep. Happy readers keep me awake, and lots of love and a huge thank you for supporting my hobby!
Give me feedback at moc.ebircssutol@ypeels.