“Then …… you turn around.”
Zhang Man’s cheeks were a little hot, she was wearing a skirt, and if she had to put on pants, she would definitely be.
Only then did the young man react and turned his back.
When he turned around, she quickly put on her pants and found that they were so big that she couldn’t walk. She folded the legs of her pants three or four times, and folded the sleeves three or four times as well, before she could move freely.
It looked more like she was going to plant rice in the field.
Zhang Man looked at herself and then at Li Wei, they were now wearing the exact same clothes, but his was gray and black and hers was navy blue, very much like a couple.
She carried the ingredients in, greeted him, and went into the kitchen to get busy.
After stuffing all the meat into the dough, she found the young man leaning against the door watching her movements, his eyes seemingly puzzled.
Zhang Man laughed and raised the fried gluten balls in her hand: “This is a dish that everyone in H City likes to eat, stuffed fried gluten balls. You’ll know how good it is when you try it later.”
The young man nodded, still leaning against the door.
“You don’t have to watch me here, I’ll call you when the meal is ready, you go and do your usual thing.” Zhang Man lifted the back of her hand and rubbed her forehead.
The young man looked at her for a while longer, before turning to go to the study.
The water in the pot boiled, Zhang Man added some seasonings first before putting it in, one by one, and breathed a sigh of relief.
It has only been less than a month, but Li Wei’s attitude towards her has softened a little bit and he even gave her his clothes to wear today.
Though, it was still far from being liked.
This is something Zhang Man knows very well, this cold and paranoid young man, once he likes her, there will be light in his eyes that can’t be stopped.
However, her heart is full of hope, in order to help him heal, he has to trust her completely first, and right now it is still not enough.
It’s not enough.
Zhang Man made two dishes in total, eggplant with ground meat and Stuffed Chinese Fried Gluten Balls. These two dishes were learned in her previous life after she went to H City, and they are in line with the taste of people in the south of the country.
Li Wei didn’t even have rice at home, so she could only cook some noodles.
She was very quick, and the whole process took only half an hour, and the hot dishes and noodles were put on the table.
After finishing the meal, she cut up two mangoes and placed them on a plate with a few toothpicks stuck on top.
Zhang Man put the food on the dining table and went to the study. Li Wei was reading a book, so absorbed that he didn’t even notice her coming in.
Zhang Man put her hands on the desk and bent down to look at him across the room. The young man’s appearance when he was absorbed in his study was very much like that of an ancient scholar who was oblivious to what was going on outside the window and was absorbed in reading the scriptures.
From a certain point of view, sometimes, Zhang Man also envied him. How many people live a long life, but never find the direction and meaning of their lives, and spend their time idly. But he had found his talent and mission from a very early age, even though there was a vast darkness behind it.
Zhang Man waited patiently for him to finish the last equation before speaking out.
“Li Wei, let’s eat. It’s not too late to read it after you eat.”
The young man looked up at her, nodded, and raised his hand to rub his temples. He looked a little tired, but there was a little excitement and joy in his eyes. It looked like he was making some progress in his studies.
They walked back to the table.
The mahogany dining table was spotlessly clean, with an unused vintage candlestick in one corner of the table and no candles on it. On the table were two randomly arranged, but temptingly colored dishes, the aroma of which could be smelled even before one got close.
The young man saw the dishes on the table were quite sumptuous, and his eyes were a little startled.
In fact, most of the time the dining table was unused, and he often ate directly in the study by himself, taking a few bites of his meal, sometimes even reading a book while he ate.
But for today she is here, he wasn’t alone this time.
The young man pursed his lips, sat down, and picked up the chopsticks in front of him.
Zhang Man was suddenly a little bit expectant and nervous.
To tell the truth, she is very confident in her own cooking, but Li Wei’s taste she really is not sure, in case he does not like to eat, then that’s a problem…
“Here!” Zhang Man put the gluten dish into his bowl, put down her chopsticks, and looked at him expectantly with both hands on her cheeks.
The young man nodded, picked up the food and took a bite. He was a good eater. Each bite was not small, but it gave the impression that he was chewing slowly while not making the slightest sound.
Zhang Man carefully observed his appearance and saw that he was fine, not frowning at all.
She sat down with confidence and ate with him.
Since Li Wei only had one hand to use, it was not convenient for him, so Zhang Man gave him a dish with another pair of disposable chopsticks while he ate.
As it turned out, these two dishes should have been to his liking, because at the end of the day, the only remaining eggplant strips on the plate had been wiped away by him, not to mention the gluten balls, and there was none left.
Zhang Man looked at the empty bowls, her mouth slightly open, she was going to eat all the leftovers and save them for the noodle dish for lunch.
Gathering the two empty bowls together, she took a paper napkin from the table and tore it in half, wiping her mouth on one half and naturally handing the other half to him.
The moment she handed it out, she finally realized something’s wrong and hastily said, “I’m sorry, I’m too used to eating with Chen Feier.” However, when she was hesitating to take it back, the young man reached out his right hand and took half of the torn tissue and wiped the corner of his mouth in a very natural way.
Due to the fact that the 3 hours from last time had to be made up today, it became 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon.
Li Wei arranged the time so that Zhang Man could do the exercises in the morning and he would teach them all in the afternoon.
Zhang Man learned from last week’s lesson, and picked some difficult topics to write randomly and did the basics right. Li Wei was still sitting beside her, looking at his own book. Zhang Man noticed that he was still reading the same Quantum Mechanics book from before, but the pages had been turned back a lot.
Soon, the morning passed in a quiet atmosphere between the two of them, during which Zhang Man did her homework while helping Li Wei change the draft paper and ink, taking care of his inconveniences and feeling very self-conscious.
At noon, after the two of them hastily ate some fried noodles, they began the lecture, and Li Wei flipped through Zhang Man’s densely-written book of exercises, looked at it for a few minutes, and nodded his head in satisfaction.
“There is progress, but you are still not familiar with the slightly more complex comprehensive questions. This one, for example, is not just about kinematics, but also about mechanics. Remember, there are only a few formulas and variables in the mechanics and kinematics equations at this stage, so as long as you understand the known conditions of the subject and the unknown numbers it wants you to find, and find the functional relationship between them, you’ll be fine. If you want to solve a couple of unknown variables, you’ll need the same number of sets of linear independent equations…”
Li Wei saw the young girl frowning, and realized that he had gone overboard: “I’m sorry, I just made a rather advanced remark. I think it’s roughly what you understood as, several equations, several unknowns. For example, this question, you can’t solve it in the end because you have four unknown variables, but you only listed three equations.”
“And then there’s this question…”
Zhang Man was a little shocked as she listened and nodded her head obediently.
Although he had never been a teacher, he was very clear in his lectures, and he was able to grasp the key points of each type of questions. Even though she was already skilled in some things, she got some new ideas from him, so it wasn’t boring at all.
In fact, as long as she was with him, no matter what she did, she felt that time flew by quickly.
Finally finishing all the exercises, Li Wei took the responsibility to summarize all the contents of mechanics and kinematics for her, and even helped her to study what the teacher had not yet taught.
By the time it was over, it was already past five o’clock in the evening.
Zhang Man stretched her back, walked to the floor-to-ceiling window and looked out of it. Li Wei’s house was not far from the west coast, and the floor was high, so from the window you could see an azure sea.
It was sunset, and the border between the sea level and the sky was covered with a patch of red haze, stacked one on top of the other, in varying shades.
She turned back and looked at Li Wei, who was still reading.
He was really different from her; he seemed to have endless energy. In retrospect, Zhang Man hardly ever saw him doing anything other than eating and sleeping, or reading Physics.
Perhaps it was his personality that drove him to do so, or even his interest for that matter.
He finished Calculus, Linear Algebra, and Probability Theory in junior high school. With these numerical abilities, he began studying Electromagnetism, Hamiltonian Mechanics, and then Advanced Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity on his own.
One by one, he worked his way up the ladder of knowledge and tried to enrich his knowledge base.
The old adage that ‘a genius is a combination of 1% inspiration and 99% hard work’ proved to be true, and Zhang Man deeply felt that even if he had a sharp mind, he would only be a drop in the bucket if he didn’t study so furiously.
“Li Wei, I will be here for a total of six hours a week to make up for my classes, will I disturb your study?”
The young man’s right hand held the book for a moment, then gently closed the page and stood up, walking to her side.
Not far from the window, the blue sea embraced the setting sun, repeating the ebb and flow of the tide that should be present at this time of day.
It was about 5:00 or 6:00 p.m., and a dark sandy beach that had been soaked in seawater all day was showing through, forming a clear line of division with the dry, light-colored sand above.
Instead of answering her question directly, he said, “The gravitational field of the sun and moon causes the tides to rise and fall on Earth, and so do we. I’m not always able to think quietly 24 hours a day, either…”
“Like the low tide, when you’re here, there’s plenty for me to do.”
His voice was always clear and slightly hoarse. In his eyes were the blue sea, the warm red sun, and the endless sky, filled with stars.
His life was tragic and miserable, but he had a determination and broad mind that few young people of his age have.
She looked at the young man’s serious eyes and slowly broke into tears: “Li Wei, you must believe in yourself, you will become a great person in the future.” — She was so proud of him that she burst into tears.
This — this kind of him made her so proud that her eyes started tearing up.
As the young man listened to her words, he felt like laughing for some reason. She was so sure of what she was saying, as if she had seen it happen already.
He suddenly wanted to open his heart to the girl who had gotten the entire Physics paper almost half wrong.
“I never wanted to be famous nor great. Zhang Man, in fact, there are still too many unknowns in the development of our science up to now. What I want is the ability to think in the darkness, to close my eyes and explore the unknown one by one on the way.”
Zhang Man was startled by the fleeting smile that flashed across his face. When talking about what he loved the most, he became an incredibly pure person with no pain, no suffering and no loneliness of any kind.
Smiling was the most uncommon expression on Li Wei’s face. Unfortunately, he didn’t know how beautiful his eyes were when he smiled.
Her heart was pounding until she got home that day, and she couldn’t stop it.
She decided that for the rest of her life, she would try her best to guard that smile with all her might.
…Heh, even I got teary for a bit when translating this chapter. *sigh*