After the National Day performance, the long holiday of November also ended. The short-lived summer is starting to leave, and the cicadas’ chirping is dying down.
This year, N City officially entered early autumn in early October.
The students in high school were mercilessly put back into the “cage”. Due to the sudden loss of freedom after being free for so long, everyone looked a bit wilted and unmotivated.
At times like this, some campus gossip is often needed to act as a stimulant.
So, it didn’t take long for Li Wei to know the answer that had been bothering him for a long time.
—The owner of that bouquet of lilies is called Qin Shuai, whom he heard is a very good senior, the school’s most popular figure, and one of the hosts of that National Day performance.
In fact, all students must follow a strict time management system every day in any top high school that pursues a first-class ranking, especially those in the best high schools in N City.
Such a boring, day-to-day life makes students have a keen sense of campus gossip, and many gossip stories can spread throughout the campus in just a few days.
In the classroom, on campus, and in the cafeteria… students from different grades were talking about the ‘incident’ after school.
“You know that girl in the Class 1, called Zhang Man, the one who played the guitar in the National Day performance last time. That girl is really beautiful ah, no wonder even the handsome Qin has fallen.”
“Yeah, even the guys in my class have been talking about this girl lately, and to be honest she looks really good. That black modified cheongsam she wore on stage was amazing! I am a girl, but I was also dumbfounded when I saw her! It’s like a fairy coming down to earth! How come I never noticed her before? This girl is also too low-key.
“If it wasn’t for Qin Shuai who went up to deliver flowers and made his attitude clear directly, I guess the threshold of the senior class would have been stepped on in the past two days.
“But Qin Shuai is also outstanding, not only is he handsome, he can play the piano well, and his family background is also good, I heard that his father has a business, and his mother is a professor in the Chinese language department of Z University. He and Sister Zhang are a good match!”
“Tsk, he has taken a stand, who else can grab her from him—just watch, maybe in a few days our school will have another campus couple, I can tell you that even the Dean wouldn’t mind.”
“There’s no uncertainty about it, It will definitely happen! I was sitting in the front row last time, watching carefully, the girl did not hesitate to accept Qin Shuai’s flowers, but also smiled at him, obviously very happy…”
For these frivolous and meaningless gossips, Li Wei originally blocked it in his ears, but hearing Zhang Man’s name over and over again made it impossible for him to ignore it any longer.
So while the youth sat in the cafeteria eating, his ears and brain accurately grasped a lot of useful information from the discussions of several girls at the next table.
—Fairy, flowers, excellent, good match, happy.
The scrambled eggs with tomatoes in his mouth suddenly got sour, and he frowned, thinking that maybe the cafeteria chef had put too much white vinegar today.
He even felt that perhaps it was the strong kind, because the sour taste not only raged in his mouth, but even swept through his heart.
Zhang Man felt that there’s something wrong with Li Wei when he returned to class after lunch that day.
He was reading a book as usual and had replaced it with a new one called “Space and Geometry”, a thick English version with dazzling expositions in English and formulas with various strange symbols on the page he spread.
It is too profound for ordinary people.
Zhang Man observed him for a long time, and found that he did not turn the page for more than half an hour, and also did not move the pen to deduce. He simply sat there with unfocused eyes.
In fact, it seems that since the 7th of October, he has been a little off.
That night the two stayed at the beach until late before going home, and when she saw Li Wei again the next day, she felt a hint of confusion and bewilderment on his face.
This expression is rarely seen on him. In his professional field, he was always firm and confident, and even if he had doubts for a while, he would quietly think about it.
But now, the look on his face made her think that he seemed to be in some trouble that he couldn’t solve.
Zhang Man helplessly sighed, the difference between a teacher training physics major and serious theoretical physics is too big. The books he is reading now have never been touched in her previous life, and to be honest, those formulas and derivations give her a headache every time she looks at them.
So even if she wants to help, there’s nothing she can do.
Meanwhile, the original quiet classroom got rowdy, several girls were screaming with laughter, and at the back of the classroom, a group of boys represented by Liu Chang were booing.
She followed the direction of everyone’s uproar, looked towards the back door of the classroom, and found Qin Shuai standing there. As he looked inside, he instantly lit up when his gaze met hers.
He looked at her with a smile on his face, walked into the classroom with long legs and walked straight towards her.
Qin Shuai has always been a popular figure in the campus, and as one of the center of the gossip in the past two days, his action today is a picture worth 1000 words.
When the students in the Class 1 saw him walking straight towards Zhang Man’s seat, they all stopped what they were doing, fixed their eyes on them, and got excited.
There were even a few girls whispering, “Is he going to profess his love? Kyaa!”
Qin Shuai walked to Zhang Man, put a box held in his hand on her desk and smiled, “Junior, I brought you a box of chocolates, my father brought it back from abroad a few days ago, it tastes good, you try it.”
Before Zhang Man could react, he took out two more movie tickets from his pocket: “Tomorrow Saturday, there is a new movie opening. I bought two tickets, would you like to go with me?”
Zhang Man opened her mouth, and surprisingly, it was the movie tickets again.
She laughed bitterly in her heart, just because of this National Day performance, what would only happen in her sophomore year in her previous life has come early.
In her previous life, Qin Shuai had not seen her yet at this point.
She reflexively glanced at the youth sitting quietly beside her, reading a book.
The book that hadn’t moved for half an hour was suddenly turned over a page by him, and the sound of the pages rubbing against the air carried a slight tearing sensation.
Zhang Man was slightly disappointed in her heart, and unlike in her previous life, he didn’t seem to have any reaction.
But this time she will never, ever agree to do it again like she did in her previous life, just to gamble with him.
“Sorry, senior, I have other things tomorrow.”
Qin Shuai is obviously a person with strong psychological qualities and after hearing her words; he did not suffer a blow at all but withdrew the tickets naturally: “It’s OK. Then we’ll talk about it when you are free.”
Zhang Man also reached out and pushed the box of chocolates on the table and stated in a flat tone, “Senior, I have a toothache and can’t eat anything sweet.”
Qin Shuai smiled again and didn’t take back the chocolate: “You can distribute it to your classmates. Don’t worry, it’s not brought to you alone, everyone in our Arts and Literature Department has one. Take it. Don’t forget you’ve joined the Arts and Literature Department before.”
His generous family and good upbringing allow him to grasp these points well, and to test the waters without embarrassing either of them.
Zhang Man had to nod and accept it.
He did not say anything so she could not say it too bluntly and had to let it go.
When Qin Shuai left, Zhang Man continued to do the paper that was half done before.
When the lunch bell rang, the classroom was quiet again, most of the students were doing their homework and reviewing. The “rustle” of writing and the occasional sound of flipping through books became a rough background sound in the quiet afternoon.
Naturally, there are a few sporadic sleepers as well, and the boy at the table in front of Zhang Man is grinning widely as he slumps down on the table and falls into a deep sleep, emitting a regular light snoring sound.
For the entire lunch break period, she did her homework with the youth by her side, looking at his book, neither of them talking.
However, when the lunch break was over, she saw the youth turn another page of a book that hadn’t been touched for a long time, followed by a very soft voice ringing in her ears.
“Why don’t you go?”
His tone was calm, as if he was simply bored with reading a book and asked a casual question.
Zhang Man first froze for a moment before reacting to the fact that he was asking why she didn’t agree to Qin Shuai to go to the movies with him.
She stopped writing, her heart curling with a fine pain.
She will always remember her previous life in front of the school, when he looked at her with near paranoia and pleading tone, “Can you not go?”
There will always be a memory that you’ll never forget but always remember, the painful feeling accompanying it will not decay, but will pull you deeper into a vortex that you can’t escape.
She looked back, arched her eyebrows, and gently tugged on his sleeve.
“I don’t have time to go. Did you forget that I’m going to your house tomorrow to cook for you?”
After her words fell, the youth’s taut spine relaxed slightly and the whole thing seems to have suddenly cleared up.
The corners of his mouth curved imperceptibly, and his good-looking eyes blinked gently twice. He nodded, still without speaking, and turned back to continue reading.
This time, however, he gently pressed the spine of the book, spread out a blank sheet of paper, and began to perform detailed calculations on the paper as he read.
It seemed that the puzzle that had been bothering him before suddenly had an answer.
A week later, the results of the voting for this year’s National Day performance, which was a huge topic of conversation on campus, came out.
Almost every year before, the top three in the show were awarded to the school’s rock band, western orchestra and dance club, but this time, on the big red and gold list posted under the school building, Zhang Man’s self-playing and singing act came in third place.
Zhang Man became the only one who has taken one of the top three places in the individual registration program in recent years.
For a while, she was at the top of the school scene.
In particular, someone on the school’s posting bar put up a few photos of her serene performance on stage, and suddenly there was a stir on the postings of several major high schools in N City.
In the past two days, she received many love letters, and even while walking on the road, there will be some unknown students approaching her.
At noon that day, just after the two arrived at the cafeteria, a senior student came over and asked for her cell phone number, which was coldly rejected by Zhang Man.
She looked at Chen Feier, who was gloating in front of her, and felt helpless. She blamed herself for her bad ideas. Just look at the result, Li Wei didn’t catch up with the show, but she attracted a few idlers instead.
“…Man Man, I still can’t believe it, you’re like an overnight celebrity now! I went to our school posting and saw that recently many posters were asking about you, and a few seniors even declared their love for you. There was a poll posted a few days ago, and you were voted as the school flower of the school this year! Man Man, you’re going to be popular!”
Zhang Man blankly expressed a “Stop” sign, she really doesn’t want to hear her continue, and besides, Chen Feier has been talking with great interest for more than ten minutes already.
But her efforts to stop it were clearly useless.
Chen Feier dug a large spoonful of the double-skinned milk bought at window number two: “If I may say so, Man Man, you should give up on Li Wei. Look at your daily attentiveness, even I as a bystander can see that he hasn’t shown any interest towards you. So many good young people are prostrating under your pomegranate skirt for you to choose so why hang from one tree?”
With that, she took the spoonful of double-skinned milk into her mouth and her eyebrows were stretched, “Mmm, it’s still better with the red bean!”
Zhang Man swallowed a mouthful of rice in a bad mood: “Don’t worry about me. You better focus on the midterm exams next week.”
Chen Feier instantly wilted like a frosted eggplant, propping her head up and slumping on the dining room table with no energy, her two bushy eyebrows furrowed: “I’m done for! This semester I’ve been chasing stars and reading gossip, I haven’t learned anything.”
Zhang Man amusingly smooths her hair: “Well, when the time comes, I will take you with me to review. Do not worry too much, you’re just too bad at math and physics and still have a bit of a base in the others.”
Actually, she is not very worried about Chen Feier, she has a big personality, optimistic, funny and often has better luck compared to others, she has never suffered anything in her life, and has a smooth life.
In her previous life, Chen Feier did not get into the top college entrance examination and went to a second school, but once she graduated, she was arranged by her family to work in one of N City’s public institutions, where her job was stable. Later, she met her future husband through a blind date, and it was love at first sight. It didn’t take long for the two to get married and have children.
Her husband pampered her with the utmost care and attention, listened to her in all matters of the house, and was willing to work hard without any complaints, there’s no beating or scolding, and he practically spoiled her like a princess. In the words of Zhang Huifang, Chen Feier’s life is called having ‘a good fate’, jumping out of the ivory tower, turning around and entering another ivory tower.
In November, some deciduous trees on both sides of the road began to become bare, only the camphor remained verdant, and even the greenness of the leaf tips became more and more intense with the change of seasons.
The midterm exam came as scheduled, and Zhang Man played at the level she “should” after a period of remedial classes. After the results came out, her physics score was much better than when she first started school, but it was just barely above the passing line, and her overall score was in the middle and lower half of the class.
It’s actually much better compared to the previous life this time.
Zhang Man carefully planned the future in her mind.
After the Physics Competition, Li Wei is bound to follow this path. In his previous life, he won a national gold medal in his 2nd year of high school. He did not continue his senior year as usual, but entered B University directly at the end of his sophomore year.
With Zhang Man’s grades, if she takes the ordinary college entrance exam route, she will never get into B University, and her terrible chemistry and biology will not change because just because she is reborn.
But she has the advantage of having been a high school physics teacher for so many years and learned mechanics, thermodynamics and electromagnetism in college within the context of high school competitions, so her physics is definitely better than that of high school students her age by a wide margin.
So it seems that the only way is to take part in a physics competition, just like Li Wei. She was very familiar with secondary school physics competitions, and in her previous life she had selected and led a group of top students from each class to participate in competition exams.
The high school physics competition is divided into three stages, preliminaries, semi-finals, and national finals. The preliminaries are held every year in early September, and the questions are basically the same as those in the entrance examination, with only a very small part of the questions exceeding the standard, and the difficulty is roughly the same as the most difficult questions in the entrance examination. After passing the preliminaries, there will be semi-finals in early October, with only one month in between. The difficulty of the questions in the semi-finals is not comparable to that of the preliminaries.
The top fifty students ranked in the province will be awarded with first prize, and they will have a high possibility to get the qualification of independent admission of major universities. Furthermore, if you can reach the top ten in the province in the semi-finals and join the provincial team, you will be able to get the independent admission qualification of Q University and B University.
After joining the provincial team comes the national finals in early November, which is also what Li Wei participated in his previous life in his sophomore year.
In his previous life, he easily took the national gold medal, and in his sophomore year he was guaranteed a place in the physics department of the B University. She, on the other hand, transferred to H City, and because of family matters and a series of life torments, her grades became more and more ordinary, and eventually made it to the first grade.
It is here that the fates of the two begin to differ from each other.
But no matter what, in this life, she wants to be by his side all the time.
After the evening study session, Zhang Man walked alone on the way home.
The November night wind is still with a little bit of sluggish strength, the ground full of dead yellow leaves were swept up high in the air, some of it even flew to the eaves of the houses on both sides.
The road from the school to her house is a bit remote, and the street lights on the street have broken down in the last month, making it extremely dim. The streetlight blurred the road and cast a column of light in the air, and in that column of light, the tiny fragments of fallen leaves fluttered with the autumn wind.
The alley was empty, except for the leaves being blown by the wind. Along with the “rustling” sound, there was only the sound of her own footsteps, and the silence was a little eerie.
Zhang Man, of course, is not a little girl. She is used to walking alone and isn’t afraid.
But today there was a change of heart.
Right after she walked around the corner of the alley, she was blocked at the corner under a telephone pole.
In front of her were several boys wearing the same school uniform as her. The one in the lead is not bad looking, but looks sleazy. He had a cigarette in his mouth, a yellow hair perm, and black stud earrings on one ear.
The collar of his school uniform was cut in a circle to reveal a piece of his collarbone, which is not too cold in this weather.
Zhang Man noticed that the piece of his right clavicle was also tattooed with an exaggerated totem tattoo.
Behind the boy with the earrings were three other people, all dressed similarly, supposedly from the school’s delinquent youth group.
She didn’t say anything, because the other party would definitely explain the reason for coming since they stopped her.
Sure enough, a few people quietly confronted each other for a while, the boy with the earrings smiled.
“Damn, this girl has guts to listen to us. Laozi was initially worried about scaring you till you pee your pants. As expected of the newly elected school flower of the First High School, Laozi likes it.”
Zhang Man listened to his mouth full of profanity and frowned with dissatisfaction. If this were the previous world, this kind of problem students would have been pulled by her to the office for a cup of tea.
The boy with the earrings saw that she still did not speak and spat the cigarette in his mouth to the ground and crushed it with the tip of his shoe: “Oi! School flower, did you not receive the love letter I wrote to you? Why didn’t you reply? You’re looking down on me, huh?”
After receiving the love letters, Zhang Man simply did not open them and threw them away. Where can she have the time to notice whether there is this person or not in that pile?
She had a bit of a headache; why had she even attracted such a person in the first place?
Seeing that she seemed to be thinking, the earring boy pointed at himself and said word for word: “Remember, Laozi’s name is Yan Hui, and if you don’t give me an answer today, don’t even think about leaving this alley.”
Yan Hui? How does this name sound familiar?
Zhang Man suddenly remembered that in the previous life, there seems to be such a character, and finally because of sexual harassment against girls, was expelled from school.
She tightened her grip on her books and bag straps and took a quiet step back.
Such students are the most daring; they can do anything they want. Moreover, this road is usually quiet; no one will pass by them at all.
Her heart was pounding, a thin cold sweat broke out at the corners of her forehead, and she began to panic.
She is no longer the high school teacher whose students had to behave when they saw her in her previous life, but a most common 16 year old girl, if they really wanted to do something, she would not be able to resist.
The boy with the earrings watched her back away and snickered as he walked up and lifted Zhang Man’s chin. He came up to her with eyes teasingly fixed on her.
“What? You’re afraid?”
As he spoke, hot air sprayed onto her cheeks, giving her goosebumps.
He pinched her chin painfully; Zhang Man tilted her eyes away, not daring to meet his eyes. He was too close to her, and Zhang Man clearly smelled a pungent smell of smoke and sweat on his body.
She felt some obvious discomfort in her stomach, and it turned out that the closeness of a boy other than Li Wei would make her gag so much.
Being so close, the young girl’s skin is not the least bit flawed. A beautiful jade is still a beautiful jade when examined in a magnified way.
The boy with the earrings became more and more excited, letting go of her hand: “Just one word, be Laozi’s girlfriend. Yes or no?”
From the quiet alley around the corner came a low, hoarse voice, like an evil spirit from hell, cold and frightening.
Wow, this chapter is looong!
Anyways, thank you all for cheering for me on my exams~
Results will be posted on Monday and I think I passed…? (*cross-fingers)