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Published at 29th of August 2023 07:54:24 AM


Chapter 29

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You are my star.

”The overall level of performance for this test is not bad. Most students did pretty well, but–,” the bald English teacher changed his tone: “There is a strange person in our class.”

“Of the seventy multiple choice questions, sixty nine were wrong. The fill-in-the-blank grammar section and ‘correct the sentence’ section were completely blank, the ‘summarize the English composition’ section was a verbatim copy of the text. Truly amazing,” the English teacher pulled out an exam paper covered in red X’s, so furious that his hands shook:

“To think our class had such a talented person!”

Seeing the angry red-faced teacher, the system laughed so hard it rolled on the ground: “Hahahaha, those answers were given by that idiot! Hahaha, you’re killing me…”

As soon as the system said this, a voice full of fury suddenly sounded up front:

“Xie Siliu! Take your masterpiece and stand in front!”

The system’s laughter stopped: “…”

Bai Zhi blinked, pushed back his chair with a scrape, and stood up front with an expression lacking any understanding of the situation.

Perhaps the English teacher had been angered beyond his limits because it took him quite a while before he started class. Bai Zhi looked at the students in their seats who wanted to laugh but didn’t dare to, confusedly scratching his head:

“Uncle–”

“Don’t call me uncle.” The system interrupted Baizhi: “I don’t have a nephew like you, embarrassing yourself so much you might as well be in outer space.”

Bai Zhi lowered his head, feeling very wronged: “Weren’t you the one who told me to write whatever…I can’t understand any of those squiggles…”

“Those are English letters, not squiggles.” The system said: “Also, they were all multiple choice questions, how did you guess only one of them correctly?”

“I don’t know either…” Bai Zhi’s voice became quieter: “There were too many choices, I just picked whatever.”

The system facepalmed: “Stop talking, others will think our family’s genes are bad.”

So Bai Zhi stopped talking and stood obediently with wide eyes for the whole class period. When the bell rang, he was taken by the teacher into his office to be scolded for another period and was only released when the teacher’s mouth grew tired.

Thus, Bai Zhi returned to the classroom holding his exam. As soon as he entered, he was surrounded by people. Luo Le shook his fist in admiration:

“The boss deserves to be the boss, he bullshits this confidently even when taking exams. Comrades, learn from the boss!”

The little brothers on the side echoed: “Learn from the boss!”

The baffled Bai Zhi: “Bullshit? But I wrote everything seriously.”

The surroundings suddenly quieted.

Luo Le was silent for two to three seconds, then said incredulously:

“…Wrote everything seriously?”

Bai Zhi nodded: “Yeah, what’s wrong?”

“No, it’s nothing.” Luo Le paused for a while and then laughed dryly a few times: “Hahaha, uhh…f-fellow comrades, we…um…learn from the boss’s spirit of not cheating and being honest!”

Someone said confusedly: “But…are we not the villains?”

“So what if we’re the villains?” Luo Le hardened his scalp and replied: “Honesty, uh, is the only way to show that we’re on the right path, understood?”

Bai Zhi heard this and said: “Being honest is indeed pretty good. In the future, you guys should be like this.”

The group of younger brothers seemed to be devout worshippers of Bai Zhi. Upon hearing his words, they immediately tossed their doubts:

“Whatever the boss says is whatever we’ll do!”

Bai Zhi nodded: “Go back now, you guys. Class is about to start, remember to study hard.”

“But are we not the villains?” Someone else spoke again.

Luo Le smacked the head of the person who spoke: “What do you know! The boss was forced to stand for a whole class period this time, is that not miserable enough? We must study hard to make up for him so that he can relax!”

The younger brothers immediately dispersed, hurriedly running back to their seats and picking up their books.

Bai Zhi watched the suddenly enthusiastic group of the people. Although he didn’t understand what happened, he inexplicably felt relieved.

He rubbed his nose and went back to his seat.

When Ji Guichen saw the returning people, he raised his eyes and glanced at Bai Zhi:

“You…?”

“En?” Bai Zhi turned his head, saying: “You also think I’m bullshitting?”

Ji Guichen was silent for a while, then shook his head.

Bai Zhi suddenly laughed: “Hahaha, that’s right. How can someone praise me when I said I didn’t do well?”

“Praise you?”

Bai Zhi pointed at Luo Le: “He! He said I was bullshitting!”

“Oh?”

“I said I wrote seriously, then he changed his mind and said I was honest. That’s so strange.” Bai Zhi sniffed and then showed another smile: “Ji Guichen, just now the teacher called me over to have me find someone as a tutor.”

Bai Zhi nodded very happily: “Yes yes yes!”

Ji Guichen didn’t say anything for half a day. Bai Zhi thought he was going to refuse again and was about to open to mouth to persuade him when that person suddenly said:

“Okay.”

“Actually, I…ah?” Bai Zhi started: “What did you say?”

“I said, I’m willing to tutor you,” Ji Guichen turned his head: “After all, it’s the first time in all my seventeen years meeting someone who scores 1.5 points on a 150-point test.”

Bai Zhi was not embarrassed in the slightest: “Hahaha, it’s an honor.”

“I wasn’t praising you.”

“…Oh.”

Ji Guichen acted very quickly. That same night, he organized a list of frequently used words and sent them to Bai Zhi.

“Memorize them. Tomorrow I will spot-check.”

Bai Zhi opened the list with a face full of bewilderment, instantly becoming bewildered squared. [1]

“What’s this?”

Ji Guichen: “Words from the textbook. Do you not even know one bit?”

Bai Zhi: “…Pretty much.”

“What do you mean by ‘pretty much’?”

“I don’t even know two bits.” Bai Zhi’s fingers typed slowly: “By ‘one’, do you mean the ‘one’ in ‘one o’clock’?” [2]

The especially concerned voice did not speak again. Bai Zhi waited for half a day, but Ji Guichen did not send any more messages.

“Uncle, why did he stop replying?”

The system shook its head wordlessly: “Nephew, you should shower and sleep.”

“Okay.” Bai Zhi obediently put down his phone, took a thorough shower, and slipped under the covers.

“Then I’m going to sleep! Good night uncle!”

“Good night silly nephew.” The system yawned and stopped talking.

The next day, Bai Zhi went to school early. The empty classroom had only Ji Guichen inside. He sat calmly in his seat, flipping through his book with one hand.

Looking at his side profile, Bai Zhi suddenly felt something was off.

He didn’t feel that Ji Guichen was an extreme person through their few conversations. Why did he end up like that in the original novel?

Although Ji Guichen was neglected by others, kept a low presence, and was occasionally bullied by the original Xie Siliu, he was clearly not a cowardly person. He didn’t seem to care much about anything, he kept to himself and didn’t talk much with others, and he would always read books when he had nothing else to do.

He was a person of his own ideals with a maturity far beyond his age.

Why would he use a knife to hurt someone?

Bai Zhi suddenly remembered the scene the day he went home with Ji Guichen: the dilapidated cramped house, the man reeking of alcohol, the cursing as soon as he opened his mouth, and that open window.

Jumping from the second floor was not too hard for Bai Zhi, but Ji Guichen was human. How many times did he have to jump before he could do it so nonchalantly and uncaringly?

Bai Zhi’s hands slowly curled into fists. He slowly walked to Ji Guichen’s side and sat down with thousands of feelings in his heart.

No matter what, he would not let Ji Guichen become mired in the ending of the original novel.

The punishment for maliciously wounding someone on the back had already vanished from everyone’s knowledge back then.

Bai Zhi inwardly came to a decision. Suddenly, someone touched his arm, and he turned his head. Ji Guichen was looking at him and he spoke slowly, articulating each word:

“I made some materials for you. Read them with me.”

Bai Zhi quickly made a noise of assent, stuffing his backpack into the drawer and scooting over.

Ji Guichen flipped a page and explained: “I don’t know what your skill level is, but based on your previous grades, I’ve prepared some elementary school sentences for you. Read them to me.”

Bai Zhi stared at the pile of letters for half a day and then turned to look at Ji Guichen.

Ji Guichen: …

“It’s amazing that you were able to enter high school,” Ji Guichen’s voice slowed: “Read with me.”

“The moonlight is beautiful.” [3]

Bai Zhi repeated the sentence after him choppily. Ji Guichen furrowed his brows, moved closer to Bai Zhi’s ear, and repeated with immaculate pronunciation:

“The moonlight is beautiful.”

“The meaning of this sentence is ‘the moonlight is beautiful’.”

The pure voice that belonged only to this youth rang in his ears, and Ji Guichen’s breath fanned over Bai Zhi’s neck. Bai Zhi’s fingertips trembled, his heart instantly becoming a mess.

His mind seemed to have suddenly changed into a ball of wool, stringing itself left and right and leaving him in a daze. The words in his heart tumbled out without passing through his mind:

“I like you.”

His voice was very soft, so Ji Guichen didn’t hear it clearly:

“What?”

Bai Zhi had come to his senses as soon as he finished speaking and was hurriedly thinking about how to pass it off when Ji Guichen spoke questioningly. 

He hadn’t heard clearly.

Bai Zhi understood.

He instantly rejoiced. Fortunately he wasn’t exposed, yet strangely his heart was somewhat at a loss.

As if in actuality, he still kind of hoped that person would hear those words. 

“It’s nothing. I was just saying that I liked your sentence and how it’s said in English.”

Bai Zhi suppressed the loss in his heart and covered up his accidental exposure of the truth. 

“You don’t know how to say this?”

Ji Guichen thought this was very strange.

“I don’t know.”

Bai Zhi was at even more of a loss. He lowered his head and started twisting his pants with his hands.

The sunlight outside the window became a little brighter, and the corridor gradually became noisy with the clamor of students’ footsteps.

One after another, numerous people entered the classroom. The sounds of chairs being pulled back, the sounds of students talking, and the sounds of flipping pages overlapped endlessly.

The bell for the morning read [4] rang amidst the busy commotion of the students, and the classroom slowly recovered its silence. The second before the bell stopped ringing, Bai Zhi suddenly heard the reply of the person beside him.

Ji Guichen leaned towards him and raised his book to cover both their cheeks. The finely scattered sunlight shone through the leaves and onto the book, mottled and very beautiful.

What he said was:

“You are my star.”

[1] Squared (二次方) as in “2 squared = 4”. Bai Zhi (bewildered) looking at the list = Bai Zhi (bewildered squared). He is just very confused xD

[2] Joke explanation: 一点 in Chinese can have several different meanings depending on context. So for example, 一点钟 means one o’clock while 一点都不会 can mean “not knowing anything (lit. not even knowing one bit).” Ji Guichen uses 一点都不会 when he asks if Bai Zhi really knows nothing at all, and Bai Zhi is smart-talking back asking if the “one bit” in 一点都不会 means the “one o’clock” in 一点钟. The joke doesn’t translate well to English since there’s no English equivalent of 点…

[3] Italics + bold = the text was English in the raws. This happens a few more times after as well.

[4] Morning read is the period of time before classes where students self-study. It’s a common belief that morning is the best time for memorization/learning.



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