Chapter 51: Coming of Age Ceremony

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

----- THIS TRANSLATION BELONGS TO konila.com -----

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

Before winter vacation ended, Bei Yao, Zhao Zhilan, and Bei Jun all went to Fang Minjun’s house for a visit.

Teacher Fang had sent some gifts to their home, and Zhao Zhilan had also sent some sausages she had made for the Fang family.

Zhao Zhilan was chatting with Zhao Xiu in the living room, and Bei Jun was playing on his own.

Fang Minjun was now 17 years old. She looked calm and composed, as if she had been reborn. She had lost her arrogant demeanor and had become a likable person.

Fang Minjun took out a thinly sliced apple and ate it with Bei Yao. She said, "People are really strange. Obviously, our mothers have been competing with each other for most of their lives, and they hate each other so much in their hearts, but once the other moves away, they still want to visit each other on New Year."

Bai Yao also chuckled.

Fang Minjun said helplessly, “It’s my mom who sent that bottle of wine to your house. I don't understand these things. My mom, she has an unpleasant mouth, but for the rest of her life, she will always be Aunt Lan’s friend.”

Bei Yao nodded. “This year, my mom keeps repeating how it has become quieter after your family moved away.”

Fang Minjun asked, “Has Uncle Pei moved away too?”

“Yeah.”

Fang Minjun and Bei Yao both studied at Sixth High School. But because they were not in the same class, they rarely met in school. However, Fang Minjun was naturally aware of the major “cheating” incident last year.

“Did Pei Chuan not move in with Uncle Pei?”

Bei Yao replied in a small voice, “En.”

Both girls were a little silent. After all, as old neighbors of the Pei family for so many years, they understood the story behind it.

Fang Minjun thought, "Where is Pei Chuan's mother? How come there’s no news about Aunt Jiang for so many years?"

Bei Yao looked at the window. It was white and foggy. She said, "I don't know, she remarried, she should have a new family."

It was only Pei Chuan who had lost a home.

Fang Minjun turned around, searching for a little piggy bank from the cabinet. She poured out a pile of money and coins. “I always give my New Year’s money to my mom, I only have this now. I’m not very familiar with him, so you give this to him.”

Bei Yao handed the money back to her. “Minmin, you save it for yourself, Pei Chuan won’t accept it.

Fang Minjun thought about Pei Chuan’s stinky and stubborn character. “You’re right.”

The two girls chatted for a while then Fang Minjun suddenly said, “Some time ago, my mother said that she would take me to meet some people, but it was actually a blind date.”

Bei Yao never thought that she would’ve taken the initiative to mention this.

“If I don’t go, my mom will be unhappy. She… doesn’t have bad intentions, so I met him. He’s older than me by two years, and his name is Huo Dinglin. I don’t like him. He obviously despises our family for trying to climb up, but still fakes a smile.” She was very frank as she talked about “”climbing up”. She had grown up to be open-minded.

Fang Minjun frowned. “It’s not the right era for matchmaking in the first place. I only agreed to meet a new friend as my mother said. But my mother was very satisfied with Huo Dinglin. She said that the Huo Family’s descendants all have good backgrounds and successful seedlings, so I have to meet him a few more times.”

Bei Yao was confused. “Good backgrounds and successful seedlings?”

Fang Minjun explained, “The Huo Family has prestige in B City. Their family used to produce many outstanding military officers, and later, as they went into business, it was smooth sailing, and they are very rich. Huo Dinglin’s family were distant relatives, but because of this little relationship, he became highly sought-after in C City.”

Bei Yao couldn’t describe what it was, but she felt weird when she heard about this. Yet, because her memory had stopped at the third year of high school and things had changed so much, she couldn’t use it as a reference anymore.

Bei Yao could only say to Fang Minjun, “If it’s not what you want, don’t force yourself. Talk it out with Aunt Zhao Xiu, she’ll understand.”

“I will.”

Bei Yao returned to the neighborhood and met Chen Yingqi. He was older than them and was now in vocational high school.

“Aunt Zhao, Bei Yao.”

“It’s Chen Hu, have you eaten yet?”

Chen Yingqi nodded, then emphasized, “My name is Chen Yingqi.”

“Oh, Aunt Zhao's memory is not that great, I forgot.”

Seeing his awkwardness, Bei Yao said to her mom, “I’ll talk with Chen Yingqi for a while.”

Zhao Zhilan carried Bei Jun upstairs.

Chen Yingqi’s eyes lost focus. After a long time, he opened his mouth. “You went to Fang Minjun house, what did you talk about?”

Bei Yao didn’t lie to him. “Her mother arranged a blind date for her and she told me about it.”

“What?!”

The chubby boy nearly jumped eight feet high. "Blind date! How old is she and she's on a blind date!"

His voice was strong, yet faint. Bei Yao said helplessly, "We all think so, but Aunt Zhao does not. She thinks that boy is excellent and it's good to get to know him earlier."

Chen Yingqi stared blankly, stunned.

For a long time, his head was hung down, at a loss.

He looked at his hands. They were wide and big with lots of fat. His body, stomach, neck, and cheeks, all had a lot of meat. In addition to his love for food, there were his congenital family genetic traits. His family background was average: his father was an ordinary working-class man. He wasn’t smart. This one year he was studying auto repair technology in an ordinary vocational high school.

For the first time, the eighteen-year-old boy realized that he couldn’t see his future.

He didn’t like seeing others cover their mouths and whisper about his body when he passed them. But he could pretend to be an optimist and act like he didn’t care.

In this life, many things would go against our will.

Chen Yingqi gave Bei Yao the dried sweet potato snacks in her arms: "Bei Yao, thank you for telling me this, you and Bei Jun can take them to eat."

How could Bei Yao take his things for free? She shook her head. “Thank you, we still have a lot of New Year’s goods at home we haven’t eaten yet. If you want them I’ll bring you some later.”

Chen Yingqi didn’t speak. He lowered his head and threw the snacks he had just bought into a trash can in the neighborhood.

He also didn’t wish to be such a glutton or fatty.

Bei Yao looked at him in confusion. A sixteen-year-old girl standing in the snow like a porcelain doll.

Chen Yingqi suddenly said, “Bei Yao, if, I mean if Pei Chuan likes you, will you accept him?”

Bei Yao blushed instantly. “You, what do you ask this for?”

“Tell me, will you hate him?”

Chen Yingqi heard her ask back, “Why would I hate him?”

Her eyes were clear, like melted ice, without any impurities.

Chen Yingqi gritted his teeth. “He has no legs!”

That was a lifetime defect, didn’t she understand?

The smile on Bei Yao’s face faded a lot, and her eyelashes lowered. “Many people have healthy legs, but they are not Pei Chuan."

Pei Chuan was not a monster. He had just been more unfortunate than many children when he was a child. There were so many healthy people in this world, but she had no reason to like them. They were not Pei Chuan.

Chen Yingqi looked at her in shock.

"You..."

Only then did Be Yao reflect on what she had said. Chen Yingqi wasn’t a fool. With how much she had defended Pei Chuan, even if he wasn’t sure, Chen Yingqi knew she would never hate Pei Chuan.

Bei Yao was about to go home.

Chen Yingqi waited until she was almost upstairs and suddenly said, "Bei Yao."

She turned back.

"You are very good," he commented sincerely, " it’s just that you are too good, Pei Chuan must not dare to like you."

Bei Yao was a little shocked. She didn't quite understand what the teenager meant.

Chen Yingqi clenched his fist. “Even if they don’t look like they care, people with disabilities will have… inferiority complexes in their hearts. This is only a possibility, don’t take it to heart. I grew up with him. Even though I hated him when I was a kid, I know, with his character, he will not trouble you. If you can, please treat him well. People like us… no, him, it is not easy to take a step forward.”

After he said this, regardless of Bei Yao’s reaction, he turned around and ran home. After growing up, he understood a little bit about Pei Chuan, so he couldn't hate the boy.

Bei Yao was standing in the middle of the snow on the eighth day, lifting her head gently. The winter plums had been blown down by the strong wind, and then the neighbors propped them up so that they could stand.

In the middle of the ice-cold winds and snowy fields, there was the lingering sweet smell of the blooming flowers.

Some things that had once been unknown, like Pei Chuan’s reaction to make her angry, and how he said he was her Gege. Everything was like breathing on a glass window, then rubbing the mist clear with a finger.

“Pei Chuan must not dare to like you.”

~

After the snow melted, Bei Yao entered the second year of high school.

Spring returned to the earth in March and it was the coldest when the snow melted. Because the second year of high school had make-up classes, the school had to open early.

Studying suddenly became more intense. It had been said that this year’s summer vacation wouldn’t be too long either. At most it would only be a “high-temperature vacation”.

At night, Chen Feifei used her mobile phone to read novels on the bed in the dormitory. She was afraid that the auntie would check on them and used the quilt to cover herself up until her head was almost being suffocated. But she couldn’t stop reading, and all of a sudden it was already half past two in the morning.

At such a critical time in the second year of high school, it was a terrible thing to be addicted to novels.

Chen Feifei was also distressed, but she couldn’t control her hands which were turning the pages on her phone.

In 2008, military cadre novels, like gusts of wind, swept around schools. Young girls liked to weave beautiful dreams for themselves. Girls who loved to read high cadres in military novels this year wanted to grow up and marry military officers to protect the country as an officer’s wife.

Chen Feifei took time to chat with Bei Yao. "Do you want to marry a military officer in the future? Aren't they tall, handsome, and cool?"

Bei Yao shook her head.

"Then what occupation do you like? Doctor? Scientist? Or teacher! The teacher-student novel is also very sexy!"

Bei Yao said seriously with her small face, “Chen Feifei, you’re not allowed to read about human non-human relationship novels.”

“...” Chen Feifei wanted to pinch this serious and cute face.

Bei Yao’s almond eyes couldn’t help but curve.

Chen Feifei said, “Okay, Bei Yao, you actually made me happy! Look at my Nine-Yin Bone Claws*!”

*t/n: It’s a popular action move from a movie called “The Legend of the Condor Heroes”. It looks like this.

After messing around, Bei Yao remembered that small diary.

Huo Xu. It was a very strange name that currently didn't exist in her life, but had stayed in the diary for more than ten years. As a result, she didn’t really like military senior officials.

The person she liked was very sensitive but cold-blooded, yet overbearing and had an inferiority complex.

Bei Yao kept thinking about Pei Chuan’s scarf and gloves she hadn’t returned. She had washed it clean, but the fast pace of the new term caught her off guard.

Bei Yao wasn’t a particularly smart person. She could only maintain good grades if she put in more effort.

By the beginning of May, spring had spread throughout the school, and the summer almost arrived at C City. There was even an extra session for evening self-study so one could go back and have a rest on Labor Day.

Pei Chuan’s coming-of-age ceremony was in May. The coming-of-age ceremony was the most important moment in everyones’ lives. These past few days, Bei Yao had spent some time thinking about what she should send as a gift.

Pei Chuan didn’t have anything he was interested in. She only knew what he hated.

He hated blinding lights and noisy things, he hated tomatoes and ham. But there was almost nothing that he liked.

When Bei Yao was a child, she often gave him little toys, but Pei Chuan never played with them. Moreover, she didn't have much money and couldn’t buy particularly nice things. Remembering what Chen Feifei had said last time about also having a playmate, Bei Yao decided to ask her.

Chen Feifei said, "A boy's eighteenth birthday, huh?"

She thought for a moment, then revealed an evil smile, "Ha! Bei Yao, give your first kiss, ah!"

Bei Yao was confused for a moment, "..."

Chen Feifei sang cheerfully, "Little white rabbit, it is very white, give a kiss, it is very cute*."

*t/n: It was originally a song, but with a little change in the lyrics. It sounds rhythmical in the original though. (小白兔,白又白,亲一亲,真可爱)

Bei Yao's cheeks flushed. "I’m asking you seriously."

Chen Feifei teased, "You still want to lie! Everyone knows that Han Zhen's birthday is in May. Our class Liu Xiaoling and the other girls are preparing gifts. I am telling you, in every novel, the character will give a kiss for the coming of age ceremony then they will love each other for the rest of their lives."

Bei Yao was stunned. "Which novel says that?"

Chen Feifei opened her phone. "The one I wrote! You see, "School Bully's Sweet Little Wife"."

Bei Yao couldn't finish her sentence. Chen Feifei, are you still taking the university entrance exam!

Chen Feifei insisted, "Trust me, if you like Han Zhen, just grab his face and kiss him. Ah, Bei Yao ah! You are every student's dream girl. With just a single kiss, everyone will be yours. Han Zhen has always had a crush on you, it's always been like this. But you have to do it secretly and don't let anybody know. Our school doesn't allow puppy love."

Bei Yao didn’t even know that Han Zhen's birthday was in May.

However, she couldn't explain who she was preparing the gift for.

Bei Yao buried her face in her arms. According to what Chen Yingqi had said, Pei Chuan didn't dare to like her.

First kiss or something, it sounded unreliable.

-

----- This translation belongs to konila.com -----

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