Chapter 22: Tainting Her

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

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

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

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

At this time, snow began to melt so the spring breeze was mixed with coldness. Pei Chuan closed the window and watched as his father's colleagues left in a hurry. The ward still had the scent of flowers. But instead of ease, the fragrance of flowers mixed with the smell of the hospital's disinfectant made the ward very suffocating.

A middle-aged man pushed the door from the outside while cursing, "It's already spring but this damn weather is still so cold."

When he saw Pei Chuan in the ward, he didn't care and took a banana from the bedside table to eat, "Your dad's colleagues are rich anyway. How could they give so shabby presents? Have they given you red envelopes?"

Pei Chuan quietly looked at him with dark eyes. Under Pei Chuan’s dark gaze, the man finally got a little uncomfortable and sat upright on his seat.

After a while, a woman came in with a lunch box. Pei Chunli turned thirty-five this year but her face was as haggard as a forty-five years old person. She walked in and quickly said, "Xiaochuan is hungry, ah. Auntie has made you something delicious to eat and also boiled some chicken soup. Quickly come over for dinner.

Pei Chuan walked over. The woman opened two lunch boxes, both of which were made for Pei Chuan. The young man was silent for a moment then he picked up his chopsticks to eat and said in a low voice, "Thank you, aunt."

"Eh, don't say thank you to the family. You eat, I'll take care of your father."

It was already one o'clock in the afternoon. Pei Chuan finished his meal and took the initiative to wash his lunch box.

Although Pei Chunli said that she would take care of Pei Haobin here. Pei Chuan fetched hot water after eating and went over to wipe his father's hands and face.

Pei Haobin was lying on the hospital bed with a pale face.

The hospital room was quiet. Pei Chuan looked at Pei Haobin's resolute face and whispered, "Dad, you almost lost your life for public peace and safety. Now let’s see what the people you were protecting do for you.”

Of course, Pei Haobin couldn't answer him.

Pei Chuan coldly curled his lips, "Being a good person is really ......very worthless."

For the sake of this righteousness, he became a cripple, his mother remarried, and his father was at risk of becoming a vegetable. It had been a long, long time since Pei Chuan remembered what a warm family felt like.

Separated by a wall, Pei Chunli and Liu Dong were going upstairs.

Liu Dong was very dissatisfied, "You this woman! I warn you ah, you can’t have this kind of thinking. It is difficult for Laozi to raise his own son with this little salary, you still want to receive this cripple to the home. Do you know how much it costs to feed one more mouth?"

Pei Chunli was yelled at by her husband and didn’t dare to make a sound. She frowned and said, "You keep your voice down. Don't let Xiaochuan hear you."

"So what if he hears it! Anyway, don't even think about it."

"My brother is in this situation...... Xiaochuan is not yet an adult. Someone has to help take care of the child."

"Yes yes yes, you are so great and want to take care of him. You do as you wish, the worst case is divorce! What do you expect him to do when he grows up? How great do you expect him to be? His own mother didn’t pick him up and as an aunt, you have to worry about him?”

"Why are you so unconscientious? How much did my brother help you out before? Even your current job was introduced by him. What's wrong with helping take care of his child Xiaochuan for a few years now that he's alone?"

"What's wrong!" Liu Dong roared loudly, "I don’t have any money and I can't afford to feed a waste! If you talk about it again, you'll get a divorce. Then you can raise that kid on your own."

Pei Chunli's health was not good, so she hadn’t gone to work like others, and therefore has been a head shorter than her husband at home. In the past, Pei Haobin was afraid that his sister would not live a good life so he took the initiative to introduce a good job to his brother-in-law. This way, on the surface, the living standard of Pei Chunli's family became much better. But this also made Liu Dong, the only earning member of the family, even more insolent, so that Pei Chunli now had no right to speak at all.

The two of them argued and attracted a lot of attention. Pei Chunli's face was thin in the end, so she regretfully stopped arguing.

~~

Bei Yao went home and told Zhao Zhilan about her idea to visit Uncle Pei. Zhao Zhilan sighed, "Officer Pei is a good man, and it's not easy for their family."

To put it bluntly, Pei Haobin and Jiang Wenjuan's divorce hadn't been revealed at all beforehand, and the sudden divorce was very surprising to the neighbors.

Zhao Zhilan looked at the sky and advised her daughter, "You can't go today. It's a two-hour bus ride to the People's Hospital, and there will be no bus after ten o'clock at night. You still have to go to school tomorrow. After you finish school, we will go to the hospital together to see him. I will also prepare a gift tomorrow morning before coming to pick you up at noon."

Although Bei Yao was worried, she understood that it was indeed unrealistic to go now.

The good thing was that although her memory of Uncle Pei's "catastrophe of life and death" was rather fuzzy, she knew that Pei Haobin definitely woke up in her previous life. Because when she was in high school, Pei Haobin got married for the second time, and the woman who married him also brought a child with her. Since then, Pei Chuan seldom went home.

The next day Bei Yao went to school. She came back late from her grandmother's house and most of the students had already signed up yesterday. So, Bei Yao left alone to hand over her tuition fees to the teacher.

Zhao Zhilan carefully counted her tuition fee twice and put it in Bei Yao's pocket, "Don't lose it."

"I know, mom."

*

At the end of February, the campus's gorgeous pomegranate flowers still had only a large cluster of green branches and leaves. When Bei Yao walked into the campus again and saw that most of the girls she looked at were shorter than herself, she finally felt like she was already in the third grade of junior high school.

Bei Yao went to pay the money first. A separate window was opened for submitting the fees. It was still early in the morning. The teacher who was charging fees yawned, "What's your name? Which class? The admission fee is thirty. To submit the tuition fee and other expenses, go to your class teacher to pay."

Bei Yao paid the admission fee and went to the classroom to put her bag. At this time, only a boy burying his head in studies sat in the classroom. He was the class president of their seventh class. Although he studied especially hard, he could never get good results in the exams.

The class leader was immersed in his own world and didn't notice that Bei Yao had come in.

Bei Yao didn't disturb him and went to the teacher's office. She saw that the office’s door was still locked which meant that the teacher had not come yet. The teacher's office was on the second floor, new leaves and buds were growing on the parasol tree. It’s green twigs and branches were playfully stretching out in the morning.

Bei Yao looked down at her watch. She speculated that the teacher should be here soon, so she didn't rush back to the classroom.

Sure enough, a few minutes later, a man with a briefcase came up the stairs.

"Teacher Zeng."

Zeng Ming saw a young girl around 14 or 15-years-old, wearing a simple bean green jacket and a pair of jeans underneath. The morning breeze was lightly blowing her air bangs. There were an inexplicable peace and gentleness in her.

He reacted after a long while, and asked with apprehension, "Bei Yao?"

Bei Yao didn’t know whether she should laugh or cry. Everyone who saw her had the same reaction as Teacher Zeng. First, the people looking at her were amazed, then their brain slowed down a few beats, and then with great difficulty they linked her to the name "Bei Yao".

"Teacher Zeng, I came to pay the tuition fee."

"Wait a minute. Let the teacher open the door then come in."

Teacher Zeng taught Chinese, and his common problem was nagging, "Bei Yao, you did a good job in the last semester exam. The teacher looked at your scores. If you can maintain this score then going to First, Third, and Sixth high school won’t be difficult. Concentrate on your high school entrance exam but keep a good mind and don’t be too nervous. Besides, your geography is not very good, and you are partial to some subjects. If you have time, you should talk more to teachers and classmates."

"Thank you, Teacher Zeng."

Bei Yao knew her situation. This time she was in third place in her class, a full sixty points lower than the first place Pei Chuan.

The name Pei Chuan was famous throughout the third year. He was steadily ranked first in his grade, with a perfect score in science and a total score that dumped the second-placed student a full 40 points behind in the grade. When Bei Yao was feeling low due to low results, she could only sigh and look forward to Pei Chuan’s result.

When Bei Yao left, Mr. Zeng took out a form from the drawer and frowned.

~~

At half-past seven, the students in the class came one after another.

When Hua Ting sleepily walked into the classroom, she noticed that everyone was looking at the third table - that was her and Bei Yao's seat.

As a result Hua Ting also followed their gazes slowly, ".....!"

In the early spring of February, everything was revitalized, and the tips of the parasol’s leaves were covered with the condensed morning dew. A young girl sitting in the third row was looking down and reading English. Her long eyelashes were gently drooping, and her lips were round and lovely. The skin as white as porcelain was full of vigor revealing the warmth and gentleness belonging to a young girl.

Hua Ting's first reaction was, where did this little fairy come from ah, she is too delicate.

And then her head became sober.

She realized this was her tablemate. She could see the original appearance from her facial features, but the childishness belonging to a young child was now completely faded, turning into a young girl.

Bei Yao lifted the hair teasing on her face and fixed it beside her ears. Then she raised her eyes to see Hua Ting standing aside with her mouth half-open. She smiled slightly, "Hua Ting, good morning."

Hua Ting was internally brushed by the 'ah fairy smiling at me' and stuttered back, "Good morning, good morning."

After reacting, Hua Ting took her seat and looked at Bei Yao with incredulous eyes, "Are you really Bei Yao?"

Bei Yao was getting a little used to being looked at by many such eyes early in the morning. She smiled and asked, "Doesn't it look like that?"

"The similarities are still there, but......feeling is completely different." Hua Ting exclaimed, "My vision in elementary school was indeed correct. You grew up to be even more beautiful than Chang Xue."

Hua Ting had been a little embarrassed at her own silly reaction just now. However, after seeing the various stunned, confused, and astonished gazes around her, she was instead overwhelmed with joy.

She was not the only one who couldn't react, so there was nothing to be ashamed of.

Hua Ting faintly heard the girls' comments behind her, "Bei Yao has lost weight all of a sudden and became so beautiful."

"Yeah, she was already so fair and now her legs are also thin. I also want to lose weight when I look at her."

This beauty value was so striking that everyone subconsciously went to see Fang Minjun, the former "class flower" of their class.

Fang Minjun took out a book to read. When other students were looking at her, she felt a little uncomfortable, but she didn't mind it as much as she thought. A long time ago, when she looked at Bei Yao's outstanding features, she had been worried about this day. But when this day really came, Fang Minjun felt that it was only fair that God gave beauty to a girl like Bei Yao.

It's a shame that Shang Mengxian was also good-looking but she couldn't really do anything except make people feel bad or upset.

~~

Pei Chuan stepped into the early morning chill to arrive at school. Before he even entered the classroom, he heard the boy who came from the bathroom say Bei Yao's name.

"I really think she's prettier than the former school flower Shang Mengxian ......"

"I think so too."

As soon as the boys saw Pei Chuan, they immediately stopped talking, and the air was quiet for a moment. Without squinting Pei Chuan continued to walk to the classroom.

Pei Chuan's ears were amazing, he was almost at the classroom door and still heard them say-.

"He's Bei Yao's neighbor, right? He’s very familiar with her, isn’t he?"

"Don't think so nasty ah. Even Shang Mengxian said before that she didn't like him, let alone Bei Yao."

Pei Chuan looked indifferent as he stood at the doorway and looked up.

At that time, the morning sun was hanging on the horizon, and Bei Yao, who he hadn't seen for a long time, was reading a book with her chin propped up. The classroom was excessively quiet, and she just sat there quietly, which was even more moving than a spring scenery of the whole early spring.

This year, spring came late. It felt like the seven colors of spring quietly snuck up to the girl to fawn over her. She seemed to feel his gaze. When she looked up, Pei Chuan bumped into a pair of crystal clear eyes.

The pair of apricot eyes smiled with a unique brightness and tenderness, at the sight of him.

‘Pei Chuan.’

‘A good new year.’

He was dazzled for a moment by that kind of appearance, and only after a long time did he lower his eyes. Then Pei Chuan's lips paled by two points. When he sat down in his seat, he lightly closed his eyes and his heart was filled with an unspeakable bitterness and sorrow.

She had grown up to be much more beautiful than what he could have imagined or ever dreamed of.

Any words to describe her would feel pale and powerless.

She had grown up and was no longer the pitiful little girl who would want to cry when she was in pain. But he was still the same Pei Chuan, a cold-hearted cripple, huddled in a dark place.

She was in the sun, and he was already in an abyss whose bottom couldn’t be seen at a glance.

Pei Chuan didn't read any books throughout the morning study, but he also didn't look at Bei Yao in a distracted way like other students.

As soon as the bell rang, he closed his book and went downstairs.

In the office, Zeng Ming was preparing for lessons.

"Teacher Zeng."

"It's Pei Chuan."

Pei Chuan answered and calmly said, "You called me during the holidays and asked me if I would accept the direct transfer to the Third high school. But something happened to my family so I refused at that time. Then I seriously thought about it. I can't let down the school and your good wishes. Can I still go to Third high school?"

Zeng Ming was stunned. When he called Pei Chuan, the teenager flatly refused at that time. He thought that he had other schools he particularly wanted to attend, after all, guaranteed admission is not like the unified admission to have the right to choose. Zeng Ming didn't think that just because something happened at home so Pei Chuan didn't think it through.

"Of course you can, the form is here with the teacher. We haven't formally contacted them yet so it’s not too late. Have you thought about going to Third high school?"

"Yeah."

The teenager's slender, thin hand took the form, "Thank you, teacher." He paused and said, "Teacher, my father was injured at work and is now in a coma in the hospital. So since I have got a guaranteed admission, can I stop coming to school and take care of him?"

"Teacher, I'll ask you one last thing, don't tell the students that the school I’m going to attend is the Third high school."

Pei Chuan walked out of the office and lowered his eyes to look at the materials in his hands. The daffodils blooming on the campus were exceptionally beautiful.

He still remembered that a year ago, Bei Yao yearningly said that she would volunteer for the Sixth high school because it was close to home and had a good atmosphere.

Pei Chuan took the form and walked out of the school without even returning to the classroom.

It's a pity that he won't be able to get in touch with her anymore.

She didn't even know how attractive she was now. While he still had a conscience left, he'd better not drag her to hell with him.

A girl like her would be spoiled no matter who she's with in the future.

~~

Bei Yao found that the front row seat was empty. She frowned in confusion. She finally saw Pei Chuan and diddn't even greet him yet.

It was good that after school in the afternoon Zhao Zhilan was indeed waiting for her outside.

It was only five o'clock, Zhao Zhilan was carrying all kinds of fruits. Bei Yao was busy helping her carry the heavy packages.

"Let’s not eat dinner now and hurry to go to see your Uncle Pei. Otherwise, we won't be able to catch the bus then. Let’s have some noodles when we come back."

Of course, Bei Yao was fine with that.

When the mother and daughter arrived at the hospital, Pei Chuan was reading a book by the window.

It was a programming book left by a patient in this ward. He took the book and flipped through it casually.

Suddenly, a young girl's brittle voice sounded in the ward, "Pei Chuan!"

The air was stained with that sweet smell, and he looked up at the open door. Bei Yao was wearing a bean green jacket, looking like buds sprouting in the spring. She was carrying something and panting, "Mom and I are here to see Uncle Pei."

He shifted his eyes, and his gaze fell on Zhao Zhilan, "Hello Auntie Zhao." Then he took the things from their hands, and when he took the apples from Bei Yao, his eyes stayed on her light pink fingertips for a moment. Then he avoided her fingertips and took the apples without touching her.

"Eh." Zhao Zhilan echoed, then said, "Sorry Xiao Chuan, Auntie Zhao only found out about this yesterday when she came back. Don't worry, your father will wake up. God has eyes everywhere and can clearly distinguish between a good and a bad guy. Officer Pei is working for the country and the people, so he will be safe."

Pei Chuan's face was calm, "Thank you, Auntie Zhao."

"Pei Chuan." Bei Yao took out a yellow peace charm from her coat pocket and said softly, "This is something I went to the temple on Xuwu Mountain with my grandmother to beg for. It is said to be very effective. Now give it to Uncle Pei, I hope he will recover soon."

He didn't look at her eyes and slowly responded. But he didn’t refuse, and took the peace charm in front of Zhao Zhilan.

There were many things Bei Yao wanted to ask, such as why he just came to class and then left suddenly. But with her mother there, she couldn't ask him.

Instead, when Zhao Zhilan saw Pei Chuan her heart became soft, "Pei Chuan ah, Auntie has nothing else she can do for you. When you go home, you can come to Auntie’s house for dinner anytime. I’ll also make something delicious and let Yao Yao bring it to the hospital."

Pei Chuan shook his head, "Thank you Auntie Zhao, but there is no need. My aunt is cooking for me."

After all, Zhao Zhilan was just a neighbor and wasn’t as close as his aunt. So Zhao Zhilan didn’t insist and said some more comforting words and left with Bei Yao.

Pei Chuan watched them leave.

The heart-throbbing girl took a few steps and turned back. Pei Chuan’s gaze immediately shifted to the little panda on her bag and didn’t look at her clear eyes.

When they were far away, he took out his hand from the pocket, and on it lay the peace charm given by Bei Yao. It still had the warmth of her body on it.

Pei Chuan placed the peace charm beside Pei Haobin's bed.

‘Get well soon, Dad.’

‘You probably don't know what kind of life your son is living and what he has given up.’

~

The third year of junior high became hectic, and Bei Yao noticed that Pei Chuan hadn't come to school since that day. Teacher Zeng Ming explained to the students, "Pei Chuan has excellent grades and was recommended to high school by the school."

There was an envious clamor in the class.

Hua Ting also said, "He's amazing. Such a guaranteed admission must be from one of the First, Third, and Sixth high schools. Some people are exhausted and frazzled for the middle school exams, while others go there easily and don't even have to take the exams. I'm so envious."

Bei Yao was drawing ink, "You can’t envy the exclusive treatment of the top three in the grades."

Bei Yao didn’t know which high school Pei Chuan went to. In her memory, because Pei Chuan was older than her, he attended the Sixth high school one year earlier than her. This time also, he applied for the sixth middle school, right?

*

At the beginning of June, when summer arrived, the Pei family finally ushered in good news - Pei Haobin had woken up.

He had been lying in bed for nearly four months, and when the doctors thought it was hopeless, he woke up.

A week after Pei Haobin woke up, Pei Chuan went home to get a change of clothes. Even though he didn't want to admit it, he immediately saw Bei Yao at the community flower garden.

It was unknown whose idea it was to get such a flower garden in front of the community. But later the residents planted onions, ginger, and garlic in it for their convenience. At this time, Bei Yao was sent down by Zhao Zhilan to pull the onions back.

She was wearing a white dress. The skirt was a little too big, making her legs look much thinner and fairer.

Her ankles were small and delicate. In June, City C was already very hot, and the sun was high at noon. She plucked a few onions before standing up. Then she was very happy to see Pei Chuan.

"Pei Chuan! You're back, and I heard that Uncle Pei is awake."

"Yeah." He dropped his eyes but inevitably saw the mud on her sandals.

The young girl was wearing beige sandals. The pair of small feet was exquisite and lovely. Her toes looked like tender shoots and were a little cherry pink in color. It was so cute and lovely that people would want to squat down and gently wipe off the mud on her shoes.

He frowned and finally had to look at her face.

She had been a little clumsy and slow since she was a child and couldn't see the teenager's irritation. She was instead happy, "I heard from Mr. Zeng that you've been directly sent to high school. Congratulations! Is it the Sixth high school?"

Mr. Zeng kept his word and didn't tell his classmates that the school Pei Chuan was about to go to was the Third high school.

And he leaned in close to look at the innocent, flawless face in front of him and calmly lied, "Yes."

She happily said, "In five days I'll have my exams. I want to be in the same school as you so I'll also fill in the Sixth high school. We can be alumni again, maybe we can be even in the same class!"

"Hmm."

"Pei Chuan." She wiped the sweat from her forehead, not even realizing that her face had rubbed a bit of mud off the onions, "My mom has grown the onions. Do you want some?"

"No."

"Oh, then I'll come to visit you and Uncle Pei after the exam."

Pei Chuan turned away with the keys to his house, and it wasn't until he was away from the light lilac smell of the girl behind him that his tense muscles eased slightly.

It wasn't like he hadn't lied to her verbally since he was a child, but this was the first time he had lied to her about something important.

Bei Yao was filled with joy, thinking he was in the Sixth school as well, but it wouldn't be long before she realized that he had lied to her. He was in the Third high school, and she was in the Sixth, then she would live happily in the light in the future. With a posture like Shang Mengxian, she could be a school flower, and he didn't have to think about how popular the young girl behind him would be.

As for him, when he was alone, he would no longer have any scruples and could grow savagely in the dark and damp corners.

Pei Chuan took the key and opened the door.

When she would find out that he lied to her, she would never want to talk to him again, right? Since it was doomed to be unattainable then it was better to not think about it in the first place.

On June 13th, the unified high school entrance examination was held in City C.

The summer sun was shining brightly, and there was no air conditioning in the examination room this year. The candidates were sweating profusely, but they were still concentrating and were devoted to answering the questions.

The next day, the candidates got a form in the exam room. They now had to fill in the volunteer form while their scores were not yet available. Everyone filled in their preferred high school according to their estimated level.

Bei Yao did well in the exam. She briskly and carefully wrote her first choice - C City Sixth high school.


T/N : Sorry for the one day late update.

-

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

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