Chapter 47: Childhood Friends

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

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

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

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

Pei Chuan raised his hand several times before finally deciding to put it down stiffly. He couldn't hold her; it was as difficult as pushing her away.

Bei Yao's heartbeat was also very fast. This feeling was strange and novel to her.

It was only when the snowflakes on top of her hair had been melted by his body heat, bringing a little coolness, that she lifted her head from his chest.

"I, I'm feeling better now."

She dizzily covered her head, feeling that it was a little hot to the touch. It seemed that she had been burned by the boy’s body temperature.

She raised her eyes to look at him. Only the outline of the teenager’s jaw could be seen in the dim light.

Pei Chuan looked down. “En.”

His fingers curled slightly, and he realized that he always seemed to be tongue-tied in front of Bei Yao. His sarcastic ability towards Wu Mo automatically failed in front of her. He also wanted to touch his heart that was about to jump out of his chest, but she was still there, so Pei Chuan could only stay still.

Bei Yao finally remembered what she came for and asked him, "Is your hand feeling better?"

"Yes."

"Let me take a look."

She remembered that Pei Chuan's right hand was injured, so her movements were gentle as she lifted it up. The bandage was tightly wrapped, and the white color stood out even in the dark.

He lowered his head to look at her. The girl’s strength was very light, as if her fingertips were touching cotton wool. She looked cautiously as if holding some fragile treasure.

However, he knew that he was not a treasure. He had thread through rain and snow, tempered in fire, and he himself didn't know what could destroy him. Even his biological mother, Jiang Wenjuan, thought he was dirty.

The two small hands that gently held his right hand were soft, it was slightly cold. Her fair complexion was visible at night and her fingers were slender and beautiful. On the other hand, Pei Chuan’s hands were used for boxing. They were wide and rough. Although they were naturally slender, they weren’t as delicate as hers. What’s more, they didn’t look good with bandages.

He knew that everything that was not good-looking could easily arouse people's feelings of resistance, or nausea.

Pei Chuan retracted his hand. “It’s all right.”

Bei Yao clearly saw the different colors in the inner bandage.

She didn’t continue to ask, but the strange emotions in her heart became seemingly obvious. Did Pei Chuan dislike her being close? Why had he become as stiff a board when she had gotten close to him? She only wanted to look at his injuries but his fingers were stiff.

Was it possible that his heartbeat trembled so much because of rejection?

Bei Yao realized this and her heart was stuffy.

She took the initiative to move away. “En, you should go.”

As always, she wouldn't make things difficult for people, and what Pei Chuan didn't like, she wouldn't do. She stepped back and let Pei Chuan walk out. The teenager stood still stoically for two seconds then walked past her.

Bei Yao thought for a moment and smiled. "Pei Chuan. Don't smoke, it doesn't smell good and it's not good for the wound."

He paused in his steps.

The young girl's voice was gentle: "Also, Merry Christmas, you should study hard."

He neither agreed nor rejected the requests. His left hand crushed the cigarette and he finally left her.

Without the big tree covering the snowflakes, the snow fell on his cheeks.

Christmas at Qin Shi was particularly lively. Jin Ziyang and the others had also had a good time.

Bei Yao was no longer under the big tree, so he finally touched his heart, feeling lost.

~

Chen Feifei carried a twinkling star lantern and asked Bei Yao, "Where did you go just now, ah? I only turned my head away for a while then you were gone. I asked Yang Jia but Yang Jia also didn’t see you.”

The girl’s mind was like a locked diary. Bei Yao didn’t know what to say even after a long while.

Fortunately, Chen Feifei was only casually asking. She was more gossipy about their dorm mate Wu Mo. “We also have no idea where Wu Mo is. Say, why would she stir up trouble with other people in the dormitory because of the previous incident?”

Only Bei Yao knew that Wu Mo’s attitude seemed to be not just because of Ding Wenxiang.

Wu Mo’s hostility towards Bei Yao more likely had something to do with Pei Chuan.

“Feifei, what does liking someone feel like?”

The topic had changed too quickly. Chen Feifei saw the frustration in Bei Yao’s eyes and her heart jumped. No way! The school flower had finally gotten enlightenment and had started to wonder what it felt like to like someone?

Who was it! Oh oh oh, Chen Feifei seemed to have caught the gossip that hadn’t started yet. Could it be the handsome Han Zhen from Class One!

The devil in Chen Feifei’s heart danced wildly. She suppressed her excitement. “I don’t know, but basically you’ll always want to see him, want him to be happy, and when you can’t see him you’ll be thinking what he’s doing. What’s wrong? Who is it?”

Bei Yao thought about it carefully. She blushed and secretly whispered the name in Chen Feifei’s ear.

Chen Feifei felt like she had been struck by lightning. “No, no, listen to me. How can it be him? What I said just now, maybe it wasn’t like, it was probably because of nervousness or something.”

Chen Feifei kept rambling nonsense, and covered her face afterwards. “Do you know what kind of person he is? The forum previously said he wasn’t a good person, ah.”

Bei Yao walked back to the Sixth High School with her.

The sky was dark and you couldn’t see the surroundings. Bei Yao refuted, “He’s pretty good, I’ve known him for over a decade.”

“It could also be from the care of childhood friends*. I also have a playmate** from when I was young. After coming here to go to school for a long time, I was very excited every time I saw him, but that doesn’t mean I like him.”

*T/N: 青梅竹马 (qīng méi zhú mǎ) means childhood sweethearts or childhood friends. 青梅 (qīng méi) lit. means green plums, which is the girl, and 竹马 (zhú mǎ) lit. means bamboo horse, which was the boy.

**T/N: This one uses the boy version (竹马) which is also the title for this chapter.

Bei Yao was made a little confused by Chen Feifei.

Chen Feifei struck while the iron was still hot. “Yes! It may be the feelings formed after getting along for so long. It’s human nature, ah, that’s not liking.”

Chen Feifei didn’t like Pei Chuan. Compared to Bei Yao who knew nothing, she had been watching the school forums and posts since the first year of high school. There had used to be several posts about Pei Chuan. Some were scandals, and others were descriptions of him.

He was cold and arrogant; who knew how many girlfriends he’d had before? Could he be sincere to Bei Yao? Maybe he was the same as Din Wenxiang.

Moreover, there had been some problems with his family background before. He had no money but kept on pretending, so he must have a bad character.

Most importantly, all these gossip posts about Pei Chuan would be deleted cleanly in no time at all. It showed that he was a narrow-minded teenager who couldn’t be trifled with.

Chen Feifei saw that Bei Yao was really thinking about it. She gritted her teeth and added another blow. “He probably only treats you as a childhood friend*.”

*T/N: It is the girl version (青梅).

Was that true?

~

The little secret of adolescence was like planting a very small seed; it would grow an inch taller with every thought.

After Christmas, time flew by, and the second grade of high school would soon have their general exams.

The final exams of the First, Third, and Six Middle Schools were joint exams. The former principal of the First and Third Middle School had once been classmates and their relationship was quite good. The idea of the two schools having joint exams had been proposed by the First Middle School’s principal. In the future, the college entrance examinations would be a competition between the students in a whole city anyway, or in a whole country. It was not a bad thing to know your school level in advance.

Later, this type of examination remained. The Six Middle School’s principal had requested to take the test together, therefore, the C City test had become a unique model. Every year the First, Third, and Six Middle Schools would have mixed exams, until eventually, their third-grade high school would also be having their joint examinations.

On the day the result came out, there was a big event.

Someone from the Third High School had cheated.

The answers had been leaked, and someone in the third grade had gotten a perfect score in math and science.

In the past, this hadn’t been possible.

In previous exams, no one had ever scored a perfect score in math and science. It was January 2008, and the Third High School had not yet installed surveillance cameras in the classrooms. However, the test paper with full marks seemed to be ironclad proof.

Because it was a joint exam, everyone in the First, Third, and Six High School knew about it.

When Bei Yao came back from the toilet, she heard someone say, "The red list was pulled out, and the first place was withdrawn in seconds.”

"Really?"

"Of course, have you ever seen anyone who can get a perfect score in mathematics and chemistry?"

"Who has the nerve to be so bold, ah. The punishment for cheating in the joint exams is very serious."

“It’s Pei Chuan from the Third High School, have you heard of him?”

Bei Yao raised her eyes and ran downstairs immediately. Sure enough, the long red list had been hung up. It praised the top 200 of the three schools, and each counted the number of the top 200 of the schools.

Her gaze landed on the first place; the name had been crossed with black ink by someone.

The red list was the ranking judged by the computer, and the black ink had been judged by humans.

Bei Yao looked at the black area made of ink and the people commenting and pointing at the name in first place. For the first time, there was a wave of unsuppressed anger born in her heart.

Why should he be cheating to get a full score in Mathematics and Science?

They were discussing it so fiercely in the Six High School, then what about in the Third High School?

The rule in the Third High School for cheating in the joint examination was suspension.

Bei Yao didn’t believe that Pei Chuan would cheat. She knew how smart Pei Chuan was since she had been young. He knew what the teacher hadn’t taught yet. Sometimes, when the teacher found a difficult question, he would know the answer with a glance.

Bei Yao suppressed the fire in her heart, seeing the one she valued being slandered at will by others.

It was dealt with very quickly, and the punishment was serious disciplinary.

A lot of people thought this was unreasonable, “Tsk, what’s this? Isn’t it said that Third High School’s punishment is very serious? Why don’t they expel him? Maybe the answer has been passed to the others, so the first two hundred on the list are questionable. With so many people cheating, are the exams still fair?”

“If it were me, I’d expel him already ah. Not only did they not expel him, he only got detention. What kind of treatment is that?!”

Even Chen Feifei said, “Yaoyao, you say, how did he do it?”

Bei Yao was dejected, “He didn’t cheat! The test scores are based on his ability!”

Chen Feifei thought, Damn it, how could you believe that!

Chen Feifei really wanted to pinch Bei Yao’s long unhappy face and shake it. What kind of person was he? How could he get first place among three schools?

“Yaoyao, it’s not that I don’t believe you. It’s mainly because of the full marks. It’s fine if he gets full marks on one subject, but he gets full marks on four subjects. If he had this ability, then why did he never do this well before? He wasn’t even able to get into the top two hundred in the last exams, but now he gets first place.” Chen Feifei thought, this kind of person who could not be controlled at school, even when he wanted to copy answers, he could do it leisurely. Wasn’t it better to copy to get into the top hundred than get the first place? Was he insane?

Bei Yao stunned.

Yes ah, why had he never taken the exam seriously before, but got first place this time?

For… what?

She suddenly remembered. It was that Christmas night, when she had casually greeted him.

What had she said?

Pei Chuan, Merry Christmas, you must study hard.

~

In the Third High School’s director's office, Director Zhang said, "Tell me, which of these people did you give the answers to?"

The teenager in front of him lowered his eyes, and his gaze fell on the name list.

Pei Chuan coldly glanced at the director, turned around, and left.

Director Zhang was furious. “You go! You dare walk away these doors, The Third Middle School will not tolerate you! I have taught for so many years, but never have I come across a student like you. You are a rebel who will be a scum when you go out in society. Our Third High School was disgraced because of you!”

Pei Chuan’s homeroom teacher said, “Director Zhang!” These words were too hard to hear.

Pei Chuan looked back and sneered. “A director like you isn’t as good as a scum like me.”

Director Zhang's chest was puffed up with anger: "Teacher Chen! Look, this is a student in your class. We treated him leniently and only gave him detention, but this is the kind of attitude he gives!"

Teacher Chen also had a headache, but it was her responsibility as a teacher to speak up. “This matter hasn’t been investigated thoroughly. Pei Chuan also didn’t admit that he cheated. It’s not really nice of you to say that about him.”

“Not cheating! How could I not know that your class had such an excellent student! The first in the joint exam, full score in mathematics, do you really believe that he is that good?”

Teacher Chen was speechless; she also couldn’t help it. “Anyway, please investigate the matter transparently. He was admitted through a recommendation at the beginning, it could be guaranteed that he has the foundation. During this period, he did not skip class and was reviewing for the final exam. In short, I will ask him for an explanation, you shouldn’t report the conversation just now to the school.”

Director Zhang’s face was black as he waved his hand.

A thick layer of snow was piled up on the Third High School’s school grounds. Ji Wei was clutching his book as he asked nervously, "Chuan Ge, what should we do?"

Zheng Hang said, "I'll go back and speak with my mom. Don't worry, it's not a big deal."

Jin Ziyang winked. “Chuan Ge, where did you get it? The last time you get full marks on math exams, this time too, it’s awesome ah. But to dare to do this in the joint exam, you are the first! Want a cigarette?”

Jin Ziyang raised his thumb up.

Pei Chuan took the pack of cigarettes, struck a shooting position, and the pack fell steadily into the trash can.

Jin Ziyang: “...”

Pei Chuan said, “I’m upset, don’t force me.”

In the afternoon Teacher Chen came to the last table in the classroom, “Pei Chuan, did you cheat or not? You have to tell the director clearly. It’s not that teacher doesn't believe you, but you have to say it yourself.”

The class 9 students all turned around and looked at Pei Chuan quietly.

Pei Chuan said, “Say what?”

Teacher Chen said, "For example, you rarely passed the test before. Why did you pass the exam this time? If it's not because of cheating, you have to tell the teachers why."

Why?

The students held their breath.

Teacher Chen helplessly said, “The three schools have a joint exam, which means this is not related to Third High School only. You should think about this thoroughly. This problem is very serious, even if…” She glanced at Zheng Hang, then remembered that his mother was the vice-principal.

The school had been disgraced, and the vice principal couldn’t just cover it up. The main thing was still for Pei Chuan to say the reason.

"If you cheated, let's admit it and correct it later. If not, then say why, explain clearly, so that everyone believes you."

Pei Chuan gripped the pen tightly.

His right hand had healed, and there was a residual heat in his heart where she had leaned.

Pei Chuan smiled indifferently. “If you think it’s cheating, then it’s cheating, ah.”

What was the reason for his sudden improvement in the exams?

-

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

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