When God Says Let There Be LightChapters List
Chapter 8: School Start
His younger cousin, ten years his junior, would burst into tears of joy if she knew her cousin had finally become Xia Yi's dedicated fan. She would excitedly drag him along for three hours, praising Xia Yi as the most amazing fairy in the world, treating her like her own beloved daughter.
The cousin proudly claimed to be Xia Yi's "mom-fan", someone who only wished for the idol's happiness and nothing more.
Nie Qingzhou didn't fully understand the ways of fandom, but he thought about it seriously. If that was the case, he decided that from now on, he would be Xia Yi's "dad-fan."
Apart from that, he wanted to solemnly advise his cousin that the CP ship she cherished must be fake, and her cousin would never fall for someone ten years younger than him.
Lost in his thoughts, Xia Yi was completely unaware that she had gained a new "dad" in such a short time. In the parking lot, she finally found her three-wheeled bike. As she bent down to unlock it, her back arched, revealing the traces of her spine along her clothes.
Nie Qingzhou remembered when he was half-asleep on her back on the way to the hospital. Her bones were quite uncomfortable.
She was thin.
He grabbed the handlebars and said, "I'll ride. You sit in the back."
Xia Yi straightened up, her gaze falling on the bloodstain on Nie Qingzhou's shoulder. She said indifferently, "You owe me 374 for medical expenses. If the wound needs restitching, the price doubles. Do you have the money?"
"Then get on the bike."
Xia Yi sat on the bike with efficiency, placing one foot on the pedal and pointing to the seat behind her.
Nie Qingzhou rubbed the center of his brows and hesitated before awkwardly getting on the bike. As the wheels turned, he felt like he might be more of a "little brother-fan" now.
Xia Yi skillfully rode the bike, stable and fast. She passed through streets and alleys with ease, eventually turning onto the coastal road leading home. On one side of the highway were scattered houses, while on the other side stretched the boundless blue sea. Nie Qingzhou rested his hand on his brow, gazing into the distance, then shifted his focus to Xia Yi's windblown-tousled hair.
The coast of Changchuan was beautiful.
And there was the only girl he knew here, named "Xia Yi," yet she seemed more like "Qiu Yi", exuding a cool, tranquil, and bright early autumn vibe.
[T/N: Xià- summer, Qiū- autumn]
From now on, as her supporter, he would do his best to support and assist her.
At this moment, he felt as if his feet had touched solid ground for the first time, he felt secure.
On the way home, there was a stretch of uphill road. Before going uphill, Nie Qingzhou said, "You can drop me off here. We're not far, and I can walk back."
Xia Yi turned a deaf ear to it, but rode faster, the wind whistling past. Nie Qingzhou tugged at her clothes and raised his voice, "It's an uphill ahead, and I'm too heavy. You can't carry me."
Xia Yi finally spoke. She turned her head and glanced at Nie Qingzhou lightly, and said, "Sit down, don't talk nonsense."
With that said, she went up the uphill road. The slope wasn't too steep, but it was quite long. Xia Yi tightened her grip on the handlebars, and the speed hardly diminished, and it went up the slope smoothly.
Nie Qingzhou was surprised by Xia Yi's strength, but he also understood that no matter how strong she was, it would be difficult for her to ride uphill with him. As he observed the speed they were going, he wondered about how he should jump off to land safely.
After the price for stitches and his meager living expenses savings flashed through his mind, he decided to be honest.
Nie Qingzhou earnestly reflected on why his luck had been so bad lately. Besides all the injuries, he had only been making a fool of himself, especially in front of Xia Yi.
Finally, they reached their doorstep. Grandma Xia came out from the small shop and caught hold of Nie Qingzhou's arm with a mix of surprise and worry, and looked back and forth.
"Ah, you're back already? Are you alright, young man? You really scared me!"
Nie Qingzhou put on his best smile, the one that he was best at pleasing the elders. "I'm fine. The doctor said to take my medicine on time and go back to have the stitches removed."
Grandma Xia looked behind him and asked, "Where are your parents? Didn't Xia Xia say she was going to contact your parents?"
"My parents are both working in the provincial capital. I usually live alone. It's not a severe injury, so I don't want to bother them." After a pause he continued, "And, Nainai, I'll pay you back for the medical expenses as soon as possible."
A hint of concern and distress appeared in Grandma Xia's eyes as she patted his arm. "No rush. How can you take care of yourself if you are injured like this? How will you eat?"
"I'll cook something for myself, and I'll take it slow."
"Oh my, be careful. How about this, you can come to Grandma's place for meals during this time. You don't need to bring your own chopsticks."
Nie Qingzhou widened his eyes, instinctively looking at Xia Yi, who met his gaze without speaking. He hesitated, "It's already troubling you enough to go to the hospital. To come for meals after that, I..."
"Since it's all troublesome, let's get to the end of the trouble. It's fun to have more people during meals. It'll be so lively, right, Xia Xia?" Grandma Xia smiled kindly, and turned her face to seek Xia Yi's approval.
Xia Yi remained silent.
"Xia Xia!" Grandma Xia called.
Xia Yi glanced over, rolled up her sleeve, and emotionlessly replied, "Yes."
"You see, Xia Xia is welcoming you. Wash your hands and join us for a meal." Grandma Xia patted Nie Qingzhou's back, pushing him into the small shop.
Nie Qingzhou thought, Where did you see her welcoming me?
While Grandma went to call Xia Yan for lunch, Xia Yi quietly said to Nie Qingzhou, "Don't tell my grandma about my piano playing."
The small shop run by the Xia family was named "Xia Family Grocery." The front served as a shop, while the back was the place where Grandma Xia, Xia Yi and Xia Yan lived. As they needed more space for the shop, there was no living room or dining room. Instead, they ate at a small table in the kitchen.
Nie Qingzhou was already 1.83 meters tall, and the table was quite low for him. His long legs had no place to stretch, and his arms couldn't reach the table, so he had to hold the bowl while eating.
As Nainai served him food, she said, "Eat more, eat more. Young man, you eat so elegantly, not making a sound, and only picking the dishes in front of you. Aren't you still getting used to it here with Grandma?"
Nie Qingzhou was taken aback for a moment, then smiled, "No...it's just a habit of mine."
"Don't be polite with Grandma. Eat more ah, Zhou Bin."
Suddenly, Nie Qingzhou choked. He covered his mouth and couldn't stop coughing to the side, until his neck became red. Xia Yi glanced at Nie Qingzhou, and met his embarrassed eyes.
"Grandma... I... my name is not Zhou Bin, I'm Nie Qingzhou," he explained.
"Ah? But how do I remember seeing 'Zhou Bin' written in your account book?" Grandma looked surprised.
"Um... Well, I used to be called Zhou Bin when I was younger, but I changed my name later! That day my mind was messed up, so I made a mistake."
Nie Qingzhou's neck and face turned red.
Grandma seemed like she wanted to ask more, but Xia Yi put a chopstick of vegetables into grandma's bowl, kindly diverting her attention and mercifully rescued Nie Qingzhou. "Grandma, you should eat more too."
Immediately, Grandma Xia's focus shifted to Xia Yi, and she said distressingly, "Why are you telling me to eat more? You should eat more! Look at how thin you are; I can't bear to look at you. You usually eat quite a lot, right? Is it because you don't eat well at school..."
Xia Yi calmly accepted Grandma Xia's concern. She still didn't speak much, but nodded from time to time.
At that moment, she shed her indifference and vigilance, her whole demeanor relaxing. It seemed as if a layer of water vapor was covering the solid ice, looking as if it could melt at any moment.
Nie Qingzhou looked at her, then at Xia Yan, who was eating silently, then at Grandma Xia who couldn't stop nagging. He chuckled lightly.
He was very sensible and didn't ask about Xia's missing parents or where they were now. He also didn't inquire about why Xia Yan's leg was lame.
Since then, Nie Qingzhou's life has finally settled down, and he has lived a regular student life of eating, studying, and doing homework. The National Day holiday flew by, and the students swarmed back into school, returning to their regular class schedules.
When Nie Qingzhou walked into Class 13 with his schoolbag, there were still ten minutes until morning reading. The classroom was a mess, with students chatting and scrambling to catch up with their assignments from time to time. "Have you finished writing that paper?" or "Oh no, I forgot about this!" "Can you let me copy it?" and other such conversations could be heard in the room.
The school Nie Qingzhou attended, Changchuan No. 1 Middle School, was considered the best in Changchuan. However, Changchuan was just a small county-level city, and there are several better middle schools in the prefecture-level cities. If students' families were well-off, they wouldn't stay at the county level but would usually go to school in the city. The quality of students at Changchuan No. 1 Middle School spoke volumes about the level of education in it.
Inside Changchuan No.1 Middle School, there were two types of classes: experimental classes and regular classes. The first five classes of Grade One were the experimental ones, while the rest were regular classes, considered to be of lower quality. All good seedlings were pinched into the experimental class. Nie Qingzhou belonged to Class 13, a regular class, which was likened to the bottom of an ancient water vat, by which water was used to drain in ancient households – nothing but scum.
Amidst the hustle and bustle in the morning, some people noticed Nie Qingzhou. His once golden hair had been dyed back to black. However, the black color wasn't very deep, giving it a shade of dark gray in the sunlight due to the previous bleaching.
He looked much more presentable today, with neatly combed hair and a spotless uniform. He wore the blue and white autumn uniform over the summer one, his collar buttoned up to the first button around his slim neck.
As he passed by a couple of people, they couldn't help but glance back at him. Someone whispered, "Doesn't Nie Qingzhou look different today?"
Nie Qingzhou just got a headache from the noise and was too distracted by it to notice the other people's eyes he was receiving. He frowned and sat on his seat with his bag in hand. Just as he sat down, he saw Zhang Yukun walking over waving two papers and saying enthusiastically, "Zhou-Ge, you're here. I just got the English test papers from Pi Xiao-Ge. Do you want to copy it?"
Nie Qingzhou took out a thick stack of assignments from his bag and replied, "No need, I've finished mine."
Zhang Yukun widened his eyes and picked up Nie Qingzhou's English test paper, "Really, Zhou-Ge? Since when did you start doing your homework... huh? Xia Yi?"
Nie Qingzhou paused, realizing that one of the papers was Xia Yi's.
Xia Yi's house had only one small desk. She usually finished her homework during evening self-study at school, and the desk was used by Xia Yan. But during holidays, both Xia Yi and Xia Yan needed the desk for homework, making it a tight space.
As a way of returning the favor for the free meals, Nie Qingzhou had invited Xia Yi and Xia Yan to his house to do their homework together. His living room was spacious, accommodating three people around the dining table to work on their assignments comfortably.
This paper should have been mixed up when they were doing their homework.
Nie Qingzhou picked up Xia Yi's test paper, patted his stack of assignments, and said to Zhang Yukun, "I'll go to Class One. The class monitor will come to collect the homework later; please hand this one for me."
Zhang Yukun looked surprised, watching Nie Qingzhou leave. Then, a sense of excitement gradually appeared on his face. He quickly went to find Lai Ning, looking mysterious and said, "I think I've stumbled upon something big."
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