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When God Says Let There Be Light

Chapters List

Chapter 22: Study

That evening, as expected, Nie Yinghong bombarded Nie Qingzhou with phone calls. Nie Qingzhou had long been accustomed to Nie Yinghong's fiery temper, and listened patiently while responding. Nie Yinghong explained that she couldn't return for now and had asked Grandma Xia downstairs to help take care of him these days.

Nie Qingzhou was surprised, "Since when do you have Grandma Xia's phone number?"

"I saved it last time I was there. As the saying goes, distant relatives are not as good as close neighbors. Next time I come, I'll buy some gifts for Grandma Xia and give her a few red envelopes as thanks."

Hearing this, Nie Qingzhou realized that once his aunt took action, he wouldn't owe Grandma Xia any more money. If he invited Xia Yi over for something to eat, would she still agree?

Thinking of this, he felt a bit melancholy, unexpectedly hoping this debt could be extended.

At this moment, the doorbell rang cheerfully. Nie Qingzhou ended his call with his auntie and stiffly turned his back to move towards the door and opened it.

Standing outside in their Changchuan No.1 Middle School uniforms were two boys, one tall and one short. Who else could it be but Zhang Yukun and Lai Ning?

Nie Qingzhou was surprised and said, "Why aren't you two in evening self-study?"

"Zhou Ge! Since you've gone to the hospital for stitches, of course, we had to come see you. Who cares about evening self-study!" Zhang Yukun said with a mournful face.

Lai Ning nodded vigorously.

Nie Qingzhou only felt his blood pressure rising: "You two skipped evening self-study without asking for leave, right?"

Now Zhang Yukun was speechless, and the two people outside the door looked at each other standing like two trees of different heights.

Nie Qingzhou thought Lai Ning was right. He was really here to be their mother.

"...Yes, sorry for the trouble. If Director Gao or Teacher Li finds out, just tell them that when they went to the office, they didn't see Teacher Li, so they asked for leave from you... um, thanks."

Nie Qingzhou hung up the phone, turning back with an unpleasant expression to look at Zhang Yukun and Lai Ning sitting on the living room sofa.

Lai Ning, who had no sense of propriety, was still amazed, "Hey, Zhou Ge, when did you become so close to Zhang Zihua?"

Zhang Yukun slapped Lai Ning on the back and jumped up from the sofa, saying, "Zhou Ge, don't stand! Sit down quickly! I'll get you some water!"

Nie Qingzhou waved his hand dismissively: "You two just sit there properly!"

Zhang Yukun was very obedient and plopped back down with a thud.

Nie Qingzhou felt stiff every time he moved his body, so he decided to maintain his original posture, standing and looking down at the two people on the sofa.The two of them shrank their necks under his gaze. Lai Ning mumbled and finally asked cautiously, "Zhou Ge... how's your injury?"

"I got stitches. The doctor said if it was any deeper, I wouldn't be standing here talking to you. At least it's my back; if I didn't block that blow in the middle, the knife would have slashed across your faces instead, it would be light to just get disfigured!" Nie Qingzhou's tone was stern, but his voice was low. He didn't want to broadcast this scene live in front of neighbors.

Zhang Yukun and Lai Ning turned pale. Zhang Yukun angrily said, "Damn, that kid Wu Siyuan is too vicious! Zhou Ge, I really don't understand how you can let him off!"

"Is what he did vicious? Isn't it similar to what you guys did to him?" Nie Qingzhou's gaze was intense. "The reason he brought a knife was also thinking—Nie Qingzhou, Zhang Yukun, and Lai Ning, these three kids have gone too far in bullying, and I absolutely can't let them off!"

"We...we didn't want his life!"

"You asked him to buy you sodas, and when the soda splashed on you, you cursed at him. Regardless of whether he did it on purpose or not, why should he buy sodas for you? You bullied him because you thought he was weak and couldn't resist, right? Following your logic, since he's now holding the knife then the weaker ones become us, so he can of course bully us. You started it all, so you should have expected consequences like this."

As Nie Qingzhou spoke, he started coughing. Zhang Yukun immediately ran to get him a glass of water, as if this was his own home.

Lai Ning still sat honestly on the couch, keeping his head down in silence.

Taking a sip of water, Nie Qingzhou sighed, then moved with difficulty to sit on a chair. Zhang Yukun also sat down next to Lai Ning, wearing a bitter expression and not daring to say anything.

"Now, you and Wu Siyuan are even. Don't go looking for him again, or cause trouble to anyone else. I don't want to get stabbed again. Since I can't play basketball on weekends recently, you both come over to do homework with me, and bring all your study materials."

Normally, Zhang Yukun and Lai Ning would never agree to such terms, but now that Nie Qingzhou had saved their lives, they felt guilty towards him. Nie Qingzhou seized this opportunity - Zhang Yukun and Lai Ning's faces grew even more bitter, but Zhang Yukun still immediately took a stand: "Of course! How could we possibly abandon Zhou Ge and go play basketball by ourselves!"

Lai Ning immediately agreed: "That's right!"

Nie Qingzhou was satisfied: "Alright, that's settled then."

Seeing Nie Qingzhou's eased expression, Zhang Yukun and Lai Ning finally breathed a sigh of relief. They hovered around Nie Qingzhou, still feeling lingering fear as they asked him question after question, attentively seeing to his needs. Nie Qingzhou waved his hand and said, "Where are your school bags? Did you bring your homework?"

And so what had been a visit to see the patient turned into a group homework session.

Zhang Yukun and Lai Ning usually would half-copy, half-complete their homework by themselves; instead, he would only explain the problems they didn't understand. Most of the time, these two weren't patient enough to listen and ended up copying from others—like Wu Siyuan.

Now gathered around a table doing their homework, Zhang Yukun was scratching his head in frustration, and when he looked at Lai Ning beside him, even he was the same. Only Nie Qingzhou, who didn't even attend class in the afternoon due to his injured back, was writing with his homework suspended in the air, and surprisingly his pen strokes flowed smoothly.

Nie Qingzhou glanced at Zhang Yukun and Lai Ning's clean homework notebooks, and sighed as he put down his homework and picked up the textbook. "You two first tell me what the teacher taught in class this afternoon."

Although he initially intended for Lai Ning and Zhang Yukun to speak and explain to him, it ended up with him explaining, and the two across from him listening. After he roughly summarized the relevant lessons for today's homework, the two finally began sluggishly working on their homework.

Lai Ning nudged Zhang Yukun and whispered excitedly: "Hey, I can actually do this question!"

Zhang Yukun leaned over: "Let me see, let me see."

Nie Qingzhou looked at them and smiled softly.

Time passed quickly without them realizing, and it was late at night before they knew it. Lai Ning received a phone call and only then realized how late it was and that he should have been home, so he made up an excuse. Zhang Yukun and Lai Ning hurriedly packed up their bags to go home.

Nie Qingzhou sat in his chair and said: "I won't send you off, I'm taking a few days off from school. Remember to bring your homework and notes every day."

Lai Ning agreed while packing up. Zhang Yukun was about to say something to Nie Qingzhou when his gaze drifted through the window, not knowing what he saw, and suddenly got excited, pulling Lai Ning over: "Look, look!"

Lai Ning leaned over to see in the direction Zhang Yukun pointed. Under the streetlamp, Xia Yi appeared on the slope, riding her bicycle. She drove toward here quickly and then parked the bicycle in front of the entrance.

Zhang Yukun excitedly said: "Sister-in-law is still coming to see Zhou Ge at this late hour!"

Sitting far away and unable to move, Nie Qingzhou was confused: "What sister-in-law?"

Right then, the doorbell rang. Zhang Yukun dashed over in a single bound. At that moment, Nie Qingzhou understood who he was talking about earlier, and urgently said: "Lai Ning, stop him! Don't let him talk nonsense!"

After Xia Yi pressed the doorbell, she heard a commotion and scuffle from behind the door, as well as Nie Qingzhou's clear shouts.

Then the door opened, and Zhang Yukun's eyes shone as he shouted: "Sis..."

Then a hand came from behind him, directly covering Zhang Yukun's mouth. Lai Ning grabbed Zhang Yukun's shoulders, and stood behind him honestly, saying, "Kun'er, Zhou Ge told you not to speak."

Zhang Yukun struggled to break free from Lai Ning's hand, flailing wildly.

Lai Ning looked at Xia Yi with a friendly smile: "Sister-in-law, you're here."

"......"

Nie Qingzhou pinched the bridge of his nose, wondering if these two were here specifically to treat his low blood pressure.

Zhang Yukun broke free from Lai Ning's restraint, laughing, "Sister-in-law, it's so late, but you still came specially to see Zhou Ge?"

Xia Yi's gaze swept over their faces, then turned toward Nie Qingzhou behind them.

"I live downstairs," she said.

Zhang Yukun suddenly realized: "Ah, so that's how it is. There's actually a story here. Zhou Ge stays here every night for self-study..."

Before he could finish, an exercise book came flying at him. Nie Qingzhou, with a half-smile, half-serious expression, said, "Didn't you say you were going home? Why aren't you leaving?"

Zhang Yukun and Lai Ning obeyed, immediately grabbing their backpacks and fled. Before leaving,  Zhang Yukun gave Nie Qingzhou a wink, with an excited, gossiping expression, as if Nie Qingzhou had just seen his cousin shouting "this is love" while grabbing his arm.

Nie Qingzhou pinched his brows.

Is shipping really so much fun?

Xia Yi watched the two of them disappear down the stairs and out of sight, before turning to Nie Qingzhou.

"May I come in?"

"Come in quickly."

Xia Yi walked into the room and closed the door behind her. She walked up to Nie Qingzhou, who stood stiffly in place and sighed helplessly: "Would you like me to get you some water?"

Xia Yi shook her head, declining. She scrutinized him from head to toe – the boy before her had a pale complexion but seemed fine in spirit.. She asked, "How is it?"

"Sutured with four stitches. Going to have them removed in seven days," Nie Qingzhou turned his head, sighing, "Similar to last time."

"Your aunt has asked for help so my grandmother will help you with meals in the next few days."

"I'm sorry to trouble grandma again."

"Why did they call me sister-in-law?"

"Cough cough..."

After a long stretch of normal conversation, Xia Yi suddenly dropped this question, leaving Nie Qingzhou choking on his words. He coughed while waving his hand, "No, no, no. Just consider it nonsense from them. Don't mind or believe it. Uh, about the school uniform, I'll wash it and return it to you..."

Saying this, Nie Qingzhou noticed Xia Yi was wearing a clean school uniform. It was a little small on her, emitting an unfamiliar scent of daisy fragrance.

"Your school uniform?"

Xia Yi looked down and said, "Zheng Peiqi lent it to me."

When she returned to the classroom after lunch and sat down, Zheng Peiqi occasionally glanced at her, and finally couldn't help but ask: "Xia Yi, where is your... uniform?"

"Got dirty. Can't wear it for now."

"Oh..." Zheng Peiqi didn't dare to pry further. Her gaze drifted outside the door and then turned back, "This afternoon... there's a class with the class teacher in the afternoon. If you're not wearing the school uniform, she will scold you."

Xia Yi simply nodded without responding further to Zheng Peiqi's words. In the first class of the afternoon, Zheng Peiqi kept fiddling with her phone under the desk. When the class ended, she rushed out and came back with a school uniform jacket.

"I asked my family to send it. It's a clean school uniform! You can put it on first." Zheng Peiqi held out the neatly folded and fragrant school uniform to her, her eyes timid like a little rabbit.

Xia Yi looked at her for a moment, and took the uniform from her hands.

"Thank you."

Zheng Peiqi was dazed for a moment, then smiled with curved eyebrows. Then she seemed a little embarrassed and wanted to restrain this happiness so she bit her lip and said: "You're welcome."

After hearing about this incident from Xia Yi, Nie Qingzhou also smiled with curved eyebrows like Zheng Peiqi, revealing the small pear dimples on his cheeks.

He sighed: "That's great."

Xia Yi looked up at him: "What?"

Nie Qingzhou's smiling eyes seemed to have light that also seemed to illuminate into her eyes.

"It's great, you'll have one more friend now."

In the future, it won't just be me accompanying you; there will be more and more people discovering how good you are.

You originally deserved to be loved and cared for by lots of people.

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