Volume 1: Turns Into a Sixteen-Year-Old Problematic Boy

The autumn sun, already struggling to exert its former strength compared to the days of summer, lazily filtered through the windows and cast its rays on the pristine white bedsheet. The ceiling fan creaked as it spun, stirring the scent of disinfectant that permeated the entire room.

In the worn yet relatively clean clinic, a television hanging on the wall was playing a news channel. Its sound was a bit distorted because it was too old. On the hospital bed lay a young man in a deep slumber. His striking blonde hair was disheveled, and his facial features were handsome, yet a faint air of antisocial tendencies could be sensed. He wore the blue and white uniform of Changchuan First High School, his slender arms revealing visible veins as they lay outside the covers.

His uniform jacket hung on the back of a chair next to the bed, and on the back of its collar, someone had written the three characters "Nie Qingzhou" with a twisted and sloppy handwriting. The font was both ugly and hasty, indicating that the writer was extremely impatient.

Suddenly, the young man's eyeballs rapidly moved beneath his eyelids. His breathing became rapid. The instant he grasped the covers tightly, he opened his eyes and after a moment of confusion he almost sprung up from the bed.

"Oh no, oh no... What time is it? Why didn't the alarm go off? I'll be late for work..." The young man muttered anxiously while subconsciously reaching for his clothes by the bed. As he looked at the blue and white school uniform on the bedside, he froze on the spot, his eyes widened in bewilderment.

He stiffly looked around—a deserted room with only a bed covered in yellowed sheets, a chipped white table, a Dell desktop computer, a TCL television, and a white iron cabinet; it all served as a clinic. The news channel on the TV featured a neatly dressed news anchor saying, "Gaddafi has escaped the capital, and his current whereabouts are unknown. He recently delivered a speech on Syrian television..."

The young man muttered in confusion, "Gaddafi? Libya? He... has he been resurrected?"

Subconsciously, he reached to push up his glasses on the bridge of his nose, only to find nothing there. Then, in disbelief, he touched his eyelashes, whispering, "My... my... eyesight..."

Footsteps echoed from outside the door, and behind the school doctor in a white coat, a middle-aged woman in a gray suit and red-framed glasses walked in aggressively. She scolded him vigorously, "If you don't want to go to school, then go home! Do you even remember who you are?"

The young man with blonde hair froze for a moment and pointed at himself, "I… I..."

In that instant, unfamiliar memories that didn't belong to him flooded his mind. He struggled to speak, "I... I'm a first-year student at Changchuan First High School... Nie Qingzhou? And you are... our grade advisor... Teacher Gao?"

Gao Juanmei didn't notice that this usually troublesome student had addressed her with such respectful terms as "you." She crossed her arms and laughed mockingly, "Ha! So you still remember that you're a student? A student yet you dare to dye your hair yellow? Are you going to be a gangster? I know you were quite the troublemaker in middle school, mixing with the other gangs, quite notorious around here. But once you enter Changchuan First High School, you better get rid of those bad habits! You have no shame but don't you dare embarrass our school. It’s vacation from tomorrow, and let me tell you, if you don't come back with your hair dyed black, pack your bags and get out!"

[T/N: 您 (nín) is a formal and polite word for “You”.]

Gao Juanmei scolded Nie Qingzhou relentlessly, firing off insults like a machine gun. She was about to drag him off to class when the tall young man, his limbs stiff as if under someone else's control, was pushed around by Gao Juanmei, stumbling in all directions. In the midst of his chaotic thoughts, he cried out, "Teacher Gao! I still feel dizzy!"

While saying this, he glanced pleadingly at the school doctor, hoping for help.

The school doctor was a young woman who had recently started working there. She seemed to sympathize with the young man's situation, considering that he had been brought in after being knocked out. So, she stepped in to help him. Finally, he escaped Gao Juanmei's clutches and was able to rest in the clinic for the entire morning.

The school doctor poured a cup of hot water and handed it to the young man, who sat by the bed lost in thought. He softly said thank you and accepted the cup. He looked up at the school doctor and despite his very flamboyant hair color, his expression could be described as gentle.

"May I ask what day it is today?"

"Today? Today is Friday, the 30th of September. It's the National Day holiday starting tomorrow."

[T/N: National Day, a holiday celebrated on October 1 to mark the foundation of the People's Republic of China. The holiday comprises seven consecutive days also known as Golden Week with specifics regulated by the State Council. It is also celebrated by Hong Kong and Macau.]

"Then... what year is it?"

The school doctor looked at him strangely and replied, "It's 2011."

The boy widened his eyes and then caught a glimpse of his own unfamiliar face reflecting on the black screen of the old computer on the desk. It felt as if a lump had lodged in his throat, unable to go up or down. Finally, he covered his head with his hands, collapsed onto the bed, and wailed, "Help me!"

He vividly remembered falling asleep on an ordinary workday evening in 2021. He had set the alarm clock as usual, planning to wake up early the next day to queue for breakfast at Old Wang's pancake stand on the street. Then, he would wear his mask and take the subway to work, completing the PPT report assigned by his boss.

But now, he had woken up and found himself ten years in the past. And to make matters worse, he had transformed into a high school kid named Nie Qingzhou!?

Did this mean he didn't have to do that damn PowerPoint presentation he had edited eight hundred times?

The school doctor noticed a strange mixture of delight and sorrow flicker across the young man's pained face, but it was quickly replaced by worry.

He downed the cup of hot water in one gulp, then looked up at her and politely asked if he could use the restroom. As she watched his figure disappear from the doorway, the school doctor murmured to herself, "He seems like a good boy..."

With everyone in class during class time, the bright sunlight near noon made the hallway uncomfortably quiet. The blonde-haired young man stood in the bathroom, his hands braced against the sink. Sunlight streamed onto the left side of his face, casting shadows along the bridge of his nose and eyelashes.

He looked at his reflection in the mirror—a young and rebellious face. He raised an eyebrow, and the person in the mirror did the same. He turned his head, and the person in the mirror turned as well. He reached out to pinch his own face, and the young man in the mirror furrowed his brows and let out a slight yelp.

He muttered under his breath, clutching the mirror with a pained expression. "Isn't this a dream? Zhou Bin ah Zhou Bin, wake up already!"

Pausing for a moment, he carefully examined the face in the mirror and counted aloud, "Blond hair, nose piercing, ear piercings... Is this kid trying to turn himself into a sieve? What kind of non-mainstream aesthetics is this?"

It was quite a coincidence that he knew the original owner of this body—named Nie Qingzhou, a first-year student at Changchuan First High School. But to be precise, he only knew the 2021 version of Nie Qingzhou.

Ten years later, Nie Qingzhou had become a somewhat famous writer, with several of his novels adapted into movies. Because of this, he appeared on a variety show. Zhou Bin's college freshman cousin was obsessed with another celebrity guest on the same show, and for some reason, whenever that guest interacted with Nie Qingzhou, she would start screaming in excitement.

"Look, look! She's holding his arm. This is true love ah!"

"Aww, what a pair of childhood sweethearts? So sweet! I can remain single, but my CP must get married!"

Recently, his cousin was interning and staying at his house. Every night, she would drag him to watch the show on time, claiming that she was 'shipping' the couple. According to her, her CP must have started a secret romance, and also stated that he didn't understand the joy of knocking on the cp.

Indeed, he didn't understand. He couldn't see it at all.

The night before, his cousin had ordered him to watch the next episode with her. But who would have thought that when he woke up, there was no need to watch the variety show as he had directly become the object of his cousin's 'shipping'.

He truly wondered if his cousin's devotion to the 'shipping' had moved some higher power, causing him to physically embody her desired romance to let him see the true love in the world by himself?

He rubbed his messy golden hair and remembered the 26-year-old Nie Qingzhou he had seen on the variety show and in interviews—a graduate from a prestigious university, with naturally curly black mid-length hair, sometimes tied up in a small pony bun at the back of his head, wearing gold-rimmed glasses, and speaking calmly and logically. He appeared as a refined and artistic individual.

And now, although this face was indeed a slightly immature Nie Qingzhou, he looked more like a gangster.

What's going on? Is this the real ten years ago, or some parallel timeline? How did I suddenly end up here?

During the lunch break, the confused Nie Qingzhou returned to the classroom. He wore a black baseball cap to conceal his attention-grabbing hair and silently sat in the back row.

He rustily rummaged through his pen case, then took out a piece of class practice paper to organize his thoughts.

At this moment, a student plopped down on the seat in front of Nie Qingzhou, while another student leaned on Nie Qingzhou's shoulders from behind. The two students shouted in unison, "Zhou Ge!"

"Zhou Ge, you haven't been here all morning. Is everything okay? Hey, hey, what are you writing? Schrödinger's cat? Are you getting a cat?"

Nie Qingzhou lifted his eyes and instinctively reached to push his glasses—only to find nothing there. He noticed that the student in the front row was skinny, short, and slightly dark-skinned, resembling a nimble monkey, with his eyes darting around, giving him a clever look.

The one leaning on his shoulder was taller, slightly chubby, and fair-skinned, resembling a solid white wall.

As the saying goes, when all the doors are closed, God will always open a window for you. The only bright spot in Nie Qingzhou's current predicament was that he still had the memories of the body's original owner.

Although the memories of "Nie Qingzhou" were still in his mind, the way this memory was presented was like a search engine. He had to feed the right keywords to retrieve the corresponding information. And now, as he fed the faces of the two individuals in front of him into his mental search engine, he finally found a match.

The "Skinny Monkey" was Zhang Yukun, and "White Wall" was Lai Ning. They were Nie Qingzhou's good buddies—or rather, his dog legs.

"Nie Qingzhou" was a left-behind child; his parents had been working in the provincial capital since he was in elementary school. He used to live with his grandfather, but when his grandfather passed away during junior high, he began boarding at school.

Perhaps due to the lack of parental discipline since childhood, he had a hot temper and was quite irritable. From elementary to junior high, he would often get into fights with others at the drop of a hat, honing his fighting skills. In junior high, he also had connections with some street troublemakers and had a deep association with the local gangs. This kind of background made teachers wary of him, but it also made him a "legend" in the eyes of some other students.

This experience had absolutely no relevance to Zhou Bin's life; in fact, it was the complete opposite.

Seeing Nie Qingzhou rubbing his temples as if he had a headache, Zhang Yukun understood and said, "Zhou Ge, is your head still hurting? That slut dared to hit you, but Lai Ning and I have already looked for her just now. Let's meet her by the bamboo grove by the back door of the school in a while. We must let her learn a long lesson."

Hearing the word "slut," Nie Qingzhou furrowed his brow. He dropped his pen and leaned back on the chair, saying casually, "He probably didn't do it on purpose. Forget it."

Yesterday, "Nie Qingzhou" dyed his hair blond on a whim. He had planned to wear a cap to school and pass unnoticed, but unexpectedly, someone bumped into him during morning exercises, causing his hat to fall off.

That head of golden hair, shining like a hundred thousand volts under the autumn sun, caused Nie Qingzhou to hear Gao Juanmei's screams from afar. He immediately grabbed the collar of the person who exposed him in anger, ready to throw a punch—but that person struck first and backhanded him, knocking him unconscious.

This blow was so powerful that the soul of "Nie Qingzhou" was sent reeling into darkness.

In his memory, the person who fought "Nie Qingzhou" was shorter, with short black hair and delicate wrists. The guy landed a straight punch on his chin—being hit in the chin could impact the brain, causing immediate unconsciousness. The young man targeted that spot to fight back, it shows that he was skilled in fighting.

Rubbing his chin, Nie Qingzhou thought that the person could at most be accused of excessive self-defense. Besides, what was the point of fighting a sixteen-year-old kid?

Lai Ning snorted and said, "Not intentional? I tell you, Xia Yi is just not willing to accept you. She dares to ride on our Zhou Ge's head."

Nie Qingzhou froze upon hearing this and struggled to say, "The person who hit me... wasn't a boy? You mean... it was Xia Yi?"

Zhang Yukun slapped his thigh and exclaimed, "Ah, Zhou Ge, so you didn't see clearly. Xia Yi is tall, has short hair, and from a distance, she looks like a boy. She's a tomboy."

As the situation spiraled out of control, Nie Qingzhou hadn't even figured out the cause and effect of this soul transmigration, he suddenly found himself standing in the small bamboo grove near the back gate of the school, facing a slender short-haired nearly 1.7 meters tall girl.

Nie Qingzhou pondered, if he remembered correctly, this Xia Yi in front of him was the other half of the celebrity couple his cousin deeply admired, the one who was paired with him on the same variety show ten years later.


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