When God Says Let There Be Light Chapters List

Chapter 19: Getting Beaten

In front of him, Qian Fengyang was flanked by two individuals, each wielding a baseball bat and glaring menacingly. In this deserted alley, the glow from the streetlamp only illuminated a narrow corner. Everyone stood in the dimness, their faces obscured.

Nie Qingzhou mused that he had thought baseball bats were a bit too suited for fights when he took his school baseball and softball classes. He never expected that one day he would become the target of such a thing.

"It's been ages since I cracked your head open. I've long stopped working with Qian-Ge. Why do you suddenly want to settle accounts with me now? Are you full and have nothing better to do?" He asked, crossing his arms.

"Why? Do I need to pick a specific day to hit you?" Qian Fengyang strode forward with his swagger, approaching Nie Qingzhou with arrogance. He pointed the baseball bat towards him and taunted, "You were so impressive, gaining the favor of the boss right after joining. And now when you stopped mingling, you got straight for first place. Why aren't you jumping around now?"

Nie Qingzhou widened his eyes, incredulously staring at Qian Fengyang for a moment before helplessly laughing, "Are you serious?"

Could it be that Qian Fengyang knew about his sudden surge in grades and felt he was succeeding in every aspect of his life, so he couldn't stand the jealousy and wanted to teach him a lesson again? What on earth is going on? Qian Fengyang wasn't even twenty yet, and Nie Qingzhou found the mood of kids truly incomprehensible.

He stretched out his hand to point at himself, "Do you know how I got the first place? I study until 11:30 every night, wake up at 6:30 in the morning for classes, and start working with five sheets of assignments every day. Apart from that, I drill through practice problems from the exercise bank. In the past two months, the pile of exercise books I've filled is almost ten centimeters thick. I don't even have time to play. You think I'm doing well? If I let you live like this, would you be able to endure living through such days?"

Qian Fengyang was visibly caught off guard by his words. It seemed like he didn't expect him to say that at all. The indignation in his eyes subsided a little, and he maliciously gloated, "Hey, the way you're living isn't even as good as taking a beating.”

Nie Qingzhou, keeping up the act, continued to sell miserably, "I only left after taking quite a beating myself. I'm living such a tough life now, and if you keep picking on me, it won't make you gain two catties off meat either."

Seeing Qian Fengyang's expression gradually wavering, Nie Qingzhou extended his open palms and continued, "I understand you've been after me for days, and it wouldn't be fair for your efforts to go in vain. If you're not willing, then go ahead and give me a beating. As long as you don't hit my face, I won't fight back. Let's consider it settled between us."

Qian Fengyang hesitated, shifting the baseball bat in his hand for a moment before kicking Nie Qingzhou in the abdomen, "Damn it, you talk too much."

Nie Qingzhou clutched his stomach and staggered back half a step, colliding with the wall, producing a dull thud. He winced, then slid down the wall to the ground.

Qian Fengyang followed up with several punches, and true to his word, Nie Qingzhou didn't retaliate once, as his dodging was limited to protecting his face from Qian Fengyang's hands. Qian Fengyang had always been the one pinned down and beaten by Nie Qingzhou, so he hadn't experienced this kind of satisfaction before. In a jovial mood, his two companions also seemed ready to join in.

Just then, the sound of a police siren suddenly pierced the quiet night, like a blade slicing through the silence. The sound grew louder and closer. Qian Fengyang was startled. He released Nie Qingzhou and glanced around before saying fiercely, "You're lucky this time, kid. Don't let me catch you again!"

With that, he grabbed his baseball bat and ran off with his two companions in a puff of smoke.

Nie Qingzhou lowered his arms protecting his face and sighed. He clutched his abdomen, drawing a slow breath as he mumbled, "It's me who should say this."

It did hurt, but it was far lighter than the beating he took when he quit the organization. After all, that was the first group beating he'd ever experienced growing up to the age of twenty-six. Now he was considered experienced.

Closing his eyes, he leaned his head back against the wall, waiting for the pain to gradually subside.

Suddenly there was the sound of footsteps approaching him, drawing nearer with each step. The footsteps weren't heavy, nor hurried. Nie Qingzhou wondered if it was Qian Fengyang and his gang returning, but when he opened his eyes, he met with a pair of deep, dark eyes.

The passing of a vehicle on the alley's remote side illuminated the dim corner for an instant as its headlights shone through, revealing the face before him in stark clarity. He saw Xia Yi wearing a camel-colored, thick cotton shirt with a dark brown sweater over it, her head lowered as she looked at him.

One of her arms was bent, holding a phone with its screen still lit. The other hand hung by her side, slender fingers gripping an old black Bluetooth speaker.

In just a fleeting moment, the headlights moved on, and she sank back into the darkness.

Nie Qingzhou was stunned. He blinked in surprise, and looked up in Xia Yi's direction and said, "Shouldn't you...... be in class?"

He thought of the Bluetooth speaker in her hand, connecting it to the slightly weird police siren from earlier. Suddenly, realization dawned on him, "You set off that police siren just now?"

Xia Yi just stood in silence, and after a few moments closed the cover of her cell phone, put it in her pocket, and took two steps back.

In the darkness, she turned to pick up his school bag that he had left aside, slinging it over her shoulder. She then picked up his fallen bicycle.

Suppressing the pain, Nie Qingzhou stood up, reaching for the strap of her bag on her shoulder, saying, "Give me the bag, I'll carry it myself. And the bike, I'm not hurt this far yet."

Xia Yi turned to him, and looked at him without emotion, then yanked the strap out of his hand, tersely saying, "Let's go home."

When Xia Yi looked at Nie Qingzhou with that expression, he dared not say anything more. He could only retract his hand with a sulking expression.

Thus, they walked back to the path with street lights again, with Xia Yi leading the way while pushing the bicycle and carrying the bag and Nie Qingzhou clutching his stomach, walking slowly behind her.

He observed her elongated shadow cast by the lamplight ahead, pondering what she might be thinking. Clearing his throat, he started to explain, "I didn't mean to deceive you. I was worried about dragging you into this. Besides, this whole thing was Qian Fengyang acting up. The first time he confronted me, he brought six people; the second time, only three. Today, there were only two left. If I could get past him today, he probably won't be able to find anyone to block me later. He's breaking the unwritten rule by seeking revenge even after I left, so he won't last long."

Xia Yi didn't respond to his words. Nie Qingzhou felt a bit anxious. He hastened his steps, catching up to her and turning his head to look at her.

The dim, yellowish light of the streetlamp fell upon her face. Strands of hair scattered over her forehead, casting a shadow across her brow bone. She turned her head to meet his gaze. In her jet-black eyes, there was no sign of anger, yet it was evident she wasn't pleased either.

"Do you have any medicine for bruises at home?" she asked.

Nie Qing Zhou froze and hesitantly shook his head.

Xia Yi nodded. She said, "Wait for me downstairs later."

As Xia Yi finished speaking, withdrew her gaze and turned her head to look forward. Nie Qingzhou walked along, occasionally glancing back at her. With his age and experience, he found it easy to decipher the thoughts of the kids around him. They seemed straightforward, transparent.

Except for Xia Yi. Sometimes, he could sense the fluctuations in her emotions, but most of the time, he couldn't fathom what she was thinking.

Stars sparkled in the night sky. In the late autumn and early winter breeze, their shadows danced with the alternating distance of the street lamps, elongating and shortening.

The dim light from the building where they lived appeared sparsely. Many households had already turned off their lights and gone to sleep. Suddenly, Xia Yi spoke, "I left the speaker in your bag. Return it to me at school tomorrow."

Nie Qingzhou followed her gaze and saw the silhouette of Grandma Xia through the window of the convenience store, illuminated by the light within. He realized that Xia Yi had hidden the speaker from Grandma Xia, and that speaker seemed quite old.

He was about to say something to Xia Yi when he saw a figure downstairs. His feet stiffened instantly and even stepped back a couple of paces. Xia Yi took a few steps forward, looked back at him strangely, "Nie Qingzhou?"

Nie Qingzhou wished he could jump up and signal her to stay quiet, but it was too late. Under his apartment building, a woman wearing a windbreaker and suit pants, with glasses perched on her nose, turned at the sound of Xia Yi's voice. She greeted him with a smile, "Qingzhou! You're back!"

It was his aunt, his aunt who only visited him once every few weeks, and she had chosen today, the day he got beaten up, to visit him!

"Aunt... why are you here?"

Nie Qingzhou looked at Nie Yinghong, awkwardly smiling as he stepped behind Xia Yi to hide.

"It's getting colder, so I bought you a few sweaters and thick coats. I saw that the temperature is going to drop tomorrow, so I rushed to bring them over today. I left the house in a hurry and forgot to bring your keys..."

As Nie Yinghong spoke, she walked toward Nie Qingzhou. She initially learned that he had placed first in the midterm exams and was amazed beyond belief, thinking it might be a fluke. It was only when she heard that he ranked third in the monthly exams that she finally felt at ease. Her mood had been quite happy lately, and her attitude towards Nie Qingzhou was also much gentler.

Initially, she had a warm smile, but as she neared Nie Qingzhou, her expression changed abruptly as she saw his dusty and dirt-covered clothes with bruises on his arms under the streetlight.

She pulled his arm and tugged him out from behind Xia Yi, worriedly asking, "What's wrong with you? You kid, you got into a fight again?"

Nie Qingzhou quickly reassured his aunt, "It's okay, it's nothing, just some minor injuries. Let's talk about it at home!"

While talking, he took his backpack from Xia Yi's hands, gripping the handlebars of the bicycle with his other hand. He patted Xia Yi's back, gesturing for her to go ahead.

Only then did Nie Yinghong shift her attention to the tall and slender girl standing beside her nephew. Xia Yi nodded slightly toward Nie Yinghong and greeted without enthusiasm, "Hello, Auntie."

With that, she released the handlebars, turned, and walked toward the convenience store's light on the first floor.

"She's our downstairs neighbor, she helped me out a bit." Nie Qingzhou explained as he guided Nie Yinghong toward the stairs.

While searching for medicine at home, Xia Yi heard the commotion from upstairs. Nie Yinghong's loud voice penetrated the thin walls, ringing clear and loud in her ears.

"What's going on? What did you promise me? How could you get into a fight again? You've been doing so well lately. Do you know how happy both your parents and I are? You've made such progress..."

In the midst of Nie Yinghong's furious voice, there was Nie Qingzhou's helpless yet gentle tone.

"Auntie, keep your voice down. Don't worry, let me speak first..."

"How can I not worry! You... ai…don't say anything for now, I'll go buy some medicine for you. Tell me, how can there be no common medicines at home at all......"

The sound of treading footsteps and changing shoes came from upstairs. Hearing the commotion from above, Grandma Xia opened the anti-theft door and asked in surprise, "What's going on? Is Xiao Nie hurt again?"

Carrying a bag of medicine, Xia Yi nodded, "Grandma, I'm going to deliver medicine to him."

"Go, go quickly!" Grandma stopped pulling the security shutter and Xia Yi slipped out.

When Nie Yinghong opened the door, she unexpectedly saw the girl who had been with her nephew, standing in the corridor holding a plastic bag.

"You are..." As soon as Nie Yinghong said, the lights in the corridor turned on. The girl's appearance became clear before her eyes. She wore a brown sweater, her eyes were round and dark, resembling the colored contact lenses that Nie Yinghong's beauty-conscious colleagues often wore. On closer inspection, the girl was really pretty. But instead of saying she is pretty, the word beautiful seems to be more appropriate.

In the plastic bag, the girl held several bottles of medicine. She raised the bag and handed it to Nie Yinghong.

"I live downstairs. Here's some safflower oil and Yunnan Baiyao ointment. Grandma asked me to bring them to you."

Nie Yinghong was worried that it would be too late to buy the medicine. She was overjoyed when she heard the words, and immediately took the medicine and said, "Oh, thank you so much."

Xia Yi shook her head, lowered her arms, and said, "It's quite late now, and speaking loudly might disturb others to rest."

"Oh, I didn't notice, I'm sorry. I won't speak so loudly." Xia Yi's directness was surprising. Hearing her say this so directly, Nie Yinghong felt a little embarrassed.

Xia Yi nodded, but she didn't leave. Nie Yinghong found it curious and asked with a friendly smile, "What's wrong? Do you have something else to say?"

Looking into Nie Yinghong's eyes, Xia Yi remained quiet for a moment before speaking earnestly, "Also, Nie Qingzhou didn't start the fight. When others beat him, he didn't fight back."

Nie Yinghong was taken aback, and the girl's manner of speaking seemed to carry an undeniable power.

Rarely did she feel such pressure and discomfort from a girl of this age. The girl wasn't blaming her, yet Nie Yinghong felt as if she was being accused.

After a pause, Xia Yi continued, "You should trust him. He works really hard. He's always putting in his best effort."

Whether it's in studies or breaking away from his previous lifestyle, despite all the setbacks and lack of recognition.

But he always gives his all.

He would also want to be trusted, which was why he was so happy to know that she believed in him.

Finishing her sentence, the hallway lights dimmed again. The girl turned around, disappearing quietly down the stairs like a cat disappearing into the dark night.

Nie Yinghong turned her head and saw her nephew standing by the shoe cabinet behind the door, in a spot where Xia Yi couldn't see him but he could overhear their conversation. His eyes seemed a bit red. He turned his head slightly, smiled, and walked to her, taking the medicine from her hand. "Auntie, let me handle it."


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