Ch2 – Big Li’s Grilled Skewers
Translator: Abo Dammen
Guo Jingyu eventually followed him all the way to the Chinese teacher’s office, but he didn’t dare to enter and instead waited outside.
He looked at Li Tongzhou next to him, who had knocked on the door and shouted ‘reporting’.
He waited until the man went in before walking around a few teacher’s desks, only to retract his gaze when he saw nothing.
He was reluctant to take a few more little peeks to make himself feel better.
A teacher emerged from the classroom carrying a teacup and a lesson plan.
Guo Jingyu stepped to the side.
The teacher who went out the door saw him.
His feet came to a halt, and he spoke to him, “Called by your adviser to come again? Guo Jingyu ah, your class’s adviser has a bad heart and is also old.
When you go in, properly admit your mistake, and don’t constantly contradict him.
Anyway, your history score this time is also hanging a bit; you barely met the minimum threshold.
Next time, study harder and gain better points on the test, ah.”
Guo Jingyu was caught off guard by the sudden educational beating and was unable to respond for a brief while.
He stared at the much younger teacher in front of him, tried hard for a moment to recognize him, and then sounded out, “Teacher Shi?”
The male teacher laughed.
“What, we only didn’t meet in two classes, and now you don’t even recognize me?”
Guo Jingyu hurriedly responded with numerous phrases, pledging to study diligently.
Teacher Shi nodded and let him go.
Teacher Shi, a chemistry teacher, was the class’s deputy adviser.
Teacher Song, their previous geography teacher, who everyone referred to as ‘Boss’, was their class’s principal adviser, who would primarily focus on academic performance; Teacher Shi was in his early twenties and also youthful, so everyone refers to him as ‘Little Boss’.
He mainly focuses on discipline and organizes students to participate in various activities.
Guo Jingyu didn’t recognize him at all, after all, Teacher Shi was much younger than he remembered.
This was a high-spirited young man who had just graduated less than two years ago and who, when he saw students who appeared to be a lost lamb, would eagerly join hands with them to show them the right path, in hopes that everyone would grow.
In Teacher Shi’s eyes, Guo Jingyu was currently the bellwether of the said lost lambs.
Educate this one well, and the flock of disobedient little black sheep would all followingly bow their heads in submission.
Guo jingyu rubbed the tip of his nose.
He had been a successful figure of society for many years, so he couldn’t accept the sudden reality that he had been a learning scumbag for a time.
When dividing classes in the second semester of senior two, he recalled choosing liberal arts.
At that time, his family wanted him to go to a better university so he could find a job when he returned.
After all, he did have a little talent for painting.
He did not anticipate, however, that he was actually gifted in fine arts.
After half a year of intensive training, he had been directly admitted to an art school, and later went overseas as an exchange student.
It could be viewed as the learning scumbag’s counterattack.
Guo Jingyu leaned against the wall, one hand in his pocket, squinting at the people passing down the corridor and emotionally sighing inside.
His photo was later hung on the school’s bulletin board, and he was recognized as an outstanding alumnus from all the previous years, with the principal inviting him back to be a speaker.
In return, he and several other alumni donated a library building on the east side of the teaching building, but right now, that piece of land laid bare and exposed, with a cinder-covered sediment sports field in a corner that was vaguely visible; the lime-white lines were quite distinct, and students jogged by in twos and threes.
Li Tongzhou quickly came out of the teacher’s office, holding a stack of papers in addition to his assignment.
Seeing this, Guo Jingyu immediately followed him and took some, then spoke to him in a hushed tone.
Li Tongzhou was in a good mood, and Guo Jingyu also smiled with him.
“Did you do well on the test?”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Li Tongzhou nodded.
Xeb Alcuse ybjrafv, “Tbe jikjsr vb kfii lc afrar.
Ofa’r ub tbwf abufatfg lc atf fnfclcu.
P’ii yes sbe rbwf rxfkfgr, bxjs?”
Ol Kbcuhtbe tfrlajafv j yla, atfc cbvvfv, atfc jrxfv tlw, “Cgfc’a sbe ubccj qijs rbmmfg klat Lf Wljcusjcu jcv atf batfgr?”
“Nah, playing soccer is boring.
How about eating at Big Li’s Grilled Skewers at the school gate? Their chicken gristles and spicy chicken wings are delicious.”
“Yxjs.” Ol Kbcuhtbe rkloais jugffv atlr alwf, klat j riluta yglrxcfrr lc tlr nblmf atja fnfc tf kjrc’a jkjgf bo.
In the following Chinese class, Guo Jingyu was once again forced to recognize the fact that he was a learning scumbag.
Guo Jingyu, who was standing on one side as punishment, scratched his cheek while looking at the bright red “72” on his test paper.
It wasn’t pleasing to the eye.
Why were his senior high school scores so poor?
He, too, was resolved not to fall short.
For others, being admitted to 5-6 schools was already a wonderful thing.
However, he had received specialized admission notices from over twenty universities all at once.
During those six months, the entire school became famous, and even the principal personally came over to watch, after all, he had also gotten the notice from Tsinghua University of Fine Arts.
As long as the cultural courses could be improved, the school’s admission rate to prestigious schools would rise.
During those years, he was only a few points behind Tsinghua.
In the end, he waved his sleeves regretfully as he walked to the best fine arts university in the country.
The Chinese teacher on the podium banged the blackboard with an eraser, glaring as she yelled, “Guo Jingyu! Not only do you not feel bad about getting such a mark, you also look as if you didn’t take the test yourself.
Are you trying to make your teacher angry until you’re satisfied?”
Guo Jingyu, “…..”
He really didn’t want to admit he had taken the test himself.
He definitely had almost been admitted to Tsinghua during that half-year thanks to his hard work, but when the teacher questioned him, he instantly lowered his head to acknowledge his mistake.
Their school is quite average.
The level of education in this city is still in the past, but when compared to other places, it’s woefully piddling.
The fact that a group of undergrads could be sent out every year was entirely the result of the teachers’ dedication and strict requirements.
Granted his current mental age, he would naturally no longer contradict his teacher and be the problematic student he once was when he was a teenager.
After society brutally beat him up, he had understood the school leaders’ and the teachers’ good intentions.
He looked up only to see Li Tongzhou, who was sitting in front of him, shoving an exercise book.
On the exercise book was a smiley face.
A particularly naive drawing, kinda like a children’s stick figure, with two vertical lines for eyes, a curved mouth, and a particularly well-drawn round head, as if drawn with a compass.
Li Tongzhou, awkward and serious as he was, had did his utmost to make him happy.
Guo Jingyu laughed.
Just as the corners of his lips dropped, he heard the Chinese teacher call his name once again.
This time, the teacher almost cried angrily, thinking that Guo Jingyu, the leader of the problematic students, was purposefully acting against her, so she told him to go stand outside, tears in her eyes.
Guo Jingyu, at a loss, “Teacher, teacher, I was wrong.
I’ll apologize to you, okay….”
The little teacher was close to crying in anger, her eyes red as she pointed to the door, choking, “A-Aren’t you gonna go out?”
“I’m going, I’m going!”
Guo Jingyu went out with the textbook.
He had just one foot forward when He Xiangyang and the others were about to go out with him.
They thought it was an act of loyalty, but as the adult, Guo Jingyu kicked the half-grown youngsters back one by one, urging them to go to class honestly.
When the Chinese teacher asked everyone in the classroom to read the text, he also held the book and read it aloud at the door.
He especially chose the back door so that when he looked at the classroom, he’d be able to catch a few more glances of Li Tongzhou.
Li Tongzhou occasionally gave him a sidelong glance.
Their eyes would meet very briefly, and after a short moment, he’d lower his head to continue studying.
His face was as expressionless as before, as if he didn’t see anything.
After school, Guo Jingyu and Li Tongzhou went to have a barbecue together.
If he were to say the deepest impressions he had of his senior high school life aside from the overwhelming test papers, it would be Big Li’s barbeques near the school’s gate.
It was a small shop more than ten square meters with small square tables and few low stools set up everywhere, both inside and out.
A plastic bag was placed over the metal tray, and high-piled meat and vegetable skewers dripping with oil were served.
The aroma of cumin and pepper was rich and pungent.
Old Boss Li’s bellowing was especially audible.
When he made a series of skewer-related cries, the others next to him couldn’t help but follow suit, adding extra skewers.
The greedy insects were all roused by him.
After they found a small table and sat down, Guo Jingyu ordered a lot in one go, as everything in his memories got more vivid.
He and Li Tongzhou have returned to eat at this shop quite a lot of times, so as soon as they walked in, there was a sense of familiarity.
Li Tongzhou rinsed the tea leaves before pouring a cup and pushing it over to him.
For a moment, he stared dazedly at the cup of tea.
It had been a long time since Guo Jingyu experienced Li Tongzhou’s meticulous care.
“What’s wrong? Do you want soda? I saw some nearby.
I’ll buy it…” said Li Tongzhou.
Guo Jingyu shook his head.
The light in the shop wasn’t great, but that’s why he could raise his head and stare at Li Tongzhou in an open and direct manner, unconcerned that he’d notice his unsightly red eyes.
“No need, I love drinking this,” he replied softly with a smile as he grasped the cup and sipped the tea.
Big Li’s shop was a small-scale business.
When delivering the food, the payment would usually be collected on the way.
Guo Jingyu’s hand reached out to touch his pocket, only to discover something embarrassing.
He had no money in his pocket.
Li Tongzhou was not surprised at all.
He grabbed money from his school bag to pay.
They had quite a good relationship when they were students, sharing everything without distinction.
But right now, Guo Jingyu’s face reddened with slight shame.
He wanted to be good to Li Tongzhou, to see him, to eat with him, and take care of him, but he didn’t expect that the first meal after they met again would be paid by Li Tongzhou.
“The chicken gristles are here, why aren’t you eating them?” asked Li Tongzhou.
Guo Jingyu picked up a skewer.
He’d had so many exotic delicacies from various places over the years.
After he ate the skewers once again from this off-campus little shop, he felt that the taste wasn’t as good as he recalled.
However, looking up at Li Tongzhou sitting beside him, he thought that the skewer had become fragrant and pleasant again.
When he took a bite, it was especially oily and savory.
Li Tongzhou ate with elegance, and wasn’t picky, but if he came across food he didn’t like, he’d eat it awfully slowly.
He didn’t like eating shiitake mushrooms, and also didn’t eat chicken gristle very much.
He chose only two skewers of chicken wing tips to eat slowly.
Guo Jingyu grabbed the shiitake mushrooms he was slowly gnawing and ate them himself.
Li Tongzhou gave him a glance.
Li Tongzhou shook his head, saying, “I ordered a lot, you don’t have to force yourself.”
“Don’t you dislike eating mushrooms, too?”
“What to do then~ the boss gave us these two skewers.
It’ll be a loss of money if we don’t eat it.
One person in our family must eat it ah, or else it’ll be a waste.” Guo Jingyu spoke half-jokingly with Li Tongzhou’s gaze still at him.
Moments later, Li Tongzhou smiled and lowered his head, resuming to devour the grilled skewers.
Guo Jingyu’s heart fluttered as he was swept in by his smile.
He wished right then and there he could perform eating a hundred skewers of shiitake mushrooms.
How could this person be so good, ne?
The mere sight of him prompted the side of his lips to unintentionally rise into a smile.
Guo Jingyu ate a little more, mesmerized by the person in front of him.
He and Li Tongzhou did not live in the same neighborhood, but because the route is the same, they still rode the bus together.
On their way home, they were caught up in the rush hour.
There was no seat, so Li Tongzhou carried both of their school bags on one shoulder while clutching the circular strap handle to support himself with one hand, all the while protecting Guo Jingyu, who was in front of him.
Guo Jingyu turned to him, wanting to hold his own school bag.
Li Tongzhou thought he couldn’t stand firmly, so as soon as he stretched out his hand, Li Tongzhou held it very naturally.
Guo Jingyu said, “I’ll just hold my bag myself.”
Li Tongzhou didn’t give it to him, but he did stare at him languidly before saying, “I think you’re acting a bit… strange today.”
“You’re treating me nicely.”
Li Tongzhou chuckled.
His half-drooped eyes looked at him as he spoke in a voice that only both of them could hear, “You helped me carry the homeworks, didn’t play soccer with the others to accompany me to eat skewers, and even wanted to carry your own school bag.
Guo Jingyu, do you…” Guo Jingyu’s pulse raced as he saw his lowered head approaching.
After Li Tongzhou got close, he asked him in a whisper, “Do you want to copy my homework?”
Guo Jingyu’s forehead suddenly bumped into his.
It just so happened that the brake had been stomped a bit hard, which caused the two of them to collide and cry out in pain.
They examined each other, and then burst out laughing.
The author has something to say:
When he was punished to stand outside the classroom door.
Guo-Successful Figure-Jingyu: wHA? My image isn’t actually a top student, but a learning scum?!
Li Tongzhou, studying seriously in the classroom: He’s so cute.
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