Ch6 – five piece chess

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Faced with a stack of meal cards delivered to him that he couldn’t accept nor not accept, Guo Jingyu was incredibly irritated.
He pushed aside He Xiangyang’s hand and said: “Go, go, where they came from is where they should be.
After this, don’t come paying respect anymore!”

He Xiangyang’s face was full of fear and surprise as he carefully asked: “Yu ge, did we do something wrong?” 

Guo Jingyu: “….”

Guo Jingyu: “You guys aren’t wrong, I am.”

 

 

Hearing this, He Xiangyang didn’t dare to take the cards back.
Only after Guo Jingyu kicked his chair a few times did he recover them while carefully watching Guo Jingyu’s complexion the entire time, shaking with nerves.
The classroom’s last two rows of academically poor students were especially well-behaved the entire morning, bringing about a hard to come by silence.

During the break between classes, Guo Jingyu took advantage of the break between classes to distribute a yogurt drink to Li Tongzhou, who lowered his head, glanced at it once, and didn’t take it, saying: “I am not acquainted with Fan Jiali.” 

Guo Jingyu was baffled by this inexplicable non sequitur.
He didn’t know her either?

 

Li Tongzhou said: “You should go gift it yourself, it’s not really suitable for me to do it.”

It was only then that Guo Jingyu finally reacted, pushing the drink towards Li Tongzhou’s hand a bit, smiling as he said: “Who said it was for her, I bought this for you.
The little shop didn’t have anything else and you don’t love carbonated drinks, so is this fine?”

Li Tongzhou was a little surprised, but he still shook his head, “You drink it, I’m okay with just water.”

 

Sitting by his side, Guo Jingyu leaned forward and tilted his head as he watched him, using his finger to push the strawberry yogurt drink over little by little.
His two fingers acted like nimble little people walking along the table.
After he pushed it over, he smiled and quietly said, “Just try a sip, I had to run so far to buy it, if you don’t like it, I’ll drink the rest.”

Not counting how he disturbed the person, he also bothered Li Tongzhou’s workbook, his two fingers stood on it and ran back and forth, even rubbing against it coquettishly.

Li Tongzhou watched his hand attentively for a while before he completely surrendered, took that carton of yogurt and drank a mouthful.

 

Guo Jinyu asked: “Is it good?” 

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Li Tongzhou honestly said: “No, it’s too sweet.”

“That’s fine, next time I’ll buy you actual milk or bottled spring water.”

After he finished speaking, Guo Jingyu covered Li Tongzhou’s hand in his, brought it over to himself, and drank the rest in two or three gulps.
At first he was afraid Li Tongzhou would be embarrassed, but the result was the other party didn’t avoid it, holding the carton up the entire time and waiting for him to finish, and then he even went and threw it away after.

Li Tongzhou came back and saw him still sitting here, and said in a low voice: “Class is about to begin.” 

Guo Jingyu said: “You and I share the same table…” He took a look at the name on the workbook, and continued, “I already discussed it with Ren Ran, we’re switching seats this class.”

Just as he was saying this, Li Tongzhou’s deskmate returned.
The boy stood to one side, plainly not quite daring to approach.
Guo Jingyu raised his head and smiled politely, “Ren Ran, we’re switching seats this class right?”

“Huh? Oh, right, right.” Ren Ran stared blankly for a moment before promptly taking his workbook to sit in the back.

Li Tongzhou seldom spoke, as long as it wasn’t something too outrageous he wouldn’t really interfere. 

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.

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His grades in his major were decent, after separating the arts and sciences classes his ranking had actually risen by a large amount.
After all, the art majors mostly not only hated physics and chemistry, they even disliked math.
Guo Jingyu, with a math grade that barely held water, had actually taken first place in their cohort.

 

Guo Jingyu only remembered his high school glory days, it seemed like there were no moments of despair then, he’d always been quite self-assured.

He supported his chin while staring absentmindedly at the chemistry exam paper by his hand.
On it, the motherland’s mountains and rivers were a uniform swathe of red, “0” and “x” flew everywhere.
He’d only managed gather 32 points. 

It was an absolute humiliation.

He regretted sitting beside Li Tongzhou a little now.
Letting Li Tongzhou see this, did he still want to have any dignity? Guo Jingyu’s earlobes were a little hot as he flipped the top page of the exam, doing his best to hide the pitiful score, but flipping the page didn’t make things much better.
The rest was also a swathe of fresh red, a spectacle too wretched to endure.

Guo Jingyu used his elbow to prop himself up while he turned his body sideways, his back towards Li Tongzhou.

Every time the chemistry teacher lamented the performance of “certain students” from their place behind the lecturn, Guo Jingyu’s face flamed, unable to stop himself from putting himself into their place. 

To one side, Li Tongzhou had his head down, immersed in taking notes.
The scratching sound of his pen tip scratching against the page continued regularly.

Guo Jingyu had already seen Li Tongzhou’s exam just now, a particularly beautiful set of full marks.
The pen in his hands spun around, and he couldn’t resist encouraging himself: Li Tongzhou had gotten every point yet was still working hard and taking notes, so he, Guo Jingyu, had to at least absorb a little of what the teacher was saying….the thought still unfinished, the person to one side gently nudged his elbow.

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Li Tongzhou pushed his own notebook over to him.

Guo Jingyu thought it recorded the important points, yet when he lowered his head and looked, he saw there was a five piece chess board drawn on it using ballpoint pen for the grid and pencil to draw circles to replace the pieces.
Li Tongzhou had even already gone ahead and drawn a white “piece.” 

Guo Jingyu: “….”

Li Tongzhou wrote on the paper: “Then you choose?”

Guo Jingyu’s expression was complicated as he remembered.
During high school, there was a period of time in which playing five piece chess was quite popular, and he and Li Tongzhou hadn’t played just a few times either.
Mainly it was convenient: whenever a round concluded all it took was an eraser to render the board new and ready for another go at any time.
Back then, he hadn’t just lost to Li Tongzhou a few times either, and the more he lost the more he became addicted.
Li Tongzhou’s brain functioned well enough to multitask: while accompanying Guo Jingyu he could still get first place academically.
Speaking from another point of view Li Tongzhou blindly indulging him so much, letting him play, was definitely also responsible for Guo Jingyu’s terrible first year grades.

Li Tongzhou learnt anything extremely fast.
He was ambivalent about five piece chess, but he knew this game could coax Guo Jingyu into happiness. 

Guo Jingyu didn’t do well on the exam, so his mood wasn’t good.

He wanted to make Guo Jingyu happy.

Li Tongzhou used an eraser to do away with the white piece he just set down, and wrote another sentence: “You can have two pieces, okay?”

It had been many years since Guo Jingyu had written notes on little paper strips during class.
After reading what Li Tongzhou wrote, the corner of his mouth couldn’t resist tilting up, so he also wrote his response in Li Tongzhou’s notebook: “Okay, but just this one round.
We’ll go to your house at night? You’ll help me with homework.” 

Without the slightest hesitation, Li Tongzhou nodded and agreed.

Body and heart assuaged, Guo Jingyu spent another carefree morning as an underachiever.

 

At noon they ate in the dining hall.
Chengnan’s First middle school’s food was exceedingly mediocre and there were so many students while the space was small that eating was organized by grade and class.
There were no seats, only a single steel-plated dining table that everyone stood around to eat.
The newly appointed principal was particular about organizing everything with militarized precision.
Even mealtimes were particular: no one was permitted to remain in the dining hall for longer than half an hour, but the problem was grabbing food itself took ten something minutes, and one still had to save five minutes at the end for cleaning utensils and plates.

He Xiangyang and the rest’s morning demonstrations of filial piety weren’t received so they’ve dangled on tenterhooks ever since.
Therefore, at noon, they took it upon themselves to get food and save seats to wait for Guo Jingyu. 

Guo Jingyu himself had just come over when five or six tall boys uniformly turned to watch him, their eyes filled with pitiful appeal, appearing entirely like little followers who had been abandoned by their boss.

Guo Jingyu nudged Li Tongzhou, saying to him: “You eat first, I’ll go get some things and be right back.”

He Xiangyang said: “Yu ge, what do you want? I’ll go buy it!”

Guo Jingyu shook his head: “No need, just save me a seat.” 

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“’Kay!”

Not long after, Guo Jingyu brought a container of heated ribs over, and even had a bottle of bottled spring water in hand.
He handed it all to Li Tongzhou, saying: “Here—-” He still remembered that Li Tongzhou was incredibly particular, didn’t really drink carbonated beverages.
But after taking it from him, Li Tongzhou twisted the cap and set it by his hand again, “It’s opened.”

Guo Jingyu laughed: “It’s not for you to open, it’s for you to drink.”

Li Tongzhou said: “I got soup.” 

The dining hall had free seaweed and egg drop soup, the taste was just about what you could expect, but it was hot, and drinking it made one’s stomach feel quite comfortable, so Guo Jingyu didn’t continue to insist, and drank the bottle himself.

Guo Jingyu’s father’s culinary skills were indeed excellent.
That container of ribs steamed, releasing a cloud of savory fragrance when opened, making everyone gathered around the table crave it enough to drool continuously.
He Xiangyang’s eyes stilled, “Wah, Yu ge, where did you get those ribs?”

Guo Jingyu simultaneously served Li Tongzhou some with his chopsticks as he spoke: “Brought them from home, this morning I spoke to the cook and put them in the fridge here, and then asked them to heat them up just now….Hey, what’re you doing! I brought this for Li Tongzhou, move your chopsticks aside, off with you!”

“There’s an entire box, Li Tongzhou can’t eat all of it, I’ll just try a piece.” He Xiangyang refused to accept it, “Yu ge, put your hand over your heart and speak from your conscience, usually is it me who serves you better or Li Tongzhou? I am always available at your beck and call and am devoted to you whole heartedly!” 

Guo Jingyu was drinking water and nearly sprayed his mouthful everywhere.
How come he didn’t remember He Xiangyang being this full of dramatics? He only recalled how, back then, this guy was terrifically terrible at science, to the point where he didn’t even understand longitude nor latitude, and that ultimately, he’d actually run off to Tibet to do a medicinal herb enterprise that had reaped a small fortune and tanned himself to the point of resembling charcoal in the process.
He’d ended up looking so different, tall and strong, wearing a heroic countenance.
It had been years since they had last been in contact.
Looking at him now, he resembled a silly dog that was so greedy it’d forgotten every corporeal lesson it’d been dealt, stretching its neck towards the ribs demanding a handout.

Guo Jingyu said: “Bullshit, obviously Li Tongzhou’s better.”

He Xiangyang was deeply wounded, and puppy dog eyed, said: “But Yu ge I want to eat ribs.”

“Call me dad.” 

“Dad!”

“Even if you call me dad I still won’t give any.”

 

“….”

Guo Jingyu said unhurriedly, “Traveling through jianghu, your adoptive father must let you understand the sinister nature of this world, see, just now you called out for nothing and ate a loss, didn’t you.” 

He Xiangyang was so frustrated he set to howling and crying out.
Guo Jingyu swiftly picked out the pieces of ribs that had the best distribution of fat and muscle and deposited them in Li Tongzhou’s plate, then pushed the container towards the center of the table, “Come,  come, everyone split the rest! My dad’s cooking is definitely better than the stuff you find in restaurants, try some—-”

Relying on his height, He Xiangyang managed to snatch a piece and gnawed at it happily.
His brain could only recall one thing, eating the rib now, he’d long forgotten how he’d eaten a loss earlier.

Guo Jingyu didn’t eat much, he’d been focused on having Li Tongzhou eat more this entire time.
The two spoke quietly, Li Tongzhou said two sentences, Guo Jingyu laughed and said: “It’s fine, later I’ll make it for you! What my dad makes, I can make, really, not just pork rib noodles, whatever you want to eat I can make it for you….en, right, my dad is teaching me cooking, he said this is our Guo family’s singular ultimate skill, passed down to sons and not daughters, just for coaxing brides.”

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He Xiangyang only heard this last phrase, once again speaking with great interest: “Yu ge, so for Fan Jiali….” 

Guo Jingyu didn’t wait for him to finish before he kicked him, “Eat your food, even with things to eat, your mouth still can’t be blocked!”

He Xiangyang went to honestly eat his meal.

Standing to the side, Li Tongzhou didn’t say anything else either, consumption should be silent and so should rest, therefore, he ate silently in a refined manner, but appeared not as easy to coax as earlier.
Guo Jingyu teased him for some time and only collected a single sound of acknowledgement.

Guo Jingyu wholeheartedly wanted to send He Xiangyang out to Tibet to dig herbs now, that quickmouthed monkey! 

 

The author has something to say:

Today’s daily occurrence—-

Guo Jingyu: Coaxing partner to eat. 

Li Tongzhou: Being coaxed by partner.

Daily occurrences of a few years later—-

Guo Jingyu: Li Tongzhou you’ve about done enough, I really can’t do much more…..

Li Tongzhou: Once more. 

Guo Jingyu: Like hell I believe you! You come out right now, no more….really can’t eat any more….

 

T/N: …what comes around goes around… you stuff your partner and then he stuffs you… 呵呵 ….

in other news!! i sincerely apologize for my prolonged absence! i had a very busy week but am now settled in China, where i will be for the rest of the summer!!!!! i received news last Sunday morning that there was a last minute ticket opening for the next day, and I’ve been traveling/getting covid tested/doing more flying this entire week.
i haven’t seen my family in two and a half years so it’s :’) very exciting.
Currently, i’m ensconced in a hotel riding out the two week quarantine period! 

i will have this week’s chapter up later today as well as an additional chapter in the next few days as a little apology treat.

rest assured that updates will be regular from now on, barring another unforeseen emergency.
i am not dropping this novel! i adore Guo Jingyu and Li Tongzhou and i’m very invested in their relationship.

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