*waves* Hello, all. You’re going to be stuck with me for the next several months for this story. While I will strive to be relatively regular with my updates, I’m actually still on break and just trying to help out a little, so unlike my usual projects, I won’t promise a fixed schedule. 🙂
The switch back has happened, and now He Zhi Zhou and Shen Xi have to go back to a normal life. Wonder how the people closest to them will find this change.
Chapter 8.2 — His and Her First Real Kiss (2)
While Shen Xi was getting her hair done, she got a text message from He Zhi Zhou. It contained only one sentence: “We’ll have dinner at our usual place tonight.”
He and she already had their own “usual place.” Without even really thinking about it, she replied with an “okay.” Then lifting her head, she stared at herself in the full-length mirror in front of her, feeling that “habit” was such a powerful thing. <>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
She was already a little unaccustomed to looking at this version of herself.
The hair salon that she went to was the same one where He Zhi Zhou had cut her hair short, and her hairdresser now was the also the same hairdresser as last time. When she sat down, the male hairdresser stared at her for a long time. She thought that he would say that he recognized her, but in the end, what actually burst from his lips was, “Hey beautiful, why’s your hairstyle so village?”
“Village?” Shen Xi repeated this term uncertainly, not understanding its meaning.
The hairdresser lifted up a lock of her hair, explaining to her in an attitude that showed how cool he was, “ ‘Village’ means ‘from the hicks,’ ‘country bumpkin,’ ‘lame hillbilly,’ ‘lame village girl,’ …”
“AAAAAAH…” Shen Xi went insane! Could anyone just get a darn proper haircut here? Furious, she turned her head and cried, “Hey, the boss of this place, I want to change hairdressers!”
But the result was, a person who looked exactly the same as the hairdresser standing before her stepped out and greeted her warmly, “Hi! Aren’t you the Gao Yuan Yuan from last time?”
Not Gao Yuan Yuan! More like the person who was given a Gao Yuan Yuan hairstyle but in the end became Gao Xiao Song! Shen Xi looked at this person. Friggin’! They were twins!
In the end, she appointed that original hairdresser to do her hair for her. Skill was not important; the most important thing was, he knew how to sweet-talk.
She had not expected that, halfway through getting her hair done, He Zhi Zhou would show up. She was in the midst of getting her hair permed into the fabled “airy curls,” and her head was covered with multi-colored perm rods. She did not want He Zhi Zhou to see her looking like one of those stereotypical unkempt landladies, so she used a RayLi magazine [Chinese fashion magazine] to block her face. He Zhi Zhou saw her but made no comment, heading directly over to sit down on the salon’s sofa with a manner that declared that he was a certain someone’s boyfriend.
Shen Xi finally set down her magazine and turned around to smile at He Zhi Zhou. “Hi. What a coincidence. Are you here to get your hair cut, too?”
He Zhi Zhou leafed through the women’s fashion magazine that he was holding and then uninterestedly set it down to the side before looking up and answering her concisely, “No, I’m here to wait for you.”
I’m here to wait for you… <>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Shen Xi blinked at herself in the mirror. For the first time in her life, she felt that she was actually being treated as a girlfriend, and her heart was stirred with a myriad of emotions. She looked at He Zhi Zhou in the full-length mirror. He was leaned back in the sofa, his face not carrying much expression and also not showing any impatience.
It took a total of three hours for her hair to be done. When it was finally finished, the guy hairdresser gazed at her new hairstyle with another round of admiring sighs. “Beautiful, oh so beautiful.” And then he even asked He Zhi Zhou, who was sitting not far away, to express his opinion. “Hey, boyfriend, what do you think?”
He Zhi Zhou stood, walked over, and glanced her over. “It’ll get by.” Actually, he now had regrets about the long hair that he had cut off in a moment of rashness. He had not taken a close look at Shen Xi when her black hair was like a cascade of silk.
But she was still pretty now. <>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
To Shen Xi, because the direct comparison was the Gao Xiao Song hairstyle from before, this new style was very pretty no matter how she looked at it. It was still basically half-short, not long at all, but the ends were curled inward. Standing in front of the mirror, she told He Zhi Zhou, “Most people can’t carry this hairstyle well. Your neck needs to be as long as mine before it’ll look good.”
Such an open, unashamed display of narcissism. He Zhi Zhou reached over and plucked off a stray hair that had been left on her shoulder, telling her, “Let’s go.” <>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
He Zhi Zhou rode his bicycle here, so now Shen Xi very naturally hopped onto the back rack. After she sat down, her shy, reserved nature from being a girl again finally returned. She no longer wrapped her arms around He Zhi Zhou’s waist and instead only held on to the corner of his shirt.
Suddenly, the bicycle wheel rolled over a loose piece of gravel. Her entire body was bounced upwards. At the same time, the person in front of her also spoke. “Hold on tight.”
Shen Xi very obediently brought her hands against He Zhi Zhou’s waist. Up in front, He Zhi Zhou’s eyes were fixed ahead of him, the ends of his eyes turned upwards to trace out a happy curve. He passed through a small road. All along this road, there were green lawns, densely flourishing bushes, as well as a white church that had a very striking architectural style—all scenery that brought cheerfulness and pleasure to a person’s mood.
Inside that Western restaurant, after He Zhi Zhou ordered their main courses, he also asked the server to open a bottle of red wine. He explained to her, “Let’s celebrate.”
Shen Xi nodded. They needed to celebrate indeed. But before their feast was even served, her thoughts had already drifted back to the CET-4 exam. Asking for paper and a pen from the server, she began to tally up her marks.
“Big Brother He, do you think all your answers were correct in the earlier parts?” After totaling up everything, she anxiously asked this. <>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
He Zhi Zhou looked directly at Shen Xi and stated a harsh truth. “No, they were only seventy percent correct.”
Shen Xi paused blankly. She recalculated the score by applying a seventy percent discount factor, but not willing to give up hope yet, she pressed, “Why wouldn’t it all be correct?”
“Wasn’t that your request?” He Zhi Zhou countered. “If the answers were all correct, you would be asked to go ‘have tea’ with the powers that be.”
Shen Xi wanted to bang her fists on the table. However, He Zhi Zhou could not be blamed for this. She could only say that Heaven wanted to play a joke on her. It was just that, when she thought about the fact that she would need to face the CET-4 again next year, her heart would seize into a knot.
The server brought out their feast, some fruit, and the red wine. Picking up his fork and knife, He Zhi Zhou said as he sliced at the food, “If worst comes to worst, just take it again next time. The score that you get yourself is the one that is actually meaningful, right?”
When a top student talked to a flunky student about meaningful scores, it was all empty nonsense talk! However, Shen Xi still nodded her head as she answered without any emotion, “Yes.”
He Zhi Zhou swept his eyes over Shen Xi’s expression, then lightly tossed out the most important point: “Don’t worry, I’ll help you.”
Really? Shen Xi immediately grew energized. Grabbing on to He Zhi Zhou’s hand, she asked, “Do you mean, we’re going to switch back again?”
You wish. He Zhi Zhou re-conveyed the meaning of his words. “No. I’ll just supervise you and make sure you learn your English.”
Shen Xi dropped her head down and ate her steak. He poured some red wine into each of the two glasses.
Shen Xi picked up one glass of wine. Her estimated final score for the CET-4 left her feeling temporarily down, but if bad grades could truly affect her mood, she would have had depression since childhood. Raising her glass, she clinked it with He Zhi Zhou’s. “Big Brother He, to the fact that we have returned to our respective posts and can go find our respective moms.”
He Zhi Zhou nodded and also added, “And wishing you forever happiness.”
Such a cheesy and down-to-earth toast of well wishes. Shen Xi, however, felt a little bashful because of He Zhi Zhou’s seriousness. And then, she turned her focus onto the food… <>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
Dinnertime had arrived. Leader was not in the dorm, and Brawny and Monkey decided to go to a restaurant to have some stir-fried dishes. Their invitation to Lin Yu Tang was met with rejection. The reason for this was that Lin Yu Tang was in no mood to go out to eat and just wanted to order some takeout and be done with it.
Mood is contagious. Hence, Lin Yu Tang infected Brawny, then Brawny infected Monkey. In the end, these three each ordered a takeout meal.
School takeout always took its sweet time to arrive. <>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
When He Zhi Zhou returned to dorm room 921, their takeout still had not come yet. Brawny, knowing no fear of death, acted cute to He Zhi Zhou. “Leader, Brawn Brawn’s tummy is hungwy.”
If it was before, Shen Xi would definitely have fed two cookies into Brawny’s mouth before saying, “Get lost now.” Then, Brawny would feel especially satisfied and would get lost.
This time, though, that little tactic turned out to be a bad one. He Zhi Zhou lifted his eyes in disbelief. “Brawn Brawn?”
Brawny had not heard the retort in the question and thought that Leader really was calling him Brawn Brawn. His heart melted with all the cuteness, and he snuggled up to him. “Or you can call me Chen Chen, too.”
He Zhi Zhou stopped Brawny’s attempt at getting close. “Zhou Chen, we need to talk.”
Brawny blinked. “Okey, okey!” <>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
He Zhi Zhou drew in a deep breath. He had suddenly lost even the mood to talk. Why did he have this feeling that everyone in dorm room 921 had collectively fallen sick?
Now that Leader was back, Monkey’s mood also improved somewhat, and caringly, he asked, “Leader, have you eaten yet? We all got takeout. Do you need us to order you some?”
He Zhi Zhou declined. “No, it’s okay. I ate out already.”
“Then we won’t order anything.” Monkey very naturally replied, “When the time comes and you want to eat, I’ll share some of mine with you.”
Share some of mine with you… He Zhi Zhou turned around wordlessly, his left hand against his forehead as he massaged it slightly. Since he was a child, he had never had the habit of eating off of someone else’s food.
In the dormitory room, Lin Yu Tang was the only person who, from the beginning to end, had not shown excessive friendliness. Impassively, he watched all of this and then, after some time, he opened his mouth to say, “He Zhi Zhou, let’s play some ball tonight.”
Now that it was mentioned, it really had been a long time since dorm room 921 had played basketball. When Brawny and Monkey heard Lin Yu Tang’s suggestion, they both gave their approval. Sometimes, a person’s memory is such a subtle and delicate thing. Shen Xi had interacted with the people in the dorm room for less than one month, but this had already caused Brawny and the others to nearly forget that Leader knew how to play basketball and, moreover, played really well.
Brawny’s eyes were on this icy, emotionless Leader, but his brain was imagining what the soft, cute Leader would look like on the basketball court, slapping at the ball. “One, two, three…”
Seriously, that scene could not get any better!
By the time Lin Yu Tang’s, Monkey’s, and Brawny’s takeout were finally delivered, He Zhi Zhou had brought Shen Xi’s snacks and little trinkets, including rose essential oil, skin toner for men, body waxing strips, eyebrow tweezers, etc., to the normal college next door to return them to their rightful owner. <>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
After Shen Xi returned to dorm room 636, because there was no one around to play with her, she boredly played Fight the Landlord by herself. When she had about lost all her money, Dou Dou, who was out on the balcony hanging up some laundry, said to her, “A’Xi, Islet in the River is here again.”
Why did Dou Dou call him “Islet in the River”? Because she was one of Islet in the River’s little fans!
He Zhi Zhou? Didn’t they just see each other? Shen Xi stood up from in front of her computer. Walking out to the balcony, she saw He Zhi Zhou holding a bag of items and immediately understood.
Oh, He Zhi Zhou. Why was he being so polite? Those snacks and daily necessities, if he could eat them, he should just eat them, and if he could use them, he should just use them. How silly that he would actually bring them back to her.
With her slippers scuffing beneath her, she dashed downstairs, dressed in a long, smoke-gray skirt. A minute later, she appeared before He Zhi Zhou, a brilliant smile displayed on her face as she told him politely, “Big Brother He, you’re just so overly courteous. You can just keep these and use them yourself. You didn’t need to give them back to me.”
Keep them and use them? How was he supposed to use them?!
He Zhi Zhou did not have just any old issue with the stuff inside the bag. Okay, fine, he could be okay about the rose essential oil and rose petals—he would just let those be. But he actually found several packages of body waxing strips! So now, in the face of Shen Xi’s politeness, he gave a “ha ha” and then was actually witty in his response. “Keep them to do what? Continue with the hair removal?”
“All right, then.” Shen Xi took the bag from He Zhi Zhou and looked down into it. “… Where’s Ka Ka?”
Ka Ka… <>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
He Zhi Zhou did not speak.
Shen Xi explained to He Zhi Zhou, “He’s a really cute little teddy bear. I put him at the head of the bed…”
After a silence of two seconds, He Zhi Zhou opened his mouth to say, “That’s Brawny’s, isn’t it? He took it back from me.”
“Took it back?” Shen Xi was a little surprised, but then, with a “hmph, hmph,” she grumbled, “He’s so stingy. I can’t believe he actually took back something that he had already gifted.”
Nodding, He Zhi Zhou added, “He’s always been like that.”
In dorm room 921, Brawny, who was happily eating his takeout, did not know that he had already been betrayed by He Zhi Zhou. Today’s set-meal had an extra soy-sauce egg in it, and he had deliberately set it aside to give to that soft, cute Leader whom he held in his heart.
He did not know that the real Leader had already mercilessly stabbed him with a knife, a white, gleaming blade going in, a red blade coming out, not giving consideration at all to the love and bond between roomies. <>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
By the time He Zhi Zhou rode his bicycle from the normal college back to dormitory room 921, Brawny, Monkey, and Lin Yu Tang had already finished eating, and after their meals had basically digested, they began to change into their basketball clothes.
He Zhi Zhou had to rummage around in his wardrobe for quite some time before he found his basketball clothes. Shen Xi had stuffed them to the very back.
Lin Yu Tang watched him calmly. <>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
It had been a long time since the members of dorm room 921 all stepped outside together, let alone play ball together. Therefore, when the four appeared on the court in their basketball clothes—red, blue, black, and white—they were extremely eye-catching.
It just so happened that the members of the dormitory room adjacent to theirs were also there playing ball, and as a result, the eight of them soon began a four-against-four game on a half-court.
Brawny was tall and buff and was dorm 921’s post player. Monkey relied on speed to pass and move about, striving to make breakaways and jump shots. Lin Yu Tang and He Zhi Zhou were both key driving forces, sometimes rushing all the way to the board, sometimes swiftly returning to play defense. One had a clean appearance while the other was so handsome he did not even seem like he was a mere mortal, but when they played basketball, they showed traces of fierceness.
After a dozen or so minutes had passed, Monkey and Brawny finally detected hints of a problem. Brawny shouted to Lin Yu Tang, “Third, pass it to me, pass it to me!”
Lin Yu Tang was standing in the key but was blocked by the opposing team. He was playing more and more aggressively, but his mind understood the situation more and more. Finally, ignoring Brawny’s cries, he heaved the ball fiercely at He Zhi Zhou, who was standing outside of the three-point line.
Everyone was puzzled. The ball should have been passed to Brawny.
Only He Zhi Zhou was not surprised that Lin Yu Tang had thrown the ball to him. There was not even a shift in expression on his face as he caught the ball. With a dashing jump shot, the ball arced through the air and went straight into the basket.
“Nice shot!” Monkey cheered. <>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
Brawny looked at He Zhi Zhou. Not happy, not happy! Why had Leader changed back to be like this? Even though there was nothing bad about this, when compared to watching Leader shoot the ball, he would rather see Leader slapping the ball…
Leader wasn’t slapping the ball. Not happy. <>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
Suddenly, Monkey shouted at Lin Yu Tang, who was striding directly out from the key, “Hey, Third, where are you going?”
Lin Yu Tang was leaving his post halfway through. Without so much as looking back, he strode away.
“Tang, stop it!” Brawny started back to awareness and also began shouting anxiously. And then, he discovered that his cries seemed to be emitting an overly bromantic feel.
With the sudden departure of one of dorm room 921’s teammates, the friends in the adjacent dorm room 922 were also quite confused. One of them, whose skin tone was darker than even charcoal, asked He Zhi Zhou, “What’s wrong with Lin Yu Tang?”
He Zhi Zhou simply remained silent. <>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
After a little while, Lin Yu Tang turned around. With an expression of challenge in his eyes, he opened his mouth and stated in a steady, firm voice, “I am going to find Shen Xi.”
The people of dorm room 922 did not know to whom he was speaking, but everyone in dorm room 921 was very clear on it. <>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation has been taken without consent of the translator.
Author’s additional comments:
Writing out this side story from yesterday as a joke for all of you.
One day, when they were already in bed, Shen Xi said, while looking at He Zhi Zhou’s big ding-a-ling, “I miss it, my big ding-a-ling.”
He Zhi Zhou: “Your big ding-a-ling?”
Realizing that she had slipped up in her words, she hurriedly corrected herself. “No, I meant, your big ding-a-ling.”
Miss Shen actually had a bad habit: she was a tiny bit possessive of anything she had used before.
38 of 65 Chapters segments
0 of 2 epilogues