Ahhh, love the communication that is starting to take place. The two are beginning to mature in this relationship (although, with Shen Xi, that process probably takes doubly long… LOL).
Chapter 10.2 — To Like Two People (2)
The school anniversary celebration had begun.
The entire normal college was over-the-top in celebration atmosphere, to the degree that it was even decorated with lanterns and coloured banners. Program after program was slated, and there were all sorts of charitable events and activities. But alas, no matter how hard the Young Volunteers Centre tried to promote these activities, the effect was very small. There was simply one reason for this—it was the end of the semester and everyone was poor.
Since everybody’s enthusiasm was lukewarm, the branch secretary in each class for the Volunteers Centre had no choice but to personally go into the dormitories to encourage people to donate.
When the branch secretary arrived at dorm room 636, Shen Xi nervously ran into the bathroom and counted how much money was inside her wallet. When all the random loose change was added up, there was merely a little more than three hundred. What should she do?
Outside, the branch secretary was, with great effort, explaining the nature and importance of this particular charitable activity. If the amount donated exceeded a thousand yuan, the school would issue a certificate of charity to the donor and with that certificate, that person would get another 0.3 credit towards her student quality development training. In short, this was a rare opportunity.
Dou Dou’s voice was small. “May we not donate?”<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Branch secretary: “That’s probably not very good.”
Chen Han asked the branch secretary what the other dorm rooms had donated, and the branch secretary secretly revealed to them, “The lowest still was fifty yuan. The highest was from Meng Yue in the room next door. She donated a thousand.”
The branch secretary patted Dou Dou on the shoulder, soothing her.
Chen Han and Dou Dou both gave the same: fifty.
With a sigh, Dou Dou pulled out fifty yuan. “I’ll just follow the crowd, I guess. This fifty was already supposed to be my nutrition expenses for next week.”
Xia Wei Ye straight out fished two hundred from her wallet, then knocked on the bathroom door. “Shen Xi, hurry up and get out to donate.”
Shen Xi silently cursed Xia Wei Ye. She was just hiding in the bathroom to count her money. It wasn’t as if she was hiding out so she would not have to donate. Slipping her wallet that she had been holding into her pocket, she beamingly opened the door and went over to take ahold of the branch secretary’s hand. “Thanks for your hard work. Our class’s branch secretary is the most hard-working.”
The branch secretary’s smile grew wider. “A’Xi, I remember last semester you donated a four-digit amount.”
“No such thing, no such thing.” Shen Xi hurriedly shook her head. “A hero never mentions the valiance of her past.”
Branch secretary: “The main thing is that the amount that is donated is going to affect our class’s overall assessment and rating. If you don’t mind, you can also set an example for everyone. After all, Meng Yue donated a thousand.”
Smiling, Shen Xi tentatively asked, “Can we donate physical items?”
Branch secretary: “… No.”<>You should be reading this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
And so, she could only pull out her wallet and hand over two hundred yuan. “I’ll donate the same as Xia Wei Ye. If you want anymore, I’d need to go sell my kidney.”
Taking the money, the branch secretary left in what could be considered satisfaction.
With her wallet now once again half-emptied, Shen Xi limply climbed into her bed and began calculating out on her fingers how to get through her days. The result, though, was that the more she calculated, the more hopeless things became. Lying on the bed, she fell asleep. She was going to use the method of sleeping to reduce her energy consumption.<>If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation was taken without consent of the translator.
That evening, the college’s literature and arts joint performance for the anniversary celebration was to begin. In the afternoon, Chen Han, Xia Wei Ye, and the other performers all headed to the Student Activity Centre for the final rehearsal. Shen Xi went out to buy the cheapest ice cream to eat, but in the middle of her outing, Teacher Wen caught her. “Shen Xi, you stand right there.”
Shen Xi was in the midst of eating her ice cream, and the feeling of happiness was so intense that she felt herself to be adorable. Turning around, she greeted, “Teacher Wen, sorry about that. I didn’t see you just now.”
Teacher Wen really did not believe Shen Xi, thinking that she was purposely pretending that she had not seen her. Probingly, she said, “Shen Xi, are you blaming me for pulling your performance off the program?”
“How could that be?” Shen Xi shook her head. Sensing that her ice cream was going to melt away, she hastily lowered her head and took a lick.
Teacher Wen smiled. She quite liked Shen Xi. Her foundations skills in dance were good, and though she was a little silly and senseless when she did things, when she danced, there was a special air about her. Unfortunately, the way she had performed last month had been terrible, and the anniversary celebration was simply too important an event that could not afford even the slightest error…
“All right, then. Since you’re not upset with your teacher, come to the event site tonight to help out. I have something that I want to instruct you to do.”
Shen Xi did not really want to go. It was bad enough that the performance she had rehearsed had been cancelled. Now she even had to go help out? Wasn’t that like adding salt onto the wound? She made up an excuse to decline the request. “I have a date.”
Teacher Wen thought about this. “Then just go to the event site to have your date.”
Since things had been said to this point, it would not be good for Shen Xi to continue refusing, so with a nod, she agreed to this. After Teacher Wen left, she received a call from He Zhi Zhou.
“What are you doing right now?”<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
He Zhi Zhou had just stepped out from the laboratory and was still wearing the white lab coat that he had not had a chance to remove yet. Leaning against a column in the furthest corner of the lab, he called Shen Xi.
“I’m having ice cream. Grape flavoured,” Shen Xi answered honestly.
He Zhi Zhou chuckled for some time, finding even this little thing amusing. Was it always like this when you were in a relationship? That if you hadn’t seen the other person or talked on the phone for half a day, the instant the call was connected, your mood would become relaxed?
Shen Xi also smiled. And then, like a thin person who was slapping her own face swollen to pretend to be stout, she put up a show of generosity, inviting him, “Want to come find me? I’ll treat you to one.”
“That works.” He Zhi Zhou glanced at the time. If he went to find her now, it would be perfect timing to go have dinner together. Hanging up the phone, he took off his lab coat and rode his bicycle directly to the normal college.
Shen Xi was a good girl who kept her promises. She had said that she would treat He Zhi Zhou to ice cream, so when he arrived, she immediately led him to the school’s little snack counter. The ice cream she had bought for herself was the cheapest one, but the one she selected for He Zhi Zhou was the most expensive.
He Zhi Zhou did not like ice cream, but he did not refuse her. When Shen Xi pulled out her wallet to pay, he reflexively took a glance at it. The wallet was so empty it was painful to look at. He gave a resigned, inward shake of his head. Combining this sight with her actions of late, he was basically able to guess her current predicament.
For dinner, He Zhi Zhou brought Shen Xi to a restaurant.
Shen Xi had eaten lunch in the school dining centre with Dou Dou today. The two had only gotten two dishes, and furthermore, one was hot and sour cabbage while the other was sauteed green vegetables. As a result, as she looked at the sumptuous dinner of four dishes and one soup, she felt so happy and blessed she was speechless and choking up.
The two of them were unable to finish the four dishes and the soup, so Shen Xi wanted to doggy bag them away.
With his back against the solid wood seatback of this restaurant’s chair, he pulled out a few tissues and wiped his hands. He did not think there was anything wrong with packing the food away. It was merely that, when he heard the words “doggy bag” coming from Shen Xi’s lips, even though he was silently scolding her and thinking that she deserved it, his heart still ached for her.
Opening his mouth, he asked straight out, “How much do you have left of your money for living expenses this semester?”
Shen Xi looked up. She had not expected that He Zhi Zhou would ask her about such a sensitive topic. Hesitating briefly, she stretched out two fingers. But then, after a little while, she brought one of those fingers back down. “About this much.”
He Zhi Zhou understood. He deliberately asked her, “That won’t be enough. What are you planning to do?”
Shen Xi threw a look at He Zhi Zhou. Sure enough, he was a stingy boyfriend. He was actually asking her what she was planning to do! Um, hello? Wasn’t he supposed to just straight out throw money at her?! Shen Xi’s dark eyes flashed, and with a slightly injured tone, she answered, “I’m going to sell my kidney.”<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation was taken without consent of the translator.
Pulling his arms away from the table, He Zhi Zhou put his left arm behind his head and carried on firing his questions in a flat tone, “When are you going to go? Need me to keep you company when you do it?”
Such a saddening dialogue. Shen Xi bowed her head, not wanting to speak.
He Zhi Zhou: “What’s the matter?”<>You should be reading this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
Shen Xi’s head whipped up. “He Zhi Zhou, you’re deliberately mocking me!”
He Zhi Zhou lifted his gaze slightly. He had a feeling that Shen Xi wanted to have a quarrel with him. Changing his tone, he shifted the direction his words were going. “If you didn’t have money, why didn’t you tell me?”
Shen Xi’s head lowered again. The answer was too cruel. She honestly was not able to say it out. Sure enough, most women tended to delude themselves.
He Zhi Zhou could only try to guess the reason himself. “You think I don’t have money either?”
Shen Xi shook her head, neither lifting it nor speaking.
He Zhi Zhou continued guessing. “You were too embarrassed to ask?”
Still, Shen Xi shook her head.<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Pausing for a moment, He Zhi Zhou said aloud the final possible reason: “You felt I wouldn’t lend the money to you?”
Shen Xi gave no response. Though she still did not raise her head or speak, she did not shake her head either.
Sure enough! He Zhi Zhou drew in a sharp breath, practically wishing he could just slap the table and get up. Turning, he called to the restaurant owner, “The check, please!”
Beamingly, the owner came over. “Altogether, two hundred and ninety-five.”
His face stony, he pulled out three hundred yuan. Then, without waiting for the restaurant owner to bring him the change, he pulled Shen Xi directly out of the restaurant. With no air conditioning outside, the residual heat of the sun was still fierce, and the temper that He Zhi Zhou had only just managed to suppress came rushing back up again.
No man is willing to have his girlfriend doubt him like this, and this was so with He Zhi Zhou. So, he had somehow become a petty boyfriend. Was he some sort of cheap, miserly guy in Shen XI’s eyes?
When a woman feels wronged, she will cry; when a man feels wronged, he can only erupt!
He turned an icy stare on Shen Xi. “Tell me, why?”
Hmph, hmph. Shen Xi glumly took a couple of steps forward. “You said so yourself…”
He Zhi Zhou thought for a brief moment and was approximately able to deduce what he had said that caused Shen Xi to misunderstand. Stretching out his arm, he gave her a little smack on her head, and his tone was filled with annoyance at her cluelessness. “Shen Xi, I really just want to give you a good beating.”
Shen Xi, who was walking with her head down, was in a state where her emotions were at a breaking point and about to explode. She had gone from being belittled to being questioned and now being beaten. Her eyes reddened, and two tears tumbled out. Not wanting He Zhi Zhou to see her in this pitiful state, she swiftly stomped away a couple of steps. She wanted to go back to her dorm.
He Zhi Zhou strode up from behind and grabbed Shen Xi.
She was unable to go any further.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
He Zhi Zhou’s head was tilted slightly. Detecting that there was something not right with his girlfriend, he pulled her against himself.
Buried in He Zhi Zhou’s embrace, Shen Xi began to weep soundlessly. She knew that she was in the wrong—she spent money rashly, she wasn’t mature and understanding, her brain didn’t work very well. Aside from knowing how to dance, she had no positive points about her. But she still shouldn’t be ridiculed like that!
He Zhi Zhou bent his head down, but Shen Xi was still buried in his arms. She was crying, her tears flowing down onto his chest and dampening his clothes. What else could he say? He was long feeling awful and blaming himself. Bringing his hand over and pressing it against her head, he asked, “Was I really dislikable to you just now?”
Tears still streaming, Shen Xi nodded her head in his embrace, admitting that he had upset her.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation was taken without consent of the translator.
Passersby came and went. The two were standing in an unobtrusive place by the roadside, but such a scene would still cause people to pause and take a glance. Shen Xi’s weeping was not audible, and so the people walking by thought she was merely being coy and pouty.
He Zhi Zhou response could already be considered quite psychologically strong, especially after this unexpected, random misunderstanding. Bringing his face down, he apologized to Shen Xi, “Xi Xi, I was mad just now, but I shouldn’t have lashed out with my temper at you. I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?”
Shen Xi gave a little nuzzle of her face against him. Her tears had ceased already, but she was too embarrassed to lift her head.
He Zhi Zhou continued, “As a boyfriend, I hope that my girlfriend will immediately think of me whenever she has any problems, regardless of whether they are small problems or big problems. I’m your boyfriend, the person who, aside from your parents, should be the most important to you. There should be nothing that you cannot come find me for, not to mention this is just about money.”
Knowing that she had been wrong, Shen Xi made a little noise. “Mm…”
He Zhi Zhou stroked her head, his voice more relaxed now as he said, “And also, you definitely don’t know just how much I want to let you spend the money on my card. But in the end, you wouldn’t even take it. Now you tell me, should I be mad?”
Falling into silence, Shen Xi very acutely began to reflect on the truthfulness of these words that He Zhi Zhou had just spoken. After a little while, she spoke up, her voice soft. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s all right,” He Zhi Zhou answered. As Shen Xi leaned herself into his chest, all he felt was that a soft, little kitten was hiding in his embrace. The little kitten was a very good and kind little cat, but just somewhat mischievous. He patted Shen Xi’s shoulder. “So truce, okay?”
“Okay.” Slowly, Shen XI extended her arms and slipped them around He Zhi Zhou. She even drew a heart on his back.
He Zhi Zhou was wearing a light-coloured, button-up shirt, and through its thin material, he could clearly feel the heart shape that Shen Xi was drawing, as well as the warmth from the tip of her finger.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation was taken without consent of the translator.
Now that the storm had passed and it was sunny again in their relationship, He Zhi Zhou brought Shen Xi to the bank machine and asked her how much she needed. Feeling too embarrassed to tell him out loud, Shen Xi wrote a number on the back of his hand. With his lips pursed together, He Zhi Zhou began to input his PIN number.
Shen Xi turned her back to him of her own accord.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
Glancing at her from the corner of his eye, He Zhi Zhou simply stated the password aloud. “963459. Will you be able to remember that?”
Spinning back around, Shen Xi gave a little slap to He Zhi Zhou. He did that on purpose!
He Zhi Zhou withdrew twice the amount that she needed. While he was handing the money to Shen Xi, he simultaneously tossed out a sentence. “If it’s not enough, just tell me.”
Shen Xi had done some self-reflection on the error of her ways. “It’ll be enough, for sure. I’m not going to spend my money irresponsibly ever again.” Actually, the bigger reason why Shen Xi had not dared to tell He Zhi Zhou about her money problems was because she did not want him to know that she had poor spending habits.
He Zhi Zhou took her hand into his. “That’s something you don’t have to say to me. No matter what, spending money recklessly is also a way of redistributing the resources within society, so it’s not a terribly bad thing to do.”
She did not expect that He Zhi Zhou was so good at comforting someone. The tension had finally been released from Shen Xi. Not only had her financial crisis been solved, she had also gotten to hear so many nice, pleasing words from her boyfriend. Her mood soared upwards, and even when she brought He Zhi Zhou with her to anniversary celebration’s literature and art performance, she was all smiles.<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation was taken without consent of the translator.
If S University’s Youth Cup event could be described as being carried by the male students, then the normal college’s anniversary celebration was female-dominated, and furthermore, the Department of Dance and Department of Music accounted for a very large proportion of the performances.
The male engineering students of S University enthusiastically came in support, and Monkey and Brawny were amongst them.
Teacher Wen had called Shen Xi over to help, but the anniversary celebration had dedicated staff who were responsible for the event, and everything had already been arranged. What could she go there to help with? When Teacher Wen led her up to a person, though, Shen Xi, no matter how slow she was, at last understood Teacher Wen’s intention.
This person’s head of hair was grizzled and a pair of black-framed glasses rested on his nose as he looked at her with a smile. “Shen Xi, I saw a video online of you dancing. You are very talented.”
She was actually being complimented by a big name director! Shen Xi replied, “Thank you.”
Beside them, Teacher Wen beamingly said, “Shen Xi’s performance was originally on the program tonight, but she was unwell a little while ago, so we had to make a last-minute change.”
“That’s really too bad.”<>This is an UNAUTHORIZED copy, taken from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com.
Shen Xi peeked at Teacher Wen. Teacher Wen gave her a pat on her shoulder. “All right now, you go off and do what you need to do.”
Shen Xi hurriedly slipped back to where He Zhi Zhou was and took a seat on his left side. To the right of He Zhi Zhi Zhou were Monkey and Brawny, and both of them now leaned in toward her. “Xi Xi, isn’t that guy Director Wang?”
Shen Xi answered, “Yup. He’s here at the school to try and scout out a female lead.”
“Wowzers!” Brawny was exhilarated. “I happen to be interested in the acting profession. I wonder if he’s lacking someone to play a male lead role.”
Monkey shot Brawny down. “That depends on what he’s trying to film. You could probably work in a country bumpkin romance story.”
Brawny did not want to say much more. Putting on a dignified and coldly elegant smile, he said in reply, “What joke are you trying to tell? I don’t understand it.”<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation was taken without consent of the translator.
With seriousness, Shen Xi finished watching both Xia Wei Ye’s ensemble dance, Taiping Music [Great Peace Music; traditional Tang dynasty dance], and Chen Han’s solo dance, Ta Yao Niang [Step and Sing Woman]. Xia Wei Ye was pretty, but placed in an ensemble dance, she immediately did not stand out. Chen Han’s appearance was not as outstanding as Xia Wei Ye’s, but the effect brought about by her solo dance was very good.
In the middle of their performances, Shen Xi would occasionally give a couple sentences of explanation to He Zhi Zhou about their dance moves. He Zhi Zhou was not interested in dance, but so long as Shen Xi opened her mouth to speak to him, he would lean his head over. After she finished speaking, he would nod and say, “Yes.”
Chen Han danced very well. No faults could be found in her performance at all. Investing time and energy in something will inevitably reap a reward. Chen Han’s dancing all along had carried flaws in it, but in this performance, not only had she overcome those flaws, she had displayed her dancing skills to perfection.
When the music ended, Shen Xi broke out in furious applause, and then looking up at He Zhi Zhou, she asked, “Wasn’t that awesome?”
He Zhi Zhou nodded. “It was okay.”<>You should be reading this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com
Shen Xi was not pleased with that answer. “It was obviously really good. Chen Han’s dance was equivalent to my level.”
Chuckling lightly, He Zhi Zhou changed his answer. “Well, then, it was very good.”<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation was taken without consent of the translator.
After the literature and arts performance came to an end, in the school’s dance room, Shen Xi danced her “Red Silk Dance” that she had practiced for three months. She did not change into a performance costume. She held only her prop, a long, long strip of red silk. Only one person was her audience—He Zhi Zhou.
He Zhi Zhou was sitting in the seat at the very front. In Shen Xi’s hand, that length of red silk seemed as if it had come alive. She would leap or spin or arch herself at the waist, and the red silk would dance with her, seeming as if it had been infused with life.
As He Zhi Zhou quietly watched her, he unconsciously was dazzled by what he saw, and his heart was enchanted. <>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, this translation was taken without consent of the translator.
48 of 65 Chapters segments
0 of 2 epilogues