Wolf Cub – Chapter 2.3

Lin Shiyu casually brushed off the cookie crumbs from the girl’s hair and said, “She loves to eat.”

Lin Hui brought a steaming cup of tea and placed it in front of Li Zhong. Then she sat on a nearby chair, nervously smoothing out the wrinkles on her skirt.

“Mr. Li, I’m sorry,” she apologized right away. “You are here because Shiyu got into a fight? I’m truly sorry.”

Li Zhong quickly waved his hand. “No, no, no need to apologize. I just came to understand what happened and have a chat with all of you.”

Lin Hui said, “He did indeed hit someone. I’m sorry, Mr. Li, it’s all my fault for not stopping him. I’m the one to blame.”

Li Zhong glanced at Lin Shiyu, who remained silent and expressionless, as if everything was unrelated to him and he was disappointed to the point of losing patience in expressing himself. The toy continued to make a tinkling sound while Lin Wanyue, full of energy, played with her spinning ball toy, seemingly unaware of her surroundings.

“Lin Wanyue,” Lin Shiyu said: “Go back to your room to play.”

Lin Wanyue turned her head and glanced at Lin Shiyu, her small mouth slowly opening, but she continued to shake the toy in her hand.

“I told you to go back to your room, didn’t you hear?” Lin Shiyu said.

Lin Hui spoke softly and urgently. “Shiyu, please don’t scold your sister.”

“Where do you see me scolding her?”

Li Zhong quickly intervened. “You take your sister back to the room first. I’ll talk to your mom for a while.”

Lin Shiyu stood up in silence and reached out his hand towards Lin Wanyue. “Come.”

Holding onto her toy, with her other hand holding onto her brother, Lin Wanyue was led back to the room, still shaking her toy.

After being left alone, Li Zhong and Lin Hui faced each other in silence, the atmosphere becoming somewhat awkward.

Lin Hui said, “I’m sorry, Shiyu has a bad temper.”

They rarely spoke to each other, but Li Zhong felt as if he had heard the woman apologize countless times before.

“It’s okay, I just wanted to talk about the fight Shiyu got into. He can be stubborn, indeed, and hard to get anything out of. Has he mentioned this incident to you?”

Lin Hui lowered her head sadly. “know, I know. I was there when it happened. I watched him, but I didn’t stop him. It’s all my fault, Mr. Li. Please don’t punish him. It’s my fault for not taking good care of him.”

Li Zhong was somewhat surprised as he asked, “What exactly happened?”

That day, after Lin Wanyue returned from the special education school, for some reason, she insisted on seeing her brother. Children’s moods change quickly; sometimes they are calm and obedient, while other times they suddenly become irritable and even start shouting. Lin Hui had just finished her shift and came home exhausted, but she still took Lin Wanyue with her to Wenhe High School.

When they arrived, classes still hadn’t ended, so Lin Hui took Lin Wanyue and sat in a bubble tea shop across from the school to wait. She also bought Lin Wanyue a cup of bubble tea.

Lin Hui felt tired. She worked in a shopping mall on a rotating shift, and in the morning, she was too busy to sit down or even have lunch. After coming back home, she hadn’t had a chance to rest when Lin Wanyue dragged her out of the door. She sat in the bubble tea shop, supporting her forehead, waiting until school was over. The first-year students left the school carrying their bags, while the second and third-year students came out to have lunch. Lin Hui looked around for a while and sent a text message to Lin Shiyu, saying she was waiting for him in the bubble tea shop. Then she put away her phone and watched Lin Wanyue blowing bubbles with her bubble tea.

After waiting for a while, Lin Hui stood up and held Lin Wanyue’s hand. “Mommy needs to go to the restroom, let’s go.”

Next to the bubble tea shop, there was an alley that led to the back entrance of a company with a public restroom. Lin Hui led Lin Wanyue to the entrance of the restroom and gave her instructions. “Wait here and don’t move okay?”

Lin Wanyue nodded and uttered just a single sound: “Mm.”

Lin Wanyue entered the women’s restroom. After a while, two students came out of the men’s restroom.

“What a crappy school, I don’t feel like studying anymore.”

“Yeah, even a few students dropped out after the preliminary exams.”

“You don’t know how much Old Peng lectured me. So annoying…”

As the two were talking, they were startled by Lin Wanyue, who was silently standing by the restroom door. Holding her cup of bubble tea, Lin Wanyue looked up at them.

“What the hell?” One of the boys frowned and stepped aside. “She looks so dumb.”

The other boy said, ‘Idiot. Some people with brain problems look weird too.”

“Where did this idiot come from?”

Impatiently, one of the boys pushed Lin Wanyue’s head, causing her to stumble and fall to the side. The boy said, “Move aside, you’re annoying.”

“Mm!” Lin Wanyue suddenly made an indistinct sound, looking displeased at the two boys. She raised her hand and with a “splat,” she threw the bubble tea onto the boy’s leg. The lid came off, splashing the sweet and sticky liquid all over his pants and shoes.

“Damn it, my shoes!” The boy immediately got angry, lifted his foot, and kicked Lin Wanyue in the chest, causing the child to roll on the ground. “Stupid idiot!”

His previously clean sneakers were quickly soaked in bubble tea, completely ruining them. The boy completely lost his temper, grabbed his backpack, and swung it at Lin Wanyue. “Damn it, whose stupid idiot is running around biting people?!”

Lin Wanyue fell into the dirty mud at the entrance of the restroom, and her clothes instantly became dirty. Her head hit the ground, leaving a gash and she began to cry.

Panicking, Lin Hui rushed out of the restroom. Seeing the scene in front of her, she was frightened and immediately picked up Lin Wanyue and tightly held her in her arms. She incoherently exclaimed, “What are you doing? Why are you bullying a child?!”

“Look at what she did to my shoes! I bought them for a thousand bucks. Are you going to compensate me?!”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry” Lin Hui helplessly held the crying Lin Wanyue. “She’s still young, she… she doesn’t know any better. It wasn’t intentional, so you shouldn’t have hit her…”

“You can’t blame us when you can’t take care of your own child!”

When Lin Shiyu heard the commotion and entered the alley, this was the scene he saw.

Two tall boys were acting furious in front of the restroom, while his mother was hugging his sister, squatting on the ground. The woman’s long hair was disheveled, and her skirt was covered in mud and dirty water. The girl’s body and hair were covered in filthy dirt, a large patch of black mud smeared on her fair face, blood flowing from her forehead, her bubble tea cup lay on the ground. The pleading and hoarse crying mixed into a loud noise, bursting into Lin Shiyu’s mind.

The boys were still screaming at his mother and sister, and only heard a series of fast footsteps behind them. Before they could turn around, their knees were struck by a painful impact, and then they were violently knocked down to the ground.

Then everything descended into chaos. The three of them got entangled in a fight, with the sounds of bones colliding, angry insults, the child’s crying, and the woman’s screams. Some people heard the commotion and peeked over to see but hesitated to intervene. Only the owner of the stationery store attempted to stop the students, but someone pushed him away and he fell against the wall.

Lin Shiyu’s anger was always direct and violent, whether it was towards those who bullied Lin Wanyue or those who mocked him for wearing girls’ clothes and being effeminate. Lin Shiyu didn’t argue with them; he simply threw a punch without a word, regardless of who the other person was or how many people he was up against. He didn’t care about the serious consequences it might bring. He just wanted those people to shut up and get lost immediately.

Lin Shiyu wasn’t skilled in fighting. He wasn’t muscular or tall, and with his handsome face, getting injured was a common occurrence.

Still, he didn’t care whether he would end up with bruises, cuts, or fractures. He was like a vicious and malicious wolf cub. He appeared lonely and helpless but would fiercely bare his fangs and bite the enemy when attacked, tearing their flesh apart, mercilessly skinning and tearing their tendons.

That’s why Lin Shiyu never lost. While others needed shoes, he didn’t mind being barefoot and covered in scars.

Lin Hui lowered her head, her long hair falling on her shoulders. “It’s all my fault, Teacher Li, please don’t punish him.”

After listening to Lin Hui’s account, Li Zhong remained silent for a while, his hands resting on his knees. After a long moment he finally spoke. “It’s okay, don’t worry. Xiao Yu can’t control his temper, but he’s a good kid. He doesn’t have bad intentions,” 

Lin Hui humbly pleaded in a low voice, “Please don’t let him drop out of school. He takes his studies seriously, and he always does his homework diligently when he gets home…”

Li Zhong interrupted Lin Hui’s pleas. “He won’t drop out, rest assured.”

He picked up the tea on the coffee table and took a sip. He spoke seriously to Lin Hui, “I absolutely will not let him drop out of school, I promise.”

Lin Hui looked at Li Zhong blankly. Her beautiful eyes were gray and hazy, reflecting the fatigue she couldn’t hide. “Okay, okay, thank you, Mr. Li, thank you so much.”

Li Zhong set down the paper cup, stood up, and said: “I understand the situation now. I won’t disturb your rest any longer.”

Lin Hui quickly stood up as well and followed him, saying, “Teacher Li, please stay and have a meal. I bought some food today.”

“No, no, I’ll go back and eat,” Li Zhong said while chuckling, walking towards the door. He then called out toward the bedroom, “Lin Shiyu! Come out and see me off, quickly.”

Lin Shiyu opened the door and gave him a strange look, but still walked over and bent down to change his shoes.

Lin Hui wanted to persuade him. “Teacher Li…”

“I really can’t stay. I’m quite busy, and I still need to prepare lessons. Just have Lin Shiyu accompany me for a while. It’s also a good opportunity for me to talk to him,” Li Zhong pushed the door open, patted Lin Shiyu’s shoulder, and said, “Let’s go.”

After bidding farewell to Lin Hui, Li Zhong and Lin Shiyu walked along the road out of the residential area. The setting sun stretched their silhouettes, and the fading light filtered through the buildings and the blurred mist between the trees, bringing life to the tranquil neighborhood.

Li Zhong’s unique glasses were a peculiar sight. The lenses would darken under the sunlight, making him look like he was wearing sunglasses. With his hands in his pockets, he walked with a serious expression, accompanied by Lin Shiyu, who also had his hands in his pockets and showed little interest.

It was as if an ex-gang leader was leading his disloyal underling.

“This situation isn’t easy to handle,” Li Zhong said. “I will have to go back and discuss it with the principal.”

“You said you won’t make me drop out of school.”

Li Zhong exclaimed, “Ah, eavesdropping on our conversation from inside the room?”

Lin Shiyu was slightly annoyed. “I wasn’t eavesdropping! The soundproofing of the room is just bad.”

“I see,” Li Zhong continued to look at Lin Shiyu with a serious expression. “I thought you were indifferent to everything and didn’t care but it turns out you’re afraid of being expelled.”

Lin Shiyu took a deep breath, knowing that Li Zhong was teasing him, and decided to remain silent. He took his hands out of his pockets and crossed his arms, refusing to look at Li Zhong.

“I’m not feeling bad about anything,” Lin Shiyu’s voice was low. “It doesn’t matter to me if anyone misunderstands me.”

Li Zhong looked at him helplessly before saying with a sigh, “Stubborn temper.”

How could it not matter? Words and looks were invisible swords and shields that could both harm and protect. For a young and ignorant heart, their power was immense, and their influence could last a lifetime.

Yet sometimes, one had to acknowledge their helplessness and vulnerability, which was so difficult for a vigilant young person.

Lin Shiyu couldn’t admit it. Once a single brick was forcefully removed from the high wall he had built, people would realize that the wall was all for show and without any substance. With just a gentle push, it would collapse, revealing a softer, easily vulnerable interior.


Edited by: Jaisland



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