Wolf Cub – Chapter 12

Li Zhong arrived the next day at noon.

The other squads had already disbanded and gone to the cafeteria, leaving only the Class 7 boys’ squad practicing military exercises under the sun. When Li Zhong arrived, there was also a company commander named Liu from the base with him. They had searched the cafeteria but couldn’t find anyone, so they came to the playground.

Instructor Chen was the quad leader, and saluted when he saw Commander Liu. Commander Liu was tall and had a friendly face. He came over and asked, “Still training, huh?”


“In your squad, is there someone named Lin Shiyu?”

Instructor Chen shouted, “Lin Shiyu, step forward!”

Lin Shiyu walked out, and Li Zhong motioned for him to come over. He smiled and said to instructor Chen, “Well, here’s the thing. I am the homeroom teacher for Class 7. Lin Shiyu’s mother called me because something came up at home and she wants her child to come back for a while.”

Commander Liu said, “If there is indeed a special circumstance, we can grant leave.”

Li Zhong said, “I also don’t want to disrupt the training progress, so how about this? I’ll take him home now to resolve the family matter, and then I’ll bring him back tonight. How does that sound?”

Instructor Chen glanced at Lin Shiyu and said, “…Alright.”

Li Zhong thanked Instructor Chen and then said to Commander Liu, “Thank you, Commander Liu, for coming along to help me find the person. Sorry to have taken up your time.”

Then he patted Lin Shiyu and gave him a meaningful look, urging him, “What are you standing there for? Say thank you.”

Lin Shiyu awkwardly lowered his head but still managed to say, “Thank you, Instructor.”

Li Zhong led Lin Shiyu away. Commander Liu glanced at the students under the sun and said, “Alright, let the students go eat as well.”

Instructor Chen said, “Dismissed!”

After the students left, Commander Liu said to Instructor Chen, “There’s no need to be too harsh.”


“Punish when necessary, but don’t punish when it’s unnecessary.” Commander Liu reminded, “Students and soldiers are different after all. Don’t directly apply the same methods you use on new recruits to them. How long do new recruits train? How long do students train? It’s not the same.”

“…I understand.”

Li Zhong asked Lin Shiyu to go to the dormitory and get his phone, then they left the training base. When they got in the car, he said to Lin Shiyu, “When you’re ready to return to the base tonight, give me a call, and I’ll pick you up.”

Lin Shiyu sat in the back seat, hands resting on his legs, and fingers intertwined. After a while, he said in a low voice, “Thank you.”

Li Zhong leaned back and propped up his legs, smiling as he glanced at Lin Shiyu. “You’ve tanned. Military training must be tough.”

“It’s okay.”

“Is the instructor giving you a hard time?” Li Zhong said, “Otherwise, why wouldn’t he approve your leave application? Did you get in a fight with someone?”

“I didn’t.”

“Then you must have glared at him.”


Silence was also a kind of admission. Li Zhong felt both helpless and amused when he said, “Why did you have to glare at him? Oh my, I don’t know what to say about you, Lin Shiyu.”

“I can’t stand looking at his face.” Lin Shiyu replied coldly, “Apart from squatting and running laps, there’s no other punishment.”

“Don’t be stubborn. Military training is only for half a month. Just endure it and it will be over. There’s no need to make yourself unhappy,” Li Zhong advised.

Lin Shiyu remained silent.

“Did you hear me?” Li Zhong ruffled Lin Shiyu’s hair and said, “Your injuries haven’t fully healed yet, so don’t go causing trouble for yourself.”

Lin Shiyu’s head tilted to the side from the ruffling, and he impatiently responded, “I understand.”

Lin Shiyu went directly to the Peizhi School to pick up Lin Wanyue. When the little girl saw him from afar, she immediately ran towards him and hugged his legs, saying, “Big brother.”

Lin Shiyu held her hand and said, “Let’s go home.”

When they arrived home, Lin Hui hadn’t returned yet. The house was quiet and empty. Lin Shiyu went to the kitchen and poured a glass of milk for Lin Wanyue. He squatted down and handed it to her, saying, “Mom said you haven’t been eating properly these past few days.”

Lin Wanyue held the cup and drank the milk, responding with a simple, “Hmm.”

Being young, her language skills were still developing slowly, and her vocabulary was extremely limited. Most of the time, she would only respond with a simple “Hmm,” which didn’t carry any specific meaning and was just a simple response to the external environment.

“You can’t do this, Lin Wanyue.” Lin Shiyu squatted in front of his sister. “If I’m not with you, you won’t eat or go to class, right?”

Lin Wanyue said, “No.”

There was a milk stain on her lips, and her beautiful eyes looked at Lin Shiyu, but there was no trace of him in her gaze, only a vague and misty barrier.

Lin Shiyu looked into her eyes for a while, then raised his hand and gently wiped off the milk from her lips.

Since meeting Lin Shiyu, Lin Wanyue had been in high spirits. She continued to fidget even after taking a bath and sitting on the bed. Lin Shiyu pulled the blanket for her and furrowed his brow, saying, “Go to sleep.”

Lin Wanyue held her pillow in her arms and lay down in the blanket, calling out, “Big brother.”

“Hmm.” Lin Shiyu sat by the bedside and said, “I’ll stay with you.”

Lin Wanyue said, “Sing.”

Lin Shiyu sighed helplessly and asked, “What do you want me to sing this time?”

Lin Wanyue waved her hands and hummed a few vague tunes. To Lin Shiyu surprise, he could actually discern a few intermittent notes, recognizing it as the song he had sung for her recently Let me love you

“Alright.” Lin Shiyu got off the bed and sat cross-legged on the floor. He placed one hand on the edge of the bed and the other on Lin Wanyue’s blanket, saying, “Close your eyes, I’ll sing for you.”

After summarizing his experiences, Lin Shiyu discovered that English songs had a better effect in luling Lin Wanyue to sleep compared to Chinese songs. Lin Wanyue could understand some Chinese, but English was a foreign language to her, which worked wonders in putting her to sleep.

Lin Shiyu supported his chin and gently patted Lin Wanyue while softly singing in her ear.

Lin Shiyu had a beautiful singing voice, but no one had ever heard him sing except for his mother and sister.

Lin Shiyu had never thought of singing for anyone else.

At ten o’clock in the evening, Lin Hui finally returned from work. Lin Shiyu had already cooked dinner for himself and his sister, leaving a portion on the table for her. Since the living room was empty Lin Hui gently pushed open the bedroom door.

A warm yellow desk lamp illuminated the room. Lin Shiyu was still wearing his disheveled military training uniform, and sat on the edge of the bed.

Lin Wanyue was already asleep under the covers, her chubby hand holding onto Lin Shiyu’s finger.

Lin Shiyu looked up and slowly withdrew his finger, standing up and walking out.

Lin Hui asked, “Did little Yue eat well?”

“She ate.”

“That’s good.” Lin Hui placed her phone on the table, straightened out the wrinkles on her clothes, and a sheepish expression appeared on her face. “As a mother, I haven’t done a good job. I couldn’t even coax my daughter to eat properly.”

“What’s the point of saying that?” Lin Shiyu furrowed his brow slightly. “Go and eat.”

He took out clean clothes and quickly took a shower in the bathroom. When he came out, he folded his military training uniform and packed it into a bag. Lin Hui was eating the reheated leftovers, and when she saw him, she called him over and held his hand, looking at it.

“It’s hurt.” Lin Hui turned over his hand and saw the still unhealed wound on his palm. “What happened to your hand?”

“It’s from doing push-ups.” Lin Shiyu pulled his hand back.

“Why have you lost so much weight? Is military training difficult?” Lin Hui remembered something and got up to open the storage cabinet in the kitchen. “It just so happens that I bought some cookies from the supermarket yesterday, originally for Little Yue. You can have them, I’ll buy more tomorrow.”

Lin Hui took out two boxes of teddy bear-shaped cookies for children and handed them to Lin Shiyu. She reached out to gently touch his face. “Eat more, your chin has become sharp.”

Lin Shiyu remained silent and accepted the cookies.

“Then I am going.” Lin Shiyu picked up his bag and said, “I told the instructor that I’ll be back at the base tonight.”

“Ah, can’t you sleep at home for one night?”

“Teacher Li is already waiting for me at the entrance of the residential area.”

“Alright.” Lin Hui walked Lin Shiyu to the door. “It’s dark in this area at night so be careful when walking.”

Just as Lin Shiyu was about to turn around, his gaze suddenly swept across Lin Hui’s neck.

He hadn’t noticed before. Lin Hui was wearing a shallow V-neck dress, and there was a faint red scratch on her collarbone. The necklace she wore every day, one of her few dowries from her marriage, was also missing.

Lin Shiyu stared at the scratch on Lin Hui’s collarbone and asked, “Where did that come from?”

Lin Hui noticed his gaze and hurriedly covered her neck. “Oh, this, um, I accidentally scratched myself while writing.”

A moment of unbearable silence followed.

“How could a pen cause this?!” Lin Shiyu suddenly exploded, grabbing Lin Hui’s wrist and pulling it closer. He could clearly see the bruised skin around the wound, indicating that it was caused by considerable force.

“Who did this?” Lin Shiyu realized what was happening, and anger quickly welled up in his eyes like storm clouds. “Where is your necklace?!”

Lin Hui held his hand helplessly and shook her head. “Lower your voice, don’t wake Little Yue up.”

No matter what she said, Lin Shiyu was already enraged by the suspected truth, with every cell in his body on fire so he couldn’t control his low growl, “Did that beast Wu Xiang come to see you?!”

“Don’t say that Shiyu, please don’t.” Lin Hui tried to calm Lin Shiyu down by rubbing his arm. “He is your father, don’t talk about him like that.”

“He is not!” Lin Shiyu gritted his teeth and then spit word by word. “Did he do this? Did he take your necklace?”

“He needed money, so he came to borrow some from me.” Lin Hui tightly held Lin Shiyu’s hand and hastily explained before her son completely exploded. “He promised, he promised that he won’t come to see me again next time. I said I only have this valuable necklace left, I have no money, and I asked him not to come to see me. Then he left, he won’t come to see me again. Shiyu, don’t be angry.”

“And you believe him? You believe in his words?!” Lin Shiyu was so angry that his blood rushed to his head. “He came to borrow money, and you gave him the necklace? It was left by Grandma for you! Didn’t you consider reporting this to the police? Did you just let him hit you?!”

Lin Shiyu threw his bag on the ground, squatted down, and quickly put on his shoes with his fingers trembling intensely with anger. He quickly tied his shoelaces, stood up and immediately pushed open the door, and walked out.

“Don’t forget your military training clothes. Shiyu… Shiyu where are you going?!”

Lin Hui hurriedly picked up the bag and ran out of the door, catching Lin Shiyu’s arm in the corridor. “Are you going to find your father?”

“He’s not my dad!” Lin Shiyu roared.

Lin Hui realized that Lin Shiyu was really going to find his father in the middle of the night. In an instant, she thought of various terrible consequences, imagining what that crazy man would do to her son. With all her strength, Lin Hui dragged Lin Shiyu back, almost begging, “Shiyu , don’t go, Mom is begging you, don’t go find him, he didn’t hit me, he just… scratched me a bit.”

Lin Shiyu stood tense in the dark and lightless corridor, panting. His voice was filled with despair, “You’re still speaking up for him.”

The corridor walls had no windows, only narrow gaps between the bricks. The dim night seeped through the gaps, providing a barely discernible light.

“I’m not speaking up for him. I just don’t want any contact with him anymore. Shiyu please don’t go to find him, alright? We’ve finally lived peacefully for so long. If you go to him, he won’t let us go.” Lin Hui put the bag into Lin Shiyu’s hand and tightened his fingers, repeatedly comforting his trembling back. “Mom promises not to see him again, not to give him anything anymore. Just listen to me. Isn’t teacher Li waiting for you at the door? I’ll accompany you there, Mom will see you off.”

Li Zhong had been bored waiting at the entrance of the residential area for almost half an hour when he saw two familiar figures slowly walking towards him on a dimly lit path not far away.

He didn’t expect Lin Shiyu’s mother to accompany him downstairs as well, so he quickly threw away his cigarette butt. However, as the two approached, he sensed that something was off.

Lin Hui walked up to Li Zhong while holding Lin Shiyu’s hand, giving him an apologetic smile. “I’m sorry, Teacher Li, for keeping you waiting.”

Her smile was forced, carrying fatigue and uneasiness.

Li Zhong was taken aback for a moment. “It’s alright, I didn’t wait long.”

Lin Hui pushed Lin Shiyu forward and said in a gentle voice, “Shiyu, go with Teacher Li.”

Before she could finish her sentence, Lin Shiyu turned around without saying a word, not even looking at the two of them, and walked away quickly.

Li Zhong exclaimed, “Hey! You brat!”

“It’s fine, it’s fine,” Lin Hui quickly said, “Please take him back for military training. Thank you, Teacher Li, It must have been troublesome for you.”

“It’s no trouble, just a quick trip.”

“Thank you for taking care of him and being so patient with him. Really, it’s too…” Lin Hui didn’t finish her sentence, cleared her throat, and bowed to Li Zhong. “Shiyu has a bad temper, but I hope you can continue to look after him in the future. You’re his teacher, and you know more about this than I do.”

“Parents are the most important teachers for children, schools come second.” Li Zhong said, but hesitated after noticing Lin Hui’s expression. After some thought, he earnestly said, ‘But I will do my best to teach him well. After all, I am his homeroom teacher.”

After bidding farewell to Li Zhong, Lin Hui went to catch up with Lin Shiyu. Fortunately, Lin Shiyu didn’t run around randomly and was standing alone by the roadside, motionless, holding a plastic bag in his hand. His figure cast a long shadow under the streetlight, resembling a solitary small lamppost.

Li Zhong approached Lin Shiyu, intending to scold him, but his voice stopped when he turned to look at Lin Shiyu’s face.

Lin Shiyu typically presented himself to everyone as impatient, irritable, or indifferent, keeping everyone at arm’s length, baring his teeth and not allowing anyone near him. If he had something to say, he would be like an irritable wolf cub ready to burst into anger at any moment. Although he was truly difficult to get along with, he was also vibrant, full of energy like sparks.

However at this moment, Lin Shiyu seemed as if a downpour had drenched him, extinguishing all flames. His head was lowered, his gaze lost on an invisible point on the ground, appearing defeated, exhausted, and angry but lacking the strength to struggle. His anger was suddenly drained, leaving behind a barely supported empty skeleton.

Night enveloped the training base in silence. The door to the dormitory opened, and Lin Shiyu walked in.

No one was asleep yet, and Mao Silu lifted his head at the sound. “You’re back.”

“Yeah,” Lin Shiyu responded calmly, his voice flat without any abnormality. He walked to his bed, took off his shoes, changed his clothes, and pulled up the blanket to sleep.

Zhong Qi was playing the game “Fish Island” quietly on the top bunk when he felt a slight movement from below. The little character in his phone was once again depleted of health by an octopus attack.

Zhong Qi had to exit the game and was about to start again when a message suddenly popped up on the screen, sent by Li Zhong.

Zhong Qi switched screens and saw the message from Li Zhong.

[Are you sharing a dormitory with Lin Shiyu?]

Zhong Qi looked at the message, exited the screen, closed the game, and opened it again before typing a reply.


[You should pay more attention to your deskmate, like talking to him more and eating together.]

Zhong Qi felt that there was no movement from the lower bunk. He thought for a moment and typed a question: [What’s wrong with him?]

[He’s probably not in a good mood.]

Zhong Qi was about to type the word ‘Why?’ but he paused for a moment, deleted it, and wrote a new line before sending it: [Why did he go home?]

[You can ask him yourself. If you want to understand him, communicate with him more. Alright, go to sleep early.]

Zhong Qi turned off his phone and placed it aside.

Understand him.

With Li Zhong’s words, Zhong Qi suddenly realized that all his recent actions against Lin Shiyu, which were inconsistent with his usual behavior, actually stemmed from the fact that he wanted to understand Lin Shiyu.

Zhong Qi rarely had the desire to understand someone. He was not proactive by nature, and combined with his keen observation skills, he could always glimpse the essence of a person from their actions.

Lin Shiyu was different. He seemed to be an excessively pure individual, displaying all his emotions on his face. However, beneath this excessively pure emotional display, there were irregular and chaotic movements hidden behind Lin Shiyu’s walls. These movements would sometimes turn into white goodness and sometimes into black evil, intertwining and confusing, forming an illusionary membrane that obscured the true Lin Shiyu.

A simple, unpredictable person.



Edited by: Jaisland



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