Wolf Cub – Chapter 16

Later that night, Zhong Qi leaned against the wall of his upper bunk, the dim glow of his phone screen illuminating his face as he searched for the words ‘Peizhi School.’

Zhong Qi scrolled down the search results one by one. Ruan Zhikai, on the upper bunk, turned over and noticed that he was still awake. He asked, “You’re not sleeping yet?”

“Not yet.”

“The performance is tomorrow, so you better not stay up late,” Ruan Zhikai yawned. “If something goes wrong during the performance, be careful that Instructor Chen will tear you apart.”

After looking for a while, Zhong Qi exited the search and turned off his phone before lying down on his bed.

The lower bunk was empty, and it was silent.

Lin Shiyu was a quiet sleeper, he didn’t talk in his sleep or toss and turn like Gao Jie did every night, nor did he mumble in his sleep like Mao Silu sometimes did. Only occasionally, when he was deeply asleep, would he hear Lin Shiyu shift positions and breathe lightly.

One time, when Zhong Qi got up in the middle of the night to charge his phone, he saw Lin Shiyu’s sleeping posture. He was facing the wall, his forehead pressed against it, his head buried under the blanket, and his whole body curled up on the innermost part of the bed. With his eyes closed he looked very peaceful.

This was unlike his vigilant self when he was awake.

On the last day of the long half-month military training period, all the students gathered on the sports field for the military performance. The scorching sun beat down on the noisy crowd on the field, and the sound of people and the loudspeaker blended into a cacophony.

Lin Shiyu had been dragged back to the training base by Li Zhong for some reason. Li Zhong said that after training in military calisthenics for so long and enduring so many hardships, it would be a pity not to compete. Li Zhong suggested Lin Shiyu come and watch his classmates compete as a way to make up for his regret.

Lin Shiyu didn’t think there was anything to regret.

The two of them stood in front of a cement pipe, and Lin Shiyu watched the performance on the sports field from a distance. He couldn’t see anyone’s faces.

“Don’t stand so far away, you can’t even see their faces,” Li Zhong said, craning his neck to listen to the loudspeaker. He patted Lin Shiyu and said, “Come on, let’s get closer and take a look.”

Li Zhong led Lin Shiyu around to the other side of the field and waited there behind the formation that had already finished its performance.

“Line up!” The stern-faced Instructor Chen shouted from the side of the formation. “March!”

“Hey.” Li Zhong looked at the seventh class formation marching into the performance area. “They’re getting good.”

Lin Shiyu thought it wasn’t a big deal.

“How about that?” Li Zhong asked. “What do you think after seeing it?”

“Just like that,” Lin Shiyu replied, hesitating for a moment before adding, “but better than the other classes.”

It seemed like Zhong Qi laughed and stood in front of Lin Shiyu, absentmindedly looking around.

What’s he laughing about again? Lin Shiyu found Zhong Qi’s behavior inexplicable. It had been the same in the office earlier; he was always smiling on the side, even when the heads of several departments were locked in a confrontation. There had been a few times when he had laughed like this. What had he done to make this man, who rarely said more than a few words, laugh so much?

“How’s your hand?” Zhong Qi asked him.

Lin Shiyu couldn’t be bothered to say much and extended his arm to show him. The two small puncture wounds from the snakebite had long since healed.

“Shiyu!” Mao Silu rushed over like a big dog, panting heavily. “How do you like it? Is our seventh class cool or what?”

“Cool my ass.”

“Why are you like this?!”

When Ruan Zhikai came over, he a little unusually asked, “Is your body okay?”

“…It’s fine.”

The others crowded around, and the stern-faced instructor didn’t order them to stand in formation and stay quiet. He seemed quite content, probably a bit impressed by their performance. Someone approached him to take a group photo, and he nodded and agreed, standing with his hands behind his back.

“Let’s take a picture!” Tao Chen waved at them from a nearby grassy area. “Let’s take a picture with our instructor too! Come on!”

The others all hurried over to her side. Lin Shiyu didn’t like taking photos and didn’t want to join in, but Mao Silu, who was beside him, had already pulled him along. “Let’s go.”

Lin Shiyu was dragged into the crowd, and the people around him were tightly packed. The boys who had just finished their performance were covered in sweat and heat, making Lin Shiyu so annoyed that he felt like shaking Mao Silu three times by lifting his leg.

At this moment, a hand gently pushed against his shoulder from behind, and Lin Shiyu was pushed into a less crowded gap.

Zhong Qi stood behind him, creating a barrier between him and the crowded people.

In the moment the photo was taken, Lin Shiyu and Zhong Qi stood together in the crowd, and they seemed closer due to the push. Lin Shiyu stood in front of Zhong Qi, feeling his steady and slightly warm breath. He didn’t understand why this person sometimes looked at him with disdain and at other times approached him as if nothing had happened.

The final result of the performance was that the First Year, Class 7 won first place, receiving a basketball and two badminton rackets as prizes. They went to collect their awards, took photos, and celebrated. Lin Shiyu didn’t like going to lively places, and he was about to find a quiet corner to stay in when someone called out to him.

Mao Silu and Gao Jie, two tall guys, ran excitedly to him. Mao Silu said, “Shiyu, how about going to Jianghan Road for dinner tonight? About a dozen people are going together, what do you think?”

Lin Shiyu refused without thinking. “I’m not going.”

“Why are you always refusing?” Gao Jie patted Lin Shiyu’s shoulder. “We finally survived this hellish half-month together, especially you, enduring the instructor’s training for so long. You should reward yourself. I’ve already arranged it; we’ll go to that fish head hotpot place on Jianghan Road. I’ve booked a large private room. We’ll sit at a long table, and have a lively dinner.”

“Yeah, and this time you didn’t participate in the performance, so it’s a bit regrettable. You shouldn’t miss the gathering.”

Lin Shiyu’s resistance softened somewhat under their persuasion. “…I have something to do.”

“What could you possibly have to do as a high school student in the evening?” Gao Jie protested. “You’re not playing games, you don’t have homework. Don’t tell me you’re secretly dating a pretty girl behind our backs?”


“Then what’s your reason for not coming? As one of the core members of our dormitory, you must participate in this team building activity. Otherwise, the organization will take unreasonable measures against you.”

Mao Silu cooperatively nodded, “Very unreasonable.”

Gao Jie added, “Stealing your homework, untying your shoelaces, and reporting to Mr. Li that you’re having an early romance with a pretty girl.”

“You guys…” Lin Shiyu was getting a headache from their banter. Strangely, he didn’t feel annoyed or irritated; instead, he felt a trace of helplessness.

From childhood to adulthood, Lin Shiyu had never participated in private gatherings. Even group activities organized by the school were rare for him. He had never done things like playing games or going to internet cafes with friends like a typical teenage boy.

The reason was simple: Lin Shiyu didn’t have friends.

Initially, Lin Shiyu’s reaction to Mao Silu and Gao Jie’s persistent invitation was to refuse. He didn’t understand the motive behind this invitation and felt only confusion and bewilderment. Then, a feeling he had never experienced before slowly emerged, a vague sense of anticipation for something new.

After hesitating for a while, Lin Shiyu asked, “Who else is going?”

“Many boys are going, and several of Tao Chen’s friends are also coming,” Mao Silu replied. “All the members of our dormitory are going, and of course, we can’t do without you.”

“Okay,” Lin Shiyu nodded and cleared his throat. “I’ll go, but I need to do something first.”

“You’ve promised!” Gao Jie took out his phone. “Give me your number. If you don’t come, I’ll send you a barrage of messages.”

Lin Shiyu found it childish but still exchanged phone numbers with them.

Lin Shiyu did indeed have something to do; he had to pick up his younger sister, Lin Wanyue, from Peizhi School. Normally, this task was handled by Lin Hui, but sometimes Lin Hui was too busy to spare the time, or the timing didn’t align, so she would ask the school’s teachers to look after Lin Wanyue and wait for Lin Shiyu to pick her up after school.

After the military training ended, it was the weekend, and most students went home happily in groups. Lin Shiyu walked to the school gate, lowered his head to check his phone, and suddenly heard the sound of bicycle tires skidding behind him.

Lin Shiyu looked up and saw Zhong Qi standing astride his bicycle, one foot on the ground, and his schoolbag casually slung over his shoulder. He had stopped beside him and was looking at him.

“Are you going to the dinner tonight?” Zhong Qi asked.

Lin Shiyu nodded, then he asked, “Are you going?”

“I am,” Zhong Qi said, then got back on his bike and left, creating a sudden gust of wind.

Lin Shiyu took the subway and then a bus to Peizhi School to pick up Lin Wanyue. After returning home, he sent a message to Lin Hui to ask when she would be back. She replied that she would be back around dinnertime. Lin Shiyu went into the kitchen and started preparing dinner.

Lin Wanyue seemed to be in a good mood today and kept circling around Lin Shiyu. Lin Shiyu, while cutting potatoes, asked, “Is your homework done?”


“All of it for the weekend?”

Lin Wanyue stopped talking, stood by his side, nibbled on her fingers, and looked around, swinging her head. Lin Shiyu glanced at her and said, “Don’t bite your fingers.”

After saying that, he wiped his hands, bent down, and took Lin Wanyue’s fingers out of her mouth. He repeated, “Fingers, don’t bite.”

“Okay, okay.”

When Lin Shiyu finished making dinner, it was nearly 6 o’clock, and Lin Hui hadn’t returned home yet. He sat at the dining table, watched Lin Wanyue eat, and opened his phone to check. Mao Silu had sent him several messages, asking when he would come over.

Lin Shiyu looked at the darkening sky outside the window, then opened the chat with Lin Hui, and was about to ask her if she had finished work. His finger hovered over the screen for a moment before he gently slid it to exit the interface.

There was no need to ask. If he couldn’t go, then so be it, Lin Shiyu thought.


Edited by: Jaisland



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