Wolf Cub – Chapter 26

Shen Ziyi ran from outside the classroom to Zhong Qi’s seat, sitting down abruptly and smacking the table. The people around were startled by her sudden appearance; Gao Jie nearly spilled his potato chips, Mao Silu and Ruan Zhikai were fighting over snacks, while Lin Shiyu was catching up on a forgotten assignment. The group paused and looked at Shen Ziyi strangely.

“I saw something,” Shen Ziyi said nervously.

Gao Jie played along, looking mysterious. “What did you see?”

“I went to the store to buy snacks, and on the way back, I saw Zhong Qi standing under a tree at the edge of the playground with a girl.”

Gao Jie became interested. “Who was it?”

“It seems to be a senior from second year. I’ve seen her before, she’s very tall and beautiful.”

“Oh, a senior from the second year, impressive!”

Mao Silu didn’t understand. “And then?”

“Zhong Qi was confessed to by the senior!” Shen Ziyi moved Mao Silu aside, blaming him, “Oh, how’s this going to work?”

The group of boys was very confused. “What’s going on?”

“Look, fat water doesn’t flow into others’ fields. Why aren’t you all worried?”

“Sis! We’re not gay, why should we be worried?!”

The group looked puzzled. At that moment, the center of gossip, Zhong Qi, finally returned from outside. Shen Ziyi immediately stood up and offered her seat to Zhong Qi. “Brother Qi, you sit.”

Zhong Qi glanced inexplicably at her and sat down, immediately surrounded by everyone.

“Gee, did you accept her confession, Zhong Qi?”

“Zhong Qi, did a senior really confess to you?”

“Is she pretty? Does she have long legs?”

Zhong Qi took out the textbook for the next class and placed it on the table, speaking casually, “We have midterms coming up soon, how’s everyone’s review going?”

The students dispersed.

Only Lin Shiyu and Zhong Qi remained sitting, not looking at each other.

Lin Shiyu concentrated on catching up on his homework, trying to ignore the silent atmosphere between the two. He slowly worked on the questions, but the final math problem was a bit difficult. Lin Shiyu had no clue how to solve it and almost picked up his workbook to ask Zhong Qi but stopped himself in time. He was frustrated because he wasn’t good at studies and didn’t usually refer to answers or copy other people’s work. However, ever since Zhong Qi had helped him with his biology homework last time, Lin Shiyu would often ask Zhong Qi for help with questions he couldn’t solve. Zhong Qi could usually explain, and occasionally, when the questions were very challenging, he would go through the answers and still help Lin Shiyu understand.

Lin Shiyu paused with his pen for a while, then decided to skip the problem. In the next class, the math teacher, Old Zhao, taught in a monotonous tone, lulling everyone to sleep. Lin Shiyu rested his head on his hand, lightly rubbing the wound on the corner of his mouth with his knuckles. The wound wasn’t large and had mostly healed in a few days, leaving only a faint scar that was barely noticeable without careful observation.

There was a short bird call outside the window. Lin Shiyu’s lack of focus was diverted by the sound. He turned slightly, looking out at the mild and clear autumn sunlight outside. The air carried tiny specks of floating dust; the vast blue sky was cloudless, except for one long, thin white cloud that stretched across the sky. An airplane turned into a black dot that gradually created a tail in the sky, making Lin Shiyu gaze at it as it flew further away, the cloud tail dissipating gradually.

“Lin Shiyu.”

Old Zhao’s flat voice interrupted him, and Lin Shiyu was brought back to reality. He turned to the blackboard and found Old Zhao staring at him with a stern expression, and the whole class had turned their attention towards him.

He had no choice but to stand up.

“What did I just teach?” Old Zhao reprimanded him for his distraction, sounding a little strict.

Lin Shiyu hadn’t even opened his textbook and could only stand obediently, waiting for punishment.

“The graph of logarithmic functions,” reminded Zhong Qi quietly.

Lin Shiyu was startled, looking down to see Zhong Qi had pushed his textbook closer, revealing the section they were just discussing. The part about the graphs and properties of logarithmic functions was circled in red.

Lin Shiyu could only repeat, “You were talking about the graphs and properties of logarithmic functions.”

“Then, tell me, when x>0 how to determine the magnitude of a.”

The tip of the pen moved, pointing to the two lines, which happened to be the answer to Lao Zhao’s question.

Lin Shiyu, with a stiff demeanor, read aloud those two lines. Lao Zhao didn’t say anything further, only advised him to pay attention in class and let him sit down.

Zhong Qi shifted his attention back to the textbook, as if nothing had occurred and continued to listen attentively without glancing away.

Lin Shiyu flipped through the textbook to the corresponding page, sitting for a while and gradually feeling a bit flushed.


How embarrassing. Lin Shiyu stared at the words in the book in various senses.

After school, Mao Silu rushed over with a ball. “Zhong Qi, Shiyu, let’s play ball!”

Whether rejected or agreed, Mao Silu would consistently ask every day. Sometimes Zhong Qi would agree, but Lin Shiyu had never agreed even once. However, Mao Silu remained unaffected, always excitedly running to the court with the ball.

“Okay,” Zhong Qi agreed today.

“I’m not playing,” Lin Shiyu persistently refused.

After a few boys left, Lin Shiyu sat and completed the unfinished exercises from the class, then packed up his bag to head home. There were few people left in the classroom. Books were scattered across the desks, and the evening sun cast its slanted rays onto the platform, leaving half in light and half in shadow.

As Lin Shiyu shouldered his bag, the noisy commotion from the playground below drifted in through the window. He heard the noise, glanced outside, and involuntarily turned towards the window.

The school was bathed in the evening sunlight. Next to the playground, separated by a row of trees, was the basketball court. A group of students’ silhouettes were lengthened by the setting sun, leaving their playful traces on the basketball court, the running track and the grass.

Lin Shiyu instantly spotted a familiar group under one of the basketball hoops.

Zhong Qi and his friends were easily recognizable, being among the tallest in the class, making them stand out. Several other classmates were playing together as well. After observing for a while, Lin Shiyu noticed that Zhong Qi and Mao Silu were particularly skilled at basketball, as was Ruan Zhikai.

Zhong Qi passed the ball to someone else. In the next moment, he seemed to sense something, stood at the edge of the court and looked in the distance.

Lin Shiyu swiftly ducked his head below the window sill, avoiding eye contact before their gazes could meet.

Why did he suddenly look in this direction? Squatting on the ground, Lin Shiyu belatedly realized his behavior was rather strange. What was he hiding from?

Lin Shiyu stood up, brushed off the wrinkles from his clothes, and awkwardly left the classroom.

“Do you want some water?”

“I’m good.”

Mao Silu bought a bottle of water from the convenience store, took a sip, wiped the sweat off his forehead, and turned to walk out with Zhong Qi and Ruan Zhikai.

“Zhong Qi,” Mao Silu nudged Zhong Qi’s arm. “Did you have a fight with Shiyu again?”

Zhong Qi glanced at him.

“It’s pretty obvious,” Ruan Zhikai lazily remarked. “Normally, you’re always teasing him, but today, not a word from either of you.”

Zhong Qi casually tossed the empty plastic bottle into the nearby trash bin and said, “When did I ever tease him?”

“You always make him lose his temper. Every time, it gives me the shivers, but it’s strange. Shiyu seems to have a better temper with you than with us. Why is that?”

Zhong Qi remained silent for a while and asked, “Do you think so?”

Mao Silu nodded.

Even as Mao Silu and Ruan Zhikai bid farewell at the school gate, Zhong Qi wasn’t able to answer the question.

Because he didn’t have an answer either.

Zhong Qi headed to the bike shed. It was quite spacious, with a row of billboards between every two rows of bikes. Zhong Qi found his bike, and just as he unlocked it, he heard a few people walking over from the other side of the billboards, their voices gradually getting louder.

“…reporting to the teacher might make things worse. There were a few of us and just him. If this gets out, it might come back to us.”

“I was just so angry. He made my mouth bleed with his punches, damn.”

“Who knew he was so fierce in a fight? Several of us couldn’t restrain him alone…”

“I swear, he dresses and looks like a girl, but hits so hard…”

A few boys pushed their bikes out of the shed, complaining as they walked. They looked up and saw a tall boy straddling his bike, looking at them.

He was one of the boys from the conflict with the “sissy” the other day.

Zhong Qi stopped in front of them, his voice calm without emotion, his gaze icy as he addressed them. “Seniors, such good manners.”

In the evening, Lin Hui received a notification, asking her to help cover a shift, so she changed and left. Lin Shiyu was left alone to prepare dinner, leaving a portion for her.

He placed a small bowl of egg custard in front of Lin Wanyue. She ate messily, with food all over her mouth, prompting Lin Shiyu to wipe it off with a tissue, saying, “Take your time eating.”

Lin Wanyue scooped more egg custard into her mouth, spilling some on the table. Lin Shiyu held her little hand and slowly said, “Eat slowly, don’t spill food on the table.”

The girl obediently nodded. “Okay.”

Lin Shiyu continued guiding his sister through the meal until Lin Wanyue finished her food neatly. Then, he cleaned up the spilled custard from the table and started eating the now slightly cold meal.

Today, Lin Wanyue again held Lin Shiyu’s hand, asking him to sing and help her sleep. Lin Shiyu initially planned to change into a t-shirt and shorts for a shower but ended up sitting on the floor, allowing his sister to hold his fingers. “What do you want to hear?”

“Songs from big brother.”

It meant he could sing whatever he wanted to sing. Lin Shiyu lay by the bedside for a while, thinking. “Shall I sing… Jay Chou’s ‘Silence’ for you?”

“Mmm,” she replied.

Lin Shiyu gently covered his sister’s eyes with his hand. “Close your eyes.”

Soft, slow singing filled the small dim room. The air carried the warm, tender fragrance unique to a young girl’s room, tinged with a sweet milky scent. Lin Shiyu’s voice, clear and pure, weaved a tranquil, flowing dream in the darkness, soothing the girl to sleep.

Lin Shiyu was also feeling a bit tired. Singing gradually made him drowsy. The dim light and the soft bedding created a comforting atmosphere. The little girl’s breathing gradually became calm and long. Lin Shiyu held her hand, his voice also gradually lowering.

When Lin Hui returned, she didn’t see Lin Shiyu in his own room. Upon opening Lin Wanyue’s door, she found the siblings, one nestled under the blanket, and the other sitting on the floor, both fast asleep.

Lin Hui felt heartbroken and cautiously approached them. She gently shook Lin Shiyu, who was sitting on the floor. “Shiyu, why are you sleeping on the floor?”

Lin Shiyu groggily woke up, only to realize he didn’t know when he had dozed off. The floor was cold and hard, leaving him with a sore and stiff back. Just as he woke, he sneezed.

Lin Hui hurriedly pulled him out. “Quick, go take a shower. Don’t catch a cold.”

Lin Shiyu headed to the bathroom to shower. Just as he had undressed, he suddenly sneezed again.

He didn’t pay much attention to it. Exhaustion had almost shut down his mind. He hastily showered, not bothering to dry properly, changed into clothes, and staggered back to his room, quickly slipping under the covers and falling asleep.


Edited by: Jaisland



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