Wolf Cub – Chapter 36

Before the last class meeting on Wednesday afternoon, Lin Shiyu took out his biology textbook, notebook, and previous biology test paper from the drawer, preparing to go to Li Zhong’s office for a tutoring session.

At that moment, Ruan Zhikai approached his desk, and Lin Shiyu put down his things to look at him.

Their attitudes were extremely unfriendly.


“What’s Li Zhong going to teach in this makeup class?” Ruan Zhikai asked Lin Shiyu, but it was a question that sounded more like a command.

Lin Shiyu coldly replied, “Didn’t he tell you when he asked you to his office last time?”

“I didn’t pay much attention.”


A standoff.

Zhong Qi and Chen Xiaoxin, who were playing chess on the side, glanced at the two. Gao Jie turned to look at them while holding a bag of spicy sticks, and Shen Ziyi and Tao Chen paused their conversation to curiously observe.

Ruan Zhikai coldly asked, “What’s up with your attitude?”

Lin Shiyu, without any courtesy, retorted, “Feeling proud because you don’t have ears?”

“Who the hell do you say doesn’t have ears?”

Lin Shiyu instantly lost his temper, “It’s you I’m talking about!”

Gao Jie was scared and dropped the spicy sticks. “Calm down, don’t fight!”

Mao Silu hurried over to pull Ruan Zhikai away. “What’s going on, why are you fighting again?”

“You’re always the second to last in exams, and yet you dare to mess with me?!”

“You’re just one point ahead of me!”

“Even with one point, I’m better than you. Do you have the guts to score one point higher than me?!”

“You think I can’t?!”

Zhong Qi calmly held back the furious Lin Shiyu and thought that the content of their argument was truly eye-opening. Mao Silu and Gao Jie held back Ruan Zhikai, who wanted to rush over and fight Lin Shiyu. “Stop fighting. What’s the point in fighting over one point!”

Ruan Zhikai kicked Lin Shiyu’s desk in anger. “Damn it, a loser like you is trying to lecture me!”

Lin Shiyu tossed his textbook, hitting Ruan Zhikai’s nose. “Go hang out with your pack of friends!”

The boys in the class rushed forward, creating a commotion. Even after the class bell rang, the classroom remained chaotic. Ruan Zhikai and Lin Shiyu, both hot-tempered, became more agitated with each other. Mao Silu and Gao Jie lamented and tried to intervene. Zhong Qi firmly held onto Lin Shiyu to prevent him from attacking anyone. He heard the bell and glanced at the classroom door.

Three knocks sounded at the door, and instantly, everyone hushed and looked over.

They saw their head teacher, Li Zhong, leaning against the door with a teaching plan tucked under his arm.

“Quite lively,” Li Zhong glanced around calmly and nodded. “The classroom has turned into a market.”

Fifteen minutes later, in the office for Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, Lin Shiyu, Ruan Zhikai, Zhong Qi, Mao Silu, and Gao Jie stood in a row in front of Li Zhong.

Except for Lin Shiyu and Ruan Zhikai, the others didn’t understand why they were also standing there.

Leaning on the desk, Li Zhong looked at them. Lin Shiyu and Ruan Zhikai stubbornly refused to look at each other, and both wore expressions that said: It’s all his fault.

Li Zhong asked, “Why did you fight?”

Lin Shiyu and Ruan Zhikai each grunted.

Mao Silu: “I, I don’t know.”

Gao Jie: “I don’t know either.”

Zhong Qi: “It seems like we’re arguing about who’s really the second to last.”

Lin Shiyu and Ruan Zhikai both turned and glared at Zhong Qi.

Li Zhong adjusted his glasses, trying to keep a straight face despite nearly losing it, and said sternly, “Okay, both of you apologize to each other, and that will be the end of this matter.”

No one moved, no one spoke.

Mao Silu nudged Ruan Zhikai. “Just apologize.”

Ruan Zhikai refused. “Why should I apologize?”

“Fine, no need to apologize,” Li Zhong nodded calmly. “Gao Jie, Mao Silu, bring two chairs over here. Zhong Qi, bring me my phone.”

They were all confused but followed Li Zhong’s instructions. Soon, the chairs were in place. Li Zhong signaled for Lin Shiyu and Ruan Zhikai to sit.

The two sat down without understanding what Li Zhong was about to do. Li Zhong sat between them and said to Zhong Qi, “Open the camera on my phone and set it to record.”

He then took the hands of Lin Shiyu and Ruan Zhikai, and clasped them together.

Lin Shiyu: “What are you doing?!”

Ruan Zhikai: “What are you doing?!”

Li Zhong said, “For every second you let go of each other’s hands, you’ll each have to write an extra biology paper.”

The two immediately froze.

Li Zhong turned to Zhong Qi. “Have you started recording?”

Zhong Qi calmly held up the phone. “It’s started.”

Beside them, Gao Jie and Mao Silu gradually lost control of their facial expressions.

For the next half-hour, under Li Zhong’s intense psychological pressure, Lin Shiyu and Ruan Zhikai were forced to hold hands, taking turns to say one positive thing about the other within ten seconds. They went from being shocked to being exasperated and then reluctantly humbled. They pulled out all the stops to think of each other’s merits, from submitting homework on time to not being in a relationship, even arguing about how much they ate, until Li Zhong finally called it off. The moment he did, they immediately let go of each other’s hands, both breaking into a sweat from their palms to their backs.

Zhong Qi handed the phone to Li Zhong. “It’s recorded.”

Li Zhong took the phone and put it in his pocket. “Alright. I have the video now. If you two fight again, I’ll put the video on the big screen for the entire class to watch.”

His expression was clearly that of a sly fox who had enjoyed the spectacle. “How about it? Have you gotten to know each other again? Actually, when you count it all, you’ll find that each other’s merits are quite numerous, aren’t they?”

Lin Shiyu and Ruan Zhikai were almost brought to their knees by his statement, as they both replied in unison, “No!”

The two no longer had the mood for quarreling and sat quietly in the office, each focusing on their makeup work. Little did they expect that although the video was still in Li Zhong’s possession, the forced hand-holding and complimenting event had already spread to everyone’s ears once Gao Jie and Mao Silu returned to the classroom. From that point on, it became one of Class 7’s favorite stories to gossip about.

After the makeup session, Mao Silu waited to go home with Ruan Zhikai, and they left first. After school, there was only Zhong Qi left in the classroom.

Lin Shiyu asked, “Why haven’t you gone home yet?”

Zhong Qi put down his pen, closed his workbook, and replied, “Homework.”

“…Have you finished today’s assignment?”


Lin Shiyu stuffed his homework into his bag, feeling irritated at the thought of having to do more assignments at home. Moreover, there was someone right beside him who had already finished everything.

Faint laughter and the sound of a basketball hitting the ground could be heard from the playground outside the window. The gentle and bright light of the early winter sun beamed in, creating a delicate texture across the sky with the light dispersed by the thin clouds.

Zhong Qi glanced at the sunset outside the window, and when he looked back, his gaze fell upon Lin Shiyu.

Lin Shiyu had long eyelashes. His profile was bathed in the warm and soft hues of the evening sun, casting quiet spots of light from his forehead to his chin, like ripples on water. Even the black tips of his hair at the nape of his neck appeared lighter under the subtle light, giving Lin Shiyu the look of a gentler and a more approachable temperament.

This glance lasted less than a second.

After arranging his bag, Lin Shiyu was about to stand up when Zhong Qi suddenly spoke. “Do you want to play basketball?”

Lin Shiyu, puzzled, held onto his bag strap. “Now?”

Zhong Qi twirled his pen and said, “Yeah. I’ll teach you.”

“Why…why do you suddenly want to teach me basketball?”

“No reason, I suddenly feel like playing.”

An abrupt invitation, but it genuinely piqued Lin Shiyu’s interest. He did want to play basketball. Every time Mao Silu invited him to the court, he wanted to join them, and freely romp around the court with his friends.

However, it was an experience he was never able to have before. Lin Shiyu wasn’t good at this skill or being with a group of people. It made him nervous. Since it was a completely unknown experience, he didn’t know how to handle each step. The thought of all the unfamiliar details made Lin Shiyu clueless about where to start.

From an indeterminate point in time, Lin Shiyu had begun to hope for an opportunity, a chance to try to approach people.

“If you have no one else to play with.” Lin Shiyu slung his bag over his shoulder slowly, “I can accompany you for a while.”

Zhong Qi kept his books and stationery in the drawer, turned to get his bag, and couldn’t help but smile.

Lin Shiyu really tickled his funny bone.

Neither of them had a basketball, but Zhong Qi said nothing and, with Lin Shiyu in tow, went downstairs to the sports equipment room next to the playground. Although the door to the equipment room was locked, he was familiar with the route and approached an unlocked window at the back. After gently pushing it, he hopped inside.

Lin Shiyu leaned on the windowsill and watched him pick a basketball from the metal rack in the equipment room. “Do you often do this kind of thing?”

“I only do it occasionally when we’re short of people in basketball.” Zhong Qi picked a basketball that felt slightly better and tossed it to Lin Shiyu. Lin Shiyu clumsily caught it. Zhong Qi jumped out of the window and saw Lin Shiyu holding the basketball awkwardly, almost making him laugh again.

He took the ball and headed to the court. “Have you never played basketball before?”

Following behind, Lin Shiyu muttered, “I’ve never played.”

Arriving at the court, Zhong Qi casually took off his jacket, tossing it along with his bag on the ground, then he beckoned to Lin Shiyu. “Come.”

Lin Shiyu, following suit, tossed his bag next to Zhong Qi’s. Rolling up his sleeves, he walked up to Zhong Qi.

“I’ll teach you dribbling.” Zhong Qi leaned forward slightly, tapping the ball while looking at Lin Shiyu. “Watch closely.”

For most people, while Zhong Qi was polite and courteous, there was a certain coldness and unapproachable air about him. Many people wanted to get close to him, yet no one could truly cross that safe distance.

Yet disregarding these internal factors, Zhong Qi’s patience was remarkable, especially when dealing with a student like Lin Shiyu, who was a bit difficult to teach.

“Don’t hold onto the ball too tightly, or you’ll start traveling,” Zhong Qi tapped Lin Shiyu’s arm. “Relax. No one’s going to steal the ball from you.”

“Got it.” Lin Shiyu glared at him. “Let me practice a bit more.”

He was quite short-tempered. Zhong Qi raised his hand, indicating Lin Shiyu to practice alone.

The vast basketball court was almost deserted. Most of the students had already gone home after school. Only the elongated shadows of Zhong Qi and Lin Shiyu were cast by the setting sun, along with the shadows of the basketball hoop, imprinted on the concrete ground.

“When dribbling, run faster,” Zhong Qi stood under the hoop, instructing Lin Shiyu from outside the three-point line. “Dribble the ball to me, then try shooting, but don’t make the move too stiff.”

Lin Shiyu patted the ball in place and began running towards him.

“Relax your muscles, run smoothly, don’t be too tense.”

Lin Shiyu awkwardly quickened his pace while focusing on the ball in his hand. Zhong Qi stood just outside the boundary, watching him closely.

As Lin Shiyu neared the hoop, he looked up at it; it was high, and seemed difficult to shoot the ball.

However, in that split second of distraction, Lin Shiyu failed to control the direction of the ball in his hand. The ball hit his foot, causing him to lose his balance, and the basketball rolled away. He exclaimed in surprise, about to fall.

A figure flashed in front of him, and Lin Shiyu crashed into a warm embrace.

Zhong Qi immediately stepped over and embraced Lin Shiyu. Young bodies, with their naturally high body temperature, clashed together, radiating a gentle teenage aura and the scent of sunlight. At that moment, the other person’s breath and heartbeat reached him first, and the sensation of impact followed. Zhong Qi held Lin Shiyu firmly as he staggered backward, grabbing his nose that was hit and turning red, almost on the verge of tears.

“Are you made of stone?” Lin Shiyu rubbed his throbbing nose. “You’re so hard.”

Zhong Qi tidied his clothes absentmindedly, then bent down to pick up his jacket and bag. “If you can trip yourself while dribbling, I can’t teach you. Seek help from someone else.”

“I just tripped accidentally.”

“Most people aren’t as careless as you.”

“Just now I was doing pretty well with my practice. Don’t walk so fast!” Lin Shiyu ran over, picked up the ball, and grabbed his backpack to catch up with Zhong Qi. “I think I can still continue practicing. Hey!”

“You can’t, let it go.”

The two of them finally left the basketball court, their silhouettes gradually fading into the setting sun.



Edited by: Jaisland



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