Wolf Cub – Chapter 40

“Shiyu, the assignment is collected. Hey, you’re not sleeping today!” Mao Silu approached with their group’s biology assignments. He was surprised to find Lin Shiyu wide awake before the first class. Lin Shiyu took the assignments and gathered them along with others, leaving his seat and heading towards the office.

Mao Silu scratched his head. “Has he changed his focus to study?”

Zhong Qi watched Lin Shiyu’s departing figure, his brow slightly furrowed.

Lin Shiyu delivered the assignments to the biology and chemistry office. Li Zhong was at the desk working on the curriculum. He looked up at the commotion, raising an eyebrow.

“Did you not have a good breakfast?” Li Zhong asked. “You seem a bit down.”

Lin Shiyu stiffened. “Do I?”

“You’re wearing it on your face. What’s wrong? Is the recent tutoring giving you a lot of stress?”

“No.” Lin Shiyu awkwardly responded.

“If not, then cheer up and be more spirited.”

Lin Shiyu walked out of the office. The cold wind blew over his cheeks and seeped into his collar, causing him to shiver.

“Is it so obvious?” Lin Shiyu, puzzled, rubbed his face, clearly not intending to show it.

Throughout the day’s classes, Lin Shiyu quietly stayed in his seat, diligently working on the review papers issued by his teachers. Even Gao Jie was surprised by his attitude towards studying. “Shiyu, don’t push yourself too hard, it’s just one final exam.”

Lin Shiyu didn’t respond.

Beside him, Zhong Qi watched him writing on the paper, and suddenly asked, “Did you have lunch alone in the cafeteria?”

Gao Jie instantly recalled, “Yeah, Shiyu, why didn’t you eat with us today?”

Lin Shiyu replied, “It’s more convenient to eat alone.”

“Shiyu, you’re being anti-social. Eating together is more lively.”

“Mind your own business.” Lin Shiyu furrowed his brow. Though his words were brusque, his tone was less icy than before. Toward the end, his voice slowed down. “I’m working on my papers.”

“Alright, alright, I won’t bother you.” Gao Jie was genuinely concerned that Lin Shiyu might overwork his brain. He grabbed a few bags of cookies from his drawer and placed them on Lin Shiyu’s desk. “Eat more, it’s good nutrition.”

Lin Shiyu stared at those bags of cookies. Zhong Qi watched Lin Shiyu staring at the cookies, unsure whether he actually wanted to eat them or if this was another expression, serious as if he were facing a row of bombs.

Lin Shiyu didn’t initially want to attend the afternoon’s Physical Education class. He wasn’t in the mood to play and was aimlessly reviewing the papers on his desk, and barely answering a few questions.

Mao Silu came over holding a basketball. “Hey, are you still studying Shiyu?”

Gao Jie said, “He’s been writing all day; I think the poor guy’s gone crazy.”

Lin Shiyu, impatiently, retorted, “You’re the crazy one.”

“Come on, let’s go to PE class, take a break from writing.”

“I don’t want to go. You guys go.”

Even Ruan Zhikai expressed skepticism. “Are you planning to ace the biology exam for finals?”

Lin Shiyu had intended to stay there quietly by himself, but this group of people just bothered him so much that he couldn’t take it anymore. He stood up and walked away.

Mao Silu was bewildered while clutching the basketball. “Huh? What happened? Did I make him angry?”

Ruan Zhikai remarked, “That’s his way.”

Gao Jie asked Zhong Qi, “Brother Qi, what’s going on?”

“I don’t know,” Zhong Qi replied simply, taking off his jacket and tossing it on the table. “Forget about him, let’s just play.”

Lin Shiyu bought a bottle of water from the campus store and walked to the classes building, suddenly not wanting to go upstairs.

He circled around the tree altar below the main entrance of the building. The tree altar was built quite high, reaching about the level of his shoulders, and inside it were two tall pine trees.

Leaning on the edge of the altar, Lin Shiyu jumped up and sat cross-legged on the edge, unscrewing the water bottle and taking a sip.

From his position, he could see the field in the distance. Through the branches, people on the sports field were doing warm-up running exercises.

The winter evening sky was hazy and colorful, like a gently rippling water surface painted with vibrant colors. Drifting clouds galloped toward the end of the horizon, gathering around a distant crimson star. Beneath the tranquil sky, there was a bustling noise on the sports field. Lin Shiyu watched the group of people running in the distance for a while, didn’t see anyone familiar, and then withdrew his gaze.

Suddenly, in front of him, appeared Shen Ziyi staring at him.

Lin Shiyu was so startled that he almost threw the water bottle at her head, only just managing to hold back. “Why are you walking up to me without making any sound?”

“Brother, you were the one daydreaming, not me. I’ve been calling you from afar several times.” Shen Ziyi was more speechless than him, passing him a paper bag. “Help me with this.”

Lin Shiyu, confused, took the paper bag and saw Shen Ziyi struggle to climb onto the tree altar with her hands and feet, sitting next to him.

“Why aren’t you attending class?” Shen Ziyi took the bag back, taking out a cup of milk tea and a box of fried chicken wings. “Let’s get one thing straight, I have a legitimate reason for skipping class. This chicken shop is packed after school hours. The only time to buy is during class hours.”

“How is that a legitimate reason?”

“Are you eating?” Shen Ziyi pretended not to hear his question and opened the box, offering some to him. “It’s incredibly delicious.”

On the basketball court, a group of boys from Class 7 were playing. Today, many people crowded the court, splitting it into two teams. Considering that Zhong Qi and Mao Silu’s skills were too prominent, both were forcibly placed on different teams.

There’s always an audience when Zhong Qi is on the court, whether they’re boys or girls. His appearance and style are outstanding, and he plays basketball exceptionally well, creating an impressive scene on the court. According to the grapevine, Zhong Qi’s outspoken pursuer, senior student Wang Heju, fell for Zhong Qi at first sight on the court and confessed her feelings after watching him play the guitar at the freshmen’s party.

“Zhong Qi!”

Zhong Qi leaped up in response, catching the basketball thrown high by Ruan Zhikai from beyond the three-point line. As he landed, he traced an arc in the air with one hand, and the ball landed in the basket.

Someone sweating profusely stood their ground, claiming, “No, no, Zhong Qi and Ruan Zhikai can’t be in the same team. How are we going to play?”

“You have too many requests.”

Zhong Qi caught the ball and walked to the boundary line, waiting for his teammate to come and prepare for the throw-in.

As he looked up, his gaze settled on a distant point.

Ruan Zhikai walked across the court to him and stood there. Seeing Zhong Qi holding the ball and not moving, he grumbled, “What’s up? It’s time to start.”

After a moment of silence, Zhong Qi suddenly passed the basketball to a substitute. “I’m done playing.”

Others who didn’t have time to react yet simply said, “Huh? Why are you suddenly not playing?”

Zhong Qi had no intention of explaining. He bent over, picked up his clothes thrown on the ground, and said as he walked away from the court, “You guys play.”

Just like that, he left everyone’s sight.

“I told you it’s delicious,” Shen Ziyi raised her milk tea, pretending to be serious. “This milk tea is also delicious. I highly recommend the mango milk flavor.”

In the end, Lin Shiyu was reluctantly forced by Shen Ziyi to accept a piece of chicken wing, nibbling on it slowly.

“Brother Shiyu, are you in a bad mood today?” Shen Ziyi sat next to him, eating and drinking heartily without any elegance. “I’ve noticed you’re not talking much, and you’re not teasing Zhong Qi either.”

Lin Shiyu was almost choked by his piece of chicken. “When did I tease him?”

Shen Ziyi looked puzzled. “Don’t you two banter every day?”

The term “banter” used by her made Lin Shiyu almost unable to swallow his food. “Is that how you use that term?”

“If I want to use it that way, I will,” Shen Ziyi said carelessly, taking a sip of her milk tea and smacking her lips. She continued, “Anyway, don’t be in a bad mood all the time. Look, eat something delicious, and I’ll chat with you. Then you’ll feel better, right?”

Lin Shiyu said, “I’m not in a bad mood.”

“You are, your mood is written all over your face,” Shen Ziyi laughed. “That’s right! Right now, you must be thinking, ‘My goodness, is my mood really written all over my face?'”

Lin Shiyu was being toyed with, but was unable to get angry. He had to move away from her a bit. “Stop kidding around.”

“Don’t leave, don’t leave,” Shen Ziyi moved closer to him. “If you have any worries, you can chat with me.”

“Stay away from me.”

“Don’t be shy,” Shen Ziyi teased, about to put her hand on Lin Shiyu’s shoulder. “We’re good friends now–”

The sound of footsteps on the gravel interrupted them both.

Zhong Qi had come over at some point, wearing only a sports jersey, his clothes slung over his shoulders and his forehead still sweaty. He walked up to the two of them, his dark eyes shifting and landing on Shen Ziyi’s hand that was about to touch Lin Shiyu’s shoulder.

For no apparent reason, Shen Ziyi shivered, retracted her hand, feeling like the temperature dropped when Zhong Qi approached.

“Zhong Qi, want some fried chicken?” Shen Ziyi held up the chicken box as if presenting a gift to an Emperor.

Zhong Qi glanced at Lin Shiyu and said, “I’m not eating.”

Then he said to Shen Ziyi, “Tao Chen is looking for you.”

“Tao is looking for me?” Shen Ziyi quickly packed up the food and drink, jumping down. Zhong Qi even reached out to help her. “Then I’ll go first. Bye.”

After the girl ran off, it was just Lin Shiyu and Zhong Qi, facing each other, one sitting and one standing.

“What’s up?” Lin Shiyu looked at Zhong Qi. “You aren’t playing basketball anymore?”

“What’s wrong with you?” Zhong Qi went straight to the point. Lin Shiyu was stunned and almost stuttered when he spoke. “Nothing’s wrong.”

“Speak up.” Zhong Qi, with a somewhat impatient attitude, frowned handsomely. “Don’t waste time.”

Lin Shiyu was puzzled by his cold attitude, and felt a little upset at that moment. With a retort of “I have nothing to say to you,” he then jumped down and turned to leave.

The next moment, his arm was grabbed and he was pulled back, hitting the cement edge of the tree altar with his back, and he was thrown into the shadows.

“You’re chatting and laughing with Shen Ziyi, but won’t say a word to me?” Zhong Qi held Lin Shiyu’s arm, his eyes cold like ice when he looked down.

“Let go.” Lin Shiyu was held firmly and couldn’t move so he was annoyed. “Who I talk to is none of your business.”

Zhong Qi didn’t budge. “You’re still going to cause a scene.”

Lin Shiyu wanted to leave but couldn’t. He felt angry and embarrassed. He thought that practicing martial arts was admirable, that Zhong Qi was so powerful, that he could do whatever he wanted.

A strange-sounding gurgle rang out.

Zhong Qi paused. The moment of aggression disappeared. He lowered his head in confusion and saw Lin Shiyu stop moving, his face visibly blushing.

“If you’re hungry, you should’ve said so.”

At a lamb soup restaurant near the school, Zhong Qi sat across from Lin Shiyu, each with a steaming bowl of lamb soup in front of them.

Lin Shiyu held the bowl and drank the soup, staring at Zhong Qi after his words, too indifferent to respond.

The restaurant was cost-effective, with a big bowl filled with lamb and radishes, plus a bowl of cooked noodles. Lin Shiyu hadn’t eaten enough at lunch and was starving now. After finishing the lamb, he poured the noodles into the soup and continued to eat.

Zhong Qi raised his hand and ordered two bottles of cold tea, placing one in front of Lin Shiyu.

As Lin Shiyu ate, he stopped for a moment and glanced at the cold tea that Zhong Qi had placed there.

That feeling of frustration returned.

Lin Shiyu thought that after they were separated into different classes, he and Zhong Qi wouldn’t sit across from each other like this in a small restaurant again.

Zhong Qi extended his leg and pushed Lin Shiyu’s legs under the table. “What’s wrong?”

Lin Shiyu angrily kicked his leg away, finished the noodles in his bowl, and then took the remaining noodles Zhong Qi hadn’t touched and poured them into his own bowl.

He ended up eating two large bowls of noodles.

After leaving the food street, Zhong Qi returned to the school to get his bike, while Lin Shiyu, holding the cold tea, turned to head back on his own.

Zhong Qi unlocked his bike and casually pulled Lin Shiyu, who was trying to leave alone, back. “You don’t want a free meal?”

Lin Shiyu looked unhappy. “It doesn’t matter since there won’t be any more free meals.”

Zhong Qi was taken aback. “Why would you say that?”

“Next semester, we’ll be choosing our majors.” Lin Shiyu tried to appear nonchalant. “You’re not in the science course so we’ll not even be in the same class.”

Under the bicycle shed, the slanting sun quietly illuminated them. Zhong Qi supported his bike, looked down at Lin Shiyu, and suddenly started laughing.

Lin Shiyu was perplexed.

Yet it seemed Zhong Qi found something amusing; his laughter was contagious. Lin Shiyu felt both ignorant and awkward, becoming short of breath because of his laughter. “What’s so funny?”

Feeling as though his thoughts had been exposed for no reason, he became restless, uncomfortable, wanting to leave.

Once Zhong Qi finished laughing, he reached out and pulled Lin Shiyu back. Then he pulled a bag from his back and took out a form.

“Take a look.” Zhong Qi held the form in front of Lin Shiyu. “It’s the major selection form for science. I’ve signed it below, and I’ll get my parents to sign it tonight. I’ll hand it to Mr. Li tomorrow.”

Zhong Qi put the form back in his bag. “Any questions?”

Lin Shiyu was like a gourd with its mouth shut, standing speechless.

“Kids in kindergarten are more mature than you.” Zhong Qi got on his bike, his foot on the ground. “Hurry up and get on.”



Edited by: Jaisland



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