Wolf Cub – Chapter 41

In the week before the final exams, most students in the class had submitted their major selection forms.

After the morning self-study, as usual, the other students placed their biology assignments on Lin Shiyu’s desk. Zhong Qi raised his head and suddenly asked, “Mao, are you choosing science or humanities?”

Mao Silu placed the assignment on the table and said, “Science. What about you? You’re definitely choosing science.”

“Yeah. What about Kai Kai?”

“He’s also choosing science.”

Zhong Qi then asked Gao Jie what he chose. Gao Jie rambled on about his profound love for politics and history but eventually decided to sacrifice his personal desires for the great nation’s infrastructure and selected science.

“Most of us who are close are choosing science, including Shen Ziyi and Tao Chen.” Gao Jie turned to Zhong Qi. “Why are you asking? It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? Who in Class 7 doesn’t want to follow Mr. Li’s footsteps?”

“Nothing,” Zhong Qi said calmly. “Just helping someone ask a question.”

With a ‘click,’ Lin Shiyu’s automatic pencil lead broke while he was writing in his notebook.

“Helping someone ask?” Mao Silu scratched his head and turned to ask Lin Shiyu. “Shiyu, you’re definitely choosing science, after all, you’re our Biology Representative, right?”

“Smart of you.” Lin Shiyu dropped this sentence and carried the assignments, walking away indignantly.

Mao Silu looked puzzled. “What did I do?”

Zhong Qi spun the pen in his hand; the pen happily twirled around his fingertips. “Don’t worry about it.”

For the past month, Lin Shiyu had either been taken to the office for remedial lessons by Li Zhong or had to face the scrutiny of Zhong Qi, who would pick out 45 mistakes from his 50 problems. Additionally, he was observed by Gao Jie and Chen Xiaoxin as he worked on problems at school and continued doing so at home after cooking for his younger sister.

Lin Shiyu had never been earnest or ambitious in his studies and was having a mental breakdown.

The English Class Representative came over and said, “Shiyu, Teacher Ye wants you to bring your English textbook and notebook to her after school.”

After struggling through his homework, Lin Shiyu was struck by another blow. He took a deep breath. Gao Jie, sensing something wrong, quickly handed him a bag of tomato-flavored potato chips. “Shiyu, your favorite tomato chips, want some?’

The potato chips diverted Lin Shiyu’s attention and calmed his restlessness. He took the bag and had a chip.

It was Zhong Qi who informed Gao Jie that Lin Shiyu liked eating tomato-flavored potato chips. Gao Jie found everyone usually appreciated his snack shares, except for Lin Shiyu. This led Zhong Qi to suggest trying out tomato chips.

Gao Jie, with his strong curiosity, tested it out, and it worked like a charm. He began keeping tomato-flavored chips in his desk and used this simple food to effectively soothe Lin Shiyu’s irritable moods. Gao Jie marveled and boasted, causing everyone in Class 7 to know about the magical calming effect of tomato chips on Lin Shiyu.

After being temporarily pacified by the chips, Lin Shiyu calmed down. After school, he packed his bag, took out his English textbook, notebook, and some exercise books, and headed to the language office. English teacher Jin Ye was usually strict. Lin Shiyu had been reprimanded by her for his poor English scores many times. Due to his consistently poor performance, Lin Shiyu was left speechless in front of this young-faced teacher and was forced to stand as a punishment.

This time, he was probably going to be reprimanded again. Lin Shiyu reluctantly approached the office door. “Reporting in.”

“Come in” the familiar, bird-like voice sent shivers down Lin Shiyu’s spine.

Jin Ye turned her chair halfway and faced Lin Shiyu. “Sit.”

Lin Shiyu took a seat beside her, and Jin Ye pushed her computer aside. “Take out your textbooks and notebooks.”

Lin Shiyu took out his bag, placed it on his lap, and unzipped it. Jin Ye glanced at his backpack and suddenly reached out to take the worm pendant that was hanging from the zipper. “Did you buy this yourself?”

Lin Shiyu looked at the ugly, furry caterpillar and belatedly realized that he hadn’t taken it down all this time.

It was something Zhong Qi casually hung on his backpack, and he hadn’t thought to remove it. Perhaps, with the backpack already adorned with shiny decorations, the caterpillar didn’t stand out, and one more or one less didn’t seem to matter. Yet, Lin Shiyu wondered why he hadn’t tossed it away when he found it so hideous.

“Someone gave it to me,” Lin Shiyu said.

Jin Ye pinched the fluffy little toy and, surprisingly, displayed a faint smile. “It’s oddly cute.”

This English teacher, with her doll-like face, smiled, her eyes forming crescents, looking very affable. Lin Shiyu was surprised; it was the first time he had seen this strict teacher smile. However, she quickly regained her composure, and with her pen, pointed to the desk, indicating that Lin Shiyu should place his books there.

“Final exams are coming up soon, and I’ve been pushing you for so long, but there hasn’t been much progress.” Jin Ye circled the important parts in Lin Shiyu’s textbook. “I’ll mark the critical points and difficult parts for you to review. Go back, study hard, repeat the main points multiple times, and make sure to practice and memorize the essential vocabulary, okay?”

Lin Shiyu felt somewhat uneasy sitting there, and nodded in acknowledgment.

Jin Ye then used a red pen to circle and underline important parts and flipped through Lin Shiyu’s notebook. She made annotations on the incomplete or incorrect sections, patiently explaining the key points to him. Lin Shiyu found it a bit challenging to keep up, but he sat there obediently, listening without making a move.

Finally, Jin Ye closed the books and said, “Go back and review these key points. Work hard for the final exam this time and try to get more points. At least try to make slight improvements in each test, okay?”

Lin Shiyu packed the books into his bag and said, “Got it.”

He left the office and returned to the classroom, which was empty except for Zhong Qi leaning in his seat, playing on his phone.

Zhong Qi was waiting for him.

It had become a habit for the two of them. When it was sunny, Zhong Qi would give Lin Shiyu a ride on his bike. On rainy days, they’d take public transport together. If they had free time, they’d play basketball at the power community’s court.

Lin Shiyu approached Zhong Qi, who was engrossed in playing Fishing Island with several exercise books on the table. “Did you finish your homework again?”

Zhong Qi was deeply immersed in the game. “Mm-hmm.”

“Let’s go” Lin Shiyu lightly kicked Zhong Qi’s chair, thinking that even though this guy didn’t study properly every day and spent his time playing his leisure fishing game after going home, he had managed to feed Lin Shiyu’s fish, who was barely online, to level 20. So why did he seem so relaxed about studying?

Zhong Qi exited the game, slung his bag over his shoulder, and left the classroom with Lin Shiyu.

“I’ve leveled your fish to 20. Look at mine, it’s only level 10,” Zhong Qi said.

Lin Shiyu gave a disgusted expression. “I’m not like you, playing games all the time.’

“You feed your fish then!” Zhong Qi retorted. “I’m quite busy.”

After going back home, he had to take care of Lin Wanyue, then teach her to read and learn vocabulary before attending to his overwhelming workload and revision. He was too lazy to even respond to text messages, let alone play games.

“Even with such poor grades, teachers still take the effort to care about me,” Lin Shiyu said, puzzled. “Isn’t that a waste of time?”

Bending down to unlock his bike, Zhong Qi pushed it out and said, “It’s not like they stop caring just because your grades are poor.”

“In middle school, it was like this. Teachers only cared about those with good grades.”

‘Which middle school?”

“Meili Waters Middle School.”

Zhong Qi had heard of that school, known for its three non-interference policies: not interfering in the graduation rate, not interfering in fights, and not interfering in the students’ activities. It seemed to be established to accommodate rebellious teenagers from various backgrounds but ended up becoming a third-rate school that didn’t focus on discipline.

“How did you get through to high school?” Zhong Qi asked sincerely.

Feeling insulted by Zhong Qi’s intelligence, Lin Shiyu replied impatiently, “Middle school and high school are different.’

Lin Shiyu was somewhat lucky. The previous year, the high school had relaxed its admission standards, doubling the number of students enrolled. Despite that, Lin Shiyu had barely made it into the school. He was determined not to let Zhong Qi know about this matter.

For Lin Shiyu, the three years of middle school were perhaps the most chaotic. The endless, brutal violence inflicted by his biological father had accumulated to a tipping point. He was isolated by his classmates due to his attire and temperament. He had never been an easy target and had never enjoyed a peaceful day.

Nobody cared about him. Perhaps out of fear or simply avoiding trouble, teachers didn’t bother with him, and his classmates kept their distance. He went to school alone and left alone, sitting alone in the classroom’s corner. His only company was the hooligans when they gathered around him.

The place was rampant with wild and unruly animals, regardless of age or relationship. Lin Shiyu had gradually learned to change his mindset since he was sensible. Fear and evasion were futile, so instead of cowering in the corner trembling while getting bitten, he realized that it was better to fight back and bite back for compensation.

Lin Shiyu knew he wasn’t a good person.

A piping hot sweet potato was passed to him.

Lin Shiyu snapped out of his reverie, catching the scent of the fragrant sweet potato, and slowly raised his hands to receive it.

“What are you spacing out for?”

The two of them stood in front of the school gate at a small stall. Zhong Qi peeled open another sweet potato he held, leaning against the back seat of his bicycle.

As the weather grew colder, the sky showed a chilly bluish color, and the steam rising from the peeled sweet potato slowly ascended into the air, carrying the aroma of the food.

Lin Shiyu held the plastic bag, his cold fingers slowly warmed by the scorching hot sweet potato.

“Why did you suddenly buy this to eat?”

“I just wanted to eat it.”

Lin Shiyu peeled the sweet potato and took a bite. It was sweet and piping hot.

“Zhong Qi.”


“What are you planning to do during the winter break?”


“Will you be playing Fishing Island again?”

“I have quite a wide range of hobbies.”

“Oh.” Lin Shiyu ate his sweet potato and after a while asked, “Then, do you play basketball when you’re free?”

After finishing the sweet potato, Zhong Qi tossed the plastic bag into the nearby trash can, pushed up his bicycle, and glanced at Lin Shiyu.

“If you want to hang out, just say so,” Zhong Qi said. “It’s not like I won’t give you face.”



Edited by: Jaisland



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