Wolf Cub – Chapter 45

That day, Zhong Qi didn’t leave Lin Shiyu’s house until late in the afternoon, almost nearing dinnertime. Lin Wanyue developed an interest in listening to him play the guitar, and even lost some of her fear of him. She would approach the guitar strings, and cheerfully hum along to the tunes Zhong Qi played.

When Zhong Qi was about to leave, Lin Wanyue followed him to the door, though she didn’t speak. Yet, her eyes clearly expressed a desire for the guitar on his back.

Lin Shiyu held her and asked, ‘What should you say at this time?’

Lin Wanyue, holding his hand, zoned out. Lin Shiyu reminded her. “You should say ‘Goodbye Brother.’”

Zhong Qi raised an eyebrow slightly.

“Goodbye,” Lin Wanyue said softly.

“Call him Brother.”

Under Lin Shiyu’s patient coaching, Lin Wanyue finally managed to say, “Goodbye, Brother.”

Zhong Qi returned her goodbye and then patted Lin Shiyu’s head. ”Be good, Brother’s leaving.”

“You €€€€!”

Zhong Qi was quick with long legs and soon disappeared.

A few days later, Lin Wanyue ran up to her brother, gesturing with both hands.

Lin Shiyu asked, ‘What’s wrong?”

Lin Wanyue hummed a tune, making the gesture of playing a guitar and yelled, “Guitar!”

She wanted to touch the guitar again.

Lin Shiyu didn’t know whether he should call Zhong Qi over again just to make his little sister happy. He lay on the bed with his phone, and Lin Wanyue mimicked him, lying beside him. The siblings lay side by side, gazing at the phone in front of them.

Lin Shiyu remembered what Zhong Qi had told him, that ‘it’s convenient to find him’ because he lived right across the street.

After hesitating for a while, he opened his phone and clicked on the chat with Zhong Qi.

Fifteen minutes later, Zhong Qi arrived at Lin Shiyu’s house with the guitar bag on his back.

Zhong Qi asked, “Aren’t you supposed to pay me?”

Lin Shiyu answered back, “No money!”

Zhong Qi entered, placed the guitar bag down, and accompanied the little girl as she played around. He turned to Lin Shiyu. “Is there anything to eat? I’m hungry; I haven’t had lunch.”

“You haven’t eaten yet at 2 o’clock?”

“No one’s cooking at home,” Zhong Qi replied. “I don’t like takeout.”

Lin Shiyu invited him over to help take care of his sister; it wouldn’t be right to let someone go hungry. Hearing this, he took off his padded jacket, rolled up his sweater sleeves, and headed to the kitchen. “What do you want to eat?”

Seeing Lin Shiyu’s natural and skilled movements, Zhong Qi was somewhat surprised. “Can you cook?”

“Is this some miracle you have discovered?”

Zhong Qi took the guitar out of the bag and placed it on the sofa for Lin Wanyue to play with. Then, he followed Lin Shiyu into the kitchen. The kitchen wasn’t large, and Zhong Qi, being broad-shouldered and tall, made the space feel small. Lin Shiyu almost bumped into him. Feeling slightly irritated, he pushed him out. “Don’t crowd in here; go out.”

“Do you know how to do everything?” Zhong Qi watched as he opened the fridge, took out meat and eggs, and said, “I want fried rice.”

“Got it, wait outside.”

Zhong Qi was pushed out of the kitchen by Lin Shiyu because he was taking up too much space.

Returning to the living room, Zhong Qi saw Lin Wanyue perched on the edge of the sofa, fiddling with the guitar strings. Initially, he thought she was just casually playing with it, but upon closer listening, he discovered it wasn’t the case.

Lin Wanyue was actually practicing the 4321 rhythm by plucking the open strings.

A few days ago, while playing with Lin Wanyue, Zhong Qi noticed her keen interest in the guitar. He spontaneously showed her the most basic right-hand exercise for beginners and taught her some basic finger placement. At the time, Lin Wanyue seemed utterly bewildered, and even Lin Shiyu remarked that it was too complicated for her to comprehend. Zhong Qi didn’t think much of it then.

However today he realized that not only had Lin Wanyue memorized the rhythm he had played, but she even remembered to use her thumb to pluck the sixth string and the other fingers to pluck the remaining strings in sequence.

Although the basic exercise was straightforward and easy to remember, for Lin Wanyue, something an ordinary person could pick up in ten minutes might take her several days of repeated practice.

Observing Lin Wanyue, Zhong Qi noticed that she was indeed imitating his finger placements and rhythm from that day, but her movements were a bit slow, and her finger coordination seemed inadequate.

Approaching her, Lin Wanyue backed away. Zhong Qi picked up the guitar and sat on the sofa, a few steps away from the little girl. “Hold the guitar like this. When plucking the strings, try to keep your fingers perpendicular to the guitar surface… Like this, the thumb presses against the strings downwards.”

Zhong Qi gave a detailed demonstration of the proper guitar playing posture to Lin Wanyue, who stood by dazedly, unsure if she understood or took it in.

They continued this way, one explaining and the other listening, until a fragrant smell wafted in.

Lin Shiyu had just placed the fried rice on the table when Zhong Qi suddenly appeared behind him, eyeing the fried rice in his hands.

Lin Shiyu took off his apron and set it aside. Zhong Qi tasted the fried rice.

The taste was better than any fried rice he had ever known.

It was a shining moment that was entirely incongruous with Lin Shiyu’s outward demeanor.

“Tastes great,” Zhong Qi honestly praised.

“This is just something I’m used to doing,” Lin Shiyu said matter-of-factly but with a hint of satisfaction. “Fried rice isn’t difficult.”

He was slightly warm from cooking and had rolled up his sweater sleeves to reveal his fair and defined arms and wrists, the fingertips slightly reddened from the stove’s heat. Lowering his head, his long eyelashes hung down, his nose like a mountain ridge, and lips a healthy pale red.

Zhong Qi managed to clear his throat in time, continuing to calmly eat despite Lin Shiyu’s curious glance.

After dinner, Zhong Qi continued teaching Lin Wanyue guitar. Well, teaching might not be the right word, as the progress was excruciatingly slow due to the girl’s inherent wariness of him.

Upon consideration, he found this practice place to be quite perfect.

There was also someone who could cook and providing him food. Which was just an icing on the cake.

“Don’t you need to look at the music when you play the guitar?” Lin Shiyu sat next to him and asked.

“I didn’t bring the music today.”

“You can bring it next time.” Lin Shiyu said without thinking, then realized he sounded too presumptuous and added awkwardly: “If you have time.”

Zhong Qi didn’t expose him and casually strummed a few chords, suddenly asking: “Do you want to learn?”

Lin Shiyu was watching him play the guitar curiously, and was caught off guard by the question. He was very suspicious: “Are you willing to teach me?”

Zhong Qi put the guitar into his arms. Lin Shiyu awkwardly held it, his body a bit stiff.

“Hold the guitar upright, and put your elbows here.” Zhong Qi reached around Lin Shiyu’s back, holding his elbow to adjust the position. He was broad-shouldered and long-fingered, and Lin Shiyu’s frame was smaller than his, making him seem almost half embraced in Zhong Qi’s arms.

Zhong Qi leaned closer to Lin Shiyu, teaching him to pluck different strings with different fingers. Lin Shiyu’s fingers were not very agile, so Zhong Qi simply grabbed his disobedient hand and spread his fingers, guiding him to pluck the strings.

“Sweep down with your thumb, and pick up with the other fingers, practicing the rhythm of 6-3-2-1 and 5-3-2-1.” Zhong Qi’s palm was large and his fingers long, covering Lin Shiyu’s hand completely, guiding his fingers onto the strings: “Count the strings first.”

Lin Shiyu touched a guitar for the first time, holding it awkwardly and earnestly. When he looked down at the strings, his eyebrows were slightly furrowed with concentration, completely unaware that the posture he and Zhong Qi were in was too intimate and oblivious to the fact that Zhong Qi’s teaching method was akin to teaching a three-year-old, except for the lack of a children’s illustration telling him that the guitar strings were numbered 6-5-4-3-2-1 from top to bottom.

Their proximity was such that Zhong Qi could clearly see Lin Shiyu’s lowered eyelashes, the amber light of his shallow eyes, the curve of his nose tip, and the shape of his upper lip.

Lin Shiyu was wearing a light green sweater today, with a half turtleneck that was loose around the neck, revealing a clear jawline and Adam’s apple. His fingers, held in Zhong Qi’s large knuckles, were thin and white. Compared to Zhong Qi’s hands, Lin Shiyu’s were smaller, and he seemed a size smaller than Zhong Qi.

After a pause, Zhong Qi released Lin Shiyu’s hand and distanced himself.

Lin Shiyu suddenly felt deserted and turned to ask: “What’s wrong?”

Zhong Qi sat on the other side of the sofa, flexing his fingers, his face still cold and indifferent: “You’re too clumsy, I can’t teach you.”


“Your sister learns faster than you.” Zhong Qi stood up and walked to the kitchen.

“What are you going to do?”

“Pour some water to drink.”

Lin Shiyu had no choice but to reluctantly put the guitar aside, and seeing Lin Wanyue still obediently lying on the coffee table watching, he called her over to sit on the sofa, holding the guitar for her. Then he muttered: “Can’t learn, forget it.”



Edited by: Jaisland



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