Wolf Cub – Chapter 56

The hospital was bustling with people. Lin Shiyu sat in a chair in the rest area, with an IV drip in his hand.

His fever had reached 39 degrees, and when he arrived at the hospital, he was practically dragged in by Zhong Qi. Zhong Qi put him in a chair to get the injection, then went downstairs to buy two boxes of fever-reducer and cold medicine. When he came back, he sat in a chair next to Lin Shiyu and leaned back.

Lin Shiyu turned his head to look at the TV on the wall, not speaking to him.

After a while, Zhong Qi’s voice sounded beside him. “They’re going to the hospital to see Gao Jie this weekend. Are you going?”

Lin Shiyu blinked unconsciously, his hand with the IV drip curling up slightly at the mention.

“I’m not going,” Lin Shiyu said softly.

“I can go for you.”

Lin Shiyu didn’t say anything. Zhong Qi apparently sensed his avoidance and apprehension. Lin Shiyu disliked how Zhong Qi seemed to see through everything about him, making him feel like he was being played for a fool.

Although he knew he wasn’t particularly smart, whether in academics or social interactions, he was terrible at everything.

After the injection, Lin Shiyu felt some relief from the heat in his body, and he felt a little more comfortable. He hadn’t realized that he had been experiencing recurrent high fevers these past two days. If Zhong Qi hadn’t forced him to come to the hospital, he might have already fainted as he lay in bed.

Zhong Qi gave Lin Shiyu a ride home and handed him the cold and fever medicine he had just bought. “I’ll come by after school tomorrow.”

Perhaps because Zhong Qi had accompanied him to the hospital and his discomfort had eased after the IV drip, Lin Shiyu didn’t lose his temper as he did before. He held the medicine box, didn’t look at Zhong Qi, and said, “No need.”

After saying that, he turned to leave but was stopped by Zhong Qi’s call.

“Lin Shiyu, did I make a huge mistake?” Zhong Qi’s voice was low, his expression cold, but his words were different from his demeanor. “No matter what I suggest, you refuse without leaving any room for negotiation.”

Lin Shiyu’s hand was still on the half-open door, surprised and motionless.

What did he mean? Lin Shiyu didn’t quite understand. Was Zhong Qi apologizing to him?

However, Zhong Qi didn’t say anything more. He just glanced coldly at Lin Shiyu for a few seconds, then turned and left.

Lin Shiyu returned to his room, puzzled and a little angry. Clearly, Zhong Qi didn’t take him seriously, so why did he act like he was the one who had been wronged?

Who was bullying whom? Lin Shiyu threw the medicine box on the table without much patience and sat on the bed. For some reason, unlike the previous days, he couldn’t feel the same anger towards Zhong Qi as soon as he saw him.

His leg bumped into something, and Lin Shiyu looked down to see his phone, which had run out of battery from being abandoned for two whole days. Lin Shiyu plugged in the phone, turned it on, and after a few seconds, dozens of messages popped up incessantly. Lin Shiyu was startled and opened the messages, all of which were from classmates.

Li Zhong asked about his health, Tao Chen also chatted with him, Shen Ziyi and Mao Silu were overly dramatic, sending him a dozen messages in a row asking how he suddenly got sick.

Scrolling down, Zhong Qi had only sent him two messages.

The first one was from yesterday morning, asking why he didn’t come to school.

The second one was sent today at noon, saying [I have something for you, I’ll come by your house later.]

What thing? Lin Shiyu’s mind went blank for a moment. He stood up and walked to the living room, picking up the guitar case from the sofa.

He had been so focused on Zhong Qi that he hadn’t paid attention to what Zhong Qi was holding, nor did he notice that Zhong Qi had left the guitar case on the sofa and never took it back.

Lin Shiyu opened the guitar case and saw a guitar inside.

It was much smaller than Zhong Qi’s own. It looked very old, with the sides of the soundbox heavily worn, the straight board discolored, and signs of wear on the tuning pegs and strings.

Lin Shiyu took out the old guitar from the case and saw a metronome inside.

At that moment, the doorbell rang, and Lin Hui came in. She looked up and saw Lin Shiyu standing beside the sofa. “Little Shiyu, are you feeling better? Where did the guitar come from?”

Lin Wanyue squeezed in from her legs, saw the guitar in her brother’s hand, excitedly exclaimed and ran over, reaching out her hand. “Guitar!”

Lin Shiyu handed the guitar to Lin Wanyue, who cherished it and held it in her arms, using the posture Zhong Qi had repeatedly taught her. The size of the guitar was just right for Lin Wanyue, and the girl happily took the guitar and ran to the sofa, starting to play the little tune Zhong Qi had taught her with her right hand, shaking her head and body.

Lin Hui was quite surprised. “How did little Wanyue learn to play the guitar?”

During the winter vacation, Zhong Qi always came during the day when Lin Hui wasn’t at home, so she naturally didn’t know that Zhong Qi treated their home as his own practice room. Lin Shiyu briefly explained the situation to Lin Hui, and she became more and more surprised as she listened. By the end she was somewhat incoherent, whether from being too excited or too happy.

“Little Yue is so smart? She learned the guitar after listening a few times? No way, she’s obviously struggling even to speak…. But then again, both of you have talent in this area. Brother can sing, sister can play the guitar, it’s a talent indeed.” Lin Hui was ecstatic. “This is great, so great. Why didn’t you tell me earlier? I would have bought a piano for her. Where did this guitar come from?”

“It was a gift from Zhong Qi.”

“This—how can this be? A guitar is not cheap, and this child is so generous.” Lin Hui rubbed her hands in confusion. “He’s really a good kid. Last time, he came to the hospital to see you and he was also willing to teach your sister to play the guitar, he’s really a good kid. Little Shiyu, you have to ask him how much this guitar cost. If it’s too expensive, we can’t accept it.”

“Yeah, I know.” Lin Shiyu watched his sister playing the guitar happily by herself, seeming to have a knack for it. Just the thought that this guitar was brought over specifically by Zhong Qi for her made him feel strange.

He went back to his room, picked up his phone, and opened the chat with Zhong Qi. After thinking for a while, he carefully typed out a message.

[How much did the guitar cost?]

A few seconds later, Zhong Qi replied: [It’s an old guitar I played with as a kid, and was just lying around.]

Lin Shiyu remembered the extent of the guitar’s wear and tear and didn’t doubt Zhong Qi’s words, but then continued typing: [How much did you spend on it back then?]

[I forget.]

Sitting on the edge of the bed, Lin Shiyu stared at his phone for a while. He couldn’t understand Zhong Qi’s actions. If he was just bored and using him for entertainment, then he was taking things too seriously.

It seemed like he really treated him like a friend.

Feeling somewhat annoyed, Lin Shiyu typed: [Why did you give us the guitar?]

[Your sister seems to really like it.]

[She doesn’t know it’s from you, nor will she thank you.]

[As long as you know, it’s fine.]

Lin Shiyu stared at the messages, wondering what they meant. What did he mean?

Before he could fully comprehend, Zhong Qi sent another message: [Is there still money in the meal card?]

Lin Shiyu couldn’t keep up with his train of thought. Subconsciously, he replied honestly: [Yes.]

[I lost my meal card. You’ll have to support me this month.]

With a “ding,” Lin Shiyu finally figured it out.

So it was for his meal card!

On the weekend, the classmates of Class 7 arranged to go to the hospital together, bringing fruits and homework. In a lively manner they made their way to Gao Jie’s hospital room.

“Gao Jie!”

“Old Gao!”

Gao Jie was sitting on the bed with his legs crossed, eating his mom’s special fruit salad. When he saw so many people come to see him, he laughed. “Oh, you all came!”

Mao Silu was the first to approach. “Gao Jie, how are your eyes?”

“I had surgery. The doctor said I’m recovering well, hahaha. Reading and using my phone are no problem.”

“You scared me! I thought you were going blind.”

“How? It’s just retinal detachment, it’s not serious. This surgery was inevitable anyway.”

Gao Jie looked around. “Why didn’t little Shiyu come? He’s not loyal enough.”

Zhong Qi said, “I’m here on his behalf.”

Shen Ziyi sighed. “He probably feels guilty for almost making you lose your sight, so he doesn’t want to come.”


Gao Jie put down his fork, pointing at himself. “Shiyu? Almost made me lose my sight?”

Everyone by the bed looked at him blankly.

“Really? Did he tell you guys that? That he pushed me to the ground?” Gao Jie suddenly exclaimed, “Brothers, do you think you’re looking down on me, a 200-pound strong man? Do you think I just gained this fat for nothing in your eyes?”

Ruan Zhikai responded, “But you were sitting on the ground that day.”

Gao Jie couldn’t laugh or cry. “That was because I tripped over a brick in the road myself! With little Shiyu’s thin arms and legs, if he really pushed me down, where would I put my face?”

Everyone fell silent.

Gao Jie looked at their varied expressions and suddenly realized, “You guys didn’t scold him because of this, did you?”

Shen Ziyi stared at Ruan Zhikai, who coughed awkwardly, his expression not very natural.

Mao Silu asked, “What exactly happened that day? How did you fall?”

“Early that morning, little Shiyu and I were going to school together, and we ran into a lunatic on the way. He was walking without looking and bumped into me, then turned around and cursed at me. You guys don’t know how hard he was cursing. I was really angry at the time. Little Shiyu was even angrier than me and grabbed the guy, demanding an apology. They almost got into a fight. I was just trying to calm the situation and accidentally slipped on a brick on the ground and fell.”

Everyone understood what had happened.

Was Lin Shiyu impulsive? Perhaps, but if this had happened to any one of them, they might have been impulsive too. Not to mention that both Ruan Zhikai and Mao Silu were people who couldn’t stand seeing their friends being bullied, and even Shen Ziyi might have exchanged insults with the person on the spot.

Yet, only Lin Shiyu was punished. He didn’t explain anything, didn’t even understand the truth of the matter himself, but he took the blame in advance.

It’s as if he was already admitting that he was such a terrible person, so a little more didn’t matter.


Edited by: Jaisland



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