Chapter 43 (TOIC)

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Settled matters (by New Year's time)

 

 

 

The saddest thing in the world is finding out you used to be a pervert when you were younger.

 

Earlier on, Chen Qianqing had a good impression of himself; now, seeing Lu Zhengfei, he had a clearer understanding.

(1.)

The true face of Mount Lushan, O 'tis so hard to tell,

because this very mountain has had me right inside.(1.)

Only when Chen Qianqing looked at himself from an outsider perspective did he discover many unexpectedly intolerable things about himself.

 

That night, Chen Qianqing and Lu Zhengfei shared a bed.

 

Chen Qianqing wore pajamas, while Lu Zhengfei insisted on being bare chested.
This was exactly the same as that year.

 

The quality of Chen Qianqing’s sleep wasn’t good.
Since it was very easy for him to wake up, he usually slept alone.

He was dragged to bed by Lu Zhengfei, so he expected to suffer from insomnia at first.
But contrary to that, he actually slept peacefully.
The only downside was that when he woke up, he saw Lu Zhengfei hugging him tightly, just like a monkey.

 

Chen Qianqing lied there for a while, getting ready to push Lu Zhengfei off the bed.
He turned his head and noticed that Lu Zhengfei had also woken up.
He was drowsily staring at Chen Qianqing’s forehead.
“Good…”

 

Chen Qianqing, “If you’re already awake, get up.”

 

Lu Zhengfei yawned and reluctantly rested his jaw on Chen Qianqing’s head.
“Just a little longer…”

It had been a while since he last slept with Chen Qianqing.
After finding out about Chen Qianqing's problems, he grew worried that if they were to sleep together, the latter wouldn’t be able to get enough rest.
However, it seemed like it wasn’t that bad after all.

 

Chen Qianqing glanced at the clock close to him and commented, “I have classes this morning.
I’m going to be late.”

 

Even if Lu Zhengfei heard him, he was absolutely not willing to let him go.
He lay on the bed and admired Chen Qianqing as he changed his clothes.

 

Chen Qianqing looked at him calmly.
After expressionlessly getting dressed, he washed up and went downstairs to eat, leaving a sighing Lu Zhengfei alone in the bedroom.

 

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After eating, Chen Qianqing left for his apartment.
Actually, when he mentioned morning classes, he was just speaking thoughtlessly.
Since it was already the end of November, most of them were over.

 

Chen Qianqing fished out his keys and opened the door to his apartment, facing a Zhu Mao who was anxiously reading a book.

 

Chen Qianqing, “Zhu Mao, what’s wrong?”

 

Zhu Mao glanced at him and laughed.
“It’s nothing…just, Xiao Hua missed you.”

 

That same Xiao Hua meowed from a corner, then circled around Chen Qianqing while yowling.
Chen Qianqing picked the cat up directly, foregoing looking for his plastic gloves in the kitchen.

 

When he first arrived here, Xiao Hua was listless, but after eating for a while, he became full of energy.
Once he saw Chen Qianqing, he wouldn’t stop pestering him and insisted that he play with him.

 

Chen Qianqing teased Xiao Hua while listening to Zhu Mao.
“Qianqing, the exam dates were announced: Wednesday of the 18th week, which means around the 20th of next month.”

 

Chen Qianqing, “Ok, I got it.” He knew what Zhu Mao was implying — it was time to start reviewing.

 

Although Chen Qianqing didn’t skip classes often, a lot of his grades were becoming worse.
In addition to his lack of seriousness when it came to classes, he really did need to put effort into those exams.

 

Chen Qianqing, “Sit in front of me during the test.”

 

Actually, this discipline of theirs consisted of both arts and sciences; they needed to memorize and calculate.
Although Chen Qianqing was planning to review, it was still better to have a backup plan.

 

Zhu Mao wasn’t part of any school organizations.
His biggest merit was his high grades.
He always scored more than four points and his average was higher than ninety.

 

Zhu Mao didn’t reply, tacitly agreeing.
Every semester, the seat behind him was almost always sought after by their classmates.

 

Even after explaining matters related to the exam, Zhu Mao was still moody.
“We will have another lecture later, and after that I’ll go study.”

 

Chen Qianqing took notice of Zhu Mao’s bad mood.
He inquired, “What happened?”

 

Zhu Mao pretended like nothing was amiss and laughed.
“No matter, it’s just that this question is a bit difficult.”

 

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Chen Qianqing had no more questions.
If there really was something wrong, he’d find out sooner or later.

 

Once afternoon classes were over, he realized why Zhu Mao looked so troubled.
Right after Zhu Mao left, Li Feiyue sought him again.

 

Chen Qianqing felt that he had already been explicitly unyielding the day before, so he definitely didn’t plan on wasting any more time.

 

But when he got ready to leave, Li Feiyue came to his side to say a few words.
“Chen Qianqing, if Zhu Mao doesn’t get his scholarship because of you, how distraught do you think he’ll feel?”

 

Hearing this, Chen Qianqing immediately understood what was going on.

 

Their school had many kinds of scholarships and the overall number of them was huge.
If you got the highest one, then essentially the next year’s tuition wouldn’t be an issue.

 

But the assignment of scholarships wasn’t just based on grades, it also took into account the marks given by the homeroom teacher and class committee.
Generally, their classmates wouldn’t make life difficult for someone who was as nice and modest as Zhu Mao.
However, if someone wanted to interfere, it would be a different story.

 

For example, Li Feiyue, as the class representative, was close to the homeroom teacher.
If she really wanted to, she could spread false rumours about Zhu Mao to the homeroom teacher, then talk to the classmates she was on good terms with.
In that case, maybe Zhu Mao really wouldn’t be able to get his scholarship.

 

Seeing Chen Qianqing furrowing his brow, Li Feiyue gasped, “Could it be that Zhu Mao didn’t tell you?”

 

Chen Qianqing felt like a middle-aged person.
He didn’t feel the need to bully youngsters, but he also wasn’t the kind of person to cower when bullied.

 

Chen Qianqing, “You want to take away his scholarship?”

 

Li Feiyue snorted.
“If you agree to singing with Xiong Yueyi at the New Year’s party, then I won’t involve Zhu Mao.”

She and Xiong Yueyi were close friends.
In senior high, they had been seatmates for three years; in university, they got even closer.
Xiong Yueyi liked Chen Qianqing, so of course, she had to help.
But she couldn’t expect that Chen Qianqing wouldn’t give her any face!

 

Upon hearing this, Chen Qianqing suddenly started laughing and remarked, “Your dad works in foreign trade, doesn't he?”

 

Li Feiyue couldn’t guess Chen Qianqing’s intentions.
“What are you talking about, exactly?”

 

Chen Qianqing carried his backpack, his face devoid of any emotions.
“I just hope you don’t regret what you did today.”

 

After that, he really did turn to leave, leaving behind a stunned Li Feiyue.

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Chen Qianqing had a certain knowledge of matters concerning Li Feiyue’s father.

Three generations of Lu Zhengfei’s family had been in the army.
Lu Zhengfei’s dad also engaged in business and had a solid political background.
In addition to their shrewd mindset, Lu Zhengfei’s family had it easy and everything sailed smoothly for them.
Before Lu Zhengfei was born, Lu Zhengfei’s father began expanding his power to finances.
Perhaps it wasn’t well-known, but the private backer who provided funds for the construction of roads was him.

In the recent financial crisis, all the companies involved in foreign trade were implicated.
They used every means possible to look for a bank loan to overcome their hardships.

However, a banker known as ‘The Vampire’ didn’t let them borrow money that easily.
In his previous life, Lu Zhengfei had helped Li Feiyue’s dad to honor the fact that she was Chen Qianqing’s classmate.

 

But this time, Li Feiyue really chose to seek death and Chen Qianqing wasn’t as kind as Buddha.

 

When he went home, he talked about this with Lu Zhengfei.
Lu Zhengfei didn’t take it seriously.
Although he still wasn’t formally accepted as the Lu family head, his authority wasn’t negligible: lending someone a small amount of money was as easy as lifting a finger.

But the young Lu Zhengfei was obviously more narrow-minded than Chen Qianqing.
He proposed, “Just let her go home and solve the crisis together with her dad.”

 

What he meant was to prevent Li Feiyue from attending school.

 

Chen Qianqing slowly placed some vegetables in his mouth and chewed.
“Do as you see fit.”

 

Lu Zhengfei saw that Chen Qianqing wasn’t very keen on this and felt forced to add, “Qianqing, I’ll give your homeroom teacher a call, then your classmate’s scholarship will definitely be no issue.”

 

Chen Qianqing lowered his head and stared at the rice in his bowl.
After a moment of silence he ordered, “Go get money.”

 

Lu Zhengfei, “Huh?”

 

Chen Qianqing narrowed his eyes and laughed.
“Set up a Lu family scholarship at school.”

 

Lu Zhengfei, “…” That really would be enough.

 

Chen Qianqing, “This reward will be given to the one with the highest grades and disregard everything else.”

 

Lu Zhengfei, “Okay, I’ll go make arrangements.”

 

Chen Qianqing knew that Lu Zhengfei would definitely agree; he lowered his head and went on eating.

 

Lu Zhengfei sighed.
“Qianqing, when will you care for me the same way you care for your classmates?”

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Chen Qianqing, “My classmates wouldn’t rape me.”

 

Lu Zhengfei, “…”

 

Chen Qianqing set his chopsticks down and wiped his mouth.
“And also wouldn’t be horny for my feet.”

 

Lu Zhengfei angrily exclaimed, “If he dares!”

 

Chen Qianqing, “In short, you can’t receive the same kindness because you’re a pervert.”

(2.)

 

If Lu Zhengfei had a handkerchief right now, he would most likely start crying.
However, luckily he didn’t have one and could only bitterly look at Chen Qianqing, his flesh marbling into goosebumps(2.).

 

The day after, Chen Qianqing explained the situation to Zhu Mao; he didn’t go into detail, but he reassured him that the scholarship wasn’t an issue anymore.

 

Zhu Mao thought that Chen Qianqing agreed to Li Feiyue because of him, so he insisted, “Qianqing, don’t worry about me.
If you don’t want to, you shouldn’t.”

 

Chen Qianqing smiled as he petted Zhu Mao’s head.
“Don’t be concerned for me.
I wouldn’t trouble myself.”

 

Zhu Mao was still skeptical, so he later surreptitiously looked for Li Feiyue.
Li Feiyue just sneered at him, so he understood that Chen Qianqing wasn’t deceiving him and his unsteady heart finally calmed down.

 

Time moves quick; in an instant, the end of the term and New Year came about.

 

It had almost been a year and a half since Chen Qianqing became part of this world.

 

 

Footnotes:

 

‘The true face […]’- this is a line from the poem “Inscription on the Wall of Xilin Temple’ (sometimes translated as West Forest Temple), written by Su She of the Northern Song dynasty, translated by Andrew W.F.
Wong.
Read more about it here.

‘His flesh marbling into goosebumps’- as one of the editors, I chose this wording out of personal preference, its original version being ‘[…] his flesh marbled into goosebumps […]’ from The Dead Zone by Stephen King.

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