So Young | 致我们终将逝去的青春

To the Fading Away of Our Youth: Chapter 7

Xu Kai YangXZheng Wei?

At the college campus, differentiating freshman from older students was not difficult. Those who liked many boys or girls, and happily went in a line, were all freshmen. Those who strolled hand in hand along the path were all older students. When there was only five minutes left until class started, the freshmen ran towards their classrooms as if their lives depended on it. Even after the bell had rung for a while, the upperclassmen were still rubbing their eyes and slowly walking towards their classrooms. The freshmen’s’ eyes were filled with warm and longing hope of their future, while the older students’ eyes were glazed over and had ambiguous smiles on their faces… Of course some people preferred such a distinction. In the cafeteria, a freshman who ate a bug screamed. The upperclassmen who did not see bugs in their bowls felt surprised and were scared to swallow.

Nonetheless, with respect to the college’s three years of torture, college life was virtually the same as paradise. Facing a free and unsupervised learning environment, many people felt like birds freed from their cages, excitedly extending their wings, but in the instant, not knowing where to fly. According to He Lu Ya, when the first semester of freshman year seemed to be up, it almost felt like she was still in a dream, repeatedly returning to that glorious time of the days before the college testing, which would scare her into cold sweat.

Zheng Wei’s enlightenment on skipping class was made possible by the wandering, independent leader who had often went outside to sort his thoughts. After she had joined the Go Social Club, she had also gone to the Activity Room of the club many times. Sometimes it would be after school ended, sometimes it would be when she had no class. No matter how many times she went to the Activity Center, she could always see the leader’s shadow. Finally, there came a time when she could no longer hold this knowledge in, and thus shouted, “Leader, what is your problem, hanging around all the time? Do you not need to go to class?”

The leader laughed disapprovingly, “Silly girl. Did you think everyone is like you guys, who attend class all the time? Instead of learning this boring curriculum that will waste my precious youth, I might as well do some of my favorite things.”

Zheng Wei thought to herself, No wonder everyone says that Go Club is a grade retention club. I cannot be this way.

Even for freshmen, the engineering classes were all scheduled very tightly. Besides four professional courses with Ma Zhe,  there were also foreign languages and philosophy classes. Basically every day was packed full, the times of no class were used to cope with the endless calculus homework.

On a rainy morning, Zheng Wei indulged her sleepy headache as an excuse to skip class, she was ill at ease for a moment, and found that the aftermath was not as serious as she had thought it would be–thus after realizing that one could say there were basically no after effects she began to skip class recklessly. Besides the professional courses which she was afraid to skip for fear of not being able to keep up, she skipped the other public courses whenever she could.

In the beginning, she would ask Ruan Ruan to help her fabricate a false doctor’s note for the classes, but after all the different kinds of diseases were used up, it was decided that doctor’s notes were no longer needed.

These circumstances increased after her parents gave her half of the money needed to purchase a computer, after which her skipping intensified. She was the king of skipping classes within her dormitory along with Zhuo Mei who was known for being indolent. Sometimes another person who had the same attitude towards the universal “headache”, Zhu Xiao Bei would also join. The two people would idle in front of the computer and watch the elementary school’s small rental movie shop’s soap operas, Korean dramas, Japanese dramas, Hong Kong dramas, American dramas, national productions, and Taiwan idol dramas, sometimes they would forget the time and place so that even for eating, they would rely on Ruan Ruan who would come after class and help them get the food back.

Even though Ruan Ruan did not listen clearly at every class, her principles said that under no circumstances could she skip class. Even if she was mentally elsewhere, she had to be at the exact place. In her words, Zheng Wei skipped classes so heavily that if if she were to be the same way and was like these mixed people in her dormitory. If something came up in class she would not know not not to mention the unfortunate attendance naming and there had to be another person to help support her in the class.

Usually all class members had usual discipline and attendance so it was up to Ruan Ruan to give the fake break slips which were pretty bad. But seeing that it was a beautiful girl who pleaded with her eyes down, and also keeping in mind the lively, naive, foolish Zheng Wei’s popularity in the class, the discipline committee closed an eye to the situation. But if they met Professor Iron Hand, the situation would be not as easy to handle

One time, Zheng Wei audaciously rose Intro to Civil Engineering, the person who lectured at this class was known as the most murderous of the three great killer teachers. If he perceived that there were too many empty seats in his class beyond the limits of his patience, he would meticulously look through his attendance list and on the podium he would even furiously pound the table, “You dare miss my class, and didn’t hear what kind of person I, Li Mou was, if you are absent two times in the semester, your final semester grade will be a zero!”

At these sorts of times, the Zheng Wei who had looked at discs to the point of tears would see the panting Ruan Ruan who would run back in between the two classes. Then she would immediately change her clothes and escorted by Ruan Ruan, she would go back to the class . Because the curriculum of both classes was connected, upon seeing the fierce anger from Professor Li Zheng, Zheng Wei’s weakness would become increasingly significant, “Sorry, Professor Li Zheng, I’ve had diarrhea for a full two days, so I was delayed in attending the first class.”

It was certainly a benefit if one looked innocent and pure; when he looked at Zheng Wei’s doleful innocent eyes and Ruan Ruan’s sincere, unparalleled eyes, even the fifty year old, Professor Li Zheng who was known for being staunch would have a little compassion, and wave his hand saying: “Young ladies shouldn’t eat unhealthy snacks, you’ll hurt your body, delaying your learning can be bad, return to your seat, this time I’ll look it over.”

This method began to be used by the boys in the class, however they not only couldn’t skip class, but their absent fate was also recorded, and they were also scolded by the old Professor Li until the dogs bled and they hung their heads. Thus, the guys all lamented why they couldn’t have been born as young maidens, when Zheng Wei heard of this she said: “Natural beauty is given to you from your parents, what choice do you have? Plus, the first person to use this method is a genius, and the ones that follow are all dumbasses.”

What made people even more mad was that after a semester was completed, and the final grades came out, Ruan Ruan had actually came in the top three and didn’t say anything, even Zheng Wei, who had played online games to defeat the boss for three days, had even gotten good grades for all of her classes– of course, the fact that she may have had sat behind Ruan Ruan was not important.
The second school semester had begun for a while now, and 402’s six great empresses’s palace had gone through many changes. In the beginning the He Lu Ya who had said that she would absolutely not fall in love was chased by a junior of the same school who came from the same hometown. They had met a few times at their hometown parties. It began when her brothers (as in classmates) never stopped borrowing phones to treat her to eat at the park, Li Wei Juan would always assert this with bad intentions. He Lu Ya always denied everything, and said that they were her friends.

This made Zheng Wei wonder for a very long time, she confided to Ruan Ruan: “Isn’t He Lu Ya’s hometown in the suburbs, by car, you would get there in about 2 hours, how would there be parties often?”

Ruan Ruan laughed: “Wait and see.” In the end the two people’s feelings became warm, there was often an air of intimacy to the pair on campus, only then was He Lu Ya unable to stop denying that she had actually said yes to that guy’s pursuit.

Thus,the Li Wei Juan who had become closer to He Lu Ya was a bit mad for a while, in her opinion, that guy’s physique was too short, he was handsome, but he was from the countryside. Even though He Lu Ya had come from the countryside also, under the circumstance of having better choices available, she should have chosen someone with better criteria. When she talked about this He Lu Ya listened silently, not speaking, finally she only said in a low voice: “I feel he is very good to me.”

“You’re dumb, when he pursues you, of course he’ll be good to you, plus, what is the good of being good to you, when you are with an unsuccessful guy, and you don’t get successful throughout your whole life.” Li Wei Juan’s blame was quite intended. She, herself had taken to the Student Council like a fish to water; she was neat and smart and was also pretty good-looking, thus she there were a lot of people who were good to her, but her standards were high, her motto was: The spouse is the woman, and after the second time of reincarnation she can choose her own destiny. After she put out the statement that a bad match would not be worth considering, many suitors backed off.

Zhu Xiao Bei couldn’t continue to hear this, “In my opinion, what does background or matching have to with anything, as long as you’re compatible it’s okay. A wealthy nobleman brother is of no use, but others aren’t dumb, based off of what will they fall in love with you– of course, I would overflow with praise for my “You”, who is not against it. In short, He Lu Ya, I support you, love whoever you want, why should you care so much?”

You could say it like this, but not too long later, Zhu Xiao Bei began a joke, that day she opened water and returned to the dormitory. She just happened to see He Lu Ya on the bed with Zheng Wei looking over some photos with much relish, she went over and glanced and said: “He Lu Ya, the person by your side should be your dad right, he looks pretty young.”

Zheng Wei hugged her stomach and laughed, even though He Lu Ya didn’t say anything, her whole face and color had changed to an extreme, Xiao Bei was bewildered, at this moment she heard Ruan Ruan say: “Xiao Bei, I think you probably didn’t bring your eyes, the one by Lu Ya is her boyfriend. But even though you didn’t see it clearly, you did say something right, Lu Ya has a bit of a husband wife relationship with him.”

Zhu Xiao Bei felt a little awkward and understood that she had said the wrong thing. This resulted in He Lu Ya only speaking lightly with her until she thought it through after a while, and finally she began to laugh with her again. Xiao Bei had also kept this in mind, but also felt a little wronged. She said to Zheng Wei and Ruan Ruan: “Her boyfriend really does look a lot more ‘mature’, so that day I accidentally said the wrong thing, right now, thinking about Li Wei Juan’s words. Why did she choose someone like that.” 

Ruan Ruan then criticized her, “How can you know when the fish is happy, people know what they want best.”

Talking about this, the legendary G-University really didn’t have any girls who weren’t being chased by any guys, even the uglier girls could find their dragon knights, let alone the eloquent six great empresses, downstairs people standing guard came line upon line, and after each person there were more or less selectors, among them, of course there would be more there for Ruan Ruan, but one morning she declared that she already had a boyfriend herself. Even though she was good with boys and often laughed while conversing, she always made other people feel that she was very far from them. Besides the boys that declared themselves to have good criteria and good tenacity, most of the boys gazed upon her in vain.

Zhuo Mei was a city person, she often returned home, she wasn’t at school for a lot of the time, she was that kind of person who felt that even if there was more to do, why not decrease the things she had to do. In Zheng Wei’s words, she was a “sloth”, her goal was to graduate safely, and then her family would introduce a good man to her and they would marry, and she would continue to live a lazy life. Thus, the people around her didn’t pay a lot of attention to her.

The many people who liked Zhu Xiao Bei had the same straightforward attitude as her. Among them, there was not lacking anyone who measured up to 180 cm. However, she disclosed that she actually liked domestic, refined boys. From elementary school, she had always had a crush on these types of boys but she had always been unsuccessful and the suitable fit for her had never appeared by her side.

Thus, the real critical commercial success was the Jade Small Flying Dragon (the transfer of assets had a price when pushed). Her purity and sweetness, and her attitude was passionate to the point of a child, was simply the object of popularity. One time, Ruan Ruan saw her on the bed, with a new deck of poker cards that she set out one by one, reciting things, when she (Ruan Ruan) asked what weird thing she was up to, she said she was sorting her suitors by numbering them in order, she was pretty busy.

When Ruan Ruan heard this she was very amused, she sat down and watched her introduce them one by one, the one with the worst standing was assigned the diamond 2 card. Zheng Wei said that was a sour scholar from the Department of Chinese Literature who had written her a sonnet of modern poetry, and made her unable to eat well for a few days. Ruan Ruan was more interested in that red heart K, “This should be Xu Gong Zi [1] right?”

Unabashedly, Zheng Wei asked admiringly: “How do you know?”

Ruan Ruan said: “In the midst of these people, your conditions have heightened, the person who has the most pleasant temper to you is him, besides Xu Kai Yang, who else has such a high fit?”

Zheng Wei grabbed that red heart K, and said confidently: “Kai Yang is quite to my liking, but we hit it off a bit too well, it seems that we’re lacking something.”

Of course, Xu Kai Yang made his first appearance at Leader Zhang’s Go Club. Leader Zhang was the club manager, and after Zheng Wei entered the club, he also fulfilled his commitments to give her the Vice President position, which was not seen in a club often. But there weren’t many people who had joined the Go Club, and only about 20 people came, it was all boys. Towards Leader Zhang’s formulation (of the club members) no one had an objection minus one person. 

Zheng Wei happily became the Vice President until she knew how much like a chore this position was. A catchy title had no benefits to go along with it, and she had to constantly go to all the various community meetings to replace Leader Zhang, it was very troublesome.

After she did much with community work for the club, only then did she realize, that it was in this way that Go Club had been able to function year after year, a large part of it leaned on Leader Zhang’s ingenuity, and the fact that he let Zheng Wei to go to these types of Club League Meetings was also a wise decision, so that when the other clubs saw such a charming club manager, no one said anything harsh to them ever again. Even when it was time to allocate funds from all of the different clubs, Zheng Wei followed through with Leader Zhang’s schemes and pestered the League secretary. In the end, Go Club was called the most social club of the year (Most likely, they no longer have to pay much), and little Zheng Wei naturally became the Go Club’s flower. The  club’s old members organized a “Small Flying Dragon Cup” just for her in which the new members to the Go Club could challenge each other, but really, the only newbie was Zheng Wei, and it was in this moment that she realized what was “Point of View” and what was the star.

Perhaps it was that she had no talent towards this game of Go. Even though her senior was right, that the experts numbered as many as the clouds, but the process to teach her chess was defeated and even the king of endurance, Leader Zhang was defeated, and said “Rotten wood cannot also be shrewd” straightaway. There was only person left in the end who accompanied Zheng Wei in her learning and this was a handsome, reticent boy, and that was Xu Kai Yang.

Zheng Wei’s impressions towards Xu Kai Yang was from her private discussions with Li Wei Juan, so in her mind, the legendary Xu Gong Zi  should have been an extraordinary leap from the ordinary, but he was actually a merry, frivolous guy whose face would be flowery, with amorous colors, she didn’t think that he would be a mere boy. At first he would play Go with her alone, and Zheng Wei looked at him a bit more.

He was actually pretty good-looking, strictly good-looking, just from one look one would know he was a nice child, which was different from her original thoughts. When she looked at him, his face would always be red. Because Leader Zhang constantly praised his talent, he would repeatedly make the wrong move. If it was like this, this would make Zheng Wei hate that she couldn’t laugh three times and then molest him in an instant.

Xu Kai Yang liked Zheng Wei, this was the Go Club’s unspoken secret. Watching these two people together it seemed as if they really were both first timers (virgins). So even the leader shipped them together. Besides playing Go, Xu Kai Yang had no other hobbies. Towards girls, he also never committed, until he met the domineering small flying dragon. He began to force himself, no matter if it was the sweet, laughing Zheng Wei or the Zheng Wei that made trouble, or the Zheng Wei that neglected her duties and had quite a temper, he felt that he could never see enough of her.

Zheng Wei saw through his heart. She liked Xu Kai Yang, and maybe the nature of simple people entailed that it was easier for them to hit it off. They ate together, played Go together, and shopped together. When they were together both of them had the happiness of a child, but was this love? Zheng Wei felt that her relationship with Xu Kai Yang was like playing with her dad, mom, grandpa, and grandma. Except that this was also different from liking Lin Jing. When she liked Lin Jing, her heart felt as if it had ridden the mountain car, going up and down, from high to low. But Kai Yang only brought her sweeping joy, like a good playmate.

It had passed a whole half year, and Zheng Wei gradually began to not think of Lin Jing but she still knew that what she felt for Kai Yang was not love, “I even bring my underclothes along when I see him. It feels like we are siblings. When I think of kissing him, my heart will feel, how will this be okay?,” she said like this to Ruan Ruan. Ruan Ruan could not do anything as of now. As it was, Xu Kai Yang kept not making his position clear, Zheng Wei had also continued to be friends with him. Her heart’s balance almost seemed as if it would sometimes like him, but more of the time she was the opposite, leaning towards the obscure side.

“What kind of a person do you want to find?”, Ruan Ruan asked.

She said, “I just feel, the person I want to find should be someone I can lean on and also someone I can like, he should make make me willing to be selfless, I don’t love what loves me, I only love what I love.”

Years later, Zheng Wei would think of this quote. At that moment her face had held the same smiling expression as Ruan Ruan. She thought, that young her, was really a spoiled child.

[1] Gong Zi– A term for a noble, wealthy, eloquent gentleman especially in ancient times

When you see (this) that is not in the actual text. Thanks.


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