Tranzgeek: This post will be updated with the latest updates! I’ve edited this post a bit, but there may be more editing to come!
Minodayz: So nice that the foursome are back to hanging about and exams results are out. Wonder what surprises that would bring, along with figuring out what choices in subject pathways. A few friends are blushing more, someone has found an interesting challenge, another is going to have a personal tutor, an Avenger surfaces, alas..would we ever figure out LEQ’s thought processes! Wink wink! lol!
Chapter 13: Ignorance
Alas, the ending to their night’s escapade left Li Erqin disappointed.
They knew that it would be easier to obtain the teacher’s leniency when the misdemeanor was done by these three “good” students. However, none of them could have anticipated that the combination of Rong Si + Peng Zige + Su Zi would actually gain the teacher’s indulgent pardon.
Li Erqin, who had once again returned to the group, went and sat with the others in the cafeteria for lunch. They were discussing their answers from various papers that they had already received the results from.
Li Erqin said, “I feel that we need to discover some other means of ‘achievement’.”
Minodayz : I can’t believe she is still feeling let down because she wasn’t caught and given punishment…- an anticlimax to her excitement from previous chapter! She is just too unique for words!
Her remark caused even Rong Si to stop in his tracks and look at her.
“Skipping remedial class and not getting caught is also an achievement too!”
Peng Zige burst out laughing, his mood lightening up since he had buried the hatchet with Li Erqin. Now that Li Erqin had come back to their group of her own accord, Peng Zige’s heart could finally return to normal after being “tied up in knots” the past few weeks. He fixed his bright shining eyes on Li Erqin and asked, “So, Li Erqin, what do you think about every day?”
“Oh,” Li Erqin put her chopsticks down, “I believe my geography test score may just exceed yours.”
“What!” Peng Zige snorted in contempt, “Not possible!”
Li Erqin smiled without further comment, picked up her chopsticks and continued to eat.
The next day before announcing the results of the geography exams, the teacher was extolling on the performance and incredible improvement of a female student – Li Erqin.
From failing the previous exam to placing second in the class.
The teacher couldn’t help suspecting her of cheating, but the smartest student Rong Si was sitting nowhere near her in the examination hall (3 checkpoints: separated by a distance?” for her to copy and cheat.)
When Li Erqin went forward to collect her exam paper, she’d also conveniently picked up Rong Si’s “once again” perfectly scored paper.
She walked back towards her seat with an expressionless face, but her eyes hid her mirth as they locked onto Peng Zige.
Peng Zige was thoroughly provoked by her teasing glance and unrelentingly glared back at her.
Li Erqin walked closer, advancing with her delicate features, the soft hairs swaying around her pale and almost translucent ears and of course, that light gaze she had fixed on Peng Zige. Peng Zige felt his face heating up, hotter and hotter, and further noticed another obvious change – his heart rate was also picking up speed.
In the end, because of his erratic heart, he had to break eye contact.
Li Erqin gave herself a victorious “yay” before shifting her gaze toward Rong Si and seeing the silent praise in his eyes.
She suddenly began to feel a rising panic and stood frozen by Rong Si’s desk, completely forgetting what she was going to do.
It was rare to see Rong Si with his head up, and from her standing position, Li Erqin noticed the gentle curve of his male lips and his perfect jawline as well as the perfect streamline of his back. It evoked an indescribable attraction.
Rong Si softly smiled. “Why are you spacing out? Give me my exam paper.”
Suddenly sounds from all around intruded back into Li Erqin’s world, the teacher at the front calling out student names and the sound of tables and chairs scraping against the floor of the classroom.
She had been standing for a while in front of Rong Si’s desk, yet it didn’t seem abrupt nor did it attract anyone’s attention. It was just that the look Rong Si was giving her somehow seemed somewhat different.
Li Erqin pretended to casually place Rong Si’s exam paper on his desk, while conveniently casting a look of disdain towards Peng Zige. Returning to her seat, she put her face down into her folded arms on her desk. Her cheeks felt like they had burst into flames, and the roots of her ears were burning hotter and hotter.
Time was like the turning of pages of a textbook or a workbook, one page turns to the next, with no hesitation. No one paid any attention to Peng Zige’s riotous heartbeat or Li Erqin’s beet red face. They couldn’t remember what their last geography score was, nor what placing they got for physics. However, this moment of racing hearts and red hot blushing, brought about the throbbing heartbeat of youth and all its unknown, this they would remember forever.
A few days later, finally able to get over the shock of Li Erqin’s results, Peng Zige could ask the question that had been plaguing him. “Erqin, how did your geography score improve so drastically?”
Li Erqin slowly blew into her recently purchased cup of milk tea. “It’s because I did lots of revision in the boring spare time I had.”
Peng Zige found Li Erqin listed in the top 10 placing on the result list. “You improved so much in all your subjects, but why is your physics score still so pathetic?”
Li Erqin carelessly scanned the result list. “Because I just don’t understand it. Totally unable to get what physics is all about.”
“So, does that mean that you’ll chose to do liberal arts?”
This question seemed to perk her up. It also attracted the attention of Rong Si and Su Zi.
Li Erqin furrowed her brows unconsciously. “I guess so, considering how pathetic my physics score is. What about you guys?”
“I’ll probably chose the sciences,” Su Zi pondered, “anyway, at this point I’m not partial to any particular subjects.”
Peng Zige raked his hair into a mess, “I can’t choose liberal arts! I’m not good with all those fancy, liberal expressions.”
Li Erqin shot him a look of disapproval.
Peng Zige asked Rong Si, “Ah Si, what about you?”
A depressed Li Erqin lowered her head and drank her milk tea. “So it’s just me going for liberal arts…”
“Well, other than physics, the rest of your scores aren’t too bad!”
Li Erqin scratched her head, “I just… can’t seem to get it.”
The silent Rong Si suddenly spoke up, “I can help tutor you.”
Li Erqin looked at him in astonishment.
“I did say before that I would tutor you,” Rong Si explained.
Li Erqin thought that this characteristic of Rong Si to be as good as his word was yet another reason why he was classified as a male god.
The next day, just before the evening remedial class was about to start, he walked in, lightly tapped her desk with his finger and caused her to shift her attention from her chemistry assignment.
Out of the blue, he said, “Let’s go.”
“What’s up?” a completely baffled Li Erqin asked.
“Bring your physics book and all the assessment worksheets with you.”
A shell-shocked Li Erqin stammered, “You’re going to tutor me in physics now? But the remedial class is about to start.”
“I’ve already informed the teacher,” Rong Si replied
When did he speak to the teacher?
Rong Si and Li Erqin were missing from evening remedial for about a week before even Su Zi and Peng Zige seemed to have disappeared from class. Thus, none of them were aware of the murmurings of the other classmates:
“Just because they get good grades, does that mean they can do whatever they want?”
“Can you even beat the weakest one in that group?”
“Stop sowing discord amongst us students, please!”
Then again, it’s not like they even minded nor cared about all this useless idle talk.
When talking behind the backs of others, you have to scope out the situation and choose the right location. The only reason the classmates dared to openly gossip and murmur during the evening remedial is because they were confident that the foursome would not return to class. However, there were some slower-witted, younger female students who clearly did not understand the art of talking behind someone’s back.
That night at evening remedial, Li Erqin was still making the same mistake on a particular question. Rong Si had used a range of ways to explain it to her, but she just couldn’t get it. As such, Rong Si took to walking around, ostensibly to “patrol”, and was just heading back towards the broadcasting studio.
While he was slowly going up the stairs, his mind was busy working. He couldn’t deny that Li Erqin was a challenge in his life. He would ask himself if he really could have scored a 48 mark fail or if he had ever received punishment from the school… but he had never really thought about these questions before. The most important point, of course, was that he did not know whether Li Erqin’s thought process should be considered unique or just plain weird. Even the way she understood class lectures was different from that of the average student.
Rong Si felt as if he had been handed a challenge. However, it gave him a sense of happiness, in the midst of his boring schoolwork, and he found joy and excitement in it.
“That Li Erqin sure is shameless!”
Suddenly, he heard those words.
His musings were broken, along with the momentum of this footsteps. This was a serious matter, Rong Si slowly pulled back his leg, slipped his right hand into his pocket, took out the patrol report log and looked about before flattening himself against the wall.
“A while back, you purposely talked out loud so she would hear you, and then she stopped hanging around Rong Si and Peng Zige.”
“That’s right! Her pretentious face, makes one just want to shred it apart.”
“It takes another girl to understand the scheming machinations of another girl; even the male god would not understand!”
“Yah, and now, even the girls in their class are saying that Rong Si and her are not in class for their evening remedial.
“She sure has her ways! I can’t continue to watch on!”
“Why don’t you look at your own scheming and machinations!”
A fake, retching sound accompanied these words.
What schemes were these?
Rong Si thought over the question at hand, feeling that for this situation, there needed to be some comparison to determine a winner. Thus, he continued walking at a moderate speed, but this time with extra heaviness to his footfall.
A sudden hush fell upon the once chattering female students. Only the lingering sound of a tiny ‘shh’ was heard.
Rong Si walked from the stairs towards the corridor. His distantly cold face gradually emerged from darkness into light, and the starkness of the pale, white moonlight added another layer of ice to his countenance.
Rong Si swept a frosty look across the female students. There were five of them.
The female students felt a coldness rising from within, and it was a long while before someone plucked up the courage to speak in the face of Rong Si’s glacial stare. “Rong……Si classmate.”
Rong Si took up the patrol duty log, and, to all appearances acting like he was going about his official task, asked the girl who had spoken up, “Year, class and name.”
A cat caught their tongue, but immediately another piped up. Her face was all smiles, and her voice oozing with saccharine as she coyly said, “Rong Si, just let us off this one time! There won’t be another time, please….(pretty please!)!”
Rong Si looked up from this patrol report log and carefully scrutinized the girl for all of three seconds. His voice was chilly as he replied, “This is the fourth time I’ve seen you.”
The girl’s eyes widened, and her mind went completely blank.
“Year, class, name.” Rong Si repeated.
Still no one said another word.
Rong Si waited a while and then put down his report log. “Well, then I’ll let the Dean do the questioning then,”
Finally, one soft voice offered up the information he requested, and soon, one by one, they submitted their details.
Rong Si wrote behind each of their names the reason they were being written up : Skipping evening remedial. Collaborating to harass and sow discord amongst students.
When he had finished writing them up, the gave the girls another glance and noticed one student whose face had paled. Suspicious, he looked around and saw that behind the girl was a yet-to-be extinguished cigarette butt.
He took up his report log and added: Smoking in a common area.
Rong Si had planned to return quickly, only to be detained for over half an hour having to deal with some unpleasant matters. Opening the main doors to the broadcasting studio, an orangey light beamed out from within the studio and brought with it a warm and comfortable feeling.
Su Zi was sitting where the lighting was best, memorizing her English vocabulary. Peng Zige was quietly snoozing, his head down.
Seated at the outer edge of the desk was Li Erqin pounding her pen and struggling hard to work out the problem. Hearing the sound of movement, she didn’t even turn her head and just lay across the desk depressed and demoralized. “ Rong Si….this here I really don’t understand it.”
Rong Si, whose mood had been spoilt by the night’s event, suddenly felt his spirits lift and broke out in a rare laugh. “I’ve come up with a new way of thinking about it.”
“Really?” Li Erqin elatedly raised her head, smiles breaking out as she looked at Rong Si with eyes shining as brightly as the stars.
Rong Si calmly turned and closed the door behind him.
What scheming and machinations?
How many points did Peng Zige give before? 9 points?
How ignorant. Rong Si ridiculed him inwardly for stating a score without making proper comparison. He believed it was 9.5 points, leaving 0.3 points for improvement and taking away 0.2 points on account of her unique neurological pathways.
Oh, that last bit was actually a plus.
At this thought, Rong Si walked back to Li Erqin, his tone without any inflection but his voice warm and gentle. “Move over a seat.”