Chapter 6: Tonight’s Scenery Isn’t bad!
During Xiao Tu’s second year in middle school (8th grade), her teacher Wu Da-lang selected a few of the pretty good students from the class to participate in a junior martial arts competition in the city. Although Xiao Tu didn’t make the official team, she was still a substitute, making it necessary for her to participate at every practice.
Since there wasn’t enough training time, teacher Wu required every student to rush to the practice area after school hours were over. They were required to practice for three hours before they were allowed to go home.
Since she eats quite a lot, Xiao Tu’s mother didn’t mind the practice hours since doing more exercise would help her lose weight.
But Xiao Tu certainly minded it. She wasn’t worried about practicing more, rather, she was afraid of going home alone.
By the time practice was over, the sky would already be dark. The martial arts training grounds were located in a small remote neighborhood. If she wanted to go home, she would need to ride her bike by herself through a very long alley. The street light in the alley had been broken for almost a month. It was horrible, sometimes while wandering in the dark alley, some stray cats would jump out.
Xiao Tu had been afraid of the dark since she was little. She had gone through the alley a few times before, yet she didn’t dare go by herself. She begged Ling Chao to pick her up.
Ling Chao refused, saying, “You’d best not attend then, what reason does a girl have to be learning martial arts anyway?”
“No! My mother said that my grades are poor, therefore learning martial arts would help me get into high school.”
“If your grades are that poor, worse case I will give you lessons.”
Xiao Tu thought about it, but in the end shook her head, “No, I would still like to to study martial arts.”
Ling Chao was somewhat angry, “Whether you want to study or not, I can’t go pick you up.” After speaking, he rode away on his own.
Ling Chao couldn’t make heads or tails of his anger. Xiao Tu was at a loss too, and could only steel herself and continue to go to practice.
When practice ended, it was already after 8 o‘clock. She went downstairs to get her bike, suddenly becoming both happy and sad simultaneously.
She was happy that her bike with the pink ribbon had finally been stolen. The sad part was that, without her bike, she had to walk through the alley alone. To her, that was the same thing as offering up her life.
Xiao Tu became gloomy. Carrying her bag with her head down, she neared the entrance of the alley.
Xiao Tu hesitated for a moment, closed her eyes, then prepared to sprint through the alley.
Suddenly someone called out to her.
“Xiao Tu, are you going home?”
Xiao Tu turned around and saw someone holding a bottle. It happened to be teacher Wu’s son, Wu Cheng Wei.
“Yeah.” Xiao Tu nodded, “How come you’re here?”
Wu Cheng Wei showed the bottle in his hand to Xiao Tu, “I’m helping my dad by going out and buying soy sauce.
‘Buying soy sauce?’ Xiao Tu eyes suddenly brightened, “You’re going out?”
Wu Cheng Wei nodded, “Yeah, what’s up?”
“Nothing, absolutely nothing!!” Xiao Tu was wild with joy, “I’ll walk with you, I need to go home anyways.”
Wu Cheng Wei didn’t notice her motive and straightforwardly nodded, “Sure, let’s go.”
With someone accompanying her, it really isn’t as scary as she thought it would be. Xiao Tu’s mood became much better, walking happily. With Wu Cheng Wei talking and laughing, before she knew it, they were already out of the alley.
Leaving, Wu Cheng Wei said, “The public security around here isn’t that good, next time you can place your bike in our garage.”
“Okay.” Xiao Tu nodded.
“Oh right, how do you plan on getting home?”
“I can take the last bus home.”
“That works. If you don’t want to wait for the bus, you can go to that store there, and call home…”
While they were speaking, there was suddenly a braking sound. Then a person’s shadow appeared before them.
Having been frightened to near death, Xiao Tu’s spirit hadn’t returned quite yet, when suddenly she heard Ling Chao’s cold voice saying “Get on.”
Xiao Tu was surprised, “Why are you here?” ‘Strange, didn’t he say he couldn’t come pick her up, why did he suddenly show up?’
Puzzled, Ling Chao had no more patience, “If I tell you to get on, then get on, how come you have so much nonsense to say?”
‘Why is he angry again?’ Xiao Tu knitted her brows and sat on the back of the bike without saying anything. Then she waved to Wu Cheng Wei, “I’m leaving, see you tomorrow!”
“Okay, see you——” The words were on Wu Cheng Wei’s lips, but a sudden glare that could kill someone pressured the words to go back. He had almost choked, “Good… bye….”
“Heh!” Ling Chao scoffed, returned his gaze, and biked away with Xiao Tu.
When Wu Cheng Wei’s soul returned, his left scratched his head, while his right hand held a soy sauce bottle. He mumbled, “I only came out to get some soy sauce…”
Ling Chao brought Xiao Tu home, not saying a single word the whole way. Xiao Tu was also a little angry, even if she was the one who made him come, did he need to have such a bad attitude?’
Both people were angry, simply ignoring each other until they stopped at a red light. Every minute and second they waited made it harder and harder to bear.
‘Why is this such a long red light?’ Xiao Tu complained to herself.
She shifted in her seat, making it more comfortable for herself. The side of her backpack accidentally bumped into Ling Chao’s back.
Ling Chao stretched his back. After a while, he suddenly spoke, “Tomorrow, I will pick you up.”
Xiao Tu was moved, but then she thought of his attitude, she rashly said, “No need.”
Ling Chao snorted in disdain, “So I guess you have the courage to go home alone then?”
Being seen through didn’t feel good, and Xiao Tu was irritated, “At worst, I’ll ask older apprentice Wu to accompany me!”
“You dare!” He suddenly turned his head, staring straight at her in a ferocious way.
Xiao Tu was frightened out of her seat, she had never seen Ling Chao this angry before. She helplessly said, “It’s a… green… green light…” She feebly changed the subject.
Meanwhile, the car behind them had already impatiently honked at them. Ling Chao returned his gaze to the front, then started pedaling forward.
The whole trip was silent. Even when they reached the building, Ling Chao was still just as silent.
Xiao Tu felt as if the silence was an omen for the approaching storm. She thought about that night when Ling Chao had gotten into a fight with the bullies who were cursing him for having a father again. His appearance then was truly frightening.
As she pondered, Ling Chao had stopped his bike, turned around, and stared at her. A gust of wind blew by, blowing against his bangs, making the faint scar on his forehead barely visible.
Xiao Tu’s heart was in a knot and didn’t want to argue with him. She jumped off the bike, grabbed her bag, then ran upstairs as if she were a small, timid animal.
All the facts point to Xiao Tu deserving the title she had been given all those years ago, after all, her skills in running were quite similar to a rabbit’s.
After running upstairs, she started feeling uneasy.
‘What is wrong with Ling Chao today? It’s like he took the wrong medicine. Normally his attitude is a little poor, but it shouldn’t be as bad as this, right?’ Xiao Tu couldn’t get over it and wasn’t in any mood to start her homework. She sat at her desk and stared out the window in a daze.
Xiao Tu’s desk was directly facing the window in her room, and outside the window was the balcony. Through the open window on the balcony, she could see stars in the deep blue sky.
O’ stars, can you please tell me why Ling Chao was so angry today?
While Xiao Tu’s gaze was stolen by the stars, a face suddenly blocked her line of sight. The light from her lamp was white, and the person’s face was also very pale. Combined with the fact that he had suddenly appeared, by the time Xiao Tu had realized it was Ling Chao, she had been scared out of her wits while screaming repeatedly.
As for how Ling Chao had suddenly appeared on the Xiao family’s balcony? Actually, there isn’t any sort of amazing feat because the two balconies are actually stuck together. Originally when they were renovating the house, Xiao Tu’s mother figured that since her daughter would need to go to Ling Chao’s home for help on homework, she had the screen door opened. Making it easier to go between homes. She suggested this idea to Ling Chao’s mother, who consented in agreement and had their screen door left open.
Speaking truthfully, these two homes were actually one apartment, they were connected!
“Tu Tu, what’s wrong? Her mother heard Xiao Tu’s screams and asked.
Ling Chao made a hand gesture to be quiet.
Xiao Tu came to a realization, and replied, “Nothing… it was nothing!”
Her mother didn’t take it seriously and just called from through the door, “Finish your homework before you sleep, you still need to go to school tomorrow!”
After Xiao Tu had finished replying, she turned her head. Ling Chao had at some point, already climbed through the window into the room. He just sat on her bed without asking and started to fiddle with her white bunny plush with the blue flower on it. People say that women are hard to understand, but Ling Chao was even harder to understand. Wasn’t he still angry? How come it seems as if the matter that happened earlier wasn’t even important to him now?
Xiao Tu was a little irritated and grabbed the plush from his hands. “What are you doing? It’s already late, are you trying to scare me to death?” After speaking, she felt some regret, as she was afraid that he would get angry again like earlier.
This time Ling Chao wasn’t angry, but he suddenly got off the bed and stood next to Xiao Tu.
By this time, he was about to graduate middle school. He had grown very fast, and standing next to her he was already half a head taller. The difference in height was even larger because Xiao Tu was still sitting. Any anger that she had left was quickly crushed.
She wasn’t standing, nor sitting while watching Ling Chao’s burning gaze. It seemed like she was little white rabbit trapped in a cage, and suddenly her heart rate quickened without any reason.
The moment she started blushing, she suddenly heard a phrase come from Ling Chao’s lips. “Wrong.”
“What is wrong?” Xiao Tu was at a loss.
Ling Chao reached out and pointed at her homework, “This problem, it’s wrong.”
So it turns out he was looking at her homework! Xiao Tu let out a breath, then seriously responded, “This problem… I don’t know how to do it.”
Ling Chao said, “Stupid!” He then pulled a stool over and sat down, while he began to explain the math problem.
This was obviously a very difficult math problem, however, once it was explained by him, Xiao Tu quickly understood it.
“Are there any other problems?” Ling Chao asked.
“There’s also chemistry…”
“Bring it out.”
Just like this, Ling Chao finished explaining math. Next, it was chemistry, and after chemistry, it was biology. When Xiao Tu had finished all her homework, he then got up while preparing to climb through the window to leave.
“Wait!” Xiao Tu called out to him.
“What do you want?” Ling Chao asked expressionlessly.
Xiao Tu didn’t know what to say in that instant, she felt that if he just left like that, there was something missing. Thinking a bit, she said, “Tomorrow, will you pick me up?”
“Yeah.” He replied, then climbed out of the window and left. The exact moment he left, Xiao Tu felt like exclaiming to herself.
‘Tonight’s scenery isn’t bad!’