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It was early morning and the food that was cooking on the stove had started burning.
Xu Pinyu, who was near the door, had just started to change her shoes when she smelt the burning food. She ran to the kitchen in such a hurry that she forgot to wear her shoes.
She quickly turned the stove off and lifted the lid of the pot. A wave of smoke came from the food in the pot along with a pungent smell.
Xu Pinyu accidentally inhaled the smoke from the pot and choked on it. Her violent coughing made her fair white neck turn red in colour.
She looked into the pot. There was a black lump of unidentifiable ingredients at the bottom that was inedible.
She quickly found a glass of water to relieve the dryness in her throat.
She came out of her house and coughed again.
“Did you catch a cold?”
Xu Pinyu looked at the person who had just asked her the question.
A young boy, his hands in the pockets of his pants, coupled with the background of a clear sky. The morning sun gently outlined his figure.
Wei Yixun had a handsome appearance that could make any girl look twice at him.
She pursed her lips and cleared her throat before saying, “No, my mother forgot to turn off the gas so the food got burnt. I choked when I inhaled the smoke from the pot and there’s still some itchiness, that’s why I’m coughing.”
Wei Yixun’s home is about 600 meters away from her home.
But these six hundred meters is the exact distance between the *high-end residential area and the ordinary residential area.
Even though Wei Yixun was from a well-off family it didn’t prevent him from being good friends with Xu Pinyu since they were kids. Probably because when they were children they both played without restraint due to their innocence.(1)
(1)“green plum bamboo horse” (青梅竹马) refers to boys and girls playing without restraint together during childhood due to innocence.
Maybe it was because they were childhood friends but Xu Pinyu didn’t find him to be attractive.
Of course, the attraction here refers to the desire for the opposite sex.
As a friend, she was very grateful towards Wei Yixun who has never left her throughout these many years.
For example, to help her not get penalised for being late this semester, Wei Yixun had diligently become her human alarm clock.
But, if Xu Pinyu had known that it was Shen Youbai who was on duty at the school gate that day, she would have definitely not come so early.
After all, the student council president being on duty in person was rare. If he didn’t write down at least one name it would be a waste.
The closer she got to the school gate the more visible he became.
Thin and tall, wearing a white shirt and a navy blue coat.
Xu Pinyu felt that even though she had seen the school uniform many times before, seeing it on Shen Youbai made it look dazzling.
But even if he didn’t raise his chin, he was proud and aloof like a glacier, even the daylight felt cold because of him.
There were still 30 minutes before the school bell rang.
While looking at the rapidly approaching school gate, Xu Pinyu got an idea.
She quietly stepped behind Wei Yixun, using him to hide herself.
Xu Pinyu lifted her skirt up to expose a section of her fair and slender thighs.
She quickly matched Wei Yuxin’s pace again, this time deliberately walking on his left side to make it easier for the teacher on duty to see her.
If nothing unexpected happens, she would get what she wanted.
The on duty, middle aged, glasses wearing male teacher shouted at her, “Student, your skirt is too short.”
Xu Pinyu stoped walking, making a sad face she replied, “But teacher, I already pulled my skirt down as much as I could hence, it can’t become longer.”
The male teacher raised his voice and said in a stern voice, “Go register!”
Xu Pinyu turned around to face Wei Yixun and sticked out her tongue while she tried to maintain a helpless appearance to hide the joy she felt.
She walked up to Shen Youbai.
Behind her she could hear the teacher say in a irrefutable manner, “I don’t care about what means you use but your skirt must return to its original length before the weekend.”
Shen Youbai lowered his eyes and looked at her skirt.
Xu Pinyu imagined that his gaze on her leg was an invisible touch. That thought was enough for her mind to float in clouds due to happiness.
As he handed her the notebook and pen, she looked at his clean and slender fingers.
Shen Youbai’s beautiful eyebrows twisted together in an expression of disgust that he directed towards her who, he thought, was a frivolous girl.
But Xu Pinyu didn’t mind his look at all because at such a close distance she could feel his breath on her hair.
It was the first good thing that had happened to her that morning.
Xu Pinyu wrote her name down carefully in the book but kept the pen for a chance to return it to him.
She walked out half a step and turned back to face Shen Youbai. While showing a bright smile she handed out the pen “I’m sorry, I forgot to return your pen.”
Shen Youbai looked at Xu Pinyu and at her outstretched hand and took back the pen.
The moment that they made eye contact was the second good thing that happened to her that day.
After she left, Shen Youbai looked down at the name in the notebook that was followed by a capital K.
He raised his eyes to the direction of the teaching building, and his eyes fell on the back of the retreating Xu Pinyu who was briskly walking side by side with Wei Yixun.
Shen Youbai snorted in annoyance at the sight.
In the Dezhi Private School there were eleven classes for each grade. These classes were arranged based on the grades of the students and they ranged from the letter A to K.
The first class, Class A and the last class, Class K are filled with talents, but the meaning of the word ‘talents’ were completely different for each class.
In the U-shaped school building the arrangements were such that the first five classes were situated in the northern side and the last six classes were located in the southern half of the building.
There was a garden in the middle of the two sides, separating the two worlds.
Xu Pinyu liked to spend her free time looking outside her window.
Although it was far away, and only a fuzzy outline could be seen. (Refering to looking at Shen Youbai)
But this excellent seating position could only be acquired after she had volunteered to be the Class monitor, a position no one wanted.
For Class K, it didn’t matter after which class, it was always a noisy battlefield.
Hence, she didn’t notice the sound of footsteps approaching behind her.
“Xiao Yumai!” (2)
(2)In this Xiao is an affectionate way to call someone close to you that is attached to their name. It literally means young. She call Pinyu, Yumai (feather)because the character for Yu (羽) is the same in feather (羽毛)
Chen Zixuan was standing to Xu Pinyu’s left, but she reached out and patted Xu Pinyu’s right shoulder.
Xu Pinyu subconsciously turned to the right.
The matter of her being fooled every time really had no relation with her intelligence.
After all, Xu Pinyu is very proud, because her ranking in the entrance exam is the first in class K. If she was a bit smarter, she could have squeezed into Class J.
Whenever she sighed with such emotion, Chen Zixuan always rolled her eyes. “You are so difficult even though you are only two pints away from the lowest ranker of Class J.”
Wei Yixun, who belonged to Class F, saw Xu Pinyu arguing with Chen Zixuan as he was passing Class K.
He knocked on the door in the back of the class, “Hey!”
This action caused most of the class to turn and look at him but they soon turned away as if they were used to this.
Only Xu Pinyu looked at him and reacted with a smile.
Wei Yixun tossed Xu Pinyu a box of yogurt drink.
Xu Pinyu caught it steadily and she shook the drink in her hand, “Thank you.”
Wei Yixun turned around and waved the back of his hand as he left with his friends.
Chen Zixuan put her elbow on the desk and asked quietly, “Are you and Wei Yixun dating?”
Xu Pinyu looked at her in surprise, “Of course not. “
She raised her eyebrows, not convinced by Xu *Pinyu’s words.
Xu Pinyu explained hurriedly, “I have someone I like!”
She narrowed her eyes still not convinced.
Xu Pinyu gave up and sighed, “Fine, I’ll tell you who it is but it’s a secret.”
Her voice was so soft that if Chen Zixuan hadn’t been paying attention she would have missed it but she could hear her say, “It’s Shen Youbai.”
After she had said the name Chen Zixuan calmly replied, “Oh.”
Xu Pinyu blinked her eyes as she observed, “You don’t seem surprised.”
Chen Zixuan shook her head, “In Dezhi School…”
Chen Zixuan exaggeratively drew an imaginary circle with her hands, “the number of girls who like Shen Youbai can’t even be fit in a classroom.”
This fact, Xu Pinyu very clearly knew about.
She removed the plastic film from the straw and inserted the straw into the yogurt.
She leaned against the edge of the window and looked at the scenery opposite to her. The sour and sweet taste soon permeated into her mouth.
As Xu Pinyu bit the straw, she said, “I know that, that’s why I will try to be the person he hates the most.”
Chen Zixuan was stunned but encouraged her, ” It sounds like a good idea. I wish for your success.”
Xu Pinyu smiled, “Currently, I’m not far from success.”