When he walked into the yard, Su Lin saw the neighbors enjoying themselves in the cold breeze, looking at Elder Sister Zhu and Tang Zhongwang arguing with each other. The focus of their argument was Su Lin himself.
“Little Lin, what are you doing out here? Hurry up and return to your room for studying!” Su Lin’s father, Su Guorong said. His father appeared to have an ashamed expression on his face as he urged Su Lin to go back to his room.
“Father, what is happening?”
Su Lin felt that the atmosphere wasn’t right. Seeing the current expression of his father who had always been a proud serviceman, he felt that he had done something to shame his father.
“Did you not listen? Dad just told you to go back to your room and study!”
Su Guorong’s stood up with anger all over his face, making Su Lin not understand what had happened. What did he do to make his father lose face?
“Uncle Su, there’s no need to send Su Lin back, it’s better that he is here now. Now that he’s here, how about you ask him if he said those words in school or not? You will understand that I am certainly not making things up! Uncles and aunts of the neighborhood, all of you must be witness to the fact that I, Tang Zhongwang, wasn’t making any irresponsible remarks…”
As he saw Su Lin had come out, Tang Zhongwang looked even more arrogant. To flame the fire harder, he added details to the words of confession Su Lin had said to Qin Yanran in school and told it all to everyone present.
“Su Lin, what do you have to say, were the words that I said just now not the truth? You proclaimed that you were confident in scoring in the top 50 of the grade for Qin Yanran, wanting to make her your girlfriend!”
Narrowing his eyes, Tang Zhongwang looked at Su Lin while sitting on a stool with one leg on another. He was going to tease and humiliate Su Lin before the College Entrance Examination to make him lose all confidence and hope.
“Tang Zhongwang, you stinky brat, how dare you look down on our family’s Su Lin like that? You need to know that our family’s Su Lin had scored first when he was tested in the School Entrance Examination. His previous performance had been the best in our entire community. He even had 120 more points compared to you!”
Su Lin’s parents simply sat there with nothing to say. Tang Zhongwang was a junior, so it didn’t feel right to refute him – on top of that, his words were facts, not giving them anything to refute. In the face of such ridicule from him, it was only Elder Sister Zhu who had her eyes red with anger and refuted Tang Zhongwang.
“School Entrance Examination? Ye Xingzhu, you can’t make such a mistake since we are now talking about the College Entrance Examination. Even if his scores in the School Entrance Examination were higher, that is all just the past. What is the use of him, Su Lin, being the number 1 in the city previously? With his current performance, he is not even shit. Oh… He can indeed go ahead and flaunt his past performance in the school and be a hero. In any case, after the College Entrance Examination, everyone is simply going to drift apart. Even if he was ridiculed all this time, everything will soon fade away from everyone’s memories…”
After finishing his words, Tang Zhongwang felt as if his heart was going to burst with happiness as he saw Ye Xingzhu couldn’t refute his words and Su Lin could also only stare at him. Ah! Su Lin, you should have never flaunted in school with such shitty results of yours. No matter how high your prestige gets in school, didn’t I, Tang Zhongwang, make you lose all face in front of so many people at your own home.
Whenever Tang Zhongwang saw Su Lin, he would feel unhappy. Before they were admitted to high school, he was always compared to Su Lin when it came to academic achievements. His parents would always urge him to be like Su Family’s Little Lin. Moreover, Su Lin had always been together with Ye Xingzhu from an early age. Even though Ye Xingzhu was a few years older than the boys in the community, whenever Su Lin was bullied, Ye Xingzhu would always come forward and take revenge for him, making the other boys run as they pissed themselves.
Finally, now that Su Lin wasn’t doing very well in high school and his academic performance had degraded so much, how could Tang Zhongwang not blow the resentment he had held inside for so many years?
Su Lin didn’t go back to his room as his father Su Guorong said. This was not how he was! If he returned to his room even after being ridiculed by Tang Zhongwang to this extent, wouldn’t that be the same as him being a turtle that hid in its shell?
So Su Lin took in a cold breath and walked towards the people who were enjoying the cool breeze in the yard. Just when all the people felt that Su Lin was going to act crazy with the possibility of there being even a fight between the two, Su Lin simply arrived at the scene, showed everyone a faint smile, and then turned to Ye Xingzhu under everyone’s gaze, “Elder Sister Zhu, you shouldn’t be angry with a person like this, he will never understand anything.”
Ye Xingzhu was stunned, was this really the Su Lin she knew? Even in such a situation, he was so calm and composed, even trying to calm her down.
Su Lin then turned towards his parents. Seeing no sign of anger from them, he said with a smile,
“Father, Mother, and everyone else, what Tang Zhongwang just said is indeed the truth. Today, I did do and say such words in school. However, I am not a fool, since I said those words I have the confidence to back them up. If I said I can score into the top 50, I will score into the top 50. The result that comes out in a few days will be the best proof.”
“Humph! You said that you are going to pass the exams and we should believe? If that’s the case, then I am going to be the next US President! Su Lin, oh, Su Lin! Don’t blame me for laughing at you like this, one who boasts must know their limit. This place isn’t the school where you could say whatever you want and everyone will forget it in a few days! We have lived in this neighborhood for more than a decade, do you think you can boast however you want and expect everyone to forget it?”
Tang Zhongwang said whatever he wanted. Probably because Father Tang wasn’t around today, he had no scruples when speaking. However, what he said was indeed the truth. It wasn’t a big deal losing face in school as everyone would forget about it in a few days. On the contrary, the real issue was these old aunts who loved to talk about everything. If there was a scandal like this, one could expect it to be talked about for years or even longer.
“Tang Zhongwang, since you have such confidence that I won’t be able to make it, you must also have the courage to gamble with me, right? What if I am able to score into the top 50 of the grade?”
Looking at Tang Zhongwang, Su Lin’s teeth were clenched in anger. But even if he was angry, he still kept a smile on his face waiting for Tang Zhongwang to take the bait and jump into the pit he (Su Lin) had dug for him.
“Yo! Su Lin, you sure are taking this far, are you really that certain of victory? Alright, I will gamble with you. If you can score into the top 50, I will call you grandfather whenever I see you in the future. But if you can’t do what you claim, you will have to call me grandfather whenever you see me in the future! How about it, do you dare do it?”
Tang Zhongwang was happy while Su Lin’s father, Su Guorong’s complexion sank. What kind of gamble was this? If Su Lin lost, he will have to call Tang Zhongwang grandfather. Wasn’t that the same as implicitly saying that he, Tang Zhongwang, was his (Su Guorong) father?
“Little Lin, go home right this instant, don’t act foolishly!”
Su Guorong stood up and said with his finger pointed towards Su Lin.
“Father, it’s all right. Since some people want to become my grandson so badly, I have to satisfy them. Tang Zhongwang, good, I will take this gamble. With everyone here witnessing everything, this bastard won’t be able to run away. Haha…”
With his bad mood, Su Lin wasn’t afraid to take that gamble. Even if he had to bet the entire family’s fortune at this time, he won’t hesitate a bit. Su Guorong, on the other hand, didn’t have the same energy as his son, he was very angry with Su Lin at this moment. Usually, when he would get angry, Su Lin would immediately become obedient, but today, he wasn’t able to make his son obediently do what he wanted.
Su Guorong had no choice but to give up. He sighed, flung his arms and went back inside the house since he realized that there was no use scolding Su Lin.
“Little Lin, you little brat, look how you angered your father! Mother is also disinclined to deal with you. When the time comes and the result is out, everything will become clear as the sky.”
Compared to Su Guorong’s angry mood, Mother Su was looking at Su Lin with appreciation in her eyes. Which mother doesn’t hope for her son to become an outstanding man, one who had the courage to go against others ridicule. In this regard, Father Su was inferior to Su Lin.
Su Guorong was a retired serviceman. Compared to others, he had a much stronger endurance and fortitude. When someone provoked him, he naturally wouldn’t be impulsive and would often take a step back and gaze at the vastness of the sky. This had caused him to not have any progress in his company even after working for several years.
Mother Su had always been worried that her son Su Lin might have inherited her husband’s disposition. But now, seeing Su Lin being angry and arguing back with reason, though she was still worried about what will happen to Su Lin when the results came out, she still appreciated his (Su Lin’s) attitude and methods that he had used today.
“Little Lin, you… are you really sure that you can score in the top 50 of the grade? That’s Jian’an No.1 you know. With your current academic performance, I am afraid…”
The people who were enjoying the cold breeze had already dispersed while Tang Zhongwang had also left the scene and walked away. The only ones in the yard were Su Lin and Ye Xingzhu. There was a sort of tacit understanding between the two as Ye Xingzhu accompanied Su Lin as the two walked under the several willow trees.
“Elder Sister Zhu, I remember, before I had come out, you were still arguing with that Tang Zhongwang about how I will certainly score into top 50 of the grade? What happened, how come you are asking me now?”
The cold night breeze brushed past them, making Ye Xingzhu’s hair scatter in the air. Su Lin looked at her from the side and felt that she was very beautiful. The current Elder Sister Zhu was like a quite and calm maiden, not the devilish Ye Xingzhu.
“You brat… wasn’t it because of you that sister was so angry. But everything that Tang Zhongwang said was all because you just had to boast without thinking! Now, you are actually laughing at me for helping you. Humph, elder sister won’t help you next time.”
Su Lin was stunned and the image of the quite and calm maiden that had appeared in his mind immediately shattered. Ye Xingzhu pretended to be angry and turned her head away, not looking at Su Lin.
“Elder Sister Zhu! Elder Sister Zhu!”
Seeing Ye Xingzhu get angry, Su Lin quickly tried to flatter her by sweetly calling her name twice.
Ye Xingzhu didn’t turn around and only responded with two snorts to express her dissatisfaction, slightly twisting her body. Ye Xingzhu was wearing a short-sleeved dress that perfectly outlined her slim willowy waist and proudly erect chest. This stark contrast, with Ye Xingzhu’s body twisted a bit, made Su Lin almost have a nosebleed.
“Alright, my dear Elder Sister Zhu, you are the best! You have always been helping Little Lin. From childhood to maturity, Little Lin has been depending on you. Come with me… How about Little Lin bring you to eat ice cream?”
“I know those are just pretty words. Now that you are taller than elder sister, you have learned to bully elder sister!”
Ye Xingzhu turned her head and looked at Su Lin. She was a bit dazed. Unknowingly, so many years had passed and the little kid was already taller than her.
“Elder Sister Zhu is so good to me, how could I bear to bully Elder Sister Zhu? Later, let Little Lin protect Elder Sister Zhu! Heh, Little Lin will not let anyone bully you, Little Lin will protect you for a lifetime! Elder Sister Zhu, whatever you want me to do, I will do it!”
Su Lin patted his chest and promised sincerely, nodding towards her.
“Really? Then answer a question from your elder sister.”
Blinking her eyes, Ye Xingzhu asked without thinking.
“Elder Sister Zhu, you can ask whatever question you have! I guarantee that I will answer. Even if you ask how many times I wet my bed in my childhood, I will answer it honestly.”
“It’s about what Tang Zhongwang said in the yard. Is that real? Did you really confess to that Qin Yanran in front of so many students in your school?”
While asking this, Ye Xingzhu felt a strange taste in her heart, she felt sour as if there were sour grapes in her mouth that she couldn’t spit out.
“I just said in the yard that I Su Lin have the courage to do and accept the responsibility. Since I said that, I am certainly not afraid even if the matter is known. I have indeed done that.”
Su Lin said with a nod. However, he didn’t notice that when he nodded, there was a feeling of loss that flashed past Ye Xingzhu’s face.
“Then… Little Lin, do you really like her?”
Ye Xingzhu held back her anger and gathered her courage to ask.