To Survive Is To Strive
Although Su Lin didn’t know why he suddenly got the ability to pause time. With such a magical ability, how could Su Lin not use it to his advantage? Using this ability, he could change his fate, improve his family’s situation, and rise to prominence. All the empty talk from before were now possible.
“As long as I will it in my heart, the time around me will certainly pause. I am the only one who remains unaffected. As for how long I can pause time, it depends on the value of these bright red numbers. Right now, I still have one hundred and one seconds remaining for the amount to time I can suspend!”
Sitting on the sofa, Su Lin stared at the bright red “101” in the upper-right corner of his line-of-sight, “How can I increase the amount of this time? It seemed that the intimate contact I had with Elder Sister Zhu made it rise…Could it be, I need to have intimate contact with women to increase it?”
Although Su Lin’s current academic performance wasn’t outstanding, it didn’t mean he was stupid. On the contrary, Su Lin was quite smart. All humans were curious, so Su Lin started to ponder over the uses of his new ability while sitting on the sofa. Su Lin had a lot of conjectures regarding the superpower in his mind. In his heart, he already had a lot of matters he could now do with this ability!
At 6:10 in the evening, Su Lin’s father, Su Guorong, entered the house as he dragged his tired body. Coming to the living room, he sat on the sofa. With narrowed eyes, he took out a cigarette and lighted it up, starting to smoke!
“Welcome home, father!”
Every time he saw his father’s tired and aging appearance, Su Lin’s heart got hurt. His father Su Guorong was a retired army veteran whose luck wasn’t too high during the armed forces revolution, making him get forced out of service. In the end, he could only work for a transportation company and drive freight vehicles to make a living. The wages paid by the company weren’t high either, only 2000-3000 a month. As he had worked as a military veteran for half his life, Su Guorong was a straightforward man who couldn’t scheme. It made it impossible for him to get many benefits that others obtained. Over the years, he also offended many people because of his straightforwardness, and so, he could barely remain as a deputy team leader for the transportation group even after working for so long!
Su Guorong seemed to be very tired as he didn’t even raise his head to look at his son and only gave a slight nod and a weak snort. He didn’t speak anymore and started to smoke his cigarette, lost in thought.
In fact, the life of most men was like this. Outside, they had to work under immense pressure, getting physically and mentally exhausted. When they returned home, the only form of relaxation they could get was taking a cigarette, lay on the sofa for a while, and look towards their wife and children. After that, they pondered over their laborious times and the future of their family!
As his father’s attitude had always been like this, Su Lin didn’t need to overthink it. But when they all sat for dinner, his always quiet father sighed and placed down his chopsticks. Looking up, he stared at Su Lin for several seconds and said, “Little Lin, you will soon be taking your College Entrance Examination.”
“Um……Yes, father. There are around 20 days left……”
Just a short 11 words, yet Su Lin had heard a lot more from his father’s expression. It appeared his father had also been worrying about his future path and development.
“In this year’s College Entrance Examination, you, your second uncle’s daughter LingLing, and your third uncle’s son Xiaoyi, all three of you are taking the examination. Before you entered high school, your results were the most prominent. But now…”
With a sigh, Su Guorong stopped talking more. He poured himself some beer and chugged it down. He only sighed. Although he said no more words, he had already put Su Lin under great pressure.
That’s how Su Lin’s father was. He was a man with the firm and resolute qualities of a simple, and honorable military veteran. Though he only spoke a few words, his every word held great significance to Su Lin.
“Dad, I understand. I will try my best to get into a good University and bring glory to your name.”
With his head lowered, Su Lin’s inner-self was drowning in the feeling of guilt and shame. Clenching his teeth, he secretly swore in his heart he must get top scores in the College Entrance Examination, improve himself and become an outstanding member of society. If one wanted to survive, one must strive for it!
“Understand? What does a little brat like you understand! If you had understood, would your results be this bad? This old lady scolded you, hit you, and finally, I am now tired of you. In the future, the path you take will depend on you!”
Mother Su had not spoken till now, but when she spoke, she was very direct. In the last three years, she racked her brain to make Su Lin exert all his effort, but Su Lin’s academic performance just wouldn’t improve. Now there were only 20 days left till the Examination, and she had already given up all hope. Something that couldn’t be done over 3 years, was it even possible for it to happen in just 20 days? Could someone even turn their situation favorable in such a short time?
“Mother, I am sorry! I know my mistakes!”
Unexpectedly, Su Lin didn’t retort his mother’s words today. He could see and understand the effort put in by his parents. In fact, he also resolved his heart now. Before, it was just the frivolous and rebellious stage of puberty that made him muddle-headed, making him waste three years of his high school. Fortunately, it wasn’t too late to make a comeback now. With the ability to suspend time, Su Lin believed he still had a chance to attain brilliant results in the College Entrance Examination and live in a bright future.
The rest of the dinner was dull. Su Lin hurriedly ate his dinner and rushed back to his room for his studies. After Su Lin left, his parents continued their conversation about Su Lin’s issues.
“Sigh, Old Su, what do you think about it? With our family’s Li’l Lin being like this, I am afraid he won’t be able to get into a good University. It’s impossible for our family to pay for a third-rate University. Will our son really have to go to Dongguan Province and work?”
The heart of a parent was always filled with love for their child. Although Liu Aizhen was always stern with Su Lin and even said he would have to work, her heart still worried about her son. How would she be willing to let Su Lin go out and do hard labor?
“There is no way for him to enter a good University, nor does he have a diploma. If he doesn’t work, will he always stay at home?”
Smoking for a while, Su Guorong paused and said, “If nothing works out, I will ask big brother to look for a method. If he can’t go to a third-rate University, we can at least send him to a Technical College to study craftsmanship. At least, he will have a bowl of rice to eat!”
It was mid-May, and Jian’an’s weather wasn’t too hot, instead, a cool breeze blew. Around 8 o’clock, the people in the neighborhood were sitting outside in their yards, talking and enjoying themselves under the big trees and cool air.
Outside, in Su Lin’s family courtyard, around seven-eight aunts were sitting together, chirping and discussing anything they thought of. Although it was the final mock exam tomorrow, Su Lin’s room was too hot, and he couldn’t concentrate on his studies. So Su Lin took his book and sat in the yard, feeling a bit cooler.
There was a street light under the big tree, and the weather was also quite cool. The only issue was the mosquitos, but Su Lin also had a precaution for them as he sprayed a lot of mosquito repellent around where he was sitting.
“Hey…….Aizhen, your family’s little Lin sure is studying arduously! The fact that he can go to the City’s No.1 High School is proof that his results must be very good, right! After the College Entrance Examination, he will certainly be able to enter a Top University. You and your husband must be very proud!”
As they were talking, one of the neighborhood aunts brought the conversation to this topic. As Su Lin’s mother, Liu Aizhen, listened to her words, she had an awkward expression as she sighed and said, “My family’s Li’l Lin’s grades aren’t very good now. If he could get into a Second-rate University, we would already be satisfied. I don’t have any expectations for a Top University.”
“How could that be? I remember that your family’s Li’l Lin’s results were very good when he was in middle school. Right! Otherwise, how could he pass and get admitted to Jian’an First High…”
Most of the people in the neighborhood had a very good impression of Su Lin, and they knew about him getting admission into the Jian’an First High, and his great results in middle school. However, even though Su Lin’s results had now plummeted, he was still a good boy who was praised by the neighbors and relatives.
“Humph. With their family’s Su Lin’s results, it would already be a miracle if he could barely get admitted to a Second-rate University…Getting admitted to a Top University? That’s just a delusion!”
A voice said in ridicule. Su Lin frowned and looked towards the owner of the voice.
That smirk. Su Lin knew this Tang Zhongwang. He lived in their street and was also in the Third Year of Jian’an First High. However, as his academic performance had always been inferior to Su Lin before they entered high school, he always treated Su Lin as his nemesis. Since Su Lin’s results had dropped in high school, Tang Zhongwang hadn’t let go of any chances he got to ridicule Su Lin in public.
“Zhongwang, what do you mean by that? In the past, Li’l Lin’s academic performance was always much better than yours! Although your current achievements are very high, you still need to work hard to go higher. You cannot be too arrogant, and must put in all your effort!”
Tang Zhongwang’s father, Tang Liangyuan, reprimanded his son. Though he was reprimanding his son, he was actually trying to show off. Although Tang Zhongwang’s results could only be considered average in Jian’an First High, they were still enough for him to get admission into a good University, enough to make Tang Liangyuan feel proud.
“Father, I understand. I will work harder. Tomorrow is the last mock exam we are going to take, and I have already reviewed all the content. I am sure I can go further and enter the list of Top 100 students this year and steadily enter a good University. I don’t want to be like some people who spend their days carelessly, playing all day long, not giving any heed to their studies, and can only go look for work afterward!”
“Good, Zhongwang, you at least understand your responsibilities better than your peers. As your father, I can also rest assured about your future!”
Tang Liangyuan and his son’s dialogue among themselves was obviously for Su Lin’s parents to hear. Su Lin’s parents obviously knew that the other party was trying to humiliate Su Lin, but what could they do? They had no form of retort! All they could do was smile and congratulate, “Compared to our Li’l Lin, your family’s Zhongwang has much better prospects. Our family’s Li’l Lin should learn from Zhongwang’s studies!”
Saying this, Mother Su also pulled Su Lin and said to him, “Li’l Lin, both you and Zhongwang study in Jian’an First High. Though your classes might be different, the study materials should be the same. There are still around 20 days left for the College Entrance Examination. As Zhongwang’s results are much better compared to you, you should ask for his help in your studies in the evening……”
Before Mother Su could finish her words, Tang Zhongwang actually interrupted her and said, “Father, the weather outside is too hot. I will go back to my room and review for the mock exam. I don’t even have enough time to review where would I get the free time to waste on any random cat or dog? The more I review right now, the better my results in the College Entrance Examination will be!”
After that, Tang Zhongwang stood up and walked towards his house. His words were a naked provocation towards Su Lin. When Tang Zhongwang ridiculed Su Lin, Su Lin didn’t haggle over it with him as his results were indeed worse than Tang Zhongwang, so Tang Zhongwang had the capital to be proud. But now, even though Su Lin’s parents bore with his crap so much, the guy actually didn’t give face to my mother, and even called him some random cat or dog. Not just everything could be tolerated. Su Lin stood up and shouted towards him, “Tang Zhongwang, fucking halt for me. Tell me just who are you calling a random cat or dog…
“Everyone knows in their heart what I mean. You can’t study well even with so much energy? Hehe, but your voice sure is loud. How about taking some job where it is useful, it will be great working material!”
Tang Zhongwang didn’t even turn his head, appearing as if he disdained to argue with Su Lin. He laughed a few times and said, “But just having a loud voice isn’t any skill. You will have to surpass me in tomorrow’s mock exam to have any pride. In my opinion, I am afraid that will only be possible in another life!”
“Tang Zhongwang, are you asking for death?”
Originally, Su Lin’s mood was already heavy after listening to his parent’s words, and now, this Tang Zhongwang just had to come forward and cause trouble. Su Lin immediately stood up and rushed towards Tang Zhongwang to teach him a lesson.
“Little Lin, stand right there!”
Unexpectedly, Su Lin’s father started to rebuke him, “Go back to your room and focus on your studies. What’s there to create so much noise! His results are indeed better than yours, what’s there to question?”
Su Lin was the most afraid of his father. Even when he won’t listen to anyone else, he still listened to his father’s words. So, Su Lin could only endure, while he gritted his teeth and looked towards Tang Zhongwangs proud and smug appearance.
Su Lin commanded in his heart and immediately went forward. Trampling on Tang Zhongwang’s calf with his foot maliciously, Su Lin immediately returned to his position and resumed time.
As soon as time resumed, Tang Zhongwang felt someone had smashed his calf. With a severe pain in his calf, he staggered and fell to the ground.
“Zhongwang, what happened? What’s wrong with you?”
Tang Zhongwang’s father got anxious and immediately helped his son stand up.
“Father, I don’t know! I feel as if someone smashed my calf…I may be having cramps…” Tang Zhongwang looked towards Su Lin and had the feeling that Su Lin was the one responsible. But Su Lin was standing some distance away from him, so it was impossible for him to blame Su Lin. Looking at Su Lin’s gloating expression and the ridicule in his expression, Tang Zhongwang could only stomach his anger.
“This is what they call ‘Evil receiving retribution!’ Be more proud now.”
Su Lin hadn’t forgotten to display his eloquence. Having trampled Tang Zhongwang’s calf, he felt a lot better now.
At that moment, Ye Xingzhu’s mother, Liang Guizhu, walked into the courtyard, holding a schoolbag in her hand. She looked towards Su Lin and said, “Little Lin, is this your schoolbag? Why was it on our sofa? Probably, did you come over to our house this evening, eh?”
“Huh! How could I forget my school bag when I slipped away…”