Genius Fundamentals - Chapter 39
Due to Pei Zhi’s early subtle warning, Zhang Liang didn’t notice that Lin Zhao Xi was right behind him.
“If maths is so uninteresting, then why are you here?” Zhang Liang scowled.
Lin Zhao Xi noticed that Pei Zhi was holding his pencil case which meant he also handed in his exam and left early like her.
This time Pei Zhi wasn’t wearing the iconic Experimental School uniform, but instead, he wore an ordinary sweatshirt type uniform. It was a smokey grey color and the zipper was all the way up to his chin. Although Zhang Liang was currently mocking him, Pei Zhi didn’t respond to him at all, just getting ready to leave.
Um…Pei Zhi really was leaving.
Zhang Liang had probably never been ignored like this in his life, so he stepped forward and grabbed Pei Zhi by the collar.
“Stop with the nonchalant acting! We all know the reason you’re here was to get a better education in order to succeed in life so stop acting like you don’t care. People like you annoy me the most.”
Lin Zhao Xi didn’t know what’s the history between them, but after hearing what Zhang Liang said, she thought the argument started because of Pei Zhi’s attitude toward this exam. After all, while Zhang Liang was working very hard for this exam, Pei Zhi was acting like he didn’t care at all.
Pei Zhi’s gaze was cold and intimidating, his gaze could simply make other people feel inferior to him. To put it in a way that’s easier to understand, his gaze was basically saying:
“Don’t touch me⎯⎯”
Zhang Liang was still holding on to Pei Zhi’s collar. Suddenly, the 12-year-old Pei Zhi grasped Zhang Liang’s arm causing him to let go, then his other arm grabbed his face and pressed it against the marble pillar beside him. After that, Pei Zhi let go of Zhang Liang and left.
Of course, Zhang Liang exploded as he felt severely humiliated. He bounced off the marble pillar and yelled at the leaving Pei Zhi, “If you’re so smart, then don’t come to the summer camp or else you will regret it!”
Breaking the rules? Pei Zhi?
Pei Zhi had never broken the rules, so when Lin Zhao Xi saw him attacking Zhang Liang, she couldn’t help but open her mouth in surprise. Only then, Zhang Liang noticed her presence and slowly turned his head. He saw Lin Zhao Xi standing there with pop candies in her mouth.
The silence overruled.
Both of them became stone statues staring at each other. What finally broke the silence was Pei Zhi’s footsteps walking away.
Zhang Liang was obviously shocked to see her as he quickly bowed and pretended to pack his school bag. He looked in the direction where Pei Zhi went. Thinking it would be best not to go the same way as Pei Zhi, Zhang Liang gritted his teeth and started walking towards Lin Zhao Xi.
Since Lin Zhao Xi wanted to go to the toilet, she had to go forward.
“Trash School,” Zhang Liang quietly cursed when they walked past each other.
Excuse me? What did I do to you?
Lin Zhao Xi thought, with the corner of her mouth slightly raised. She reckoned that Zhang Liang was those typical villains you find in high school dramas.
“Were you scared just then?” She stopped and curiously asked.
Zhang Liang stopped and responded, “Watch the way you’re speaking.”
Zhang Liang looked back, his face full of anger.
“If you’re not nervous, then how did you make that simple mistake?”
Before Zhang Liang was able to ask what mistake he made, Lin Zhao Xi asked, “Do you know what’s the answer for 1234 x 7890 + 973260 – 518 + 3144 – 1071246?”
Zhang Liang lowered his head and became silent. His expression said everything.
“It’s 0,” Lin Zhao Xi said. “This question was asked by Pei Zhi so casually, he’s already that smart and you wanted him to get smarter? That’s illogical.”
Zhang Liang was a head taller than her, with his head lowered, his eyes were colder and it looked intimidating. However, his childish voice ruined it. In the end, he’s just a kid trying to act like he’s the boss.
Lin Zhao Xi laughed, it had been a long time since she heard a brain-dead response from a child. She raised her head and said to Zhang Liang, “Don’t show your face around me again or else I will punch you.”
After that, she crunched the rest of the pop candy and walked away as if nothing happened. Just now, isn’t she like a little girl from a trash school? Sister Xi’s acting is just too good!
On the way to the park, Lin Zhao Xi was feeling good, but when she finally saw Old Lin in the park, her legs felt weak.
She recalled the reason why Pei Zhi warned her to not get closer to Zhang Liang. Because Pei Zhi knew that Zhang Liang was a bad person and he acted out of kindness.
However, she still went and found trouble, she completely forgot that she’s a primary student at that time.
In the distance, the amusement park train ride was driving around and Old Lin was watching it. Every time the train passed Old Lin, the children would get excited and wave at him. Old Lin would also wave back with a smile on his face and not smoke.
Lin Zhao Xi stood under a camphor tree observing him until Old Lin noticed her. To her surprise, Old Lin took the initiative and started walking towards her.
“How’s the exam?” Old Lin asked.
The midday sun was hot, Old Lin’s tone was very casual. With just one sentence, Lin Zhao Xi almost cried due to nostalgia.
How’s the test? What do you want to eat after school? These ordinary common questions were asked less and less when Lin Zhao Xi grew up. Now when Old Lin asked again, these small things could make people feel a sense of loss and recovery.
The children’s laughter and the train ride’s whistle could be heard not so far away. Lin Zhao Xi quickly wiped away her tears.
“What are you crying for?” Old Lin panicked. “ The Jin cup is like nothing.”
“No, it’s not that.”
She’s not sure whether it’s because of Old Lin’s nostalgic questions or was frightened by Zhang Liang. Now, she’s having an emotional reaction and couldn’t stop her tears. She threw herself into Old Lin’s arms before wrapping her arms around Old Lin like an octopus and cried.
Stress, tension, hopelessness, and loneliness, all these suppressed emotions came pouring out and Lin Zhao Xi couldn’t control it.
Fortunately, there’s not that many people at the park at noon on a Saturday and nobody was watching.
Lin Zhao Xi cried happily, only to realize that Old Lin was smoking a cigarette with a look of confusion.
“I⎯⎯” Lin Zhao Xi didn’t know how to respond, she glimpsed at the park canteen and quickly changed the subject.
“I want to eat an ice cream bar!”
They sat on the park benches together, and Old Lin really bought her an ice cream bar.
Lin Zhao Xi opened the blue and white packaging and took a bite. The coldness of the ice cream caused her to shiver and her nose to stiffen.
At this moment, a child with cotton candy in his hand walked past them, the cotton candy looked like pink fluffy clouds.
“Master⎯⎯” Lin Zhao Xi asked tentatively.
“You had enough,” Old Lin replied sharply.
Lin Zhao Xi held her Ice-cream bar tightly. She hugged Old Lin for a long time so her back and front were covered with sweat, she felt embarrassed now. She passed her ice-cream bar which already had two bites taken out of it and said, “Master, you eat too.”
Old Lin didn’t complain, he took a big bite which was way bigger than hers.
Lin Zhao Xi was shocked. In the past, she and Old Lin always shared their food, but Old Lin always let her eat more, so when she saw that his bite was way bigger than hers, she felt unfamiliar.
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She hurriedly took the ice cream back and finally confessed to Old Lin, “I think…I …did okay on the test?”
“What do you mean by ‘okay’?”
“I think I answered all the questions correctly.”
She tried to remember the questions while taking small bites of her ice-cream bar.
Old Lin intently listened to Lin Zhao Xi who was repeating the questions from the test and what her answer was. When she finished repeating the last question, Old Lin’s face sank.
Lin Zhao Xi had a bad premonition in her heart and was frightened. Since the last question was the most difficult one, she was not confident about her answer.
“You wrote 660?”
“What are you crying for then?” Old Lin was annoyed.
“All correct!” Old Lin said before eyeing the ice cream bar in her hands, “Did you cry just for an ice cream bar?”
“Master, don’t mind the details!”
Lin Zhao Xi declared her ownership of the ice cream bar by stuffing the rest of it into her mouth.
It took her a while to realize that if she really got all her answers correct, then did that mean she could go to the summer camp? Did that mean she had a chance to study with Pei Zhi? Of course, that also meant she had to study with Zhang Liang, but she just greatly humiliated him.
With that thought, she whimpered. She regretted what she did. She put the ice cream wrapper in Old Lin’s hand and covered her face with her hands in despair.
“What’s wrong this time?” There was an obvious distrust in Old Lin’s tone.
“I’m in a tough situation, Master.” Lin Zhao Xi mumbled, “Remember that day where the mental arithmetic king got defeated by a boy? Today, I saw the same boy being warned to not come to the Summer Camp.”
She told Old Lin her encounter with Pei Zhi and Zhang Liang. To hide the fact that she likes Pei Zhi, she briefly talked about how she humiliated Zhang Liang.
“If I get into the summer camp, I will also run into Zhang Liang, what should I do?”
After listening to Lin Zhao Xi, Old Lin’s first sentence was: “Do you have a crush on Pei Zhi?”
Lin Zhao Xi sucked in the air and almost bit her tongue.
How does Old Lin know?!
“I’m only a primary student!” she emphasized.
“Even elementary school students write love letters to each other and yet you don’t? Isn’t your life so boring?”
“That’s all just kids playing house,” Lin Zhao Xi seriously said.
“So you’re not playing house with Pei Zhi?” Old Lin laughed.
Lin Zhao Xi almost yelled at Old Lin but tried to act serious. “Master, my main concern is campus bullying and possible bullying in the future.”
Lin Zhao Xi patted her chest. “The main problem is what will Zhang Liang do to me.”
“Oh,” said Old Lin.
“What do you mean ‘oh’?”
“What are you scared of?”
“When I’m at summer camp, Zhang Liang will bully me,” Lin Zhao Xi said again as if her going to summer camp was already set in stone.
“Not a problem,” said Old Lin.
“How is that not a problem?!”
“You’re a girl.”
“Girls should be scared too!”
“Crying is an option,” laughed Old Lin.
Lin Zhao Xi looked at Old Lin’s shirt which was still wet with tears and felt that comment might be ridicule to her crying earlier