Fu Jia stood up straight and smiled. “Right back at you.”
Liu De was different from Liu Cheng. Liu Cheng was a fiend, a monster who many avoided everywhere he went. Just one look at him would instantly set off the alarm that he was a horrible student. On the other hand, Liu De was the complete opposite. He still performed well in such a school environment as No. 16 High and easily became an exceptionally rare, good, and obedient child in the eyes of the teachers. Only those students who had been brutally beaten up by Liu De knew how horrible he was as a person.
“My brother is still suspended,” Liu De said.
Fu Jia remained unaffected and continued to make his own bed. “He never liked coming to school anyway. Aren’t I basically doing him a favor?”
Liu De raised his brow, replying, “Still acting tough? You should be kissing up to me right now.”
“What if I don’t want to?”
Liu De was starting to get agitated by Fu Jia’s words. “Then I swear I’ll make your life here a living hell.”
Without saying another word, Fu Jia only reached out his hand to flatten the bed sheets before covering up his pillows with pillowcases.
Rolling out of bed, Liu De walked into the bathroom. After the sound of running water stopped, he came out carrying a bucket of water. “The water is rather cold with today’s weather.”
Fu Jia ignored him.
Gnashing his teeth, Liu De lifted the bucket and dumped the water over Fu Jia.
Ice-cold water splashed down Fu Jia’s head and drenched him from head to toe, splattering all over the bed and the floor.
Fu Jia shivered amidst the cold.
He already knew what to expect when Liu De got out of his bed, yet he didn’t avoid it. It was obvious that the other two in the dorm were on Liu De’s side too. Rather than getting caught and pressed down under their hands to accept this bucket of water, he’d rather let things end up like this instead.
Using his sleeve to wipe away the water on his face, Fu Jia turned around to stare straight at Liu De. “What else have you got? Bring it on.”
Liu De was furious beyond measure, yet he didn’t show it. Instead, he smiled and nodded, studying the surroundings of the dorm. Ultimately, his gaze landed on the washroom and he said, “Sure. There’s still some time left before class starts. Why don’t you stay in the toilet?”
He gave it some thought — his bed was thoroughly drenched anyway, so he couldn’t take a nap anymore. Thus, Fu Jia said, “Fine. I’ll bring a book in.”
Liu De burst out laughing. “The heck? You planning to study in there?”
Opening his school bag, Fu Jia took out the knife he’d stored inside. He then used the knife to remove the plastic seal of the book and found the workbook.
“Who says I can’t?” Fu Jia zipped up his bag, but he held on to the knife, protracting and retracting it in his grip. “You can keep splashing water, or put bugs on my bed, and put nails in my shoes too. If you run out of ideas, you can even run off to the girl’s dorm to ask for new tricks to play with. But do not touch my books.”
As he placed the knife back in his pocket, he said, “If you really piss me off, I’ll drag you down with me to hell. I’m not afraid of dying.”
Liu De stared at him for a long time in silence.
“Are you threatening me?” he said with disbelief.
Fu Jia nodded. “Yes.” He then strolled into the bathroom and locked the door from inside.
Hearing the sound of the door being locked, the other two guys in the dorm stopped pretending to be asleep. They got up and said cautiously, “Boss…”
Liu De’s face was dark as he patted the guy on the back and said, “Go. Cut his sheets up.”
Fu Jia spent almost an hour studying in the washroom. The clamorous sounds of the day students arriving at school gradually travelled in from outside.
Walking out, he saw that there was no one else in the dorm. First, Fu Jia changed out of his wet clothes and then turned his dry pair of shoes upside down, giving them a good shake before putting them on. As expected, two nails fell out.
Next, he lifted the blanket and caught sight of the torn bedsheet that had been cut into pieces. Not minding it in the least, he carried both his blanket and mattress and his wet clothes to the porch so he could dry them.
The weather had turned sunny after the evening downpour and it was sunny enough for the rays of sunshine to hit the porch. But since it was still early in the morning, there was a slight chill in the air.
Leaning on the railings, Fu Jia enjoyed the weather for a while before stretching relaxedly.
His life had begun anew.
That wonderful thought of starting a new life only lingered in Fu Jia’s mind for thirty minutes tops before vanishing like smoke into thin air.
“This question is asking you to find the zeros of a quadratic function. First, we need to determine whether the zeros exist, and in order to do that, we need to use the method we learnt yesterday…”
Clutching his head, Fu Jia dug his fingers into his hair and gave it a good yank, with the hopes that it would make his stupid brain a little brighter.
But he failed. Ever since the teacher said a particular word, he had been lost and could not understand a thing. He began to ponder again and again over the worth of studying, wondering if it’d be more worthwhile if he gave up now and saved up money to start a business instead.
“…Do you understand?” After explaining this problem, the teacher placed the chalk on the desk. She was only asking rhetorically. Usually, nobody would bother to respond to her.
“I don’t get it.” Fu Jia raised his hand.
All the students and the teacher looked as though they had seen a ghost.
“Oh…” The teacher asked back hesitatingly. “Which part don’t you understand?”
Fu Jia honestly answered her inquiry, “I don’t understand everything you explained so far.”
Sighing, the teacher subconsciously assumed that Fu Jia was causing trouble in her class. “Then come see me in my office after class today. Don’t delay your classmates’ studies.”
Fu Jia gave it some thought before nodding in acknowledgement.
After class with a book in hand, he followed the teacher into the office. The teacher would constantly look back along the way, afraid that Fu Jia would stab her the second he had the opportunity.
When the teacher saw the notes Fu Jia had written down in his book after he flipped it open, she realized that this student was serious.
Due to the limited amount of time they had between classes, the teacher chose a few simple questions to explain. But even so, she had to repeat it several times for Fu Jia to fully understand them.
The bell soon rang and yet, Fu Jia didn’t plan on leaving.
“You’re not going back to class?”
“I haven’t fully understood this part yet,” replied Fu Jia.
The teacher was utterly delighted. Although this student was rather slow to pick things up and had a poor theoretical foundation, his attitude towards learning was a trait that was hard to come by. “What subject do you have this period? You can ignore it if it’s not that important.”
After thinking about it for a while, he realized that it was English.
The thought of English made him feel as if he were trapped in a swamp, sinking in deeper the more he struggled.
“I think it’s best if I go to class.” Fu Jia put the workbook away.
Just like that, Fu Jia would run after the teachers after the end of every class. The staff members in the office were wary of him at the start, but soon they were numb to his presence and even felt a little annoyed.
Fu Jia spent his break time and evening in the classroom. Apart from going to the washroom, he only returned to his dorm to retrieve his blanket. He even set a rule for himself to practice one question before he could eat one spoonful of rice. Unfortunately, by the time his dinner had turned completely cold, he had barely even taken a few mouthfuls of it.
The possessed state he was in lasted until the end of the first self-study period that night. Only then did Fu Jia close his workbook.
Picking up his school bag, he smoothly climbed over the wall and left.
It was still the same old entrance to No. 6 High and he was still waiting at that very same street lamp. As he leaned back against the lamp, Fu Jia took out his workbook to continue his revision.
But he soon noticed that the moment he reached the place, he couldn’t concentrate as well as he had before. Even though he knew clearly that classes were still ongoing in No. 6 High and there was not a single soul at the gate, Fu Jia still couldn’t stop himself from looking from time to time.
In a distracted state, the topic that had already been difficult in the first place became even more complicated than before. Fu Jia shoved the workbook into his bag in frustration, his actions so rough that it almost tore the cover.
So he stood like that, staring at the school gate of No. 6 High. He was used to doing things like this anyway.
Probably because he had prior experience, this time Fu Jia felt that he didn’t have to wait as long before Lu Qi’an came walking out. Afraid that he would turn around and get into the car, Fu Jia went against the crowd to chase after him, yelling, “Lu Qi’an!”
Lu Qi’an didn’t look surprised to see him. However, he didn’t show any intentions of slowing down for Fu Jia.
Cursing, Fu Jia couldn’t be bothered whether he ran into others or not. He instantly came before Lu Qi’an, blocking his way. “Are you pretending you didn’t see me?”
The anger in his words was enough to set someone on fire. Lu Qi’an gently pushed Fu Jia’s shoulder and moved him to the side before saying, “You shouldn’t stand and talk in the middle of the road even if it’s urgent.”
Fu Jia actively moved two steps to the roadside. “Is this okay then?”
Lu Qi’an did not reply.
Fu Jia was then reminded of his actions earlier when Lu Qi’an had placed his hand on his shoulder, giving it an extremely gentle push. It appeared to be more like an embrace than a shove.
He laughed. “Why didn’t you ask your driver to pick you up inside the school?”
Lu Qi’an ignored him.
Fu Jia pointed to himself. “Were you waiting for me to find you?”
Lu Qi’an raised his hand to look at his watch. Fu Jia took notice of the watch. It looked incredibly exquisite with a dark brown strap and a silver watch face, but he couldn’t tell what brand it was.
It was only after looking at the time that he seemingly verified that he had some free time to chat with Fu Jia. So he parted his mouth to explain, “I normally stay in an apartment near school so there’s no one to drive me. The driver came that day because I was heading to my aunt’s place.”
Fu Jia replied with an ‘Oh.’
Apparently, Lu Qi’an was driven to the Lin’s villa that day, while he was still rushing to catch the night bus as usual. In the end, he needed to travel a total of thirty minutes on foot.
He knew he should have moved out of the villa sooner.
Fu Jia took a deep breath and said, “I moved out of there.”
Lu Qi’an only nodded, looking as indifferent as usual.
Fu Jia was already accustomed to his indifferent personality. He added, “You requested me to move that time, and by doing so, I actually did you a favor, which is equivalent to you owing me a favor.” He paused as he said this point, waiting for Lu Qi’an to refute him, though he didn’t.
“So, you owe me a favor, right?” Fu Jia anxiously repeated one more time.
“You can say that.” Lu Qi’an responded.
He admitted it so easily that Fu Jia was somehow at a loss for words, confused as to what he should do next. He cleared his throat and said, “Since you owe me a favor, you have to repay me, right?”
“Yes.” Lu Qi’an agreed with him again.
Feeling hot all of a sudden, Fu Jia quickly pulled his bag to the front. He then took out the workbook and said, “Then teach me how to solve this.”