TOL Chapter 25

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Chapter 25


After a break of less than ten minutes, the instructor blew the whistle, signalling that it was time for the students to assemble. Ji Qinyang placed his cap back onto his head, and under the brim, it could be seen that he was dripping with sweat.

Di Lin’s fair face and soft skin was turning red under the sun. However, he was still rather energetic, and his back was pencil straight.

The instructor paced around, surveying them. He corrected the posture of a few boys, before blowing the whistle and pointing at Ji Qinyang. “You! Fall out!”

Ji Qinyang stepped forward. “Here!”

“You’ll be the flag bearer!”

Ji Qinyang was surprised, and immediately answered loudly, “Yes!”

The instructor again pointed. “Return to your position!”

Ji Qinyang took a step back, and Guo Lin’an, standing next to him, furtively gave him a thumbs up.

This time, Central Conservatory of Music had only recruited about 200 new students, and less than a hundred of them were male. During the military training, they were divided into four groups, and each had only about twenty people. There was only a small number of them, and the instructor too was very strict. They would stand at position in the morning, and march in the afternoon. During their last break, Ji Qinyang could have wrung water out from his camouflage shirt.

“The benefit of learning to play in an orchestra is very apparent during such times…” Guo Lin’an lay on the ground, about to melt. “Both their lungs and physical fitness are top of the line.”

While drinking water, Ji Qinyang turned his cap the other way around on his head. Next to him, Di Lin was memorising something that looked like a script. Guo Lin’an leaned over to take a look. “Speech for Freshmen’s Dinner and Dance… Hahahahaha why are you practicing this hahahahaha!”

Di Lin’s cheeks burned red, and no one could tell if it was from embarrassment or because of the sun. He folded the script close. “Go ‘way, go ‘way. There’s no need fo’ ya opinion on me p’actice!”

“Hahahahaha don’t tell me you’re going to read it in Mandarin?!” Guo Lin’an was crying tears of laughter. “Your way of speaking is so adorable now, why are you practicing it in Mandarin? Don’t practice anymore!”

Di Lin ignored him, and Ji Qinyang took the book from him for a look.

“I remember that you studied solfège.” Ji Qinyang cocked a brow. “Why is your Mandarin so poor?”

Di Lin looked at him gloomily. “I can’t pronounce my L an’ N proper.”

Ji Qinyang, “This doesn’t matter. In the speech, there shouldn’t be too many words with L and N.”

Di Lin frowned, saying nothing.

Guo Lin’an sat up, turning solemn. “Tell us the truth, is there someone mocking you because of your accent?”

“Aiyah, no, no.” Di Lin waved him off embarrassedly. He continued after a pause, “Why are ya takin’ it so seriously… Fo’get it, I won’t practise ‘nymore.”

Ji Qinyang kept quiet. He saw Bai Xin Xintian walking over, and there were a few people following him.

“There are only 13 boys in the music composition faculty this year.” Bai Xintian sat down next to Ji Qinyang. “They’re from the dormitory room next door.”

A taller one amongst the group spoke up first. “Anyone know Ji Qinyang here?”

Bai Xintian did not expect that he would ask the question so directly. Unconsciously, he looked at the boy next to him. Ji Qinyang was calmly watching Di Lin, and Di Lin froze, immediately turning his head to look at Guo Lin’an.

“…” Guo Lin’an coughed, sweeping his fringe coolly. “Is there a reason why you’re looking for me?”

Bai Xintian, “…”

Di Lin, “…”

Ji Qinyang covered his face with his cap, his shoulders heaving with laughter.

“…” That boy was now embarrassed. “I don’t have any ill intentions, it’s just that I’ll like to get to know him.” After a pause, the boy continued somewhat secretively. “I have some insider news. His song was evaluated very highly by the professors, and both the preliminary and the qualifying examinations, he was the top scorer.”

Guo Lin’an patted his chest as though he was alarmed. “… I’m too afraid to continue acting in this role anymore. The script is too high level, and my acting isn’t good enough.”

Ji Qinyang spoke lazily, “What are you afraid of? It’s not like you’re expected to make it a blockbuster.”

Bai Xintian could neither laugh nor cry. “Alright, the two of you should stop teasing Liu Wendao now. Wendao, introduce your dorm mates.”

“Sure.” Liu Wendao was not a shy person, and he called the other three people to join the circle. One of them sat directly between Ji Qinyang and Di Lin.

“Please excuse me.” That person was very thin, and his fairness could compete with Di Lin. He held his hand out to Ji Qinyang, smiling. “I’m Qian Mo, you must be Ji Qinyang.”

Ji Qinyang shook hands with him, and only discovered that the other party was wearing circle lenses when he met his gaze.

Qian Mo smiled slightly. He was an extremely exquisite, pretty boy. His hair was very long, and it was bundled on one of his shoulders.

“Qian Mo has always wanted to get to know you.” Liu Wendao laughed as he introduced him. “He’s very famous in 798, and he has his own band.”

Qian Mo waved him off. “It’s not that grand.” Pulling out a postcard from his pocket, he handed it to Ji Qinyang.

“Bring your friends along when you’re free. We’re all into music, and we can get to know each other.”

Xie Meng was heading towards the school cafeteria in the west zone while looking through some information for recruitment of tutors. When he flipped to the second page, an arm landed suddenly around his shoulders.

“What are you looking at?” Yu Run pushed his head closer, and was astonished when he saw the word tutor. “What? We’ve only just started our first year, and you’re looking for a job already? Haven’t you just applied for financial aid?”

“The financial aid only covers the school fees.” Xie Meng folded up the papers. “I still have to earn my own living expenses.”

Yu Run pursed his lips. “It’s really hard on you… You didn’t get in touch with your girlfriend the past few days?”

Xie Meng, “I did. They’re still in military training.”

Yu Run, “Military training is this most dangerous time. Although they say that guys and girls are trained separately, they’re still able to see each other. If your girlfriend is the slightest bit attractive, she’ll definitely be ogled at. You have to pay more attention.”

Xie Meng smiled, remaining silent. Yu Run thought about it, and then continued uncertainly. “However, you’re so handsome, your girlfriend is definitely very attached to you… If she’s free, bring her around and let us meet her.”

“You’ve already said it was dangerous,” Xie Meng responded lightly. “So why would I bring them out to meet you guys?”

Yu Run, “… Wives of friends cannot be touched! I’m very principled!”

Zhang Ganggang had set up a Wechat group, adding all six of them to it. Soochow University did not go to the army camp for military training this year, and organised it on the campus grounds instead. Qi Fei was spamming non-stop, and he kept posting photos of food in the middle of the night. Zhuo Xiaoyuan was studying in a medical school in Shanghai. He had only ended his military training a few days ago, and his classes had officially started.

Studying in Beijing, other than Xie Meng, the other three all had military training upon starting school. As such, other than Xie Meng and Zhuo Xiaoyuan’s occasional messages, Qi Fei alone was posting food photos continuously.

Finally, there was a day when Zhuo Xiaoyuan could no longer endure it.

Zhuo Xiaoyuan: I’m about to attend my lab classes… Can’t you have a little bit of conscience?

Qi Fei: I posted it for Xie Mengmeng to see. Mengmeng isn’t eating well in Beijing, why aren’t you letting him see them?

Xie Meng: …

Zhuo Xiaoyuan: “Bullying him like this, be careful of your Boss Qi flying back to teach you a lesson!”

Qi Fei: Come, come, I’m lonely, empty and cold~

Xie Meng: [Image]

Qi Fei: ??!

Xie Meng: The food in our school is pretty good, and there are also many cafes.

Qi Fei: …

Xie Meng: Our class schedule isn’t very tight as well. Our school’s nickname is Renmin’s Holidays University of China.

Qi Fei: …

Zhuo Xiaoyuan: Hahahahaha you asked for it!

On the last day of the military training for the Central Conservatory of Music, other than the military parade, there was also an arts performance. For the music students, the performance was like a covert large-scale concert. Representing the music composition faculty, Di Lin gave the freshman speech, and down in the crowd, Guo Lin’an was even more nervous than him.

“I’m really afraid that when he opens his mouth, he’ll say ‘I’m very ‘appy to be ‘ere! Kids, are ya ‘appy?!’” Guo Lin’an clutched Ji Qinyang’s shoulders, gabbling away. “He’s going to start, he’s going to start!”

Di Lin took a breath, and with his first word, the entire audience fell silent.

His properly accented Mandarin was like a live broadcaster. Blankly, Guo Lin’an’s jaw fell, and he still had yet to react by the time he finished listening to the entire speech.

Di Lin was reciting his last few sentences. “During this military training, we have learned a lot. Let us put in even more effo’t to learn, and more effo’t in livin’ our lives!”

It took about five seconds for the audience to realise what the “effo’t” Di Lin was talking about, and the entire crowd burst into laughter.

“…” Guo Lin’an covered his face. “I had thought that he would be able to hold on to the end…”

Ji Qinyang exchanged a high-five with the dark-faced Di Lin when he stepped down from the stage. Next to them, Bai Xintian consoled him, “It’s not bad already, it’s not bad. Your starting was so good, you definitely earned extra points. We truly didn’t expect it at all!”

“Like there’s any damn use!” Di Lin vented. “Me image is all d’stroyed.”

Xie Meng was in class when he received a call from Ji Qinyang. He asked Yu Run to cover him, and he sneakily ran out from the back door to answer his phone.

“I forgot you have classes now…” Ji Qinyang laughed on the other side of the phone. “Is it convenient for us to talk now?”

Xie Meng leaned against the wall. “Answering your call is more important.”

Ji Qinyang laughed heartily. “You’re too good with words.”

Xie Meng huffed with laughter. “Is military training exhausting?”

“It’s alright.” It sounded as though Ji Qinyang was on the road, and even a bus honking its horn could be heard. “It’s pretty fun, and I met someone in a band. Do you want to go with me to 798 in a few days to take a look?”

Xie Meng was curious. “Where is that?”

Ji Qinyang did not give him a direct answer. “You’ll know when you get there.”

“What about you?” He asked again. “Are you getting along with your dorm mates?”

Xie Meng thought about it. “It’s not too bed, but you should be better than me in this aspect.”

“Me?” Ji Qinyang’s voice was indolent. “Other than you, I’ll never waste my efforts on anyone else.”

Xie Meng, “…”

“Don’t keep silent.” Ji Qinyang was still laughing. He suddenly said, “Right, we have a handsome guy from Chongqing in my dormitory, and his dialect is so entertaining. We’re all about to pick up his accent already.”

Xie Meng, “The Chongqing dialect? You can understand it?”

“It’s pretty similar to Mandarin. Shall I say it for you to hear?”

“Go ahead.”

“Mn…” Ji Qinyang took a moment. “Are we frien’s?”

Xie Meng was amused. “Are we not?”

“I ‘eally miss ya.”

“…”

“I ‘eally like ya.”

“…”

“I luv ya to death, dahling.” He laughed as he asked Xie Meng, “Do ya luv me?”

The model teacher of the Chongqing dialect, Di Lin, who had to endure Ji Qinyang’s display of affections spewed, no longer able to endure it, “Go shove ya luv in ya ass, we don’ speak such mushy nonsense like ya!”

Ji Qinyang ignored him, and continued his conversation for awhile more before hanging up. He knocked on the back of Guo Lin’an’s chair. “Hey, wake up. There’s something I’ll like to ask you.”

Guo Lin’an groggily wiped his saliva away, groaning “State your matter if you have something… If not, you should withdraw…”

“…” Wanting to laugh, Ji Qinyang patted his face. “How much does it cost to rent a place around Xizhimen?”

Bai Xintian looked over. “Why, you want to move out with your girlfriend?”

“I plan on doing so.” Ji Qinyang did not deny it. “However, I don’t have enough money this semester, and so I have to think of ways to earn it.”

Guo Lin’an finally responded. After searching his memory, he replied uncertainly, “It’s not cheap living in Xizhimen, on average it’ll cost more than 5000RMB… You want to rent the entire apartment?”

“Yes.” Ji Qinyang nodded, “I want the entire apartment.”

Guo Lin’an answered admiringly, “You’re really willing to spend… Seems like your girlfriend is definitely a beauty.”

Ji Qinyang smiled, not saying anything. He sat at the back, going onto 58.com to search for places around Xizhimen. With the agent fee, as well as having to pay for three months’ rent and one month’s deposit all at once, he would not be able to get anywhere without at least twenty thousand renminbi.

The boy frowned, putting on his headphones. Just as he was searching the site, a message appeared on his phone.

Qian Mo: My band has a performance at Mao in Nanluoguxiang this weekend. Do you want to come by and watch us?”


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