MCAB - Chapter 30.1
"I did say that, but…"
Managing interpersonal relationships was a complicated task that even Qin Youran had difficulty dealing with. She didn't know how she should guide Jun Zishu in this regard, and she also didn't know how she should deal with the predicament Jun Zishu currently faced.
The only thing Qin Youran knew was that she would be making herself look bad if she threw a temper and arbitrarily forced Jun Zishu to distance herself from Cheng Chaoyang. After all, Jun Zishu was a person with her own thoughts, not a puppet that listened to her commands.
"In any case, make sure to keep your distance from him. You can be friends with him, but you must also be aware that he is befriending you with ulterior motives in mind."
"Whatever. Let's go back for now. I'll accompany you when you go to watch his match tomorrow."
Jun Zishu obediently nodded and followed after Qin Youran.
Young Miss Qin felt angry and sullen right now.
She was angry because she felt like she had just smashed herself in the foot, and she was sullen because she couldn't vent the anger within her.
No, that's not right! I haven't done anything wrong since the beginning! The one in the wrong is that Cheng Chaoyang!
Where did this clingy bastard even pop out from? The bookworm has already rejected him so many times before, so why is he still insisting on sticking to her? He's such an annoying bastard.
Qin Youran felt that someone like Cheng Chaoyang wasn't fit to become Jun Zishu's partner.
When Qin Youran tried picturing Jun Zishu's future boyfriend, what first came to her mind was a bespectacled researcher in a white lab coat. However, she quickly shook her head and removed this thought from her mind.
If two bookworms stayed together, they would probably never gain enlightenment on matters of love.
So, what kind of person would fit the bookworm?
Qin Youran did a quick run-through of the types of men she had encountered in her life. However, she found that none of them was a good match for Jun Zishu. Every one of them would have a few flaws. Thus, Qin Youran failed to reach a conclusion in the end.
Whatever. Let's just leave it to fate.
Even though they had agreed to meet tomorrow, Jun Zishu came across Cheng Chaoyang again when she was on her way back to class for her evening self-study session. Then, the boy generously stuffed a bag of chips into her hands.
"What are you giving me snacks for?"
"I was at the store just now, so I decided to get a bag for you. Don't worry; this is just a normal interaction between friends. If you feel uncomfortable accepting it, you can buy me in return when you get the chance. Anyway, take your time enjoying it. If you don't like it, you can share it with others as well. Well, see you tomorrow then!" Cheng Chaoyang said with a smile.
Meanwhile, Jun Zishu couldn't help but be troubled by this situation. The boy's words and tactful manner of giving gifts made it difficult for her to reject his gift.
Eventually, Jun Zishu decided to accept the bag of chips and return something of equivalent value to the boy tomorrow.
As Cheng Chaoyang saw Jun Zishu returning to class, his mood brightened up significantly. He also realized his initial method of pursuing Jun Zishu was incorrect.
At this time, Cheng Chaoyang's close friend, who stood beside him, patted him on the shoulder and asked, "Out of all the ladies you could've chosen, why must you choose to like that one?"
"Don't you feel that she's very cute?"
"She does look cute, but she's also very scary!"
"How is she scary…"
"That girl is different from people like us. She is good at studying, and she's bound to enter a top university and have good prospects in the future."
"Doesn't that make her even better? Also, I'll feel proud if you praise her like that," Cheng Chaoyang happily said.
"What are you feeling proud of? I'm not praising you!" Cheng Chaoyang's friend said. "Hah… What I'm trying to say is that she's not the type of girl you want to offend. Girls like her tend to take relationships very seriously, so you'll have a hard time getting rid of her in the future."
"Enough, enough. I know what you're trying to say. Do I look like such an irresponsible person to you? Not to mention, I don't even know if I can win her heart right now."
"Tsk, tsk. Didn't she tell you what kind of man she liked before? How about changing yourself to match that person?"
"Do you think it's so simple? She told me that she likes Thales. Do you know who Thales is?"
"This name… Could he be a foreign celebrity?"
"Thales of Miletus, also known as the Father of Mathematics from Ancient Greece."
"Crap, awesome. Does she like Hua Luogeng as well?"
"If that's the case, your only hope is to reincarnate and change your brain."
Qin Youran was writing something on a draft paper when she saw Jun Zishu entering the class with a bag of chips in her arms.
"You went to buy snacks at this hour?" Qin Youran asked with a raised eyebrow. However, she quickly dismissed this thought from her mind. Jun Zishu wasn't a glutton, so there was no way she would go to the store to buy snacks at this hour. Thus, there was only one possibility—someone had given the snacks to her.
"Who gave it to you? Cheng Chaoyang?"
Qin Youran's hand slipped, her pen drawing a long line across her draft paper. Then, with a frown on her face, she asked, "Haven't you returned all of his gifts before? Why did you accept it this time?"
"He says that this is a normal interaction between friends. I plan to buy him a bag tomorrow."
Qin Youran tightly squeezed her pen.
To hell with "friends." This bastard really knows how to find trouble.
"Oh," Qin Youran indifferently replied. She had gotten so angry that she didn't even wish to speak.
Although Jun Zishu noticed the change in Qin Youran's mood, she kept her dull expression and pretended as if she didn't notice anything. Then, she stored the bag of chips in her desk drawer and resumed doing her unfinished homework.
Jun Zishu would never do more than what was necessary when it came to homework, even if she already knew the entire syllabus. After all, she decided that it'd be better if she kept a low profile.
"Let me see your math homework."
"It's on the table. Get it yourself," Jun Zishu said without taking her attention away from her workbook.
Qin Youran was by no means slow when it came to solving mathematics equations. On the contrary, she was significantly faster than most of her classmates. Even so, she was still a lot slower compared to Jun Zishu. Meanwhile, whenever she finished her mathematics homework, she would check her answers by referencing Jun Zishu's homework. If she found any differences in their answers, she would redo her calculations. And if she still failed to reach the same answer, she would ask Jun Zishu for help.
There was no need to doubt Jun Zishu's answers, either. After all, her answers were the standard.
After placing Jun Zishu's mathematics workbook beside her own, Qin Youran started correcting her mistakes. However, there was one question that she couldn't find the answer to no matter how many times she tried.
Qin Youran frowned in agitation. Going by her usual habit, she should be asking her deskmate for help at this time. However, for some inexplicable reason, she found it really awkward to do so today, and she failed to open her mouth even after a long time had passed.
In the end, Qin Youran decided to redo her calculations one more time, only to reach the same conclusion again.
At this time, Qi Youran heard a voice in her mind persuading her to ask Jun Zishu for help.
Go on. Isn't it just a question? What are you hesitating for?
However, as soon as this voice finished speaking, another voice appeared in Qin Youran's mind.
Why must you ask her? You're making it look like you can't answer this question without her. At worst, you can just leave the question be and wait for the teacher to explain it.
Voice 1: Oh, stop being so stubborn. She only accepted a bag of chips. What's there to be upset about? Isn't this a normal situation?
Voice 2: Don't try to cover up for her! She made a mistake, and that's a fact! You've already told her multiple times not to get close to that guy, so why did she still accept his gift? Wouldn't everything be alright if she just refused it? She's even going to watch his basketball match tomorrow!
The argument of her inner voices agitated Qin Youran even further. Eventually, she pushed her workbook to Jun Zishu's front and said in a disgruntled tone, "I don't know how to answer this question. Explain it to me."
"Oh, give me your draft paper."
Jun Zishu didn't mind Qin Youran's tone and began patiently explaining the equation step by step.
While listening to Jun Zishu's explanation, Qin Youran suddenly felt her anger vanishing.
Qin Youran realized that there was no point in arguing with Jun Zishu over Cheng Chaoyang's gift. After all, the bookworm was utterly ignorant about romantic affairs.
So what if Jun Zishu accepted Cheng Chaoyang's snacks? It was no big deal.
Qin Youran decided to buy a bag of snacks tomorrow and give it to Cheng Chaoyang on Jun Zishu's behalf. Since the bookworm didn't know how to reject the boy's approach, Qin Youran would do it for her.
Everything was A-OK. There was no flaw in her plans at all.
Hmph. Cheng Chaoyang, is it?
The next day, when the third afternoon period arrived, the sun was no longer emitting its scorching rays in the middle of the sky. Paired with the cooling breeze that blew from time to time, it was the perfect time for young boys and girls to exercise their passion.
Today was when the male students of Class 3 and Class 5 would hold their basketball match, so many students had come to the outdoor basketball court to watch. Some of these students had even skipped class for this occasion. Although the teachers knew of these students' actions, most of them took an indulgent attitude.
The teachers of Yunying High typically only focused on cultivating top-notch seedlings. For rebellious or playful students, the teachers would only lecture them from time to time to keep them in check.
Many students were currently seated in the spectator stands surrounding the court. These people cheered as they waited for the match to begin.
However, not everyone was here solely for the sake of watching a good basketball match. Specifically, the boys were here to watch the match, while the girls came to treat their eyes to a feast of handsome boys.
Cheng Chaoyang was surprisingly quite famous on the school campus thanks to his handsome looks and ruffian temperament. The way he played basketball looked cool and flashy, and he could earn excited squeals from the spectating girls with his every move.
Jun Zishu quietly sat on the spectator stands with Qin Youran, the two looking out of place with their indifferent expressions.
When Cheng Chaoyang noticed Jun Zishu in the spectator stands, he beamed a bright smile at her, his actions causing a bunch of girls to swoon over him.
"Cheng Chaoyang smiled at me!" a girl squealed in joy.
"He's not smiling at you at all, okay? Stop flattering yourself. Though, he does look very handsome when he smiles."
"I don't care! Since he's facing our direction, he must be smiling at me!"
"The Academic Goddess is there. Do you think he's smiling at her?"
Some people quickly noticed Jun Zishu's presence among the spectators. In no time at all, Jun Zishu became the center of attention of the people around her.
"I really wonder what's going through Cheng Chaoyang's mind. Why would he like such a girl? Isn't she just good at studying? What's great about that? Her looks aren't anything special at all," a girl scoffed, her voice reaching Jun Zishu's ears.
Jun Zishu remained unfazed. There was nothing she could do about this situation. She was too excellent, after all. So, she was bound to be loved by many.
However, while Jun Zishu might be able to endure such a derisive comment, it didn't mean that a certain someone could do the same.
"The human brain is a wonderful thing; I hope you can have one as well," Qin Youran said as she glared at the girl who had scoffed at Jun Zishu. Raising an eyebrow, she looked at the girl provocatively and mercilessly continued, "Study more if you have nothing better to do. All you're doing now is making an embarrassment out of yourself. Do you think you look very pretty? Why don't you look at yourself in the mirror first before spouting crap out of your mouth?"
"I wasn't talking about you," the girl said, her face flushing red with anger and embarrassment.
"But I am talking about you. What's the matter? Dissatisfied?" Qin Youran said arrogantly.
The girl's face turned even redder. Although the girl had the urge to continue arguing with Qin Youran, her friends quickly stopped her.
"If you're here to watch a game, then do that instead of sticking your eyes to places where they don't belong. What are you getting jealous of for no reason? So what if someone is better than you? If you have the time to be jealous, how about bettering yourself? With how you are right now, Cheng Chaoyang would have to be blind to take a liking to you."
Qin Youran snorted. She typically found it beneath her to argue with others. If it were in the past, she would only frown at such a sight and leave it to others to deal with the girl. However, now that her underlings were attending a different school, she had no choice but to take action herself.
The group she hung out with during middle school consisted of eight people. Normally, they should've attended Yunying High as well. However, apart from Li Yinglan, the rest were forced to attend First High or Second High by their parents to receive stricter education. Thus, she had ended up in her current situation.
In reality, if Qin Youran wanted to, she could've easily formed a new group in Yunying High. However, as she currently had all her attention focused on making Jun Zishu submit, she couldn't be bothered with mingling with other people.
Not to mention, most of the people who chose to mingle with her mostly had their own agendas.
Qin Youran felt that it wouldn't be too late to befriend other people after she had turned Jun Zishu into her underling.
Meanwhile, after seeing that the offending girl no longer dared to speak up, Qin Youran retracted her gaze and looked at Jun Zishu.
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Other novels I translate on Hosted Novel:
Pantsu Hero Alice (PHA)
Reincarnation of the Strongest Sword God (Side Stories)
After Being Bent By Reader (ABBR)(GL)