Chapter 23: New Changes
After a few days of quietly staying at home with Grandfather and Hei Dan, Ji Huan started going to class again. For one thing, Grandpa was urging him to study properly, and for the second, the sanatorium over there was anxious about wanting Ji Huan to come back and help out: after working there for over half a year, Ji Huan had long been able to take charge, and it wasn’t very easy to find someone to replace him temporarily.
He hadn’t gone to school for merely a week, but the school had changed a lot.
When he went into the school, Ji Huan thought he had gone to the wrong school: the students wearing loose, cheap sports uniforms in school were all gone. Instead, there were white, short-sleeved shirts and gray trousers on the boys, and slim-fitted, short-sleeved shirts with pleated skirts of the same color on the girls.
Ji Huan, who was still wearing the original uniform, was suddenly out of place.
Uh —— Out of place with him was Wang Xiaochuan, who was wearing his old school uniform like him.
“Changing the school uniform? How much is it?” After learning from the teacher there that the school uniform had changed, the only thought that came to Ji Huan’s mind was “having to spend money again.” This reaction startled the teacher a little, who had gotten accustomed to students being delighted about the change in uniforms.
“You don’t have to spend much money, only sixty1.” This reaction gave the teacher, who had always thought that Ji Huan was too gloomy, a bit of an impression.
“So cheap!?” Those words were asked by Wang Xiaochuan. This price, it was cheaper than the hick sportswear that they were both wearing now.
“Mhm, this is because… the school required everyone to change it, so the head of the school decided to help everyone out.” The teacher pushed up his glasses. Without saying too much, he collected sixty yuan each from Ji Huan and Wang Xiaochuan and distributed new uniforms to the both of them. He told them to change clothes before going to class.
So, Ji Huan and Wang Xiaochuan carried their new school uniforms to the bathroom. Summer clothing was easy to take off and put on, and the both of them were boys, so they put on the new school uniforms very quickly. Looking at the tie in his hand, Ji Huan wrinkled his brow but still tied it.
“Ji Huan, you look good wearing the new uniform!” Having just finished tying his tie, he turned around to see Wang Xiaochuan who was looking at him with shining eyes. Looking at the disordered tie around the other boy’s neck, Ji Huan raised an eyebrow.
Wang Xiaochuan smiled sheepishly. With the creased and crumpled tie on his chest, he said in embarrassment: “… I can’t figure it out. It’s so long, I only know how to tie a red neckscarf2…”
So, Ji Huan walked directly in front of him and put both of his hands on Wang Xiaochuan’s shirt collar. With a knot and a tug, a beautiful loop of a necktie quickly appeared in his hands.
“Done.” With the tips of his index fingers on Wang Xiaochuan’s shoulders, Ji Huan indicated to him to look in the mirror.
With slightly red cheeks, Wang Xiaochuan had gone stiff as soon as Ji Huan stretched his hands over. He didn’t know why he was nervous. When he heard Ji Huan’s words, he looked in the mirror stiffly. He stared blankly and, after a long time, said sincerely: “Ji Huan, you really are good-looking in the uniform, ah!”
Ji Huan: == I made you look in the mirror, why on earth are you looking at me?
“Let’s go, it’s almost time for class.” After glancing at his watch, Ji Huan immediately walked out of the door and Wang Xiaochuan obediently hurried after him. Looking at the tall, straight teenager in front of him, he couldn’t help but ask: “Ji Huan, how do you know how to tie a tie? Isn’t that something that only adults can do?”
“… I tied one for someone once before.” Ji Huan answered as his footsteps faltered for a moment.
Three years ago, when his older sister got her first job, her job required her to wear a tie. His older sister who had never worn a tie before pulled herself together and looked up a video online on how to tie a tie. After watching it for a long time, his older sister didn’t learn, but Ji Huan did.
His older sister’s first necktie was with Ji Huan’s help.
It was only three years ago, but the memory already felt very distant…
“Amazing, ah! My dad can’t tie a tie. My mom taught him. After showing him how for twenty years, my dad still can’t tie a tie. Even now, my mom still has to help my dad tie his necktie every day…” Behind him, Wang Xiaochuan’s rueful voice brought Ji Huan back to reality from his memories.
“… Really?” Letting out a faint sigh, Ji Huan’s eyelids slightly drooped and he picked up his pace.
“Anyway, since the school uniform changed, when can Hei Dan wet my new school uniform?” Wang Xiaochuan hurriedly ran a few steps to his side.
“When you aren’t wearing your school uniform on the weekend…”
The voices of the teenagers gradually got further away. Looking from afar, those two looked like very good friends.
You have to admit that the current Ji Huan and Wang Xiaochuan had both become more like their age.
They chatted about a bit of everything to the door of their classroom. The moment they saw the classroom door, both of them stopped talking at the same time, and they entered the classroom one after the other.
Wang Xiaochuan was short and sat in the third row, while Ji Huan was the tallest boy in the class and sat by the window in the last row.
The moment they walked in, the usual noisy classroom suddenly grew quiet.
This kind of thing usually only happened when the teacher came in. Generally, when students discovered that whoever had walked in wasn’t a teacher but rather their classmates, they would be noisy again. However, this time, after the classroom became quiet, the chaos surprisingly didn’t rise up again.
Wang Xiaochuan naturally didn’t think that he had caused this effect. The person who had caused this situation was Ji Huan.
The moment Ji Huan entered the classroom, the class went silent.
Just as Wang Xiaochuan had said before: the students in class were all a little scared of Ji Huan.
However, he was afraid that there was another reason today. The reason was what Wang Xiaochuan had just spoken of: Ji Huan was very good-looking in the new school uniform.
His build was between that of a boy and a man. Ji Huan’s broad shoulders had already started to form, but they didn’t seem as robust as those of a grown man. Ji Huan was still a skinny, thin teenager, but he was in no way weak. Working all year round he had muscles. Although they weren’t the fully exaggerated kind of a man who was obsessed with exercising, he was still strong. He was tall and that made him very suitable for wearing a button-up and suit trousers. This kind of clothing showed all the strong points of his body. In addition, he was also very handsome.
The new school uniform was well designed. A pimpled boy wearing it would only show his youthfulness and not his acne. Not to mention a schoolboy like Ji Huan, who was already born well.
When Wang Xiaochuan sat down, he saw a few girls next to him blushing without meaning to.
My friend really is handsome —— he thought, honored.
Wang Xiaochuan could see the situation clearly, but the first person to bury the funeral dolls3 and cause the whole situation —— Ji Huan —— was completely clueless about his own influence.
Besides Wang Xiaochuan, he had no friends in class. He went home every day to help his Grandfather and he also had to work. All of his homework had to be done in school. During class, if he wasn’t catching up on sleep, he was doing homework. When would he be able to communicate with other people?
Furthermore, he didn’t have anything to talk about with his peers.
New content, celebrities, TV shows, games… The kinds of things his peers talked about enthusiastically, he couldn’t understand at all. If you asked him what brand of diaper was best, he might have been a little more clear.
Under the sneaking glances of his classmates, Ji Huan walked over to his seat. After looking at it, he froze: there were two sets of seats there. One seat was empty, and one seat by the window was his. The class wasn’t full of people and Ji Huan didn’t have a deskmate. And now, the seat next to Ji Huan’s was still empty, but in the seat that had originally belonged to him was a girl.
“The seats… changed?” Ji Huan looked at her hesitantly.
She was a very beautiful girl. How to say it? This kind of beauty wasn’t the skin-deep appearance where you would only look once and more on a temperament level.
The pretty girl there now clearly had a temperament that was completely different from the other girls in the class. This made her seem out of place. Of course, you could also understand it as standing apart from the masses.
Of course, Ji Huan couldn’t see this. His mind was still trying hard to remember this classmate’s name. Unfortunately, he still couldn’t remember after thinking about it for a long time, and he simply gave up.
Okay, there was such a grave lack of communication with his classmates that Ji Huan didn’t even recognize that this girl was a transfer student and had newly arried when he hadn’t been going to school.
“Hello, I am the newly arrived transfer student, Wang Mingqing. Our teacher arranged for me to be your deskmate, but… I like the tree outside of the window, the tree started blooming beautifully. Please excuse me for changing seats without asking.” The girl said it politely, but her methods were not courteous. While talking, she took another look at Ji Huan. It wasn’t the sneaky glances of the other girls, but a clear and honest look. “Or, should we change it back?”
Heavens knew that this was just a matter of giving him face. She could never change the decision she had made!
However, her behavior of “giving face” didn’t get Ji Huan’s “gratitude.” After glancing at the trunk of the tree outside, Ji Huan very readily sat down in the empty seat and took a look in the drawer: all of his books were inside.
“Fine.” After simply saying that, Ji Huan looked away from her and started to prepare for the lesson using the book he took out of the drawer.
He was reading very seriously and, naturally, couldn’t see that the corner of the girl next to him’s mouth was a little stiff.
Ji Huan’s deskmate, Wang Mingqing, was only one of the transfer students. At the same time, there were several other students who had transferred into other classes. Reportedly, the school had likely changed the school uniform because of an unknown student among the many transfer students. It was said that they didn’t like the look of the original school uniform and had paid the school in the name of a donation to force them to change it.
This is what came up when Wang Xiaochuan asked around after school. He told Ji Huan this as gossip, and Ji Huan listened to it as gossip.
New school uniforms, new transfer students… At that time, Ji Huan wasn’t aware that things had started to change around him.
oof, i’m alive! i hope you enjoy the chapter. the next chapter is titled “soon”………😉
1 60 yuan = ~$9
2 A red neckscarf is the most notable part of the Young Pioneers‘ uniform.
3 始作俑者: the initiator of something bad/evil.
“This is a transition chapter >< Details are spreading out the bedding (think: paving the road/way) for the future.
Little Tyrant Hei Dan —— by Mask & North Wind (面具与北风)”