At this time, in the reception area of Qinghe Academy, there was a tall, bright-looking woman. She was born with apricot eyes, high nose and vermilion lips, a long black hair tied behind her head, a thin braid on each side of her face, and a small blue floral turban on her head.
You can tell by looking at this appearance that it is a girl from a nearby village.
But this girl is beautiful. Although she is darker, she is not bad compared to those rich ladies, and she has an unusual charm.
Xue Juncai was subconsciously stunned when he saw Zhaoer.
He has never seen Zhao'er has this kind of appearance before. Zhaoer usually doesn't pay much attention to dressing herself up. Even if she is in women's clothing, she still has her hair neatly combed, not like how she has dressed today.
"Juncai, you don't know how much sister missed you!" Zhao'er walked over and said affectionately as soon as she saw Xue Juncai.
Xue Juncai was even more stunned, and subconsciously murmured a sister.
"Oh, what's the matter with you? I haven't seen you for a few days, and you have become thin like this. Sister-in-law goes out, and you won't go back. Mother is worried that something has happened to you in school, and I am afraid that you will not eat well in school. I brought you some home-made meals, including meat and eggs, and big white steamed buns."
Zhao'er's attitude was too affectionate, as if she was really his sister. Xue Juncai's psychological pressure has been too great these few days. When he saw her holding his hand and talking, he couldn't help it as his eyes reddened.
Zhao'er looked at him suspiciously, thinking that she might have scared him.
"I'm okay, I'm busy with my studies. I didn't go back this time after taking a break." Xue Juncai whispered.
Seeing this, the school official on the side breathed a sigh of relief.
"If you’re fine, that’s great. Come and see what I have brought you."
As she said this, she put the bamboo basket in her arms on the table next to him. She uncovered the cloth on it, and put down a pot of vegetables, two small jars, and a few buns wrapped in cloth.
The dish is oil fried meat 1, but there are many vegetables in it, fungus, green pepper, cucumber slices and sour bamboo shoots. You have everything you want, fried with red peppers, and it smells delicious.
This is the skill of Zhao’er.
Xue Juncai took a look at Zhao'er. Zhao'er always cooks for Gou’er on weekdays. In fact, he wants to eat too, but he has no face and can't open his mouth.
"You have to take two bites quickly. If you don't eat, I can't explain to my mother when I go back." After that, Zhao'er glanced at the school official standing next to him, and asked timidly: "This is the gentleman in your school? Mister, would you like to have a meal with Juncai? It’s just the food in the countryside is simple, I'm afraid you will dislike it."
In fact, school official had already been sucking in saliva, and the corners of his eyes kept turning here, thinking that what kind of dishes this country girl made smelled so fragrant. At this time, being asked this way, he immediately felt a sense of shame for being found out.
He cleared his throat, pretending to be majestic: "The girl is polite, I'm not a Xiansheng." He said to Xue Juncai: "Since your sister asked you to eat, you can go back to the dorm after you eat. Don't delay for a long time."
After speaking, the school official went out. Zhao'er looked at his back in doubt, then went to see Xue Juncai who really took the chopsticks to eat, and whispered, "Why do I think this person is weird?"
Xue Juncai’s hand that was squeezing his chopsticks paused: "What's weird."
In fact, he also knew in his heart that this school official came to look at him deliberately, just because they were afraid that the students would talk nonsense, including the cancellation of break time. It is estimated that they will not be able to go back unless the matter is over.
Zhao'er pretended to pick up vegetables and buns for him, and at the same time asked in a low voice: "Actually, I came to you today because of something. There is a person named Sun He in your school, do you know him?"
Xue Juncai was shocked, and the chopsticks in his hand fell. He hurriedly picked it up, and Zhao'er hurriedly said, "Look, why are you panicking. Just eat slowly. When I go back, sister will make more for you. Your school is really... They won't even let the students take a break."
While she was speaking, Xue Juncai asked quietly: "What did you ask about him?"
In fact, when Zhaoer saw Xue Juncai like this, she knew that there must be clues in it, maybe he knew something else. Immediately speaking with him loudly, while intermittently speaking in a low voice, she told him her intentions for coming.
"A life has been blamed on a few innocent people like this. The owner of the academy who went to school in the courtyard was also involved. The owner is a good person, and he has kept the students alive. But you must know that it is life, you can keep it for a while, but you can’t keep it for a lifetime. If you know anything, just tell us so that your classmates can rest in peace."
Xue Juncai ignored her, his attention focused on eating vegetables and steamed buns.
He seemed to be a reborn starving ghost, devouring the food. The dishes were already spicy, so spicy that his lips were red, and he was still eating quickly, and there was a thin layer of sweat on his forehead even though it obviously was not summer yet.
A steamed bun was finally finished, and he took a deep breath, choking a little uncomfortably in his throat.
Seeing this, Zhao'er went to get the teapot next to him, and saw that there was water in it, so she brought it to him. He groaned and drank a lot before he was relieved, but he was still choked in his heart.
He remembered what the owner of the academy had said to them before. It was the first time he had seen such a hideous and savage expression of the owner. He also thought of those wealthy children who had done bad things so blatantly in school and bullied honest students...
When the sky comes to great responsibility for the people, he must first suffer from his mind, toil his muscles and bones, to hungry his body and skin, and to empty his body. This is what the book teaches them, and Xiansheng also says the same. Including himself, he has always motivated himself this way, but sometimes there are some things that are not painful to the skin until one experiences it.
He remembered that Sun He was always pale...
Xue Juncai knows what is good for him, and the owner promised them that as long as they pay attention to their own mouths, at least one child will have a chance of being promoted. He finally got what his father Qiangwan had ordered, but he was not happy at all.
Before he could figure it out, he heard some words coming out of his mouth. The voice was strange and hoarse.
Finally, when the words were finished, Xue Juncai picked up the kettle and poured some water into his mouth before standing up. He looked at Zhao'er and said loudly: "Sister, go back and tell mother, let her not worry about me. I'm doing well in school, and I will study hard and try to become an official next year."
Zhao'er was still in shock, and immediately nodded when she heard the words: "Then elder sister will head back. When you're off for a break, elder sister will pick you up."
Xue Juncai took the two jars of pickles that Zhao'er brought him, and went back to the dorm.
At the other end, Zhao'er took the bamboo basket and walked out of the gate of the academy. She lowered her head all the way and walked forward, until someone called her by the side of the road. Then she came back from her sorrowful thoughts.
"Have you inquired?" It was Xue TingRang.
- name of dish ↑
Translator's comment: I think Xue Juncai is actually quite brave. He was able to tell Zhao'er the truth even though he has a thousand eyes watching his every move. Also, I think in this chapter, we get a better idea of what kind of person Juncai is. He is just a boy trying to cope with school bullying and family pressure. He is expected to be the most excellent in the family when he knows he is just an average kid.