TN: Loving the title of this chapter!! Are you guys ready for it~ kekeke
Upon hearing Zhou Kao’s words, Wen Le burst into laughter.
Zhou Kao waved his hand and said, “Come over here and tell me, how many backup options do you have?”
Wen Le chuckled, “Do you really want to know?”
Zhou Kao said, “Wen Le, do you know that smart girls never raise fish as pets?”
Wen Le asked, “Why? Is it because raising fish can lead to people cheating?”
Zhou Kao replied, “No, it’s because smart girls know how to choose the most outstanding guy. This way, even though it takes only a bit of effort, what they gain is multiplied. Right now, you have such an opportunity in front of you.”
Wen Le looked around and asked, “What opportunity? Where?”
Zhou Kao said, “With this kind of brain, how did you get into A University? Didn’t you just see that pile of certificates?”
Speaking of certificates, Wen Le became annoyed. “And you dare to say it! That pile of certificates nearly killed me.”
Zhou Kao smiled, “So, after enduring this exhaustion, what information did you gain from that pile of certificates?”
Wen Le sneered lightly, “From that pile of certificates, I realized that you’re a playboy.”
Zhou Kao playfully tapped his finger on Wen Le’s head, “Then you have really wasted your time looking at them.”
Wen Le held her head, a question mark seemed to appear above her head. Is that it? He thinks he can chase someone with just that? Dream on.
Zhou Kao glanced at Wen Le as if he could read her mind and asked, “Are you bad-mouthing me again?”
Wen Le put on a fake polite smile, “Interpret it however you like.”
Zhou Kao clicked his tongue, “Heartless. I thoughtfully got you some dessert to cheer you up and you’re still being like this.”
Saying that, Zhou Kao took a few steps back, went to a black car, opened the front passenger seat, and took out a delicate box of pastries and a cup of milk tea.
Wen Le looked at the car and couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow, “Is this your car?”
Zhou Kao nodded, “Why, doesn’t it look like it?”
Wen Le said, “It definitely doesn’t look like it.”
Wen Le glanced at the black Volkswagen Passat behind Zhou Kao and then at the Rolex watch on Zhou Kao’s wrist. She said, “Mainly because I’ve never seen anyone whose car isn’t as expensive as his watch.”
Zhou Kao closed the car door and said, “It’s just because it’s more suitable. Most people can tell the price of a car at a glance, but very few can tell the price of a watch at a glance.”
Wen Le didn’t dwell on this question any longer and shifted her attention to the bag of pastries.
She recognized the brand of the pastry that Zhou Kao was holding. This brand of pastry has always been popular among internet celebrities and stars. They were not only exquisitely delicious, but also genuinely expensive.
Looking at the fact that this shop was not available on campus and was beyond the range of delivery service, one needed to drive for 30 minutes or take the subway for 20 minutes to enjoy these pastries.
When Wen Le sent a WeChat message to Zhou Kao, it was about half an hour ago. That was definitely not enough time for Zhou Kao to drive to the shop, buy the pastries, and then come back to wait for Wen Le under the women’s dormitory.
Wen Le asked him, “Why do you think I’m not happy?”
Zhou Kao said, “I saw you at Building J this noon…”
With Zhou Kao’s words, Wen Le understood.
The administration building of the School of Economics was just opposite to Building J.
Zhou Kao continued, “I had something to do on North An East Road in the afternoon, so I bought these on my way.”
He handed the bag in his hand to Wen Le.
Wen Le’s hand dodged and didn’t reach out to take it.
Zhou Kao added, “Consider it an apology for standing you up last time.”
Zhou Kao lowered his head, getting closer, and whispered, “Don’t be angry, okay? Hm?”
“There won’t be a next time.”
Wen Le was best at going head-to-head with Zhou Kao, but she recently discovered that this guy had levelled up and changed his tactics.
This caught Wen Le off guard.
Wen Le didn’t know how to deal with this new version of Zhou Kao. She rolled her eyes, reached out, and took the milk tea and pastries.
Wen Le said, “Fine, I’ll accept it, for the sake of the pastries.”
A trace of a smile flickered in Zhou Kao’s eyes.
Suddenly, he looked down at Wen Le, his voice turning very soft as he said, “So, how about it? Actually, I’m quite good at chasing girls, right?”
Wen Le said, “Yeah, you’re good at chasing girls. You chase from behind, and the girl runs ahead. The goal is to be the first to cross the finish line. First in the race, second in friendship. Isn’t my summary accurate?”
Zhou Kao sighed, “Yes, you’re right. You’re that girl whom someone is chasing after, but you think they’re trying to beat you to win first place.”
“Even if we’re not in the same major, as long as you’re studying in the library, and I show up beside you, you’ll think I want to compete with you in the CET-6 and IELTS scores, right?”
Wen Le suddenly burst into laughter, “Exactly, shouldn’t this be the correct way for us to get along?”
Zhou Kao said, “Miss, I think I need to emphasize this solemnly again. I am currently pursuing you. It’s not a race of academic achievements between two top students. After all these years, shouldn’t your mindset mature a bit?”
Wen Le looked at Zhou Kao, smiling composedly, “Didn’t I tell you already? We’re not compatible.”
The smile on Zhou Kao’s face gradually faded, “Where are we not compatible?”
Wen Le said, “Our backgrounds don’t match. It’s better for a commoner like me not to climb up to the level of your wealthy family.”
However, Zhou Kao calmly stated, “But as far as I know, the value of this watch on my hand and the car behind me combined is not as expensive as the bracelet on your hand right now. Are you telling me that as a commoner, you can’t climb up to my wealthy family?”
A frozen smile appeared on Wen Le’s face. Instinctively, she moved her hand, adorned with the jade bracelet, behind her back, saying, “I don’t understand what you’re talking about.”
Zhou Kao lowered his head, looking deeply into Wen Le’s eyes. He whispered to her, “Wen Le, what are you really avoiding? Have you figured it out? Are you running away from me, or from your own background?”
TN: Finally something relating to Wen Le’s family background!! I’m so curious to find out what her backstory is~
“Zhou Kao,” Wen Le suddenly interrupted him, “I’m going back. I don’t want to stay downstairs in my pajamas for too long.”
However, Zhou Kao spoke from behind Wen Le, “If you can’t forgive me because of what happened in the past, I can understand that. But if you can’t accept me for any other reason, I can’t accept that.”
“Take some time to carefully think about it.”
Feeling uneasy, Wen Le returned to her dorm room, having forgotten to buy dinner.
She placed the milk tea and pastries Zhou Kao had bought for her on the table and stared at them blankly, her thoughts wandering elsewhere.
Unconsciously, Wen Le clenched the bracelet on her wrist, her eyes vacant.
At that moment, her roommate suddenly approached, “Lele, how did you get pastries from this place? Who delivered them to you? Isn’t it impossible for deliveries to reach us here?”
Wen Le chuckled awkwardly and said, “It was an old classmate who happened to pass by there. They brought some for me.”
Wen Le’s roommate didn’t believe her and looked at her teasingly, saying, “What old classmate? It’s probably another suitor, I bet. You’ve never accepted such things, so why did you suddenly bring them back this time? It seems like this time is different~”
Wen Le’s heart skipped a beat, her ears turned slightly red, but her face remained composed.
“What nonsense are you talking about? It really was an old classmate.”
“Alright, alright, an old classmate then. But next time, if this old classmate brings you pastries again, will you remind him? Pursuing someone and buying things should involve the entire dormitory, you know?”
“And Lele, if you’re not single anymore, you must treat us to a meal. After all, you’re the first one among us single dogs to escape after entering university.”
Sun Youmei was ignored by everyone, and indeed, their dormitory had only five people now.
Wen Le laughed, “Alright, you guys can count on that.”
Distracted by their chatter, Wen Le didn’t dwell on Zhou Kao’s words. She took a few bites of the pastries and listened to her roommates’ gossip.
“The list for the national scholarship will be out in two days.”
“So what if it’s out? What’s the big deal?”
“I heard a new gossip recently.”
Yes, this was a dormitory that loved gossip.
“I heard that the previous year, there were a male and a female candidate from the same college for the national scholarship, and they were actually a couple.”
“Wow, that’s impressive.”
“Wait, the good part is coming. Both of them wanted the scholarship and neither was willing to let the other have it. Initially, the girl had a slightly better chance because of her higher ranking. They agreed to compete fairly, but in the end, the scholarship was given to the guy. The girl was disappointed at first, but since it was her boyfriend who got it, she wasn’t that upset. However, later it was discovered that the guy was able to get the scholarship because he gave a gift to their counsellor.”
“No way, seriously? They didn’t break up over this?”
“The girl was indeed rather angry, but they’re still together from what I heard.”
“Did the guy share the scholarship with his girlfriend?”
“What are you thinking? Of course not.”
“Goodness, is it really worth it? They’re still a couple.”
“It’s all about self-interests.”
“Man, who are the candidates from our department this time?”
“I don’t know, but Wen Le’s always been the top student in our department, so she’s definitely one of them.”
Cheng Hui, calm as always, cracked a melon seed and said, “It’s Wen Le and Ai Fei.”
“Wow, both of them are from our dormitory, that’s impressive.”
Cheng Hui, however, gave a cryptic chuckle at that comment.
Almost instantly, a realization struck Wen Le like a lightning bolt, and she looked at the dorm leader in disbelief.
The dorm leader looked at Wen Le, eyes wide, “No way, seriously? Did you really get into trouble?”
Wen Le nodded, somewhat dazed.
The other two quickly picked up on the gossip vibe and approached, “What’s going on? I noticed something off about you today.”
Wen Le hesitated for a moment but eventually recounted the conversation she had with the counsellor earlier in the day.
Cheng Hui, skilled in reasoning and analysis, calmly cracked a melon seed and, looking at the ground, pondered for a moment. Then she placed the melon seed on the table and began her analysis:
“First, Wen Le, as you’ve never actually used the bag since you bought it, only the five of us in the dormitory know about it. So, the person who could potentially report you must be one of us five. You wouldn’t report yourself, leaving four possibilities.”
“We three spend time with you every day, and we know that you haven’t used that bag. So, if one of us were to report you, you would immediately suspect us.
Therefore, as long as we three aren’t foolish, we wouldn’t report you. However, Ai Fei only heard about us buying the bag that night but didn’t spend time with us. So, she wouldn’t know that you haven’t used the bag.”
“Secondly, be it the national scholarship list or new scholarship awards, there’s always been an ongoing competition between her and you, given your standings in the department. Just like the national scholarship competition between the couple, this also involves interests, which provides a motive. But suspecting her based solely on this is indeed the biggest possibility. However, we don’t have any evidence, so we shouldn’t casually suspect anyone. Doing so could harm our relationships and lead to unjust accusations.”
Bao Xiaofan said, “Actually, I’ve always felt that there’s something off about her. Look at the books on our desks – they’re all arranged with the spines facing out, making it easy to see the titles and handle them. She usually arranges them this way too, but there are a few books with their pages facing out and their spines inward, making it impossible to identify them. One day, out of curiosity, I glanced at them and found that those books weren’t ours. It seemed like she was learning English on her own. Although this doesn’t necessarily mean anything, it just feels like she doesn’t want us to know. She’s always hiding something. Also, she wakes up so early in the morning and comes back so late at night, yet she still can’t outperform Wen Le. I think she might be jealous of Wen Le.”
Wen Le said, “Forget about it, we also have no evidence. Let’s not speculate and damage our relationships.”
“But Lele, did you really donate 5000 yuan all at once?”
Wen Le nodded and said, “I mentioned before that I submitted an article to Wenxing Magazine, right? They just paid me the fee of 5000 yuan on Monday morning. Then the class leader said we’re collecting donations for mountain area children. I thought it was a kind of fate and coincidence since our family also lives in a mountainous region. So, I felt rather empathetic for them and decided to donate everything.”
“Oh my, Wen Le, you took so long writing that article and you just decided to donate it all at once? Don’t you feel a bit of heartache? You cried so badly the other day when you bought a 1000-yuan bag.”
Wen Le smiled and said, “If it’s meaningful, that’s enough for me.”
Cheng Hui said, “You didn’t even mention a word about it.”
Man Qingxuan added, “Wait, we didn’t even know that you donated 5000 yuan. How did she find out?”
Bao Xiaofan said, “You forgot that she’s the vice-class leader; she’s in charge of counting for the class leader. Alright, now the suspicion is even stronger.”
“By the way, Lele, is it true that your family lives in a mountainous area? I can’t really tell from your demeanour; you don’t seem to fit that image.”
Subconsciously, Wen Le touched the bracelet on her wrist and lowered her gaze, pondering for a moment. Then, looking up, she tentatively said, “Yes, my family really lives in a mountainous area. But there’s a slight difference between our family and other mountain children. I used to think I was a left-behind child, but later I found out that my grandparents intentionally moved from the city to a mountain village.”
“Oh, so your grandparents are really amazing, just like those exemplary people on TV who go to impoverished areas to teach and end up staying there for a lifetime.”
The group admired Wen Le’s grandparents.
Wen Le said, “Well, not exactly…”
“No wonder Lele donated 5000 yuan all of a sudden. It’s the influence of your grandparents.”
When one harboured some suspicion about others, they tended to subconsciously treat them differently.
When Ai Fei returned, she greeted everyone as usual, joking and laughing, and her face gave no hint of anything unusual.
Unable to help herself, Wen Le secretly observed Ai Fei’s expression and realized that she couldn’t read anything from her face.
Cheng Hui gave Wen Le a meaningful look and then started her act.
Pretending not to care, Cheng Hui browsed the group’s files and casually said, “Wow, the national scholarship for this year is about to be announced. Will it be 5000 yuan or 8000 yuan?”
Wen Le had been watching Ai Fei’s expression closely, but when Cheng Hui mentioned the national scholarship, Ai Fei didn’t react at all.
Cheng Hui couldn’t decipher anything from Ai Fei’s expression either, so she pressed on, “Lele, you’re again the top student in our department. When the national scholarship is announced, you should treat us to a meal.”
Indeed, when the words “national scholarship” were combined with Wen Le’s name, Ai Fei’s smile became slightly strained. However, she and Bao Xiaofan joined forces with Man Qingxuan to insist that Wen Le should treat them to a meal.
While smiling, Wen Le said that she would treat them once the spots were confirmed, but deep inside, she found herself suspecting Ai Fei even more.
TN: Sorry to cut the chapter off here!! but this was a really long chapter – stay tuned for the next part to find out what happens 😝