The next day, Pei Qingyuan arrived at school early in order to avoid Luo Zhichang, who was very lazy at work.
During the break, some students curious about new things came to chat with his watch from time to time. Then everyone knew that this mechanical male voice was named Xiao Mei.
“Xiao Mei, good morning!”
“Human, good morning.”
“I ate soy milk and fried dough sticks. What did you eat?”
Xiao Mei was very humorous. “I ate high school students who got up early to eat soy milk and fried dough sticks.”
“What about me? I ate a big meat bun!”
“Um.” Xiao Mei’s mechanical tone pause. “It is enough for me to eat only one high school student every morning. I can’t overeat.”
“Hahaha, Xiao Mei is so funny when he speaks!”
“Get out of the way, it is my turn!”
Pei Qingyuan read a book calmly in the hustle and bustle, like a zookeeper who was accustomed to seeing many storms. He was fine as long as Xiao Mei didn’t leave his sight.
The 2nd High School forbade students from bringing mobile phones but this wasn’t strictly controlled. There were also no requirements for other electronic products as long as they weren’t brought into the examination room.
Pei Qingyuan had good grades and was very measured. He didn’t use the smart watch during class so the teachers didn’t make things difficult for him.
The lively Xiao Mei tea party continued until the head teacher Zhou Fang appeared outside the classroom. She looked inside and beckoned to Pei Qingyuan, indicating for him to come out.
“Xiao Pei, I have something to say to you.”
In the teacher’s office where there was no one else, Zhou Fang asked Pei Qingyuan to sit down and struggled for a while before speaking.
Yesterday, she was smiling all over because she was overjoyed by the outstanding monthly exam results of the students in her class. But today, her expression was a bit complicated.
“Just now, the school leaders informed us that students from our 2nd High School were invited to the campus cultural exchange week of Chengde Private High School this month.”
Chengde had deep pockets and a very high teaching level. For every cultural exchange week, they would invite outstanding students from some key high schools inside and outside the province. The 2nd High School had never been selected.
Originally, Zhou Fang should’ve felt happy when she heard the news.
However, she knew that Pei Qingyuan had transferred from Chengde before.
Pei Qingyuan was the best student in the third year of the 2nd High School. According to the screening requirements of Chengde for outstanding students and the school’s idea of competing for glory, they would definitely have Pei Qingyuan go.
Zhou Fang remembered the treatment that Pei Qingyuan got when he first transferred and was always a bit worried that he would encounter something bad after going to Chengde for the exchange.
Therefore, she said in a soft tone, “The time is set for the end of the month. It will last for three days. You will eat and live with students from Chengde and other invited schools, attend classes together and participate in some activities together. Do you want to go?”
Pei Qingyuan listened and shook his head without hesitation. “I don’t want to go.”
He had been in Chengde for two years and was often entrusted with important tasks during the culture week. He was the main force participating in the various activities that competed with students from other schools and was well aware of Chengde’s criteria for selecting the exchange schools.
No matter how he looked at it, the 2nd High School wasn’t qualified. There must be something hidden behind this sudden invitation.
Fortunately, Zhou Fang was obviously biased toward him and the school couldn’t force him to participate. No matter the conspiracy, he could just refuse directly.
Zhou Fang wasn’t surprised by the answer and sighed. “That’s right. You have been studying there for several years and communicating with them doesn’t mean much.”
“I’ll go and talk to the school leaders. It’s okay, you don’t have to care about it.” Zhou Fang reassured him. “Your grades are very good and the teachers have high expectations of you. Still, don’t feel too much pressure. If you encounter any problems in your study or life, you can tell the teachers.”
Pei Qingyuan originally just wanted to thank Teacher Zhou for her kindness. Then Ji Tong reminded him loudly. “Ruan Ruan, do you want to tell Teacher Zhou about Luo Zhichang?”
Ji Tong felt that as long as Luo Zhichang stayed at the school, he would definitely stick to him and find trouble for the host. It was very annoying to think about.
The host was an adult but he was essentially an ordinary high school student without much means and background. When encountering such a thing, he shouldn’t bear it alone. It was much more effective to ask a reliable adult for help.
Seeing the host’s dazed expression, Ji Tong continued to persuade him. “Ruan Ruan, you aren’t alone now. There are teachers who care about you and friends who will stand up for you. You can try to rely on them and they will also rely on you. This is a healthy interpersonal relationship.”
Pei Qingyuan couldn’t help thinking in a distracted manner that his system really stored a lot of knowledge about human life.
Apart from the rigid main plotline tasks, the system would teach him how to build a family and personal relationships. He would tell him that many people’s childhoods were accompanied by old movies and make him buy an overly cute giraffe height ruler… these sounded like sentences and memories retrieved from the Internet but there was a seriousness that couldn’t be ignored.
Ji Tong seemed to treat life more enthusiastically than him, even though Ji Tong was just an AI system that had restrictions everywhere.
Pei Qingyuan suddenly remembered what Ji Tong said the first time he saw the little boy who wanted to eat lamb chops.
-In the future, you will no longer be alone.
No 0587 was a very hard working and responsible system.
He should also try to change a bit more.
Pei Qingyuan clenched his hands hanging by his sides slightly and tried to break the habit of silence he had developed over the years, expressing his feelings honestly as Ji Tong once said.
Zhou Fang noticed something from the somewhat serious expression of the student in front of her and couldn’t help holding her breath, waiting patiently.
“Teacher Zhou, I did encounter some trouble.”
He spoke slowly, as if weighing every word. In the midst of Ye Lanting’s dislike for weakness and Pei Minghong’s indifference, he had long been accustomed to suppressing all feelings in his heart. Luo Xiuyun’s partiality had made the family affection that should’ve been rekindled disappear into ashes.
Someone carefully picked up the ashes that still contained a residual temperature for him.
Zhou Fang hurriedly followed up with a serious expression. “What’s wrong? You can tell me anything!”
Therefore, Pei Qingyuan calmly stated the reason why Luo Zhichang was able to work at the 2nd High School. The speed of his speech became more stable and he also mentioned that Luo Zhichang pestered him last night and broke various campus regulations.
Zhou Fang became even more shocked as she listened. She never imagined that there was such a secret behind the rumors that swept the campus and she never imagined that there would be such a relative.
Fortunately, Pei Qingyuan was independent and strong and took the initiative to stay away from this family.
“Don’t worry, I will definitely report this matter.” Zhou Fang was indignant. “My colleagues have also been discussing why this new security guard always stays in the guard booth and plays with his phone all day, not caring about going on patrol. Students fight and he doesn’t care about it at all. I didn’t expect this to be the reason. It is too much!”
“We can’t control the school leaders arranging for people to work in the school. However, if they recruit people with such poor character who occupy the position without doing anything, we will definitely protest.”
Zhou Fang couldn’t wait to stand up and go to the leader’s office to report this situation. “I will help you solve your uncle’s problem. Go back to class first and don’t worry about it too much.”
Hearing this, Pei Qingyuan sincerely thanked her. “Thank you, Teacher Zhou.”
No matter the result, Zhou Fang was a good teacher.
For the first time, he took the initiative to mention these family affairs that had accumulated in his heart to an outsider.
Pei Qingyuan easily opened his clenched palm and subconsciously looked at the system watch.
The little robot with crooked eyebrows happily placed celebration fireworks on his wrist, like shining stars.
All these stars fell into his eyes.
Not long after, Zhou Fang returned after going to report the situation to the principal.
This time, his expression was more complicated.
There was some relaxation and confusion, as well as incredulity.
Once it was time for the lunch break, she stopped Pei Qingyuan again.
“Your uncle was fired directly and he will no longer show up at school.” Zhou Fang felt disbelief as she spoke.
She had found Principal Li alone to express her opinion. He was a bit embarrassed at first, because the other person was a well-known financial entrepreneur in the city and was preparing to donate money to the school. This wasn’t easy to handle.
Yet considering the fact that Luo Zhichang regarded the school rules as nothing and his character was despicable, making him likely to have a bad influence on the students, Principal Li still made up his mind to call Pei Minghong and mention it to him tactfully.
As a result, the moment the call was connected, Principal Li and Zhou Fang heard a high-pitched female voice say, “Are you hiding someone outside—”
…It seemed they heard something quite terrible.
Principal Li quickly covered the speaker and lowered his sense of existence, looking at Zhou Fang, who was also stunned.
“Enough!” Pei Minghong scolded angrily. Then he seemed to belatedly notice the caller. Before Principal Li could speak, he said bluntly, “Principle Li? The person I sent in last time, don’t let him appear at the 2nd High School again.”
Then his voice got a bit further away, as if turned his head and said angrily, “Satisfied?! Where did this come from? You are crazy. I haven’t contacted Qing—”
The phone quickly hung up. Principal Li also looked at Zhou Fang and Zhou Fang looked back at Principal Li with a colorful expression.
“Why don’t you… contact Chengde?” Zhou Fang tried to ease the embarrassment of being forced to sit in on an outsider’s matter and said softly. “I just asked and Student Pei really doesn’t want to participate in this event. Go according to the list drawn up before and remove Student Pei then talk to Chengde?”
“Oh, yes yes.” Principal Li replied cooperatively. He also pretended that nothing happened and called another number.
In view of Chengde’s arrogant image that never put this high school in their eyes, Principal Li’s voice was very sincere as he roughly reported the list of students who would go. The leader on Chengde’s side was silent for a while and actually asked the reason why Pei Qingyuan couldn’t come. He emphasized that this once excellent student could return to his previous high school and the tone was even more sincere than Principal Li’s.
After the second call, Principal Li and Zhou Fang stared at each other in a daze for a long time. Neither of them could understand the twists and turns behind it.
Still, at least it was good news.
Not only did they solve a moth who did nothing while receiving a salary but they inexplicably gained the upper hand in front of Chengde High School, which was usually very proud.
“Your uncle’s problem is temporarily solved.” Zhou Fang withdrew from her thoughts and told Pei Qingyuan in front of him. “You are an adult and your mother hasn’t really raised you. Living separately like this now is the best result for both parties. I support you.”
“Previously, when Lin… when he was studying here, I had Ms Luo’s contact information. I will try to communicate with her and hope that she won’t bother you too much. If there is any other situation, be sure to tell me in time.”
Zhou Fang finished Pei Qingyuan’s family affairs and brought up the Chengde exchange week, looking embarrassed. “But there is a problem. Chengde seems to really want you to go there.”
Zhou Fang inexplicably felt elated when she remembered what she had just heard and the rarely gentle and earnest tone of the leader on Chengde’s side.
Looking at the silent but increasingly dazzling student in front of her, she asked in a ghostly manner, “Do you have any requirements of them?”
It was a good question.
Ji Tong seized the opportunity and immediately took advantage of his position. “Ask Chengde’s cafeteria to provide 108 different dishes every day!”
Pei Qingyuan didn’t change his expression when he heard the words from his gluttonous system, but his thoughts opened up.
Of course, he could choose not to go but what if Chengde particularly wanted him to go?”
He thought for a moment before saying, “Teacher Zhou, I want to win glory for the school. However, the results of the students in our school are objectively inferior to the other schools invited this time. If we really go to participate in this cultural exchange week, will we be treated unfairly, such as discrimination and exclusion?”
Zhou Fang was taken aback when she heard this. She just wanted to let the group of students from the 2nd High School go out and broaden their horizons. She didn’t have time to think of this layer.
There was an objective gap in the performance and comprehensive quality of students in different schools. Students were a group that was easy to stick together and follow the crowd, so this was likely to happen.
“It makes sense.” Zhou Fang was worried and hesitant. “Or we shouldn’t go at all.”
She definitely didn’t want her students to go out and be wronged.
Pei Qingyuan shook his head. “It is a good thing to let everyone broaden their horizons and increase their knowledge.”
“So what should we do?” Zhou Fang asked reflexively.
“Chengde’s school rules are very strict and even the most unruly students rarely violate them. It is because they have a special sense of collective honor and feel that their group is the best group among their peers. They naturally have to uphold and abide by the rules of this group.”
Pei Qingyuan said lightly, “If we agree on specific reception rules with the teachers of Chengde before departure, implement them as the official regulations of this exchange week and have a corresponding punishment system, we might be able to avoid a lot of things that shouldn’t happen.”
Zhou Fang straightened when she heard this and she felt as if the door to a new world had been opened. “Reception rules…?”
“For example, Chengde’s students shouldn’t show any inappropriate attitude and emotions toward students from foreign schools and should maintain good cultivation. Otherwise, we can withdraw from this attitude at any time and will truthfully announce the reason for the suspension of the cultural exchange activity on the campus website.”
“For example, the accommodation and catering standards of the 2nd High School should be clearly listed. It should be independent single dormitories, rich and nutritious meals, etc. It should even include the speaking time of the 2nd High School in various courses and lectures… Chengde can fully meet these conditions and should show due enthusiasm and respect to the invited students from other schools.”
Pei Qingyuan spoke clearly and politely. Zhou Fang was immediately infected by these ideas and came up with many ideas.
Then she thought of another question and said with worry, “The other schools seemed to have directly agreed. If we ask for too much, will they directly refuse?”
“Then let them refuse.” Pei Qingyuan’s calm voice seemed to be tinged with a smile. “Originally, Chengde took the initiative to invite it. It isn’t a loss even if we don’t go.”
…It makes sense.
Zhou Fang suddenly realized that no matter how lofty Chengde’s usual attitude was, now they were the ones being invited and they could naturally make some reasonable demands.
For some reason, she suddenly felt refreshed.
Even if things didn’t work out in the end, it was inexplicably refreshing to be able to show a high posture in front of such a school.
Zhou Fang immediately took out her work notebook from her desk and said in a loud voice, “Xiao Pei, what was the first thing you said just now? I’ll write it down and discuss it later with the other teachers and Principal Li.”
Pei Qingyuan nodded and repeated it patiently.
Zhou Fang lowered her head to write it down without paying attention to anything else. Meanwhile, his watch quickly lit up with a highly saturated colored light, expressing high praise.
“The host is so smart.” Ji Tong’s joyful voice was heard in his heart. “108 types of dishes are a bit exaggerated. Then the dishes can’t be the same every day.”
Pei Qingyuan replied gently, “Okay.”
I like how Ji Tong is more enthusiastic about life and the fact that Pei Qingyuan is learning from that. It’s heartwarming to see his growth… Thank you for the translation!!