Pei Qingyuan fell silent and thought for a while before asking, “What partner?”
But at this time, the mechanical voice had disappeared and was replaced by Ji Tong’s familiar voice. He repeated very blankly, “What partner?”
“What happened? I seem to have been taken over temporarily,” Ji Tong said in a confused manner. “I have some built-in present programs and one seemed to have been triggered automatically just now.”
Pei Qingyuan’s mind returned and he hesitated. “Yes, the intelligent early warning program was triggered to remind me that I can’t fall in love early.”
The cat Mushroom lying on his lap showed a surprised expression at the right time. His beautiful blue eyes shone like jewels.
“It must be that the program detected the wrong emotional line arrow,” Ji Tong comforted him. “It’s okay, Ruan Ruan. If you have someone you like now, I will definitely find a way to support you. I heard that the ignorant feelings of adolescents are also precious. The task can be put on hold.”
“I’m not,” Pei Qingyuan instinctively retorted. “There is no one I like.”
Ji Tong immediately relaxed while still maintaining the tone of a close elder. “The program doesn’t allow these emotional lines to deviate from the main line in principle, but I think your feelings are more important.”
After listening to these words, Pei Qingyuan nodded and seemed to really believe it.
Immediately afterward, the cat stretched happily.
He was a genius system.
In the face of adolescent, rebellious teenagers, this type of education of one person teaching strictly and one person teaching kindly was said to be the first choice of many human families.
However, as the only parent of the host, Ji Tong couldn’t let himself act as a schizophrenic. Just now, he came up with this witty method of being a father and a mother. It would simply go down in the annals of the system industry.
Not only did he sternly warn the host not to fall in love with the wrong partner, but it also dispelled the rebellious thoughts that the host might have with a tone full of tolerance and understanding.
He also learned the good news that the host currently didn’t have anyone he liked.
He really put in great effort for the healthy growth of the host.
The unsung hero, Mushroom, felt that he needed a small reward.
Pei Qingyuan, who still had the words ‘early love’ in his hand, felt the cast nesting on his lap rubbing against his palm.
There was a warm and soft touch against his palm. He was a bit in a trance so he reflexively reached out and rubbed Mushroom’s head. The cat narrowed his eyes in pleasure.
Blue eyes like the sky were within reach.
As night fell and dinner finished, everyone went to experience various club activities in Chengde according to their own interests. Some people went to participate in the evening self-study.
Finally, school finished in the evening and the dormitory area was finally lit up with bright lights and the lively speeches of the students.
Pei Qingyuan returned to the apartment with a bag of midnight snacks and wanted to wash up and directly enter his room so that Ji Tong could turn into human form.
However, the moment he went back, he was pulled into Shen Yiming’s room by Lin Zihai, who looked mysterious. Mushroom also ran over to watch the liveliness.
The starry sky was reflected outside the window while the teenagers in the room huddled together and whispered.
“Yiming, tell the truth.” Lin Zihai smiled. “Do you like that beautiful long-haired girl in class?”
Shen Yiming was stunned and quickly shook his head. “I don’t!”
“Don’t lie and just say it.” Lin Zihai hooked an arm around his shoulder. “I came to you twice after class and I found that you were staring at her. Are you still saying this?”
“It is because she helped me…”
Pei Qingyuan didn’t participate in this childish early love discussion. He saw Mushroom bathed in the moonlight, wagging his tail excitedly. Mushroom seemed to be interested in this must-have topic at night in a student dormitory.
Pei Qingyuan was more concerned about whether the midnight meals would go cold.
Lin Zihai, who was full of the desire to gossip, noticed his gaze and also noticed his three packed meal boxes in the plastic bag. He was about to sigh that the class monitor actually ate late-night snacks. Then he remembered the six meal boxes and the cold air at noon and quickly shut his mouth.
Pei Qingyuan had already noticed his eyes. The two people’s complicated eyes met in the air. They looked at each other for a long time, but no one made a sound.
The atmosphere instantly became very strange.
The watching Ji Tong laughed until his stomach ached and he quickly reminded the host, “Ruan Ruan, today I won’t become a person. I want to be a cat from beginning to end.”
Pei Qingyuan, who was almost about to take the blame of the big stomach king again, was inexplicably relieved and calmly told his two roommates, “Do you want to eat together?”
“Yes yes, the class monitor is so kind.”
The packed boxes were opened and the aroma of food filled the small room. This was accompanied by the chatter of the teenagers.
“Class monitor, I want to ask you a question but you can’t be angry when you hear it.”
“Okay. Then tell the truth. You’ve never had a girlfriend?”
“Lin Zihai, why didn’t I know before that you are actually so gossipy? You asked me one moment and then Qingyuan the next.”
“Well, it is human nature.”
Mushroom jumped lightly onto the windowsill, as if he really liked the night. He breathed on the window and stretched out his fleshy paws, printing a cat’s paw shape on the glass that was full of bright moonlight.
Late at night, everyone’s excitement faded and they finally returned to their respective rooms to rest. Pei Qingyuan lay on the bed and saw the deep night sky faintly peeking through the gap in the curtains.
On the desk next to the curtains, a soft nest was laid out with blankets. Mushroom had already curled up in a ball and was sleeping. His eyes were narrowed into slits and the snow-white cat fur seemed to be shining in the night.
Pei Qingyuan thought of sky blue for some reason.
What type of person would he fall in love with?
He had never thought about it in the past 18 years.
What was liking?
The curtains fluttered slightly, as if caught in the wind that sneaked through the gap.
Pei Qingyuan fell asleep unknowingly as this question suddenly appeared in his world.
The next day, the entrance of the largest lecture hall of Chengde High School was filled with people. Posters with the theme of Bai Shuqiao’s lectures were posted everywhere. In addition to the photographers arranged by the school, even foreign reporters were present.
Pei Qingyuan sat with the group of exchange students who had become familiar with him. When he went out with his two roommates in the morning, he happened to meet Xiao Xinchen and the students from the 1st High School who just came to the lecture. Xiao Xinchen’s whole body was filled with a wonderful sense of joy and he said with great enthusiasm that it was better for everyone to go together.
The foreign exchange students were more inclined to huddle together in this strange school, so the whole group became bigger and bigger like a snowball. Jiang Yao and the others had originally agreed to watch together but they couldn’t insert themselves in. Therefore, they simply sat in the back row.
Ji Tong was satisfied and relaxed after finding out that the host and dangerous object number one had no chance to get close to each other.
The host said that there would be many cold jokes in Bai Shuqiao’s lecture. His 360 degree surround built-in camera was ready.
Bai Shuqiao, a well-known professor of the History Department of Qingping University, appeared on the stage and was immediately greeted with extremely warm applause. She was a middle-aged woman with a temperament. She smiled like the photo on the poster and had an elegant and cordial attitude.
Bai Shuqiao wasn’t only academically accomplished but she also ran a popular science program about history that was very popular with the students. Many students present today had brought notebooks or her published books and wanted to ask her to sign it.
She stood alone in the soft light and started today’s lecture with a simple sounding question.
“There is a group of people who don’t use running water, electricity, build roads or have mobile phones and computers. They write with letters, take carriages and use oil maps… excuse me, what century did they live in?”
She moved the microphone to the audience and there were soon a lot of answers.
“The first car in history came out in 1886. So it must be the 19th century or earlier!”
“It is a very reasonable answer.” Bai Shuqiao smiled. “But I have a question for everyone. Someone invented the car. Does it mean that we must abandon the carriage and take the car?”
She looked back and several modern photographs appeared on the big screen behind her. They showed lush rural scenes full of the old style.
“They might seem like they live in ancient times, but they are living in the present century and perhaps well into the future,” Bai Shuqiao announced the answer. “This group is called the Mennonites and their ideal is to live in the world that God originally created. Everything is quiet, simple and natural.”
The audience gradually became fascinated by the spectacle presented by Bai Shuqiao.
“History is a foregone conclusion hidden in the fog, offering us countless possibilities related to the future, no matter whether good or bad. Therefore, the opposite side of history isn’t the future but a choice. This choice isn’t a torrent of the times or a grand narrative that has nothing to do with the individual. On the contrary, it is truly presented through your hands, no matter whether to light a fuel lamp or electric lamp…”
At her eloquent narration, countless historical pictures with different scenery slowly unfolded. Time passed imperceptibly and the audience listened with bated breath. Sometimes they burst out laughing and sometimes they burst into applause.
Once the final interactive Q&A session was over and the whole lecture had come to an end, Ji Tong reluctantly shook his database of cold jokes.
“There are six new cold jokes,” he reported to Pei Qingyuan. “There is a flavor that seems very special in my inventory. It carries the smell of the countryside, cooking smoke and barbecue…”
Pei Qingyuan laughed.
This was probably the side effect of not eating late-night snacks last night.
A total of two lectures were arranged in the morning. There was a half an hour break in between. Pei Qingyuan glanced at his watch and was about to leave to go to the supermarket to buy something for Ji Tong to eat. Then he saw a thin figure hurriedly walking over.
At this time, Bai Shuqiao was surrounded by the leaders of Chengde and smiling politely at the camera. Then her eyes suddenly lit up and she looked at the audience in the distance.
The moment Xiao Jianping appeared in view, Xiao Xinchen smiled meaningfully. Pei Qingyuan was surprised while most students from other schools didn’t react. It was because Xiao Jianping was wearing an ordinary shirt and trousers. He was holding a camera in his hand and was very much like a life teacher responsible for taking photos.
Pei Qingyuan took the initiative to stand up and say hello. “Teacher Xiao.”
Since some time ago, the two of them had often exchanged some professional knowledge through the phone and the Internet. They became familiar with each other.
“It’s okay. You sit down,” Xiao Jianping smiled and said. “I came over to take a look casually. Unfortunately, I came late. I only heard half of Teacher Bai’s lecture. She is very powerful, right?”
“Yes, it is very rewarding.”
The student next to Xiao Xinchen asked him with surprise, “Why is your father here? I didn’t see him in the brochure. Wasn’t the artificial intelligence lecture in the afternoon by another teacher surnamed Qi…”
“Shh!” Xiao Xinchen signaled to his companion to whisper. He took the camera in Xiao Jianping’s hand and looked at the moment captured inside, saying affectionately, “I was photographed in such a handsome manner. This is my father’s love.”
“……” His companion looked numb. “It is great that your father can endure not beating you every day.”
Out of respect for the sweeping monk organization, the proud Mushroom took the initiative to stretch out his paw to shake Professor Xiao’s hand. This flattered him and he deliberately bent down to shake it. “Is this Xiao Pei’s cat? What is his name? Is it Beautiful?”
Mushroom immediately withdrew his paws in protest.
Pei Qingyuan let the angry cat shrink back into his arms and replied, “His name is Mushroom.”
The audience was happy but the atmosphere on the other side was a bit subtle.
After Bai Shuqiao’s lecture, a girl wearing the Chengde school uniform excitedly opened her phone album and showed it to the classmates next to her.
“I have been to the place that Teacher Bai mentioned, the settlement of the Mennonites. When I traveled abroad last year, I was taken by a local tour guide. You see, I have a photo with the residents there.”
These real photos of the paradise immediately caused a small sensation. Many students passed around her phone while showing a novel expression.
The photo also reached the hands of Shen Yiming and the others. They were curiously discussing the details of the costumes and furnishings in the photo when they heard discordant words.
“The world is so big. Don’t keep staring at things in the textbook.”
The slightly sarcastic, strange words hadn’t finished but Shen Yiming had already read the subtext behind it.
He looked up and it was an unknown student who spoke. He was sitting next to the same people who had laughed at him in the restaurant yesterday.
Jiang Yao, whom they couldn’t provoke, was sitting in the back row on the other side and couldn’t control this area. They wanted to take this opportunity to vent their grievances from yesterday.
“They can only study hard and don’t know anything about the outside world. They will live a very hard life.”
They seemed to be chatting carelessly but their eyes were glancing at Shen Yiming with contempt.
Yesterday’s Shen Yiming would’ve thought about refuting it but he was suddenly speechless.
Bai Shuqiao on the stage had rich knowledge and presented them with different eras in simple terms. Among the students who were dressed brightly, some of them had really entered these completely different worlds.
Compared to them, there were really only textbooks in his world.
Shen Yiming’s mind went blank as small feelings surged. This was until he was interrupted by a cold voice.
“Before today, I didn’t know such people existed.” Pei Qingyuan stared at them coldly. “So what?”
This person hadn’t expected Pei Qingyuan to open his mouth to help. His expression froze and then he pouted. “It means you have little knowledge. By the way, don’t think we are looking down on you and go back to tell the teacher. I am just stating the facts…”
This time, a gentle and powerful middle-aged voice interrupted them. “I don’t know it either, but I might know other things you don’t understand. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. We all have things we know and don’t know. It is normal.”
The person frowned and looked at Xiao Jianping, who was speaking. They immediately judged his identity from his inconspicuous attire and the camera bag he carried.
Bai Shuqiao’s words were quite convincing but the person in front of him was just a life teacher who came from an unknown place. What knowledge could he know that others didn’t know?
If he really had the ability, he wouldn’t be chasing after students and taking their photos.
The group of people smiled and didn’t speak again. Disdain overflowed from them.
At this moment, the girl who took out the photo stood up and said excitedly, “Teacher Bai is coming!”
The eyes of the people looked over. They saw that Bai Shuqiao, who was still far away just now, was really walking over here with a smile on her face.
The students immediately came alive to greet this famous professor who was often on television. Some people grabbed the pen and paper they had prepared earlier in order to ask her for an autograph.
However, Bai Shuqiao didn’t seem to notice the hustle and bustle at all. She walked straight to the humble life teacher and stopped. She took the initiative to stretch out her hand and said with a smile, “It has been a long time, Teacher Xiao.”
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