Ch8 – ballgame

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This reasoning was impeccable.
He Xiangyang and the others came back to attend class sincerely after being disciplined on the terrace.

That afternoon, the teachers that came to give lessons all discovered a peculiar phenomenon. 

The last two rows of terrible students in Class 1-6 that usually made the biggest disturbances on a daily basis were exceptionally behaved today.
Not only did they not manufacture some horrible noise to disrupt the lesson, they each held a textbook while contorting their brows, seemingly engaged in a stubborn fight to the death.
Even more unusually, when the teacher couldn’t resist casting another glance towards them, their line of sight quickly landed upon Guo Jingyu’s figure.
There was no choice, really.
The last two rows of boys’ uniforms were all worn messily, there were pants rolled up, the books had been gripped while “turning pages” to the point where there were big holes where fingers had been, an unbearably cruel sight.
Only Guo Jingyu’s attire was neat.
Sitting there with his head lowered, it was a surprise he wasn’t a first row honor student that had taken the wrong seat.

During class, he even voluntarily raised his hand and answered a question.

 

 

Seeing how eager he was, the teacher called his name and had him stand to explain to the class, and in this way noticed he was quite the handsome young man.
In order to utilize this as an example, the teacher used all they had to praise his efforts.

Guo Jingyu sat and bore it resolutely though he was so embarrassed his earlobes turned red. 

When the study group had their meeting on the terrace, he’d said: regardless of right or wrong, they were all to raise their hands and answer questions as much as possible everyday.
He was just modeling this behavior properly, so he absolutely had to bear it.

 

He Xiangyang and the others were all watching.
Sure enough, they really did follow his example.
That afternoon, the Class 1-6’s air of academic perseverance became thicker by a lot.

Just like this, Guo Jingyu attended school during the day, while at night he went to Li Tongzhou’s house under the banner of receiving help with his homework.
After a period of time, the amount of improvement really wasn’t just a little.

He Xiangyang and the rest no longer went out to play ball anymore either, every day the most common sight was them all gathered together in a heap to write homework and memorize vocabulary.
Guo Jingyu not only studied by himself, he also convened this group of terrible students to tutor them all at once—-but this time the little teacher was swapped out for himself.

 

How could Guo Jingyu bear to always hang onto Li Tongzhou? He would revise by himself during the day anyway, having the members of the “board of directors” come over to hear him retell the formulas and methods Li Tongzhou had taught him the night before was just nimbly putting the Feynman study technique  to good use.

Guo Jingyu, holding the textbook with both hands: “As long as I know it, I’ll tell you.
It’s the same for others, when you can use your own words to clearly explain this concept to someone else, and they understand, then that indicates you understand what you’ve memorized.
Otherwise it’s just pointless memorization, if you haven’t even understood then after two days you’ll definitely cleanly forget everything.

The boys nearby nodded a little confusedly, it was possible they hadn’t fully understood, but they were definitely listening.

 

Guo Jingyu felt a little gratified, as long as they were amenable to listening to advice then there was still hope.
Netting any number of points still counted. 

His memories regarding his high school classmates were all limited to the one or two class reunions he attended around when he started working.
After that, things were so busy with the art gallery that he didn’t really attend anything else.
From those few reunions, he didn’t even have a slight impression of the guys around him.
Back then even a rather well-known school beauty only ended up in a pharmacy as a nurse.
This group of people’s studies weren’t good, and actually they weren’t great at anything: if their families didn’t help support them they’d probably all be much worse off.

After interacting with these silly little guys for long enough, Guo Jingyu’s inclinations changed, developing a bit of a protective slant, and also the mentality of being a dad.

Especially when he studied with them, his temper erupted when he encountered minds that just didn’t understand; it was exactly the same feeling as helping a son with schoolwork.

Guo Jingyu saw He Xiangyang using the wrong formula again and said with a dark expression: “He Xiangyang, are you or are you not a mathematician.” 

He Xiangyang, a face of stupefaction: “Am not, what’s up?

 

“You’re not but here you are inventing a formula on the spot! Do you think you’re really amazing, huh?!”

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He Xiangyang lowered his head, looked at his workbook, then again at Guo Jingyu, swallowing his saliva: “Yu ge , I, did I write it wrong again?” 

“Obviously !” Guo Jingyu said, “That ‘Hongxing Thirteen Youths’ thing before, was it also your idea?”

“It wasn’t entirely me, mainly it was everyone working together, that, um, collective effort…..”

 

“You name a total of eight people Thirteen Youths! Where’re the other five! Did you make it up on the spot, like this formula?!” Guo Jingyu lectured He Xiangyang, not only did He Xiangyang curl his shoulders and not say a thing, the others nearby also just buried their heads and didn’t make a sound, working hard on their mock tests.

Guo Jingyu finished discipling one, then turned his head and looked around, asking faintly: “I heard one of you has a particularly good memory, able to memorize dozens of digits of pi?” 

Sun Hua straightened his spine slightly, shyly saying: “Yu ge, it’s me, it’s only about four, fifty digits, it’s not much.”

Guo Jingyu nodded and said: “Not bad, a memory this good should be used to memorize some English texts.”

“Ah?”

“Starting from tomorrow, you’ll lead everyone in memorizing English essays, at noon when classes are over I’ll check, if one doesn’t pass everyone stays to accompany as they memorize. 

We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.

“Yu ge, is it possible to check at night, at noon I get sleepy easily, my memory isn’t too good, and a morning is too short, can only memorize a few sentences….”

“Can’t,” Guo Jingyu said without any hesitation, “It’s not about memorizing a lot, only memorizing a few sentences down is still getting a few down, the time can only be at noon, it’s almost year two , you all should have some sense of urgency.” Evenings were when he and Li Tongzhou were alone together, it absolutely wasn’t possible to dole out any of it to these cubs.
Guo Jingyu’s fatherly love hadn’t surged to that degree.

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Ca olgra la kjr atja raevfca cjwfv Xeb Alcuse’r cfja jqqfjgjcmf, ulnlcu boo atf lwqgfrrlbc bo j ubbv raevfca, atja ifv atf afjmtfg ab ajxf jcbatfg ibbx bg akb.

Closely following that, with Guo Jingyu at the center, the class’s last few rows of crap students became well-behaved by a lot, when class let out they no longer ran out to play, and were no longer criticized by bulletin for causing trouble.
Everyday, they didn’t go out, apart from doing the physical exercises that everyone had to do, when they came back from that they got together in a large clump to do revisions—-with Guo Jingyu as the one who taught.

The homeroom teacher was stunned.

The back rows’ ghoulish studying fervor was really difficult for him to not notice, this really seemed like the second to last in the class tutoring the last in the class, one dared to teach, the other dared to learn. 

The homeroom teacher was a little concerned, and had intentionally gone to the back door of the class and leaned there to observe twice, discovering that Guo Jingyu actually didn’t mess around.
Everything he said was the most basic, foundational stuff, and even occasionally had the support of Li Tongzhou.
After that, he just let them do as they would.

Anyway, having a heart for learning was a good thing.

The homeroom teacher let them form pairs to study, but simultaneously remained vigilantly observant of Li Tongzhou.
This was his heart’s treasure, a Qing Bei sprout, even dropping a single point was unacceptable.
It was just the more he watched Li Tongzhou’s row, the more the homeroom teacher discovered that eight times out of ten, Li Tongzhou’s deskmate was driven away by the back row’s Guo Jingyu, and then Guo Jingyu himself would sit with Li Tongzhou, though he didn’t bother the good student’s studies.
The teacher had deliberately passed by several times and looked, Guo Jingyu always borrowed the other’s notebook to copy his notes, his behavior was quite good.

The homeroom teacher turned a blind eye to Guo Jingyu, swapping seats during self study periods wasn’t a big deal, the class’s discipline was much better than before. 

By the time the test results from the end of the month came out, Class 1-6’s marks had improved by a lot.

The class’s terrible students seemed to really have begun to change, especially that one by the name of Guo Jingyu.
His change was really pronounced, even though his grades varied wildly between different subjects, they were still beginning to improve.
This time he’d tested into the middle stretches of the class distribution and had jumped more than a hundred places up in the grade’s overall ranking.
Under his leadership, the back rows of originally awful students’ grades all more or less improved, the difference from before was really noticeable.

 

At the end of July, the last revision class concluded, and at last summer vacation began.

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Guo Jingyu put away his mock exams, his mood quite good.
This time he’d passed all of his subjects and he was very pleased with himself. 

Li Tongzhou stood ahead waiting for him.
He hadn’t opened his mouth yet before He Xiangyang and the rest came over and said first: “Yu ge, let’s go play basketball when school’s over?”

“That’s right, that’s right, studying before made my head ring, invited the people from the school next door to come play a game, get our muscles working again!”

Guo Jingyu has always liked sports, hearing this made his hands a little itchy, called Li Tongzhou, tossed his own bag to him, and said, smiling: “In a bit, bring it to the court for me, I’m going to go change my clothes, I’ll play one game and then we’ll go back!”

Li Tongzhou had a good temper.
He carried Guo Jingyu’s bookbag over to the basketball court and found a seat that was neither near nor far and sat down to watch. 

He was used to sitting courtside to watch Guo Jingyu play, having seen that familiar number “7” jersey slowly walk onto the court, he kept his eyes fixed on it without moving them away again.

He Xiangyang and the others had made an agreement with No.
4 High’s students.
The two schools had always had a bit of a rivalry, from academics to the basketball portion of sports competitions, there was never a lack of comparison; each side always wanted to be a head above the other.
This time, among the people who came over from No.
4, there were a few really tall ones, from one look it was easy to tell they were xuezhang .
They even especially prepared a referee.
The two sides shook hands properly.
The amount of students who came to watch were also not few.

Guo Jingyu tossed the ball to someone, “You hold the ball, He Xiangyang you go take up center, Sun Hua as scoring rearguard

As captain, Guo Jingyu spoke about the team’s positional distribution in broad sketches, no one had any objections, so they did as said. 

With the sharp sound of a whistle, the game began.

Guo Jingyu attacked decisively, He Xiangyang and the rest were close behind.
The other team was ruthlessly suppressed, even the older guys weren’t let off.

At one meter and seventy something centimeters, Guo Jingyu wasn’t as tall as the people from No.
4, but his movements were agile, his dribbling feints were everchanging.
In one go, he used his best moves to flash past the defending player and followed that breakthrough by moving sideways, rotating, and leaping, ball held aloft!

The basketball fell through the net with a swoosh, that sound flowed smoothly into every ear, followed by the entire court’s excitement! 

 Shuang—–!

Guo Jingyu shook his head, hair flying, the sweat on his forehead also scattering, and smiled, delighted.

Now, this was high school.
A young person’s body was so good: a full body’s worth of energy that couldn’t be used up, strength emanated from every muscle, a total lack of exhaustion, only the call to attack, then attack again!

Unlike No.
4’s people, from the start Cheng Nan’s team’s core was always Guo Jingyu, every person tacitly agreed to pass him the ball if they got it.
Soon enough, Guo Jingyu lit up the board again! 

No.
4 was beaten to a point where they had no time to deal with it, the team in disarray.

They’d likely developed a psychological shadow from Guo Jingyu’s efforts, when it came to He Xiangyang’s turn,  this guy somehow managed to confuse the defender with a flashy feint, directly breaking through with the ball!

 

…..

Li Tongzhou was watching the whole time, his gaze sought that person on the court and only moved then. 

Seeing him score the corner of his own mouth would slightly tilt upwards, seeing him being surrounded by two players he frowned.
No.
4’s players strategies were overt and crude, and intentionally or otherwise, Guo Jingyu was targeted.
After all, anyone could tell he was the core of the team.

At halftime, a lot of people had come over, girls especially.
Their chattering made Li Tongzhou a little distracted.

Guo Jingyu ran over to find him for a drink of water once.
Li Tongzhou stretched out his hand and touched his waist.
Unable to resist, Guo Jingyu immediately began to laugh, tried to dodge twice, saying: “What are you doing, in such a public place with all these people, I’ll yell harassment.”

Li Tongzhou touched him again, frowning: “Hurt?” 

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“You saw?” Guo Jingyu couldn’t bear to see him so worried, so he got close and said by his ear in a little voice, “Don’t worry, I already went back, their captain won’t be much better off now—”

“Jingyu!” The others on the court called.

Guo Jingyu answered, gave the half-drunk bottle of water to Li Tongzhou, and swiftly went back.

Li Tongzhou sat there quietly, watching. 

A female classmate saw he’d been speaking with Guo Jingyu just now and wanted to talk to him, but Li Tongzhou only shook his head, not really conversing, so the other felt a bit dull and left, embarrassed.

Among the nearby female classmates there were several members of the outer appearance club .
Li Tongzhou looked good, but however good he looked he was still a blockhead, how was he anywhere near as good as the lively and energetic on court Guo Jingyu?

After comparing the two, the girls still cast their gaze towards the court, enthusiastically pursuing, “Hey, this is Chengnan’s school grass right? Compared to the one on the forums we saw last time this one’s much more handsome!”

“Heard he’s called Guo Jingyu, my older brother’s in the class next to his, this person’s really good at basketball, he’s even in the school team!” 

“Don’t know if he has a girlfriend? It’s such a pity if he found one in the same school.”

“Haha, what, do you dare to pursue all the way from No.
4?”

“Why wouldn’t I dare to!”

Several girls laughed as they chatted, their conversation carrying some degree of shyness yet also revealing daring. 

Li Tongzhou sat not far from where they were, his gaze unmoving, steadily looking towards the people on the court.

The concluding whistle finally blew, the game ended, in the second half Chengnan wasted a considerable amount of energy, so they only won by a narrow margin.

 

Guo Jingyu jogged the entire way over to find Li Tongzhou.
If there wasn’t so many people nearby watching, he’d sit on the ground.
Coming off the court after playing a full game he felt like he was entirely boneless, his entire person was exhausted to the point of paralysis.

Guo Jingyu stood by Li Tongzhou’s side, lifting his shirt to wipe his sweat, “I’m tired as hell, is there any water left?” 

Li Tongzhou hadn’t taken it out from the backpack before two girls came over to gift water.
The braver, short-haired girl glanced over shyly, her face red, saying in a small voice: “Xuezhang, do you have abs?”

“Ah?” Guo Jingyu dipped his head and took a look, immediately letting his shirt fall back down.

This had been honed for Li Tongzhou, it’s not for others to see.

That girl had wanted to hand him water, but Guo Jingyu didn’t accept it, taking the one from Li Tongzhou’s hand instead and drinking it all in one go.
Only then did he make some effort to speak, “Don’t say xuezhang anymore, I’m also a high school first year, at most I’m a tongxue .
You’re all from No.
4?” 

The two girls excitedly nodded.
Guo Jingyu said: “Nice to meet classmates from our brother school, see you next time.”

“Classmate Guo, when will next time be?”

Guo Jingyu hadn’t thought they would be this bold.
He hurriedly waved his hand, grabbed Li Tongzhou and fled.

Riding the bus on their way back, Li Tongzhou once again touched his waist. 

Guo Jingyu’s waist couldn’t stand it, bumping it was fine, but Li Tongzhou touching it so gently made him dodge nonstop.
Unable to bear it, he looked back, “Hey, hey, pay attention to your image.”

Li Tongzhou looked at his waist with his head lowered, his eyes filled with a little worry, “Is it really nothing serious? I saw that person intentionally elbow you three times.”

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Guo Jingyu said: “It’s really fine, if you don’t believe it I’ll show you when we get home.”

Once they arrived, Li Tongzhou’s mother just happened to return after work, she was somewhat surprised, but quickly smiled and said: “Jingyu came over? Go play in xiao Zhou’s room, I’ll cut up some fruit for you both and bring it over in a little bit.” 

In front of adults Guo Jingyu’s mouth was particularly sweet.
He nodded, smiling: “’Kay, thank you ayi !”

After Li Tongzhou brought him into his room, he immediately went to lift his shirt.
Guo Jingyu was shocked, but the other boy only lifted it enough to reveal his waist to see where he’d been run into.

Li Tongzhou lowered his head and observed it seriously, even reaching out and touching for a moment, “It’s a little bruised, needs salve applied.”

Guo Jingyu: “Ah?” 

Li Tongzhou didn’t care about his dissent.
He retrieved the box of medical supplies to apply it for him.

This time Li Tongzhou didn’t have any hands left to lift his shirt, so he had Guo Jingyu lift his shirt himself, “Raise it a bit more, be careful not to get the salve on it later.”

 

Guo Jingyu let out an “oh,” and lifted it higher again.
Li Tongzhou sat across from him, using a cotton swab dipped in ointment to gently apply it.
As if he was afraid he couldn’t see the bruise clearly, he was close enough that his breathing was audible.

Being observed by him at such close quarters, Guo Jingyu was hard pressed not to feel a little embarrassed, a single hand resting on his shoulder, his gaze moving aside, “A little, itchy.” 

Li Tongzhou’s hand paused for a moment, then he asked: “Then like this?”

Guo Jingyu hadn’t reacted yet when he felt the tip of a finger wiping the ointment residue on his skin and his entire body went rigid.
Li Tongzhou’s hand was slightly cold.
Bringing along the salve, it rubbed circles into his waist.
To finish, he blew on it.
Guo Jingyu was so panicked he nearly tumbled over backwards off the stool.
He also didn’t hold onto his shirt, which fell onto Li Tongzhou’s face.
Closely following, he leapt up, face brilliantly red, saying: “So-Sorry, the sweat smell is intense right? I just played basketball….” He stammered and stuttered and couldn’t get words out, the red on his face quickly spread to his ears, the lobes also became thoroughly scarlet.

Li Tongzhou glanced at him, his line of sight falling onto his chest.

Guo Jingyu’s shirt had been dampened by sweat and summer clothing was already originally thin, it was possible to see a slight protrusion .
He also was a little embarrassed, just now the blowing was too provoking, he was also a little unable to bear it, and could only harden his scalp, saying: “That, uh, it’s a normal reaction, it indicates my reflexes are really good.” 

An extremely faint smile emerged from the corners of Li Tongzhou’s mouth.
Unhurriedly, he said: “I’ll give the ointment to you, when you go home remember to put it on at night, I’ll also call you tomorrow, you’re not allowed to be lazy.”

This time, Guo Jingyu was sure he’d seen it wrong: his family’s little boyfriend was this gentle and considerate, he was still young, so how could it be like what he thought? He laughed, accepted the ointment, and said: “Understood!”

Next, Li Tongzhou asked him: “How do you join the school basketball team?”

Guo Jingyu said, baffled: “Why are you suddenly interested in basketball?” He remembered that before Li Tongzhou liked long-distance running.
While his own strength lay in bursts of explosive force, Li Tongzhou’s endurance was good.
And compared to operating as a team, Li Tongzhou was more used to being solitary; he said it was more convenient to contemplate things while long-distance running. 

Li Tongzhou said: “A little tired of running alone, want to try something else.”

Guo Jingyu didn’t suspect him, immediately saying: “That’s easy enough, if you want to come then I’ll just let coach and captain know and it’ll be fine.” Without anything unexpected happening, come second year he’d be the team captain, arranging his own little boyfriend to join couldn’t be more easy.

The author has something to say: 

Guo Jingyu: Thanks for the invite, there’s someone at home, just got off the bus, already found a partner, from the same school.

 

T/N: i apologize for not uploading last week… this chapter was 5229 words in Chinese, the longest chapter so far…..i just got out of quarantine and had to travel from Shanghai to Beijing….ha… but i’ve finally arrived home. 

zhouzhou is such a good boy..
so protective..
i live to see his faint little smiles TT 

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