Chapter 7: Make-Up Class

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Translator: Colousplash

After the evening self-study, Lu Tong prepared his bag to go home.

Provincial No.
1 Middle School was a boarding school, but the Tong family was very strict and didn’t allow him to board at school to keep him acquainted with shady people.
He had never spent a night out, even in high school.

The relationship between Lu Tong and He Nian was pretty good.
He used to complain about Lu Tong’s parents when he heard about the restrictions the Tong family made.
But later, he got accustomed to it and stopped calling Lu Tong to go out and play at night.

Provincial No.
1 Middle School was downtown, and Lu Tong’s house was in the scenic area of the city center.
To go back home, he had to pass two stops by taking the metro outside the school, going under the Long Xiang Bridge, and crossing Yan’an Road.

Both his parents were natives of H city.
Lu Tong’s father, Lu Zhiyan, was a university professor and a little old-fashioned.
His mother, Lin Siyin, was an actress on a world tour all year round for her work. 

His home was a single detached two-story house.
This villa faced the West Lake, and the scenery was very elegant.
Because of its good location, you could regard it as a low-key “small mansion.”

Lu Tong walked through the yard and hesitated before pushing open the door.

He and Lu Zhiyan fought some time ago and were currently in a cold war.
The lights in the drawing-room were on.
However, the study’s lamp was off, which meant that Lu Zhiyan was reading a newspaper in the drawing-room.
It shows that as long as he pushes open the door, he will have to confront Lu Zhiyan.

He took a deep breath and pressed his fingerprint to unlock the door.
The door slowly opened. 

When Lu Zhiyan saw him coming back, he poked his head out from behind the newspaper and glanced at him.

Lu Tong didn’t speak, as if he wanted to continue his cold war attitude with Lu Zhiyan.
The room was silent, and embarrassment filled the air.

It wasn’t that the relationship between the father and son was bad, only that his father was too strict.
Since he was a child, Lu Tong had been disciplined like fetters firmly held him.
Lu Tong couldn’t bear being locked up in this small world, surrounded by four walls.

When he matured, he started to sign up for various cram schools.
In addition to playing the piano and practicing calligraphy, his only entertainment was reading.
During his childhood, he had never experienced any interesting scenes of laughter and games.

Lu Zhiyan wanted him to go to Peking University and then enter the Chinese Academy of Sciences to find a stable job.

Lu Tong didn’t know if he was being controlled too harshly or something else, but he didn’t want to go to Peking University.
He wanted to graduate from a drama school as his mother did.
He wanted to study acting.

Father and son argued about this matter ever since he was a sophomore in high school.
Every time he mentioned that he was going to study media, Lu Zhiyan became furious, and they would often part on bad terms.

However, this was the longest cold war between the father and son.

During their previous quarrels, Lu Zhiyan couldn’t continue to be furious with Lu Tong after a few days of a cold war.
So he would use the usual trick of “not eating at home today.
Let’s go out to eat.” He found reasons to take Lu Tong out to eat with this method, and they would reconcile. 

But this time was different.
Lu Tong was determined to apply for Chinese Drama School, even refusing Peking University’s summer camp invitation.
After Lu Zhiyan learned about this, he became furious and said that he was being willful and arrogant and that he didn’t know the immensity of heaven and earth[1].                                                  

Only this time, in addition to getting angry, Lu Zhiyan also used his relations to reach out to the Political Educational Office of the Provincial No.
1 Middle School and contacted Lao He directly.

After Director He knew about this, he called Lu Tong out alone to have a heart-to-heart chat.
Lu Tong’s face turned pale, and he trembled with anger.
When he came back, he had a huge quarrel with Lu Zhiyan.

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The content of the quarrel was still the same.
Lu Tong wanted freedom and wished to make decisions about his own life.
Lu Zhiyan inflexibly believed that Lu Tong was his son, and Lu Zhiyan had experience.
Everything he did was for Lu Tong’s good, and Lu Tong will thank him one day for that.

It was like a chicken speaking with a duck[2].
After the quarrel ended, Lu Tong never said a word to Lu Zhiyan again.                                                     

This time, for the sake of showing his determination, he didn’t even use the money given by Lu Zhiyan.

Some time ago, Zhou Hai saw Lu Tong working part-time.
That was the reason.

Lu Tong raised his foot and walked upstairs as if he didn’t see his father.

Lu Zhiyan said coldly, “What’s up with your attitude? I am in the living room, and you aren’t even going to greet me? ”

Lu Tong indifferently responded, “I’m back.
And I am going to do my homework.”

His words choked Lu Zhiyan, and Lu Zhiyan said, “I don’t care about what you think.
You better give up your unrealistic fantasies early and talk back to me less.

Lu Tong’s paused in his footsteps.

“Unrealistic delusion?” Lu Tong turned around with his backpack on his back, “I can take whatever test I want.
I don’t need you to control me.”

Lu Zhiyin, “What makes you so proud of studying acting? You shouldn’t be too selfish, thinking only for yourself.”

Lu Tong’s lips curled, “Consider for your sake? Gaining admission to Beijing University, becoming the talk of the town and so that people can praise you over it?”

Lu Zhiyan lost his patience, “Are you taking the exam for me? You are taking the exam for yourself.
You are too young now, and your thoughts are too naive.
When you go to college, you will know how correct the decision I made for you was.”

Lu Tong raised his voice and angrily shouted, “I don’t want you to decide for me.”

After two or three sentences, Lu Tong and Lu Zhiyan turned furious.

The conversation did not go well, and Lu Tong knew that he could no longer talk to Lu Zhiyan.
If he continues talking to him, it will eventually lead to a dead end.
And as usual, it will start with Lu Tong violently flipping out, “Why do you care about me”, and will end with Lu Zhiyan slapping the table and cursing, “Because you were born as my son.”

Lu Tong has not yet thought of how to refute Lu Zhiyin’s unreasonable words.
After all, he couldn’t admit that he was picked up from the garbage can.

He quickened his pace and headed upstairs, slamming the door hard.

The mahogany door slammed together with a loud noise.
Lu Tong expressed his anger in this way. 

Lu Zhiyan shook the newspaper in his hand, and the blue veins popped up on his head due to anger.

Lu Tong fell onto his bed right after entering the room.
He rolled over the bed vigorously and kicked the air with his feet a few times.
Still annoyed, he sat up abruptly and stared at the door.

Lu Zhiyan was worthy of being his father.
He knew how to make him completely infuriated. 

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Lu Tong was so annoyed that he couldn’t write on the mock paper he brought back.
He took out his mobile phone from his pocket and browsed through the web forum, feeling bored to death.

He first clicked into the Animal World web forum, being concerned about what the animals were doing during this time.
Then, he skillfully clicked into the “Tyrannosaurus Rex” forum, which has been arguing for a decade about whether the “Tyrannosaurus rex was the most powerful dinosaur in the Ice Age” topic.

Lu Tong clicked into the page where the catfight was going on and posted a comment to argue strongly on strong grounds, “What is there to still be doubted? T-Rex is the most powerful dinosaur.”

He closed the post and continued to browse through the forum about Tyrannosaurus Rex.
The light from the mobile phone fell on his face, and in passing, it also illuminated the rows of dinosaur figures on Lu Tong’s desk.
There were both big and small ones.
They were obviously kept well by their owner – most were Tyrannosaurus Rex.

It was one of Lu Tong’s few hobbies: collecting dinosaurs.

He had been saving up money to buy a dinosaur figure newly released in the U.S.
Just one of them costs 3000 yuan.
Lu Tong had wanted this Tyrannosaurus Rex figure for a long time now.
However, he was short on money.
The money earned from doing odd jobs was not enough.
He could only stare at it and sigh[3], being only able to appreciate its beauty through pictures.                                                

Qin Chu wouldn’t need to hesitate for a long time.
He was a rich second generation.

Lu Tong rolled over the bed and thought about Qin Chu’s side profile, the person he had seen in the office during his self-study that evening.
The other party was neither sitting nor properly standing.
He had heard that he was an unqualified product[4] with no parental control, no teacher intervention, and lawlessness.                                                                     

But he had freedom.

If he becomes like Qin Chu, fighting, cutting classes, and doing nothing but evil, Lu Zhiyan will climb out of the coffin even if he is dead, chasing him to Leifeng Pagoda while carrying the coffin board.

However, if his father really had a son with the morality and conduct of Qin Chu, then he would be infuriated to death.

Lu Tong was amused by his imagination, laughing.
He continued scrolling through his phone while laughing.
Lu Tong lay on the bed with his hands clenched into fists supporting his chin, and his two legs were crossed up and wobbling.
Usually, he wouldn’t be this much relaxed.
With Lu Zhiyin in, Lu Zhiyin controlled every word and action.
He was like a doll with threads manipulating him.

Lu Tong’s self-control was very powerful.
After scrolling through the forum for a while, he felt that he was in a much better mood.
So he sat down at his desk and spread out the physics paper.

He liked to do problems, but he didn’t like skimming through the problems.
He did it all the way.
But if a similar type of question arises, he will not do it again after doing it once.

The physics question paper was in black and white, and he picked the remaining topics that he hadn’t done.

As soon as he finished writing one, the phone on the table vibrated.

Zhou Hai had suddenly sent him a text message.

Before opening the message, Lu Tong had thought that Zhou Hai was looking for him to discuss the physics competition.
But when he opened it, he unexpectedly found that Zhou Hai was looking for him to ask if he was interested in doing a part-time job.

-One of the high schools’ class teachers, Lu Tong, came to me saying one of her student’s marks weren’t good enough.
She also says that it was hard to find a teacher outside the school to make up for his missed classes.
I just recommended you to her.
If you are interested, you can call her and ask.
Make-up classes may cost 200 yuan/hr, and you could regard it as a part-time job and go on weekends.  At that time, you can come to me for your social practice.
Teacher Zhao’s number is 138xxxx0213.

200 yuan?

Lu Tong glanced at this number.

Then, he glanced at the release price of the Tyrannosaurus Rex figure in his phone and replied a “yes” to Zhou Hai.

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When Zhao Yan received the news, the stone in her heart fell to the ground, and she couldn’t help but say, “Done.”

Qin Chu, lying on one side of the desk, lifted his head and asked, “What’s done?”

Zhao Yan took the board and knocked on the table, “The job of finding you a teacher is done.
Don’t laze off.
Do you know how much homework you have not written? Wouldn’t you stop writing if I stop staring at you?”

In front of Qin Chu was a mess of test papers spread out, all of which were blank.
From the academic year’s beginning to the present, he wrote nothing.

The study committee members in the class did not dare to record Qin Chu’s name, which led Zhao Yan to discover that Qin Chu had never handed in an assignment until now.

Therefore, she specifically set aside her time tonight to press Qin Chu in the study and stared at him as he wrote the papers one by one.
However, Qin Chu’s biggest concession was to stay in the study honestly.
As for writing papers? He refused to make even a single stroke.

“Tomorrow is Saturday, and the teacher will be coming early tomorrow morning.
You are not allowed to go out to play.
I will be there at five to keep a watch on you from the gate.”

Qin Chu blocked his ears, “I got it, old Zhao.
Are you on your menopause or something? So annoying.”

Zhao Yan glared at him, “Do you know how hard it is to invite him? It was not easy for me to invite him, and if you can’t get 300 points on the midterm, I’ll really have to tell your parents!”

Qin Chu lied down on the chair and said with a grin, “Go ahead and tell them.
I’m not going to stop you.”

Zhao Yan knew that she couldn’t win against Qin Chu with her words.
So she immediately changed the topic, “Hurry up and write.
You cannot go to sleep until you finish it.
I’m going to see Xiao Nan.
I must get to see that you have finished the MCQs after I come back.”

In addition to Qin Chu -a hermit crab[5]- an old nanny, and her sister’s youngest daughter -Xiao Nan- were in her house.                                                           

Qin Chu monopolized the second floor while Xiao Nan, Zhao Yan, and the nanny lived on the first floor.

Qin Chu threw away the mock papers and swaggered out of the study as soon as she left.
He got into his room and went to bed with a stuffy head.

When Zhao Yan came back, she couldn’t find anybody else in the study.
She saw that his bedroom door was slightly ajar and that he had already fallen asleep and was disappointed about the iron not becoming steel[6].
She turned off the light for Qin Chu and closed the door as she went out.                                   

— I hope that Lu Tong will come to the rescue tomorrow and save this mess. 

Qin Chu’s next day came slower than others. 

For ordinary people, their next day starts after 7 a.m.
But the arrival of Qin Chu’s next day mostly depends on when he goes to bed and when he gets up.

Lu Tong kept his promise and acted quickly.
For the sake of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, he found the neighborhood of the civic center by following the map at 9:00 itself.
At this moment, Lu Tong stood in front of Zhao Yan’s house.
Finding the opened yard door, he entered directly.

After hesitating for a while, Lu Tong knocked on the door for a long time: Nobody answered.

–Zhao Yan took Xiao Nan out for a walk early in the morning, but she hadn’t come back from the market.

There was only one Qin Chu who was asleep at home.
Lu Tong rang the doorbell twice, but no one opened the door.
He raised his hand and knocked on the door three times.

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The three knocks were tremendously loud, and the rhythm was very beautiful.
It was like they were going to film a music concert- it woke up Qin Chu.  

Even after Lu Tong knocked on the door three times, nobody came to open the door.
So Lu Tong started to become suspicious.  

After a pause, he raised his hand and knocked on the door again.

As a result, the door suddenly opened from the inside.

Lu Tong’s hand, knocking on the door, did not stop.
However, his hand directly hit the man’s chest, making a crisp “bang” sound.

Qin Chu:……

The aggressive alpha’s pheromones, like the cold fragrance of roses, sweet and cold, wrapped around Lu Tong from all directions, telling him to take a small step back as his legs went jelly.

Lu Tong strived to stand still.
He raised his eyes to see Qin Chu standing in front of him with a bird’s nest on his head, staring blankly at him.

Qin Chu froze for a second when he saw Lu Tong, and then immediately afterward, he slammed the door.

This time it was Lu Tong’s turn: ……

Standing in the room, Qin Chu reacted sluggishly in his heart: Did I dream of Lu Tong? What kind of terrible dream did I have?



↑1 an exaggerated opinion of one’s abilities
↑2 lit.
chicken speaking with duck / fig.
talking without communicating / people not understanding each other
↑3 The 望“龙”兴叹 is a wordplay from “望而兴叹”, which means to sigh because you can’t achieve something you want.
↑4 product lacking one or more of three requirements such as production license, inspection certificate, and manufacturer’s name and location
↑5 寄居蟹 literally means “crabs that live in someone else’s place.” It means they don’t have their own place, needing to depend on someone else. 
↑6 lit.
disappointed that iron does not turn into steel (idiom) / fig.
frustrated with sb who has failed to meet one’s expectations

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