He Nuo only left the examination venue when the school’s staff were clearing it. The other students had already left just now in a throng. A torrential rain had suddenly started to pour in the middle of the examination, and especially since today was the last subject for the exam, a lot of parents had come to pick their kids up. Shi Yan was in the science stream, so he wasn’t in the same building as He Nuo. He had been fetched to and fro in a car for the past three days during the examination, so it was impossible for him to have bumped into He Nuo. Also…he had actually been trying to avoid thinking of He Nuo for the past three days.
He Nuo returned home drenched from the rain, and his condition worsened in the middle of the night. When he woke up the next day, he asked his parents for his medical book and told them that he wanted to go to the hospital. His parents realised that his face was unusually red and that he was sweating a lot, but they just thought that he had a fever because he got drenched in the rain yesterday. He Nuo brought his medical book and some money to the hospital, but he wasn’t actually going there to see a doctor. Due to his lack of sexual knowledge, he was afraid that a doctor would be able to tell what had happened to him. He just wanted a prescription for “norfloxacin” that Shi Yan had given him before. It was quite effective in treating his hematuria.
Luckily, they were in an era when public healthcare was still available. He Nuo managed to get his medication without much difficulty, and even got some fever medication as well — the doctor could tell that he had a fever in one glance, so he was prescribed some medicine to treat it in passing. He Nuo went home and quickly took his medicine. He even took two doses of the norfloxacin because the pain he had to endure was killing him. After he consumed such a strong dose, the fever symptoms that have been plaguing him since that morning finally let up. But after dinner, his temperature went up again. His hematuria was resolved two days later though, so a high fever was nothing to him anymore. He Nuo’s fever only subsided after one whole week passed, but after he had undergone such an ordeal, the 4 or 5 kilograms of meat that Shi Yan had asked him to put on were completely depleted, and his face was as white as a sheet again.
Shi Yan disappeared after that afternoon, and had never appeared again after that. He Nuo was sitting on the boundary between life and death as he endured the torture of his symptoms, so he didn’t have any time to think about Shi Yan. But now that his condition had shown some improvement, he was immediately worried about another problem: the college entrance examination! Right now, He Nuo couldn’t even remember the questions for the examination or how he had even answered them. This made the He Nuo who has a great memory extremely worried — if he screwed it up, and his lie about being in the science stream was exposed at the same time, He Nuo didn’t dare to think about the kind of consequences he would have to face. He couldn’t sleep well at night ever since as he anxiously awaited and feared the day when he would get his results.
Before the college entrance examination, Shi Yan’s father had already made plans for him. After Shi Yan finished his examination, his father would bring him along on a business trip so that he could have a good time. They left one day after his examination ended, and their destination this time was Guilin. The heavy rain yesterday didn’t delay the celebration banquet set up by the leaders for their children — it served as a celebration for both the end of their children’s college entrance examination, as well as their graduation.
In the morning, Shi Yan’s father had to go to his company first before driving back to pick up Shi Yan. Shi Yan thus made use of this gap in between to rush over to He Nuo’s house on his bike, though he hadn’t even thought about the purpose of his visit. He just wanted to tell He Nuo one thing: that he would be leaving. When he got off his bike, he hesitated. But when he inadvertently looked up, he saw a lock on the yard’s door. Shi Yan approached it and confirmed that the door was indeed locked, then appeared to heave a sigh of relief. He Nuo was getting a prescription at the hospital at this moment.
Shi Yan’s holiday lasted for more than a month. After his father brought him to Guilin to play for two weeks, his mother grabbed the opportunity to utilise public expense and brought him to Yunnan. When he was in Yunnan, he went to Xishuangbanna, Dali, Lijiang, saw the Butterfly Spring, and even went to Mt. Yulong during his travels. The divine workmanship of nature had shocked Shi Yan, but at the same time, it had also hacked the depression in his heart away. As he faced Mt. Yulong, he thought of the ancient poem that He Nuo had recited before “To binge in the daytime while singing” and suddenly felt a heroic voice shake the world.
When he thought of He Nuo, he thought of what he had done, and it was as if he had straightened out his thoughts all at once: Yu Yao was no longer his girlfriend, and he was the one who dumped her too, if she hangs out with him then so be it ba. It’s not like he likes her, so why did he have to get so angry that day? Or maybe it was because of He Nuo’s concealment and deception that made him so angry? But He Nuo was an introverted person to begin with, so it’s not like he’ll take the initiative to tell him that he’s in a relationship right? Will He Nuo hate him after he goes back this time? Shi Yan was in a good mood as he thought, at most I’ll just apologise to him, He Nuo isn’t the kind of person to bear grudges. Shi Yan had already ruled out the possibilities of He Nuo reporting him to the police and suing him, He Nuo wouldn’t treat him like that.
His vacation with his mother was cut short by the news of his sister’s accidental miscarriage. They got the news through the phone while they were in the hotel. His older sister, Shi Mei, had already been pregnant for four months when she suddenly had a miscarriage. His mother felt worried so she and Shi Yan hurriedly ended their Yunnan trip and went to his brother-in-law’s house. His father had wanted to visit her too, but the college entrance examination results were out and Shi Yan’s grades had barely met the cut-off point, so his father still had to take charge and watch over the submission of his files1.
After he accompanied his older sister for half a month, Shi Yan returned and received his college admission notice. His buddies had also received their admission notices; they all got similar grades, so several of them were in the same college and department. Aside from gathering with his buddies, he also had to deal with the schoolmates in his high school. After these students were admitted to college, they would have to part with him soon, so all the people who had overt and covert crushes on him had a legitimate reason to invite him out. He had been invited out for several meals each day, so he was so busy that his feet couldn’t even touch the ground.
Shi Yan had asked which school He Nuo would be attending a few times when he met the students of the Arts class, but the other parties would always say that they didn’t know. Then when school was about to start, Shi Yan was dragged to his grandmother’s house to stay for two days. He was about to leave soon, so it would be good for him to accompany her for awhile. College started earlier than usual because new students had to attend military training, so Shi Yan entered college just like this without seeing He Nuo even once.
Military training was a novel thing to begin with, and Shi Yan’s new classmates had liked him immediately. But within just one weekend, Shi Yan changed after he had gone to his other buddies’ college. They were in the same province but different cities; his buddies were all in the provincial capital city. And because they had pulled some strings when they entered the college, everyone who was in the same college were all living together in the same dormitory. After Shi Yan stayed there for a night, he liked the feeling of living together with his buddies. Moreover, the provincial capital city was more prosperous and lively than the place where his college was at. Shi Yan called his parents and complained about his dissatisfaction with his college — Shi Yan talked about how everything from his college’s food to its hygiene had something wrong with it. He was expressing his grievances at being admitted to this college, while also complimenting Wang Feng and Qin Mingxu’s college.
What really surprised Shi Yan was that just one week later, his parents had actually come over to help him handle his withdrawal from the college. On their way home, his mother told him that they had already handled the necessary procedures for him to transfer to Wang Feng and Qin Mingxu’s college — he would be entering their college as part of their college’s supplementary recruitment exercise. Shi Yan was extremely excited of course, and his mother had proudly told him that he could even transfer colleges whenever he wanted. They asked Shi Yan to rest at home for the next two days before reporting to his new college. In any case, it was the military training period right now so his parents weren’t willing to let him suffer through that anyway.
1. This is the first step to getting selected by a college. In this stage, electronic files of candidates who meet the criteria for admission scores of the college are submitted to the college.↩