Chapter 7: Far Away (1)
T/L: Sial Joans E/D: larkspur
More and more students asked questions.
Pei Zhi returned to the blackboard. Finished writing, he wiped the board. Chalk drifted, like snow.
When it was Lin Zhao Xi’s turn, she was no longer as nervous as she was when she came.
Under Pei Zhi’s gaze, she briefly explained why she had come.
“What is your question?” Pei Zhi asked.
Her heart skipped a beat. Why was his voice so good? Lin Zhao Xi wanted to rub her ears.
Holding back her joy, she took the paper slip out of her pocket and handed it over.
Pei Zhi pressed his slender finger on the paper, looked at it, put it down, took a step back, pinched a (white) chalk between three fingers and wrote down a number on the blackboard with an inquiring look – 16.
What? Three seconds? Five seconds? That wasn’t half a second!
Lin Zhao Xi was dumbfounded.
Pei Zhi maintained eyeing her inquiringly. She realized that Pei Zhi was asking her if the answer was right, so she quickly nodded.
Seeing so, Pei Zhi wiped the answer on the blackboard and said, “For those who studied math for a long time, this problem isn’t difficult, but it tests one’s reasoning and analytical skills; for those who are new to the field, it’s very interesting.”
“Is it appropriate, then?”
Pei Zhi nodded.
Lin Zhao Xi was very happy. Although the answer was brief, he clearly put a lot of thought into it. Pei Zhi was a very serious person.
It started to get windy. She thanked Pei Zhi, tucked her messy hair behind her ears and turned away, with no reason to linger.
The students gathered from various schools in the reunion were behind the staircase.
Lin Zhao Xi passed by and was bombarded with questions.
She repeated his exact words.
Someone quickly reacted, “Pei Zhi just wrote the answer on the blackboard?”
“He is not human!”
Lin Zhao Xi very much agreed.
They chatted at the back, settling the quiz.
Lin Zhao Xi took the opportunity to watch Pei Zhi.
Looking at Pei Zhi’s attentiveness, his wrist when he wrote; the girls’ starstruck eyes, looking at her outstanding classmate…
But after looking at him for a long time, Lin Zhao Xi gradually realized that Pei Zhi and she weren’t from the same world.
Although from beginning to end, Pei Zhi had been courteous, never turning up his nose, her maiden heart emptied.
She suddenly caught a glimpse of the uncrossable gap between her and Pei Zhi. The gap came from the concentration of one side, and the procrastination of the other, for more than a decade.
It wasn’t shameful, but it was certainly frustrating.
The red clouds on the horizon dimmed, and the line of people asking questions was as long as ever.
Pei Zhi picked up his coat in the corner of the podium and began to pack his things.
“Shall we go, too?” Su Xiaoming said.
Lin Zhao Xi nodded. She spoke to Pei Zhi and stared at him for so long. There was really no reason to stay.
As if she’d fulfilled her wish.
She looked at the cement floor in front of her, but her mind was in shoujo manga — she suddenly turned and shouted, “Pei Zhi, I liked you for ten years!”
But she didn’t do it because she lacked courage.
More and more people left together, at the back door and at the front door.
Clothes rubbed against each other, rousing her.
Suddenly, a bright voice sounded, “Brother Pei Zhi, may… may we ask you… a personal question?”
Lin Zhao Xi stopped, saved by the voice, and looked in its direction.
Pei Zhi was very frank, “Yes, but I have the right to refuse to answer questions that are too personal.”
He put a hand in his pocket, the other held tests and manuscripts, which fluttered in the wind.
“Are you leaving?” The elementary school girl asked, “I mean… to study abroad?”
The girls in the lecture hall ‘ah’ed one after another. Partly because of the surprise, but mostly because that great opportunity for gossip was lost!
“Yes,” Pei Zhi plainly answered.
Lin Zhao Xi’s heart thumped. If it weren’t for her… Old man Lin almost went to this school, what a coincidence.
The girls’ lost sighs reverberated. They didn’t know why, they felt sorry.
So someone asked, “Will you come to school again?”
“But you barely come lately.”
“I’ll come less from now on.”
“Are you still leading the mathematical modeling contest this year?”
“Can we sign up?”
“Of course,” Pei Zhi patiently added, “If you’re interested, check the school’s official website. It details the registration and screening of players.”
The “personal question” activity turned into a counseling meeting, and the students began to talk about it.
“We saw it!”
“But it was insane!”
“Don’t fool us, there weren’t any details or rules, only one question!”
“Is there a problem?”
After Pei Zhi asked, he unexpectedly walked to the blackboard, picked up chalk, and quickly wrote the question in the middle of the blackboard.
He wrote strongly, but surprisingly gently.
“We can’t do it!”
“It’s too hard!”
Before he’d finished writing, complaints began to ring out.
But for Lin Zhao Xi, the moment Pei Zhi drew a stroke, she could no longer hear her surroundings. Even Pei Zhi’s figure disappeared from her sight, she could only see the formula slowly take shape.
It was long and difficult, she could understand parts of it, but was completely unfamiliar with others.
Completely immersed in it, puzzled and challenged, she subconsciously flipped over the sheets in her hand, pulled a pen out of her pocket and copied it down.
As she wrote, bizarre ideas popped up in her mind, and she couldn’t help writing them down.
“Why, Miss Lin, are you solving the problem?”
Suddenly, someone next to Lin Zhao Xi shouted, stunning her.
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