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Published at 25th of March 2020 02:10:53 PM

Chapter 29

Yang Wei pulled out her new HoneyPeach 10, in which a new SIM card had already been installed, but all her contacts had been lost .


However, she had long known Qi Xiao Yan's phone number by heart .

He picked up the phone after two rings . "What is it?"

"Professor Qi, you left your bank card in a pocket of my wallet . "

Qi Xiao Yan paused . "I've got no time to pick it up at the moment . Keep it with you for now . The password has not changed . "

Yang Wei blinked, and from her mouth broke a little smile . Qi Xiao Yan waited a while, and when she did not respond, asked, "Anything else?"

"No, nothing . "

"See you then . "

He really did hang up . Yang Wei listened to the busy tone from the other end before leaning back onto the sofa and laughing . When she had laughed her fill, she got up and plugged her phone in to charge . Upon entering the bedroom, she noticed one less pillow on the bed .

Her first reaction was to worry about there having been a thief . Yet looking about the room, she found nothing missing but the one pillow . Surely no thief could be so carefree as to come in just to steal one of her pillows? Having dismissed the idea of a thief, the only other person who had come in here over the past few days was . . . Qi Xiao Yan .

Yang Wei exhaled a sigh full of ridicule, then returned to the living room to call him again . "Did you take a pillow?"

Without turning a hair, he told her, "Pillows are public property . I think it's quite fair for me to have one . "

She was torn between amusement and anger . Really, a rice cooker or a microwave would have been understandable, but what would he need a pillow for? "But the one you took was mine . "

"Is it? I may have gotten it wrong . But I don't have the time to give it back to you anytime soon . "

Yang Wei let out a breath . "You can keep it if you like . You don't need to give it back to me . "

On the other hand, Qi Xiao Yan silently smiled . Yang Wei hung up and changed, sitting down in front of the computer . She opened the desk drawer and placed his bank card beside her salary card . On the far right sat a wedding ring . She stared at the contents of the drawer a little while before closing the drawer and tapping on the little Weibo penguin .

"I've lost my phone, but my number hasn't changed . Please send me a text with your name! Thanks . "

Once this statement had been sent out, she tapped the Calabash Babies avatar from her friend list . "Shuang'er, will you arrange another class for me? And is there anyone else who's recently asked for a manuscript? qaq"

Calabash Twins: "Wei Wei, are you ill? I can't get used to this diligence . "

Calabash Twins: "Oh my God, I just saw that your phone was stolen???"

"Together with my wallet, qaq . " Yang Wei avoided saying that she had been robbed . It was such a bloody word - 'stolen' was much more manageable .

Calabash Twins: "Was it stolen on the bus? You've got to remember to hold your bags in front of you! Thieves are amazing at their craft nowadays!"

Calabash Twins: "There's a new class on Monday, but if I assign it to you, you'll only have Friday nights off every week . Are you sure you can do it?"

"Mm!"

Calabash Twins: " . . . It's weird, but I somehow feel like you're still in a great mood even after having your stuff stolen . I'll ask about the manuscript for you and give you a reply later . "

"OK! Love you XOXO"

Yang Wei turned on music and listened to a song . Then Jian Shuang got back to her with news . "There's a publishing house that wants a cover manuscript in an antique style with two men and women . They're offering 4000 yuan and you'll have half a month to make it . Want it?"


"Want want want!"

Calabash Twins: "Send me a few of your antique-style drafts and I'll give them to the publisher to check out . . "

Yang Wei picked out the two samples she was most satisfied with and listened to two more songs . Then Jian Shuang’s avatar flashed once more . “The other party agreed . I'll send you the details later . ”

Yang Wei tapped on the keyboard in excitement . "Shuang'er, I love you qaq"

" . . . Gross . Go say that to your family's Professor Qi . Oh right, I forgot, you got divorced :)"

Yang Wei: " . . . "

 

In that next week, Yang Wei taught classes both day and night, and drew manuscripts in her free time like a robot . It was with great difficulty that Friday finally came, and she decided to relax that rare free evening .

Math class took up the first part of the afternoon, but right before it started, Teacher Luo went to the office door and clicked it shut . Then he strode quickly over to Yang Wei . "Teacher Yang, will you help me hand out these papers?"

Yang Wei stared at them a moment before wondering, "What's wrong, Teacher Luo?"

Teacher Luo made a face of misery . "Apparently I ate too much spicy crayfish last night . My stomach's a little . . . troubled today . " He set down the papers in his hand and fled . "Have them correct their mistakes, take the papers home and have their parents sign off! Bring them back next Monday!"

Yang Wei blinked at his rapidly retreating back . Picking up the mathematics papers on the table, she headed for the classroom .

She walked into the classroom after the bell rang, and the students turned their gazes to her in confusion . Yang Wei stepped onto the podium and gave them a smile . "Teacher Luo has something currently going on, and asked me to hand out your math tests . "

Upon hearing that the math test was to be handed out, everyone's expressions tensed .

Yang Wei enjoyed this feeling quite a bit . She opened the stack of papers and looked at the compiled score statistics . "Three students took full marks on this exam; He Can--" She picked up the first sheet of paper and looked in He Can's direction . The girl took her test to a round of applause .

"Gu Lei--" Yang Wei handed his paper back, not forgetting to add, "Aren't you too lopsided1?"

Gu Lei suddenly felt like the mathematics paper on his hand was a little hot . From his seat, Liang Ming Hao let out a snicker . Yang Wei glanced at him and smiled, "Classmate Liang Ming Hao, on the other hand, isn't lopsided at all . His grades are well-distributed across every subject . "

Liang Ming Hao: " . . . "

This time, it was the other students who laughed .

Yang Wei got through over 90% of the papers before reaching Liang Ming Hao's . She picked it up and said to him, "Liang Ming Hao, 87 points . "

Liang Ming Hao took the paper, his mouth flattened . She told him, "First correct your mistakes, then go home and have your parents sign off on it . Bring it back on Monday . "

"Mm," Liang Ming Hao responded, looking just like an obedient daughter-in-law as he returned to his seat . Only by the time two-thirds of the class was over did Teacher Luo rush back .

Yang Wei retired in glory, having accomplished her task, and returned to the office .

It was rare for her not to be teaching that night . She decided to catch up with her favourite TV series and put off working on the manuscript until the next day . She bought two duck necks and a large bowl of maocai2 on the way home, planning to spend the night vegetating .

On Weibo, Jian Shuang’s avatar was dancing once more . Yang Wei clicked on it and the dialog box popped out in a cheerful manner . “Wei Wei'er, Octopus Ball himself is coming to this weekend’s book signing! I can finally meet him in person!"

Octopus Ball was the Great God behind the novel <Party of the Condemned>, which was so popular that even Yang Wei, who rarely read novels marketed toward men, had heard of it .

She thought before replying, "Wasn't he abroad?"


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Calabash Twins: "I hear that he came back a while ago! This is the launch for the second volume of <Party of the Condemned>, and the organizer only managed to get him to come after much effort! Oh my God! I'm so excited to see a male god in person!”

Yang Wei made a face . Jian Shuang’s male gods could be counted by the dozen .

"Well, I wish you good luck . "

Calabash Twins: "Well, I'm a little nervous, why don't you come with me? I've already bought the tickets!"

"I'm painting this weekend . Get your man to go with you . "

Calabash Twins: "How can I bring my man with me to ogle another man? Paint tomorrow, and we'll go the day after . "

Calabash Twins: "Octopus Ball is super handsome!"

You say that like you've seen him before! She thought about it a moment, then gave in . "What time does the signing start?"

Calabash Twins: "10 o'clock in the morning . I'll treat you to lunch =3="

Yang Wei felt quite satisfied upon having earned a free lunch . "Where and when shall we meet?"

"Nine o'clock . I'll wait for you outside the convention center!"

Yang Wei responded with an ok emoji, watching TV while eating maocai . Before going to bed, she habitually browsed through Weibo and found that Wait for Three More Minutes had forwarded the news of the signing ceremony tomorrow .

From there, she got onto Octopus Ball's microblog . His avatar was that of an animated character, and his address was an international one . Yang Wei had once heard Jian Shuang say that Octopus Ball had once added a photo of his back on Weibo, which was unanimously voted the most handsome back of the year by his fans .

Curious, she clicked on his photo album .

Octopus Ball did not have many photos uploaded, and she soon found the photo in question . Flowing in the background was a blue sea, and in the foreground, a man leaned on the railing of a balcony planted with flowers .

Yang Wei had to admit that though it was just the view of his back, he was very handsome . His broad shoulders, tapered waist and long legs would capture the hearts of many young girls .

But . . . why did his figure feel so familiar?

Unable to pin it down, she decisively cut off that train of thought and went to bed .

On Saturday, she was finally able to complete the underpainting for the manuscript . Heaving a sigh of relief, Yang Wei began preparing her evening class . If one could sum up her current mood in a phrase, it would be 'After 3 decades of hard work, one returns to before liberation3' .

That Sunday morning she lazed in bed, only arriving at the convention center around 9:30 . Jian Shuang waited at the door, flustered and frustrated, her face as black as the bottom of a pot . "Why the heck are you so late?!"

"Doesn't the signing start at ten o'clock? What's the hurry?"

"Of course I'm in a hurry!" Jian Shuang dragged her into the venue . "Do you know how long the line is? If you were half an hour later we'd be lining up outside the fifth ring!"

Yang Wei pursed her lips and followed silently to the stage the organizer had set up for the signing ceremony . There was indeed already a long line of people there, many of whom were in cosplay costumes .

Taking Yang Wei to the end of the line, Jian Shuang looked about before telling her, "Keep our place in line, I'll go buy us books . "

"Kay," Yang Wei nodded . She watched her friend make her way to the official booth to purchase two copies of <Party of the Condemned>, then wind her way back . The book included a poster; not of the author, of course, but of the actor for the main character . Jian Shuang stared at the poster for a while, then told her, "I bet Octopus Ball's more handsome than the main actor . "

"You'll get to see him soon . Remember not to blink . "

Reminded of that, Jian Shuang got excited . "Ohmygawd, do you think they'll let us hug and shake hands for a photo? Remember to take pictures for me!" She hung her SLR camera excitedly about Yang Wei's neck .


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Yang Wei took the camera with an expression of long-suffering . She could understand Jian Shuang's feelings . If it had been Film Emperor Mo appearing here today, she herself would have been more excited than Jian Shuang currently was .

The two stood in line chatting for a while before staff members with lanyards began working their way along the line one by one, reminding them, "When you see Octopus Ball later, please do not hug him, ask for a photo, or ask him to sign anything out of the ordinary . "

Jian Shuang’s enthusiasm immediately dimmed . “Well then, what can we do?”

But the staff member had already moved on . No one responded to her .

At ten o'clock, a sudden shriek filled the venue . Jian Shuang grabbed onto Yang Wei’s hand, all excitement . “Ohmygawd ohmygawd here he comes! I'm so nervous!”

Yang Wei curiously followed the crowd’s line of sight . Sure enough, a tall figure surrounded by a group of staff was making his way toward them . He was clad in a dark coat, jeans, and ankle boots, but that was beside the point . The point was that he was also wearing a hat and masked to cover his face .

The other fans had also discovered that his face was covered, and immediately there was a loud and mournful outcry . Jian Shuang hung onto Yang Wei in disappointment . "Why would the male god hide his face?! At least his eyes are charming!"

Yang Wei had been observing him . Indeed, his eyes were beautiful . They reminded her a little of Fang Cheng Ran’s peach-blossom eyes . Octopus Ball sat, and without further ado began signing .

The two girls were relatively far to the back of the queue, and Jian Shuang had begun fretting that Octopus Ball would not get to them before the signing was over . As the line was in the shape of an S, they were currently standing right in front of him . Yang Wei raised the camera and took several close-ups for her .

Although the staff had previously instructed them not to embrace him or take group photos, a few bold female fans still put their books down to give him a hug . Whenever this happened, Jian Shuang reiterated that she must later do the same .

Octopus Ball had been signing the whole time non-stop, and at eleven o'clock, it was finally their turn . When Jian Shuang put her book down in front of Octopus Ball, her hands trembled a little . Yang Wei has already raised the camera for the moment when she would reach out to hug him, ready to press the shutter . But the result was that Jian Shuang merely said a shy thank you, then left holding her book .

Yang Wei: " . . . "

Next to her, a staff member urged, "Go on!"

Yang Wei put down the camera and walked up quickly . When she put the book on the table, Octopus Ball looked up . Their eyes met .

When she saw his sudden stiffening, she became nervous . What was wrong? Did he somehow know that she wasn't actually his reader, and would refuse to sign? What if he asked her to name the main protagonist? She couldn't answer that! Would she be beaten to death?!

While her heart was engaged in rich psychological activities, Octopus Ball suddenly smiled at her . Indeed, although he was wearing a mask, she could still tell that he was smiling . Eyes really were the window to the soul!

He lowered his head, opened the book, brushed a few strokes onto the inside page, then returned it to Yang Wei . She thanked him, took the book and left quickly .

Having left the signing, Yang Wei was able to finally breathe . Jian Shuang was still looking at her new book signature, giggling . Yang Wei went over to her . "Didn't you say you were going to hug him? Why'd you leave like that?"

Jian Shuang looked at her sorrowfully . "I didn't dare! I just couldn't say a thing in front of him . Those girls were so courageous!"

Yang Wei gave her a look of scorn, then opened to her book's title page .

Enjoy everyday ^_^
— Octopus Ball

"Ahhhhhh, why is yours different from mine?!" Jian Shuang opened up her book and held it up for Yang Wei's perusal . "Why do you have two whole extra words?! And a smiley face, a smiley face!!!"

Yang Wei was also surprised . Not only were there more words, but even the 'Octopus Ball' in Jian Shuang's book was shortened and scrawled . Hers was obviously a luxury version .

"Why! Tell me why?!" Jian Shuang grabbed Yang Wei's hand in resentment, fire apparently spurting from her eyes . With a dry smile, Yang Wei suggested, "Maybe I was the hundredth person, so I got a special service?"

"It would be the same if you were number 250!" Jian Shuang covered her heart, about to burst .

Yang Wei handed over the book in her hand . "For you . "


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Her friend instantly returned to life . "Wei Wei, you really do love me! Let's go, I'll treat you to seafood!"

 

At the end of the signing ceremony, the organizer warmly invited Octopus Ball to dinner, but was declined . Fans followed him all the way to the car, but never saw him without his mask on .

Fang Cheng Ran leaned back in his seat, took off the mask on his face, and rubbed his aching wrist . From the front seat, his editor looked back and asked, "Where to?"

"Home, my hand is broken . "

The editor asked politely, "Need me to rub it for you? Free of charge . "

He smiled at her, "No, thank you . "

His editor clutched her heart, "Oh, Great One, don't seduce me . I can't hold on through the temptation . "

Fang Cheng Ran was too lazy to speak .

She added, "If you'd be willing to show your face, your fans would surely grow exponentially . "

"At that time I'll switch editors . "

His editor shut up .

The car stopped at his door . He got off and entered without a glance behind . In the kitchen, he poured himself a cup of coffee and had just walked into the living room when he heard Liang Ming Hao trotting downstairs .

"Uncle, you're back? How did the signing go?"

Fang Cheng Ran thought of Yang Wei and gently hooked a corner of his mouth . "Well . "

Liang Ming Hao saw that he was in a good mood and hurriedly handed over his examination paper . "The teacher wants a guardian to sign off on it . "

Fang Cheng Ran took the test paper and glanced at it . "87 points? Whose IQ did you inherit?"

"Probably yours . "

"I never got an 87 in math when I was in elementary school . ” Fang Cheng Ran picked up a pen from the table and quickly signed his name . Liang Ming Hao took the test paper and stuffed it back into his bag without checking .

 

The next morning before the start of self-study, the math class representative collected all the papers that were sent out over the weekend . Teacher Luo sat in the office, checking over everyone's mistakes . When he got to Liang Ming Hao's paper, he turned to Yang Wei at the window and called, "Teacher Yang, come and take a look!"

"What's wrong?" Yang Wei asked, confused .

Teacher Luo held up Liang Ming Hao's test paper and said to her, "What signature do you see on Liang Ming Hao's paper?"

Yang Wei walked over, took the test paper, and glanced at it . Her expression changed subtly .

Although the signature was scribbled and untidy, she still recognized it . . . because she had seen it just yesterday .

Octopus Ball .

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