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Published at 23rd of September 2017 06:58:21 AM

Chapter 32

Overgrown Grassland

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32 . Chapter 32

Li Xun expressed great discontent at hearing that Zhu Yun and Gao Jianhong wanted to participate in the competition .

The way Gao Jianhong explained it, Li Xun had originally wanted to use this trip as an opportunity to take him and Zhu Yun out and around . At first, he hadn’t been interested in the event at all . Then he decided to take it as a chance for a vacation and also to reward his staff . But now…

In the cafeteria—

Zhu Yun asked, “Where is he?”

Gao Jianhong replied, “Out . ”

Zhu Yun, “Out where?”

Gao Jianhong, “He left right after the event, probably out having fun . ”

Zhu Yun curled her lips and sat down next to Gao Jianhong with her meal tray .

“Why did you suddenly change your mind?” Gao Jianhong asked .

Zhu Yun said, “Nothing really . I just want to participate . ”

Gao Jianhong said, “Since we’re going to participate, we should do a good job and win . When we get back, we can talk to Teacher Lin about the specifics . But we still need a third member . ”

“We need another member…” Zhu Yun’s mind wandered a bit . She inadvertently looked up and met Gao Jianhong’s eyes . The two both saw what the other was thinking—Another member? Why not Top Score? Hits every target without a miss; he’d make this a sure thing .

“It’ll be too hard,” Gao Jianhong spoke up first . “I asked him when we were in our room, but he didn’t have a single grain of interest . I think he’s pretty set against it . And since we suddenly decided to participate, that messes up his plans for the project base . ”

Zhu Yun expressed her agreement . For as long as they’ve known each other, Zhu Yun had never seen anyone who could convince Li Xun to do something he didn’t want to . On the other hand, Li Xun had a very high success rate convincing others .

“You should go ask him . ”

“Ah?” Zhu Yun raised her head, and Gao Jianhong added, “You should try talking to him about it . I think we might have a sliver of hope that way . ”

Zhu Yun replied with a chuckle and said, “You’re thinking too highly of me . ”

Gao Jianhong persisted, “Try it out . Unless you have a better candidate in mind?”

After we ate, we returned to our rooms . The sky was already getting dark, but Li Xun hadn’t returned yet . Zhu Yun lied in bed, thinking . Then she texted Li Xun: Where are you?

There was no reply .

Zhu Yun called him, and after a few rings, a girl answered the phone . Music blared on the other end, and it was obvious that he was out someplace . Zhu Yun shouted a few things, unsure if she was being heard . Finally, she took a deep breath and shouted loudly, “Hello?! Can you hear me?! Is Li Xun there?! Tall guy with blond hair!!”

She’d startled the senior she was rooming with, and she quickly turned to apologize .

There was a bit of static on the phone, like the sound of a door closing . And then there was silence .

“What do you want?”

Zhu Yun was take by surprise at the crisp, clear voice on the other end . She’d thought he’d have been dead drunk already .

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“Speak . ”

“……” Her woman’s intuition told her that if she gave the real reason she was calling right now, he would resolutely refuse . “…Um, the teacher told me to call you and tell you not to stay out too late . We still have things to do in the morning . ”

“Got it . ”

He hung up . Zhu Yun narrowed her eyes as her thoughts took off… How could she persuade Li Xun to get into the water with them?

In the middle of the night, her phone vibrated . Gao Jianhong had texted to let her know that Li Xun had returned: I’ll go over to a senior’s room for a bit . Go convince him .

Zhu Yun put down her phone and went into the bathroom . She stretched a bit, and after a five minute warmup, she retrieved her equipment and headed out .

Li Xun was staying in the floor above . The building was filled with students participating in the events today, so even in the middle of the night, there were sounds of indistinct conversations .

Computer department, a lively night owl production camp .

Zhu Yun arrived at Li Xun’s door . She took a deep breath and knocked .

“Who is it?”

“Li Xun, it’s me . ”

A few seconds later, Li Xun opened the door . “What is it?”

Zhu Yun lifted up something . “Did you drink a lot? I brought some yogurt . ”

“I didn’t drink . ”

Stay calm .

Zhu Yun changed tactics . “Do you want to go for a midnight snack? The cafeteria must have something delicious . ”

“I already ate . ”

That’s okay .

Zhu Yun pulled out a plastic bag from her bag . “Did you bring enough clean clothes?”

Li Xun, “……”

After some silence, Li Xun waggled his finger . “Bring the bag here . ”

Zhu Yun obediently handed the bag over . Just as she was about to speak, Li Xun cut her off . “Alright, you can go back and sleep . ”

Boom! The door closed .

Zhu Yun wanted to cry but had no tears . She’d just bought that bag . This must be the kind of situation the ancients described as ‘gave away a bride, and lost an army on top of it . ’ (t/n: to suffer double loss after trying to trick the enemy)

The next day, the teachers rounded up for a meeting . The host school’s students were also holding an important networking event in the afternoon . Unless something came up, Li Xun wouldn’t be attending .

The social event organizer was a third year student . The preparations were well done . They’d set up a special directory on the computers in the multimedia lab, with all the winning projects for everyone to peruse and discuss together .

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Zhu Yun didn’t check anyone else’s, except for Fang Zhijing’s . He’d worked on a screen capture and playback software . The source code wasn’t available, so she had to make an educated guess on the quality of the code based on the sophistication and fluidity of the program .

It went without saying that there was quite a gap between first and second place… A peaceful feeling passed over Zhu Yun .

She really wanted to widen this gap in a formal competition .

Li Xun ah, Li Xun…

Zhu Yun started cooking up plans again .

After a short while, someone pat Zhu Yun from the back . She turned around to see a pretty girl . Her smile was sweet as she greeted Zhu Yun, “Hi, how are you . ”

Who are you?

Li Xun politely replied, “Hello . ”

“I’m Xu Lina . I go to this school . ” The girl was very cheerful . “I saw your project, and it’s really amazing . No wonder you guys won first place . It was so complete . ”

Zhu Yun, “…Thank you . ”

Xu Lina moved closer and Zhu Yun smelled a light, fruity fragrance .

“I’m a first year too,” she said . “There aren’t many first years here, just the few of us . Like a rare species . ”

“Yeah, there aren’t many . ”

Their exchange went on for awhile, and when it ended, Xu Lina offered an invitation to Zhu Yun and Gao Jianhong . “Since you guys are leaving tomorrow, we should have some fun together before then . ”

Zhu Yun and Gao Jianhong exchanged glances . Just then, the organizer, Guan Rong came over . “Come join us in the fun . ”

Zhu Yun had thought that they’d invite all the students out, but they’d only invited some ten or twenty . All those invited had done pretty well in the competition . After a simple meal, the group went out to karaoke .

Guan Rong had reserved a large room . Xu Lina told Zhu Yun that their advisor had payed for it . His beloved students had to make friends with impressive people for there to be a chance for innovation .

“How magnanimous,” Gao Jianhong told Zhu Yun with a laugh . Zhu Yun also laughed and replied, “Our guy’s pretty magnanimous too . ”

His temper’s just a bit rotten .

Gao Jianhong grabbed two beers . The room was filled with people, mostly boys, and everyone was pretty friendly . After people had some drinks, the place livened up a bit, but the atmosphere was very relaxed .

Zhu Yun’s alcohol tolerance wasn’t that great, so Xu Lina specially ordered two cocktails . They were a light color and not too strong . And so, Zhu Yun got careless . She was thirsty so she drank both glasses in a row . And then she started to feel dizzy .

The people around her were boasting about Fang Zhijing, and Zhu Yun’s mouth dropped open to her chin .

Zu Lina stayed beside Zhu Yun and she whispered, “Fang Zhijing’s also a first year . Their project was pretty good, but I think yours was better . ”

I guess you have good eyesight .

Xu Lina said, “Guan Rong and them demolished your program . Your code was really clean, and the logic was really clear . Your main programmer is just too strong . ”

Zhu Yun really wanted to laugh, but she also felt that laughing right now would be too immodest . She couldn’t act like Li Xun .

How should she respond so that it sounded modest but didn’t sound fake… Zhu Yun’s mind was in a mess, and in the end, she simply replied with two words—

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“That’s right!”

Gao Jianhong had a great laugh .

Xu Lina continued, “But he doesn’t seem to have the best personality . I greeted him on the day we distributed the awards, but he doesn’t really seem to look at you when you speak . ”

Zhu Yun pointed to herself, and then pointed to Gao Jianhong at her side, an experienced expression on her face . “If we’re talking about him looking down on people, the two of us have the most experience . We’re seniors in that topic . ”

Gao Jianhong laughed and drank some more . Zhu Yun said, “But when I think about it, we’re pretty amazing too . ”

Xu Lina asked, “Really?”

Zhu Yun answered, “Because not only were we able to program, we even matched his rhythm . ”

Xu Lina excitedly asked, “What’s his rhythm?”

Zhu Yun raised a single finger—

“I am the boss . ”

Gao Jianhong laughed so hard that he started shaking . After a moment, he coughed twice and sat up straight . Xu Lina also stifled her laughter and pressed her lips together as she looked at Zhu Yun .

Only Zhu Yun continued spewing words as if no one else were present . “You know? In our group, he’s known as Emperor Flying Fingers . ”

In the end, Gao Jianhong couldn’t help himself . A mouthful of beer splashed out from his mouth .

Zhu Yun was going to continue speaking, when suddenly the back of her neck tightened and she was dragged up .

Gao Jianhong spoke up, “Hey, be careful . ”

Xu Lina looked at the person behind Zhu Yun . “Why are you only coming now? We contacted you awhile ago . Sit! Do you want to eat anything?”

Li Xun didn’t pay any heed to the others . Without saying a single word, he dragged Zhu Yun out of the room .

“Hey!” Xu Lina was about to follow them when Gao Jianhong stopped her . He told her, “Our boss is admonishing a subordinate . Just wait . ”

In the corridor—

Zhu Yun was pushed against a wall, her back to the cold surface . Through the colorful lights in the hall, she saw Li Xun’s unhappy face .

“You really do go crazy after a single drink…” Li Xun was chewing gum and he spoke quietly .

Zhu Yun looked directly at him .

“Li Xun . ”

Li Xun frowned .

Zhu Yun whispered, “Join the competition with us . ”

Li Xun remained silent .

“It’ll be a piece of cake for you . ” Zhu Yun rubbed two fingers together . “You just need to concentrate a little bit, and then you can win the contest and line your pockets, easy as pie . ”

Li Xun asked, “Why should I waste time on something that’s a piece of cake?”

Zhu Yun couldn’t think of a reason . So she changed tactics .

“You know, the people in that room look down on you . And—”

“Zhu Yun,” Li Xun cut her off . “Am I crazy?”

“On what front?” When Li Xun’s face remained serious, Zhu Yun quickly said, “No, not crazy . ”

Maybe because he felt it was pointless trying to talk to a drunk person, but Li Xun moved to leave . Reflexively, Zhu Yun extended her hand to block him .

“Don’t (you) leave—!”

Li Xun’s jacket was unbuttoned, and he wore a cotton T-shirt inside . Before he had the chance to turn around, Zhu Yun grabbed onto the collar of his shirt .

Since she was drunk, she moved rather carelessly . She pulled on Li Xun’s collar and stretched it out, turning a fashion item into an old shirt .

Li Xun shouted angrily, “Let go!”

Zhu Yun didn’t care about anything else . She responded loudly, “Join the competition with us!”

Everyone passing in the hallways looked over at them . Li Xun cursed under his breath, wanting to pull away . And then, a drunken and unsteady Zhu Yun slipped and fell flat on her face .

But still, she didn’t let go . And so, everyone heard a ripping sound . Rather than an old shirt, half of Li Xun’s chest was now exposed .

Zhu Yun, “……”

Li Xun, “……”

Everyone else, “……”

Zhu Yun fell into the wall .

Although Li Xun’s complexion was never exactly white, it had never gotten this dark before .

“Zhu Yun . ” Li Xun was very, very close to her, so close that she could even hear his teeth grinding . “If you were a guy, I’d have already hit you . ”

Zhu Yun knew that she was in the wrong, so she didn’t dare talk back .

Li Xun looked at her staying silent with a lowered head . After a few seconds, he quietly asked, “Why do you want to win the competition? You don’t seem like the kind to be interested in this kind of thing . ”

Zhu Yun remained silent .

Li Xun waited and when she still didn’t reply, he turned to leave .

“Hey!” Just then Gao Jianhong walked out from the room . From behind Li Xun, he said, “Let’s do it together . ”

Li Xun didn’t turn around . He gave the simplest and clearest answer, “No . ”

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