The Correct Answer chapter 1

Chapter 1 (Oneshot)

The Correct Answer/ 七宝酥1

Zhou Yiqi.

An Yi didn’t expect that she would also suffer from this strange obsession of repeatedly writing a person’s name inside a notebook.

Only because she thought he had a pleasant voice and was good-looking.


1.

The first time I saw Zhou Yiqi was during the second monthly exam after the sophomore classes were divided.

Speaking of which, it was strange but after An Yi split divisions 2, the school would shuffle the arts and science classes and randomly assign students to various exam rooms during the grade exams when the students were tested on Chinese, Math, and English. They did so to eliminate the possibility of cheating between classmates who knew each other well.

On the afternoon of the English exam, An Yi woke up late from her afternoon nap, and therefore, she arrived late for the exam.

When she arrived at the examination room, the classroom was already full of people. Everyone probably thought the invigilator had come, and for a moment, they gathered their eyes at the door, and the atmosphere turned solemn…

An Yi did not like being the center of attention, so she lowered her eyes, took out the transparent pencil bag and exam card from her canvas bag, and directly walked inside.

The atmosphere once again returned to the noisy chatter and laughter from moments ago.

Since this was a completely unfamiliar classroom, An Yi walked through the aisles, anxiously scanning the test cards at the corners of each table, wanting to get to her seat quickly.

Her classmates, who were lucky enough to be in the same exam room, called out their greetings and asked her where she was sitting. An Yi only smiled and replied that she also didn’t know.

She continued to look for her seat without slowing her pace; however, up ahead, there was suddenly an obstacle blocking her.

It was a boy’s leg, and the wide-legged pants of the school uniform could not conceal its considerable length. In addition, it was exceptionally arrogant; other people’s legs were placed under the table in a disciplined manner, but it was the only one stretched out impolitely, occupying half of the aisle, like a lazy but fearless obstacle.

Her first reaction was not to contemplate how to step over. An Yi frowned and wanted to see who the owner of the leg was.

She raised her clear eyes but did not see his face as she wished, because the long-legged owner had turned his head to talk to the person at the desk behind him. He propped up his head with one hand, only providing An Yi with the back of his head; his exuberant hair, like the season’s vibrant green meadow; and his shrugging shoulder blades holding up his school uniform inexplicably.

An Yi was about to withdraw her gaze when the figure suddenly turned around.

When he talked to people, the corners of his half-curved lips had not yet had time to close, and his eyes also maintained the curved arc, pockets full of a gleaming, casual and frivolous smile…

Clang?

Thump?

Thud?

She didn’t know what onomatopoeia should be used to accurately describe this moment — that feeling of something repeatedly swinging and hammering at her heart.

Countless emotions ran through her heart, panic and grave… In addition, the surrounding sights and sounds were shattered and melted away, like ice cream, instantly vanishing…

Only her and the person in front of her existed.

An Yi just stared blankly in place.

She even forgot to check the number plate of the empty seat at her side.


2.

It was love at first sight.

This phrase ‒ beautiful and vulgar, an elegant excuse for all those who were weak to pretty faces, and An Yi was not an exception…

When she found out that her seat was in front of the boy with a handsome smile, An Yi couldn’t help taking a few seconds to secretly feel happy.

After taking her seat, she subconsciously straightened her back.

She also wanted to give the other person… a good impression of her appearance, not a bookworm with a hunched back from the liberal arts class.

The invigilator arrived about ten minutes later, and the surrounding atmosphere stalled as the invigilator distributed the test papers like snowflakes.

An Yi wrote her name, and her previous confidence turned into apprehension. She could only keep warning herself not to be absent-minded.

However, today while listening to the audio transmitted through the earphones, whether or not the voice was quieter than before, why can I not escape the sound of my heartbeat?

An Yi turned the volume knob, but it could not be adjusted at all; it was clearly cranked up to the maximum.

It was very hard to get through the listening section. An Yi took a deep breath, firmly gripped her pencil, and continued with the fill-in-the-blank questions from the reading comprehension section.

Luckily, English was her strong suit, and her reflexes were good enough to overcome the problems with ease. When she became stuck, there was still a good half hour before the end of the exam.

*Swish*

The last square was filled, and An Yi let out a long breath, but before the breath could completely escape, something was suddenly tapped against her back twice.

The two not-so-gentle taps were enough to cause her to shiver and her body to freeze.

The person in the back didn’t expect such a big reaction from her and became motionless.

What, what’s going on?

As a result, An Yi became uncertain.

She guessed it was a pen from the boy behind her, who had never met her before and disrupted her heart with a smile.

Once again, her heart started to beat like a drum, An Yi heard his muffled voice: “Hey, show me the answer card.”

The voice was barely audible but still slightly menacing.

An Yi did not dare to budge, because she couldn’t believe it. It was also during this brief gap that her back was poked again ‒  this time, the strength was a bit stronger, as if in coercion.

The bad guy was knocking on the door, trying to get something for nothing. But what to do, An Yi was engrossed by his radiant smile. No matter how intimidating his tone was, the lure of his face could counteract it all.

Unable to ignore him, An Yi decided to help him. Her heart skipped a beat and she took a peek at the podium where the invigilator was flipping through the newspaper in their hands with keen interest.

An Yi calmed her mind and used small movements to push the answer card to the edge of the table, while she leaned her upper body to the side so that the card could be seen by the person behind her.

The bell rang after half an hour to signal the end of the exam, and the invigilator collected the test papers.

All the students got up, some left in a hurry, and some whispered to each other about the correct answers. A classmate called out to An Yi and said they wanted to leave together. An Yi put away her pen and gladly agreed.

Out of the corner of her eyes, she peeked at the person behind her. He was really tall, and his long legs enabled him to stand out from the crowd. In addition, he was also a fast walker, picking up his pencil bag and leaving the exam room in an instant.

An Yi did not even receive a single word of thanks.

Nevertheless, she lowered her head, and couldn’t help curling up the corners of her lips, with her hands behind her back on the tabletop.

Because that person who was almost out of the classroom turned around and looked at her.

He slightly raised his eyebrows, and this girl was able to see the face that was causing her heart to beat feverishly.


3.

The monthly exams ended and everything went back to normal.

It seemed that there had been no changes, but it was obvious that An Yi had heavier concerns in her heart, enough to compile a Girls’ Feelings are Always 100 Million Words Novel.

Who the hell is that boy?

What’s his name?

What class is he in? He definitely wasn’t in her liberal arts class.

Also, will there be a chance to see him again? How did he do on the test this time?

She thinks the English should be pretty good. After all, she was first in the entire grade.

The more An Yi thought about it, the harder it was to meet him; moreover, it could even be said that she might never see him again.

These thoughts were too much to conceal. While reading one morning, An Yi couldn’t help but hug her desk-mate Ruan Jing’s arm, knocking her head against the textbook and murmuring, “Ruan Ruan, I think I have a crush on someone.”

“Who is it?!” Her desk-mate, who originally was drowsy, was instantly invigorated.

“Do you remember the last exam?” An Yi pretended to turn the pages of her book.

“Yeah.”

“A boy who sat behind me in the row. But I don’t even know anything about him.”

“Science class?” Ruan Jing went straight to the point, “Is he handsome?”

“Well…” An Yi murmured and nodded in confirmation, “Hmm.”

“Love at first sight?”

“…Right, probably.”

“So handsome…? So handsome, I should know, the science class only has a few good-looking people,” The know-it-all Ruan Jing confidently returned. “Describe his appearance to me.”

An Yi opened her lips after two seconds of silence, “Tall.”

“Hey – height is the basic requirement of a handsome man, okay.”

“Oh.”

“And what else.”

“… Um, his smile … is very good-looking … and a little bad.”

“… What kind of abstract description is this.”

“There’s also the …” An Yi didn’t know if it was convenient to explain to the other party, “he uhh …”

“Mm-hmm?”

“I helped him cheat, by allowing him to copy the English answers …” An Yi stated slowly.

It was obviously something to be ashamed of, but why was it so sweet to say it out loud?

Ruan Jing was shocked, “You’re such a righteous person! How capable are you to do something so corrupt and unethical!”

” No, no …” Don’t say it, it was a mistake to be charmed by that person, An Yi consoled herself in her heart.

However, the information An Yi provided still allowed Ruan Jing to narrow down her guess to one person.

In between classes that same day, Ruan Jing dragged her upstairs to verify and personally confirm it for herself.

The science class’s hallway was cramped with boys leaning on the railing, laughing and joking; and An Yi, who had been in a group of girls for all these years, was inexplicably bashful. Her heart was beating wildly, and her steps were more reluctant.

Pretending to be walking by, Ruan Jing looked far into the classroom of Class 10, looking for her target.

An Yi did not dare to lift her eyes while holding Ruan Jing’s arm tightly. Actually, no one noticed her, but she was still unsure; like a monkey in the zoo, full of the shame of being surrounded, and just wanted to run away quickly.

Soon, Ruan Jing patted the back of An Yi’s hand and exclaimed in a low voice, “An Yi, take a look! The one at the back! Just by the side of the window, isn’t he the one you’re looking at?”

An Yi’s heart trembled, then she quickly looked away for a few seconds but returned her gaze once again.

Her face must be completely red, and the deer in her heart was about to run over3.

It’s him.

It’s really him.

By the small window next to the aisle, his image was vivid and real.

Right in the last row, still the same insolent air, yet two impressive long legs were folded over the edge of the table. He tilted the legs of the chair to lean against the wall, while he sloppily yet steadily read his book. The outline of his eyelashes, engraved by sunlight under his eyes and the natural curvature of his lips, was still the same in her memory.

Not many people within the student body would dare to sit like this. Those who did would be caught by the teacher and would definitely have their legs broken.

When the bell rang, the two flustered girls ran down the stairs to go to class, their footsteps shattering the sunlight reflecting on the staircase.

“I’m not wrong!” One girl was proud of her accurate pinpointing.

“What’s his name?” The other girl was pleasantly surprised by her crush, whom she had lost and found.

“Zhou Yiqi.”

“What ‘Yi’, what ‘Qi’?” She wanted to know more about him, the more the better.

“The Yi of abundance, the Qi of strangeness.”

“Pfft.” Almost in front of her classroom, An Yi stopped and couldn’t help but laugh at the name that seemed very befitting of that person.

“In Glowing Spirits”4, abundant and strange.

The person was as his name suggested.

Zhou Yiqi.

The bad guy she liked was called Zhou Yiqi.


4.

Ever since she learned of his name, An Yi had made more new discoveries.

For example, during the recess exercises, turning 120° to the left, she could just see Zhou Yiqi in the tenth class’s line. He was so tall that she could recognize him with a glance. He was standing in a slouching manner, sitting without sitting, with a lazy smile, talking endlessly to the classmates beside him.

Another example would be during Thursday’s PE class, at the other end of the 400-meter large playground, the tenth class was in the same section with them. Zhou Yiqi would gather his friends during free time and run to the basketball court, squandering his vitality in the wire fence to enjoy his youth, never wasting his outstanding figure.

An Yi had never noticed them before.

However, now, it was as if he was everywhere.

Since then, during Thursday’s PE class, An Yi had not requested for a “fake menstrual leave”, to be lazy and return to the classroom to play dead. She honestly stayed in the sports field, sitting side by side with a few girls she knew, like a row of chirping little birds.

Her gaze would drift towards the basketball court from time to time. An Yi could hear the girls nearby discussing the boy she admired, and the air was filled with floating pink bubbles of infatuation.

“That’s Zhou Yiqi, right.”

“Hey, he is really tall and handsome …”

“His clothes are also very good.”

“It’s all school uniforms, what clothes.”

“The inside is piercing through and not the school uniform!”

An Yi strained her ears to listen, maybe the girls were also in the same class. They had also mentioned this name once, only at that time, she was not interested. The name went in one ear, out the other, and was quickly swept away.

An Yi nearly missed it and rejoiced at the bottom of her heart, grateful for the monthly exam. The glowing gem must be seen up close to people’s eyes to know that there were many crazy fans.

The person who was concentrating on eavesdropping had her hand squeezed suddenly by Ruan Jing on the side, seemingly to have a hint.

Turning around, she immediately saw her desk-mate winking her eyes and coming over with a teasing look on her face, whispering softly, “An Yi, you have a little too many rivals…”

Upon hearing this, An Yi’s face flushed and became very red as she shook off her hand, screw off, don’t talk nonsense.

The classmates beside her were still chattering.

“I like Thursday’s PE class the most, it’s in the same section as class 10.”

“Ah, why?”

“The tenth class is publicly acknowledged as the class with the highest level of boys’ attractiveness index in our grade, OK 5?”

“Then our class must have the highest level of girls’ attractive index in our grade, right?”

“Yeah, you’re the only one who’s lowering the average.”

“You get lost.”

……

An Yi’s sight once again swept to the field, where the boy wearing a white T-shirt 6 and black pants tossed the ball and walked to the edge of the field, stooping to grab water.

Across the grassy field, An Yi took a moment to blink as she watched him raise his head to take a sip.

Suddenly, his face turned in her direction, and his gaze coincidentally landed on her.

An Yi’s eyes opened wide as if she was electrocuted. From that far distance, he certainly couldn’t see her nor recognize her. Yet, her cheeks blushed like they were about to be sunburnt.

<Badum badum>. Her heart pounded like a basketball on the court.


5.

Once again, I saw Zhou Yiqi up close in the English teacher’s office.

An Yi achieved outstanding grades and was promoted to be the English representative in the first month after her class was divided.

The first 2 classes were English classes, and to examine everyone’s memorization progress during this period, the teacher passed out homemade handouts. They should be used as a word bank to memorize during this period.

After class, the teacher called on An Yi and instructed her to collect all the handouts, bring them to the office and help grade the papers. Along the way, she also instructed that the red pens and answer cards were located on top of her desk.

During recess, the teachers and students rushed to the playground like a swarm of bees, while An Yi walked against the huge stream of people.

Very soon, the corridor was empty without a soul in sight and the front of the office was quiet.

With the heavy responsibility on her shoulders, An Yi held her breath and walked into the office.

Before taking another step, An Yi saw a silhouette from behind. The silhouette was familiar to the point of making her stop and stayed rooted on the spot as she stared blankly.

Is it him?

For a split second, An Yi felt the warm breeze from outside the window on her face.

The boy stood in front of the windowsill with his back facing her. On his side, there were various aquatic plants arranged by the teachers, and he was like a lush poplar tree7, relaxed from head to toe.

Sensing another person in the same room other than him, he suddenly turned around, An Yi’s eyes gazed upon the contours of his face, before finally landing on those rather indifferent eyes.

When their pair of eyes met, An Yi immediately lowered her eyes and tightly gripped the handouts in her hands. She took three steps forward and two steps back to find the English teacher’s desk.

As she was about to sit down, An Yi realized that she just recently seemed to walk and turn with the same hand and foot…

She shamefully supported her head with one hand and ridiculed herself. She lost face and was too ashamed to even go home to see her grandmother.8

Finding the red ballpoint pen in the pen holder, An Yi let out a long exhale, planning to get down to business.

But she was unable to ignore the person behind her, and it felt like she was sitting on pins and needles.

Forcing herself to calm down, An Yi put away the answer cards, straightened her back, and began to grade the first-word handout.

The atmosphere was peaceful.

“Hey.” The boy suddenly called out to her using the same tone as during the test.

An Yi’s heart thumped and she repeatedly pinched her pen.

Feeling as if her throat was constricted, An Yi strictly controlled the inquiring expression on her face. It was only then that she dared to turn around.

“Help me look to see if you have this cover under your desk.” The boy stood against the light and shook the object in his hand with his brows furrowed.

It was only then when An Yi noticed that he had already picked up the PSP off the floor. He had completely assembled and installed it back to its original form; however, a small part was missing.

She quickly bent low to look into the inside of the desk. Finally, An Yi saw the tiny part that had been left behind and immediately picked it up, stood, and extended her hand to him, indicating if it was it?

“Yes, yes, this is it.” The boy’s originally undisciplined eyes instantly turned brighter.

The moment he walked towards her, An Yi anxiously considered whether to place it into his hand personally; or to put it on the table for him to take it himself. Consequently, after giving it some thought, she was still very embarrassed about the former choice, thus, she lightly put it on the corner of the table.

The slender fingers quickly took it away, “Thanks.”

An Yi nodded, and the mountain-like shadow moved away.

Again, instantly, An Yi felt like she had missed a good chance to deepen the relationship making her somewhat lonely, but this was also the most suitable choice for her, originally she was a top-notch wimp.

“Miss Lester, but do you know what I think? I think love is wanting to touch but then hesitating to touch with your hand.”9

–Salinger wrote these words in “The Heart of a Broken Story”, and An Yi thought to herself that she could understand it at this second.

For the next twenty minutes, An Yi was preoccupied with glancing at him out of the corner of her eyes.

Just seeing this person assembling a proper PSP. After booting up the machine to test something and confirm that it could still be used later, only then did he unfurl a breath of relief. He held the dismantled game console, just according to the place where it was smashed and scattered at the beginning, putting it back on the ground and restoring the scene to its original state.

An Yi held her tongue and quietly laughed.

She didn’t even say a word to him, and she didn’t know if he still remembered her, but it seemed like every time she saw this person, he wasn’t doing anything good.

Ruan Jing also told her that Zhou Yiqi was a famous old fox10 and a hooligan in science class.

But she wasn’t able to pull back in the nick of time11. On the contrary, she had a tendency to be obsessed with something, and after watching him finish everything, she only had a few words barraging and flooding in her mind:

Why is he so cute?

How can there be such a cute person?

Was this a deliberate arrangement from God? A space in the office, just the two of them, two people.

She, An Yi.

He, Zhou Yiqi.

Classmate An Yi, were you growing sweeter in your heart?

It was not only growing sweeter, but it was also simply emitting beautiful bubbles.


Footnotes

  1. This is the author’s name
  2. so whether you go down the STEM track or Humanities/Arts
  3. This was what the raws had. It probably means something similar to having butterflies in your stomach.
  4. This is an idiom of the word “Yi” in Zhou Yiqi’s name.
  5. OK was written in English
  6. This was T in raws, I’m assuming it means T-shirt
  7. A kind of plant.
  8. This means she is too ashamed to meet her ancestors indicating that she was extremely embarrassed.
  9. The quote is a bit different from the one I found on the internet, but the idea is somewhat the same.
  10. A fox usually means a cunning person.
  11. Idiom that was used: to rein in the horse at the edge of the precipice.


The Correct Answer

The Correct Answer

正确答案
Score 8.6
Status: Completed Type: Author: , Released: 2017 Native Language: Chinese
“I’ve always waited for your answer, provided, of course, that I dared to ask the question first.”

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