“It’s so boring just eating barbecue, why don’t we play truth or dare?” Someone interrupted Qian Wei’s train of thought with that proposal.
And then the plan was unanimously approved by everyone.
“Come on! Come on!”
“Then we will take turns spinning the empty beer bottle. When the bottle points at you you have to choose to tell a truth or do a dare proposed by the person at the other end of the bottle. Then the person who answered the truth or did the dare will spin the bottle to decide the next person.” The boy finished explaining and took a casual glance at a girl sitting opposite him, “Then I’ll get the ball rolling. In the first round, I will tell the truth or do a dare. Just ask me a question or propose a dare and I will do it.”
“Then, Li Zhiqiang, let me ask you, do you have a girl you like?”
As soon as the boy named Li Zhiqiang finished speaking, the girl opposite him asked that question.
“Yes! And she’s here today.”
As soon as Li Zhiqiang answered, there was a roar from the onlookers and the girl blushed. In fact, it was not too difficult to see that Li Zhiqiang and the girl were at least 80% in love with each other. All they needed was an opportunity to break the window paper together*. In fact, that was probably Li Zhiqiang’s original intention behind his proposal to play this game of truth or dare. There were undoubtedly also a small number of other boys and girls here that had the same thing in mind.
Li Zhiqiang had answered a question so he quickly spun the bottle to start the next round.
The game soon heated up while Qian Wei just watched from the side. She was surprised when the bottle stopped and it was pointing toward Lu Xun. At the other end of the bottle was Mo Zixin.
“Lu Xun, what kind of job do you want to do after graduation?”
Mo Zixin was very polite and asked Lu Xun a very proper question. Qian Wei thought, this question, not to mention Lu Xun, even I could answer for him. What he wants to do in the future is, of course, be a lawyer! After all, only a lawyer’s hourly fees could satisfy Lu Xun!
Qian Wei was stupefied and wondered if she had heard wrong. But when she looked up she saw that Lu Xun had flattened his lips into a line and seemed to be answering earnestly.
Qian Wei couldn’t help saying, “Are you kidding me? Don’t you want to be a lawyer? Although judges and prosecutors are civil servants with golden rice bowls**, I can tell you that the civil service system will be reformed in the future for sure. In the future, the income of civil servants will not be comparable to the income of lawyers, plus judges have to handle great pressure when they handle cases! Meanwhile, lawyers are just rich!”
Lu Xun frowned, he gave Qian Wei a disdainful glance and said: “I’m not the kind of person who only looks at money.” He paused. “In the legal system, the work of a lawyer is certainly very important, but the job of a lawyer is to defend his client as much as he can, not to uphold justice or judge the truth. I want to be a judge. It’s fine if I get paid a little less.”
Qian Wei was confused. She really wanted to ask, then how did you become a lawyer directly after graduation in your last life?
“If you become a judge, then in ten or twenty years, your old classmates who became lawyers will live in villas worth tens of millions while you will live in an old and shabby apartment. You will certainly regret it.”
“I have no regrets about the decisions I make.” Lu Xun’s attitude was very firm.
Everyone chatted in a lively way as the game went on for several more rounds. Eventually, it was Mo Zixin’s turn and coincidentally Qian Chuan was the one who could ask her a question.
Qian Chuan looked a little nervous. He cleared his throat and said, “I would like to ask Mo Zixin what are your criteria for choosing a partner?”
Mo Zixin looked a little shy: “It’s a little early for me to talk about my criteria for choosing a partner. I don’t have any special thoughts. He should be someone close by to me, and maybe he should be tall.”
At this point, Qian Chuan was smiling widely. He could be considered tall and close by! He seemed to fit perfectly! Plus, he believed that he could improve Mo Zixin’s impression of him over time if he just kept showing up in front of her as much as possible.
But unexpectedly, Mo Zixin added a few more words: “Also, I want to find someone in the same industry as me. After all, people studying law practically speak a language all their own in their day-to-day. So I think it’s better to find a partner who I can discuss things with, if we both work in the same industry I’ll never have to be afraid of having no topic to discuss.”
When Mo Zixin finished speaking she took a look over at Lu Xun, but it was a pity that Lu Xun had his eyes lowered. He did not seem to care about Mo Zixin’s hint at all.
The bottle spun again, and this time it was Li Zhiqiang’s turn to answer, so everyone began to shout excitedly. Amidst the bustle, a depressed Qian Chuan moved to Qian Wei’s side and whispered in her ear with a mournful voice.
“You say, if I start studying law now, how many years will it take me to pass the judicial examination?”
Liu Shiyun was close-by so she heard Qian Chuan’s words. Instantly she mocked: “I advise you to give up now. You know, if one day a zombie virus strikes, Qian Wei and I will have to flee desperately to save our lives but you will be absolutely safe and won’t have to be afraid at all. Why? It’s because with your brain, even a zombie wouldn’t bother to eat it.”
Qian Chuan looked over and saw that Mo Zixin was still not far away so he decided to endure silently. He spoke as if he was full of lofty ambition: “It’s fine. If I can’t pass the exam after one year, then I’ll take it again after a second year, and if I can’t pass after two years, then I’ll take it again after a third year! I don’t believe any obstacle is insurmountable. As long as I work hard and burn the midnight oil, I can do it! “
“Soon the judicial examination system will be reformed and it will not be possible to take the old examinations that we currently study for.” Qian Wei drank her orange juice and patted Qian Chuan on the shoulder earnestly. “Qian Chuan, I’m afraid you won’t be able to pass the exam before the judicial reforms. Haven’t you ever heard the saying: ‘Giving up at the right time is a kind of wisdom. It allows you to more clearly examine your own internal potential and any external factors, and gives you time to adjust your tired body and mind so that you can begin a new pursuit and become a more happy and wiser person.’”
“Qian Wei! It’s your turn! Answer the question!”
Qian Wei was still in a daze when she felt Liu Shiyun tug on her arm. Qian Wei realized that the mouth of the bottle had landed on her and the person questioning her was a boy that she didn’t know. Fortunately, because they didn’t know each other, he threw her a softball question.
“What kind of work do you want to do after graduation?”
Qian Wei did not even have to think about this question: “I want to be a lawyer.”
The boy spoke admiringly: “It seems that you will be a strong career woman in the future.”
Lu Xun’s eye flicked up in a rare gesture, and he briefly looked at Qian Wei.
Qian Wei felt a bit embarrassed: “It’s not my goal to be a strong career woman. My thought process is actually very simple. Lawyers have a lot of money! I just want to live a life where I don’t have to look at the price before I buy things. It would be best if I could find another lawyer to be with me in the future, we could get rich and soar high together, living the decadent capitalist lifestyle! Maybe I could even become a partner in a big firm.”
“Vulgar.” Lu Xun spat. His words were, as always, concise and to the point.
Qian Wei looked at Lu Xun and said, “You will be another typical capitalist in the future, but you still have the nerve to call me vulgar?”
She patted Lu Xun’s shoulder: “You can say that now because you are too young but what doesn’t need money in this life? And if you fall in love, you will need money, okay?”
“Will you only care about money after you fall in love?”
Qian Wei shrugged: “Some woman might be willing to accompany a man to eat supermarket ramen but I am a delicate flower. I can’t suffer like that. It’s true that love is not just about money, but bread and love are nearly equally important, even if you may not know it yet. And did you know that the divorce rate among civil servants is actually very high? Far higher than the rate among lawyers. Besides, Lu Xun, I think you are really more suited to be a lawyer.”
“Oh.” Lu Xun looked thoughtful, but after that brief reply, he fell silent and did not speak any further.
Qian Wei did not care. She didn’t know why Lu Xun wanted to be a judge right now and she didn’t know what eventually changed his mind, maybe he would be greatly stimulated by something at some point, or maybe he would just wake up to reality, but in short, he would end up as a lawyer. Although anything else could change but not that. Qian Wei felt very sure about that for some reason, she had no doubts that Lu Xun would eventually choose to be a lawyer.
“Qian Wei let’s go to see the fireflies.”
After the barbecue, everyone was eager to go see the fireflies in the forest park, but Qian Wei was not interested in Liu Shiyun’s invitation. She didn’t know if she had eaten too much or if she was just too tired after the long day but Qian Wei’s whole body felt heavy.
“I’m not going. I’ll go back to take a shower first. There are so many mosquitoes here that I’m itching all over.”
“Mosquitoes? What mosquitoes?” Liu Shiyun sounded surprised. “Why didn’t I get bitten?”
Before Qian Wei head back to the cabin she noticed something off. She looked around and found that Qian Chuan was gone, that Mo Zixin was also not here, and even Lu Xun was gone.
“Where did they all go?”
“Qian Chuan said he was tired and wanted to go back to bed.”
Qian Wei was briefly stunned before she looked around, saw that Mo Zixin wasn’t around, and immediately felt clear about the situation: “Mo Zixin also went back to the cabin, right?”
Liu Shiyun nodded.
“What about Lu Xun?”
“Lu Xun? I didn’t notice where he went. I thought I saw him heading in the direction of the firefly forest, maybe?” Liu Shiyun spoke while rubbing her hands together. “Don’t ask so much. I need to go. If I can get there early I’ll be able to take advantage of the lack of people to take more photos.”
When Qian Wei heard that Lu Xun went to see the fireflies and left Qian Chuan and Mo Zixin alone in the cabin, she got so angry she almost puked blood. She hurried back to the cabin while scolding him in her heart. If she wasn’t keeping an eye on Qian Chuan all the time, Lu Xun’s corner would have been pried up long ago!
When Qian Wei arrived at the cabin, her first reaction was to carefully observe the enemy’s situation. The cabin was very quiet. Mo Zixin’s door was closed, while Qian Chuan’s door was half-open. Qian Wei quietly snuck over to Qian Chuan’s room and, to her surprise, there was a person lying on one of the two single beds. Qian Wei saw that the design and color of the quilt over the person was exactly the same as hers. Qian Chuan and Qian Wei had been raised together so they had the same travel habits, they both had a special penchant for cleanliness when staying in hotels, so they always brought their own bedding to put on the hotel beds. The quilt she was looking at – aside from being the same as hers – was very light and thin, so she could see the outline of a person underneath it. Even if it was only an outline, she could see that the person was tall and had long legs, but the person’s face was buried in the quilt, revealing only a little bit of black hair. It seemed Qian Chuan didn’t lie this time, he really was so sleepy that he came back to go to bed.
Qian Wei silently breathed a sigh of relief. But after feeling relieved, she suddenly felt a bit mischievous. She crept to the bedside and then suddenly attacked! She quickly pulled the quilt over Qian Chuan’s head and then jumped up to ride on Qian Chuan. This had been Qian Wei’s hobby since childhood. Because in truth, the Qian family did not really favor sons over daughters at all. Most of the time, her parents were more partial to Qian Wei, so not only had Qian Wei never suffered any so-called oppression from Qian Chuan, but rather, she was often the one oppressing Qian Chuan. For example, ever since she was a child, she had always liked to ride Qian Chuan like a horse and she wouldn’t make an exception just because he was asleep.
Qian Chuan had probably already fallen asleep but Qian Wei’s action definitely woke him up, and soon he started to struggle.
“Get off of me!”
Probably because he was wrapped up by the quilt, his voice seemed a little distorted and it didn’t sound like Qian Chuan at all.
Qian Wei crowed triumphantly: “Your struggle is useless, being enslaved by me was always your fate, so you’d better just accept it. Now come on, I, your big aunt, feel that my hands are cold, so let me warm them.” As she spoke, she quickly stuffed her freshly washed claws into the quilt and grabbed at Qian Chuan’s body. Qian Wei groped around randomly before she finally found Qian Chuan’s back and plastered her cold hands against it.
“Your skin has become very delicate recently. Have you started a skincare routine recently or something? Why does your skin almost feel like Lu Xun’s?”
Why was it that, not only did his skin feel like Lu Xun’s but also his voice sounded like Lu Xun’s?
Just when Qian Wei was beginning to realize that something was wrong, the person under her suddenly managed to free himself of the quilt that had been pulled over his head. He quickly flipped over and the situation was suddenly reversed. Qian Wei found herself pressed down on the bed by the other party, with her wrists caught by his hands, and a pair of eyes staring down at her viciously.
“Lu, Lu, Lu Xun…”
Qian Wei saw Lu Xun’s face suddenly looming over her and felt so frightened that she began to stutter.
Lu Xun’s expression was very ugly. Qian Wei had thought that she had long become accustomed to Lu Xun’s unhappy face after working with him for so long, but she had never seen Lu Xun’s face so thunderously cloudy as it was now. His beautiful eyes seemed bloodshot and his face was red, probably due to being covered by the quilt for so long, while his hands pinning Qian Wei’s wrists were both hot and dry. He had always been a calm and self-contained person but he was breathing heavily at the moment. His hair was lazy and messy after just coming out of the quilt and the pajamas he was wearing had come loose. So now that he had positioned himself just above Qian Wei she could see his slightly undulating chest. Her eyes traced his beautiful muscle lines that were moving in time with his slightly heavy breathing before disappearing under his wide-open collar. His tight abdomen also fluctuated rhythmically up and down.
He was ridiculously sexy.
Qian Wei stared blankly for a while before she managed to snap out of her daze and quickly turned her head.
Lu Xun lowered his head and his bangs gently swept across Qian Wei’s cheek. His eyes were bloodshot and his voice was vicious as he gnashed his teeth and said: “You did that on purpose.” When he spoke, his hot breath gently brushed against Qian Wei’s skin, and the warmth and moisture almost made Qian Wei feel breathless.
Before Qian Wei had the time to wonder what she had done on purpose, Lu Xun let go of her hands and then quickly rolled off the bed and walked out of the cabin. Although his figure looked calm, Qian Wei could feel that his mood was not calm. Otherwise, why had his hand just been trembling slightly and why had he gripped her wrist so tightly that it left a faint red mark.
“Ah, a bath after a long day is so good!”
Almost as soon as Lu Xun left, Qian Chuan walked through the door while wearing a big baggy T-shirt and wiping his wet hair with a towel.
“Eh, Qian Wei? Why are you in our room?”
Qian Wei did not answer, she just looked behind him: “Where did Lu Xun go?”
“I saw Lu Xun rush into the bathroom just now with a dark face. Actually, I was going to dry my hair in the bathroom, but he suddenly rushed in and asked me to get out.” Qian Chuan hummed quietly, then he looked around surreptitiously. When he found that they were alone, he leaned down to Qian Wei’s ear, lowered his voice, and said mysteriously, “At first I was a little angry that Lu Xun kicked me out of the bathroom like that but then I saw his ‘reaction’ under his pajamas, so I decided to forgive him. After all, that kind of thing is really unbearable.”
Qian Chuan winked at her: “A man’s kind of reaction.” He laughed. “I really didn’t expect Lu Xun, who looks so pure and noble, would secretly do that kind of thing under the quilt. Tsk, I almost can’t believe it.” He glanced at Qian Wei and said, “You know there are times when you really shouldn’t bother a man, but why did you have to show up at a critical moment? Don’t you know that men can sometimes be very fragile, being suddenly frightened while doing ‘that’ could cast a shadow that lasts a lifetime or, in the worst case, it might even cause it to stop rising at all? Really, a woman’s room is a boudoir that no one can enter but a man’s room also needs some privacy, okay? Although Lu Xun is my romantic rival, today, as a man, I only sympathize with him. Qian Wei, what you did is too terrible.
Qian Wei was usually thick-skinned but right now she couldn’t help but feel her face burn. Qian Chuan did not know what had happened, but she was clear that Lu Xun had not been doing that kind of thing under the quilt. Obviously he had just been sleeping. It all was because she had suddenly jumped on him and then reached out and touched him all over that he had ‘a reaction’.
Meanwhile, Qian Chuan was not aware of Qian Wei’s fluctuating mood at all, he was busy sighing with emotion: “But, as a man, I’m still a little jealous of Lu Xun.”
“What are you jealous of?”
Qian Chuan rolled his eyes at Qian Wei: “Don’t you know that we men can’t help but compare the size when we go to the bathroom together?” He pointed to his lower body. “From what I saw just now, although it was through his pajamas, Lu Xun is a pretty boy with an unexpectedly amazing size.” As he spoke he gestured to a point on his own waist, “It was so high up!”
*‘breaking the window paper’ means saying something out loud they everyone else thinks is already obvious, since apparently in China they used to have paper windows and something could be ‘behind’ the paper window but still be easy to see – but by poking a hole in the paper window you could ‘confirm’.
**an ‘iron rice bowl’ is like a steady job with consistent pay so I guess a ‘golden rice bowl’ is just a better version of that