Qian Wei had just finished her work in the library and returned to her dorm when she heard Liu Shiyun’s long wail. As soon as the other girl saw Qian Wei, she seemed to become even more saddened.
“My weekend is ruined again!” Liu Shiyun said sadly, “I finally managed to buy tickets for that new drama ‘The Dog’s Happy Life’ from a scalper at a high price because I wanted to take Tang Lu out to see it. But the college just informed me that all the law school second years will have to go out this weekend to various communities to try to popularize and raise awareness of the law! The first years are all still new to law and they probably need someone else to popularize the major to them, much less going out and advertising it to someone else. Then the third years are all probably preparing for their exams and don’t even mention the seniors, they’re all busy with their graduation papers; which means it ended up falling on us second years. What a tragedy!”
Meanwhile, Qian Wei’s face was at a loss: “Ah? What’s this ‘popularizing and raising awareness of the law’?”
“What have you been doing all day? Didn’t you read the text? The one from the school! From now on December 4th will be National Legal Publicity Day! In order to cooperate with the new holiday, all the law schools in City A will be taking turns to send people out to various communities where they will carry out free activities with the goal of raising awareness and popularity for legal majors.” Liu Shiyun paused and mused, “But that’s really unlike you, Qian Wei. Don’t you always have your cell phone with you everywhere you go? Usually, you’re the type of person who responds to text messages in a second flat, so what were you so busy with that you couldn’t pay attention to your phone? Be honest with me, what were you doing just now?”
Qian Wei was quite honest: “I just couldn’t extricate myself from a man.”
However, even though Qian Wei was so frank and honest about what happened, she was directly disparaged by Liu Shiyun: “Come on, you? Couldn’t extricate yourself from a man? Is it okay for you to indulge in those fantasies about two-dimensional men so much?”
However, as soon as the topic of men came up, Liu Shiyun suddenly seemed to remember something. She said mysteriously, “Hey, do you want to hear some gossip? I just heard a huge piece of news!”
Liu Shiyun was obviously eager to share the gossip she learned because before Qian Wei could even make a curious expression, she had already said, “Have you heard? It’s about Lu Xun! The Lu Xun from our college! He has a girlfriend!”
“Where did you hear that from?”
There was something a bit subtle in Qian Wei’s tone, but Liu Shiyun just directly classified that abnormality as shock and disbelief. She took a sip of water and put on a face like a teacher lecturing a student: “This is actually firsthand news. You should know that we girls have eyes all over the school, right? Anyway, I heard that the sister of the ex-girlfriend of my neighbor’s daughter’s best friend’s cousin personally heard Lu Xun admit it himself! He said it himself! He! Has! A! Girl! Friend! It’s true!”
Liu Shiyun looked at Qian Wei with a face that was a bit sympathetic. She patted Qian Wei on the shoulder and said: “I know this must be a blow to you, after all, I know you’ve liked Lu Xun for a long time. But you should know that some things in life are just unpredictable like that. Actually, it’s also hard for me to imagine that that Lu Xun, whose eyes are high above everyone and who always looks like some cold noble from a painting, silently went out and found himself a girlfriend. To tell you the truth, I really wonder what kind of sacred being could have attracted his attention.” Liu Shiyun touched her chin thoughtfully. “I assume that Lu Xun must have found some girl who seems simple, like a girl from the countryside who has just come to the big city. Probably she has a relatively average figure, even a little bit underdeveloped, with a face that looks very pure and innocent, a small and gentle voice, and watery eyes. You know, the kind of girl whose every move is dainty, delicate, and graceful.”
Qian Wei compared Liu Shiyun’s imagination to herself, the chest… that seemed obvious. The face? Qian Wei’s face was not pure and innocent, on the contrary, it could be called slightly seductive. As for the voice? It didn’t match at all, her voice was always full of spirit after all. Watery eyes? Her eyes were only watery in the morning when she just woke up and was yawning. As for being dainty, delicate, and graceful… let’s not even mention it…
Liu Shiyun added: “Of course, that’s all just my own wild speculations.”
Qian Wei really wanted to say: My friend, I’m afraid your speculations are a little too wild.
Qian Wei asked cautiously, “Have you ever thought that Lu Xun might not like that type of girl? Maybe he likes a girl more like me?”
Liu Shiyun rolled her eyes at Qian Wei and retorted immediately. “That’s impossible.” Then she winked at Qian Wei and said, “Lu Xun is more likely to like my type than yours.”
“But!” Liu Shiyun sighed deeply. “Although I don’t know what type Lu Xun’s girlfriend is, there is one thing that I can confirm! That woman! Even if she’s the delicate type of woman that I described on the surface, she’s actually a terrible shrew on the inside!”
Qian Wei: ???
“According to the reliable intelligence from my informant, that woman is very jealous! Every day Lu Xun has to report to her about each time he talked to a member of the opposite sex, and that woman will even get jealous of anyone, even an auntie in her seventies or eighties, if she takes one extra look at Lu Xun! It’s rumored that she even installed a monitor on Lu Xun, which is why Lu Xun never dares to say even one extra word when he talks to a member of the opposite sex outside. It’s just tragic!”
“…” Qian Wei finally understood why rumors were always banned by the school again and again, and she finally understood why she really shouldn’t believe anything that she hadn’t seen with her own eyes or heard with her own ears.
Liu Shiyun was still lamenting: “I really didn’t expect that Lu Xun would find this kind of tigress…”
Qian Wei felt that she should speak up and defend herself, so she said: “I think Lu Xun’s girlfriend probably isn’t that bad. After all, Lu Xun has eyes doesn’t he? Those rumors aren’t credible at all. After all, if his girlfriend was really like that, wouldn’t Lu Xun break up with her right away?” She cleared her throat and then continued in a stilted tone. “Personally, I think Lu Xun’s girlfriend is probably a woman with a noble character, someone with elegant tastes and overflowing wisdom.”
When Liu Shiyun heard Qian Wei’s words she just snickered impolitely. “Ah, today I saw again that you really are still just a simple and ignorant girl. Actually, those kinds of tigresses all always have their own means. I’m afraid that by this point Lu Xun isn’t able to get rid of her even if he wanted to,” Then she leaned toward Qian Wei with a lewd smile and said in a low voice. “My guess is that that woman had already slept with Lu Xun and ensnared him with her body! After all, Lu Xun is still a man, so how could he resist that kind of temptation? I’m afraid he’s already addicted to the body of that ‘gentle girl from the countryside’. After all, men, even if they can’t normally stand a certain type of woman’s personality, they’re all just one roll in the bed away from following them forever.”
“…” Qian Wei completely extinguished her thought of convincing her friend that she was Lu Xun’s girlfriend…
Liu Shiyun was still complacently waxing philosophical about her theories on relationships between men and women: “Anyway, what are contradictions between men and women, really? If one roll in the bed doesn’t solve it, then two will!”
Liu Shiyun, your mind is really too dangerous! Lu Xun and I are attracted to each other because of our souls, okay! Qian Wei desperately defended herself inside her heart.
However, before Qian Wei could find an opportunity to clear her good name, Liu Shiyun changed the topic.
“By the way, have you seen that recent Korean drama ‘Turned Out to be a Beautiful Man’? If not, you should go and see it. It’s excellent, and I fully recommend it! For instance, that Jang Keun-suk he’s really beautiful, ah~, what a pity that his name is a little… well. ‘Keun-suk’*, it’s really a bit erotic when you say it out, isn’t it?”
Qian Wei looked at Liu Shiyun helplessly, and she really wanted to say: Friend, have you ever seen a person who could be judged to be wise or obscene just based on their name? …Don’t blame other people for having an erotic name, rather, isn’t it your fault for having such strange ideas…
Liu Shiyun had felt it was very unfortunate that her date plans for the weekend had fallen through, but Qian Wei assumed that she and Lu Xun could just proceed as usual and treat it as a different kind of date. After all, both of them were from law school so, according to the requirements of their college, they would get to participate in the activities for ‘popularizing law’ together. If a person squinted, it could almost be counted as a date.
However, when the day came, Lu Xun seemed quite dissatisfied. He said: “This can be considered a date? Is there any person in our who college who goes on dates while accompanied by seventy or eighty light bulbs?”
“There aren’t that many light bulbs.” Qian Wei quickly did the math, and said, “There are about eighty people in our grade and they are all evenly distributed to eight different communities around our school. So there are only about eight other people who will be heading to the same community as us.” She tried to appease Lu Xun, “Besides, if you think of it, we are very lucky in a way. After all, at least we were assigned to the same community.”
Lu Xun glanced at Qian Wei: “That’s because I bribed Zhang Qi when he was making the groups.”
“Fate is something you control with your own hands, it’s not something in the hands of luck.” As Lu Xun spoke, he took a pointed look in a certain direction.
Qian Wei followed his eyes and saw Li Chongwen standing there.
It seemed that Lu Xun clearly remembered the time Li Chongwen had casually remarked that ‘his luck had gotten better ever since he met her’. Qian Wei was a bit afraid that poor Li Chongwen would be suffering Lu Xun’s vengeance for that remark for the rest of his life…
After Lu Xun discovered that Li Chongwen had been assigned to the same community as them for the event, his face had turned dark. Although he had thought to ask Zhang Qi to put him and Qian Wei into the same group, he had obviously forgotten to eliminate this eyesore, Li Chongwen, at the same time. And since it had already reached this point, wouldn’t he just be throwing away his face if he went to Zhang Qi again?
For her part, Qian Wei wanted to persuade Lu Xun not to imagine Li Chongwen as some sort of enemy, but it was all to no avail.
However, after a beat, Lu Xun looked at Li Chongwen again and snorted, “Forget it, I should be more generous with my defeated opponent.” His cold and noble look faded away and his face showed some traces of unconcealed complacency. “I should try to put myself in his shoes more. Actually, Li Chongwen probably doesn’t want to be in a group with us anyway. After all, it’s a very sad thing to be single and have to watch other people show off their love.”
The way the groups had ended up was actually quite coincidental because, not only was Li Chongwen in Qian Wei’s group, Liu Shiyun and Mo Zixin were as well.
After a while, all the members of the group assembled, and Lu Xun, together with the other boys, began to set up the rollers, banners, and posters advertising the law services they would be providing. They also set up a desk where the group members would provide legal information, and then arranged the seats and tables they had brought along for the group.
It was a Saturday morning, so when a dozen or so fresh-faced college students showed up and then Lu Xun and the other boys all started setting up a conspicuous stall amidst the people who were walking around, buying food, walking their dogs, and generally going about their lives, they naturally attracted a lot of attention.
Soon there was a group of lively old aunties all gathered around.
“We can come and consult about any legal issues here?”
“Is there a charge for it?”
“I have a question to ask. My granddaughter was scared by our neighbor’s dog the other day. Shouldn’t they owe her some money? I’ve heard of something called mental damages.”
Not long after that, once people had confirmed that the stall was being run free-of-charge by students from the A University Law School, the residents gradually started coming over to ask for consultations with the mindset of ‘just giving it a try’. It was attractive because, first, A University Law School was a famous and prestigious school, whose graduates made up almost 70% of City A’s public security bureau, judges, and court lawyers. Second, and importantly, it was free of charge. And third, several of the neighborhood aunties had already asked several questions in succession and found that, although these young people were still students, they seemed quite smart and professional. They were proficient in analyzing the problems of the residents, and the opinions they gave seemed pertinent and professional, so soon one person turned to ten and then ten to a hundred and, before long, their small stall was swamped with people.
“Please line up one by one.”
Of the 12 students in Qian Wei’s group, two tried to ensure there was some semblance of order at the scene, two were responsible for advertising the stall and taking photos for publicity, while the remaining eight all sat in a row and answered the different legal questions posed by the residents of the community.
Judging by the number of people who were waiting in line, it seemed that things would have been solved very quickly if the residents would evenly distribute themselves to each of the law students, but… Qian Wei noticed that there were obviously less people lining up on her and Mo Zixin’s side, because all the old aunties seemed like they would rather go and wait for Lu Xun, even if they had to wait much longer…
“How old are you, young man?”
“Young man, what’s your name?”
“Young man, do you have a girlfriend? This auntie actually has a niece who is about the age of an A University student. Would you like me to introduce you?”
On the side, Qian Wei was really speechless. Why did she find this kind of man who attracted so many bees and butterflies?
There was one old auntie who, even after her consultation, only left from her chair very reluctantly and then continued to stand nearby, where she took advantage of various gaps to try to chat up Lu Xun.
“Auntie, the financial management company you just described to be should actually be running what’s called a ‘Ponzi scheme’, which I mentioned earlier, and if you leave your money with them you will soon have nothing to show for it. I suggest you go and get your investment back immediately.” Lu Xun, however, didn’t respond to the auntie’s many probing questions, he only smiled and, as if remembering something off-hand, said: “In fact, I once saw a case where the victim only delayed their decision for a single hour and, as a result, the fraudulent company had disappeared in that one hour. After all, when talking about these kinds of financial scams, often, the ones who ask for their money back first will be the only ones to recover it. However, once the company starts to get squeezed by the investors or the police and goes out of business, even if you manage to catch the person in charge, they probably won’t have any money left to pay you with.”
As soon as the old auntie heard that her pension that she had invested into what she thought was a financial management company was likely to go down the drain, she realized the seriousness of the matter and no longer had the mind to inquire about whether Lu Xun was single or not. Her face immediately changed colors, and she quickly took out her phone to call and ask for her money back.
“After working for a company for five years they suddenly told me that they didn’t want me anymore and laid me off. They didn’t even give me my last month’s pay, they just directly asked me to pack up and leave. What should I do? I haven’t signed a contract with the company, so does that mean I can’t get the money they owe me?”
“A company is obligated to sign a written labor contract with you within one month after you take on a position. If such a contract is not signed, they are obligated to pay you double the salary from your second month of work upon termination. So what you need to do now is to collect evidence, such as your work card from the company, any overtime receipts you still have, any financial vouchers your company issued in the course of typical reimbursement processes, documentation of your monthly salary, and things like cafeteria meal tickets. Those things can be used to prove that you have been working for that company for five years and, as long as you have them, you will not only get your last month’s salary, but also get double a month of salary from back in your second month of work.”
It was obvious that Lu Xun was still just a second year law student, but as he answered all these varied legal consultations, he was unexpectedly clear and to the point. Not only could he tell the people consulting him about the specific laws regarding their particular situation, but he could also often give them good advice on how to solve their problems. However, what really surprised Qian Wei the most was that when facing these uneducated old aunties Lu Xun, who usually cherished his words like gold, unexpectedly, could very patiently and meticulously use the simplest possible language to answer their questions one after another. Sometimes the old aunties wouldn’t understand it after being told once, and Lu Xun would then explain it over and over again in different ways until they could understand.
Her Lu Xun was just too good. Even though he always looked cold and indifferent on the outside, his heart was actually very gentle.
The stall had been set up so that all the girls were at one table and all the boys were at the other. Right now, Qian Wei had no one in front of her asking for a consultation, so she rested her head in her hand and just looked over at Lu Xun at the other table. She really couldn’t help but think that his profile was just too handsome to be real. Clearly, the other boys around him were also handsome in their own ways but, for some reason, Qian Wei could only see them as vulgar when compared with Lu Xun.
As she watched him from the side, Qian Wei suddenly felt a secret sense of satisfaction. Such a perfect man was actually hers. Just thinking about it made her feel happy enough that she almost wanted to laugh out loud.
So this was love.
Whenever she thought of him, she wanted to smile without any reason at all. She never got tired of looking at him no matter how long she did it and every day was happy. She woke up with a smile on her lips, she had a smile as she ate, and when she went to bed, she still wanted to smile. Outside, she might seem the same as always, but inside her heart had unconsciously become soft, peaceful, and satisfied.
Somehow, in her eyes, her partner’s aloof temper just seemed noble; his poisonous tongue just seemed witty; his domineering way of doing things just seemed protective; and even when he lied it just seemed cute.
Ever since she had fallen in love, Lu Xun had become a unique existence in Qian Wei’s world. He was no longer just ‘Lu Xun, the light of law school’, no longer just ‘Lu Xun, first place on the secret list of boys that girls want to date’, and no longer the old forever perfect and distant Lu Xun. At this moment, he was just the Lu Xun that Qian Wei liked.
While lost in her feelings of sweetness and happiness, Qian Wei continued to intermittently receive people who wanted consultation about their legal issues. She tried to learn from how she saw Lu Xun doing things and explained the complex legal concepts in the simplest words she could, while trying to offer practical and realistic solutions to the troubled people.
Meeting Lu Xun had made Qian Wei feel that she had to work hard to become better and better, in order to be worthy of standing by his side.
In fact, for a long time, Qian Wei had felt that he was not worthy of Lu Xun at all.
Before Lu Xun had confessed to her Qian Wei had never dared to dream that he might like her. Lu Xun had always seemed so perfect that Qian Wei had almost felt that liking him would practically be blasphemous. He was like a man who stood high in the sky, while she could only stand on the ground and look up to him. Looking up, she could see the light that seemed to emanate from him, but when that light fell on her it just seemed to emphasize her own shadows and spots. He was someone luminous and otherworldly, but she was not. She had never thought about these feelings carefully before, but now that she did she realized that she had always been feeling inferior. In front of Lu Xun, no matter how much she tried to hide it with gags or acting like a lackey, deep down, subconsciously, she always felt that she wasn’t good enough. She really wanted to improve. To be as good as Lu Xun.
With that thought in mind, Qian Wei subconsciously took a look over at Mo Zixin, who was sitting quietly on her left. The other girl’s long hair fell elegantly around her shoulders and she had beautiful long eyelashes. Perhaps she felt Qian Wei’s gaze, because she looked up and met Qian Wei’s eyes and smiled. It was such a simple action, but Qian Wei immediately felt a sense of shame. Why was it that Mo Zixin could so casually and naturally show such a gentle smile?
She had never really thought about it before but now that she did Qian Wei’s heart felt a little sour. After all, if she announced that Lu Xun was her boyfriend right now, she was afraid that not only Liu Shiyun wouldn’t believe it, probably even her own brother Qian Chuan wouldn’t.
After all, in the eyes of all the public, Lu Xun seemed to be much better matched with a girl like Mo Zixin. As Qian Wei thought of this, she couldn’t help but glancing at Mo Zixin again. At the moment, she was giving a consultation to a young woman who was asking about how to get a divorce, because she was suffering from domestic violence. And Mo Zixin, like Lu Xun, patiently and gently guided the young woman through the steps necessary to protect her rights and sue for divorce.
*so the name here, Jang Keun-suk (张根硕), is the name of a real-life south korean actor. And ‘根硕’ could mean something like ‘large root’ (root in the sense of descendants lol)