When the school day was over, Jiang Chen received a call from He Qianmin.
He said with disappointment that something happened at home, and he couldn’t come to No. 1 High School today to find him. The dissatisfaction in his tone was obvious, and he was clearly not happy that family affairs had delayed his original plan.
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
Jiang Chen didn’t ask him what happened, he just said a few words to comfort him, waited until his little temper was appeased, and made an appointment for another time before hanging up the phone amidst the other’s reluctance.
Huo Bo was walking beside him, and seeing the smile in his eyes, he turned his head to look at Shen Xu, and asked silently, “Who is this?”
Shen Xu replied directly: “His little brother.”
“Yang Shengmao?” Huo Bo blurted out. In his memory, Jiang Chen only just had such a younger brother, but he also remembered that Jiang Chen didn’t like this younger brother very much. (TN: in China, cousins are referred to as brothers and sisters)
“No.” Shen Xu said: “A kid, he has nothing to do with Jiangzi, just always like to call him big brother.”
Seeing that Jiang Chen had hung up the phone, Huo Bo asked, “When did you get yourself a little brother?”
Jiang Chen said with a smile: “A long time ago. When he comes to No. 1 High School, you can meet him then.”
Hearing this, Huo Bo’s expression became even more astonished. Jiang Chen seemed aloof but was actually very easy to talk to, but being easy to talk to didn’t mean it was easy to get close to him. He knew Jiang Chen very well. If Jiang Chen didn’t really treat the other as his little brother, he would never acquiesce to Shen Xu’s explanation of the identity of the person on the other end of the line. There was a set of old-fashioned and serious logic in Jiang Chen’s thinking. For example, for others appellations might be just a casual name to others, but to Jiang Chen, any appellation he recognized, all represent a kind of responsibility.
Huo Bo was surprised from the bottom of his heart. He was very curious about the reason why Jiang Chen got a little brother in the half a year he was gone, but he didn’t ask any more questions, he would just wait to see the other.
However, Huo Bo didn’t expect that he would meet him after school the next day.
Under the big tree at the gate of Yan No. 1 High School, He Qianmin was wearing the school uniform of Chenghua Junior High School, and was talking to a boy wearing the school uniform of Yan No. 1 High School with a cold face, seeming as if they were about to get in a fight.
Shen Xu glanced over and recognized He Qianmin at a glance. He grabbed Jiang Chen and said, “Jiangzi, it’s your little brother!”
Jiang Chen was talking to Huo Bo. Hearing this, he raised his eyes and saw He Qianmin. He Qianmin stopped after hearing Shen Xu’s voice. The boy next to him also glanced this way, then turned around and left.
“Big brother.” He Qianmin walked up to Jiang Chen in three big steps. After nodding to Shen Xu, he glanced at Huo Bo standing on the side.
“This is Huo Bo.” Jiang Chen hooked Huo Bo’s neck, and introduced to He Qianmin: “The other friend who grew up with me, you can also just call him brother.”
He Qianmin pursed his lips, obviously unwilling, but Jiang Chen looked at him, and still reluctantly he called out: “Brother Huo.”
Shen Xu was also unhappy: “When I met He Xiao Min before, why didn’t you tell him to call me brother! Why do you just tell him to call Huo Bo brother!”
He Qianmin rolled his eyes at him and didn’t speak, but the words “in your dreams” were clearly written on his face.
Shen Xu let out a “hey”, pointed at He Qianmin and said, “Jiangzi, look at your little brother, he actually looked down on me!”
Jiang Chen had a smile on his lips, as if he didn’t hear what Shen Xu said, he walked up to He Qianmin and said, “You guys go back first, I’ll take him to go eat.”
He Qianmin proudly raised an eyebrow at Shen Xu.
Shen Xu squeezed in between the two of them, raised his eyebrows at He Qianmin’s glare, and said with a smile: “What are you going to eat, I’m going too, and it’s the first time since Huo Bo came back to meet little brother He, eating a meal together is the only right thing to do.”
He Qianmin was dissatisfied: “Don’t always call me nicknames.”
“Unhappy? He Xiao Min? Min Min?” Shen Xu even amused himself, covered his stomach and laughed, “Min Min, how cute! From now on this brother will call you Min Min.”
He Qianmin’s face was sullen, with a cold light in his eyes. Shen Xu hid behind Jiang Chen, and said confidently: “If you call me brother, brother will stop calling you Min Min, come on, call brother.”
“Enough.” Seeing He Qianmin’s face getting darker and darker, Jiang Chen pulled out Shen Xu and nudged him lightly: “Don’t bully him.”
“How did I bully him!” Shen Xu was extremely wronged, and complained aggrievedly: “He has been bullying me, okay? I say Jiangzi, since you have a little brother, you have been so partial and bias! Fortunately, He Xiao Min is not a girl, I can hardly imagine what you would be like if he became your little sister!”
Huo Bo withdrew his subtle scrutiny, and said casually after hearing the words: “How hard is it to imagine?”
“Towards a little brother he is already like this, towards a little sister he would practically spoil her up to the skies.” Shen Xu said with a chuckle, and said: “But if it’s Jiangzi’s little sister, then I also don’t have any other way. Who told me that I don’t have a little sister? Jiangzi’s little sister is my little sister. And one must dote on one’s little sister, right?”
The corner of Huo Bo’s mouth twitched, he turned to Jiang Chen and said, “If you have something to do, go ahead first, Shen Xu and I will go back by ourselves.”
Jiang Chen pondered for a moment, and asked for He Qianmin’s opinion: “How about the four of us have dinner together?”
He Qianmin looked at Huo Bo, then at Shen Xu, and nodded: “I want to eat hot pot.”
“It’s so hot——” Shen Xu met He Qianmin’s eyes, and his words turned a corner: “But it’s the perfect time to eat hot pot.”
The four of them entered the hot pot restaurant they went to last time. This was the place where Jiang Chen and his friends had eaten frequently since junior high school. He Qianmin could not feel too obviously the kind of tacit understanding that seemed to be born from not needing to verbalize anything or understand the other when it was just Shen Xu before. But now seeing the three of them ordering food, although their words and actions were very ordinary, they seem to have an aura that excluded others.
He Qianmin swallowed the words on the tip of his tongue. He pursed his lips slightly, lowered his eyelashes, and suppressed the sudden feeling of disappointment in his heart.
Don’t know why, but he always felt that he should be the person who have the closest and most tacit understanding with Jiang Chen, but the reality was that even though no one here rejected him, he was still invisibly rejected by the tacit understanding formed from a friendship of many years.
Shen Xu was the first to notice He Qianmin’s abnormality. He paused the hand that was checking the menu, and called Jiang Chen in a low voice.
Jiang Chen was talking to Huo Bo in a low voice as Shen Xu usually did the ordering. He was very familiar with his and Huo Bo’s tastes. Occasionally, when he encountered a new dish and was not sure whether he wanted to eat it, only then would he ask them. So hearing his voice, Jiang Chen subconsciously thought that he was struggling with which new dish, and Huo Bo was the same.
The two spoke almost simultaneously:
“Order if you want to eat it.”
Shen Xu clicked his tongue and tilted his chin slightly to one side, motioning him to look at He Qianmin.
Jiang Chen turned his head puzzled, and saw that He Qianmin hung his head, not knowing what he was thinking. He froze for a moment, and then remembered that he was only talking to Huo Bo just now, and didn’t ask him what he wanted to eat: “Qian Min, what do you want to eat?”
He Qianmin raised his eyes, glanced at him, then lowered his eyes, and said casually, “Whatever’s fine with me.”
Jiang Chen didn’t think about it too much, he looked away and said to Shen Xu: “Order more beef, see if there is any sweet and sour crispy meat today, and order one dish too.”
“Okay.” Shen Xu beckoned to the waiter, and after ordering the crispy meat, seeing Jiang Chen continuing to talk to Huo Bo again, he sighed in his heart, got up and handed the menu to He Qianmin: “See if there is anything else you want to eat.”
He Qianmin scanned it over casually, and was a little surprised to find that he had ordered all the dishes he liked, and handed the menu back: “That’s enough.”
Shen Xu nodded, handed the menu to the waiter, turned around and saw that He Qianmin was still looking sullen, and so he struck up a conversation: “En…..you are in the third year of junior high school right, that means you are about to take the high school entrance examination. Are you under a lot of pressure?”
Facing such an official and polite topic, He Qianmin didn’t react much, and just said lightly: “It’s okay.”
Shen Xu laughed dryly, “Hahaha indeed, you are seventh in your year ranking, and you can go straight up to Chenghua’s high school division, so there is really no pressure.”
He Qianmin was silent for a few seconds, and then said in a slightly lower voice: “I’m not going to study in Chenghua.”
“Not in Chenghua?” Shen Xu was a little surprised, “Then where do you want to go for high school?”
He Qianmin glanced at Jiang Chen who was still talking with Huo Bo, pursed his lips, and said, “I haven’t decided.”
But Shen Xu became interested, and said enthusiastically: “I heard from Li Xiao before that your family doesn’t seem to be allowed to go abroad. It seems that it is indeed meaningless to study in Chenghua. You have been in a private school the whole time. You can try a public one. Our Yan No. 1 High School is not bad, and you can go to the same school as your big brother, how about it?”
After Jiang Chen and Huo Bo finished talking, they happened to hear Shen Xu’s words. He thought for a moment, looked at He Qianmin, and said seriously: “Shen Xu is right, if you don’t want to continue in Chenghua, come to Yan No. 1 High School.”
He Qianmin didn’t speak, and Shen Xu said: “Come to Yan No. 1. When the time comes, us brothers will cover you. And with your big brother Jiang Chen here, you don’t have to worry about your grades. There is also me and your brother Huo. I will take you to eat and play with you. And your brother Huo will let you walk sideways in Yan No. 1.” (TN: walk sideways: do whatever you want and don’t care about any rules or what others think)
He Qianmin quietly glanced at Jiang Chen whose gaze was on him, then looked away and said, “Do you want me to come to Yan No. 1 High School?”
Jiang Chen: “I do.”
The corners of He Qianmin’s mouth slightly raised, but he quickly suppressed it. He lifted his chin slightly and said, “Then I’ll come to Yan No. 1 High School.”
“Okay, when the time comes, us brothers will take you to play, and…..” Halfway through the conversation, the waiter brought over the hotpot soup base. Shen Xu got up and said, “I’ll make the sauce, what do you want to put, I’ll make it for you. “
“Coriander, garlic paste, sesame oil and hot sauce.”
Shen Xu glanced at Jiang Chen, then looked at He Qianmin, stroked his chin and said, “As expected of one who calls Jiangzi big brother, your tastes are the same, okay let me——”
“Change to another.” Jiang Chen interrupted him: “Your wound hasn’t healed yet.”
He Qianmin was stunned for a moment, and Shen Xu remembered that he still had bandages wrapped around his arm. He was afraid that the child would refuse, so before he could speak, he said, “Then I’ll make you a non-spicy one. Believe in this brother’s skill in making sauces, it’ll definitely be delicious.”
He Qianmin pursed his lips: “I want to eat spicy.”
Hearing this, Jiang Chen finally noticed that He Qianmin’s mood had not been high all this time. He glanced at his left hand, which was lightly grasping the injured right arm, and guessed, “What’s the matter? Your hand is still uncomfortable? Or is there something else that is making you unhappy?”
He Qianmin’s eyelashes flickered slightly, pressed down the corners of his mouth that was about to rise, and shook his head: “No.”
Jiang Chen: “Because of what happened back home yesterday?”
He Qianmin pursed his lips: “No, it’s none of my business, why get unhappy.”
Shen Xu came over with a light sauce dish, and just happened to hear this sentence, and asked curiously: “What are guys talking about?”
The corner of He Qianmin’s mouth twitched. He looked at Jiang Chen and then at the bowl in front of him, after a while, he said, “It’s nothing.”
Jiang Chen was thoughtful, Huo Bo glanced at He Qianmin, and said to Jiang Chen while ordering the food: “You make up lessons on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights, and you have to help me make up lessons on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, will it be too much?”
“No.” Jiang Chen withdrew his gaze and looked at Huo Bo: “Helping you make up lessons is also a refresh of my knowledge, and…..”
“Big brother.” He Qianmin suddenly interrupted the conversation between the two, and when Jiang Chen looked over, he said, “He Qianjian’s right hand was broken by someone.”
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
His words had no beginning or end, it could be said that they came out of the blue, but Jiang Chen was not surprised at all, and calmly answered, “What do you think?”
He Qianmin’s left hand on his right arm curled, pinching the protruding bandage, lowered his eyes and said, “If I say it’s retribution, do you think I lack compassion and take pleasure in other’s misfortunes?”
Before Jiang Chen could speak, Huo Bo suddenly said, “He hurt your arm?”
If you would like to show some ♡ then please consider supporting this translator! ლ(⌒εー)ლ