When he’d first found out about Zhang Hang’s night-blindness, Lu Chengye thought it was just a symptom of puberty, and that if the boy took vitamins, he’d be fine. However, in the span of half a year, Zhang Hang’s seating placement kept moving closer to the front of the classroom, eventually reaching the first three rows. At this point, Lu Chengye realized that Zhang Hang was not suffering from simple night-blindness.
Zhang Hang thought it was just the stress of high school that was making his shortsightedness worse. However, Lu Chengye, who had been watching him closely, noticed that his field of vision was narrowing and getting blurrier.
It had happened very gradually. Lu Chengye didn’t notice anything was off until one day when he was playing with Zhang Hang and circled around him. Zhang Hang had to look at him head-on to track his movement accurately. This was when Lu Chengye realized that Zhang Hang was seeing less and less as time went by.
Because of this, Lu Chengye was very anxious. This person was good to him and very gentle; Zhang Hang should have a bright future. Lu Chengye was desperate for someone to understand him. He even barked and wailed at Zhao Xiaolian who hated him. In return, Zhao Xiaolian only looked at him with disgust and smashed things.
Zhao Xiaolian didn’t pay enough attention to her only child, and Zhang Qiming was busy making money all day. This higher-than-average living arrangement was paid for through Zhang Qiming’s efforts. However, when he got paid, he would buy his family things instead of spending time with them. Zhang Qiming’s method of compensation was to keep giving money. He didn’t notice his son’s problem.
Zhang Hang’s score on his final English exam was particularly bad. Most of the questions were multiple choice, which needed to be filled in on an answer sheet. However, Zhang Hang was off when he filled in the answers, resulting in him getting only 30 out of 120 points.
When they returned to school, Lin Sheng pointed and laughed. Zhang Hang usually got first in the class, but this time didn’t even make the top ten. To others, this was just too funny.
Ordinary people always had implied jealousy towards top students. While they hoped the top students they looked up to could get good results in an exam, part of them wanted to see them fall from their position up in the clouds. Zhang Hang’s ranking wasn’t high, but the student who had gotten first was like a king without a crown. This made them extremely embarrassed. It was better to get second place with their own skills than to get first due to good luck.
“You get high grades, you’re good at sports, and you run faster than the sports students in cross-country races, how can we keep up with such excellence!” Because of the icy roads and snow in winter, the group of friends walked instead of riding bicycles. They would run and jump around as they continued forward. While speaking, Lin Sheng kicked Zhang Hang’s butt.
“Woof, woof, woof!” Big Black, who had reached 66 pounds, rushed between the two and barked at Lin Sheng, trying to bite his thigh.
“Ah, ah, ah!” Lin Sheng hurriedly ran around in a circle, saying to Zhang Hang enviously, “Your dog is so handsome!”
Some of his friends secretly coveted Big Black because of how smart and loyal he was. The pure black hair that covered his body was shiny and stood out among the snow. Lu Chengye, who was nearly an adult, was majestic and awe-inspiring. With the exception of Zhang Hang, a few of the teenagers were scared of him. Lin Sheng, in particular, felt that the dog always eyed his thighs with bad intent.
Zhang Hang reached out and patted Lu Chengye on the head. “Lin Sheng is playing with me, so don’t be angry. It doesn’t hurt.”
I’m not scared it hurt, I’m angry you were so slow trying to avoid Lin Sheng’s kick. Buddy, you’re really stupid! And you, your eyes are so poor yet you don’t care at all. Is this a problem that can be solved by getting new lenses over winter vacation?
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Lu Chengye looked at Zhang Hang’s hand irritably. He ran to the side of the road and drew circles in a depressed manner.
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“You were too careless.” Zhang Qiming looked at the test and the answer sheet, then said, “You must pay better attention in the future. If it happens again, your father will punish you.”
Zhang Hang, who had waited until late at night for his father to come home, nodded. “Don’t worry, dad, I’ll be sure to get first next time.”
Zhang Qiming nodded. This son of his always set his mind at ease. He returned the test paper to Zhang Hang, then dragged his tired body to bed.
Thanks to Zhang Hang’s tireless efforts, Lu Chengye was still sleeping in the same room as him. Lu Chengye trotted back to the bedroom to rest with Zhang Hang, then looked back at the boy doubtfully. He felt that his master wasn’t feeling too well. Was Zhang Hang tired?
Lu Chengye had sharper intuition than a human being. He felt that there was a foreboding aura surrounding Zhang Qiming’s body.
It turned out Lu Chengye was right. A week later, Zhang Qiming paid Zhang Hang to go buy cigarettes for him. Lu Chengye would usually follow Zhang Hang, but this time, his intuition told him to stay at home. He hid in the corner next to the wall and took advantage of his keen hearing to investigate the movements in the master bedroom.
There was the sound of two slaps. Zhao Xiaolian cried out and fell, shouting at Zhang Qiming, “What are you doing?”
“See for yourself!” Zhang Qiming threw a bunch of photos at Zhao Xiaolian’s face. “You are always playing mahjong. Who have you gone to play with recently?”
Lu Chengye couldn’t see the photos, but thanks to a man’s intuition, he understood why Zhang Qiming was probably angry. In fact, he had felt for a while that something was off about Zhao Xiaolian’s behavior and mood. Sure enough, the woman who only knew how to dress herself up was not satisfied with what she had. While Zhang Qiming was working hard to make money, his wife was being unfaithful.
Zhang Qiming, now he had a green hat, would not let this go easily. During this time, Lu Chengye should protect his little master from being too affected by this family conflict.
While Lu Chengye was plotting in secret, he heard a sharp female voice shouting, “You hit me, and got someone to follow me? You went so far as to hire someone to stalk me, Zhang Qiming? You have no respect for my privacy. Even if I am your wife, I have my own life! Why don’t you just put a tracker on me!”
Why did it seem like… she thought she was in the right?
“I came back from my business trip a few days in advance. When I went to the mahjong hall to surprise you, you weren’t even there at all! Zhao Xiaolian, don’t change the subject. I know you are still dating him, you…”
“What’s this?” Zhao Xiaolian’s voice was very fierce. “You are busy all day, and I am practically a widow. A man can go out to flirt, and I can’t? Zhang Qiming, don’t think I didn’t know that these past few years, whenever you guys were discussing business achievements, you all were always going to nightclubs. I know you cheated on me behind my back, but I’ve always been fair. When we got married, I said, ‘If you dare to do something once, I’ll do it 15 times. If you cheat once, I’ll cheat twice, so neither of us should provoke the other. If you have the ability, try to divorce me. If you don’t, then swallow your grievances and have a good life!’”
As soon as Zhao Xiaolian’s voice fell, there was a huge noise from the bedroom. Lu Chengye didn’t know what kind of heavy object had fallen over, but it was loud enough to make him jump away from the wall.
For a period of time after the racket, no sound came from the bedroom. Zhao Xiaolian opened the door and walked out. She looked in the mirror and saw her face was not swollen, then left home carrying her bag without a care.
Lu Chengye swallowed his saliva before leaning close to the bedroom and peering in silently. Zhang Qiming grabbed at his hair as he sat on the bed with a dispirited expression. The dressing table was on the floor and cosmetics were scattered all over.
It was rare for a man who was so tough to be forced into wearing a green hat. Clearly, Zhao Xiaolian was a full time housewife, and Zhang Qiming held all the financial power. She had no reason to be so confident.
Lu Chengye suddenly discovered that the family’s surface warmth was just an illusion put on in front of Zhang Hang. If one day, these two people could not maintain the illusion, his little master would suffer serious emotional pain.
He was a little worried.
Zhang Hang had returned with the cigarettes and called for his father. Zhang Qiming came out of the bedroom, took the cigarettes then started to go back without a word.
“Dad,” Zhang Hang said, “you don’t look so good.”
“It’s OK,” Zhang Qiming replied, not looking back. “I’m somewhat tired from working too hard these days. I’ll just sleep it off.”
“Where’s Mom?” Zhang Hang asked. “She was just here.”
Zhang Qiming’s back stiffened a little. “She’s playing mahjong again.”
“Oh,” Zhang Hang nodded slowly. If both of his parents had been home, he’d wanted them all to have lunch together. “Dad, please advise Mom not to play mahjong. And dad, smoke less, it’s bad for your health.”
Zhang Qiming listened to his son’s familiar words and relaxed. He turned around and pulled his son into his arms, hugging him. “You are a good child. Study hard, and dad will make you money.”
Zhang Hang smiled shyly. “Dad, don’t work too hard. You look terrible. It wouldn’t be good if you got sick. It’s okay if we don’t have much money. I’ll make enough money to support you when I grow up.”
Patting his son on the shoulder, Zhang Qiming returned to his room with the cigarettes. Zhang Hang went back to his bedroom with Big Black to do his homework. After finishing the assigned work, him and his friends arranged a time to go out and play together.
Zhao Xiaolian came back very late. She went back to the bedroom to have a rest, but when she opened the door, she was choked by the smell of cigarette smoke. Lu Chengye was in the living room and could see a cigarette butt lying on the ground through the crack in the door.
Ten years later, Lu Chengye has become a man, and Zhang Hang knows his identity. When they meet up with Lin Sheng and the others…
Lin Sheng: Hey, do you remember the black dog you raised in high school? It always liked to bite my ass.
Big Black ten years ago: If you kick my family’s Hang, I will kill you!
Ten years later, Zhang Hang (silently releasing Lu Chengye’s hand): At that time, you were interested in Lin Sheng’s ass.
Lu Chengye: “…”
Author, if you come out, I promise not to kill you. I’ll just bite you and give you rabies.