D Province, Yan City, No.1 Senior High School.
The sound of cicadas chirping was chaotic, and under every spot of shade beneath a tree, a group of people could be seen in a tight huddle.
Parents were standing in twos and threes together, each one of them trying to dig information from the one another, while the students beside them gawked at their surroundings.
Today was the first day of class for incoming first years for Senior High school.
Yao Yi stood in front of the main entrance to the school, her head tilted upwards as she looked at the giant stone sculpture ahead.
It had the words “Number One High School” carved into it, and she had been staring at it for a good ten minutes.
She had been looking at it for so long, that the security guard was now suspicious of her motives.
Just as the guard was about to step forward and ask what was the matter,
Yao Yi moved.
Her feet were encased in a pair of old Nike sneakers that were covered in mud stains, and on her back she was carrying a backpack with a half-detached Adidas logo.
In her left hand she had a worn-out looking pink leather case, half a piece of an oily bun in her right and she was also hugging a summer mat to her chest.
With her head down, every time she took a step forward, she would raise her right hand and take a huge bite out of her bun.
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Yao Yi had completed her Junior High School years at a school in some forgotten corner of Yan City, so she was quite bowled over by the expanse of this Senior High School.
As a result, she soon found herself lost.
The September-sun was not forgiving, and the strength of its rays could make a person’s face burn.
Every inch of shade under the trees was being occupied by someone, and practically any potential place of rest had someone there.
As she walked, Yao Yi had no barrier between her and the strong sun, and big fat droplets of sweat fell to the ground with a sizzle as though they would evaporate instantaneously.
Unperturbed, Yao Yi absentmindedly wiped away her sweat.
All the while, her eyes scanned her surroundings, she noticed that everyone here looked to be new students like her, and they even had excited parents with them too.
She didn’t think she would be able to get any directions from these people, after all everyone seemed to be moving in the same direction.
She had already demolished her bun, and spotting a bin nearby, Yao Yi walked over to chuck her rubbish into it.
As she looked up, she caught sight of a long-haired girl, possibly a student, walking in her direction.
The girl didn’t have any luggage with her, and her gait was casual, plus she seemed to be headed outside the school, so she was probably a senior.
Yao Yi jumped to her feet and rushed ahead, her head tilted back as she asked, “Greetings Senior, may I ask how do I get to the Dehua Building ”
The long-haired student-like girl shot a glance at the sweat-drenched Yao Yi and pointed towards somewhere to their left.
”Just walk all the way in that direction Yao Yi asked again out of uncertainty.
The long-haired student nodded her head, then strode off, she didn’t seem like she wanted to exchange another word with her.
”Thank you! ”
Yao Yi called out to the retreating silhouette.
After walking some distance to her left, it was only once she passed a lake that she saw the plaque of Dehua Building.
Dehua Building wasn’t a classroom building but the office building.
Yao Yi needed to go and see the Director of Admissions, particularly to report her arrival to him.
Previously the principal had told them that his office was on the third floor, and that the Director of Admissions could be found on the second floor.
Yao Yi couldn’t help replay the words the principal had said when he had been at her house, and slowly began to make her way up with all her luggage.
”You must be Yao Yi right Come on in.
The moment she reached the second level, a teacher was already standing there waiting for her.
”Come, sit down.
You must be melting.” The female teacher pulled Yao Yi into the Admissions Office, rummaged around for a packet of tissues and handed her one.
”Thank you Ms.” Replied Yao Yi as she put down her luggage and sat on a chair.
In silence, the two of them locked eyes with each other.
Yao Yi was the first to open her mouth and said, “Ms, I’m here to register.
The principal said that…”
A little over-excitedly, the female teacher stopped her there and blurted out, “I know, I know, I saw a picture of you yesterday, you are Yao Yi.
The director left because he had something to attend to, he asked me to wait for you at the entrance.
This female teacher didn’t really count as a teacher, she had only just graduated from university, and was here for her internship.
So, she wasn’t too familiar with the school either.
As she poured out a cup of water for the seated student, she couldn’t help but discreetly give her the once over.
This was one of the seedlings that the school had spent money on obtaining/
For the past three years, the city’s No.
1 Senior High School had failed to produce the no.1 seed of the province, and if this continued, their reputation would take a battering.
Thus, this year the principal had decided on pulling as many from the province’s top 20 to his school.
This girl right here, ranked none other than No.
1 among all those other aces.
She was dressed simply, and her trousers looked a little faded, probably from being washed too many times.
She had short hair, was skinny and quite tall, not to mention she looked very energetic.
”Has this year’s military training been brought forward” The female teacher wanted to chat a little more.
”I haven’t had my military training yet.” Replied Yao Yi after she sipped a mouthful of the water in the paper cup.
”Huh Then why do you look sunburnt… These were the words the female teacher swallowed down.
Yao Yi did not notice the teacher’s expression, in just a few gulps, she made quick work of the water.
She swept her eyes over the water dispenser behind the female teacher, but she didn’t feel like it would be polite to ask for more.
”Ah, here you are, Yao Yi.” The director walked in with a stack of documents in his hand, saying, “Actually, the principal called just now to ask after you.” ”
”Greetings Director.” Yao Yi shot to her feet with paper cup still in hand.
”Yao Yi, you intend on staying at the school dorms right” The director sat down, took out the registrar and began to fill in her registration.
”That’s correct, the agreement was that I could stay at school, and go home on the weekends.” Yao Yi answered with a sharp nod.
The director couldn’t help but smile at how Yao Yi was filling in the form, “Relax, in order to guarantee a good study environment for you all, the school has made arrangements so that every room will only have one occupant, and 24-hour electricity supply will also be provided for you.
Yao Yi’s tuition fees were waived, even her accommodation wouldn’t cost her anything, she could stay alone, and there was even some amount of scholarship every year.
Of course, the school was no charity, the reason for such wonderful treatment was that in return, Yao Yi had to ensure that she maintained a ranking within top 20 of her year.
”This is your room number, later I’ll have Ms.
Chen lead you over.” The Director pointed towards the female teacher beside them as he explained.
Actually, to qualify for private single occupancy rooms, one had to be a top-ranking student.
However, most of the students at City High were locals, so accommodation wasn’t necessary.
This is why, there were only three students in total who were registered for private single occupancy rooms.
Since they were few in number, the school had not planned on sectioning off a specific building for them, so the rooms around these private single occupancy rooms were filled with four-person rooms.
”Building Six, Room 508.” The female teacher pointed at the building ahead, saying, “That’s the one, do you need me to help you with your luggage ”
”Thank you, Ms, there’s no need.” Yao Yi saw that the trainee teacher now sported a large angry red sunburn on her snow-white neck, and she hastily rejected her offer of help, explaining, “I can do it myself.” ”
”Alright then, don’t forget to go and collect your keys from Madam dorm supervisor okay” Due to the sun, the female teacher was feeling really uncomfortable by now, and didn’t have any interest in continuing her observation of the province’s No.
Yao Yi made her way to her room, pushed open the door and found the interior had already been cleaned.
Even the bed board looked to have been wiped already.
She took a good look at the entire room, then glanced at her own luggage.
She had forgotten to bring a basin with her from home.
Registration took a total of three days, the first two days were focused on settling fees and payment, the last day was for class division, to collect their books and for military training.
She looked for her own class via the school’s notice board, and it took Yao Yi almost half a day to find the classroom.
When she finally did, it was practically bursting with students.
A few hurried glances told her that there were 2 empty spots by a corner and she scrambled to sit down.
Just then, a tall, skinny boy crept in through the back entrance of the classroom, and sat down next to Yao Yi.
”Why are they all so early” He discreetly sat down and mumbled this under his breath.
One class had about 50 or so students, and although most of them didn’t know each other, they still managed to chatter up a storm.
”Bro, do you wanna have some of this” The guy who just came in, the one sitting next to Yao Yi, magicked a bottle of AD Calcium Milk out of nowhere and was shaking it enticingly at her.
(T/N: Picture Wahaha’s AD Calcium Milk)
This was the reply from a round-faced student who was seated in front of Yao Yi.
”Where did you get this milk from, I’ve been searching for so long yet I couldn’t find anything.” The round-faced student turned his body even more, and they could see that he was also wearing a pair of round-rimmed glasses, which accentuated his chubbiness.
”I dunno, my mum bought it” Yao Yi’s impromptu deskmate seemed nonchalant about it all, and shared out about a dozen bottles of the AD Calcium Milk.
First he gave one to Yao Yi, then he gave one to the round-faced boy, and finally he reached over to call upon the round-faced boy’s deskmate.
This student was a girl, with two long braids, and she calmly accepted it, taking the milk from him and soon began to converse with the row behind her.
The four of them were seated at the back of the class, each one with a bottle of AD Calcium Milk in hand as they listened to the round-faced boy gossip.
”Right now, our Senior Year One has two Class 0s, these are the top classes.
After we separate into different streams in the second semester of our Senior Year One, those two classes will become Class 0 for the Science Stream and Class 0 for the Arts Stream.
”So” Asked Yao Yi as she chewed on her straw.
”So…” The round-faced boy’s eyes quickly swept over the students in front of him, “They might not all end up together with us for three years.
Some might go to the Arts Stream, and some might be assigned to classes of lower ranks.
”You’re such a downer, why did you have to bring this up now We haven’t even officially started class yet too…” The round-faced boy’s deskmate seemed unhappy as she toyed with her braids.
”Hehe, then let’s talk about something else.” The round-faced boy instantly changed the topic, and whispered to them, “You guys probably don’t know anything about how a student was pushed in last minute in the class next-door.” ”
”Did he get in through connections, or did he pay his way in” Yao Yi’s deskmate asked before downing the last of his milk in one go.
“What’s so odd about that anyway” ”
”No, no.” The round-faced boy shook his head vigorously, “They’re from a different province, and they look really good!”
”Ah, ah, is it this person!” The girl with the braids had just been messaging her former classmate, when she suddenly received a picture, and instantly she put her phone down on the table, so the rest of them could have a good look.