Chapter 93: 5-Star Home Tutor
Xu Tingsheng had nearly broken down into tears waiting for this call.
He was really crying, “Hello?” As his voice was rather hoarse and distorted, he eased his breathing before saying once more, “Hello?”
“Oh, hi,” Came the voice from the other side of the phone, “I...wrong number.”
Xu Tingsheng was taken aback…
Fortunately, the call was still connected. Fortunately, he still remembered this voice.
“You're little Xiang Ning?” Xu Tingsheng asked in the gentlest tone he could muster.
Little Xian Ning having said 'yeah’, Xu Tingsheng became flustered again, due to two sentences. The first was something Xiang Ning had said in his previous life: When I got bullied and was huddled up in a corner crying, you didn't come to protect me; The second was what he had said to Xiang Ning upon giving her his phone number: If there’s anything that you need my help with, anything, just call me, and I will come.
When a person is too concerned about someone else, he or she would easily be worried, easily worrying that something bad might have happened to that other person.
It was almost 9pm when Xu Tingsheng received her call. Therefore, Xu Tingsheng panicked, his mind full of Little Xiang Ning's tear-stained face. Had she been bullied? Had she suffered an injustice? …
He was like a guardian dog with his hackles about to explode.
“Where’re you? Has something cropped up? Tell me, I'll be there immediately!” Xu Tingsheng asked rather urgently.
“No, there's nothing...I'm in school,” Xiang Ning said, “I just happened to see the note with your number on it, so I called it. Then, I wanted to tell you Happy New Year...many happy returns.”
His tensed nerves finally relaxing, Xu Tingsheng slumped down on the spot, not knowing whether to laugh or to cry. So it had actually been a New Year greeting call! Happy New Year, and yeah, also many happy returns.
Did he have to give her a red packet?
It was a little early for New Year greetings, but to Xu Tingsheng, things were just however Little Xiang Ning said they were.
Xu Tingsheng thought for a moment before replying, “Yeah, and Happy New Year to you as well. Many... improvements in your studying.
“Yeah,” Little Xiang Ning was silent for a while before she said in a grievance-filled tone, “The bullet shell was snatched away...I snatched it back afterwards. Also, there’s also that when the volleyball flew out...it wouldn’t fly back in again.”
As she spoke of the volleyball not having flown back in, Xiang Ning’s tone was rather piteous, just as if she had been bullied. Perhaps what she was really expressing was: Liar Uncle, are you not going to care about me anymore?
Xu Tingsheng knew what Xiang Ning was talking about. Previously, he had visited the little hill behind the field of Xiang Ning’s school every Tuesday. Once, Xiang Ning having struck the volleyball over the school walls, Xu Tingsheng had thrown it back over for her.
This Tuesday afternoon, however, Xu Tingsheng had had an Archeography examination. So as not to flunk it, he had not gone to see Xiang Ning.
So, she had struck the volleyball over the school walls again? That having happened, it had actually not flown back...That was really too much. It was no wonder that Little Xiang Ning was angry.
Little Xiang Ning continued, “Last week, I sent the volleyball out again. My classmates asked me to go get it. I said that it would fly back by itself. I even bet with them over this. But the ball didn’t fly back...I had to help her to pour water for the entire last week. Just thinking about it, I feel like I suffered a great injustice.”
This, really...how much of an injustice she had suffered! As in his previous life, Xu Tingsheng knew that Xiang Ning could not actually be considered weak. It was just that she always needed someone to coax her a little. After that little bit of coaxing, she would immediately be invigorated and full of life.
Xu Tingsheng said, “Why don’t you bet with them again next semester then? ...Next semester, the ball will definitely fly back, even if it’s raining and there’s lightning.”
On the other end of the phone, Little Xiang Ning’s sadness turned to joy as she laughed, “No, it doesn’t have to fly when it’s raining and there’s lightning. We won’t have physical education if there’s a thunderstorm. You definitely mustn't do that, okay?”
“It doesn’t have to fly when it’s raining and there’s lightning...is this out of her concern for me?”
Xu Tingsheng was a very easily satisfied person. Just like this, warmth surged within his heart.
He said, “Alright, it won’t fly when it’s raining and there’s lightning.”
The two chatted for a while, Little Xiang Ning having already completely opened herself up to him. Her personality here was completely in line with that in Xu Tingsheng’s previous life.
“Uncle, are you studying in Yanzhou University?” Xiang Ning suddenly asked.
“That’s right,” Xu Tingsheng said.
“Then, then...do you know who Rebirth are? Many of my classmates listen to their songs. I’ve also heard them say that Rebirth comes from Yanzhou University.”
Xiang Ning asked this in a cautious tone, as though she was enquiring into a national secret.
Xu Tingsheng got full of himself. There was nothing at all that he needed to hide from Xiang Ning apart from his having been reborn.
Therefore, he replied joyfully, “That’s right. It’s me.”
“I’m Rebirth, me and a friend of mine.”
“Sigh,” Little Xiang Ning sighed, saying rather exasperatedly, “Liar Uncle, you’re really...can you not be so childish?”
“Me, childish?” Xu Tingsheng hurriedly explained, “No, I really am Rebirth.”
“Whatever. I’m going back to my room soon. It looks like you don’t know, so let’s not talk about this anymore.”
Xu Tingsheng could only find another topic of conversation, “Your school will be breaking for the holidays soon, right?”
“Yeah. The end-of-term examinations are coming right up. Mum says that if I do badly again this time, she’ll be finding a home tutor for me next semester. Once I think of going back home from my teachers at school and finding yet another teacher at home...urgh, it’s frustrating to death,” Little Xiang Ning said in a huff.
From Xu Tingsheng’s memories, Xiang Ning’s family background could only be considered average, and he had never heard her speak of having once gotten a home tutor to help her in her studies before. Still, she was now saying that she was looking for a home tutor. A home tutor, that was what she’d just said!
Xu Tingsheng felt emotional.
He asked, “Why did your mum suddenly bring this up?”
Xiang Ning said, “Because all my cousins have found one as well! It’s all the fault of that whatever education platform, going around distributing flyers everywhere. My maternal aunt found one to teach her daughter during the winter holidays. Mom says that if I don’t do well for the end-of-term exams, she’s going to register there and find me a home tutor as well. She says that I’ve definitely got to make it into a first-tier school. However might I do that?”
Home tutor, Hucheng Education Service Platform, first-tier school. These three phrases came together in Xu Tingsheng’s mind…
Xu Tingsheng said something very shameless, “Actually, just study for the end-of-term examinations however you want. You don’t have to be too serious...Also, if you really end up looking for a home tutor, make sure to choose one with a high university entrance examinations score.”
Xu Tingsheng was confident in Xiang Ning’s results, was confident that she wouldn’t score too well. Therefore, after the call had ended, Xu Tingsheng hurriedly made his way back to the riverside residence at lightning speed. While Xiang Ning had said that they would be considering the matter of looking for a home tutor only after her examination results had been released, Xu Tingsheng was already unable to hold himself back.
Registration, entering the details, pinning, and also...those blindingly dazzling university entrance examination results. Xu Tingsheng wracked his brains for a while, feeling that there was something still missing. Finally, he gave Old Wai a call.
“Old Wai, does our platform have that kind of special function, the kind that allows the registered information regarding some exceptionally awesome home tutors to glow with light?” Xu Tingsheng asked.
Old Wai considered for a while before asking confusedly, “Glowing with light? What do you mean? ...Like a Buddha? An aura of golden light…”
“Right, yeah! That’s it.”
“There should be one.”
“No, who would be deserving of something so grand? Even the highest we have now are merely two 1-Star home tutors.”
Xu Tingsheng hesitated for a moment before letting out the embarrassing words, “Me.”
Old Wai was completely stunned. What had happened to Xu Tingsheng, suddenly thinking to take to the frontlines himself?
Opening the platform for a look, he then began howling into the phone, “Bro Xu, this is really too shameless! Let’s ignore the fact that you went over to register even as a boss. You even pinned and recommended yourself, even forcibly set yourself as a 5-Star home tutor, even forged a whole bunch of good evaluations. And now...you actually still want to glow with golden light?”
“Then...it doesn’t have to glow with golden light.”
“No, the others can’t do as well. We’ve got to do things by the book.”
“My university entrance examination results are so high; we can use them as promotion.”
“Just pinning will do then.”
“No, I’m the boss.”
“You can’t even if you’re the boss! As the boss, it’s even more so that you should set a good example. I’m going to delete you.”
“If you delete me, I’ll seal your username, and Linlin’s as well.”
“Sigh, dang it! Why’re you doing this?”
“I’ve said, for promotion! Relax, I’ve concealed my personal information. No one will know that it’s me.”
“I…buzz, buzz, buzz.”
After Xu Tingsheng had hung up the phone, Old Wai sat dazedly there for a while, only hurriedly contacting Li Linlin after he had finally regained his wits.
The two pondered together for a while before finally sending a private message to all the other registered home tutors under their platform aside from Xu Tingsheng: The pinned one is only a 5-Star model, not being a living person. We eagerly anticipate the emergence of our first 5-Star home tutor. When that happens, special rewards await! Keep up the good work!
Xu Tingsheng still didn’t know that he was already no longer ‘amongst the living’. He tossed and turned about his bed. What if Xiang Ning’s parents chose someone else when the time came? Discuss with the other party or directly seal his (or her) account?
Elsewhere, Old Wai was telling Li Linlin, “Bro Xu seems to have suffered some great blow. It’s like he’s lost his mind!
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