Chapter 397: Graduation (1)
Shen Jingbin had no idea what transpired between Liufang, Leader Li, and Huoqing after she’d left. Later on, she happened to hear from the bar’s owner that Leader Li resigned. As for Huoqing, she skipped lessons for a few days. When she finally came back to school, she apologized to Huajuan and company and proceeded to avoid them. From what Huajuan heard, Huoqing was detained for a few days. She probably learnt her lesson after all this.
After checking with Xuya, Shen Jingbin found out that Huoqing never did go to the hospital and apologize to him. But, since Huajuan was in a good mood, he didn’t see a need to make things difficult for Huoqing. He decided to treat Huoqing as a passerby and put her out of his mind.
Following this, peace returned to their lives.
People would often feel that in spite of not having done much, time seemed to fly by. By the time they realised it, a month or even a year would have gone by. This sentiment was especially prevalent when it came to students in their third and fourth years. One moment it felt like they’d just enrolled as a new student, and were only beginning their university lives. The next moment, they’re told they’re about to graduate, and they had absolutely no recollection of what happened in-between. In fact, the passage of time was so sudden that they even suspected their time in school might have been stolen by someone else.
But, even if they refused to admit it, reality was immutable.
Six months passed in the blink of an eye, and Shen Jingbin was in the second half of her semester as a fourth year student. Her graduation was fast approaching as well.
Not all the students had to participate in a thesis defence. Instead, students in each faculty were chosen at random. By sheer luck (or a lack of luck), all of Shen Jingbin’s roommates except for her were chosen to participate. She on the other hand was chosen to be the honor student and defend her thesis in front of the school’s leadership!
Thankfully, she’d done a pretty good job preparing, and she performed exceptionally during her defence. At the end of it, the principal even asked if she had any plans to join the school’s faculty since he just so happened to be lacking an assistant.
Shen Jingbin smiled and rejected him.
Graduation photos were up next. Filled with dreams and aspirations, these youths clad in their academic dresses were about to take their first step into society. With the sun shining down on them, they flashed their most dazzling smile, giving their four years of university life a picture perfect ending. Beneath the deep blue sky, their sleeves rustled as they tossed their graduation hats high up into the air.
The words ‘Happy graduation!’ resounded all around.
It’s said that graduation was a time of losing one’s love and goodbyes. During this time, many people would pluck up their courage and profess their long held love for another. They didn’t do so for the sake of being together with the other person, but rather, to let them know how they felt. It was also a form of closure for the confessor.
The Management and Sports faculty’s thesis defence and graduation photos took place at around the same time. After they were done taking the faculty photos, a burly yet shy male student, at the behest of his other similarly well-built friends, walked over to where Shen Jingbin’s group was having their class photos taken.
“Goddess Shen, can you come over for a bit?” shouted a male student who was obviously here to enjoy the show.
His classmates immediately started heckling him. Upon seeing that his escape route was cut off by his ‘well-intentioned’ classmates, the shy student’s face turned beet red.
“Looks like there really is someone who’s come to bid farewell to you. Looks like he isn’t afraid of death. Tsk, tsk, tsk. The restless hearts of young men really can’t be stopped,” said Huajuan as she stood beside Shen Jingbin and winked at her.
Shen Jingbin glared at her. Then, in spite of the heckling, she walked up to the male student without any change in her expression and said, “Come over by yourself.” She didn’t forget to spare a glance at his friends, as if to say: Don’t kick up a fuss or come closer. Otherwise, you’ll bear the consequences.
The Goddess’ powers of intimidation weren’t half bad. One look from her was all it took to silence both the male student’s classmates and his well-built friends.
Shen Jingbin led the shy male student to a more secluded locale. After ascertaining that there wasn’t anyone nearby, she asked, “What did you want to speak to me about?”
She sounded just as cold as she always did, but there was a touch of warmth mixed in now as well. It might have been due to the melancholy of graduating, but for the first time, Shen Jingbin was feeling quite patient when it came to members of the opposite sex rushing up to her and professing their feelings.
Going through four years of university wasn’t easy, so she might as well be ‘gentle’ with them.
A gentle rejection, that is.
“G-G-Goddess Shen, I’m from the Sports faculty just beside you. I-I-I’ve liked you for the past four years. I’ve liked you since military training classes in year one…” At first, the male student did try to confess at the behest of his friends, but now that the Goddess he’d been smitten with for the past four years was in front of him, the feelings that he’d been nursing suddenly burst forth like a tidal wave.
“Is that so? Thank you. Unfortunately, I already have a boyfriend, so I can’t return your feelings. I’m really sorry.”
When she saw the look of defeat on the male student’s face, she thought to herself, “Haven’t I been a lot gentler with my rejection this time around? Why’s their reaction still the same?”
The male student dipped his head and spent the next few seconds in silence. When he looked up, his eyes were tinged red as he faced her and said, “Goddess Shen, I know I’m not worthy of being with you, and I knew that you wouldn’t be able to accept my feelings either, but I still wanted to tell you how I feel… Can… you give me a hug…? I-I don’t have any ulterior motives, I just…” He knew that his request wasn’t very appropriate, so his cheeks were flushed red by the time he was halfway through. But, at the same time, he really did want a hug, and he wasn’t willing to give up just like that. In the end, he wasn’t quite sure what to do.
However, no matter how much he agonized over it, there was no way Shen Jingbin would agree to his request. Since she was going to reject him, she might as well be direct about it so he wouldn’t try to find any way around it.
Just as she was about to reject him, she suddenly heard a familiar voice shouting for her.