Chapter 161 – A Bewildered Fan
Chen Li’s voice was filled with deep concern, afraid that the fall just now might have injured Wei Chen. Upon hearing Chen Li’s words, a painful expression immediately crossed Wei Chen’s eyes. Chen Li noticed this, and his entire body tensed up. “Achen, where are you hurt?” He even appeared somewhat flustered.
In an instant, the painful look in Wei Chen’s eyes disappeared. With a sudden motion, he flipped over and pinned Chen Li beneath him. He lowered his head and firmly pressed his lips against Chen Li’s, passionately giving him a scorching kiss.
Time seemed to blur as moments passed. Wei Chen finally lifted his head, his eyes now brimming with a playful smile. The earlier pain was obviously just Wei Chen’s playful antics to tease Chen Li.
“I’m fine, absolutely fine,” Wei Chen said as he got up and, under Chen Li’s worried gaze, even jumped around.
Only then did Chen Li feel relieved, not minding Wei Chen’s little prank. He walked over, helped up the fallen bicycle, and was about to mount it. That fall just now didn’t make Chen Li afraid.
Wei Chen also believed that after Chen Li’s tumble, he might be reluctant to practice riding the bicycle again. He continued to follow behind him, his gaze fixed on him every move. Whenever Chen Li showed any signs of losing balance, Wei Chen promptly approached to steady the bicycle, preventing Chen Li from falling again.
The light by the roadside emitted a faint yellow glow. In the blink of an eye, the night had grown deeper, yet Chen Li was now able to ride the bicycle steadily and confidently for a stretch. The bicycle’s frame didn’t wobble, and Chen Li felt no rush.
Returning from the distance he had ridden to, Chen Li parked the bicycle accurately next to Wei Chen. With sparkling eyes, he looked at him and said, “Achen, I can ride now.”
Wei Chen lowered his head and placed a kiss on Chen Li’s smooth forehead, praising him, “Li Li, you’re amazing!”
With Wei Chen’s praise, Chen Li’s eyes and smile curved with happiness.
Wei Chen mounted the bicycle and said, “Li Li, sit behind me, I’ll give you a ride.”
Obediently, Chen Li sat on the back seat, and without needing Wei Chen’s instruction, he naturally wrapped his arms around his waist. Wei Chen pedaled with Chen Li behind him, taking a leisurely ride in the night. The gentle evening breeze brushed against their faces, slightly cool, yet their closely bonded hearts felt warm and comforting.
Despite having practiced last night, Chen Li had already learned how to ride a bicycle. However, on the second day, Wei Chen still escorted Chen Li to school. After all, Chen Li was a beginner. He had managed to ride smoothly last night because there were no people on the road at that time.
Given Chen Li’s current condition, he would get nervous and scared when encountering strangers. If Wei Chen allowed Chen Li to ride on the road now, he couldn’t predict the outcome and was afraid of such a result.
Chen Li understood Wei Chen’s concerns and didn’t rush to insist on going to school by himself. In reality, deep down, he still hoped that Wei Chen could accompany him to school.
Little did Chen Li know, what he needed to do now was to resist the voice deep inside, to no longer be drawn in by that inner voice.
After Wei Chen dropped Chen Li off at the classroom in Q University’s School of Fine Arts, he left. Chen Li’s situation was improving. In the past, Wei Chen used to stand outside the window, secretly watching Chen Li with concern. But now, he noticed that Chen Li had adapted to the group. As long as the others didn’t approach Chen Li actively, he wouldn’t feel nervous inside the group.
This discovery made Wei Chen very happy, so he gradually relaxed.
Moreover, Wei Chen also noticed that every student in this class was very friendly to Chen Li. It was as if they had reached a consensus not to disturb Chen Li actively. Even when Chen Li was in the class, they tried to lower their voices during discussions, so as not to startle him.
It seemed that initially, Zhuge Yu had put in effort to place Chen Li in this class as an auditor.
As Chen Li entered the classroom, he immediately took his seat. Someone had left a bright red apple on his desk, along with a piece of paper underneath it. The paper featured a cute chibi version character with a playful smile, showing its teeth in an adorable manner.
A speech bubble appeared above the small character, and in the same cute font, it read: “Chen Li, keep up the good work!”
Chen Li glanced at it briefly and then turned his attention away, taking out the textbooks required for today’s professional class. His reaction went unnoticed by his classmates in the room. However, they didn’t find it strange as this had become a routine since the previous semester – each day, a different student left encouraging notes and small gifts on Chen Li’s seat. These gifts included snacks and toys, yet Chen Li never acknowledged them.
Despite this, they didn’t give up; they never felt disappointed. They understood Chen Li’s situation. They did what they could to assist him, hoping he could break out of his shell of isolation.
This time, Chen Li once again didn’t accept their gifts and encouragement. Yet, they believed that this change would gradually take effect. They were confident that someday, Chen Li would be moved by their gestures. They didn’t need Chen Li to accept them, they just hoped he wouldn’t continue to isolate himself.
When the bell rang, signaling the start of class, the professor for the professional course entered. Chen Li’s focus shifted to the PPT the teacher was using for the lecture. He was attentive and serious, his eyes seemed to emit a beam of light – passionate and precious. It was as if in the entire world, there was only him and that PPT. He valued every opportunity to learn more than many others did.
Chen Li also took notes; his notes were meticulously detailed, each stroke like printed text. The formatting and content were so impeccable that anyone who saw them would be impressed unconsciously.
The class quickly passed, and there was only this one major class in the morning. As the teacher announced the end of the class, Chen Li bowed his head to organize his belongings and then quietly headed to Zhuge Yu’s studio to paint, where he would stay until the afternoon class.
This time was no exception. After arranging his belongings, Chen Li lowered his head and left the classroom.
Today, it was a girl’s turn to offer encouragement. Her name was Huang Zhenzhen, and she had a round face, always with a smile. She had forgotten how many times she had tried to encourage Chen Li, and every time, there was no response. Like the rest of the class, she wasn’t disappointed; in fact, she was excited about it.
After seeing Chen Li walk away, Huang Zhenzhen walked over to his seat. Deep down, she still held some hope that Chen Li might reply to her this time.
Huang Zhenzhen was mentally prepared this time, but when she saw the two additional words on the paper, she couldn’t help but scream.
Her sudden scream caught the attention of her classmates, and some were confused about what had gotten into her.
“Huang Zhenzhen, have you gone insane?” A friend who was close to her immediately asked, she was startled by Huang Zhenzhen’s sudden scream.
“No… no.” Huang Zhenzhen waved her hands quickly, stuttering a bit. “There are words! Our classmate Chen Li… he… he replied to me!!”
As soon as Huang Zhenzhen finished speaking, the remaining dozen or so students in the class crowded around. All eyes focused on the paper under the bright red apple.
In addition to the chibi character Huang Zhenzhen had drawn and the message she wrote, there were two words in a print-like font: “Thank you.”
These two words seemed to be bathed in golden light at that moment, glaringly bright to the remaining dozen or so students in the class. When they finally realized, they all burst into silly laughter.
Chen Li had started responding to them. Did this mean that Chen Li had taken a step out of his world of isolation?
“Huang Zhenzhen! You’re amazing!” The student who had just scolded Huang Zhenzhen immediately ruffled her hair, overflowing with joy.
Huang Zhenzhen laughed along, though there were tears in her laughter.
Unlike the other classmates who did this to care for Chen Li, Huang Zhenzhen had been captivated by Chen Li’s art since she saw his first painting. Then, at the Dream Cup finals exhibition, when she saw the painting “Light,” her frustration was dispelled by that artwork.
Huang Zhenzhen had entered Q University’s School of Fine Arts with high scores, but she didn’t want to major in this field. She applied for the Animation Production major at the School of Fine Arts. However, her parents considered this major to be frivolous and changed her major in secret during the college entrance exams, landing her in this class.
But her love for animation didn’t waver. Even in her current major, she continued to create animations and even submitted some of her works to magazines.
Her parents found out and held a meeting to reprimand her, going so far as to confiscate all her drawing tools.
She was lost and began to doubt herself. She felt deeply frustrated.
Coincidentally, at this time, the Dream Cup finals exhibition began. She saw “Light,” and she saw her hope. After that day, she, who had been weak, started to assert herself in front of her parents, fighting for her career in comics.
Ultimately, her persistence convinced her parents, and they agreed to let her change her major.
However, Huang Zhenzhen didn’t rush to switch majors because Chen Li was still in her class. Like the other students, she wanted to contribute her part in helping Chen Li emerge from his shell, to easily accept the world’s ups and downs.
So now, seeing those two printed words from Chen Li, Huang Zhenzhen cried tears of joy.
Her roommate understood Huang Zhenzhen’s feelings. She reached out, pulled Huang Zhenzhen into a hug, patted her back, providing a place for her to cry.
“Zhenzhen, I believe Chen Li will get better and better,” her roommate said, her voice quivering, possibly influenced by Huang Zhenzhen’s emotions.
“Yeah. Chen Li will get better,” Huang Zhenzhen affirmed with a certain tone. The smile on her lips was just like her tears, uncontrollable.