Chapter 347 – My Name Is Xie Guifang
As a result, after hearing Lu Xia’s words, the girl remained frozen in place, her hands fumbling with her clothes’ hem, looking somewhat pitiable.
But no matter how pitiable the situation seemed, Lu Xia didn’t ask her to stay in her dormitory bed.
After all, Lu Xia wasn’t familiar with this person. She couldn’t be sure if she was trustworthy or not. Bringing her back to the dormitory might have consequences if she did something inappropriate. Other dorm mates would be affected as well.
So, Lu Xia didn’t offer assistance but suggested, “If you really have no place to stay, you can spend the night at public places like the train station. Just remember to stay safe! There are a lot of bad people there, like human traffickers.”
The girl nodded and didn’t ask her for help, and sincerely said, “I understand. Thank you for the advice. I’ll consider it.”
After saying that, seeing Lu Xia was about to leave, the girl spoke up again, “Excuse me, are you a student at Peking University?”
Lu Xia nodded.
Then, the girl’s eyes instantly revealed envy, “That’s great!”
Lu Xia didn’t say much and turned to leave.
However, after she had taken just a couple of steps, she heard the girl call out from behind, “Thank you, fellow student. My name is Xie Guifang. I hope we can meet again in the future!”
Lu Xia’s steps suddenly halted, and she stopped. Slowly, she turned around.
“You said… your name is?”
The girl seemed a bit surprised by Lu Xia suddenly turning back, but she still said straightforwardly, “My name is Xie Guifang. Xie as in ‘thank,’ Gui as in ‘osmanthus,’ and Fang as in ‘fragrance.’ I was born when an osmanthus tree in front of my house was blooming, so my elders gave me this name.”
Lu Xia nodded upon hearing that. “Really, it sounds nice.”
Then, casually, she asked, “Where’s your hometown?”
Perhaps because Lu Xia had shown concern earlier, the girl didn’t hide it this time, “My hometown is in Jiangyou County, Hongnan Town, Xiahexi Village, Yanquan City, Jiangxi Province.”
Lu Xia fell silent upon hearing that. Surprisingly, that was her roommate’s hometown too.
At that moment, she felt like she had stumbled upon something.
She didn’t know whether she should pry into this matter, but seeing the disheveled appearance of the girl, she felt a bit soft-hearted. So, after thinking for a moment, she asked, “Where are you planning to go later? What’s your plan for the night?”
The girl felt a bit embarrassed by Lu Xia’s questions and said, “Uh, the train station is quite far. I don’t plan to go there. I’ll just find somewhere on campus to spend the night.”
After saying that, she seemed worried that Lu Xia might misunderstand, so she quickly added, “The campus is quite big, I’ll just find a place to sit for the night.”
Lu Xia fell silent upon hearing that. It was only March, and the weather was still chilly outside. Staying outside for the night without catching a cold would be a challenge. Moreover, considering she was only wearing thin clothes, the situation could worsen.
So, Lu Xia sighed and glanced at her watch. She still had more than an hour until the time she was supposed to meet Jiang Junmo.
Deciding not to go to the library, she said to the girl, “Have you had dinner? Why don’t you go to the cafeteria for a meal? My treat!”
The girl immediately shook her head, “No, I’m not hungry!”
Lu Xia could tell from her response that she hadn’t eaten. She sighed and came up with an excuse, “Don’t worry, I’m quite curious about the customs in your hometown. I’d like to learn more from you. Consider the meal as a fee for your information.”
The girl quickly waved her hand, “No need, really. Anything you want to know, I’ll tell you if I know. You don’t have to buy me a meal.”
But Lu Xia insisted, “Come on, it’s not much money, and there are places to sit in the cafeteria. You can rest there for a while too.”
The girl hesitated upon hearing this. After struggling for a few days, she had finally made it to Beijing. She was truly exhausted.
So, after a moment’s consideration, she agreed, “Alright, I’ll go to the cafeteria with you. But I’ll just sit with you; you don’t need to buy me anything.”
Lu Xia didn’t say anything, and she led the girl to the cafeteria.
Chapter 348 – The Girl’s Story
By this time, it was past meal hours, and the cafeteria wasn’t very crowded. After entering, Lu Xia found a corner for the girl to sit and then went to get their food.
Originally, she hadn’t planned to eat on campus for dinner. She figured there would be leftovers at home. Consequently, she didn’t buy much: two steamed buns, two bowls of porridge, and a plate of pickled vegetables.
When she returned, she handed one portion to the girl.
Seeing that the girl was about to refuse, Lu Xia said directly, “I’ve already bought the food. It’s a waste not to eat it. Don’t worry, the cafeteria food is very cheap. These items cost less than one penny.”
The girl felt relieved after hearing that, but she also didn’t intend to freeload. She took out a coin from her pocket and handed it to Lu Xia.
“I can’t just take your food for free. If you don’t take the money, I won’t eat.”
Seeing that the girl was so insistent, Lu Xia had to accept it.
Afterward, the girl finally began to eat. During their meal, Lu Xia casually asked about customs and habits in Jiangxi Province. The girl didn’t find it odd and answered everything she knew.
Soon, they finished their meal. The girl wiped her mouth and envied, “The food in your cafeteria is really delicious. It’s worthy of Peking University!”
Lu Xia smiled, “Yes, it’s not bad, and with government subsidies, it’s affordable.”
The girl’s envy grew upon hearing this.
Lu Xia noticed and asked, “By the way, since your home is so far away, what are you doing at Peking University? And why were you looking for the admissions office? Are you a student here?”
The girl seemed hesitant upon hearing that, not sure whether she should reveal her story. However, considering that Lu Xia cared not only about her safety for the night but also took her out for a meal, she decided to speak up.
“I came here to inquire whether I got into Peking University last year.”
“Huh? Why ask that? If you got in, wouldn’t you receive an admission notice?” Lu Xia had a suspicion when she heard this, but she didn’t reveal it.
The girl’s expression turned complex upon hearing this. “Yes, if I got in, I should have received an admission notice. So, when I didn’t get one, I thought I hadn’t been accepted.”
“Oh? And then?” Lu Xia could tell that there was more to the story.
The girl seemed to have been holding this in for a while and finally found someone to talk to. She opened up.
“After the college entrance exams, I felt pretty confident in my performance. After comparing answers with other village educated youths who took the exam, everyone thought I would definitely get in. But surprisingly, other village educated youths who did worse than me received their admission notice. Only I didn’t.”
“Back then, I found it strange, but I didn’t think too much of it. I just assumed I hadn’t performed as well as I’d thought. So, I started preparing for the next round of exams.
“Then, when I went to the county one day, I met a classmate who worked at the post office. She congratulated me on getting into university!
“I was surprised because I clearly didn’t get in, right?
“But she was absolutely certain and said she saw a letter addressed to me—an admission notice. Although she didn’t know which university it was from, she was certain it was mine because the address on the letter was our village.
“She said the letter was taken by our town’s delivery person afterward.
“But I never received it. At that point, I knew something was wrong.
“But I still went to the local post office to ask, and they denied ever receiving an acceptance letter for me.
“I didn’t believe them, so I even went to the county’s education bureau. But they didn’t have anything for me either.
“My classmate couldn’t have been mistaken; she wouldn’t have said that if she hadn’t been sure.”
Upon hearing this, Lu Xia was almost certain that the girl had been impersonated. Moreover, the person who took her place might be someone she knew.
Then the girl continued, “At that time, there was a piece of good news in the county: someone unexpectedly got into Peking University!”
Upon hearing that, Lu Xia’s heart skipped a beat.