Chapter 204 – The New Classmate

In the class group, due to Chen Li’s sudden joining, the information exploded instantly. Within a few seconds, several screens were filled with messages, and nothing was visible amidst the flood of messages.

Seeing this, the class monitor promptly enforced a group-wide mute.

Now the class group was quiet, but numerous glares were directed at the class monitor.

The class monitor shrugged and gestured towards Chen Li. Everyone looked, and Chen Li didn’t have a phone in hand; instead, he was attentively reading a book!

The most disheartening thing isn’t that someone is more talented and superior than you. It’s when they are more talented, superior, and more hardworking and ambitious than you!

With Chen Li as an exceptionally excellent reference, classmates who still had their phones in hand put them away and took out their textbooks for this class, reading them attentively.

When the subject teacher entered and saw this scene, he was somewhat surprised. Normally, when he entered the class for a lesson, students either had their phones out or were chatting together. Today, they were unusually serious even before the class began, with their books open on the desk, each of them looking very focused.

The teacher deliberately went out to check the floor and noticed that the water from last night’s rain hadn’t completely dried. He looked outside and murmured to himself, “Strange, it didn’t rain red yesterday. Could it be my eyes playing tricks on me?”

The students naturally heard this muttering, prompting laughter and livening up the atmosphere in the class.

This teacher was great in teaching, witty and humorous, but one thing that annoyed the students was his tendency to take attendance, making students stand up one by one, being quite strict.

So, escaping his class was simply a pipe dream.

This time was no exception. One student was called, and they stood up. According to the usual, Chen Li’s name wasn’t on the attendance list because, after all, he was an auditor and didn’t have such strict requirements.

When the teacher finished calling the last name and discovered there was one more name on the list.

“You have a new student in your class?” the teacher asked. Upon seeing the name clearly, he realized it was Chen Li.

Chen Li was excellent. Aside from not being talkative and not liking to interact with others, all the teachers teaching this class liked Chen Li.

This teacher was no different. Seeing Chen Li’s name on the attendance list, the teacher understood what was going on and was genuinely happy for Chen Li from the bottom of his heart.

It can be openly stated that Chen Li’s level of expertise is more than sufficient to be a teacher even at Q University’s School of Fine Arts. So, the school’s decision to specially admit Chen Li was a clear choice.

The classmates in the class hadn’t received the notification yet, so when they heard the teacher say this, they were a bit puzzled. When did a new student come to their class? Why hadn’t they seen them? Did they transfer from another major?

But that shouldn’t be the case. It was only the first academic year. How could someone switch majors so quickly?

The teacher had a bit of a mischievous streak. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have asked the students to stand up during roll call. Seeing the puzzled looks on the students’ faces, the teacher didn’t immediately reveal the answer. They intentionally remained silent for a long time before slowly pronouncing Chen Li’s name.

“Chen Li.”

When roll call started, Chen Li began to pay attention to his name. Now, hearing his name, Chen Li reflexively said, “Here!” and quickly stood up.

The “here” was crisp and powerful. Chen Li stood tall in his position. Every time during roll call, Chen Li actually hoped the teacher would call his name. And this time, his name finally came out of the teacher’s mouth.

It was clearly a trivial matter, but Chen Li now felt a surge of excitement. It seemed that only being called during roll call could prove that he had truly become a student at this school.

“Alright, everyone is here, so let’s start the class.”

Although the teacher had started the class, the students in the class were still a bit puzzled.

The teacher had just called Chen Li’s name and mentioned that a new student had joined the class.

Could they interpret this to mean that Chen Li was the new student in the class?

This possibility crossed the minds of the students, and it was somewhat unbelievable.

They had always known that Chen Li was just an auditor. Although they were also puzzled—how could someone with such good grades like Chen Li just be an auditor?

But this time, Chen Li seemed to have become their classmate in the true sense.

Was it really as they thought? The students glanced at Chen Li, then at the teacher on the podium, and finally, their gaze of doubt settled on the teacher at the front.

They certainly couldn’t ask Chen Li anything at this point. So, it was likely that the teacher here would provide the answers.

The teacher observed their eager anticipation for an answer before proceeding, “Yes, just as you suspected, the additional name in the roll call is indeed Chen Li’s. That means, Chen Li is the new student in your class.”

With this confirmation, the classmates cheered immediately.

They didn’t care how Chen Li officially became a student at Q University’s School of Fine Arts; all they knew was that Chen Li had finally become a student at Q University, a true classmate of theirs.

The teacher stood at the podium, observing the students’ reactions. Surprisingly, he didn’t see a hint of jealousy or discontent on anyone’s face.

They had all struggled for years to get into Q University, but Chen Li, by some means, got specially admitted to the school. It didn’t seem fair at all. Weren’t they bothered?

But soon, the teacher came to a realization.

Perhaps they truly weren’t bothered because Chen Li’s skill level surpassed theirs by a significant margin.

The teacher even speculated that at least half of the students in this class were admirers of Chen Li, perhaps even including himself, albeit hidden deep within.

Indeed, as the teacher thought, exceptional individuals not only face jealousy but also inadvertently garner support from others.

Chen Li was a prime example of this.

If, for instance, Chen Li didn’t possess exceptional talent in painting, didn’t create awe-inspiring artworks, even as an auditor in this class, he would just be a transparent figure in this class.

The students in this class wouldn’t be sending him small gifts or encouraging him like they did now because Chen Li wouldn’t have anything to attract them. They might sympathize with Chen Li, but that’s about it.

It’s not that these students were too pragmatic; it’s just a natural human instinct to seek gain and avoid harm.

Of course, all this was assuming a hypothetical scenario, but in reality, the students in this class genuinely cared for Chen Li and did many things for him without expecting anything in return.

They were a group of kind and lovely individuals, nothing more.

As the bell for the end of the class rang, the morning session concluded.

Chen Li took out his phone and saw a series of messages in the class group, all about him—welcoming him to the group, welcoming him as an official member of the class.

Chen Li scrolled back to the time when he joined the group and carefully read each message.

He could almost hear their words in his ear, lively and cheerful, causing a gentle smile to grace Chen Li’s face. When he read the last message, a few minutes had already passed.

Chen Li tapped the input box, earnestly typing a few words, then solemnly hit the send button.

[Li: Please advise me more in the future, and thank you!]

This message caused a buzz in the group again—Chen Li had suddenly emerged.

Each message directed at Chen Li received an immediate response.

[You’re welcome, you’re welcome. Please advise me a lot in the future, Chen Li!]

​[Yes, yes, Chen Li, let’s advise each other in the future.]

Pages of replies quickly flooded in. Chen Li read through each one and replied with a single word.

[Li: Okay.]

After responding, Chen Li put away his phone, picked up his paintbrush, and continued the painting he hadn’t finished in the morning.

Not long after, Zhuge Yu entered and stood beside Chen Li, attentively watching him paint.

Every time Zhuge Yu watched Chen Li paint, he was pleasantly surprised. Even now, Chen Li was like a sponge, absorbing knowledge from the surroundings without pause, and it quickly manifested in his art.

Both the technique and brushstrokes, as well as the composition of the paintings, were incredibly awe-inspiring.

What astonished Zhuge Yu even more was the change in Chen Li’s artistic style.

Zhuge Yu still remembered the first time he saw Chen Li’s paintings, which emanated a gloomy aura, making it oppressive and despairing to behold.

But now, Chen Li’s paintings were gradually becoming brighter in color, and the content began to exude joy. The world within the paintings no longer bore darkness and oppression.

This aligns perfectly with Chen Li’s condition. When Zhuge Yu first encountered Chen Li, his autism was severe, and his world was shrouded in darkness.

But now, Chen Li had slowly emerged from that darkness, and his paintings were the most direct reflection of it. While there were still somber moments, the overall tone was no longer oppressive.

Until Chen Li finished the last stroke, Zhuge Yu applauded and then leaned in to point out a few places where color or technique could be improved.

Chen Li listened attentively, occasionally interjecting with his own thoughts and engaging in a friendly debate with Zhuge Yu.

Neither of them fully convinced the other, but both teacher and student enjoyed the discussion.

“Oh, by the way, Li Li, would you be interested in organizing an art exhibition?” Zhuge Yu asked after the guidance session was over.

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