Chapter 13 – Astray Youth (13)

Li Hua smirked, “So Brother Chen is actually a secretary.”

It was obvious that he had selectively listened to the words of the person beside him just now.

They arrived at the place.

The gate opened, and the front courtyard was covered in snow. The trees in the yard were also covered in a layer of white snow, but you could still vaguely see some scattered small flowers.

Originally, Li Hua, who was supposed to remain silent no matter what, was the first to throw an elbow.

He wouldn’t look down on people in poverty, but he harbored a disdain for the wealthy.

This person unexpectedly lived so well behind their backs.

Stepping forward to avoid the elbow, Zhou Kaiji crossed the front courtyard and led the group to the door. The butler was already waiting there, and slippers were neatly arranged.

Zhou Kaiji said, “This is Uncle Zhang.”

Several high school students followed suit and greeted, “Hello, Uncle Zhang.”

Uncle Zhang saw the students carrying large and small bags, remembering that he had heard they would bring vegetables. He hadn’t expected them to actually bring them. He had originally wanted to help put the vegetables in the fridge but then saw a large amount of snacks mixed inside. He fell silent and chose to watch the students go upstairs and then went to the kitchen to prepare a fruit platter.

Li Hua’s ability to grasp the main points while solving problems was lacking, but in reality, he was very sharp. He lowered his head and immediately noticed Zhou Kaiji’s slippers ahead of him.

They were different from theirs, yellow slippers with a small chick on them.

Li Hua: “…pfft.”

Although they were reluctant to admit it due to their self-esteem, this person did indeed look handsome. When he was quiet and expressionless, he resembled a cool guy.

So, the cool guy wore these slippers at home.

Zhou Kaiji, who turned his head upon hearing the laugh, caught his gaze with a single glance. He didn’t evade, just said, “These were bought by Brother Chen.”

Li Hua finally noticed that this person never went three sentences without mentioning Brother Chen. When the others heard them talking, someone leaned over and asked, “Where’s Brother Chen?”

Zhou Kaiji opened the room door and said, “He went to his room to make a phone call before I left.”

After the others went inside, he left the room door open and didn’t close it again.

Although it was a thought that came out of nowhere, he felt like if this door were to close, this study session would turn into a snack fest.

When Chen Luosong finished his call and returned to the living room, the butler informed him that a few younger classmates had already arrived and were upstairs.

The butler went upstairs to deliver the fruit platter and drinks, and Chen Luosong followed to take a look.

Li Hua and the others were indeed studying.

The room door was open, they couldn’t indulge too much, so they could only temporarily put aside the snacks and focus on studying painfully.

They were studying, but it was difficult. Zhou Kaiji was already working on problems while they were still stuck on understanding the questions. They had barely written a few words, and their hair was being pulled out in frustration.

Unable to understand a question no matter how they looked at it, they, like desperate illiterates, gave up struggling. Their pen hovered over the paper for a long time before finally writing down a “solution” with great caution and slowness, followed by “I don’t know how to do this” written afterward.

Writing these few words was already their last stubbornness.

“Do you need help, classmate?”

A voice came from above, and Good Brother holding the pen raised his head to see a slightly smiling, calm expression.

It was someone he hadn’t seen before, dressed in a light-colored wool sweater, slightly bending down to look at him, appearing gentle.

His heart couldn’t help but skip a beat. Before Good Brother could reply, Li Hua, who was originally still diligently working on problems on the other side, raised his head first and shouted, “Brother Chen!”

His voice was loud enough that everyone else looked up. They hadn’t even had time to see what the person looked like; they were still in the phase where their brains hadn’t caught up, but their mouths did, quickly following with a shout of “Brother Chen.”

With this upward glance, they finally noticed there was more than one person in the room. The butler was also there, holding a fruit platter and drinks. The butler timely said, “I saw that you were studying seriously, so I didn’t disturb you.”

The fruit platter and drinks temporarily comforted their hearts, which had been tortured by science subjects.

Good Brother didn’t eat for the time being. He held the pen and continued looking at the question — he eventually sought help.

This might be the most serious time he had ever listened to someone explaining a problem in his life, and he understood it. His thoughts progressed step by step, as if he was really thinking.

The others didn’t know what problem was being discussed, but they gathered around, nibbling on fruits while listening, their attention not on the problem but on the voice and the words written by the person explaining. Occasionally, they would sneak a glance at the person explaining the problem.

Li Hua wasn’t lying; Brother Chen was indeed good-looking.

Good-looking and meticulous in explaining the problem. However, he couldn’t stay too long. After explaining one problem, Chen Luosong stood up. As he stood up, he habitually leaned over to ruffle Zhou Xiaokai’s hair on the other side, saying, “I need to step out for a bit. Continue studying, and I’ll come back to make lunch for you.”

Zhou Kaiji’s hand holding the pen paused, and the others cheered at the prospect of eating lunch made by Brother Chen.

Chen Luosong left.

The few who were eating fruit platter stopped, and even those who were eyeing the snacks stopped doing so.

Zhou Kaiji looked at them, slowly putting down the pen in his hand, and said, “You should eat more snacks.”

The others spoke out in a voice of justice, “We’ll have lunch later; if we eat snacks now, we won’t be able to eat lunch.”

They seemed very expectant, not hearing any other sounds.


Zhou Kaiji picked up the pen and continued working on the problems.

Chen Luosong came back around eleven, just in time for cooking. In the kitchen, there was Aunt Zhou and Zhou Xiaokai, who should have been studying upstairs at this time.

Before he could speak, Zhou Kaiji said first, “There are quite a few people today; I’ll help.”

The few who had initially wanted to cook together decisively gave up the kitchen upon learning that Secretary Chen would be cooking. Now, they stayed upstairs to work on problems, eagerly anticipating lunch.

Both he and Aunt Zhou were assisting Secretary Chen today. Aunt Zhou had full trust in Secretary Chen, focusing solely on her tasks. However, Zhou Kaiji needed to wash vegetables while also paying attention to Master Chen’s actions, not daring to divert his attention for a moment.

The sound of running water continued, and after Aunt Zhou finished chopping vegetables, she turned around and reminded, “Make sure to wash the vegetables thoroughly.”

Zhou Kaiji briefly looked away and quickly washed two leaves of vegetables.

When he looked back, the person who had been preparing seasonings had made significant progress, already stir-frying vegetables. The aroma wafted from the pot, indicating that the seasonings had been added.

…It seemed like everything was going smoothly.

Zhou Kaiji closed his eyes and then opened them, asking the kitchen auntie nearby, “Aunt Zhou, have you all eaten?”

Aunt Zhou said that everyone in the house, including the driver, had eaten before cooking, so they had already eaten.

Zhou Kaiji breathed a sigh of relief.

Aunt Zhou, at her age, probably wouldn’t be able to withstand that shocking taste.

Today there were more people for the meal, and a few extra dishes were prepared compared to usual. As the dishes were brought to the dining table from the kitchen, they still emanated heat, filling the room with fragrance.

Zhou Kaiji went upstairs to call the people who were studying to come down for the meal.

When he went up, the people in the room were still studying diligently. Even the ones who usually snacked every now and then were particularly focused this time. Li Hua and the others stood up and stretched lazily, patting their bellies, “I’m so hungry. I must eat a lot for lunch today.”

Zhou Kaiji said, “I cooked the greens among those dishes.”

Without delving into the meaning of his words, everyone happily went downstairs, even more delighted when they caught the aroma.

“Sorry we’ve come to disturb you today and even bothered Brother Chen to cook for us…”

They picked up their bowls and chopsticks.

Master Chen, who had been busy for over an hour, stood aside and took off his apron. He had already eaten when he went out today, so he wouldn’t eat lunch today.

The high school students started eating.


As they tasted the fragrant and beautifully presented dishes, the joyful atmosphere seemed to momentarily freeze.

Handing over the apron to the butler on the side, Master Chen, who was in charge of the cooking, asked, “How does it taste?”


Li Hua looked with eyes that had lost their sparkle. He was about to answer, but when he saw Zhou Kaiji’s gaze, his words paused.

“It’s very delicious.”

Li Hua mechanically chewed on the food in his mouth and said, “It’s so delicious that I feel like I’ve seen my long-lost grandmother.”

Good Brother nodded beside him, eyes wide open. “What a coincidence, I also saw my grandfather.”

The others couldn’t find words but could only give a thumbs-up.

Zhou Kaiji then withdrew his gaze.

Li Hua wiped away a tear that almost fell from his eye and choked up.

Finally, he understood why Zhou Kaiji had given them snacks earlier and the significance of him informing them that the vegetables were made by him.

With the second serving, everyone pointed their chopsticks at the dish of vegetables in the middle.

Chen Luosong had something to attend to and didn’t stay long. Seeing the high schoolers enjoying the meal so much, he glanced a few times and then left.

The small plate of vegetables on the table was the first to be emptied, with Zhou Kaiji trying to finish the rest of the dishes. The others clenched their fists, determined to help finish the remaining bits of food as if ready to face death.

After lunch, there were two rows of fresh “corpses” on the table.

The kitchen auntie and butler chuckled, “Look at these kids, they’re stuffed.”

A few classmates who ate until they were full lay on the table for a while, before finally having the energy to go upstairs.

After experiencing lunch, they finally understood the importance of fruit platters and snacks.

In the afternoon, Brother Chen, who cooked delicious food, came up to see them. Several people had originally planned to ask Brother Chen about some questions they had, and maybe chat a bit, but they didn’t get the chance at all.

Usually, Zhou Kaiji always did the exercises by himself. When he had doubts, he repeatedly checked the answers, did the exercises again and again, and repeatedly asked questions, not giving them any chance.

After doing questions for too long, Li Hua stuffed a strawberry into his mouth and decided to take a break, looking at the person who was slowly drinking water during the breaks in the lecture.

The weather was nice today, with sunlight illuminating the wooden floor, as well as half of the person’s face, making it dazzling.

Li Hua swallowed the strawberry and curiously asked, “Is Brother Chen in a relationship?”

As soon as he asked, everyone in the room pricked up their ears without a word, and Zhou Kaiji stopped holding the pen.

Today, when Secretary Chen came back, he could smell a faint scent of smoke again.

Ever since the first time he smelled it, he often smelled this scent when the other person returned.

It was like meeting someone regularly.

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