When the orthopedic doctor saw Bai Guolin again, his face was a picture of incredulity, but he chose not to say anything and simply felt it was absurd.
With an expressionless face, the doctor set Bai Guolin’s arm again and then turned to a nurse, “Put a splint on him and suspend both arms.”
The nurse asked in confusion, “Is that necessary?”
The doctor responded with a sarcastic smile, “It wasn’t necessary before, but it is very necessary now. The splint will help with his recovery, and, more importantly, it’ll remind him: as someone with a disability, he should have some self-awareness and not move so vigorously again.”
Bai Guolin: …
The nurse couldn’t help but laugh. She stepped in and fixed Bai Guolin’s arms, repeatedly reminding him what he should and should not do. From the tone of her voice, others would have thought that she was dealing with a young child.
After leaving the hospital, Bai Guolin was restless and kept glancing at his father. Eventually, he couldn’t hold back and asked, “Dad, are we really going back to our hometown?”
Assistant Bai, worried that his son might make a large movement again and dislocate his arm, didn’t answer directly but instead asked, “Tell me first, why did you target Miss Jiang Li?”
Bai Guolin hung his head in silence.
Assistant Bai scoffed, “You don’t have to say it; I know it’s because of Jiang Ruo…”
“No!” Bai Guolin blurted out in panic, “It has nothing to do with Miss Ruoruo.”
Seeing Bai Guolin’s reaction, Assistant Bai realized his son was not in a state to listen to reason, which only strengthened his resolve to leave Minjiang City. But he knew convincing the kid to willingly leave with him wouldn’t be easy. After a few seconds of thought, he decided to try a different approach. Looking at his son earnestly, he said, “Since you say it’s not because of Jiang Ruo, I’ll believe you.”
“…” Bai Guolin was skeptical; when did his dad become so gullible?
Ignoring his son’s guilty glance, Assistant Bai continued, “You’re my son, and I trust you won’t lie to me. But Miss Jiang Li won’t believe it, and neither will the Feng family.”
Bai Guolin frowned, stubbornly retorting, “They can believe what they want. Even if the Feng family is powerful, we live in a lawful society. They can’t just send a hitman to beat me to death, can they?”
Assistant Bai: …
For a split moment, he really wanted to beat some sense into this stupid son!
Quickly regaining his composure, Assistant Bai continued seriously, “They certainly won’t kill you. But if they think you targeted Miss Jiang Li because of Jiang Ruo, they will definitely find ways to retaliate with Jiang Ruo. Do you understand?”
Bai Guolin’s breathing became rapid, and a look of horror appeared in his eyes, “This has nothing to do with Miss Ruoruo, it’s my own…”
“But the Feng family won’t believe that. They’ll think you were acting on Jiang Ruo’s behalf to target Miss Jiang Li. You know Jiang Ruo has no blood relation to the Feng family. Wouldn’t they naturally seek revenge for Miss Jiang Li?” Assistant Bai pointed out.
“But… but…” Bai Guolin struggled to find a counterargument but couldn’t come up with a valid reason.
Assistant Bai continued, “Jiang Ruo is active in the entertainment industry, which is a complex world with jungle rules. She was fine before with the protection of Chairman Jiang, but now the Jiang family is declining. If the Feng family decides to suppress or bully her indirectly, how much resistance can she make?”
Bai Guolin was completely silenced, unable to utter a word.
Assistant Bai added another dose of harsh reality, “You and Jiang Ruo grew up together. Surely, you wouldn’t want to cause her any trouble, right?”
Bai Guolin immediately nodded, his expression frantic, “But… I’ve already offended Jiang Li. What should I do now?”
Assistant Bai sighed, “She has taught you a lesson by dislocating your arms. If you stop provoking her, she naturally won’t target you again.”
“Really?” Bai Guolin found it hard to believe that Jiang Li would be so forgiving.
Assistant Bai nodded, “Miss Jiang Li herself told me. It should be true. But the Feng family is known for being protective. They certainly won’t let this go easily.”
“What should I do then?” Bai Guolin, completely out of ideas, was at the mercy of his father.
Assistant Bai finally revealed his purpose, “We leave Minjiang City, return to our hometown, and stay away for a few years. Everything will eventually blow over with time.”
Bai Guolin was completely against the idea, “But I need to go to school, I…”
“I will transfer your school registration as soon as possible. Your performance at Minjiang First isn’t top-notch, and they wouldn’t care whether you continue studying there or not. In our hometown, however, you’ll be among the best students, and the teachers will pay more attention to you. This will be beneficial for you.” Assistant Bai coaxed gently.
Fortunately, their hometown was not remote. He had suggested going back there because the high school in the county town had decent teaching quality, so his son’s education wouldn’t suffer.
But Bai Guolin was still reluctant. For him, it didn’t matter which school he attended, but if they went back to their hometown, seeing Jiang Ruo would become much more difficult.
Assistant Bai knew what his son was thinking about, “Staying in Minjiang City will only bring disaster to Jiang Ruo. When you become stronger in the future, you can seek her out again.” He re-emphasized his previous argument.
Bai Guolin remained silent for a long time before finally nodding, “I’ll go back with you, but… I want to say goodbye to Miss Ruoruo.”
Assistant Bai immediately shook his head, and seeing his son’s questioning gaze, he coughed lightly and said slowly, “Going to say goodbye will only add to the sadness. It might be better to disappear suddenly, leaving a deeper impression on her.”
“Really?” Bai Guolin looked skeptical.
Assistant Bai nodded confidently, “Of course, I’ve been an assistant for many years and have a knack for understanding people’s minds. I never go wrong with this.”
Bai Guolin, overwhelmed by his father’s words, nodded subconsciously, “Then… okay!”
Seeing Bai Guolin successfully fooled… no, persuaded, Assistant Bai didn’t want to delay any longer. He immediately took the boy home and bought train tickets that night, sending his wife and son back to their hometown first. As for his son’s school transfer and his own resignation, those could be dealt with slowly and weren’t as urgent.
As Qin Zheng rode the shared bike to Minjiang International School, memories of him and Jiang Ruo flooded his mind while he cycled along the familiar streets. He remembered how Ruoruo wanted to learn to ride a bike, and how he patiently taught her, steadying the bike for her. However, Ruoruo was too timid to learn quickly. Later, he discovered that she had become proficient in biking, only to find out that it was her brother Jiang Zhou who had taught her.
Back then, he only thought Jiang Zhou and Ruoruo had a close sibling bond, but after learning they were not blood-related, his feelings gradually began to change.
Qin Zheng couldn’t help but wonder: Did Ruoruo block him on her own, or was it Jiang Zhou’s doing?
Considering Jiang Ruo was still in class, he lingered around the area after arriving at Minjiang International School, timing his visit to coincide with the end of the last afternoon class.
Qin Zheng parked his bike and pondered how to approach Jiang Ruo. After some hesitation, he slowly made his way to the school entrance.
The gatekeeper recognized Qin Zheng immediately, “Qin Zheng? What brings you back here?” He said in surprise. Having worked at this school for many years, the gatekeeper recognized many of the prominent students, and Qin Zheng, who had been at the top of his grade for years, was particularly memorable.
Qin Zheng smiled and greeted him, “Hello, uncle.”
“If you’re here to visit your old teachers and classmates, just sign your name in the visitor log. I’ll take care of the rest,” the gatekeeper said, handing over the logbook.
Qin Zheng took the book and pen, wrote down his name, and then hesitantly asked, “Uncle, may I borrow your phone?”
The gatekeeper, thinking Qin Zheng’s phone was out of battery, quickly handed over his unlocked phone, “Sure, feel free to use it.”
Qin Zheng hesitated for a while before dialing Jiang Ruo’s number. As soon as the call connected, the gentle voice he remembered very well came through, “Hello? Who is this?”
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