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Aerial Rain
Translating Web Novel

ATCF Ch 48 Part 2 – Record It for Your Other Uncles (II)

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?”

“…” Qin Zheng suddenly found himself at a loss for words. Hearing Ruoruo’s voice after such a long time, he felt unexpectedly unfamiliar and unsure of what to say.

As Qin Zheng was gathering his thoughts on how to start the conversation, Jiang Zhou’s deep voice suddenly came through the phone.

“You went to Minjiang First today, didn’t you?”

“How did you know, brother?” Jiang Ruo seemed surprised.

“Because someone saw you there,” Jiang Zhou’s voice sounded gloomy.

Qin Zheng’s heartbeat sped up. Had Ruoruo gone to Minjiang First today? Was she looking for him?

Then Jiang Ruo’s voice came through the phone again.

“Yeah, I did go there today. I…”

“You promised me you wouldn’t interact with Qin Zheng anymore. You lied, Ruoruo.”

“I didn’t go there for Qin Zheng. I went to see Bai Guolin. He got into a conflict with Jiang Li because of me and I heard he was injured, so I wanted to check on him,” Jiang Ruo explained hastily.

Jiang Zhou paused for a moment before asking, “When did Bai Guolin get injured?”

“Just today. Many classmates from my previous class now attend Minjiang First. They were discussing it in the group chat, so I…”

“So you learned about it so quickly, which means you’re always keeping an eye on the group messages. Are you that eager to know what’s happening at his school?” Jiang Zhou’s voice was tense.

Jiang Ruo helplessly said, “Brother, please stop being unreasonable. I didn’t mute the group, so of course I can see their conversations.”

Jiang Zhou persisted, “You want to know about Qin Zheng’s recent situation through the group chat, don’t you?”

“I haven’t contacted Qin Zheng for a long time, and suddenly you come to me talking about him… you’re being irrational!” Jiang Ruo was clearly angry.

Jiang Zhou immediately softened his tone, trying to placate her, “Okay, I won’t mention it. I’m just worried… in your heart, Qin Zheng might be more important than me. Please don’t be angry, alright?”

Jiang Ruo was surprised, “Why would you think that? To me, Qin Zheng is just a former childhood friend. We don’t keep in touch anymore, and our relationship is only getting more distant.”

“Alright, alright, I believe you. Don’t be upset. Why are your eyes getting red? I…”

“Don’t touch my eyes after playing basketball; your hands dirty.”

“Alright, alright, I won’t touch. How about I blow on them instead?”

“Stop it, brother, you’re so annoying.”

Listening to Jiang Ruo and Jiang Zhou’s cheerful voices on the phone, Qin Zheng involuntarily tightened his grip on the phone, his veins standing out on his hand.

He hung up and returned the phone to the gatekeeper before turning to leave the school. However, after a few steps, Qin Zheng suddenly stopped, closed his eyes, and forcefully pulled off the chain from his neck, throwing it to the ground.

When he heard Jiang Zhou say that Ruoruo had gone to Minjiang First today, he foolishly held hope, believing that she was there to see him. But in the end, the two of them were just former childhood friends whose relationship would only fade further and further.

Qin Zheng stepped over the chain and left Minjiang International School without looking back.

Meanwhile, after Jiang Ruo placated Jiang Zhou, she finally remembered the call from the unknown number. She picked up her phone and saw that the caller had already hung up.

Assuming it was a wrong number, Jiang Ruo didn’t give it much thought. However, that evening back in her dorm, a roommate handed her a deformed bracelet, asking, “Is this bracelet yours? I think I’ve seen you wear it before.”

Jiang Ruo was startled. She took the bracelet and frowned, “How did this end up with you?” She did have a bracelet like this, and Qin Zheng had one just like it, making a pair. She hadn’t worn hers since deciding to forget Qin Zheng.

“I found it at the school gate, but it’s been stepped on and deformed. I guess it can’t be worn anymore.”

Jiang Ruo: …

After a while, she suddenly took her phone to the balcony, opened the call log, and hastily rang back the unfamiliar number that had called her today.

“Hello?”

Because Jiang Ruo had already had a guess in her heart, she immediately recognized the gatekeeper’s voice.

So… Qin Zheng had been there today. He must have heard her conversation with her brother and then chosen to leave.

And he also discarded the bracelet she had woven for him.

Jiang Ruo went back to her room, opened a drawer under her desk, and took out a small tin box, placing the bracelet inside.

For a while, she stared in a daze at the two bracelets in the box, one new and one old, the contrast was stark.

After a long silence, she closed the lid of the tin box and tossed it back into the drawer.

There was nothing to regret about a decision already made.

She just felt a bit sad, just a little.

After returning to school, Qin Zheng immediately sought out Teacher Huang, the head of the mathematics research group, to express his interest in joining the school’s competitive team.

Teacher Huang was surprised, “Didn’t you say before that you weren’t interested in joining for now?”

Qin Zheng explained, “I was preoccupied with other matters before, so I didn’t want to join. But I sorted everything out a while ago.”

Teacher Huang smiled and nodded, “If you want to join, go ahead. Anyway, first-year students like you mostly go to gain experience, mixing with the seniors in the second and third years. Gaining some experience is good.” He handed Qin Zheng a registration form and a pen from his desk, “Just fill this out and hand it back to me.”

Qin Zheng nodded, began filling out the form, and handed it in after completing it. He then asked, “Could I have two more registration forms, please?”

Teacher Huang raised an eyebrow, “For whom?”

“For Jiang Li and Wang Simin,” Qin Zheng replied truthfully.

Teacher Huang handed him two more forms, “Wang Simin is a good choice, but Jiang Li… I recall she doesn’t have experience in competitions, right?”

“Jiang Li is very intelligent,” Qin Zheng said, avoiding a direct answer. He had wanted to challenge Jiang Li since junior high, but she had always declined, saying she wasn’t interested in competitions at the time. Now in high school, she might be interested.

Teacher Huang nodded subconsciously. As the top scorer of the entrance exam, Jiang Li’s intelligence was undeniable, but whether she had the aptitude for competitive mathematics would need to be seen.

Qin Zheng took the forms back to his class and found Jiang Li there, but not Wang Simin. He handed one of the forms to Jiang Li, saying, “Teacher Huang asked me to give this to you.”

Jiang Li did not doubt him. After taking a look at the form, she filled it out seriously.

Qin Zheng cleared his throat and asked, “Didn’t you say you weren’t interested in competitions before?”

As Jiang Li filled out the form, she replied, “Back then, I needed money, so I focused on the exams to get the highest scholarship. But the situation is different now.”

The workload during the first year of high school was less intense, and her goal of studying medicine wasn’t something that could be achieved overnight. Participating in competitions could indeed broaden her horizons.

After filling out the form, Jiang Li saw Qin Zheng holding another blank form and mistook it for his own. She handed her completed form to him, “Could you submit this for me too?”

Qin Zheng nodded and took the form.

Jiang Li then asked, “If we win awards in these competitions, the prize money must be quite good, right?”

Qin Zheng said in surprise: “Are you still short of money now?”

Jiang Li looked back with even more surprise, “Do you think a person can have too much money?”

Qin Zheng: …

Indeed, it’s not.

The week of classes ended quickly, and the students welcomed their Sunday break. Her roommates made plans to go shopping, but Jiang Li, needing to go home, declined without hesitation. To her surprise, the person who came to pick her up this time wasn’t the driver sent by her grandfather, but Feng Qi himself.

Remembering that she had caused trouble just the day before, Jiang Li instinctively slowed her steps. She opened the passenger door and obediently greeted, “Uncle.”

Feng Qi looked at her with an amused expression and reminded, “Buckle up.”

Jiang Li immediately nodded and fastened her seatbelt.

Seeing her well-behaved appearance, Feng Qi couldn’t help but smile. He started the car and then asked, “Do I look very stern?”

Jiang Li quickly shook her head, “No, uncle, you’re very kind and approachable, the best uncle in the world.”

Feng Qi, pleased, curled up the corners of his mouth, “Hmm, say that again.”

“Why?” Jiang Li asked, puzzled.

Feng Qi leisurely replied, “I’ll record it and play it back to your eldest and second uncles when we get home.”

Jiang Li: …

What a childish uncle! If senior brother and senior sister saw it, their jaw would probably drop in shock!

 

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4 thoughts on “ATCF Ch 48 Part 2 – Record It for Your Other Uncles (II)”

  1. Qin Zheng isn’t a bad guy at all. I really hope after this he can finally moved on. As for Jiang Ruo…ehh I get the feeling she’ll come running back this “childhood friend” of hers 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️

    1. Jiang Ruo is totally being gaslighted there. As someone who’s often being misunderstood as “evil”, I feel her…at least up to this point because CN have habits of making the antagonists became actual evil later…or so I feel.

      1. Its-MachiavellianCheese

        Yeah, that “brother” of hers is trying to slice out anyone who can be competition for JR’s love. It’s twisted and gross considering she’s been raised as his sister since infancy.

        And Jiang Ruo wonders why Qin Zheng had those thoughts! Anyone would be suspicious seeing how controlling he is with his sister’s time and relationships. I do hope she gets from under his thumb, but she trusts Jiang Zhou to much to be weary of his intentions.

      2. She’s not exactly evil, but she’s definitely not good either, especially when she agreed to continue being the Jiang family’s “biological” daughter while Jiang Li had to be an “orphan” just so she wouldn’t lose her status as a Jiang family member and then purposely manipulated the truth about Jiang Li at school so people saw her in a worse light, all to prevent future troubles arising from people suspecting something.

        Even the way Jiang Ruo phrases things purposely makes herself seem like a victim while Jiang Li seems like someone who blames her for “taking” what “originally belonged” to her in the first place. Jiang Li has already clearly told her she doesn’t blame her for the child-swapping because it wasn’t her fault, but she still purposely stated it this way when speaking with Bai Guolin. When it comes to herself, Jiang Ruo, either consciously or subconsciously, paints herself the victim if she feels wronged so others will defend her to make her feel better without even trying to understand the facts herself.

        There’s also the case with the matching bracelets (or necklace/pendant, since Qin Zheng wore it around his neck), which were clearly described as one new-looking and the other old-looking. It’s obvious that the old-looking one belonged to Qin Zheng because he clearly cherished it and kept it with him at all times whereas the new-looking one implied that it was never worn or was hardly worn; it makes me doubt Jiang Ruo’s attachment to the relationship and whether she truly cherished him or not. I think what Jiang Ruo truly cherished was his attention and care for her rather than him as a person or their relationship; this is clearly displayed in her relationship with Jiang Zhou, where she thinks lightly of his atrocious actions since they were done with good intentions for her–all she cares about is her own happiness.

        Even when she saw the video of Qin Zheng praising Jiang Li at the banquet, she again instantly victimized herself by putting all the blame on him without even trying to question his actions at the time and giving him the opportunity to defend himself; if she truly cared for him and their relationship, she would fight for it and at least give him the benefit of the doubt. In the end, the only person Jiang Ruo truly cares for and cherishes is herself, and it’s greatly reflected in her thoughts and actions towards others, so while she’s not necessarily evil, her selfishness will undoubtedly lead her down that path eventually.

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