Volume 2 Chapter 1

The Promise Sealed with Our Lips Guan Gai Man Jing Hua, 冠蓋滿京華 2022/9/13 16:53:54

At the end of the hot Summer season, He Nuo boarded the train to leave home. He deliberately did not choose to leave on a weekend because he did not want any farewells. On the previous night, his parents already had a brief conversation with him, telling him to take note of certain things such as: to study hard, be united with his classmates, to live a simple life and not to compare with others unrealistically… They also said with concern that when the weather changes, to wear thicker clothes, and to call if there were any problems.

After riding the train for a few hours, He Nuo arrived at ‘mo’ city which he once visited a few months ago. But this time, he came with immeasurable joy, and had boundless hope and longing for the future. So, even though there were two heavy bags weighing down on his slender shoulders, He Nuo still took big strides out of the platform. His fifth brother had already told him before that the student councils in universities would usually organize to pick up new students at the railway and bus stations. His goal was to scan through every pick-up person who held a sign and he found his university in no time.

He Nuo had left in the morning, and it just so happened to be noon now. The student who was in-charge of the station told him that his group was responsible for those who arrived before 1pm, and that there will be another group to take over after 1pm. So that all the students who reached the station could get to the school in just a while. Meeting the other freshmen, everyone introduced themselves and asked about each other’s faculties and majors. ‘A’ University was an old-fashioned comprehensive university, so it had arts, science and engineering. However, He Nuo was the only liberal arts major among all the freshmen.

The Secretary of the Student Council called out to the students to carry their bags to leave for school. As no parking was allowed at the railway station square, they had to go to the side. There was a van waiting for them. Everyone had boxes and large luggage, so it took a lot of time to cram everything into the van, and as for the small packages, it could only be held in their hands. There were of course not enough seats, one after another they tried to jam and squeeze in. On the left of He Nuo is Ke Rulei, a freshman in the Department of Metallurgical Engineering of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and on the right is Guo Xiao of the Institute of Mechanical Engineering and Automation.

Ke Rulei was not particularly tall, but he was very robust. Using his words, in the future he may end up with a miserable end of turning into sand so of course his body should be robust. Guo Xiao sarcastically said to him, “You are already robust enough, can’t you see that Hei (still doesn’t know is He) Nuo is already being squeezed by you.” He Nuo who was sandwiched in between the two of them, only got to sit on the sides of the seats. Ke Rulei laughed, then he tried to reduce the space he occupied.

“Forget it, that lump of yours is like a bear’s. You should hope for smaller bones. He Nuo, sit closer to my side.” Guo Xiao said, as he leaned towards the back more.

“Fuck, I just have a bigger butt okay? Brother, sit on my lap.” Ke Rulei patted his own thighs.

He Nuo refused continuously, his face uncontrollably turned red. Fortunately, they did not notice as the two of them continued bickering. Throughout the journey, all that was heard was their non-stop rambling. The van that was full of Science and Engineering students were envious of He Nuo, who was a liberal arts major. The Student Council’s Secretary – a senior already said that the Mining and Metallurgical Institute is the number one Monk Temple1. In this year’s admission, only three precious female students enrolled into the Department of Metallurgical Engineering, while his Institute of Science and Engineering also faces the same seriously imbalanced ratio of male to female. The one with the best situation was the Institute of Humanities where male to female ratio was 6:4, and can reluctantly be considered balanced. Who told ‘A’ University’s history to be traced back to Science and Engineering.

The senior told the freshmen in advance that every time there’s a student activity, they cannot do without the experience of borrowing girls from the Institute of Humanities. Although they were all student leaders in the Student Council, the student leaders from the Institute of Humanities get better treatment from others wherever they went. These guys who heard about He Nuo’s situation being the best, decided to get on good terms with him in case of possible future needs. He Nuo was amused by the way they sucked up to him.

Turning down a lane after half an hour’s drive, the senior pointed to the front, “That’s the main entrance of our ‘A’ University. Today, I’ll be taking you through the main road, to let you guys know the way and you can use these two days to familiarise yourself with other things. Our ‘A’ University has entrances on all sides, but only vehicles can enter through the East entrance, which is the entrance we are currently going through.”

All the freshmen were so excited that they stretched their necks to look ahead, He Nuo couldn’t help but feel a little excited as well. The school gate, which was 100 metres ahead though simple, showed off the meaningful traces of the school’s history. The instant the van entered the school gates, the two dear friends on the left and right side of He Nuo cheered, influencing the other freshmen as well. The senior dutifully introduced every building they passed by. Green trees by the side of the asphalt road made a pleasant shade and there were occasionally two, three students seen. The senior explained that because school has not officially started, and with the Military freshmen reporting to school early, the school looks cold and empty. Wait till school reopens and the old students return, the school’s campus noise level would be comparable to a busy city.

Everyone was puzzled when they noticed the traffic light at the intersection. Someone asked, “There won’t be a traffic policeman over here?ba?”

“Our University covers an area of more than 200 million square meters, and in the past the school campus used to have busses passing through, as well as bus stops. Although the bus stops have been moved out, these are then left behind…”

The van stopped in front of a three-storey building that looked like a dormitory building. Ke Rulei shouted, “We’re here, we’re here…” He was ready to move when the senior laughed and said, “It’s not your turn yet. The two Architecture students, alight.”

There were already people walking towards the van when the senior spoke to them, “They’re yours. We brought them over already, take over.” Behind them were people helping to unload the luggage, and they led the freshmen away with everyone lending a hand.

The van then turned at a corner and passed by a small statue garden, along the way it drove past a magnificent and grand building. The senior told them that it was one of ‘A’ University’s several school halls (The old academic buildings has always been known as ‘A’ University’s school halls). As it was built in the earlier years, it did not have many floors. However, these few school halls occupied an enormous part of the land and had grandeur. The solemnity and simplicity of just this building alone, and the several entrances at the end of a dozen steps allowed He Nuo to feel the essential difference between this university and the ones he had seen before. Thinking about the other universities in this same city, He Nuo felt suffocated. He shook his head and stopped his thoughts.

The van finally stopped in front of a small garden, on both sides was a four-storey building. The style of it corresponds to the school hall they just passed by; the six-storey building right across already has the style of new buildings. The senior called the freshmen to alight the van. The moment they alighted, they saw that the surrounding area resembled a recruitment site. Two tables put together was one recruitment station. At this moment, behind every table was a person waving a flag. “Mining and Metallurgy! Mining and Metallurgy!”

“Electromechanical, this way… This way… Raise your hands…”

“Institute of Humanities, is there anyone in the Institute of Humanities?”

All the freshmen who alighted were unable to restrain their laughter, after being stunned silly from the sight. This was because there were only a few of them but they were greeted by a welcome wagon that was truly enthusiastic. Ke Rulei waved his fists and shouted as if he was leading an army2, “Let’s go, Mining and Metallurgy brothers!” Two people from his institute immediately came over and escorted him off to start signing.

He Nuo also saw the flag bearer for the Institute of Humanities. The moment he looked over in their direction and paused, several lines of vision focused on him. “Ours?”

He Nuo nodded his head and two people quickly walked over to him to help with his luggage. He Nuo quickly tightened his grasp on his bag, wanting to carry it by himself. The other party patted him on the shoulder in a friendly manner, “Don’t stand on ceremony, it’s just these few steps. You still have to sign a few forms as well.”

He Nuo sincerely thanked him and smiled at him. So easy-going, such sincere words, is this university life? All of a sudden, He Nuo felt especially close to the university and was looking forward to life here.

There were many forms laid out in front of the senior on the two tables. He told He Nuo to fill them in one by one, and reminded him that the home address he filled in has to be the one he will go back to every holiday[1]?as it was closely related to buying student tickets. Apart from his own home, He Nuo had no second choice and thanked the senior for his good intention. After finishing filling in the first form, He Nuo placed it aside. The senior casually picked it up to check through it when his eyes instantly went wide, “You have beautiful handwriting, buddy.”

The others heard the praise and came closer to look. He Nuo only smiled faintly and continued to be engrossed in filling in the forms. Everyone who saw it made a lot of exclamation and praised him endlessly.

“How did you practice? Who did you practise from?”

“I didn’t practice. I just wrote it the way I wanted to.”

This shocked everyone. He Nuo looked honest, with a pair of clear and innocent eyes. It gave people the feeling that he was not out to deceive and cheat people.

“Talented, he has goddamn natural talent. Hands are just hands.” Someone shook their head and sighed.

“Is your hand not a hand, is it a claw?” Another gave him a punch, “No matter how you put it, you’re just stupid. How can one just write based on how they want to. Come, brother, let me see how you write it.” He stood beside He Nuo and looked.

He Nuo felt a little embarrassed but he encouraged himself, “Didn’t I already decided that after coming to university, I would lead a new life. Become a new me, become someone who is more open.” He Nuo relaxed himself and started to put pen on paper. After finishing with the form, it got picked up by the senior was studied thoroughly. He Nuo knew his surname was rare so he took the initiative to introduce himself. “I’m He Nuo, written as black but is pronounced He3.”

In the discussion of surnames, “Hey, brother, you have a high score!” They saw He Nuo write down his college entrance4?score and found it to be a pity. ‘A’ university was of course a long-established university, but the problem was that with He Nuo’s score, he could have entered a top university.

“I retook the exams, I didn’t get in the first year.” He Nuo was reluctant to talk about his complicated and unfortunate admission process, so he just used a sentence to sum up why he had gotten a good score.

“Oh.” Candidates who repeated classes used to be very common, and there were no difference when in university so no one would despise students who repeated a year. After seeing his date of birth, “Why are you younger than me despite repeating a year?”

Huh? He Nuo didn’t know either. He was in the same class as Shi Yan but he was almost a whole year older than him. Shi Yan and He Nuo’s birthdays were on the same month, but Shi Yan was born a year earlier. Boys didn’t care about such details. In fact, students who attended school in the past were all of different ages, there were ages 6, as well as 7 and 8 who enrolled. For the yearly admissions, it starts from the second half of the previous year (July 1st) till the early half of the next year (June 30th). These children would then be of the same school year. As for He Nuo, he was a few days older than the age scope, so Zhou Xiaoyu thought that the earlier you start school, the earlier you can earn money. He Nuo entered the school gates of elementary school a year ahead of schedule.

They returned to the Humanities station to pick up his luggage, but the moment he was seen walking over, someone shouted, “ He’s here, he’s here. I’ve found a gem for you.”

A firm hand pulled him in front of someone, that person was very tall, as tall as Shi Yan. He Nuo couldn’t help but want to slap himself in the face, so what if he’s tall, what’s the point in making such useless comparisons? A pair of smiling eyes looked at He Nuo up and down, He Nuo also politely smiled back, “Hello, I’m He Nuo.”

“This is the head of our Institute of Humanities, President of the Student Council, Li Mingqi.”

Li Mingqi held onto the form written by He Nuo, his face overflowing with admiration. “In the future, the bulletin board of the Institute of Humanities will be your responsibility, alright?”

He Nuo felt as though he was electrocuted, the current situation as if similar to his past. 4 years ago that teenager that just entered high school, he also once had an air of confidence, as the proud boy intimately placed his shoulder over his, “Hey buddy, the sharing area is our responsibility, alright?”

p.s.?[1]?Because He Nuo is not considered a long-distance student, many students who live close by put down their address for their hometown which is far away. This way, when they return to their hometown, they can buy student-priced tickets – at half price. This is a trick students use to save money.

the above would be everything written by the author herself, like the [1] and those in brackets. also, if anyone has questions, ask ahead and i’ll try my best to reply.

1?number one Monk Temple: It means that this temple is a monk-only temple, so it’s all males and no females.

2?as if he was leading an army: The author wrote 如百万雄师长江登陆一样(Ru Bai Wan Xiong Shi Chang Jiang Deng Ji Yi Yang), and it can be understand as bringing a large army along and when he shouted, it felt as though there was a million people behind him supporting his shouts. Like in Infinity War when Black Panther shouted “Wakanda Forever!”, something like that.

3?written as black but is pronounced He: He Nuo’s surname is normally read as 黑(Hei) and is the word for black, but in actual fact his surname is pronounced He.

4?college entrance: 高考(Gao Kao)