Chapter 51

The Promise Sealed with Our Lips Guan Gai Man Jing Hua, 冠蓋滿京華 2022/9/13 16:53:01

After New Year’s was over, the third years didn’t start their final exams or winter vacation like other grades — they still had exams, but their winter vacation was cancelled. They would only get two weeks of break during the Spring Festival.

But students are students after all; no matter much pressure they were under, after their final exams were over and with the Spring Festival approaching, the atmosphere wasn’t as grave as when they were attending formal lessons. Aside from giving the students’ lessons, teachers usually wouldn’t take up their night self-study sessions to do anything else, so students would make their own arrangements to finish the endless revision papers that they had.

In any case, He Nuo’s academic workload was not as heavy as Shi Yan because of the advantage he possessed — an extraordinary memory. Shi Yan couldn’t understand it, and He Nuo didn’t know why his memory was so outstanding either. When he answered a political discussion question during their exams, his two-page long answer did not differ from the content in their books by even one punctuation point. It was impossible for this to not shock their entire cohort, because both arts and science had politics as a common subject. It’s not that He Nuo’s politics teacher didn’t believe him, but it’s because he wanted to satisfy a craving of his that he asked He Nuo to rewrite his answer on the blackboard. He Nuo’s writing filled up the entire blackboard, and his cla.s.smates’ gazes were filled with admiration as they were struck dumb with astonishment.

Shi Yan didn’t know that He Nuo had already written his answer down once in cla.s.s, and had asked He Nuo to recite it to him — his smooth recital had utterly convinced even Shi Yan. In the end, He Nuo said that he read many books when he was a child, and because he had no other form of entertainment, he would often read the books over and over again until he could remember them by heart naturally. He didn’t have to expend any special effort in memorising those books. Especially because of his young age at that time, he would encounter a lot of words, phrases and pa.s.sages he couldn’t understand, so he would pay more attention to them. When he had the chance to read or see them again next time, they would thus leave a particularly deep impression in his mind.

He Nuo very seriously concluded why he could memorise a lot of content within a short span of time, because he knew that Shi Yan detested memorizing things and had no skill in doing so; he would only force himself to memorize politics and biology content by rote. He wanted to teach Shi Yan his methods or skills as he hoped that these two subjects would drag Shi Yan down during his college entrance examination. But he wasn’t successful, Shi Yan’s final shameless conclusion was: He Nuo is narrow-minded so he can remember everything in his heart, while he himself was a big-hearted man and wouldn’t bother remembering all these trivial matters.

Just as their holidays were about to begin, the heavens finally decided to help the guy who was trying his best. One of Shi Yan’s friend’s distant friend’s family apparently had a secret prescription used to treat dry coughs that had been pa.s.sed down from their ancestors, so Shi Yan happily dragged this buddy of his away to skip their night self-study session and immediately went to his distant friend’s house. But when they reached, they found out that their family did have the prescription before, but the last generation who knew how to prepare this medicine had pa.s.sed away last year. The current members who were alive didn’t know how to prepare it so their inheritance was supposedly lost. Shi Yan couldn’t hide his disappointment, and was even p.i.s.sed at how a secret family recipe had not been inherited.

The people in this family also felt guilty when they saw the disappointed gaze of this excited big guy that they had poured cold water on, so they turned their house inside out and actually managed to discover remnants of the medicine that had been prepared beforehand. Shi Yan accepted it as if he had just obtained a treasure, then thanked them profusely and asked what remuneration they wanted in return. They stopped him from thanking them, because you had to supposedly consume the medicine for one month before you could see any beneficial effects; one pack a week meant that he would need four packs in total, but the amount of medicine they gave him was only enough to fill one pack. So whether or not it would be effective, or whether or not it could cure his friend were questions that no one could answer right now. Shi Yan thanked them again, then listened carefully to the method of consuming the medicine before he took his leave. And he didn’t forget to leave a message: to please inform him if they ever discover more medicine of the same kind in their house.

The next day during their night self-study session, Shi Yan told He Nuo to bring his bag down and the homework he was supposed to do during the revision session. He told He Nuo to wait for him downstairs after he finished packing; they won’t be revising in school tonight. He Nuo was confused and asked him why, but Shi Yan didn’t give him an answer.

When they reached Shi Yan’s father’s office, He Nuo was confused as to why he would want to come here to do his homework. Shi Yan poured some water for him, then asked him to do his homework by himself first. He said that he would be in the adjacent conference room, and would only come back in awhile. When He Nuo studies, he gets so engrossed that he becomes oblivious to his surroundings, so he didn’t ask any more questions before he took his homework out.

In the conference room next door, Shi Yan cautiously took out an electrothermal cup, and after he took some water, he placed a paper bag on a balance (don’t be weirded out, Shi Yan’s father’s office does have this). Then he placed a piece of white paper on it and poured out an appropriate amount of the Chinese medicine to weigh it before pouring it into the cup of water. Shi Yan studied as he sat next to the electrothermal cup, and would open it from time to time to add water when necessary.

After He Nuo finished one of his papers, he looked at the clock on the wall. An hour and a half had already pa.s.sed, but Shi Yan still hasn’t returned. So he stood up and was about to go see what Shi Yan was doing when the door opened, and the scent of medicine wafted in.

“Un,” He Nuo scrunched up his nose, “What’s that? It stinks.”

“It stinks?” Shi Yan held the electrothermal cup in his hand, then laughed evilly, “It’s good that it stinks, since I’m not the one drinking it anyway.”

He Nuo understood what he meant as soon as he heard that and immediately pointed at the cup, “You!”

“Yeah, you are the one who’ll be drinking it.” Shi Yan poured the medicine into the cup, “It has already cooled down quite a bit, hurry and drink it.”

He Nuo held the cup. He saw a blackish green liquid that had a layer of foam on top of it. He felt a bit vexed as he looked at Shi Yan, “Is this drinkable?”

“This is a secret recipe handed down through generations specially used to treat your kind of cough. Traditional Chinese medicine isn’t toxic, just give it a try ba. Yu Yang said that after his relative drank this medicine, the dry cough that he had been suffering from for several years was completely cured.” Of course Shi Yan wouldn’t grab just any possibility he found in treating He Nuo’s cough and give him medicine indiscriminately; he had always described He Nuo’s symptoms in detail and checked for its effects on other people’s body first. That day, the family he took this medicine from had also said that this medicine had cured many such dry coughs that seemed to pop up for no reason, and the coughs wouldn’t relapse in the future too.

He Nuo held his breath and closed his eyes. Yet, he only took a small sip before he opened his eyes again and stuck his tongue out, then took the cup of water next to him and downed a few mouthfuls of water, “It’s bitter, it’s so bitter I’ll die.” He even spat a few times and sucked in a few breaths; he really did have a very miserable look on his face. He shook the cup in his hand. The inside was filled with something that looked like either gra.s.s roots or wood dregs.

“Can I don’t drink this?” He Nuo asked piteously.

“No.” Shi Yan answered decisively and concisely.

“My cough isn’t that bad now, it’ll recover on its own soon.” He refused to give up as he continued to refute.

“It’s not that bad because you’re locked up in your room, how’s that a good thing? You’ll still be coughing yourself to death when you go outside. There’s no room for negotiation, drink!”

“But this isn’t something fit for humans to drink ma… look at this thing that’s floating on it, it looks so gross and scary. Can’t I just eat medicine?”

Shi Yan took the cup and looked at the top layer of foam that’s akin to what you’d see if you boil seafood. He didn’t have anything to use on hand that could fish this foam out. He lowered his head, took one big gulp and swallowed it. He Nuo was stunned. Shi Yan said in a gentle voice, “I’ve already drunk it, so what kind of gross and scary thing is there for you to be afraid of? It’s not like I’m feeding you poison.”

He Nuo accepted the cup in a daze, and before he could recover from his shock, he drank a mouthful cause Shi Yan asked him to. He swallowed it and looked at the blackish green liquid again, but he still spit it out straight away.

Shi Yan took his mouthwash cup and handed him the cup filled with medicine. He Nuo looked at him as he begged for mercy, “I really can’t drink this.”

Shi Yan had a stern look on his face at first, but after their gazes met for a few seconds, he smiled, “I can feed you!”