Translator: CKtalon Editor: CKtalon
The senior policeman was also eager to inform Little Min’s mother; hence, he didn’t stay any longer and left while leaving Little Min in Officer Chang’s care.
Elsewhere, Fangzheng finally understood the reason for Little Min’s suicide attempt after communicating with her. Upon hearing how she couldn’t take the academic stress and copious amounts of homework, Fangzheng could only sigh.
Little Min whispered. “Big Brother, I’m really afraid. Going to school is really tiring. Every day, I have to carry lots of things and study lots of things. There are tests every month. If I do badly, my parents are called in. I’ve never been good at my studies, any just the slightest slacking off will make me fall behind, and my parents will be called in. Every time my mother visits the school, my classmates ridicule me. I feel like I am disgracing my mother… I don’t want to do that either! I’ve been working very hard every day, but I’m really stupid. I can never remember those formulas or difficult words. Others can remember them almost instantly, while I take a long time… After school, I have lots of homework to do. Every time, I try to finish my homework quickly so that I can watch TV or listen to music, but it gets too late into the night by the time I’m done. What follows is sleep, having to wake up again, and attending school… My life is like a stone mill that rotates infinitely. I can’t see any hope or future. I’m tired.”
Red Boy sat by Little Min’s side and when he heard her description, cold sweat perspired on his forehead.
Fangzheng shot a glance at Red Boy as a smile flashed in his eyes.
After Red Boy listened for quite a while, he finally couldn’t hold it in, asking, “Master, was it the same for you back when you went to school?”
Fangzheng smiled and looked up towards the window. “Back then, I didn’t have that many supplementary classes to attend.”
“Uh, I almost forgot. Right you couldn’t afford it anyway.” Red Boy suddenly recalled that Fangzheng had always been poor.
Fangzheng directly smacked him, tickling Little Min. Fangzheng continued. “Back when I was studying, although there weren’t many supplementary lessons, there was homework. Tsk. Like Little Min said, every time school was over, I would have infinite fighting spirit, hoping to finish my homework as quickly as possible to win liberation. In the end… Sigh. Those who have never done homework could never know how fast time passes while doing it. Every time I finished my homework, it was already late at night.”
Having said that, Fangzheng shook his head.
Little Min nodded her head incessantly. “That’s right. That’s right. Time passes without you even realizing it. Actually, I don’t have much desires. All I want is a bit of time for myself to listen to music, watch TV, or chat with my parents, and not to get asked ‘Have you finished your homework?’ every time I sit down with them. Every time I hear that question, I feel like I’m about to be executed. I feel like a thief being caught red-handed and get uncomfortable all over, feeling uneasy and terrified.”
When Officer Chang heard what Little Min had to say, he agreed with her sentiments. “It was the same for me as well. Every time I returned home with something happy to talk about, I would want to tell my parents. But every time I went over, the first question they asked was ‘Have you finished your homework?’ Sigh. Those who have never been students could never understand how horrifying that question is. It can instantly level any happiness.”
“Then, didn’t any of you communicate with your parents at all?” Red Boy’s mouth turned agape as he asked in disbelief. Although he met his parents rarely, every time he did meet them, he could at least wheedle at them and act playfully. His parents had even allowed him to establish his own mountain to play.
Little Min said, “It’s not that we don’t want to, it’s that we can’t. Sometimes, when we hear them talk about something fun and wish to join their conversation, they say, ‘Kids shouldn’t be interrupting when adults talk,’ or ‘How can you lose focus while doing something, barging into conversations like that?’. Once they say that, I don’t even dare say another word.”
Upon hearing that, Red Boy trembled. “School sure is frightening.” Then he glanced at Fangzheng apprehensively, only to see Fangzheng looking at him deviously, as though he was saying: “Punk, if you dare cause trouble again, I’ll send you to school!”
Just the thought of going to school left Red Boy’s heart palpitating. He discovered that he was increasingly unable to afford offending the darn baldy! He had too many means at his disposal… Boohoo!
“Master, why don’t you hate the people who sent you to school? Why don’t you hate the teachers?” Red Boy could not help but ask.
Fangzheng smiled and looked at Officer Chang.
Officer Chang said, “Of course I hated them! Back then, I hated them so much. I would secretly let out the air in the car tires of the teacher who left me with extra homework that day.”
“What happened later? Did they stop giving you homework?” Red Boy asked. Little Min also looked curiously. This was the first time she was seeing such a brave warrior that dared to resist the homework devils.
Officer Chang shrugged and said with a sobbing tone, “Later, my daily homework increased several fold.” From his expression, it could be imagined how dark that period of his life had been.
“What about now? Do you still hate them?” Little Min asked.
What surprised Little Min and Red Boy was that Officer Chang shook his head. “I wasn’t from a rich family, just an ordinary son of a farmer. To be honest, if not for my teacher watching me do my homework while holding onto a cane or for my dad chasing after me with a broom in his hand, I would most likely still be in my hometown watching the cattle graze or farming.”
“Don’t you hate them one bit?” Little Min asked.
Officer Chang shook his head and said, “Not at all. Reminiscing on the past is actually quite interesting. It can be considered quite a unique childhood memory in itself. But if you asked me to relive it again, I’d rather die.”
Little Min whispered. “But, I already want to die now. It’s really too painful.”
Red Boy looked at Fangzheng and asked, “Master, what about you back then?”
Fangzheng smiled bitterly. “As for me… It was a lot easier for me. I was bad at my studies, but my teacher and school didn’t care. My master was on the mountain, and he didn’t seem to be too worried about my studies. Back then, I even asked him, ‘Why aren’t you concerned about my studies? Why are you so happy when you get summoned to school for a talk? It’s like you win the lottery every time.’”
“What did your master say?” Red Boy asked. Little Min, Shao Gang, Officer Chang, and Shao Chong were also intrigued.
Fangzheng sighed. “My master said, ‘Visiting the school is good. The school reimburses me for the traveling fees, and they provide lunch too. It saves me money.’”
The moment that was said, Little Monk, Shao Gang, Shao Chong, and Officer Chang rolled their eyes in unison. How poor was this monk?
Only Red Boy understood this deeply. “Master, when it comes to miserliness and poverty, you have gloriously inherited all of grandmaster’s excellent tradition.”
Fangzheng smacked him. What the hell is this brat saying?
Red Boy rubbed his head and said, “Master, I know why Grandmaster was so happy.”
“Why?” everyone asked.