13 Triggered Another Bronze Mission
Su Yang did not reveal any expression as he said, "What is it about?"
Qu Xiaomeng smiled, complimenting her doll-like face.
"The first thing is that I want to thank you for saving me the other day…even though the method is a little questionable," she said with a little pause in the middle.
Su Yang nodded, but he did not want to elaborate on his methods.
Qu Xiaomeng cleared her throat and showed a solemn expression. However, no matter how serious she looked, her doll-like face did not complement the solemnity. Instead, it made her look a little dumb and cute.
"The second thing is, I went over your results on this subject and found out that it's very dangerous for you, my dear student." Without waiting for Su Yang to respond, she added, "Are you aware that you got full marks for attendance and behavior for English last semester?"
Su Yang was surprised by the revelation, so he shook his head because he was really clueless. After all, the marks were usually not revealed to the students.
Qu Xiaomeng added, "You are one of the three students throughout the whole Faculty of Arts who got full marks for attendance and behavior."
He did not comment on this.
"You should know why you got full marks, don't you?" Qu Xiaomeng asked.
Su Yang nodded. He knew it was to compensate for his poor test results without even thinking. His mind spun rapidly as he calculated the marks from the test.
'If the full score for attendance and behavior is 30, does that mean I only got 42 marks in that test? If I get any lower than that, will I get more than the maximum of 30 marks for attendance and behavior?
'Ms. Zhang, you are really the best lecturer! Why did you get pregnant?! Wait, it doesn't sound right. Getting pregnant should be good news. Ms. Zhang, congratulations on having a twin!'
While Su Yang's heart was going through a roller coaster of emotions, her round face finally exhibited a rather sober expression. "You've been absent from English class several times this semester. Even if I give you full marks for other credit hours, you won't be able to get full marks this time."
Su Yang's heart sank.
"But…" When she saw Su Yang's expression turn serious, Qu Xiaomeng smiled. She reached out her hand and tiptoed to tap Su Yang's shoulder.
"Since you've helped me before, I decided to free up my weekend to give you extra tuition. What do you…"
Before she could even utter 'say', Su Yang replied as if it was part of his conditional reflex, "No, Miss! No need to do that for me!"
Qu Xiaomeng's smile faded and the blank dumb expression showed up once more. Su Yang's answer seemed to have exceeded her expectations.
As a matter of fact, ever since she knew that Su Yang was the one who had both saved her and also scammed her money, she had started to pay attention to him.
After a week of observing Su Yang's result and getting many comments from other lecturers about his behavior, she realized that his results in other subjects were quite decent and he was a bright young man. Although he barely studied, he could still secure high marks in tests, except for English.
His result in this subject was unbearable to look at.
As a talented lecturer in the new era, Qu Xiaomeng would never let go of this chance to save a student who had deviated from the track.
Of course, she also heard that he was not an obedient student. During their first meeting, he had smashed that drunkard with a brick, and at the second meeting, he had kicked his fellow student's book away. No matter how she looked at it, Su Yang was a typical unruly student.
Therefore, she played this 'speech' in her mind over and over again. First, she would tell Su Yang he could pass his previous semester because of his full marks in attendance and behavior. She would then tell him that he could no longer get full marks this semester. It would surely stir up worry in his heart.
After that, she would offer to give him extra tuition for this subject!
Any normal person would be grateful for her effort and would certainly agree with her suggestion.
However, Su Yang was obviously not a normal student as he rejected her without a second thought.
Therefore, after all her planned efforts went down the drain, Qu Xiaomeng returned to her blank and dorky self.
She could not help but ask, "Why not?"
Without any hesitation, he answered, "I have to work part-time during the weekend to earn more money. I don't have time for extra tuition."
After hearing the excuse, Qu Xiaomeng somehow sighed a breath of relief. She said in a heavy tone, "You are just a student. Leave the money-earning matters to your parents. You shouldn't distract yourself now. Your focus should be studying."
However, after he heard what she said, the smile on Su Yang's face faded. He looked at her with a strict gaze. "Miss, do you know who my parents are?"
Qu Xiaomeng went blank and shook her head.
As he looked outside the window in the corridor, he was somewhat carried away by his thoughts.
"My parents are farmers. As a matter of fact, everyone in my village is a farmer. After a whole year of working, a single household can only earn around 10K yuan and my parents have spent almost all their life savings to send me to university.
"My parents have to tighten their belts to support my daily expenses here and a single season's harvest of grain is only worth around 3K yuan. Here in Shanghai, a normal student's monthly expenses cost 800 yuan at the very least. That's 800 yuan per month, but my family only earns 10K yuan per year, so how can they afford it?
"Even if they can afford my daily expenses, what about the tuition fee for the next semester? What about the semester after the next?"
Su Yang's revelation left Qu Xiaomeng dumbfounded. She was petrified on the spot and did not know how to answer.
His gaze looked a little dull. "After I came to Shanghai, I realized that the world is so big. There are a lot of people who are living a life that my entire village could never even imagine. A single meal can cost a few hundred yuan and they can spend a few thousand on clothes or a few thousand on a smartphone. The price of a car in this place equals the amount of money that my family can never earn for the rest of their lives.
"After studying for a decade and more, I was taught to never bend over and submit to power for bushels of grains, but I realized if I don't bend over, I won't even have rice to eat.
"After studying for a decade and more, I was taught to be an independent person, not a slave to money, but I realized that a poor soul can't even live properly in this society.
"After studying for a decade and more, I was taught to be filial to my parents and that I must provide a good life for them, but I realized without money, you can't be filial at all and you can't provide them with anything good.
"I was also taught to view money and wealth as dirt and soil, but after I came to Shanghai, I realize that no one can leave this…soil."
Su Yang then gave her an ironic smile. "I want to earn money to change my life, to change my parents' lives.
"You might be able to rely on your parents and your family, but I can only rely on myself. Am I making myself clear enough for you, Ms. Qu?"
He looked into Qu Xiaomeng's eyes with a clear and unwavering gaze.
Qu Xiaomeng looked frightened and pale. She had been clueless about Su Yang's condition and could have never imagined it. She was born into an average family in Shanghai and her parents had built her towering walls of protection ever since she was young. As a result, she thought that everyone in the world was as happy as her.
Today, after what Su Yang said, the walls in her mind collapsed and crumbled to bits.
She opened her mouth but failed to utter a single word for a while. Ultimately, she was able to force a sentence out of her throat. "T-then, what about your English result?"
Su Yang answered calmly, "I'll pass the test with my own effort."
Qu Xiaomeng could not argue with him. Ever since he had revealed his life to her, her mind blanked out and felt sluggish. She replied meekly, "O-okay."
However, after she said that, a beep sounded in Su Yang's mind.
[Triggered Bronze Mission: Acquire more than a passing mark in English during your semester-end test.]
'What. In. The. Hell!?'
Su Yang was losing his mind. He was actually trying to bluff her, but the system was taking his words for real!?
Indeed, he was actually bluffing. While he might need money, he never believed in giving up his pride or bending over for the sake of money.
There were animals which skin was valuable such as a fox and there were those which meat was valuable such as a cow. There were also animals whose spine was worth the most like a human being's!
At least, up until this point, Su Yang believed that nothing or no one in this world could buy his pride!
Albeit being poor, he believed that money was not everything.
The reason he made himself sound so pitiful was that he wanted the dorky girl to sympathize with him. He also said that he would pass the English test with his own effort because he wanted to build a positive image of an independent student.
First of all, he wanted to change his image in front of Qu Xiaomeng, and secondly, if he really failed this semester test, she might pity him and let him pass instead.
When he came up with this idea, Su Yang loved it so much that he almost gave himself a big thumbs-up and praised himself for his quick wits.
In the end, he managed to bluff Qu Xiaomeng, but he did not expect to trick the system too. As a result, a mission was triggered.
'Oh my God!'