The cold winter sun pierced the thick clouds, and a thin light overflowed from the horizon.
By the time it was approaching dawn, the body of Mr. Ji had already been taken away. Next was the funeral. The old man had already issued a critical illness notice, and the Ji family at the mourning hall had already been preparing for it.
Ji Rang sat alone by the flower bed for two hours, until Qi Ying woke up again.
He heard the sound of rustling and turning over from the other end of the phone. The little girl was probably looking for her mobile phone, and it took a long time for him to hear her soft whisper in the receiver: “I’m awake.”
He mumbled, because his whole body was frozen and his voice was dumb, he slowly said, “Yingying, I can’t accompany you to see the panda today. How about a few days later?”
She yawned and responded obediently: “Okay.”
She was very good and never asked about his personal affairs.
Ji Rang didn’t plan to tell her, he didn’t want the little girl to feel sorry for him.
After hanging up the phone, he stood up and moved his stiff body. Ji Qian sent him a message, telling him about the funeral process.
Ji Rang went home and changed his clothes, then took a taxi to the mourning hall.
The old man’s body has been processed and put in a formal military uniform. People had come to mourn him from far and wide.
Ji Rang didn’t say hello to anyone, kowtowed his head and burned the paper money, and stood silently aside. There were too many things to be dealt with at the funeral, and there was no time for the family to grieve.
Before long, a man in a black suit came over to Ji Rang with a briefcase and gave him a will document, “Mr. Ji left all the inheritance under his name to you.”
The young man looked silent, did not accept the document, and said quietly: “Donate it.”
The lawyer froze for a moment: “What?”
The young man turned his attention to the posthumous photo: “In the name of grandpa, donate it.”
He didn’t want to speak any more, lowered his eyes, looking like he was a thousand miles away.
At the door, Chen Fengzhi, who was helping Ji Qian to receive people, glanced at her and said in a low voice, “Was your grandfather patriarchal? He didn’t even keep anything for you.”
Ji Qian gave him a silent look: “Shut up if you don’t understand.”
Chen Fengzhi shrugged: “I understand, making up for something, but looking at Arang’s expression, he doesn’t seem to accept it.”
The two were chatting, and Ji Weiyan walked in from outside. He just went outside to pick up Old Master Ji’s best friend. Ji Qian called to him: “Second Uncle.”
Ji Weiyan turned around: “What’s the matter?”
Ji Qian frowned: “Su Rong didn’t come, right?”
Ji Weiyan paused and said in a low voice, “No, I let her go back.”
A look of disgust flashed in Ji Qian’s eyes, but she didn’t show it on her face: “This is for the best, and her health is not good. It will also add to the chaos if she come. Arang has been there for the past two days. Don’t let her come.”
Ji Weiyan answered in silence.
When he left, Chen Fengzhi said, “You are too rude when talking to your second uncle.”
Ji Qian didn’t take it seriously: “I’m already very polite on this issue.” She glanced at Ji Rang who was standing in the mourning hall, “If I hadn’t been in school abroad, I would really…”
After all, there was a layer of relationship, just from the niece’s position, some words couldn’t be said.
It happened that her father called her outside: “Qianqian, go pick up your Uncle Chen.”
Ji Qian stopped at the right time, waved to Chen Fengzhi, and hurriedly walked outside. After two steps, she thought of something. She turned around and said to Chen Fengzhi, “Arang should have not eaten, you take him to eat something.”
Chen Fengzhi nodded, very conscious of Ji Qian, walked to stand beside Ji Rang, and nodded in tribute to relatives and friends who came to mourn.
Ji Rang turned his head and glanced at him: “Why are you back again?”
Chen Fengzhi: “The motherland is my home; I have to come home often. Are you hungry? Let’s go and eat something.”
Ji Rang didn’t want to ignore him: “Not hungry, don’t want to eat.”
Chen Fengzhi sighed: “We have to wait till tomorrow morning, let’s go eat something.”
Ji Rang ignored him and stared at the ground without even giving him a look. Chen Fengzhi waited for a long time, and reluctantly sent a message to Ji Qian: “Failed to complete the task, please come up and deal with him.”
Ji Qian returned a series of ellipsis to him.
The news of Grandpa Ji’s death was announced in the early morning, and more people came to mourn in the evening, all of whom came from all over the country.
Ji Rang stood there for the whole day. Occasionally distracted, he would think of making mistakes when he was young, being physically punished by his grandfather in the army compound, standing under the big sun for a few hours.
Several times, he passed out from the sun. Grandma was still there, stomping and scolding grandpa for being stubborn, and then made mung bean soup for him to cool off from the heat.
The cry pulled back his thoughts. Now the one who was kneeling in front of the mourning hall and crying bitterly, he did not know which relative it was. Ji Rang glanced away. When he casually swept his gaze towards the door, he saw the little girl in black clothes. Holding a white chrysanthemum in her hand, she was standing at the end of the crowd waiting to enter the mourning hall.
The young man who stood like a stone statue for a day finally took a step forward and strode over.
Qi Ying also saw him coming, pursed her lips and smiled lightly.
Ji Rang walked up to her and asked in a low voice: “You…” His voice was sore, and he coughed twice before regaining his voice: “Why are you here?”
She whispered: “Sister Ji Qian said you didn’t eat all day.” She looked up at him with a small face, her eyes soft: “When I finish mourning, shall we go to eat?”
Ji Rang touched her head, finally a little smile on his face: “Yeah.”
After the little girl kowtowed her head and offered flowers, Ji Rang ignored the curious eyes from the surroundings and pulled Qi Ying away.
When she walked out of the mourning hall, she took him to the lounge, and pulled out a food box from the locker like magic: “The chicken porridge and egg pie made by my aunt.”
She was worried that his stomach would feel sick after he hadn’t eaten all day, so she specially brought food from home.
Ji Rang sat down on the sofa, took out the food containers one by one, and put his head down to eat.
She sat next to him obediently, waited for him to finish eating, put the food container back in the bag, and asked him, “Would you like to go out for a while?”
Ji Rang nodded.
The sky was dark, but the street lights were very bright, and there was dust floating in the light.
Ji Rang asked her: “Is it cold?”
She shook her head: “It’s not cold, I dressed very thickly.”
He thought for a while, grabbed her hand and put it in his palm. It was quiet all around, he didn’t want to be silent, and couldn’t help but talk to her: “Did you go out to play today?”
She had a soft voice: “No, did homework at home.” Thinking of something, she said: “Are you running out of time to do your homework? School will start in a few days, I will give you my homework to copy.”
Ji Rang laughed: “Why don’t you just write it for me?”
She tilted her head and thought: “That’s okay too.”
There was a bench in the garden. Ji Rang was a little tired after standing for a day, so he took her to sit down. They had planted a lot of trees around to block the night wind, so they didn’t feel very cold. He had held back for a whole day. Now he was breathing fresh air, and his heart felt refreshed.
Qi Ying sat next to him and whispered: “I will go back to Winter City with my uncle and aunt tomorrow. My grandparents live in the countryside of Winter City and I will not come back until the fifth day of the New Year.”
Ji Rang leaned over, resting his head on her slender shoulders, “Well, have fun and say hello to your grandparents for me.”
She tilted her head to look at his tired expression and said , as if coaxing a child: “My grandparents are rich in mulberries, and I will bring you mulberry fruits for you to eat.”
He closed his eyes and smiled: “Okay, bring more.”
She obediently said “um” and asked him: “Are you tired? I’ll give you a massage.”
Ji Rang raised his eyebrows: “Do you still give massages?”
She was a little embarrassed: “I learned from the brother in the shampoo commercial.” She turned slightly to the side and pressed her hands on his temples. The fingertips were so soft, with a warm temperature, and they pressed gently.
With the tone of those who have learnt to wash hair, she asked him: “Is the intensity appropriate?”
Ji Rang burst out laughing: “Well, it’s appropriate.”
She also smiled sweetly, recalling the shampoo technique, her eyes widened, trying to find the acupuncture points on his head.
Ji Rang teased her: “The little master is good at craftsmanship, is it expensive?”
She had a soft voice: “You look good, it’s free.”
Ji Rang smiled so much that he was shaking, rubbed his hand on her little head, and sat upright.
Her small face was white, and only the tip of her nose was a little red, probably from the cold. Ji Rang grabbed her hand over her palm and rubbed it, then held it up to his mouth to breathe on it: “It’s cold, go back, don’t you have a flight tomorrow??”
Her eyes were wet and soft. After looking at him for a long time, she said, “Then you eat well and don’t feel sad, okay?”
He nodded seriously: “Okay, I will listen to you.”
She curved her eyes and laughed.
Ji Rang called Chen Fengzhi and asked him to drive Qi Ying home.
After hanging up, he led her out.
He actually didn’t want her to leave. He was greedy for her gentleness when she was by his side, and he walked very slowly. He knew that if he spoke, the little girl would stay, but he couldn’t bear her being tired.
He kept leading her to the door and watched her get into Chen Fengzhi’s car. The little girl slammed the car window and ordered seriously: “You have to eat well.”
He smiled and nodded.
He sighed depressedly when the car was gone.
It was already five days after the funeral of Old Man Ji was over.
School was to start tomorrow. As Qi Ying said, he basically didn’t write homework and didn’t have the energy to write. He didn’t want to move when he got home and fell into bed.
As a result, the doorbell rang in the afternoon. After opening the door, Qi Ying stood outside with Yue Li and Qu Dazhuang, and said solemnly, “We will help you with your homework!”
Qu Dazhuang: “Rest assured, brother! We will never let you be scolded!”
Yue Li: “I only need the reward of a small handmade cake!”
Ji Rang: “…”
He didn’t know how the teacher would feel seeing the three handwritings on the assignment.
But anyhow, he finished writing the papers before the start of school. Ji Rang had a good night’s sleep, and when he arrived at school the next day, he felt like his life was back on track.
There were only more than 100 days left in the countdown calendar, and the last semester was entering the final sprint stage.
Most people were struggling to persevere in pain, burning the night oil at the last stage of the third year, but some people were very lucky, and they learned that they were qualified as soon as the school started, and they were relieved early.
That’s right, this person they were talking about was Wu Rui.
He was recommended to B University, which was the school he always wanted to go to.
Of course, this kind of good thing must be celebrated. The first ranker, who has always been known for his frugality, generously invited everyone to go to the back door of the school to eat Mala Tang.
Qu Dazhuang was almost envious, and said sourly: “You can stop coming to school in the next few months, right? Where are you going to travel?”
Wu Rui pushed the black-framed glasses and said solemnly: “I will continue to finish the rest of the class. As long as my heart is still beating, I will continue to learn. Learning is endless, and you can’t relax at any time.”
Qu Dazhuang: “…”
Everybody looked at him with awe!
How else could someone be recommended? This was the consciousness, and it was impossible to justify it if he was not recommended!
Wu Rui opened a can of beer and clinked glasses with this group of bad boys who thought they had nothing to do with each other but eventually became good friends and said with lofty ambition: “I’m waiting for you at B University!”
After the second mode was over, there were only one hundred days left on the countdown.
Haiyi was a school that paid much attention to the sense of ritual. It was not enough to mobilize once, and another Hundred-Day Oaths Meeting was held.
The high school students were tired like dogs. Studying was not enough. They had to listen to the instruction from the instructor’s spit splashing, looking tired and desperate.
The instructor stood on the stage. Seeing the students yawn, he patted the podium in the auditorium repeatedly, shouting hysterically: “Classmates! Get up! It doesn’t matter if you can’t sleep well. For your age, don’t keep your eyes closed even if you rest!”
Lao Tzu believed in the evil spirit of the instructor.
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 This is because in Chinese culture the family has to stand vigil over the body for one night.