Jiang Xiao had no intention of telling Lin ChengYu he’d also been reborn.
For one thing, there was no need.
Even if they’d met today, that didn’t mean they were going to interact in the future.
For another thing, Jiang Xiao felt a bit suspicious.
Lin ChengYu might be less wary and reveal his true intentions if he thought Jiang Xiao didn’t remember anything.

Whatever Lin ChengYu was planning didn’t matter.
The important thing was that he wouldn’t impact the life Jiang Xiao had now, would he?

“Where do you want to go?”

Jiang Xiao asked again.

It seemed like Lin ChengYu could only stare at him, stupefied, unable to understand what he was saying.

“I…” Lin ChengYu wasn’t only stunned, he was nervous.
His brain was almost empty.

Before he came here he obviously had a plan.
But when faced with the actual person, he blanked out.

He stared into Jiang Xiao’s eyes.
It had been several months since he’d been reborn, but only now did he genuinely feel that he’d gone back to an earlier time.
Before meeting Jiang Xiao, he’d spent part of every day in a trance, wondering if everything was a dream and one wrong step would break the spell.

He had to keep himself as busy as possible to prevent the panic and anxiety from overwhelming him.

Before he came to Houlin to find Jiang Xiao, Lin ChengYu had already followed the clues from Ye Bing to search out information about the Jiang family.
The process was a little difficult, but with enough money, nothing was impossible.
It wasn’t like the Jiang family’s history was some kind of secret.

So Lin ChengYu came up with a plan before he arrived.
He didn’t know what Jiang Xiao had been doing in Liujiang.
With no way of following the trail, he didn’t know Jiang Xiao had gone to the wholesale market from the hotel.
But Jiang Xiao had traveled with Ye Bing.
Given Jiang Xiao’s family situation, Lin ChengYu naturally thought he was going out to help the adults earn money.

Lin ChengYu felt distraught when he thought about it.
Jiang Xiao was still so young.
He shouldn’t have to deal with the hardships of life.
He should be studying in school.
If he didn’t like exams, he could go learn whatever he liked.
When it came to money or managing daily life, Lin ChengYu would take care of everything.

He wanted to bring Jiang Xiao back to Liujiang to keep him at his side.
He would take good care of Jiang Xiao.
They’d start over, and they’d never be separated again.

So he asked about Jiang Xiao’s family while he met with school officials.

Huayang International, where Lin ChengYu was enrolled, was a rigorous private school with a high standard of education.
In Liujiang, many children of the rich and powerful went there.
When the school was founded, the Lin family donated a science center, and they still had a voice in the administration.
It wasn’t hard to use those connections to get Jiang Xiao transferred there.

He also found a good excuse for the school in Houlin.
He told them the Yongjiang Group had a charitable project which subsidized poor and outstanding students.

He knew that Jiang Xiao’s report cards from year one and the first part of year two were very good.
He’d always ranked highly in his class, but too much changed after the tragedy in his family.
When Jiang Xiao enrolled in the private school in Liujiang, Lin ChengYu could continue to use the charitable project to send Jiang Xiao money in the form of grants and scholarships.
Since there was a reason for the money, Jiang Xiao wouldn’t resist too much.

He also knew Jiang Xiao’s mother wasn’t in good health, so he found a good hospital for her in Liujiang.
He even prepared a house for them to live in.
It was very close to the school, a small but warm and comfortable three bedroom in Jiang Xiao’s favorite style.

Only after Lin ChengYu had finished all these preparations could he summon up the courage to look for Jiang Xiao in person.

He left out nothing.
Originally, he intended to meet Jiang Xiao after the school in Houlin notified him about the scholarship.
If Lin ChengYu came as a representative of Yongjiang, Jiang Xiao should have positive feelings toward him the first time they met, right?

After Jiang Xiao arrived in Liujiang, they’d be in the same school and off to a good start.
The development of feelings would be a matter of course.

This time he’d learn to cherish this person.
This life he’d guard Jiang Xiao and never let go.
He wouldn’t let the tragedy of their last life happen again.

Today, he brought some people to the school in Houlin to discuss the plan.
He’d talked about it before with the relevant departments, so today was just nailing down the final details.
He was planning to meet Jiang Xiao tomorrow morning, but he didn’t expect that when the car was about to arrive at the school, he saw Jiang Xiao by the roadside picking up bottles.

He hadn’t realized the Jiang family was struggling so much.
They needed a child to go around collecting plastic bottles?


Lin ChengYu’s heart was sore.
How could he just stand by and watch? He got out of the car and asked his team to go on to the school.
He went alone to meet Jiang Xiao.

He’d held back until now, hoping they could meet at the best time, but his plans always failed to keep up with reality.
He had no idea that meeting Jiang Xiao today was just the start of things spiraling out of his control.

It wasn’t easy to finally meet him.
He wanted to start up a conversation and thought he’d begin by asking directions.
So, where did he want to go? He wanted to go to Jiang Xiao’s house, but that would be too strange.

“… Can you tell me how to get to school?” He finally recovered some sense, but his eyes were fixed on Jiang Xiao and didn’t look away.
“I’m looking for Houlin No.
3 Junior High.
You’re a student there, right?”

He wanted to prolong the conversation a bit.
That way when they met again tomorrow with the people from the aid program, it wouldn’t be as abrupt.
But Jiang Xiao was cold as ice.

“Turn around, then go straight,” Jiang Xiao replied.
“It’s not far.”

He was ready to leave, but Lin ChengYu stepped forward and held his arm again.

“Sorry, classmate, I get lost easily,” Lin ChengYu spoke nonsense with his eyes open.
“Can you take me there?”

He was experienced at talking to Jiang Xiao with a soft voice.
His tone and expression both carried a slight plea.
He was one year younger than Jiang Xiao, and this method was always useful in their last life.
Jiang Xiao was such a face-con, and he really did like Lin ChengYu, so he was always caught by this trick.
He almost never refused Lin ChengYu anything.

But this time, Jiang Xiao pulled his hand away yet again and took another step back.

“I have to go home and make dinner,” Jiang Xiao said.
“Go on your own.
If you can’t find it, ask someone on the street.”

Lin ChengYu was going to visit No.
3 Junior High.
He’d inquired about him, then? Was he really coming for him?

Jiang Xiao’s vigilance instantly reached the highest level.

Lin ChengYu: “…”

He choked for a moment, trying to think of something else to pester him about, but Jiang Xiao was stopped by someone else.

“Jiang Xiao? Why haven’t you gone home yet?”

The voice came from behind them.
Lin ChengYu watched as the chilly Jiang Xiao went from overcast to sunny.
There was a brilliant smile on his face, the total opposite from when he was facing Lin ChengYu.

When he smiled, his entire face seemed to light up.
It was very attractive, but his smile wasn’t for Lin ChengYu.

“Lin HeYuan!” He quickly ran from Lin ChengYu and towards the other person.
“You didn’t leave yet?”

He and Lin HeYuan lived in opposite directions, so he wasn’t sure why Lin HeYuan was here.
Class had been over for a long time and all the students were gone.
Lin HeYuan was always punctual.
Jiang Xiao couldn’t think of a reason he’d stay behind.

Lin HeYuan’s expression was very different now, much softer than it was earlier.1

He’d seen how Jiang Xiao was studying seriously again while running a business to support his family, and he wasn’t letting it conflict with his schoolwork.
Since Lin HeYuan had a close understanding of what happened to the Jiang family and the progress Jiang Xiao had made since then, it was natural for him to think Jiang Xiao was a good friend worth associating with.
Someone who worked so hard wouldn’t end up poor.

And so, quite gradually, Jiang Xiao seemed to have become Lin HeYuan’s only friend at school.

“I asked the teacher for leave after class.” When Lin HeYuan saw Jiang Xiao run up to him, he revealed a spontaneous smile, meeting his eyes in an intimate way.
“I’m not going to evening self-study today.
There’s an important dinner at home that my dad asked me to attend.
But I said this morning I’d give you my notes from second year physics class at evening study.
I was going to find your house, but since you’re here, I can just give you the notes.”

Lin HeYuan was a man of his word.
He said he’d give the notes in the evening, and he wouldn’t leave it for tomorrow.

“Thanks.” Jiang Xiao took the notebook, thought about it, and put something in his hand.
“Then this is for you.”

Lin HeYuan opened his hand and found a piece of chocolate.

“If dinner starts late you’ll need some padding,” Jiang Xiao said.
“That’s how I am.
I’m hungry all the time, and when I’m hungry my eyes start to blur.”

In his last life, when he was thirty, he’d had enough of all kinds of food.
He didn’t have an appetite and rarely ate much day to day.
But when he was a teenager, he couldn’t get enough.
Everything tasted great.
After two hours passed he’d be hungry again.
At school he studied hungry every day.
If he didn’t have any snacks on hand he really couldn’t hold on.

Lin HeYuan put the chocolate away, thanked him, and looked at him with a slightly serious expression.
“According to school rules, snacks aren’t allowed in class.”

“I don’t eat in class.” Jiang Xiao blinked and had an innocent face.
“I eat between classes.”

Lin HeYuan thought about it and decided he couldn’t blame Jiang Xiao for this borderline behavior.

When you’re hungry you have to eat.

He reached into the side pocket of his school bag and took out a handful of small plastic packages of beef jerky, then handed them to Jiang Xiao.

“Then it’s agreed.
We only eat between classes,” he said.

Jiang Xiao accepted them and poked fun at him again.
“The top student brought snacks to school? You just said I was breaking the rules.”

“These are for you.
I didn’t eat any.” Lin HeYuan gazed at him.
“You haven’t complained about being hungry only once or twice.”

He answered in a serious voice.
He didn’t think that shoving all these snacks at Jiang Xiao would contribute to more rule-breaking.

While the two people were chattering and walking along, Jiang Xiao passed Lin ChengYu without another glance.
He and Lin HeYuan were talking, and he really didn’t notice him.
He also didn’t see Lin ChengYu’s fists clench tightly or his face turn dark.

Who the hell was this?


TL Notes:

I get lost easily – from 路盲 – road blind, no sense of direction, directionally challenged, topographically agnostic, topographically disoriented

Transliterated names, titles, and places—new in this chapter:

Huayang International – 华扬国际 – A private junior high  in Liujiang City attended by ML Yongjiang Group – 咏江集团 – ML’s family’s company


There’s a sentence fragment here in the raw.
It just says “.

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