“C’mon, lemme stay for the night.” Shi Sheng sized him up with her gaze.
“Student Qiao Chu, you want to stay at a single man’s apartment in the middle of the night? Aren’t you afraid I’ll do anything to you?” Though Qin Ge had a proper expression on, his words were anything but.
“What do you want to do to me?”
“What else could a lone guy and girl do?”
“Actually, if Professor Qin is willing, I wouldn’t mind ah.” Shi Sheng had a ‘shy’ expression on, though her inner thoughts were filled with negativity. ‘If this guy dares to do anything to me, see if I’ll hack him to death!’
Qin Ge, “…” ‘You’re a girl! Don’t you know what being reserved is?’
He shook his head before tossing Shi Sheng’s jacket at her.
Something fell out of it.
The two looked down at the same time.
Shi Sheng, “…”
Qin Ge, “…”
The atmosphere turned strangely awkward.
Qin Ge gave Shi Sheng a meaningful look while she maintained her composure.
Qin Ge bent over to pick the object up. He then leaned forward slightly to hand it over to Shi Sheng. “Student Qiao Chu.”
Shi Sheng took it from him, still calm. She didn’t forget to explain, “Got it from a lottery.”
“Lottery? Only one?” Qin Ge’s smile appeared a bit cold. He turned around and walked towards the door.
‘No wait, Prof, I can explain! I gave the rest away, but couldn’t find someone to give this last one to!!!’
Qin Ge had already opened the door. Shi Sheng grit her teeth, stuffed it back in her pocket, and calmly walked out like nothing happened.
‘We’re both adults, what’s there to be afraid of? Shameless people are invincible.’
Qin Ge rented a room from the hotel next to his apartment for Shi Sheng to stay in, while he went back home to sleep.
Shi Sheng was simply about to become a walking emoji at this point. ‘Don’t understand this professor at all. Though I guess beasts’ thoughts are supposed to be different.’
The next day, Shi Sheng decisively skipped class.
Qin Ge kept calling her, so she deftly placed him onto her blacklist.
Sometimes, people had to be firm. They had to say no to the things they didn’t like. Even if…it was the person they liked who wanted to do those things.
Shi Sheng was a principled human scum.
In an auditoria classroom, Qin Ge stood at the podium giving a lecture with a dark expression. The students took advantage of when he turned around to discuss.
“The Great Class Skipper didn’t come again?”
“Didn’t you see Professor Qin’s expression during rollcall just now? I almost thought he’d stab her if she was standing in front of him.”
“Weren’t there rumours before that he was chasing her?”
“You believed that? That OCD Professor Qin must’ve chased her only because he was unhappy someone skipped his class. Plus, she’s skipped more than a semester’s worth of classes. I reckon Professor Qin’s going mad.”
“Guess so… I had to do the assignment last week 5 times before passing. Already starting to doubt my life choices.”
“At least you only had to do 5. I had to do it 7 times…”
The group of students grieved silently. ‘Is it too late to change our major?’
When class ended, Qin Ge assigned the class this week’s homework amidst much groaning.
Qin Ge left the classroom and was greeted by the Vice Principal, causing him to frown.
“Xiao Qin.” The Vice Principal appeared older than 50. His hair was completely white and he appeared like Maitreya when he smiled.
“Vice Principal.” Qin Ge greeted him without much emotion.
The Vice Principal chuckled, before pointing at a less populated area in the distance. “Let’s go there for a stroll.”
Qin Ge guessed that the Vice Principal wanted to talk to him about something, so he nodded.
The Vice Principal talked about some unimportant stuff at first before getting to the point. “Xiao Qin ah, the students have been very adverse to your style of teaching as of late. You know our school encourages a more hands-off teaching method, so teachers don’t need to be so strict…”
Qin Ge’s frown deepened more and more.
“…I know you mean the best for them, but you’re still too young. These kids get more rebellious the sterner you are with them. I see you’ve been under a lot of pressure lately, so how about you take a break for some time?” The Vice Principal smiled and spoke.
But Qin Ge already understood. The Qin Family was pressuring the school. Had it been before, Qin Ge would’ve resigned without looking back.
Qin Ge couldn’t help but think of a certain someone.
“Xiao Qin, the school doesn’t mean anything else by it, so don’t stress out. We just wanted you to have a rest.” The Vice Principal patted Qin Ge’s shoulder.
“Vice Principal, can you give me some time to consider?”
The Vice Principal sighed. He was the one who hired Qin Ge and had high expectations for the latter. What a shame…
Even the best of talents were useless in the face of money and power.
‘This kid Qin Ge is good in every way, save for his stubbornness.’
“Sure thing.” The Vice Principal shook his head and left.
The peach blossoms surrounding the pathway were in full bloom. When a slight breeze blew past, they rustled on their branches.
The pink petals danced in the wind, spinning in lazy circles as they fell onto the man’s shoulders and hair.
Qin Ge slowly held his face. His expression regained its coldness after he put his hands back down.
The school only gave him a week’s time. Qin Ge held classes as per usual, as if nothing had ever happened.
When he returned to his apartment, the security guard gave him an apologetic look. “Mr Qin, sorry… You can’t come in.”
Qin Ge didn’t ask him why. He didn’t have to. He already knew why.
Qin Xin was cornering him.
Qin Ge sat in a dark corner of a noisy bar, downing cup after cup of strong alcohol.
Lightly-dressed women occasionally cast looks in his direction, some of the bolder ones going so far as to scoot closer to him. But before they could even get close, they were scared off by his cold gaze.
Gradually, no one dared to approach him anymore.
The ear-splitting music and raucous crowd made one feel as if they’d entered another world.
“Chu-Chu, do you know what he told me?” Chen Xi had a bitter expression. “He said you’re a girl, so you’d be easily forgiven even if you did those things. But he’s ‘different’. If he does it, his future is ruined. Fuck that! Chu-Chu, I’m sorry. It’s all my fault.”
‘If I hadn’t gotten Chu-Chu involved in the first place, Chen Xiao wouldn’t have made her take the blame.’
“En. You misjudged him. Be smarter next time.” Shi Sheng poured more alcohol for Chen Xi. “Just take it as a lesson.”
Chen Xi downed the drinks like they were water. Shi Sheng didn’t stop him. All humans were rebellious—the more you tried to stop them doing something, the more they wanted to do it.
Chen Xiao’s family situation wasn’t too good.
Back then, he co-headed this project with another senior. But that senior left the country and tossed the project to Chen Xiao.
At first, Chen Xiao wanted to do a good job. He spent all his effort on it, even going so far as to delay his graduation.
But something that happened at home made it so that he urgently needed money.
There were still some funds leftover from last semester, but Chen Xi was the one in charge of them, so he couldn’t touch them. He could only set his sights on the project itself.
And someone needed to take the blame, so Chen Xiao picked Shi Sheng.
Chen Xiao had been under pressure at the time. His father owed a million in gambling debt. If Chen Xiao didn’t pay up soon, his mother and little sister would have been tormented to death by the debtors.
He’d only been thinking of how to come up with the money, so his IQ had gone into the negatives. Even if Shi Sheng had just called the police, the truth would’ve been revealed.
Shi Sheng accompanied Chen Xi. Suddenly, there was a hubbub in the already chaotic crowd.
Shi Sheng turned to see what the fuss was about, and her gaze suddenly paused.
 One of his reincarnations is called the Smiling Buddha (I think), so I guess you can see how this analogy came about? Though technically he’s not Maitreya since Maitreya is supposed to be the Future Buddha, but people get confused easily.