“What happened, Teacher Lin? Where’s that Su Lin of your class? The General Assembly is about to begin, yet we have still not seen him? The speech he is supposed to give is very important!”
Behind the podium, Principal Li Jianhua seriously asked Lin Qingxue.
“Let’s wait a bit more… Principal Li, Su Lin will be here soon!”
Lin Qingxue was also quite worried at heart. It was such an important day, and all the school leaders had already arrived, with some even coming before the decided time. Su Lin, on the other hand, was actually late again and had yet to make his appearance.
“Teacher Lin, do you see it now? That student named Su Lin isn’t one to cause small troubles; it’s such an important occasion, and the time is already reaching 9 o’clock, yet he’s still nowhere to be seen. Not only are the school leaders present here today, even Mayor Feng is attending the Assembly. I have already heard a lot of times that this Su Lin has a habit of coming late and leaving early — I just can’t figure out why the Headmaster would let Su Lin be the one to give this speech in front of everyone during the General Assembly? Where is his speech? Let me take a look to make sure he doesn’t say something that shouldn’t be said later!”
Li Jianhua reached out his hand and asked Lin Qingxue for Su Lin’s speech, but where would Lin Qingxue get that speech from? She had asked Su Lin to go back and prepare the speech, then let her have a look at it early in the morning so she could modify it a bit. But let alone seeing the speech, she hadn’t even seen Su Lin’s shadow ’till now!
“Principal Li, I… I let Su Lin prepare a speech without having a prior draft. Since Su Lin’s language results are great, and he has an eloquent tongue, I let him come up with a speech without having any draft. I thought that would make it easier to boost the confidence and morale of our students taking the College Entrance Examination!”
Since there was no speech, Lin Qingxue had to find an excuse to get rid of Li Jianhua. Her heart, however, was quite anxious. She was the one to personally recommend Su Lin to the Headmaster for the speech at the General Assembly, so if Su Lin really failed to appear, then the one suffering the greatest embarrassment would be her.
“Nonsense! How could you make him prepare a speech without having any draft on such an important occasion? Teacher Lin, just think about it; Su Lin is a bad apple! What if he started to talk nonsense during the speech? Just what sort of bad influence would that have? According to my belief, we should harshly punish a student like him who continuously violates the school rules!”
Li Jianhua immediately started to spew his hate for Su Lin under the pretext of being righteous. His teeth itched to bite Su Lin.
“Principal Li, what are you trying to say? How is Su Lin not a good student? Besides being late every now and then, what other school rule has Su Lin violated? Please don’t make baseless accusations! As Su Lin’s class in-charge, I know best what kind of student Su Lin is, and I have the most right to speak about him. Although Su Lin’s academic performance wasn’t that good before, but he has already caught up. If you have any issue with Su Lin giving the speech this time, then you should go and see the Headmaster. This matter was personally decided by the Headmaster. Otherwise, Principal Li, please don’t talk to me again.”
Lin Qingxue was also on fire. Originally, Lin Qingxue was a very mild-tempered lady, but Li Jianhua’s continuous actions and words made her furious. Especially when Li Jianhua started speaking malicious words about Su Lin, Lin Qingxue didn’t realize it herself, but her anger started to soar.
“Well, good… Teacher Lin, since you are going to take Su Lin’s side like this, then I have nothing more to say. I must see if Su Lin can get here on time to give speech, and also listen to the ivory that will be spewed from his dog mouth!”
Since he was only going to lose more face by staying in front of Lin Qingxue, Li Jianhua decided to walk away without hesitation. He went to deal with other matters, and it was also about time to raise the national flag. After the national flag was raised, it would time for the Headmaster and the Grade Head’s speech, followed by the speech of the student representative.
“Su Lin, ah, Su Lin! Teacher has even went against the Principal for you this time, so how can you keep on making me worried! Why are you still not getting here?”
Although Li Jianhua had left, the worry in Lin Qingxue’s heart couldn’t decrease at all, and she kept on looking at her watch. It was about to be 9 o’clock, yet why had Su Lin still not arrived?
On the other hand, all the teachers, students, and the students’ parents had already taken their positions in the drill ground of Jian’an First High. At this time, the broadcast of the national anthem song also suddenly stopped, and Li Jianhua’s voice spread everywhere through the broadcast.
“Fellow school leaders, teachers, guardians, and students, welcome to our Jian’an First High’s General Assembly for Grade 3’s College Entrance Examination. Three days later, all the students in grade three will rush to the College Entrance Examination battlefield, and their destinies will be determined. Let’s start the first event of the General Assembly, that is, raising the national flag! Everyone, stand up!”
As soon as the voice fell, the March of the Volunteers rang. It was normal for the flag to be raised like this every Monday, but today was going to be the last day the Grade 3 students would be seeing the flag being raised during their high-school life.
As the sound of the March of the Volunteers came to an end, the bright red, five-stared flag rose to the top of the flagpole. The General Assembly had entered its second phase, and it was time for Li Weimin, the Headmaster of Jian’an First High, to give a speech for the students of Grade 3.
“Dear students, I am honored to be the Headmaster of Jian’an First High. Not only is our school the best high-school in Jian’an City, but it even ranks highly in the entire province. Similarly, the students who study here with their hearts are also outstanding…”
It was a very official and practical speech, but anyone who had ever attended high-school would know that the Headmaster’s speech was just full of big words and had zero significance, full of false words. However, it was necessary for the students and others to give face to the Headmaster, so when the Headmaster stopped speaking and looked around the place, everyone intentionally rose to give him a round of warm applause.
In the drill ground, the students and their guardians were patiently sitting on the chairs that had been moved out from the classrooms, listening to the Headmaster’s long-winded and useless speech. In the seating area of Grade 3, Class 2, Father Su and Mother Su were sitting quite uncomfortably as everyone else had their children with them, but they had to sit alone. There was no sign of Su Lin around, not even his shadow could be seen.
“Yo, Aizhen! It turns out that your Family’s Su Lin really didn’t have the face to appear here. Aiyo! What has happened to the children nowadays? Even if they don’t have good results, they should at least be filial to their parents! The parents from other families all have their children with them, but your son isn’t with you; if it isn’t because he’s afraid of embarrassment, then what is it? It’s good, however, that children like that are in the minority. You should look at our family’s Yang Chen, he’s very filial to us husband and wife!”
Liu Lanfeng didn’t miss her chance to take a sarcastic jab at her enemy. Her son, Yang Chen, was in Class 3 of Grade 3, so she intentionally selected the seat at the edge of the class, so as to be closer to Su Guorong and Liu Aizhen. She wanted to seize every opportunity she could to taunt Liu Aizhen.
“You… Lies will scatter with the wind one day; Our family’s Su Lin’s result isn’t bad, and he’s ranked tenth in the Grade. I wonder what rank your family’s Yang Chen got…”
Liu Aizhen was unbearably angry, and started to quarrel back with Liu Lanfeng.
At the same time, Qin Yanran was accompanied by her mother and cleverly sitting in the first row of Class 2 of Grade 3.
“Yanran, how come you weren’t chosen as the students’ representative for this time’s General Assembly to give the speech? Mother was always busy before and couldn’t attend the parents’ meeting to see your speech, yet now that I arrived here with great difficulty, why aren’t you the one to speak?”
Fang Liping seemed to have been born with a strong imposing manner, so even when she was facing her own daughter, she was actually speaking imposingly. However, Fang Liping was very proud of her daughter, Qin Yanran. Although her husband died young, and Qin Yanran grew up in a single-parent family, Qin Yanran had been a very sensible child since young. Especially under the continuous influence of Fang Liping’s imposing manner, she had become an independent and self-reliant woman. Whatever she did, she strives to do it in the most outstanding way, becoming a capable young woman.
“Mom! Before, it was me giving the speech as the student representative every time, so I am afraid that the students have already grown tired of listening to me! Therefore, when Headmaster Li asked me if I would like to give the speech this time as well, I said no and asked him to give this opportunity to another student. The student going to stage to give this time’s speech is the one who made the greatest progress in our class. He… He’s called Su Lin…”
She didn’t know why, but when Qin Yanran arrived at her last sentence and had to introduce Su Lin to her mother, her heart suddenly became anxious.
“Su Lin? Hmm, how come this name sounds familiar?”
Upon hearing the name, Fang Liping couldn’t help but frown and tried to recall. It seemed that she had heard the name somewhere, otherwise, she wouldn’t have thought of it to be familiar. As the mayor of Jian’an City, she handled various government affairs every day. She met so many people every day that she would certainly not have thought that Su Lin was the same high-school student who saved her in the hotel that day.
“Mom, his name is quite common, so you might have heard it somewhere before.”
Qin Yanran didn’t believe that her mother would know Su Lin from somewhere before. As the mayor of Jian’an City, Fang Liping was just too busy every day that even Qin Yanran couldn’t see her every day, let alone Su Lin, who had nothing to do with her.
“Maybe! However, is the progress of this Su Lin really that great that he can replace you to give a speech on-stage during the General Assembly? The College Entrance Examination is going to be held in a few days, and the speech is to provide encouragement to the students.”
Fang Liping was very clear of the fact that her daughter had never come second during her three years in Jian’an First High. But now, this Su Lin was able to replace her as the student representative at the General Assembly, so he must have made great progress.
“His progress is really great, Mom! From the top 100 at the bottom, Su Lin suddenly jumped to the top 10 of the Grade. Moreover, when we had just finished the English exam, and there were still three subjects left, he already announced that he would get into the top 50 of the Grade. And finally, he ranked tenth in the entire Grade!”
Qin Yanran was very excited and proud when speaking of Su Lin’s progress in front of her mother, even more excited then when she talked about her own achievements.
“Is he really that good?”
It was the first time Fang Liping heard her daughter, Qin Yanran, praise another person so enthusiastically, especially a classmate of hers, who was also a boy. With her understanding of her daughter, and her woman’s intuition, Fang Liping could immediately tell that the relationship between this Su Lin and her daughter couldn’t be simple.
“That’s right, mom! I just lent my notebooks to Su Lin yesterday, and he memorized them all in a single night. He even remembered which point was on what page, and vice-versa.”
The Grade Master of Grade 3 was giving a speech at this time, while Qin Yanran was busy explaining Su Lin’s glorious deeds in front of her mother.
“Finally, I wish that all of our Grade 3 students get superb results in the College Entrance Examination, and achieve a satisfactory result that would allow them to be admitted to their favorite University!”
Under a group of applause, the Grade Master’s speech came to an end. Now, it was the turn of the student representative to give a speech to motivate the students.
Lin Qingxue, however, still hadn’t seen a single trace of Su Lin.
“Teacher Lin, why hasn’t that Su Lin of your class still not arrived?”
Li Jianhua squinted his eyes and asked. In his heart, though, he was laughing and gloating, ‘Su Lin, you have really outdone yourself this time!’
“Su Lin… Su Lin… Where are you?”
Just when Lin Qingxue was falling into despair, Su Lin directly rushed from the school entrance to the podium in the drill ground, panting.
“Teacher Lin… I… Sorry, I… I am late…”
Although out of breath, Su Lin finally arrived at the last minute.
“Thank God! Su Lin, you are finally here! Hurry up and go to the podium, it’s your turn to speak now…”
Seeing that Su Lin arrived so late, Lin Qingxue wished that she could give him a good and thorough scolding. But it wasn’t time to start scolding him yet, so she hurriedly pushed Su Lin to the podium so he could give his speech.