Extraordinary Genius - Chapter 435 and 436 – Penpal
“Eh? Lao Si, don’t you have a mobile phone? Why are you writing letters?” The Lao San at the dormitory asked.
Feng Yu replied casually: “Oh, I have a pen pal.”
Penpal was the trendiest way to make new friends for the youngsters in that era. Feng Yu was also not someone that casually befriend pen pals. This pen pal was also not for his business.
He was writing this letter to her. The ‘her’ from his previous life.
Zhou Kexin of Jiangcheng District. She had just entered high school this year, and her hobbies were reading the newspaper. Her ambition was to be a reporter.
Today when Zhou Kexin arrived at school, she saw an envelope pasted on the reception room’s window. The letter was addressed to her.
“Grandpa Li, I am here to collect my letter. My name is Zhou Kexin, from Year 1 class 3.”
“Not bad, little girl. You have relative studying at Beijing University. Are you also going to enter that university? You have to work hard. It is not easy to enter Beijing University.” Old Li took the letter and passed to Zhou Kexin.
Zhou Kexin smiled and thanked him.
When she saw the envelope, she understands why Grandpa Li said that. This letter was sent from Beijing University! But none of her friends and relatives were in Beijing. Who sent her this letter?
Until Zhou Kexin reached home, she had not read the letter yet. She was afraid that someone else would see it. After finishing her homework, she secretly took out the letter when she was about to sleep. With a touch light, she hid under her blanket to read it.
This was a letter to befriend her. This person wants to be her pen pal.
Pen pals started from those youngsters who had gone to the cities or returned back to the villages. This was their way of communicating with their former friends. Many places in China still do not have access to telephones, and even if there were phone lines, the charges were costly. Letters were the cheapest way for them to communicate.
When it started, letters and postcards were sent to and fro between childhood sweethearts. Soon letters were sent between friends. These letters were mainly talking about their recent events, etc.
Most pen pals were girls. Maybe it was because girls like to pour their sorrows to strangers and they seek comfort.
Zhou Kexin had wanted a pen pal long time ago, but she did not know who to write to. Her classmates had written letters to other people, but after a semester, there were no replies. Not everybody likes to have pen pals.
This person was studying at Beijing University. How come he knew her contact information? There was also a Jackie Chan postcard along with the letter. How come this person knows that she likes Jackie Chan? Maybe Jackie Chan was a famous celebrity, and everyone in China loves him.
In the letter, he wrote about how beautiful Beijing University was. But he mentioned that the girls at Beijing University were ordinary looking. He concludes that smart girls are not pretty!
He also mentioned that he wanted to visit Jiangcheng district. He heard that Jiangzheng district was a beautiful place, but he never got the opportunity. He was also not good at swimming and wonder if he would drown if he goes to Jiangcheng.
Zhou Kexin read the letter thrice. The way this person wrote the letter was interesting. Smart girls are not pretty, that means he was implying that smart girls are ugly? Also, Jiangcheng district was only named as Jiangcheng, and it was not really built on the river. How can he drown?
In the letter, nothing was mentioned about how this person got to know her contact details and why he was writing to her. Only some trivial matters about his school life were mentioned, and he hopes Zhou Kexin would reply to him. He signed off the letter as “Second most handsome person on earth,” and there was a cute drawing of himself.
The second most handsome person on earth? Who would use this as his pen name? This person was not humble, but he seems interesting.
In this era, the pen names used by most people were trying to express how pure and elegant they were. Examples of such names were Snow, Winter Plum or New Moon. This was the first time she heard of someone using “Second most handsome person on earth” as pen name!
This “Second most handsome person on earth” wants to be my pen pal? This letter was sent from Beijing University and this “Second most handsome person on earth” must be studying there!
But this person was a bit…… too mischievous and not modest at all!
No matter what, this was Zhou Kexin’s first pen pal’s letter, and she was overjoyed. She read the letter several times more until she could almost memorize the letter before she put it under her pillow. She fell asleep with a sweet smile.
When Zhou Kexin woke up the next day, she lifted her pillow and saw her letter was still there. She was relieved. This was real and not a dream. She really has a pen pal now!
Although this ‘Second most handsome person on earth’ pen name was weird, his handwriting was beautiful, and the stories were interesting and humorous. Most importantly, he was studying at Beijing University!
During breakfast, Zhou Kexin’s mother asked her why she was smiling to herself. Zhou Kexin made up an excuse that she was the only one who had answered a question in class correctly yesterday. Her mother still praised her.
On the way to school, Zhou Kexin kept smiling. Even during her lesson, she was still thinking about the contents of the letter.
At noon, when all of her classmates went out for lunch, she remained in class to draft a reply letter in her notebook.
After she had finished writing, she read it several times and made some amendments. She copied the contents onto a sheet of paper and folded it carefully and kept it in between a book.
“Kexin, the school’s over. Why are you not going back?”
“You go back first. I have to pass something to the teacher.” Zhou Kexin made up some excuse. She does not want others to know about her pen pal, even when this was her childhood friend. This was her personal secret.
“Shall I wait for you?”
“No need. You go back first. I will go back alone later. Anyway, the skies turn dark later during this period.”
“Okay then. Be careful. I will go off first. Bye.”
Zhou Kexin waited for about 10 minutes before she carried her bag and got onto her bicycle. She was not heading towards the direction of her house. She was heading towards the direction of the post office.
The post office was closed, but the small shop opposite was still opened. This small shop also sells stamps and envelopes.
Zhou Kexin wrote the address on the envelope and ‘Second most handsome person on earth’ as the recipient. The boss of the small shop looked at Zhou Kexin and her envelope. ‘Second most handsome person on earth’…… Who the hell calls himself this name?
The boss thought for a while and realized that this was a pen name. But for someone to use such pen name, he must be not highly educated and does not know what modesty was. Wait, the address was Beijing University? Hmm…… this pen name was still quite modest. At least he does not claim to be the most handsome person on earth!
Zhou Kexin carefully places her letter into the envelop and use glue to stick the stamp and seal it. She carefully blows the glue dry and used her hands to straighten out the folds. She happily dropped the letter into the post box. She can’t wait for the postman to deliver her letter to Beijing, into the hands of ‘Second most handsome person on earth.’
“Eh, who do you think this shameless person is? He calls himself ‘Second most handsome person on earth.’”
“That’s right. Could this be a prank or this letter is wrongly delivered?”
“Cannot be. This handwriting must be a girl. Will girls play a prank on others? Furthermore, this is Beijing University. The address is correct.”
“Then you tell me which girl will call herself ‘Third ugliest person on earth’?”
When Feng Yu reached the classroom, he heard the conversation between Tian Lei and the rest. Was this letter really a prank? Feng Yu also wanted to laugh. But when he heard Second most handsome person on earth, he remembered that it was his pen name.
“Cough. Class monitor Tian, that letter is addressed to me.”
Everyone turned and look at Feng Yu like he was a monkey in the zoo.
“What’s wrong? I cannot use this pen name?” Feng Yu barked. These people do not understand his humor!
“Pen name? This is your pen pal’s reply letter?” Tian Lei waved the letter and asked.
If this letter were not addressed to their class, Tian Lei would not collect it. He remembered the teacher’s look when he received this letter from the office. The teacher looked at him as if this was his letter.
But it was normal for the teacher to suspect this letter was Tian Lei. Tian Lei was the class monitor, and all the letters for his class will be collected by him. The teacher felt that Tian Lei would use this pen name because the rest of the students in the class will not get to see it.
Tian Lei never expect this letter was for Feng Yu. Feng Yu also did not consider whether this pen name can be accepted by his classmates.
Feng Yu snatched the letter from Tian Lei and stuffed it into his pocket: “What? All of you do not have pen pals before?”
“We have, but we have never used such arrogant pen name. Come and tell us. You claim to be the second most handsome person on earth, who is the most handsome person on earth?” Dormitory’s Lao San (number 3) teased.
Feng Yu puff out his chest and tilted his head up 45 degrees towards the sky and said 2 words: “My dad!”
The classmates surrounding him: “……”
“Err….. Lao Si (Number 4), is your whole family so confident?” Tian Lei could not help but ask.
Feng Yu rolled his eyes and walked to a corner to open the envelope.
“Jiangcheng’s weather is hot and stuffy…… My language teacher’s voice sounds like a chicken, and whenever he speaks, all my classmates laugh……. My Math teacher is bald and once in class, he scratched his head, and his wig fell off……”
Zhou Kexin’s letter was all about the funny things that happened in her school, and in the end, she mentioned something that was bothering her. She wanted to go to universities in big cities like Beijing or Shanghai. But her parents do not allow her to go. They only want her to attend the university in Jiangcheng. If she cannot make it into this university, then she will have to take over her mother’s position in the company. She asked Feng Yu what she should do.
Feng Yu smiled. Her parents were only just saying this. She will get a place in a university in Shanghai, and her parents agreed to let her study there. They can’t be stopping her from studying at a university. This silly girl. She was still so innocent.
It was during the lesson, and Feng Yu suddenly laughed.
The old professor in front looked at Feng Yu annoyed: “That student. Stand up. Is my lesson so funny?”
Feng Yu was still in a daze and Lao San (number 3), who was sitting near him, threw a pencil at him. He suddenly realized that the professor was talking to him.
“Professor Li, what is your question again?” Feng Yu asked with a blank look.
“I am asking you if you think that my lessons are funny?!” Professor Li asked slowly. His expression had also told Feng Yu that if his reply were ‘yes,’ he would be torn to pieces!
“No? Then why are you laughing?!” Professor Li asked angrily.
This Feng Yu thought that he could do anything he wants in school just because he had donated some research funds to the school? This is Beijing University, China’s top University. Countless people are queuing to enter. He should be studying hard!
This Professor Li was a senior professor and will be retiring in 2 years. He does not conduct any research now and does not need Feng Yu’s funding. He also does not smoke or drink. Other than teaching, he does not have any other hobbies. He was the only teacher Feng Yu could not bribe.
Professor Li seems to have only two sets of Chinese tunic suit. He wears them every day in all seasons. His hair was always combed, and his leather shoes were always shiny. You can never see a single wrinkle on his pants. Feng Yu had heard that Professor Li likes poetry and he had given him a few poetry books. But these books were all returned to Feng Yu.
Feng Yu knew Professor Li’s way of teaching and he immediately bow down his head and admit his fault: “I am sorry. Professor Li.”
“Sit down. Your parents had sent all of you to Beijing University was for you to learn. It is to prepare all of you to serve our nation and have a brighter future. If you do not do well in school, how can you answer to your parents and our country?”
When Professor Li was scolding Feng Yu, he also takes the opportunity to tell the rest of the students off. He turned back to the blackboard and starts to write something, continuing with the lesson.
Feng Yu saw Professor Li was not looking at him anymore, he secretly took out a stack of papers to write the reply letter.
Feng Yu understood Zhou Kexin really well and knew what types of jokes she likes. He wrote some jokes taken from the internet in his previous life and some greetings. After he had finished, he folded the letter carefully and placed it into an envelope he prepared earlier.
Zhou Kexin had thought why she had not received any replies these few nights. The postage service was too slow, or ‘Second most handsome person on earth’ did not send any replies to her?
She would take particular notice at the reception office’s window whenever she walks past. She was looking for her letter, but she was disappointed every time.
Finally, she saw a letter addressed to her pasted on the window one day. This feeling was like her mother giving her the dress she was hoping for when she was young.
She immediately ran into the office to collect the letter she was looking forward to.
During lessons, she tried her best to not open the letter immediately. She managed to resist the temptation of reading the letter and returned home after school. After dinner, she did not even watch her favorite programs on TV and returned to her room. She told her mother that she needs to do her homework.
Zhou Kexin took out the letter from her bag after locking the door. As she was too anxious, she tore part of the letter when she was opening the envelope. Her tears almost fell. She carefully unfolds the letter and starts reading it under her table lamp.
Two jokes were written in the letter, and she got to bite her fingers to stop her from laughing out loud. She was afraid that her parents would find out. Her parents must not know about her pen pal!
The letter was too short. There were only a few hundred words. She read the letter twice before keeping it in a box underneath her bed. In the box, there was the first letter.
She took the opportunity to write the reply. It seems that writing this reply letter was easier than writing her school’s essays. In 30 minutes, she had written two pages.
After some amendments and rewriting it neatly on a new piece of paper, she carefully places it into the envelope she had prepared. On her way to school tomorrow morning, she will drop it into the post box.
After keeping everything, she looks at the wall clock. Oh no, she still had not started on her homework. She tips toe to the door and unlocks it silently before settling into her desk to start on her homework.
Zhou Kexin’s mother was about to go to bed, and she went to check on her daughter. She was glad that her daughter was working hard: “You are still studying? Sleep early. You still have school tomorrow.”
“Yes, mum. You sleep first. I will be finishing soon.”
Zhou Kexin saw her mum closed the door. She sticks out her tongue and continues doing her homework. She was smiling happily to herself……
Translator’s notes: Jiangcheng literally means river city in Chinese, and a district of Yangjiang, Guangdong province, China. Here is the link on Wiki for those that are interested.
The third woman in Feng Yu’s life has finally appeared. At least Feng Yu was not that heartless to forget about his wife from his previous life. But he was still unfair to Li Na. He should not have gone after Li Na in the first place. Elena was only making use of him to have a better life, so she does not count. If you are Feng Yu, what would you do and who would you choose? Li Na, Elena, Zhou Kexin or all of the above?