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Chapter 23 - Scarlet Maple Leaf 04
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Chapter 23 - Scarlet Maple Leaf 04

Xiao Lou pretended to be a new teacher and followed the students of the senior Class 3 to the playground.

He walked around the playground in a bright manner, acting like a new teacher observing the school environment. In fact, he always watched the students of Class 3 with vigilance, especially Ying Xiaoya, Xie Xinghe, Yu Hui and Yi Rui, the four students whose name had appeared.

The bloody case hadn’t occurred yet and it wasn’t known what role these students would play. They were likely to be killed, become murderers, eyewitnesses or important clue witnesses.

Therefore, no traces could be let go.

The Class 3 students ran around the playground under the supervision of the class teacher.

The class monitor Xie Xinghe had a very stiff expression. Based on his performance in English class, it could be inferred that Xie Xinghe was a top student who was very popular with the teachers. As class monitor, he would also feel more responsible. He had an intellectual appearance and his body was thin. He wore a white shirt and a pair of glasses, perfectly fitting the image of a ‘top student.’

Yu Hui was the opposite. His handsome appearance and strong physical strength were obviously the result of long-term exercise. He wore a pair of very professional brand-name basketball shoes and should like basketball very much. He was a sporty type that was popular among high school girls.

Ying Xiaoya was a beautiful girl with bad grades.

Her desk mate Yi Ru was a fat girl with a very ordinary appearance.

Xiao Lou carefully observed the interactions between the four people and soon realized that the relationship between Ying Xiaoya and Yu Hui wasn’t normal. Yu Hui always intentionally or unintentionally protected Ying Xiaoya and secretly gave Ying Xiaoya some chocolates. This scene didn’t escape Xiao Lou’s eyes.

Yi Ru seemed to feel something for the class monitor. During the running process, she kept glancing at Xie Xinghe from the side.

As for Xie Xinghe, he had a stinky expression from beginning to end. It was obvious that his performance was good so he was very upset about being punished with everyone.

After running 10 laps in a row, the class teacher asked everyone to stop and rest. Then he said, “Yu Hui, rest for 10 minutes before continuing to run laps. Ying Xiaoya, come with me to the office.”

He called Ying Xiaoya alone to the office and the alert Xiao Lou immediately followed.

Xiao Lou was familiar with the layout of the school. There was an air corridor between the administrative building and the three teaching buildings. The class teacher walked from the third floor of the third grade teaching building through the air corridor to the language office in the corner.

The office didn’t contain anyone and was surprisingly quiet. Therefore, the sound inside was clearly transmitted to Xiao Lou’s ears.

The class teacher sighed. “Xiaoya, for this month’s exams, your score is the worst in the entire grade. Your English score is 15 points, your language score is 20 points, science is 10 points and mathematics... you actually gave me a score of 0 points!”

Xiao Lou, “...”

This girl’s grades were too bad.

Ying Xiaoya bowed her head, bit her lips and twisted her hands tightly together.

The class teacher continued. “Xie Xinghe scored 150 points on the mathematics exam while all your classes add up to only 50 points. This is only a fraction of his class score. Tell me, what happened to you during that time?”

Ying Xiaoya didn’t speak.

The class teacher knocked on the table, his voice stern. “Were you busy being in love with Yu Hui?”

Ying Xiaoya’s face suddenly became very pale. She clenched her fingers together and exclaimed, “No! Teacher, I’m just good friends with Yu Hui. Really, believe me...”

The class teacher stared at her coldly. “I’m also a person and how can I not see it? Yu Hui gives you chocolate every day and goes home with you at night. Many people in class have seen it. They said that you and he were talking about something at the school gate in the middle of the night.”

Ying Xiaoya wanted to refute this but the class teacher directly interrupted her. “No explanations. You are currently young and ignorant. It is normal to like someone. However, you are a senior and you must be clear that the most important thing is your academics.”

“Yu Hui’s class results aren’t good. He has already told me that he wants to go to a sports school. You can study hard, go to school with him in the city and then it isn’t too late to fall in love! Don’t let this incident affect your future!”

The class teacher’s words were reasonable and he was good at convincing students in puppy love rather than scolding them.

He took out a report card and said, “Last month, you scored a total of 350 points. You have always been in the middle ranks of the class and you have been studying seriously. I thought that you could improve this month. I didn’t expect your points to be a failure&#k2014;from 350 points to 50 points!” He pushed the transcript to Ying Xiaoya and looked at her helplessly. “Tell me, isn’t it too much for you to fall in love?”

Ying Xiaoya’s hands twisted together and she seemed to be feeling very complicated. After a long time, she whispered, “Teacher, it isn’t what you think. My performance fell during this time is actually because...”

Xiao Lou pricked his ears and was just about to listen to key information when the young language teacher pushed open the door of the office. She saw them and was surprised for a moment before smiling, “Old Zhao, you are training the students in your class again?”

Ying Xiaoya’s face paled and she bowed her head, refusing to say anything more.

This teacher came in at a really bad time. The class teacher smiled and said, “Okay, you can leave. Remember what I said. Academics is the most important thing and everything else can be left for after the university entrance examination. You are very serious and hard-working. I believe that you just have to put your mind on studying and your results will definitely catch up.”

Ying Xiaoya was silent for a moment before bowing deeply to the teacher and turning away.

The female teacher who just came through the door poured a cup of coffee and started gossiping. “Old Zhao, was that Ying Xiaoya? The one who came last in the entire year?”

The class teacher had a headache and pinched his brow. “This girl is probably in love and her results plummeted. She actually gave me 0 points in the mathematics test. I thought I was seeing things at first.”

The female teacher laughed loudly. “How is it possible to get 0 points? For the multiple choice questions, can’t you just guess and manage to get one right?”

Teacher Zhao shook his head and sighed. “I don’t know how she took the exam but all the questions were wrong. Alas, children these days...”

The two people started a ‘the current students were really difficult to manage’, ‘we were simple at that time’...

There was no more information. Xiao Lou found that Ying Xiaoya left the office in a dejected manner and followed quietly.

Ying Xiaoya walked through the air corridor back to Class 3 in the Chongwen Building. Xiao Lou discovered that Yu Hanjiang was waiting for him in the corridor.

Yu Hanjiang with a strong sense of existence was standing in the middle of the corridor. However, Ying Xiaoya passed by him and didn’t even act like she saw him. The girl was lost and seemed to be sleepwalking.

Yu Hanjiang frowned and looked at her back.

Just then, the class bell rang and the teachers and students of every class came out of the classroom. Some teachers returning to the office found the two strange faces of Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang and exchanged puzzled expressions.

Xiao Lou gave them a slight smile before turning towards Yu Hanjiang. “Teacher Yu, I was looking for you.”

Yu Hanjiang played along. “Teacher Xiao, I have something to discuss with you. Let’s walk while talking.”

The two men walked next to each other in the air corridor. The passersby thought they were teachers of other grades and there were no doubts.

This was the benefit of a big school. There were too many teachers and teachers of different grades might only see each other several times a year. The two of them calmly mixed in as ‘teachers’, avoided the surveillance in the teaching building and quickly walked to a corner.

Yu Hanjiang stopped and whispered, “What did you find?”

Xiao Lou used a soft voice to quickly tell Group Leader Yu the information he discovered. “The class teacher called Ying Xiaoya to speak separately to her. She used to have good grades and was in the middle level. This time, she was actually last in her grade only for her results to suddenly plummet. It must’ve been due to a major change in her life. The class teacher concluded that she and Yu Hui are in love but I feel there is another reason.”

Yu Hanjiang thought about it. “I found a love letter in Ying Xiaoya’s drawer. It was printed and there is no signature so I can’t judge the source. In addition, there is a piece of paper in Ying Xiaoya’s book. It is messy and repeats the sentence: What should I do?”

The class teacher had the entire Class 3 run around the playground so the classroom was empty and the door wasn’t locked. This was obviously an opportunity that the secret room gave to the two people—intentionally giving them time to let the challengers gather clues.

Yu Hanjiang’s ability to search for evidence was more professional than Xiao Lou. The entire classroom was searched in just 20 minutes.

He quickly told Xiao Lou his own discoveries. “Yu Hui’s bag has a box of chocolates and a girl’s scarf. Xie Xinghe’s bag is full of reference materials but I also discovered the novel ‘The Count of Monte Cristo.’ Yi Ru’s drawer contains an exquisite gift back with some folded paper cranes. The other students should have little to do with the case and there are only textbooks in their bags.”

Xiao Lou touched his chin and summed it up. “So both Yu Hui and Xie Xinghe might like Ying Xiaoya. Yi Ru might like one of the boys and is folding 1,000 paper cranes to give to that person?”

Yu Hanjiang frowned. “Looking again, I don’t think it’s that simple.”

Xiao Lou fell into deep thought.

A curse, love letter, chocolates, paper cranes and the famous book ‘Count of Monte Cristo’ and Ying Xiaoya’s achievements suddenly plummeting. what was the connection between these things?

***

The second lesson was mathematics.

The maths teacher asked the class monitor to hand out the papers and spoke with a cold face. “For this exam, there are two extremes in our class. Xie Xinghe got 150 points and is the only full score in the entire year. Another classmate got 0 points in the mathematics test and this is also the only 0 score in the entire year.”

The entire class looked at each other. They seemed to be searching for the unlucky person who scored 0 points.

Ying Xiaoya bowed her head and held the test paper tightly in her hand.

The teacher said, “For this lesson, I will talk about the paper. Reflect on yourself and copy the wrong questions to me 10 times.”

Nothing happened the entire class. The mathematics teacher calmly talked about the paper. Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang also listened to the lesson about trigonometric functions, equations, space vectors... Yu Hanjiang had a headache while Xiao Lou listened with enjoyment.

The end of the second class happened to be the interval between classes. Xie Xinghe frowned and looked at Xie Xinghe. “If you don’t wear the school uniform, the class will have points deducted. Don’t leave with the others. Change and then stay in the classroom for the duty.”

Ying Xiaoya nodded gently.

Yu Hui walked over and grabbed a boy’s shoulder. “Dude, change with me. I’ll be on duty today.”

The boy glanced between him and Ying Xiaoya, made an ‘I understand’ expression and ran away with a smile.

The students soon left, leaving only Yu Hui and Ying Xiaoya in the classroom.

Yu Hui whispered, “What did the class teacher call you over to say?”

Ying Xiaoya replied with a white face, “N-Nothing, just that I should study well and so on...”

Yu Hui fidgeted with his hair. “What happened to you this time? I remember that previously, your English was good and your average score was around 70 points. How did you suddenly get 15 points?”

Ying Xiaoya was filled with incomparable frustration as she cried out, “I-I filled out the wrong answer sheet.”

“...Fuck.” Yu Hui walked over and gently rubbed her hair. “Don’t mind it. Teacher Zhang is experiencing menopause recently and she is scolding people every day. Sending you to the punishment station was polite. Last time she used a ruler to hit me. You just need to do better in the next exam.”

Ying Xiaoya finally smiled. “Yes.”

The two people chatted while sweeping the floor. The sun shone through the window onto their bodies, the image warm and beautiful.

Yu Hui suddenly thought of something. He pulled the scarf and chocolates out of his bag and handed them to her. “This is a gift for you. Today is your 18th birthday. Happy birthday, Xiaoya.”

Ying Xiaoya burst out crying and she took the scarf with trembling hands. “Thank you...”

Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang glanced at each other.

Yu Hui and Ying Xiaoya’s conversation revealed a key message. Today was Ying Xiaoya’s 18th birthday and this girl truly had a bad day. She was punished in English class and scored 0 points in mathematics class...

Perhaps for her, this scarf was the only warmth of her 18th birthday.

***

The class break ended and the third class was physics class. The teacher continued to talk about the exam and Ying Xiaoya’s comprehensive results were at the bottom. She was scolded by the physics teacher and the girl’s face became paler.

In the fourth class, a burly young male teacher suddenly walked in. “Your chemistry teacher is sick today. Tomorrow afternoon’s first PE class will be switched with today’s fourth quarter chemistry class. Sports committee, take everyone to the basketball court to warm up!”

Yu Hui stood up and took his classmates to the court.

The PE teacher simply organized a class basketball game. He divided the boys into two groups to face each other. Yu Hui and Xie Xinghe were in different teams.

Yu Hui was a sports committee member. He was tall and had a very high shooting percentage. Surprisingly, Xie Xinghe might be thin but he played basketball surprisingly well. After several rounds, the scores of both sides were deadlocked.

At 25:23, the girls screamed as Yu Hui made a handsome dunk.

At 25:26, Xie Xinghe accurately hit a three-pointer.

Yu Hui grabbed the rebound and quickly dribbled it. He was blocked by Xie Xinghe in the vicinity of the restricted area. He raised his eyebrows and made a fake move to the left while trying to breakthrough in the opposite direction. However, Xie Xinghe seemed to have expected it and deliberately moved to the right to stop him. Yu Hui was moving too quickly and the two people slammed into each other.

Xie Xinghe was hit by the huge force and fell to the ground, his knees bruised. Yu Hui wasn’t as good. He hit his head and was bleeding.

This solidly ignited Yu Hui’s anger. He stood up and grabbed Xie Xinghe’s collar, yelling as he wiped the blood on his face. “Did you fucking do it deliberately?”

Xie Xinghe patted off the dust on his body. “I was just defending. You were the blind one who hit me.”

The PE teacher had gone to answer the phone and wasn’t present. Once the two of them started, the class became a chaotic mess. The boys of the two teams mixed together while swearing at each other. The girls stood next to them, nervously trying to persuade them to stop. Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang were standing in the distance when they suddenly heard the system’s cold voice. “The security is approaching. The distance is 20 metres, 15 metres...”

The four security guards on school patrol saw the students fighting and immediately rushed over.

Yu Hanjiang didn’t hesitate to take Xiao Lou’s arm and turned away!

If they were found by the security guards then they would be eliminated directly from the game. The security guards were the only obstacles in the 3 of Hearts secret room and couldn’t be hit head-on.

The four security guards came from four directions and the two people had nowhere to hide. If Group Leader Yu hadn’t reacted so quickly then they would’ve been caught.

Yu Hanjiang pulled Xiao Lou to hide behind a big tree.

Group Leader Yu ran too quickly. Xiao Lou was also pulled to run and almost tripped. He took deep breaths as he glanced back at the basketball court.

The chaotic fighting scene quickly subsided. Both Yu Hui and Xie Xinghe had blood on their faces. The PE teacher rushed over and calmly punished all the students.

Xiao Lou’s eyes swept over them and he suddenly stiffened. “Where is Ying Xiaoya?”

Yu Hanjiang also found that Ying Xiaoya wasn’t present and his expression changed. “She left in the mess!”

The next moment, a girl’s scream was heard not far away.

It was a sharp cry with the decibels to the extreme levels, almost penetrating the human eardrum. “Ahhhhhh—”

The security guards were startled and ran over. Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou couldn’t hit the security guards from the front and had to quickly follow behind while finding buildings and trees to cover themselves.

However...

The moment they walked around the corner, they knew the reason for the screams.

Just below the Hangzhi Building, on the concrete floor next to the flower bed, a girl was lying there motionless.

The side of her face was stained with blood and her face couldn’t be seen. The short black hair was scattered in a mess. Under her head, blood slowly spread out, dyeing the white scarf around her neck.

It was the scarf that was given to Ying Xiaoya as an 18th birthday present.

Cold filled Xiao Lou.

Ying Xiaoya had actually jumped in front of his and Yu Hanjiang’s eyes!

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