The Taming of the Yandere
Chapter 21: Four “Lu Fans”
What emotions would a student go through after finishing a difficult test?
Some will be worried and uneasy; some will be filled with expect and craving. Some will be cold and indifferent, and some will show pride and arrogance. My mind, however, was slightly different after exams. It flows like a river, streaming down the hill and rocks.
After filling in my name, class, and student ID, my entire body feels immersed in the thin paper. My brain works in overdrive to solve the problems, and I let go of all senses of time and self.
It was just like in wuxia novels, when the master transfers his knowledge and skills to the disciple. I completely fell into the test paper’s claws. And when the time limit was almost up, I’ll finish up my problems just as the bell rings.
Every time I finish, I have a fairly solid idea on what I did wrong, and where I messed up. Even if I don’t look at the released answers, I could always estimate what my score was.
There are people who say that they’ll be distracted during the test; The teacher staring at you uncomfortably, nervousness and jitters, the student beside you turning in their test too fast, messing up your rhythm….
Honestly, these troubles shouldn’t be worth anything towards a focused, hard-working student.
When I was testing middle school exams, I was in the last row of my classroom. The disgusting and smelly trash can was right beside me. It wasn’t until I finished all of my tests, grueling for hours, that I realized I practically finished my first life-defining test in a dump.
Judging by my hunches, I didn’t do too bad during this exam.
Not too long after the exams were over, the scores and class lists were displayed on the bulletin.
Once the eager crowd of students dissipated from the board, I walked up to see my scores.
Our school has so many people named Lu Fan! There’s three besides me.
Looks like common names are a pain to deal with. This problem will definitely stay with me my whole life.
Let’s check by student ID. I searched up and down through the black sea of dots and dashes.
Class D’s Lu Fan isn’t me, thank goodness. If it were, then my year of hard work would be wasted.
Class C’s middle-ground wasn’t where I landed either. Did I go to Class B? I felt slightly excited.
But the Lu Fan in Class B was off in his student ID with mine by a single digit. Did the teachers mess up the IDs? I stood in confusion.
“Fan, you’re in Class A! You’re so awesome!”
Guotong yelled in surprise.
“What? That’s impossible!”
I didn’t even dare look at Class A’s scores. Those scary-high results aren’t what mortals can achieve. *
*I have no idea if this was intentional or not, but this is a pun. The Chinese term for “mortal”, 凡人, phonetically “fan ren”. Notice how the MC’s name is “Lu Fan.” Fan Ren, Lu Fan? Get it? He’s referring to himself as mortal, haha. Apologies, you must all hate me right now. I’ll see myself out.
“Look, it’s right here!”
Guotong pointed at the list.
I saw it. At the very last of Class A, there was someone called Lu Fan. This guy seemed to only know studying this past year.
“Haha, haha, haha—”
I chuckled like a madman, my face distorted and misshapen.
The girls nearest to me ran away screaming. Even Guotong backed away a few feet.
“Hm, what’s wrong?”
As I calmed my near-exploding heart, I realized the discomfort I was causing the people beside me.
“Fan, that laugh you made was so creepy. It was like after Invincible East learned Sunflower Bible.” *
*This is a reference to one of legendary wuxia novel writer Jin Yong’s many books: The Smiling, Proud Wanderer. In one of its most important scenes, the main character, Invincible East, gets his hands on a skill book called Sunflower Bible. It’s absolutely ridiculous; to gain very powerful martial arts skills granted by the bible, Invincible East needed to cut his dick off and become a eunuch. His personality even became extremely feminine and what we would now call, in modern terms, gay. But hey, anything for power, eh?
“Go die! I just celebrated my success, and became Invincible East? What a joke. By the way, what class are you in?”
I punched his chest.
“The same class as Fan’s of course. We’ll be good desk-mates all throughout high school, my man.”
I found his name just a few spots above mine.
Geniuses are really geniuses. This guy only studied for a week more than usual, and got to Class A’s level? His potential really knows no limits. If he studied every day like me, what heights will he achieve?
“Sigh, looks like I really can’t let loose for a moment. As Class A’s last place, I might be scraped off the list at any moment.”
I have to work harder than before. Since I’m not a prodigy like Guotong, I should keep advancing, steadily and surely.
“Fan, you’ve already worked hard.”
Guotong slapped my shoulder heartily.
“Well, looks like I have to work harder!”
I chuckled again, sweeping my eyes up and down the board.
Next, I curiously looked for the familiar top students.
Did the year’s top classmate Wang go to Humanities? His sciences scores are so high, and his humanities scores last year were a bit of a letdown. But maybe he likes literature more, I guess.
Classmate Li, who stuck stubbornly to the top ten charts last year, still remained in Class A. It seems that he’ll be a fierce competitor later on.
Well, I’m still going for sciences no matter what. I’ll walk this road to the bitter end.
“Hey, Fan, where’s the scores for that girl Jiang Muqing? It’s strange that they left her out.”
“You seem to care a lot for her.”
I smiled knowingly.
“Well, she’s a very good-looking girl, and her grades are off the charts. There aren’t that many beautiful girls with good brains. Although I’m deathly afraid of those monsters at Class A, maybe I’ll have a chance to befriend classmate Jiang Muqing. I’m getting giddy just thinking about it.”
Guotong’s face was ambitious and expectant.
“Did you work half a month for a girl?!”
I felt like our boat of friendship was near tipping.
“Did she not take the exam?
I suddenly felt uneasy.
“I didn’t hear anything about anyone absent. Every single score on there is correct, except for hers. It’s missing.”
Guotong confirmed the name list, and still didn’t find her.
“That’s really strange.”
I furrowed my brows, thinking of all the possiblities.
Suicide? Impossible, she promised me and my mother. She isn’t such an untrustworthy person.
Sickness? Even if she got a severe disease, she probably will still come take such an important test, wouldn’t she?
Among all these reasons, there was only one plausible. Something went wrong on her test papers.
Since she’s been a student for all these years, there shouldn’t be anything wrong with her written personal information. Even if she did write her class or student ID wrong, the school should still find it easily.
“What’s wrong with her?”
I thought for a while, but couldn’t find a reasonable answer.
Someone suddenly pushed me from behind. I thought it was Guotong, but it turned out to be the Class Rep Mo Shiyu.
“Lu Fan, Teacher Li wants you in his office.”
She reported unhappily.
The ponytailed girl turned her head, not wanting to make eye contact with me one bit.
“What does he want?”
I asked, bewildered.
Since I entered Class A, Teacher Li would definitely be my new homeroom teacher. He might just want to congratulate me, and maybe give a few tips and compliments?
“Have some tea.”