05 - He gives the carrot then beats you with a stick
The atmosphere was strangely quiet for a few seconds, Lin Mian met the man's deep black eyes and pulled back her hand that was holding the canned cat.
Que Qingyan's expression was faint at that moment, and she couldn't tell what he was thinking.
Lin Mian sighed in her heart as she observed his reaction, and the heart of a young girl who was boiling with enthusiasm instantly cooled.
She was overwhelmed. She wasn’t a brainless girl who was easily torn down by pretentious men. But the man in front of her was Que Qingyan. Usually she liked to be an idiot in private and he would let her go but if she really offended him in front of his seniors, writing a review may not be enough.
This was a truth she learnt from him many years ago.
She quickly prayed three times in my heart, but no answer seemed forthcoming. Lin Mian hesitated for a moment, blinked and retreated, "If you are busy, I’ll go back first, I don't want to bother you..."
"You aren’t going back with your roommates?"
"Huh?" Lin Mian looked up blankly, then hurriedly reacted, "My roommates don’t have class in the afternoon and already went back before. There’s no roommate left to go with me."
There aren’t any roommates at all.
Her expression was too anxious and expectant, like a child asking for candy, fearing that his next word would be rejection. Que Qingyan stared at her for two seconds, then turned his eyes away, "Let's go."
Lin Mian hadn't registered his words yet, "...ah."
Que Qingyan stopped, with a smile in his eyes, and asked, "Isn't it on the way?"
Lin Mian suddenly squatted, "It’s, it’s on the way."
Realizing that he had acquiesced, Lin Mian looked at Que Qingyan's tall and straight back, and touched her hot face at an angle that he couldn't see. Her face filled with a tearful expression of biting her handkerchief. His pace was brisk and he walked away in an upbeat manner.
As a best-selling mànhuà artist Lin Mian always knew how to create coercive storytelling and how to show the cuteness fitting a shàonǚ style. Even if the plot was simple, she could draw the most intriguing interactions, making her fans sigh every time.
But everyone who knew her well knew that Lin Mian didn’t have a girlish heart.
Mu Mian prefered to watch thrillers and horror movies, and to her the most unbearable genre was the girly mànhuà that she herself drew.
Her editor had lamented more than once, other people more or less developed their craft from a hobby or interest, but Mu Mian was born a talented shàonǚ mànhuà artist.
However talent would be exhausted one day sooner or later, and once it was exhausted, the talents would fall into a slump.
But slumps for Lin Mian lasted no longer than one or two days. The worst time, her sleep over the three-days totaled no more than ten hours. She was wide-eyed in the middle of the night and could have played the ghost of a Chinese girl if she added a white bed sheet.
However, after accidentally encountering Que Qingyan again, the warm blood of Lin Mian's body burned to the apex of her heart, and her girlish heart was rekindled.
Que Qingyan's car wasn’t parked far away. He opened his door and Lin Mian placed her thin white fingers on the cold handle of the opposite door, then sneaked a glance at him before getting into the car.
They happened to meet gazes across the body of the dark car.
Que Qingyan didn't notice her unconscious flinch, tapped the roof of the car with his slender fingers, and said calmly, "Get in the car."
Lin Mian opened the door obediently and got into the car, not forgetting to fasten her seat belt, and sat beside him.
Her posture was as stiff as a teenager taking their driver's license test.
It was dusk at the end of October, and the outside temperature still hadn’t dropped. Que Qingyan turned on the car's air conditioner and saw Lin Mian sitting upright, he didn’t start the car.
Noticing there was no movement next to her, Lin Mian couldn't hold back. She turned her head to look at him, and saw the man with one hand on the steering wheel, and his free hand stretched out to pull open the glove box in the car. She looked down, there were a few small boxes of milk inside.
Que Qingyan, associate professor of the Department of Law of K University, a man with a mature charm in every gesture of every action, had nothing else in his glove box...but boxes of milk.
There were no other snacks in the car, and Que Qingyan had no distracting habits when driving. The milk boxes were bought when he went to the airport to pick up Que Min two days ago. His little niece only drank one box, and the rest were left in his car.
Que Qingyan saw Lin Mian's doubts, but didn't explain, and asked, "Want one?"
He gave one to her. Lin Mian's eyes were glowing, and she thanked him softly.
The milk box was so perfect that she wasn't willing to drink it for a while. At that moment, she just wanted to bring the milk back and find a glass cabinet to display it in as a collection. The exhibit would be named "Qu Qingyan No Love Milk."
Hmm...just draw another pink love heart.
Lin Mian felt a little sweet in her heart, she took the milk in her hand and looked at it twice, and saw a line of words printed in English on the side of the box:
Recommended ages: one to three years old.
Lin Mian, "..."
The car started smoothly and drove out of the campus along the boulevard. Lin Mian's heartbeat was rapid, and while rubbing the edge of the milk carton, she tried to think of something to say. Before she came up with a topic, however, he spoke first.
"Listen to music?"
Listening to his voice, Que Qingyan's attitude appeared to be gentle. Lin Mian originally thought that she had hit his limit asking to go back with him, but she didn't expect that he would talk to her on his own initiative.
Lin Mian shook her head, and replied very obediently, "We aren't going far, I don't need music."
Que Qingyan answered and asked calmly, "Do you want to sleep?"
"..." Lin Mian was taken aback for a second time and her soul collapsed, she felt like she was about to cry.
Was he just waiting for this moment??
Others beat you with a stick and then gave the carrot, but he beat her right after she'd received the carrot. The blow smoothed Lin Mian's disordered heartbeat, and by the way, dispersed all her romantic thoughts.
She originally wanted to take advantage of the good atmosphere, and mention whether the 40,000 word review could be reduced...it seemed that, it was fortunate she hadn't mentioned it earlier.
Lin Mian's eyes were tearful, and she turned to look at the man, "Professor Que, I'm sorry, I really won't sleep in your class next time." After saying that, it wasn't enough, so she added firmly, "Really, I promise!"
She apologized extremely sincerely, and Que Qing was a little surprised, "Hm?"
He really didn't have the vice of settling accounts after the fact. His question just before was just casual teasing and he had no other intentions. He didn't expect her to react so much.
The ending sound of his 'hm' rose up, with a slight hoarseness and humour. In Lin Mian's ear, it changed its meaning.
It translated as: How many promises have you made to me, but you still sleep, now you think it's useful to apologise, hm?
Lin Mian's heart was on a rollercoaster, and she wanted to bite her seat belt.
The road ahead happened to reach a red light, and the car stopped slowly. Que Qingyan turned his face and glanced at Lin Mian, his facial features were set against the twilight that entered the window, and he laughed and asked, "Am I so scary?"
Lin Mian was taken aback for a moment, and hurriedly answered, "No..."
"I think I may be strict with my students, but I don't think I'm too harsh." After the red light changed, Que Qingyan turned his gaze back, "So you don't need to be so cautious in front of me."
Lin Mian said lightly, "Ah."
No, it's not that.
How could she be unrestrained.
She secretly thought, if you knew what I thought of you, your reaction might not be as simple as being strict.
He treated her as a child, but she wanted to...
Que Qingyan didn't pay attention to her anymore. Lin Mian was bored so she took out her phone to check the time, only to find that she had received a WeChat message.
【Xu Zhu: Shīmèi!】
【Lin Mian: Shīxiōng!】
【Xu Zhu: Shīmèi, your brother may have just experienced amnesia, and I don’t remember how you became my sister. Why don't you explain to me, shīmèi?】
While Xu Zhu had just crossed the sea for Lin Mian in front of Que Qingyan, both of them knew that he wasn't Lin Mian's relative.
Lin Mian was a student of the S University of Fine Arts and had joined the school debate team in college, and so had Xu Zhu. The two had participated in the University Debate League together, one coming second and the other third. They had different opinions on stage because of the different entry points of their arguments and their teams tore each other apart. The scene was horrible. Since then, they had never met again.
Xu Zhu and Lin Mian were both students in the same year at S University, but in different colleges. Now one graduated as an artist and the other went to K University to do a Master's degree in law.
Lin Mian explained it in a few words, and only briefly mentioned that she was checking off her name in place of Xu Tong.
He didn't need to know, what he didn't need to know, like that she seemed to be acting in a campus spy movie. After waiting for two minutes, Xu Zhu's message came back. It was an emoticon of a row of candles.
【Lin Mian: ?】
【Xu Zhu: There aren't many people who dare to deceive the boss so blatantly. I'll light a candle for you in advance.】
The boss referred to Que Qingyan.
Lin Mian put down the phone and looked at the man driving beside her with a guilty conscience.
Since Que Qingyan was Xu Zhu's mentor...
Suddenly she thought of something, she re-opened WeChat, and typed a line full of sincerity.
【Xu Zhu: What do you want the boss’ WeChat for? You don't really want to be my shīmèi, do you?】
Lin Mian denied it in her heart, I want to be your teacher...of course, this was just a dream.
After a while, Xu Zhu pushed Que Qingyan's WeChat account to her.
Lin Mian looked at the WeChat that was being pushed over. Her thumb against the screen was a little hot. She hesitated for a moment, then thanked Xu Zhu and closed the WeChat.
...no, she dare not add it!
K University was only a 20-minute drive away from Lin Mian’s apartment. Before the car entered the underground garage, she turned to Que Qingyan and said, "Professor Que, just let me off here." At the end, she added seriously, "Thank you."
Que Qingyan looked at her.
The elevator in the underground garage could go directly to all of the floors, but she asked to get off in front of the building. Lin Mian paused, then whispered, "I want to go for a run."
To calm down……
She blushed, opened her eyes and lied, "Get strong, keep fit."
The two separated in front of the apartment building and Lin Mian really ran around her building in the apartment block twice. When she returned home, she was panting and slumped on the sofa, blushing after the exercise.
She poked open WeChat and looked at the unfamiliar profile picture. His WeChat name was Que.
To add or not to add?
Lin Mian had a rotten heart, just do it.
Before adding him, she made some preliminary preparations, replacing her avatar with the eight characters of "要稿没有要命一条" with a fresh and sweet anime girl, deleting all the circles of friends that might reveal real information about her, and leaving a Moment showing her quiet and peaceful lifestyle.
After sending a friend request, she rolled around on the sofa a few times, then curled up into a pancake with her mobile phone in her arms.
Lin Mian calmly sat up at the back of the sofa, silently staring at the screen with her face in her hands.
For five minutes, nothing happened.
For ten minutes, nothing happened.
For half an hour……
Still nothing happened.
She already knew, Que Qingyan would not add strangers.
Lin Mian stayed silent for a few seconds, then stood up shamelessly, put down her phone, and decided to deal with some mundane affairs, taking a bath and calming down.
She came out of the bathroom while wiping her hair, resisting the desire to fish for her mobile phone on the sofa, and she went to the kitchen to cook a pot of soup.
The soup was still simmering slowly. Lin Mian put a towel on her wet hair and slowly dried it beside the sofa. Her movements slowed down several times and she slowly opened the screen of the phone, poked WeChat open slowly, and slowly...
After a moment of silence, Lin Mian, "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh~"
Her friend request was approved! !
A few fireworks exploded in Lin Mian's mind, looking at the dialog box that appeared, her fingertips hovered on the screen, she didn't know what to say.
Enduring her violent heartbeat, she typed:
【Professor Que, hello.】
She was safe, there was no reply.
She was Xu Tong now, should she talk about topics that should be discussed by law majors?
Lin Mian imagined a serious dialogue between her and a case analysis. She crossed out this possibility.
What if she wasn't Xu Tong? If it was her...
Several times this week, she had almost fallen off her horse in front of Que Qingyan. Could he have noticed? If she confessed to him now and admitted her mistakes, it would be better than being discovered by him later...right?
After thinking about it, Lin Mian decided to ask Xu Zhu first, she poked into the latter's chat sincerely.
【Lin Mian: Xu Zhu, if I confess to Professor Que that I have been lying to him, will there be any...consequences?】
Xu Zhu replied quickly.
【Xu Zhu: My boss isn't a man who holds grudges.】
Lin Mian heaved a sigh of relief. She was just about to exit the chat, and have a heart-to-heart dialogue with Que Qingyan, when she saw the other party typing again.
【Xu Zhu: He isn't human at all when he holds grudges.】
Lin Mian, "………………"
At that moment, Que Qingyan's chat pinged an alert.
Lin Mian looked at the cold word 'how', and recalled Xu Zhu's words again and again. She held back her confession before her desire to survive.
What to say...
Thirty seconds later.
【Lin Mian: I got your WeChat from a friend.】
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