IANEWtbaSML 5.3

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Chapter 5.3

Under Wang Yican’s care and attention, Sui Yuan matures rather quickly. Being served delicious food daily, strolling with his owner in the evenings, playing around with the husky and occasionally being ‘disturbed’ by Liu Mingzhou, it can be said that his life is quite smooth-going.

Samoyeds are similar to huskies in that they reach adulthood at around a year and a half old, therefore, the rate at which he reaches full maturity is rather swift. Of course, he doesn’t simply shoot up in the span of a day, but one can tell the moment he leaves behind his tender, infant phase and becomes a formidable-looking adolescent dog. At minimum, whenever Sui Yuan walks alongside Wang Yican, she will not be afraid of mis-stepping and accidentally hurting her pet.

In a blink of an eye, the final exam for the first semester of school arrives. An unending stream of assignments and homework takes over Wang Yican’s daily life. While she is very conscientious about her studies, she is not extremely intelligent, especially in the field of science. Subjects like chemistry, physics and biology leaves her brain aching from strenuous effort. Even if she dedicates more time to them, she often fails to grasp the outline.

Naturally, as her desk-mate and close friend, Sun Jie cannot turn a blind eye to her distress. Thus, the two of them walking their dogs, doing their homework and discussing problems becomes the norm. Only, it’s a pity that Sun Jie is the type of student who prefers having a good time over studying. As a result, he cannot contribute much to their study sessions together. Most of the time, Wang Yican and he can only stare at each other in dismay whenever they are met with a question they can’t solve.

Seeing the day of the final exams approaching closer and closer, but a huge pile of unsolvable problems still lying before them, Wang Yican finally makes a decision after some consideration. “We cannot go on like this. Let’s ask Teacher Liu and see if he has time to spare to go over these topics with us.”

To be honest, worries over her studies is just one part of why she wants to ask Teacher Liu for assistance. The amorous feelings sprouting in the heart of a young girl longing for more interactions with the man she admires is the other part of the reason. Moreover, they occasionally meet Liu Mingzhou when they are walking their dogs in the garden. Chatting and laughing with the man makes him seem more like a friend than a senior, causing Wang Yican’s mental barrier to lower around him and also strengthening her desire to get closer.

Hearing Wang Yican’s proposal, Sun Jie’s face immediately darkens. He has long pegged that teacher as a target he has to take careful note of, but is at the same time afraid and respectful of the man. “Ai…you don’t mean that, do you? Seeing that teacher’s face every day in school is more than enough. Why do we still have to see him for afterschool revisions? I will die from it!”

“In any case, I have made up my mind. If you don’t like it, you don’t need to come!” Wang Yican replies heedlessly, rolling her eyes. Adding Sun Jie’s carefree personality and the fact that both of them are very familiar with each other, Wang Yican allows herself to speak freely before him, unafraid that she might unknowingly provoke his anger.

“…Fine, I’ll come,” Sun Jie murmurs resentfully. Even if he doesn’t like the idea of sitting through revisions with Liu Mingzhou, he is unwilling to leave Wang Yican alone with the teacher. After all, he is well aware of his friend’s regards towards Liu Mingzhou, and no matter how old a man is, they will always unconsciously put up their guard around their love rivals.

Thus, this matter is settled just like that.

Sui Yuan, who has been lying next to them throughout their conversation, yawns widely. Judging that the storyline is developing smoothly in the general direction it is supposed to head towards, he doesn’t bother paying close attention, simply lazing on his soft, velvety cushion. No matter how the lively husky nudges and walks over him, he remains stubbornly motionless.

By now, he has seen Liu Mingzhou around quite often, approximately once every two days, so he no longer tenses up whenever the other man approaches. At the same time, Sui Yuan also feels that Liu Mingzhou hasn’t seen through him yet. While he always displays tenderness when interacting with Sui Yuan, it is merely the affection a human has for a pet. There is no other deeper meaning than that.

Regarding this, Sui Yuan has to admit that he feels the slightest trace of loss, but this unusual sensation is an insignificant influence on his determination to distance himself from his senior colleague.

On the day Wang Yican brings Liu Mingzhou and Sun Jie back home for revision, Sui Yuan is conscientiously learning all sorts of cultural knowledge from 5237 that might come in handy later on in other worlds.

Ears pricking up at the familiar gait outside the door, Sui Yuan stands and shakes his fur[1], stepping gracefully towards the door. Welcoming one’s owner at the door upon their return is one of the few standard requirements for every competent pet dog. Doing so will surely be able to increase goodwill between an owner and their pet!

Adapting the most adorable posture, he sits on his hunches before the door, – Sui Yuan has always been good at exploiting his pretty appearance and ‘angel-like smile’ – tail wagging joyously. He is determined to give the fatigued Wang Yican an affectionate welcome back after her long, exhausting day at school.

However, when the entrance door opens, the first he sees is not the gentle, shy smiling face of his owner, but a black-and-white shadow that darts swiftly into the house.

Sui Yuan’s fur bristles, getting up on all fours with the intention to turn and flee. But he is one step too late, and is bowled over by the other party.

The snow-white Samoyed and black-and-white husky roll head over heels in a tangled ball. The former wriggles out with great effort while the latter pursues unremittingly, tongue lolling out in a doggy-grin. Even if Sui Yuan doesn’t like to bark, he can’t help the low growl rumbling in his throat. Despite the threatening edge to it, he fails to incite any fear in the husky or deter it in any way.

Regarding the interactions between their beloved pet dogs, Wang Yican and Sun Jie have long since stopped paying attention, merely laughing once and moving on. Placing their articles for study down on the table, one enters the kitchen to brew some tea while the other invites Liu Mingzhou to sit down.

Settling down on the sofa in the living room, Liu Mingzhou’s profound gaze is fixed on Sun Jie, who is busying himself with helping the female lead. A short moment later, his eyes fall on the two dogs currently wrestling and rolling over towards the sofa. A foot shoots out, the tip of a shoe lightly nudging the husky in its side, urging it off Sui Yuan.

Heckles rising, the husky lifts its head to stare directly at Liu Mingzhou, then abruptly quietens. Seizing this opportunity, Sui Yuan promptly throws the other dog off, scrambling to his feet and dashing off to the corner furthest from the sofa. Once he determines he is relatively safe, he begins to smooth down his messy coat of fur.

Adrienne whines lowly once, head hanging dispiritedly as though it was just reprimanded by its owner. Eventually, its excitement over seeing Sui Yuan again calms. Shaking its fur, it makes its way over to Sui Yuan before lying down on its stomach near him, head on its front paws.

Seeing no other movements from the husky, Sui Yuan’s heart calms a little and assumes the same position. His eyes move towards the two senior high school students, who have finished busying themselves with serving the guest, and are now sitting before the small side table in the living room.

Although Liu Mingzhou is a physics teacher, he is in truth an all-rounder. As long as it is a science subject, he will be able to answer any questions pertaining to them. Hence, he is able to explain everything clearly, answering their inquiries with patience and concise replies. Afterwards, he personally writes out ten different practise problems for them.

While Wang Yican and Sun Jie immerse themselves in their studies, Liu Mingzhou pulls out the fiction novel he brought on his person in order to pass the time.

Minutes tick by like this. Bored out of his mind, Sui Yuan gets to his feet, padding quietly over to Wang Yican’s side. At his nearly full-grown height, he is able to peer over the girl’s shoulder and read the question on the paper before her.

“……I can actually do it!” Crowing in excitement as though he has just discovered a new world, Sui Yuan dutifully reports to 5237, “And I understood everything Liu Mingzhou was explaining just now!”

“Naturally! Can’t you see who your teacher is?!” 5237 sways smugly in the air. “The current you will have no problems dealing with university-level subjects. So just in case you need to play the role of a senior high school student under a lot of schoolwork pressure, you will not be so confused when taking important exams!”

Nodding his head obediently, he glances askance at Liu Mingzhou when he places the book in his hands to one side and stands to his feet.

Walking over to Wang Yican, Liu Mingzhou merely scans her paper for a second with an expressionless face. Stepping past her swiftly, he stops beside Sun Jie.

Wang Yican sighs in relief, somewhat disappointed. On the other hand, Sun Jie instantaneously tenses, his originally muddled train of thought disrupted completely.

Noticing Sun Jie’s pen nib has stopped moving, unable to continue writing another word, Liu Mingzhou leans even closer, one hand on the boy’s shoulder and the other pointing out mistakes on the paper as he murmurs softly beside Sun Jie’s ear.

Sui Yuan watches as Sun Jie’s ear gradually reddens, eyes wandering back and forth over the page, clearly not carefully listening to his teacher’s instructions. The dog’s eyes shift to Liu Mingzhou next.

The man’s expression appears rather solemn, displaying a serious teacher’s attitude towards educating their student. Nonetheless, Sui Yuan feels that this scene is somewhat strange, and can’t help asking. “He…is he trying to seduce Sun Jie?”

“So it seems,” 5237 states disdainfully, tone self-satisfied but regretful. “Sure enough, he is a male lead actor who has already gone through arduous training and hard work in countless worlds, knowing how to use his appearance and charm to its full advantage. See how skilfully he sinks his claws into a person and hook them towards him? If he is only sounding Sun Jie out and doesn’t break all connection, the poor boy will most probably become bent.”

Knowing the boy is suffering in his place, Sui Yuan can only look at him in sympathy. But no matter how guilty he feels, he will not expose himself in order to rescue someone from that fate.

As Sun Jie becomes increasingly agitated, all thoughts of studying vanish, and his eyes constantly dart stealthily towards Liu Mingzhou; the teacher who is well aware of every little twitch can’t help revealing a split-second of disappointment. Removing his hand from Sun Jie’s shoulder, he distances himself once more.

Not knowing if it is due to nervousness or something else, Sun Jie exhales softly in relief, heart still thudding rapidly in his chest. However, even if Liu Mingzhou has walked away, Sun Jie’s brain is still a jumble of chaos, unblinking eyes staring blankly at the words on his paper, all coherent thoughts escaping him.

Sui Yuan can only inwardly shake his head in remorse, thinking that this meat-shield of his will die valiantly in battle before long. Just as he is caught up mentally lighting a candle for Sun Jie, the husky, unwilling to remain lonely and idle any longer, slinks up beside him. Sniffing all over his body, it suddenly rises up, placing its two front paws on either side of his waist.

Sui Yuan’s head snaps around, staring bewilderedly at the husky leaning about half its weight on his back. Only when 5237 begins shrieking wordlessly does he realise something inconceivably wrong is about to happen to him.

Before Sui Yuan can react or even begin to ponder what all this is about, the husky’s tongue lolls out of its mouth as it pants, it’s body moving excitedly. Not being able to turn his head all the way around, he can only feel something being placed below his tail, near his hipbone….rubbing back and forth…

“Ah!” Wang Yican, who is sitting the closest to the two dogs, is the first to notice the problem. She yelps in shock, recoiling a little before a flush creeps up her cheek as she flounders over what’s to be done.

Snapped out of his confused state of mind by the sharp eek, Sun Jie whips his head around to stare at his beloved pet dog. His face slackens into a ‘囧’ when he takes in the scene.

Not waiting for Sun Jie to take action, Liu Mingzhou has already walked over, one hand curling around the husky’s collar, dragging the bigger dog away without any trace of politeness. Returning to his senses, Sun Jie leaps to his feet and wraps his arms around its body, apologising awkwardly to Wang Yican while restricting its motions.

Even if Wang Yican is still relatively ignorant regarding this matter, she is aware that her precious baby was about to be taken advantage of by Sun Jie’s dog – no, her pet was indeed taken advantage of and was almost forced to engage in something unspeakable! She half-rises from her seat, about to soothe Sui Yuan, only to discover Liu Mingzhou is already doing what should have been her job. Drawing the snow-white Samoyed towards him gently, her teacher’s slender fingers scratch the dog’s neck comfortingly. When Liu Mingzhou’s eyes shift towards the husky in Sun Jie’s embrace, a glint of unhappiness surfaces.

Sun Jie’s scalp tingles, the complex feelings that rose after the interaction between his teacher and himself just recently is instantly tossed out the window. Seemingly afraid that Liu Mingzhou will devour his dog whole, his arms tighten minutely around Adrienne.

Noticing Sun Jie’s cautiousness rising, Liu Mingzhou narrows his eyes slightly and smiles. “You husky is already more than a year old, right?”

“……Yes.” Sun Jie nods stiffly.

Liu Mingzhou: “Has it been castrated?”

Sui Jie: “!!!”

“Seems like it hasn’t?” Liu Mingzhou arranges his expression slightly to a grave look, warning the boy with heartfelt advice. “It is better for male dogs to be castrated, or else they will chase female dogs everywhere. They might even aim for other male dogs too, and will be rather aggressive during this short period of time. At the same time, it will restrict their urge to mark territories with urine and will improve their health. They will have lesser chances of developing prostate or testicular tumours.”

Sun Jie has indeed heard of these problems before, but he has always not bothered to care about them. But still, he has to admit that Adrienne’s actions towards Little Snow made him somewhat embarrassed.

On the other hand, the husky completely doesn’t sense the danger it will be facing in the near future, merely sticking its tongue out foolishly and wagging its tail. At the same time, Sui Yuan, who understood everything Liu Mingzhou said, is feeling extremely restless.

…He must have heard wrongly! He misheard, right?! Castration and all that…isn’t it too cruel?! In the off-chance he himself is taken to be castrated, even if he is currently a dog now, Sui Yuan swears it will forever leave a dark shadow behind in his heart!!

Please spare me!! QAQ

Liu Mingzhou can be considered as a low-key person who seeks to blend in, but will amaze the world with a single, brilliant feat. Instantaneously, he has reduced the minds of two students and one dog to smithereens.

Facing with an impending crisis and a shell-shocked Sui Yuan, 5237 nearly pissed in its figurative pants out of horror. Although it wouldn’t be the one castrated, it knows this experience will undoubtedly traumatise its partner. If that ever come to pass, it will definitely also suffer a calamity and be implicated ah!

“This is illogical! Why didn’t the original text mention this?!”

“Who cares if it’s logical or not, the crux of this matter is what’s to be done!” Sui Yuan is currently on the point of breaking down to tears. If he has to be castrated…even he is unsure if he will throw aside his mission to complete the story and run away or not…

It’s a pity that he is now in the body of a dog. He doesn’t possess a right to speak in regards to this matter. All decisions will be left in the hands of his owner. Hearing Liu Mingzhou speak with such frank assurance about Sun Jie’s husky and the necessity for it to be castrated, Wang Yican becomes somewhat mindful about this topic. “If that’s the case…Little Snow will also have to…do that?” This girl with such a thin skin cannot bring herself to say “castrated”, but it is very apparent what she is referring to.

As soon as Wang Yican asks this question, Sui Yuan can’t help but shudder. Lifting his head to gaze at Liu Mingzhou, his watery, limpid, dark eyes lock onto the man, full of pitiful begging.

Met with this look, Liu Mingzhou, who is just about to reply with a “yes”, freezes for a split-second. A somewhat complicated and helpless smile on his face, he rubs Sui Yuan’s head and speaks, voice full of pampering affection. “Little Snow is still small, so it’s not urgent. Wait until he is more than a year old, then we’ll see if it is necessary based on his behaviour.”

Glaring at Liu MIngzhou with disdain and bitterness, he gnashed his teeth and silently pledge in his heart that he will definitely! Be! Very! Well! Behaved! Absolutely! Won’t! Be! Castrated!

5237: “…I’ll light a candle for you…”


Footnotes:

[1] Shakes its fur: Don’t know if this is the right word for it, but it’s something like this:

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