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Her Little Dimples

10.1

The Exam

1

I don't know what that person is up to.


Xu You thought wearily, carrying the hot drink in her hand, and walked along in silence.


Suddenly feeling someone watching her, Xu You snapped back to reality and met Chen Xiao's gaze.


She smiled at Xu You, but her expression was a bit complicated, and a faint voice sounded, "Achai, who bought you the milk tea?"


After a few seconds of silence, Xu You asked, "What's wrong?"


“It’s nothing, I’m just a bit curious.”


Xu You had no idea that Chen Xiao's imagination was running wild. She shook her head and gave a vague reply, "I don't know either."


"Don't play dumb!"


Chen Xiao put on a serious face and pressed on, "Tell me, do you have a secret affair with someone?!"


A secret affair?!


The word startled Xu You.


What nonsense was this? She had only been at this school for a few days and barely knew anyone. How could she possibly have a secret affair with anyone?


"What are you even thinking?"


Xu You didn't know how to explain, a bit flustered, she stammered, "You have quite the imagination."


"It must have been someone from your class who bought it!"


Chen Xiao looked at Xu You, thinking she really didn't know, and started to analyze logically, "But the boys in your class are all pretty great, many of them are good-looking, and many come from well-off families. You could say it's one of the highest quality classes in the whole grade."


At this age, most students find studying at school boring and tedious. While studying, they definitely need to find some fun for themselves.


So, all sorts of things happen in the grade, from gossip to trivial news, and during breaks, they gather to share these tidbits, passing them from one person to the next, spreading like wildfire throughout the grade. Chen Xiao knows a lot of gossip, especially about those "popular figures."


Who likes who, which handsome guy from which class is dating which beautiful girl, who has a grudge against whom, she knows it all.


But Xu You was clearly distracted.


Chen Xiao continued, pulling her into the conversation with growing excitement, "Maybe some boy in your class has already set his eyes on you, ah! Even someone from Class Nine."


"Um, that..." Xu You didn't want to continue discussing this kind of thing, so she changed the subject, "Do you know where the multimedia classroom is?"


"Multimedia classroom?" Chen Xiao paused, furrowing her brows in confusion, "Why do you need to go there?"


Xu You replied, "Our teacher posted the seating arrangement for tomorrow's monthly exam there. That's where I'll be taking the test."


"Oh, oh, oh." Chen Xiao realized, "You're a transfer student, I totally forgot. But that exam room is usually for the students at the bottom of the class."


Xu You nodded, indicating she knew.


The two of them just walked into the school, turning a corner on the tree-lined path, and a teaching building appeared before their eyes.


Chen Xiao pointed to the opposite side of the fountain and said to Xu You, "Look, it's right next to the music room, the multimedia classroom is on the first floor."


Xu You looked in the direction she pointed, silently committing it to memory.


---


According to the usual practice at Lin City First High School, there are no morning study sessions on exam days.


Since the classes haven't been divided into arts and sciences yet, students have to take exams in both areas.


On the first day, the schedule is Chinese in the morning, science in the afternoon, and humanities in the evening.


On the second day, they have math in the morning and English in the afternoon.


Xu You set her alarm for 6:00 AM. She quietly got dressed, climbed down from her bunk, tidied herself up, and sat at her desk to review her essay for half an hour.


After a while, her roommates started waking up one by one.


Liao Yuemin rubbed her eyes and yawned as she passed by Xu You, sleepily greeting her, "Yoyo, you're up so early."


Xu You replied with a nod, packed her books, and went to the bathroom to brush her teeth and wash her face.

Before leaving, she filled her large water bottle with hot water and put it into her backpack.


Carrying the breakfast she bought from the cafeteria, Xu You walked slowly toward the exam hall. Groups of students passed by her now and then.


The early morning campus was serene, with a few osmanthus trees lining the paths, just in bloom. A gentle breeze carried their subtle fragrance through the air.


The sky was gradually brightening, with golden rays spreading across the horizon.


When Xu You arrived at the exam hall, she found her seat, sat down, and took out her books. While eating her breakfast, she began to review her notes.


The exam was scheduled to start at 8:30.


Glancing at her watch, Xu You saw that it was already 8:00, but the hall was still mostly empty.


After another ten minutes or so, more students started to fill the room.


Li Jieyi walked in with Song Yifan and Xie Ci. None of them had brought anything except a pen, casually strolling into the exam hall one after the other.


With his hand resting on Song Yifan’s shoulder, Li Jieyi stood at the entrance, looking around the room. He asked, "Hey, where's my beacon of hope sitting? Point her out for me."


Song Yifan lifted his chin, looking around.


“There, there!” He pointed to the right front, “Your light, your goddess of hope.”


Li Jieyi glanced over casually.


A slender figure sat quietly not far away, head bowed, black ponytail draped over her shoulders.


Xu You focused on her textbook, intently reciting a poem, when she suddenly felt a poke on her back.


She turned around to see a head suddenly pop up in front of her.


Xu You instinctively leaned back and let out a soft "eek."


The delicate sound of her voice made the boys present laugh.


Some even imitated her softly.


Song Yifan leaned on the desk behind her, grinning cheekily, "Sister, how about we make a deal?"


"What?" Xu You's eyes moved upwards, noticing two other boys standing nearby.


One she didn't know, and the other was...


The moment Xu You's eyes met Xie Ci's, she froze for a second before quickly looking away.


Song Yifan pointed to Li Jieyi beside him, "This is my buddy. He'll sit next to you later. Can you let him copy your answers during the exam?"


After a two-second pause,


Xu You asked blankly, "How can he copy? What about the teacher?"


She had never done anything like this before and had no experience.


Song Yifan familiarly patted her shoulder, signaling her not to worry, "You don't have to do anything, just lift your paper slightly so he can see some of the multiple-choice questions."


Li Jieyi looked at the frail girl in a school uniform in front of him.


He sighed inwardly, "No wonder, no wonder."


"Little sister, thank you so much. My next month's living expenses depend on you. I'll treat you to dinner after the exam," Li Jieyi said.


He had already thanked her, and Xu You didn't know how to refuse. After a brief hesitation, she nodded hesitantly, "Uh, no need to treat me."


With about ten minutes before the exam started, the invigilator was already sitting on the podium at the front, counting the exam papers.

Li Jieyi and Xie Ci finished chatting and jumped down from the desk. Just as he was about to walk back to his seat, he seemed to remember something and turned back to ask, "Hey, Ci, I have a question for you."


"Go ahead," Xie Ci said lazily, leaning on the desk and reading a basketball magazine.


"Well," Li Jieyi put an arm on Xie Ci's shoulder and asked in a low voice, "Why were you staring at that girl just now? Do you think she's pretty?"


Xie Ci continued to look at the magazine, his expression unchanged.

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