Picking Up Stars - Chapter 2
Chen Ke usually didn’t curse people out, but here he cursed in simultaneous sentences, which was really telling of his foul mood.
Qin Fang was much calmer than he was. Even though at the start, he was a little surprised and didn’t know what to say, at the end, he smiled and told his roommate through the phone, “Okay, now I know.”
After hanging up his walking pace did not change, and when he got to the little supermarket downstairs he also got a bottle of soda for his roommates.
It wasn’t a wonder that Chen Ke commented that the paint smelled terrible, since even before he entered the dorm area, Qin Fang had already smelled something pungent in the supermarket. When he entered the dorm area he shined his phone flashlight over there, only wanting to take a glimpse at a distance, but finally he just came closer to observe and dealt with the smell. The sight had him raising his eyebrows.
“What happened, Fang Ge?” Some people in the same area looked and called down from their balconies.
Qin Fang put away his flashlight and looked up to see quite a few on their balconies, so he called up to them, “I apologize, it has quite the bad smell.”
“Hey, it’s nothing!” Someone said, “If you need help, just tell us!”
“Thanks bro!” Qin Fang waved his arm towards the people upstairs, and then slowly opened the door and eased into the car. He drove it out of the courtyard, since it was really emitting a bad smell and disturbing everybody. Qin Fang found a pretty remote place without a lot of people to park his car. When he got back, the place he was previously had a few bed sheets over it, with bricks on the corners to keep it in place, probably done by his roommates. With this measure, the horrible paint smell that was emitted was better, but still, the entire area had a lingering stench of paint.
When Qin Fang opened the door to his dorm, Chen Ke had come out from the bathroom, having taken a shower. Their other roommate sat at his table, memorizing vocabulary. Qin Fang threw the bottle of soda he got to him, asking, “Did you guys use your bedsheets?”
“Ah, yes,” Chen Ke replied, then asked, “What about your car?”
“Don’t worry,” Qin Fang took off his jacket and left it on his chair to go pick up his towel for a shower, “I won’t say thanks now, since we’re family.”
“No thanks,” their other roommate, Shen Dengke, answered, “But you need to get new bed sheets for us.”
“No prob,” Qin Fang patted his shoulder and smiled, “I’ll go get a pack of eight or ten for our Dengke.”
Chen Ke chuckled, “For our Dengke to hang himself with them?”
“Why do you care about what I use them for,” Shen Dengke turned around to answer.
“I’m afraid of you going crazy over studying, so much so that you want to hang yourself,” Chen Ke replied.
Qin Fang didn’t listen to them bicker as he felt that the smell was all over him, so he went to the bathroom to shower.
As the water flowed over his head, he shook it out of his head and ran his wet hands a few times over his face. After the events of the night he was a little tired and aggravated, although it wasn’t exactly for his car. His car wasn’t any type of luxury car in the first place, as it was his 18th birthday present from his father over two years ago. The SUV, which he had driven for about two years for simple trips out of the campus, was not very eye-catching, and there were a lot of better cars parked downstairs of their dorm.
Previously, when he had used his phone flashlight he didn’t really see the stuff clearly, but when he was driving he did see the paint clearly under the street lights.
The paint was quite the good color, really. It was a crisp green paint.
That bucket of green paint really wasn’t used for anything else; all of it ended up on the car. Really, that color seemed a little sensitive: if someone really wanted to cause trouble for him, white paint would’ve been enough; if they wanted it to be eye-catching, red would work too. The green paint, specially chosen, did seem to be very purposeful.
And Qin Fang didn’t know the cause of this bucket of paint at all. He had been quite humble for this period of time. He hadn’t started arguments with people, he had gone to class, and when he didn’t have class he would just hang out with Hua Tong and the others, so really, he was a great youth.
Both his roommates were enraged for him, so for his bedtime activity that day, Qin Fang listened to his roommates curse. He himself, he wasn’t actually all that angry, as at the most, he was only puzzled. He didn’t know who did it and why they did it, so it was pointless to get angry, and if he did, it was idiotic.
The second day, Qin Fang skipped two classes and called on Hua Tong and some other good friends to scrub the concrete with him.
The green paint really couldn’t just be left there on the concrete pavement, since it was way too ugly; the entire yard was normal and then there was just this green blob on the concrete, as if it was a bruise. If they didn’t do it, the janitor uncles would have to take care of it anyways, so they might as well not add troubles for others. Qin Fang, wearing a black tshirt and sporting shorts, had brought out four pails filled with water and cleaning products, as well as rags and cleaning balls. He squatted near the ground, diligently scrubbing.
“Fang Ge, what’s the situation here?” A guy who just got here expressed his confusion, not understanding what they were doing.
“Help me do some work,” Qin Fang, still squatting there, looked up and him and threw a cleaning ball at him, “I was given a green hat 1.”
“Ah?” The guy was even more confused, “Green hat?”
“Yeah, someone threw it on my face,” Qin Fang laughed.
Their friends on the side also laughed, but Hua Tong squatted next to Qin Fang and touched his arm, asking him in a low voice, “But jokes are jokes, where did this green come from? Did you figure something out.”
Qin Fang, his legs sore after squatting there for so long, shifted his weight to his other leg before replying, “No, I didn’t figure out much.”
Hua Tong glanced at him and asked directly, “Did you ask Gong Qi?”
Qin Fang didn’t say anything, but shook his head.
For this type of weird thing Qin Fang didn’t want to relate it to a girl, since when he first started pursuing Gong Qi she had clearly stated that she was single. And plus, this wasn’t something he could really ask, since if there was no relation, it would seem like you didn’t trust them. But it wasn’t like it was Hua Tong’s fault for thinking about Gong Qi, since Qin Fang’s last relationship was from a year ago, when school had started last year. He had been single since, but since Qin Fang and Gong Qi weren’t an item yet, the only possibility was on Gong Qi as well.
Qin Fang muttered, “Maybe whoever did it picked the color with their eyes closed, don’t think about it too much.”
“Yea, let’s wait.” Hua Tong sighed, stood up to shake out his legs and then squatted back down, “We have to know first who it was.”
Qin Fang was not worried about this, since if the opposing person didn’t like him or had some other quarrel with him, then they probably wouldn’t let him go with only one bucket of paint, there had to be more.
As for the car, they just left it at a car wash and repair place for cleaning, and then he went straight to government class. In the large classroom with more than 100 people, Qin Fang found a little corner and planned to use the two hours of class for a nice nap.
When he was half asleep, his phone kept on vibrating, so Qin Fang frowned and took out his phone. It was Hua Tong.
The message interface consisted of a video, a surveillance video clipping. The message underneath read, [Case is broken, it was by Zhou Siming, a junior at the Chemistry Institute.]
Qin Fang opened the video. The person in the video didn’t seem to be bothered by the surveillance, since he just simply took the bucket of paint and splattered it on the car. He didn’t even wear a hat, so he probably wasn’t afraid of Qin Fang finding him.
Qin Fang replied to Hua Tong, [OP.]
Qin Fang didn’t even know this person, much less met him. The only interactions he had ever had with people in the Chemistry Institute was with two students from the board. They all seemed like the reasonable type of straight science people, and he didn’t know anyone else with a chemistry major.
Well, they already knew who it was. The school was just that big, so much so that you could still find someone if you tried. Hua Tong did have this person’s contact information, but Qin Fang didn’t do anything with it at all, since he was a 20 year old with a brain. He did what he was supposed to do, going to classes and finally going back home on the weekends. Nothing affected him much.
It had been nearly a month since he last went home, but his brother Jian Muyang nearly tore up the house. Qin Fang, having taken a taxi, couldn’t get in the front gate without the new security guard questioning him which house he was going to. Qin Fang told him the address, but the security guard thought that he was only a visitor, so he was asked to call the household.
Qin Fang didn’t want to explain much, not bothering to explain that he was the son of Jian Mingtao, nor did he want to make the call, so he just got off and walked in.
There was some distance between the gate of the place to the building where the Jian family home was, so after a while Qin Fang only walked half of it. As he was walking, though, Qin Fang sensed a car behind him, so without looking back he moved to the side of the ride.
“Ge!” The car slowed to a stop next to him, with Jian Muyang’s voice filled with surprise.
Qin Fang turned his head to look, to see that in the car, there was the driver who had just picked Jian Muyang up from school. Qin Fang laughed, “Yo, our young master is back?”
“Ge, get on!” Jian Muyang pushed open the car door, so Qin Fang took off his backpack and got in. The driver said hi to him, and he returned the greeting.
“Ge, why did you walk here?” Jian Muyang asked him, “Where’s your car?”
“I didn’t feel like driving,” Qin Fang replied as he got the chocolate for Jian Muyang out of his backpack and plopped it on his leg, “You missed me?”
“Yes!” Jian Muyang inched over to hang on to his arm, “I always have to remind you, otherwise you would probably forget that you have a brother.
“I can’t forget,” Qin Fang reached out his hand to pat Jian Muyang’s head, messing up his hair, “You call me like four or five times in a week, I would seriously have to try so hard to forget about you.”
Jian Muyang was ten this year, and already a handsome little lad. Although he was also mischievous like boys his age, he was so likable. Qin Fang might not like Jian Muyang’s mother, but from Jian Muyang’s birth he never thought of him badly. Blood relation was truly interesting; even if you had quite the feelings of hate and dislike before someone was born, it could all melt away the moment you lay your eyes on them and let your heart soften.
The softness Qin Fang had for his brother was his only true emotional connection with the Jian family. As for the other people in the household, he didn’t even hate them; maybe the best word to describe it would be that he simply had no strong feelings either way for them. If it wasn’t for Jian Muyang, Qin Fang probably wouldn’t even come back once a semester, since he had nothing to miss in this place.
“Yangyang, you’re back?” When they entered the door of the house, Dong Yin walked out of the kitchen, saying, “I made some fruit tea for you, I recall you saying you wanted something sweet to drink?”
As she finished, she saw Qin Fang, and paused, but then continued, “Fang, you’re back? Yesterday I was talking with your dad, saying how you haven’t been back in a long time.”
Qin Fang smiled faintly at her.
Dong Yin was 36 years old this year, but seemingly very young, as even without makeup at home, she had a beautiful aura and look. Her hair was in a loose bun behind her neck, and she was wearing a long, pale cotton skirt. When Qin Fang glanced at her cursorily, his gaze stopped for two seconds, and Dong Yin followed his gaze to place her hands on her slightly bulging abdomen.
Qin Fang raised his gaze to look at her face, while Dong Yin smiled warmly at him, saying softly, “Come back more often, this house will have another brother for you, or maybe… it’s a sister, I hope it’s a sister.”
“I also hope it’s a little sister,” Jian Muyang said while still pulling on two of Qin Fang’s fingers. He raised his head to look at Qin Fang and shook his hand, his face slightly cautious as he asked, “Ge, what do you think?”
Qin Fang lowered his head to look at Jian Muyang, noting his pale face and clean big eyes. Qin Fang forced his lips to twitch a bit, replying, “Both are good.”
Slice is life is really slice of life. But anyways, take a guess what Qin Fang will do now that he knows who the perpetrator is!