Chapter 33: Rushing Back (Part 2/2)
Luo Nan stood at attention on the spot: “Aunt……”
The middle aged woman on the sofa was Luo Nan’s aunt, Luo Shuqing. Her figure was petite and her looks were average. Her temperament was rather quiet and serious.
Luo Nan had his head hanging low the entire time when facing this elder: “Aunt. You’ve come over even though it’s so far?”
“Some people won’t come to visit no matter how you invite them. So, I came to see how you’re doing.” Mrs. Luo Shuqing’s poisonous tongue was just as deadly as before. It immediately stifled Luo Nan from speaking any further.
It was only now that he realized it; no wonder he was able to pass through the ordeal peacefully and effortlessly yesterday night. His Aunt had probably decided to come over and do a sudden and unannounced investigation!
Alright. This was just Aunty’s style.
Luo Shuqing got up while looking at her watch: “Come on. Your uncle has already finished preparing dinner.”
She did not give any chance for Luo Nan to disagree.
Luo Nan struggled for a bit: “There’s no need to be this bothersome……”
“Since you know it’s bothersome, there’s no need to cause further trouble.”
Luo Shuqing walked to Luo Nan’s side. Her slim build was a head shorter than her nephew’s, but her imposing air was able to surpass that: “How unusual. You’re being extremely daring to live in a high rise apartment and not worry about falling. But your uncle and I are already old. We’re scared witless. We hope that you’ll come back and take care of the house!”
Luo Nan opened his mouth, yet he soon discovered that he lacked the strength to argue. He really didn’t have the strength…… He hadn’t closed his eyes to rest for forty consecutive hours of continuous work. He had faced the burning wraith, burners, and ability users. There were also the external receiving neuron, the secret of Gear, and countless information flowing in and bursting. There were also the intense washing of his state of mind stemming from his mother and from that coward. It seemed that he had overdrafted his entire energy reserves.
At this very moment, it was just as if he had completed a very difficult and long army march back home. And so when faced with this vile mouth of good intentions, when faced with this love from his Aunt like he were her own child, when faced with one of his rare close relatives who he could relax completely with, did he have a need to protest against her? To waste time in torment?
After a moment of Luo Nan being dazed, Luo Shuqing had firmly grabbed onto Luo Nan’s shoulder and faced him towards the exit:
“Time is valuable everyone! Move out!”
This familiar, unyielding, and intimate action made the corner of Luo Nan’s lips move. He wished to reveal a smile, to declare to his Aunt yet another loss on his part. This was an intentional technique he would use quite often, and it made his Aunt the most pleased.
But he performed it halfway before he wasn’t able to perform it any further. This was because the two days of accumulated exhaustion, challenges, pressure, and, most importantly, unrestrainable complicated feelings had all rushed to his head right at this very moment. They roared, seeking to find a chance to explode forth in a torrent. It seemed that any tiny pulling motion of his facial nerves would cause his weak embankment to collapse, to cause it to all come bursting forth.
There was an instant when Luo Nan wished to pull his Aunt to go back to the school, to point out the tree hole in Gear for her to see, to ask her if she had the same feelings as he did.
But thinking about it, his Aunt didn’t know an inkling about the situation with his mother. And so this impulse of his dissipated without a trace.
Some things were destined to be beared solely by one’s self, on one’s shoulders. There wasn’t anyone able to fully bear, to fully understand, your feelings. Today, to have been able to allow Xie Junping that much entry, was already a display of his abnormal loss of control over his mood. It would be very difficult for another instance to occur.
A hundred thoughts rumbled in his soul, but in the end Luo Nan only raised his head up slightly to prevent his Aunt from seeing the sorry state of his loss-of-control expression. But how to resolve such an unnatural action was already outside his scope of abilities.
And right in the middle of his predicament, his wristband began to vibrate.
Luo Nan practically turned his body instantaneously, his back facing his Aunt. He took a deep refreshing breath before letting the call go through. He heard a half mature, but not fully mature voice immediately sound over:
“Hey handsome, you free?”
“......What do you want?”
Luo Nan had seen that it was Zhang Yingying’s number. He didn’t have the energy to get tangled up in words with this excessively vivacious woman. But the instant he opened his mouth, he was shocked at the degree of hoarseness and softness of his own voice.
Luo Nan was scared that his Aunt could hear the abnormality in his voice, so Luo Nan walked a few steps back into the house.
Zhang Yingying was actually quite astute. She was able to figure out that there was something fishy about Luo Nan’s state from his voice. She spoke inquisitively: “Bed time? Where are you?”
Luo Nan adjusted his throat to use the shortest and clearest sentence he could muster: “At home.”
“Yep. I thought so. Anyway, your heart is quite big. A whole day went by without receiving a notification about the entrance evaluations. Don’t you know that you can call and ask?”
“......” Could Luo Nan say that he had already forgotten about this matter completely?
“Admirable. What happened to the motivated jobseeker from this morning? I mean, I still remember even now: Teacher! I want to be a staff member!” This lady spoke with a high pitched voice, fabricating these words that Luo Nan had never said.
But Luo Nan actually laughed.
There were truly far too many things that happened today. From Luo Nan’s perspective, each event happened one after another in increasing severity. His thoughts were already squeezed into an extremely narrow space. This impromptu comedy act by Zhang Yingying made his mind become far more awake.
The professional society for ability users…… Fine then. The Expedition Society was a place that he must fight for no matter what. Right now he didn’t have a surplus of strength and what has happened has already happened. He’ll stop carrying that desire to prevent his mood from becoming sentimental and fidgety!
He then asked: “Has it begun?”
“Uh-huh. Right now go make your way back in a hurry then. It’s in the ‘University Activity Area’ outside of Acumen College’s campus, at the Limestone Water Village Pub.Your main examiner is just about to arrive. As for the specific details, I’ll tell you about it clearly once you get there…… I think that it’s your moment to shine.”
“Limestone Water Village Pub?”
Couldn’t this call have come twenty minutes earlier?
Luo Nan was silent for a while, but he didn’t speak any further. In the end, this call had given him a superb reason. He hung up and his mind slowly came to. He turned around and faced his Aunt with an open mouth.
He didn’t expected to collide with the inquisitive gaze of Mrs. Luo Shuqing: “You need to head out for this?”
“It’s not!” Luo Nan immediately withdrew.
“Then what is it?” Luo Shuqing did not let him go.
“Hic. It’s a gathering! A dinner get together!”
“Limestone Water Village Pub? I remember that it's close to your school. Why didn't you just go there directly?”
“Can't you see that I forgot?”
While Luo Nan was handling this with great difficulty, he suddenly remembered something. Didn't Xue Lei’s girlfriend mention some related information this afternoon? He operated his wristband on the spot, and sure enough there was an invitation message in his inbox titled “Acumen Mutual Assistance Meeting”.
As luck would have it, the Acumen Mutual Assistance Meeting was unexpectedly at the same location, at Limestone Water Village Pub. Right now the meeting time had already passed, but he could use this as an excuse.
Luo Nan showed his Aunt the message: “This is the school’s Mutual Assistance Meeting activity. It's a very formal dinner.
“Mutual Assistance Meeting…… How are you interested in that?”
Luo Shuqing could not have a better understanding of the temperament of a child within her own family. Would his introverted to autistic nature really place an importance on this sort of social situation?
Luo Nan took out a ready made argument: “The school societies are all against outsiders. Things would be very troublesome without guidance from the words of seniors. I still haven't entered a society even now. I'm afraid of getting my school credit deducted, so……”
“You didn't test into the Mystic Arts Research Society?”
“Hic. That's right.”
“You sought out the Mutual Assistance Meeting on your own accord?
“No. They came looking for me.”
Luo Shuqing finally believed him after seeing her introverted and immature nephew’s expression. She shook her head: “Acumen College has been declining year after year, and it’s been long since this started. Why did you want to get into this school so much?”
Luo Nan was silent, speaking not a word.
Luo Shuqing had more to say, but suddenly she saw the familiar apartment furnishings behind Luo Nan's back combine with Luo Nan's slim figure standing in the room. Her mind went twenty years into the past during this trance and she saw another youth facing her with smile.
Her heart felt a bit of pain when she looked. The spirited and soaring smile had already been swapped with the stiff and serious face of her nephew.
The silent and oppressive atmosphere collected and amassed at the doorway. Luo Nan even believed that his argument had failed until he felt a slight shock on his face. His Aunt had placed her palms on his face; she lightly patted:
“Then go tidy yourself up again. The handsome lad of the Luo family can't let people look down on him no matter what.”