”Although I’m sorry for delaying everyone’s class time, there are some things that need to be made clear.” Li Zheng saw the gray coat corner at the back door of the classroom and a smile flashed in his eyes.
”First, the boat you called locked on the dock is my family’s, not the production team’s! This boat was an old boat scrapped by the production team five years ago, which should have been chopped up for firewood, and my father traded it for ten pounds of meat tickets. This matter is clear to everyone in the production team. The later refitting and adding diesel engines were all done by my father himself, almost draining our family’s fortune.”
”Second, our own boat continued the practice of turning in half of the town’s fishing boats to the public, not because we should, but because my father was captain of the production team and knew that the fishermen who were not assigned to fishing boats pointed to these allocations to get by. The number of fishing boats handed over to the sea is always recorded, and my little boat is first every year.”
”Thirdly, my sister and I are not quite adults yet, but we have at least a sense of community. I can’t go out and leave the boat deserted, but last night I’ve signed a lease agreement with Captain Zheng’s son Zheng Xiaodong to rent out the boat.”
Li Zheng finished in one breath, not looking at Chen Yan’s green and white face on the podium, and sat down on his own.
A group of students looked at him, he looked at them, unable to say anything. The fact that the Li family’s boat did not belong to the production team had always been known only to the production team, never put out in the open. But after this incident, he was sure the news would soon spread in Qinghe Town.
Chen Yan’s hand, which was squeezing the chalk, had veins popping up, and chalk dust was falling from his fingertips. Li Zheng’s words were logical and well organized, not giving him a chance to refute them.
Admit that he was wrong? An apology to a student for being labeled a hearsay provocateur? No kidding!
”Li Zheng, making a lot of noise during class time, you get out and stand there!” Chen Yan pointed at the classroom door and spoke loudly, his voice sharp due to his emotions.
But soon, his expression froze. Looking at the gray figure that slowly appeared at the back door of the classroom, Chen Yan felt as if a basin of ice water had been poured down on his head.
”School… Headmaster.” He opened his mouth, but his voice was so soft that he couldn’t even hear himself.
Principal Zhang’s face was as heavy as iron, “Mr. Chen you go to class first, come to my office after class.”
”Class, oh yes, class.” Chen Yan flipped through the textbooks in a panic, in a hurry the books also fell to the ground, causing a laughter.
At the end of class, Chen Yan could be called a desperate runaway.
”Li Zheng, domineering, I’ve long been uncomfortable with Chen Yan’s facial expression of being the best in the world.” The student in the back row ran over with a smile and said.
”No, he’s just a college graduate, I’ll be a college student in the future!”
”You can just blow it off, you’re still a million miles away from college!”
Li Zheng leaned sideways against the wall next to the table that was taped up with old newspapers, squinting his smiling eyes as he watched his classmates poking fun at each other, the corners of his mouth curved nicely.
Suddenly, he felt a strong force coming from his back, and Li Zhaoyang leaned his entire body against his back.
”What are you doing!”
Li Chaoyang’s skinny face with no more than a few ticks of flesh showed a heartless smile, “Nothing, I always thought you were like an immortal after you came back from being sick this time, floating around, maybe you’ll go to heaven if I don’t pay attention.”
Li Zheng’s teeth clenched, “Get up now, you’re the one who’s going to heaven!”
Although Li Chaoyang was thin, he couldn’t stand his height, and his overall weight was not light. Li Zheng was small, and he had some difficulty in leaning against him. But soon Li Chaoyang found that he was lifted.
It was the boy who had just yelled at Li Zheng in class, the boy was very tall, with a bit of dark skin blown by the sea breeze, sturdy arms, and features with a rustic smell of a peasant, and he effortlessly carried Li Chaoyang to the side.
”You’re too heavy, you’ll crush him.” The boy said dryly.
Li Chaoyang was so angry that he jumped to his feet, he… he was obviously very light and he measured, he wouldn’t crush the boy.
”Zhang Min, you brat… “Li Chaoyang wanted to find a theory for Zhang Min, while he intentionally or unintentionally separated Li Zheng from Zhang Min, he hadn’t forgotten the scene in the class just now.
Zhang Min looked at Li Chaoyang and sat on his seat.
”I won’t be coming to school tomorrow. My father went to sea two days ago and hurt his leg, and Auntie Chang at the health center said to keep it well. If no one in our family goes sailing, the boat is going to be repossessed. I’m the only man in our family.”
Under Zhang Min’s dark face, his eyes were slightly red, “I thought that the production team was treating your family especially well because your father used to be their captain, I didn’t know that was the case, I’m sorry.”
”I wanted to study, I really wanted to study. I scored 479 points on this midterm exam, and Mr. Liu said I can go to Shenan University, the best university in our province! Study well, and you’ll be a leader, just like those leaders in the cannery.” Zhang Min didn’t give Li Zheng a chance to speak, all he wanted was an audience.
The classroom, which should have been noisy during class, quieted down at some point.
”I probably won’t be studying for the second half of the year, but someone in my family retired and said that the position at the factory wasn’t waiting for anyone, so I should take it right away.” The speaker was a girl who usually got good grades.
”My mother said that after graduation, she wants me to join the supply and marketing agency, saying it’s better than going to college.”
”I don’t have to say anything, you’re all good students, I can’t even touch junior college, I’m already thankful to be able to graduate.”
This was the eighties in China, the admission rate for the college entrance exam was less than ten percent, and the ten percent included college. Many people were eliminated by the college entrance exam, but many more, they were left behind on their way to it.
”What are you thinking?” Zhou Sitian pushed the bicycle, strangely looking at her brother who was a silent mess. At the end of the school day, Li Zheng said he wouldn’t sit in the back of the car, so she had no choice but to push the bike and walk with him.
”I was thinking about…the future.” Li Zheng had never worried about the future before, he thought that with what he had in his head, he could easily gain wealth, fame, and so on.
But after today, he realized that he was taking some things for granted.
He was now a minor, a minor who didn’t even have a guardian.
It was true that there were many original drugs in his head that were worth hundreds of billions of dollars in his previous life, but with his current identity to take out these things, as if he was a child holding a gold brick across the market, even he himself could think of countless ways to take them away, not to mention the international capital alligators that were bloodthirsty.
Pass the college entrance examination, get the qualification of Huaqing school, apply for his own laboratory, and then start taking out the things in his mind one by one in the name of developing original medicines? That was the safest’s road and the slowest one.
Even the patriotic Li Zheng had to admit one thing, in the scientific research community in China, the culture of discussing seniority was too strong, back then, if he hadn’t returned to China under the name of Cold Spring Harbor, he wouldn’t have been able to apply for his own lab. If he had waited until he was forty or fifty, what was the point of being reborn in this life.
As for the other path… Li Zheng looked up slightly to the west, over there, across the sea, across the Xiangjiang River.
The eighties were the most glorious years of the Xiangjiang River.