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Chapter 41

The mid-term exams were scheduled for the end of November, by which time the weather had already turned thoroughly cold. The motivation for learning in Class Eight seemed to be lacking, even though Teacher Qiao had tried to motivate them several times; everyone appeared ready to lie down and accept the fate of finishing last.

Ji Ran couldn’t help but sympathize with Teacher Qiao. It was his first time leading a class as a head teacher, and encountering such a problem was indeed unfortunate.

Moreover, this midterm exam was a joint examination organized by the district. Not only were there rankings within the 4th middle school, but there were also rankings across the entire district. This was the first joint exam organized by the district this semester.

Apart from the 4th middle school, there was another affiliated high school with particularly strong strength, considered a formidable rival to the 4th middle school.

Last year, during the college entrance examination of the Foreign Language High School, they produced a top student in the city, gaining quite a bit of attention. This made the leaders of the 4th middle school especially envious. The pressure on the students in the senior year was immense, and even the juniors in the second year were not spared.

Therefore, for this joint examination, the school leadership issued a directive that they must beat the affiliated high school.

Wen Qianxia appeared particularly nervous. During the last monthly exam, she had been scolded severely after ranking over three hundred in the grade. In fact, the 4th middle school had a good rate of advancement to higher education, but Wen Qianxia had still ranked in the top two hundred in the grade during the class placement exams.

“Ranran, how do you solve this math problem?” Wen Qianxia asked in a low voice, holding the test paper and turning her head.

Ji Ran glanced at it and began to explain quietly, “Actually, this problem is about the monotonicity of functions. You can approach it like this…”

As it was during self-study, Ji Ran spoke in a low voice, and Wen Qianxia could only lean in closer. Their heads were close together, showing a level of intimacy.

Shen Zhi, who was nearby, looked up and suddenly smiled, a faint smile appearing on his lips.

After a while, Ji Ran explained the problem, and Wen Qianxia nodded in understanding. She even felt a bit embarrassed as she scratched her head and said in a low voice, “When you explain the problems, Ranran, it feels like I understand everything.”

“Ranran, I think every time you explain a problem to me, it’s more detailed than the teacher’s explanation. You’re really amazing.”

Wen Qianxia said it earnestly.

Ji Ran glanced at her somewhat helplessly and whispered, “If you spend less time gossiping and more time doing math problems, I believe you can score over 120 points this time.”

As a result, as soon as she finished speaking, Shen Zhi couldn’t hold back any longer and finally burst into laughter.

Ji Ran and Wen Qianxia both turned to look at him, and Shen Zhi casually said, “How can a student with a score of 22 have the audacity to encourage others like this?”

Ji Ran: “…I’m not.”

Wen Qianxia also laughed and said, “Oh, right, I forgot that, Ranran, you scored 22 in the last math test.”

Ji Ran retorted, “You scored only 16. How dare you criticize me.”

Shen Zhi was still laughing, and Ji Ran couldn’t help but reach out and pinch his arm, whispering, “Stop laughing.”

A score of 22 was definitely a shame in her academic career, a deep humiliation!!!

During this period, she reviewed the high school textbooks again. Being someone with a good foundation and having studied these subjects before, she did two extra sets of papers, and she had now mastered many knowledge points that she had forgotten.

Moreover, Ji Ran was the kind of person who could casually score 700 points without much effort. Starting over now, she could indeed achieve twice the result with half the effort.

Shen Zhi also noticed the stubbornness in the girl’s eyes and couldn’t help but tempt her in a low voice, “How about making a bet with me?”

“What are we betting on?” Ji Ran’s heart was pounding.

“We’re betting on the results of this midterm exam.” Shen Zhi looked at her but couldn’t help but laugh. “Are you daring enough for a bet with stakes?”

Ji Ran didn’t speak; he was just quietly looking at him.

Shen Zhi whispered, “Too scared?”

Ji Ran’s lips twitched slightly, and she said decisively, “What’s there to be afraid of?”

Ji Ran couldn’t stand others provoking her, inherently possessing a spirit of not accepting defeat. Especially when it came to Shen Zhi, thinking that he, who scored 16 in math and was at the bottom of the entire school, dared to challenge her, she looked at him with a determined face.

Ji Ran squinted her eyes, looking at Shen Zhi. In this midterm exam, she must score full marks in math and slap him in the face.

Let him know that Dad is still a dad.

Wen Qianxia blinked as she watched the two of them. If she remembered correctly, Shen Zhi was at the bottom of the entire school in the last monthly exam. And Ji Ran, although she scored full marks in English, the 22 in math was too exaggerated, also ranking among the bottom in the class.

These two are actually going to bet on the midterm exam?

So, is it about who can break out of the bottom ten in the class first?

Wen Qianxia continued to listen curiously, but Shen Zhi didn’t want to be disturbed. He raised his chin slightly toward Wen Qianxia, indicating, “Classmate, the questions are over. Please turn away. I want to have a private chat with my deskmate.”

Wen Qianxia blushed. Although she was still curious, the big shot himself had spoken, and she didn’t dare to continue listening. She could only turn her head silently, but in her heart, she decided to ask Ji Ran after class.

After Wen Qianxia turned her head, Shen Zhi shifted slightly in their direction and lowered his voice, saying, “There are stakes.”

Ji Ran pursed her lips. He was indeed confident, thinking he could win.

So she nodded and agreed, “Of course, there are stakes in a bet.”

“Can I make any requests?” Shen Zhi raised his head, glanced at her lips, and suddenly asked in a slightly hoarse voice.

Ji Ran was taken aback, then cleared her throat and said, “Don’t be too excessive.”

Shen Zhi couldn’t help but laugh again. “What is considered excessive?”

She pressed her lips and whispered, “It means no strange requests.”

Like dating or anything more excessive…

Shen Zhi knew what she meant but still pretended, “I really don’t know. Why don’t you make it clear?”

“Shen Zhi.” Ji Ran called out in a low voice.

Seeing that even the little cat was getting annoyed, Shen Zhi stopped teasing her, chuckled softly, and said, “Okay, let’s go on a date if I win.”

A date.

When these words came out of his mouth, it was like a small stone causing ripples in her heart—wave after wave until, in the end, there were faintly uncontrollable surges.

She murmured, “Shen Zhi, you…”

“I’ll rephrase it. If I win, let’s go out and have some fun together.”

Even in his heart, this was a date.

Ji Ran listened to his obviously teasing words, looked at him, and saw a faint hope in his eyes. In the end, Ji Ran couldn’t help but soften her heart.

Suppressing the laughter in her eyes, she nodded gently.

Shen Zhi didn’t expect her to agree so easily this time and couldn’t help licking the corner of his mouth.

With a bit of restraint, he said, “This is your own promise; no backing out is allowed.”

Ji Ran couldn’t help but glare at him and say, “Win first, then talk.”

When the midterm exams arrived, the school purposely ended classes two periods early on the day before, giving students time to prepare for the exams. Even day students didn’t need to attend the evening self-study.

After everyone had affixed their exam slips, Ji Ran and Wen Qianxia left the school together.

Unexpectedly, when they reached the downstairs area, they saw that there were many things arranged around the statue of Confucius not far away. Wen Qianxia quickly pulled Ji Ran over, took out an unopened pack of Oreo cookies from her bag, and devoutly placed it in front of the statue.

After Wen Qianxia finished, she stepped back a few steps and eloquently said, “Great Sage Confucius above, I, Wen Qianxia, don’t seek great wealth and prosperity. I only hope to rank in the top one hundred in the school in this midterm exam…”

At this point, Wen Qianxia hesitated for a few seconds and whispered, “If that’s not possible, the top one hundred and fifty is also acceptable.”


Ji Ran couldn’t hold back and burst into laughter.

Surprisingly, Wen Qianxia glared at her and whispered, “Ranran, don’t laugh. Come on, I have specially saved a pack of cookies for you. You can also offer it to Confucius, asking him to bless you in this midterm exam.”

This was considered a peculiar tradition at 4th Middle School.

It’s not clear who was the first to place snacks in front of the Confucius statue during exams. Later, there were rumors that it was particularly effective, so even those who usually didn’t work hard came to offer something before exams.

Later on, even those with good grades also joined in.

Originally, the school tried to regulate this for a while, but school leaders and teachers couldn’t possibly stand by the statue every day.

So eventually, they just let the students do these things, considering it a way to relieve stress before exams.

“Really, it’s quite effective.” Wen Qianxia, seeing that Ji Ran was only laughing and not taking action, quickly stuffed the cookies into Ji Ran’s palm.

So, with a smile, Ji Ran placed the cookies in front of the statue. Wen Qianxia was still behind, softly reminding, “Ji Ran, state your goal, your goal.”

Ji Ran thought for a moment, “Let’s aim for first in the grade.”

Wen Qianxia, who was originally chattering, fell silent. She had thought that aiming for the top one hundred in the grade was already a dream, but she didn’t expect Ji Ran to dream even bigger.

Sis, you were at the bottom of the grade last time. You really dare to dream big.

Before they could leave the statue, a playful voice behind them said, “Wen Qianxia, you’re actually doing this with our sister Ran. Do you know what the teacher said? Feudal superstition has no future.”

“Why do you care?” Wen Qianxia turned around and rolled her eyes at Xia Jiangming.

Since becoming familiar with Xia Jiangming and the others, Wen Qianxia no longer felt the fear she had at the beginning of the school year. Instead, she spoke very casually and freely.

Xia Jiangming wasn’t angry either, and he smiled, reaching out and asking, “Do you have any more little cookies? I also want to offer something to our Confucius.”

Wen Qianxia hesitated for a moment, then lowered her head and searched in her bag, finally finding only an orange. She handed it to Xia Jiangming.

Xia Jiangming glanced to the side and sighed. “There are quite a few of us here.”

At this point, Shen Zhi and the others were standing next to him. Xu Yihang immediately waved his hand. “I don’t need it; you offer it to the old man for yourself.”

“I don’t need it either,” Chen Song said casually. Among them, Chen Song had the best grades and ranked in the top dozen in the class.

Xu Yihang and Xia Jiangming were also at the bottom, but neither of them cared.

They were from well-off families, and the college entrance examination was not the only way out. If they couldn’t get into a good school, they could apply to study abroad. If that didn’t work out either, they could go home and inherit their family’s business.

As for Shen Zhi, who firmly held the position of last in the grade, no one was worried that he would have trouble eating in the future.

Xia Jiangming looked at Shen Zhi and saw him say indifferently, “I don’t need it either.”

Hearing this, Xia Jiangming looked at him with a helpless expression and whispered, “Zhi-ge, let’s give it a try anyway.”

Shen Zhi casually replied, “My review this time was okay.”

Upon hearing this, Xia Jiangming was even more speechless. Because he remembered that Shen Zhi seemed to have said similar words last time. He had asked for other people’s answers, but this big shot, overly confident in himself, didn’t even copy the answers.

In the end, due to a mistake in filling out the answer sheet, he scored 19 points in English.

Xia Jiangming advised again, “Zhi-ge, really, let’s give it a try. It’s not a bad thing.”

Shen Zhi reiterated, “I really feel good about it this time.”

Xia Jiangming gave him a sidelong glance, thinking, What kind of feeling can you have when you’re at the bottom of the grade?

However, what he didn’t expect was that this would be the most face-slapping moment in Xia Jiangming’s life.






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