The exam time for the first professional course was scheduled for 9 a.m. on January 3rd.
Shen Shian filled his school bag with paper and pen the night before the exam. Before leaving, he poured a bottle of tomato juice and changed his clothes and shoes to go out. At this time, he found that Xiao Hei had disappeared.
“Xiao Hei,” He stood at the entrance and shouted. “I’m leaving.”
The room was quiet and the familiar black figure didn’t appear.
It was estimated that he was hiding in some corner because he was still angry. Shen Shian didn’t care. Anger was better than pestering him and biting holes in his pants. He picked up his bag from the sofa. “I’m going. Be good and don’t make a fuss. I’ll come back to cook chicken legs for you at noon.”
The examination hall and seat number were randomly assigned to different classes in the same department. In other words, those in the same examination hall weren’t necessarily in the same class. Shen Shian’s seat was in the second row of the first column and on the way towards the seat, he found that Class Monitor Lu Xiuyuan was also in this test room. He was sitting diagonally behind Shen Shian in the second column.
Lu Xiuyuan also saw him and raised his chin high while preparing a proud and disdainful look. Unfortunately, Shen Shian didn’t give him an opportunity. He glanced over lightly before quickly turning his eyes away.
He put down his bags and sat in his spot. He took out paper, pens and his student ID from the outer pocket of the bag and arranged them neatly in the upper left corner of the desk. Then he opened the zipper to the inner pocket and reached in for the insulating cup.
The expected cold touch of the thermos cup didn’t appear. Instead, he touched something warm, soft and furry. Shen Shian subconsciously squeezed and lowered his head to see a pair of round, green eyes. The owner of the eyes stuck out his tongue and licked Shen Shian’s fingers.
Shen Shian, “…”
He frowned as he got a headache. Then he tapped this dog’s ears a few times. ‘How did you get in here? I have to do an exam, what are you doing here? Don’t you want your balls?’
However, it obviously wasn’t time to discuss these issues. The invigilator had already walked to the podium and took out a sealed roll. “The exam will begin soon. Please turn off your phone and place everything in your bag apart from paper and pens. Once the exam starts and it is discovered your phone isn’t turned off or there are professional books, reference materials or cheat sheets around, it will all be treated as cheating. Do you know the consequences of cheating? The school will be notified and the exam mark invalidated. If the circumstances are serious, the student might be expelled from school. Everyone should compete fairly, honestly and in a trustworthy manner in this exam.”
The exam time was two hours in total and it was absolutely impossible to let Xiao Hei stay quiet in his bag for two hours without making a noise. Wan and Mo might be nearby but his phone was turned off. It was probably too late to call them to pick up Xiao Hei. After seeing the invigilator be more and more urgent, Shen Shian pulled down the zipper of his down jacket and used the cover of the desk and school bag to stuff Xiao Hei inside.
“Be quiet,” he whispered. “Otherwise, I’ll eat dog hot pot at noon.”
He pulled up the zipper of the down jacket and school bag again. Then he held the dog’s ass using the pocket of the jacket, carried the schoolbag in his other hand and went to place his bag on the front desk.
The exam bell rang and the examinees started to answer questions. A pin dropping could be heard in the exam room as only the footsteps of the invigilator and the rustling of pen against paper were heard.
The down jacket was warm and the tip of his nose was filled with the familiar and unique scent of his master, making the dog feel comfortable. Xiao Hei was very satisfied as his paws grabbed the sweater and he took a nap in the down jacket. Once he woke up, he found that Shen Shian was still writing and became bored, so he started to move his ass.
The dog’s temperature was slightly higher than that of a human body. He was like a small stove that was warm against Shen Shian’s stomach. Shen Shian noticed that the small stove started to be disobedient and placed his hand in his pocket, threatening the dog with a pinch.
The little stove stopped and settled down. It didn’t take long for him to be secretly poking at Shen Shian’s clothes again.
Shen Shian was focused and smoothly answered the exam questions, the pen nib not pausing at all. It wasn’t until Xiao Hei started drilling down into his clothes that the speed of his answering increased. He finished writing the last word and then put down the pen. He pinched the dog and slightly pulled down the zipper. His face was cold as he licked his lips and looked down into the down jacket. “You…”
The reprimand spoken in a voice lowered to the extreme was suddenly interrupted by a shout. “Reporting to the teacher, he is cheating!”
The loud words were clear and exploded like thunder in the examination room. Eyes focused on the targeted person, whom the vast majority knew was Shen Shian. The originally quiet examination room immediately filled with whispers.
Shen Shian turned back and saw the eyes of Lu Xiuyuan. The class monitor’s eyes were bright and full of excitement and disdain. He saw Shen Shian looking over and stood upright, like someone defending justice. He repeated his accusations. “Teacher, he is cheating. He hid something in his clothes and I saw him peeping at it several times!”
There were two invigilators, a man and a woman. The male teacher had gone to the toilet. The female teacher heard the turmoil and came towards them. Shen Shian bowed his head and spoke quickly and softly, “Remember to act pitiful.” Then he stood up from his seat.
His temperament was cold while his expression was soothing and calm. There was none of the anger or panic that should be present after being accused.
Perhaps it was because he didn’t look like he would cheat. The female teacher confirmed with Lu Xiuyuan that this was the accused person and then subconsciously softened her voice. “This classmate, is there something hidden in your clothes?”
Shen Shian nodded. His voice was clear and clean, like a jade stone struck by summer wind. It advertently caused a bit of affection. “Yes.”
“Teacher, you see!” Lu Xiuyuan’s face was slightly red out of excitement. “I’m not wrong!”
The female teacher glanced at him and then returned her gaze to Shen Shian. “Can you open your clothes and let me see?”
The zipper of his down jacket was pulled halfway down. A furry head immediately emerged from his clothes. The buttocks were pinched by the fingers in the pockets, causing his green eyes to be wet with tears. A paw was placed against Shen Shian’s chest as he turned to the female teacher and softly called out, “Miao wu~”
Shen Shian, “…”
The room was in an uproar and the female teacher took a moment to reach. “This is?” She picked up the student ID on the table while asking. “Shen Shian… Ah, you are the Shen Shian who is first in the entire year?”
Shen Shian was admitted to the medical university with first place in the city’s university entrance examination and was the freshman representative at the opening ceremony. After the final exam of freshman year, he won the national scholarship after coming first in the year and delivered an award-winning speech at the semester summary meeting of the university. Combined with the fact that his grandfather was a professor at the medical university before death and Mr Gu had donated two research laboratories to the school, every teacher had more or less heard of his family, even if they hadn’t taught him.
“This is a stray dog I picked up in the community.” Shen Shian explained softly while touching the dog’s head. “The vet said he is only two months old and probably just weaned. I don’t know how he got away from his mother but I found him almost frozen to death in the shrubs of the community.” He was much taller than the female teacher so from the perspective of the other person, his eyelashes were thick, curly and surprisingly long. “He is particularly insecure and must be accompanied by people to be quiet, otherwise he will tremble and scream. There was no one else in my family to take care of him and I had no choice but to bring him. I’m sorry for disturbing everyone’s exam.”
The youth’s intonation was dull and the rhythm of his speech wasn’t urgent or slow. There was nothing on his face that would gain sympathy but once the indifferent and distant face showed a trace of softness, this softness was obvious. It was like a fragile, stubborn, beautiful and lonely flower blooming in the ice, instantly giving birth to a surging protective feeling.
At this time, the male teacher had returned to the examination room. In order to prove his innocence, Shen Shian held the dog in one hand while the other hand took off his down jacket and showed it to everyone. “There is nothing apart from this dog. I know it is unauthorized and bringing a pet to the exam is a serious violation of the examination rules. I am sorry to disturb the other students’ exam and I have no complaints regarding how the two teachers plan to punish me. In order to not interfere with the students anymore, I want to hand in my exam in advance.”
He bowed to the two teachers, packed up and took the dog out of the examination room. As he left the classroom, the softness on his face instantly disappeared. He carried Xiao Hei in front of him, eyes deep and tone very soft. “Tell me, do you like clear soup or spicy soup?”
Inside the classroom, the male teacher picked up Shen Shian’s paper and his gaze swept over the neat writing below every question. Then he raised his eyebrows with slight surprise. “Hey, he has already answered everything.”
Lu Xiuyuan’s originally not very good-looking expression worsened.
The exams period lasted for one week. Under Shen Shian’s strict precautions, the incident of the dog sneaking into the schoolbag never happened again.
On the afternoon of January 11th, the last exam was successfully completed. Most students bought tickets for home and less than an hour after the exams were over, the campus was empty.
Yun Feiyang didn’t return home and instead carried a suitcase and birdcage to the second bedroom of Shen Shian’s place. Shen Shian poured a glass of tomato juice for him and told him, “You don’t have to stay with me.” Since the death of his grandfather, Yun Feiyang always found various reasons to stay with him for a certain period of time in the summer and winter. He feared Shen Shian being alone and sad.
“I didn’t want to stay with you.” Yun Feiyang was comfortably lying on the couch. He poured some tomato juice into Ruibao’s cage to share it with the bird. “I sighed up for volunteer activities with the Displacement Protection Association. H City will be the centre and I will move through the surrounding towns to launch a winter rescue operation for stray animals. This will probably last for two weeks and the school’s dormitory building will be closed in a few days. I will freeze to death and have no other way. Brother, can’t I stay with you?”
He changed his posture as he spoke. “Right, during the event, I might have to stay outside the city for two days. Can I trouble you to help me take care of Ruibao? I’ll divide it into rations according to the number of meals and feed him one meal at a time. There are several layers of newspapers underneath the cage. If you think it sticks then remove some.” He blinked at Shen Shian while speaking, trying to convince him. “In addition, let your Xiao Hei stay away from him.”
Shen Shian nodded. “That’s fine.” Perhaps it was because he felt the spiritual spring water to Ruibao. The little thing was afraid of Xiao Hei but was still close to him. Every time the bird saw Xiao Hei, he would shake his head and shout ‘Baby’, which was very cute.
Yun Feiyang got what he wanted and turned to look at the corner of the living room, where Xiao Hei was stuck to the wall with his legs upright. “What is this? Is he standing because he sneaked into your bag?”
There were no secrets at the school. The fact that Shen Shian had a puppy in his arms during the exam spread throughout the clinical university by that afternoon. Most students were amazed that the iceberg beauty Shen Shian had such a gentle side and the number of admirers increased. In the past few days, Shen Shian had received dozens of confession messages, many of them from classmates. Shen Shian’s brain hurt as he refused them one by one, which was why Xiao Hei had to face the wall despite a few days passing.
Shen Shian glanced over. “Stand up straight.”
Xiao Hei bared his teeth and wanted to growl. Then he thought about the three meals a day of freshwater cabbage and didn’t dare. He raised his front paws higher and his belly pressed tighter against the wall.
“Have the result of that exam been processed?” Yun Feiyang asked.
Shen Shian shook his head. “It is estimated that it will be finished after the semester. However, the counsellor told me not to worry. The result shouldn’t be cancelled.”
Yun Feiyang’s eyes narrowed. “You didn’t cheat and completed it fairly. Why cancel the results? Can Xiao Hei tell you how to answer the questions?!” After saying this, he spat out hatefully, “Damn Lu Xiuyuan, I will handle him later.”
“Don’t get in trouble. A violent fight will lead to expulsion from school.”
“I’m not stupid.” Yun Feiyang secretly thought, ‘I learnt the secret of covering the face with a sack from you.’
It was the holiday and his spare time increased. Yun Feiyang participated in volunteer activities and often wasn’t home. It was convenient for Shen Shian to freely enter and leave the space. During this winter vacation, he took a closer look at many places that hadn’t been studied before.
On this day, he ate a meal and Yun Feiyang hadn’t returned yet. Shen Shian wasn’t at ease about Xiao Hei and Ruibao staying together alone. After thinking about it, he picked up Xiao Hei and they entered the space together.
The first time he entered the space seemed to have a big impact on the dog. Xiao Hei was stiff and a bit dull. Once he finally reacted and realized where he came to, he broke free of Shen Shian and ran forward on his short legs.
「 This is the portable field! Shen Shian’s portable field! 」
Shen Shian didn’t care about the happily running dog and headed in the direction of the tomato forest. He had just taken two steps when a golden light suddenly appeared in the corner of his vision. This was accompanied by a scream and a familiar black hairball flew through the air and slammed into the ground.
Shen Shian failed to understand what happened for a while.
Xiao Hei fell to the ground but didn’t seem to feel any pain. He stood up, shook off the dirt and rushed towards the spiritual spring that was his goal. This time, Shen Shian watched carefully.
Xiao Hei raced at full speed towards the spring. Once he was around five metres away from the spring, a golden barrier of heaven and earth was suddenly activated. It lit up with a fascinating rune on it and surrounding the spiritual spring pool. It blocked Xiao Hei’s way. The moment Xiao Hei hit it, there was a thunderous sound and Xiao Hei flew out.
Was there a barrier around the spiritual spring? Had it been present before? Why did he never discover it?
The shock in his heart was like a stormy sea. Shen Shian walked quickly to the place where the barrier had appeared.
After Xiao Hei flew away, the golden light vanished again. This time, there was no difference in the peace of the spring. Shen Shian walked all the way to the spring and left it. He went back and forth unobstructed. The golden light didn’t appear and no obstacles were found.
Why? He had clearly seen the golden barrier and it couldn’t be an illusion. He turned around and beckoned to Xiao Hei. “Come here.”
The second fall seemed a bit harder than the first time but the land inside the space was soft and Xiao Hei was furry. There was nothing big apart from the mud staining him. Xiao Hei easily ran over to Shen Shian.
This time, he was smarter and stopped before the golden light appeared. He clearly recognized that this thing was the defense weapon that flew out the previous time he wanted to eat Shen Shian.
Shen Shian picked up the dog, pinched his paws and leaned forward.
The golden light barrier reappeared. The small black paws were firmly blocked and couldn’t enter.
It turned out to be like this.
Shen Shian was stunned. It seemed this barrier was effective on creatures other than him, stopping anything from approaching the spring. He wasn’t subject to this restriction because he was the owner of the space. The golden barrier was actually a protective cover defending the spring.
What if he wanted to bring another creature in? Anything that had direct contact with him could be brought into the space as long as he thought so. Did this barrier follow the same rules?
Shen Shian held Xiao Hei and thought about ‘entering’ as he took a step forward.
The golden barrier still existed and the runes on it flashed brilliantly, but Xiao Hei was standing inside the barrier with Shen Shian.
Sure enough, he could bring Xiao Hei in. Then what if a creature had direct contact with him but he didn’t want to bring it in. For example, if the space was exposed and he was held hostage while being threatened to enter the spring.
Without waiting for Xiao Hei to rejoice about entering the barrier, Shen Shian took him out and stepped forward again. This time, his heart refused to allow entry into the spiritual spring.
There was a flash of gold. Shen Shian smoothly entered the barrier while the dog was like cinder intercepted by a filter paper. He slammed into the ground on his butt.
Xiao Hei, “…”
It seemed this shield could see Shen Shian’s psychological activities. This was surprising. Then what if he didn’t allow entry in his heart but verbally gave instructions allowing entry.
In order to prove this conjecture, Shen Shian once again stepped out of the barrier and picked up Xiao Hei to start the experiment. By the time Xiao Hei was blocked by the barrier and fell to the ground for the eighth time, Shen Shian had probably studied all the rules of this barrier.
Apart from Shen Shian, other living creatures weren’t allowed entry.
Shen Shian could bring creatures in with him but he must willingly give them permission. Otherwise, they would be blocked.
If the creature didn’t receive permission, the impact on the shield would cause a rebound of a corresponding level. If the creature ignored the protective cover and tried to force a breakthrough—
“Ao!” Xiao Hei screamed and retreated his claws. He tentatively moved his claws through the barrier and got less than one centimeter before a current appeared, burning him black and causing a few traces of blood to ooze.
“Xiao Hei!” Shen Shian’s heart was tense and he immediately brought the dog through the protective cover into the spring. Xiao Hei’s eyes lit up and he couldn’t wait to roll over and take a few mouthfuls of the spring water. Then he paddled his short legs to move back and forth in the pool.
「 I finally entered!! 」
Shen Shian waited for a moment before grabbing the dog’s paws. He saw the wound had healed and let go of his worries. He ignored the dog in the spring water and walked towards the peach tree in front of the bamboo building, breaking off a small branch. He divided the branches into four sections then walked to the position where the shield had appeared. He inserted a branch in every quarter section as a reference.
Once all the branches were inserted, he turned his head but didn’t see any black figure in the spiritual pool. Shen Shian frowned and went to the pool, shouting, “Xiao Hei?”
The spring was foggy and there were no movements.
The spiritual spring was only three metres high. How could the swimming Xiao Hei drown here?
Shen Shian shouted a few more times. He walked around the spiritual spring and didn’t find any traces of Xiao Hei. His heart was uneasy and he was ready to jump in and look carefully. Then the centre of the pool suddenly surged and it seemed to suffer a major disaster. There was a suction force and a rapidly rotating whirlpool formed. This only lasted a second or two but the bottom of the pool could be seen, as well as a cute little, jade snow child.
Shen Shian sighed inwardly. ‘This spiritual spring is capable of giving birth.’
The author has something to say:
January 16th, 2019. There are still 2 months and 17 days before the outbreak.
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