After much thinking, Ren Xiaosu still felt that being a teacher was the easiest way to gain the gratitude of others.
However, he had neglected one problem. While he was very eager to learn and was very thirsty for knowledge, it was because he was born into abnormal times that lacked knowledge. This was what caused him to be so hungry to learn.
The more one lacked something, the more one desired it.
However, the things that he desired were not necessarily the same as what the students desired. The students who could attend school in such an era were mostly from families with a rather good background. All of them were living with the blessings of their parents.
These kids had been attending school for several years now, and the most annoying person to them would be their teacher, since he would make them recite from textbooks and give them homework. During students’ teenage years, teachers were their mortal enemy most of the time.
Even though Ren Xiaosu was teaching them their favorite survival lesson, the students were far from feeling grateful to him.
Ren Xiaosu thought that perhaps with a few more lessons, the students would finally be grateful to him for teaching them?
Usually, the school in town would let out at 4 PM. Starting from 6 AM, the stronghold’s clock would ring every two hours to signal the time. Under normal circumstances, Zhang Jinglin would never prolong his lessons.
However, today, in his attempt to gain the gratitude of the students, Ren Xiaosu was teaching them almost all of his experience in wilderness survival. Once he got started, he continued talking all the way until 5 PM.
As it was late autumn, it started getting dark at 5 PM. The students stared blankly at him and thought to themselves, ‘This son of a bitch just keeps on fucking going.’
Even Zhang Jinglin couldn’t bear it anymore. He went out to the yard to chop up a cabbage and made dinner.
A student who could not stand it any longer, said, “Son of a… Teacher, if you’re not going to end class soon, it’ll be dark out, and it won’t be safe to be in town.”
The student was still a little afraid of this person who was well-known in town for being ruthless. That was the reason he did not dare to challenge him directly.
Ren Xiaosu was taken aback. He thought, ‘Instead of showing your gratitude, you’re asking the teacher to end class?’ However, he understood that safety came first. So when Ren Xiaosu saw the sky darkening, he could only helplessly wave his hand and say, “Class dismissed.”
“Thank you, Teacher!”
“Thank you, Teacher!”
The students started swarming out of class. When two of the students thanked Ren Xiaosu for saying “class dismissed,” they were truly thankful! If class still didn’t get dismissed, it would have become unbearable for them!
Ren Xiaosu suddenly noticed two more gratitude tokens appear in the palace and was overjoyed.
Like he knew what the students were thanking him for. All he felt was that he done a great job teaching them!
Ren Xiaosu thought to himself, Looks like my loving efforts have not gone to waste. After such a long lesson, he felt that the students were still actually very grateful to him.
Yan Liuyuan said as he pulled a long face, “Can you stop making the lessons run late?”
Before Ren Xiaosu could say anything, Zhang Jinglin walked in with a bowl of rice that he was eating from. He controlled his tone and said, “Xiaosu, I know that you’re passionate about teaching, but it’s bad to make the class stay behind for such a long time. Also, what if you overextend yourself by working too hard?”
Ren Xiaosu was having none of it. Was he making the class stay behind? No, he was just ensuring that he would earn the sincere gratitude of the students, which in turn meant making money from them!
“No,” Ren Xiaosu said righteously, “I’m willing to devote my entire life to the cause of education, so it’s fine with me if I have to teach a little longer!”
Zhang Jinglin coughed, choking at Ren Xiaosu’s words. But when he saw Ren Xiaosu behaving like that, he did not bother to argue with him. “Alright then.”
The two students who thanked him did not even know that by saying “thank you, Teacher” they had brought a major disaster upon themselves.
A proverb for situations like this went: Loose lips cause trouble.
On the way back, Yan Liuyuan was sulking and ignoring Ren Xiaosu. He had originally planned to stroll around town with Ren Xiaosu after school. But in the end, it wasn’t to be.
When they passed by a pawnshop at the city gate, Yan Liuyuan tugged on Ren Xiaosu’s sleeve and pointed at it. Ren Xiaosu was surprised to see Xiaoyu in there. She seemed to be talking to the shopkeeper.
Ren Xiaosu led Yan Liuyuan a little bit closer. They could hear Xiaoyu saying to the shopkeeper, “My pair of earrings are very valuable. Can’t you give me a little more for them?”
The shopkeeper smiled flippantly at Xiaoyu. “Actually, you don’t have to pawn it. Why would you have to…”
He shut his mouth before he finished talking because he saw Ren Xiaosu walking towards the pawnshop. Word of last night’s incident had already spread all over the town, and everyone knew that Li Xiaoyu was now very close to Ren Xiaosu.
It didn’t mean that just because this was a survival of the fittest era, everyone would naturally become more ferocious. In fact, every era would always have its fair share of weaklings and ruthless people. And most of the time, those who were ruthless would survive better.
The shopkeeper was a weakling, and a weakling feared the strong and would only dare to bully the weak. The person that Ren Xiaosu had killed last night was well-known in town as a ruthless person. So Ren Xiaosu had become the most ruthless of the ruthless.
The shopkeeper’s gaze became shifty as he pretended to drink some water. He wasn’t sure if Ren Xiaosu had overheard what he had just said.
Ren Xiaosu counted 620 yuan from his pocket and stuffed it into Xiaoyu’s hand. “You don’t have to sell your belongings. This is the money for the three anti-inflammatory pills that you gave me last night.”
As Li Xiaoyu did not have a source of income now, she had no choice but to fritter away her savings. However, Ren Xiaosu could not bear to see her in such a miserable state.
Li Xiaoyu wanted to return the money to Ren Xiaosu, but he said, “I was already planning to use the money to buy some medicine anyway, so you should keep it. It’s not that I’m rejecting your kindness, but there’s no need for us to be so polite with each other in the future.”
Li Xiaoyu was stunned for a while. “What do you mean by that?”
After Ren Xiaosu luckily escaped from the wolves last year, he did not mention to anyone how he made it back alive. However, it was a fact that he only survived because of the medicine given by Li Xiaoyu. Without the antibiotics and anti-inflammatory pills, he would have been dead long ago.
Therefore, what he owed to Li Xiaoyu was not just a few pills, but his life.
Ren Xiaosu said to Xiaoyu in a serious tone, “Don’t worry. From now on, as long as there’s meat for me to eat, I’ll make sure there will be soup for you to drink!”
Yan Liuyuan whispered, “Bro, you’ve said it wrong. Shouldn’t all of us be eating meat together? Why, then, has it turned into you eating meat while the rest of us only get soup to drink? Besides, we don’t even have any meat at home….”
“Oh.” Ren Xiaosu nodded and put it another way to Xiaoyu. “From now on, as long as I have soup to drink, there will be bowls for you to wash!”
Yan Liuyuan was confused
“Pfft!” The shopkeeper who was taking a sip of water did a spit-take from nearby.
However, Li Xiaoyu did not mind. “Alright, I’ll wash the bowls and do the laundry for you two.”
When she said this, she did not consider if there would be enough “water” to go around for all of them. In any case, she agreed to it.
The shopkeeper pouted as he looked at the three of them walk out. He turned around and said to his shop assistant, “Don’t ever provoke him, ya hear?”
Right when the trio stepped out of the shop, they heard someone shout, “Doctor, please save my husband! If he dies, our family won’t survive!”
They saw a middle-aged woman kneeling and kowtowing to the town’s only doctor in front of the clinic. However, the doctor sneered. “If you don’t have any money, what makes you think you can see the doctor?”
“If you save him, our whole family will thank you for your great kindness.” The woman sobbed, “The old doctor was such a benevolent man when he was still around. As his son, you must also be very benevolent.”
“My father’s benevolence was his business!”
Then the doctor turned around and slammed the clinic’s door shut. A man was lying beside the woman, his stomach bleeding nonstop.
Ren Xiaosu did not approach them nor be the Good Samaritan this time around. In fact, he could tell that the man had already died.
He calmly said as he looked on, “Liuyuan, remember everything that you’ve just witnessed. This is reality.”