Novel Turned Yuri – Chapter 32

Drawing the sword and looking around bewildered

Overall, Qiao Yu felt that her birthday party had gone relatively smoothly.

After the tumultuous affair called a “joyous occasion” had passed, Qiao Yu found herself looking at everything with great calmness. At the very least, she hadn’t been suddenly engaged, and Cong Ye came and went alone.

What if Cong Ye had been engaged during her birthday party? Then Qiao Yu wouldn’t be able to write this chapter. By then, the readers would see—oh no, the male lead is engaged but not to the female lead, so who is he engaged to? Oh, it’s Qiao Yu, but wasn’t this character just assisting a few chapters ago? Truly, this is outrageously unexpected.

Alright then, the comments section would surely erupt with several pages of passionate insults towards her.

Qiao Yu sat in front of the computer, quietly typing, and sighed with relief that she had avoided such a fate. It was indeed a fortunate escape.

On the last day of the National Day holiday, the diligent Qiao Yu was busy writing.

She hadn’t even finished her school assignments yet, but she decided to record the events of her birthday party while the memory was still fresh.

Her dedication as a ghostwriter was so admirable that it even moved the system.

“The drafts you’ve written before haven’t all been published yet. Maybe you should finish your homework today—”

“No way, writing is something that has to be done in one go.”

With righteous indignation, Qiao Yu rapidly tapped out the main event of yesterday’s birthday bash on her keyboard.

That is, the female lead getting jealous.

Indeed, she still had a few chapters banked up. The currently published storyline had only just reached the point of their three-month exam cram session, with a focus on the part where Cong Ye thought she was going to bully Lin Qing, eliciting many readers to sigh: He really does care about her so much.

But because the character Qiao Yu appeared too frequently—there was nothing Qiao Yu could do about it, she wanted to write herself out of the script, but before she had gotten very far, the system strictly warned her that doing so would absolutely increase the OOC degree, so she had to abandon the idea and bite the bullet to write it down as it was.

Despite her best efforts to minimize her presence, some readers in the comment section began to express their opinions on Qiao Yu.

【Why does Qiao Yu always hang around with Jungle?】

Qiao Yu doesn’t want that either… And isn’t Jungle the ship name for Cong Ye and Lin Qing? Can we change that, please? It reeks of the Amazon rainforest.

【Why does this supporting character have such a strong presence? Can’t they just tutor each other and spend some time alone?”

What are they supposed to tutor each other about? First instruction, then aiding – if that’s the case, won’t it spell the end for stragglers like her?

【This person couldn’t possibly have a crush on our Yeye, right?】

Ah, might as well kill her off—

Even if it’s just confusion from the uninformed masses, it’s enough to make Qiao Yu wish she could bury her head in the ground to prove her innocence.

Watching the increasing number of people badmouthing Qiao Yu in the comments section, with the reader satisfaction fluctuating and dropping to 73, Qiao Yu herself is also feeling quite troubled.

Then yesterday, Lin Qing got jealous over her, and with the plot developing like this, Qiao Yu’s position as the supporting female character has become a fixed seat she can’t leave.

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What can she do about it? She has got to write it out. As someone dedicated to her role, it’s always better than distorting the facts and going OOC, right?

With an expressionless face, Qiao Yu pounds on the keyboard, hammering out the rhythm like she’s playing the waist drum at the stock market.

【…

From a distance, Cong Ye and Qiao Yu stood side by side on the stage, a picture of perfect harmony. The crowd below buzzed with rumors that they might announce their engagement. The atmosphere was lively, as if only Lin Qing was detached from this bustling scene.

…He’s getting engaged?

Lin Qing couldn’t ignore the feeling of loss welling up inside her. Unconsciously, she clenched her fist tight, her nails digging deep into her palm.】

…Good heavens, even though it’s just an artistic exaggeration in the story, the phrase “a picture of perfect harmony” was agonizingly difficult for Qiao Yu to type out, nearly bringing her to tears. She decided, with a mournful face, that later she would go to cleanse herself and burn incense, swiftly typing away to finish this part.

【…

Lin Qing had never felt the gap between her and Cong Ye so acutely.

Cong Ye was surrounded by a crowd, and even if he wasn’t getting engaged to Qiao Yu today, sooner or later he would have a fiancée of equal social status. When that time comes—

Could she smile and bless him?】

Qiao Yu stopped typing, her expression twisted with conflict as she highlighted the passage. Her finger hovered over the delete key for a long time but ultimately, she didn’t press it.

…To tell the truth, she felt that Lin Qing wouldn’t really think like that.

In the interactions between Lin Qing and Cong Ye, it was always Lin Qing who took the lead. She wouldn’t let Cong Ye’s attitude or behavior affect her, and even under the circumstances of yesterday, it was hard for Qiao Yu to imagine Lin Qing belittling herself over something like ‘marrying within her social class.’

Lin Qing was always indifferent, composed, and not one to be easily shaken.

But…

Qiao Yu leaned back in her chair, her brow furrowed with distress.

…But yesterday, Lin Qing was indeed angry, restless, and quite shaken.

Qiao Yu recalled that sudden embrace, blankly lifting her hands before her eyes.

It was in her arms that Lin Qing, trembling, clung to her neck. All the timidity and restlessness were conveyed directly from Lin Qing’s pounding heartbeat to Qiao Yu.

The sensation, that fragrance, seemed to linger as if still shadowing her.

She touched the silver bracelet on her left wrist, gently stroking the tag on it.

It was only after looking up the information that she realized the Old English engraved there was the opening line of a Shakespearean sonnet, which literally translates to “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”.

The clarity of summer days is fleeting and capricious, but the beauty immortalized in the poem shall endure forever.

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It’s a most exquisite ode, this gift laden with the profound kindness of Lin Qing.

Therefore, she could not comprehend why the hug that Lin Qing gave her upon presenting this birthday gift was tinged with such deep sadness.

Qiao Yu looked back at the screen at the words she had just typed, her mind troubled by doubts.

…If it is not for that reason, then what could it be?

After a week-long holiday, Qiao Yu should have been happy to return to school. After all, she could now observe Cong Ye and Lin Qing up close again, which was far more interesting than anything she could do during the vacation.

“…Did you hear about it? City of Dreams?”

“I know, I know, I was there the day before yesterday.”

“Really? So Cong Ye and Qiao Yu really went on stage holding hands and even drank from the same glass of wine?”

Just how on earth had the rumor spread to such an absurd extent?!

Right at the school entrance, Qiao Yu was so angered that she shivered uncontrollably. Unable to bear it any longer, she clenched her fists and strode toward the group of people whispering among themselves.

“You guys—”

“Ah—!!”

The result was those gossip-mongering students scattered in fright, their cowardice surprisingly overwhelming. Upon realizing they had been caught red-handed talking behind her back, they instantly scattered like birds, darting off in three different directions, leaving Qiao Yu unsure of whom to chase after first.

The fury that she didn’t get to unleash was frustratingly stuck within her, neither fully expressed nor subsided. She stood there, looking around, and locked eyes with at least five or six people who were sneakily sizing her up. Then, they all pretended as though nothing happened and walked away, eyes straight ahead.

Qiao Yu had pent-up energy with nowhere to channel it, suddenly understanding the meaning of “drawing the sword and looking around bewildered.”

Feeling helpless, she took a deep breath, preparing to adjust her mindset and enter the school gates when a familiar voice called out from behind.

“Hey Qiao Yu, you’re quite early today. Lin Qing should already be here; why are you still standing around—”

“Don’t you talk to me, okay?!”

Cong Ye, having been inexplicably blasted with a burst of anger, felt wronged and trailed behind Qiao Yu by two meters, looking pitifully aggrieved.

On the way, Qiao Yu felt people’s stares, some surreptitious, some overt. Her forehead throbbed with the rapid beat of her heart, overwhelmed by a profound sense of exhaustion.

After cooling down a bit, she realized that her current state might only worsen the situation. Embracing the mindset of “the upright need not fear a crooked shadow,” she slowed her pace and walked up to Cong Ye.

“…You know, you must have sensed the atmosphere in the school by now.”

“? “

Cong Ye blinked at her, a picture of pure and oblivious innocence.

“…”

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Without uttering a word, Qiao Yu raised her right hand to cover Cong Ye’s eyes and pinched the temples on both sides of his head, holding on tightly for thirty seconds.

“Ow, ow, ow, it hurts like hell—! Qiao Yu, what are you doing?!”

Finally free, Cong Ye, with tears welling up, rubbed his head while Qiao Yu withdrew her hand expressionlessly and continued walking forward, saying,

“Waking up early after a holiday break really takes some getting used to, doesn’t it?”

“Aren’t you going to explain what you just did?!”

Cong Ye’s shouting attracted even more attention, but Qiao Yu did not intend to discuss their rumors in a place like the hallway. She kept a straight face and began to move her hands. Immediately, Cong Ye quieted down.

“Ah, is that the gift from Lin Qing?”

His attention quickly shifted to the bracelet on Qiao Yu’s wrist, and he asked with curiosity, seemingly having pushed the previous incident to the back of his mind.

“Mhm.” Qiao Yu was glad to change the subject and generously rolled up her sleeve to show him. “Pretty, isn’t it?”

“Indeed…”

Cong Ye’s eyes widened as he leaned in closer, clicking his tongue in wonder.

“Lin Qing is really impressive, to be able to do this kind of jewelry design.”

“…Hm?”

Qiao Yu’s movement to lower her sleeve stiffened, and she turned her head in surprise to look at him. Seeing her like this, Cong Ye knew that Lin Qing must not have said anything. He had no intention of keeping it a secret—after all, Lin Qing hadn’t told him not to mention it. So, he spilled the beans with great animation and enthusiasm.

“You see, you didn’t know this, did you? This bracelet was designed by Lin Qing herself; it’s the only one of its kind in the world.”

“…Eh? Really?”

“Why would I lie to you! Of course, I also put in the effort. I got our family’s factory to help make it, so you should thank me as well.”

By the way, one of the gifts Cong Ye had given her was a wearable Kamen Rider lifesize armor, and at the time, he proudly said that their family’s factory worked overtime to produce it. It seems that the scope of the family’s factory business is quite broad.

Upon hearing his words, Qiao Yu touched the bracelet even more carefully, feeling that the sentiment behind it was even deeper than she had imagined.

Cong Ye watched her treat Lin Qing’s gift as a treasured possession, so happy that it looked like his nose was about to lift towards the sky.

Aiya—That’s Lin Qing for you, spending half a day with her thinking about what gift to give, and it wasn’t in vain!

Although his suggestions weren’t taken at all!

Cong Ye is still a bit indignant when he thinks about it now. His suggestions were all on point!

That day, after he spoke and got Lin Qing’s permission, it was the first time he entered her room. He sat properly on a small stool and began his impassioned speech.

‘I think you should give something meaningful, something commemorative!’

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‘Um, for example?’

‘How about the kind of heirloom jewelry that every family has, the kind that an elder like a great-grandmother would leave you saying it’s for you to give to someone you like when the time comes?’

‘…No, my family doesn’t have that sort of passed-down jewelry.’

How could this be!

Lin Qing’s words struck Cong Ye like a bolt from the blue, leaving him stunned and unable to regain his composure for a long time. His (self-proclaimed) brilliant idea was dead on arrival, and he hung his head in dejection.

Damn it! I didn’t anticipate this possibility, even though everyone seems to have this kind of token of affection in romance novels! Romance novels are a lie!

‘However, I think jewelry is a good idea.’

Lin Qing’s indifferent voice rekindled Cong Ye’s hope, and he suddenly lifted his head. Lin Qing was puzzled by his eager gaze but continued speaking.

‘Because I want to give Qiao Yu something she can keep with her…’

‘!! I have another idea!’

With a whoosh, Cong Ye raised his hand, and under Lin Qing’s puzzled gaze, he declared with unmatched enthusiasm.

‘Rings!’

‘…’

‘Jewelry that she can carry with her, when it comes to that, of course, it’s rings! There are no other options!’

Ignoring Lin Qing’s speechlessness, he already began thinking about the follow-up arrangements.

‘Ah, but it’s a bit difficult to measure Qiao Yu’s finger size. Hmm, otherwise, I’ll just say I need to measure her finger circumference for the Kamen Rider armor I’m making. Although this might lessen the surprise when she receives your gift, it doesn’t matter—’

‘Alright, stop, hey, hey.’

Like stopping a headstrong horse mid-gallop with a tight rein, Lin Qing halted his ramblings with a gentle smile.

‘—If you keep talking such nonsense, you might as well get out of here.’

And so it was, even Cong Ye could not continue his radical inner thoughts of “why not just give yourself to her as a present” when faced with such a situation. Other than finding a manufacturing factory for Lin Qing, he wasn’t much help with choosing her gift—more like a handyman.

But handyman Cong Ye is still very happy, not even the post-vacation Monday blues could dampen his spirits.

Because, just arriving at school, to be able to—seeing such a good reaction is much more satisfying than Lin Qing who’s as unmovable as a mountain at home. Qiao Yu is just so much more understanding.

Hmm, I also don’t know what the situation was when Lin Qing gave Qiao Yu the gift. When he extricated himself from the crowd, both of them had disappeared without a trace, only to return together when it was time to cut the cake.

Suspicious! Super suspicious! But it’s impossible to get anything out of Lin Qing!

Later, I’ll have to ask Qiao Yu about it. She’s such a simpleton, without me scheming for her, whatever would she do? Really now.

Ah, it’s another beautiful day!

He walked with a spring in his step towards the classroom, hand in hand with Qiao Yu, giving a radiant smile to everyone they encountered on their way.



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