Chapter 92: Graduation credit (3)
The arrival of the holiday period signified the arrival of the final exams as well. However, the fanfare for the exam this time round wasn’t as great as the previous time. Instead, every student would be graded by their respective tutors. Basically, as long as one wasn’t too lazy, the institution would close one eye and allow them to have a good holiday. The most they would do was wait till the next school term to re-evaluate the ‘growth’ of students who failed to pass.
Of course, Di Lin didn’t need to worry about his end-of-term scores. To allow him to graduate smoothly, Hydin was just short of writing a ‘multiplied by ten’ behind his scores.
Rui Meng had previously taken advantage of the make-up exam to visit home, so he wasn’t as excited as the rest. He knew that Di Lin had also gone back home, so he was very understanding of his calmness. It was only Suo Suo… no matter how he looked at him, he should be a youth whose two eyes emitted light after hearing that he could return home, so why was he so calm?
He stealthily sneaked into the washroom and used a hand to pat Di Lin, who was washing clothes. “Is Suo Suo okay?”
Di Lin looked up. He glanced in the direction of the room and sighed before gently shaking his head.
“Hey. We’ve all lived together for so long, what is there that can’t be said?” To express their intimate relationship, Rui Meng specially crouched down and held onto him tightly.
Di Lin rolled his eyes.
Since he wouldn’t say it, Rui Meng could only make his own guesses. “Could it be that he can’t bear to be apart from you? But you’re going to marry out sooner or later?”
“Who says I’m going to marry, out?” Di Lin gritted his teeth.
“Don’t tell me you’re hoping that Hydin will marry in?” Rui Meng grabbed his arm, kneading it. “But you have great talent, there’s still hope if you work hard. You’ll have to compromise at the moment though.”
Di Lin furrowed his brows. “What compromise?”
Rui Meng looked at him in astonishment. “Don’t tell me you’ve never thought of this issue?”
“The… issue of marriage,” Rui Meng winked as he spoke.
Di Lin replied, “It doesn’t matter. Anyway, there can be two grooms in a marriage.”
“There can be two grooms in a marriage, but there can only be one active party on a bed,” Rui Meng practically said it explicitly.
Di Lin reacted very quickly. The contents of <A Hundred Questions on Matters of the Bed> suddenly surfaced in his mind. His face instantly heated up.
“It’s not too late for you to think about it now. From my perspective, Hydin probably won’t be too rash. After all, you’re still considered young…” The latter part of his words automatically vanished under Di Lin’s warning gaze. Rui Meng contemplated it and then forcefully hugged him. “Don’t say I’m not a good brother. Actually, if you don’t want to be the passive one, have you thought of acting first?”
The hand washing the clothes paused.
“I think Hydin definitely doesn’t have much vigilance towards you now,” He glanced at Di Lin’s inclined face. Di Lin’s looks were delicate and pretty, often giving others the misconception that he was weak. “So, as long as you strategize, you might be able to occupy the active position.”
Di Lin’s heart relaxed.
“Rui Meng! Let’s go for dinner,” Kevin pushed open the door, stuck his head out and yelled in their direction.
Despite the fact that Rui Meng, Kevin, and Di Lin’s relationship wasn’t bad, they still had another group of friends in the institution. That group of friends was fond of noise and excitement and often gathered. This time, they were gathering for an end-of-term meal to welcome the holidays. Rui Meng looked back and shouted, “Coming!” He glanced at Di Lin’s pensive face and said, “Forget it, don’t think so much. Do you want to eat with us? Many people want to see the legendary super genius!”
Di Lin shook his head. “I still have clothes to wash, bring Suo Suo along.” Even if he was staying on in the institution after graduation, he definitely couldn’t eat and live together with Suo Suo like they were doing now. This was why he hoped that Rui Meng could bring Suo Suo into a new social group, so as to avoid him being lonely.
Rui Meng understood his intentions. He patted his chest and made a pun, “Relax, you can hand him to me.”
Di Lin lowered his head again and continued washing his clothes. Only after Suo Suo and Rui Meng’s footsteps vanished completely after the door closed did his movements come to a stop.
There could only be… one active party on a bed?
The first school term finally ended.
Although Hydin only had one student, as a tutor of the institution, he still needed to wait for all the tutors to announce and record the grades, and then listen to the chairman conclude the term before he could leave.
So, Di Lin could only leave with Suo Suo first.
In fact, Di Lin was also preparing to come clean with Andre before Hydin visited his house as a guest. In spite of his confidence that his father would consent to this matter, it still concerned a major event in his life after all. He still felt somewhat apprehensive since it hadn’t been sorted out.
The boat set sail.
Di Lin watched Rui Meng enter the hold of the other boat before finding a seat with Suo Suo and Kevin.
A term’s worth of interaction had allowed these youths who were similar in age to find their own friends. They weren’t as awkward as they were before.
Di Lin unwillingly became the center of everyone’s attention. One moment, he would be requested to demonstrate wind magic and the next, he would be asked to give an explanation of the wind elements, till his desire to have a good chat with Suo Suo before getting off the boat was dashed.
This hubbub persisted until they alighted from the boat.
Di Lin bid everyone goodbye with much difficulty and then realized that Suo Suo was standing at the side with a stranger dressed in the attire of a court etiquette teacher.
“May I ask your…” Di Lin asked doubtfully.
“I am Prince Suo Suo’s newly-appointed court etiquette teacher. My name is Zoey,” He smiled slightly, saluting him in a manner extremely suited to the situation.
Di Lin asked, “What happened to Bill?” Bill was very traditional, but his loyalty to Suo Suo could not be doubted.
Zoey answered, “Teacher Bill has been ill for a period of time. He’s currently recuperating in the palace.”
Di Lin frowned to himself. He glanced at the silent Suo Suo and smiled. “All right then, let’s go.”
Zoey took a small step forward. “I’m afraid we will not be able to travel the same route as Young Master Basco. The king is unwell and is resting at Leanne House at the moment. He hopes that Prince Suo Suo can visit him as soon as possible. Another carriage has been prepared for you. I wish you a smooth trip.”
Di Lin felt a faint sense of unease. “Since Uncle is unwell, I ought to call on him as a member of the younger generation.”
Zoey thought about it. “Please allow me to first report back to the king and queen. I will send Young Master Basco an invitation subsequently.”
The sense of unease in Di Lin’s heart intensified.
Zoey noticed his tense face and said hurriedly, “All of this is done in consideration of your position. I heard that a minor conflict occurred between Kanding Empire and Shamanril within Santu’s borders. Although the Society of the God of Light is acting as the mediator to bring both parties to an agreement, the situation continues to remain pessimistic. I was concerned that the Basco duke could enter the battlefield at any time, so I didn’t dare to agree of my own accord. This is to avoid delaying you from meeting with the Basco duke.”
Di Lin could sense that he was hiding something, but the news he spoke of did indeed worry him. He knew that Zoey would not use this sort of military matters as a reason even if he didn’t want him to accompany Suo Suo back.
“Di Lin,” Suo Suo suddenly tugged on his sleeve. He revealed a reluctant smile. “Go home first. I will take good care of myself.”
Di Lin grabbed his hand, pacifying him, “It’s not very far from here to Leanne House, I can send you there.”
Suo Suo shook his head. “I can’t always ask you to stop and wait for me. I need to learn to mature. One day, I will catch up to you! I said before, even if you get married, I will still be your neighbor and be together with you forever.”
“Suo Suo,” Di Lin looked at the relaxed expression on Suo Suo’s face that he strove to show, his heart seizing up. Was this youth whom he had given careful attention to and who had always stood behind him finally deciding to walk out of his shade and search for his own land? He should be very happy about this, so why did he constantly feel a sense of unease and loss?
Suo Suo hugged him, burying his head into his shoulders. “I’ve already thought through it carefully the past few days. I can’t always let you protect me. Even if I may never be able to protect you, I don’t want to become a burden to you.”
Di Lin could hear the emotion choking his words and couldn’t help patting his back gently.
“All right, let’s go,” Suo Suo released his grip and retreated from his embrace. He looked towards the two carriages parked not far away and tried to curl the corners of his mouth in a smile. “Anyway, we will meet again very soon.”
“En,” Di Lin stroked his head.
If he could foresee the events that would happen in the future, perhaps he would not have let him go this easily at this moment. But, there would always be unknowns and risks in life. It was also because of these unknowns and risks that there were boundless hopes and dreams. No matter how reluctant Di Lin was to part with Suo Suo, and no matter how fondly attached Suo Suo was to Di Lin, they would eventually step onto different paths, reach different destinations, and find a different type of happiness.
 The ‘dinner’ here is referencing a specific kind of dinner, namely a communal meal/gathering over dinner.
 The term used here refers specifically to the husband of one’s mother’s sister. Too complicated to put as part of the sentence, so I used uncle instead.