Chapter 35: It’s Shameful to Act Cute
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Compared to Mu Jingzhe and her family, the eldest branch’s days passed in a very ordinary way.
The half-blind fortune teller in the village read the fortune of Zhao Lan and Eldest Brother Shao like a typical Monday morning quarterback1.
He said that Zhao Lan’s life had originally been pretty good. Although she’d suffered a little in her early years, she had been very blessed when it came to her children and grandchildren.
Even though she had lost her son, she could have relied on her daughter-in-law and grandsons to lead a good life.
The same applied to Eldest Brother Shao. Although his younger brother was gone, he could have lived a good life by depending on his younger sister-in-law and nephews as long as he and his mother had a conscience.
Alas, Zhao Lan and Boss Shao had no conscience, so their good luck had come to an end.
Their fortune and good luck had been personally severed by them.
In the past, Zhao Lan and Boss Shao would have died laughing upon hearing something like this, and the villagers wouldn’t have believed it either.
Now, they had no choice but to believe it.
Although the villagers knew that he was being a Monday morning quarterback, those who believed in fate felt that the fortune teller’s words made sense.
Everyone was gossiping about this, making Zhao Lan and her family quite furious.
However, they had no chance to make up for it now.
Mu Jingzhe had become the hottest topic in the village and would occasionally be on the village’s trending list. However, no one paid attention to Shao Dong and Shao Xi’s grade-skipping examination.
Anyway, the appointed time for the grade-skipping exam came as scheduled.
Not only would they be taking the second grade’s final exam, but they would also be taking the third grade’s first-semester final exam and the second-semester midterm exam.
The principal chose to hold the exams on a weekend, when no one was at school.
Mu Jingzhe woke up early to make breakfast. Apart from cooking eggs, she also deliberately fried dough sticks1.
It was unknown when fried dough sticks and two eggs had become popular, but everyone was used to giving them to children before exams. Mu Jingzhe didn’t forget this tradition.
“Here, this is Shao Dong’s. This is Shao Xi’s.”
Mu Jingzhe arranged them neatly.
Shao Dong and Shao Xi’s attention was attracted by the fried dough sticks.
Fried dough sticks were common food, but the villagers rarely ate them because the cooking process used up too much oil and they couldn’t afford to make them.
The three little ones had never eaten them before. They only found them very fragrant.
On the other hand, Shao Dong and Shao Xi vaguely remembered eating them when they were very young. At the time, they’d still had their mother and they had been living in the city.
“Why did you suddenly want to fry these?”
“Because of your exam today.”
“What does this have to do with the exam… 100 points!”
Shao Xi answered his own question. “This is 100 points?”
“You guessed right.”
Mu Jingzhe snapped her fingers. “Eat it. You will score 100 points after eating this.”
Shao Dong and Shao Xi felt a little strange in their hearts. Shao Dong thanked her and started eating, but Shao Xi was awkward. “Even if we don’t eat them, we can still get 100 points.”
After saying that, he started eating happily, his mouth full of grease.
Mu Jingzhe thought that since she had already used up so much oil, she might as well fry more. Some of the dough sticks were left at home for the children and Shao Qiyang, and some were saved for the workers.
She also took a portion to the school for the principal and the teachers.
The principal and the others felt bad about taking the food, but Mu Jingzhe had already brought it. Besides, it was only some food, and the parents of other students would occasionally give them some food too, so they accepted it in the end.
They ate the crispy fried dough sticks with satisfaction.
While Shao Dong and Shao Xi were taking their exams, Mu Jingzhe went to the Mu Residence and took some to Li Zhaodi and Mu Teng.
Li Zhaodi was grinning from ear to ear, showing off to Old Madam Mu.
After eating a dough stick, she began to think. “Jingzhe, do you think we can sell these fried dough sticks? Would anyone want to buy them?”
“Of course. They can be sold.”
Mu Jingzhe nodded. “Other than fried dough sticks, you can also try selling herbal tea eggs1. I’m just afraid that you guys will have to work too hard.”
“It’s not hard. As long as we can earn money, we won’t find it tough. Jingzhe, how do you make herbal tea eggs?”
“I’ll teach you later.”
Mu Jingzhe felt that Li Zhaodi and Mu Teng had been born to do business.
When she returned to school, Shao Dong and Shao Xi’s first exam had already ended. They were currently taking the second exam, and the teacher was already grading their work.
They rested for a while at noon and took their next exam in the afternoon. They would finish all the exams in one day.
The results didn’t disappoint.
Although they had one to two marks deducted in their Chinese Literature paper, they scored 100 in their Mathematics paper.
Shao Dong and Shao Xi could finally hold their heads high.
Zhang Fei came as well. He was still waiting to see Shao Dong and Shao Xi make a fool of themselves, but in the end, he was humiliated and he left dejectedly.
The principal made a decision on the spot—Shao Dong and Shao Xi could skip grades as long as they submitted an application.
The head teacher of the third grade was also there. He was short and he had only graduated from junior high, but he was a very nice person.
Mu Jingzhe heaved a sigh of relief and got ready to leave with the children. However, Shao Bei surprised her and asked the principal if she and Shao Nan could skip a grade too.
The two older brothers’ success had opened a new world for them. They also wanted to skip grades.
As for the reason they wanted to do so, it was naturally to save money. If they studied for two years less, they could save two years’ worth of school fees.
It was their goal to finish elementary school by spending the smallest amount of money.
They didn’t yet know how to make money, but they had found ways to save money.
The principal said, “You can’t.”
Shao Nan negotiated with the principal. “Then we won’t be taking the exam now. If we perform well in the second grade’s end-of-semester exam, can you directly allow us to enter the third grade?”
Principal: “Then you’ll have to take the test and see.”
He hoped that the final exam of this semester would be difficult enough to teach them a lesson.
“We’ll definitely pass.”
Shao Bei glanced at Mu Jingzhe and waved her little fist to show her confidence.
With Mu Jingzhe around, she wasn’t afraid.
Mu Jingzhe: “…”
She had an ominous feeling. Would she become a full-time tutor in the future?
As it turned out, her premonition was right.
As soon as Shao Bei returned home, she took out her textbook. “Auntie, auntie, please teach me and my brother. We also want to skip grades and join the third grade.”
Mu Jingzhe: “…”
She thought for a moment. She had only stayed behind as a nanny at first. Why was she also working as a part-time tutor now?
As Mu Jingzhe was struggling and hesitating, she felt someone tugging at her clothes. She looked down and saw Shao Nan shaking her clothes.
“Please teach us.”
His voice was soft, and he accompanied it with an adorable smile.
Mu Jingzhe couldn’t help herself. “Okay.”
As soon as she said that, she wished she could slap herself.
After letting go of Mu Jingzhe, Shao Nan tilted his head and wiped the nonexistent sweat from his face, which felt numb.
It was shameful to act cute, but it worked.
That was why Shao Nan had done it.
Shao Nan, who was acting cute for the first time, felt disgusted with himself.
Fortunately, the cute act had worked on Mu Jingzhe.
Mu Jingzhe seemed unable to resist cuteness. This was a secret Shao Nan had just discovered.
As long as Little Bei tilted her head and smiled at her, her gaze would soften. She also liked it when Little Bei bounced around.
He had seen Mu Jingzhe’s notebook. There were many messy scribblings in it, as well as records of accounts. There were also some small images drawn in the middle. Though her drawings consisted only of simple strokes, they captured the essence of Little Bei’s appearance.
There were lots of Little Bei’s adorable antics, as well as some flowers Little Bei had picked for Mu Jingzhe.
There were traces of all five siblings in the book, but most of the drawings were of Little Bei, followed closely by Xiao Wu.
Then, there were some of Big Brother and Second Brother, and finally some of him.
Little Five’s clumsy, dumb actions and expressions made people laugh every time.
Big Brother also looked cute in her notebook, and there was a funny version of Second Brother.
As for him, there were relatively fewer pictures of him.
By observing, Shao Nan had sensed what Mu Jingzhe liked.
He specifically targeted what Mu Jingzhe liked to achieve his goals.