Chapter 35: Secret Book (1)
A missing excerpt (460 words) was added to the last chapter! Please read the last chapter again before continuing. Sorry for the inconvenience! >.<
Late at night in Red Star Welfare Home, room 303, pink curtains swayed in the wind.
All the lights in the orphanage had been put out, and the lady in charge of making the rounds had finished checking every room and was ready to go to bed.
The moment the door closed, a soft ruffling could be heard in the once quiet, small room. Lin Zhao Xi lifted the quilt, sat up, and turned over. She pulled the quilt over herself, her head holding up the makeshift tent.
The flashlight then lit up, spilling warm yellow light in the narrow space. Within a few breaths, the air trapped inside became stifling hot.
The flashlight was bought with the milk money she saved up. Underneath the blanket was a stack of math textbooks and exercise books that she had scrounged up, a surprisingly thick stack.
Thinking back on her bet with the dean, she realized she’d let the heat rush to her head. But that was life. Things just suddenly come up and turn your easy and comfortable life into a hideous mess. Of course, her life had never been easy since she had come here.
If she had to say the worst things about going back in time, the first would be having to put out the lights early, and the second that computers weren’t in fashion yet. These two things seriously affected her studies. From the day she made the bet to Saturday, when she would take the test, she only had three days. Finishing an elementary school Olympiad math book in only three short days was already hard enough, but ahead of her were all six books on Olympic mathematics from grade 1 to grade 6.
More than a hundred lessons, and over a thousand formulas. She was born again with her memories intact, true, but that didn’t mean the exam would be a walk in the park for her. Who could be sure that they’d be able to keep any of their elementary school knowledge from leaking away up until they were 22 years old?
If she didn’t patch up those leaks, and those leaks appeared on the exam, she wouldn’t get in the summer camp.
But she had already made a promise. Anything other than a perfect score was a risk.
And if she wanted a perfect score, then there was only one option. To stay up all night studying. There were no shortcuts.
She stuck her head out of the blanket and took a deep breath of fresh air, grabbed a pencil, crawled back into the makeshift tent, and continued revising.
It’s no wonder she was nervous.
In her own life (that is, in the “Strawberry World”) she didn\’t make it to summer camp. Whether because of a miscalculation or because of the last question, she wasn’t sure, but she was really good at math back then. The fact that there was a question she didn’t solve at that time was a testament to the difficulty of qualifying for the camp.
And if she remembered correctly, although Pei Zhi went, he didn’t compete for Anning City in the end. She didn’t know why.
In any case, Anning Elementary School\’s math curriculum wasn’t as bad as Old Lin said. They had Pei Zhi and Zhang Liang, who was currently outshining Pei Zhi.
So in those few days, she made use of every bit of time to read books. During Math, Chinese and English classes, she dug through the Olympiad textbooks. Each teacher reprimanded her until Lu Zhi Hao\’s mother, the headteacher and an expert at covering for her students, stepped in and gave her the green light. The teachers who complained were beaten back so badly that on the last day before the exam, she could openly spread out her books on the table.
Because her knowledge on Olympiad math was scattered (some of it had already been discussed in third grade, and she studied the fourth and fifth grade curriculums ahead), she organized a knowledge graph, summarizing all the connections, and carried it with her, revising whenever she had time.
Xiao Lu stealthily copied part of it word for word and gave her a packet of Pop Rocks in return.
For the first time, Lin Zhao Xi felt knowledge was power.*
*Together, 力量 means power. Separated, 力 and 量 are pronounced similarly to the word “snack” (零食).
It wasn\’t until Friday evening that Lin Zhao Xi had time to look for Old Lin. Not because she had finished reviewing (she would never finish reading all those books), but because she started to feel anxious with the exam coming up and wanted to talk to her father.
The weather was getting hotter and hotter each day. Old Lin, wearing a white undershirt with a small hole in the back, was locking the door to the park’s utility room.
Lin Zhao Xi jumped out from behind a wall and tapped him on the back. \”It\’s been a few days since I\’ve come here,\” she said with a bright smile. \”Have you properly eaten breakfast while I wasn’t here?”