The Poor Baby’s Manipulation Manual Chapter 1 — Specialty: Acting Pitiful

“There’s only thirty days left until the college entrance exam! Everyone, don’t think that thirty days seems like a lot and you can get away with not putting your mind on studying. Now, let’s discuss this question…” The instructor, who was balding already in middle age, stood at the lectern, teaching assiduously. The students below him didn’t take him seriously at all. They played around and made noise, without the slightest trace of a student’s respect for their teacher. 

The teacher let out a sigh. He could only blame his bad luck for giving him this class of aristocrats to teach! Even if the students here got a zero on the entrance exam, they definitely wouldn’t end up worse off than him in the future.

After teaching this class for more than two years, he’d long since developed the ability to go on with the lecture even if it was exploding with noise beneath him. At the moment, he could only go on talking. He inadvertently glanced down, and met a pair of clear, earnest eyes, out of place in this noisy classroom. 

The teacher let out a secret sigh. Fortunately, fortunately, there was still He Qing. In this round of college exams, he had all his hopes on this student, who had exceptional grades and was hardworking and earnest in character as well.

When he thought that there was still someone listening to his lecture, his passion for teaching ws reignited, and he started explaining with his vigor restored. Little did he know that the He Qing in his vision, who was currently earnestly listening to the lecture, had his eyes plastered to Lin Chi in the row above him, who was playing with his phone. He sighed and said,【Look at our Chichi, he’s so handsome even when he’s just playing with his phone.】 

Faced with his eccentric host, the system only said frigidly, 【Lin Chi’s favorability value is zero. Host, please complete the mission within thirty days.】

【I’ve studied him for so many days now, let’s make a move today!】

He Qing’s words had just landed when the teacher’s voice came from above: “He Qing, come up and answer this question.”

In this classroom full of students, he could only call on He Qing to come up.

The delicate boy got up and walked slowly towards the lectern. When he walked by the first row, a leg suddenly stretched out before him. He didn’t react in time, and tripped in an instant, falling to the ground in a sorry state. The entire classroom soon sounded with the students’ savage laughter. 

Lin Chi was playing on his phone, but when he heard the sound of laughter, he looked over as well. He saw the boy who fell at his feet, his cheeks deep red, his whole body curled up, so embarrassed he wished he could hide underground. As if he’d felt his gaze, He Qing lifted his head. His red eyes met Lin Chi’s, but he quickly lowered his head again in a panic, and curled into a ball. 

In order to curl up, he drew his feet into his body, and accidentally bumped into Lin Chi’s leg. He froze at first, then drew them in faster. Lin Chi could only see his white sneakers. They were ordinary and cheap, but they’d been scrubbed until they were spotless.

The teacher soon helped up the boy who had a lowered head, and he slowly sat back down at his seat. Lin Chi was still immersed in that red, wronged pair of eyes. Someone patted his shoulder, and Lin Chi looked up. It was the boy who sat across the aisle from him, Zhang Xu.

Zhang Xu laughed with insolent pride, and he said to Lin Chi with a smile, “Just look at that joker, isn’t he a laugh! He was walking that slowly, and he saw my leg, but didn’t know how to dodge! He’s dead stupid!”

Lin Chi looked at how his friend was showing off, and didn’t know how he felt for a moment. All the students in his class were part of the rich second generation. Their families had assets, but they had no learning or skills. Somehow, someone from a poor household had gotten in by relying on grades. There were people like Lin Chi, who couldn’t be bothered to notice him, and there were naturally also people who teased He Qing for fun. Zhang Xu was clearly among the ones who teased He Qing.

He thought of how that boy looked just now curled into a ball, and said to his friend with a little disgust, “Don’t tease him anymore, if you have such skills you’d be better off playing games.”

Zhang Xu didn’t know why he was suddenly speaking up for He Qing. He agreed with a little bewilderment. If he said no teasing then no teasing, in any case, he had other pastimes.

After Lin Chi warned him, he couldn’t resist turning for a look. The boy’s head was buried behind a tower of books, and Lin Chi couldn’t see his expression. His body was trembling as if he was crying.

【Ding! Lin Chi’s favorability value is 5. Host, please continue your efforts.】

He Qing was watching TV and snickering nonstop when a line of words appeared in his vision, and the system’s ice-cold mechanical voice sounded. He blinked.【Our Chichi really is cute when his heart softens...I’m really having doubts as to whether you got this body’s cause of death wrong.】

System:【The system won’t make a mistake. This body kills himself a month later.】
【Huh? Wasn’t it Lin Chi who hounded him to death?】He Qing sprawled across the table, leaning sideways, and his eyes landed on Lin Chi’s back.【The boy he liked agreed to his pursuit, and after a few days of happiness, he suddenly found out that the truth was it was just a game. His eyes were full of indifference and even loathing. His sexual orientation was spread around until everyone knew about it, and he was humiliated and even subjected to violence on campus. At last, under Lin Chi’s disgusted eyes, he jumped off a building and died the night before the entrance exam. Wasn’t that how it went?】

The system couldn’t understand all this. It only persevered in saying,【The reason was suicide.】

He Qing sighed helplessly.【Alright, put my TV show back on. In any case, even if I lie here all class long, the teacher will just act like he can’t see me.】

He laid down again and hid his expression behind his books until the bell rang at the end of class. He Qing rubbed his eyes hard until they were red, and then slowly raised his head, his expression downcast. He started doing problems in the corner, hunched over.

Because of his “unique” identity, no one in the class was willing to sit with him. He occupied the hindmost corner of the classroom all by himself. Right behind him was the trash can. 

He was doing problems when he saw two figures in front of him. The boy looked up at a loss, and when he saw clearly who it was, his body started shaking, like a rabbit that had caught sight of an eagle. He squeezed into the corner, trembling, and even when he couldn’t squeeze any further, he still kept trying to move back.

Zhang Xu sneered when he saw him, and slapped a hand down on his desk. Sure enough, he saw the figure that had already curled up into a ball tremble, and curl up even smaller. Zhang Xu disdainfully withdrew his head and said viciously, “Hey! Mute! The trash can’s already so full, and you still haven’t emptied it! Can’t you smell the stink?!”

As was only proper, in this classroom, dirty work like taking out the trash was usually handed over to He Qing. As for the nickname of “Mute…”

He Qing lowered his head as if frightened, not saying a word. Zhang Xu had long since gotten used to him being like this. “Hurry up and dump it! Did you hear me?!”

With satisfaction, he looked at the boy who’d curled up into a ball nod in fear. Then he smiled and said to Lin Chi, “A-Chi, let’s go! The basketball court’s gonna get taken up soon!”

Lin Chi looked arrogantly down on the boy who’d curled into a ball, and found that after Zhang Xu called his name, that figure with the rigidly lowered head froze slightly, and slowly looked up. Of course, at the moment he lifted his eyes and met Lin Chi’s gaze, he looked away, startled, and hid his face under his hair again. 

His eyebrows raised slightly, and his heart felt like a feather was teasing it. By his side, Zhang Xu urged him away again, and he came back to himself. “Alright, let’s go.” 

After the two boys left the classroom, He Qing stood up slowly. His form was slight, and his frame wasn’t much different from a girl’s. He didn’t have much strength either. He could only drag the trash can slowly out of the classroom. He looked very pitiful, submitting meekly to mistreatment.

When in fact:【Pull a radish! Pull a radish! Heyo heyo pull a radish! Heyo heyo pull no more...】

【Ding! Lin Chi’s favorability value is 7.】As if He Qing had felt something, he stopped walking and looked back. Sure enough, he saw someone else in the hall. Lin Chi was looking at him from afar. When he saw He Qing look back, he turned away and left.

As He Qing dragged the trash can along, he kept his expression wronged, suffering in silence, but inside he was complaining without the slightest scruple.【Little system, can we have a conversation? Can you not give me such a weak role next time? How about a strong and courageous one with powerful muscles?】

【Isn’t acting pitiful your specialty?】

【What are you talking about—that’s the truth, hahaha! 】

On the other side of the hall, after Lin Chi looked away, he went to the basketball court with Zhang Xu. He was dribbling the ball, just about to shoot, when he suddenly sharply noticed someone staring at him. He looked up abruptly and met the eyes of He Qing, who was resting carefully on the windowsill. 

He Qing quickly withdrew to the side in a fluster. Lin Chi kept staring at the place where he was, and seeing him unmoving, Zhang Xu walked over in confusion. He followed his gaze. “Isn’t that the little mute’s window? What are you looking over there for?”

Lin Chi kept looking at the empty window, and answered, “He was there just now.”

“He was there?” Zhang Xu looked at the window, then went and fished his cell phone out of his pocket and made a call. “Hey! Monkey, tell that little mute to come down, that’s right, fast!”

Lin Chi frowned suddenly. “What are you doing?”

Zhang Xu smiled mischievously. “Don’t worry, I’m not teasing him. Isn’t he poor? I’m giving him a chance to earn money!”

The boy quickly came out of the school building. From far away, they could see him shrinking into himself with fear, his whole body curled up small. His footsteps grew slower and slower as well, and by the time he had almost reached them, he was practically shifting forward. 

Zhang Xu urged him on impatiently. “Are you a turtle? Hurry up!”

Shouted at, He Qing trembled, and his originally pale face turned deathly white. He walked between them, and before Zhang Xu spoke, he explained to Lin Chi tremblingly, looking scared enough to cry, looking up with red eyes, “I...I didn’t mean to look at you...I was...was…”

He stammered so much he couldn’t talk.

Zhang Xu distinctly froze. He looked at Lin Chi again, but his friend didn’t look surprised, and only stared straight on at He Qing, whose voice was trembling as he anxiously tried to explain, but couldn’t speak clearly.

With their silence, the boy clearly misunderstood what they meant to do. He was scared even more severely, but he still persevered in gazing at Lin Chi with red eyes. “S-sorry…”

Lin Chi looked at him fixedly for a while, and suddenly said, “Zhang Xu called you down to run errands.”

The boy didn’t react at first, and stared blankly at him with red eyes. After he understood, he clearly let out a breath of relief. He didn’t tremble anymore, and just said with his old stammer, “Run...run what errands?”

“You! Go get us two drinks!” Zhang Xu inserted himself into their mutual gaze. He threw the money to He Qing, but the wind blew it so it landed by Lin Chi’s feet. The boy crouched down, and his fair fingertips touched the tips of Lin Chi’s shoes. He picked up the money in a flash. 

He took the money and left without a word. Zhang Xu watched him go for a while, then moved to Lin Chi’s side mysteriously. “Hey, A-Chi! Do you think this mute likes you?”

In the distance, He Qing’s footsteps paused for a second.

【Ding! Lin Chi’s favorability value is 10.】

***

The author has something to say:

The true gong isn’t Lin Chi, muah (づ ̄3 ̄)づ╭

***

3 hours and 9 minutes for 2,251 words, or 8.4 minutes for every 100 words.

This is just a teaser, anyone who wants to pick this novel up is free to do so! 💛

Comments

  1. omg is this a sign... I just saved this recently lol. Thank you for the chapter! It definitely sounds really cute :3c I'm excited for your next main project too!

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