Chapter 43: Did Her Best
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Ning Li looked at Kong Rou. “Ms. Kong, my English is not that good. Why don’t you pick someone else?”
She found it useless and a waste of time.
Kong Rou, however, thought it was not a problem. After all, the more Ning Li claimed to be poor in English, the more she should practice.
Ning Li was still a new student in the school, and Kong Rou noticed the girl always spent time alone. This might be a great chance for her to mingle with the other classmates.
“It’s okay. No one comes into this world knowing everything. You just have to muster enough courage to try, am I right? Why don’t I get someone who is better at English to join you in the same group?”
Kong Rou then scanned the classroom.
A lot of the students looked away and tried to blend in with the background. There was nothing wrong, but Ning Li’s English was poor. If the students were to join the same group as her, they would have to do the heavy lifting.
Time was precious to the third-year students, and no one wanted to waste their time with this.
Kong Rou then locked her gaze on someone.
Pei Song had won the first prize in the National High School English Speaking competition back when he was just a first-year student, and he was the monitor of the class. He was the perfect candidate to guide Ning Li.
“You and Ren Qian can help Ning Li with next week’s play.”
The class went silent, but on second thought, it seemed like Pei Song was the best choice. Since Pei Song was chosen, Ren Qian, who was sitting next to him, would naturally be chosen as well.
Pei Song nodded plainly.
Ren Qian smiled and said, “Ms. Kong, don’t worry! We will make sure that the play goes well!”
“And one more…”
Kong Rou continued to scan through the class. She spotted Ye Ci but eventually locked her attention on a petite and quiet girl with short hair sitting in the front row.
“He Xiaochen, is it okay for you to be in the same group with them?”
He Xiaochen was a regular in the top 10 in terms of academic results, especially English. She had never dropped out of the top 3 spots before.
Kong Rou had somehow assembled the strongest English team for Ning Li.
He Xiaochen pushed her glasses up and answered, “Yes, teacher.”
Kong Rou was happy with her arrangement. She heard that Ning Li was great in other subjects such as Chemistry, Physics, Biolog, and so on. However, the English standards in Lincheng were falling behind, and she was afraid that Ning Li could not catch up.
Henceforth, she ought to help Ning Li by giving her ample chances to practice!
“Okay, that’s it. Class dismissed.”
Ning Li got the scripts from Kong Rou and distributed them to her classmates.
Lin Zhouyang scratched his head bitterly. “Why didn’t I get such a strong team to help me last time?” He had performed last week and almost embarrassed his entire lineage.
Cheng Xiangxiang looked askance at Ning Li and said, “If you are only starting to learn English during middle school, maybe Ms. Kong will look out for you as well.”
“Ning Li is good at Maths and Physics. She’s smart, so she can pick this up quickly,” Ren Qian said with a smile.
Cheng Xiangxiang tucked her hair behind her ear and scoffed. “I’m not sure about that. Lin Zhouyang’s Maths was good, but in his last English test, he scored only half of his Maths score.”
Lin Zhouyang was caught in the crossfire without even knowing why. While he was fine with Cheng Xiangxiang talking about Ning Li, why must she bring his embarrassing score into this?
Ren Qian shrugged. “Are you saying that you don’t have faith in our Brother Pei? We still have He Xiaochen!”
The group still had Pei Song and He Xiaochen, both of whom were the smartest in the class. With them in the same group, they should be able to tutor Ning Li and get her up to speed.
He Xiaochen walked over when she heard her name being called.
“Ning Li, why don’t we go through the script later during lunch?”
Ning Li was surprised. “Later?”
He Xiaochen was surprised by her reaction. “Are you not nervous at all?”
The play might be short, but the chosen script followed the original theatrical play in English. Furthermore, the words used were rather complex, and it would take a lot of time to understand and make use of them.
She blinked innocently at Ning Li, suddenly realizing something.
Ning Li might be having some difficulty. It was understandable though. He Xiaochen had never approached someone in Ning Li’s situation, so such an awkward situation was expected.
He Xiaochen clenched her fists and consoled Ning Li, “Don’t worry. We can take it step by step. I’m sure we can make it.”
Ning Li replied uncertainly, “Okay…”
At lunchtime, Ning Li and her group went to the reading corner. There was almost no one walking around in this hour, so it was less distracting.
The group sat down in a circle with the scripts in their hands.
Ren Qian did the narration while Ning Li was given the role with the least lines.
He Xiaochen sat beside Ning Li and then shared her own script with the latter. “Ning Li, your role might have the least lines, but there are some words that are not within the syllabus. I’ve labeled the pronunciation for you. Why don’t you use my script instead?”
Ning Li wanted to reject her, but when she saw the sparkles in He Xiaochen’s eyes and the serious expression on her face, she swapped her script with He Xiaochen. She smiled. “Thank you so much.”
He Xiaochen was caught off guard by Ning Li’s gentle smile.
She realized that Ning Li was not as cold as the rumors said. More importantly, she was beautiful!
Witnessing Ning Li’s beauty at such a close range proved to be impactful to He Xiaochen who stole a quick glance at her.
Meanwhile, Ning Li saw Pei Song looking at his script with his head down. His eyes were half-closed due to the angle which made him look extra handsome.
He Xiaochen put her hand on her chest and said, “You’re welcome!”
‘Holy mother of cow! So, this is how it feels to be with the good-looking kids in school! I’m in heaven!’
Ning Li saw the reaction on He Xiaochen’s face and thought that He Xiaochen somehow looked…aroused?
He Xiaochen nervously calmed herself down and cleared her throat. She recovered to her serious self.
It was noon, and the sun was bright.
The campus was quiet except for the reading corner where a couple of students were reading scripts.
Ren Qian’s English might not be as good as Pei Song or He Xiaochen’s, but he was not too shabby either. He read through the narration smoothly, and it was then Pei Song’s turn.
The young man’s voice was calm and clear, making early autumn feel less stuffy as his voice was somehow refreshing.
Then, it was Ning Li’s turn. She flipped to the next page and wanted to read out her first line.
When she saw the notes on the script, she was slightly stunned. The script was written in both English and Chinese, and on the left side, where the English text was, the words had been labeled neatly.
On top of the words was the intonation and below them was the pinyin.
The writing on the script was neat and beautiful. It was obviously He Xiaochen’s.
Ning Li failed to keep up, thus drawing the others’ attention.
He Xiaochen was a little surprised. “Ning Li?”
Could she still not pronounce it?
He Xiaochen had taken her time to label the words in both intonation and pinyin. No matter how poor Ning Li’s English was or how confusing the intonations were, she could have read it with the assistance of the pinyin.
Ning Li looked at He Xiaochen with a complicated gaze. “You’ve done a lot for me.”
He Xiaochen thought that Ning Li was nervous based on her complicated gaze. She patiently said, “It’s fine, Ning Li. Just read it. If we run into any problem, it’s best for us to find out earlier than later so that we can fix it!”
She added, “Learning is like swimming against the current. As long as you are willing to put in the effort, you can do it.”
She wanted Ning Li to know it was fine to make mistakes.
However, right before Ning Li could speak a word, Pei Song spoke. He read Ning Li’s lines for her. His pleasant voice read through the lines in English smoothly.
He Xiaochen softly nudged Ning Li’s arm. “Come on, Ning Li, read after him.”
Then, a thought popped into her mind.
“Why don’t we let the hand—I mean, Pei Song—read through the lines and you record it? Then, you can practice at home.”