Every night before going to sleep, Tang Mian would take off his hearing aids and place them in a box for safekeeping.
However, during his afternoon nap, Tang Mian wouldn’t remove them, especially when he was napping at kindergarten or in crowded surroundings. Losing half his hearing would make him feel extremely insecure.
Wearing the hearing aids while sleeping wouldn’t have any impact on his ears or hearing, but it might slightly shorten the lifespan of the hearing aids.
But in order to get a good nap during the day, he had to make some compromises, fortunately, the nap times weren’t too long.
Now, in this open activity area, a cacophony of sounds assaulted his ears, causing him to feel dizzy. Tang Mian attempted to get up, but the pain in his knee wound was too much to bear, and he ended up collapsing on the grass. His delicate palm skin had several abrasions.
‘This body’s tolerance was simply too weak’. Tears began to well up in his eye sockets. Soon enough, they fell with a soft pitter-patter as he lowered his head ever so slightly. Tang Mian hadn’t felt this helpless in a long time.
On the other hand, Fu Shizhao, despite his small stature, was putting all his might into it. He plowed straight into the completely unprepared older children in the class, knocking them down to the ground. The hearing aids he snatched from their hands fell onto the grass, and he quickly scooped them up, cradling them carefully in his palm.
The children he had knocked down quickly got back on their feet. When they saw that it was this short-statured kid from the younger class who had done it, they were furious and didn’t hold back. One of them aimed a kick right at Fu Shizhao.
Fu Shizhao reacted swiftly and managed to dodge the kick.
If it weren’t for the fact that he needed to protect Tang Mian’s hearing aids, he might have considered taking that kick. It was similar to the incident not long ago when Tang Wei deliberately pushed him down, leaving him with a wound on his arm.
Playing the role of the underdog was his specialty.
If it weren’t for this reason, the Fu family, known for leaving no remnants, would have annihilated him a long time ago.
The big kid who was bullying Tang Mian, he recognized him too. His name was Sun Kangming, and in their past life, he was one of Tang Wei’s lackeys. Despite his young age, you could already see a glimpse of what he might become as he grew older.
When he had knocked Sun Kangming down just now, he even heard someone call out his name, “Kangming,” confirming his identity.
While he had been one of Tang Wei’s lackeys, Sun Kangming’s family situation was much better than Tang Wei’s now. In their previous life, it was because Tang Mian’s family had taken care of Tang Wei’s family that they had gradually risen above the Sun family’s status.
Tang Wei was a bit cunning, but Fu Shizhao couldn’t fathom how he had “persuaded” Sun Kangming to join in on bullying Tang Mian.
Sitting on the swing, Mu Zichen was stunned for a moment before quickly joining the “fray.”
Seeing that some of the kids were helping Tang Mian, Fu Shizhao continued to stand his ground alone. Mu Zichen rushed straight to Fu Shizhao’s side and knocked down the older kid who was attempting to attack Fu Shizhao again.
Mu Zichen had quite some weight to him now, and he was solid all over, making him quite formidable when he charged at someone.
However, after expending all his energy to knock the older kid down, Mu Zichen nearly lost his balance and almost fell.
Fu Shizhao, seeing this, reached out and helped him up. He casually asked, “Are you okay?”
His gaze, though, quickly fell on Tang Mian, who was being assisted by other classmates not far away.
This action left Mu Zichen pleasantly surprised and feeling cherished. The precious little brother, who had never paid him any attention before, was now finally showing concern for him!
Mu Zichen began to respond, “I’m fi—”
Before he could finish his sentence, Fu Shizhao took big strides toward Tang Mian’s direction.
Mu Zichen: “…”
Quickly, he followed suit.
While running, Fu Shizhao reached into his pocket, took out a baby wipe, and gently wiped Tang Mian’s hearing aids with great care.
He knew that Tang Mian was heavily reliant on his hearing aids, and he was sensitive and fragile.
During their past life, there was a time when Tang Mian accidentally damaged his hearing aids, and the newly customized ones hadn’t arrived yet. He also refused to wear the temporary ones provided by the hospital as they weren’t very comfortable. During that period, he didn’t attended school at all. He had to hurry and deliver the hearing aids to him and comfort him in the process.
The teacher who was overseeing the children in the activity area noticed the commotion and rushed over. Teacher Tu was already wiping Tang Mian’s tears.
Another teacher from the older class approached the boy who had bullied Tang Mian earlier.
Tang Mian’s tears had stopped, but his eyes were still red. He let Teacher Tu gently roll up his pants, remaining limp and not moving, but he instinctively snuggled closer to Teacher Tu.
Fu Shizhao knew this was a sign of his lack of security, and he liked being held or holding onto others.
“Big brother, here you go,” Fu Shizhao quickly handed the hearing aids back to Tang Mian and leaned closer to him.
Tang Mian finally managed to stand a bit straighter with the help of his other leg, the one that wasn’t too severely injured. He left Teacher Tu’s embrace, eagerly took the hearing aids, and put them on his ear.
However, it seemed like there was an issue with the hearing aids. The sounds he heard were erratic, sometimes too loud and sometimes too soft.
But the return of that slightly unstable half of his hearing finally relieved Tang Mian.
Fu Shizhao took his hand as a matter of course and didn’t let go. Tang Mian didn’t resist either; he simply lowered his gaze, remained silent, and didn’t look at Fu Shizhao. He seemed lost in thought, and the specially designed anti-drop chain on his hearing aid dangled freely.
Fu Shizhao hadn’t seen him so fragile in a long time, and it filled his heart with pain. In their previous life, as he and Tang Mian grew apart, Tang Mian would always become agitated whenever he saw Fu Shizhao. He would prefer Tang Mian to scold him a few times rather than having him stand in front of him without saying a word.
Just then, Teacher Tu had finally rolled up Tang Mian’s pants carefully and, upon seeing the wound on his knee, quickly said, “Let’s go to the medical room right away.”
Immediately, Teacher Tu’s gaze fell on another teacher from the same school who was walking over with another older student, and she frowned, asking, “What exactly happened?”
“I think this little one found the thing on the other child’s ear interesting and couldn’t resist taking it off. Unfortunately, he fell while playing on the swing. Is he okay?” The teacher’s voice was nonchalant.
Teacher Tu retorted immediately, “Do you think this is okay?”
Teacher Tu had never been particularly fond of this teacher. The kindergarten explicitly prohibited teachers from accepting gifts from students’ parents, but this teacher had secretly accepted quite a few. She also showed favoritism toward certain children in the class.
However, she had some connections with the school leadership, and with their interference, she had been assigned to a class with no children from particularly influential backgrounds. This was done to avoid any potential issues.
It’s likely that the older student who bullied Tang Mian had given her gifts from his family, which was why she was protecting him like this.
While most of the children attending the school came from well-off families, there were still varying degrees of privilege within the affluent circles. For example, Mu Zichen in their class had a relatively strong family background, but he wasn’t as well-connected as the Tang family. Another child who wanted to buy a painting from Tang Mian came from a nouveau riche family. While they had a lot of money, they didn’t have much influence in the capital city.
The teacher strode up to Teacher Tu and whispered in a voice that few could hear, “So, what do you plan to do? Making a big deal out of this won’t be good for any of us.”
After all, if there was genuine malicious bullying among the children, it would tarnish the reputation of the kindergarten and reflect poorly on their management. However, if it was just a case of curiosity combined with a lack of restraint on the part of the children, it would be a less serious matter.
Teacher Tu couldn’t be bothered to deal with the other teacher. She carefully cradled Tang Mian and said, “I’ll take my student to the medical room, contact both sets of parents, review the surveillance footage, and let them decide how to handle this.”
Sitting on a chair in the medical room, Tang Mian leaned slightly on Fu Shizhao’s shoulder, clutching his hand tightly. He remained silent, enduring the pain as the doctor treated the wound on his knee.
The hearing aids were indeed malfunctioning…
He really wanted to go home quickly.
Why hadn’t his mom and dad arrived yet?
Fu Shizhao didn’t say anything either. He just held Tang Mian’s hand quietly, thinking about how he would confront Tang Wei, who was lurking in the background and enjoying the spectacle, later on.
The medical room’s hallway was now crowded with all the children who had been present earlier. Sun Kangming sat not too far from them, while Tang Wei was in a more distant spot, occasionally glancing in their direction but not approaching.
With kids… scaring them a bit should be enough.
Unless Sun Kangming, at such a young age, was so loyal to Tang Wei that he refused to give him up, which would make things a bit trickier.
However, this was also a golden opportunity that had fallen into their laps.
Even if Sun Kangming didn’t reveal Tang Wei’s involvement, a few suggestive hints when they got back home to Tang’s parents would surely make them understand what had happened. Coupled with the previous debts, Tang’s father wouldn’t dwell on that paltry “old relationship.”
Sun Kangming had been bumped by Fu Shizhao and Mu Zichen one after the other, and he was in quite a bit of pain now, but his injuries were nowhere near as severe as Tang Mian’s.
Mu Zichen and a few other children from the younger class stared at Sun Kangming with disgust, wishing they could give him a couple of punches if not for the presence of the teacher.
However, Sun Kangming wasn’t afraid. He had always been a bully in their class, and he had picked on many of the younger children before without facing any consequences. When his parents arrived, he would show these people how powerful he was!
Should I add this novel to my ko-fi membership?