“Hey, man up. Don’t tell me you have cold feet? Or you afraid your girlfriend will mind the intimacy?”
Lee Wei scoffed witnessing the squirming Se Cai.
Egged on by Lee Wei’s condescension, Se Cai blurted out confidently, “I don’t have a girlfriend and who said I’m afraid. Honey, let’s go!”
Se Cai regretted the moment the words left his mouth.
Lee Wei was the Vice Superintendent for the province station, even though he was just echoing her but had he crossed the line calling her honey?
“Now, that’s more like it!”
Lee Wei smiled satisfactorily.
She adjusted the car seat and leaned back down. She continued, “Let’s go. Leave everything to me later, try not to draw unnecessary attention and help me block the view of the camera.”
Se Cai was relieved that she didn’t seem to take offense to him calling her honey.
Lee Wei should be a power worker type or she wouldn’t have become a vice superintendent at your young age. She wouldn’t be petty enough to care about small things like that.
Se Cai convinced himself. He slammed on the oil pedal and the car sped towards the northern side of the county.
There sat Blue Sky Online Addiction Rehabilitation School!
Blue Sky Rehab sat at the northern outskirts of the county. It was far from other modern amenities, practically hidden in the middle of the jungle.
According to the school’s promo flyer, its secluded location decreased distraction and helped its students to focus on their rehabilitation.
Se Cai parked the car and walked to the school with Lee Wei.
From a distance away, he could see the school’s signboard, a giant banner hung between the pillars that decorated the school’s entrance.
“Is your child reluctant to study because of online game addiction? Blue Sky Rehab is here to solve your problem!” it read.
Furthermore, on the school compound walls were the school’s promo posters. They featured before-and-after shots of their students. The before shots all showed teens in sallow complexions and wiry frames. In the after shots though, they lined up in army fatigues, flashing smiles that were usually reserved for toothpaste commercials.
If Se Cai was an actual parent, he would be appropriately impressed by now.
After all, which parent doesn’t want the best for their child? And this school presented an image that it would help accomplish that.
This was Lee Wei’s first time visiting the school, she looked about curiously, adding, “This place looks pretty standard for an internet addiction school.”
Se Cai nodded, adding, “The number of teen afflicted with internet addiction is on the rise in our country and schools like these are earning higher and higher paychecks, the school needs to look good to beat out the increasing competitors.”
Blue Sky Rehab was a famous school of its kind. According to the tipper, its monthly fee could reach up to 4000 RMB, higher than even international schools.
In other words, most of the students here were from good family background. The addiction started because there was a lack of parental supervision.
However, a small section of the students came from families whose parents needed to scrounge up an exorbitant amount of money each month for the fees, which was a pity.
At the end of the day, all the school did was to suppress the addiction that would eventually exacerbate after graduation. The school had no intention of nipping the problem at its bud, it only relied on so-called a military school style education to force out the result to reap monthly fees. What happened after graduation was none of their business.
The rich could afford to waste such money but for the poor, it was heartbreaking.
All these information was given by the mysterious tipper. They tried to trace the tipper but he or she used a public phone and refused to leave his or her name and address. The person probably feared retribution from the school.
Viewed from outside the steel fence wall, they could see quite a fair amount of students playing badminton on the field.
A female student swung her bat too strongly and her shuttlecock flew over the wall and landed beside Se Cai.
The freckled girl ran to the fence and waved at Se Cai.
“Uncle, please help me pick up the ball!”
Se Cai realized with a start that she was talking to him. He forgot he had an appearance of a middle-aged man.
He looked at the girl and smiled. He bent down to take the shuttlecock.
“There you go. Be more careful next time.”
Se Cai tossed the ball back over the fence with a smile but after the girl departed, his face dimmed.
Lee Wei saw the change in his expression and she asked softly.
Instead of answering, Se Cai opened his hand to reveal a piece of neatly folded paper.
“Save me, but don’t tell the teachers, my parent’s phone number is 1862365548.”
“I want to go home because the instructor likes to hit me, my mum’s number is 138531788.”
“My name is Lin Lin, aged 15. My father is Lee XX, phone number 1501553155, tell him to come save me!”
“15722153245, please call my mum. I’m scared.”
The piece of paper appeared to be torn from an exercise book, and it was filled with students’ SOS messages.
Se Cai did a cursory count and there was at least 30 of them.
“Is this place even a school?”
Se Cai cursed. His determination to expose the school became firmer.
The school is a place for students to learn and grow but this Blue Sky Rehab obviously didn’t share that philosophy. The place was hell on earth for these students!
Lee Wei said after a long silence, “The fact that the parents are willing to send their children to this school is also a chilling thought.”
The pair of them had been standing at the gate for quite some time, and had attracted the attention of the admin.
“Hey! What are you two doing here?”
A man in army uniform yelled rudely as he sauntered over.
The man had a slicked back hair and a pot belly. It was someone Se Cai recognized, Security Manager Wong that led the gang of ruffians to visit him at the hospital.
“Are you a teacher from this school?”
Lee Wei said hurriedly, like repeating from a memorized script, her words kept tumbling out, “Our friends recommended us here. You see, we have a son that’s obsessed with online games and we’re at our wit’s end. Hopefully your school can help us.”
“Of course, please follow me. I’ll give you a tour of the school compound.”
The moment Wang heard the two were potential customers, his tone became deferentially immediately.
As mentioned above, the fees at this place was not cheap and the admin was given solicitor’s fee if they brought in business.
“I am Wang, the school’s security manager. Our school has been graded by the Ministry of Education as a professional reformation center. Currently, the school has more than 1000 students, it is the best school in the whole Town Z and even Province X. I assure you your child will receive the best education here!”
Manager Wang opened the school gate and waved Se Cai and Lee Wei in.
Se Cai was worried his cover would be blown but Lee Wei’s technique was so good that he was unable to see through his disguise.
Lee Wei leaned on his hands, like an old married couple.
“Don’t panic, and cover for me.“
She whispered into Se Cai’s ears.
Se Cai felt tickled by her breath and he almost forgot why they were there.
With Se Cai blocking the view, she unzipped the side of her bag for a bit to allow the camera to poke through. The recording had officially started.
Manager Wang was too occupied with selling the school to notice what was happening behind him.
“Good afternoon, sir!”
Along the way, they met many school in blue and white striped school uniform that actively greeted Manager Wang.
The students’ discipline greatly impressed Se Cai. The atmosphere of the school was not one he expected, it was peaceful and orderly.
If Se Cai hadn’t known better, he would definitely be tricked by the show that was put on.
“This is our school’s faculty building. All our teachers are retired military men. Using military training, the faculty is able to bond with the students while ensuring their utmost discipline…”
Manager Wang kept on praising the school and since it would make for good footage, the pair didn’t interject.
“Err, Manager Wang, since all the teachers are retired military personnel… What about the non-physical classes like math and science? Do the teachers have teaching certificate?”
Lee Wei found a flaw in Manager Wang’s pompous speech. This was after all a school, not a military camp. The teachers could tackle physical education but who would be responsible to teach the more technical subjects?
Manager Wang stammered, this was the first time someone had asked him such a professional question.
After some time, he floundered, “Since they’re teachers, I’m sure they can teach those subjects as well as physical ed.”
“I suppose you have a point. After all, our son is only 8 years old. He wouldn’t be able to focus with his internet addiction anyway. The only thing he talks about is LOL!”
Lee Wei smiled and said, “speaking of which, do you mind if we inspect some of the classes?”
“Of course, please follow me!”
Manager Wong led them to a classroom on the first floor. It was math class.
The teacher was wearing the same uniform as Manager Wong but instead of using books and blackboard, the class was watching an educational film.
“Overcome yourself, held strong and believe in yourself!”
The moment the teacher raised his hands, the students launched into a rehearsed act.
“Choosing Blue Sky is choosing quality! Choosing Blue Sky is choosing change! Choosing Blue Sky is choosing growth!”
The students yelled out in a clear voice complete with synchronized hand gestures.
The teacher nodded satisfactorily. He said, “Alright, our next class will be physical training. Anyone here didn’t finish their daily morning 800 meters run? Raise your hand!”
The originally slightly rowdy classroom went quiet instantly. Every student appeared to be frozen to their spot.