A few seconds after Kou Chen announced the results of the bet, Huo Ran still hadn’t realized what happened.
The shock even kicked the mystery of the white-clothed ghost out of his mind.
“You left the building first,” Kou Chen jumped back down the stairs, stretching.
“The first one out loses, I haven’t thought about what I wanna make you do yet, I’ll let you know when I do.”
“Repeat that” Huo Ran looked at him.
“I’ll let you know when I do.” Kou Chen said.
“Not that.” Huo Ran said.
“You lost,” Kou Chen started laughing again, whistling as he walked, “But if you don’t wanna admit defeat, we can make it best out of three, come back a couple more times…”
“No thanks, if it’s my loss then it’s my loss.” Huo Ran cut him off.
Best out of three No need for that, he’d rather admit defeat than go in there again.
Kou Chen turned around to look at him silently.
A flashlight shone from the other side of the field, although there was still a soccer field and four tracks between, Kou Chen and Huo Ran still ducked into the corner.
Fortunately, the light quickly moved, shining in the direction of the gymnasium.
Huo Ran breathed a sigh of relief.
The school was very strict regarding things like this, if they were caught, Old Yuan would want to have a word the next day.
Even though he wasn’t an outstanding student by any means, he still didn’t want to be going to the teacher’s office so frequently right at the beginning of the term.
Especially not with Kou Chen.
Taking a couple steps forward, a couple figures suddenly flashed in front of him, one literally even falling from the sky.
The forgotten white figure from the building crossed Huo Ran’s mind again.
Good thing he heard Xu Zhifan’s quiet: “Huo!” Right as they appeared.
Good on Xu Zhifan as his best friend since middle school, he knew to reveal his identity right away, or else Huo Ran would’ve leaped twenty meters away.
“Huo, Huo, Huo, Huo, Huo Huo Huo Huo,” Kou Chen suddenly started singing, “Huo family’s martial art fist forms are agile…”
Huo Ran felt a sudden bout of gloominess.
Indeed, Kou Chen turned to look at him as he sang, then turned to Xu Zhifan, laughing happily: “Looks like you guys are late”
“Since you’re laughing so sweetly, you won” Xu Zhifan said.
“Mhm!” Kou Chen nodded exaggeratedly, filling in, “I’m just saying, anyone can win a bet like that.”
“Come on, stop wasting your time with him.” Huo Ran was very unhappy, but he couldn’t say anything, seeing as Kou Chen would’ve won even without that bit at the end.
“Where’re you going” Kou Chen asked.
“None of your bus…” Before he could finish, Xu Zhifan shoved him.
“Back home, where else” Jiang Lei said.
Kou Chen took out his phone to look at the time: “Let’s go get barbeque, my treat.”
“What” Hu Yi started.
“Barbeque,” Kou Chen said, “Let’s chat, since we’re all here anyways, don’t you wanna know what I just saw in the haunted building”
“…What did you see” Xu Zhifan started as well, turning towards Huo Ran.
“I’ll tell you later, come on.” Kou Chen waved his hand, walking towards the back gates.
“Are we going” Jiang Lei asked.
“Going my ass.” Huo Ran said angrily.
“Let’s go.” Xu Zhifan said.
“You **ing!” Huo Ran glared at him.
“What” Xu Zhifan pushed him in Kou Chen’s direction, lowering his voice, “we’re gonna be in the same class for two years, why do you have to be like this Save him some face.”
“What about my face” Huo Ran said.
“You lost face” Xu Zhifan asked, “Where did you lose it I’ll go get it for you.”
Huo Ran sighed: “In the haunted building, **.”
There were quite a few barbeque stalls near the school, all relying on the nearby school kids climbing the walls to come over.
They all looked half-dead during the breaks, only perking back up when school starts again.
“Let’s call Xu Chuan and Wei Chaoren over too” Jiang Lei asked as he sat down.
“It’s fine, they live far away, it’ll take forever for them to get here,” Kou Chen raised his hand, “Boss!”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
“What do you want” The boss yelled.
“Mlnf bo fjmt!” Bbe Jtfc sfiifv abb.
“Jjc kf olclrt la jii” Le Tl ibbxfv abkjgvr atf ybrr, atfgf kfgf wjcs vloofgfca xlcvr ijlv bea bc atf mbecafg, jii teuf rxfkfgr jr kfii.
“Qtja xlcv bo jqqfalaf vb sbe uesr tjnf” Bbe Jtfc ogbkcfv, “P mjc fja j ktbif ajyif pera klat ws rlrafg.”
“Is your sister a woman” Huo Ran couldn’t help but ask.
“She is,” Kou Chen replied without thinking, “Just like you, but a little braver.”
Huo Ran glared at him, you really can’t bring that up, it made him want to find a shovel to bury himself with.
“You really like to say things you shouldn’t,” Kou Chen said, then he asked, “Wanna drink”
“Let’s drink a little” Jiang Lei looked at Xu Zhifan.
“Let’s.” Xu Zhifan glanced at Huo Ran, “Baijiu”
“Boss, we want alcohol!” Kou Chen yelled.
Huo Ran and the others usually drank beer with their food, but Xu Zhifan brought up baijiu.
He didn’t know how much Kou Chen could drink but Huo Ran’s tolerance could mend a bit of his pride at least.
He got his tolerance from living out in huts for days on end during the winter.
“You guys went into the haunted building” Xu Zhifan asked, “For how long”
“Ten minutes or so,” Kou Chen said, “You three just got here”
“Rubbish, would we have let you win if we got here earlier”
Xu Zhifan couldn’t have stopped him from saying that even if he wanted to, and he sighed.
As expected, Kou Chen laughed, laughing in Huo Ran’s face.
The boss came over with two plates of barbeque and he was still laughing.
“Did you bring your friends” Huo Ran asked.
“Nope.” Kou Chen laughed.
Huo Ran looked unhappy, ‘you think I’d **ing believe your shameless ass’ written on his face.
“I really didn’t,” Kou Chen stopped laughing, “Chaoren and Xu Chuan are the only ones I could’ve called.
They live too far, it’s not worth coming all the way here.”
“Fuck.” Huo Ran frowned.
“Then who did we see”
“There was someone in there” They were all shocked, all looking up at Huo Ran and Kou Chen.
“Yeah, there was someone there besides us…” Kou Chen poured his alcohol, glancing at Huo Ran.
“You’re sure it was a person”
Huo Ran turned to look at him slowly, saying a good few seconds later: “Fuck you.”
Kou Chen laughed and poured the alcohol all over the table.
“What kind of person” Xu Zhifan cut in.
He felt that the only reason these two hadn’t started a fight yet was all thanks to Huo Ran’s fear of ghosts.
“It wore white, probably a dress.” Kou Chen said, “I knew there was someone there, but seeing someone there still scared me to the floor.”
“Ah.” Jiang Lei was a bit shocked.
“I think I broke the floor too, these cultural relics are too flimsy,” Kou Chen said.
“Think I got a knife on my ass”
“Dunno, never seen it.” Huo Ran replied subconsciously.
“You…” Kou Chen leaned over at once, fingers going to his pants.
“No thank you.” Huo Ran cut him off.
“That’s a shame,” Kou Chen moved his hands, getting back on topic nonchalantly, “I’ll go back to see tomorrow.”
“Again” Jiang Lei asked.
“Mhm,” Kou Chen nodded, lowering his voice, “It’s gotta be a person, maybe they go back.
I gotta get to the bottom of this, seeing as it gave me a fright.
Maybe it’s some criminal gang doing deals, if I record it or something and hand it in to the police, I’d be a hero…”
“Is this how the rumour that you hit a teacher started” Huo Ran wasn’t planning on saying anything, seeing as he just lost the bet and still owed Kou Chen whatever he wanted, but he really couldn’t resist.
“Patch up the holes in your brain with superglue, why don’t you More people will believe you if you say it’s a ghost.”
“Alright,” Kou Chen said, “Then I’ll go see the ghost tomorrow, coming”
“I’m not crazy.” Huo Ran said.
“I’m just asking,” Huo Ran sighed.
“You can start a fire in the wild with your guts”
“That really is true,” Jiang Lei said.
“Huo Ran has full points in wilderness survival, forget starting a fire, he’ll be fine eating wild berries and hunting for a month.”
Kou Chen looked at Huo Ran in surprise, still shocked when he said: “Alone”
“Mhm.” Huo Ran took a bite of his food.
“You’re not scared of the ghosts” Kou Chen asked.
“There aren’t any ghosts in the wild.” Huo Ran said.
“…Why can’t there be ghosts in the wild” Kou Chen kept asking.
“Rubbish, how would I still be alive if there were ghosts in the wild” Huo Ran said, “There are absolutely no ghosts in the wild.”
“Holy **,” Kou Chen looked at him in admiration, “Great logic you have there.”
After eating, they still hadn’t come to a conclusion about what that figure was.
The only thing Kou Chen learned was that Huo Ran really can drink.
Stepping out, Kou Chen felt a bit floaty, but Huo Ran’s eyes were still clear as day, impressive.
Xu Zhifan and Hu Yi didn’t really drink, but the same couldn’t go for Jiang Lei.
He kept singing as he hung from Xu Zhifan’s neck, eventually ending up thrown under a tree next to the road.
“How are you guys getting home” Kou Chen asked.
“By bike,” Xu Zhifan said, “We left them by the front gate.”
“Him too” Kou Chen pointed at Jiang Lei.
“He hitched a ride on my electric bike,” Hu Yi sighed.
“I’ll take him home, he’s gonna be in for a beating by his mom.”
“Okay, then I’ll be going now,” Kou Chen backed away slowly, “Huo Ran.”
“What” Huo Ran looked at him.
“I’ll let you know when I think of something.” Kou Chen said.
Huo Ran tsked.
“Goodnight,” Kou Chen smiled and waved, humming as he walked off, “Huo Huo Huo Huo…”
The three of them dragged Jiang Lei back to the school gates, and Hu Yi secured Jiang Lei to his back with the luggage strap.
“What was Kou Chen talking about” Xu Zhifan asked after Hu Yi left.
“The stakes of our bet,” Huo Ran said, “The loser has to do whatever the winner wants.”
“Oh,” Xu Zhifan started his electric bike, “How did you lose Got scared and ran”
Huo Ran got on his own bike: “We ran out together, but that damn thing took a step back at the end! I didn’t realize, so I ended up losing.”
Xu Zhifan stared blankly, before laughing hysterically.
“Stop laughing,” Huo Ran frowned.
“How about… we take a look in the haunted building tomorrow They should’ve left some traces since they jumped from so high up in the dark.”
“Okay,” Xu Zhifan nodded, “We’ll go after dropping our stuff off in the dorms.”
Their roommates haven’t changed since last semester, still four people to a room.
Only they moved from the first floor to the second floor, and Kou Chen and his friends somehow ended up opposite them.
Jiang Lei and Hu Lei weren’t here yet.
After putting down his stuff, he suddenly felt a sense of urgency and dragged Xu Zhifan with him to the haunted building.
He’s very brave in the morning.
There’s no ghosts in the wild, and no ghosts during the daytime.
Ghosts only appear at night in dark little rooms.
Right as they opened the door, Kou Chen and Xu Chuan walked out of their room.
Xu Chuan held a couple of mandarin oranges, handing two over to them: “Try it, they’re pretty sweet.”
“Thanks.” Huo Ran accepted it.
As he turned around, Kou Chen called him: “Huo.”
Huo Ran squeezed the orange in his hand, turning around.
If Kou Chen starts singing, he’ll shove the orange in his mouth.
“Ran,” Kou Chen smiled, “Let me ask, what do you need to bring if you’re going camping”
“…Depends.” Huo Ran started.
“Just like completely in the wild, for three days,” Kou Chen said.
“All we have now is a tent, what else do we need”
“Better bring a hearthstone.” Huo Ran said.
There’s too many people like him who think they can survive in the wild just with a tent that’s not even waterproof.
He didn’t even know where to start answering his question.
“A hearthstone” Kou Chen didn’t realize, “A cassette stove”
Xu Chuan laughed from beside him: “A hearthstone, bro.”
“Damn you,” Kou Chen reacted, “I’m serious.”
“I can’t explain everything properly in less than half an hour.” Huo Ran sighed.
“Alright then,” Kou Chen thought about it, “Let’s eat dinner together, and you can explain it in detail, I’ll make a list and mull it over.”
“…Ah.” Huo Ran agreed, a bit confused.
As he watched Kou Chen and Xu Chuan walk away eating oranges, he turned around, “Shit, did I just agree to it”
“Mhm.” Xu Zhifan peeled his orange.
“Why should I tell him anything, are we close” Huo Ran said.
“You can say you’ve seen a ghost together,” Xu Zhifan said as he ate, “Just tell him.
What if he goes out with just a sleeping bag and dies, you won’t be happy then.”
Class hasn’t started yet, but the field was bustling with people.
Apart from the new students doing military training, there were quite a few students back to live in the dorms.
Perhaps it’s the sunlight, but the haunted building didn’t look that different from the one their class was in, apart from being older and dirtier.
Huo Ran stood by the stone tablet, seeing that Kou Chen hadn’t lied, it indeed said something about municipal cultural relics.
“The ghost… person from yesterday, they jumped from there, right” Huo Ran pointed at the second floor stairwell, it’s pretty tall.”
“Let’s go see.” Xu Zhifan walked over.
Huo Ran looked around, they weren’t allowed to go in this building, but barely anyone came over or even looked in this direction.
He followed, looking at the ground by the stairwell.
It was concrete, with some weeds growing through the cracks.
He couldn’t see any traces.
“Wanna go to the back” Xu Zhifan asked.
“Kou Chen said he was here since 9 o’clock, that person probably didn’t climb up the main stairs”
“Let’s go.” Huo Ran said.
Beside the haunted building was the fence, following that to the back, Huo Ran didn’t think he’d find anything, but as he turned, both he and Xu Zhifan were shocked.
The grass behind the building had grown to a meter tall, and a few people stood at the corner.
Huo Ran counted amidst the shock and awkwardness, four boys and two girls, all third years.
One of them was the popular girl in the third year Humanities class..
Huo Ran always thought that categorizing too specifically resulted in a decrease in quality.
The girl wasn’t that likeable, nor pretty, and had a bad temper too.
The scene right now, was one that’s not likeable.
“Fuck off.” She said, “Don’t you know that students aren’t allowed back here”
Huo Ran didn’t have much of a temper towards girls, but with her attitude, he felt himself get angry.
He debated between arguing back and just leaving.
Xu Zhifan was probably the same, and so the few of them just stood there awkwardly in the silence.
As Huo Ran thought, “Why don’t we just leave” footsteps sounded from behind him.
Huo Ran and Xu Zhifan both turned around, it was Kou Chen, still holding an orange.
“What’s happening” Kou Chen squeezed between them, “Lemme see.”
Catching sight of those people, Kou Chen was shocked too.
“So annoying!” The popular girl frowned, “Are you stupid I told you to ** off! Don’t you understand!”
Kou Chen paused for a few seconds, before walking forward and slipping the orange back in his pocket.
Huo Ran stared at him, not knowing if he should go help or not if they end up fighting.
But Kou Chen turned around abruptly as he walked to the middle, stopping at the fence.
“What are you doing” The girl was fed up.
Kou Chen turned to her: “Taking a piss.”