“Stop laughing! Is it very funny” Kou Chen looked at him, before looking down to his own legs.
“Fuck, look, the sand is all the way up to… up to…”
He bent down and traced a hand up his leg to see just exactly how high the waves were.
He paused when he touched his knee.
…Up to here
His thighs were dry
Huo Ran had already fallen over laughing.
He sat on the sand and laughed so hard it felt like his snot bubbles were gonna fly out.
“Huo Ran.” Kou Chen squatted down and stared at Huo Ran.
“Stop laughing for a second, I have something to tell you.”
“Go on.” Huo Ran couldn’t even stop laughing for a second.
He asked, “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone you’re scared of water.”
“I’m not scared of water, last time we went hiking I was fine with the lake.” Kou Chen said.
“But you didn’t go even, only Kou Xiao and Old Yang did.” Huo Ran’s face hurt from laughing, and he rubbed it with his hand.
“I’m just kinda… scared of the ocean.” Kou Chen glanced back at the others playing in the water.
“I just think there’s too much water.”
“Does it bring back unhappy memories” Huo Ran finally controlled himself, and it took a couple deep breaths to finally stop the urge to laugh every time he looked at Kou Chen.
“Or is it thalassophobia or something”
“Neither, I just think, **, there’s so much water, I’ll drown.” Kou Chen frowned.
“I’m sorry,” Huo Ran started laughing again, before putting his head in his arms.
“It’s not on purpose, I really can’t help it, don’t beat me up.”
“Fuck off, am I that unreasonable” Kou Chen tsked.
“I think your perception of yourself is a bit different from others” Huo Ran laughed.
“I guess everyone else is all blind.” Kou Chen said.
The others waved at them from further in the water.
“Hurry up!” Jiang Lei yelled, “The water’s not cold!”
“I’m gonna go,” Huo Ran stood up and wiped the sand off his pants.
“You can just stay here, if they ask, I’ll say you have a stomach ache.”
“I’m not the kind of person that’ll stop playing just because of a stomach ache.” Kou Chen stood up and looked down at his legs, “I’m gonna go too, scared my ass.”
“Go over there first,” Huo Ran pointed at the waves.
“Right there, it’ll go up to your feet, and then you can go further when you get used to it.”
“Okay okay, worry about yourself first.” Kou Chen stared.
“I’m just saying, I decide if I’m scared or not.”
“Okay.” Huo Ran nodded.
He got out the sealed bag the driver gave them, and put his phone in it before stuffing it in his pocket.
Without another word, he turned and headed into the water.
Kou Chen put his own phone away and followed behind him.
A few steps out, he reached and grabbed his shoulders.
Huo Ran paused, and turned to him.
“Go in.” Kou Chen stared at him.
“Leading the blind, huh” Huo Ran said.
“I’m warning you,” Kou Chen kept glaring, “One more word and I’ll throw you in the water.”
Huo Ran had to work really hard to control himself and not burst out laughing again.
He has to save Kou Chen some face.
The rest of the guys were right there.
He has to protect Kou Chen’s handsome and cool image.
Nobody knows that someone like Kou Chen was not only afraid of snakes, but he was afraid of the ocean too… He said he wasn’t scared of water, but who knows, maybe he won’t even take baths at home, only showers.
Ahh, poor him.
Just thinking about it made Huo Ran want to laugh again.
Right as they stepped into the water, he felt Kou Chen stop.
He immediately stopped too, and turned to Kou Chen.
Thinking back to last time with the snake skin, he said: “Let me know if you’re gonna jump on my back, I might fall over otherwise.”
“If I jump on you, I’ll take your last name.” Kou Chen glared at him fiercely.
“Go on then Keep walking” Huo Ran said.
“Shut up! Go! Walk whenever you want!” Kou Chen said calmly.
Huo Ran felt that he still should be composed.
If it were Jiang Lei, he would’ve started sprinting all the way to at least waist high water.
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.
He, on the other hand, didn’t run.
He moved forward steadily, step by step.
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After all, the seven of them were all landlubbers.
Kou Chen still had his hands on his shoulders, and Huo Ran didn’t tell him to let go.
If Kou Chen didn’t have anything to hold on to, he would probably feel like the waves were gonna wash him away.
“The waves are coming.
Are coming.” Kou Chen whispered, tightening his grip.
Huo Ran was about to get his phone out to take some photos, but he gave up that idea when he heard him.
He extended his hand: “Take my hand I’ll hold onto you.”
Kou Chen immediately grabbed his hand and squeezed.
When the wave came, the seven landlubbers raised their arms and yelled out: “AH—”
But landlubber Huo only raised his left hand, because his right hand was being held onto by landlubber Kou.
Landlubber Kou didn’t raise the hand that he held.
It would be too embarrassing if anyone found out that he needed to hold onto someone even in waist deep water.
“Holy **,” Wei Chaoren gagged after he licked his hand, “It’s so salty!”
“Apparently the oceans in some places are saltier than others.” Xu Zhifan said.
“I dunno if it’s true or not.”
“We can plan another trip for summer break.” Xu Chuan said.
“Taste another ocean.”
“Yeah!” Jiang Lei turned around, “I like that idea.
Let’s go on another trip next time, and then another after that, so we can taste a bunch of different oceans.”
“We’ll call it Operation: Taste the Sea.” Hu Yi said.
“…It feels kinda dumb,” Xu Zhifan laughed, “But it sounds pretty fun”
“Then it’s set.” Huo Ran said.
“It’s set!” Everyone yelled.
It really did sound fun.
Although it wasn’t any pledge of undying love, it still felt unexpectedly romantic.
Huo Ran turned to Kou Chen.
As he was about to say something with a smile, he saw Kou Chen lift his arm to sneak a lick.
Seeing him turn around, Kou Chen froze.
“Is it salty” He asked quietly.
“Hold on,” Kou Chen glanced around at the others, before licking his arm quickly.
Then he frowned and tasted it, “It’s really salty.
My throat would be dead if I drank it by accident.”
“Fuck, that bad” Huo Ran looked at his arm.
Kou Chen didn’t say anything, only sticking his arm out to his mouth.
Huo Ran hesitated for a second, feeling that something was off about the situation but not being able to figure out exactly what.
And so he licked his arm.
He was musing over the taste, and then he suddenly realized that everyone was looking at the two of them.
Jiang Lei almost had a look of pure disdain.
“What” Huo Ran glared at him, “You can taste it and I can’t”
“I licked my own arm.” Jiang Lei said, before looking at their joined hands.
“And you licked Kou Chen’s… Is his sweeter than your own or something”
Huo Ran suddenly realized what that earlier feeling of something being off was.
He couldn’t help but laugh: “Fuck, I didn’t even realize.”
“Kou Chen!” Jiang Lei yelled at Kou Chen.
“Hm” Kou Chen looked at him, “You want a lick too”
“No,” Jiang Lei said.
“Help me think of what I should bring back as a gift for Lu Huan, I want to be in a relationship!”
“You should confess first.” Kou Chen said.
“Make a heart with some shells and send her a picture.
Gauge her feelings towards you first.
If she doesn’t feel anything, then nothing you do will work.
It’ll be rude too.”
“Okay,” Jiang Lei nodded.
“Can’t I just draw a heart in the sand”
“Don’t you have any sincerity” Kou Chen said.
“You’re the one trying to get her to like you.
Put in some effort, can’t you”
“Okay, okay, okay.
I just didn’t really understand, I feel like everyone just draws one in the sand.” Jiang Lei said.
“Why are you so meticulous about stuff like this”
“Old Yang chased after my sister for three years,” Kou Chen raised three fingers.
“I watched him come up with new methods every day, and then we discussed how to make it feel more sincere… I just never had anyone I liked that much, or else…”
“Ah—!” Wei Chaoren suddenly yelled, “It’s coming! A wave! Huge! A giant wave! Holy **!”
“AH—” Everyone yelled before they even turned to look.
Huo Ran turned around as he yelled, and he saw a wave that was indeed huge to landlubbers like them.
The kind that would soak you from head to toe.
“AH— Run!” Kou Chen yelled.
“Run, run, run! We’re gonna get wet—” Xu Chuan laughed.
Everyone started running for shore.
Kou Chen showed Huo Ran what it looked like to run for your life.
He dragged him behind him, and even ran pretty fast.
Everyone else was splashing around with difficulty, and only he could splash and hop and run.
Huo Ran stumbled as he was pulled along.
“Slow down!” Huo Ran said.
“Fuck! I can’t go that fast!”
“Lift them higher, idiot!” Kou Chen said.
Even though the water wasn’t that deep, they were still quite a distance away from shore.
The wave chased behind them, and they all floundered through the water.
Huo Ran saw the shadow come up behind him first, making it feel like he was floating.
Immediately after that was the huge wave curling over.
He was already stumbling, and there wasn’t even time for him to struggle.
He fell to his knees, and then there was water surrounding them.
He could hear the water bubbling in his ears.
He didn’t know how to swim, and so he could hold his breath.
He reached out and grabbed something right before the wave came over them.
It was probably Kou Chen’s clothes that he had a firm grip on.
But it was no use.
A corner of a shirt was obviously useless against a wave.
As he went down, he could feel the sand beneath his feet.
It was soft and felt nice to the touch.
He saw Kou Chen’s feet too.
Kou Chen’s feet were pretty funny.
His toes were curled into the sand, probably out of fear.
After the wave smacked them all down, it retreated quickly and rocked them backwards.
Huo Ran realized he was kneeling as he poked his head out of the water.
The water was a lot more shallow now, about knee height.
They were all either sitting or on all fours, and they started coughing once they got their heads out of the water.
After they were done coughing they burst out into laughter.
Xu Chuan glanced in their direction, and immediately laughed even harder.
Huo Ran looked as well and was shocked to see that Kou Chen was the only one still standing up.
He was staring down at his arm calmly.
Huo Ran followed his gaze and saw his own hand.
So it wasn’t Kou Chen’s shirt that he grabbed onto.
It was the leg of Kou Chen’s shorts.
His shorts were tugged down to his calves, revealing his black briefs.
“Fuck,” Huo Ran immediately jumped up and tugged Kou Chen’s pants back up for him, “I really didn’t know… I grabbed your shorts”
Kou Chen stared at him silently for a few seconds, before bursting out into laughter.
“Good for you! I couldn’t stop you at all, you had a death grip on them.
I was scared you’ll rip my pants!”
“Your fault for dragging me so fast.” Huo Ran started laughing too.
“I couldn’t stand up, and then the wave knocked me over.”
Everyone was laughing hysterically, and it took them a while to drag themselves back up to shore about ten metres away.
“Drinks” Kou Chen was still the only one standing as they got to shore.
“I saw a bunch of stores over there, and they look pretty cool.
Wanna get something to eat”
“Nah,” Xu Zhifan said.
“It’s too far away, I wanna splash in the water, feel the breeze, get a tan, and post pictures of myself to piss off everyone back home still sitting in front of a heater!”
“Damn,” Kou Chen got out his phone and raised it up, “Group photo, say cheese!”
Everyone scooched over and yelled out: “Cheese—”
Kou Chen took a bunch of photos and sent them in the group chat.
“Then I’ll go get some drinks, I’m so thirsty.
What do you guys want”
“Anything you want.
We beggars are never choosers.” Xu Chuan said.
“Yeah right!” Kou Chen tsked, then he looked at Huo Ran, “Coming”
“Of course.” Xu Zhifan answered for him.
“Fuck off.” Huo Ran stood up and headed towards the shops with Kou Chen.
As they walked under the trees, Huo Ran realized they were still dripping water.
“Are these coconut trees” Kou Chen smacked one of the trees.
“Aren’t they palm trees” Huo Ran said.
They made eye contact for a moment, and Kou Chen cleared his throat: “Aren’t they the same thing”
“…Let’s go get drinks.” Huo Ran said.
“Okay then.” Kou Chen nodded with a laugh.
Huo Ran shook his head, spraying a bunch of water around.
Thinking about how he just got held down in the water, he turned to Kou Chen in slight worry: “Were you okay back there”
“I’m fine,” Kou Chen said.
“I wasn’t thinking about the water, I was focused on you not letting go of my **ing pants.”
“Sorry about that.” Huo Ran couldn’t help but laugh as he remembered that scene.
“Actually, I was pretty scared.” Kou Chen said quietly.
“Ah!” Huo Ran immediately felt guilty, “Sorry, I…”
“Not of the water.” Kou Chen put an arm around his shoulders.
“I thought you were gonna choke, and I tried to hold you up but I couldn’t.
I was really scared that the wave was gonna wash you away.
It drags you back when it retreats, you know”
“Yeah.” Huo Ran nodded.
“Good thing you kept your grip on my pants.” Kou Chen gave him a thumbs up.
“I’ll pay,” Huo Ran said.
“I scared you today.”
“Okay.” Kou Chen pointed at one of the shops.
“I want rolled ice cream.”
“No problem.” Huo Ran walked over.
The two of them sat beneath the big umbrella and enjoyed the sun and the breeze as their ice cream was being made.
The ground was covered with sand that was blown over from the beach, and there were a bunch of discarded shells around.
Kou Chen kicked them around with his feet.
“Your toes are pretty nimble, aren’t they” Huo Ran said.
“I saw them grip the sand when I was in the water.”
Kou Chen looked at him in shock.
A while later, he finally said: “You were pretty relaxed, huh The wave almost flattened you and you were **ing staring at my feet”
“I didn’t mean to.” Huo Ran laughed sillily as he faced the tree in front of him.
“But my feet are pretty nimble,” Kou Chen gathered a bunch of shells with his feet, and then started moving them around, “Look here…”
A short while later, he revealed the letters ‘RAN’ made with the shells.
“That’s you,” Kou Chen gathered some more shells, and made ‘CHEN’.
“This one’s me.”
“Mhm.” Huo Ran nodded with a smile.
The shop owner’s kid was watching them with a popsicle in her mouth.
Seeing Kou Chen make letters with the shells, she walked over and pointed: “Ran.”
“Yup.” Kou Chen nodded.
“Pillow!” She said again.
“It’s Chen, from enthusiasm.” Kou Chen corrected her.
“Zhen!” She said.
Kou Chen gave up.
The kid finished her popsicle, and drew a wobbly circle around their names with the stick.
Then she looked up at the two of them.
“What’s that It’s not round.” Huo Ran said.
The kid laughed.
“It’s a heart.” The owner placed their ice creams in front of them with a smile, “All the couples draw hearts in the sand, so she copied them.
She’ll draw a heart around every word she sees.”
Huo Ran laughed and took a bite of his ice cream.
Kou Chen got his phone out with a smile, and took a photo of it.