Kou Chen made a total of 18 little ducks, to represent this year that they’re turning 18.
Then he picked out the two best ones and put them in front, sticking a small red piece of firecracker debris on one.
“…Do you not know the difference between chickens and ducks” Huo Ran couldn’t help but ask.
“What do you mean” Kou Chen side-eyed him, “What just came out of my pants was a chicken…”
“Okay, okay, okay,” Huo Ran quickly stopped him, and pointed at the firecracker debris, “Then what’s that”
“What do you think” Kou Chen asked.
“A comb,” Huo Ran said.
“An 18 year old rooster all grown up now, he even has a comb now.”
Kou Chen didn’t say anything, and he started laughing.”
“Is it not” Seeing him laugh, Huo Ran didn’t have any confidence in his answer anymore.
But at least his logic was normal, so it wasn’t unusual to have it differ from Kou Chen’s.
“It’s for good luck!” Kou Chen pointed at it, “Good luck!”
“Ah!” Huo Ran realized, “Damn, good on you for thinking of it.”
“It wasn’t me, my dad does business, and they like these kinds of sayings,” Kou Chen said.
“I think it’s pretty interesting, isn’t it”
“Yup.” Huo Ran nodded.
“Wish me a happy new year” Kou Chen clapped his hands.
“Happy New Year’s Chenchen, wishing you all the best,” Huo Ran said, “For academic success, and to get into a relationship.”
Kou Chen looked at him with a smile, and gave him a thumbs up at the last part: “Nice.”
“You go on about wanting a relationship all the time, but I’ve never seen you actually try.” Huo Ran said.
“If you went to a girl’s house tonight, you guys would be together the moment you get to her place.”
“I’m not that bored, I’m about to freeze to death.” Kou Chen said.
“Only for you, I wouldn’t do it for anyone else.”
Huo Ran stared at him in silence.
“Here.” Kou Chen reached into his jacket and pulled out a red packet from the inner pocket.
He handed it to him, “Happy New Year’s, stay cute.”
“…No way” Huo Ran paused, “Why are you handing out red packets”
“Take it!” Kou Chen stared at him.
Huo Ran took the red packet and felt it.
It was really thin, so he let out a breath of relief.
Probably a hundred
He could take a hundred.
But knowing Kou Chen, and seeing him give the variety store owner a hundred… It can’t be a cheque!
A cheque for a million.
Huo Ran made himself laugh with that thought.
“What are you laughing for Open it.” Kou Chen said.
“Just a red packet can make you this happy, I would’ve got some more if I knew.
You’d probably die of happiness.”
“What’s inside” Huo Ran opened the packet.
“Not money, in any case.” Kou Chen said.
“Stop dreaming, I haven’t used up all the money in your school card yet, why would I give you money”
“Have some shame.” Huo Ran saw that there really was no money inside.
He took out a metal piece wrapped in transparent film.
“See for yourself!” Kou Chen yelled.
“Fuck, I’m looking!” Huo Ran yelled.
“I was just asking so it wouldn’t get awkward!”
“Keep stalling and we’ll freeze to death, okay” Kou Chen said.
Huo Ran didn’t say anything.
With the light from the street lamp, he saw that it was a chinese zodiac piece.
It was probably gold, and it was very refined.
It was really thin, and he was scared he would snap it if he held it a bit too hard.
It was a small snake sitting on a leaf.
“Your zodiac is a… snake, right” Kou Chen said.
“Mhm, the same as yours, isn’t it” Huo Ran suddenly realized something, and he couldn’t quite hold back his laughter, “I just realized, your zodiac is a snake and you’re scared of snakes”
“What about it I’m in awe of myself, okay!” Kou Chen said.
“Thank you.” Huo Ran stared at the snake a bit more, “Damn, it’s so cute.”
“Cute my ass.” Kou Chen said.
Huo Ran started chuckling, and he had to bite his lip to prevent himself from laughing too hard.
“Old Yang made it.” Kou Chen said.
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.
“…Holy **, he made this What does he do” Huo Ran stopped laughing and said in surprise.
“Lf’r j reqqilfg obg atf tbafi ws rlrafg kbgxr ja, atlr lr tlr tbyys.” Bbe Jtfc rjlv.
“Lf wjxfr atfrf fnfgs sfjg, erejiis atf rluc bo atf sfjg.
Ktlr sfjg P jrxfv tlw ab wjxf wf bcf, rb tf wjvf sbeg rluc.”
“Qts vlvc’a sbe afii wf” Leb Ejc kjr revvfcis tfrlajca.
Lf vlvc’a atlcx ab ulnf jcs uloar, bcis atja tf mbeiv agfja Bbe Jtfc ab j wfji bg rbwfatlcu.
“I forgot.” Kou Chen said.
“…What” Huo Ran started.
“It’s not anything big, and I didn’t make it myself.
I just mentioned it to Old Yang.” Kou Chen said.
“It was a month ago already, who would remember that”
“Oh.” Huo Ran laughed.
“But I can tell you this right now,” Kou Chen said.
“In advance, I’m gonna get you something for your birthday.”
“You already said that before.” Huo Ran said.
Kou Chen smiled and nodded: “Yeah.”
He tucked the snake away, and the two of them put their hats and scarves on properly before continuing onwards.
The streets were empty, but they could still feel the liveliness.
With Kou Chen, with the same scene, Huo Ran felt the opposite.
The firecrackers that occasionally sounded from who knows where, the fireworks that went off, and the fog that drifted over.
It was all lively.
Kou Chen held the snowball maker and made ducks whenever he saw a patch of snow.
Some he placed by the road, some on the steps, some by the lamps, and some by the railings.
A while later, Huo Ran joined him and filled the street with ducks.
As he placed down each duck, Kou Chen would make a sound: “Quack!”
“What are you doing” Huo Ran laughed.
“This way it feels like they can come alive,” Kou Chen said.
“Okay then,” Huo Ran nodded.
He made a duck and put it on a tree as he said, “Quack!”
Sometimes, he didn’t know how to describe Kou Chen.
Bossy, irritable, pretentious, awesome, cool, stupid, childish, romantic… And every time, he would be running down the path that Kou Chen led him on.
He didn’t know if it was Kou Chen being so enthralling, or him being too unsteady.
In any case, he’d never had a day like this in all of the years he’s lived, acting like a little kid that still believed in fairy tales.
Never getting bored.
When he stepped out, he thought that he would freeze to death in weather like this.
But now, the two of them were covered in sweat, with steam almost coming off of them.
“You’re cooked,” Kou Chen pinched Huo Ran’s cheeks.
“Let me check if you’re done yet.” Huo Ran reached out and Kou Chen moved his face closer to him to let him pinch, “Damn, ready to eat.”
“Come, come, come.” Kou Chen beckoned, “Go ahead, eat whichever part you want.”
Huo Ran was about to say something when he heard yells from behind him.
They both turned to look.
It was the third floor of a residential building.
The hallway lights were on, and they could see people in there.
Nobody was setting off firecrackers, so they could hear them yell.
“What’s going on” Huo Ran asked.
“Drank too much and got into a fight” Kou Chen said.
“Last year, the two old men next door drank and started fighting over who ate the last meatball.
They even brought it all the way outside.”
“Damn, who ate it” Huo Ran laughed.
“Who knows My dad went to break them up, and said he ate it.” Kou Chen said.
“And then they started beating up my dad together.”
“Couldn’t beat them” Huo Ran asked.
“He wouldn’t fight back,” Kou Chen laughed, “They like dogs, so I sent Shuaishuai over to save my dad.”
Huo Ran laughed.
But it seemed like this family wasn’t as lucky as Kou Chen’s neighbours.
The fighting grew louder and louder, and they could still be heard even as the neighbouring building started setting off fireworks.
A young sounding woman was screaming and yelling between tears.
“Damn,” Kou Chen took his phone out, “Look at our luck, should I consider becoming a police officer in the future”
“It’s not really luck,” Huo Ran laughed, “I guess most people wouldn’t care either Nobody wants to cause trouble for themselves.
The stuff we ran into before were all things we didn’t need to ‘get involved’ in.”
“You sound like a philosopher.” Kou Chen looked at him.
“I think you’re misunderstanding something about philosophers…” Huo Ran walked over as he spoke.
He stood under a tree by the building.
The building was pretty old, the old-fashioned kind of neighbourhood without real estate.
Huo Ran didn’t even know where they were, he’d never been in this direction before.
Kou Chen stood beside him, still holding his phone so he could call the police if something bad happens.
But the screaming continued.
First it was the young woman’s cries and screams, followed by some older people yelling, along with doors slamming and stuff being broken.
At New Year’s
A while later, the yelling stopped, and the hallway light turned off.
“They’re done” Kou Chen tugged on his hat.
“Probably, what can they do at New Year’s” Huo Ran said.
“This is crazy enough already.”
The two of them stood there for a moment, and Kou Chen put his phone back in his pocket: “Let’s go.”
Huo Ran nodded.
They turned around and took a few steps before low sobs sounded from behind them.
The sound was sharp, and quieted down a bit by the wind.
It sounded a bit creepy.
Huo Ran immediately pressed himself to Kou Chen’s side without a second thought.
He didn’t want to look back: “Fuck, did you hear that”
“It’s the woman that was yelling earlier,” Kou Chen put an arm around his shoulders and whispered in his ear.
“There’s no ghosts in the wild, and there’s no ghosts on the streets.
Don’t you know why they set off firecrackers The ghosts have all been scared off.”
Huo Ran glanced behind him, and saw that a woman had come out of the building.
It was probably the young woman that was crying and yelling earlier.
If it weren’t for the fact that he had already realized what was happening, Huo Ran would probably be scared to death.
She wore a huge white jacket, and didn’t have a hat.
Her hair flew around crazily in the wind like seaweed.
It looked like it was being blown by a fan.
For a girl to come out in the cold in the middle of the night after a screaming match, Huo Ran and Kou Chen didn’t move.
They wanted to see the situation.
But when the girl took a few more steps forward, they both froze.
“Fuck, isn’t that Li Jiaying” Kou Chen said.
“Yeah.” Huo Ran replied.
Neither of them would’ve thought they’d see Li Jiaying like that, right there, right then.
Li Jiaying chose to take some time away from school after what happened with her parents last time, and disappeared from everyone’s radar.
Now that they’re seeing her, they realized that she changed quite a bit.
She lost a lot of weight, and she looked haggard.
The popular girl that had the school beneath her feet with her company had completely disappeared.
Li Jiaying walked with her head down, and startled when she walked by them and realized there were people standing there.
After recognizing them, she was speechless with shock.
“Happy New Year’s.” Kou Chen spoke up.
Li Jiaying looked at him, and then back at the building before saying: “Happy my ass.”
Kou Chen only smiled.
“Is it very funny” Li Jiaying still spoke aggressively, aiming to provoke.
Before they could say anything, Li Jiaying had already turned around.
She bent down and picked up a rock from the ground before throwing it at the third floor window.
The rock flew out, and just barely hit the window on the second floor before dropping to the ground.
Li Jiaying didn’t give up.
She dug out another rock and threw it again.
This time she missed even more badly, and it hit the wall on the second floor.
Good thing it was only the kitchens that faced them, so they all had their lights off.
Kou Chen walked over and searched on the ground for a moment, then picked up half a crumbled brick.
He squeezed it and it broke into multiple smaller pieces.
He held one and looked at Li Jiaying: “Are you trying to hit the second or third floor”
“Third.” Li Jiaying said.
She sounded a bit out of breath.
Kou Chen didn’t say anything, and he looked at the dark kitchen window on the third floor.
He raised his arm, and sent the piece of brick flying through the air to hit a corner of the window.
The glass shattered.
A few seconds later, someone appeared at the window and looked down, but didn’t say anything.
“I, Li Jiaying, am saying this tonight!” Li Jiaying pointed at the person and shouted at the top of her lungs.
“I will never tell you who he is! I will never come back to his house! I’m not trying to protect anyone! I’m not trying to piss off anyone! It’s just because you guys always think you’re right about everything! I am childish! I am out of control! You can grow old yourself, I’m still young!”
After that, Li Jiaying panted on the spot for a moment before turning to Kou Chen: “Is this fun to you”
“Pretty fun.” Kou Chen said.
Li Jiaying looked to Huo Ran.
Huo Ran didn’t say anything, only smiling a bit.
Li Jiaying curled her lips and glared at him: “Smile again”
“You should find a hotel.” Huo Ran turned to leave.
Kou Chen glanced at Li Jiaying, then followed Huo Ran.
He looked back after a moment, and Li Jiaying wasn’t standing there anymore.
He stretched: “Looks like she was having trouble at home.”
“Mhm.” Huo Ran looked back too, “She’s not gonna freeze, is she”
“It’s not that hard to find a hotel.
Even if she doesn’t have ID, nobody’s gonna turn her away when it’s this cold.”
“All she did was date someone,” Huo Ran frowned.
“How did it turn out like this”
“In our eyes it’s nothing, but it’s a serious thing for a lot of parents.” Kou Chen said.
“Didn’t Old Yuan say it on parent teacher conference day Authority.
The parents think they’re in charge, so kids like us will want to challenge that authority.
Our first fight will always be against our parents…”
“Did Old Yuan say that” Huo Ran looked at him, “Why are you making it sound so exaggerated”
“Because that’s who I am,” Kou Chen said.
“If it were my dad, I would’ve fought him already.
I can bear most things, but not when it comes to this.”
“You’re talking like it already happened.” Huo Ran tsked.
“I’m serious,” Kou Chen said.
“If my did didn’t want me to hang out with you, I will fight him, it’s not negotiable.”
Huo Ran paused and looked at him: “Kou Chen.”
“Hm” Kou Chen looked at him happily.
“Weren’t we talking about parents forbidding relationships” Huo Ran asked.
“Yeah” Kou Chen thought about it before laughing, “Fuck, it was just an example.”
“Use another person as an example.” Huo Ran said.
“With me, you’d probably get turned into a pack of sausages before you even make a move.”
“Damn,” Kou Chen thought about it, “You’re right.”
Huo Ran suddenly thought about that classmate of Kou Chen’s.
He didn’t really want to bring it up now, in case it would affect Kou Chen’s mood on New Year’s.
But Kou Chen was feeling great right now, he probably wasn’t even thinking in that direction.
He suddenly moved closer and kissed his cheek: “Then let’s keep it a secret!”
“Fuck” The kiss startled Huo Ran, and when he finally reacted, he rubbed his face, “Did you **ing lick me Why is it wet!”
Kou Chen almost choked on his laughter and he handed him a pack of tissues.
He spoke as he laughed: “Sorry, I moved too quick, my mouth was open.”
Huo Ran suddenly felt a bit awkward for some reason, but he quickly started laughing because of Kou Chen’s laughter.
Their phone dinged at the same time, and Huo Ran dug his out as he wiped his face.
Xu Zhifan sent a message in the group chat.
-guys, I might not have time later, so I’ll wish everyone a happy new year now, thank you god for letting me meet you guys.
After that, was a picture of a glass from Jiang Lei.
-for operation: lick the sea
Huo Ran quickly took a picture of the firecracker debris on the floor and sent it.
After that was Kou Chen’s photo of a snow duck with red on it’s head.
-Cheers, for good luck and success
“Damn, it’s like we read each other’s minds.” Huo Ran laughed.
Then it was Xu Chuan’s message.
-You two are **ing together
Jiang Lei immediately replied
-Cheers, for your love
For thirty seconds, everyone said cheers for their love.
Kou Chen leaned on the lamp post and couldn’t stop laughing.
He even sent a couple cheers for love messages of his own.
“Happy New Year’s.” Huo Ran’s face started to hurt from laughing.
He rubbed his face as he raised his phone to Kou Chen.
Kou Chen raised his own phone and knocked it against his: “Happy New Year’s, cheers.”