A little after eleven, Huo Ran got a call from his dad saying they were at home.
“I’ll give you a ride home,” Kou Chen waved his hand, “Come on, let’s go cruising.”
“Wake up, will you” Huo Ran suddenly felt like shivering, “Call a cab…”
“Where” Kou Chen asked.
“…I’ll walk home, it’s not that far anyways.” Huo Ran was resolute.
“What are you scared of It’s not like you’re gonna die.” Kou Chen smacked him on the ass and ran forwards as he said, “We’ll warm up running over there, a little breeze is nothing.”
Huo Ran had no choice but to follow them, and the two of them sprinted back to his aunt’s place.
They did warm up, but it was just a little tiring.
Kou Chen got on his motorcycle and handed him his helmet: “Wear this.”
“I’m fine,” Huo Ran put the helmet back on his head, “I’ll just hide behind you, you’re blocking the wind.”
Kou Chen didn’t insist either.
He put the helmet on properly and nodded at him: “Get on.”
Huo Ran sat behind him and shrunk in on himself as far as he could.
His forehead rested on Kou Chen’s back, and he also put his hood over his own head.
Kou Chen waited for him to finish.
“Okay!” Huo Ran held onto Kou Chen’s waist and yelled.
“Put your hands in my pockets!” Kou Chen yelled as he started the bike.
Huo Ran wanted to say that he wasn’t that delicate, it was just a bit of wind and he blocked most of it anyways.
But when the bike started forwards and the wind roared in his ears, just that startled some cold into him.
In such weather, humans couldn’t block any wind at all.
In front of him, Kou Chen’s body was like a sieve, and wind immediately came at Huo Ran from all directions.
Huo Ran buried his face into Kou Chen’s back, and put his hands in his pockets.
In his struggle, he couldn’t find his pockets at all.
Instead, he ended up putting his hands underneath Kou Chen’s jacket on his stomach.
“AH—” Kou Chen yelled.
“Ah, ah, ah, sorry, sorry, I…” Huo Ran started yelling too.
Even though he was reluctant to leave the warmth of Kou Chen’s stomach, he still took his hands back quickly.
Right as he moved, Kou Chen caught his hands: “You can keep it there.”
“It’s fine…” That’s what Huo Ran said, but his hands had a mind of their own, and they didn’t move at all.
“I got used to it now.” Kou Chen said.
“Hold onto my jacket, the wind’s getting in.”
“Okay.” Huo Ran nodded and grabbed onto the bottom of Kou Chen’s jacket.
If he ended up getting sick because of this, he’d have to go grovel at his bedside.
At home, his dad was looking out the window, and he came downstairs as they got off the motorcycle.
“Look at you two,” His dad looked them over in shock, “Not scared of getting sick because you’re young, huh”
“I’m fine.” Kou Chen said.
“Me too, I sat behind him.” Huo Ran said.
“I’ll give Kou Chen a ride back.” His dad said.
“Leave your bike here, you can come get it when it’s warmer.”
“I’m okay,” Kou Chen was about to ride off, “I’m not cold…”
Huo Ran grabbed onto his bike: “Leave it here.”
“But…” Kou Chen looked unwilling.
“I’ll get the car.
Wait here, Kou Chen.” His dad headed to the parking spot, “Are you gonna go up, Huo Ran”
“I’ll go with you guys.” Huo Ran said.
“Okay.” Kou Chen’s attitude immediately changed.
His dad drove the car over, and the two of them crawled into the backseat happily.
“No Jimny this time” Kou Chen asked.
“It might be hard to get in.” His dad laughed.
His dad turned the heat on full blast when they drove off, and a couple minutes later, Huo Ran finally felt the chill retreat little by little.
He turned to Kou Chen, who leaned on him the moment they got in the car, and saw that Kou Chen was asleep.
He had a drop of water on his nose.
“Is that snot” He was shocked, and he quickly patted his dad on the shoulder, “Dad, get me a tissue, Kou Chen’s gonna drip snot on himself.”
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.
“Pa’r qgbyjyis wfiafv lmf.” Llr vjv tjcvfv tlw atf alrref ybz klat j rwlif.
Leb Ejc ibbxfv ja Bbe Jtfc’r ojmf.
Dbat tlr fsfygbkr jcv fsfijrtfr kfgf kfa, jcv rb kjr tlr ojmf.
Pa rtbeiv yf pera kjafg Ubbg atlcu, ibbxr ilxf atf tfiwfa kjr erfifrr.
Lf rjk atf sfiibk mtlmxfc xfsmtjlc qbxlcu bea bo Bbe Jtfc’r qbmxfa, jcv tlr wlcv kjr revvfcis jrrjeiafv klat jc ecrlutais rmfcf.
He tsked, and pressed down on Kou Chen’s nose with a tissue.
Kou Chen didn’t wake up.
He probably didn’t sleep much the past few days.
He always replied immediately whenever Jiang Lei wanted to play mafia in the middle of the night.
They got to Kou Chen’s neighbourhood, and the gates were wide open with the security guard nowhere in sight.
Huo Ran finally nudged him awake: “Hey! Poor little thing, time to wake up!”
“Morning.” Kou Chen startled awake and mumbled that first.
“We can’t go any further, are you getting off here You can run inside.” Huo Ran said.
“…Oh, I fell asleep.” Kou Chen looked around, “I’ll run back.”
“Run fast.” His dad said.
“Thank you, Happy New Year’s.” Kou Chen jumped out of the car.
Huo Ran looked at him.
He wanted to say something but he didn’t know what, they had talked the whole night already after all.
So he only watched Kou Chen in silence, and waited for him to close the car door.
When Kou Chen was about to close the door, he squeezed back in and pinched the back of his hand: “Text me when you get back, and remember to free up some time later, Zhifan’s treating us.”
“Mhm.” Huo Ran nodded with gritted teeth.
After Kou Chen closed the door, he rubbed the back of his hand.
That damn thing pinched him so hard he almost yelled out!
But it did relieve his struggle of not knowing what to say a little.
New Year’s always passed by in a blur of busyness, sleeping in, tiredness, and excitement.
Thanks to the freezing weather, they had nowhere to go, so starting when Xu Zhifan treated them all to a meal on the third day, they went out to eat whenever at least three of them could get together, all the way until school started.
Xu Zhifan’s mom wanted to invite all of their families over, but they refused and said they only needed one representative from each of their families, and those representatives being themselves.
They probably thought they were cool as ** when they did that.
Ten steps for every head, thousand miles left no trace.
When all is said and done, the man without a name.
But there was also something that wasn’t cool.
“How come no one wrote us a letter of commendation” Wei Chaoren sat at the edge of the cafeteria table, with a mountain of food in front of him.
“Didn’t they thank us already at the station Bought us snacks and drinks too.” Jiang Lei said.
“Now that’s a bit awkward, most of the time they would say it in the news, and the officers were even so thoughtful to buy get water and food.” Wei Chaoren said.
“Besides, how come Kou Chen and Huo Ran have one” Wei Chaoren said.
“The photo of their letter of commendation is still hanging in the principal’s office.”
“I’ll write you guys one,” Xu Zhifan said.
“How about that”
“Great,” Jiang Lei immediately nodded.
“Make it long and full of expression.”
“No problem.” Xu Zhifan said.
“What’s going on with Aunt Hu’s family” The police should’ve contacted them, right” Hu Yi said.
“Don’t they have to apologize to your family”
“It’s a whole mess, they probably didn’t even have a good New Year’s.” Xu Zhifan said.
“I don’t want to bother them either, my mom is fine now.
I never would’ve known I’m not as strong as I thought without something happening.”
“You’re already plenty strong.” Xu Chuan said.
“If you never told us, you would’ve been going head first into danger.”
“Thank you guys.” Xu Zhifan said.
“Everything was dealt with perfectly.
Our first midnight snack of the semester is my treat.”
“Right, your family is safe now, nothing else matters.” Kou Chen said as he ate.
“Tell your mom to rest well.”
Xu Zhifan nodded, then looked at Huo Ran.
Huo Ran knew what that look meant.
Kou Chen was obviously still hung up on Li Ling’s brother beating up Xu Zhifan.
Ever since he found out that his mom was dragged into everything, he’d been pissed.
And there’s no way he would let Xu Zhifan interfere now.
As they left the cafeteria, Huo Ran walked beside Kou Chen and squeezed him off to the side to ask quietly: “When are you going”
“Going where” Kou Chen was unwrapping a mint.
“Drop the act.” Huo Ran said.
“Li Ling’s brother, right” Kou Chen sneered and continued to unwrap the candy.
“When it gets warmer.
Isn’t it supposed to warm up next week I’ll go then.
I’m still a bit stiff.”
“Don’t go too overboard.” Hearing the ‘I’m still a bit stiff’, Huo Ran was worried.
“What are you planning to do with him”
“Whatever he did to Xu Zhifan, I’ll do it back.” Kou Chen said.
“I remember where Xu Zhifan was hurt.
His head, face, back, stomach, arm.
I wasn’t gonna make him take his pants off, so I don’t know if his legs were hurt or not.”
“They weren’t.” Huo Ran said.
“I saw when he came out of the shower.”
Kou Chen tsked.
“What” Huo Ran tsked back.
“I’ve seen everyone in my dorm, I’ve even seen all of your grim reaper.”
“…True, I offered to show you the front too, but you said no.” Kou Chen raised an eyebrow and ate the mint, before taking a piece of chocolate out of his pocket, “Here.”
“Let me know when you’re going, I’ll come with.” Huo Ran said.
“What Scared for me” Kou Chen put his elbow on his shoulder with a grin and moved closer to his face, “Don’t worry, I’ve never suffered in a fight before.”
“I’ve known Xu Zhifan for so long,” Huo Ran said.
“It’s not like I can sit there and do nothing”
“Oh” Kou Chen said.
“For so long How long”
Huo Ran looked at him, and he couldn’t help but laugh.
“Go ahead, laugh,” Kou Chen said.
“Then tell me how long.”
“But I’ve never blocked a knife for Xu Zhifan before.” Huo Ran said, before correcting himself, “Never blocked a nail file for him either…”
Now it was Kou Chen’s turn to laugh.
After a long while, he put an arm around Huo Ran: “It doesn’t matter what it was, you didn’t know when you did it.
Even if it was just a bit of tree bark I would remember it in my next life.”
“Don’t be so stupid in your next life.” Huo Ran said.
“No guarantees.” Kou Chen said.
“What if you don’t recognize me if I change Besides, I’m not stupid, say that again and you’ll be sorry!”
“Don’t believe you, save your empty threats.” Huo Ran laughed.
Because Li Ling’s brother had to keep an eye on Aunt Hu, he didn’t go back to work after New Year’s.
Kou Chen had heard it from Xu Zhifan, and he also gave him his address.
He lived three buildings away from Xu Zhifan.
Huo Ran picked a weekend, so they wouldn’t attract any attention for skipping class and leaving the school.
“Are you sure he’ll come this way” Huo Ran stood with him by the wall.
“Yeah, I came last week.” Kou Chen said.
“He goes out to buy cigarettes or something, and this is the only exit.
We’ll follow him for a bit until he’s further away from the neighbourhood.”
Huo Ran nodded, “Do we need to avoid cameras”
“No,” Kou Chen said.
“He knows why he’s getting beat up.”
A while later, they saw Li Ling’s brother come out.
To be honest, Huo Ran’s anger will come out every time he sees him.
That day at the hospital when he insulted Xu Zhifan, he really wanted to beat him up.
He’s an adult, and he won’t even see reason with a high schooler like Xu Zhifan.
Li Ling’s brother didn’t see them as continued on his way while scrolling through his phone.
Huo Ran and Kou Chen followed him from a distance.
Huo Ran had never done anything like this, so he was kinda excited and nervous at the same time.
He walked with a little bounce in his step.
“Calm down.” Kou Chen looked at him.
“We’re starting a fight, why are you walking like we’re on a field trip”
“Oh.” Huo Ran stared at the person in front of them and didn’t bother bickering with Kou Chen.
He walked calmly for a few steps, and then Li Ling’s brother turned the corner.
Kou Chen sprang up and rushed over very un-calmly, saying: “Now!”
Huo Ran followed behind him.
When they turned the corner, Li Ling’s brother heard their footsteps and turned around.
But there was nowhere to hide.
Kou Chen’s strength erupted out of him whenever he’s in a fight, and he probably didn’t even see who it was before Kou Chen landed a kick at his stomach.
He bent over and flew about a metre backwards, and fell to the floor.
And then there was no chance for him to get back up.
Kou Chen kicked his shoulder, and even said lowly: “Protect your **ing head!”
Li Ling’s brother struggled to get up, and Huo Ran went to kick his shoulder, making him put his arms around his head and curl up on the ground.
Huo Ran kicked his butt.
It was pretty stress-relieving to be honest.
The two of them kicked Li Ling’s brother, and although Kou Chen remembered the injuries on Xu Zhifan’s head, he still avoided Li Ling’s brother’s head.
The two of them went to town on his back, legs, and butt like he was a sack of potatoes.
On the other hand, it wasn’t very fun either.
There was no sense of accomplishment when the other person immediately gave up and accepted his fate without struggle.
But remembering how Xu Zhifan had to use the same method to protect himself, Huo Ran’s anger came up again, so he kicked him twice again with gritted teeth.
“Let’s go.” Kou Chen looked ahead and saw that someone came out of the store and was looking in their direction, so he grabbed Huo Ran.
Huo Ran pointed at Li Ling’s brother as he was being dragged away by Kou Chen.
He wanted to insult him some, but he couldn’t find the right words.
Looks like he still hasn’t watched enough movies.
Turning back around the corner, they started running, only stopping when they reached the next street.
“In ten years,” Kou Chen leaned against the wall.
“I’ll probably think past me was stupid as hell, to do such a pointless thing so passionately.”
“I won’t.” Huo Ran tugged at his clothes.
“I don’t think it was pointless at all.”
Kou Chen looked at him, and a moment later, he lifted his hand and made a box-opening motion.
Huo Ran followed his lead and made a motion to put something inside the box.
“Woah,” Kou Chen peeked inside, “You were cool when you fought.”
“Woah,” Huo Ran leaned over to look as well, “You… you…”
He couldn’t come up with any words.
He didn’t know what was wrong with him recently, it’s like his brain stopped working when he was with Kou Chen.
“Okay,” Kou Chen nodded and put the lid back on the box.
“I got it.”
“What” Huo Ran paused.
“I heard it.” Kou Chen tapped his head, “You were praising me to death in your head.”
“…Alright then.” Huo Ran nodded with a smile.
They didn’t go back home after that.
They told their parents they wouldn’t be going home that weekend, so they just went back to school.
The dorms were deserted, so the cafeteria was a great place to go at such a time.
There was food, and also people looking for food.”
“Do you still have money on your card” Kou Chen asked.
“It’s almost gone.” Huo Ran said.
“I think there was only 30 left yesterday.”
“It’s finally gone.” Kou Chen said happily.
“Yup.” Huo Ran said.
“Don’t worry.” Kou Chen put an arm around him.
“I’ll take care of you from now on.”
Huo Ran was about to say something when Kou Chen pointed in front of them: “How come Old Yuan and the dean are still at school”
“On duty” Huo Ran looked over and saw Old Yuan and the dean talking with their backs to them as they walked.
The dean kept waving his hands and shaking his head.
Huo Ran looked at Kou Chen, and Kou Chen looked at him.
After making eye contact, they both caught up to them quietly.
“I can understand the student council’s idea,” The dean said.
“But it won’t be easy to control.
If there’s any inappropriate remarks, you won’t be able to hold them back.”
“They can say whatever they want, what’s there to be afraid of” Old Yuan said.
“Are they not gonna say it just because you don’t want them to They can say it behind our backs, in their heads, on the internet, as long as we don’t hear it.
Besides, other schools have done it before, and I think it turned out pretty good.
Don’t think the worst of these kids, I don’t think anyone will say anything outrageous.
Even if there is, it’s normal.”
“But…” The dean glanced at Old Yuan halfway through his sentence and whipped around.
Huo Ran and Kou Chen turned to run, when the dean yelled: “Stop right there!”
“Turn around!” The dean yelled again.
They slowly turned around.
The four of them stood there for a moment, and then the dean frowned: “What did you hear”
“Nothing worth being silenced over.” Huo Ran said.
The dean paused, before laughing out loud.
He turned to Old Yuan: “Why don’t we ask for their opinions Your students are all quite unique.”
“Okay.” Old Yuan nodded.
“Come to my office.” The dean waved them over.