Everyone cheered when Old Yuan walked into the classroom.
“Old Yuan, you’re amazing!” Someone yelled.
“Old Yuan, I love you!” A girl yelled.
Old Yuan made a shushing motion and walked up to the front, placing his books onto the lectern.
He turned and wrote a sentence on the top left of the blackboard.
‘The one that I like.’
“This will be the topic for this week’s discussions.” Old Yuan turned around and leaned on the lectern.
“You can say whatever you want, if you agree or disagree, even if you want to confess.”
The classroom buzzed with excitement.
“But everyone, don’t cheer so loudly all the time.” Old Yuan said.
“We’re so close to the office building, it’ll be really obvious.
I’m under enough pressure without having to deal with the dean about you guys.
He’ll say I’m blindly agreeing with the students and gaining their support, but not educating them enough.”
They all quieted down.
“If there’s anything you want to say, you can express it without worry during our discussions.
But they have to be justified.” Old Yuan said.
“I’ll have the dean come listen in… But now we’ll start our lesson.”
“Is Kou Chen and the other’s punishments a warning” The class rep asked.
“Oh, I forgot to mention that… To our classmates that participated in the cafeteria fight, your punishment will be a warning.” Old Yuan looked at The Seven of them.
“Your parents have all expressed their understanding.
Make sure to mind your methods in the future.”
They all nodded in sync.
“Time for our lesson, open your textbooks.” Old Yuan flipped open his own book.
“Where did we leave off last time, anyone”
After class, Old Yuan called Kou Chen outside alone.
“Your punishment this time was supposed to be harsher, the dean wanted a serious warning,” Old Yuan said.
“But I didn’t see a point in that.
Your dad said you had always been a bit rash, that you won’t think of the consequences when you get angry…”
“Yeah.” Kou Chen nodded.
He agreed with his dad’s thoughts.
If it weren’t for the trauma towards making sausages, the fights he’d been in over the years would’ve let his dad turn him into a whole meal of sausages.
“Temperament and personality isn’t something that can be so easily changed.” Old Yuan patted him on the arm.
“I’m at school most of the time.
Come talk to me first, and if I can’t help, then you can consider taking action, okay”
Kou Chen smiled: “Are you going to protect me”
“How about it I won’t charge a protection fee.” Old Yuan smiled back.
“Okay.” Kou Chen nodded.
“We got your money back from last time, it’s with the dean.” Old Yuan said.
“I’ll go get it later, come pick it up before lunch.”
“It’s okay,” Kou Chen said.
“I don’t need the money.
Why don’t you add it to the class funds So we can get cooler outfits for Sports Day.
Last year our class looked like released prisoners.”
“You’re very much like your dad, he said the same thing to me today.
To add it to the class funds.” Old Yuan thought about it, “How about this, I’ll put half…”
“All of it.” Kou Chen said.
Old Yuan looked at him and sighed: “Half of it.
I’ll hold on to the other half, and if you don’t need it next semester, I’ll add it in.
If you do, you can come get it.
“Okay.” Kou Chen didn’t pursue the matter.
After thinking for a moment, he asked a little worryingly, “My dad didn’t yell at you or anything, did he My personality runs in the family, he’s even worse than me.”
“Oh, no, no.
You’re dad’s a good person.” Old Yuan laughed.
“Very educated too.
I could tell just from a short conversation.”
“It’s an act.” Kou Chen said.
“You can’t fake that.” Old Yuan patted him, “Alright, you can go back to class.”
The next class was also Old Yuan’s, and Kou Chen laid on his desk and realized that his belly kinda hurt.
But he couldn’t tell where the pain was.
From his stomach to his gut, it was all uncomfortable.
He closed his eyes and tried to focus on it.
It probably was his stomach.
The pain pulsed like someone was scraping the inside of it.
It reminded him of when he had a fever as a kid.
His mom, not knowing any better, took a random scraper and started scraping his back.
But the thing was cracked and he ended up with two cuts down his back… Poor kid.
It was probably because of something he ate
He was just craving some ice cream so he bought a big tub of it.
He ate half and tried to share the rest with Huo Ran, but Huo Ran told him to ** off.
Then he tried to give it to Xu Zhifan, Xu Chuan and the others, saying it was too cold and he couldn’t finish it.
But even Jiang Lei, who ate everything, refused it.
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.
And so in a fit of rage, he finished the whole thing.
“Aera kjla ecali sbe ufa j rabwjmtjmtf.” Leb Ejc rjlv.
“P cfnfg atbeuta sbe kfgf remt j ogeuji qfgrbc, P uefrr tjio j aey bo lmf mgfjw lr jc fzmfqalbc.”
Lf tjv rcbgafv ja Leb Ejc’r kbgvr.
Ccv cbk la mjwf yjmx ab ylaf tlw.
Lf uijcmfv ja Leb Ejc jcv qea tlr tfjv ojmf vbkc bc tlr vfrx.
Huo Ran this guy looked like he was listening attentively, but his gaze kept drifting off to the window.
From here, you could see the basketball court that was a couple hundred metres away, but there was no one there right now, who knows what he was looking at.
…At least it’s better than looking around the classroom.
“What I’m about to say next is going to be important, everyone.
Focus and stop chatting for a second.” Old Yuan looked at the class.
Actually, people did want to pay attention during his class so there weren’t many people dozing off or chatting, but he still said it out of habit.
When he saw Kou Chen, he added, “If you’re sleeping, wake up for a second.”
Huo Ran turned, saw Kou Chen laying on his desk and nudged him: “Hey, wake up.”
“I wasn’t sleeping.” Kou Chen raised his head.
Huo Ran looked him over and said in surprise: “Are you okay What’s wrong”
Kou Chen looked a bit sickly with sweat beaded on his forehead.
Even his lips were pale.
“It’s fine, I’m concentrating.” Kou Chen said nonchalantly.
“You look like you’re about to die.” Huo Ran was a little worried.
“What’s wrong with you” Kou Chen turned, trying to put on his usual fierce expression but failed.
Only the corners of his lips twitched.
Before Huo Ran could say anything, he clutched his stomach and thumped back onto the desk, saying quietly: “Fuck, my stomach hurts.”
Yuan, Kou Chen’s stomach hurts.” Huo Ran raised his hands, “His face is pale.”
“What happened” Old Yuan immediately headed over, “Someone take him to the infirmary, hurry.”
“Mhm.” Huo Ran stood up, holding Kou Chen’s arm.
Xu Chuan and Xu Zhifan both turned around, ‘do you see the expectation in our eyes my good friend’ evident on their faces.
He hesitated before looking at Xu Zhifan and Xu Chuan: “Why don’t you guys… go”
“Only one,” Old Yuan said.
“Are you gonna throw a party”
Xu Zhifan and Xu Chuan immediately rock, paper, scissored to decide, and Xu Zhifan won.
“Come on.” He helped Kou Chen up and left the class.
Feeling the cold breeze as they exited the room, Kou Chen felt like the sweat on his forehead and back had turned into his mom’s scraper and was now working away in his stomach.
“Carry me.” Kou Chen said.
“Have some shame.” Xu Zhifan put his arm around him and dragged him to the infirmary.
“Hold on, we’re almost there.
A couple hundred more metres.”
“I’m giving you the chance to go see Tao Rui,” Kou Chen said.
“Have a conscience, our Chuan-ge didn’t even get to go.”
Xu Zhifan laughed: “I’ll treat you to lunch.”
“Don’t wanna eat anything,” Kou Chen sighed.
“I don’t even want to think about food right now, can I ask you to drag me faster”
“Hold on.” Xu Zhifan sped up.
Kou Chen pitied himself immensely.
In the infirmary, Tao Rui was on the phone.
She was frowning and looked unhappy, making Kou Chen feel like they came at the wrong time when Xu Zhifan tossed him onto the bed.
To get Tao Rui’s attention, he immediately started to groan out loud.
“I have a student here, I’m hanging up.” Tao Rui said coldly, startled by their movements.
She hung up and threw her phone into a drawer before coming over, “What’s wrong”
“He ate a tub of ice cream, now his stomach hurts.” Xu Zhifan said.
“How much” Tao Rui asked.
“Like…” Kou Chen motioned with his hands.
“Lunchbox sized.” Xu Zhifan said.
“That much” Tao Rui was shocked.
“Was it really that much” Kou Chen was shocked too.
“What do you think If it weren’t that big then any of us would’ve eaten the other half.” Xu Zhifan said.
“The biggest tub from the store here, double flavoured.”
“I got it,” Tao Rui smiled, turning to get a hot water bottle.
“It doesn’t even taste good, and you ate so much… Don’t worry, keep this on your stomach and rest for a bit.”
Kou Chen put the hot water bottle on his stomach and turned to face the wall.
Behind him, Xu Zhifan was silent for a couple seconds before saying: “Did he bother you again”
“That worried about me” Tao Rui said.
“I don’t know what else to talk about.” Xu Zhifan was honest.
“He just called me,” Tao Rui sighed.
“But it’s fine, I’ll just ignore him.
You guys better not do anything like this in the future, it’s unbecoming.”
“Of course not,” Xu Zhifan smiled, “If he bothers you again, let us know and we’ll deal with him for you.”
“I’m a grown adult,” Tao Rui said.
“Do I need a bunch of kids to deal with it for me”
“If we weren’t there that day,” Xu Zhifan said, “What were you gonna do”
“Scream for help, like I don’t know this guy, or something.” Tao Rui sighed again, “It’s so annoying.”
Kou Chen tuned out their conversation and stared at the wall blankly, thinking about their discussion topic.
He never participated in those discussions.
From middle school, he would just sleep through them or skip class.
But the topic Old Yuan came up with was pretty interesting.
Even if he wouldn’t participate, he couldn’t help but think about it.
The one that I like.
The her that I like
An ideal type
That he’d thought about before.
Girls like Lu Huan he quite liked, they were cute… Huo Ran looked like Lu Huan, they looked like siblings.
Only after asking around did he find out they had different last names.
But Huo Ran’s smile was more fun.
He looked like a Shiba Inu.
Lu Huan’s a girl, so her smile couldn’t look like a dog.
When the bell rang, Kou Chen realized he had fallen asleep.
Jerking up at the sound of the bell, he felt that he felt a lot better.
He rubbed the hot water bottle, “Damn, it’s still hot”
“It’s a new one.” Xu Zhifan said.
“You slept pretty soundly.”
“Ah,” Kou Chen sat up, a bit embarrassed, “Did Jie change it for me It’s a bit embarrassing.”
“I did.” Xu Zhifan said.
“Why are you embarrassed It’s not like it’s a diaper change.”
“Fuck off, you’ve spent too much time with Huo Ran, you even talk like him.” Kou Chen fell back onto the bed.
“I’ll go get you something, stay here.” Xu Zhifan said.
“Jie, what do you want to eat I’ll go get it.”
“It’s fine.” Tao Rui said.
“I’m going out to eat in a bit.
I don’t like the cafeteria food.
I can bring something back for you guys”
“It’s okay, those guys will probably come over later, they’re gonna complain for a month if they see us eating good.” Xu Zhifan said.
“Especially Xu Chuan.”
“Are they gonna bring us food
“Keep dreaming.” Xu Zhifan said.
As expected, those guys didn’t bring them any food.
Not only that, they only came to visit after finishing lunch.
“Where’s Tao Rui” Xu Chuan asked as soon as he walked in.
“Why is it only you two And we decided to come later, so Zhifan can talk to her some more.”
“It’s fine if we don’t eat, but is she supposed to join us in it” Kou Chen sat up, putting the hot water bottle to the side.
“Do you feel better” Huo Ran asked.
“Yup, I even took a nap.” Kou Chen rubbed his stomach, “I’m just hungry, but no one cares, not even my friends are my friends anymore.”
“Come on,” Huo Ran waved him over, “Don’t make it so obvious, I’ll treat you.”
“Is there still braised pork” Kou Chen immediately got off the bed.
“Tao Rui just said to not eat anything too greasy, you’ll get diarrhea.” Xu Zhifan said.
“Are you coming” Huo Ran asked.
“He’s gotta wait for Tao Rui,” Xu Chuan said, looking at Xu Zhifan.
“Someone’s speaking from experience.” Xu Zhifan laughed.
They all stayed behind in the infirmary, and Kou Chen and Huo Ran went to the cafeteria.
“Auntie, I want braised port.” Kou Chen saw that there were only two pieces left.
“Can I have both of them It’s not like anyone else is coming now…”
“Broccoli stir fry, and egg custard,” Huo Ran handed his card over and smiled at the lunch lady.
“And ants climbing a tree, thanks Jie.”
“Alrighty,” The lunch lady took his card, “Didn’t you eat already Back for more”
“It’s for him.” Huo Ran pointed at Kou Chen.
“Just this” She asked as she scooped the food.
“I know this kid, all he eats is meat.”
“I want braised pork…” Kou Chen leaned onto the class.
The stomachache was pretty draining, even talking was difficult.
“He’s sick, the nurse said to eat plainer.” Huo Ran said.
“Braised pork…” Kou Chen said.
“I see, he looked pretty strong last time he fought, how did he get sick” The lunch lady handed the tray over.
“Ate too much meat.” Huo Ran laughed and took the tray.
“Braised pork…” Kou Chen was still at it.
Huo Ran dragged him to a table and put the tray down: “Come on, I wanna nap before class.”
“You’re treating me to just this” Kou Chen sat down and poked around at the glass noodles.
“I’ll treat you to braised pork tomorrow.” Huo Ran said.
“Really” Kou Chen asked.
“Mhm, since you look so pitiful.” Huo Ran pointed at the tray, “Hurry and eat! Tao Rui said to not eat anything greasy, why are you so annoying If you want braised pork you gotta wait until tomorrow.”
“Damn your temper.” Kou Chen tsked, starting to eat his food.
Just a couple bites later, he felt the breeze of someone running over, before they disappeared just as fast.
When Kou Chen looked up, all he saw was a girl running out of the cafeteria and he couldn’t make out her face.
When Huo Ran turned back around, he saw a small jewelry box lying beside Kou Chen’s tray.
“For you” He asked.
“Hm” Kou Chen looked down, startling as he saw the box.
He startled again when he opened it, “What is this”
“A handmade bracelet” Huo Ran moved over to look.
“Mhm,” Kou Chen took out the bracelet.
It was pretty well made, with a leather and metal clasp.
His initials were even written on the leather.
“KC, I just realized my initials are one letter away from KFC.”
Huo Ran laughed: “Did you see who the girl was”
“…Nope.” Kou Chen said.
“No,” Huo Ran said.
“Is there a letter”
Kou Chen turned the box around in his hands: “No.”
“This is the first time I’ve seen someone confess without leaving their name.” Huo Ran said.
“It looks pretty nice,” Kou Chen didn’t really care about it as he looked the bracelet over.
His focus immediately shifted to something else, “I wonder if it’s easy to make.
When’s your birthday, I’ll make you one”