Huo Ran didn’t sleep well the entire night.
He had a houseful of drunkards, and it was a lot rowdier than the dorms.
Occasionally there would be someone murmuring in their sleep from the living room or the room next door, and someone had gotten up multiple times to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, each time having to bump into the bathroom door first.
Kou Chen on the other hand made no noise nor did he get up.
All the other blankets in the house were given to the others, so he and Kou Chen had to share a blanket.
Kou Chen’s entire body was hot like he had a fever, and Huo Ran had to touch his forehead a couple times to make sure it wasn’t actually a fever, he was just drunk.
But it’s all whatever if Kou Chen was hot or if he liked to sleep hugging something but there was nothing so he had to hug a person, that damn thing kept kicking off the blanket.
Huo Ran wasn’t too drunk, so he didn’t feel hot.
Each time Kou Chen kicked the blanket away, he felt a rush of cold air.
And right after he finally got the blanket back in place and settled down, swoosh, blanket gone again.
Although it was only on Kou Chen’s side, the cold air still poured in, so Huo Ran kicked Kou Chen in anger.
Kou Chen didn’t care, he was still asleep.
About an hour before sunrise, the house finally quieted down.
Nobody murmured, nobody got up to use the bathroom, and Kou Chen cooled down and stopped kicking the blanket.
Huo Ran finally fell asleep.
But it felt like he was only asleep for half an hour before he felt the cold air again.
“Fuck.” He groaned with his eyes closed.
“It’s so hot.” Kou Chen’s voice sounded from behind him.
“You heat up like this after just a bit of alcohol”
“…Me” Huo Ran ignored the fact that he only got to sleep for half an hour and he turned around in shock, “You mean me”
“Who else Myself” Kou Chen probably had his hands on his hips, creating a tent in the blanket so cold air could rush in.
“Fucking… you were like a fire pit all night, and kept kicking off the blanket.” Huo Ran stared at him.
“And you complain about me I couldn’t sleep at all because of you and you complain about me”
“Really” Kou Chen’s voice was still nasally from sleep, and he stayed silent for a moment before he probably remembered what happened.
And so he quickly changed the topic, moving the elbow that tented the blanket.
“Look at this.”
“Look at what” Huo Ran stared at the blanket, his sleepiness completely gone because of Kou Chen.
“It’s enormous.” Kou Chen stared at the tent and said.
Huo Ran stared too, and finally got it after three seconds.
He really had no words.
“Ah, right,” Huo Ran said.
“I bet you have to use your entire arm when you get off, or else it wouldn’t work.”
“…Fuck.” Kou Chen started, and then burst out into laughter.
“Why are you so shameless”
“Who’s shameless” Huo Ran pointed at it, “Who’s enorm…”
“Kou Chen’s, I guess.” Xu Zhifan’s voice sounded from the doorway.
“Fuck,” Kou Chen took his arms back and looked at Xu Zhifan, who was leaning against the doorframe.
“When did you get up”
“I wasn’t gonna get up,” Xu Zhifan said, “But then I heard you say enormous, and I couldn’t miss out on that.”
“How did you know it’s mine then” Kou Chen laughed, “Did you sneak a peek before”
“No,” Xu Zhifan sighed, “Huo Ran would never think to do that.”
“You can’t say that for sure…” Kou Chen turned to Huo Ran.
“Fuck off.” Huo Ran sat up, suddenly feeling a bit embarrassed for some reason.
He climbed off the bet and put on some pants before heading into the living room.
“How come you’re up so early”
“To get to the bathroom first.” Xu CHuan was still laying on the couch, but he was awake.
“There’s two,” Huo Ran said.
“One for each dorm.”
“Okay.” Xu Zhifan nodded.
It was the same as in school, and having four people in a bathroom sounded cramped, but it actually felt really spacious today.
Two people in each bathroom, then switch, and it was done.
The three in the guest room slept like the dead, and not even Huo Ran and the others moving around in the living room and ordering takeout could wake them up.
In the end, Xu Chuan had enough and just snatched the blankets away, and then the three of them finally stumbled out of bed.
“Fuck,” Jiang Lei hopped out with one leg in his pants, “What’s wrong with you guys I bet you played cards all night while we were asleep.
You’re all dressed already this **ing early”
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.
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“This is the only good thing about your place Huo Ran, do you buy whole boxes of disposable toothbrushes” Jiang Lei walked out as he brushed his teeth.
“You had a bunch last time I was here too.”
“Got a lot of relatives, they’re always coming over.” Huo Ran waved a hand at him, “Toothpaste, one drop on the floor and I’ll kill you.”
After Jiang Lei finished washing up, Wei Chaoren and Hu Yi finally got up sluggishly.
They all tied up and ate breakfast, then called a cab to get to school, since they wouldn’t have time to bike or take public transportation.
Even taking a cab was too slow.
They could only climb the fence by the haunted building.
As they arrived at the spot and prepared to climb, the dean’s face suddenly appeared on the other side.
They all froze on the spot, and then moved to stand in a line.
The dean swept his gaze over their faces one by one: “I knew I could catch some by standing here.”
“Are you…” Kou Chen thought about it, “On a ladder”
“No,” The dean looked down, “I got a broken pool table here.”
“I was wondering,” Kou Chen laughed, “It looked like you were floating.”
“Who’s laughing with you Use the main gate!” The dean pointed at them.
“Don’t think you can get away with tardiness and climbing the fence just because you received a letter of commendation from the police”
“What letter of commendation” Huo Ran asked.
“To thank Kou Chen and Huo Ran’s cooperation with the police to help save an abducted woman.” The dean couldn’t hold back a smile, “Good for you two, go to Mr.
Yuan’s office after your first period, I’ll wait for you there.”
“Holy **!” Kou Chen said in excitement, “Really She’s saved”
Without waiting for the dean’s reply, he took two steps back and then ran towards the wall, climbing up it.
He got into the dean’s face and asked: “There’s even a letter of commendation”
“Get down!” The dean said.
“I’m already up here anyways.” Kou Chen didn’t move.
“Get down.” The dean nudged him.
“What if I hurt myself Just let me in, I don’t wanna go all the way around.” Kou Chen lifted himself up.
“I won’t even hurt myself if I jump down, you” The dean stopped smiling.
“Get down! You’ve all been punished once already!”
“Come on.” Huo Ran went and patted Kou Chen’s leg.
“Okay, okay, okay.” Kou Chen jumped back down.
As they circled around to the main gates, Kou Chen was still excited as he recounted the events for the 839th time.
Huo Ran laughed as he listened, but he really was quite glad to hear the news.
He had been pretty conflicted.
He didn’t wish for Madam Gao to have been abducted, he didn’t dare think about how much she would have suffered then.
But he also hoped that she was abducted, that way she would have a chance to be rescued.
Because if she was really married off by her family… then that would just be her reality for the rest of her life, and she might not even live that long either.
“The cops got my dad’s number, and they already told my dad.” Kou Chen hung off of Huo Ran’s shoulders with his head down looking at his phone.
He typed furiously, “Told my sister not to tell me, said there will be a letter of commendation from the police, to surprise us… **.”
“It is pretty surprising.” Huo Ran smiled.
“Holy **, I feel pretty excited.” Kou Chen whispered.
Huo Ran glanced at the others who were talking about it, and whispered back.
“That’s normal, isn’t it We did something amazing, we saved someone.”
“Are you excited too I thought I was the only one.” Kou Chen smiled.
“This is the first time I’ve been commended, and by the police too.”
“No way, not even your teachers or relatives Even just to be polite” Huo Ran said.
“Nope,” Kou Chen said.
I remember it all clearly… But I don’t care about that.”
“Oh.” Huo Ran looked at him.
Before the first class even ended, Wei Chaoren and Jiang Lei had successfully turned the story into a simple hiking trip turned dangerous ending with saving an abducted woman, into one of an undercover operation under the guise of a hiking trip, and with their help, the police saved a whole group of women.”
All that’s left is to say that the two of them were actually undercover policemen sent out to hide among the common people ten years ago.
That made even someone like Kou Chen bow down and praise it: “Holy **, that’s too **ing unbelievable, isn’t it”
“You have to give it room for people to play it down out of jealousy.” Jiang Lei said.
“If you told them the truth, it would’ve turned into the two of you just happened to pass by as the police rounded the bad guys up in the end.”
“Fuck off,” Kou Chen said.
“You’re telling me”
“Exactly,” Huo Ran lowered his voice.
“No one tells Kou Chen how to brag about things.”
“You ** off too.” Kou Chen turned to glare at him.
“Why don’t you go back to your own seat.” Huo Ran said.
“It’s already been a month since you kicked Xu Zhifan out.”
“Nope.” Kou Chen laid down on the desk.
Huo Ran really only liked to show off when he played basketball, and he wasn’t used to this many people staring at him outside of it.
But since the school received the letter of commendation, even announcing it on the bulletin board, people started glancing at him everywhere he went.
It made him feel quite a bit of pressure.
Now Kou Chen was different, he enjoyed the attention.
The more people stared, the more Huo Ran could feel his pride inflate.
He really wanted to take a pin and stab it.
But inflated Kou Chen only lasted three days.
He deflated automatically as midterms started, and after it all, he was pretty much shriveled up.
“I thought you said your dad didn’t care about midterms” Huo Ran asked.
“By not caring I mean he won’t yell at me or anything.” Kou Chen said.
“After he hears about my grades, he sneers and says: I wonder when you’ll finally be able to surprise me.”
Huo Ran sighed: “That’s gotta hurt.”
“You don’t say.
My dad’s fighting skills are second rate, his real skill lies in ridiculing.” Kou Chen rested his cheek on his hand.
“Look at this, add it all together and it’s still less than three of Xu Zhifan’s…”
Huo Ran glanced in Xu Zhifan’s direction.
His grades this time were actually not as good as usual, probably because he was still affected by the situation with his mom.
“Did your sister get good grades” Hu Yi turned around and asked Kou Chen.
“That’s the scariest part.
She’s all spoiled by my dad and he won’t expect ** from her.
All she needs to do is eat, drink, and play.” Kou Chen smacked his desk bitterly, “But her grades are pretty good.”
Jiang Lei started laughing: “That’s too much, it’s a wonder your dad can even look at you.”
“Forget it.” Kou Chen waved it off.
“I don’t care anyways.
My dad’s good to me when he forgets about what I can’t do.”
“Does he forget often” Huo Ran asked.
“…No.” Kou Chen laid back down on the desk, “You’re **ing itching for a beating, aren’t you”
Huo Ran reached out and patted him on the head.
After midterms, they could pretty much start to look forward to New Years.
And there were gonna be lots of events too.
Although they didn’t have anything going on at school for Christmas, just the atmosphere on the streets was enough, as everything started to become covered in red.
And then there was winter break too.
Even though right after that was finals, most people would just choose to ignore that fact as they were looking forward to the break.
They would occasionally talk about Hu Yi and Xu Zhifan as they ate.
Hu Yi’s family was still divided, his parents hadn’t gotten divorced yet, but they won’t be spending New Years together.
There was still the question of which side of the family Hu Yi would be spending it with.
And on Xu Zhifan’s side, it was a dead end.
It was almost New Years, and there was still no news from his mom.
But just like Kou Chen predicted, nothing else about the topic was brought up.
Probably because they were all still excited about finally making it through another semester, and they didn’t want to ruin the mood.
Not wanting to ruin the mood was true, and not knowing how to bring it up was true as well.
When Xu Zhifan went out in the morning, he ran into Li Ling.
From beneath his scarf, Li Ling said out coldly: “Are you going back to school My brother is back.
You should stay at school for a few days, I’m worried he won’t react well.”
“Is there any news from your mom” Xu Zhifan asked.
“No.” Li Ling looked at him.
“Is there any point in asking that”
Xu Zhifan didn’t say anything.
“Are you scared” Li Ling asked.
“Yes.” Xu Zhifan said.
“Me too.” Li Ling frowned.
“I’m scared something will really happen to my mom.
I’m also scared that if something happens, I will hate your entire family but not be able to do anything.”
Xu Zhifan stayed silent.
Li Ling stared at him before turning to leave.
Behind him, someone honked and Xu Zhifan finally snapped out of it.
He moved to the side, and after the car passed, he tugged down his hat and headed for the station.
There were still a couple days until New Years, and it felt like everyone around him were already rushing to say goodbye to the year.
Xu Zhifan didn’t want to say goodbye to this year.
He wished it could stay a little longer, and maybe his mom could still come back within ‘this year’.
Out of the station, he was still some distance from school.
There weren’t many people who returned to school in the afternoon, most would come back in the evening.
He felt a bit suffocated at home.
His dad and grandma left for their hometown, and he was alone at home, so he’d rather go back to the dorms where there were more people, and it wouldn’t be as cold.
He took a couple steps forward holding his bag, and then he heard footsteps behind him.
Someone was running loudly towards him.
Xu Zhifan felt like he was sinking.
He had already made up his mind when Li Ling reminded him.
If her brother came back and went looking for him, he would be better off going back to school.
If he missed him then he had to wait at least another week.
“Xu Zhifan.” Someone called him.
Xu Zhifan looked off to the side when he turned around, and even raised a hand in front of his head, but it didn’t help much.
All he could do was protect his head.
Someone landed a harsh kick at his stomach, and it felt like his stomach was squeezed to his chest.
He wanted to throw up, and he couldn’t breathe.
The person tugged him forward by the clothes, and Xu Zhifan curled in a little, so he could protect his front.
If they tugged him down, then he couldn’t be sure what would happen.
He didn’t know how many people there were, but there was absolutely no chance in fighting back.
And he didn’t want to fight back.
All he felt was tired, and lost.
“Ask them where they are.” Xu Chuan sat on the edge of the bed and looked at Kou Chen and Huo Ran.
“How are we supposed to play cards with three people”
“Play video games.” Huo Ran said.
“Play video games.” Kou Chen also said.
“Can you guys not” Xu Chuan stared at the two of them, and then he got out his phone.
His phone was vibrating, a call from Wei Chaoren.
“What is it” Xu Chuan picked up, “I was about to ask, are you here yet”
“Yup, are Kou Chen and them there” Wei Chaoren said.
“Yup.” Xu Chaun put it on speaker,” Go on, you’re on speaker.”
“I passed by the infirmary,” Wei Chaoren said.
“I saw Xu Zhifan inside…”
“Fuck,” Xu Chuan paused, “When did he get back He went to the infirmary first”
“Is he hurt” Huo Ran asked.
“Looks like it.” Wei Chaoren said.
“He has a black eye, Tao Rui’s patching him up right now.
He probably doesn’t want us to know, that’s why he didn’t go up.
Do you guys know what happened”
“No,” Xu Chuan frowned.
“Come back to the dorms first.”
After hanging up, they all stayed silent.
After a long while, Kou Chen spoke: “Xu Zhifan really can’t catch a break, huh”