21st –【I’ll protect】
Chu Yu became famous once again.
The next day, during morning self-study, second year class A’s classroom front door, back door, and windows were packed with clinging students who came to take a peek at Chu Yu. Especially those who had just enrolled; many of them were curious about what Jianing Private’s School Flower looked like.
Chu Yu was worried.
After hearing his reason for rejecting her, the girl who had asked him for his QQ account yesterday then questioned him nervously, “Then do you think… I’m not good-looking?”
Chu Yu nodded. “Good looking, but not as good-looking as me.”
He was telling the truth.
She had matured quite beautifully and was only a bit inferior to him.
After receiving this answer, the girl heaved a sigh of relief. “So it turns out that it’s not because my character isn’t good enough. Thank you, even though you’ve rejected me, you found a proper reason which not only made me give up, but also presented me with a way out of embarrassment.”
Her brows were crooked and she held back a smile. “After all, you’ve seen the buds of spring, the shades of summer, the red leaves of autumn, and the falling snow of winter, yet none could compare to your beautiful countenance.”
At the mention of this paragraph, Chu Yu clutched the collar of his school uniform, feeling stifled!
Zhang Yueshan turned around, raised the homework in his hand, and got straight to the point. “Copy or not?”
Having his thoughts interrupted, Chu Yu propped his chin and shook his head. “I won’t copy yours, I’ll copy Lu Shi’s. His homework has fewer words.”
“Okay, then I’ll toss it to Dream-Ge.”
Zhang Yueshan comforted Chu Yu again. “Relax, regarding that fill in the blank question from the Chinese exam, it can be said that at Jianing Private, everyone knows and dips in the tea. Presently, you’re popular with all our first year junior brothers and sisters, it’s not so bad.”
Chu Yu was weak. “If you mention the Chinese exam again, I’m cutting off our friendship.”
Zhang Yueshan couldn’t help but laugh once more. “Hahaha, Laozi almost choked himself from restraining a laugh in the cafeteria yesterday. I finally understand that there really is a reason to stay single!”
Chu Yu glared, but it lacked impact.
A daily duty committee member shouted from the podium, “Chu Yu, you’re on duty today, remember to wipe the blackboard!”
Raising his hand, Chu Yu waved twice. “Alright, got it.”
At that moment, a male student passed by Chu Yu and accidentally bumped into his desk.
Chu Yu watched the person’s back as they walked away. “Was that on purpose? Knocking against my table, what’s his problem?”
“Definitely deliberate.” Zhang Yueshan finished his homework, relaxed, and pulled Chu Yu in to chat. “That guy is Guan Yiyang, and he’s been chasing Deng Mengmeng since first year of high school. He’s an attention seeker so don’t lower yourself to his level.”
Chu Yu asked the key point, “Who’s Deng Mengmeng?”
Zhang Yueshan reminded Chu Yu. “The girl who asked you for your QQ account yesterday!”
Chu Yu understood. “Oh, so I’ve been labeled as a love rival?”
Zhang Yueshan nodded. “Yeah, but excellent men are always envied by the other men around.”
Li Hua, who was memorizing vocabulary, turned around and smacked his head. “Unfortunately, my deskmate, our beloved rep, has never had such an experience.”
During break, Zhu Zhifei came over from the class next door to see Lu Shi.
Seeing Chu Yu leaning against the wall, reading a comic book, Zhu Zhifei greeted him before turning to Lu Shi. “Lu-Ge, the time is set. Tomorrow night, usual place.”
His tone held a little bit of unconcealed excitement.
Lu Shi was holding a pencil and answering questions. As he listened, he responded with a ‘Hm’ but didn’t say much else.
Chu Yu held his comic book and looked up curiously. “What are you talking about? Is there something fun happening tomorrow night? Can you take me along?”
Tomorrow was Saturday, and Chu Yu had decided that wherever Lu Shi was, he’d be there as well.
After being full once, he no longer wanted to endure that uncomfortable feeling of starvation.
Turning his pencil twice between his fingers, Lu Shi leaned back in his chair and gazed up at Chu Yu. “Want to go?”
Chu Yu saw a chance and then nodded repeatedly. “Want!”
Zhu Zhifei glanced at Lu Shi. “Um… Lu-Ge, wouldn’t it be unsuitable for School Flower to come? That place is chaotic and there’s gonna be so many different people.”
Lu Shi only stared at Chu Yu. “Really want to go?”
Unsuitable for him to go to?
Chu Yu was even more curious. “Really want to go! If you don’t believe me, just look at my big eyes!”
Knowing the little calculations that Chu Yu had made in his heart, Lu Shi used the tip of his pencil to gently rap on the tabletop. “Hm, if you come, remember to follow me closely.”
Zhu Zhifei still wanted to persuade once more. “Lu-Ge—”
“I’ll protect him.”
Saturday night, eleven o’clock.
Even the wind on Qingchuan Road was quiet. The day’s hustle and bustle were gone, leaving only the silent street lamps standing. The electrical lines were old so the lights would flicker from time to time and issue a ‘tzz tzz’ sound.
Chu Yu took a taxi by himself and arrived at the door of Wei Guanglei’s auto repair shop.
When he exited the taxi, he saw with a glance that Lu Shi was adorned in all black— black ripped jeans and a black graffiti T-shirt. He’d taken off the watch on his left wrist and had replaced it with a black wrist brace.
The most eye-catching aspect was the boy’s long legs. On his feet were a pair of black leather boots, the retro metal buckles wrapped his ankles, highlighting his calf line.
Once he arrived, Lu Shi turned around and walked into the auto repair shop. Chu Yu quickly followed.
Inside the small courtyard where they last ate hot pot, Wei Guanglei in a camo top squatted with a cigarette in his mouth.
Seeing Chu Yu come in behind Lu Shi, he waved his hand, greeting, “Young Master, I haven’t seen you in a week.”
Chu Yu’s eyes curved as he smiled and greeted back, “Yes, it’s been a while.”
Wei Guanglei stood up, tucked the unlit cigarette behind his ear and spoke to Lu Shi, “Today a team called ‘Black Snake’ is coming so Lie-Ge is looking for you, saying that you have to go. If he loses on his home turf, he’ll be mocked to death.”
Chu Yu listened quietly.
“Where’s Zhu Zhifei?”
As soon as Lu Shi finished asking, Zhu Zhifei ran out of the repair room. “Lu-Ge, I’m here.”
Wei Guanglei laughed at him. “He was just hiding in the repair room writing essays, and he even finished writing one, what a model student.”
Four people stood in front of the shop’s shutter.
The shutter had been sprayed with graffiti and displayed multiple colors.
Wei Guanglei stooped down, fished out a key, and unscrewed the lock with a click.
The front shutters were pulled up, revealing a square warehouse.
The light wasn’t turned on and due to the darkness, it was impossible to make out what was inside.
Zhu Zhifei moved quickly. He rushed inside and turned the light on with a ‘pa’.
Everything inside the warehouse appeared in full view.
Chu Yu’s pupils shrank slightly. He didn’t dare blink his eyes and spoke with bated breath, “I, fuck.”
Lu Shi looked back at him and raised his chin. “Who are you gonna fuck?”1This is what they said in the raws.
Chu Yu: “我日.”
Lu Shi: “你要日谁?”
日(ri) literally means date, day of the month. According to what I’ve read before, ever since a dog with a ri in its name who humped on everyone/thing it saw made waves on the net, it became associated with fuck and consequently became a curse word. 我日 could be translated into ‘Fuck me’ but because Lu Shi asked 你要日谁 ‘who are you gonna fuck?’, I changed it to “I, fuck.” I just wanted to reveal the versatility of the word to you guys hahahhah….( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Chu Yu blinked, lagging.
Lu Shi didn’t wait for him to answer. He raised his foot and stepped into the warehouse.
A black customized car was parked inside.
The car’s headlights, hood, rear wing, tires – probably even the engine and cylinder within – were all modified.
Under the dim lighting, the car’s body lines were perfect; every inch of the fresh paint was dazzling, like a dormant steel behemoth that once awakened, would roar across the mountains and fields, deafening whoever heard it.
No man disliked guns or cars.
Including Chu Yu.
He felt his heart beat a little faster, and his palms heat up.
Lu Shi clasped the door handle, opened the door, and sat sideways in the driver’s seat. Wei Guanglei and Zhu Zhifei sat in the back seat from the left and right. The glowing blue headlights turned on, but Chu Yu still hadn’t reacted.
Not until Lu Shi slid down the window, put his arm on the frame, raised his eyebrows and asked him, “Not coming in?”
Chu Yu returned from his stupor and hurriedly sat shotgun.
After a few seconds, Chu Yu watched Lu Shi lean forward, his arms went past his chest and pulled the seat belt by his side.
‘Pa ta’, the latch snapped together.
He realized he’d forgotten to put on the seat belt.
Lu Shi sat properly again. “Let’s go.”
The engine roared low, and the garage door on the other side of the warehouse opened, leading straight to the road.
As the car drove out, Chu Yu’s throat became dry.
“Us driving directly on the road like this, it really… won’t be a problem?”
He couldn’t help but gaze at Lu Shi.
Lu Shi had his left arm on the window beside him while he held the steering wheel with one hand. The contrast between his cold white skin and the steering wheel’s black leather was distinct. When turning a corner, the knuckles of his fingers which held the manual shift lever were striking and nice.
Zhu Zhifei knew what Chu Yu was worried about. He pushed up his glasses and said, “Don’t worry, Lu-Ge’s an old hand, he’d never overturn a car.”
Wei Guanglei also smiled. “Yeah, don’t be afraid. Although we don’t have driver licenses, no one would stop us on this road in the middle of the night.”
The slightly cold night wind blew on Chu Yu’s face as he finally calmed down.
In He Zhihao’s circle, there were plenty of underage drivers.
The garage in Chu Yu’s house had several supercars parked within— gifts from his brother and sister.
But they were only parked there to gather dust.
Chu Yu abided by the law, and didn’t mix in with the games of He Zhihao’s circle. He was prepared to take the driver’s test at the age of eighteen and only then would he drive on the road.
Yet at this very moment, he was sitting in the front passenger’s seat, accompanied by the low hum of the engine, and driving through the dark night road. It made him feel as if he were treading a completely different path from the first seventeen years of his life.
All was unknown.
It was extremely exciting.
They drove for more than half an hour and finally stopped on an abandoned highway on the outskirts of the city.
A lot of people had gathered.
Chu Yu looked out through the window and could hear a noisy buzz of voices. At the same time, the moment their car stopped, many people peered over and some even excitedly took pictures of the car.
He opened the door and got out of the car. Lu Shi grabbed the car key with his fingers and walked into the crowd.
Zhu Zhifei and Wei Guanglei didn’t follow and stood beside Chu Yu.
Chu Yu wasn’t stupid, he’d already figured out what Lu Shi and them were here for.
“Lu Shi… when did he start street racing?”
Wei Guanglei had no plans of hiding it. Chu Yu asked so he replied, “First year. Lu-Ge didn’t have money so he started this. If he wins, he receives the award money.”
Chu Yu discovered that the closer he got to Lu Shi, the more he felt that this person was very complicated. But the more complex he became, the greater the peculiar attraction force got.
“Is he… very short of money?”
“He’s alone, of course he’s short of money. Although Xiao-Fei and I wonder why he can’t just make money by working part-time in my family’s auto repair shop, the pay would be enough for his expenses anyway. But…”
“But driving on the track is thrilling. A kind of thrill you can only feel at the risk of dying if a car rolls over.”
Wei Guanglei flicked his lighter and lit a cigarette. After the sparks were gone, he took a drag and continued, “I guess Lu-Ge wants that kind of stimulation so he can release all the hostility he’s been restraining in his heart.”
He looked at Chu Yu.
It could be seen at a glance that Chu Yu had been raised in a greenhouse.
Recalling what Lu Shi had said in the courtyard, Wei Guanglei couldn’t help but think of the proverb— ‘warm water could melt icy thorns’.
He didn’t know if it was true or not.
Lu Shi returned before long.
He threw the cigarette in his hand to Wei Guanglei.
Wei Guanglei caught it with both hands. “Lie-Ge gave it?”
“Yeah.” Lu Shi put his hands in his pockets. “I’ll drive in the first race.”
Zhu Zhifei squeezed his fists, appearing excited. “Don’t take Shitou this time, I’ll go and occupy Lu-Ge’s shotgun seat!”
Wei Guanglei didn’t speak.
Lu Shi gazed at Chu Yu. “Coming?”
Chu Yu was surprised. “Can I?”
“Yeah, you can, if you want.”
Lu Shi had spoken and thus Wei Guanglei and Zhu Zhifei didn’t argue.
In the end, Chu Yu got into the car with Lu Shi.
The crowd had scattered on both sides, displaying the track and the starting position.
A tall girl wearing a tube top and sexy denim shorts stood in the middle on the white line, holding two small green flags in her hands.
Lu Shi held the steering wheel with one hand as he slowly drove the car to the starting position where he stopped.
Outside the car’s windows were the street lights’ warm colors.
The light reflected in his eyes, resembling flames.
He asked Chu Yu, “Scared?”
Chu Yu didn’t hide it. “A bit, but I’m more excited. I just feel very hyped, that kind of adrenaline soaring feeling.”
“Hm.” Lu Shi glanced at him sideways. “It’ll be more exciting in a minute.”
The first whistle sounded.
Lu Shi sat upright, stared ahead, and placed both his hands on the steering wheel.
At the second whistle, Chu Yu took a deep breath.
The moment the third whistle rang, the car shot out like lightning!
Chu Yu’s breathing suddenly stagnated during those two seconds.
His body was tightly bound to the seat by his seat belt as the tip of his nose filled with the scent of fuel, and the rumble of the exhaust went straight into his ears. All the nerves and bones in his body could feel the tremble of the engine, full of pure mechanical tension!
The screams and whistles on both sides of the track were left behind in the blink of an eye.
The entire track, scenery, light and shadow, all came and went like a cloud of smoke.
What only remained was the person sitting next to him.
Chu Yu breathed tightly and subconsciously called, “Lu Shi—”
“Shhh, passing a corner.”
As soon as his words fell, he blinked and Lu Shi braked with all his strength, then passed the corner and accelerated out of it. Within moments, he’d already drifted through the bend!
Chu Yu felt as if he was nearly flung out of the car window by the strong centrifugal force; his heart was about to stop beating!
After he finally resumed breathing, the next curve appeared in front.
His voice almost cracked.
Lu Shi’s light, husky voice contained a slight smile as he responded, “Yeah, I’m here.”
At that moment, Chu Yu was inexplicably relieved.
After three successive road curves, Chu Yu’s legs were soft, and there was a feeling of near-death suffocation, but the adrenaline running through his veins was surging. A white light seemed to be exploding in his mind!
Too damn exhilarating!
Panting slightly, Chu Yu couldn’t help turning his head to look at Lu Shi.
In that moment, everything outside the vehicle was turned into nothingness, the endless road track and the cold night scene became the person’s background.