22nd –【Come here】
The car crossed the finish line and left the cheering crowd behind, stopping in the dark.
The lush shade of trees blocked the light from the streetlamps.
As the sound of the engine faded and the surroundings quieted down, he could clearly hear his heartbeat.
There was the roar of engines and the swish of the night breeze, alongside whistles mixed with the sound of people screaming coming from afar, but with the car windows serving as a barrier, it all sounded vague.
Chu Yu’s scalp was numb, and he panted slightly.
The human body had more than 600 muscles all over, and he seemed to feel each and every one of them ache from the built-up tension.
With his soft hands, he unclipped the seat belt binding his body with a ‘da’.
He then noticed that his forehead was already damp with fine sweat. The adrenaline in his blood had yet to subside, and his fingertips couldn’t stop their minute trembling.
Lu Shi’s hand, which wore a black wristband, rested on the steering wheel and unlike previously, his dark eyes seemingly contained cold stars exuding a faint light.
He glanced sideways and asked Chu Yu, “Hungry?”
His voice was a bit more deeper than usual.
Having been reminded, Chu Yu realized that crawling up his spine was a familiar, uncomfortable heat. His heart thumped so fast that he could even feel the blood pulse in his veins, while his throat was parched and a little sore.
Lu Shi leaned back in his seat in a relaxed posture.
He inclined to the side, showing the delicate and firm lines of his neck. “Come here.”
Chu Yu stared at the blue-green blood vessels beneath his cold, white skin that were exposed with his movements, unmoving.
Lu Shi closed his eyes and repeated, “Come here.”
There were two other commands hidden in his voice.
Chu Yu shook his hands, then propped himself up on the seat and knelt with one knee against the edge of the driver’s seat. His lips and teeth hovered close to Lu Shi’s shoulder.
Lu Shi raised his hand to rub Chu Yu’s soft hair, and then pressed him down slightly.
Sweet blood flowed past his lips and teeth and down his throat as they both heavily sighed.
Lu Shi moved his hand downwards along Chu Yu’s hair until his palm touched his nape and he softly soothed him, his voice gentle and hoarse, “Hm, I’m here.”
Before him was a dense shadow formed from the canopy of lush foliage.
Lu Shi indulged in this pleasure of being craved.
Fragments of light seemed to twinkle within his eyes.
When Lu Shi drove the car back to the finish line, whistles sounded around them.
The onlookers didn’t find it surprising.
After racing to the finish line, anyone would feel like their nerves had been electrocuted and needed to vent. Kissing and whatnot in the car wasn’t that unusual.
When Chu Yu exited the car, his whole body felt soft.
He’d sucked a bit more blood which gave him a sense of stepping on clouds.
Seeing Lu Shi casually shut the car door with his hand behind him, Chu Yu had a thought. He walked around the front of the car, stood next to Lu Shi, and fumbled out a finger-long glass bottle from his pocket.
Plugging in the straw, Chu Yu handed it to Lu Shi. “Blood-enriching tonic!”
Lu Shi looked at the familiar glass bottle and indolently inserted his hands into his pockets. He didn’t reach out to receive it, but rather naturally lowered his head next to Chu Yu’s hand and bit down on the straw, drinking it all in two mouthfuls.
His Adam’s apple moved up and down as he swallowed.
Chu Yu was stunned for a second.
Zhu Zhifei and Wei Guanglei ran over.
Wei Guanglei first slapped Chu Yu’s shoulder and laughed. “How about it? Was it cool to sit in Lu-Ge’s car? Do you want to throw up?”
“Didn’t throw up. It was cool, really cool!”
Zhu Zhifei pushed up his glasses and was radiant with delight.1眉飞色舞: eyebrows flying, expression dancing. Meaning people who are talking endlessly, looking very proud and excited. Zhu Zhifei is a proud mama. “You’re tougher than I was. The first time I rode with Lu-Ge, my legs went mush and I simply couldn’t stand. I ended up kneeling in front of a huge crowd of people!”
“Do you think everyone is like you, with a newborn’s legs?” Wei Guanglei jokingly kicked Zhu Zhifei’s leg, then turned back to Lu Shi. “Lu-Ge, you fucking taught those Black Snakes how to be a man in seconds! As soon as you stepped on the accelerator, you shot off like an arrow leaving a bow. They were so slow they looked just like sewed up tortoises behind you, never even saw your car’s rear!”
“Not just the back, I bet they didn’t even get a whiff of the exhaust!” Zhu Zhifei was excited. “The people around were all damn jeering. If I were part of Black Snake, my face would’ve been grinded to the ground, never to appear in front of you again in this lifetime!”
Lu Shi’s expression didn’t fluctuate and his tone was flat as usual as he asked, “Where’s Lie-Ge?”
Wei Guanglei pointed to a direction. “Over there, probably waiting for you to come find him.”
Lie-Ge saw Lu Shi walking over and raised his fist. The two bumped fists midair.
Chu Yu stood behind Lu Shi and quietly observed.
This guy called ‘Lie-Ge’ was older than Lu Shi and the others. He was robust in stature and in good shape with a deep scar at the corner of one eye. He wore a black jacket that had its silver zipper wide open, revealing the tattoo on his chest— a complicated and obscure symbol which looked pretty nice.
“Good race!” Lie-Ge said with a thick voice. He then took out a bottle of wine and disposable cups from the side, talking as he poured. “Before those Black Snakes came over, they didn’t fucking inquire or ask for clarity. Now that they’re already a little worse for wear, who’d dare make a fuss in front of Laozi?”
He brought the filled cup to Lu Shi, then successively handed one to Wei Guanglei, Zhu Zhifei, and finally Chu Yu.
Chu Yu knew that since he came here with Lu Shi, he couldn’t refuse the wine in front of him or else he’d be insensitive and disappoint the man, even inconveniencing Lu Shi in the end.
He’d raised his hand halfway when he heard Lu Shi speak, “He doesn’t drink.”
Lie-Ge raised his eyebrows. “He doesn’t drink?”
Chu Yu also looked at Lu Shi.
“Yeah.” Lu Shi’s eyes were dark. Holding up the cup in his hand, he brought it to his lips and finished it in a few mouthfuls. He tossed it aside after the bottom of the cup had been cleaned up. “His wine, give it to me.”
Lie-Ge gazed at Lu Shi and saw the impatience between his brows. He knew that this boy possessed quite the bad temper so he didn’t stress the details. He moved the cup of wine in his hand and handed it to Lu Shi, intrigue filling his eyes. “Interesting.”
He’d first met Lu Shi more than a year ago.
At that time, Lu Shi hadn’t been as tall, and his body still held a thinness peculiar to young people. But no matter where he was, his straight back would be noticed in a crowd at a glance. As for the hostility within his eyes, it had been much heavier before compared to now.
He obviously hadn’t been very old, but he was extremely clever. Matters regarding racing which amateurs couldn’t discern, Lu Shi had figured out in no more than a few days. He’d clearly grasped the rules and even personally analyzed the trends2风向: the way the wind is blowing. how things are developing. of the race track. Relying on this technique, he’d made his team take first place twice in a row.
Lu Shi then intended to leave his team because he wanted to race alone so he quit.
Lie-Ge had wanted to see it too, so he’d agreed and given him a car.
The results had proved that this kid was exceedingly accurate in his judgment and wouldn’t do what he couldn’t do. Whatever matter he decided upon, he’d surely accomplish with excellence.
He’d competed for first place three times a month and raked in the prize money.
Worried that other racing teams would rush to headhunt him, Lie-Ge had drafted a contract in advance and put it in front of Lu Shi.
How could he have known that Lu Shi wouldn’t even glance at it. He’d pushed aside the contract with two fingers and refused.
So, he asked if he already had a home.
Lu Shi had shaken his head. “School starts on the 1st of September, I’m going to school.”
Lie-Ge could still remember that moment, his heart had been filled with ‘I’ll fuck the uncle next door’3According to zfx, it’s an expression of speech that just shows how angry you are. I know… who could be so angry as to fuck their neighbor, and the exact word isn’t just limited to uncle, it stated ‘older people’ and could be used for grandfather. pls don’t fuck your neighbor if you’re angry… -lemme just put a lol here. LOL. He hadn’t been able to even find the words to scold him.
“Thanks for giving me face and coming to help out. Your Lie-Ge won’t take a cut from the award money, consider it payment for earlier.” Lie-Ge shook the wine bottle. “You know where it’s located, so I won’t pretend to be polite. You guys have fun.”
When the man left, Chu Yu whispered, “I could’ve had that cup of wine, one cup is still fine.”
Lu Shi lowered his eyes to stare at him. “Really? If I did give you that drink, I would’ve had to carry you back. Let’s go.”
After saying that, he turned around and walked to where they parked the car.
Wei Guanglei deliberately slowed down and walked beside Zhu Zhifei in the back.
He nudged Zhu Zhifei with his elbow. “Top student, tell me ah. What did you say before? About that bridge effect?”
Bypassing a drunk woman who’d just thrown up on herself, the puzzled Zhu Zhifei asked, “What bridge?”
“A man and a woman, standing on both sides of the bridge, looking at each other— that whack experiment.”
“God fucking bridge, it’s called the suspension bridge effect. As expected of an illiterate.”4They’re really close in pronunciation. 大桥 (da qiao) is big bridge or just bridge and 吊桥 (diao qiao) is drawbridge or suspension bridge.
Zhu Zhifei took off his glasses and wiped them. “Dangerous or stimulating situations can promote feelings and breed dependence. I’ve read something before that went, for instance, you’re in school and you like this girl, then you got scolded together by the teacher, and were punished to stand, you both could generate peer mentality and draw closer to each other by means of this scientific phenomenon. Asking a girl to go to a haunted house or ride a roller coaster have the same principle. Say, in a haunted house, a nerve stimulant – phenylethylamine – will be released. With the stimulation in effect, falling in love is just around the corner.”
“Cool, right?” He leaned in close to Wei Guanglei. “Shitou, do you have a target in mind? Are you about to leave the ranks of single dogs? Speak up, should your bro give you advice?”
“Scram, Laozi is determined to devote his youth to 98K5The Karabiner 98k, abbreviated as Kar98k, is a German bolt-action rifle featured in every game of the Call of Duty series set during World War II. and Summoner’s Rift. Are girls more interesting than games?”
Wei Guanglei placed a cigarette in his mouth and bit it as he watched Lu Shi and Chu Yu walk side by side in front of them.
Lu Shi’s words weren’t just for show.
Rather, they were full of determination.6势在必得: it describes the unwavering momentum when one must get something.
Pressing the lighter, Wei Guanglei lit the cigarette and took a deep puff.
Four people got into the car.
Zhu Zhifei grabbed onto the car seat and complained, “Lu-Ge, I’m starving. Are we going for supper?”
Lu Shi started the car but didn’t reply. Instead, he first asked Chu Yu, “You in a hurry to go home?”
Chu Yu shook his head and replied, “Not in a hurry. No one’s waiting for me at home.”
His mother was busy and his elder brother and sister were either abroad or out-of-town. What it all came down to was that they were all awfully busy. He had told Aunt Lan that he was going out to play with some classmates, so no one would care when he’d return home.
Lu Shi held the steering wheel with one hand. “Let’s go, then.”
It was already midnight.
Instead of driving back to Qingchuan Road, the car went along a rough road and arrived at a riverbank.
A narrow pathway was built along the edge of the river and lined with street lights.
It probably hadn’t been repaired in a long time as the railing was rusty and full of stains, much of it had fallen off. The river dike was a very steep slope, and further down was a tranquil flowing river.
There was also a blue street sign polluted with rust on the curb with the words ‘Qingchuan River’ written on it and an English translation underneath.
Seeing a light flashing not too far away, Chu Yu asked Lu Shi, “What are they doing over there?”
“Fishing.” Lu Shi pointed to the distance. “That red light, can you see it?”
Following the direction Lu Shi pointed in, Chu Yu nodded. “Yeah, I see it.”
“It’s night fishing.”
Wei Guanglei spoke, “Qingchuan River’s water quality is pretty good so there’s lots of fish. With a row of fishing rods and some luck, we can hook up to several kilos in one night!”
Chu Yu was surprised. “So many?”
“Of course, have you ever fished before? If you haven’t and want to try, ask Lu-Ge to take you, he’s quite awesome at fishing. The fishes go like crazy and they all jump at his hook. We used two fishing rods to go for a night before, and the money we made has been enough to buy reference books.”
Zhu Zhifei couldn’t help chiming in, “So, Lu-Ge, how can you do everything?”
Lu Shi walked ahead and answered without turning his head, “Because I know how to use my brain.”
Talking all the way, it didn’t take long before they walked to a somewhat conspicuous and worn-out vendor’s booth.
A few tables, plastic stools, and no menus. Only a signboard written on a plastic sheet saying ‘Barbecue by the River’ was propped up.
The barbecue stall by the river had an apt name.
Chu Yu guessed that Lu Shi and them knew the owner as they ordered dishes at lightning speed.
Lu Shi asked Chu Yu, “What do you want to eat?”
“You can order for me, but don’t order too much, I’m a little full.”
Zhu Zhifei marveled, “School Flower, did you have dinner before going out? Amazing, how are you not hungry yet!”
Chu Yu vaguely answered while uncontrollably glancing at Lu Shi.
Lu Shi ordered two fish. “Sit down ba.”
Four people gathered around a small, square table. Chu Yu ripped a piece of crude toilet paper and wiped the tabletop only to find that the black blotches on top were too stubborn and simply couldn’t be wiped off.
Forget it. He didn’t bother wiping it again and would just pretend he didn’t see it.
A sizzling sound echoed through the barbecue stall and oil fumes drifted away with the wind. After a while, a fragrant smell filled the air.
Eventually, all the dishes they ordered arrived.
Zhu Zhifei and Wei Guanglei had large plates of fried rice and barbecue each.
Lu Shi placed a stainless steel plate with a small grilled fish on it in front of Chu Yu and the other on his side.
Zhu Zhifei glanced at it. “School Flower, this small fish is delicious! It was all fished from the river by the boss himself during the first half of this evening, fresh and tender. Try it if you don’t believe me!”
Chu Yu held his chopsticks and carefully scraped off a piece of fish meat.
He had a dull sense of taste so the flavor wasn’t much, but he could feel that the meat was quite tender.
“Indeed, it’s delicious!”
However, because the fishbones were tiny and the lighting dim, Chu Yu almost choked just after taking two bites.
He picked up the water cup, but before he had time to take a sip, a hand wearing a black wrist brace entered his sight.
Lu Shi silently exchanged his plate with Chu Yu.
Chu Yu looked closely and discovered that on the plate Lu Shi had replaced his with, every bone in the fish meat had been picked clean.