3rd -【Come here】
Chu Yu was awakened by thirst.
His throat was like a furnace, so dry and itchy that it was somewhat painful.
Chu Yu wore light blue cotton pajamas as he went downstairs in soft-soled slippers, rubbing his eyes as he walked. He could faintly remember that it seemed— he dreamed of the gangster he’d met during the day?
His bleeding wound and cold eyes appeared in front of him again.
What kind of shadow was this, ah, chasing him all the way into his dreams…
Afraid of waking Aunt Lan, Chu Yu gently and quietly poured himself some water but even after drinking a full glass, the dry itchiness in his throat wasn’t relieved at all.
Chu Yu poured another glass yet unexpectedly, not only did it not quench his thirst, he was now also hungry.
Chu Yu left the lights off for the oblique light from the community’s street lamp outside was shining in through the windows as he went to the kitchen to rummage through the refrigerator.
As he reached out to grab a sandwich, he suddenly noticed that his nails seemed to be much longer than when he was in the shower.
Was he misremembering?
His mind concealed these thoughts due to sleepiness and just vaguely put off the idea of cutting his nails for tomorrow as he ate three small buns.
Chu Yu ended up vomiting in the middle of the night.
The sound wasn’t that silent so it woke Aunt Lan up. She hurried to help bring water and a towel, worriedly chiding, “The food outside is unhealthy and unhygienic. My young master, if you want to eat beef stew, then let Aunt Lan make it for you. Let’s not go out to eat anymore. Madam prematurely gave birth to you so you were extremely small, not nearly big enough at that time. Ai, now look how pitiful you are…”
Chu Yu fully vomited up the contents in his stomach, yet he didn’t feel weak, but rather alive and kicking. It felt as if his body was light enough to float into the sky at any moment.
He pressed Aunt Lan’s shoulders with both hands and pushed her out of the bedroom, humming in response, “Aunt Lan, I’m truly fine and full of energy. I feel much better after vomiting, really!”
Aunt Lan had taken care of Chu Yu since he was a child so her affections ran deep. She reached out and felt Chu Yu’s forehead. Only when she was sure that he didn’t have a fever, did she finally feel a little at ease. “Alright alright, fortunately, you don’t have a fever, so I’ll listen to you and go back to sleep. But you also have to go to bed after a while. Just call me if you ever feel uncomfortable again and tomorrow eat lightly and slowly. You mustn’t eat that beef you brought back…”
The bedroom door closed, reverting the four corners of the room back into silence. Chu Yu stood at the door for a while, then took a thermometer from the medicine box to measure his temperature.
36.5 degrees, it was normal.
He stared at the number on the thermometer, lost in thought.
Aunt Lan said he didn’t have a fever and the thermometer also showed a normal temperature, but he felt hot ever since he woke up from that dream.
A kind of heat that seeped through his bones and blood vessels like a raging fire within his body.
Could it be that a growing teenager’s boiling hot blood couldn’t be suppressed by only the central air conditioner?
Putting away the thermometer, Chu Yu lay back on his big bed, stretched his long legs, and sent a WeChat message with his phone.
“Ge, can I ask a personal question? When you were young, was there ever a time where you couldn’t restrain your body’s boiling blood and parching heat in the middle of the night?”
His brother’s name was Chu Xuan, the eldest son of the family. He was ten years older than him and was now expanding the territory of the Chu family business abroad.
He replied quickly.
[Chu Xuan: I’m still young.]
[Chu Xuan: Can’t sleep in the middle of the night? Take a cold shower or do it yourself1自己动手丰衣足食: lit. Help yourself to get enough food and clothing. Might be why Chu Yu didn’t get it quickly..]
After reading it twice, back and forth, Chu Yu suddenly came to realize that his older brother was actually frankly driving2开车: lit. driving a car. It means talking about dirty things, pornography, or just sending resources to everyone.!
But it seemed reasonable.
Putting down his anxious heart, Chu Yu threw his phone away and closed his eyes to sleep.
After half a month, Chu Yu stepped onto Qingchuan Road by himself once again.
He didn’t know if it was due to the hot weather, but he had no appetite for anything these past few days. Instead, he always woke up starving in the middle of the night.
Sighing at his porridge this morning, he suddenly recalled that alley off of Qingchuan Road where he seemed to have smelled a special scent.
When he thought of that smell, he wasn’t able to bear it anymore. Chu Yu made an excuse of going out to play with friends and then ran off to Qingchuan Road.
It was a pity that eighty percent of the Chinese calendars stated that today was a terrible day.
He looked at the three delinquents who were blocking his way. Their hair was dyed a sickly yellow and rows of studs pierced their ears while they smoked cigarettes with their mouths.
Their intentions were clear. “Looky here, this must be fate. Did you bring some change to spend?”
As Chu Yu was wearing brandless clothes and shoes, he hadn’t expected to be stopped. He blinked. Slightly raising his chin, he asked, “Do you know Lu Shi?”
He just subconsciously tried to use his name, after all, he was the only gangster he knew of.
Unexpectedly, upon just hearing the name, the three people opposite him looked fearful. They turned to each other and talked in a low voice, “He’s looking for Lu Shi? Could he be Lu Shi, that demon’s, friend?”
They also silently grumbled. These three brothers had noticed Chu Yu’s face, but that was just a part of it. Although he was dressed quite ordinarily, it was obvious he’d been raised carefully, so they just wanted to block his path and make some money.
They didn’t expect to encounter such bad luck.
Among the three, the one in the middle with dirty braids spoke up, “You and Lu Shi know each other?”
“Yeah, he’s my classmate. We’re both in our second year this start of the school year. I came to watch a movie with him.”
The boy with the dirty braids was dubious.
Lu Shi would indeed attend school as a second year who’d received a full scholarship to a private school. The boys had heard of his “brilliant deeds” from their parents to some extent.
But Lu Shi had always been alone. Except for Wei Guanglei and Zhu Zhifei, he’d never been around anyone else.
But if it was true—
“We really have fucking run into a ghost!”
Dirty Braids heard someone’s footsteps nearby and turned around to see Lu Shi and Wei Guanglei coming from around the corner, they walked casually with their hands in their pockets. Lu Shi had his head lowered slightly while listening to Wei Guanglei talk.
This is just too cruel! Fuck!
Dirty Braids subconsciously put on a flattering smile as his cigarette was tossed to the ground and smushed out, like he was currying favor. “Lu-Ge, I wondered why there was a flock of magpies singing at my door early this morning3Magpie has been regarded as an auspicious bird by the common folk since ancient times.. Turns out that I left home just to meet the honorable you!”
Lu Shi wore a pair of white sneakers and a black T-shirt with jeans. His long legs were perfectly straight, whereas the hem of his shirt wasn’t tucked in properly, thus revealing a small section of his belt. His eyebrows were bleak and his eyes were dark. Hearing someone calling him, he slightly squinted and looked over, his gaze making one’s heart suddenly feel a bit cold.
Looking past the three people blocking the front, Lu Shi easily saw Chu Yu standing behind them. He was as clean as glass beads soaked in spring water, completely incompatible with the surrounding environment.
In such a scene, one didn’t even need to think, it was apparent what was happening.
Dirty Braids felt cold sweat run down his back. “I met your classmate and he said he was here to watch a movie with you. We were just about to send someone to inform you, we didn’t expect that you would come here yourself4Dirty Braids is using the formal form of you here, since the magpies sentence. Really currying favor..”
Classmates, watching a movie?
Lu Shi slightly raised his eyebrows and took another look at Chu Yu before withdrawing his gaze. He spoke to Wei Guanglei in a low voice, “Let’s go and eat.”
And then they left.
Chu Yu sighed in his heart, he really should’ve checked the calendar today, the archaic never lied.
He raised his eyes to look at the three people blocking the road and said nothing.
How could Dirty Braids fail to understand? He removed the flattering smile he showed Lu Shi and replaced it with a fierce look in his eyes. “That’s great, you little brat, trying to lie to me, your grandfather? Going on with that Lu Shi’s a classmate shit? Planning to cheerfully watch a movie together? Is this a joke?”
After he spoke, the three of them started to laugh wildly.
Chu Yu was still calm as he questioned, “How much do you want?”
Dirty Braids took a step forward and drew near him. There was a strong stench of smoke on his body and his posture was full of malice. He stretched out his hand and pushed Chu Yu, saying, “You had fun cheating your grandfathers and you just want to sprinkle some money and leave? You thought it’d be that fucking easy? In any case, there’s no need to watch a movie, you can stay here and play.”
Chu Yu subconsciously frowned at the smell of smoke.
Hearing the somewhat low and hoarse voice, Chu Yu was taken aback, thinking it was a hallucination.
He raised his head and saw that Lu Shi, who’d already left, had returned. Standing alone in the alley, the sleeves of his black t-shirt were casually rolled up, revealing cold arms, slim and white.
Chu Yu didn’t know how to react for a while.
Dirty Braids reacted much faster by taking two steps back in an exaggerated manner. “That, Lu-Ge, we—”
Lu Shi didn’t pay any attention to him, his beautiful, narrow eyes looked visibly impatient. He spoke to Chu Yu once again, “Come here.”
Dirty Braids also echoed and turned around to urge Chu Yu in a whisper, “Didn’t you hear him? Hurry up and go, our Lu-Ge told you to come over!”
Passing by the three delinquents, Chu Yu stood beside Lu Shi, all while not knowing what to feel.
After walking for a bit, Chu Yu saw that the guy who’d been with Lu Shi earlier was waiting on the side of the road. He seemed to be staring at the advertisements posted on the concrete wall quite seriously.
Wei Guanglei, who had tanned skin and bright eyes, was very happy to see them return. “Laozi is starving to death. Go go go, let’s go and eat beef at Uncle Yang’s!” He sized up Chu Yu and while acting very familiar, he said, “I was just talking to Lu-Ge and he said that you were the young master who ate at Uncle Yang’s last time, for sure!”
“Hello,” Chu Yu politely answered but his eyes unknowingly floated towards Lu Shi.
“Hello, hello.” Wei Guanglei grinned when he noticed Chu Yu’s small movements. “Lu-Ge caught a cold. Ginger soup and medicine don’t work for him so his throat becomes inflamed. Once it hurts, he’s even less talkative.”
Chu Yu thought, no wonder this person’s voice was lower and hoarse today.
He felt relaxed and didn’t talk much as he just walked behind Lu Shi and listened to Wei Guanglei’s gossip. He would respond appropriately with a few sounds to express that he was listening.
After walking all the way to the entrance of Old Yang’s Beef House, Wei Guanglei spoke to Chu Yu again, “You’ll definitely have beef again, right? We’re eating too so let’s share a table?”
He had a very good impression of Chu Yu. He wasn’t in any way the rich young master Wei Guanglei imagined him to be. Plus, he was happy to solicit business for Uncle Yang.
Chu Yu first glanced at Lu Shi.
His throat must’ve been really uncomfortable as Lu Shi didn’t speak once the entire way. Even when he heard Wei Guanglei talk about sharing tables, his expression didn’t change.
Chu Yu nodded. “Okay.”
Stepping into the store, there was a tall, thin boy wearing glasses who raised his hands and waved. “Lu-Ge, Shitou, here! The food’s already been ordered and served!”
Seeing Lu Shi and Wei Guanglei with a person behind them, Zhu Zhifei pushed up his glasses and asked, “Shitou, your friend?”
Wei Guanglei sat down next to Zhu Zhifei. He reached out his hand to grab the chopsticks from the holder and replied, “You should know him, he’s the young master who came to eat beef here over half a month ago.”
Uncle Yang had mentioned this matter about 800 times, so Zhu Zhifei caught on quickly. “That one with the Rolls-Royce!”
Chu Yu was a little nervous.
Since the boy with glasses asked Shitou to sit beside him, he could only sit with Lu Shi.
Lu Shi was holding a teacup and drinking water. His throat probably still hurt because he frowned when swallowing.
His back was to the store’s entrance, so sitting against the light made his facial features appear more three-dimensional; both his eyes and pupils were dark. With the shadows, it was hard to make out his expressions.
Chu Yu decided to talk less and concentrate on eating rice.
Zhu Zhifei and Wei Guanglei chatted away next to him.
“I heard school is starting. Are you and Lu-Ge moving to campus together?”
Zhu Zhifei swallowed the soft and tasty stewed beef in his mouth and nodded. “That’s what the notice says. During our first year, the admin said that we’ll live in the branch school for a year and when the main school is set up, they’ll bring us all back. Yesterday, lots of students in the class group chat were talking about it. Everyone is excited and wants to see the school flower.”
Wei Guanglei became interested. “Jianing Private’s school flower? Who is it? Are they beautiful?”
No one noticed Chu Yu’s fingers stiffen, causing his chopsticks to almost fall.
“Of course they’re beautiful! All first years from all the branch schools as well as the main school participated in casting votes and it was publicly recognized.” Zhu Zhifei pushed up his glasses again. “Before this, there was a story full of twists and turns!”
“Uncle Yang, another bowl of rice!” Wei Guanglei sipped tea to quench his thirst. “Go on, what story?”
Chu Yu quietly lowered his head.
It made Lu Shi glance at him.
All while Zhu Zhifei began to talk.
“It started with the first years’ entrance exams. There was a question on our Chinese paper that had a low passing rate. The question was, ‘I have seen the buds of spring, the summer shade, the red leaves of autumn, and the winter’s falling snow. All could not compare with blank’. We had to fill in the sentence.
One student had filled in, ‘All could not compare with my face’, causing everyone to freak out and yearn to see who was so ballsy and arrogant. Then everyone saw, and that student really didn’t brag, they weren’t overstating at all!
Thus, in the next voting for the school flower, this guy received an insane number of votes and was elected as Jianing Private’s School Flower!”
Wei Guanglei was speechless. “A guy?”
Zhu Zhifei had a profound expression. “A guy.”
Wei Guanglei was also profoundly moved. “What a legend! He overwhelmed all the girls in school! How beautiful is he?”
The legendary person himself, classmate Chu Yu, just wanted to die on the spot.
- 1自己动手丰衣足食: lit. Help yourself to get enough food and clothing. Might be why Chu Yu didn’t get it quickly.
- 2开车: lit. driving a car. It means talking about dirty things, pornography, or just sending resources to everyone.
- 3Magpie has been regarded as an auspicious bird by the common folk since ancient times.
- 4Dirty Braids is using the formal form of you here, since the magpies sentence. Really currying favor.