The heavy rain that had been pouring for a long time finally stopped.
As the car’s tires drove over sunken puddles from time to time, there was the faint sound of gurgling water in the underbrush beside the road.
The passenger seat’s window had been open for a while, so Chu Yu was a bit cold from the blowing breeze.
His clothes wet from the rain had been changed into a spare set which Lu Shi had in the car, they carried a familiar smell of laundry detergent.
Seeing him rub his arms twice, Lu Shi raised the window and said in a low voice, “You’ll catch a cold.”
In the back seat, Zhu Zhifei and Wei Guanglei were still arguing loudly about whether the barbecue stall by the river was open or not.
Lu Shi was too lazy to argue and simply drove the car directly to the Qingchuan River bank.
Qingchuan River’s water level had risen a lot while the road signs standing there had been washed clean by the rain.
The riverbank was quiet as there wasn’t a single person present. It was a heavy rainfall, thus there weren’t any shadows of people fishing tonight, let alone barbecue stalls.
Wei Guanglei and Zhu Zhifei crammed onto one side, grabbed the glass window, and simultaneously sighed, “Ai, our midnight snacks are gone!”
Lu Shi turned the steering wheel with one hand and asked Chu Yu, “What do you want to eat?”
“I don’t have anything I wanna eat.” Chu Yu contemplated for a while before speaking again, “I’m a bit cold, something warm is fine.”
The car’s headlights switched on. Turning around, Lu Shi once again drove on the road.
The car was first returned to the small garage of the auto repair shop. Then the group took many twists and turns before finally arriving in front of a petite store.
The store’s door was very small with two reddish-brown clay pots of aloe vera arranged at the doorway, and a menu board written in red paint erected next to it. Inside the shop were two bright lamps and five square tables— all small.
Sitting down on the blue plastic stool, Lu Shi questioned Chu Yu, “Is tangyuan1Lu Shi specifically said 醪糟小汤圆 which translates to small glutinous rice balls in sweet rice wine (1st pic). 2nd pic is typical tangyuan
Bubbles: I want all this
Chu Yu had no problems with what to eat. “Yes.”
Wei Guanglei and Zhu Zhifei had been starving since earlier and ordered all of the signature meat dishes on the menu board. While waiting for the dishes, they were so hungry that they cleaned up a plate of peanuts.
Zhu Zhifei touched his unstocked belly. Remembering something, he excitedly said, “By the way, friendly forces have sent a war report today!”
Wei Guanglei was lifting a teapot to pour water for himself. “What friendly forces?”
“It’s about the matter regarding Guan Yiyang and Fang Mingzhe. Those two transferred fast, flying to No. 11 High School. I happen to know several classmates from junior high who all attend No. 11 High School. When I was talking on the phone while studying with them, I accidentally spilled about those two’s partnership in framing School Flower for falsely cheating, and stealing test papers to cheat— their deeply hidden meritorious deeds and fame.”
Wei Guanglei helped Zhu Zhifei fill his teacup. “Brother, nice job!”
“You flatter me.”
Zhu Zhifei pushed up his glasses, his tone a little serious. “These two people possess good grades, but their characters aren’t really proper. If they’re not taught a little lesson, they might do this framing thing to others in the future. There exist people like this, who never reflect on what bad things they’ve done or how much harm they’ve put people in. They think that if they change schools and pat their buttocks, they can flip over a new page; pick themselves clean, like a white lotus breaking through the water’s surface. After that, the dirty water will probably be splashed onto the victim.”
“Thanks,” uttered Chu Yu.
Zhu Zhifei touched the back of his head. “Don’t mind, don’t mind.”
The dishes then arrived.
Placed in front of Wei Guanglei and Zhu Zhifei were all meat dishes, while Lu Shi only had a bowl of noodles and Chu Yu a bowl of tangyuan.
Lu Shi naturally stuck his fingers briefly against the side of the bowl. “It’s very hot, drink slowly.”
Chu Yu held the porcelain spoon, scooped a spoonful of soup, and blew on it before putting it into his mouth.
The warmth traveled along his esophagus into his stomach, making his whole body nice and toasty.
No one spoke while eating.
Not until Zhu Zhifei put down his chopsticks and looked at Chu Yu. “Right, School Flower, are you returning to school tonight? Or tomorrow?”
Jianing Private wasn’t strict in this aspect and usually didn’t check the beds. As long as their roommate didn’t say anything, even if one hadn’t been at school all night, the gods wouldn’t know and ghosts wouldn’t be able to sense so.
Before Chu Yu could answer, Lu Shi spoke first, “It’s too late, you’re going home with me. He’s sleeping at my place.”
Zhu Zhifei nodded but then immediately followed with, “By the way Lu-Ge, will he lie on your sofa to sleep? Won’t two people lying on a 1.8 meter bed be crowded? I have an empty bed at home, do you want to come back with me, School Flower?”
Lu Shi raised his eyelids and said nothing.
Chu Yu promptly replied, “It’s okay, don’t bother uncle and aunt. I’ll go stay with Lu Shi.”
Zhu Zhifei didn’t insist. “Well, that’s fine.”
Chu Yu went home with Lu Shi again.
Flipping on the light, Lu Shi said in advance, “Isn’t it cold? Go take a hot bath first.”
Chu Yu had been drenched in the rain. Although he’d changed his clothes and his hair was about to dry naturally, his physique wasn’t too good.
In order to avoid catching a cold tomorrow, Chu Yu conscientiously went to the bathroom to take a bath.
Coming out with damp hair, Chu Yu was about to take the towel he’d used last time to dry his hair when Lu Shi handed him a light blue hairdryer.
It was brand new, the wires were still tied together and hadn’t been spread apart.
Obviously, when he stayed last time, he’d asked Lu Shi if he had a hairdryer at home and he’d answered no.
Chu Yu blinked and stretched out his hand to accept it. “Newly bought?”
After responding, Lu Shi bypassed Chu Yu and walked into the bathroom.
With a soft ‘pa’, the bathroom door closed, followed by the sound of water from the shower turning on.
The surroundings became silent with the occasional sound of hoots coming from afar. The wind mixed with water vapor was moist, wafting into the room from the open window. It was a bit cold.
Chu Yu found the socket in the bedroom and with a ‘shwoo’ he blew his hair. The scene of Lu Shi lowering the car window to gaze at him on the track inadvertently jumped out as he did so.
After a while of being dazed, Chu Yu’s line of sight landed on Lu Shi’s desk.
There were a lot of exercise sets and reference books piled on it, as well as a few white papers.
On a piece of paper, various words were written in pencil.
A familiar handwriting with sharp, dauntless strokes.
Chu Yu whispered the contents of the topmost paper, “Faint spring breeze, perpetual clear days, blossoms fall a thousand feet, peaches and apricots scatter along the suburbs, honey bees come and go, a sweet fragrance floats and tosses…”
Having studied earnestly for more than half a month, he was sure that he hadn’t studied this before.
After fishing for the phone thrown beside him, Chu Yu easily searched it up and found that the words were from the poem ‘XiJiangYueMan’2I decided to keep it in pinyin as it wasn’t clear whether it’s moon or months. I also changed the one in ch26., which wasn’t in the textbook.
He switched to the words written on the remaining papers, searching them all up one by one, he then found that the authors were different, but the poems were the same. They were all ‘XiJiangYueMan’.3If you’ve gone back to ch26 to check, this is indeed a different poem with the same title. I’m sorry but I don’t have the drive to translate another poem, I’m so done XD. But they basically have the same idea about a forgotten lover (actually im not sure, i scanned the poem but im not that great to understand it fully TT)
Maybe this was Lu Shi’s hobby, or perhaps he was simply practicing calligraphy while solving questions?
No longer paying attention to this, Chu Yu unplugged the hairdryer and coiled the cord. Then he started a game and waited for Lu Shi while playing.
But within two minutes of playing, Chu Yu became sleepy. He used a quilt to wrap himself up and began hypnotizing himself by telling stories.
This was a habit he’d acquired as a child.
When he’d been young, his mother hadn’t been at home, and his elder brother and sister were both studying in boarding schools abroad and couldn’t come back several times a year. Every time after turning off the light, he’d tightly closed his eyes but still hadn’t been able to fall asleep due to fear.
Slowly, Chu Yu had learned to tell himself stories as hypnosis.
While muttering a story in whispers, he suddenly noticed something was wrong.
Chu Yu cautiously opened one eye, glanced at the door, and found a person standing there.
Lu Shi had finished taking a shower and was wearing a loose gray T-shirt. He said with great interest, “Little Turtle Butch heard about this, so he hurried to leave and climbed up the mountain?”
His voice was soft and husky, very pleasant to hear, and with a slight smile at the end; it made people listen and their ears inexplicably numb.
Chu Yu realized that he’d been discovered, so his acting skills reached their peak in an instant. With a face of pure doubt, he retorted, “What are you talking about? What little turtle?”
Lu Shi didn’t expose him.
Lying down on the other side of the bed, Lu Shi turned off the light. “Sleepy? Go to sleep ba.”
Chu Yu was so angry—
I heard it! He must be laughing at me!
Just as he was so indignantly wanting to secretly bite the pillow, Lu Shi stretched his finger over and touched the corner of his lips. “Want?”
Chu Yu resentfully opened his mouth and bit Lu Shi’s fingertip.
Chu Yu got up late the next morning.
When he sat up from the bed, he was alone in the room and the sky was already bright outside.
It was ten o’clock when he checked the time.
Rolling around on the bed while wrapped in the quilt, Chu Yu stared at the ceiling and spent three seconds in a trance before deciding to send a message to Zhang Yueshan, inquiring about the situation.
Zhang Yueshan replied quickly and asked Chu Yu if his illness was better.
After asking again, he found out that Zhu Zhifei had already helped him request for leave. The reason being that he’d been drenched in the rain and had caught a fever. He’d gone to the hospital so he couldn’t attend class.
Chu Yu instantly calmed down, threw away his phone, and went back to supplement his sleep comfortably before getting up very slowly.
Opening the curtains, Chu Yu was dazzled by the light outside.
Lu Shi’s bedroom window wasn’t facing the street, but rather a small alley behind Qingchuan Road, which wasn’t as noisy. With the windows closed, the rowdy clamors couldn’t be heard even more.
Stretching, Chu Yu was humming a couple of songs in a beautiful mood when suddenly, his line of sight fixed on—
Crap, isn’t that Lu Shi downstairs?
In the narrow alley, Lu Shi was talking to some people with his hands in his pockets.
There were several people standing opposite him. Chu Yu looked carefully and found that they seemed familiar— it was those several sleeve-tattooed guys they had met once before.
The sleeve-tattooed men were obviously very afraid of Lu Shi, standing at least two or three meters away.
But watching this situation, Chu Yu was as tense as a taut bowstring. Running in his mind was what Wei Guanglei had mentioned before about Lu Shi’s fighting strength being high, but his provocation and stimulating skills being higher.
Thinking about Lu Shi’s obviously terrible mood these past two days, and how he almost toyed with his life by going street racing yesterday, Chu Yu’s heart was a bit uneasy.
Before he could react, it wasn’t known what Lu Shi said below, but a sleeve-tattooed guy wearing red shorts yelled something and the next second, he led his little brothers to go up and encircle him.
Chu Yu turned around and ran downstairs.
Because he wasn’t familiar with the roads here, after going downstairs, he went in the wrong direction and found that it wasn’t right, so he changed directions and continued running.
When he arrived on the battlefield, a group of sleeve-tattooed guys had fallen halfway.
There were so many people confronting him, and Lu Shi probably got hit in the arm, rendering it inflexible.
Qiang-Ge actually really didn’t want to fight with Lu Shi.
Early this morning, he brought his group of little brothers from the beginning to the end of Qingchuan Road, collecting protection fees one by one. Collecting made him very happy, he was already thinking about where he’d go to hang around at night.
As he walked through an alley, intending to take a shortcut, he didn’t expect to run into a boy in a school uniform, who was even carrying breakfast in his hand.
Some of the little brothers beneath him were new here, and the protection fee they had collected went a bit to their heads. Seeing no one else around and that he was easy to bully, they opened their mouths and did so. “You in the front, care to give that pocket money and breakfast money in the bag to me, your grandpa, to spend?”
He’d originally sensed a familiar feeling when he saw that back, but without having yet recalled the reason why, he saw the boy who was called to stop turn around with soy milk and buns in hand.
Brother Qiang’s breathing hitched.
What kind of blood bacteria in fucking eight lifetimes is this, to have come across this demon Lu Shi?4The bad luck has become a bacteria in your blood you can’t get rid of and it follows you through eight lifetimes.
Towards Lu Shi, Qiang-Ge had developed a psychological shadow. This person was young but he was terrifyingly ruthless. Up until now, he still remembered the feeling of his intestines being mushed due to Lu Shi’s knee that had hit the center of his stomach.
But his brothers were watching, and the person had already been called to a stop. If he didn’t do anything, he, this elder brother, would truly lose face.
Qiang-Ge began pondering whether he should continue bullshitting or retreat at top speed.
However, Lu Shi didn’t give them this opportunity.
In the wake of the sound of approaching footsteps, Qiang-Ge lay on the ground with both hands covering his stomach. He turned his head with difficulty, wanting to tell the passerby to call the police for help. Today’s Lu Shi was much more ferocious than last time. His eyes were as if dipped in frosty ice, screaming hostility from head to toe. He wanted to ask: who the hell provoked you and made you this crazy!?
Unexpectedly, when he clearly saw the person coming over, he wasn’t able to catch his breath— motherfucker, it’s that Communist Youth League member!
It wasn’t once or twice that Chu Yu had bumped into Lu Shi fighting. He bypassed the sleeve-tattooed guy who was lying down motionless, and stood next to Lu Shi, anxiously asking, “Are you injured?”
Lu Shi saw that Chu Yu’s hair was still tussled, sticking up, and his clothes weren’t properly worn. He obviously ran down in a hurry.
“En, I’ve woken up, but—”
Chu Yu paused and wrinkled his nose.
He smelled an awfully bitter smell, somewhat similar to the scent of a large box of Chinese medicine boiled together in a cauldron.
Following the odor, Chu Yu turned around and found a person lying in the junction between the walls. Supposedly, his unhealed wound had burst and a lot of blood had flowed out, red to the point of being garish.
Chu Yu smelled such a strong, bitter scent for the first time and couldn’t help but glance at the man’s wound.
The smell was so bitter and unpleasant, it was truly rare!
He didn’t notice that Lu Shi was standing behind him and that his expression suddenly darkened coldly when he spotted his gaze on another’s spilled blood.
The strong hostility in his heart could no longer be suppressed. Lu Shi inserted his hands into his pockets and moved forward half a step. His lips were pressed close to Chu Yu’s ear and his voice was very soft. “Are you smelling his blood? Chu Yu.”
The author has something to say: Here’s a heart made up of bitter medicine~
Sorry to update only now. I was sick today and had to take leave on Weibo and writing at the same time~
Speaking of, I cried twice today because I was too uncomfortable hahaha, now I’m much better after taking the medicine la~ happy!
- 1Lu Shi specifically said 醪糟小汤圆 which translates to small glutinous rice balls in sweet rice wine (1st pic). 2nd pic is typical tangyuan
Bubbles: I want all this
- 2I decided to keep it in pinyin as it wasn’t clear whether it’s moon or months. I also changed the one in ch26.
- 3If you’ve gone back to ch26 to check, this is indeed a different poem with the same title. I’m sorry but I don’t have the drive to translate another poem, I’m so done XD. But they basically have the same idea about a forgotten lover (actually im not sure, i scanned the poem but im not that great to understand it fully TT)
- 4The bad luck has become a bacteria in your blood you can’t get rid of and it follows you through eight lifetimes.