Translator: Rin Editor: dedaign Proofreader: Amber.es
Since it was currently rush hour, the canteen was filled with people. When Mo Lingqiu and Jiang Chenming arrived at the canteen together, they became the center of everyone’s attention.
“They really came together.”
“Jiang Chenming even helped Teacher Mo get his chopsticks and spoon.”
“They’re so outstanding, but they aren’t mine.”
“I regret it now! My first love, wuwuwu!”
Mo Lingqiu could hear the sporadic discussion from the people surrounding them. He showed a calm expression, but in his heart he was uneasy. This was the first time he felt everyone’s eyes on him after his true gender announcement.
On the other hand, Jiang Chenming wished the discussion would continue. It would be better if they would say things like ‘suitable for each other’ or ‘perfect pair’ so that Mo Lingqiu might favour him more.
Mo Lingqiu carried the aromatic beef and egg noodles. He saw there were quite a lot of empty tables in the canteen, so he asked the person next to him, “Where should we sit?”
“There, then.” Jiang Chenming was worried that Mo Lingqiu might dislike hearing people talking about them, so he pointed towards a corner where no one was sitting.
“En.” Mo Lingqiu nodded and walked in that direction holding his plate.
After they sat across from each other, Jiang Chenming passed the chilli sauce near him to Mo Lingqiu. “This is quite spicy. You can try it.”
“En.” Mo Lingqiu had tried it before. Jiang Chenming was probably just trying to find a topic for conversation.
Mo Lingqiu usually liked to have either sauce or side dishes with his meals. Adding in chili and vinegar was his favourite way to eat beef noodles.
Jiang Chenming watched Mo Lingqiu add two spoons of chilli into his bowl, making the soup look bright red. He couldn’t resist asking, “Teacher Mo, do you really like eating spicy stuff that much?”
“…It’s still fine.” Eating spicy food meant sweating, so Mo Lingqiu used this as a way to release his stress.
Jiang Chenming also added half a spoon of chilli into his bowl. They both sweated as they ate, sitting opposite to each other.
Mo Lingqiu always ate quietly, but that didn’t stop him from having tacit communication with Jiang Chenming. Jiang Chenming would always know when he needed tissue and would hand it over to him.
As they were finishing their lunch, many people sat around them. Although Mo Lingqiu tried to ignore them, their sights still hovered around him and Jiang Chenming.
Jiang Chenming had also noticed. He was worried that Mo Lingqiu might feel uncomfortable. “Teacher Mo, we’ll leave once you finish eating.”
“It’s okay.” Mo Lingqiu looked forward and continued slowly chewing and swallowing.
Jiang Chenming was relieved. “Teacher Mo, I’m going to join a competition starting next week. Do you want to come and take a look?”
“Competition?” Mo Lingqiu’s hand froze. The noodle he was about to eat slipped down his chopsticks and fell back into the bowl.
“A basketball competition. A friendly match in our school.”
In order to not let the students’ bodies ‘rust’, University A would hold a lot of sports competitions every year in early winter. They weren’t conducted like any typical sports day. Instead, the competitions were freely organized by each club. After confirming the competitions’ rules and time, the roster of students joining the competitions would be handed in, and the competitions would begin one after another. Among all the activities, the school’s inner basketball friendly match was a relatively major event.
“Last time…” Mo Lingqiu rarely attended the school’s group events, so he didn’t know what the difference was between the upcoming basketball competition and the one Jiang Chenming had gone out of school to participate in.
“Last time was the national university basketball competition. I was just a reserve player for that, since I already won the national championship when I was still an undergraduate student.”
Mo Lingqiu nodded as if he was thinking about something. He remembered that Jiang Chenming had explained it to him before.
“This time, it’s University A’s inner competition. I’m joining as a main player, so, Teacher Mo, do you wanna come?” Jiang Chenming invited him again.
Mo Lingqiu fell into silence for a while before he nodded. “Next week?”
“Next week at the North Campus basketball court. I’ll tell you which court when they confirm!” Jiang Chenming was ecstatic that Mo Lingqiu had accepted his invitation.
“Okay.” Mo Lingqiu thought for a while. Since he wasn’t busy the next week, there would be no harm in watching the match.
Jiang Chenming smiled even brighter. He gave a few slices of the beef in his bowl to Mo Lingqiu. “Teacher, eat more.”
Before Mo Lingqiu had the chance to reject him, a weird cry echoed in his ears. Then someone suddenly appeared beside them, sitting down in a seat that had initially been vacant.
“Oh,” Fan Nian said with a high pitch before smiling brightly. “Sharing your beef with Teacher Mo?”
“Yeah.” Jiang Chenming wasn’t at all embarrassed and agreed naturally.
The base of Mo Lingqiu’s ear heated up. He couldn’t return the beef now, could he? He lowered his head, picking up some beef and noodles with his chopsticks before stuffing them into his mouth, and ignored Fan Nian’s teasing.
Fan Nian smelled the scent in the air. After he caught the scent of sweet milk mingling with bitter almonds on Mo Lingqiu, he gave a weird smile and nudged Mo Lingqiu’s arm. “Marked?”
Mo Lingqiu’s face flushed. He stayed silent.
“It’s only temporary,” Jiang Chenming quickly revealed, trying to decrease Mo Lingqiu’s embarrassment.
Fan Nian pointed at Jiang Chenming. “You should be laughing already.”
He wasn’t even really someone easy to get close with in the first place, not to mention him doing something as intimate as marking.
The fact that Jiang Chenming had gotten a chance to temporarily mark him already proved that Mo Lingqiu was used to having him around. Otherwise he would have pushed him away and borne the heat himself, even if they had a 100% compatibility rate.
From the beginning, Jiang Chenming had a big chance of winning.
However, Fan Nian thought that it was better if he didn’t reveal that to Jiang Chenming so that Jiang Chenming would lack confidence and treat Mo Lingqiu better.
Not only did Jiang Chenming laugh, he also smiled a lot these days. His close friends even said that his mood was really great recently, going as far as teasing him, saying that he was indeed someone in a relationship.
“I’m done eating.” Mo Lingqiu put down the bowl; there was only a little soup left inside.
“Should we go?” Jiang Chenming asked.
“En.” Mo Lingqiu lifted the plate and stood up. “What about you, Fan Nian?”
“I’m not leaving. I haven’t finished eating yet, alright? I just came here to chat with you guys. You guys can go now, no need to wait for me.” Fan Nian winked at Mo Lingqiu. “Dating is more important.”
Mo Lingqiu pursed his lips. He didn’t confirm or deny, and left while holding the plate. Jiang Chenming followed behind him.
When they both left the canteen, Jiang Chenming was still following Mo Lingqiu and he didn’t plan on going back to the North Campus. He looked like he really wanted to send Mo Lingqiu back to his office.
Mo Lingqiu had no way to deal with him and allowed him to do so.
After entering the office, Mo Lingqiu arranged the scattered things on his table and then started moving to grab a chair from the computer room next door to bring into his office.
Jiang Chenming grasped his wrist when Mo Lingqiu was almost at the door. “I’m only staying here for a while.”
Mo Lingqiu lifted his head. “Not gonna take a seat?”
“Nah, I still need to go to the stadium later.” Jiang Chenming also wanted to stay for a while more, but his lunch break was about to end.
“Oh.” Mo Lingqiu gave up on getting a chair. He walked to the corner and unfolded the folding bed, preparing for his afternoon nap.
Jiang Chenming looked at the simple folding bed and asked in astonishment, “Teacher Mo, do you always take a nap here during the afternoons?”
“En, going home is troublesome.” Mo Lingqiu was in the habit of taking afternoon naps, but driving home just for a nap was indeed too troublesome. He would rather rest a little in the office.
Jiang Chenming noticed that he didn’t even have a blanket or pillow. It was only a simple wooden bed, and he suddenly became upset. He took off his coat. “Take this.”
“…Ah?” Mo Lingqiu didn’t understand.
“It’s getting colder and you don’t even have a blanket.” Jiang Chenming stuffed the clothing into his hands. “Cover with this when you sleep. I’ll bring you a blanket and a pillow tomorrow.”
“…No need for that,” Mo Lingqiu said as he took two books from the table and placed them on the bed where the pillow should have been.
Jiang Chenming didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Mo Lingqiu was usually so wise, but why was he so silly when it came to things like that?
“Teacher Mo, are you going to use the newspaper as your blanket next? Surrounded by words?”
“…It’s not impossible,” Mo Lingqiu replied without hesitation.
Jiang Chenming couldn’t help laughing this time. “Then cover yourself with this coat. Return it to me when I come and pick you up from work.”
Mo Lingqiu didn’t object. He lay down on the two books.
Jiang Chenming helped cover him with his coat. “Teacher Mo, rest well. I’ll leave first. “
“…En.” Mo Lingqiu took off his glasses and watched him slowly walk out. Just when the door of the office was going to close, he called out, “Wait.”
“What’s wrong?” Jiang Chenming pushed open the door and came back in.
“I… I went to find Bao Wen for a pheromone test a while ago. He said you should do it once as well.”
“A while ago?”
“Around the end of October.”
Jiang Chenming froze. It had already been a month. “Okay, then, tonight…”
“When does your training, or class, finish tonight?”
“It’s going to end at around 3 today,” Jiang Chenming roughly estimated.
“Then I’ll see you later in the afternoon,” Mo Lingqiu said as he used the coat to cover half of his face. Then he closed his eyes.
Jiang Chenming stared at him for a while. Even though his eyes were closed, his eyelashes were trembling due to nervousness. He remembered the words he had said before he fell asleep and only then realised what Mo Lingqiu wanted to say.
If he hadn’t interpreted it wrong, was Mo Lingqiu saying, “Wait for me to pick you up in the afternoon”?
Oh shit. What should he do as a manly alpha when his heart was tickled?