Ma Xiaoding was still in a daze when he walked out of the corridor, acting like he’d been the one who’d dominated the scene just now as he told his little follower brothers to prop up a lifeless Zhu Zhixing.
He followed attentively behind Song Yu, and his calls of ’Brother Yu’ was particularly clear and loud. It was like he wanted everyone on the street to hear it.
Song Yu was annoyed by his antics, “What are you doing?”
He hadn’t even started settling accounts with Ma Xiaoding––if he hadn’t come today, would Ma Xiaoding have led his little brothers to find Chen Zhijie and sent themselves to get beaten?
Ma Xiaoding had no self-awareness at all, “Brother Yu! Why did you let that group of people go just now! Didn’t you see how disgusting they were at the start? And your fight today! We’re now completely, thoroughly famous on Linqing Street! School bullies are nothing––we’re the father of this street! Such prestige!”
Song Yu: “……”
Only little brats would look for fights everywhere.
He couldn’t bear it anymore and said coldly, “How many times do I have to tell you? I’m here to learn.”
Ma Xiaoding grew very aggrieved from his stare and finally quieted down.
As they walked on, Ma Xiaoding suddenly found that the scenery around them was familiar, “Ah, how come we’re going in the direction of our junior high school.”
Song Yu was too lazy to deal with him.
Jingcheng No.1 High was very close to the experimental junior high school.
They left Linqing Street and went around two blocks.
After all this, it was already nearing evening. The afterglow of dusk coated the high-rise buildings, shining on the school fence between an allee of trees, the orange light gentle and brilliant. There was a snack street across the school, and the fragrance could be found ten miles away.
Experimental Junior High had also started school.
It wasn’t easy for outsiders to enter, but Song Yu didn’t plan to go in.
He had a deep impression of a particular plot point in <Gentle Control>.
He went straight down the street.
There was an alley at the back entrance of the school with a very big tree planted there, which was shaped a bit like an upside down heart. Because of this, students called it a ‘love tree’. The ‘love tree’ grew against the wall, and it had become a sacred place for students, old and new.
The wall next to the tree was covered with colorful graffiti. It was full of love confessions and anniversary dates. Of course, it wasn’t just love. It was also a wall for the students from the school to vent; hate, jealousy, pressure, and all sorts of negative emotions were left carved on it.
Vague words could be seen, like ‘A certain someone, I like you’, ‘The teacher from Class X is disgusting’, ‘I’m so angry, XXX is a bitch’. However, the most striking thing was a line of text written at the top with a red pen.
“Xie Sui’s mother is a prostitute.”
There were people who’d written question marks below the statement, some who’d added to the situation by following up with ‘hahaha’s and similar comments. It was both extremely innocent and extremely evil.
It was here.
Song Yu had a clear impression of this place.
Because this place was a key plot point in <Gentle Control>. Gong #1 had heard about this place from others and used it to get close to Xie Sui.
This wall was on the way to school for Xie Sui.
Seeing it every day, day after day, revisiting this humiliation and ridicule, written in scarlet, blood red letters. He’d tried to clear up his past, explained it, yelled it, but it was all useless. Any resistance or cover up made him guilty in the eyes of outsiders and, over time, it had become an increasingly accepted ‘truth’.
Ma Xiaoding knew about this area, the love tree and the confession wall. However, in his opinion, it was nothing but a place for little girls to vent their emotions, and he didn’t care about it at all as a school bully.
He kicked up a fuss.
“Brother Yu, why do you know about this place?”
Song Yu’s footsteps came to a stop beneath the tree. He looked up at the colorful wall full of graffiti, ignoring Ma Xiaoding as he looked at Zhu Zhixing, who’d already been scared to the point of having weak knees and trembling lips.
His face didn’t hold much expression and his tone was light, “Is this place familiar?”
For Zhu Zhixing, who’d been scared the whole way over, this sentence was the last straw that crushed the camel’s back. He completely collapsed, kneeling on the ground to cry and wail, “I was wrong! Big brother, I was wrong! I wasn’t the only one who wrote these words, big brother, I’ll tell you their names, please let me go!”
His small eyes were red and he was so scared he was shedding tears. He was really afraid that he’d be killed here by Song Yu. When he turned his head and saw Xie Sui, it was like he’d seen hope. He crawled over on his knees and reached out to tug at Xie Sui’s trousers, “Xie Sui! We grew up together in the same neighborhood, I’m just someone who likes to run their mouth and I say things randomly, but if I ask myself honestly, I really haven’t done anything to you. Please help me out! Xie Sui! Your grandmother knows me! We’re all neighbors, please save me!”
Not just Song Yu, but even the oblivious Ma Xiaoding was about to die from anger at his shamelessness.
He kicked Zhu Zixing on the buttocks, “Just based on those f*cking things you did in junior high! You’ll already be lucky if Xie Sui doesn’t kill you!”
Zhu Zhixing’s tears were like streams down his face, his words incoherent, “I was wrong, I won’t dare to do it again, I was wrong! Big brother, let me go! I want to go home! Xie Sui! Xie Sui! Help me say something!”
Song Yu ignored him and tilted his head towards Xie Sui.
Xie Sui stood in the shadow beneath the leaves. He looked up at the words on the wall, his peach blossom eyes cold and deep.
His expression was half shadowed, and indecipherable.
A long time later, Xie Sui’s lips moved, and he smiled.
It was just that it made everyone present feel an inexplicable sense of danger.
Song Yu was also stunned.
He felt that Xie Sui’s smile just now was very strange, just like his dream of the man in a windbreaker who’d been holding a gun.
The same kind of boredom and indifference.
Zhu Zhixing didn’t speak, but his face was covered in tears as he knelt on the concrete floor, staring dazedly at the youth who walked up to him.
Xie Sui took two steps forward on his long legs, then leaned forward slightly. Beneath his short hair, his black eyes were narrow and cold. The smile on the corner of his lips was faint, and it was unclear if it was joy or anger.
Zhu Zhixing shivered, his entire person stunned silly.
Ma Xiaoding seemed to want to open his mouth and say something useless, but Song Yu stepped on his shoes, causing him to suck in a cold breath and swallow all his words back in.
Zhu Zhixing thought that he would be punched to the ground or kicked over, but the scene of bloody violence in his mind didn’t happen.
From above, there was nothing but the youth’s cold command, “Wipe it off.”
Zhu Zhixing froze briefly from ecstasy. He didn’t have time to deal with his tears and snot, “Yes! Yes! I’ll definitely wipe this wall clean, Xie Sui, I’ll never trouble you again in the future, and I’ll control my mouth from now on!”
He got up too quickly and twisted his foot. His eyebrows pulled together, but it didn’t affect the joy on his face at all. He limped over and crouched at the wall happily and started wiping with his own clothes and saliva. Halfway through, he felt that it was too slow and started scraping at it directly with his hands, not concerning himself with whether or not he was grinding off his nails.
Ma Xiaoding was left dumbfounded; this brat had been let off just like this. He hated iron for not becoming steel, “Xie Sui, this piece of shit treated you like that in junior high; if you don’t dare to do it yourself, I can help you beat him up.”
Song Yu felt that Ma Xiaoding was really useless when it came to thinking, “Is there nothing in your mind except for fighting?”
Ma Xiaoding felt wronged and aggrieved, “……”
Brother Yu, do you really feel like you can say that to me?
Xie Sui’s eyes were on the wall.
It was unknown what he’d recalled after crossing through time and space.
Song Yu pretended to be casual and asked him, “Is that it?”
Xie Sui’s gaze landed on his pale face.
The anger and coldness that had been triggered by this familiar place melted when faced with Song Yu’s eyes.
After a while, he smiled slightly.
“Mm. Let the past remain in the past.”
But cold words flowed in his heart––how could that be.
Song Yu wanted to make Zhu Zhixing shut up for good, but in the final analysis, it was also for the sake of helping Xie Sui untie the knots in his heart from the past.
In the original work, Gong #1 had led Xie Sui here and ordered his subordinates to erase that line of text in front of his eyes.
Now, Song Yu simply brought Zhu Zhixing to this place.
The person who wrote it should be the one who erased it.
The causes and effects of this grievance and resentment could be wrapped up.
“Did you guys have a class group? For junior high.”
Song Yu turned his head to ask Ma Xiaoding.
Ma Xiaoding thought for a while and then shook his head firmly, “No!”
The younger brother behind him was surprised, his head filled with confusion, “What do you mean, no? Brother Ma, did you forget? When the group was first made, you were the most aggressive one there and had to kick up a fuss about everything! As a result, the class monitor was scared into tears in the middle of the night because of your profile picture and you were kicked out the next day.”
Ma Xiaoding: “……”
Song Yu looked at him.
The atmosphere instantly became awkward.
Ma Xiaoding’s younger brother noticed something was wrong after the fact, “I… Did I say something I shouldn’t have said?”
The corner of Song Yu’s lips twitched, “You didn’t. Thank you.”
The younger brother: “??!!!”
What should he do?! After getting a compliment from Brother Yu, he felt like he was about to ascend to heaven.
I also want a compliment from Brother Yu. Senpai, notice me!