Devil’s WarmthChapters List
Chapter 54: Affection
Pei Chuan's birthday happened to be on Tuesday. It was rare for him to come early to the classroom.
At that time, the sky hadn’t completely brightened. Yet, there was the shadow of someone writing passionately.
Ji Wei, who was doing homework, pushed his glasses up and turned his head. “Chuan Ge? You're early?”
Ji Wei would arrive at the classroom at 6 o'clock every day to write yesterday's homework. Then he would copy it three times, and the homework for four people would be done. But, ever since Chuan Ge had gotten first place on the exam, he had been saved from writing his share. Hence, Ji Wei only had to write two extra copies, Jin Ziyang's and Zheng Hang's.
This habit had been maintained for a year. From the beginning, Pei Chuan hadn’t needed Ji Wei to write his share, but Ji Wei had insisted, “I have to make two copies anyway. Chuan Ge, the teacher won't have a good impression if you don’t hand in your homework.”
Pei Chuan didn't care; he could do as he pleased. Unexpectedly, it had been almost two years since then.
Ji Wei was the most hardworking student in class, but sitting with Pei Chuan and Jin Ziyang, he became one of the worst students in the teachers’ eyes.
Ji Wei did his homework continuously, afraid that the teachers would have a bad impression if he didn’t. But for most teachers, he had already made a mistake from the beginning just by sitting there. So no matter how diligent he was, because his grades never improved, he would not get other peoples’ approval.
Because he wasn’t good at studying, he was slow at doing his homework and always needed to finish it on the second day. Ji Wei had fallen into this vicious cycle for a long time.
Pei Chuan sat on his seat and glanced at Ji Wei.
It had been two years.
For the first time, he understood. He wasn’t someone like Jin Ziyang and Zheng Hang. Rather, he was like Ji Wei.
Ji Wei liked studying. In the eyes of outsiders, he looked funny and even got ridiculed often because he rarely passed. Ji Wei liked studying. In other people’s eyes, he had stained the meaning of studying, but Ji Wei had never thought of giving up for over ten years.
On the other hand, Pei Chuan… liked Bei Yao.
He was more stupid and serious when it came to liking Bei Yao than Ji Wei’s liking for studying.
But if it was found out by others, how could it not become a stain in the eyes of others and Bei Yao?
“Ji Wei, which university do you want to go to?”
Ji Wei had never thought there would be a day Chuan Ge would ask him this question. He turned his head, eyes bright. “I want to go to Cambridge.”
If there had been other people, they definitely would’ve laughed. But Pei Chuan couldn’t laugh at him, because the one he liked… was a girl he could never get for a lifetime.
“I once read Xu Zhimo's ‘Farewell to Cambridge’. For the quiet is the flute’s melody of farewell, even the summer insects remain silent, silence tonight Cambridge!* I think, one day I will study at Cambridge. I want to depend on my own efforts to pass the test.”
*t/n: A part of a poem by 徐志摩 (Xú Zhìmó) 《再別康橋》
“What if you don’t pass the test next year?”
“If I can’t pass the exam in one year, then two years. If I can’t pass in two years, then ten years. One day, I will stand on that piece of land as a student of Cambridge University.”
Ji Wei was a bit embarrassed when he finished speaking. After all, he also knew there was little hope; the probability was only one in ten thousand. He couldn’t help but look at Pei Chuan’s expression.
Instead, he saw that Chuan Ge was silent for a while before agreeing. “En.”
He would love her for a year, two years, ten years, for a lifetime.
It didn’t matter if she didn't like him.
Ji Wei said, “Chuan Ge, you can definitely pass the Cambridge exam. I’ve checked it, you definitely can!” He was enthusiastic to recommend the advantages of Cambridge University to Pei Chuan.
“Shut up, you are noisy.”
Ji Wei, “...”
Pei Chuan wouldn’t go to Cambridge. He wanted to guard his little crescent moon.
Jin Ziyang and the others only came late in the morning, just in time to meet the math class representative who had come to collect homework. Ji Wei skillfully handed in several copies of homework. He had not written Pei Chuan’s share as usual, so the class representative asked Pei Chuan for his homework.
“I didn’t write it,” said Pei Chuan.
He hadn’t had the mind to care about his homework these past two days.
The math class representative silently wrote Pei Chuan’s name and ran away.
Pei Chuan ignored it.
Jin Ziyang asked, “Chuan Ge, today is your birthday, ah. Why don’t we skip class and go to Qin Shi to play? By the way, what gift do you want? I’ll buy it for you.”
Pei Chuan said, “Be safe.”
Jin Ziyang knew that he couldn’t run. He really hated listening to the teachers. Only Ji Wei listened to the teacher with great interest. For him, the teacher was saying something incomprehensible. He sat there bored. If he played with his phone, his phone might be taken away, so annoying.
On the contrary, Zheng Hang observed Pei Chuan's complexion. It seemed quite normal, ah, he hadn’t been stimulated and gone crazy, right?
However, when everyone came sincerely to class in the afternoon, they found that Pei Chuan hadn't come.
Jin Ziyang, “...”
The gossip of the school flower giving kisses collapsed by itself yesterday. Han Zhen’s friend revealed that Bei Yao had not come to see him. It was inevitable that no one got to see the shocking drama.
The other thing that made Bei Yao embarrassed was that Han Zhen’s friend, Gong Can, was injured.
When they went to the infirmary, they were told to send him to the hospital. The school doctor had even said, "I don't dare to treat this injury, How come you young people said that it was just a little fight and was not serious. It is just like a professional boxer’s wound. Take him away quickly!”
The group of teenagers hurriedly left for the hospital.
Bei Yao felt very guilty. Yesterday had been Han Zhen’s eighteenth birthday. He was really unlucky. Because of the rumor, his birthday party had been ruined.
Bei Yao had taken a leave a long time ago, but now she couldn’t go to see Pei Chuan. Instead, she had to visit the hospital.
The problem had been caused by Pei Chuan, so someone had to solve it, right?
She had come to see the wounded, after all, so Bei Yao bought fruits and flowers and contacted Han Zhen first. Han Zhen told her the hospital and ward’s number, and Bei Yao went to see Gong Can.
Han Zhen also came to the hospital in the early morning. Although his relationship with Gong Can was normal, he had gotten hurt when he was with him after all.
He also didn’t feel comfortable taking time off early to visit Gong Can.
When Bei Yao came, Han Zhen said, "Don’t take it to heart, this matter…… is also the fault of Gong Can's dirty mouth."
Seeing that Bei Yao didn’t understand, Han Zhen knew that she didn’t hear what they had said yesterday.
The young girl's face was clear and beautiful, quiet and nice in the afternoon sun of May.
Han Zhen's heart was a little bitter, but he smiled and asked, "The one who beat people up yesterday, is he the one you like?"
Bei Yao didn't expect how people were so blunt nowadays, so she put the fruit on the hospital bench. Bei Yao's cheeks were slightly red and she didn't say anything. After all, she and Han Zhen weren't familiar to the point where she had to tell him about who she liked.
Bei Yao said, “Gong Can’s injury is very serious, he deserves an apology. I’ll go and apologize to him.”
Han Zhen nodded. He also couldn’t make a decision for Gong Can.
Before Bei Yao had the chance to enter the ward, she saw a black-haired boy coming out of the stairs.
He wore a white button-down shirt that was neatly closed all the way to his throat.
As soon as Han Zhen saw this man, he subconsciously remembered the fierce fight last night and frowned.
Bei Yao was still angry with Pei Chuan and didn't really want to talk to him.
Pei Chuan had guessed that she would’ve come here. He walked over and whispered, "I'll go to apologize, wait for me."
Bei Yao raised her eyes to look at Pei Chuan.
Han Zhen couldn’t help but look over. This person didn’t look like a person who would bow his head. He was the kind who would spit out his bloody teeth even if he had been beaten to death.
Pei Chuan opened the door and went in. Gong Can was not asleep, his face was already swollen. Pei Chuan took out the prepared medical fee as an apology. "I'm sorry."
The inside and outside of the ward was a little quiet.
Bei Yao saw Pei Chuan apologize to someone for the first time.
Gong Can was also shocked. He saw this person and subconsciously felt that this person would beat him again. Pei Chuan said, "Hitting people is wrong of me, but… if you spout that kind of nonsense again, I'll repeat what happened, or maybe do something even worse."
Gong Can, “...” He didn’t dare to take the medical fee anymore.
Pei Chuan laid the money next to his bed. When he came out, he called Bei Yao, "Okay, let's go."
Now that Bei Yao had seen him, she remembered the long lingering kiss last night. It had obviously been him… Okay, she had forgotten about it.
She still left the fruit and quickly walked out of the hospital.
The air outside the hospital was much fresher, and the streets were very lively. The sun in early summer was not hot. Rather, it made people feel lazy and comfortable.
She still remembered that Pei Chuan had told her to forget it, which made her very angry. Even if today was his birthday, it couldn’t block the annoyance in her heart.
That had been her… first kiss.
Bei Yao gritted her teeth and ran towards the bus stop. There was still a whole afternoon left for today’s leave. It was better for her to go home rather than sulk there.
Pei Chuan didn’t like to run. His prosthetic would make running hurt for him, and his posture might look unnatural. However, he had run twice, once at the marathon, and once when she had been angry.
He caught up with her, gently supporting her shoulder with his hand.
She raised her head. She was young and was full of anger, so she reached out to shove his hand away.
Pei Chuan obediently put down his hand.
“Listen to me,” the young boy said with a gentle voice. “I was wrong and made you angry.”
Her grievance seemed to silently fade away with his apology.
Pei Chuan lowered his eyes. There was only her image in his pupils. “The average life expectancy in the 21st century is 70 years. You’re only 17 this year, it’s not even one-fourth of it. You’ll later go to university and meet a lot of wonderful people. Also… there are many fish in the sea. Your horizons will be broadened, your world will get bigger, and your preferences will change.”
The bus stop wasn’t far away, and the trees on the side of the street cast a summer-flavored silhouette under the sunlight.
He smiled and looked at her tenderly. "Yaoyao, you’re still very young. You don't know how bad my situation is."
Bei Yao was originally very angry with him, but he had never... so gently and bluntly laid out his flaws in front of her like this, which were clearly the things he cared about the most. Her eyes suddenly reddened.
He had said, she didn’t know how bad he really was.
A person would meet many people in his life, and maybe in the next moment, she would find that many people were better than him.
Her eyes were red. Pei Chuan sighed and gently wiped the end of her eyes with his fingertips.
“Don’t cry.” His heart would break if she cried.
Bei Yao sobbed softly and choked, “No, I won’t meet someone better than you. I just know.”
It was the stupidest phrase in the world.
What could he give her?
However, Pei Chuan was afraid that she would be sad and cry, so he coaxed her, “Okay, whatever Yaoyao says is right.”
He spoke with a low voice, “Do you regret last night?”
If she regretted it, he would ask for forgiveness from Auntie Zhao. He would accept any punishment, even forcing himself to forget about it.
Bei Yao glared at him, stuck between wanting to cry or not. She still felt constricted about that kiss. Her voice was as soft as a cat's. “I don’t regret it.”
He couldn’t help laughing.
That smile was very real. As if for so many years, all the fabricated icy masks had been removed, and what was left was a fine and gentle smile in his eyes.
He said, "If you don't regret it then promise me two things, and then I will agree to whatever you want to do."
It was the first time Bei Yao had seen him with such a smile. She blinked. “You speak first.”
Pei Chuan said, “First, if you are curious and want to try dating, I will be your boyfriend. But no one can know about it.”
“Second, we can’t have intimate physical contact. In addition to the two conditions… I’ll do anything for you."
She was dumbfounded for a moment.
What the hell was this request?
Her face turned red out of anger and she glared at him. Shut up! Who wanted to fall in love with him? The Sixth High School did not allow puppy love!
She said, "I don't agree, I'm going home!"
Pei Chuan looked at the young girl's furious back.
She was still angry, but the good thing was she wasn’t sad. She walked under the trees’ shadows in the gentle sunlight of early summer, creating a unique scenery.
Pei Chuan just watched, full of affection and overwhelming gentleness, but also filled with helplessness.
He couldn’t chase her. These were the last chains he had to wear to get close to her.
Don’t let people know. If one day people discovered he was a cripple, she would, at most, stay as the school flower who had once shocked the First, Third, and Sixth High Schools, and not be criticized.
The second thing was to avoid physical contact. This way, when she met better people, she would not think of herself as disgusting, nor would she regret it too much.
These were the chains he had given himself, and also the armor for her when she regretted it.
When she was no longer ignorant and fell in love with other people, she at least had the right to easily retreat and leave with confidence.
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