Devil’s WarmthChapters List
Chapter 38: Apology
Bei Yao was woken up by the driver, “Miss, wake up, this is your stop.”
Her eyes opened and realised this was the bus stop near home. The seat beside her was empty.
“Uncle, where is the boy sitting beside me?”
The driver glanced at the rearview mirror, “He left long ago, and told me to wake you up at this stop.”
“Thank you.” Bei Yao alighted. The night was drizzling. She was a little disappointed, Pei Chuan left again. She fished out her phone and dialed his number.
The bus drove away. The boy in the last row accepted the call.
The driver couldn’t help but rant inside his mind. At this old age, he was forced to lie to a little girl together. He didn’t leave but sat in the last row. Tsk, young people.
He gently replied, “Yeah.”
“Are you not coming home with me?”
Pei Chuan turned back. Her silhouette appeared in the lonely night. The bus drove slow, yet no matter how slow, her silhouette would disappear.
He said, “Not going back.”
No more manipulating you, leaving would be the obvious choice.
A gush of sadness flowed into Bei Yao. It was as if he regretted his words right away after speaking.
Pei Chuan added, “You should hurry home, be careful.”
He ended the call and told the driver to stop. He wanted to alight here.
The driver couldn’t hold back and scolded, “Do you know where this is? Public transport can’t just stop out of nowhere.”
“Stop the bus.”
The driver raged, “Be logical!” There was a bus stop just now yet you didn’t alight, and you told me to stop after 3 minutes of driving!
Pei Chuan grabbed the emergency hammer beside the window.
A moment later, the driver stopped the bus with his face in an ugly colour. Pei Chuan handed the cash inside his wallet to the driver. One glance, the driver’s face colour changed again. A whole thick stack of cash, stopping this bus was worthy.
He turned back. The boy’s silhouette already faded into the night.
Bei Yao ended the call. The street lights here were spoiled. She walked along the rows of trees.
The autumn breeze carried a light scent of flowers. Bei Yao didn’t bring a jacket when leaving. One section of the road was pitch black. She hugged herself tightly while walking towards home.
After some distance, she turned back. The area was empty, not a single soul was spotted.
Finally, she reached the area where street lights were functioning. Relief flowed in, her pace slowed down. She was actually familiar with this area since she takes this path every day to school. However much the greenery changes, the direction home remains.
She could still go back home. However, Pei Chuan lost his home.
Vividly recalling the cold relationship from the Cao Li family, her heartfelt stuffy. Anyone who stays in such a place will be upset. That’s why Pei Chuan chose to leave again.
Pei Chuan lit a cigarette, following her from far behind. Before Bei Yao turned back, he put out the cigarette. Her thin silhouette reached the lit area. He stared from afar, witnessing her return to the neighbourhood.
Only then, Pei Chuan left. He walked back to the bus stop and leaned against the pole. Again, he lit up the cigarette on his lips.
With his eyes half-closed, he glanced at the night streets. There was nobody.
Soots covered the ground. Thankfully it didn’t rain tonight.
Bei Yao knocked on the door. Zhao ZhiLan was the one who opened it. The living room lights were still fully lit. Although almost 10.p.m, the family was still awake. Even little Bei Jun who usually sleeps early was staring at her on the sofa.
Once Bei Yao stepped in, Zhao ZhiLan questioned anxiously, “Is Pei Chuan alright?”
Bei Yao gently replied, “He’s alright.”
The couple heaved a sigh of relief. Zhao ZhiLan gripped her own hands. This typically straightforward woman was appearing awkward at this moment. “This is our fault, I should’ve…” gritting her teeth, she added, “Sigh, there’s no point ranting. I’m going to apologise to the Pei family tomorrow.”
She was guilty. Her heart was beating like crazy, worrying for Pei Chuan. When realisation kicked in, she didn’t even know which hospital he visited.
After all, he was the one who saved Bei Jun. He was even the child Zhao ZhiLan watched growing up. If anything happens, she’ll be morally disturbed for the rest of her life.
Bei LiCai at the side was relieved as well.
Four-year-old Bei Jun stepped over from the sofa. His voice was crispy, and filled with remorse, “Jiejie, sorry. I’ll apologise to Pei Chuan Gege tomorrow.”
Bei Yao squatted down and gently patted the child’s head, “Sorry, this is not your fault. This is Jiejie’s fault, I should not have directed my anger on you. Jiejie hit you today, does it still hurt?”
Bei Jun hugged her by the neck, shook his head fervently.
Bei Yao felt sour inside her mind and finally asked him to sleep. After the incident, Bei Jun became much obedient. The tiny sword he treasured was left aside. Without Zhao ZhiLan’s company, he went to bed himself.
“That child…” Zhao ZhiLan sighed, “if not for him, our Bei Jun might’ve…”
Bei LiCai understood as well, he patted his wife’s shoulders. “Don’t overthink, we’ll apologise to the family tomorrow.”
“When Juan’er divorced that year, we knew he had it hard. Since then, he has never received care. He called me auntie all these years for nothing. Aiya, no, we should visit Police Pei’s home right now.”
Bei LiCai wanted to hold her down, “Look at the time. Tomorrow, after buying something and then…”
Bei Yao said, “He didn’t come home.”
The couple glanced towards Bei Yao. Gently, she repeated, “Pei Chuan didn’t come home. He’s staying elsewhere.”
Zhao ZhiLan thought, these neighbours definitely broke Pei Chuan’s heart today. She said, “Pei Chuan is still young, living alone for so long is certainly not easy. Yaoyao, you know his school, bring him some stuff tomorrow.”
This time around Bei Yao didn’t reject. She nodded, “Okay.”
Opposite level four.
Pei HaoBin arrived home long ago. Cao Li spotted his darkened face and spoke worried, “I’m not sure if he’s fine. Tongtong and I never stop him.”
Bai YuTong nodded along anxiously. She thought, look at the time, did he get caught up in an accident and died? I heard rabies or whatever is pretty scary. Thankfully he went out. That girl, Bei Yao, who followed, really didn't care for her own life.
Yet these were the thoughts Bai YuTong didn’t dare to voice in front of Pei HaoBin. Like what her mom said, no matter what Pei Chuan does, he is still Uncle Pei’s son. If anything happens, Uncle Pei would be upset.
Pei HaoBin voiced, “I’m going to search for him again.”
Cao Li held him down, “HaoBin, how are you going to search for him this late at night? The city hospital is so far away from here. Not to say, you don’t even know which hospital he went to. It’ll be midnight soon... How about searching for him tomorrow with your colleagues?”
Pei HaoBin knew. He sank into the sofa, silent.
That night, Pei HaoBin suffered from nightmares.
In his dream, Pei Chuan was just a newborn, smooth as jade and as if showered in white powder. At one year old, others started speaking incoherently, he could already recite poems. He was Jiang WenJuan and Pei HaoBin’s pride. The couple’s life was beautiful.
In the blink of an eye, that pair of broken legs were stored in a box. The blood slowly solidified as he held onto the box, and as if a string inside his mind snapped.
That year, the country offered many condolences and medals of honour.
He stared at the medals and the condolences with eyes teary, and woke up in the middle of the night, shocked.
Monday, Bei Yao went back to school.
Sixth High was holding their morning ceremony, the students all roamed downstairs.
Bei Yao put on her blue uniform jacket, with a simple cotton t-shirt as the innerwear. Her hair was tied into a ponytail, the wavy end cuts off at her shoulder. Together with her classmates, she headed downstairs.
Everywhere one looked was the Sixth High’s students all donned in uniforms, with a dolphin icon on their shoulder. At one glance it appeared satisfying, just a bit too squeezy, going downstairs was really tough.
Chen FeiFei ranted, “This squeezed away my sleepiness.”
Bei Yao gripped onto the money Zhao ZhiLan gave in her pocket. It was stored in a red packet. Bei Yao was afraid she might lose it.
Wu Mo followed through the crowd, and held Chen FeiFei’s hand, “Did you tell anyone else from that day?”
It was obvious she was mentioning her “online dating” incident. Chen FeiFei was somewhat angered that Wu Mo sees them as despicable people. “Nope.”
Bei Yao didn’t realise what she was talking about at first. Only when Wu Mo looked over with anticipation, the former then shook her head.
Wu Mo heaved a sigh of relief. The trio walked towards the assembly together.
Wu Mo had doubts. She built up her courage and walked towards Bei Yao, “The person you mentioned last time, P-Pei Chuan, t-the bad guy, do you know him?”
Bei Yao nodded.
Wu Mo replied indifferently, “Oh, I met him at The Glamourous the other day, he helped me. I want to thank him.”
Bei Yao didn’t have a chance to voice as Chen FeiFei pulled her away.
Chen FeiFei spoke, “Go ahead if you want to thank him, why are you telling Bei Yao? Bei Yao is not close with him.”
Chen FeiFei’s action was very exaggerated and attracted many onlookers.
Wu Mo’s face was in an ugly colour, “Chen FeiFei, what are you doing?”
Chen FeiFei replied, “Nothing. Pei Chuan’s reputation isn’t that great from the start. And, he’s ‘so’ popular, you can just grab any person on the campus to ask about him. Why must you ask Bei Yao specifically?”
Wu Mo kept silent and walked away from them.
When everyone formed a beeline, Bei Yao suddenly voiced, “FeiFei, do you know which class Pei Chuan is in?”
Chen FeiFei almost shot up. She looked at Bei Yao, bitter, “No way, you’re really helping Wu Mo? Ever since the “online dating” incident, she’s changed a lot. Don’t get yourself involved with her.” She remembered aspirating “online dating”.
Bei Yao smiled, “No, I’m not asking for her. I have things to thank him for as well.”
“Y-you, you…” Chen FeiFei was gloomy, “He doesn’t look like a good guy either. Fine, fine. I heard he’s from the ninth class. He was promoted, so then second-year ninth class.
“Thank you,” Bei Yao was somewhat remorseful. She really didn’t know which class Pei Chuan was in.
“Don’t help Wu Mo.”
Bei Yao’s almond eyes curled, gently replied, “Not helping her.”
The Sixth High doesn't restrict students after school, hence Bei Yao got out easily.
The bus travelling along the Third and Sixth High arrives every five minutes. She boarded a bus immediately.
In no time, the bus stopped in front of the Third High. Bei Yao followed Shi Tian here last time. The Third High had also ended their classes.
Bei Yao asked for the way to the second year ninth class.
The Third High was stricter. Duty roster students were sweeping with full focus. Someone raised their head and spotted Bei Yao, they blanked out for a second.
Behind her was the sunset. Donned in blue-white uniform, glittering pupils. As she was searching for someone, her eyes were clear and filled with spirits. An indescribable elegance was emitting from her.
The girl who was sweeping had her whole face blushed instantly. She poked the girl beside her, and another one blanked out.
“Excuse me, if Pei Chuan here?”
The girl replied, “Yeah…Uhhh no. Are you searching for him? Most likely he’ll be staying at the restaurant opposite, the biggest one, the one that has the arcade.”
The girl was adorable. Bei Yao couldn’t help but smile at her.
Once Bei Yao left, the girl hugged her friend excitedly, “That’s her! The girl who was dancing, she’s the official school flower agreed upon by the First, Third, and Sixth High!”
Her friend was almost choked by her grip, “Let go! What school flower?”
“The most good-looking person in these three schools is the official school flower! Oh my gosh, she’s so pretty. She didn’t even wear makeup. She’s so much prettier than Wei Wan oh my gosh!”
“Be careful Wei Wan might choke you!”
In the largest restaurant outside Third High, Pei Chuan was smoking with his legs crossed.
Jin ZiYang was sponsoring. Ji Wei was sobbing beside the window.
Jin ZiYang was busting into pearls of laughter, “Wei bro, hey hey Wei bro. Stop crying. Real man shed blood not tears.”
Ji Wei was sobbing while wiping his spectacles, “I don’t wanna talk to you.”
Jin ZiYang might faint from all the laughing. Even the tips of Pei Chuan’s lips showed glee.
Ji Wei was unfortunate. Third High received their results this afternoon. For their English paper, Jin ZiYang closed his eyes and got 38 marks. Ji Wei did his best and scored 37. The latter almost fainted.
Jin ZiYang who was morally disabled brought out three more papers.
One by one, Pei Chuan 53, Zheng Hang 46, Jin ZiYang 38. He waved the papers in front of Ji Wei deliberately. Again, Ji Wei returned to his sobbing.
Jin ZiYang laughed, “HAHAHAHAHA!” Even his new girlfriend was covering her mouth, chuckling.
Knowing Ji Wei’s effort of doing four sets of homework each time, Zheng Hang pitied him. He took his own script and folded it into a paper plane.
“Wei bro, grades are like paper planes.” He aimed the paper plane towards the window.
The plane glided in the autumn breeze, slowly into a girl’s embrace. She was slightly shocked.
Zheng Hang glanced down, the girl raised her head.
A delicate face reflected in his eyes, eight times prettier than Wei Wan. A pair of crystal clear eyes was like a pond in which the fallen leaves stayed afloat. Zheng Hang’s heart skipped a beat. He turned back, “Chuan bro, umm…” He thought for some time, and realised he didn’t know the name of the school flower from Sixth High.
Wei Wan was the only one he noticed in the previous summer camp. In addition, there were no interactions after entering the forest.
He hesitated for a long while, somewhat embarrassed.
The girl was already upstairs.
The wooden planks were creaking. Pei Chuan met her almond eyes. He dropped his right hand and tossed away the cigarette under the table.
The two pathetic exam scripts piled on the table. She stood beside the door, and gently called, “Pei Chuan.”
Her voice was sweet and gentle, like breeze in March, even the dumb Jin ZiYang couldn’t help but turn back.
Everyone in the room in her crystal clear eyes was silent.
“Are these your people?” She held onto the paper plane with a red mark of 46.
Pei Chuan pressed his lips. He grabbed a porcelain cup and placed it above his scores on the exam script.
He only filled a small section in the paper. He won’t be doing this the next time.
He stood up and took over the paper plane from her hand, “Let’s go.”
She followed behind as Pei Chuan brought her upstairs.
Jin ZiYang’s girlfriend asked, “Who is she?”
Jin ZiYang picked up her chin, “Sixth High’s school flower, pretty?”
“Does Pei Chuan like her?”
Jin ZiYang got very interested, even Zheng Hang raised his eyes. “Why do you say so?”
The girl smiled and shifted the porcelain cup on the exam script, exposing the red 53 mark.
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