Devil’s WarmthChapters List
Chapter 61: College Entrance Examination
In April, the last joint mock examination was held in the First, Third, and Sixth High Schools, and Pei Chuan's name still hung high in first place.
Ji Wei ran down to see the red list in admiration. "Chuan Ge is really great."
As soon as he said this, a few students who surrounded the red list had weird looks. Jin Ziyang slapped one of them. “What’s wrong? You’re not convinced? What are you looking at?”
The boy who had received the beating only hid his anger. He didn’t dare speak and just slipped away when he saw Jin Ziyang’s and the others’ fierce looks.
Jin Ziyang snorted at the boy’s fleeing figure and said, “Bastard, how dare you look down on people. If we don’t teach you a lesson you’d think we’d have died, huh?”
Zheng Hang smiled.
The several boys were silent. To think that the bright Pei Chuan had encountered such a horrible thing when he was a child.
Jin Ziyang looked down and said, “I really wanted to drag those scums out from their coffins and give them a beating.”
Zheng Hang patted his shoulder. “It’s all in the past. Chuan Ge is working very hard now.”
After the entire Class 9 had learned about that incident, no one ridiculed Pei Chuan and only few had weird gazes. After all, Jin Ziyang vowed to beat anyone who dared to.
When he grew up, he understood that the victim was the most innocent. Those sufferings were not something that he should have endured.
One day, when Zheng Hang opened the forum, his eyes brightened. "Ji Wei, Jin Ziyang, come and see this."
A few teenagers had gathered their heads together and had suppressed those malicious posts.
Numerous students from the three schools were posting water posts*.
*t/n: Water post (水贴) is like a water army (people paid to post comments and increase traffic) but it is more like a perfunctory post instead of a comment.
Such as, “I’ve lost my cat, please help me find it.”
“Is there any great god who could take me to fly* in these remaining 30 days?”
*t/n: It might be referring to games, which means to follow someone good playing games to get win points.
“I want to share with you some school gossip…”
Everyone had a tacit understanding to bury the posts and photos about what had happened to Pei Chuan that year.
Jin Ziyang was unable to suppress the corners of his mouth from rising. “Everyone still has some conscience after all.”
The noise gradually subsided. He lowered his eyes and started the next round of revision.
Twenty-eight days before the college entrance exams, Pei Chuan received a box in front of his house. Inside of it was a dead rabbit that had all its limbs chopped off.
Pei Chuan's eyes sank. Next to the rabbit was a rag doll and a letter. He picked up the rag doll, only to see the word "Yao" attached to it.
Pei Chuan paled and he opened the letter.
“Satan, your classmates have surprised me. Since you want to live normally, we won’t force you. Compared to you, that doll is more attractive.”
Pei Chuan tore the letter apart and gently closed his eyes. When he opened them back, calmness returned.
He brought the dead rabbit, the rag doll, and the letter inside. Following that, he started to write an email.
“Don’t touch her. I will finish the thing that you want after the college entrance examinations. If something happens to her, you won’t get your stuff.”
The email soon received a reply with a clown bellied in laughter. It gripped a doll in its left hand and a whip in its right, as if playing with the monkeys in a zoo.
Pei Chuan looked at the screen coldly.
Someone on the other end said, "K, is it really okay to provoke him like this?"
K shrugged indifferently. "He knows too much, and has made so much criminal software. Did he really think he could get away from this? Even if he’s smart, he’s only a legless beast. If he wants his doll to be left intact, he has to be obedient. I really do like that little doll. She’s so beautiful yet she fell in love with that little beast. You see how this little beast treasures her so much… Hahaha! Let’s see, would that little beauty sleep with him?”
On the midsummer night of June 1st, it rained.
Under the dark sky with only dim lights in sight, Pei Chuan went back to the old neighborhood. Though countless new high-rise buildings had been built around it, it was still the same as when he had been a child. The neighborhood had remained unchanged for so many years.
His gaze panned towards Bei Yao’s room. The lights in it were still on and the curtains were swaying back and forth by the summer wind.
Pei Chuan sent her a text message: “Yaoyao, I’m downstairs.”
Bei Yao was writing her homework when her phone screen lit up. She was surprised when she saw the contents and looked down from the window. Sure enough, she saw a long shadow in the dark.
Bei Yao walked to the living room and changed her shoes. She moved quietly and went downstairs secretly, considering that Zhao Zhilan and Bei Licai had already gone to bed earlier because they had to work tomorrow.
She wore sandals and opened an umbrella. At first, the rain on a summer night was warm, but as it splashed on her feet, a slight coolness could be felt.
She trotted towards the teenager.
"Pei Chuan, what are you doing here?"
He stood under the streetlight, folded the umbrella, and looked at her quietly.
The warm yellow light shone upon her face.
He couldn't help but stretch out his fingertips to touch her cheek and whispered, "Yaoyao, there are still a few days left before the exam. Are you nervous?"
She shook her head and smiled. "Are you nervous?"
“En.” He replied.
“Don’t be afraid, you’re so awesome. Even if you fail a subject you can still go to a prestigious university.”
He curled his lips. “En.”
Her soft cheeks carried some warmth. But, his freezing pale fingers urged him to withdraw his hand after he touched them for a bit.
Bei Yao frowned and held his hand in hers. “Why are they so cold?”
She gently warmed them with her breath. “Even if you’re nervous you can’t just run around in the middle of the night.”
He looked down at her, suddenly a little jealous of the person who would hold her in the future.
Pei Chuan said, "Not cold, I have a gift for you."
Bei Yao looked at the pendant he took out from his shirt pocket and felt happy. "A yellow talisman?"
On the pendant was a very ordinary small yellow talisman.
Pei Chuan said, “En, to bless us for the college entrance examination, we each have one.”
He lowered his head to put it on her. She was curious and reached out to touch it. “Eh, there’s something round inside.”
Like a pearl.
Pei Chuan said, “The stone that has been opened cannot be taken out or it will lose its effect.”
Her almond eyes curled in joy: “Pei Chuan, you are so superstitious, ah.”
He also curled his lips. “En, at least you have to wait… until you get the university notice to take it out.”
She agreed and said yes.
Seeing her agreeing, Pei Chuan whispered, “Go home then.”
She touched the little yellow talisman on her, feeling extremely dissatisfied. “Pei Chuan! I went out in the middle of a cold and rainy night for you. To think that you’re only going home after giving this to me.”
He was stunned. “It’s me who’s inconsiderate, are you cold?”
She blinked. “Yes, yes, huggie.” She stretched out her arms.
He stiffened for a second but took her into his arms quickly and gently.
Her face flushed as she hugged Pei Chuan’s slim waist. The boy’s embrace was warm and so was the street light. Above them was a canopy that sheltered people from the rain.
She liked to hear his heartbeat. It was always rapid when he held her in his arms.
She tilted her head to look at him and hummed. “I want a kiss too.”
His slender finger tapped her soft cheek gently.
He struggled for a bit. Her coquettish look made him want to pamper her.
He looked at her with his dark eyes.
Pei Chuan’s rough fingertips caressed her face and he lowered his head. However, the kiss fell on her lips instead.
He licked her lips lightly.
Bei Yao’s face instantly turned red and she buried her head in his chest. This time she would not give him a kiss anymore.
He couldn’t help but laugh. “What’s wrong?”
She kept silent.
Pei Chuan kissed the top of her hair with pity. He shouldn’t have been so frivolous with her, but he couldn’t help but love her even more tonight.
Even if she didn’t say it, he knew that she had just drunk strawberry-flavored milk. The girl’s lips still tasted slightly sweet.
Pei Chuan knew that the Bei family wasn’t very well off, but Zhao Zhilan and Bei Licai really loved Bei Yao and treated her like a baby. Even Bei Jun didn’t have the habit of drinking milk every day.
He was glad that the baby in his heart had always been liked and loved by people.
On June 7th, the day of the college entrance examination, Zhao Zhilan took a leave of absence a long time ago to accompany Bei Yao to take the exam.
Although Bei Licai didn’t say anything, he was also very nervous. He said, “Don’t accompany her to the exam for no reason and cause her trouble. Don’t make Yaoyao nervous. She’ll be more at ease if we act like usual.”
Zhao Zhilan said, “Isn’t it because I’m panicking? My heart has been beating nonstop since I woke up. I don’t feel at ease if I don’t go.” Despite saying this, Zhao Zhilan was still successfully persuaded by Bei Licai. After all, she was more afraid of her daughter getting more pressure because of her.
As a parent, Zhao Zhilan got up at five o'clock to prepare breakfast. She also prepared a donut and two eggs for Bei Yao.
When Bei Yao was eating her breakfast, Zhao Zhilan urged her again and again, “Do you remember to bring the test admission ticket? Pay attention when you fill the machine-readable answer sheet. Yesterday I saw in the news that many people clearly could do well in the test but the machine read it wrong.”
Bei Yao couldn’t help giggling.
Zhao Zhilan said, “What are you laughing at? Is your mother wrong?”
For the sake of Yaoyao's college entrance exams, she had searched for countless news stories in the past few days. Before that, she had been a woman who hadn’t even known how to write the four words ‘machine-reading answer sheet’.
Bei Yao said, “What mother said was right, but mom,” she used her chopstick to pick a Youtiao*. “Our test’s full score isn’t 100 but 150.”
*t/n: 油条 is a deep-fried dough stick.
Zhao Zhilan: “...”
She was dumbfounded and said anxiously, “Then what should we do, ah?”
Bei Yao stood up and hugged her. “Mom’s hugs will give me 50 points!”
Zhao Zhilan's anxiety disappeared and her heart melted with sweetness.
Bei Yao waved and went to take the exam.
On June 7, the weather was sunny. Since Bei Yao’s examination hall was close to her home, she went back to rest there. There were police officers on the way to the examination hall to maintain the traffic, making way for the students who would take the exam.
Outside of every school gate were a lot of mothers like Zhao Zhilan who worried about their children’s college entrance examination. Thus, they had come here to accompany them.
As far as the eye could see, there was a huge crowd of people with black hair and donning nervous expressions on their faces. It looked like every parent in China was the same.
Bei Yao looked back. Even though her mother hadn’t come, she knew that Zhao Zhilan and Bei Licai were worried in their hearts.
Pei Chuan’s parents hadn’t come either.
Did they still love him? Did they know that the boy who had held back from drinking water in the summer had grown up?
Bei Yao stepped into the examination room.
After the sharp and clear sound of the bell was heard, the broadcast using standard Mandarin announced that they could start writing their answers.
She picked up the pen on the table and wrote seriously.
Pei Chuan, B University, and the future.
Years passed by quickly. The moment today and tomorrow passed, coupled with the passage of summer and autumn, they may soon be standing on the university grounds.
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