Devil’s WarmthChapters List
Chapter 98: Extra 1.2
TW: Bullying, violence
Since that year, Bei Yao would give him a cake on her birthday.
In fact, Pei Chuan knew that this was nothing special, she would send it to every child in the neighborhood such as Chen Hu, Fang Minjun, and Li Da. No one would be forgotten, it was just a type of routine.
However, it was still not the same, and only he would understand.
Fang Minjun would not send one to him when she sent cakes.
In the winter when he was eight-year-old, there was heavy snowfall in C City.
It was New Year, Jiang Wenjuan was afraid that her son would isolate and shut himself away, so she pushed him to play with the other children.
Pei Chuan originally felt some resistance, he knew they would refuse.
Unexpectedly, Chen Hu rolled his eyes and laughed. “Then you play with us ba.”
Pei Chuan looked at them; his pupils were dark.
Jiang Wenjuan felt delighted. “Thank you, everyone. Xiao Chuan, have fun with the others, if something happens call mom.”
She then went to a tea house not far away.
A group of children played with snow outside. Pei Chuan’s body stiffened, even if he knew something was not right, there was still a little hope in his heart.
This was Chinese New Year, he also liked the New Year and didn’t want to watch TV alone in a wheelchair at home.
Chen Hu’s face was chubby and tinted with two red circles.
He stretched his head to make sure Aunt Jiang was gone and smiled cunningly. “Pei Chuan, you can play with us, but you have to do everything I ask you to do.”
Pei Chuan frowned.
“Did you see? We are having a snowball fight. Let’s divide the group using the palm and the back of our hands, the similar ones will be in the same group. Then, we’ll fight.”
Although Pei Chuan did not speak, he agreed. They were boys after all.
Several boys exchanged glances; Chen Hu pulled Fang Minjun and whispered something in her ear.
The groups were soon decided.
Everyone showed their palms, and only Pei Chuan showed the back of his hand.
The next moment, multiple snowballs were smashed toward him.
The children cheered. The cold snowball blasted on Pei Chuan’s body; his whole body froze. His eyes faintly glistened with water. He gritted his teeth, and for a moment, he wanted to bury all of them in the snow.
Out of the blue, a little girl in a red cotton-padded jacket ran out of the building.
“Chen Hu……” She stretched her tone; her voice was very pleasant. “What are you doing?”
“Snowball fight ah,” Chen Hu said, “Bei Yao, are you coming?”
Bei Yao was a little angry. “There is snow in his clothes, you’re not allowed to hit him.”
Chen Hu said, “It’s fine if you don’t come. Why are you helping him, do you want to be on his side?”
The snow touched the boy’s hot body and instantly melted into water.
He sat in the wheelchair and did not hide nor dodge; there were some snowflakes on his eyelashes. Bei Yao remembered what her mother had said, “Uncle Pei is a great hero, and Pei Chuan is also a little hero.”
The little hero sacrificed his body for the happiness of the people, and they should respect him no matter what.
When the next snowball fell, her thickly dressed body stood in front of Pei Chuan.
This year, the sky and the earth were spotlessly white. It has nothing to do with love, but pure instinct.
She said, “Don’t throw anymore, he will be cold.”
She, herself, was most afraid of the cold. Using herself as a standard, she thought Pei Chuan Gege must be freezing right now.
Chen Hu said angrily, “Humph, Bei Yao you traitor! Believe it or not, we will hit you too!” After speaking, a threatening snowball smashed over and hit Bei Yao’s cotton trouser.
Bei Yao was so angry, and she fought back. “If you hit me, I will fight back.”
What came next was unavoidable, several snowballs headed toward Bei Yao and Pei Chuan.
Although Bei Yao fought back, she wasn’t their opponent; she cried when she was hurt.
Fang Minjun said, “Stop it, Bei Yao is crying.”
The boys panicked too. Crying girls are so scary ah. However, they didn’t hate Bei Yao. Although Minmin was good-looking, little Bei Yao was very cute and obedient. They didn’t want to make her cry.
The children were afraid of being scolded, and they dispersed in an instant.
Chen Hu spoke in a muffled voice from far away. “Shameful crybaby, you can’t complain (to your parents)!”
The children dispersed and went to play elsewhere.
She wiped her face with her little hands and patted the snowflakes on her body. After a long time, Bei Yao turned her head; Pei Chuan looked at her.
A huge portion of his clothes were wet, but his face was calm as always as if the one being bullied was not him.
She and him looked at each other’s eyes; she sobbed and whipped away her tears.
After a long while, she leaned forward and patted the snowflakes on his shoulders.
The snowflakes fell on the eyelashes of the “crybaby”. There was a milky scent on her body, and she said, “Pei Chuan Gege, I’ll call your mother, you quickly go home ba.”
Pei Chuan said nothing and threw her wrist away, not allowing her to touch him.
You are their accomplice.
The little girl blinked, but didn’t get angry nor sad. She waved her hands at him and went to find Jiang Wenjuan.
When coming back, Jiang Wenjuan took the girl’s hand while looking for his son.
In the middle of wind and snow, she looked like a snow doll, with two small pink flower buds on her head. Bei Yao had long stopped crying.
Jiang Wenjuan said, “Pei Chuan, where is your chocolate? Give Yaoyao some.”
Pei Chuan gave a piece in silence. The little girl nodded her head and spoke through the leak in her teeth; her voice was soft. “No need, no need. Thank you, Auntie. Thank you, Pei Chuan Gege.”
She ran home quickly.
Pei Chuan retracted his hand and held the piece of chocolate that she did not want.
Inexplicably feeling a little unhappy.
When Pei Chuan was in fourth grade, he learned that he could get a prosthesis.
In this era, the technology of prostheses was not perfect yet. However, for a precocious boy who was almost ten years old, Pei Chuan knew what it meant.
It meant he could stand up. He didn’t need to sit in a wheelchair. He could walk to the school by himself, and his pants would no longer be empty.
During the holiday when the prosthesis was installed, Pei Chuan rarely felt a little nervous.
It’s been way too long, and he didn’t remember what it was like to walk.
However, just as he just stood up, he suddenly fell forward.
Jiang Wenjuan supported him. “Don’t hurry, let’s take it slowly.”
It hurts. It really hurts.
On the part where the prosthesis and the residual limb met, it felt like they were squeezing the bone, flesh, and blood each time the heavy pressure was put there.
He couldn’t grasp the center of gravity and couldn’t stand firm.
Jiang Wenjuan had to let him practice by himself on the railing.
Time and time again, from early morning till dusk, he was like a toddler learning how to walk. He worked hard, and was hopeful.
Jiang Wenjuan looked from a distance, covering her mouth, and with tears in her eyes.
Finally, Pei Chuan got used to the pain and gradually was able to find his center of gravity.
When he started his fourth grade, he straightened his back like a warrior in armor, quietly clenching his fist and walking into the classroom.
The look in the eyes of the students at that time was incredulous.
Pei Chuan heard people whispering. “Isn’t his calf missing? How can he walk now?”
“It’s amazing, what did he do?”
However, Pei Chuan didn’t have any friends in the class. Although the students were curious, they did not ask him.
Everyday Pei Chuan went to and fro school, he would wait until everyone had gone and slowly walk back home.
After all, he just adapted so his walking posture was still a little unnatural. If he walked fast, it would be particularly awkward.
It wasn’t until Pei Chuan was stopped by Ding Wenxiang; he had heard of Ding Wenxiang from the sixth grade.
This bad student was thirteen years old this year and still in sixth grade.
It was said that when Ding Wenxiang was a child in the countryside, one of his fingers was cut off by a guillotine knife.
Ding Wenxiang wanted to know how the things that have been cut off could be connected by something fake.
“Hold him! Little b**tard, you dare to push me.”
Several boys rushed up. Under the rain in October, Pei Chuan’s cheeks were pressed into the muddy water.
The students in the lower grades stood tremblingly on the far side of the path and looked over.
Pei Chuan smelled the stench of the soil as the rain hit his cheeks.
He struggled frantically to stand up. “Let me go. You, let me go!”
However, even if it was a teenager, he might not be able to win against the shackles of several older children.
The sky was gray.
Ding Wenxiang took off his shoes and rolled up Pei Chuan’s trousers.
The prosthesis was exposed in front of everyone; the difference between the stiff-fake color and the soft skin could be seen with a glance.
The rain in October was really cold.
Half of Pei Chuan’s face was in the muddy water, trembling.
Pei Chuan’s pupils were dark and deathly still.
He lifted his gaze slightly and saw Bei Yao walking in the distance.
She had grown up a bit, and there was a red panda swaying behind her. She was holding hands with Xiang Tongtong.
The two girls did not expect to see the scene behind the curtain of rain in front of their eyes, they both stopped in a daze. Xiang Tongtong whispered, “That fake leg is so scary ah.”
He was in the mud. His eyes were dark eyes, and he fell silent.
Pei Chuan closed his eyes and stopped struggling.
Too far away. At that moment, he could not see clearly what kind of gaze Bei Yao looked at him with.
However, the weird and soft seed in his heart that ignorantly took root was strangled by the endless sense of shame.
It was unknown how long it was before someone yelled. “Uncle Doorman is here!”
The forty years old doorman waved the stick in his hand and caught a few boys. “You bullies. Today, none of you can leave. Compensation, apology, and school punishment.”
Uncle Doorman helped Pei Chuan stand up, and also put his pants down.
Those children took advantage of this action to run away. The doorman chased after them angrily. Pei Chuan looked at the backs of those people coldly, just like watching a farce.
He watched the surroundings hatefully; there was no one around.
He didn’t know when she left.
The sky was raining, and half of Pei Chuan’s face was stained with muddy water while being expressionless.
After he walked far away, Xiang Tongtong secretly leaned her head to look at Bei Yao who was dejected. “Yaoyao, I know you’re sad, but things have already happened. We can’t beat Ding Wenxiang and can only ask the doorman for help.”
Only after a long time did Bei Yao spoke. “En, don’t mention it anymore.”
She has grown up and also understood that people have self-esteem; Pei Chuan certainly didn't want her to see.
Right now, she couldn’t even shout ‘Pei Chuan Gege’.
Bei Yao felt a little unwell in her heart, but she wasn’t even ten years old this year. She was too inexperienced to face the undercurrent at this time, when she finally remembered about it, was just already part of a bad past.
After that day, Pei Chuan refused to wear prostheses.
Jiang Wenjuan could not accept it. “We have used most of our money to give you a prosthesis and now you’re saying you don’t want to wear it anymore. Is it possible that you want to sit in a wheelchair for the rest of your life?!”
However, the boy was just like a lone wolf being forced into isolation. His fingers were clasped until it turned white. From start to end, he was unwilling to compromise.
The prostheses were locked in a box.
When Pei Chuan was in sixth grade, two things happened. The first was, Ding Wenxiang, who was in the second year of junior high school, got his hands chopped off by someone from the underworld.
The class was in turmoil, but Pei Chuan curled his lips coldly.
Two years have passed since that incident; no one would have thought that this matter would have something to do with this sixth-grade junior.
Within a few days, perhaps it was the retribution of what he had done, Pei Haobin and Jiang Wenjuan divorced.
The couple who used to make others envy at the beginning were now separating in silence.
It looked peaceful, but it also seemed to contain countless storms that could not be explored.
Jiang Wenjuan silently left his life.
Pei Chuan was the last to know. He was pushing his wheelchair to find his mother, and Pei Haobin went hysterical for the first time. “Where do you want to find your mother? She now has a new family with another man! Can you get her back? Do you think she wants to see me or you!”
It was clearly the spring of April, but Pei Chuan felt an endless cold.
Pei Haobin recovered and wiped his face after a while. “I’m sorry, dad shouldn’t say such things.”
“No problem.” Pei Chuan lowered his eyelids and went back to his room after a long time.
During the Qing Ming Festival, Pei Haobin didn’t come to pick up Pei Chuan, and Jiang Wenjuan also left Pei Chuan’s life.
The heavy rain came so suddenly; every child was either reminded to bring their umbrella or were picked up.
Pei Chuan watched the rain curtain and remembered the hailstorm when he was a child. Everyone was picked up by their family, but he was unwilling to leave and insisted on waiting for his mother. In the end, the teacher had no other choice but to accompany him in the garden all night.
It seemed that from the beginning till the end, nothing had changed. Only that, he had grown up.
Integrity, kindness, and generosity did not bring people any luck nor change. He pushed his wheelchair; there was some kind of resentfulness toward the world.
In the fifth grade, a small figure ran over under the rain.
Pei Chuan raised his head and looked at her coldly.
Bei Yao held up her umbrella on top of his head.
Under the sky, she only has one umbrella.
With the thunder roaring, Bei Yao did not clearly see his expression at that time.
She worriedly looked at the bad weather while her shoulder was getting wet.
If this person was not her neighbor Xiao Gege, if his parents were not divorced at this time, Bei Yao would not come over. After all, no one liked to be given the cold shoulder, and she was not familiar with him.
From childhood to now, Pei Chuan has never treated her well. He did not like her, and in order to avoid embarrassment, Bei Yao generally did not interact with him.
However, for so many years, the impression she had about Pei Chuan came from her mother’s mouth. This was the little hero who used his pair of legs in exchange for the harmony of countless families.
Heroes should not be abandoned by the world—they should be respected. But it seemed that everyone had forgotten what he lost.
She protected the youth under the umbrella. “Let’s go home ba, Pei Chuan.”
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