Devil’s WarmthChapters List
Chapter 62: I'm Not Dead Yet
While the whole country was busy with the college entrance examinations, Pei Haobin and his family were welcoming a new life.
Cao Li had successfully given birth to a boy. He was half a month old the day Pei Chuan took his college entrance examinations.
For a long time, Pei Haobin was speechless as he looked at his newly-born second son that was in his swaddle.
The baby's cheeks were small and soft. He was as light as a feather.
Pei Haobin looked at the familiar sleeping baby in a daze; his mind wandered back to nineteen years ago when Pei Chuan had just been born.
That had been his first time being a father. God knew how he had longed for it. Ever since the fetus could move, he would lay on Jiang Wenjuan's belly to hear the baby's movements as it kicked her.
That year, the twenty-year-old Pei Haobin had been full of smiles as he had gone to work everyday—all because of the baby.
When people would ask him, he would puff his chest and answer, "Jun'er* will give birth soon. I want to set the best examples for my child."
*t/n: In China, they often add -er at the end of names to show affection.
The year when Pei Chuan had been born, the Pei family had only had little wealth and had not been as prosperous as today. Thus, Pei Haobin had to give him a washed-out diaper.
But, like any other father in this world, he had been full of enthusiasm. He had treated him like a treasure.
Later, Pei Chuan had been born.
He had also looked like a small ball. The first time Pei Haobin had approached his little fist with his hands, the baby had unexpectedly grabbed his thumb.
Pei Haobin had flushed with excitement. He had been full of spirit.
At that moment, he had still loved Jiang Wenjuan.
The husband and wife had lived in harmony. Even when they’d had to struggle and think about tomorrow, they had still lived full of hope. Pei Haobin had poured his energy into becoming a criminal policeman like what he had promised himself.
Then, more than ten years ago, they had saved an indefinite number of people when they had solved that case.
However, that case had ruined his child.
For the first time, Pei Haobin had lost his way in life.
Jiang Wenjuan, who could only vent and cry, had been terrified to see her child's incomplete limbs. Pei Haobin had been scared too, and had plunged into anguish from time to time.
This was a memory he couldn’t forget for a lifetime. Even after so many years, he would still shiver when he thought of that day.
Sometimes Pei Haobin felt that life was like a dream. It would have been better if Pei Chuan had never been born, and even more if it was him who had gotten his legs cut off.
But it was impossible to reverse time.
He was afraid to have another child.
As it happened, in 2009, Pei Chuan's Didi was born.
A healthy boy.
As healthy as… that year when Pei Chuan had been a newborn. The Pei Chuan who had just entered this world.
The college entrance examinations were over on June 8th; some people were happy and some were sad.
Paper airplanes were thrown one after another from the school building while the others filled the trash cans with it. Additionally, there would be an appreciation banquet after the exam results came out.
Meanwhile, Chen Feifei spoke to Yang Jia while they packed their things in the dormitory. “Yang Jia, I didn’t like you very much at first, but now I realize that you’re not bad.”
Yang Jia was annoyed. “You only realize this fact now!”
Chen Feifei laughed mischievously. “Finally, the exams are over, I’m so happy to be free!”
No one bothered to ask each other how well they did. The standard answers for each subject came out on the same day after the exam, and the students with good memory could assess their own scores.
Unfortunately, Bei Yao hadn’t done very well.
On June 8th, she’d happened to be on her period, leading to an aching stomach all morning. Finally, she had clenched her teeth and finished writing, her face pale with pain.
The test that morning had happened to be English. At that point, she had already been in a daze and hadn’t been able to hear it clearly.
Life was always full of anxiety and accidents.
Before the scores were announced, Bei Yao wasn't able to stop herself from calling Pei Chuan. “Pei Chuan, I’m a little scared. I didn’t do well on my English exam; I’m afraid I won’t be able to get into B University.”
The boy’s voice was low and hoarse. “It’s okay, Yaoyao, don’t be afraid. I’ll go wherever you go, okay?”
His voice was so gentle that her eyes welled up with tears. “No, I don’t want to be a burden to you.”
He laughed. “Yaoyao won’t be a burden, but my pride.”
Bei Yao was still worried about one problem. “Did you do well on the test?”
Pei Chuan naturally wouldn’t lie to her. “Pretty well.”
Bei Yao thought seriously. “Pei Chuan, when the scores come out and your scores are way higher than mine, you should choose a good university. It’s not a big deal, we’ll just… just be away for four years.”
His lips curved slightly as he listened to this silly girl planning the future.
She said, "I'm serious, if you do it for me and choose a school that doesn’t match your scores, I’ll owe you a good university for the rest of my life."
Hearing the sweet voice of the girl, Pei Chuan opened his window and looked in the direction of her house.
The sky was high and blue.
Pei Chuan said, “Yaoyao, a good man will not let a girl wait for him year after year.” With his dark pupils, he looked at the birds flying freely across the sky outside the window. “People like me won’t leave you behind. Even if he has to pass a mountain of swords and a sea of flames*, he will carry you on his back.”
*t/n: Idiom for dangerous places or face extreme danger.
Rather than saying he was trying to educate her, it was more like sweet nothings.
She propped her chin, looked at the roses climbing on her window, and couldn’t hold her smile back. “Just like you?”
He pursed his lips.
Not him, he didn’t have legs. He couldn’t even carry her for more than ten meters.
On June 23rd, a tense atmosphere pervaded the country for the announcement of the college entrance exam results.
Bei Yao told Zhao Zhilan in advance that she hadn’t performed well this time, so Zhao Zhilan and Bei Licai shouldn’t have high expectations of her.
Zhao Zhilan had been alarmed by the news that some students had jumped off buildings because they hadn’t done well on the college entrance examinations. So, she said to Bei Yao, “Mom is telling you, grades are only a small part of life. Good grades are only the icing on the cake, it’s not a big deal to get bad grades. Seeing you healthy and happy are mine and your father’s greatest wish.”
Bei Yao smiled and nodded.
This time, it was the parents’ turn to be nervous.
When Bei Yao got the results, they were much higher than she had expected.
There was a moment of joy. After all, she had been studying hard for ten years. Bei Yao cheered.
She could go to B University with these scores!
Though her English wasn’t very good, all the other subjects were. For the first time, Bei Yao thanked herself for the efforts that she had invested before, and for always trying her best. Even if the final results weren’t as good as her expectations, they were still notably high.
She couldn’t drag Pei Chuan down anymore!
The next day, the national results’ statistics came out.
Zhao Zhilan, who was immersed in her daughter's good results, got shocked when she looked at the statistics.
"What? Husband, take a look at who the champion of our city is!"
Bei Licai leaned over, and was stunned at first sight. "Pei Chuan!"
In 2009, the first place of the city's college entrance examinations was Pei Chuan.
In the summer of that year, the media made an appointment with the top students. They all knew about Pei Chuan’s misfortune from the post not long ago. But such an unfortunate teenager had grown up to be the top science student in their city.
The first in the city, ah!
When the red list was unfolded, Pei Chuan’s name was written in a bright gold colored text.
The scroll with the gold colored text at the entrance of the Third High School was filled with pride for Pei Chuan. When Jin Ziyang saw it for the first time, he felt like it was like a dream.
“Crap! No way! Chuan Ge is so cool!”
Pei Chuan, the top science student who had scored full marks in mathematics, was handed a bunch of olive branches by several universities.
He could just pick any good university in the country.
But, he locked it all in his drawer and filled out an online form seriously of his own will.
First choice, B University.
Whether it was electronic science and technology, mechanical, or computer, he could basically master it.
Three years ago in autumn, he had lied to that miserable little girl for three years that he had barely missed her. Three years later, he promised her that he would go to the same school as her.
After the college entrance examinations’ results came out, appreciation banquets were held one after another.
Coincidentally, the Third High School’s Class Nine and Sixth High School’s Class Six went to the same restaurant.
On the other hand, Wu Mo did not come to the banquet. It was said that she had done very poorly on the test and intended to repeat a year. After two to three years of obsessing over pursuing love and never putting any effort into her studies, she had come to regret it after getting bad results.
Bei Yao’s homeroom teacher, Li Fangqun, was very happy. This year her expectations had been surpassed as five more people from her class had gotten into the priority undergraduates. The teacher’s face was brightened by the students’ achievements.
“Teacher, can we drink today?”
Li Fangqun said with a ferocious expression, “You can’t, today you are still my students. Just toast to this teacher with other drinks, no one will mind.”
The students let out “tch” sounds.
As expected, no matter how many years had passed, Teacher Li was still a sensible woman.
Li Fangqun tapped on the table. “Students! The college entrance examinations aren’t the final destination but the starting point. You have to live a full and meaningful life. No matter which universities you go to, I hope you won’t be greedy for immediate pleasures, but strive hard and keep moving forward to see a bigger world.”
Looking at the students who wouldn’t listen, Li Fangqun said helplessly, “Really…”
She laughed again. What carefree youths, ah.
After all, they were still young. They would never understand the truths that they would realize when they were older.
Hadn’t she, the teacher, also been like them back then?
The city’s lights were on.
In a small city like C City, even the lights were gentle.
In another private room, Jin Ziyang sat with a few other people.
Naturally, they were drinking alcohol, uncontrolled by the teacher. Ji Wei was wiping his teary face while crying.
Jin Ziyang teased him, “Wei Ge, you’re an adult already. If a man cries then a girl will chirp.”
Ji Wei said, “What do you know! What do you know?”
“Okay, okay, okay, I don’t understand anything, okay?”
Zheng Hang found it both funny and annoying. “If you really want to go abroad, you can just say a word to your dad and you’ll get in.”
Ji Wei shook his head. “That’s different. Passing the test by myself is different from getting in with connections.”
Jin Ziyang didn’t understand the difference. Their family was business-centered; they only valued results and benefits. As long as the results were good, the process didn’t make any difference, right?
However, Ji Wei had a soft and stubborn personality at the same time.
Pei Chuan said, “Ji Wei, study one more year.”
Ji Wei looked at him. “Chuan Ge…”
Pei Chuan nodded. “It’s not considered a waste to spend years of effort on something you like.”
Ji Wei nodded with red eyes. “Next year! I’ll definitely get into Cambridge.”
Jin Ziyang: “...Come on, you’re more likely get into a ‘squat at home*’ situation.”
*t/n: 家里蹲 (jia li dun) squat at home, ‘hikikomori’ in Japanese, or ‘NEET’ in English. Jin Ziyang means that Ji Wei would probably be holed up at home studying and would never get into Cambridge LOL.
Ji Wei flushed with anger.
However, before the end of the banquet, Jin Ziyang patted Ji Wei’s shoulder emotionally. “Wei, ah, between us brothers, you are the only one with dreams. Don’t say it, sometimes I really envy you. I want to know what it’s like to have a dream. Fight on! I believe you can get into Cambridge.”
Jin Ziyang and Zheng Hang were going to take the same path in the future. They were looking for connections to study in business-related schools, and then go to their own families’ companies after graduating.
Zheng Hang said, “I sometimes think that a man’s life doesn’t need to be too long. To have a decent job and a woman he likes is enough. When you come home there are wife, kids, and a warm bed*, then everything is satisfied. When you don't have to work hard, you can relax, but after that you’ll feel empty. Those who hustle at work, whether they’re crying or laughing, at least they are real emotions. If we never work hard, we can’t even laugh or cry.”
*t/n: Simple and good life.
Pei Chuan said, “Finally your brain is awake, it’s not too late.”
Zheng Hang smiled bitterly.
Pei Chuan said lightly, “Your starting point is higher than other people, it’s easier to do anything. As long as you stay clear-headed, the results won’t be too bad.”
“Chuan Ge, let’s have a drink. I wish you a bright future!”
The several teenagers clinked their glasses.
Pei Chuan drank a glass of wine and watched them grow mature. Three years had turned out to be so fast, and it had polished everyone into well-defined people.
For the first time, he believed in friendship.
Bei Yao hadn’t expected someone to confess to her after the banquet.
It was a boy of the same grade, from Class Twelve.
He was very nervous. Obviously, it was also his first time confessing. Yang Jia smiled evilly and walked away.
The boy gathered up his courage. “Classmate Bei Yao, I’ve liked you for a long time. I know you study seriously, so I only dared to confess after graduation. Will you give me a chance?”
Bei Yao had received many love letters, but this was her first time being confessed to on the spot.
Bei Yao shook her head. “I’m sorry.”
Though the lights were dim, she still saw the pair of black eyes on the other side of the road.
He had been drinking, and had a wrist guard on his arm while he looked across the road and met her gaze.
They were only a few steps apart.
Pei Chuan watched quietly as someone else expressed their liking towards her.
The boy who was confessing was obviously too nervous and didn’t realize that there was an “outsider” watching.
The boy was very excited. “I… I also studied very hard, and got good scores on this exam. Which university do you want to go to? I can go there with you. I will treat you very well if you want to be my girlfriend.”
Bei Yao bit her lip. She only looked at Pei Chuan across the road. She needed Pei Chuan to take the initiative to acknowledge his status.
Big-B*stard-Pei, if you don’t come over now, your girlfriend will be gone!
Pei Chuan told himself that he couldn’t go.
He could prevent it once, but he couldn’t interfere for a lifetime.
However, under the lamp, the young girl only looked at him with that pair of big, clear eyes. The world seemed quiet and peaceful.
When the boy reached out to pull Bei Yao, he took a few steps to block it.
The boy’s hand was blocked by Pei Chuan’s arm with a wrist guard.
Pei Chuan hit the boy’s hand with his sturdy muscles from boxing practice.
Though it was only a light hit, the boy’s hand still turned red. He looked at Pei Chuan in surprise.
Pei Chuan said to him coldly, “I’m not dead yet.”
So, is she someone you can touch?
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