Devil’s WarmthChapters List
Chapter 40: In The Embrace
T/N cx: This will be our last chapter. Our group will not be translating this series anymore because of our busy schedules from school; The admins will probably arrange a new translation team for this series. We’re a group of friends and this is our first time picking up translation, and it was a wonderful experience! We hope you enjoyed these few chapters we translated :)
Returning in October after a holiday, Bei Yao spotted a love letter in her drawer after a night of revisions.
A pink envelope sprinkled with golden powder. At one glance, one could tell that a lot of effort went into the decoration. Although Sixth High was not strict like Third High, they still forbid dating at a young age. Boys and girls seldom confessed upfront. Even writing love letters took a lot of courage.
Bei Yao saw a boy’s name written on the cover: “Han Zhen.”
It was written in a smooth stroke as if giving life to the words.
Bei Yao knew Han Zhen, a tall boy from the second year’s first class. In their last exam, his ranking was higher than hers by a few spots, Bei Yao was seventh in the year, and Han Zhen was third, the top scorer of his class.
Bei Yao placed it into her bag. Wu Mo, who was sitting beside her, jerked and jested, “Hey, a love letter from Han Zhen. Aren’t you gonna read it?”
Bei Yao tilted her head, the classroom lights reflected in her eyes like constellations. Mo Li gripped her pen harder. “Why are you so quiet?”
Bei Yao replied with her stern petite face, “Wu Mo, I respect your privacy, so please respect mine too.”
Mo Li was embarrassed. Almost the entire cohort knew Bei Yao had a good temper, good grades, and was always approachable. Her almond eyes were clear and pretty, coupled with her long lashes. One smile from her could capture anyone's heart.
These kinds of people were never harsh with their words, making her adorable. However, today, she had reprimanded Wu Mo for invading her privacy.
Mo Li placed her pen down. “I didn’t see it on purpose. His name was written right on the cover, can you blame me for this? I was just joking, must you really act this way?”
The love letter was hidden deep inside Bei Yao’s desk. If Wu Mo didn’t look for it purposely, she’d never see it.
Bei Yao was unsure if the letter was opened. However, just like what Chen FeiFei said, Wu Mo had changed a lot. Growth sharpens the personalities of many, and Fang MinJun, Chen Hu, are all improving. Yet Wu Mo was the opposite.
Bei Yao didn’t argue with Wu Mo any further. She went with Chen FeiFei afterwards.
Students were all preparing to leave after their night studies. Wu Mo was feeling uneasy as if an unknown pressure was pulling her down.
She knew ever since that ‘online dating’ incident, her three roommates have distanced themselves. Why are they doing this? Do they look down on her, assuming she got cheated for being a gold digger? In an extreme case, do they think she was ‘filthy’?
Wu Mo was frustrated and upset, why must she suffer this way? She was also the victim, how could they treat her like this. She didn’t trust her roommates and always thought of them spilling her secrets. By then, her reputation would be down the drain.
There were four people in a room. Wu Mo held the most envy towards Bei Yao. Despite Bei Yao’s worst background amongst them all, she had a good relationship with others and also had an adorable face everyone envied. What’s more, she knew how good Bei Yao’s body was. Bei Yao had all that Wu Mo desired. The latter couldn’t understand why Chen FeiFei and Yang Jia sided with Bei Yao wholeheartedly. Don’t they feel insecure?
The lights in the classroom were switched off. Wu Mo planned to return to the classroom, but she got more hesitant over each thought.
Her reputation was ruined, yet Bei Yao was crystal clear like ice and pure like jade. Even more, people who like Bei Yao are very good.
She marched towards the camphor tree garden in school.
She glanced at the love letter.
Under a camphor tree, a tall-looking boy was waiting nervously.
The boy turned his head around, exposing his refreshing face. He was good-looking, an ideal type for highschool girls in this generation, hair neatly combed with a smile that brings warmth to hearts.
Han Zhen found her somewhat familiar, “You are?”
“My name is Wu Mo, Bei Yao’s roommate.”
Han Zhen blushed. He thought of many possibilities if Bei Yao would appear. However, he never expected her roommate to come. He could only politely greet her, “Hello.”
Wu Mo said awkwardly, “Bei Yao saw it… She didn’t come. She’s studying hard, you shouldn’t disturb her.”
Han Zhen replied, disappointed, “I understand. Studying comes first.”
Wu Mo added, “Not really. You know, many people admire Bei Yao.”
Han Zhen raised his head to hear her out.
“However, Bei Yao thinks most admirers just like her for her face. Do you really have the courage to confess upfront? Fearless of letting everyone know?”
Han Zhen was raised in a good family and received a quality education. He made up his mind and cleared his throat, “Alright.” He added, “Would she agree in this way?”
Wu Mo’s heart thumped, “Yeah for sure. She told me she likes courageous people.”
“I understood. Three days later at the autumn cross country match, can you please relay her a message, to wait for me at the finishing line?”
By the time she reached the dorm, the rest were done washing up.
Chen FeiFei, “Wu Mo, why are you so late today? The dormitory aunty almost locked the gate.”
Wu Mo was guilty and didn’t dare to look at Bei Yao, “My stomach hurts, I was at the toilet in the studying block.”
The other girls didn’t doubt her further. Soon their lights need to be off.
Lights out, Wu Mo noticed the svelte shadow opposite and bit her lips gently. This was her first time doing terrible acts, her heart was thumping non-stop. Yet, she couldn’t control her jealousy of Bei Yao.
Han Zhen was even aware he could get a bad record.
The autumn cross country match was a tradition for the high schools in C city. There would be other high schools taking part too. Since it was a massive event, all the schools would be having a one-day break.
October was a month that had the most holidays other than the summer and winter breaks.
In Third High, second-year ninth class, the sports representative passed around the registration form, Jin ZiYang voiced, “I registered all of us for the race.”
Pei Chuan who was doing practice papers raised his head and muttered, “I’m not going.”
Jin ZiYang was confused, “Why not? It’ll be fun! Even if you don’t finish the race, those beauties at the sides giving you water will make you look cool too!”
Chuan bro’s arms were toned, making him extra charming when he exercised.
Pei Chuan didn’t go on to explain and continued to finish his chemistry papers.
Jin ZiYang and the group didn’t know that he had no calves, the sports pants he always wore covered his disabilities. On their first interaction, they were only aware he was rich, lived alone, and had a lot of freedom, but his past remained a secret.
Pei Chuan felt he had no family. If Jin ZiYang were to accidentally mention his past, he would become extra cold towards them.
After a while, everyone soon learned that he was sensitive towards his past and anything related to the family. They decided to never mention this topic.
Zheng Hang exclaimed, “I wanna go! Sign me up for it.”
Jin ZiYang nodded in response and went on to poke Ji Wei who was in front of him. “Brother Wei, what about you?”
Ji Wei shook off his finger and pushed his spectacles. “I told you so many times to not call me Brother Wei, sounds like… whatever. I’m not going, I need to study for chapter three of English. I believe I can score well.”
Jin ZiYang laughed and slapped the former’s shoulders. Knowing that the skinny Ji Wei didn’t exercise a lot, he didn’t create any trouble and canceled Ji Wei’s name on the list.
Pei Chuan stared at the chemical formulas on the paper. Meanwhile, Jin ZiYang and Zheng Hang were debating about cross country. He stared at the paper, but nothing was absorbed.
He was aware he couldn’t exercise like a normal person. The last basketball match had his limbs swollen, and he was stuck in bed for the following three days.
His body never allowed him to do much, the only thing he could do was listening to other’s stories.
October, the ginkgo trees in the Third High are fading to yellow. A girl was donned in bright red innerwear, two ribbons intersected behind her neck, completed with Sixth High’s uniform outside. Her red clothes contrasted her glossy white cheeks.
Bei Yao was gasping for air as she glanced towards the Third High.
Their last period on Tuesday was P.E, so Bei Yao took a bus here. The Third High was still on the curriculum.
Relieved, she walked along with the yellow ginkgo trees towards the campus.
The bell of the last period sounded as students flooded out of the classrooms. Bei Yao could only avoid them. Uniform was made compulsory in Third High, one set in purple and white while the other in blue and white. She had never seen Pei Chuan in one.
Her shoulder had a tiny blue dolphin printed. Any further inside was a quiet study block. Bei Yao thought Pei Chuan might have left and dialed for his number.
The call got through in no time. A deep voice sounded, “Bei Yao.”
“Hello, I’m at your school’s ginkgo tree garden, can you come down?”
Pei Chuan ended the call, and told Jin ZiYang, “You guys head out first, I have some business.”
Without waiting for their reaction, he headed towards the location.
Jin ZiYang and the gang of course wouldn’t eat in the canteen. They grabbed each other’s shoulders, “How about dinner at The Glamourous, we haven’t been there for long.”
“Yeah let’s go. We’ll call Chuan bro later. Today’s night studies are supervised by old Chen, let’s skip.” Teacher Chen had a personality of a tortoise, he was the ‘victim’ of the students’ ‘bullying’. The group laughed and headed out.
Pei Chuan arrived at the ginkgo garden.
The ginkgos were amalgamations of green and yellow. Leaves glided in the air as they fell from the branches. She was sitting on a big rock and carrying a school bag. Maybe she was exhausted, both her hands were supporting her knee as she panted.
The girl was wearing her uniform pants. The pants were too long, she folded the end, exposing her slim ankles.
Both her feet were dangling in the air. Her fringe fluttered gently in the breeze as ginkgo leaves danced in the air beside her.
The basketball court still had people, the boys stopped their game, and were all stealing glances at her. Bei Yao was exhausted from carrying her bag and didn’t notice them.
Pei Chuan looked down.
“Pei Chuan!” Bei Yao yelled with a bright smile. Her ending pitch was gentle.
Pei Chuan moved closer. She didn’t come down from the rock and was still shorter than his eye level.
She fished out a simple lunch box from her bag. Pei Chuan glanced closer. Her cheeks turned red, “My mom made dumplings and five-colour cake. Today is the Double Ninth Festival.”
Inside the metal lunch box was filled with steamed dumplings and five-colour cake side by side.
It didn’t appear to be the most appealing. Furthermore, the food was cold.
She signaled for him to take it. Pei Chuan took it over, “You ran here?”
“No, I took the bus,” she smiled. I only ran from the school to the bus stop and from the alighting bus stop to here.
Pei Chuan stared at the content of the lunch box that Jin ZiYang’s group would never pay heed to, and a ridiculous thought flowed up. Bei Yao was unaware of his current living condition, so she was still taking care of him like in childhood times.
She might have heard “Third High Pei Chuan” from others. However, to Bei Yao, this was just an unfamiliar term. In her heart, he was still the same Pei Chuan.
She didn’t know he had almost fallen into the abyss.
He gripped the lunch box hard as his eyes landed on the tiny panda toy in her bag.
Bei Yao spotted his glance, she asked, “Is this from you?”
Pei Chuan didn’t deny, “Yeah.”
Bei Yao was very confused, “You knew my panda broke?”
Meeting up her crystal clear eyes, he could only lie, “The original one was broken? I spotted this coincidentally and found it similar to yours, so I just bought it.”
His tone was calm. Bei Yao never suspected a thing.
From a sixteen-year-old girl’s point, voice monitoring was very distant.
Her voice was sweet as honey, adoring the gift, “Thank you, I like it. I wouldn’t spoil it.”
A part of his heart was thumping non-stop uncontrollably. As if that crazy night was healed by this one smile. He stepped back, paranoid of his heart skips leaking.
He stood in front of her, unused to smiling, yet his eyes portrayed warmth. Compared to all those typical smiles he made, this one was awkward, yet more realistic.
Bei Yao had to go back soon, she was attending night studying.
Pei Chuan didn’t send her off. He watched her walk afar and realised for the first time, that lie he told her a year ago was the biggest mistake he made in life.
Their schools were close, yet they couldn’t see each other. There wouldn’t be a second girl sending food to him despite exhausting herself.
She grew up to be so pretty, anyone that had ego would know that being so nice to someone with disabilities like him, would be a shame for her.
Yet, as she walked along with the ginkgo garden, her silhouette pure and lighthearted, without a sign of shame.
When she walked afar, Pei Chuan returned to class and finished up the lunch box.
At night, in The Glamourous, level four KTV. Pei Chuan was leaning against the window, smoking.
They didn’t attend night studying tonight. Glancing from The Glamourous, Sixth High’s lights relighted in the studying block.
He had the urge to see her current life, just one look from afar will do.
Jin ZiYang voiced, “If only this place had a dance ball, that’d be f**king cool. Chuan bro, you want a glass?”
Pei Chuan turned, the KTV was chaotic. Sixth High in the distance was peaceful and bright.
“I’m going for a walk.”
He walked towards the Sixth High from the dark side. At the front gate, Wu Mo was spotted.
Staring at her, Wu Mo’s heart accelerated for a moment, “Pei Chuan!” She rushed over, “W-Why are you here?”
Only then, Pei Chuan stopped walking. Thanks to his good memories, he recognised Bei Yao’s roommate.
His personality was cold. For whatever reasons, Wu Mo felt extra nervous meeting him than Han Zhen. Being stared at by his jet black pupils, her cheeks slowly turned red. Her pitch turned gentle too, “Thanks for helping me last time.”
She bit her lips, stealing glances at him.
Indifferently, Pei Chuan replied, “Yeah.” He added, “Are y’all having lessons?”
Of course, there were lessons. She was the biology representative. At her teacher’s request, she went out to take materials. However, as this boy stared at their studying block, Wu Mo’s heart sank.
She tried to test him, “Are you finding Bei Yao?”
Bei Yao was the one who brought in the news that Ding WenXiang was a scammer.
Pei Chuan didn’t reply. He neither liked questions like this nor held any patience for Wu Mo. He walked past Wu Mo.
Wu Mo was very upset.
She’s been dreaming these few days, all about Pei Chuan in The Glamourous. His indifferent tone scared off Ding WenXiang. This kind of indifferent, cool, strong boy will leave vivid memories of everyone’s high school days.
Wu Mo was more mature than Bei Yao and was more aware of romantic feelings than the latter. The former felt so sour inside she could produce poisonous acids. Why, why must it be Bei Yao again?
Fury forced Wu Mo to step forward, “We’re still having class. Bei Yao is marking the scripts for the teacher.”
He stopped moving.
Wu Mo gently added, “You’re Bei Yao’s friend, I’ll tell you in secret. There’ll be a surprise the day after.”
“There’ll be an autumn cross country match. The most good-looking boy from the first class will be confessing to our YaoYao. YaoYao took his love letter, but not a lot knew about this.”
The boy turned back. Despite being under the pitch-black night, his pupils were darker than night itself.
“She accepted the letter?”
Wu Mo’s fingers gripped harder and replied, “That’s right. Have you seen Han Zhen? They seem suitable. He likes YaoYao, despite knowing the consequences of confessions. Moreover, how many could actually finish the cross country each year? Just this line itself, YaoYao would be touched.”
The boy was silent for quite a long time. He didn’t go to the study block afterwards, turned, and left the gate.
Wu Mo used this event to lie for the second time. However, she was not as nervous as the first time.
She stared at the boy’s tall silhouette, admiration somewhat developed. If he really believed her words, he would either leave or fight, only Bei Yao or Han Zhen would be hurt in the end.
Wu Mo returned to class and spotted Bei Yao who was studying quietly. For the first time, anticipation grew inside her.
The day after would be the autumn sports day. Han Zhen’s confession, and whatever Bei Yao’s response is, there would be rumours nonetheless. Would it be ruining Han Zhen’s reputation in front of the whole school, or agreeing to be punished together?
The cross country event was bustling with life.
A banner was put up. Those that weren’t involved in the event would be there to help out. Volunteers wore their own school uniform and badge and took a ride up the mountain.
The mountain was full of vegetation until the trekkers created a path. Then, railings were built on top of the path. This would be used for the cross-country route.
From the foot of the mountain to the top, fitting the theme of the perseverance of cross country.
As long as participants reach the top, they would be awarded by the organizers. As such, the cross country that was held every three years was popular. Since Third and Sixth high was close to the venue, there were lots of participants from these two schools. The other schools that were further away had lesser participants.
Shi Tian, the head of the student council, was leading at the front, urging the first and second-year student volunteers onto the bus quickly. Third-year students usually don't participate in events like this.
It wasn’t long before exhaustion kicked in. “Why am I still doing this despite being the third year? Volunteers are so scarce this year, I had to resort to forcing people to volunteer.”
Bei Yao was on her period, so she could only choose to be a volunteer.
She was usually quiet but enjoyed the busy atmosphere of the event.
Yang Jia and Chen FeiFei chose to participate in cross country, to get a trophy for participation as a memento. Chen FeiFei even had a bottle over her neck, which Bei Yao took off for her. “There’s no need for this, it only adds to your weight. Energy drinks will be available in every station. If you’re thirsty, get one from the volunteers.”
“Alright, please cheer for me!”
Before Wu Mo boarded the bus, she leaned onto Shi Tian, “Ms. Chairman, could you bring me and Bei Yao to the summit? We want to see the overview scenery!”
Shi Tian, being easygoing, agreed without hesitation, “Sure, just be alert and help out those participants that reached the top.”
Wu Mo quickly nodded in response.
The bus brought the student participants to the foot of the mountain. The volunteers boarded another bus to the summit.
The loudspeaker echoed. “ Participants please take note. The entire course has been divided into six segments. Upon reaching one station, collect a ribbon from the volunteers. The results of the run will be determined by the number of ribbons you have collected and your timing.
This left Jin ZiYang and Zheng Hang dazed on the spot. Their original plan was to ride a bike to the summit.
The mountain was not so steep, but the journey to the summit was lengthy. Participants were trained mainly on their endurance, not much different from all the other marathon races.
Zheng Hang looked over his shoulder, “Chuan bro??”
Pei Chuan nodded at them.
Zheng Hang added, “Are you running? Your name is not registered so even winning wouldn’t get you a prize.”
Pei Chuan looked up towards the finishing line, “Just a casual run.”
The volunteers were ready at their post with bottles of water and paper cups.
The whistle blew, and the participants were off.
In all races, the beginning was always exciting, but little did they know how treacherous it would be after the adrenaline faded.
Pei Chuan took his time at a comfortable pace.
Initially, there were a lot of people around him. However, as he collected the second ribbon, the number of people around him decreased gradually.
He panted, the area where his limbs were in contact with the prosthetics were beginning to hurt, signaling him to give up.
But he persevered, unsure of what’s keeping him going. His pace remained consistent.
Han Zhen was a normal person, no doubt faster than the former. Pei Chuan who was well aware of this refused to accept drinks at the stations.
Soon, he collected four ribbons on his arm. It was a lonely run. He was not the first, but as he went on further, there were lesser people spotted. The pain from his legs almost caused him to stumble.
The skin was probably tearing.
He panted, gazed into the summit, and continued.
Past the fifth station, he took over the ribbon and wrapped it casually over his arm.
The volunteers at the station offered him water upon seeing his drenched shirt, “Here, have some water.”
He ignored the offer and continued making his way to the top.
People with prosthetics could play basketball, run, and box. But when the pain almost made him unable to stand, he realized that disabilities will forever remain as disabilities.
Pei Chuan thought to himself. His body and his life can be dirt cheap and useless, but he wasn’t going to give up so easily.
With only 100m away from the last checkpoint, he saw her.
Bei Yao was sitting at the volunteer tables, in her uniform and badges. Beside her were the volunteers from other schools.
There were many at the finishing line, all looking eagerly at those coming in. She was focused on pouring water and mixing it with sugar, while the remaining volunteers offered drinks to participants that finished.
The first thing Bei Yao saw as she looked up was Pei Chuan.
50m away, his pace was very slow, almost that of a snail.
He wasn’t a snail, but running with those legs took a herculean effort.
Now, his pacing was already irregular, merely relying on willpower. No one that had reached the finish line was looking as tired as him. His arms were lined with sweat, looking like he just got up from the pool.
Even Wu Mo who was at the finish line had her eyes wide open. What? Why is Pei Chuan so tired?
The last 20m. He could no longer run. Pei Chuan gritted his teeth as he walked towards her.
Pei Chuan wasn’t looking forward to anything. Just her offering him a cup of water would do. But it seemed that he couldn’t even make it towards her.
Shi Tian turned around, only to see Bei Yao sneaking under the lines cordoning off the path. She was shocked, “Bei Yao! What are you doing?”
Bei Yao stepped into the racing path without responding to Shi Tian.
She was running towards Pei Chuan.
Incidents of volunteers trespassing into the racing track were never a thing. Shi Tian never thought the first person to do such was the obedient Bei Yao.
Bei Yao’s long hair caught in the wind. Dashing towards the boy, two-metre, one metre. She was light as a butterfly, bringing the scent of summer.
She opened her arms, catching the torso that was about to fall.
It was their first hug in twelve years.
Her thin arms wrapped around his waist. The girl had a really good scent like gardenia, and also clove. His legs were in extreme agony and his lips were cracked. Hugging onto her was the only way he could prevent himself from falling.
Under the grip was a slender waist, different from his, a very soft sensation. Such slender, appearing weak and adorable. It was the first time he touched a girl’s body.
His palms were hot. He kept quiet while sweat covered his whole body.
“Pei Chuan.” Bei Yao was heartache and furious, “Why did you participate?!”
He leaned in her arms. His voice husky from a dry throat, “I like.” Because I like you.
Bei Yao thought he liked the cross country. She was mad, tears were rolling in her eyes. “You don’t treasure yourself! You deserve this pain”
He neither refuted her nor was he angry. “Yes.”
He closed his eyes, feeling the refreshing October breeze.
There was only him and Bei Yao on the track, there were 17m more towards the finishing line, behind her were countless people glancing.
She crossed over the segregation line and gave him his first hug in life.
The girl’s embrace had a good scent, had a soft sensation, and had a lingering feeling. It was a scent that he could never forget.
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