Devil’s Warmth

Chapters List

Chapter 56: Like You a Lot

The sunlight gently fell on Bei Yao, casting a shadow beneath her long eyelashes.

Bei Yao shook her head. “I don’t want this.”

Pei Chuan replied, “This is for your seventeenth birthday gift.”

“It’s not like just anyone would send a gift. Pei Chuan, who are you to me?” she said.

Her almond eyes shone with determination, not forgetting what had happened that night. Which girl would toss and turn in her sleep just to forget her first kiss the day after?

Bei Yao didn’t agree to his conditions, but she wanted him to acknowledge her feelings.

It wasn’t the curiosity of adolescence, nor a casual remark, nor a moment of impulsiveness.

So, Pei Chuan, who are you to me that I have to accept the gift?

Pei Chuan silently looked at her. “Yaoyao, don’t be unreasonable.”

The small part of her in her heart who had looked forward to his answer burst into tears, but Bei Yao didn’t cry. She glared at him, held back her tears, and gave back his Olympic tickets. He still didn’t understand her intentions, so she didn’t accept his gifts.

Pei Chuan’s original gift, the air plant, was still being given a cold shoulder.

The school was very quiet on the holidays. One could hear the sound of cicadas in the schoolyard.

The summer of Sixth High School had a thickly studious atmosphere. The balsam trees which were green all year-round were now emitting a light woody fragrance.

She had walked a few steps back before running towards him as she held back her tears.

He held the tickets in his hands and watched her run towards him.

“Pei Chuan.” That pair of clear eyes reflected his image. She gritted her teeth, and gathered her courage to ask, “Do you like me?”

He looked down at her.

The cicadas were shouting nonstop. The July was warm and dull.

Yaoyao, I love you.

It was different from her ignorant and youthful first love. Love was not about liking. It was about gently and cautiously understanding the other, being in agony when one missed them and wanting to treasure them properly. Liking would change with time and experience, whereas love would not.

But likewise, liking wouldn’t become a person's shackles. Love would.

Bei Yao saw him not answering and pursed her lips. This time, she didn’t turn her head as she walked away.

The summer vacation for the second-grade students wasn’t long. Compared with the long and boring vacations before, they could be said to have been pressed on time in this vacation. Even Zhao Zhilan said, “The college entrance examination is getting more intense, right? Yaoyao, what do you want for lunch? Mom will buy you some brain supplements.”

Bei Yao replied, “Anything is fine, thanks, mom.”

She opened the curtains and saw Chen Yingqi running downstairs. The sun in July was scorching hot, burning his body, and his shirt was drenched with sweat.

He had been running for an hour.

He was running around the neighborhood, one lap after another. The other teenagers in the neighborhood waved. “Chen Hu, aren’t you hot? Come and eat a popsicle.”

The Suisui Bing* was split into two by hand.

*t/n: Brand of popsicles.

Chen Yingqi’s gaze fell on the Suisui Bing, almost glued to it. He gulped and took two steps towards the teenager. Suddenly, he gritted his teeth, turned around, and ran again.

His voice could be heard from far away. “I’ve told you, don’t call me Chen Hu, but Chen Yingqi.”

Zhao Zhilan frowned when she came over. “What’s wrong with this child, running like this on such a hot day and not being afraid of heat stroke? Xiao Jun, come here, give that Gege some water to drink.”

Bei Jun had gotten a task. The child would have a sense of joy when getting a mission, so he ran to bring water to Chen Yingqi.

After a while, Chen Yingqi, who had finished a lap, ran back again. He was becoming tired like a short-lived old cow, sitting on the ground with shortened breath.

Bei Yao also went downstairs and gave him water with her brother.

Chen Yingqi hesitated a little, then remembered that it was okay to drink water. He took it and drank two mouthfuls with great restraint.

The ground was also hot in the summer, and people would jump up as soon as they sat down on it. But Chen Yingqi was obviously exhausted. The sweat made him unable to open his eyes, and his whole body looked like it had returned from showering in the rain.

Bei Yao asked, "Are you losing weight?"

Cheng Yingqi grinned, showing his white teeth. “Yes, ah, I have persevered for a month and lost a kilo. If I can lose 12 kilos in a year, I will be tall and handsome in three to four years.”

Bei Yao laughed.

Chen Yingqi said, “Don’t laugh, do you not believe me?”

Bei Yao said, "I believe you, but you are prone to heatstroke like this."

"Hey! I won't, I'm in good health, I've always been fine. Just a little tan."

Moreover, if one ran at the hottest time of the day, one would sweat a lot. Otherwise, it would be difficult to lose weight successfully with his physique that would gain weight even just by drinking water.

After Bei Yao came home, Zhao Zhilan sighed when she mentioned Chen Yingqi. "That child looks carefree, I didn’t expect him to be quite persistent."

He was very persistent, ah, who would work hard for a month to lose one kilo and still be so happy?

Later, Chen Yingqi running in the community had become a unique sight. The neighbors passing by would always ask, "Chen Hu, out running again, ah?"

Chen Yingqi would reply to her in a strong and loud voice, "Yes, Aunt Zhang!"

Zhao Zhilan often felt that raising a child was like blinking an eye. Things looked slow, but after one blinked, the children were all grown up. The naughty and lively children had grown up with their own appearances and personalities.

Including her family’s Yaoyao and Zhao Xiu family’s Minmin. They would both be seventeen this month.

Zhao Zhilan went to work normally in August.

When she came back at noon on the 1st, she was walking with unsteady steps.

She sat on the sofa in a daze for a long time.

Bei Licai asked, “What’s the matter with you?”

Zhao Zhilan said, "Husband, pinch me quickly to see if I am dreaming."

Bei Licai laughed bitterly. "What's wrong?"

Zhao Zhilan fished out four Olympic tickets from her coat pocket. "When I just came back, I was going to the supermarket to buy groceries, and then I saw a free lottery at the entrance, and I thought, ‘Well, it's free, so it'll be alright to get a towel and a bar of soap.’ As a result, I drew a seven of clubs and the man said I had won four Olympics tickets."

She really took out four tickets.

Bei Licai was also taken aback. Olympics tickets were priceless. How could it be so easy to draw them?

"You didn’t meet a scammer, right? How much did you pay him?"

Zhao Zhilan was also confused. "I didn't have to pay."

What if it had all just been a dream?

Bei Licai said, “Let me see.”

The couple checked the Internet and asked various questions, and it turned out that the tickets were real.

Zhao Zhilan exclaimed, “There can’t be such a coincidence. It just happened to be four tickets!” Bei Yao had just come out of her room after studying and saw the four tickets in her mother’s hand.

However, after thinking about it, she couldn’t point out any problems.

Zhao Zhilan said, “No way, I’m going to sell it!”

Bei Yao: “...”

This scene felt familiar. That weird summer camp! She clenched her teeth and wanted to beat that bastard up. Did he think her whole family was dumb?

However, no one could stop Zhao Zhilan. She turned around and was about to sell these Olympic tickets.

Bei Yao didn’t dare expose Pei Chuan. She could only anxiously focus on what was happening.

The result was, no one bought it.

The reason was simple. Everyone thought it was a fraud. Even a ticket scalper didn’t dare do this. Who would sell four Olympic tickets at once at a low price ah!

Zhao Zhilan couldn't sell it. Fang Minjun's birthday arrived, and Zhao Xiu's family took her on a trip.

This time Zhao Zhilan looked at herself and thought she looked like a swindler.

However, the value of these four tickets had already surpassed their family’s fortune, so it would be upsetting to not go.

Zhao Zhilan gritted her teeth. "It's Yaoyao's birthday, it’ll be good to take her to see the Olympics!”

Despite how much Bei Yao refused, the family was forced by Mother Zhao to take the train to Beijing. It couldn’t be wasted, couldn’t be wasted!

Bei Jun was so excited to hear that they were going to watch the games, that he was twisting and turning in Zhao Zhilan's arms, unable to rest for even a moment.

The train traveled for one day and one night before the family set foot on the land of the Imperial Capital*.

*t/n: Beijing was the Imperial Capital in ancient China.

The Imperial Capital this year was bustling. Because of the Olympics, foreigners with blond hair and blue eyes were often seen on the streets.

Bei Yao was sulking all the way, but she was only a seventeen-year-old girl, and couldn’t help being curious when she saw a new side of the world with her big eyes.

On the day of the Olympic games, the tickets they got allowed them to watch it live as expected.

On the field, the athletes were sweating. The pride and hard work of the Chinese people made the national flag rise and the national anthem play over and over again.

The people were cheering for their own country. Bei Yao watched until the end and saw a shocking new world.

Even the noisy Xiao Bei Jun was obediently and nervously nestled in his mother’s arms.

Bei Jun’s clear eyes were wide as he watched different races of people working hard for their own country, and the spirit of the competition kept spreading.

"Dad, I want to be an athlete too when I grow up and run the fastest!"

Bei Licai laughed out loud.

The world was really big. Dreams were like seeds; they would slowly bloom.

Bei Yao couldn’t sleep that night. She opened the window in her hotel room and stared at the moon in the capital. Her family loved their daughter. In such a golden city, they gave her a separate room, and Xiao Bei Jun was squeezed together with her father and mother.

The ‘Bird’s Nest*’ in the capital was beautiful, and the street lights were dazzling and pretty.

*t/n: Beijing National Stadium, also known as the ‘Bird’s Nest’.

It was a lively, bustling, and different kind of life.

Bei Yao gazed at the bright moon in the sky. This was not the moon in her hometown.

She put on her coat and went downstairs. The night breeze was a little cold. Bei Yao stood at a bridge, resting her chin on her arms by the railing, watching the moon’s reflection on the water being cut by waves.

There were people playing Erhu on the street, but the sound was far away.

She took out her phone and made a call. It was quickly picked up.

She listened to the sound of Erhu. “Pei Chuan, I’m in the Imperial Capital.”

“En, is it fun?”

She said, “The capital has beautiful neon lights that can’t be seen in C City, a grand Bird’s Nest, and a lively night market near the brightly glittering water by the moonlight. There are also a lot of people with fast-paced lives.”

He was silent, inevitably feeling a little bit sad.

“But Pei Chuan,” she said. “They are all so beautiful, but why am I on a bridge, and only missing you.”

She missed his cold gaze, those dark eyes which looked like the color of the night.

Her voice was choked with sobs. “Even if you don’t like me, I still miss you, just like homesickness.” Like missing the hometown’s warm and gentle moon, the soft street lights, the natural wind, and the unending rain in summer.

Pei Chuan's phone suddenly fell to the ground.

He stood in the middle of the pretty neon lights she had just mentioned, the bustling night market, and the bright moonlight, looking at her petite and thin back. He whispered, “Yaoyao.”

Bei Yao turned around.

Her long lashes trembled slightly, like two fluttering butterfly wings, looking at the young man at the end of the bridge.

The next moment the city's meteor shower of neon lights fell. She ran from the bridge towards where he was, and plunged into his embrace like a baby bird running into its nest.

He reached out his hands and held her tightly, his hands trembling slightly.

Months of anger and grievance poured out in an instant. She grabbed his shirt as she wailed, “You just wanted to push me away, like that time in our first year. You’ve always wanted to get rid of me.”

His chin rested on the top of her head, his voice trembling. “No, I’m not. How can I bear to do that?”

“Then you talk about such excessive conditions.”

He hugged her. “En, it’s too excessive.”

She sobbed and said, “I don’t agree and will never agree.”

“Okay, you don’t have to.”

She leaned her head on his chest, thinking back to that day’s question which he hadn’t answered. Bei Yao bit the button of his shirt, eyes still welling with tears, as if wanting to bite him to relieve her anger. “You also said you didn’t like me.”

His heart seemed to shatter at her sulking and biting, letting her do whatever she liked.

His heart under her ear was beating and trembling, the young man’s voice low and hoarse, ringing in her ears.

“I like you, like you a lot.”

God knew how much he liked her. There was nothing else he liked more than her.

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