Devil’s WarmthChapters List
Chapter 17: Protection 
In the winter of 2003, the whole community was covered with snow, and the green hills turned white in no time.
All kinds of news on TV were dominated by Chang Xue.
"Former 'jade girl' became a mistress, and a Hong Kong tycoon abandoned his wife for her."
"Chang Xue fell from the pedestal, and her cool and lofty image crumbled down."
"Chang Xue's new movie is facing a box office crisis."
All kinds of bad press had a huge impact on her popularity. After dinner, people gathered around the TV to watch the news. Chang Xue’s fans couldn't believe the news and were still trying to clarify the air, but the person involved, Chang Xue, had never appeared.
It was unknown who was trying to screw Chang Xue, but the public relations on this matter from her side had not been done well. In the end, the news that Chang Xue has become a mistress spread like a volcanic eruption through the streets. The "jade girl" persona of nearly a decade no longer existed, and Chang Xue had since retired from the Hong Kong star stage.
Zhao Zhilan gawked at the overwhelming news and newspapers of all kinds, and she couldn't help but sigh, "Life, sometimes is hard to decipher."
Chang Xue's decline meant that Zhao Xiu's proudest capital was gone. On the contrary, a strange awkwardness appeared under this backdrop.
Zhao Xiu had always been portraying Fang Minjun in the image of Chang Xue. And now that Chang Xue had been forced to quit the entertainment industry, it was assumed that Zhao Xiu would no longer want Fang Minjun to be associated with Chang Xue.
Looking at the news, Bei Yao frowned and pondered. If Fang Minjun didn't look like Chang Xue, it would be a good thing for Fang Minjun.
But Fang Minjun had moved out of the community, and now it was winter vacation, so she didn't know Fang Minjun’s situation.
Bei Yao was worried about her. Although Fang Minjun was a little cold, she was not a vicious villain. She remembered that Pei Chuan's house had a cell phone and a telephone.
Heavy snow was drifting outside the house. Bei Yao carried her winter holiday homework to Pei Chuan's house.
Pei Haobin opened the door, his eyebrows softened, and he said, "It's Bei Yao. It's cold outside, come in quickly."
"Thank you, Uncle Pei."
"Xiao Chuan is in his room, I'll go call him. Your Aunt Jiang is not here, sit anywhere as you please."
Bei Yao repeatedly thanked him.
Pei Chuan's house was clean and tidy. Pei Haobin had been a soldier, so everything was neatly arranged in the house. This was the second time Bei Yao had been to Pei's house since she was a child.
Pei Chuan didn't like his private domain being invaded, so Bei Yao had always respected his taboos.
Pei Haobin was rough and careless. He didn't think much and directly opened the door of the innermost room. As soon as Bei Yao turned her head, she saw a Pei Chuan she had forgotten for many years.
It was snowing outside the window. Pei Chuan was at his desk, assembling a strange device she couldn't understand.
The teenager was still slightly thin. He was sitting in a wheelchair with a very long black blanket covering his legs.
He turned his head and saw Bei Yao standing there while holding a book.
The air became quiet for a moment.
For the first time, Bei Yao got to know that he didn't wear a prosthetic leg at home. As long as he was in front of people, Pei Chuan always wore prosthetic limbs, which made people forget that he never got better.
The sensory device in Pei Chuan's hand beeped twice. He dropped his eyes and flicked his finger with distinct knuckles. It shattered.
Pei Haobin said, "Xiao Chuan ah, Bei Yao is here. You guys play together, dad has something to go out."
Pei Haobin didn't even have time to change his clothes and left in a hurry.
"What are you waiting for? Come here."
Bei Yao was feeling embarrassed. She was as constrained as she had been as a child and couldn't help but breathe lighter when she entered his room.
"Can't do your homework?"
"No." Bei Yao held the ‘Winter Vacation Assignment’ tightly and asked him, "Can you contact Fang Minjun?"
Pei Chuan raised his eyes and said coldly, "Mind your own business."
"She grew up with us. Don't you worry about her?"
Pei Chuan paused and felt a little funny. Bei Yao thought too well of him. Who was Fang Minjun? Why should he care about her? Yet looking at her serious eyes, he subconsciously felt he couldn't say these words to her.
"Do you have her phone number?"
"What about her address?"
Bei Yao lowered her head, her face a little red, "No."
Pei Chuan looked at her. She was like a little quail, so embarrassed that she wanted to bury herself.
He turned the wheelchair and went to the landline in the living room.
Bei Yao followed behind him.
The teenager's fingers pressed a few numbers on the landline keys and met her big eyes as she crouched down to look up at him expectantly. He averted his eyes and looked away as he spoke in a low voice, "Hello, Teacher Li, this is Pei Chuan. Can you give me the phone number of classmate Fang Minjun's home?"
"Well, the reason? When her family moved last time, something was left at my house, so she should be informed to take it back."
"Okay, thank you, teacher, I've written it down."
He hung up the phone and pressed a few numbers again, then gave the receiver to Bei Yao.
Bei Yao took the phone, and it quickly connected to the other end. It was Zhao Xiu's voice, "Hello? Who are you looking for?"
"Aunt Xiu, it's Bei Yao. Can I talk to Minmin?"
"You wait, I'll call her."
After a long time, when Bei Yao was a bit uneasy, the girl's hoarse voice came from the other end, "Hello."
"Minmin, it's Bei Yao."
Pei Chuan's black pupils looked at the little girl on the phone.
Her long, slightly curly hair was spread out behind her, and she was wearing a light blue cotton dress. She was tugging at the small locks on the hem of her dress and looked a little nervous. Pei Chuan heard her say, "Minmin, the wintersweet flower plant in the neighborhood is at bloom, so this year it's especially fragrant here. My mom made really delicious sausage, I'll bring it to you at the beginning of the school, okay?"
"...and let's go to the amusement park together sometime, I heard there's a big new amusement park being built in City C. I've never been to an amusement park, can you go with me?"
"Don't cry." She said gently, "You're Fang Minjun ah, not Chang Xue."
The little girl at the other end always had a cold face, but now she was crying hysterically, and she had a fruit knife hidden in her pocket. When Bei Yao called, she actually wanted to make a cut.
All the glory and shame of more than a decade of the name Fang Minjun seemed to be linked to Chang Xue. Now that her faith has collapsed, Fang Minjun found it hard to breathe.
However, this phone call made her cry out in pain.
Yeah, she was only twelve years old. She hadn't been to the new amusement park nor had she seen the Wintersweet flower plant that never bloomed in front of the community in bloom. She was afraid of the pain and was reluctant to die. How much she hoped that someone would save her, but she never expected that this would be Bei Yao, who had been pressured by herself since childhood because of Chang Xue.
Fang Minjun was gradually pacified.
Bei Yao hung up the phone, only to see Pei Chuan's eyes that were countless times colder than before.
She felt in her pocket and said softly, "Sorry for using your phone for so long. I'll give you the money."
She took out a fifty yuan note, which was almost all the possessions in her small vault.
Pei Chuan snickered, "You're so generous."
He took the fifty dollar note and played with it, "Who is Fang Minjun to you? This is all your money, right? Or do you treat everyone like this?"
Bei Yao felt baffled.
Fang Minjun wasn't her, but she thought about it for a long time. If she was Fang Minjun, her mentality would have collapsed until now. If this matter was spawned, it could be very serious. If it wasn't serious, Bei Yao naturally wouldn't care about Fang Minjun, who had always been at odds with her.
Pei Chuan squeezed the banknote. Then with two fingers, he gently exerted a little force and fifty yuan went into the trash can.
Bei Yao subconsciously let out a “yah” sound and crouched down to pick it up. The moody teenager had already pushed the wheelchair towards the room.
"Pei Chuan, Pei Chuan..."
The door slammed shut in front of her eyes.
Bei Yao looked at the closed door in front of her, and for the first time, she felt a little aggrieved. After all, she was only twelve years old, and she still needed to be coaxed. She often couldn't understand why Pei Chuan was angry, just as she didn't know how to make this deep-hearted young man happy.
Bei Yao tried her best to back down and give him everything that she felt was good. But these things might be like this banknote, if he didn't care, he would throw it into the trash in the blink of an eye.
She blinked her eyes and wanted to cry a little. But she finally left Pei's house without knocking on his room’s door and closed the door of the house for him.
Bei Yao stepped on the snow, making small and lovely footprints one step at a time.
Pei Chuan, behind the curtains, looked down at her from the fourth floor.
Was this how she was getting impatient with him?
So there was no difference between him, Fang Minjun, or Chen Hu and Li Da in Bei Yao's heart.
Pei Chuan heard her coaxing Fang Minjun. Heavens had given her a soft and sweet voice that if she softly coaxed someone, it could make people's hearts melt. The way she used to coax him, now that same way she was coaxing Fang Minjun today. In the future, it might be Chen Hu, Li Da, or anyone else.
He knew that he was angry for no reason, and even seemed neurotic, but he couldn't control the mockery that came from the bottom of his heart.
It was as if someone was saying, "Look, Pei Chuan, you're just a poor child in need, in her eyes.
Pei Chuan obviously shouldn't be angry. He was just a cripple who shouldn’t have any friends in the first place. But that day, when he heard the words of Chen Hu and Li Da around the corner, a seed was quietly planted in his heart.
Boys are usually not as precocious as girls, but in the year Pei Chuan had not yet entered the second year of junior high school, he wasn’t ignorant and green enough to not realize that his mood was different when he faced Bei Yao.
But she didn't know, she didn't know anything.
He watched the little footprints drifting away in the snow, and his pale fingers tightened their grip on the wheelchair armrest.
Bei Yao flipped open her small writing book, which had deep secrets that she couldn't tell anyone since she was a child.
In the future, she wished to treat Pei Chuan a little bit better. Bei Yao knew the principle of remembering gratitude for a thousand years. Therefore, she locked up the small character book in a brand new box so that no one would open it.
It wasn't long before spring started, the cold C City was warming up quickly. Bei Yao soon changed out of her thick jacket and put on a light spring outfit.
Hua Ting was happiest at the beginning of spring. She was surprised to find that all the girls in her class were beginning to develop like herself. Like a gentle breath of spring breeze, the girls' breasts gradually began to bulge out and Hua Ting was no longer the only one who was special. At this time, Hua Ting didn't need Bei Yao to tell her. She was walking with a straight back on her own initiative.
Bei Yao had also just begun to develop, and the little buns were often a little painful. She was very careful not to touch them.
Hua Ting blushed and whispered in her ear, "Yaoyao, have you come to that one?"
"Oh, I was so shocked when I came here a while ago, I almost cried, I thought I had some terminal illness."
"No, that's just you growing up."
Hua Ting asked her, "What are you doing by stringing so many beads?"
"Making a safety knot." The young girl's innocent eyebrows were gentle, and she said with a smile, "Pei Chuan's birthday is coming soon."
The end of spring was Pei Chuan's birthday. Although he had been in a strange temper recently and was no longer willing to go home with her after school, nor did he take the initiative to make up after his last temper tantrum, she was not angry with him.
‘Pei Unhappy’ was already so petty. If she also became petty, then what's the difference between them!
Hua Ting snorted, "Why are you so nice to him? He is not good to you at all." ‘I haven't seen Pei Chuan treating Yaoyao so well ever.’
Pei Yao put on the beads, "He'll be fine when he grows up."
"Speaking as if you know."
She didn't know, but it didn't stop her from being nice to him.
T/N: Chapter 17 was too long so I parted it in two. Enjoy!
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