Devil’s WarmthChapters List
Chapter 18: Protection 
All the girls in the class changed, but Fang Minjun suddenly lost too much weight. Now Fang Minjun's appearance, surprisingly, overlapped with the person she remembered. Fang Minjun was now thin and had high cheekbones. In just one winter, Fang Minjun changed and didn’t look like Chang Xue anymore.
She was no longer pretty and had a decrepit air about her, but she had become more popular.
The vibes around Fang Minjun were quite awkward, but Fang Minjun pretended not to care.
Hua Ting supported her chin, "I didn't like her before, but now she's quite pitiful. It was Chang Xue who did something wrong, but she didn't do anything wrong."
Bei Yao nodded approvingly.
"Do you know, there used to be people discussing whether the school flower is Fang Minjun or Shang Mengxian. But as soon as Fang Minjun came back this semester, everyone thought that it was Shang Mengxian for sure. Where does Fang Minjun still look like a school flower."
‘Shang Mengxian?’ Bei Yao thought the name sounded familiar.
Bei Yao had studied a year earlier, and many people and things around her were different from her past life. She racked her brain to think of distant memories, only to find that there was indeed such a person.
She was two grades younger than Shang Mengxian in her last life.
By the time she was completely changed and became pretty in the third year of her junior year, someone once whispered to her, ‘If you had looked like this then, it would never have been Shang Mengxian’s turn to be the school flower. You look countless times better than her!’
However, Bei Yao, who still had a baby face, sighed. It didn't matter whether she looks pretty or not. She'd better celebrate Unhappy Pei's birthday first.
At the end of spring and the beginning of summer, Shang Mengxian, who was in the second year of junior high school, took on the name of the school flower.
The fourteen-year-old girl, with a beautiful appearance, had a bit more charm than her peers. The one who benefited the most from the decline of Fang Minjun was Shang Mengxian, who had recently collected a large stack of love letters in the drawer of her school desk.
"Shang Mengxian, I'll say it, that Fang Minjun is nothing. Wasn’t she like that star? Now that the star has fallen, Fang Minjun looks really skinny and ugly. That Ge Bo, who used to like her, now pretends not to know her. Hahaha, you don't know how funny it is.”
Shang Mengxian put down the mirror and laughed as well.
"But well." The best friend said, "Ge Bo told me that when they used to be in the seventh grade, which is the first grade of junior high school, everyone liked Fang Minjun. But there was someone who never even looked at Fang Minjun directly and kept a cold face."
Shang Mengxian was somewhat interested, "Oh? Who is it?"
"Pei Chuan from their class. I heard that the boy doesn't have legs, and his calves are prosthetic legs. Do you know what a prosthetic leg is? It's just made like a real leg, the kind that can be fitted to walk."
Shang Mengxian's expressions showed a hint of disgust.
"But such a cripple can't even see Minjun. Don’t you think it's funny? What do you think? Does he despise her, or is afraid to like her?"
For girls of this age, the topics of interest had gradually transitioned from small snacks and games to who liked whom and who had a crush on whom.
Shang Mengxian's said in a contemptuous tone, "It is mostly because Fang Minjun’s charm is not enough, and is so cocky all day long. If I say that I'm going to make that Pei Chuan confess to me, do you believe it or not?"
Her best friend covered her mouth and then said with a smile, "Of course I believe it, you're so pretty. What about that disabled boy who's going to be dying on you then?"
Shang Mengxian also laughed. She did not go home after school in the afternoon but waited on the road by which Pei Chuan would go home after school.
Bypassing the pomegranate blossoms blooming on campus, Pei Chuan subconsciously looked at the stone that Bei Yao often sat on.
Small summer flowers were blooming all around, and he saw a shadow behind him on the flowers.
Pei Chuan slowed down his pace as he walked from there and waited for the girl to follow.
"You're Pei Chuan, right?" A light and playful tone came from his side.
His eyebrows furrowed imperceptibly when he realized that the person was a young girl whom he didn't know.
Shang Mengxian’s gaze obscurely swept over Pei Chuan's calf. She followed up by hiding the look in her eyes.
"My name is Shang Mengxian, I'm from the first class of second grade. I heard that a small park is being built towards your side. Isn’t it? Can you show me around?"
The smile on Shang Mengxian's face stiffened for a second, and her eyes were disdainful. However, she held back her impatience when she thought that the person who had snubbed at Fang Minjun before would please herself like a pug in the future.
"It doesn't matter. It's the same, I’ll go by myself." She walked in front of him intentionally, or unintentionally.
In the summer, she wore a miniskirt, showing her long and beautiful legs.
Shang Mengxian's blouse was rosy red with gorgeous short sleeves, and half of her shoulders were exposed. Her style was different from the girls of her age. Shang Mengxian was sure that he would be attracted to her, and she walked ahead with a graceful and careless gait.
Looking at this, a hint of mockery appeared on Pei Chuan's expressionless face.
Bei Yao went to the school commissary after school. The red beaded peace knot she made was beautiful, but it didn't seem good to just give it like this. So she spent three yuan and bought a packaging bag then she carefully put the piece knot in it.
Bei Yao hurriedly ran to the pomegranate blossom, but Pei Chuan was no longer there.
"Still not waiting for me." She sighed softly. She carried her small school bag on her back and picked up her pace on her way home. On the way home from junior high school, a new park was being built recently. She heard that it will take two years to complete the project, which was very frustrating to the children of the neighborhood. There is a regret that “the school always renovates when we graduate", and here the park was the same.
Till the time the park would be ready, all the teenagers would be in high school.
The roadside was full of lush wildflowers. In the summer sunshine, Bei Yao was fanning herself with her small hands. She was in a hurry, and before long, she looked up and saw Pei Chuan's back.
His spine was straight, and his gait seemed leisurely because of his slow pace.
The young man was elegant and calm, but he was accompanied by a young girl. Bei Yao was stunned and stopped with her gift. The birds were chirping. Bei Yao wiped the thin sweat from her head and sat on a rock under the cypress tree.
She watched them walk away.
Bei Yao held the peace knot in her arms, and for the first time, she wondered whether the words in that little notebook were true, or not.
‘Will this cold and frosty Pei Chuan love anyone as his beloved as the note says?’ Her mind now was that of a twelve years old girl. Although she had a few years of memory in advance, it was not to the age when love starts to blossom. Pei Chuan had a new friend who seemed to be a pretty girl so Bei Yao was genuinely happy for him.
After enough rest, Bei Yao slowly walked back along the road.
Pei Chuan didn't know that Bei Yao was behind him. He thought that she had already gone home.
Shang Mengxian beside him, spoke, "Is that Teacher Zhang speaking with an accent? Because of his accent, his ending tone rises up, right?"
Pei Chuan looked at the old residential building nearby and gave a faint "hmm".
His fingers inadvertently fiddled with the lock of the iron door nearby. The door opened easily, and the iron door jingled.
All the way, he didn't open his mouth, so after suddenly listening to his response, Shang Mengxian was so surprised that she didn't notice Pei Chuan's action. She thought triumphantly, ‘Wasn’t this all an act to attract her attention to himself, why pretend to be noble? I guess he's been peeking at me all this way.’ Shang Mengxian smiled and was about to speak when suddenly a native mangy dog ferociously barked and rushed out of the community.
The dog rampaged around and reached the iron door in the blink of an eye.
If the door was closed, it would have been fine, but unfortunately, Pei Chuan "unconsciously" fiddled with the door, and the dog rushed out while barking its head off.
Shang Mengxian screamed in fright, "Go away. Dead dog! You get away from me.”
As she yelled and ducked behind Pei Chuan, she tried to push him to deal with the mangy dog.
Pei Chuan's eyes flashed with coldness. Just when he was about to stagger, he saw Bei Yao holding a gift bag in the distance.
His body stiffened abruptly.
This road was the way home for him and Bei Yao, and Bei Yao had always been a little afraid of Grandma Zhou's dog that would bark at the sight of anyone. Grandma Zhou loved Bei Yao, so she specially installed an iron gate because of her.
Grandma Zhou specifically instructed the children in Bei Yao's neighborhood not to open the iron gate. Her dog was fierce, and it was not good if it bit people.
But Pei Chuan just opened it.
He did not know how much BeiYao saw, but a chill rose from the bottom of his feet. Pei Chuan had always disguised his meanness, but he had to admit that from a very young age, he had long lost the quality of kindness.
Because the price for his father's kindness and justice was his legs.
The dog barked twice and was about to pounce on him. Shang Mengxian's panicked screams were piercing to the ears, but in the early summer of may, he seemed to be frozen in place. At this time, Pei Chuan seemed to have no strength to hide.
Bei Yao ran towards them.
Now she couldn’t care less about the gift. She hurriedly picked up a stone from the ground and threw at the dog, "Go away, don’t bite."
Her hand was trembling when she hit the dog, which turned and barked at her with an "ow".
Bei Yao picked up a handful of stones and threw them as hard as she could at the dog, regardless of their accuracy.
She trembled as she stood in front of Pei Chuan and shouted at the dog, "I'll beat you if you don't leave!"
The dog finally ran into the iron gate with its tail clamped between its legs.
Pei Yao wasn't as tall as Pei Chuan. She stood on tiptoe to fasten the iron gate.
"Pei Chuan." The young girl's voice was anxious, "Did it bite you? Does it hurt anywhere?"
As Pei Chuan looked at her, his dark pupils seemed to be stained with something indiscernible. After a long time, he whispered, "No."
Bei Yao frowned as she looked at the girl behind him who was older than herself. She looked familiar. Was she the second year's Shang Mengxian? Bei Yao was a little angry. When she came over, she saw the scene where Shang Mengxian pushed Pei Chuan out. Although Bei Yao could understand Shang Mengxian's fearful state of mind, she could not forgive her for doing so.
Shang Mengxian was about to collapse. She was planning to seduce the cripple and then dump him. But who would have thought that a dog would come out on the road? Thinking of the image when she was just screaming, Shan Mengxian literally wanted to hit the wall.
She said quickly, "I'm going home first today."
Bei Yao and Pei Chuan walked home together. She was unhappy, and her apricot eyes were distracted. Pei Chuan lowered his eyes and looked at what she was carrying in her hands. He asked, "What are you holding?"
"This ah, a birthday present for you. Pei Chuan, happy birthday! Congratulations on growing up another year!"
He took it and saw that she didn't look different. He understood that she hadn't seen anything.
Bei Yao hesitated before saying, "Pei Chuan, that new friend of yours is not good at all. She wanted to push you out."
He didn't comment, "Yeah."
"You don't play with her anymore, okay?" She was apprehensive when she said that, after all, that was Shang Mengxian, the school flower acknowledged by all the boys. Although in another year or two, she might be even better looking than Shang Mengxian, now she was just a little girl with baby fat.
Pei Chuan whispered, "Good."
She thought she had "instigated" him, and coughed gently with a little shyness.
The setting sun elongated her warm shadow, and she went to step on the shadows of the trees with her childish spirit.
Pei Chuan put his hands in his pockets, watching her back.
If he wouldn’t tell her, she would never know that he was a viper, not a lamb. She was so repulsive to people with malicious minds. What would she do if one day she got to know that he was no different from Shang Mengxian, or was even more malicious?
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