Devil’s WarmthChapters List
Chapter 30: Summer Camp
After washing up for bed, Zhao ZhiLan shook her husband, “Hey, don’t sleep. What do we do with this slip?”
Bei LiCai turned over and mumbled, “Didn’t YaoYao say to sell this off?”
“We’re not listening to her. A colleague mentioned that her daughter participated in this summer camp. It was an exhilarating experience. They even took photos. Since young, YaoYao has never requested anything. I’m not selling this.”
“Then, don’t sell it.”
Zhao ZhiLan was bitter. She could have earned more than a thousand. However, when the thought of her beautiful and filial daughter floats up, she said, “Whatever it is, I’m giving this to our YaoYao. Don’t tell her. Just send her off to the site the day after. If not, she’ll refuse.”
Bei LiCai can’t help and giggled.
Just then, Pei HaoBin arrived home from work.
He pushed open the door with a smile, “I’m home…” the next moment, his face froze.
Cao Li brought out a cup of chilled plain water, receiving the former, “You must be exhausted, quick, take a seat.”
Pei HaoBin stared at the young boy in the living room, startled.
The boy has grown taller by a lot. He was the same height as him when he left. Now, he was half a head taller.
The boy raised his jet black eyes and replied plainly, “Dad.”
This child no doubt possessed an excellent outlook. He was the hybrid of all the good traits from Pei HaoBin and Jiang WenJun. He was born with excellent outlooks. When he disappeared, Pei HaoBin searched for him, and he didn’t even stop until today.
However, Pei Chuan came home today, out of nowhere.
“You… where’ve you been this entire year?”
Pei Chuan kept silent and stared at his father with a blank expression. In this awkward atmosphere, Bai YuTong voiced, “Uncle Pei, let’s eat first. I bought your favourite alcohol today.”
Pei HaoBin forced out a smile, “Alright.”
After the meal, the exact awkward atmosphere was still there. Bai YuTong was washing the dishes in the kitchen, infuriated with unfairness. Everything was going smoothly before. If she mentioned she bought the alcohol under the hot summer heat, Pei HaoBin would no doubt praise her hard work. Besides, she might get some extra pocket money. However, Pei Chuan’s return made Pei HaoBin forget the compliment, the latter only briefly gave a smile.
Nowadays, any place with Pei Chuan will have no voices and joyfulness.
The family television night was usually the happiest.
However, Pei Chuan was there sitting and Pei HaoBin was silent, nobody knew what the latter was thinking. Cao Li was a full-time housewife, it was hard for her to voice.
Pei HaoBin had mixed feelings for his missing son. As if a fishbone was stuck in his throat, neither could he let out his fury at this cold son, nor voice out his words of worries. Pei Chuan was like ice with absolutely no warmth.
Only after quite some time, Pei HaoBin voiced, “You’re back home now so you should stay. Never leave home without notice again.”
“Stay?” Pei Chuan questioned blandly, “Where?”
Only then, Pei HaoBin realised his son’s room was taken by Bai YuTong. Pei Chuan’s voice was casual, without any sign of sarcasm. Pei HaoBin was embarrassed—Pei Chuan only left for a year, now he didn’t have a place to belong.
Cao Li said with understanding, “tonight we can clear up TongTong’s room for Pei Chuan.”
Bai YuTong who was washing the dishes got nervous. She stared at Pei HaoBin.
Pei HaoBin glanced at the uneasy Bai YuTong, and afterwards at the persistent side profile of Pei Chuan, said, “Hey, XiaoChuan…”
Thoughts flashed through Pei HaoBin’s mind. When his son was younger, he was obedient. Now, the family had a new “younger sister” who already moved in. It was merely a room, there’s nothing wrong in giving the room to Bai YuTong. The family is planning to move anyway. They’ll be staying in this neighbourhood for one more year at most. Then, Pei Chuan can have a better room in the new house.
However, Pei HaoBin couldn’t persuade his son. After all, he didn’t know how much this boy, who was disabled, suffered in the outside world. The former secretly remarried, afraid of giving him any shock. He felt guilty a little, but could only wait for Pei Chuan’s decision.
Bai YuTong gripped her fingers tight, glancing towards Pei Chuan.
“Move out,” he said.
Bai YuTong pressed her lips hard.
Afterwards, Bai YuTong suffered immense hardship. That cold boy who sat on the sofa in the living room, blandly stared at the three cleaning up hastily, all the way till midnight.
At last, when Bai YuTong settled in the bedroom that was formally the storeroom, her teeth were all crushed from the gritting.
If she ever became successful, don’t expect her to help such a harsh, cold-blooded, disabled stepbrother.
Pei Chuan stepped into his former bedroom. He drew open the curtains, stared into the opposite house. It was currently 2 a.m. and her room was pitch black.
After three hundred nights, this was his first time being so close with the girl.
Zhao ZhiLan said, “we can’t give away the voucher at this point. Go after you pack your things, YaoYao.”
Bei Yao had a mixed feeling after hearing the news three days later. She knew Zhao ZhiLan’s caring intention. Hence, she can’t reject the offer again and again. Therefore, she packed her luggage according to the guide from the internet.
Change of clothes, pyjamas, windbreakers, spare money, umbrella, towel, toothbrush, toothpaste…
These little items made a humongous bag.
Zhao ZhiLan brought Bei Yao to the shuttle bus assembly venue with her electronic motorcycle. “Remember to call mommy every day, understand?” The former reminded.
“Always be careful.”
“Don’t talk too much with the boys!”
Bei Yao smiled, “Okay.”
No matter how worried Zhao ZhiLan was, once she brought her daughter to the teacher-in-charge, she had to go back to work.
In the wee hours of the August month, the teacher-in-charge glanced at the girl that arrived the earliest, with curiosity. The teacher was astonished by the beauty that was partially mixed with youth, and the former initiated an encouragement, “Don’t worry. Although this is a survival-adventurous summer camp, it is not too difficult.”
“Survival-adventurous summer camp?”
Bei Yao repeated the line gently. From what she remembered, the voucher was about a youth summer camp—scenery watching, picnics, and games. How did it become a survival-adventurous summer camp?
Bei Yao didn’t sign up for this. However, both the time and venue match. She wondered if the summer camps nowadays all teach survival skills.
“You can wait inside the bus. The rest of the members will take a while to arrive.”
At 9.a.m, Bei Yao spotted two familiar people.
Zheng Hang and Jin ZiYang walked towards the venue while chit-chatting with a smile.
Bei Yao was startled.
When the two boys boarded the bus, they spotted Bei Yao sitting in the third row immediately.
It was just their second meeting. Nonetheless, their eyes still flashed astonishment. Jin ZiYang said, “Aren’t you Bei Yao? The school flower from the Sixth High.”
Bei Yao nodded, “Hello.” She never expected to meet them here.
Jin ZiYang saw how Bei Yao behaved modestly, had his face flushed without control, “Hello. My name is Jin ZiYang, we’ve met before.”
“Yup, I remember you.”
I remember you! Remember you… remember…
Jin ZiYang never felt his face to be hotter than this. The girl was polite and reserved, it was obvious she doesn’t go out often. He said, “Can I sit…”
When the sun rose, the first ray struck the bus at an oblique angle, a boy with a black t-shirt stepped onto the bus. His steps were slow and firm. The boy sat beside BeiYao.
Jin ZiYang, “...”
He shifted towards the back rows with disappointment.
“Pei Chuan..” Bei Yao was very surprised to see him. She hugged her big backpack to make room for Pei Chuan, “Why’re you here?”
Pei Chuan took over the backpack she was hugging, “Jin ZiYang signed this up for me.”
“Oh I see,” Bei Yao said, “My bag is quite heavy, let me do it instead. If you don’t want to go, I can sell the voucher for you.” The backpack weighed a stone. She couldn’t lift it to the bus luggage storage, even with both of her hands.
“...” Pei Chuan pinched the little panda face that followed the movement of the backpack. He hesitated for a moment, then responded, “No need, I’m already here.”
He stood up and lifted Bei Yao’s bag with a single hand. He then lowered his gaze, meeting a trustworthy, petite face under the sun, smiling.
Pei Chuan’s finger had moved subconsciously. Nevertheless, he still sat down with a casual face.
The others in the summer camp all arrived, one after another.
However, there weren’t many. Six boys, four girls. In total, ten people.
Originally, the participation rate for summer camps wasn't expected to be this low. However, the pricing wasn’t what Bei Yao thought to be two thousand per pax. It was for eight thousand.
In the summer of 2007, an eight thousand Yuan summer camp could only be afforded by the wealthy or those with a position in authority.
Wei Wan was the last one aboard. She took efforts to dress up well, covered herself in several layers of sunscreen. Her family couldn’t afford this opportunity, so Zheng Hang was the one who paid to bring her here.
Wei Wan searched for Pei Chuan subconsciously once she got onto the bus. Her eyes were locked to the third row.
It was the gorgeous girl from the cheerleading team!
At that moment, Pei Chuan was scrolling through his phone with his eyes down. Bei Yao was seen talking to him, and he replied ‘uh-huh’ in a casual voice. It was as if he wasn’t familiar with the girl beside him, and was also being indifferent towards her.
Wei Wan, who was initially anxious, felt much more at ease. She had regretted arriving late. However, this was no problem. With seven days and seven nights, there are ample opportunities.
The bus drove the entire morning. The group even had their lunch on the bus.
Jin ZiYang complained, “If not for the air-con, I’ll break this f**king bus. How far is the campsite?”
The teacher was already familiar with this type of aggressive personality coming from rich people. It had always been this way. The teacher smiled and pacified, “Almost there. This is a survival-adventure venue, so a city area can’t hold such an occasion. XiaoChen is buying ice-cream for everyone. Plus, there’ll be a luxurious dinner later.”
The complaints on the bus soon quieted down.
Moments later, she fell asleep.
Pei Chuan tilted his head to gaze at her.
Being quite vulnerable, in a shaky bus where everyone was noisy, Bei Yao leaned against the window. Her long eyelashes silently dropped. She was like an angel, innocent to the workings of the world.
Quiet and modest, and never complained about this weird schedule.
He kept his phone and supported his forehead with his hands. He leaned onto the back of the chair in front of him and stared at her with his jet black pupils.
To those seated in the rows behind, he appeared to be exhausted and taking a nap.
The group, Jin ZiYang, and Wei Wan who sat in the back row were relieved and felt somewhat arrogant. So what if she looks good? Pei Chuan stayed cold. Now, he is sleeping from boredom.
Did this Bei Yao spend eight thousand just to associate herself with the wealthy?
Evening came, and the bus parked near a château.
The château offered a buffet dinner. The boys and girls were over the moon; they were hyped throughout the journey. Now that they can relax and get high, everyone ate to their hearts’ content.
The teacher-in-charge grabbed a microphone, “Students, the seven days seven-night summer camp will officially commence now. Everyone should be clear of the kind of summer camp you chose. Therefore, for everyone’s safety and interest, please listen to what this teacher has to say after this.”
The ten boys and girls all glanced towards the teacher.
“Firstly, there will be no bedrooms prepared for everyone tonight.”
“F**k, no way!”
“Please be quiet. We will provide everyone with the tents later. There’s a field with soft grass nearby, where everyone can build their tents. For the next seven days, you will be living in the forest. The checkpoints in the forest will provide the tents. As long as everyone finds them, you can rest well for the night.”
“What if we can’t find it? Do we feed ourselves to mosquitoes?”
The crowd laughed.
“No. The tents outnumber the participants,” the teacher said sternly, “Secondly, food will also be obtained the same way—find it yourself. Thirdly, everyone will be given a GPS watch. The teachers will frequently monitor the health of students. There are two buttons on the watch. The first one is green, we call it the ‘healthy’ button. Press it once every day at 12.p.m and 8.p.m, to inform the teachers of your state.”
“The other is a red button, known as the ‘give up’ button. If you press this, the teachers will search for you immediately, and bring you to safety. Students who can’t stand the hardship should press this button immediately. If you encounter another student, you can choose to group up. However, one team should only consist of a maximum of two pax.”
“Fourth, the forest is checked, there’ll be no large animals. Insect repellent is also used, so no poisonous substance will appear. However, there’ll be some small animals. Students should be self-directed.”
“Lastly, everyone will be handed a map. Although not very useful in a forest, you can try and follow the trails to find treasures. Wishing everyone an enjoyable ‘Survival-adventure summer camp’!”
Zheng Hang giggled, “Damn, this money is well spent. Exciting.”
Jin ZiYang added, “I agree, this is so fun! Just by the description I can imagine how cool it’d be, but hey,” he turned over and stared at Ji Wei, who was absorbed in his world of books, “Wei bro if you can’t handle this just drop out!”
Ji Wei was at a loss, “...” Wasn't this a studying-discussion summer camp? He should quickly drop out of what?
“Hahahaha! Oh damn, Wei bro still thinks he’s here to discuss homework with the smart kids! Someone come here, this one is so easy to trick!”
Bei Yao felt uneasy. She never thought the summer camp would be like this. Despite that, she remained positive. She didn’t plan to participate in the treasure hunt. Besides, she can always press the red button.
Soon, the tents were distributed to everyone.
The tents were all in black. No doubt was it unsightly, however, their quality was good, and was waterproof.
Everyone stared at each other blankly, sharing the same thought. How do you build this? Some went to seek help from the teacher. However, the teacher only gave descriptions, no helping hand was offered.
Pei Chuan took his tent and found a wide patch of grass in the field, starting to build his tent.
The boy’s slender fingers were dexterous. He was silent. The heat in the summer evening has yet to dissipate. Everyone was quietly observing his actions.
Bei Yao carried her heavy tent and started building beside Pei Chuan, following his steps.
At times, Pei Chuan would lift his glance. She was paying extra effort to learn the steps. However, due to her limited strength, she was still stuck at step three.
The grass field in summer was free and wide. The breeze caused her bangs to flutter in the air. She was very resilient. However, with her small hands, she struggled. Giving out her utmost effort, all she wanted was to just successfully pitch the tent.
His gaze lowered and he soon finished building his tent.
The tent was firm and pretty.
Afterwards, he held onto Bei Yao’s half-finished project with a single hand. Bei Yao stared at him with confusion. The boy was a head taller than her. He lowered his gaze to avoid eye contact and helped her build the tent silently.
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