Devil’s WarmthChapters List
Chapter 25: Unrestraint
When summer hit in 2007, the students of the Sixth High School had it the hardest.
It was this year that City C was having a scorchingly hot summer. It also happened to be the time when worldwide attention had peaked for global warming. This made headlines roll on television screens everywhere: “Extensive eutrophication spotted in Pond T in May, leaving more than 100k residents with no access to water.”
After the fast-paced era of industrialization, the issue of recycling had finally caught the attention of locals.
Some even joked that global warming had turned City C from a once peaceful city to a giant boiling furnace.
Chen FeiFei was chubby, so she’s more scared of the heat waves in summer. She stuck out her tongue, “YaoYao, do you think dogs can really cool themselves down this way?”
Bei Yao was doing her homework in class, but turned and tilted her lips up when she saw Chen FeiFei’s silly act.
Chen FeiFei commented, “This school is so stingy, they only give 3 old fans in each classroom. Even the one above me is broken, I think I’m gonna die of heat soon.”
Though a break was offered on the weekends, fans were unavailable during days at the dormitory. The Sixth High School called this unfortunate situation by the fine-sounding name of ‘Endure Hardships and be Capable of Working Hard’, by teaching students early.
Chen FeiFei suddenly thought of something, causing her eyes to sparkle with delight. She then pulled out an advertisement from underneath her desk.
Bold, golden words were printed on it: ‘The Glamorous’ open for business, free lucky draws available for a chance to win Häagen-Dazs Ice-Cream!
The ice-cream illustration accompanying it was fancy. It could steal the souls of viewers with just one look in the hot summer.
Chen FeiFei looked at Bei Yao and softened her voice, “YaoYao, let’s check out The Glamorous. It’s pretty close to the school. There’s even a free lucky draw! I’ve never had Häagen-Dazs in my entire life, it costs so much just for one. What if we won the lucky draw?”
Bei Yao gave it a thought, “The walk takes about 15 minutes.”
Chen FeiFei looked at the advertisement, gritted her teeth and exclaimed, “No problem!”
Bei Yao took an umbrella and tagged along with Chen FeiFei.
Chen FeiFei, with her goal of getting a Häagen-Dazs, persevered under the hot summer sun for 15 minutes till she reached The Glamorous. Upon reaching, however, the spectacular serpentine line before her made Chen FeiFei devastated.
The queue snaked from the entrance of The Glamorous to the pedestrian’s walkway.
Life in 2007 hadn't focused on materialism as much as the present did. At least for highschoolers, free Häagen-Dazs really was something special.
Bei Yao on the other hand, wasn’t scared of the heat. However, upon glancing at the long queue, she grew slightly intimidated.
Nevertheless, she saw Chen FeiFei’s disappointed complexion, and comforted her, “Don’t worry, we have an umbrella. It’ll be our turn soon.”
Chen FeiFei was encouraged.
The two girls joined the queue that was moving at a snail’s pace.
Bei Yao lifted her head to look at this newly-built infrastructure with its impressive array of sponsors. The Glamorous was not just an ice-cream store, but a large entertainment hub too. The first floor sold desserts and ice-cream while the second floor had restaurants. The third was an internet cafe, and the fourth was a KTV Studio.
Further up on the fifth floor was a billiard room, and a card and chess hall was on the sixth.
The rest of the floors were hotel rooms.
The Glamorous was built between the Third and Sixth High School, but closer to the Sixth High School.
For a highschooler, this venue holds all sorts of luxurious entertainment, and by no doubt costs a fortune. This was evident by the fact that the first floor was selling Häagen-Dazs.
Chen FeiFei raised her head, “I wish I can eat at level 2 and freely play on levels 3 to 6 one day.”
Bei Yao encouraged, “Just wait till you grow up.”
Chen FeiFei laughed her heart out, “I was just joking. Only the rich or wastrels spend their money here. A poor wretch like me is out of the question. YaoYao, you’re so nice -- encouraging me to pursue things like this.”
Chen FeiFei took the umbrella and held it above their heads.
The glass panes from the high rise building reflected shimmering rays of light.
On level 6, a group of boys could be seen playing cards.
Wei Wan leaned against the chair armrest, holding a cold drink. She wore a rose coloured short skirt which barely touched her thighs. She looked gorgeous. Wei Wan bit the straw every now and then as she looked at the group of ‘rich boys’.
The first year ninth class was a place filled with the rich. Wei Wan was the Class Flower.
Jin ZiYang gave out a hand of 2 and smiled at Wei Wan, “Great Beauty Wei Wan, are you bored? This big brother will teach you how to play Poker.”
His indecent way of taking dirty made the youngsters laugh.
Deng Hang said, “Forget it, your skills are trash.”
“Watch your words, you’re ruining the atmosphere!”
“Say, have you won any games? I was going to win the last round but you didn’t pass the turn! I’m your f**king teammate, r*tard!” The more he spoke, the angrier he got.
“...” Jin ZiYang felt guilty. Originally he didn’t have a hand in the game and Deng Hang had already wrapped up. However, the former miscalculated in the heat of the moment. In the end, the latter didn’t win and the atmosphere between them got cold.
Jin ZiYang coughed, and stared at the boy sitting faced back from the mirror, “Chuan bro, you don’t give handicaps at all. We’re all friends here. Are you really satisfied with winning these few hundred yuan?”
The boy sheepishly raised his head. He showered under the blazing July sun. Since the room had the air-conditioner switched on, it wasn't hot.
Pei Chuan sat with his legs crossed, tossed out the last four Nine, answered indifferently, “You’re trash, I held back a lot.”
Jin ZiYang felt as if an arrow struck his heart, “...”
The boys were jesting around. Wei Wan’s eyes landed on Pei Chuan.
The boys here all had rich parents. Both Jin ZiYang and Deng Hang’s family ran companies, it was clear where they got their money from. However, nobody knew about Pei Chuan’s history. The boys don’t speak about his background either.
Nonetheless, this boy lived the most extravagantly out of them all.
At least, Jin ZiYang and Deng Hang didn’t dare purchase a luxury car that costs more than a million while they were still in highschool. If they did, their pops would beat them up while they hung upside down.
Jin ZiYang changed the topic, “I can’t play well, but there’s someone who can!”
He giggled towards Wei Wan, “Quick, sit beside Chuan bro. Let the gambling god teach you some card tricks.”
Wei Wan blushed and looked at Pei Chuan. The boy was grinning, he didn’t reject or accept the request.
Wei Wan’s heart was beating fast as the group cajoled her. She took a seat beside Pei Chuan.
The boy’s long fingers were very pretty. This round he was giving out the cards.
He shuffled the card smoothly and distributed it very quickly too.
Jin ZiYang raised his brows at Wei Wan, “Class Flower, the Great Beauty. This round we won’t bet with money. If I win, can you give me a kiss?”
Wei Wan being a bold person, smiled upon hearing Jin ZiYang.
Deng Hang said, “Who said it’ll be you? What if I win?”
Jin ZiYang interrupted, “Let’s settle it this way. The one who finishes their cards first will get a kiss from Wei Wan, and settle the bills too. What do you think, Wei Wan?”
Wei Wan looked at Pei Chuan, the latter had a bold and unconstrained look in his eyes, grinned, “What are you scared of?”
“It’s a kiss on the lips, don’t regret it later.”
Wei Wan then turned her head away, embarrassed. She took a sip of her cold drink and stared outside the glass window at the long queue. Many young girls were looking impatient under the intense heat.
Wei Wan smiled with mocking intent.
Look, this is the difference between them and everyone else. She heard about ‘The Glamorous’ holding a lucky draw for a free Häagen-Dazs. Many stood under the bright sun, but could end up returning empty handed. These people could never have a chance to be so privileged during their teens.
For Wei Wan, the drink she held that was a treat from the boys, was worth much more.
On the card table, the boys were seen competing intensely.
Jin ZiYang’s face was seen frowning into one piece, “F***, what is this damn card, Three Four Five Six, there is no Seven?”
The landlord was still Pei Chuan. He stared at his pair of jokers and four Sevens, and went silent for a bit.
When Deng Hang heard his stupid teammates had no Sevens, he was startled because he didn’t own any Sevens either. He glanced at Pei Chuan, and sighed in his mind.
After this round, Pei Chuan was left only with the jokers.
Jin ZiYang wasn’t angry about losing. Instead, he raised his eyebrows creepily, “Great Beauty Wei Wan, do your job now.”
After he spoke, Deng Hang wore a slight frown while the rest of the youngsters in the room started teasing them.
Under such an atmosphere, Wei Wan turned to face Pei Chuan. He was leaning against the window, and raised his eyes to look at her.
Nobody in the first year ninth class knew Pei Chuan was disabled.
No matter how hot the summer was, he is always seen with long pants. So many years have passed with him walking slowly, yet no one batted an eye. Moreover, he simply gave off an indescribably lazy and unrestrained attitude.
Wei Wan was actually quite curious about him, and had a crush on him.
He was rich with good looks. He was a master of card and basketball games. She heard he even learned boxing from a young age.
She thought of him this way, and started to lean towards him. She half-closed her eyes, and moved closer to Pei Chuan.
Amongst the crowd, Jin ZiYang teased the loudest.
Pei Chuan grinned when he saw Wei Wan leaning towards him.
He found this hilarious. If she really knew who he was, she’d be terrified and ran off.
Pei Chuan wasn’t bothered by this. It was just another person’s lips touching his. It wouldn’t hurt or itch. This was much better than betrayals, abandonment and lies. This was just a child’s play. He has never been the good guy. It wouldn’t matter anyways.
In between his long and slender fingers, he was still holding onto a King of Diamonds. The scent of light perfume wafted into his nose.
Pei Chuan looked downwards sheepishly.
At this moment, a girl with a pea green coloured t-shirt standing outside raised her face.
Bei Yao shifted the umbrella away and raised her delicate face towards the azure sky and spoke in a crispy and sweet voice, “FeiFei, the clouds blocked the sun.”
They didn’t need the umbrella anymore.
The building used one-way glass. Bei Yao can’t see who was inside or what they were doing. Nonetheless, Pei Chuan saw Bei Yao.
Wei Wan was leaning in for her kiss.
He turned his head subconsciously. Wei Wan’s lips only brushed his cold and hard chin.
Everyone in the card and chess room had their jaws dropped.
In their minds, Pei Chuan was someone bold. Wei Wan bit her lips, knowing that Pei Chuan missed her kiss. She felt embarrassed. Her eyes were filled with humiliation. She stared at Pei Chuan, no words came out.
Pei Chuan silently glanced at the ground floor.
Jin ZiYang hurried to lighten up the atmosphere, “Ah, Chuan bro, you’re rude. In order to let the Great Beauty Wei kiss you again, you’re even playing such tricks!”
Wei Wan immediately felt and looked better. She thought Pei Chuan was messing around with her too.
However, Pei Chuan suddenly got up.
He looked at his confused fake friends, and fished out two cards from his pocket.
One card was tossed to Jin ZiYang, “For the bill,” while the other was tossed to Wei Wan, “and an apology present. Everyone, go back today.”
Wei Wan saw the card was The Glamorous Gold Card for level one and two.
Any purchase can be made with this card.
The girls in the room looked her way with envy. The little anger left in Wei Wan dissipated into thin air.
She understandingly replied, “If Pei Chuan has some business, let’s stop today.”
Pei Chuan placed a black wrist brace beside the chair. His bare arms showed he worked out. The sheepish smile on his face was gone. He silently walked outside alone.
Jin ZiYang was startled and asked softly, “What happened to him?”
Deng Hang shrugged, replied, “Dunno.”
They hadn’t seen him like this before.
Pei Chuan got downstairs, and stood in front of the french window on level two.
His glance landed on Bei Yao. She couldn’t see him. For more than a year, this was the first time he’d seen her this close.
Bei Yao was so pretty. She was so pretty that he didn’t dare check the Sixth High School forum for more than 300 days.
The pea green coloured t-shirt Bei Yao wore had a picture of a kitten licking its fur. Summer in July was hot, Bei Yao wiped off the sweat on her forehead with the back of her hands. The friend beside her said something and the latter’s bright round eyes were seen curling up.
Pei Chuan pressed his lips together, and lit up a cigarette.
A boy with a grey shirt walked out and approached Bei Yao. He handed two Häagen-Dazs he bought for her. The boy was totally flushed. Pei Chuan carefully studied the boy’s lip movement, “My treat.”
Pei Chuan had an indifferent complexion on his face as he exhaled the smoke.
Bei Yao smiled as she shook her head, “No thank you.”
The boy walked away with disappointment.
Chen FeiFei stared at the boy’s back, and said nothing.
About five minutes later, it was finally Bei Yao and Chen FeiFei’s turn. The two girls put their hands into the box and drew out a number.
Pei Chuan first witnessed Bei Yao look at her own number, and then the noisy Chen FeiFei’s. Bei Yao proceeded to gently wink at the staff, and pointed at Chen FeiFei secretly.
Pei Chuan put out his cigarette, he concluded this immediately: Bei Yao won the lucky draw, but Chen FeiFei didn’t. She secretly asked the staff to announce Chen FeiFei’s number as the winner.
The staff lady was touched by the pretty girl and agreed to her favour.
Up until the staff handed Chen FeiFei the Häagen-Dazs, Chen FeiFei was exhilarated and kept hugging Bei Yao, “YaoYao, this is the best, I won!”
Bei Yao was also grinning along with her.
They then walked away. After many steps, Pei Chuan saw the girl called Chen FeiFei carefully scoop out the ice-cream, and gave the first bite to Bei Yao.
Bei Yao ate it with a smile.
Pei Chuan fished out his lighter. It had no warmth and was totally cold to the touch.
He realised he should not have abandoned a bunch of people to see her. Moreover, he didn't dare to appear in front of her. She had protected him delicately and wished for the young boy to grow up pure. Instead, he grew up corrupt.
He knew she was too good for him, yet he couldn’t control himself.
She still had a wonderful life ahead, while Pei Chuan became a dirty rotten skeleton, unable to climb up from hell.
Maybe it was the hot July temperature but his heart was inevitably thumping like crazy.
Someone like Wei Wan can enjoy herself in an air-conditioned card and chess room, yet a wonderful girl like Bei Yao could only stand under the sun.
His black pupils remained silent.
After Bei Yao and Chen FeiFei had walked quite a distance, a male staff member was seen rushing towards them.
He politely said, “Hello students, does this lucky draw number belong to you?”
Bei Yao looked at the number. It was her number that ‘didn’t win’ the lucky draw.
The staff showed a casual grin, “Right, the store was too busy just now and we made a mistake. This is today’s grand prize. The Glamorous prepared a gift for you.”
He took out a beautifully decorated box and left after handing it to Bei Yao.
Bei Yao was speechless.
At Chen FeiFei’s urge, Bei Yao opened the box.
The box had ice packs, inside was a delicately made cake. On top of the cake was a little prince made with cream.
The box also contained two cold drinks, and four Häagen-Dazs.
No wonder it felt heavy.
Chen FeiFei had her eyes wide open, “Woah, YaoYao you’re so lucky.”
Bei Yao frowned. She didn’t remember The Glamorous having a daily grand prize, right?
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