Devil’s WarmthChapters List
Chapter 35: Warmth
It was already September when the students returned to school. The students of the second year fifth class were especially elated to see each other again.
The rule in Third High was that students were to attend self-study at night on the day they return for registration. Sixth High was less strict on its rules, only conducting actual lessons on the second day.
Bei Yao wasn’t late on the day of registration, she was just feeling flustered.
That diary made her intimidated. Bei Yao could remember every word in that diary even with her eyes closed. No one on earth would submit to their life being manipulated by a diary. The additional memories, which she got every year getting older, only made her more fearful.
As such, she didn’t intervene with Pei Chuan and her growth and was also unaware of his feelings towards her.
Bei Yao was only turning 16 in August this year, being younger than most of her classmates. She knew that Pei Chuan was special to her, but liking someone was such a complex feeling. People can mature from it while stumbling around before being able to fully understand it.
A view of lush green parasol trees can be seen right outside the window. After school, Chen FeiFei whispered to Bei Yao, “Don’t you think Wu Mo’s been acting strange the past few days?”
“She doesn’t usually talk to us after she returns. When she’s done the washing up, she would just be on her phone in bed,” Bei Yao replied.
Chen FeiFei shook her head. “Not only that, she was drifting away in class as well, and was very wary of me looking at her phone.”
Bei Yao frowned. “Are you concerned about her studies being affected by her phone?”
“No no, that’s not it!” Chen FeiFei whispered, “I think she’s dating someone over the internet.”
Bei Yao was taken aback. It was 2007 when dating someone over the net became popularised, mysterious yet alluring. With the internet, it provides one an anonymous persona while still enjoying the feeling of dating, with little to no consequences of being reported recently.
Wu Mo had decent grades, her personality was great too. So why would she be dating online?
Chen FeiFei squinted her eyes. “Why don't we ask her tonight?”
Bei Yao had no objections, “Yup.”
That night, while the girls were back in their room. Chen FeiFei asked nonchalantly, “Wu Mo, you’re always on your phone when you’re back, who are you texting?”
Wu Mo, who was in her bed, stuttered. “S-since when? I was just texting my mum about school!”
The rest of the girls glanced at each other.
The weekend rolled over, and Bei Yao went out to buy some new shampoo. With the cool autumn breeze outside, both of her roommates, Chen FeiFei and Yang Jia decided to join her since they were free.
After Bei Yao was done, Yang Jia said, “I wanna get something from the bakery, I’m always hungry late at night.”
So the girls accompanied her to the bakery, inching closer towards The Glamorous.
Bei Yao had a weird sense of intuition going on. Moments after, Chen FeiFei pointed, “Isn’t that Wu Mo?”
Everyone looked over to where she was pointing. At the entrance of The Glamorous, Wu Mo was being led in by a tall, lean man wearing black gloves, placing a hand over her shoulder.
Chen FeiFei was concerned. “Is that whom she was texting? Should we head over and check?”
Yang Jia continued. “Nah, what if they’re on a date? Just approaching them like this would make Wu Mo unhappy. What do you think, Bei Yao?”
Bei Yao stared at the man’s silhouette and felt something was off. However, she wasn’t the kind that pokes into another’s personal life. She gave it a thought, “Let’s just talk about this after she comes back. If anything goes wrong, we can call the police.”
Yang Jia nodded. “Alright, let me get my cake first.”
The bakery was located right beside The Glamorous.
At the billiard table of level five in The Glamorous, Pei Chuan scored a black ball.
A guy cuddled Wu Mo into the room. He donned a suit with black leather gloves, albeit the current season being autumn. Both were seen chattering and giggling. The man was so close to Wu Mo, her whole face was flushed. In a moment, they booked a whole billiard table for themselves and started a game.
Jin ZiYang whistled, “What’s up Chuan Bro? Are you lonely? Should I call more people to join us?”
Pei Chuan raised his eyes, exposing his jet black pupils. Jin ZiYang stopped talking.
Recently, Chuan Bro was in a bad mood, everyone knows. Therefore, today’s gathering aimed to cheer him up.
Pei Chuan was silent. He carried his cue on his shoulders and marched over towards Wu Mo’s table.
Wu Mo raised her head and saw the expressionless Pei Chuan with a cue lying on his shoulders. Her mind stopped functioning for a moment, “Pei, Pei Chuan?”
She had also read those posts, he was the popular kid from the Third High, and he was filthy rich.
The tall boy was seen with a frigid face. Pei Chuan glanced at her, and called out the man’s name, “Ding WenXiang.”
The man took off his shades, his whole face pale, “Chuan, Chuan Bro.”
Pei Chuan voiced blandly, “You shouldn’t be scheming people here.”
Both Jin ZiYang and Zheng Hang stepped over too. Only Ji Wei was absorbed in his world of words on the sofa, oblivious that everyone was gone.
Ding WenXiang quickly glanced at Wu Mo and turned back, and gave a pathetic smile, “Chuan Bro, how about I leave right now?”
Pei Chuan replied, “Sure.”
Ding WenXiang bolted for the door in the blink of an eye.
Wu Mo stood there, dumbfounded. However, she didn’t dare to ask Pei Chuan what happened. This sixteen-year-old girl felt extra disturbed. She can’t control thoughts popping up about her “elite” boyfriend Ding WenXiang, running away after a word from Pei Chuan. Why did Pei Chuan step over, i-is it because of me?
Wu Mo built up her courage and questioned, “W-why did you make him leave?”
Pei Chuan placed his cue on the table, and replied coldly, “What? Let him continue to stay and get you into his bed?”
Wu Mo has never heard such crude words in her life, she stuttered, “Y-you…”
Pei Chuan couldn’t be bothered to explain, “You should f**k off too. Get your eyes cleaned.”
Under the curious stares of Jin ZiYang and the rest, Wu Mo was extremely uneasy. Her face was flushed and didn’t dare to look at Pei Chuan. She turned and walked away.
Jin ZiYang raised one of his eyebrows, “Chuan Bro, you know those two?”
Pei Chuan didn’t hide anything, “Yeah,” he replied casually, “Ding WenXiang, acts rich to scheme female students.”
Jin ZiYang’s jaws dropped, “The f**k, what a scum!”
Only Zheng Hang felt suspicious, so he asked, “Chuan Bro how did you know such a person?”
Pei Chuan was silent for a great while. He replied, “Because I’m worse.”
Jin ZiYang cachinnated, “Chuan Bro, this joke isn’t funny at all.”
However, Pei Chuan sneered softly. That’s right, he was worse than someone like Ding WenXiang. Hence, Bei Yao disliking him was normal.
That year in middle school, it was Pei Chuan who made Ding WenXiang scheme Shang MengXian. Maybe, he was the one who created a persona that was rotten to the core.
Pei Chuan was aware of the difference between him and Jin ZiYang’s group. They were born with golden spoons, and that their personalities are straightforward and terrible. However, they held no evil agenda. On the other side, he was someone who crawled out from the mud pit, someone who was inured to ugliness and evil, someone who held hatred towards this world. He didn’t care if Wu Mo was being scammed. However, he needed a reason to find Bei Yao.
Ji Wei, who was reading on the sofa, performed eye exercises every hour. Even if his eyesight was already reaching 500 degrees, this routine stayed.
Pei Chuan’s first expression of this low IQ Ji Wei was good.
Having the ability to keep practising things is supposed to be difficult.
Ji Wei noticed Pei Chuan was staring at him, “Chuan Bro, why are you staring at me?”
“Ji Wei, I have a question,” the boy asked nonchalantly, “Why are you always studying so hard despite messing up every test?”
Ji Wei was confused, “Because I love studying?”
“Because of love, even failure can be accepted?”
Ji Wei pushed his spectacles, and replied sincerely, “Of course there will be upsetting times, my dad even said I’m dumber than a pig. Together with my mom, they both planned to have another baby boy to inherit the family assets. I’m going to lose all my inheritance, so I must study harder.
Pei Chuan giggled, “F**king hell.”
Ji Wei warned with a stern face, “Chuan Bro, stop cursing.”
Jin ZiYang and Zheng Hang were rolling on the floor laughing.
Because of love, there is disappointment. After the disappointment, more courage will be needed for loving. Pei Chuan giggled, Ji Wei was the most simple person.
During the weekend at night, right after Bei Yao had washed her hair, the phone rang.
There were no power plugs in the bedroom for the hairdryer, her hair was wrapped in a towel. “Hello?”
On the opposite side was a boy’s gentle voice, “Bei Yao.”
For so many years, she recognised the voice instantly from this unfamiliar number, “Pei Chuan.”
“It’s me, don’t hang up,” he added, “I’m at your school’s camphor tree garden. There’s something I want to tell you, can you come out for a while?”
Bei Yao bit her lips. The smack on his cheeks from last time made the girl tremendously awkward. After a great while of hesitation, she softly replied, “Okay.”
Embracing the breeze and the sunset, she strolled towards the camphor tree garden in the school. From far, she spotted Pei Chuan.
Both his hands were tucked inside his pocket, he was staring at leaves falling from the trees.
Camphor trees don’t turn yellow in autumn like how ginkgo trees do. They always give off a slight fresh smell of herbal. Pei Chuan was aware of how crazy he lived last year. Many people recognised him in the Sixth High. He arrived here in a minimal way.
Bei Yao stepped closer, and gently asked, “Is there anything going on?”
The girl’s voice was still as warm as the spring’s breeze.
Her wound, unlike his which rotted more each year, will be healed very soon.
Pei Chuan spoke softly, “Your roommate, Wu Mo. Her boyfriend is Shang MengXian’s ex.”
She tilted her head, confused.
Pei Chuan explained it in easier terms, “A guy who schemes.”
Bei Yao frowned, her pair of clear almond eyes were raging with fury, “We will inform the police.”
Pei Chuan didn’t mention himself at all, he agreed, “Right.”
Living like a good young man who is willing to lend a helping hand.
The girl’s hair has yet to dry. In between the light scent of the camphor tree, the sweet lilac scent on her body was like a thin string, encircling his heart layer by layer.
Bei Yao voiced, “Thank you Pei Chuan. I’ll be leaving now.”
Pei Chuan didn’t want her to leave, but these emotions were hard to express. He asked, with a casual expression, “Do you want to visit Grandma Zhou?”
Bei Yao had her eyes wide, “Grandma Zhou? Didn’t she move away long ago?”
Pei Chuan replied, “Her son was not filial and sold off their properties in both the countryside and the city. She currently resides in a nursing home.”
He expressed his sympathy. However, he was sneering coldly inside, there, families.
The elderly installed a metal gate because of how Bei Yao was afraid of dogs when she was younger. Also, the former gave her snacks regularly. Emotionally and morally-wise, Bei Yao would agree to visit her.
Bei Yao said, “Alright, there’s school tomorrow. Let’s go next week.”
Pei Chuan replied indifferently, “Sure.”
She might not remember that year in primary four, she bravely beat up Ding WenXiang with a wooden rod and pulled him out from humiliation and the mud pit.
She treated him well.
Wu Mo was against calling the police.
She wept, “Don’t call the police, I’m scared.”
In the eyes of a sixteen-year-old girl, making a police report was a serious issue. Once the police get involved, they would inform the school and her parents. Wu Mo’s family was not well off, and if her parents caught wind of her dating online, they would be mad. Besides, if her classmates hear of this, how would they think of her?
Because of just using the ‘elite’ status of the scammer to raise her status?
Wu Mo’s fears were hidden in her cries. Chen FeiFei was uneasy from her cries, “Okay, okay. This is your matter, if you’re against calling the police, then we won’t do it.”
Chen FeiFei looked towards Bei Yao and Yang Jia.
Bei Yao shook her head. “Up to you to decide.” She thought to herself, the timidness of the girls is exactly why that scum is still alive and kicking.
Yang Jia followed, “I’m fine with anything. We’ll just not report it then.”
Albeit all her three roommates agreed, Wu Mo was still terrified and paranoid. She couldn’t fall asleep that night and thought of Pei Chuan.
That cold teen, brows were as sharp as a sword. Although his words made her uneasy, it was him that allowed her to make it out safe. The scammer was afraid of him too. His temper seemed more terrible, but gave off a sense of security. Wu Mo blushed as these thoughts appeared in her mind.
It was the weekend. Bei Yao brought along her bag to visit Grandma Zhou.
The bag contained milk powder for the elderly that she spent all her allowance on.
Pei Chuan took over the bag, “This month’s allowance?”
Bei Yao nodded with a sparkle in her eyes.
He smiled. A smile that contained warmth, which contrasted with his usual stone-cold face.
Bei Yao asked, “What are you smiling at?”
The former replied, “You've been like this since young. When you decide to treat someone well, you’d always save up for a month.’
Bei Yao’s almond eyes showed frustration after Pei Chuan’s expose.
The boy carried the bag and led the way.
Bei Yao followed. His pace was slow, he might be used to this pace.
Bei Yao was feeling awkward. One moment her attention was on the chirping sparrow, another moment was at the houses around the nursing home, but never on Pei Chuan.
She was almost 16, younger than Pei Chuan by almost 2 years.
She remained innocent and did not have any feelings for anyone. She likes warmth and light, which was why Pei Chuan was wearing a clean plain white shirt.
The nursing home was not financially abundant. It looked pathetic, and at one glance you’d feel sympathetic.
Grandma Zhou’s hair was all white. She sat amidst the crowd, her eyes spiritless—she got Alzheimer's and recognised nobody.
Pei Chuan gave a simple greeting, however his glance was frigid. He grabbed a broom and cleaned the surrounding phlegms and dirt.
The nurse glanced at him strangely. The boy’s eyes looked indifferent, showing no signs of disgust.
Bei Yao couldn’t do much for Grandma Zhou. The former accompanied her for a while and left the stuff to her.
Pei Chuan turned to the only office in the nursing home and left a card.
The director thanked him fervently, “Thank you, kind young man, I thank you all.”
Pei Chuan washed his hands at the sink, he asked sarcastically, “About them all, you say, what is the fun of living like this?”
The director was shocked and suspicious, “W-what?”
Pei Chuan didn’t explain further. He wasn’t the good guy the director mentioned. He waited for his girl at the entrance meanwhile deep in thoughts.
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