"Laoshi has someone he likes."
Editor(s): Amalea, FistFullOfDollars
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When Zhou Sheng returned he was surrounded by a strong, murderous aura. Fu Liqun asked, “Won?”
“Lost!” Zhou Sheng said in a bad mood, then forcefully shifted the blame onto Yu Hao, “Why didn’t you come watch me compete? Laozi lost because of that!”
Yu Hao instantly felt like a basin of cold water had been poured onto him.
“Did you get into the semifinals?” Fu Liqun said.
“Got in.” Zhou Sheng answered, still in a bad mood.
Yu Hao almost went up to hit Zhou Sheng, “Could you stop exaggerating?! You’re the one who said that there wouldn’t be a problem today! And asked me to take notes for you! We’ll definitely watch the finals!”
Zhou Sheng laughed as he briskly took off his sports singlet , then threw it to Yu Hao before taking a towel and heading into the bathroom for a shower. Yu Hao got up, picked up the socks that had been thrown on the floor then went to soak his clothes for him. A short moment later, Zhou Sheng walked out of the bathroom and passed his pants and underwear to Yu Hao; their movements were unbelievably natural and well-coordinated.
The corners of Fu Liqun’s mouth twitched as he scrutinised Yu Hao.
Yu Hao, “……”
Fu Liqun, “You spoil him too much.”
“Don’t I wash your clothes too?” Yu Hao could only force himself to say this, and thought that he needed to be more self-aware when they were outside. He is gay, but Zhou Sheng isn’t, so it would be troublesome if he were to implicate him. Zhou Sheng acts like that to everyone -- cats, dogs and even trees wouldn’t be able to escape his teasing. He would always speak crudely to his classmates and Fu Liqun as well.
It was only in front of Yu Hao that……
Yu Hao now realised what the problem was. Nowadays, Zhou Sheng would go to class with him every day. He always sat at the back row in the past, but recently, he would sit closer and closer to the front, and now he usually sat at the third row from the front. He would even listen to the lecture instead of falling asleep. The most obvious thing was: Zhou Sheng would always laugh and joke around with outsiders, yet he would always take Yu Hao extremely seriously.
It was as if Zhou Sheng had two modes. The A mode was the Hooligan mode, especially used to deal with outsiders and contained a set mode for consistently dealing with others in the same way -- no matter if you were a form teacher or a classmate; B mode was the Serious Dialogue mode, which only expresses itself when he is with Yu Hao. Regardless of whether Yu Hao was teaching him English, or if they were conversing normally, he would rarely smile mischievously or joke around in a flirtatious manner.
Moreover, when they hung out with each other, most of their attention would be focused on the other person. For Yu Hao, it went without saying -- most of the time, as long as Zhou Sheng was around, Zhou Sheng would be the only person in his eyes. On the other hand, Zhou Sheng was observant and always vigilant, but the moment Yu Hao exhibited any slight movement, Zhou Sheng would immediately turn towards him. It was as if he had cast a net with vast coverage, yet its withdrawal node would follow Yu Hao at all times.
Yu Hao doesn’t want to negatively affect Zhou Sheng. If more people were to start gossiping about them, they would definitely start to feel awkward around each other. After some time, he would have to put some distance between them, and the situation would improve once they stop sticking to each other so much. Fu Liqun has had a girlfriend before, so even if he is often with them, others probably wouldn’t say much about him……
……what’s wrong with me? Yu Hao couldn’t help but find it amusing in his heart. He had always been in solitude for so many years, and now he can’t live without someone’s company?
Just as he thought this, the League Secretary came in to collect money. In mid-March, the college will organize a spring excursion. In the past, Yu Hao probably wouldn’t go, but now that he had a bit more money this semester, affording it wasn’t a problem.
“Yo.” The League Secretary greeted him, “You’re washing Zhou Sheng’s underwear?”
Yu Hao, “……”
“Wah! Seriously?!” Zhou Sheng shouted from the bathroom, “You even know what kind of underwear I wear?! You’re such a pervert~!”
Fu Liqun wanted to burst out into laughter at once, and Yu Hao spammed +1s for Zhou Sheng in his heart. When the League Secretary saw the sports clothes that Yu Hao was washing, he still wanted to throw in a few more mocking words before he was one-hit KO-ed by Zhou Sheng, so he could only admit defeat and take his phone out. Fu Liqun looked at Yu Hao as a signal for him to pay.
Yu Hao transferred the money to the League Secretary and said, “For all three of us.”
Suddenly, Yu Hao realised something. He glanced at Fu Liqun, but Fu Liqun was watching videos with his earphones in. The League Secretary left after receiving the money.
Fu Liqun has never allowed others to pay for him first, or borrowed money from others, except for today. Yu Hao discovered this strange detail. Originally, when he took out his phone, he would have said “for me and Zhou Sheng”. But since Fu Liqun let him pay for all of them first, it became “for our dormitory”.
Yu Hao was thinking about what that meant when Fu Liqun took off his earphones and said, “How much is it? I’ll transfer it to you.” Then immediately returned it to Yu Hao on the spot.
Yu Hao understood that his worries weren’t unfounded. This strengthened his resolve: gossip is a fearful thing, even if he didn’t fear it, he needed to consider Zhou Sheng.
“Last semester was the first time we got to know one another. But now, I see all of you cooped up in your dormitories, not even leaving through the main or side gate, just like young ladies from a rich family……”
On the bus, Chen Yekai’s words stirred up bursts of laughter. Chen Yekai was in charge of two classes. He wore sportswear from head to toe to tread the green.
“We aren’t!” Students from the sports classes all cried out their grievances in succession, “We’ve obviously been playing sports every day!”
“Our bodies are always colliding with one another!” Another person shouted, which was followed by another round of raucous laughter.
Chen Yekai paused for a moment before continuing, “So, this time, everyone should socialise more and disengage from the world in your mobile phones. If you have a girl you like, don’t hesitate anymore, hurry and confess to her ba!”
There was a sudden uproar in the bus as everyone began to clap wildly for Chen Yekai.
Chen Yekai paused again before he said, “You have four years of college, don’t waste your youth.”
The roars of laughter in the bus almost drowned out Chen Yekai’s voice. Yu Hao smiled as he looked at him, and for some reason, Chen Yekai inadvertently glanced at Yu Hao, a remnant of mirth still within his eyes. When their gazes met, Chen Yekai quickly turned around. Zhou Sheng had his earphones on from the beginning. He looked outside the bus with a face that plainly showed his annoyance with the ruckus the group was making.
“Of course, girls can also confess to guys too!” Chen Yekai continued.
Yu Hao’s ex-roommate suddenly said, “What about guys confessing to guys?”
Another round of hooting laughter rang out. Chen Yekai casually answered, “It’s fine as long as it’s love; but it must be on the premise that you believe it is love.”
A few girls in the front row who he didn’t recognise turned around to look at him and Zhou Sheng. Yu Hao felt a little awkward. In the end, Chen Yekai said, “If you have any problems that you need help with, you can look for Kaikai Ge.”
A girl immediately shouted, “Chen Laoshi! I want to confess to you!”
The whole bus was shaking with laughter, and another guy shouted almost immediately, “Kaikai! I wanna confess to you——!”
Chen Yekai waved his hand and sat down. He put down his microphone, but the rest didn’t let him escape so easily as they continued their ruckus.
“Laoshi! Help me confess to Chen Yekai!”
Chen Yekai had to take the microphone again, “Laoshi has someone he likes.”
“Oh——” Sighs of regret could be heard.
“A guy or a girl?” Another person asked, and this immediately made the atmosphere explode, but Chen Yekai stopped talking. Yu Hao’s heart jumped with a thud. He felt like Chen Yekai hadn’t been in a good mood lately, and he might have begun to feel even worse now.
“Who will sing a song?”
“Yu Hao! Yu Hao!”
It was really too boring on the bus. Yu Hao really didn’t want to sing, and Chen Yekai said, “Could you guys bear to let him sing with such a lousy microphone? Next time ba.” Only then did the other students let Yu Hao off.
Yu Hao thought, thank God, and at this moment, Zhou Sheng turned around and looked at him with a hint of a smile in his eyes.
Yu Hao, “?”
Zhou Sheng patted Yu Hao’s head. Yu Hao leaned over and took one side of his earphones out as he wanted to listen too, but Zhou Sheng immediately used his finger to hook the earpiece and pulled it back.
Yu Hao, “……”
Yu Hao kept feeling that the atmosphere today seemed a little strange. He took his phone out, pondered over it a little, then sent a WeChat message to Chen Yekai.
【How have you been lately?】
【If you want to talk, come to the front.】Chen Yekai replied.
The bus was driving along the expressway, students had either laid down to sleep or were playing games. Yu Hao decided that during this excursion, he can’t stick to Zhou Sheng all the time and he would need to put some distance between them, so he signalled to Fu Liqun and motioned for him to come sit beside Zhou Sheng. He then walked over to the front row and sat next to Chen Yekai.
Zhou Sheng shot him a strange look as he left.
Chen Yekai’s eyes looked a little dull, and he was also looking out the window with his earphones on. When he glanced at Yu Hao, a sense of fatigue could be seen in his gaze. Chen Yekai seemed even more tired than the last time they met at the hospital, and his lips were so dry it was beginning to peel off.
Yu Hao was worried about him, so he asked, “Is she awake?”
Chen Yekai shook his head, but smiled to indicate that everything was alright.
It wouldn’t be appropriate for Yu Hao to say much either. He recalled the days shortly after his Grandma had passed away and thought about how he was feeling then: at that time, he didn’t want to say anything. He stayed at home all alone, yet he still had to pack up, arrange her funeral, sell the house, and repay his debts. When his relative had met with a mishap, he needed someone to accompany him -- not because he needed to pour his heart out, but because he just needed someone to stay quietly beside him, and that would be more than enough.
When he considered it from this standpoint, he felt that Liang Jinmin could possibly exist in the capacity of a ‘relative’ to Chen Yekai. Therefore, he shouldn’t say anything, and just needed to sit next to him right now.
In spring, the sun shone resplendently and streamed through the bus windows. Chen Yekai dazedly looked out the window, while Yu Hao quietly sat beside him. A short while later, Chen Yekai passed him one side of his earphones.
When Yu Hao put it on, he heard his own voice.
Yu Hao, “……”
Chen Yekai began to laugh again. He closed his eyes and passed him a pack of snacks.
“You actually saved it?!” Yu Hao really wanted to delete it immediately.
“Found the audio from the college.” Chen Yekai said, “You can download it in the class’ group chat.”
A volcano instantly erupted in Yu Hao’s heart, you guys shared the song I sang in the class’ group chat?! And no one told me?! He searched around for half a day before he found his phone. Chen Yekai stretched a finger out and helped him scroll up the column of his class’ group chat’s shared documents.
Yu Hao wanted to get the monitor to quickly delete the file, yet he saw a message that Zhou Sheng sent him which popped up in the horizontal banner bar as a notification.
【Yo, you went to confess? Wish you all the best!】
Yu Hao, “!!!”
Chen Yekai, “……”
Yu Hao immediately felt like an exploding firework, yet Chen Yekai calmly slid the WeChat notification banner upwards so that it wouldn’t be in the way, then tapped on the audio and let Yu Hao download it so he could listen to it himself.
Yu Hao took a deep breath as he tried to calm down. Chen Yekai didn’t say anything else, and the two of them just continued sitting in their seats like this. Yu Hao began listening to the recording of《A Little Happiness》that he had sung that day, and the more he listened to it, the more he wanted to die. In the end, he had to hypnotise himself to forget it and forget Zhou Sheng’s WeChat message, then began to read the travel information for his destination -- Mt. Tianqing.
After lunch, the bus reached the foot of Mt. Tianqing, and Zhou Sheng still looked like he hadn’t woken up even though he just ate lunch. Both his hands were stuffed in his pockets as he studied Yu Hao, who looked like he was on the brink of madness.
“I was right beside him!” Yu Hao said through gritted teeth, “He, saw, it!”
“Oh.” Zhou Sheng looked baffled, “Isn’t that good?”
Yu Hao said, “I don’t like him!”
Zhou Sheng mocked, “I thought you liked him though, let’s go let’s go, we can go explain it clearly to him, don’t worry too much about it ah~”
Yu Hao, “……”
Yu Hao almost died from anger. Chen Yekai had gone to buy tickets. Zhou Sheng was about to walk over when Yu Hao grabbed him and said, “Stop it!!”
Zhou Sheng chuckled with a ‘hehe’, then put his arm around Yu Hao’s neck and made him walk all over the place together. Yu Hao could smell Zhou Sheng’s scent, so he felt ill at ease and struggled to break free.
“Stop it stop it……”
Yu Hao felt extremely conflicted. It wasn’t easy for him to control himself, and he was afraid that if Zhou Sheng teases him again, he wouldn’t be able to stop himself from wanting to stick close to him. He had already decided to keep a proper distance between them, so they shouldn’t be too intimate in front of others anymore.
Chen Yekai whistled from the front to signal to everyone that he had bought the tickets.
“We’ll reach midway up the mountain in an hour.” Chen Yekai distributed the meal, entrance and cable car tickets, “Once we reach it, you can use the meal tickets for a buffet there. After a half hour break, get to the peak in four hours before taking the cable car back down. We’ll be gathering here afterwards. If you can’t walk anymore, take the car, don’t force yourself. There are four paths that lead to the peak from the midpoint, everyone should take care of one another.”
After the students took their tickets, they hastily dispersed. A group of sports students were young and filled with vitality but had nowhere to vent their energy, so it was as if Chen Yekai had just released a pack of mad dogs who immediately ran off and quickly disappeared from sight.
Zhou Sheng and Yu Hao walked at the back of the group. Yu Hao said, “You should walk in front ba.”
Zhou Sheng shouted, “Chen Laoshi——!”
Chen Yekai was currently speaking with a group of girls. When he heard him, he turned around. Yu Hao instantly sensed that something was amiss, but Zhou Sheng shouted again, “Yu Hao said that you——”
Yu Hao, “!!!”
“I didn’t say anything!” Yu Hao immediately shouted too.
Zhou Sheng changed his tune, “He said that you didn’t give him enough time! Psychology students aren’t as fit as the sports students! He’s afraid that he can’t get to the peak!”
Yu Hao held his forehead with one hand. Chen Yekai shielded his face and shouted back, “If you can’t climb up anymore, take the car! Calculate the time needed by yourselves. Don’t take pictures anymore……we’re setting off!”
Zhou Sheng smiled as he looked at Yu Hao. Yu Hao’s face darkened, Zhou Sheng said, “Let’s go, let’s go!”
Yu Hao felt depressed. He walked behind everyone else with Zhou Sheng.
“The sun’s great today.” Zhou Sheng stretched as he said. He saw Yu Hao in a daze after he finished taking some photos standing on a plank walkway, so he urged, “Let’s keep going?”
“I can’t.” Yu Hao said, “I’m not a sports student.”
Zhou Sheng gestured for Yu Hao to come over. He put his arm around Yu Hao and stretched out his hand with his phone to take a selfie, but people kept walking past them. Zhou Sheng was practically driven mad, “Can’t we even take a picture now?!”
“Forget it, the scenery is nicer at the top. Let’s take our photos there.” Yu Hao said.
As soon as the students left, the foot of the mountain became quiet again. Mt. Tianqing is a neglected scenic spot near Ying city. There usually weren’t many tourists around, but there were stone inscriptions engraved into the cliff that had been preserved since the Ming dynasty. At the entrance of the mountain, there was the inscription, “The sea of bitterness is boundless, repent and the shore will be at hand.” Beneath it there were stone sculptures that depicted a scene of struggling in a sea of bitterness.
Yu Hao thought, this stone inscription really was quite fitting for the scene, so he stopped and took a picture. Zhou Sheng had walked quite a distance in front of him, and would occasionally turn around to wait for him.
“Let’s go ah.” Zhou Sheng said.
Yu Hao thought, I need to somehow get Zhou Sheng to walk at the front, or else other people will start gossiping endlessly again. At the very least, they shouldn’t be together all the time today, but he didn’t know where Fu Liqun had disappeared to either.
“Are you angry?” Zhou Sheng suddenly sensed that something was up.
“No.” Yu Hao had long forgotten how he had used Chen Yekai to joke around with him, “I’m not fit enough, it’s tiring to hike up.”
“I’m always asking you to eat more, but you never listen to me.” Zhou Sheng slowed down.
The two of them caught up with Chen Yekai and four girls from one of the dormitories. Chen Yekai was holding a phone that belonged to god knows who while he knelt down on one knee. He was taking a group photo for them, angling the shot from the bottom because that it would make their legs seem longer.
They didn’t know when Fu Liqun appeared, but he was standing at one side watching them get their photo taken. All the girls in this dormitory were very beautiful, and everyone liked beautiful girls.
Yu Hao thought sympathetically, but Chen Yekai definitely doesn’t want to be with them right now. Perhaps, he just wanted to walk alone in peace and get some fresh air.
“They’re here.” Chen Yekai said to the girls, “Go ah.”
“Forget it.” A girl from the sports class who was taking the lead said, “Let the two of them stay together ba, don’t split them up.”
Yu Hao, “???”
Zhou Sheng, “……”
Chen Yekai said, “I’ll help you guys say it? Be brave. Come, Zhou Sheng, get over here!”
“Zhou Sheng!” One of the girls who looked really sweet said, “Walk with us bei.”
Now, it was Zhou Sheng’s turn to explode.
“I’m not going!” Zhou Sheng didn’t expect that Chen Yekai would retaliate so swiftly.
Fu Liqun said, “He’s thin-skinned, sorry.”
The girls began to laugh again. Zhou Sheng immediately felt embarrassed and stayed where he was, but he didn’t walk over.
“Go ba.” This time, Yu Hao was the one speaking, “Go ah.”
Yu Hao thought that this was a very good thing. After all, Zhou Sheng was straight, and he had always been a bit shy around girls. With his kind of personality, you needed to give him a little push.
Yet Zhou Sheng got angry and glanced at Yu Hao.
Yu Hao, “Zhou Sheng will take you guys up the mountain.” As he spoke, he patted Zhou Sheng.
“You don’t need to take us!” The other three girls said in succession, “Just take her!”
Yu Hao looked at Zhou Sheng seriously. An irritated expression remained firmly on his features. Yu Hao leaned in and said, “I’ll walk behind you guys.”
Zhou Sheng didn’t go over, and the girls didn’t leave either. That girl was still waiting for Zhou Sheng, and after Chen Yekai saw that Zhou Sheng was put on a spot, he decided to let him off the hook and said, “What if we all go together?”
“Then I’ll wait for you guys at the buffet place ba.” Zhou Sheng finally relented.
Anyway, the buffet restaurant midway up the mountain was only half an hour on foot. Zhou Sheng took the girl away with a face full of reluctance. Chen Yekai was about to motion to Yu Hao when Fu Liqun fell behind the group a little and placed his arm around Yu Hao, “I’ll accompany you.” The two of them didn’t go forward, and looking at Fu Liqun, it seemed like he wanted to wait for Chen Yekai to leave before he and Yu Hao would follow along slowly.
Chen Yekai, “……”
Chen Yekai had wanted to take the chance to escape, but he didn’t expect that Yu Hao and Fu Liqun wouldn’t help him out of his predicament at all. In the end, he had to continue taking pictures for the girls and give up his struggle.
Ame: Giving Kaikai the side-eye.
Dollars: eats popcorn, watching ZS and Kaikai quietly, sneakily duel…
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Ellie.