COR Chapter 16

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Danger 

There were many times that Bian Shengjian felt that he was a very tenacious person, and basically, nothing can really touch his heart.

But when he saw the coarse memo reminding him of that event, he still felt that he couldn’t breathe for a moment.

It’s already been a year and right now’s another year. What would I say to her this year? Mom, I may not have had a good time this year.

“Brother Jian!” Zhou Li asked, “what’s the matter with you?”

“Nothing.” Bian Shengjian looked up at him, “Done crying?”

“I’m a pure man,” Zhou Li rubbed his nose with his hands, “I haven’t cried yet.”

“Next period is gonna start, Pure Man.” Bian Shengjian sighed, “If I ever drink with you in the future, I’d rather kill myself.”

“Shit.” Zhou Li smiled and put his hands on his shoulders. “I’m really good at drinking, but when I’m in a bad mood it’s easy to get drunk…”

“Shengjian!”

While dragging Zhou Li back to the classroom impatiently, Bian Shengjian suddenly heard Lao Tan calling him from behind.

 “Come here.”

“What’s the matter?” Bian Shengjian looped both his hands at the back of his neck while his bent arms protruded forwards, feeling a little agitated inside. “What did Chen Li say to you again?”

“Zhou Li, you go back first.” Lao Tan glanced at him, and after Bian Shengjian walked over, he said in a low voice, “It’s from your father. He asked me to tell you something.”

“Well, what’s the matter?” Bian Shengjian looked at him, unlooped his hands from behind, and crossed his arms instead.

“He said…” Lao Tan’s tone was even lower, ”he asked me to tell you to remember to visit your mother’s grave next month. “

Bian Shengjian was stunned, and when he reacted, his anger shot up from his chest in an instant, and every cell in his body was chanting aloud, “Why did he ask you to tell me to do that!”

“Fuck.”

“Shengjian,” Lao Tan’s tone was very peaceful, but after Bian Shengjian listened to every word Lao Tan said, it was unbearable. It was as if Lao Tan was stabbing his eardrum with a needle. “Your father originally thought of telling you this privately, but you have blocked all forms of contact, so his only option was to find me. Don’t blame him when you go back.”

Bian Shengjian gritted his teeth and didn’t speak. He was afraid that if he opened his mouth at this time, he would point at Lao Tan and curse, “Then it’s none of your business!”

“Since I am the class advisor, I have the obligation to understand each student and to help them when difficulties arise.” Lao Tan spoke very slowly, with imperceptible caution. “Therefore, this teacher is very sorry that he didn’t know about your family situation before…”

“Mr. Cai,” Bian Shengjian’s voice became colder. “You don’t need to say anything. “

Lao Tan was stunned for a few seconds but insisted on adding. “Okay, if you’re feeling unpleasant, you can come to my office to talk with me….”

“Will it be useful?” Bian Shengjian raised his eyelids, “Can’t you just mind your own business?”

This sentence had a very strong smell of gunpowder.

“I’m not meddling, it’s just that your father told me before…” Lao Tan said hesitantly.

“How much did he tell you?” Bian Shengjian felt that his reason was gradually falling apart, and he had to grit his teeth to swallow the sentence, “Are you his fucking dog?” before it came out and replaced it with a more euphemistic expression. 

“Why did he tell you this? Did you have to tell me if he told you? Did you have to let me know?”

“Shengjian…” Lao Tan looked at him.

“Wouldn’t I know my own mother died? I’m her son. Why wouldn’t I even remember her death anniversary?” Bian Shengjian’s throat was a little dry, but when the words came to his mouth, he couldn’t stop. “Why did he decide to tell you this!? Doesn’t he know what he did back then? Why did things become like this, and why did I become like this!? Come and tell me why!?”

“Shengjian,” Lao Tan put his hand on his shoulder. “don’t get agitated.”

“I’m not agitated!” Bian Shengjian slapped his hand away, “It’s not your mother who died! Why the hell are you pretending to be a saint in front of my eyes!?”

“Bian Shengjian!” Lao Tan finally scolded loudly, “Pay attention to your attitude! I just wanted to convey this message to you!”

“How to convey? What else do you want to say?” Bian Shengjian laughed at himself: “Will you poke my wound again in front of my face? Or that as long as we sit down and have a good conversation, my mother will come and pick me up tomorrow alive?”

Lao Tan opened his mouth, but after a while, he still couldn’t speak.

“Mr. Cai, Mr. Tan.” Bian Shengjian lowered his head, “I know more about my own family than anyone else, and I don’t need anyone to give me any guidance, let alone comfort me. Some people live like this. Having so much empathy is sometimes useless.”

“Go back today, I’ll find time to talk with you later.” Lao Tan was silent for a while before speaking.

“No,” Bian Shengjian glanced at him, “I’ll tell you everything that I want to say here. From now on, no matter what that person tells you about my family, even if you know it, don’t come over and tell me. If I hear one more sentence, I’ll do something you’ll regret.”

Lao Tan looked at him in shock.

“Don’t forget, I transferred here because I was expelled for fighting.” Bian Shengjian said, “I will not move now, but I will put my harsh words first, and no matter what he says to you in the future, don’t tell me, understand?”

“…Go back.” When Lao Tan said this, his lips trembled. He didn’t know if he was too shocked or still hadn’t gotten over Shengjian’s outburst. “Let’s go.”

Bian Shengjian turned around and walked towards the classroom, and only halfway through class did his tightly clenched fists finally loosen. Three to four deep crescent moon indents were visible on his palms.

Feeling uncomfortable, depressed, angry, and unbearable. These messy negative emotions seemed to have turned into entities, strangling his neck. But what was more intense than all that was his feeling of sadness.

Yes. He was sad.

After returning to the classroom, Zhou Li saw that Bian Shengjian’s face was not looking good, but he did not step forward to ask questions. But Lu Shen, who was a few steps away, gently tapped him on the corner of his shirt. “What’s the matter? “

Bian Shengjian didn’t speak, and he didn’t speak throughout the whole morning. Although Zhou Li didn’t know what happened, as soon as he turned to look at Shengjian behind him, he immediately turned back. “Damn…what a terrifying look.”

In the afternoon, Shengjian did not appear and his table was empty. This kind of behavior was viewed as conceited especially when there were only a few people in the classroom. An empty table will be immediately noticed at a glance. 

The English teacher stood on the podium. He was so angry that he asked some students to go to the dormitory and to the toilet to find Bian Shengjian. Unfortunately, the boys came back without success and finally had to give up.

“This is bad!” The English teacher was a grumpy little old man. As he walked onto the podium, he suddenly slapped the book hard. “Is there anyone who can contact him!? Tell him to find me in my office after school!” 

The whole class was silent, only a few boys who went to the hot pot restaurant last night looked at each other and raised their hands. “Teacher, he may have something to do at home.”

“Something? Is that something so important that he can’t even ask for leave?” The old man glared at them, “This is called skipping classes! This is bad!”

Lu Shen sat in his seat for a while, and when the old man finally stopped his rant to start his lecture, Lu Shen walked out the back door in a grand manner. Of course, no one noticed him at all.

The weather was nice today, both sunny and windy. Lu Shen paused downstairs for a while before turning around and walking in one direction. His eyes were a little indifferent, but he knew where Bian Shengjian would be. 

Go straight along the school road, pass the three buildings on the side and then pass through the rows of mango trees, and to the lake.

Bian Shengjian was sitting on the steps with his back to him, the collar blown by the oncoming wind made him look lonely from a distance.

“Not coming to class?” Lu Shen paused for a while before stepping forward. “The teacher is looking for you.”

Bian Shengjian seemed to be taken aback by him, but he had been frightened many times before, and this time his reaction was not violent. “Hmm.”

Lu Shen lowered his head and saw that Shengjian was leaning back in a lazy posture with his earphones plugged in, his legs stretched straight forward, looking quite long.

Bian Shengjian didn’t look at him again, and took another piece of candy and stuffed it into his mouth. There was a pile of candy wrappers scattered near his hand, reflecting the dazzling light of the sun.

“Those who see will also have a share.” Lu Shen sat down, “I want to eat it too.”

Bian Shengjian didn’t speak but he took out a packet of candy from his school bag and threw it over.

Lu Shen chose a grape-flavored one and put it in his mouth, then raised his eyes and looked at the surface of the lake with him. They just sat there in a daze, not speaking or moving, as if two human figures had solidified in the wind looking like sculptures.

“What are you listening to?” Lu Shen turned slightly after a long time.

Bian Shengjian was still staring at the lake in a daze, his lips pressed down slightly, his expression looked a little confused, and turned a deaf ear to Lu Shen’s words.

It wasn’t until Lu Shen reached out and took off one of his earphones that he suddenly came back to his senses. “…what are you doing?”

“Pure music?” Lu Shen was a little surprised.

He originally thought that according to Bian Shengjian’s temperament, the more unhappy he was, the more he would likely to listen to some intense melodies similar to heavy metal, but he did not expect that the songs flowing through the earphones were soft, with a hint of sadness in the tune.

“Solitude,” Bian Shengjian’s eyes drooped slightly, and he seemed to be talking to himself. “I like Sakamoto Ryuichi’s song very much.” 

“It sounds good.” Lu Shen plugged the earphones back to Shengjian’s ear and leaned back.

“Lu Shen.” Bian Shengjian said suddenly.

“What?” Lu Shen looked at him.

“What’s the purpose of living?” Bian Shengjian looked forward with a calm expression, but Lu Shen knew that he was looking forward to his answer at this moment.

“….I do not know either.” Lu Shen paused for a while, “But if you insist, I’d say it’s probably because one wants to find the reason why they’re alive.”

Bian Shengjian turned to look at him. “What do you mean?”

“People live not to prove to the world how awesome someone is when they’re alive, but to look for a reason why they’re living in this world.” Lu Shen said, “Who are you, what are you going to do in the future, what do you want to be? No matter what kind of person you are, you don’t need to care about other people, you just have to go to the point you want to go to.”

“Hmm.” The expression on Bian Shengjian’s face seemed to fluctuate for a moment, and after a while, he retracted his gaze and continued to look ahead.

“Why do you ask this all of a sudden, I think your politics class doesn’t teach philosophy at all.” Lu Shen smiled.

“It’s none of your business.” Bian Shengjian stuffed another piece of candy into his mouth. “Whether I listen to those classes or not will not affect my thinking about the world.”

“What happened?” Lu Shen looked at him. “Can’t you talk to me?”

“Who are you?” Bian Shengjian twitched the corners of his mouth, “Your face is quite thick.”

The two fell silent again for a while, and occasionally they could only hear the subtle sound of sugar cubes rolling in their mouths, but at this moment, it was quite harmonious in this silent atmosphere.

At this time, Lu Shen suddenly asked, “What day is it today?”

“The 15th” Bian Shengjian glanced at him, “Why? Don’t tell me you’ve gone stupid from all that studying?”

“It’s nothing.” Lu Shen lowered his head and picked up a shiny candy wrapper, “Aren’t you going back to class this afternoon?”

“You go back, I’ll continue to stay here by myself.” Bian Shengjian folded his legs and said lightly, “Lu Shen, you don’t need to do this.”

“I said I liked men,” Bian Shengjian looked at him and said, “Can’t you just stay away from me? “

“No.” Lu Shen smiled, “You don’t like me anyways. Do you?”

Bian Shengjian was suddenly speechless, and it took a long time before he waved his hand to shoo him away. “Okay, you can go back, It’s tiring looking at you.”

“Third brother,” Lu Shen hesitated before speaking. “I still want to tell you something… Remember to be careful tonight.”

“Be careful?” Bian Shengjian was a little puzzled. “Be careful of what?”

“Don’t run around. Just stay in the dormitory.” Lu Shen said.

Bian Shengjian frowned as he watched Lu Shen’s back disappear behind a tree. Although Lu Shen’s way of speaking and behavior always puzzled him, the fact that he came here after he skipped class made him feel a little moved, and his chest was not as congested as before.

He plugged the earphones back in again and wanted to reach out for another piece of candy, but when he looked at his bag, he realized that there was only one candy wrapper left inside the bag of candy. Shengjian cursed and reached into the middle of his school bag,  wanting to see if there were one or two left that slipped out.

He felt around his bag but he didn’t touch any candy, instead, touched something strange…

What is this?

Bian Shengjian frowned and pulled out a small piece of folded yellow paper from a hidden corner in the middle of the schoolbag, looking at it over and over in his hand for a while before unfolding it.

Is this… a rune?

He was a little shocked to see this yellow paper covered with various strange symbols in ink.

But how did this thing end up in his bag? Bian Shengjian frowned tightly.

He suddenly thought of the inexplicable words that Lu Shen had said to him when he was leaving, and couldn’t help but took out his mobile phone and took a picture of the rune, and glanced at today’s date.

15th. What’s going to happen tonight…?

Bian Shengjian suddenly felt a chill behind him.

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