The phone rang and vibrated for the second time at the small of his back.
Huo Ran looked up, there was still about 50 meters of hill left.
He ignored his phone, and rode to the top through the vibrating music.
“We’re different! We’re different!”
“We’re different! We’re different!”
“Fucking hell.” Huo Ran reached back and dug around for his phone, before tugging off his fanny pack, picking up the phone before ‘we’re different’ repeated for the fourth time.
“Were you the one that changed my fucking ringtone?”
“…Do you look at the caller ID before picking up? Or do you not even have my number saved?” It was Jiang Lei’s voice.
“I’d recognize you even if you were chopped up into fucking mincemeat.” Huo Ran said.
“And you still accused me of changing your ringtone?!” Jiang Lei exclaimed.
“How many times have we even met this whole summer? The last time was half a month ago! I changed your ringtone? Are you serious?”
“Then who did it?” Huo Ran frowned.
“How am I supposed to know?” Jiang Lei frowned too, pausing before asking, “Changed it to what?”
“The one you sing all the time, not an extra word.” Huo Ran said.
Jiang Lei immediately started: “We’re different, diff-”
“If you don’t need anything I’m hanging up.” Huo Ran interrupted him.
“I’m halfway through.”
“Cycling again?” Jiang Lei asked.
“Didn’t you go cycling the day before?”
“I’ve been riding since the day before, idiot.” Huo Ran looked back, he didn’t see anyone else, only the flag stuck on the back of his bike.
Who knows who designed that thing, two words ‘Elite Riding’ were printed in yellow on a green background.
He sighed, “I have the flag today, too.”
“Are you first? What club are you competing against?” Jiang Lei asked.
“Conquer the World,” Huo Ran felt that this name was even more embarrassing than ‘Elite Riding’ when he said it out loud.
“I’m first right now, but they have a 14 year old girl that’s really…”
Before he could finish, that 14 year old girl turned the corner on a road about 500 meters away.
She waved at him, whistling.
“Fuck,” Huo Ran fastened the fanny pack back around his waist, keeping his phone held between his cheek and shoulder.
“I have to go now, this kid’s hacking.”
“Hey, I haven’t said my thing yet!” Jiang Lei said.
“I’ll call you back.” Huo Ran hung up before he could say anything.
Putting his phone back, he pushed off with his right leg.
The path goes downhill next, the kid hasn’t even gotten up the road yet, there’s no way she can catch up.
But he still hurried anyway.
This was the first time he was being chased by a kid like this, she could even whistle after all that.
“He hung up?” Xu Zhifan asked.
“Yeah, he said he’ll call me back.” Jiang Lei stared at the phone.
“Then what was the point of that three minute call?” Xu Zhifan asked.
Jiang Lei was silent.
“Let me call next time.” Xu Zhifan looked at Jiang Lei.
“You’re the type of corpse that gets shot at 7, dies at 8, and we still don’t know who the murderer is.”
Jiang Lei glared at him for 10 seconds before opening his mouth, “Fuck off.”
“Call Hu Yi and the others to come eat,” Xu Zhifan fiddled with his phone.
“I wanna put on some fat for the fall.”
“Isn’t it a bit too early for that?” Jiang Lei asked.
“There’s no ‘too early’ when it comes to fate.” Xu Zhifan dialed a number.
Jiang Lei picked up his phone and took a picture of the class list posted on the bulletin board, sending it in the group chat.
-you went to school?
-damn, why didn’t you call us if you were going out?
-you guys come out too, we’re going out to eat.
i’m with xu zhifan
-hold on, I just saw the main point on the list, kou chen, xu chuan, and wei chaoren???
“Yeah, the trio.” Jiang Lei sent a voice message.
“In the same class as us.”
“Holy shit, that’s something.” Hu Yi sent a voice message back.
After deciding where to eat, Jiang Lei and Xu Zhifan walked towards the school gates.
Jiang Lei looked back at Kou Chen’s name on the class list, “I feel like they’re gonna start a fight on the first day.” He said seriously.
“Not necessarily,” Xu Zhifan said.
“They haven’t fought before.”
“That’s exactly why.
Now that they’re in the same class, how could they resist?” Jiang Lei rubbed his hands together.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
“Cr ibcu jr sbe mjc tbiv yjmx Leb Ejc, la’ii yf olcf.” We Itlojc rjlv.
“Llr jcufg bcis ijrar atgff rfmbcvr.”
“Qtja jybea Bbe Jtfc?” Aljcu Ofl jrxfv.
We Itlojc uijcmfv ja tlw, “Qjrc’a Leb Ejc atf bcf ktb rajgafv la ijra alwf?”
“…Tbe’gf gluta.” Aljcu Ofl cbvvfv.
There was no one behind him as Huo Ran pulled up to the top of the hill.
Laying the bike over, he plucked the flag off and stuck it in some dirt.
The air was great up on the mountain, slightly cool and refreshing.
Huo Ran took a deep breath, taking in the scenery from a rock at the edge.
It was a sunny day, with high visibility.
He could see the horizon line from where he was.
Though with all the hills, it wasn’t very straight.
Soon after, he heard the sound of a bike braking.
He looked back to see the girl hop off it.
He looked back to stare at the horizon.
“How long since you got here?” The girl asked.
“An hour.” He said.
The girl laughed, “Yeah right, your sweat hasn’t even dried yet.”
“Mhm.” He nodded.
“Gege, do you have any water?” The girl asked.
“I drank all of mine.”
“On my bike.” Huo Ran pointed.
The girl poured water in her mouth with her head tilted back, drinking half the bottle in seconds.
“Why didn’t you drink water? There’s still so much left.” The girl said.
“Because you’re drinking all of it.” Huo Ran said.
The girl froze.
“You can have it.” Huo Ran jumped off the rock.
He knew there was a small Daoist temple with a spring not far up ahead.
Walking towards the temple, he stopped, realizing the girl was following behind him.
“Looking for the bathroom?” He asked.
“Yeah.” The girl looked a little embarrassed, “Are you going to the bathroom too?”
Huo Ran swallowed back the “I’m going to drink water” he was gonna say, and continued walking.
“I’m not going to the bathroom.”
“Then…” The girl stopped.
“Come on.” Huo Ran said.
“It’s just up ahead.”
After taking the girl to the Daoist temple, he scooped up some water to drink before getting his phone to call Jiang Lei back.
“At the peak?” Jiang Lei asked.
“…Mhm.” Huo Ran said, “What were you calling me for?”
“The class lists were posted,” Jiang Lei said.
“Xu Zhifan and us are in Humanities 1.”
“Nice, we’re in the same class again.” Huo Ran nodded.
“Guess who else is in our class?” Jiang Lei lowered his voice and asked.
“Kou Chen.” Hearing him, Huo Ran could pretty much guess the answer already.
“Fuck, you’re boring, couldn’t you have let me reveal it?” Jiang Lei said.
“Two more people, guess again?”
“Xu Chuan, Wei Chaoren?” Huo Ran asked.
“You couldn’t give me a chance to reveal it?!” Annoyed, Jiang Lei raised his voice.
“It would make me look stupid if I waited for you to say it after such obvious clues.” Huo Ran said.
“Those three exactly! Kou Chen! Xu Chuan! Wei Chaoren!” Jiang Lei repeated the names.
“How could it be such a coincidence?”
“Dunno.” Huo Ran dipped his hands in the spring, the cool water comfortable on his hands.
“You guys went to look at the class list today?”
“Yup, we’re going out to eat now.” Jiang Lei said.
“Let me tell you, Xu Zhifan told me to remind you to not pick a fight with Kou Chen when time comes.
You each mind your own business and all that.”
Huo Ran tsked.
He never intended to get into Kou Chen’s business, they just clashed a few times when playing basketball.
He spat out a curse as they were about to lose, and Kou Chen rushed to claim it was all.
Apart from that, they had no other interactions.
He didn’t know much about Kou Chen.
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