A Lucky Coin

A Lucky Coin

Chapter 2 - Chapter 2

The boy closest to him was stunned for a moment upon hearing this, then burst into wild laughter as if he had heard the funniest joke of the year.

The few boys behind him also started laughing uncontrollably.

Yan Hang didn't mind, as he had intentionally said it in an amusing way.

However, his main purpose in coming over wasn't just to crack a joke.

He raised his hand and punched the boy across the face.

No warm-up, no hesitation.

"Sweetie, when you want to make a move, don't give your opponent a chance, or you'll be at a disadvantage," Emperor Dad had said.

So when the boy fell at his feet, the smile was still plastered on his face.

They were all young, and although everyone was stunned for a moment seeing someone smiling while being knocked down, they quickly reacted.

Yan Hang grabbed the wrist of the hand swinging half a bottle at him.

Grasp, press the joint, twist.

When his dad had taught him these moves, they were short on funds and had no props, so they practiced directly. The pain of having your arm twisted behind your back and pulled away from your body as you were pushed made him like a kung fu prodigy, quickly mastering the essentials.

When he twisted Thug No. 2's arm behind his back and pushed him towards the charging Thug No. 3, Thug No. 2 let out a mournful howl at No. 3.

The howl was miserable, making No. 3's eyes widen.

Yan Hang let go and kicked No. 2 in the lower back, causing him to fall to the ground hugging No. 3.

The remaining two rushed up together. According to his dad, when they charge at you with arms open as if to embrace you, don't refuse.

So Yan Hang didn't refuse. He first punched the one on the right in the stomach, then blocked the flimsy punch from the one on the left, shouldered him, and the two were out.

Honestly, every time he fought with these people who even describing them as having zero combat power would be flattering, Yan Hang felt like a martial arts master.

With this bunch of wastes, it took less than three minutes to deal with them. If it weren't for the fact that a few boys had been kicking the protagonist earlier, he wouldn't have even wanted to lift his leg.

A couple of slaps, a couple of punches, that was about it. This time he even used his legs. After the boys got up from the ground, they all stood in place, hoping someone else would pounce first, but unfortunately everyone had the same thought.

The scene was like a cocktail party where strangers awkwardly looked at each other.

"Forget it," someone finally spoke the first sentence, "let's go."

They had just been bullying the protagonist for fun since he didn't resist. Now that they had an opponent, they suddenly lost the will to fight.

But as they were leaving, the ringleader still couldn't let it go and said, "If you have the guts, then you better wait. I'll find you."

"Where do you plan to find me?" Yan Hang smiled.

The guy glared at him in embarrassment.

"How about I leave you an address," Yan Hang said as he rummaged through his pocket, "do you have pen and paper?"

This taunt immediately reignited the fighting spirit of the boys who had wanted to back down. They rolled up their sleeves and were about to pounce again.

"What are you doing! What are you doing!" A loud female voice came from the side, "A bunch of no-good dog things! Born from your mother's cunt and raised like strays..."

The boys all stopped, their expressions quickly changing from anger to disdain and disgust. The following content shocked even Yan Hang, who had grown up among bottom-rung shrews and ruffians, to the point he almost couldn't bear to listen.

When he turned his head, he saw an old lady with a head full of small white curls and a pale face.

She must have applied a thick layer of powder and drawn on eyebrows. Compared to the content of her cursing, this makeup made Yan Hang have an even stronger urge to turn and flee.

The old lady's makeup was probably done blind. Her left eyebrow started from the right, crossing her forehead in a trembling black line to the end. The right eyebrow, having its territory occupied by the left, could only start from the right peak and end abruptly after a brief quiver.

This bizarre, surreal look left Yan Hang unable to recover for a long time, staring at her eyebrows and unable to look away no matter what.

"What are you looking at! You're the only one with eyes and everyone else has two holes, is that it!" The old lady raised her mismatched eyebrows, glared at him and shouted.

Only then did Yan Hang notice that the thugs had run off, leaving only him and the protagonist at the scene.

Before he could come back to his senses from the shock and decide whether to leave or continue standing there, the old lady's target shifted again.

She pointed at the protagonist standing to the side, "Look at how pathetic you are!"

The protagonist didn't look at her or make a sound. He slung his backpack over his shoulder and turned to leave.

"Where are you going!" The old lady shouted and grabbed his arm, "Didn't you hear me talking to you!"

The protagonist still didn't speak, only backing up trying to break free of her grip.

"Got bullied again, didn't you!" The old lady's voice remained loud. There were quite a few people coming and going at this hour, and the people nearby were all watching the excitement with great interest. But unlike before, the old lady was now completely oblivious to the onlookers.

Yan Hang wanted to leave, but thinking that he had just claimed to have this person's back, it seemed a bit unacceptable to run away now just because an old lady showed up.

Hesitating, he had no choice but to keep standing there.

"Waste! I'm going to find your teacher this afternoon! Find your principal! What kind of nonsense is this!" The old lady continued shouting, "See if I don't scold them until they kneel before me!"

Yan Hang changed his mind and decided to leave. He'd cover for the guy tomorrow. Standing here was too painful. He turned around, went to get his phone, and saw several rows of ellipses scrolling up the screen.

He exited the live broadcast and put the phone back in his pocket.

As he was about to cross the street to go home, he glanced at the protagonist and suddenly found that the eternally calm expression on the boy's face had actually disappeared, his brows furrowed.

Yan Hang quickly crossed the street and went home.

However, after entering the house, he still stood by the window, looking across the street.

The old lady was probably the protagonist's grandmother or maternal grandmother. But the expression the protagonist had maintained even when being bullied was finally broken by the old lady. The power of this old lady with the long and short worm-like eyebrows was probably beyond compare.

Five minutes later, the old lady's voice that could penetrate across the street and into the house finally disappeared.

The protagonist was still standing in the same spot, looking a bit dejected, but still facing this way, staring in silence. Yan Hang stepped over the window sill and jumped out for the second time.

Only after landing did he remember that he could have used the door.

The old lady had shocked him silly.

Yan Hang slowly crossed the street and stopped in front of the protagonist, taking off his mask.

Only now did he have a chance to take a good look at this kid.

He wasn't tall, which was certainly one of the reasons he got bullied, but he had decent looks, especially compared to the old lady just now.

"Looking for me?" Yan Hang asked.

The protagonist glanced at him without saying a word.

"What I said just now stands," Yan Hang pointed behind him at the building, "I live on the first floor over there. You can find me if you need anything."

The protagonist glanced at him again, smiling but still not speaking.

This smile left Yan Hang a bit perplexed. The deep black eyes also carried a smile, as if everything that happened before never occurred, or rather, as if none of it affected him at all.

As if this was how his life had always been.

"What's your name?" Yan Hang asked.

The protagonist looked at him, remaining silent as if he had amnesia. Just as Yan Hang thought "To hell with protecting you" and was about to turn and leave, the boy finally spoke with difficulty: "Chu, Chu... Chu Yi."

"What?" Yan Hang was taken aback. The stuttering was probably reason number two for the bullying, and maybe low intelligence needed to be added too. "I asked your name, not what grade* you're in."

"Chu, Chu Er," the protagonist said.

*T/N: Chu Yi can also be translated as the first year of middle school. Chu Er would be the second year of middle school.

Yan Hang looked at him.

He also looked at Yan Hang.

After a long stare-down, Yan Hang finally found his wavelength and sighed, "Got it, your name is Chu Yi and you're in your second year, right?"

"Mm." The protagonist nodded, seeming relieved.

"Those few idiots just now are your classmates?" Yan Hang asked.

"Mm." Chu Yi continued nodding.

"What about that old lady?" Yan Hang asked again, not inquiring why he was bullied. He felt he could more or less figure it out, and sometimes there didn't need to be any reason.

"My..." Chu Yi's eyes darkened. After a while, he said softly, "Grandma."

"Oh," Yan Hang responded. After responding, he felt there was nothing more to say, so he waved his hand, "Alright, you go on home. I'm going to get something to eat."

"Your name is... is," even after walking out ten meters, Chu Yi was still unhurriedly speaking behind him, "is, is, is..."

"Yan Hang," Yan Hang turned his head and interrupted.

"Yan, Yan..." Chu Yi nodded.

"Hang, Yan Hang," Yan Hang said.

Chu Yi smiled faintly.

"I'm off." Yan Hang turned and walked off along the road.

When Chu Yi got home, his grandma had already returned and was sitting on the sofa watching TV while holding the family's 16-year-old dog.

His mom had also come back and was gloomily cooking in the kitchen.

"Go wash the vegetables," his mom said without looking up upon hearing him enter.

"Mm." Chu Yi put down his schoolbag.

"Useless thing, never has anything going on, won't move unless told," Grandma said.

Chu Yi didn't make a sound. He went to the kitchen, got the vegetables and started washing.

"Really useless!" Grandma raised her voice from outside, "Got beaten up again today! I said I'd go to the school and demand an explanation, but he wouldn't let me! Useless!"

"He thinks you making a scene is embarrassing," Mom said.

"So what if I make a scene," Grandma stood at the kitchen doorway holding the dog, "So what if I make a scene, no one dares to mess with me, you know!"

"Go watch your TV!" Mom also raised her voice.

Chu Yi silently stared at the vegetables in his hands, quickly finishing washing them and putting them on the chopping board before walking out of the kitchen and into the bedroom.

He didn't have his own room. This one was Grandma and Grandpa's bedroom, with a sofa bed and simple cloth wardrobe added by the wall.

Actually, he should have gone to the living room to do his homework at this time. His desk was there, but he was reluctant to go when Grandma was around.

"Not doing your homework today?" Grandma shouted from the living room.

Chu Yi didn't respond, silently walking to the living room and sitting down. He took out his textbooks from his schoolbag, turned on the desk lamp, and quickly lay on the table to start his homework.

But his wholehearted performance couldn't get Grandma to quiet down.

"Don't think I can't tell, you ungrateful brat! Just avoiding me! Want to go to your grandpa's place, right? Then go!" Grandma lit a cigarette and took a couple puffs. "Feeding you and giving you drink, but you're eager to go plant crops for them, ungrateful brat!"

Grandpa's family didn't have land, just some vegetables planted in pots on the roof. Chu Yi quite liked that little garden, watering it every time he went. Grandma had always disapproved.

But ungrateful... probably wasn't wrong either. He was indeed closer to his paternal grandparents. To Grandma, he was indeed an ungrateful brat, no mistake.

"Dinner's ready!" Mom walked out of the kitchen and sat on the sofa.

Chu Yi put down his pen, got up to set up the dinner table, then brought out the rice, dishes, bowls and chopsticks. After serving rice for Mom and Grandma, he sat down and started eating with his head lowered.

"His dad's not coming back again?" Grandma asked.

"Mm, something with the fleet," Mom said.

"Just some crappy driver, you'd think he was a secretary in the Prime Minister's Office," Grandma said with the cigarette in her mouth.

"Eat your dinner, enough smoking!" Mom raised her voice.

"Go buy me a pack of cigarettes after you're done eating," Grandma stubbed out the cigarette on the tabletop.

This was directed at Chu Yi. He nodded, took the ashtray and scraped the cigarette butt and ash into it, then rubbed at the burn mark left by the cigarette on the tabletop. It didn't come off.

Not only the dinner table, but the coffee table, sofa armrests, all the flat surfaces in his home had burn marks left by Grandma stubbing out cigarettes.

"Smoke less, if you die it'll be from smoking," Mom said.

"Am I spending your money? I know you lost your job, I have my own pension!" Grandma said as she grabbed her cloth bag, took out a hundred yuan bill from inside and slapped it down in front of Chu Yi, "Take this and go buy my cigarettes!"

Chu Yi took the money and stood up.

"Go after you finish eating," Mom stopped him.

"Eat, eat." Grandma picked up some food with her chopsticks and threw it on the floor for the dog.

Chu Yi sat back down and continued eating with his head lowered.

"Today Er Ping and the others insisted on dragging me out shopping," Mom said as she ate, "So annoying."

"Where'd you go?" Grandma asked.

"Where else would they go besides stores like LV," Mom tutted, "Deliberately trying to annoy me, said I wouldn't go but already but they dragged me along anyway."

"Just because their family has a bit of stinking money! Shaking their wallets all day long like they've been electrocuted," Grandma spat, "Sooner or later it will all be squandered!"

Chu Yi ate with his head down, not even lifting his eyes, thinking about finishing quickly so he could go out.

"She even said she bought a gift for Chu Yi, but when I said I'd take it back, she wouldn't let me, insisting on giving it personally," Mom said, "Who knows what she's thinking."

"She can't have her own, so she's getting her kicks with someone else's child," Grandma's tone became cheerful when it came to this topic, "I think, as fat as she is, most likely she can't have any."

Chu Yi finished the rice in his bowl, took a couple sips of soup, got up, took Grandma's hundred yuan and went out the door.

It was a bit chilly outside, but he felt very comfortable, breathing much more smoothly.

So every night after finishing his homework, he would come out for a run. Nine out of ten street lamps here were broken, the darkness made him feel very secure.

He came out a bit early today, there were still quite a few people outside. He walked close to the wall, not wanting to be seen.

But it was unavoidable to be seen when going to buy cigarettes. Luckily, when he walked into the shop, he was the only customer.

"Buying cigarettes for your grandma?" the shopkeeper asked.

"Mm." Chu Yi handed over the money.

The shopkeeper took the money, and while getting the cigarettes for him said: "Your grandma really is unchanging over twenty years, never seen her smoke any other cigarettes."

"Loyal." Chu Yi nodded.

The shopkeeper smiled and bagged the cigarettes for him. He took the bag and walked out, continuing to slink along the wall.

He walked all the way to the riverside.

It was called a river, but actually very narrow. Although quite a few stone benches had been built by the river, basically no one would come. Too cold in winter, and the river water had a rank odor in other seasons.

Chu Yi would encounter someone passing by about once every twenty times he came.

For him, it was a great place.

He often came here. Here he had a personal tree hole that he had been using for nearly ten years.

The tree hole was a real tree hole.

An old locust tree by the river, with a hole in its trunk.

From initially needing to step on the tree roots sticking out of the ground to reach this hole, to now needing to bend down to press his face against the tree hole, Chu Yi had told it many little secrets, little wishes.

Many of the little secrets were forgotten, and not a single little wish had ever come true.

Probably because the river water was rank.

Chu Yi looked around, there was no one there. He bent down and pressed his face against the tree hole, closing his eyes.

Because few people passed by, and the tree hole faced the wall, it had always been quite clean, no strange smells, and the scent of wood could be smelled.

"I don't, don't want, to go to, school," Chu Yi said very slowly in a soft voice, "I want to go, somewhere else, work, tra-, travel, but..."

He sighed: "My mom wants me to go, go to college."

"I can't, can't get in, definitely can't, get in," he lightly scratched at the tree bark, "I simply, just, just... don't want to study."

This kind of unreciprocated pouring out, each time Chu Yi would mutter on for at least several minutes, and then would feel much more relaxed.

Today as well, after he finished talking, he stood up straight and stretched.

This stretch only made it halfway before he froze with his arms raised.

Someone was standing to the side.

Wearing athletic clothes and running shoes, with a mask on.

It was the person who had hit Li Zihao today, the one who said he would protect him from now on.

Yan Hang.

"You..." Yan Hang looked at Chu Yi, momentarily not knowing what he should say. Seeing a person sticking their butt out of a tree while running was shocking enough, but this person turned out to be Chu Yi.

"Put your arms down first," Yan Hang said, "I'm not carrying a knife either."

Chu Yi put down his arms.

"You..." Yan Hang still didn't know what to say looking at him, just looking at the ring pressed into his face he couldn't help wanting to laugh.

Finally he walked over to the tree trunk and took a look, discovering that it was quite a large tree hole.

"You dug this?" Yan Hang turned his head to ask Chu Yi, "Fits your face shape so well."

"No," Chu Yi replied, "I have, a co-, common face size."

"Any common hole fits, right." Yan Hang said.

"Mm." Chu Yi nodded.

Yan Hang couldn't hold back and laughed, laughing for a while before patting the tree trunk: "There must be quite a few of your little secrets in here, right?"


Every chapter whispers secrets; every coffee sip fuels the journey. Let's embark on another chapter, powered by everyone's support! >.<

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