A Lucky Coin

A Lucky Coin

Chapter 7 - Chapter 7

That day when Yan Hang walked over with his phone and even put it on a stand under the tree, Chu Yi guessed he was livestreaming. But it wasn't until today that he realized Yan Hang's livestreams were so boring.

And he was so casual about it, starting whenever he wanted and stopping without even saying goodbye when he felt like it.

He also didn't show his face, and when he possibly did, he wore a mask.

No wonder no one watched.

If Yan Hang was willing to show his face, he would definitely attract many young girls like his deskmate to shower him with gifts... but Chu Yi quite liked this kind of boring livestream.

It gave him a sense of experiencing a "different life". Maybe equally ordinary, maybe mind-numbingly boring, but different from his own.

Quite interesting.

Although he had only watched the livestream a few times in total.

His old phone couldn't handle new things like livestreaming. Every time he entered, it would lag as if using 2G data, then freeze up and not recover unless he took out the battery.

Today, he had originally wanted to watch Yan Hang's livestream on site for a bit longer, but he didn't really have enough time. He had gone out to buy oil.

His mom didn't buy oil at the supermarket, but went to the farmer's market to get those big barrels that were divided and sold, because they were cheaper.

The farmer's market was far away, so he had more time. But he had gone to find a pen and hung out with Yan Hang for a long time. If he didn't run to the market now, he would be quite late getting back.

Although his mom wouldn't hit him, he also didn't want to face her gloomy scolding.

"Buying oil?" Yan Hang looked at him. "Can't you just get it at any supermarket?"

"It's expensive," Chu Yi said.

"So you have to go to the market?" Yan Hang asked.

Chu Yi nodded.

"Then you should go." Yan Hang glanced at the time.

Chu Yi stood up and looked at him, feeling like he wanted to say a few more words, but after staring blankly for a while, he couldn't find the right ones.

"Hm?" Yan Hang probably found it a bit odd being stared at like this. "Don't tell me there's another pen in the river."

"No." Chu Yi smiled and turned to run along the path.

The fountain pen had been given to him by his aunt before. He didn't dare use it. His mom always took pens from the water delivery station - blue ones, red ones, black ones, all kinds. He had to use those.

So he had kept this fountain pen hidden. If it wasn't to thank Yan Hang, he would have already forgotten about it. Maybe he would forget about that phone in the future too.

It was best to forget about things you couldn't have. Otherwise, it would hurt to think of them. This was his experience.

Chu Yi sprinted all the way towards the farmer's market. Usually running there like this would feel tiring, but this time, it didn't seem that far while running.

Probably because he had given away the pen.

He didn't have many chances to give people gifts. Classmates' birthdays and such wouldn't include him. As for giving gifts to his parents... he had done it before.

When he was in elementary school, he had saved up his allowance for a long time, even picking up some scrap paper and beverage bottles to sell. He had pooled together enough money to buy his mom a scarf, wanting to make her happy.

Just like how he was always thrilled when his aunt gave him gifts.

But his mom didn't appreciate the sentiment.

In the end, grandma had taken the scarf and him to the store to make a big scene and returned it. Grandma used the refunded money to buy cigarettes. When they got home, mom got into another fight with grandma because she didn't get the refund.

After that, he never thought about giving anyone gifts again.

This time, giving Yan Hang a gift had taken a lot of resolve.

Li Zihao throwing away the pen, him looking for it in the mud and trash - none of that mattered much to him. What he had been worried about the whole time was that Yan Hang wouldn't accept it.

But Yan Hang took it, even after seeing with his own eyes that the pen had been pulled out of the stinking mud and hadn't even been washed, just wiped off with some paper.

Chu Yi smiled.

Yan Hang was a really good person.

After buying the oil his mom specified from the farmer's market, Chu Yi carried it and ran back.

When he passed by the building Yan Hang's home was in, he glanced over in that direction. Yan Hang's living room window faced the street with just a flowerbed and three trees in between, but the curtains were drawn.

Maybe Yan Hang wasn't back yet.

Chu Yi slowed his pace. The oil was quite heavy and he was a bit tired from running all this way.

His mom hadn't called to rush him, meaning he was still within the tolerated time range... But when he turned the corner and could see the building his own home was in, he understood why his mom hadn't called.

She probably couldn't spare the attention.

He could hear grandma's voice from far away.

Cursing vigorously, the content unclear, but Chu Yi could more or less imagine it.

His whole body instantly felt a suffocating sensation and his steps got slower and slower.

He walked slowly along the base of the wall, praying the whole time: end quickly, finish before I get to the building.

But just like the little wishes he made to tree holes never came true, his inner prayers had also never succeeded.

And today, reality was even further from his expectations than usual.

Grandma wasn't downstairs, but by the side of the road.

Her top was already off, standing with her hands on her hips in just her undershirt, a glaring white patch visible from the surrounding crowd.

Chu Yi stopped and leaned against the wall.

But he couldn't escape others' gazes.

"Chu Yi!" Someone called his name with a laugh. "Aren't you going to get your grandma and take her back home!"

"If you're any later she'll take off her pants too!" Someone else said with a chuckle.

Chu Yi kept his head down and didn't make a sound.

He didn't know what grandma was arguing about today or who she was fighting with to this extent. He just knew that in the eyes of these neighbors, this kind of scene was a joke that played out every few months.

Everyone knew that his grandma was a shrew who could strip off her clothes and get into arguments with people anytime, anywhere.

And this "anytime, anywhere" even included their school.

When Yan Hang opened the door and entered, his dad asked: "What's that smell?"

"...You can still smell it?" Yan Hang lifted his foot and looked at the sole of his shoe.

"Yeah," his dad said. "Did you get into a fight with someone in a cesspool?"

"It's almost time to eat, don't ruin your appetite." Yan Hang took off his shoes and put them by the trash can at the door. He noticed an old man who came by twice a day to rummage through the garbage.

"Some of your classmates are really carefree," his dad said.

"I got fired." Yan Hang went to the kitchen to wash his hands. When he came out, he felt the fountain pen in his pocket. He hesitated for a moment, then held it under his nose to sniff it. He turned around and went back to wash the pen a couple of times.

"You don't get paid for a day's work?" Dad didn't ask him the reason for his unemployment.

"Even if I did, it wouldn't be enough for a bowl of noodles." Yan Hang sat down, looking at the pen in his hand.

It was a silver Parker pen, looking quite old-fashioned in style, but very exquisite.

Yan Hang wasn't very interested in pens usually. He didn't use pens much, having only attended elementary school. He usually preferred pencils.

But as a gift, it felt different.

"What is this thing?" Dad asked.

"Can't you tell what it is?" Yan Hang waved the pen in his direction.

"Even if I could, I wouldn't believe my own eyes." Dad lit a cigarette.

"It was a gift," Yan Hang said.

"A gift?" Dad was a bit surprised. "From that kid you mentioned?"

"Yeah," Yan Hang nodded. "What do you want to eat for lunch?"

"Pizza," Dad said.

Yan Hang glanced at him.

"I saw the oven in the kitchen was usable, so I bought ingredients," Dad pointed to the fridge. "I was going to have you make it for dinner, but since you're unemployed, let's have it for lunch."

Yan Hang opened the fridge. The crust, cheese, and sauce were all there.

"Alright," Yan Hang said. "I'll go buy some green peppers, bacon and stuff."

"And bring back a bottle of red wine," Dad added.

"Celebrating my unemployment, huh," Yan Hang said.

"Celebrating you making a friend and receiving a gift," Dad said happily.

Yan Hang didn't say anything and went out the door.

He did receive a gift.

But a friend?

Chu Yi?

Yan Hang's concept of friendship was vague. What kind of relationship, what depth, could be considered friendship, he wasn't too clear.

But Chu Yi probably didn't count as a friend.

They had barely spoken. Friends should at least be able to chat. If he had to chat with Chu Yi, he'd probably be bored to death.

Turning left out the door, there was a supermarket along the road. Yan Hang had been buying groceries there the past few days. It was quite well-stocked and not expensive. The residents in this area all shopped here. It seemed everyone's income was about the same. He couldn't quite understand Chu Yi's mom insisting he go to the wet market to buy oil.

Chu Yi was indeed very obedient, running to the wet market to carry back a big barrel of oil...

It really was a very large barrel.

Yan Hang stood at the entrance of the supermarket, watching Chu Yi walking towards him with that barrel of oil in hand, almost as big as a water dispenser.

But Chu Yi's current direction was clearly opposite from going home.

Yan Hang didn't move, watching Chu Yi slowly walk over with his head down, seeming a bit depressed. Usually when bullied he wouldn't show any expression, but now his brows were furrowed.

Chu Yi never noticed him. He just walked forward with his head lowered. As he passed by, Yan Hang couldn't help but reach out and flick his head. "Hey."

Chu Yi turned his head.

"Aren't you going home?" Yan Hang asked.

"Taking a walk first," Chu Yi said.

"Taking a walk while carrying oil?" Yan Hang asked.

"Yeah," Chu Yi nodded. "Strengthens the body."

Sometimes Yan Hang didn't quite understand, in what state of mind would Chu Yi still joke around when clearly in low spirits like this.

"Is someone blocking you up ahead?" Yan Hang asked.

"No," Chu Yi shook his head. "They're off on weekends."

"Then take your walk." Yan Hang didn't know what else to say and turned to enter the supermarket.

There were quite a few people in the supermarket. Yan Hang grabbed some green peppers from the crowd and also took a pack of seaweed.

Heading over to the freezer section to look for bacon, he suddenly discovered Chu Yi following behind him, carrying that 800-pound barrel of oil.

"What the hell," Yan Hang was startled. "What are you doing?"

"Taking a walk," Chu Yi said.

"You brought that thing in without checking it?" Yan Hang looked at the oil in his hand. "They have oil here too. They might not let you leave with it later."

"This is completely unlabelled," Chu Yi turned the barrel. There were no labels on it. "No problem."

Yan Hang sighed and grabbed a shopping cart with wheels from the side. "Put it in here, just looking at you carrying it makes me tired."

Chu Yi put the oil barrel into the cart and continued to follow him at a distance, pulling the cart.

After getting the red wine, Yan Hang continued to look for bacon. If there was no bacon, he planned to use something else as a substitute, like sausage, ham or smoked meat.

Chu Yi must have encountered something, but Yan Hang wasn't in the habit of prying. He would ask a couple questions at most, if they weren't answered, he wouldn't ask further. If it was his dad, he wouldn't even ask one question.

After buying the things and coming out, he glanced at Chu Yi. Chu Yi, carrying the oil, also seemed to have no intention of going home, just walking forward on his own.

"Chu Yi," Yan Hang called out to him.

Chu Yi turned his head.

"Have you eaten?" Yan Hang asked a pointless question.

"I'll drink, drink oil in a bit," Chu Yi said.

"Come drink it at my place," Yan Hang said. "I'll find you a cup."

"Is it con-venient?" Chu Yi asked.

Yan Hang discovered that Chu Yi was very straightforward in certain aspects. Like right now, he didn't even decline out of politeness.

Pretty good.

Dad was a bit surprised that he went out to buy groceries and came back with someone carrying oil.

"Chu Yi," Yan Hang introduced. "The kid who gave me the pen. I invited him over for a meal."

"Welcome, welcome. I'm Yan Hang's dad, Yan Shu." Dad enthusiastically extended his hand to Chu Yi. "So polite, and you even brought... oil?"

Chu Yi paused for a moment before reaching out to shake his hand. "Hello, Uncle."

"The oil is what he bought to take home," Yan Hang said. "Chu Yi, come here to lend a hand."

Actually there wasn't much of a hand to lend. He just feared Chu Yi wouldn't be used to Yan Shu's nonsense.

"Okay." Chu Yi immediately put down the oil barrel. After changing into slippers, he neatly arranged the few pairs of shoes scattered on the floor.

Yan Hang glanced at his dad. His dad was also looking at him. Clearly Chu Yi's thoughtful action surprised him.

"Let's livestream." Yan Hang took out his phone and set it on a stand on the counter, putting on a mask.

"Will, will anyone watch?" Chu Yi asked.

"You're not letting that go, are you?" Yan Hang looked at him.

"Letting it go," Chu Yi immediately said.

Yan Hang ignored him and adjusted the phone, pointing it at the ingredients on the counter.

Chu Yi watched Yan Hang's hands.

After someone entered the livestream room, the screen kept flashing with hand emojis.

Yan Hang's hands were indeed very beautiful, especially when they were moving.

Washing green peppers, unwrapping the sausage packaging, picking up the knife...

Chu Yi watched in a daze, not only because of Yan Hang's hands, but also his knife skills.

He skillfully sliced the green peppers into strips and diced the sausage. Every movement was smooth and fluid, without any unnecessary pauses or hesitation.

The screen was quite lively. Chu Yi took a moment to glance at it.

- Brother Xiao Tian, don't be so cool, at least explain the steps and key points

- Silent cooking series

- Suddenly exiting the livestream series

- I see there's someone else?

- I see it too

- Someone's there

Chu Yi quickly exited.

Yan Hang glanced at him, reached over to take the phone, and turned the camera to face him: "It's this person."

- Handsome guy

- Actually cooking together!!!

- I suddenly have some inappropriate guesses...

Before Chu Yi could adjust his shocked expression, Yan Hang put the phone back and continued preparing the ingredients: "Pass me the baking tray."

Chu Yi quickly handed over the baking tray beside him.

"There's not much to do with this kind of semi-finished pizza," Yan Hang said. "Just chop up whatever you want to put on top, grate some cheese, and bake it."

After speaking, Yan Hang put the baking tray into the oven and set the timer: "Alright, it'll be ready to eat in a bit."

Chu Yi hadn't even recovered his senses when Yan Hang already ended the livestream.

"It's, it's over?" Chu Yi asked.

"Not over, there's still one more," Yan Hang turned around and continued working. "The content is all the same so I won't stream it."

"No one's watching anyway," Dad walked over and leaned against the kitchen doorway. "Xingtian, the food blogger with the least popularity in history. Even his fans are too lazy to send gifts."

"Who said that," Yan Hang said while slicing green peppers. "Someone just sent an airplane."

"Why?" Dad said. "Misclick?"

Yan Hang glanced at Chu Yi: "Probably because... Chu Yi showed his face."

Dad suddenly laughed for a good while: "So it was for Chu Yi."

"Go wait outside to eat." Yan Hang sighed.

Dad laughed and returned to the living room to continue watching his local news.

"Do you, do you want it?" Chu Yi asked softly beside him, seeming a little embarrassed.

"Want what?" Yan Hang was stunned.

"Face." Chu Yi said.

"Do you believe I'll dice you up too?" Yan Hang was very shocked.

"My," Chu Yi pointed at himself, "face."

"Wait a second," Yan Hang put down the knife and leaned against the counter. "Let me understand this first."

"If you, want, want gifts," Chu Yi explained, "you can..."

"I get it," Yan Hang interrupted him. He stared at him for a while without speaking. Only after putting the second prepared pizza into the oven did he say, "You're not trying to repay me, are you?"

Chu Yi looked at him without making a sound.

"You..." When Yan Hang wanted to continue, Chu Yi interrupted him.

"No." Chu Yi said.

"Then what is it?" Yan Hang asked.

"Seeing you have no, no gifts," Chu Yi said softly, "is pitiful."

"...Get lost!" Yan Hang said, but thought about it and laughed. "Damn."

Chu Yi leaned against the wall and watched the oven together with Yan Hang.

It couldn't really be called repaying kindness. Or maybe it was simply wanting to express his own emotions.

For Yan Hang, some things weren't deliberately done, just casual. But for him, the feeling was quite different.

He just didn't dare acknowledge such feelings. He was afraid Yan Hang would find it inexplicable or think he was seeking protection.

He didn't need anyone's protection. He just wanted someone who could have the most ordinary interactions with him.

Yan Hang could give him such interactions. Although he didn't know how long it could last, he still cherished it very much.

Both pizzas were done baking. Yan Hang also made a soup. Chu Yi nimbly went to the living room to tidy up the table a bit, brought out the pizza and soup, and quickly took out the tableware as well.

Yan Hang was a little surprised by Chu Yi's observational skills. Where things were placed, Chu Yi didn't ask and didn't seem to deliberately observe, but he had already done everything before Yan Hang could say anything.

Yan Hang couldn't describe the feeling. Running around everywhere with his dad over the years, although he had no friends, he had seen quite a few people and was sensitive to many things.

Chu Yi's state was different from the usual perceptiveness. It gave him the feeling of being cautious and striving to make no mistakes, earnestly and naturally satisfying everyone.

"Chu Yi, want to drink a little?" Uncle Yan opened a bottle of red wine.

"No, I don't know how." Chu Yi said.

"Try a bit," Uncle Yan poured him a tiny amount. "Just take a few sips."

"Okay." Chu Yi smiled.

Aside from going to relatives' homes during the New Year, he basically had no memories of eating at classmates' or friends' homes.

As for working together in the kitchen and then sitting together at the table, eating and chatting, he had never experienced that at all. Chu Yi took a bite of pizza and felt very comfortable.

"Do you live nearby?" Uncle Yan asked.

"Mm," Chu Yi nodded. "Further, further ahead, south of the road."

"I passed by there today when I went out for a stroll," Uncle Yan smiled, seeming to remember something as he nudged Yan Hang with his arm. "Just this afternoon when I was coming back, I saw a bare-chested old lady arguing with someone over there. She was very fierce. I was too embarrassed to watch the excitement."

"Huh?" Yan Hang was stunned.

The hand Chu Yi was holding the pizza with trembled.


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