When He Chao talked about himself, he seemed to pay no attention to the fact that his family had gone through a divorce and his mother had taken his little sister abroad.
She was only three years old and barely able to speak, following him around and always calling him "big brother" in a sticky, affectionate way.
In the first year after arriving in country C, He Xi would cry and make a fuss about wanting to find her brother, but children have short memories. As time went on, especially after she started going to school, He Chao, like a childhood toy that had been loved and played with too much, gradually faded into the background.
He Chao spoke about this without any negative emotions, and even felt that it was a good thing. Fortunately, she was still young and could forget many things in the blink of an eye.
And then she can embrace her new life.
Xie Yu didn't know what to say, so he remained silent.
"...I have to say, it's not that tragic. It's not like a melodramatic amnesia plot. We just aren't close," He Chao said. "You see, she was playing the game normally, but every time she logs on, she would find that her equipment level and the stinky men had changed a little. It's a bit creepy to think about."
He Chao was a peculiar person when it came to emotional intelligence.
It's hard to say whether his emotional intelligence was high or low, but in summary, he was a character who aspired to move himself with his acting skills.
For example, there was this situation now - He Chao's sister in country C logged onto the game and found that she couldn't pass a certain level, but suddenly she was able to, and the male character she had finally conquered had disappeared.
It was another story of He Chao moving himself, moving the heavens and the earth, but unable to move the other person.
Xie Yu said, "You also know that it's horrifying? Do you still feel moved from thinking about it?"
He Chao crouched at the edge of the flower bed and laughed, "You know what, I think I do a little."
Xie Yu never had much curiosity about other people's stories and only thought this person was like a big fool.
Maybe others didn't know, but he knew better than anyone. He had seen He Chao playing stupid games during this time, playing during class and after class, sometimes even sending him screenshots in the middle of the night, asking which pair of shoes to choose.
He should have thought, what does this have to do with me?
But for some reason, Xie Yu didn't know what he was thinking, suddenly he bent down and when he came to his senses, his hand was already on He Chao's head.
Both of them were a bit stunned.
He Chao had short hair that felt a bit prickly to the touch.
Xie Yu chose the latter option between "pushing him down" and "letting go and walking away": "I'm going back."
"Let's go together," He Chao jumped down and caught up, while raising his hand to touch his own head. "Is there something on my head? Why are you walking so fast?"
After returning, Xie Yu took a shower and didn't bother to dry his hair. He squatted by the bed and stretched out his hand to pull out the suitcase from under the bed.
Inside were study materials, practice test papers, and notes he had taken. They filled up a big box. Normally, they would just lie quietly under the bed, locked up and undisturbed.
He felt like he should do some problems to calm down.
Xie Yu squatted next to the suitcase, staring at it for a few minutes. His fingers touched the cover of the book "Five-Year College Entrance Exam and Three-Year Simulation". He looked up and glanced outside the window.
In the sparse night sky, a few dim stars were hanging. Somehow, he suddenly remembered the smile on He Chao's face when he was squatting under the street lamp. It was very bright, as if it could cut through the darkness.
He Chao seemed to be living a carefree life every day.
Xie Yu was very curious about what made him so happy. A few days ago, He Chao drank soda and won another free bottle from the bottle cap promotion. He passed the bottle cap from the back of the classroom to the front, showing off to Liu Cunhao and others, "Everyone touch it, touch it...Today's good luck starts from big brother's bottle cap."
Xu Qingqing was doing a test paper and didn't give him any face: "What kind of thing is this? Do you think you're a koi fish?"
"Sister Qing, why are you talking like this? Just because you know that my Brother Chao won't hit a woman. Hey Brother Chao, I'm different from her, I support you," Wan Da strongly hinted as he spoke. "Ah, I touched it, I felt its magic. Oh my god, this mysterious power from another dimension - Brother Chao, I'm a little thirsty, can you give this lucky bottle cap to your brother?"
"No," He Chao reached out and took it back. "I want to keep it for my desk mate."
But Xie Yu didn't appreciate it. When he entered the classroom, he said to the bottle cap, "If you want to throw away the trash, do it yourself."
Xie Yu suddenly realized that the frequency of the words "He Chao" had been increasing lately.
Even Zhou Dalei knew that he had a cool and awesome desk mate. Occasionally, when they talked on the phone, the topic would always suddenly turn to this cool and awesome person.
Zhou Dalei sensed that something was off and asked, "Do you two know each other well? Boss Xie, it's the first time in all these years that I've seen you make friends. I feel like a worried father."
When Xie Yu and Gu Xuelan first arrived at Blackwater Street, Dalei was still the king of the street's children, wild and untamed. He watched as the two of them, who looked and acted completely out of place in this area, got off the long-distance bus.
Despite enduring over forty hours on the bus and the hardships of the journey, the two of them remained vigilant. Especially the younger one, whose eyes were sharp like hidden knives, scrutinizing everyone they saw.
When Dalei was young, he didn't know any better. He saw Xie Yu and thought he was a girl. He felt that he was really pretty and threw small stones at him to express his admiration. Little did he know, the next day when his parents were at work, the "little girl" came to seek revenge.
He was furious and beat him into the ground, scolding him for his lack of manners. "Who do you think you are throwing stones at? Do you need me to teach you how to be a decent human being?"
Friends? Xie Yu asked himself.
He and He Chao probably weren't friends.
This week was pretty uneventful except for the exciting monthly exam.
Only Xue Xisheng refused to give up. He came every day to ask Xie Yu and He Chao to join his study group, hoping they could work together to raise the class average.
"4.3 points, that's the difference in average between us and Class One," said Xue Xisheng fearlessly. Even if he knew these two famous big shots would hit him, he was willing to risk his life.
"As the study committee member of our class, I cannot allow this situation to continue - why don't you love learning? Learning is so interesting, what is the meaning of life without it? If you trust me, give us each a chance."
Xue Xisheng was like a younger Mad Dog, and He Chao had no way to deal with him. He couldn't really hit him either: "Friend, I think we should give each other a way out."
Xie Yu had said all sorts of harsh words, even resorting to the all-purpose phrase "What does it have to do with you? It's none of my business either."
But Xue Xisheng remained unfazed, repeating only one sentence: "4.3 points, that's the difference between our class and Class One's average score."
Xue Xisheng became famous overnight and was hailed by Wan Da as the man at the top of the food chain in Class 3.
"Is it really that bad?" After seeing the text message from Wan Da, Shen Jie looked up at the two big shots who seemed to have taken root in Class Eight over the past two days. "No wonder you two have been coming to our class so often lately. Big Boss Xie, have you noticed how quiet our classmates have been lately?"
Xie Yu sat in the corner, looking down at his phone, unsure why the conversation had turned to him. "Me?"
He Chao knew a lot of people, and after the Yang Wenyuan incident, he had gained some prestige in their class. Xie Yu, on the other hand, had a reputation for being fearsome and it had lasted a long time.
Shen Jie said, "Yeah, I've never seen you smile. Why don't you smile to show some friendliness? Our classmates are trembling in fear."
Xie Yu looked up and saw a few people stealing glances at him. But when they realized he was looking back at them, they quickly lowered their heads like thieves.
Just as Xie Yu was about to say that they could keep trembling, He Chao suddenly spoke up, "Why should my friend here smile for you?"
Shen Jie's brain short-circuited, "...Huh?"
Xie Yu's hand shook. The game on his phone was going well, but suddenly the character went out of control and fell off the water pipe groove, rendering useless the two-thousand-meter obstacle course he had just completed.
Shen Jie was sure he hadn't misheard and wanted to ask, "Are you jealous, Brother Chao?" But He Chao often joked around, and he couldn't be sure if the statement was true or false. He didn't want to make things awkward by pushing the matter, so he forced a laugh and said, "Haha, well, look outside, the sun is shining so brightly. It must be hot out there."
After he finished speaking, he felt the atmosphere become even more awkward...to be precise, it was only awkward for him. The two people beside him seemed to emit a more subtle aura.
Finally, Xie Yu suddenly stood up and did something that perfectly matched his fearsome reputation. He rolled up his sleeves and pointed at He Chao, saying, "Get out."
Everyone in Class 8 trembled thrice.
Just as the bell for class was ringing, Head Teacher Jiang came to find Old Tang and they walked out together. From a distance, they saw the two of them twisted into a ball and Teacher Jiang shouted, "What are you two doing? Hugging each other?"
Head Teacher Jiang's voice echoed through the entire corridor, especially the ambiguous phrase "hugging each other," causing students from Class 1 to Class 8 to lean out of their windows and look towards the corridor.
Xie Yu still had a grip on He Chao's collar, while He Chao lightly placed his hand on Xie Yu's waist.
The last class on Friday was Chinese class.
After class, Tang Sen closed his textbook and reminded his students, "This is all the homework for the weekend. Don't go crazy playing as soon as you have a break...Are all the boarding students going home this weekend? Those who plan to stay on campus should come to me and register."
During the entire class, Xie Yu slept on his desk. He Chao, feeling lonely, poked his desk mate's shoulder with a pen and asked, "Are you going home this weekend? You're still mad?"
"I'm holding back from hitting you. Don't come looking for trouble," Xie Yu turned his head to look at him.
He Chao continued, "You haven't answered my question yet."
"I am," Xie Yu said, "It's my mom's birthday, so I definitely have to go home this weekend."