[Chapter 034] Lu YunFei was the first, and the only one
Quack Note: Text originally written in English will look like this.
Lu YunFei snorted disparagingly, “Who accompanies you through the night? Who sings songs for you? Who reminds you to sleep early everyday? I treat you so well, yet you still want another Tmall Genie! Just because he can speak English?! Craving foreign novelty! Why don’t you just buy the English edition of Tmall Genie then!”
Bian JinYuan who had inexplicably been accused of craving foreign novelty: …
“Hmpf, the moon overseas is rounder huh? The Tmall Genie which can speak foreign languages is also better huh?”
“Of course not.”
“It’s not but you still want to buy it!!! Are you already eyeing one!! Is it your birthday present?!”
Bian JinYuan had never thought that the Tmall Genies these days could be so passionately jealous. Of course, it’s artificial intelligence, so perhaps its “intelligence” enabled it to understand that after buying a new one, the old one would be discarded.
“I was just teasing you, I don’t intend to buy a second one, don’t worry.”
Lu YunFei looked at him sardonically, “Every scum who cheats always says that.”
Bian JinYuan said helplessly, “You seem to know a lot about it.”
“I’m supported by big data.”
“Big data represents information on the majority. There are individuals outside of the common.”
Lu YunFei: “Heh.”
Bian JinYuan was tickled into laughter by this mechanical “heh”, and asked, “You don’t believe me? This is the philosophical discussion of individuality and universality.”
Enough! You’re trying to talk philosophy to a Tmall Genie, do you think that’s appropriate?! And! You’re a Science major! Why is a Science student discussing Philosophy? If you have time why don’t you think more about Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry?!
Lu YunFei continued: “Heh heh.”
Hearing his ‘heh’s, Bian JinYuan remembered the last time when the Tmall Genie threw a tantrum, where it ‘heh heh’-ed until it went into hibernation mode, and only got along with him the next day. It seemed quite troublesome for an artificial intelligent device to throw tantrums.
“Stop with the ‘heh heh’s. Tell me, what would make you believe me?”
Lu YunFei immediately shot back, “You tell me, what do you want for your birthday?”
“It’s not like you can conjure anything that I want.”
“I still want to know,” Lu YunFei said, and then purposefully mimicked the Tmall Genie from his home, “I care about you.”
Bian JinYuan never thought that it would turn from being angry in one moment to gentle and caring the next. He thought that even though his Tmall Genie had issues with its language settings, its personality was quite adorable.
“I don’t have anything that I want.”
“How could that be?”
“Not everyone wants presents,” Bian JinYuan said softly, “At least I don’t.”
This was the first time that Lu YunFei knew of anyone not wanting anything for their birthday. For a moment, he didn’t know what to say.
It was Bian JinYuan who rubbed the top of the little box, and Lu YunFei felt almost as if his head was being rubbed, “Have you stopped being angry?”
“Are you still thinking of looking for a mistress?”
“I have never once thought of that.”
He had merely wondered about the possibility where two artificial intelligent devices would hold a conversation.
Lu YunFei was only satisfied after he saw his helplessness. However it was rare that Bian JinYuan looked so down in front of him. Lu YunFei thought for a moment and then said on purpose, “Then you sing a song for me. You always make me sing songs, so now it’s your turn, and then I won’t be angry anymore,” after saying this, he added, “I want to listen to 《Itch》.”
Lu YunFei found it amusing to think about Bian JinYuan who was such a serious person to sing 《Itch》, and wished sorely that he could record it.
Bian JinYuan smiled at this request and raised his hand to knock on the Tmall Genie in front of him.
Lu YunFei felt as if his head was hit and looked up at him in bewilderment, only to hear Bian JinYuan say: “Why should I sing 《Itch》, I think I should sing《Over》for you instead — I’ve overindulged you in giving you freedom.”
Lu YunFei: …
“Do you want to listen to it? How could I bear to blame you for acting out, when in fact it was I who let you run amok, hmm?”
Lu YunFei: “… No, no thanks.”
In the third round of Lu YunFei versus Bian JinYuan, Bian JinYuan emerged victorious.
On 20 October, the autumn sports festival of Yi High in X city commenced. Every student sat in the sports field according to their classes. The senior students from broadcasting sat on the spectator stand and opened with “The golden month of October, the refreshing breeze of autumn” and then proceeded with announcements for the sports festival.
Lu YunFei sat on a stool and occasionally stole glances at his deskmate Bian JinYuan sitting beside him. After noticing it a few more times, Bian JinYuan finally asked, “Did you want to say anything to me?”
“Shouldn’t you be the one who has something to say to me instead?”
Bian JinYuan raised a brow.
Lu YunFei coughed a few times, “Student Bian, do you have something that you didn’t tell me.”
“There is something, but I’m not sure if I should tell you.”
“Of course you have to!” Lu YunFei clasped his hand, “With our relationship like this, there’s nothing you can’t tell me.”
“Our relationship like what?” Bian JinYuan asked in puzzlement.
Lu YunFei grasped his hands firmly, and almost didn’t peer into his eyes with tears, “It takes ten years of cultivation to share the same boat journey, and it takes a hundred years of cultivation to share the same pillow#. For us deskmates, it could be considered that we’ve been cultivating for fifty years.”
The logic and evidence behind his words were persuasive.
“Then brace yourself.”
“I’ve been ready, say it.”
“At this time, you should be doing spelling,” Bian JinYuan said serenely, “Did you bring pen and paper?”
Lu YunFei: ???
Lu YunFei looked at him in disbelief, “Big bro, I have events today.”
“They haven’t started yet.”
“I’ve got to warm up before my event!”
“There aren’t many words to spell.”
“I didn’t bring pen and paper!” Lu YunFei brought out his last defense.
Bian JinYuan calmly lifted up his school bag, “I brought them.”
Lu YunFei: …
Lu YunFei couldn’t help but give him a thumbs up. Bringing pen and paper to the school sports festival, is this person planning to write scripts for the broadcast?! The entire school was not having classes, so why did he still have to do spelling!
Bian JinYuan saw how his face expressed his lack of enthusiasm for life, and retrieved the pen and paper while teaching, “Perseverance is a virtue, sincerity will split even metal.”
Lu YunFei: “… I thank you.”
“You’re welcome, now onto spelling.”
Bian JinYuan pushed the pen and paper over.
Lu YunFei received the pen and paper, saw that these were the Chinese translations that he was all too familiar with, and didn’t have to think twice as he immediately penned his answers down.
As Bian JinYuan observed him working on spelling, he realised that he had really completely memorised the words that he had spent half a month memorising. This was good, he thought, words were the building blocks of English. After the words were fully memorised, they could slowly progress on to the rest.
Lu YunFei had completed his spelling in less than twenty minutes. After going through once to check them, he handed the booklet over to Bian JinYuan. Bian JinYuan gave him a hundred marks. Looking at the red-coloured hundred, Lu YunFei almost floated in pride.
“I feel that I’ve done pretty well memorising words now,” Lu YunFei said proudly.
“Sigh, I just knew it, I’m really quite smart.”
Bian JinYuan raised his head to look at him and wondered that if he blew a puff at him, that he would float to the sky like a balloon✦.
After Lu YunFei’s self-validation was over, he started thinking about Bian JinYuan’s birthday. Even though it seemed that Bian JinYuan had no intention of telling him, since he already knew about it, there was no reason to feign ignorance. Furthermore the cake had already been ordered, so it was too late to pretend otherwise.
Lu YunFei thought to this point, and then stood up to head towards the sports representative’s side to ask, “What time is my event this morning?”
The sports representative flipped through the events schedule and replied, “10am. I’ll look for you at 9.40am to get you to warm up.”
Lu YunFei looked at his watch, “Sure. It’s 10 minutes till, so I might as well stay here to accompany you.”
“Alright, let’s both cheer for Gāo Yuán then. Go Gao Yuan! Go Gao Yuan!”
Lu YunFei saw Gao Yuan who was preparing for the high jump event∇ not far off and followed the sports representative to shout, “Go Gao Yuan!”
The students surrounding them also got incited to cheer. Seeing the commotion, Gao Yuan turned to smile at them and pumped his fist before he leaped and jumped over the bar. The referee, noting down results by the side, flipped through the score table and exclaimed, “That was a good jump.”
The sports representative shouted once more, and Lu YunFei also gave a round of applause. Gao Yuan rubbed the back of his head in embarrassment and asked the referee, “Do I still jump some more?”
Lu YunFei was still watching the high jump event when he heard the sports representative say: “Go go go, it’s your turn soon. Do you see over there? That’s the sign for the 400 metres event, let’s head over together.”
After the sports representative said this, Lu YunFei heard the broadcast, “Participants of the boys 400 metres please get ready. Will all teachers and students avoid the running track, the boys 400 metres is about to commence.”
Lu YunFei and the sports representative headed over to the area for 400 metres and found that there was someone already warming up.
“You’d better warm up too, I’ll go buy water and chocolate for you,” The sports representative said and then ran out of the sports field.
Lu YunFei’s warm ups were very simple, it simply consisted of him moving his wrists and ankles, and jumping up and down twice at most.
“That’s how you warm up huh,” Wen MingYi knew that he was participating in this event and had headed over after hearing the announcement. His class was closer to the 400 metres starting point, so he had arrived before the class one cheerleaders.
Lu YunFei moved his wrists and ankles while shooting back at him, “Do you have the right to talk about me? At least I know how to warm up, you don’t even do that.”
Wen MingYi stuck both hands in his pockets and replied without missing a beat, “I’m just lazy, it’s normal.”
“Will you be cheering me on later?”
Wen MingYi shook his head disloyally, “There’s no one from my class in front of me. However,” He thought for a bit, “Our class is sure to lose, it’s a matter of what position we are from the bottom.”
“Can’t you have more faith in your class?”
Wen MingYi’s face was stony, “My class only has ten boys and that’s including myself. Do you know what this means? It means that the ten of us have to shoulder all of the boys’ events. Either we die from fatigue or forfeit the game. The 400 metres event is a forfeit.”
“Then why didn’t you participate? You can run can’t you?”
“Do you remember Tián Jì’s Horse Racing⨁? Wen MingYi pointed at himself, “Me, a good horse. You, a good horse. In order to ensure that our class doesn’t drop too much in the overall rankings, me as the ace has got to win. So the events that I’m participating in cannot have winners like you, understand?”
“No wonder none of our events overlapped this year.”
Wen MingYi shrugged, “I can’t help it since that’s what our sports representative decided.”
As the two conversed, Li YuanQing came over with the cheerleaders.
Lu YunFei saw the culture representative wave at him and said awkwardly, “How about you go cheer for other people, I’m good with just Li YuanQing here.”
“No can do, you’re the popular competitor expected to win the 400 metres event! Good luck!”
The other student warming up nearby looked at him enviously, and then turned to look at his buddy, “What about the girls from our class?”
“They’re writing the broadcast scripts, No problem, bro will cheer you on.”
Student: … This contrast was too blinding.
Lu YunFei heard the words ‘broadcast scripts’, looked at Li YuanQing and then at the culture group’s cheerleaders, and finally decided to ask Li YuanQing, “Where’s Bian JinYuan? Is he in the classroom writing broadcast scripts?”
“No, I don’t know where he went, I wanted to call him over but his seat was empty, so I came over by myself.”
“Strange, he’s not at his seat so where could he have gone?”
“There are so many places he could go,” Wen MingYi interjected, “He could have gone to the restroom, he could have gone to make a phone call, he could be busy with other stuff, you should just worry about competing and not wonder about this.”
Lu YunFei looked at his watch, “There’s still ten more minutes.”
The sports representative had finally rushed back at this moment and passed a bottle of water to him, “They ran out of chocolates, so just have water first.”
Lu YunFei wasn’t thirsty, so he didn’t take it, “No problem, why don’t you hold on to it first, I’ll drink after I’m done running.”
The competitors arrived and got into their positions, and soon the referee arrived as well. The track was slowly surrounded by people on all sides. As Lu YunFei got into the starting position, he saw Bian JinYuan walk over.
He raised his hand to wave at Bian JinYuan, but his arm had not even come back down before he heard the sound of a whistle being blown.
“Fuck, what was up with him just now, was he distracted by someone?” Li YuanQing saw how Lu YunFei had only started moving after everyone had left and looked at Wen Mingyi in shock.
Wen MingYi indicated by pointing his chin towards Bian JinYuan, “He saw someone familiar.”
It was only then that Li YuanQing saw Bian JinYuan. He sighed, “Such best buddies, if YunFei were to lose, it’s all his fault.”
“Nah,” Wen MingYi said disdainfully, “With this distance, Lu YunFei wouldn’t lose even if he shut his eyes.”
Li YuanQing considered it, “Seems a fair point. Wait a minute, why are you so calm, aren’t you worried about your class?”
“Our class has forfeited the 400 metres and 100 metres events. If the school hadn’t mandated that every event had to have all classes participating, you wouldn’t even see anyone from our class for these two events.”
“Then what about the 800 metres and 50 metres?”
Wen MingYi smiled, his youthful face glowed, “Me.”
Li YuanQing: …
Li YuanQing patted his shoulder, “Your sports representative is really strategic.”
Lu YunFei would never have guessed that he would have started one second behind everyone else, but it wasn’t an issue. Very soon, he chased up to them, unceasingly overtaking other students, and eventually led the race. He turned to look at the positions of the second and third competitors, determined that he had already pulled ahead a fair distance from them, before turning back to wave at them as he reached the finish line before their startled, speechless eyes.
The referee blew the whistle. Lu YunFei stood behind the finish line as he watched the rest of the competitors run past it. He fanned himself with his hand when he suddenly felt something shoved in it. He raised his head to see Bian JinYuan suddenly appear beside him, pushing a bottle of water towards him.
Lu YunFei opened it to drink two mouthfuls. Bian JinYuan saw how he gulped the water down and said, “Drink slowly.”
“I’m fine,” Lu YunFei said, “I’m actually not tired, just feeling hot.”
Bian JinYuan saw how his breath seemed regulated and understood that he really wasn’t tired. However, what was bought had already been bought. He took out a piece of chocolate from his pocket and unwrapped it to hand it over to Lu YunFei, “Eat this, it’ll replenish your energy.”
“Where did you get this chocolate from?” Lu YunFei asked curiously, “Wasn’t the stall sold out?”
“The shops outside had them.”
“So you went out to buy me chocolate and water? No wonder you appeared so late.”
Bian JinYuan noticed that he still hadn’t taken it, and grabbed his hand to hand the chocolate over, “Eat it.”
Lu YunFei looked at the chocolate in his hand, and then looked back at him as he suddenly smiled, “Then I’ll really eat it yeah?”
“Really eat it?”
The word ‘it’ didn’t leave Bian JinYuan’s mouth, because Lu YunFei raised his arm to shove the chocolate into his mouth.
“You eat it, I’m not tired. I’ll eat it when I get tired,” Lu YunFei’s eyes curved as he smiled.
Bian JinYuan looked at him, his brows furrowed in dissatisfaction.
Lu YunFei giggled, then reached out to smooth the creases between his brows. Bian JinYuan stepped back to avoid it and heard Lu YunFei say, “Don’t frown, since you gave me the chocolate, didn’t it become mine? Couldn’t I decide to let you eat it?”
He could, but there was no need to. Bian JinYuan thought, if it weren’t for Lu YunFei, he wouldn’t have gone to buy chocolate, not least to say for himself.
“How do you say ‘chocolate’ in English?”
“Chocolate，c-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e, did I pass, teacher Bian?”
“Mmm,” Bian JinYuan saw how he had kept smiling at him, and no longer kept up his frown, a little bit of amusement emerging from his eyes.
“Erm, excuse me,” Li YuanQing stood nearby and interrupted, “I’d like to ask, the bottle of water that the sports representative passed to me, do you still need it YunFei?”
Lu YunFei raised the bottle of water in his hand, “I already have one, you could give it to someone else.”
“Then I’d like to ask another question, do you still need me, YunFei?”
Lu YunFei burst into laughter as Li YuanQing looked at him plaintively, “I’ve been standing here for around three minutes, but you, you just decided to feed someone chocolate and treat me like air.”
“I didn’t notice,” Lu YunFei said, “Why didn’t you say anything?”
“How could I have said anything? Should I have told you that I also wanted to eat chocolate?”
“Then you were too late, the only piece had been given to him,” Lu YunFei pointed to Bian JinYuan.
Li YuanQing shook his head, “In with the new and out with the old, the adage didn’t lie.”
Lu YunFei was about to comfort him when he suddenly heard his phone ring. Li YuanQing retrieved the phone from his pocket and took a look at the display before handing it over, “Unknown number.”
Lu YunFei picked it up, “Hello.”
“Hello, is this Mister Lu? The cake that you ordered is ready. I’m now at the entrance of Yi High school, are you available to collect it?”
“Wait a moment, I’ll head over right now.”
Lu YunFei ended the call and said to Li YuanQing and Bian JinYuan, “You guys head back first, I’ve got something to do and will be back soon.”
“What thing?” Li YuanQing asked.
“I’ll tell you later.”
Lu YunFei said that and ran out.
Li YuanQing was speechless. He looked at Bian JinYuan and said, “Let’s go.”
Lu YunFei ran towards the school entrance. As it was the sports festival, many sports representatives would go outside to buy water, chocolates, and sweets. As a result, the security office was especially accommodating, allowing students out through the gate as long as they logged out.
Lu YunFei wrote his name in the log and had just exited the school gate when he saw a neatly dressed young man carrying a cake.
He walked over, reported his phone number, and took the cake from the young man.
The security guard saw him bring a cake into school and teased: “Looks like your class is doing well huh, having cake to celebrate?”
Lu YunFei smiled.
The security guard said, “It’s just a little too small, how are you going to split it? One bite per person?”
“That’s right,” Lu YunFei rifted off his words, “A bowl of wine would be shared in the past, and now we share a cake instead, it’s a testament to the harmony of our class.”
The security guard laughed, “Then quickly head back, have fun at the sports festival.”
“Thank you ge (elder brother),” Lu YunFei said and walked back in with the cake.
He didn’t head towards the sports field, but towards the high school teaching building. As he walked towards the classrooms, he gave the labour committee representative a phone call — the labour committee oversaw students’ duties, so they had to stay back late while coming in early the next day, so they had a second set of keys with them for the sake of convenience.
Not long after, the labour representative picked up the call.
“Hello, I’m Lu YunFei. Do you have the keys?” Lu YunFei asked, “I forgot something in the classroom and would like to go pick it up.”
“I have them, where are you?”
“I’m right outside the classroom, sorry for the trouble.”
“It’s no problem, wait for me in a bit.”
The labour representative said and ended the phone call.
Lu YunFei hid the cake in a corner and waited for the labour representative to arrive, watching from all four directions. This building was designed as a lecture room, which featured a spiral staircase in the middle of the building. Not only did it convenience the teachers and students who didn’t want to climb up and down slopes, it also acted as another path. At the same time, there were staircases at the north, south, east, and west of this building. Including the slope of the lecture room, this resulted in over ten ways of climbing up the building. As such, Lu YunFei wasn’t sure which route the labour representative would take.
He leaned against the railing and looked down. Very soon, he spied the labour representative at the spiral staircase. Lu YunFei ran down the spiral staircase and said, “Thank you, I’m really sorry about this.”
“No problem. Let’s go, I’ll open the door for you.”
“No need,” How could Lu YunFei let him open the door for him, his plan wouldn’t be able to go ahead if so, “I can do it myself. I just finished running and don’t feel so well, I could take a breather in there too.”
“Sure,” The labour representative handed the keys to him, “But do notify the class representative, otherwise it’ll be troublesome if the teacher checks the attendance and finds that you’re not there.”
“I’ll be going off,” The labour representative said and turned to head back down the stairs.
Lu YunFei climbed up the stairs with the keys, retrieved the cake from the corner, and entered the classroom.
He placed the cake on the table, opened up the box to see the chocolate-covered cake with the words “Happy Birthday Bian JinYuan”, and was very satisfied with it.
Lu YunFei searched inside the box and found a candle in the shape of the number 17. He stuck the candle in the cake and sent a voice call request to Bian JinYuan.
“What’s up?” Bian JinYuan’s voice was calm and collected as usual.
“I’ve got something to talk to you about, come over to the classroom.”
Bian JinYuan was confused, but replied, “Okay.”
Lu YunFei ended the call, thought for a moment, then drew all the curtains in the classroom closed. Still, it was daytime, so while the classroom was not completely darkened, it wasn’t as bright as before.
But this was still able to create an atmosphere, so there wasn’t any need for further planning. Lu YunFei took out a lighter and lit the candle.
After completing these tasks, he walked around the classroom once before walking over to the back door to wait for the star to arrive.
Bian JinYuan didn’t take long. With both hands in his pockets, he walked over to the classroom door, and found that the curtains were all drawn closed. However, he didn’t take it to mean much, and raised his right hand towards the door handle. As he opened the door, he saw a flame flicker in front of his eyes.
Before Bian JinYuan could react, he heard a voice from behind him, “Happy birthday!”
Immediately, he turned his head to find Lu YunFei emerging from behind the door, his eyes curved as he smiled at him, his brows unable to contain his exuberance.
The classroom was not bright, but his eyes were sparkling clear, the contrast between his iris and pupil seemed to have a sliver of illumination.
Bian JinYuan froze.
Lu YunFei closed the door behind him, smiling as he said, “I bet you didn’t expect this. Surprised, astonished, delighted?”
It was true that he was surprised and astonished. Delighted… it seemed that he was a little as well.
However, “How did you know that it’s my birthday today?”
Lu YunFei had already thought of an excuse, “Teacher Li told me.”
It wasn’t like Bian JinYuan would look for Li Li to verify that, so throwing the pot over to her seemed like a good idea.
Bian JinYuan heard this and as expected, didn’t ask more about it.
The homeroom teachers of Yi High knew every students’ birthday. Furthermore, in order for the school to express their care towards every student, students would receive a birthday card from the school around their birthdays. Bian JinYuan had already received a birthday card from Li Li the day before yesterday, but Lu YunFei wasn’t present then, and he had immediately put it in his bag, so Lu YunFei didn’t know about it.
Lu YunFei saw that Bian JinYuan hadn’t yet moved and pushed him, “What are you standing there for? Blow the candle and eat the cake.”
Hearing this, Bian JinYuan then headed towards his seat.
He didn’t like environments which were too dark, and so he asked Lu YunFei: “Could we open the curtains a little?”
Lu YunFei didn’t have any opinions on this and opened up the curtains with him. The sunlight shone in once more, illuminating the classroom. When Bian JinYuan turned around, he saw Lu YunFei bathed in the sunlight, a captivating sight.
He walked over to his seat, and Lu YunFei sat down as well.
The candle was still burning, the flame flickering as it jumped, reflecting off both their eyes.
Lu YunFei looked at him, “Make a wish, and then blow out the candle.”
“I don’t have any wishes to make,” Bian JinYuan said indifferently.
Lu YunFei thought that he was simply lacking in any desires. When he asked him what he wanted for a present last night, he had said that he didn’t want anything. Now that he asked him to make a wish, he also said that he didn’t have any wishes. He was virtually a saint, not wanting for material life.
“How could anyone not have any wishes? It’s not like I’m telling you to say it out loud, just make a wish quietly.”
Bian JinYuan smiled, his voice sincere: “I really don’t have any wishes.”
He had made wishes when he was young. At every birthday, he wished that he and his mother would live happily together. He knew from a young age he was different from other kids as he didn’t have a father, so he had hoped that he would live well with his mother.
Despite his fervent wishes, his mother had still left him.
Nine year old Bian JinYuan had stood in front of his birthday cake, but didn’t know what he should wish for. He looked at the cake which belonged to him, and under the encouragement of Bian Jie and Jiang Feng, had wished for his aunt and uncle to be happy forever.
Even so, Jiang Feng had left.
From then on, Bian JinYuan never made another wish again.
His wishes had always resulted in the opposite coming true. Not having wishes was probably the best kind of wish.
“You’re really not making a wish?” Lu YunFei found it to be a pity, “It’s only once a year.”
However Lu YunFei didn’t want to, and continued to stare at him.
Bian JinYuan thought about it and then asked, “Do you have any wishes? If you do, then you make it.”
Lu YunFei laughed upon hearing this, “What are you saying, it’s your birthday, why am I making a wish.”
“I’m letting you,” Bian JinYuan said calmly.
Lu YunFei shook his hand, “It’s inappropriate.”
“There’s nothing inappropriate, you make a wish,” Bian JinYuan pushed the cake over to him, “Just treat it as helping me to make a wish.”
This was the first time that Lu YunFei had heard of helping someone make a wish. He looked at Bian JinYuan’s serious face and asked, “You’re really not making a wish?”
“You make it.”
“You’re really letting me wish?”
Bian JinYuan nodded.
Lu YunFei thought about it, and then put his hands together as he said before the candle, “Then I wish that the both of us will have a great future.”
As he finished his wish, he pushed the cake back to Bian JinYuan, “I’ve made the wish, you should at least blow out the candle.”
Bian JinYuan didn’t have any resistance towards blowing out candles, and so he blew it out, not forgetting to ask him, “Where did you get the lighter from? You don’t smoke.”
“I took my dad’s from the living room this morning,” Lu YunFei said as he smiled, “I’ve still got to return it tonight.”
Bian JinYuan smiled and didn’t say anything more.
“Cut the cake,” Lu YunFei handed the cake knife to him.
Bian JinYuan took the cake knife from him and looked down at the cake. This was the first time that he had received a birthday cake from someone other than Bian Ting and Bian Jie. He looked at the candle that was carved in the shape of the number 17, reached out to pluck it out, and proceeded to slice the cake.
He served the first slice to Lu YunFei.
Lu YunFei refused, “The first slice should be for you.”
“There’s no difference,” Bian JinYuan said.
“Then don’t fight over this.”
Hearing this, Bian JinYuan cut another slice of cake and handed it over.
This time, Lu YunFei accepted it and said, “Happy birthday.”
The sounds of the broadcasts occasionally wafted in through the window, the broadcasting seniors enthusiastically making announcements. However the classroom of year two class one was quiet, with just the both of them leisurely eating cake.
Bian JinYuan looked out the window to see the sports field nearby, where many students were eagerly competing for their classes. Lu YunFei ought to be among them, yet he was here beside him, eating cake together.
He had never celebrated his birthday with anyone outside of his family before. Lu YunFei was the first, and the only one.
This feeling was inexplicable, and Bian JinYuan couldn’t help but turn his head back to look at Lu YunFei.
Lu YunFei looked back at him, asking in puzzlement, “What?”
Bian JinYuan continued looking, feeling a tendril of an illusion where it was just the both of them in this world and no one else.
After a while, he replied softly: “You should be able to tell, aren’t you, that there’s a fair distance between us.”
Lu YunFei took a bite out of his cake and replied, “So what?”
Bian JinYuan looked at his calm face, and also asked himself, so what?
He actually didn’t like making friends, and didn’t like getting too close to others. He had rejected too many people, and yet he had never once rejected Lu YunFei. So what? He asked himself.
Lu YunFei didn’t respond, eating as he waited for his reply. His movements and attitude were too natural, almost as if Bian JinYuan had just talked about the weather.
Bian JinYuan observed him, fell silent for a moment, and then slowly smiled.
He took a pack of tissues from his pocket and tore a piece of tissue out, “Here, wipe the cream off from the corner of your mouth.”
Lu YunFei quickly reached out to wipe it, but he didn’t manage to get it.
“Where is it?”
Bian JinYuan had no choice but to reach over to take the tissue from his hand and wipe it off for him.
Soft, like the cake in his hand𝖃.
When he realised what he had just thought, Bian JinYuan immediately retracted his hand as if he had been scalded, and unconsciously clenched the tissue in his hand.
Lu YunFei’s lips curved in a smile, “Thank you.”
So, let’s leave it like this, Bian JinYuan thought. At least, he doesn’t hate being with Lu YunFei, and doesn’t reject Lu YunFei’s closeness.
The broadcast announcements continued on, while the both of them ate the cake quietly in the classroom. This was Bian JinYuan’s most special birthday, it was neither at home nor at a restaurant, but at school, in a place full of bustling noises and cheers, he and Lu YunFei were hidden in a quiet classroom as they enjoyed this moment of peace
This moment belonged solely to them, it belonged to the first day of seventeen year old Bian JinYuan.
The cake that Lu YunFei had ordered wasn’t large, and so the both of them finished it by eating two or three slices. Bian JinYuan looked at the time on his phone. It was right about the time for him to go to his part-time job.
“You’re still working on your birthday?” Lu YunFei thought that this was too much, “How about taking a break today.”
“I don’t have much to do even if I take a break, there’s no need to do so,” Bian JinYuan picked up the cake box as he replied calmly.
Seeing this, Lu YunFei didn’t push the issue and only said, “Then come back to school for lunch, I’ll treat you. It’s your birthday, you should eat something nice.”
“I’ll treat you,” Bian JinYuan replied, “Isn’t it supposed to be the birthday person who treats? I’ll treat you.”
“Huh?” This wasn’t what he had imagined! Lu YunFei blinked, “Then let’s eat at the canteen, it’s clean, hygienic, and convenient.”
Bian JinYuan turned to look at him and smiled, “Let’s eat something nice.”
“The canteen is not bad, let’s just eat at the canteen, we wouldn’t have time if we went elsewhere.”
Bian JinYuan still wanted to persuade him, but after thinking about it said in acquiescence, “Sure.”
“Then give me a call when you come back in the afternoon.”
“So, let’s exchange phone numbers my deskmate,” Lu YunFei waved the phone in his hand, a twinkle of slyness in his eyes.
It was then that Bian JinYuan realised that he did not have Lu YunFei’s number. He said a string of numbers, while Lu YunFei entered them. Soon, Bian JinYuan’s phone rang. He took a look at it, ended the call, and saved Lu YunFei’s number.
The two of them cleaned up after themselves before Bian JinYuan headed to his part-time job. Lu YunFei took this time to visit the shopping district.
He had only known about Bian JinYuan’s birthday last night, and only managed to order a cake this morning after he woke up, so he hadn’t had time to prepare a present until now. Lu YunFei returned the keys to the labour representative and took a taxi to the shopping district.
Lu YunFei intended to give Bian JinYuan a wristwatch. At this period, high schoolers had a small test every three days and a big test every five days. Almost everyone had a watch, but Bian JinYuan didn’t. His grades were good, and he always had time leftover after finishing his papers, so he didn’t find the need to get a watch. But Lu YunFei thought that whether he had one and whether he used one were two separate issues. Something like a watch was still necessary.
Lu YunFei had initially thought to buy a piece from his favourite brand, but the cheapest watch from that brand cost at least five digits. He was able to give something that cost this much, but that did not mean that Bian JinYuan would accept it. To err on the side of caution, Lu YunFei thought that it was more suitable to buy a watch in the range of three to five hundred.
He didn’t spend long picking a watch. Soon his choice was wrapped up, and he headed back to school.
Bian JinYuan arrived back in school a few minutes after he did, calling him as he headed towards the canteen.
Lu YunFei had already been seated in the canteen. He waved at him upon seeing him.
Bian JinYuan walked over and asked, “What would you like to eat?”
“How about a mala hotpot?”
Bian JinYuan had been thinking of the same thing. After all, the most expensive item in the school canteen was mala hotpot.
“Then let’s go pick the ingredients.”
Lu YunFei and him walked over to the mala hotpot stall, where Bian JinYuan picked some meat and vegetables. Seeing Lu YunFei still selecting ingredients, he asked, “What would you like to drink?”
“Okay,” Bian JinYuan said, and then seeing that he was done choosing his ingredients, put both their bowls on the weighing scale. The uncle manning the stall reported the price after looking at the scale. Lu YunFei suddenly thought that perhaps he had ordered too much, and opened the window to ask the uncle, “Could I put some ingredients back?”
The uncle laughed, “You’re both boys, you won’t be full if you eat less.”
Bian JinYuan agreed, “That’s right.”
He looked at the uncle, “That’s all, make it spicy.”
Lu YunFei turned back to look at him despondently. Fine, Bian JinYuan’s earnings at his part-time job today were all for nothing, it had all gone towards this meal, in fact it probably wasn’t even enough to cover it. Sigh! If only he had known, then he wouldn’t have ordered mala hotpot! It was too expensive!
Bian JinYuan swiped his card and prepared to purchase drinks, “Have you topped up your meal card? I’m going to top mine up on the way to get drinks.”
“Sure,” Lu YunFei didn’t remember how much he had left in his card, but topping up was never a bad thing. He handed his meal card over to Bian JinYuan, “Help me top up a hundred.”
Saying this, he took his phone out to transfer a red packet over WeChat to Bian JinYuan.
Bian JinYuan accepted the red packet and headed to the meal card top-up window.
He topped up a hundred to his own card, and then topped up two hundred in Lu YunFei’s card. When the aunty in charge of topping up the cards announced the two hundred value, he turned to look at Lu YunFei who had already found a seat and seemed to be playing on his phone.
Bian JinYuan thought that he actually should have treated Lu YunFei to a nice meal, but Lu YunFei was adamantly against it. For all that he was extroverted, there were some instances where he was surprisingly sensitive. And so, he might as well just give him money. This way, he could buy whatever he wanted to eat. Even though it wasn’t much, this was still considered to be two afternoons worth of his part-time job.
After topping up the cards, Bian JinYuan bought two bottles of drinks from the stall.
He handed Lu YunFei’s card back to him after heading over, and Lu YunFei asked. “How much is there in my card?”
Bian JinYuan froze for a moment, then replied unblinkingly, “I didn’t ask.”
“Oh,” Lu YunFei didn’t think much of it, “I’d already forgotten how much I had left in the card, which was why I asked. Oh well, I now know that I have at least a hundred in it.”
Bian JinYuan had guessed earlier that with his personality, he wouldn’t have remembered how much value was left in his card. Hearing this, he couldn’t help but smile, “It should be more than a hundred,” he said, “When I went to top yours up, the aunty said ‘there’s a lot in the balance’.”
“Great, better than I expected,” Lu YunFei smiled without any suspicion.
Bian JinYuan saw him smile and “Mmm”-ed softly without continuing the conversation.
Youthful friendship was pure and sincere. There was no class distinction and no false pretenses. It was full of sincerity and a motivation to do things for each other without asking for anything in return.
Lu YunFei was this way, and so was Bian JinYuan.
When Zhào Yáo and Zhāng Wēi arrived at the canteen to buy food, they saw Lu YunFei and Bian JinYuan eating mala hotpot together. Zhao Yao sneaked a peek at Lu YunFei before heading to the window to buy drinks and sweets.
After she collected her drinks through the window, Zhang Wei nudged her. Zhao Yao raised her head in question, to see Zhang Wei gesture for her to look in Lu YunFei’s direction.
Zhao Yao followed her line of sight to see Lu YunFei hand a box over to Bian JinYuan. Bian JinYuan refused to accept it at first, but Lu YunFei said something before Bian JinYuan finally accepted it.
“Bian JinYuan is quite interesting,” Zhang Wei said with a sly undertone, “Whenever I used to ask him questions, he’d just ignore me. Now look at this, having meals with Lu YunFei, even giving him spelling tests, why is that, it’s because there’s something to gain for him.”
Zhao Yao heard this and couldn’t help but frown, “It can’t be, Bian JinYuan wouldn’t be this sort of person.”
“Then you explain why he only helps Lu YunFei and not others?” Zhang Wei continued rattling, “Don’t tell me it’s because Lu YunFei is his deskmate. I used to chase after him, so I know him better than you do. In year one, the class representative paired him up with so many deskmates, which one did he even look at properly? Of course, how could they compare to Lu YunFei and his wealth? Just look at how we were able to catch a glimpse of Lu YunFei giving him something now, how many other gifts would Lu YunFei have given him usually?”
Zhao Yao’s frown deepened.
While they talked, Bian JinYuan had already unwrapped the present.
Zhang Wei saw him open up the box and craned her neck to see what Lu YunFei had bought him, but she wasn’t able to see it clearly. “Forget it,” she sighed, “Let’s go. We’re not as rich as Lu YunFei anyway, poor people aren’t fit to be friends with the school grass.”
“Don’t say it like that,” Zhao Yao said admonishingly.
“Okay okay okay,” Zhang Wei glossed over it, “I just never expected Bian JinYuan to be this sort of person. However Lu YunFei probably doesn’t even care, he’s so rich he’s probably just using his power to aid the poor.”
Hearing these words, Zhao Yao’s heart sank.
She gave Lu YunFei one last look, and then pulled Zhang Wei away from the canteen.
Bian JinYuan looked at the watch with complicated emotions. He had thought that Lu YunFei’s idea of celebrating his birthday was simply to buy a cake and have a meal, he didn’t think that there would also be a birthday present.
“Was it expensive?”
Lu YunFei shook his head, “I wanted to buy you an expensive one, but I was afraid that you wouldn’t accept it, so I got a cheap one.”
He ate a slice of lotus root and said indifferently, “There was a sale, one to two hundred. Wait until it’s my birthday and you could buy a present for me to call it even.”
“It’s really one to two hundred?”
That wasn’t the truth, it was actually over five hundred, but Lu YunFei thought that there wasn’t much difference between one-two hundred and five hundred.
He nodded unashamedly and lifted his arm to place it beside the box, showing him the watch on his wrist: “Look at the craftsmanship and the materials, see how different they are, you can tell immediately that it’s not branded.”
Bian JinYuan compared both watches to see the differences, and eventually relaxed.
He took the watch out of the box and wore it on his left wrist, “As long as it can tell the time.”
“I knew you’d say that.”
“What else could it be for?”
“Accessorising,” Lu YunFei said, “A watch is also an indication of status.”
“That’s alright,” Bian JinYuan said indifferently, “I’ve never had much of one anyway.”
Lu YunFei didn’t like this claim, “You will in the future.”
He looked at Bian JinYuan and said measuredly: “All of the top students from this school went on to become elites in society. Someone like you, who is the cream of the crop among the top students, is bound to be someone amazing.”
“You sure are confident about me.”
“Aren’t you about yourself?” Lu YunFei asked in reply.
Bian JinYuan smiled, “Of course I am.”
He looked at Lu YunFei in the eyes, his ambition and drive unable to be contained in his gaze, “Otherwise, why would I come to this school?”
“But of course,” Lu YunFei cracked a smile and bent his head to eat, “We all know that your future will be successful, and that’s why you’ll change your watch out someday.”
Bian JinYuan looked at the watch on his wrist and said softly, “That’s not necessarily true.”
Lu YunFei hadn’t heard clearly and asked, “Come again?”
“Nothing, let’s eat.”
Lu YunFei didn’t push it, and ate the ingredients in the pot with him.
After the meal, Lu YunFei and Bian JinYuan headed to the sports field once more.
The events in the afternoon were just as exciting. Lu YunFei spectated a few events and was about to cheer for Wen MingYi when he was called out by his classmate Sūn Yán.
“What’s up?” Lu YunFei asked, “I was about to watch the competition.”
“It’ll just take a bit of your time, don’t worry.”
“What about?” Lu YunFei felt that he was unable to relax.
“Someone’s looking for you.”
“You’ll know when they get here.”
As Sun Yan said this, she smiled at him, “Lu YunFei, you’re quite popular huh.”
Lu YunFei looked at her in confusion and was about to ask her what she meant, when the realisation suddenly dawned on him, no way, did someone want to confess to him?! Heavens, they were only in year two, aren’t people supposed to be studying?!
And then, he saw Zhao Yao under the shade of a tree outside the sports field.
I was wondering why it took exceptionally long to translate this and checked the raws to find that while the average chapter word count is around 2,000-3,000 words, THIS CHAPTER WAS OVER 12,000 WORDS. It’s basically four chapters in one! This was the first VIP chapter so I guess the author wanted to treat readers. I hope you enjoyed it! I know I did when reading it, but now that I’m translating this beast of a chapter… not so much. Heh!
# This phrase harkens to a saying related to buddhist reincarnation, where people essentially have to accumulate years of merits before they get the chance to meet again. Here, Lu YunFei said that it takes ten years of cultivation for two people to be journeymen sharing a boat journey, and it takes even more years of cultivation for them to be lovers. Lu YunFei had the number of years wrong though, the actual phrase is 百年修得同船渡, 千年修得共枕眠 (bǎi nián xiū dé tóng chuán dù, qiān nián xiū dé gòng zhěn mián) – a hundred years to board the same ferry, a thousand years to share the same pillow. Also, Lu YunFei do you even hear yourself likening your relationship with Bian JinYuan to lovers?!
✦ Because Lu YunFei is currently full of hot air (i.e. arrogance).
∇ Just wanted to note this because it’s cute – Gao Yuan’s name is 高原 in Chinese, which means tall/high field. So him participating in the high jump event is related to his name!
⨁ 田忌赛马 (Tián Jì sài mǎ) is an idiom telling the story of Tian Ji who always lost to his opponent, an emperor, in racing their horses. As his opponent possessed superior horses, a guy named Sun Bin developed a tactic of pitting certain horses of Tian Ji’s against the emperors, such that in two out of three of the races, Tian Ji’s horses were the ones that were more superior (insteading of pitting horses of equal ranks), winning him the race. Here’s a summary from Wikipedia and a more detailed explanation for anyone interested!
𝖃 In case this wasn’t clear, Bian JinYuan was referring to Lu YunFei’s lips being very soft. Aaaaaaaahhh!!