Chapter 22 — He Still Doesn’t Know A Thing (1)
Lin Zhao’s current emotions could probably be described to be like pebbles in a ravine, a reef under the sea, a hopeless resignation and the awareness that things were uncontrollably moving in a worse direction.
The crux of the matter was extremely baffling, and she could not understand what exactly was going through Lin Mu’s head.
“When are you going to tell him the truth?” Lin Zhao signed, asking. “You can’t continue like this.”
Because of Lu Rong, Lin Mu had agreed to go without any hesitation. But now, facing Lin Zhao alone, he was starting to feel a faint sense of regret. This made him feel both ashamed and conflicted — he had done wrong to his sister, and he was also afraid to face Lu Rong.
“I’ll definitely tell him this time.” Lin Mu felt that he had probably made up his mind about eight hundred times already, and at the same time, he had also backed out at the critical moment about eight hundred times too.
Lin Zhao did not really believe him, but she still helped Lin Mu apply his makeup and wig. She felt as though she was an accomplice, and her expression was serious.
“If I knew things would be like this, I shouldn’t have let you take my place right from the start,” Lin Zhao signed. She looked at the makeup on her brother’s face, and continued signing with immense guilt, “I’m really a genius, to have made you up to look so pretty.”
Lin Mu was left dumbfounded.
The association of handicapped people had been established for a number of years in the east zone, and they would normally have about two slightly larger-scale events every month. The previous bazaar and the outing this time were to allow everyone to interact and to build relationships, so they had attracted many participants.
The picnic’s location was set at the wetland park in Xiangcheng District. It was finally nearing the end of summer, and the weather was a lot cooler. This time, Lin Mu was dressed in a long chiffon skirt. He had a lace choker tied around his neck, and a straw hat with wide brim covered half his face.
Teacher Ma looked a little surprised when he saw him. Observing him from top to bottom, the teacher signed, “Did you grow taller again?”
Lin Zhao was quite tall, and when she wore heels, her height could even surpass quite a few boys. However, ever since their first year in high school, Lin Mu showed a likelihood of gradually becoming taller than his sister.
Lin Mu maintained his aloof character and gave a casual wave. Following behind the group, he waited for a while and saw Lu Rong and Chen Meihua walking from a distance away.
The old lady noticed him very quickly.
“Jiejie!” Chen Meihua was carrying a red bunny backpack, and she waved at Lin Mu. Lu Rong cast his eyes over, and when his gaze fell onto Lin Mu’s face, it paused there lightly.
“Good morning,” Lin Mu smiled as he moved his fingers demurely, making sure that he would not expose himself.
Lu Rong looked at him for a while, so long that Lin Mu was about to be unable to maintain his smile any longer, before finally smiling back.
“Good morning,” he replied.
The association had chartered a bus. Afraid of getting carsick, Chen Meihua sat at the front, while Lu Rong and Lin Mu sat behind. When the two of them moved through the aisle, Lu Rong deliberately stepped aside, intending for Lin Mu to sit by the window.
Upholding the principle of “ladies first”, Lin Mu did not stand on courtesy. After sitting down, he took off his hat and placed it on his thighs.
Lu Rong took out a notebook.
Lin Mu watched him write a question, “Are you warm?”
Lin Mu signed, “I’m not, it’s pretty cool today.”
Lu Rong continued writing, “Let me know once you start perspiring.”
Lin Mu did not understand, “Why should I let you know?”
Lu Rong was looking down at first, but upon registering Lin Mu’s question, he looked up a little, glancing at him. “Your makeup would melt when you start perspiring. Aren’t all girls quite worried about this?”
Lin Mu blinked. He seemed to have understood, but also not, and so he could only sign back vaguely, “Got it.”
The east zone was not far from Xiangcheng District. Although the traffic was a little heavy, it only took half an hour to reach the destination. Teacher Ma even specially prepared a little tour guide flag; he stood at the front, leading everyone in somewhat orderly lines.
The wetland park was enormous, over 133 hectares in size. There were fishponds and rivers, and long wooden bridges crisscrossed across the park. The group had come at a very nice time, as the lotus flowers had yet to wither. Blue stretched across the sky, contrasting against the pink and white lotus flowers.
Lu Rong and Lin Mu followed behind the group.
Chen Meihua would often stop and crouch by the bridge to look at the lotus flowers, and so Lu Rong and Lin Mu could only stop and wait for her. Gradually, they drew further from the main group.
Teacher Ma ran back and forth a few times, and finally someone in front shouted, “Don’t disturb the young couple on their date, let them have some time to themselves!”
Embarrassed, Lin Mu looked at Lu Rong unconsciously. However, the other person was watching his grandmother and showed no reaction to those words. Teacher Ma could not help but tease, “What a good-looking pair. It’s very normal for you to start dating.”
Only then did Lu Rong look towards Lin Mu.
“No.” What he denied was vague. The boy bowed his head, speaking to Chen Meihua, “Meimei, let’s go. We’ll go look at other lotus flowers.”
Chen Meihua stood up obediently and went to hold Lin Mu’s hand. “Jiejie, let’s go together.”
As Lin Mu had no choice but to maintain his character as a quiet and aloof young beauty, he pretended that he did not hear a thing and walked beside Lu Rong.
The path was very long, and one bridge came after another. Sometimes, it was only wide enough for two people to walk abreast, and so Chen Meihua walked with Teacher Ma in front, while Lu Rong and Lin Mu followed behind.
As it was not convenient to write while walking, and Lin Mu was pretending that he could not speak, there was a fair bit of silence between the two. When they reached a spot to admire the scenery, they were both looking separately at the view, and they were unable to communicate.
Lin Mu could not hold himself back anymore, and so he signed, “Shall we find a place to sit?”
Lu Rong hesitated for a while. Chen Meihua was again crouched on the end of the bridge; she was looking at a dragonfly, seemingly entranced.
“Let’s go there,” Lu Rong signed clumsily.
Lin Mu would naturally be fine with anywhere. He followed Lu Rong to the bridge, and they sat down on the ground not too far from Chen Meihua. Walking for a little too long, Lin Mu forgot to pay attention to his current character setting, and sat down very boldly with his legs spread apart.
Speechless, Lu Rong stared at him for a moment before abruptly reaching out and tugging his skirt down.
Lin Mu gave him a questioning look.
This time, Lu Rong did not sign. With an indifferent, quiet voice, he said, “Your underwear was showing just now.”
For the next half an hour, Lin Mu sat properly, hugging his knees. Halfway through, Lu Rong turned back a little to buy some drinks, and brought a cup of lemon tea for Lin Mu.
Even the way Lin Mu drank was very ladylike.
Lu Rong seemed to smile a little. On his book, he wrote, “There’s no need to be nervous, no one else saw it.”
Lin Mu thought that it was even more dangerous for Lu Rong to have seen it.
However, there was nothing he could do about Lu Rong having seen his underwear. Lin Mu had always been good at following good advice. He relaxed a little and watched Meimei reach out to try touching a lotus plant.
L Lu Rong supported his grandmother, allowing Chen Meihua to touch the flower.
“Do you want to touch it?” Lu Rong turned his head and asked Lin Mu.
Lin Mu did not think too much about it. He went over, and Lu Rong wrapped an arm around his shoulders like an embrace, holding onto his arm.
The tips of Lin Mu’s fingers brushed past the lotus leaf.
He found it very interesting. Tugging at it lightly, the lotus leaf swayed daintily very much like a beauty’s fan.
“It’s cool to touch,” Lin Mu pulled his hand back, signing happily at Lu Rong.
Lu Rong smiled subtly, not saying a word.
Another group of people came to the bridge. Lu Rong pulled Chen Meihua up, about to give way. Lin Mu stood up as well, and upon raising his head, he noticed a very familiar face.
Xu Yilu stood very close to them. Today, he was wearing his special glasses. Staring at Lu Rong for a long time, he finally asked uncertainly, “Is this Little Deer?”
Lu Rong was also a little surprised to bump into him. Before he could react, Xu Yilu turned his head and stared at where Lin Mu stood. With an even more uncertain tone, he mumbled to himself, “Lin… Mu?