Chapter 25 — He Had Once Thought About Ending It All (1)
Beyond the rusty fence stood two people. Lin Zhao’s back was against the fence, and Lin Mu could only vaguely make out Lu Rong’s face.
An Jincheng stopped cleaning as well. He stared at them, his expression a little inscrutable.
On the other hand, Lin Zhao was quite calm. She was thinking about how she could clarify everything without casting any doubt upon Lin Mu’s identity.
Lu Rong waited for a while, then took the initiative to start the conversation, signing, “Is there something you’re looking for me?”
Lin Zhao looked at him. She frowned, then looked at him again.
If things were just as what Lin Mu said, that this person liked her, then his attitude today was a little too cold for having just spent a day in the park together during the weekend.
Lin Zhao was unlike Lin Mu, who was a blockheaded straight guy, an idiot about romance. Standing in front of her, Lu Rong’s face was indifferent. His was a little too handsome and good looking, and he seemed a lot more mature than other boys his age. When he looked at others, his eyes always seemed to be covered with a layer of fog, deep and impenetrable.
For some reason, Lin Zhao was certain that this person completely had no interest in her at all.
“My brother seemed to have misunderstood something,” Lin Zhao moved her fingers quickly. She glanced at Lu Rong, continuing, “Xu Yilu misunderstood as well.”
Lu Rong blinked. He went through his memories, finally recalling Xu Yilu’s motherly expression at the end of the day in the park and realizing what it meant. This was obviously a huge misunderstanding, and Lu Rong felt both helpless and amused.
He could not resist looking back at the swimming pool.
Lin Mu did not expect that Lu Rong would suddenly turn his head over. Caught in the act, Lin Mu averted his eyes in embarrassment and guilt.
Lu Rong looked at him a little while more before turning back. He thought for a moment, then signed at Lin Zhao, “Don’t say anything, I’ll tell him myself.”
Lin Zhao raised a brow. Although she was not sure what Lu Rong had in mind, she believed in the principle that the less one spoke, the fewer mistakes they would make. Now that the misunderstanding had been clarified, it was no longer her business.
Done with the conversation, Lu Rong returned alone to the pool. An Jincheng was unable to decipher anything from Lu Rong’s expression, and became a little anxious. He stood up, walking towards him, only to turn back halfway. In the end, he still could not help himself. Standing near Lu Rong, he asked, “What did you and Lin Zhao talk about?”
Lu Rong probably never expected that An Jincheng would be the first to ask. Pondering for a moment, he said, “Nothing much, it was about the self-study session for the special needs class.”
Lin Mu heard him, and he turned to look at Lu Rong a little doubtfully. Lu Rong happened to be looking over too. Their eyes met, and Lin Mu was the first to look away.
Hearing the answer, An Jincheng seemed a little relieved. He watched as Lin Zhao walked away. The sports ground was huge, the red running track surrounding the green grass. The girl’s silhouette was slender and tall, and against the red and green, she looked like a swaying flower.
An Jincheng stared at the sight for some time, then suddenly said to Lin Mu, “You clean up the rest, I’ll take my leave first.”
Lin Mu was unable to deal with Lu Rong already, and so naturally could not be bothered with what the wallflower was going to do. He picked up the hose An Jincheng was using, spraying the pool as though nothing was bothering him as he sneaked a look at Lu Rong.
The latter was still looking straight at him, and with no awkwardness, he crouched down by Lin Mu..
The two people did not speak at all. Of course, Lin Mu did not believe that Lin Zhao came to talk to Lu Rong about the self-study session. However, if he were to ask now, it would make it very obvious that he had something to hide.
Fortunately, Lu Rong took the initiative to speak. “I don’t like your sister that way.”
Lin Mu did not expect him to say it so directly. His mouth fell open, and he stammered for quite some time, “R-really…”
Lu Rong looked at him, and he suddenly asked, “Just now, you were angry with me over this?”
Lin Mu did not know how to respond.
Lin Mu refused to admit that he was angry and throwing a small tantrum, and Lu Rong also did not press him. After they finished washing the pool, they brought Meimei back with them, and naturally, they left together.
Recently, Lin Zhao had become very busy. She still had to go to the Go Institute in the evening, and she was usually picked up by Lin Yanlai.
“There have been a lot of strangers outside your school these days,” Lin Yanlai told his son when picking up Lin Zhao. “Be careful when going home.”
The location of Kunqian was a little far, and there were also quite a number of other schools near it, both good schools and not so good ones. A few years ago, there had been a case of bullying occurring outside the school compounds, and it had only been settled after the police was called down.
Lin Mu was not the slightest bit worried. “Nothing will happen to me.”
Lin Yanlai indeed was not very worried about his son. He left with Lin Zhao, while Lin Mu returned to look for Lu Rong.
Meimei was standing at the school gates, sucking on a lollipop Lu Rong just bought for her. When she saw Lin Mu walking over, she took out a new one from her pocket.
“Candy for you, Jiejie,” Chen Meihua said.
Lin Mu accepted it with a smile. He glanced at Lu Rong, but the other boy was looking into the distance.
“What are you looking at?” Pulling the wrapper off, Lin Mu placed the lollipop in his mouth. He followed Lu Rong’s line of sight, only to see a number of unfamiliar faces loitering around the convenience store near the school. However, since he did not know them, Lin Mu naturally would not go and provoke them.
Lu Rong withdrew his eyes. He glanced at the lollipop stick hanging out of Lin Mu’s mouth and said indifferently, “Nothing.”
Lin Mu thought about it and tried to put Lu Rong at ease. “There’s a lot of schools around here, and the shopping street is nearby too, so there are always all sorts of people hanging around. However, don’t worry. Kunqian has a discipline committee set up by the teachers, and the students are all pretty safe.”
Lu Rong nodded, noncommittal. He seemed to not be bothered by such matters, taking up Chen Meihua’s hand.
“Let’s go,” he told Lin Mu.
Sure enough, a few days later, the teachers started patrolling outside the school in shifts, headed by Chu Lin. Cao Zhan even sent a photo in the group chat of the Demerit Kings.
“Did something happen recently?” Li Zi asked in the chat.
Mo Xiaoxiao was not surprised. “The first-year students had just started here, and many of them have specially applied to enroll into Kunqian from other schools. For example, Lu Rong and I came from schools that were rather problematic, and so trouble tend to follow easily.”
Lin Zhao had been protected too well since she was a child. Other than Sun Hai in junior high, she had pretty much never experienced being bullied. Finding it bizarre, she asked, “The junior high bullies will even follow you to your new high school?”
“It’s hard to say.” Mo Xiaoxiao attached a sighing emoji. “Some people are extremely nasty.”
Lin Mu scrolled through the chat after class, his expression very stern. He again recalled the unfamiliar faces he saw over the past few days and called out to Xu Yilu who was sitting in front.
“Little Heron,” Lin Mu asked, “Can you ask your housekeeper to pick you from school for now?”
To train Xu Yilu’s independence, he had been coming to school alone. However, it was now troubled times, and Lin Mu felt that they should just play safe.
Xu Yilu had heard about the bullying incident before as well. Without much hesitation, he agreed. Of course, while chatting with Lin Mu, he recalled what he thought he discovered about Lin Zhao and Lu Rong, and he wanted to share the gossip.
“That day, when we went to the park, Lu Rong was extremely nice to your sister!” Xu Yilu was very professional as an audience to a show, narrating every detail meticulously. “Are they dating?”
It would have been fine if Xu Yilu did not bring it up, but the moment he did, Lin Mu felt that gossips and rumors were really too harmful. Not only was Xu Yilu enjoying his popcorn, he was even trying to get him to join in!
“It’s impossible between the two of them,” Lin Mu could only personally refute the rumor. However, as he could not declare that he was the one who went to the park, he could only gloss over it, “Don’t let your imagination go wild.”
Xu Yilu was not particularly convinced. “I’m not imagining things, I heard it myself that day! Lu Rong sounded so very gentle, and your sister even helped him wipe his forehead!”
Lin Mu was at a loss for words.
He could only say, “You didn’t see anything, don’t talk nonsense!”
Xu Yilu’s expression was extremely stern. “I can’t see, but my heart is like a clear mirror!”
Lin Mu thought, stop thinking that you’re a mirror, you’re just like a girl with a microscope chasing after her idol, it’s too terrifying!