Chapter 15 — Turns Out, I am a Fuckboy?
Jing Ximing has just packed up his things and walked out of the classroom when he is met with this scene.
Jing Ximing: “?”
The comrades who have been in timeout together have never seen this kind of ridiculous framing either; everyone stays silent, all trying to keep themselves out of it.
It is a brave thing to be able to address your own mistakes, and the student’s reflection seems comprehensive and well-intended. But since coming to First Metropolitan, it is Ms. Zhang’s first time seeing a student who is this eager to get their credits deducted.
“Ms. Zhang, I’d let it go if it was anything else.” Xiao Yan raises his hand as well, handing over the practice book in his hands. “But Xiao Yan’s handwriting is definitely not that ugly.”
Xiao Yan’s name is written on the title page inside the practice book in orderly, printed characters, and the handwriting within the practice book is also neat and pleasing to the eye. It is really on another level compared to the chicken scratch of the other student’s copied lines.
“What are you stepping on me for?” Xiao Yan asks leisurely.
Luo Zhiyu: “……”
“What’s going on?” Qiu Yi, the homeroom teacher, makes his way into the crowd. “Why is it you two again?”
“Again?” Ms. Zhang thinks that she must have missed a lot of things.
“Did they fight?” The homeroom teacher sees the broomstick hidden behind Luo Zhiyu at once. He has listened to another teacher’s teaching philosophy today, and is currently very concerned with how these two students are getting along.
Luo Zhiyu: “Not yet.”
Mr. Qiu: “……” His head hurts.
“Nevermind, nevermind.” Mr. Qiu wants to stop them from fighting and waves his hand to shoo them away, “It gets late already after evening self-study, and you students need to do laundry and homework when you get back, too. Off to the dorms, everyone.”
Since the homeroom teacher has spoken, the curious crowd disperses. The two people in question also slowly pick up their backpacks, leaving through the same stairwell entrance.
The duo blends in with the crowds who are just getting off class, keeping an ambiguous distance between them until they both pass by the sports field and arrive at the dorms. Alpha and omega dorms are in opposite directions. In the darkness and next to the dorms, there are still a few alpha students kicking a ball around on the soccer field. Youths seem to never understand the concept of resting with the sunset.
It is now past the height of after-school crowds, other than in the sports field, there aren’t a lot of students in the dorms area. The street lamps smudge out a patch of the evening’s darkness, trees casting overlapping shadows, scattering again under the feet of students passing by.
Luo Zhiyu walks on Xiao Yan’s shadow, entertaining himself and making up for earlier regrets of not being able to use the broomstick on someone.
“Where is the takeout from?” The omega dorms are coming up, and Luo Zhiyu stops in his steps, reaching out and grabbing onto one of the straps hanging from Xiao Yan’s backpack.
“I’ll send it to you later over Wechat.” Xiao Yan says. “Go on up.”
“Okay.” Luo Zhiyu seems to be savouring the taste still, licking his lower lip once. “It tasted pretty good.”
The door to Xiao Yan’s dorm is unlocked; when he walks in through the door, his three roommates are hunched over, studying for the start-of-term exams that are taking place over the weekend. Once they see him come in, Fan Yue looks up while biting at the end of his pencil, expression scrunched up and full of suffering.
“I think I’m in danger for the start-of-term exams.” Fan Yue seems deflated, “I relaxed too hard over the summer. All the vocab I memorized in first year is gone.”
“It’s not that bad.” Xiao Yan puts his backpack next to the desk, “The start-of-term exams are probably on the difficult side, they might even keep the grades low on purpose to kill overconfidence. They’re just trying to make us work harder in the new term. You’ll be fine once you look past that.”
“There’s stuff to do for the Students’ Association tomorrow too.” Fan Yue cannot look past it, letting out a groan and burying his face into the textbooks again.
It is still a while until bedtime; Xiao Yan decides to study for a bit as well. He puts his notebook onto his own desk and turns to take out a fountain pen from his bag. As he lowers his head, he catches the soft, sweet scent of honey peaches.
He only realizes now that Luo Zhiyu’s tattered uniform has been thrown over the back of his chair for quite a few days. The smell of pheromones is faint, almost undetectable unless one is close by.
Luo Zhiyu had told him that day that it is fine to just get rid of this jacket. In the following days, Xiao Yan has forgotten about it completely.
He is not sure if it is due to the pheromones, but when Xiao Yan lifts Luo Zhiyu’s uniform from the back of his chair, the rooftop galaxy appears before his eyes, buried in the depths of the sky overhead. Under the sky is Luo Zhiyu, wielding his bamboo skewer, cheeks full from chewing, and sneaking glances back at him.
At that moment, in Luo Zhiyu’s eyes, there was Xiao Yan. Luo Zhiyu had the corner of his lips lifted into a pretty curve; it was as if he used the most mundane glimmer to lure in all the stars from above.
“Luo Zhiyu!” Jing Ximing yells towards the bathroom, “Your phone!”
“Coming, coming.” Luo Zhiyu, having just finished his shower, with a towel thrown over his shoulder, opens the bathroom door and burrows into his blankets. “Who is calling me at this hour?”
The call is from the city hospital; the hospital’s Vice Director is very invested in Luo Zhiyu and Xiao Yan’s 0% AO compatibility and hopes that they will cooperate with scientific research and go in for more tests that weekend.
“Didn’t they tell us next weekend?” Luo Zhiyu asks, “This is earlier than planned? Either is fine, I’m just starting school anyways, so my weekends are pretty free.”
“Our relationship? You might not be aware, we’ve had a strained relationship since we were kids, our families have beef too. We basically get on bad terms whenever we see each other.”
“Yeah, we’ve gotten into fights, more than once.”
“Okay, we agreed that we’d definitely go in, we won’t disappear on you. Xiao Yan……I think he might have the start-of-term exams this weekend, but he won’t forget. How about this, even though I don’t particularly want to talk to him, I can drop by his classroom and ask him tomorrow. I can go during the morning break tomorrow and let you know by tomorrow afternoon.”
“Mmhm, not a bother, we’re supporting medical research after all.”
“Tests?” Jing Ximing has listened to the entire conversation, “They need to do more tests?”
“They seem really curious.” Luo Zhiyu catches up on homework while sitting in bed, “I’m fine with it either way, cooperating with scientific research is always good. It’s probably still 0% even if they test again though, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of room for error for this kind of test, unless the pheromones themselves are really rare.”
“We’re not allowed off campus this weekend.” Jing Ximing flips through the calendar on the desk and reminds him, “You guys need to be excused by the Director.”
“I’ll go find him tomorrow.” Luo Zhiyu says. “Speaking of, I don’t really want to bother the driver shushu 1 from home, so I probably have to hitch a ride from Xiao Yan’s car.”
“Oh, you’re asking him a favour then, if you’re hitching a ride from his family car. Remember to be polite.” Jing Ximing suggests, “You two snipe at each other whenever you meet, but you get over it anyway right after. So if you ask nicely, it’ll probably be fine.”
“I know.” Luo Zhiyu nods, “Don’t worry, I have the brains, I won’t say it straight out. I’ll keep a low profile, low key.”
All First Metropolitan students like rainy days. They are excused from doing exercises on the sports field during breaks if it is raining, so there is a lot more time to chit-chat in the classroom as a result. In the Second Year, Class 3 classroom, even with the start-of-term exams approaching and everyone busy with studying, the conversations are still rowdy in the classroom during break.
The Class President has opened a lot of media applications, while also logging into the homeroom teacher’s music streaming account. The speakers are not very loud with the “Recently Played” playlist on, fitting well as background music for small talk amongst classmates. The students next to the window have closed the curtains, and the students next to the doors have closed the doors; evidently, the students want to do their own thing without being overheard by teachers.
“Has the school-grass gotten love letters recently?” A girl in one of the back rows starts the conversation.
“He always has,” Xiao Yan’s dormmate, Zhang Shu says, “Now that the first years have started classes, there are even more people handing him confession letters. But Yan-ge has rejected them all.”
“Must be nice.” Some alphas in the classroom say, “He’s won at life: good grades and everyone’s into him.”
“He’s the face of our dorm, he’s been staying chaste and uninvolved this whole time.” Fan Yue starts his daily bragging about his roommate, “He never plays around either; if he doesn’t like them, he does not lead them on at all and rejects them right there.”
“That’s good.” An omega girl says, “Have you guys seen the stuff on the M University campus forum?”
“Yeah, is it that recent fuckboy thing? It’s even trending on Weibo because people are cursing him out.”
“Is it the one where he plays with people’s emotions?” Fan Yue goes on a lot of forums, “I remember, it’s a fuckboy A who keeps playing around with sincere little Os. He even got them pregnant and didn’t take responsibility, didn’t even take them to the hospital. So irresponsible.”
“Fuckboy As must die.”
“He deserves the entire internet hating on him, I went and cursed him out too. He really bangs them and leaves right away, the omegas even had to go to the hospital by themselves. The most scum.”
“There’s one at Second High in our neighbourhood too, also plays with people’s hearts. I just feel like, if you’re going to date someone, you really need to be careful.”
“Let me tell you all.” Tang Yuan shares his expertise, “Let a fierce A tell you, fuckboy As show their tendencies starting from secondary school. It’s very easy to spot, this kind of person is usually nice and straightforward on the outside, handsome, and even has good grades. He’s popular at school, teachers like him, but under that grand exterior, hides the kind of scum that normal people cannot detect easily.”
The classroom door pushes open from the outside. The students in the middle of discussion assume it is a teacher and all quieten down, with the only sound in the classroom coming from the media system that continues to play music —
[You be careful, a kiss can turn your life upside down, a kiss can save a person, can give you the body heat of salvation, but will always offer it to someone else ~~~] 2
“Sorry to interrupt.” An omega boy from first year sticks his head in from behind the door, “Is Xiao Yan in there?”
The twenty pairs of eyes in the classroom turn to stare at Xiao Yan.
Xiao Yan: “?”
“It’s nothing, just,” Luo Zhiyu seems a little different from normal. He looks a little embarrassed, looking at Xiao Yan and then looking back at his own shoes; he seems to be hesitating over something and finally looks towards Xiao Yan again, carefully putting on a charming smile, “Xiao Yan, can you take me to the hospital this weekend?”
Xiao Yan: “???”