Chapter 19 — Only Good to You
[Fence-sitter]: Zhiyu, what kind of performance art are you guys doing? [Photo attached]
[Fence-sitter]: Don’t tell me you just happened to walk by half the teaching building.
[Not Zhiliao]: Ah, it’s not my fault! I don’t know what Xiao Yan is thinking. [Sob.jpg]
[Not Zhiliao]: I’m here against my will. I really tried to fight it. [Sob.jpg]
[Fence-sitter]: Okay then. From the pictures alone, I thought you were enjoying yourself.
[Not Zhiliao]: He said that he was going to clear his name, how would I know he was going to use me for that? It’s all because I hurt my legs.
[Fence-sitter]: Everyone thought you were just going by their classroom window, until we all met up on the school forum.
[Fence-sitter]: Whenever someone brings up Xiao Yan now, your name always comes up right after.
[Not Zhiliao]: ……
[Fence-sitter]: It hasn’t been long since I last saw you, how come you two are an item now?
[Not Zhiliao]: Hnggggg.
Luo Zhiyu takes a seat on the chairs at the Students’ Association office, glaring vehemently at Xiao Yan beside him.
“Be friendly.” Xiao Yan says, “I just worked so hard piggybacking you over here. Is this the kind of attitude you are treating your fellow students with?”
Luo Zhiyu moves one seat to the left, putting an empty seat between him and Xiao Yan.
As they approach 8pm in the evening, the first year students who passed the evaluations start to gather in the classroom. Everyone comes with their homework, no one talking, instead, they go through homework problems as they wait. This makes the two empty-handed ones in the middle of the classroom especially out-of-place.
In this situation, it is even more out-of-place to be going on one’s phone. Luo Zhiyu texts Jing Ximing that he will talk to him later and hides his phone in his school uniform pocket.
“Hey, you can go back now.” Luo Zhiyu kicks at Xiao Yan’s calf with his good leg, “Your school uniform sticks out like a sore thumb in here.”
“It won’t stick out in a second.” Xiao Yan gets up and leaves the classroom. “See you later.”
Luo Zhiyu: “?”
At 8pm, second and third year Students’ Association members come into the classroom, prompting everyone to pause in doing their homework.
“Both Director Xu and Mr. Xu, who are in charge of the Students’ Association operations, have class tonight, so they can’t make it.” The third year Students’ Association President says, “I’ll be the one to guide everyone through the interviews. I know you all must be busy with schoolwork. We will just be asking a few questions, five minutes max. It’ll be very quick, so no need to be nervous.”
Luo Zhiyu was one of the last few to put in his form, so he is scheduled to go after most of the other interviews. Once he arrives in the designated room with his interview number, most of the others have already returned to their classrooms.
Xiao Yan sits in the room, the prescriptionless pair of glasses from who-knows-where perched on his nose, evaluating him through the lenses: “Have a seat, then.”
“You, again?” Luo Zhiyu feels like, ever since school started, he has run into Xiao Yan more times than his own classmates. For two people who do not actually get along, this really does not seem right.
“Because I keep getting my credits deducted lately.” Xiao Yan flips open a documentation form, “My only choice is to stay on for another year for the school credits. Since the President does all the work, anyway.”
They are the only two in the activities room. Luo Zhiyu brings a chair over, sitting next to the doorway, looking at Xiao Yan from a fair distance.
“Let’s skip the self-introductions.” Xiao Yan waves his hands, “I don’t need it.”
Luo Zhiyu thinks so, too.
“You applied for the arts committee?” Xiao Yan double-checks Luo Zhiyu’s application information, “Are you sure you want to go into the arts committee?”
“Is there a problem with the arts committee?” Luo Zhiyu asks.
“No problem.” Xiao Yan draws a checkmark on the papers, “But you have to know that, since the First Metropolitan curriculum is intense, there aren’t a lot of arts events, and not a lot of members either. The report credits might not be ideal.”
“No problem.” Luo Zhiyu shakes his head, “This is the only committee I like. Other than drawing, don’t sign me up for anything else.”
“I thought as much.” Xiao Yan writes out a ‘passed’ on the forms, putting down his own name in the memo section. He swiftly fills out the interview information, “No need to ask about your personality, impatient with a one-track mind. Specialities, no need to ask, likes to draw. Not an only child, I’ll fill out the family info for you. That’s it, nothing else needed from you.”
Luo Zhiyu: “?” Does this even count as an interview?
“Nothing else?” Luo Zhiyu raises his doubts, “That’s it?”
He painstakingly hopped his way up to the third floor, then painstakingly got piggybacked down by Xiao Yan, all for what? A useless formality?
“That’s it.” Xiao Yan has started gathering the files on the desk. He sees Luo Zhiyu’s slightly surprised expression when he looks up, and lifts his chin at him. “What, not enough for you?”
“I’ll ask you something else, then?” Xiao Yan stows his glasses into his pocket, walking over to Luo Zhiyu, “Fellow student Luo Zhiyu, do you have any favourite foods?”
“What is this, a smuggling business?” Luo Zhiyu rolls his eyes at Xiao Yan and puts away the chair.
Xiao Yan arranges the desks in front of him in neat rows. As he lifts the desks, the scar on his wrist appears in front of Luo Zhiyu again, barely discernible. The perpetrator himself thinks it looks just like a peach blossom petal.
“Not a lot of favourite foods.” Luo Zhiyu swallows, “That time I took a bite of your claws, though, I thought it tasted pretty good.”
Xiao Yan’s hands jolt and the desk falls to the ground with a thump.
“Everything done?” Mr. Xu runs into the two students after finishing up his class, “Is there anyone left in the activities room?”
“No one else left.” Xiao Yan hands over the files and points at Luo Zhiyu beside him, “He’s my last interviewee, all done now.”
Mr. Xu naturally knows these two students. They notice that Mr. Xu’s gaze has been on Luo Zhiyu all this time, and Xiao Yan and Luo Zhiyu open their mouths at the same time–
Xiao Yan: “He fell on his own.”
Luo Zhiyu: “I fell on my own.”
Mr. Xu: “…….”
“Okay, okay.” When Mr. Xu was doing the dorm inspections earlier, he had already witnessed how these two snipe at each other. “Try to get along, the Students’ Association is one big family.”
It is raining outside; once the door to the Students’ Association is pushed open, the air turns cool and humid.
“I’ll walk you back.” Xiao Yan closes the door behind him.
“I don’t need you to piggyback me.” Luo Zhiyu thinks of his forced “roaming” from earlier and has mixed feelings, “Your orbwalk techniques are too extra.”1
“What am I supposed to do then, carry you?” Xiao Yan retorts.
“No need, I’ll hop back on my own.” Saying so, Luo Zhiyu puts one hand on the staircase railings, “You do your thing, I’ll do mine.”
The door from behind them opens, Mr. Xu leaving for the day with an umbrella in his hands. Once he spots the two students who are still there, he asks, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing, nothing.” The duo makes up immediately, forced to get along under Mr. Xu’s pressing gaze.
They had just finished a self-study block in the First Year, Class 3 classroom. The students finish writing to let their eyes and brains rest.
“Do the school-grass and Luo Zhiyu really not get along?” Someone pokes at a napping Jing Ximing out of boredom, “Xiao Yan even came to make trouble for him at our classroom today.”
“Zero compatibility, I’ve never experienced anything like it, either way.” An alpha student says, “I’m always down to get to know omega students whenever I see one.”
“Psh.” An omega student says, “We don’t want to hang out with you.”
Student 1: “But Xiao Yan was piggybacking Luo Zhiyu just now, it seemed like their relationship was pretty good? What happened, why are they on good terms all of a sudden?”
Student 2: “Oh yeah, they had no moment of peace before, how come they are buddy-buddy now?”
Jing Ximing knows the story behind the “clearing his name” narrative. He is just about to spill, when the class starts on a different conversation topic–
Student 4: “I heard a few days ago that the school-grass is a fuckboy?”
“No way! Watch what you are saying, my sister is in Second Year, Class 3, and I just heard people from their class say that Xiao Yan is definitely not a fuckboy. Don’t listen to people talking nonsense, if he really did something he’d definitely take responsibility.”
The classroom door opens to reveal Luo Zhiyu supporting his weight on Xiao Yan.
“Go back and do your homework.” Xiao Yan taps at Luo Zhiyu’s shoulder lightly, “This weekend, I’ll go find you at your dorms after I finish my exams in the afternoon, and take you to the hospital.”
Luo Zhiyu: “?”
The gossip crew in Class 3 all perk their ears up.
In order to further solidify his honest person, non-fuckboy, good student image, Xiao Yan stands before Class 3 and repeats what he said to Luo Zhiyu earlier–
“I have decided to rectify my wrongs and be nicer to you.”
“I won’t give you trouble from now on, I will only be good to you.”