Chapter 2 — Definitely Innocent
It was actually him.
Luo Zhiyu immediately understands the meaning behind the string of “Fairy scrunches eyebrows” from yesterday.
Every time Luo Zhiyu sees Xiao Yan, it is like he has taken centre stage in Zaun1 — the first thing he says is almost never the other person’s name but rather, “Motherfucker.”
This has been ingrained in his instincts, triggered before he is even conscious of what he is doing. This time is no exception.
Luo Zhiyu gets angry looking at his goading smile alone: “Mother…”
“Fucker” has yet to leave his mouth before Xiao Yan quickly reaches out to turn off the microphone in front of Luo Zhiyu.
The row of school authorities: “…..”
An opening statement such as “I am mother” is just too shocking. The students and teachers in First Metropolitan auditorium go into an uproar, many people actually laughing out loud.
Principal Zhang clears his throat, then outright coughs a few times before the auditorium eventually quiets down.
“Fellow student, you said so yourself that we must strive for teamwork and friendship.” Xiao Yan nods at the school authorities at the side, then turns Luo Zhiyu’s microphone back on, indicating for him to keep going.
There is still a band-aid stuck diagonally under his right eye, a masterpiece that Luo Zhiyu created when they were fighting a few days ago.
Luo Zhiyu rolls his eyes at Xiao Yan, finally remembering his own name and continuing with his New Student Representative Entrance Ceremony speech.
“I am Luo Zhiyu, from First Year, Class 3, a new first-year at this school.”
He did not expect even from his wildest imaginations that a rival that he had been fighting with since childhood would go to the same high school, and on top of that, as excellent student representatives together.
His rival is just as high-achieving as him.
New student speeches are typically only a short three minutes. Reading from a script is much too by the book and completely against Luo Zhiyu’s life philosophy — if he is going to give a speech, it is a given that he goes off-script.
If Xiao Yan did not appear onto the seat next to him, he probably would have already started to “look forward towards their futures” under the approving gazes of all the teachers.
But now —
“The reason I am sitting here is because of my high school entrance exam score,” he says, facing the student body yet directing his words at Xiao Yan. He picks up the paper cup from the table, slowly taking a sip of tea, then nods his head slightly. After showing off how cool he is, he finally spits out the final words of his sentence, “which was very high.”
Xiao Yan: “……”
It is an unwritten rule of the school that the first-ranked student gives a speech, but Luo Zhiyu is the first to say this rule outright.
Qiu Yi, the First Year, Class 3 homeroom teacher sitting in the first row, looks dumbfoundedly at Luo Zhiyu on the stage. Luo Zhiyu, who seemed pretty normal over the phone just yesterday has an overwhelming presence now.
The standard formula in giving a speech is to first express humility then look towards the future with encouragement to others; after seeing Xiao Yan, Luo Zhiyu takes the liberty of axing out the humility section completely.
To the point where students in the auditorium get the urge to beat someone up.
“It’s him, Luo Zhiyu, it’s definitely him who speaks like he wants to get beaten up.”
“I don’t accept this!”
“I shouldn’t have been misled by that face, hngg…”
“As a bad student, I have been hurt.”
“Shh.” This person even has the audacity to shush everyone, bringing a finger to his lips as if people are being loud for no reason.
“You might think I am bragging.” Luo Zhiyu turns his head towards Xiao Yan, “But every word I say is the truth.”
“My address ends here.” Luo Zhiyu says, “I hope everyone will have a happy high school experience.”
With that, scattered applause sounds from the audience.
Xiao Yan smiles, clapping a few times as well, responding under Luo Zhiyu’s scorching gaze as if nothing happened: “Ah yes, the First Metropolitan school motto, ‘teamwork and friendship.’
“As the Second Year Excellent Student Representative, I am honoured to be sitting here.” Xiao Yan’s speech starts similarly to Luo Zhiyu’s, but also starts going off-script near the end, “Since we have come to the First Metropolitan High School, working hard is a given, otherwise who knows who will be sitting in my seat next year.
“Lastly.” Xiao Yan turns towards Luo Zhiyu on his right, “Representing the entire second year student cohort, I welcome the arrival of our first year little friends.”
Though the principal is happy that students are getting competitive over studying, Luo Zhiyu is unhappy that he was played by Xiao Yan for a whole day yesterday.
‘Little friend from first year’ Luo Zhiyu glares at Xiao Yan, grinding his teeth: “Don’t let me see you ever again.”
“Oh, no guarantee.” Xiao Yan leaves the podium, going backstage with other students from the Student’s Association.
“The little despot from the Luo family really does gets mad the second he sees you.” Fan Yue, alpha, is good friends with Xiao Yan with a basic grasp of the so-called ‘deep animosity and hatred’ between Xiao Yan and Luo Zhiyu.
Xiao Yan thinks of their conversation yesterday and still finds it amusing.
“Why do you always provoke him?” Fan Yue doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
“He asked for it this time.” Xiao Yan says, “I even reminded him.
“He explodes with the slightest poke, don’t you think it’s kind of interesting?” Xiao Yan hands his phone to Fan Yue, “Look.”
In Xiao Yan’s Wechat conversations is a string of messages from Luo Zhiyu just now.
[Not Zhiliao]: Fairy scrunching eyebrows.jpg
[Not Zhiliao]: You’re waste.
[Not Zhiliao]: I should’ve known it was you.
[Not Zhiliao]: You’ve been rotten since you were a kid.
[Not Zhiliao]: Spit.jpg
[???]: Luo Zhiyu, we go to the same school from now on. We’re going to see each other all the time, how about a truce?
[Not Zhiliao]: Scram, who wants to see you all the time.
[Not Zhiliao]: I knock you dead with a load of shit.jpg
[Not Zhiliao]: I guarantee I will stay far far away from you.
The city newspaper journalists find it a particularly nice surprise watching two of the school’s most legendary figures provoke each other before the term even starts. Employing the unique dedication that comes as a part of working in news media, new reports were written the same afternoon.
[News update: Previously reported 0% compatibility students Luo and Xiao appear together at the First Metropolitan entrance ceremony. Netizen: the fate of 0%]
As the school’s entrance ceremony concludes amongst applause, additional campus news arrives at the school forum, including multiple new posts.
[What to make of this year’s entrance ceremony?] [hot]
1L: As the title says, what do you all think?
2L: I am fiercely cheering for First Year, Class 3 Luo Zhiyu.
3L: Luo Zhiyu is damn cool hahahahha, an entrance ceremony fit for the school history records. I am guessing that he was cursing at Xiao Yan but his mic got cut off at the last moment by our school-grass.
4L: Looking at the picture from the city news, Xiao Yan and Luo Zhiyu sitting together is so good for the eyes, I want to ship this pair.
5L: Replying to the 4L bro, they have no chance, they have 0% pheromone compatibility and their relationship is so tense that people in the front rows felt like they would start fighting on the podium.
6L: Yeah yeah, forget about it. Any two people have the potential to fall in love except for those two, we must believe in science.
7L: Luo Zhiyu is an omega? So does that mean I have a chance?
8L: I don’t think you guys know what kind of person he is…
9L: I can’t wait to watch how the entrance ceremony turns out next year.
Luo Zhiyu sits outside the auditorium spacing out. Jing Ximing was not feeling well in the morning and skipped the entrance ceremony entirely, and is messaging Luo Zhiyu now from the dorms to ask him to bring him lunch.
[Fence-sitter 3] : I genuinely respect you, you’re getting famous so fast.
[Not Zhiliao]: Fairy scrunching eyebrows.jpg, it’s not my fault I am high achieving.
[Fence-sitter]: My lunch is in your hands, I smell like pheromones all over right now, can’t really go outside.
[Not Zhiliao]: Relax, I guarantee I will get you the best dishes. I have basic intel on the cafeteria already. Super confident dinosaur.jpg
[Not Zhiliao]: Let me just go exchange my military training uniform, the sizing is kind of off. I’ll go to the cafeteria right after.
According to traditions at First Metropolitan, new first-year students have a week of military training before classes officially start. Luo Zhiyu did not have a chance to try on the uniform when he got it last week and just discovered yesterday that he got the wrong size.
Luo Zhiyu finds his way to the Student Life office and knocks on the door, which was opened by a teacher he does not recognize.
“You want to exchange your uniform? There are no extras right now.” The teacher fills out a form with their head lowered, taking one look at him and figuring out what he is here for. “Go to the room over there and get someone from the Student Association to help you with measurements. Get your shoulder width, collar length, waist and hip measurements and they should know which size to get. They’ll mark it down so you won’t have to come down again with the wrong size.”
“Can I measure myself?” Luo Zhiyu asks.
“It’s not that accurate if you measure yourself.” The teacher says, “The second-year students there aren’t busy, just ask them to do it.”
Luo Zhiyu takes the measuring tape from the teacher and goes to the indicated room, pushing the door open.
A person wearing the red school uniform enters a room full of people wearing blue uniforms. The five alpha students clutching instant noodle bowls do not seem like they expected people to enter at this time, so ten eyes blink at the famous Luo Zhiyu from the entrance ceremony.
“Omega?” The student at the front remembers hearing specifics about this legendary figure.
“Yeah,” Luo Zhiyu nods, shaking his measuring tape in his hand. “Who’s gonna do it?”
“Xuejie4 and her friends went to go eat lunch, there is no one here right now, how about…” Another alpha is struck by a brainwave and yells towards the inner room, “Xiao Yan, come out here and help out.”
“True, why didn’t I think of that!” Fan Yue slaps the table, “Their pheromone compatibility is 0% so they are definitely innocent.”
Luo Zhiyu: “???”