The first class on Wednesday afternoon was the physical education class. To high school students, this was a lesson that would make both boys and girls happy. Only these type of classes could make things easier for everybody in their boring high school life – the saddest thing was that, sometimes, other teachers would end up taking these timeslots.
The physical education teacher led everyone for their warm-up exercises, arranged the activities that needed to be done, then let everyone move about freely within the field.
The female students bustled away to find a place with shade, then gathered together in groups of three to five, and started to discuss things that the boys didn’t understand. The boys went to play sports in groups, football, basketball, table tennis; there was everything.
Zhang Cheng and Qian Wenhao came over holding a basketball, and warmly invited Lu Chu and Li Bo to play basketball together with them.
Lu Chu smiled and refused, “you guys can go play first, Li Bo’s just transferred in, and he’s unfamiliar with many things in the school. Just nice, I’ll take this time to show him around the school.”
Qian Wenhao asked enthusiastically, “do you need our help?”
“No need, go ahead and play,” Lu Chu said, “didn’t you make an appointment with Wang Tong and the rest today? I can do it alone, and we’ll be a smaller target.”
“True,” Zhang Cheng scratched his head, “the physical education teacher only allowed us to move within the field, if too many of us go to the school building, our target will be larger, and we’ll might get a scolding.”
Just at this time, Wang Tong shouted from the basketball court some distance away, “Zhang Cheng, Qian Wenhao! Are you guys ready? We’re just waiting for you, and the ball’s still with you two!”
“Ah! Coming!” Zhang Cheng shouted in that direction, then turned his head back and waved to Lu Chu, “we’ll go first.”
Then, he ran over with Qian Wenhao to the basketball court.
As the best high school in the city, Yucai High School wasn’t small, and it covered an area of over 100,000 square meters. Walking around all the places that they could, while stopping to talk a little at each spot, would take about a class’ worth of time.
During class time, except for the physical education class that was happening in the field, the school was empty.
The afternoon sun was a bit blinding. Luckily, there were tall poplar trees planted on both sides of the road, with flourishing foliage that casted huge shadows. Through the gaps between branches and leaves, the sunlight left round spots on the ground.
Between the poplar trees were areas for students to park their bicycles. Every morning and afternoon, disciplinary committee members from all classes would come down to check whether their classmates’ bicycles were placed orderly and neatly.
Truthfully, there wasn’t a need for Lu Chu to explain everything to 7, because 7 had experienced this game a long time ago, and might have even returned to this place to remove unstable factors after he became a ‘cleaner’, but the both of them enjoyed the leisure time they had now. Lu Chu talked as he walked, and when the sun occasionally shone on the smile on his face, it brought along an unreal kind of beauty.
They walked along the school path, until they reached the innermost laboratory area, before stopping.
“This is the most remote place in this school.” Lu Chu looked around and said.
7 suddenly looked up at the top floor of the laboratory building, and there was a cold gaze in his ink-coloured eyes.
Lu Chu followed his gaze, and thought about the story that Zhang Cheng had told him.
“I was thinking,” Lu Chu considered his words for a while, before he said, “this time, the only requirement the task had was to ‘move about within the school’, without mentioning other clues or tips. Perhaps, this meant that no matter what kind of dangerous event might happen, as long as I stay within this school, even if I deliberately avoided whatever that might occur, without looking into the cause, nor pursuing the truth, when the time is up, the ‘rules’ would determine that this mission was a success.”
7 turned and looked at him with an affirmative gaze, and signalled for him to continue.
Thus, Lu Chu continued, “but the ‘rules’ won’t do anything that could let us relax, or get out of a ‘game’ easily. The most likely thing would be that even if we chose not to get close, or even deliberately avoid what might happen, trouble would come finding us on its own, to the point of even driving us out of school, violating the requirements that the ‘rules’ gave, of not leaving the school.”
Until here, Lu Chu shook his head, “we must be prepared at all times. The most dangerous thing is taking chances.”
7 stood beside Lu Chu, with his hands casually placed in his pocket. After he listened to what Lu Chu said, his gaze once again turned to the top floor of the laboratory building.
A moment later, he said, “you will be fine.”
Lu Chu was a little shocked, although he didn’t know what 7 was referring to, his heart felt warm.
Before the physical education class ended, they need to assemble together again, so Lu Chu and 7 returned to class beforehand, and the physical education teacher casually said a couple of things, before dismissing the class.
Zhang Cheng and the rest were sweating, and made a detour to buy some water at the shop, then gulped down half a bottle.
When they returned to their seat, some of the girls who sat around Zhang Cheng felt that the stench of his sweat was too strong, so he was temporarily ousted from his seat. With a dejected expression, he ran over to the front row to look for Lu Chu, “I’ve been expelled!”
Lu Chu found it funny, “what’s the matter?”
“They said that I smell of sweat!” Zhang Cheng was outraged, “this is obviously a masculine scent, Lu Chu, say it, do I stink?!”
Saying that, Zhang Cheng raised his arm, as if he was about to start rubbing it in Lu Chu’s face. Lu Chu didn’t have time to dodge, but an arm suddenly appeared in front of him, then Lu Chu fell backwards, managing to escape Zhang Cheng’s sweaty arm.
Lu Chu looked up and met eyes with 7, who was looking down towards him.
7 was sitting in the seat next to Lu Chu, with one arm wrapped around Lu Chu’s chest, while the other reached across Lu Chu to block the arm that Zhang Cheng was stretching forward. This action made Lu Chu fall into his arms, as if he was embracing him.
“Wow!” Zhang Cheng shouted in an exaggerated manner, “even you guys are bullying me.”
Saying that, he sniffed himself, and said, “there’s no scent at all, why are you all avoiding it for!”
Lu Chu’s smile was full of sincerity, “you can ask Qian Wenhao who sits beside you.”
Qian Wenhao was watching them being noisy from several rows away, and when he heard Lu Chu say his name, he also ran over to target Zhang Cheng, “you didn’t go to the bathroom to wash up? There’s really a sweaty stench, look at me—” Saying that, he pushed up his sleeves, showed his arms, “wash your arms and face after exercise, and you’re fresh!”
Then, he pointed at Lu Chu, “look at you, no wonder girls don’t like you. Lu Chu was so frightened he ran into Li Bo’s arms.”
It was then that Lu Chu realised that he was in 7’s arms.
At the same time, the school bell rang, Zhang Cheng and Qian Wenhao stopped play fighting, and returned to their seats.
7 let go of Lu Chu, and Lu Chu gave him a smile of gratitude.
“It’s nothing,” 7 slightly closed his eyes, and said softly, “I just didn’t want him to touch you.”
Towards students, when studying, time would always passed extremely slowly, tormenting them.
So far, this game was still very peaceful. Except for everybody in Liu Qian’s dorm who collectively got a fever. However, although this matter was quite strange, it didn’t cause any waves. In this season, there would be many people who would fall ill, and the hospital only identified it as a normal fever. Most people simply accepted the fact that everybody in that dorm room just accidentally caught a cold together – although the chances of this was very small, but it wasn’t impossible.
Only Meng Yu, because of the conversation she had with Liu Qian, thought that this matter wasn’t as simple as them falling ill. She automatically came up with all sorts of supernatural ideas, and every day, she would pull the people in the back row to talk about her guesses, then at night, would be too scared to sleep because of what she thought about.
After Zhang Cheng found out about it, he made fun of her of talking about something she was clearly afraid of, and made joked about her with Lu Chu and the rest, and ended up being chased and beaten up by Meng Yu in class.
Everything was very normal, and soon, before they knew it, it was Friday afternoon.
After entering into high school, everything wasn’t as easy as middle school. Especially since now, it was the second semester of their second year, they were going to enter their third year soon. They no longer had a two-day weekend, and whether it was a student who stayed in the dorms or travelled from home, they only had a day off once every two weeks, for the weekend in the middle, they only had half a Sunday off, with classes for the other times.
Zhang Cheng’s mood was very low.
Lu Chu asked him, “what’s wrong? Why are you so gloomy?”
“Ay,” Zhang Cheng sighed, “I’m tired, it’s another week full of classes again, and there’s only half a day off on Sunday afternoon, I’m in classes so much I’m about to throw up.”
“Studying, studying, everyday it’s only studying,” Qian Wenhao interrupted, “I want to go to college soon.”
As Lu Chu sorted out the notes in his book, he said, “for the break on Sunday afternoon, will you guys be staying in school?”
“Of course not!” Zhang Cheng immediately said, “I’ll be going to the old donkey soon to get a permission to leave, home’s still the best.”
Qian Wenhao quickly said, “remember to call me when you go!”
“Okay, let’s go after the second class,” then Zhang Cheng looked towards Lu Chu and 7, “how about the two of you, going home?”
“No,” Lu Chu shook his head, “I’m staying in school.”
This ‘game’s requirement was to ‘move about within the school’, so Lu Chu definitely couldn’t leave the campus area. Once he left the school, his task would fail, and Lu Chu wondered if he would end up experiencing all sorts of disasters the minute he stepped out of the school entrance. Such as a car accident, falling into the bottom of a well, a murderer killing people with a knife, or even forces of nature such as an earthquake, tsunami, or even the apocalypse.
7 spoke, “me too.”
“Two good children who love studying,” Zhang Cheng sighed, “but it seems that Zheng Wei, during the half-day off, isn’t going back either. Both of us aren’t around, so it’s going to be hard on you guys.”
Zheng Wei was the other person who stayed in Lu Chu’s dorm, he buried himself in studies every day and had good grades, but didn’t like to talk, and didn’t communicate much with others, making it easy for people to overlook him.
“It’s nothing,” Lu Chu smiled, “he just doesn’t like talking with others.” The implication being, he simply didn’t like to talk that much, and wasn’t some sort of monster. He had never done anything like stealing or slandering, and if they didn’t get along, then they could just do their own things and go their own way.
Without interfering with each other, or causing trouble, there was nothing hard about it.
Zheng Wei, who was sitting in the corner, had his head down, but he looked at Lu Chu from the corner of his eye.