Chapter 24: “People might misunderstand us as a couple”
When Guan Shu first saw Shen Yao, he was alone in a dark alley near the school gate, having knocked down four or five people.
Ignoring the series of screams around him, Guan Shu remained unfazed. He bent down, casually picked up a backpack from the ground, brushed off the dust with his palm, and slung it over his shoulder. Before leaving, Guan Shu kicked one of the men lying on the ground and coldly muttered, “Get lost.”
As he turned around, his footsteps came to a halt.
The alley was filled with trash, and the wall-mounted air conditioning unit emitted a roaring sound, blowing hot air. It was a place even stray cats wouldn’t venture into.
However, not far from this place, there stood a very beautiful omega.
Wearing a clean and tidy school uniform, carrying a backpack on both shoulders, the omega looked out of place in this cramped alley. It was as if he belonged to a different time compared to the aggressive and hostile Guan Shu.
The omega’s gaze, as clear as a lake, turned towards the alley but hesitated for a moment.
Guan Shu’s gaze briefly rested on him, but his expression didn’t soften due to the omega’s beautiful face. This was a dead end, and when he wanted to leave, he had no choice but to pass by the omega.
Only one person could pass through the alley entrance, and with the omega blocking the way, Guan Shu couldn’t walk past. Annoyed, Guan Shu frowned and bluntly said, “Move aside, don’t block the way.”
Hearing his harsh tone, the omega instinctively took two steps back, clearing a path for the person to pass.
Without looking sideways, Guan Shu walked forward, but he still heard a voice from beside him, “Gu…an…”
It was very soft, almost a whisper, but Guan Shu caught it. He stopped in his tracks, surprised that this seemingly diligent omega recognized him.
Furrowing his brow, Guan Shu didn’t want to hear what the omega had to say, but he also thought about the consequences if the fight he was involved in was exposed.
With a tight grip on his brow, he threatened in an unfriendly tone, “Don’t talk about what you saw today, got it?”
Perhaps the omega was a bit slow, or maybe he was frightened. The omega’s fingers gripped the backpack strap, and with a dazed expression, he nodded and said, “I won’t talk about it. I just wanted to say…”
Guan Shu didn’t have the patience to listen to the rest of the sentence. Taking long strides, he left the alley, a barely noticeable wound on his cheek.
Guan Shu didn’t pay much attention to this omega until the next day when he encountered him again on the rooftop.
The rooftop was locked, but nobody realized that the lock was actually just for show. The first person to discover this was Guan Shu, who had just entered in his first year of high school.
The sound of the rusty door made Guan Shu’s teeth ache, and when he saw the omega sitting on the stone bench, he paused for a moment before turning to leave.
In the season of transitioning from summer to autumn, the sun overhead was still intense, but the spot where Shen Yao was sitting on the ground was the shade.
It was lunch break, and Shen Yao didn’t go to the cafeteria or bring his own food. He was eating a sandwich he casually bought from a convenience store.
Hearing the movement behind him, he turned around with the sandwich still in his mouth, cheeks puffed up.
With a “gulp” sound, Shen Yao swallowed the food in his mouth. Perhaps due to choking, he coughed hard, waving his arm in the air as if reaching for the water on the table.
He coughed so violently that his beautiful face appeared somewhat disheveled. Guan Shu stood still for a moment, afraid that he might actually choke to death here. He decided to walk over and picked up the bottle of water placed on the table, unscrewed it, and handed it to Shen Yao.
Their fingers accidentally touched during the handover, sending a tiny electric current through their bodies. Guan Shu remained expressionless, standing in place, watching as Shen Yao tilted his face and drank the water, the small Adam’s apple occasionally moving up and down.
Shen Yao’s voice brought Guan Shu back to his senses. It sounded much hoarser than it was yesterday evening. Guan Shu coldly nodded and inadvertently caught a glimpse of the omega’s slightly reddened eyes, as if tears were about to fall at any moment.
Having grown up in a military compound, Guan Shu had never seen an omega so fragile and delicate, like porcelain that could shatter with a gentle touch.
He was about to leave but was stopped by Shen Yao.
Although a bit overly delicate, when this omega smiled, it was like a soft white cloud in the sky. He seemed somewhat afraid of Guan Shu, but earnestly explained, “I didn’t intend to report you yesterday. I just wanted to say thank you because those people stole money from me and blocked my way.”
“There’s no need for thanks,” Guan Shu replied stiffly. “They blocked my way too, that’s why I fought them.”
According to Guan Shu’s habit, he would always go to the rooftop during lunch break. However, the next day when he was about to go up, he hesitated. He was afraid of encountering that inexplicable omega again.
But the classroom was too noisy, so Guan Shu ended up heading towards the rooftop. He opened the door, and the omega sitting on the stone stool turned around with a pleasantly surprised expression. “Guan Shu!”
Guan Shu was about to step back, but he didn’t expect Shen Yao to come chasing after him, directly grabbing his arm.
On such a hot day, Shen Yao’s palm wasn’t sweaty at all; it was even a bit cold. Guan Shu instinctively wanted to shake him off, but the hand gripping his arm was too soft and weak.
If he were to let go, this omega might collapse right to the ground.
Before Guan Shu could react, Shen Yao had already pulled him to sit on the stone stool. Guan Shu snapped out of it and stood up again, staring at Shen Yao with an inscrutable expression. “Are you crazy?”
“I’m not,” Shen Yao replied somewhat aggrievedly.
Guan Shu faltered. This omega might really be lacking something in the head, unable to perceive the sarcasm in his tone.
He was used to communicating with his fists, but that wouldn’t work with Shen Yao. Insulting him wouldn’t even make this omega angry.
Guan Shu turned his face away and said nothing. “I just want you to stop bothering me. Do you understand?”
“I didn’t intend to bother you,” Shen Yao interrupted him and handed him the small medicine box that had been sitting on the table all along. “I heard you often get into fights. I bought this to thank you.”
“I already said you don’t have to thank me.” Guan Shu fell silent for a moment. After all, he was only sixteen years old, and in the end, he couldn’t hold back and said, “Besides, I usually don’t get injured. It’s always the others who get beaten by me…”
However, Shen Yao suddenly raised his hand and used his fingertips to press on the wound on Guan Shu’s cheek, speaking up, “What’s this?”
Guan Shu instinctively slapped away his hand and asked in a sarcastic tone, “This? You call this a wound?”
Shen Yao smiled and said, “Of course.”
Guan Shu didn’t continue the conversation. He calmly watched Shen Yao’s hand, which turned red from his slap.
He felt that this was what a real wound looked like.
Guan Shu didn’t encounter that omega on the rooftop again, and he didn’t know the omega’s name.
He habitually skipped self-study classes and walked downstairs. When passing by one of the classrooms, soft music drifted out from a window that had never been closed.
He turned his head, but his gaze temporarily couldn’t shift away.
The school wasn’t strict about uniform regulations, so the omega in the classroom was not wearing a school uniform, just loose and comfortable clothes.
Perhaps because Guan Shu’s gaze was too obvious, the omega inside turned his face. He didn’t get angry at being observed by others; instead, he even smiled with lowered eyes.
Guan Shu took a good look at his overly beautiful face. Due to his young age, his cheeks still had a hint of youthful innocence, but one could vaguely see the enchanting features of his eyes and eyebrows, like the first blooming apricot blossom on a branch in early spring.
With his school bag hanging over one shoulder, Guan Shu retracted his gaze and continued walking downstairs as usual, slowly and leisurely.
Several days later, during break time in the classroom, Guan Shu was still lying on the back of his desk, half asleep. He heard someone say, “Shen Yao is here,” and Guan Shu’s ears subtly twitched. This time, he sat up and looked towards the window.
Sure enough, the omega he had met in the alley and who had given him the medicine box was Shen Yao.
This time, his gaze was clearly lost among the crowd, and Shen Yao had never turned back when passing by the corridor before.
But this time, he stopped in his tracks, glanced into the classroom almost imperceptibly, and smiled again.
“Did Shen Yao just turn back?”
“Of course! He must be looking at me!”
“Bullsh*t!” an alpha joked and made a fuss. “I’m so handsome. He must be looking at me!”
Lu Tingxin punched them and joined in the banter, saying, “Are you all blind? Shen Yao was clearly looking in my direction just now!”
Soon, a chorus of boos followed. They went back to their noisy conversation, but Guan Shu sat at the back desk, gripping his pen. After all, he was still young, and in the end, he couldn’t help himself. He casually bumped his elbow against Lu Tingxin next to him and asked seemingly nonchalantly, “Was that Shen Yao just now?”
“Yeah,” Lu Tingxin replied absentmindedly, then suddenly realized something, “Aren’t you uninterested?”
Guan Shu picked up his book, but his attention wasn’t on the pages. He silently tapped the medicine box inside the desk hole with his hand. Expressionless, he said, “Of course, I’m not interested. I was just asking casually.”
Lu Tingxin furrowed his brows, unsure if he should say something, but eventually said, “…Guan Shu.”
Impatiently, Guan Shu asked, “What?”
“Your book is upside down.”
“Oh.” Guan Shu’s expression remained unchanged as he naturally flipped the book over. “Don’t mind me.”
Shen Yao satisfied the fantasies of those alphas, betas, and even some omegas in school regarding first love. After Guan Shu truly came to know him, he could always hear various things about Shen Yao.
For example, someone sent a love letter to Shen Yao, someone gave him a gift, and someone received punishment for confessing to Shen Yao.
He would casually listen every time, but he could gather one piece of information from these things. Shen Yao was very popular, and many people liked him.
The school wasn’t that big, so Guan Shu would often run into Shen Yao at school. Every time they met, he felt like Shen Yao was smiling at him.
But every time he blinked, it seemed like an illusion again.
Until he encountered Shen Yao on the rooftop.
“It’s such a coincidence. I finally made it to the rooftop, and I ran into you again,” Guan Shu clearly saw Shen Yao smiling at him this time, very gentle. “Are you here on the rooftop too? It’s hot everywhere else, but this place is cool.”
He shifted over a bit on the bench and patted it to indicate an invitation.
This time, Guan Shu hesitated for a moment, his footsteps paused, but eventually, he walked over and sat down.
However, Shen Yao was quiet this time. To facilitate communication, he wore a headphone to listen to music, leaving one ear free to listen to Guan Shu speaking. His fair ear had a hint of blush.
Guan Shu had shaved his head a few days ago, with a picky hairstyle that looked very handsome on him. Even when he sat on the stone bench playing with his phone, he sat upright, as if in military posture.
“Guan Shu,” Shen Yao softly called him, “I don’t have any friends. Can I be friends with you?”
Guan Shu still had that difficult-to-get-along-with demeanor. His hand rested on his leg, and although he knew, he still said, “Is that so? What’s your name?”
After that, they would often encounter each other on the rooftop. From the fading summer to the arrival of autumn, short sleeves turned into long sleeves. They gradually sat closer to each other, from not saying a word at the beginning to Shen Yao eventually sharing an earphone with Guan Shu.
During a school spring outing, amidst a vast crowd, Guan Shu, taking advantage of his height, scanned around but couldn’t find Shen Yao.
So Guan Shu turned around with a sour face and walked into the line.
Lu Tingxin yawned, thinking that Guan Shu was probably just tired. He casually said, “Sleep on the bus later. The school arranged a mountain hike for us, up and down, which will take at least half a day.”
“Yeah,” Lu Tingxin shrugged. “Alphas should find it challenging too, but you and I will have no problem.”
Guan Shu closed his eyes, but he was thinking about what to do with Shen Yao, wondering if he could even climb up.
When he got off the bus, he looked around but still couldn’t find Shen Yao’s figure. The people on the mountains were arranged by class, so there was no choice. Guan Shu had to walk ahead by himself.
Guan Shu and Lu Tingxin listened to the complaints behind them as they walked ahead. When they were halfway through the climb, Guan Shu’s phone rang. He answered and heard Shen Yao’s breathless voice, calling his name in a somewhat coquettish manner.
“Guan Shu, I’m so tired.”
Guan Shu slowly stopped and asked in a low voice, “Where are you? Are there any teachers nearby, or should I call a teacher?”
The school was afraid they would get lost, so the route was lined with flags with numbers on them. If they saw the flag marked 1000, it meant they had reached the end.
Shen Yao said a bit sheepishly, “Two hundred.”
That meant he hadn’t walked much and didn’t have the energy to continue. He sounded a bit desolate as he said to Guan Shu, “Can you come and pick me up? I can only rely on you.”
“Okay.” Guan Shu agreed without hesitation. He turned around without even explaining to Lu Tingxin, “I’m going to pick someone up.”
“Eh…” Lu Tingxin stood there with a bewildered expression, “Guan Shu!”
While everyone else was climbing up the mountain, Guan Shu was going against the flow, walking in the completely opposite direction, and even faster than everyone else.
In the rear of the procession, Guan Shu found Shen Yao. He wasn’t just squatting in one place; he was waiting for Guan Shu while making an effort to move forward.
He seemed incredibly moved and directly pounced on Guan Shu, hugging him tightly.
Due to the gender difference between an alpha and an omega, Guan Shu dared not even move a muscle while being held. He raised his hand, wanting to push Shen Yao away, but he wasn’t sure where to start.
Fortunately, Shen Yao only hugged him briefly before letting go.
Guan Shu belatedly realized a problem, “How am I supposed to pick you up? I don’t have a car.”
Shen Yao also froze, as if he hadn’t even considered this situation.
Guan Shu thought for a moment, took off the backpack on his back, brought it to the front, and then squatted in front of Shen Yao, saying, “I’ll carry you on my back.”
Shen Yao hesitated, “…Is that okay?”
He was impatiently pulled by Guan Shu and directly pounced on Guan Shu’s back. Guan Shu lifted him up and tugged at the corner of his mouth, “Shen Yao, this is the first time I’ve ever carried someone.”
“Is that so?” Shen Yao’s arms hung in front of Guan Shu’s chest as he slowly said, “Then I feel honored.”
When Guan Shu went back to find Shen Yao, he didn’t complain, and when he squatted down to carry him, he didn’t say anything. He walked briskly while carrying him.
Suddenly, he thought that he and Shen Yao were just friends. Was he being too good to Shen Yao? Would Shen Yao think he liked him?
Guan Shu’s expression changed silently, and he began to scold Shen Yao, “Shen Yao, you need to exercise more. Otherwise, you will get tired after a few steps. How can you be like this?”
“No one would enjoy carrying you.”
Shen Yao leaned his head over, smiling brightly, “But big brother is so nice, willing to carry me for such a long way.”
Guan Shu’s back stiffened, he turned his face so Shen Yao couldn’t see his expression, “Don’t get too close to me. I’m covered in sweat.”
Guan Shu had been trained in physical fitness since he was young. Shen Yao was light, but still a considerable weight.
He almost gritted his teeth to endure until the end.
When they were nearing the finish line, Shen Yao held onto Guan Shu’s shoulder and whispered, “Big brother, please put me down. It’s not appropriate for us to be like this. People might misunderstand us as a couple.”
His tone of considering others sounded off, and Guan Shu stopped in his tracks, “Shen Yao, what do you mean?”
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