Despite Fan Yuan and Gu Yang being the ones punished, the classmates of Class 1 felt like they were the ones suffering during that Chinese class.
Fan Yuan and Gu Yang were both very noticeable individuals. They could be recognized at a glance among the crowd, not to mention now when one was standing in front of the classroom and the other was standing at the back. The special atmosphere that emerged whenever their eyes met intermittently gave the students of Class 1 a mouthful of dog food.
When the bell for the first class rang, Fan Yuan and Gu Yang didn’t think much of it, but there were a few inexplicable sighs coming from various corners of the classroom.
The torment of being forcibly fed dog food had finally ended, and a few students who were eager to be in love banged their heads on the desks.
Zhuo Wan didn’t extend the class and directly left, her high heels clacking as she walked away.
Fan Yuan and Gu Yang both made their way back to their seats. Gu Yang, being closer, returned to his seat first and immediately slumped onto the desk, hiding behind a tall stack of books.
Fan Yuan, who had been standing in front of the classroom by the blackboard, also slowly made his way back to his seat.
Although his walking speed hadn’t changed, the classmates who passed by Fan Yuan inexplicably felt that their class monitor, Fan Yuan, seemed a little impatient.
When Fan Yuan reached his desk, he immediately saw Gu Yang slumped over the desk.
Gu Yang buried his cheeks in his arms, and as soon as his eyes met Fan Yuan’s, he immediately smiled.
His slender fingertips resting on his arm lifted slightly, seemingly carrying a certain unknown longing, then hesitantly retracted, obediently returning to their place on his arm.
Fan Yuan slowly sat back in his seat, imitating Gu Yang and slumping over the desk, only revealing his eyes as he made eye contact with Gu Yang.
The two of them silently stared at each other during the noisy break, their eyes only filled with each other. Though not a single word was spoken, it felt as if they had already communicated thousands of words through their eyes.
It wasn’t until the bell for the next class rang that Fan Yuan straightened his body and, as he stood up, reached out to ruffle Gu Yang’s hair, messily tousling the neat strands of hair on Gu Yang’s head.
Gu Yang sluggishly sat up straight, opened the test paper for the next class, and lowered his head to look at the exercises. He felt that these exercises had become much lovelier.
He had thought that the conflicts would escalate and explode further, but they had already dissipated without a trace, leaving Gu Yang completely free of the bitterness, frustration, and worry that had been in his heart for the past few days.
Now, in Gu Yang’s heart, there was only the sweetness overflowing from Fan Yuan’s presence, sweeter than any candy in the world.
Just ten minutes into the second class, the corridor outside the classroom suddenly filled with the angry voice of a woman, accompanied by the sound of things being thrown to the ground.
The noise grew louder, and the insults being hurled became increasingly vulgar, eventually interrupting the ongoing class.
After a while, the commotion finally moved away. At this moment, Zhuo Wan pushed open the classroom door and stood at the entrance, her expression serious as she beckoned to Gu Yang.
“Gu Yang, come with me.”
Gu Yang’s hand was still holding the tip of Fan Yuan’s fox tail under the desk. When he saw Zhuo Wan calling him, he hesitated for a moment and then gave the fluffy, soft fox tail a couple of reluctant squeezes before standing up and walking out.
The classmates were all a bit puzzled. Why did Zhuo Wan call Gu Yang out during class?
Gu Yang’s academic performance had improved significantly in every major and minor test, so it couldn’t be about his performance.
Fan Yuan also stood up and followed Gu Yang outside. Zhuo Wan frowned at Fan Yuan but didn’t stop him.
The two of them left the classroom together. Once the classroom door was closed, Zhuo Wan quickly led them towards the head teacher’s office, explaining as they walked:
“Jiang Yanzhe from Class 3’s mother found out about his puppy love and came to the school. She wants to see the principal, but the head teacher intercepted her. Both Jiang Yanzhe and his mother are in there. When you go in later, be careful with your words.”
Gu Yang didn’t react at first, wondering why he had anything to do with the puppy love of a student from Class 3.
Until Fan Yuan reminded him, “The love letter.”
Only then did Gu Yang remember the love letter that had been secretly placed in his desk yesterday, signed by Jiang Yanzhe. He had completely forgotten the details of that letter after glancing at it and didn’t pay attention to whether it was taken away today. If Fan Yuan hadn’t reminded him, he wouldn’t have recalled it at all.
“His mother… came to see me?” He hoped that Jiang Yanzhe’s mother didn’t think he was the one corrupting her son.
Zhuo Wan looked back at him with a look that chilled Gu Yang.
The door to the head teacher’s office was slightly ajar, and standing at the entrance, they could hear the sound of arguing inside. It wasn’t exactly an argument; most of the time, it was a woman’s voice yelling.
Zhuo Wan pushed open the door and led Fan Yuan and Gu Yang inside.
The coffee table in the office was askew, and it was unclear what had happened before.
Gu Yang immediately saw a tall and thin boy standing with his head down in the corner, tightly clutching his clothes. When he saw Gu Yang and Fan Yuan coming in, he quickly glanced at them and then averted his gaze.
His mother, a short and skinny woman, stood in the center of the office, while the chubby head teacher stood by her side, trying to console her. Sweat covered his forehead, and his toupee was askew.
When Jiang Yanzhe’s mother saw Gu Yang and Fan Yuan enter, her small eyes immediately glared, filled with disdain. “Which one of you is Gu Yang? Which one is that shameless homosexual? Did you seduce my son?”
As soon as she spoke, everyone in the office frowned.
Gu Yang took the initiative to step forward, “Auntie, I am Gu Yang.”
As soon as he finished speaking, Jiang Yanzhe’s mother raised her hand and slapped at him.
Fan Yuan was about to raise his hand to block, but Zhuo Wan pushed him aside and stood in front of Gu Yang. The slap landed on Zhuo Wan’s face, immediately causing half of her cheek to swell. It was evident that Jiang Yanzhe’s mother used considerable force.
Gu Yang immediately walked to Zhuo Wan’s side, along with Fan Yuan, blocking her behind them.
However, Zhuo Wan only frowned and forcefully pulled Gu Yang and Fan Yuan back behind her, standing in front of the two much taller students like a mother hen.
“Mrs. Jiang, this is a school. These two are my students. No matter how you usually behave, I hope you can restrain yourself while in school.”
Jiang Yanzhe’s mother did not think there was anything wrong with slapping Zhuo Wan just now. At this moment, she crossed her arms and looked at Gu Yang with a disgusted and disdainful gaze.
“Is this how your school educates students? Not only producing a homosexual but also seducing my son? My son is in Class 3, and he has always been at the top of his class. You have affected his performance, delayed his college entrance exams. Can you compensate for that?”
Fan Yuan placed his hand on Zhuo Wan’s shoulder, using a bit of force to prevent her from standing in front, and took the initiative to step forward, placing himself between Gu Yang and Zhuo Wan.
“The word ‘seduction’ is baseless. You need to take responsibility for every word you say. Gu Yang doesn’t even know your son, how could he seduce him?”
The head teacher slammed the table and his face turned cold.
“This parent, please don’t cause a scene in the school! This isn’t your home after all!”
Seeing this situation, Jiang Yanzhe’s mother became even angrier. She turned her attention back to Fan Yuan.
“I thought you looked decent, but I didn’t expect you to be a stupid homosexual too? Have you also been seduced by that Gu Yang? Are you willing to be a social garbage? Doesn’t your family feel heartbroken? Are you content being a societal outcast?”
Jiang Yanzhe suddenly rushed forward and knelt beside his mother, his voice choking with sobs.
“Mom, I beg you, Mom, let’s go. Let’s not embarrass ourselves in school anymore! It has nothing to do with them! I liked someone and wrote a love letter on my own! Mom, let’s go home, I beg you—”
The situation became chaotic, and while Gu Yang remained calm when he was being insulted, he couldn’t tolerate Fan Yuan being treated this way.
Suddenly, Gu Yang swiftly moved from behind Fan Yuan, changing the positions of Zhuo Wan, Gu Yang, and Fan Yuan once again.
Gu Yang stood in front of Fan Yuan, vehemently retorting, “Your words are incorrect, aren’t they? What do you mean by making our family feel heartbroken? What do you mean by societal garbage? Do you know us? What right do you have to say such things!”
Gu Yang tightly gripped Fan Yuan’s sleeve, speaking proudly, “Societal garbage? The so-called societal garbage in your mouth has always been the first in everything. From the small tests in school to major national competitions, as long as Fan Yuan is present, no one can take away his first place. Not only in academics but also in sports, music, games… no matter what it is, Fan Yuan is always at the top. I have never seen anyone more outstanding than him… and in your eyes, such a person is considered societal garbage… then what does that make you?”
For a moment, Jiang Yanzhe’s mother was overwhelmed by Gu Yang’s imposing presence. Consumed by anger and being used to being in control at home, she couldn’t stand others arguing with her. Gu Yang’s words couldn’t penetrate her ears, and unable to argue back, she continued to shout with a sharp and piercing voice.
Seeing that their attempts to mediate were futile and their teacher had been slapped, the head teacher couldn’t bear it anymore and called the security guards.
Jiang Yanzhe, who had been kneeling next to his mother the entire time, suddenly stood up and rushed towards the window.
The head teacher’s office was on the top floor, and Jiang Yanzhe climbed onto the window ledge, leaning forward with both hands gripping the window frame. If he let go, he would fall to his death.
Jumping from this height, he might not even have a chance of becoming disabled. It was highly likely that he would die immediately.
The office finally fell silent, and everyone looked at Jiang Yanzhe sitting on the window ledge.
Jiang Yanzhe’s face showed a complex expression of shame, embarrassment, torment, and self-disgust. A teenage boy, his self-esteem was trampled upon by his own mother, and yet, because she was his mother, he couldn’t do anything.
“Mom, I beg you, please stop. It’s my fault, I deserve to die. I’ll jump from here now, and then we’ll all be relieved!”
Jiang Yanzhe’s mother’s face briefly showed a moment of confusion, but then she turned her head and directed her anger towards Gu Yang. With her short stature, she charged at Gu Yang like a cannonball, attempting to attack him.
“It’s you, you disgusting person, who seduced my son! You led my son astray!”
The situation became chaotic once again. The head teacher rushed over, opening his arms and desperately trying to stop Jiang Yanzhe’s mother, leaving several scratches on his face from her nails.
Jiang Yanzhe let out a loud roar, his eyes bloodshot, and one of his hands had already let go.
“I’m begging you, please go home! Stop causing any more trouble!”
As he spoke, Jiang Yanzhe’s other hand also released its grip on the window ledge, and he began to fall backward.
At this moment, Jiang Yanzhe’s mother started to panic and let go of the teacher’s clothes she was pulling. She turned and rushed over.
Fan Yuan at some unknown time had ran to the window and grabbed Jiang Yanzhe’s arm. With a forceful pull, he yanked him back and flung him into the corner of the room.
Jiang Yanzhe, after all, was a teenage boy, not light in weight. Fan Yuan’s previous action relied solely on brute strength, and his wrist felt a slight pain.
Gu Yang immediately ran to Fan Yuan, while Jiang Yanzhe’s mother also rushed towards her son.
Fan Yuan looked at Gu Yang, who carefully examined his wrist. He raised his other hand and pinched Gu Yang’s earlobe, pressing it downward and adjusting Gu Yang’s slightly askew necklace in the process.
Jiang Yanzhe’s mother wanted to see her son, but her outstretched hand was pushed away by Jiang Yanzhe.
“Mom, please go back first.”
Jiang Yanzhe’s mother didn’t want to leave, but she saw her son raise his head, his eyes bloodshot, filled with hatred.
Her outstretched hand slowly lowered, and Jiang Yanzhe’s mother anxiously stood up. She took two steps back in place, then quickly turned and ran out of the office.
The head teacher was also shocked and startled. He held his chest and stopped calling the security guard on the phone.
The commotion in the office finally came to a halt. Gu Yang and Fan Yuan held hands and let them drop down, but they knew that the matter hadn’t completely ended.
Together, they stood opposite Zhuo Wan and the head teacher, and when they looked over, their gaze was firm.
Zhuo Wan furrowed her eyebrows, the palm print on her face becoming even more prominent. Nearly half of her face had become swollen.
Gu Yang and Fan Yuan’s relationship was already a known secret in Class 1. They just hadn’t explicitly stated it before, but now, after the commotion caused by Jiang Yanzhe’s mother, the head teacher also became aware.
Although their conversation just now wasn’t very explicit, it could be inferred to some extent.
The stout head teacher put down his phone and took a deep breath. Seeing that Fan Yuan, Gu Yang, and Zhuo Wan were all looking at him, his thick black eyebrows furrowed into a knot.
“What are you looking at? Why aren’t you going back to class? Ah? Are you addicted to playing? Aren’t you aware that you’re in the third year of high school?”
As soon as the head teacher finished speaking, the bell for the end of class rang.
Unexpectedly, this commotion lasted almost an entire class. It was now the long break, and the sports field immediately became lively.
The head teacher’s mouth that had been wide open suddenly closed. He seemed a bit embarrassed. His gaze shifted, and he saw Jiang Yanzhe, who was still curled up in the corner of the office. His expression became complicated once again.
The homeroom teacher of Class 3 was older and had a weak heart. When Jiang Yanzhe’s mother caused a scene, the head teacher didn’t let the homeroom teacher follow.
Zhuo Wan sighed and walked towards Jiang Yanzhe.
“Let me take him back to the classroom.”
With Zhuo Wan’s invitation, Jiang Yanzhe stood up under her support. His eyes were still red, and the whites of his eyes were filled with bloodshot veins. In just a short span of a few dozen minutes, he had become haggard, decaying, devoid of the youthful vigor he once had.
Even the faint liking he had for Gu Yang had completely disappeared under the turmoil caused by his mother. All that remained in his heart was an endless sense of resentment.
Gu Yang looked at Jiang Yanzhe in such a state, and his eyebrows gradually furrowed.
He complained softly, “I’m in a good mood right now, you’re lucky.”
Then, Gu Yang looked up and gazed at Fan Yuan.
Fan Yuan obediently lowered his head, his dark eyes earnestly fixated on Gu Yang. It seemed as though Fan Yuan already understood everything Gu Yang wanted to convey without him saying a word.
Suddenly, Gu Yang spoke loudly.
“Jiang Yanzhe, right?”
Jiang Yanzhe stopped in his tracks, his shoulders hunched, and he turned to look at Gu Yang.
Gu Yang raised his chin and pointed to the window location.
“Do you want to die so badly?”
Zhuo Wan and the head teacher didn’t expect Gu Yang to ask such a question. They furrowed their brows disapprovingly and looked at Gu Yang.
Gu Yang held Fan Yuan’s wrist and confidently walked past them. There was a youthful arrogance on his face.
“Jiang Yanzhe, stand by the window and open your eyes wide.”
Saying that, the two of them walked out of the head teacher’s office together. Jiang Yanzhe, who had originally intended to follow Zhuo Wan back to the classroom, stood still with his head lowered for a moment before walking to the window and looking down.
The sports field during the long break is one of the liveliest places in the school. Besides the times of going to school, leaving school, lunch break, and dinner time, students often gather here. Although it’s quite a distance from the academic building, people on the upper floors can still hear the bustling noise from below.
Gu Yang held Fan Yuan’s hand and walked out of the teaching building, stepping onto the bustling sports field, appearing in Jiang Yanzhe’s line of sight.
Zhuo Wan and the head teacher also walked to the window, wanting to see what Gu Yang was up to.
Gu Yang led Fan Yuan all the way to the center of the sports field. Releasing his grip on Fan Yuan’s hand, he took a step forward, closed his eyes, and took a deep breath amidst the noisy atmosphere of the sports field.
Some classmates had already noticed Gu Yang’s peculiar behavior and gradually gathered around.
At this moment, Gu Yang opened his eyes, cupped his hands around his mouth like a megaphone, and shouted:
“I am Gu Yang from Class 1 of the third year!”
“I want to say that I like someone! Very, very much!”
“I will study hard and go to the same university as them! We’ll be together forever—”
Fan Yuan stood behind Gu Yang, his back straight, his dark eyes fixed solely on Gu Yang.
Gu Yang turned around after shouting those words towards Fan Yuan, facing him directly.
The once lively sports field fell quiet. All the students of Shangshu High School became excited. They couldn’t believe what Gu Yang had just done.
Some had heard rumors about Fan Yuan and Gu Yang, and some had even witnessed them holding hands. But no matter who it was, they couldn’t have imagined that Gu Yang would be so bold as to shout these words in the most bustling time of the school day, right in the center of the sports field.
Windows in the surrounding buildings were opened. Those students who hadn’t come out of their classrooms crowded around the windows, while even the windows of the teachers’ office were opened.
One by one, white curtains floated out of the windows, gently fluttering in the breeze, carrying the hearts of countless young people.
Gu Yang turned to Fan Yuan with the most exuberant and carefree smile. As an eighteen-year-old youth with red lips and white teeth, at this moment, he wanted to reveal his true heart to the entire school.
This heart was fiery, passionate, and brimming with genuine love and attachment.
Gu Yang once again cupped his hands around his mouth, and with solemnity, he shouted:
“I like you—”
Fan Yuan, who had been standing in place, suddenly took a step towards Gu Yang.
The first step seemed calm, showing no abnormalities, and his expression remained composed.
The second step was a forced display of composure, with bigger strides and a slight curl of his lips.
By the third step, Fan Yuan was already running, and the mature and steady demeanor that everyone was used to had vanished.
He rushed towards Gu Yang and kissed him in front of numerous students and teachers.
Fortunately, Fan Yuan knew the limits. He only lightly pecked Gu Yang’s lips, then opened his arms and embraced Gu Yang tightly.
Gu Yang slightly tilted his head from within Fan Yuan’s embrace, facing the direction of Jiang Yanzhe’s window. He raised his arm high and gave a thumbs-up.
The students on the sports field had already surrounded Gu Yang and Fan Yuan, forming a circle. They excitedly whistled, clapped, and cheered for the two of them.
Those students who were still gathered around the windows in their classrooms were also extremely excited. Someone got too carried away and threw a textbook out of the window. This was followed by numerous exercise books and textbooks being thrown out as well. For a while, Shangshu High School was filled with cheers and shouts.
The seniors suddenly found solace in this silent, tense, and urgent time of their final year. The juniors and sophomores also began to yearn for the excitement of the third years, filled with struggle, hard work, and passionate endeavors.
Jiang Yanzhe stood at the window, hands covering his eyes tightly.
Tears rolled down his cheeks, and he choked up, saying, “I want to live, live properly…”
Zhuo Wan and the head teacher slowly retreated, leaving Jiang Yanzhe alone in the office.
Standing in the corridor, Zhuo Wan took a deep breath and looked at the stout head teacher.
“Head Teacher, I realize now that I had misunderstood you.”
The head teacher was adjusting his wig in front of the glass window. Upon hearing Zhuo Wan’s words, he paused for a moment but didn’t say anything.
Zhuo Wan walked up to the window, gazing at the chaotic scene caused by Gu Yang and Fan Yuan on the sports field. Her tone became light-hearted.
“I thought… you would punish them, not understand them.”
The head teacher cleared his throat, put down his hand, and turned around. His tone turned cold.
“When did I say I wouldn’t punish them? Look at what they’ve turned the other students in their classes into. Papers scattered everywhere! Tell them to pick up every single one they threw! I don’t want to see a single exam paper on the sports field! And Fan Yuan and Gu Yang, a three-thousand-word self-reflection each! Not a single word less!”
As soon as he finished speaking, the head teacher turned and walked away, his stout figure moving quickly.
After taking a few steps, he stopped again, without turning his head. He clenched his fist and coughed a couple of times, reminding Zhuo Wan, “You should also go to the infirmary and take care of yourself. Although you’re the homeroom teacher of the third years, you’re still a little girl who loves beauty.”
Zhuo Wan looked at the stout figure of the head teacher as he walked past the corner and disappeared. Her tense shoulders relaxed, and she leaned against the window.
It was said that the head teacher had been expelled from his previous school because he was too bothersome, too extreme in his actions, and offended influential people. But in Zhuo Wan’s eyes, it might not be the case.
He was simply too passionate about his work, had a peculiar temperament, and couldn’t tolerate any setbacks. That’s why he had harbored a grudge against Gu Yang for “obtaining a classroom through donations.” It was probably because he had offended people with privileges in his previous school.
Both Gu Yang and Fan Yuan could possess such privileges, and they could have easily driven this annoying head teacher out of Shangshu High School. But neither of them chose to do so.
Zhuo Wan turned her head and looked through the bright window at the lively scene below. The smile on her lips were reflected on the glass.
“Oh, youth, I would love to experience it again.”
Author’s note: Gu Yang: I have come to your world. I am Gu Yang from Class 1 of the third year.
Fan Yuan: I am… Fan Yuan, who needs Gu Yang.
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