Chapter 29 - Inevitability
It was study hall, and Zhong Pinliang walked to Lin Yi’s seat. He tapped on the desk in an effort to intimidate him.
“What is it?” Lin Yi asked dully as he raised his head, a hint of impatience in his eyes.
Kang Xiaobo turned his head, having heard the exchange. Zhong Pinliang was simply not someone Lin Yi should be messing with.
“Come with me if you have balls.” Pinliang said, very full of himself.
“I’m studying, sorry.” Lin Yi replied as he turned his attention back to his math textbook.
“Scared now, are we? Pussy.” Zhong Pinliang said as he turned around, heading back to his seat. “You can’t run forever. I’ll be waiting after school.”
“Dude, how the hell did you manage to piss that guy off?!” Xiaobo whispered after Pinliang left. “He’s not someone you wanna be messing with, maybe there’s some kind of misunderstanding?”
Lin Yi could only smile bitterly. Misunderstanding..? Why would I ever wanna piss him off, it’s all because of Mengyao!
But that wasn’t something he could just say to Xiaobo. “It’s nothing. Probably because I stepped on Zhang Naipao when he tried to trip me, I guess.”
“Ah!” Xiaobo frowned, worried. “You won’t get away easy then, the guy never forgets. So Zhong Pinliang’s coming at you for his sake, huh..”
“It’s all the same to me, let them do what they want. We’re in school, there’s only so much he could do to me.” Lin Yi shrugged in response- Zhong Pinliang was still just a student, at the end of the day.
After all, there was that time where he went through a war, surviving under a sky of bullets on a daily basis. An enemy like Pinliang was nothing more than a kid to Lin Yi at this point- it was why he refrained from injuring Pinliang at all in the episode earlier, only pranking him a little instead.
The little delinquent would be sleeping in a coffin if Lin Yi decided to hit him for real.
“Only so much he could do to you..?” Xiaobo sighed. Lin Yi was a newcomer, and it was only natural for him to be ignorant of the situation around here. “Zhong Pinliang’s group rule this school, Lin Yi. Many of the students who cross them get beaten up so bad they take a few days off school!”
“That bad?” Lin Yi didn’t expect that from Zhong Pinliang- it was indeed a bit too cruel.
“That’s right! Man, I should’ve warned you sooner..!” Xiaobo sighed. “You’d probably be off the hook already if you said something nice when he confronted you just now, but……”
“But what?” Lin Yi asked interestedly.
“But it’s real complicated now!” Xiaobo replied suddenly. “What the hell’s with that Zhang Naipao, it’s just stepping on someone, what’s the big deal? And he’s the one who attacked you first… is he a freaking girl or something? He even looks like a girl, fuck! Pulling Zhong Pinliang out for something like this!”
“It’s fine, let them do what they want. Don’t worry man, I’m not that easy a target you know.” Lin Yi said with a pat on Xiaobo’s shoulder.
Xiaobo was about to say something, but decided otherwise instead.
The inevitable came right before the final ‘big class’ started, and Zhong Pinliang made his way to Lin Yi’s desk once more.
The ‘big class’ was a one and a half hour study hall, like in many other schools, starting thirty minutes after 4:30 pm, when school ended.
“Come with me if you’re a man.” Zhong Pinliang’s taunt had leveled up, it seemed, getting past ‘if you have balls’ already.
Lin Yi, naturally, was a man, but he wasn’t about to be insulted by a petty taunt like this. The guy seemed the type to never let go of him until things were concluded, and Lin Yi recognized that.
“Fine, I’ll come.” Lin Yi nodded as he stood up.
A lot of his classmates weren’t out of the room yet, and none of them missed the two instances where Zhong Pinliang visited Lin Yi’s desk. They all stared intently and gossiped among themselves the moment Lin Yi gave his consent, assuming that he didn’t understand how things worked around here, somehow managing to piss off the school’s conqueror.
Most of the students, however, pitied Lin Yi.
“I’ll come with you!” Xiaobo announced, as if he’d made a huge decision. Everyone turned to him as he stood.
It was quite the internal struggle- he’d just met Lin Yi today, but they got along well. A close friend was rare in the dry days of twelfth grade.
Zhong Pinliang was a big shot in the school, and he wasn’t someone Xiaobo was able to stand up to. All he could do at this point was stay on the sidelines and try his best to soften the conflict.
“The fuck? You’re tired of life, Kang Xiaobo, standing up for that shit!” Zhong Pinliang was enraged- a boy from his class going against him for some newcomer? It was an insult, an insult to his place in the class!!
The pressure thickened as Xiaobo stood in the center of everyone’s attention, but he didn’t back down. “Zhong Pinliang, Lin Yi’s new here- he doesn’t know the rules… give him a chance…”
“Woah, woah! Fucking lecturing me now, are you?! Who the fuck do you think you are?” Zhong Pinliang exploded. ‘Doesn’t know the rules?’ The guy fucking pissed all over him! He wasn’t about to forgive Xiaobo’s attitude toward what Lin Yi did to him. “Maybe you should come with us, since you’re such a hero? Fuck, I’ll change my fucking family name if I don’t take care of you two today!”
Xiaobo trembled slightly, his face pale- he had always been the good student type, and as much as a manly guy he was, he hadn’t so much as lay a punch on someone before!
Lin Yi didn’t need Xiaobo’s help, but was nevertheless very touched by the friendship he displayed. He reached out and patted his friend on the shoulder. “Don’t worry, let’s go together!”
Xiaobo’s courage revitalized upon hearing his words, convincing himself that it was just a simple beating, at most- it wasn’t a big deal. With that in mind, he puffed his chest up and followed Zhong Pinliang out to the school roof.
Xiaobo’s puffed up chest and heroic face only served to agitate Zhong Pinliang further, his teeth gritting in anger. The traitor had hell to pay.