No one said anything or showed any kind of resentment. No one could tell if they had any thoughts on it, or they just kept quiet because He Nuo had always been a very plain, honest and quiet boy.
Shi Yan grabbed a sweet and stuffed it into his hand, “It’s okay even if you didn’t bring anything, but at least eat something. We’re all part of the same group, if you didn’t bring anything then just eat what the others had brought.” Shi Yan said generously, though he had purposely mentioned that He Nuo “didn’t bring” food rather than he “didn’t know” he had to bring food.
He Nuo heard the hidden meaning behind his words, but he did think that he was in the wrong so he just accepted the sweet and thanked Shi Yan. After awhile, he made sure that no one was looking before putting the sweet back onto the table. But a hand suddenly grabbed him out of nowhere. It was Shi Yan.
Shi Yan was incensed. He had made some trouble for He Nuo, so he gave a sweet in return as a small compensation, akin to giving a kid a sweet treat after slapping him. But he had caught He Nuo putting the sweet back. This guy was really showing him utter contempt time and time again.
Shi Yan had to upkeep his reputation in front of his cla.s.smates, so he grabbed He Nuo’s hand tightly and pulled it underneath the table. His grip was so tight that He Nuo winced in pain. He Nuo still didn’t understand what was up with Shi Yan, so he looked at him with a confused look. This kind of look in Shi Yan’s eyes was filled with provocation. Shi Yan’s other free hand took another sweet with its wrapper still intact and placed it against He Nuo’s lips. He smiled happily as he said, “This sweet is super good, it has a filling.” but his grip tightened underneath the table, and he said in a voice that only He Nuo could hear, “If Laozi wants you to eat, then you better eat up!”
He Nuo knew he was in trouble. He usually doesn’t eat sweets, but this couldn’t be used as a reason anymore. The He Nuo who wanted to placate Shi Yan replied nicely, “Thank you, but my teeth aren’t really good, so I don’t eat sweets.”
If Shi Yan had accepted that excuse, then he wouldn’t be Shi Yan anymore. At this moment, even if He Nuo had told Shi Yan the true reason behind why he doesn’t eat sweets, Shi Yan wouldn’t believe him. The only thing Shi Yan wanted was for He Nuo to eat the d.a.m.n sweet, which would indicate He Nuo’s subordination to him. So he ignored He Nuo’s words and just stuffed the sweet into his mouth, and He Nuo naturally moved his head aside to avoid him. Shi Yan couldn’t be bothered with the upkeep of his reputation anymore, he used both his hands – one hand grabbed He Nuo’s head and pushed him against the chair to prevent him from escaping while his body pressed up against He Nuo and his other hand chased He Nuo’s mouth. Because Shi Yan still had a smile on his face, their cla.s.smates thought the two of them were just playing around. Shi Yan was stronger than He Nuo, but He Nuo’s hands had gone through arduous training – from his long years of scrubbing clothes on the washing board – so it wasn’t easy for Shi Yan to subdue him either.
He Nuo was about to escape from their scuffle, but it just made Shi Yan feel even more indignant so he whispered nastily, “You’re a little f.u.c.ker who doesn’t even know how to appreciate favours when it’s thrown into your face, Laozi will definitely teach a b.a.s.t.a.r.d like you some manners.” His leg then tripped He Nuo underneath the table and he used his hand to elbow He Nuo in his abdomen. He Nuo had been avoiding him, but he never tried to hurt Shi Yan. When Shi Yan’s elbow landed on his abdomen, the blow was so painful that He Nuo recoiled and a feeling of nausea arose within him. His movements slowed, and Shi Yan took the chance to stuff a sweet with its wrapper into He Nuo’s mouth. Maybe it was because Shi Yan was really angry, but his finger had even ruthlessly pushed the sweet down his throat. He Nuo raised his head and arched back so much his chair was dangling by its back legs. He felt horrid and grabbed Shi Yan’s hand, though he couldn’t struggle out of this situation.
Waves of nausea came and went within He Nuo so in self-defence, he lifted his leg up with the intention of kicking Shi Yan away, but he had bad aim and kicked the base of Shi Yan’s thigh1. Shi Yan was kicked onto the table behind him by this unexpectedly powerful kick; the cans, bottles and plates slid off the table and Shi Yan landed right onto them. During the North’s winter, the cla.s.sroom kept warm pretty well and the window cracks were sealed, so the temperature within the cla.s.sroom wouldn’t go below 20 degrees. In the cla.s.sroom, the students had taken off their jackets and only wore a sweater. Also, since the students did a lot of singing and dancing today, most of them had even taken off their sweaters and only wore a shirt, and Shi Yan was one of them. Without the protection of his thick clothes, his arm that had cushioned his fall was pierced by the broken shards of gla.s.s that were remnants of the fallen cans and bottles. Unluckily, his hand landed right onto a few gla.s.s shards and immediately bled.
On the other hand, He Nuo had also fallen over because his chair had lost the heavy weight that was pressing on it. But he quickly stood up and wanted to check if Shi Yan was okay, though the other students had already gone over to support Shi Yan. Some of the girls even called out, “He’s bleeding, he’s bleeding, hurry and bring him to the infirmary.” while some students hurriedly picked up his sweater and jacket. The teacher was afraid that a few pieces of gla.s.s had lodged into his arm which could not be handled by the school’s infirmary, so he wanted them to head over to the hospital and wash the gla.s.s shards out. Shi Yan smiled and said that he was fine, that it wasn’t anything serious. He wore his jacket but didn’t slip his injured arm through its sleeves and left for the hospital with a few of his cla.s.smates. But before he left, his glance that had swept over He Nuo was fierce and malicious.
The rest continued partying. The students chastised He Nuo for carrying his joke too far – how could he kick a friend? Even his teacher scolded him a little. He Nuo didn’t try to deny anything – he was also in disbelief as to how he could have actually hurt someone. Also, he felt uneasy. The malicious intent that flowed from Shi Yan’s eyes as he left implied that he wouldn’t let this go easily. Even if He Nuo was deaf or mute, he would still know that Shi Yan was not the upright person everyone saw in their eyes; he was not the kind of person He Nuo should provoke, nor someone He Nuo could provoke.
He returned home absent-mindedly, and was still thinking of how he would go to school tomorrow and apologise to Shi Yan. In the future, he would try his best to avoid Shi Yan as much as he could. Originally they didn’t have many opportunities to interact, so conflicts would be unlikely to arise anyway. If he was a little more sincere, Shi Yan shouldn’t be too harsh on him…probably. After all, he had never really offended Shi Yan before. After He Nuo thought it through, he felt a bit more at ease and ate his dinner in peace.
He Nuo definitely couldn’t have imagined the repercussions of this incident. If he had the ability to foresee the future, even if Shi Yan had thrown the sweet onto the floor like the cigarette b.u.t.t from before, he would have picked it up; he would have allowed Shi Yan to stuff the sweet right through his nose and he still wouldn’t have hesitated to eat it.