When He Nuo arrived, he saw Shi Yan sitting at the usual place by himself so he thought the rest hadn’t arrived. He walked over to a spot that wasn’t very close to Shi Yan and sat down to wait.
“Why are you sitting so far away? Get over here!”
He Nuo walked over and sat beside him. Shi Yan turned and looked at him, but He Nuo continued looking straight ahead into the distance, his line of sight falling upon the vast, boundless rice fields. Shi Yan looked at this thin silhouette; a gentle breeze lifted his bangs, exposing He Nuo’s smooth forehead. The shoulder blades on his back protruded out sharply which made him look even more fragile. Shi Yan still remembered their fight in their first year; at that time, Shi Yan still had to use quite a bit of energy before he could subdue He Nuo (during the New Year’s party), but in their most recent scuffle, he had easily pinned He Nuo down. The previously still somewhat st.u.r.dy hand crumbled so easily, and yet I only realized during Monday’s physical education cla.s.s that he had such skinny arms – how could they not be weak and flimsy?
What is he looking at? Before them, there were only lush green wheat and rice crops swaying in the wind like rumbling waves; what is he thinking? Why isn’t he asking me why I called him over today? He Nuo is someone who likes simplicity, he understands the extent of his abilities and what he is capable of, he wasn’t the type to attempt worthless ventures – this was evident in how he didn’t bother debating with Shi Yan over changing the original agreement. Whether or not it was fortnightly or weekly, since he didn’t have the power to resist Shi Yan, the right to decide had never been in his hands to begin with. The most he could do was to minimize the harm done to himself as much as he could.
Shi Yan pulled that arm over, and He Nuo was so surprised he immediately pulled it back. Once again, Shi Yan put his vice-grip like hands to use and grabbed onto He Nuo tightly and pulled his sleeve up, then he stopped. He Nuo tried to stammer out some words but failed, so he could only lower his head.
“Why are you so stupid, it’s so hot (June), how can you wrap up this kind of injury?” Shi Yan tore away the cloth that was wrapped around He Nuo’s wound in circles, “Even if you’re scared that others would see it, aren’t you scared that your wound would rot and fester?”
Shi Yan thought that because the injury had been exposed during their physical education cla.s.s, He Nuo wanted to hide the wound. On the other hand, the He Nuo who was listening to Shi Yan’s reprimands had a shocked and relieved expression on his face. Shi Yan took the torn cloth off and angrily threw it to a side, then lifted He Nuo’s arm to take a closer look. Aside from the longest bruise on his arm, the other wounds left behind by either the stronger or weaker punches and kicks weren’t even close to how bad this one is. Shi Yan pressed on the edge of the terrible wound and heard a slight, sharp intake of breath.
He squatted in front of He Nuo, then he placed his hand at the bottom of his trousers to take a look, but He Nuo withdrew his leg, “Don’t.”
Shi Yan grabbed his ankle, “Just let me take a look.”
He pulled the trousers up, but there was another layer of pants, “What kind of season is it, and yet you’re still wearing two layers, don’t you feel hot?” Shi Yan pulled this layer up to, but there was another layer underneath!!!
“Why the f.u.c.k are you wearing so many layers, aren’t you scared of covering…” Shi Yan suddenly stopped mid sentence as a sudden realization hit him. He raised his head to look at He Nuo; He Nuo’s face was tinged with red and he nervously avoided Shi Yan’s gaze with shame. Shi Yan pulled He Nuo’s other hand over that hadn’t been whipped and pulled the sleeves up, and as he expected, it was wrapped with layers of cloth.
Shi Yan continued to hold onto the arm that was wrapped in cloth and neither of them spoke. In Shi Yan’s heart, an unfamiliar feeling appeared – it was something that he had never felt before in his life, something that he never thought existed, and right now, at this moment, he still didn’t know what it was – pity.
The He Nuo who had cheated and was apprehended on the spot cut a sorry figure, but surprisingly, he didn’t panic. He looked embarra.s.sed, yet he wasn’t afraid. According to common sense, if Shi Yan was cheated he would never let it go and would definitely take his revenge and punish him in a horrible manner, but he never thought of fearing such a consequence. Shi Yan remained silent for a long time and didn’t move, so He Nuo stood up by himself. Shi Yan continued squatting as he looked at He Nuo’s back; He Nuo bent down and took off the two outer layers of pants and the cloth around his hands, then looked a bit uncomfortable as he stood in front of Shi Yan and extended his hand.
Extending his hand – this was the signal to start the beating. Every time He Nuo came over, Shi Yan would be sitting at one side. He would let He Nuo come over to pull him up then send him flying with a kick, or kick him to the floor – this implied that the others could start taking their turns.
Shi Yan looked at the bony hand that was extended towards him, the blueish-green blood vessels, slender fingers and protruding joints; he grabbed He Nuo’s hand but didn’t exert any strength. He Nuo looked up in confusion, because Shi Yan didn’t grab his hand with a crushing grip as usual and pull him over for a kick. Their eyes met, and he didn’t see any fierceness in his eyes? No contempt? No malice? He Nuo was at a loss and thought he was dreaming, Shi Yan usually waited for him to pull him up then lazily looked from a side with eyes full of contempt and disgust. This kind of situation was really odd.
Shi Yan suddenly pulled on his hand lightly twice, “Sit down.”
He Nuo doubtfully sat down. Shi Yan rolled his trousers up to the base of his thigh, then rolled the other one up too. He Nuo pulled back slightly, but he was pressed down by Shi Yan’s pair of big hands. The He Nuo who had both his skinny legs exposed sat on the floor with his knees bent in embarra.s.sment. Each leg had three or four wounds similar to the one on his arm, but it was much more severe. There were even several types – big or small greenish-purple bruises, or discoloured dark yellow ones; they were scattered all over the place and were densely packed together, there was only a patch of intact, white skin preserved on his inner thigh. He Nuo looked away uncomfortable under Shi Yan’s inspection so he missed seeing Shi Yan extending a hand towards him.
When his shirt was lifted, He Nuo reacted immediately and instinctively moved Shi Yan’s hand away and pressed down on his shirt, then carefully looked at Shi Yan.
But Shi Yan had already seen the wounds of various colours that looked like it came from an ink and wash painting, “I’m just taking a look.” This time, there wasn’t a hint of order or arrogance in his tone, and even Shi Yan himself probably didn’t realize the underlying meaning behind his tone.
As he wished, he saw with his own eyes the battered body that was covered in wounds; He Nuo’s ribs were as clear as a washboard, and his thin body had numerous raised gooseb.u.mps because he felt nervous. The pile of cloth and trousers that had been thrown to a side made Shi Yan feel like there was a huge rock crushing his heart, making it hard for him to breathe. His throat was so tight he couldn’t speak and he only wanted to leave. He threw a small plastic bag down on the floor, then left without looking back.
TN: GASP, he has a heart!!!!