take responsibility

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Either he slits his own throat.

Or Xia Zhiye dies by fire.

After all, if the idiot mentioned Madagascar one more time, either he or Xia Zhiye, one of them would disappear.

From here on, Song Yan pretended as if he had never met this person, shut off his phone, tossed it into his desk drawer, randomly picked out a worksheet, and left his new desk mate with the side profile of his cold and expressionless face.

This little desk mate was quite pretty, but it seems his temper was a bit bad.

Xia Zhiye soundlessly frowned, and didn’t say anything else.
He easily pulled out the seat near the aisle, sat down, and said to the student at the table in front: “Let me copy your homework.”

“Okay!” The little fatty in front respectfully pulled out a pile of worksheets, “Your Majesty, which subject would you like to peruse first?”

“Which subject is being collected first?”

“English, your majesty.”

“Then that one.”

“Yessir!”

The two echoed this familiar play, and it could be seen at a glance that they did this often.

Song Yan took a quick glance, and felt that this kind of idiotic buddy system probably couldn’t help the despot of No.3 Middle High.

But this peek was caught by Xia Zhiye, whose brain was one-sided, and with a smirk, said: “What is it, is it that your desk mate is super handsome?”

Song Yan coldly and heartlessly used a red pen to mark an ‘X’ in the worksheet: “I just feel that this kind of social brother1 also copies homework, is quite hard to come by.”

Xia Zhiye pondered over this “social brother” nickname, and chuckled: “After all, isn’t it just loving the job I took up? As a student, I shouldn’t disrespect the teachers, doesn’t that make sense?”

Seems quite arrogant.

Song Yan nearly wanted to give him a little red flower2.

Although Shen Jiayan’s list of dangerous people was filled with nonsense, it got one thing right – that is to stay far away from Xia Zhiye.

After all, it’s common knowledge that being crazy has the phenomena of person to person transmission.

And he has no desire to ruin his brain at a young age.

.

Generally speaking, the afternoon on the first day of school was usually left for students to revise their homework.
Although the admissions rate at Nan Wu’s No.3 Middle High was not high, there was quite a bit of homework assigned.

For the entire afternoon, the Xia Zhiye who was busy giving teachers respect could be considered to be quiet.

Song Yan also took out the worksheets that Shen Jiayan sent over and also completed them.

Just as he finished, Ruan Tian appeared at the doorway: “Students, I’m here to make a few announcements.”

Everyone was busy revising their homework, and no one paid attention to her.

Ruan Tian also appeared to be used to it, and stood at the podium: “The first announcement is that tomorrow morning, the class activity fee of 80 yuan is to be collected.
Hand it over to the sports committee member.
The second announcement is that I have two pieces of good news, which do you want to hear first?”

Still, no one paid her any attention.

“Then I’ll first say the somewhat good news first.
Because remedial lessons will continue until September, there will be no mid-semester break.
So to alleviate everyone’s burdens, the school has decided that from now until September 1st, all the second years do not have to attend morning and evening self study.”

There was a short period of silence.

“Fuck! I didn’t hear wrong, right? The school is finally acting like a person?!”

“Tian mei3 is the most beautiful woman! Long live Tian mei!”

“Then Tian mei, what’s the not so good piece of news then?”

The originally listless classroom became lively once more.

Ruan Tian smiled sweetly: “The not so good news is that at the end of the month, we will hold a grand and ceremonious joint examination with No.5 Middle High, No.8 Middle High, No.11 Middle High, and No.24 Middle High.”

The audience that just came to life swiftly died in an instant.

“Aw, don’t be like this.” Ruan Tian added a few words, “To encourage everyone’s enthusiasm for the test this time, the school specifically set aside a small scholarship with the intention of rewarding the students who rank in the top ten in the joint entrance examination, as well as a prize for the most improved student.
Everyone, cheer up!”

Everyone died a little more inside.

They were not to blame, No.3 Middle High’s level of education was just at this level.
Aside from the unprecedented situation of the student who broke into the top ten last year, every year the top ten scorers were usually divided up into students from No.5 Middle High and No.11 Middle High.
So no matter how much money was set aside for them, it had nothing to do with them.

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As for the most improved award, everyone knew what they spent their time on during the summer break.
To not do worse than before would already be considered an extrajudicial act of great fortune from Buddha, how could they ask for anything more.

Ruan Tian was exasperated: “Forget it, you guys play it by ear then.
Today’s self study is now over.
Tomorrow morning, the teachers for each subject will examine all the homework.
You all should revise what you should revise.
If you really can’t complete it all, leave English homework for last, okay?

“O……k……ay……”

“Look at you guys playing dead.
Class is dismissed.”

“Aw yeah! Time to eat! Let’s go!”

The classroom immediately became deserted, leaving behind Ruan Tian at the very front of the classroom, and Song Yan and Xia Zhiye at the very back of the classroom.

From beginning to end, Xia Zhiye declined four or five people’s invitation to dinner, and leaned his head to look at Song Yan: “This international friend from Madagascar, how about I treat you to dinner?”

Song Yan’s face remained unperturbed as he packed his bag: “If you say that word again, I have no qualms with peeling off your tongue and shipping it off to a desert in Madagascar to pin onto a cactus to expose it to 7 days and 7 nights of scorching sunlight.”

“……”

It was clear that no one would dare to speak to this society brother like this normally, and Xia Zhiye’s expression showed a bit of shock.

“So please move aside.”

Song Yan carried his backpack and stood up, and with a downward gaze, looked at No.3 Middle High’s little tyrant next to him with an oppressive expression as if saying  “if you provoke laozi again, laozi can’t promise not doing anything to you.”

Xia Zhiye slightly raised his head, held eye contact with him for three seconds, and then leisurely spit out three words: “You’re so fierce.”

Song Yan: “……”

Mhm fuck you, my fist is ready to go4.

He was just about to throw out Xia Zhiye and the chair he was sitting on along with him, as he was blocking the exit to his seat, when Ruan Tian, who was still standing at the podium, said: “How come the two of you are still here?”

Xia Zhiye turned his head, and leisurely replied: “Reporting to the teacher, earlier this afternoon, student Song Yan helped me out with a big problem, so I want to treat him to dinner to express my gratitude.”

“Ah, so it’s like that.” Ruan Tian’s face was as if she were suddenly enlightened, “Then student Song Yan should quickly go.
It just so happens that you can seize the opportunity to strengthen the bonds of friendship, cultivate a good relationship, and a tacit understanding.
The joint examination’s grades are all up to you, fighting!”

Song Yan: “……”

Who the fuck wants to strengthen the bonds of friendship with this idiot.

.

Under the force of Ruan Tian herself exiting the school with them, Song Yan could only agree with a paralyzed face.

The old street at dusk was much more pleasing to the eye.

Though it was just as crowded and noisy, each storefront lit up lights, and grilled lobster was arranged abundantly at each stall.
Once the food entered the pot, a burst of smoke and oil arose, and an array of spices and herbs could be smelled in the air at once.
With the people all shouting with laughter or with anger, the street appeared much brighter and lovable.

Xia Zhiye asked: “You probably never ate at this kind of place before.”

Song Yan didn’t reply.

Because he really had not come to this kind of place to eat before.

Although his mother died early, and his father detested him, with regards to his material life, he had lived lavishly for as long as he could remember, particularly as he grew with age.
The more Song Minghai worked, the bigger his business grew, and in the inner city of Beijing, he could be considered a bonafide rich second generation.

It wasn’t as if he looked down on these kinds of places, it was purely because he had no chance to visit.

Xia Zhiye saw his expression, guessed that he was probably right, and lazily threw his hand on his shoulder: “Fine, then today I’ll treat you to a big meal, and let you see what it means to have a master among the people.”

In the next second, his claws were forcefully pushed off: “Don’t fucking mess with me.”

“We’re all brothers, what’s wrong with putting my arm on your shoulder.”

“Who the fuck is your brother.”

“We fought together, stood in the rain together, met each other’s parents together, told lies together, and we still aren’t considered brothers?”

“……”

Song Yan unexpectedly could not refute this for a short period of time.

So this brother took him back and forth through the crowds of the old-fashioned street, took seven or eight turns, and walked uphill and downhill.

Finally stopping at a trolley hidden from the street: “Auntie, two big bowls of mixed pea noodles, and another big bowl of wolftooth potatoes5.”

Song Yan: “?”

If he saw correctly, the roof of the cart was approximately 1 meter wide, with a coal furnace arranged next to it and a large pot was placed on top of the furnace.
Two collapsible tables were set out along with a few stools, and then that was it.

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Song Yan: “Big meal?”

Xia Zhiye: “This bowl isn’t big enough?”

Song Yan: “……”

It really was big, almost as big as Song Yan’s face.

The minced meat was spread thickly, the red chili oil was spread generously, the wolftooth potatoes were fried a golden brown and sprinkled with cumin and chili flakes.
Everything smelled particularly fragrant.

The woman selling the noodles was thin and appeared out of place, and her eyes were so large they appeared to be bulging.
When she was serving up the noodles, she energetically gestured something at Xia Zhiye, and her face was full of an honest and joyful smile.

Xia Zhiye handed the money to her, but she was unwilling to take it, and she pushed it away desperately.
At the end, it wasn’t until Xia Zhiye said “If you keep acting like this, I won’t come back” that she reluctantly took the money, and continued on to help the other guests.

Meanwhile Song Yan had already used a few tissues to wipe the table and stools three times.

“Be careful.” Xia Zhiye carelessly tossed his bag to the ground, pulled apart the one time use chopsticks and handed it over to Song Yan, “Try it.”

Song Yan really had no way of understanding why this person took him around for the better part of the day, just to bring him to eat a bowl of noodles at this corner street cart that may or may not have a business license.

But he also wouldn’t go so far as to unreasonably throw a tantrum like a young master.

After taking the chopsticks, he then took a bite of the noodles.
The noodles were both tender and slippery and the minced meat was salted perfectly.
The taste was unexpectedly pretty good.

However even if it tasted good, it still wasn’t worth the nearly ten minute walk to eat a bowl, so he felt that Xia Zhiye was more or less a little crazy, and he just wanted to quickly finish eating and leave this person.

But there’s a saying that “things turn out contrary to what one’s wishes.”

Meanwhile there is also another saying, “enemies meet on a narrow road.”

The two sat behind the trolley near the edge of the steps minding their own business and eating their noodles when they heard a familiar sound spoiling the mood.

“Yo, lady boss, your business is booming.”

“Wu wu, wu wu wu.”

“Stop gesturing, we can’t even understand it.
Just take out the money.”

“Wu wu wu!”

“Why are you making so much noise, you opening this kind of noodle stand used quite a bit of our boss’s benefits, no? Otherwise how could a mute girl like you open a stand? We’re just collecting your protection fee and you’re still unhappy, don’t you understand having a sense of…… Fuck! Who threw those chopsticks!”

“Sorry, it slipped out of my hands.”

Xia Zhiye wiped his hands, turned around, and with raised eyes, looked at the other, giving off the appearance that he was both undisciplined, and hard to provoke.

That group of previously arrogant feather dusters stared blankly.

After three seconds.

“Fuck! Xia Zhiye! Why the fuck are you everywhere!”

The red haired chicken was close to having a breakdown, and even that place that cannot be named already began having ghost pains.

Xia Zhiye earnestly replied: “It’s probably destiny.”

“What fucking destiny!” The red haired chicken held up a small knife and pointed it at them, howling aggressively, “Laozi won’t bother about the stuff this afternoon, but this time it has nothing to do with you, stop meddling, or else don’t blame me for being rude!”

If he hadn’t seen this group of people flee in defeat earlier today, Song Yan probably would have been intimidated.

But that scene was just too profound, to the extent that there was not even a little sense of fear or anxiety.
He simply put down his chopsticks apathetically, took out his phone, and prepared to dial 110.

Yet Xia Zhiye pressed down on his wrist.

Song Yan raised his eyes: “This is a lawful society.”

Xia Zhiye’s face was filled with deep emotion: “I know.
But this stall doesn’t have a business license.”

Song Yan: “……”

Turns out it really didn’t have a fucking business license.

If he did call the police, perhaps even the pot would be taken away and the mute girl’s way to make a living would be broken off.

Song Yan could not do something like that.

So without changing his expression, he changed Shen Jiayan’s name to 110, and then dialed it: “Hello, is this 110, I want to report something to the police.”

Shen Jiayan on the other side of the phone: “?”

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The feather duster on this side of the phone: “??”

“Bro! He actually called the police!”

“Young people rarely have any virtue!”

The feather duster first to react threw himself over, preparing to snatch Song Yan’s phone.

Song Yan reacted extremely quickly, raised his phone high while standing up and walked backwards.

But his foot accidentally stepped on air next to the edge of the steps, and he twisted his ankle.
He instantly sucked in a breath of cold air, and his complexion changed.

Upon seeing this, Xia Zhiye said nothing, stood up, grabbed the stool and ruthlessly smacked it at the head of the person who was trying to grab the cellphone.

A sound echoed, and that person painfully covered his head and fell to the ground.

Xia Zhiye stood next to him, and a light glinted from the corner of his eye.
He lazily swept his gaze over the others: “Anyone else?”

Fresh blood dripped down from the stool onto the ground, a sharp contrast to the pale and slim fingers, somewhat shocking to see.

Everyone else: “……”

Didn’t really dare.

“If you don’t dare to continue, then you should take advantage of the fact that we didn’t tell the police the address yet and run, or else we won’t let you off easily.” The youth’s voice was relaxed and lackadaisical, but it wasn’t hard to hear the cold and ruthless meaning in his words.

Unlike the previous casual attitude towards fighting, the Xia Zhiye this time seemed to take it more seriously.

In addition to the fact that there were more passerbys, making a big fuss would also benefit no one.
The red haired chicken considered it for a moment, grinded his teeth: “I’ll let you off today, we’ll talk about this debt later.
Let’s go, brothers.”

The group of people quickly disappeared into the crowd on the street.

Xia Zhiye tossed aside the stool, then walked to Song Yan and kneeled down.
He reached his hand out to roll up the cuffs of Song Yan’s pants.
Song Yan wanted to avoid it, but Xia Zhiye’s hand lightly gripped his ankle.

The youth’s excessively thin ankle bone chafed the hollow of his palm, giving off a sense of fragility.

Xia Zhiye’s fingertip caressed the area: “It’s swollen, I’ll take you to the hospital.”

Song Yan extracted his ankle: “No need, I’ll go by myself.”

Xia Zhiye raised his head to look at him: “How are you going to go by yourself?”

“Take a cab.”

“What kind of cab do you think can drive in here?”

“……”

Seeing the defeat on the face of the young master, Xia Zhiye couldn’t help but lightly laugh: “Don’t worry little class mate.
I’ll take responsibility of you.
So would you rather be carried like a baby, or a princess carry?”

Song Yan’s face was apathetic: “I’d rather die.”

.

Such a pretty little classmate, there’s no way he should be left to die.
Ultimately, Song Yan was forcefully carried by Xia Zhiye to the curb, and a cab was called to take them to the hospital.

It was already very late at night by the time they returned to the dorms.

The dorm auntie saw Song Yan’s leg in a cast at once, and couldn’t hold back her cry of alarm: “Aiyah, how did this happen? Is it serious?”

Song Yan leaned on his crutch: “No need, it’s not serious.”

It really was not serious, it was just an ankle ligament strain, and wasn’t that serious.
He just needed to put on a cast, recuperate for two weeks, and take anti-swelling and anti-inflammatory medications, and he would be fine.

It’s just that once this kind of beautiful and clean young master gets hurt, it particularly attracts one’s sympathy, and the aunty was exceedingly distressed looking at the injury.
She glared at Xia Zhiye with a look of “blaming the scumbag”: “Did you do this?”

Xia Zhiye did not hesitate: “Yeah, it’s my problem.”

The aunty gained enthusiasm: “I knew it! Let me tell you, it doesn’t matter if you’re wild by yourself, but don’t provoke the new student, okay? But seeing as you already attracted trouble, then you should man up, and take responsibility.
You must properly take care of others, do you understand?

Xia Zhiye nodded: “Aunty, don’t worry.
I will be responsible for Song Yan.”

The aunty was satisfied: “That’s about right.
Then you guys hurry up and rest, and sleep early.
Don’t rely on your youth to play around in the middle of the night, you heard me?”

Xia Zhiye nodded once again: “Mm, I got it.
I won’t play around with him at night.”

The aunty looked over at Song Yan again: “And you?”

Song Yan: “……”

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He didn’t know why the more he listened to this conversation the more he felt something was wrong, so he didn’t really want to partake in the conversation.

But the aunt’s concern was obvious and difficult to refuse, so he could only harden his scalp: “I got it.”

The aunty could then be considered fully satisfied, and proceeded to leave.

Xia Zhiye tilted his head to look at Song Yan, and laughed ambiguously: “Come, classmate Song Yan, to take responsibility for you, shall I hug you up the stairs?”

Song Yan coolly tossed out two words: “Fuck off.”

He then leaned on his crutch and prepared to rely on his own efforts to climb up Nan Wu’s No.3 Middle High’s dorm’s insurmountable height of six storeys.

But while climbing up the first step, a “ka-cha” could be heard, and the ancient, hospital-provided, wooden crutch cracked apart with a sound of defeat.

Song Yan: “……”

Xia Zhiye: “……”

Later, Xia Zhiye completely could not hold back and laughed out loud: “Okay, I won’t tease you anymore.
Which room, I’ll help you up.”

Song Yan woodenly tossed aside the crutch: “616.”

Xia Zhiye raised his eyebrow: “The room number’s not bad, pretty lucky.”

Lucky my ass.

If he were really lucky, it was unlikely for him to be this unfortunate.

Song Yan had on a sour expression, as if he were mourning a deceased mother or father, and accepted Xia Zhiye’s proffered arm.
While borrowing the other’s strength, the pair of one a lame and the other a crutch, walked up to the sixth floor.

It is reasonable to say that this entire fiasco wasn’t entirely Xia Zhiye’s fault.

After all, the other just wanted to treat him to a meal, and didn’t expect to meet the group of little gangsters.
After meeting the gangsters, it was also himself who thought to call the police which subsequently attracted the gangsters’ ire, and caused him to sprain his ankle.

In this entire situation, there was no fault in Xia Zhiye’s subjective desires at all.

But Song Yan felt that he and Xia Zhiye’s characters were likely innately incompatible, otherwise it would be unlikely that their first meeting was followed by a fight, nor would he make himself temporarily disabled.

Also, this person’s brain seemed to have some issues.

So with the instinct to cherish his life and IQ, Song Yan decided that the farther away he was from Xia Zhiye, the better it was.

It would be best if they could live and die without any further contact.

Or else he was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to hold back, resulting in a fatality.

While thinking, they arrived at the door of room 616.
Song Yan took his bag back from Xia Zhiye’s hand, and coldly saw him out: “We’re here.
Thanks.
Take care.
See yourself out.”

But Xia Zhiye stood in the same spot, unmoving.

Song Yan impatiently raised his eyes, and pushed down his irritability: “You don’t need to go back and sleep?”

Xia Zhiye lowered his head and looked at him: “I want to go back and sleep, but……”

“Spit it out.”

“The door is blocked.”

“?”

“I also can’t manhandle an injured person.”

“……”

“So would you mind moving a bit, let me open the honorable door to 616 and then discuss this?”

“…………”

Open what, Song Yan wanted to directly burn down the door.

notes:

1.
Social brother (社会哥), a term of irony meant for someone who acts vulgarly or who have poor disposition but act arrogantly

2.
Giving little red flowers to applaud someone for being brave/doing something praise-worthy

3.
Mei = 妹 = younger sister; in this case the students are praising RT as being young; they are also acting rather casually with their teacher here

4.
In Chinese it’s 拳头硬了, and is a meme (here), similar to the Arthur fist meme (see here)

5. Mixed pea noodles (豌杂面) and wolftooth potatoes (狼牙土豆)

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