The classroom was mostly empty when Ruan An’an got there.
Gu Jue was one of its few occupants.
He sat in their usual spot, wearing all black.
He was lying on the desk, facing the wall, likely napping.
Ruan An’an lightly treaded over and sat down beside him, unable to stop herself from touching his hair that was merely inches away.
Her eyes grew wide with pleasant surprise.
His hair was shapely but had a super soft texture.
It felt heavenly under her fingers, not to mention it also smelled great.
He always had a strand of hair stuck up the wrong way whenever they had a morning class.
Ruan An’an had wanted to touch it for a while.
She licking her lips and trying to be as gentle as possible, she poked the stubborn strand that stood out from the rest.
Then, she opened her palm to rub it.
It was like petting a cat – soft and addictive.
She hadn’t had nearly enough when her hand was stopped by the owner of the hair.
Gu Jue, only then, slowly sat up and lifted his head.
The couple stared at each other.
Moments later, “You… didn’t sleep well last night?”
It was obvious.
His skin was so pale, even the faintest dark circles would show up.
At least his looks were good enough that his under-eye circles didn’t detract from his beauty, but instead, made him look handsomely lethargic.
“Of course not.” Gu Jue’s voice was extra nasally, and while lacking the usual clearness, it was a different type of alluring.
He let out a long sigh, his face full of disappointment, “How can I sleep well without my girlfriend?”
Ruan An’an realized for the first time that there were different tiers to his flirting.
From the time when he lied about not having money for the bubble tea to add her on WeChat then immediately coming clean about it, to that “I’m already lying down”… Ruan An’an only felt “omg this is so sweet, he’s so good at flirting, my heart is beating too fast, omg I love this guy.”
But after they started dating, there was stuff like “first kiss and first…”, “if you want to look, your boyfriend can strip for you”, or now… “I can’t sleep without my girlfriend.”
… This had to be beyond advanced-level flirting.
Ruan An’an was about to retort with “how did you sleep during the 20 years of being single” when a familiar voice sounded.
“Stop thinking about it, Dove.
Haven’t you been disillusioned? Why are you still making the long face? Don’t tell me you’re over him yet.”
Dove was the nickname Qiu Yan’s childhood friends had for her, being a pun on her name.
TL/N: the “Yan” in her name is a homonym of “swallow”, but I thought “Dove” sounded better as a nickname
Then, came Qiu Yan’s reply: “Not over him? Don’t be absurd! I’m just mad at myself for liking a scumbag!”
Liking a scumbag?
Ruan An’an immediately lost interest in retorting Gu Jue, and turned to ask, “What’s wrong, Qiu Yan?”
Lian Hao answered for her, “our baby was young and naïve, and fell for a scum.”
Chen Song added, “Can’t blame her though.
It’s mainly cuz he was good at deceiving girls.”
Ruan An’an was stunned, “She got deceived?”
“No, I stepped away before anything serious.” Qiu Yan said with her face in her hands.
“They’re exaggerating it.
I wasn’t that young; it was in our 1st year.
That person was a leader in the Student Government, and I was working under him.
We started talking on WeChat as soon as we added each other, and I thought he was into me.
Then, I found out he was also chatting with like twenty others in our department… like the flirty kind of chatting.”
“I stopped liking him long ago, but we ran into him just now, and he was saying hi to me so naturally… like, I did once idolize him, now it just feels wrong…”
“In short,” Chen Song concluded, “She wanted to be his one and only; turned out she was his one of many.”
Ruan An’an: …
I didn’t know you could be this witty.
Ruan An’an was amazed by Chen Song’s little quip.
She only managed to speak after a few seconds, “So, you never confessed to him.
You were just chatting, and found…”
It was Qiu Yan who answered this time, “I realized that he was treating everyone like that.
He liked them as long as they were female.
If you look nice, he’d pile compliments on you.
If you don’t, he’ll find something to compliment you on.
That’s not a sweet guy anymore, that’s the main character in a harem anime.”
“…” Ruan An’an didn’t know how to comfort her when she was this logical about it.
“You looked deflated, and I thought you still had feelings for him.” Lian Hao commented.
“Didn’t they say the best way to end a relationship is with a new one? Why not pick one of your suitors to date? I think the Sports Committee member is great.”
“Lian Hao is right.
It is fact.” Ruan An’an agreed, “And Sports Committee is a good guy.”
Qiu Yan heard the Sports Committee member being mentioned and her expression changed.
Ruan An’an noticed there must be something going on and wanted to prod some more, when the person who had been quiet the whole time suddenly spoke.
“… How do you know it’s a fact?”
Ruan An’an turned to see Gu Jue squinting his eyes, looking unfriendly.
“Huh?” She was confused.
Gu Jue repeated with a twisted smile, “The best way to end a relationship is with a new one? The truth?”
Ruan An’an was completely lost, “This phrase… it’s popular on the internet, don’t you know?”
Gu Jue stared at her for several seconds and muttered a “I didn’t know”.
He dug a candy out of his jacket to give to her, and left it at that.
Even though it was back to normal after.
But Ruan An’an could tell there was something wrong with Gu Jue today with that questioning rhetoric.
For the three days that followed, there was always something off about him.
It was fine most of the time, and nothing seemed off when they ate together.
It was only when the topic of unrequited feelings or past relationships came up that he became sardonic.
Recently, Ruan An’an had been extra keen on Qiu Yan and the Sports Committee member.
She learned that the Sports Committee member had secretly crushed on Qiu Yan for over 2 years but wasn’t brave enough to confess to her, only letting it slip when he got drunk this 3rd year.
It was another period of mock competition.
Hope of the Towns was, without a doubt, the top team again.
The couple was chatting before they started their reviewing session.
Ruan An’an was moved by the Sports Committee member’s sincerity.
Plus, it looked like Qiu Yan also felt something for him.
She exclaimed to Gu Jue about how wonderful it would be if those two ended up together.
It would be a beautiful love story that blossomed from unrequited love.
“Make a move if you like them.” Gu Jue rebutted her, “What’s the use of liking someone secretly? You’ll only lose them when they weren’t even aware of you.”
“…?” Ruan An’an nudged him, “Sports Committee is your fan, and you torture him on a daily basis.
Can’t you just hope the best for him? Crushes becoming real is definitely a great love story.”
Crushes becoming real.
Gu Jue sneered.
He asked, “You mentioned last time about a high school crush…” He paused, regretting bringing up this topic, but it was too late to take it back.
“Was he your classmate?”
“Not a classmate.” Ruan An’an shook her head, “Speaking of, back then, we were totally different groups of people.” She thought back to the exaggerated and melodramatic rumors and laughed at her childish self.
“He was also a School Boss.”
Gu Jue, who had beaten up all the other School Bosses in Qing Cheng: …
Now that she mentioned it, Gu Jue was suddenly reminded of the existence of a School Boss at Ruan An’an’s high school at the time.
They were in the same year, terrible at fighting but loved to brag.
Gu Jue had beaten up so many people that it was impossible to remember his name or appearance.
All he could recall was that the boy had a fair number of fangirls.
He forgot how they got physical too, but “too weak” was probably enough to summarize the whole story.
Ruan An’an had been very clear: high school, well-known School Boss.
It must have been him.
Gu Jue ground his teeth.
… F̲u̲c̲k̲, it really was that f̲u̲c̲k̲e̲r̲.
Why didn’t I beat him to a pulp back then???
The mystery that had plagued him for days was finally solved… but the answer was terribly unsatisfying for him, and he needed somewhere to vent.
“Stop zoning out.” Ruan An’an waved her hand in front of his face, “We’re starting.”
“…” Gu Jue snapped out and eyed his screen, which was displaying the final liquidations of assets.
Doing the reviews required to retrograde through all the steps.
He felt his emotions were interfering with his attention and focus right now.
He took out his phone and sent a “we’re going for drinks” in the group chat.
Getting up, he said, “I have something today…”
Ruan An’an could do the reviews herself, but it’ll just take longer.
She moved away from the desk and asked naturally, “Is it the tutoring?”
“Oh, go ahead then,” she let go of his hand after squeezing it, as a gesture of sendoff.
Gu Jue felt his phone buzz.
He didn’t bother to check.
It was probably someone replying in the group chat.
He leaned close and pecked Ruan An’an on the cheek.
Ruan An’an didn’t shy away in time.
A team sitting close by witnessed the interaction and sounds of teasing soon filled the classroom.
Ruan An’an was still not used to displaying intimacy publicly.
She pushed Gu Jue with a reddened face, “Hurry, go… I’ll see you tomorrow.”
There were three “sons” in the group chat.
One had a work meeting; another had a romantic meeting.
The lone Xue Zhao cursed all the while on his way.
The pair found a spot by the bar.
Xue Zhao felt complicated after Gu Jue explained his predicament.
“To be honest, when I got cheated on last time, it was with that girl’s high school crush who came back…”
Gu Jue lifted his eyes, “Then she ran off with said crush?”
Xue Zhao: “Yeah! You agree, right? It’s so s̲h̲i̲t̲t̲y̲! Like, f̲u̲c̲k̲i̲n̲g̲…”
“…” Gu Jue decided to have some empathy and nodded, “Yes, very.”
Xue Zhao rarely agreed on anything with a certain dog-disguised-as-man, so he was stunned, then took a good look at Gu Jue.
“You really mind this?” Xue Zhao was perplexed, “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your girlfriend.
She wasn’t trying to hide it, so there must be nothing to hide.
Unlike mine… f̲u̲c̲k̲i̲n̲g̲.”
Getting angry again, he downed his drink.
“Plus,” Xue Zhao poured himself some more, “It’s all in the past for her.
Why would you bring it up yourself? Are you looking for pain? Are you dumb?”
Yeah, am I dumb?
Gu Jue stared at his glass, suddenly regretting his question from this afternoon.
“The person she was talking about… I might know him…”
Xue Zhao’s eyes grew wide, “Oh f̲u̲c̲k̲, who?”
Gu Jue: “An idiot.”
Two minutes of silence as they each downed another glass.
Hiccupping, Xue Zhao said, “But there’s no need to get hung up on this, right? It’s nitpicky.”
Although Xue Zhao didn’t want to admit, he had to say it.
“I was partly responsible for getting cheated on.
I’ve gotta admit, you are still… a little better than me.”
“Not just a little.
Like 100 Zhou Chenchu’s better.” Gu Jue’s eyes remained on his glass as he downed another.
“Don’t toot your own horn whenever you see a chance.”
Xue Zhao: “You f̲u̲c̲k̲e̲r̲… I dragged my a̲s̲s̲ to come drinking with you, and this is how you treat me?”
Xue Zhao began his angry grumblings, but Gu Jue was stuck on his previous sentence.
He said, there was no need to get hung up.
Gu Ju wasn’t hung up on it.
He also wasn’t fussing over the past.
He never thought of forbidding Ruan An’an to like someone else.
It was fine even if he only liked her, while she had crushed on another.
Of course, she was free to be her own person.
He just realized that… there was an uncontrollable emotion, whose name was probably jealousy.
Ruan An’an had told her boyfriend “see you tomorrow”, but, as it turned out, she was seeing him again tonight.
She was preparing to enter the world of 6 Realms tonight.
Yin “100 grand in 2 weeks” God had promised to show her the ropes.
Ruan An’an thought it was too much of a hassle to be on voice chat.
Plus, it’d be easier to see it in person.
So, she hauled her laptop to Yin Yuan’s dorm for in-person guidance.
Unexpectedly, she got a call from Gu Jue the moment her game finished installing.
“I’m outside your dorms, can you come down?”
Ruan An’an was startled, thinking she had been graced by the gods today.
If she hadn’t come over for the game, she would’ve had to make up an excuse to refuse.
She immediately replied, “Yeah, give me a minute, I’ll be right down.”
“Darling, my boyfriend is here for me.
Can you keep watch? I’ll be right back!”
Leaving her lines, Ruan An’an dashed outside after grabbing a coat.
She instantly saw the person waiting outside the building as she exited the doors.
Gu Jue’s build and height were both outstanding.
You could tell that it was him with just his silhouette.
Ruan An’an trotted over to him, smiling, “My boyfriend, why did you…” She wanted to tease him, but her words were cut short when Gu Jue swiftly pulled her into his embrace.
Unprepared, Ruan An’an smacked her face into his chest.
Gu Jue was wearing a sweater.
It was soft and comfy.
She was being enveloped by his scent.
She could smell alcohol from his breaths.
It was intoxicating when mixed with the minty scent he always had.
Ruan An’an slowly returned the hug, “You… were drinking?”
“Mm-hmm.” Gu Jue admitted cleanly.
I’m not drunk.”
Up until now, he could count on one hand the number of times he had been drunk.
Ruan An’an blinked, blushing for some reason, “What is there for me to worry about…”
“But, didn’t you go tutor?” Something wasn’t adding up, “How did you go drin—Ah.”
Before she could finish the word, she felt her hair getting pushed aside by cold fingertips and an electrifying sensation on her ear.
He kissed her ear.
The feeling on his lips tickled her.
It was cool and soft.
She subconsciously moved her neck but was unable to escape with his arms wrapped around her.
His lips were tight next to her ear.
His words sounded extra clear.
I’m mad with jealousy over that idiot.
The idiot whom you had a crush on.
Gu Jue moved his head lowered and bit her earlobe.
It wasn’t hard, but definitely unexpected.
Her face exploded into a tomato, “Oi! You, what are you—”
Mid-sentence, she felt a weight on her shoulder.
Gu Jue planted his face down, hugging her even tighter.
Then, he spoke.
It was muffled, and… contained some sort of hurt.
“Ruan An’an… you’re so unreasonable.”
Childish Gu appears again, this time, with a beautiful misunderstanding in tow XD An idiot indeed.
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