ot crazy.” Huo Ran said.
“I’m just asking,” Huo Ran sighed.
“You can start a fire in the wild with your guts?”
“That really is true,” Jiang Lei said.
“Huo Ran has full points in wilderness survival, forget starting a fire, he’ll be fine eating wild berries and hunting for a month.”
Kou Chen looked at Huo Ran in surprise, still shocked when he said: “Alone?”
“Mhm.” Huo Ran took a bite of his food.
“You’re not scared of the ghosts?” Kou Chen asked.
“There aren’t any ghosts in the wild.” Huo Ran said.
“…Why can’t there be ghosts in the wild?” Kou Chen kept asking.
“Rubbish, how would I still be alive if there were ghosts in the wild?” Huo Ran said, “There are absolutely no ghosts in the wild.”
“Holy shit,” Kou Chen looked at him in admiration, “Great logic you have there.”
After eating, they still hadn’t come to a conclusion about what that figure was.
The only thing Kou Chen learned was that Huo Ran really can drink.
Stepping out, Kou Chen felt a bit floaty, but Huo Ran’s eyes were still clear as day, impressive.
Xu Zhifan and Hu Yi didn’t really drink, but the same couldn’t go for Jiang Lei.
He kept singing as he hung from Xu Zhifan’s neck, eventually ending up thrown under a tree next to the road.
“How are you guys getting home?” Kou Chen asked.
“By bike,” Xu Zhifan said, “We left them by the front gate.”
“Him too?” Kou Chen pointed at Jiang Lei.
“He hitched a ride on my electric bike,” Hu Yi sighed.
“I’ll take him home, he’s gonna be in for a beating by his mom.”
“Okay, then I’ll be going now,” Kou Chen backed away slowly, “Huo Ran.”
“What?” Huo Ran looked at him.
“I’ll let you know when I think of something.” Kou Chen said.
Huo Ran tsked.
“Goodnight,” Kou Chen smiled and waved, humming as he walked off, “Huo Huo Huo Huo…”
The three of them dragged Jiang Lei back to the school gates, and Hu Yi secured Jiang Lei to his back with the luggage strap.
“What was Kou Chen talking about?” Xu Zhifan asked after Hu Yi left.
“The stakes of our bet,” Huo Ran said, “The loser has to do whatever the winner wants.”
“Oh,” Xu Zhifan started his electric bike, “How did you lose? Got scared and ran?”
Huo Ran got on his own bike: “We ran out together, but that damn thing took a step back at the end! I didn’t realize, so I ended up losing.”
Xu Zhifan stared blankly, before laughing hysterically.
“Stop laughing,” Huo Ran frowned.
“How about… we take a look in the haunted building tomorrow? They should’ve left some traces since they jumped from so high up in the dark.”
“Okay,” Xu Zhifan nodded, “We’ll go after dropping our stuff off in the dorms.”
Their roommates haven’t changed since last semester, still four people to a room.
Only they moved from the first floor to the second floor, and Kou Chen and his friends somehow ended up opposite them.
Jiang Lei and Hu Lei weren’t here yet.
After putting down his stuff, he suddenly felt a sense of urgency and dragged Xu Zhifan with him to the haunted building.
He’s very brave in the morning.
There’s no ghosts in the wild, and no ghosts during the daytime.
Ghosts only appear at night in dark little rooms.
Right as they opened the door, Kou Chen and Xu Chuan walked out of their room.
Xu Chuan held a couple of mandarin oranges, handing two over to them: “Try it, they’re pretty sweet.”
“Thanks.” Huo Ran accepted it.
As he turned around, Kou Chen called him: “Huo.”
Huo Ran squeezed the orange in his hand, turning around.
If Kou Chen starts singing, he’ll shove the orange in his mouth.
“Ran,” Kou Chen smiled, “Let me ask, what do you need to bring if you’re going camping?”
“…Depends.” Huo Ran started.
“Just like completely in the wild, for three days,” Kou Chen said.
“All we have now is a tent, what else do we need?”
“Better bring a hearthstone.” Huo Ran said.
There’s too many people like him who think they can survive in the wild just with a tent that’s not even waterproof.
He didn’t even know where to start answering his question.
“A hearthstone?” Kou Chen didn’t realize, “A cassette stove?”
Xu Chuan laughed from beside him: “A hearthstone, bro.”
“Damn you,” Kou Chen reacted, “I’m serious.”
“I can’t explain everything properly in less than half an hour.” Huo Ran sighed.
“Alright then,” Kou Chen thought about it, “Let’s eat dinner together, and you can explain it in detail, I’ll make a list and mull it over.”
“…Ah.” Huo Ran agreed, a bit confused.
As he watched Kou Chen and Xu Chuan walk away eating oranges, he turned around, “Shit, did I just agree to it?”
“Mhm.” Xu Zhifan peeled his orange.
“Why should I tell him anything, are we close?” Huo Ran said.
“You can say you’ve seen a ghost together,” Xu Zhifan said as he ate, “Just tell him.
What if he goes out with just a sleeping bag and dies, you won’t be happy then.”
Class hasn’t started yet, but the field was bustling with people.
Apart from the new students doing military training, there were quite a few students back to live in the dorms.
Perhaps it’s the sunlight, but the haunted building didn’t look that different from the one their class was in, apart from being older and dirtier.
Huo Ran stood by the stone tablet, seeing that Kou Chen hadn’t lied, it indeed said something about municipal cultural relics.
“The ghost… person from yesterday, they jumped from there, right?” Huo Ran pointed at the second floor stairwell, it’s pretty tall.”
“Let’s go see.” Xu Zhifan walked over.
Huo Ran looked around, they weren’t allowed to go in this building, but barely anyone came over or even looked in this direction.
He followed, looking at the ground by the stairwell.
It was concrete, with some weeds growing through the cracks.
He couldn’t see any traces.
“Wanna go to the back?” Xu Zhifan asked.
“Kou Chen said he was here since 9 o’clock, that person probably didn’t climb up the main stairs?”
“Let’s go.” Huo Ran said.
Beside the haunted building was the fence, following that to the back, Huo Ran didn’t think he’d find anything, but as he turned, both he and Xu Zhifan were shocked.
The grass behind the building had grown to a meter tall, and a few people stood at the corner.
Huo Ran counted amidst the shock and awkwardness, four boys and two girls, all third years.
One of them was the popular girl in the third year Humanities class..
Huo Ran always thought that categorizing too specifically resulted in a decrease in quality.
The girl wasn’t that likeable, nor pretty, and had a bad temper too.
The scene right now, was one that’s not likeable.
“Fuck off.” She said, “Don’t you know that students aren’t allowed back here?”
Huo Ran didn’t have much of a temper towards girls, but with her attitude, he felt himself get angry.
He debated between arguing back and just leaving.
Xu Zhifan was probably the same, and so the few of them just stood there awkwardly in the silence.
As Huo Ran thought, “Why don’t we just leave?” footsteps sounded from behind him.
Huo Ran and Xu Zhifan both turned around, it was Kou Chen, still holding an orange.
“What’s happening?” Kou Chen squeezed between them, “Lemme see.”
Catching sight of those people, Kou Chen was shocked too.
“So annoying!” The popular girl frowned, “Are you stupid? I told you to fuck off! Don’t you understand?!”
Kou Chen paused for a few seconds, before walking forward and slipping the orange back in his pocket.
Huo Ran stared at him, not knowing if he should go help or not if they end up fighting.
But Kou Chen turned around abruptly as he walked to the middle, stopping at the fence.
“What are you doing?” The girl was fed up.
Kou Chen turned to her: “Taking a piss.”
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