Kou Chen watched him blankly, pressing down on his pinky again. 

Still no sound.

“Just cut it off.” Huo Ran said.


“Fuck.” Kou Chen looked down at his hand, pressing his left pinky to the palm of his right hand.


It finally sounded.

“My OCD thanks you.” Xu Zhifan said.

“No problem, it’s what I should do.” Kou Chen said.

Huo Ran put his hands down.
He felt that something was off about that sound, it was a bit forced.
Xu Zhifan turned around too. 

“AH——” Kou Chen held it in for three seconds before crying out loud.
He screamed with his hand held in the other, “I broke my finger——”

“Oh my!” The driver startled, stopping the car at the side of the road.

To be honest, if Huo Ran didn’t see Kou Chen press down, knowing that it took quite some force, he would’ve thought this dumbass was pretending.

His scream was too exaggerated.
He almost wanted to lean down and check if his finger fell off. 

“Let me see.” Huo Ran reached out.

“Don’t touch it!” Kou Chen shrunk back, “It hurts, fuckkkkkk… It hurts so much, I can’t move my finger! Sir go to the hospital first go to the hospital I’m gonna die——”

“Let me see!” Huo Ran yelled, grabbing his wrist.

“AH——” Kou Chen yelled again. 

“Stop yelling!” Huo Ran pointed at him.

“…It hurts, fuck!” Kou Chen said, “What are you looking at? Are you having fun? Why don’t you blow on it and see if you can stick the bone back toge-”

“Don’t move.” Huo Ran gripped his wrist tightly, then he held his finger and tugged it outwards.

Who knows if it was from pain or shock, but Kou Chen went silent, only letting out a groan from the back of his throat. 

Fate blocked his throat.

“It was dislocated.” Huo Ran let go of his finger, it was back in place now.
“Try moving it, it shouldn’t hurt anymore.”


Kou Chen stared at him, curling his pinky after a long while.

Huo Ran dug around in his bag, pulling out a roll of sports tape.
He wrapped it around his finger: “Alright, put some ice on it when you get home.
It’ll be fine in a couple days.
If it swells then get it checked at the hospital.” 

“It’s probably fine.” The driver sighed in relief.
“When we were young, we’d just push it back in if we dislocated something… You know your stuff.”

“If he wasn’t yelling like that I could’ve fixed it faster.”  Huo Ran glanced at Kou Chen.
“His screaming made me nervous.”

“Thanks.” Kou Chen wiggled his finger.

The driver continued driving towards the restaurant.
Probably because Kou Chen’s yells were too soul-stirring, they all stayed silent. 

A long while later, Kou Chen sighed emotionally: “I wouldn’t have thought… Huo Ran, you’re pretty awesome.”

“I wouldn’t have thought that you…” Huo Ran sighed, choosing to leave that sentence unfinished, seeing as today’s meal was Kou Chen’s treat, and that he helped de-escalate the situation earlier by putting it upon himself.

But… Even though the image of Kou Chen fiercely announcing that he needed to piss was still fresh in his mind, Huo Ran couldn’t help but think that if those people really did come knocking, Kou Chen might be crying on the ground.

Rumours were indeed only rumours. 


At their seat in the restaurant, Jiang Lei began speaking as soon as he sat down: “A dislocated joint is nothing.
Last time I went hiking with Huo Ran, the kind that’s for half a month, I fell in a ditch and dislocated my shoulder.
He pressed one foot to my chest and tugged at my arm, crack!”

“It broke.” Kou Chen frowned, cradling his own left hand.

“Broke my ass, it was fixed.
“Jiang Lei shrugged his shoulder.
“It’s been a couple months now and it’s perfectly fine.“ 

“That’s exactly what I’m looking for.” Kou Chen said.
“Let’s get food first, then I’ll make a note.”

Huo Ran circled around, returning with a plate of food.
He saw that Kou Chen had already returned, and he had three empty plates in front of him as he munched happily through his fourth plate.

“Is the alcohol over there free?” Hu Yi asked.

“If there’s no price tag it’s free.” Kou Chen said.
“Get me one too if you’re going over.” 

“Okay.” Hu Yi nodded, getting up.

Huo Ran felt a bit unbalanced.
It’s only been two days and this guy is talking to these three like old friends.


That damn thing.

“Huo Ran.” Kou Chen ate fast, setting down his chopsticks as everyone else was still eating.
“Are you in a wilderness club or something?” 

“Nope.” Huo Ran said, “I’m only in a biking club.”

“Then you go camping by yourself?” Kou Chen asked.

“Mhm.” Huo Ran took a bite out of his chicken wing.
He was willing to talk about stuff like this.
“If I run into some experienced people then we’ll go together, if not, I’m on my own.”

Kou Chen glanced at Jiang Lei. 

“He doesn’t count.
He’s like a main quest NPC, you can’t go around him, and if you don’t finish the quest he won’t let you through.” Huo Ran said.

Kou Chen laughed: “Then tell me, what do you need to bring?”

“…It’s not that I don’t wanna say, but you shouldn’t go for three days at a time with no experience.” Huo Ran said, “You can start with an outdoor picnic.”

“I’ve been picnicking for years in our neighborhood park.” Kou Chen said, “I have a lot of picnicking experience.” 

Huo Ran looked at him, shoving a piece of meat in his mouth.

“I bet you’re going out for National Day, right?” Kou Chen didn’t give up.
“Just tell me what you bring.”

“I’ll be going out for a while then, there’s a lot of stuff…” Kou Chen interrupted Huo Ran before he could finish.

“Take me with you.” Kou Chen said. 

“What?” Huo Ran started, hurriedly saying after he realized, “I still haven’t decided yet…”

“I won’t get in the way,” Kou Chen said.
“You even took Jiang Lei along, I’m a lot better than him.”

A lot better than him?

Huo Ran couldn’t help but think back to Kou Chen’s piercing screams resonating in the car, 

I can’t be so sure.

Huo Ran sighed.
He wasn’t a shameless person, Kou Chen already got everything out of him, and trying to go back on everything wasn’t his style.


He could only stay silent.

But to such a sociable and shameless person like Kou Chen, silence basically meant ‘mhm, okay’. 

There was still a while until National Day holidays, so Huo Ran chose to not dwell on this problem.
He looked up at the group of people talking and eating.

“I thought nobody was brave enough to go over to the haunted building,” Xu Chuan said.
“The third years actually hang out over there?”

“What are they doing there?” Hu Yi asked.

“Smoking? Chatting? Wei Chaoren said, “Making out? Group dating?” 

“In my old school,” Kou Chen drank his alcohol, “They’d be taking protection fees, no other possibility.”

“No way?” Jiang Lei was shocked, “We’re Fuzhong.”

“Right? You top school students are so well-behaved.
No fighting and no cursing.”

Huo Ran stayed silent, he didn’t think much about it before.
Doing homework was out of the question, but there were still quite a few students here that hide around to smoke. 

“Hey, Kou Chen,” Jiang Lei asked.
“With the way you’re talking, have you accepted protection fees before? Seeing as you’ve even hit a teacher.”

Kou Chen laughed without saying anything, an enigmatic expression on his face saying ‘aren’t I good at pretending?’.

As Huo Ran ate a piece of meat, Kou Chen still ended up speaking: “It’s because I offended too many people, I had no choice but to leave.”

Huo Ran choked, swallowing the meat in his mouth with difficulty. 

This damn guy!


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