No Protection Tonight
Chapter 34: Trouble and Worry
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The flat hill was counted as part of our campus. Originally, a running track was supposed to be built on it, but the education officials had to cut funding, so it was abandoned.
Chengbei High wasn’t exactly near our school if you walked down the streets, but if you climbed the walls and went across the empty lot, it would only take a couple minutes. Plus, there were no guard stations near it.
Since the whole incident had pretty much been blown up on the forums, there were a lot of people who had come along to watch the fun.
“Zhuang Feng, I’m rooting for you. The people at Chengbei are all a bunch of b**ches, they stole my girlfriend from me. This’ll be revenge against them.”
“Yeah, kill those motherf**kers. They mugged five hundred yuan* from me last time, and I had to eat cup noodles for a month.”
I chuckled bitterly at their words. Though our school had a good reason to hate Chengbei, they never dared to stand up against them. If someone were to be bullied, all of them would turn a blind eye simply knowing that He Yu wasn’t easy to deal with.
But now that I’d called him out, they weren’t as scared to back me up as they would have been before. Indeed, all San High needed was a single figure that wasn’t afraid to start s**t with Chengbei.
“F**k, we should go beat up those bastards along with Feng-ge.” Wang Xiaopang muttered.
“Ahem, Xiaopang, are you crazy? This isn’t something to joke about, did you not see the forums? He Yu clearly said that he’ll track down anyone who helps him.” Liu Sanmao looked at him worriedly and reminded.
Wang Xiaopang was normally quite passive. I was a bit surprised that he would suddenly grow a backbone.
However, he began to lose his confidence from Liu Sanmao’s words. He stuttered, “But, Feng-ge already won that basketball match for us and won back some face for the class. How could we just watch this happen from the sidelines?”
“Not bad, Xiaopang. You certainly lived up to the good things I said about you in front of Xiaoya.” Liu Jie smiled approvingly, and she patted his shoulder.
“Aha, thanks, Saozi*. I’m not trying to put up an act or anything, I just really feel that Feng-ge is a part of our class. Now that he’s in some trouble, wouldn’t we be laughingstocks if we stand by and do nothing?” He was getting excited. I understood what was going on: He secretly liked Lin Xiaoya before, but now that Liu Jie was being his wingwoman, he was finally making some progress.
*WXP is calling L J his “Saozi” because he thinks of ZF as a really good friend, like a “brother”. Remember, Saozi = brother/relative’s wife.
Another voice followed after Wang Xiaopang made his stand. “Count me in.” It was Zhang Yu, from our class. Everyone liked to call him Octopus. *
*Zhang Yu’s name, 张羽, sounds like 章鱼, or octopus. It’s a pun.
“Feng-ge, you let me experience what being a man truly felt like. I had never thought that I would be able to participate in the basketball tournament. Even though you were the outstanding champion, you helped me understand what confidence feels like. Don’t worry, my dad is a lawyer; if He Yu gets out of hand, we can sue him.” Octopus promised.
“Yeah, what’s there to be afraid of? It’s just a fight! All we need to do is roll up our sleeves and get the job done!”
“I support Feng-ge, he’s the pillar of our class. If he goes down, we’re going to get looked down upon again.”
I was a bit moved by their words. I hadn’t transferred here for long, and was a loner for the first few weeks since I didn’t feel like I could connect with them. But with last time’s basketball tournament, our class spirit surged like never before. Their skepticism towards me naturally dissipated, too.
Even in light of a calamity, they were willing to stand out and face it together with me. I nodded and said, “Alright, if you want to fight by my side, come with me.”
Though there were many voices supporting me, the number of people that actually kept walking were awkwardly meager.
“It’s not gonna end well for you guys that are going.” Liu Sanmao sighed. This guy was quite the slippery b**ch. When we won the basketball match last time, the others didn’t show any sign of wanting to split the prize money. But he still tried to joke about splitting it up evenly.
I’m not someone who really likes money. Though I wanted to pay back Saozi as soon as possible, my classmates’ appearance on the court was a sign of their willingness. I tried to have everyone take an equal share, but the others didn’t agree. At last, I took out one thousand for them to divide among themselves.
Because of this, Liu Sanmao started to be biased against me, but since I had become a popular figure in the class, he couldn’t really do anything. Now that something big happened, not only did he not stand out, he also tried to dissuade his peers from helping out.
The people behind me started to mutter in alarm.
“It’s fine. If you guys don’t want to, you can go back. I won’t blame anyone.”
It’s much easier to see through people in times like these. I needed to know which people I could trust, and which people were best off to remain as just classmates.
With my words, two more left my side. There were only four left; Xiaopang, Octopus, and two others.
“Are you not leaving?” I questioned.
“Not at all, boss. I want to be like you, and the worst that can happen is getting beaten up anyways. Xiaoya can even take care of me, then.” Wang Xiaopang chuckled.
The others voiced their assent, and I nodded in satisfaction. “Thanks for believing in me. You guys don’t need to help me, it’s fine if you stand and wait.”
“Eh.” They seemed stunned by my order.
“No, boss, I want to fight alongside you!” Somehow, Wang Xiaopang started to call me something different.
“Yeah, Feng-ge, at least let us have some dignity.” Octopus said.
“That’s not what I meant. You guys might not be of much help if you fight. I don’t want to worry any more than I need to.” I scratched my head. There was no choice but to be firm and direct.
I didn’t want them to fight in the first place. These guys should really just focus on their studies, and they’d be more of a nuisance than anything in a fight. I only wanted to see who was loyal and who wasn’t.
“Well, this is disappointing.”
“Boss, if you didn’t want us to brawl, you could’ve just told us.”
I said nothing, but I did acknowledge the fact that they believed in me. I had to live up to their expectations.
With my urging, they didn’t follow me and watched from a distance.
The place was broken down and dirty. Usually, nobody came here, but today it was teeming with people.
“Say, who do you think has a better chance of winning?”
“Definitely He Yu, what kind of question is that? He used to be in the army, I heard that the people in there are all hand-picked elites. Fighting him would be like a strawberry in a blender.”
“Zhuang Feng is pretty good, but he’s probably nothing against He Yu.”
“Hey, hey, why the hell are you guys rooting for the other side?”
I saw a small group advancing in the distance. The person in the very front was smoking a cigarette.
“See, the one wearing sunglasses is He Yu.”
“He looks like such a douche.”
I walked forward. Liu Jie followed me closely, attracting much envious attention.