The Taming of the Yandere

 

V2 Chapter 24: The Numbing of Same-Sex Repulsion

 

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The cumbersome truck roared past.

The driver didn’t seem to notice what was happening on the sidewalk. He didn’t slow down, and kept going straight as a nail. If someone ran into it, they’ll probably go under the wheels and be crushed into pudding.

Running forward with her head tucked in, the girl crashed into a nearby pedestrian.

The man was tall and stocky, not moving an inch after being hit. But the petite girl was knocked back by the weight difference, and ended up on the hard asphalt.

She stood back up, regained her balance, and made her way across the road and corner without looking back.

The black cat hovered by the curb, watching the cars fly by. It tried to go across, but it couldn’t bring itself to lift a paw from cowardice. Finally, it reluctantly returned to my side.

I almost had a heart attack. If Jiang Muqing really got into a car accident, I would have to take all responsibility.

What a massive false alarm. *

*I know that you guys are thinking, WOW DID THE AUTHOR REALLY JUST DO THAT, but my best guess is that he was about to write something serious and had to back out when he realized how cliché and predictable the “cliffhanger” in the previous chapter was, and decided to take a more extraordinary approach. V2C25 proved that.

My first impulse was to go after her, but I thought. What difference will it make?

What would I have done? Explained my relationship with Mo Shiyu? I shouldn’t need to do that; we were merely studying together.

Trying to convince her would have led to more unnecessary suspicion.

I once saw a quote: “What you explain is what you hide, and what you hide is the truth.”

While worrying about Jiang Muqing’s sudden departure, I almost forgot about Mo Shiyu.

Until she asked.

“Lu Fan, are you familiar with the new transfer?”

“Yep.”

Isn’t that quite obvious enough?

“What’s wrong with her?”

Mo Shiyu probably thought that the whole thing was funny. Jiang Muqing’s unexpected arrival, unexpected temper, and unexpected flight would be really hard to understand for someone like her.

“She….”

I didn’t know what to say.

“You two….”

Mo Shiyu paused, but she looked to already know the answer.

“Class Pres, if a classmate is in trouble, shouldn’t one extend a helping hand?”

I interrupted.

“Of course, classmates should definitely help another.”

Mo Shiyu’s reply was instantaneous and instinctive.

“Class Pres, I need your help right now.”

Since Mo Shiyu shows this much interest, she can possibly be Jiang Muqing’s girlfriend.

“Mm?”

The girl didn’t really understand what I meant.

….

I returned to the ice cream shop with Mo Shiyu.

I told her my story, mostly about Jiang Muqing. I didn’t tell her everything, and I naturally left out the inappropriate portions.

Hearing my tale, she first clenched a fist while holding a poker face, but when I finished, she regained her calm and relaxed her sweaty hand.

Her expression seemed to say “So that’s how it is”, and unwound.

“So, Lu Fan was wrapped and clung to in a really strange way?”

Mo Shiyu’s eyes were wide, and she looked like she was trying to detect discrepancies from my face.

I knew that my story sounded ridiculous, but isn’t Jiang Muqing’s existence an absurdity by itself?

While fighting fearlessly against everything, her eyes have never included anyone but me.

And I wasn’t the handsome type that had girls falling head over heels, and wasn’t someone with extraordinary qualities. There wasn’t any reason for any girl to admire me.

I was a beyond-normal high school student.

“I know that it’s hard to believe, but every word I’ve said is the truth. So, will you help me?”

“Then, what can I do?”

Mo Shiyu’s eyes hardened.

“Make friends with the transfer student.”

That should sound easy enough, I thought.

“Friends?”

Mo Shiyu didn’t understand.

“Just the kind that can chat normally, go hang out during the weekend, things like that. You two can be there for and bring joy to each other.”

I explained.

“Becoming friends with her isn’t something that can be easily forced upon. Even if I really wanted to, she would probably refuse. Furthermore, I don’t think I’m even able to make friends with her in the first place.”

Mo Shiyu chuckled.

“Why?”

“Same-sex repulsion.”

So magnetic attractions * in physics can be also applied to people? Contrarily, shouldn’t human relations be “Things of one kind come together, birds of a feather flock together”? *

*In Chinese, the term for magnetic repulsion and attraction can be used very diversely. It can be used to metaphor nearly any form of same-end repulsion and opposite-end attraction.

*This is the quote/saying’s official form. I know it sounds strange in this context, but in the original Chinese, the “birds of a feather” is supposed to be “humans alike”. Nothing to do with race or anything.

Have I made a mistake somewhere?

“But, if it’s possible, bring her along to study. Maybe it’ll be better that way.”

Studying together? Well, it’s not like Jiang Muqing signed up for any other cram schools. Having her stay at home all day might not end too well.

“Will you be fine?”

Weren’t you talking about same-sex repulsion earlier? Talk about going back on your word.

“Aren’t you the opposite sex? You cancel out the both of us.”

Mo Shiyu’s words seemed humorous.

Eh, I can’t argue against that logic.

Just like that, I hurried home after parting ways with Mo Shiyu.

I was afraid that Jiang Muqing will make a big mess at home.

But nothing looked wrong on the outside. The light was on, the door was properly locked, Mom was peacefully working at her computer, and Dad’s office…

“Mom, where’s Jiang Muqing?”

“Oh, Qing just left.” Mom replied nonchalantly.

“Where did she go? Back to her own house?”

“She said that she was going to let off some steam. But it’s already dinnertime, and she hasn’t come back.”

Mom looked at the clock on the wall with a concerned expression.

“Where did she go?”

I put my backpack by the door, and prepared to go look for her.

“She should be just nearby.”

Mom frowned, and tried to think of where Jiang Muqing might have gone.

“Mom, I’ll be back soon. If it gets late, then I won’t be coming home for dinner.”

I realized that Mom knew nothing more, so I went out the door.

“Be safe, and come home early.”

Mom looked at the darkening sky, and reminded me.

“Yep, got it.”

Just for precaution, I went to Jiang Muqing’s house first. After pressing the doorbell numerous time without response, I deducted that she wasn’t there.

If she didn’t go home, where could she have gone?

At this time of day, any store would be closed, including the shopping mall, there’s nowhere for her to go?!

The internet café?

No, Jiang Muqing isn’t that type of person. And without an ID, you can’t go in if you’re not eighteen.

She couldn’t have been kidnapped to some love motel by some creepy bastard, right? I was scared to think further; a beautiful young girl walking alone on the street can invoke all kinds of trouble.

Nighttime had already crawled up the sky. There wasn’t a star in the horizon, even the large, round moon was covered by a thick layer of cloud.

The sky was silent, but the ground was bustling with activity. The city lit up with light, and the cars’ headlights raced through the streets.

The people walking on the street, no matter happy or sad, all had different stories. But they were all worrying and busying over their own matters, and only I was wrapped around in someone else’s. Where could she have gone? What direction is her story going?

I wanted to make a catalyst, one that would have the plot make a turn for the better, and not backfire against myself.

….

But I had lost the protagonist for it to react upon.