The sound of cheering in the sports hall grew smaller and smaller.
The girls in the audience were originally smiling like flowers in bloom, but they were now quiet.
The basketball game was getting weirder and weirder.
When Fu Zhi’an first stepped onto the court, he scored a few three-pointers but never got another ball into the basket after.
The players guarding him changed in shifts and in the end, the person who stood before Fu Zhi’an was Li Zhiyi, who was nearly half a head taller than him.

When the ball was passed to Fu Zhi’an, Li Zhiyi resolutely blocked him from the front.
Their height difference sparked in him a rare feeling of being oppressed.
Fu Zhi’an dribbled the ball and suddenly dashed to Li Zhiyi’s side, using all his strength to leap up in a jump shot.
Li Zhiyi did not stop him, instead directly using his body to slam into Fu Zhi’an, who was still mid-air.

Fu Zhi’an fell onto the ground with a muffled thud, the excruciating pain in his shoulder and knee causing a wave of dizziness to wash over him.
He turned onto his side, gasping for breath.

Li Zhiyi received a red card and was swapped out of the court.
He smirked at Fu Zhi’an: “Sorry, bro.
I’ll be more careful next time.”

Looking at Fu Zhi’an laying on the ground with his face pale, Wang Xiao’s temper flared.
He stepped forward and grabbed Li Zhiyi who was a whole head taller than him.
The chubby face that used to be annoying now gave off a somewhat masculine aura.

“That was on purpose, wasn’t it, Li Zhiyi?” Wang Xiao wasn’t the most accommodating either, he used to be quite the tyrant in class and was no stranger to making trouble.
Now that someone else had come to harass his team, even if he weren’t retaliating for Fu Zhi’an’s sake, he still had to for his own pride.

Li Zhiyi shook off Wang Xiao’s hand and regarded his chubby face with a look of disdain: “What’s it to you if I did it on purpose or not? Mind your own business.”

Unable to let it go, Wang Xiao gave Li Zhiyi a shove.
Li Zhiyi merely took a few small steps back; It was like tickling an elephant.
Although Wang Xiao was strong, when compared to Li Zhiyi who was stronger, he was at most above average.

Before he could say anything, he felt a hot burst of pain on his cheek.
Li Zhiyi had one hand on Wang Xiao’s collar while he patted Wang Xiao’s cheek with the other: “Just stay in Class 3 and stop trying to stand up for justice.”

Lin Chuan was squatting beside Fu Zhi’an with the ball in his arms.
The sight of Fu Zhi’an’s forehead covered in sweat made him anxious: “Let’s send Fu Zhi’an to the infirmary first…”

“Do that later, the game hasn’t ended yet.” Li Zhiyi released his hold on the listless Wang Xiao and looked condescendingly at Fu Zhi’an with a sneer: “He won’t die so soon.”

Chi Yu stood at the school gate with a dark expression.
He had just reached his front door when he realized he had left his bag in the sports hall.
The thought of having to see Fu Zhi’an’s annoying face made his temper rise.
All the students who were supposed to be doing self-revision in class were now currently at the school field.
Almost all the teachers were having a meeting at the city’s education bureau, and without them there to keep order, it was as if the students had gone crazy.

Passing a few couples who were ferociously making out amidst a cluster of trees, Chi Yu slowly made his way to the sports hall, only to realize that a crowd had formed outside.

“Aren’t Class 3 and Class 5[1] just having a friendly match, why did they lock the door?” A male student pushed impatiently at the tightly locked door of the sports hall.

“Who knows? Li Zhiyi is viciously underhanded when it comes to playing basketball, they probably had no choice but to lock the door.”

“Fuck, my friend texted from inside saying that they’re fighting!” The boy frowned as he stared at his phone, then continued while tapping on the keypad: “Said that Li Zhiyi started acting up again, even slammed into Fu Zhi’an so hard he turned pale…”

While he was speaking, he suddenly felt his back going cold.
He turned around just in time to meet Chi Yu’s deep, frigid eyes.

“Out of the way.” Chi Yu spat out calmly.
All the students crowding at the door retracted a few steps, leaving an empty path for him.
Chi Yu walked up to the door and tried the handle, but it did not budge.
Then, he knocked heavily twice and pressed an ear to the door but couldn’t make out any sound even after a long while.

“Why don’t we look for the guard first? It can’t be that something has really happened…” A girl standing in the back row mumbled, nervous.
Everyone knew what kind of person Li Zhiyi was, he was probably the one person in school that should not be provoked.
It was rumoured that he had a few friends who were dropouts and were now roaming the streets every day with steel pipes in their bags.

Slightly backing up a few steps, Chi Yu lifted his leg and gave a powerful kick, making the metal door shudder.
No one knew if the people within the sports hall were startled, but the people outside were definitely terrified.

“Shouldn’t we get the security guard here first…” Before the sentence could be completed, Chi Yu raised his leg and gave another vicious kick.
The door that was originally sealed shut now opened a crack under his heavy kick.
With one hand against the door, he maintained an indifferent expression and shouted to the people inside: “Hey, I’ll give you up to the count of five to open this door.”

“One, two…” At the mere count of two, Chi Yu frowned and gave the door a hard shove with his foot.
With a rumbling sound, the metal door sunk down and separated from the doorframe.

Chi Yu stretched his arm around the crack and unlocked the door, walking into the basketball court.
He caught a glimpse of Fu Zhi’an lying motionless on the ground and suddenly grinned wide: “Playing basketball? Let me join in.”

Li Zhiyi probably did not expect Chi Yu to kick the door open, so he was a little slack-jawed.
After a pause, he said: “It’s too late to add substitutes to the lineup…”

Not listening to a word the other was saying, Chi Yu abruptly aimed his foot at Li Zhiyi’s middle and kicked.
Li Zhiyi let out a muffled groan as he sat on the ground, clutching his stomach: “Are you fucking crazy!”

“Don’t you like fighting?” Chi Yu glanced over the Fu Zhi’an, who was frowning and deathly pale.
Rolling his sleeves up, he seized Li Zhiyi by his collar, eyes curving as he said: “Come on, fight.
Whoever doesn’t get their hands bloody is a fucking bitch.” Not giving the other a chance to respond, Chi Yu raised his fist and smashed it against the bridge of Li Zhiyi’s nose.

Before, he had known Chi Yu to have a bad temper, but now it was clear that he was simply a lunatic.

“Next time you want to fight, come look for me.” Chi Yu finally released the battered Li Zhiyi and looked at the frowning Fu Zhi’an on the ground.
After some thought, he walked over to him and lowered his head, asking coldly: “Not dead yet, are you.”

Fu Zhi’an moved his leg, but the piercing pain rendered him speechless, and he was unable to retort, merely breathing heavily on the ground.
Seeing Fu Zhi’an’s lips losing colour, Chi Yu contemplated for a moment, then crouched beside him and cautiously held onto his arm.
He didn’t use any strength, but Fu Zhi’an let out a hiss.

“Fu Zhi’an hit his shoulder just now…” Lin Chuan’s voice was small, like a mosquito, as if worried that if Chi Yu’s nerves jumped, he would beat him up as well.

“You.” Chi Yu suddenly said, and when Lin Chuan looked up, he happened to meet Chi Yu’s line of sight, scaring him so much his hair stood on end.

“Bring my bag over.” Chi Yu jerked his chin towards a corner and Lin Chuan immediately ran over to retrieve it, panting before Chi Yu while raising the bag with both hands as if offering a sacrifice.

Chi Yu tilted his head.
Upon seeing Lin Chuan still standing blankly, he lifted his hand and pointed at his head: “Put it around my neck.” Fortunately, he didn’t pack any homework into his bag today, or his neck would inevitably be snapped.
Once he had the bag properly arranged, Chi Yu looked towards the ground again.
Fu Zhi’an seemed to be more clear-headed now and was staring at him.

“So you have the energy to glare at me, but can’t even hit him back?” Chi Yu said coldly.
He reached out to support Fu Zhi’an by his uninjured arm, pulling him up very carefully.
Turning to the side, he saw that Fu Zhi’an’s face was pale, and his chest was rising and falling rapidly.
After some consideration, he bent over and hooked his arms under Fu Zhi’an’s knees, hauling the other onto his back.

On the way out of the sports hall, Chi Yu frowned and said rather irritably: “Compared to when you were a kid, you’re so damn heavy now.”

Fu Zhi’an had his chin on Chi Yu’s shoulder.
When he heard this, his eyelashes unknowingly quivered, then he mumbled something.
Chi Yu took a long time to decipher his words, he had said: Compared to when you were a kid, you’re so damn ugly now.

With a brief stumble, Chi Yu nearly flung Fu Zhi’an off his back, but seeing as how the other was unable to even breathe evenly, he held the urge back.
As they walked out of the sports hall, the people passing by stopped whatever they were doing at the sight of Chi Yu carrying Fu Zhi’an on his back.
Chi Yu recalled the rumours that had just been circulating two days ago and his ears flushed red.
He immediately picked up his pace, wishing he could simply take flight.

He only managed a few steps before Fu Zhi’an suddenly let out a muffled groan.
Chi Yu slowed his steps down to a halt in the middle of the sports field, frowning as he asked: “Can you not make these random noises for no reason?” He glanced down at Fu Zhi’an’s legs dangling at his sides and eventually decided to slow down, walking to the infirmary one step at a time.

The few minutes he spent walking on the field felt like he was on the road to Hell.
Chi Yu’s face was completely red by the time he got to the infirmary.
His bag was hanging around his neck, so he was unable to look up, merely keeping his head down as he called loudly: “Is anyone there! This person on my back is about to die!”

Chi Yu looked at Fu Zhi’an on the sickbed while standing in the corner.
The other’s face was devoid of expression and his eyes were lowered with no way of telling what was going through his mind.

“Thankfully, it’s nothing serious.
Your shoulder joint is dislocated, it’ll be fine once we set it after the local anaesthetic takes effect.” The school doctor pressed gently down on Fu Zhi’an’s shoulder, then turned around to get the anaesthetic.

“Uh, that… his leg doesn’t look to be in good condition, either.
It’s not broken, is it?” Chi Yu tilted his head as he thought about it, but when he looked up and met the school doctor’s judgemental gaze, he awkwardly turned away.

“There’s some swelling since the soft tissue of his knee joint is injured.
Refrain from doing sports for a while.”

It was evening by the time everything was treated.
Chi Yu was huddled in the corner without moving, his bag still hanging around his neck.
He had his head down as he quietly napped in this position.

Cough, cough… Fu Zhi’an leaned over to the side and lowered his voice, coughing softly.
When he laid back down, Chi Yu was already standing by the bed with a glass of water.
He frowned, looking peeved.
After a moment, he said: “You’re so troublesome.
I don’t even know if they were hitting basketballs or if they were hitting you.”

Slowly sitting up straight, Fu Zhi’an took the glass of water from him but didn’t drink, his voice was somewhat hoarse: “You fought again.” Chi Yu noticed that Fu Zhi’an’s stare was on his hand and glanced down to look.
The originally pale hand sported a few reddened scrapes at the knuckles.
He probably didn’t realize it earlier since he was busy running away.

Chi Yu put his hand into his pocket and sat down on the sickbed beside his, frowning: “He was asking for it.”

“Still, it’s best if you don’t fight anymore.
You’ve already received enough warnings on the school bulletin board…” Before Fu Zhi’an finished talking, Chi Yu gave an impatient smack of his lips.

“Fine, fine.
You talk too much, it’s annoying.” They were the only two people left in the infirmary.
Chi Yu tried not to meet Fu Zhi’an’s deep, quiet gaze, twisting his body uncomfortably so he faced the other way.
When he spoke, his voice sounded a little nasal.

“Hurry up and drink.
I’ll send you home once you’re done.”

[1] The author wrote Class 7 in the original text, but in the previous chapter it was Class 5 (might have been a typo), so I used Class 5 for consistency!

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