First Published on Chaleuria
11.1 – This Is How Friendship Works
After that day, Yao Yuan didn’t see Su Mu for a long time. Su Mu had not even apologized, just disappeared from his side. At that, Yao Yuan could only laugh at himself. He had sincerely considered Su Mu a friend but Su Mu had only been trying to poach him and use him, and after being rejected, Su Mu had left without hesitation. He had no feelings of friendship toward Yao Yuan at all. Yao Yuan should have understood from the start that in the minds of the wealthy, there were only two types of people in the world: those who could be used, and those who could not. They would not hesitate to use their family and their wives, let alone a friend who was dispensable. As for Su Mu, hadn’t Yao Yuan known from the beginning that he was a classic example of a businessman? Forget it. Such a person belonged to a completely different world from Yao Yuan’s, after all.
After the initial several days of extreme anger, Yao Yuan despondently discovered that it was rather scary to grow accustomed to something. When he walked alone through the school, he instinctively glanced around him, faintly hoping he might see Su Mu’s smiling face. Once, as if possessed, he even went to the previous forum thread and stared in a daze at each of the photos. At the end of the thread someone had added new photos, recording their fight at Zero Point in its entirety. Or perhaps it couldn’t even be considered a fight: only Yao Yuan seemed angry. Su Mu was as elegant as always, even when Yao Yuan was holding him by the collar. How laughable. From start to finish, he had not truly understood Su Mu but still one-sidedly treated him as a friend.
Yao Yuan completed his final exams with complex feelings. On the last day of exams, Yao Yuan received three pieces of news from different people, all at different times. One was from Jiya saying that the foreman had sent someone to his house with a large sum of money for medical fees, but not long after, the foreman had been sued for the offense of withholding pay from migrant workers. The second was news that spread through the school: Vice Principal Hu had been sent to prison for accepting bribes. The third he overheard from two girls’ conversation on the road: two girls had been forced to withdraw from school, each for different reasons, but the people who knew them had verified that they were respectively the OP of the ‘Young Master Su and Hero Yao’ forum thread and the Photoshop expert. Yao Yuan had never believed in coincidences, and so all these things happening at the same time had only one explanation—Su Mu.
This time, Yao Yuan really was angry. Who did Su Mu think he was, a god in charge of people’s fates? To say nothing of the foreman and Vice Principal Hu, what had the two girls done except have a bit of fun? Was it necessary to cut short their university life like this? Did being wealthy give him the right to do as he wished? Su Mu, I’m very disappointed.
He angrily pulled out his phone and dialed a familiar number.
“Yao Yuan!” Su Mu’s voice was clearly excited.
“Where are you?” Yao Yuan asked coldly.
“On the main road next to your classroom building.”
“Wait there for me.”
Without waiting for a reply, Yao Yuan ended the call and ran to the main road as if he were running in a 100m dash. He saw Su Mu there, with the same cool elegance as always, and the fire already burning in Yao Yuan’s chest blazed hotter. He ran up to him and dragged him toward the back of the stadium, where they had once fought side by side, without saying a word.
It was the first time Su Mu discovered Yao Yuan had this much strength in him. Every time they sparred before, he must have been holding back. Su Mu smiled as he looked at Yao Yuan’s angry face. No matter what, at least he was willing to see him now.
Yao Yuan, caught up in his anger, and Su Mu, focused on Yao Yuan, didn’t notice that someone had secretly tailed them to the stadium, staying hidden.
After checking that no one was around, Yao Yuan sent a brutal fist flying toward Su Mu’s flawless face. Su Mu turned and dodged, but Yao Yuan struck again. Su Mu threw up an arm to block but Yao Yuan’s third punch finally landed on Su Mu’s chest. How merciless. Su Mu could not withstand it and took several steps backward, but Yao Yuan still didn’t let up; he rushed up and continued to hit him.
“Yao Yuan, have you gone mad?” Su Mu finally had enough and spoke as he blocked the furious attacks.
“It’s you who’s gone mad.” Yao Yuan had the upper hand, and each of his fists came quicker than the last, forcing Su Mu to the base of the audience stands. “Did you do those things?”
“Yes.” Su Mu admitted it honestly. In return he received a hard punch to the stomach, and blood trickled from the corner of his mouth.
Looking at the harsh red, Yao Yuan finally stopped throwing punches, but he continued his interrogation. He caught hold of Su Mu’s collar and asked fiercely, “Why? The foreman and Vice Principal Hu got their just deserts and I can ignore that you exposed them, but those two girls were innocent. You’ll ruin their lives.”
“Why?” Su Mu grimaced. How would he know why? That day, after leaving Zero Point, he knew that Yao Yuan wouldn’t be willing to see him again and was frustrated. He had to do something to get rid of these detestable feelings, and then he had remembered Yao Yuan’s shoulder injury, the disdain with which Yao Yuan mentioned Vice Principal Hu, and how Yao Yuan had frowned slightly when he looked at the photos on the forums. By the time Su Mu realized what he was doing, everything had already been orchestrated.
Looking at the bitter smile on Su Mu’s face, Yao Yuan was stunned. He had never seen Su Mu this way before: his impression of Su Mu was as someone who could calmly settle all things. He slowly let go of Su Mu’s collar and thought about leaving. But in the next second he saw something flash behind Su Mu, his heart jumped, and he pushed Su Mu aside. The dagger glinteded coldly, then stabbed into his stomach.
Su Mu clearly saw everything that happened in front of him. He kicked aside the perpetrator Hu Lin, then caught hold of Yao Yuan who was growing unsteady on his feet. He tried to call his name and ask him how he was, but his trembling lips could not speak a single word.
“We… really… incompatible.” Yao Yuan leaned against him, in so much pain he was unable to form complete sentences. “Really… nothing good… being with you.”
“Shut up!” Su Mu hugged Yao Yuan tightly, commanding himself to remain calm. What should he do at such a time? That’s right. Call an ambulance. He pulled his phone from his pocket and had to dial several times before he was able to input the very simple emergency number correctly.
Hu Lin stood up with difficulty; Su Mu had used all his strength in the kick just now. He coldly watched Yao Yuan and Su Mu. He knew that these two definitely had a hand in how his father had gotten into trouble, and as expected, he had received confirmation of that while eavesdropping today. The dagger was one he carried after losing to Yao Yuan before. He had intended to find a chance to redress his earlier humiliation, and it had come in useful today. But Su Mu, the bastard, had gotten off lightly.
Hu Lin sneered as he drew closer to the two hugging figures, intending to ambush Su Mu while he was off guard, but someone had been watching him since the beginning.
“Su Mu, watch out!” This time, Yao Yuan spoke clearly.
Su Mu sneered, placed Yao Yuan gently on the ground, then turned and watched Hu Lin coldly.
The way Su Mu was looking at him, Hu Lin could not help a cold shudder, chilly air rushing up from his feet towards his heart. But he refused to admit that he was scared. He forced himself to puff out his chest and say, “Do you want revenge for him? Then fight me.”