No matter how much Zhang Yang dragged his feet, he still eventually crawled up to the fifth floor. As he turned down the hallway, Zhang Yang saw a crowd of people gathered outside of room 512. He was stunned. All of those people were unabashedly leaning forward and craning their necks, trying to look inside his room.
Zhang Yang coughed, feeling awkward. How the hell was he going to get into his own room? “Umm, please let me through,” he said, tapping a dorm-mate on the shoulder.
“Shit, why should I let you through?” the dorm-mate said without turning his head. “Even if you want to look, it’s first come first serve.” As he said this, he continued to intently stare into the room. Obviously, he had no clue it was Zhang Yang who wanted to step through the crowd.
“But, I’m trying to go inside,” Zhang Yang tried to say.
But then someone laughed. “Ah! Zhang Yang’s back! He’s back!”
The crowd in front of his door immediately reacted. Before Zhang Yang could even widen his eyes, people shoved his shoulders through the crowd. Before he knew it, he was inside. And then, boom, the door slammed tight behind him.
Just as Zhang Yang turned to rip open the door and cuss people out, a gentle voice rang out from behind him. “Zhang Yang!”
Stiffening, he turned around to see a beautiful girl sitting on his bed. Her face was beet red, and her head was slightly drooped. Obviously, it had taken her a lot of courage to sit here and wait for Zhang Yang for so long. It was precisely the girl he had met on the train.
“*Oh, good. You finally came!” Seeing the wallet in her hands, Zhang Yang was as moved as a poor farmer meeting the Red Army. He rushed forward and cupped the girl’s soft hand as if he were close to tears.
The girl yelped and jumped back to the window while stuttering, “Y-you…don’t come near me.”
But Zhang Yang wasn’t even looking at her. He was too focused on the thing she was holding in her hands. Indeed, she was grasping his wallet. Hurriedly he whipped open his wallet. Thank fuck, his ID, bank card, and cash were all inside. He sighed in relief. Shit, he could finally eat three meals a day. The last several days were really horrible. Starving to death was something he didn’t want to do.
Watching Zhang Yang flip through his wallet, the girl started feeling a bit embarrassed. He wasn’t paying attention to her at all!
“Also…” She motioned toward the bed. “Those, too.”
A plastic bag sat bunched on top of the bed. Reaching into the bag, the flash of metal caught his eye. Its cold light gleamed in his eyes. “Oh.” The serrated knives. “Oh, great! Thanks for returning my wallet! Here’s the 10 yuan I owe you.” He chucked the knives under the covers, and he took out a 10 yuan bill, handing it over to the girl.
“Thank you,” she said, taking the money.
“Ah…” Zhang Yang blanked for a moment. “It’s nothing. It’s something I should’ve done anyway.” Zhang Yang laughed. Oh, shit, he realized. He’d taken advantage of this girl on the train. He shifted uncomfortably.
If he had known this girl was from his very own school, even if he’d been beaten to death, he wouldn’t have ever dared to take advantage of her. Though, at the time, she was just some other little sister. She was not supposed to be from his school. And she definitely wasn’t supposed to be as late to school as he was.
Silence yawned between them.
“Zhang Yang.” The girl looked as she had worked up the courage to say something.
“Have you had dinner?” she asked.
“Nope. I’m pretty hungry right now.” As soon as she brought up the topic of food, Zhang Yang felt a wave of hunger spreading through his body.
“I want to treat you to a meal as thanks.” The girl’s voice was as soft as a butterfly’s breath.
“This… no no…I’d better go get food myself.” Zhang Yang hurriedly waved his hands in denial. Although he was hungry, he really didn’t want to go out to eat with this girl. If he went out to eat with this girl, it would absolutely become the headline news of his school.
“But I’m really grateful to you. Really! Let me treat you to a meal. Look at it as if I’m repaying a debt.” Seeing Zhang Yang’s refusal, the girl became so agitated that her face turned bright red. She walked over and earnestly grabbed Zhang Yang’s hand. Clearly, she truly wanted to treat him to a meal.
What the hell? This girl was actually hugging his arm. She truly was very innocent. Just a moment ago, she had backed up to the window in fright…but all of a sudden, she had approached him and grabbed onto him.
“You’ll really take me out to eat?” Zhang Yang said, his face turned predatory. As if he was the Big Bad Wolf.
“Ah…” Seeing Zhang Yang’s expression, the girl let go of Zhang Yang’s hand, reacting as if she was just stabbed by a needle.
“Still wanna treat me?” he asked with a wolfish grin.
“Treat!” The girl’s expression remained resolute.
“Then let’s go.” Zhang Yang sighed. He was afraid to stay in this room any longer. A single man and woman alone in a room…if this got out, who knew how Rumor would twist it.
“However,” she said. “Let’s just go somewhere near the school, okay?” Seeing that Zhang Yang had finally agreed, the girl instantly pleaded her conditions.
Zhang Yang was speechless. Was this girl actually afraid that he would treat her indecently during a simple meal?
When Zhang Yang opened the door, and a whole pile of bodies almost fell onto the floor. A bunch of people who had been eavesdropping started pretending to chat about some such things.
Zhang Yang was too lazy to care about these idle gossipers. He ignored them and walked directly toward the stairs. The girl acted like she was doing the walk of shame as she followed closely behind Zhang Yang, head lowered and blushing furiously.
The two walked through campus under the disbelieving gazes of everyone. Of course, not many people recognized the girl; however, Zhang Yang was known to way too many people.
As they walked, Zhang Yang felt as if he was being pierced by countless flying daggers. He suddenly had a feeling of regret for agreeing to eating a meal with this girl. Obviously, this was an idiotic decision.
Oh, fucking shit.
Zhang Yang saw that a train wreck was about to happen, and there was nothing he could do to stop it…because he was already about to arrive at the school gates.
Uncle Wang wore a white tank top, and he was wandering around the gatehouse while fanning himself with a woven fan. And Uncle Wang had already spotted Zhang Yang.
“How are you, Uncle Wang? Have you eaten yet?” Zhang Yang asked.
“How are you, Uncle Wang?” The girl echoed in a weak voice. Her red cheeks had yet to fade. Zhang Yang decided that this girl was easily embarrassed.
“I’ve already eaten. Are you two going out to eat?” Uncle Wang perked up, a happy expression stretching across his face.
“We were just getting ready to go eat,” Zhang Yang said.
“You haven’t eaten yet? In that case, I still have a bit of bread left over here,” the old man said, turning around and walking toward the gatehouse.
“Oh, no no.” Zhang Yang hurriedly dragged Uncle Wang to a stop. Now that he had his wallet, he didn’t want to eat the old man’s poisonous bread anymore. Little did he know, the piece of bread left over from last time was still being kept by the old man.
“You found a girlfriend?” The old man turned around a chuckled at Zhang Yang.
“She’s not your girlfriend?”
“She’s clearly your girlfriend.”
Zhang Yang didn’t reply. Instead, he hurriedly grabbed the girl’s hand and rushed out of the school gates.
 The People’s Liberation Army of China; generally regarded in a favorable light in China.