It was past 10 when we finished our games and got ready to sleep.
I followed Zhong Yuan into our tent, and after clumsily laying the ground mat, I opened my sleeping bag. To be honest, it was my first time being in such a small space with a guy. As for spending the night together, I was obviously uncomfortable.
Zhong Yuan calmly laid out his sleeping bag and then took off his jacket. Then he grabbed his belt…
Hesitant, I spoke up, “Um… Senior Zhong, can you…” I coughed and finished, “…conduct yourself with dignity…”
Zhong Yuan tightened the belt on his pants and then looked up at me. “What did you say?”
I didn’t say anything out of embarrassment and shame. God, I’m actually very innocent, really…
Just then, Zhong Yuan called to me, “Blockhead.”
“Huh?” I looked over at him. His expression looked so serious. It was really strange.
Zhong Yuan was looking past me, and his expression was grim. He said, “Look behind you.”
His reaction made my hair stand on end. Trembling with fear, I turned around.
Under the dim light of the battery-powered lamp, I saw something reflect a sliver of light in the corner of the tent. Most of the creature was blocked by a backpack, and only a small section of tail remained visible. This small bit of tail was enough to send me into complete shock. That was a… snake!
I screamed, scared out of my mind, and stepped back in panic. I shouted, “Snake! It’s a snake!”
Because the tent was so small, I accidentally bumped into Zhong Yuan. But in such a situation, I didn’t have the wits to care about that. The only thing my mind could feel then was fear. I unconsciously grabbed onto Zhong Yuan, my whole body shaking.
Zhong Yuan, however, didn’t seem at all scared. He pat my back gently and smiled happily. “You don’t need to be scared.”
Don’t have to be scared, my ass! That’s a snake!
People from the tents around us came over to ask about the situation. The fierce Senior Ling Ling pulled open the tent and stuck her head inside. And then her delicate face darkened.
Senior Ling Ling angrily pulled her head out and then zipped up the tent. I heard her explain to everyone outside, “It’s nothing. They’re just flirting.”
The word ‘flirting’ suddenly struck a nerve. I pushed Zhong Yuan away from me, unable to look at him. But I was also too scared to go back to my spot because of the snake…
I moved behind Zhong Yuan, to get as far away from the snake as I could.
Zhong Yuan calmly walked over to the snake, and then he bravely picked it up by the tail!
In that moment, I felt that Zhong Yuan was a soldier from the heavens, a matchless hero…
And then Zhong Yuan swung the snake in his hand and walked over to me with a smile…
I shook my head as hard as I could, whimpering, “D-d-d-d-don’t… Don’t come closer. You…”
Zhong Yuan waved the little snake and laughed. “Can’t you tell? It’s fake.”
I took a proper look at the snake and realized that its body wasn’t moving. It only seemed to move because Zhong Yuan was shaking it. My tensed nerves finally loosened up.
Zhong Yuan held the snake in front of my face. “For you?”
I carefully took the snake. It was made up of small wooden blocks strung together and then painted with a snakeskin-like pattern. At first glance, it looked just like a snake. With some residual fear, I looked at this wooden snake. But then I got really angry. I threw the snake to the side and shouted, “Zhong Yuan! Do you think your practical jokes are fun?!” I didn’t look at him again. I went over to my spot, took off my jacket, and crawled into my sleeping bag, turning away from Zhong Yuan.
After a moment of silence, I heard a rustling sound. Zhong Yuan had come to my side and tapped me gently on the shoulder. “I didn’t know you could be that scared.”
I closed my eyes, ignoring him.
Zhong Yuan asked, “Are… you angry?”
I kept ignoring him.
Zhong Yuan said, “OK, I’ll apologize. I’m sorry.”
To the end, I ignored him… What’s the point of an apology? You’ve already created the scars. That can’t be changed!
Zhong Yuan said, “Blockhead, can’t you be generous? When you assaulted me earlier, I didn’t even say anything.”
My anger burst forth. I turned and glared at him. “Who assaulted you?! Who?! What do you have that I would assault you?!” You bottom!
Zhong Yuan lowered his head, his glistening eyes looking down at me. He said, “OK, you didn’t assault me. You were just overly enthusiastic.”
I glared at him. Fuck you. How could you talk about the pot that doesn’t boil!1
And then Zhong Yuan said, “OK, don’t be angry. If you stay angry, I might start to feel bad. And if I feel bad, I’m not sure what I might end up doing.”
My heart trembled. That was definitely a threat. But after how angry I got, if I gave in now, I would lose so much face. At that thought, I immediately turned away and closed my eyes. I’d ignore him. The bastard. He just does whatever he wants to do. I was done with his abuse.
When Zhong Yuan saw my lack of response, he added, “Blockhead, you can use the camera whenever you want.”
My fingers gripping my pillow started to shake… R-really?
Zhong Yuan said, “If you don’t want to, then forget it.”
I turned over and looked at him with wide eyes. Excited, I replied, “Deal!”
Zhong Yuan looked at me and a smile slowly appeared on his face. Like a lotus pond in July, the image penetrated deep into the heart.