The X Mountains were outside of B City, up at an elevation of more than a thousand meters above sea level. A professional mountaineer would hardly bat a lash at it, but for us students, it was very imposing!
I climbed out of bed bright and early in the morning because we were meeting at 6. I washed my face and brushed my teeth. Then I grabbed the bag I packed the previous night and set out. I borrowed the backpack from Miss Fourth. There was a lot of space inside, which I filled with water and some extra clothes, since supposedly it was still very cold at night in the mountains. Additionally, I packed a pocket knife, a whistle, and other small, essential items for staying in the outdoors. Food and other necessities were divided up between teams, and the boys were responsible for carrying it. The girls just had to make sure they took care of their own things.
With how far the destination was, taking public transportation would have been tedious and time-consuming, so instead, the club rented a coach bus. I arrived early, so there weren’t many people on the bus yet. I found a spot by the window and sat down. Then I pulled out a piece of bread to nibble on. The cafeteria wasn’t open that early, so everyone prepared their own breakfasts.
It was nearly 6 when Zhong Yuan and the other guys arrived with the food and equipment. The bags were gigantic, frighteningly so.
After they put all their bags into the luggage compartment, the boys got onto the bus. With a plastic bag in his hand, Zhong Yuan walked down the aisle, and under the girls’ watching eyes, he nonchalantly took the seat beside me. I turned toward the window and continued nibbling on my bread. Although Zhong Yuan wasn’t my type, and he probably wasn’t interested in me either, the stares from the other girls were really stressful.
Zhong Yuan opened his plastic bag. Inside was his breakfast, which included bread, milk, eggs, sausage, beef jerky…
From the side, my eyes fixed on his assorted breakfast. Meanwhile, I sat there chewing on my dry bread, silently sighing with grief, ‘Why world, why…’
Then Zhong Yuan handed me a box of milk and asked, “Want some?”
I hesitated a moment before shaking my head. Meat pies don’t just fall from the sky. This guy obviously had something up his sleeve.
But then Zhong Yuan suddenly grabbed the bread in my hands and put it into a plastic bag. He twisted it a few times and then put it to the side. Then he put his breakfast in my lap and smiled. “Go ahead.” Without waiting for my reaction, he grabbed a soy egg and started to unwrap the packaging.
I looked down at the very enticing breakfast on my lap, and to my surprise, I realized that there were two servings of bread, milk, eggs, sausages, and jerky…
So I didn’t hold back. I picked up a sausage, unwrapped it, and started to eat. As I ate, I thanked Zhong Yuan. “You know, Zhong Yuan, you’re not so bad.”
Zhong Yuan raised his brows and smiled at me. Then he asked, “Am I very bad?” Although he was smiling, I felt a strange gust of cold air hit my back.
And then I started to chuckle a bit nervously.
Zhong Yuan smiled slyly and said, “You’re won over with just a bit of food? That’s no fun.”
I was chewing on a sausage when the flash of indignation made me speechless.
When I finished eating breakfast, the bus was already on its way. It would take about three or four hours to get to the destination. At first, I was awake enough to listen to the jokes people were telling, but later, my eyelids started to droop. I didn’t want to go to sleep because it wasn’t very comfortable. The backrest on the seats were very vertical and went past my head. If I fell asleep, my head would start tossing left and right, so if I didn’t want that, I’d have to stay awake. In the beginning, I’d nearly fallen asleep until the driver suddenly braked, which caused my head to hit the window, painfully waking me.
When I woke up, Zhong Yuan was laughing at me. He was leaned back in his seat, listening to music. There was a nice contrast between the ordinary, white headphone cord and his black T-shirt. The morning sunlight streamed in through the window onto his body. I squinted and looked at his blurry eyes and smiling lips under the light. A strange idea suddenly came into my mind: Zhong Yuan’s actually pretty good looking…
The hit to my head must have been serious.
I leaned into my seat and closed my eyes. I wanted to sleep but I couldn’t. In the end though, the sleepy feeling won out. I was so tired that my mind basically left me, and my head fell to the side. The last shred of reason in me told me what I was doing, but I couldn’t control myself anymore. The Dream God’s power was too strong.
My head seemed to hit something that was a bit hard but not painful. Whatever it was, it felt stable and firm. I unconsciously shifted into a more comfortable position, all the while leaning on this object.
I felt something being put into my ear, and then I heard an unfamiliar but calming melody. It felt like I was lying in a pool of soft, white feathers.
And then I fell into a deep sleep.