Chapter 84 – High School (3)
There were still some water droplets on the phone and the screen was turned on showing two new messages.
[Fu Mingheng]: The police couldnt find any evidence to prove that Jin Chenhe killed our younger sister. It is estimated that he will be released after being detained for a few days.
[Fu Mingheng]: Dont worry too much. The police will investigate this matter to the end. Play well in the competition.
There were still some droplets of water clinging to Fu Lus hair. He pursed his lips tightly and his Adams apple slid up and down slowly as though he was trying his best to hold back his emotions.
A long time later, he pulled back his arm to remove his fist that was resting against the wall.
With a glance, the swelling and the bruises on his knuckles could be seen.
Fu Lu understood the meaning of the two messages.
Ten years on, it was almost impossible to find any useful clues from the scene.
It was obvious to everyone that Jin Chenhe had information regarding the case but they could not do anything about it.
With that thought, Fu Lu raised the corners of his lips into a self-deprecating smile but he was not actually smiling. From his dark pupils, one could see the iciness that sent chills down ones spine.
He turned on the faucet and bent down to splash his face with water.
The icy and biting cold seemed to have calmed down a little of Fu Lus irritation. He lifted his hand to turn off the faucet and slowly straightened up. After a long pause, he slowly opened his eyes.
As the water droplets dripped down Fu Lus angular jaw a large part of his jersey became wet.
He turned his head and glanced sideways.
That little girl named Wen Ruan had already left.
Fu Lu lowered his eyes and draped the towel on his head once again. As he dried his hair with the towel, his expression turned gloomy and indifferent.
At this moment, someone suddenly approached him from behind.
A very familiar girls voice that was somewhat clear and bright. Although it was only aHey, the tone sounded cautious, gentle, and probing without any sense of hostility.
Fu Lu was startled and his hands stopped moving.
Wen Ruan, who was biting on a popsicle stick in her mouth, put down the item in her hand on the sink, then stretched out her index finger and pushed it slightly forward.
“This is for you.”
Fu Lu looked down.
It was a whole strip of band-aids, the very ordinary type. At this moment, it was stained with some water and the edges of the strip were a little wet.
“I dont know what happened, but if you feel angry because of someone elses mistake and at the same time hurt yourself then its really, really not worth it.”
She laughed with eyes curved into crescents and her tone was crisp and warm.
Hearing the words, Fu Lu was momentarily stunned. He subconsciously reached out his hand to cautiously pinched a corner of the strip of band-aids.
It seemed that at that particular moment, the hot summer wind blew through his chest and a myriad of thoughts arose in his mind.
“Thats all then.” Wen Ruan turned around with a light laugh. After taking a few steps forward, she suddenly seemed to have thought of something and turned her head around to shout.
“I wish you a victorious game!”
Fu Lu was startled and recovered from his turbulent thoughts.
He turned his head around subconsciously and only saw Wen Ruans back view.
The scorching sunlight in the summer seemed to have formed an eye-piercing brilliant halo in the air and that figure was being swallowed up in that brilliant white light.
That image became a memory forever.
He turned his head and silently picked up the strip of band-aids on the sink.
He stared at it for a long time. Suddenly, he laughed then folded the strip of band-aids neatly, and stuffed it into his pocket.
In the distance, someone shouted. “Fu Lu, are you ready”
He lifted his head in response and took a few steps forward. Suddenly he stopped and then turned his head around to look in the direction Wen Ruan left.
Many students were coming and going on this path.
But she had long vanished.
The day that Jin Chenhe was released should be regarded as a very important turning point in Fu Lus life.
The incident seemed to have pulled an outstanding man, a man regarded as heavens pride, into a quagmire. Although it looked bright and beautiful on the surface, the underside was all filled with rotting silt.
The rotting silt tried to devour everything……..including himself.
He changed his name.
From Fu Lu to Fu Zhihuan.
‘Huan means bright or radiant.
However, the name is not a prayer or blessing. For him, it is an extremely important warning.
Whenever someone calls out his name, it serves as a kind of reminder.
At the very least, he would not allow himself to be destroyed so quickly.
When Fu Zhihuan met Wen Ruan again, it was during his third year in university at a school exchange activity program.
At that time, as an outstanding representative of Jiang City Universitys Law Faculty, Wen Ruan came to Fu Zhihuans university to give a speech and share her experience.
For this kind of event, the various departments of the student union were required to attend to ensure the auditorium was filled up to full capacity.
However, Fu Zhihuans name was always not on the mandatory list.
After all, while most of the students were still busy with cultural work in the student union, Fu Zhihuan had already followed his tutor several times to study and conduct research on sites.
At that time, the student union had insisted that he remain in the student union and it was mainly to use him as their mascot to support the union.
Unexpectedly, on that day, Zhao Zichen had a severe stomachache due to food poisoning and could not attend the event. He was desperate to find someone to replace him so he could only lie on Fu Zhihuans desk and begged him to attend the event on his behalf.
“Really, Ive never felt such severe pain in my life before. Its like a turbid qi is churning in my stomach similar to having the Monkey King jumping around wildly and poking my intestines. Now and then, a little sourish taste would rise inside me……..”
Perhaps Fu Zhihuan could no longer stand Zhao Zichens mental abuse, so he closed the book and for the first time ever, he agreed to such a troublesome request from Zhao Zichen.
Actually, although he had agreed, Fu Zhihuan did not intend to stay until the end of the event.
Events like this are usually formal and boring and the speeches are read from prepared scripts. Apart from taking a few photos to give the campus news bulletin something to write about, it is basically not of much use.
Therefore, Fu Zhihuans original plan was to help Zhao Zichen register and then go straight back to the dormitory.
However, when he passed by backstage he heard a familiar voice.
“Dear teachers and classmates, I am Wen Ruan, the freshmen representative of the Law Faculty at Jiang City University.”
The crisp and bright voice instantly overlapped with the voice in his memory. A certain chord in Fu Zhihuans mind tightened and he stopped walking.
He turned around and with a glance, he saw Wen Ruan sitting on a high chair backstage.
Wen Ruan was swaying her legs from time to time with her chin propped up and was stiffly reading from the script with a displeased expression.
“Oh please, isnt this script too exaggerated! When did I ever get up at six in the morning to study And when did I ever pull an all-nighter for a case”
Qin Sushan coaxed her. “Aiya, its just to show youre hardworking.”
“But I relied on my talent.” Wen Ruan argued.
Qin Sushan was silent for a while. “Isnt it good to arrange some excellent attributes for you”
“Come on.” Wen Ruan rolled her eyes. “This kind of long lecture without sustenance is torturous and I only came because you said youre going to introduce a cool guy to me from the student union. But in the end, what happened”
After so many years had passed, Wen Ruan looked even more outstanding than when she was a student in high school.
As she sat there smiling and talking with her bright teeth and eyes, she was already captivating enough without the need for any other expressions or actions.
Fu Zhihuan lowered his eyes and took two steps forward. Then he stopped and touched the corner of his lips.
……Why is he smiling
He suddenly gave up the idea of leaving after registering. Instead, as if moved by an unforeseen force, he chose a seat and sat down to wait for the event to start.
After doing all that, Fu Zhihuan felt a little incredible.
It was so incredible that it felt a little absurd.
He seemed to have done a lot of things that he would not normally do.
And everything was done just because of a little girl he encountered by chance.
And she did not even know him at all.
Ten minutes later, Wen Ruan came on stage and was greeted by perfunctory but warm applause.
She lowered her head, glanced at the prepared script, and read out the opening speech.
Then suddenly, a long pause followed.
With such a long pause, the audience below the stage became a little restless and started to chat with one another.
Then at this moment, Wen Ruan suddenly laughed. She folded up the script in her hand slowly and then placed it aside firmly.
She straightened up and then looked at the audience below the stage with her beautiful eyes that were full of smiles and said.
“To be honest, this script was very well-written but I cant remember it well and if I read it out incorrectly then it would be embarrassing. So if you dont mind, why dont I tell you a few interesting cases that I have encountered recently”
After a short silence, the students suddenly burst into thunderous applause. Some of the students who initially appeared disinterested put down their phones and unplugged their earphones. Some students even stood up and responded enthusiastically.
People who are around the age of 20 often dislike following rules and regulations.
Fu Zhihuans lips curled slightly.
He knew that Wen Ruan would never disappoint.
She always has a way to broaden ones view of the world and does things that are out of expectation.
And is always capable of taking responsibility for the decisions she makes.
Wen Ruans speech was very successful and outstanding.
Whether it was the citation of a case or the sequence of analysis including the use of words to build up the suspense in several instances…….everything was done very naturally and perfectly.
She seemed to be holding a casual conversation with the audience but was able to grasp the very crucial points.
After the event, a brief minor spat occurred backstage.
“You were too impulsive just now! It would have been alright just to give the speech according to the prepared script to ensure no untoward accident would happen. Anyway, the audience below wont leave!”
“I dont care about others who read out this kind of prepared script but since I have been sent to give this speech then I will have to take responsibility for all the people who came. I wont use this kind of script that is assembled from extracts found online and give a perfunctory speech.”
Wen Ruan lifted her eyes and said each word very seriously.
“This is the most basic respect.”
Fu Zhihuan glanced backstage and then calmly turned around to leave.
He knew that Wen Ruan would become a very good lawyer in the future.
Because she is a person who can still make others truly and sincerely show respect for her even without using her identity as a daughter of a wealthy family.
“This is the fiancee your parents arranged for you.” Fu Mingheng handed over a photo while leaning against the table and smiled.
“Think about it. Youll like this little girl. This little girl has very good character and…….she will surely make you happy.”
Fu Zhihuan glanced at the photo and then froze for a moment. He pursed his lips and did not say anything.
His memory seemed to have rolled back to ten years ago when he saw Wen Ruan for the first time.
No matter how times have changed, the pure and clear smile in the little girls eyes as well as her enthusiasm and firmness that can move peoples hearts have never changed from beginning to end.
Fu Zhihuan said softly. “Cancel the engagement.”
Fu Mingheng continued.
“Trust me, she will make you happier. Dad and Mom said that you need a little liveliness in your life.”
“Cancel the engagement.”
Fu Zhihuan has always been indifferent and cold but this time, his tone carried a rare trace of anger. He turned his head and his eyes were slightly cold.
“Fu Mingheng, you must understand…….”
“In the future, she will live a happy and carefree life. The soaring sky and the immense ocean belong to her.”
“Therefore, she shouldnt stay by my side like a little caged canary to make me happy.”
She was born to be free.
Fu Zhihuan rubbed his temples and woke up slowly with a splitting headache.
A soft female child-like voice suddenly sounded from the side.
Wen Ruan yawned, straightened up, and stretched out her hand to feel his forehead with a frown.
“Why hasnt the fever subsided Wait, Ill pour you a glass……..ai”
Before she could finish speaking, Fu Zhihuan grabbed hold of her and pulled her into his arms.
He buried his head in her shoulders and hugged her tightly from behind as if he was afraid of losing a beloved child and slowly tightened his arms little by little.
Wen Ruan was startled for a moment then patted his hand and said gently. “Did you have a nightmare”
“No.” Fu Zhihuan laughed, lifted his head, and said huskily. “I dreamt of something that I like very much.”
“What is it”
From beginning to end, it has always been you.