244

She Had my Heart, Wrapped in That Chain

Bookmark(0)

No account yet? Register

Ren Rou stood at the door of the computer science lab, where the esports club held its meetings, with a large bowl in her hand. It was filled to the rim with small and carefully folded pieces of paper. She’d spent all day preparing them for today’s event. An exhibition match. The champions of Shanghai would play against the lucky few club members who won the raffle. Club members were in excited conversation with each other as they tested their luck. Most got an empty piece of paper. But exactly five times, someone waved a piece of paper over their head and shouted that they got a winning ticket!

Waiting inside the computer science lab were the players of the team. Tang Bingyao, Liu Yue, Chen Ze, and Wei Dong were already sitting behind their computers. They had opened their League of Legends clients and were now looking over their shoulders, welcoming the club members in various ways. Tang Bingyao just nodded at everyone who called out her name, and sometimes waved a little. She wasn’t sure what to do. Liu Yue was the complete opposite of her. He waved at everyone, shouted out some names, and told them to get closer so that they could watch the game.

But a League of Legends team has five members. The fifth player for this exhibition match was standing a few steps away from the computer, complaining. An Xin stood next to him. She was a beautiful and kind girl. And after the team’s performance at the Shanghai 16 School Tournament, every student in the school knew who she was. Guys crushed on her, girls wanted to be friends with her, and everyone would do whatever she asked of them, all because of her warm smile. There was, however, one exception. A lesson everyone quickly learned. Whenever Lin Feng said something asinine, her whole demeanor changed. The kindness morphed into a terrifying anger. And Lin Feng had clearly just said something stupid.

The steady stream of club members entering the computer science lab came to an abrupt stop. The room suddenly felt cold. Students started pushing back, frantic. They were shouting that it was happening again. “It’s the murder smile! THE MURDER SMILE!”

An Xin looked over at Lin Feng. She tilted her head slightly, smiling her trademark smile, and asked, “HMM? What did you say? Say it again, I dare you!”

Lin Feng was the only guy in the entire school who didn’t seem scared by An Xin’s murder smile. “Stop it, BunBun!” he complained. “You shouldn’t threaten me! It’s really unfair!”

An Xin glared at him and retorted, “Oh? Is it?”

“Yes! It totally is!” Lin Feng replied, grinning. “I knew you’d understand! I just said I didn’t want to play this exhibition match!”

“Sit down and play,” An Xin ordered, leaving no room for discussion.

Lin Feng grumbled and whined, but he also listened. He sat down behind the computer next to Tang Bingyao’s and opened the League of Legends client. Then he leaned closer to Tang Bingyao and said, “Can you believe her? She’s forcing me to play!”

Tang Bingyao tilted her head and asked, “Hm?” After which An Xin leaned over Lin Feng’s shoulder and added, “HMM?”

Lin Feng grumbled some more but still logged into his League of Legends account and joined the rest of the team in the lobby. All the while, Ren Rou had been trying to get everyone back into the computer science lab, which she finally succeeded at. The room was jam-packed with students a few minutes later. And the five lucky students took place behind the designated computers.

The esports club members started finding their confidence again when the warm smile returned to An Xin’s face. They dared to move a little closer to the 10 computers that were placed opposite each other in two rows of five. More specifically, they gathered behind Tang Bingyao and watched over her shoulder.

Lin Feng still wasn’t happy but stopped complaining when they got into Champion Select. He loved League of Legends and this was just another opportunity to play the game. Besides. He looked over his shoulder at the students gathered there. Everyone is here to watch me play! I should pick a good carry and show them how good I am! Hmm, yeah! Let’s go with Fizz! He flexed his mouse-hand and said to the student standing near him, “I’m really good at Fizz too!”

Lin Feng’s Fizz was up against a Gold player’s Orianna. And Lin Feng was showing off. He picked up an early kill two minutes into the game, and then another one a minute later. There wasn’t a single opportunity for a kill that he missed out on. And after five kills in 10 minutes, the game was as good as over. He could hear the students cheering behind him. For me! Haha! They’re all here to watch me carry! An Xin was right! This is great!

At 10 minutes: Lin Feng’s Fizz destroyed the mid outer tower.

At 15 minutes: Lin Feng was roaming around the map, searching for more kills because the respawn time on the Orianna was too long. He got bored waiting for her.

At 20 minutes: Lin Feng finally became Legendary, with 9 kills to his name.

At 25 minutes: Lin Feng won his team the game by destroying the inhibitor in mid lane and then the nexus, while the rest of his team was still playing in their own lanes.

Lin Feng sat back in his seat, grinning. Yup! How do you like that? My Fizz carried this game! We never even got to the team fights or anything like that! I just pushed mid and won the game! Ha! I carried so hard that the rest of my team didn’t even need to be there! He turned around to look at the students gathered there, only now listening to what they were saying.

“Tang Tang is the best!”
“She carried this game!”
“I wish I was as good as Tang Tang!”
“Did you guys see her at the Finals? I saw her there! She was so amazing! It’s so cool we get to see her play from up close now!”
“I love your playstyle Tang Tang! You’re so aggressive! It’s perfect! I hope to one day be as good as you!”

“Wait, what?” Lin Feng only now noticed that the club members hadn’t gathered around him, but around Tang Bingyao. “Eh? Why are you guys not cheering for me?” he asked, baffled.

A few students briefly glanced at Lin Feng before turning back to Tang Bingyao, but most didn’t even seem to notice him. They were all focused on Tang Bingyao and talking to her about her Tristana. Her score at the end of the game was 7/0/5 and she’d pushed all the way to the bot lane inhibitor tower. That was enough for the students to be convinced that she had done all the carrying, in no small part because they liked her more than Lin Feng. Not just because she was a nice, beautiful girl that they wanted to get closer to, but also because they didn’t particularly like Lin Feng. He was the guy who first set An Xin off and then stomped on a Gold opponent.

There was also another reason why the club members were more impressed with Tang Bingyao than Lin Feng. This was a result from the Shanghai 16 School Tournament, especially the last game because that was the game everyone remembered. The club members believed that Tang Bingyao had won them the Shanghai 16 School Tournament with her Vayne. She became immensely popular on the back of this. Every student knew her name, and even League of Legends fans from other high schools in Shanghai knew who she was. She was the only female ad-carry who competed at the Shanghai 16 School Tournament. And many people also argued that she was the best ad-carry at the tournament.

Tang Bingyao didn’t care much for all the extra attention she was getting. But she couldn’t just sit and do nothing with everyone chanting her name. She looked over her shoulder at the crowd, smiling. This only invigorated the club members as they got louder and louder. Hm… What do they want? Should I get up and thank them? Uhh, hmm… She finally got up and nodded and waved, thanking everyone for coming to watch her play.

The club members couldn’t believe their luck. Tang Bingyao had heard them. And now she was speaking to them! They pushed their fellow students aside and crowded around her, asking her questions and telling her how much they admired her. There were girls asking how to get better at League of Legends and there were guys asking if she was going to do any more 1vs1 Love Confessions in the near future.

An Xin winked at Lin Feng, who had found his way to her, and said, “Wow, Tang Tang sure has gotten popular.”

Lin Feng kicked a pen away and sulked, “No one cheered for me…”

An Xin chuckled and asked, “Aren’t you worried? If you aren’t careful, someone might snatch her away from you!”

“Snatch her away?” Lin Feng asked, scratching the back of his head. Then he waved his hand and said, “That won’t happen! Tang Tang already promised to be our team’s ad-carry! She won’t join another team! You’re worrying about nothing!”

An Xin shook her head and rolled her eyes. “Nevermind. It’s pointless talking to you.” Then she turned to some of the club members that had gathered around her and were asking questions about League of Legends and her lovelife. She smiled and started answering them, ignoring Lin Feng.

Tang Bingyao received a lot of attention, but most of it was centered around League of Legends. This wasn’t the case with An Xin. There were many guys who came to her and straight up asked her out on a date. She turned all of them down. But rather than being disheartened by this, the guys left with a smile on their faces. An Xin had somehow convinced them that it was really for the best that they wouldn’t date, and that there was someone out there waiting for them. They just had to keep their eyes open for that special someone. But that didn’t stop them from daydreaming about An Xin and wishing they could spend more time together. The regular student envied the esports club members, who got to see An Xin twice a week during club activities. And the esports club members envied the students from Senior Class 7, who could stare at An Xin all day from Monday through Friday. The entire school was infatuated with her.

The next day, Senior Class 7 started the morning with Mathematics, after which they had English Literature. When the period bell finally announced a break, they turned to their friends and started complaining about their grueling schedule. Ouyang was, as per usual, the loudest voice amongst them all. The students were usually annoyed by this. They’d glare at him or tell him to shut up. But this was one of those rare occasions in which everyone agreed with him.

Right then, a student from Senior Class 8 knocked on the door and poked his head through the door opening. The entire classroom became quiet. All eyes fell on him. His face turned red as he held up a postcard and said, “Uhh… An… An Xin? Uhh… You, uhm, I… I mean, you, me, and uhm…”

Ouyang’s eyes went wide and his jaw dropped to the floor. “What? Is that another love letter?” he exclaimed. “Hot damn! BunBun! Another one for you! Damn girl, they just keep coming for you! How do you do this!?”

Ren Rou glared at Ouyang and snapped, “Shut up.”

“But Rou Rou…” Ouyang started before closing his mouth again. An Xin had stood up from her desk and was smiling at the student from Senior Class 8. Oh my god! How does she do this! It’s that same smile every time! And then she’s going to turn him down! And then that poor bro is going to be happy about it. Every single time! He watched her walk over to the classroom door and mumbled, “Poor guy.”

Yang Fan adjusted his glasses and said, “You’re right if you mean that she’s going to turn him down. Just look at him. He clearly has a few too many pounds on his body and those zits on his face aren’t helping either.”

Ouyang watched carefully how An Xin dealt with the student from Senior Class 8. He suddenly whisper-shouted, “Look, look! She accepted his letter! Maybe she does like him?”

Yang Fan chuckled and shook his head. “No, Ouyang. That’s how she does it. She accepts the letter and then tells them the bad news. Did you already forget what happened yesterday?”

“Oh, oh, right. I forgot,” Ouyang replied. He turned back to see An Xin turn the guy down. He lowered his head and was clearly taking it hard. But then he looked back up at An Xin. Ouyang’s eyes went wide and he mumbled, “H-how does she do that? He looks happy!” Then he shot up from his seat and shouted, “BUNBUN! How did you do that? You turned him down, right? Right? Why is he so happy? He should be upset! He got turned down!”

“Ouyang!” Ren Rou shouted, glaring at him before An Xin could.

“But Rou Rou,” Ouyang said, looking to start an argument. But when he saw the look in Ren Rou’s eyes, he knew better than to keep talking. He closed his mouth and then zipped it with his hands. He followed up by locking it and finally he swallowed the key. Then he nodded at her, as if saying, “See? I can’t say a word!”

An Xin walked back to her desk and sat down. She put the love letter at the corner and then reached into her backpack to grab something. This was also the moment in which Lin Feng lost to his curiosity. He reached over from his desk to grab the love letter while asking, “BunBun, what did you two talk about? Can I read the lette— AI!”

An Xin had slapped Lin Feng’s hand away and said, “Keep your hands to yourself! He wrote this for me! Don’t be so nosy!” Then she giggled and added, “Or are you jealous? Is that it?”

Lin Feng pointed at himself and asked incredulously, “Me? Jealous? No way! I was just curious! You know, I wanted to know what kind of idiot would get fooled by your looks!”

An Xin stopped giggling. She clenched her fist and punched Lin Feng in the face. “YOU IDIOT! I knew nothing good would come out of your mouth! Jerk!”

The dismissal bell rang at the end of the day. The students from Senior Class 7 packed their bags and streamed out of the classroom. But Tang Bingyao stayed in her seat. She rummaged through her backpack and grabbed her wallet. Then she counted out ¥25, enough to buy two milk teas and a chicken cutlet, and stuffed it in her pocket. Finally, she waited for Lin Feng to walk up to her desk. This was their daily routine when there were no club activities.

“Let’s go!” Lin Feng said, excited as always.

“Mhm,” Tang Bingyao replied with a nod. Then she got up and walked through the hallways and off the campus with Lin Feng. They walked down the streets of Shanghai until they arrived in front of a small little shop that served milk tea and chicken cutlet. She paused here and pulled the money from her pocket. “Hey, uh, Lin Feng? I’ve got some spare change… Do you want to stop for some milk tea and chicken cutlet?”

Lin Feng completely missed the expression on Tang Bingyao’s face. All he heard was the chicken cutlet, and from there that was all he could see and smell. He nodded and replied, “Yeah! I want some! Thanks, Tang Tang! By the way, you sure do have a lot of spare change these days. But that’s really good! More chicken cutlet for me! Haha!”

Tang Bingyao walked into the shop and placed the order, listening to Lin Feng giving her a lecture on chicken cutlet and how to correctly prepare it. Then, when their portion was delivered, he pointed at it and shouted that that was exactly how it was supposed to look and smell. A bite and yelp later, he also noted that this was how it was supposed to taste. She smiled.

The two friends left the shop and continued walking home, Tang Bingyao sipping on her milk tea and Lin Feng wolfing away the chicken cutlet. It wasn’t until he had eaten more than half of it that he realized Tang Bingyao was walking next to him, and she had paid for the food. He sheepishly offered it to her and said, “Uhh, Tang Tang, do you want some too?”

Tang Bingyao smiled and shook her head. “Mnh-mnh, I’m good. Thanks.”

“Oh, alright,” Lin Feng replied with a full mouth.

Tang Bingyao didn’t play her game of jump-the-cracks. She walked next to Lin Feng and looked up at him. How do I tell him? Do I just say it? Or am I supposed to hint at it? I don’t know. Maybe? Or… She glanced in the distance, towards a large intersection. That was as far as they walked together every day. She bit on her lips. I have to say it now, or I won’t say it at all. Mhm! She nodded at herself and then said, “Uhmm, Lin Feng?”

1
0

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Sietse Thought: As you guys might know by now, Devs and I have been sick for the better part of a week now. Devs still sounds like he’s with one foot in the grave, and I’m very slowly starting to feel a little better. That leaves Shanks, all by himself. He had to go through the entire weekend without us! Monday came around and he meekly asked us how we were. Still shitty. Then today he asked again. Only this time he came prepared. He’d done his research into Eastern Medicine, because Western Medicine has clearly been failing Devs and me.

Allow me to pass the word to Shanks. He will write a dissertation on the strengths and weaknesses of Eastern Medicine, and how it might achieve what Western Medicine failed to provide. A healthy Devshard and a healthy Sietse!

Let’s give a warm welcome to… SHANKS!

Shanks Thought  Okay… I can tell you’re still out of it. Because I got none of that from us trying to discuss the chapter thought with you today.

Sietse Interjection: LIES! LIES! I CALL SLANDER! WRITE THE DISSERTATION!

Shanks (Continued): Anyway, since the theme of this week seems to be people getting sick, I thought I’d share some of my experiences with getting sick to you guys. Specifically about how I always end up getting fed these weird concoctions by my family. 

I remember one time when I caught the flu, my dad pulled out this sachet of powder my aunt gave him. He told me it was a really powerful medicinal tonic from China. It was made up of ground turtle shell, pangolin, 200-year-old ginseng, salamander… you get the point. I was too out of it with my fever, so I didn’t refuse.

Dev Interjection: Isn’t a pangolin an animal? 

Shanks (Continued): Yes, it is an animal. A pretty cute one too. I don’t know why you would want to make it into medicine. But anyway…

My dad poured the powder into a glass of hot water, and had me drink the concoction. What happened after that I’ll never forget. Within minutes of drinking the ‘medicine’, I had the violent urge to vacate my bowels. Luckily, I wasn’t Devshard and I got to the toilet on time. But it wasn’t over. Every half an hour from then on, I had to go to the toilet again. By the fifth or sixth trip, I was crying and begging for it to stop. This went on for the rest of the day.

All the while, my dad was in the background telling me that this was medicine working. That all the impurities in my body were being cleansed. It was not. I think it made me more sick. I think I shat out every bit of solid fecal matter in my body. Then afterwards, I shat out everything liquid. And when I was done with that, I think I shat out my stomach lining too…It was a miserable experience. Oh, and I still had my flu for a week after that. I was also made to drink that medicine two more times…

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments