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The Taming of the Yandere

 

Chapter 23: The Neighbor’s Chilled Juice

Several days of rain passed by our city.

The air felt much fresher than before, and it wasn’t as hot. Only last week, I was walking home sweating like a pig. Even if I drank as much water as I can, my lips will still stay dry and cracked.

Now that summer has passed, early autumn is right around the corner.

Now, I could be walking home with the cool wind in my face and a smile on my lips. But at the moment, I stood before the lobby of a high-end, expensive apartment with an ominous feeling.

Yep, that’s right. We’re here again, at Jiang Muqing’s house. I’ve come once more.

Leaning on the polished marble under the shade, I reflected on my situation. I thought about the incomprehensible Jiang Muqing, and the naïve Lu Fan, thinking that he could solve everything so easily.

If one were to meet again with a past friend or acquaintance, they must first think of the past experiences and relationships they’ve had with that person, especially their attitude upon their last encounter.

Then, you can respond to their last demeanor with a reasonable one.

To stable, calm emotions, one should reinforce; to broken, fickle relationships, one should mend. Another friend is always better than another enemy, after all.

That day, she thanked me, paid money as a reward for bravery and good intentions, and left without a word.

She didn’t even say goodbye. It was like politeness between strangers, as if I were to give up my seat for an elderly, and they thank me.

Our ending couldn’t be more normal. We wouldn’t need to meet again after I saved her from the building roof, so the start of the story would be the most perfect ending. Our paths should have never kept stretching.

However, the situation has spiraled out of control, resulting in one train wreck after another.

…..

The office of the First Year Head, Teacher Li.

“The school doesn’t have to play a hand in this, I’ll solve this problem on my own. I’ll go comfort her again, and convince my dad to lighten on their debt.”

I answered to Teacher Li.

Jiang Muqing seems truly important to Shiyi High.

All the education officials have placed hope on her shoulders, wishing for her to triumph against other schools and states, winning national competitions.

Even teachers, who have no family relations with her, will donate money to clear off Jiang Muqing’s “debt” without hesitation?

I didn’t know whether I should feel happy for her abilities or sad for her condition.

My act may have been too outstanding, now that all of the teachers fully believe every word of my story. They aren’t even investigating Jiang Muqing’s family to verify my tale.

Maybe the school can’t contact her parents, or get to know her family’s situation. Jiang Muqing wouldn’t reveal anything about her issues at home, either.

So, they can only come to me.

To cleanse all suspicion and negativity on my shoulders, I’ve molded myself into a “lubricant” between their family and ours, seeming like a good Samaritan.

I thought that it’ll be all over by now, but it seems like our plight has taken a turn for the worse. The black characters on the test sheet were all in my name. This kind of presentation could never be ignored.

I can imagine the day she took the test. Her hand shook slightly, copying down my name one after another. She turns in her paper, and the proctor’s brow crinkles.

Well, now I can’t use the excuse of the school’s four Lu Fans. I definitely can’t say that Jiang Muqing didn’t mean me.

Ugh, why is it me who got involved in this whole mess? Her grades are fantastic, her looks are beautiful, and should be accepted and even celebrated by everyone. Why does she have to come bother me, who only wants to quietly study?

“Didn’t your father forbid you from pleading them? Didn’t he threaten to break your leg in half?”

The serious teacher broke into a smile when he heard my answer.

“My finals score was great, and my dad should be happy with me. Going to talk won’t hurt, since we’re all classmates, after all.”

Who knows, maybe I’ll really figure something out. After all, not only did I pull her from the rooftop, I also hauled back her heart, wavering above the sky. Whatever I do now will determine the rest of her life.

….

I arrived again to find her, continuing my path of a good Samaritan.

Outside the steel door of the high-end apartment, I gathered my thoughts, and took a deep breath. I entered “212” into the keypad, connecting to Jiang Muqing’s suite.

“Hello, who is this?”

Jiang Muqing’s voice was completely normal, with no sign of any significant abnormalities.

“Is it Classmate Jiang? I’m Lu Fan, Teacher Li sent me here. There’s some matters we need to discuss.”

I calmly replied.

“….”

But the speaker didn’t make a sound for quite a while.

“Clack.”

The sound of the receiver hanging up was extremely quiet.

She’s so cold this time. I would at least expect her to curse and swear at me, but she didn’t utter a word. Very unsettling.

I must be completely hated by now. No, not hated. She definitely loathes me.

It must be that in her eyes, the words I said that night indicated that her young, vibrant body didn’t even hold up against the homework on my desk. Sigh, what was supposed to be my one-hit KO created the awkwardness that was right now.

I should call her neighbor “213” for help. I hope she’s home.

….

I entered “213”, but no one answered. The dial tone rang on and on.

Walking out of the entrance, I lifted my head to look for Jiang Muqing’s window. But the 21st floor was way too high, my vision would never go that far.

The moment I decided to leave, a familiar figure appeared in front of me.

A delicate, pretty girl with short hair walked my way. She wore wireless earbuds, and hummed to her song.

“Classmate Lu, you’ve come here again?”

It was Jiang Muqing’s neighbor. She recognized me, too.

Today, she was wearing the school uniform, a white shirt and blue pleated skirt. Like me, she must be coming home after receiving her grades. She looked very happy, and must’ve gotten a good score.

I opened my mouth to explain my arrival, but she interrupted first.

“Wait, let me guess, you must be the Lu Fan that was assigned to Class D. Your dark expression is really scary.”

The girl took off her earbuds, and jokingly laughed.

“My mood doesn’t depend solely on grades, you know.”

I didn’t feel like staying to chat.

“Are you looking for my neighbor?”

She asked.

“Yeah, I’m looking for 212’s Jiang Muqing, but she’s not opening her door.”

“You got in a fight with your girlfriend again?”

Her naughty lips curved upwards slightly.

“She’s not my girlfriend. I came here in my teacher’s name, but she still won’t let me in.”

“Ah, so that’s why. I can get you in, now with last time’s experience; the lobby door and her suite door.”

The girl spoke in a wise and knowing tone.

“What do you have in mind?”

Getting dragged in by the hair last time was strange and unexpected. But if I can get in, it’s worth it.

So, I walked in the building with the girl, and rode the elevator to the 21st floor.

Once the doors opened, the girl stuck out her tongue and pulled a mischievous face. She walked to Jiang Muqing’s door with a swagger, and rapped her knuckles smartly on the door. The air stayed quiet.

Next, she walked behind me, and spoke loudly.

“Lu Fan, since Classmate Jiang isn’t here, why don’t you come to my house? I have freshly squeezed juice in my fridge, and it’s been chilled for a whole afternoon. It’s really delicious.”

Her feminine tone was impressive.

When she finished, she looked at me and nodded her head.

“That’s great. Fruit juice is my favorite.”

I replied, opening my voice a bit.

But there wasn’t any response inside, not even Jiang Muqing’s running footsteps.

The girl seemed incredulous, too. She thought for a second, and suddenly clasped my elbow.

I felt the slight rises on the girl’s shirt touch my skin lightly.

You’re really willing to go this far?!

“Say….”

My face became awkward.

“Shhh!”

She pointed at the peep hole on Jiang Muqing’s door.

Is she really looking? My head was full of suspicion, and peered at the shut door worriedly.

The girl kept her tight position, and pretended to pull me from 212 to 213. I could only be “dragged” by her.

One step, two steps, three steps.

Every step was further away from my target, and every step added a layer of doubt. If Jiang Muqing really doesn’t open the door, what do I do?

….

“What will happen now?”