No Protection Tonight
Chapter 16: School Legend
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Soon, the call connected. Once the teacher heard my voice, she nearly detonated with anger. “The principal just told me that you’re supposed to issue a formal apology during today’s morning announcements, and now you’re not going to come to school? Are you trying to get expelled?”
If it wasn’t for Tangsao, I really would’ve been kicked out yesterday, and her fever was all because of my negativity during lunch. My heart swelled with guilt.
“Teacher Liu, I’m not lying, I really have something important to deal with at home. Could you talk with the principal and push back the date of my apology?” I mumbled.
“Student Zhuang Feng, are you actually dumb? What could be more important in your life than your studies right now? Before, I thought you were mature and had some ambition—you always buried your head into your studies and tried to avoid dragging your scores. Now, it looks like you’re really just childish, after all.” I had nothing to say in response to her lecture, but I couldn’t just tell her the truth. That would just invoke an even bigger retort from her.
Just when I was wallowing in gloom, Tangsao pushed open the door and grabbed my ear. She wasn’t pinching very hard, and I could smell the sweet, enticing aroma coming off her.
“Okay, okay, Teacher Liu, I’ll be there soon!” I hung up the phone.
“You little brat, what the hell were you doing? I can take care of myself! I don’t really care about the money, but if you don’t go, you might really get expelled! Why are you so stupid?!” Tangsao tightened her grip sharply, and I jerked in pain. My elbow accidentally bumped against Tangsao’s soft chest—its soft and fluffy texture was unimaginable!
Her face immediately flushed, and I bolted away before she could regain her footing. But it was after I ran out the door when I realized that I was wearing flip-flops.
If I were to go back now, I wouldn’t make it in time, and Saozi would kill me anyway. My only choice was to head for school.
The administration was adamant about the students’ dress code, so flip-flops were banned.
I immediately charged for the campus field. The principal was already making announcements on the stage, and he quickly changed the topic to yesterday’s incident once he saw my face. Then, he called me up for the apology.
I briefly let out a sigh of relief. Tangsao’s connections were sturdy enough, after all. I’d heard that Guo Tao’s family background wasn’t one to be ignored and was worried that they would overpower us. If our efforts went to waste, that would really suck.
Thankfully, I didn’t need to worry. The principal had gotten everything in order, just as promised when he took the money.
Though, my flip-flops were rather noticeable on the podium. A ripple of dissent swept through the crowd below.
“F**k, didn’t they say that flip-flops were banned?”
“Yeah, mine got confiscated the last time I wore them to school. I had to walk back to my dorm barefoot.”
“What would you know, that guy has solid connections. He gets special treatment.”
“It must be nice to have relations like that.”
I felt rather awkward at hearing their murmurs, and Teacher Liu rolled her eyes at me in the distance. I began by saying, “First, I would like to apologize for my own actions, as it has brought a negative effect upon this school. I feel very guilty about that, but it wouldn’t have happened if Guo Tao hadn’t been rude and threatening. I acted in self-defense, which turned into a fight in the end. I didn’t know that he wasn’t someone who could take a punch, and he collapsed afterward.”
“Eh.” The crowd of students was astonished by my way of making amends.
The principal felt the change in the atmosphere and quickly took the microphone. After making some last conclusions, he dismissed the assembly.
Teacher Liu rushed towards me, seething with fury as she launched another lecture regarding my actions. To be honest, she wasn’t a bad person, just dull and tedious most of the time. It wasn’t easy get along with her.
I had prepared myself to sit through lunch in hunger, but the principal helped me out. “Liu, every child makes mistakes. Just relax, at least his mind isn’t corrupted.”
“Alright, if you say so, Principal. Go, go.” Teacher Liu seemed surprised and didn’t press any further.
I whistled a tune as I walked to lunch. With yesterday’s brawl, I had become a school legend. Wherever I walked, people pointed at me and whispered.
The cafeteria was always overflowing with people at noon. If anyone were to come a little late, they would have to wait half an hour in line. Just as I was considering whether or not to go buy some instant noodles instead, someone called my name.
“Zhuang Feng, what do you want for lunch? I’ll buy it for you.” It was my classmate, Wang Xiaopang. He was far ahead in the line.
“You idiot, why are you calling him Zhuang Feng? It’s Feng-ge!” Liu Sanmao scolded from a nearby line. Wang Xiaopang grinned abashedly.
“Oh, just pick something out for me.” I tried to give him my card, but Liu Sanmao refused to take it.
“Feng-ge, it’s just lunch. Don’t embarrass me, man.”
Since he was so enthusiastic, I didn’t really have anything to say. Shortly after, he walked over with a big bowl of beef noodles and a cup of soy milk.
Honestly, I had never eaten the cafeteria’s noodles before. They were sold at about ten bucks a bowl, enough for three or four meals I could eat on my own.
“Hehe, thanks.” I was famished.
“Feng-ge, you’re really someone to look up to. You beat up Guo Tao and managed to leave unscathed. You’ve earned some respect for our class.” Liu Sanmao slapped my shoulder.
“What respect? Teacher Liu wanted nothing more than to whoop my ass.” The noodles were delicious.
“Ah, you only transferred in this year, right? There’s some things you probably don’t know about. Pretty much the entire school knows that our Class Thirteen is the weakest and most cowardly. We only participate in academic and arts festivals. What happened yesterday proved that our class isn’t to be messed with!” Liu Sanmao shook his head in amazement.
It was true that I hadn’t heard of such things before. Because I had only been here for a couple of months, most of my focus was on Saozi. Before, I kept my head down and maintained a low profile. Most people in our class didn’t even know my name.
“Mm, these beef noodles are actually pretty good.” I chuckled.
“Feng-ge, take me as your lackey, and I’ll buy you noodles every day from now on!” Liu Sanmao looked at me admiringly.