It was almost eight o’clock when Fang Huaining left Hexin Industry.
The remaining employees in the company are pretty much all staying overnight.
The manager called the shuttle bus to drop him off, but Fang Huaining rejected it.
He didn’t want to trouble the other after thinking that it would take about 4 hours to drive from here to the city.
He left by himself.


Fortunately, the bus stop is nearby.
It’s just that since it’s non-peak hours and at a remote area, buses might take at least half an hour to pass by.
Sometimes, it’s not uncommon to wait an hour. 

Fang Huaining was not in a hurry.
While thinking about the program he had just written, he chose a clean corner to stand and trapped himself in the complicated data world.

The rain is getting heavier, sometimes accompanied by crackling lightning and thunder, but it didn’t distract him.
However, a white shadow on the side of the street suddenly swayed which instantly pulled Fang Huaining’s attention.
When he looked over, he found a person standing there.

 

 

The pouring rain was as if his eyes were covered with a white veil.
Fang Huaining squinted and tried to carefully identify the shadow for a long time before he could manage to see the other in the dark.
The person who he thought had left a while ago unexpectedly appeared in front of him again.
That person once again miraculously entered the scene in a way that made Fang Huaining speechless.

The eye-catching electric scooter that disappeared from that person’s side was replaced with an even older… no, extremely tattered bicycle. 

The bicycle was chained to a telephone pole across the street.
That little farmer worked hard to open the lock in the fierce wind and heavy rain.

 

The keyhole seemed to be rusted and the little farmer persistently fiddled at it for a long time.
Just when Fang Huaining thought he would fail, the chain was successfully unlocked.

Unsure if it was his imagination, Fang Huaining felt that the little farmer seemed to have glanced over before hopping onto his broken bike and riding away.

From the evaluations of relatives, friends, and passers-by, Fang Huaining is by no means a friendly person.
He is cold, aloof, and difficult to get close to.
Usually, it’s others that would come up to talk to him.
For Fang Huaining to take the initiative to speak with someone, a stranger at that, is almost impossible.

 


However, at this moment, he spoke after hesitating only for a split second.

Fang Huaining said: “It’s very dangerous like this.”

His voice is not loud and can easily get covered by the noise of the rain around him.
So Fang Huaining spoke again, this time in more detail.

 

“Going at this speed in this kind of weather while not being under shelter, plus the amount of metal on that bike, you’ll easily get struck by lightning.” 

This time he was very sure that the other had heard it, because the pedaling action of that little farmer slowed for a moment.
However, the other did not immediately turn his head around.

We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.

It seemed like he isn’t going to accept this suggestion, Fang Huaining thought.
Inexplicably, he didn’t feel surprised nor angry at this.
He doesn’t like to be nosy and already gave him a kind reminder, which he felt quite ethical to do so.
To put it bluntly, this person is too weird and greatly aroused his curiosity.
But the other also has the right to persist with their own opinions.
After all, his life is his own.

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Pcrajcais, tjio bo lar ygjcmtfr, ifjnfr, jcv yjgxr kfgf wlrrlcu.
Ktf oijwfr atja obiibkfv kfgf delmxis fzalcuelrtfv ys atf gjlc.
Ycis atf rkjslcu ugjs rwbxf qgbnfv atja atf lwjuf pera cbk kjr cba jc lwjulcjalbc. 

Actually got struck by lightning…

Fortunately, it wasn’t a person.

Fang Huaining was shocked and believed that person on the street must’ve been shocked too.
Because after being stunned for a while, the other silently got off his bike and even persistently relocked it to the telephone pole.
After confirming that it was safely locked, he dragged his feet and walked to the bus stop where Fang Huaining was.

Although the bus stop isn’t small, the canopy is not that big.
That person had no choice but to stand two or three meters from Fang Huaining.
He didn’t have any intention of thanking Fang Huaining, nor did he speak up at all.
He just slightly glanced at him, then slightly turned away, as if the two had just met for the first time. 


For the first time, Fang Huaining wondered if he was born with a common face.

With no conversation and no other objectives, the two just stood separately on two sides and silently watched the falling rain in front of them.
If this was a TV drama, it’s possible to match “Awkwardness” as an appropriate BGM for this moment, an erhu version on top of that.

 

Fortunately, Fang Huaining was a person accustomed to silent atmospheres and did not find it difficult.
On the contrary, he noticed that the person next to him was a bit more uncomfortable than him.

After so much stooping in the rain, the little farmer who only wore a semi-waterproof hoodie had already become thoroughly soaked.
Not sure if he was cold or uncomfortable, he slightly walked in place at a slow pace.
Fang Huaining cast his eyes down and saw the other’s feet from the corner of his eye. 

As expected, the other’s shoes are a bit old, but they are quite clean.
Wrinkles and cracks could be seen on the edges, which shows that it has been worn for quite some time.
The shoes probably had leaks that soaked up the water from the rain.
Each step left a small wet round footprint one after another, crisscrossing on the ground.

Fang Huaining couldn’t help staring at it until two headlights appeared that split into the night.

The bus finally arrived.
Fang Huaining aboard the bus and was about to go inside, but he heard the driver ask from behind: “Student, aren’t you coming up?”

Fang Huaining turned his head and found that the little farmer was still standing there. 

He has been here many times and knows that at this time, this is likely to be the last bus.
If this person has relatives or friends to pick him up, or has other options nearby, he wouldn’t be insisting on riding that broken thing away in such bad weather.

The driver’s question made the little farmer raise his head.
Through the hazy windowpane, their eyes met again.
The little farmer was still wearing the straw hat from earlier.
His hair under the brim of the hat is soaked, which clustered up and stuck to his face making him look even younger, like a teenager, no, like… a little kitten.
A cute and pitiful kitten that has been abandoned on the side of the road.

At that moment, Fang Huaining felt a thump in his heart.
He suddenly said out loud: “You didn’t bring money?”

It was a question, but he already knew the answer. 

Today, Li Ting planned to go back to his part-time job after borrowing some books.
But the unexpected situation in the suburbs caused him to temporarily change his plan.
As a result, he carelessly forgot his wallet, which is rare.
He even forgot to fully charge his electric scooter, therefore it couldn’t take a 4-hour route back and forth.
So after setting up the shed, he had to choose another means of transportation, which was the old bicycle he had ridden years ago that he was reluctant to throw away.


In the end, he still chose to stay with Fang Huaining.
However, instead of waiting for the bus, Li Ting was waiting for the rain to stop, then ride back home on his bike.

After Fang Huaining asked, he didn’t wait for Li Ting to answer.
He directly took out two more coins and threw them into the coin box, then turned around and sat down on a seat on one side.

Not long after, the little kitten outside moved and slowly stepped into the bus.
This time around, Fang Huaining finally got a “thank you” from him. 

Although it was very quiet, Fang Huaining heard it very clearly.

The little farmer did not sit near him but chose a seat in the second half of the bus.
Nonetheless, they were the only two passengers on the bus, so no matter how far they were, Fang Huaining could still completely feel the presence of the other.

The pitch-black night, the torrential rain, the quiet carriage, and the person that was hard to ignore.

Fang Huaining stayed up late last night writing a thesis paper and had been busy working the entire day today, he was already exhausted.
So moving along with the waves of the bus, he unknowingly fell asleep and unknowingly started dreaming. 

He dreamt that the sun rose high.
He was sweating while walking on the school’s boulevard and happened to meet head to head with a huge cat.
Although it’s a cat, it was more like a snail since it carried so many things on its back.
Fang Huaining wasn’t paying attention, so he bumped into it head on.

The things on the kitty’s back clattered down to the ground.
It made a sobbing sound, upsettingly glared over, and actually said in a human voice: “You pay for it!”

 

Fang Huaining took a closer look and found that it was a broken computer.

“How much?” Fang Huaining was straightforward. 

The kitty said: “Twenty.”

Fang Huaining took out the money.


The kitty said again: “Give another eighty.”

Fang Huaining continued to take out more money. 

But the kitty still thought it wasn’t enough.

“What do you want from me?” Fang Huaining heard himself say.

When these words fell, the image in front of him changed.
It turned into a field of a farm.

“I want you to farm with me to exchange for money!” After the kitty spoke, it looked up and threw a pickaxe over. 

Fang Huaining took it, hesitated, then actually started plowing the ground.

It’s just that before his pickaxe hit the ground, thunder suddenly burst from the sky and struck him with a boom!

Fang Huaining only felt pain from the back of his head and his entire body slant forward before he abruptly opened his eyes.

He woke up.
He also arrived at his destination. 

Fang Huaining looked at the familiar scenery around him, and then complained in his head about the ridiculous dreams he had while standing up calmly.
When he walked to the back door, he found the cat, no, that person standing there too, like usual, the other was keeping his gaze steadily forward.

The bus stopped and the two got out of the bus together.
One headed south and the other north, each parted away without speaking.

After traveling a certain distance, Fang Huaining couldn’t help but raise his hand to touch the back of his head.
The pain that remained is faint, but for sure, it wasn’t like being struck by lightning, it was more like being slapped…

Was it his imagination again? 

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