Translated by newbienoona
Edited and proofread by anks
"An Chuxia." He finally speaks when An Chuxia turns around.
She wouldn't leave now because he said something. She looks at him, confused. His expression is very serious. "What's wrong?"
She feels that he's been strange since the very beginning. It seems he's worried about something, but she doesn't know about what. His brow hasn't loosened this whole time.
She just didn't notice immediately.
She, too, becomes serious. "What did you say?"
"Let's go back." Han Qilu seems to have difficulty saying this, but he says it anyway. Since visiting Nangong Zifei in the hospital, he has felt uneasiness. No, since the time he'd seen him at Stein has he started feeling uneasy. Their arrival here in this wilderness adventure has just added to that pressure.
Initially, he thought he's just overthinking it, but now, the feeling has intensified. So much so that he can't stand it anymore.
"What?" Her eyes widen. "I'm sorry I've caused you trouble."
His silence makes her all that more anxious. She tugs on his sleeve. "I really want to participate. I like this outing. Please let me participate. If you don't want to join, go. I won't stop you from leaving."
Her attitude toward the excursion used to be casual. But now, she has a lot of expectation for this event. After all, this is the first time she has participated in something like this, and she's rather excited.
"An Chuxia, I don't want you to participate." Han Qilu puts his hands on her shoulders. "I just feel rather uneasy. I feel like something is going to happen and that you're going to get hurt, okay?"
So that's what it is… An Chuxia breathes a sigh of relief. She thought he hated this activity and that he didn't want her to participate.
It turns out he's worried about her.
Her heart suddenly swells.
She should be grateful. When her mother died and she thought her world was going to collapse, she was sent to the Hans so she could get the best education. When she thought she couldn't love again, the boy in front of her tells her over and over that he loves her.
"Don't worry, nothing will happen." An Chuxia smiles slyly. She decides that once this adventure is over, she will confess her real feelings to Han Qilu.
He stares at her dark eyes. Han Qilu shakes his head. "Maybe it's just my heart."
"It's definitely your heart." An Chuxia says.
Suddenly, they hear footsteps. They're very light, but it's noticeable in the quiet field.
"Who's there?" Han Qilu becoming vigilant, turns and shoves An Chuxia behind him, securing her hand tightly in his.
"It's me, Xinyu." The female voice is soft, answering with little fear.
Xia Xinyu… An Chuxia contemplates on her name. She instantly remembers she's the new teammate the teacher added to their group.
"It's Xia Xinyu, our teammate." An Chuxia whispers before Han Qilu could threaten her like she were an opponent, and do something impulsive.CHAPTER 424 Sullen Feelings
Translated by newbienoona
Edited and proofread by anks
TN: 电灯泡 diàndēngpào – slang for third wheel
"Teammate?" Han Qilu looks back at An Chuxia and says, "You should call her third wheel."
An Chuxia can't help but turn beet red. Fortunately, it's dark, and no one else can see her blushing. She looks over Han Qilu's shoulder and sees the hatred in Xia Xinyu's eyes. It's a look that could cut through the bones.
A sudden chill runs down her shoulders. She doesn't know if it is because of the night wind blowing, or because of Xinyu's glare.
"Are you cold?" Han Qilu notices An Chuxia shuddering. He turns to her, showing concern.
An Chuxia shakes her head and faintly replies, "I'm a bit cold."
A cowardly look fills Xia Xinyu's eyes. She seems to be afraid of Han Qilu. Her pitiful look is quite different from the look An Chuxia was given earlier, making her wonder if what she saw was just an illusion.
"It's time to go back. Since you want to participate in this shitty activity, I won't say anything anymore. Go rest." Han Qilu is annoyed, but gives in.
He knows An Chuxia is stubborn, and no one can change her mind once she's committed.
Han Qilu naturally drapes his arm around An Chuxia's shoulder as they walk past Xia Xinyu. As they pass, he feels like he has seen this girl a long time ago. So he stops and looks at her suspiciously. After he tries to place her in his memory, he wonders if he's mistaken.
"What's wrong?" An Chuxia asks when they stop. She follows his line of sight when she realizes he's staring at Xia Xinyu.
"Nothing." Han Qilu turns to An Chuxia. He says coldly, "It's late and we need to return to the camp before I smack this diandengpao."
Xia Xinyu's frail shoulders tremble, and tears suddenly roll down her face. "I'm sorry young master Han Qilu. Tomorrow… no, tonight, I'll tell the teacher to move me to another team."
Although An Chuxia finds the girl strange, she wants to tell Han Qilu not to be too hard on her. However, she says nothing to him in the end.
"You needn't say anything about the third wheel. I don't want to hear anything from her." Han Qilu states as he pulls on An Chuxia's hand.
An Chuxia's eyebrows unconsciously wrinkle. Han Qilu isn't the kind of person who talks to strangers. However, despite his bad demeanor, he still ensured Xia Xinyu returned to the camp. Moreover, he vetoed the girl from changing teams.
Isn't… Han Qilu being bitchy toward Xia Xinyu?
This realization makes An Chuxia's chest tighten, making her feel uncomfortable.
"Return [to your tent]. I'm heading back." Han Qilu releases An Chuxia's hand as they reach the line dividing the boys and girls' tents. He didn't feel the way An Chuxia felt as he returns to his tent.
Despite the bright moon hanging in the sky, An Chuxia's heart is eclipsed. She hates feeling like this. She can't shake it off.
Only Han Qilu knows what he's thinking.
He actually thinks… .
He actually thinks that it's better to be a man than a woman. It's highly probable for someone not to blab if one is usually timid.
Because of this damned activity, it's certainly impossible to avoid contact with his teammates. This An Chuxia, however, will forever be the opposite. (=.=). If he lets his imagination run wild, he'd remain cranky. He just has to protect [An Chuxia] from the third wheel.
This realization makes him proud of himself. As he walks back to his tent, he sings to himself, "You're beautiful like fireworks, so beautiful… ."
His tent mates notice his good mood. "Han Qilu ge, you're in a good mood. Are you going to indulge us with a good night's rest in the tent?"
Before he went in search of An Chuxia, he told the other student to find a tent to sleep in.
He suddenly stops singing. He stares at the boy blankly. "I didn't tell you not to sleep in the tent."
The boy immediately cries. "Thank you, Han Qilu ge! I know you aren't iron-heartened. I love you, Han Qilu ge!"
"Love your sister!" Han Qilu says to the boys as he shoves the boy away. "Really, I told you to find a tent to sleep in, not just this one. I'm really getting impatient with you. Let me go to sleep! I'm really tired… ."
He yawns and falls on his bunk.
"Han Qilu ge?!" The boy's face turns from rosy to pale, then blue. "You can't be so heartless… !"
"I'm going to count to three," Han Qilu warns him as his eyes remain closed. "Three… one… ."
"How can it go from three to one?" The boy's face twitches.
The boy barely escapes the pillow thrown at his head. He runs out of the tent in tears.
Everyone says it's hard to be a man. He feels it's harder to be Han Qilu's "tent buddy". Will it get any better with him?
On the other hand, An Chuxia returns to her tent filled with thoughts. The mattress has been laid. A blue light hangs, making the tent look romantic.
Xiaoya Jianan returns to the tent and quickly yanks on the tent zipper, carelessly closing the flap. She sits next to An Chuxia and asks, "How did it go? What did master Qilu want? What did he have to say?"
She doesn't wait for An Chuxia to answer. Xiaoya puts her hands together and says to herself, "Tonight's a beautiful night. You and young master Han Qilu must be… ."
Halfway through her thoughts, she suddenly stops and turns bright red.
"Are you insane? We didn't do anything. Just let me rest." An Chuxia resents her tent mate's daydream and pokes her in the forehead.
The jacket on her shoulders suddenly falls onto the ground. She forgot to return Han Qilu's jacket.
"But didn't he give you a token of his love? You're saying there's nothing between you two, you continue to deny it this long?" Xiaoya's face distorts as she laughs sarcastically.
An Chuxia can't blame her. This is the age when everyone loves to gossip. What's more, the topic is Han Qilu.
An Chuxia angrily reaches out for Xiaoya's hand, but Xiaoya easily gets away. She's about to make trouble (for An Chuxia) when An Chuxia stops reaching out for her.
"Xiaoya, you know a lot of people. Let me ask you something." Her expression suddenly turns serious.
A soon as Xiaoya sees the change in An Chuxia's expression, she immediately quiets down. "Ask me. I'll tell you what I know."
"It's not that important… ." An Chuxia suddenly takes a big gulp. "Do you know someone named Xia Xinyu?"
Xiaoya's eyes roll before replying. "I remember! Xia Xinyu is a freshman and is in X class. She's pretty cute. She transferred a few days ago. I was at her table when she asked me about you. She had a lost look to her."
"Is that so?"
She nods to An Chuxia, not knowing what she's thinking. She doesn't know if she's misreading An Chuxia but she doesn't want to take a guess.
Seeing the conflicting emotions on An Chuxia's face, Xiaoya asks, "An Chuxia, why are you asking? Has she offended you? Tell me, and I promise to tell your man to beat her!"
An Chuxia quickly waves her hand. "It's nothing! Don't be impulsive! Meng Meng suddenly had to leave, and that girl was assigned to our team. I just wanted to know what kind of person she is, get to know her more. I didn't mean to give you any trouble."
"Ah, okay. But if someone messes with you, don't lie and hide it! There are a lot of people in Stein, and despite (you) having a man, you shouldn't remain quiet." Xiaoya looks at her with bright, shiny eyes.
"Alright. I'll let you know." Then again, Xiaoya's exaggerating. She's not a gangster, but a [protective] big sister.
"Turn off all tent lights and go to bed. You're all waking up early tomorrow," the teacher announces through the loudspeaker.
Xiaoya quickly lays down with An Chuxia after she turns off the lights.
As the outside quiets down, Xiaoya can't help but say, "An Chuxia, I actually remembered something. Don't blame me."
"Who's still talking?" A teacher happens to stop outside their tent. Fortunately, she can't distinguish from which tent the voice was from, so she paces back and forth before finally leaving.
An Chuxia lowers her voice and asks Xiaoya. "What were you saying?"
"Originally, there's this lazy girl who was assigned to the hygiene group. She announced that she's your third wheel and didn't know what to do."
An Chuxia frowns. "Are you saying that Xia Xinyu wasn't assigned to our team by the teacher? She intentionally got into our group?"
Xiaoya tugs on the quilt and continues on. "I was surprised too when you said Xia Xinyu is your third wheel and not that person. Maybe Xia Xinyu proposed to switch with Xiao C and told the teacher."
As she listens to Xiaoya, An Chuxia questions things more and more.
"Why is she doing this?"