Now then, although Qian Wei had no actual competitive debates to participate in, he had connections – he was in the same major as the captain of the debate team, and this captain was also his senior. Additionally, the captain didn’t have the heart to kick him out of the team, so instead, he put him in charge of the team’s logistics. The debate team had its own office, so Qian Wei was responsible for going to this office every day to check up on it and for cleaning up after the day was over.
Qian Wei was very much happy with this. After all, this also meant that he had his own place to study and practice peacefully in.
This day, however, despite the shining and clear skies, Qian Wei walked to the debate team’s office, which was located halfway across the campus, with a sad expression on his face. He had been idle, as a debater, for an entire year, but the debate team captain still asked him to participate in an exhibition debate match for the freshmen students, saying that he wanted to showcase to the new students their wide variety of debating talents.
Now, why was he sad? He was sad because he was assigned to defend the side of the debate that was factually wrong.
Qian Wei harshly opened the electric fan. Fan speed level 3.
——The captain said that because the people on the debate team were too talkative, they usually managed to offend or annoy a lot of the teachers and class leaders out of their wits, so, at the very least, to appease them, they took upon the responsibility of saving some electricity for the school, and had decided to not turn on the air conditioner unless it was absolutely necessary.
He took out a stack of A4 paper from the file bag. After scribbling nonsense on it for a long time, Qian Wei wasn’t able to come up with any decent points he could use for his argument, and instead, he just wrote down a bunch of irrelevant things to say about the matter. When he looked at the time, it was already five o’clock (in the afternoon). Qian Wei sneakily pushed back the piece of paper filled with scribbles back into the middle of the stack of paper and decided to get down to business seriously.
He had only just written down a serial number when someone suddenly opened the door. Qian Wei looked up and his body immediately tensed.
“Oh.” The captain’s tone never changed regardless of whether he was conversing or debating. “We’re ‘most excited’ to prepare for the debate match, huh?”
Qian Wei wanted to glare at the captain, but seeing someone enter his line of sight, he held back and didn’t dare say anything.
He lowered his head to calm himself down, trying to drown himself in the sound of the whiteboard getting dragged around. A hand appeared at the corner of his eye, picking up the marker on the table.
Gu Yanyi. Qian Wei said to himself in his heart.
The three who arrived inside the office were discussing the debate against the University of Foreign Studies. Qian Wei secretly wanted to take a peek and looked up, only to have his eyes land on Gu Yanyi, who was writing down the arguments and rebuttals that the others were discussing on the whiteboard.
The words look very beautiful…
Those hands writing them look very beautiful, too…
The voice was also… the nicest voice…
Qian Wei began to think dreamily again and again, his pen hanging in the air, unable to write down anything.
“Hm? We’re all out of ink.”
Hearing Gu Yanyi’s words, Qian Wei couldn’t help but look up. Before he knew it, he had unexpectedly met Gu Yanyi’s eyes, and he swiftly buried his head back in surprise.
“There aren’t any extra markers here either,” The captain rummaged through the lockers. “Forget it. Let’s not use the whiteboard anymore, jot down everything on paper instead.”
Suddenly, someone tapped on the table.
Sh*t… the nicest voice in existence was really saying his name.
Qian Wei looked up at him, his face taut: “Hm?”
“Can I have a few sheets of paper?”
“Ah, okay, okay.” Qian Wei hurriedly obliged, feeling so hot that his forehead was sweating. He was so nervous that he really couldn’t do anything else but force his hands to stop shaking. Because of this, he wasn’t able to properly get a few sheets out of the stack of paper twice, making Qian Wei really anxious that he gave up on trying to take out papers from top and bottom. He decided to take out a few random sheets directly from the stack’s middle portion and handed them over.
He also took a piece of paper for himself, but it somehow managed to keep slipping out of his hands, so he helplessly tried to pick it up from the ground over and over.
He lowered his head and forced himself to look down, trying to calm himself down so his face would stop feeling hot, because if it continued to feel hot, then it meant that it was obviously red. But just as he soon regained control of his vision, he suddenly saw that the piece of paper on his hands already contained a few scribbles: after the number “1”, there were already three words written after it.
Qian Wei had a sudden realization.
He really couldn’t stop his hands from literally trembling this time. He pinched the corners of the papers and rolled his finger down, skimming through the sheets and sweeping through them as though he was trying to look for something.
The paper he was scribbling on earlier and had haphazardly shoved in the stack wasn’t there!
Qian Wei cursed quietly in his heart. F*ck.
What were the odds that he gave that forsaken paper full of scribbles to Gu Yanyi out of all the sheets he could’ve gotten from such a thick stack of papers? He just took out a few sheets! Was his luck really that bad?
He reluctantly went through the stack of papers again secretly.
It really wasn’t there anymore…
While he was busy trying to convince himself that the paper full of scribbles wasn’t the one that was given, he heard the captain call out to Gu Yanyi: “Lao Gu?”
Qian Wei quieted down and carefully listened to the conversation in front of him, only able to hope and pray that Gu Yanyi didn’t really have that piece of paper.
But like how most things go, they didn’t really go the way anyone wanted them to.
Gu Yanyi didn’t turn around to face the captain and was still standing in front of him. Then, he suddenly paused right after flipping a piece of paper in his hand. Ten seconds later, Qian Wei heard the sound of papers flipping, as if they were being stacked together. At that moment, Gu Yanyi finally turned around and continued his discussion with the two other people.
1. Gu Yanyi isn’t a fool.
2. Because he isn’t a fool, he won’t stare at any piece of paper for ten seconds if it was just blank.
3. Among that stack of papers, there was only one piece that wasn’t blank.
It’s time to run away now!
After his lamenting, Qian Wei immediately began packing up his things quickly.
“You’re leaving already?”
Gu Yanyi, who was in the middle of a discussion, suddenly asked.
Qian Wei glanced back and found out that all three of them were looking at him. He blushed, not daring to look directly at Gu Yanyi, and nodded his head with a panicked look on his face: “Yeah.”
“Something… bad came up?”
Qian Wei’s brain was on the verge of a meltdown because of that piece of paper, so he wasn’t able to quickly think up an elaborate excuse. Fortunately, he remembered that it was really about to be the time for eating, so he hurriedly replied, “Dinner.”
“Ah, that’s right.” Gu Yanyi responded back, and then added, “If it’s not too late yet for you, wait for me? It’ll only be a little while. I’m also participating in that freshman exhibition tournament, so we can talk about it more later.”
The captain’s legs were crossed up on the table, and his face was full of bewilderment: “You’re participating? Weren’t you not going to participate, though?”
Gu Yanyi threw a look at him very calmly and nodded his head. “I’m going to participate.”
“Why didn’t I know this…” The captain wondered out loud.
“Hm…” Gu Yanyi thought for a while about it and said, “Maybe you just have bad memory.”
After saying that, Gu Yanyi put down the paper and pen in his hands, walked to the other side of the room, and then pulled open a drawer.
Qian Wei felt his limbs weaken the more he looked at Gu Yanyi’s back, and soon his body gave out, almost collapsing as he sat himself down quickly on the nearest chair he could find.
Gu Yanyi walked back again, holding a few pieces of chocolate in his hand. He gave the captain and the girl they were discussing with a single piece each, and for Qian Wei, he slid over two pieces across the table.
“If you’re really hungry, you can eat some chocolate first if you want to.”
The following twenty minutes had Qian Wei tensed all over – his mind seemed to have blocked out all sense of auditory perception, leaving only a ringing buzz to hear in his ears. He snapped back to reality when he heard the sound of the door closing, and when Qian Wei looked back up, he soon saw that the other two people in the room had already left, leaving only Gu Yanyi, who was sorting through the papers that contained the results of their discussion.
He almost didn’t notice because of how quiet the room was now. Qian Wei realized that the air conditioner had been turned on at some point earlier. The remote control was located right next to Gu Yanyi’s hand.
1. It really is too hot, the air conditioner had to be opened.
2. Something… was definitely about to happen.
3. The captain may or may not be a prophet.
4. Qian Wei is done for.
Gu Yanyi suddenly moved. This made Qian Wei feel like a hedgehog who entered a state of alert, with how all the hairs his body seemed to have stood up.
Gu Yanyi didn’t speak at first. Qian Wei pretended that he was too deep in thought, lowered head and avoidant gaze and all. He felt that Gu Yanyi was done moving. Although he was still standing opposite Qian Wei across the table, he was standing still right in front of him.
The sound of turning pages sounded like thunder to Qian Wei’s ears at this moment.
A piece of paper was slid over directly into his line of sight, bring with it a faint wind that blew on him.
Qian Wei felt like blacking out.
——The paper was filled with these three characters: Gu Yanyi. Mixed with it in the middle were song lyrics that made the entire thing so much more ambiguous than it already was.
If it wasn’t for the longing in your eyes,
If it wasn’t for my salvation,
Covered with wind and rain, I come from the sea,
And so here you are.
(t/n: it’s a song: 原来你也在这里 by 刘若英. here’s a link)
The writer… somehow still managed to remember the arrangement of the lyrics incorrectly, just like before.
Qian Wei desperately clutched his pen, not even daring to let a single breath out. That is, until someone walked around the table, then to his side, and broke off the tight clutch he had on his pen, which made his hand all red.
A voice resounded from above him as his head was lowered down, and one could almost hear a smile in it.
It was the voice that Qian Wei had, and will always, find best.
“So… do you have a crush on me?”
Qian Wei has been a member of the debate team for two years and has participated in a total of three debates.
The first time around, it was the freshman’s tournament. Gu Yanyi was an adjudicator. He was able to witness for himself the third speaker of the debate that held his blushing face in his hands up on stage and was not able to utter a word.
The second time around, in an inter-team friendly debate competition, Gu Yanyi was on the affirmative side of the motion whereas Qian Wei was on the negative side. Gu Yanyi found something strange – whenever he raised his hand for a point of information, the opposite team’s third speaker immediately paused and got off track from his speech. After the competition, Gu Yanyi asked the captain, “Do I look that intimidating?”
The third time…
The third time around, it was a friendly tournament held for fun, and the debate topic was – must one still dare confess their secret love in the hopes of having it reciprocated?
Sitting quietly in the corner, Gu Yanyi saw that the third speaker of the debate was awarded by the judges as the “Most Excited Debater,” and for a long time, he pressed his lips together, laughing, and smiled.
translator’s notes: ngl, the thing that really convinced me to pick this up was because i, too, am a burnt-out debater who happened to also be a member of my university’s debate society. do remember that this is a one shot – a very short one, at that – and if you’re here for action… don’t expect any. just pre-slash pureness and fluff here, folks ;; hear hear, qian wei!