d towards Yan Mu.
The young girl’s eyes were clean and pure.
He could clearly see his silhouette reflected in them.

Yu Yuan was suddenly struck dumb.

Even his blood was filled with panic, rampaging inside his body.
He felt an unprecedented wretchedness.
Self-blame and guilt consumed his soul, and his chaotic heart was unable to be at peace.

Will I…… lose my only friend? Yu Yuan didn’t dare to let Yan Mu look at his expression.

“…… So it’s really because of this!” Yan Mu saw Yu Yuan’s expression and when it instantly dawned on her, she didn’t know whether to laugh or cry for a moment.
She realised that he didn’t look too happy, but it turned out to be because of this.

“That was just an accident, you didn’t do it on purpose,” Yan Mu said with a smile.

“But……” Yu Yuan suddenly raised his head and his face looked troubled.
Yan Mu’s words were like a strong tranquiliser that instantly calmed his soul. 

But with it came another, more turbulent feeling.
Yu Yuan couldn’t describe it, he just felt that it was a feeling he had never experienced before.

The faint smell of blood still clung to his palms, but he didn’t find it disgusting.

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Yu Yuan quietly clenched his fists and didn’t say anything for a long time.

“Alright, didn’t Teacher give us homework? Let’s think of what to write together,” Yan Mu said as she sniffed.

Fortunately, the bump just now wasn’t too serious and the nosebleed had pretty much stopped.
Otherwise, nevermind if something had happened to her, she was just afraid that Yu Yuan would feel extremely troubled.

Yan Mu inwardly sighed in relief.

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She turned and walked towards her room.
Yu Yuan hesitated for some time, then caught up with Yan Mu.

This time, he deliberately slowed down his pace and walked steadily beside Yan Mu. 

***********

Yan Mu rummaged out a few pieces of papers and took out a brand new writing brush.

“This is a writing brush made of goat’s hair, it’s a little soft to write with.
I’m not sure whether you can get used to it……” Yan Mu gave Yu Yuan what she had organised, “You can bring these back home.”

Yu Yuan looked at Yan Mu but even after a long time, he still didn’t take them.

“Consider them as your payment for helping me pick mulberries and fetching water,” Yan Mu was worried that Yu Yuan wouldn’t accept, so she added, “I’ll be angry if you refuse.”

As soon as she said this, Yu Yuan’s eyelashes slightly trembled, and only then did he reach out and take the things.

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However, Yu Yuan didn’t put them away.
He said, “I’ll leave them here for now.”

“Just now, I had a discussion with Uncle Yan,” Yu Yuan said in a serious manner, “I’ll come over to help at the Dragon Boat Festival and work to pay for the books.”

“Eh? Is this what you went out to discuss with dad?” Yan Mu looked dumbfounded. 

“Yes.” Yu Yuan nodded and his eyes that looked at her became a little softer, “I can’t take advantage of you.”

……You can use your kiss to repay your debt.

Of course, Yan Mu didn’t have the guts to say this out loud.

She could only nod her head dejectedly.

“I’ll return your textbook tomorrow,” Yu Yuan continued, “There’s still a little I haven’t memorised yet.”

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“There’s no hurry,” Yan Mu smiled.

She cut a sheet of fine writing paper into a suitable size and started to discuss the Dragon Boat Festival short essay with Yu Yuan.

*************

In the afternoon, as usual, Yu Yuan had to return to Hunter Zhang’s house to do chores.
He meticulously wiped the space beside the firewood pile and then carefully and preciously placed the textbook there.

Later, he locked up the woodshed and headed to the field.

Summer was scorching and the sun was like a fireball.

He was working in the hottest time of the summer and his clothes were wet with sweat, but Yu Yuan still persevered.

It wasn’t until the moon was shining brightly and stars had appeared that he dragged his exhausted body back.

I need to finish memorizing the whole textbook today.
I can’t give Yan Mu anymore trouble.

Thinking of this, Yu Yuan forced himself to pull it together.

A dark cloud drifted by, covering the clear and bright moon.
Yu Yuan pushed open the courtyard door only to see Zhang Goudan standing in the middle of the courtyard.

“I wondered why you didn’t come back recently, turns out you’d hooked up with Yan Mu,” Zhang Goudan said in a strange tone.

He held up the item in his hand and laughed evilly. 

“Yan Mu is so nice to you.
She even gave you her textbook.”

“……What do you want to do?” Yu Yuan’s gaze was like ten thousand years of unmelting ice and snow, frighteningly cold.

“What do I want to do?” Zhang Goudan waved the textbook in his hand.

Then, in front of Yu Yuan, he threw the book into the well.

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