.

I bit my lip.

During the 5 minute-conference held inside my brain, I came into a conclusion that Yi Ruda could also be the female protagonist since she had a big wound in her heart from a dark past.

Alright, let the Four Heavenly Kings heal all your pain and scars… As I decided I will no longer think about her, something vibrated inside my pocket.

I put my hands inside my pocket to pull out the device. Soon as I opened my flip phone, my mouth opened wide. What’s going on?

There were many messages my inbox from the following contacts: 7 from Eun Jiho, 4 from Yoo Chun Young, 6 from Eun Hyung, 5 from Woo Jooin, and 12 from… Ban Yeo Ryung. Geez, didn’t she think it was a waste of money to send all these messages in a day? I dropped my blank gaze to the screen then got even more dumbfounded when I saw that what Ban Yeo Ryung sent were all MMS.

I pressed each button firmly to go in the inbox. The first message that came into my sight was from Eun Jiho.

Sent by: Eun Jiho

Dude, what did u do

Sent by: Eun Jiho

Ban Yeo Ryung went nuts

Sent by: Eun Jiho

She’s really insane

Sent by: Eun Jiho

Went bananas

These 4 messages from Eun Jiho would be enough to grasp the general gist of what he was trying to send, so I would not copy and paste the rest of what he sent, too lazy for that. To me, the way Eun Jiho was only sticking to 5 syllable-messages similar to those from traditional poems felt more absurd than the actual content of the text.

The next that came into my eyes were from Yoo Chun Young.

Sent by: Yoo Chun Young

Hey

Sent by: Yoo Chun Young

If he forced u to hold his hands

Sent by: Yoo Chun Young

You can report it as sexual harassment

Sent by: Yoo Chun Young

Not that I’m telling you to do that but

“…?”

What the hell is he talking about? His messages made me feel so conflicted that I repeatedly read his texts, dwelling on thinking as to who forced me to hold their hands against my will. I then shook my head in defeat and looked at the next message. It was from Woo Jooin.

Sent by: Son

Mama

Sent by: Son

I don’t need a new dad

Sent by: Son

Or else I’ll kill him

Sent by: Son

ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠNoㅠㅠ

“Are you going to kill me or the new dad!?” Anyway, something must have happened in Ban Yeo Ryung’s class. My face stiffened as I looked at the phone. What was more important was the fact that I was probably related to this issue.

So far, what I knes was that Ban Yeo Ryung went insane, holding hands could be sexual harassment, and what’s next? If he had a new dad, he would kill him? I tried my best to solve the puzzle, but the way these guys were talking was not straightforward enough for me to form a logical conclusion as to what was actually going on. Come on, what happened?

It was after reading Eun Hyung’s text did I finally grasped the whole story. Unlike other kids, his messages were grammatically perfect with the correct usage of punctuation marks. By reading his texts, I felt as if Eun Hyung’s voice was whispering in my ears.

I went over what he sent, pressing the buttons hard.

Sent by: Kwon Eun Hyung

The boy who looked like a foreigner was holding hands with you in the hallway.

Sent by: Kwon Eun Hyung

We have never seen him before. Aren’t you the same?

Sent by: Kwon Eun Hyung

If a stranger approached you as close as he did, don’t try to reason and let him back off.

Sent by: Kwon Eun Hyung

People from abroad may be quite open about these things, but it’s okay for you to feel uncomfortable.

Sent by: Kwon Eun Hyung

If you feel sorry to say this so let me know. I can be there for you.

Sent by: Kwon Eun Hyung

Yeo Ryung is pissed off. You should come to chill her out.

While looking at the message, I blinked my eyes twice. Then I smiled poutingly.

Eun Hyung never forgot to put punctuation marks when sending texts. As he ended every sentence with a period, I could seriously put the seriousness he had given these texts into consideration. If it was difficult for me to refuse the boy, Eun Hyung would speak on my behalf. What he said was truly not a joke.

I giggled for a moment then pressed the button. The next message was, at last, from Ban Yeo Ryung.

Sent by: Ban Yeo Ryung

wth is he holdinghandstightly rubbingtouching asifurhandswerehis…

While scrolling down her texts, I felt my fingertips getting cold. I was trembling with a pale face. Then I lifted my eyes to look at the seat beside me.

Yi Ruda still had that vivacious face while speaking with the boys and girls around her. All of them were blushing as they spoke with her. How could she attract people regardless of their genders? She was, indeed, a female cross-dresser! As my gaze turned into a sign of my awe towards her, she raised her head as if she felt the way I stared at her.

It looked as though the way I was checking my phone the whole time without uttering a word discontented her. She pouted before asking me with a grin.

“What makes you so busy that you’d leave your partner’s brain go numb?”

“Um… uh…”

I was going over the messages about how people were thinking of dissing and killing her. I swallowed the response while showing her a smile.

She was like a newly surfaced nuclear bomb in my life until now, but looking at Yi Ruda’s innocently smiling face made me feel sorry for her.

Ban Yeo Ryung would definitely slaughter her… I dropped my gaze at the phone deviously.

As one might have noticed from all her 12 MMS texts, Ban Yeo Ryung’s messages were extremely long. At the 11th text, there was something about her narrating how she would kill or get rid of Yi Ruda, eventually.

I mean, why was Ban Yeo Ryung getting so offended of Yi Ruda whom she would have seen only once? All that Yi Ruda did was holding my hand… My brows frowned as I continued thinking about it. Yes, all that Yi Ruda did in front of Ban Yeo Ryung was to hold my hand.

It was clear that not only Ban Yeo Ryung but the Four Heavenly Kings were also showing a much unneeded odd enthusiasm against Yi Ruda.

They would not react that strangely based only on the fact that Yi Ruda held my hand; these reactions could be something intentional, which I assumed that the author might be playing tricks on us!

Then, there’s no need for me to come forward to connect Yi Ruda and the Four Heavenly Kings. They would soon form a connection one way or another. I became ooh-and-ahhed. Wow, the female protagonist was somewhat different as always.

When I turned aside to look at Yi Ruda, she was talking about something with a blushing girl sitting behind her. She glanced at me during her conversation, which seemed like she wanted to speak with me as soon as possible. When our eyes met, her cheeks blushed with delight.

Her sugar-coated shiny white face and blue eyes were as lovely as those of Ban Yeo Ryung’s; however, I avoided her gaze slowly and carefully. I… I should look for someone else. A new friend.

As I turned my head, I saw Shin Suh Hyun, who was sitting a meter apart from my row, bending his head towards me to take something out of his bag. He raised his head after taking out a book with a black-cover. However, as soon as our eyes met, his expression turned to that of a shocked one.

His decent but cold-hearted look made me remember Yoo Chun Young the first time I laid my eyes on him, which aroused concerns out of the blue. If I tried to say something to him, wouldn’t he act like Yoo Chun Young, who treated others like strangers just turning pages?

Shin Shu Hyun’s reaction was, however, something I did not expect. He looked a little abashed when our eyes met but soon bent his eyes gently and displayed a faint smile.

It was a smile that tried to soothe others, which eased my mind. He then placed the book on his desk and asked me a question.

“Is it your first time being a class president?”

“Yeah, I looked so nervous, right?”

“No, you’re doing well enough.”

He seemed hesitant for a second but soon gave out a bright smile as if he reminisced something exciting. Then he continued his words with his eyes on me.

“I wish you would keep on staying as class president.”

“Um… why?”

“One of my friends was the class president for 9 years until now, but he is too energetic that it’s a pain in the ass to be in a class where he would take that position. In middle school, we were in the same class for 3 years. Geez, that was crazy.”

Shin Suh Hyun then shook his head with his eyes closed. From his deeply exhausted face, I realized that he was not joking. He took his eyes off me to glance behind.

The twins were still talking to each other; however, when they saw me while facing Shin Suh Hyun, their eyes looked quite surprised.

Shin Suh Hyun seemed to check where I was staring at. When he found out it was the twins, he nodded at them. Surprisingly, he then gestured the twins to come over.

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