.

It had been such a long time since I received this much attention. Like when I voted for them in front of the class last time, I could hardly open my mouth while feeling my heart throbbing for such a trivial thing.

No one complained about how I remained silent for quite a while. They began to talk in whispers to each other.

“Dude, isn’t the sophomore going too far? How could he try to kill someone?”

“Isn’t it attempted murder?”

“Wow, holy Christ, fu*king scary. Isn’t there anyone in the freshmen to counterattack?”

While I watched them buzzing gossips with darkened faces, I carefully opened my mouth.

“Oh, I’m fine… The truck stopped right in front of me, but I’m not injured. Very lucky.”

It was Yoon Jung In who made the first response. He stopped talking with other boys then turned his head to see me.

“Hey, no. I heard that there are aftermaths.”

“Aftermaths? Dude, that sounds too eerie.”

“Oh, not aftermath? Then what do you call that? Having symptoms after an accident?”

“You mean, after-effects?”

When Shin Suh Hyun altered his words with a befuddled face, kids burst out laughing. ‘How can an after-effect change into aftermath? Geez, Yoon Jung is hilarious.’ Someone tapped Yoon Jung In’s shoulder with a laugh. I watched them giggling and turned my head as I heard the teacher, who came into the class suddenly, calling our names in front.

The kids around my desk scattered away. I felt strange and just saw them running back to their seats.

As I touched my hand while somehow feeling embarrassed, Yi Ruda, who was staring at me from my side, flung a question.

“Donnie, do you hate people’s attention?”

“Huh?”

“I thought you were being too bewildered. Maybe I got it wrong?”

She then wrinkled her golden brows in wonder. I considered her question for a moment and scratched my cheek with a blush.

The moment I tried to answer back, the Korean history teacher, who was standing in front of the teacher’s table, gave us a withering look. We could also get kicked out again to the hallway for our second class, so Yi Ruda and I held up our heads to the front, shutting our mouths.

At the break after the second period, I could no longer give Yi Ruda a hard time, so I hid at the back of the classroom. When I told the kids, who were wondering what I was doing, they stood around guarding for me.

Unlike their refined appearances, the Kim twins seemed to enjoy this. As I watched them while hiding at the narrow space between the rack and the wall, the Kim twins looked quite entertained while snooping around the hallway.

At the break after the third class, Shin Suh Hyun also joined the guarding when the Kim twins invited him. They chose him because of his status as an archery athlete which gave him good eyes and a keen sensitivity to even the smallest moves.

Shin Suh Hyun looked distressed, and when Yoon Jung In said, ‘Should I tell you the culprit of the book you’re reading? Hold on, I…’ he lifted his book and smashed Yoon Jung In’s back. He then glanced at me with a sigh and gave a bit of advice.

“Every occasion is the same; running away solves nothing.”

“It is… right?”

I heaved a sigh. I know that, but when I get over their texts, I can’t help myself from feeling discouraged.

As if he read my concerns from my darkened face, Shin Suh Hyun seemed hesitant for a moment but soon tapped my shoulder to cheer me up.

“Well… in some parts, time will help you through, anyway.”

Finishing his words, he walked out to the hallway. His back looked quite reliable.

While I spent the two break times in an FBI-level escort, surprisingly, they detected no movements from Class 1-1. According to the network of Yoon Jung In, who had a wide circle of acquaintances, the Four Heavenly Kings gathered around Ban Yeo Ryung’s seat during the breaks to discuss something with serious faces.

The Four Heavenly Kings showed no signs of movement until lunchtime. It was, at least for me, quite hopeful news.

I guessed, they had noticed that the 10-minute break was not enough, so if I escaped from them after school, nothing will be a problem. When the fourth class was about to come to an end, I felt so good that I had a bright smile on my face.

When the bell rang to announce that the fourth class was over and when lunchtime was about to start right after, the thing, however, happened, eventually.

As I tried to take a step with Yoo Jung In, Shin Suh Hyun, and the Kim twins, as usual, Yoon Jung In, who was passing through the front door, took out his phone. He then suddenly turned pale.

Stopping his step, he dashed through the front door to the hallway. He looked around quickly as if he was finding someone.

What’s going on… I blinked my eyes in wonder. He then yelled out of the blue.

“Yi Ruda!! Hey, Yi Ruda!!”

“Huh?”

The person who Yoon Jung In was looking for desperately was no one else but Yi Ruda, who was about to walk out the back door with other boys. While she flicked her blue eyes, Yoon Jung In strode toward her and pulled Yi Ruda’s shoulder.

Yoon Jung In then spat out his words in a hurry which made my face turn bloodless.

“Hey, Yi Ruda. My friend from Class 1-1 told me that the Four Heavenly Kings went down the West staircase, not to the cafeteria but to Class 1-8.”

“That means…”

“Ha… yeah, the break is too short, so they were about to use the lunchtime.”

Their conversation was like it came from a spy movie. To explain the suspense level, I was about to suffocate. Chucky chasing a 5-year-old girl would not be as frightening as this.

While I stared at them with a devastating feeling, Yi Ruda turned her head, strode toward me, and snatched my wrist.

The Kim twins and Shin Suh Hyun had a blank gaze at us, but Yi Ruda just pulled my hand while calling my name.

“Donnie.”

“Huh…?”

“Do you believe in me?”

I nodded my head crazily. Who else could I trust in this situation? No one else but Yi Ruda. As if my reaction had satisfied her, Yi Ruda lifted her eyes to glance over my back then quickly went down the stairs.

I had no time to look back but could feel that Ban Yeo Ryung and the Four Heavenly Kings were walking across the hallway getting closer toward us. At last, the race of death had begun.

While walking down the stairs against the crowds, I sensed that the phone inside my pocket started to vibrate. The messages would be obvious. In the middle of the desperate escape, I opened my flip phone.

When I looked at the text, my face turned stiff like a rock.

Sent by: Eun Ji-goddamn-ho

1 second, if I don’t see you…

just passed class 1-1 lol

What a sick bastard! I shut my flip phone and poured as many curses as I could at him in my mind. Was he trying to play the black carriage joke? The black carriage arrived at the school entrance, passed the first floor, the second floor, the third floor, and then to the bathroom?

I’ll put up with it for making a mistake… I bit my lip and focused on running away. Although I wanted to go back up to smash Eun Jiho, before attempting that, the other guys would catch me.

My phone kept vibrating.

Sent by: Eun Ji-goddamn-ho

2 nervous, right?

class 1-2 just passed

Sent by: Eun Ji-goddamn-ho

3 seconds seems too long

now passed 1-3 lol

When I saw the last message, I nearly collapsed. If Yi Ruda didn’t hold my hand tight, I would have tumbled down the stairs.

My face darkened while scowling at the phone screen.

Sent by: Eun Ji-goddamn-ho

4 the number of death U dead

passed 1-4 lol

Sent by: Eun Ji-goddamn-ho

o, mistyped! sorry^^ luv ya

no death nooo

Was he fu*king kidding me? He wrote the d-word twice, but he said he mistyped?!

I couldn’t stand anymore. Even if my pace slowed down, I must text back. My fingers were in a hurry on the keypad.

To: Eun Ji-goddamn-ho

You sssunof a biiiitchhh

There were many errors in my text message, but it was no problem. We shared so many curses during our longtime friendship that Eun Jiho would never get it wrong.

After pressing the send button, I ran like chickens with their heads cut off, but within a few seconds, a new message arrived. I quickly opened my phone.

Sent by: Eun Ji-goddamn-ho

Donnie, what did I tell you? No swears.

“…”

It was Eun Hyung. Look at the grammatically correct message, indeed it’s from Eun Hyung.

Oh, it’s him. Oh, yes… I closed my phone and put it back into my pocket with no words. Then I sped up as if I was using a booster. I was dead meat when they caught me.

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