48 Hours a Day
Chapter 263 - Aren’t You a Little Smug?
Chapter 263 Aren’t You a Little Smug?
The street lights outside the hostel had been turned off for a few days now, and most of the building’s residents had already returned to their hometowns for the Spring Festival. Only a few dorms were still lit, and the building’s surroundings were unusually dark at night. Zhang Heng turned on his powerful LED flashlight, which shone brightly with a white glow. Following Ma Wei’s directions, he found the parked bicycle. It was a Flying Pigeon* bicycle Ma Wei purchased from a senior from his hometown. It appeared worn and rusted and seemed to have done more than a couple of miles under its belt.
Every year during graduation season, the new graduates would set up stalls in front of the hostel building to sell the items they no longer needed at reasonable prices. It was then that Ma Wei purchased this two-wheeler for less than a hundred yuan, thinking he could eventually sell it off to the freshmen when his turn to graduate arrived. It was excellent value for its price, and the robust machine reliably ferried him back and forth from his part-time tutoring job. Zhang Heng took a quick glance at the vehicle and found that its chain was indeed loose, just as Ma Wei had reported.
The solution to this problem was actually rather straightforward. All he needed to do was loosen the nut holding the rear axle and pull the rear wheel back to tighten up the chain. He would finish up by replacing the nut and screws with brand new ones. Since Zhang Heng could fix the minor problem there and then, he crouched down and went straight to work. Ma Wei, who was walking up from behind him, wore a peculiar smile on his face. Zhang Heng focussed on fixing on the bike, and Ma Wei stood outside the flashlight’s beam, so unless Zhang Heng had eyes at the back of his head, he wasn’t able to see the expression on his friend’s face.
Ma Wei appeared to be hopeful and happy like a birthday boy unboxing his presents at a party.
Zhang Heng was already reaching for the rear axle but suddenly, he stopped halfway. Without warning, he dropped the torchlight in his hand, and grabbed Ma Wei by the wrist. “Well, you’re a smug one, aren’t you?” Ma Wei’s face fell. Before he could say anything, Zhang Heng was already on his feet, pushing the screwdriver hard against his throat.
“God damn it! What is the meaning of this? Such a reaction is unwarranted if you don’t want to fix my bike, huh?” growled Ma Wei as his face darkened.
“I should be the one asking you that,” replied Zhang Heng. “Why have you been following me? What is your purpose? That Kumamon back at the mall… that was you, right? How did you disappear from the fitting room? Why are you pretending to be my friend? Where is the real Ma Wei? Did you hurt him?”
‘Ma Wei’ thought about the question for a bit, but before ‘he’ could come up with a lie, he felt a sharp pain on his wrist.
The imposter gasped and gritted his teeth. “Ow! Ow! Ow! It hurts. So, you’re not only violent towards boys, but you’re also unfriendly towards girls! How ungentlemanly of you…”
Zhang Heng was taken aback. “Are you that drunk girl from the public toilet?” Throughout the years, Zhang Heng had experienced many battles, some big and some small. Nevertheless, all of them happened in the game. In the real world, the only time he laid a hand on someone was last night, and there were no other witnesses at the scene, either. The drunk girl on the ground had also disappeared when he was chasing down the group of bastards who ran from the toilet. Now that he thought about it, it was an uncannily similar incident to what he experienced at the mall.
Ma Wei’s imposter didn’t answer him. Instead, he said, “How did you find out that I wasn’t actually your friend?”.
“I don’t know how you did it, but your appearance and voice are impeccable. Your mannerism of him is slightly flawed, but it’s not too bad. You made a grave mistake, though. It seems you don’t truly understand who Ma Wei truly is. Due to the environment that he grew up in, Ma Wei is very insistent on being independent. He’s always ready to offer his assistance but rarely troubles anybody for help. Simple things like fixing his bicycle; he would have done it himself. Even if he were to ask for my help, he would’ve only done it after several failed attempts. Moreover…” Zhang Heng paused. “… he doesn’t like drinking warm water. He only drinks it only after it has cooled a little. Ma Wei would never have poured it out of the thermos and drink it straight away.”
There was of course a third reason that Zhang Heng didn’t reveal. Ever since he completed Black Sail, his temperament had changed drastically. After knowing each other for more than a year, even if Ma Wei didn’t comment about the changes, he would have at least looked slightly shocked.
When Ma Wei’s imposter walked in, Zhang Heng noticed that his expression barely changed. The imposter greeted him as if they’d already met. This was because the two had already met last night.
That was when Zhang Heng began to be suspicious of this ‘Ma Wei.’
“Huh, if it wasn’t for the lack of time, I wouldn’t have made such an amateurish mistake,” pouted the imposter. To be honest, seeing a guy do that was kind of strange. I didn’t do anything to your roommate. I just brought his wallet and bicycle back first,” the imposter continued, indirectly admitting that he had actually come for Zhang Heng.
“Do we have anything against each other?” Zhang Heng’s brows furrowed.
“What do you think? Last night, I came out for some fun, and when I finally had the stage set up, caught myself five little fishes, and was about to have a good time, you came along and scared them away. You wasted all my effort,” the imposter moaned.
“If you wanted it so bad, then why didn’t you spend your money at the clubhouse?” Zhang Heng chided coolly.
The imposter became speechless. After about a minute, he snapped out of it and said, “I think you’re mistaken. When I said ‘a good time,’ I didn’t mean…”
Zhang Heng cut her off. “…also, even if I had accidentally ruined your plan, didn’t you already get your revenge back at the mall? We’re already even. So, why are you still coming after me?”
“Even? We’re far from even. You don’t react to being duped like a normal person.” Ma Wei’s imposter looked unhappy. “Just thinking about it makes my blood boil.”
Zhang Heng’s eyes widened in surprise. Back in the mall, he could sense that the other party didn’t have any malicious intent towards him. Even though she had used the Kumamon costume to steal Hayase Asuka’s wallet and passport, she eventually returned those things and even left a note along with it. There seemed to be no ill intention in the whole affair. There was more of a mischievous vibe to it.
Of course, if Zhang Heng were to be arrested by the mall cops, she would have been even more pleased. “You sound like you love these pranks but you still care a lot about how it ends,” Zhang Heng observed. “Why? Does it have any importance to you?”