Volume 10, Chapter 10: Long’s Kindness

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Fourth Day

I woke up, my head still pounding. Two blankets covered me, but I still felt cold. How did I even get sick? I turned my head to the left, seeing a wet towel on top of my bedside cabinet. F***, I lacked the focus and strength to even reach for it.

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“You’re awake, Yuki!” Dad entered my room, carrying a bowl of steaming soup on a platter.

“What…. happened?” I said, feeling my throat hurt.

“Your Mom called you for dinner, but you didn’t respond. When she came up, you were already asleep. And here you are now,” Dad explained the situation.

“Is it a…. flu?” I asked, a struggle each time words came out of my mouth.

“Have some water first,” Dad suggested, handing me a glass.

I drank it and my throat cleared up. What the f*** kind of flu was this? In all my years, I never experienced such a potent sickness before.

“We can’t be sure until we take you to the doctor’s. Does your head still hurt?” Dad questioned.

“Yeah, it does. It’s clearing up a little,” I said, my voice less hoarse.

“Okay, that’s good. Can you try standing for me?” Dad offered his hand out to me.

I stumbled immediately upon exiting the bed. S***, no strength in my legs at all. I attempted another step. This sucked, I could not even walk straight. Dad steadied me, leading me back to the bed.

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“Rest up, Yuki. You’re looking better than yesterday night. I’ll get a doctor over to check up on you,” Dad decided, exiting my room.

These were not the signs of a healthy person obviously. However, the symptoms were far too severe for just the standard flu. It was probably related to Mirei.

“Oh, one more thing, Long made chicken soup for you. Drink it when you have the chance. He said he’ll stop by once school’s over,” Dad said, poking his head through the door.

The doorbell rang and Dad gave me an encouraging smile. S***, did staying here too long cause severe side effects? Dad returned with Zhuyu, who stared at me with a worried expression.

“I’ll let Long talk to you for a bit. One of my friends is a doctor. He’ll stop by soon as possible,” Dad informed me before leaving.

Zhuyu wore a different version of the school uniform. He had on a short sleeve dress shirt underneath the usual vest. It was close to summer so it made sense for a uniform change right now.

“Yuki, has your fever gone down?” Zhuyu asked.

“I think so. Still feel pretty bad though,” I answered, the headache diminishing.

“I’ll come back another time if you need to rest,” Zhuyu offered.

“I should be fine. I actually wanted to drink the soup you brought over,” I requested, pointing at the bowl.

“Can you hold everything okay? I don’t want you to spill it,” Zhuyu said, picking up the bowl.

“In that case, just feed her already!” Mom suggested, arriving without a sound at all.

“Mom, when did you….?” I stared at her.

“Go on, Long, feed her. Here, I even have a spoon for you,” Mom encouraged.

“Yuki, can you sit upright? I don’t want to drop anything on the carpet or blankets,” Zhuyu directed, stirring the soup with his spoon.

Was this really happening? Damn you, Mom. Always instigating situations to your liking without consulting me first. And Zhuyu, of course, agreed with no complaints. I didn’t have much of a choice.

“Wait, Mom, you can do this for me. Get back…,” I started my sentence but Mom interrupted.

“Yuki, I have something cooking downstairs. Long, good luck!” Mom dashed off, a shameless smile on her face.

Zhuyu, unfazed by the entire interaction, instructed me to move closer. He scooped the soup up and placed it into my mouth with care. Saltier than expected, but contained chicken essence, along with a slight hint of herbs.

“How did you make this?” I asked.

“I bought a chicken the other day. Didn’t think I would end up using it so soon,” Zhuyu answered, feeding me more soup.

He used an actual chicken instead of canned broth? This was just too much. This Zhuyu was ridiculous. How did he find the time to watch the soup cook? I was sick around six and Mom probably found me near seven. If he started preparing at eight, it would have taken him until midnight , even longer depending on the cooking time. I felt really bad he did all of this for me.

“It must have taken you a long time,” I commented.

“I slept around one. Don’t worry, today was a half day anyways,” Zhuyu said with a smile.

“Still….,” I began.

“Yuki, worry about yourself. I’m not sleep deprived at all. There you go, you’re all finished now,” Zhuyu interrupted.

“Thanks for all the help,” I finally mustered, not sure what else to say.

“No problem. I’ll let you rest and come by again later if you’re up,” Zhuyu said, taking the bowl downstairs.

I laid down with a new, cold towel draped on my head. Mirei, are you finally going to end this now? You’ve made your point. I felt fatigue set in once more and drifted off.

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