This is the 2nd part of the story. The first part is here.
Nali thought about how to get those books from Sulang, but it was just a thought. An obsessive thought, but still it’s only a thought. It would never be put into action if it was not for the newcomer Meiru, who’s parents were newly transferred to the university as lecturers. Nali was the teachers’ pet in school and she was assigned the task to show Meiru around and help her if she had questions. Needless to say, as a newcomer, Meiru naturally became the preferred target of Sulang, who taunted her with vicious poems, jeering at Meiru’s accent and her height. Nali tried hard to tell Meiru to ignore Sulang. “It’s just a nasty ‘initiation’ process everybody goes through. Sulang is a bully and nobody dares to fight him.” Nali says.
Meiru was half Mongolian and she was very tall and strong. At age 11, she was still as strong as most of the boys. And she said to Nali that she had never lost a fight yet. However, knowing that the boys were growing so much taller and stronger and faster, she knew that her days of continued victory were numbered.
“Sulang is not as tall as me. And I think I probably can fight him and win.” Meiru said.
“You know I have a better idea. Let’s do it outside of the school. Here’s the idea.” Nali says, imagining that when they fought Sulang together, she could probably grab Sulang’s books.
So the two girls made their plan. Nali chose the ideal fighting location, which was outside of the school where a big garbage pile was located. As the primary school was chronically underfunded, the school was often behind on paying their bills, especially the sanitation bills. Consequently the waste management company, which was run by the local farmers–it’s a rural university, located among farmland and villages–would delay the garbage collection until the previous bills were cleared. And at the moment, the garbage was mounting as if it’s a little garbage hill outside the school’s west gate. Few people used this gate. Most people used the more convenient east gate. However, through the west gate, it’s a shortcut to go to the library. Nali knew that whenever Sulang had books to return, he would use the west gate. The two girls waited by the garbage dump for two days after school, but Sulang didn’t show up. By the third day, he finally appeared. He’s alone and he didn’t seem to be very happy. When he saw the two girls in front him, he was surprised. The two girls threw garbage at him while wielding tree branches they picked up earlier. He tried to get away, but was tripped by stray garbage under his feet. His book bag was flung two or three feet away. He was too quick for the girls. Leaving his bag behind, he ran away.
“That was too easy. I thought he would fight us.” Nali says.
“He might have thought we have some backup behind us. He is alone, you know. Fleeing is probably the easiest way.” Meiru says.
The book bag was quickly inspected.
“Look, three books by Ryotaro Shiba, my favorite Japanese author. I have never been able to get his books at all. Can you believe that? The librarians can give him three books while telling me to wait in line forever. It’s so unfair.” Nali says.
The two girls decided that they would skip school the next day just to read the books at hands. They found a quiet corner on the university campus to read the books and bought lunch with their pocket money. Just skipping one day was not enough, they did it again the second day. On the third day, when they finally came back to school, all hell broke loose.
(The next part of the story is here.)