Translate: Sae | Proofread: Anasofia
Wang Xu’s family restaurant had always been crowded in the early morning and to get a flatbread or two for breakfast was a great pleasure, if possible. When they arrived only to see that there was already no place to sit, they ended up sitting in the room where the family personally ate in.
“There are no donkey meat fillings this early. They’re normally made in the noontime,” Wang Xu said and brought over two baskets of stuffed flatbreads and a bowl of lamb soup. “Did you two leave together this morning?”
The second that Wang Xu asked that, Jiang Cheng immediately felt a bit guilty and took a big bite of stuff-flatbread, opting to remain silent.
“En,” Gu Fei responded.
“You’re just up so early today ah.” Wang Xu pushed a small basket in front of Gu Miao, “Isn’t it customary for you to be late… Miao Miao, there’s no donkey meat today. You can try another flavor today.”
“What Miao Miao,” Gu Fei said. “Don’t be corny, okay.”
“Is it corny?” Wang Xu sat down and said while eating, “She’s a young little girl who should have been cute and pretty, but look at what you’ve done, you brought her up like a wild little boy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her wear a dress.”
“She wants to skateboard,” Gu Fei said. “How would she wear that, and even if we wanted her to wear one, she doesn’t want to.”
“Ay,” Wang Xu sighed, and after taking a few bites, he took out his mobile phone again and swiped a few times with his finger; the phone made a clicking sound.
Jiang Cheng glanced at him and found that the bastard’s camera was facing him: “What are you doing?”
“Just taking a photo. Maybe, if we renovate the front of the restaurant later on, we can hang it there as an advertisement.” Wang Xu smiled and put away his phone.
“Fuck off.” Jiang Cheng looked at him, “Delete it.”
“I’ve taken photos of so many people and nobody has ever told me to delete it,” Wang Xu said with determination. “I won’t delete it… I won’t hang it up at worst then.”
Jiang Cheng was not in the mood to pay him any more attention and continued to eat the stuffed flatbreads instead.
After they finished eating breakfast and walked out of the restaurant, Gu Miao had a foot on her skateboard and looked at Gu Fei. Gu Fei stooped to also look at her, “Do you remember where I said you can only skateboard at?”
Gu Miao nodded.
“Go on then. Gege has some things to do today, so I won’t be home for dinner,” Gu Fei said. “I’ll probably be home around the same time as yesterday.”
Gu Miao nodded again then turned to look at Jiang Cheng.
“Cheng-ge won’t be coming over to our house today. Something came up yesterday so he had to come,” Gu Fei said.
Gu Miao still had her eyes on Jiang Cheng.
Jiang Cheng could only stoop to look at her as well, “I’ll come to find you to play next time that I’m free?”
Gu Miao didn’t react.
“You have to say the exact time,” Gu Fei said from the side. “If you only say, ‘next time’, she won’t understand it.”
“Then…” Jiang Cheng hesitated and thought about it for a while. “Tomorrow then. Tomorrow after the basketball game. Let’s have your brother bring you out to eat together with our team members, alright? We can sit in a row beside each other.”
Gu Miao finally nodded, stepped on her skateboard, and kicked off in the direction of their home.
“Can we squeeze?” Wang Xu came out carrying his school bag and immediately became full of zeal at the sight of Gu Fei’s little bun. “Jiang Cheng, let’s squeeze in the back?”
“… is there even room to squeeze you in?” Jiang Cheng was a little dumbfounded since this car had only so much space, even squeezing in the back with Gu Miao was already strenuous.
“Of course it’s possible,” Wang Xu said.
Seeing the unwavering determination in riding in the car on his face, Jiang Cheng could only get in the car and move to the side as much as possible, and when Wang Xu squeezed in, this car sank, down, down even more.
When Gu Fei got in, he felt that the chassis was about to scrap the ground.
“It’s not going to fall apart halfway right…” Jiang Cheng muttered.
“It won’t.” Gu Fei turned the car around and drove toward the school. “I use it to haul heavy goods sometimes and there haven’t been any problems. The two of you together don’t even amount to much.”
“But were you, yourself, also added?” Jiang Cheng said – with three grown guys squeezing in such a small bun, even people on the roadside turned for a look inside.
“It’s warmer,” Wang Xu said.
“Bullshit, it’s not even that cold anymore. The Spring Basketball Competition is named that way for a reason,” Jiang Cheng informed.
“Ay, that’s right. Practice, this afternoon?” Wang Xu asked.
“Jiang Cheng and I have something to do,” Gu Fei said. “I asked Li Yan and the others to come practice with you guys already.”
“What are you guys going to do?” Wang Xu asked in more detail.
Gu Fei ignored him. Wang Xu turned to look at Jiang Cheng, who was staring out the window pretending not to know.
“Fuck,” Wang Xu tidied his clothes, somewhat in a bad mood. “Even keeping secrets huh, kids.”
Jiang Cheng noticed that Gu Fei was completely indifferent to everyone’s eyes; it didn’t matter that he had an old-fashioned little bun to get around or that there were three people squeezed inside, but he actually drove all the way into the school parking lot shed as though nobody else was present.
And then got out amidst a throng of the students of Sizhong standing in a circle watching.
“All eyes on you ah,” Wang Xu said as he climbed out of the car with an also seemingly indifferent tone.
Perhaps, not indifferent but rather delighted – after all, he was someone who wanted to be a big boss, and attention was what he needed.
As for someone like Jiang Cheng, who didn’t like being surrounded by others and prone to anger with just a glance from others, he regretted getting out of the car without wearing a mask.
As soon as he got out of the car, he could even hear a girl whispering from a meter away: “Is that Jiang Cheng?”
“Yeah,” another girl answered.
He didn’t hear what was said afterward. This sort of inquisitive and slightly excited tone made him a little uneasy, and he couldn’t help thinking of that fujoshi post – he started to become uncomfortable all over.
“But I do think that it’s right for you two not to practice.” Wang Xu said as he walked to the school gate, “For the past two days, Class 2 has been studying the video of our match and even asked people about Jiang Cheng’s ability. It’s best for us to stay a bit hidden. If we win tomorrow, we’ll go up against Class 2 after exams are over.”
“En,” Jiang Cheng answered.
Wang Xu continued in high spirits: “I think our tactics…”
“Cheng Cheng? Cheng Cheng?” A woman’s voice came from behind, “Jiang Cheng?”
Jiang Cheng froze and turned his head around.
“You must be Jiang Cheng?” A woman was standing there, looking at him somewhat excitingly, “Right? I recognized you with just a glance. You really look alike…”
Jiang Cheng recognized the woman who was dressed a little dirty and appeared a bit filthy with just a glance – she was the one who fought with Li Baoguo in front of the building the day before.
His biological mother.
“You…” Jiang Cheng was caught off guard at this moment and didn’t even know what to say – he stood there frozen, looking at her.
“Who is that?” Wang Xu asked beside him.
“Class hasn’t started yet, right?” The woman limped over and reached out to grab his arm, “I’m…”
This grab of hers was enacted with great strength; Jiang Cheng’s conditioned reflex plus the shock caused him to suddenly pull his arm back, shaking her off. “Don’t…”
Don’t touch me.
For the latter two words, Jiang Cheng had to bitterly clench his teeth to stop himself from saying them out loud.
“The bell hasn’t rung yet,” the woman suddenly teared up. “Class hasn’t started yet, right?”
There were already many people looking over by now, and Jiang Cheng’s mind was in a chaotic mess. He had no idea how to face this woman, and after a frozen moment of silence, he handed his school bag to Gu Fei: “Help me… take this in.”
“En,” Gu Fei took his school bag.
“Let’s go talk over there.” Jiang Cheng gestured with his chin toward the opposite side of the street.
“Oh sure, sure.” The woman nodded; her eyes were glued to his face the whole time.
“What’s going on? Should we…” Wang Xu was probably also blindsided by this scene that he wanted to follow after.
Gu Fei reached out to stop him, “What does this have to do with you? Let’s go.”
Jiang Cheng crossed the street with a blank state of mind, and then stopped and turned around once he got to a corner with fewer people.
“It’s mom,” the woman pointed at herself. Her finger jabbed repeatedly at her own chest, “I’m your mom… Li Baoguo never mentioned me, right? He definitely hasn’t, definitely not. The bastard that acts innocent would definitely not tell you……”
Jiang Cheng stared with widened eyes, completely speechless. This seemingly pitiful woman and her vulgar words in her mouth made him momentarily unsure of what kind of reaction he should have.
“When you were sent away back then, he didn’t discuss it with me at all…” the woman did not give him any room to speak and talked incessantly then started to cry midway, using the cuff of her shirt to wipe the tears. “I even thought of a name for you. Your brother is Li Hui and you would have been Li Ming or Li Guang1… but he sent you away. I fought with him and he beat me… that fucking dick…”
“I…” Jiang Cheng couldn’t describe how he felt and only thought of wanting to block out her voice.
His usual technical skills were now being exerted to its maximum efficacy. In the past, when he did not want to listen to Shen Yiqing’s reprimands, he would let his mind wander elsewhere and whether or not he heard it, he would surely forget the content.
But compared to the “biological mother” before him…
“Come back with me!” The woman suddenly grabbed his arm and shook it violently, bringing him back to reality. “Come with mom!”
“Don’t!” Jiang Cheng pulled away his arm and took two steps back, unable to suppress those two words, “Touch me!”
“… do you resent me?” The woman looked at him, “Resent that your biological mother doesn’t have money? Resent that I’ll make you lose face? Does your father have money?! He’s just waiting to spend your money!”
“I’m not,” Jiang Cheng said with a bit of effort. “I have to attend class now. I…”
“The family that took you is pretty rich, right?” The woman was not crying anymore, and her eyes now scanned him back up and down. It was hard to tell whether the look on her face was of disdain or sadness as she spoke, “Look at you, dressed just like a rich little master.”
“I have to go to class.” Jiang Cheng took a deep breath and turned toward the school gate.
“You’re heartless!” The woman suddenly pounced on him and relentlessly beat him with her fist for a while. “You’re heartless! A home that’s not like home! A son that doesn’t recognize me! I have a cruel fate ah—”
“Are you insane!” Jiang Cheng actually roared in rage, unable to take it anymore, and blocked her hands. “If you have any animosity with Li Baoguo, you two can go rip each other apart! I don’t fucking recognize either of you!!”
After shouting those words, he turned around and walked away, but a couple of steps then turned completely into a full-blown sprint made it seem as if someone was chasing him from behind with a knife.
The school gate was already closed. He didn’t stop and ran madly along the perimeter wall, and finally leaned against a tree by the road.
He didn’t know if the woman had followed him and even if she did follow, it was impossible for her to keep up with him, however, he didn’t have the courage to turn around for a look.
He froze for a while and then took his phone out to send Gu Fei a message.
– Which part of the wall did you climb over?
The perimeter wall around Sizhong was pretty high, with quite a few shops nearby that made it absolutely impossible to get over. But he desperately needed to get into the school now – desperately.
Gu Fei’s reply came very quickly.
– You can’t climb over that way anymore, but there’s a small shop by the back gate in the north that you can climb over; there’s a pile of broken bricks inside the perimeter wall.
Jiang Cheng found the shop that Gu Fei mentioned; there was a dumpster set right next to the wall that he could use to climb into the wall and once he was on top of the wall, he could see where the pile of messy bricks was.
Jumping down without some sort of standard could make him break his ankle at worst.
“Just jump,” the shop owner said, watching him from the side of the wall with his arms crossed, he then shouted: “There are no teachers at the moment, but give it a few minutes and someone will come by.”
“Shit.” Jiang Cheng almost allowed that throat of his to startle him directly off the wall.
He looked around to make sure that no one was nearby and then jumped off.
Fortunately, he only stepped on some bricks and stumbled back a step or two without actually stepping into the cracks between the bricks.
When he entered the classroom, Lao Xu was standing on the teacher’s platform while the students below ate their breakfast in unison. If someone didn’t know better, they would have thought that he was here to inspect the circumstances surrounding the distributions of breakfast.
“You’re late?” Lao Xu looked at him in surprise.
“I had to pee,” Jiang Cheng said.
When he sat on his seat, Gu Fei glanced at him but didn’t say anything.
“Fuck,” Jiang Cheng muttered.
He very much wanted to say something, to curse, to complain, to find a place and yell a few times, and cry with utter consolation.
But now, he could only sit there stunned and do nothing.
Miserably enduring it.
The suffocating fire was raging horrendously in his body, burning relentlessly until he could almost smell the scorching stench – this intense rage that he could not vent or endure was setting aflame unbearable pains.
He wanted to talk to Gu Fei, but he also knew that anything Gu Fei said at this moment would only make him suddenly explode.
Luckily, Gu Fei was a xuezha of superb emotional intelligence who buried himself in playing that retarded, retarded, retarded, retarded Craz3 Match game without saying a word or even giving him a single glance.
But sometimes life was just that ruthless. There were always people doing the most inappropriate things at the most inappropriate times – such people are called unfortunate souls.
“Cheng Cheng!” A strange voice came from outside the classroom door, “Cheng Cheng—”
Jiang Cheng suddenly turned his head and saw that a certain member from Class 5 basketball team was passing by the back door with a wretched smile.
This person wants to die.
That was Gu Fei’s first reaction when he heard that fucking idiot’s voice.
Jiang Cheng rose up in one bound out of his seat, and when his knee knocked into Gu Fei’s back as he jumped over from behind him, Gu Fei helplessly coughed while looking outside the classroom.
Jiang Cheng was extremely quick. Just as everyone in the class turned to look out, he had already flown out, grabbed that idiot by the collar, and landed a fist on the bridge of his nose.
This punch was very heavy. Gu Fei recalled the last time that they fought; Jiang Cheng knew exactly what he was doing but this punch completely lacked control.
“Fuck!” Wang Xu was the first to jump up. He propped his hand on the desk and leaped over, then propped his hand on another desk and leaped over the desk in front of him.
All for the sake of getting in on the action, this person could raise his skills by at least three levels.
When Jiang Cheng’s second punch smashed the idiot’s face, the whole class had stood up and was squeezing toward outside the back door.
“What’s going on, what’s going on?!” Lao Xu shouted as he tried to get out but was quickly pushed all the way to the back by the students rushing forward. “What’s going on?! Stop the fight! Stop the fight! Wang Xu! Go stop them!”
“That… how the hell do I do that!” Wang Xu’s voice came from within the hallway.
Gu Fei stood up, dragged the chair behind the crowd by the door, stood on it, and looked out.
The idiotic student had already fallen to the ground. Jiang Cheng had one hand gripping his throat while the other hand was swinging on his face. If it weren’t for the crowd shouting too loudly, they would have certainly heard the sounds of his fist connecting with skin.
The idiot was from Class 5. He wasn’t the big boss from Class 5, but he was definitely a contender just like Wang Xu. With him being held down to the ground and beaten like this, the students from Class 5 quickly came over.
“Fuck!!” Someone shouted and prepared to rush over.
“Fuck who, huh?!!” Wang Xu bellowed in rage, pushed up his sleeves, and charged ahead. “You want to fuck me up? Come, come, come at me!”
A brawl between the two classes suddenly started without any preparatory statements, not even trash-talking or warm-ups came – they went straight into full-blown combat.
With the hallway packed with students, the deafening noises from onlookers, and the twelfth graders from the side, the few teachers on this floor couldn’t even maintain order, let alone find their own shadows in the crowd.
Gu Fei jumped off the chair and squeezed his way in through the throng of people, avoiding several fists just to get to Jiang Cheng.
At this time, the guy on the ground already had a bloodied face but perhaps because he was beaten so brutally that his fighting spirit was aroused, and he started swinging back at Jiang Cheng.
“Jiang Cheng,” Gu Fei called out to Jiang Cheng, but Jiang Cheng seemed to not have heard him. He frowned, “Cheng-ge! That’s enough!”
Just as he was about to pull Jiang Cheng up, a fist swung over from the guy on the ground, and although the target was Jiang Cheng’s face, it swiped Gu Fei’s face instead.
Gu Fei suddenly grabbed Jiang Cheng’s arm and forcibly yanked him backward, causing him to stagger and fall to the ground then after, he firmly landed a slap on the face of the guy in the ground with the back of his hand.
With his ass now on the ground, Jiang Cheng finally recovered a bit of his sense amid this chaotic anger.
The guy on the ground glared at him and got up, wanting to pounce at him again.
Gu Fei pointed at him, with the tip of his finger nearly touching his eye: “If you move even the slightest, I’ll put you in the hospital.”
His voice was bitterly cold. The guy froze in place immediately, as if his emergency brakes were slammed hard on.
Jiang Cheng had never heard such a tone from Gu Fei before – so cold that he was immediately clear-headed and slowly stood up from the ground.
The group fights around him were still in full swing, just like an unstoppable wildfire. He stood in the throng of the crowd and suddenly felt a little confused.
“Gu Fe! Gu Fei!” Lao Xu managed, at last, to make himself visible in the utter chaos, “Gu Fei! Stop the fight! Stop the fight! Separate them!”
Gu Fei didn’t say anything as he conveniently went to grab the back collar of someone from Class 5 and pulled him back. The guy turned around and swung at him, but he caught the fist and shoved him to the side.
After that, he grabbed Wang Xu’s collar, pulled him back, and pushed him away.
“What the fuck | You…” Wang Xu didn’t finish his curse and shut his mouth when he saw clearly that it was Gu Fei.
“Tell your people to go back to class.” Gu Fei turned to glance at him and said in a calm and collected tone.
“That’s enough!” Wang Xu shouted. “Everybody, stop! All of you from Class 8, get back to class!”
Gu Fei grabbed the arm of another person from Class 5 and shoved him to the side.
Eventually, the students in the hallway slowly separated, and those who were entangled in the fight began to swear relentlessly.
“Get back to class!” Lao Lu’s voice suddenly reverberated; since the first period of the day was his class, he had probably been there for a while now though no one heard his roaring voice at all. “Did you all sleep too well last night?! You want to act out huh?! Come on! Whoever wants to satisfy their craving, raise your hand! How about having a go with me on the field! You!”
He pointed at the guy who received a bloodied face from Jiang Cheng: “I’m talking about you! Look at your face decorated with blood! Are you happy now that you have open wounds?!2 Is that a morning glory or a sunflower?! What are you glaring at me for! Do you need me to carry you to the bathroom to wash your face?!”
Everyone slowly went back to their respective classrooms accompanied by the sound of Lao Lu’s voice.
With such a thrilling event this early in the morning, many people were a little unsatisfied; noises filled the classroom, some were just shouting, and some were curses from those that didn’t get to enjoy themselves to the fullest.
Jiang Cheng sat back on his seat, still feeling a bit disoriented.
Gu Fei also sat down. He rummaged through his school bag, took out a few Band-Aids, and threw them on the desk.
“What are you doing?” Jiang Cheng glanced at him.
“Hands,” Gu Fei said.
Jiang Cheng looked down at his own hands which had suffered from several scrapes at some point. He didn’t feel it at all – even now, he didn’t feel an ounce of pain.
He peeled open two band-aids and stuck them on.
“Ay, Jiang Cheng, Jiang Cheng…” Zhou Jing turned around full of excitement.
Jiang Cheng only had to give him a stare for him to obediently turn back and sit up properly in his seat without even finishing the sentence.
“Jiang Cheng.” Lao Xu entered the classroom with a frown, “Come with me for a second.”
Jiang Cheng stood up and followed Lao Xu out of the classroom.
“What’s going on with you huh?” Lao Xu asked as he led him down the stairs, “Why did you suddenly fight like that?”
Jiang Cheng kept silent.
“Is it because of the game?” Lao Xu turned to ask again, “That doesn’t sound right. If it’s about the game, then Wang Xu would’ve been the first to take the lead.”
Jiang Cheng still didn’t say anything.
Lao Xu walked him all the way to the side of the field before he stopped and sighed: “Jiang Cheng ah, you’re going to be taken to the Guidance Counselor office regarding this matter. You have to tell me what’s going on so that I can help talk to the Director of Academic Affairs for you. This kind of situation… a disciplinary punishment will be taken against you!”
What’s so scary about being punished?
He still carried his previous disciplinary actions with him to this day.
Disciplinary punishments weren’t scary – the scary thing was that he didn’t know how to explain himself at all.
I hit him because he was imitating how that woman spoke.
You beat him because he imitated how that woman spoke?
Because that woman is my biological mother?
This matter was not that difficult to explain with some common sense, but for him, it was difficult.
Jiang Cheng looked at Lao Xu and then after a long while, he said: “Whatever.”
I’m really sorry about the late update T_T please know that it’s not intentional; I had to do almost 60+ plus of work last week; it was horrible but I should be able to update at least two more chapters this week! Thank you and sorry for the delay – love you all! ❤
Why am I excited to see Gu Fei fight? He literally ended the fight with a few glares…
I feel so bad for Jiang Cheng, his parents are trash, and I’m sure his biological mother only wanted him to go with her so that she can take his money too, just like that useless father ;/
1 Lu Hui (李辉) Hui – splendor/shine upon, Li Ming (李明)Ming – bright (opposite of dark), Li Guang (李光) Guang – light, ray
2 Are you happy now that you have open wounds (开花了挺美是吧) lit. “Are you happy you’re in full bloom!” (Bloom as in open wounds, are you now happy that you have open wounds — sarcastic remark) – An … so the open wounds look like flowers!