Translate: Sae | Edit: Ice
Gu Fei took the self-reflection paper that Jiang Cheng had given him for the second time and unfolded it, and only after carefully determining that the name written above was ‘Gu Fei’ and not ‘Wang Xu’ or some other person, did he start to read it out loud once more: “I am Gu Fei, from Second Year Class 8’s. As a student of Si Zhong, I had uh… building…? … repeatedly violated the school’s what now… school rules. Being late is… is a uh… terrible mistake. Not only was I late, but I had also sat on the wall… uh, climbed. Climbed over the wall, which only added to… to my mistake…”
Jiang Cheng had actually written the characters quite largely, but it was still hideous – earth-shatteringly hideous. Gu Fei read aloud with extreme difficulty as he listened to the low laughter that the audience would let out from time to time.
“At this critical… moment where we only have half a semester left before we enter the Third Year,” Gu Fei peered at the paper, not knowing what was so important about entering the Third Year. “I promise to correct my mistakes, abide by the school rules, not to be late or leave early, and not… not climb over the walls or step on… tree branches…”
What the hell is stepping on the tree branches?!
When he reached the last line, he finally breathed a sigh of relief: “Self-reflecting person, Gu Fei.”
“Go stand over there Gu Fei, next.” The teacher on duty swept a glance over the row of people lined up on the stage and chose his next target, “Jiang Cheng!”
Another round of applause erupted from below, and the face of the teacher on duty turned green. He pointed at the students before them, “Who wants to come up and read one with them? I’ll give you an opportunity!”
Jiang Cheng stood in front of the microphone, took out his self-criticism paper for a look, then flipped to the second page again and took a couple more glances. He then neatly folded the paper and placed it back in his pocket.
“I am Jiang Cheng, from Second Year Class 8.” He gazed down at the people below, “Last week, because of a small altercation, me and Class 5’s…”
Jiang Cheng stared at the audience in silence for two seconds, then looked back at the row of people behind him: “What was that person’s name again?”
That question was certainly not asked in a low voice, and a wave of insuppressible laughter to instantly burst out from students below.
“Fuck?” Wang Xu was dumbstruck, he then hurriedly told him, “Luo Yi!”
“Class 5’s Classmate Luo Yi and I had a fight.” Jiang Cheng very calmly turned back his head and continued to speak, “This kind of behavior is a serious violation of school regulations and is not conducive to the unity between classmates and our classes. As the person to first initiate the fight, I did not give Classmate Luo Yi the opportunity to explain and apologize to me. This has also caused conflicts between the two classes and unfavorable consequences. In the past few days, I have deeply reflected on my impulsive behavior. Fighting cannot solve the problem…”
Looking at Jiang Cheng’s back, Gu Fei was hit by a profound feeling of utmost admiration toward this unconventionally handsome xueba who would memorize even a self-reflection, and also not pass on such a chance to show off. For this reflection, he didn’t just do something as simple as admitting his mistakes, he had completely placed all the blame regarding this matter on Luo Yi’s head.
However, after listening to Jiang Cheng’s self-reflection, Gu Fei understood the reason why he looked unwell earlier this morning. Jiang Cheng seemed to have a cold thus spoke with a nasal tone.
“Fuck,” Wang Xu whispered to him from the side, “What the hell is this kid, Jiang Cheng, trying to do? He’s even more capable of stealing the limelight than I am. This sort of thing can actually be used to show off…”
“You can only give in.” Guo Xu lowered his head, “Take this self-reflection paper for example, let’s not even talk about how well it might be written, I can’t even memorize it.”
“I will reflect seriously, correct my mistakes, unite with my classmates, and stop being impulsive…” Jiang Cheng had read the reflection aloud without stuttering even once throughout the entire process. “Self-reflecting person, Jiang Cheng.”
Then he bowed, turned around, and returned to stand in the middle of the row of dumbfounded people.
Next to go up was Wang Xu. He took out a self-reflection paper that had crumpled into a ball from his pocket and read it out loud with great enthusiasm: “Teachers and fellow classmates, good morning! In these warm spring days where flowers bloom and Spring returns to the Earth! I have made a mistake…”
Gu Fei sighed. He was almost unable to hold back the need to laugh, so he quickly lowered his head.
“Those that don’t know would think that his mistake has something to do with Spring…” Jiang Cheng whispered.
The row of people all suddenly lowered their heads and laughed until their entire bodies shook.
The Principal cleared his throat from behind them – only then did the group manage to restrain their laughter with difficulty.
“You actually memorized your self-reflection paper?” Gu Fei tilted his head and shot a glance at Jiang Cheng.
“No,” Jiang Cheng answered in a low voice, “I didn’t expect the two of us to read it one after the other. Those two self-reflection papers consisted of the same admittance, mistakes, and whatnot. If they were read together, it would be too obvious…”
“Fuck,” Guo Xu was a little shocked. “So you improvised then?”
“That’s called going off-script,” Jiang Cheng corrected him.
“… oh.” Guo Xu still had a dumbstruck expression.
Once Class 8 finished reading their self-reflection papers, it was Class 5’s turns.
Each and every one of them was a stuttering mess and took a lot of time to finish their readings. In the end, the Principal and the teacher on duty didn’t even bother to give a conclusion anymore and just directly announced their dismissal.
Once they returned to class, everyone rushed forward to congratulate Jiang Cheng.
“You really will be well-known by the whole school at this point.” Zhou Jing gave him a thumbs up, “Jiang Cheng, you’re really…”
“Shut up,” Jiang Cheng said and turned his head away to sneeze.
“You have a cold?” Gu Fei asked.
“Yeah.” Jiang Cheng nodded and put on his face mask.
Perhaps, it had suddenly occurred to them that the cause for the cold might be because they were covered with only a thin blanket in a room with an extinguished fire and an open window that night…
Both ended the conversation, feeling a bit awkward.
After class started, Gu Fei finally asked: “Didn’t I tell you to wait for me so that we can come to school together?”
“… I forgot.” Jiang Cheng laid his body on the table with his eyes half-closed.
“Then let’s go back together.” Gu Fei said.
“En.” Jiang Cheng answered.
Gu Fei didn’t speak anymore, guessing that Jiang Cheng was feeling quite uncomfortable by his appearance. He lowered his head and continued to play on his phone.
At the end of class, he put down his phone and glanced over at Jiang Cheng who was still laying on the table with his mask covering his face – he appeared to be in a deep sleep.
“Gu Fei,” Lao Xu called when he passed by the door of their classroom after his lesson ended in the class next door. “Come here for a bit.”
Gu Fei looked at Lao Xu and remained seated without moving.
“I have something to discuss with you.” Lao Xu waved his hand, “Come here.”
Gu Fei reluctantly collected his phone and very slowly walked out of the classroom, trudging behind Lao Xu.
When Lao Xu walked down the stairs and went toward the staff’s bathroom, Gu Fei stopped. “Do you want to talk first before going to the bathroom?”
“I don’t need to use the bathroom,” Lao Xu said. “There’s just less people here.”
With an expression of “this is a secret matter” riding on Lao Xu’s face, Gu Fei had to follow him. He sat down on a stone bench next to the bathroom.
“I have something to ask, but this matter must be kept secret,” Lao Xu said.
“If it has nothing to do with me then don’t say it. I don’t want to get involved in other people’s business or keep secrets for anyone.” Gu Fei felt for a cigarette from his pocket out of habit but glanced at Lao Xu and stopped himself.
“Smoke, smoke, just don’t let the Director of Academics catch sight of it, otherwise, I’ll also have to write a self-reflection paper too.” Lao Xu sighed and watched as he lit a cigarette before he continued to speak. “This matter has nothing to do with you, but it has to do with Jiang Cheng. I noticed that the two of you have a pretty good relationship… so I wanted to talk to you about it.”
Gu Fei lowered his head and held the cigarette in his mouth. After a moment, he finally asked: “What do you want to talk about?”
“Did you know that Jiang Cheng has left home?” Lao Xu asked.
“Huh?” Gu Fei looked up in shock.
“Ah, even you didn’t know about this?” Lao Xu gave a heavy sigh, “His father came to find me.”
“Li Baoguo?” Gu Fei asked, “He came to the school?”
“No, he called.” Lao Xu explained, “He knew me from before. His older son Li Hui was also my student.”
“Oh,” Gu Fei sounded in response.
He left home?
Lao Xu continued in a low voice: “Lao Li didn’t say why Jiang Cheng ran off. He only mentioned that they had a disagreement and that Jiang Cheng was angry at him…”
“That person’s words can’t be trusted,” Gu Fei muttered.
“That’s why I wanted to ask you. If I look for Jiang Cheng directly, he definitely wouldn’t tell me a thing with his temper.” Lao Xu’s face was pressed with worry, “Such an outstanding kid, if these matters aren’t handled well, they will affect his studies.”
“I don’t know. He didn’t mention anything about it to me,” Gu Fei said. But Lao Xu only looked at him with an expression of disbelief. He put out the cigarette, “It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe me.”
“Alright. Ay.” Lao Xu shook his head, “You don’t have to ask him anything. I’ll talk to Lao Li once more to see what’s going on. The midterms are tomorrow, let’s talk about this again once it’s over.”
Gu Fei didn’t say anything else. He stood up and returned to the classroom.
Jiang Cheng was listless all morning. After he went to the infirmary to grab some cold medicine, he immediately plopped down on his desk and fell into a deep sleep. He slept all the way until class ended at noon.
Gu Fei had to push him several times before he woke up: “Hey, class is over now.”
“Oh,” Jiang Cheng opened his eyes and spoke with a muffled tone. “I’m not going back this noon. You can just… go back by yourself.”
“You’re not going to eat anything either?” Gu Fei asked.
“I don’t have any appetite, so no to eating.” Jiang Cheng closed his eyes again.
“Okay.” Gu Fei kept silent and walked out of the classroom whilst playing on his phone.
But when he walked out of the school gate, he immediately caught sight of a few people squatting across the street from the school. There was a motorcycle beside them, and on it sat Jiang Bin.
Gu Fei ignored them and texted Jiang Cheng as he walked.
– Jiang Bin is outside, don’t come out.
But then before pressing send, he changed “Jiang Bin” to “Boar Head”. Jiang Cheng was already a complete mess when it came to remembering people’s names, and since he had a cold, he probably wouldn’t remember who Jiang Bin was.
Jiang Cheng actually replied rather quickly.
– Is he causing you trouble?
Jiang Cheng didn’t respond, he probably fell asleep again.
When Gu Fei straddled his bicycle, Jiang Bin started his motorcycle and drove over to block him.
Wang Xu and the others had also gotten on their bikes. But as soon as they turned back their heads and saw them, they immediately stopped and stared in their direction.
“You free?” Jiang Bin asked.
“Do you need something?” Gu Fei’s feet landed on the ground.
“It’s been a long since we played ball together.” Jiang Bin said. “Do you want to play a game sometime?”
“Let’s talk about it another time,” Gu Fei responded. “we have to take our exams tomorrow.”
“Yo.” Jiang Bin had on an exaggerated expression of surprise, “The famous Gu Fei wants to take an exam?”
A wave of laughter followed after.
“Let’s talk after exams are over.” Gu Fei ignored his laughter.
“Alright.” Jiang Bin pointed at him, “I’m giving you face. I’ll come find you after the exams.”
Gu Fei made a sound in response.
“Get the guy called Jiang Cheng to come along too,” Jiang Bin said.
“I can’t promise you that,” Gu Fei answered.
“Fuck.” Jiang Bin spat on the ground, “I said, bring him.”
“Don’t cross me.” Gu Fei shot him a dirty look and slowly enunciated every word, “If you want to cross me, then get your older brother1 to come with you.”
“Gu Fei,” Jiang Bin twisted the motorcycle throttle. “I’m not my brother, I’m not on friendly terms with you like he is…”
“I’m not on friendly terms with your brother,” Gu Fei interrupted him. “If you want to play a game, we can arrange a time after exams. But if you want to arrange a meeting with Jiang Cheng, call your brother.”
After he said that, Gu Fei stepped on his pedal and squeezed his way past him.
Wang Xu and several others immediately followed up on their bicycles: “What’s going on? Is he looking for trouble?”
“What does it have to do with you?” Gu Fei said. “If you want to look for trouble, then go back and look for him now.”
“Fuck.” Wang Xu became angry, “This was caused by the game! It has to do with our entire team! This is a collective…”
“Go use that collective sense of honor somewhere else.” Gu Fei stepped hard on the pedal and the bicycle flew ahead, “Just go back.”
Once he arrived at the shop, Gu Miao, who was skateboarding at the door, flew past him without giving him a second glance when she saw him come back.
Gu Fei discovered that this little girl seemed to have grown; her height that hadn’t changed at all for a year had finally shown some changes – her head seemed to reach his waist now.
Li Yan was in the shop, as was Liu Fan, presumably called over by Li Yan after he had gotten too bored. The two were cooking some noodles at the moment.
Before he had a chance to speak, he suddenly heard Li Baoguo’s voice: “Da Fei, you’re out of school?”
“Li-shu.” Gu Fei was a bit surprised to see Li Baoguo standing near the shelves, “Did you come to buy something?”
“He wants to ask you about Jiang Cheng,” Li Yan piped in from the side. “Said that he left home.”
Gu Fei was a little speechless. He had asked about Jiang Cheng until even Li Yan and the others knew about their situation. If Jiang Cheng were to hear that Li Baoguo had told so many people that he ran away from home at such a grand scale2, he probably wouldn’t go back no matter how much he was asked.
“Did he go to school today?” Li Baoguo asked in a loud voice.
“I don’t know,” Gu Fei said. “I didn’t go to school today.”
“Don’t help him hide from me!” Li Baoguo said with great dissatisfaction, “You bunch of undisciplined delinquents are all covering up for each other!”
“I really didn’t go to school,” Gu Fei said once more.
“That little bastard! Every single one of the assholes that grew up in the big cities all have fucking short tempers! The people over there have spoiled him! He was spouting shit like he can’t be touched!” Li Baoguo complained, “If you’re wrong, can’t your father educate you?! Running off just from a few words! He doesn’t even recognize his father anymore! If it weren’t for me, his father… he wouldn’t even exist!”
“When did he run off?” Gu Fei asked.
“He probably ran off after getting stubborn with me on Friday!” Li Baoguo’s face was engulfed with fury, “I just went out to play some cards and when I came back, all his things were gone! He sure has guts! If I wasn’t stopped by your Xu Laoshi when I went to the school, just see whether or not his legs would’ve been broken off or not!”
Gu Fei didn’t utter another word.
Li Baoguo stood in the shop yelling while screaming obscenities, then walked out with a stream of curses.
“What the fuck.” Liu Fan sat at the table to the side, “This person is amazing. If my father went everywhere cursing like this, I would never go back home in this life.”
“Isn’t Li Hui no longer returning home now?” Gu Fei also sat down. “Oh right, I’m going to have a ball game in a few days after exams are over.”
“Ball game? Your school’s?” Li Yan asked, “Do you guys also want to pull in some external help?”
“No,” Gu Fei said. “Jiang Bin asked.”
Liu Fan started to laugh then leaned back into his chair and continued to laugh for a while. “Shitty bastard, he actually has the face to give a declaration of war?!”
“Then just play bei,”3 Li Yan looked indifferent. “It wasn’t easy to win against them this once anyways, just let him retain a bit of face since he lost.”
“He also specifically mentioned for Jiang Cheng to come as well,” Gu Fei said.
Li Yan froze: “Then he definitely doesn’t intend on just playing ball ah.”
“En.” Gu Fei nodded.
“Are you going to shoulder everything in his place?” Li Yan asked.
“What do you mean by ‘shoulder’ everything?” Gu Fei said. “Jiang Bin has also counted me in.”
“Then we’ll just go together bei.” Liu Fan stretched his body, “It’s been a long time since I’ve been active…”
When Gu Fei arrived at the classroom that afternoon, Jiang Cheng was still wearing a mask and lying half-dead on the desk, listlessly playing on his phone.
As he sat down, Jiang Cheng looked up in surprise: “I thought you wouldn’t come.”
“Nowhere to go,” Gu Fei said and sized him up, “Do you want to take a drip4 or something for your cold?”
“There’s no need,” Jiang Cheng said. “It’s not that serious, I’m just tired since I didn’t sleep well.”
“Oh.” Gu Fei didn’t know what else to say. He wanted to say, ‘Li Baoguo came to find me’, but then felt that it was inappropriate to say that now. After a long silence, he decided to remain taciturn.
Although the afternoon self-study classes were all canceled, the teachers from the various subjects had vied with each other to occupy those periods, initiating a final battle with the sole intention of using the period to highlight the key concepts of their respective lessons for the impending exams.
Gu Fei was tired of listening to the lessons and was even more tired of listening to the key points. He put in his earbuds, listened to music, and started to play on his phone – sneaking glances left and right.
The matter of them mispronouncing their names from when they read their self-reflections earlier that day had been posted on the forum and was already a hot topic – it was even pinned to the top as a hot read from all the likes.
《Li Tao,5 Has my OTP just been confirmed as canon by their real-life counterparts?》
Gu Fei clicked into the post and skimmed through it; the comments section was bustling with various images, memes, finger hearts, and everyone exploding on the spot with exclamation marks pasted above their heads. It was so ridiculous that even he wanted to laugh. He couldn’t tell who was who either, and just guessed that there were people from the school’s journalism club. They were snapping pictures everywhere with their cameras during the game.
He also caught sight of an account that he suspected to be Wang Xu. It was probably a side account that he had recently created – it was called ‘CaptainXu’.6 He could guess by the name alone that he had probably poured a lot of effort into searching through a Chinese-English dictionary before he finally discovered this word…
Just five seconds before the school bell would ring, the math teacher rushed into the classroom: “I have a worksheet7 here…”
There was a prolonged protest in the classroom, and many of the students just rushed out without hearing what the teacher was about to say.
“Leaving?” Gu Fei asked Jiang Cheng.
“En.” Jiang Cheng stood up and went to get the worksheet from the math teacher.
“What a model student.” Gu Fei also went over and took one.
“What are you taking this for?” The math teacher stared at him.
“You’ve already brought it out,” Gu Fei folded the worksheet and stuffed it in his pocket.
When Jiang Cheng got downstairs, he first went to the sink to wash his face, then switched to another face mask: “Do you… have time?”
“What’s wrong?” Gu Fei asked.
“The shop you mentioned that sold bicycles,” Jiang Cheng said. “Take me there. I’m too lazy to walk and my nose has been blocked all day, it’s so freaking uncomfortable.”
“En.” Gu Fei nodded.
Jiang Bin wasn’t there to block them at the school gate, nor was Hou Zi, but Gu Fei knew very well that Hou Zi would definitely intervene in this matter. Although he didn’t have a good relationship with this younger cousin of his, he was the boss of this area after all. Unlike Wang Xu, who struggled on the path of a pseudo-class tyrant, his pride greatly exceeded the sky.
Besides, Hou Zi had found him an eyesore for a long time. Every time he had said that he was just giving him face, but who knew how large the fire in his heart had already become. This matter would have happened sooner or later, with or without Jiang Bin.
It was just that if this matter was really going to get Jiang Cheng involved, he really couldn’t agree to it – Jiang Cheng was different from all of them. Take the fact that he completed the self-reflections as an example; he wasn’t someone who should’ve been dragged here and made to stay in a place like this, much less stay only to be inflicted with trouble.
“Ay, I forgot to ask you.” Jiang Cheng sat at the back of his bicycle, “Are the bikes in that shop expensive? I can only afford something that’s less than 500 RMB.”
“Hey, city boy.” Gu Fei tilted his head over, “The most expensive bike in their shop probably doesn’t even exceed 350 RMB.”
“… oh,” Jiang Cheng responded and clicked his tongue after a while. “Then it must be extremely ugly.”
Gu Fei squeezed the brakes and held the handlebar with one hand as he twisted half of his body back to stare at him.
“I’m… just saying,” Jiang Cheng laughed.
Jiang Cheng actually wasn’t picky about the bike at all, nor did he choose the most expensive one in the shop that was 400 RMB. Instead, he chose one that costs 2508 RMB and asked for the price to be dropped to 220 RMB on the grounds that 250 RMB just sounded like too horrible of a number.
Gu Fei felt that Jiang Cheng probably had no intention of returning to Li Baoguo’s place, so his current budget was even tighter than before.
“Is it okay?” Gu Fei watched him ride it back and forth on the sidewalk.
“Yeah,” Jiang Cheng nodded. “It’s just really ugly.”
“Pay up and leave,” Gu Fei said helplessly.
After Jiang Cheng paid the money, the two of them slowly pedaled in the direction leading back home.
As they approached the intersection, Jiang Cheng turned his head toward him as if he had made up his mind: “I don’t live at Li Baoguo’s place anymore.”
“Why?” Gu Fei asked.
“I don’t know how to explain it,” Jiang Cheng sighed. “I’ll head over to your shop in a bit to buy some things.”
“Daily necessities?” Gu Fei looked at him, “Where do you live now?”
“It’s not far,” Jiang Cheng said. “I enquired the boss of the inn where I stayed last time. It’s at the intersection past the street by your place…”
“The towel factory dormitory?” Gu Fei asked.
“I don’t know. The building is about as broken as Li Baoguo’s place. There’s one-bedroom, and the rent is cheap.” Jiang Cheng said.
“What are you planning to do in the future?” Gu Fei asked again.
“I don’t have any plans.” Jiang Cheng turned his head to sneeze and sniffed his nose. “In any case, I won’t be going back. I’m no one’s son. From now on, I’m a fucking orphan.”
Gu Fei didn’t say anything.
After the two rode forward for a while in silence, Gu Fei said: “Orphan, I’ll invite you to a meal.”
“Alright ah,” Jiang Cheng laughed.
“Let’s go eat near the towel factory dormitory,” Gu Fei said. “I’ll also tell you where you should go to buy things around there along the way.”
“Okay,” Jiang Cheng nodded.
When Gu Fei turned his face to look at him, he pulled up his mask, and quickly turned his head away.
The author has something to say: Continuing tomorrow.
“The post of the forum is in the comments column on the right yo.﹁_﹁ I originally wanted to paste it in, but there were too many words so I grew helpless. If I actually pasted it in, then it would count as cheating money. ⊙▽⊙” The author who changed to drinking hot cocoa today and felt that she was gaining another layer of fat with every sip said worriedly.
“Ji. &(ˉ^ˉ)&” The tiny black furry spirit said.
“Oh god, I don’t know what to say but I must say something! o(≧口≦)o” The black furry spirit shouted in a ground-breakingly loud voice.
The translators has something to say:
Sae: Can you feel the love tonight~? ❤
Ice: Oh sweet god, I’ve been wanting to say this for such a long time now bUT GU FEI SO SO FREAKING PAMPERING TO JIANG CHENG. I CAN’T BE THE ONLY ONE FEELING THIS RIGHT??? ｡・ﾟﾟ・(>д<)・ﾟﾟ・｡
We got the feels, big time!
1 Older brother – He’s referring to Hou Zi (literally translated to ‘Monkey’) who Jiang Cheng had punched in the nose. He is Jiang Bin aka ‘Boar Head’ cousin, and not actually older brother, but in some Asian culture, the cousin etc is omit and you can just say brother/sister for someone older than you
2 Grand scale (大张旗鼓 ) idiom meaning to do smth with great fanfare.
3 Bei (呗) modal particle indicating lack of enthusiasm / modal particle indicating that things should only or can only be done a certain way
4 Drip – sometimes known as a cannula, intravenous fluids or IV.
5 Li Tao (李涛) an internet slang that means ‘rational discussion’, the word itself is derived from 理性 (lǐxìng – reason, rationality) 讨论 (tǎolùn – discussion); the character Li “理” is taking from 理性 and tao “讨” from 讨论, creating Lǐ Tǎo 理讨. Thus, Li Tāo is a sort of ‘persona’ created for the word ‘to have a rational discussion’, and often appears in the discussions amongst fans, but it does not refer to any star artist. So basically, 理性讨论 = 理讨 = 李涛
Example: “For these questions, let’s come Li Tao for a moment.” (discuss)
6 CaptainXu – the word ‘Captain’ was in English already, so Gu Fei was saying that Wang Xu must have looked for a long time in the Eng-Chinese dictionary to find the word Captain
7 Worksheet – This is actually more of a workbook than anything. What a lot of Chinese teachers/schools would do is give out what’s basically a stack of worksheets for the students to “practice”. It’s common for Chinese students to literally finish a mountain of worksheets in their life.
8 250 – In Chinese, 二百五 (two hundred and fifty) is a term used as an insult, which means “stupid person” or “to be a simple person”.
Long long ago, there was a nation called Qi in the Warring States. The King of Qi got help from a wise Prime Minister, Su Qin. But, one day Su Qin was murdered, and the King couldn’t find who the murderer was.
So he made an announcement and it said: I! the King! Have been troubled by the prime minister for a long time, and I’m happy to know he was killed, so I decided to reward the killer with 1000 golds. Come to my palace and take it.
A few days later, four man declared that they killed Su Qin, after arguments, the King still couldn’t find out who the real killer was, so he asked them: I cannot find out who is the real killer, so I decide to give those 1000 golds to all of you, so how much should I pay each of you.
They said: You should pay us 250 golds each.
And the king said: That’s great, Guards! Take those four 250s down, and cut their heads off.
Another backstory is:
250 basically means “half-insane” or “stupid”.
Back in the old days when the Chinese packed money, they place 500 bucks in one envelope, which is called封in Chinese. So if 500 is 一封(one envelope), then 250 would be respectively半封(half an envelope). Since 半封 has the same pronunciation as 半瘋(half-insane) in both mandarin and Cantonese, Chinese people have developed the term 二百五(two hundred and fifty) to describe people who have a goofy and silly personality, or people acting like that.
Another fun fact about this is that Chinese people have developed this and have shortened it to 二(two). They have used this word to describe the husky dogs as 二哈(two husky) due to their behaviour in the modern society. So next time if you want to say that someone’s silly in Chinese, you can say 你很二(you are silly) or 他很二(he/she’s silly).