“Hurry,” Kou Chen had just entered the classroom and Wei ChaoRen had already come up to him, “Hurry to the office to be baptised by Priest Liang Mulan.”
“Now?” Kou Chen was momentarily at a loss.
“The main culprits have already gone, Xu Chuan’s also gone over, it’s actually got nothing to do with him, but he says he’ll go and listen,” Wei ChaoRen says.
“Who else?” Kou Chen asks as he turns to walk out of the classroom again.
“Xu ZhiFan and your daddy,” Wei ChaoRen says from behind him.
Kou Chen comes to a stop, turning his head: “And who?”
“Your daddy,” Wei ChaoRen laughs after he finishes speaking.
“Skin itching* is it?” Kou Chen points at him, “You just wait.”
[*tl note: means he’s ‘asking for a beating’]
“I was wrong,” Wei ChaoRen admits his wrongdoing immediately.
“No use,” Kou Chen walks out of the classroom, raising his voice, “Quickly remove your underwear and wear it on the outside.”
Laughter sounds from behind them.
“You fucker1 he actually says ‘you uncle!’ which is an actual swear in chinese but that doesn’t really translate well into english so..! !” Wei ChaoRen swears.
Kou Chen goes down the stairs, and as he passes the Class 3 classroom he looks inside, the wall ash on the floor had been cleaned up, but because it was a wooden flooring, there was still white ash, a few girls held mops and were mopping the floor, and a third of the ceiling keel was now exposed.
“Kou Chen you still have the nerve to look,” one of the girls that had been mopping looked back, speaking when she saw him.
This was their ex-classmate Class Monitress Lu Huan, a beauty with a sweet voice.
“It’s not like I did it on purpose,” Kou Chen says.
“Was the later part on purpose though, all your hopping made the ceiling ash drop like huahua,” Lu Huan says as she holds out the mop to him, then half-jokingly adds, “Why don’t you come and mop the floor.”
“Sure,” Kou Chen doesn’t hesitate, walking straight into the Class 3 classroom, taking the mop over from Lu Huan’s hand.
“Who let someone from Class 1 come in huh!” someone shouts immediately.
“Why? You selling tickets2 entrance ticket ?” Kou Chen looks over.
But he couldn’t tell who’d said that, in any case quite a number of people were looking at him, two ex-classmates even sent smiles his way.
“Forget it, Kou Chen are you heading to the office, hurry and go, what are you idling here for,” a boy next to him takes the mop in his hand away, this was a classmate that had sat in the seat in front of him last semester, but Kou Chen was shocked to realise that it’d been 3 whole seconds and he still couldn’t recall this guy’s name.
Kou Chen had only transferred one semester, and had yet to differentiate people properly in the first place, now after one vacation, it was like the change of classes was equivalent to having been reincarnated.
But his impression of Teacher Liang was still deep, Teacher Liang had taught their class previously, because once during a pop quiz, Teacher Liang kept on talking, from not looking down on language classes to not cheating to how usually nobody respects the teacher all the way to how she’d previously been ostracised by students…
In the end Kou Chen who could’ve actually filled in the blanks somehow by guessing around, something he could do only for language tests, couldn’t write a single word, so he couldn’t help but say “If I went to the marketplace to write it might be quieter than it is here”, and from then on Teacher Liang never gave him an easy time, one week of classes he could get chased out to stand as punishment three times.
When he entered the office Teacher Liang had her back to the door, but Kou Chen could still tell from the way her figure was pointing at the ceiling that she was extremely unhappy.
“Such a huge patch, all collapsed, half the roof had collapsed,” Teacher Liang says, “What kind of act is this! Such an outrageous thing could even happen in our school! Outrageous! This is simply the most outrageous thing!”
“We actually also have student fights, I think fighting is still more outrageous than this,” Old Yuan’s voice floated over.
“Half the roof?” someone on the side asked.
Kou Chen recognised that this was the Disciplinary Master, and also saw the Vice Principal.
“A third,” Kou Chen says.
At this sound Teacher Liang turns her head abruptly: “You measured?”
“I saw,” Kou Chen says, “If You’d3 he uses the more respectful ‘you’ like to measure I could go over and measure.”
“No need no need,” Old Yuan beckoned him with his hand from beside the window, “Come Kou Chen, tell us what happened?”
“Just that I stood there, didn’t even move, and the floorboard suddenly split… I don’t know if it split or not, in any case I just suddenly had a leg stuck there,” Kou Chen entered the office, walking over towards Old Yuan.
“Never heard of this sort of thing,” Teacher Liang says.
“It is indeed unheard of,” Huo Ran who had been standing wordlessly at the side speaks.
Kou Chen glances at him, his rather good-looking face had unconcealed impatience written on it.
“But we saw with our own eyes,” Huo Ran finishes.
“The main point right now is not who stepped first,” Teacher Liang says. “The main point is knowing the consequences full well, still getting the whole class to jump, insisting on making our class roof collapse!”
“The ceiling didn’t collapse,” Xu ZhiFan says.
“It’s that the wall skin fell off,” Xu Chuan adds, “A third of it.”
“What kind of attitude is this!” Teacher Liang was very angry.
“I think it’s pretty good,” Old Yuan says, “They’re all high schoolers, they should have the courage to express their own thoughts, their circumstances, this has also always been our school’s goal, right and wrong, they have to be willing to say, only then can we give guidance.”
“Our jumping after, was because those from Class 3 came up in an aggressive manner accusing us of having done it on purpose,” Xu ZhiFan says, “Their attitudes were too poor, and didn’t listen even when we explained, who wouldn’t get angry.”
“That’s enough, I think it’s pretty clear, all of you go back to the classroom first,” Old Yuan waves his hand at the few of them.
Kou Chen doesn’t think twice before turning and walking outside, the few behind him following after, all leaving the office in a flash.
“Teacher Yuan! Is this what you call an attitude for settling issues!” Teacher Liang raises her voice after coming back to her senses.
“We’re starting to settle it now,” Old Yuan says.
“Where is the apology!” Teacher Liang’s voice is still raised.
“We’ll talk about it after we settle this,” Old Yuan replies.
“Can Old Yuan win against Liang Mulan?” Xu Chuan asks a little worriedly as he goes down the stairs.
“If he can’t win, then nobody else can win,” Xu ZhiFan says, “Has Liang Mulan suffered some sort of trauma?”
“Don’t know,” Xu Chuan says, “In the past the alumni’d said she’d been traumatised by the ghost building.”
“Ghost building?” Huo Ran pauses, “The one we’re having classes in?”
“How does that count as a ghost building,” Xu Chuan says, “The one next to the soccer field is the real ghost building, can’t tear it down either.”
“Ah right why don’t they let it get torn down,” Huo Ran asks.
“Cuz historical relic,” Kou Chen glances at him, “Such a huge stone plate with ‘Municipal Historical Relic Unit’ written at the ghost building entrance, you never saw?”
Huo Ran doesn’t say anything, looking at him.
Kou Chen maintains eye contact for a little while, then nods like he’d suddenly understood something: “You’ve never had the guts to go near it have you?”
Huo Ran opens his mouth to speak, and Kou Chen pats onto his shoulder: “No worries, girls don’t dare to go either.”
“Hands fucking off!” Huo Ran glares at him.
“Already off,” Kou Chen says, but as Huo Ran turns to continue down the stairs, he sticks his hand out to grab on Huo Ran’s shoulder again, “Now you can say it one more time.”
“Fuck your uncle,” Huo Ran doesn’t pause for even a second before turning and going straight for him.
[*tl note: original curse 我操|你大爷 is actually ‘(i) fuck / your uncle’ : i looked it up belatedly bc i just realised having the | makes a difference but here ‘your uncle’ could either mean ‘(i’m) your uncle’ (so you have to respect me) or literally referring to the other person’s uncle (so they’re cursing the uncle out). without the | it would just be ‘i’m fucking your uncle’, so it could also just be used for censoring]
“Aiaiaiai!” Xu Chuan hurriedly jumps between the two of them, “This is the teachers’ office building!”
“Let’s head back to the classroom, head back first,” Xu ZhiFan half pushes and half pulls Huo Ran, tugging him down the stairs.
Only when the staircase is empty does Xu Chuan look at Kou Chen: “What was that for? He even spoke up for you just now, Liang Mulan said you did it on purpose, but Huo Ran kept explaining that the floorboard split by itself.”
“That’s the price for him being my dad,” Kou Chen says.
“Okay fine that’s offset then,” Xu Chuan says, “Then why was your hand being so extra just then?”
Kou Chen slowly bounces a few steps down, “His appearance ask for people to tease* him.”
[*tl note: the word used 撩 has different implications depending on the gender of the person: ‘tease’ for someone of the same sex, ‘flirt’ for the opposite sex, to want to 撩 someone means to want to ‘woo’ them. we’re in a danmei so it be either of these 3]
“…What?” Xu Chuan was a little baffled.
“Don’t you think he kinda looks like Lu Huan?” Kou Chen says.
“Lu Huan?” Xu Chuan looks at the back of his head, Kou Chen had already asked him for Lu Huan’s name on the second day after his transfer, seeming like he really liked her, but the previous day during self-introductions Lu Huan had clearly already said her name.
Xu Chuan didn’t really understand how Kou Chen’s mind worked.
“Do these two have any logical connection?” Xu Chuan asks again.
“Don’t know,” Kou Chen jumps off the last step, “Tonight let’s go take a look in the ghost building.”
“You’re sick aren’t you,” Xu Chuan says.
“I’ve been here for so long but I still haven’t gone in,” Kou Chen turns back, face full of anticipation, “I want to know how Liang Mulan got this traumatised.”
“Get lost, I’m not going,” Xu Chuan says.
“You…” Kou Chen starts cracking up.
“I’m female,” Xu Chuan says.
The humanities building was next to the teachers’ office, standing by the window Old Yuan and Teacher Liang in the second-floor office could be seen.
Pretty much everyone from Class 1 crowded by the window, some plastered to the window, some piled onto the chairs and desks, everyone was looking over together.
In the office Teacher Liang was rather agitated, although what she was saying couldn’t be heard clearly, but from her pointing to the ceiling then to the floor it was pretty easy to guess, whereas Old Yuan was a lot more peaceful, not displaying much body language, only when he’d turned back and realised that the window on this side was crowded with people, had come over waving hand motions towards them with his hand, pulling the curtains to a close.
If talking about geographical location, they were better off compared to Class 3 downstairs, after the curtains had been closed, they noticed that there were quite a few Class 3 people standing around in the empty space downstairs.
“Can you guys see?” someone asked those downstairs.
“Can’t see,” someone downstairs answered, “What did you guys see?”
“Arguing,” upstairs says, “Now that the curtains’ closed can’t see anymore.”
The Class 3 people continue to angling their necks upwards, and Wei ChaoRen couldn’t help but ask: “Can’t see anymore, can’t hear anything, what’re you guys still stuck there for?”
“Liang Mu… Teacher Liang said,” someone downstairs says, “Before this issue is settled, before you guys give us an apology, we can’t enter the classroom.”
“What for, a demonstration?” Wei ChaoRen says.
“What are you talking nonsense with them for?” Lu Wei downstairs was very displeased regarding this sort of friendly interaction, breaking up the conversation.
“An apology is impossible,” Wei ChaoRen says, “Disperse already, don’t let your imaginations run away with you.”
20 minutes later, Old Yuan entered the classroom, victory or defeat couldn’t be told from his expression.
“Old Yuan, what’s the situation?” someone in the classroom anxiously asks after the state of the battle.
“Kou Chen Huo Ran,” Old Yuan says, “You two were the main steppers, go downstairs, sweep up the wall ash and what not.”
“They’ve already cleaned it up,” Kou Chen says.
“Act like it,” Old Yuan says, “Do the gestures, you weren’t completely in the right either.”
Huo Ran turns back to look at Kou Chen, Kou Chen then stands up, he follows and also stands up.
As the two of them made their way outside, Old Yuan adds: “Bring the tools, if they don’t let you two use their class’ things you’d have to come back up to take.”
Huo Ran heaved a sigh, and looked over at the brooms in the corner, realising that not all of them were new, only one looked to be a bit more full, he brisk-walked over, even if it was just to act like it, he still wanted to take the new one.
Just as his hand touched the neck of the broom, Kou Chen’s hand reached over from the side, smacking ruthlessly on the back of his hand with a pa, hurting so bad he snatched his hand back with a start.
“You…” with his jaw clenched he turned his glare towards Kou Chen, Kou Chen already had the new broom in his hand, even sending a smile his way.
Huo Ran held in the urge to swear at him, taking the other broom, and just as he was about to leave, Kou Chen who’d already left the classroom turned back, smiling pretty much to his face as he took the dustpan right beside, a look saying “Look at me I’m holding 2 things I’m such a loyal friend” on his face as he left the classroom once more.
When the two got down the stairs, Teacher Liang was standing at the Class 3 entrance, not saying anything.
Huo Ran looked inside the classroom, there really was no one inside, all standing on the empty space outside.
However, the explosive tension between the two classes after messing around half a day, was already more or less lost, right now their attitudes were more that of spectators, and when Huo Ran and Kou Chen walked into the classroom, outside there were even people that waved at them.
Kou Chen raised his head, walked to beneath where wall ash had fallen from the ceiling, then stabbed the broom into the ground: “Right here, let’s sweep.”
“…Sweep what?” Huo Ran looked at the not only swept but also visibly mopped floor.
“Why don’t you ask Liang Mulan,” Kou Chen bends and starts waving the broom at the ground, sweeping very seriously, as he swept to beside a desk even lifted it, sweeping underneath.
Huo Ran was incredibly disdained, but could also only start sweeping the floor.
In order to differentiate himself from the Drama King, he only swept perfunctorily, not even bending his waist.
It was mainly that there really wasn’t anything to sweep, even a desk left unwiped for a whole vacation period might have more dust on it than this floor.
“You sweep more seriously,” Kou Chen turned his head back.
Huo Ran didn’t say anything, looking at him.
“Liang is at the door looking, if she’s not satisfied and starts off with another half hour of “You all don’t respect me”,” Kou Chen glances at the door, “Tonight I’ll tie you up in the ghost building for a night.”
Huo Ran hesitates a bit, enduring the humiliation to bend his waist in the same manner as Kou Chen, but regarding Kou Chen’s speech he was extremely displeased: “You talk like the ghost building is your house, even if I go in and let you tie me up, you might not fucking dare to go inside, blowing like you’re blowing a Suona4 mentioned in ch2 but boasting/bluffing uses the characters for ‘blow cow’ so he’s suggesting that kou chen is bluffing in a sarcastic way – a suona is an instrument .”
“Mn…” Kou Chen comes to a stop, thinking for a bit, then asks, “Sure then.”
“What?” Huo Ran is stupefied.
“Then you don’t have to stand there and let me tie you up,” Kou Chen says, “1 hour, from 12am to 1am, the first to come out loses.”
“Going to the ghost building at night?” Huo Ran is stupefied once again.
“Don’t worry, if you don’t dare to go, I won’t tell anyone,” Kou Chen finishes then continues sweeping.
“What’s the bet?” Huo Ran asks.
“Anything,” Kou Chen says, “If I lose I’ll call you Daddy.”
“No need,” Huo Ran says, “I prefer daughters.”
Kou Chen thinks a bit: “Then what about the loser does something for the other person, just not anything illegal, they can say it whenever they think of something.”
“Fine,” Huo Ran agrees straightforwardly, “What if nobody comes out first? Or we run out together?”
“No way,” Kou Chen says, “Where are all these issues from, just say whether you’re going or not.”
“Going,” Huo Ran says.
Kou Chen was looking down on him way too much, indeed he had not gone to the ghost building before, not that he didn’t dare to, but rather he hadn’t even thought about going, the school said that was a hazardous building, students weren’t allowed to go up.
Of course… He is scared of ghosts, but who isn’t scared of ghosts!
Everyone is scared of ghosts, and he’s still got a strong point, not just spending the night in a crappy building, when he was camping in a single-person tent in the wilderness by himself Kou Chen hadn’t even started middle school!
– End of Ch3 –
Ah，long time no 7.40 ⊙▽⊙。Continue the day after ⊙▽⊙。
Tl Notes: Sorry for the inconsistent formatting it depends on whether Wattpad wants to register the spacing bc I’m too lazy to fix it one by one and I usually copy the whole text. Thanks for reading![edited 30/10] : cleared up some terms and added some tl notes. I forgot to mention but Old Yuan was also Jiang Cheng (Sa Ye)’s form teacher -u-b