“”Beep! Student card.””
The more people, the easier it was to get stuffed eating buffet.
Kou Chen had come to this place to eat with Xu Chuan and Wei ChaoRen a number of times before, yet had never had so much he couldn’t bend over at the waist like he’d had today.
When his phone started ringing while they were standing at the roadside waiting for the taxi to arrive he didn’t even want to pick up, feeling that speaking made him short of breath.
“Jie,” he answers the phone.
“Yo, got beaten up?” Kou Xiao’s voice came through from the other side, “I’ll call 120 for you?”
“I just finished eating at your hotel,” Kou Chen says, “I’m stuffed.”
“So promising,” Kou Xiao says, “Have you asked your classmate about what to bring? Old Yang and I will be going to the outdoors store this weekend, gonna buy everything in one go.”
“I’ll give it to you tomorrow,” Kou Chen glances at Huo Ran, “The guy’s an expert, I’m trying to negotiate to get him to just bring us along, if you’re with Old Yang in one shed, then I won’t have to be in a single, otherwise when you two go into the shed at night, I…”
“You’ll be staying outside to guard though, out in the wild, shouldn’t there be someone to guard?” Kou Xiao says.
“You say that one more time?” Kou Chen says, “Pardon please1 he supposedly says this in english but he uses chinese characters so it sounds like pā dèn pǔ lì sǐ….. i want to kill him ?”
“You want your classmate to bring us, but he’s also gotta be willing to bring, you should just prepare with both hands, noobs like us,” Kou Xiao was very clear about where they stood, “As long as they don’t owe you money, nobody would happily bring us along.”
“You don’t need to bother, is there anything I can’t settle?” Kou Chen says.
“There isn’t a boast you can’t execute,” Kou Xiao says, “Fine then, I’ll wait for your message, I’m hanging up.”
“Mn,” Kou Chen hangs up.
Huo Ran was smart-mouthed, his temper was also quick, but the naked eye could see that he was someone open to persuasion, Kou Chen felt that getting him to bring them along probably wasn’t an issue, the issue was having to cram outdoor knowledge within this period of time, to prevent becoming a drag and getting mocked by Huo Ran.
Also he wasn’t willing to be like Jiang Lei who had fallen into a ditch and dislocated his shoulder then even let Huo Ran step a foot onto his chest.
The first day back in school, and the dorm management was already strict with the checks, by the time the few of them returned to the dorm, Old Yuan was already standing at the entrance waiting.
“It’s not time yet is it?” Huo Ran quickly took his phone out.
“Not yet,” Old Yuan says, “I just came over to see if you guys are done tidying up.”
“Tidying up is done,” Kou Chen says.
“The few of you come to my office tomorrow morning after self-study,” Old Yuan says.
“What’s wrong?” Kou Chen asks.
“To talk about what happened last night,” Old Yuan says.
“Last night?” Kou Chen abruptly turns to look at Huo Ran.
Huo Ran abruptly turns to look at Xu ZhiFan.
“What happened last night…” Xu ZhiFan clears his throat, “Had nothing to do with them though, just me and Jiang Lei, and Hu Yi.”
“Is that so?” Old Yuan seemed a little hesitant, but after a while waved his hand, “All of you come anyways, treat it as having a chat, since the few of you gather in a bunch I can’t quite convince myself.”
It was only after Old Yuan’s figure disappeared behind the turn at the stairway and a few seconds had passed, that Huo Ran start shouting with a suppressed voice: “Did you guys get caught yesterday?”
“If we hadn’t gotten caught would we have been late?” Jiang Lei sighs, “Old Yuan didn’t come looking for us all day today, so I thought it was over already.”
“This isn’t really anything, Old Yuan’s open to persuasion, even if we had to say it’d just be that we’d come to explore the school before school reopened,” Xu Chuan says.
“Go back and sleep,” Kou Chen stretched, “It’s only gotta be uni-affiliateds, that still need to discuss something like this half a day.”
After returning to the dorm and washing up, Huo Ran had just lain down for only a few minutes before the lights went out.
Soon after they heard the door of the dorm belonging to Kou Chen and the others make a sound.
“Did they just go out?” Jiang Lei asks.
“Probably,” Xu ZhiFan yawns, “Didn’t Kou Chen say they still wanted to go tonight.”
“They’re sick,” Huo Ran pillows his arm, “Insisting on going in the middle of the night, can’t they go in the day?”
“When we went in the day didn’t we not find anything,” Xu ZhiFan laughs, “Then again, to someone that isn’t scared of ghosts like Kou Chen, going in the day or in the night, there isn’t a difference.”
“Tch,” Huo Ran scorned.
What’s so great about not being scared of ghosts, a finger dislocation and he’d screamed like he’d been cut in two at the waist.
“When you guys went yesterday you’d already alarmed that person,” Xu Chuan says, “Today they definitely wouldn’t be there.”
“Not necessarily,” Wei ChaoRen looks around as he walks, “That person would definitely think, oh fuck I was seen yesterday, today they’ll definitely think I won’t go, so I’m going.”
“You go off to the side!” Xu Chuan says.
“What’s up with finding me an eyesore the whole night,” Wei ChaoRen was very displeased.
“You used that date seed in your skull and poked your Chuan-Ge’s face until even holes appeared,” Kou Chen says, “And you’re still asking, ask again and he’ll probably slap you.”
“If I accompany you there to be sick for a few hours again tomorrow then wouldn’t it be fine,” Wei ChaoRen says.
“You dare!” Xu Chuan hurriedly rejects, “When I go to the school infirmary you stay the fuck away from me!”
“You…” Wei ChaoRen says halfway when Kou Chen’s finger suddenly sticks out in front of him, and he quickly shuts his mouth.
“Did you see that!” Kou Chen suppresses his voice, a little agitated.
“Fuck!” Xu Chuan also suppresses his voice, “I saw, we didn’t see wrongly did we, I saw a grey figure move for a bit… ChaoRen did you see.”
“Fuck!” Wei ChaoRen immediately follows and slaps his thigh.
Kou Chen and Xu Chuan both turn to look at him.
“Like I was fucking looking*, I was talking to the both of you, I saw jack shit2 literal translation of what he said for these two *s would be 1) i fucking saw a trumpet (sarcasm) , 2) i saw a fart ,” Wei ChaoRen was very depressed.
Half a field away, and with no lights on, honestly speaking, that moving figure they’d seen wasn’t particularly realistic, and even after getting closer to the ghost building, there was still no way to determine where that person was located inside.
“We’ll go floor by floor,” Kou Chen says quietly.
“Okay,” Xu Chuan nods his head.
Wei ChaoRen felt around on Kou Chen’s back, before grabbing onto the shirt on his back: “You guys walk, I’ll guard the back.”
Kou Chen turns to give him a look: “If you dare tear my shirt I’ll lock you in the ghost building later.”
“You don’t have to worry, let’s go,” Wei ChaoRen pats his own chest, holding onto his shirt not letting go.
The first floor had 3 rooms, all locked, looking in from the windows, they didn’t see anyone, they then passed through the corridor and reached the patio, whose floor was tiled by bluestone, stray grass growing out of the cracks, and still they hadn’t seen anyone.
“Would there be people coming here to take a shit at this time?” Kou Chen felt that this environment still had the power of temptation over people who couldn’t hold it in.
“There probably wouldn’t be anyone that comes to the ghost building to take a shit when they can’t hold it in,” Xu Chuan says.
“Up to the second floor,” Kou Chen says.
The second floor has the same structure as the first, Kou Chen walked over to where he’d fallen down yesterday and even squatted down to feel around: “I’m too amazing, this board broke into two.”
“Did you two get up to this part yesterday?” Wei ChaoRen asks.
“Mn, it was here we heard that there was someone upstairs,” Kou Chen stuck his head through the window next to him to take a look, there was a dusty smell, but he still didn’t see anybody, “Continue upstairs.”
Wei ChaoRen followed behind him and Xu Chuan, still considerably calm, way stronger than Huo Ran, but the hand on his shirt was seriously holding on too tight, Kou Chen felt that his waist was about to be strangled into one with a curve.
Xu Chuan was walking out at the front, and at the same moment his foot stepped onto the third level floorboard, footsteps sounded from downstairs.
Very quick, just by hearing they could tell that person was running.
“Hold it right there!” Kou Chen’s head hadn’t even turned before he shouted, then latched onto the staircase railing.
Looking downwards he only saw a fleeting figure going across the empty space in front of the ghost building, running towards where the field was.
“After them,” He backhandedly grabbed Wei ChaoRen’s hand from his back and tossed it aside, directly leaping down from the top of the stairs, landing on the second floor corridor.
A cha sounded from the floorboard under his feet.
“Are you fucking demolishing the building!” Xu Chuan swore with his voice suppressed.
Kou Chen also started sweating out of fright, he’d forgotten this was the ghost building which had a history longer than even the hundred-year old school, his mind flashing with all sorts of disastrous states he could end up in if he fell from the second to the first floor wrapped in broken floorboards caused him to squat where he was for 2 seconds, making sure the floorboard hadn’t broken, that the floor was also not thinking of caving in, and it was only then did he jump up again and leap down to the first floor.
But that figure had already run off and disappeared without a trace.
Kou Chen stood at the side of the field looking for half a day, not mentioning that figure earlier, he didn’t see even the figure of the security guard uncle, even if he wanted to chase he didn’t have a direction.
“It was a girl,” Xu Chuan ran over, standing beside him.
“Mn, I think so too,” Kou Chen nods his head.
The footsteps earlier were very light, the figure particularly small and thin, about 2 sizes smaller than the jacket floating around on their body, although not to sure, but it seemed they had long hair.
“A girl?” Wei ChaoRen was very shocked, “A girl has this much nerve?”
“Fuck it, I’m keeping an eye over here, if you’re competent don’t go back to the dorm anymore,” after saying this Kou Chen glares at where the field was, not moving for quite a while.
Xu Chuan felt that it was getting boring standing around, but just as he was about to give him a pat, he suddenly crouched towards the ground, then started hopping and inching towards the side: “Fuck, security, get down! Are you two blind!”
Xu Chuan and Wei ChaoRen quickly crouched downwards, inching to the side with him.
This sort of ‘squat while hugging the knees and hopping as they moved’ posture was exceptionally dumb, if it were any other time Xu Chuan felt that even if he had to beat himself to death there was no way he would use this sort of posture to walk, but in this instance Kou Chen had started it, and in addition Wei ChaoRen was exceptionally agile at hopping using this posture, so he’d followed along for some reason.
Just as they’d almost gotten done hopping to the wall, he heard the sound of Kou Chen’s laughter.
Xu Chuan understood instantly, looking towards where the field was, bull-security-guard-shit there was not a single one3 literal translation: ‘security guard -even if you fart- there wasn’t one’ , he leapt up and went over to give Kou Chen’s butt a kick: “You’re so fucking bored you’re like this!”
Kou Chen took half a day to finish laughing before wiping the tears that’d leaked out from laughing: “Ai, life is so bitter, in the middle of the night waiting someone out but they don’t come, shouldn’t I find some fun.”
“We did get some things out of this,” Wei ChaoRen was still squatting and hugging his knees, “At least we know it’s a female, small and thin too.”
“A girl?” Huo Ran was stunned.
Hearing this sort of news right after coming out from Old Yuan’s office, instantly swept the depression from having gone into the teachers’ office twice in the two days after the school reopened clean.
“A girl, in the ghost building roasting sausages to eat?” Xu ZhiFan repeated the information Kou Chen had offered, “Why does it sound like a joke the more I hear it.”
“It’s for real,” Xu Chuan says, “Right at that area at the back of the patio, the floor had traces of being burnt by fire, when we went back there to take a look after, in the ashes there was still half a sausage.”
“You guys ate it?” Huo Ran asks.
“Nah,” Kou Chen gives him a glance, “Saved it for you.”
“How do you guys know that it was that girl who roasted it? When you guys went over didn’t you also not see a fire?” Huo Ran obviously didn’t quite believe them.
“By the time we went the fire had definitely already been put out,” Xu Chuan says, “But looking at the ashes, they still hadn’t been blown away by the wind, and the wind’s been pretty big these 2 days, if you go over to take a look right now, they definitely would’ve already been blown into nothing.”
“That’s amazing…” Huo Ran didn’t quite believe Kou Chen’s words, but he still trusted in Xu Chuan’s, “How hungry does one have to be to let a girl go into the ghost building to barbecue…”
“And it’s a sausage, you know,” Wei ChaoRen says, “Not ham sausage, it’s sausage, the kind that you can only eat after they’re properly cooked, tastes a lot better than ham sausage, even better if you make it yourself, but Kou Chen’s doesn’t count, in his family the sausages are made by him, he even got us try them, was about the same as chewing socks…”
Huo Ran and the few of them were stunned hearing this sort of talk, but not because sausages had the same taste as socks, nor was it because Wei ChaoRen had said it like he’d eaten socks before…
“A boss that got hunted down into transferring schools like You, even knows how to make sausages?” Huo Ran says.
“Who’s hunting him down, his sister?” Wei ChaoRen says.
Saying that the sausages he made tasted like socks hadn’t made Kou Chen upset, he was even laughing along at the side, but this line he couldn’t take, pointing at Wei ChaoRen: “This intellect of yours, don’t talk about whether you’d survive past the first episode, you wouldn’t even fucking make it into the team.”
The few of them were beside themselves with laughter the whole way, after returning to the classroom Jiang Lei even laid onto his desk and kept laughing until the English teacher had come in and given the back of his head a slap before he stopped.
When they went to the cafeteria to eat in the afternoon, Xu ZhiFan even specially asked for a steamed sausage.
“The way they talked made me feel like having sausage all morning,” he sat down opposite Huo Ran, taking a bite out of the sausage, “Fuck, so salty.”
“Like socks?” Huo Ran asks.
“Never tried…” Xu ZhiFan puts the bitten sausage onto Jiang Lei’s plate, “Lei-Ge, giving it to you to eat.”
“Ai okay!” Jiang Lei was playing on his phone as he took a fork to poke it and eat, “It’s pretty good.”
“This sense of taste…” Huo Ran hadn’t finished speaking, when a plate full of vegetables was placed beside his hand with a kuang.
Following that Kou Chen took a seat right next to him.
“What are you sitting here for?” Huo Ran turned to take a look, Xu Chuan and Wei ChaoRen were still queuing.
Kou Chen didn’t answer, taking his concession card out from his pocket, touching it on his nose: “Beep! Student card.”
“…Fine then,” Huo Ran ignored him, engrossing himself in eating.
Hu Yi who was sitting opposite asked: “Are you only eating vegetables!”
“Ate too much oily food yesterday, clearing the gut today,” Kou Chen says.
After saying that he picked up and gave the vegetables in his plate a mix with a ‘I like eating vegetables very much’ look on his face, then put them back, then picked another large mound of vegetables, but in the end only bit one stalk into his mouth.
“These vegetables from our cafeteria,” his brows are furrowed, “Don’t have a single drop of oil, even if they’re just cooked in water they should at least use some oil.”
“Didn’t you eat too much oily food and want to clear your gut?” Huo Ran asks.
Kou Chen doesn’t say anything, staring at him for a few seconds, then lowered his head to crunch crunch and start eating the vegetables, and by the time Xu Chuan and Wei ChaoRen had finished getting their food and came over to sit, he’d already been done crunching the vegetables in his plate.
“The fuck, Kou Chen,” Wei ChaoRen looks at his plate in shock, “If you’re not eating what are you sitting here with a plate for.”
“Why do you care,” Kou Chen pushes the plate away, surveying the surroundings, “I came to see if we could bump into that girl from yesterday.”
“Ai?” Jiang Lei raised his head, “That’s right, in the afternoon most people eat in the cafeteria.”
“Any discoveries?” Xu Chuan asks.
“Yeah,” Kou Chen sighs, “I’ve found out that girls are pretty thin.”
After Kou Chen says that, Huo Ran starts looking around as he ate, giving the girls that passed right by him extra looks.
Girls these days were rather self-conscious, regardless of looks, there were very few chubby ones, in the time he took to eat and observe, the number of those that looked to him like they’d be blown away by a single gust of wind was in the tens, not even counting those that were tall.
It was really fishing for a needle in the ocean.
When they were done eating and getting ready to leave, Huo Ran saw the belle.
The belle wasn’t with the few boys, but was sitting next to that girl that had kept her head lowered that day, chatting along with two other girls as they ate.
According to Kou Chen, the belle and her group had been there to receive protection fees at the back of the ghost building, and no matter how he thought he felt that it could only be that lowered head girl that seemed like someone that had gone to pay the fees… then after receiving the fees, they’re protecting for real? They’re even eating together.
As they were walking out of the canteen, he couldn’t help but turn to give another look, if he had to say small and thin, that lowered head girl was pretty small and thin.
That girl probably didn’t have a good appetite, her chin propped on her hand as she looked at the dinner plate in front of her, the food on it untouched.
Don’t know whether it was because she’d felt his gaze, but that girl suddenly raised her eyes and looked over to where he was.
He instantly felt a little awkward.
“Huo Ran,” Kou Chen called from next to him, and without waiting for his reply, Kou Chen’s arm had already landed onto his shoulder, even using the momentum to pull him towards his side, “I…”
“Get lost!” Huo Ran got a fright, a slap swatting his arm away.
“I’m talking to you about something though,” Kou Chen’s arm stayed raised.
“Talk,” Huo Ran looks at his arm.
“Ai, bring us along during National Day,” Kou Chen put his arm down, inching to his side and saying quietly, “Me, my sister and her boyfriend…”
Huo Ran turns to glare at him: “So many people?”
“The thing is that my sister and her boyfriend are about to break up, this is the only chance for them to make up,” Kou Chen was a little down, “My sister and Old Yang have been together from the start of junior high, it’s been 10 years, it’s really not been easy…”
“…Ah,” Huo Ran was momentarily at a loss.
“The two of them wouldn’t be travelling for too long, they’ll leave after staying a night or two, they won’t drag you down,” Kou Chen says, then sighs, “The main thing is still how this is their last effort to fix their relationship, it’s been 10 years… my sister from a young girl, became a shrew, if they break up, the next one won’t be easy to find…”
Huo Ran glares at him for what could’ve been 10 seconds: “Kou Chen.”
“Mn?” Kou Chen turns, the distraught expression on his face still hadn’t subsided.
“Fuck your uncle,” Huo Ran says.
“Damn,” Kou Chen is stunned, then starts laughing, “Why are you so uncivilised.”
– End of Ch7 –
Continue the day after ha TT_TT。Saving some drafts。
Tl Notes: Sorry it’s kinda late!!! I got stuck quite a few times this chapter and it made me lazy… Also I was supposed to do dual updates this week but I didn’t… sorry! I’ll try to make it up over the next couple days -u- thanks for reading! Leave a comment if anything’s confusing I feel like this chapter had a few questionable sentences (from the text not the tl)…[edited 4/11]: more grammar fixes. a little busy so edits will likely continue next week/after this week’s chapter update, sorry!