Chapter 35 - Chapter 35

Wang Xu's stuffed pancake shop was very busy in the morning. Coming for a couple buns early in the morning was quite nice. When they arrived, there were no seats left in the shop, so they had to sit in the room where his family ate. 

"No donkey meat buns yet, won't be ready until noon," Wang Xu brought over two baskets of buns and a bowl of lamb soup. "You two went out together today?"

As soon as Wang Xu asked this, Jiang Cheng immediately felt a little guilty. He took a bun and bit off a large mouthful without saying anything.

"Yeah." Gu Fei answered.

"You got up so early today," Wang Xu pushed the small basket in front of Gu Miao, "Aren't you always late... Miao Miao, there's no donkey meat today, try a different flavor."

"What Miao Miao," Gu Fei said, "Isn't that too cheesy?"

"Too cheesy?" Wang Xu sat down to eat while talking, "She's a little loli, of course she should be cute and pretty. Yet you made her like a little ruffian. I don't think I've ever seen her wear a skirt."

"She wanted to skateboard," Gu Fei said, "How would she wear a skirt? She wouldn't wear one even if I asked her to."

"Oh well." Wang Xu sighed and ate a few more bites. Then he took out his phone again, snapped a picture with a click.  

Jiang Cheng glanced at him, "What are you doing?"

"Taking a picture. Might redecorate the shop someday, could use it for advertising." Wang Xu laughed and put his phone away.

"Piss off." Jiang Cheng looked at him, "Delete it."

"I've taken pictures of so many people, no one asked me to delete them." Wang Xu said resolutely, "Won't delete it. At worst I won't use it for advertising."

Jiang Cheng was too lazy to deal with him anymore and continued eating his bun.

After breakfast, they went out of the shop. Gu Miao stood on her skateboard looking at Gu Fei. Gu Fei bent down looking at her, "Remember where I told you that you can skateboard?"

Gu Miao nodded.

"Go on then. Brother has something to do today and won't be home for lunch," Gu Fei said, "Probably be back around the same time as yesterday. "

Gu Miao nodded again, then turned to look at Jiang Cheng.

"Jiang Cheng's not coming over today. He only came yesterday because something came up." Gu Fei said.

Gu Miao was still looking at Jiang Cheng.

Jiang Cheng had no choice but to bend down to look at her, "I'll come hang out next time I'm free?"

Gu Miao did not react.

"You have to give a definite time," Gu Fei said on the side, "Saying next time doesn't mean anything to her."

"Then..." Jiang Cheng hesitated, thinking hard, "Tomorrow? We'll get food with the team tomorrow after the game, is that good? We can sit together."

Gu Miao finally nodded, then kicked away on her skateboard.

"Let's squeeze." Wang Xu came out holding his school bag, eager at the sight of Gu Fei's little mantou car. "Jiang Cheng, let's squeeze in the back."

"...Can we even fit?" Jiang Cheng was a little speechless. The car was so small that it was already a tight squeeze with Gu Miao in the back.

"We can squeeze." Wang Xu said.

Seeing his determined expression showing that he wouldn't budge unless he got the back seat, Jiang Cheng got in the car and tried to scoot as far aside as possible. When Wang Xu squeezed in, the car sank down a little.

When Gu Fei got in after, he felt like the chassis would get scraped flat. 

"We won't break down halfway right." Jiang Cheng said.

"No," Gu Fei started the car and turned around to drive towards school, "Sometimes I haul heavy stuff with no problem, you two don't weigh that much combined."

"You're including yourself right." Jiang Cheng said. Three big guys squeezing into a tiny mantou car, people on the street were looking in.

"It's warm." Wang Xu said. 

"No kidding, it's not even that cold nowadays, it's already the spring tournament." Jiang Cheng said.

"Oh right, let's train this afternoon?" Wang Xu asked.

"I have plans with Jiang Cheng," Gu Fei said, "I called Li Yan and the rest to come help you guys practice."

"What are you guys doing?" Wang Xu immediately followed up.

Gu Fei ignored him. Wang Xu turned to stare at Jiang Cheng instead but Jiang Cheng just stared out the window pretending not to know anything.

"Damn," Wang Xu was a little annoyed as he adjusted his clothes, "Keeping secrets like grade schoolers."

Jiang Cheng noticed that Gu Fei truly did not care at all about any looks thrown his way - driving an old mantou car was one thing, squeezing three guys inside was another, and he shamelessly drove right up to the parking garage at school.

They got out under the watch of surrounding No. 4 High students.

"Watched by all." Wang Xu said as he crawled out, tone seemingly unbothered. 

Or rather than unbothered, he was happy. After all he was going to be a boss, being watched by all was something he needed.

People like Jiang Cheng who disliked being surrounded and watched, getting riled up when it happened, regretted not wearing a mask when getting out of the car.

Right after getting out, he heard a girl's voice from a few meters away say softly: "Is that Jiang Cheng?"

"Yeah." Another girl replied.

He didn't keep listening to what they said next, that tone of slight excitement and curiosity made him feel uneasy. It involuntarily reminded him of that fujoshi forum post and he started feeling very uncomfortable all over.

"But I think it's the right call for both of you not to train." Wang Xu said as they walked towards the school gate, "Class 2's been analyzing our match videos and asking around about Jiang Cheng's skills. We should keep things hidden. If we win tomorrow's match, after our exams we'll be up against Class 2." 

"Mm." Jiang Cheng answered.

Wang Xu continued talking excitedly: "I think for strategy..."

"Cheng Cheng? Cheng Cheng?" A woman's voice called out from behind, "Jiang Cheng?"

Jiang Cheng was startled and turned around.  

"You're Jiang Cheng right?" A woman behind them looked at him excitedly, "Right? I recognized you immediately, you look just like..."

Jiang Cheng immediately recognized this shabbily dressed somewhat dirty looking woman - she was the one who had the fight with Li Baoguo in the corridor yesterday. 

His birth mother.

In that moment, Jiang Cheng was caught off guard and didn't even know what to say, just standing there staring at her.

"Who's this?" Wang Xu asked.

"Classes haven't started yet right," The woman hobbled over and suddenly grabbed his hand, "I'm..."

She grabbed forcefully and Jiang Cheng reflexively shook her off in alarm: "Don't..."

Don't touch me. 

He barely managed not to blurt out the last two words.

"Bell hasn't rung yet," The woman immediately teared up, "You don't have class yet right?"

More and more people were looking over. Jiang Cheng's mind was chaotic, he had no idea how to deal with this woman. After spacing out for a bit, he handed his bag to Gu Fei: "Help me...take this in."

"Okay." Gu Fei took his bag.

"Let's talk over there." Jiang Cheng nodded across the street.

"Oh, okay, sure." The woman nodded, eyes still fixed on his face.

"What's going on? Want me to..." Wang Xu was also confused by the situation and tried to follow.

Gu Fei stopped him, "What's it got to do with you, go." 

Jiang Cheng's mind blanked as he crossed the street and stopped at a less crowded corner.

"I'm your mom," The woman pointed at herself, stabbing at her chest repeatedly, "I'm your mom! Li Baoguo definitely didn't mention me right? He definitely wouldn't tell you, definitely wouldn't... that bastard with dick for brains definitely wouldn't tell you..."

Jiang Cheng stared wide-eyed, unable to get any words out. This seemingly pitiful woman and her vulgar words left him momentarily at a loss on how to react.

"When he sent you away, he didn't even discuss it with me..." The woman didn't give him a chance to speak either, just kept on talking and started crying midway, wiping at her tears with her sleeve, "I even had a name picked out for you, your brother is Li Hui so you'd be Li Ming or Li Guang... but he just sent you away. I made a fuss and he hit me... that fucking prick..."

"I..." Jiang Cheng couldn't describe how he felt, he just desperately wanted to shut out her voice. 

His usual coping skill was now working at maximum capacity. Usually when he didn't want to listen to Shen Yiqing's lectures he would zone out, whether he heard it or not he wouldn't remember the content.

But compared to the "birth mother" before him now...

"Come back with me!" The woman suddenly grabbed his arm and shook hard, jolting him back to the present, "Come be with mom!"

"Don't!" Jiang Cheng quickly pulled his arm back and took two steps away, unable to hold back the last two words, "Touch me!"

"You're looking down on me right?" The woman looked at him, "Looking down because your mom has no money right? Ashamed of me right? Does your dad have money? He's just waiting to spend yours!" 

"I'm not..." Jiang Cheng said with some difficulty, "I have class now, I..."

"The ones who adopted you are pretty rich right?" The woman's gaze swept over him, expression unreadable between contempt and sadness, "Look at you, dressed like some young master."

"I have class." Jiang Cheng took a deep breath and turned to walk towards the school gate.

"Ungrateful child!" The woman suddenly lunged and hit him hard twice, "No conscience! Don't even recognize your own family! My life is bitter--!"

"Are you crazy?!" Jiang Cheng couldn't take it anymore and shouted, blocking her strikes, "Whatever grudge you and Li Baoguo have, go sort it out yourselves! I don't want anything to do with either of you!"

He turned and walked away after shouting that. After a couple steps he broke into a run like someone was chasing him with a knife.

The school gate was already closed. He didn't stop, just sprinted wildly along the perimeter wall until he leaned against a roadside tree gasping for breath.

Whether that woman followed or not he didn't know, even if she did there was no way she could keep up, but he didn't dare look back. 

After spacing out for a bit, he took out his phone and texted Gu Fei.

- Where do you climb over the wall

No. 4 High's walls were indeed tall and small shops lined it with no way through. But he urgently wanted to get into school right now, extremely urgently. 

Gu Fei's reply came swiftly.

- The original spot won't work anymore, back gate go north, beside the convenience store, climb over there, bricks inside

Jiang Cheng found the convenience store Gu Fei mentioned. Against the wall was a trash heap, climbing on top could get over the wall and inside he could see a pile of random bricks.

Jumping down without skill would easily snap an ankle.

"Jump then," The boss of the convenience store leaned against the wall watching him and shouted loudly, "No teachers now, some will come to keep a lookout in a few minutes."

"Fuck." Jiang Cheng was nearly startled into falling straight off the wall.  

He looked around and saw no one else, then jumped down from atop the wall.

Luckily he landed on some bricks, stumbled a couple steps but didn't land with a foot down a gap.

When he entered the classroom, Old Xu was standing at the lectern while students below ate breakfast, making it look like he was inspecting the distribution of free breakfast. 

"You're late?" Old Xu was very surprised to see him.

"Bathroom." Jiang Cheng said.

Returning to his seat, Gu Fei glanced at him but said nothing.

"Fuck." Jiang Cheng muttered.

He desperately wanted to say something, desperately wanted to curse, desperately wanted to complain, desperately wanted to find a place to scream at the top of his lungs, desperately wanted to break down in tears.

But now he could only sit here blankly, unable to do anything.

Forcibly holding it in.

The stifled rage burned fiercely within, the scorching feeling almost tangible. He was nearly driven mad by the inability to vent out the fire. It burned painfully through his body.

He wanted to talk to Gu Fei but knew clearly that one word from Gu Fei right now would make him erupt.

Luckily Gu Fei was emotionally intelligent. He silently played his IQ draining Candy Crush game without even glancing over once.

But life can be cruel, there's always someone doing the wrong thing at the wrong time - these people are called jinxes.

"Cheng Cheng!" A silly sing-song voice came from outside the back door, "Cheng Cheng--!"

Jiang Cheng whipped around to see a basketball teammate from Class 5 passing by with an annoying grin.

This dude's gonna get hanged.

That was Gu Fei's first reaction hearing that moron's voice.

Jiang Cheng leapt up from his seat, vaulted over a desk and leapt over another from their front. As he pounced on the guy from behind, his knee slammed into the back. Gu Fei coughed resignedly as he looked out.  

Jiang Cheng was fast. By the time the class turned to look out, he had rushed out already and grabbed the moron's collar, punching him right in the nose bridge.

Extremely heavy handed. Gu Fei felt like compared to their fight, Jiang Cheng's hits still had restraint. But this punch had no control whatsoever.

"Fuck!" Wang Xu was the first to jump up, hands on his desk to vault over one group then push off the desk in front to leap over.  

Just to join in on the excitement, this person's abilities had increased by at least three levels.

Jiang Cheng's second punch landed on the moron's face. The whole class stood up and started squeezing out from front and back.

"What's going on! What's happening!" Old Xu yelled, trying to get out too but quickly shoved to the back by the surge of people, "What's going on! Break it up! Break it up! Wang Xu! Go break it up!"

"How the fuck am I gonna break that up?!" Wang Xu's voice came from the hall.

Gu Fei stood up and dragged a chair to the crowd by the door, standing on it to look out.

The moronic guy was already floored, Jiang Cheng's one hand clutching his throat while the other rained down punches. If not for the roar of the spectators, the impacts would definitely be audible. 

The moron was from Class 5. Not the Class 5 boss but definitely a boss candidate like Wang Xu. With him being beat down like this, the Class 5 people came over quickly.

"Fuck!" Someone shouted and got ready to charge over.

"Fuck who?!" Wang Xu also shouted, rolling up his sleeves to intercept, "Wanna fuck me?! Come on then!"

A sudden brawl between two classes started just like that with no opening ceremony, going straight into an all out melee.

The hallway was packed with students. The cheers from the neighbouring classes were deafening. Teachers on this floor couldn't even maintain order let alone get near.

Gu Fei jumped off the chair and squeezed into the crowd until he got to Jiang Cheng's side.

The guy on the floor was already bloody but probably so beat up that his fighting spirit was ignited. He was still trading blows with Jiang Cheng.

"Jiang Cheng," Gu Fei called Jiang Cheng's name but he seemed not to hear, and he frowned, "Brother CHeng! That's enough!"

Just as he was about to pull Jiang Cheng back, the guy below threw a punch aiming for Jiang Cheng's face but it glanced off Gu Fei's cheek.

Gu Fei grabbed Jiang Cheng's arm and yanked hard, forcibly pulling him into stumbling back to sit on the floor. Then he slapped the guy on the ground.

Landing heavily on his butt, Jiang Cheng finally came back a little from his chaotic rage.

The guy below glared and moved to lunge up again.

Gu Fei pointed at him, finger nearly jabbing his eye: "Go ahead and move again, I'll put you in the hospital."

His voice was icy cold. Jiang Cheng had never heard Gu Fei use this tone before, instantly sobering him up as he slowly stood back up from the floor.

The brawl around them was still going strong but he was suddenly disoriented standing in the crowd.  "Gu Fei! Gu Fei!" Old Xu finally struggled to make himself visible in the chaos, "Gu Fei! Stop them! Stop them! Break them apart!"

Gu Fei didn't say anything, he just went over and casually grabbed the collar of one of the Class 5 students and pulled him back. The student turned around to hit him, but Gu Fei caught his hand and pushed him to the side. 

Then he grabbed Wang Xu's collar and yanked and pushed him.

"Fuck you..." Wang Xu hadn't finished cursing, but he shut his mouth when he saw it was Gu Fei.

"Call your people back to the classroom," Gu Fei glanced at him and said in a calm voice.

"Alright!" Wang Xu yelled, "Everyone stop! Class 8 go back to the classroom!"

Gu Fei grabbed another Class 5 student's arm and pushed.

The people in the hallway finally slowly separated, those who were fighting reluctantly stopped and just swore at each other.

"Back to the classroom!" Old Lu's voice suddenly rang out. It was his class first period, and he had probably been here for a while but no one could hear him yelling until now, "Slept too comfortably yesterday huh! Want to go wild huh! Come on! Who wants to raise their hand for some fun, come with me to the sports field and let's play a couple rounds! You!"

He pointed at the one with blood all over his face that Jiang Cheng had hit: "I'm talking to you, face full of blood and messy! Pretty flowering face huh! Trumpet flower or sunflower huh! What are you staring at me for! Do I have to carry you to go wash your face?!"

Everyone gradually went back to the classrooms following Old Lu's yelling. It was so lively first thing in the morning, and many were still fired up and reluctant, the classrooms were noisy, some yelling, some still cursing and unsatisfied.

Jiang Cheng sat back at his seat, still a bit dizzy. 

Gu Fei also sat down, rummaged through his bag, and threw some bandaids onto the desk in front of him.

"What for?" Jiang Cheng glanced at him.

"Hand," Gu Fei said.

Jiang Cheng looked down at his hands, he didn't know when but they were cut up in several places, but he didn't feel anything at all, even now they didn't hurt.

He tore off two bandaids and stuck them on.

"Hey Jiang Cheng, Jiang Cheng..." Zhou Jing turned around excitedly. 

Jiang Cheng glared at him, and he obediently turned back around and sat properly before finishing what he was going to say.

"Jiang Cheng," Old Xu entered the classroom with a frown, "come with me for a bit."

Jiang Cheng stood up and followed Old Xu out of the classroom.

"What's going on with you?" Old Xu asked as he led him downstairs, "Why did you suddenly start fighting?"

Jiang Cheng was silent and didn't respond.

"Was it because of the basketball game?" Old Xu asked again turning around, "But that doesn't make sense, if it's about basketball, Wang Xu should have been the one to instigate that."

Jiang Cheng still didn't make a sound.

Old Xu kept walking until they reached the edge of the sports field before stopping, and sighed, "Jiang Cheng, you're definitely going to be taken to the counseling office for this today. You have to tell me what happened, so I can speak for you to the principal, this kind of situation warrants punishment!"

What was there to fear from punishment. 

He was still carrying previous punishments on his back.

Punishment wasn't scary, what was scary was that he had no idea what to say.

I hit him because he talked like that woman.

Is that enough reason to punch someone, just for talking like her?


Because that woman is my birth mother?

It wouldn't be hard to explain this situation logically, but for him, it was very difficult.

Jiang Cheng looked at Old Xu, and after a very long time, said one sentence: "Whatever."


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