Gu Fei raised his eyebrow, took off his headphones, and turned his head to look at Jiang Cheng.
This kid was still really a troublemaker. All his thorns had not been restrained at all after arriving in this unfamiliar new environment.
He looked at Zhou Jing in front of him with quite a bit of interest. Zhou Jing still had his mouth open in shock, and if he hadn't already finished eating his egg, he would have liked to stuff one in his mouth.
However, the kick Jiang Cheng gave could still be considered well-targeted at Zhou Jing. Zhou Jing was an annoying teenager with no temper that was easy to bully, and if this kick had been aimed at... Gu Fei glanced to the right, then there would have been a fight already.
"What's going on? What's happening?" Old Xu clapped the podium, "It's class time, class time, what are you doing Gu Fei?"
Gu Fei was startled, pointed at himself and mouthed, "Me?"
"Who else!" Old Xu said, "You finished eating early and got bored, didn't you!"
The people at the surrounding tables laughed, and Gu Fei couldn't help but laugh too, turning to look at Jiang Cheng.
"What are you looking at him for," Old Xu pointed at him, "His grades leave you all in the dust by eight hundred and seventy four streets!"
"Yo——" The class immediately sounded with shouts.
"Top student ah——"
"Old Xu found a star student to focus on!"
Gu Fei sighed. Old Xu's IQ was as if he had never taught a bad class before like a pure novice teacher. With just this one sentence, he built a three-foot high threshold for Jiang Cheng to integrate into this class.
Jiang Cheng looked at Old Xu and sincerely suspected that this person was an undercover agent sent by his mother to torment him.
Although he was not afraid of various provocations and had not suppressed his temper since entering the classroom until now, he also did not want to be praised by the class teacher for having good grades in a class that could be seen as chaotic with one glance.
The two words "top student" were simply ironic.
"Alright," Old Xu cleared his throat, "Let's continue class... We were just talking about..."
Jiang Cheng didn't listen to what Old Xu had said at the podium before, and was even more unwilling to listen now. He slumped over his desk, took out his phone, and started playing with it.
In school before, every time he played with his phone in class it was like doing something illegal - ringer muted, media muted, earphones plugged in with the cord running through his sleeve to cover his ear.
The class teacher's drawer was filled with confiscated phones like a second-hand phone stall.
No. 4 High School was different. Jiang Cheng glanced over at Gu Fei's side and saw he had put his phone on the desk, propped up on a stand, and clearly had earphones plugged in while he leaned back in his chair watching videos with his arms crossed.
Jiang Cheng slumped over his desk and took out his phone. Old Xu at the podium sounded like he was chanting scriptures, and the chattering around him also sounded the same - he was chanted into a dazed stupor for half the class. Bored to death, he sent a message to Pan Zhi.
Pan Zhi quickly replied:
-Grandpa, what class are you in, you're so free?
-Chinese lit, you?
-English, teacher sprang a quiz on us, asking for our lives
-It's not even a formal exam, why make such a fuss?
-I don't know a single question, teacher said something about testing our foundation, I feel like he's got malice!
Pan Zhi sent a picture along with this message. Jiang Cheng took a look and sighed - it was a page of multiple choice questions, taken from a tricky angle that clearly risked confiscation and a summer without his phone.
He checked the time, enlarged the picture, and started quickly writing down the answers with his pen while looking at the questions. He had just written two when Pan Zhi sent three more pictures over continuously. He glanced at them and was a little speechless - this was all the multiple choice questions from the test paper.
-Wait a minute
He replied to Pan Zhi and then continued looking at the questions.
They weren't even that hard, he could guess most of them. He didn't know why Pan Zhi couldn't write down a single answer.
It was quite noisy around him. Jiang Cheng secretly admired Old Xu's endurance - maybe teachers who were used to teaching bad classes had stronger endurance.
He still remembered their chemistry teacher in 10th grade. Her teaching wasn't very engaging, and when some students chatted in class, even though they were much quieter than what he was hearing in his ears now, she had cried from anger and wanted to quit. If she came here, she would have cried herself into a transparent glass flower.
Look at how awesome Old Xu was in comparison.
Jiang Cheng glanced up at Old Xu as he wrote down the answers. No matter if you took a nap or chatted below, as long as you didn't stand up and start dancing, Old Xu wouldn't even pause his lecturing.
Tsk tsk tsk.
Pan Zhi had only sent the multiple choice questions over. It didn't take Jiang Cheng long to finish them. As he entered the answers into the chat to send back to Pan Zhi, he checked the time - a few minutes until class ended, enough for him to copy the rest.
As for the other questions...Pan Zhi was always too lazy to write them, sometimes even too lazy to copy.
After sending the message, he idly opened his friend circle's feed on his phone and slowly scrolled down. He saw a selfie posted yesterday by Jiang Yijun...his dear younger brother. The background showed his dad and mom - a happy family of four, which suddenly made him feel stuffy and strangely nauseous.
He blocked this entire family of four, then put his phone back in his pocket.
Just as he was about to look up, something fell on his head. Before he could react, there was another round, like a handful of pebbles thrown at his head.
Then he saw a white powder, and smelled the smell of wall plaster.
"The fuck?" He looked up in surprise.
There were large and small chunks of grey wall plaster all over his desk and on the table.
Jiang Cheng first brushed off his head, then glanced at Gu Fei's head next to him.
Gu Fei's phone was still on the desk, and what was playing on the screen could no longer be seen under the layer of wall plaster. His head and face were also covered in white plaster, but he remained in the same crossed arm position without moving.
Only his expression was a little ugly.
Jiang Cheng looked up at the ceiling. The plaster there had fallen off above their heads, probably all over them and the desk, exposing the wooden slats underneath...it really was an old building.
When his gaze returned to the desk, he noticed a small black pebble that didn't seem to be part of the fallen plaster on the corner.
The class bell happened to ring at this moment. Old Xu closed his textbook: "Alright, class dismissed... Did the wall plaster fall again? Who's on cleaning duty today? Sweep it up."
As soon as Old Xu left, the classroom suddenly roared to life, with everyone looking back at the last row.
It was in this instant that Jiang Cheng made a judgement - that little pebble, Gu Fei's darkened expression, and the people whose faces said "showtime!" as they stood up to look over as soon as the bell rang...normally the wall plaster may fall by itself, but this time, it definitely didn't fall by itself.
He remained seated without moving, took out some tissue from his pocket, and slowly swept the plaster on the desk onto the floor.
In this situation without a clear target, it was actually quite easy for him to control his anger.
Gu Fei shoved his desk aside and stood up, taking off his jacket and shaking it a few times. He glanced up at Wang Xu with his eyes.
"Da Fei, I'm really sorry," Wang Xu had already come over and put his arm over his shoulder, patting his jacket. "Come on, let's go to the school store. I'll buy you a drink."
Gu Fei shook his arm off and left the classroom through the back door with his jacket on.
Wang Xu quickly followed him out. Going down the stairs, he walked alongside Gu Fei: "Hey, Da Fei, I really didn't mean it."
"Hm," Gu Fei grunted in acknowledgement. He was too lazy to talk much with Wang Xu. The plaster on his head had put him in a very bad mood, and some had even gotten in his eyes.
"I fucking meant to put that kid in his place," Wang Xu said. "A transfer coming in acting so arrogant on his first day of class - if I don't teach him a lesson he won't know there are rules everywhere!"
Gu Fei didn't speak. After going down one floor he directly turned left.
"Hey, the school store is this way," Wang Xu said. "Where are you going?"
"Taking a piss," Gu Fei said.
"You're going all the way to the teacher's bathroom to piss? That's so far." Wang Xu said.
"Less people." Gu Fei said.
"You're so picky even about pissing...I'll get you a milk tea later, is assam okay?" Wang Xu said.
"Drink it yourself." Gu Fei said, turning his head.
"Assam it is then!" Wang Xu said.
Gu Fei sighed.
The bathrooms near the sports field were close to the teacher's offices. Students usually didn't want to come here, and really not that many teachers came either since there were bathrooms in the office building. So it was quite clean and quiet here.
Gu Fei took a cigarette out of his pocket as he walked in, lighting it up and taking a puff just as a door next to him opened and Old Xu walked out.
"Head Teacher Xu," Gu Fei mumbled around the cigarette in his mouth.
"Do you have to come smoke in the Old's bathroom, what's wrong with you!" Old Xu hissed at him, pointing, "Are you looking to make trouble! Who are you trying to show off for?"
"How am I showing off by having a smoke," Gu Fei laughed, standing in front of the urinal. "I'll show off for you, are you scared of me?"
"I'll give in to you," Old Xu came over, pointing at his cigarette, "Put it out!"
Gu Fei sighed and flicked the cigarette into the squat toilet behind him, then grabbed his fly and looked at Old Xu, "Now I need to piss."
Old Xu sighed and turned to walk out of the bathroom.
Gu Fei had just pulled himself out and started pissing when Old Xu suddenly stopped and said, "That Jiang Cheng..."
Because of the distance, Old Xu's voice boomed loudly in the bathroom.
"Fuck..." Gu Fei braced against the wall, startled by Old Xu's yell and nearly pissing on his shoes, "Head Teacher Xu, could you at least wait a minute!"
Old Xu walked out.
Gu Fei zipped up, lit another cigarette, and randomly went into a stall to close the door and stand smoking inside.
Besides the peace and quiet, Gu Fei had another important reason for coming here - the bathrooms here didn't smell as bad.
Old Xu was actually quite a serious teacher at heart, but unfortunately he was horrible at teaching classes. None of the students wanted to listen to his classes, and his lackluster emotional intelligence as a class teacher didn't help either. So no matter how hard he tried with the students, no one took him seriously.
Sometimes Gu Fei felt tired for him.
When he walked out of the bathroom, Old Xu was standing outside in the snow waiting for him.
"Maybe assign him another seat?" Gu Fei said, straightening his collar.
"Don't want to sit with him? Or don't want a seatmate at all?" Old Xu looked at him. "Gu Fei, you can't keep being so antisocial like this."
"Don't analyze me," Gu Fei said. "You've analyzed me for two years without ever being right."
"Try to adapt a little more, it's only the first day," Old Xu smiled. "This Jiang Cheng...his grades really are quite good. Sitting with him could have a positive influence on you too!"
Good grades? Positive influence?
Gu Fei thought back to Jiang Cheng just playing on his phone the entire class. He couldn't really accept Old Xu's conclusion that he had "good grades".
"Class is starting." Gu Fei said.
"Go back to the classroom," Old Xu said. "Remember, adapt a little more."
When Gu Fei returned to the classroom, he ran into Wang Xu on the 3rd floor staircase. Wang Xu handed him a milk tea.
"Thanks." Gu Fei took the milk tea and entered the classroom.
Their second class today was English. The English teacher had a bad temper and loud voice. Although he was the same as Old Xu in having no prestige among the students, his creative cursing for half an hour straight without repeating himself made people not dare provoke him without good reason, plus he had fought students before, bravely confronting all troublemakers without retreating.
So unless they were feeling particularly hot-blooded, the class would quietly file in when the warning bell rang.
The desk had already been cleaned up, but it probably wasn't just Jiang Cheng who had cleaned it. Gu Fei happened to see Yi Jing walking away with a rag.
"Thanks," Gu Fei said.
"No problem," Yi Jing tidied her hair and smiled. "I'm on cleaning duty today."
Gu Fei sat back down in his seat and glanced at Jiang Cheng. Jiang Cheng was sitting quite calmly, leaning against his chair and looking at the blackboard.
He took out his phone, intending to continue watching his movie.
Just as he opened the video, Jiang Cheng suddenly stood up.
And smoothly picked up the chair in one hand while holding a long broom in the other.
Gu Fei was startled. He swiftly glanced over at Wang Xu's side again - Wang Xu had just sat down and was chatting and laughing with his deskmate.
He frowned. Was this going to turn physical?
This person called Wang Xu, aside from Gu Fei, was the second name Jiang Cheng had memorized in this class.
Wang Xu's seat was one desk away from him. The desks and chairs in the classroom were arranged very tightly. To get there carrying an metal chair, he'd have to go around by the podium, quite troublesome.
So he put down the chair, and said to the two people at the next desk: "Excuse me."
Those two looked at him bewilderedly, but still stood up to let him squeeze by behind them.
In passing, he casually pulled one person's chair out.
"Hey! What are you doing!" That person yelled.
Jiang Cheng looked back at him. The two glared at each other for two seconds before the person didn't speak again.
The whole class looked over. Wang Xu also realized this was aimed at him, and stood up arrogantly: "Oh, gonna come at me? Come on then, let the top student show us what he's got..."
Jiang Cheng didn't speak, slamming the chair noisily next to Wang Xu's seat, then slowly retreated a few steps back, swinging the long broom in his hand like a javelin flying up at the ceiling, precisely poking the ceiling above Wang Xu's head.
Wang Xu had reacted as soon as Jiang Cheng swung his arm up, but when he turned to leave his seat he was blocked for a moment by the chair at his leg. Just as he wanted to kick the chair away and come out, the broom and a large piece of plaster came crashing down.
His head and desk were instantly covered in white dust.
After a brief silence, the class simultaneously broke out into screams, jeers, stomping, and table banging, instantly chaotic.
"Fuck your mom!" Wang Xu roared, kicking the chair away to charge out.
Jiang Cheng didn't dodge, standing in place waiting for him to come over. With this wide open stance he didn't even need to aim properly, one punch would make the guy's nose bleed.
"What are you doing!" A roar suddenly came from the classroom door.
This roar was probably the most impactful roar Jiang Cheng had heard in his life, shaking the heavens. He was so frightened he almost reflexively charged at Wang Xu.
"What are you doing, what are you doing!" A middle-aged male teacher charged in waving a teaching stick. He pointed at Jiang Cheng first. "Which class are you from! What are you here for!"
Without waiting for Jiang Cheng's reply, his teaching stick poked at Wang Xu's face: "You! Is it that you got wax in your ears making you deaf! Can't hear the bell ringing for class? Gone deaf, have you! Can you hear me clearly now! Can you! Can you!"
Then again without waiting for Wang Xu to speak, his stick pointed at the surrounding students: "Here to watch a show, huh! Should I put on a performance for you! Give me some applause! Clap clap clap! Come on!"
After this bout of yelling, the class quieted down. Wang Xu glared, but had lost the will to charge over. Jiang Cheng worriedly glanced up at the ceiling again, feeling like if this teacher yelled any louder the whole ceiling would collapse.
"Get back in your seats!" The teacher slammed his teaching stick on the podium. "Hurry up!"
Low laughter and complaints sounded in the classroom as everyone returned to their seats. Jiang Cheng turned to go back to his seat.
"You!" The teacher called for him to stop. "Which class are you from?"
"The new transfer top student—" someone said.
The teacher looked him up and down in surprise for a good long while: "Sit down! Who are you waiting for to carry you to your seat!"
Jiang Cheng was yelled at until he couldn't muster any anger anymore. He swept the teacher a glance and turned to sit down.
"Class is starting!" The teacher slapped his teaching stick on the podium. "Pay attention!"
Jiang Cheng was stunned for a moment. He almost couldn't help laughing when he heard this English sentence spoken with an accent.
After the teacher started the class, the student sitting in front of him who had been leaning back in his chair earlier leaned back again. But this time he didn't look for Gu Fei, instead he turned his head and called out to Jiang Cheng: "Hey study god, you're pretty awesome, casually provoking Wang Xu like that."
Jiang Cheng didn't say anything.
"Get lost," Gu Fei said next to him.
"The fuck?" the student said in a low voice, "I wasn't even talking to you. Do you just habitually tell me to get lost whenever you see me?"
"Yup," Gu Fei propped his phone up on the desk.
"You're going to get into trouble," the student turned his head to glance at the teacher at the lectern, then turned back with a serious expression and said to Jiang Cheng, "Wang Xu definitely won't let you off. Our school has connections, don't you know..."
"What's your name?" Jiang Cheng interrupted him.
"Zhou Jing," he said.
"Thanks," Jiang Cheng said, then pointed at his chair, "Don't bump the desk anymore."
"...Oh." Zhou Jing was stunned for a moment before nodding.
Jiang Cheng opened his book and stared down at it.
Zhou Jing's expression froze awkwardly for a bit before turning back around.
Jiang Cheng felt like the start of his new semester was truly spectacular, it was too bad he didn't have the habit of keeping a diary.
He didn't care at all if this Wang Xu would leave him alone or not. He just felt extremely gloomy now. That WeChat post, the selfie full of familial warmth because of his disappearance, suddenly made him feel completely weightless.
Of course, it made logical sense that someone who didn't care about him wouldn't care if he disappeared.
But it still felt stuffy.
He stared at the textbook. In the scent of paper and ink he faintly smelled a milky fragrance, and suddenly felt a little hungry as he realized he hadn't eaten breakfast that morning.
He turned his head and saw Gu Fei watching a video while unwrapping a candy.
Gu Fei met his gaze for a moment, then paused before reaching into his pocket, rummaging around, and placing a piece of candy on top of his book. Then his eyes returned to his phone screen.
Jiang Cheng looked at the candy on his book, feeling somewhat bewildered. But the scent of milk candy wafting over from Gu Fei's side made his stomach nearly roar.
After hesitating for two minutes, he picked up the candy and unwrapped it.
...It wasn't even a milk candy!
It was a fruit candy!
He couldn't help looking over at Gu Fei again.
Gu Fei glanced at the fruit candy he had put in Jiang Cheng's hand, then lowered his head to rummage around in his pocket. He directly poured a handful of candies onto the desk, all different kinds of packaging and flavors, at least a dozen pieces.
"Pick for yourself," Gu Fei said.