Author: Wu Zhe, Translated by Ami <3

  That evening, Jiang Cheng continued his habit of ‘meditation’, and in his head, combed through everything he had reviewed and memorized for the subjects being tested on the next day. He did not touch the books, notes, and other study materials on his desk, and instead focused only on the material that was already in his mind.

  Gu Fei did not follow along with the meditation this time. There was nothing to ‘meditate’ on. Today’s exam was already a surprise to him; it would probably be the best mark he got in his three years of high school. He only had to keep up with this feeling.

  After shutting the bedroom door, he went into the living room and called Wang Xu to ask how Yi Jing was doing.

  Yi Jing was carted off to the hospital before she finished her math exam. When she woke up, she cried her eyes out and refused to stay in the hospital for a second longer—she wanted to go home and review for the next day’s exams.

  “She still got a high fever,” Wang Xu said. “I feel like her emotional state is a mess right now, if she goes to the exams like this tomorrow… who knows how she’s gonna do.”

  “You’re at her house right now?” Gu Fei asked.

  “What right do I have to hang around in her house at this time? Lao-Xu and Lao-Lu went up there just now,” Wang Xu sighed. “I’ve been standing outside this whole time.”

  “You should go home first,” Gu Fei said. “Or are you going to follow her and bomb your own exams tomorrow.”

  “There’s no difference whether I bomb it or not, I’m just here to go through the motions, you know this. It’s just that,” Wang Xu said. “I wanted to tell you something, Da-Fei, if Yi Jing bombed her exams this time and has to retake it, I’ll retake it with her.”

  Wang Xu said all this with a tone of determination very unlike the way he usually spoke when he would boast and run his mouth; he sounded solemn and ceremonial. It made Gu Fei think that this time, he was for real.

  Oh the power of young love.

  Gu Fei ended the call, lit a cigarette, and held it between his lips as he stood at the window looking out at the scenery that was more serene than usual.

  Compared to Yi Jing, Jiang Cheng was in a much more stable state of mind. It was an aspect of him that Gu Fei had admired with all his heart. The stubborn self-confidence Jiang Cheng exuded had a basis.

  Even if he was an atypical overachiever, he had the capacity to achieve his goals.

  If it was not for Jiang Cheng, Gu Fei figured he would simply go through the motions for the university entrance exams just as Wang Xu did. He did not know what the point was for him to take these exams.

  Whether he got a high or low score, what difference would it make to him?

  However, this whole way as he kept Jiang Cheng company, it seemed on the surface that he was always coming up with new ways to give Jiang Cheng a peace of mind while he studied, but more than that, was what Jiang Cheng gave him.

  Perhaps Jiang Cheng had not been through as much as he had, perhaps those gaps and trenches had not been in his way for quite as long, but the strong conviction that Jiang Cheng had for facing any kind of setback head-on was something that Gu Fei never possessed.

  The more he saw this side of Jiang Cheng, the more sombre he felt.

  He had been sunken at the bottom of the river for far too long, had swayed aimlessly along with the current of sand and mud around him for far too long. The more he wanted to get closer to Jiang Cheng, the more he could see the clear difference between them.

  It was the first time he approached a test with a proper attitude, and the first time he genuinely searched his memories for answers before putting pencil to paper.

  And what of after? What else could he do? He was suddenly at a loss.

  Jiang Cheng went to sleep very early. It was not yet 10 o’clock when he finished combing through the contents in his mind, and had showered and laid down on the bed. “Boyfriend, why don’t you sing me a lullaby.”

  “…… I’ve never even sung one for Er-Miao.” Gu Fei sat down on the edge of the bed, considered for a moment, then started in a low voice. “Good little bunny, open the door for me……” 

  Jiang Cheng started laughing with his eyes closed, but before Gu Fei was done with the first round of the song, he was already asleep.

  Gu Fei did not feel sleepy. He picked up one of Jiang Cheng’s notebooks, flipped it open, and started to read it slowly as he leaned against the headboard. He was pretty impressed with himself, since when reading through the notes, he realized there were a lot of the things he remembered, and the ones he did not remember well, he at least had a vague impression.

  Who knew if this knowledge was subtly shoved at him by Jiang Cheng, or if he had begrudgingly bitten it off himself.

  He turned and stared at Jiang Cheng, with half his face buried in the pillow. Such an adorable boyfriend……

  After staring for a while, he reached out, picked up a tuft of hair on Jiang Cheng’s forehead, and rubbed it between his fingers. Before he could rub it again, Jiang Cheng frowned and retaliated with a slap. Half of the slap landed on Gu Fei’s hand, while the other half of it landed on Jiang Cheng’s own face.

  Then he grumbled to himself,rolled to the other side, and continued sleeping.

  Such a badass boyfriend, Gu Fei smiled. So badass that he’s not against hitting himself.

  In reality, Jiang Cheng did not sleep that soundly; he tossed and turned for the whole night. Fortunately, Gu Fei was already used to not going into a deep sleep, so it did not affect him.

  He was, however, astounded to find Jiang Cheng looking full of energy in the morning.

  “Just one last fight today and we’ll be free.” In the taxi, Jiang Cheng picked out two ginseng slices and handed one to Gu Fei. “Li Qian’s North American ginseng is not bad, it’s pretty effective at waking you up.”

  “Mhm.” Gu Fei nodded.

  “Try to fill up all the spaces of the big questions on the Humanities Comprehensive Exam. Even if you only remember one sentence, try to expand on it and drag a few more lines out of it,” Jiang Cheng looked at him. “Got it? You have good handwriting, if you write more, it gives the teachers a better impression, and they may just give you a point or two more based on that. Even half a point still counts.”

  “Alright,” Gu Fei chuckled. “How do you still have the energy to worry about me?”

  “Not for anyone else,” Jiang Cheng said. “But for you, I have an abundance.”

  Once in the exam center, Gu Fei sat down in his seat. This was the last day.

  His academic career, something that he had never burdened with much hope, was coming to a rest today. 

  Gu Fei never expected to one day have so many feelings about this particular event.

  The papers were handed out and spread out in front of him. He picked up his pencil and put it to the page. Every stroke and every line contained his memories of Jiang Cheng. All of his memories associated with the questions had to do with Jiang Cheng.

  When he encountered familiar looking questions, he would first recall the way Jiang Cheng had looked when he was memorizing the texts. Some of the questions he could not remember the details word for word, but he could remember very clearly the way he quizzed Jiang Cheng on it that one time, or even every time.

  It was fascinating really, to think that he would be able to remember so much content—whether vaguely or otherwise—in this way.

  Following Jiang Cheng’s instructions, he filled in as much as he could for the Humanities Comprehensive Exam that morning, and even added more words when he went back to check it over.

  The English exam in the afternoon was not so easy to maneuver, especially the essay question. However, he still tried his best to write the sentences at an elementary school level, piecing together a complete essay of one short sentence after another.

  When the last bell of the exams rang, Gu Fei let out a sudden breath of relief. His heart felt all of a sudden emptied out, and in that instant, his brain was also completely blank.

  Ah, it’s over.

  Wonder how the boyfriend is doing on his end.

  All kinds of discussions started picking up when everyone crowded out the door together, as some students began to compare and check answers. There was glee when they got the right answer, and distress when they got the wrong answer. Then, somebody started crying.

  This kind of crying was very affecting. Within it were feelings of excitement, refusal to accept one’s fate, loss, and a disorientation of not quite knowing why.

  Jiang Cheng did not have so many feelings, he only felt light, as if he had springs under his feet and balloons tied to his body; he wanted to bounce with every step.

  He had done pretty well. According to Jiang Cheng’s astute judgment of himself, this was at least the second best, if not the best, he had ever performed in all the tests since the first practice exam. He did not dwell too much on the specific score, and did not plan to, nor did he plan to check the answers. He had given his all in this fight, he had finished, and that was that.

  All he had left to do now was wait for the conclusion. Prior to its arrival, he would not spare extra energy to overthink it.

  The only thought that filled his mind at the moment was to hurry up and find Gu Fei among the crowd.

  Gu Fei would be waiting for him under the third tree along the road to the main gate every time. He did not know how every time they came out, Gu Fei was able to walk faster than him.

  As expected, today was no different. He swept his eyes forward and spotted Gu Fei, standing beneath the tree scanning against the current of the crowd.

  Unlike the previous times, Gu Fei was not leaning against the tree today, but standing upright, straight as a stick.

  “How did it go!” Jiang Cheng squeezed past the herd of students, ran up to Gu Fei, and clapped him and the arm.

  “It was okay, I wrote a whole bunch of stuff for the essay too.” Gu Fei smiled as he rubbed his arm. “English is your strong suit, gonna fly by with a perfect score?”

  “Can’t fly,” Jiang Cheng answered with a smile. “There were two questions I still wasn’t sure about even when I handed it in, but it’s enough.”

  “We won’t worry about it then,” Gu Fei stretched. “Come on, Lao-Xu must be waiting for you outside, going blind with anticipation.”

  “I… wonder how Yi Jing did, she still went to her exams today, didn’t she?” Jiang Cheng said.

  “Mhm, Jiuri said she still wanted to do it.” Gu Fei sighed. “She’s pretty stubborn, she probably can’t just let it go like that. After all, she’s always been the good diligent student, unlike you.”

  “It’s not like I fooled around that much,” Jiang Cheng tutted, then smiled after thinking about it. “Ayy… though I really wasn’t as hardworking as she was. Other than my grades, there’s really nothing else that would put me in with the ‘good students’.”

  “Says who?” Gu Fei glanced at him.

  “I…” Jiang Cheng didn’t continue.

  “Every single thing about you is great,” said Gu Fei. “Everything, is great. Your grades are the last thing on that list.”

  “Damn I wanna kiss you so much.” Jiang Cheng said.

  “I feel like Lao-Xu will kiss you first.” Gu Fei directed his eyes forward.

  “Jiang Cheng! Jiang Cheng!” Lao-Xu was at the front gates, madly waving his folding fan.

  “Yeah! Coming!” Jiang Cheng answered, a little amused, and quickened his steps as he walked up.

  “How did it go! Your English is definitely nothing to worry about, it’s your strong suit, teacher Lu said you’d get a high mark for sure!” Lao-Xu stared at him with sparkling eyes.

  “It was pretty good.” Jiang Cheng smiled. “Really, it wasn’t bad at all. I feel pretty good about it myself.”

  “That’s good! That’s good! Ayyyy, that’s good!” Lao-Xu repeated over and over, his hand that was clutching the folding fan was shaking a little.

  Jiang Cheng opened his arms and said, “Xu-zong, want a hug?”

  “I thought you never let anyone touch you,” Lao-Xu had remembered this fact very well, every time he patted shoulders and slapped arms he would skip over Jiang Cheng. “Wang Xu said, if anyone touches you, you hit back.”

  Without speaking, Jiang Cheng laughed as he went over and gave Lao-Xu a hug, “Thank you, Xu-zong.”

  “Hey! No problem! Just doing my job! As long as you guys do well on the exam, I’ll be happy and content as can be.” Lao-Xu patted Jiang Cheng’s back, a little excited. “Good boy!”

  Just as Jiang Cheng was about to let go, Lao-Xu suddenly cupped his hands on Jiang Cheng’s head and landed a loud smooch on his cheek, “Good boy!”

  “What the shit!” Jiang Cheng immediately sprang backward by at least a meter, almost knocking over Gu Fei, who was standing behind him. “Xu-Zong, have you gone mad!”

  “I’m just happy, overjoyed.” Lao-Xu laughed cheerfully.

  “I… you stay far away from me!” Jiang Cheng rubbed his cheek with his hand. “That’s enough from you!”

  “You two get on that bus,” Lao-Xu grinned and pointed at a bus parked on the side of the road. “We’ll head right back to school later, you can leave once you pick up your application guide book.”

  There were already some Fourth High students on the bus, which was loud with clamours.

  Those who did not place any hopes in the exams were all chatting away at this point. After passing this hurdle, they all wanted to let loose and have fun, regardless of whether the end result was life or death. There were also several students who were quiet as they stared blankly out the window, and a few whose eyes were red. But more than that, people were comparing answers. When one question gave rise to three different answers, they were all a little horrified. 

  “That’s why you can’t check answers right now, no matter how you check it, you can’t go back to the exam center and change it.” Jiang Cheng sat down in the last row. “Who knows if you were really wrong or if you just remembered wrong, or maybe it’s the other person who remembered wrong. You’ll only be scaring yourself.”

  “Mhm, Cheng-ge is right.” Gu Fei nodded.

  “After all this checking, they can’t even let loose and play before the scores come out.” Jiang Cheng said quietly. “Either way, I feel fantastic about myself. I’ll ride this feeling out and enjoy myself first.”

  “Mhm yep, Cheng-ge is right.” Gu Fei continued to nod.

  “You looking to be smacked?” Jiang Cheng glanced at him.

  “If Cheng-ge wants to, Cheng-ge can smack. The logic is on Cheng-ge’s side, long live Cheng-ge.” Gu Fei turned to him and smiled.

  “You just have to run your mouth.” Jiang Cheng laughed.

  There was some fatigue showing on Gu Fei’s face. Even though he had not exactly been dedicating himself to studying for most of this year, he had spent his energy on taking care of somebody else’s studies. It was only now that his closely wound up nerves suddenly relaxed, and he started to show some weariness.

  Jiang Cheng squeezed closer to Gu Fei and took his hand in the space between their legs.

  Gu Fei’s hand was very warm. Even on the air conditioned bus, it did not take long for his palm to get clammy.

  When they arrived at school and back to their classroom, everyone was a little wistful from the intensely familiar feeling that, because of their short absence, had turned a little strange.

  The classroom was noisy, everyone was talking. Jiang Cheng sat down in his seat and looked at the classmates he had spent the past year and a half with, and realized that there were still quite a few he could not remember the names of.

  He had never paid attention to them before, and it was only at this moment, with all these faces suddenly in front of him, that he realized he could hardly take it all in.

  Yi Jing was not there. Apparently her parents had taken her home immediately after the English exam; Jiang Cheng wondered how she was doing as he turned to look toward Wang Xu’s direction.

  Wang Xu was also chatting with the others, but he was obviously a little distracted, and in low spirits.

  Somebody nearby mentioned Yi Jing, and the lively rambunctious atmosphere all of a sudden cooled down. At times like these, people’s emotions tended to become much more sensitive, such that any tiny ripple would be magnified. Not to mention, this was their class leader who always carried some authority among them. Several girls immediately started crying over their desks.

  Jiang Cheng’s face did not betray any emotion. He leaned back in his chair, and could not figure out what exactly he was feeling at the moment. He only held onto Gu Fei’s hand under the desk.

  It was the first time in all this time that he was sitting there and not reading a textbook, not working on questions, not taking notes. He simply sat there, quietly.

  Lao-Xu entered the classroom and said something, but Jiang Cheng did not hear what he said, only that they were going out for dinner together the next evening, and that he hoped everyone could attend. It would be the last class-wide activity of their high school life.

  “Ayy… it’s time for the farewell dinner.” Somebody said.

  Jiang Cheng’s hand trembled ever so slightly. His heart suddenly clenched at that word.

  That’s right. It’s over.

  High school life was over just like that. He did not even get to stop and savour it properly before it was already past. And by the time he looked back, it was all only a memory.

  And this last year of it, was already starting to blur together.

  Gu Fei must have felt it too, so he lightly squeezed the hand he was holding. Jiang Cheng turned to face Gu Fei, who gave him a smile as he said, “How nice.”

  “Hm?” Jiang Cheng looked back at him, a little dazed.

  “That I got to meet you during high school.” Gu Fei said.

  Jiang Cheng snapped back to the present and smiled, “Yeah, how fortunate to have met you.

  Lao-Xu gave each of them a guidebook that contained general information about various universities and programs. Jiang Cheng gave it a cursory flip through before he closed it.

  He almost felt a little dizzy upon seeing these large chunks of text now, he did not want to spare it another glance, not that he could take any of it in anyway.

  But no matter, he only had a handful of schools in mind, he just needed to wait for the final score to come out before making a decision.

  “Come on,” Gu Fei said. “Let’s go back.”

  “Mhm,” Jiang Cheng stood up. As they walked out of the classroom, he heard a few people talking about visiting Yi Jing, so he nudged Gu Fei. “Should we maybe go check on Yi Jing?”

  “I’ll go by myself,” Gu Fei said. “You… hold off for now, maybe give it some time.”

  “Oh.” Jiang Cheng answered.

  “Let’s go back, take a shower first and clean up. I’ll take you out for a big feast tonight.” Gu Fei said. “Now that you’re free, you can eat whatever you want, however much you want, no need to worry about food poisoning or getting sick anymore.”

  “Shit,” Jiang Cheng started laughing. “I actually had a whole list of things I wanted to eat, but when you put it like that, I suddenly don’t know what to pick.”

  “No rush, let’s go to the downtown square, there’s lots of food there. We’ll walk around, and if you see anything you want to eat, we’ll go in.” Gu Fei smiled. “I’m also ready to let go and eat, I’m so sick and tired of eating my own cooking.”

  “We should probably bring Er-Miao huh,” Jiang Cheng said. “It’s also been a long time since she got to feast with us.”

  “We’ll bring her next time. It’ll be just the two of us today,” Gu Fei snapped his fingers. “No third wheels allowed. She’s not only a third wheel, but a particularly large one too.”

  “Alrighty.” Jiang Cheng giggled as he nodded, then a few steps later, suddenly whipped his head around and stared at him. “Gu Fei!”

  “Huh?” Gu Fei immediately answered and looked at him. “What is it?”

  “So uh… later, when we get back…” Jiang Cheng suddenly felt embarrassed just as the words reached the tip of his tongue. “Are… uh…”

  “Do it first before going out, right?” Gu Fei asked.

  “What the fuck,” Jiang Cheng said, looking at him. “How can you be so shameless? How can you just come out and say it so smoothly like that, do you not have any shame!”

  “… Was it you the other day who said you’re not doing anything but me this summer?” Gu Fei stared back at him. “Now you’re going to turn around and act innocent? You’re the shameless one.”

  “Wait,” Jiang Cheng could not stop laughing once he started thinking about it. “I really was a little embarrassed just now. I mean it’s been a while since we rolled around, so bringing it up suddenly, I was just… a little self-conscious.”

  “You just better not tell me please thank you and you’re welcome later.” Gu Fei said.

  “Oh.” Jiang Cheng nodded while still holding in a laugh.

  It had been a long time since Jiang Cheng felt so light on his way back from school. There was not a single key point in his mind, not a single equation, historical year, geographical landmark, or grammar rule… There was only Gu Fei.

  Neck, shoulder, collar bone, abs, thighs, calves, and ass!


  As they went up the stairs, he genuinely could not hold himself back from grabbing Gu Fei’s butt.

  “Right here,” Gu Fei turned back to look at him, then pointed at the window at the side of the stairwell. “You wanna bet that tossing you out the window won’t even require both of my arms?”

  “I believe you.” Jiang Cheng skipped past him and ran up the stairs, taking another swipe at Gu Fei’s waist as he did. “But you wouldn’t do that to me, hoho.”

  “Weirdo.” Gu Fei said quietly, then ran up the stairs behind Jiang Cheng.

  As soon as he went through the door, Jiang Cheng flung his shirt off and launched himself at Gu Fei, pelting him with kisses, before pushing him onto the sofa and running his hands beneath Gu Fei’s shirt.

  “Hey,” Gu Fei laughed as he responded in kind. “The remote control is poking at my back, hold on…”

  Jiang Cheng did not listen as he continued rubbing his face into the side of Gu Fei’s neck.

  After pulling the remote control out and tossing it onto the coffee table, Gu Fei held Jiang Cheng tightly, but Jiang Cheng suddenly propped himself up against the sofa and frowned as he stared at Gu Fei.

  “What’s up?” Gu Fei stroked his chin.

  “Why do you feel so hot?” Jiang Cheng touched Gu Fei’s skin, it was burning.

  “Must be the excitement of course,” Gu Fei thrusted his hips up. “When I get excited I…”

  “You have a fever,” Jiang Cheng leaned down and pressed his lips to Gu Fei’s forehead, then whipped his head up. “Fuck! I was wondering why your hand was so hot this whole time! Where’s the thermometer!”

  Gu Fei pulled on Jiang Cheng to stop him from getting up, “Cheng-ge, Cheng-ge, don’t get off track.”

  “Off your ass,” Jiang Cheng shook his hand off and stood up. He rummaged around in the coffee table drawers, found the digital thermometer Gu Fei had bought to monitor his health during the study period, and checked it against Gu Fei’s forehead, then froze. “Fuck, it’s 38 degrees!”

  “Hmm, 38 degrees… still fuckable.” Gu Fei smiled. “And you know, these digital ones aren’t accurate.”

  “Get out of here,” Jiang Cheng was frowning. He did not know why Gu Fei suddenly had a fever, and he was immediately anxious even as his heart hurt for Gu Fei. “Did you catch a cold? Or was it…”

  He took Gu Fei’s temperature a few more times in a row, and ended up with 38-point-something every time.

  “I’m fine,” Gu Fei stroked Jiang Cheng’s face as he sat up. “Really, I don’t even feel anything.”

  “Bull-fuckitty-shit!” Jiang Cheng glared at him. Gu Fei’s hand was burning hot, the sensation of which was now as clear as day. “I was wondering why you didn’t seem that energized since coming out of the exams! You haven’t been feeling well for a while and just didn’t tell me, right?!”

  “Ayy……” Gu Fei sighed even as he smiled.

  “We have to go to the hospital,” Jiang Cheng grabbed his hand and tugged on it. “Hurry up.”

  “I’ll be fine with some rest, really.” Gu Fei did not move, then finally said very quietly. “I don’t really have any energy right now, I don’t wanna move.”

  Jiang Cheng felt a pang in his heart, it almost felt sore.

  Perhaps it was because they had just gone through a major life event like the University Entrance Exam, that even as an overachiever, his emotions at the moment were still prone to fluctuations… 

  Jiang Cheng pulled Gu Fei into his arms and held him tight. His hands were trembling when they touched Gu Fei’s burning body.

  His heart was practically shuddering with pain for Gu Fei.

  And just like that, tears came pouring out uncontrollably.

Some Stats

  • Raw character count: 6220
  • TL word count: 4559
  • TL time: 5:28:19
  • Edit time: 17:52
  • Curse words: 5x fuck, 3x shits, 4x asses

TL’s Notes:


If you haven’t yet, this is a good time to buy the novel on jjwxc; 撒野 is the title to search for if you’re using the app, and here is a step-by-step tutorial from Cuchallain to guide you through it! If you run into any problems, feel free to dm me on twitter @amidstwoods :3

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