【Overseen while walking past the office…… officesecretcam.avi】
Author: Wu Zhe, Translated by Ami <3
The fried rice cakes really were delicious. Jiang Cheng figured Gu Fei would get full marks when it came to finding delicious foods that would otherwise go unnoticed.
He had now cried, done the shameless deeds — even though he really shouldn’t dwell on it too much — filled his stomach, and bought everything he needed. When they walked out of the little rice cake shop, Jiang Cheng let out a loud burp and was in a much better mood.
“Let’s head back.” Gu Fei glanced at the time on his phone. “Don’t you still need to study some more?”
“Not study, but I do need to sleep.” Jiang Cheng said. “I don’t tend to study in the two days leading up to tests, mainly sleep. Regardless of whether it’s big exams or small tests.”
“Oh,” Gu Fei said. “Me too, whether it’s big exams or small tests, I mainly sleep in the year leading up to it.”
Jiang Cheng couldn’t help himself, they burst into another bout of wild laughter. He almost laughed the snot from his nose, so he hurriedly grabbed a tissue and pressed it against his nostril, “Ah fuck.”
“Try to go to sleep early when you get back. With your cold, watch that you don’t get sleepy in the middle of the exam tomorrow.”
“I won’t,” Jiang Cheng waved his hand. “I can write it with my eyes closed.”
“Don’t,” Gu Fei said. “That handwriting of yours, it’s illegible even with your eyes open, if you close your eyes……”
“You shut the fuck up.” Jiang Cheng started giggling again.
The two of them slowly pedaled their bikes back to the rental apartment. Gu Fei didn’t go up this time, only helped take the things off the bike and handed them to him, “You can call me if you get lost again, I’ll tell you how to get back here.”
“…… I already know how to get back here.” Jiang Cheng said.
“Good night.” Gu Fei smiled and said.
“Good night.” Jiang Cheng walked the bike inside the stairwell and locked it to the railings, then walked upstairs with all his purchases.
Even though it didn’t look that different from Li Baoguo’s place when he opened the door to the empty apartment, the feeling is entirely different. He no longer had to trouble himself with Li Baoguo’s mess, no longer had to pay back what he owed time after time, and no longer had to listen to his coughing and loud roaring tirades of anger. Not to mention, he didn’t have to worry about his door suddenly being opened.
Jiang Cheng heated up the water tank until it was almost blistering hot, then showered himself from top to bottom. There was a hot water shower here, unlike at Li Baoguo’s home, where he had to carry buckets of boiled water every day…… He hadn’t even seen Li Baoguo shower, maybe he used the bathhouse.
The scalding hot water flowed from his face and neck down over his entire body. He closed his eyes and braced against the wall, slowly relaxing his whole body.
But a short while later, he shut off the tap, quickly dried himself off, and walked out of the bathroom.
Even though it wasn’t at all strange under these circumstances to think of Gu Fei and what they did together, he still felt a little uncomfortable.
He often fantasized. About certain celebrities, certain graphic images he saw at random somewhere, a scene in a certain adult video…… But having such a defined and physically close subject of his fantasy, that was a first. No matter how he looked at it, he still felt a little guilty.
After he got back to his bedroom and shut the door, he set up the new beddings and pillow he had just bought. Since they were all new, he briefly considered maybe he should wash them, but after hesitating by the bed for a long while, he ultimately decided to give up. As a dude, he thought, he shouldn’t be overly fussy over these things.
He got on the bed, and after turning off the lights, stared into the darkness for a long time without a thread of drowsiness.
This time it wasn’t due to Gu Fei, but because of the exams tomorrow.
The first half of this semester he had spent in almost a trance. Even though there was nothing taught in class that he didn’t understand, and no homework he couldn’t do, but now he was starting to get a little worried.
At the previous school, every time he relaxed, it would directly impact his grades. And now, in an environment like the Fourth High, it was practically impossible to even find a peer who seriously listened in class. Never mind that the tests would certainly be less difficult than the ones he wrote before, but he was still a little worried about his potential grade.
He wasn’t going to touch a book before a test, but this time he sat back up, pulled out a notebook from his backpack, and flipped it open.
The exam schedule at the Fourth High was different than what he knew before. There would be two subjects in the morning, Language and Politics. He sighed. To schedule the tests so close together like this, it wasn’t at all like the laid-back style of Fourth High, the way they pushed back the final game of the basketball tournament to after the exams…
He didn’t know when exactly he fell asleep. When he woke up in the morning, his notebooks were on the floor, but he was bundled up nicely in the cover.
Jiang Cheng glanced at the time. The alarm hadn’t yet sounded, but it was about time to get up. Turned out, his biological clock was fairly reliable in important instances.
The breakfast options near his rental flat were about the same as the ones by Li Baoguo’s place. He ate a bowl of tofu pudding and two fried pancakes at a roadside stand, and headed to school on his bike.
He paused when he got to the intersection, wondering whether it was necessary to call up Gu Fei to go together. After a few seconds of hesitation, he got out his phone to call Gu Fei.
Just as he pulled up Gu Fei’s name in the contact list, he heard the sound of a whistle from nearby. He turned, and was surprised to find that Gu Fei was right there, sitting on his bike with one foot resting on the ground.
“Morning, overachiever.” Gu Fei waved at him.
“The fuck,” Jiang Cheng checked the time in shock. “When did you get here?”
“Only five minutes ago.” Gu Fei said. “I’m never late for tests.”
“What a miracle.” Jiang Cheng started to laugh, suddenly he was in a very good mood. For some reason, whenever he saw Gu Fei’s smile, it felt very… intimate. Perhaps it was because they did something together, even though neither of them would bring it up, but nevertheless they were deskmates who shared a not so innocent experience together……
“You’ve eaten?” Gu Fei asked.
“I just picked up something random.” Jiang Cheng said. “If you told me you were coming, I would’ve waited for you to eat together.”
“It’s OK,” Gu Fei smiled and said. “I’ve eaten too. I just thought if you hadn’t, then I’ll wait for you to eat.”
Everything was calm as can be on their way to school. They didn’t run into the pair of zoo animals, probably because they already arranged the fight… no, arranged the ballgame, so they wanted to maintain a semblance of civility.
When he entered the classroom, Jiang Cheng discovered that as idle as these people were normally, they were still able to exhibit some stress come midterm time.
All the desks had already been pulled apart. Though the gap wasn’t that large, it still seemed like they would be assigned a desk each.
Zhou Jing turned around as soon as he sat down, “Jiang Cheng, Jiang Cheng……”
“If you want to look at my answers, just look on your own. If you dare to call my name like this during the test I’ll report you for cheating immediately.” Jiang Cheng pointed a finger at him.
“Ay! Fine fine fine……” Zhou Jing froze for a moment, then grinned so widely that his face was practically a flower garden. “Now that’s a friend.”
“Jiang Cheng.” Someone called out to him from the left.
Jiang Cheng turned and was surprised to find Wang Xu sitting at the desk to the left of him, “You’re sitting here?”
“This is where I sit during tests.” Wang Xu said solemnly. “Don’t block the answer sheet with your arm, yeah?”
“Oh.” Jiang Cheng answered.
“And don’t flip it over once you’re done, got it?” Wang Xu continued.
“Oh.” Jiang Cheng continued to answer.
“Don’t you worry about Da-Fei there, he never cheats during tests. Just focus on me,” Wang Xu still had a solemn expression on his face. “I’m responsible for passing it on.”
“…… Got it.” Jiang Cheng nodded, then turned to look in Gu Fei’s direction. Gu Fei was currently playing on his phone, but he turned and met Jiang Cheng’s gaze, then smiled wordlessly.
The invigilator was a teacher from third year, a very dignified looking bespectacled middle-aged woman. After she entered the classroom and set the test papers down, she glared at them from left to right, then from right to left, and then backwards and forwards one more time, before she finally cleared her throat and recited the examination rules to them.
Never before had Jiang Cheng heard such silence from the people around him. He was almost unaccustomed to it.
After he got the test paper, Jiang Cheng first skimmed through the pages once, and found that the difficulty level of Fourth High tests was certainly consistent with the general Fourth High style. At least to him, this test was fairly easy.
He flipped to the composition question at the end and read through it.
Mr. Ji Xianlin once said, “Every person is striving for a perfect life. However, since the beginning of time, whether within or outside of our borders, there has never existed a one hundred percent perfect life. That’s why I say, imperfection is what life is about.” 
Based on your understanding, and relating it to reality, determine your own premise, form, and title.
Jiang Cheng sighed quietly. This composition question was ridiculously easy, especially to him at this moment. Nevermind 800 characters, even 8000 characters wasn’t out of the question.
He flipped the test over to the first page, and started to work through the questions with his mind at ease.
It was still silent all around him. In a classroom that only ever heard low buzzing chatter during class, he could now hear the sounds of pen scratching against paper. It was a most peculiar sense of dissonance.
He glanced toward Gu Fei. Gu Fei hadn’t yet begun to write, but was instead staring at the Reading Modern Texts page, seemingly enthralled by its content.
Jiang Cheng didn’t plan to check out how Wang Xu was doing to his left, because without even turning his head, he could sense the intense heat of Wang Xu’s gaze, and in his peripheral vision, the face that was turned eagerly toward him.
The two invigilators were fairly strict. They were stationed at the front and back of the class, and constantly switched positions with each other. Judging by the frequency at which Zhou Jing was twisting and fidgeting, Jiang Cheng guessed that he must be undergoing major stress at this point.
Comparatively, Pan Zhi had always been very composed. He would always calmly fill out some bullshit answers, then correct them one by one as Jiang Cheng finished writing……
Gu Fei finished reading the little Modern Texts piece, and was disappointed that it wasn’t a story. The article was about the spirit of logic behind architecture…… It wasn’t much fun.
He flipped the test to the front, planning to ‘guesstimate’ some answers to a few familiar questions first, and then start on the lottery. After that he would randomly fill in some answers, then piece together some writing at the end.
The composition question didn’t place a limit on the format, and furthermore had no 800 characters quota for poetry. He decided to take advantage of this loophole, in an effort to write as little as possible.
It was a perfectly good plan. When he started filling out the blanks on the answer sheet, he figured his state of mind was not much different from the overachiever beside him.
Overachiever Jiang’s pen hadn’t stopped. He basically began writing out the answer as he read through each question. When the question was longer, he didn’t pause for very long either. If his overachiever image wasn’t too obvious during day to day classes, it was certainly making an appearance now.
As Gu Fei finished his once-over with the familiar questions, and was just about to do a counting rhyme for the remaining multiple choice, beside him, Jiang Cheng had just turned the page.
As he started to randomly fill in some blanks, Jiang Cheng started on his essay.
Watching Jiang Cheng’s side profile, for a moment he felt that Jiang Cheng in this state was so hot that both men and gods would hold him in contempt.
Though compared to the 800 words composition required of the overachiever, Gu Fei’s loophole poem was much faster. He casually put together a few lines of vague sounding sentences, and called it a day. He didn’t need to review a test paper filled out in this manner. Even if a review was called for, it would be to roll the dice one more time, best two out of three.
Usually, he would turn the paper in at this time, but today he didn’t budge. Jiang Cheng was still writing his essay beside him. He wanted to see.
Jiang Cheng’s handwriting might be a work of grotesquery, but he wrote fast. Just like the way he went off-script during the assembly, the lines of text appeared on the page without hesitation one after the other.
Jiang Cheng had set his test paper and answer card by the corner of his desk. On the other side, Wang Xu was fervently copying down the answers, but when it came to fill in the blank questions he still had to crane his neck sometimes in an effort to see better. It looked strenuous. Zhou Jing wasn’t having an easy time of it either. With handwriting like Jiang Cheng’s, it was difficult to make out even right side up, but trying to read it upside down was akin to deciphering the word of the gods.
Though it was still a much better situation than before; the students who got good grades in their class usually sat near the front of the room. People like them who sat at the back didn’t even have someone to copy from.
Half an hour before the end time, Jiang Cheng the overachiever who wrote like the wind, finished his essay at last. Apparently he didn’t need to check his work either. He took a glance all around, and looked as though he wanted to turn his answers in.
Beside him, Wang Xu suddenly became frantic. He said in a lowered voice, “Don’t rush!”
Jiang Cheng let out a sigh, and started to space out at his desk.
After spending some time spacing out he turned around, and once his eyes made contact with Gu Fei’s he mouthed a question, “You’re done?”
Gu Fei nodded.
Then lifted up his composition page so Jiang Cheng could see.
Jiang Cheng first froze, then turned and started laughing at his test paper.
It was a very suppressed laugh. He wanted to laugh out loud, but dared not make a sound. He even had to press a tissue against his nose to prevent snot from coming out. Gu Fei wasn’t planning on laughing, but simply seeing him like this, he couldn’t hold it in either.
Jiang Cheng ended up laughing so hard he had a coughing fit, which finally put a pause to his hysteria
Gu Fei got up and handed in his test, then left the classroom and went downstairs. They had another exam soon, he wanted to stretch a little before it started. It was hard for him to sit still for even 40 minutes of class, so suffering through the duration of an exam was especially painful.
Soon after, Jiang Cheng also made his way downstairs. He was a little surprised, “You handed in your test?”
“Mhm,” Jiang Cheng nodded. “The teacher was standing right next to Wang Xu, and I figured he was pretty much done copying everything, so I handed mine in…… Were those lyrics or poetry that you were writing?”
“A poem.” Gu Fei said, and sauntered slowly toward the staff washroom.
“Fuck, you really are thickskinned huh,” Jiang Cheng walked with him and said quietly. “Do you write poems every time the form isn’t specified?”
“Mhm,” Gu Fei chuckled. “I’ve done it three times already. The first time around Lao-Xu and the other teachers even held a discussion about how many points I should get for it.”
“That talent.” Jiang Cheng tutted at him. “What did you write, let me hear a few lines?”
“It’s so stunning that I’m embarrassed to say it out loud.” Gu Fei said.
When they arrived at the remote corner by the washroom, he pulled out a pack of cigarettes and glanced at Jiang Cheng. Jiang Cheng shook his head, so he lit one up for himself.
“The lyrics you wrote were pretty evocative,” Jiang Cheng said. “You really can’t recite a couple of lines for me?”
“That crappy poem was just to get it over with.” Gu Fei said. “If I get a chance to write some new lyrics in the future, then I’ll show it to you.”
“Alright then,” Jiang Cheng sat down on the steps. “I guess the young man is shy.”
Probably since there was no one to copy from, Wang Xu and the others also handed in their papers early. The first thing they did when they came downstairs was to survey their surroundings, then started to make their way over after spotting Gu Fei and Jiang Cheng.
“Bin ah,” Wang Xu pulled out 50 yuan and handed it to Lu Xiaobin. “Go buy some snacks and drinks to give our overachiever here some nourishment.”
“Sure thing.” Lu Xiaobin took the money and immediately started jogging toward the concession stand.
“Weirdo.” Jiang Cheng said.
“What a friend, such generosity!” Wang Xu clamped his fist at him. “I shouldn’t have a problem passing this one, maybe I’ll even rise up in the ranks.”
“Fuck me I’ve never done so well on a test!” Zhou Jing marvelled. “But I’m just saying Jiang Cheng, that handwriting of yours… really is the best anti-cheating mechanism. Good thing I have excellent eyesight and extensive experience. Hey, when the teachers mark your tests, do you think they’d take points off because they can’t understand what the hell you wrote?”
“I get points deducted all the time because of my handwriting.” Jiang Cheng said.
They all fell into each other in a fit of giggles.
The classroom nearby hadn’t finished their test yet. The invigilator came out and pointed at them, so they shifted closer to the washroom, and sat down around the stone table outside.
“I’ve never understood this,” Wang Xu said. “Why did they put a set of tables and chairs outside the washroom door?”
“This is nothing,” Jiang Cheng glanced at Lu Xiaobin, who had just returned carrying a bag of snacks and drinks. “When there are people who sit down to eat at the table outside the washroom.”
Again, the bunch of them giggled like idiots. The teacher bolted out of the classroom once more and chased them off to the edge of the field.
The next exam is on Politics. Ten minutes before the test started, Lao-Xu ran over with the wind at his side and called out to him, “Jiang Cheng!”
“Hmm?” Jiang Cheng looked toward him.
“How do you feel?” Lao-Xu asked.
“Pretty good, the questions aren’t hard.” Jiang Cheng said.
“What about the writing?” Lao-Xu asked again.
“It’s pretty easy when the form isn’t specified.” Jiang Cheng replied.
“I knew you wouldn’t have a problem.” Lao-Xu’s eyes were practically glowing. “This time we can trample Class-2 for sure. In the past it’s always been that little girl in their class going back and forth with our Yi Jing for the first place. This time it’d probably go to you no problem!”
“I guess.” Jiang Cheng wanted to say that they had only finished one subject. But considering that this was Fourth High… he really could be pleased with himself for once.
The Politics exam was a little more annoying. The multiple choice had been fairly simple guesswork, but the short answers were practically calling for his life. Gu Fei could barely get anything down, but out of habit, he managed to fill in all the blanks. On the short answer questions he should at least put down three lines of text per question… that was the challenging part, it asked a lot of his ability to make stuff up.
Especially when he got to a question worth 14 points that asked them to discuss the significance of culture-building events in school settings, while incorporating examples from the Fourth High…… Gu Fei stole a glance toward Jiang Cheng, and saw that the overachiever was in the same state as when he wrote the Language exam, resolutely laying down his atrocious handwriting one swift and ugly row at a time.
Overachievers really were fantastical creatures……
Politics weren’t as easy to copy. Wang Xu and Zhou Jing gave up on writing the short answer questions after they finished copying down the multiple choice. Compared to deciphering Jiang Cheng’s handwriting, it was probably easier to find ways to hide answers in their desks, sleeves, and pants.
Jiang Cheng turned in his test early again. Gu Fei figured showing off was probably the norm for this kid. He took some time to observe during his boredom, Jiang Cheng and Yi Jing both finished writing at about the same time. But while Yi Jing was still checking over all her answers and making changes, Jiang Cheng had already turned in his paper.
Once he turned his test in, the bunch of them who couldn’t come up with an answer and had lost their source, along with Gu Fei who had finished making shit up, all turned in their tests as well.
None of them went home at lunch time. Wang Xu was in a persistent state of excitement, perhaps because he was still caught up in the excitement from all the copying he did in the morning. He dragged them all to a feast of meat pies.
“Math in the afternoon,” Wang Xu said as he munched on a meat pie. “We’re looking to you, oh gifted one!”
“Mhm.” Jiang Cheng lit a cigarette and pushed open the window next to him. He usually didn’t have much of an appetite after tests.
“Da-Fei, you really aren’t gonna get in on the action?” Wang Xu asked Gu Fei again. “It’s a free for all, I’ve honestly never encountered such an easy-going overachiever!”
“If you yell any louder, your mom will come and make you into pie filling.” Gu Fei said.
“You really aren’t gonna?” Wang Xu lowered his voice.
“Nah,” Gu Fei said. “You guys do it so you can report a passing grade, it’s not like I have to report back to anyone.”
Nobody else thought much of what Gu Fei just said, but when Jiang Cheng heard it he suddenly felt a little sad.
Just as everyone else was busy eating and chatting away, he shifted a little closer to Gu Fei and asked quietly, “Will you be able to pass the final exams?”
Gu Fei peered at him and laughed, “Just about. My luck hasn’t been too bad so far, I solve everything through the dice rolls.”
“Oh.” Jiang Cheng responded and didn’t say anything else. He suddenly felt a little suffocated, but couldn’t tell whether it was real or in his mind.
He couldn’t stop feeling that there was something not entirely right about Gu Fei’s attitude, perhaps it was a difference in environment. But even someone unreliable like Pan Zhi would clench his jaw and put up an act to cram for a few days before a final exam. The way Gu Fei appeared to have given up entirely, made him a little anxious for some reason.
But what was he anxious about? Gu Fei didn’t have parents at home waiting to see how his grades were, and didn’t seem to have a valid reason to achieve good grades so as to get into a good university……
“Stop worrying about me,” Gu Fei gently nudged him with his leg under the table. “I’m just loafing for a high school diploma.”
“But,” Jiang Cheng squished his brows together. “If you’re just here for a high school diploma, why don’t you go to a technical collegiate or something instead, isn’t a certificate from there more useful than a public high school like the Fourth High?”
“That’s a long story,” Gu Fei gave him a smile. “I’ll tell you about it some other time.”
The two tightly packed days of midterm exams was finally over. According to Gu Fei’s observation and Jiang Cheng’s own undisguised smugness, he could just about figure out Jiang Cheng’s grades. Yi Jing had gained another competitor for the first place in their year.
“Your questions here are way too easy.” Jiang Cheng had said this at least three times over the last two days.
Though when Lao-Xu barged into the classroom first thing in the morning, the utter elation on his face was still a surprise. Gu Fei studied Lao-Xu. If Jiang Cheng simply scored similar to Yi Jing, Lao-Xu probably wouldn’t be this excited.
“Everyone, everyone!” Lao-Xu stood at the lectern. “I have good news to tell you!”
The roomful of students collectively responded with a lazy round of applause.
“The individual teachers of each subject will probably tell you during their class later, but I wanted to be the first.” Lao-Xu waved his arm around. “This time we have three perfect scores in our class!”
This was certainly surprising news. The room immediately broke into excited buzz, more than a few pairs of eyes converged on Jiang Cheng.
“Ay…” Jiang Cheng was still unaccustomed to being stared at like this, he slouched over his desk and let out a sigh.
“Can you guess who it is? And which three subjects?” Lao-Xu eagerly played up the suspense, but didn’t leave much room for them to guess before he announced the answer right away. “It’s your classmate Jiang Cheng! Math! English! Geography! All full marks!”
“Holy shit ——” The whole class erupted in chaos, as everyone started shouting at the same time.
“Fuck yo!” Zhou Jing turned around and thumped his desk hard. “Jiang Cheng! You the man! You really are the man!”
“Ah.” Jiang Cheng replied.
“Sit properly.” Gu Fei gave Zhou Jing a look.
“Damn impressive!” Zhou Jing said again, then turned and sat back in his seat. Then a second later turned again. “Very impressive!”
Lao-Xu was still talking animatedly at the front of the room. Gu Fei slouched over the desk as well and peered at Jiang Cheng, “The ranking should be out too, wanna go ask in a bit?”
“Nope,” Jiang Cheng said. “There’s no point. Honestly it’s only a midterm exam, not to mention your questions here really are easy. I’ve never gotten full marks in Geography before.”
“Then I’ll go ask.” Gu Fei said.
“What the hell are you so excited about.” Jiang Cheng said.
“I will ask about it very calmly.” Gu Fei said as he stuffed a candy in his mouth.
Gu Fei left as soon as class ended, and walked into the staff office right on Lao-Xu’s heels.
“Xu-zong.” He called out.
“What are you doing here.” Lao-Xu looked at him, then handed him a can of Red Bull. “Here, you drink this. Teacher Lu just came and handed out a can each, it’s too sweet.”
“Has the ranking by year been published yet?” Gu Fei took the Red Bull and asked.
“Why do you care? Not like you’re one of the first hundred names, not even counting from the end.” Lao-Xu said.
“The first place is Jiang Cheng right?” Gu Fei smiled and said.
At the mention of this, Lao-Xu once again became delighted. He stood up and walked to one of the vacant desks in the office and beckoned at him, “Come see.”
Gu Fei pulled out his phone as he walked toward him.
There was a very large piece of red paper on the desk. Lao-Xu had excellent calligraphy writing. He wrote the grade rankings every year, and posted them out, as part of the school’s ‘culture-building’.
Gu Fei saw at a glance the first name in the rank, Jiang Cheng.
“So it’s Jiang Cheng?” He quickly lifted up his phone and snapped at the page, then turned and walked out of the office. “Xu-zong you continue writing.”
After he walked out of Lao-Xu’s office, Gu Fei immediately opened up the Fourth High forum and made a post with his side account, including the photo he had just taken.
【Overseen while walking past the office…… officesecretcam.avi】
– hotness_overload 
 Ji Xianlin: a prominent Chinese Indologist, linguist, paleographer, historian and writer of the twentieth century ↩
 Gu Fei’s side account username: 帅炸苍穹
Literal meaning: so handsome he blew up the sky ↩
- Raw character count: 6827
- TL word count: 4968
- TL time: 5:30:49
- Edit: 0:49:17
- Curse words: 7x fucks, 3x shit
Happy birthday to Gu Fei~!!! I’ve been too busy, but at least managed to get a chapter out for today orz (will prob edit more later)
As for the username, y’all don’t wanna know how bad the alternative versions were lol, thanks to Suika for her input on the final version XD