Guan Zhe totally forgot that toothpaste was drooling out of his mouth, he threw down his toothbrush and instinctively took out his handphone and snapped a few pictures of what was happening, and uploaded it on one of Yi High’s dedicated forums.
The photo captured the profiles of two tall teenagers. They had similar height, and their backs were facing the lens, a suitcase being dragged behind them. The hallway light cast elongated shadows of the two on the floor, which made the picture exude a very heartwarming and artistic vibe.
Ten minutes later, the post went viral.
However, as far as Chen Yueyang and Shen Shicang were concerned, they had no time to spare on scrolling through forum posts or social media.
They were currently in the midst of solving a huge problem that had just cropped up - bathing.
After Shen Shicang finished showering, he saw that Chen Yueyang, who had only brushed his teeth and washed his face, was already sound asleep.
He walked over and without a hint hesitation, woke him up.
Shen Shicang said, “Go and shower.”
Having just showered before leaving his home, Chen Yueyang’s expression seemed to darken when he heard this, and he turned to look at Shen Shicang. Inside, he felt his fists itching to move.
Chen Yueyang squinted his eye, he had been forcibly awakened from his beauty sleep and was half-irritated to death. He said angrily, “I already took a shower before leaving my house, and we’ve been up for so long tonight, how important is this showering?! I’m not going to shower, hurry up, and go to sleep." He slumped back on his mattress after speaking his mind.
Shen Shicang persevered in his efforts, pulled Chen Yueyang up again, and repeated, “Go shower.”
“...To hell with showering! Lǎozi is dead tired today, what is wrong with you, why can’t you just let things slide.”
T/N: 老子 (Lǎozi) - Is a way people refer to themselves (gangster-style), in normal speech it means elder, but when someone uses it to refer to themselves, they are putting themself at a level higher than the listener (so kind of a challenge)
“If you don’t shower and go to sleep, don’t you feel it’s dirty and disgusting?”
“Who on Earth bathes every day, what’s wrong with you?!”
“You’re supposed to bathe daily.”
#Here we can see the social and cultural differences between the Southern Chinese and the Northern Chinese.#
T/N: There are varying definitions to who can be identified as Southern Chinese or Northern Chinese, usually the classification is according to their lifestyles and cultures (so definitely not purely geographical separation) I got this from Wikipedia:
北方人 (Northerners) - Shandong, Hebei, Shanxi, and Northeast China. It also might include regions that have undergone sinicization like the Chaoxian ethnic group, Manchurians, Hui people. [Note this is translated from Wikipedia just for background purposes on the differences, thank you :) ]
In the end, Chen Yueyang was forced to comply with his annoying roommate, only because each time the urge to pummel him to a pulp came, what entered his sight was his own precious face. And truth be told, he could not bring himself to damage that thing of beauty.
So, he had no choice but to get up from his bed, even though he was sleep as hell, and started to shower.
Apart from the fact that the two students were complete polar opposites, the main reason that they were at each other’s necks almost all the time, was most likely due to the differences between the Northern and Southern cultures.
Chen Yueyang was born and raised in a more socialist and modernistic Beijing society, on the other hand, Shen Shicang was a Chinese Hongkie who had only set foot in his ancestral country when he was a teenager.
You don’t like my soya bean drink, well I despise your sweet tasting bean curd.
You diss my American pronunciation, calling it unsophisticated; well I diss your cockney accent as an aftereffect of colonialism.
Although in theory, we are both Chinese, there are still many differences between us, that cannot be swept beneath the rug of ‘being the same nationality’.
And the true extent of this ‘culture gap’, was experienced first-hand by the duo, at breakfast the next morning.
Chen Yueyang watched in disgust as Shen Shicang scooped another spoon of sugar, and could not help but interrupt, "I think you’ve had more than enough of that, it's your third spoon already! I wonder how you haven't died of diabetes yet (Zǎ méi hōu sǐ nǐ ne)?"
T/N: The reason why I added in the pinyin, was to give an impression of what it might have sounded like, some googling shows that 齁 (hōu) is slang common to the Jing-Jin-Ji area which can mean very xxx (usually a taste) Example
Shen Shicang looked sideways and stared into Chen Yueyang’s peach blossom eyes, those eyes that in the past were so expressive, now looked as though they were covered in a layer of frost.
Seconds later, Chen Yueyang heard him saying, “You added cha tsai and welsh onion?!”
Chen Yueyang was quick to defend himself, “Yeah, what’s wrong with that?”
Shen Shicang, “Hello, high blood pressure…”
Chen Yueyang was speechless.
Chen Yueyang, who was inexplicably stunned, was a little unhappy at what Shen Shicang had said to him, hence he followed Shen Shicang and sat directly opposite him. He tapped the spoon in Shen Shicang’s hand with his chopsticks and raised his eyebrows and asked, "Come on, tell me what’s bothering you this morning, why are you so snappy?"
Shen Shicang said, “Please stop putting all that junk, you call food, into my body.”
Chen Yueyang replied with, “Don’t steal the words out of my mouth, I ought to be telling you that, is it true that you add sugar into your bean curd? How do you even finish that monstrosity?
Shen Shicang was lost for words.
As the old Chinese saying goes, How would a bug born in the summer with a lifespan of a few weeks ever know that frozen water (@ice) ever existed?
Shen Shicang chose not to continue debating with him #Whether bean curd should be eaten sweet or salty#, a debate on this topic would be inconclusive, instead they reverted back to their speed of the past, and focused on finishing their respective breakfasts.
Their high school was humongous, it had undergone some renovation a few years back, which meant that it now encompassed a main street. There was a smaller portion of the school, that was cordoned off from the main buildings. Here, the environment was more quiet and peaceful, and it was an area specially designated for the seniors to have their lessons. Flanking that small building were two multistorey classroom blocks. The building on the West-side was for Science majors and the building on the East was for Arts majors. In between these buildings, there was an all-weather rubberized running track and a schoolyard.
With the rise of new industries such as social media, communication, editing, and advertising, the past slogan of "Total mastery of mathematics, physics and chemistry; is the key to success" had long since become outdated. In the present day, the importance of both arts and sciences had gradually leveled out, resulting in an equal distribution of Arts classes and Science classes at Yi High.
After the two people confirmed each other's classes, they parted ways from the shaded flyover corridor and crossed the street. One going into the east building, and while the other walked to the west building.
As soon as Shen Shicang entered the classroom, he was so shocked by what he saw, that he ended up glued to the spot.
T/N: Just to remind everyone before y’all forget. From now on, when the novel refers to Shen Shicang, it’ll be referring to Shen Shicang in the body of Chen Yueyang. And vice versa for Chen Yueyang, so don’t get mixed up! (This means Shen Shicang in CYY’s body just entered ‘his’ class.
There were a total of 24 classes in senior year, twelve in the Science stream and twelve in the arts stream. Students were ranked according to their grades and classes were differentiated by the use of a number or a letter. For example, Senior Class 1 referred to the first class in the Arts stream, while Senior Class A was for the best class in the Science stream.
Chen Yueyang was in the last class of the entire arts stream, Senior Class 12.
This was where the most powerful and influential ‘Fuerdai’^1 of Beijing could be found. They spent their days in a state of anarchy, without any form of restraint or control imposed on them, nobody dared to get in their way.
Fuerdai - nouveau riche
Shen Shicang originally thought that he might be met with the scenes typical of ‘bad class’ in a Taiwanese drama, i.e. graffiti paint on the walls, students smoking and paper planes flying around the classroom. Not to mention, the sight of new replacement teachers quivering in fear as they conducted their first class…
But surprisingly none of this could be found.
Senior Class 12, had untouched walls of white, not a speck of dust on the floor, neatly arranged tables, and the sound of students self-studying…
But there was something strange and odd about what they were reciting…
“We are different from those sub-par low-level youths from those other schools!”
“We are the rebellious young men that uphold the core socialist values!”
“And young women too!”
“When we sleep in class, we do not snore!”
“When we commit acts of truancy, we cannot be caught!”
“Be humble and emit positivity!”
“We will not affect those diligent students!”
Shen Shicang was lost for words.
As Shen Shicang stood at the door of Senior Class 12 listening to the students in the room cheerfully reciting these sentences, his face was suddenly filled with a puzzled and confused look.
It was at this moment that Guan Zhe spotted him.
“Big Boss is here!” He cried out.
Under the focused gaze of everyone in the classroom, Shen Shicang walked inside.
He was frantically scanning the room for Chen Yueyang’s regular spot, when suddenly Song Mingyan carried Chen Yueyang’s chair up onto the platform.
T/N: Teachers in China (the more well-furbished schools) have a raised platform in front of the blackboard
"Please, Boss, have a seat!"
Shen Shicang thought to himself, Chen Yueyang your classmates are really quite unusual...
It was his first time coming to Senior Class 12, and because his relationship with Chen Yueyang had not been the best of things just now, the two of them had not said much to each other. Thus, Shen Shicang did not know much about Senior Class 12, and all he could do was, try his best to adapt quickly to the situation.
Under the scrutiny of Song Mingyan, Shen Shicang slowly made his way to the platform.
In fact, so far, this was all quite normal to him, because as the monitor of Senior Class A, he would usually sit on the platform during the self-study session.
However, as soon as Shen Shicang sat down, strange things started to happen.
Lu Ji Ping respectfully placed a hard paper cup in front of Shen Shicang.
It seemed to be a cup filled with a hot beverage, even with the lid of the cup tightly fastened, you could still faintly see steam wafting out of small gaps in the lid.
Shen Shicang raised his eyebrows and let out a puzzled look on his face.
Lu Ji Ping was quick to notice his boss’s confusion and said, “Boss, this is the soya bean drink that you have every morning ah~”
Shen Shicang did not know what to do.
He waited for a few seconds then said, “Take it away!”
Song Mingyan was a youth with quick-thinking and noticing the displeased look on his boss’s face he immediately stepped in and removed the cup of soya bean drink from his boss’s sight. He thrust the cup into Lu Jiping’s arms saying, “Hurry up, get rid of it! Boss doesn’t want to drink it today!.”
Lu Jiping nodded instinctively, without the slightest doubt about his friend’s guess. Thinking that perhaps Boss had eaten too much at breakfast, and that’s why he could not finish the drink, he answered, “In that case, I’ll finish it myself.”
In an instinctive maneuver, Shen Shicang stopped Lu Jiping and said, “Don’t you dare open the lid.”
He could not stand the smell of the drink at all, not even the slightest hint of it.
But if he threw it away, it would be such a waste of good food.
So he came to a conclusion, “Could you please bring this to Class A, and give it to… Shen Shicang. If you would be so kind, thank you…”
Lu Jiping could not believe what he had just heard.
Wait, had B-boss just said please, and thank you???
No no no, that’s not the main point. The main point was why the h*ll was he giving it to that nerd, Shen Shicang?!
It wasn’t only Lu Jiping, the other students in the classroom had a “What-the-f*ck-just-happened” expression written all over their faces.
Everyone started to think about that post yesterday, the picture that had been captured that exuded such heartwarming and emotional vibes.
The caption had been: I think I am hallucinating... The two mortal enemies of our Yi High school have gone mad _(:з」∠)_
0 lóu: “OP must have uttered a thousand ‘motherf*cker-s’.
I will leave this photo here and say no more, I’ll leave the judging to you, it can’t just be me who has to go blind because of this [Waving emoji].”
The initial comments of the post were filled with “...” , “!!!” or “???” but then after some time, a heated debate started to take place.
One side was the “Good Student” scholar-lord’s fanbase, whose representatives included people like the online user of the 179th lóu “Ready_to_crash_into_a_wall_for_Prefect_Shen”.
T/N: In Chinese internet slang, the OP is referred to as 楼主 (Lóuzhǔ) and 1 楼 (Lóu) refers to the first person who replies (and so on). I will be using lóu, in its pinyin form, so 179 lóu means the 179th person to comment on the thread.
The main content of the comment was
Prefect Shen is the pride and joy of Senior Class A, he is usually such a gentle and polite person. What can such a one-sided dumb picture dog show? That it was Prefect Shen who helped Chen Yueyang despite his previous actions. What the heck is the School-Ringleader fanbase going on about?! Our Prefect Shen has been awarded the ‘Triple Hao’ every year, come in first in the school year after year plus he is the President of the School Student Council; how could you ever compare him with a scumbag like Chen Yueyang. It’s so shameful that a kind-hearted gesture of someone could be cast in such an unfavorable light. How shameless are you guys?
On the opposite side, were the rich-kid fans of the school-ringleader. Their representative was like the online user on the 212th lóu, “Yi_High_has_a_ton_of_braindead_fans”
The main content went something like this...
Our school ringleader is so down to earth, do you even know what kind of family background your beloved Prefect Shen comes from? Do you have no brains? That guy is so broke, he has to resort to scholarships and prize money from his nerdy competitions to feed himself. Our Big Brother had got mining connections okay, and his results aren't the worst. First place every year in the arts stream? That’s him! Please get your facts straight. Where does he fall short of Shen Shicang? And he has captained our school basketball team to two successive championships, that’s way more work than what that Student Council President does!
It was a constant back and forth between the two sides, as they slugged it out in an online war.
Lu Jiping was holding the soya bean drink in one hand as he took out his phone to check on the post he posted. He had not expected it to garner so much attention.
He looked at the object in his hands and thought about delivering it. For a fully grown youth, this was the first time in his entire life that he had to think so hard.
After crossing the schoolyard and climbing three flights of stairs, Lu Jiping finally reached Senior Class A.
It was a completely different atmosphere, during their self-study session, Senior Class A was eerily quiet. It was so quiet that if you dropped a pin one would definitely be able to hear it.
Lu Jiping shoved opened the door and walked in the classroom in a thug-like manner.
He walked towards Shen Shicang and placed the hot beverage on his desk.
“Here, our boss sent you some breakfast.” Lu Jiping said.
Only one thought entered the minds of the whole class,
What the f*ck…
End of Chapter