Prison Officer of the System C1
This one is short, twelve chapters with a twist. Can’t wait to let the plot unfold~ Ψ(￣∀￣)Ψ
This is unedited, but if anyone would like to help proofread or edit the translations, please contact me in the official Foxaholic discord channel @TaiTai
Year 2697, January 22, snowy.
Chun He stood at the entrance of a doorway and looked down cautiously to ensure that he was standing outside the white line, then fished out a cigarette from inside his pocket, lit it, and cherished the lungful as he smoked.
Today was the date of Kang Gen’s release from prison. After Kang Gen was released, Chun He wouldn’t be able to smoke such fine cigarettes.
When the sounds of footsteps came from inside the door, Chen He hurriedly inhaled two puffs, and cast the lit star of the cigarette butt beneath his feet, ground it up, and finally scraped it into a small pit in the corner of two conjoined walls.
There was the noise of a lock opening, Chun He stood perfectly straight at the doorway. Hands wearing a pair of black cufflinks extended from within the door. The door was jerked open and a person fell out.
The person who was pushed out took two sluggish steps forward, turned his head around and halted. Chun He stared straight ahead and recited aloud the rules that every prisoner must memorize when he leaves the prison: “After leaving Shanchuan prison, strictly maintain these orders, you absolutely mustn’t……”
Chun He had already been assigned to see off prisoners in the past, and his rehearsal was orderly and smooth. But this time he spoke somewhat fast, and his words sounded not as severe as before, because the one being sent off at present was Kang Gen.
Chun He’s hands were clasped earnestly behind his back, not looking at Kang Gen, but in the end, he was unable to control himself from concentrating his gaze on him from his peripheral vision, making Chun He nervous.
Kang Gen stood two steps apart from Chun He, and the corners of his mouth curved slightly as he listened to Chun He recite those dry regulations.
“I’ll follow the rules from now on……”
By the time he finished the last sentence, Chun He had turned himself around and headed towards the inner side of the door. Alas, that person made him duck to the side with one hand propped on the wall, blocking Chun He’s way.
“Hm? It smells like the scent of tobacco?”
Chun He lifted his head up at Kang Gen, trying hard to put on the appearance of a serious person whom he shouldn’t cross: “What did you say? I’m not following. Also, if you’re going to disturb the operations of a prison officer, you’ll be put in confinement.”
The corners of Kang Gen’s lips raised drastically, “Is that so? But I’m being set free today.”
Chun He was a little stirred up, but he’d been a prison officer for less than two years, and it certainly wasn’t clear whether he ought to do something if the guard was caught by the convict. He thought hard accordingly, lowered his head, and burrowed out from under Kang Gen’s arm. This made him slightly ashamed, but it quickly resolved the issue.
Chun He got to the door, opened it, and went inside. He noted to himself to keep his head high and straighten his back so he’d appear like an earnest civil servant. Kang Gen watched him, and called out, “You can find me at 2022 in Building 2 of Block 2, if you want.”
After Chun He walked in and shut the door, he sighed with relief. He was a prison officer, so it was out of bounds for him to associate with ex-convicts outside of the prison, even though Chun He had stolen Kang Gen’s cigarettes many times.
Everything had been connected in the present for a long time. Monitoring systems spread throughout, and the system possessed the supreme power of judicature and jurisdiction. A prison officer had the most noble job title.
After Chun He’s father died of illness, he inherited his father’s work.
Chun He was young, fair-skinned, and bashful yet clever. After six months of the internship, he soon obtained approval, and could work as a supervisor independently.
But Chun He, a well-behaved young man, had a tiny flaw: he was heavily addicted to smoking. And what’s worse was the prison had a ban on smoking.
Chun He brought something to substitute for cigarettes. Although he missed the feeling of smoking, he could bear it.
That was, until the day Kang Gen arrived.
Chun He went to admit Kang Gen. Kang Gen was different from the other prisoners; he didn’t resist, quietly going along with the control ware on his hands and feet. Chun He handed the prisoner’s uniform over to Kang Gen, then Kang Gen stripped out of his outside clothes, which were taken away, and put on the uniform.
The problem lay in Chun He’s inspection of Kang Gen’s clothing.
There were cigarettes in his pocket.
Chun He meticulously placed the cigarettes in a storage box. Then later on he took the pack of cigarettes out of the box to read the expiration date. Still half a year left on the date, and Kang Gen’s sentence was one year.
Chun He put the cigarettes back inside the storage box.
He sat on a bench and looked outside the window in a daze.
They were really fine cigarettes with a strong fragrance. He’d never smoked them before, but he’d seen other’s using them, and although his recollection was blurry, the whiff of that scent brought back memories engraved in his mind.
Such fine cigarettes should not go to waste.
That would be squandering them.
But he’s a prison guard, and prison guards shouldn’t use convicts’ belongings in secret.
Then should he just set them here, the fragrance left to rot away all alone with the passage of time?
And then later on a janitor will dispose of them, and they’ll melt away inside a garbage bin?
That would be a sin.
Chun He stood up, took the pack of cigarettes out of the storage box, and placed them within his own drawer.
When Chun He saw off a prisoner, he smoked one of Kang Gen’s cigarettes outside the door. So good, so fragrant, a scent he could not find in any other memory.
Chun He felt that he was rescuing them, content.
In the afternoon, when it was time to reprimand them, each prisoner would sit on the bed in their own rooms and listen to a broadcast.
Chun He took a truncheon with him as he was making the rounds in each area under his control.
All of them were normal, including Kang Gen.
But just when Chun He was about to leave Kang Gen’s room, Kang Gen said in a low voice, “Were my cigarettes good?”
Chun He’s hands froze, he suspected himself of feeling guilty as a thief and having auditory hallucinations. He stood at the entrance for a hot, long moment: how was it possible for the scent to still be there?
And besides that, how could a prisoner be so bold as to ask a prison officer such a question?
Chun He figured he was just hearing things, and continued on walking.
But the voice from behind him came back again, “If you want to smoke inside, go to the public bathroom, there’s an air vent when you open the shower where you can smoke.”
Chun He didn’t turn back, and firmly exited.
Prisoners can only be admonished. That was the rule for prison guards.
What’s more, this prisoner wanted to teach him some strange information.
In the end, Chun He couldn’t endure it.
He awoke during the night. Previously, when he’d had no cigarettes with him, he could bear it, but now he had some in his drawer.
It was hard to hold back.
At last, he stood in the public bathroom at the air vent, turned on the shower head, and hesitated for a long time. He tentatively took out one cigarette, and lit it. No sounds of alarms.
Chun He happily smoked the entire cigarette, feeling like he’d been tainted a little by the stain from that prisoner called Kang Gen.
This was bad. Chun He finally made up his mind; once he was done smoking this pack, he wouldn’t smoke anymore.
By the time he finished smoking the pack, it was three days later, and his mouth was somewhat lonely. Kang Gen’s family came to visit him. As soon as their meeting concluded, Chun He, who was with another warden, came across Kang Gen, who was walking and holding the small package that his family had brought for him. It would need to go through a security check.
Chun He opened the package in front of Kang Gen, and conducted a final examination.
Inside were multiple pairs of briefs, and one cigarette pack.
He took out the pack of cigarettes in the briefs, and tossed it into the storage box without batting an eyelid. Kang Gen burst into laughter.
Chun He ignored him, brought the well-wrapped package of briefs with him and carried them away in his hands. He escorted Kang Gen back to the cell.
Reaching the doorway, Chun He stopped, tilted his head, and used his chin to signal Kang Gen to enter.
Kang Gen went into the cell, Chun He pressed the lines of his palm on a button and the door was pulled shut. But then Kang Gen stretched out a hand through a gap in the railing: “Senior officer, have you been taking my stuff?”
Chun He looked at him sternly: “I haven’t taken your cigarettes.”
The corners of Kang Gen’s mouth perked up: “Is that so?”
Chun He repeated gravely: “It is. They’re contraband, so they must go to my room to be disposed of.”
Kang Gen’s forehead stuck to the railing, eyes bright, his snicker made the smallest sound: “Senior officer, must my underwear go in your room too?”
This was rather embarrassing, and Chun He’s brain filled up with smoke, clutching Kang Gen’s briefs tightly in his hand the whole time.
But Chun He firmly recalled the rules of a prison officer, and coolly passed the underwear over to Kang Gen.
Kang Gen pulled his hands away as he was going to take them, putting on an air of doubt: “Doesn’t it have to go in the senior officer’s room?”
Chun He had hardly encountered that many problems with the prisoners, but he felt that Kang Gen was ridiculing him, and threw the package into Kang Gen’s room, keeping his dignity as a prison officer as he walked away.
These events kept recurring.
Chun He couldn’t give up smoking.
Whenever Chun He smoked a whole pack, he’d swear that this was the last time, Kang Gen’s family would come and visit him from the metropolis, and bring one pack of briefs and a pack of cigarettes.
Kang Gen’s sentence was one year, and Chun He stole twelve packs of cigarettes.
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